As the Confederates were leaving the sawmill, they noticed four horses tied in front of Nathaniel (Nat) Hanna’s residence. Hanna was a known Union man. (The house was located where the Main Street Bank stands today, at 727 Elden Street.) The horses belonged to Major William Wells, Captain Robert Schofield, Lieutenant Perley C. J. Cheney, and Lieutenant Watson. Wells, Schofield, and Cheney, also of the First Vermont Cavalry, had ridden to the station to investigate complaints from the local civilians of looting by the local Union soldiers.
The four officers were inside eating a meal provided by Nat Hanna’s wife, Kitty Kitchen Hanna, who unlike her husband was a loyal southerner, when they noticed Mosby’s men in front of the residence. Cheney and Watson rushed out and were captured. Wells and Schofield tried to hide in the attic. One of Mosby’s rangers fired a shot through the ceiling calling for their surrender. This caused Major Wells to fall through the ceiling, directly into the hands of the captors. After the war, it is believed that Wells or Schofield returned to reclaim their guns, which they had left hidden in the walls. Incidentally, Major Wells would later be promoted to brigadier general.
Kitty Kitchen Hanna later recounted the terrifying story of what happened inside her house that day. It began earlier, when her husband told her that they would be having a guest for dinner. Lieutenant Watson came to the house and was later joined by the three other officers. She sent for two pies from her aunt’s house to feed her larger than expected number of guests.
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