We arrived at the livery out of breath, just in time to see two Yanks on horses break out of the front of the building and head south out of town. All three of us started firing our pistols at the retreating riders. One Yank on a small horse fell far behind his fellow escapee. Then, suddenly, his little mount began bucking like a rodeo bronc. The Yank was holding on for dear life, but ultimately was thrown and landed in a heap on the road.
I continued to fire at the quickly disappearing companion horsemen. I thought I saw him cringe down as if he had been hit, but he managed to keep in the saddle and rode out of sight.
I told Jonah and Jeremy to collect the Yank and his mount as I entered the livery.
On the floor of the livery were the three hurt Yanks and our jailers, all trussed up and gagged. I pulled the gag from Mr. Black’s mouth and asked what happened. He was choking and couldn’t get his vocal chords to working, so I untied him and motioned to him to ungag and untie the others. I searched around on the ground for weapons, but found none. I looked at Mr. Throckmorton and Mr. Black, and saw they were still armed and had their pistols stuck in their belts.
I pointed at Mr. Throckmorton and asked, “How did he get the drop on y’all?”
He said, “I don’t know. Marshal Wells told Mr. Black and me to get some rope to tie up the two Yanks. We put our pistols in our belts and searched in the back of the livery for rope. We found some and returned to the front of the building. The hurt Yankee troopers were in the same position that you see them in now, but we couldn’t see the two unhurt Yanks or Marshal Wells. Then Marshal Wells was pushed out from one of the stalls with his hands in the air, followed by the Yankee troopers, one of which was armed with a pistol. We put our hands in the air, and then heard the firing in the town. The Yanks quickly tied us up and gagged us but, in their panic, forgot to disarm us.
Marshal Wells had been silent during this chronicle by Mr. Throckmorton.
I looked at him and said, “What happened?”
He said, “They got the drop on me.”
I retorted, “How?”
He shrugged and said, “I turned my back on them for just a second, and they jumped me.”
I looked at him rather dubiously and said to Mr. Black, “Can you telegraph the Confederate Cavalry outpost in Harpers Ferry and see when they might be here?”
Marshal Wells suddenly went pale.
I asked, “Is something wrong, Marshal?”