Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 38.djvu/20
8 Southern Historical Society Papers.
The chase was nearly a four-mile one, and very interesting — too much so to me — for I thought of many things during it, and particularly of that infernal map. I knew that its capture would be duly lauded in the United States papers, and dreaded the consequences on me at our headquarters.
I had thoughts of jumping from my horse, hiding the map in the leaves and surrendering myself (thus sacrificing myself for the map), but the instinct of self-preservation kept me going.
The enemy was uncertain of their own position and came on with caution when the fortunate turns of the road hid us, but when they turned and saw us still going they came on with re- doubled energy and with shouts and shots. The better mounted cavalrymen soon left me behind, and I had serious fears that my old horse would not last, but fortunately he did, and I ran into the protection of our lines at Burgess' Mill, badly scared, but safe and sound and the old map also.
The Confederate troops that we encountered were General YV. P. Roberts' Cavalry Brigade of General W. H. F. Lee's Di- vision. General Roberts and his A. A. G., Captain Theodore S. Garnett, of Norfolk, were in advance, and questioned me as to what we had seen. A sharp engagement soon followed, and later the enemy, in heavy force, drove our lines back. Captain Garnett states that he in person reported to General Lee this movement of Warren's Corps moving across to Sheridan's relief at Dinwiddie Courthouse.
My horse collapsed as soon as we got in, and I had to walk and lead him back to Petersburg, some ten miles.
I reported to Colonel Baldwin and he laughed at my adventure and, in reply to my question whether I should try again, told me that it was now too late. "The movement has commenced," he said, and this was the movement of General Grant around Lee's right, which led to Five Forks, the retreat from Peters- burg and Appomattox.
The next few days were full of anxiety and apprehension, and early on the 2nd of April we were apprized of the results of the battles of Five Forks and on our right line, and notified to be ready to move. The day was spent in active work, moving our surplus ammunition to Dunlop's and distributing some for the use of the troops on the retreat.