Lean Keen Spying Machine
He had a close call at the end of this assignment and
had to make his way through enemy lines after his escape.
Following this he returned to scouting and picket duty.
Stringfellow served with Stuart at Seven Pines
and Cold Harbor. In July, 1862 he was put on independent
scout duty by Stuart in order to reconnoiter Pope's
army. In August, he located a large wagon train at Catlett's
Station and led Stuart to it, almost capturing Pope
in the process. Left behind at Cedar Run to watch enemy
troop movements, Stringfellow was again almost
captured by Yankee soldiers.
the winter of 1863 Stringfellow returned to Alexandria
to gather intelligence, having set up communication
lines throughout Fairfax County. He was spotted in Alexandria,
however, after he had been there only a short time.
He managed to escape by hiding under the hoop skirt
of a elderly Confederate sympathizer when pursued by
Federal troops. Shortly after leaving Alexandria, angered
by the killing of two of his men, he and a troop of
about 35 Confederates attacked about fifty Yankees in
house, killing and wounding many of them and taking
about 25 prisoners.
In June, 1863 Stringfellow had another amazing
escape. He was dining with some friends in their home
near the Bull Run Mountains when they were surprised
by Federal troops. Stringfellow was well known
to the Yankees by now and a constant target of their
search. This group had orders to kill him on sight.
Aided by a black female servant, Stringfellow
was able to find a tight spot in the attic to hide in.
The Yankees searched high and low in the house and barely
overlooked him. He then slipped out of the house, commandeered
a horse from a Federal he surprised and made his escape.
His luck ran out later that month, however, when he
was captured and sent to Old Capitol Prison in Washington
City. He was exchanged as a Captain in August. Later
that month he led a raid with eleven other Confederates
on a Federal Headquarters and almost succeeded in capturing
another Yankee General.
late September Stringfellow was on patrol with
2 comrades. While they were asleep 4 Yankees surprised
them. Stringfellow was able to kill 1 Yankee
and his comrade killed another. The other Confederate
was shot but the remaining Yankees took off to alert
their camp. The 2 Confederates separated, pursued hotly
by the Yankees. Stringfellow escaped by hiding
under a fallen cedar tree while the Yankees searched
all around him. The 2 Confederates were then able to
reunite and escape.
In late 1863 there was fighting around Stringfellow's
boyhood home in Culpepper County. His mother was wounded
in the foot and taken by the Federals in order to treat
her injury. She was being held in a house that was in
an area serving as a Federal regimental headquarters.
Stringfellow got inside the Federal encampment
and found his mother. He borrowed a woman's dress and
bonnet from his mother’s female servant (who was
still with his mother), slipped into the house and tended
to his mother for 2 days before slipping out again and
heading back to Confederate lines.
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