Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 27.djvu/41

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ade, Third division. Sixth army corps became separated from the main body and pushed forward to the railroad and a wagon road, running parallel with each other. Comrade Daniel Wolford and my- self, of company F, 138 Pennsylvania infantry, reached this point. We came to a saw-mill, just across the railroad, close to it under a slab pile near the track, we found some crow-bars, with which we tore up two rails of the track. Previous to this, however, before we were separated from the others, we saw a wagon train passing along, and advanced, firing, expecting to capture it. This accounts for our advancing in this direction.

After tearing up the track we went obliquely to the left, from the railroad, in the direction of a swamp about a half or three-quarters of a mile from the saw-mill, which we had passed to the right when firing on the train, and going in the direction of the railroad. Here we attempted to cross back on the corduroy road, which led through the swamp toward a body of our men on the hill near the former line of the rebel works. These men were stragglers who had been lost from their commands and were making coffee and eating break- fast. Just as we entered the swamp we saw two men on horseback coming from the direction of Petersburg, who had the appearance of officers. They advanced until they came to the men on the hill, they then turned and rode toward us. We had just entered the swamp when they advanced with cocked revolvers in their hands which were leveled at us. Seeing a large oak tree close to the road, we took it for protection against any movement they would be likely to make. Seemingly, by direction of his superior, one of the rebel officers remained behind. The other advanced with his revol- ver pointed at us, and demanded our surrender, saying: "Surren- der, or I will shoot you. A body of troops are advancing on our left (i. e., from the direction of Petersburg), and you will have to surrender anyway!" The officer still advanced and peremptorily demanded, " Surrender your arms." I said "I could not see it," and said to Comrade Wolford, " Let us shoot them."

We immediately raised our guns and fired, I bringing my man from his saddle.

The other officer, throwing himself forward on the horse's neck, rode off in the direction from which they had come, while the horse of the other followed. We, knowing not what was on our flank and not being able to see in that direction, backed out and went farther down the swamp, and crossed to the men on the hill. s