March 24, 1862
Camp Bluestone, Mercer Co., Va., March 15th, 1862.
One of the most brilliant, as well as the most successful skirmishes took place here yesterday morning, that has occurred in these parts since the departure of Gen. Floyd last fall. A small detachment of the Border Rangers, Company A, 8th Virginia cavalry under the command of Sergeant J. H. Newman, left camp early on the morning of the 13th, and proceeded to within about eight miles of Raleigh Court-House, where the enemy are posted, where we encamped for the night. About three o'clock next morning w again proceeded towards Raleigh some three or four miles, where we halted, and awaited the coming of the Yankee scouts, who come this side of there daily on their scouting excursions.
We had not awaited long before their bluecoats came in sight, when we lay down find on the ground, and let them pass our squad when we rushed into the road. Just at the moment, some few men, whom we had left up the road some hundred yards or so, fire into them; they immediately wheeled, and were making for Raleigh, when they unexpectedly encountered a barrier of present rifles. We immediately summoned them surrender; instead of doing which, the wheeled and put spurs to their horses. we then fired, killing and wounding several. We left three of them dead on the field; captured several prisoners, besides horse Sharp's rifles, Colt's navy revolvers, sword &c., and returned to camp without any our men even receiving so much as a scratch. Quite a laughable incident occurred after the Yankees had come in sight, before they catch up even with us. One of our boys had left his gun some fifty yards up the hill, when he heard that the Yankees were coming he crawled to it, snake fashion. It was quite laughable to see with what dexterity he performed this short journey.
It is reported here that the Yankees intend to make an early advance on us. Our boys are willing and anxious to meet them at times, and at any place.
It is also reported that Gen. Fremont coming here soon to take command of the northern forces in this vicinity. If he does he won't find cowardly Mexicans to contend against; but will find brave-hearted Virginians, maddened at the treatment which their homes, friends, and beloved country has received at the hands of their valiancy invaders.
J. H. L.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: March 1862