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[422] by taking both of them. While this colloquy was passing, Mosby was quietly examining my papers, which had been taken from my pocket on my arrival; and presently, looking up wit. a peculiar gleam of satisfaction on his face, he said:

Oh, Captain B-! inspection-general of--'s cavalry? Good morning, captain-glad to see you, sir! Indeed, there is but one man I would prefer to see this morning to yourself, and that is your commander. Were you present, sir, the other day, at the hanging of eight of my men as guerrillas at Front Royal?

This question pierced me like a sword, as I really had been present at the terrible scene he mentioned. And although I had used my full influence, even to incurring the charge of timidity, in attempting to save the lives of the wretched men, believing that retaliation would be the only result, I could not show that fact, and doubted if it would avail me aught if I could.

I therefore answered him firmly: “I was present, sir, and, like you, have only to regret that it was not the commander, instead of his unfortunate men.”

This answer seemed to please Mosby, for he apparently expected a denial. He assumed a grim smile, and directed Lieutenant Whiting to search me. My gold hunting watch and chain, several rings, a set of shirt studs and buttons, some coins, a Masonic pin, and about three hundred dollars in greenbacks, with some letters and pictures of the dear ones at home, and a small pocket Bible, were taken.

A board of officers was assembled to appraise their value, also that of my clothing, and to determine the ownership of each of the articles — the rules of the gang

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