Waddell's Annals of Augusta County, Virginia, from 1726 to 1871


a tree. A portion of the Federal army passed over him, and a soldier stopped long enough to take off his field-glass. Left alone for awhile, he crawled to a shady spot among rocks and leaves. Soon a Federal straggler came up and robbed him of his watch, pocket-book, hat, gold ring and pocket knife. Next, an Irishman in the Federal army came along, inquired about his injuries, and went nearly a mile to procure water for him. Finally, several of Averillís cavalry gathered near him, and while they stood there a moccasin snake glided across his forehead and stopped near his face. He called to the soldiers, and they killed the reptile. His arm was amputated at the shoulder by a Federal surgeon, and the wounded thigh was properly treated. The stolen watch was recovered through the agency of the surgeon and a Federal colonel.



was one of the most remarkable men of his day. He was born a poor boy, early in the 19th century, and reared in Chesterfield county. At an early age he was thrown upon his own resources, without the advantages of education. After pursuing various vocations, he turned his attention to the construction of railroads, and a large part of the Chesapeake and Ohio railroad was constructed by him. By a mental process peculiar to himself, he made the most intricate calculations in mensuration, with promptness and accuracy. He accumulated several fortunes during his life, and lost nearly as many by his liberality. He was transparently honest, and, with much worldly wisdom, as guileless as a child. For about the last thirty years of his life he resided in Augusta county. When the war arose in 1861, he raised a company for the Fifty-second regiment, but his services were more needed otherwise. He was first commissioned as quartermaster, with the rank of Captain. Soon, however, General T. J. Jackson attached him to his person and employed him in constructing roads and bridges, obtaining for him the commission of Lieutenant-Colonel of engineers. An anecdote is related to show his energy and skill: One evening General Jackson notified him to hold himself in readiness to construct a bridge over a river they were at. The regular engineers sat up all night, drawing the plan, and in the morning Mason was sent for to receive instructions. He presented himself at headquarters, with the announcement that the bridge was up! His death occurred in January, 1885, when he was about eighty-two years of age. Up to the time of his last sickness he was actively engaged in constructing railroads in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and elsewhere.

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