458 Southern Historical Society Papers.
which we were expected was a complete surprise, which advantage I pressed, and was heartily seconded by the whole command. Prison- ers captured told me they supposed it was Hampton's command, from Gen. Lee's army, as we had come from the direction of Char- lottesville, and they had heard that morning that General Early had been reinforced from Richmond). Captain Johnson's battery was handled with great skill. He opened on the working party attempt- ing to pull the bridge to pieces with splendid effect. They scattered and started back at a run, and as long as there was a mark to fire at, east of Waynesboro, his guns blazed at it. Arriving at the river, the First, Second and Third were mounted, but the Fourth had pushed on, and had some sharp skirmishing in the town before the other regiments came up. Upon their arrival we soon cleared the town, and Johnson's battery took position on the west end and was having a sharp duel with the enemy's battery. This was after sun-down, when Gen. Early with his infantry appeared on their flank, and with a few shots from the artillery attached to Gen. Pegram's infantry brig- ade, they started to retire, and after night moved rapidly back through Staunton to join their own army.
In this spirited little fight of my brigade Gen. Early had accom- plished all he had expected and saved the bridge from serious dam- age. The conduct of the whole command — officers and soldiers and the battery — was all that could have been desired. I was especially indebted to Capt. Henry C. Lee, Adjutant and Inspector General of the brigade, and Rev. Randolph McKim, chaplain of the Second Virginia Cavalry, now a distinguished divine of the Episcopal Church, diocese of New York City, who acted as my aid-de-camp with great spirit
In this engagement Capt. Geo. N. Bliss, commanding a squadron of Rhode Island cavalry, a Federal officer, who fell into my hands, behaved with such conspicuous gallantry, strikingly in contrast with the conduct of his command, I lake pleasure in making a note of it. Seeing how small a number we had, he urged his Colonel to charge the Fourth Virginia cavalry as it entered the main street of Waynes- boro. (So he told me in conversation when a prisoner in our hands after the fight.) The Colonel ordered him to charge. He moved forward, flashed his sabre, and dashed ahead, he being well mounted. His men started all right, but began to falter and stopped. He, without turning his head to look after them, dashed on at the head and into the Fourth Virginia cavalry, single handed, and