attempt to escape, endeavored to return to Fitz Lee
. Finding himself rapidly pursued, he turned off the main road, but soon encountered, drawn up in line, another force of Federal cavalry.
He passed very near to them, and, much to his relief, succeeded in reaching his brigade.
There he informed Major Morgan
, of the First Virginia Cavalry, of the perils he had escaped, and, directed him to the place where he would find the squadron he had last seen.
at once, with an adequate force, repaired to the spot, finding the enemy occupying the same position, who at once surrendered.
returned with his prisoners, Lieutenant Payne
inquired of their commander why he did not attempt to rescue the prisoners.
The officer replied, “I was only waiting to surrender, for we were all too much excited to see that the greater part of your force were prisoners.”
replied: “I was not quite that far gone; but if you had made an attack I should have been compelled to withdraw the guard and let the prisoners go.”
When Fitz Lee
returned to his position on the left flank of the army, Captain Randolph
, again in command of the Black Horse
, gave permission to ten or a dozen of the men to follow the march of the enemy toward Fredericksburg
and pick up stragglers and horses.
This they did for some distance, but finding neither men nor horses, the party returned.
Two of them, however, “Old blaze” and Joe Boteler
, concluded to follow the hunt yet longer.
A narrative of their adventures may prove interesting, and will at least show how such work may be done.
Near the Stafford
line they stopped at Mrs.
H.‘s and applied to have their canteens filled with brandy.
This the old lady positively refused to do, saying: “You are in danger enough, without adding to it by drink.”
But she relented when they promised to bring her back “six Yankees.”
And this is how they complied with their engagement.
Between Spotted tavern and Hartwood church, the scouts charged with a yell a small party of the enemy and succeeded each in capturing a mounted cavalryman.
These prisoners were disarmed and dismounted, and ordered to remain on the roadside until the captors should return.
To induce them to do so, they were told that there was a force in the woods who would capture them if they attempted to escape.
Depositing the arms and horses with a citizen, the scouts continued their ride in the same direction.
Soon they came in sight of the rear guard of a cavalry force, and, taking advantage of a body of wood to conceal their numbers, charged with a shout.
This hurried the retreat, and two of them, who had straggled, were taken prisoners.