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aughters who lined the wayside, and brought out of their store to entertain the weary soldiery as they toiled up the hills of this beautiful region. Our reception by the inhabitants was enthusiastic and cheering. It had been rumored that Loudon County was a den of traitors to the patriotic cause, but such cordial behavior was a more than sufficient contradiction of the calumny. This county, situated in the north-eastern corner of the State, was mountainous and rolling in its physical charh Valley. Harper's Ferry lay under the northern extremity of the Loudon Heights, the Potomac washed its foot, while on the opposite bank towered perpendicularly the heights of Maryland, commanding the Ferry, by its only lines of approach from Loudon County or the Shenandoah Valley. The distance by the river (unnavigable here) from Leesburgh to the Ferry was about forty miles; the land route was about thirty-five miles, with two or three very small towns in the valleys-among them Lovettsville,
tly compelled to march in drenching rains and impassable mud. In order to be positively informed of the enemy's movements and intentions, several Marylanders in our command volunteered to cross the river, dodge the pickets, and push into the interior as far as Baltimore, sixty miles distant. The most remarkable of these daring fellows, Elijah White, was a rich Maryland planter, who possessed several fine plantations around Poolesville, but had forsaken all and joined a cavalry company in Loudon County. His knowledge of localities was so perfect that he was the acknowledged authority in all matters regarding the topography of the country from Alexandria to Harper's Ferry. He frequently swam the Potomac at different points, and knew more fords in it than any octogenarian within a hundred miles. The enemy set all kinds of traps to catch him, but his magnificent grey mare had such speed and endurance that he passed like a phantom from place to place. He was singularly reserved ins mann
he would do so. Collecting every available man, he made a vow to drive the foe from their intrenchments into Maryland; and for this purpose procured two or three light field guns, and an old twenty-four pound smooth-bore; the latter he ingeniously contrived to mount on the axles of a wagon. With his regiment of cavalry, and several hundred militia, Ashby gradually approached Harper's Ferry, and sent a courier to Evans, asking him to co-operate. Our commander had no orders to leave Loudon County, and it would have been certain destruction to detach any considerable portion of his command, although he ardently admired Ashby's bravery, and yearned to assist him. Knowing him to be weak in artillery, Evans gave permission for two of our pieces to march to his assistance, ascend the Loudon Heights, and annoy the enemy's rear when marching out to attack Ashby, to destroy the mills, storehouses, bridges, etc., around the Ferry as far as practicable, but by no means to leave the height
General Evans had received command of all the forces in South-Carolina; and as that State was threatened with invasion, he now hurried forward to perfect arrangements; his successor in our command was General D. H. Hill, (brother-in-law to Stonewall Jackson,) and a very superior officer. General Griffith (cousin of the President) commanded the brigade. From the moment of his arrival, Hill was continually in the saddle, and, nearly always alone, soon made himself master of every acre in Loudon County. I shall have to speak of this officer again. He had already achieved fame at Little Bethel as colonel of the Carolina Volunteers, and greatly emulated Jackson in all his doings. Having selected fine sites near the river, he commenced fortifying with great vigor, much to the annoyance of the enemy, who had meditated crossing the ice during heavy winter, and surprising us before reenforcements could march up from Centreville. The mud-work at Fort Evans was also enlarged, covered, made
burgh, and be there within three days. What did this mean.? The movement of our trains was always an unerring thermometer of coming events; but why send them into Loudon, when the enemy are in force round Winchester, but thirty miles from Leesburgh? Such were my thoughts, and I felt Hold on awhile,! whispered a friend, there's all in with an old acquaintance; and the scenes through which we passed were familiarly known to me. I have before remarked on the great fertility of the fields of Loudon and adjacent counties compared with the plains of Manassas and parts of Fauquier County, through which we had but recently marched. I was informed, indeed, that with all the grimaces and antics of young monkeys. Nods of recognition were frequent along the Gum Spring road, for our brigade had been stationed many months in Loudon; and as we approached Leesburgh, I was met by farmer Wilkins, who, in a white felt hat, blue homespun coat, and yellow leather riding-breeches, fell into line, an