ONE OF the most important and effective, yet dangerous, parts of the service in Western Virginia, was that of scouting, the nature of the warfare being such that skilled men n that line of duty was an absolute necessity. The demand was speedily met, and throughout the war, there were few that equalled, and none excelled, the brave men who took their lives in their hands, and so faithfully performed their work, in the mountains in which we served. In the grand record thus made, the men from our regiment were easily at the head, and no braver, nobler, truer men ever served their country, and none ever braved death more cheerfully for the sake of right.
The nature of the service was necessarily hazardous, severe and exhausting, testing the courage of the bravest. They were required most of the time to be dressed in confederate uniforms, thus exposed to all the risks and dangers of spies, and were expected to be ready to go at any hour, day or night, when the commander of the forces ordered. Sometimes the order came to go in pairs to visit hostile camps, learn all they could of their number and location, and run the risk of being shot as spies. Being dressed as confederates, they would pass as good southern men, and many a letter was given them by mothers and daughters to carry to Lee's command, from which they frequently obtained very valuable information; yet in the very midst of the enemy's country they would often meet strong, faithful union men and women, to whom the general sent them for information. They kept the scouts posted in regard to all movements of the enemy, and were valuable aids to the union cause and true friends to the scouts. Huntersville, Franklin, Monterey and other points between the lines, were the places to which the scouts were frequently sent, and it was no uncommon thing to make long trips through the mountains, requiring the greatest care, and when near the place desired to be reached, a caution was needed that exerted to the utmost the ingenuity and care of the brave men. Under cover of night, when possible, or, at times, in broad daylight, they would slip through the picket lines of the enemy, conceal themselves on the mountain side or in the dense laurel bushes, and there watch the camp, count their tents, and note all points of information of the enemy's movements. Then they would, as quietly as they came, steal back through the picket lines, and if no accident overtook them, they generally made the trip in three or four days; but it was nothing uncommon to meet resistance and have a brisk fight with the confederates. It was a brave and superior force, however, that could stand before them, as they were superbly armed and knew well how to use their arms.
The central figure in the scouts belonging to our own command, was C. W. D. Smitley of Company B, Second Virginia, who was the leader and chief during the entire service. One of the scouts under his command says of him, in a note to the author, that "he was a brave, cool, daring man, one in every way fitted for the position he was given; who was loved and respected by all his men and all that knew him, and a gentleman in the true sense of the word." The scouts that operated with him before Gen. Averell assumed charge of the brigade, were Sergt. A. B. Hammer and J. W. Willhide of Company B, Second Virginia, J. Paul Jones Fifty-fifth Ohio, and others, and the following civilians, names familiar to the then men of our brigade and regiment: John Dove, Abe Hinkle, George Sexton, Lee Farnum and Dr. Scott Harter, brave, loyal, efficient scouts, worthy of all praise and honor for their service. These were the men who held the dangerous position of scouts, until Gen. Averell came to us, and whatever service was done in the period before that time by our scouts, the credit belongs to them.
Soon after taking command of the Fourth Separate Brigade, Gen. Averell called for a body of scouts, the following men being appointed from our regiment: C. W. D. Smitley, J. W. Willhide, Alexander Watts, Marshall Bailey, Nelinza L. Lock, Company B; Timothy Sharer, M. G. Markins, William Shirley, Company H; Robert Gaddis, Company K; nine in all. In addition to these there were Geo. W. Mooney and Jack Saylor, from the Third Virginia, and others from the Tenth Virginia Infantry, First Virginia Cavalry and Fourteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, but whose names are not known, many of them being remembered only by their nicknames. All of them, of whatever regiment, were brave, noble, true men. Comrade Smitley says of his own regimental associates in particular, that they were "kind, considerate, obedient and reliable; and braver, truer, more loyal men never lived. I never knew one of them to flinch from duty, or give me an unkind word." He always speaks in the highest terms of all his associates, in this dangerous work.
C. W. D. Smitley was born June 6, 1838, in Cumberland, Md., moved to Bedford, Pa., when two years old, thence to Stoystown and Johnstown, Pa., and at the age of 21 settled with his father at Boothville, Marion county, West Va., where he was living at the breaking out of the rebellion. He and his father both voted against the ordinance of secession of their State. He attempted to raise a company for the union service in Marion county, but the sentiment was so hostile in the locality that he was compelled to desist, and he went to Grafton and joined Capt. Latham's Company B. At the time of enlisting, Mr. Smitley was a millwright. One of his brothers, E. F. Smitley, served as one of his scouts while with Gen. Averell, and afterwards, with a younger brother, Robert P. Smitley, volunteered in Capt. Donehoo's company of the Sixth West Virginia Cavalry. They were both taken prisoners at New Creek, West Va., in the fall of 1864, and were so reduced by starvation and sickness on Belle Island, that they died immediately after getting home. Mr. Smitley made many a valuable capture during his long and eventful service of four and a-half years, but he says the best capture he ever made was a good Methodist woman at Boothville, November, 1863 - his faithful wife. In August, 1861, being on the return from a scout with A. B. Hammer, near Beverly, he was thrown from his horse, one foot remaining fast in the stirrup. The horse dragged him several rods, tramping on his left side, and broke loose from him, breaking two of his ribs. Late in October, 1861, being on a scout with A. B. Hammer, he was compelled to swim a swollen, rapid mountain stream, called Roaring Creek, to escape capture by the enemy. Not being entirely recovered from the injury to his left side, cold and exposure caused him to have typhoid fever. The company at the time was stationed at Bealington, and there being no hospital near, Capt. Latham sent him in an ambulance to his father's house in Boothville. In May, 1863, while acting guide for a battalion of the Fifth West Virginia Cavalry, Maj. McNally commanding, near Franklin, he was fired on by bushwhackers, receiving a wound in his left forearm and left clavicle. On their return to camp, Mrs. Laura J. Arnold had him taken to her house and took care of him until our forces were driven out of Beverly by the enemy. On the 11th of May, 1864, Scout "Spike" Harris, First Virginia Cavalry, was shot through the heart, and Smitley was taken prisoner near Wardenville. In October, 1864, he was taken unconscious to College Hospital, Columbia, S. C., and had a long spell of fever. About December, 1864, he was removed to Asylum prison, and lacking proper clothing, shelter and food, was much exposed to the cold, causing him to have rheumatism, which has become chronic, and for twenty-six years has been a sufferer from it. He finally escaped and joined Sherman just as he was entering Columbia, S. C. He is now living at Burlington, Ohio, in the enjoyment of the respect and confidence of all that know him, surrounded by his family of ten children, seven boys and three girls.
