War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0023 Chapter XXXI. OPERATIONS AT BLUE'S GAP, W. VA., ETC.

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Cacapon Bridge a short time after we heard the firing. Captain Hite and Lieutenants Cole and Baer were all present, and saw the smoke. Two of our men started in the direction of Little Cacapon, to see what was the matter. When the men came back they told the captain that they had seen the enemy, and that they were coming down that way (meaning from Cacapon to Paw Paw). This was between 9 and 10 a. m. Henry Schneider and Edward Ackerman were the men who reported the enemy coming, and both belonged to our company. The captain then told us to get ready, pack our knapsacks, and get into ranks.

After we were in ranks, Captain Hite said, "Boys will you retreat or fight? " We all said "fight." We were then marched into the rifle pit. When we were in the rifle-pit, Captain Hite said, "Boys, if you fire, take good aim for the head." We were in the pit between two and three hours before we saw any of the enemy. We first saw the enemy in the tow-path, on the canal. We next saw their pickets approach us on the Virginia side ourselves. Soon after, we saw the infantry advance on us, in a single column, on the Virginia side. They then marched from a hill down into a meadow, and formed in line of battle between 400 and 500 yards from us. I suppose there between 200 and 300 of the infantry.

At this time Captain Hite said, "Boys, will you fight or surrender?" The great majority of the men replied "fight." I only know of two who said "surrender." We then was some cavalry on the hill, about half a mile from us. When we saw the cavalry, Captain Hite again said, "Boys, will you fight or surrender?" The men replied, as before, "fight." One of the enemy then approached with a flag of truce. Captain Hite and Lieutenants Cole and Bear went to meet him. I think the cavalry was about 100 strong. The infantry was, all this time, within rifle-range of us. I am certain we have practiced at target-shooting farther than they were from us and did good shooting. There were some 90 of us in the pit, armed with good Austrian rifles, and each of us supplied with from 110 to 120 rounds of ammunition. On an average, each of us had 50 rounds of compressed cartridges, and the remainder was the usual paper cartridge. We had plenty of water and hard bread in the pit. The enemy could not have to us without crossing on open plain, exposed to our fire from the pit, where we were proceed. The rifle-pits were pronounced splendid.

When our officers met the man the man with the flag of truce, he went with them to the rebel officers,who met them about half-way. They were gone about five minutes when they returned. When they got to the rifle-pits, Captain Hite said, "Boys, get our of the pits, now." We got our of the pits and into line, when the captain marched us away a short distance, and ordered us to "stack arms." We did so, and found that we were prisoners. Our officers then went to their quarters, and began to get their things ready. I heard Captain Hite say, "It is a damned shame." Lieutenant Cole seemed to be in a bad humor, and Lieutenant Bear did not seem to be well leased. Nobody said anything. I determined no to be take away, and told Captain Hite if they did not parole me there I would not go away; they might kill me, but I would not go. I was sick, and when they marched the company off I went along about 300 yards,and told them I would not go any farther. I laid down a barn, and the rest went ahead. Colonel Imboden commanded the rebel force. He saw me at the barn, and told me to go on. I swore I would not,a nd did not go with them. I went to Green spring, and then reported to the adjutant, at headquarters. There was not a shot fired on either side at the taking or surrender of our company.