It took me only a moment to realize Mosby was trying to extricate himself from the fight and retreat toward Crampton’s Gap. He was being sorely pressed by a contingent of the Yank cavalry, and also it looked like Yank infantry was forming to advance against him.
I rode back toward Reedy’s company and found that they had pulled back to the east side of the Valley Pike. They were deploying on some hills to staunch a Union advance in this sector of the battle.
As I arrived in the rear of Reedy’s men, I spied him directing his men’s avenues of fire whenever the Yanks appeared on the scene.
I yelled at him, “Mosby’s in a bad way. He’s being hard pressed just to tha south. Let’s give him some relief and then we can all retreat to tha gap.”
He liked the idea of getting out of here and yelled, “Be right with ya, Lieutenant.”
He turned to his men and yelled for them to remount and form up in a column of twos. I joined him at the front of his men. He commanded us to head out. We moved off at a gallop.
We could hear a lot of shooting as we moved down the Valley Pike toward Gapland. I pointed to the east and Reedy took us off the Valley Pike and behind some hills that shielded us from the Yank column in Gapland. As we rode around the pond where Stonewall applied the coup de grace to Mr. Hawks, we found Mosby’s men on top of the prominent hill in this area, shooting westward toward the Yanks. Mosby turned to see us ride up and grinned from ear to ear. He motioned for us to stay where we were and he walked down to us.
Nodding toward us he said, “Capt’n Reedy, Jim, y’all are a sight for sore eyes.” Looking at me he said, “I take it that tha cannon are already at tha gap.”
I shook my head no and replied, “They’s on tha way thar now.”
“But we heard cannon fire, which was tha signal to withdraw to tha Gap,” he countered.
I stared at him in stunned silence and then confessed, “I had troopers destroy some of tha Yanks’ wagons and a few of ‘em had ammo in ‘em. That was what ya heard, not cannon fire.”
Mosby was stunned for a moment. Then recovering he said, “We got two companies, Capt’n Edwards to the south and Capt’n Jameson to the west, that no doubt think we’ve already got captured cannon at tha Gap. They’s trying to withdraw and get to tha gap as per our plan.”