enemy, and one of his men remarked: ‘We are cut off,’ to which McNeill
replied, with the instinct of a true soldier: ‘So are they.’
His confidence was rewarded by the capture of a considerable number of the enemy.
Early in October, when Imboden
attempted to destroy the trestle work of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad, McNeill
was sent toward Romney
with about 30 men, with which he gallantly defeated a Federal detachment of 60, taking prisoner a captain and several others.
's next move was against Paw Paw
tunnel, and McNeill
's rangers, in advance, surprised and drove the Federal
garrison from the fortifications intended to protect this important point on the railroad.
Subsequently the command was busied with scouting duty, varied with occasional forays against the ‘Swamp Dragons,’ banditti who infested the mountain fastnesses and committed outrages, which they expiated with instant death when captured.
In November they played an important part in Imboden
's unsuccessful expedition toward Cheat River bridge, and early in December, hearing that Milroy
with 4,500 men was moving past Moorefield
attacked the wagon train while moving between the two divisions of the enemy, and captured 50 horses and a number of prisoners, losing but one man who was wounded by the discharge of his own gun.
While with W. E. Jones
in an expedition toward Romney
in January, the Rangers again surprised a wagon train at the site of their previous adventure, and were again successful, burning the wagons and capturing 51 horses and 23 prisoners. In January, Imboden
's force was mustered into the regular service, and half of McNeill
's men were transferred to Captain Scott
's company, Imboden
The remainder, only 17 in number, gladly followed their captain back to the South Branch valley
Their number was increased to 27, and soon afterward they gave notice of their presence by