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Full text of "History of Kershaw's brigade, with complete roll of companies, biographical sketches, incidents, anecdotes, etc"

^*^.°/''!" University Library 
t 577 .4.Hl4 

"^iJ^MiiiiNiiiiiifiiiiif'i* ^^' °' secession. 
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THE JAMES VERNER SCAIFE 

COLLECTION 

CIVIL WAR LITERATURE 



THE GIFT OF 

JAMES VERNER SCAIFE 

CLASS OF 1889 

1919 




Cornell University 
Library 



The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924026470991 



HISTORY 



OF 



KERSHAW'S BRIGADE, 



WITH 



COMPLETE ROLL OF COMPANIES, 

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES, 

INCIDENTS, ANECDOTES, ETC. 



BY 



D. AUGUSTUS DICKERT. 



INTRODUCTION BY 

ASSOCIATE JUSTICE Y. J. POPE. 



NEWBERRY, S. C. 

Elbert H. Aull Company. 

1899. 



A.^'E^idi, 



Kntered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1899, 

By ElyBKRT H. AULI^ CO., 

In the office of the Librarian of Congress, 

At Washington, D. C. 



To the soldiers of tl^e old pirst Brigade (I^ershaw's), 
of the pirst Division of the pirst Corps of the flrmy of 
I>lorthern Virginia, this work is affectionately dedicated, 
r?ot as a testimor;)ial of their worth, nor as a memorial of 
tl^eir services, for tl^is is begor;id humai? pen ; but as a 
sligl^t tribute to their trials, their er;)durance, their logaltg, 
and their courage during the four gears in wl^ich tlpe 
author had the hor;)or to call them, 

COMt^flDE. 



INTRODUCTION. 



More than thirty-four years have passed away since the soldiers who 
composed the Second South Carolina Regiment of Infantry, the Third 
South Carolina Regiment of Infantry, the Eighth South Carolina Regi- 
ment of Infantry, the Fifteenth South Carolina Regiment of Infantry, 
the Twentieth South Carolina Regiment of Infantry, and the Third 
South Carolina Battalion of Infantry, which commands made up 
Kershaw's Brigade, laid down their arms; and yet, until a short time ago, 
no hand has been raised to perpetuate its history. This is singular, 
when it is remembered how largely the soldiers of this historic brigade 
contributed to win for the State of South Carolina the glory rightfully 
hers, by reason of the splendid heroism of her sons in the war between 
the States, from the year 1861 to that of 1865. If another generation 
had been allowed to pass, it is greatly feared that the power to supply 
the historian with the information requisite to this work would have 
passed away forever. 

The work which assumes to perpetuate the history of Kershaw's 
Brigade should not be a skeleton, consisting of an enumeration of the 
battles, skirmishes, and marches which were participated in —with the 
names of the commanding officers. What is needed is not a skeleton, 
but a body with all its members, so to speak. It should be stated who 
they were, the purposes which animated these men in becoming soldiers, 
how they lived in camp and on the march, how they fought, how they 
died and where, with incidents of bravery in battle, and of fun in camp. 
No laurels must be taken from the brow of brave comrades in other com- 
mands; but the rights of the soldiers of Kershaw's Brigade must be 
jealously upheld — everyone of these rights. To do this work, will 
require that the writer of this history shall have been identified with this 
command during its existence — he must have been a soldier. Again, he 
must be a man who acts up to his convictions; no toady nor any apolo- 
gist is desired. If he was a Confederate soldier from principle, say so, 
and apologize to no one for the fact. If he loved his State and the 
Southland and wished their independence, say so, and "forget not the 
field where they perished." Lastly, he ought to have the ability to tell 
the story well. 

The friends of Captain D. Augustus Dickert, who commanded Com- 
pany H of the Third South Carolina Regiment of Infantry, are confident 
that he possesses all the quality essential to this work. He was a splen- 
did soldier — brave in battle, clear-headed always, and of that equilibrium 
of temperament that during camp life, amid the toil of the march, and in 
battle the necessity for discipline was recognized and enforced with 
justice and impartiality. He was and is a patriot. His pen is graceful. 



yet strong. When he yielded to the importunities of his comrades that 
he would write this history, there was only one condition that he in- 
sisted upon, and that was that this should be solely a work of love. 
Captain Dickert has devoted years to the gathering together of the mate- 
rials for this history. Hence, the readers are now prepared to expect a 
success. Maybe it will be said this is the finest history of the war! 

Y. J. POPB. 
Newberry, S. C, August 7, 1899. 



AUTHOR'S ANNOUNCEMENT. 



Comrades: Years ago I was asked by the members of a local camp 
(James D. Nance Camp, United Confederate Veterans, Newberry, S. C.,) 
of Veterans to write a history of Kershaw's "Old First Brigade in the 
Civil War," in order that the part taken by you in that memorable 
struggle might be transmitted to posterity through the instrumentality 
of a proud and loving participant in all the events that went to make up 
the life of an organization second to none, that has ever stood face to 
face with an invading foe upon the face of earth. 

This request was not based upon a supposition of superior educational 
qualifications on my part, for the parties who made it know that my 
school days ended -at twelve, and that the time usually devoted to instruc- 
tion of youth was spent by many of us, from '6i to '65, on the northern 
side of Richmond. Consequently, to the love that I treasure in my 
heart for the "Old First" is due whatever of distinction attaches to the 
position of recorder of actions which prove the worth and heroism of 
each constituent part of the brigade. In accepting this trust I shall 
repress all desire for rhetorical display. I will not even attempt to do 
that justice,' which is beyond the power of mortals; but shall simply try 
to be your faithful chronicler or recorder of facts as they appeared to 
me and others, who have so kindly assisted me in the compilation of 
these records, and shall confine myself to the effort to attain my highest 
ambition — absolute correctness. It is true that inaccuracies may have 
crept in; but these will be found to be mostly among proper names — due 
in a great measure to the illegibility of the manuscripts furnished me by 
correspondents. Again, apparent errors will be explained, when it is 
recalled to your minds that no two men see the same circumstance from 
the same standpoint. Honest differences will appear, no matter how 
trivial the facts are upon which they are based. 

I have endeavored to be fair and just, and in so doing have laid aside 
a soldier's pardonable pride in his own regiment, and have accorded 
"honor to whom honor was due." Despite all that maybe alleged to 
the contrary, ours was not a "War of the Roses," of brother against 
brother, struggling for supremacy; but partook more of the nature of the 
inhuman contest in the Netherlands, waged by the unscrupulous and 
crafty Duke of Alva at the instance Philip (the Good!), or rather like 
that in which the rich and fruitful Province of the Palatine was sub- 
jected to fire and rapine under the mailed hand of that monster of 
iniquity — Turenne. 

How well the men of Kershaw's Brigade acted their part, how proudly 
they faced the foe, how grandly they fought, how nobly they died, I 
shall attempt not to depict; and yet— 



Could heart and brain and hand and pen 
But bring to earth and life again 

The scenes of old, 
Then all the world might know and see; 
Your deeds on scrolls of fame would be 

Inscribed in gold 



I am indebted to many of the old comrades for their assistance, most 
notably Judge Y. J. Pope, of the Third South Carolina; Colonel Wm. 
Wallace, of the Second; Captain l,. A. Waller, for the Seventh; Captains 
Malloy, Harllee, and Mclutyre, of the Eighth; Captain D. J. Griffith and 
Private Charles Blair, of the Fifteenth; Colonel Rice and Captain Jen- 
nings, of the Third Battalion, and many others of the Twentieth. But 
should this volume prove of interest to any of the "Old Brigade," and 
should there be any virtue in it, remember it belongs to Y. J. Pope. 
Thrice have I laid down my pen, after meeting with so- many rebuffs; 
but as often taken it up after the earnest solicitation of the former 
Adjutant of the Third, who it was that urged me on to its completion. 

To the publisher, E H. Aull, too much praise cannot be given. He 
has undertaken the publication of this work on his individual convic- 
tions of its merit, and with his sole conviction that the old comrades 
would sustain the efforts of the author. Furthermore, he has under- 
taken it on his, own responsibility, without one dollar in sight — a recom- 
pence for time, material, and labor being one of the remotest possi- 
bilities. 

D. AUGUSTUS DICKERT. 

Newberry, S. C, August 15, 1899. 



CHAPTER I 

SECESSION. 
Its Causes and Results. 

The secession bell rang out in vSouth Carolina on tbe 20th of 
December, i860, not to summon the men to arms, nor to 
prepare the State for war. There was no conquest that the 
State wished to make, no foe on her border, no enemy to 
punish. L,ike th(e liberty bell of the revolution that electrified 
the colonies from North to South, the bell of secession 
put the people of the State in a frenzy from the mountains to 
the sea. It announced to the world that South Carolina would 
be free — that her people had thrown off the yoke of the Union 
that bound the States together in an unholy alliance. For 
years the North had been making encroachments upon the 
South; the general government grasping, with a greedy hand, 
those rights and prerogatives, which belonged to the States 
alone, with a recklessness only equalled by Great Britain 
towards the colonies; began absorbing all of the rights guaran- 
teed to the State by the fconstitution, and tending towards a 
strong and centralized government. They had made assaults 
upon our institutions, torn away the barriers that protected 
our sovereignty. So reckless and daring had become these 
assaults, that on more than one occasion the States of the 
South threatened dissolution of the Union. But with such 
master minds as .Clay, Webster, and Calhoun in the councils 
of the nation, the calamity was averted for the time. The 
North had broken compact after compact, promises after 
promises, until South Carolina determined to act upon those 
rights she had retained for herself in the formation of the 
Union, and which the general government guaranteed to all, 
and withdrew when that Union no longer served the purposes 
for which it was formed. 

Slavery, it has been said, was the cause of the war. Inci- 
dentally it may have been, but the real cause was far removed 
from the institution of slavery. That institution existed at 



10 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

the formation of the Union, or compact. It had existed for 
several hundred years, and in every State; the federation was 
fully cognizant of the fact when the agreement of the Union 
was reached. They promised not to disturb it, and allow 
each State to control it as it seemed best. Slavery was grad- 
ually but surely dying out. Along the border States it 
scarcely existed at all, and the mighty hand of an All-wise 
Ruler could be plainly seen in the gradual emancipation of all 
the slaves on the continent. It had begun in the New 
England States then. In the Carribbean Sea and South 
America emancipation had been gradually closing in upon the 
small compass of the Southern States, and that by peaceful 
measures, and of its own volition; so much so that it would 
have eventually died out, could not be denied by any who 
would look that far into the future, and judge that future by 
the past. The South looked with alarm and horror at a 
wholesale emancipation, when they viewed its havoc and 
destruction in Hayti and St. Domingo, where once existed 
beautiful homes and luxuriant fields, happy families and 
general progress; all this wealth, happiness, and prosperity 
had been swept away from those islands as by a deadly blight. 
Ruin, squalor, and beggary now stalks through those once 
fair lauds. 

A party sprang up at the North inimical to the South; at first 
onl3' a speck upon the horizon, a single sail in a vast ocean; but 
it grew and spread like contagion. They were first called agi- 
tators, and consisted of a few fanatics, both women and men, 
whose avowed object was emancipation — to do by human 
hands that which an All-wise Providence wa.s surely doing in 
His own wise way. At first the South did not look with any 
misgivings upon the fanatics. But when Governors of North- 
ern States, leading statesmen in the councils of the nation, 
announced this as their creed and guide, then the South began 
to consider seriously the subject of secession. Seven Gover- 
nors and their legislatures at the North had declared, by acts 
regularly passed and ratified, their determination "not to 
allow the laws of the land to be administered or carried out in 
their States." They made preparation to nullify the laws of 
Congress and the constitution. That party, which was first 
called "Agitators," but now took the name of "Republicans" 



HISTORY OF KKRSHAW'S BRIGADE. 11 

— called at the South the "black Republicans" — had grown to 
such proportions that they put in the field candidates for 
President and Vice-President of the United States. Numbers 
increased with each succeeding campaign. In the campaign 
of i860 they put Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin 
forward as their standard bearers, and whose avowed purpose 
was the "the liberation of the slaves, regardless of the con- 
sequences." This party had spies all over the Southern 
States, and these emisaries incited insurrection, taught the 
slaves "that by rising at night and murdering their old 
masters and their families, they would be doing God's will;" 
that "it was a duty they owed to their children;" this "butch- 
ery of the sleeping and innocent whites was the road to free- 
dom." In Virginia they sent down armed bands of whites, 
roused the negroes at night, placed guns, pikes, and arms of 
every kind in the hands of the poor, deluded creatures, and in 
that one night they butchered, in cold blood, the families of 
some of the best men in the State. These cold blooded butch- 
eries would have done credit to the most cruel and blood 
thirsty of the primeval savages of the forest. These deeds 
were heralded all over the North as "acts of God, done by the 
hands of men." The leader of this diabolical plan and his 
compeers were sainted by their followers and admirers, and 
praises sung over him all over the North, as if over the death 
of saints. By a stupendous blunder the people of the South, 
and the friends of the Union generally , allowed this party to 
elect Ivincoln and Hamlin. The South now had no alterna- 
tive. Now she must either remain in a Union, where our 
institutions were to be dragged down; where the laws were to 
be obeyed in one section, but not in another; where existed 
open resistance to laws in one State and quiet obedience in 
another; where servile insurrections were being threatened 
continuously; where the slaves were aided and abetted by 
whites at the North in the butcheries of their families; or 
seiede a7id fight. These were the alternatives on the one part, 
or a severance from the Union and its consequences on the 
other. From the very formation of the government, two con- 
structions were put upon this constitution — the South not 
viewing this compact with that fiery zeal, or fanatical adula- 
tion, as they did at the North. The South looked upon it 



12 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

more as a confederation of States for mutual protection in 
times of danger, and a general advancement of those interests 
where the whole were concerned. Then, again, the vast 
accumulation of wealth in the Southern States, caused by the 
the overshadowing of all other commodities of commerce — 
cotton— created a jealousy at the North that nothing but the 
prostration of the South, the shattering of her commerce, 
the destruction of her homes, and the freedom of her slaves, 
could answer. The wealth of the South had become a 
proverb, The "Wealthy Southern Planter" had become an 
eyesore to the North, and to humble her haughty pride, as the 
North saw it, was to free her slaves. As one of the first 
statesmen of the South has truly said, "The seeds of the Civil 
War were sown fifty years before they were born who fought 
her battles." 

A convention was called to meet in Columbia, in December, 
i860, to frame a new constitution, and to take such steps as 
were best suited to meet the new order of things that would 
be brought about by this fanatical partj^ soon to be at the 
head of the government. Feeling ran high — people were 
excited — everywhere the voice of the people was for secession. 
The women of the South, who would naturally be the first 
sufferers if the programrne of the "Agitators" were carried 
out, were loud in their cries for separation. Some few people 
were in favor of the South moving in a body, and a feeble 
opposition ticket for the delegates to the convention was put in 
the field. These were called "Co-operationists," i. e., in favor 
of secession, but to await a union with the other Southern 
States. These were dubbed by the most fiery zealots of seces- 
sion, "Submissionists" in derision. The negroes, too, scented 
freedom from afar. The old cooks, mammas, house servants, 
and negro eavesdroppers gathered enough of "freedom of 
slaves," "war," "secession," to cause the negroes to think 
that a great measure was on loot somewhere, that had a direct 
bearing on their long looked for Messiah — "Freedom." Vigi- 
lance committees sprung up all over the South, to watch par- 
ties of Northern sentiment, or sympathy, and exercise a more 
guarded scrutiny over the acts of the negroes. Companies 
were organized in towns and cities, who styled themselves 
"Minute Men," and rosettes, or the letters "M. M.," adorned 



HISTORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 13 

the lapels of the coats worn by those ia favor of secession. 
The convention met in Columbia, but for some local cause it 
was removed to Charleston. After careful deliberation, a new 
constitution was framed and the ordinance of secession was 
passed without a dissenting voice, on the 20th of December, 
i860, setting forth the State's grievances and acting upon her 
rights, declaring South Carolina's connection with the Union 
at an end. It has been truly said, that this body of men who 
passed the ordinance of secession was one of the most deliber- 
ate, representative, and talented that had ever assembled in 
the vState of South Carolina. When the news flashed over the 
wires the people were in a frenzy of delight and excitement — 
bells tolled, cannons boomed, great parades took place, and 
orators from street corners and hotel balconies harrangued the 
people. The ladies wore palmetto upon their hats or dresses, 
and showed by every way possible their earnestness in the 
great drama that was soon to be enacted upon the stage 
events. Drums beat, men marched through the streets, ban- 
ners waved and dipped, ladies from the windows and from the 
housetops waved handkerchiefs or flags to the enthusiastic 
throng moving below. The bells from historic old St. 
Michael's, in Charleston, were never so musical to the ears of 
the people as when they pealed out the chimes that told of 
secession. The war was on. 

Still with all this enthusiasm, the sober-headed, patriotic 
element of the South regretted the necessity of this dissolu- 
tion. They, too, loved the Union their ancestors had helped 
to make — they loved the name, the glory, and the prestige won 
by their forefathers upon the bloody field of the revolution. 
While they did not view this Union as indispensable to their 
existence, they loved and reverenced the flag of their 
country. As a people, they loved the North; as a nation, 
they gloried. in her past and future possibilities. The dust of 
their ancestors mingled in imperishable fame with those of the 
North. In the peaceful "Godsacre" or on the fields of 
carnage they were ever willing to ,'ihare with them their great- 
ness, and equally enjoyed those of their own, but denied to 
them the rights to infringe upon the South 's possessions or 
rights of statehood. We all loved the Union, but we loved it 
as it was formed and made a compact by the blood of our 



14 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

ancestors. Not as contorted and misconstrued by dema- 
gogueism and fanaticism. We almost deified the flag of the 
Union, under whose folds it was made immortal by the 
Huguenots, the Roundheads, the Cavaliers, and men of every 
faith and conviction in the crowning days of the revolution. 
The deeds of her great men, the history of the past, were an 
equal heritage of all^we felt bound together by natural bonds 
equal to the ties of blood or kindred. We loved her towering 
mountains, her rolling prairies, her fertile fields, her enchant- 
ing scenery, her institutions, her literature and arts, all; all 
were equally the South's as well as the North's. Not for one 
moment would the South pluck a rose from the flowery wreath 
of our goddess of liberty and place itiipou the brow of our 
Southland alone. The Mississippi, rising among the hills and 
lakes of the far North, flowing through the fertile valleys of 
the South, was to all our "Mother Nile." The great Rocky 
Mountains and Sierra Nevada chained our Western border 
together from Oregon to the Rio Grande. The Cumberland, 
the Allegheny, and the Blue Ridge, lifting their heads up from 
among the verdant fields of Vermont, stretching southward, 
until from their southern summit at "l/ookout" could be 
viewed the borderland of the gulf. In the sceneries of these 
mountains, their legends and traditions, they were to all the 
people of the Union what Olympus was to the ancients. 
Where the Olympus was the haunts, the wooing places of the 
gods of the ancient Greeks, the Apalachian was the reveling 
grounds for the muses of song and story of the North and 
South alike. And while the glories of the virtues of Greece 
and Rome, the birthplace of republicanism and liberty, may 
have slept for centuries, or died out entirely, that spirit of 
national liberty and personal freedom was transplanted to the 
shores of the New World, and nowhere was the spirit of 
freedem more cherished and fostered than in the bright and 
sunny lands of the South. The flickering torch of freedom, 
borne by those sturdy sons of the old world to the new, nowhere 
took such strong and rapid growth as did that planted by the 
Huguenots on the soil of South Carolina. Is it any wonder, 
then, that a people with such high ideals, such lofty spirits, 
such love of freedom, would tamely submit to a Union where 
such ideals and spirits were so lightly considered as by those 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADR. 15 

who were now in charge of the governiiient — where onr women 
and children were to be at the mercies of a brutal race, with all 
of their passions aroused for rapine and bloodshed; where we 
would be continually threatened or subjected to a racial 
war, one of supremacy; where promises were made to 
be broken, pledges given to be ignored; where laws made for 
all were to be binding only on those who chose to obey? Such 
were some of the conditions that confronted South Carolina 
and her sister States at this time, and forced them into meas- 
ures that brought about the most stupendous civil war in 
modern or ancient times. 

To sum up: It was not love for the Union, but jealousy of 
the South's wealth. It was not a spirit of humanity towards 
the slaves, but a hatred of the South, her chivalry, her honor, 
and her integrity. A quality wanting in the one is always 
hated in that of the other. 



CHAPTER II 

ENROLMENT OF TROOPS. 

Troops Gathered at Charleston — First Service 
as a Volunteer. 

The Legislature, immediately after the passage of the ordi- 
nance of secession, authorized the Governor to organize ten 
regiments of infantry for State service. Some of these regi- 
ments were enlisted for twelve months, while Gregg's, the First, 
was for six, or, as it was understood at the time, its main duties 
were the taking of Sumter. The first regiments so formed 
were: First, Gregg's; Second, Kershaw's; Third, Williams'; 
Fourth, Sloan's; Fifth, Jenkins'; Sixth, Rion's; Seventh, 
Bacon's: Eighth, Cash's; Ninth, Blanding's; besides a regi- 
ment of regulars and some artillery and cavalry companies. 
There existed a nominal militia in the State, and numbered by 
battalions and regiments. These met every three months by 
companies and made some feeble attempts at drilling, or "mus- 
tering," as it was called. To the militia was intrusted the 



16 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

care of internal police of the State. Each company was 
divided into squads, with a captain, whose duties were to do 
the policing of the neighborhood, called "patrolling." They 
would patrol the country during Sundays, and occasionally at 
nights, to prevent illegal assemblies of negroes, and also to 
prevent them from being at large without permission of their 
masters. But this system had dwindled down to a farce, and 
was only engaged in by some of the youngsters, more in a spirit 
of fun and frolic than to keep order in the neighborhood. 
The real duties of the militia of the State consisted of an 
annual battalion and regimental parade, called ' 'battalion 
muster" and "general muster." This occasioned a lively 
turnout of the people, both ladies and gentlemen, not con- 
nected with the troops, to witness the display of officers' 
uniforms, and bright caparisoned steeds, the stately tread of 
the "muster men," listen to the rattle of the drums and inspir- 
ing strains of the fifes, and horns of the rural bands. 

From each battalion a company was formed for State ser- 
vice. These companies elected their captains and field 
officers, the general officers being appointed by the Governor. 
Immediately after the call of the Governor for troops, a 
great military spirit swept the country, volunteer companies 
sprang up like magic all over the land, each anxious to enter 
the service of the State and share the honor of going to war. 
Up to this time, few thought there would be a conflict. 
Major Anderson, U. S. A., then on garrison duty at Fort 
Moultrie, heard of the secession of the State, and (whether by 
orders or his own volition, is not known and immaterial,) 
left Fort Moultrie, after spiking the guns and destroying 
the carriages; took possession of Fort Sumter. The State 
government looked with some apprehension upon this ques- 
tionable act of Maj. Anderson's. Fort Sumter stood upon 
grounds of the State, ceded to the United States for purposes 
of defence. South Carolina now claimed the property, and 
made demands upon Maj. Anderson and the government at 
Washington for its restoration. This was refused. 

Ten companies, under Col. Maxcy Gregg, were called to 
Charleston for the purpose of retaking this fort by force of 
arms, if peaceful methods failed. These companies were 
raised mostly in towns and cities by officers who had been 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 17 

commissioned by the Governor. College professors formed 
companies of their classes, and hurried off to Charleston. Com- 
panies of town and city volunteers offered their .services to the 
Governor — all for six months, or until the fall of Sumter. 

On the gth of January, 1861, the State was thrown into a 
greater paroxism of excitement by the "Star of the West," a 
Northern vessel, being fired on in the bay of Charleston by 
State troops. This steamer, laden with supplies. for Sumter, 
had entered the channel with the evident intention of rein- 
forcing Anderson, when the Citadel guards, under Captain 
Stevens, fired several shots across her bow, then she turned 
about and sped away to the sea. In the meantime the old 
battalions of militia had been called out at their respective 
"muster grounds," patriotic speeches made, and a call or 
volunteers made, Companies were easily formed and officers 
elected. Usually in selecting the material for officers, prefer- 
ence was given to soldiers of the Mexican war, graduates of 
the military schools and the old militia of officers. These 
companies met weekly, and were put through a course of 
instructions in the old Macomb's tactics. In this way the ten 
regiments were formed, but not called together until the coili- 
mencement of the bombardment of Sumter, with the exception 
of those troops enlisted for six months, now under Gregg at 
Charleston, and a few volunteer companies of cavalry and 
artillery. 

The writer was preparing to enter school in a neighboring 
county when the first wave of patriotism struck him. Captain 
Walker's Company, from Newberry, of which I was a mem- 
ber, had been ordered to Charleston with Gregg, and was 
stationed at Morris' Island before I could get off. Two of my 
brothers and myself had joined the compatiy made up from 
the Thirty-ninth Battalion of State militia, and which after- 
wards formed a part of the Third S. C. Volunteers (Colonel 
Williams). But at that time, to a young mind like mine, the 
war looked too remote for me to wait for this company to go, 
so when on my way to school I boarded a train filled with 
enthusiasts, some tardy soldiers on their way to join their 
companies, and others to see, and if need be, "take old Ander- 
son out of his den." Nothing on the train could be heard 
but war, war — "taking of Sumter," "Old Anderson," and 
2 



18 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

"Star of the West." Everyone was in a high glee— palmetto 
cockades, brass buttons, uniforms, and gaudy epaulettes were 
seen in every direction. This was more than a youthful 
vision could withstand, so I directed, ray steps towards the seat 
of war instead of school. By this time the city of Charleston 
may be said to have been in a state of siege — none could leave 
the islands or lands without a permit from the Governor or 
the Adjutant and Inspect (ir General. The headquarters of 
Governor Pickens and staff were in the rooms of the Charles- 
ton Hotel, and to that place I immediately hied and presented 
myself before those "August dignitaries," and asked permis- 
sion to join my company on Morris' Island, but was refused. 
First, on account of not having a permit of leave of absence 
from my captain; secondly, on account of my youth (I then 
being on the rise of 15); and thirdly, having no permission 
from my parents. What a contrast with later years, when 
boys of that age were pressed into service. The city of Char- 
leston was ablaze with excitement, flags waved from the house 
tops, the heavy tread of the embryo soldiers could be heard in 
the streets, the corridors of hotels, and in all the public places. 
The beautiful park on the water front, called the "Battery," 
was thronged with people of every age and sex, straining 
their eyes or looking through glasses out at Sumter, whose 
bristling front was surmounted with cannon, her flags waving 
defiance. Small boats and steamers dotted the waters of the 
bay. Ordnance and ammunition were being hurried to the 
islands. The one continual talk was "Anderson," "Fort 
Sumter," and "war." While there was no spirit of bravado, 
or of courting of war, there was no disposition to shirk it. A 
strict guard wa.s kept at all the wharves, or boat landings, to 
prevent any espionage on our movements or works. It will be 
well to say here, that no moment from the day of secession to 
the day the first gun was fired at Sumter, had been allowed to 
pass without overtures being made to the government at 
Washington for a peaceful solution of the momentous ques- 
tion. Every effort that tact or diplomacy could invent was 
resorted to, to have an amicable adjustment. Commissioners 
had been sent to Washington, asking, urging, and almost 
begging to be allowed to leave the Union, now odious to 
the people of the State, without bloodshed. Commissioners 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 19 

of the North came to Gharleston to treat for peace, but they 
demanded peace without any concessions, peace with submis- 
sion, peace with all the chances of a servile war. Some few 
leaders at the North were willing to allow us the right, while 
none denied it. The leading journal at the North said: "L,et 
the erring sisters depart in peace." But all of our overtures 
were rejected by the administration at Washington, and a 
policy of evasion , or dilly-dallying, was kept up by those in 
authority at the North. All the while active preparations 
were going on to coerce the State by force of arms. During 
this time other States seceded and joined South Carolina, and 
formed the "Confederate States of America," with Jefferson 
Davis as President, with the capital at Montgomery, Ala. 

Being determined to reach my company, I boarded a 
steamer, bound for Morris' Island, intending, if possible, to 
avoid the guard. In this I was foiled. But after making 
several futile attempts, I fell in with an officer of the First 
South Carolina Regiment, who promised to pilot me over. 
On reaching the lauding, at Cummings Point, I was to follow 
his lead, as he had a passport, but in going down the gang 
plank we were met by soldiers with crossed bayonets, deraaud- 
ing "passports." The officer, true to his word, passed me 
over, but then my trouble began. When I reached the shore 
I lost my sponsor, and began to make inquiries for my com- 
pany. When it was discovered that there was a stranger in 
the camp without a passport, a corporal of the guards was- 
called, I was placed under arrest, sent to the guardhouse, and 
remained in durance vile until Captain Walker came to 
release me. When I joined my company I found a few of my 
old school-mates, the others were strangers. Everything that 
met my eyes reminded me of war. Sentinels patrolled the 
beach; drums beat; soldiers marching and countermarching; 
great cannons being drawn along the beach, hundreds of men 
pulling them by long ropes, or drawn by mule teams. Across 
the bay we could see on Sullivan's Island men and soldiers 
building a.nd digging out foundations for forts. Morris' 
Island was lined from the lower point to the light house, with 
batteries of heavy guns. To the youthful eye of a South- 
erner, whose mind had been fierd by Southern sentiment and 
literature of the day, by reading the stories of heroes and sol- 



20 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

diers in our old "Southern Reader," of the thrilling romances 
of Marion and his men, by William Gilmore Simms, this 
sight of war was enough to dazzle and startle to an enthusiasm 
that scarcely knew any bounds. The South were "hero wor- 
shipers." The stories of Washington and Putnam, of Valley 
Forge, of Trenton, of Bunker Hill, and Lexington never 
grew old, while men, women, and children never tired of 
reading of the storming of Mexico, the siege of Vera Cruz, 
the daring of the Southern troops at Moliiio del Rey. 

My first duty as a soldier, I will never forget. I went with 
a detail to Steven's Iron Battery ■ to build embrasures for the 
forts there. This was done by filling cotton bags the size of 
50-pound flour sacks with sand, placing them one upon the 
top of the other at the opening where the mouths of cannons 
projected, to prevent the loose earth from falling down and 
filling in the openings. The sand was first put upon common 
wheel-barrows and rolled up single planks in a zig-zag way to 
the top of the fort, then placed in the sacks and laid in posi- 
tion. My turn came to use a barrow, while a comrade used 
the shovel for filling up. I had never worked a wheel-barrow 
in my life, and like most of my companions, had, done but 
little work of any kind. But up I went the narrow zig-zag 
gangway, with a heavy loaded barrow of loose sand. I made 
the finst plank all right, and the second, but when I under- 
took to reach the third plank on the angles, and about fifteen 
feet from the ground, my barrow rolled off, and down came 
sand, barrow, and myself to the ground below. I could have 
cried with shame and mortification, for my misfortune created 
much merriment for the good natured workers. But it morti- 
fied me to death to think I was not man enough to fill a sol- 
dier's place. My good coworker and brother soldier exchanged 
the shovel for the barrow with me, and then began the first 
day's work I had ever done of that kind. Hour after hour 
passed, and I used the shovel with a will. It looked as if night 
would never come. At times I thought I would have to sink 
to the earth from pure exhaustion, but my pride and youthful 
patriotism, animated by the acts of others, urged me on. 
Great blisters formed and bursted in my hand, beads of perspi- 
ration dripped from my brow, and towards night the blood 
began to show at the root of my fingers. Cut I was not by 



HISTORY OF KRRSHAW'S BRIGADE. 21 

myself; there were many others as tender as myself. Young 
men with wealthy parents, school and college boys, clerks and 
men of leisure, some who had never done a lick of manual 
labor in their lives, and would not have used a spade or shovel 
for any consideration, would have scoffed at the idea of doing 
the laborious work of men, were now toiling away with the 
farmer boys, the overseers' sons, the mechanics-^ all with a 
will — and, filled with enthusiasm that nothing short of the 
most disinterested patriotism could have endured. There were 
men in companies raised in Columbia, Charleston, and other 
towns, who were as ignorant and as much strangers to 
manual labor as though they had been infants, toiling away 
with pick and shovel with as much glee as if they had been 
reared upon the farm or had been laborers in a mine. 

Over about midway in the harbor stood grim old Sumter, 
from whose parapets giant guns frowned down upon us; while 
around the battlements the sentinels walked to and fro upon 
their beats. All this preparation and labor were to reduce 
the fort or prevent a reinforcement. Supplies had been cut 
off, only so much allowed as was needed for the garrison's 
daily consumption. With drill every two hours, guard duty, 
and working details, the soldiers had little time for rest or 
reflection. Bands of music enlivened the men while on drill, 
and cheered them while at work by martial and inspiring 
strains of "Lorena," "The Prairie Flower," "Dixie," and 
other Southern airs. Pickets walked the beach, every thirty 
paces, night and day; none were allowed to pass without a 
countersign or a permit. During the day small fishing 
smacks, their white sails bobbing up and down over the waves, 
dotted the bay; some going out over the bar at night with 
rockets and signals to watch for strangers coming from the 
seaward. Days and nights passed without cessation of active 
operations — all waiting anxiously the orders from Mont- 
gomery to reduce the fort. 

General G. T. Beauregard, a citizen of Louisiana, resident 
of New Orleans, a veteran of the Mexican War, and a recent 
officer in the United States Engineering Corps, was appointed 
Brigadier General and placed in command of all the forces 
around Charleston. A great many troops from other States, 
which had also seceded and joined the Confederacy, had come 



22 HISTORY OF KERSHAw'S BRIGADE. 

to South Carolina to aid in the capture of Sumter. General 
Beauregard was a great favorite with all the people, and the 
greatest confidence felt in his skill and abilitj' by the sol- 
diers. The State oflScers and troops obeyed him cheerfully, 
and had implicit faith in his military skill. As he was des- 
tined to play an important part in the great role of war that 
was soon to follow, I will give here a short sketch of his life. 
General G. T. Beauregard was born near. the city of New 
Orleans, May i8th, 1818. His first ancestors were from 
Wales, but engaging in an insurrection, they were forced to 
flee from their country, and sought an asylum in France. In 
the last of the thirteenth century one of them became attached 
to the Court of Phillip the IV, surnamed the "Fair." He 
then married Mademorselle de Lafayette, maid of honor to the 
sister of Philip. When Edward, King of England, married 
the sister of Philip, he followed with his wife the fortunes of 
the English King, and became a member at the Court of St. 
James. He was afterwards assigned to a British post on the 
continent. And again this family of the early Beauregards, 
then called Toutant-Beauregard, became citizens of Fraijce. 
Jacques Beauregard came to Louisiana from France with a 
colony sent out by Louis XIV. The grandson of this Jacques 
is the present Gustav Toutant Beauregard. At the early age 
of eleven years he was taken to New York and placed under a 
private tutor, an exile from France, and who had fled the 
Empire on the downfall of Napoleon. At sixteenhe entered West 
Point as a cadet, and graduated July ist, 1838, being second 
in a class of forty-five. He entered the service of the United 
States as Second Lieutenant of Engineers. He served with 
distinction through the Mexican War, under Major General 
Scott, in the engineer corps. For gallant and meritorious 
conduct he was twice promoted — first to. the Captaincy and 
then to the position of Major. For a short time he was Super- 
intendent of the West Point Military Academy, but owing to 
the stirring events just preceding the late war, he resigned on 
the first of March, 1861. He entered the service of the Con- 
federate States; was appointed Brigadier General and assigned 
to the post of Charleston. Soon after the fall of Sumter he 
was made full General, and assigned to a command on the 
Potomac, and with J. E. Johnston fought the memorable battle 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 23 

of Bull Run. He was second in command at Shiloh with 
A. S. Johnston, then the "Department of South Carolina, 
Georgia, and Florida." With J. E. Johnston he commanded 
the last remnant of a once grand army that surrendered at 
Greensboro, N. C. He returned to his old home in New 
Orleans at the close of the war, to find it ruined, his fortune 
wrecked, his wife dead, and his country at the feet of a merci- 
less foe. He took no further part in military or political 
affairs, and passed away gently and peacefully at a ripe old 
age, loved and admired by his many friends, and respected by 
his enemies. Such, in brief, was the life of the man who came 
to control the destinies of South Carolina at this most critical 
moment of her history. 

On March 6th he placed Morris' Island under the immediate 
command of Brigadier General James Simonds, while the 
batteries were under the command of Lieutenant Colonel 
W. G. DeSaussure. Sullivan's Island was under the command 
of General R. G. M. Dunovant, and the batteries of this island 
were under Lieutenant Colonel Ripley. Captain Calhoun 
commanded at Fort Moultrie, and Captain Thomas at Fort 
Johnston. A floating battery had been constructed by Captain 
Hamilton, and moved out to the western extremity of Sulli- 
van's Island. This was under command of its inventor and 
builder. It consisted of very heavy timbers; its .oof overlaid 
with railroad iron in a slanting position, through which trap 
doors had been cut for the cannon to project. The Stevens' 
Battery, as it was called, was constructed on the same princi- 
ple; was built at Cummings' Point, on Morris' Island, and 
commanded by Captain Stevens, of the Citadel Academy. It 
was feared at this time that the concussion caused by the 
heavy shells and solid shots striking the iron would cause 
death to those underneath, or so stun them as to render them 
unfit for further service; but both these batteries did excellent 
service in the coming bombardment. Batteries along the 
water fronts of the islands were manned by the volunteer com- 
panies of Colonel Gregg's Regiment, and other regiments that 
had artillery companies attached. 

On the 8th of April a mes.sage was received at Montgomery 
to the effect that a fleet w as then en route to reinforce Sumter, 
"peaceably if they could, but forcibly if necessary." 



24 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

General Beauregard was instructed to demand the immedi- 
ate evacuation of the fort; Anderson failing to comply with 
this demand, he was to proceed to reduce it. The demand was 
made upon Major Anderson, and was refused. General Beau- 
regard had everything ia readiness, only waiting the result of 
the negotiations for the surrender or evacuation, to give the 
command to fire. The night of the nth was one of great 
excitement. It was known for a certainty that on to-morrow 
the long looked for battle was to take place. Diplomacy had 
done its work, now powder and ball must do what diplomacy 
had failed to accomplish. All working details had been 
called in, tools put aside, the heating furnaces fired, shells and 
red-hot solid shot piled in close proximity to the cannon and 
mortars. All the troops were under arms during the night, 
and a double picket line stretched along the beach, and while 
all seemed to be life and animation, a death-like stillness per- 
vaded the air. There was some apprehension lest the fleet 
might come in during the night, land an army on Morris' 
Island in small boats, and take the forts b)' surprise. Men 
watched with breathless interest the hands on the dials as 
they slowly moved around to the hour of four, the time set to 
open the fire. At that hour guiiners stood with lanyards in 
their hands. Men peered through the darkness in the direc- 
tion of Sumter, as looking for some invisible object. At half 
past four Captain James, from Fort Johnston , pulled his lan- 
yard; the great mortar belched forth, a bright flash, and the 
shell went curving over in a kind of semi-circle, the lit fuse 
trailing behind, showing a glimmering light, like the wings of 
a fire fly, bursting over the silent old Sumter. This was the 
signal gun that unchained the great bull-dogs of war around 
the whole circle of forts. Scarcely had the sound of the first 
gun died away, ere the dull report from Fort Moultrie came 
rumbling over the waters, like an echo, and another shell ex- 
ploded over the deserted parade ground of the doomed fort. 
Scarcely had the fragments of this shell been .scattered before 
General Stevens jerked the lanyard at the railroad battery, 
and over the water gracefully sped the lighted Shell, its glim- 
mering fuse lighting its course as it, too, sped on in its mission 
of destruction. Along the water fronts, and from all the 
forts, now a perfect sheet of flame flashed out, a deafening 



HISTORY OF KEKSHAW'S BRIGADE. 25 

roar, a rumbling deadening sound, and the war was on. The 
men as a whole were alive to their work; shot after shot was 
fired. Now a red-hot solid shot, now a .shell, goes capering 
through the air like a shower of meteors on a frolic. The 
city was aroused. Men, women, and children rush to the 
housetops, or crowd each other along the water front of the 
battery. 

But Sumter remained silent, grim, defiant. All there 
seemed to be in peaceful, quiet slumber, while the solid shot 
battered against her walls, or the shells burst over their heads 
and in the court yard below. Round after round is fired. 
The gunners began to weary of their attempt to arouse the 
sleeping foe. Is the lion so far back in his lair as not to feel the 
prods of his tormentors? or is his apathy or contempt too 
great to be aroused from his slumber by such feeble blows? 
The grey streaks of morning came coursing from the east, and 
still the lion is not angry, or is loath to take up the struggle 
before he has had his morning meal. At seven o'clock, how- 
ever, if there had been any real anxiety to rouse his temper, it 
was appeased. The stars and stripes ran up the flag staff, and 
from out the walls of the grim old stronghold burst a wreath 
of smoke — then a report, and a shot comes whizzing through 
the air, strikes the iron battery, and ricochets over in the sand 
banks. He then pays his respects to Moultrie. From the 
casements and barbette guns issue a flame and .smoke, while 
the air is filled with flying shot. The battle is general and 
grand. Men spring upon ramparts and shout defiance at 
Sumter, to "be ans\zvered by the crashing of shot against the 
walls of their bomb-proof forts. All day long the battle 
rages without intermission or material advantages to either 
side. As night approached, the fire slackened in all direction, 
and at dark Sumter ceased to return our fire at all. By a pre- 
concerted arrangement, the fire from our batteries and forts 
kept up at fifteen-minute intervals only. The next morning 
the firing began with the same vigor and determination as the 
day before. Sumter, too, was not slow in showing her metal 
and paid particular attention to Moultrie. Early in the forenoon 
the smoke. began to rise from within the walls of Sumter; "the 
fort was on fire. ' ' Shots now rain upon the walls of the burn- 
ing fort with greater fury than ever. The flag was seen to 



26 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

waver, then slowly bend over the staff and fall. A shout of 
triumph rent the air from the thousands of spectators on the 
islands and the mainland. Flags and handkerchiefs waved 
from the hands of excited throngs in the city, as tokens of 
approval of eager watchfers. Soldiers mount the ramparts and 
shout in exultation, throwing their caps in the air. Away to 
the seaward the whitened sails of the Federal fleet were seen 
moving up towards the bar. Anxiety and expectation are 
now on tip-toe. Will the fleet attempt the succor of their 
struggling comrades? Will they dare to run the gauntlet of 
the heavy dahlgreen guns that line the channel sides? From 
the burning fort the garri.son was fighting for their existence. 
Through the fiery element and hail of shot and shell they see 
the near approach of the long expected relief. Will the fleet 
accept the guage of battle? No. The ships falter and stop. 
They cast anchor and remain a passive spectator to the excit- 
ing scenes going on, without offering aid to their friends or 
battle to their 'enemies. 

General Beauregard, with that chivalrous spirit that charac- 
terized all true Southerners, when he saw the dense curling 
smoke and the flames that now began to leap and lick the top- 
most walls of the fort, sent three of his aids to Major Ander- 
son, offering aid and assistance in case of distress. But the 
brave commander, too proud to receive aid from a generous 
foe when his friends are at hand yet too cowardly to come to 
the rescue, politely refused the offer. But soon thereafter the 
white flag was waving from the parapets of Fort Sumter. 
Anderson had surrendered; the battle was over; a victory won 
by the gallant troops of the South, and one of the most mirac- 
ulous instances of a bloodless victory, was the first battle 
fought and won. Thousands of shots given and taken, and 
no one hurt on either side. 

A remarkable instance of Southern magnanimity was that of 
W. T. Wigfall, a volunteer aide to General Beauregard. Ashe 
stood watching the progress of the battle from Cummings' 
Point and saw the great volume of black smoke curling and 
twisting in the air — the storm of shot and shell plunging into 
the doomed walls of the fort, and the white flag flying from its 
burning parapets — his generous, noble, and sympathetic heart 
was fired to a pitch that brooked no consideration, "a brave 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 27 

foe in distress" is to him a friend in need. Before orders 
could be given to cease firing, or permission granted by the 
commanding general, he leaped into a small boat, and with a 
single companion rowed away to the burning fortress, shells 
shrieking over his head, the waves rocking his frail little craft 
like a shell in a vast ocean, out the undaunted spirit of the 
great man overcame all obstacles and danger, and reached the 
fort in safety. Here a hasty consultation was had. Anderson 
agreed to capitulate and Wigfall hastened to so inform General 
Beauregard. 

It was agreed that Major Anderson should leave the fort — 
not as a prisoner of war, but as a brave foe, who had done all 
in human power to sustain the dignity of his country and the 
honor of his flag. He was allowed to salute his flag, by firing 
a number of guns, and with his ofiicers and troops and all per- 
sonal belongings placed upon a transport, was carried out to 
the fleet. 

The only melancholy event of the memorable bombardment 
was the sudden death of one of the soldiers of the garrison, 
caused by the premature explosion of a shell while firing the 
salute to the flag. 

The prominence given to Wigfall's exertion, and erratic con- 
duct at the time, and his meritorious career during the exis- 
tence of the Confederacy, prompt me ,to give a short sketch 
of this meteoric character. He was born in Edgefield County 
along in the first quarter of the century of good old South 
Carolina stock, and educated in the common schools and in 
South Carolina College. His large means, inherited from a 
long line of wealthy ancestors, afforded him opportunities to 
enjoy life at his pleasure. He was full of that fiery zeal for 
honor, hot headed and impulsive. His hasty and stubborn 
nature caused him many enemies; yet his charitable disposi- 
tion and generous impulses gave him many friends. He could 
brook no differences; he was intolerant, proud of his many 
qualities, gifted, and brave to- rashness. In early life he had 
differences with Whitfield Brooks, the father of Preston S. 
Brooks, Congressman from South Carolina, but at that time a 
student of South Carolina College. While the son was in col- 
lege, Wigfall challenged the elder Brooks to a duel. Brooks, 
from his age and infirmities; refused. According to the rules 



28 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

of the code duello, Wigfall posted Brooks at Edgefield Court 
House, and guarded the fatal notice during the da}' with a 
loaded pistol. A relative of Brooks, a feeble, retiring, and un- 
assuming young man, braved the vengeance of Wigfall, and 
tore the degrading challenge from the court house door in spite 
of the warning and threats of the Knight of the Code. A pis- 
tol shot rang out, and the young champion of Brooks fell dead 
at his feet. Preston Brooks, hearing of the indignity placed 
upon his father, the death of his kinsman and defender of his 
family honor, now entered the list, and challenged the slayer 
of his father's protector. Wigfall acceoted the challenge with 
eagerness, for now the hot Southern blood was thoroughly 
aroused, and party feelings had sprung up and ran high. The 
gauge of battle was to be settled at Sand Bar Ferry, on the 
Savannah River near Augusta, Ga. , the noted duelling ground 
of the high tempered sons of Georgia and the Carolinas. It 
was fought with dueling pistols of the old school, and at the 
first fire Brooks was severely wounded. Wigfall had kiadled 
a feeling against himself in the State that his sensitive nature 
could not endure. He left for the rising and new born State 
of Texas. Years rolled by, and the next meeting of those 
fiery antagonists was at the Capital of the United States — 
Brooks in Congress, and Wigfall in the Senate. 



CHAPTER III. 

Reorganization of the Troops— Volunteers for 

Confederate Service—Call from Virginia. 

Troops Leave the State. 

INCIDENTS ON THE WAY. 

There was much discussion at the time as to who really fired 
the first gun at Sumter. Great importance was attached to 
the episode, and as there were different opinions, and it was 
never satisfactorily settled, it is not expected that any new 
light can be thrown on it at this late day. It was first said to 
have been General Edmond Rufiin, a venerable octogenarian 



HISTORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 29 

from Virginia, who at the secession of South Carolina came 
to this State and offered his services as a volunteer. He had 
atpne time been a citizen of South Carolina, connected with a 
geblogical survej', and had written several works on the re- 
sources and possibilities of the State, which created quite an 
interest at that day and time. He was one of the noblest types 
of elderly men it has ever been my fortune to look upon. He 
could not be called venerable, but picturesque. His hair hung 
in long silvery locks, tied in a queue in the fashions of the past 
centuries. His height was very near six feet, slender and 
straight as an Indian brave, and his piercing black e5^es seemed 
to flash fire and impressed one as being able to look into your 
very soul. He joined the "Palmetto Guards," donned the 
uniform of that company, and his pictures were sold all over 
the entire South, taken, as they were, in the habiliments of a 
soldier. These showed him in an easy pose, his rifle between 
his knees, coat adorned with palmetto buttons closely buttoned 
up to his chin, his hair combed straight from his brow and tied 
np with a bow of ribbon that streamed down his back, his cap 
placed upon his knee.bearing the monogram "P. G. ," the em- 
blem of his company, worked in with palmetto. 

The other aspirant for the honor of firing the first gun was 
Captain George S. James, afterwards the Colonel of James' 
Battalion, or "'Third Battalion," as it was known in Kershaw's 
Brigade. It has been said that this honor was granted him, 
at his special request, by Captain Stephen D. I,ee, on General 
Beauregard's staff (afterwards a I,ieutenant General of the 
Confederate Army). Captain James' claim appears to be 
more valid than that of General Rufiin from the fact that it is 
positively known that James' company was on duty at Fort John- 
ston, on James' Island, while the Palmetto Guards, of which 
General Ruffin was a member, was at the railroad battery on 
Morris Island. However, this should not be taken as conclu- 
sive, as at that time discipline was, to a certain extent, not 
strictly enforced, and many independent volunteers belonged 
to the army ovef whom there was very little, if any control. 
So General Rufiin may have been at Fort Johnston while his 
company was at Cummings Point. However, little interest is 
attached to this incident after the lapse of so many years. 

Perhaps never in the history of a State was there such a 



30 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

frenzy of excitement — not even in the days of Indian insurrec- 
tions or the raids of the bloody Tarleton — as when the news 
flashed over the country that Sumter was being bombarded, 
and a call was made for all the volunteers to assemble in 
Charleston. There were not the facilities in those days as now 
for the spreading of news, there being but few telegraph lines 
in the State. Notwithstanding this, every method possible 
was put into practice for gathering in the troops. There were 
no assemblages of troops outside of Charleston. Men were fol- 
lowing their daily vocations. Extra trains- were put in mo- 
tion; couriers dashed with rapid speed across the country. 
Private means, as well as public, were resorted to to arouse the 
men and bring them to the front. Officers warned the pri- 
vate, and he in turn rode with all the speed his horse, loosed 
/rom the plow, could command, to arouse his comrades. It 
was on Saturday when word was first sent out, but it was late 
the next day (Sunday) before men in the remote rural dis- 
tricts received the stirring notice. Men left their plows stand- 
ing in the field, not to return under four years, and many of 
them never. Carpenters came down from the unfinished roof, 
or left their bench with work half finished. The student who 
had left his school on the Friday before never recited his Mon- 
day's lesson. The country doctor left his patients to the care 
of the good housewife. Many people had gone to church and 
in places the bells were still tolling, calling the worshippers 
together to listen to the good and faithful teachings of the 
Bible, but the sermon was never delivered or listened to. 
Hasty preparations were made everywhere. The ^loyal wives 
soon had the husband's clothes in the homemade knapsack; 
the mother buckled on the girdle of her son, while the gray 
haired father was burning with impatience, only sorrowing 
that he, too, could not go. Never before in the history of the 
world, not even in Carthage or Sparta, was there ever such a 
spontaneous outburst of patriotic feeling; never such a cheerful 
and willing answer to the call of a mother country. Not a re- 
gret, not a tear; no murmuring or reproaches — not one single 
complaint. Never did the faithful Scott give with better grace 
his sons for the defense of his beloved chief, "Eric," than did 
the fathers and mothers of South Carolina give their sons for 
the defen.se of the beloved Southland. 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADR. 31 

The soldiers gathered at the railroad stations, and as the 
trains that had been sent to the farthest limits of the State 
came along, the troops boarded them and hurried along to 
Charleston, then the seat of war. General M. 1,. Bonham 
had been appointed Major General of State troops and called 
his brigades together. Colonel Gregg was already in Charles- 
ton with the First Regiment. Col. Joseph B. Kershaw with the 
Second, Colonel James H. Williams with the Third, Colonel 
Thomas Bacon with the Seventh, and Colonel E. B. C. Cash 
with the Kighth, formed their regiments by gathering the dif- 
ferent companies along at the various railroad stations. The 
Second, Seventh, and Eighth came on to Charleston, reaching 
there while the bombardment was still in progress, but not 
early enough to take active part in the battle. Colonel Wil- 
liams with the Third, for want of transportation, was stopped 
in Columbia, and took up quarters in the Fair Grounds. The 
other regiments went into camp in the suburbs of Charleston 
and on the islands. After the surrender of Sumter the troops 
on the islands and mainland returned to their old quarters to 
talk upon the incidents of the battle, write home of the memor- 
able events and to rejoice generall}'. Almost as many rumors 
were now afloat as there were men in the army. It was the 
generally conceded opinion of all that the war was at an end. 
A great many of the Southern leaders boa.sted of "drinking all 
the blood that would be shed in the war." The whole truth 
of the entire matter was, both sections underrated each other. 
The South, proud and haughty, looked with disdain upon the 
courage of the North; considered the people cowardly, and 
not being familiar with firearms would be poor soldiers; that 
the rai'k and file of the North, being of a foreign, or a mixture 
of foreign blood, w'ould not remain loyal to the Union, as the 
leaders thought, and would not fight. While the North looked 
upon the South as a set of aristocratic blusterers, their afflu- 
ence and wealth having made them effeminate; a nation of 
w'eaklings, who could not stand the fatigues and hardships of 
a campaign. Neither understood the other, overrating them- 
selves and underrating the strength of their antagonists. 
When Lincoln first called for 50,000 troops and several mil- 
lions of dollars for equipment and conduct of the war, the 
South would ask in derision, "Where would he get them?" 



32 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

When the South would talk of resistance, the North would ask, 
"Where are her soldiers?" "The rich planters' sons cannot 
fight." "The poor man will not do battle for the negroes of 
the rich." "The South has no arms, no money, no credit." 
So each mistook the strength, motives, spirits, and sentiments 
that actuated the other. A great change came over the feel- 
ings of the North after the fall of Sumter. They considered 
that their flag had been insulted, their country dishonored. 
Where there had been differences before at the North, there 
was harmony now. The conservative press of that section 
was now defiant and called for war; party differences were 
healed and the Democratic party of the North that had always 
affiliated in national affairs with the South, was now bitter 
against their erring sisters, and cried loudly for "Union or 
coercion." The common people of the North were taught to 
believe that the Nation had been irretrievabl5' dishonored and 
disgraced, that the disruption of the Union was a death knell 
to Republican institutions and personal liberty. That the lib- 
erty and independence that their ancestors had won by their 
blood in the Revolution was now to be scattered to the four 
winds of heaven by a few fanatical slave holders at the South. 
But up to this time the question of slavery had not been 
brought into controversy on either side. It was not discussed 
and was only an after thought, a military necessity. 

Virginia, three days after the fall of Sumter, joined her sis- 
ter State. This act of the old Commonwealth was hailed in the 
Gulf States with great rejoicing. Bells tolled and cannon 
boomed and men hurrahed. Until now it was not certain 
what stand would be taken by the Border States. They did 
not wish to leave the Union ; neither would they be a party to 
a war upon their seceding sisters. They promised to be neu- 
tral. But President Lincoln soon dispelled all doubt and un- 
certainty by his proclamation, calling upon all States then re- 
maining in the Union to furnish their quota of troops. They 
were then forced to take sides for or against and were not 
long in reaching a conclusion. As soon as conventions could 
b)e assembled, the States joined the Confederacy and began 
levying troops to resist invasion. Tennessee followed Vir- 
ginia, then Arkansas, the Old North State being the last of 
the Atlantic and Gulf States to cross the Rubicon into the 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 33 

' ' plains of Southern independence. ' ' The troops that had been 
called for six months were now disbanded, and those who had 
enlisted for twelve months for State service were called upon 
to volunteer in the Confederate Army for the unexpired time. 
They volunteered almost without a dissenting voice. Having 
left their homes so hurriedly, they were granted a furlough of 
a week or ten days to return to their families and put their 
houses in order. They then returned and went into a camp of 
instruction. 

General Bonham had not gotten all ofhis regiments together 
up to this time. The Second, Seventh, and Eighth were around 
Charleston, while the Third was at Lightwood Knot Spring, 
four miles from Columbia. This camp was called "Camp Wil- 
liams," in honor of their Colonel. That in Columbia was called 
"Camp Rufifin," in honor of General Ruffin. It was custom- 
ary to give all the different camps a name during the first year's 
service, generally in honor of .some favorite officer or states- 
man. Colonel Gregg's regiment remained on Morris Island 
until early in May, when it was sent to Norfolk, Va., to take 
charge of the large amount of government property there, now 
very valuable to the South. 

At the reorganization of the First Regiment I came to Co- 
lumbia and joined the company I had before enlisted in. I 
■had two older brothers there, and I was given a place as Sec- 
ond Sergeant in the company. 

At the secession of South Carolina, Colonel Williams was in 
Arkansas, where he had large estates, but on being notified of 
his election, he joined his regiment while at Lightwood Knot 
Springs. He was met at the railroad by his troops with great 
demonstrations of joy and pride. Stalwart men hoisted him 
upon their shoulders and carried him through the camp, fol- 
lowed by a throng of shouting and delighted soldiers. The 
regiment had been commanded up to that time by Lieutenant 
Colonel Foster, of Spartanburg, with James M. Baxter as 
Major, D. R. Rutherford as Adjutant, Dr. D. E. Ewart Sur- 
geon, John McGowan Quartermaster. 

Cadets were sent from the Citadel as drill masters to all the 

regiments, and for six hours daily the ears were greeted with 

"hep-hep" to designate the "left'' foot "down" while on the 

drill. It took great patience, determination, and toil to bring 

3 



34 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

the men under militarj' discipline. Fresh from the fields,, 
shops, and schools they .had been accustomed to the freedom of 
home life, and with all their patriotism, it took time to break 
into the harness of military restraint and discipline these lovers of 
personal freedom. Many amusing incidents occurred while 
breaking these "wild colts," but all took it good humoredly, and 
the best of feelings existed between officers and men. Some few, 
however, were nettled by the restraint and forced obedience to 
those whom they had heretofore beeu accustomed to look upon 
as equals, but now suddenly made superiors. The great 
majority entered upon the duties of camp life with rare good 
will. All were waiting patiently the call to Virginia. Here I 
will give a short description of the regiments and their officers 
up to the time that all were brought together as a brigade. 
After that time we will treat them as a whole. 

The regiments were uniformed by private donations, each 
neighborhood uniforming the company raised in its bounds. 
The tents were large and old fashioned — about 8 x lo feet 
square, with a separate fly on top — one of these b.ing allowed 
to every six or seven men. They were pitched in rows, about 
fifty feet apart, the front of one company facing the rear of 
the other. About the first of June all the regiments, except 
the Second, were ordered to Manassas, Va. The regiments 
were formed by companies from battalions of the militia from 
various counties, one company usually being formed from a 
battalion. These companies were organized into regiments, 
very much as at present, and like the old anti-bellum militia. 
At times some ambitious citizen would undertake to raise a 
volunteer company outside of those raised from battalions, 
and generally these were called "crack companies." After- 
wards a few undertook to raise companies in this manner, z. e. , 
selecting the officers first, and then proceeding to select the 
men, refusing such as would not make acceptable soldiers, 
thus forming exclusive organizations. These were mostly 
formed in towns and cities. At other times old volunteer 
companies, as they were called, of the militia would enlist in a 
body, with such recruits as were wanted to fill up the number. 
In the old militia service almost all the towns and cities had 
these companies as a kind of city organization, and they would 
be handsomely uniformed, well equipped, and in many cases 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 35 

were almost equal to regular soldiers. Columbia had at least 
three of these companies in our brigade — the Governor's 
Guards, Richland Rifles, and one more, I think, but on this 
point am not positive. Charleston had two or more, the 
Palmetto Guards and others; Greenville, the Butler Guards; 
Newberry, the Quitman Rifles; while the other counties, 
Abbeville, Anderson, Edgefield, Williamsburg, Darlington, 
Sumter, and almost all the counties represented in our brigade 
had one of these city volunteer companies. When all the 
companies called for had been organized, they were notified 
to what regiment they had been assigned, or what companies 
were to constitute a regiment, and were ordered to hold an 
election for field officers. Each company would hold its elec- 
tion, candidates in the meantime having offered their services 
to fill the respective places of Colonel, I^ieutenant Colonel, 
and Major. After the elections thus held, the returns would 
be sent up to the Adjutant and Inspector General's oflice and 
there tabulated, and the result declared. The candidates for 
field officers were generally Mexican War Veterans, or some 
popular citizen, whom the old men thought "would take care 
of the boys." At first the qualification of a commander, be it 
Colonel or Captain, mostly required was clemencj'. His rules 
of discipline, bravery, or military ability were not so much 
taken into consideration. 

SECOND SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT. 

Early in May or the last of April four companies of the 
Second Regiment, under Colonel Kershaw, volunteered for 
Confederate service, and were sent at once to Virginia. TheSe 
companies were commandded by-;- 

Captain John D. Kennedy, Kershaw County. 

Captain W. H. Casson, Richland County. 

Captain William Wallace, Richland County. 

Captain John Richardson, Sumter County. 

They were afterwards joined by companies uuder — 

Captain Ferryman, of Abbeville County, (formerly of the 
Seventh Regiment). 

Captain Cuthbert, Charleston. 

Captain Rhett, Charleston. 

Captain Haile, Kershaw. 



36 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

Captain McManus, I,ancaster. 

Captain Hoke, Greenville. 

These were among the first soldiers from the "Palmetto 
^tate" to go to Virginia, and the regiment when fullj- organ- 
ized stood as follows: 

J. B. Kershaw, Colonel, of Camden. 

E. P. Jones, Lieutenant Colonel. 

Ered Gaillard, Major. 

A. D. Goodwin, Adjutant. 

•Company A — W. H. Cas.son, Richland. 

Company B — A. D. Hoke, Greenville. 

Company C — William Wallace, Richland. 

Company D — T. S. Richard.son. 

Company E — ^Jolin D. Kennedy, Kershaw. 

Company F — W. W. Perry man, Anderson. 

Company G — I. Haile, Kershaw. 

Company H— H. McManus, Lancaster. 

Company I — G. B. Cuthbert, Charleston. 

Company K— R. Rhett, Charleston. 

Surgeon — Dr. F. Salmond, Kershaw. 

Quartermaster — W. S. Wood, Columbia. 

Commissary — J. J. Villepigue. 

Chaplain— A. J. McGruder. 

THIRD SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT. 

The Third Regiment had originally twelve companies 
enlisted for State service, but in transferring to Confederate 
Army only ten were allowed by the army regulations. Two 
companies were left out, viz.: Captain ]. C. S. Brown's, from 
Newberry, and Captain Mat. Jones', from Laurens.' The 
privates, however, enlisted in the other companies as a general 
rule, for the companies were allowed a maximum number of 
IOC. The Ei;.:hth and Third made no changes in their com- 
panies or officers from their first enlistment in the State service 
until their second enlistment in 1862, only as occasioned by 
i-esignations or the casualties of war. The two regiments re- 
mained as first organized, with few exceptions. 

The Tliird stood, when ready for transportation to Virginia 
the 7th of June, as follows: 

James H. Williams, Colonel, Newberry. 



HISTORY OF KRKSHAw'S BRIGADE. 37 

B. B. Foster, l,ieutenant Colonel, Spartanburg. 

James M. Baxter, Major, Newberry. 

W. D. Rutherford, Adjutant, Newberry. 

Company A — B. Conway Garlington, Laurens. 

Company B — S. Newton Davidson, Newberry. 

Company C— R. C-jMaffett, Newberry. 

Company D— T. B. Furgerson, Spartanburg and Union. 

Company E — James D. Nance, Newberry. 

Company F — T. Walker, Newberry and Laurens. 

Company G— :^. P. Todd, Laurens. 

Company H — D. Nunamaker, Lexington. 

Company I — Smith L. Jones, Laurens. 

Company K — Benj. Kennedy, Spartanburg. 

Surgeon — Dr. D. E. Ewart, Newberry. 

Quartermaster — ^John McGowan, Laurens. 

Commissary — Sergeant J. N. Martin, Newberry. 

Chaplain— Rev. May field. 

SEVENTH SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT. 

Colonel, Thomas G. Bacon. 

The following companies were from Abbeville; 

Company A, Captain W. W. Ferryman. 

Company B, Captain G. M. Mattison. 

Company C, Captain P. H. Bradley. 

Company D, Captain S. J. Hester. 

The following companies were from Edgefield: 

Company E, Captain D. Dendy. 

Company F, Captain John S. Hard. 

Company G, Captain J. Hampden Brooks. 

Company H, Captain Elbert Bland. 

Company I, Captain W. E. Prescott. 

Company K, Captain Bart Talbert. 

Captain Ferryman with his company, the "Secession. 
Guards," volunteered for the Confederate service before the 
other companies, and left for Virginia on April 28th and joined 
the Second South Carolina Regiment. Captain Bland took his 
place with his company in the regiment as Company A. 

The companies of the Seventh came together as a regiment 
at the Schutzenplatz, near Charleston, on the i6th of April. 
In about two weeks it was ordered to Edgefield District at a 



38 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

place called Montmorenci, in Aiken County. While here a 
company came from Edgefield County, near Trenton, under 
Captain Coleman, and joined the regiment. But this company 
failed to enlist. 

The Seventh Regiment elected as ofl&cers: Colonel, Thomas 
G. Bacon, of Edgefield District; Lieutenant Colonel, Robert 
A. Fair, of Abbeville; Major, Emmet Seibels, of Edgefield; 
Adjutant, D. Wyatt Aiken, of Abbeville. All the staff offi- 
cers were appointed by the Colonels until the transfer to the 
Confederate service; then the medical department was made a 
separate branch, and the Surgeons and Assistant Surgeons 
were appointed by the Department. Colonel Bacon appointed 
on his staff: B. F. Lovelass, Quartermaster; Fred Smith, Com- 
missary; afterwards A. F. Townsend. 

Surgeon Joseph W. Hearst resigned, and A. R. Drogie was 
made Surgeon in his stead, with Dr. G. H. Waddell as Assist- 
ant Surgeon. A. C. Stallworth, Sergeant Major, left for Vir- 
ginia about the first of June and joined the Second a few days 
afterwards. 

EIGHTH SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT. 

The Eighth Regiment was organized early in the year 1861, 
but the companies were not called together until the 14th day 
of April, arriving in Charleston in the afternoon of that day, 
just after the fall of Fort Sumter. It was composed of ten 
companies, as follows: Three from Chesterfield, two from 
Marion, two from Marlborough, and three from Darlington, 
with Colonel, E. B. C. Ca,sh; Lieutenant Colonel, John W. Hen- 
egan; Major, Thomas E. Lucas; Adjutant, C. B. Weatherly. 

Companies first taken to Virginia: 

Company A — A. I. Hoole, Darlington. 

Company B— M. I. Hough, Chesterfield. 

Company C— Wm. H. Coit, Chrsterfield. 

Company D — ^John S. Miller, Chesterfield. 

Company E — W. E. Jay, Darlington. 

Company F — W. H. Evans, Darlington. 

Company G — ^John W. Harrington, Marlboro. 

Company H — R. L. Singletary, Marion. 

Company I — T. E. Stackhouse, Marion. 

Company K — D. McD. McLeod, Marlboro. 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 39 

After remaining in Charleston until the 4th of May it was 
moved to Florence. On the ist of June the regiment re-en- 
listed for Confederate service. They were ordered to Rich- 
mond and arrived there on June 4th, and left on the 15th to 
join the Second then at Bull Run. On the 22nd of June they 
went into camp at Gerraantown, near Fairfax Court House, 
where all the regiments were soon joined together as Bonhams' 
Brigade. 

The first real exciting incident connected with the Third 
South Carolina Regiment — the first panic and stampede — hap- 
pened as the troops were returning from their ten days' fur- 
lough to their camp of instruction, near Columbia, just after 
their enlistment in the Confederate service. I record this 
occurrence to show what little incidents, and those of such 
little moment, are calculated to stampede an army, and to 
what foolish lengths men will go when excited. The train 
was rattling along at a good speed, something like ten or 
fifteen miles an hour, just above Columbia; a long string of 
box cars loaded with soldiers; the baggage of the troops scat- 
tered promiscuously around in the cars; trunks, valises, carpet 
bags, and boxes of all conceivable dimensions, holding the be- 
longings of several neighborhoods of boys; spirits flowed with- 
out and within; congenial friends in a congenial cause; con- 
genial topics made a congenial whole. When just below Lit- 
tleton, with long stretches of lowlands on one side and the 
river on the other, the curling streaks of a little grey smoke 
made its appearance from under one of the forward cars. At 
first the merry good humor and enlivening effects of some 
amusing jest, the occasional round of a friendly bottle, pre- 
vented the men from noticing this danger signal of fire. 
However, a little later on this continuing and increasing 
volume of smoke caused an alarm to be given. Men ran to 
the doors on either side, shouted and called, waved hats, 
hands, and handkerchiefs, at the same time pointing at the 
smoke below. There being no communication between the 
cars, those in front and rear had to be guided by. the wild 
gesticulations of those in the smoking car. The engineer did 
not notice an j thing amiss, and sat placidly upon his high 
seat, watching the fast receding rails as they flashed under 
and out of sight beneath the ponderous driving-wheels of the 



40 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

engine. At last someone in the forward car, not accustomed 
to, but familiar with the dangers of a railroad car by the wild 
rumors given currency in his rural district ot railroad wrecks, 
made a desperate leap from the car. This was followed by 
another, now equally excited. Those in the front cars, 
clutching to the sides of the doors, craned their necks as far as 
possible outward, but could see nothing but leaping men. 
They fearing a catastrophe of some kind, leaped ^Iso, while 
those in the rear cars, as they saw along the sides of the rail- 
road track men leaping, rolling, and tumbling on the ground, 
took it for granted that a desperate calamity had happened to 
a forward car. No time for questions, no time for meditation. 
The soldier's only care was to watch for a soft place to make 
his desperate leap, and in many cases there was little choice. 
Men leaped wildly in the air, some with their heels up, others 
falling on their heads and backs, some rolling over in a mad 
scramble to clear themselves from the threatening danger. 
The engineer not being aware of anything wrong with the 
train, glided serenely along, unconscious of the pandemonium 
in the rear. But when all had about left the train, and the 
great driving-wheels began to spin around like mad, from the 
lightening of the load, the master of the throttle looked to the 
rear. There lay stretched prone upon the ground, or limping 
on one foot, or rolling over in the dirt, some bareheaded and 
coatless, boxes and trunks scattered as in an awful collision, 
upwards of one thousand men along the railroad track. Many 
of the men thinking, no doubt, the train hopelessly lost, or 
serious danger imminent, threw their baggage out before mak- 
ing the dangerous leap. At last the train was stopped and 
brought back to the scene of desolation. It terminated like 
the bombardment of Fort Sumter— "no one hurt," and all 
occasioned by a hot-box that could have been cooled in a very 
few minutes. Much swearing and good-humored jesting were 
now engaged in. Such is the result of the want of presence of 
mind. A wave of the hat at the proper moment as a signal to 
the engineer to stop, and all would have been well. It was 
told once of a young lady crossing a railroad track in front of 
a fast approaching train, that her shoe got fastened in the frog 
where the two rails join. She began to struggle, then to 
scream, and then fainted. A crowd rushed up, some grasping 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 41 

the lady's body attempted to pull her loose by force; others 
shouted to the train to stop; some called for crow-bars to take 
up the iron. At last one man pushed through the crowd, un- 
tied the lady's shoe, and she was loose. Presence of mind, 
and not force, did it. 

Remaining in camp a few days, orders came to move, and 
cars were gotten in readiness and baggage packed preparatory 
to the trip to Virginia. To many, especially those reared in 
the back districts, and who, before their brief army life, had 
never been farther from their homes than their county seat, the 
trip to the old "Mother of Presidents," the grand old common- 
wealth, was quite a journey indeed. The old negroes, who had 
been brought South during the early days of the century, called 
the old State " Virginy' ' and mixing it with local dialect, in some 
parts had got the name so changed that it was called "Fer- 
giney." The circtis tioops and negro comedians, in their an- 
nual trips through the Southern States, had songs already so 
catchy to our people, on account of their pathos and melody, 
of Old Virginia, that now it almost appeared as though we 
were going to our old home. Virginia had been endeared to 
us and closely connected with the people of South Carolina by 
many links, not the least being its many sentimental songs of 
that romantic laud, and the stories of her great men. 

