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5824Re: Capture of Longstreet's ammunition train, 9/15

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  • eighth_conn_inf
    Sep 7, 2009
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      Robert,

      You are correct. Apparently Cole's was in the lead; let me know if you need more:

      Fortunately for the escaping troopers, an experienced guide formerly used by Gen. Nathanial P. Banks and White, Thomas Noakes, knew the area well and helped guide the escape column.

      Major Augustus W. Corliss, the commander of the College Cavaliers, "In characteristic languageÂ…assured them that by the `next morning they would either be in Pennsylvania, or in hell, or on their way to Richmond.' He gave directions for a thorough grooming of the horses and inspection of saddle girths, and for such other slight preparations as it was practicable to make for the perilous ride." Capt. Means leading the Loudoun Rangers was outraged at the surrender plans but "he and his Rangers had special reasons to avoid capture. Since they were Virginians, they could be hanged as traitors." Their local knowledge would also be valuable in guiding the long column through the dark night.

      At about 8 P.M. when night had fully fallen, the commands formed up, forage was distributed, and the 1,500 troopers slowly rode down Shenandoah Street for the pontoon bridge led by Cole's Cavalry with Lt. Green in the lead who knew the area along with Noakes. A treat awaited the troopers courtesy of some sutlers who realized that their goods would shortly be taken by the Rebels: "As [the troopers] moved forward towards the bridge, men on each side of the column were seen handing up something which looked in the distance like a little piece of paper, and the students began to wonder if those `Christian Commissioners' were giving them tractsÂ….they reached down their hands and grasped a paper of fine cut tobacco" being given away to `the heroes of the evening.'"

      Larry


      --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, Robert Moore <cenantua@...> wrote:
      >
      > Excellent description... thank you Larry. I figured that there must have been more Union units involved considering the diverse range of regiments involved in the breakout. I need to look back at some of the details of the "exodus," but it seems to me that Cole's was at the head of the column.
      >
      > Robert
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