Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 32.djvu/22

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10 Southern Historical Society Papers.

show the spirit of the man. Some philospher has said : " It is the spirit in which we act that is the highest matter after all." A high sense of ciuiy and a distinterested patriotic spirit stirred the heart and nerved the arm of Munford through the four long years of our unequal conflict. This same spirit has made him a useful and ex- emplary citizen through the years since the war. After all, " Peace has her victories no less renowned than war."

Many an old soldier who never quaked in the fore front of battle, who bravely faced the dangers nature shrinks from, was unable after the struggle to face life's stern duties, where moral courage and patient endurance is no less demanded than under the mortal perils of the battle field.

THE VALLEY CAMPAIGN.

We find very little in the reports touching this campaign. I know that Colonel Munford commanded Wickham's brigade all through the same, while Wickham commanded the division. In the Records of the Rebellion, page 513, volume 46, part ist, Major J. E. D. Hotckiss says: "Rosser came and gave details of the Beverley affair at night and got from Munford actions of his bri- gade during the campaign." These reports may have gone to General Lee and been lost, with many others, between Petersburg and Appomattox. It is to be regretted that so few reports of the operations of the cavalry are to be met with in the records.

Men never fought against greater odds than did our cavalry at Toms' Brook. Rosser had only 1,500 men. Sheridan had per- haps 8,000, some say 10,000. From the lookout on Massanutton mountain he could see that Rosser was detached from our infantry, so he ordered his men to turn and crush him. The horrors of that day are indescribable. Our troops were pressed back by the mere weight of numbers. After this there were many spirited en- gagements, with some success on our part.

The unequal conflict was drawing to a close.

Soldiers felt the coming events that cast their shadows before ; none more sensibly than the cavalrymen who daily contended against overwhelming numbers. The raid to Beverley and other points stirred their drooping spirits for the time. The bril- liant affair of Munford at Mt. Jackson renewed their confidence, but any general engagement where the men could see their lines over- lapped on both flanks only brought defeat to the Confederates.