John W. Willhide was born December 16, 1839, in Frederick county, Md. His grandfather came from Germany in the year 1778. His father, William Willhide, was born in eastern Maryland, and was married to Harriet Darcy. The union was blessed with seven children, six boys and one girl. He moved to Western Virginia in the year 1856, where he resided until his death. He was a carpenter by trade. John W. still remained in Maryland, where he learned the wagon making trade, and in the year 1859 he went to Webster, Western Va., where he started a wagon shop. He had but fairly got started, when the excitement over secession aroused the people. Then the call for troops followed, and Mr. Willhide was among the first to cast his lot with the friends of the union, joining Company B. He served out his term of three years faithfully, most of the time being in the secret service, and while in this service was wounded in the left hip, the full circumstances of which are given in one of the expeditions, in this article. At the close of his service he returned to Webster and started a wagon shop, which he has followed ever since. In the year 1870 he married Caroline Adams, their union being blessed with three children, two boys and one girl. He has been elected Justice of the Peace in his town for the last twelve years. He is a member of the M. E. Church, having been connected with that society for 24 years. A brave soldier and a true citizen.
Robert Gaddis is of Irish birth and parentage, having come to this country with his parents before he was nine years of age. His early life was passed like that of other country lads, and nothing eventful occurred in his life until just before the secession movement began to take form. He left home before Christmas, 1860, and found his way to Parkersburg, W. Va., where he was when companies began to form to suppress the rebellion. He was naturally of a bold, reckless disposition, and found congenial work in the excitement of the time, becoming a member of Company K, of which he was appointed a corporal. He was a brave soldier, a true son of his native country, and as true, noble, and loyal one of his adopted country. He now lives at Newbern, Ind., an honored citizen.
Marshall Bailey was born in Taylor county, Va. March 10, 1843, his father being engaged in farming. In the summer he worked on the farm and attended school during the winter. He read history a great deal and became so interested in the early struggles of his country, and so imbued with the military spirit, that he acquired a strong desire to be a soldier. The opportunity came with the breaking out of the rebellion, and he became a member of Company B, at the early age of 18. He served faithfully during his term of three years, was one of the most active of the scouts, and received his discharge in the summer of 1864, retiring with credit and a most honorable record. He attended school during 1865 and 1866, and engaged in teaching, following that calling until he was married, March 30, 1868. He then returned to the farm, and has since been engaged in that occupation. He has two sons and one daughter. In 1878 he removed to a farm in Harrison county, where he is an honored citizen, attending to all the duties of civil life as faithfully as he did those of military life.
Moses Golden Markins, of Company H, was born in Brown county, Ohio, and before enlisting was a farmer. His tragic death is related in one of the scouting expeditions. He was a noble hearted man, fearless and tried, and his death was a great grief to his comrades. He left a wife and four children.
Timothy Sharer, of Company H, was a brave, loyal, intelligent scout, who never failed in the trying hour of duty. He was killed in a hand to and encounter with Mosby's men, the odds ten to one against him, near Bunker Hill, in the summer of 1864, as related by Lee Farnum, the celebrated scout, who was an eye witness of the affair.
Nelinza L. Lock, Company B, a true soldier, loyal to the heart, was daring and faithful scout, one that could be trusted in any emergency. While in swift pursuit of a confederate cavalryman on the Droop Mountain expedition, when almost in reach of the man, his horse fell among some rocks, causing a dangerous wound in his head, from which he died at his father's home in Webster, W. Va., January 5, 1865, aged 24 years and 7 months. He was an upright young man, liked and respected by all. He is interred in the National Cemetery at Grafton, W. Va.
William Shirley, a boy of 19 when he enlisted, entered the service at Ironton, O., with Company H. He was detailed as one of Smitley's scouts, and served with his country as a true soldier, meeting the demands of duty whenever the call came.
Alex. Watts, a brave Western Virginian, enlisted in Company B, and was a true, good man and brave so1dier.
It is not possible in a work like this, giving the history of an entire regiment, to give in full, or in detail, sufficient to show the great service of these scouts. It would require a volume of itself, and a very large one, to do that; but in order to give some fair idea of the perils, hardships and dangers encountered by our scouts, a few of their adventures are given in the succeeding pages.
After the battle at McDowell, in May, 1862, between Gen. Milroy's Brigade and Stonewall Jackson's force, and we had joined Gen. Fremont at Franklin, Smitley was sent out to watch Jackson's movements. Fremont's "Jessie Scouts" believed that the "enemy were menacing our front with a view of again attacking us. Smitley left alone and went as far back as McDowell, and then went to within nine miles of Staunton where he learned that Jackson had gone down the Shenandoah Valley. He joined some confederate scouts, passed himself off as a Western Virginia refugee, went down the valley to Willow Springs, where he left the scouts and returned up the valley, retraced his steps to Monterey, then to Franklin, reporting his observations to Gen. Fremont, by which time Jackson had attacked Gen. Banks. It was while returning from this scout that Smitley had one of his most lively adventures. When he arrived at Monterey, early in the morning, and very much, worn out, he called on Mrs. James Whitelaw, a true friend of the union, for something to eat, and to rest for an hour. He was told that the confederate cavalry were expected every moment. After eating a hearty meal, her negro boy, by the name of Henry Madison, was set to watch for the coming of the enemy, while Smitley took a needed rest. He had barely closed, his eyes when the boy came running up stairs shouting, "Massa, de rebs is comin." Looking out of the window toward the court house he could see the Staunton pike, one-fourth mile from town, and sure enough there came a company of cavalry. A boy ran out of town and met them, and their yell and the speed of their horses, convinced him that he was reported. Picking up his revolver and leaving his breech-loader in the room, he ran out through the garden and stable and crawled along a little hog path, under some thick, small laurel, within a few rods of the stable, and before he had scarcely time to get under this rather insecure cover, the cavalry were all around him. Every moment Smitley thought their horses would tramp on him, but he hugged the ground closer than he ever did before in his life. The thick laurel proved a safe refuge, and in a few hours the search ceased. In the afternoon he heard a negro boy singing near him. It proved to be Mrs. Whitelaw's boy, who had watched him hide, and he came close to where the scout lay, and told him as he passed, to lie still until midnight, and passed on without stopping. About 11 o'clock that night, Mrs. Whitelaw and the negro boy came to him, and brought him something to eat, and the rifle which he had left in the room. They walked a few hundred yards further from town, and sitting down on a log, Mrs. Whitelaw told him that the cavalry had gone towards Franklin, leaving a small squad as picket, on the Beverly pike near town. It was a bright starlight night, but no moon. In a few minutes Smitley noticed a boy pass near them into a ravine, running up towards the mountain. Smitley got behind him and followed as swiftly as he could, coming within a few steps of the boy before he heard him, and as he turned, Smitley's revolver was full in his face, and he was compelled to throw up his hands and march to the scout. He had seen the boy frequently before, whose name was Fleming, and about 14 years old. He knew Smitley's occupation, and the latter charged him with reporting him to the cavalry, which he did not deny. Mrs. Whitelaw fearing the boy would be killed, begged that his life be spared, though she knew it might cost her life for harboring a spy. She freely staked her life on the boy's word of honor that he would not betray her, and he never did. After guiding Smitley safely around the pickets, he was released on his honor, and the scout reached his camp in safety.
