A soldier gives the following account of one of the most brilliant exhibitions of bravery and daring that occurred during the war:
“When the advance of the rebel cavalry arrived at Manassas Junction, on the evening of the 26th of August, 1862, about fifty stragglers belonging to different regiments in Pope’s and McClellan’s commands gathered around the railroad depot, with loaded muskets, uncertain whether to run or stay by and try to defend the place. Among the number was one Samuel Conde, a member of the Eleventh New York battery, who for the previous two months had been on duty at General Pope’s headquarters, and was then on his way to Washington. Finding there was no commissioned officer to take command, and that the rebels were close upon us, this brave young man seized a musket, and calling upon his comrades to rally and follow him, he posted his little company at a short distance from the railroad, near an old rebel fortification, and awaited with fixed bayonets the approach of the enemy. The first that appeared was a squadron of cavalry, who dashed up furiously towards the depot. No sooner had they passed us than our little band, led by their new commander, charge I with a shout at the enemy, scattering them in all directions. On reaching the depot, we were surrounded by a whole regiment of rebel infantry, who commanded us to surrender. ‘Never,’ shouted our brave leader, and with the words ‘come on, boys,’ we dashed through their ranks, only to find ourselves still further surrounded by a large force of cavalry. Here, for a moment, we faltered; but hearing our leader still urging us on, we pushed forward through, a heavy volly of musketry, and soon passed the enemy’s lines with the loss of more than half of our little band, including our brave commander. Finding it folly to remain longer in that vicinity, we took to the woods, and arrived at Fairfax Station early the next morning. It would be impossible for me to give the names of any of this little band, for we are all strangers to each other, and I can only bear testimony to the fearless bravery of our leader, who, I fear, has fallen a victim to a rebel bullet, hoping that, if this ever meets the eye of any of his friends, they may have the gratification of knowing that he died a hero.”
Originally posted 2009-08-04 19:30:19.