The last cavalry Dash.
capture of Summerville
— the seizure of prisoners — stores burned — capture of Rucker
, &c., &c.
[Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]
The following may be relied on as embracing the material facts of the daring brilliant, and successful scout made by Major George Jackson
's squadron of cavalry into the county of Nicholas
, and forty-five miles in rear of the Yankee
camp now at Meadow Bluff, Greenbrier county
The squadron was commanded by Major R. A. Baily
, of the 22d Virginia regiment, in the absence of Major Jackson
, and consisted of a portion of the companies of Capt. Bouldin
's Charlotte, Capt. Gipson
's Rockbridge, Capt. Cochran
's Churchville, Augusta
, and Capt. Lackey
's Valley cavalry, 150 men in all. Setting out from their camp, near Union, Monroe county
, on the morning of the 23d inst., taking a circuitous route, and passing in rear of the enemy, they halted for the night at the foot of Little Sewell mountain
On the next morning they proceeded on and reached the Wilderness
road, and after night rested for a few hours at a point ten miles from Summerville
, the county seat of Nicholas
At this place was a quantity of the stores of the enemy, and also a part of two companies, (126 men,) under the command of Lieut. Col. W. C. Starr
, of the 9th Va. (Yankee) regiment, as a guard.
Having ascertained the precise locality of the force in the village and the headquarters of the officers, (all being quartered in houses,) the plan of attack was fixed upon.--A detail of 12 men, three from each of the companies, in charge of Lieut. Francisco
, of the Churchville cavalry, were to act as an advance guard, and to take the Colonel
To each of the companies was assigned a particular work to do.--At 12 o'clock at night they set out again and traveled till just about day, when they were halted by the Yankee
pickets, who cried out lustily to know who they were, and that one must advance at the time.
Disregarding this summons they proceeded on, and were fired upon, the Minnie
balls passing harmless over the heads of the entire line.
A blast from the bugle was the signal for the charge.
On they rushed, not stopping to attend to these watch dogs — bigger game was near by. ‘"Fast and furious,"’ and yelling like ten thousand furies, they charged in columns of fours to the very doors of the doomed but sleeping Yankees.
Alighting from their horses, and leaving every fourth man in charge of them, rushing upon the doors of the houses, bursting them open, each man as he saw them seized his prisoner.
Some attempted to escape; some showed signs of fight; but most of them were so alarmed and terror-stricken that they surrendered in utter dismay.
In the fighting which occurred six were killed and four wounded, and although frequently fired on not one man of the command was hurt on our side.
The prisoners taken numbered 70, making in killed, wounded and prisoners, 80 men.
While these transactions were going on in the quarters of the men, the room of the Colonel
commanding was stormed by the party sent for that purpose; and in bursting open the door the two men who first entered stood vis a vis
to Col. W. C. Starr
, Capt. Davis
, two Lieutenants
, and the telegraph operator, who were "up," but not "dressed." The suspense was of short duration; for they, too, surrendered at once.
The surprise was perfect; for the Colonel
said, ‘"that being awakened by the tramp of horses, in two minutes afterwards two men entered his room and seized him."’ The sentinel at his door was killed.
The telegraph apparatus was destroyed, and the wires were cut. All the stores were then burned — bacon, flour, clothing, wines, whiskey, ordnance, sutlers' goods, &c.--amounting, it was thought, to the sum of $30,000.
The number of Enfield rifles taken and brought to Gen. Loring
's camp was 103, the number of horses and mules, 25; and 64 prisoners, six having been paroled on the way, being unable to travel.
On arriving at Gen. Loring
's quarters, on Monday last, with the prisoners, after five days absence and a travel of nearly 200 miles, going and returning, Major Bailey
was most heartily congratulated by the General
for his success.
These are the first laurels won by Major Bailey
in the cavalry service, having served heretofore in infantry, where he was highly esteemed for his gentlemanly and soldierly qualities.
In the same room with Col. Starr
, at the time of his capture, was found secreted under a sofa the notorious Dr. Rucker
, of Covington
, Allegheny county
, who was also taken, and a special guard placed over him for his safe-keeping.
He is the same vile person who ran off to the Yankees
in 1861, and who led them into his own county in their late raid in the month of May, when they burned the Virginia Central Railroad bridge over the Cow Pasture river, for the purpose, it is believed, of emptying the vials of the wrath of his malignant heart upon the heads of those citizens who had incurred his displeasure, and who were robbed at his special request by those unsatisfied harpies who did his bidding.
He pretended to be a good Southern man when taken, and offered to show our men the locality of many things in the village.
The capture of this man alone is worth all the peril through which this brave scout passed.
Thirteen good men and one woman held as prisoners there were released, and went on their way rejoicing.
Union, Monroe on.,
July 30, 1862. J. W. M.