Early in May 1862, I had been scouting for several weeks in the vicinity of Yorktown, and on my return to camp Gary, I was summoned by Colonel Haskill, who asked me if I was willing to undertake a special service not strictly military, but indirectly beneficial to the cause.
I replied with alert cheerfulness: “Anything you tell me to do, Colonel, I am ready to attempt.”
Whereupon, smiling blandly, he proceeded to say:
“And none know better than yourself, a certain Captain Lester is the Yankee Provost Marshal in Yorktown, and it seems that he is desperately enamored of a young Southerner; who returns his affection, but refuses to marry an enemy. The love-lorn captain has contrived to notify the War Department that he will join the Confederacy if he can be gotten safely out of his present position and into Richmond. Both the lady and himself are in Yorktown, and I have been ordered to send a quick-witted and trustworthy agent to them to arrange the details of a plan by which this object can be effected. Do you think you can manage it?”
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