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the hours of darkness were to turn up in a fashion and at a moment neither expected nor desired. The woful adventures which befell the scout and his companions I now proceed to relate. S— had selected for his bivouac a retired spot where the encircling woods gave excellent promise of concealment, and the covert was so dense as to set him completely at his ease. Through the thick brushwood no glimmer of firelight could be seen; and the scouts ventured to kindle a fire, which the chill November night rendered far from unacceptable. By the carefully shaded blaze they warmed their benumbed fingers, ate their supplies of hard bread and bacon, and spread their blankets for a brief sleep. S — took off his shoes; laid his hat at his head; and having picked up somewhere a certain Life of Stonewall Jackson, recently published in Richmond, now drew it from his haversack, and read a few passages by the firelight. Although he did not inform me of the fact, this volume must have produced a
November, 1863 AD (search for this): chapter 4.39
him, and then fled before the tremendous onslaught of rebel cavalry, whereupon the adventurous scout passed through at a thundering gallop, drove the picket before him, and adroitly slipping, at the opportune moment, into some by-path of the woods, was within the lines. When the enemy made a stand at the next rising ground to receive the expected charge, none came. When they returned to look for S--, he had disappeared. But to come to the incident I design narrating. It was in November, 1863, when the Federal army lay around Culpeper Court-House and Mitchell's Station, that S — was sent on a scout to ascertain the number, position, and movements of the Federal forces. Taking with him two companions, he crossed the upper Rapidan, passed the Confederate cavalry pickets, and carefully worked his way toward Mitchell's Station. General Meade had pushed forward his lines to this point a few days before-or rather established large camps there-and this fact, visible from Clark's m
ovember, 1863, when the Federal army lay around Culpeper Court-House and Mitchell's Station, that S — was sent on a scout to ascertain the number, position, and movements of the Federal forces. Taking with him two companions, he crossed the upper Rapidan, passed the Confederate cavalry pickets, and carefully worked his way toward Mitchell's Station. General Meade had pushed forward his lines to this point a few days before-or rather established large camps there-and this fact, visible from Clark's mountain, made it desirable to ascertain, if possible, his designs. This was S—‘s mission. In due time the small party reached the vicinity of the station, and it now became necessary to prosecute the remainder of the journey on foot. They accordingly dismounted, and leaving their horses in a thick copse, snaked in the direction of a large Federal camp near at hand, taking advantage of every cover. In this manner they came close upon the camp, and were rewarded with a sight of acres<
Stonewall Jackson (search for this): chapter 4.39
ly shaded blaze they warmed their benumbed fingers, ate their supplies of hard bread and bacon, and spread their blankets for a brief sleep. S — took off his shoes; laid his hat at his head; and having picked up somewhere a certain Life of Stonewall Jackson, recently published in Richmond, now drew it from his haversack, and read a few passages by the firelight. Although he did not inform me of the fact, this volume must have produced a soothing effect upon his feelings, for in a short time hth his companion just as the enemy rushed upon the area near the bivouac fire. In this sudden change of base, stores of some value to him were necessarily abandoned. In fact he was compelled to leave his horse, hat, shoes, blanket, and Life of Jackson --to fly bareheaded and in his stocking feet. Even thus lightened of all superfluous weight, it was doubtful if he could escape; for the shouts which now resounded as he ran showed that the enemy were pursuing him hotly, with the evident deter
on a scout to ascertain the number, position, and movements of the Federal forces. Taking with him two companions, he crossed the upper Rapidan, passed the Confederate cavalry pickets, and carefully worked his way toward Mitchell's Station. General Meade had pushed forward his lines to this point a few days before-or rather established large camps there-and this fact, visible from Clark's mountain, made it desirable to ascertain, if possible, his designs. This was S—‘s mission. In due trter-guards walking their posts, and officers in gay uniforms went to and fro, saluted by the sentinels with a present as they passed. The size of the encampments enabled S — to form a tolerably accurate estimate of the amount of force which General Meade had concentrated at this point; and having passed the whole day thus moving cautiously around the spot, thereby discovering all which a mere reconnoissance could reveal, the scout began to look for stragglers, from whom, as his prisoners, he <
