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[147] they had commenced, after their manner, robbing the women and children. They must have come from down the river, as they showed they knew so well their way back. Their captain, instead of attending properly to his military duties, was not at the head of his company when it was charged, but was busy plundering and was gathered in after his men were routed. Their losses by our count were eleven, but no doubt some more, who were wounded, escaped, and therefore were not counted.

Thus was a serious danger to the army removed by the timely appearance of one man, by the personal prowess and the moral influence of one man.

A life, too, was saved that morning by General Hampton. It is true it was a very unimportant life, of no value whatever at that time to any one but the possessor, and not of much to him, but still it was a human life, and, being such, the deed has no doubt been duly entered by the recording angel. It happened in this way: A soldier was returning alone from the pursuit of the fugitives when he encountered a Federal straggler coming from the town, not far from the corner above alluded to. He charged the fellow with his sabre, all the chambers of his revolver being empty, when the man in order to escape left his horse and sprang over a fence into an adjoining field. The Confederate got his horse across the fence, cut the Federal down, and then ordered him to march in front of him as a prisoner, which, in broken German English, he readily promised to do. As they neared the fence again, however, going back to the road, he turned upon and was about to kill his captor with a small revolver, which had been secreted on his person. Just then, General Hampton who had come up, and was watching from the road what was going on, covered the enterprising prisoner with his revolver (which was unloaded), and, like the historic coon, he did not wait to be shot, but handed over his pistol to his intended victim. But, like many a better man, this Hessian was too ‘smart’ for his own good, for hardly had he surrendered to the cavalryman his revolver when he sprang nimbly to regain his carbine, which was lying on the ground near where he had been cut down, but before he could reach it two bullets from his own pistol went through his body. Poor wretch! he got ‘across the river,’ but not the one he had intended when he awoke that morning. Another soldier, who searched the unsavory corpse a few minutes afterwards, found on it, among other stolen things, several watches (his especial weakness apparently); thus he was identified as one of Sherman's men.

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