Monthly Archives: September 2018


Corporals Hamilton and Vaneman, of the 1st Virginia infantry, stationed at North Mountain, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, got permission to visit some friends, in the Virginia regiments encamped about Winchester. They started from Martinsburg in a stage coach. The coach contained five gentlemen and three ladies, among them Gen. Cluseret’s Adjutant-General, a Lieutenant on Gen. Milroy’s staff, and a Mr. Greer, from Wheeling. Shortly after leaving Martinsburg, the coach was upset, and the whole party were piled up in a miscellaneous heap on the road-side. The coach was soon righted, and after proceeding a few miles farther, two of the ladies got out. When near Bunker Hill, the coach was stopped by a gang of rebel cavalry, dressed in the uniform of Federal soldiers. The rebels cursed the occupants of the coach, and told them to get down and surrender, or they would blow out their brains, and of course the passengers surrendered. The rebels ransacked the trunks and valises. They permitted Mr. Greer and the young lady to go unharmed, but ordered the rest to unhitch the coach horses; and while this was being done, the Lieutenant of Gen. Milroy’s staff crawled in, and concealed himself between the body of the coach and the coupling pole. The rest of the prisoners were hurried off in the direction of Front Royal. The stage horses, not being “used to much feed,” were very thin and angular, and the boys thought it a very severe “rail ride” into Dixie. Upon reaching a small town called Middlebourne, the prisoners and their captors were charged upon by a body of Union cavalry, under command of the Lieutenant who had concealed himself under the coach. The rebels were completely routed. About fifty shots were exchanged. The Major commanding the rebels was wounded, as was the Lieutenant commanding the rescuing party. Two or three of the rebels were killed, and more than half of them were captured and taken to Winchester with the released prisoners.

The Lieutenant, who had concealed himself under the coach, as soon as the rebels were out of sight, borrowed a horse from a farmer, and started post haste for Winchester. Gen. Milroy immediately despatched thirty of the 1st New York cavalry towards Middlebourne in command of his Lieutenant, and fifteen to the point of departure from the main pike. The detachment sent to Middlebourne got there before the rebels, and lay in wait for them with the above result. The two Corporals returned to their regiment at North Mountain.

Originally posted 2008-09-18 01:53:57.

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A correspondent writing from the camp of the Fourth Virginia brigade, on the 11th of November, 1863, relates the following: “Instances of courage and daring on the part of private soldiers in our army are of on rare occurrence, and consequently are often passed by unnoticed and unrewarded. But the bold acts of some will impress themselves upon the notice of the officers in command, and elicit their admiration. Such was the case with four privates who received the credit which they merited for the part they acted in the late affair on the Rappahannock. When the enemy had taken our redoubts beyond the river, orders were given to burn the pontoon bridge; it was fired, but failed to burn, and before combustible material could be gathered to fire it again, the enemy had reached the north side, and placed a heavy guard there to fire upon any party attempting to destroy it. The bridge remained unburned until about 12 o’clock at night, when volunteers were called for to renew the effort to fire it; at the same time, all were told that the work was a dangerous one, and none were desired to undertake it, except those who were perfectly willing. Four privates of Gen. Pegram’s brigade (formerly Gen. Smith’s) volunteered, and successfully fired and destroyed the bridge. They were not fired upon, but the danger was encountered, and their quiet and cool demeanor was all that prevented them from being discovered. Had the enemy heard the least noise, the bridge would have been swept by a volley of musketry. The names of the privates are Peter Berton, company E, 18th Virginia; Thomas Berton, company E, 18th Virginia; James F. Fristoe, company G, 49th Virginia; and Sandy Cooper, company A, 49th Virginia–Lieut. Buck, 18th Virginia, commanding. In connection with the above, I would mention an incident that occurred at Culpepper Court House, in which a lady acted the part of a heroine. In September last, when the Yankee army advanced on that town, it was the scene of quite a brisk fight–especially was the artillery firing heavy. During the fight, one of our wounded heroes, who was between the fire of friend and foe, was seen by a lady, whose tender sympathies were deeply aroused on his behalf; and having resolved to save him, she rushed from her house, regardless of her own safety, between the combatants, amidst shot and shell, raised him, bleeding, from the dust, and had almost succeeded in gaining a place of safety, when (our forces fallen back) a Yankee officer rode up, and being struck by her patriotism, dismounted, and assisted her in carrying her wounded countryman into the house. Well was it for the suffering hero, that his dangerous position was witnessed by Miss Belle Norris, whose courage was equal to her patriotism; for, in a few moments, being unable to move, he would have been crushed by the enemy’s cavalry, charging over the road. Long may she–one of the many patriotic ladies of the town of Culpepper–live to receive the heartfelt thanks of grateful soldiers for the many acts of kindness they have received at her hands. MILES.

Originally posted 2008-09-15 11:59:32.

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A writer in Philadelphia relates the following: “In one of our beautiful suburban cemeteries was employed a venerable man. For a number of years past he has prepared the last resting-place for those called from among us. Though poor, he raised four gallant boys, giving to each of them a moderate education and a good trade. The two elder went five years ago to New Orleans, where prosperity attended their industry.

The two younger brothers remained with their father. George and Frederick were their names. The latter is but seventeen years of age. When the war broke out, both left their employments and enlisted. The elder brothers had constantly written home, and frequent presents accompanied their letters. At the battle of Fredericksburg, in the very front of the line, at the church upon the rifle pits at the back of the town, were the two boys Frederick and George. A sortie was made by the rebel riflemen upon the retreating Federals, and among those who dropped were the two boys, the youngest sons of the old gravedigger. A minie ball had pierced the bodies of each.

The rebel soldiers, whose weapons had done the deed, were clad in rags of linsey. They ran with alacrity to secure the clothing, the canteens, and perhaps the money, of the men whom they had laid low. The foremost one reached the body of his dead enemy, turned it over–for the face was downward–and to his horror beheld the corpse of his youngest brother, his woollen shirt stained with a stream of blood that oozed from a bullet hole above the heart. Our informant, a chaplain of the army, could tell us nothing of the other rebel brother. But this one made his way into the Union lines, and is now in the hospital at Alexandria a hopeless maniac. We learn that in their childhood this younging of the flock had been the especial charge of the eldest brother. When he left for New Orleans it was in the expectation of entering business to which he could bring up the boy. That boy he lived to shoot down with his own hands. Unless the remaining rebel brother survive, the family are now extinct. The father died of a broken heart, and was buried last Sunday. This is a simple statement of fact. It is doubtless one of ten thousand never to be written.”

Originally posted 2008-09-15 03:22:17.

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Gen. Negley sent out a foraging expedition from Nashville, with orders to the commander to visit every habitation, mill, barn, and out-house, and seize upon everything fit for consumption by man and beast. During the expedition a squad made a break for a free school-house.

“Don’t disturb anything there!” cried one of the officers. “If there had been a few more such institutions in the South, there would have been no rebellion.”

Originally posted 2008-09-12 12:11:02.

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