n before he woke. He was not long, however, to remain in doubt, or be compelled to question his instincts. He opened his eyes to find the blanket suddenly drawn away from his face, and to hear a harsh and sarcastic voice exclaim: How are you, Johnny Reb? Come, get up, and we will give you more comfortable accommodations than out here in the rain! S— was wide-awake in an instant, and through his halfclosed lids reconnoitred, counting his opponents. They were six in number, all armed and r pulled the blanket up again over his shoulders, and turning his back, muttered in a sleepy voice: Oh! Go away, and let me sleep, will you! This reply highly tickled his adversaries; and so much did they relish the evident impression of the Johnny Reb that he was among his own comrades in the Confederate camp, that they shook all over in the excess of their mirth. S-was a dangerous man, however, to jest with; and no doubt believed in the proverb which declares that they laugh best who laugh
Hardeman Stuart (search for this): chapter 4.39
Hunted down. Among the numerous scouts employed by General Stuart, none was braver or more intelligent than a young man named Frank S-. Innumerable were his adventures, almost incredible his hair-breadth escapes and his reckless, dare-devil exploits. The annals of fiction contain nothing more curious and moving than some of his experiences; and in this and the succeeding sketch I propose to indicate the species of daily life which S — lived during the late war. A few words, first, of the scout himself. He certainly was a ranger born. Passionately devoted to his dangerous calling, and following it from predilection, not from any hope of reward, or spurred on by ambition of distinction, he was never so happy as when beating up the quarters of the enemy, and throwing them into confusion by some sudden attack. He was not an officer, and never moved a finger to secure a commission; all he asked was permission to mount his horse, wander off and seek the neighbourhood of the ene
Fauquier (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 4.39
one, to follow his appointed work without assistance, depending only upon his own strong arm and trusty weapons. He cared little for society, though no one seemed more amiable; I never saw a brighter or more friendly smile than his. That smile did not deceive; there was no deceit of any sort in S . He loved his friends, but he loved his calling better still. It might have been said of him that man delighted him not, nor woman either. His chief delight was to penetrate the dense woods of Fauquier, assail the enemy wherever he found an opening, and inflict upon them all the injury in his power. In the eyes of the scout those enemies were wolves, and he hunted them. This sketch will demonstrate the fact that now and then they returned the compliment. In person S — was suited to his calling; stout but active; a good hand with pistol and sabre; quick of eye; and with nerves which no peril could shake. Soldiers generally prefer broad daylight and an open country to operate; S-like
Mitchell's Station (Mississippi, United States) (search for this): chapter 4.39
to receive the expected charge, none came. When they returned to look for S--, he had disappeared. But to come to the incident I design narrating. It was in November, 1863, when the Federal army lay around Culpeper Court-House and Mitchell's Station, that S — was sent on a scout to ascertain the number, position, and movements of the Federal forces. Taking with him two companions, he crossed the upper Rapidan, passed the Confederate cavalry pickets, and carefully worked his way toward Mitchell's Station. General Meade had pushed forward his lines to this point a few days before-or rather established large camps there-and this fact, visible from Clark's mountain, made it desirable to ascertain, if possible, his designs. This was S—‘s mission. In due time the small party reached the vicinity of the station, and it now became necessary to prosecute the remainder of the journey on foot. They accordingly dismounted, and leaving their horses in a thick copse, snaked in the <
Richmond (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 4.39
m completely at his ease. Through the thick brushwood no glimmer of firelight could be seen; and the scouts ventured to kindle a fire, which the chill November night rendered far from unacceptable. By the carefully shaded blaze they warmed their benumbed fingers, ate their supplies of hard bread and bacon, and spread their blankets for a brief sleep. S — took off his shoes; laid his hat at his head; and having picked up somewhere a certain Life of Stonewall Jackson, recently published in Richmond, now drew it from his haversack, and read a few passages by the firelight. Although he did not inform me of the fact, this volume must have produced a soothing effect upon his feelings, for in a short time his eyelids drooped, the volume fell from his hands, and he sank to slumber. His companions were already snoring by his side. They slept longer than they designed doing — in fact throughout the entire night. The weather, which had been lowering at nightfall, became gradually more t