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Captain Albert M. Hunter's account of
the War between the States

(Part 4)

Source: Descendants of A.M. Hunter

Transcribed by John Miller

Part 1|Part 2|Part 3

"Some of the boys were at the ferry, so I had a chance to ride out to camp, or a had to tell it over and over again. After a happy greeting all around a resumed the usual routine of camp life. But being very bruised at the things easy to do it, and partly succeeded so far as drill or scouting duty was concerned.

I should have told you that when I was captured and went to lie down by the log, I took my Sabre and belt and hid down under the log and covered them with leaves and trash. I suppose they are there yet, unless some fellow undertook to cut the log and by accident uncovered them. Thousands and thousands of dollars worth of arms and equipment are lying in the soil of the state where battles were fought to by dug up by generations yet unborn, were to turn to dust by the action of the elements.

It seems proper to tell you what I found out after our midnight flight Louden Heights, before I tell you of the flight. Col. Mosby's after routing us at Rectortown and capturing a large number of my men, said he would attack us and camp and clean out our cavalry, and make his preparations as follows: midnight on the 16th of January 1864, 10 men were to attend to Col. Cole and head in a house on the road. Six men for each tent and six for each of officers Marquees, making 130 men in all. They were to capture or kill every body and take our horses and all and wipe us out of existence. We had lost more than 80 men in camp.

I had not got my fighting tools in order when he attacked us, but was in camp, not being bad enough to get to the hospital.

On the evening of the 10th the picket guard on the Hillsboro Road and also camp guard was stationed as usual. Taps sounded, lights out and all was quiet as usual, no thought of danger, and least of all a surprise of any kind.

When awakening was perhaps a fair example of most if not the whole command. The report of a gun fired open my eyes, and in an instant a strange noise had me out of my bunk, also ordnance Sergeant (now major) O. A. Horner. I jumped out picked up my boots and stepping out of my tent pulled my boots on outside. Major Horner drew his on inside and had not got out before two or three bullets tour through our blankets on the bunk. Men were all around me what to do work to know them, a carbine was fired just at my side with the words "get off you son of a bitch", and I recognize the voice of Charles A. Gilson, who had fired at a man on horseback who was unhitching my horse that was tied just behind my tent. Our standing instructions to our men was, in case we were attacked, to not mount a horse and shoot every man on horseback. I had no arms and no time in the dark to get any, so I stepped off a short distance and on a bank to look for what I could see, I would have done better to have laid down, for the only way we could see was against the sky. Our could see dark objects moving, some by the flash from the discharge of carbines, that was rapid for a few minutes. I do not think the whole thing lasted more than 15 minutes and when quiet was restored it seemed as if an earthquake or some terrible convulsion of nature had swept over us, and tore everything all to pieces. A moments reflection brought us to our senses, and a search for the enemy but always gone. Our next duty was to find out the amount of damage done. I have forgotten the number of casualties, but my company D. W. Longwell had the mark of a bullet across his breast that cut the skin. W. H. Weaver one on his thigh. These are all that I remember now by name. One or two was shot dead and other companies, but I have forgotten their names.

When they began to dawn we could see to examine things. We found Captain Smith, Mosby's dashing leader, dead in front of Captain Corner's tent, another near and a track of blood from behind my tent toward the road and 100 yd. off we found a dead man. I suppose Charles A. Gilson shot did work for him. A number of our men were wounded. Also several of Mosby's men that fell into our hands. One in particular I remember a young man named Paxton from near Leesburg. The reason I remember him is that in our Leesburg skirmish in September Samuel McNair was wounded in young Paxton's mother care for him and Paxton asked for McNair and stated that fact to him. He got all of the kind attention that could be given him, but his wound was fatal and in a short time he died.

