<;,-,, /,/,. 17:;
Well, things went on a^ usual. Every morning Sheridan would send a regiment out to feel Early, to drive in his pickets, so as to make sure where he was and to know when- to find him. and every morning I'd ride over to the Berryville road, re-establish my lines. get my breakfast off Johnston, and hack to sleep.
By daylight, the igth of September, a scared cavalryman of my own command nearly rode over me, as I lay asleep on the grass, and reported that the Yankees were advancing \\ itli a heavy force of in- fantry, artillery and cavalry up the Berryville road. Early was up towards Stephenson's Depot, and Johnston and I were responsible for keeping Sheridan out of Winchester, and protecting the Confed- erate line of retreat, and of communication up the Valley. In two minutes my command was mounted. We always saddled up and fed an hour before dawn, and moving at a trot across the open fields to the Berryville road and to Johnston's assistance. There was not a fence nor a house, nor a bush, nor a tree, to obscure the view. Way off, more than two miles, we could see the crest of the hill, covered with a cloud of Yankee cavalry, and in front of them (500 yards in front), was a thin gray line moving off in retreat solidly, and with perfect coolness and self-possession. As soon as I got to realize what was going on I quickened our gait, and when within a mile broke into a gallop. The scene was as plain as day. A regiment of cavalry would deploy into line and their bugles would sound the charge and they would swoop down on the thin gray line of North Carolinians. The instant the Yankee bugle sounded, North Carolina would halt, face to the rear rank, wait until the horse got within one hundred yards, and then fire as deliberately and coolly as if firing volleys on parade drill. The cavalry would break and scamper back and North Carolina would "about face" and continue her march in retreat as solemnly, stubbornly, and with as much discipline and dignity as if marching in review. Hut we got there just in time. Cavalry aids :he Tarheels. Certainly, half dozen charges had been made at the retreating thin gray line, and each and every time the charging squadrons had been driven back, when the enemy sent his line with a rush at the brigade of Tarheels, and one squadron over- lapped the infantry line, and was just passing it when we got up. In another minute they would have been behind the line, sabering the men from the rear, while they were held by the fight in front. But