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John Esten Cooke, Wearing of the Gray: Being Personal Portraits, Scenes, and Adventures of War., A fight, a dead man, and a coffin: an incident of 1864. (search)
had been sent into the wilds of the Blue Ridge, or to Mosby's - Confederacy that is to say, the county of Fauquier--to waylay and destroy or capture this wily foe who had so long eluded them. All had failed. Mosby refused to be captured or destroyed. If a large force came against him, he retreated to his mountain fastnesses — not a trace of his existence could be found. If the force was small, he attacked and nearly always cut to pieces or captured it. With his headquarters near Piedmont Station, on the Manassas railroad, east of the Ridge, he knew by his scouts of any movement; then couriers were seen going at full gallop to summon the men, scattered among the mountain spurs, or waiting at remote houses in the woods, to the previously specified rendezvous-at Markham's, Upperville, Paris, Oak Grove, or elsewhere; then Mosby set out; and he nearly always came back with spoils — that is to say, arms, horses, and prisoners. In November, 1864, this state of things had become in