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“I think,” says my venerable friend and correspondent, ‘you knew all these men as well as I, for they were of our best citizens. I know not if any of the old troopers survive, excepting Samuel S. Cottrell, Robert B. Snead, John O. Lay, Bob and Bunny Crouch, and myself. Time tells a mighty tale!’

The old trooper refers in loving terms to the officers who commanded respectively the Henrico and Chesterfield dragoons. ‘There was,’ he says, ‘a mutual understanding between them and the captain of our company to dine every recurring Fourth of July, 22d of February, and 19th of October, at such places as each commander in turn might designate by a card of invitation. Our dining-days found us sometimes at Buchanan's Spring or Fairfield, or Bloody Run, or Ritchie's Spring, or the Farmer's Hotel, in Manchester. Oh! these were bully times.’

They were, indeed. Do not the poets feign the old times to be always the best, the new to be always the worst? Scan the list above given, and say if it be possible now to make another like it.

The first commander of the reorganized troop, 1840-41, was John M. Gregory, who became subsequently one of Virginia's most popular governors. Both his predecessors and successors in command of this famous company were gentlemen of note in the military annals of Richmond. What must have been the pride of these brave old captains, who saw in their ranks none but equals, what their confidence who knew if an emergency arose every man would answer the call of the bugle!

This pathetic story of Dick Gaines, the black bugler of the troop, is told by Mr. Sublett: ‘Do you remember,’ he says, ‘our noted horn-blower? After the Southampton war he went crazy on music. He used to walk the streets of Richmond blowing a fife, as if his whole soul was in it. I have known him to stop in front of the old Columbian tavern and blow continuously for an hour or more. This would be a little before the packet was booked to leave its landing, at the head of the basin. If any of our guests happened to be going that way Dick would accompany them, with grave military steps, and continue his march as far up as the old armory, all the while blowing till the boat turned the bend at the Tredegar and was lost to sight.’

The Richmond Light Dragoons was in existence before and subsequent to the war of 1812. When the startling news came to Richmond, Tuesday, the 23d day of August, 1831, that the negroes of Southampton had risen, and were putting to death its white inhabitants

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