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6 Captain In the Ranks Copyright, 1904, by A. S. Barnes Co.. Publishers. 156 Fifth Avenue. New York II T^ THmattoCHAPTEHouseotfintfoAppo- E slender remnant Lee's ar tillery swung slowly posi tion a few miles wes Court Wearily, but with spirit still, the batteries park ed their guns in a field facing a strip of woodland. The guns were few in number now, but they were all that were left of those that had done battle on a score of historic fields. Lee had been forced out of his works at Richmond and Petersburg a week before. Ever since, with that calm courage which had sustained him throughout the later and losing years of the war, he had struggled and bat- tled in an effort to retreat to the Roanoke river. He had hoped there to unite the remnant of his army with what was left of Johnston's force and to make there a final and desperate stand. In this purpose he had been baffled. Grant's forces were on his southern flank, and they had steadily pressed him back toward the James river on the north. In that direction there was no thoroughfare for him. Neither was there now in any other. Continual bat tling had depleted his army until it numbered now scarcely more than 10,- 000 men all told, and starvation had weakened these so greatly that only the heroism of despair enabled them to fight or to march at all. The artillery that was parked out there in front of Appomattox Court House was only a feeble remnant of that which had fought so long and so determinedly. Gun after gun had been captured. Gun after gun had been dismounted in battle struggle. Cais son after caisson had been blown up by the explosion of shells striking them. Captain Guilford Duncan, at the head of eleven mounted men, armed only with swords and pistols, paused before entering the woodlands in front. looked about in every direction, and, with an eye educated by long experi ence in war, he observed the absence of infantry support. He turned to Sergeant Garrett, who rode by his side, and said sadly: "Garrett, this means surrender. Gen eral Lee has put his artillery here to be captured. The end has come." Then, dismounting, he wearily threw himself upon the ground, chewed and swallowed a few grains of comthe only rations he hadand sought a brief respite of sleep. But before closing his eyes he turned to Garrett and gave the command: "Post a sentinel and order him to wake us when Sheridan comes." In a minute the captain was asleep. So were all his men except the sentinel posted to do the necessary waking. That came all too quickly, for at this juncture in the final proceedings of the war Sheridan was vigorously car rying out Grant's laconic instruction to "press things." When the sentinel waked the captain, Sheridan's lines were less than fifty yards in front and were pouring heavy volleys into the unsupported Confederate artillery park. Guilford Duncan and his men were moved to no excitement by this situa tion. Their nerves had been schooled to steadiness and their minds to calm under any conceivable circumstances by four years of vastly varied fighting. Without the slightest hurry they mounted their horses in obedience to Duncan's brief command. He led them at once into the presence of Colonel Cabell, whose battalion of artillery lay nearest to him. As they sat upon their horses in the leaden hailstorm with countenances as calm as if they had been entering a drawing room Duncan touched his cap to Colonel Cabell and said: "Colonel, I am under nobody's orders here. I have eleven men with me, all of them, as you know, as good artil lerymen as there are in the army. Can you let us handle some guns for you?" "No," answered Colonel Cabell. "I have lost so many guns already tHat 1 have twenty men to each piece." Then, after a moment's pause, he added: "You, captain, cannot fail to under stand what all this means." "I quite understand that, colonel," answered Duncan, "but as I was in it at the beginning of this war, I have a strong desire to be in it at the end of it." The colonel's cannon were firing vig orously by this time at the rate of six or eight shots to the minute from each gun, but he calmly looked over the little party on horseback and re sponded: "You have some good horses, and this is April. You will need your horses in your farming operations. You had better take them and your men out of here. You can do no good by staying. This fight is a formality pure and simple, a preliminary to the final surrender." "Then you order me to withdraw?" asked Duncan. "Yes, certainly, and peremptorily if you wish, though you are not under my command," answered Colonel Cabell. "It is the best thing you can do for yourself, for your men, for your horses and for the country." Duncan immediately obeyed the or der, in a degree at least. He promptly 5" By... GEORGE CARY EGGLESTON withdrew his men to the top of a little hillock in the rear and there watched the progress of the final fight. His nerves were