Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/303

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A Confederate who Led a Federal Charge. 29*7

My men started to fire, but the Mexicans surrendered. As I hurried to where the flag floated I had three captured swords in my hand. I was a'uout to cut the flag-rope, when some one called, ' Let the Major pull down the flag.' By an impulse I stepped aside, the Ma- jor's sword flashed, and I hurried on with my men to another part of the fight. I suppose I missed a big chance, as they say, but I don't think it pays to worry about it."


Major J. W. McClung, of San Francisco, tells a Globe- Democrat correspondent : I think I am the only survivor of the Confederacy who led a Federal charge. This singular thing I did, and here's how it was : It was at the battle of Selma. I was carrying orders and had to pass straight through the town. It was terribly hot and I had my coat off. We had captured a wagon train a few days before, and out of the spoils I had appropriated a brand new Federal cavalry hat, so I did not look unlike a Yankee officer.

In the main street of Selma I met an aid named Brown a gallant fellow. He shouted to me that our line had been broken and that Armstrong was falling back, and told me to get out or I'd be taken. Just then Armstrong and his staff galloped past, and the general recognizing us, called out: "You must hurry out of this, gentle- men. They are close on our heels."

Brown had a dispatch for Colonel Johnson, and he said he would wait and deliver it if he died for it. While we were talking, pistols in hand, a column of Federal cavalry swung into the street where we stood, coming full tilt. We were so taken by surprise that we could not get away. Brown had on a new uniform that had just run the blockade, and he was a good target. Half a dozen troopers dashed out from the line to catch him.

We were riding for our lives, Brown a little in the lead, so that it looked as though I was chasing him. The pursuers passed me and overhauled Brown, and I caught a glimpse of him as I passed, down on his back working his revolver, with a group of the enemy about him, all shooting down at him and cutting at him with their sabers.