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[424] courage. We plunder the enemy, as the rules of war clearly allow. To the victors belong the spoils, has been a maxim of war in all ages. I can hang two for one all the year round, if your men insist upon it; but I hope soon to have a better understanding. I yesterday executed eight of your poor fellows on the valley pike, your highway of travel, in retaliation for my men hung at Front Royal; and I have to-day written to General Sheridan, informing him of it, and proposing a cessation of such horrible work, which every true soldier cannot but abhor. I sincerely hope he will assent to it.

I thanked him warmly for his kindness, as I took his offered hand with a grip known all the world over to the brethren of the mystic tie, and really began to think Mosby almost a gentleman and a soldier, although he had just robbed me in the most approved manner of modern highwaymen.

The sun was now approaching the meridian, and immediate preparations were made for the long road to Richmond and the Libby. A guard of fifteen men, in command of Lieutenant Whiting, was detailed as our escort; and accompanied by Mosby himself, we started directly across the country, regardless of roads, in an easterly direction, toward the Shenandoah and the Blue Ridge. We were now in company of nine more of our men, who had been taken at different times, making eleven of our party in all, besides the indignant contraband, Wash, whom it was also thought prudent to send to the rear for safe keeping.

I used every effort to gain the acquaintance and confidence of these men, and by assuming a jolly and reckless manner, I succeeded in drawing, them out and

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