John Sloper
35th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry
July 16, 1863
Shenandoah Valley

On the 16th, the men arrived at Castleman's Ferry. Hopes of a quick journey across to Snicker's Gap were dashed when they found the river running high and fast.

John and the fellows of White's Rebels wanted to operate in Loudoun County, but the Shenandoah was running high and fast from the recent rains.

Lige White ordered the men to set up camp. They'd have to wait for the river to calm down.

July 17

One day was all the Rebels could bear to sit around. Lige White marched the men to the river. John joined some of the bolder fellows in swimming horses across. The rest came across in skiffs, leading their horses to the other side. While everyone was getting into dry clothing, a courier came to let White know about Yankees in the gap. White wanted to see for himself. He ordered up a serving of hasty dressing, then led the 35th up the Snickersville road. Sure as shootin', Yankee infantry was there, moving in force.

White told Frank Myers they'd have to keep going up the valley, try again at Ashby's Gap. John Sloper swore: "Damnation! If only we could've gotten across yesterday...!"

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© 2019 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved. May not be re-published without written permission of the author.