Captain George W. F. Vernon was shot through the eye. We feared it might be fatal, but he was made of good metal and he pulled through with nothing worse except the lost of the eye. The other answering every purpose when he came back to us in a few months, and upon the battalion being augmented to a regiment became its lieutenant colonel. Captain Rivers had a bullet in his heel that was painful and took a long time to heal, and never entirely healed.

We took the wounded to a hospital and all got the best care we could give them. Captain Smith and the two privates were buried in one grave near Camp. The boys said they put Captain Smith underneath so he cannot get out.

A few days afterwards Captain Smith's wife and several men came to get his body and they took all the dead away. Mrs. Smith said he had a very fine gold watch and his pocket that she would like to very much to have. It was not buried with them and of course no one knew where it was, in poor woman, like many thousands more had to go away without it. I never knew got it, and I supposed very few if any but the one who got it knows to this day where it is.

For wall we were at a loss to know how Mosby got into our camp unseen. For we had a picket a mile out on the only road to camp, and he had not seen or heard a thing until firing commenced in camp.

The mystery was unraveled when we found that by a lane, a mile farther out than the picket post led by cuts across the fields to Potomac River, then a road up the river to near the junction of the Shenandoah river with the Potomac, which put him behind us and between are camp and Harpers Ferry where the others of our Corps were camped. He then came to our camp from the direction of our men. This fooled our guard on the road at Colonel Cole’s headquarters, thinking they were a scouting party from the ferry, and allow them to get to close before he challenged them. Upon refusal to answer or stop he fired his gun which gave us the alarm, but it required only a moment to be among our tents and surrounding headquarters. Colonel Cole and two or three that were in the house save their bacon by jumping out the window and hiding.

One of my men, Samuel R. Bostick, as brave of a man as there was in the company is likely in the Army, jumped up and with not a thing on what his shirt, ran out of his tent and right over Louden Heights toward Harpers Ferry more than a mile, snow and ice covered the ground and when he got to the Shenandoah river his feet were frozen solid. The guard at the bridge said his bare feet sounded like horses hoofs on the planks of the bridge. He lost some of his toes. He was ashamed for his action and never could account for it. It did not hurt his bravery for he won a pair of lieutenant straps before the war closed.

It may be that it did not require much bravery to defend our own "Dunghill", even in the middle of the night, but I know that the whole country gave us much praise, and the Secretary of War, complemented us and the general order. General Sullivan did the same in gave us time, material and a keg of commissary whiskey to build a Blockhouse for future safety. It was useless labor for Mosby and others concluded that it was not save to "Beard a ---- ----and his own castle".

The taking Captain Smith from Mosby hurt him more than the loss of half of his command, for he was his executive officer, as fearless as brave, leaving his cause was just and thought no hardship was too great if he could accomplish his purpose to drive the Yankees from Virginia’s sacred soil. He sleeps in a brave soldiers grave. Peace to his ashes, and prosperity for his dear ones left behind.

About the first of February 1864 we were ordered to Bolovar Heights. There we had the usual scouting to do, but I did not participate in much of the outside work. A request at the issued by US authorities giving all who desired to re-enlist for the war a chance to do so, and offered a bounty of $300 and a 30 day furlough.

Colonel Cole detailed me to take charge of the recruiting office. I detailed Frederick. J. Bread of my company for clerk and we went to work.

Five of six came in immediately and I thought the whole command would jump at the big bounty and furlough, but it was a drag for a week or more. There was much debating among the men, quite a larger number against the re-enlistment.

One argument was that they were promised a furlough each year and some had never got one, and they worked hard of this bendage. The opposition argued that they would get a big furlough in large bounty, lots of fun and frolic and afterwards the duty would be no harder than what they have already experienced, to come along, reenlisted, make a big Army, clean up the whole rebel crew and the war, go home and set up business on a bounty received and get rich. We officers did all we could to get the men to reenlisted for we had a movement on foot in Baltimore city to recruit eight companies to make a regiment, with the hope that some of us would be promoted.

