Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 27.djvu/292

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284 Southern Historical Society Papers.

nothing about hanging, although two pages are devoted to an account of the killing of Meigs and Custer's burning dwelling-houses in Rockingham county in revenge. Meigs was not killed by my men; we never went that far up the Valley.

Sheridan's dispatches in the war records about the men he hung were not even a revelation to me, for they revealed nothing. They were simply specters of imagination, like the dagger in the air that Macbeth saw. If Sheridan had communicated Grant's dispatch of August i6th to any one to be executed, it would have been to Blazer, who commanded a picked corps that was specially detailed to look after us. In his report, Blazer speaks of capturing some of my men; he never mentions hanging any. Those he captured were certainly not hung, for I saw them when they came home after the close of the war. The following dispatches record the rise and fall of Blazer:

" CHARLESTOWN, August 20, 1864. "Sheridan to Augur, Washington:

" I have 100 men who will take the contract to clean out Mosby's gang. I want 100 Spencer rifles for them. Send them to me if they can be found in Washington.

" P. H. SHERIDAN, ' ' Major- General Commanding. ' ' (Indorsement):

" Approved: By order of the Secretary of War.

"C. A. DANA,

"Asst. Secretary."

"HARPER'S FERRY, November 19, 1864.

" Stevenson to Sheridan.

" Two of Captain Blazer's men came in this morning Privates Harris and Johnson. They report that Mosby with 300 men attacked Blazer near Kabletown yesterday about n o'clock. They say that the entire command, with the exception of themselves, was captured or killed. I have ordered Major Congdon with 300 Twelfth Penn- sylvania cavalry to Kabletown to bury dead and take care of wounded, if any, and report all facts he can learn. I shall immediately furnish report as soon as received."

Exit Blazer.

Richards commanded in the Blazer fight. I was not there. As an affair of arms it surpassed anything that had been done in the