Boney carried a Mississippi rifle, which soon became foul. He was in the thick of the fight and had fired until he could not ram another bullet down. His gun was choked, and at that critical moment a retreat was ordered. Just then a bullet struck him in the thigh. It roused his ire and he turned upon the advancing Yankees and putting his ramrod against a tree, tried to push the bullet down and in the endeavor his ramrod became fast in the barrel. He raised his gun, fired ramrod and all at the enemy, and turned to run. A bullet struck his knapsack, passed through it and lodged in his clothing without hurting him. But another ball struck him a moment later and passed through his lungs. He dropped his gun, but continued running until he overtook his comrades. V. M. Poling asked him if he had been wounded, to which Loy replied with more vehemence than piety: "No, - -, I'm killed." His wounds, however, were not fatal, and after several months in the hospital he was back in his regiment, and ready for more fighting.
In this battle Joel Roberson was so severely wounded that he was unable to perform service in the infantry, but as soon as he had sufficiently recovered he joined the cavalry. He was a good soldier, and was liked by all who knew him. B. W. Armstrong, a man of superior education, died of a fever in August 1861. He was in every way a gentleman. The company took part in the battles of Malvern Hill, Charles City and Cedar Mountain; at the latter place Samuel Mohler and V. M. Poling were wounded, Mohler badly in the foot, Poling slightly in the side. His capbox saved him.
This company took an active part in the second battle of Bull Run, and followed Lee and Jackson through the Maryland campaign, culminating at Antietam. At the second battle of Bull Run the company went with Jackson in his flank movement around Pope. All the Confederate wagons were left behind to make better speed, and the only rations issued to the men were four roasting ears each per day. But when they camped near cornfields they helped themselves. However, they succeeded in capturing Pope's supply train and were then told to help themselves, which they did with an unsparing hand. Each man took all he could carry.
On the retreat from Antietam the soldiers waded the Potomac. The water came to their cartridge boxes. Stonewall Jackson sat on his horse in the middle of the river encouraging his men. The soldiers cheered him as they struggled by, through the swift water, and he sat with his hat off, in a beating rain.
The field of action for Company I changed to Fredericksburg. At this place the Yankee and Rebel pickets on the Rappahannock traded tobacco and coffee. The Rebels on one side of the river put a sail on a plank, tied their tobacco to the staff, and the wind would carry the frail bark to the other side. The Yankees took the tobacco and sent coffee back in exchange for it. The sail was changed each time so as to carry the boat straight across. This trading was kept up till the Yankees moved their pickets back.
Death of Lieutenant Morehead
In the spring of 1863 General Hooker left Sedgwick's corps at Fredericksburg and he crossed to Chancellorsville.
Company I was left, in Early's division, to watch Sedgwick. In a battle at that place the thirteenth regiment was sent forward alone to attack a hill as a feint. The soldiers charged and took it three times; but on the top of the hill the regiment encountered two lines of battle, and was forced to fall back. At this place Lieutenant James Morehead met his death. His last words were, "They are running Come on, boys." He was a gallant officer, and was very popular with the men. The soldiers procured boards from a barn, made him a coffin, and buried him. Captain Smith offered a prayer, while shells were falling and exploding on all sides.
The company lost other valuable men in this charge. Samuel Loy was mortally wounded and died in a few days. Richard Roberson, Sanford Carder and Joseph Carder were badly wounded. During the retreat from the hill, hotly pursued by federals, Boney Loy and V. M. Poling, afterwards clerk of the Hampshire Circuit Court, were fighting the best they could to cover the retreat, when they were so hard pressed that they were compelled to conceal themselves in a deep gully, while the Yankees took possession of other gullies nearby, and made a stand, not knowing that rebels were in an adjoining gully. The Confederate troops rallied, and for some time there was the prospect of a sharp fight over the heads of Poling and Loy, but they were not uneasy on that score, as they could lie low and escape the bullets, but they did not feel comfortable when they considered the result if the Yankees should see them and use the bayonet. They could hear the Yankees talking near them, but did not dare raise their heads for fear of discovery. They thus hugged the bottom of the gully for hours. About five o'clock in the afternoon they heard a noise like the flight of a drove of pigeons, and a moment later saw that the Rebel infantry were charging. The peculiar noise was made by soldiers running through the grass. General Gordon was making the charge. He drove the Federals back and the men emerged from the gully and rejoined their comrades.
Company I, now reduced to a few men, was transferred to Winchester and took part in the battle with Milroy, which resulted in forcing him to retreat down the Valley with heavy loss. The thirteenth regiment was left at Winchester to guard military stores, and thus missed Gettysburg. The company moved east of the Blue Ridge after the Gettysburg campaign and spent the winter on the Rappahannock, 1863-4. At that time the Confederate States were hard pressed for food and clothing, and the soldiers were on short rations, one day three-quarters of a pound of beef and no bread; next day they would get flour and no meat; then rice for one day, and no salt at any time. In February a detachment was sent to the Rappahannock to catch fish. They lived without salt or flour. They cooked their fish in various ways to see if some sort of flavor could not be given them; but a fish without salt is not good, no matter how it is cooked.
In 1864 the confederate government concluded to be generous with the veterans who had volunteered in the service, and congresses at Richmond passed an act giving each veteran a bond for one hundred dollars. The few men still serving in the ranks of the Frontier Riflemen were called out in line and each was promised the bond as a present. They never received them. It was afterwards ascertained, or was so reported in the army, that the employees in the government' printing office at Richmond were given all the bonds they could print after five o'clock each evening, as their pay for working the rest of the day for the government. It was customary in winter to give ten days' furlough to two men at a time from each company. The young soldiers usually gave way to the married men who could thus visit their families. Those on furlough, if they remained in Richmond, had expenses to pay. Board at the hotels was fifty dollars a day in January, 1864; flour, one hundred and fifty dollars a barrel; oysters one dollar a dish; whiskey two dollars a thimbleful. As the soldiers received only twelve dollars a month they could not afford to go on furlough very often. The soldiers in camp were very often starved nearly to death, and when they obtained a supply of food their appetite was so ravenous that they ate to excess. After the battle at Port Republic, two days rations were issued to the men. Some of the soldiers cooked and ate the whole at one sitting. Two brothers, in addition to the two days' rations, bought from a butcher a beef's liver weighing twelve pounds. They boiled this and ate the whole of it. They lay down and slept, never expecting to wake; but no harm came of their enormous meal.
In the spring of 1864 the Confederate Army commenced fighting Grant in the Wilderness. A member of Company I expressed in these words a truth which no doubt was clearly seen by many at the time: "After we had fought Grant a few days in the Wilderness, there was not an officer, nor an intelligent soldier, in our army who did not realize that the Southern Confederacy was doomed. But we fought on, hoping against hope that something would happen that would save us; some foreign power might help us; or some other assistance come from some quarter." On May 5 Company I was reduced to nine men, in ranks, and the captain, as follows: Captain Abraham Smith, R. J. Pugh, Richard Roberson, William Loy, W. Loy, William Sheetz, Samuel Mohler, Joseph Carder, Uriah
Cheshire and V. M. Poling. The company was in the battle of Spotsylvania Court House in May 1864. B. M. Haines had been detached with the signal corp.
The Broken Line
At that battle there was desperate fighting. Grant was pressing Lee hard at every point. One foggy morning General Hancock led a charge, which broke Lee's line. The Confederates at that place had built fortifications in the shape of V with the point to the enemy. Company I was in the works on the left. Hancock came through on the right, and his victorious soldiers were sweeping everything before them and threatening to gain possession of the road to Richmond. It was a