Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/236
Southern Historical Society Papers.
From the Times-Dispatch, October 13, 1908.
DESPERATE PICKET FIGHT AGAINST SUPERIOR FORCE.
Fisher's Hill Scene of Battle Royal in Civil War When Two Hundred Old Confederates Oppose, With Honor, Federal Force of Over 2,000.
Late in March, 1863, General William E. Jones, going on a raid into West Virginia, left in the Shenandoah Valley, Company C, Seventh Virginia Cavalry. Captain John E. Myers, and Company E, Eleventh Virginia Cavalry, Captain Hess, both under the command of Major S. B. Meyers, with order to establish and keep up a rigid picket line across the Valley at any point he might think best.
Not far south of Strasburg is an irregular chain of hills reaching nearly across the Valley, and along this chain Major Meyers thought proper to establish his picket line, with the reserve near Fisher's Hill, on the Valley Turnpike. The Valley Turnpike is cut in the steep western side of Fisher's Hill from summit to base, having a stone wall on its left or lower side and an abroupt bank on its upper side, both increasing in heighth as the road goes down the hill, until it reaches the heighth of thirty feet, where the stone bridge and pike leave the hill at a right angle, crosses over the rough, rocky ravine, with its swift stream, along the base of the stone wall.
On the east side, steep and partly wooded, is a narrow strip of cleared land, a country road, and the North Branch of the Shenandoah River.
About April 20th, Lieutenant Philpot reported to us, his company having gone with the regiment. Lieutenant Dorsey, Company B, White's Battalion, of twenty-one men, having been off on detached service, reported to us.On April 22d the picket on the pike reported the enemy advancing in force. The major called in the men from the nearest posts and with the reserve moved from camp out on to