On Wednesday week Capt. Baylor
's company of cavalry, under the command of Lieut. Rouse
, was ordered from camp, at Harrisonburg
, to Mount Jackson, in Shenandoah county
, for the purpose of performing picket duty at that point.
Leaving a sufficient picket force for the post under be command of a Sergeant, the balance of the company, thirty men, under Lieut. Rouse
, proceeded down the Valley
Thursday night they stayed at Woodstock
, and at noon the nent day they left that place and went down as far as Newtown
, eight miles from Winchester
, which they reached about 10 o'clock. They traveled all that night, and encamped near the line of Jefferson
and Clarke counties
, between Summit Point
At each of these points — the distance between which is only four rifles — there was a Federal force of from seventy-five to one hundred.
Their object was the capture of the passenger train on the Winchester and Potomac Railroad, and were eminently successful.
On Saturday afternoon, about 4 o'clock, they ventured to the railroad, and in a few minutes the sound of the engine was heard.
A quick disposition was made of the forces, and obstructions were at once placed on the trace to bring the train to a halt.
When the train had reached within one hundred yards of the obstructions the command was given to halt, but the frightened engineer took no heed of the command.
A fire was then opened upon the train from some dozen or more revolvers, and very soon the obstructions were reached and the train brought to a stand still.
The cars were at once entered, and the Yankee
soldiers on board, eight in number, on their way to join their companies in Winchester
, were secured.
The agent of Adams Express Company, who attempted to effect his escape was shot at and badly wounded in the thigh.
The express car was opened, and baskets of champagne and boxes of delicious fruits found, and partaken of by our troops.
The express safe was opened, and United States
money, to the amount of some four thousand dollars, consigned to a Federal payman in Winchester
, was extracted, with a number of other valuable articles.
The U. S. mail was also secured, containing, amongst other documents, official dispatches from General Pope
to Brig. Gen. White
, at Winchester
These dispatches have been forwarded to Gen. Jackson
Fires were then built in the two passenger cars, and firewood piled on to facilitate the burning.
A full head of steam was put on the engine, and the machine started in the direction of Winchester
The prisoners captured on the train were placed under Lieut. Roland
and thirteen men, whilst the remaining seventeen, under Lieut. Rouse
, proceeded to Smithfield, in Jefferson county
, 15 miles below Winchester
Within half a mile of the town they captured the Yankee
pickets, who mistook our forces for a scouting party of their own men. On questioning these pickets it was as certained that the force in town consisted of fourteen men. A charge was ordered, and the Yankees
taken completely by surprise, and surrendered without firing a shot.
The spoils at this point were 17 hornes, (some of them very fine ones,) 20 Colt
's navy revolvers, five Sharp's sarbines, in fine condition, 18 Yankee saddles, bridles, and trappings, and a large number of gum overcoats, blankets, &c.