guards and a few cooks busied about camp-fires attempted no resistance, and the troopers, thus rudely awakened, rubbed their eyes and peered out from under their canvas flies in droll bewilderment at the row. It was very good fun at first, but the unwieldy number of prisoners was awkward; we could not ‘surround’ them, as the Irishman said he did his dozen or more captives.
Presently they began to rally in knots, and then the hand — to hand skirmishing became pretty brisk, as compliments were being exchanged at close quarters.
It was especially lively near a little house which loomed up through the mist and around which were tied many horses.
On one of these barebacked animals jumped a brawny Federal, and with his revolver did as gallant fighting as one could wish to see. He and one of our men ‘tackled,’ and by common consent were left to fight it out alone for what seemed minutes, but which were doubtless only seconds.
At length he fell under his horse's feet, having died pluckily, as a true soldier should, to save his chief; for that black horse he rode was Killpatrick
's own, and within the little house were his headquarters.
Just then there bolted from the door a sorry-looking figure in his shirt and drawers.
The fugitive made no fight, but cutting loose and springing astride a horse ‘tarried not on the order of his going,’ but sped for safety through the fog and powder-smoke as fast as a militiaman.
No one stopped him, thinking it not worth while in presence of such abundance of better-seeming game.
Only one man recognized in the humble runaway the quondam bumptious Major-General
and future politician, and he gave chase.
His pistol being empty he meant to ride him down, and would have done so, but unhappily his horse fell on the wet, slippery ground, and he had the mortification of seeing General Kilpatrick
A striking contrast to him was our
Showing no weapon, but carrying a little riding-whip, with which he pointed here and there, directing the operations, he seemed the brain of the physical mass around him. It required no great stretch of imagination to fancy him the leader of a mighty orchestra, and his men the music makers.
It used to be said his skin glanced bullets, and that it required a twelve-pounder to carry away that one leg in Virginia
, and I often thought there must be something in it. What manner of man he was will best be understood from an answer he gave on one occasion when a courier galloped up in hot haste with a message from one of his Colonels
, saying he was being ‘flanked’ by the enemy.
‘Tell him to flank them back,’ was the General
's laconic reply.
And now in wild alarm there emerged from the house, whose