The baggage of the common soldier at this stage of the war 
would have thrown an ordinary quartermaster of latter day ser- 
vice into an epileptic fit, it was so ponderous in size and enormous 
in quantities — a perfect household outfit. A few days before 
this the soldier had received his first two months' pay, all in 
new crisp bank notes, fresh from the State banks or banks of 
depo.sit. It can be easily imagined that there were lively times 
for the butcher, the baker and candlestick maker, with all this 
money afloat. The Third South South Carolina was trans- 
ported byway of Wilmington and Weldon, N. C. Had there 
ever existed any doubts in the country as to the feelings of the 
people of the South before this in regard to Secession, it was 
entirely dispelled by the enthusiastic cheers and good will of 
the people along the road. The conduct of the men and wo- 
men through South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, 
showed one long and continued ovation along the line of 
travel, looking like a general holiday. As the cars sped along 



42 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

through the fields, the little hamlets and towns, people of 
every kind, size, and complexion rushed to the railroad and 
gave us welcome and Godspeed. Hats went into the air as we 
passed, handkerchiefs fluttered, flags waved in the gentle sum- 
mer breeze from almost every housetop. The ladies and old 
men pressed to the .side of the cars when we halted, to shake 
the hands of the brave soldier boys, and gave them blessings, 
hope and encouragement. The ladies vied with the men in 
doing homage to the soldiers of the Palmetto State. Tele- 
grams had been sent on asking of our coming, the hour of our 
passage through the little towns, and inviting us to stop and 
enjoy their hospitality and partake of refreshments. In those 
places where a stop was permitted, long tables were spread in 
some neighboring grove or park, bending under the weight of 
their bounties, laden down with everything tempting to the 
soldier's appetite. The purest and best of the women mingled 
freely with the troops, and by every device known to the fair 
sex showed their sympathy and encouragement in the cause 
we bad espoused. At Wilmington, N. C. , we crossed the 
Cape Fear River on a little river steamer, the roads not being 
connected with a bridge. At Petersburg and Richmond we 
had to march through portions of those cities in going from 
one depot to another, union sheds, not being in vogue at that 
time, and on our entry into these cities the population turned 
out en masse to welcome and extend to us their greeting. Every 
private house stood open to the soldiers and the greatest good 
will was everywhere manifested. 

Much has been said in after years, since misfortune and ruin 
overtook the South , since the sad reverses of the army and the 
overthrow of our principles, about leaders plunging the nation 
into a bloody and uncalled for war. This is all the height of 
folly. No man or combination of men could have stayed or 
avoided war. No human persuasion or earthly power could 
have stayed the great wave of revolution that had struck the 
land; and while, like a storm widening and gathering strength 
and fury as it goes, to have attempted it would have been but 
to court ruin and destruction. Few men living in that period 
of our country's history would have had the boldness or hardi- 
hood to counsel submission or inactivity. Differences there 
may have been and were as to methods, but to Secession, none. 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 43 

The voices of the women of the land were alone enough to 
have forced the measures upon the men in some shape or other. 
Then, as to the leaders being "shirkers" when the actual con- 
test came, the history of the times gives contradictions suf- 
ficient without examples. Where the duties of the service 
called, they willingly obeyed. All could not fill departments 
or sit in the councils of the nation, but none shirked the re- 
sponsibility the conditions called them to. Where fathers 
filled easy places their sons were in the ranks, and many of 
our leaders of Secession headed troops in the field. General 
Bonham, our Brigadier, had just resigned his seat in the United 
States Congress; so had L. M. Keitt, who fell at Cold Harbor at 
the head of our brigade, while Colonel of the Twentieth Regi- 
ment. James I^. Orr , one of the original Secessionists snd a mem- 
ber of Congress, raised the first regiment of rifles. The son of 
Governor Gist, the last Executive of South Carolnia just prev- 
ious to Secession, fell while leading his regiment, the Fif- 
teenth, of our brigade, in the assault at Fort Loudon, at Knox- 
ville. Scarcely was there a member of the convention that 
passed the Ordinance of Secession who had not a son or near 
kinsman in the ranks of the army. They showed by their 
deeds the truth and honesty of their convictions. They had 
trusted the North until trusting had ceased to be a virtue. 
They wished peace, but feared not war. All this idle talk, so 
common since the war, of a "rich man's war and a poor man's 
fight" is the merest twaddle and vilely untrue. 

The men of the South had risked their all upon the cast, and 
were willing to abide by the hazard of the die. All the great 
men of South Carolina were for Secession, and they nobly en- 
tered the field. The Hamptons, Butlers, Haskells, Draytons, 
Bonhams, all readily grasped the sword or musket. The fire- 
eaters, like Bob Toombs, of Georgia, and Wigfall, of Texas, 
led brigades, and were as fiery upon the battlefield as they had 
been upon the floor of the United States Senate. So with all 
the leaders of Secession, without exception; they contributed 
their lives, their services, and their wealth to the cause they 
had advocated and loved so well. I make this departure here 
to correct an opinion or belief, originated and propagated by 
the envious few who did not rise to distinction in the war, or 
who were too young to participate in its glories— those glories 



44 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE., 

that were mutual and will ever surround the Confederate sol- 
dier, regardless of rank. 

After stopping a few days in Richmond, we were carried on 
to Manassas and Bull Run, then to Fairfax, where we joined 
the other regiments. The Third Regiment camped first at 
Mitchell's Ford, remained at that point for a week or ten days, 
and from thence moved to the outpost just beyond Fairfax 
Court House. The Eighth and Second camped for a while at 
Germantown, and soon the whole brigade was between Fair- 
fax and Bull Run. 



CHAPTER IV 

Camp at Fairfax—Bonham's Staflf—Biography of 

General Bonham— Retreat to Bull Run. 

Battle of the 18th 

General Bonham had gathered around him, as staff officers, 
a galaxy of gentlemen as cultured, talented, and patriotic as 
South Carolina could produce, and as gallant as ever followed 
a general upon the battlefield; all of whom won promotion and 
distinction as the war progressed in the different branches of 
service. 

Colonel Samuel Melton, one of the staff, writing in a pleas- 
ant mood, thirty-five years afterwards, says; "That with uni- 
versal acclamation it may be said, that the retinue gathered 
around the General of the old First Brigade was a gorgeous 
one. I am proud of it 'until yet.' " 

This staff of General Bonham 's was the one allowed by the 
State service, and the appointments were made under State 
laws. However, all followed him into the Confederate ser- 
vice, and, with a few exceptions, , remained until after the 
battle of Manassas, serving without pay. The Confederate 
Government was much more modest in its appointment of staff 
officers, and only allowed a Brigadier General three or four 
members as his personal staff. 



HISTORY OK Kershaw's brigade. 45 

The following is a list of ofiBcerS who followed General Bon- 
ham to Virginia, or joined him soon after his arrival: 

W. C. Morayne, Assistant Adjutant General, with rank of 
Colonel. 

The following with rank of Ueutenant Colonel: 

W. D. Simpson, Inspector General. 

A. P. Aldrich, Quartermaster General. 

R. B. Boylston, Commissary General. 

J. N. Lipscomb, Paymaster General. 

Aides, with rank of Major: S. W. Melton, B. F. Withers, 
T. J. Davis, E. S. Hammond, S. Warren Nelson, Samuel 
Tompkins, W. P. Butler, M. B. Lipscomb. 

Colonel S. McGowan, Volunteer Aide. 

Dr. Reeves, of Virginia, was Brigade Surgeon. 

Colonels Morayne and Boylston remained only a few weeks. 
Captain George W. Say, an officer of the Confederate staff, 
succeeded Colonel Morayne, and remained a short while, when 
he was promoted and sent elsewhere. Colonel Lipscomb 
became the regular aide, with rank of First Lieutenant. 

When Captain Say left, S. W. Melton was put in his place 
as Assistant Adji:tant General, without appointment or with- 
out pay, and discharged the duties of that ofiSce until August, 
when he left on sick leave. When he returned he was ap- 
pointed Major and Assistant Adjutant General, and assigned 
to duty upon the staff of Major General G. W. Smith, com- 
manding Second Corps of the Army of the Potomac. In 1863 
he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and assigned to duty 
in the war department. 

William F. Nance, of Newberry, was appointed Captain and 
Assistant Adjutant General, and in September, 1861, was 
assigned to duty upon General Bonhani's staff, where he re- 
mained until the General's resignation. In 1864 Nance was 
on duty in Charleston, where he remained on staff duty until 
the end. 

S. McGowan and W. D. Simpson returned to South Caro- 
lina after the battle of Manassas, and assisted in raising the 
Fourteenth South Carolina Regiment of Volunteers, of which 
the former was elected Lieutenant Colonel and the latter 
Major. Colonel McGowan became Colonel of the regiment, 
and afterwards Brigadier of one of the most famous brigades 



46 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

(McGowan's) in the Confederate Army. Colonel Simpson 
served in the Confederate Congress after his retirement from 
the arm}'. 

All the others of the staff filled prominent positions, either 
as commanding or staff officers, or serving in the departments 
in Richmond. I have no data at hand to give sketches of 
their individual services. 

Fairfax Court House was the extreme limit at which the in- 
fantry was posted on that side of the Blue Ridge. Cavalry 
was still in advance, and under the leadership of the indefati- 
gable Stuart scouting the whole front between the Confederate 
and Federal armies. The Third South Carolina was encamped 
about a mile north of the little old fashioned hamlet, the 
county seat of the county of that name. In this section of 
the State lived the ancestors of most of the illustrious families 
of Virginia, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and I,ee. 
It is a rather picturesque country; not so beautiful and product- 
ive, however, as the Shenandoah and L,uray Valleys. The 
Seventh, Eighth, and Second Regiments were encamped sev- 
eral miles distant, but all in the hearing of one another's drums. 
Our main duties outside of our regular drills consisted in pick- 
eting the highways and blockading all roads by felling the 
timber across for more than a hundred yards on either side of 
the roads. Large details armed with axes were sent out to 
blockade the thoroughfares leading to Washington and points 
across the Potomac. For miles out, in all directions, wher- 
ever the road led through wooded lands, large trees, chest- 
nut, hickory, oak, and pine, were cut pell mell, creating a per- 
fect abattis acro.ss the road — so much so as to cause our troops 
in their verdant ignorance to think it almost an impossibility 
for such obstructions to be cleared away in many days; where- 
as, as a fact, the pioneer corps of the Federal Army cleared it 
away as fast as the army marched, not causing as much as one 
hour's halt. Every morning at nine o'clock one company from 
a regi>:;ent would go out about two miles in the direction of 
Washington Falls church or Annandale to do picTiet duty, and 
remain until nine o'clock next day, when it would be relieved 
by another company. The "Black Horse Cavalry," an old 
organization of Virginia, said to have remained intact since the 
Revolution, did vidette duty still beyond the infantry. Their 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADR. 47 

duties were to ride through the couutry in every direction, and 
on every road and by-way to give warning of approaching 
danger to the infantry. These were bold riders in those days, 
some daring to ride even within view of the spires and domes 
of Washington itself. On our outposts we could plainly hear 
the sound of the drums of the Federalists in their preparation 
for the "on to Richmond" move. General Bonham had also 
some fearless scouts at this time. Even some of the boldest of 
the women dared to cross the Potomac in search of informa- 
tion for the Confederate Generals. It was here that the noted 
Miss Bell Boyd made herself famous by her daring rides, her 
many escapades and hairbreadth escapes, her bold acts of 
cro.ssing the Potomac, sometimes disguised and at other times 
■ not, even entering the City of Washington itself. In this way 
she gathered much valuable information for the Confederate 
Generals, and kept them posted on the movements of the en- 
emy. She was one of the best horsewomen of that day; a fine 
specimen of womanhood, and as fearless and brave as a stout 
hearted cavalier. She generally carried a brace of Colt's re- 
volvers around her waist, and was daring enough to meet any 
foe who was so bold as to cross her path. Bell Boyd was one 
of the many noble Virginia women who staked and dared all 
for the cause of the South. William Farley, of South Caro- 
lina, another bold scout, was invaluable to General Stuart aud 
General Bonham. ■ It was he that John Esten Cooke immortal- 
ized in "Surry of Eagle's Nest" aud was killed at the battle of 
Chancellorsville. He was a native of I^aurens County. 

The duties of picketing were the first features of our army 
life that looked really like war. The soldiers had become 
accustomed to guard duty, but to be placed out on picket or 
vidette posts alone, or in company with a comrade, to stand all 
day and during the dead hours of the night, expecting some 
lurking foe every moment to shoot you in the back, or from 
behind some bush to shoot your head off, was quite another 
matter. As a guard, we watched over our friends; as a picket, 
we watched for our foe. For a long time, being no nearer the 
enemy than the hearing of their drums, the soldiers had grown 
-somewhat careless. But there was an uncanny feeling in 
standing alone in the still hours of the night, in a strange 
country, watching, waiting for an enemy to crawl up and shoot 



48 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

you unawares. This feeling was heightened, especially in my 
company, by an amusing incident that happened while on 
picket duty on the Annaudale road. Up to this time there 
had been no prisoners captured on either side, and it was 
uncertain as to what would be the fate of any who would fall 
in the enemy's hands. As we were considered traitors and 
rebels, the penalty for that crime was, as we all knew, death. 
The Northern press bad kept up quite a howl, picturing the 
long rows of traitors that would be hung side by side as soon 
as they had captured the Confederate Arm}'. That there was 
a good deal of "squeamish ness" felt at the idea of being cap- 
tured, cannot be doubted. So videttes were stationed several 
hundred yards down the road with a picket post of four men, 
between the outside sentinels and the company, as reserve. 
A large pine thicket was to our right, while on the left was an 
old field with here and there a few wild cherry trees. The 
cherries being ripe, some of the men had gone up in the trees 
to treat themselves to this luscious little fruit. The other part 
of the company lay indolently about, sheltering themselves as 
best they could from the rays of the hot July sun, under the 
trees. Some lay on the tops of fences, and in corners, while 
not a few, with coats and vests off, enjoyed a heated game of 
•"old sledge." All felt a perfect security, for with the pickets 
in front, the cavalry scouring the country, and the almost im- 
passable barricades of the roads, seemed to render it impossi- 
ble for an enemy to approach unobserved. The guns leaned 
•carelessly against the fence or lay on the ground, trappings, 
■etc., scattered promiscuously around. Not a dream of danger; 
no thought of a foe. While the men were thus pleasantly 
■engaged, and the officers taking an afternoon nap, from out iu 
the thicket on the right came "bang-bang," and a hail of bul- 
lets came whizzing over our heads. What a scramble! What 
an excitement! What terror depicted on the men's faces! 
Had a .shower of meteors fallen in our midst, had a volcano burst 
from the top of the Blue Ridge, or had a thunder bolt fell at 
our feet out of the clear blue sky, the consternation could not 
have been greater. Excitement, demoralization, and panic 
ensued. Men tumbled off the fences, guns were reached for, 
haversacks and canteens hastily grabbed, and, as usual in 
such panics, no one could get hold of his own. Some started 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 49 

up the road, some down. OflBcers thus summarily aroused 
were equally demoralized. Some gave one order, some 
another. "Pandemonium reigned supreme." Those in the 
cherry trees came down, nor did the "cherry pickers" stand 
on the order of their coming. The whole Yankee army was 
thought to be over the hills. At last the officer commanding 
got the men halted some little distance up the road; a sem- 
blance of a line formed, men cocked their guns and peered 
anxiously through the cracks of the rail fence, expecting to 
see an enemy behind every tree. A great giant, a sergeant 
from the mountain section, who stood six feet, three inches in 
his stockings, and as brave as he was big, his face flushed 
with excitement, his whole frame trembling with emotion, in 
his shirt sleeves and bareheaded, rushed to the middle of the 
road,- braced himself, as waiting for some desperate shock, and 
stood like Horatio Cockles at the Bridge, waving his gun in 
the air, calling out in defiant and stentorian voice, "Come on, 
I'll fight all of you; I'll fight old Lincoln from here to the 
sea." Such a laugh as was set up afterwards, at his expense! 
The amusing part of it was the parties who fired the shots at 
the time the stampeding was going on with us, were running 
for dear life's sake across the fields, worse scared, if possible, 
than we ourselves. They were three of a scouting party, who 
had eluded our pickets, and seeingour good, easy, and indifferent 
condition, took it into their heads to have a little amusement 
at our expense. But the sound of their guns in the quiet sur- 
rounding, no doubt excited the Yankees as much as it did the 
Confederates. This was an adventure not long in reaching 
home, for to be shot at by a real live Yankee was an event in 
every one's life at the time not soon to be forgotten. But it 
was so magnified, that by the time it reached home, had hot 
the battle of Bull Run come in its heels so soon, this incident 
Would no doubt have ever remained to . those who were en- 
gaged in it as one of the battles of the war. The only casualty 
was a hole shot through a hat. I write this little incident to 
show the difference in raw and seasoned troops. One year 
later such an incident would not have disturbed those men 
any more than the buzzing of a bee. Picket dutv after this 
incident was much more stringent. Two men were made to 
stand on post all night, without relief, only such as they gave 
4 



50 history' of KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

each other. Half of the company's reserve were kept awake 
all night. Orders were given that the utmost silence should 
prevail, the men were not even' to speak above a whisper, and 
on the approach of anyone they were to be hailed with the 
command, "Halt, who' comes' there?" If a satisfactory an- 
swer was given, they were allowed to pass. If not, to remain 
standing, and an officer of the giiard called. At night they 
were to call "half" three times, arid if no answer, they were to 
fire and retreat to the reserve. 

One night, shortly after this, one of the companies from 
Spartanburg had been sent out about three miles to the inter- 
section of a country road leading off" to the left. Down this 
country road, or lane, were two pickets. They concealed 
themselves during the day in the fence corners, but at night 
they crawled over into a piece of timber land, and crouched 
down behind a large oak. The shooting incident of a few 
days before made the two pickets feel somewhat tender at thus 
being alone in the forest, when at any moment an enemy 
might creep upon them sufficientl}' near as to shoot them in 
the dark. Everything was as quiet as the grave. The stars, 
peeping faintly out from behind the clouds, midnight came, 
and each began to nod, wuen a twig breaks some distance in 
front, then another, then the rustling of dry leaves. Their 
hearts leap to their throats and beat like sledge hammers. 
One whispers to the other, "Whist, some one is coming." 
They strain- their ears to better catch the sound. Surely 
enough they hear the leaves rustling as if some one is ap- 
proaching. "'Click," "click," the two hammers of their 
trusty rifles spring back, fingers upon the triggers, while 
nearer the invisible comes. "Halt," rang out in the midnight 
air; "'halt," once more, but still' the steady tread keeps ap- 
proaching. "When the third "halt" was given it 'was accom- 
panied by the crack of their rifles. A deafening report and 
frightful squeal, as an old female porker went charging through 
the underbrush like mad. " The crack of the rifles alarmed the 
sleeping companions in reserve, who rushed to arms and 
awaited the attack. But after much good humored badgering 
of the two frightened sentinels, "peace reigned once more at 
Warsaw" till the break of day. The company returned next 
morning to camp, but the two sentinels who had fired on the 



HISTORY OF KBRSHAW'S BRIGADE. 51 

old innocent porker were glad enough to seek the quietude of 
their quarters to escape the jests of their cdnlrades. 

A simple system of breastworks was thrown up just beyond 
our camp at Fairfax on a little eminence to the right of the 
road. This we thought suificient to defeat quite an army, or 
at least keep them at bay. General Botiham had his head- 
quarters at Fairfax Court House, but rode out daily to exam- 
ine the work done on the entrenchments, or inspect the picket? 
and outposts. General Bonham was one of the finest looking 
officers in the entire army. His tall, graceful figure, his com- 
manding appearance, his noble bearing, and soldierly mein 
were all qualities to excite the confidence and admiration of 
his troops. He wore a broad-brimmed hat, with a waving 
plume floating out behind, and sat his horse as knightly as 
Charles the Bold, or Henry of Navarre. His soldiers 
were proud of him, and loved to do him homage. He en- 
deared himself to his officers, and while he was a good discipli- 
narian as far as the volunteer service required, he did not treat 
his officers with that air of superiority, nor exact that rigid 
military courtesy that is required in the regular army. I will 
here give a short sketch of his life for the benefit of his old 
comrades in arms. 

MILLEDGE LUKE BONHAM 

Was born nea/ Red Bank in that part of Edgefield District 
now included in Saluda County, South Carolina, on the 25th 
day of December, 181 3. His father. Captain James Bonham, 
who had coriie from Virginia to South Carolina about the close 
of the last century, was the son of Major Absalom Bonham, 
who was a native of Maryland, but who enlisted for the war 
of the Revolution in a New Jersey regiment, and became a 
Major of the line on the establishment of that State. After 
the Revolution he moved to Virginia. Captain James Bonham 
was himself at the siege of Yorktown as a lad of fifteen, in a 
company whose captain was only twenty years old. He first 
settled in thi.s State in the District of Colleton, and there mar- 
ried. After the death of his wife, he moved to Edgefield Dis- 
trict, and there married Sophie Smith, who was the mother of 
the subject of this sketch. She was the daughter of Jacob 
Sinith and his wife, Sallie Butler, who was a sister of that 



52 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

Captain James Butler who was the forefather of the illustrious 
family of that name in this State, and who with his young 
son, also named James, was cruelly massacred along with 
others at Cloud's Creek, in Edgefield District, by "Bloody 
Bill" Cunningham. 

Milledge L. Bonham received his early education in the 
"old field" schools of the neighborhood, and his academic 
training under instructors at Abbeville and Edgefield. He 
entered the South Carolina College and graduated with second 
honor in 1834. Soon thereafter the Seminole or Florida war 
broke out, and he volunteered in the company from Edgefield, 
•commanded by Captain James Jones, and was Orderly Ser- 
geant of the company. During the progre.ss of the war in 
J'lorida, he was appointed by General Bull, who commanded 
the South Carolina Brigade, to be Brigade Major, a position 
which corresponds with what is now known in military circles 
as Adjutant General of Brigade. 

Returning from the war, he resumed the study of law and 
was admitted to the Bar and settled at Edgefield for the prac- 
tice of his profession. In 1844 he was elected to the I/egisla- 
ture. He always took an ardent interest in the militia, and 
was first Brigadier General and afterwards Major General of 
militia. When the war with Mexico was declared, he was 
appointed I^ieutenant Colonel of the Twelfth United States 
Infantry, one of the new regiments added to the army for that 
war. With his regiment he went to Mexico and served with 
distinction throughout the war, being promoted to Colonel of 
the regiment, and having, by the way, for his Adjutant, I^ieu- 
tenant Winfield Scott Hancock, afterwards a distinguished 
Major General of the Federal Army in the late war. After 
the ce.ssation of hostilities, Colonel Bonham was retained in 
Mexico as Military Governor of one of the provinces for about 
a year. Being then honorably discharged, he returned to 
.Edgefield and resumed the practice of law. In 1848 he was 
elected Solicitor of the Southern Circuit, composed of Edge-, 
field, Bainwell, Orangeburg, Colleton, and Beaufort Districts. 
The Bars of the various Districts composing this Circuit 
counted among their members many of the ablest and, most 
distinguished lawyers of the State, and hence it required the 
possession and industrious use of talents of no mean order to 



HISTORY OF KRRSHAW'S BRIGADE. 53 

sustain one's self as prosecuting officer against such an array 
of ability. But General Bonham continued to hold the office 
until 1856, when, upon the death of Hon. Preston S. Brooks, 
he was elected to succeed that eminent gentleman in Congress, 
and again in 1858 was elected for the full term. Those were 
the stirring times preceding the bursting of the cloud of civil 
war, and the debates in Congress were hot and spicy. In all 
these he took his full part. When South Carolina seceded 
from the Union, he promptly resigned his seat in Congress, 
and was appointed by Governor Pickens Commander-in-Chief 
of all the forces of South Carolina with the rank of Major Gen- 
eral. In this capacity, and waiving all question of rank and 
precedence, at the request of Governor Pickens, he served on 
the coast on Morris' Island with General Beauregard, who had 
been sent there by the Provisional. Government of the Confed- 
eracy to take command of the operations around Charleston. 
On the permanent organization of the Confederate Govern- 
ment, General Bonham was appointed by President Davis a 
Brigadier General in the Army of the Confederate States. 
His brigade consisted of four South Carolina regiments, com- 
manded respectively by Colonels Kershaw, Williams, Cash, 
and Bacon, and General Bonham used to love to say that no 
finer body of men were ever assembled together in one com- 
mand. With this brigade he went to Virginia, and they were 
the first troops other than Virginia troops that landed in Rich- 
mond for its defense. With them he took part in the opera- 
tions around Fairfax, Vienna, Centerville, and the first battle 
of Manassas. 

Afterwards, in consequence of a disagreement with the 
Department of War, he resigned from the army. Soon there- 
after he was elected to the Confederate Congress, in which 
body he served until he was elected Governor of this State in 
December, 1862. It was a trying time to fill that office, and 
President Davis, in letters; bears witness to the fact that no 
one of the Governors of the South gave him more efficient aid 
and support than did Governor Bonham. At the expiration 
of his term of office, in January, 1865, he was appointed to the 
command of a brigade of cavalry, and at once set to work to 
organize it, but the surrender of Johnston's army put an end 
to the war. 



54 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

Returning from the war broken in , fortune, as were all of 
his people, he, remained for a year or more on his plantation 
on Saluda River, in pdgefield County. He then moved to 
Edgefield Court House, again to take up his practice, so often 
interrupted by calls to arms. He was elected to the Legisla- 
ture in 1866, just preceding Reconstruction, but with the com- 
ing of that political era he, in common with all the white men 
of the State, was debarred from further Darticipation in public 
affairs. In the movement known as, the T^ax-payers Conven- 
tion, which had for its object the relief cf the. people from 
Republican oppression arid cprruptipu, he took part as one of 
the delegates sent by this convention to Washington to lay be- 
fore President Grant the condition of the people of the "Pros- 
trate State." He took an active interest and part in the polit- 
ical revolution of 1876 and warmly advocated what was known 
as "the straightout policy" and the nomination of Wade 
Hampton as Governor. 

In 1878 Governor Simpson appointed him the first Railroad 
Commissioner under the Act just passed, and subsequently 
when the number of the Commissioners was increased to three, 
he was elected Chairman of the Commission, in which position 
he continued until his death, on the 27th day of August, 1890. 
He died suddenly from the rupture of a blood vessel, while on 
a visit to Haywood White Sulphur Springs, N. C. 

General Bonham inarried on November 13th, 1845, Ann 
Patience, a daughter of Nathan L. Griffia, Esq. , a prominent 
lawyer of Edgefield. She survived him four years; and of 
their union there are living eight children. 

Attached to Bonham's Brigade was Kemper's. Battery of 
light artillery, commanded by Captain Dell Kemper. This 
company was from Alexandria, Va., just over the Potomac 
from Washington. This organization was part of the old 
State militia, known as volunteer companies, and had been in 
existence as such for many years. It being in such close 
proximity to Washington, the sentiment of the company was 
divided, like all cpmpanies on the border. Some of the com- 
Jjany. were in favor of joining the Union Army, while others 
wished to go with the State. Much discussion took place at 
this time among, the members as to which side they would 
join, but Captain Kemper, with a great display of coolness and 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 55 

courage, cut the Gprdian knpt.,by taking those with him of 
Southern sentiment, like iaimself, and on one datk night he 
pulled out from Alexandria with his cannon aiid horses and 
made his way South to join the Southern Army. That was 
the last time auj; of that gallant band' ever saw their native 
city for more than four years, and many of the poor fellows 
looked upon it that night for the last time. Between them 
and the South Carolinians sprang up a warm attachment that 
continued during the war. They remained with us as a part 
of the brigade for nearly two years, or. until the artillery was 
made a separate branch of the service. While in winter 
quarters, when many troops were granted furloughs, those 
men having no home to which they could visit like the others, 
were invited by members of the brigade to visit their own 
homes in Sou|;h Carolina and remain with their families the 
lepgth of theiir leave of absence. Many availed themselves of 
these kind invitations, and spent a pleasant month in the hos- 
pitable homes of this State. The ladies of South Carolina, 
appreciating their isolated condition aiid forced separation 
from their homes, with no kind mother or sister with oppor- 
tunities to cheer them with their delicate favors, made them 
all a handsome uniform and outfit of underwear, and sent to 
them as a Christmas gift. Nevei- during the long years of the 
struggle did the hearts of South Carolinians fail to respond to 
those of the brave Virginians, when they heard the sound of 
Kemper's guns belching forth death and destruction to the 
enemj', or when the battle was raging loud and furious. 

, On the morning of the i6th of July, when all was still and 
quiet in camp, a puff of blue smoke from a hill about three 
miles off, followed by the roar of a cannon, the hissing noise 
of a shell overhead, its loud report, was the first intimation 
the troops had that the enemy had commenced the advance. 
It is needless to say excitement and consternation over- 
whelmed the camp. While all were expecting and anxiously 
awaiting it, still the idea of being now in the face of a real 
live enemy, on the eve of a great battle, where death and hor- 
rors of war, such as all had heard of but never realized, came 
upon them with no little feelings of dread and emotion. No 
man living, nor any who ever lived, retaining' his natural fac- 
ulties,- ever faced death in battle without some feeling of dread 



56 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

or superstitious awe. The soldiers knew, too, the eyes of the 
world were upon them, that they were to make the history for 
their generation. Tents were hurriedly struck, baggage rolled 
and thrown into wagons, with which the excited teamsters 
were not long in getting into the pike road. Drums beat the 
assembly, troops formed in line and took position behind the 
breastwork; while the artillery galloped up to the front and 
unlimbered, ready for action. The enemy threw twenty- 
pound shells repeatedly over the camp, that did no further 
damage than add to the consternation of the already excited 
teamsters, who seemed to think the safety of the army de- 
pended on their getting out of the way. It was an exciting 
scene to see four-horse teams galloping down the pike at 
break-neck speed, urged forward by the frantic drivers. 

It was the intention of McDowell, the Federal Chief, to sur- 
prise the advance at Fairfax Court House and cut off their re- 
treat. Already a column was being hurried along the Ger- 
mantown road, that intersected the main road four miles in 
our rear at the little hamlet of Germantown. But soon Gen- 
eral Bonham had his forces, according to preconcerted ar- 
rangements, following the retreating trains along the pike 
towards Bull Run. Men overloaded with baggage, weighted 
down with excitement, went at a double quick down the road, 
panting and sweating in the noonday sun, while one of the 
field officers in the rear accelerated the pace by a continual 
shouting, "Hurry up, men, they are firing on our rear." This 
command was repeated so often and persistently that it be- 
came a by-word in our brigade, so much so, that when any- 
thing was wanted to be done with speed the order was always 
accompanied with, "Hurry up, men, they are firing on our 
rear. ' ' The negro sei vants, evincing no disposition to be left 
behind, rushed along with the wagon train like men beset. 
While we were on the double-quick, some one noticed a small 
Confederate flag floating lazily in the breeze from a tall pine 
pole that some soldier had put up at his tent, but by the hur- 
ried departure neglected to take down. Its owner could not 
entertain the idea of leaving this piece of bunting as a trophy 
for the enemy, so risking the chance of capture, he ran back, 
cut the staff, and returned almost out of breath to his company 
with the coveted flag. We were none too precipitate in our 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 57 

movement, for as we were passing through Germantown we 
could see the long rows of glistening bayonets of the enemy 
crowning the hills to our right. We stopped in Centerville 
until midnight, then resumed the march, reaching Bull Run 
at Mitchell's Ford as the sun was just rising above the hilL 
tops. 

Colonel Kershaw and Colonel Cash were filing down the 
east bank to the left, while Colonels Williams and Bacon occu- 
pied some earthworks on the right. These had been erected 
by former troops, who had encamped there before us. Gen- 
eral Beauregard had divided his troops into six brigades, put- 
ting regiments of the same State together, as far as possible, 
Bonham's being First Brigade. Beauregard was determined 
to make Bull Run his line of defense. This is a slow, slug- 
gish stream, only fordable at certain points, its banks steep 
and rather rocky with a rough plateau reaching back from 
either side. The western being the more elevated, gave the 
enemy the advantage in artillery practice. In fact, the banks 
on the western side at some points came up to the stream in a 
bluflf — especially so at Blackburn's Ford. In the rear and in 
the direction of the railroad was the now famous Manassas 
Plains. The Confederate line extended five miles, from Union 
Mills Ford to Stone Bridge. At the latter place was General 
Evans, of South Carolina, with two regiments and four pieces 
of artillery. On the extreme right, Buell with his brigade 
and a battery of twelve-pounders was posted at Union Mills. 
Mcl<ean's Ford was guarded by D. R. Jones' brigade, with two 
brass six-pounders. I^ongstreet with two six-pounders, and 
Bonham with two batteries of artillery and a squadron of cav- 
alry, guarded the fords at Blackburn's and Mitchell's respec- 
tively. Early's Brigade acted as reserve on the right. In 
rear of the other fords was Cooke's Brigade and one battery. 
The entire force on the roll on July nth consisted of 27 pieces 
of light artillery and 534 men; cavalry, 1425; foot artillery, 
265; infantry, 16,150 — 18,401, comprising the grand total of 
all arms of General Beauregard one week before the first bat- 
tle. Now it must be understood that this includes the sick, 
guards, and those on outpost duty. McDowell had 37,300 of 
mostly seasoned troops. 

The morning of the i8th opened bright and sunny. To our 



58 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

rear was all bustle and commotion, and it looked like a vast 
camp of wagon trains. From the surrounding country all 
wagons had been called in from the foraging expeditions laden 
with provisions. Herds of cattle were corralled to secure the 
troops fresh beef, while the little fires scattered over the vast 
plains showed that the cooking details were not idle. General 
Beauregard had his headquarters on the hill in our rear. 

At eight o'clock on the i8th, McDowell pushed his leading 
division forward at Blackburn's Ford, where two oldcomrades, 
but now facing each other as foes, General Tyler and General 
lyongstreet, were to measure strength and generalship. The 
Washington Artillery, under Captain Richardson, of New 
Orleans, a famous battery throughout; the war, which claims 
the distinction, of firing the first gun at Bull Run and the last 
at Appomattox, was with Longstreet to aid him with their 
brass six-pounders. 

• The enemy advanced over the plain and up to the very bluff 
overlooking the stream, and a very short distance from where 
lyongsteet's force lay, but the Washington Artillery had been 
raking the field- all the while, from an eminence in the rear, 
while the infantry now began to fire in earnest. The ele- 
vated position gave the enemy great advantage, and at one 
time General Longstreet had to call up his re.serves, -but the 
advantageous assault was speedilj' repulsed as soon as the 
Southern troopsbecame more calm and better accustomed to 
the fire and tension of the battlefield. Several assaults were 
made, one immediately after the other, but each tiine Southern 
valor overcame Northern discipline. From our position at 
Mitchell's Ford, we could bear the fierce, continual roll of the 
infantry fire, mingled with the deafening thunder of the 
cannon. Bonham was under a continual .shelling from long 
range, by twenty pounders, some reaching as far in the rear 
as the wagon yard. After the fourth repulse, and Longstreet 
had his reserves well in hand, he felt himself strong enough 
to take the initiative. Plunging through the marshes and 
lagoons that bordered the stream, the troops crossed over and 
up the bluff, but when on the heights they met another 
advance of the enemy, who' were soon sent .scampering 
from the field. Then was first heard the fanaous "Rebel 
yell." The Confederates finding'themselves victorious in this 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 59 

their first engagement, gave vent to thpir feelings by uttering 
such a. j'ell as suited e^ch individual bpst, iorming for all time 
the famous "Rebel Yell." lyongstreet withdrew his forces to 
the east side, but g. cojitinual fusilade of artjllery was kept up 
until night. Some of our soldiers visited the . battlefield that 
night ar^d next day, and brought in many trophies and memen- 
toes of the day's fight, such as blankets, oilcloths, canteens, 
guns, etc. 



CHAPTER V 

The Battle of Manassas — Rout of the Enemy. 
Visit to the Battlefield. 

Of the battle of the i8th, the enemy seemed to make little, 
and called ijt a "demonstration" at which General Tyler ex- 
ceeded his orders, and pushed his troops too far. However, 
the Confederates were very well satisfied with the contest 
where the first blood was drawn. .General Johnston, who at 
this time was up in the Shenandoah Valley, near Winchester, 
was asked by General Beauregard to come to his relief. He 
was confronted himself by General Patterson, an able Federal 
General, with a largely superior army. This General John- 
ston had assurance to believe was, preparing to advance, and 
his own danger great. Still by a strategem, he succeeded in 
quietly withdrawing his. troops, and began the hazardous un- 
dertaking of re:enforcing' Beauregard. Some of his troops he 
placed upon the cars at Piedmont, and sped along o'er moun- 
tains and glens with lightning speed, while the others on foot 
came oyer and through the torturous mountain passes without 
halt or rest, bending all their energies to meet Beauregard 
upon the plains of Manassas. Couriers came on foaming 
.steeds, their bloody sides showing the impress of the riders' 
spurs, bringing the glad tidings to the Army of the Potomac 
that succor was near. Beauregard was busy with the disposi- 
tion of hjs troops, preparing to give battle, while the soldiers 
worked with a will erecting some hasty breastworks. 

At this point I will digress for the moment to relate an inci- 



60 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

dent of the Federal march, to show the brutal cowardice and 
baseness of the Federals in making war upon the non-com- 
batants — women and children — and also the unyielding spirit 
and inflexible courage of our Southern people. Those dispo- 
sitions were manifested on both sides throughout the whole 
war. It is unnecessary to say that feeling ran high on the 
border, as elsewhere, and everyone was anxious to display his 
colors in order to show to the world how his feelings Jan. 
Confederate flags waved from many housetops along the bor- 
der, and on the morning the Federals crossed the Potomac 
from Washington to Alexandria, many little pieces of bunting, 
displaying stars and bars, floated from the houses in that old 
sleeping city of Alexandria. Among that number was a 
violent Secessionist named Jackson. Colonel Ellsworth, 
commanding the New York Zouaves, the advance guard, 
ordered all flags with Confederate devices to be torn down by 
force. The soldiers thus engaged in the debasing acts of en- 
tering private dwellings, insulting the inmates with the vilest 
epithets, ruthlessly tore down the hated emblems of the South 
everywhere. When they came to Jackson's house they met 
the fiery defender of his home on the landing of the stairs, 
rifle in hand, who with determined air informed the Federal 
soldiers that whoever lowered his flag would meet instant 
death. Staggered and dazed by such a determined spirit, they 
lost no time in reporting the fact to Colonel Ellsworth. En- 
raged beyond all control by this 'cool impudence, Ellsworth 
rushed to Jackson's house, followed by a squad of soldiers. 
On reaching the landing he, too, met Jackson with his eyes 
flashing fire and determination, his whole frame trembling 
with the emotion he felt, his rifle cocked and to his shoulder, 
boldly declaring, ' ' Whoever tears down that flag, dies in his 
tracks." Ellsworth and party thought this threat could not 
be real, and only Southern braggadocio. Brushing past the 
determined hero, Ellsworth snatched the hated flag from its 
fastening, but at that instant he fell dead at the feet of his 
adversary. The report of Jackson's rifle told too plainly that 
he had kept his word. The soldiers who had followed and 
witnessed the de^th of their commander, riddled the body of 
the Southern martyr with bullets, and not satisfied with his 
death, mutilated his body beyond recognition. Thus fell the 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 61 

first martyr to Southern principles. The South never showed 
this disposition of hatred on any occasion, for in after years 
while marching through Pennsylvania Union flags floated un- 
molested from housetops, over towns, and cities. The soldiers 
only laughed and ridiculed the stars and stripes. The South 
feared no display of sentiment, neither did they insult women 
and non-combatants. 

A like occurrence happened in New Orleans a few years 
later, where General Butler commanded, and gained the 
unenviable sobriquet of "Beast" by his war upon the women 
and those not engaged in the struggle, and by trampling upon 
everj' right and liberty sacred to the people. He had i.'ssued 
some degrading order, which the citizens were bound in pain 
of death to obey. One brave man, Mumford, refused, pre- 
ferring death to obeying this humiliating order. For this he 
was torn from the embrace of his devoted family, and, in sight 
of his wife and children, placed in a wagon, forced to ride 
upon his own cofHn, and in the public square was hanged 
like a feign. 

General Johnston, with a portion of his troops, reached the 
field on the 20th,, and his forces were placed in rear of those of 
Beauregard as reserves. On the night of the 20th, both 
opposing generals, by a strange coincidence, had formed plans 
of the battle for the next day, and both plans were identical. 
Beauregard determined to advance his right by echelon of 
brigades, commencing with Ewell at Union Mills, then Jones 
and I,ongstreet were to cross Bull Run, with Bonham as a 
pivot, and attack McDowell in flank and rear. This was the 
identical plan conceived and carried out by the enemy, but 
with little success, as events afterwards showed. The only 
diflerence was McDowell got his blow in first by pushing his 
advance columns forward up the Warrenton Road on our left, 
in the direction of the Stone Bridge. He attacked General 
Evans, who had the Fourth South Carolina, and Wheat's 
Battalion of Louisiana Tigers, on guard at this point, with 
great energy and zeal. But under cover of a dense forest, he 
moved his main body of troops still higher up the Run, crossed 
at Sudley's Ford, and came down on Evans'- rear. Fighting 
"Shanks Evans," as he was afterwards called, met this over- 
whelming force with stubborn resistance and a reckless cour- 



62 HISTORY OF KEESHXw'S BRIGADE. 

age. The enemy from the opposite side of the Run was send- 
ing in a continued shower of shot and shell, which threatened 
the annihilation of the two little six-pounders and the handful 
of infantry that Evans had. But support soon reached him, 
the Brigade of Bee's coming up; still he was pressed back 
beyond a small stream in his rear. Bee, with his own and 
Bartow's Brigade, with a batter}' of artillery, were all soon 
engaged, but the whole column was forced back in the valley 
below. Jackson came upon the crest of the hill in their rear 
at this juncture, and on this column the demoralized troops 
were ordered to rally. It was here Jackson gained the name 
of "Stonewall," for Bee, to animate and reassure his own men, 
pointed to Jackson and said: "Look at Jackson, he stands like 
a stonewall." But the gallant South Carolinian who gave the 
illustrious chieftain the famous name of "Stonewall" did not 
live long enough to see the name applied, for in a short time he 
fell, pierced through with a shot, which proved fatal. Hamp- 
ton, with his Legion, came like a whirlwind upon the field, 
and formed on the right, other batteries were brought into 
play, still the enemy pressed forward. Stone Bridge being 
uncovered, Tyler crossed his troops over, and joined those of 
Hunter and Heintzelmau coming from Sudley's Ford. This 
united the three divisions of the enemy, and they made a 
vigorous and pressing assault upon the demoralized Confeder- 
ates. The roar of the cannon became continuous, the earth 
trembled from this storm of battle, sulphurous smoke obscures 
the sky, the air vibrates with shrieking shot and shell,' men rush 
madly to the charge. Our small six-pounders against their 
twelve and twenty-pounders, manned by the best artillerists 
at the North, was quite an uneven combat. Johnston and 
Beauregard had now come upon the field and aided in giving 
order and confidence to the troops now badly disorganized by 
the fury of the charge. The battle raged in all its fierceness; 
the infantry and artillery, by their roaring and t'hunder-l'ike 
tone, gave one the impression of a continued, protracted 
electrical storm, and to those at a distance it sounded like 
"worlds at war." On the plateau between the Lewis House 
and the Henry House the battle raged fast and furious with 
all the varying fortunes of battle. ' Now victorious— now' 
defeated — the enemy advances over hill', across pla:teaus,' to be 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADR. 63 

met with stubborn resistance first, then driven flying from the 
field. Around the Henry House the battle was desperate and 
hand to hand. Here the Louisiana Battalion, under Major 
Wheat, immortalized itself by the fury of its assault. Av^ain 
and again was the house taken and lost, retaken arid lost again; 
the men, seeking cover, rushed up around and into it, only to 
be driven away by the .Htorm of shot and shell sent hurling 
through it. Now our troops would be dislodged, but rallying 
they rushed again to the assault and retook it. Twelve 
o'clock came, and the battle was far from being decided. 
Bartow fell, then Bee. The wounded and dead lay strewn 
over the entire field from the Henry House to the bridge. 
Away to the left is seen the glitter of advancing bayonets, 
with flags waving, and the steady tread of long lines of sol- 
diers marching through the open field. They are first thought 
to be the enemy, seeking to turn our left. Officers and men 
turned pale at the sight of the unexpected foe. Couriers were 
sent to Longstreet and Bonham to prepare to cover the retreat, 
for the day was now thought to be lost, and a retreat inevita- 
ble. The troops proved to be friends. Elzeys and Kirby 
Smith on the way from the Valley to Manassas, hearing the 
firing of the guns, left the cars and hurried to the scene of 
action. Cheer after cheer now rent the air, for relief was now 
at hand. They were put In on the left, but soon General 
Kirby Smith fell wounded, and had to be borne from the 
field. Other reinforcements were on the way to relieve ttie 
pre.ssure that was convincing to the generals commanding, even, 
that the troops could not long endure. The Second and 
Eighth South Carolina Regiments, under the command of 
Colonels Kershaw and Cash, were taken from the line at 
Mitchell's Ford and hurried forward. When all the forces 
were gotten well in hand, a general forward movement was 
made. Bun the enemy met it with a determined front. The 
shrieking and bursting of shells shook the very earth, while 
the constant roll of the infantry sounded like continual peals 
of heavy thunder. Here ' and there an explosion, like a 
volcanic eruption, told of a cais,sori being blown up by the 
bursting of a shell.' The enemy graped the field right and 
left, and had a decided advantage in the forenoon when their 
long range twenty-pounders played havoc with our advancing 



64 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

and retreating columns, while our small four and six-pounders 
could not reach their batteries. But in the after part of the 
day, when the contending forces were nearer together, 
Ricket's and GrifSn's Batteries, the most celebrated at that 
time in the Northern Army, could not stand the precision and 
impetuosity of Kemper's, the Washington, Stannard's, Pen- 
dleton's, and Pelham's Batteries as they graped the field. 
The Second and Eighth South Carolina coming up at a double 
quick, joined Hampton's I^egion, with Early, Cox, and the 
troops from the Valley just in time to be of eminent service at 
a critical moment. The clear clarion voice of Kershaw gave 
the command, "Forward!" and when repeated in the stento- 
rian voice of Cash, the men knew what was expected of them, 
answered the call, and leaped to the front with a will. The 
enemy could no longer withstand the desperate onslaught of 
the Confederate Volunteers, and McDowell now began to 
interest himself with the doubtful problem of withdrawing his 
troops at this critical juncture. With the rugged banks of 
the deep, sluggish stream in his rear, and only a few places it 
could be crossed, with a long sheet of flame blazing out from 
the compact lines of the Confederates into the faces of his 
men, his position was perilous in the extreme. His troops 
must have been of like opinion, for the ranks began to waver, 
then break away, and soon they found themselves in full 
retreat. Kershaw, Cash, and Hampton pressed them hard 
towards Stone Bridge. A retreat at first now became a panic, 
then a rout. Men threw away their baggage, then their guns, 
all in a mad rush to put the stream between themselves and 
the dreaded "gray -backs." Cannon were abandoned, men 
mounted the horses and fled in wild disorder, trampling under- 
foot those who came between them and safety, while others 
limbered up their pieces and went at headlong speed, only to 
be upset or tangled in an unrecognizable mass on Stone 
Bridge. The South Carolinians pressed them to the very 
crossing, capturing prisoners and guns; among the latter was 
the enemy's celebrated "Long Tom." All semblance of order 
was now cast aside, each trying to leave his less fortunate 
neighbor in the rear. Plunging headlong down the precipi- 
tous banks of the Run, the terror-stricken soldiers pushed 
over and out in the woods and the fields on the other side. 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 65 

The shells of our rifle and parrot guns accelerated their 
speed, and added to their demoralization by hissing and 
shrieking above their heads and bursting in the tree tops. 
Orders were sent to Generals Bonham, I^ongstreet, and Jones, 
who were holding the lower fords, to cross over and strike the 
flying fugitives in the rear near Centerville. Colonels Wil; 
liams and Bacon, with their regiments, led by General Bon- 
ham, in person, crossed the stream at a double quick, and 
began the pursuit of the stampeded troops. When we reached 
the camps of the enemy, where they had bivouaced the night 
before, the scene beggared description. On either side of the 
road were piled as high as one could reach baggages of every 
description, which the men had discarded before going into 
action. Blankets rolled up, oilcloths, overcoats, tents, all of 
the very best material, piled up by the hundreds and thou- 
sands. Pots and camp kettles hnng over fires, and from within 
came the savory smell of "ricla viands, with rare condiments," 
being prepared to appease the keen appetite of the battle-worn 
veterans after the day's victory. Great quarters of fresh beef 
hung temptingly from the limbs of the trees, wagons filled 
with arms and accoutrements, provisions, and army supplies, 
with not a few well-laden with all the delicacies, tid-bits, and 
rarest old wines that Washington could afford, to assuage the 
thirst of officers and the men of note. Many of the high 
dignitaries and officials from the Capitol had come out to 
witness the fight from afar, and enjoy the exciting scene of 
battle. They were now fleeing through the woods like men 
demented, or crouched behind trees, perfectly paralyzed with 
uncertainty and fright. One old citizen of the North, cap- 
tured by the boys, gave much merriment by the antics he cut, 
being frightened out of his wits with the thought of being 
summarily dealt with by the .soldiers. Some would punch 
him in the back with their bayonets, then another would give 
him a thrust as he turned to ask quarters of the first tor- 
mentor. The crisis was reached, however, when one of the 
soldiers, in a spirit of mischief, called for a rope to hang him; 
he thought himself lost, and through his tears he begged for 
mercy, pleaded for compassion, and promised atonement. 
General Bonham riding up at this juncture of the soldiers' 
sport, and seeing the abject fear of the old Northern Aboli- 
5 



66 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADB. 

tiouist, took pity and showed his sympathj' by telling the 
men to turn him loose, and not to interfere with non-combat- 
ants. He was told to run now, and if he kept the gait he 
started with through the woods, not many hours elapsed 
before he placed the placid waters of the Potomac between him 
and the blood-thirsty Rebels. Strict orders were given to 
"stay in ranks," but the sight of so much valuable plunder, 
and actual necessaries to the soldiers, was too much for the 
poorly provided Confederates; and not a few plucked from the 
pile a blanket, overcoat, canteen, or other article that his 
wants dictated. A joke the boys had on a major was that 
while riding along the line, waving his sword, giving orders 
not to molest the baggage, and crying out, "Stay in ranks, 
men, stay in ranks," then in an undertone he would call to 
his servant, "'Get me another blanket, Harvy." The artil- 
lery that had been ordered to take part in the infantry's 
pursuit were just preparing to open fire upon the fleeing 
enemy, when by soma unaccountable order, the pursuit was 
ordered to bs abandoned. Had not this uncalled for order 
come at this juncture, it is not hard to conceive the results. 
The greater portion of the Federal Army would have been 
captured, for with the exception of General Sykes' Brigade of 
regulars and a battery of regular atillery, there was not an 
organiz ition between our army and Washington City. All 
night long the roads through Centerville, and the next day all 
leading through Fairfax, Falls Church, and Anaudale were 
one continual throng of fleeing fugitives. Guns and accoutre- 
ments, camp equipage, and ordnance strewed the sides of the 
road for miles; wagons, ambulances, cannon, and caissons had 
been abandoned, and terror-stricken animals galloped unbri- 
dled through the woods and fields. The great herds of cattle, 
now free from their keepers, went bellowing through the 
forest, seeking shelter in .some .secluded swamp. 

At night, we were all very reluctantly ordered back to our 
old camp to talk, rejoice, and dream of the wonderful victory. 
Beauregard and Johnston had in this engagement of all arras 
30,888, but 3,000 of Swell's and part of Bonham's Brigade 
were not on the field on that day. The enemy had 50,000 
and 117 cannon. Confederate loss in killed and wounded, 
1,485. Federal loss in killed, wounded, and captured, 4,500. 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 67 

There being no enemy in our front and little danger of sur- 
prise, the soldiers were allovped to roam at will over the battle- 
field the next few days. Almost the entire army availed 
themselves of this their first opportunity of visiting a real 
battlefield and witnessing the real horrors and carnage of 
which they had often read and seen pictures but had never 
seen in reality. 

Who is it that has ever looked upon a battlefield and could 
forget the sickening scene, or obliterate from his mind the 
memory of its dreaded sight? It was recorded of the great 
Napoleon, by one of his most intimate friends and historians, 
that after every great battle the first thing he did the next 
day was to ride over the field, where lay the dead and wounded, 
and when he would come to those points where the battle had 
been desperate and the dead lay thickest, he would sit as in a 
tiance, and with silence and meditation never witm-ssed on 
other occasions, view the ghastly corpses as they lay strewn 
over the field. The field of carnage had a fascinating power 
over him he could not resist, and on which his eyes delighted 
to feast. With a comrade I went to visit the field of Manas- 
sas. Pa.ssing over the uneven and partly wooded country, we 
witnessed all the effect of the enemy's rifled guns. Trees were 
cut down, great holes dug in the ground where shells had 
exploded, broken wagons, upset ambulances, wounded and 
dead horses lining the whole way. The first real scene of car- 
nage was on the plateau of the Lewis house. Here the Vir- 
ginians lying behind the crest of the hill as the enemy 
emerged from the woods on the other side, gave them such a 
volley as to cause a momentary repulse, but only to renew 
their attack with renewed vigor. The battle here was des- 
perate. Major Wheat with his Louisianians fought around 
the Henry house with a ferocity hardly equalled by any 
troops during the war. Their peculiar uniform, large flowing 
trousers with blue and white stripes coming only to the knees, 
colored stockings, and a loose bodice, made quite a picturesque 
appearance and a good target for the enemy. These lay 
around the house and in front in almost arm's lengLU of each 
other. This position had been taken and lost twice during 
the day. Beyond the house and down the declivity on the 
other side, the enemy's dead told how destructive and deadly 



68 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

had been the Confederate fire. On the other plateau where 
Jackson had formed and where Bee and Bartow fell, the scene 
was sickening. There lay friend and foe face to face in the 
cold embrace of death. Only by the caps could one be distin- 
guished from the other, for the ghouls ot the battlefield had 
already been there to strip, rob, and plunder. Beyond the 
ravine to the left is where Hampton and his Legion fought, as 
well as the troops of Kirby Smith and Elzey, of Johnston's 
army, who had come upon the scene just in time to turn the 
tide of battle from defeat to victory. On the right of Hamp- 
ton was the Eighth and Second South Carolina under Ker- 
shaw. From the Lewis house to the Stone Bridge the dead 
lay in every direction. The enemy in their precipitate flight 
gave the Confederates ample opportunity to slay at will. The 
effects of artillery here were dreadful. Rickett's Battery, the 
best in the North, had pushed their guns far in advance of the 
infantry, and swept the field with grape and canister. Here 
was a caisson blown up by a shell from Kemper's Batter j'^, and 
the havoc was frightful. Six beautiful horses, all well capari- 
soned and still attached to the caisson, all stretched as they 
had fallen, without so much as a struggle. The drivers lay 
by the side of the horses, one poor fellow underneath and badly 
mutilated. To one side and near by lay the officer in com- 
mand and his horse, the noble animal lying as he had died in 
the beautiful poise he must have bisen in when the fataL shot 
struck him. His hind legs straightened as if in the act of 
rearing, his forefeet in the air, one before the other, the whole 
looking more like a dismantled statue than the result of a bat- 
tlefield. Fragments of shells, broken guns, knapsacks, and 
baggage were scattered over the plains. Details were busy 
gathering up the wounded and burying the dead. But from 
the looks of the field the task seemed difficult. In the little 
clusters of bushes, behind trees, in gullies, and in every con- 
ceivable place that seemed to offer shelter, lay the dead. What 
a shudder thrills the whole frame when you stand and contem- 
plate the gruesome faces of the battle's dead. In every pos- 
ture and all positions, with every conceivable shade of counte- 
nance, the glaring, glassy eyes meet you. Some lay as they 
fell, stretched full length on the ground; others .show a des- 
perate struggle for the last few remaining breaths. There lay 



HISTORY OF KRRSHAW'S BRIGADE. 69 

the beardless youth with a pleasant smile yet lingering on his 
face as though waiting for the maternal kiss; the cold stern 
features of the middle aged as he lay grasping his trusty rifle, 
some drawn up in a perfect knot of agony, others their faces 
prone upon the earth, all dead, dead. Great pools of blood 
here and there had saturated the earth, the victim perhaps 
crawling to a nearby shelter or some little glen, hoping to gain 
a mouthful of water to cool his parched lips, or perhaps some 
friendly hand had carried him away to a hospital. Few of our 
troops had been molested by the body snatchers of the battle- 
field, but the enemy had almost invariably been stripped of 
his outer clothing. On the incline of the far side of a little 
hill spots were pointed out where the gallant South Carolin- 
ian, Bee, had fallen, while rallying his men for the final as- 
sault, and also the brave Georgian', Colonel Bartow, in a like 
endeavor. 

We came to the Henry house, on the opposite plateau from 
the I/ewis house, the former at this time almost as noted as 
the little log hut at Waterloo that stood half a century before 
as a landmark to the fall of Napoleon. They were common, 
old fashioned frame houses, occupied by some poor people on 
this frightful day. The battle came with such suddeness and 
unexpectancy, the unfortunate inmates could not get away, 
and there throughout the bloody day these three Henry women 
had endured all the dread, excitement, and dangers of a great 
battle, and forced to remain between the opposing armies. 
The house was perfectly riddled with miunie balls, while great 
openings were torn in the side and roofs by the shells shatter- 
ing through. There was no escape or place of safety. They 
stretched themselves at full length upon the floor, calmly 
awaiting death, while a perfect storm of shot and shell raged 
without and within. As we went in the house two women 
sat around the few mouldering embers that had answered the 
purpose of cooking a hasty meal. It was a single room house, 
with two beds, some cheap furniture, and a few cooking uten- 
sils. These were torn into fragments. In one corner lay the 
dead sister, who had been shot the day before, with a sheet 
thrown over to shield her from the gaze of the curious. The 
two sisters were eating a morsel unconcernedly, unconscious 
of the surroundings, while the house was crowded during the 



70 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

day with sight seers and curious questioners. Ou the other 
3ide of the room were some wounded soldiers, carried in to be 
shielded from the rays of the Jul 5- sun, while all without laj' 
in heaps the mangled dead. The exceeding tension of excite- 
ment, fright, untold fear, that had been drawn around them 
during the continuous struggle of the day before, had ren- 
dered those women callous and indifferent to all surrounding 
appearance; but their haggard faces told but too plainly their 
mental anguish and bodily suffering of yesterday. The eyes 
tire of the sickening scene, and the mind turns from this re- 
volting field of blood, and we return heartstricken to our 
camp. The poor crippled and deserted horses limp over the 
field nibbling a little bunch of grass left green in places after 
the day of mad galloping of horses. Everywhere we saw 
friends hunting friends. Relief corps had come up 'from Rich- 
mond and were working night and day relieving the suffering 
and moving the wounded away. Cars were run at short inter- 
vals from Manassas, carrying the disabled to Warrentown, 
Orange Court House, Culpepper, and Richmond. President 
Davis had come up just after the battle had gone in our favor, 
and the soldiers were delighted to get a glimpse at our illus- 
trious chieftain. It was needless to say Beauregard's star 
was still in the ascendant. 



CHAPTER VI 

Vienna — Flint Hill — Duel Sports — July to 
October. 

Much discussion has taken place since the rout at Manassas 
as to reasons for not following up the victory so gloriously 
won, and for not pushing on to Washington at once. It is 
enough to say the two commanders at the time and on the 
field saw difficulties and dangers suflScient in the way to rest 
on their spoils. The President, who was in council with 
them, after due consideration was convinced of the impracti- 
cability of a forward movement. In the first place, no prepa- 
ration had been made for such an event; that the spoils were 
so out of proportion to their most sanguine expectations; that 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 71 

the transportation for the troops had to be employed in its re- 
moval; that no thought of a forward movement or invasion 
had ever been contemplated; so there were no plans or speci- 
fications at hand. Then again, the dead and wounded of both 
armies had to be attended to, which crippled our medical de- 
partment so as to render it powerless should another engage- 
ment take place. And again, a large portion of our people 
thought this total defeat of the enemy at the very outset of 
the war would render the design of coercion by force of arms 
impracticable. The South was conservative, and did not wish 
to inflame the minds of the people of the Union by entering 
their territory or destroying their capital. Knowing there 
was a large party at the North opposed to the war, some of 
our leaders had reason to think this shattering of their first 
grand army would so strengthen their feelings and party that 
the whole North would call for peace. They further hugged 
that fatal delus'ion to their breast, a delusion that eventually 
shattered the foundation of our government and betrayed the 
confidence of the troops, "foreign intervention." They rea- 
soned that a great victory by the South would cause our gov- 
ernment to be recognized by the foreign powers and the South 
given a footing as a distinct, separate, and independent nation 
among all other great nations of the earth. That the South 
would no longer be looked upon as an "Insurrectionary Fac- 
tion," "Erring Sisters." or "Rebellious Children." Our 
ports had been ordered closed by the North, and an imaginary 
blockade, a nominal fleet, stood out in front of our harbors. 
Our people thought the world's desire for the South's cotton 
would so influence the commercial and laboring people of 
Europe that the powers would force the North to declare her 
blockade off. Such were some of the feelings and hopes of a 
large body of our troops, as well as the citizens of the country 
at large. But it all was a fallacy, a delusion, an ignis fatuus. 
The North was aroused to double her former fury, her ener- 
gies renewed and strengthened, tensions drawn, her ardor 
largely increased, her feelings doubly embittered, and the 
whole spirit of the North on fire. Now the cry was in ear- 
nest, "On to Richmond," "Down with the rebellion," "Peace 
and unity." The Northern press was in a perfect blaze, the 
men wild with excitement, and every art and device was re- 



72 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

sorted to to arouse the people to arms. The stain of defeat 
must now be wiped out; a stigma had been put upon the 
nation, her flag disgraced, her people dishonored. I^arge 
bounties were offered for volunteers, and the recruiting was 
earnest and energetic. Lincoln called for 300,000 more troops, 
and the same question was asked at the South, "Where will 
he get them and how pay them?" 

We were moved out near Centerville, and a few days after- 
wards took up camp at Vienna, a small station on the Balti- 
more and Ohio railroad. The day after our arrival all of the 
troops, with the exception of the ordinary detail, were put to 
work tearing up the railroad track. It being Sunday, loud 
complaints were made against this desecration of the Lord's 
Day, but we were told there was no difference in days in times 
of war. The railroad was a good one and well built on a road- 
bed of gravel and chips of granite, with solid heart pine or 
chestnut ties, laid with "T" rails. The cross-ties were piled 
in heaps, on these were laid the rails, and all set on fire; then 
for miles and miles up and down the road the crackling flames, 
the black smoke twining around the trees and curling upward, 
shrouded the whole earth with a canopy of black and blue, 
and told of the destruction that was going on. Here the troops 
suffered as seldom during the war for provisions, especially 
breadstuff. Loud murmurings were heard on all sides against 
the commissary department, and the commissary complained 
of the Quartermaster for not furnishing transportation. The 
troops on one occasion here had to go three days and at hard 
work without one mouthful of bread, except what little they 
could buy or beg of the citizens o^ the thinly settled country. 
Meat was plentiful, but no bread, and any one who has ever 
felt the tortures of bread hunger may imagine the sufferings 
of the men. For want of bread the meats became nauseating 
and repulsive. The whole fault lay in having too many 
bosses and red tape in the Department at Richmond. By 
order of these officials, all commissary supplies, even gathered 
in sight of the camps, had to be first sent to Richmond and 
issued out only on requisitions to the head of the departments. 
The railroad facilities were bad, irregular, and blocked, while 
our wagons and teams were limited to one for each one hun- 
dred men for all purposes. General Beauregard, now second 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 73 

in command, and directly in command of the First Arm}' 
Corps of the Army of the Potomac, of which our brigade 
formed a part, wishing to concentrate his troops, ordered all 
to Flint Hill, three miles west of Fairfax Court House. Gen- 
eral Johnston, Commander-in-Chief, directed the movements 
of the whole army, but more directly the Second Army Corps, 
or the Army of the Shenandoah. The army up to this time 
had not been put into divisions, commanded by Major Gen- 
erals, nor corps, by Lieutenant Generals, but the two comman- 
ders divided nominally the army into two corps, each com- 
manded by a full General — Brigadier General Beauregard hav- 
ing been raised to the rank of full General the day after his 
signal victory at Manassas by President Davis. 

In the Confederate Army the grades of the Generals were 
different to those in the United States Army. A brigade con- 
sisted of a number of regiments joined together as one body 
and commanded by a Brigadier General, the lowest in rank. 
Four, more or less, brigades constituted a division, commanded 
by a Major General. Three or four divisions constituted a 
corps, commanded by a lyieutenant General, aud a separate 
army, as two or more corps, was commanded by a General, 
the highest in rank. Their rank is the same, but the Seniors 
are those whose commissions had been granted first, and take 
precedence where two are together. So it is with all officers 
in the army — age is not taken into consideration, but the date 
of commission. Where a brigade, from any cause, temporarily 
loses its commander, the Colonel with the oldest commission 
takes the command; where a division loses its Major General, 
the Senior Brigadier in that division immediately assumes 
command; and the same way in the corps and the army. The 
Major General takes command of the corps where its comman- 
der is absent, and in case of absence, either temporary or per- 
manent, of the Commander-in-Chief of an army, the ranking 
Lieutenant General takes command until a full General re- 
lieves him. In no case can an officer of inferior rank com- 
mand one of superior rank. Rank gives command whether 
ordered or not. In au};^ case of absence, whether in battle, 
march, or camp, whenever an officer finds himself Senior in 
his organization, he is commander and so held without further 
orders. 



74 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

The soldiers had rather a good time at Flint Hill, doing a 
little drilling and occasional picket duty out in the direction of 
Munson and Mason Hill. The Commanding General wished 
to advance his pickets to Munson Hill, a few miles from 
Washington, and to do this it was necessary to dislodge the 
enemy, who had possession there. The Second Regiment, 
under Colonel Kershaw, was sent out, and after a considerable 
brush he succeeded in driving the enemy awa}'. After this 
one regiment at a time was sent out to do picket duty. When 
our South Carolina regiments would go out orders were given 
to be quiet, and during our stay at Mason and Munson Hill 
the utmost secrecy prevailed, but when Wheat's Louisiana 
Battalion had to relieve a regiment we could hear the beating 
of their drums, the loud shouts of the men on their way out, 
and all would rush to the side of the road to see the "tigers" 
pass. Down the road they would come, banners waving, the 
swinging step of the men keeping time to the shrill notes- of 
the fife and the rattle of the drums. Their large flowing pants, 
their gaudy striped long hose, made quite an imposing spec- 
tacle. This was a noted band of men for a time, but their 
brave commander. Wheat, and almost all of his men, were 
killed in the battles that followed around Richmond. Major 
Wheat had been in the Turkish Army when that nation was 
at war with Russia, and in several other foreign wars, as well 
as the Mexican War. When his State seceded he returned to 
Louisiana and raised a battalion of the hardest set of men in 
New Orleans. The soldiers called them "wharf rats," "sai- 
lors," "longshoremen," "cut throats," and "gutter smpe,s." 
They knew no subordination and defied law and military disci- 
pline. While in camp here several of them were shot at the 
stake. Major Wheat had asked to be allowed to manage his 
men as he saw best, and had a law unto himself. For some 
mutiny and insubordination he had several of th^m shot. 
Afterwards, when the soldiers heard a volley fired, the word 
would go out, "Wheat is having another tiger shot.' 

The fields were green with the great waving corn, just in 
roasting ears, and it was a sight to see hundreds of men' in 
these fields early in the morning plucking the fine ears for 
breakfast. In most cases the owners had abandoned their 
fields and homes, taking what was movable to other places in 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 75 

Virginia. What was left the soldiers were at liberty to "slay 
and eat." At first it was determined to protect the stock, but 
the soldiers agreed that what the Southern soldiers left the 
enemy would be sure to take. I remember the first theft I 
was engaged in during the war. I say "first" advisedly. 
Now soldiers have different views as to rights of property to 
that of the average citizen. What he finds that will add to his 
comfort or welfare, or his wants dictate, or a liability of the 
property falling into the hands of the enemy, he takes with- 
out compunction or disposition to rob — and more often he robs 
in a spirit of mischief. A few fine hogs had been left to roam 
at will through the fields by the refugee farmers, and orders 
were given not to kill or molest them, to eat as much corn as 
we wished, but to spare the hogs. When, the regiments were 
sent on pickets, a detail was left in camp as guard, also to 
watch around the fields to prevent trespass. While our regi- 
ment was on its three days' picket, I was left as one of the 
detail to guard the camp. Some one reported a fine hog in 
the yard of a house some distance away. It was agreed to kill 
it, divide it up, and have a rare treat for the weary pickets 
when they returned. How to kill it without attracting the 
attention of the other guards was a question of importance, 
because the report of a rifle and the proverbial squeal of a hog 
would be sure to bring down upon us the guard. One of the 
men had a pistol, still we were afraid to trust this. A cellar door 
stood temptingly open. We tried to drive the hog into it, but 
with a hog's perverseness it refused to be driven, and after 
rushing around the yard several times with no results, it was 
decided to shoot it. The man claimed to be a good shot, and 
declared that no hog would squeal after being shot by him, 
but, as Burns says, ' 'The best laid plans of mice and men aft' 
gang a glee." So with us. After shooting, the porker cut 
desperate antics, and set up a frightful noise, but the unex- 
pected always happens, and the hog took refuge in the cellar, 
or rather the basement of the dwelling, to our great relief. 
We were proceeding finely, skinning away, the only method 
the soldiers had of cleaning a hog, when to our astonishment 
and dismay, in walked the much dreaded guard. Now there 
is something peculiar about the soldier's idea of duty, the 
effects of military training, and the stern obedience to orders. 



76 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

The first lesson he learns is obedience, and the longer in ser- 
vice the more convinced he is of its necessity. While he may 
break ranks, pass guards, rob roosts, or pilfer fruits and vege- 
tables himself, yet put a gun in his hand, place him on duty, 
order him to guard or protect men or property, and his integ- 
rit}' in that respect is as unyielding, inflexible, and stern as if 
his life depended upon his faithful performance. The Roman 
soldiers' obedience to orders made them immortal, and their 
nation the greatest on earth. But to resume the thread of my 
story. When the guard came in we thought ourselves lost. 
To be punished for hog stealing, and it published at home, 
was more than our patriotism could stand. The guard ques- 
tioned us about the killing, said it was against orders to fire a 
gun within range of camp, and furthermore against orders to 
molest private property. We tried to convince the guard that 
it was contraband, that the owners had left it, and to crown 
the argument, insisted that if we did not take the hog the 
Yankees would. This was the argument always last resorted 
to to ease conscience and evade the law. In this case, strange ■ 
to say, it had its effect. After some parleying, it was agreed 
• to share the booty equally between the guard and ourselves. 
They helped us cut brush and cover it nicely, and after tattoo 
all were to return and divide up. We did not know the 
guards personally, but knew their command. And so we re- 
turned to the camp to await the return of our pickets and 
night. It was soon noised in camp that there was a fine fat 
porker to be distributed after tattoo, and no little eagerness 
and inquisitiveness were manifested, as all wished a piece. 
Armed with a crocus-sack, we returned to the house; all was 
dark and still. We whistled the signal, but no answer. It 
was repeated, but still no reply. The guard had not come. 
Sitting down on the door step, we began our long wait. 
Moments passed into minutes, minutes into hours, until at last 
we began to have some forebodings and misgivings. Had we 
been betrayed? Would we be reported and our tents searched 
next day? Hardly; a soldier could not be so treacherous. 
We entered the cellar and began to fumble around without 
results, a match was struck, and to our unspeakable dismay 
not a v&stige of hog remained. Stuck against the side of the 
wall was a piece of paper, on which was written: "No mercy 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 77 

for the hog rogue." Such swearing, such stamping and beat- 
ing the air with our fists, in imitation of the punishment that 
would be given the treacherous rascals if present; the atmos- 
phere was perfectly sulphurous with the venom spit out 
against the foul party. Here was a true verification of the old 
adage, "Set a rogue to catch a rogue." Dejected and crest- 
fallen, we returned to camp, but dared not tell of our misfor- 
tune, for fear of the jeers of our comrades. 