all a-quiver. He was a young man, twenty-five years old per haps, full of vigor, full of enthusiasm, full of fight. He was a trifle less than six feet high, with a lithe and sym metrical body, lean almost to emacia tion by reason of arduous service and long starvation. He had a head that instantly attracted attention by its unusual size and its statuesque shape. He was bronzed almost to the com plexion of a mulatto, but without any touch of yellow in the bronze. was dark by nature, of intensely nervous temperament and obviously a man capable of enormous determination and unfaltering endurance. He had not yet lost the instinct of battle, and it galled him that he must sit idly there on his horse, with his men awaiting his orders, simply ob serving a fight in which he strongly desired to participate. He could see the Federal lines gradually closing in upon both flanks of the artillery, with the certainty that they must presently envelop and capture it. Seasoned sol dier that he was, he could not endure the thought of standing still while such a wor of war was going on. Seeing the situation, he turned to his men, who were armed only with swords and pistols, and in a voice so calm that it belied his impulse he said to them: "This is our last chance for a fight, boys. I am going into the middle of that mix. Anybody who chooses to follow me can come along!" Every man in that little company of eleven had two pistols in his saddle holsters and two upon his hips, and ev ery man carried in addition a heavy cavalry saber capable of doing execu tion at close quarters. They were gen tlemen soldiers, all. The cause for which they had battled for four long years was as dear to them now as it ever had been. More important still, their courage was as unflinching in this climax and catastrophe of the war they had waged as it had been at Bull Run in the beginning of that struggle or in the Seven Days' fight or at Fred ericksburg or Chancellorsville or Get tysburg or Cold Harbor. Duncan had not doubted their response for one mo ment, and he was not disappointed in the vigor with which they followed him as he led them into this final fight. As they dashed forward their advance was quickly discovered by the alert enemy, and a destructive fire of car bines was opened upon them. At that moment they were at the trot. Instant ly Duncan gave the commands: "Gallop! Charge!" With that demoniacal huntsman's cry which is known in history as the "rebel yell," the little squad dashed forward and plunged into the far heavier lines "Gallop! Charge!" of the enemy. There was a detached Federal gun there doing its work. It was a superb twelve pounder, and Duncan's men quickly captured it with its limber chest. Instantly dismounting and without waiting for orders from him, they turned it upon the enemy with vigorous effect, but they were so fear fully overmatched in numbers that their work endured for scarcely more than a minute. They fired a dozen shots perhaps, but they,were speedily over whelmed, and in another instant Dun can ordered them to mount and retire again, firing Parthian shots from their pistols as they went. When he again reached the little hill to which he had retired at the begin ning of the action, Duncan looked around him and saw that only seven of his eleven men remained. The other four had paid a final tribute of their lives to what was now obviously "the lost cause." By this time the fight was over, and practically all that remained of the ar tillery of the Army of Northern Virginia was in possession of the enemy. But that enemy was a generous one, and, foreseeing, as he did, the surrender that must come with the morning, It made *io assault upon this wandering squad of brave but beaten men, who were sadly looking upon the disastrous end of the greatest war in human his tory. Captain Duncan's party was on a bald hill within easy range of the ear bines of Sheridan's men, but not a shot was fired at them, and not so much as a squad was sent out to demand their surrender. Night was now near at hand, and Guilford Duncan turned to his men and said: "The war is practically over, I sup pose, but I for one intend to stick to the game as long as it lasts. General Lee will surrender his army tonight or tomorrow morning, but General John ston still has an army in the field in North Carolina. It is barely possible that we may get to him. It is my pur pose to try. How many of you want to go with me?" The response was instantaneous and Dnanimous. "We'll all stick by you, captain, 'till the cows come home,' they cried. "Very well," he answered. "We must march to James river tonight and cross it. We must make our way into the mountains and through Lynchburg, if possible, into North Carolina. We'll try, anyhow." All night long they marched. They secured some coarse foodstuffs at a mill which they passed on their way up into the mountains. There for a week they struggled to make their way southward, fighting now and then, not with