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[102] them in our haste and their official stamp and bearing, we were called again in tones less mild, to ‘Halt.’

Asked who we were, my comrade N. answered, ‘I am one of Rosser's men.’

“Do you know me,” then inquired a tall, square-shouldered officer, sitting as if to rest a little on the very top of this great stone and lowering for a moment the glass with which he was scanning the river road intently for the retreating foe.

“I do not,” N. said. ‘Quite strange, sir, you are one of Rosser's men and do not know General Rosser,’ was the quick and sharp rejoinder.

It was explained that my comrade had left his company before General Rosser took command, and had been on detailed duty at Harrisonburg, and for myself, he remembered me.

Pointing out our destination just in front, N. added we had taken a barn-burner prisoner that day. It was an ill-considered speech, for our men were in no fine humor at Sheridan's wholesale wanton destruction of private property that day. On hearing this General Rosser became enraged and retorted, fiercely rising, ‘Sir, if you take a barn-burner prisoner, I'll take you.’

Further explanation, however, turned aside his anger. We were surrounded and well-nigh prisoners ourselves when we crossed this man.

Then finding we knew all this country, he desired us to make a scout that night to the enemy's rear, and report to him at that same stone at sunrise next morning. Custer had turned down the river at Cootes' store, leaving the mountain road. Would he continue down the Valley on one of the middle roads next day, or was he making for the Valley pike, to join the main force at New Market?

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Thomas L. Rosser (5)
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