I positioned my arms so the pistols were behind my coat and couldn’t be seen from the front. I went to the two dead Yanks, who lay almost side by side, and knelt down facing the Yanks on the bridge. I put the pistol in my left hand down on the ground behind me, took off my hat and made the sign of the cross. I was hoping the Yanks on the bridge thought I was some sort of clergy and was administering last rites.
The two attending Yanks just glanced at me and continued with their medical labors.
I yelled out, “Do you want me to bring you their pistols?”
One of the men yelled back, “Yes!”
I put my hat on, put the pistol that was in my right hand on the ground behind me, unholstered the pistol from the dead Yank closest to me, and quickly slid it in my belt. I then stood up, walked around to the other dead Yank, putting my back to the Yanks on the bridge, slipped his pistol from his holster and into my belt. I buttoned my coat, went back to my original position, and picked up my pistols as if they were the troopers’ weapons and walked toward the unsuspecting Yanks.
The Yanks barely paid attention to me when I got to their position. I said I heard all the shooting and came to see what was going on. I asked if any more troopers needed help. One of the makeshift physicians replied that all the rest of the troop was okay and had gone to catch horses.
I answered, “I see. What was your mission?”
One of the men looked at me and said, “None of your business.”
At that retort I fired a shot into the floor of the bridge between the legs of the wounded trooper. Both of the men attending troopers yelled and stumbled to their feet. The wounded man, who was sitting with his back against the wall of the bridge, threw up his hands to cover his face. The two Yanks with bloody ears yelled, covered their ears with their hands, and began moaning.
Both of the Yanks threw their hands in the air. I told them to turn around and put their hands on the wall of the bridge and spread their legs. They looked at me as if I had lost my mind, but they followed orders. I quickly disarmed them, told them to lay face down on the bridge floor with their hands crossed on their backs. They complied and I quickly collected the pistols from the hurt Yanks without any problem.
I had seven pistols stuck in my belt and was hoping my bracers wouldn’t pop a button and my britches fall down. I changed my pistols for two fully loaded Yank pistols and told the healthy Yanks to get up. I told them to help the three hurt Yanks up.
“What for?” they queried.
“Because I am going to turn you over to the Confederate Cavalry just as soon as they arrive. And I s’pect they are on their way right now from Harpers Ferry,” I retorted.