War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0760 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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pilot, who joined my command that day, was very serviceable in aiding us to find the shoal water on the bar. Indeed, without him I should perhaps have had to abandon the enterprise. The excitement of the command as we approached the Ohio shore was intense, and in the anxiety to be the first of their respective companies to reach the soil of those who had invaded us all order was lost and it became almost a universal race as we came into shoal water. In a short time all were over, and in a few minutes the command was formed on the crest of a gentle eminence and the banners of the Southern Confederacy floated proudly over the soil of our invaders. As our flag was unfurled in the splendors of an evening sun cheers upon cheers arose from the men and their enthusiasm was excited to the highest pitch.

After dismounting a small body of men, and putting to flight some of the refugee Yankee soldiers from Ravenswood who, as said before, fled to the Ohio side for safety, I proceeded with my command into the State of Ohio, having already given the necessary directions to the part of the command left on the Virginia side to effect a junction near Point Pleasant. It was a subject of the very greatest interest with me to observe the state of feeling in Ohio and the impression our presence would produce. I may say in brief that the latter was characterized by the wildest terror - so much so that but for the pity for the subject of it one could only view it as an absurdity. Women inquired for officers wherever our troops appeared, and, having found them, begged them no to permit them to murder them. Others came out of their dwellings and urged as a reason for our not burning them that they contained invalids too much afflicted to be removed. To these requests we replied that, though that mode of warfare had been practiced on ourselves, though many of the soldiers of our command were homeless and their families exiles on account of the ruthless warfare that had been waged against us, we were not barbarians, but a civilized people struggling for their liberties, and that we would afford them that exemption from the horrors of a savage warfare which had not been extended to us. It was manifest that they had not expected such immunity, and could scarcely credit their senses when they saw that we did not light our pathway with the torch. On more than one occasion, however, our presence produced a different effect, and the waving of handkerchiefs showed that the love of liberty and the right of self-governments had still some advocates in a land of despotism. It was a curious and unexpected thing to hear upon the soil of Ohio shouts go up for Jeff. Davis and the Southern Confederacy. This was usually, however, in isolated spots, where there were no near heighbors to play the spy and informant.

In the course of our march in Ohio we captured several Federal soldiers who had escaped from Ravenswood, and upon returning to the Ohio River and taking possession of Racine we put to flight some Home Guards who had assembled for its defense. Here I proposed to recross the Ohio River, but a citizen familiar with the ford declared it impossible. Entertaining a different opinion, based upon Mr. Burdett's knowledge of the channel, I insisted upon the citizen mounting a horse and leading the column over, promising him a proper remuneration. After getting more than two-thirds of the distance across I saw that if we followed him the whole command would have to swim their horses, a dangerous experiment for those who could not swim a stroke if accidentally displaced from their horses. Observing this, I halted the column, and with Mr. Burdett, of whom I have spoken as having been formerly a steamboat pilot, sought and soon found the course of the