Measles and jaundice began to scourge the camp; the green 
corn, it was said, did the army more damage than the enemy 
did in battle. Wagons and ambulances went out daily loaded 
with the sick; the hospitals were being crowded in Richmond 
and other cities; hotels, colleges, and churches were appropri- 
ated for hospital service, and the good people of Virginia can 
never be forgotten, nor amply rewarded for the self-sacrifices 
and aid rendered to the sick soldiers. Private houses were 
thrown open to the sick when their homes were far distant, or 
where they could not reach it. The soldier was never too 
dirty or ragged to be received into palatial homes; all found a 
ready welcome and the best attention. 

Generals Johnston and Beauregard had now concentrated all 
their forces in supporting distance around Fairfax Court 
House, and were preparing for a movement across the Potomac. 
Bonham's Brigade was at Flint Hill, Cox's at Centerville, 
Jones's at Germantown, Hampton and Early on the Occoquon, 
the Louisiana Brigade at Bull Run, and L,ongstreet at Fairfax 
Court House. The troops were all in easy distance, and a 
gigantic plan of General Beauregard, with the doubtful approval 
ot General Johnston and others, was for a formidable invasion 
of the North. General Johnston evinced that same disposition 
in military tactics that he followed during the war, "a purely 
defensive war." In none of his campaigns did he exhibit any 
desire to take advantage of the enemy by bold moves; his one 
idea seemed to be "defensive," and in that he was a genius — 
in retreat, his was a mastermind; in defense, ma-sterly. In the 
end it may have proven the better policy to have remained on 
the defensive. But the quick, impulsive temperament of Beau- 
regard was ever on the alert for some bold stroke or sudden 
attack upon the enemy's weaker points. His idea coincided 
with Lougstreet's in this particular, that the North, Ken- 



78 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

tucky, Tennessee, or Maryland should be the theatre of war 
and the battleground of the Confederacy. General Lee, 
according to the ideas of one of his most trusted lieutenants, 
was more in accordance with the views of General Johnston, 
that is, "the South should fight a defensive war'' — and it was 
only when in the immediate presence of the enemy, or when 
he observed a weak point in his opponent, or a strategic move, 
that he could not resist the temptation to strike a blow. In 
several of his great battles it is reported of Lee that he intended 
to await the attack of the enemy, but could not control his 
impatience when the enemy began to press him; then all the 
fire of his warlike nature came to the surface, and he sprang 
upon his adversary with the ferocity of a wild beast. But Lee 
in battle was not the Lee in camp. 

The middle of summer the two commanding Generals 
c:illed President Davis to Fairfax Court House to enter a con- 
ference in regard to the projected invasion. The plans were 
all carefully laid before him. First a demonstration was to 
be made above Washington; then with the whole arm}' cross 
below, strike Washington on the east, crush the enemy in 
their camps, march through Maryland, hoist the standard of 
revolt in that State, make a call for all Southern sympathizers 
to flock to their banners, and to overawe the North by this 
sudden onslaught. But President Davis turned a deaf ear to 
all such overtures; pleaded the want of transportation and the 
necessary equipment for invasion. It was the feeling of the 
South even at this late day that much could yet be done by 
diplomacy and mild measures; that a great body of the North 
could be won over by fears of a prolonged war; and the South 
Ciid not wish to exasperate the more conservative element by 
any overt act. We all naturally looked for peace; we fully 
expected the war would end during the fall and winter, and it 
was not too much to say that many of our leaders hugged this 
delusion to their breast. 

While in camp here an incident occurred which showed that 
the men had not yet fully recognized the importance of mili- 
tary re.straint and discipline. It is well known that private 
broils or feuds of any kind are strictly forbidden by army regu- 
latidns. The French manner of settling disputes or vindicating 
personal honor according to cede duello was not countenanced 



HISTORY OF KERS"4W'S BRIGADR. 79 

by our military laws; still the hot blood and fiery temper of the 
proud South Carolinians could brook no restraint at this time 
when an affront was given or his honor assailed. Captain 
Elbert Bland, of Edgefield, and Major Emett Seibles, both of 
the Seventh Regiment, were engaged in a friendly game of 
chess, a difference arose, then a dispute, hot words, and at last 
insult given that could not be recalled nor allowed to pass 
unnoticed. Challenge is offered and accepted, seconds 
appointed, pistols ch6sen; distance, twenty paces; time' sunrise 
next morning on a hillside near the outskirts of the camp. 
Early next morning a lone ambulance is seen moving out of 
camp, followed by two surgeons, then the principals with their 
seconds at a respectful distance. On reaching the spot chosen 
lots were cast for choice of stations. This fell to Captain 
Bland. The distance was measured with mechanical exact- 
ness, dueling pistols produced, each second loading that of his 
principal. The regular dueling pistol is a costly affair and of 
the very finest material. Long slim rifle barrel with hammer 
underneath, the stock finely chiseled and elaborately orna- 
mented with silver or gold; the whole about ten inches in 
length and carrying a bullet of 22 calibre. The seconds took 
their places at an equal distance from each other and midway 
between the principals. Captain Bland takes his position at 
the west end of the field, and Major Seibles the east. Both 
stood confronting each other, not fierce nor glaring like two 
men roused in passion, or that either wished the blood of the 
other, but bold, calm, and defiant; an insult to be wiped out 
and honor to be sustained. They turned, facing the rear, 
hands down, with pistols in the right. The seconds call out 
in calm, deliberate tones: "Gentlemen, are you ready?" 
Then, "Ready, aim, fire!" "One, two, three, .stop." The 
shooting must take place between the words "fire" and "stop," 
or during the count of one, two, three. If the principal fires 
before or after this com uand it is murder, and he is at once 
shot down by the second of his opponent. Or if in any case 
the principals fail to respond at the hour set, the second 
promptly takes his place. But no danger of such possibilities 
where two such men as Major Seibles and Captain Bland are 
interested. There was a matter at issue dearer than country, 
wife, or child. It was honor, Jand a true South Carolinian of 



80 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

the old stock would make any sacrifice, give or take life, to 
uphold his name unsullied or the honor of his family untar- 
nished. As the word fire was given the opponents wheeled 
and two pistol shots rang out on the stillness of the morning. 
Captain Bland stands still erect, commanding and motionless 
as a statue. Major Seibles remains steady for a moment, then 
sways a little to the left, staggers and falls into the arms of 
his second and surgeon. A hasty examination is made. 
"Blood," calls out the second of Major Seibles. A nod of sat- 
isfaction is given and acknowledged by both seconds. Captain 
Bland retires on the arm of his friend, while the Major, now 
bleeding profusely from a wound in the chest, is lifted in the 
ambulance and carried to his tent. It was many months be- 
fore Major Seibles was sufiBciently recovered from his wound 
to return to duty. The matter was kept quiet and no action 
taken. Major Seibles died the following year, while the gal- 
lant Bland was killed at Chickamauga while leading as Colonel 
the Seventh Regiment in battle. 

While at Flint Hill, another stirring scene took place of 
quite a different nature. In front of the Third Regiment was 
a beautiful stretch of road, and this was selected as a course 
for a. race to be run between the horse of Captain Mitchell of 
the Ivouisiana Tigers and that of the Colonel of a Virginia 
regiment of cavalry. The troops now so long inactive, noth- 
ing to break the monotony between drills, guard duty, and 
picketing, waited with no little anxiety the coming of the day 
that was to test the metal of the little grey from the Pelican 
State and the sorrel from the Old Dominion. Word had gone 
out among all the troopers that a race was up, and all lovers of 
the sport came in groups, companies, and regiments to the 
place of rendezvous. Men seemed to come from everywhere, 
captains, colonels, and even generals graced the occasion'with 
their presence. Never before in our army had so many dis- 
tinguished individuals congregated for so trivial an occasion. 
There was Wheat, fat, clean shaven, and jolly, his every 
feature indicating the man he was— bold as a lion, fearless, full 
of life and frolic as a school boy, bat who had seen war in 
almost every clime under the sun. There was Turner AvShby, 
his eyes flashing fire from under his shaggy eyebrows, his 
long black beard and flowing locks, looking more like a 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 81 

brigand than one of the most daring cavaliers of the Confederate 
Army. Fitzhugh Lee, too, was there, with colonels, majors, 
and captains without number. Nothing seemed farther from 
the horizon of these jolly men than thoughts of the triumphs 
of war. Captain Mitchell's horse was more on the pony order 
than a racer, but it was said by those who knew that on more 
occasions than one the pony had thrown dirt into the eyes of., 
the fastest horse in the Crescent City, and the Louisianans- 
were betting on him to a man. The wiry sorrel was equally 
a favorite with the Virginians, while the South Carolinians 
were divided between the two. After a great amount of 
jockeying, usual on such occasions, judges were appointed, 
distance measured, horses and riders in their places, and 
hundreds of men stretched along the side of the road to witness 
the heated race. No little amount of Confederate money had 
been put upon the race, , although' it was understood to be 
merely a friendly one, and for amusement only. When the 
drum sounded, the two horses almost leaped into the air, 
and sped away like the wind, "little grey" shooting away 
from her larger adversary like a bullet, and came flying down 
the track like a streak, about a length ahead of the Virginia 
horse. The favorites on the lyouisianan rent the air with their 
yells, hats went into the air, while the friends of the Vir-.-inian 
shouted like mad to the rider: "Let him out, let him out." 
When the distance was about half run he was "let out;" the 
rowels went into the side and the whip came down upon the 
flanks of the thoroughly aroused racer, and the Virginian 
began forging to the front, gaining at every leap. Now he is 
neck and neck, spur and whip are used without stint, he goes 
ahead and is leaving the "grey" far in the rear; Captain 
Mitchell is leaning far over on the withers of the faithful little 
pony, never sparing the whip for a moment, but all could see 
that he was running a losing race. When about the Com- 
mencement of the last quarter the "grey" leaves the track, 
and off to the right he plunges through the trees, dashing 
headlong by the groups of men, till at last the Captain brings 
him up with one rein broken. A g. eat crowd surround him, 
questioning, swearing, and jeering, but the Captain sat as 
silent, unmovable, and inattentive as a statue, pointing to the 
broken rein. It had been cut with a knife. The Captain and 
6 



82 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

his friends claimed that the friends of the Virginian had, 
unnoticed by hitn, cut the leather to a bare thread, while the 
friends of the other party, with equal persistency, charged the 
Captain with cutting it himself. That when he saw the race 
lost, he reached over and cut the rein about six inches from 
the bit, thus throwing the horse out of the track and saving 
its credit, if not the money. No one ever knew how it hap- 
pened, but that there had been a trick played and foul means 
employed were evident. A great many had lost their money, 
and their curses were loud and deep, while the winners went 
away as merry as "marriage bells." 



CHAPTER VII 

Winter Quarters at Bull Run. 

Sometime in October the brigade was withdrawn to the 
vicinity of Centerville for better facilities in the way of pro- 
vi:=ions, water, etc., and to be nearer the wooded .section of the 
country. The water had been scarce at Flint Hill, a long dis- 
tance from camp, and of inferior quality. The health of the 
troops was considerably impaired, a great many having been 
sent to the hospitals, or to their homes. The sickness was 
attributed, in a large measure, to the quality of green corn and 
fresh meat, salt being an object uow with the Confederacy, 
and was issued in limited quantities, We fared sumptuously 
while at our camp near Centerville. Our wagon train going 
weekly up towards Warrenton and the mountains, returning 
laden with flour, meat, and the finest beef we had ever re- 
ceived. The teamsters actiug as hucksters, brought in a lot 
of delicacies to sell on their own account — chickens, turkeys, 
and vegetables, and not uufrequently a keg of "Mountain 
Dew" would be packed in the wagon with the army supplies, 
and sold by the wagoners at an enormous profit. There being 
no revenue officers or "dispensary con^ables" in those days, 
whiskey could be handled with impunity, and not a little 
found its way into camp. The citizens, too, had an eye single 
to their own welfare, and would bring in loads of all kinds of 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 83 

country produce. Sometimes a wagon would drive into camp 
loaded with dressed chickens and turkeys to the number of 
one hundred or more. A large old-fashioned wagon-sheet 
would be spread over the bottom and side of the wagon body, 
and filled with as much as two horses could pull. I never 
knew until then how far a man's prejudice could overcome 
him. Our mess had concluded to treat itself to a turkey din- 
ner on Christmas. Our boss of the mess was instructed to 
purchase a turkey of the next wagon that came in. Sure 
enough, the day came and a fine fat turkey bought, already 
dressed, and boiling away in the camp iettle, while all hands 
stood around and drank in the delightful aroma from turkey 
and condiments that so temptingly escaped from under the 
kettle lid. When all was ready, the feast spread, and the cook 
was in the act of sinking his fork into the breast of the rich 
brown turkey, some one said in the greatest astonishment.- 
"Well, George Stuck, I'Jl be d — d if you haven't bought a 
goo.se instead of a turkey, look at its short legs. ' ' There was a 
go, our money gone, appetites whetted, and for a goose! Well 
up to that time and even now I cannot eat goose. A dispute- 
arose, some said it was a goose, others held out with equal 
persistency that it was a turkey, and I not having discretion 
enough to judge by the color of the flesh, and so overcome by 
my prejudice, did not taste it, and a madder man was not 
often found. To this day I have never been convinced whether 
it was a turkey or a goose, but am rather inclined to give the 
benefit of the doubt to the goose. 

We did not get into our regular winter quarters until after 
the first of January, 1862. These were established on the 
south Banks of Bull Run, near Blackburn's Ford, the place of 
the first battle of the name, where I^ongstreet fought on the 
iSthofJuly. Large details were sent out from camp every 
day to build foundations for these quarters. This was done by 
cutting pine poles or logs the right length of our tents, build 
up three or four feet, and over this pen the tent to be 
stretched. They were generally about ten feet square, but a 
man could only stand "erect in the middle. The cracks be- 
tween the logs were clinked with mud, a chimney built out of 
poles split in half and notched up in the ends of the log parts 
of the tent. An inside wall was made of plank or small round 



84 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

poles, with space between the two walls of five or six inches.. 
This was filled with soft earth or mud, packed tightlj', then a 
blazing fire started, the inner wall burned out, and the diit 
baked hard and solid as a brick. In this way we had very- 
good chimneys and comfortable quarters. From six to eight 
■occupied one tent, and generally all the inmates messed to- 
gether. Forks were driven into the ground, on which were 
placed strong and substantial cross-pieces, then round pipe 
poles, about the size of a man's arm, laid over all and thickly 
strewn with pine needles, on which the blankets are laid. 
There you have the winter quarters for the Southern soldiers 
the first year of the war. 

But some of the men did not like so primitive an order of 
architecture and built huts entirely out of logs, and displayed 
as much originality as you would find in more pretentious 
cities. These were covered over with poles, on which straw 
and sand were tightly packed, enough so as to make them 
water-tight. Some would give names to their quarters, 
marked in large letters above their doors in charcoal, taxing 
their minds to give ingenious and unique names, such as "Uncle 
Tom's Cabin," "The House that Jack Built," "Park Row," 
"Devil's Inn," etc. To while away the long nights and cold 
days, the men had' recourse to the soldier's game, "cards." 
Few ever played for the money that was in it, but more for an 
amusement and pastime. While almost all played cards, 
there were very few who could be considered gamblers, or 
who would take their comrades' money, if they even won it. 
There would be stakes played for, it is true, on the "credit 
.system" generally, to be evened-up on pay-day. But when 
that time came around such good feeling existed that "poker 
debts," as they were called, were seldom ever thought of, and 
the. game would continue with its varying successes without ever 
a thought of liquidation. You might often see a good old 
Methodist or a strict Presbyterian earnestly engaged in a "five 
cent antie" game, but never take his friend's money, even if 
honestly won. Something had to be done to pass away the 
time, and card-playing was considered an innocent amuse- 
ment. 

The long inactivity made men naturally think and dream of 
home. The soldiers had left home quite suddenly, and in 



HISTORY OF KRRSHAW'S BRIGADE. 85 

many cases with little preparation, but' the continual talk of 
■ "peace in the spring," and the daily vaporing of the press 
about Eugland or France recognizing the South 's" belligerency 
— and the opening of her ports — buoyed up the spirits of the 
soldiers, and fanned the flame of hope. A great many of the' 
old army ofiBcers of the United States, hailing from the South, 
had resigned their commissions on the Secession of the States, 
and tendered their services to the Confederacy. Of course it 
mattered not what was their former rank, or what service, if 
any the}' had seen, all exoected places as generals. President 
Davis being a West Pointer him.self, had great partiality for 
graduates of that institution. It was his weakness, this favor- 
itism for West Pointers; and the persistency with which he 
appointed them above and over the generals of the volunteers, 
gave dissatisfaction. These appointments caused such resent- 
ment and dissatisfaction that some of our very best generals 
resigned their commissions, refusing to serve under men of no 
experience and doubtful qualifications. Longstreet, Van 
Dorn, McL,aws, G. W. Smith, and a host of others, who had 
been captains and majors in the United States Army, were 
here or in Richmond waiting for some high grade, without 
first winning their .spurs upon the field. McLaws, a Major in 
the regular army, was made a Major General, and Lougstreet 
had been appointed over General Bonham, the latter having 
seen varied service in Mexico, commanding a regiment of 
regulars, doing staff duty, and Military Governor of one of 
the provinces after the war. At such injustice as this, gave 
General Bonham reason to resign his command and return to 
South Carolina, where he soon afterwards was elected to Con- 
gress, and later elected Governor of the State. This left the 
command to Colonel Kershaw as senior Colonel, but he was 
soon thereafter made Brigadier General. While the troops 
felt safe and confident under Kershaw, they parted with 
General Bonham with unfeigned reluctance and regret. Al- 
though none blamed him for the steps taken, for all felt keenly 
the injustice done, still they wished him to remain and lead 
them to victory, and share the glory they felt sure was in store 
for all connected with the old First Brigade. 

In future we will call the brigade by the name of Kershaw, 
the natue by which it was mostly known, and under whose 



86 HISTORY OF KERSHAW S BRIGADE. 

leadership the troops did such deeds of prowess, endured so 
many hardships, fought so man}' battles, and gained so many 
victories, as to shed a halo around the heads of all who 
marched with him and fought under the banner of Joseph B. 
Kershaw. Here I will give a brief biography of General 
Kershaw. 

JOSEPH BREVARD KERSHAW 

Was born January 5th, 1822, at Camden, S. C. He was a 
son of John Kershaw and Harriet DuBose, his wife. Both of 
the families of Kershaws and DuBoses were represented by 
more than one member, either in the Continentals or the State 
troops, during the War of the Revolution, Joseph Kershaw, 
the most prominent of them, and the grandfather of the sub- 
ject of this sketch, having lost his fortune in his efforts to 
maintain the patriot cause. John Kershaw died when his 
son, Joseph Brevard, was a child of seven years of age. He 
attended first a "dame school" in his native town. After- 
wards he attended a school taught by a rigid disciplinarian, a 
Mr. Hatfield, who is still remembered by .some of the pupils 
for his vigorous application of the rod on frequent occasions, 
with apparent enjoyment on his part, but with quite other sen- 
timents on the part of the boys. He was sent at the age of 
fifteen to the Cokesbury Conference school, in Abbeville Dis- 
trict, as it was then known, where he remained for only a 
brief time. Leaving this school, after a short sojourn at home, 
he went to Charleston, S. C. , where he became a clerk in a 
dry goods house. This life not being congenial to him, he re- 
turned to Camden and entered as a student in the law oflSce of 
the late John M. DeSaussure, Esq., from which, at the age of 
twenty-one, he was admitted to the Bar. He soon afterwards 
formed a copartnership with James Pope Dickinson, who 
was subsequently killed at the battle of Cherubusco, in the 
war with Mexico, gallantly leading the charge of the Palmetto 
Regiment. Both partners went to the Mexican War, young 
Kershaw as First Lieutenant of the Camden company, known 
as the DeKalb Rifle Guards. Struck down by fever contracted 
while in the service, he returned home a physical wreck, to be 
tenderly nursed back to health by his wife. Lucretia Douglass, 
whom he had married in 1844. Upon the recovery of his 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 87 

health, the war being over, he resumed the practice of law in 
Camden. But it was not long before his services were de- 
manded in the State Legislature, which he entered as a mem- 
ber of the lower house in 1852. From this time on until the 
opening of hostilities in the war between the States, he prac- 
ticed his profession with eminent success, and served also in 
the Legislature several terms, being handsomely re-elected 
when he stood for the place. He took a deep interest in the 
struggle then impending, and was a member of the Secession 
Convention from his native district. As it became more and 
more evident that there would be war, he ran for and was 
elected to the ofBce of Colonel of the - militia regiment com- 
posed of companies from Kershaw and adjacent districts, 
which, early in 1861, by command of Governor Pickens, he 
mobilized and led to Charleston and thence to Morris' Island, 
where the regiment remained until it volunteered and was 
called to go to Virginia to enter the service of the Confederacy. 
Several of the companies then in his regiment consented to go. 
These were supplemented by other companies which offered 
their services, and the new regiment, now known as the Sec- 
ond South Carolina Volunteers, proceeded to Richmond, 
tlience to Manassas. 

From this time until 1864 it is unnecessary to trace his per- 
sonal history in this place, because the history of the brigade, 
to the command of which he was elected at the reorganization 
in 1862, and of its commander cannot be separated. In May, 
1864, he was promoted to the rank of Major General and as- 
signed to the command of a division, of which his brigade 
formed a part. His, was the First Brigade of the First Divis- 
ion of the First Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia. On 
the retreat from Richmond his division, with other troops, 
numbering in all about 6,000 men, was surrounded and cap- 
tured at the battle of Sailor's Creek, April 6th, 1865. In 
this disastrous battle Lieutenant Ewell, Major Generals 
Kershaw and Custis Lee, Brigadier Generals D. M. DuBose, 
Semmes, Hunter, and Corse, arid Commodores Hunter and 
Tucker, of the Confederate States' Navy, ranking on shore 
duty as Brigadiers, were captured, together with their respect- 
ive commands, almost to a man, after a desperate and sanguin- 
ary struggle against immense odds. Those ofiScers were all 



»8 HISTORY OF KERSHAW S BRIGADE,. 

seat to Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, where they remained in 
prison until some time in August, 1865, when they were 
allowed to return to their respective homes. 

General Kershaw resumed the profession of law in Camden 
immediately upon his return, and enjoyed a laige and lucra- 
tive practice for many years, until called to serve his State as 
Circuit Judge in 1877, when the government was wrested from 
the hands of the Republicans. He took an active part in poli- 
tics, having been elected to the State Senate in the fall of 1865. 
He ran for Congress from his district in 1874, but was counted 
out, as it was believed, at the election. He was also sum- 
moned to Columbia by Governor Hampton after his election in 
1876, and rendered important service in securing the peaceable 
outcome of that most trying struggle. Upon the convening of 
the Legislature, he was at once elected Judge of the Fifth Cir- 
cuit, a position which he held with distinguished honor for 
sixteen years, rendering it to Judge Erne.st Gary in June, 1893, 
on which occasion there was tendered him a farewell probably 
unique in the judicial history of the State, by eminent repre- 
sentatives of the Bar of his Circuit. With impaired health, 
but with unwavering faith and carefulness that no adversity 
diminished, he once more returned to the practice of his pro- 
fession. It was a gallant effort in the face of tremendous odds, 
but the splendid health that he had enjoyed for many years 
had been undermined slowly and insidiously by disease inci- 
dent to a life that had ever borne the burdens of others, and 
that had .spent itself freely and unselfishly for his country and 
his fellowman, and it was evident to all that his days were 
numbered. Devoted friends, the names of many of whom are 
unknown to me, offered him pecuniary help at this trying 
juncture, and these the writer would wish to hold, as he would 
have wished, "in everlasting remembrance." In his message 
to the General Assembly that year, 1893, Governor B. R. Till- 
man proposed him as the proper person to collect the records 
of the services of South Carolina soldiers in the Civil War, 
and to prepare suitable historical introduction to the volume. 
The Legislature promptly, and I believe unanimously, en- 
dorsed the nomination and made an appropriation for the work. 
To this he gave himself during the two succeeding months, 
collecting data, and even preparing in part the proposed intro- 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 89 

ductiou. But growing infirmities compelled him to lay it 
down, and in the latter part of March, 1894, he became alarm- 
ingly ill. All was done for his relief that the most competent 
skill and gentle care could do, but to no avail, and in the night 
of April 1 2th, just before midnight, he breathed his last. 
Among his last words to his son were these, spoken when he 
was perfectly conscious of what was before him: "My son, I 
have no doubts and no fears. ' ' On the occasion of his funeral 
there was a general outpouring of people from the town and 
vicinity for many miles, who sincerely mourned the departure 
of their friend. The State was represented by the Governor 
and seven members of his official family. On the modest mon- 
ument that marks his last resting place is inscribed his name 
and the date of his birth and death. On the base the legend 
runs: "I have fought a good fight; I have kept the faith." 

It may prove of interest to the surviving members of the 
old brigade to know that after the fight of Sailor's Creek, when 
General Kershaw and his companions were being taken back 
to Petersburg and thence to City Point to be shipped North, 
he spent a night at a farm house, then occupied as a field hos- 
pital and as quarters by the surgeons and attendants. They 
were South Carolinians, and were anxious to hear all about 
the fight. In telling of it the pride and love which he reposed 
in the old brigade received a wistful testimonial. It was then 
confronting Sherman somewhere in North Carolina. Its old 
commander said in a voice vibrant with feeling: "If I had 
only had my old brigade with me I believe we could have 
held these fellows in check until night gave us the opportunity 
to withdraw." 

The roads in every direction near the army had become al- 
most impa.ssable — mud knee deep in the middle and ruts cut 
to the hubs on either side. The roads leading to Manassas 
were literally strewn with the carcasses of horses, some even 
sunk out of sight in the slough and mud. It would remind 
one of the passage of Napoleon across the Arabian desert, so 
graphically described by historians. The firewood had be- 
come scarce, and had to be carried on the men's shoulders the 
distance of a mile, the wagons being engaged in hauling sup- 
plies and the enormous private baggage sent to the soldiers from 
home. I remember once on my return from home on a short 



90 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BKIGADE. 

furlough, I had under my charge one whole carload of boxes 
for mj' company alone. Towards night every soldier would 
go out to the nearest woodland, which was usually a mile dis- 
tant, cut a stick of wood the size he could easily carry, and 
bring into camp, this to do the night and next day. The 
weather being so severe, fires had to be kept up all during the 
night. Some constructed little boats and boated the wood 
across the stream. Bull Run, and a time they generally had of 
it, with the boat upsetting the men and the wood floundering 
and rolling about in the water, and it freezing cold. 

The Department granted a thirt}' days' leave of absence to 
all individuals and companies that would re-enlist for the re- 
remaining two years or the war. Many officers were granted 
commissions to raise companies of cavalry and artillery out of 
the infantry commands, whose time was soon to expire. Lieu- 
tenant T. J. Lipscomb, of Company B, Third South Carolina 
Regiment, was given a commission as Captain, and he, with 
others, raised a company of cavalry and was given a thirty 
daj's' furlough. A great many companies volunteered in a 
body, not knowing at the time that the Con.script Act soon to 
be enacted would retain in service all between certain ages in 
the army, even after their time had expired. 

About the middle of February President Davis called Gen- 
eral Johnston to Richmond, to confer with him upon the prac- 
ticability of withdrawing the army to the south banks of the 
Rappahannock. It was generally understood at the time, and 
largely the impression since, that the army was withdrawn in 
consequence of McClellan's movements on the Peninsula. 
But such was not the case. This withdrawal was determined 
on long before it was known for certain that McClellan would 
adopt the Peninsula as his base of operations. The middle of 
February began the removal of the ordnance and commi.ssary 
stores by railroad to the south of the rivers in our rear. These 
had been accumulated at Manassas out of all proportion to the 
needs of the army, and against the wishes of the commanding 
General. There seemed to be a want of harmony between the 
army officers and the officers of the Department in Richmond. 
This difference of feelings was kept up throughout the war, 
greatly to the embarassment at times of the Generals in the 
field, and often a great sacrifice to the service, The officials 



HISTORY OF KKRSHAW'S BRIGADE. 91 

in Richmond, away from the seat of war, had a continual pre- 
dilection to meddle with the internal affairs of the army. This 
meddling caused Jackson, who became immortal in after years, 
to tender his resignation, and but for the interference of Gen- 
eral Johnston, the world would perhaps never have heard of 
the daring feats of "Stonewall Jackson." He asked to be re- 
turned to the professorship at the Military Institute, but Gen- 
eral Johnston held his letter up and appealed to Jackson's 
patriotism and the cause for which all were fighting, to recon- 
sider his action and to overlook this officious intermeddling 
and remain at his post. This he did under protest. 

Our brigade, and, in fact, all regiments and brigades, had 
been put in different commands at different times to suit the 
caprice of the President or whims of the Department, and now 
we were Early's Division. 

On the night of the 9th of March we broke up quarters at 
Bull Run and commenced our long and tiresome march for the 
Rappahannock. We were ordered by different routes to facil- 
itate the movement, our wagon trains moving out in the morn- 
ing along the dirt road and near the railroad. All baggage 
that the soldiers could not carry had been sent to the rear days 
before, and the greater part destroyed in the great wreck and 
conflagration that followed at Manassas on its evacuation. In 
passing through Manassas the stores, filled to the very tops 
with commissary stores, sutler's goods, clothing, shoes, pri- 
vate boxes, and whiskey, were thrown open for the soldiers to 
help themselves. What a feast for the troops! There seemed 
everything at hand to tempt him to eat, drink, or wear, but it 
was a verification of the adage, "When it rains much you have 
no spoon." We had no way of transporting these goods, now 
piled high on every hand, but to carry them on our backs, and 
we were already overloaded for a march of any distance. 
Whiskey flowed like water. Barrels were knocked open and 
canteens filled. Kegs, jugs, and bottles seemed to be every- 
where. One stalwart man of my company shouldered a ten 
gallon keg and proposed to hold on to it as long as possible, 
and it is a fact that a few men carried this keg by reliefs all 
night and next day. This was the case in other companies. 
When we got out of the town and on the railroad, the men 
were completely overloaded. All night we marched along the 



92 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

railroad at a slow, steady gait, but all order and discipline were 
abandoned. About midnight we saw in our rear great sheets 
of flame shooting up from the burning buildings, that illumi- 
nated the country for miles around. Manassas was on fire! 
Some of the buildings had caught fire by accident or careless- 
ness of the soldejrs, for the firing was not to begin until next 
day, after the withdrawal of the cavalry. The people in the 
surrounding country had been invited to come in and get 
whatever they wished, but I doubt if any came in time to save 
much from the burning mass. A great meat curing establish- 
ment at Thoroughfare Gap, that contained millions of pounds 
of beef and pork, was also destroyed. We could hear the 
bursting of bombs as the flames reached the magazines, as well 
as the explosion of thousands of small arm cartridges. The 
whole sounded like the raging of a great battle. Manassas 
had become endeared to the soldiers b3^ its many memories, 
and when the word went along the line, "Manassas is burn- 
ing," it put a melancholy feeling upon all. Some of the hap- 
piest recollections of the soldiers that composed Kershaw's 
Brigade, as well as all of Johnston's Army, were centred 
around Manassas. It was here they had experienced their first 
sensations of the soldier, Manassas was the field of their first 
victory, and there they had spent their first winter. It seemed 
to connect the soldiers of the Confederacy with those of Wash- 
ington at Valley Forge and Trenton, the winter quarters of 
the army of the patriots. It gave the recollection of rest, a 
contrast with the many marches, the hard fought battles, 
trials, and hardships. 

The next day it began to rain, and a continual down-pour 
continued for days and nights. Blankets were taken from 
knapsacks to cover over the men as they marched, but they 
soon filled with water, and had to be thrown aside. Both 
sides of the railroad were strewn with blankets, shawls, over- 
coats, and clothing of every description, the men finding it 
impossible to bear up under such loads. The slippery ground 
and the unevenness of the railroad track made marching very 
disagreeable to soldiers unaccustomed to it. Some took the 
dirt road, while others kept the railroad track, and in this way 
all organizations were lost sight of, but at night they collected 
together in regiments, joined the wagon trains, and bivouaced 



HISTORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 93 

for the night. Sometimes it would be midnight before the 
last of the stragglers came up. We crossed the Rappahan- 
nock on the railroad bridge, which had been laid with plank 
to accommodate the passage of wagon trains, on the nth and 
remained until the 19th. Up to this time it was not fully 
understood by the authorities in Richmond which route Mc- 
Clellan would take to reach Richmond, whether by way of 
Fredericksburg or Yorktown, but now scouts reported large 
transports, laden with soldiers, being shipped down the 
Potomac to the mouth of the James and York Rivers. This 
left no doubt in the minds of the authorities that the Peninsula 
was to be the base of operations. We continued our march on 
the 19th, crossed the Rapidan, and encamped around Orange 
Court House. 

Beauregard, whom the soldiers loved dearly, and in whom 
they had every confidence as a leader, was transferred to the 
West, to join General A. S. Johnston, who had come from Cali- 
fornia and was organizing an army in Southern Tennessee. 

Magruder, commanding at Yorktown, reporting large bodies 
disembarking in his front, Kershaw's Brigade, with several 
others, were placed upon cars and hurried on through Rich- 
mond to his support, leaving the other portion of the army to 
continue the march on foot, or on cars, wherever met. At 
Richmond we were put on board small sail boats and passed 
down the James River for the seat of war. This was a novel 
mode of transportation for most of the soldiers on board. It 
was a most bitter day and night. A cold east wind blowing 
from the sea, with a mist of sleet, the cold on the deck of the 
little vessel became almost unbearable. About two hundred 
were placed on board of each, and it being so cold we were 
forced to go below in the "hold," leaving only a little trap 
door of four feet square as our only means of ventilation. 
Down in the hold, where these two hundred men were packed 
like sardines in a box, caused us to almost suffocate, while to 
remain on deck five minutes would be to court death by freez- 
ing. Thus one would go up the little ladder, stick his head 
through the door a moment for a breath of fresh air, then drop 
back and allow another the pleasure of a fresh breathing 
spell. So we alternated between freezing and smothering all 
the way, a distance of one hundred and fifty miles or more. I 



94 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

had read of the tortures of the "middle passage" and the 
packing of the slave ships, but I do not think it could have 
exceeded our condition. 

Now it must be remembered that for the most of the time on 
our march we were separated from our wagon trains that had 
our tents, cooking utensils, and other baggage. Many novel 
arrangements were resorted to for cooking. The flour was 
kneaded into dough on an oil cloth spread upon the ground, 
the dough pulled into thin cakes, pinned to boards or barrel 
heads by little twigs or wooden pegs, placed before the fire, 
and baked into very fair bread. Who would think of baking 
bread on a ram-rod? But it was often done. Long slices of 
dough would be rolled around the iron ram-rods, then held 
over the fire, turning it over continually to prevent burning, 
and in this way we made excellent bread, but by a tedious ■ 
process. It is needless to say the meats were cooked by broil- 
ing. We parched corn when flour was scarce, and often guards 
had to be placed over the stock at feed time to prevent soldiers 
from robbing the horses of their corn. 

At midnight the captain of the sloop notified us that we were 
now at our place of disembarkation, and we began to scramble 
up the ladder, a small lamp hanging near by and out on deck. 
The wooden wharfs were even with the deck, so we had no 
difficulty in stepping from one to the other. But the night 
was pitch dark, and our only mode of keeping direction was 
taken from the footsteps of the soldiers on the wharf and in 
front. Here we came very near losing one of our best soldiers. 
Jim George was an erratic, or some said "half witted" fellow, 
but was nevertheless a good soldier, and more will be said of 
him in future In going out of the hold on deck he became 
what is called in common parlance "wrong shipped," and in- 
stead of passing to the right, as the others did, he took the 
left, and in a moment he was floundering about in the cold 
black waves of the river below. The wind was shrieking, 
howling, and blowing — a perfect storm — so no one could hear 
his call for help. He struck out manfully and paddled wildly 
about in the chilly water, until fortunately a -passing sailor, 
with the natural instinct of his calling, scented a "man over- 
board." A line was thrown Jim, and after a pull he was 
landed on shore, more dead than alive. 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADR. 95 

"How long were you in the water, Jim?" someone asked. 

"Hell! more dan free hours," was the laconic and good- 
natured reply. 

Had we lost Jim here, the regiment would have lost a treat 
in after years, as time will show. 

We went into camp a mile or so from the historic old York- 
town, if a few old tumbled down houses and a row of wooden 
wharfs could be called a town. The country around York- 
town was low and swampy, and the continual rains made the 
woods and fields a perfect marsh, not a dry foot of land to 
pitch a tent on, if we had had tents, and scarcely a comfort- 
able place to stand upon. Fires were built, and around these 
men wonld stand during the day, and a pretense of sleep dur- 
ing the night. But the soldiers were far from being despond- 
ent; although some cursed our luck, others laughed and joked 
the growlers. The next day great numbers visited Yorktown 
through curiosity, and watched the Federal Fleet anchored off 
Old Point Comfort. Here happened a "wind fall" I could 
never account for. While walking along the beach with some 
comrades, we came upon a group of soldiers, who, like our- 
selves, were out sight-seeing. They appeared to be somewhat 
excited by the way they were gesticulating. When we came 
up, we found a barrel, supposed to be filled with whiskey, had 
been washed ashore. Some were swearing by all that was 
good and bad, that "it was a trick of the d — n Yankees on the 
fleet," who had poisoned the whiskey and tlirown it overboard 
to catch the "Johnny Rebs." The crowd gathered, and with 
it the discussion and differences grew. Some swore they 
would not drink a drop of it for all the world, while others 
were shouting, "Open h^r up," "get into it," "^lot so much 
talking, but more drinking." But who was "to bell the cat?" 
Who would drink first? No one seemed to care for the first 
drink, but all were willing enough, if somebody else would 
just "try it." It was the first and only time I ever saw 
whiskey go begging among a lot of soldiers. At last a long, 
lank, lantern-jawed son of the "pitch and turpentine State" 
walked up aud said: 

"Burst her open and give me a drink, a man might as well 
die from a good fill of whiskey as to camp in this God-forsaken 
swamp and die of fever; I've got a chill now." 



96 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

The barrel was opened. The "tar heel" took a long, a 
steady, and strong pull from a tin cup; then holding it to a 
comrade, he said: "Go for it, bo3'S, she's all right; no poison 
thar, and she didn't come from them thar gun floats either. 
Yankees ain't such fools as to throw away truck like that. 
No, boys, that 'ar liquor just dropped from Heaven." The 
battle around the whiskey barrelnow raged fast and furious; 
spirits flowed without and within; cups, canteens, hats, and caps 
were soused in the tempting fluid, and aill drank with a relish. 
Unfortunately, many had left their canteens in camp, but 
after getting a drink they scurried away for that jewel of the 
soldier, the canteen. The news of the find spread like con- 
tagion, and in a few minutes hundreds of men were strug- 
gling around the barrel of "poison." Where it came from 
was never known, but it is supposed to have been dropped by 
accident from a Federal man-of-war. As the soldiers said, 
"All gifts thankfully received and no questions asked." 

General J. Bankhead Magruder was in command Of the 
Peninsula at the time of our arrival, and had established his' 
lines behind the Warwick River, a sluggish stream rising near 
Yorktown and flowing southward to the James. Along this 
river light entrenchments had been thrown up. The 
river had been dammed in places to overflow the lowlands, 
and at these dams redoubts had been built and defended by 
our heaviest artillery. 

In a few days all our division was in line, and soon there- 
after was joined by Longstreet's, D. H. Hill's, and G. W. 
Smith's, with the cavalry under Stuart. General Johnston 
was Commander-in-Chief. We remained in camp around 
Yorktown about two weeks, when General Johnston decided 
to abandon this line of defense for one nearer Richmond. One 
of the worst marches our brigade ever had was the night be- 
fore we evacuated our lines along the Warwick. Remember 
the troops had no intention of a retreat, for they were going 
down the river towards the enemy. It was to make a feint, 
however, to appear as if Johnston was making a general ad- 
vance, thus to enable the wagon trains and artillery to get out 
of the way of the retreating army, and Kershaw was to cover 
this retreat. 

At dark we began our march through long ponds and pools 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 97 

of water, and mud up to the knees, in the direction opposite 
Gloucester Point, and near a point opposite to the enemy's 
fleet of gunboats. Through mud and water we floundered 
and fell, the night being dark. Mile after mile we marched 
at a snail's gait until we came to a large opening, surrounded 
by a rail fence. This was about midnight. Here we were 
ordered to build great fires of the rails near by. This was 
done, and soon the heavens were lit up by this great stretch of 
roaring fires. Some had spread their blankets and lay down 
for a good sleep, while others sat around the good, warm, 
crackling blaze, wondering what next. Scarcely had we all 
became quiet than orders came to "fall ip." Back over the 
same sloppy, muddy, and deep-rutted road we marched, re- 
tracing the steps made only an hour before, reaching our old 
camp at daylight, but we were not allowed to stop or rest. 
The retreat had begun. Magruder, with the other of his 
forces, was far on the road towards Williamsburg, and we 
had to fall in his rear and follow his footsteps over roads now 
simply impassable to any but foot soldiers. We kept up the 
march until we had left Yorktown ten miles in our rear, after 
marching a distance of nearly thirty miles, and all night and 
day. A council of war had been held at Richmond, at which 
were present President Davis, Generals Lee, Smith, L,ong- 
street, Johnston, and the Secretary of War, to determine upon 
the point at which our forces were to concentrate and give 
MeClellan battle. Johnston favored Richmond as the most 
easy of concentration; thereto gather all the forces available 
in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina around Rich- 
mond, and as the enemy approached fall upon and crush him. 
G. W. Smith coincided with Johnston. lyougstreet favored 
reinforcing Jackson in the Valley, drive the enemy out, cross 
the Potomac, and threaten Washington, and force MeClellan 
to look after his Capitol. The others favored Yorktown and 
the Peninsula as the point of concentration. But General 
Johnston found his position untenable, as the enemy could 
easily flank his right and left with his fleet. 

On May 3rd began the long, toilsome march up the York 
River and the James. The enemy hovered on our rear and 
picked up our stragglers, and forced the rear guard at every 
^tep. At Williamsburg, the evening of the 4th of May, John- 



08 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

ston was forced to turn and fight. Breastworks and redoubts 
had beqii built somerailes ip front. ofthe. town, and it was here 
intended to give battle. The, heavy ,down.-pour of raiu pre- 
vented Anderson, who. was. holding the rear and, protecting 
, the wagon train.s, from moving., and the enemy, began press- 

,ipg him hard. 

Kershaw and the other brigades had passed through Wil- 
liamsburg when the fight began, but the continual roar of the 
cannon told of a battle in earnest going on in the rear and our 
troops hotly engaged. Kershaw and Simms, of our Division, 
were ordered back at double cjuick. As we pa.ssed through 
the town the citizens were greatly excited, the piazzas and 
balconies being filled with ladies and old men, who urged the 
men on with all the power and eloquence at their command. 
The woods had b^en felled for some distance in front of the 
earthworks and forts, and as we neared the former we could see 
the enemy's skirmishers pushing out of the woods in the clear- 
ing. The Second and Eighth South Carolina Regiments were 
ordered to occup5' the , forts and brea.stworks beyond Fort 
Magruder, and they had a perfect race to reach them before 
the enemy did. The battle was raging in all fierceness on' the 
le!t, as well as in our front. More troops were put in action 
on both sides, and it seemed as if we were going to have the 
great battle there. D. R. Jones, Lpngstreet. and McLaws 
were more or less engaged along their whole lines. The 
Third Regiment did not have an opportunity to fire a gun that 
day, nor either the Seventh, but the other two, had a consider- 
able fight, but being mostly behind brea.stvvorks their casualties 
were light. The enemy withdrew at nightfall, and after 
remaining on the field for s.)me hours, our army took up the 
line of march towards Richmond. It has been computed that 
McClellan had with him on the Peninsula, outside of his 
marines, irr,ooo men of all arms. 

As the term" of first enlistment has expired, I will give a 
brief sketch of some of the field officers who led the regiments 
during the first twelve months of the war. 

COLONEL JAMES H. WILLIAMS., OF THE THIRD SOUTH CAROLINA 
VOLUNTEERS. 

Colonel James H. Williams, the commander of the Third 
South Carolina Regiment, was born in Newberry County, 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 99 

October 4th, 1813. He was of Welsh descent, his ancestors 
rairaigrating to this country with 'Lord Baltimore. He was 
English by his maternal grandmother. The grandfather of 
Colonel Williams was a Revolutionary soldier, and was killed 
at the battle of Ninety-Six. The father of the subject of this 
sketch was also a soldier, and held the office of Captain in the 
war of 1812. 

Colonel Williams, it would seem, inherited his love for the 
military service from his ancestors, and in early life joined a 
company of Nullifiers, in 1831. He also served in the Florida 
War. His ardor in military matters was Such he gave little 
time for other attainments; he had no high school or college 
education. When only twenty-four years old he was elected 
Major of the Thirty-eighth Regiment of State Militia, and in 
1843 took the Captaincy of the McDuffie Artillery, a crack 
volunteer company of Newberry. In 1846 he organized a 
company for the Mexican War, and was mustered into service 
in 1847 as Company L, Palmetto Regiment. He was in all 
the battles of that war, and,' with the Palmetto Regiment, yvon 
distinction on every field. After his return from Mexico he 
was elected Brigadier General and then Major General of State 
Militia. He served as Mayor of his town, Commissioner in 
Equity, and in the State Legislature. 

Before the breaking out of the Civil War, he had acquired 
some large estates in the West, arid was there attending to 
some business' connected therewith when South Carolina 
seceded. The companies that were to compose the Third 
Regiment elected him their Colonel, but in his absence, when 
the troops were c(alled into service, they- were commanded for 
the time by. Lieutenant Colonel Foster, of Spartanburg. He 
joined the Regiment at "Lightwood Knot Springs," the ist of 
May. . He commandeH the Third during the term of its first 
enhstment, and carried it through the first twelve months' 
campaign in Virginia. 

At the reorganization of the regiment, the men composing it 
being almost wholly yoiing men, desired new blood at the 
head of the volunteer service, and elected Captain James 
D. Nance in his stead. After his return to the State, he was 
placed at the head of the Fourth and Ninth Regiments of 
State Troops, and served as such until the close. 



100 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

After the war, he returned to Arkansas and continued his 
planting operations until the time of his death, August 21st, 
1892. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 
that State in 1874. 

Colonel Williams was a born soldier, considerate of and kind 
to his men. He was cool and fearless to a fault. He under- 
stood tactics thoroughly, but was wanting in those elements of 
discipline— its sternness and rigidity that was required to 
govern troops in actual war. His age counted against him as 
a strict disciplinarian, but not as a soldier. He was elected to 
the I,egislature of this State before Reconstruction, as well as 
a member of the Constitutional Convention of- Arkansas 
in 1874. 

LIKUTENANT COLONEL FOSTER, OF THE THIRD SOUTH CARO- 
LINA VOLUNTEERS. 

Lieutenant Colonel C. B. Foster, of the Third South Caro- 
lina Regiment, was born in Spartanburg County, South Caro- 
lina, at the old Foster homestead, near Cedar Springs, in 1817. 
His father was Anthony Foster, a native of Virginia. Colonel 
Foster was a member of the lyCgislature before the war, and 
represented Spartanburg County in the Secession Convention, 
along with Simpson Bobo, Dr. J. H. Carli-sle, and others. After 
the Convention adjourned he returned to his home in Spartan- 
burg and immediatejy began drilling a company for the war. 
He was elected Captain of the Blackstock Company, which 
was Company K, in the Third Regiment of South Carolina 
Voluntters. The Blackstock Company reported for duty as 
.soon as volunteers were called for, and went immediately to 
the camp of instruction at Lightwood Knot Springs. Colonel 
Foster was elected Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment. After 
spending about three months at the camp of instruction, the 
Third Regiment was ordered to Virginia. Colonel Foster 
■served until some time after the battle of First Mana,ssas, hav- 
ing participated in that campaign. He remained in Virginia 
until the fall of 1861, when he was ordered to go home by the 
surgeon, his health having completely given way. It took 
long nursing to get him on his feet again. He" was devoted to 
the Confederate cause, and was always willing and ready to 
help in any way its advancement. He gave two sons to his 



HISTORY OF KRRSHAW'S BRIGADE. 101 

country. One, Captain Perrin Foster, also of the Third Regi- 
ment, was killed at Fredericksburg leading his command. His 
other son, James Anthony Foster, gave up his life in the front 
of his command during the frightful charge on Maryland 
Heights. He was a member of Company K, of the Third 
Regiment. 

Colonel Foster was considered a wealthy man before the 
war, but when it ended he was left penniless. At that time 
he lived near Glenn Springs, Spartanburg County. In 1867 
he moved to Union County and merchandised until 1884. He 
was also County Treasurer for a long time. He died on June 
9th, 1897, at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Benjamin 
Kennedy, at Jonesville, Union County. In early life Colonel 
Foster married Miss Mary Ann Perrin, a sister of Colonel 
Thfimas C. Perrin, of Abbeville. She died in 1886. Three 
daughters survive Colonel Foster, Mrs. I. G. McKissick, Mrs. 
Benjamin Kennedy, and Mrs. J. A. Thompson. Colonel 
Foster was one of God's noblemen. He was true to his 
friends, his family, and his country. He never flinched from 
danger nor from his duty. He was faithful at all times and 
under all circumstances to the best principles of the Anglo- 
Saxon race. 

COLONEL THOMAS G. BACON, OF THE SEVENTH SOUTH CARO- 
LINA VOLUNTEERS. 

Thomas Glascock Bacon was born in Edgefield Village of 
English ancestry ou the 24th of June, 181 2. He was the 
youngest son of Major Edmund Bacon, the eloquent' and dis- 
tinguished member of the Edgefield Bar, and author of the 
humorous "Georgia Scenes," written under the nom de plume 
of Ned Brace. Colonel Bacon'-s mother was a sister of Briga- 
dier General Thomas F. Glascock, of Georgia, a gallant and 
distinguished officer of the Revolutionary War, and after 
whom Colonel Bacon was named. He received the early rudi- 
ments of education at the Edgefield Academy, and when at 
the proper age he was sent for his classical education to the 
Pendleton English and Classical Institute, under the tutilage 
of that profound scholar and educator. Prof. S. M. Shuford. 
Colonel Bacon was fond of the classics, and had acquired rare 
literary attainments, and had he cultivated his tastes in that 



102 HISTORY OF KEKSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

line assiduously, he no doubt would have become the foremost 
scholar of the State, if not the South. He was- passionately, 
fond of manly sports and out-door exercise. He was a devotee 
of the turf, and this disposition led him early in life to the de- 
velopment of fast horses and a breeder of blooded stock. He 
was a turfman of the old school, and there were but few courses 
in the South that had not tested the mettle of his stock. But 
like his brother in arms. Colonel Cash, of the Eighth, and 
brother turfman, he became disgusted with the thievery 
and trickery of later day sports and quit the turf, still owning 
at his death some of the most noted racers of the times, 
Granger Lynchburg, John Payne, Glengary, Father Ryan, 
Ned Brace, and others of lesser note. 

He paid much attention to military matters, and held sev- 
eral oflSces in the State militia before the war. He, with his 
friend and superior, General M. L,. Bonham, enlisted in the^ 
"Blues" and served in the Palmetto Regiment in the war with 
the Seminoles. At the breaking out of the Civil War he, with 
Elbert Bland, afterwards Colonel of the Seventh, organized 
the first company from Edgefield, and was elected Captain. 
The companies assigned to the Seventh Regiment unanimously 
elected him the Colonel, and in that capacity he led his regi- 
ment to Virginia, being among the first regiments from the 
State to reach the seat of war. He was at the battle of 
Manassas, and participated in the Peninsular campaign. At 
the reorganization of the regiment at the expiration of the 
term of enlistment, his failing health forced him to decline a 
re-election as Colonel. Returning home, and the . State need- 
ing the services of trained soldiers to command the State 
troops, notwithstanding his failing health, he cheerfully 
accepted the command of the Seventh Regiment State troops. 
In 1863 he was elected to the State Senate. He died at his 
home, Pine Pond, in Edgefield County, September 25th, 1876, 
leaving a widow, but no children. 

Strong in his friendship and earnest in his affection, but 
with a peaceable and forgiving temperament, pure in his 
motives, charitable in all things, generous to the needy, affec- 
tionate to his friends and relatives, chivalric and honorable in 
every relation of life, brave in action, and with that fortitude 
under adverse circumstances that makes heroes of men, just 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 103 

and impartial to the oificers and men under his" commatid, 
pleasant and sociable towards his equals' in rank, obedient and 
courteous to his s'upeiriorS, few raeii lived or died with so'mUclh 
respect and admiration, genuine friendship, and love from, all 
as Colonel Thomas G. Bacon, of the Seventh South Carolina 
Volunteers. 

COLONEL E. B. C. CASH, OF THE EIGHTH SOUTH' CAROLINA 
VOLUNTEERS. 

EUerbe Boggan Crawford Cash was born near Wadesboiro, 
Anson County, North Carolina, on July ist; 1823. His father 
was Boggan Cash, a Colonel in militia of that State, merchant; 
and member of Legislature, His mother was Miss Elizabeth 
Ellerbe, of Chesterfield County, S. C. ' He was the only child! 
His father died when he was near two years old, and his 
mother returned to her father's, in South Carolina. He was 
educated at Mt. Zion Institute, Wionsborp, S. C.,. and South 
Carolina College. He read law under Genefal Blakeney, at 
Cheraw, S. C, and practiced in partnership a short while with 
Alexander Mclver, Esq., the Solicitor of the Eastern Ciircu'it, 
and father of Chief Justice Henry Mclver, of South Carolina. 
But his mother owning a large landed estate, and several hun- 
dred negroes, he soon retired from the Bar to look after her 
affairs, and devoted himself to planting and raising fine horses 
and cattle. He married in 1847 hiscoiisin, Miss Allan Ellerbe, 
of Kershaw, S. C. He was elected to the Legislature from his 
County, Chesterfield. He was elected Colonel, Brigadier 
General, and Major General of State militia. 

When the war commenced he was one of the Major Generals 
of the State. He volunteered and was elected Colonel of th6 
Eighth South Carolina Regiment. At the reorganization he 
did not offer for re-election, but came home aud was inade 
Colonel in State troops. He was kind to the poor the whole 
war, and gave away during the war over 50,000 bushels of 
corn and large quantities of other provisions to soldiers' fami- 
lies, or sold it in Confederate money at ante bellum prices. 
After the war all notes, claims, and mortgages he held on es-' 
tates of old soldiers he cancelled and made a present of them 
to their families. In one case the amount he gave a widow, 
who had a family and small children, was over $5,000, her 
husband having been killed in his regiment. 



104 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

After the war he continued to tarm. In 1876 he took an 
active part in redeeming the State, and contributed his time, 
advice-, and services, and a great deal of money. In 1881 he 
fought a duel with Colonel Wm. M. Shannon, in which he 
killed Colonel Shannon. Colonel Cash was the challeged 
party. His wife died in May, 1880. Colonel Cash died 
March 10, 1888, and was buried in the family burying ground 
at his residence, Cash's Depot, S. C. 

Colonel Cash was a man of strong character, fearless, brave, 
generous and true, a good friend and patriot. He made no 
religious profession. He was charitable to the extreme, and 
was the soul of honor, and while he had many enemies, being 
a fearless man and a good hater, he had such qualities as in- 
spired the respect and admiration of his fellowmen. 



CHAPTER VIII 

Reorganized — "New Officers" — Battle. 

On the 13th of April the term for which the twelve months' 
troops had enlisted was now soon to expire, the great number 
which had not re-enlisted were looking forward with longing 
anticipation for orders to disband and return to their homes. 
On the 14th, their obligations being at an end, officers and 
men were making rapid preparation to depart for home — not 
to quit the service, however, but more to enjoy a short leave 
of absence with their families, and to join other branches of 
the services, more especially cavalry. Some of the companies 
had actually left, and were a mile or two from camp when 
orders came to return. The Conscript Act had been passed, 
making it obligatory on all, between the ages of eighteen and 
thirty-five, to enter or remain in the army The men took 
their sudden return in good humor, for really it was only the 
married men, who had left their families so unprepared twelve 
months before, who cared to return home; for some of the 
young men, who were under the conscript age, refused to 
leave. Those who had to return received a lot of good- 
natured badgering at their sudden return to the army. "Hello 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 105 

boys, when did you get back? What's the news at home?" 
"How did you find all?" were some of the soothing jeers the 
"returned sinners" had to endure; and as so great a number 
had expressed a desire to join the cavalry, not a few were 
asked: "Did you bring your horses with you?" But all was 
soon forgotten, for in a few days a reorganization was ordered 
to take place, and new officers elected. 

The Conscript Act was condemned in unmeasured terms in 
many places at the South, but its necessity and expediency 
was never doubted. To have allowed so great a number to 
absent themselves from the army at this time, in the face of 
an overwhelming enemy, and that enemy advancing upon our 
Capitol, was more than the morale of the army would admit. 
Not altogether would the absence of the soldiers themselves 
efiFect the army, but in the breaking up of organizations, for in 
some companies all had re-enlisted, while in others one-half, 
and in many cases none. New regiments would have had to 
be formed out of the re-enlisted companies, and new companies 
out of the large number of recruits, now in camps of instruc- 
tion. So b}' keeping up the old organizations, and filling up 
the ranks by the conscripts at home, the army would be 
greatly benefited. 

In some countries, to be called a conscript or drafted man 
was considered a stigma, but not so in the South. There is 
little doubt, had a call been made for volunteers, any number 
could have been had at a moment's notice, for there were 
hundreds and thousands at the South only awaiting an oppor- 
tunity to enter the army. In fact, there were companies and 
regiments already organized and officered, only awaitmg arms 
by the government^ but these organizations were all raw men, 
and at this time it was believed to fill up the old companies 
with recruits, thus putting seasoned troops side by side with 
raw ones, would enhance the efficiency of the army, retain its 
discipline, and esprit de corps. 

Then, again, the farms had to be managed, the slaves kept 
in subjection, and the army fed, and the older men were better 
qualified for this service than the young. In reality, all 
were in the service of the country, for while the younger 
men were fighting in the ranks, the older ones were work- 
ing in the fields and factories to furnish them clothes, provis- 



106 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

ions, and munitions of war. Our government Had no means 
at home, no ships on the ocean, little credit abroad, and our 
ports all blockaded. So all had to eutef the service either as 
a fighter or a worker', and our wisest men thought it the betteir 
policy to allow the young men the glory upon the field, while 
the old men served at home. On the 13th of May all com- 
panies were allowed to elect their officers, both company and 
regimental, and enter the service for two more years. As I 
said in the commencement of this work, at the breaking out of 
the war men generally selected as officers the old militia offi- 
cers for company officers and veterans of the Mexican War for 
field officers. General Bonham had been a Colonel in Mexico. 
Williams, of the Third, had led a company from Newberry 
to that far-off land. Kershaw went as First Lieutenant. 
Cash, of the Eighth, was a Major General of the militia at 
the breaking out of the war. The greatest number of the first 
Colonels of regiments under the first call were Mexican vete- 
rans. Another qualification that was considered at the first 
organization was popularity — -gentle, clever, and kind-hearted. 
The qualification of courage or as a disciplinarian was seldom 
thought of; for a man to be wanting in the first could not be 
thought possible. Our men, who had known the proud feel- 
ings of personal freedom, dreaded discipline and restraint, nat- 
urally turned to those men for officers most conducive to their 
will and wishes. But twelve months' service in trying ca ;i- 
paigns ma:de quite a change. What they had once looked upon 
with dread and misgiving they now saw as a necessity. Strict 
discipline was the better for both men and the service. A 
greater number of the older officers, feeling their services 
could be better utilized at home than in the army, and also 
having done their duty and share by setting the example by 
enlistment and serving twelve months', relinquished these offices 
to the younger men and returned home. The younger, too, 
saw the advisability of infusing in the organizations young 
blood — men more of their own age and temperament— the 
stern necessity of military discipline, a closer attendance to 
tactics and drills, better regulations, and above all, courage. 
The organizations selected such men as in their opinions would 
better subserve the interests of the service, and who had the 
requisites for leadership. This is said with no disparagement 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 107 

to the old oflBcers, for truer, more patriotic, nor a braver set of 
men ever drew a blade than those who constituted the old bri- 
gade during its first organization. In fact, some who had 
served during the first twelve months as officers, when they 
discovered their deficiency, or that the men had more confi- 
dence in others, after a short respite at home, returned and 
joined their old companies as privates. Was there ever greater 
patriotism and unselfishness and less ostentation shown as in 
the example of these men! It was but natural that men 
selected almost at random, and in many instances unacquainted 
with a majority of the men at enlistment unusual to military 
life, or the requirements of an officer ia actual service, could 
possibly be as acceptable as those chosen after a year of ser- 
vice, and in close compact with the men. 

SECOND REGIMENT. 

The Second Regiment chose as officers — 

Colonel — ^Jno. D. Kennedy. 

Lieutenant Colonel — A. S. Goodwin. 

Major — Frank Gaillard. 

Adjutant— E. E- Sill. 

Quartermaster — W. D. Peck. 

Commissary — ^J. J. Villipigne. 

Chief Surgeon — Dr. F. Salmond. 

Chaplains — Revs. McGruder and Smith. 

I give below a list of the Captains, as well as the field officers, 
of the Second Regiment during the war. There were many 
changes from Lieutenants to Captains, and subsequent elec- 
tions from the ranks to Lieutenants, caused by the casualties 
of war, but space forbids, and want of the facts prevents me 
from giving more than the company commanders and the field 

officers. 

Colonels — ^J. B. Kershaw, E. P. Jones, Jno. D. Kennedy, 

and Wm. Wallace. 

Lieutenant Colonels — E. P. Jones, A. D. Goodwin, F. Gail- 
lard, Wm. Wallace, and J. D. Graham. 

Majors — A. D. Goodwin, W. H. Casson, F. Gaillard, Wm. 
Wallace, I. D. Graham, B. F. Clyburn, G. L. Leaphart. 

Adjutants— A. D. Goodwin, E. E. Sill, and A. McNeil. 

Surgeons and Assistant Surgeons — J. A. Maxwell and J. H. 
Nott. 



108 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

Some of them went from Captains and Majors through all 
the grades to Colonel. The following are the Captains, some 
elected at the first organization, some at the reorganization, 
and others rose by promotion from Lieutenant: 

Company A — W. H. Casson, M. A. Shelton, G. I,. Leap- 
hart, M. M. Maddrey. 

Company B— A. D. Hoke, Wm. PuUiam, W. Powell, J. 
Caigle. 

Company C— Wm. Wallace, S. Lorick, J. T. Scott, A. P. 
Winson. 

Company D — ^J. S. Richardson, J. D. Graham, W. Wilder. 

Company E — ^John D. Kennedy, elected Colonel, Z. Leitner, 
J. Crackeford. 

Company F— W. W. Perryman, W. C. China, G. Mc- 
Dowell. 

Company G— J. Hail, J. Friesdale, J. P. Cunningham. 

Company H — H. McManus, D. Clyburn. 

Company I— G. B. Cuthbreath, Ralph Elliott, R. Fishburn, 
B. F. Barlow. 

Company K— R. Rhett, J. Moorer, K. D. Webb, J. D. 
Dutart, Burton, G. T. Haltiwanger. 

Many changes took place by death and resignation. 
Scarcely any of the field ofiBcers remained in the end. Many 
Captains of a low rank went all the way to Colonels of regi- 
ments, and Third Lieutenants rose by promotion to Captains. 
This shows the terrible mortality among the officers. None of 
the first field oflBcers but what had been killed or incapacitated 
for service by wounds at the close of the war. 

THIRD SOUTH CAROWNA REGIMENT. 

James D. Nance, of Newberry, Captain of Company E, 
elected Colonel. 

Conway Garlington, of Laurens, Captain of Company A, 
elected Lieutenant Colonel. 

W. D. Rutherford, of Newberry, formerly Adjutant, made 
Major. 

Y. J. Pope, Newberry, formerly Orderly Sergeant of Compa- 
ny E, made Adjutant. 

G. W. Shell, Laurens, Quartermaster. 

J. N. Martin and R. N. Lowrance, Commissary. 



HISTORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 109 

Ed. Hicks, of Laurens, Sergeant Major. 

All staff officers are appointed or recommended for appoint- 
ment by the Colonel of the regiment. The offices of Regi- 
mental Quartermaster and Commissary, the encumbents 
heretofore ranking as Captains, were abolished during the year, 
having one Quartermaster and one Commissary for the bri- 
gade, the regiments having only Sergeants to act as such. I 
will state here that some of the companies from each regiment 
had reorganized and elected officers before the time of re-enlist- 
ment. This is one reason why rank was not accorded in the 
regular order. In the Third Regiment, Company E, Captain 
J. D. Nance, and perhaps several others, had reorganized, 
taken their thirty days' furlough,, and had returned before the 
general order to reorganize and remain for two more years or 
the war. The new organizations stood in the Third as fol- 
lows, by Captains: 

Company A — Willie Hance, Laurens. 

Company B — N. Davidson, Newberry. 

Company C— R. C. Maffett, Newberry. 

Company D— N. F. Walker, Spartanburg. 

Company E — J. K. G. Nance — Newberry. 

Company F — P. Williams, Laurens. 

Company G — R. P. Todd — Laurens. 

Company H — John C. Summer, Lexington. 

Company I — D. M. H. Langston, Laurens. 

Company K— S. M. Langford, Spartanburg. 

Many changes took place in this regiment, some almost im- 
mediately after the election and others in the battle that fol- 
lowed in a few weeks. 

Captain Davidson died in two weeks after his election from 
disease, and was succeeded by Lieutenant Thomas W. Gary, 
who had during the first twelve months been Captain David- 
son's Orderly Sergeant. It seems the position of Orderly Ser- 
geant was quite favorable to promotion, for nearly all the 
Orderlies during the first twelve months were made either Cap- 
tains or Lieutenants. 

Lieutenant Colonel Garlington being killed at Savage Sta- 
tion, Major Rutherford was promoted to that position, while 
Captain Maffett was made Major and Lieutenant Herbert Cap-- 
tain in his stead of Company C. 



110 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

Captain Hance, of Company A, being killed at Fredericks- 
burg, First Lieutenant Robert' Richardson became Captain. 

Lieutenant R. H.Wright became Captain of' Company E 
after the promotion of Nance to Major in the. latter part of the 
service. ■ ■ ■ ' ' '. 

Captain Williams, -of Company F, was killed, and Lieuten- 
ant Wm. Deal made Captain and commanded At the surren- 
der. There may have been other Captains of this company, 
but no data at hand; 

John W. Watts became Captain of Company G after the 
promotion of Captain Todd to Major and- Lieutenant Colonel. 

Captain Summer being killed at Fredericksburg, Lieutenant 
G. S. Swygert became Captain, was disabled andresigned, and 
D. A. Dickert became Captain and commanded to the end. 

Captain Langston, of Company I, being killed. Lieutenant 
Jarred Johnston became Captain, disabled at Chickamauga. 

Company K was especially unfortunate in her commanders. 
Captain Sanford was killed at Savage Station; then Lieutenant 
L- P. Foster, son of Lieutenant Colonel Foster, was pro- 
moted to Captain and killed at Fredericksburg. Then W. H. 
Young was made Captain and killed at Gettysburg. Then 
J. H. Cunningham became Captain and was killed at Chicka- 
mauga. J. P. Roebuck was promoted and- soon after taken 
prisoner. First Lieutenant John W. Wofford commanded the 
company till the surrender, and after the war became State 
Senator from Spartanburg. 

Captain N. F. Walker was permanently disabled at Savage 
Station, returned home, was appointed in the conscript bureau, 
and never returned to active duty. He .still retained his rank 
and office as Captain of Company D, therely preventing pro- 
motions in one of the most gallant companies in Kexshaw's 
Brigade. 

It was at the battle of Fredericksburg that the regiment lost 
so many officers, especially Captains, that caused the greatest 
changes. Captains Hance, Foster, Summer, with nearly a 
dozen Lieutenants, were killed there, making three new Cap- 
tains, and a lot of new Lieutenants. It was by the death of 
Captain Summer that I received the rank of Captain, having 
been a Lieutenant up to that time. From December, 1862, to 
the end I commanded the company, with scarcely a change. 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADR. Ill 

It will be seen that at the reorganization the Third Regiment 
made quite a new deal, and almost. a clean swegp of old officers 
— and with few exceptions the ' officers fr^nj Colonel to the 
Lieutenants of least rank were young m,en. I doubt very 
much if there was a regiment in the service that had such a 
proportion of young men for officers. 

I will here relate an incident connected with the name of 
Captain Hance's family, that was spoken of freely in the regi- 
ment at the time, but little known outside of immediate sur- 
roundings — not about Captain Hance, however, but the name 
and connection that the incident recalled, that was often 
related by the old chroniclers' of Laurens. Andrew Johnson, 
.who was at the time I speak United States Senator from Ten- 
nessee, and was on the ticket with Lincoln, for Vice-President 
of the United States in his second race against McClellan, 
was elected, and afterwards became President. As the story 
goes, and it is vouched for as facts, Andrew Johnson in his 
younger days had a tailoring establishment at Laurens, and 
while there paid court to the mother of Captain . Hance. So 
smitten was he with her charms and graces, he paid her 
special attention, and asked for her hand in marriage. Young 
Johnson was fine looking, in fact handsome, energetic, 
prosperous, and well-to-do young man, with no vices that 
were common to. the young men of that day, but the great 
disparity in the social standing of the two caused his rejection. 
The family of Hance was too exclusive at t.he time to consent 
to a connection with the plebeian Johnson, yet that plebeian 
rose at last to the highest office in the gift of the American 
people, through the force of his own endowments. 

SEVENTH SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT. 

The Seventh Regiment was reorganized by electing — 
Colonel— D. Wyatt Aiken, Abbeville. 
Lieutenant Colonel — Elbert Bland, Edgefield. 
Major— W. C. White, Edgefield. 
Adjutant— Thomas M. Childs. 
Sergeant Major — Amos C. Stalworth. 
Quartermaster— B. F. Lovelace. 
Commis.sary — A. F. Townsend. 
Company A — Stuart Harrison. 



112 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

Company B — Thomas Huggins. 

Company C— W. E. Cothran. 

Company D — Warren H. Allen. 

Company E — ^James Mitchell. 

Company F — ^John S. Hard. 

Company G— W. C. Clark. 

Company H^H. W. Addison. 

Company I — Benj. Roper. 

Company K — Jno. L. Burris. 

Company L — ^J. L. Litchfield. 

Company M — ^Jerry Goggans. 

I am indebted to Captain A. C. Waller, of Greenwood, for 
the following brief summary of the Seventh after reorganiza- 
tion, giving the different changes of regimental and company 
commanders, as well as the commanders of the regiment dur- 
ing battle: 

Colonel Aiken commanded at Savage Station, Malyern Hill, 
and Antietam, till wounded at Gettysburg, after which he was 
ordered elsewhere. 

Lieutenant Colonel Bland commanded at Fredericksburg, 
Chancellorsville, and Chickamauga; killed in latter battle. 

Major White commanded at Antietam after the wounding 
of Aiken, and until he was himself killed at the enemy's bat- 
tery, the farthest advance of the day. Captain Hard had com- 
mand at the close. Captain Hard also led for a short while at 
Chickamauga after the death of Bland, and fell at the head of 
his regiment on top of Pea Ridge. 

Captain Goggans was in command at Knoxville, Bean Sta- 
tion, and the Wilderness, until wounded. 

Captain James Mitchell led the regiment in the charge at 
Cold Harbor, and was in command at Spottsylvania. 

Lieutenant Colonel Maffett, of the Third, was placed in com- 
mand of the Seventh during the Valley campaign under Early 
in 1864, and led at Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek the 13th 
and 19th of September. Was captured in October. 

Lieutenant Colonel Huggins commanded from October 
till the surrender, and at the battle of Averysboro and 
Bentonville. 

Captain Goggans was promoted to Major after the battle of 
the Wilderness, but resigned. 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 113 

Company E was divided into two companies, E and M. 
Company H took the place of Eland's, which became Company 
A. 

Captain Stuart Harrison, Company A, resigned, being 
elected Clerk of Court of Edgefield, and I^ieutenant Gus Bart 
was made Captain. 

John Carwile, First Lieutenant of Company A, acted as 
Adjutant after the death of Adjutant Childs, and also on Gen- 
eral Kershaw's staff. 

Lieutenant James Townsend became Captain of Company B 
after the promotion of Huggins to Lieutenant Colonel. 

After Captain Hard's promotion Jan'ves Rearden was made 
Captain of Company E and was killed at Wilderness, and 
Lieutenant C. K. Henderson became Captain. 