One my men Jason M. Scott had a love affair and had been trying to get a furlough for months so that he could give the matter some personal attention. His being denied what he claimed as a right and a heart felt desired, soured him so much against the dictation and repeated failures to get a furlough. He warned the advocates for re-enlistment to keep their distance from his quarters under pain of losing their heads.

One morning a week or 10 days after I had opened the office, comrade Scott stepped in and requested that his name should be entered for re-enlistment. In surprise asked Jimmy how is this. What is the matter that you have changed your mind? The answer, " I can’t get a furlough and the usual way, and I am bound to see my girl, and this seems to be the only chance". I will only add he got his furlough, saw his sweetheart. They were married after the war. I visited them in Gettysburg, also in Washington DC where they now live. Mrs. Scott is an elegant, intelligent lady and I do not wonder that Jimmy changed his mind, reenlisted to get a furlough to make for a visit and also make for his wife.

Enough reenlisted to keep our company organizations. Eight companies were recruited in Baltimore. They were attached our battalion forming a cavalry regiment to be known as "Coles’ Cavalry Maryland Volunteers".

In the promotions or battalion officers were ignored. Seniority was nowhere, bribery was freely charged, and more than likely true.

I was a senior Captain and I got nothing at all. The fourth Captain was made lieutenant colonel. But Orderly Sergeant Oliver A. Horner was made Adjutant and afterwards made a Major. Civilians in Baltimore were made Majors. One an English fool, who knew no more of military or Majors duty than a dog does preaching, and a coward to boot, and thus it went all along the line.

I can account for my being slighted in no way but by a circumstance that occurred while we were in camp at Kearneyville near Harpers Ferry.

Colonel Henry Cole had gotten an immense quantity of Confederate money, and while camped at Kearneyville he got his father to go out in the country and buy wheat using a part of the Confederate money and greenback to pay for, thus getting as near face value for Confederate money as he could. Then when the farmer could not haul a wheat to the station, he ordered all our government teams to haul it in. The wheat was shipped to market by railroad and he pocketed the profits. This use of US government teams for private purpose was a violation of Army regulations. Much talk indulged in about it and finally Lieutenant William Horner and Robert Crooks preferred charges without my knowing anything about the charges and specifications against him.

One day the Major (we were at that time he battalion and that was his rank) stepped out of the cars from Harpers Ferry, dressed in his Sunday uniform, went to his tent, ate his dinner, then came to me and asked me to take a walk. We walked out a mile or so where he charge me with preferring the charges against him for using the teams for hauling in the wheat. I denied it, told him I knew nothing about it, did not even know the charges were sent in against him, in fact did not know anything about it. I do not think he believed me, perhaps to this day, he thinks it was my work, but I really knew nothing of who the author was until some days afterwards when Lieutenant William Horner told me he had done it.

I thought then and still think this occurrence was why I was so completely ignored in the promotions of the regiment. I did care much. My company was a good one, the most of its members were of my acquaintance and friends. I loved them in a think I can safely say, without egotism, that they respected me all that any Captain could ask. But I must acknowledge that a feeling of dislike grew on me during the summer, that reopened into a determination to quit the service in September when the three years was up, which I did. Another reason helped to determine my retiring from the service.

When we entered the service, all of us were very ignorant of how to make out our accounts with the government. By the time I have spoken of above, I had learned how these accounts ought to be made but as Captain Horner never made any and I took no account of property received from him, I had no starting point in no way to make one except going to Washington and examining the charges made against him and my self, or seeing the heads of the departments and getting some other instructions. I do not get leave to go to Washington or in fact anywhere else. So I determined to leave the service in for two weeks sought out ordinance and quartermasters papers for beginning is but could not find anything for start. Finally I was told I must make a consolidated approximate return for the whole three years, swear to it before a notary public and I would be accepted in final settlement. I did so, drew $700 or $800 due and struck for home as a private citizen, thinking I would have a good time. But strange to say, that after a month, I had visit friends and civil life became so anonymous and dry I could not stand it. I determined to go back to service. Of course no commission was waiting for me and I had to list is a private. I chose old company "B" knowing it would not the proper for me they don’t old company.

