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Doc. 57.-guerrillas in Virginia.

Berryville, Va., June 9, 1863.
This county is still infested with bushwhack. ers. Formerly residents here, they, as a matter of course, belong to the soi disant chivalry. Among their daring deeds, I have to record the cold-blooded assassination of a corporal of company C, First New York cavalry.

On Friday, June fifth, Corporal Lewis, attended by a comrade, passing on a by-road, about two miles and a half from town, was fired upon and [281] killed by six butternut-colored bushwhackers. His comrade was taken prisoner. The demons rifled the body of the dead man of watch, pocket-book, etc., and left him lying where he had fallen. On the way to their crossing-place on the Shenandoah they came upon a scouting-party of infantry from Winchester, but escaped by taking to a thicket on the Opequan Creek. Here the prisoner escaped and returned to camp. He states that one of the bushwhackers said he had registered an awful oath in the morning to kill a Yankee before the sun went down. What noble fellows the chivalry are!

On Saturday afternoon, June sixth, a party of rebel horsemen, estimated to number one hundred men, dashed upon a small wagon train on its way to this place with supplies from Winchester. The infantry guard of the train, composed, if I mistake not, of a detail from the Sixty-seventh Pennsylvania regiment, fought bravely against tremendous odds, and not until one of their number had been killed and several wounded, did they surrender. A teamster, with his revolver, blew the brains out of a rebel who stopped his team, and escaped on foot. An infantry man, standing in a wagon, ran a horseman through the body with his bayonet before the rebel could reach him with his sword. As the guerrillas carried off their killed and wounded, we are unable to estimate their loss. Our loss of government property amounts to only eighteen horses — all the horses from five wagons, except two killed in the skirmish.

To the honor of the intrepid boys guarding the train, be it said, their resolute and determined resistance in defence of it saved all but the five government wagons and horses, as stated above. With these the confederate thieves hurriedly decamped, abandoning the wagons when some distance from the turnpike, and mounting the prisoners upon the captured horses. They effected their escape with their prisoners and plunder, although closely pursued by detachments of the First New-York cavalry, from this place, and of the Thirteenth Pennsylvania from Winchester. They crossed the Shenandoah near Front Royal.

The attack upon the train was made near the Opequan, about three miles from Berryville. Citizens, residents of the neighborhood visited by the rebels, say they belonged to Colonel Harmon's regiment, of General Jones's command. Moseby, according to the statements of men of his since captured by us, had nothing to do with this affair. At the time of its occurrence he was in Warren County with his command.

Sunday, at ten o'clock P. M., Captains Boyd, of C, and Bailey, of K, with one hundred men of the First New-York cavalry, started on an expedition into Loudon and Fauquier counties. Crossing the Shenandoah opposite Schley's Gap, the detachment moved in the direction of Piedmont, on the Manassas Gap Railroad, en route to Piedmont Station. On what is known as the Crooked Creek road a number of prisoners were taken belonging to Moseby's command.

In this locality private Kellogg, of company K, was killed in a running fight with a rebel. He belonged to the “advance-guard,” and, in the pursuit of the guerrilla, left his comrades far behind by the uncommon speed of his horse. When the “advance” reached the scene of the skirmish they found Kellogg mortally wounded — the Rebel had skedaddled!

At Piedmont Captain Boyd received information, through the agency of his valuable guides, indicating the whereabouts of a party of White's men — all lawless bushwhackers. An intricate byroad through underbrush and over hills brought us to the rendezvous. The game had gone. A farmer had warned them of the coming of our cavalry — the deep woods affording them every facility to successfully “vamoose the ranche,” and continue to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and it is assuredly happiness for them to be able to shoot pickets, assassin-like, at midnight, or plunder farmers in a style worthy the palmiest days of Dick Turpin.

We reached Salem about eight o'clock in the evening, picked up two or three of Moseby's men, and learned that Moseby had taken quarters in the neighborhood. This was decidedly refreshing news. The next question under discussion was how to find him. Captain Boyd in this succeeded admirably. He learned that Moseby's rendezvous and principal headquarters had been for a long time at the residence of Colonel Hathaway, about five miles from Salem and twenty from Front Royal.

It was an out-of-the-way place. We followed by-roads, travelled through woods, leaped ditches, and waded creeks, arriving at last at the imposing mansion wherein we hoped we might find the leader of Loudon guerrillas. In an instant we had surrounded the dwelling. An entrance being effected, every nook from basement to attic was explored; but Moseby had left a few minutes before we reached the place. His sergeant had seen us at Salem, and managed to warn him in sufficient time to make good his exit. We found Mrs. Moseby here with her two children — in no pleasant humor, because the slumbers of herself and husband had been broken by Yankee cavalry. Mrs. Moseby is decidedly handsome, and converses with more than ordinary intelligence. She is a sociable and good-natured woman naturally, but is very unkindly disposed toward “Northerners.” She could not comprehend by what chance we had discovered her husband's whereabouts. As Moseby's departure had been somewhat hurried, he left three valuable horses behind. Besides those left by Moseby, we brought away with us several “U. S.” horses found upon Hathaway's place.

Colonel Hathaway, or, more properly, Brigadier-General Hathaway, (he commanded the rebel militia,) accompanied Captain Boyd into headquarters as a prisoner. Dressed in citizen's clothing, he rode one of his own horses, and in the best possible humor reached Berryville. He admires Moseby. In his opinion, Moseby is the soul of honor, a model man, a high-toned, whole-souled gentleman, incapable of encouraging bushwhacking, [282] etc. “A fellow feeling makes us wondrous kind.” I look upon Moseby and Hathaway as “par nobile fratrum” and “birds of a feather.”

Near this place Captain Boyd also captured a middle-aged man, who would now be in the rebel army were it not for a constitutional fear of “villainous gunpowder.” Possessing no desire to snuff the smoke of battle, he remained at home, and, out of pure patriotism for the “C. S. A.,” engages in the sanctified and Christian-like vocation of raising a company of bushwhackers. He had labored with zeal. His heart was in the business. It was a labor of love. Alas! that now, in Captain Boyd's grasp, his delightful “occupation's gone.” Unfortunate fellow!

We left Hathaway's residence at six o'clock A. M. on Monday, passing through Middleburgh on the road campward. On the road leading to the latter place we took several mounted men. They belonged to Moseby's gang. Upon every road small squads might be seen getting out of the way with wonderful alacrity. A sergeant and five men, mistaking us for their own cavalry,. rode into our presence in a friendly way, and were captured without difficulty.

We reached camp Monday afternoon via Snicker's Ferry, with fourteen prisoners and sixteen captured horses. Captain Boyd, commanding the detachment, is entitled to all credit due a successful enterprise. With one hundred men he penetrated Moseby's chosen haunts and has broken up his favorite rendezvous.

Not many weeks ago Captain Boyd marched to Fairfax Court-House with one hundred men. Moseby, with a choice battalion, watched his return, but had not the courage to assail him. However, he boasted of his intention to capture that detachment of the First New-York at that time. What will Moseby say now that he has lost another excellent opportunity?

J. H. H.

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