Fourth Alabama regiment, and had been picking blackberries and strayed away from our camp. He then said, “Are you the regiment that is waiting for artillery?” I replied, “The same.” “Then, boys,” said he, “you are stationed at Ball's Mill, three miles from here, [pointing in the direction of Leesburg,] halfway from here to Leesburg.” He then said, “Were you in the fight Sunday?” “Yes.” “I am glad, boys, you escaped from the slaughter. These d-----d Yankees, I would like to see every man of them strung up; I never could bear them. I will send Edward to show you the way to the main road.” We thanked him and left. At 5 P. M. came to a railroad. I saw a little boy and girl, and asked them what road it was. They replied they did not know, but if we would go to the house Jeff. would tell us. After some further inquiries, without getting any information, we crossed the track and took to the woods, and continued our march until 6 P. M., when we saw a house standing alone in the bushes. We determined to go there, and get something to eat. Arriving at the gate, we inquired if they had something to sell us. They said they had, and we lost no time in investing in fifty cents' worth of hoe-cake and milk. While we were devouring these (to us) luxuries, a horseman galloped up to the door, and the lady of the house called the man with whom we were conversing, “Cousin George,” (his name is Edwards.) We suspected something wrong, and took a precipitate leave down the hill, and continued our march. Half an hour after leaving this house we crossed the main road, and crossed the field, in order to reach a wood which we supposed was a forest, but which turned out to be nothing but a small thicket. Soon after crossing the thicket, we espied eight mounted troopers at full speed, passing along the road, some fifteen yards ahead; not supposing they were in search of us, we continued on our way, when, upon looking round, we found they had halted at the foot of the hill, and were looking in all directions; at last they saw us, and commanded us to halt and come back. This we had no desire to do; and, knowing the fence along the road to be impassable on horseback, we thought our chances of escape were good. We accordingly ran, and they fired, one or two of them dismounting simultaneously with the discharge of the others' guns, to let the rails of the fence down in order that they might pursue us into the woods. In the mean time we had gained the wood and found another fence surrounding it. This fence was equally as wide as the first one. They galloped off to the edge of the woods where we should have to pass to make our escape, and surrounded the woods. Here they dismounted, took down the rails and entered the bushes, and commenced their search. In the mean time we had run back to where we entered the bush, and hid under two large elm trees, Capt. Allen clipping the branches, in order that we might pull them down over us with more facility; it was perhaps five minutes before they reached this portion of the thicket, and these trees being so much exposed, they concluded no person was there, and went away to the other end of the woods, but soon returned, and on passing one of these trees, one of the horses ridden by one of our pursuers grazed my right leg with his hoof, and so close were they upon us that we overheard all their conversation. During this time, some twelve or fifteen of the inhabitants of Milford turned out with their guns and pistols to assist the troopers to find the Yankees; and an order was given, by an old man in citizen's dress, for the horsemen to follow up in the next woods, with orders to the men who had come together, to look in all the bushes and to turn over all the old logs, and leave nothing undone which they might suppose would tend to our capture. Here one of them reckoned the Yankee---------had got away: another said that if they were in those woods, they would give us a right warming, and they commenced discharging their guns in the bushes in every direction, but, happily, did not aim in the direction of our tree. In about an hour the old man returned, and ordered a boy about eighteen years of age to remain beside us' on a log, with instructions to fire at us the moment he saw us--“Even,” said he, “if you do miss them.” It was now 9 P. M., and the long prayed — for darkness came to our rescue, and helped to cover our retreat. For nearly another hour the old wretch kept prowling about the woods, and finally went away. At about 11 o'clock we were so exhausted that we fell asleep, and rested until 12, when Allen crawled over to me and said, “They haven't got us yet.” I had dreamt, during my short slumber, that I was a captive, and he had some difficulty in persuading me to the contrary. Being reassured, I arose from my retreat, and, as we emerged from beneath the branches which had just saved our lives, we beheld the youth who, two hours before, had been placed to watch for us; he was in a deep slumber, and had his gun grasped between his folded arms, in a horizontal position. I drew my knife to despatch him, but Capt. Allen prevented me. We then retraced our steps for nearly a mile and a half, and struck over for the Potomac, which we reached at 4« o'clock Sunday morning, having kept up a quick and double-quick step all along the road. Having reached the Potomac, we sat down to rest; but we were hardly seated before we saw a man on horseback approaching us by the road. He walked his horse past us as though he was unaware of our presence, until he reached the corner of a fence surrounding a cornfield, when he put spurs to his horse and went up the hill at full speed. We suspected
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Battle of Bull Run .
Doc . 4 .- N. Y. Tribune narrative.
Doc . 59 : a Virginian who is not a traitor: response of Lieut. Mayo , U. S. N. , to the proclamation of Gov. Letcher .
Doc . 65 -speech of Galusha A. Grow , on taking the Chair of the House of Representatives of the United States , July 4 .
Doc . 135 .- Virginia ordinance, prohibiting citizens of Virginia from holding office under the United States , passed July , 1861 .
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