One of the joys of researching a Civil War ancestor is finding his written narrative of the War years.  William Ambrose Rucker was a private in the "Amherst Mounted Rangers," Co. E of the 2nd Viriginia Cavalry, CSA.  He wrote this at the request of his granddaughter, Jean Wood Brydon; the original is in the possession of her daughter, Jeannie Brydon of Richmond, Virginia.  It appears as it was originally typed.. He appears, above, in 1861 in his uniform, and as an older man, wearing his Confederate veterans medal.
"A sketch of my war experiences."
At Amherst Court House, Virginia, Company E was organized, April 1, 1861, and mustered into service in the Va. forces on April 17.
We were encamped near Lynchburg a few days, from there we were sent to Fairfax Court House, to do patrol picket duty.
How well I remember my first view of the enemy, their forces were moving on a parallel road to us, about a quarter of a mile from us, their bands were playing, it was a beautiful military sight.
At Centerville, the enemy came up to one of our outposts, there was a skirmish, a few shots exchanged, and the enemy retreated.  Our boys were rewarded with some trophies, the Union Army officers frequently took their women friends with them in the rear of the army, this was not permitted in the Southern Army.
Walter Fuquay, one of my comrades, returned with a hoop-skirt, remarking, "The bird has flown."
From April the 17, 1862, the most important battle that I was in, was the Battle of Bull Run, near Manassas, Va.
May 24, 1862, I was detailed to go to Gordonsville, with some prisioners of war who were being sent to Richmond to be imprisioned. 
On my return, I joined our cavalry in an engagement with the enemy in an orchard near Cedarville, in the Valley of Va.  It was in this engagement that the handsome Captain John Fletcher and his brother Clinton Fletcher, both from Upperville, Va. were killed at the same time.  At this time our great Stonewall Jackson, had all the Union forces retreating.
We spent a night at Martinsburg, and it was there one night, that I assisted our wonderful woman spy, Belle Boyd, to mount her horse, she rode off into the darkness, carrying our dispatches, my admiration for her, has not been lessened, with the passing of years, for I know her to have been as brave, as she was beautiful, and a great help to the Southern cause.
The next day our regiment went to the Old Stone Church, two miles of Harper's Ferry, where we did our post picket duty.  I remember I was ordered to take posession of a cherry tree, out in a wheat field, overlooking the breast works of the enemy.  We had a cannon at tha Old Church, in full view of the enemy, one of the enemy was very daring, and would mount the breast works, and wave and jeer at our cannonneer, after this was done over and over again, our cannonneer got the proper range, and the brave young enemy's life was lost.  On our return thro' Winchester, General Bank's Army had retreated, leaving their Sutler's outfit, you can well imagine how the Confederates immediately took possession of everything, the dress goods was sent back home as gifts to the widows, mothers and sisters of the boys.  I think it was the next day that we were encamped in an old orchard, and were asleep, when our lovable and gallant Col. Munford, came in person and awakened the command.  We started for Strasburg on the double quick, it was a dark and cloudy night, our brigade was in charge of Col. Richard Dulaney of Upperville, Va who was badly wounded in the arm, by the cavalry charge of the enemy in this engagement.  The Union forces were driven back, we rested until the following evening, when the enemy again appeared near New Market, they were again halted, and our command moved on to Harrisonburg, where we rested a day.  General Jackson kept the three Union Armies on the run, he outwitted them every time.  We then went to Cross Keys, where we met the Union Armies, it was there I remember a Union officer who was making a charge, sword in hand, his men failed to follow him, he was forced to surrender, his first words were "Take me to Tom Jackson."  They had been college mates at West Point.  It was James Jones, of my company of cavalry, that took him to General Jackson.  General Jackson, ordered Col. Munford promoted General, at General Ashby's death.
About this time, our wagon trains were on the road towards Staunton, I was well mounted, so was detailed to go and have them turned back to Port Republic, some time before midnight, I overtook them, and delivered my message.  On my return next morning, I reported to General Jackson, and found him on the bridge, in full view of the combat, in the valley just east of South River, for a few minutes, I looked on the scene, but I was protected from the enemy's bullets, it was a wonderful sight to see the enemy in full retreat, by this act, proclaiming "Stonewall" Jackson, "Invincible."
This practically ended the Valley Campaign.  Shortly all were on the march to join "Mars Bob" Lee.  With "Stonewall" Jackson leading his men, felt that their Heavenly Father had caused a pure and noble Christian, to marshall one of the bravest armies ever marshalled on earth.

I am nearly eighty-one years of age, I have written this sketch for my grand daughter from memory.

                                                                                         Company E 2nd Virginia Cavalry
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