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[538] Dahlgren's command surrounded the house and captured the whole of our party. The first intimation we had of any of the enemy being near us was the Yankee cavalry on their horses, pointing their pistols at the windows. They then dismounted, came in, and took us all prisoners. I recollect of our party Colonel Hilary P. Jones (now teaching at an academy in Hanover county), Captain David Watson, Captain Dement, of Maryland, and there were some others whose names I have forgotten.

At the time of our capture Colonel Dahlgren had about six hundred cavalry under his command.

As soon as we were captured we were mounted and carried off by the enemy. Towards evening a light rain set in and the night was very dark. Early in the night all the officers who had been captured made their escape except Captain Dement and myself. While we were preparing to make our escape the Yankees stopped, struck up lights, and camped or bivouacked, and then, discovering that the rest of the officers had made their escape, had us closely watched.

They started from their place of encampment before day the next morning, and a little after sunrise halted in a large yard in front of a house that I then learned belonged to Mr. Arthur Morson. The Federal soldiers regaled themselves on Mr. Morson's fine wine, drinking it from his silver goblets, and, as mementoes of the feast, carried off the goblets with them. I understood it was the intention of Colonel Dahlgren to cross James river at that point, and enter Richmond from the south side of the river, crossing Mayo's bridge, but the river was then flush and too deep to be forded. So, after spending a short time in Mr. Morson's yard, they left there, went down to the canal and burned the Dover Mill. They then kept down on the north side of James river. A negro man named Martin, who was said to be a guide employed by the Yankees, was riding with the party. For some reason they supposed he was attempting to play them false and get them entrapped, and they hung him with a leather strap to a tree on the road side until he was dead, cut him down and left him dead in the road.

Towards evening we came in the neighborhood of Richmond, and it became evident that our authorities were on the lookout, and Dahlgren moved very cautiously.

Shortly after night, somewhere between the Brooke and Mechanicsville turnpikes, Dahlgren's force, which was then about six hundred, encountered our Confederate troops and was a good


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