previous next

[321] and the horses were unsaddled and turned out to graze—not dreaming of molestation by the Yankees. But in this we were deceived. They had kept close up to us, and towards morning they captured our outposts by disguising themselves as Confederates and stating they were sent to relieve them.

This left the road open and clear to our camp. Just as daylight began to show itself over the mountain the sleeping camp was aroused by volley after volley in quick succession, and the whistle of thousands of bullets greeted the ear. Averill's 2,500 cavalry were in our camp. As soon as our men understood what was the matter a general fight commenced, the horses stampeded, and a scene of confusion took place not easily described. The Federals had as their warcry, ‘Remember Chambersburg!’

It was a prevalent story in camp that Averill's men were instructed to take no prisoners. We lost 100 men by capture and a large number killed—how many I don't know. I was sleeping near the battery, and had an opportunity to see the awful destruction it did when Averill attempted to force the ford. In five minutes the water was blue with floating corpses.

Lieutenant Alfred Mackey, of Rockbridge, was killed instantly; a brave and good man, who refused to surrender, and was shot through, the ball entering under his armpit. I was more fortunate than many; I rode a horse that could not be turned out to graze, as it was difficult to catch him. I had picketed him, and about five minutes before the attack he woke me up by stepping over me, a habit he had. Noticing that he had consumed all the grass in reach, I thought I would move him where he could get more. While doing this I heard the first shot, and then a number in quick succession. I understood the situation at once. In two minutes men and horses were running in every direction.

After the Yankees had covered about half of the camp, I saw some men running toward Moorefield—a general stampede. With nothing but a halter on my horse and no saddle, I turned in the same direction, and away I went at 2.40 speed, a number of Yankees close behind me, shooting all the time. My route lay up through a cornfield, the high corn at times hiding me from my pursuers. I thought my fate was sealed when I had gone about a half mile and saw a high Jefferson fence directly across my path. But my dear old friend, who had carried me out of many difficulties, seemed to gather new strength, an inspiration born of despair, as he got closer to the obstruction, and when at it, to my surprise and relief, he leaped over 21

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Averill (3)
Alfred Mackey (1)
Jefferson (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: