History of the Laurel Brigade By William Naylor McDonald

COPYRIGHT. 1907. BY MRS. KATE S. McDONALD, pages 157-161

Next day, the 4th of July, Lee’s whole army began its march back to the Potomac. Jones’ brigade and Robertson’s were ordered to hold the passes of Jack Mountain and keep back Federal raiders from the wagon train.

In the evening it was reported that the enemy was advancing in force on the Emmitsburg and Waynesboro roads.

General Jones, fearing that Ewell’s train, then on its way to Williamsport, would be attacked, asked leave to go with his command to protect it. He was allowed the Sixth and Seventh regiments, and Chew’s battery, but the Seventh was afterwards ordered back and the Fourth North Carolina, under Colonel Fernbee, took its place.

It rained incessantly all night; the road was soon badly cut up; the ruts got deeper and deeper. At many points where mountain streams crossed the road the weaker teams would stall and block the way. Through the mud and darkness the artillery floundered along. Wagons with broken axles abandoned by their drivers had to be passed, and sometimes broken-down ambulances filled with wounded were encountered. «

It being wholly impracticable to push ahead the artillery, or even the cavalry, General Jones went forward with his staff.

Arriving at the junction of the Emmitsburg road with the one upon which the train was moving towards Williamsport, he found there Capt. G. M. Emack’s Company of Maryland, with one gun, opposed to a whole division of Federal cavalry with a full battery.

“He had already been driven back within a few hundred yards of the junction of the roads. Not half of the long train had passed.

“This little band of heroes was encouraged with the hope of speedy reinforcements, reminded of the importance of their trust, and exhorted to fight to the bitter end rather than yield. All my couriers and all others with firearms were ordered to the front, directed to lie on the ground, and be sparing with ammunition. The last charge of grape was expended and the piece sent to the rear.

“For more than two hours less than fifty men kept many thousands in check, and the wagons continued to pass along while the balls were whistling in their midst.”5

At last the Federals with a cavalry charge swept away resistance and got possession of the road.

General Jones in the darkness was separated from all his command and made his way through the woods to Williamsport. Here he found everything in confusion, and began to reorganize the stragglers for the defense of Lee’s army train.

The enemy was momentarily expected. But soon a force of Confederate cavalry and infantry arrived and General Imboden [Jones, not Imboden] took command.

‘Jones’ Report.

General Jones now made his way back through the enemy’s lines to his brigade on the night of the 5th. In the morning he rejoined his brigade at Leitersburg, and returned with it by way of Smithtown and Cavetown and the old Frederick Road, so as to participate in the attacks on General Kilpatrick at Hagerstown.

General Kilpatrick, who had pushed Jones and Emack aside at Monterey Gap, captured over 300 prisoners and forty wagons.


The Union Pursuit Out of Waynesboro

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 3 (Gettysburg Campaign), Page 991

[CONFIDENTIAL.] JULY 10, 1863-5. 30 a. m.


Confederate General Robert E. Lee

Major General J. E. B. STUART:

GENERAL: I received last evening your note of the 9th, relative to information brought by your scouts. During the night, Lieutenant [Thomas L.] Norwood, Thirty-seventh North Carolina Regiment, who was wounded at Gettysburg and made his escape, arrived. He reports he passed at Waynesborough what he supposed a division of the enemy, though it was called a heavy column. He also stated he heard that another column was passing down toward Boonsborough, and a third to Fredericktown. Notify [B. H.] Robertson to be on the lookout, and offer stiff resistance. Lieutenant N. says that General Couch, with Pennsylvania militia, was at Chambersburg. We must prepare for a vigorous battle, and trust in the mercy of God and the valor of our troops. Get your men in hand, and have everything ready.

Very truly,

R. E. LEE, General.

1st Battalion North Carolina Sharpshooters during the Battle of Monterey Pass


Major Rufus Wharton: Rufus Wharton was born on February 10, 1827 in North Carolina. He attended Davidson College, graduating there in 1849. From Greesboro, he had practiced law in Salem from 1850 until the advent of War in 1861. In that year he was Captain, Company E, 11th North Carolina Infantry until appointed Major of the new 1st Battalion in April 1862. Major Wharton commanded the Battalion until he was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the newly formed 67th North Carolina Infantry in 1864. The 67th served entirely in North Carolina until disbanded after the surrender of the ANV in April 1865. After the war, Wharton farmed cotton at Washington, North Carolina, and was active in the governance of Davidson College, from 1865 until his death on November 15, 1915 at Washington, NC.

1st Battalion North Carolina Sharpshooters Formation:


The Battalion [also sometimes called the 9th NC Battalion] was made up of Companies B and E of the 21st North Carolina Regiment, and was organized at Gordonsville (Va) in April 1862, commanded by Major Rufus Wharton.



Upon creation of the 1st North Carolina Battalion Sharpshooters, it was attach to the Department of Northern Virginia and then the Valley District, Department of Northern Virginia serving under Brigadier Isaac R. Trimble’s Brigade of Major General Richard Ewell’s Division where it remained. During the reorganization of the Confederate army from wings to Corps, the 1st Battalion NC Sharpshooters was attached to Brigadier General Robert Hoke’s Brigade of Major General Jubal Early’s Division of Lieutenant General Thomas Jackson’s Second Corps.

During reorganization of the Second Corps after the Battle of Chancellorsville, Major General Richard Ewell was given command of the corps and the 1st Battalion North Carolina Sharpshooters were made Provost Guards, reporting directly to Lt. Gen. Ewell.

Provost Guards:

Provost Guards were known to be the best in the military and were in charge of policing the army. Some of their duties included:

  1. Prevention of straggling on the march.
  2. Suppression of gambling-houses, drinking-houses, or bar-rooms, and brothels.
  3. Regulation of hotels, taverns, markets, and places of public amusement.
  4. Searches, seizures, and arrests. Execution of sentences of general courts-martial involving imprisonment or capital punishment. Enforcement of orders prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors, whether by tradesmen or sutlers, and of orders respecting passes.
  5. Deserters from the enemy.
  6. Prisoners of war taken from the enemy.
  7. Countersigning safeguards.
  8. Passes to citizens within the lines and for purposes of trade.
  9. Complaints of citizens as to the conduct of the soldiers.

The Pennsylvania Campaign:

They marched through Chambersburg and moved up to Carlisle where Major Wharton was made Military Governor for a few days, before being ordered to Gettysburg. Nearing the town, the battalion was ordered to Cashtown to guard the wagon trains from Federal cavalry. After Picket’s Charge on July 3, the battalion was ordered to move toward Gettysburg where the wounded were being collected.

July 4, 1863:

Next morning, 4 July, General Ewell ordered the battalion to escort his train back to Williamsport, on the Potomac, and sent a company of Alabamians, commanded by a Lieutenant, and containing about thirty men, to reinforce it. The Alabamians were placed in front, and the battalion brought up the rear. The train contained more than a hundred wagons and ambulances, and when strung out on the road extended over several miles. Our route, after passing through a valley for several miles, led up a mountain side by a narrow, rough road to the Gettysburg and Hagerstown turnpike. Soon after we started an exceedingly heavy rain fell which rendered travel slow and difficult.

At the junction of our road with the pike a considerable force of our cavalry had been previously stationed, as an attack on that point by the enemy’s cavalry was apprehended.

During the afternoon we occasionally heard a few shots on top of the mountain, and as night approached the firing became frequent. We also learned from couriers who came down the mountain that a heavy force of Federal cavalry was threatening that position.

Confederate Prisoners:

With the battalion were a few Federal prisoners and also forty or fifty Confederates under arrest for various minor offences during the campaign. In addition to these were four Confederate under sentence of death for desertion, and were under a separate guard. Just before night I released and armed all the Confederate prisoners except the four under sentence, and ordered them to fall in with the battalion, telling them if they behaved well that night I would report the same in their behalf. After nightfall the firing on top of the mountain greatly increased.

The Battle of Monterey Pass:

Taking the battalion and the men who had just been released from arrest, I proceeded up the mountain, halting the train as I passed, to the assistance of our friends at the junction of our road with the pike. Before reaching the point the firing became very heavy for a few minutes and then ceased and was followed by the huzzas of the enemy. By this we knew the position had been captured by them and that they would break into that part of the train that had passed that point.

We went ahead as fast as we could and as we came near found the enemy had placed a cannon in the road by which we were approaching and were firing grape shot down the same every few minutes. Fortunately, the road made a sharp turn, about 100 yards from the gun and the shot did not sweep the road beyond that point. After a sharp engagement we captured the position together with fifteen or twenty prisoners. Among the prisoners was an elderly gentleman named Mitchell, who was army correspondent of the New York Herald.

We also captured the colored servant of General Kilpatrick and three of the general’s saddle horses. The enemy captured and carried off a few of our wagons and ambulances and doubtless, but for our timely arrival and attack, would have destroyed a large part of the train. The Confederates, that I had released and armed a few hours before, behaved well and a number of them, who belonged to the cavalry, mounted themselves on horses captured that night.

The Cowards of the 6th Virginia Cavalry:

A very remarkable thing occurred next morning in rear of the train. While the battalion was engaged in the fight, some Confederate cavalry that arrived at the point of attack at the same time as the battalion, stampeded and rushing down the mountain in great disorder completely dispersed the guards in charge of the prisoners in rear of the train. It was a very dark and rainy night. They were in a dense woods. It was impossible to recognize any one and no attempt was made to collect the prisoners until next morning.

Death Sentences Reduced:

After daylight three of the Confederate soldiers that were under sentence of death, reported to the officer of the guard and all the Federal prisoners were found near by. Of course after that the three Confederates were pardoned.

A Confederate Jewish Soldier Recollects His Experience At Monterey Pass During The Confederate Retreat From Gettysburg

L. Leon (Louis) Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier, Charlotte, N.C.: Stone Publishing Co., 1913. Pg. 38-39(53rd North Carolina Infantry)

July 5 – Left this morning at 5 o’clock. Only marched ten miles to-day. The enemy being in our rear, and skirmishing very strong.

July 6 – Our company was ordered out as skirmishers to-day, as our regular skirmish corps was broken up during the fight. We were the rear of the army, and therefore had a very hard job before us. Fighting all day in falling back we certainly had fun. We were close enough to the enemy to hear their commands. We would hold them in check and give them a few rounds, then fall back again. They would then advance until we would make a stand, fight again, and so it was until we reached Fairfield, six miles from Gettysburg. I don’t think there were many lost on either side in this skirmish. We crossed South Mountain at Monteray Gap. When we came to the above town I pressed into service a citizen’s coat, in this way: We were ordered to rest, and, as usual, we would sit on fences and lay about the road. Some of the boys jumped on an old hog pen. It broke through. They fell in, and, lo and behold, there were boxes of clothing, dresses, shawls, blankets, and, in fact, everything in the line of wearing apparel. I, being a little fellow, crawled through some of the boys’ legs and captured the coat. If the fool citizen would have left his things in his house they would have been safe, but to put it in our way was too much for us to leave behind. We also passed through Waterboro, and Waynesboro, Pa., where the Maryland line commences. We then passed through Latisburg [Leitersburg], and halted in Hagerstown, Md., on the evening of the 7th. We marched yesterday and all night up to 11 o’clock – twenty-four miles.

Confederate Gunner George Neese during the Retreat from Gettysburg to Monterey Pass

George Neese. Three years in the Confederate Horse Artillery, New York and Washington, The Neale Publishing Company, 1911 Pg. 189-193

July 4 — It seems that the great battle is over and from all appearances our forces intend to strike out for Dixie’s fair land. The last reverberations of the deep booming thunder of the artillery that shook the hills around Gettysburg have died away, and the thick sulphury folds of the battle cloud that hung like a canopy over the battle-scarred plain and hugged the bloody crest of Cemetery Hill had dissolved in the soft summer air before General Lee’s army unwound itself from its deadly coil, and like a huge and dangerous serpent glided slowly and defiantly away toward the Potomac.

As soon as the Federal commander was thoroughly convinced that the Confederate forces were withdrawing from his front, he dispatched his cavalry on missions of destruction, to harass our rear and if possible destroy the immense trains of commissary and ordnance stores that were on the road toward the Potomac, by the way of Hagerstown valley.

Vast squadrons of the enemy’s horsemen soon swarmed and hung along our track like hungry vultures, ceaselessly watching for vulnerable points to attack and to seize booty, to the great terror and consternation of quartermasters, clerks, servants, cooks, and teamsters.

The arduous and responsible duty devolving on the Confederate cavalry during the retreat was to guard and defend the retiring trains of wagons and ambulances against all inroads and attempts that the Federal cavalry were liable to make for their capture or destruction, and more especially to strenuously oppose and foil all efforts of the enemy to make any advantageous interposition between General Lee’s army and the Potomac.

At sunrise this morning we moved to Fairfield and remained there until General Ewell’s wagons and ambulances passed, and then we followed them as a rear guard. It was nearly night when the last ambulances passed Fairfield, and at about six o’clock this evening we took up our line of march and followed them, the great caravan moving on the Hagerstown road.

At dark we struck the foot of the Blue Ridge. The road was muddy and slippery, the night dark; rainy, dreary, and dismal. The train moved very slowly, with halts and starts all night. Every time an ambulance wheel struck a rock I heard the pitiful groans of the wounded. Now and then an ominous and inauspicious boom of a Yankee cannon came rolling through the thick darkness from the top of the mountain, and apparently on the road we were on, which unmistakably indicated that the enemy was seriously interfering with the movements of our wagon train.

To-day while we were at Fairfield a drenching thunder-shower passed over, and we went in a stable for shelter during the rain. While we were in there some of our boys played marbles for amusement. Eventually one of the marbles rolled through a crack in the floor, and in order to get it we raised one of the boards in the floor, and under there we found a large store-box full of good, clean, nice bed-clothes, sheets, blankets, counterpanes as white as snow, and beautiful quilts, all of which had been recently hidden from the supposed desecrating hands of prejudged thieving Rebels. We left everything in the box and reported our find to the family that owned the stable, and told them to move their goods to the house and fear no danger of being molested. The family seemed to be astonished at our find and utterly surprised into coyish silence to learn that their goods were safe even when discovered by the dreaded Rebels.

I am almost convinced that a strong sentiment prevails throughout the whole North that the Southern army is composed of thieves and robbers mixed with barbarians and savages, and this malignant spirit is instilled into the populace and encouraged by irresponsible, mean lying newspapers that are published by men who have never been south of Mason and Dixon’s line.

Just yesterday, after the little fight with the Yankee cavalry near Fairfield, a young lady came to me and asked whether our men would allow her to take care of a wounded man that was lying in the road near her father’s bam. I told her to go and take care of as many wounded as she could find, and assured her that our men would not disturb her nor willingly interfere with her humane and laudable mission. I also told her that we did not come to Pennsylvania to make war on women.

July 5 — We were on the march nearly all last night, and most of the time we were mixed up in an ambulance train. Our march was very slow, and seemed more like a dead march than anything we have done in the marching business since the war. The surroundings were about as cheerful as a tomb.

The cannon we heard in the forepart of the night belonged to the Yanks, and they were shelling some of our wagon trains on top of the mountain. This morning just before day Colonel Thockmorton, commanding the Sixth Virginia Cavalry, came down the mountain with his regiment in a rather stirred-up condition, as if something wild and very dangerous had been seen in front. Captain Chew asked Colonel Thockmorton where he was going. He replied, ” Down the mountain. A Yankee battery fired canister into the head of my command, and I am not going up there again until daylight.” Captain Chew then remarked, ” Colonel, my battery was ordered up here to support your regiment, and if you go back, I will too.” Accordingly we went back down the mountain a short distance, fed our horses and waited for day. Immediately after daylight we renewed our march up the mountain, and when we arrived on top the Yankee destroyers had vanished from the scene of their last night’s destructive operations, and all was still and quiet on the mountain highlands. From all accounts and appearances the Yankee force that struck the wagon train on top of the mountain last night was considerable and overwhelming, as we had but few men to protect the train at that point in particular. It was not the train that we were guarding that was destroyed. The Yanks destroyed about ninety wagons, and they did their work well. Some of the wagons were chopped to pieces and others were burned. I saw the debris, such as skillets, frying pans, camp kettles, and all sorts of camp furniture scattered all along the road.

I made a little tour of inspection this morning where the Yankee raiders attacked the wagon train last night, merely to see whether I could find any evidence or trace of the resistance our few wagon train guards offered to the overwhelming force of Yankee cavalry that swept along the road. I found very few battle scars or marks on the trees and bushes, but behind a rock in a thick clump of trees lay one of our sharpshooters, still and silent in the bivouac of the dead, and no earthly reveille will ever wake him again. He was shot through the brain, and no doubt was killed by his adversary firing at the flash of the sharpshooter’s gun, which still lay by the dead body and pointed to the front.

After we were on the summit of the mountain about two hours we went down a mile on the Emmitsburg road on picket. We had about five hundred infantry of McLaw’s division with us for support. The infantrymen threw up breastworks along the front of our position. We remained on picket all day, and this evening we moved back a mile and camped at Monterey Springs on the summit of the Blue Ridge, sixteen miles, east of Hagerstown. General Longstreet’s infantry came up the Emmitsburg road this evening.




This letter was recently for sale at the Horse Soldier and if our institution could afford it, we would buy this. The Horse Soldier translated the text on their website.

Dated “Williams Port VA/ July the 10th 1863”

Page One: “My Dear wife: Thank god I am well and have the time to write you a few lines which will inform you that I am well and hoping this letter many Reach you and find you and the children well I have more newse than I can write I am at this time on the patomoc River near Williamsport we have bin into mereland and in another fight we give the Yankees a goodwhipping hit [it] was the cavalry we fought tha undertook to capture our wagon train But we whipped them owt we was then sent to this side of the river to guard some wagins on this side where we are today our main army has bin to Gettysburg Pencilvania and has had one of severest Battles of the war The first two days of the fite we Run Them Back fews mile and took one of there breastworks But our army was so cut up we had fall Back The next day General Lee ordered the Senter to Retreate To a Certan point in great confution in order to draw them out wich did and longStreet and A.P Hill closed in on ther Rear and give Thim fits We got 5 or 10 Thousand prisoner The los on both sides is powerful The Report is we killed 5 to 1 lonStreet whipped Them again at South Mountain and are fiting in that direction at this time I have heard cannons ever Sense Sevn this morning we have Bin Blest I with great luck By Being sent Back from Winchester with prisoner we mist Being in all those hard fights and we thank god for hit Some companies went in to the fite with 30 or 40 men come out with 6 unhurt the lies of wounded men I never saw before Lieutanant Conly is wonded John Sargent is wonded shot in the Brest we got four wonded in our company Noah Biggerstaff is one of the four Leiuteant conly was in the big fit he had get to be Capt of the 22 Regt I heard from Conly the two first days of the fite he was not hurte But I Ihaven’t heard from sense I am afraid he is killed or wonded I am in hopes tha will send us to Richmond with prisoner again There is Eight Thousand here to be sent By Some dy.

Page Two: I hear General Lee says if his men will stick to him 6 days he will tell them the best newse that tha [y] ever heard I do hope and pray hit may Be So we have captured Sense we left FredericksBurg some 4 Thousan prisoners Be sides a variety of other stuf such as lither comasary stores and the like I think if we meet with noit defeat the war will stop by fall at least I hope So hit is powerful to think of the men we are loosing Cob Avery was killed in the Battle of gettysBurge he was acting Brigader Gen of our Brigade Len Hoke was wonded at FredericksBurge The last letter I got from you was wrot the 20- June the one Jim dueks wife sent a peace in I think I will get one when our mail comes up again I want to hear from you Mity bad tell James dueks james is on the road to us and will be here today I heard from him last nite By Alford miers I sti pe in very good spirits and I hope to live to get home to you and if I can it is all I want I am still trying to serve god the Best I can I hop if I never see you again on Earth to meet you where we’ll hurt no more you mustlet me no how your are getting along and send me all the newse you can I love to hear any knd of newse from home let me no if little Billys hand has got well ytet or not tell all the children ther papay wants to see them mity bad I have nearly forgot how tha little thngs looks I can See Bud plainer than any of them its fills my heart so full when I begin to think of the poor little things left dependent on the world and me a wayhere anse the lord noes whether I will get Back or not and if I don’t my god what become of them of them hit nearly Breaks my heart my dearwife you must for me ask god to let me live to Return to my home I wll have to close may the lord bless you and save you in heaven is the prayer of your humble husband James A. Mc Galliard/ To M. E. Mc Galliard.

14th Virginia Cavalry Raiding Horses at Monterey Pass

From the Richmond Dispatch, April 5, 1896, Diary of Lieutenant Hermann Schuricht, of the Fourteenth Virginia Cavalry.

June 18th.—My company on picket, and I am officer of the day. Nothing of the enemy.

June 19th.—The company was ordered to Waynesborough, Pa., to capture horses and cattle in the neighborhood for our army. A powerful thunder-storm surprised us at night, and we took refuge on a large farm. The proprietor was obliged to furnish us with rations for ourselves and our horses.

June 20th.—We succeeded in capturing a number of horses and some cattle. At noon we came to the farm of an old Pennsylvania German. He was scared to death at catching sight of us, and shouted ‘O mein Gott, die rebels!’ I soon reassured him, telling him that no harm should result to him if he furnished us with a dinner and rations for our horses, and we were well cared for. A Federal cavalry regiment passed in sight of the place, fortunately not discovering our presence, and I concluded to march with my command to Lestersburg, Md., where the citizens furnished us with supper. We camped for the night in an open field, midway between Lestersburg and Hagerstown.

June 21st and 22d.—The 14th Virginia Cavalry Regiment readvanced towards Chambersburg, Pa., but Co. D, in charge of Captain Moorman and Major Bryan, of Rhodes’ Division, was detailed to proceed to the South Mountain to capture horses, of which about 2,000 had been taken there by farmers and industrial establishments to hiding places. We again passed through Lestersburg and then entered on the mountain region. It proved to be a very dangerous section for cavalry movements. At 1 o’clock at night we came to Use’s Iron-Works. Mr. Use, upon demand, furnished provisions, but as we discovered on the following days, secretly informed the farmers and troops of our approach.

6th Virginia Cavalry at Monterey Pass

6th VA

Luther Hopkins

From Bull Run to Appomattox; A Boy’s View, Luther Hopkins of Genl. J. E. B. Stuart’s Cavalry, 6th Virginia Regiment, C. S. A. Baltimore, MD, 1908. Pg. 104-107.


The battle is over and Gettysburg has passed into history.

The moon and the stars come out, and the surgeons with their attendants appear with their knives and saws, and when morning came there were stacks of legs and arms standing in the fields like shocks of corn.

The two armies confronted each other all next day, but not a shot was fired. Up to noon that day, I think I can safely say there was not a man in either army, from the commanders-in-chief to the humblest private in the ranks, that knew how the battle had gone save one, and that one was Gen. Robert E. Lee.

About 4 o’clock in the afternoon, while the cavalrymen were grazing their horses in the rear of the infantry, a low, rumbling sound was heard resembling distant thunder, except that it was continuous. A private (one of my company) standing near me stood up and pointing toward the battlefield said, “Look at that, will you?” A number of us rose to our feet and saw a long line of wagons with their white covers moving toward us along the road leading to Chambersburg.

Then he used this strange expression: “That looks like a mice.” A slang phrase often used at that time. He meant nothing more nor less than this: “We are beaten and our army is retreating.”

The wagons going back over the same road that had brought us to Gettysburg told the story, and soon the whole army knew the fact. This is the first time Lee’s army had ever met defeat.

It is said that the loss of the two armies was about 50,000. This probably included the prisoners; but there were not many prisoners taken on either side. The major portion of the losses was in killed and wounded.

The badly wounded were left on the field to be cared for by the enemy. Those who could walk, and those who were able to ride and could find places in the wagons followed the retreating army.

The wagon train was miles and miles long. It did not follow the road to Chambersburg very far, but turned off and took a shorter cut through a mountainous district toward the point where the army had crossed the river into Maryland. This wagon train was guarded by a large body of cavalry, including my command.

Just as the sun was going down, dark ominous clouds came trooping up from the west with thunder and lightning, and it was not long before the whole heavens were covered and rain was falling in torrents.

I am not familiar with the topography of the country through which we retreated, but all night long we seemed to be in a narrow road, with steep hills or mountains on either side. We had with us a good many cattle with which to feed the army. These got loose in the mountains and hills covered with timber, and between their constant bellowing and the flashes of lightning and crashing thunder the night was hideous in the extreme. Wagons were breaking down, others getting stalled, and, to make matters worse, about midnight we were attacked by the Union cavalry.

This mountainous road came out on a wide turnpike, and just at this point Kilpatrick (commanding the Union cavalry) had cut our wagon train in two and planted a battery of artillery with the guns pointing toward the point from which we were advancing.

The cavalry which was stretched along the wagon train was ordered to the front. It was with great difficulty that we could get past the wagons in the darkness, and hence our progress was slow, but we finally worked our way up to the front and were dismounted and formed in line as best we could on either side of the road among the rocks and trees and then moved forward in an effort to drive the battery away from its position so we could resume our march. The only light we had to guide us was from the lightning in the heavens and the vivid flashes that came from the enemy’s cannon. Their firing did not do much execution, as they failed to get a proper range. Besides, we were so close to them they were firing over our heads, but the booming of the guns that hour of night, with the roar of the thunder, was terrifying indeed, and beyond description. We would wait for a lightning flash and advance a few steps and halt, and then for a light from the batteries and again advance.

In the meantime day was breaking, and the light from the sun was coming in, and at this point our enemy disappeared and the march was resumed. We were afraid that the two hundred wagons that had already passed out on the open turnpike had been captured, but such was not the case.

With these wagons was our brigadier commander, Gen. Wm. E. Jones, and two regiments of cavalry. We got so mixed up with the enemy’s cavalry that night that it was almost impossible to distinguish friend from foe. Our general was a unique character, and many are the jokes that are told on him. While this fighting was going on those about him would address him as general. He rebuked them for this and said, “Call me Bill.” The explanation was that the enemy was so close to them (in fact, mingled with them) that he did not want them to know that there was a general in the crowd.

Two days afterwards we got hold of one of the county papers, which, in giving the account of this attack, stated that the rebel, Gen. Wm. E. Jones, was captured. Perhaps but for the shrewdness of Gen. Wm. E. Jones in having his men call him “Bill” instead of “General,” it might have been true. The firing among the horses attached to the wagons that had gone out on the open pike frightened them to such an extent that they were stampeded, and we saw the next morning as we rode along that some of the wagons had tumbled over the precipice on the right, carrying with them the horses; also the wounded soldiers that were riding in the wagons.

The retreat was continued all the next day, the enemy’s cavalry attacking us whenever they could, but without effect.

Experiences of Confederate Soldier Edward Moore at Monterey Pass

edward mooreStory of a Cannoneer Under Stonewall Jackson, By Edward Moore of the Rockbridge Artillery, J. P. Bell Company, Inc., Lynchburg, VA, 1910. Pg. 201-205

About nine o’clock that evening, and before we had moved from our position, I received a message, through Captain Graham, from some of the wounded of our company, to go to them at their field-hospital. Following the messenger, I found them in charge of our surgeon, Dr. Herndon, occupying a neat brick cottage a mile in the rear, from which the owners had fled, leaving a well-stocked larder, and from it we refreshed ourselves most gratefully. Toward midnight orders came to move. The ambulances were driven to the door and, after the wounded, some eight or ten in number, had been assisted into them, I added from the stores in the house a bucket of lard, a crock of butter, a jar of apple-butter, a ham, a middling of bacon, and a side of sole-leather. All for the wounded!

Feeling assured that we would not tarry much longer in Pennsylvania, and expecting to reach the battery before my services would be needed, I set out with the ambulances. We moved on until daylight and joined the wounded of the other batteries of our battalion, and soon after left, at a house by the wayside, a member of the Richmond Howitzers who was dying. Our course was along a by-road in the direction of Hagerstown. In the afternoon, after joining the wagon-train, I found “Joe,” the colored cook of my mess, in possession of a supernumerary battery-horse, which I appropriated and mounted. Our column now consisted of ambulances loaded with wounded men, wounded men on foot, cows, bulls, quartermasters, portable forges, surgeons, cooks, and camp-followers in general, all plodding gloomily along through the falling rain.

We arrived at the base of the mountain about five p. M. and began ascending by a narrow road, leading obliquely to the left. Before proceeding farther some description of the horse I was riding is appropriate, as he proved an important factor in my experiences before the night was over. He was the tallest horse I ever saw outside of a show, with a very short back and exceedingly long legs, which he handled peculiarly, going several gaits at one time. Many a cannoneer had sought rest on his back on the march, but none had ventured on so high a perch when going into battle. When halfway up the mountain we heard to our left oblique the distant mutter of a cannon, then in a few moments the sound was repeated, but we thought it was safely out of our course and felt correspondingly comfortable. At intervals the report of that gun was heard again and again. About dusk we reached the top of the mountain, after many, many halts, and the sound of that cannon became more emphatic.

After descending a few hundred yards there came from a bridle-path on our left, just as I passed it, three cavalry horses with empty saddles. This was rather ominous. The halts in the mixed column were now frequent, darkness having set in, and we had but little to say. That cannon had moved more to our front, and our road bore still more to where it was thundering. We were now almost at the foot of the mountain, and to the left, nearer our front, were scattering musket-shots. Our halts were still short and frequent, and in the deep shadow of the mountain it was pitch-dark. All of this time I had not a particle of confidence in my horse. I could not tell what was before me in the dense darkness, whether friend or foe, but suddenly, after pausing an instant, he dashed forward. For fifty or seventyfive yards every other sound was drowned by a roaring waterfall on my right; then, emerging from its noise, I was carried at a fearful rate close by dismounted men who were firing from behind trees along the roadside, the flashes of their guns, “whose speedy gleams the darkness swallowed,” revealing me on my tall horse with his head up. He must see safety ahead, and I let him fly.

A hundred yards farther on our road joined the main pike at an acute angle, and entering it he swept on. Then, just behind me, a Federal cannon was discharged. The charge of canister tore through the brush on either side, and over and ,under me, and at the same instant my steed’s hind leg gave way, and my heart sank with it. If struck at all, he immediately rallied and outran himself as well as his competitors. After getting out of the range of the firing and the shadow of the mountain, I saw indistinctly our cavalrymen along the side of the road, and we bantered each other as I passed.

Farther on, at a toll-gate, I heard the voice of Tom Williamson. His ambulance had broken down and he was being assisted toward the house. I drew rein, but thought, “How can I help him? This horse must be well-nigh done for,” and rode on. Since reaching the foot of the mountain the way had been open and everything on it moving for life. But again the road was full, and approaching clatter, with the sharp reports of pistols, brought on another rush, and away we went—wagons, wounded men, negroes, forges, ambulances, cavalry—everything.

This in time subsided and, feeling ashamed, I turned back to look after my wounded, my horse as reluctant as myself, and expecting every moment the sound of the coming foe. A sudden snort and the timid step of my nervous steed warned me of breakers ahead. Peering through the darkness I saw coming toward me, noisless and swift as the wind, an object white as the driven snow. “What,”

I asked myself, “are ghosts abroad, and in such a place? Is Gettysburg giving up her dead so soon?” But, as the thing met me, a voice cried out, “It that you, Ned? Is that you? Take me on your horse. Let me get in the saddle and you behind.” For a moment I was dumb, and wished it wasn’t I. The voice was the voice of Lieutenant Brown, the same whom I had seen undermined by the shell at Gettysburg, and who had not put a foot to the ground until now. Barefooted, bareheaded; nothing on but drawers and shirt—white as a shroud! The prospect that now confronted me instantly flashed through my mind. First, “Can this horse carry two?” Then I pictured myself with such a looking object in my embrace, and with nothing with which to conceal him. There were settlements ahead, daylight was approaching, and what a figure we would cut! It was too much for me, and I said, “No, get on behind,” feeling that the specter might retard the pursuing foe. But my tall horse solved the difficulty. Withdrawing my foot from the stirrup, Brown would put his in and try to climb up, when suddenly the horse would “swap ends,” and down he’d go. Again he would try and almost make it, and the horse not wheeling quickly enough I would give him the hint with my “off” heel. My relief can be imagined when an ambulance arrived and took Brown in. I accompanied him for a short distance, then quickened my pace and overtook the train. Presently another clatter behind and the popping of pistols. Riding at my side was a horseman, and by the flash of his pistol I saw it pointing to the ground at our horses’ feet.

Reaching the foot of a hill, my horse stumbled and fell as if to rise no more. I expected to be instantly trampled out of sight. I heard a groan, but not where the horse’s head should have been. Resting my feet on the ground, thus relieving him of my weight, he got his head from under him and floundered forward, then to his feet and away. Farther on, a swift horse without a rider was dashing by me. I seized what I supposed to be his bridlerein, but it proved to be the strap on the saddle-bow, and the pull I gave came near unhorsing me.

The pursuit continued no farther. Not having slept for two days and nights, I could not keep awake, and my game old horse, now wearied out, would stagger heedlessly against the wheels of moving wagons. Just at dawn of day, in company with a few horsemen of our battalion, I rode through the quiet streets of Hagerstown, thence seven miles to Williamsport.