Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/139

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Soldier's Story of General Stuart's Death.

little, because I saw little of it. When a soldier from the ranks undertakes to tell about a battle extending over a mile or two in wooded country you can set him down as a man "talking through his hat." I did see a battery or two or ours located on a hilltop firing away, and did see squadrons of our cavalry moving forward near those batteries, but I saw none of our forces retreating. When our regiment reached the field the squadron to which I was attached was ordered to dismount and to deploy as sharpshooters, which we did, one hundred or more of us scattering along the edge of a wood. I heard rifle firing to the right and left and in front; this firing did not approach our position, but rather receded. What the dispositions of the forces severally were I never knew.

What I did see, after being in the position say twenty or thirty minutes, was a solitary horseman approaching us through the thicket. He was riding slowly. We soon knew from his black plume that it was our general, and the exclamation came from four or five of us: "That is General Stuart and he is wounded." As he rode slowly toward us we of course rushed up to him. It was but too true; he was wounded, and mortally, as we knew when we saw where the bullet had entered his side and torn his gray jacket. He spoke not a word nor uttered a groan as we assisted him from his horse to the ground. He was borne away on a stretcher or blanket, I forget which, some of the more stalwart of my company doing that duty. Charles Wheatly, of Georgetown, and Bob Bruce, of the Relay House, near Baltimore (both now dead), were two of the men. Ours was a Maryland troop. The writer of this article was from Howard county. The troop was commanded by Captain, afterward Colonel, Gus Dorsey, of Montgomery county, Md.

I remained in the line of skirmishers a short time and we were ordered to mount and return to our regiments. I remember that we joined the main command on the Telegraph road not far from Yellow Tavern. The battle was over; in fact, so far as I could see or hear, it was not much of a battle anyhow. Of course, as soon as the Federal command realized that we had caught up with him his raid was at an end.

We went quietly into camp near Atlee Station, a few miles