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Anderson Intelligencer

May 26, 1914



J. V. Stribling Describes an Act of Cool Daring.

To The Intelligencer.

I have been asked to write some little incident relative to a river of human gore that fifty years ago ran its hot course between the tribute paying planters of the cotton fields of the south and the tribute gathering manufacturers of the north.

The blood flowing into this river was drawn from the blue veins of the Caucasian tillers of the soil of the south and the brawn of the north and whoever of hired foreign riff raff the tribute collected of the south by manufacturers in the north under name of a tariff tax could buy.

This river of hot blood flowed freely for about four years and vanished into a great sea now known as the fathomless sea of commercialism; the sores of which since have been feverishly lashed with the cry Water! Water! More water!  Till everything now from the wine glass at the sacrament table to railroad stocks and bonds seems to be watered.  Oh, yes, hold!  Excuse me!  I see!  I have taken the wrong trail to find the little war incident I was asked to write about.

At the time that river of hot blood began to flow I was a boy very much a boy.  A younger brother and I, while at school thinking more about war than about the three R’s plus x, or the 47th problem of Euclid at the board of Uncles D. D. and L. H. Verner at Bachelors Retreat then Pickens District, S. C.  One night Uncle L. H. V. on reading about the Bull Run Battle addressed us sayin:  “Boys, my father fought the Cowpens battle.  He saw no Bull Run or running cattle.  At Bull Run, Lincoln’s affrighted clan fled the battle with the hero in the van.  However I got an opportunity to learn first hand that the Yankees had no monopoly on the art of expediency of running.  Yes, I learned Johnnie could readily lay claim to right title and preferment to run some when he had to.

I vividly recall a time when a scouting party of us, after being in the running long enough to think we were _____ _____ ____ too, threw out a vidette ____ _____ ____ down upon the ground to get a fraction of what we thought we stood in need of.

The Yankees somehow foiled the vidette and dashed suddenly upon us.  We then learned we were not as tired or sleepy either, as we had thought.  My horse, Joe, was browsing between the enemy’s approach and where I lay dozing flat upon the ground.  The firing waked me just in time to jump astride Joe as he dashed by and I lost no time or aim in making good the mount.  Lieut. James R. Tribble, however, preceded me in th egoing and to my great surprise instead of over taking him, I met him.  Being unwilling to believe he was going to join the enemy or fight them single handed, curiosity somehow succeeded in twisting me right about face, without checking my course or speed, however, sufficiently for me to witness a desperately daring act.  The horse of Ezra Cromer was shot down just at the time of Cromer’s mounting.  The fall of Dollie, for that was the name of the horse, was observed by the brave lieutenant, who having a margin of probably less than 40 paces, went to Cromer’s rescue, and without words tendered him a seat on the promptly reversed end of his faithful steed.  It is needless to say Cromer (now deceased) without words readily sprang to the silently proffered seat.

And yet for all this blood curdling daring they actually caught up with me in less than three miles run and don’t you forget it my horse, Joe, was some runner; a good quality, however much to my appreciation on more than one occasion received due credit on another triumphal day according to statement of Al Young, the negro servant to his young master, Lieut. William H. Verner and I.

On a certain occasion Al was sent down the river at the head of the picket line to get a letter from me.  The Yankees day after day, had been throwing shells high over the bridle path to the picket line in an attempt to cripple our railroad line, but for some reason about the time Al started back to camp the cannons were lowered and the shells began to dig some pretty good sized graves about his pathway.  Later on my going off duty to camp I said: “Well Al how did you come out?”  “ ‘Tween Joe and me we just outrun them shells; Eph,” (that was the name of his young master’s horse, whose running qualities he had previous to this time _____ preferred to put ahead of that of Joe) “Eph, he said, is no slow runner, but it just takes Joe to run with me.”  Lieut. Verner, one of nature’s noblemen, after many years of usefulness as an educator at Tuscaloosa, Ala., passed to his reward.  And the servants one-song-single-tone-gourd-banjo has lost the tuning fingers and frog-in-throat voice of the running musician, peace to his ashes.

John V. Stribling.

Anderson, S. C., April 28, 1914


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