Source : United States Army Military History Institute
REPRINTED FROM GRAND ARMY SCOUT AND SOLDIERS MAIL, PHILADELPHIA, PA., THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 1898.
JOHN HOLLIS - Company D,Private, 13th PA Cavalry.
"Fighting Them Over - What the Veterans Have To Say About Their Campaigns"
"How He Lost His Liberty - Some Incidents of Meade's Retirement from Culpepper."
Editor National Tribune: I will tell my last battle for the Union, On a morning of October, 1863, I was out on picket, and before the peep o' day the rebels began to drive us in. We skirmished until about 9 a. m., when we fell back to our command. A detail of 10 men from each company of the whole brigade was made for a charge, the balance were placed out on the skirmish-line.
At about 11 a. m. we heard the Confederate cavalry charging, and the detail, of which I was one, was ordered out to met them. We thought we could have the prettiest kind of a fight, but when about 100 yards from each other the rebels went back. We did not follow them far, as the skirmishing was getting very heavy; they were emptying a great many of our saddles. When we got back to camp we were ordered to dismount and fight on foot.
We fought all through the small town of Jefferson, VA., and especially around a graveyard wall of stone. We clubbed carbines several times there. When we drove them back we looked around for our horses and they were gone.
After a consultation we fell back to where was a lot of cord-wood on the ground, on a long ridge. We had no officers with us. Each man built himself a little fort.
We scarcely were fixed when a yelling crowd came charging on us. They charged us five different charges like that, but we sent them back.
All at once large square bodies of men came bearing down on us, and the square flags a-flying. I thought it was all up with us, but it was up quicker than I thought. A comrade from behind called out, "Give up, for they are bayoneting us!" I turned, and sure enough the rebs were driving the boys out of their little forts with the bayonet.
We were ordered to surrender, and while giving up our arms Gen. Lee came riding past us on a gray horse. A great deal of deference was shown him all along the line. Continued...