Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 24.djvu/142

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134 Southern Historiml ,sv,r/V///

to the left of the turnpike, while Company B was ordered to charge in the turnpike.

A TERRIFIC CHARGE.

These orders were rapidly given and promptly and quickly exe- cuted. After passing into the field on the right, our squadron ad- vanced in a gallop, crossing one or two fences, until we reached a post-and-rail and capped fence, enclosing an orchard, where the enemy, quietly watching our advance, was prepared to receive our onslaught. They were posted at Cedarville, about five miles from Front Royal. As soon as the head of the column reached the fence, I leaped from my horse and attempted to pull down one of the fence- posts, but, finding myself unequal to the task, I sprang into my saddle again. However, by some means an opening was quickly made in the fence, and through it we rushed. As we entered the orchard, Captain Baxter gave the command, " Left into line," which was done in a gallop. Quickly thereafter, being in front of his men, with his pistol over his head, he gave the order to charge, then, pressing our rowels into our horses flanks, with a wild rush we charged upon the enemy like a tempest, and they might as well have tried to stop a tornado. I do not believe they could have checked our onset by any volley they could have given us, without killing our horses, for if the majority of the riders had been shot down the horses would have been carried by their tremendous mo- mentum into the ranks of the enemy. Captain George A. Baxter, Company K, was killed by a musket shot fired at close range. No more generous and heroic man than he fell during the war, and he was idolized by his men. The horse of Lieutenant George F. Means, Company K, being killed with bayonets, fell upon his rider, who was about to be dispatched with clubbed muskets of some of the enemy when Sergeant Fout, Company K, rushed to his rescue. Company A lost one killed and one wounded. But Company B, which charged in the turnpike, was the principal sufferer in this conflict. The enemy, at close range, poured a deadly volley into the ranks of this company, killing nine and wounding fourteen out of thirty-six men, and killing and wounding twenty-one horses, but failed to stop them, for the remainder of this heroic band, led by the gallant Grimsley, dashed into the midst of the enemy and scattered them like chaff before the wind. One man in Company B was pierced with fourteen bullets. I was informed of many interesting and thrilling incidents that occurred during the conflict, but I did