Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 2.djvu/340

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122
CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

then annoyed his rear guard, and when the flank movement was being made against Jones, cut his way through a Federal regiment and apprised the Confederate commander of his danger. While the captain was absent on this duty, a detachment under Lieutenants McNeill and Dolan remained near Moorefield, severely punished a raiding party sent against them in June, and about the 18th attacked their mortal enemies, the Swamp Dragons, who were escorting a train of provisions furnished them by the Federals. The fight that resulted was a hot one, and Lieutenant Dolan was mortally wounded. This officer was a native of Ireland and a citizen of Wheeling, and a man of remarkable bravery. The "old captain" now rejoined his men, and a few weeks later they rode into a camp of 300 Federals at Springfield, and captured 80 prisoners and 145 horses. He had with him 70 men. He learned from his prisoners that they were a part of a picked body sent out by General Kelley against McNeill, with orders to kill, capture or drive him from the valley. The horses taken enabled him to remount not only his own men but a company of Missourians under Captain Woodson, who had been permitted to join him. The 4th of July, 1864, he celebrated by driving the Federal garrison from Patterson Creek station and burning the rail-road bridge. Immediately after this the Rangers joined General Early's expedition through Maryland to Washington, and were under the orders of the general as scouts. In the cavalry fight at Frederick they resisted the onset of the enemy until McCausland came up, and at Urbana they again checked the pursuit. Subsequently they were active in scouting and collecting supplies in their region, until after the battle of Winchester between Early and Sheridan, when the band went into the valley to assist the defeated Confederates. In this service Captain McNeill came to his death. One foggy morning in October, 1864, while leading a charge on a cavalry camp on Meems bottom, at a bridge over the Shenandoah,