IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY (Continued) -- LURAY VALLEY -- GENERAL IMBODEN--LIEUTENANT CRIT IRELAND--"MOONSHINE STILLS"--COLUMBIA BRIDGE--FRONT ROYAL--DESOLATION AND GRAVES.
WE learned that Sheridan was at Strasburg, "twenty miles away." We continued to meet occasionally a Rosser cavalryman who had tarried behind his comrades at the mountain "still house." The little distilleries seemed to be about the only inflammable objects that Sheridan had neglected to burn. Possibly he thought "fire water" was hot enough and quite as demoralizing and destructive as his own fire-brands.
Our own boys were not long in finding out that they were in a land of apple-jack, nor was it long until many of our "sophisticated old timers" became as jolly as Rosser's merry cavaliers.
"We journeyed on
With shout and song
And went into camp twelve or fifteen miles from New Market, near Columbia Bridge, which was burned by Stonewall Jackson just before his triple victory over Shields, Banks and Fremont at Cross Keys, Port Republic, etc. These valley soldiers and people almost deified Jackson, saying he seemed to be omnipresent and omniscient--an inspired and invincible Mars of war.
Although the distillers made no application for them General Cosby supplied the "moonshine resorts" with double guards--a matter of precaution and of courtesy. (?) The general knew the "failing" of his Kentuckians and remembered Rosser's Laurel brigade, composed of good-looking, gayly-dressed boys, on good horses, but carrying "a little too much of the over-be-joyful."