I was not alone is a private for commissioned officers for Colonel of the 138th Pennsylvania. Trift, was our ranks. Colonel C. L. K. Sunwalt who had been dismissed for adding disorderly conduct, Major of the regular army, and several others that I do not recollect.

Having been through the school of final settlement, I having studied hard and understood Army accounts I was immediately detailed to take charge of regimental headquarters, and for the balance of the time had an easy berth.

And to tell the truth, the regiment never did half as much for the Union as the old battalion of four companies did. Now I must go back to the spring of 1864 before the complete organization of our regiment active operations concerned.

General Franz Seigel was placed in command of the Shenandoah Valley. Cavalry was rather scarce. We were drawn for all we could muster, about 160 men in all. In the number is three captains, four or five lieutenants and one major. The English major have spoke of, his name was J. Poundsend Daniels, Major second battalion, Coles’ Cavalry Maryland volunteers. We all thought he was a son of a minister but for some devilment was shipped to America to avoid disgrace in his with and kin in England. We had a good education and a fine musician and he would be great ladies man.

Well we go into fighting harness with about two wagons, for officers tents, a number of "A" Frame tents, divorces, and with high spirits we left Harpers Ferry to report to General Seigel at Winchester. Here we spent a week or more getting in proper shape.

Every attache of Seigel’s headquarters lagan to a load of beer kegs full to the sutler’s, to be returned if the next morning to replace by full ones. It was a jolly time. He could get it pay or no pay. "We fight for Seigel" was on every lip.

In about ten days an advance was ordered up the Valley. There was no hindrance until we were near New Market. Here our advance was fired upon. Immediate preparations were made for battle but in a very strange way. To give general Seigel the benefit of the doubt, perhaps he believed there was no force worth naming to oppose him, which was true as I will tell you later on. To tell you how ignorant or careless some general with reputations were, I must tell you that our army of 10,000 men at least four times as much wagon train as ought to have been allowed in an enemy’s country, and when the advance was stopped the rear of our column was 12 mi. behind the advance. When the firing commenced Seigel sent a couple hundred cavalry ahead to see what the force was. We found about 1000 men stationed in line of battle on each side of the road with earthen breastworks, and he opened on us fiercely. We fell back out of range and reported. Seigel seem to think a trap was sent for him. He drew up his artillery to a stream one of the West branches of the Shenandoah river about the size of Marsh Creek near Gettysburg, and commenced shelling the enemy 1 ˝ or 2 mi. away. They answered with shells and thus we spent from four o’clock until dark trying to draw the enemy, but it would not work because as we found out later on the enemy was the 1000 men in a single line, composed of six or 800 volunteers in about 200 boys from the military school at Lexington Virginia. Well we banged away until dark at each other without a single casualty on our side and out of the enemy that we ever heard of.

We all expected to go into camp, but soon found after dark orders came to march back no one seemed to nowhere. The wagoners that scared in turning around a narrow road (Turnpike). Some of them upset their wagons and spilled the contents out on the ground. He added to their fright, and a stampede took place at nearly demoralized the whole command. We marched on and on through the whole night, and when the sun arose the next morning we were back in our old camp near Cedar Creek. Our boys all wondered what the dickons we had went to near New Market the day before. None of us saw any military advantage in it. We do not know then how small a number opposed us, our advance.

We all concluded that it was the Western style of conducting a campaign, as Seigel had just come from the Western Army where he had made a great reputation. We soon found that the authorities at Washington did not approve of Seigel’s mode of warfare.

In a few days some general officer came riding into camp. He was the finest horsemen I had ever seen. As he rode through the camp toward headquarters, his keen eye seemed to take in everything, his firm set lips look as if his teeth could bite a ten penny nail in two. He looked young, a mustache as black as night, and sat on his horse so erect and firm.

