Jumping the Fence

NH Civil War Gal

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Feb 5, 2017
This is from Samuel Cormany, April 1865 as he was crossing the Appomattox on horseback.

The road was narrow--so it was difficult for the Captain and myself to pass the men in column and instruct, or order the officers in passing what to listen for, and keep doing as they were falling back--I "jumped the fence" and rode in the field and so was making good time towards reaching my point, when suddenly a huge ditch--or washout--8 or 10 feet wide, and 6 or 8 feet deep confronted me--it was bridged on the road--but there was a high fence to my left, and a squad of rebel infantry coming out of the brush 100 yds to my right--demanding my surrender--I gave my horse the rein, and my two spurs and he cleared the gully--only his hind feet did not go quite far enough, but by throwing myself forward after a little moments awful struggle--he recovered himself and we went on--

I can't see why those 30 or 40 rebs didn't shoot me--Guess they were too cock sure I'd land in the gully--and be their game--or else too startled looking at the awful venture to remember they had guns. A minute later, they fired a volley after me, and the bullets buzzed like bees over head--but not one touched me or my horse!

Well, he certainly had death kiss him on the cheek that day!

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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Feb 14, 2012
Central Pennsylvania
They could have been just too impressed watching anyone make that jump. We were incredibly horse-centric, South even more than the North. Horsemanship meant a lot. Somewhere in a soldier's letter home that day, a Confederate man probably described the same thing from a spectator's view.

You just know for all the shots that whizzed by him, a few were reluctant to shoot at all. I'd have made an abysmal soldier- would have been in the cheering section.

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