About the 10th of June, Smitley was sent out to observe the movement of the enemy, taking with him John Dove. In flanking the enemy, and while going through a little cove in the mountain, in the direction of and about twenty miles from Brock's Gap, they stopped for dinner; but before they had the pleasure of dining, they came near tasting of rations not nearly so palatable. A notorious bushwhacker by the name of Wilson, with a number of his men, burst unceremoniously into the house. Wilson advanced to within a yard of where Smitley sat, placed his double barreled shot gun against his breast, both barrels cocked, and with the most terrible oaths, informed Smitley that he was a Yankee spy, and that he intended to blow his heart out. The fellow's eyes glared like a tiger's, and his countenance was that of an arch demon, while he shrieked in his anger and hate. Smitley looked him calmly but firmly in the eye, with a cynical smile on his face, till the fellow's eyes dropped, when in a fearless, firm tone he spouted, "Coward, base villainous coward"; and then pointing to his insignia of rank, denoting that he was a confederate officer, assured the cowed wretch in a calm manner, that they were nothing but what they represented themselves to be. The man was somewhat chagrined, as Smitley threatened him with punishment for his threats. They all then sat down together and partook of a very good dinner, after which the valiant bushwhacker showed the scouts a near way to Brock's Gap, accompanying them several miles.
After escaping from Wilson, Smitley and Dove went by way of Franklin, thence to Circleville, and from there about six miles further up the river, where Dove's brother lived, who was a miller. When they entered the house they found one of Capt. Elsie's "Dixie Boys," who seemed much frightened, and in a few minutes left and went to some of his comrades at the mill, a short distance from the house. Dove and his brother not having seen each other for several years, entered into conversation, during which they were brought to a realizing sense of their danger, by a noise outside, and upon examination saw that they were surrounded. Smitley called to the "Johnnies" that they need not be afraid of them, as they were only two, and invited them in, assuring them they wouldn't be hurt. This bit of levity put them in a good humor, and they accepted the invitation. Smitley undertook to convince the visitors that they were Jackson's scouts, but they were suspicious, when Smitley asked them if they were not Capt. Elsie's "Dixie Boys." They said they were, when the scout asked them to take him to the captain, and he would convince them that he was all right. To Smitley's disgust and disappointment, they took him at his word, and immediately started to camp. The two scouts were both mounted, and were permitted to retain their arms, though closely guarded on both sides. Toward dusk they neared Capt. Elsie's camp, Smitley all the while studying how to avoid meeting the captain. On the way they had to cross a creek, and the guards were required to go over a foot log, while the scouts rode through the stream on horseback. When the guards were all on the log, and were in poor situation to handle themselves, Smitley and Dove put spurs to their horses and made a dash down the stream. As quickly as possible the guards turned their guns upon the scouts and fired, one of the bullets striking Dove, who fell from his horse. He had sat upright on his horse and made a good mark, while Smitley leaned to the side of his horse away from the guards, and thus escaped, but his horse was struck, though not disabled, and on he went at a rapid rate down the stream. The guards followed, firing as they went, but doing no damage. As he neared Capt. Elsie's camp, on a narrow piece of road between the creek and the mountain, he leaped from his horse, dropping one of his revolvers, and clambered up the hillside. Soon the guards had his horse and revolver, and were planning for his capture, but by this time it was quite dark, and he kept on to the summit of the mountain, and there spent the night, keeping out of range of the enemy. At daylight he observed that he was but a few miles from where he had his exciting experience with the "Dixie Boys." He then started for Petersburg, and probably about 9 o'clock in the morning came to an open place in the woods on the ridge, and thinking there might be a path across there, he stopped and listened. Hearing nothing he started to walk rapidly across the open space, and was about half way when it noise attracted his attention, and looking down toward the river, saw at first a woman on horseback ascending by a mountain path, and close behind her followed six of the "Dixie Boys," some of them the very ones from whom he had escaped. It was raining quite hard by this time, and they trudged along with their guns shouldered, hunter fashion, their slouch hats dripping with wet. At the sight of the woman he stopped suddenly and stood like a statue, eyeing the little procession, holding his revolver, intending to fire as soon as discovered. The path which they were following made a circuitous course around where Smitley was standing, and was not more than 50 or 60 feet from him. He was caught wholly unawares, and was amazed, and as well frightened, but eyed the men closely, expecting every moment that some one of them would look in his direction and discover him. But from the depressing influence of the rain, and the long toilsome night racing after Smitley, they all passed by without noticing him, though he was a prominent object standing in the open space. He hurried out of the open space and into the woods, and proceeded as well as he could on his way to Petersburg. When in the neighborhood of the Harman settlement, he met a deserter from the confederate army, by the name of Martin Bennett, who persuaded him to stop at his mother's house, and said he would accompany Smitley to Petersburg. They reached the house at dusk, and had been there but a few minutes when a little child rushed into the house saying, "The rebs are riding down the road." They ran out from the back of the house and hid in a field of grain, and lay there until the visitors left. They searched the house but gave it up after a while and left. When they were gone, the fugitives returned to the house, ate their supper and started on their journey. They followed the river, avoiding the road as much as possible, and stopped at the Carr settlement all night. The next morning they safely reached Petersburg, where the scout reported to the general by telegraph.
