Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 13.djvu/432

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


An Incident of Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign. 431

Chester pike, about five miles north of Front Royal, a spirited combat etween Confederates and Federals, which was witnessed by Miss Nannie A. McKay, and of which that young lady (now Mrs. John K. Rust), until recently possessed an interesting memorial in the shape of a captured Federal flag. The series of events that led to its capture, and its subsequent history, are of such interest as to merit record.

Late in the evening of the 2 3 d, after the brush at Front Royal, a squad of some twenty of the retreating Federal First Maryland regi- ment having rallied in McKay's yard, were captured by two men of the Rappahannock company of the Sixth Virginia Cavalry, named Haddox and Field, who, undaunted by the disparity of numbers, boldly charged the enemy and demanded their surrender. The guns of their prisoners had hardly been stacked, when a force of about one hundred Federals, with the regimental flag, came up from the left, while at the same time a Federal officer with more men came charging down the pike from the direction of Winchester, calling out : " Rally round the flag, boys!" Haddox seized one of the stacked guns and knocked the Federal officer from his horse, but was shot and killed a moment later by some of his prisoners, who, seeing their opportunity, seized their muskets and opened fire. Field was also killed. Both he and Haddox, it is stated, were killed while endeavoring to make the enemy understand that they yielded to overwhelming numbers. The remainder of the Rappahannock com- pany, led by the gallant Grimsley, having worsted four or five times their numbers at Judge Robert McKay's, a half mile distant, now appeared on the scene, accompanied by Captain Baxter's Rocking - ham company of the same regiment of cavalry, and a portion of the Confederate First Maryland Infantry. They found the Federals drawn up in a strong line extending across the McKay orchard. Grimsley and Baxter charged them twice, and for a while the fight- ing was very bitter. The Rappahannock company alone in these two charges lost nineteen in killed and wounded, including Captain Baxter killed. The Maryland Federals were, however, at length driven from the orchard in great confusion. They were followed in hot pursuit by the Maryland Confederates, who captured their flag. Miss McKay had witnessed the bloody struggle from her father's front porch. She saw the Federal flag carried off by the retreating enemy, and was agreeably surprised when, soon after- wards, it was brought back and given to her by a soldier of the Maryland Confederate regiment, with the request that she would keep