After Stuart's death, Venable was for a brief time assigned staff-duty with the Major-General W. H. A. Lee, but in August was reassigned to the Headquarters of the Cavalry Corps, with his old duties as Inspector-General, on the staff of General Wade Hampton. Time would fail to deal in detail with the active part he bore in the constant cavalry engagements of those stirring August and September days. But one signal service may, at least, be touched upon. On September 14th (1864), Hampton, having ascertained through his scouts the exact location of the great ‘corral’ for the ‘supply cattle’ of the Army of the Potomac, determined to make a bold raid in Grant's rear, and, if possible, to ‘lift’ (in Hieland phrase) the fat beeves there congregated, of which the Federals always had plenty, while at this time the chief food of the hungry Confederate was but half a ration of ‘hard tack’ and rancid pork. For many months, indeed, Lee's veterans, like the English just before ‘Agincourt,’ had been ‘shrewdly out of beef,’ but Hampton knew that (as the Constable of France allowed of his adversaries on the eve of that historic day) ‘give them great meals of beef, and iron and steel, they will eat like wolves and fight like devils.’ To penetrate so far to the enemy's rear seemed to many of the boldest a rash undertaking, but the actual ‘cutting out’ of this immense herd (by official count, two thousand four hundred and eighty-six) was brilliantly accomplished under the very noses of the astounded Federals, and then came the most critical part of the expedition. To ‘round up’ and bring off such a number of cattle demanded the readiest shrewdness, coolest courage and wariest management. The enemy, after their first overwhelming amazement, recovered their wits; telegraph wires were kept hot from City Point to Grant's front, and very speedily Hampton was so hard pressed by both cavalry and infantry that a less resolute fighter would have abandoned his booty and thought only of escape. But Hampton knew Lee's great need of proper food for the men, and at all times was an officer of prompt resource and most stubborn courage. He placed Venable and Ryal in charge of the escort that was to drive the cattle, and turned about
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Table of Contents:
Stuart 's cavalry in the Gettysburg campaign .
Black Eagle Company .
Mr. Slingluffs letter.
Story of battle of five Forks.
War time story of Dahlgren 's raid.
An incident of the battle of Winchester , or Opequon .
Marylanders in the Confederate army .
Jefferson Davis .
The Color Episode of the one hundred and Forty-Ninth regiment , Pennsylvania Volunteers .
Affidavit of Supervisors of Co. C , 149th regiment . Pa. Vols.
Munford 's Marylanders never surrendered to foe. From Richmond, Va. , Times-dispatch, February 6 , 1910 .
Further Recollections of second Cold Harbor .
Suffering in Fredericksburg .
Treachery of W. H. Seward brought fire on Sumter .
Forrest 's men rank with Bravest of brave.
Heth intended to cover his error.
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