Correction of a Yankee story.
To the Editor of the Richmond Dispatch:
For the sake of truth and justice, may I ask that you publish the following,--a correspondence of the New York Tribune
,--which contains a lie in every line, and a true statement of the facts from one who knotes
what he writes.
As a simple act of justice to the memory of the brave soldiers of the Sixth Virginia cavalry, thus inhumanly murdered, we would preserve them from becoming the victims of Yankee mendacity as of Yankee treachery:
From the Valley of the Shenandoah — more of the Guerrilla work — capture of Captain N. D. Badger, of Averill's cavalry — he Plays trick for trick, and Escapes.
[Correspondence of the New York Tribune.
The guerrillas still continue their daring raids along the pike, scarcely a train passing without seeing or hearing from them in a way much more practical than romantic.
The records of highwaymen can present nothing more daring and wicked than some of Mosby
's late exploits.
He occasionally, however, meets his match, a satisfactory instance of which is, happily, just at hand.
Captain N. D'Evereux Badger
, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General
's cavalry division, left General Torbert
's headquarters, near Cedar creek
, on the morning of the 2d instant, to go to Winchester
, accompanied by only two orderlies.
A large train, heavily guarded, had left but an hour before, and the Captain
, being well mounted, thought it prudent enough to attempt to overtake it. He came in sight of it a half-mile ahead of him, near Newtown
, and saw a dozen cavalrymen riding leisurely a little distance behind the train, and apparently acting as rear- guard.
He hailed them as he approached, and was answered in a friendly way.--When seeing them dressed in our uniform, and wearing the Sixth corps badge — a Greek cross.--he rode unsuspiciously up among them, and found himself and his men in the hands of the guerrillas.
With revolvers at his head, he was prevented from making any alarm, and was immediately run off into the woods and robbed of his dispatches and everything valuable which he had about him, and hurried away into the Blue Ridge mountains
, in company with nine more of our men, who had been taken at different times.
"All right," said the Captain
, after they had robbed him. "I suppose you will now parole me, and I can go home and vote for Little Mac. I have long wanted a furlough from this horrid and unnatural war!"
"Not much," replied the Johnnies; "we are ordered to hang every officers we can catch now-a-days in retaliation for our men who have been shot as guerrillas.
You will swing from a limb of that tree to-morrow morning at daylight, and, by G — d, saltpetre shan't save you from it. We would do it to-night, but for the fact that our officers are not here.--
"But," replied the cool Captain
, "you can do much better with me than to hang me. Next Tuesday is election, and if Little Mac should
be elected, there will be 'an immediate cessation of hostilities,' and we may be able to fix up things.
It will at least be equal to a new army to you to get a three months armistice. "
This remark led to much discussion, and, with the aid of a little apple brandy
from a neighboring farmer, and a pipe or two, the conversation soon became exceedingly friendly and confidential.
While one of the rebels was speaking, the Captain
quietly whispered to one of his men to pass the word around among the prisoners to watch a signal from him, and make a dash upon the guard or their escape.
The men needed but a wink to be keenly alive to the enterprise.
The prospect of a winter at the Libby was not inviting.
They had been robbed of their clothing, were hungry, and had but one drink, while the rebels were already half tipsy.
As the evening advanced, the revel rose.
Darkness set in, and story followed story, and joke after joke, many of them attributed by the Captain
to "Old Abe, the baboon," kept the pasty in a roar, until the guard drew near to listen; and one of them, staggering up to the Captain
with his musket in one hand, slapped him on the shoulder with the other, and stuttered out, "Captain
, you are a hell of a feller."
"You are another," said the Captain
, as he seized the musket, and planting his big foot in the rebel's paunch at the same instant, doubled him up, and sent him wheeling into the large fire in front of him, to the great confusion of the rest of the guard, who instantly rushed to his relief, without thinking of what was intended.
"Upon them," shouted the Captain
, and suiting the action to the word, he instantly sent the ball from his captured musket through one of them, and the bayonet through another, and, with one bound into the darkness, escaped.