After reporting from Petersburg, and while awaiting orders from the general, Col. S. W. Downey, commanding the post, tendered Smitley his valuable private horse, an iron grey of great speed and powers of endurance, and requested him to scour the country between Petersburg, Brock's Gap and Moorefield, and ascertain the movements of the enemy. He left Petersburg in company with Q. M. Sergt. J. Paul Jones, Fifty-fifth Ohio, and rode in the direction of Brock's Gap, falling in with some of the enemy's cavalry, learning their intention to surround and capture our telegraph station and commissary stores, at the ford of the river below Moorefield, which was guarded by a part of two companies of Col. Downey's regiment, the Third Maryland Infantry. Smitley and Jones excused themselves to get something to eat, promising to join the cavalry at Moorefield. As soon as they were out of sight, they rode rapidly to the ford, intending to report to Col. Downey by telegraph. The operator told them that communication was cut off with both Petersburg and New Creek. Smitley then went to the lieutenant commanding the post, apprised him of his danger, and advised him to move into the woods, and when the confederates had the empty camp surrounded, give them a dose of the kind of medicine they gave us - bushwhacking. He replied with an oath that he knew his own business, and the scouts returned to the telegraph office, a tent on the river bank, where they got a substantial supper. Hitching the horses convenient for speedy use, Smitley went to sleep, resting until near morning, when hearing a commotion in camp, he sprang to his feet. A messenger from the lieutenant commanding met him, saying that a flag of truce had come in with the information that they were surrounded by Col. Harnass' cavalry, demanding immediate surrender, and wanting to know what the scout thought about it. Smitley mounted his horse, told the messenger to tell the lieutenant he knew his own business, and, with Jones, rode part round the enemy's lines, near enough for them to see the grey clothes and mistake the scouts for their own men. Finding a weak place in their ranks on the road to Mr. Van Meter's, Smitley and Jones made a dash for liberty, and had passed several rods beyond their lines, before they took in the situation. A few of them pursued, but soon gave it up, after firing several shots, which the scouts escaped by lying flat on their saddles. The horses being saddled all night, the girths were quite loose, and Jones' saddle turned and was lost while the horses were at full speed. He was compelled to ride fifteen miles bare-back, a great hardship to him, as he was a large, fleshy man. Smitley and Jones were the only ones that escaped. Smitley left Jones at New Creek, turned Col. Downey's horse over to the quartermaster, and started for Front Royal, arriving early on the third morning after leaving New Creek, and reported to Gen. R. C. Schenck.
Miss Belle Boyd, who later acquired considerable notoriety as a southern spy, was at Front Royal on parole. Being suspected of violating her parole, one of Gen. Schenck's aids requested Smitley to see if he could entrap her. He went to one of the prominent southern citizens of the village under an assumed name, and representing himself to be a paroled confederate officer, secured boarding. The host was exceedingly hospitable and communicative, informing him that Miss Boyd was in town. Smitley affected surprise and eulogized her valuable services to the southern cause. He soon learned that Miss Boyd was the sensation of the village, that the intensely loyal confederates idolized her, and that she had a large following of Federal officers, who were ready to do her homage. Smitley's advent to the inside circles of the village, and his expressed admiration of Miss Boyd's exploits as a spy, were carried to her by his host's daughter, and the same afternoon he received an invitation through the daughter, to take tea with the fair scout, at one of the southern residences. He went, was introduced, and found her to be a lady of culture, a brilliant conversationalist, expert with the piano and rather pretty. In the course of the evening, a number of young ladies called, accompanied by Federal officers, and Miss Boyd appeared to be the centre of attraction. Toward the officers Smitley assumed a lofty, patronizing air, but with the ladies was exceedingly bashful and diffident. When the doxology of the occasion, "The Bonny Blue Flag," was being sung and played by Miss Boyd, he stepped forward and sang the bass, with all the feeling and power of his strong voice, though his heart burned within him to sing "Down with the Traitors and up with the Stars." This effort settled his social status with the confederates, and thereafter he was one of the "charmed circle." He stayed in the village several days as Lion No. 2, and secured Miss Boyd's confidence to such an extent, that she informed him boastingly of the manner in which she was violating her parole, and urged him not to consider a parole binding to the much hated Yankees. About the third evening of his stay, at an evening party, a federal officer in the secret of Smitley's identity, to whom Miss Boyd turned a cold shoulder, became so incensed at her marked attention to the scout, that he tauntingly told her that Smitley was a Yankee scout. She scornfully resented the accusation against his loyalty, but a night's reflection on the situation brought her early in the morning to Smitley, greatly agitated and shedding tears like a child. Her informant was the staff officer who requested Smitley to entrap her.
While Pope's army was in camp near Culpepper Court House, Va., the Shenandoah valley now being left open to the confederate army from Staunton to Winchester, C. W. D. Smitley and John W. Willhide were sent out as scouts, to watch any movements of the enemy in the valley. They were furnished with paroles as though confederate soldiers, and permitted to go home to await exchange. At a little town about 18 miles southeast of Winchester, there were stationed some four or five companies in command of a colonel, where they received some valuable information. They found no trouble here, but got into serious difficulty near Strasburg, where the scouts were recognized as being with the union army when it passed through there but a short time before. The alarm was given, and a chase began for Winchester, where union troops were stationed. Willhide's horse was failing fast from the long chase, but he saved himself by changing horses with a little negro boy, who was going to the mill. Quite a number of shots were exchanged during the chase. They finally succeeded in getting within our lines. They remained in the valley several days, and receiving news of the battle of Cedar Mountain, and the subsequent falling back of our army from the Rapidan, they started for Staunton, thence by way of the Staunton and Fairmount pike for Beverly. On the way they were expecting to come on the rebel pickets, and at one place, (it was dark, just before daylight), they stopped to rest at the roadside. Willhide sat on a dark object which proved to be a rotten log, in which was a lively yellow jacket's nest. In a moment Willhide was attacked by the ferocious insects, and being stung severely, he jumped and yelled. That moment there was a blaze of muskets in that direction, for indeed they were right on the rebel pickets, but in the darkness the scouts were able to escape. Otherwise they found no difficulty until they reached Crab Bottom, where they found about a regiment of confederates in camp, and lay there within 500 yards of the camp from before daylight until 2 P. M. After securing all the information they could, they left the pike and took to the mountains for a distance of about 20 miles. After leaving the pike they met several confederate foraging parties who supposed the scouts were in the same business. Striking the pike again at Greenbrier river, near Camp Baldwin, a measure of safety was felt, but they had not gone far up Cheat Mountain until they found that there were some confederate soldiers in their front, and not far ahead of them. There being no other way to get across the mountains, they decided to take their chances and go ahead. Passing up the mountain a short distance, there were indications that others had joined the soldiers, and that the force was fully 100 men. Some distance ahead of this, the scouts discovered the men, who were cooking their suppers in the road where there was a short bend, having their guns stacked. Riding slowly until near the party, a stir was made, among them to get their guns, and the scouts made a dash right through the party. Many of the confederates had to get out of the way hurriedly to avoid being run over, and the others failed to get their guns until the scouts passed them, but in a moment, almost, the bullets began to fly thick and fast, and kept pouring into the retreating scouts until they got out of range, one striking Willhide, passing through his hip, and another hitting his horse in the neck, but the horse was not hurt much, and could still travel. The continuous fast riding and the loss of blood made Willhide very weak, but they did not dare stop, and rapidly rode to the summit of the mountain. Here Smitley dismounted and dipped up water in his hat for Willhide to drink, as he could not dismount. They then went to the White house at Cheat Mountain pass, and Smitley left Willhide here and went ahead to make some arrangements to get his comrade to Beverly. At the pass they met three men who had been north for some purpose, and were then going home, who took Willhide in the house and cared for him until the next day about 12 o'clock. It was here learned that the confederates were Capt. Marshall's company, which was raised in the Beverly valley. During this time, Smitley was trying to get to Beverly, and had great difficulty with the pickets, who at first refused to let him through the line or take him to Beverly; and orders were given that if they were fired on that night, to kill him. Smitley knowing that the confederates were on the road coming that way, was very uneasy, as he knew that they might be fired on at any time. The night passed without an attack, and the next morning he was taken to Beverly, where he was known by Col. Harris, who was in command. That officer sent some cavalry out after Willhide, who brought him in, it being twenty-four hours from the time he was shot, until his wounds were dressed. He was taken to Mrs. Jonathan Arnold's residence, and this noble union and Christian woman nursed and cared for him like a mother. To her Willhide, as well as the others of his regiment, owes a debt of gratitude that can never be paid.
