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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/25

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fmboden's Dash Into Charlestown. 17

got to the Valley pike at Newmarket (I think it was) where their officers were paroled and put in charge of Major Houston Hall, of the 62d Virginia (Mounted) Infantry. The gallant and amiable Major hired conveyances for the whole party at Newmarket, and, a sufficient store of old apple brandy having been laid in, the journey to Staunton was made very pleasant for all hands.

The truth of the proverb that " Kindness is never thrown away" has seldom been better illustrated than in this case. Some time during the winter of 1864-65 Major Hall had the misfortune to be captured, and was sent to Fort Delaware for safe keeping. I was there at the same time and recollect very well when the news was brought into our barracks that a new regiment had come to release the one that had for some time been doing guard duty on the island. In a little while word of inquiry for Major Hall of the 62d Virginia, was passed through the barracks. The Major answered the call and went off with the orderly, wondering what was wanted with him, and so did we who waited for his return. This return took place just after the tattoo was beaten on the garrison drums, when Major Hall came into his division of barracks under the friendly escort of a couple of officers of the newly arrived guard regiment. It did not take long for the Major to explain that this regiment was the Eleventh Maryland and that he had been out to dinner with their mess. That he had been well dined by somebody was evident to the meanest capacity. The Eleventh remained on guard over us for several weeks, and Major Hall spent most of his time, during the days, in the quarters of its officers, returning at night to barracks.

The beautiful Valley of Virginia was overrun and its people robbed and plundered many times. At the close of the war there was scarcely a barn or mill standing from Harper's Ferry to Staunton, and the renegade Hunter destroyed many of its beautiful country residences. The returning survivors of the great struggle found only ruin and desolation, but with the same heroic spirit that inspired them through the bloody struggle they went to work and in a few years the valley bloomed like a rose garden, barns, mills, residences, fences were built, and now everything looks lovely. But they haven't forgotten the cause they fought for nor the heroes who fell in its de- fense. Go into their cemeteries and you will find beautiful monu- ments erected to the memory of the noble dead; go into their homes and you will find matrons with silvered heads, who can tell you of scenes of horror that they have witnessed, and their eyes will grow