THE "BOYS" ENTERTAIN THEIR COMRADES WITH STORIES OF VALLEY EXPERIENCE--STONEMAN ON A RAID -- BURBRIDGE AFTER MORE SALT--GENERAL DUKE IS CAPTURED BUT ESCAPES--GENERAL DUKE DEFEATED AT KINGSPORT AND COLONEL DICK MORGAN CAPTURED--CAPTAIN BART JENKINS CAPTURED AT ABINGDON BUT KILLS TWO SOLDIERS AND ESCAPES.
HAVING returned to General Breckinridge, near Wytheville, we learned that General Stoneman commanding a division of cavalry composed of the brigades of Gillem and Burbridge was advancing from Tennessee, his objective point probably being Saltville. Burbridge coming for more salt? W-h-e-w!
We went into camp to obtain a short season of rest and to be reviewed and inspected by General Breckinridge.
Colonel Giltner also was in the vicinity of Wytheville, with three hundred disabled and dismounted men who had not gone down the valley with Cosby.
The weather being extremely cold, the soldiers, grouped around roaring fires, were entertained by the valley veterans who detailed their experience in the region of the Shenandoah. Their stories of their association with the army in the valley were graphic, patriotic and amusing.
The dismounted boys were especially interested in everything we could tell them concerning the Stonewall brigade, and in the many legends that had been told us respecting the personality, character and marvelous genius of Jackson. We had seen his grave at Lexington, and his battlefields at Harrisonburg, Port Republic, Cross Keys, Front Royal, Strasburg, Fishers Hill, New Market, etc. We told them of old Jubal Early and his great white overcoat, his slouch hat with the black plume, his short gray beard and light hair, his red face, the large field-glasses and the inevitable canteen; of his battlefield at Cedar Creek, and of the untruthfulness of the poetry in " Sheridan's Ride;" of General