Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 24.djvu/290
282 Southern JJisturi<-<il Xo< /////
as they went over their heads into the enemy's camp, which were fired with that rapidity which would indicate to a startled foe the presence of as many batteries as there were pieces. As soon as the fourteenth shell had passed on its mission of inquiry, those dis- mounted men rose and charged the enemy's camp with all the noise that could emanate from forty mouths with the dreaded rebel yell; and from forty well-handled repeating carbines; all of this conducted by old "vets" who so well knew that what we lacked in numbers must be compensated for in noise and rattle.
The night attack of the three hundred of Israel that put to flight the hosts of the Midianites was not more successful than this one. The enemy, routed, were driven from their camp in the greatest consternation. Many of them left their horses and equipments behind them, some mounting bareback, and all left with the greatest celerity. The charge was made so swiftly that we got to the house which was occupied by the officers in command as headquarters just as they were getting out of it; and Corporal Goodman, of Com- pany F, had a personal encounter with a Yankee colonel, around the same corner of the house. Each was using the corner as a shield against the attack of the other. The colonel thrusting his pistol around the corner fired and carried off one of Goodman's fingers, and Goodman with his carbine fired and brought down the colonel, severely wounded in the breast.
When we had charged across the enemy's camp the dismounted men were reinforced by the remainder of the ist North Carolina as a precaution against the enemy's return to the attack when they had time to form. But so thoroughly convinced were they of a large force on our part, that this apprehended attack was not made by them. This we gathered from the country people, who told us next day as we followed their line of retreat to the Old Church in New Kent county, that the enemy said they had been attacked the night before by 3,000. cavalry. The result of this affair, as to carnage and capture, was a loss to the enemy of twenty killed and wounded, loo horses, 300 stand of arms, about the same number of saddles, and a great many blankets. The loss on our side during the charge was Captain Goodman, just mentioned, and Private E. Lipe, Com- pany E, ist North Carolina Cavalry, the latter shot through the lungs and disabled for the remainder of the war. All this had trans- pired by 3 o'clock Wednesday morning, when our and the enemy's wounded were started off for Richmond by a circuitous route lest they would fall in with the enemy if going by the most direct road.