Federal troops, for there were none there, but with marauders. These were the offscourings of both armies and of the negro population of that region. They made themselves the pests of Virginia at that time. Their little bands consisted of deserters from both armies, dissolute negroes and all other kinds of "lewd fellows of the baser sort." They raided plantations they stole horses they terrorized wom en they were a thorn in the flesh of General Grant's officers who were placed in strategic positions to prevent the possible occurrence of a guerrilla warfare and who therefore could not scatter their forces for the policing of a land left desolate and absolutely lawless. During the sojourn in the mountains, in his effort to push his way through to Johnston, Guilford Duncan came upon a plantation where only women were living in the mansion house. A company of marauders had taken pos session of the plantation, occupying its negro cabins and terrorizing the popu lation of the place. When Duncan rode up with his seven armed men he instantly took command and assumed the role of protector. First of all he posted his men as sentries for the pro tection of the plantation homestead. Next he sent out scouts, including a number of trusty negroes who belong ed upon the plantation, to find out where the marauders were located, and what their numbers were, and what purpose they might seem bent upon. From the reports of these scouts he learned that the marauders exceeded him in force by three to one or more, but that fact in no way appalled him. During a long experience in war he had learned well the lesson that num bers count for less than morale and that with skill and resoluteness a small force may easily overcome and destroy a larger one. Duncan sent at once for the best negroes on the plantationthe negroes who had proved themselves loyal in their affection for their mistresses throughout the war. Having assem bled these, he inquired of the women what arms and ammunition they had. There were the usual number of shot guns belonging to a plantation and a considerable supply of powder and buckshot. Duncan assembled the ne groes in the great hall of the planta tion house and said to them: "I have seven men here, all armed and all fighters. I have arms enough for you boys if you are willing to join me in the defense of the ladies on this plantation against about the worst set of scoundrels that ever lived on earth." Johnny, the head dining room serv ant, speaking for all the rest, replied: "In co'se we is. Jest you lead us, mahstah, and you'll see how we'll do de wu'k." The marauders had established them selves in four or five of the negro quarters on the plantation, and in a certain sense they were strongly forti fied. That is to say, they were housed in cabins built of logs too thick for any bullet to penetrate them. Four of these cabins were so placed that a fire from the door and the windows of either of them would completely com mand the entrance of each of the oth ers. But to offset that, and to offset also the superiority of numbers which the marauders enjoyed, Guilford Dun can decided upon an attack by night. He knew he was outnumbered by two or three to one, even if he counted the willing but untrained negroes whom he had enlisted in his service. But he did not despair of success. It was his pur pose to dislodge the marauders in a night attack, when he knew that they could not see to shoot with effect. He knew also that "he is thrice armed who knows his quarrel just." Cautioning his men to maintain si lence and to advance as quickly as pos sible, he got them into position and suddenly rushed upon the first of the four or five negro quarters. Knowing that the door of this house would be barricaded, be had instructed some of the negroes to bring a pole with them which might be used as "a battering ram. With a rush, but without any hurrah, for Duncan had ordered quiet as a part of his plan of campaign, the negroes carried the great pole forward and instantly crushed in the door. Within ten seconds afterward Dun can's ex-Confederate soldiers, with their pistols in use, were within the house, and the company of marauders there surrenderedthose of them who had not fallen before the pistol shots. This first flush of victory encouraged the negroes under his command so far that what had been their enthusiasm became a positive battle madness. Without waiting for orders from him THIS PRINCETON ITNION: THUBSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 1906. they rushed with their battering ram upon the other houses occupied by the marauders, as did also his men, who were not accustomed to follow, but rather to lead, and within a few min utes all of those negro huts were in his possession, and all their occupants were in effect his prisoners. At this moment Guilford Duncan, who had now no legal or military au thority over his men, lost control of them. Both the negroes and the white men seemed to go mad. They recog nized in the marauders no rights of a military kind, no title to be regarded as fighting men and no conceivable claim upon their conquerors' consideration. Both the negroes and the white men !