Civil War Transcendence, part 71


I kicked Sampson and he bolted again. I was ready for it and bent forward so I wouldn’t be thrown out of the saddle.

Our troops broke from the woods in an almost perfect line, which quickly disintegrated into an uneven line as everyone focused on the Yanks. Captain Mosby let loose with a rebel yell and fired his revolver. We all echoed the famous battle cry and most of the men fired their first round at the Yanks. I didn’t, because I had only one revolver. Our troopers had at least two revolvers and maybe even three.

The Yanks were taken completely by surprise. The Union Captain, who I saw peel out from the head of the column to look at us, yelled some orders to his troops. They tried to maneuver into a line of battle while unsheathing their sabers, but we were upon on them in a jiffy.

Photo credit:  Cindy Baldhoff  (c) Time Travelers, LLC

Photo credit: Cindy Baldhoff (c) Time Travelers, LLC


Our boys began to rapid fire as we closed in on their confused troopers and unseated about six of them. They were still in one big bunch and our troopers were smart enough to not come into close contact and get sliced with a sword. We broke off to the left and right and rode around them like a band of Indians circling a wagon train, firing at the bewildered melee.  I saw some more Yanks fall off their horses during our encirclement.

I had gone to the right of the Yanks.  As I neared the front of the column, I saw the Yank Captain about 30 yards ahead hightailing for a tree line. He had in tow the woman, who I had witnessed being taken by the Yanks back on the River Road.

Captain Mosby saw them at the same time as he came around the left side of the Yankee jumble. We both urged our horses forward with renewed vigor. Sampson was by far the fastest mount, and I was about 10 yards ahead of him, gaining on the escaping pair.

The Yank Captain looked back, saw the futility of keeping ahead of us with the woman in tow, and let go of the reins of the woman’s horse. The horse just kept running after the Yank, but the woman had no control with her horse’s reins dragging the ground.

I shoved my revolver into my belt and headed for the woman. I caught up with her and reached down, grabbing the side of the harness that ran along the right side of the horse’s head. I slowly started to rein Sampson to a stop. This allowed the woman’s horse to come to a complete stop without turning abruptly and throwing her from her side saddle.

As I caught up with the woman, Captain Mosby flew past us after the Yankee Captain. I heard a few shots and looked up to see Mosby enter the stand of trees at the west end of the wheat field.

I looked at the woman and my heart went up into my throat.

About Civil War Reflections

Vernon has been a Civil War buff since childhood, but had been inactive in Civil War history for over two decades. However, in the early 1990s his interest was rekindled after watching Ken Burns’ “Civil War Documentary” on PBS. He particularly became interested in the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) and decided to learn more about this epic struggle.
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