Captain Wm. E. Clark, Company G, was killed at Mary- 
land heights. Lieutenant Jno. W. Kemp was made Captain 
and killed at the Wilderness. 

Captain J. L. Burris, of Company K, was wounded at Antie- 
tam and resigned. First Lieutenant J. L- Talbert having 
been killed at Mar^'land Height's a few days before, Second 
Lieutenant Giles M. Berry became Captain; he resigned, and 
Lieutenant West A. Cheatham was made Captain by promotion. 

Captain J. L. Litchfied, of Company I, was killed at Mary- 
land Heights, and First Lieutenant Litchfield was made 
Captain. 

First Lieutenant P. Boukuight became Captain of Company 
M after the promotion of Captain Goggans. 

EIGHTH SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT. 

The Eighth South Carolina Regiment was reorganized by 
electing — 

Colonel — ^Jno. W. Henagan, Marlboro. 
Lieutenant Colonel — A. J. Hoole, Darlington. 
Major — McD. McLeod, Marlboro. 
Adjutant— C. M. Weatherly, Darlington. 
Surgeon — Dr. Pearce. 
Assistant Surgeon— Dr. Maxy. 
Company A — ^John H. Muldrow, Darlington. 
Company B— Richard T. Powell, Chesterfield. 
Company C — Thomas E. Powe, Chesterfield. 

8 



114 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADK. 

Company D— Robt. P. Miller, Chesterfield. 

Companj' E — M. E. Keith, Darlington. 

Company F— T. E. Howie, Darlington. 

Company G — C. P. Townsend, Marlboro. 

Company H— Duncan Mclntyre, Marion. 

Company I— A. T. Harllee, Marion. 

Company K — Frank Manning, Marlboro. 

Company L — Thomas E. Stackhouse, Marion. 

Company M— Thomas E. Howie, Darlington. 

Company L was a new company, and T. E. Stackhouse was 
made Captain; also A. T. Harllee was made Captain of Com- 
pany I. Company M was also a new company. 



After the reorganization the Generals' staffs were reduced 
to more republican simplicity. General Kershaw was con- 
tented with — 

Captain C. R. Holmes — Assistant Adjutant General. 

Lieutenant W. M. Dwight — Adjutant and Inspector General. 

Lieutenant D. A. Doby — Aide de Camp. 

Lieutenant Jno. Myers — Ordnance OSicer. 

Major W. D. Peck — Quartermaster. 

Major Kennedy — Commissary. - 

With a few privates for clerical service. General Kershaw 
had two fine-looking, noble lads as couriers, neither grown to 
manhood, hut brave enough to follow their chief in the 
thickest of battle, or carry his orders through storms of battles, 
W. M. Crumby, of Georgia, and DeSaussure Burrows. The 
latter lost his life at Cedar Creek. 

As I have thus shown the regiments and brigade in their 
second organization, under the name it is known, "Kershaw's," 
and as all were so closely connected and identified, I will 
continue to treat them as a whole. The same camps, marches, 
battles, scenes, and experiences were alike to all, so the history 
of one is the history of all. South Carolina ma}' have had, 
and I have no doubt did have, as good troops in the field, as 
ably commanded as this brigade, but for undaunted courage, 
loyalty to their leaders and the cause, for self-denials and 
sacrifices, united spirits, and unflinching daring in the face of 
death, the world has never produced their superiors. There 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 115 

was much to animate their feelings a^d stimulate their cour- 
age. The older men had retired and left the field to the lead- 
ership of the young. Men were here, too, by circumstances 
of birth, education, and environment that could .scarcely ever 
expect to occupy more than a secondary place in their coun- 
try's history, who were destined to inferior stations in life, 
both social and political, — the prestige of wealth and a long 
family being denied them — still upon the battlefield they were 
any man's equal. On the maich or the snflFering in camp, 
they were the peers of the noblest, and when facing death or 
experiencing its pangs they knew no superiors. Such being 
the feelings and sentiments of those born in the humbler 
.stations of life, what must have been the goal of those already 
fortune's favorites, with a high or aristocratic birth, wealthy 
education, and a long line of illustrious ancestors, all to stimu- 
late them to deecjs of prowess and unparalleled heroism? 
Such were the men to make the name of South Carolina glori- 
ous, and that of "Kershaw" immortah How many of these- 
noble souls died that their country might be free? the name of 
her people great? In the former they lost, as the ends for 
which they fought and died were never consummated. To- 
day, after nearly a half century has passed, when we look, 
around among the young and see the decadence of chivalry 
and noble aspirations, the decline of homage to women, want 
of integrity to men, want of truth and honor, individually and 
, politically, are we not inclined, at times, to think those merk 
died in vain? We gained the shadow; have we the substance? 
We gained an unparalleled prestige for courage, but are the 
people to-day better morally, socially, and politically? Let the 
world answer. The days of knight-errantry had their decad- 
ence; may not the days of the South's chivalry have theirs? 



CHAPTER IX 

Battle of Seven Pines — Seven Days' Fight 
Around Richmond. 

It was the intention of General Johnston to fall back slowly 
before McClellan, drawing him away from his base, then when 



116 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

the Federal Corps become separated in their marches, to con- 
centrate his forces, turn and crush him at one blow. The 
low, swampy, and wooded condition of the country from York- 
town up the Peninsula would not admit of the handling of the 
troops, nor was there any place for artillery practice to be 
effective. Now that he had his forces all on the South side of 
the Chickahominy, and the lands more rolling and firm, he 
began to contemplate a change in his tactics. Ewell, with 
several detached regiments under Whiting, had been sent iu 
the Valley to re-enforce that fiery meteor, Stonewall Jackson, 
Who was flying through the Shenandoah Valley and the gorges 
of the Blue Ridge like a cyclone, and General Johnston wished 
Jackson to so crush his enemy that -his troops could be concen- 
trated with his own before Richmond. But the authorities at 
Richmond thought otherwise. It is true Jackson had been 
worsted at Kernstowa by Shields, but his masterly movements 
against Banks, Fremont, Siegle, and others, gave him such 
prestige as to make his name almost indispensible to our army. 
McDowell, with forty thousand men, lay at Fredericksburg, 
with nothing in his front but a few squadrons of cavalry and 
some infantry regiments. Johnston was thus apprehensive 
that he might undertake to come down upon his flanks and 
re- enforce "Little Mc." or the "Young Napoleon," as the 
commander of the Federal. Army was now called. On the 
2oth of May, Johnston heard of two of the Federal Corps, 
Keyes' and Heintzleman's, being on the south side of the 
Cuickahominy, while the others were scattered along the 
north banks at the different crossings. McClellan had his 
headquarters six miles away, towards the Pamunkey River. 
This was considered a good opportunity to strike, and had 
there been no miscarriages of plan, nor refusals to obey orders, 
and, instead, harmony and mutual understanding prevailed, 
ihe South might have gained one of its greatest victories, and 
had a different ending to the campaign entirely. G. W. 
Smith lay to the north of Richmond, Longstrect on the Wil- 
liamsburg Road, immediately in front of the enemy; Hiigeron 
the James; Magruder, of which was Kershaw's Brigade (in a 
division under Mclyaws), stretched along the Chickahominy 
above New Bridge. 

All these troops were to concentrate near Seven Pines and 



HISTORY OF KRKSHAw'S BRIGADE. ] 17 

there fall upon the enemy's two corps, and beat them before 
succor could be rendered. No Lieutenant Generals had as yet 
been appointed, senior Major Generals generally commanding 
two divisions. The night before the attack, G2neral [ohnston 
called his generals together and gave them such instructions 
and orders as were necessary, and divided his army for the 
day's battle into two wings, G. W. Smith to command the left 
and Longstreet the right; the right wing to make the first 
assault (it being on the .south side of the York River Rail- 
road). G. W. Smith was to occupy the Nine Mile Road, 
running parallel with Longstreet's front and extending to the 
river, near New Bridge, oii the Chickahominy. He was to 
watch the movements of the enemy on the other side, and 
prevent Sumner, whose corps were near the New Bridge, from 
crossing, and to follow up the fight as lyongstreet and D. H. 
Hill progressed. Magruder, with his own and McLaws' 
Division, supported Smith, and was to act as emergencies 
required. Kershaw was now under McLaws. Huger was to 
march up on the Charles City Road and put in on lyongstreet's 
left as it uncovered at White Oak Swamp, or to join his forces 
with lyongstreet's and the two drive the enemy back from the 
railroad. Keyes' Federal Corps lay along the railroad to Fair 
Oaks; then Heintzleman's turned abruptly at a right angle in 
front of G. W. Smith. The whole was admirably planned, 
and what seemed to make success doubly sure, a very heavy 
rain had fallen that night, May 30th, accompanied by exces- 
sive peals of thunder and livid flashes of lightning, and the 
whole face of the country was flooded with water. The river 
was overflowing its banks, bridges washed away or inundated 
by the rapidly swelling stream, all going to make re-enforce- 
ment by McClellan from the north side out of the question. 
But the entire movement seemed to be one continual routine 
of blunders, misunderstandings, and perverseness; a continual 
wrangling among the senior Major Generals. The enemy 
had thrown up two lines of heavy earthworks for infantry and 
redoubts for the artillery, one near Fair Oaks, the other one- 
half mile in the rear. Longstreet and D. H. Hill assaulted 
the works with great vigor on the morning of the 31st of 
May, and drove the enemy from his first entrenched camp. 
But it seems G. W. Smith did not press to the front, as was 



118 HISTORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 

expected, but understood his orders to remain and guard the 
crossing of the river. Huger lost his way and did not come 
up until the opportunity to grasp the key to the situation was 
lost, and then it was discovered there was a mistake or mis- 
understanding in regard to his and Longstreet's seniority. 
Still Huger waived his rank reluctantly and allowed Long- 
street and Hill to still press the enemy back to his second line 
of entrenchments. From where we lay, inactive and idle, the 
steady roil of the musketry was grand and exciting. There 
was little opportunity for ability and little used, only by the 
enemy in their forts. 

Several ineffectual attempts were made to storm these forts, 
and to dislodge the enemy at the point of the bayonet. Finally 
R. H. Anderson's BrigadeJ of South Carolinians came up, and 
three regiments, led by Colonel Jenkins, made a flank move- 
ment, and by a desperate assault, took the redoubt on the left, 
with six pieces of artiller3^ When Rhodes' North Carolina 
Brigade got sufiBciently through the tangle and undergrowth 
and near the opening as to see their way clear, they raised a 
yell, and with a mad rush, they took the fort with a bound. 
They were now within the strong fortress on the left and mas- 
ters of the situation. Colonel Jenkins was highly complimented _ 
by the commanding General for his skill, and the energy and 
courage of his men. The enemy worked their guns faithfully 
and swept the ranks of Rhodes and Anderson with grape and 
canister, but Southern valor here, as elsewhere, overcame 
Northern discipline. Many of the enemy fell dead within the 
fort, while endeavoring to spike their guns. 

Sumner, from the north side of the Chickahominy, was mak- 
ing frantic efforts to cross the stream and come to the relief of 
sorely pressed comrades. The bridges were two feet or more 
under water, swaying and creaking as if anxious to follow the 
rushing waters below. It is said the Federal General, Butler, 
called afterwards ' 'Beast," covered himself with glory, by rush- 
ing at the head of his troops, in and through the water, and 
succeeded in getting enough men on the bridge to hold it down, 
while the others crossed over. But the reinforcements came 
too late to aid their hard pressed friends. After the entrench- 
ments were all taken, the enemy had no other alternative but 
to fall back in the deuse forest and undergrowth, giving them 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 119 

shelter until night, with her sable curtains, hid friend and foe 
alike. Just as the last charge had been made, General John- 
ston, riding out in an opening, was first struck by a fragment 
of'shell, thereb.v disabling him for further duty upon the field 
for a long time. The command of the army now fell upon 
General G. W. Smith, who ordered the troops to remain sta- 
tionary for the night, and next morning, they were returned 
to their original quarters. Kershaw and the other Brigadiers 
of the divifsion did not become engaged, as they were awaiting 
upon a contingency that did not arise. It is true, the enemj' 
were driven from thier strongly fortified position, and for more 
than a mile to the rear,' still the fruits of the victory were 
swallowed up in the loss of so many good men, with no tangi- 
ble or lasting results. From all the facts known at the time, 
and those developed since, it is the opinion that upon G. W. 
Smith rested the blame for the loss of the day. Had he been 
as active or energetic as the other Major Generals, or had he 
assumed responsibility, and taken advantage of events pre- 
senting themselves during the battle, that could not be known 
beforehand, nor counted in the plan of the battle, the day at 
Seven Pines might have loomed up on the side of the Confed- 
erate forces with those at Gaines' Mills or Second Manassas. 
But, as it was, it must be counted as one of the fruitless vic- 
tories of the war. 

General Smith left the army next day, never to return to 
active service. Here was a commentary on the question of the 
made soldier or the soldier born. At West Point General 
Smith stood almost at the very head of his class; at the com- 
mencement of the war, he was considered as one of our most 
brilliant ofiBcers, and stood head and shoulders above some of 
his cotemporaries in the estimation of our leaders and the De- 
partment at Richmond. But his actions and conduct on sev- 
eral momentous occasions will leave to posterity the necessity 
of voting him a failure; while others of his day, with no train- 
ing nor experience in the science of war, have astonished the 
world with their achievements and soldierly conduct. The 
soldiers were sorrowful and sad when they learned of the fate 
of their beloved Commander-in-Chief. They had learned to 
love him as a father; he had their entire confidence. They 
were fearful at the time lest his place could never be filled; and. 



120 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

but for the splendid achievement of their new commander, R. 
E. Lee, with the troops drilled and disciplined by his pre- 
decessor, and who fought the battles on the plans laid down 
by him, it is doubtful whether their confidence could have ever 
been transferred to another. 

General Lee took command the next day, June the ist, 1862. 
He did not come with any prestige of great victory to recom- 
mend him to the troops, but his bold face, manly features, dis- 
tinguished bearing, soon inspired a considerable degree of 
confidence and esteem, to be soon permanently welded by the 
glorious victories won from the Chickahominy to the James. 
He called all his Lieutenants around him in a few days and 
had a friendly talk. He told none his plans — he left that to 
be surmised — but he gained the confidence of his Generals ~Al 
once. 

The troops were set to work fortifying their lines from the 
James to the Chickahominy, and up the latter stream to near 
Meadow Bridge. Engineer corps were established, and large 
details from each regiment, almost one-third of the number, 
were put to work under the engineers strengthening their 
camps on scientific principles. The troops thought they were 
to do their fighting behind these works, but strange to say, 
out of the hundred of fortifications built by Kershaw's 
men during the war, not one ever fired a gun from behind 
them. 

On the 12th of June General Stuart started on his remark- 
able ride around the army of McClellan, and gained for him- 
self the name of "Prince of Raiders." Starting out in the 
morning as if going away to our left at a leisurely gait, he 
rode as far as Hanover Court House. Before daylight next 
morning his troopers sprang into their saddles and swept down 
the country between the Chickahominy and the Pamunkey 
Rivers like a thunderbolt, capturing pickets, driving in out- 
posts, overturning wagon trains, and destroying everything 
with fire and sword. He rides boldly across the enemy's line 
of communicators, coming up at nighfall at the Chickahominy, 
with the whole of McClellan's army between him aud Rich- 
mond. In this ride he came in contact with his old regiment 
in the United States Army, capturing its wagon trains, one 
laden with the finest delicacies and choicest of wines. After 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 121 

putting the enemy to rout Stuart and his men regaled them- 
selves on these tempting viands, Stuart himself drinking a 
"bumper of choice old Burgundy," sending word to nis 
former comrades that he "was sorry they did not stay and 
join him, but as it was, he would drink their health in their 
absence.'' Finding the bridges destroyed, he built a tempo- 
rary one, over which the men walked and swam their horses, 
holding on to the bridles. When all were safely over Stuart 
sped like a whirlwind towards the James, leaving the enemy 
staring wildly in mute astonishment at the very audacity of 
his daring. That night he returned to his camps, having 
made in thirty-six hours the entire circuit of the Federal 
Army. Stuart was a rare character. Ivight hearted, merry, 
and good natured, he was the very idol of his cavaliers. His 
boldness, dash, and erratic mode of warfare made him a 
dreaded foe and dangerous enemy. One moment he was in 
their camps, on the plains, shouting and slashing, and before 
the frightened sleepers could be brought to the realization of 
their situation, he was far over the foothills of the Blue Ridge 
or across the swift waters of the Rappahannock. 

During the first week after taking our position on the line, 
Magruder, with his divisions of eight brigades, was posted 
high up on the Chickahominj', nearly north of Richmond. 
Mclyaws, commanding Kershaw's, Cobb's, Semmes', and 
Barksdale's Brigades, was on the left, the first being South 
Carolinians, the next two Georgians, and the last Mississippi- 
ans. General p. R. Jones, with his own, Toombs', G. T. 
Anderson's, and perhaps one other Brigade,' constituted the 
right of the corps. The army was divided in wings. Huger, 
the senior Major General, commanded on the right, next the 
James River, with Longstreet next; but before the great battle 
Magruder was given the centre and I,ongstreet the left with 
his divisions, and the two Hills', A. P. and D. H. But after 
the coming of Jackson A. P. Hill's, called the "Light Bri- 
gade," was placed under the command of the Valley chieftain. 

While up on the Chickahominy, the enemy were continually 
watching our movements from lines of balloons floating high 
up in the air, anchored in place by stout ropes. They created 
quite a mystic and superstitious feeling among some of the 
most credulous. One night while a member of Company C, 



122 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

Third South Carolina, was on picket among some tangled 
brushwood on the crest of the hill overlooking the river, he 
created quite a stir by seeing a strange light in his front, just 
beyond the stream. He called for the officer of the guard 
with all his might and main. When the officer made his 
appearance with a strong reinforcement, he demanded the 
reason of the untimely call. With fear and trembling he 
pointed to the brilliant light and said: 

"Don't you see 'em yonder? Thej' are putting up a 
balloon." 

"No," said the officer, "that's nothing but a star," which 
it really was. 

"Star, hell! I tell you it's a balloon. Are the Yankees 
smart enough to catch the stars?" It is enough to say the 
man carried the name of "balloon" during the rest of his ser- 
vice. 

A Federal battery was stationed immediately in our front, 
beyond the river, supported b}' infantry. Some one in author- 
ity suggested the idea of crossing over at night, break through 
the tangled morass on the other side, and capture the outfit by 
a sudden dash. The day before the Third South Carolina 
Regiment was formed in line and a call made for volunteers to 
undertake this hazardous enterprise. Only one hundred sol- 
diers were required, and that number was easily obtained, a 
great number being officers. At least twenty-five Lieutenants 
and Captains had volunteered. The detachment was put 
under Captain Foster as chief of the storming party, and the 
next day was occupied in drilling the men and putting them 
in shape for the undertaking. We were formed in line about 
dark near the time and place allotted, and all were in high glee 
in anticipation of the novel assault. But just as all were 
ready, orders came countermanding the first order. So the 
officers and men returned to their quarters. Some appeared 
well satisfied at the turn of events, especially those who had 
volunteered more for the honor attached than the good to be 
performed. Others, however, were disappointed. An old 
man from Laurens was indignant. He said "the Third Regi- 
ment would never get anything. That he had been naked 
and barefooted for two months, and when a chance was ofiered 
to clothe and shoe himself some d — n fool had to countermand 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 123 

the order." Ere manj' days bis ambition and lust for a fight 
were filled to overflowing. 

The various grades and rabks of the Generals kept us contin- 
ually moving from left to right, Generals being sometimes like 
a balky horse — will not pull out of his right place. We were 
stationed, as it appea.ed from the preparations made, perma- 
nently just in front of Richmond, or a little to the left of that 
place and the Williamsburg road, and began to fortify in 
earnest. About the middle of June Lee and his Ivieutenants 
were planning that great campaign whereby McClellan was to 
be overthrown and his army sent flying back to Washington. 
Generals plan the moves of men like players their pieces upon 
the chess board — a demonstration here, a feint there, now a 
great battle, then a reconnoissance — without ever thinking of 
or considering the lives lost, the orphans made, the disconsolate 
widows, and broken homes that these moves make. They 
talk of attacks, of pressing or crushing, of long marches, the 
streams or obstacles encountered, as if it were only the move- 
ment of some vast machinery, where the slipping of a cog or 
the breaking of a wheel will cause the machine to stop. The 
General views in his mind his successes, his marches, his 
strategy, without ever thinking of the dead men that will 
mark his pathway, the victorious fields made glorious by the 
groans of the dying, or the blackened corpses of the dead. 
The most Christian and humane soldier, however, plans his 
battles without ever a thought of the consequences to his 
faithful followers. 

On the 25th of June, orders came to be prepared to move 
at a moment's notice. This left no doubt in the minds of the 
men that stirring times were ahead. It had been whispered 
in camp that Jackson, the "ubiquitous," was on his way from 
the Valley to help Lee in his work of defenting McClellan. 

About 4 o'clock, on the 26th of June, as the men lay lolling 
around in camp, the ominous sound of a cannon was heard 
away to our left and rear. Soon another and another, their 
dull rumbling roar telling too plainly the battle was about to 
begin. Men hasten hither and thither, gathering their effects, 
expecting every moment to be ordered away. Soon the roar 
of musketry filled the air; the regular and continual baying of 
the cannon beat time to the steady roll of small arms. Jack- 



124 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

son had come down from the Valley, and was sweeping over 
the country away to our left like an avalanche. Fitz John 
Porter, one of the most accomplished soldiers in the Northern 
Army, was entrusted with tlje defense of the north side of the 
Chickahominy, and had erected formidable lines of breast- 
works along Beaver Dam Creek, already strong and unap- 
proachable from its natural formations. Jackson was to have 
encountered Potter on the extreme right flank of the Union 
Army at an early hour in the day, and as soon as A. P. Hill 
heard the sound of his guns, he was to cross over on our left 
at Meadow Bridge and sweep down the river on Jackson's 
right. But after waiting for the opening of Jackson's guns 
until after 3 o'clock, without any information that he was on 
the field. Hill crossed over the river and attacked Porter in his 
strong position at Mechanicsville. His task was to beat, back 
the enemy until the bridges below were uncovered, allowing 
re-enforcement to reach him. Jackson being unavoidably 
delayed, A. P. Hill assailed the whole right wing of the 
Federal Army, single-handed and alone, he only having five 
brigades, one being left some miles above on the river, but the 
brigade that was left was making rapid strides to join the 
fighting column. The strong earthworks, filled with fighting 
infantry and heavy field artillery in the forts, were too much 
for this light column, but undaunted by the weight of num- 
bers and strength of arms. Hill threw himself headlong upon 
the entrenched positions with rare courage and determination. 
There were South Carolinians with him who were now engag- 
ing in their maiden effort, and were winning imperishable 
fame by their deeds of valor. Gregg, with the old First South 
Carolina Regiment of Veterans, with four new organizations, 
the Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Orr's Rifles, went 
recklessly into the fray, and struck right and left with the 
courage and confidence of veteran troops. D. H. Hill, late in 
the evening, crossed over and placed himself on the right of 
those already engaged. The battle of Gaines' Mill was one 
continual slaughter on the side of the Confederates. The enemy 
being behind their protections, their loss was comparatively 
slight. The fight was kept up till 9 o'clock at night, with' 
little material advantage to either, with his own and only a 
portion of Jackson's troops up. But the desperate ouslaught 



HISTORY OP KERSHAw's BRIGADE. 125 

of the day convinced Porter that he could not hold his ground 
against another such assault, so he fell back to a much stronger 
position around Gaines' Mill. 

The next day, the 27th, will be remembered as long as his- 
tory records the events of our Civil War as one of the most 
bloody and determined of any of the great battles of the war 
for the men engaged. For desperate and reckless charges, for 
brave and steady resistance, it stands second to none. Jack- 
son, Ewell, Whiting, and D. H. Hill moved their divisions by 
daylight, aroused the enemy's right, intending to reach his 
rear, but at Cold Harbor they met the enemy in strong force. 
D. H. Hill attacked immediately, while A. P. Hill, who had 
been left in Porter's front, marched through the deserted camp, 
over his fortifications, and at Gaines' Mill, he met Porter 
posted on an eminence beyond the stream. This was only 
passable at few places, but Hill pushed his men over under a 
galling fire of musketry, while the enemy swept the plain and 
valley below with shell and grape from their batteries crown- 
ing the height beyond. A. P. Hill formed his lines beyond 
the stream, and advanced with a steady step and a bold front 
to the assault. Charge after charge was made, only to be met 
-and repulsed with a courage equal to that of the Confederates. 
Hill did not know then that he was fighting the bulk of the 
Fifth Corps, for he heard the constant roll of Jackson and D. 
H. Hill's guns away to his left; Jackson thinking the L,ight Di- 
vision under A. P. Hill would drive the enemy from his posi- 
tion, withdrew from Cold Harbor and sought to intercept the 
retreating foe in concealing his men for some hours on the line 
of retreat. But as the day wore on, and no diminution of the 
firing, at the point where A. P. Hill and his adversary had so 
long kept up, Jackson and D. H. Hill undertook to relieve 
him. Longstreet, too, near nightfall, who had been held in 
reserve all day, now broke from his place of inaction and 
rushed into the fray like an uncaged lion, and placed himself 
between A. P. Hill and the river.- For a few moments the earth 
trembled with the tread of struggling thousands, and the 
dreadful recoil of the heavy' batteries that lined the crest of the 
hill from right to left. The air was filled with the shrieking 
shells as they sizzed through the air or plowed their way 
through the ranks of the battling masses. Charges were met 



126 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

by charges, and the terrible "Rebel Yell" couldbe heard above 
tht din and roar of battle, as the Confederates swept over 
field or through the forest, either to capture a battery or to 
force a line of infantry back by the point of the bayonet. 
While the battle was yet trembling in the balance, the Con- 
federates making frantic efforts to pierce the enemy's lines, 
and they, with equal courage and persistency, determined on 
holding, Pickett and Anderson, of Longstreet's Division, and 
Hood and Whiting, of Jackson's, threw their strength and 
weight to the aid of Hill's depleted ranks. The enemy could 
stand no longer. The line is broken at one point, then another, 
and as the Confederates closed in on them from all sides, they 
break in disorder and leave the field. It looked at one time as 
if there would be a rout, but Porter in this emergency, put in 
practice one of Napolean's favorite tactics. He called up his 
cavalry, and threatened the weakened ranks of the Confeder- 
ates with a formidable front of his best troopers. These could 
not be of service in the weight of battle, but protected the 
broken columns and fleeing fugitives of Porter's Armj'. 

South Carolina will be ever proud of the men whom she had 
on that memorable field who consecrated the earth at Gaines' 
Mill with their blood, as well as of such leaders as Gregg, 
McGowan, McCrady, Marshall, Simpson, Haskell, and Hamil- 
ton, and hosts of others, who have ever shed lustre and glory 
equal to those of any of 'the thousands who have made the 
Palmetto State renowned the world over. 

McClellan was now in .sore straits. He could not weaken 
his lines on the south side of the Chickahoniiny to re-enforce 
Fitz John Porter, for fear Magruder, Holmes, and Huger, 
who were watching his every movements in their front, .should 
fall upon the line thus weakened and cut his army in twain. 
The next day McClellan commenced his retreat towards the 
James, having put his army over the Chickahomiuy the night 
after his defeat. His step was, no doubt, occasioned by the 
fact that lyce had sent Stuart with his cavalry and Swell's 
Division of Infantry down the north side of the Chickahomiuy 
and destroyed McClellan's line of communication between his 
army and the York River. However, the Confederate com- 
mander was equally as anxious to cut him off from the James 
as the York. He aimed to force him to battle between the 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADR. 127 

two rivers, and there, cut off from his fleet, he would be 
utterly destroyed. Lee only wished McClellan to remain in 
his present position until he could reach the James with a part 
of his own troops, now on the north side of the Chicka- 
hominy. 

Od the evening of the 27th, Magruder made a feint with 
Kershaw's and some other brigades of this division, near Alens, 
as the troops in his front showed a disposition to retire. A 
line of battle was formed, skirmishers thrown out, and an 
advance ordered. Our skirmishers had not penetrated far into 
the thicket before they were met by a volley from the enemy's 
line of battle The balls whistled over our heads and through 
the tops of the scrubby oaks, like a fall of hail. It put chills 
to creeping up our backs, the first time we had ever been under 
a musketry fire. For a moment we were thrown into a perfect 
fever of excitement and confusion. The opening in the rear 
looked temptingly inviting in comparison to the wooded 
grounds in front, from whence came the volley of bullets. 
Here the Third South Carolina lost her first soldier in battle, 
Dr. William Thompson, of the medical staff, who had followed 
too close on the heels of the fighting column in his anxiety to 
be near the battle. 

Early in the morning of the 28th, Lee put the columns of 
Longstreet and A. P. Hill in motion in the direction of Rich- 
mond around our rear. After their meeting with Holmes and 
Huger on our extreme right, they were to press down the 
James River and prevent McClellan from reaching it. Jack- 
.son, D. H. Hill, and .VTagruder were to follow the retreating 
army. We left our quarters early in the day, and soon found 
ourselves in the enemy's deserted camp. 

The country between the James and the Chickahominy is a 
very flat, swampy country, grown up in great forests, with 
now and then a cultivated field. The forests were overrun 
with a tangled mass of undergrowth. It was impossible for 
the army to keep up with the enemy while in line of battle. 
So sending our skirmishers ahead the army followed the roads 
in columns of fours. In each regiment the right or left com- 
pany in the beginning of battle is always deployed at such 
distance between each soldier as to cover the front of the regi- 
ment, while in line of battle the regiments being from ten to 



128 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

£fty yards apart. In this way we marched all day, sometimes 
in line of battle, at others by the roads in colunins. A great 
siege cannon had been erected on a platform car and pushed 
abreast of us along the railroad by an engine, and gave out 
thundering evidences of its presence b}' shelling the woods in 
our front. This was one of the most novel batteries of the 
war, a siege gun going in battle on board of cars. Near night 
at Savage Station Sumner and Franklin, of the Federal Army, 
who had been retreating all day, turned to give battle. Jack- 
son was pressing on our left, and it became necessary that 
Sumner should hold Magruder in check until the army and 
trains- of the Federals that were passing in his rear should cross 
White Oak Swamp to a place of safety. Our brigade was 
lying in a little declivity between two rises in the ground; that 
in our front, and more than one hundred yards distance, was 
thickly studded with briars, creepers, and underbrush with a 
sparse growth of heavy timber. We had passed numerous re- 
doubts, where the field batteries of the enemy would occupy 
and shell our ranks while the infantry continued the retreat. 
Our brigade skirmishers, under command of Major Rutherford, 
had been halted in this thicket while the line of battle was 
resting. But hardly had the skirmishers been ordered forward 
than the enemy's line of battle, upon which they had come, 
poured a galling fire into them, the bullets whistling over our 
heads causing a momentary panic among the skirmishers, a part 
retreating to the main line. A battery of six guns stationed in 
a fort in our front, opened upon us with shell and grape. ' Being 
in the valley, between the two hills, the bullets rattled over 
our heads doing no damage, but threw us into some excitement. 
The Third being near the center of the brigade. General 
Kershaw, in person, was immediately in our rear on foot. As 
soon as the bullets had passed over he called out in a loud, 
•clear tone the single word "charge." The troops bounded 
to the front with a yell, and made for the forest in front, while 
the batteries graped us as we rushed through the tangled 
morass. The topography of the country was such that our 
artillery could get no position to reply, but the heavy railroad 
siege gun made the welkin ring with its deafening reports. 
Semmes and Barksdale put in on our right; Cobb reriiaining as 
reserve, while the Division of D. R. Jones, which had been 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 129 

moving down on the left side of the railroad, soon became 
engaged. The enemy fought with great energy and vigor, 
while the Ccufederates pressed them hard. Much was at 
stake, and night was near. Sumner was fighting for the safety 
of the long trains of artillery and wagons seeking cover in his 
rear, as well as for the very life of the army itself. Soon after 
the first fire the settling smoke and dense shrubbery made the 
woods almost as dark as night in our front, but the long line of 
fire flashing from the enemy's guns revealed their position. 
The men became woefully tangled and disorganized, and in 
some places losing the organizations entirely, but under all 
these difficulties they steadily pressed to the front. When 
near the outer edge of the thicket, we could see the enemy 
lying down in some young growth of pines, with their batteries 
in the fort. The graping was simply dreadful, cutting and 
breaking through the bushes and striking against trees. - I 
had uot gone far into the thicket before I was struck by a 
minnie ball in the chest, which sent me reeling to the ground 
momentarily unconscious. Our men lost all semblance of a 
line, being scattered over a space of perhaps 50 yards, and 
those in front were in as much danger from friend as from foe. 
While I lay in a semi-unconscious state, I received another 
bullet in my thigh which I had every reason to believe came 
from some one in the rear. But I roused myself, and stagger- 
ing to my feet made my way as well as I could out of the 
thicket. When I reached the place from whence we had first 
made the charge, our drummer was beating the assembly 
or long roll with all his might, and men collecting around Gen- 
eral Kershaw and Colonel Nance. Here I first learned of the 
repulse. The balls were still flying overhead, but some of our 
batteries had got in position and were giving the enemy a rak- 
ing fire. Nor was the railroad battery idle, for I could see the 
great black, grim monster pufiing out heaps of gray smoke, 
then the red flash, then the report, sending the engine and car 
back along the track with a fearful recoil. The lines were speed- 
ily reformed and again pUt in motion. Jones, too, was forced by 
overwhelming numbers to give back, but Jackson coming up gave 
him renewedj^ponfidence, and a final advance was made along the 
whole line, 'fi'he battle was kept up with varying success until 
after night, v%en Sumner withdrew over White Oak Swamp. 



130 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

On the morning of the 30th, McClellan, like a quarry driven 
to bay, drew up his forces on the south side, of White Oak 
Swamp and awaited the next shock of battle. Behind him 
were his trains of heavy siege guns, his army wagons, pon- 
toons, and, ordnance trains, all in bog and slush, seeking safety 
under the sheltering wings of his gunboats and ironclads on 
the James. Lee met him at every point with bristling bayo- 
nets of his victorious troops. At three o'clock A. M. Long- 
street and- A. P. Hill moved down the Darby town road, leaving 
Jackson, D. , H. Hill, arid Magruder to press McClellan's 
retreating forces in the rear. Huger, with the two former, 
was to come down the James River and attack in the flank. 
Magruder, with his corps, was sent early in the day on a wild 
goose chase to support Longstreet's right, but by being led by 
guides who did not understand the roads or plan of battle, 
Magruder took the wrong road and did not get up in time to 
join in the battle of Frazier's Farm. Jackson for some cause 
did not press the rear, as anticipated, neither did Huger come 
in time, leaving the brunt of the battle on the shoulders of 
A. P. Hill and Longstreet. The battle was but a repetition 
of that of Gaines' Mill, the troops of Hill and Longstreet 
gaining imperishable glory by their stubborn and resistless 
attacks, lasting till nine o'clock at night, when the enemy 
finally withdrew. 

Two incidents of these battles are worthy of record, showing 
the different dispositions of the people of the North and South. 
At night the division commanded by General McCtill, who 
had been fighting Longstreet so desperately all day, was cap- 
tured and brought to Longstreet's headquarters. General 
McCall had been Captain of a company in the United States 
Army, in which Longstreet had been a Lieutenant. When 
General Longstreet saw his old comrade brought to him as a 
prisoner of war, he sought to lighten the weight of his feelings 
as much as circumstances would admit. He dismounted, 
pulled his gloves, and offered his hand in true knightly fashion 
to his fallen foe. But his Federal antagonist, becoming in- 
censed, drew himself up haughtily and waved Longstreet 
away, saying, "Excuse me, sir, I can stand defeat but not 
insult." Insult indeed! to shake the hand of one of the most 
illustrious chieftains of the century, one who had tendered the 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 131 

hand in friendly recognition of past associations, thus to 
smooth and soften the' humiliation of his foe's present condi- 
tion! Insult — was it? 

When Bob Toombs, at the head of his brigade, was sweep- 
ing through the tangled underbrush at Savage Station , under 
a terrific hail of bullets from the retreating enemy, he was 
hailed by a fallen enemy, who had braced himself against a 
tree: 

"Hello, Bob Toombs! Hello, Bob Toombs! Don't you 
know your old friend Webster?" 

Dismounting, Toombs went to the son of his old friend but 
political adversary, Daniel Webster, one of the great trio at 
Washington of twenty years before, and found his life slowly 
ebbing away. Toombs rendered him all the assistance in his 
power — placed him in comfortable position that he might die 
at ease — and hastened on to rejoin his command, after promis- 
ing to perform some last sad rites after his death. When the 
battle was ended for the day, the great fiery Secessionist has- 
tened to return to the wounded enemy. But too late; his spirit 
had flown, aud nothing was now left to Toombs but to fulfill 
the promises he made to his dying foe. He had his body car- 
ried through the lines that night under a flag of truce and 
delivered with the messages left to his friends. He had known 
young Webster at Washington when his illustrious father was 
at the zenith of his power and fame. The son and the great 
Southern States' Rights champion had become fast friends as 
the latter was just entering on his glorious career. 

Our brigade lost heavily in the battle of Savage Station both 
in officers and men. Lieutenant Colonel Garlington, of the 
Third, was killed, and so was Captain Langford and several 
Lieutenants. Colonel Bland, of the Seventh, was wounded 
and disabled for a long time. The casualties in the battle of 
Savage Station caused changes in officers in almost every com- 
pany in the brigade. 

When I came to consciousness after being wounded the first ^ 
thing that met my ears was the roar of musketry and the 
boom of cannon, with the continual swish, swash of the grape 
and canister striking the trees and ground. I placed my hand 
in my bosom, where I felt a dull, deadening sensation. There 
1 found the warm blood, that filled my inner garments and 



132 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

now trickled down my side as I endeavored to stand upright. 
I had been shot through the left lung, and as I felt the great 
gaping wound in my chest, the blood gushing and spluttering 
out at every breath, I began to realize my situation. I tried 
to get off the field the best I could, the bullet in my leg not 
troubling me much, and as yet, I felt strong enough to walk. 
My brother, who was a surgeon, and served three years in the 
hospitals in Richmond, but now in the ranks, came to my aid 
and led me to the rear. We stopped near the railroad battery, 
which was belching away, the report of the great gun bring- 
ing upon us the concentrated fire of the enemy. As I sat upon 
the fallen trunk of a tree my brother made a hasty examina- 
tion of my wound. All this while I was fully convinced I was 
near death's door. He pronounced my wound at first as fatalj 
a bit of very unpleajsant information, but after probing my 
wound with his finger he gave me the flattering assurance that 
unless I bled to death quite soon my chances might be good! 
Gentle reader, were you ever, as you thought, at death's door, 
when the grim monster was facing you, when life looked 
indeed a very brief span? If so, you can understand my feel- 
ings — I was scared! As Goldsmith once said, "When you 
think you are about to die, this world looks might)' tempting 
and pretty." Everything in my front took on the hue of 
dark green, a pleasant sensation came ov'er m;, and I had the 
strangest feeling ever experienced in my life. I thought sure 
1 was dying then and there and fell from the log in a death- 
like swoon. But I soon revived, having only fainted from loss 
of blood, and my brother insisted on my going back up the 
railroad to a farmhouse we had passed, and where our sur- 
geons had established a hospital. The long stretch of wood 
we had to travel was lined with the wounded, each wounded 
soldier with two or three friends helping him off the field. 
We had no "litter bearers" or regular detail to care for the 
wounded at this time, and the friends who untertook this ser- 
vice voluntarily oftentimes depleted the ranks more than the 
lo.ss iu battle. Hundreds in this way absented themselves for 
a few days taking care of the wounded. But all this was 
changed soon afterwards. Regular details were made from 
each regiment, consisting of a non-commissioned officer and 
five privates, who.se duty it was to follow close in rear of the 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 133 

line of battle with their "stretchers" and take off the dis- 
abled. 

I will never forget the scene that met my e.\es as I neared 
the house where the wounded had been gathered. There the 
torn and mangled lay, shot in every conceivable part of the 
body or limbs — some with wounds in the head, arms torn ofE 
at the shoulder or elbow, legs broken, fingers, toes, or foot 
shot away; some hobbling along on inverted muskets or 
crutches, but the great ma.ss were stretched at full length 
upon the ground, uttering low, deep, and piteous moans, that 
told of the great sufferings, or a life pas.sing away. The main 
hall of the deserted farm house, as well as the rooms, were 
filled to overflowing with those most seriously wounded. The 
stifling stench of blood was sickening in the extreme. The 
front and back yards, the fence corners, and even the out- 
buildings were filled with the dead and dying. Surgeons 
and their assistants were hurrying to and fro, relieving the 
distress as far as their limited means would allow, making 
such hasty examinations as time permitted. Here they would 
stop to probe a wound, there to set a broken limb, bind a 
wound, stop the flow of blood, or tie an artery. 

But amotig all this deluge of blood, mangled bodies, and 
the groans of the wounded and dying, our ears were contin- 
ually greeted by the awful, everlasting rattle of the musketry, 
the roar of the field batteries, and the booming, shaking, and 
trembling of the siege guns from friend and foe. 

The peculiar odor of human blood, mingling with the set- 
thng smoke of the near by battlefield , became so oppressive I 
could not remain in the house. My brother helped me into 
the yard, but in passing out I fell, fainting for the third time; 
my loss of blood had been so great I could stand only with 
difficulty. I thought the end was near now for a certainty, and 
was frightened accordingly. But still I nerved myself with all 
the will power I possessed, and was placed on an oil cloth under 
the spreading branches of an elm. From the front a continual 
stream of wounded kept coming in till late at night. Some 
were carried on shoulders of friends, others leaning their 
weight upon them and- dragging their bodies along, while the 
slightly wounded were left to care for themselves. Oh, the 
horrors of the battlefield ! So cruel, so sickening, so heart- 



134 HISTORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 

rending to those even of the stoutest nerves! — once seen, is 
indelibly impressed iipori your mind forever. 

The firing ceased about 9 o'clock, and all became still as 
death, save the groaning of the wounded soldiers in the hos- 
pital, or the calls and cries of those left upon the battlefield. 
Oh, such a night, the night after the battle! The very remem- 
brance of it is a vivid picture of Dante's "Inferno." To lie 
during the long and anxious watches of the night, surrounded 
by such scenes of suffering and woe, to continually hear the 
groans of the wounded, the whispered consultations of the 
surgeons over the case of some poor boy who was soon to be 
robbed of a leg or arm, the air filled with stifled groans, or the 
wild shout of some poor soldier, who, now delirious with pain, 
his voice sounding like the wail of a lost soul — all this, and 
more — and thinking your soul, too, is about to shake ofi" its 
mortal coil and take its flight with the thousands that have just 
gone, are going, and the many more to follow before the rising 
of the next sun — all this is too much for a feeble pen like mine 
to portray. 

The troops lay on the battlefield all night under arms. 
Here and there a soldier, singly or perhaps in twos, were 
scouring through the dense thicket or isolated places, seeking 
lost friends and comrades, whose names were unanswered to at 
the roll call, and who were not among the wounded and dead 
at the hospital. The pale moon looked down in sombre 
silence upon the ghastly upturned faces of the dead that lay 
strewn along the battle line. The next day was a true version 
of the lines — 

"Under the sod, under the clay. 
Here lies the blue, there the grey." 

for the blue and grey fell in great wind rows that day, and 
were buried .side by side. 

The Confederates being repulsed in the first charge, returned 
to the attack, broke the Federal lines in pieces, and by 9 
o'clock they had fled the field, leaving all the fruits of victory 
in the hands of the Confederates. 

No rest for the beaten enemy, no sleep for the hunted prey. 
McClellan was moving heaven and earth during the whole 
night to place "White Oak Swamp" (a tangled, swampy 
wilderness, of a half mile in width and six or eight miles in 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 135 

length,) between his army and L,ee's. By morning he had 
the greater portion of his army and supply trains over, but 
had left several divisions on the north side of the swamp to 
guard the crossings. Jackson and Magruder began pressing 
him early on the 30th in his rear, while Longstreet, A. P. 
Hill, and others were marching with might and tnain to inter- 
cept him on the other side. After sume desultory firing, 
Jackson found McClellan's rear guard too strong to assail, by 
direct assault, so his divisions, with Magruder's,, were ordered 
around to join forces with Hill and Longstreet. The swamp 
was impassable, except at the few crossings, and they were 
strongl}- guarded, so they were considered not practicable of 
direct assault. But in the long winding roads that intervened 
between the two wings, Magruder and Jackson on the north 
and Longstreet and A. P. Hill on the south, Magruder was 
misled by taking the wrong road (the whole Peninsula being 
a veritable wilderness), and marched away from the field 
instead of towards it, and did not reach lyongstreet during the 
day. But at 3 o'clock Longstreet, not hearing either Jackson's 
or Magruder's guns, as per agreement, and restless of the 
delays of the other portions of the army, feeling the danger of 
longer inactivity, boldly marched in and attacked the enemy 
in his front. 

Here was Frazier's Farm, and here was fought as stubbornly 
contested battle, considering the numbers engaged, as any 
during the campaign. Near nightfall, after Longstreet had 
nearly exhausted the strength of his troops by hard fighting, 
A. P. Hill, ever watchful and on the alert, threw the weight 
of his columns on the depleted ranks of the enemy, and forced 
them Irom the field. The soldiers who had done such deeds 
of daring as to win everlasiing renown at Gaines' Mill and 
Cold Harbor, did not fail their fearless commander at .Frazier's 
Farm. When the signal for battle was given, they leaped to 
the front, like dogs unleached, and sprang upon their old 
enemies. Porter, McCall, Heintzelman, Hooker, and Kearny. 
Here again the steady fire and discipline of the Federals had to 
yield to the impetuosity and valor of Southern troops. Hill 
and Longstreet swept the field, capturing several hundred 
prisoners, a whole battery of artillery, horses, and men. 

McClellan brought up his beaten army on Malvern Hill, to 



136 HISTORY OF KERSHAW-'S BRIGADE. 

make one last desperate effort to save his army from destruc- 
tion or annihilation. This is a place of great natural defenses. 
Situated one mile from the James River, it rises suddenly on 
all sides from the surrounding marshy lowlands to several 
hundred feet in height, and environed on three sides by 
branches and and by Turkey Creek. On the northern emi- 
nence McClellan planted eighty pieces of heavy ordnance, 
and en the eastern, field batteries in great numbers. I^ee 
placed his troops in mass on the extreme east of the position 
occupied by the enemy, intending to park the greater number 
of his heaviest batteries against the northern front of the emi- 
nence, where McClellan had his artillery pointing to the east, 
and where the Confederates massed to sweep the field as Lee 
advanced his infantry,. The object of Lee was to concentrate 
all his artillery on the flank of McClellan's artillery, then by 
an enfilade fire from his own, he could destroy that of his 
enemy, and advance his infantry through the broad sweep of 
lowlands, separating the forces, without subjecting them to 
the severe cannonading. He gave orders that as soon as the 
enemy's batteries were demolished or silenced, Armistead's 
Virginia Brigade, occupying the most advanced aud^ favorable 
position for observation, was to advance to the assault, with a 
yell and a hurrah, as a signal for the advance of all the attack- 
ing columns. But the condition of the ground was such that 
the officers who were to put the cannon in position got only 
a few heavy pieces in play, and these were soon knocked in 
pieces by the numbers of the enemy's siege guns and rifled, 
field pieces. Some of the brigade commanders, thinking the 
signal for combat had been given, rushed at the hill in front 
with ear piercing yells without further orders. They were 
mown down like grain before the sickle by the fierce artillery 
fire and the enemy's infantry on the crest of the hill. Ker- 
shaw following the lead of the brigade on his left, gave orders, 
"Forward, charge!" Down the incline, across the wide ex- 
panse, they rushed with a yell, their bayonets bristling and 
glittering in the sunlight, while the shells rained - like hail 
stones through their ranks from the cannon crested hill in 
front. The gunboats and ironclad monitors in the James 
opened a fearful fusilade from their monster guns and huge 
mortars, the great three-hundred-pound shells from the latter 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 137 

rising high in the air, then curling in a beautiful how to fall 
among the troops, with a crash and explosion that shook the 
ground like the trembling of the earth around a volcano. The 
whole face of the blufE front was veiled by the white smoke of 
the one hundred belching cannon, the flashing of the guns 
forming a perfect rain of fire around the sides of the hill. It 
was too far to fire and too dense and tangled to charge with 
any degree of progress or order, so, in broken and discon- 
nected ranks, Kershaw had to advance and endure this storm 
of shot and shell, that by the time he reached the line of the 
enemy's infantry, his ranks were too much broken to offer a 
very formidable front. From the enemy's fortified position 
their deadly fire caused our already thinned ranks to melt like 
snow before the sun's warm rays. The result was a complete 
repulse along the whole line. But McClellan was only too 
glad to be allowed a breathing spell from his seven days of 
continual defeat, and availed himself of the opportunity of this 
respite to pull off his army under the protecting wings of his 
ironclad fleet. 

The Confederates had won a glorious victory during the 
first six days. The enemy had been driven from the Chicka- 
hominy to the James, his army defeated and demoralized 
beyond months of recuperation. L,ee and his followers should 
be satisfied. But had none of his orders miscarried, and all of 
his Lieutenants fulfilled what he had expected of them, yet 
greater results might have been accomplished — not too much 
to say McClellan's Army would have been entirely destroyed 
or captured, for had he been kept away from the natural de- 
fenses of Malvern Hill and forced to fight in the open field, his 
destruction would have followed beyond the cavil of a doubt. 
The Southern soldiers were as eager and as fresh on the last 
day as on the first, but a land army has a superstitious dread 
of one sheltered by gunboats and ironclads. 

All the troops engaged in the Seven Days' Battle did 
extremely well, and won imperishable fame by their deeds of 
valor and prowess. Their commanders in the field were 
matchless, and showed military talents of high order, the cour- 
age of their troops invincible, and to particularize would be 
unjust. But truth will say, in after years, when impartial 
hands will record the events, and give blame where blame 



138 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

belongs, and justice where justice is due, that in this great 
Seven Days' Conflict, where so much heroism was displayed 
on both sides, individually and collectively, that to A. P. Hill 
and the brave men under him belongs the honor of first scotch- 
ing at Gaines' Mill the great serpent that was siarrounding the 
Capital with bristling ba)'onets, and were in at the breaking of 
its back at Frazier's Farm. 

It was due to the daring and intrepidity of Hill's Light 
Division at Gaines' Mill, more than to any other, that made it 
possible for the stirring events and unprecedented results that 
followed. 

Among the greater Generals, I,ee was simply matchless and 
superb; Jackson, a mystic meteor or firey comet; Longstreet 
and the two Hills, the "Wild Huns" of the South, masterful 
in tactics, cyclones in battle. Huger, Magruder, and Holmes 
were rather slow, but the courage and endurance of their 
troops made up for the shortcomings of their commanders. 

Among the lesser lights will stand Gregg, Jenkins, and 
Kershaw, of South Carolina, as foremost among the galaxy of 
immortal heroes who gave the battles around Richmond their 
place as "unparalleled in history." 



CHAPTER X 

The March to Maryland — Second Manassas. 
Capture of Harper's Ferry — Sharpsburg. 

The enemy lay quietly in his camps at Harrison's Landing 
for a few days, but to cover his meditated removal down the 
James, he advanced a large part of his army as far as Malvern 
Hill on the day of the 5th of August as if to press Lee back. 
Kershaw, with the rest of McLaw's Division, together with 
Jones and Longstreet, were sent to meet them. The troops 
were all placed in position by nightfall, bivouaced for the 
night on the field, and slept on their arms to guard against 
any night attack. The soldiers thought of tomorrow— that it 
perhaps might be yet more sanguinary than any of the others. 
Our ranks, already badly worn by the desperate conflicts at 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 139 

Savage Station, Frazier's Farm, Cold Harbor, etc., still showed 
a bold front for the coming day. Early in the morning the 
troops were put in motion, skirmishers thrown out, and all 
preparations for battle made, but to the surprise and relief of 
all, the "bird had fiown," and instead of battle lines and brist- 
ling steel fronts we found nothing but deserted camps and evi- 
dences of a hasty flight. In a few days we were removed fur- 
ther back towards Richmond and sought camp on higher 
ground, to better guard against'the ravages of disease and to 
be further removed from the enemy. The troops now had 
the pleasure of a month's rest, our only duties being guard and 
advance picket every ten or twelve days. 

While McClellan had been pushing his army up on the 
Peninsula the Federals were actively engaged in organizing a 
second army in the vicinity of Manassas and Fredericksburg 
under General John Pope, to operate against Richmond by the 
flank. General Pope from his infamous orders greatly incensed 
the people of the South, and from his vain boasting gained for 
himself the sobriquet of "Pope the Braggart." He ordered 
every citizen within his lines or living near them to either take 
the oath of allegiance to the United States or to be driven out 
of the country as an enemy of the Union. No one was to 
have any communication with his friends within the Confed- 
erate lines, either by letter or otherwise, on the penalty of 
being shot as a spy and his property confiscated. Hundreds of 
homes were broken up by the order. Meu and women were 
driven South, or placed in Federal prisons, there to linger for 
years, perhaps, with their homes abandoned to the malicious 
desecration of a merciless enemy, all for no other charges than 
their refusal to be a traitor to their principles and an enemy to 
their country. Pope boasted of "seeing nothing of the enemy 
but his back," and that "he had no headquarters but in the 
saddle." He was continually sending dispatches to his chief, 
General Halleck, who had been appointed Commander-in- 
Chief of all the Federal forces in the field, of the "victories 
gained overl^ee," his "bloody repulses of Jackson," and "suc- 
cessful advances," and "the Confederates on the run," etc., 
etc. , while the very opposites were the facts. On one occasion 
he telegraphed to Washington that he had defeated Lee, that 
the Confederate leader was in full retreat to Richmond, when. 



140 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

as a fact, before the dispatch bad reached its destination his 
own army was overwhelmed, and with Pope at its head, flying 
the field in every direction, seeking safety under the guns at 
Washington. It is little wonder he bore the name he had so 
deservedly won by his manifestoes, "Pope the Braggart." 

About the middle of July Jackson, with Ewell and A. P. 
Hill, was sent up to the Rapidan to look after Pope and his 
wonderful army, which had begun to be re-enforced by troops 
from the James. On the 9th of August Jackson came up with 
a part of Pope's army at Cedar Mountain, and a fierce battle 
was fought, very favorable to the Confederate side. A month 
after Jackson had left Richmond, Longstreet, with three divis- 
ions, headed by Lee in person, was ordered to re-enforce Jack- 
son, and began the offensive. While the Federal commander 
was lying securely in his camp, between the Rappahannock 
and the Rapidan, unconscious of the near approach of the Con- 
federate Army, his scouts intercepted an order written by Gen- 
eral lyCe to his cavalry leader, giving details of his intended 
advance and attack. Pope, being thus apprised, hurriedly re- 
crossed the Rappahannock and concentrated his forces behind 
that stream. Lee followed his movements closely, and while 
watching in front, with a portion of his army, he started Jack- 
sou on his famous march around the enemy's rear. Pulling 
up at night, Jackson marched to the left, crossed the Rappa- 
hannock on the 25th, and by the night of the 26th he had 
reached the railroad immediately in Pope's rear, capturing 
trains of cars, prisoners, etc. On learning that large quanti- 
ties of provisions and munitions of war were stored at Manassas 
Junction, feebly guarded. General Trimble, with a small 
number of brave Alabamians, Georgians, and North Carolin- 
ians, not five hundred all told, volunteered to march still 
further to that point, a distance of some miles, notwithstanding 
they had marched with Jackson thirty miles during the day, 
and capture the place. This was done in good time, defeating 
a brigade doing guard duty, and capturing a large number of 
prisoners, one entire battery of artillery, and untold quantities 
of provisions. Jackson now appeared to retreat, but only 
withdrew in order to give Longstreet time to come up, which 
he was doing hard upon Jackson's track, but more than twenty- 
four hours behind. This was one of the most hazardous feats 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW' S BRIGADE. 141 

accomplished by Lee during the war, with the possible excep- 
tion of Chancellorsville, "dividing his army in the face of 
superior numbers," a movement denounced by all successful 
Generals and scientists of war. But Lee attempted this on 
more occasions than one, and always successfully. 

Jackson concealed his forces among the hills of Bull Run, 
giving time for Longstreet, who was fighting his way through 
Thoroughfare Gap at the very point of the bayonet, to come 
up, while Pope was racing around the plains of Manassas, try- 
ing to intercept Jackson's imaginary retreat. It seems as if 
the one single idea impressed itself upon the Federal com- 
mander, and that was that Jackson was trying to get away 
from him. But before many days Pope found the wily 
"Stonewall," and when in his embrace endeavoring to hold 
him. Pope found himself in the predicament of the man who 
had essayed to wrestle with a bear. When the man had 
downed his antagonist he had to call lustily for friends. So 
Pope had to call for help to turn Jackson loose — to pull him 
loose. On the 29th the forces of Pope, the "Braggart," came 
upon those of Jackson hidden behind a railroad enbankment 
on the plains of Manas.sas, and a stubborn battle ensued, 
which lasted until late at night. Longstreet came upon the 
field, but took no further part in the battle than a heavy dem- 
onstration on the right to relieve the pressure from Jackson. 
Longstreet's left, however, turned the tide of battle. Lee 
turned some prisoners loose at night that had been captured 
during the day, leaving the impression on their minds that he 
was beating a hasty retreat. Reporting to their chief that 
night, the prisoners confirmed the opinion that Pope was fooled 
in believing all day, that "Lee was in full retreat," trying to 
avoid a battle. Pope sent flaming messages to that effect to 
the authorities at Washington, and so anxious was he lest his 
prey should escape, he gave orders for his troops to be in 
motion early in the morning. On the 30th was fought the 
decisive battle of Second Manassas, and the plains above Bull 
Run were again the scence of a glorious Confederate victory, by 
Lee almost annihilating the army of John Pope, "the Braggart." 
Had it not been for the steady discipline, extraordinary cool- 
ne.ss, and soldierly behavior of Sykes and his regulars at Stone 
Bridge, the rout of the Federal Army at Second Manassas 



142 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

would have been but little less complete than on the fatal daj^ 
just a little more than one year before. 

At Ox Hill, ist September, Pope had to adopt the tactics of 
McClellan at Malvern Hill, face about and fight for the safety 
of hi.s great ordnance and supply trains, and to allow his army 
a safe passage over the Potomac. At Ox Hill, the enemy 
under Stephens and Kearny, displayed extraordinary tenacity 
and courage, these two division commanders throwing their 
columns headlong upon those of Jackson without a thought of 
the danger and risks such rash acts incurred. Both were killed 
in the battle. Phil. Kearney had gained &■ national reputation 
for his enterprising warfare in Calafornia and Mexico during 
the troublesome times of the Mexican War, and it was with un- 
feigned sorrow and regret the two armies heard of the sad death 
of this veteran hero. 

During the time that all the.se stirring events were taking 
place and just before Magruder, with McLaw's and Walker's 
divisions, was either quietly lying in front of Richmond watch- 
ing the array of McClellan dwindle away, leaving by transports 
down the James and up the Potomac, or was marching at a 
killing gait to overtake their comrades under Lee to share 
with, them their trials, their battles and their victories in 
Maryland. Lee could not leave the Capital with all his force 
so long as there vas a semblance of an army threatening it. 

As soon as it was discovered that Manassas was to be the 
real battle ground of the campaign, and Washington instead of 
Richmond the objective point, Lee lost no time in concentrat- 
ing his army north of the Rappahannock. About the middle 
of August McLaws, with Kershaw's, Sumner's, Cobb's, and 
Bark.sdale's Brigades, with two brigades under Walker and the 
Hampton Legion Cavalry, turned their footsteps Northward, 
and bent all their energies to reach the scene of action before 
the culminating events above mentioned. 

At Orange C. PL, on the 26th, we hastened our march, as 
news began to reach us of Jackson's extraordinary movements 
and the excitement in the Federal Army, occasioned by their 
ludicrous hunt for the "lost Confederate." Jackson's name 
had reached its meridian in the minds of the troops, and ihey 
were ever expecting to hear of some new achievement or bril- 
liant victory by this strange, silent, and mysterious man. The 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 143 

very mystery of his movements, his unexplainable absence and 
sudden reappearance at unexpected points, his audacity in the 
face of the enemy, his seeming recklessness, gave unbounded 
confidence to the army. The men began to feel safe at the 
very idea of his disappearance and absence. While the thunder 
of his guns and those of Longstreet's were sounding along the 
valleys of Bull Run, and reverberating down to the Potomac or 
up to Washington, McLaws with his South Carolinians, Geor- 
gians, and Mlssissippians was swinging along with an elastic 
step between Orange C. H. and Mana.ssas. 

McClellan himself had already reached Alexandria with the 
last of his troops, but by the acts of the ubiquitous Jackson 
his lines of communication were cut and the Federal commander 
had to grope his way in the dark for fear of running foul of his 
erratic enemy. 

When we began nearing Manassas, we learned of the awful 
effect of the two preceding days' battle by meeting the 
wounded. They came .singly and in groups, men marching 
with arms in slings, heads bandaged, or hopping along on 
improvised crutches, while the wagons and ambulances were 
laden with the severely wounded. In that barren country no 
hospital could be established, for it was as destitute of sus- 
tenance as the arid plains of the Arabian Desert when the 
great Napoleon undertook to cross it with his beaten army. 
All, with the exception of water; we had plenty of that. 
Passing over a part of the battlefield about the 5th of Septem- 
ber, the harrowing sights that were met with were in places 
too sickening to admit of description. The enemy's dead, in 
many places, had been left unburied, it being a veritable in- 
stance of "leaving the dead to bury the dead." Horses in a 
rapid state of decomposition literally covered the field. The 
air was so impregnated with the foul stench arising from the 
plains where the battle had raged fiercest, that the troops were 
forced to close their notrils while passing. Here and there 
lay a dead enemy overlooked in the night of the general 
burial, stripped of his outer clothing, his blackened features 
and glassy eyes staring upturned to the hot September sun, 
while our soldiers hurried past, leaving them unburied and 
unnoticed. Some lay in the beaten track of our wagon trains, 
and had been run over ruthlessly by the teamsters, they not 



144 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

having the time, if the- inclination, to remove them. The hot 
sun made decomposition rapid, and the dead that had fallen on 
the steep incline their heads had left the body and rolled 
several paces away. All the dead had become as black as 
Africans, the hot rays of the sun changing the features quite 
prematurely. In the opening where the Washington Battalion 
of Artillery from New Orleans had played such havoc on the 
30th with the enemy's retreating columns, it resembled some 
great railroad wreck — cannon and broken caissons piled in 
great heaps; horses lying swollen and stiff, some harnessed, 
others not; broken rammers, smashed wheels, dismounted 
pieces told of the desperate struggle that had taken place. 
One of the strange features of a battlefied is the absence of the 
carrion crow or buzzard — it matters little as to the uumber of 
dead soldiers or horses, no vultures ever venture near^t 
being a fact that a buzzard was never seen in that part of 
Virginia during the war. 

All was still, save the rumble of the wagon trains and the 
steady tread of the soldiers. Across EuU Run and out towards 
Washington Mcl,aws followed with hasty step the track of 
I,ongstreet and Jackson. 

On the 5th or 6th we rejoined at last, after a two months' 
separation from the other portion of the army. Lee was now 
preparing to invade Maryland and other States North, as the 
course of events dictated. Pope's Armj- had joined that of 
McClellan, and the authorities at Washington had to call on the 
latter to "save their Capital." When the troops began the 
crossing of the now classic Potomac, a name on every tongue 
since the commencement of hostilities, their enthusiasm knew 
no bounds. Bands played "Maryland, My Mrryland," men 
sang and cheered, hats filled the air, flags waved, and shouts 
from fifty thousand throats reverberated up and down the 
banks of the river, to be echoed back from the mountains and 
•die away among the hills and highlands of Maryland. Men 
stopped midway in the stream and sang loudly the cheering 
strains of Randall's, "Maryland, My Maryland." We were 
overjoyed at rejoining the army, and the troops of Jackson, 
lyongstreet, and the two Hills were proud to feel the elbow 
touch of such chivalrous spirits a? McL,aws, Kershaw, Hamp- 
ton, and others in the conflicts that were soon to take place. 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 145 

Never before had an occurrence so excited and enlivened the 
spirits of the troops as the crossing of the Potomac into the 
land of our sister, Maryland. It is said the Crusaders, after 
months of toil, marching, and fighting, on their way throiagh 
the plains of Asia Minor, wept when they saw the towering 
spires of Jerusalem, the Holy City, in the distance; and if ever 
Lee's troops could have wept for joy, it was at the crossing of 
the Potomac. But we paid dearly for this pleasure in the 
death of so many thousands of brave men and the loss of so 
many valuable officers. General Winder fell at Cedar Moun- 
tain, and Jackson's right hand, the brave Ewell, lost his leg at 
Manassas. 

The army went into camp around Frederick City, Md. 
PVom here, on the 8th, Lee issued his celebrated address to 
the people of Maryland, and to those of the North generally, 
telling them of his entry into their country, its cause and pur- 
pose; that it was not as a conqueror, or an enemy, but to de- 
mand and enforce a peace between the two countries. He 
clothed his language in the most conservative and entreating 
terms, professing friendship for those who would assist him, 
and protection to life and the property of all. He enjoined the 
people, without regard to past differences, to flock to his stand- 
ard and aid in the defeat of the party and people who were 
now drenching the country in blood and putting in mourning 
the people of two nations. The young men he asked to join 
hi.s ranks as soldiers of a just and honorable cause. Of the 
old he asked their sympathies and prayers. To the President 
of the Confederate States he also wrote a letter, proposing to 
him that he should head his armies, and, as the chieftain of 
the nation, propose a peace to the authorities at Washington 
from the very threshold of their Capital. But both failed of 
the desired effect. The people of the South had been led to 
believe that Maryland was anxious to cast her destinies with 
those of her sister States, that all her sympathies were with 
the people of the South, and that her young men were anx- 
ious and only awaiting the opportunity to join the ranks as 
soldiers under Lee. But these ideas and promises were all 
delusions, for the people we saw along the route remained pas- 
sive .spectators and disinterested witnesses to tbe, great evolu- 
tions now taking place. What the people felt on the ' 'eastern 
10 



146 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADK. 

shore" is not known; but the acts of those between the 
Potomac and Pennsylvania above Washington indicated but 
little sympathy with the Southern cause; and what enlistments 
were made lacked the proportions needed to swell Lee's army 
to its desired limits. Lee promised protection and he gave it. 
The soldiers to a man seemed to feel the importance of obeying 
the orders to respect and protect the person and property of 
those with whom we came in contact. It was said of this, 

as well as other campaigns in the North, that "it was con- 
ducted with kid gloves on." 

Whiie lying at Frederick City, Lee conceived the bold and 
perilous project of again dividing his army in the face of his 
enemy, and that enemy McClellan. Swinging back with a 
part of his army, he captured the stronghold of Harper's 
Ferry, with its 11,000 defenders, while with the other he held 
McClellan at bay in front. The undertaking was dangerous 
in the extreme, and with a leader less bold and Lieutenants 
less prompt and skillful, its final consummation would have 
been more than problematical. But Lee was the one to pro- 
pose his subalterns to act. Harper's Ferry, on the Virginia 
side of the Potomac, where that river is intersected by the 
Shenandoah, both cutting their way through the cliffs and 
crags of the Blue Ridge, was the seat of the United States 
Arsenal, and had immense stores of arms and ammunition, as 
well as army supplies of every description. The Baltimore 
and Ohio Railroad and the canal cross the mountains here on 
the Maryland side, both hugging the piecipitous side of the 
mountain and at the very edge of the water. The approaches 
to the place were few, and they so defended that capture seemed 
impossible, unless the heights surrounding could be obtained, 
find this appeared impossible from a Tnilitary point of view. 
On the south side are the Loudon and Bolivar Heights. On 
the other side the mountains divide into two distinct ranges, 
and gradually bear away from each other until they reach a 
distance of three miles from crest to crest. Between the two 
mountains is the beautiful and picturesque Pleasant Valley. 
The eastern ridge, called South Mountain, commencing from 
the rugged cliff at Rivertoria, a little hamlet nestled down 
between the mountaini and the Potomac, runs northwards, 
while the western ridge, called Elk Mountain, starts from the 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 147 

bluff called Maryland Heights, overlooking the town of Har- 
per's Ferry, and runs nearly parallel to the other. Jackson 
passed on up the river with his division, Ewell's, and A. P. 
Hill's, recrossed the Potomac into Virginia, captured Martins- 
burg, where a number of prisoners and great supplies were 
taken, and came up and took possession of Bolivar Heights, 
above Harper's Ferry. Walker's Division marched back 
across the Potomac and took possession of Loudon Heights, a 
neck of high land between the Shenandoah and Potomac over- 
looking Harper's Ferry from below, the Shenandoah being 
between his army and the latter place. On the nth McL,aws 
moved out of Frederick City, strengthened by the brigades of 
Wilcox, Featherstone, and Pryor, making seven brigades that 
were to undertake the capture of the stronghold by the moun- 
tain passes and ridges on the north. Kershaw, it will be seen, 
was given the most difficult position of passage and more for- 
midable to attack than any of the other routes of approach. 
Some time after Jackson and Walker had left on their long 
march, McLaws followed. lyongstreet and other portions of 
the army and wagon trains kept the straight road towards 
Hagerstown, while Kershaw and the rest of the troops under 
. McLaws took the road leading southwest, on through the town 
of Burkettville, and camped at the foothills of the mountain, 
on the east side. Next morning Kershaw, commanding his 
own brigade and that of Barksdale, took the lead, passed over 
South Mountain, through Pleasant Valley, aud to Elk Ridge, 
three miles distance, thence along the top of Elk Ridge by a 
dull cattle path. The width of the crest was not more than fiftj' 
yards in places, and along this Kershaw had to move in line 
of battle, Barksdale's Brigade in reserve. Wright's Brigade 
moved along a similar path on the crest of South Mountain, he 
taking with him two mountain howitzers, drawn by one horse 
each. Mc-Laws, as Commander-in-Chief, with some of the 
other brigades, marched by the road at the hash of the moun- 
tain below Wright, while Cobb was to keep abreast of Ker- 
shaw and Barksdale at the base of Elk Ridge. Over such 
obstacles as were encountered and the difficulties and dangers 
separating the different troops, a line of battle never before 
made headway as did those of Kershaw aud the troops under 
McLaws. 



148 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

We met the enemy's skirmishers soon after turning to the 
left on Elk Ridge, and all along the whole distance of five 
miles we were more or less harassed by them. During the 
march of the i2th the men had to pull themselves up precipi- 
tous inclines by the twigs and undergrowth that lined the 
mountain side, or hold themselves in position by the trees in 
front. At night we bivouaced on the mountain. We could 
see the fires all along the mountain side and gorges through 
Pleasant Valley and upon South Mountain, where the troops 
of Wright had camped opposite. Early next morning as we 
advanced we again met the enemy's skirmishers, and had to be 
■continually driving them back. Away to the south and 
beyond the Potomac we could hear the sound of Jackson's 
guns as he was beating his way up to meet us. By noon we 
encountered the enemy's breastworks, built of great stones 
and logs, in front of which was an abattis of felled timber and 
brushwood. The Third, under Nance, and the Seventh, under 
Aiken, were ordered to the charge on the right. Having no 
artillery up, it was with great difficulty we approached the for- 
tifications. Men had to cling to bushes while they loaded and 
fired. But with their usual gallantry they came down to their 
work. Through the tangled undergrowth, through the abattis, 
and over the breastworks they leaped with a yell. The fight- 
in j was short but very severe. The Third did not lose any 
fie'.d officers, but the line suffered considerably. The Third 
lust .some of her most promising officers. Of the Seventh, 
Ci-iptain Litchfield, of Company L, Captain Wm. Clark, of 
Company G, and Lieutenant J. L- Talbert fell dead, and many 
others wounded. 

