While the National forces were standing under the enemys fire, on the day of the battle at Romney, Va., and the shot and shell were flying in every direction around us, a little incident occurred which is worthy of notice.
Capt. Butterfield, of the Eighth Ohio regiment, (being one of the ranking Captains,) acted as Major upon that occasion, and was obliged to ride an old sorrel horse, which had been used as a team horse, and required both spurs and whip, which the Captain had provided himself with, the latter cut from a tree, and about five feet long. It was found that our small six-pound guns would not reach the enemys battery, and Col. Mason ordered Capt. B. to bring forward a brass twelve-pounder, which was in the rear. Off sped the old sorrel and his brave rider, and in a few moments up came the gun. Its position was assigned, and made ready for the match, but the Captain came dashing back in front of the gun, and the smell of powder, or something else, had made the old sorrel almost unmanageable, for in trying to wheel him from the front of the gun, the more the Captain applied the whip and spur, the more the old sorrel would not go. This kept the gunners in terrible suspense, for much depended on that shot. Finally, the Captain finding his efforts to move his steed fruitless, he sang out, at the top of his voice, “Never mind the old horse; blaze away;” and, sure enough, they did blaze away, and it proved a good shot, for it caused the rebels to limber up their battery, and take to their heels. At that moment, orders came to charge, and off dashed the old sorrel, frightened at the discharge of the gun, which had scorched his tail, and mingled in the charge. He was lost to view until he arrived in the town, where he was brought to a halt, and the Captain, standing in his stirrups, with his cap flying, cheered for the glorious victory that had been achieved.
Originally posted 2008-06-15 13:04:34.