Open main menu

Page:A narrative of service with the Third Wisconsin Infantry.djvu/58

This page has been validated.

SERVICE WITH THE THIRD

their pace, until both seemed to be moving at full speed. They met with a jar, and for some moments it was impossible to distinguish friend from foe. There could only be distinctly seen the flashing of sabres in the sunlight as blows were struck and parried, and the puffs of smoke from revolvers and carbines. For ten minutes or more the stirring fight went on without any apparent advantage to either side. But now another regiment of our cavalry, which had been out of sight up the river at the beginning of the fight, came down upon the Confederates at a hard gallop. It was but a minute before the latter were retreating back to the timber, perhaps hurried a little by a few shells from one of our shore batteries. A little later, I learned that our cavalry had taken about sixty prisoners.

On the night of August 22 the enemy were expected to make an attempt to cross the Rappahannock at Beverly Ford, where I was stationed on picket duty. During the night, however, the river rose almost ten feet as the result of heavy rains in the mountains. By morning, it was so raging a torrent that crossing was impossible. As soon as it was

[40]