The Second and Eighth had climbed the mountains, and 
advanced on Harper's Ferry from the east. The Second was 
commanded by Colonel Kennedy and the Eighth by Colonel 
Henegan. The enemy was posted behind works, constructed 
the same as th(5se assaulted by the Third and Seventh, of cliffs 
of rocks, trunks of trees, covered by an abattis. The regi- 
ments advanced in splendid style, and through the tangled 
underbrush and ^over boulders they rushed for the enemy's 
works. Colonel Kennedy was wounded in the early part of 
the engagement, but did not leave the field. The Second lost 
some gallant line officers. When the order was given to charge 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 149 

the color bearer of the Eighth, Sergeant Strother, of 
Chesterfield, a tall, handsome man of six feet three in height, 
carrying the beautiful banner presented to the regiment by 
the ladies of Pee Dee, fell dead within thirty yards of the 
enemy's works. All the color guard were either killed or 
wounded. Captain A. T. Harllee, commanding one of the 
color companies, seeing the flag fall, seized it and waving it 
aloft, called to the men to forward and take the breastworks. 
He, too, fell desperately wounded, .shot through both thighs 
with a minnie ball. He then called to Colonel Henegan, he 
being near at hand, to take the colors. Snatching them from 
under Captain Harllee, Colonel Henegan shouted to the men 
to follow him, but had not gone far before he fell dangerously 
wounded. Some of the men lifted up their fallen Colonel and 
started to the rear; but just at this moment his regiment began 
to waver and break to the rear. The gallant Colonel .seeing 
this ordered his men to put him down, and commanded in a 
lend, clear voice, "About face! Charge and take the works," 
which order was obeyed with promptness, and soon the flags 
of Kershaw's Regiments waved in triumph over the enemy's 
deserted works. 

Walker had occupied Loudon Heights, on the Virginia side, 
and all were waiting now for Jackson to finish the work 
assigned to him and to occupy Bolivar Heights, thus finishing 
the cordon around the luckless garrison. The enemy's cavalry 
under the cover of the darkness crossed the river, hugged its 
banks close, and escaped. During the night a road was cut to 
the top of Maryland Heights by our engineer corps and sev- 
eral pieces of small cannondrawn up, mostly by hand, and placed 
in such position as to sweep the garrison below. Some of Jack- 
son's troops early in the night began climbing around the steep 
cliffs that overlook the Shenandoah, and by daylight took pos- 
session of the heights opposite to those occupied by Walker's 
Division. But all during the day, while we were awaiting the 
signal of Jackson's approach, we heard continually the deep, 
-dull sound of cannonading in our rear. Peal after peal from 
heavy guns that fairly shook the mountain side told too plainly 
a desperate struggle was going on in the passes that protected 
our rear. General McLaws, taking Cobb's Georgia Brigade 
and some cavalry, hurried back over the rugged by-paths that 



150 HISTORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 

had been just traversed, to find D. H. Hill and I^ongstreet in a 
hand-to-hand combat, defending the routes on South Moun- 
tain that led down on us by the mountain crests. The next 
day orders for stcrming the works by the troops beyond the 
river were given. Mclyaws and Walker had secured their 
position, and now were in readiness to assist Jackson. All the 
batteries were opened on Bolivar Heights, and from the three 
sides the artillery duel raged furiously for a time, while Jack- 
son's infantry was pushed to the front and captured the works 
there. Soon thereafter the white flag was waving over Har- 
per's Ferry, "the citadel had fallen." In the capitulation 
eleven thousand prisoners, seventy-two piieces of artillery, 
twelve thousand stands of small arms, horses, wagons, 
munitions, and supplies in abundance passed into the hands of 
the Confederates. Jackson's troops fairly swam in the deli- 
cacies, provisions, and "drinkables" constituting a part of the 
spoils taken, while Kershrw's and all of McLaw'sand Walker's 
troops, who had done the hardest of the fighting, got none. 
Our men complained bitterly of this seeming injustice. It 
took all day to finish the capitulation, paroling prisoners, and 
dividing out the supplies; but we had but little time to rest, 
for Lee's Army was now in a critical condition. McClellan, 
having by accident captured Lee's orders specifying the routes 
to be taken bj' all the troops after the fall of Harper's Ferry, 
knew exactly where and when to strike. The Southern Army 
was at this time woefully divided, a part being between the 
Potomac and the Shenandoah, Jackson with three divisions 
across the Potomac in Virginia, McLaws with his own and a 
part of Anderson's Division on the heights of Maryland, with 
the enemy five miles in his rear at Crompton Pass cutting him 
off from retreat in that direction. Lee, with the rest of his 
army and reserve trains, was near Hagerstown. 

On the 1 6th we descended the mountain, crossed the Poto- 
mac, fell in the rear of Jackson's moving army, and marched 
up the Potomac some distance, recrossed into Maryland, on 
our hunt for Lee and his army. The sun poured down its 
blistering rays with intense fierceness upon the already fatigued 
and fagged soldiers, while the dust along the pikes, that 
wound over and around the numerous hills, was almost stifling. 
We bivouaced for the night on the roadside, ten miles from 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 151 

Antietam Creek, where Lee was at the time concentrating his 
army, and where on the next day was to be fought the most 
stubbornly contested and bloody battle of modern times, if we 
take in consideration the number of troops engaged, its dura- 
tion, and its casualties. After three days of incessant march- 
ing and fighting over mountain heights, rugged gorges, 
wading rivers— all on the shortest of rations, many of the mea 
were content to fall upon the bare ground and snatch a few 
moments of rest without the time and trouble of a supper. 



CHAPTER XI 

Sharpsburg or Antietam— -Return to Virginia. 

When Lee cros.sed the Potomac the Department at Wash- 
ington, as well as the whole North, was thrown into conster- 
laation, and the wildest excitement prevailed, especially in 
Maryland and Pennsylvania. "Where was Lee?" "Where 
was he going?' ' were some of the questions that flitted over the 
wires to McClellan from Washington, Philadelphia, and 
Baltimore. But the personage^ about whose movements and 
whereabouts seemed to excite more anxiety and superstitious 
<dread than any or all of Lee's Lieutenants was Jackson. The 
North regarded him as some mythical monster, acting in reality 
the parts assigned to fiction. But after it was learned that 
Lee had turned the head of his columns to the westward, 
their fears were somewhat allayed. General Curtis, of Penn- 
sylvania, almost took spasms at the thought of the dreaded 
rebels invading his domain, and called upon the militia "to 
turn out and resist the invader." In less than three weeks 
after the battle of Manassas, the North* or more correctly. 
New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Mary- 
land, had out 250,000 State troops behind the Susquehanna 
River. 

The great horde of negro cooks and servants that usually 
followed the army were allowed to roam at will over the sur- 
rounding country, just the same as down in Virginia. The 



152 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

negroes foraged for their masters wherever they, went, and ia 
times of short rations the)' were quite an adjunct to the Com- 
missary Department, gathering chickens, butter, flour, etc. 
Even now, when so near the Free States, with nothing to pre- 
vent them from making their escape, the negroes showed no 
disposition to take advantage of their situation and conditions, 
their owners giving themselves no concern whatever for their 
safety. On more occasions than one their masters told them 
to go whenever they wished, that they would exercise no 
authority over them whatever, but I do not believe a single 
negro left of his own accord. Some few were lost, of course, 
but they were lost like man)' of the soldiers — captured by for- 
aging parties or left broken down along the roadside. It is a 
fact, though, that during the whole war the negroes were as 
piuch afraid of the "Yankee" as the white soldier, and dreaded 
capture more. 

It might be supposed that we fared sumptuously, being in 
an enemy's country at fruit and harvest time, with great wav- 
ing fields of corn, trees bending under loads of choice ripe 
fruits, but such was far from being the case. Not an apple, 
peach, or plum was allowed to be taken without payment, or 
at the owner's consent. Fields, orchards, and farmhouses 
were .strictly guarded against depredations. The citizens as a 
whole looked at us askance, rather passive than demonstrat- 
ive. The young did not flock to our standards- as was 
expected, and the old men looked on more in wonder than in 
pleasure, and opened their granaries with willingness, but not 
with cheerfulness. They accepted the Confederate money 
offered as pay for meals or provisions more as a respect to an 
overpowering foe than as a compensation for their wares. A 
good joke in this campaign was had at the expense of Captain 
Nance, of the Third. It must be remembered that the pri- 
vates played many practical jokes upon their officers in camps, 
when at other times.and on other occasions such would be no 
joke at all, but a bit of downright rascality and meanness — 
but in the army such was called fun. A nice chicken, but too 
old to fry, so it must be stewed. As the wagons were not up, 
cooking utensils were scarce — about one oven to twenty-five 
men. Captain Nance ordered Jess to bake the biscuit at night 
and put away till morning, when the chicken would be cooked 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 153 

and a fine breakfast spread. Now the Captain was overflow- 
ing in good hiuuor and spirits, and being naturally generous- 
hearted, invited the Colonial and I^ieuteaant Colonel Ruther- 
ford, the latter his prospective brother-in-law, down to take 
breakfast with him. The biscuits were all baked nicely and 
piled high up on an old tin plate and put in the Captain's tent 
at his head for safe keeping during the night. Early next 
morning the fowl was "jumping in the pan," as the boys 
would say, while the Captain made merry with the others over 
their discomfiture at .seeing him and his guests eating ' 'chicken 
and flour bread," while they would be "chewing crackers." 
All things must come to an end, of course; so the chicken was 
at last "cooked to a turn," the Colonel and the future brother- 
in-law are seated expectantly upon the ground waiting the 
breakfast call. The Captain was assisting Jess in putting on 
the finishing touches to the tempting meal, as well as doing 
the honors to his distinguished guests. When all was ready 
he ordered Jess to bring out the biscuits. After an unusual 
long wait, as it may have appeared to Captain Nance under 
the condition of his appetite and the presence of his superiors, 
he called out, "Why in the thunder don't you bring out the 
biscuits, Jess?" Still blankets were overturned and turned 
again, knapsacks moved for the fourth or fifth time, yet Jess 
hunted faithfully in that little four by six tent for the plate of 
biscuits. "Why in the h — 1 don't you come on with the bis- 
cuits, Jess?" with a pronounced accent on the word "Jess." 
Meanwhile Jess poked his black, shaggy head through the 
tent door, the white of his eyes depicting the anguish of his 
mind, his voice the despair he felt, answered: "Well, Marse 
John, before God Almighty, ef somebody ain't tookeu stole 
dem bisket." Tableaux!! Twenty-five years afterwards at a 
big revival meeting at Bethel Church, in Newberry County, a 
great many "hard cases," as they were called, were greatly 
impressed with the sermons, and one especially seemed on the 
point of "getting religion," as it is called. But he seemed to 
be burdened with a great weight. At the end of the service 
he took out Captain Nance and expressed a de-sire to make a 
confession. "Did you ever know who stole your biscuits that 
night at Frederick City?" "No." "Well, I and Bud Wil- 
son — " But Captain Nance never allowed John Mathis to 



154 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

finish, for as the light of that far-ofif truth dawned upon him 
and seemed to bring back the recollection of that nice brown 
chicken and the missing biscuits he said: "No, I'll never for- 
give you; go home and don't trj' for religion any longer, for a 
crime as heinous as yours is beyond forgiveness. Oh, such 
depravity!" It appears since that two of his most intimate 
friends had robbed him just for the fun they would have over 
his disappointment in the morning and the chagrin the Captain 
would experience, but the biscuits were too tempting to keep. 
On the morning of the 17th we were yet ten miles from 
Sharpsburg, where I,ee had drawn up his army around that 
little hamlet and along Antietam Creek, to meet the shock of 
battle that McClellan was preparing to give. The battle- 
ground chosen was in a bend of the Potomac, I/Ce's left resting 
on the river above and around to the front to near the point 
where the Antietam enters the Potomac on the right. The 
little sluggish stream between the two armies, running at the 
base of the heights around and beyond Sharpsburg, was not 
fordable for some distance above the Potomac, and only crossed 
by stone bridges at the public roads. Up near Lee's left it 
could be crossed without bridges. The Confederate Army now 
lay in a small compass in this bend of the river, the Federal 
Army extending in his front from the river above to the 
Antietam below, just above its junction with the Potomac. 
That stream rolled in a deep, strong current in the rear of 
Lee. 

Even before the sun had spread its rays over the heights of 
this quaint old Quaker town sufficient to distinguish objects a 
few feet away, the guns were booming along the crossings of 
Antietam. With a hurried breakfast Kershaw took up the 
. line of march along the dusty roads in the direction of the 
firing, which had begun by daylight and continued to rage 
incessantly during the day and till after dark, making this the 
most bloody battle for the men engaged fought during the 
century. In its casualties — the actual dead upon the field and 
the wounded — for the time of action, it exceeded all others 
before or since. When we neared General Lee's headquarters, 
some distance in rear of the town, D. H. Hill and part of 
Jackson's forces were already in the doubtful toils of a raging 
conflict awav to our left and front, where Hooker was endeav- 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 155 

oring to break Lee's left or press it back upon the river. 
Barksdale's Brigade, of our division, was in front, and when 
near the battlefield formed in line of battle. Kershaw formed 
his lines with the Third, Colonel Nance, in front, nearly par- 
allel with a body of woods, near the Duuker Church, and left 
of the road leading to it, the enemy being about five hundred 
yards in our front. The other regiments were formed in line 
on our left as they came up. Colonel Aiken, of the Seventh, 
Lieutenant Colonel Hoole, of the Eighth, and Colonel Ken- 
nedy, of the Second, in the order named, Barksdale moving in 
action before our last regiment came fairly in line. Sumner, 
of the Federal Army, was pushing his forces of the Second 
Army Corps forward at this point of the line in columns of 
brigades, having crossed the Antietam at the fords above. 
Sedgwick, of his leading division, had already formed in line 
of battle awaiting our assault. One of the Georgia Brigades of 
the division formed on Kershaw's left, while the other acted as 
reserve, and a general advance was ordered against the troops 
in the woods. The battle wa.s in full blast now along the 
greater part of the line. General Longstreet, speaking of the 
time Kershaw came in action, says: "The fire spread along 
both lines from left to right, across the Antietam, and back 
again, and the thunder of the big guns became continuous and 
increased to a mighty volume. To this was presently added 
the sharper rattle of musketry, and the surge of mingling 
sound sweeping up and down the field was multiplied and con- 
fused by the reverberations from the rocks and hills. And in 
the great tumult of sound, which shook the air and seemed to 
shatter the cliffs and ledges above the Antietam, bodies of the 
facing foes were pushed forward to closer work, and soon 
added the clash of steel to the thunderous crash of cannon 
shot. Under this storm, now Kershaw advanced his men. 
Through the open, on through the woods, with a solid step 
these brave men went, while the battery on their left swept 
their ranks with grape and canister. ' ' In the woods the bri- 
gade was moved to the left to evade this storm of shot and 
shell. The Mississippians on the left were now reforming 
their broken ranks. Colonel Aiken, of the Seventh, had fallen 
badly wounded in the first charge, and the command was 
given to Captain White. This was the first battle in a fair 



156 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

field in which the new commanders of the regiments had had 
an opportunity to show their mettle and ability, and well did 
they sustain themselves. Savage Station and Maryland 
Heights were so crowded with underbrush and vision so 
obscured that they were almost battles in the dark. Colonel 
Kennedy, of the Second, and Lieutenant Colonel Hoole, of the 
Eighth, were handling their men in splendid style, the Seventh 
changing its commander three times while in battle. Colonel 
Nance changed his front in the lull of battle, and moved under 
the triendly cover of a hill, on which was posted the battery 
that had been graping the field so desperately during the first 
advance. The brigade had now passed through the field of 
waving corn, over the rail fence, and driven Sedgwick from 
his position. Barksdale, who had been staggered by the first 
impact, was now moving up in beautiful harmony; the steady, 
elastic step of his men, the waving banuers, the officers march- 
ing in the rear, their bright blades glittering in the sunlight, 
made a most imposing spectacle. Up the slope, among the 
straggling oaks, they bent their steps; while the grape, shell, 
and canister thinned their ranks to such an extent that when 
the enemy's infantry was met, their galling fire forced Barks- 
dale to retire in great disorder. The enemy's troops were 
being hurried ever the creek and forming in our front. Ker- 
shaw moved forward in line with those on the right to meet 
them, and swept everything from his front. The enemy had 
been massing along the whole line, and when Kershaw reached 
the farthest limit of the open field he was met by overwhelm- 
ing numbers. Now the fight waged hot and fierce, but the line 
on the right having retired left the right flank of the Third 
Regiment entirely exposed both to the fire of the artillery and 
infantry, forcing the brigade to retire to its former ground, 
leaving, however, the second commander of the Seventh dead 
upon the field. It was here the famous scout and aide to 
General Stuart, Captain W. D. Farley, killed at the Rappa- 
hannock, came to visit his brother, L,ieutenant Farley, of the 
Third. He was made doubly famous by the fiction of Captain 
Estine Cooke. 

McClellan was now growing desperate, his lines making no 
headway either on the left or centre. His forces were held at 
bay on our right across the Antietam, having failed to force a. 



HISTORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 157 

crossing at the bridges. Jackson and Hill, on the left, were 
being sorely pressed by the corps of Mansfield and Hooker, 
but still doggedly held their ground. Jackson had left the 
division of A. P. Hill at Harper's Ferry to settle the negoti- 
ations of surrender, and had but a comparative weak force to 
meet this overwhelming number of two army corps. Again 
and again the Confederate ranks were broken, but as often 
reformed. Stuart stood on the extreme left, with his body of 
cavalry, but the condition of the? field was such as to prevent 
him from doing little more service than holding the flanks. 
General Toombs, with his Georgia Brigade, and some detached 
troops, with two batteries, held the lower fords all day against 
the whole of Burnside's corps, notwithstanding the imperative 
orders of his chief "to cross and strike the Confederates in the 
rear." Assaults by whole divisions were repeatedly made 
against the small force west of the stream, but were easil5' 
repulsed by Toombs and his Georgians. In all probability 
these unsuccessful attacks would have continued during the 
day, had not the Federals found a crossing, unknown to the 
Confederate Generals, between the bridges. When the cross- 
ing was found the whole slope on the western side of the 
stream was soon a perfect sheet of blue. So sure were they of 
victory that they called upon the Confederates to "throw down 
their arms and surrender. ' ' This was only answered by a 
volley and a charge with the bayonet point. But there was a 
factor in the day's battle not yet taken account of, and which 
was soon to come upon the field like a whirlwind and change 
the course of events. A. P. Hill, who had been left at Har- 
per's Ferry, was speeding towards the bloody field with all the 
speed his tired troops could make. Gregg, Branch, and 
Archer, of Hill's Division, were thrown into the combat at this 
most critical moment, after the enemy had forced a crossing at 
all points and were pushing Lee backwards towards the 
Potomac. Short and decisive was the work. An advance of 
the whole right was made. The enemy first btaggered, then 
reeled, and at last pressed off the field. The batteries lost in 
the early part of the day were retaken, and the enemy was 
glad to find shelter under his heavy guns on the other side of 
the Antietam. But the battle on the left was not so favorable. 
Jackson's, D. H. Hill's, and McL,aw's troops, jaded and 



158 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

fagged by the forced inarches in the morning, their ranks 
woefully thinned by the day's continuous fighting, their 
ammunition sadly exhausted, could do no more than hold 
their ground for the remainder of the day. The enemy now 
being re-enforced by Porter's Corps, his batteries enfilading 
our ranks. Mclyaws was forced to move Kershaw and the troops 
on his right to the left and rear, nearly parallel to the line first 
formed during the day. There had been no material advan- 
tage on either .side. On the right the enemy had crossed the 
Antietam, it is true, but to a position no better than the night 
before. Our left and centre were bent back in somewhat more 
acute angle than on the morning, but to an equally good 
position. Not many prisoners were taken on either side in 
proportion to the magnitude of the battle. The enemy's loss 
in killed and wounded was a little more than ours, but so far 
as the day's battle goes, the lo.ss and gain were about equal. 
It is true Lee lost thou.sands of good and brave troops whose 
places could scarcely be filled; yet he inflicted such punish- 
ment upon the enemy that it took him months to recuperate. 
The moral effect was against us and in favor of the enemj' 
It had a decided bearing upon the coming elections at the 
North, and a corresponding depression upon the people at the 
South. The Southern Army, from its many successive vic- 
tories in the past, had taught themselves to believe that they 
were simply invincible upon the field of battle, and the people 
of the South looked upon the strategy and military skill of 
Lee and Jackson as being far beyond the cope of any Gen- 
erals the North could produce. But this battle taught the 
South a great lesson in many ways. It demonstrated the fact 
that it was possible to be matched in generalship, it was pos- 
sible to meet men upon the field equal in courage and endur- 
ance to themselves. But it also proved to what point of for- 
bearance and self-sacrifice the Southern soldier could go when 
the necessity arose, and how faithful and obedient they would 
remain to their leaders under the severest of tests. The Con- 
federate soldier had been proven beyond cavil the equal in 
every respect to that of any on the globe. After fighting all 
day, without food and with little water, they had to remain on 
the field of battle, tired and hungry, until details returned to 
the wagons and cooked their rations. It may be easily 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 159 

imagined that both armies were glad enough to fall upon the 
ground and rest after such a day of blood and carnage, with 
the smoke, dust, and weltering heat of the day. Before the 
sound of the last gun had died away in the distance one 
hundred thousand men were stretched upon the ground fast 
asleep, while near a third of that number were sleeping their 
last sleep or suffering from the effects of fearful wounds. The 
ghouls of the battlefield are now at their wanton work. 
Stealthily and cautiously they creep and grope about in the 
dark to hunt the body of an enemy, or even a comrade, and 
strip or rob him of his little all. Prayers, groans, and curses 
mingle, but the robber of the battlefield continues his work. 
Friends seek lost comrades here and there, a brother looks, 
perhaps, in vain for a brother. 

The loss in some of our regiments was appalling, especially 
the Seventh. Two regimental commanders of that command 
had fallen. Colonel Aiken and Captain White, leaving Captain 
Hard, one of the junior Captains, in command. The regi- 
ment lost in the two battles of Maryland Heights and Sharps- 
burg, two hundred and fifty-three out of four hundred and 
forty-six. 

General McClellan, in his testimony before the War Investi- 
gating Committee, says: "We fought pretty close upon one 
hundred thousand men. Our forces were, total in action, 
eighty-seven thousand one hundred and sixty-four." Deduct- 
ing the cavalry division not in action of fo'.ir thousand three 
hundred and twenty, gives McClellan eighty-two thousand 
eight hundred and forty-four, infantr}' and artillery. 

General Lee says in his report: "The battle was fought by 
less than forty thousand men of all arms on our side." The 
actual numbers were: 

Jackson, including A. P. Hill . . 10,000 

Longstreet 12,000 

D. H. Hill and Walker 7,000 

Cavalry 8,000 



37,000 
Deduct four thousand cavalry on detached service and not 
on the field from L,ee's force, and we have of infantry, artillery, 
and cavalry, thirty-three thousand. Jackson only had four 



160 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

thousand on the left until the arrival of A. P. Hill, and with- 
stood the assaults of forty thousand till noon; when re-enforced 
by Hill he pressed the enemy from the field. 

The next day was employed in' burying the dead and 
gathering up the wounded. Those who could travel were 
started off across the Potomac on foot, in wagons and ambu- 
lances, on the long one hundred miles march to the nearest 
railroad station, while those whose wounds would not admit of 
their removal were gathered in houses in the town and surgeons 
■detailed to remain and treat them. On the morning of the 
19th some hours before day the rumbling of the wagon trains 
told of our march backward. We crossed the Potomac, Long- 
street leading, and Jackson bringing up the rear. A great 
many that had been broken down by the rapid marches and 
the sun's burning rays from the time of our crossing into 
Maryland till now, were not up at the battle of the 17th, thus 
' weakening the ranks of I,ee to nearly one-half their real 
strength, taking those on detached service into consideration 
also. But these had all come tip and joined their ranks as we 
began crossing the Potomac. None wished to be left behind; 
€ven men ,so badly wounded that at home they would be con- 
fined to their beds marched one hundred miles in the killing 
heat. Hundreds of men with their arms amputated left the 
operating table to take up their long march. Some shot 
through the head, body, or limbs preferred to place the Potomac 
between themselves and the enemy. 

Lee entered Maryland with sixty-one thousand men all told, 
-counting Quartermaster and Commissary Departments, the 
teamsters, and those in the Medical and Engineer Department. 
Lee lost thirteen thousand six hundred and eighty-seven men 
killed and wounded on the field of battle, and .several thousand 
in capture and broken down by the wayside, most of the latter, 
however, reporting for duty in a few days. 

McClellan had of actual soldiers in the lines of battle and 
reserve eighty-seven thousand one hunhred and sixty-four, his 
losses in battle being twelve thousand four hundred and ten, 
making his casualties one thousand two hundred and seventy- 
seven less than Lee's. The prisoners and cannon captured in 
action were about equal during the twelve days north of the 
Potomac, while at Harper's Ferry Lee captured sufficient 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 161 

ammunitiou to replenish that spent in battle, and horses and 
wagons enough to fully equip the whole array, thousands of- 
improved small arms, seventy-two cannon and caissons, and 
eleven thousand prisoners. While the loss of prisoners, 
ammunition, horses, ordnance, etc., did not materially cripple 
the North, our losses in prisoners and killed and wounded 
could hardly be replaced at that time. So in summing up the 
results it is doubtful whether or not the South gained any 
lasting benefit from the campaign beyond the Potomac. But 
L^e was forced by circuriistances after the enemy's disaster at 
Manassas to follow up his victories and be guided by the 
course of events, and in that direction they lead, ' McClellan 
offered the gauge of battle; Lee was bound to accept. The 
North claimed Sharpsburg or Antifctam as a victory, and the 
world accepted it as siich. This gave Lincoln the opportunity 
he had long waited for to write his famous Emancipation 
Proclamation. It was not promulgated, however, till the first 
of January following. Among military critics this battle 
would be given to Lee, even while the campaign is voted a 
failure. It is an axiom in war that when one army stands 
upon the defensive and is attacked by the other, if the latter 
fails to force the former from liis position, then it is considered 
a victorj' for the army standing on the defensive. (See Lee 
at Gettysburg and Burnsides at Fredericksburg. ) While Lee 
was the invader, he stood on the defensive at Sharpsburg or 
Aiitietam, andlMcClellan did no' more than press his left and 
centre back. Lee held his battle line firmly, slept on the 
field, buried his dead the next aay, then deliberately with- 
drew. What better evidence is wanting to prove Lee not 
defeated. McClellah claimed no more than a drawn fight. 

On the 19th the eneniy began pressing our rear near Shep- 
ard-stown, and' A. F. Hill was ordered to return and drive 
them oiff. A fierce and sanguinary battle took place at 
Bateler's Ford, between two portions of the armies, A. P. Hill 
gaining a complete victory, driving the enemy beyond the 
river.' The army fell back to .Martinsburg and rested a few 
days. Afterwards they were encamped at Winchester, where 
they remained until the opening of the next campaign. 

Before closing the account of the First Maryland campaign, 
I wish to say a word in regard to the Commissar}' and Quar- 
11 



162 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADlt. 

terraaster's Departments. Much ridicule, and sometimes 
' abuse, has been heaped upon the heads of those who composed 
the two Departments. I must say, in all justice, that much of 
this was ill timed and ill advised. It must be remembered 
that to the men who constituted these Departments belonged 
the duty of feeding, clothing, and furnishing the transpor- 
tation for the whole arm}'. Often without means or ways, 
they had to invent them. In an enemy's country, surrounded 
by many dangers, in a hostile and treacherous community, 
and mostly unprotected except by those of their own force, 
they had to toil night and da}-, through sunshine and rain, 
that the men who were in the battle ranks could be fed and 
clothed. They had no re.st. When the men were hungry 
they must be fed; when others slept they had to be on the 
alert. When sick or unable to travel a means of transportation 
must be furnished. The Commissary and the Quarterma.ster 
must provide for the sustenance of the army.- Kershaw's Bri- 
gade was doubly bles.sed in the persons of Captain, afterwards 
Major W. D. Peck and Captain Shell, of the Quartermaster 
Department, and Captain R. N. Lowraace, and Lieutenant 
J. X. Martin, of the Commissary. The troops never wanted 
or suffered while it was in the power of those officers to supply 
them. 

Major Peck was a remarkable man in many respects. He 
certainly could be called one of nature's noblemen. Besides 
being a perfect high-toned gentleman of the old school, he 
was one of the most efficient officers in the army, and his pop- 
ularity was universal His greatest .service was in the Quar- 
termaster's Department, but. he served for awhile in the ranks 
in Captain W'm. Wallace's Company, Second Regiment, as 
Orderly Sergeant -served in that capacity at the bombardment 
of Fort Sumter and the first battle of Manassas. On the death 
of Quartermaster W. S. Wood, Colonel Ker.shaw appointed 
him his Regimental Quartermaster to fill the place made 
vacant by Captain Wood, in July, 1861, with the rank of 
Captain. When Kershaw was made Brigadier General, on 
the resignation of General Bonham, he had him promoted to 
Brigade Quartermaster with the rank of Major. On the res- 
ignation of Major McLaws, Division Quartermaster, he was 
made Division Quartermaster in hisstead, and held this position 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 163 

during the war. He received his last appointment only one 
month before his illustrious chief, J. B. Kershaw, was made 
Major General. It seems a strange coincidence in the rise of 
these two men, who entered the service together — each took 
diflFerent arms, but rose in parallel grades to the highest 
position in the division. Major Peck was seldom absent from 
duty, and a complaint against him was never heard. He was 
a bold, gallant officer, and when in the discharge of his duties 
he laid aside every other consideration. Major Peck had a 
very striking appearance, tall, erect, and dignified, and upon 
horseback he was a perfect cavalier. It might be truly said 
he was one of the handsomest men in the army. His com- 
manding appearance attracted attention wherever he went, 
and he was often taken for a general officer. For cordiality, 
generosity, and unselfishness he was almost without a rival. 
It required no effort on his part to display the elegance of his 
character — his gentlemanly qualities and deportment were as 
natural to him as it is for the "sparks to fly upward." He 
was born in Columbia April 4th, 1833, and died there April 
25th, 1870. 

The inere fact of Captain G. W. Shell being appointed to such 
a responsible position as Quartermaster by so strict a discipli- 
narian as Colbnel Nance is a sufficient guarantee of his quali- 
fications. Captain Shell entered the army as a private in the 
"State Guards,'.' from Laurens, served one year as such, then 
as Regimental Quartermaster with rank of Captain for a part 
of two years. Then that office iq the army was abolished 
and put in charge of a non-commissioned officer. Appreciat- 
ing his great services while serving his regiment, the officials 
were loath to dispense with his sei-vices, and gave him a 
position in the brigade department and then in the division as 
assistant to Major Peck, retaining his rank. All that has 
been said of Major Peck can be truly said of Captain Shell. 
He was an exceptional executive officer, kind and courteous to 
those under his orders, obedient and respectful to his superiors. 
He was ever vigilant and watchful of the wauts of the troops, 
and while in the abandoned sections of Virginia, as well as in 
Maryland and Pennsylvania, he displayed the greatest activity 
in gathering supplies for the soldiers. He was universally 
loved and admired. He was of the same age of Captain Peck, 



164 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

born and reared in Laurens County, where he returned after 
the close of the war and still resides, enjoying all the comforts 
emanating from a well spent life. For several terms he filled 
the office of Clerk of the Court of his native county, and 
served two terms in the United States Congress. He was the 
leading spirit in the great reform movement that overspread 
the State several years ago, in which Ben Tillman was made 
Governor, and South Carolina's brightest light, both political 
and military. General Wade Hampton, was retired to private 
life. 

COLONEL D. WVATT AIKEN, OF THE SEVENTH. 

As Colonel Aiken s^w but little more service with the First 
Brigade, I will here give a short sketch of his life. I have 
made it a rule in this work, as far as practicable, to give a 
sketch at the end of the ofiScer's service in the Brigade, but ia 
this case I riiake an exception. 

Colonel Aiken was born in Winnsboro, Fairfield County, 
S. C, March 17th, 1828. He graduated at the South Caro- 
lina College in the class of 1849. Was professor at Mt. Zion 
College for two years, and married Miss Mattie Gaillard ia 
1852, settliiig at "Bellevue" Farm, near Winnsboro. ,He 
became county editor of Winnsboro News and Herald, and 
was married the second time to Miss Smith, of Abbeville, and 
removed to that count5' in 1858. Was fond of agriculture, 
and was editor of various periodicals devoted to that and kin- 
dred pursuits. 

In i86r he volunteered as a private in the Seventh South 
Carolina Volunteers, and was appointed Adjutant of that regi- 
ment. At the reorganization of the regiment in 1862 he 
was elected Colonel to succeed Colonel Bacon, who declined 
re-election. At Sharpsburg he received a wound in the body, 
which for a long time was feared to be fatal. He, however, 
returned in June, 1863, and commanded his regiment in the 
Gettysburg battle, after which he was deemed unable for 
further active service in the field, and was appointed "com- 
mandant of the post" at Macon, Ga. This position he held 
for one year, and then discharged from the army as beiug 
unfit for further service. 

After the war he was selected for three terms to the State 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 165 

Legislature. He was "Master of State Grange Patrons of 
Husbandry," and was twice President of the 'State Agricul- 
tural and Mechanical Society of South Carolina." He was 
chosen Democratic standard bearer for Congress in the memo- 
rable campaign of 1876, and continually re-elected thereafter 
until his death, which occurred on April 6th, 188.7. 

Colonel Aiken was also one of nature's noblemen, bold,, 
fearless, and incorruptible. He did as much, or perhaps 
more, than any of the many great and loyal men of that day 
to release South Carolina from the coils of the Republican 
ring that ruled the State during the dark days of Reconstruc- 
tion. 



CHAPTER XII 

From Winchester to Fredericksburg. 

The brigade remained in camp in a beautiful grove, about 
four miles beyond Winchester, until the last of October. 
Here the ' regiments were thoroughly organized and put in 
good shape for the next campaign. Many officers and non- 
commissioned officers had been killed, or totally disabled in 
the various battles, and their places had to be filled by election 
and promotion. All officers, from Colonel down, went up by 
regular grades, leaving nothing but the Third Lieutenants to 
be elected. The non-commis.sioned ofiicers generally went up 
by promotion also, where competent, or the Captains either 
promoted them by regular grade or left the selection to the 
men of the company. We had lost no field officer killed, 
except Lieutenant Colonel Garlingtou, of the Third, and 
Major Rutherford was promoted to that position, and Captain 
R. C. Maffett made Major. Several Lieutenants in all the 
regiments were made Captains, and many new Lieutenants 
were chosen from the ranks, so much so that the rolls of the 
various companies were very materially changed, since the 
reorganization in April last. Many of the wounded had re- 
turned, and large bodies of men had come in from the con- 
script camps since the reorganization. The Seventh Regiment 



166 HISTORY OF KERSHAW' S BRIGADE, 

had lost heavier, in ofiBcers and men, than any of the regi- 
ments. Colonel Aiken was wounded at Sharpsburg, and never 
returned only for a short time, but the regiment was com- 
manded by Lieutenant Colonel Bland until the resignation of 
Colonel Aiken, except when the former was himself disabled 
bj' wounds. 

Camp guards were kept up around the brigade, and regi- 
mental pickets, some two or three miles distant, about every 
two weeks. We had company and regimental drills about 
four times per week, and, in fact, we drilled almost every day, 
now that we were not on the actual march. The turn-pike 
road from Winchester to Staunton, ninety miles, for weeks 
was perfectly lined with soldiers returning at the expiration of 
their furloughs, or discharged from hospital, and our conva- 
lescent sick and wounded from the Maryland campaign going 
homeward. 

On the 27th or 28th of October orders came to move'. 
Longstreet took the lead, with McLaws' and Anderson's 
Divisions in front. General Lee had divided his army into 
two corp.K ; the Department of Richmond having created the 
rank of Lieutenant General, raised Longstreet and Jaekson to 
that grade in Lee's Army. Longstreet' s Corps consisted of 
McLaws' Division, composed of Kershaw's, Barksdale's, 
Cobb's, and Semmes' Brigades, and Anderson's, Hood's, 
Pickett's, and Ransom's Divisions. Jackson's Corps consisted 
of D. H. Hill's, A. P. Hill's, Ewell's, and Taliaferro's 
Divisions. We marched by way of Chester Gap over the 
Blue Ridge, and came into camp near Culpepper on the 9th 
of November. The enemy had crossed the Potomac and was 
moving southward, by easy stages, on the east side of the 
mountain. 

On the 5th of October General McClellan was removed from 
the command of the Army of the Potomac and Major General 
Burnsides, a corps commander, was made Commander-in- 
Chief in his stead. This change was universally regretted by 
both armies, for the Northern Armj' had great confidence in 
the little "Giant," while no officer in the Union Army was 
ever held in higher esteem by the Southern soldiers than little 
"Mack," as General McClellan was called. They admired 
him for his unsurpassed courage, generalship, and his kind 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 167 

and gentlemanly deportment, quite in contrast to the majority 
of Union commanders. 

General Burnsides, who had succeeded McClellan, now 
divided his army by corps in three grand divisions — General 
Sumner, commanding the Right Grand Division, composed of 
the Second and Ninth Corps; General Hooker, the center, 
with the Third and Fifth Corps; and General Franklin, the 
left, with the First and Sixth Corps. So both armies had 
undergone considerable changes, and were now moving along 
on converging lines towards a meeting point to test the mettle 
of the new commanders and organizations. 

We remained in camp around Culpepper until the morning 
of the i8th of November, when the march was resumed, by 
McLaws taking the road leading to Fredericksburg, headed by 
General Longstreet in person, and another division south 
along the line of the railroad in the direction of the North 
Anna River, the other divisions of the corps remaining sta- 
tionary, awaiting developments. Jackson had not yet crossed 
the Blue Ridge, and General L,ee was only waiting and watch- 
ing the move of Burnsides before concentrating his army ^t 
any particular place. It was unknown at this time whether 
the Federal commander would take the route by way of 
Fredericksburg, or follow in a straight course and make the 
North Anna his base of operations. The cavalry, making a 
demonstration against the enemy's outposts, found the Union 
Army had left and gone in the direction of Fredericksburg. 
Then Lee began the concentration of his army by calling 
Jackson on the east side of the Blue Ridge and Longstreet 
down on the south side of the Rappahannock. We crossed 
the north fork of the Rappahannock at a rocky ford, two 
miles above the junction of the Rapidan and just below the 
railroad bridge, on a cold, blustery day, the water blue and 
cold as ice itself, coming from the mountain springs of the 
Blue Ridge, not many miles away. Some of the men took off 
their shoes and outer garments, while others plunged in just 
as they marched from the road. Men yelled, cursed, and 
laughed. Some climbed upon the rocks to allow their feet 
and legs to warm up in the sun's rays, others held up one 
foot for awhile, then the other, to allow the air to strike their 
naked shins and warm them. Oh! it was dreadfully cold, but 



168 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

such fun! The water being about three feet deep, we could 
easily see the rocks and sands in the bottom. The raen who 
had pulled off their shoes and clothing suffered severely. 

There was a man in my company who was as brave and as 
good a soldier as ever lived, but beyond question the most 
awkward man in the army. His comrades called him 
"mucus," as some one said that was the Latin for "calf." 
This man would fall down any time and anywhere. Standing 
in the road or resting on his rifle, he would fall — fall while 
marching, or standing in his tent. I saw him climb on top of 
a box car and then fall without the least provocation back- 
wards into a ten-foot ditch. But in all his falling he was 
never known to hurt himself, but invariably blamed somebody 
for his fall. When he fell from the car, and it standing per- 
fectly still, he only said: "I wish the d — n car would go on or 
standstill, one or the other. " The road leading to the river 
makes a bend here, and between the bend and river bank an 
abutment of logs, filled in with stone to the height of fifteen 
feet , was built to prevent the water from encroaching upon the 
land. "Mucus," for no cause whatever that anyone could 
learn, quit the ranks and walked out on this abutment and 
along down its side, keeping near the edge of the water, but 
fifteen feet above, when, to the unaccountability of all, he fell 
headlong down into the river. The water at this point was 
not more than three or four feet deep, but deep enough to 
drench him from head to foot. He rose up, and us usual, 
quick to place the blame, said: "If I knew the d — n man who 
pu,shed me off in the water, I'd put a ball in him." No one 
had been in twenty feet of him. All the consolation he got 
was "how deep was the water, 'Mucus'?" "Was the water 
cold?" But awkward as he was, he was quick-witted and 
good at repartee. He answered the question "how deep was 
the water?' "Deep enough to drown a d — n fool, if yon don't 
believe it, go down like I did and try it." 

When we reached the other side we were told "no use to 
put on your shoes or clothing, another river one mile ahead," 
the Rapidan here joining the Rappahannock. Those who had 
partly disrobed put their clothing under their arms, shoes in 
their hands, and went hurrying along after the column in 
.advance. These men, with their bare limbs, resembled the 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 109 

Scotch Highlanders in the British Army, but their modesty 
was put to the test; when about half-way to the other stream 
they passed a large, old-fashioned Virginia residence, with 
balconies above aud below, and these filled with ladies of the 
surrounding country, visitors to see the soldiers pass. It was 
an amusing sight no less to the ladies of the house than to the 
men, to witness this long line of soldiers rushing by with their 
coat-tails beating a tatto on their naked nether limbs. The 
other stream was not so wide, but equally as cold and deep. 

General Kershaw, sitting on his horse at this point, amusing 
himself at the soldiers' plight, undertook to encourage and 
soothe their ruffled feelings by giving words of cheer. "Go 
ahead, boys," remarked the General, "and don't mind this; 
when I was in Mexico — " "But,. General, it wasn't so cold 
in Mexico, nor did they fight war in winter, and a horse's legs 
'are not so tender as a man's bare shins," were some of the 
answers given, and all took a. merry laugh and went scudding 
away. 

Passing over, we entered the famous Wilderness, soon to be 
made renowned by the clash of arms, where Lee and Hooker 
met and shook the surrounding country with the thunder of 
their guns a few months afterwards, and where Grant made 
the "echoes ring" and reverberate on the 5th and 6th of May, 
the year following. We found, too, the "Chancellor House," 
this lone, large, dismal-looking building .standing alone in this 
Wilderness and .surrounded on all sides by an almost impene- 
trable forest of scrubby oaks and tangled vines. The hou.se 
was a large, old-fashioned hotel, situated on a cleared plateau, 
a piaza above and below, reaching around on three sides. It 
was called "Chancellorsville," but where the "ville" came in, 
or for what the structure was ever built, I am unable to tell. 
This place occupied a prominent place in the picture of the 
Battle of Chancellorsville, being for a time the headquarters of 
General Hooker, and around which the greater part of his 
cannon were placed. We took up camp in rear of Fredericks- 
burg, about two miles south of the city. 

While here we received into our brigade the Fifteenth 
South Carolina Regiment, commanded by Colonel DeSaussure, 
and the Third Battalion, composed of eight companies and 
commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Rice. As these are new 



170 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

additions, it will be necessary to give a brief sketch of their 
organization and movements prior to their connection with 
Kershaw's Brigade. 

Soon after the battle of Bull Run or First Manassas, the 
Richmond Government made a call upon the different States 
for a new levy to meet the call of President Lincoln for three 
hundred thousand more troops to put down the Rebellion. 
The companies that were to compose the Fifteenth Regiment 
assembled at the old camping ground at Lightwood Knot 
Spring, three miles above Columbia. They were: 

Company A — Captain Brown, Richland. 

Companj' B — Captain Gist, Union. 

Company C — Captain Lewie, Lexington. 

Company D — Captain Warren, Kershaw. 

Company E — Captain Davis, Fairfield. 

Company F — Captain Boyd, Union. 

Company G — Captain McKitchen, Williamsl-'urg. 

Company H — Captain Farr, Union. 

Company I — Captain Koon, Lexington. 

Company K — Captain Bird, 

(These names are given from the best information obtain- 
able and may not be exactly correct, but as the fortunes of 
war soon made radical changes it is of little moment at this 
late date.) These companies elected for their field ofiicers: 

Colonel — Wm. DeSaussure. 

Lieutenant Colonel — Joseph Gist. 

Major 

The regiment remained in camp undergoing a thorough 
course of instruction until Hilton Head, on the coast of South 
Carolina, was threatened; then the Fifteenth was ordered in 
the field and hurried to that place, reaching it on the after- 
noon of the day before the battle of that name. The Fifteenth, 
with the Third Battalion and other State troops, was placed 
under the command of Brigadier General Drayton, also of 
South Carolina, and put in position. The next day, by some 
indiscretion of General Drayton, or .so supposed at that time, 
the Fifteenth was placed in such position as to be greatly 
exposed to the heavy fire, from the war vessels in the, harbor. 
This caused the loss of some thirty or forty in killed and 
wounded. The slaughter would have been much greater had 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 171 

it not been for the courage and quick perception of Colonel 
DeSaussure in manoeuvering them into a place of safety. 
After the battle the regiment lay for some time about Hardees- 
ville and Bluffton doing guard and picket duty, still keeping 
up their course of daily drills. They were then sent to James 
Island, and were held in reserve at the battle of Secessionville. 
After the great Seven Days' Battles around Richmond it and 
the Third Battalion were ordered to Virginia and placed with 
a regiment from Alabama and one from Georgia in a brigade 
under General Drayton. They went into camp below Rich- 
mond as a part of a division commanded by Brigadier General 
D. R. Jones, in the corps commanded by Ivongstreet. When 
I/Ce began his march northward they broke camp on the 13th 
of August, and followed the lead of Longstreet to Gordons- 
ville, and from thence on to Maryland. They were on the 
field during the bloody battle of Second Manassas, but not 
actually engaged, being held in the reserve line on the extreme 
right. At South Mountain they received their first baptism of 
fire in a battle with infantry. On the memorable 17th of 
September at Sharpsburg they were confirmed as veteran sol- 
diers in au additional baptism of blood. However, as yet 
considered raw and undisciplined troops, they conducted 
themselves on each of these trying occasions like trained sol- 
diers. Colonel DeSaussure was one of the most gallant and 
efficient officers that South Carolina ever produced. He was a 
Mexican War veteran and a born soldier. His attainments 
were such as fitted him for much higher position in the ser- 
vice than he had yet acquired. Had not the fortunes of war 
laid him low not many miles distant one year later, he would 
have shown, no doubt, as one of the brightest stars in the con- 
stellation of great Generals that South Carolina ever produced. 
After the return to Virginia Drayton's Brigade was broken 
up, and the Fifteenth and Third Battalion were as.signed to 
the brigade of General J. B. Kershaw, and began its service 
in that organization on the heights of Fredericksburg. 

thp: third battalion. 

I am indebted to Colonel W. G. Rice for a brief sketch of 
the Third Battalion, or as it was more generally known in the 
army, "James' Battalion," after its first commander, (who 



172 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

fell at South Mountain, Md. ,) up to the time of joining the 
brigade : 

"On the fall of Hilton Head and the occupation of Port 
Roj'al by the, enemy, the Governor of South Carolina issued 
a call for volunteers for State service. Among the companies 
offering their services were four from Laurens County. Lieu- 
tenant Geo. S. James having resigned from the' United States 
Army, and being personally known to several of the officers 
of said four companies, they united in forming a battalion and 
electing him Major. The companies became known thereafter 
as: 

"Company A— Captain W. G. Rice. 

"Company B— Captain J. G, Williams. 

"Company C — Captain J. M. Shumate. 

"Company D — Captairi G. M. Gunnels. 

"All of Laurens County, the organization being effected at 
Camp Hampton, near Columbia, November, 1861, and where 
Major James assumeid command. In December the battalion 
was ordered to Charleston, and from thence to White Point, 
near the coast. Here the battalion was strengthened by 
three more companies, making it now a compound battalion 
and entitled to a Lieutenant Colonel and Major. The additional 
companies were: 

"Company E, from Laurens — Captain M. M. Hunter. 

"Company F, from Richland — Captain D. B. Miller. 

"Company G, from Fairfield — Captain A. P. Irby. 

"Major James was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and Cap- 
tain W. G. Rice, as senior Captain, made Major, while Lieu- 
tenant J. M. Townsend was raised to the grade of Captain in 
place of Major Rice. 

"In April, 1862, areorganization was ordered, and the troops 
enlisted in the Confederate States' service. Both Colonel 
James and Major Rice were elected to their former positions, 
with the following company commanders: 

"J. M. Townsend — Captain Company A. 

"O. A. Watson — Captain Company B. 

"William Huggins — Captain Company C. 

"G. M. Gunnels — Captain Company D. 

"W. H. Fowler — Captain Company E. 

"D. B. Miller— Captain Company F. 



HISTORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 173 

"B. M. Whitener — Captain Company G. 

"Early in June the battalion was ordered to Jarfies' Island, 
iarriving there two days before the battle of Secessionville, but 
not participating iii it. A short while afterwards it was 
ordered to Richmond, and there remained until the great 
forward movement of General Lee's, which resulted in the 
Second Maua.ssas Battle and the invasion of Maryland. The 
battalion was now brigaded with Philip's Georgia! Legion, 
Fiftieth and Fifty-first Georgia, and Fifteenth South Carolina 
Regiments, and cbinmancled by Brigadier General Drayton. 
The battalion was under fire at Waterloo Bridge and at 
Thoroiighfare Gap, and the brigade held the extreme right of 
Lee's Army at the Second Manassas Battle, but was riot seri- 
ously engaged. The topography of the country was such that 
"while the incessant roar of artillery could be distinctly heard 
during the day, no infantry could be heard, and the extreme 
right did not hear of the result of the great battle until Gen- 
eral Robert Toombs inarched by and shouted' to his fellow 
Georgians: 'Another great and glorious. Bull Run.' After 
repeated marches and counter- marches during the day, night 
put an end to the bloody struggle, and the troops lay down to 
rest. A perfect tornado of shot and shell tore through the 
woods all around us until deep darkness fell and the enemy 
withdrew, leaving the entire field to the Confederates." 

After resting for nearly a week at Frederick City, Md., the 
battalion, with the Fifteenth South Carolina and the Georgians 
of Draj'ton's Brigade, was ordered to re-enforce General D. H. 
Hill, who was guarding Lee's rear at Crompton's Gap, in 
South Mountain. Here the South Carolinians were for the 
first trnie thoroiighly baptized with fire and blOod, and in 
which the gallant Colonel Jones lost his life. Of this battle 
Colonel Rice says: 

"Late in the evening of September 14th the brigade reached 
the battlefield and deployed in an old disused road that crossed 
thie mountain some four hundred yards to the right of the 
turnpike. No enemy in sight. Failing to drive D. H. Hill 
from their front, the Fed'^rals made a detour and' approached 
him by the flank. Two hundred yards ' from the road men- 
tioned above was a belt of woods saddling the mountain, and 
at this point running parallel with the road. General Drayton, 



174 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

not seeing the enenij', ordered forward Captain Miller's 
Conipan}' as skirmishers to ascertain their whereabouts. 
Captain Miller had advanced but a short distance when he 
met the enemj' in force. General Drayton ordered the com- 
mand to forward and drive thein from the woods. In the 
execution of this order some confusion arose, and a part of the 
brigade gave way, leaving the battalion in a very peculiar and 
isolated condition. There was a low rock fence running at 
right angles to the battle line, and behind this the battalion 
sought to protect itself, but it seemed and was in reality a 
deathtrap, for it presented its right flank to the enemy. It 
thus became onlj' a question of a very short time when it must 
either leave the field or surrender. Right nobly did this little 
band of heroes hold their ground against overwhelming 
numbers, and their front was never successfullj' approached; 
but as both flanks were so mercilessly assailed, a short time 
was sufficient to almost annihilate them. Colonel James 
was twice admonished by his second in command of his unten- 
able position, and that death or surrender was inevitable if he 
persisted in holding his ground, but without avail. The true 
soldier that he was preferred death to yielding. Just as night 
approached and fifing began to cease, Colonel James was 
pierced through the breast with a minnie ball, from the effects 
of which he soon died." 

Colonel Rice was dangerously wounded and left on the field 
for dead. But recovering consciousness, he found himself 
within the enemy's lines, that portion of his command nearest 
him having been withdrawn some distance in the rectifying of 
the lines. Colonel Rice escaped capture by crawling in a deep 
wash in the road, and was rescued by some skirmishers who 
were advancing to establish a new line. Colonel Rice gives 
this information in a foot-note: "The road in which the brigade 
was stationed was as all roads crossing hills, much washed and 
worn down, thus giving the troops therein stationed the 
advantage of first class breastworks. I do not know that the 
Fifteenth South Carolina and the other portion of the brigade 
were thus sheltered — have heard indeed that all were not — but 
within my vision the position was most admirable, now almost 
impregnable with good troops to defend it. To leave such a 
position was suicidal, especially when we were ordered to 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 175 

march through open ground and attack the enemy, sheltered 
behind trees and rocks. This is my estimate at least, and the 
result proved most disastrous to the brigade and General Dray- 
ton himself, as he was .soon afterwards relieved of his com- 
mand." 

It has been the aim of the writer of this History not to criti- 
cize, condemn, nor make any comments upon the inotives or 
acts of any of the officers whom he should have cause to men- 
tion, and he somewhat reluctantly gives space to Colonel Rice's 
stricture of General Drayton. It is difficult for officers in sub- 
altern position to understand all that their superiors do and do 
not. The Generals, from their positions, can see differently 
from tho.se in the line amid the smoke of battle, and they often 
give commands hard to comprehend from minor offiters' point 
of view. General Drayton was an accomplished and gallant 
officer, and while he might have been rash and reckless at 
South Mountain, still it is hard to conceive his being relieved 
of his command through the charge, of "rashness," especially 
when his brigade held up successfully for so long a time one 
of the most stubborn battles of the war. 

At the Battle of Sharp.sburg or Antietam, the little remnant 
of the battalion was again engaged. On I^ee's return to Vir- 
ginia, and during the last days of November or early in De- 
cember, the Third Battalion and the Fifteenth Regiment were 
transferred to Kerstiaw's Brigade, and from thence on it will 
be treated as a part of the old First Brigade. At Fredericks- 
burg, on the day of the great battle, the battalion held the 
railroad cut running from near the city to the right of 
Mayree's Hill, and was well protected by a bluff and the rail- 
road, consequently did not suffer as great a loss as the other 
regiments of the brigade. 

COLONEI, GEORGE S. J.AMES, 

The first commander of the Third Battalion, and who fell at 
South Mountain, was born in Laurens County, in 1829. He 
was the second son of John S. James, a prominent lawyer of 
Laurens, who, meeting with misfortune and losing a handsome 
fortune, attempted to regain it by moving to Columbia and 
engaging in mercantile pursuits. This he followed with suc- 
cess. Colonel George S. James received his early education 



176 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

in the academies of the up-country. While yet a youth some 
seventeen years of age, war with Mexico was declare4, and 
his patriotic and chivalric spirit sent him at once to the ranks 
of the Palmetto Regiment, and he shared the triumphs and for- 
tunes of that command to the close of the war. 

After his return to his native State, he entered the South 
Carolina College, along with many others,, who in after years 
made their State and themselves immortal by their fiery zeal 
in the War of Secession. At the college young James was a 
great favorite of all who knew him best, and while not a close 
student of text-books, he was an extensive reader, always 
•delighting his friends with wit and humor. The student life, 
however, failed to satisfy his adventurous spirit, and wander- 
ing away to the far distant West, seeking adventure or conge- 
nial pursuits, he received a commission of Lieutenant in the 
United States Army. 

The storm cloud of war, so long hovering over the land, 
was now about to burst, and Lieutenant James seeing separa- 
tion and perhaps war inevitable, resigned his commission, and 
hastened to offer his sword to his native State. He com- 
manded a battery at Fort Johnson, on James' Island, and 
shared with General RuflSn the honor of firing the first gun at 
Fort Sumter, a shot that was to electrify the world and put 
in motion two of the grandest and mightiest armies of all 
times. 



CHAPTER XIII 

Battle of Fredericksburg — The Fifteenth Regi- 
ment and Third Battalion Join Brigade. 

A portion of the Federal Army had preceded Lee, reaching 
the heights opposite Fredericksburg two days before the 
iirrival of Kershaw's Brigade and the other parts of the 
division. ' The Federals had been met by a small body of 
Confederates doing outpost duty there and held at bay till the 
coming of Longstreet with his five divisions. General Lee 



HISTORY OF KEKSHAW'S BRIGABE. 177 

was not long in determining the route Burnsides had selected 
and hurried Jackson on, and placed him some miles to our 
right, near Hamilton's Crossing, on the Richmond and Fred- 
ericksburg Railroad. When Burnsides became aware of the 
mighty obstacle of Lee's battalions between him and his goal, 
the deep, sluggish river separating the two armies, he realized 
the trouble that lay in his path. He began fortifying the 
ri(4|es running parallel to and near the river, and built a great 
chzln of forts along "Stafford Heights," opposite Fredericks- 
burg.' In these forts he mounted one hundred and thirty- 
seven guns, forty being siege pieces brought down from Wash- 
ington by way of the Potomac and Acquia Creek,; and lined the 
entire range of hills with his heaviest and long-distanced field 
batteries. These forts and batteries commanded the river and 
plain beyond, as well as every height and elevation on the 
Southern side. The range of hills on the opposite side were 
much higher and more commanding than those on the South- 
ern side, still L,ee began fortifying Taylor's, Mayree's, and 
Lee's Heights, and all the intervening hills also, by building 
forts and heavy redoubts, with protected embrasures on the 
flanks. Between these hills and along their crests the infantry 
threw up light earthworks. It could not be said that ours 
was a fortified position in any sense, only through natural 
barriers. There is a plain of a half to a mile in width between 
the river and the range to the South, commencing at Taylor's 
Hill, half a mile above the city, and widening as it diverges 
from the river below, terminating in a broken plateau down 
near Hamilton's Crossing. The highlands on the opposite 
side come rather precipitous to the water's edge. Along the 
banks, on either side, were rifle pits, in which were kept from 
three to five pickets, and on our side a brigade . was stationed 
night and day in the city as a support to the videttes guarding 
the river front. These pickets were directed to prevent a 
crossing at all hazards until the troops at camp in the rear 
were all in position in front of Fredericksburg. Stuart, with 
the body of his cavalry, guarded the river and country on our 
right below Jackson, while Hampton kept a lookout at the 
crossings above on the left of Longstreet. 

On the morning of the nth, at 3 o'clock, when all was still 
and the soldiers fast asleep, they Were rudely aroused from 
12 



178 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADK. 

their slumbers by the deep boom of a cannon away to the front 
and across the river. Scarcely had the sound of the first gun 
died away than another report thundered out on the stillness 
of that December night, its echo reverberating from hill to hill 
and down along the river side. These sounds were too oflai- 
nous to be mistaken; they were the signal guns that were to 
put in motion these two mighty armies. ''Fall in" was the 
word given, and repeated from hill to hill and camp to camp.- 
Drums beat the long roll at every camp, while far below and 
above the blast of the bugle called the troopers to "boots and 
saddle." Couriers dashed headlong in the sombre darkness 
from one General's headquarters to another's. Adjutants' and 
Colonels' orderlies were rushing from tent to tent, arousing 
the officers and men to arms, and giving instructions for the 
move. 

I can remember well the sharp, distinct voice of Adjutant 
Y. J. Pope on that morning, coming down the line of the 
officers' tents and calling out to each as he came opposite: 
"Captain ■ — , get your company ready to move at once." 

Under such order-i, companies have that same rivalry to be 
firi3t on the parade ground as exists among fire 'companies in 
towns and cities when the fire bell rings. We were all soon 
in line and marching with a hasty step in the direction of the 
breastworks above the city, Kershaw taking position immedi- 
ately to the right of the Telegraph Road. This is a public 
highway leading into the city, curving in a semi-circle around 
Mayree Hill on .the left. From this road the hill rises on the 
west and north in a regular bluff — a stone wall of five feet in 
height bordering either side of the road. "Deep Run", a 
small ravine, runs between the hill on which Kershaw was 
stationed and that of Mayree's. Daylight was yet some hours 
off when we took position, but we could hear the rattle of the 
guns of Barksdale's Mississippiaus, whose turn it was to be on 
picket in the city, driving off the enemy's pontoon corps and 
bridge builders. 

The city was almost deserted. General L,ee advising the citi- 
zens to leave their homes as soon as it became apparent that a 
battle would be fought here. Still a few, loath to leave their 
all to the ravages of an army, decided to remain and trust to 
fate. But soon after the firing along the river began, we saw 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 179 

groups of women and children and a few old men in the glim 
twilight of the morning rushing along the roads out from the 
city as fast as their feeble limbs and tender feet could carry 
them , hunting a safe retreat in the backwoods until the cloud 
pf war broke or passed over. Some were carrying babes in 
their arms, others dragging little children along by the hands, 
with a few articles of bedding or wearing apparel under their 
arms or thrown over their shoulders. The old men tottered 
along in the rear, giving words of comfort and cheer to the 
excited and frightened women and little ones. It was a sick- 
ening sight to see these helpless and inoffensive people hurry- 
ing away from the dangers of battle in the chilly morning of 
December, seeking some safe haunt in the backwoods, yet they 
bore it all without murmur or complaint. 

Anderson's Division of lyOngstreet's Corps rested on the 
river on the extreme left, at Taylor's Hill; then Ransom's 
along the crest of the ridge between Taylor's and Mayree's, 
and McL,aws' from his left across Deep Run Valley and along 
the ridge to Lee's Hill, where Pickett was posted; Hood ex- 
tending from Pickett's right, touching the left of the troops of 
Jackson's Corps. Three of Cobb's regiments and one from 
North Carolina were posted behind the stone wall lining the 
sunken road, while two of Cooke's North Carolina regiments 
were on the crest of Mayree's Hill overlooking Cobb. Ker- 
shaw's Brigade, with the Third South Carolina on the left, 
was resting on the ridge running at right angles to the Tele- 
graph Road, the left resting on the road, the Second South 
Carolina next, and so on to the left of Semmes' Brigade. 
Barksdale being in the city on picket, was relieved and placed 
in reserve. 

As soon as the signal guns gave evidence of an impending 
battle, D. H. Hill, who had been sent on detached service 
down the river, was recalled and placed in line with the other 
portion of Jackson's Corps. Jackson had his entire force 
closely massed in the woodland around Hamilton's Crossing 
and along the Richmond and Fredericksburg Railroad, one 
mile from the river. The Light Division of A. P. Hill occu- 
pied the front line, with a heavy battery of fourteen, guns on 
his right, supported by Archer's Brigade; then Lane's and 
Pender's in front, with Gregg's and Thomas' in reserve. 



180 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

Behind the lyight Division lay Early on the right, Taliaferro 
on the left, with D. H. Hill in rear of all along the Mine 
Road, the right of these divisions resting on Hamilton's Cross- 
ing. Hood occupied the valley between Lee's Hill and the 
highland around Hamilton's Crossing; Pickett on the ridge 
between Hood and McLaws; Stuart's Cavalry ran at right 
angles to the infantry line from Hamilton's Crossing to the 
river, hemming the Federal Army in the plain between Ham- 
ilton's Crossing and Taylor's Hill above the city, a space three 
miles long by one wide. 

Before day the enemy's pontoon corps came caution.sly to 
the river and began operations at laying down the bridge, but 
the pickets in the rifle pits kept them off for a time by their 
steady fire. The manner of putting down army bridges is 
much more simple and rapid than the old country mode of 
building. Large boats are loaded on long-coupled wagons, 
the boats filled with plank for flooring and cross beams, with 
a large iron ring in the rear end of each boat, through which 
a stout rope is to run, holding them at equal distance when in 
the water. When all is ready the boats are launched at equal 
distance so that the beams can reach, then pushed out in the 
stream, and floated around in a semi-circle, until the opposite 
bank is reached, the rope fastened to trees on either bank, 
cross pieces are laid, the flooring put down, and the bridge is 
ready for cros.sing. 

After making .several ineffectual attempts in placing the 
bridge, the destructive fire of Barksdale's Riflemen forcing 
them back, the enemy attempted the bold project of filling the 
boats with armed soldiers, pushing out in the stream, and 
fighting their way across, under cover of their artillery fire. 
While the dense fog was yet hanging heavily over the waters, 
one hundred and forty guns, many siege pieces, were opened 
upon the deserted city and the men along the water front. The 
roar from the cannon-crowned battlements shook the very earth. 
Above and below us seemed to vibrate as from the effects of a 
mighty upheaval, while the shot and shell came whizzing and 
shrieking overhead, looking like a .shower of falling meteors. 
For more than an hour did this seething volcano vomit iron 
like hail upon the city and the men in the rifle pits, the 
shells and shot from the siege guns tearing through the 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 181 

houses and plunging along the streets, and ricocheting to the 
hills above. Not a house nor room nor chimney escaped 
destruction. Walls were perforated, plastering and ceiling 
fell, chimneys tottering or spreading over yards and out into 
the streets. Not a place of safety, save the cellars and wells, 
and in the former some were forced to take refuge. Yet 
through all this, the brave Mississippians stood and bravely 
fought the bridge builders, beating them back till orders were 
given to retire. They had accomplished the purpose of delay- 
ing the enemj''s crossing until our troops were in position. 
The Federals now hurried over in swarms, by thousands and 
tens of thousands, and made their way down the river, 
stationing a strong cordon of guards around the point of land- 
ing. The space between was soon a seething mass of human- 
ity, the houses and streets crowded to overflowing. A second 
bridge was laid a mile below at the mouth of Deep Run, and 
here a continuous stream of all arms were soon pouring over. 
General Kershaw rode along our lines, encouraging the men, 
urging them to stand steadfast, assuring them that there was 
to be neither an advance nor retreat, that we were but to hold 
our ground, and one of the greatest victories of the war would 
be gained. How prophetic his words! All during the day 
and night the deep rumbling sound of the long wagon trains, 
artiller}', and cavalry could be heard crossing the pontoon 
bridges above and below. 

The next morning, the 12th, as the fog lifted, Stafford 
Heights and the inclines above the river were one field of blue. 
Great lines of infantry, with waving banners, their bright guns 
and bayonets glittering in the sunlight, all slowly marching 
down the steep inclines between the heights and the river on 
over the bridges, then down the river side at a double-quick to 
join their comrades of the night before. These long, swaying 
Hnes, surging in and out among the jutting of the hillsides 
beyond, down to the river, over and down among the trees and 
bushes near the water, resembled some monster serpent drag- 
ging its "weary length along." Light batteries of artillery 
came dashing at break-neck speed down the hillsides, their 
horses rearing and plunging as if wishing to take the river at 
a leap. Cavalry, too, with their heavy-bodied Norman horses, 
their spurs digging the flanks, sabres bright and glistening 



182 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

and dangling at their sides, came at a canter, all seeming anx- 
ious to get over and meet the death and desolation awaiting 
them. lyong trains of ordnance wagons, with their black oil- 
cloth covering, the supply trains and quartermaster depart- 
ments all following in the wake of their division or corps head- 
quarters, escorts, and trains. All spread out over the hills 
and in the gorges lay men by the thousands, awaiting their 
turn to move. Not a shot nor shell to mar or disturb "the 
even tenor of their way." Bands of music enlivened the scene 
by their inspiring strains, and when some national air, or 
specially martial piece, would be struck up, shouts and yells 
rended the air for miles, to be answered bj' counter yells from 
the throats of fifty thousand "Johnny Rebs," as the Southern 
soldiers were called. The Confederate bands were not idle, 
for as soon as a Federal band would cease playing, some of the 
Southern bands would take up the refrain, and as the notes, 
especiallj' Dixie, would be wafted over the water and hills, the 
"blue coats" would shout, sing, and dance — hats and caps 
.went up, flags waved in the breeze — so delighted were they at 
the sight and sound of Dixie. The whole presented more the 
spectacle of a holiday procession, or a gala day, rather than 
the prelude to the most sanguinary battle of modern times. 

The night following was cold, and a biting wind was blow- 
ing. Only a few days before a heavy snow had fallen, and in 
some places it still remained banked up in shaded corners. 
To those who had to stand picket out in the plain between 
the armies the cold was fearful. The enemy had no fires 
outside of the city, and their sufferings from cold must have 
been severe. My company, from the Third, as well as one 
from each of the other regiments, were on picket duty, posted 
in an open cornfield in the plain close to the enem}', near 
enough, in fact, to hear voices in either camp — with no fire, 
and not allowed to speak above a whisper. The night became 
so intensely cold just before day that the men gathered corn- 
stalks and kindled little fires along the beat, and at early dawn 
we were withdrawn. 

All knew full well, as the day preceding had passed without 
any demonstrations, only maneuvering, this day, the 13th, 
would be a day of battle. A heavy fog, as usual, rose from 
the river and settled along the plains and hillsides, so much so 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 183 

that objects could not be distinguished twenty paces. How- 
ever, the least noise could be heard at a great distance. 
Activity in the Federal camp was noticed early in the morn- 
ing. OfEcers could be heard giving commands, wagons and 
artillery moving to positions. At half past ten the fog sud- 
denly lifted, and away to our right and near the river great 
columns of men were moving, marching and counter-march- 
ing. These were in front of A. P. Hill, of Jackson's Corps. 
In front of us and in the town all was still and quiet as a city 
of the dead. The great siege guns from beyond the river on 
Stafford Heights opened the battle by a dozen or more shells 
screaming through the tree tops and falling in Jackson's camp. 
From every fort soon afterwards a white puff of smoke could 
be seen, then a vivid flash and a deafening report, telling us 
that the enemy was ready and waiting. From the many field 
batteries between Jackson and the river the smoke curled up 
around the tree tops, and shell went crashing through the 
timbers. Our batteries along the front of Lougstreet's Corps 
opened their long-ranged guns on the redoubts beyond the 
river, and our two siege guns on Lee's Hill, just brought up 
from Richmond, paid special attention to the columns moving 
to the assault of A. P. Hill. For one hour the earth and air 
seemed to tremble and shake beneath the shock of three hun- 
dred guns, and the bursting of thousands of shells overhead, 
before and behind us, looked like bursting stars on a frolic. 
The activity suddenly ceases in front of Hill, and the enemy's 
infantry lines move to the front. First the skirmishers meet, 
and their regular firing tells the two armies that they are near 
together. Then the skirmish fire gives way to the deep, 
sullen roar of the line of battle. From our position, some 
three hundred yards in rear and to the right of Mayree's Hill, 
we could see the Union columns moving down the river, our 
batteries raking them with shot and shell. In crossing an 
old unfinished railroad cut the two siege guns played upon the 
flank with fearful effect. Huddling down behind the walls of 
the cut to avoid the fire in front, the batteries from Mayree's 
and in the fields to the right enfiladed the position, the men 
rushing hither and thither and falling in heaps from the deadly 
fire in front and flank. Jackson has been engagedin a heavy 
battle for nearly an hour, when suddenly in our front tens of 



184 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

thousands of "blue coats" seemed to spring up out of the 
earth and make for our lines. Near one-half of the army had 
concealed themselves in the city and along the river banks, 
close to the water's edge. The foliage of the trees and the 
declivity of the ground having hidden them thus far from 
view. From out of the streets and from behind walls and 
houses men poured, as if by some magical process or super- 
human agency, and formed lines of battle behind a little rise in 
the ground, near the canal. But in a few moments they 
emerged from their second place of protection and bore down 
upon the stone wall, behind which stood Cobb's Georgians and 
a Regiment of North Carolinians. When midway between 
the canal and stone fence, they met an obstruction — a plank 
fence — but this did not delay them long. It was soon dashed 
to the ground and out of their way, but their men were falling 
at every step from Cobb's infantry fire and grape and canister 
from the Washington Artillery of New Orleans on the hill. 
They never neared the wall nor did they take more time than to 
fire a volley or two before they fied the field. This retreating 
column of Franklin's met that of Hancock's, formed, and on 
its way to try issues with the troops behind the stone wall, 
Longstreet now saw what had never been considered before — 
that Burnsides was determined to possess himself of the key to 
L,ee's position, "Mayree's Hill," in front of. which was the 
stone wall. He ordered the two regiments of North Caroli- 
nians that were posted on the crest of the hill down behind the 
stone wall, to the left of Cobb and Kershaw, to reinforce the 
position with his brigade. 

The Third Regiment being ordered to the top of Mayree's 
Hill, Colonel Nance, at the head of his regiment, entered the 
Telegraph Road, and down this the men rushed, followed by 
the Second, led by Colonel Kennedy, under one of the heaviest 
shellings the troops ever experienced. This two hundred yards' 
stretch of road was in full view and range of the heavy gu-n 
batteries on Stafford Heights, and as the men scattered out 
along and down the road, the shells passed, plowing in the 
road, bursting overhead, or striking the earth and ricocheting 
to the hills far in the rear. On reaching the ravine, at the 
lower end 6t the incline, the Third Regiment was turned to 
the left and up a by-road to the plateau in rear of the "Mayree 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 185 

Mansion." The hoiase tops in the city were lined with sharp- 
shooters, and from windows and doors and from behind houses 
the deadly missiles from the globe-sighted rifles made sad 
havoc in our ranks. 

