along a cross-road which afforded the only avenue of escape.
made a dash for freedom.
Vaulting into the saddle, the daring rider raced to beat the foremost Union trooper to the open road.
, who was in command of the little body of flankers, rode the only horse which could equal the speed of Ashby
's fleet charger, and he and the Southerner
reached the road crossing together — Pierson
far in advance of his comrades.
, the latter fired at him with his revolver, but the Union
trooper did not attempt to return the fire and Ashby
himself replaced his weapon in the holster.
As the two men, magnificently mounted, came together, Ashby
drew a large knife and raised it to strike.
was a bigger and stronger man than Ashby
, and reaching over, he seized Ashby
's wrist with one hand while with the other he grasped the partisan leader's long black beard.
Then, throwing himself from his horse, Pierson
dragged the Confederate officer to the ground, and held him until the remaining Union troopers reached the scene of the struggle and disarmed Ashby
The white horse had instantly stopped when Ashby
was pulled from his back, and the captive was allowed to ride him back to the Union
lines, slightly in advance of his captors, Sergeant Pierson
at his side.
The detachment had gone but a short distance when the mysterious white horse wheeled suddenly to one side, bounded over the high plantation fence which lined the roadside, and dashed away across the fields.
Before the Union
troops could recover from their surprise, Ashby
was again free, and it was not long before he was once more reported by the Federal
scouts as standing on a distant hill, engaged in caressing his faithful horse.
Only a few weeks later, this famous horse, which had become so familiar to the Union
troops, was shot and killed by a sharpshooter belonging to the Fifth Michigan, who was attempting to bring down Ashby
Not long after, while leading his men in a cavalry skirmish, at Harrisonburg