His men were no less adroit, and taking advantage of the confusion, they dashed upon the surprised rebels, matched their muskets from them, and killing three of them on the spot, wounded several others, and every man of them escaped unhurt.
has not yet arrived within our lines, but most of his men are in, and report that he is safe in the mountains, and carefully working his was through at night.
He belongs to the Eighth Ohio cavalry, which was re-organized from the Forty-fourth Ohio infantry, after two years service, during which Captain Badger
was promoted from the ranks.
So much for Yankee falsehood and braggadocio.
Now for the truth:
On the 2d of November, 1864, five members of the Sixth Virginia cavalry, acting as scouts for General Lee
, proceeded through Clarke county
to the Valley turnpike
, near Bartonsville
, seven miles above Winchester
, capturing two Yankees as soon as they reached the road, leaving them in the woods, with one of their number as a guard.
Six more Yankees were likewise captured soon after, taken to the same place, and two of the scouts remained in charge of their eight prisoners. Returning to the road, they encountered the mail-carrier, who rode up and asked if they had seen Captain Badger
and his two orderlies.--"No.
Where is he?" inquired the scouts.
The carrier said, either a short distance ahead or in the rear.
Capturing the mail-carrier, and placing him with the rest, the three scouts returned just in time to see Captain Badger
, one orderly and a negro approaching.
The scouts turned towards Winchester
, riding slowly, that Captain Badger
might overtake them.
Stopping to water their horses, the Captain
, who seemed suspicious of danger, stopped some distance in the rear at a little stream by the road.
The scout in command immediately wheeled his horse and ordered him to surrender.
Not the slightest resistance was offered.
Merely saying, "it is all right," the Captain
and his companions gave up their arms, and were taken to the woods, to join the nine already captured.
The correspondent of the Tribune
B. was trying to overtake the downward train.
Now, there was but one train on the road, and that was going up, heavily guarded.
He also says he saw a dozen cavalrymen riding in the rear of it, apparently acting as a guard, dressed in Federal uniform, and wearing the Sixth corps badge — a Greek cross.
There were but three visible, and only one wore a Greek cross.
's fears magnified the number four-fold.--Our five scouts, with their twelve prisoners, crossed the country to Howellsville, on the east side of the Shenandoah
, where they remained that night, and the next day pursued their route through Front Royal
towards our lines.
Beyond Front Royal
, near Chester
's gap, two of the scouts returned to Clarke
, leaving the other three to guard the twelve Yankees, who had three seven-shooters in their possession, tied to their saddles. --All the ammunition found about them had been destroyed; but they had succeeded in secreting some, with which they loaded their guns under their overcoats; and when within one mile of our picket-lines, while riding through a skirt of woods, (before sunset,) two of the scouts in advance and the third bringing up the rear, the Yankees
fired on them, killing two and wounding the other.
The wounded scout, wheeling his horse, shot a Yankee through the mouth, killing him instantly, and then fled to give the alarm.
In the meantime, the Yankees
rifled the pockets of our boys, taking, also, hats, boots, etc., and escaped to the mountains, abandoning their horses and making their way to camp on foot, reaching it the next day, November 4th, though the reporter says Captain Badger
had not arrived on the 6th.
The conversation narrated is utterly false.
As soon as he was captured, Captain Badger
was told by the commanding scout that they did not belong to Mosby
's command, but were scouting for General Lee
As to the Captain
's brave assault, so boastingly reported, it is wholly untrue.--There was not a musket in the company, and the time was during daylight and while riding along the road.
No "campfire" revels, no dashing Yankee trick, occurred, except in the imaginative brain of the correspondent.
did not fire a shot.
His coward heart planned the whole, and left its execution to men of sterner nerve.
It was a cruel, wicked, infamous, as well as unnecessary, act. Had there been a spark of manliness or courage among the twelve wretches, with three loaded guns they might have captured our scouts, instead of foully murdering them, contrary to every dictate of humanity and law of civilization.
To boast of such a deed is but another exhibition of yankee brutality, worthy of fiends, and deserving alike the vengeance of God and man. The Sixth Virginia cavalry will remember the cowardly assassin, Captain N. D'Evereux Badger
, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General
's cavalry division.
Their "brothers' blood crieth from the ground," and will not be unheard.