About the time of Gen. Milroy's last trip to Beverly, Smitley and George Sexton were sent to Crab Bottom to learn the truth about a report that the confederate government was herding a large lot of cattle there. On returning they met, near Franklin, Capt. C. T. Ewing, of the Second Virginia, with his company, equipped as mounted infantry, accompanied by the brave and efficient scout, Abe Hinkle, on their way to destroy the saltpetre works of the enemy, two miles south of Franklin. The captain asked the two to join him for a short time, which they did. Smitley had learned that there was a small squad of confederates loitering about Gen. Boggs', in Franklin, all of whom knew Smitley. He told the captain of the facts, and asked him for some men whom he would lead by a short and unfrequented road in the rear of Gen. Boggs' house and capture the squad. The captain did not think it prudent to divide his men so Smitley and Sexton concluded to go alone. Capt. Ewing was to come in on the north side of the town, on the main road, as rapidly as he could, while two scouts were to secure a position in a deep gulch on the west side of town, immediately in the rear of Boggs' residence, on the route by which they supposed the confederates would try to escape. They rode swiftly in order to get in position before Capt. Ewing would enter the town. When within a hundred yards of the gulch, being on higher ground than the town, they saw Ewing within a few hundred yards of town, horses at full speed, and women, children and negroes running in every direction over town. The scouts dashed into the gulch, about 150 yards in the rear of Boggs' where a small outbuilding and large barn concealed from their view the enemy, until almost in the midst of them. Both discovered them almost at the same instant, their horses at full gallop, Smitley being under cover of the buildings, while Sexton, in the excitement of the occasion, rode right among them, when he tried to convince them that he was one of their scouts. They were too sharp for that, having recognized Smitley at first glance, and would have fired instantly but for the commotion in town and this dash in the rear. Smitley, though he felt personally safe until Ewing should come, knew that unless something was done instantly they would kill Sexton. He dismounted, and, leading his horse, walked right into the group, addressed Boggs, son of the general, and informed him that they were surrounded, and that there would be less danger in surrendering to two men than to a regiment. With a terrible oath he sprang toward Smitley and, placing his revolver against his temple, demanded to know which way our forces were coming. While trembling with affected fear, Smitley stuttered and stammered, but could not speak, but pointed in the direction they had come. They started, with the scouts as prisoners, to reach the timber, but before they reached the river they were met and surrounded by Capt. Ewing's men and all were captured. The return to our lines was afterward effected in safety.
In October, 1863, Gen. Averell wanted a scouting party to go to Monterey valley, to ascertain about what force the enemy had there, and if they were making preparations to move. Chief Smitley detailed John W. Willhide, Robert Gaddis, Moses G. Markins and John Sallyards for the work. There was a union force under Capt. Powell, of about 100 men, on picket 12 miles from Beverly, at the base of Cheat Mountain, and the general gave the scouts an order on Capt. Powell, to escort them over the mountains. On the opposite side of Cheat Mountain stood the remains of an old house, commonly known as the "Gumhouse," a dangerous place for the lonely scout, and a few miles beyond it, at Green Bank, was a confederate camp, and they always aimed to waylay any scouting parties that came along, and close their service for all time, hence the escort. All went well until the escort turned homeward. Marshall and Waumsley's guerillas observed them pass into the little Greenbrier Valley, and prepared an ambush for their return. Between the Gum House and Cheat river, near what the old Second knew as the Deadening, they felled trees across the road; and the escort, led by the intreped Markins, in dusk of evening, just as they made a short turn in the road, a very difficult place to flank, were immediately in front of the blockade, when they discovered it, and instantaneously with the discovery came a volley from the bushwhackers. Markins in the advance, was most exposed, and, as he afterward related, fell the first volley. The escort, not wholly unprepared, fired at the flash of the enemy's guns, and literally hewed their way through the enemy and around the blockade, almost at the identical spot where Willhide, on a former occasion, had received the terrible wound in his hip. Strange to relate, they all returned to camp but the brave scout. The day following, the General ordered a company of cavalry to go to the place of ambush and search for the scout. It being dark on their arrival, they did not find him, though it seemed passing strange, as he lay in the middle of the road, just where he fell from his horse, until return of scouts over fifty hours later. Markins says the enemy came to him the next day and he begged them for God's sake to raise him up and give him water, which they refused with an oath. The other scouts went forward unaware of the terrible fate that bad befallen their brave comrade, and reached the home of a union man in the early part of the night, where they put up for the night. About 3 o'clock in the morning they were wakened for breakfast, the good woman of the house having prepared an excellent one. They had just sat down to eat when they heard some one shouting, "get out, get out," at the top of his voice, which arrested all further proceedings. The family had intended to go to Monterey that morning, had risen early for that purpose, and had sent their boy out to what they called a hacking, to get the horses. The boy saw some confederates approaching the house, and gave the alarm. The scouts jumped to their feet at once, rushed out of the house, and lay down in some brush, where they concea1ed themselves the best they could. In a few minutes the house was surrounded by the enemy, demanding the surrender of the scouts, the latter being so close that they could hear every word that was said. The woman of the house denied that any scouts were in the house, and when asked why the boy had given such an alarm, replied that they were going to mill that day and had to get up early, and the boy was calling them out. They threatened to burn the house if she did not tell, but she stoutly denied having seen any scouts. They then hunted everywhere for them, and even tore up the floor, which was made of puncheons. After a fruitless search they very reluctantly 1eft. The scouts remained in hiding all day, and during the time