Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/196

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192 Southern Historical Society Papers.

up. The First Maryland Cavalry charged down the road in ad- vance of my skirmish line, but soon fell back, after losing one of their men. We continued to follow the enemy up until we were able to open on them at close range. The firing was kept up some time, when I noticed that the enemy had ceased firing. An officer was seen coming down the road with a white flag. The firing ceased; we met the officer and he introduced himself as Captain Sheridan, of General Ouster's staff". He informed us that Generals Grant and Lee were holding a conference looking to the surrender of General Lee's army. He asked us to cease firing until the result of the conference was made known. This we be- lieve to have ^been the last blow struck and the last shot fired in defense of the Confederacy. If those who struck the last blow are entitled to any special honor, then Colonel Wooldridge and his men have a right to claim the proud distinction of having fired the last shot that was fired by the Army of Northern Virginia.

I would not pluck a single flower from the chaplet that adorns the brow of any. But in justice to Col. William B. Wooldridge and his brave men, I must say that while the First Maryland was far back in the rear, enjoying their "lunch of hardtack and raw bacon" until half-past 2 or 3 o'clock, Col. Wooldridge and his gallant men, with- out food for man or beast, had been grappling with the foe from sunrise until the closing scenes at Appomattox.

This bit of history can be substantiated by many of the Second Brigade, who were there that day, or the gallant Thomas Munford, who led it to victory on more than a hundred fields.


Shepherdstown, Jefferson County ', W. Va.