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[233] or canister, or a round shot ploughing through the living mass, would have sent us, sensibly, skirmishing to the rear at a pace which would have done more credit to the thews in our legs than the Colonel's prudence did to his knowledge of tactics.

Our prisoners were taken to Boston, made to take the oath of allegiance, a mere farce, and released. Guerrillas of the worst type, traitors and assassins all, as these people were, still it was not intended to do them any harm. They are very poor, and inconceivably ignorant. What little fatuous light they have comes from the wandering Yankees who trade among them, but leave for more civilized regions as soon as they have made a little money. The men, with few exceptions, had taken to the mountains; the terrified women and children shut themselves up in their houses. It was some time before they could be assured of their safety. It was hoped to make them friendly by treating them with kindness, but this utterly failed. They continued to hide in the mountains, firing upon small parties, or single men, whenever the opportunity offered; and when we returned from Kentucky they were more hostile than ever. Inalienably wedded to the Union, they hate us more bitterly than the worst abolitionists.

Boston is a dirty little village, of some twenty houses, hemmed in on all sides by the mountains. We remained there two days, when, hearing that General Smith was in Barboursville, we joined Major Thomas, who was on his way there with a drove of beef cattle.

Along the route the houses were closed and the occupants gone. Generally, if we stopped a few moments at a cabin, a woman would come from her hiding place in the corn patch, and tell us that her husband, or father, or brothers, as the case might be, had gone to visit his relations on the Big Sandy. Never before, we felt quite confident, had there been so much of this visiting.

The second day we reached Barboursville, without accident or adventure, and reported to General Kirby Smith.

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