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[142] The picture was more than the eye of Mosby's men could withstand. Uninvited, we entered the store and opened negotiations with Mr. Gilpin for a few of his wares. He could not well refuse such a hungry-looking set, on the other hand, he instructed his courteous clerk, Mr. Alban G. Thomas, to let us have such articles as we needed. Here an episode took place between Mr. Thomas and myself that doubtless inconvenienced the former no little at the time, but since such pleasant interchange of courtesies has been established between us that I trust all memories of the rude acts of war have been obliterated: My boots were run down at the heels, making it very painful to me to walk. Thinking surely footwear was carried in stock, I requested Mr. Thomas to show me a pair of No. 8 boots. He replied, ‘Mine is the only pair of boots in the store, and they are No. 7 1/2.’ I was in a dilemma. The military necessity still confronted us. I insisted upon making the exchange. The clerk, true to his training in the Quaker-school, looked at me quizzically and said: ‘I reckon I will have to let you have them.’ I lost no time in adapting my No. 8 feet to his No. 7 1/2 boots. That it was a close fit goes without saying, and so long as I wore them, I was forcibly reminded of my Sandy Spring raid. Mr. Thomas has since told me that the boots I left him have served him many a good turn. Thanking Mr. Gilpin for his many kindnesses, we mounted our horses and took up a forced march for the Potomac; but alas, the night was too ‘far spent’ for us to make the haven of rest and safety. Near Rockville, day broke upon us, compelling us to go to the woods for the day. Having picketed our horses and breakfasted, we were sitting around the camp, discussing the events of the past night, and the prospects of our being in old Virginia to-morrow, when our attention was called to the tramp of approaching horsemen and a voice saying, ‘They have gone in here.’ We at first thought that the Federal cavalry were on our trail, but subsequent events proved that young Thomas had gotten the citizens of Sandy Spring together and had come after his boots. His force was ample, about forty, and well armed with shot-guns, to give us a great deal of anxiety. Lieutenant Bowie said: ‘Boys, we will charge them on foot.’

Forming a single line, we charged with a yell down to the road. A hot-fight ensued. Why there were no casualties here has always been a source of wonderment to me. Several of the citizens, one of which was Mr. Thomas, had dismounted to fight as infantry, while the rest kept to their horses as a reserve force. On making the road,

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