Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/12

This page needs to be proofread.

8 Southern Historical Society Papers.

After the fight was over he asked the gallant Page how he could be so unflinching, without a dodge, amidst such bursting of bombs and whispers of danger all around him. His answer was beautifully characteristic, showing the great integrity of his courage:

"I did'nt dodge, sir, because I am so deaf I did'nt hear them before their explosion! " A braggadocio would have pocketed the compliment as belonging to his steady nerves. He claimed nothing which did'nt belong to him, and his courage was too honest and real not to assign his apparent indifference to danger to the true cause, his deafness. But there was a much greater and more important instance trying the promptness and the pluck of these men. The enemy designed its attack upon Florida, and a large fleet left the mouth of the Stono, conveying troops for the South. It was un- certain for a time what their point of destination was, when a servant of General Gilmer was captured by my Rebel Troop, as it was called, on John's Island. He was brought in to me as a prisoner of war. He was a light mulatto, who described himself as the son of a slave freed by the Barnes family, near Frederick, in Maryland. He was General Gilmer's cook, was purveying for the general's table on Morris's Island, and had got lost on the Wadmalaw. He was an exceedingly plausible fellow, and after a close and searching exami- nation professed to be wholly ignorant of the design of the Stono expedition. At last he was overcome by my refusal to receive or treat him as a prisoner of war. What thenĀ ? He was made to ap- prehend that he would be turned loose, unmolested, to shift for him- self. Fearing many imaginary dangers, that he would be shot as a straggler from the enemy, or be caught and sold as a slave and might never see his wife and family again, he made a full disclosure which proved in the sequel to be true, and enabled General Beauregard to forward reinforcements to General Finnegan. Just before these re- inforcements were to depart for Florida, General Alex. Schimmel- finnig with 6,000* men crossed over the bars to Seabrook Island, and surprising the picket at the Haulover from that island to the main, he advanced up the Bohickett road and nearly reached the headquarters of Major Jenkins, in command at that point, twenty- five miles from Adams Run. Major Jenkins had no force but two companies of our brigade and Humphrey's troop of South Carolina calvary. The enemy divided into two columns of 3,000 each, the one moving up the Bohickett road, and the other moving to the right over the Mullet Hall creek which heads very near the left bank of the Bohickett. The 3,000 on the Bohickett road were gallantly