When the Third reached the top of the plateau it was in 
column of fours, and Colonel Nance formed line of battle by 
changing "front forward on first company." This pretty 
piece of tactics was executed while under the galling fire from 
the artillery and sharp-shooters, but was as perfect as on dress 
parade. The regiment lined up, the right resting on the 
house and extending along a dull road to the next street lead- 
ing into the city. We had scarcely gotten in position before 
Nance, Rutherford, and MafEett, the three field ofiicers, had 
fallen. Colonel Kennedy, with the Second, passed over the 
left of the plateau and down the street on our left, and at right 
angles with our line, being in a position to give a sweeping 
fire to the flank of the columns of assault against the stone 
fence. From the preparation and determination made to break 
through the line here, Kershaw ordered I^ieutenant Colonel 
Bland, with the Seventh, Colonel Henegan, with the Eighth, 
and Colonel DeSaussure, with the Fifteenth, to double-up with 
Cobb's men, and to hold their position "at the sacrifice of 
every man of their commands. ' ' 

All of the different regiments, with the exception of the 
Third South Caiplina, had good protection in the way of stone 
walls, this being the sole occasion that any of Kershaw's 
troops had been protected by breastworks of any kind during 
the whole war. The Second was in a sunken road leading to 
the city, walled on either side with granite, the earth on the 
outside being leveled up with the top. The manouvering into 
position had taken place while Hancock was making the first 
assault upon the wall defended by Cobb. Howard was now 
preparing to make the doubtful attempt at taking the strong- 
hold with the point of the bayonet, and without firing a gun. 
But with such men as the Georgians, South Carolinians, and 
North Carolinians in their front, the task proved too Hercu- 
lean. Howard moved to the battle in beautiful style, their 
line almost solid and straight, their step in perfect unison with 
the long, moving columns, their guns carried at a trail, and 
the stars and stripes floating proudly above their heads. The 



186 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

shot and shell plunging through their ranks from the hills 
above, the two siege guns on I,ee's Hill now in beautiful play, 
the brass pieces of the Washington Artillery firing with grape 
and shrapnell — but all this made no break nor halt in that 
long line of blue. The double column behind the stone wall 
and the Third South Carolina on the crest of the Hill met 
them in front with a cool and steady fire, while the Second 
South Carolina directed its attention to the flank. But the 
boldest and stoutest hearts could not withstand this withering 
blast of bullets and shells without returning the fire. The 
enemy opened upon us a terrific fire, both from the columns 
in front and from the sharp-shooters in the housetops in the 
city. After giving us battle as long as human endurance 
could bear the ordeal, they, like their companions before them, 
fled in confusion. 

Before making the direct attack, Howard attempted a diver- 
sion by endeavoring to turn Cobb's left. Passing out into the 
plain above the city, he was met by some of Cooke's North 
Carolinians, and there around the sacred tomb of Mary Wash- 
ington was a hand to hand encounter between some New York 
and Massachusetts troops and those from the Pine Tree State. 
Sons of the same ancestry, sons of sires who fought with the 
"Father of his Country" in the struggle for the nation's inde- 
pendence, now fighting above the grave of the mother for its 
dissolution! Thrice were the Confederates driven from the 
position, but as often retaken, and at last held at the point of 
the bayonet by the hardy sons of North Carolina. 

The battle, grand and awful in its sublimity, raged from the 
morning's opening till two o'clock, without the least abate- 
ment along the whole line. From the extreme right to our 
left at Taylor's Hill was a sea of fire. But Mayree's Hill was 
the center, around which all the other battles revolved. It 
was the key to L,ee's position, and this had become the boon 
of contention. It was in the taking of Mayree's Hill and the 
defeat of the troops defending it that the North was pouring 
out its river of blood. Both commanders were still preparing 
to stake their all upon this hazard of the die — the discipline of 
the North against the valor of the South. 

Our loss was heavy, both in oSicers and men. The brave, 
chivalric Cobb, of Georgia, had fallen. Of the Third South 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 187 

Carolina, Colonel Nance, I^ieutenant Colonel Rutherford, and 
Major Maffett had all been severely wounded in the early part 
of the engagement. Captain Hance, while commanding, fell 
pierced through the heart. Then the next in command. Cap- 
tain Summer, met a similar fate; then Captain Foster. Captain 
Nance, the junior Captain in the regiment, retained the com- 
mand during the continuance of the fight, although painfully 
wounded. The dead of the Third Regiment lay in heaps, like 
hogs in a slaughter pen. The position of the Second Regi- 
ment gave it great advantage over the advancing column. 
From a piaza in rear of the sunken road, Colonel Kennedy 
posted himself, getting a better view, and to better direct the 
firing Lieutenant Colonel William Wallace remained with the 
men in the road, and as the column of assault reached the 
proper range, he ordered a telling fire on the enemy's flank. 
Men in the road would load the guns for those near the wall, 
thus keeping up a continual fire, and as the enemy scattered 
over the plain in their retreat, then was the opportunity for 
the Second and Third, from their elevated positions and better 
view, to give them such deadly parting salutes. The smoke 
in front of the stone wall became so dense that the troops 
behind it could only fire at the flashing of the enemy's guns. 
From the Third's position, it was more dangerous for its 
wounded to leave the field than remain on the battle line, the 
broad, level plateau in rear almost making it suicidal to raise 
even as high as a stooping posture. 

From the constant, steady, and uninterrupted roll of mus- 
ketry far to the right, we knew Jack.son was engaged in a 
mighty struggle. From the early mornixig's opening the 
noise of his battle had been gradually bearing to the rear. 
He was being driven from position to position, and was meet- 
ing with defeat and possiblj' disaster. From thp direction of 
his fire our situation was anything but assuring. 

General Meade, of the Federal Army, had made the first 
morning attack upon the Light Brigade, under A. P. Hill, 
throwing that column in confusion and driving it back upon 
the- second line. These troops were not expecting the advance, 
and some had their guns stacked. The heavy fog obscured 
the Federal lines until they were almost within pistol shot. 
When it was discovered that an enemy was in their front (in 



188 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE, 

fact some thought them their friends), in this confusion of 
troops a retreat was ordered to the second line. In this sur- 
prise and disorder South Carolina lost one of her most gifted 
sons, and the South a brave and accomplished ofiScer, Briga- 
dier General Maxcy Gregg. 

General Hood, on Hill's left, failing to move in time to give 
him the support expected, the whole of Jackson's Corps was 
forced to retire. But the tide at length begins to turn. Meade 
is driven from the field. Division after division was rushed to 
the front to meet and check Jackson's steady advance. Can- 
non now boom as never before heard, even the clear ringing 
of Pelham's little howitzers, of Stuart's Cavalry, could be 
heard above the thunder of the big guns, telling us that Stuart 
was putting his horse artillery in the balance. His brave 
artillery leader was raking the enemy's flank as they fell back 
on the river. In our front new troops were being marshalled 
and put in readiness to swell the human holocaust before the 
fatal wall. 

Franklin, Hancock, and Howard had made unsuccessful 
attempts upon this position, leaving their wounded and dead 
lying in heaps and wind rows from the old railroad cut to the 
suburbs. Now Sturgis, of the Ninth Corps, was steadily ad- 
vancing. The Washington Artillery, from New Orleans, occu- 
pying the most conspicuous and favorable position on the 
right of the "Mayree House," had exhausted their shot and 
shell. The infantry in the road and behind the wall, Cobb's 
and part of Kershaw's, were nearly out of ammunition, and dur- 
ing the last charge had been using that of their dead and 
wounded. Calls were made on all sides for "more ammuni- 
tion," both from the artillery and infantry. Orders and details 
had been sent to the ordnance trains to bring supplies to the 
front. But the orders had miscarried, or the trains were too 
far distant, for up to three o'clock no sign of replenishment 
was in sight. The hearts of the exhausted men began to fail 
them — the batteries silent, the infantry short of ammunition, 
while a long line of blue was making rapid strides towards us 
in front. 

But now all hearts were made glad by the sudden rush of 
Alexander's Battery coming to the relief of the Washington 
Artillery. Down the Telegraph Road the battery came, their 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 189 

horses rearing and plunging, drivers burying the points of 
their spurs deep into the flanks of the foaming steeds; riders 
in front bending low upon the saddle bows to escape the shells 
that now filled the air, or plowing up the earth beneath the 
horses hoofs; the men on the caissons clinging with a death- 
like grip to retain their seats, the great heavy wheels spinning 
around like mad and bounding high in the air; while the 
officers riding at the side of this charging column of artillerists, 
shouted at the top of thier voices, giving directions to the 
leaders. Down this open and exposed stretch of road, up 
over the plateau, then wheel to the right, they make a rush 
through the gauntlet that separates them from the fort in 
which stood the Washington Artillery. Over the dead and 
dying the horses leap and plunge, dragging the cannon and 
ammunition chests — they enter the fort at a gallop. Swinging 
into line, their brass pieces are now belching forth grape and 
canister into the ranks of the advancing columns. All this 
takes place in less time than it takes to record it. The bold 
dash and beautiful piece of evolution so excite the admiration 
of all who witnessed it, that a yell went up that drowns for a 
time the heavy baying of the siege guns on Stafford Heights. 

About this time Jackson seems to have reached his limit of 
retreat, and was now forging steadily to the front, regaining 
every inch of the lost ground of the morning. The Federal 
Commander-in-Chief, seeing ihe. stubborn resistance he is met 
with in front of the city, and Jackson's gray lines pressing his 
left back upon the river, began to feel the hopelessness of his 
battle, and sent orders to Franklin to attack Jackson with his 
entire force. Hooker was to reinforce Sumner on the right, 
the latter to take the stone wall and the heights bej'ond before 
night. Sturgis had met the fate of those who had assaulted 
before him. Now Getty and Griffin were making frantic 
efforts to reach the wall. Griffin had his men concealed and 
protected in the wet, marshy bed of the old canal. He now 
undertook to accomplish that which Howard had attempted in 
the morning, and failed — the feat of taking the stone walls 
with empty guns. 

In this column of assault was the famous Meager's Irish 
Brigade, of New York, — all Irishmen, but undoubtedly the 
finest body of troops in the Federal Army. When the signal 



190 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

for advance was given, from out of their hiding places they 
sprang— from the canal, the bushes on the river bank, the side 
streets in the city, one compact row of glittering bayonets came 
— in long battle lines. General Kershaw, seeing the prepara- 
tion made for this final and overwhelming assault upon our 
jaded troops, sent Captain Doby, of his staff, along our lines 
with orders to hold our position at all hazards, even at the 
point of the baj'onet. 

As the rifle balls from the housetops and shells from the 
batteries along the river banks sang their peculiar death notes 
overhead and around us, this brave and fearless ofBcer made 
the entire length of the line, exhorting, entreating, and urg- 
ing the men to redoubled efforts. How Captain Doby escaped 
death is little less than miraculous. 

The casualties of battle among the officers and the doubling 
up process of the men behind the wall caused all order of 
organization to be lost sight of, and each man loaded and fired 
as he saw best. The men in the road, even the wounded, 
crowded out from the wall by force of number, loaded the 
guns for the more fortunate who had places, and in many in- 
stances three and four men loaded the guns for one, passing 
them to those who were firing from the top of the stone fence. 
Each seemed to fight on his own responsibility, and with the 
same determined spirit to hold the wall and the heights above. 
Each felt as if the safety of the army depended upon his exer- 
tions alone. 

With a firm and elastic step this long, .swaying line of Irish- 
men moved to the assault with as much indifiFerence appar- 
ently to their fate as "sheep going to the shambles." Not a 
shot was fired from this advancing column, while the shells 
from our batteries cut swath after swath through their ranks, 
only to be closed again as if by some mechauical m'eans; colors 
fall, but rise and float again, men bounding forward and 
eagerly grasping the fallen staff, indifferent of the fate that 
awaited them. Officers are in front, with drawn swords flash- 
ing in the gleam of the fading sunlight, urging on their men 
to still greater deeds of prowess, and by their individual cour- 
age set examples in heroism never before witnessed on this 
continent. The assault upon Mayree's Hill by the Irish 
Brigade and their compatriots will go down in history as only 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 191 

equalled by the famous ride of the "Six Hundred at Hohen- 
linden," and the "Charge of the JLight Brigade at Balaclava." 
They forge their way forward over the heap of dead and dying 
that now strew the plain, nearer to the deadly wall than any 
of the troops before them. It began to look for the moment 
as if their undaunted courage would succeed, but the courage 
of the defenders of Mayree's Hill seemed to increase in ardour 
and determination in proportion to that of the enemy. The 
smoke and flame of their battle is now less than one hundred 
paces from the wall, but the odds are against them, and they, 
too, had to finall}' yield to the inevitable and leave the field in 
great disorder. 

From both sides hopes and prayers had gone up that this 
charge would prove the last attempt to break our lines. But 
Humphries met the shattered columns with a fresh advance. 
Those who were rr arching to enter this maelstrom of carnage 
were entreated and praj'ed to by all of those who had just 
returned from the sickening scene not to enter this death trap, 
and begged them not to throw away their lives in the vain 
attempt to accomplish the impossible. But Humphries, anx- 
ious of glory for himself and men, urged on by the imperative 
orders from his Commander-in-Chief, soon had his men on the 
march to the "bloody wall." But as the sun dropped behind 
the hills in our rear, the scene that presented itself in the 
fading gloom of that December day was a plain filled with the 
dead and dying — a living stream of flying fugitives seeking 
shelter from the storm of shot and shell by plunging over the 
precipitous banks of the river, or along the streets and protect- 
ing wall.s of the city buildings. 

Jackson had pressed all in his front back to the water's 
edge, while his batteries, with those of Stuart's, were still 
throwing shells into the huddled, panic-stricken, and now 
thoroughly vanquished army of the enemy. 

That night the Federal Commander-in-Chief sat in his tent 
alone, and arouud him the groans of the wounded and the 
agonizing wails of the dying greet his ear — the gentle wind 
singing a requiem to his dead. He nursed alone the bitter 
consciousness of the total defeat of his army, now a scattered 
mass — a skeleton of its former greatness — while the flower of 
the Northern chivalry lie sleeping the sleep of death on the 



192 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

hills and plains round about. His country and posterity would 
charge him with all the responsibility of defeat, and he felt 
that his brief command of the once grand and mighty Army 
of the Potomac was now at an end. Sore and bitter recollec- 
tions ! 

Burnsides had on the field one hundred and thirty-two thou- 
sand and seventeen men; of these one hundred and sixteen 
thousand six hundred and eighty-three" were in line of battle. 
I/ee had upon the field and ready for action sixty- nine thou- 
sand three hundred and ninety-one infantry and artillery, and 
about five thousand cavalry. Burnsides had three hundred 
and seventy pieces of field artillery and fort}' siege guns 
mounted on Stafford's Heights. Lee had three hundred and 
twelve pieces of field and heavy artillery, with two siege guns, 
both exploding, one in the early part of the day. 

The enemy's loss was twelve thousand six hundred and 
fifty-three, of which at least eight thousand fell in front of the 
stone wall. It has been computed by returns made since that 
in the seven different charges there were engaged at least 
twenty-five thousand infantry alone in the assaults against the 
stone wall, defended by not more than four thousand men, 
exclusive of artillery. L,ee's entire loss was five thousand 
three hundred and twenty-two killed, wounded, and missing; 
and one of the strangest features of this great battle, one in 
which so many men of all arms were engaged, the enormous 
loss of life on both sides, and the close proximity of such a 
lar.i^e body of cavalry, the returns of the battle only give 
thirteen wounded and none killed of the entire cavalry force on 
the Confederate side. 

The men who held the stone wall and Mayree's Hill were 
three regiments of Cooke's North Carolina Brigade; the Six- 
teenth Georgia, Colonel Bryan; the Eighteenth Georgia, Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Ruff; the Twenty-fourth Georgia, Colonel 
McMillan; the Cobb Legion and Philip Legion, Colonel Cook, 
■of General T. R. R. Cobb's Brigade; the Second South Caro- 
lina, Colonel Kennedy; the Third South Carolina, Colonel 
Nance, Lieutenant Colonel Rutherford, Major Maffett, Cap- 
tains Summer, Hance, Foster, and Nance; the Seventh South 
Carolina, Lieutenant Colonel Bland; the Eighth South Caro- 
lina, Colonel Henegan and Major Stackhouse; the Fifteenth 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 193 

South Carolina, Colonel DeSaussure; the Third Battalion, 
Major Rice, of Kershaw's Brigade; the Washington Battery, 
of New Orleans, and Alexander's Battery, from Virginia. 
The brigades from Hood's and Pickett's Divisions, Jenkins, 
of South Carolina, being from the latter, were sent to the sup- 
port of McLaws, at Mayree's Hill, and only acted as reserve 
and not engaged. 

The next day, as if by mutual consent, was a day of rest. 
The wounded were gathered in as far as we were able to reach 
them. The enemy's wounded lay within one hundred yards 
of the stone wall for two days and nights, and their piteous 
calls for help and water were simply heart-rending. When- 
ever one of our soldiers attempted to relieve the enem}' lying 
close under our wall, he would be fired upon by the pickets 
and guards in the house tops. 

On the night of the 15th, the Federal Army, like strolling 
Arabs, "folded their tents and silently stole away." The 
1 6th was given up et;itirely to the bufial of the dead. In the 
long line of pits, dug as protection for the enemy while pre- 
paring for a charge, these putrefying bodies were thrown head- 
long, pell mell, like the filling of blind ditches with timbers. 
One Confederate would get between the legs of the dead 
enemy, take a foot in either hand, then two others would each 
grasp, an arm, and drag at a run the remains of the dead 
enemy and heave it over in the pit. In this way these pits or 
ditches were filled almost to a level of the surface, a little dirt 
thrown over them, there to remain until the great United 
States Government removed them to the beautiful park around 
Mayree's Heights. There to this day, and oerhaps for all 
time, sleep the "blue and the gray," while the flag so disas- 
troiisly beaten on that day now floats iu triumph aver all. 

It must be said to the credit of General Burnsides, that the 
responsibility for this disastrous battle shopld not rest upon his 
shoulders.. He. felt his . incapacity for handling so great a 
body. of troops. Again and again he wrote the authorities in 
Washington protesting again.st the command being given him. 
"I am unable to handle .so great an army," he wrote his chief, 
but in vain. The fiat.had gone forth, "Go and crush I^ee," 
and the result was to have been expected. 



13 



194 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 



CHAPTER XIV 

Incidents of the Battle — Comparisons With 
Other Engagements. 

The Battle of Fredericksburg was not the most desperate 
nor bloody of the war, nor was it so fruitful of events as others 
in its bearing on future results. Really neither side gained 
nor lost any great advantage; nor was the battle any more to 
the Confederate side than a great victory barren of ulterior 
results; the loss to the Federals no more than the loss of a 
number of men and the lowering of the morale among the 
troops. Within a day or two both armies occupied the same 
positions as before the battle. Not wishing to attempt any 
invidious comparisons or reflections upon troops in wars of 
other periods, but for the information of those who are not 
conversant with the magnitude of the Civil, War, as compared 
with the Revolution and Mexican War, I will here give a few 
statistics. The reader then can draw his own conclusions as 
to the sanguinary effects and extent of some of our battles. 
Of course the different kinds of weapons used in the late war — 
their deadly effect, long range, better mode of firing — will have 
to be considered in comparison to the old. 

As the Revolutionary War was more of a guerilla than 
actual war, I will speak more directly of the Mexican War. 
It will be noticed the difference in the killed to the wounded 
was far out of proportion in favor of the latter. This I 
attribute to the smallness of the gun's calibre, and in many 
instances buck-shot were used in connection with larger balls 
by the soldiers of the old wars, while the Mexicans used 
.swords and lances, as well as pistols. During the three days' 
battle at Molino del Rey, Chapultepec, and the storming of 
the City of Mexico, considered the most bloody and san- 
guinary of that war, the four divisions of Scott's Army, of two 
thousand each, lost as follows: Pillow lost one officer killed 
and fourteen wounded, twenty-one privates killed and ninety- 
seven wounded. Worth lost two officers killed and nine 
wounded, twenty-three privates killed and ninety-five wounded. 



HISTORY OF KBRSHAW'S BRIGADE. 195 

Quitman lost four officers killed and thirty wounded, thirty- 
seven privates killed and two hundred and thirty-seven 
wounded. Smith's Brigade, with Quitman, lost ten officers 
wounded and none killed, twenty-four privates killed and one 
hundred and twenty-six wounded. Twigg's Division lost 
three officers killed and twelve wounded, fifteen privates 
killed and seventy-seven wounded. This, with some few 
missing, making a grand total loss, out of Scott's Army of 
nine to ten thousand men, of between six hundred and fifty and 
seven hundred killed, wounded, and missing — a number that 
Kershaw's Brigade alone frequently lost in three or four 
hours. 

The heaviest casualties in the three days' battle of Mexico 
in regiments were in the Palmetto Regiment and the Ken- 
tucky Rifles, where the former lost two officers killed and nine 
wounded, fourteen privatas killed and seventy -five wounded; 
the latter lost six officers wounded and none killed, nine pri- 
vates killed and sixty-four wounded. When it is remembered 
that the Third Regiment in the battle with about three hun- 
dred and fifty and four hundred men in line lost six regimental 
commanders killed and wounded, not less than three times 
that number of other officers killed and wounded, and more 
than one hundred and fifty men killed and wounded, some 
idea can be had of its bloody crisis and deadly struggle, in 
which our troops were engaged, in comparison to the patriots 
in Mexico. 

But considering the close proximity of the troops engaged 
at Fredericksburg, the narrow compass in which they were 
massed, the number of elevated positions suitable for artillerj' 
on either side, and the number of troops on the field, the 
wonder is why the casualties were not even greater than the 
reports make them. Burnsides, from the nature of the ground, 
could not handle more than half his army, as by official re- 
turns not more than fifty thousand were in line of battle and 
in actual combat. There were only two points at which he 
could extend his line, and if at one he found a "Scylla," he 
was equally sure to find a "Charybdis" at the other. On his 
left flank Jackson's whole corps was massed, at Hamilton's 
Crossing; at his right was the stone wall and Mayree's Hill. 
To meet Hood and Pickett he would have had to advance be- 



196 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

tween a quarter and half mile through a plain, where his 
army could be enfiladed by the guns of Longstreet- and Jack- 
son, and in front by the batteries of Hood and Pickett. It 
seems from reports since come to light that the authorities at 
Washington apprehended more danger in Burnsides crossing 
the river than in the battle that was to follow. Lincoln in 
giving him orders as to his movements instructed his Secretary 
-of War, Stanton, to write Burnsides to be very careful in the 
■crossing, to guard his flanks well, and not allow Lee to fall 
upon one part that had crossed and crush it before the other 
part could come to the rescue; nor allow that wing of the 
army yet remaining on the Northern side to be attacked and 
destroyed while the other had crossed to the Southern side. 
It is Siid Stanton wrote the order couched in the best of 
English, and phrased in elegant terms the instructions above, 
telling him to guard his flanks, etc., then read the order to 
Lincoln for his approval. Taking up the pen, the President 
endorsed it, and wrote underneath, in his own hand: "In 
crossing the river don't allow yourself to be caught in the fix 
of a cow, hurried by dogs, in jumping a fence, get hung in the 
middle, so that she can't either use her horns in front, nor her 
heels behind." 

Many incidents of courage and pathos could be written of 
this, as well as many other battles, but one that I think the 
crowning act of courage and sympathy for an enemy in dis- 
tress is due was that of a Georgian behind the wall. In one 
of the first charges made during the day a Federal had fallen, 
and to protect himself as much as possible from the bullets of 
his enemies, he had by sheer force of will pulled his bod}' 
along until he had neared the wall. Then he failed through 
pure exhaustion. From loss of blood and the exposure of the 
sun's rays, he called loudly for water. "Oh, somebody bring 
me a drink of water! — water! water!!" was the piteous appeals 
heard by those behind the stone wall. To go to his rescue 
was to court certain death, as the housetops to the left were 
lined with sharpshooters, ready to fire upon anyone showing 
his head above the wall. But one brave soldier from Georgia 
daied all, and during the lull in the firing leaped ,the walls, 
rushed to the wounded soldier, and raising his head in his 
arms, gave him a drink of water, then made his way back and 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 197 

over the wall amid a hail of bullets knocking the dirt up all 
around him. 

The soldier, like the sailor, is proverbial for his superstition. 
But at times certain incidents or coincidents take place in the 
life of the soldier that are inexplainable, to say the least. Now 
it is certain that every soldier going into battle has some dread 
of death. It is the nature of man to dread that long lost sleep 
at any time and in any place. He knows that death is a mas- 
ter of all, and all must yield to its inexorable summons, and 
that summons is more likely to come in battle than on ordinary 
occasions. That at certain times soldiers do have a premoni- 
tion of their coming death, has been proven on many occa- 
sions. Not that I say all soldiers foretell their end by some 
kind of secret monster, but that some do, or seem to do so. 
Captain Summer, of my company, was an unusually good- 
humored and lively man, and while he was not what could be 
called profane, yet he had little predilection toward piety or 
the Church. In other battles he advanced to the front as 
light-hearted and free from care as if going on drill or inspec- 
tion. When we were drawn up in line of battle at Fredericks- 
burg the first morning an order came for the Captain. He 
was not present, and on enquiry, I was told that he had gone to 
a cluster of bushes in the rear. Thinking the order might be 
of importance, I hastened to the place, and there I found 
Captain Summer on his knees in prayer. I rallied him about 
his "sudden piety," and in a jesting manner accused him of 
"weakening.'' After rising from his kneeling posture, I saw 
he was calm, pale, and serious — so different from his former 
moods in going into battle. I began teasing him in a banter- 
ing way about being a "coward." "No," said he, "I am no 
coward, and will show I have as much nerve, if not more, than 
most men in the army, for all have doubts of death, but I 
have none. I will be killed in this battle. I feel it as plainl}"^ 
as I feel I am living, but I am no coward, and shall go in this 
battle and fight with the same spirit that I have always 
shown." This was true. He acted bravely, and for the few 
moments that he commanded the regiment he exhibited all the 
daring a brave man could, but he fell shot through the brains 
with a minnie ball. He had given me messages to his young 
wife, to whom he had been married only about two months, 



198 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

before entering the services, as to the disposition of his effects, 
as well as his body after death. 

Another instance was that of Lieutenant Hill, of Company 
G, Third South Carolina Regiment. The day before the battle 
he asked permission to return to camp that night, a distance 
perhaps of three miles. With a companion he returned to the 
camp, procured water, bathed himself, and changed his under- 
clothing. On being asked by his companion why he wished 
to walk three miles at night to si mply bathe and change his 
clothing, with perfect unconcern he replied: "In the coming 
battle I feel that I will be killed, and such being the case, I 
could not bear. the idea of dying and being buried in soiled 
clothes. ' ' He fell dead at the first volley. Was there ever 
such courage as this — to feel that death was so certain and that 
it could be prevented b}' absenting themselves from battle, but 
allowed their pride, patriotism, and moral courage to carry 
them on to sure death? 

In the case of a private in Company C, Third Regiment, it 
was different. He did not have the moral courage to resist 
the "secret monitor," that silent whisperer of death. He had 
always asserted that he would be killed in the first battle, and 
so strong was this conviction upon him, that he failed to keep in 
line of battle on another occasion, and had been censured by his 
of&cers for cowardice. In this battle he was ordered in charge of 
a Sergeant, with instructions that he be carried in battle at the 
point of the bayonet. However, it required no force to make 
him keep his place in line, still he continued true to his con- 
victions, that his death was certain. He went willingly, if 
not cheerfully, in line. As the column was moving to take 
position on Mayree's Hill, he gave instructions to bis compan- 
ions as he advanced what messages should be sent to his wife, 
and while giving those instructions and before the command 
reached its position he fell pierced through the heart. 

Another instance that came under my own observation, that 
which some chose to call "presentiment,"' was of a member in 
my company in East Tennessee. He was an exceptionally 
good soldier and the very picture of an ideal hero, tall, erect, 
and physically well developed, • over six feet in height, and 
always stood in the front rank at the head of the company. 
While Longstreet was moving upon Kuoxville, the morning 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 199 

he crossed the Tennessee River before dawn and before there 
was any indication of a battle, this man said to me, with as 
much coolness and composure, as if on an ordinary subject, 
without a falter in his tone or any emotion whatever: "Cap- 
tain, I will be killed to-day. I have some money in my 
pocket which I want you to take and also to draw my foXir 
months' wages now due, and send by some trusty man to my 
wife. Tell her also— " but here I stopped him, told him it 
was childish to entertain such nonsense, to be a man as his 
conduct had so often in the past shown him to be. I joked 
and laughed at him, and in a good-natured way told him the 
East Tennessee climate gave him that disease known among 
soldiers as "crawfishing." This I did to withdraw his mind 
from this gloomy brooding. We had no real battle, but a con- 
tinual skirmish with the enemy, with stray shots throughout 
the day. As we were moving along in line of battle, I heard 
that peculiar buzzing noise of a bullet, as if in ricochet, com- 
ing in our direction, but high in the air. As it neared the 
column it seemed to lower and come with a more hissing 
sound. It struck the man square in the breast, then reeling 
out of ranks he made a few strides towards where I was 
marching, his pocket-book in hand, and fell dead at my feet 
without a word or groan. He was the only man killed during 
the day in the brigade, and not even then on the firing line. 
Of course all will say these are only "coincidences," but be 
what they may, I give them as facts coming under my own 
eyes, and facts of the Same nature came to the knowledge of 
hundreds and thousands of soldiers during every campaign, 
which none endeavor to explain, other than the facts them- 
selves. But as the soldier is nothing more than a small frac- 
tion of the whole of a great machine, so much happens that he 
cannot fathom nor explain, that it naturally makes a great 
number of soldiers, like the sailor, somewhat superstitious. 
But when we speak of moral courage, where is there a courage 
more sublime than the soldier marching, as he thinks, to his 
certain death, while all his comrades are taking their chances 
at the hazard of war? 

There are many unaccountable incidents and coincidents in 
a .soldier's experience. Then, again, how differently men 
enter battle and how differently they act when wounded. 



200 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

Some men, on the eve of battle, the most trying time in a 
soldier's life, will stand calm and impassive, awaiting the 
command, "forward," while his next neighbor will tremble 
and shake, as with a great chill, praying, meditating, and al- 
most in despair, awaiting the orders to advance. Then when 
in the heat of the conflict both men seem metamorphosed. 
The former, almost frightened out of his wits, loses his head 
and is just as apt to fire backwards as forwards; while the 
latter seems to have lost all fear, reckless of his life, and fights, 
like a hero. I have known men who at home were perfect 
cowards, whom a scho(31boy could run away with a walking 
cane, become fearless and brave as lions in battle; while on 
the other hand men who were called ' 'game cocks' ' at home 
and great "crossroads bullies," were abject cowards in battle. 
As to being wounded, some men will look on a mortal wound, 
teel his life ebbing away, perfectly calm and without concern, 
and give his dying messages with the compo.sure of an every- 
day occurrence; while others, if the tip of the finger is touched, 
or his shin-bone grazed, will "yell like a hyena or holler like 
a loon," and raise such a rumpus as to alarm the whole army. 
I saw a man running out of battle once (an officer) at such a 
gait as only fright could give, and when I asked him if he was 
wounded, he replied, "Yes, my leg is broken in two places," 
when, as a matter of fact, he had only a slight flesh wound. 
These incidents the reader may think merely fiction, but they are 
real facts. A man in Company E,, Third South Carolina Regi- 
ment, having a minnie ball lodged between the two bones of his 
arm, made such a racket when the surgeons undertook to push it 
out, that they had to turn him loose; while a private in Com- 
pany G, of the same regiment, being shot in the chest, when 
the surgeon was probing for the ball with his finger, looked 
on with unconcern, only remarking, "Make the hole a little 
larger, doctor, and put your whole hand in it." In a few days 
he was dead. I could give the names of all these parties, but 
for obvious reasons omit them. I merely single out these 
cases to show how differently men's nervous sy.stems are con- 
structed. And I might add, too, an instance of a member of 
my company at the third day of the battle of Gettysburg, 
laying under the heavy cannonading while Pickett was mak- 
ing his famous charge, and most of the men asleep, this ma^ 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 201 

had his foot in the fork of a little bush, to better rest himself. 
In this position a shot struck him above the ankle; he looked 

at the wound a moment, then said: "Boys, I'll be if that 

ain't a thirty days' furlough " Next day his foot had to be 
amputated, and to this day he wears a cork. Such is the 
difference in soldiers, and you cannot judge them by outward 
appearance. 

I here insert a few paragraphs from the pen of Adjutant 
Y. J. Pope, of the Third, to show that there was mirth in 
the camps, notwithstanding the cold and hardships: 

PLAYING "ANTHONY OVER" AT HEADQUARTERS ON THE 
SEVENTH OF DECEMBER, 1 862. 

There was one thing that always attracted my attention 
during the war, and that was the warm fellowship which 
existed amongst the soldiers. If a man got a trunk or box 
laden with good things from home, there was no selfishne.ss 
about it; the comrades were expected and did share in the 
feast. While out on picket on the banks of the Rappahannock 
River, when we were told that another regiment had come to 
relieve ours, at the same time we were told that Colonel 
Rutherford had come back to us; he had been absent since 
September, and we were all very anxious to see him, for he 
was a charming fellow — whole-souled, witty, and always an 
addition to anj' party. We knew, too, that he would bring 
something good to eat from home. My feathers fell, though,, 
when Colonel Nance said to me, "Go yourself and see that 
every company is relieved from picket duty, and bring them, 
to the regiment." I knew what this meant. It was at night, 
the ground was covered with snow, and the companies would 
take a long time to march back to camp. A soldier is made to 
obey orders, whether pleasant or unpleasant, so I rode at the 
head of the battalion; I was chilled through; my ears felt — 
well I rubbed a little feeling into them. At last we reached 
camp. Before I did so I could hear the merry laughter of the 
group about our regimental headquarter fire. Rutherford 
greeted me with the utmost cordiality, and had my supper 
served, having had the servants to keep it hot. But I could 
not forget my having to ride three miles at the head of the 
four companies, and how cold I had got in doing so. There- 



202 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

fore, I was in a bad humor, and refusing to join the merry 
group around the fire, went to bed at once. About twelve 
o'clock that night I heard the voices in the game of "An- 
thony over," and was obliged to laugh. Of course the merry 
cup had circulated. We lived in a Sibley tent that had a cap 
to fit over the top. And that night, as it was very cold, it 
had been determined to put the cap on the tent. So the 
merry-makers formed themselves into two groups, and pitched 
the cap to the top, and when it failed to lodge the other side 
would try its hand. One side would call out, "Anthony," to 
which call the other party would reply, "over." Then the 
first crowd would sing out, "Here she comes," throwing the 
cap with the uttering of those words. The peals of laughter 
from both sides, when the effort to lodge the cap would fail 
and the teasing of each side, made me laugh whether I wished 
to do so or not. After awhile it lodged alright, then "good- 
nights' ' were exchanged, and then to bed. 

I need not add that on the next day all was good humor 
at headquarters, and in six days afterwards Colonel Nance, 
Colonel Rutherford, and Major Maffett were all painfully 
wounded in battle. 

IN DECEMBER, 1862. 

While Longstreet's troops occupied the City of Fredericks- 
burg in the winter of 1862, I had learned that at night one of 
the quartermasters of Mcl,aws' Division was in the habit of 
going across to an island in the Rappahannock River, just 
above the city, to obtain hay and corn, and to come down to 
the main incentive, that there was a very charming old Vi. - 
ginia family who lived there, and that a bright-eyed daughter 
was of that family. I set about getting a sight of this "Island 
enchantress," and at last Captain Franks, who was Quarter- 
master of the Seventeenth Regiment of Barksdale's Brigade, 
agreed to take me with him one night. Here I was, the 
Adjutant of a Regiment, going over to an island without leave, 
with the enemy in strong force just across the river, and there- 
fore liable to be captured. Nevertheless, the hope of a peep 
at bright eyes has got many a man into dangerous ventures, 
and my case was not different from the rest. So I went. I 
saw the fair maid. She was not only beautiful, but very inter- 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 203 

esting. After it was all over prudence whispered to me not to 
tempt my fate again — especially as a fair lady in another State 
would have had a right to except to such conduct on my part. 
I never regretted my visit to the island, though! 

AN ACT OF HEROIC FIDELITY OF A NEdRO SLAVE IN THE WAR. 

In looking back at the incidents of the War Between the 
States, it is with great pleasure that an incident highly hon- 
orable to the African slave race is recalled. 

It was on the 13th of December, 1862, when the Third 
South Carolina Regiment of Infantry was ordered from the 
position at the foot of lyce's Hill, at Fredericksburg, Va., to 
Mayree's House, near but to the right of the sunken road pro- 
tected by the rock fence, that in going down the Telegraph 
Road the regiment was for a time exposed to the fire of the 
Federal batteries on the Stafford Heights. A shell from those 
batteries was so accurately directed that it burst near by Com- 
pajiy C, of that regiment, and one of the results was that 
I/ieutenant James Spencer Piester, of that company, was 
instantly killed. His body lay in that road and his faithful 
body servant, Simpson Piester, went to the body of his master 
and tenderly taking it into his arms, bore it to the rear, so that 
it might be sent to his relatives in Newberry, South Carolina. 
Anyone who had occasion to go upon the Telegraph Road in 
that day must appreciate the courage and fidelity involved in 
the act performed by Simpson Piester. 



CHAPTER XV 

Reminiscences. 

After the smoke of the great battle had cleared away and 
the enemy settled permanently in their old quarters north of 
the Rappahannock, I^ee moved his army some miles south of 
Fredericksburg, on the wooded highlands, and prepared for 
winter quarters. This was not a very laborious undertaking, 
nor of long duration, for all that was necessary was to pitch 
our old wornout, slahting-roof tents, occupied by six or eight 



204 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

men each. The troops had become too well acquainted with 
the uncertainty of their duration in camp to go into any very 
laborious or elaborate preparations. Kershaw had a very 
desirable location among the wooded hills, but this was soon 
denuded of every vestige of fuel of every kind, for it must be 
understood the arm}' had no wagons or teams to haul their 
fire wood, but each had to carry his share of the wood re- 
quired for the daily use, and often a mile or mile and a half 
distant. At the close of the year the Eastern Army found 
itself in quite easy circumstances and well pleased with the 
year's campaign, but the fruits of our victory were more in 
brilliant achievements than material results. 

In the Western Army it was not so successful. On the first 
of the year General Albert Sidney Johnston had his army at 
Bowling Green, Ky. But disaster after disaster befell him, 
until two states were lost to the Confederacy, as well as that 
great commander himself, who fell at the moment of victory 
on the fatal field of Shiloh. Commencing with the fall of 
Fort Henry on the Tennessee, then Fort Donaldson on the 
Cumberland, which necessitated the evacuation of the lines of 
defense at Bowling Green, and the withdrawal of the army 
from Kentucky. At Pittsburg I<anding Grant was over- 
whelmingly defeated by the army under Beauregard, but by 
the division of the army under the two Confederate leaders, 
and the overpowering numbers of the enemy under some of 
the greatest Generals in the Union Army, Beauregard was 
forced to withdraw to Shiloh. Here the two combined armies 
of Beauregard and Johnston attacked the Union Army under 
Grant, Sherman, Buell, Lew Wallace, and other militarj"- 
geniuses, with oveiybne h undred ah driixteenTEousand m"^B*>as 
-a-gainst an army of forty-eight thousand Confederates. After 
one of the most stubborn, as well as bloodiest battles of the 
war, the Confederates gained a complete victory on the first 
day, but through a combined train of circumstances, they 
were forced to withdraw the second. After other battles, 
with varied results, the end of the year found the Western 
Army in Northern Mississippi and Southern Tennessee. 

The Eastern Army, on the other hand, had hurled the 
enemy from the very gates of the Capital of the Confederacy, 
after seven days fighting, doubling it up in an indefinable 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 205 

mass, and had driven it northward in haste; on the plains of 
Manassas it was overtaken, beaten, and almost annihilated, 
only failing in a repetition of the same, ending as the first bat- 
tle of that name and place; by the same causes, viz., Sykes' 
Regulars, the enemy pushed across the Potomac, putting the 
Capitol, as well as the whole North, in a perfect state of panic; 
the Confederates entered the enemy's own country, capturing 
one of their strongholds, with eleven thousand prisoners and 
munitions of war, enough to equip an army; bought one of the 
most sanguinary battles of modern times almost within sight 
of the Capitol itself, if not to a successful finish to a very cred- 
itable draw; returned South, unmolested, with its prisoners 
and untold booty; fought the great battle of Fredericksburg, 
with the results just enumerated. Could Napoleon, Frederick 
the Great, or the "Madman of the North" have done better 
with the forces at hand and against an enemy with odds of 
two and three to one? So Lee's Array had nothing of which 
to complain, only the loss of so many great and chivalrous 
comrades. 

We had little picketing to do, once perhaps a month, then 
in the deserted houses of Fredericksburg. Guard duty around 
camp was abolished for the winter; so was drilling, only on 
nice, warm days; the latter, however, was rarely seen during 
that season. The troops abandoned themselves to base ball, 
snow fights, writing letters, and receiving as guests in their 
camps friends and relatives, who never failed to bring with 
them great boxes of the good things from home, as well as 
clothing and shoes for the needy soldiers. Furloughs were 
granted in limited numbers. Recruits and now the thoroughly 
healed of the wounded from the many engagements flocked to 
our ranks, making all put on a cheerful face. 

That winter in Virginia was one of the most severe known 
in many years, but the soldiers had become accustomed to the 
cold of the North, and rather liked it than otherwise, espe- 
cially when snow fell to the depth of twelve to sixteen inches, 
and remained for two or three weeks. So the reader can see 
that the soldier's life has its sunny side, as well as its dark. 
The troops delight in "snow balling," and revelled in the sport 
for days at a time. Many hard battles were fought, w-on, and 
Jost; sometimes company agaiast company, then regiment 



206 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

against regiment, and sometimes brigades would be pitted 
against rival brigades. When the South Carolinians were 
against the Georgians, or the two Georgia brigades against 
Kershaw's and the Mississippi brigades, then the blows would 
fall fast and furious. The fiercest fight and the hardest rfln 
of my life was when Kershaw's Brigade, under Colonel Ruth- 
erford, of the Third, challenged and fought Cobb's Georgians. 
Colonel Rutherford was a great lover of the sport, and wher- 
ever a contest was going on he would be sure to take a hand. 
On the day alluded to Colonel Rutherford martialed his men by 
the beating of drums and the bugle's blast; oflBcers headed 
their companies, regiments formed, with flags flying, then 
when all was ready the troops were marched to the brow of a 
hill, or rather half way down the hill, and formed line of 
battle, there to await the coming of the Georgians. They 
were at that moment advancing across the plain that separated 
the two camps. The men built great pyramids of snow balls 
in their rear, and awaited the assault of the fast approaching 
enemy. Of&cers cheered the men and urged them to stand 
fast and uphold the "honor of their State," while the officers 
on the other side besought their men to sweep all before them 
off the field. 

The men stood trembling with cold and emotion, and the 
officers with fear, for the officer who was luckless enough as to 
fall into the hands of a .set of "snow revelers," found to his 
sorrow that his bed was not one of roses. Wh.en the Geor- 
gians were within one hundred feet the order was given to 
"fire." Then shower after shower of the the fleecy balls 
filled the air. Cheer after cheer went up from the a-ssaulters 
and the assaultant — now pressed back by the flying balls, then 
to the assault again. Officers shouted to the men, and they 
answered with a "yell." When some, more bold than the 
rest, ventured too near, he was caught and dragged through 
the lines, while his comrades made frantic efforts to rescue 
him. The poor prisoner, now .safely behind the lines, his fate 
problematical, as down in the snow he was pulled, now on his 
face, next on his back, then swung round and round by his 
heels — all the while snow being pushed down his back or in 
his bosom, his eyes, ears, and hair thoroughly filled with the 
"beautiful snow." After a fifteen minutes' struggle, our lines 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 207 

gave way. The fierce looks of a tall, muscular, wild-eyed 
Georgian, who stood directly in my front, seemed to have 
singled me out for sacrifice. The stampede began. I tried to 
lead the command in the rout by placing myself in the front of 
the boldest and stoutest squad in the ranks, all the while 
shouting to the men to ' 'turn boys turn. ' ' But they continued 
to charge to the rear, and in the nearest cut to our camp, then 
a mile off, I saw the only chance to save myself from the 
clutches of that wild-eyed Georgian was in continual and rapid 
flight. The idea of a boy seventeen years old, and never yet 
tipped the beam at one hundred, in the grasp of that monster, 
as he now began to look to me, gave me the horrors. One by 
one the men began to pass me, and while the distance between 
us and the camp grew less at each step, yet the distance be- 
tween me and my pursuer grew less as we proceeded in our 
mad race. The broad expanse that lay between the men and 
camp was one flying, surging mass, while the earth, or rather 
the snow, all around was filled with men who had fallen or 
been overtaken, and now in the last throes of a desperate .snow 
battle. I dared not look behind, but kept bravely on. My 
breath grew fast and thick, and the camp seemed a perfect 
menage, now near at hand then far in the distance. The men 
who had not yet fallen in the hands of the reckless Georgians 
had distanced me, and the only energy that kept me to the 
race was the hope that some mishap might befall the wild- 
eyed man in my rear, otherwise I was gone. No one would 
have the temerity to tackle the giant in his rage. But all 
things must come to an end, and my race ended by falling in 
my tent, more dead than alive, just as I felt the warm breath 
of my pursurer blowing on my neck. I heard, as I lay pant- 
ing, the wild-eyed man say, "I would rather have caught that 
d— n little Captain than to have killed the biggest man in the 
Yankee Army." 



208 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 



CHAPTER XVI 

Campaign of 1863 — Battle of Chaneellorsville. 

On the morning of April 29th the soldiers were aroused from 
their slumbers by the beating of the long roll. What an 
ominous sound is the long roll to the soldier wrapped in his 
blanket and enjoying the sweets of sleep. It is like a fire bell 
at night. It denotes battle. It tells the soldier the enemy is 
moving; it means haste and active preparation. A battle is 
imminent. The soldiers thus roused, as if from their long 
sleep since Fredericksburg, feel in a touchous mood. The 
frightful scenes of Fredericksburg and Mayree's Hill rise up 
before them as a spectre. Soldiers rush out of their tents, 
asking questions and making suppositions. Others are busily 
engaged folding blankets, tearing down tents, and making 
preparations to move; companies formed into regiments and 
regiments into brigades. The distant boom of cannon beyond 
the Rappahannock tells us that the enemy is to cross the river 
again and try conclusions with the soldiers of Lee. All 
expected a bloody engagement, for the Federal Army had been 
greatly recruited, under excellent discipline, and headed by 
Fighting Joe Hooker. He was one of the best officers in that 
army, and he himself had boasted that his was the "finest 
army that had ever been organized upon the planet." It 
numbered one hundred and thirty-one thousand men of all 
arms, while Lee had barely sixty thousand. We moved rapidly 
in the direction of Fredericksburg. I never saw Kershaw look 
so well. Riding his iron-gray at the head of his columns, one 
could not but be impressed with his soldierly appearance. He 
seemed a veritable knight of old. Leading his brigade above 
the city, he took position in the old entrenchments. 

Before reaching the battle line, the enemy had already 
placed pontoons near the old place of landing, crossed over a 
portion of their army, and was now picketing on the south 
side of the river. One company from each re.iment was 
thro^^ out as sharp-shooters or^ skirmishers, under Captain 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 209 

Goggans, of the Seventh, and deployed in the valley below, 
where we could watch the enemy. My company was of the 
'number. Nothing was done during the day but a continual 
change of positions. We remained on the skirmish line dur- 
ing the night without fire or without any relief, expecting an 
advance next morning, or to be relieved at least. The sun 
was obscured by the densest fog the following morning I had 
almost ever witnessed. When it cleared up, about lo o'clock, 
what was our astonishment? — to find no enemy in our front, 
nor friends in our rear. : There were, however, some Federals 
opposite and below the city, but they belonged to another 
division. We could hear occasional cannonading some miles 
up the Rappahannock. By some stafE officers pa.ssing, we 
ascertained that Hooker had withdrawn during the night in 
our front, recrossed the river at Ely's and Raccoon fords, or 
some of the fords opposite the Wilderness. This was on Fri- 
day, May the first. After a consultation with the officers of 
our detachment, it was agreed to evacuate our position and 
join our regiments wherever we could find them. We had no 
rations, and this was one of the incentives to move. But had 
the men been supplied with provisions, and the matter left to 
them alone, I doubt very much whether they would have 
chosen to leave the ground now occupied, as we were in com- 
parative safety and no enemy in sight, while to join our com- 
mands would add largely to the chances of getting in battle. 
I am sorry to say a majority of the officers were of that opin- 
ion, too. Some brought to bear one of Napoleon's maxims I 
had heard when a boy, "When a soldier is in doubt where to 
go, always go to the place 3'ou hear the heaviest firing," and 
we could indistinctly hear occasional booming of cannon high 
up the river, indicating that a part of the army at least was in 
that direction. 

So we moved back and over the breastworks, on to the plank 
road leading to Orange Court House. Making our way, 
keeping together as a battalion, up that road in the direction 
of the Wilderness, near noon we could hear the deep bay of 
cannon, now distant and indistinct, then again more rapidly 
and quite distinguishable, showing plainly that Lee was having 
a running fight. Later in the day we passed dead horses and 
a few dead and wounded soldiers. On every hand were indi- 
14 



210 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

cations of the effects of shot and shell. Trees were shattered 
along the road side, fences torn down and rude breastworks 
made here and there, the evidence of heavy skirmishing in 
our front. Lee was pressing the advance guard that had 
crossed at one of the lower fords back on the main army, cross- 
ing then at fords opposite and above the Chancellor's Hou.se. 
Near .sundown the firing was conspicuously heavy, especially 
the artillery. The men of most of the companies evinced a 
desire to frequently rest, and in every way delay our march as 
much as possible. Some of the ofiBcers, too, joined with the 
men and offered objections to rushing headlong into battle 
without orders. I knew that our brigade was somewhere in 
our front, and from the firing I was thoroughly convinced a 
battle was imminent, and in that case our duty called us to 
our command. Not through any cowardice, however, did the 
men hesitate, for all this fiction written about men's eagerness 
for battle, their ungovernable desire to throw themselves upon 
the enemy, their great love of hearing the bursting of shells 
over their heads, the whizzing of minuie balls through their 
ranks is all very well for romance and on paper, but a soldier 
left free to himself, unless he seeks notoriety or honors, will 
not often rush voluntarily into battle, and if he can escape it 
honorably, he will do it nine times out of ten. There are 
times, however, when oflBcers, whose keen sense of duty and 
honorable appreciation of the position they occupy, will lead 
their commands into battle unauthorized, when they see the 
necessity, but a private who owes no obedience nor allegiance 
only to his superiors, and has no responsibility, seldom ever 
goes voluntarily into baltle; if so, once is enough. 

Under these circumstances, as the sun was near setting, we 
learned from some wounded soldier that Kershaw was moving 
in line of battle to the left of the plank road. A.nother Cap- 
tain and myself deserted our companions and made our way to 
our regiments with our companies. As we came upon it, it 
was just moving out from a thicket into an open field under a 
heavy skirmish fire and a fierce fire from a battery in our front. 
We marched at a double-quick to rejoin the regiment, and the 
proudest moments of my life, and the sweetest words to hear, 
was as the other portion of the regiment saw us coming they 
gave a cheer of welcome'and shouted, "Hurrah! for the Dutch- 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW',S BRIGADE. 211 

the Dutch has come-; make way to the left for the Dutch," 
and such terms of gladness and welcome, that I thought, even 
while the "Dutch" and its youthful commander were but a 
mere speck of the great army, still some had missed us, and I 
was glad to feel the touch of their elbow on the right and left 
when a battle was in progress. 

Companies in the army, like school boys, almost all have 
"nick-names." Mine was called the "Dutch" from the fact 
of its having been raised in that section of the country be- 
tween Saluda River and the Broad, known as "Dutch Fork." 
A century or more before, this country, just above Columbia 
and in the fork of the two rivers, was settled by German refu- 
gees, hence the name "Dutch Fork." 

After joining the regiment, we only advanced a little further 
and halted for the night, sleeping with guns in arms, lest a 
night attack might find the troops illy prepared were the guns 
m stack. We were so near the enemy that fires were not 
allowed, and none permitted to speak above a whisper. Two 
men from each company were detailed to go to the rear and 
cook rations. It is not au easy task for two men, who had 
been marching and fighting all day, to be up all night cooking 
three meals each for thirty or forty men, having to gather 
their own fuel, and often going half mile for water. A whole 
day's ration is always cooked at one time on marches, as 
night is the onl}' time for cooking. The decrees of an order 
for a detail are inexorable. A soldier must take it as it comes, 
for none ever know but what the next duties may be even 
worse than the present. As a general rule, soldiers rarely 
ever grumble at any detail on the eve of an engagement, for 
sometimes it excuses them from a battle, and the old experi- 
enced veteran never refuses that. 

At daylight a battery some two hundred yards in our front 
opened a furious fire upon us, the shells coming uncomfort- 
ably near our heads. If there were any infantry between the 
battery and our troops, they must have laid low to escape the 
shots over their heads. But after a few rounds they limbered 
up and scampered away. We moved slowly aloug with heavy 
skirmishing in our front all the morning of the second. When 
near the Chancellor's House, we formed line of battle in a kind 
of semi-circle, our right resting on the river and extending 



212 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

over the plank road, Kershaw being soiiie distance to the left 
of this road, the Fifteenth Regiment occupying the right. 
Here we remained for the remainder of the day. We heard 
the word coming up the line, "No cheering, no cheering." 
In a few moments General Lee came riding along the lines, 
going to the left. He had with him quite a number of his 
staff and one or two couriers. He looked straight to the front 
and thoughtful, noticing none of the soldiers who rushed to 
the line to see him pass. He no doubt was then forming the 
masterful move, and one, too, in opposition to all rules or 
order of military science or strategy, "the division of his 
anil) in the face of the enemy," a movement that has cau,sed 
many arn)ies, before, destruction and the downfall of its com- 
mander. But notliing succeeds like success. The great dis- 
parity in numbers was so great that Lee could only watch and 
hope for some mistake or blunder of his adversary, or by some 
extraordinary strategic manoeuvre on his own part, gain the 
advantage by which his opponent would be ruined. Hooker 
had one hundred and thirty thousand men, while Lee had 
only sixty thousand. With this number it seemed an easy 
task for Hooker to threaten Lee at Fredericksburg, then fall 
upon him with his entire force at Chancellorsville and crush 
him before Lee could extricate himself, from the meshes that 
were surrounding him, and retreat to Richmond. The dense 
Wilderness seemed providential for the movement upon which 
Lee had now determined to stake the fate of his army' and the 
fortunes of the Confederacy. Its heavy, thick undergrowth 
entirely obstructed the view and hid the movements to be 
made. Jackson, with Rhodes, Colston's, and A. P. Hill's 
Divisions, were to make a detour around the enemy's right, 
march by dull roads and bridle paths through the tangled 
forest, and fall upon the enemy's rear, while McLaws, Ander- 
son's, and Early's Divisions were to hold him in check in 
front. Pickett's Divi ion had, before this time, been sent to 
Wilmington, N. C. , while Ransom's Division, with Barks- 
dale's Mississippi Brigade, of McLaws' Di\-ision, were to keep 
watch of the enemy at Fredericksburg. The Federal General, 
Stouetnan, with his cavalry, was then on his famous but dis- 
astrous raid to Richmond. Jackson commenced his march 
early in the morning, and kept it up all day, turning back 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 213 

towards the rear of the enemy when suflSciently distant that 
his movement could not be detected. By marching eighteen 
or twenty miles he was then within three miles of his starting 
point. But Hooker's Army stood between him and Lee. 
Near night Jackson struck the enemy a terrific blow, near the 
plank road, just opposite to where we lay, and the cannonad- 
ing was simply deafening. The shots fired from some of the 
rifled guns of Jackson passed far overhead of the enemy and 
fell in our rear. Hooker, bewildered and lost in the meshes 
of the Wilderness, had formed his divisions in line of battle in 
echelon, and moved out from the river. Great gaps would 
intervene between the division in front and the one in rear. 
Little did he think an enemy was marching rapidly for his 
rear, another watching every movement in front, and those 
enemies, Jackson and Lee, unknown to Hooker, his flank 
stood exposed and the distance between the columns gave an 
ordinary enemy an advantage seldom offered by an astute 
General, but to such an enemy as Jackson it was more than he 
had hoped or even dared to expect. As he sat watching the 
broken columns of the enemy struggling through the dense 
undergrowth, the favorable moment came. Seizing it with 
promptness and daring, so characteristic of the man, he, like 
Napoleon at Austerlitz, when he saw the Russians passing by 
his front with their flanks exposed, rushed upon them like 
a wild beast upon its prey, turning the exposed column back 
upon its rear. Colston, commanding Jackson's old Division, 
led the attack, followed by A. P. Hill. Rhodes then fell like 
an avalanche upon the unexpectant and now thoroughly dis- 
organized divisions of the retreating enemy. Volley after 
volley was poured into the seething mass of advancing and 
receding columns. Not much use could be made of artillery 
at close range, so that arm of the service was mainly occupied 
in shelling their trains and the woods in rear. Until late in 
the night did the battle rage in all its fury. Darkness only 
added to its intensity, and the fire was kept up until a shot 
through mistake lay the great Chieftain, Stonewall Jackson, 
low. General A. P. Hill now took command of the corps, 
and every preparation was made for the desperate onslaught of 
to-morrow. B3' some strange intuition peculiar to the soldier, 
and his ability to gather news, the word that Jackson had 



214 HISTORY OP KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

fallen burst through the camp like an explosion, and cast a 
gloom of sorrow over all. 

As our brother South Carolinians, of McGowan's Brigade, 
were on the opposite side of us, and in the heat of the fray, 
while we remained idle, I take the liberty of quoting from 
"Caldwell's History" of that brigade a description of the ter- 
rible scenes being enacted on that memorable night in the 
Wilderness in which Jackson fell: 

"Now it is night. The moon a day or two past full, rose in 
cloudless sky and lighted our way. We were fronted, and 
then advanced on the right of the road into a thick growth of 
pines. Soon a firing of small arms sprang up before us, and 
directly afterwards the enemy's artillery opened furiously, 
bearing upon us. The scene was terrible. Volley after volley 
of musketry was poured by the Confederate line in front of us 
upon the enemy. The enemy replied with equal rapidity; 
cheer, wild and fierce, rang over the whole woods; ofBcers 
shouted at the top of their voices, to make themselves heard; 
cannon roared and shells burst continuously. We knew noth- 
ing, could see nothing, hedged in by the matted mass of 
tries. Night engagements are always dreadful, but this 
was the worst I ever knew. To see your danger is bad 
enough, but to hear shells whizzing and bursting over you, to 
hear shrapnell and iron fragments slapping the trees and 
cracking off limbs, and not know from whence death comes to 
you, is trying beyond all things. And here it looked so in- 
congruous — below raged, thunder, shout, shriek, slaughter-^ 
above soft, silent, smiling moonlight, peace!" 

The next morning A. P. Hill was moving early, but was 
himself -vyounded, and General Jeb. Stuart, of the cavalry, 
took command. The fighting of Jackson's Corps to-day sur- 
passed that of the night before, and after overcoming almost 
insurmountable obstacles, they succeeded in dislodging 
Hooker from his well fortified position. 

Kershaw remained in his line of battle, keeping up a con- 
stant fire with his skirmishers. An advance upon the Chan- 
cellor's House was momentarily expected. The long delay 
between the commencement of Jackson's movement until we 
heard the thunder of his guns immediately in our front and in 
rear of the enemy, was taken up in conjecturing, "what 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 215 

move was next. ' ' All felt that it was to be no retreat, and as 
we faileH to advance, the mystery of our inactivity was more 
confounding. 

Early next morning, however, the battle began in earnest. 
Hooker had occupied the night in straightening out his lines 
and establishing a basis of battle, with the hope of retrieving 
the blunder of the day before. Stuart (or rather A. P. Hill, 
until wounded,) began pressing him from the very start. We 
could hear the wild yells of our troops as line after line of 
Hooker's were reformed, to be brushed away by the heroism 
of the Southern troops. Our skirmishers began their desultory 
firing of the day before. The battle seemed to near us as it 
progressed, and the opening around Chancellor's House 
appeared to be alive with the enemy's artillery. About two 
o'clock our lines were ordered forward, and we made our way 
through the tangled morass, in direction of our skirmish line. 
Here one of the bravest men in our regiment was killed, pri- 
vate John Davis, of the "Quitman Rifles." He was reckless 
beyond all reason. He loved danger for danger's sake. 
Stepping behind a tree to load (he was on skirmish line) he 
would pass out from this cover in plain, view, take deliberate 
aim, and fire. Again and again he was entreated and urged 
by his comrades to shield himself, but in vain. A bullet from 
the enemy's sharp-shooters killed him instantly. 

A singular and touching incident of this family is here re- 
corded. Davis had an only brother, who was equally as 
brave as John and younger, James, the two being the only 
children of an aged but wealthy couple, of Newberry County. 
After the death of John, his mother exerted herself and hired 
a substitute for her babj' boy, and came on in a week after the 
battle for the body of her oldest son and to take James home 
with her, as the only hope and solace of the declining years of 
this aged father and mother. Much against his will and 
wishes, but by mother's entreaties and friends' solicitations, 
the young man consented to accompany his mother home. 
But fate seemed to follow them here and play them false, for 
in less than two weeks this brave, bright, and promising boy 
lay dead from a malignant disease. 

As our brigade was moving through the thicket in the 
interval between our main line and the skirmishers, and under 



216 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE,/ 

a heavy fire, we came upon a lone stranger sitting quietly 
upon a log. At first he was thought an enemy, who in the 
denseness of the undergrowth had passed our lines on a tour 
of observation. He was closely questioned, and it turned out 
to be Rev. Boushell, a methodist minister belonging to one of 
McGowan's South Carolina regiments, who became lost from 
his command in the great flank movement of Jackson (Mc- 
Gowan's Brigade belonged to Jackson's Corps), and said he 
came down "to see how the battle was going and to lend aid 
and comfort to any wounded soldier should he chance to find 
one in need of his services." 

The batteries in our front were now raking the matted brush 
all around and overhead, and their infantry soon became aware 
of our presence, and they, too, began pouring volleys into our 
advancing column. The ranks became confused, for in this 
wilderness we could not see twenty paces in front. Still we 
moved forward with such order as was under the conditions 
permissible. When near the turn-pike road General Kershaw 
gave the command to "charge." The Fifteenth raised the 
yell; then the Third dashed forward; the Seventh was some- 
what late on account of the almost impassable condition of the 
ground, but still it and the Third Battalion, with the Second 
on the left, made a mad rush for the public road, and entered' 
it soon after the Fifteenth and Third. A perfect sea of fire 
was in our faces from the many cannon parked around the 
Chancellor House and graping in all directions but the rear. 
Lee on the one side and Stuart on the other had closed upon 
the enemy, their wings joining just in front of the house. 
Some of the pieces of the enemy's artillery were not more than 
fifty yards in our front, and the discharges seemed to blaze fire 
in our very ranks. Infantry, too, was there massed all over 
the yard, and in rear of this one vast, mingling, moving body 
of humanity, dead horses lay in all directions, while the dead 
and wounded soldiers lay heaped and strewn with the living. 
But a few volleys from our troops in the road soon silenced all' 
opposition from the infantry, while cannoneers were hitching 
up their horses to fly away. Some were trying to drag away 
their caissons and light pieces by hand, while thousands of 
"blue coats," with and without arms, were running for cover 
to the rear. In less than twenty minutes the firing ceased in 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 217 

our front, and men were ordered to prepare breastworks. Our 
soldiers, like the beaver, by this time had become accu.stomed 
to burrow in the ground as soon as a ' halt" was made. A 
shovel and a spade were carried at all times by each companj' 
to guard against emergencies. The bursting of a shell near 
my company caused a fragment to .strike one of my own men 
on the shoulder. He claimed to be desperately wounded, and 
wished to go to the hospital. I examined him hastily to see if 
I could give him any assistance. He claimed his shoulder was 
broken. Just then the order was given to "commence to 
fortify." "G. ," the wounded man, was the first to grasp the 
shovel, and threw dirt with an energy that caused my Orderly 
Sergeant, a brave and faithful soldier, but whp never allowed 
the comic side of any transaction to pass him, to say: "Cap- 
tain, look at the 'wild pigeon;' see how he scratches dirt." 
All soldiers carried a "nick-name," a name given by some 
physical disability or some error he had made, or from an}' 
circumstance in his life out of the usual order. Hardly had 
we taken possession of the turn-pike road and began fortify- 
ing, than the sound of shells down the river was heard, and 
we were hurriedly marched down the road. Mcl^aws' and 
Anderson's Divisions were doubled-quicked down the turn- 
pike road and away from the battle to meet Sedgwick, who 
had crossed the Rappahannock at Fredericksburg, stormed 
Mayree's Heights, routed and captured the most of Barks- 
dale's Mississippi Brigade, and was making his way rapidly 
upon I,ee's rear. 

This Battle of Chancellorsville certainly had its many sides, 
with its rapid marching, changing of positions, and general- 
ship of the highest order. On the day before Jackson had 
gone around the right flank of Hooker and fell upon his rear, 
while to-day we had the novel spectacle of Sedgwick in the 
rear of I^ee and Stuart in rear of Hooker. No one can fore- 
tell the result of the battle, had Hooker held his position until 
Sedgwick came up. But Lee's great mind ran quick and fast. 
He knew the country and was well posted by his scouts of 
every move and turn of the enemy on the chess-board of battle. 
Anderson, with his division, being on our right, led the ad- 
vance down the road to meet Sedgwick. We passed great 
parks of wagons (ordnance and commissary) on either side 



218 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

of the road. Here and there were the field infirmaries where 
their wounded were being attended to and where ■ all the 
surplus baggage had been stacked before the battle. 

On reaching Zoar Church, some five miles in rear, we en- 
countered Sedgwick's advance line of skirmishers, and a heavy 
fusilade began. Anderson formed line of battle on extreme 
right, and on right of plank road, with the purpose of sweep- 
ing round on the enemy's left. McLaws formed on left of the 
corps, his extreme left reaching out toward the river and across 
the road; Kershaw being immediately on right of the road, 
with the Second resting on it, then the Fifteenth, the Third 
Battalion, the E)ighth, the Third, and the Seventh on the 
right. On the left of the road leading to Fredericksburg was 
a large open field extending to the bluff near the river; on the 
right was a dense thicket of pines and undergrowth. In this 
we had to form. The Seventh experienced some trouble in 
getting into line, and many camp rumors were afloat a few 
days afterwards of an uncomplimentary nature of the 
Seventh's action. But this was all-false, for no more gallant 
regiment nor better of&cered, both in courage and ability, was 
in the Confederate service than the "bloody Seventh." But it 
was the unfavorable nature of the ground, the diflSculties expe- 
rienced in forming a line, and the crowding and lapping of the 
men that caused the confusion. 

Soon after our line of battle v^as formed and Kershaw await- 
ing orders from McLaws to advance, a line of support came up 
in our rear, and mistaking us for the enemy, commenced firing 
upon us. Handkerchiefs went up, calls of "friends," 
"friends," but still the firing continued. One Colonel seeing 
the danger — the enemy just in front, and our friends firing on 
us in the rear — called out, "Who will volunteer to carry our 
colors back to our friends in rear?" Up sprang the handsome 
and gallant young Sergeant, Copeland, of the "Clinton 
Divers," (one of the most magnificent and finest looking com- 
panies in his service, having at its enlistment forty men over 
six feet tall), and said, "Colonel, send me." Grasping the 
colors in his hand, he carried them, waving and jesticulating 
in a friendly manner, until he convinced the troops that they 
were friends in their front. 

While thus waiting for Anderson to swing around the left of 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 219 

the enemy, a desperate charge was made upon us. The can- 
nonading was exceedingly heavy and accurate. Great trees 
all around fell, snapped in twain by the shell and solid shot, 
and many men were killed and wounded by the falling timber. 
Trees, a foot in diameter, snapped in two like pipe stems, and 
fell upon the men. It was growing dark before Anderson 
could get in position, and during that time the troops never 
experienced a heavier shelling. It was enough to make the 
stoutest hearts quake. One of my very bravest men, one who 
had never failed before, called to me as I passed, "Captain, if 
I am not here when the roll is called, you may know where I 
am. I don't believe I can stand this." But he did, and like 
the man he was, withstood it. Another, a young recruit, and 
under his first fire, almost became insane, jumping upon me 
and begging "for God's sake" let him go to the rear. I could 
not stand this piteous appeal, and knowing he could not be of 
any service to us in that condition, told him "to go." It is 
needless to say he obeyed my orders. Dr. Evans, our surgeon, 
told me afterwards that he came to his quarters and remained 
three days, perfectly crazy'. 

At last the order came after night to advance. In a semi- 
circle we swept through the thicket; turning, we came into the 
road, and over it into the opening in front. The enemy was 
pushed back into the breastworks on the bluff at the river. 
These breastworks had been built by our troops during the 
Fredericksburg battle, and afterwards to guard and protect 
Raccoon and Ely's fords, just in rear. As night was upon us, 
and the enemy huddled before us at the ford, we were halted 
and lay on the field all night. This was the ending of the 
battle of Chancellorsville. 

Next morning the sun was perfectly hidden by a heavy 
fog, so much so that one could not see a man twenty yards 
distant. Skirmishers were thrown out and our advance made 
to the river, but nothing was found on this side of the river 
but the wounded and the discarded rifles and munitions of 
war. The wounded lay in all directions, calling for help and 
heaping curses upon their friends, who had abandoned them in 
their distress. Guns, tent flies, and cartridge boxes were 
packed up by the wagon loads. Hooker's Army was thor- 
oughly beaten, disheartened, and disorganized. Met and 



220 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

defeated at every turn and move, they were only too glad to 
place themselves across the river and under the protection of 
their siege guns on Stafford's Heights. Hooker's losses were 
never correctly given, but roughly computed at twenty-fiv'e 
thousand, while those of Lee's were ten thousand two hundred 
and eighty-one. But the Confederates counted it a dear vic- 
tory in the loss of the intrepid but silent Stonewall Jackson. 
There was a magic in his name that gave enthusiasm and con- 
fidence to the whole army. To the enemy his name was a 
terror and himself an, apparition. He had frightened and 
beaten Banks out of the Shennandoah Valley, had routed 
Fremont, and so entangled and out-generaled Seigle that he 
was glad to put the Potomac between himself and this silent, 
mysterious, and indefatigable chieftain, who oftened prayied 
before battle and fought with a Bible in one hand and a sword 
in the other. He came like a whirlwind upon the flank of Mc- 
Clellan at Mechanicsville, and began those series of battles and 
victories that terminated with the "Ivittle Giant" being 
hemmed in at Drur3''s Bluff and Malvern Hill. While Pope, 
the "Braggart,'' was sweeping the fields before him in North- 
ern Virginia, and whose boast was he "saw only the enemy's 
back," and his "headquarters were in the saddle," Jackson 
appeared before him like a lion in his path. He swings around 
Pope's right, over the mountains, back through Thoroughfare 
Gap; he .sweeps through the country like a comet through 
space, and falls on Pope's rear on the plains of Manassas, and 
sent him flying across the Potomac like McDowell was beaten 
two years before. While pursuing the enemy across the river 
and into Maryland, he turns suddenly, recrosses the river, and 
stands before Harper's Ferry, and captures that stronghold 
with scarcely a struggle. All this was enough to give him 
the sobriquet of the "Silent Man," the man of "mystery," and 
it is not too much to say that Jackson to the South was worth 
ten thousand soldiers, while the terror of his name wrought 
consternation in the ranks of the enemy. 



HISTORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 221 



CHAPTER XVII 

From Chancellorsville to Gettysburg — Camp, 
March, and Battle. 

Again w£ are in our old quarters. Details were sent out 
every day to gather up the broken and captured guus, to be 
shipped to Richmond for repairs. The soldiers had gathered a 
great amount of camp supplies, such as oil cloths, tents, 
blankets, etc. When a soldier captured more than a suffi- 
ciency for his own wants, he would either sell to his com- 
rades or to the brigade sutler. This was a unique personage 
with the soldiers. He kept for sale such articles as the soldier 
mostly needed, and always made great profits on his goods. 
Being excused from military duty, he could come and go at 
will. But the great danger was of his being captured or his 
tent raided by his own men, the risk therefore being so great 
that he had to ask exorbitant prices for his goods. He kept 
crackers, cards, oysters and sardines, paper and envelopes, 
etc., and often a bottle; would purcha.se all the plunder 
brought him and peddle the same to citizens in the rear. 
After the battle of Chancellorsville a member of Company D, 
from Spartanburg, took the sutler an oil cloth to buy. After 
the trade was effected, the sutler was seen to throw the cloth 
behind a box in the tent. Gathering some of his friends, to 
keep the man of trade engaged in front, the oil cloth man 
would go in the rear, raise the tent, extract the oil cloth, take 
it around, and sell it again. Paying over the money, the sutler 
would throw the cloth behind the box, and continue his trade 
with those in front. Another would go behind the tent, get 
the cloth, bring it to the front, throw it upon the counter, and 
demand his dollar. This was kept up till everyone had sold 
the oil cloth once, and sometimes twice, but at last the old 
sutler began to think oil cloths were coming in too regularly, 
.so he looked behind the box, and behold he had been buying 
the same oil cloth all night. The oflBce was abolished on our 
next campaign. 



