Kentucky Cavaliers in Dixie: The Reminiscences of a Confederate Cavalryman

By Geo. Dallas Mosgrove | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XLIII.
FAREWELL TO THE VALLEY--GENERAL EARLY'S OPINION OF THE CAVALRY-GOOD NEWS FROM ROSSER--NEW CLOTHING--FAMOUS VIRGINIA SPRINGS--THE RETURN MARCH--GRAVE OF CAPTAIN CLEBURNE--MRS. JOHN B. FLOYD.

NOVEMBER 24, 1864, General Early ordered General Cosby to report to General Breckinridge, then in Tennessee. General Early himself selected our route, directing General Cosby to return by way of Warm Springs and Lewisburg. Grimly smiling, the old general remarked to Cosby that the people on that route had more horses to spare than those living along the valley pike. He had never been an admirer of the cavalry and was wont to say, "They are only good to stampede and to steal horses," and that "Nobody ever saw a dead man wearing spurs." However, he had somewhat modified his opinion. His horsemen had done valuable service when his infantry was stampeded at Cedar Creek, and the accomplished General Rosser and his merry cavaliers had just covered themselves with glory by a dash into Piedmont, resulting in the capture of about one thousand Federals, fifteen hundred horses, two thousand cattle, eight cannon and innumerable small arms, all of which had been brought to New Market and presented to the cynical old general as trophies of the generalship and esprit de corps of the cavalry, especially of Rosser's Laurel brigade.

Just at this time also came the cheering news that General Breckinridge, who had been General Early's associate in the grand demonstration on Washington City, had signally defeated Gillem in Tennessee, capturing seven or eight hundred prisoners, six cannon, caissons, horses, fifty loaded wagons, ambulances, etc. Good for Breckinridge! We all rejoiced at the humiliation of Gillem, our old antagonist, the slayer of General Morgan.

When we started to rejoin Breckinridge our horses were nearly starved and the men were in a like condition. Luckily

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