Who was he? Was asked everywhere. In an hour or two we found it was old General David Hunter, who had been in Washington as president of the General court martial there for some time. He had been relieved from Southern command because he was ahead of every other General and his conduct and actions to subdue the South by taking from them their slaves and enrolling them as soldiers, asserting, I believe, that a "Nigger" could stop a bullet as well as a white man. But higher authority held a different view, and General Hunter was ordered to Washington and made president of the court martial which was held there.

We soon found he was no lager beer soldier. Orders came to second day telling us how much a soldier would be allowed to carry along in an active campaign. As near as I can recollect it was about as follows: headquarters of this command shall have one wagon, General one wagon and one commissary wagon. Brigade commanders to wagons, regimental commanders one wagon, officers shall carry one extra shirt and one pair of socks. Enlisted men the same. Headquarters one hospital tent. Regimental commanders one "A" tent. Enlisted men one half shelter tent each. All other stores in excess to the above order to be immediately returned to quartermaster at Winchester Virginia.

What an uproar this order made, nobody thought of disobeying any part of it. We had no quartermaster. I happened to be the oldest officer and the most experienced. So Major Daniels appointed me G.N.V (There were two captains left to command 160 men). So I could be spared.

I began to gather up, and I got a big load for two horses to haul back. We had a large train of wagons to take back our surplus plunder. In the lot was Major Daniel’s flat cornet, that he played very well. I left it where he told me, but it was never found again, in fact it was more than a year before we got back.

I recollect having my dirty shirt washed there. Having but one, I bought a gingham one to sleep in, but it scratched me so that I was compelled to get up, and take it off and sleep without a shirt on. I had been used to woolen ones that were soft, or had a quite a different feel. I, or rather we turned in our goods and struck for camp. In a few hours were ready and we started up the Valley again. This time fighting trim. Our command was detailed to do orderly duty at headquarters, and to collect forage.

This was a soft snap, but it did not last long. Hunter did not want, nor would not have any idle soldiers hanging around nor was there any setters in his command, and he marched us in such a manner that ten minutes time would put us in battle. Instead of being ten or twelve miles long, I think we were not more than one mile from front to rear. He put the artillery and the few wagons we had in the road, ambulances in the rear. Cavalry and Infantry on each side of the road in column of platoons.

General Jubal Early had been sent into the Valley to check our advance, but he did not do much of it. We marched straight for Harrisonburg. Here General Hunter dispensed with our services. We were ordered to report to General Duffie (a little bit of a French Zouave, but a brave fellow). General Duffie took the cavalry and made a recognizance off to the east to near the Blue Ridge and back to Staunton without finding any fighting. The Infantry had a little brush at Staunton. Nearly retiring as fast as we came up with him.

We destroyed a lot of stuff belonging to the Confederate Army, tried to blow up a depot. I do not think it was done, but we tore up track, destroyed cars and in fact everything that belonged in any way to the enemy. After being in camp for two days, orders were received to move again.

Cavalry had been making excursions to all the gaps in the mountains and through the country generally, and found that Early had retreated toward Waynesboro, Virginia. Either before we reached Staunton or a few days after we left we had a whole day’s hard fighting with (I have forgotten the rebel commanders name, he was a Tennessean and said to be a cousin of General Hunter’s) at Port Republic, some call it Cross Keys. It was a stubborn fight. Commencing at daylight and lasting until nearly sundown. The lines of each actually engaged was just about the same length, and they were each formed in the edge of a woods about 150 yards apart. They charged and countercharge each other several times. We would be defeated, but we held our own, and in looking ever our line knew not near all of our men were engaged, and wondered why it was so, but I must acknowledge that was wrong. We could hold our position, and I now know that the ideal was too weary the enemy as much as possible, and find out their strength and all of their positions. The throw our whole force on them simultaneously in annihilate them if possible. I shall try to give you an idea of the battle. There was skirmishing for a mile or more. The skirmish commenced with the pickets about day light. One of my company, Chad Maxwell, was killed. Not more than three or four were killed touring the skirmish. It was about nine o’clock when we reached the rebel line.