222 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

Lee began putting his army in splendid trim. All furloughs 
were discontinued and drills (six per week) were now begun. 
To an outsider this seemed nonsensical and an useless burden 
upon the soldiers, but to a soldier nothing is more requisite to 
the discipline and morale of an army than regular drills, and 
the army given a good share of what is called "red tape." By 
the last of May, or the first of June, Lee had recruited his 
army, by the non-extension of all furloughs and the return of 
the slightly wounded, to sixty-eighl thousand. It is astonish- 
ing what a very slight wound will cause a soldier to seek a 
furlough. He naturally thinks that after the marches, dan- 
ger, and dread of battle, a little blood drawn entitles him to at 
least a thirty days' furlough. It became a custom in the 
army for a man to compute the length of his furlough by the 
extent of his wound. The very least was thirty days, so 
when a soldier was asked the nature of his wound he would 
reply i "only a thirty days'," or "got this time a sixty daj's';" 
while with an arm or foot off he would say, "I got my dis- 
charge" at such battle. 

On the 27th of June Hooker was superseded by General 
Geo. B. Meade, and he bent all his energies to the discipline of 
his great army. 

Genera] Kershaw, on his promotion to Brigadier, surrounded 
himself with a staff of young men of unequalled ability, tire- 
less, watchful, and brave to a fault. Captain C. R. Holmes, 
as Assistant Adjutant General, was promoted to that position 
from one of the Charleston companies. I fear no contradiction 
when I say he was one of the very best staff officers in the 
army, and had he been in line of promotion his merits would 
have demanded recognition and a much higher position given 
him. Captain W. M. Dwight, as Adjutant and Inspector 
General, was also an officer of rare attainments. Cool and 
collected in battle, his presence alvj'ays gave encouragement 
and confidence to the men under fire. He was captured at 
the Wilderness the 6th of May, 1864. Captain D. A. Doby 
was Kershaw's Aide-de-Camp, or personal aid, and a braver, 
more daring, and reckless soldier I never saw. Wherever the 
battle raged fiercest, Captain' Doby was sure to be in the storm 
center. Riding along the line where shells were plowing up 
great furrows, or the air filled with flying fragments, and bul- 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 223 

lets following like hail from a summer clond, Doby would give 
words of cheer and encouragement to the men. It seemed at 
times that he lived a charmed life, so perilous was his situa- 
tion in times of battle. But the fatal volley that laid the 
lamented Jenkins low, and unhorsed Longstreet at the Wilder- 
ness, gave Doby his last long furlough, felling from his horse 
dead at the feet of his illustrious chieftain. Lieutenant John 
Myers was Brigade Ordnance officer, but his duties did not call 
him to the firing line, thus he was debarred from sharing with 
his companions their triumphs, their dangers, and their glories, 
the halo that will ever surround those who followed the plume 
of the knightly Kershaw. 

The Colonels of the different regiments were also fortunate 
in their selection of Adjutants. This is one of the u)ost impor- 
tant and responsible offices in the regimental organization. 
The duties are manifold, and often thankless and unappreciated. 
He shares more dangers (having to go from point to point dur- 
ing battle to give orders) than most of the ofiicers, still he is 
cut off, by army regulation, from promotion, the ambition and 
goal of all officers. Colonel Kennedy, of the Second, appointed 
as his Adjutant E. E. Sill, of Camden, while Colonel Nance, 
of the Third, gave the position to his former Orderly Sergeant, 
Y. J. Pope, of Newberry. Colonel Aiken, of the Seventh, ap- 
pointed as Adjutant Thomas M. Childs, who was killed at 
Sharpsburg. Colonel Elbert Bland then had Lieutenant John 
R. Carwile, of Edgefield, to fill the position during the remain- 
der of the service, or until the latter was placed upon the 
brigade staff. Colonel Hennegan made Lieutenant Colin M. 
Weatherly, of Bennettsville, S. C. Adjutant of the Eighth. 
All were young men of splendid physique, energetic, courte- 
ous, and brave. They had the love and confidence of the 
entire command. W. C. Hariss, Adjutant of the Third Bat- 
talion, was from Laurens. Of the Fifteenth, both were good 
officers, but as they were not -with the brigade all the while, I 
am not able to do them justice. 

The troops of Lee were now at the zenith of their perfection 
and glory. They looked upon them.selves as invincible, and 
that no General the North could put in the field could match 
our Lee. The cavalry of Stuart and Hampton had done some 
remarkably good fighting, and they were now looked upon as 



224 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

an indispensable arm of the service. The cavalry of the West 
were considered more as raiders than fighters, but our dis- 
mounted cavalry was depended upon with almost as much con- 
fidence as our infantry. This was new tactics of Lee's, never 
before practiced in any army of the world. In other times, 
where the cavalry could not charge and strike with their 
sabres, they remained simply spectators. But Lee, in time 
of battle, dismounted them, and they, with their long-ranged 
carbines, did good and effective service. 

Grant had been foiled and defeated at Vicksburg. At Holly 
Springs, Chickasaw Bayou, Yazo Pass, and Millikin's Bend he 
had been successfull5' met and defeated. The people of West 
Virginia, that mountainous region of the old commonwealth, 
had ever been loyal to the Union, and now formed a new State 
and was admitted into the Union on the 20th of April, 1863, 
under the name of "West Virginia." Here it is well to notice 
a strange condition of facts that prevaile'dt*.over the whole 
South, and that is the loyalty to the Union of all mountainous 
regions. In the mountains of North Carolina, where men are 
noted for their hardihood and courage, and who, once in the 
field, made the very best and brave.st of soldiers, they held to 
the Union, and looked with suspicion upon the heresy of 
Secession. The same can be said of South Carolina, Tennes- 
see, Georgia, and Alabama. These men would often go into 
hiding in the caves and gorges of the mountains, and defy all 
the tact and strategy of the conscript officers for months, and 
sometimes for years. It was not for want of courage, for they 
had that in abundance, but born and reared in an atmosphere 
of personal independence, they felt as free as the mountains 
they inhabited, and they scorned a law that forced them to do 
that which was repugnant to their ideas of personal liberty. 
Living in the dark recesses of the mountains, far from the 
changing sentiments of their more enlightened neighbors of 
the lowland, they drank in, 'as by inspiration with their 
mother's milk, a loyalty to the general government as it had 
■come down to them from the days of their forefathers of the 
Revolution. As to the question of slavery, they had neither 
kith nor kin in interest or sentiment with that institution. As 
to State's rights, as long as they were allowed to roam at 
will over the mountain sides, distill the product of their valleys 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 225 

and mountain patches, and live undisturbed in their glens and 
mountain homes, they looked upon any changes that would 
effect their surroundings as innovations to be resisted to the 
death. So the part that We.st Virginia and the 'mountainous 
regions of the South took iw the war was neither surprising to 
nor resented by the people of the Confederacy. 

By the middle of June L,ee began to turn his eyes again to 
the tempting fields of grain and army supp'ies of Pennsylvania 
and Maryland. The Valley had been laid waste. West Vir- 
ginia given up, the Soinh was how put to her utmost resources ■ 
to furnish supplies for her vast armies. All heavy baggage 
was sent to the rear, and I,?e's tro )p3 b;gi!i m )ving by vari- 
ous routes up and across the river in thi direction of Cnlpepper 
Court House. But before the march began, General Lee re- 
newed the whole of Longstreet's Corps, and the sight of this 
mignificent body of troops wasboth inspiring and encouraging. 
The. corps was formed in" two columns, in a very large and 
level old field. The artillery was formed on the right, and as 
General Lee with his staff rode into the opening thirteen guns 
were fired as a salute to the Chief. Certain officers have cer- 
tain salutes. The Presideiit has, I think, twputy-one guns, while 
the Commander-in-Chief has thirteen, and so on. Wofford's 
Georgia regiment was on the right, tnra Birkdiles's Missis- 
sippi, Kershaw's South Carolina and Cobb's G;orgia consti- 
tuted McLaws' division. The c,ilnai;is wheeled by companies. 
into line and took up the niirch of raviejv. The binds headed 
each brigade, and played National airs as the troops marched 
by. 

Barksdale had a magnificent brass band, while Kershaw 
had only a fife corps headed by that prince of players, Sam 
Siuimonds, who could get more real music out of a fife or flute 
than some musicians could out of a whole band. The music 
of the fife and drum, while it may not be so accomplished, 
gives out more inspiring strains for the marching soldier than 
any brass band. The cornet, with its accompanying pieces, 
«iakes fine music on the stillness of tlie night, when soldiers 
are preparing for their night's rest, but nothing gives the sol- 
dier on the march more spirit than the fife and drum. When 
a company nears the reviewing officer they give the salute by 
briugiug their pieces from "right shoulder" to '.'carry," while 



126 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADM. 

€)h the march, and from "carry" to "present arms" when sta- 
tionary. The officers raise the hilt of the sword, grasped 
firmly in the right hand, till the hilt is opposite' the chin, the 
Jjoint of the blade extending outward about eighteen inches 
from the eyes, then, with a quick movement, to the side, the 
point downward and forward, and kept in this position till the 
teviewiug oflEicer has passed a'oout eighteen paces. 

The army had been placed under three Lieutenant Generalst 
iLongstreet, with McL,aw's, Hood's and Pickett's first corps; 
Oeneial Ewell, with Early's, Rhodes' and Trimble's consti- 
tuting the 2d; while General A. P. Hill commanded Anderson's, 
Heath's and Pendar's, the 3d. Colonel James D. Nance com- 
Jnanded the 3d South Caroliiia, Colonel John D. Kennedy the 
sd, Lieutenant Colonel Bland the 7th, Colonel Henegau the 
8th, -Colonel Dessausure the 15th, and Lieutenant Colonel W. C 
G. Rice the 3d battallion, which had now been recruited by 
one man from each company in the brigade, forming two new 
companies, and formed a battallion of sharpshooters and skir- 
mishers. 

The great army was now ready for the ever memorable sec- 
ond invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania, which culminated 
In Gettysburg. The army was never before nor afterwards 
under betteer discipline nor in better fighting tritia. 

I will say here, that Colonel Aiken soon joined the brigade, 
and look command of his regiment until after the great battle,- 
and then retired permanently from active service. 

On the 3d of June McLaws led off. Hood following on the 
4lh. Pickett followed -Hood. On the 4th and 5th Ewell 
broke camp and followed. in the wake of Longstreet. A. P. 
•Hill; with 3d corps, was left fit Fredericksburg to watch the 
movements of the eneqiy. After some delay, the enemy 
thi-eateuing a crossing, the 3d corps follO\jved the other troops, 
all congregating near Culpepper Court House. Reaching the 
Blue Ridge mountains at Ashby's Gap on the i2tli of June, at 
the western base of which runs the Shenandoah, we forded the 
jitream, it being somewhat swollen, so much so, indeed, that 
men had to link hands as a protection. The water came lip 
under the armpits, and four men marched abreast, holding 
each other by the hands. Some caught hold of horses belong- 
ing to officers of the regimental staff. In this way we crossed 



HISTORY OF KBRSHAW'S BRIGADE . 227 

ever, and took up camp in the woods beyond. The wagon 
trains were in advance, and the march was slow and much im- 
peded. Very few ot the men had divested themselves of their 
clothing in crossing, and consequently when we went into 
quarters it was a very wet army. The soldiers had built fires 
and were rinsing out their clothes, when an order came to "fall 
in ranks at once." The men hastily drew on their now thor- 
oughly wet clothes, with all haste got into line and took up the 
march back towards the river. A rumor was started "the 
cavalry was pressing our rear." Kershaw's Brigade was 
marched back over the river, much to their disgust, and posted 
on the right and left of the road on top of the mountain. Here 
we were stationed all night, and being on the watch for the 
enemy, no fires were allowed. Towards day a cold mountain 
wind set in, and the troops suffered no little from the chilly 
wind and wet clothing. At sun-up we were marched for the 
third time across the river, and prepared *bnr meals for the 
■morning in the quarters of the evening before. Up to this 
time no intimation was given us of our destination, but while 
preparing our breakfast Adjutant Pope'came around with or- 
ders stating we were on our way to Hagerstowu, Md. At first 
some seemed to regard this as a joke, but as Adjutant Pope was 
so noted for his truthfulness and lack of jesting in business 
matters, we were compelled to take the matter seriously. Of 
all the officers in the 3d South Carolina, Adjutant Pope, I be- 
lieve, was the most beloved. His position kept him' in close 
contact with the ofiicers and men, and all had the utmost con- 
fidence in his honor and integrity and none doubted his impar- 
tiality. He had to keep the li.-t of companies, to do picket duty, 
and detail, and he was never accused of showing preferment 
to any company. He was kind and courteous to all, and while 
he mingled and caroused with the men, he never forgot his 
dignity nor the respect due to his superiors. Whenever a favor 
was wanted, or a "friend at court" desired,, he never failed to 
relieve and assist the poorest private the same as the highest 
officer. While a strict disciplinarian, he was indulgent to 
almost a fault, and was often seen to dismount and walk with 
the troops and allow some tired or sick soldier to ride his horse. 
Adjutant Pope and old "Doc," the name of his horse, were 
indispeusable to the 3d South Carolina regiment. The trusty 



228 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

old horse, like bis master, survived the war and did good ser- 
vice after its close. 

The next da}', the 13th, we took up our march in earnest. 
No straggling under any circumstances was allowed; The 
greatest respect was to be paid to all property', no pilfering of 
hen roosts, no robbery of orchards nor burning bf palings or 
fences along the, ijiArijh. , SQuies.;rMile-iu front iwe struck the 
Staunton and Winchester turnpike, and at regular intervals the 
troops'werelialted for. a-few-miiiates' rest. Occasionally ihe 
bands struck 'Up 'a march and the soldiers were ordered into line 
and to take up. the step: 

So away down the- valley we marched' with' banners flying, 
bands 'playing' and the soldiers with a swinging step. Our 
march was regulated to'about eighteen mile.S a day. But with 
all the orders and strict discipline, a great' many of the soldiers 
who were given the name of '"Foragers" could leave camp at 
night and- often-cross the mountain into the Luray valley, a 
valley, strictly speaking, laden< with' "milk and' honey." It 
bad never suffered the ravages of the Shenandoah, and there' 
everything enticing to the appetite"' of the soldier was found. 
Before day the forager ■ would return 'with' butter, bread. an4t' 
often canteens filled with jaire old "Mduntain Corn" or "Ap- 
ple Jack." How men, after au' all-day's Straggling msrch, 
wb'ich is far more tiresome than- au ordinary walk, could go' 
from ten to^fifteen miles over the niount'ains at night in search 
of something to eat or drink; is more' than I could understand. 

In a day or'twowe heard the' neiivs of 'Ewell capturing 
Milroy at Winchester, with'500 prisoners, and on the 'way a' 
part of- their troops passed 'us ill high glee ou their way to Rich-' 
mond -prison. I always noticed that the 'Federals, ou their 
marchto Richmond, were generally in better spirits when being' 
escortedby Confederates than when commanded by their own 
ofiB-cers with the Confederates between-them and the Southern 
Capital. ■ ■ 

Ou thefiftb day of our march we passed through Winches- 
ter, with A. P. Hill marching parallel to us, .some eight or ten' 
miles to our right. Ewell had pushed on to the Potomac, and 
was turning Washington wild and frantic at the sight of the 
"Rebels''' so close to their capital. As we neared the border 
We Gould discover Union sentiment taking the place of tb#t of 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 229 

the South. Those who ever sj'mpathized with us had to be 
very cautious and circumspect. Now and then we would see a 
window slowly raise in a house by the roadside, or on a hill in 
the distance, and the feeble flutter of a white handkerchief told 
of their Confederate proclivities. Generally the doors of all 
dwellings in the extreme northern portion of Virginia, and in 
Maryland and Pennsylvania, were mostly closed. 

On the morning of the 25th of June we crossed the Potomac 
at Williamsport. Here was shouting and yelling. Hats went 
into the air, flags dipped and swayed, the bands olayed "Mary- 
land, My Maryland," while the men sang "All Quiet on the 
Potomac To-night." We were now in the enemy's country, 
and scarcely a shot fired. We had lost Stuart. "Where was 
he?" "Stewart has left us." These and like expressions 
were heard on all sides. That bold and audacious cavalier, in 
a sudden fit of adventure, or hardihood unequelled, had crossed 
the Potomac in sight of the .spires of Washington, almost under 
its very guus, and had frightened the authorities out of their 
wits. Every citizen that could possibly get out of the place 
was grabbing his valuables and fleeing the city on every train. 
The Cabinet officers were running hither and thither, not able 
to form a sensible or rational idea. Had it been possible to 
have evacuated the city, that would have been done. A Con- 
federate prisqn or a hasty gibbet stared Staunton in the face, 
and he was sending telegrams like lightning over the land. 
Lincoln w*as the only one who seemingly had not lost his head. 
But Stuart pushed on toward York and Carlisle, while Ewell 
had carried fear and trembling to Philadelphia and Baltimore. 
Mead was marching with the energy of despair to head off Lee 
and his victorious troops.. Longstreet halted at Chambersburg 
and awaited developments. The troops lived in clover. The 
best of everything generally was given freely and willingly to 
them. Great herds of the finest and fattest beeves were con- 
tinually being gathered together. Our broken down artillery 
horses and wagon mules were replaced by Pennsylvania's best. 
But in all, duly paid for in Confederate notes given by our 
Commissaries and Quartermasters. 

At Hagerstown, Hill's troops came up with those of Long- 
street, both moving on to Chambersburg, and there remained 
until the 27th. 



230 HISTORY OF KERSHAw'S BRIGADB. 

General Lee had issued an address to the people of Mary- 
land setting forth the reasons and causes of his army invading- 
their country, offering peace and protection, and calling upon 
them to repair to his standard and throw off the tyranny and 
oppression that were bearing them down. He claimed to come, 
not as a conqueror, nor as one in pursuit of conquest, but as a 
liberator. But the people seemed to be in a state of lethargy, 
and to take little interest in the contest one way or the other. 
Guards were placed at all homes where such protection was 
asked for, and their fields of grain and orchards, as well as- 
their domestic possessions, were sacredly guarded. 

It was the general plan of L,ee not to fight an aggressive bat- 
tle in the enemy's country, but to draw the army of the North 
away from his lines of communities, and fight him on the defen- 
sive at favorable points. 

Ewell had been sent on towards Carlisle and York, both 
those places being probably delivered to the Confederates by 
the civil authorities. 

In passing through Pennsylvania, many curious characters 
were found among the quaint old Quaker settlers, who viewed 
the army of Lee not with "fear" or "trembling," but more in 
wonder aud Christian abhorrence. When the front of the col- 
umn came to the line dividing Pennsylvania and Maryland, it 
was met bj' a delegation of those rigorously righteous old 
Quakers who, stepping in the middle of the road, commanded, 
as in the name of God, "So far thou canst go, but no farther.'* 
After performing this seemingly command of God, and in ac- 
cordance with their faith, a perfect abhorrence to war and 
bloodshed, they returned to their homes perfectly satisfied. It 
is needless to say the cornmander of Lee's 2d corps paid little 
heed to the command of the pious Quakers. 

After remaining neur Chambersburg Kershaw, with the other 
portion of the division, marched on to a little hamlet called 
Greenwood, leaving a part of Pickett's division at Chambers- 
burg to guard our trains. 

On the 2gth the troops in advance began gradually to con- 
centrate in the direction of Cashtown, some eight or tea 
miles west of Gettysburg. Ewell was bearing down from Car- 
lisle, A. P. Hill was moving east, while Longstreet was moved- 
up to Greenwood. 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 23J 

On the first of July A. P. Hill had met the enemy near Get- 
tysburg, and fought the first day's battle of that name, driving^ 
the enemy back and through that city, part of his lines occu« 
pying the streets of Gettysburg and extending north and 
around the city. The distance intervening and the mountain- 
ous condition of the country prevented us from hearing the roar 
of the guns, and little did any of us think, while enjoying the 
rest in our tents, one portion of our army was in the throes of 
a desperate battle. Up to this time not a word had been heara 
from Stuart and his cavalry, and this seriously disturbed the 
mind of our great commander. The positions of the enemy, 
moving against our rear and flank, necessitated a battle or a 
withdrawal, and to fight a great battle without the aid of cav- ■ 
airy simply seemed preposterous. General Stuart has been 
greatly censured for his conduct during these stirring times, 
Just on the eve of this, the greatest battle fought in modern 
times. 

Near sun-down, June ist, we got orders to move along a dull 
road over hills, mountains and valleys. We marched with 
elastic step, every one feeling the time had come for active 
work. Early on our march we encountered Ganeral J. E- John- 
ston's brigade of Early's division, that had been left at Cham* 
bersburg, together with all of Ewell's wagon trains- This de- 
layed our march until it w as thought all were well out of the 
way. But before midnight it was overtaken again, and then 
the march became slow and tedious. To walk two or three 
steps, and then halt for that length of time, was anything but 
restful and assuring to troops who had marched all night with- 
out sleep or rest. About three o'clock at night, when we had 
reached the summit of an eminence, we saw in the plain before 
us a great sea of white tents, silent and still, with here and 
there a groan, or a surgeon passing from one tent to another 
relieving the pain of some poor mortal who had fallen in battle 
on the morning of the day before. We had come upon the field 
hospital of Hill, where he had his wounded of the day before 
encamped. Heie we first heard of the fight in which so many 
brave men had fallen, without any decided results. As we had 
friends and relatives in A. P. Hill's corps, all began to make 
inquiries tor Gregg's old brigade. We heard with delight and 
animation of the grand conduct of the banner brigade of South 



232 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

Carolina, "Gregg's" or McGowan's, and listened with no little 
pride to the report of their desperite struggle through the 
streets of Gettysburg, and to learn that the flag in the hands of 
a meryber of a Palmetto regiment first waved over the city. I 
heard here of the desperate wounding of an old friend and 
school-mate, Lieutenant W. I,. Leitsey, and left the ranks 
•long enough to hunt him up in one of the many tents to the 
left. I found him severely wounded, so much so that I never 
met him afterwards. While marching along at a "snail's 
gait" among the wagons and artillery trains, with a long row 
of tents to the left, tired and worn out and so dark that you 
could not distinguish objects a few feet distant, a lone man 
was standing by the road side viewing, as well as he could 
In the dark, the passing troops. The slowness of our march 
enabled me to have a few words of conversation with him. 
At its end, and just as I was passing him, I heard, or thought 
I heard him say, "I have a drink in here," pointing to a tent, 
"if you feel like it." Reader, you may have heard of angel's 
voices in times of great distress, but if ever an angel spoke, it 
was at that particular moment, and to me. I was so tired, 
sleepy and worn out I could scarcely stand, and a drink would 
certainly be invigorating, but for fear I had not heard or un- 
derstood him clearly I had him to repeat it. In fact, so timely 
was it that I felt as if I could have listened all night, so much 
like the voice of a syren was it at that moment. I said "Yes ! 
Yes ! ! " But just then I thought of my friend and compan- 
ion, my next Color Captain, John W. Watts, who was just 
ahead of me and marching under the same difficulties as my- 
self. I told the man I had a friend in front who wanted a 
drink worse than I did. He answered "there is enough for 
two," and we went in. It was Egyptian darkness, but we 
found a jug and tin cup on the table, and helped ourselves. 
It may have been that in the darkness we helped ourselves too 
bountifully, for that morning Watts found himself in an ambu- 
lance going to the rear. Overcome by weariness and the potion 
swallowed in the dark perhaps, he lay down by the roadside to 
snatch a few moments sleep, and was picked up by the driver 
of the ambulance as one desperately wounded, and the driver 
was playing the Good Samaritan. Just before we went into 
action that day, I saw coming through an old field my lost 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 233 

friend, and right royally glad was I to see him, for I was always 
glad when I had Watts on my right of the colors. Our brigade 
lay down by the roadside to rest and recuperate for a few hours, 
near Willoughby's Run, four ruiles from Gettysburg. 



CHAPTER XVIIL 

Battle of Gettysburg — July 2d. 

When the troops were aroused from their slumbers on that 
beautiful clear morning of the 2d of July, the sun had long 
since shot its rays over the quaint old, now historic, town of 
Gettysburg, sleeping down among the hills and spurs of the 
Blue Ridge. After an all-night's march, and a hard day's 
work before them, the troops were allowed all the rest and 
repose possible. I will here state that Longstneet had with 
him only two divisions of his corps, with four Sg^Sats to a 
divi-sion. Pickett was left near Chambersburg to protect the 
numerous supply trains. Jenkins' South Carolina brigade of 
his division had been left in Virginia to guard the mountain 
passes against a possible cavalry raid, and thus had not the 
opportunity of sharing with the other South Carolinians in the 
glories that will forever cluster around Gettysburg. They 
would, too, had they been present, have enjoyed and deserved 
the halo that will for all time surround the "charge of Pickett," 
a charge that will go down in history with Balaclava and Ho- 
henlinden. 

A. P. Hill, aided by part of Ewell's corps, had fought a 
winning fight the day before, and had driven the enemy from 
the field -through the streets of the sleepy old town of Gettys- 
burg to the high ground on the east. But this was only the 
advance guard of General Meade, thrown forward to gain time 
in order to bring up his main army. He was now concen- 
trating it with all haste, and forming in rear of the rugged 
ridge running south of Gettysburg and culminating in the 
promontories at the Round Top. Behind this ridge was soon 
to assemble an army, if not the largest, yet the grandest, best 
disciplined, best equipped of all time, with an incentive to do 
successful battle as seldom falls to the lot of an army, and on 
its success or defeat depended the fate of two nations. 



234 HISTORY OF KEKSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

There was a kind of intuition, an apparent settled fact, among 
the soldiers of Longstreet's corps, that after all the other troops 
bad made their long marches, tugged at the flanks of the enemy, 
threatened his rear, and all the display of strategy and general- 
ship had been exhausted in the dislodgenient of the foe, and all 
these failed, then when the hard, stubborn, decisive blow was 
to be struck, the troops of the first corps were called upon to 
strike it. Longstreet had informed Lee at the outset, "My 
corps is as solid as a rock — a great rock. I will strike the 
blow, and win, if the other troops gather the fruits of victory." 

How confident the old "War Horse," as General Lee called 
him, was in the soliditj- and courage of his troops. Little did 
he know when he made the assertion that so soon his seventeen 
thousand men were to be pitted against the whole army of the 
Potomac. Still, no battle was ever considered decisive until 
Longstreet, with his cool, steady head, his heart of steel and 
troops who acknowledged no superior, or scarcely equals 
in ancient or modern times, in endurance and courage, had 
measured strength with the enemy. This I give, not as a per- 
sonal view, Dut as the feelings, the confidence and pardonable 
pride of the troops of the ist corps. 

As A. P. Hill and Ewell had had their bout the day before, 
it was a foregone conclusion that Longstreet' s time to measure 
strength was near at hand, and the men braced themselves ac- 
cordingly for the ordeal. 

A ridge running parallel with that behind which the enemy- 
stood, but not near so precipitous or rugged, and about a mile: 
distant, with a gentle decline towards the base of the opposite 
ridge, was to be the base of the battle ground of the day. This, 
plain or gentle slope between the two armies, a mile in extent^ 
was mostly open fields covered with grain or other crops, with 
here and there a farm house, orchard and garden. It seems 
irom reports since made that Lee had not matured his plan of 
battle until late in the forenoon. He called a council of war 
of his principal Lieutenant to discuss plans and feasibilities. 
It was a long time undecided whether Ewell should lead the 
battle on the right, or allow Longstreet to throw his whole- 
corps on the Round Top and break away these strongholds, the 
very citadel to Meade's whole line. The latter was agreed upon, 
much against the judgment of General Longstreet, but Lee'g. 



HISTORY OF KBRSHAW'S BRIGADE. 235 

orders were imperative, and obeyed with alacrity. At ten 
o'clock the movement began for the formation of the columns 
of assault. Along and in rear of the ridge we marched at a 
slow and halting gait. The Washington artillery had preceded 
us, and soon afterwards Alexander's battery passed to select 
positions. We marched and countermarched, first to the right, 
then to the left. As we thus marched we had little opportu- 
nity as yet to view the strongholds of the enemy on the oppo- 
site ridge, nor the incline between, which was soon to be strewn 
with the dead and dying. Occasionally a General would 
ride to the crest and take a survey of the surroundings. No 
cannon had yet been fired on either side, and everything was 
quiet and still save the tread of the thousands in motion, as if 
preparing for a great review. 

lyongstreet passed us once or twice, but he had his eyes cast 
to the ground, as if in a deep study, his mind disturbed, and 
had more the look of gloom than I had ever noticed before. 
Well might the great chieftain look cast down with the weight 
of this great responsibility resting upon him. There seemed to 
be an air of heaviness hanging around all. The soldiers trod 
with a firm but seeming heavy tread. Not that there was any 
want of confidence or doubt of ultimate success, but each felt 
within himself that this was to be the decisive battle of the 
war, and as a consequence it would be stubborn and bloody. 
Soldiers looked in the faces of their fellow-soldiers with a silent 
sympathj' that spoke more eloquently than words an exhibi- 
tion of brotherly love never before witnessed in the ist corps. 
They felt a sympathy for those whom they knew, before the 
setting of the sun, would feel touch of the elbow for the last 
time, and who must fall upon this distant field and in an ene- 
my's country. 

About now we were moved over the crest and halted behind 
a stone wall that ran parallel to a county road, our center being 
near a gateway in the wall. As soon as the halt was made 
the soldiers fell down, and soon the most of them were fast 
asleep. While here, it was necessary for some troops of Hill's 
to pass over up and through the gate. The head of the col- 
umn was lead by a doughty General clad in a brilliant new 
uniform, a crimson sash encircling his waist, its deep, heavy- 
hanging down to his sword scabbard, while great golden curls 



236 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

hung in maiden ringlets to his very shoulders. His movement 
was superb and he sat his horse in true Knightly manner. On 
the whole, such a turn-out was a sight seldom witnessed by the 
staid soldiers of the First Corps. As he was passing a man in 
Company D, 3d South Carolina, roused up from his broken 
sleep, saw for the first time the soldier wonder with the long 
curls. He called out to him, not knowing he was an officer of 
such rank, "Say, Mister, come right down out of that hair," a 
foolish and unnecessary expression that was common through- 
out the army when anything unusual hove in sight. 

This hail roused all the ire in the flashy General, he became 
as "mad as a March hare," and wheeling his horse, dashed up 
to where the challenge appeared to have come from and 
demanded in an angry tone, "Who was that .spoke? Who 
commands this company ?" And as no reply was given he 
turned away, saying, "D — d if I only knew who it was that 
insulted me, I v.-ould put a ball in him." But as he rode off 
the soldier gave him a Parthian shot by calling after him, "Say, 
Mister, don't get so mad about it, I thought you were some 
d. — n wagon master. ' ' 

Slowly again our column began moving to the right. The 
center of the division was halted in front of little Round Top. 
Kershaw was then on the right. Barksdale with his Mississip- 
pjans on his left, Woiford and SeffiSfer with their Georgians in 
rear as support. Everything was quiet in our front, as if the 
enemy had put his house in order and awaited our coming. 
Kershaw took position behind a tumbled down wall to await 
Hood's movements on our right, and who was to open the bat- 
tle by the assault on Round Top. The country on our right, 
through whii h Hood had to manoeuvre, was very much broken 
and thickly studded with trees and mountain undergrowth, 
which delayed that General in getting in battle line. Ander- 
son's Georgians, with Hood's old Texas Brigade under Rob- 
ertsoJi, was on Mcl,aws' immediate right, next to Kershaw. 
Ivaw's Alabama Brigade was on the extreme right, and made 
the first advance. On McLaws' left was Wilcox, of General 
"Tige" Anderson's Division of the 3d Corps, with Posey and 
other troops to his left, these to act more as a brace to L,ong- 
srreet as he advanced to the assault; however, most of them 
were drawn into the vortex of battle before the close of the day. 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW' S BRIGADE. 237 

In Kershaw's Brigade, the 2d under Colonel John D. Kennedy 
and Lieutenant Colonel Frank Gilliarl, the 15th under Colonel 
W D. Dessausure and Major Wm. Gist, the 3d under Colonel 
James D. Nance and Major R. C. Maffett, the 7th under 
Colonel D. Wyatt Aiken and Lieutenant Colonel Elbert Bland, 
the 3d Battallion under Lieutenant Colonel W. G. Rice, the 
8th under Colonel John W. Heneg'an, Lieutenant Colonel Hood 
and Major McLeod, went into battle in the order named, as far 
as I remember Major Wm. Wallace of the 2d commanded the 
brigade skirmish line or .sharpshooters, now some distance in 
our front. A battery often guns was immediately in our rear, 
in a grove of oaks, and drew on us a heavy fire when the ar- 
tillery duel began. All troops in line, the batteries in position, 
nothing was wanting but the signal gun to put these mighty 
forces in motion. Ewell had been engaged during the morn- 
ing in a desultory battle far to our left and beyond the town, 
but had now quieted down. A blue puff of smoke, a deafen- 
ing report from one of the guns of the Washington Artillery of 
New Orleans, followed in quick succession by others, gave the 
signal to both armies — the battle was now on. 

It was the plan of action for Hood to move forward first and 
engage the enemy, and when once the combat was well under 
way on the right, McLaws to press his columns to the front. 
Law, with his Alabamians, was closing around the .southern 
base of greater Round Top, while Robert.son, with his three 
Texas regiments and one Arkansas, and Anderson with his 
Georgians, were pushing their way through thickets and over 
boulders to the front base of the Round Tops and the gorges 
between the two. We could easily determine their progress by 
the "rebel yell" as it rang out in triumph along the mountain 
sides. 

The battery in our rear was drawing a fearful fire upon us, 
as we lay behind the stone fence, and all were but too anxious 
to be ordered forward. Barksdale, on our left, moved out first, 
just in front of the famous Peach Orchard. A heavy battery 
was posted there, supported by McCandless' and Willard's Di- 
visions, and began raking Barksdale from the start. The 
brave old Mississippian, who was .so soon to lose his life, asked 
permission to charge and take the battery, but was refused. 
Kershaw next gave the command, "forward,!^' and the men 



238 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

sprang to their work with a will and determination and spread 
their steps to the right and left as they advanced. Kershaw 
was on foot, prepared to follow the line of battle immediately 
in rear, looking cool, composed and grand, his steel-gray eyes 
flashing the fire he felt in his soul. 

The shelling from the enemy on the ridge in front had, up to 
this time, been mostly confined to replying to our batteries, 
but as soon as this long array of bristling bayonets moved over 
the crest and burst out suddenly in the open, in full view of 
of the cannon-crowned battlements, all guns were turned upon 
us. The shelling from Round Top was terrific enough to 
make the stoutest hearts quake, while the battery down at the 
base of the ridge, in the orchard, was raking Barksdale and 
Kershaw right and left with grape and shrapnell. Semms" 
Georgians soon moved up on our right and between Kershaw 
and Hood's left, but its brave commander fell mortally wound- 
ed at the very commencement of the attack. Kershaw ad- 
vanced directly against little Round Top, the strongest point 
in the enemy's line, and defended by Ayer's Regulars, the 
best disciplined and most stubborn fighters in the Federal 
army. The battery in the orchard began grapeing Kershaw's 
left as soon as it came in range, the right being protected by a 
depression in the ground over which they marched. Not a 
gun was allowed to be fired either at sharpshooters that were 
firing on our front froo behind boulders and trees in a grove 
we were nearmg, or at the commoners who were raking our 
flank on the left. Men fell here and there from the deadly 
minnie-balls, while great gaps or swaths were swept away in 
our ranks by shells from the batteries on the hills, or by the 
destructive grape and canister from the orchard. On marched 
the determined men across this open expanse, closing together 
as their comrades fell out. Barksdale had fallen, but his troops 
were still moving to the front and over the battery that was 
making such havoc in their ranks. Semms, too, had fallen, 
but his Georgians never wavered nor faltered, but moved like a 
huge machine in the face of these myriads of death-dealing 
missiles. Just as we entered the woods the infantry opened 
upon us a withering fire, especially from up the gorge that 
ran in the direction of Round Top. Firing now became gen- 
eral along the whole Hue on both sides. The Fifteenth Regi'' 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 239 

raent met a heavy obstruction, a mock-orange hedge, and it 
was just after passing this obstacle that Colonel Dessausure fell. 
The center of the Third Regiment and some parts of the other 
regiments, were practically protected by boulders and large 
trees, but the greater part fought in the open field or in 
sparsely timbered groves of small trees. The fight now waged 
fast and furious. 

Captain Malloy writes thus of the 8th: "We occupied the 
extreme left of the brigade, just fronting the celebrated 'Peach 
Orchard.' The order was given. We began the fatal charge, 
and soon had driven the enemy from their guns in the orchard, 
when a command was given to 'move to the right,' which 
fatal order was obeyed under a terrible fire, this leaving the 
'Peach Orchard' partly uncovered. The enemy soon rallied 
to their guns and turned them on the flank of our brigade. 
Amid a storm of shot and shell from flank and front, our gal- 
lant old brigade pushed towards the Round Top, driving all be- 
fore them, till night put an end to the awful slaughter. The 
regiment went in action with 215 in ranks, and lost more than 
half its number. We lost many gallant officers, among whom 
were Major McLeod, Captain Thomas E. Powe, Captain John 
Mclver, and others." The move to the right was to let Wof- 
ford in between Barksdale and Kershaw. 

Barksdale was pressing up the gorge that lay between little 
Round Top and the ridge, was making successful battle and in 
all likelihood would have succeeded had it not been for ' Gene- 
ral Warren. General Meade's Chief Engineer being on the 
ground and seeing the danger, grasped the situation at once, 
called up all the available force and lined the stone walls that 
led along the gorge with infantry. Brigade after brigade of 
Federal infantry was now rushed to this citadel, while the 
crown of little Round Top was literally covered with artillery. 
Ayer's Regulars were found to be a stubborn set by Kershaw's 
troops. The Federal volunteers on our right and left gave 
way to Southern valor, but the regulars stood firm, protected 
as they were by the great boulders along their lines. Barks- 
dale had passed beyond us as the enemy's line bent backward 
at this point, and was receiving the whole shock of battle in 
his front, while a terrific fire was coming from down the gorge 
and from behind hedges on the hill-side. But the Mississip- 



240 HISTORY OS' KEESHAW'S BRIGADE. 

pians held on like grim death till Wofford, with his Georgians, 
who was m(.ving in majestic style across the open field in the 
rear, came to his support. 

General Wofford was a splendid officer, and equally "as hard 
a fighter. He advanced his brigade through the deadly hail 
>of bullets and took position on Bardsdale's right and Kershaw's 
left, and soon the roar of his guns were mingling with those of 
their comrades. The whole division was now in action. The 
enemy began to give vvaj', and scamper np the hill-side. But 
Meade; by this time, had the bulk of his army around and in' 
rear of the Round Top, and fresh troops were continuall3' be- 
ing rushed in to take the places of or reinforce those already, 
in action. Hood's whole force was now also engaged; as well 
as a part of A. P. Hill's on our left.' The smoke^ becai^ie, so- 
dense, the noise of small arms and the tumult raised by the ! 
"Rebel Yell,". so great that the voices of officers attempting 
to give commands were hushed in the pandemonium. Along' 
to the right of the 3d, especially up the little ravine, the fire 
was concentrated on those who held' tlijis position and was ter- 
rific- beyond description, forcing a part of the line.back to the- 
stone house. This fearful shock of battle; was kept up along 
the whole line ■vyithout intermission till night threw her sable 
curtains over the scene of icarnage- and bloodshed and-put aa 
end to the .strife.', Wofl:ord, and Barksdale had none -to rein- 
force them at the gorge, and had to fijsht it out. single-handed-! 
and alone, while the Regulars, w'iththeir backs to the base of 
little Round Top, protected by natural formations, were too 
strong to be dislodged by Kershaw. As soon as the firing 
ceased the troops w,ere withdrawn to near our position of the- 
forenoon. 

The work of gathering up the wounded lasted till late at 
night. Our loss in regimental and line officers was very-great. 
Scarcely a regiment but what had lost one of its staff, nor a 
company souie of its officers. Dr. Salmond, the Brigade' Sur- 
geon, came early upon the field and directed in person- the- 
movements of his assistants in their work of gathering up the 
wounded, i "The dead were left to take care o£ the dead" 
until next daj'. 

When the 'brigade was near the woodland in its- advance, a 
most deadly fire was directed towards the center of the 3d botji 



HISTORY OP KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 2(41 

by the battery to our left, and sharpshooting in the front. It 
was thought by some that it was our flag that was drawing the 
fire, four color guards having gone down, some one called out 
"lyower the colors, down with the flag." Sergaut Lamb, color 
bearer, waved the flag aloft, and moving to the front where all 
could see, called out in loud tones, "This flag never goes down 
until I am down." 

Then tho word went up and down the line "Shoot that offi.- 
cer, down him, shoot him," but still he continued to give those - 
commands, "Ready, aim, fire," and the grape shot would come- 
plunging into our very faces. The sharpshooters, who had!: 
joined our ranks, as we advanced, now commenced to bla«er 
away, and the connoneers scattered to cover in the rear. This; 
officer finding himself deserted by his men, waved his swordi 
defiantly over his head and walked away as deliberately as on 
dress parade, while the sharpshooters were plowing up the 
dirt all around him, but all failed to bring him down. We 
bivouaced during the night just in rear of the battle ground^ 



CHAPTER XIX, 

Gettysburg Continued— Pickett's Charge. 

The next morning, July the 3rd, the sun rose bright sad 
clear. Rations were brought to the men by details, who, after 
marching and fighting all day, had to hunt up the supply 
train, draw rations and cook for their companies for the next 
day — certainly a heavy burden on two men, the usual detail 
from each company. 

No one could conjecture what the next move would be, but 
the army felt a certainty that I^ee would not yield to a drawn 
battle without, at least, another attempt to break Meade's front. 
Either the enemy would attempt to take an advantage of our 
yesterday's repulse and endeavor to break our lines, crush I<ee 
by doubling him back on the Patomac, or that I^ee would un- 
dertake the accomplishment of the work of the day before. 
After the heavy battle of yesterday and the all night's march 
preceding, the soldiers felt little like renewing the fight of 
today, still there was no despondency, no lack of ardor, or 



242 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADK. 

morale, each and every soldier feeling, while he had done his 
best the day before, still he was equal to that before him for 
today. 

In the First Corps all was still and quiet, scarcely a shot 
from either side, a picket shot occasionally was the only re- 
minder that the enemy was near. 

Away to our left, and beyond the city, the Federals had as- 
saulted Ewell's lines, and a considerable battle was raging from 
daylight till lo o'clock. 

The enemy were endeavoring to regain some of the trenches 
they had lost two days before. 

General Pickett, who had been left at Chambersburg, had 
now come up with his threaVirginia Brigades, Garnett's, 
Kemper's, and Armstead's, (fKfetettbeing left in Virginia) 
iand was putting them in position for his famous charge. 

While this has no real connection with the work in hand, 
still, since the "Charge of Pickett," has gone in song and 
story, as the most gallant, dashing, and bloody of modern 
times, I am tempted here to digress somewhat, and give, as 
far as I am able, an impartial account of this memorable corti- 
bat, being an eye witness. While Pickett led the storming 
party, in person, still the planning and details were entrusted 
to another head, namely. General Longstreet. In justice to 
him I will say he was opposed to this useless sacrifice of life 
and limb. In his memoirs he tells how he pleaded with I,ee, 
to relieve him from the responsibility of command, and when 
the carnage was at its zenith, riding through the hail from 
three hundred cannons and shells bursting under and over 
him, the Old Chieftain says, ' 'I raised my eyes heavenward 
and prayed that one of these shots might lay me low and re- 
lieve me from this awful responsibility." While I would, by 
no word, or intimation detract one iota from the justly earned 
fame of the great Virginian, nor the brave men under him, 
still it is but equal justice to remember and record that there 
were other Generals and troops from other States as justly 
meritorious and deserving of honor as participants in the great 
charge, as Pickett and his Virginians. On the day before, Ker- 
shaw, in the battle before little "Round Top," Semms to the 
right, Wofford and Barksdale in front of the peach orchard and 
up the deadly gorge around Little Round Top to say nothing 
of Hood at Round Top, charged and held in close battle, two 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 243 

thirds of the Army of the Potomac, without any support what- 
ever. See now how Pickett was braced and supported. Cem- 
etery Ridge was a long ridge of considerable elevation, on which, 
and behind it the enemy was marshalled in mass; opposite this 
ridge was another of less eminence, and one mile, or near so, 
distant, behind which the Confederates were concentrating for 
the assault. I,ongstreet moved McLaws up near to the right 
of the assaulting columns in two lines, Semms and Wofford 
in the front and Barksdale and Kershaw in the rear lines as 
support. I continue to retain the names of the Brigade Com- 
manders to designate the troops, although Barksdale and 
Semms had fallen the day before. 

Kemper and Garnett were on the i-ight of the assaultin g 
column, with Armstead as support, all Virginians and ot 
Pickett's Division. Wilcox, with his Alabama Brigade was to 
move some distance in rear of Pickett's right to take any ad- 
vantage of the break in the line, and to protect Pickett's flank. 
On the left of Pickett, and on the line of attack was Heath's 
Division, commanded by General Pettigrew, composed of 
Archer's Brigade, of Alabama and Tennesseeans, Pettigrew's, 
North Carolina, Brockenboro's, Virginia, and Davis' Brigade, 
composed of three Mississippi Regiments and one North Caro- 
lina, with Scales' and Lanes' North Carolina Brigade in support. 
Hood and Mclyaws guarding the right and A. P. Hill the left. 
I repeat it, was there ever an assaulting column better braced 
or supported? 

General Alexander had charge of the artillerj' at this point, 
and the gunners along the whole line were standing to their 
pieces, ready to draw the lanyards that were to set the opposite 
hills ablaze with shot and shell, the moment the signal was 
given. 

Everyman, I dare say, in both armies held his breath in 
anxious and feverish suspense, awaiting the awful crash. The 
enemy had been apprised of the Confederate movements, and 
were prepared for the shock. 

When all was ready the signal gun was fired, and almost 
simultaneously one hundred and fifty guns belched forth upon 
the enemy's works, which challenge was readily accepted by 
Meade's cannoneers, and two hundred shrieking shells made 
answer to the Confederate's salute. Round after round were 
fired in rapid succession from both sides, the air above seemed 



244 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

filled with shrieking, screaming, bursting shells. For a time- 
it looked as if the Heavens above had opened her vaults of 
thunder bolts, and was letting them fall in showers upon the 
heads of mortals below. Some would burst overhead, while 
others would go whizzing over us and explode far in the rear. 
It was the intention of l,ee to so silence the enemy's batteries, 
that the assaulting column would be rid of this dangerous, 
annoyance. Longstreet says of the opening of the battle: 
"The signal guns broke the silence, the blaze of the second 
gxin, mingling in the smoke of the first, and salvos rolled ta 
the left and repeating themselves along the ridges the enem3''& 
fine metal spreading its fire to the converging lines of the Con- 
federates, plowing the trembling ground, plunging through 
the line of batteries and clouding the heavy air. Two or three 
hundred guns seemed proud of their undivided honors of organ- 
ized confusion. The Confederates had the benefit of cour- 
verging fire into the enemy's massed position, but the superior 
metal of the enemy neutralized the advantages of position. 
The brave and steady work progressed." 

After almost exhausting his amunition, General Alexander 
.sent a message to General Pickett, "If you are coming, come 
at once, or I cannot give you proper support. Ammunition 
nearly exhausted; eighteen guns yet firing from the cemetery." 
This speaks volumes for our artillerist, who had silenced over one 
hundred and fifty guns, only eighteen yet in action, but these 
eighteen directly in front of Pickett. Under this deadly can- 
nonade, Pickett sprang to the assault. Kemper and Garnett 
advanced over the crest, closely followed by Armstead. Wil- 
cox, with his Alabamians, took up the step and marched a 
short distance in rear of the right. The Alabamians, Tennes- 
seeans. North Carolinians, and Virginians under Pettigrew 
lined up on Pickett's left, followed by Trimble, with his two 
North Carolina Brigades and the columns were ofE. The bat- 
teries on the ridges in front now turned all their attention to 
this dreaded column of gray, as soon as they had passed over 
the crest that up to this time had concealed them. To 
the enemy even this grand moving body of the best material 
in the world must have looked imposing as it passed in solid 
phalanx over this broad expanse without scarcely a bush or 
tree to screen it. And what must have been the feelings of 
the troops that were to receive this mighty shock of battle f 



HMTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 245 

The men marched with firm step, with banners flying, the 
thunder of our guns in rear roaringand echoing to cheer them 
on, while those of the enemy were sweeping wind rows through 
their ranks. Mclyaws was moved up nearer the enemy's lines 
to be ready to reap the benefit of the least signs of success. 
Brockenborro and Davis were keeping an easy step with Kemper 
and Garnett, but their ranks were being thinned at every ad- 
vance. Great gaps were mown out by the bursting of shells 
while the grape and canister caused the soldiers to drop by 
■ones, twos and sections along the jvhole line. Men who were 
spectators of this carnage, held their breath in horror, while 
others turned away from the sickening scene, in pitying si- 
lence. General Trimble was ordered to close up and fill the 
depleted ranks, which was done in splendid style, and on the 
assaulting columns sped. 

Trimble had fallen, Garnett was killed, with Kemper and Gib- 
bon being borne from the field more dead than alive. At last 
the expected crash came, when infantry met infantry. Pickett's 
Tight strikes Hancock's center, then a dull, sullen roar told 
too well that Greek had met Greek. Next came Davis, then 
Brockenborro, followed on the left by Archer's and Pettigrew's 
Brigade, and soon all was engulfed in the smoke of battle 
and lost to sight. Such a struggle could not last long for the 
tension was too great. The Confederates had driven in the 
first line, but Meade's whole army was near, and fresh bat- 
talions were being momentarily ordered to the front. The 
■enemy now moved out against Pickett's right, but Semms and 
Wofford of McLaws' Division were there to repulse them. 

For some cause, no one could or ever will explain, Pickett's 
Brigades wavered at a critical moment, halted, hesitated, then 
the battle was lost. Now began a scene that is as unpleasant 
to record as it is sickening to contemplate. When Pickett saw 
his ruin, he ordered a retreat and then for a mile or more these 
brave men, who had dared to march up to the csnnon's mouth 
with twenty thousand infantry lying alongside, had to race 
across this long distance with Meade's united artillery playing 
upon them, while the twenty thousand rifles were firing upon 
their rear as they ran. 

Pettigrew's Division, which was clinging close to the battle, 
saw the disaster that had befallen the gallant Virginians, then 
in turn they, too, fled the field and doubling up on Lane and 



246 HISTORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 

Scales, North Carolinians, made "confusion worse confounded.'" 
This flying mass of humanity only added another target for 
the enemy's guns and an additional number to the death roll^ 

Alexander's batteries, both of position, and the line now 
turned loose with redoubled energy on those of the enemy's. 
to relieve, as far as possible, our defeated, ilying, and, demora- 
lized troops. For a few moments (which seemed like days to 
the defeated) it looked as if all nature's power and strength 
were turned into one mighty upheaval; Vessuvius, Etna, and 
Popocatepetl were emptying their mighty torrents upon the- 
heads of the unfortunate Confederates. Men fell by the hun- 
dreds, officers ceased to rally them until the cover of the ridge 
was reached. The hills in front were ablaze from the flashes' 
of near two hundred guns, while the smoke from almost as- 
many on our lines slowly lifted from the ridge behind us, 
showing one continued sheet of flames, the cannoneers work- 
ing their guns as never lieforfe. The earth seemed to vibrate 
and tremble under the recoil of these hundreds of guns, while 
the air overhead was filled with flying shells. Not a twink- 
ling of the eye intervened between the passing of shots or 
shells. The men who were not actively engaged became 
numbed and a dull heavy sleep overcame them as they lay 
under this mighty unnatural storm, shells, falling short came 
plowing through the ground, or bursting prematurely over- 
head, with little or no effect upon the slumberers, only a cry- 
of pain as one and another received a wound or a death sho.L 
from the flying fragments. The charge of Pickett is over, the 
day is lost, and men fall prone upon the earth to catch breath 
and think of the dreadful ordeal just passed and of the many 
hundreds lying between them and the enemy's line bleeding, 
dying without hope or succor. 

Farnsworth, of Kilpatrick's Cavalry, had been watching the 
fray from our extreme right, where Hood had stationed scat- 
tered troops to watch his flank, and when the Union General 
saw through the mountain gorges and passes the destruction of 
Pickett he thought his time for action had come. The battle- 
scarred war honses .suufied the blood aud smoke of battle from, 
afar, and champed their bits in anxious impatience. The 
troopers looked down the line and met the stern faces of their 
comrades adjusting themselves to their saddles and awaiting 
the signal for the charge. Farnsworth awaits no orders, and 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 247 

when he saw the wave of Pickett's recede he gave the com- 
mand to "(.harge," and his five hundred troopers came thun- 
dering down upon our detachments on the extreme right. Bnt 
Farn.sworth had to ride over and between the Fourth, Four- 
teenth, and Fifteenth Alabama Regiments, the Eleventh. 
Georgia, and the First Texas, and it is needless to add, his. 
ride was a rough and disastrous one. Farnsworth, after re- 
peated summons to surrender, fell, pierced with five wounds, 
and died in a few moments. His troopers w-ho had escaped 
death or capture fled to the gorges and passes of the moun- 
tains through which they had so recently ridden in high ex- 
pectation. 

The enemy, as well as the Confederates, had lost heavily in 
general ofi&cers. Hancock had fallen from his horse, shot 
throujih the side with a minnie ball, disabling him for a long 
time. General Dan Sickles, afterwards military Governor of 
South Gflrolina, lost a leg. General Willard was killed. Gen- 
erals Newton, Gibbon, Reynolds, Barlow were either killed or 
wounded, with many other officers of note in the Federal 
Army. 

The soldier Is not the cold unfeeling, immovable animal that 
some people ,seem to think he is. On the contrary, and para- 
doxical as it may appear, he is warm-hearted, sympathetic, 
and gen^ous spirited and his mind often reverts to home, kin- 
dred, and friends, when least expected. His love and sympa- 
thy for his fellow-soldier is proverbial in the army. In the lull 
i)f battle, or c^ its pve, men with bold hearts and strong nerves 
Jook each other in the face with grim reliance. With set teeth 
andnerves strung to extreme tension, the thoughts of the sol- 
dier often wander to his distant home. The panorama of his- 
whole life passes before him in vivid colors. His fisrt thoughts 
are of the great beyond — all soldiers, whatever their beliefs or 
dogmas, think of thjs. It is natural, it is right, it is just ta 
himself. If ^ sees in his imagination the aged father or mother 
or the wife and little ones with outstretched arms awaiting the 
coming 6'f'ti'im who perhaps will never come. These are some 
of the sensations and feelings of a soldier on the eve of, or in 
battle, or fit its close. It is no use denying it, all soldiers feel 
as other people do, and when a soldier tells as a fact that he 
"went itfto battle without fear," he simply tells "what George 
Washington never told." It is human, and "self-preservaticm 



2-^ HISTORY OF KEESHA-W'S BRICJADB. 

ist the first law of nature.." JSTo one wants to die. Of course 
a«afcition, love of. glory, the plaudits of your coni-ades and 
countrymen, will cause many a blade to flash where otherwise 
it would not. But every soldier who reads this will say that this 
is honest and the whole truth. I am writing a truthful history 
of the past and honesty forces me to this confession. "All 
men are cowards" in the face of death. Pride, ambition, a 
keen sense of duty, will make differences outwardly, but the 
heart is a coward still when death stares the possessor in the 
face. Men throw away their lives for their country's sake, or 
tor honor or duty like a cast off garment and laugh at death, 
but this is only a sentiment, for all men want to live. I write 
so much to controvert the rot written in history and fiction of 
soldiers anxious to rush headlong into eternity on the bayonets 
oi the enemy. 

Historians of all time will admit the fact that at Gettysburg 
WHS fought a battle, not a skirmish, but it was not what 
Northern writers like to call it, "Lee's Waterloo." The 
Wilderness, Spottsylvania, and Petersburg were yet to come. 



CHAPTER XX. 

Gettysburg — Fourth Day — Incidents of the 

Battle — Sketch of Dessausure, McLeod, 

and Salmonds. 

A flag of truce now waves over both armies, granting a res- 
pite to bury the dead and care for the wounded. The burial 
of the dead killed in battle is the most trying of all duties of 
the soldier. Not that he objects to paying these last sad rites 
to his fallen comrades, but it is the manner in which tie must 
loftve them with his last farewell. 

A detail from each company is formed into a squad, and 
armed with spades or shovels they search the field for the dead. 
When found a shallow pit is dug, just deep enough to cover 
the body, the blanket is taken from,around the person, his body 
being wrapped therein, laid in the pit, and sufficient dirt thrown 
upon it to protect it from the vultures. There is 
nv systematic work, time being too precious, and the 



HISTORY OF KfiKSHAW's BRIGADE. 2.40 

dead are buried where they fell. Where the battle 
was fierce and furious, and the dead lay thick, they were 
buried in groups. Sometimes frieudlj' hands cut the name 
and the company of the deceased upon the flap of a cartridge 
box, nail it to a piece of board and place at the head, but this 
was soon knocked down, and at the end of a short time all 
traces of the dead are obliterated. 

The wounded were gathered in the various farm houses, and 
in the city of Gettysburg. Those who were too badly wound- 
ed to be moved were left in charge of Surgeons, detailed by the 
Medical Directors to remain with the wounded. Surgeons-in 
the discharge of their duties are never made prisoners, ami the 
yellow flag flies as much protection as the white. A guard is 
placed around the hospitals to prevent those who may con- 
valesce while there from escaping, but notwithstanding this 
vigilance many made their eiscape and came south, as the sol- 
diers had a horror of the Federal prison pen. Ambulances 
and empty wagons were loaded to their full capacity with th« 
wounded, unable to walk, while hundreds with arms off, or 
otherwise wounded as not to prevent locomotion, "hit the 
dust," as the soldiers used to say, on their long march of one 
hundred and fifty miles to Staunton, Va. 

The Confederate forces numbered in the battles around, Get- 
tysburg on May 31st, 75,000, including Pickett's Division. 
The Federals had 100,000 ready and equipped for action, di- 
vided in seven army corps, under General Doubleday com- 
manding First Corps, General Hancock Second Corps, Gene- 
ral Sickles Third Corps, General Sykes Fifth Corps, General 
Sedgwick Sixth Corps, General Howard Eleventh Corps, Gen- 
eral Sloeum Twelfth Corps, and three divisions of cavalry 
under Pleasanton. The Confederate losses were : Longstreet, 
7,539; Ewell, 5.973; A. P. Hill, 6,735; Cavalry under Stuart, 
1,426; in all 21,643. Enemy's loss, 23,049. 

I herewith give sketches of Coloiiel Dessausure and Major 
McL,eod,. killed in action, and of Doctor Salmond, Brigade Sur- 
geon. As the latter acted so gallantly, and showed such gen- 
erous impulses during and after the engagement, I think it a 
fitting moment to give here a brief sketch of his life. 



250 HISTORY Olf KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

COLONEL WILLIAM DAVIE DESSAUSURE OF THE THIRTEENTH. 

Colonel Dessausure was certainly the Bayard of South Caro-_ 
lina, having served during his entire manhood, with little .ex- 
ception, amid the exciting, bustling scenes of army life. He 
was a hero ol both the Mexican and Civil wars, and served in 
the Old Army for many years on the great Western Plains. 
A friend of his, an officer in his command who was very close 
to the Colonel, writes me a letter, of which I extract the fol- 
lowing: 

"In my judgment, he was the superior of Kershaw's fine set 
of Colonels, having, from nature, those rare qualities that go 
to make up the successful war commander, being reticent, ob- 
servant, far-seeing, quick, decided, of iron will, inspiring confi- 
dence in his leadership, cheerful, self-possessed, unaffected by 
danger, and delighting- like a game cock in battle. He was 
singularly truth loving and truth speaking, and you could rely 
with confidence on the accuracy of his every statement. He 
understood men, was clear sighted, quick and sound of judg- 
ment, and seemed never to be at a loss what to do in emergen- 
cies. He exposed himself with reckless courage, but protected 
his men with untiring concern aud skill. He was rather a 
small man, physically, but , his appearance and bearing were 
extremely martial, and had a stentorian voice that could be 
heard above the din of battle." 

Colonel Dessausure was born in Columbia, S. C, December 
i2th, 1819, was reared and educated there, graduated at the 
South Carolina College, and studied law in the office of his 
father, Hon. Wm. F. Dessausure. He raised a company iu 
Columbia for the Mexican war, and served through that war as 
Captain of Company H, Palmetto Regiment. After that he was 
commissioned Captain of Cavalry, and as.signed to General 
(then Colonel) Joseph E. Johnston's Regiment in the United 
States Army, and served on the Plains until the Civil war com- 
menced, when he resigned, returned to his native State and 
organized the Fifteenth Regiment, and was assigned to Dray- 
ton's Brigade, then on the coast. 

After the Seven Days' Battle around Richmond he went with 
his Regiment, as a part of Drayton's Brigade, in the first 
Maryland campaign. On Lee's return to Virginia, just before 
the Fredericksburg battle, his regiment was assigned to Ker- 
shaw. 



HISTORY OF KKRSHAW'S BRIGADE. 251* 

The papers promoting him to the rank of Brigadier General 
were in the hands of the Secretary of War at the time he was 
killed. He was buried in a private cemetery near Breane's 
Tavern, in Pennsylvania, and his body removed to the family- 
burying ground after the war. 

He was married to Miss Ravenel of Charleston, who sur- 
vived him some years. 

DONALD MCDIARMID MCLEOD 

Was descended from Scotch ancestors who immigrated to 
this country about 1775 and settled in Marlboro District, near 
Hunt's Bluff, on Big Pee Dee River. He was son of Daniel 
McLeod and Catherine Evans Mclyeod. He graduated from 
the South Carolina College about 1853, and for some tim£ en- 
gaged in teaching school in his native county; then married 
Miss Margaret C. Alford and engaged in planting near where he 
was born. He was then quietly leading a happy and contented 
life when South Carolina seceded. When the toscin of war 
sounded he raised the first company of volunteers in Marlboro 
and was elected Captain of it. This company, with another 
from Marlboro organized about the same time under Captain 
J. W. Hamington, formed part of the Eighth Regiment, of Ker- 
shaw's Brigade. Capt. McLeod was of commanding presence, 
being six feet four inches tall, erect, active, and alert, beloved 
by his company, and when the test came proved himself 
worthy of their love and confidence. On the field of battle his- 
gallantry was conspicuous, and he exhibited undaunted cour- 
age, and was faithful to every trust. 

At the reorganization of the Regiment he was elected Major 
and served as such through the battles of Savage Station, Mal- 
vern Hill, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and 
Gettysburg. In the last named he was killed while gallantly 
leading the Regiment in the desperate charge on the enemy's- 
tweuty pieces of artillery, in the celebrated peach orchard, 
where in a few minutes the Eighth Regiment, being on the lef , 
of the Brigade, without suppoit, assailed in front and flankt 
lost one hundred and eleven of the one hundred and seventy 
who were engaged in the battle. Of this number twenty-eight 
were killed and buried on the field of battle. Notwithstanding 
this slaughter the Old Eighth never faltered, but with the other 
regiments drove the enemy from the field, pursuing them upon. 



'252 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

the rugged slopes of Round Top Hill. Thus ended the life of 
one of the noblest and most devoted of Carolina's sons. 

DR. T. W. SALMOND 

Was born in Camden, S. C, on 31st of August, 1825. Re- 
ceived his diploma from the Medical College, in Charleston, 
■S. C, in 1849. Practiced medicine in Camden till the war 
•came on. Married first, Miss Mary Whitaker, afterwards Miss 
Isabel Scota Whitaker. He had two daughters, one by each 
marriage. When the troops were ordered to Charleston, he left 
with General Kershaw as Surgeon of his regiment. General 
Kershaw was Colonel of the Second South Carolina Regiment. 
His regiment was at the bombardment of Sumter. His staff 
•consisted of Dr. T. W. Salmond, Surgeon; Fraser, Quarter- 
Master; J. I. Villipigne, Commissary; A. D. Goodwyn, Ad- 
jutant. 

At the reorganization of the Brigade, Dr. Salmond was pro- 
moted to Brigade Surgeon and was in all of the battles in Vir- 
ginia. He went with General Kershaw • to Tennessee and 
came home when General Kershaw went back to Virginia, 
owing to ill health in the spring ot 1864. 

He resumed his practice after the war and continued till his 
death, August 31st, 1869. 

I give below a short .sketch concerning the Brigade Surgeon, 
copied from a local paper, as showing the kind of metal of 
which Dr. Salmond was made: 
:To the Editor of The Kershaw Gazette: 

I never look upon a maimed soldier of the 'Xost Cause," 
who fought manfully for the cause which he deemed to be 
right, without being drawn towards him with I may say 
brotherly love, commingled with the profonndest respect. 
And I beg space in your valuable columns to relate an inci- 
dent in connection with the battle of Gettysburg, which, I 
•think, will equal the one between General Hagood and the 
iEederal ofBcer, Daley. 

In that memorable battle, whilst we were charging a bat- 
tery of sixteen pieces of artillery, when great gaps were being 
made in the lines by the rapid discharge of grape and canister, 
when the very grass beneath our feet was being cut to pieces 
by these missiles of death, and it looked as if mortal men could 
not possibly live there; Capt. W. Z. L,eitner of our town was 



HISTORY OF KERSHAw'S BRIGADE. 253^ 

shot in the midst of this deadly shower at the head of his com- 
pauy. When his comrades were about to remove him from 
the field he said, "Men I am ruined but never give up the 
battle. I was shot down at the head of my company, and I 
would to God that I was there yet." He refused to let them 
carry him off the field. Dr. Salmoud, then Brigade Surgeon 
of Kershaw's Brigade, learning that his friend Captain L,eitner 
was seriously wounded, abandoned his post at the infirmary, 
mounted his horse and went to the field where Captain Leitner 
lay, amid the storm of lead and iron, regardless of the dangers 
which encompassed him on every hand. He placed Captain 
Leitner on his horse, and brought him off the field. The 
writer of this was wounded severely in this charge, and while 
he was making his way as best he could to the rear, he met 
the Brigade Surgeon on his mission of mercy to his fallen 
friend, ordering those to the front who were not wounded, as 
he went along. Brave man, he is now dead. Peace to his 
ashes. As long as I live, I shall cherish his memory and think 
of this circumstance. 

A Member of the Old Brigade. 

Taken from Kershaw Gazette of February 26, 1880. 

Judge Pope gives me several instances of devotion and cour- 
age during the Gettysburg campaign, which I take pleasure in 
inserting. 

"did the NEGROES WISH FREEDOM?" 

I have listened to much which has been said and written as 
to the aspiration of the negroes for freedom while they were 
slaves, but much that I saw myself makes me doubt that this 
aspiration was general. 

lyCt me relate an instance that fell under my immediate ob- 
servation. An officer had lost his bodyservant in May, 1863, 
when he mentioned the fact to someof the gentlemen of the and 
regiment, the reply was made: "There is a mess in Company 
A or I of the Third Regiment who have an excellent free 
negro boy in their employment, but they must give him up 
and no doubt you can get him. ' ' I saw the soldiers they re- 
ferred to and they assured me that they would De glad if I 
would take the servant off their hands. The result was the ser- 
vant came to me and I hired him. Soon afterwards we began 
the march to the Valley of Virginia, then to Maryland and 



"254 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

Pennsylvania. The servant took care of my horse, amongst 
his other duties. Having been wounded at Gettysburg and 
placed in a wagon to be transported to Virginia this boy would 
ride the horse near by the wagon, procuring water and some- 
thing to eat. As the caravan of wagons laden with wounded 
soldiers was drawing near to Hagerstown, Maryland, a flurry 
was discovered and we were told the Yankees were capturing 
-our train. At this time the servant came up and asked me 
what he should do. I replied, ' 'Put the Potomac River between 
3'ou and the Yankees." He dashed o£E in a run. When I 
reached the Potomac River I found William there with my horse. 
The Yankees were about to attac k us there. I was to be found 
■across the river. I said to William, ' 'What can you do ?' ' He 
replied that he was going to swim the horse across the Po- 
tomac River, but said he himself could not swim. I saw him 
plunge into the river and swim across. The soldiers who were 
■with me were sent from Winchester to Staunton, Virginia. 
While in Staunton, I was assured that I would receive a fur- 
lough at Richmond, Virginia, so William was asked if he wished 
to accompany me to South Carolina. This seemed to delight 
him. Before leaving Staunton, the boy was arrested as a run- 
away slave, being owned by a widow lady in Abbeville County. 
The servant admitted to me, when arrested, that he was 
a slave. A message was sent to his mistress how he had 
behaved while in my employment — especially how he had fled 
from the Yankees in Pennsylvania and Maryland. This was 
the last time I ever saw him. Surely a desire for freedom did 
not operate very seriously in this case, when the slave actually 
Tan from it. 

In parting I may add that, left to themselves negroes are 
very kind-hearted, and even now I recall with lively pleasure 
the many kindnesses while I was, wounded, from this servant, 
who was a slave. 

HE WOULD FIGHT. 

Why is it that memory takes us away back into our past ex- 
periences without as much saying, "With your leave, sir"? 
Thirty-six years ago I knew a fine fellow just about eighteen 
years old and to-day he comes back to us so distinctly ! He 
was a native of Newberry and w hen the war first broke out he 
left Newberry College to enlist as a private in Company E of the 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 255 

Third South Carolina Infantry. With his fine qualities of head 
and heart, it was natural that he should become a general 
favorite — witty, very ready, and always kind. His was a brave 
heart, too. Still he was rather girlish in appearance, for 
physically he was not strong. This latter condition may ex- 
plain why he was called to act as Orderly at Regimental Head- 
quarters when J. E. Brown gave up that position for that ot 
courier with General I/ongstreet early in the year 1863. Just be- 
fore the Third Regiment went into action at Gettysburg, Penn- 
sylvania, and while preparing for that event, it became neces- 
sary, under general orders, that the field and stafi" of the regi- 
ment should dismount. It was the habit during battles to 
commit the horses to the control of the Regimental Orderly. 
On this occasion the Adjutant said to young Sligh: "Now, Tom, 
get behind some hill and the moment we call you, bring up 
the horses; time is often of importance." To the Adjutant's 
surprise Sligh burst into tears and besought that ofiBcer not to 
require him to stay behind, but on the contrary, to allow him 
to join his company and go into battle. At first this was de- 
nied, but so persistent was he in his request that the Adj utant, 
who was very fond of him, said: "Well Tom, for this one 
time 5 ou may go, but don't ask it again." Away he went 
with a smile instead of a tear. Poor fellow ! The Orderly, 
Thomas W. Sligh, was killed in that battle while assisting to 
drive back General Sickles from the "Peach Orchard" on the 
2d day of July, 1863. 

RETURN TO VIRGINIA. 

At daylight on the morning of the 5th the remnant of that 
once grand army turned its face southward. I say remnant, 
for with the loss of near one-third its number in killed, wound- 
ed, and prisoners the pride, prestige of victory, the feelings of 
invincibility, were lost to the remainder, and the army was in 
rather ill condition when it took up the retreat. I<ee has been 
severely criticised for fighting the battle of Gettysburg, especial- 
ly the last charge of Pickett; but there are circumstances of minor 
import sometimes that surround a commander which force him 
to undertake or attempt that which his better judgment might 
dictate as a false step. The world judges by results the suc- 
cesses and achievements of a General, not by his motives or 
intentions. Battles, however, are in a great measure but series 



256 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

of accidents at best. Some unforeseen event or circumstance 
in the battles of Napoleon might have changed some of. his 
most brilliant victories to utter defeats and his grandest tri- 
umphs into disastrous routs. Had not General Warren seen 
the open gap at little Round Top, and had it been possible for 
Federal troops to fill it up, or that Hancock had been one 
hour later, or that our troops had pushed through the gorge of 
litle Round Top before seen by Warren and gained Meade's 
rear — suppose these, and many other things, and then re- 
flect what momentous results depended upon such trivial cir- 
cumstances, aud we will then fail to criticise I,ee. His chances 
were as good as Meade's. The combination of so 'many little 
circumstances, and the absence of his cavalry, all conduced to 
our defeat. 

