word of tremendous size and excellent temper, which I had worn from the commencement of my military career in the Prussian Cuirassiers of the Guards.
It was even better known in the Confederate army than myself; and many who were unable to pronounce my foreign name correctly used to speak of me as the Prussian with the big sword.
Stuart wrote to me after the battle of Gettysburg, in which, being prostrated by wounds, I did not participate, referring to the operations of his cavalry, My dear Von, I cannot tell you how much I missed you and your broad blade at Gettysburg.
and sever the reptile in twain.
Excited, however, by this unfamiliar hostile attack, and finding that the dissevered parts of the body continued to manifest vitality in wriggling about on the grass, I dealt yet several heavy blows at my enemy, and the noise of the encounter aroused the General with the whole of his Staff.
Arms in their hands, they hastened to the scene of action, believing that not fewer than a h
ful fellow speedily returned, and, with features lighted up by intense gratification, said to me, Major, that was the quickest and the happiest ride of my life.
The enemy seemed completely paralysed by the shouts of our troops, and as we soon received reinforcements from Jackson's corps, and began to assume the offensive, they retreated rapidly along the road by which they had advanced.
Stuart now came back to us, and was so delighted that he threw his arms round my neck and said, My dear Von, is not this glorious?
you must immediately gallop over with me to congratulate old Stonewall on his splendid success.
Captain Farley, Captain Blackford, and Lieutenant Dabney joined us, and after a short and rapid ride we reached the magnificent scene of our magnificent victory, just in time to witness the formal ceremony of the surrender of the garrison, a sight which was certainly one of the grandest I ever saw in my life.
From what I have already said of Harper's Ferry, the reader w
nity of manners and high soldierly bearing.
General Fitzjohn Porter proved to be too much of the gentleman for the Northern Government.
He was very soon afterwards dismissed from the service for faults alleged to have been committed during Pope's campaigns, but I have pleasure in bearing my testimony (that of an enemy) to his qualities as a gallant soldier and an excellent fighter.
I availed myself of this opportunity of writing from the tent of the Adjutant-General a private note to Major Von R., a former brother officer of mine in the Prussian army, who was serving on McClellan's Staff, looking to an interview, possibly under similar circumstances as had now brought me into the Federal lines, which interview, however, never took place.
Starting now upon my return, I could not help expressing to my escort how very much I regretted he should have incurred the displeasure of his general by conducting me to him. He had the amazing effrontery to deny that this was the case; but I
f a diminutive one-pounder gun, which turned out to be of very little account, and afterwards we had some equestrian sports, matches in horseracing, fence-jumping, &c. Captain Blackford, who, with a thoroughbred chestnut mare, attempted to take a high fence just in advance of Stuart and myself, had a severe fall, which was fortunately unattended with serious consequences.
Remarking upon it, that, in my opinion, the fault lay not so much with the horse as with the rider, Stuart said, Hear old Von, how grand he talks!
Then turning to me, he added, in a banter, Why don't you jump the fence yourself, if you know how to do it better?
I had never leaped my heavy-built Pennsylvanian as yet, and I was in doubt whether he was equal to the lofty barrier, but as there was no possible escape from Stuart's challenge, I struck my spurs into his sides, and over he went like a deer, amidst the loud applause of the General himself and other spectators.
I had now the laugh on my side, and very soon
ss the table as just the faintest smile broke over his features, he said, Never care, Major, for Stuart's jokes; we understand each other, and I am proud of the friendship of so good a soldier and so daring a cavalier as you are.
I was conscious of a blush reddening my cheeks under my beard at this, but I felt also a glow of pride, and I would not at that moment have exchanged the simple, earnest tribute of the great warrior for all the orders and crosses of honour of Europe.
Hurrah for old Von!
And now let us be off, said Stuart, and slapping me on the back to conceal his own slight embarrassment, he rose from the table, followed by his companions.
In a few minutes we rode off at a gallop to fresh scenes of excitement and activity.
In Virginia the vicissitudes of temperature are great and sudden, the weather frequently changing from biting frost to genial warmth in a few hours; and we experienced this pleasant alternation as we rode forth into the brilliant sunshine of the cl
d frequent tidings from General Stuart and my comrades, and received from them letters full of friendship and affection.
In one of these the general said:--My dear Von, my camp seems dull and deserted to me since you left.
On the battle-field I do not know how to do without you, and I feel as if my right arm had been taken away fm I found in a small room of the Doctor's house, surrounded by most of the members of his Staff.
He received me with a smile, saying, I'm glad you've come, my dear Von; you see they've got me at last, but don't feel uneasy.
I don't think I'm so badly wounded as you were, and I hope I shall get over it as you did.
He then recounthich he ate in great abundance, and which was applied to his burning hot wounds to cool them.
Drawing me towards him, and grasping my hand firmly, he said, My dear Von, I am sinking fast now, but before I die I want you to know that I never loved a man as much as yourself.
I pray your life may be long and happy; look after my fam