noted many items of information of value. The confederates then returned to their camp rather crest fallen. About 11 o'clock that night, the scouts started on their return tramp, having received considerable information of value from their friends. They slept part of the night, resuming their journey the next day. Toward evening they came near a house, in front of which two horses, saddled and bridled were standing. They naturally concluded that the riders must be inside, and the chances for a tempting prize were good. Willhide suggested that they undertake the capture of both men and horses, which was agreed to. They slipped up to the side of the house, the typical log structure of the mountains, cautiously went to the door, which was shut, drew their revolvers ready for use, and then pulled the latch string, and there sat two southern cavalrymen, talking to two girls. The scouts made themselves known, disarmed the soldiers, and taking them with them hurried away, as they wanted to reach Greenbrier river by dark, which they did, and again started to climb Cheat mountain. To pass the old "Gum House" was now their greatest danger, and Gaddis proposed to take the advance while the other two followed with the prisoners and horses. The night was dark, and the prospects none the brightest. Gaddis was to fire his revolver if he came on any great danger. He passed the old house in safety, when coming to a bend in the road, he saw some dark objects in front of him. While examining closely to ascertain what the objects were, he heard his name called, which was repeated, and upon inquiring who called, the answer came, "Oh Bob, I am shot." Gaddis then recognized him as the brave, faithful, Markins, who had received his death wound as stated. His piteous cry for help rang in Gaddis' ears for months afterward. The scouts went on to camp, turned over their prisoners, and an ambulance was sent for Markins, who died soon afterward.
On the return from Salem, while in camp the first night out, about 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning, Smitley detailed Gaddis, Sharer and George Mooney, to ride to New Castle about eight miles ahead, to see a doctor there, who was a union man, and get from him information in regard to the movements of the enemy. They reached their destination about daybreak, rode up to the doctor's house and made known to him their business. He told them to get out of that as quickly as possible, and pointing across the town said there is a major and twenty-five men. As he spoke some of the gray coats appeared, and the scouts moved away, with the confederates following. Soon it was a chase for capture or freedom, some of the horsemen coming out of the different streets, and dashing rapidly after the retreating scouts, called upon them to surrender, but that was something not to be thought of. Firing began, and it was now only a question of endurance of men and horses, as a fight between equal numbers was out of the question. The scouts dashed down the river, being unable to cross it, until they came to a very narrow road, which terminated in a bluff that ran out into the river. They were hemmed in by a mountain on one side and the confederates on the other, and there was no escape, and they prepared to sell their lives as dear as possible. They knew it was death to be captured, and they preferred to die fighting rather than die as prisoners. They dismounted, drew their Henry rifles, and as the enemy came in range let them have the best they could from their trusty guns. This checked them for a few minutes, and then the firing became general, but even that must come to an end, as the scouts were outnumbered eight or ten to one, and were almost out of ammunition. Soon a loud shouting and cheering was beard from the opposite side of the river, and there came a body of Averell's brave boys, just in the nick of time, and at once opened fire on the now frightened confederates. The firing had attracted their attention and they surmised what was wrong and came hastily to the aid of the hard pressed scouts. Now the chase took another form, and the confederates were driven back to the town, the scouts charging them with vigor, driving them through the alleys and across lots, and succeeded in capturing all of the party, with the help of their relief, except the major and a few of his men. The general and his command soon came up, and went into camp.
Desiring information of the condition of affairs ahead of him, Gen. Averell here sent out Gaddis, Sharer and Mooney, to ascertain all they could. The order was to go to the top of a mountain, some three miles distant, and see if any of the enemy were in sight. All went well until they got near the top of the mountain, when they met a body of twenty-five or thirty confederates, who were distant about 150 yards. Although dressed in confederate uniforms, it availed the scouts nothing, as their enemy opened fire on them at once. The scouts wheeled their horses and started to run, but it was evident they were in close quarters. Gaddis rode a horse that he had captured, an animal of worth, that had carried him through many a hard scrape, and he told his associates to ride on as fast as they could, and as their pursuers came around a bend in the mountain, he would give them a few shots and check them. Looking up the mountain, he saw several Confederates riding at the top of their horses' speed, aiming to get ahead of him on the road. The one in the lead was a large, red faced man, with long red whiskers parted in the middle, and was a wild, daring, fearless looking fellow, mounted on a large black horse. Just as Gaddis passed the road this man came down and fired at him, and Gaddis at him, but neither checked his horse for a moment. Now it was a race down the mountain road, and no race course ever afforded so exciting a chase. Gaddis' pursuer was not more than ten steps behind him, and he in turn was followed by his men, all in hot pursuit, and shooting every chance they got. The confederate called on Gaddis to halt, who replied with a shot, and in turn the confederate bullets whistled all around him. They soon emptied their revolvers, and Gaddis' only safety now lay in the swiftness and endurance of his horse; but it was worn with the terrible work of the campaign and soon the confederate began to gain on him, and drawing his saber, prepared to use it on the brave scout. He is close by the side of Gaddis, has raised his saber for the fatal blow, when confederate and union scout, together, rush into the midst of a body of union soldiers. Gaddis called out hastily to his comrades to shoot the man, and willing hands send leaden messengers after him as he dashed up the road, but none seemed to hit him, and he escaped. After the general had sent out the scouts, he sent a picket post of ten men, who were the means of saving the lives of the hard pressed scouts.
