American History Stories—Volume IV - Mara L. Pratt

Johnny Clem

Johnny Clem was an Ohio boy, twelve years old. At the battle of Chickamauga, Johnny was in the thickest of the fight. Three bullets went through his cap, but Johnny didn't care for that.

After the battle, when every one was hurrying to and fro, Johnny became separated from his comrades, and was running, gun in hand, across an open field.

A Confederate officer, seeing him, sprang upon his horse and rushed after him.

"Stop! you little Yank!" called the Colonel.

Johnny, seeing that the Colonel was sure to overtake him, halted, faced around to meet the Colonel, and set his gun ready to shoot.

"You are my prisoner, young chap," said the Colonel as he rode up.

But instantly Johnny drew up his gun and fired. The colonel fell dead, and Johnny ran on to join his comrades.

Johnny, for this deed, was made a sergeant, and was put on duty at headquarters. He must have been a very odd-looking little sergeant, I think, dressed in a full sized man's uniform. But perhaps he did have a uniform that fitted him after that; and very likely he made a very spruce-looking sergeant.