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[92] horses clearing the stone fences in their way. I heard a captured trooper say that whiskey had been issued to them to make them fearless. Imboden's cavalry did not wait to clash swords with their cousins in blue, but made a gallant charge to the rear. It reminded me of the charge of the Mamelukes of the battle of the Pyramids, when some of those splendid Arabian steeds leaped over the wall of the bayonets into the hollow square of the French army. The troopers were checked only by the forts guarding the approach of the town. Some even dashed by them and rode into the very streets.

Our wounded, who were gotten off the field, were tenderly cared for by the citizens of Winchester. As our battle-stained, smokebegrimed soldiers marched through the town, women wept, and old men bowed their heads in sorrow. That evening as the sun went down, I stood on the hill, north of town, and looking to the east I saw the Federal line some two miles long moving forward as if to encircle in its folds the doomed town. To the west I could see our flags drooping in retreat, and hear the rumbling of trains and artillery on the stony pike. With a sad heart and weary step, muttering to myself: ‘Farewell, dear old Winchester!’ ‘Good-bye, sweet Bonnie Eloise!’ I joined the retreating, but still defiant army.

Mrs. General Gordon was in Winchester at this time. About noon, when the battle was at its height, and they were pressing our centre back, she heard that the General had been killed. Accompanied by a young solder, and on foot, she started down the Berryville pike to find her husband. The road was crowded with wounded and stragglers hastening to the town. A battery of the enemy was throwing shells along the road, bursting and scattering destruction on every side. I saw her myself, in the face of all this, walking right on calmly and courageously facing death for the sake of one she so loved! To me it was the sublimest exhibition of female courage and devotion that I had ever heard or read of. Just then one of the General's staff, dashing along, saw her and told her it was General Rodes who was killed and that General Gordon was safe. Pausing for a moment, her lips moving as if in prayer, she turned, and with the same steady step came back to the town. Around her men were running and dodging, pale and trembling with fear. Noble woman, to have passed so bravely through such an ordeal, and what a lesson she taught those men.

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John B. Gordon (2)
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