When Gen. Averell's command reached Huntersville, on the return from the Salem raid, it became necessary to send out some of the scouts to mislead Imboden's forces, who were trying to cut our brigade off on the retreat to Beverly. Rob't Gaddis, Will Shirley and Geo. Mooney were selected for the dangerous work. Their instructions were to start up the valley, ride all night, and scatter the news far and wide that they were Echols' men sent to Imboden to tell him that Averell was coming up the valley, and to be prepared to intercept him, while Echols would press Averell closely. Having done this, the scouts were to take the nearest route to Beverly. The three brave men started on their mission after dark, rode all night and the next day until noon without any serious trouble. Occasionally they met citizens to whom they told their story. About noon they ran into a confederate lieutenant and sixty men, who hailed the scouts and asked them to what command they belonged, while the scouts also questioned them. The three men said they belonged to Echols' command, and told the same old story. The lieutenant said that they were there on the lookout for Averell, as they did not know exactly which road to expect him, and when told that he was coming up the valley, they were jubilant, and made the scouts take dinner with them. They fed their horses, put a shoe on Shirley's horse and were pleasant and kind. Gaddis and comrades accepted the situation and made the best of it, and when ready to start, the lieutenant sent a man with them to lead them to Imboden's camp. The guide took them past the road that led to Beverly, but when he departed they hastily rode back to the right road, put spurs to their horses and dashed toward Beverly. They were now in a section in which they had frequently scouted and knew the road well. They had gone but a short distance when they met a boy on horseback who was going to the mill. One of the scouts said he knew the boy and expressed a fear that he would be recognized, but they pulled their hats over their faces and rode past very fast, went on some distance and came to a house. They dismounted, fed their horses and went into the house, where there were a man and woman. Mooney was uneasy and restless, and the man acted as if suspicious, but the wife prepared them a meal. Mooney objected to staying and kept going to the door frequently, on the lookout. The woman had just got the meal ready, and the scouts were in the act of sitting down, when Mooney appeared with a look on his face that they well understood, when they rushed to their horses, mounted and were away on the run. Looking back they saw coming the lieutenant and his men, who had entertained them at dinner. Now came the race for life. They were about 23 miles from Greenbrier river, the day was cold, there was a deep snow on the ground, and the problem was to reach that river which, once crossed, they had a fair chance of escaping. The company fired at the scouts, when about 300 yards apart, but the bullets fell short of their aim. The fugitives made good use of their horses, but Shirley's horse soon showed signs of lameness where he had been shod, and before many miles had been gone, he had to abandon him. Coming to a spur of the Alleghenies, they went straight up the mountain side, jumped off their horses, and with gads forced the poor beasts up the mountain. Reaching the top, they could see away down in the valley, but the mountain side here was too steep for the horses to descend. Gaddis being fleet of foot, told Shirley to mount his horse, while he went afoot. The horsemen had to go a considerable distance before they reached the valley, and by the time they arrived there, Gaddis was in waiting, and mounted behind Shirley. They were now fully a mile in advance of their pursuers. A few miles further on they came to a house, and a horse hitched outside. Here the roads forked, one in the direction of camp Allegheny, now deserted, and the other to camp Bartow. They rode up to the house and shouted, when the door opened and a confederate officer stepped out, followed by about a dozen men wearing union overcoats. The officer was dressed in his own uniform, and the scouts were put on their guard, and prevented from getting into serious trouble. Saluting the officer, Gaddis asked him which of the roads led to camp Bartow. The officer hesitated, when the question was repeated, an answer was given, and Gaddis said, "We are in a hurry, as Averell is coming up the valley, and we are warning all our men to get away and save themselves; the whole valley is full of them." They again put spurs to their horses, giving the officer no time to ask further questions, and rode rapidly until they came to a bend in the road, where there was another house, and five more confederates ran out and started up the mountain side. The scouts shouted at them to get away, as Averell's men were coming, and they seemed very willing to obey. On they went until they met an old woman. They asked her if there were any more of their men out that way, to which she replied yes, at the next house down the road, where her son was. They told her about Averell coming, when she pleaded with them to hurry forward and tell her son, which they promised to do. They then asked if there were no more troops, and she said no, that all the rest were in the houses they passed. This was a grateful relief, as they had begun to think that confederates grew on the bushes in that neck of the woods. Hurrying on, they came to the house, when the old woman's son looked out, and he was told the same old story. The scouts had made good time, and were nearing Greenbrier river, and if their horses could only hold out to Cheat Mountain, then they could cross the mountain on foot, and consider themselves safe. Soon they reached the river, which was swollen, and was a raging torrent; but it was not half so wild and dangerous as the foes behind them, so they plunged into the cold, dashing stream and were soon safe on the other side. They had no fear of the enemy crossing after them, and when about 300 yards away, they saw their pursuers coming, who galloped down to the stream, but concluded not to attempt to swim it. They fired at the scouts, when the latter waved their hats and cheered their discomfited foes, but saved their ammunition for the future, not returning the fire. They rode over Cheat Mountain to Huttonville, where they met union troops from Beverly, and the next day Averell's belated and worn troopers, rode into the place, safe again within our own lines.
