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[82] the country in search of Stuart, who was encumbered with many captured horses in his march toward the Potomac. Pleasonton had so interpreted Stuart's movements as to make it clear to his mind that Stuart must cross the river at the mouth of the Monocacy, but, as a matter of fact, White's Ferry was the point at which the Confederate purposed to get over. Colonel W. H. F. Lee commanded the advance, and as he approached the ferry, he found it guarded by a force of Federal infantry.

Lee had arranged his plan of attack upon these troops when it occurred to him to try a milder method. He sent a flag of truce to the Union commander and demanded the unconditional surrender of his men within fifteen minutes. To this there was no response, and Colonel Lee then opened with one gun, which fire was not returned. In a few moments the Union infantry quit their impregnable position and withdrew down the river. Stuart and his returning legions, with all their plunder, then crossed the Potomac in safety.

Several companies in the Virginia cavalry regiments were mounted on thoroughbred racers, sired by horses whose names are as household words in racing annals. One experience, in the summer of 1861, demonstrated their unfitness for cavalry service. After General Patterson had crossed the Potomac at Williamsport and occupied Martinsburg, the First Virginia Cavalry was in Camp in an apple orchard, about two miles south of that town. A section of a Federal battery of two rifled guns advanced and took position a few hundred yards from the orchard, and threw some percussion shells over the cavalrymen. The missiles struck soft earth beyond and did not explode, but their screams, as they passed over the camp, were appalling. One of the companies, mounted on thoroughbreds, had no more control over their steeds than they had over the shells that frightened them. The commander of the company sought to divert attention from the noise by keeping the horses in motion, but no sooner were they brought into line than they broke and ran. A hundred yards distant was a fence, eight

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J. E. B. Stuart (4)
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