*vere merciless in their slaughter of the marauding highwaymen. Once, in the melee, Guilford Duncan endeavored to check their enthusiasm as a barbarity, but his men responded in quick, bullet like words, indicating their idea that these men were not soldiers entitled to be taken prisoners, but were beasts of prey, rattlesnakes, mad dogs, enemies of the human race, whose extermina tion it was the duty of every honest man to seek and to accomplish as quickly as possible. The contest lasted for a very brief while. The number of the slaughtered in proportion to the total number of men engaged was appalling. But this was not all. To it was immediately added the hasty hanging of men to the nearest trees, and Guilford 'Duncan was powerless to prevent that The negroes, loyal to the mistresses whom they had served from infancy, had gone wild in their enthusiasm of de fense. They ran amuck, and when the morning came there was not one man of all those marauders left alive to tell the story of the conflict. In the meanwhile Guilford Duncan, by means of his men, had gathered in formation in every direction. knew now that all hope was gone of his join ing Johnston's army, even if that army had not surrendered, as by this time it probably had done. He therefore brought his men together. Most of them lived in those mountains round about or in the lower country east qf them, so he said to them: "Men, the war is over. Most of you, as I understand it, live somewhere near here or within fifty miles of here. As the last order that I shall ever issue to you as a captain, I direct you now to return to your homes at once. My advice to you is to go to work and rebuild your fortunes as best you can. We've had our last fight. We've done our duty like men. We must now do the best that we can for ourselves under extremely adverse cir cumstances. Go home, cultivate your fields, take care of your families and be as good citizens in peace as you have been good soldiers in war." There was a hurried consultation among the men. Presently Sergeant Garrett spoke for the rest and said: "We will not go home, Captain Dun can, until each one of us has written orders from you to do so. Some of us fellows have children in our homes, and the rest of us may have children hereafter We want them to know, as the years go by, that we did not desert our cause even in its dying hours that we did not quit the army until we were ordered to quit. We ask of you, for each of us, a written order to go home or to go wherever else you may order us to go." The captain fully understood the loy alty of feeling which underlay this re quest, and he promptly responded to it. Taking from his pocket a number of old letters and envelopes, he searched out whatever scraps there might be of blank paper. Upon these scraps he issued to each man of his little com pany a peremptory order to return to his home, with an added statement in the case of each that he had "served loyally, bravely and well even unto the end." That night, before their final part ing, the little company slept together in the midst of a cluster of pine trees with only one sentry on duty. The next day came the parting. The captain, with tears dimming his vi sion, shook hands with each of his men in turn, saying to each, with choking utterance: "Goodby! God bless you!" Then the spokesman of the men, Sergeant Garrett, asked: "Are you going home, Captain Dun- can?" For twenty seconds the young cap tain stared at his men, making no an swer. Then, mastering himself and speaking as one dazed, he replied: "Home? Home? On all God's earth I have no home!" Instantly he put spurs to his horse, half unconsciously turning toward the sunset. A moment later he vanished from view over the crest of a hill. CHAPTER II. THcrests E young man rode long and late that night. His way lay always upward toward the of the high mountains of the Blue Ridge range. The roads he traversed were scarcely more than trails, too steep in their ascent to have been traveled by wag ons that might wear them into thor oughfares. During the many hours of his riding he saw no sign of human habitation anywhere and no prospect of finding food for himself or his horse, though both were famishing. About midnight, however, he came upon a bit of wild pasture land on a steep mountain side, where his horse at least might crop the early grass of the spring. There he halted, removed his saddle and bridle and turned the animal loose, saying: "Poor beast! You will not stray far away. There's 'half an acre of grass here, with bare rocks all around it. Your appetite will be leash enough to keep you from wandering." Then the young manno longer a captain now, but a destitute, starving PROFESSIONAL CARDS. R. D. A. 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