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[119] suddenly descending upon a wagon train, which a Federal party had loaded with hay at the expense of the inhabitants and were leisurely hauling into Moorefield. The daring troopers dispersed the guard of 150 men, capturing 71 prisoners and 106 horses, and burned the train, and then safely conveyed their prizes to the Shenandoah valley. This exploit was announced in general orders to the army by General Lee as one of ‘the series of successes of the cavalry of Northern Virginia during the winter months.’ Near Harrisonburg the company was recruited to 60 men, and John H. McNeill was elected captain, Jesse McNeill first lieutenant, J. S. Welton second, and B. J. Dolan junior second lieutenant. Early in March, with the commendation of General Imboden, Captain McNeill applied to the secretary of war for authority to take 600 men and destroy the trestle work and Cheat River bridge. This was readily granted, Secretary Seddon in his letter to Gen. Sam Jones referring to McNeill as ‘a very brave and enterprising partisan officer.’ Gen. W. E. Jones, however, did not approve the plan. But he granted McNeill a few companies for another expedition to the northwestern grade. With these companies, Harness', Heiss', and Kuykendall's, of the Eleventh cavalry, and Captain Stump's of the Eighteenth cavalry, McNeill started out and captured another wagon train. Kuykendall's company and a detachment under Lieutenant McNeill were ambuscaded, but escaped with slight losses.

McNeill and his men rendered valuable services during Jones' successful expedition against the Baltimore & Ohio railroad in April, 1863, and continued in their adventurous duties, capturing in June one of Milroy's trains between Berryville and Winchester, until General Ewell entered the valley, en route to Pennsylvania, when the command reported to Ewell. They participated in the defeat of Milroy, and pursuing his command captured many prisoners and wrought great destruction on the Baltimore

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