There was two pieces of timber with a field between, of about 150 yards breadth. This field had an elevation of about 6 feet in the middle, or only a head of a man could be seen from one line to the other. This saved many a man’s life, and accounts for the small number killed on each side. On the rebel left there was a considerable elevation, where a worn fence was built across another field. This fence was used as a breastwork by taking the top rails and loading them from the fourth rail to the ground toward us, so that when a bullet struck it would glance upwards over their heads as they have been killed by a rail that was struck by Cannonball and drove through him.

The lines were formed in the edge of the timber and he banged away at each other fiercely all-day, and when that charges were made it was fearful as the charging party appeared on the high ground in the middle of the field. Neither could accomplish their desire object of dislodging the foe. The land behind us was clear and hilly on our left. About one or two o’clock A. Two gun battery went on the hills on her left in the been fired on our flanks. General Hunter sent a force of cavalry around them in a limbered up and retreated in time to save their guns. He kept a force in that section, and they had to abandon that pour the field. The Cavalry was not in the fight, but were posted on the flanks to watch any and all movements of the enemy, which was very important duty.

Well, along about four o’clock our men opened up a terrific fire. I do not under stand why, as the rebels were not charging. Directly the most unearthly yells were heard, and as if by magic 1000 men spring out of the earth in a deep ravine, two or 300 yard to our left and with year irresistible force struck the rebel line on the right flank and doubled them up and at the same time our line charged, and in less than 10 minutes 1060 rebels were captured, their General killed in what was left running for life back through the woods. The cavalry came in on a full run and followed for a few miles, made some captures in the battle ended.

The wounded was cared for in the tents and houses. The dead was buried. The prisoners are put under guard, and the Army prepared for a nights rest. The casualties was small less than 100 on both sides. Ours was in 30 somewhere. We met General Averill in a day or two afterwards we took the prisoners and our ambulances with the wounded and went back.

The cavalry was detailed to make a raid Nelson County. We were gone five or six days, and among the head waters of the Mataponi River we ran into a small squad 16 I think, who were guarding a paymaster, captured them with six old farm wagons, was from two to four horses in each in a bushel basketful of Confederate money. It was not worth much for General Hunter paid $100 for a nights lodging for self and staff at a hotel. But we could use it in that section. I recollect seeing General Duffie struggling hard to get a great roll into his pants pockets.

In our raid we found good roads through the hill and mountains. There seemed to have been a immense amount of labor and money spent to make them. In winding up some of the highest mountains, bridge for could just wide enough for a wagon through solid rock, a wall built on the lower side. They require much care to drive in some places, to keep from slipping off. I recollect a four mule team wagon driver and all went over where the pass was nearly 10 feet high. We never expected to see them anymore but three or 4 mi. farther on he came out to us with everything but his load, bows and. To make our trip on time we did some night marching in these mountains. That was worse fighting battle.

At the appointed time we join General Hunter at Lexington Virginia where we destroyed the military Academy. The young men at the school there were with considerable other force did all they could to save their institution, but we drove them out and cleaned out the buildings. General Jackson’s house caught fire, it was consumed. This was not intended but I could not be helped.

We camped there for two days. It was only a few miles to Natural Bridge, but the rebels guarded so well I did not get to see it, which I have always regretted. We broke camp and started for Lynchburg, the been to be able to drive out all opposition and make junction with General Grant.

Our route through Bedford County. At Liberty the county seat we met opposition. We skirmished clear to Lynchburg getting their just about dusk, had a little skirmish when night closed the operations. The Army camped in the line battle. I recollect that I got our property in a churchyard. The slip between the hillocks of two graves, and sometime in the night something hurt my hand and jumping up found a steer had tramped on it while he was picking grass.

