Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 27.djvu/182

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1 74 Koulhern Historical Society Papers.

we struck a head-long strain and went through the Yankees by the flank of North Carolina and carried their adversaries back to the crest of the hill, back through the guns of their battery, clear back to their infantry lines. In a moment they rallied and were charging us in front and off both flanks, and back we went in a hurry, but the thin gray line of old North Carolina was safe. They had gotten back to the rest of the infantry, and formed lines at right angles to the 'pike, west of Winchester.

I rode up to Bob Johnston, very " piert," as we say in North Caro- lina, and said I: " Pretty close call that, Mr. Johnston. What do you think now of the Yankee cavalry's fighting qualities?" And the rest of the day we enjoyed ourselves. We could see everything that was going on for miles around. The country was entirely open. The day was beautiful, clear and bright September the igth. They would form for a forward movement three lines, one after another march sedately along until they got within touch of our lines, then raise a hurrah, and rush in a charge; and in two minutes the field would be covered with running, flying Yankees. There were 40,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry and 3,000 mounted gunmen. The thing began at daylight and kept up till dark, when, flanked and worn out, Early retreated to escape being surrounded.

This is the story of the Thin Gray Line of North Carolina and the cavalry charge a feat of arms before which that of Sir Colin Camp- bell's Highlander's fades into insignificance.

BRADLEY T. JOHNSON, of Maryland, Brigadier-General Confederate States Army.


To the Editor of the Dispatch :

Some time ago there was published in the Winston-Salem Sentinel, and copied in the Dispatch, a very interesting article called "The Tarheels' Thin Gray Line," by General Bradley T. Johnson, de- scribing an incident of the Valley campaign of 1864. The article, as published in the Sentinel and Dispatch, contained a serious typo- graphical error. The sentence, "There were 45,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry and 3,000 mounted gunmen," should read, "There were 45,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry in an open field, against 8,000 infantry and 3,000 mounted gunmen."

" The Tarheels' Thin Gray Line " was first published in the Balti- more News, some five or six years ago.