Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 30.djvu/153

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Black Horse Troop. 145

like a company of holiday soldiers, so gay were they in demeanor, and so well groomed were their horses.

At the second battle of Manassas they were engaged in carrying General Jackson's orders to and fro between the various commanders of the troops in action, thus bearing their part in that famous strug- gle, when a number of the corps were seriously wounded and several killed. Two privates of the Black Horse offered their beautiful chargers to Generals Lee and Jackson when they marched into Maryland. In the first Maryland campaign, before Jackson's corps entered Boonsboro', he sent a squad of the Black Horse, commanded by Lieutenant A. D. Payne, through the town to picket the ap- proaches from the opposite direction. Young Payne had-nineteen men, and the charge was against twenty times that number, and General Jackson was saved from capture. It was a desperate at- tack, but the enemy was deceived and routed. Payne remarked to his men before the charge : ' ' We must relieve our General at all hazards. I rely upon your courage to save him."

In the winter of 1862-' 63 the Black Horse occupied their native heath and scouted every foot of the counties of Fauquier and Staf- ford, reporting all the movements of the enemy to Lee and Jackson, who complimented them for their effective service.

They took part in the various engagements of Stuart with Pleas- anton's Cavalry, and in the fight at Waynesboro' against Sheridan's cohorts the Black Horse was the leading squadron. It was in this battle that one of Sheridan's captains displayed great valor, wound- ing four of the Black Horse with his sabre; and leading a charge, his men following but a short distance, the gallant Yankee captain galloped ahead without looking back, and was unaccompanied into the very head of the Confederate column. Not wishing to cut down so dashing a fellow, who had put himself in their power, no one fired on him. He was knocked from his saddle, however, and might have been dispatched but for Captain Henry Lee, who, observing a Masonic sign, rushed to his assistance and protected him.

Hugh Hamilton, an old Black Horse man, and the present Treas- urer of Fauquier county, in relating reminiscences of those times to the writer, said, with a smile beaming over his bland but determined features: " When we boys were not in the thick of the fight, or en- gaged in carrying news and scouting, we were by no means supine. When there were no Yankees to watch or chase we would have fun over an impromptu fox hunt, or take possession of some private race

track and stake our best riders and swiftest horses against each other 10