Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 30.djvu/224

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216 Southern Historical Society Papers.

ington, and then push across the river at White's Ford in Montgom- ery, and the other to move rapidly through Frederick, along the upper Potomac and cross at the Point of Rocks, or Shepherdstown, or wherever else opportunity offered.

In case of necessity both parties were to push north into Pennsyl- vania and escape through West Virginia, and even try to get to Canada by way of Niagara if hard pushed.

The total sacrifice of the command would have been well repaid by the capture of Mr. Lincoln, but I did not consider escape utterly hopeless for the main body who were to go through Northwestern- Maryland.

The object was to create such confusion among the telegraph and railroad and commanding officers that the small detachment having Mr. Lincoln in charge would escape without attracting attention, while pursuit would be directed solely to us. This was my plan, however, and I set out to execute it.

I was shoeing my horses and getting up my dismounted men and putting everything in order for sharp and active work when Gen- eral Early came along a few days after, at the head of his column, marching to head off Hunter, then pushing up the Valley to Lynch- burg.

I knew General Early well, and was attached to him by the com- radeship of arms, by my respect for his intellect and by my warm love for his genuine, manly, true character, and I explained to him my projected movement. He said it would not do. "I'm going to Lynchburg," said he, "and as soon as I smash up Mr. Hunter's little tea party, I'm going to Washington myself. You'll put all that out, so you musn't try it until I come back." He then directed me to move to Staunton and watch the Valley until he got there. By the last of June he came back.

I was assigned to the cavalry brigade of General William E. Jones, who had been killed at Mount Hope Church on Hunter's advance. We began our movement down the Valley from Staunton, Ransom's Cavalry Division on the roads right and left of the Valley pike and the infantry and artillery on the macademized road between them.

Between Winchester and Martinsburg, Early divided his forces, directing Johnson's Cavalry and Rodes' Brigade of Ramseur's Division, under Early himself, to the right, to cut the Baltimore and Ohio railroad at Kearneysville and unite with McCausland's Cav- alry and Breckinridge's Corps at Martinsburg; Johnson and Me-