Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/299

This page needs to be proofread.

shot was tired from the fort, and we continued on, finally reaching the field, and obtaining a strategic position.


Before a gun could be fired, however, a man was seen to emerge from the fort, hearing aloft a flag of truce. Lieutenant Clopton and Sergeant- Major Fleming went out to meet the bearer of the flag, quickly followed by several non-commissioned officers and privates. On our men's reaching the fort, the officer in command made a for- mal surrender. The main stipulation (verbal, and being agreed to verbally) was that the officers should retain their side-arms.

In a conversation with one of the Federal artillerists he was asked:

" Why did you not fire on that artillery company as it drove- through the lawn ? "

"We were preparing to fire," he answered; "but really did not know what to do."

" Why was that ? " he was asked.

" Well, we thought it might be men coming to relieve us."

" But don't you think they took a peculiar route to reach the fort ? " he was asked.

" True; but we did not realize that fact until it was too late."

" But did you not note the red caps worn by the men ? " was the rejoinder. (Some of the Fayette Company wore red caps.)

To which he replied: " Yes; we noticed the red caps, but some of our men had got to wear them, and other caps, as well."

After the articles of surrender had been agreed to, Lieutenant Clopton commanded members of his company who were present to mount the horses and drive the captured guns to camp, and there were no members of that company prouder than these. The guns 3 inch steel rifles a few days afterward were presented to the com- pany by General George E. Pickett, and they were held on to until after the surrender of General Robert E. Lee, at Appomattox, when they were spiked and cut down just across the river at Lynchburg, on the Staunton road.

Not long after the fort surrendered, about half a dozen of the in- fantry performed a daring and hazardous feat, which probably was not excelled during the war. They were out in the woods and ran out to a company of the boys in blue. It was no time to show the white feather, and our boys became as brave and fearless as Caesars. One of them ordered the company to ground arms and surrender, at the same time giving orders to some one unseen, to tell Captain