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986 > Page 986 of History of the Orphan brigade

980 HISTORY OF THE ORPHAN BRIGADE. outnumbered, out of ammunition, endangered front and flank, and slowly giving way. A force estimated to be a thousand men were rushing forward on Giltner's right and separating him from the Fifth Kentucky Cavalry, his support on that flank. Morgan ordered the young lieutenant with his little band (about one hundred and fifty men) to check this Federal advance. He promptly charged, and with such impetuosity as to drive them back; then he held the position gained till the main portion of the Confederates could withdraw. He was ordered away by Morgan in person, and told to cover the retreat along the Augusta road. As at Mission Ridge, he proved equal to the emergency. This rearguard was pressed upon by great odds, and at one time the enemy had partially interposed between it and the main body in front, but it was skillfully maneuvered, fighting steadily and stubbornly, and led across the Licking River to join the advance. At Greenville, Tenn., when Morgan was surprised there (Sept. 4, 1864), Cassell's Battalion and the artillery were on the somewhat high ground in the eastern suburbs. The first intimation of danger was a volley fired into their camp by the enemy. Rudy, now in command of Co. B, quickly formed it and was preparing to charge, as in the confusion there was an opportunity for independent action on the part of subalterns, but he was ordered back to support the artillery. Moved by impulse or influenced by sound judgment, he declared his ability to drive fr6\n the town that part of the enemy's troops already rushing toward Morgan's headquarters, and begged to attempt it, but was refused. He has always maintained that by a quick and furious dash, which his gallant little band was so ready to make, he could at least have caused such a diversion as would have saved his chief. In the fight at Duvault's ford (Sept. 30, 1864), Rudy and his company were included among the picked men with whom Gen. Duke ordered Capt. Messick, of Co. A, Second Battalion, to cross at a lower ford and attack the Federals in the rear. Meeting a full battalion, they charged and utterly routed it; but it was the ambitious young lieuteuant's last fight. He received a carbine ball in his rightleg above the knee, which severed the femoral artery, and necessitated amputation to save life. In his account Of the engagement, Gen. Duke says : " Lieut. Rudy, a brave and excellent young officer, lost a leg in this charge." The indomitable will of the man, as well as his devotion to the cause for which he had fought, was manifested in his conduct when he learned that Gen. Lee had evacuated Richmond. He was then in hospital at Charlotte, Va. Thinking that if he could get to Lynchburg he might be of some service in the great stress that had come, he set off on crutches to walk the intervening seventy miles. Two