In the winter of 1864, while Averell's command was in camp at Martinsburg, Mosby's cavalry caused considerable trouble, picking up every straggling soldier they could find and capturing our horses. The general received information that they were encamped at Winchester, but to be sure of it, he sent out six of his scouts, to ascertain the truth. It was a bitter cold evening when they went out, and they got as far as Bunker Hill, where they stopped with a family with whom they were acquainted. It was now snowing, and they concluded to wait until it ceased. After while Gaddis and Sharer concluded to go ahead, and when within four miles of Winchester, stopped at the house of an Irishman, who pretended to be a union man. He built a fire, put the horses in the stable and fed them, and said Mosby's men were in Winchester the previous day. About five o'clock in the morning the two scouts started for Winchester, rode up over breastworks that were on their side of the town, and saw enough to convince them that there were confederates there in plenty. They returned to Bunker Hill, the other scouts having left with the loss of their horses. Upon the return of the party to camp, there was a good deal of chaffing about it, but the General was in no pleasant humor over it. Gaddis, Sharer and Mooney determined to get even with Mosby's bold rangers, so on the next Sunday night the three started for Bunker Hill, intending to stop at the house where there was a young lady, the house being watched by the confederates, to capture any of the union horses that might be hitched at the place. The scouts reached there, about 9 o'clock at night, tied their horses to the portico in front of the house, made the family go up stairs, while they watched below. They kept a good look-out, and about three o'clock in the morning they saw three horsemen ride up to a white church, which stood off to the left a short distance, going behind the building, where two of the men dismounted, while the third held the horses. The scouts had had the house entirely darkened, so they could not be seen. In the room where they were watching, was a front door and one window. Their plan was for Mooney to stand at the window, Sharer was to hold the knob of the door in his hand and keep it slightly ajar, while Mooney was to keep his hand on Sharer's shoulder. Out of this room on the north side of the house stood another small porch, and in the dark corner of it Gaddis was to crouch close, as the confederates had to pass within ten feet of where he was. It was bitter cold and starlight, and Gaddis had taken off his boots so as to be able to give a lively chase, and his position was a rather uncomfortable one. Mooney was to watch through the window, and as they came up to cut the horses loose, he was to give Sharer a push, who was to throw open the door and fire, and then Gaddis was to jump out and shoot also. The plan worked well. The two men approached on tip toe, each having a knife in one hand and a revolver in the other, passing close by where Gaddis stood. Just as they got to the horses ready to cut them loose, Mooney shoved Sharer, who threw open the door and fired at the men, and Gaddis jumped out also and fired. They fired in turn, when the whole five engaged in the lively fusilade for a few minutes, but no one was hit, though Sharer had a very close call. The horses broke loose and ran away, and the confederates took to their heels to get away. One was a lieutenant, who was followed by Mooney and Sharer, and the other an orderly sergeant, who was pursued by Gaddis. The lieutenant was soon killed and the horse holder escaped, but Gaddis had a serious time with his man. Both were very rapid runners, the advantage being with Gaddis, and as they ran a running fire was kept up, Gaddis firing all his loads but one. The race was kept up for about 300 yards, when Gaddis overtook his man, grabbed him, and a scuffle followed. The sergeant turned and fired at Gaddis, the ball grazing his temple, but not severe enough to draw blood, but he was stunned and fell to his knees, still holding to his man. The sergeant put the muzzle of his revolver under Gaddis' right eye, pulled the trigger, but the cap snapped, and no explosion followed. This aroused Gaddis, whose vigor returned, and the scuffle was resumed. The sergeant drew his knife but before he could use it Gaddis' revolver went off, and the man begged Gaddis not to shoot again, as he would surrender. Just then Mooney came running up, and thinking it was a struggle for life, he fired into the man, and he fell dead to the ground. The fight over, they now turned their, attention to their horses, but they were nowhere to be found, until they returned to the house, where they stopped, when the young lady, Miss Amy White, rode up with the three horses, which she had gone after and secured. The scouts found $25 in greenbacks on the dead men, which they presented to Miss White for her daring and heroism. The parents of the sergeant requested his body, which was given them.
When Gen. Sigel assumed command of the forces in the Shenandoah valley, in the spring of 1864, Smitley's scouts were ordered to report to his headquarters for duty. They did so, when Smitley as chief, and Willhide, Bailey, Lock, and E. F. Smitley were retained, the rest going with General Averell to the Kanawha valley. To these General Sigel added others, among whom were two brothers from the First West Virginia Cavalry, named Harris, familiarly known as "Spike" and "Lasses." The scouts were placed under the direction of Gen. Julius Stahel. On May 10, 1864, they were ordered to report to Gen. Sigel's headquarters in Winchester. The general told Smitley he had sent 500 cavalry to Moorefield, and it being long past the time they should be heard from, and having sent several other scouts for information without any of them returning, the general felt considerable anxiety about them and inquired of him if he had a scout suitable for the emergency. All members of the old Second Virginia would understand the situation. Sending 500 cavalry over there at that time, with green scouts, meant their capture or a bad defeat; to send green scouts to see about them, meant for McNeil or Moseby to pick them up as soon as outside our lines. Smitley's scouts, that were suitable, being overworked, he offered his services. The general demurred at first, then asked how many men he wanted with him, and how soon he could make the trip. Smitley told him if the cavalry were not captured he could go to them and return in about thirty hours; if captured, he could get reliable information and return in twelve hours, and would go alone. But the general decided he must have a lieutenant and twenty-five cavalry with him. Scout "Spike" Harris had a few hours previously, complained to Smitley of fancied partiality to the old Second scouts in his details, and requested to go along the next time and he would prove he was true blue. So Smitley hunted the poor fellow up, taking him to what proved his grave. About 11 P. M., May 10th, Smitley and Harris, a lieutenant and twenty-five cavalry left Winchester, the lieutenant with written dispatches and Smitley with oral, in case the written ones failed to go through. They were nearly all night getting outside our lines, and a little after daylight they passed through Wardenville. Soon after, coming to a stream of water, along the shore of which their road led, a short bend disclosed to them about fifteen or twenty rebel cavalry approaching, not more than 150 yards off. Harris was riding close by Smitley's side. Smitley turned, and anticipating his question, Harris said, with a suppressed oath, "we will go through them quicker than croton oil." Smitley led and sent Harris to keep the rear closed up. The enemy in sight proved a very small obstruction, as they, no doubt, felt secure in their backing. Close to their rear was a regiment of cavalry, into the midst of which the scouts plunged, horses at full speed. To say the rebels were thunder struck would be very weak language, as they literally rode some of them down, and the little squad they first met was simply whirled by them into the midst of their friends. The reader can imagine the confusion. Harris proved to be a prodigy of strength, valor and ingenuity in eluding the grasp of the enemy. In the shock, friend and foe were mixed indiscriminately. Harris, whose suit of blue was covered with one of grey, coming in contact with rebels in blue, cursed them for Yankees, and in tones of thunder, would call on them to surrender, at the same time knocking them right and left; this did not turn back or stop the fight, but they cleared their way in any manner they could, and, singular to relate, escaped in the confusion without a scratch, although pursuit was immediately instituted by the enemy. Smitley and Harris were the only ones to escape capture and they were now inside the enemy's lines; and if the reader will picture to himself a ring hunt for game, he will have the best description that could be given of their condition. Having made up their minds to return to camp with such information as they had been able to glean during the day, they halted at a farm house for supper and horse feed, so much needed. They fed their horses on the ground close to the door. Entering the room they found a bright fire in the old-fashioned fire place and sat down to wait a few moments for supper. Having carried a brace of heavy revolvers about his waist twenty-four hours, Smitley loosed his bolt and placed them on the floor by his chair. In a moment he was asleep. Harris must have remained awake, as it appeared but a moment till he, in a loud voice, called out, "the rebels are coming." Smitley was startled, and, half awake, thought Harris was hurrying him to supper, when the report of a revolver brought him to a realization of his surroundings. There was a door and window on each side of the room, and three rebels had entered the room. Harris had escaped through a door on the opposite side. As Smitley was rising from his chair, a rebel picking up his revolver off the floor, he was grazed on one temple by a bullet fired by Harris through the window. Harris made things lively until his revolvers were emptied, and then ran from the house, when he was shot through the heart and instantly killed, while Smitley was a prisoner.