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An Incident at Romney


From Civil War in Song and Story: 1861-1865; collected and arranged by Frank Moore; Published in New York; 1882.  Submitted by Stephanie Ebel


While the national forces were standing under the enemy's fire, on the day of the battle at Romney, VA, and the shot and shell were flying in every direction around us, a little incident occurred which is of worthy notice.

Capt. Butterfield, of the Eighth Ohio regiment, (being one of the ranking Captains) acted as Major upon that occasion, and was obliged to ride an old sorrel horse, which had been used as a team horse, and required both spurs and whip, which teh Captain had provided himself with the latter cut from a tree, and about five feet long.

It was found that our small six-pound guns would not reach the enemy's battery, and Col. Mason ordered Capt. B. to bring forward a brass twelve-pounder, which was in the rear.

Off sped the old sorrel and his brave rider, and in a few moments up came the gun, and athe smell of powder, or something else, had made the old sorrel almost unmanageable, for in trying to wheel him from the front of the gun, the more the Captain applied the whip and spur, the more the old sorrel would not go. This kept the gunners in terrible suspense, for much depended upon that shot. Finally, the Captain finding his efforts to move the steed fruitless, he sang out, at the top of his voice, "Never mind the old horse, blaze away;" and sure enough they did blaze away, and it proved a good shot, for it caused the rebels to limber up their battery, and take to their heels.

At that moment, orders came to charge, and off dashed the old sorrel, frightened at the discharge of the gun, which had scorched his tail, and mingled in the charge. He was lot to view until he arrived in town, where he was brought to a halt, and the Captain, standing in his stirrups, with his cap flying, cheered for the glorious victory that had been achieved.


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