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Heros von Borcke, Memoirs of the Confederate War for Independence, Chapter 12: (search)
cutting off their heads with his pocket-knife. The son of the gentleman who entertained us at dinner, being thoroughly familiar with the bridlepaths across the mountains, offered himself as our guide to save us the long detour of the common highway, and his services were thankfully accepted. So we pursued our course along the rough mountain-side, but seldom touched by human foot, and, as we rode, enjoyed frequent opportunities of admiring the wild and wonderful scenery of the majestic Blue Ridge. Climbing up steep banks and skirting dizzy precipices, we were often obliged to cut our way with our sabres through the dense entanglement of bushes and vines, many of the latter heavy with clusters of small dark-blue grapes. A rolling cannonade, borne to us from the direction of Ashby's Gap, hurried us on our toilsome and difficult way, and about five o'clock in the afternoon we reached the summit of the mountain. The view we obtained from this point was surely the most magnificent I