By day light we commenced pounding away at each other. We drove the rebels out of their line of breastworks by noon. A fought bravely but they had to yield. We were on the hills overlooking the town. When the screaming of an engine whistle attracted or tension, and looking down the railroad we saw one regiment after another get out of the cars that have been sent by the Confederates from the East. About four o’clock orders came for the wagons to be taken back to Liberty as fast as safety would permit.

The road was an old worn-out Turnpike in rough as possible to be, and as usual the wagoners got wild and there was some of the biggest driving ahead ever seen for nine or ten miles.

The Army fell back more deliberately it was after dark before we reached Liberty where we camped for the night. Then he set force of cavalry after us and gave a some trouble and firing was continued in the rear.

A destruction corps was organized in the morning and while a strong guard kept enemy at bay, we completely destroyed the railroad from Liberty to Salem in Roanoke County. Tearing up the rails in make a pile of the ties set them on fire, laid rails on when not in the middle would bend them double. Now I’ll tell you some incidents as they occurred to us from the time we left Lexington Virginia until we reached Parkersburg West Virginia.

When we left Lexington we went south to near the peaks of Atter. Near there we had to cross the James River. We had a pontoon bridge along. It did not take more than an hour to anchor the bridge and commence crossing. They were shaky waterways, but they beat wading deep water all to such.

One soldier of the New York Regiment, foolishly rode his horse into deep water and not knowing how to manage a horse swimming, drew the reins hard, which made a horse rear up and he slid off, with carbine, saber, revolver and his clothes on. He sank to rise no more. Several good drivers did all they could get him, but failed. We never did see anything more of him, and somebody’s mother lost a brave boy.

The next day we met a small force that annoyed us some. They fired on us from houses. We burn the houses and went on. At a place in Bedford County all the Negroes ran from us as if the old boy was after them. We chased several brought them in. I asked one why he had run. He said his mistress told him the Yankees had horns and they took all the slaves and killed the young ones and those that were too old and feeble to work, sold the strong ones to the Cubans for slaves where they would be treated like brutes with no clothes to wear and have to cut raw corn like hogs.

I stopped at a fine house near by for rations (we subsisted on the country most of the time). As the Madam why she told the slaves such awful stories. She very stoutly denied it, say it was an invention of the darkies themselves. I very much doubt it, as the truth of her story for I had found that a white person does work did not think it any more fell a Yankee or "Nigger" an untruth.

I think more than 1000 slaves went with us on their way to see Farther Abraham and Liberty, and there was some genius with us. I remember one from Nelson County, who had never seen breaks on a wagon. They always tied a wheel with a chain.

I detailed him to attend to the breaks on a wagon. I had to show him what to pull on the hills. The first we came to of course the wagon did not stop as he was used to, so that the chain could be tied. I called to him in it the us about as if on fire, but do not know what to do. Our rode up to him and told him to pull that bar or rim that inside the wheel, thinking that of course he would recollect to pull forward, but instead he pull back work with all this might plowing in the sand with his heels to hold harder on the wagon. The hill a steep and was so ludicrous to see him trying to hold the wagon, that could do nothing but laugh. I gave him another lesson teaching him to pull forward. Then it made no difference to him what to size up the hill was, the always wanted to pull hard enough to lock the wheels. After we got to camp he was lost to me in a great crowd blacks, but I suppose he always gave the same answer when asked where he was from. " Nelson County, Sah".

At the Battle Lynchburg General Duffie would watch the flash of cannon, and dropped to the ground before Cannonball could reach him. He was drilled in the Zouave tactics. Some of our boys got an old tender on the switch several would get in and lie down, some of push it around a curve in the road and fire at the enemy, and in pull back load up and try again. I had several men killed and wounded their, I have forgotten who they were."

Late Captain Albert Hunter

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