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A Battle For Calhoun
Part 19; Captors Become Prisoners
by Maricia Mlynek

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Captors Become Prisoners

After Nancy Hart escaped the 9th West Virginia Infantry, under the command of Lt. Colonel William C. Starr, she rode Starr’s horse to meet Major R. Augustus Bailey of Patton’s 22nd Virginia Infantry to plan her revenge.

A week after her escape, Hart returned to Summersville at 4 a.m. on July 25, 1862, with nearly 200 Confederate Cavalry. The raid wreaked havoc on Starr’s men and camp.

Author Boyd Stutler wrote that three houses were burnt, two wagons were destroyed, and eight mules and 12 horses were taken. Starr and his officers, who had been Hart’s captors, were now prisoners of the Confederacy. They were on their way to Richmond and Libby Prison.

Sweet revenge was indeed the ending of Hart’s story in the history books. She knew after the episode at Summersville that a noose would await her if captured again. Therefore, her activities with the CSA died down a bit after the 1862 raid. Though it is likely that she was still involved in one form or another, her active role as a guerilla lady faded away.

Nancy’s husband, Joshua Douglas, survived the war. The stories claim that the two settled down on a mountain farm where they lived the rest of their lives. It is hard to believe that the wild bushwhacking, copperhead Nancy Hart ever “settled down,” although love can do strange things to anyone. Perhaps, it even tamed the legendary “Lady Guerilla.”


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