main body, harassed by the Confederate cavalry, by whom he had been completely foiled in his attempt upon the communications leading to Richmond
by way of the Virginia Central Railroad and James River canal.
Returning to Lee
's army, the Black Horse
were occupied in arduous picket duty, and engaged in daily skirmishes, taking part, also, in the overthrow of Wilson
's cavalry raiders.
In August, 1864, General Fitz Lee
's cavalry division was sent to reinforce Early
in the Valley
, who had fallen back after his campaign against Washington
In the fight at Waynesborough
the Black Horse
was the leading squadron of the Fourth Regiment, and was especially complimented by General Early
After driving the enemy through the town, the Confederate cavalry halted on a hill in the western suburbs, when an officer in the Union
service, Captain J. A. Bliss
, faced his squadron, and, placing himself at its head, ordered a charge.
But his men followed not their gallant leader.
He, not looking to see, or, as it appeared, caring whether he was accompanied by his command, dashed alone into the midst of the Black Horse
No one fired at him, the men not wishing to kill so brave an officer.
With his sabre he wounded several of the command, and some one knocked him from his horse, and might have killed him but for the interposition of Captain Henry Lee
, a brother of Fitz Lee
, who, observing the dismounted officer to make the Masonic sign, went to his assistance.
During this campaign, and after the affair just mentioned, George W. Martin
, of the Black Horse
, with a member of the First Virginia Regiment, were returning from a scout late in the evening.
It was raining, and the soldiers had their oilcloths thrown over their shoulders, which, in a great measure, concealed their uniform.
On looking back, they saw three mounted men coming up behind them, whom they inferred were Union soldiers, as they were in the rear of Sheridan
Drawing and cocking their pistols, they rode slowly, that they might be overtaken.
The Federals--for such the party were-had had their suspicions aroused, and also prepared for the fight.
As soon as they came alongside of them, the scouts wheeled and demanded a surrender, when they were fired upon by their opponents.
They proved to be Lieutenant Meiggs
, of Sheridan
's staff, and two orderlies.
' shot passed through Martin
's body, but he braced himself, returned the fire, and killed Meiggs
The other two scouts captured one of the orderlies.
The other made his escape, and reported to Sheridan
that his party had been bushwhacked, who, in retaliation, ordered the burning of every house