Hill took the lead, l,ongstreet followed, while Ewell brought 
up the rear. Our wagon trains had gone on, some of them 
the day before, towards Williamsport. Kilpatrick made a 
dash and captured and destroyed a goodly number of them, but 
the teamsters, non-combatants and the wounded succeeded in 
driving them off after some little damage. 

Along down the mountain sides, through gorges and over 
hills, the army slowly made its way. No haste, no confusion. 
The enemy's cavalry harassed over rear, but did little more. 
Meade had had too. severe a lesson to hover dangerously close 
on the heels of lyce, not knowing what moment the wily 
Cenfederate Chieftain might turn and trike him a blow he would 
not be able to receive. The rain fell in torrents, night and 
da}'. The roads were soon greatly cut up, which in a meas- 
ure was to I^ee's advantage, preventing the enemy from fol- 
lowing him too closely, it being almost impossible, to follow 
with his artillery and wagons after our trains had passed. 
We passed through Fairfield and Hagerstown and on to Wil- 
liamsport. Near Funkstown we had some excitement by be- 
ing called upon to help some of Stuart's Cavalry, who were be- 
ing hard pressed at Antietam Creek. 

After remaining in line of battle for several hours, on a 
rocky hillside, near the crossing of a sluggish stream, and our 
pickets exchanging a few shots with those of the enemy, we 
continued our march. On the night of the 6th and day of the 
7th our army took up a line of battle in a kind of semi-circle, 
from Williamsport to Falling Waters. The Potomac was too 



HISTORY OP KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 257 

much swollen from the continuous rains to ford, and the enemy- 
haying destroyed the bridge at Falling Waters we were com- 
pelled to entrench ourselves and defend our numerous trains of 
wagons and artillery until a bridge could be built. In the en- 
closure of several miles the whole of Lee's army, with the ex- 
ception of some of his cavalry, were packed. Here I^ee must 
have been in the most critical condition of the war, outside of 
Appomattox. Behind him was the raging Potomac, with a 
continual downpour of rain, in front was the entire Federal 
army. There were but few heights from which to plant our 
batteries, and had the enemy pressed sufficiently near to have 
reached our vast camp with shells, our whole trains of ord- 
nance would have been at his mercy. We had no bread stuff 
of consequence in the wagons, and only few beef cattle in the 
enclosure. For two days our bread supply had been cut off. 
Now had such conditions continued for several days longer, 
and a regular siege set ih, lyce would have had to fight his 
way out. I,umber was difficult to obtain, so some houses 
were demolished, and such planks as could be used in the con- 
struction of boats were utilized, and a pontoon bridge was soon 
under way. 

In this dilemma and strait an accident in the way of a 
"wind fall" (or I might more appropriately say, "bread fall") 
came to our regiment's relief. Jim George, a rather eccentric 
and "short -witted fellow," of Company C, while plundering 
around in some old out-buildings in our rear, conceived the 
idea to investigate a straw stack, or an old house filled with 
straw. After burrowing for some time away down in the 
tightly packed straw, his comrades heard his voice as he faintly 
called that he had struck "ile." Bounding out from beneath 
the straw stack, he came rushing into camp with the news of 
his find. He informed the Colonel that he had discovered a 
lot of flour in barrels hidden beneath the straw. The news 
was too good to be true, and knowing Jim's fund of imagina- 
tion, few lent ear to the story, and most of the men shook their 
heads credulously. "What would a man want to put flour 
down in a straw stack for when no one knew of 'Lee's com- 
ing?' " and, moreover, "if they did, they did not know at 
which point he would cross." Many were the views expressed 
for and against the idea of investigating further, until "Old 
Uncle" Joe. Culbreath, a veteran of the Mexican War, and 
17 



258 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

a lyieutenant in Jim George's company, said: ''Bos'S, war is a 
trying thing; it puts people to thinking, and these _d — n 
Yankees are the sharpest rascals in the world. No doubt they 
heard of our coming, and fearing a raid on their smoke houses, 
they did not do like us Southern people would have done — 
waited until the flour was gone before we thought of saving it 
— so this old fellow, no doubt, put his flour there for safety." 
That settled it. "Investigate" was the word, and away went 
a crowd. The straw was soon torn away, and there, snugly- 
hidden, were eight or ten barrels of flour. The Colonel 
ordered an equal division among the regiment, giving Jim an 
extra portion for himself. 

By the 13th the bridge was completed, and the waters had 
so far subsided that the river was fordable in places. An hour 
after dark we took up the line of march, and from our camp to 
the river, a distance of one mile or less, beat anything in the' 
way of marching that human nature ever experienced. The 
dust that had accumulated by the armies passintr over on their 
march to Gettysburg was now a perfect bog, while the horses 
and vehicles sinking in the soft earth made the road appear 
bottorxless. We would march two or three steps, then halt 
for a moment or two; then a few steps more, and again the 
few minutes' wait. The men had to keep their hands on the 
backs of their file leaders to tell when to move and when to 
halt. The night being so dark and rainy, we could not see 
farther than "the noses on our faces," while at every step we 
went nearly up to our knees in slash and mud. Men would 
stand and sleep — would march (if this could be called march- 
ing) and sleep. The soldiers could not fall out of ranks for 
fear of being hopelessly lost, as troops of different corps and 
divisions would at times be mingled together. Thus we would 
be for one hour moving the distance of a hundred paces, and 
any soldier who has ever had to undergo such marching, can 
well understand its laboriousness. At daybreak we could see 
in the gloomy twilight our former camp, almost in hollering^ 
distance. Just as the sun began to peep up from over the 
eeastern hills, we came in sight of the rude pontoon bridge* 
lined from one end to the other with hurrying wagons and 
iartillery — the troops at opened ranks on either side. If it had 
been fatiguing on the troops, what must it have been on the 
poor horses and mules that had fasted for days and now draw- 



HISfORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 25S 

Ing great trains, with roads almost bottomless? It was with a 
mingled feeling of delight and relief that the soldiers reached 
the Virginia side of the river — but not a murmur or harsh 
word for our beloved commander — all felt that he had done 
what was best for our country, and it was more in sorrow and 
sympathy that we beheld his bowed head and grief-stricken 
face as he rode at times pass the moving troops. 

General Pettigrew had the post of rear guard. He, with his 
brave troops, beat back the charge after charge of Kirkpat- 
rick's Cavalry as they attempted to destroy our rear forces. It 
was a trying time to the retreating soldiers, who had passed 
over the river to hear their comrades fighting, single-handed 
and alone, for our safety and their very existence, without any 
hope of aid or succor. They knew they were left to be lost, 
and could have easily laid down their arms and surrendered^ 
thiis saving their lives; but this would have endangered Lee's 
army, so they fought and died like men. The roar of their 
powitzers and the rattle of their musketry were like the blasts 
of the horn of Roland when ca.lling Charlemagne to his aid 
along the mointain pass of Roncesvalles, but, unlike the latter, 
we could not answer our comrades' call, and had only to leave 
them alone to "die in their glory." The brave Pettigrew fell 
while heading his troops in a charge to beat back some of the 
furious onslaughts of the enemj-. The others were taken pris- 
oners, with the exceptioa of a few who made their escape by 
plunging in the stream and swimming across. 

At first our march was by easy stages, but when l,ee dis- 
covered the enemy's design of occupying the mountain passes 
Along the Blue Ridge to our left, no time was lost. We has- 
tened along through Martinburg and Winchester, across the- 
Shennandoah to Chester Gap, on the Blue Ridge. We camped 
at night on the top of the mountain. 

Here an amusing, as well as ludicrous, scene was enacted, but 
«ot so amusing to the particioants however. Orders had been 
given when on the eve of our entrance into Maryland, that "no 
private property of whatever description should be molested." 
As the fields in places were enclosed by rail fences, it was 
strictly against orders to disturb any of the fences. This order 
had been religiously obeyed all the while, until this night on 
the top of the Blue Ridge. A shambling^ tumble-down rail 
fence was near the camp pf the Third South Carolina, not 



260 HISTORY OP KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

around any field, however, but apparently to prevent stock 
from passing on the western side of the mountain. At night 
while the troops lay in the open air, without any protection 
whatever, only what the scrawny trees afibrded, a light rain 
came up. Some of the men ran to get a few rails to make a 
hurried bivouac, while others who had gotten somewhat damp 
by the rain took a few to build a fire. As the regiment was 
formed in line next morning, ready for the march. Adjutant 
Pope came around for company commanders to report to 
Colonel Nance's headquarters. Thinking this was only to 
receive some instructions as to the line of march, nothing was 
thought of it until met by those cold, penetrating, steel-gray 
eyes of Colonel Nance. Then all began to wonder ' 'what was 
up." He commenced to ask, after repeating the instructions 
as to private property, whose men had taken the rails. He 
commenced with Captain Richardson, of Company A. 

"Did your men take any rails?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"Did you have them put back?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"Captain Gary, did your men use any rails?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"Did you have them replaced?" 

"No, sir." 

A.nd so on down to Company K. All admitted that their 
inen had taken rails and had not put them back, except Cap- 
tain Richardson. Then such a lecture as those nine company 
commanders received was seldom heard. To have heard 
Colonel Nance dilate upon the enormity of the crime of "diso- 
bedience to orders," was enough to make one think he had 
• "deserted his colors in the face of the enem}^," or lost a battle 
through his cowardice. "Now, gentlemen, let this never 
occur again. For the present j'ou will deliver your swords to 
Adjutant Pope, turn your companies over to your next of&cer 
in command, and march in rear of the regimeut until further 
orders." Had a thunder bolt fallen, or a three hundred-pound 
Columbiad exploded in our midst, no greater consternation 
■would they have caused. Captain Richardson was exhonor- 
ated, but the other nine Captains had to march in rear of the 
regiment during tl;e day, subject to the jeers' and ridicule of 
all the troops that passed, as well as- the negro cooks. "Great 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 261 

Scott, what a company of officers!" "Where are your men?" 
"Has there been a stampede?" "Got furloughs?" "Lost j^onr 
swords in a fight?" were some of the pleasantries we were 
forced to hear and endure. Captain Nance, of Company G, 
had a negro cook, who undertook the command of the officers 
and as the word from the front would come down the line to 
"halt" or "forward" or "rest," he would very gravely repeat 
it, much to the merriment of the troops next in front and those 
in our rear. Near night, however, we got into a brush with 
the enemy, who were forcing their way down along the eastern 
side of the mountain, and Adjutant Pope came with our swords 
and orders to relieve us trom arrest. Lieutenant Dan Maffett 
had not taken the matter in such good humor, and on taking 
command of his company, gave this laconic order, "Ya hoo !" 
(That was the name given to Company C.) "If you ever 
touch another rail during the whole continuance of the war, 
G— d d — n you, I'll have you shot at the stake." 

"How are we to get over a fence," inquired someone. 

"Jump it, cre^p it, or go around it, but death is your por- 
tion if you ever touch a rail again." 

On the 13th of August the whole army was encamped on the 
south side of the Rapidan. We were commencing to settle 
down for several months of rest and enjoy a season of fur- 
loughs, as it was evident neither side would begin active opera- 
tions until the armies were recruited up and the wounded 
returned for duty. This would take at least several months. 
But, alas! for our expectations — a blast to our fondest dreamc 
— ^heavy fighting and hard marching was in store for our corps. 
Bragg was being slowly driven out of Tennessee and needed 
help; the "Bull Dog of the Confederacy" was the one most 
likely to stay the advancing tide of Rosecrans' Army. 



262 HISTORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 



CHAPTER XXI 

Transferred to Georgia™ Scenes Along the 

Route. 

While in camp great stress was laid on drills. The brigade 
drill was the most important. Every day at 3 o'clock the 
whole brigade was marched to a large old field, and all the 
evolutions of the brigade drill were gone through with. 
Crowds of citizens from the surrounding country came to wit- 
ness our manoeuvers, especially did the ladies grai e the occa- 
sions with their presence. The troops were in the very best of 
spirits — no murmurs nor complaints. Clothing and provision 
boxes began coming in from home. A grand corps review 
took place soon after our encampment was established, in which 
Generals L,ee and L,ongstreet reviewed the troops. 

All expected a good, long rest after their many marches and 
bloody battles in Maryland and Pennsylvania, but we were 
soon to be called upon for work in other fields. General Bragg 
had been driven out of Tennessee to the confines of Georgia, 
and it seemed that, without succor from the Army of the East 
to aid in fighting their battles, and to add to the morale of the 
Western Army, Bragg would soon be forced through Georgia. 
It had long been the prevailing opinion of General Longstreet 
that the most strategic movement for the South was to rein- 
force General Bragg with all the available troops of the East 
(Lee standing on the defensive), crush Rosecrans, and, if pos- 
sible, drive him back and across the Ohio. With this end in 
view. General Longstreet wrote, in August, ' to General Lee, as 
well as to the Secretary of War, giving these opinions as being 
the only solution to the question of checking the continual 
advance of Rosecrans — renewing the morale of the Western 
Army and reviving the waning spirits of the Confederacy, thu9 
putting the enemy on the defensive and . regaining lost terri- 
tory. 

It should be remembered that our last stronghold on the 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 263 

Mississippi, Vicksburg, had capitulated about the time of the 
disastrous battle of Gettysburg, with thirty thousand prison- 
ers. That great waterway was opened to the enemy's gun 
boats and transports, thus cutting the South, with a part of 
her army, in twain. 

This suggestion of General L,ongstreet was accepted, so far 
as sending him, with a part of his corps, to Georgia, by his 
receiving orders early in September to prepare his troops for 
transportation. 

The most direct route by railroad to Chattanooga, through 
Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee, had for some time 
been in the hands of the enemy at Knoxville. We were, there- 
fore, forced to take the circuitous route by way of the two 
Carolinas and Georgia. There were two roads open to trans- 
portation, one by Wilmington and one by Charlotte, N. C., 
as far as Augusta, Ga. , but from thence on there was but a 
single line, and as such our transit was greatly impeded. 

On the morning of the 15th or i6th of September Kershaw's 
Brigade was put aboard the trains at White Oak Station, and 
commenced the long- ride to North Georgia. Hood's Division 
was already on the way. Jenkins' (S. C.) Brigade had been 
assigned to that division, but it and one of the other of Hood's 
brigades failed to reach the battleground in time to participate 
in the glories of that event. General McL,aws, also, with two 
of his brigades, Bryan's and Wofford' (Georgians), missed the 
fight, the former awaiting the movements of his last troops, as 
well as that of the artillery. 

Ivong trains of box cars had been ordered up from Richmond 
and the troops were loaded by one company being put inside 
and the next on top, so one-half of the corps made the long 
four days' journey on the top of box cars. The cars on all 
railroads in which troops were transported were little more 
than skeleton cars; the weather being warm, the troops cut all 
but the frame work loose with knives and axes. They further- 
more wished to see outside and witness the fine country and 
■delightful scenery that lay along the route; nor could those 
inside bear the idea of being shut np in a box car while their 
comrades on top were cheering and yelling themselves hoarse 
at the waving of handkerchiefs and flags in the hands of the 
pretty women and the hats thrown in the air by the old men 
and boys along the roadside ^ the trains sped through the 



264 HISTORY OF KfiRSHA-w'S BRIGADS. 

towns, villages, and hamlets of the Carolinas and Georgia, 
No, no; the exuberant spirits of the Southern soldier were 
too great to allow him to hear yelling going on and not yell 
himself. He yelled at everything he saw, trom an ox-cart to a 
pretty woman, a downfall of a luckless cavalryman to a charge 
in battle. 

The news of our coming had preceded us, and at every sta- 
tion and road-crossing the people of the surrounding country,, 
without regard to sex or age, crowded to see us pass, and gave 
us their blessings and God speed as we swept by with lightning 
speed. Our whole trip was one grand ovation. Old men- 
slapped their hands in praise, boys threw up their hats in joy,, 
while the ladies fanned the breeze with their flags and hand- 
kerchiefs; yet many a mother dropped a silent tear or felt a 
heart-ache as she saw her long absent soldier boy flying pass 
without a word or a kiss. 

At the towns which we were forced to stop for a short time 
great tables were stretched, filled with the bounties of the 
land, while the fairest and the best women on earth stood by 
and ministered to every wish or want. Was there ever a 
purer devotion, a more passionate patriotism, a more sincere 
loyalty, than that displayed by the women of the South towards 
the soldier boys and the cause for which, they fought? Was 
there ever elsewhere on earth such women? Will there ever 
again exist circumstances and conditions that will require such 
heroism, fortitude, and suffering? Perhaps so, perhaps not. 

In passing through Richmond we left behind us two very 
efficient officers on a very pleasant mission. Dr. James Evans,. 
Surgeon of the Third, who was to be married to one of Vir- 
ginia's fair daughters, and Captain T. W. Gary, of same 
regiment, who was to act as best man. Dr. Evans was a 
native South Carolinian and a brother of Brigadier General 
N. G. Evans, of Manassas fame. While still a young man, he 
was considered one of the finest surgeons and practitioners in 
the army. He was kind and considerate to his patients, punc- 
tual and faithful in his duties, and withal a dignified, refined 
gentleman. Such confidence had the soldiers in his skill and, 
competency, that none felt uneasy when their lives or limbs, 
were left to his careful handling. Both officers rejoined us in, 
a few days. 

We reached Ringold on the evening of the 19th qf Septem,-^ 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 265 

ber, and marched during the night in the direction of the day's 
battlefield. About midnight we crossed over the sluggish 
stream of Chickamauga, at Alexander's Bridge, and bivouaced 
near Hood's Division, already encamped. Chickamauga! how 
little known of before, but what memories its name is to 
awaken for centuries afterwards! What a death struggle was 
to take place along its borders between the blue and the gray, 
where brother was to meet brother — where the soldiers of the 
South were to meet their kinsmen of the Northwest! In the 
long, long ago, before the days of fiction and romance of the 
white man in the New World, in the golden days of legend of 
the forest dwellers, when the red man chanted the glorious 
deeds of his ancestors during his death song to the ears of his 
children, this touching story has come down from generation 
to generation, until it reached the ears of their destroyers, the 
pale faces of to-day: 

Away in the dim distant past a tribe of Indians, driven from 
their ancestral hunting grounds in the far North, came South 
and pitched their wigwams along the banks of the "river of 
the great bend," the Tennessee. They prospered, multiplied, 
and expanded, until their tents covered the mountain sides and 
plains below. The braves of the hill men hunted and sported 
with their brethren of the valley. Their children fished, 
hunted, played, fought, and gamboled in mimic warfare as 
brothers along the sparkling streamlets that rise in the moun- 
tain ridges, their sparkling waters leaping and jumping 
through the gorges and glens and flowing away to the "great 
river." All was peace and happiness; the tomahawk of war 
had long since been buried, and the pipe of peace smoked 
around their camp fires after every successful hunting expedi- 
tion. But dissentions arose — distrust and embittered feelings 
took the place of brotherly love. The men of the mountains 
became arrayed against their brethren of the plains, and they 
in turn became the sworn enemies of the dwellers of the cliffs. 
The war hatchet was dug up and the pipe of peace no longer 
passed in brotherly love at the council meeting. Their bodies 
were decked in the paint of war, and the once peaceful and 
happy people forsook their hunting grounds and entered upon 
the war path. 

Early on an autumn day, when the mountains and valleys 
were clothed in golden yellow, the warriors of the dissenting 



266 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

factions met along the banks of the little stream, and across its 
turbid waters waged a bitter battle from early morn until the 
' 'sun was dipping behind the palisades of Look-Out Moun- 
tain" — no quarters given and none asked. It was a war of 
extermination. The blood of friend and foe mingled in the 
stream until its waters were said to be red with the life- 
blood of the struggling combatants. At the close of the fierce 
combat the few that survived made a peace and covenant, and 
then and there declared that for all time the slugglish stream 
should be called Chickamauga, the "river of blood." Such is 
the legend of the great battleground and the river from whence 
it takes its name. 

General Buckner had come down from East Tennessee with 
bis three divisions, Stewart's, Hindman's, and Preston's, and 
had joined General Bragg some time before our arrival, mak- 
ing General Bragg's organized army forty-three thousand 
eight hundred and sixty-six strong. He was further rein- 
forced by eleven thousand five hundred from General Jo.seph 
E. Johnston's army in Mississippi and five thousand under 
General Longstreet, making a total of sixty thousand three 
hundred and thirty-six, less casualties of the i8th and igth of 
one thousand one hundred and twenty-four; so as to numbers 
on the morning of the 20th, Bragg had of all arms fifty-nine 
thousand two hundred and forty-two; while the Federal com- 
mander claimed only sixty thousand three hundred and sixty 
six, but at least five thousand more on detached duty and non- 
combatants, such as surgeons, commissaries, quartermasters, 
teamsters, guards, etc. Bragg's rolls covered all men in his 
army. Rosecrans was far superior in artillery and cavalry, as 
all of the batteries belonging to Longstreet's corps, or that 
were to attend him in the campaign of the West, were far 
back in South Carolina, making what speed possible on the 
clumsy and cumbersome railroads of that day. So it was with 
Wofford's and Bryan's Brigades, of McLaw's Division, Jenkins' 
and one of Hood's, as well as all of the subsistence and ordnance 
trains. The artillery assigned to General Longstreet by 
General Lee consisted of Ashland's and Bedford's (Virginia), 
Brooks' (South Carolina), and Madison's (l/ouisiana) batteries 
of light artillery, and two Virginia batteries of position, all 
under the command of Colonel Alexander. 

As for transportation, the soldiers carried all they possessed 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 267 

on their backs, with four days of cooked rations all the time. 
Generally one or two pieces of light utensils were carried by 
each company, in which all the bread and meat were cooked 
during the night. 

Our quartermasters gathered up what they could of teams 
and wagons from the refuse of Bragg's trains to make a sem- 
blance of subsistence transportation barely sufficient lo gather 
in the supplies. It was here that the abilities of our chiefs of 
quartermaster and commissary departments were tested to the 
utmost. Captains Peck and Shell, of our brigade, showed 
themselves equal to the ^occasion, and Captain Lowrance, of 
the Subsistence Department, could always be able to furnish 
BS with plenty of corn meal from the surrounding country. 

The sun, on the morning of the 20th, rose in unusual splen- 
dor, and cast its rays and shadows in sparkling brilliancy over 
the mountains and plains of North Georgia. The leaves of 
the trees and shrubbery, in their golden garb of yellow, shown 
out bright and beautiful in their early autumnal dress — quite 
in contrast with the bloody scenes to be enacted before the 
close of day. My older brother, a private in my company, 
spoke warmly of the beautiful Indian summer morning and 
the sublime scenery round about, and wondered if all of us 
would ever see the golden orb of day rise again in its magnifi- 
cence. Little did he think that even then the hour hand on 
the dial plate of destiny was pointing to the minute of "high 
noon," when fate was to take him by the hand and lead him 
away. It was his turn in the detail to go to the rear during 
the night to cook rations for the compan'y, and had he done so, 
he would have missed the battle, as the details did not return 
in time to become participants in the engagement that com- 
menced early in the morning. He had asked permission to 
exchange duties with a comrade, as he wished to be near me 
should a battle ensue during the time. Contrary to regula- 
tions, I granted the request. Now the question naturally arises, 
had he gone on his regular duties would the circumstances 
have been different? The soldier is generally a believer in 
the doctrine of predestination in the abstract, and it is well he 
is so, for otherwise many soldiers would run away from battle. 
But as it is, he consoles himself with the theories of the old 
doggerel quartet, which reads something like this: — 



268 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

"He who fights and runs away, 
May live to fight another day ; 
But he who is in battle slain, 
Will ne'er live to fight again." 

Ivongstreet's troops had recentl)' been newly uniformed, con- 
sisting of a dark-blue round jacket, closely fitting, with light- 
blue trousers, which made a line of Confederates resemble that 
of the enemy, the only difference being the "cut" of the gar- 
ments — the Federals wearing a loose blouse instead of a tight- 
fitting jacket. The uniforms of the Eastern troops made quite 
a contrast with the tattered and torn home-made jeans of their 
Western brethren. 

General Bragg had divided his army into two wings — the 
right commanded by Lieutenant General I,eonidas Polk (a 
Bishop of the M. E. Church, and afterwards killed in the bat- 
tles around Atlanta,) and the left commanded by that grand 
chieftain (Lee's "Old War Horse" and commander, of his 
right), Lieutenant General James Longstreet. Under his 
guidance were Preston's Division on extreme left, Hindman's 
next, with Stewart's on extreme right of left wing, all of 
Major General Buckner's corps. Between Hindman and 
Stewart was Bushrod Johnson's new formed division. In 
reserve were Hood's three brigades, with Kershaw's and 
Humphries', all under Major General Hood, standing near the 
center and in rear of the wing. 

The right wing stood as follows: General Pat Cleburn's 
Division on right of Stewart, with Breckenridge's on the ex- 
trenfe right of the infantry, under the command of Lieutenant 
General D. H. Hill, with Cheatham's Division of Polk's Corps 
to the left and rear of Cleburn as support, with General Walk- 
er's Corps acting as reserve. Two divisions of Forrest's 
Cavalry, one dismounted, were on the right ot Breckenridge, 
to guard that flank, while far out to the left of Longstreet 
were two brigades of Wheeler's Cavalry. The extreme left of 
the army, Preston's Division, rested on Chickamaiiga Creek, 
the right thrown well forward towards the foot hills of Mission 
Ridge. 

In the alignment of the two wings it was found that Long- 
street's right overlapped Polk's left, and fully one-half mile in 
front, so it became necessary to bend Stewart's Division back, 
to join to Cleburn's left, thereby leaving space between Bush- 



HISTORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 269 

rod Johnson and Stewart for Hood to place his three brigades 
on the firing line. 

lyongstreet having no artillery, he was forced to engage all 
of the thirty pieces of Buckner's. In front of I^ongstreet lay a 
part of the Twentieth Corps, Davis' and Sheridan's Divisions, 
under Major General McCook, and part of the Twenty-first 
Corps, under the command of General Walker. On our right, 
facing Polk, was the distinguished Union General, George H. 
Thomas, with four divisions of his own corps, the Fourteenth, 
Johnson's Division of the Twentieth, aUd Van Cleve's of the 
Twenty-first Corps. 

General Thomas was a native Virginian, but being an officer 
in the United States Army at the time of the secession of his 
State, he preferred to remain and follow the flag of subjuga- 
tion, rather than, like the most of his brother officers of 
Southern birth, enter into the service of his native land and 
battle for justice;, liberty, and States Rights. He and Gen- 
eral Hunt, of South Carolina, who so ably commanded the 
artillery of General Meade at Gettysburg, were two of the most 
illustrious of Southern renegades. 

In the center of Rosecrans' Army were two divisions, Woods' 
and Palmer's, under Major General Crittenden, posted along 
the eastern slope of Mission Ridge, with orders to support 
either or both wings of the army, as occasions demanded. 

General Gordon Granger, with three brigades of infantry 
and one division of cavalry, guarded the Union left and rear 
and the gaps leading to Chattanooga, and was to act as general 
reserve for the army and lay well back and to the left of Bran- 
nan's Division that was supporting the front line of General 
Thomas. 

The bulk of the Union cavalry, under General Mitchell, was 
two miles distant on our left, guarding the ford over Chicka- 
mauga at Crawfish Springs. The enemy's artillery, consist- 
ing of two hundred and forty-six pieces, was posted along the 
ridges in our front, giving exceptional positions to shell and 
grape an advancing column. 

Bragg had only two hundred pieces, but as his battle line 
occupied lower ground than that of the enemy, there was little 
opportunity to do effective work with his cannon. 

The ground was well adapted by nature for a battlefield, and 
as the attacking party always has the advantage of manoeuver 



270 HISTORY OP KERSHAW'S BRIGADB. 

and assault in an open field, each commander was anxious to get 
his blow in first. So had not Bragg commenced the battle as 
early as he did, we would most assuredly have had the whole 
Federal Army upon our hands before the day was mxjch older. 
Kershaw's Brigade, commanded by General Kershaw, stood 
from right to left in the following order: Fifteenth Regiment 
on the right, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Gist; 
Second Regiment, Colonel James D. Kennedy; Third, Colonel 
James D. Nance; Third Battalion, by Captain Robert H. Jen- 
nings; Eighth, Colonel John W. Henagan; Seventh, Colonel 
Elbert Bland. 



CHAPTER XXII 

The Battle of Chickamauga. 

As I have already said, this was a lovely country — a pictur- 
esque valley nestling down among the spurs cf the mountain, 
with the now classic Chickamauga winding its serpentine way 
along with a sluggish flow. It was also a lovely day; nature 
was at her best, with the fields and woods autumn tinged — the 
whole country rimmed in the golden hue of the Southern sum- 
mer. The battling ground chosen, or rather say selected by 
fate, on which the fierce passions of men were to decide the 
fortunes of armies and the destiny of a nation, was rolling, 
undulating, with fields of growing grain or brown stubble, 
broken by woods and ravines, while in our front rose the blue 
tinted sides of Mission Ridge. 

Both commanders were early in the saddle, their armies more 
evenly matched in numbers and able Lieutenants than ever 
before, each willing and anxious to try conclusions with the 
Other — both confident of success and watchful of the mistakes 
and blunders of their opponent, ready to take advantage of the 
least opportunity that in any way would lead to success. The 
armies on either side were equally determined and confidentj 
feeling their invincibility and the superiority of their respective 
commanders. Those of the North felt that it was impossible 
for the beaten Confederates to stand ior a moment, with any 
hope of triumph, before that mighty machine qf armed force- 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 271 

that had been successfully rolling from the Ohio to the confines 
of Georgia. On the other hand, the Army of Tennessee felt 
that, with the aid from Joe Johnston, with Buckner, and the 
flower of Lee's Army to strengthen their ranks, no army on 
earth could stay them on the battlefield. 

The plan of battle was to swing the whole army forward in a 
wheel, Preston's Division on Longstreets extreme left being 
tlie pivot, the right wing to break the enemy's lines and 
uncover the McFarland and Rossville Gaps, thus capturing the 
enemy's lines of communication to Chattanooga, 

The Union Army was well protected by two lines of earth- 
works and log obstructions, with field batteries at every 
salient, or scattered along the front Hues at every elevation, 
supported by the pieces of position on the ridges in rear. 

The Confederate commander made no secret of his plan of 
battle, for it had been formulated three days before, and his 
manoeuvers on the i8th and 19th indicated his plan of opera- 
tions. Early in the morning Bragg- saluted his adversary with 
thirty pieces of artillery from his right wing, and the Federal 
commander was not slow in acknowledging the salutation. 
The thunder of these guns echoed along the mountain sides 
and up and down the valleys with thrilling effect. Soon the 
ddges in our front were one blaze of fire as the infantry began 
their movements for attack, and the smoke from the enemj''s 
guns was a signal for our batteries along the whole line. 

The; attack on the right was not as prompt as the commander 
in chief had expected, so he rode in that direction and gave 
positive orders for the battle to begin. General D. H. Hill 
now ordered up that paladin of State craft, the gallant Ken- 
tuckian and opponent of Lincoln for the Presidency, General 
John C. Breckenridge, and put him to the assault on the 
enemy's extreme left. But one of his brigade commanders 
being killed early in the engagement, and the other brigades 
becoming somewhat disorganized by the tangled underbrush, 
they made but little headway against the enemy's works. 
Then the fighting Irishman, the Wild Hun of the South, Gen- 
eral Pat Cleburn, came in with his division on Breckenridge's 
left, and with whoop and yell he fell with reckless ferocity 
upon the enemy's entrenchments. The four-gun battery of 
the Washington (Louisiana) Artillery following the column of 
assault, contended successfully with the superior metal of the 



272 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIOADE. 

three batteries of the enemy. The attack was so stubborn and 
relentless that the enemy was forced back on his second line, 
and caused General Thomas to call up Negley's Division from 
his reserves to support his left against the furious assaults of 
Breckenridge and .Cleburn. But after somewhat expending 
their strength in the first charge against the enemy's works, 
and Federal reinforcements of infantry and artillery coming up, 
both Confederate divisions were gradually being forced back 
to their original positions. Deshler's Brigade, under that 
prince of Southern statesmen, Roger Q. Mills, supported by a 
part of Cheatham's Division, took up Cleburn's battle, while 
the division under General States R. Gist (of South Carolina), 
with Ividdell's, of Walker's Corps, went to the relief of Breck- 
enridge. Gist's old Brigade (South Carolina) struck the angle 
of the enemy's breastworks, and received a galling fire from 
enfilading lines. But the other brigades of Gist's coming up 
and Ividdell's Division pushing its way through the shattered 
and disorganized ranks of Breckenridge, they made successful 
advance, pressing the enemy back and beyond the Chattanooga 
Road. 

Thomas was again reduced to the necessity of calling for 
reinforcements, and so important was it thought that this 
ground should be held, that the Union commander promised 
support, even to the extent of the whole army, if necessary. 

But eleven o'clock had come and no material advantage had 
been gained on the right. The reinforcements of Thomas hav- 
ing succeeded in checking the advance of Gist and I^iddell, the 
Old WarHorse on the left became impatient, and sent word to 
Bragg, "My troops can break the lines, if you care to have 
them broken." What sublime confidence did I,ee's old com- 
mander of the First Corps have in the powers of his faithful 
troops! But General Bragg, it seems, against all military rules 
or precedent, and in violation of the first principles of army 
ethics, had already sent orders to I^ongstreet's subalterns, 
directly and not through the Lieutenant General's head- 
quarters, as it should have been done, to commence the attack. 
General Stewart, with his division of Longstreet's right, was 
at that moment making successful battle against the left of the 
Twentieth and right of Twenty-first Corps. This attack so 
near to Thomas' right, caused that astute commander to begin 
to be as apprehensive of his right as he had been of his left 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 273 

flank, and asked for support in that quarter. I^ongstreet now 
•ordered up the gallant Texan, General Hood, with his three 
brigades, with Kershaw's and Humphre}'S in close support. 
Hood unmercifully assailed the column in his front, but was as 
unmercifully slaughte'ed, himself falling desperately wounded. 
Benning's Brigade was thrown in confusion, but at this junc- 
ture Kershaw and Humphreys moved their brigades upon the 
firing line end commenced the advance. In front of these two 
brigades was a broad expanse of cultivated ground, now iu 
stubble. Beyond this field was a wooded declivity rising still 
farther away to a ridge called Pea Ridge, on which the enemy 
was posted. Our columns were under a terrific fire of shells as 
they advanced through the open field, and as they neared the 
timbered ridge they were met by a galling tempest of grape 
and canister. The woods and underbrush shielded the enemy 
from view. 

Law now commanding Hood's Division, reformed his lines 
and assaulted and took the enemy's first lines of entrench- 
ments. Kershaw marched in rear of the brigade, giving com- 
mands in that clear, metalic sound that inspired confidence in 
his troops. At the foot of the declivity, or where the ground 
begun to rise towards the enemy's lines, was a rail fence, and 
at this obstruction and clearing of it away, Kershaw met a 
galling fire from the Federal sharpshooters, but not a gun had 
been fired as yet by our brigade. But Humphreys was in it 
hot and heavy. As we began our advance up the gentle slope, 
the enemy poured volley after volley into us from- its line of 
battle posted behind the log breastworks. Now the battle 
with us raged in earnest. 

Bushrod Johnson entered the lists with his division, and 
routed the enemy in his front, taking the first line of breast- 
works without much difficulty. Hindman's Division followed 
Johnson, but his left and rear was assailed by a formidable 
force of mounted infantry which threw Manigault's (South 
Carolina) Brigade on hi.s extreme left in disorder, the brigade 
being seriously rattled. But Twiggs' Brigade, from Preston's 
pivotal Division, came to the succor of Manigault and suc- 
ceeded in restoring the line, and the advance continued. 
Kershaw had advanced to within forty paces of the enemj's 
line, and it seemed for a time that his troops would be annihi- 
lated. Colonel Bland, then Major Hood, commanding the 
18 



■274 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

Seventh, were killed. Lieutenant Colonel Hoole, of the 
Eighth, was killed. Colonel Gist, commanding the Fifteenth, 
and Captain Jennings, commanding the Third Battalion, were 
dangerously wounded, while many others of the line ofEcers 
had fallen, and men were being mown down like grain before 
a sickle. 

General Kershaw ordered his men to fall back to the -little 
ravine a hundred paces in rear, and here they made a tem- 
porary breastwork of the torn down fence and posted them- 
selves behind it. They had not long to wait before a long line 
of blue was seen advancing from the crest of the hill. The 
enemy, no doubt, took our backward movement as a retreat, 
and advanced with a confident mien, all unconscious of our 
presence behind the rail obstruction. Kershaw, with his steel- 
graj' eyes glancing up and down his lines, and then at the 
advancing line of blue, gave the command repeatedly to ' 'Hold 
your fire." When within a very short distance of our, column 
the startling command rang out above the din of battle on our 
right and left, '"Fire!" Then a deafening volley , rolled out 
along the whole line. The enemy halted and wavered, their 
men falling in groups, then fled to their entrenchments, Ker- 
shaw closely pursuing. 

From the firing of the first gun away to the right the battle 
became one of extreme bitterness, the Federals standing with 
unusual gallantry by their guns in the vain hope that as 
the day wore on they could successfully withstand, if not 
entirely repel, the desperate assaults of Bragg until night 
would give them cover to withdraw. 

The left wing was successful, and had driven the Federal 
lines back at right angles on Thomas' right. The Federal 
General, Gordon Granger, rests his title to fame by the bold 
movement he now made. Thomas was holding Polk in steady 
battle on our right, when General Granger nc*iced the Twen- 
tieth Corps was being forced back, and the firing becoming 
dangerously near in the Federal's rear. General Granger, 
without any orders whatever, left his position in rear of 
Thomas and marched to the rescue of-McCook, now seeking 
shelter along the slopes of Mission Ridge, but too late to 
retrieve losses — only soon enough to save the Federal Army 
from rout and total disaster. ' 

But the turning point came when Longstreet ordered up a 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 2JP& 

battalion of heavy field pieces, near the angle made by the 
bending back of the enemy's right, and began infilading the 
lines of Thomas, as well as Crittenden's and McCook's. Be- 
fore this tornado of shot and shell nothing could stand. But 
with extraordinary tenacity of Thomas and the valor of his 
men he held his own for a while longer. 

Kershaw was clinging to his enemy like grim death from 
eleven o'clock until late in the evening — his men worn and 
fagged, hungry and almost dying of thirst, while the ammuni- 
tion was being gradually exhausted and no relief in sight. 
Hmdman (Johnson on the left) had driven the enemy back oa 
Snodgrass Hill, where Granger's reservc-s were aiding them 
in making the last grand struggle. Snodgrass Hill was 
thought to be the key to the situation on our left, as was 
Horse Shoe Bend on the right, but both were rough and hard 
keys to handle. Kershaw had driven all before him from the 
first line of works, and only a weak fire was coming from the 
second line. All that was needed now to complete the advance 
was a concentrated push along the whole line, but the density 
of the smoke settling in the woods, the roar of battle drowning 
all commands, and the exhaustion and defleclion of the ra&k 
and file made this move impossible. 

But just before the sun began dipping behind the mountains 
on our left, a long line of gray, with glittering ba^'onets, was 
seen coming down the slope in our rear. It was General 
Oracie, with his Alabama Brigade of Preston's Division, com- 
ing to reinforce our broken ranks and push the battle forward. 
This gallant brigade was one tho\isand one hundred strong 
and it was said this was their first baptism of fire and blood. 
General Gracie was a fine specimen of physical manhood and a 
finished looking officer, and rode at the head of his column. 
Reaching Kershaw, he dismounted, placed the reins of his 
horse over his arm, and ordered his men to the battle. The 
enemy could not withstand the onslaught of these fresh troops, 
and gave way, pursued down the little dell in rear by the 
Alabamians. The broken lines formed on the reserves ttat 
were holding Snodgrass Hill, and made an aggressive attibk 
upon Gracie, forcing him back on the opposite hill. 

Twigg's Brigade, of the same division, came in on the left 
and gave him such support as to enable him to hold his nfew 
line. 



2(6 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

The fire of Longstreet's batteries from the angle down 
Thomas' lines, forced that General to begin withdrawing his 
troops from their entrenchments, preparatory to retreat. This 
movement being noticed by the commanding General, Liddell's 
Div'ision on the extreme right was again ordered to the 
attack, but with no better success than in the morning. The 
enemy had for some time been withdrawing his trains and 
broken ranks through the gaps of the mountain in the direc- 
tion of Chattanooga, leaving nothing in front of the left wing 
but the reserves of Granger and those of Crittenden. These 
held their ground gallantly around Snodgrass Hill, but it was 
a self-evid'jnt fact to all the ofScers, as well as the troops, that 
the battle was irretrievably lost, and they were only fighting 
for time, the time that retreat could be safely made under 
cover of darkness. But before the sun was fairly set, that 
great army was in full retreat. But long before this it was 
known to the brilliant Union commander that fate had played 
him false — that destiny was pointing to his everlasting over- 
throw. He knew, too, that the latter part of the battle, while 
brief and desperate, the luried cloud of battle settling all 
around his dead and dying, a spectre had even then arisen as 
from the earth, and pointing his bonj' fingers at the field of 
carnage, whispering in his ear that dreaded word, "I,ost!" 

As night closed in upon the bloody scenes of the day, the 
Federal Armj-, that in the morning had stood proud and defi- 
ant along the crests and gorges of the mountain ridges, was 
now a struggling mass of beaten and fleeing fugatives, or 
groups groping their way through the darkness towards the 
passes that led to Chattanooga. 

Of all the great Captains of that day, Longstreet was the 
guiding genius of Chickamauga. It was his masterful mind 
that rose equal to the emergency, grasped and directed the 
storm of battle. It was by the unparalleled courage of the 
troops of Hood, Humphreys, and Kershaw, and the temporary 
command under L,ongstreet, throwing themselves athwart the 
path of the great colossus of the North, that checked him and 
drove him back over the mountains to the strongholds around 
Chattanooga. And it is no violent assumption to say that had 
the troops on the right under Polk supported the battle with 
as fiery zeal as those on the left under Longstreet, the Union 
Army would have been utterly destroyed and a possible differ- 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 277 

ent ending to the campaign, if not in final, resvilts might have 
been confidently expected. 

The work of the soldier was not done with the coming of 
night. The woods along the slopes where the battle had 
raged fiercest had caught fire and the flames were nearing the 
wounded and the dead. Their calls and piteous wails de- 
manded immediate assistance. Soldiers in groups and by ones 
and twos scoured the battlefield in front and rear, gathering up 
first the wounded then the dead. The former were removed to 
the field infirmaries, the latter to the new city to be built for 
them — the city of the dead. The builders were already at 
work on their last dwelling places, scooping out shallow graves 
with bayonets, knives, and such '.ools that were at hand. 
Many pathetic pectacles were witnessed of brothei: burying 
brother. My brother and five other members of the com- 
pany were laid side by side, wrapped only in their blankets, 
in the manner of the Red Men in the legend who fought and 
died here in the long, long ago. Here we left them "in all 
their glory" amid the sacred stillness that now reigned over 
the once stormy battlefield, where but a short while before the 
tread of struggling legions, the thunder of cannon, and the 
roar of infantry mingled in systematic confusion. But now 
the awful silence and quietude that pervades the field after 
battle — where lay the dreamless sleepers of friend and foe, 
victor and vanquished, the blue and the gray, with none to 
sing their requiems — nothing heard save the plaintive notes of 
the night bird or the faint murmurs of grief of the comrades 
who are placing the sleepers in their shallow beds ! But what 
is death to the soldier? It is, the passing of a comrade perhaps 
one day or hour in advance to the river with the Pole Ferry- 
man. 

Bragg, out of a total of fifty-nine thou.sand two hundred and 
forty-two, lost seventeen thousand eight hundred. Rosecran's 
total was sixty thousand eight hundred and sixty-seven (ex- 
clusive of the losses on the i8th and 19th). His loss on the 
2oth was sixteen thousand five hundred and fifty. The greater 
loss of the Confederates can be accounted for when it is re- 
membered that they were the assaulting party — the enemy's 
superior position, formidable entrenchments, and greatmr 
amount of artillery. 

The Battle of Chickamauga was one of the most sanguinary 



278 HISTORY OF KEltSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

of- the war, when the number of troops engaged and the time 
in actual combat are taken iiito consideration. In the matter 
of losses it stands as the fifth greatest battle of the war. His- 
tory gives no authentic record of greater casualties in battle in 
the different organizations, many of the regiments losing from 
fifty to fifty-seven per cent, of their numbers, while some 
reached us high as sixty-eight per cent. When it :s remem- 
bered that usually one is killed out right to every five that are 
■wounded, some idea of the dreadful mortality on the field can 
be formed. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

Notes of the Battle— Pathetic Scenes—Sketches 
of Officers. 

The Seventh Regiment was particularly unfortunate in the 
loss of her brilliant officers. Colonel Bland and Lieutenant 
Colonel Hood both being killed, that regiment was left with- 
out a field officer. lyieuteuant ColonU Joseph Gist, of the 
Fifteenth, being permanently disabled, and Major William Gist 
being soon afterwards killed, the Fifteenth was almost in the 
same condition of the Seventh. So also was the Third Bat- 
talion. Captain Robert Jennings, commanding the battalion 
as senior Captain, lost his arm here, and was permanently 
retired, leaving Captain Whitner in command. Major Dan 
Miller had received a. disabling wpund in some of the former 
battles and never returned. Colonel Rice returning soon after 
this battle, he likewise received a wound from which he never 
sufficiently recovered for active service, so the Third Battalion 
was thereafter commanded by a Captain, Captain Whitner 
commanding until his death one year later.. The Eighth Regi- 
ment met an irreparable loss in the death of Lieutenant Colo- 
nel Hoole. No ofticer in the brigade had a more soldierly 
bearing, high attainments, and knightly qualities than Colonel 
Hoole, and not only the regiment, but the whole brigade felt 
his loss. He was one of those o£&( ers whose fine appearance 
caused men to stop and look at him twice before passing. The 
many fine officers. Captains as well as Lieutenants, that were 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 279 

killed or wounded here made a death and disabled roll, from 
the eflFects of which the brigade never fully recovered. Then 
the whole army mourned the supposed death of the gallant 
and dashing Texan, General Hood, but he lived to yet write 
his name in indellible letters on the roll of fame among the 
many officers of distinction in the Army of Tennessee. 

In our first general advance in the morning, as the regiment 
reached the brow of the hill, just before striking the enetr.y's 
breastworks, ni}' company and the other color company, being 
crowded together by the pressure of the flanks on either side, 
became for the moment a tangled, disorganized masrs. A sud- 
den discharge of grape from the enemy's batteries, as well as 
from their sharpshooters posted behind trees, threw us in 
greater confusion, and many men were shot down unex- 
pectedly. A Sergeant in my company, T. C. Nunamaker, 
received a fearful wound in the abdomen. Catching ni}' hand 
while falling, he begged to be carried oflf. "Oh ! for God's 
sake, don't leave me here to bleed to death or have my life 
tratnpled out ! Do have me carried off ! " But the laws of 
war are inexorable, and none could leave the ranks to care for 
the wounded, and those whose duty it was to attend to such 
matters were unfortunately too often far in the. rear, seeking 
places of safety for themselves, to give -much thought or con- 
cern to the bleeding soldiers. Before bui: lines (vere properl5' 
adjusted, the gallant Sergeant was beyond the aid of anyone. 
He had died from internal hemorrhage; The searchers of the 
battlefied, those gatherers of the wounded and dead, witness 
many; novel and pathetic scenes. 

Louis Spillers, a private in my company, a poor,' quiet, and 
unassuming fellow, who had left a wife and little children at 
home when he donned the uniform of gray, had his thigh 
broken, just to the left of where the Sergeant fell. Spillers 
was as "brave as the bravest," and made no noise when he 
received the fatal wound. As the command swept forward 
down the little dell, he was of course left behind. Dragging 
himself along to the shade of a small tree, he sought shelter 
behind its trunk, protecting his person as well as he could from 
the bullets of the enemy posted on the ridge in front, and 
waited developments. When the litter-bearers found him late 
at night, he was leaning against the tree, calmly puffing away 
at his clay pipe. When asked why he did not call for assist- 



280 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

ance, he replied: "Oh, no; I thought my turn would come 
after awhile to be cared for, so I just concluded to quietly wait 
and try and smoke away some of my misery." Before morn- 
ing he was dead. One might ask the question, What did such 
men of the South have to fight for — no negroes, no property, 
not even a home that they could call their own? What was it 
that caused them to make such sacrifices — to even give their 
lives to the cause? It wns a principle, and as dear to the poor- 
est of the poor as to him who counted his broad acres by the 
thousands and his slaves hy the hundreds. Of such mettle 
were made the soldiers of ih_- South — unyielding, unconquer- 
able, invincible ! 

An old man in Captain Watts' Company, from Laurens, 
Uncle Johny Owens, a veteran of the Florida War, and one 
who gave much merriment to the soldiers by his frequent com- 
parisons of war, "fighting Indians" and the one "fighting 
Yankees," was found on the slope, just in front of the enemy's 
breastworks, leaning against a tree, resting on his left knee, 
his loaded rifle across the other. In his right hand, between 
his forefinger and thumb, in the act of being placed upon the 
nipple of the gun, w-as a percussion cap. His frame was rigid, 
cold, and stiff, while his glossy eyes seemed to be peering in 
the front as looking for a lurking foe. He was stone dead, a. 
bullet having pierced his heart, not leaving the least sign of 
the twitching of a muscle to tell of the shock he had received. 
He had fought his last battle, fired his last gun, and was now- 
waiting for the last great drum-beat. 

A story is told at the expense of Major Stackhouse, after- 
wards the Colonel of the Eighth, during this battle. I cannot 
vouch for its truthfulness, but give it as it was givei. to me by 
Captain Harllee, of the same regiment. The Eighth was being 
particularly hard-pressed, and had it not been for the unflinch- 
ing stoicism of the officers and the valor of the men, the ranks- 
uot yet recruited from the results of the battle at Gettysburg, 
the little band would have been forced to yield. Major Stack- 
house was in command of the right wing of the regiment, and. 
all who knew the old farmer soldier knew him to be one of the 
most stubborn fighters in the army, and at the same time a 
"Methodist of the Methodists." He was moreover a pure- 
Christian gentleman and a churchman of the straightest sect. 
There was no cant superstitions or affectation in his make-up,. 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 281 

and what he said he meant. It was doubtful if he ever had an 
evil thought, and while his manners might have been at times 
blunt, he was always sincere and his language chosen and 
chaste, with the possible exception during battle. The time of 
which I speak, the enemy was making a furious assault on the 
right wing of the Eighth, and as the Major would gently rise 
to his knees and see the enemy so stubbornly contesting the 
ground, he would call out to the men, "There they are, boys, 
give them hell ! " Then in an under tone he would say, "May 
God, forgive me for that ! " Still the Yankees did not yield, 
and again and again he shouted louder and louder, "Boys, 
give it to them; give them hell!" with his usual undertone, 
"May God, forgive me for that," etc. But they began closing 
on the right and the center, and his left was about to give 
way; the old soldier could .stand it no longer. Springing to 
his feet, his tall lorm towering above all around him, he 
shouted at the top of his voice, "Give them hell; give them 

hell, I tell you, boys; give them hell, G souls" The 

Eighth must have given them what was wanting, or they 
received it from somewhere, for after this outburst they scam- 
pered back behind the ridge. 

Years after this, while Major Stackhouse was in Congress, 
and much discussion going on about the old Bible version of 
hell and the new version hades, some of his colleagues twitted 
the Major about the matter and asked him whether he was 
wanting the Eighth to give the Union soldiers the new version 
or the old. With a twinkle in his eye, the Major answered 
"Well, boys, on all ordinary occasions the new version will 
answer the purposes, but to drive a wagon out of a stall or the 
Yankees from your front, the old version is the best." 

Major Hard, who was killed here, was one of the 
finest ofl5cers in the brigade and the youngest, at that 
time, of all the field officers. He was handsome, brilliant, 
and brave. He was one of the original officers of the 
Seventh; was re-elected at the reorganization in May, 1862, 
and rose, by promotion, to Major, and at the resignation of 
Colonel Aiken would have been, according to seniority, lyieu- 
tenant Colonel. Whether he ever received this rank or not, 
I cannot remember. I regret my inability to get a sketch of 
his life. 

But the Rupert of the brigade was Colonel Bland, of the 



282 HISTORY OF KKRSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

Seventh. I do not think he ever received his commission as 
full Colonel, but commanded the regiment as Lieutenant Colo- 
nel, with few exceptions, from the battle of Sharpsburg until 
his death. Colonel Aiken received a wound at Sharpsburg 
from which he never fully recovered until after the. war. 
Colonel Aiken was a moulder of the minds of men ; could hold 
them together and guide them as few men could in Kershaw's 
Brigade, but Bland was the ideal soldier and a fighter "par 
■excellence." He had the gift of inspiring in his men that 
lofty courage that he himself possessed. His form was fault- 
less — tall, erect, and well developed, his eyes penetrating 
rather than piercing, his voice strong and commanding. His 
was a noble, generous soul, cool and brave almost to rashness. 
He was idolized by his troops and beloved as a comrade and 
commander. Under the guise of apparent sternness, there was 
a gentle flow of humor. To illustrate this, I will relate a lit- 
tle circumstance that occurred after the battle of Chancellors- 
ville to show the direction his humor at times took. Colonel 
Bland was a bearer of orders to General Hooker across the 
Rappahannock, under a flag of truce. At the opposite banlc 
he was met by ofiicers and a crowd of curious onlookers, who 
plied the Colonel with irrelevant questions. On his coat collar 
he wore the two stars of his rank, Lieutenant Colonel. One 
of the young Federal officers made some remark about 
Bland's stars, and said, "I can't understand your Confederate 
ranks; some officers have bars and some stars. I see j'ou have 
two stars; are you a Brigadi'erGeneral?'.' 

"No, sir," said Bland, straightening himself up to his full 
height; "but I ought to be. If I was in your army I would 
have been a Major General, and in command of your army." 
Then with a merry chuckle added, "Perhaps then you would 
not have gotten such a d — n bad whipping at Chancellors- 
ville." Then all hands laughed. 

COLONEL ELBERT BLAND, SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

Elbert Bland was born in Edgefield County, S. C, and at- 
tended the common schools until earlj' manhood, when choos- 
ing medicine as a profession, he atteiided the Medical College 
■of New York, where he graduated with distinction. Ardently 
ambitious, he remained sometime after graduation, in order to 
perfect himself in his chosen profession. Shortly after his 



HISTORY OF KKRSHAW'S BRIGADE. 283 

graduation, war broke out between the States and Mexico, 
and he was offered and accepted the position of Assistant Sur- 
geon of the Pahnetto Regiment, Colonel P. M. Butler com- 
manding. By this fortunate occurrence he was enabled to 
greatly enlarge his knowledge of surgery. At the close of the 
war he came home, well equipped for the future. Shortly 
after his return from the war he was happily married to Miss 
Rebecca GriflFiu, a daughter of Hon. N. L- GrifBn, of Edge- 
field. Settling in his native county, he entered at once into a 
lucrative practice, and at the beginning of the late war was 
enjoying one of the largest country practices in the State. 
When the mutterings of war began he was one of the first to 
show signs of activity, and when Gregg's Regiment went to 
the coast in defense of his native State, he was appointed Sur- 
geon of that Regiment. Having had some experience already 
as a Surgeon in the Mexican War, he determined to enter the 
more active service, and in connection with Thos. G. Bacon, 
raised the Ninety-Six Riflemen, which afterwards formed part 
of the Seventh South Carolina Regiment. Bacon was elected 
Captain and Bland First Lieutenant. Upon organizing the 
regiment. Bacon was elected Colonel of the regiment and Bland 
was to be Captain. 

Whilst very little active servic(2!\vas seen duruig the first 
year of the war, still sufBcient evidencJe was given of Bland's 
ability as a commander of the men, and upon the reorganiza- 
tion of the regiment, Capiaiti;-' BlaJiid was elected Lieutenant 
Colonel.-' From thife-stime untirS'e-pteniber -^oth, 1S63, his for- 
tunes were thCi.se of the Seventh Regiment"' He was couspicu^ 
ous on nearly every battlefield in Virginia, and- was' twice 
wounded — at Savage 'Station, seriously in the arm, from which 
he never recovered, and painfully in the thigh at Gettysburg. 
At the sanguinary battle of Chickamauga, on September 20th, 
1863, whilst in command of his regiment, and in the moment 
of'victory, he fell mortally wounded, living only about two 
hours. 

No knightlier soul than his ever flashed a sabre in ihe cause 
he loved so well, and like Marshall Nay, he was one of the 
bravest of the brave. He .sleeps quietly in the little cemetery 
of his native town, and a few years ago, upon the death-bed of 
his wife, her request was that his grave and coffin should be 
opened at her death, and that she should be placed upon his 



284 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

bosom, which was done, and there they sleep. May they rest 
in peace. 

I,IEUTENANT COLONEI, HOOLE, EIGHTH REGIMENT. 

Axalla John Hoole was of English decent, his grandfather, 
Joseph Hoole, having emigrated from York, England, about 
the close of the Revolutionary War, and settled at George- 
town, S. C. 

James C. Hoole, the father of A. J. Hoole, was a soldier of 
the war of 1812. He removed to Darlington District and mar- 
ried Elizabeth Stanley, by whom he had five children, the 
third being the subject of this sketch. 

Axalla John Hoole was born near Darlington Court House, 
S. C, October 12th, 1822. His father died when he was 
quite small, leaving a large family and but little property, but 
his mother was a woman of great energy, and succeeded in 
giving him as good an education as could be obtained at St. 
John's Academy, Darlington Court House. Upon the comple- 
tion of the academic course, at the age of eighteen, he taught 
school for twelve j'ears, after which he followed the occupa- 
tion of farming. 

While a young man he joined the Darlington Riflemen, and 
after serving in various capacities, he was elected Captain 
about 1854 or 1855. He was an enthusiastic advocate of 
States Rights, and during the excitement attending the admis- 
sion of Kansas as a State, he went out there to oppose the 
Abolitionists. He m£(rried Elizabeth G. Brunson, March 20th, 
1856, and left the same day for Kansas. Taking an active 
part in Kansas politics and the "Kansas War," he was elected 
Probate Judge of Douglas County by the pro-slavery party, 
under the regime ot Governor Walker. 

He returned to Darlington December 5th, 1857, and shortly 
afterwards was re-elected Captain of the Darlington Riflemen. 
At a meeting of the Riflemen, held in April, 1861, on the 
Academy green, he called for volunteers, and every man in 
the company volunteered, except one. The company went 
to Charleston April 15th, i86i, and after remaining a short 
while, returned as far as Florence, where they were mustered 
in as Company A, Eighth S. C. V. 

The Eigth Regiment left Florence for Virginia June 2d, 
1 86 1. At the expiration of the period of enlistment, the 



HISTORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 285 

regiment was reorgauized, and Captain Hoole was elected 
Lieutenant Colonel, in which capacity he served until he was 
killed at the battle of Chickamauga, September 20th, 1863. 
He was buried at the Brunson graveyard, near Darlington. 

COLONEL E. T. STACKHOUSE, EIGHTH REGIMENT. 

As I have made some mention of Major Stackhouse, he 
being promoted to lyieutenant Colonel, and afterwards Colonel 
of the Eighth, I will take this opportunity of giving the read- 
ers a very brief .sketch of the life of this sterling farmer, 
patriot, soldier, and statesman, who, I am glad to say, sur- 
vived the war for many years. 

Colonel E. T. Stackhouse was born in Marion County, of 
this State, the 27th of March, 1824, and died in the City of 
Washington, D.C, June 14th, 1892. He was educated in 
the countr}' schools, having never enjoyed the advantages of a 
collegiate course. He married Miss Anna Fore, who preceded 
him to the grave by only a few months. Seven children was 
the result of this union. In youth and early manhood Colonel 
Stackhouse was noted for his strict integrity and sterling qual- 
ities, his love of truth and right being his predominating 
trait. As he grew in manhood he grew in moral worth — the 
better known, the more beloved. 

His chosen occupation was that of farming, and he was ever 
proud of the distinction of being called one of the ' 'horny- 
handed sons of toil." In the neighborhood in which he was 
born and bred he was an extmplar of all that was progressive 
and enobling. 

In April, 1861, Colonel Stackhouse was among ^he very 
first to answer the call of his country, and entered the service 
as Captain in the Eighth South Carolina Regiment. By the 
casualties of war, he was promoted to Major, Lieutenant Col- 
onel, and Colonel, and led the old Eighth, the regiment he 
loved so well , in some of the most sanguinary engagements of 
the war. All that Colonel Stackhouse was in civil life he was 
that, and more if possible, in the life of a soldier. In battle 
he was calm, collected, and brave; in camp or on the march he 
was sociable, moral — a Christian gentleman. As a tactician 
and disciplinarian, Colonel Stackhouse could not be called an 
exemplar soldier, as viewed in the light of the regular army; 
but as an officer of volunteers he had those elements in him to 



290 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

cause men to take on that same unflinching courage, iiidom- 
inable spirit, and bold daring that actuated him in danger and 
battle. He had not that sternness of command nor niceties 
nor notion of superiority that made machines of men, but he 
had that peculiar faculty of endowing his soldiers with confi- 
dence and a willingness to follow where he led. 

He represented his county for three terms in the State Leg- 
islature, and was President of the State Alliance. He was- 
among the first to advocate college agricultural training for 
the youth of the land, and was largely instrumental in the 
establishment of Clemson College, and became one of its first 
trustees. 

He was elected, without opposition, to the Fifty-first Con- 
grees, and died while in the discharge of his duties at Wash- 
ington. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

In Front of Chattanooga. 

Early on the morning' of the 22d we were ordered forward 
towards Chattanooga, the right wing having gone the day be- 
fore. Ou nearing the city, we were shelled by batteries posted 
on the heights along the way and from the breastworks and 
, forts around the city. It was during one of the heavy en- 
gagements between our advanced skirmish lines and the rear 
guard of the eneui}' that one of the negro cooks, by some 
means, got lost between the lines, and as a heavy firing began, 
bullets flying by him in every direction, he rushed towards the 
rear, and raising his hands in an entreating position, cried out, 
"Stop, white folks, stop! In the name of God Almighty, 
stop and argy!" 

In moving along, near the city we came to a great sink in 
the ground, caused by nature's upheaval at some remote 
period, covering an acre or two of space. It seemed to have 
been a feeding place for hogs from time immemorial, for corn 
cobs covered the earth for a foot or more in depth. In this 
placp some of our troops were posted to avoid the shells, the 
enemy having an exact range of this position. They began 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 287 

throwing shells right and left and bursting them just over our 
heads, the fragments flj'ing in every direction. At every dis- 
charge, and before the shell reached us, the men would cling 
to the sides of the slooping sink, or burrow deeper in the cobs, 
until they had their bodies almost covered. A little man of 
my company, while a good soldier, had a perfect aversion to 
cannon shot, and as a shell would burst just overhead, his 
body was seen to scringe, tremble, and go still deeper among 
the cobs. Some mischievous comrade took advantage of his 
position, seized a good sound cob, then just as a shell bursted 
overhead, the trembling little fellow all flattened out, he 
struck him a stunning blow on the back. Such a yell as he 
set up was scarcely ever heard. Throwing the cobs in every 
direction, he cried out, "Oh! I am killed; I am killed! Ambu- 
lance corps! Ambulance corps!" But the laugh of the men 
soon convinced him his wound was more imaginary than real, 
so he turned over and commenced to burrow again like a 
mole. 

Rosecrans having withdrawn his entire force within the forti- 
fications around Chattanooga, our troops were placed in camp, 
surrounding the enemy in a semi-circle, and began to fortify. 
Kershaw's Brigade was stationed around a large dwelliug in a 
grove, just in frout of Chattanooga, and something over a mile 
distant from the city, but in plain view. We had very pleas- 
ant quarters in the large grove surrounding the house, and, in 
fact, some took possession of the porches and outhouses. 
This, I think, is the point Grant stormed a few months after- 
wards, and broke through the lines of Bragg. We had built 
very substantial breastworks, and our troops would have 
thought themselves safe and secure against the charge of 
Grant's whole army behind such works. 

If those who are unfamiliar with the life of the soldier imag- 
ines it is one long funeral procession, without any breaks of 
humor, they are away off from the real facts. The soldier is 
much the same as the schoolboy. He must have some vent 
through which the ebullition of good feelings can blow off, else 
the machinery bursts. 

While encamped around this house, a cruel joke was played 
upon Captain — well we will call him Jones; that was not his 
name, however, but near enough to it to answer our purpose. 
Now this Captain Jones, as we call him, was engaged to be 



288 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

married to one of the fairest flowers in the Palmetto State, a 
perfect queen among beauties — cultured, vivacious, and be- 
longing to one of the oldest families in that Commonwealth of 
Blue Bloods. The many moves and changes during the last 
month or two considerably interrupted our communications 
and mail facilities, and Jones had not received the expected 
letters. He became restless, petulant, and cross, and to use 
the homely phrase, "he was all torn up." Instead of the "hu- 
man sympathy" and the "one touch of nature," making the 
whole world akin, that philosophers and sentimentalists talk 
about, it should be "one sight of man's misery" — makes the 
whole world "wish him more miserable." It was through 
such feelings that induced Captain I. N. Martin, our commis- 
sary, with Mack Blair and others, to enter into a conspiracy to 
torture Jones with all he could stand. Blair had a lady cousin 
living near the home of Jones' fiancee, with whom he corre- 
sponded, and it was through this channel that the train was 
laid to blow up Jones while said Jones was in the piazza en- 
gaged in a deeply interesting game of chess. Martin was to 
be in the piazza watching the game, when Blair was to enter 
reading a letter. Then something like the following colloquy 
took place : 

"Well, Mack, what is the news from home?" 

"Nothing very interesting," replies Blair. Then, as a sud- 
den recollection strikes him, "Oh, yes, there is to be a big 
wedding at Old Dr. Blanks." 

"You don't say so?" (The game of chess stands still.) 
"And who is to be married, pray?" innocently enquires 
Martin. 

"Why, it will surprise you as much as it did me, I suppose, 
and I would not believe it, only Cousin Sallie says she is to be 
bride's maid." (Jones ceases to play and listens intently.) 
"It is nobody else than Mr. and Miss "Blank." 

Now, this Miss "Blank" is Jones' intended. Jones is paral- 
yzed. His face turns livid, then pale, now green ! He is 
motionless, his eyes staring vacantly on the chessboard. 
Then with a mighty exertion Jones kicked the board aside and 
sprang to his feet. Shaking his trembling finger in the face of 
Blair, his whole frame convulsed with emotion, his very soul 
on fire, he hissed between his teeth : "That's an infernal lie, 
I don't care whose Cousin Sallie wrote it." 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 289 

Jones was nearly crazed for the balance of the day. He 
whistled and sang strange melodies while walking aimlessly 
about. He read and re-read the many love missives received 
long ago. Some he tore into fragments; others he carefully 
replaced in his knapsack. 

But those evil geniuses were still at work for further torture, 
or at least to gloat over Jones' misery. It was arranged to 
formally bury him, allegorically. At night, while Jones was 
asleep, or trying to sleep on the piazza, a procession was 
formed, headed by Major Maffet, who was to act as the priest, 
and I must say he acted the part like a cardinal. We had a 
little rehearsal of the part each was to play, and those who 
"couldn't hold in" from laughing were ruled out, for it was 
expected that Jones would cut some frightful antics as the 
ceremony proceeded. I was not allowed to accompany the 
procession, as it was decided I could not "hold in," and under 
no condition was there to be a laugh or even a smile; but I 
took up position behind the balusters and watched events as 
the shadows- were cast before. Major Maffet was dressed in a 
long dark overcoat, to represent the priestly gown, with a 
miter on his head, carrying Hardee's Tactics, from which to 
read the burial service. All had in their hands a bayonet, 
from which burned a tallow candle, in place of tapers. The 
procession marched up the steps in single file, all bearing 
themselves with the greatest solemnity and sombre dignity, 
followed by the sexton, with a frying-pan as a shovel, and 
took their places around the supposed corpse. Maffett began 
the duties by alluding to that part of the service where "it is 
allotted that all men shall die, ' ' etc. , waving his hand in due 
form to the sexton as he repeated the words, "Earth to earth 
and dust to dust,'-' the sexton following the motions with the 
frying pan. 

I must say, in all truthfulness, that in all my life I never 
saw a graver or more solemn set of faces than those of the 
would-be mourning procession. Captain Wright appeared as 
if he was looking into his own grave, and the others appeared 
equally as sorrowful. Major Maffett gave out in clear, distinct 
tones the familiar lines of — 

"Solemn strikes the funeral chime. 
Notes of our departing time." 

Well, such grotesque antics as Jones did cut up was per- 
19 



290 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

fectly dreadful. He laughed, he mimicked the priest, kicked 
at the mourners, and once tried to grab the tactics. The 
Major and his assistants pitched the tune on a high key. 
Captain Wright braced it with loud, strong bass, while Martin 
and Sim Pratt came in on the home stretch with tenor aud 
alto that shook the rafters in the house. Then all dispersed 
as silently and sorrowfully as they had come. 

In a few days Jones got a letter setting all things straight. 
Martin and Blair confessed their conspiracy against his peace 
of mind, and matters progressed favorably thereafter between 
Jones and Miss "Blank," but Jones confessed afterwards that 
he carried for a long time "bad, wicked blood in his heart." 

But soldiers have their tragedies as well as their comedies in 
camp. It was here we lost our old friend, Jim George, the 
shallow-pated wit — the man who found us the flour on the 
Potomac, and who floundered about in the river "for three 
hours," as he said, on that bitter cold night at Yorktown. It 
was also told of Jim, that during the first battle he was load- 
ing and shooting at the wounded enemy for all his gun was 
worth, and when remonstrated with by, his Captain, Chesley 
Herbert, telling Jim he "should not kill them," Jim indig- 
nantly asked, "What in the hell did we come to the war for, 
if not to kill Yankees?" But this, I think, is only a joke at 
Jim's expense. Nevertheless, he was a good solider, of the 
harmless kind, and a good, jolly fellow withal, taking it as a 
pleasure to do a friend a kindness. 

As I have said, however, Jim was a great boaster and blus- 
terer, glorying in the marvelous and dangerous. Had he lived 
in the heroic age, I have no doubt he would have regaled the 
ears of his listeners with blood -curdling stories of his battles 
with giants, his fights with dragons and winged serpents. He 
claimed to possess a charm. He wore an amulet around his 
neck to protect him against the "bullets of lead, of copper, or 
of brass" of his enemies, through which, he said, nothing 
could penetrate but the mystic "balls of silver," the same 
with which "witch rabbits" are killed. He would fill his 
pockets, after battle, with spent and battered bullets, and 
exhibit them as specimens of his art in the catching of bullets 
on "the fly." 

He professed to be a very dangerous and blood-thirsty indi- 
vidual, but his comrades only laughed at his idiosyncrasies, 



HISTORY OP KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 291 

knowing him as they did as being one of the best and most 
harmless soldiers in the arm}'. He often boasted, "No Yankee 
will ever kill me, but our own men will," his companions little 
dreaming how prophetic his words would prove. 

One night while Jim, in company with some companions, 
were on a "foraging expedition," they came to a farm house 
on Missionary Ridge and ordered supper. A cavalryman was 
there, also, waiting to be served. A negro servant attending 
to the table gave some real or imaginary affront, and the sol- 
diers, in a spirit of jest, pretended as if they were going to 
take the negro out and flog him. Now Jim, as well as the 
cavalryman, thought the midnight revelers were in earnest, 
and Jim was in high glee at the prospect of a little adventure. 
But nothing was further from the thoughts of the soldiers 
than doing harm to the negro. When they had him in the 
yard the cavalryman came on the porch, and in an authorita- 
tive manner, ordered the negro turned loose. 

This was a time Jim thought that he could get in some of 
his bullying, so going up on the steps where the cavalryman 
stood, jesticulating with his finger, said, "When we get 
through with the negro we will give you some of the same." 
In an instant the strange soldier's pistol was whipped out — 
a flash, a report, and Jim George fell dead at his feet, a vic- 
tim to his own swagger and an innocent jest of his compan- 
ions. So dumbfounded were the innocent "foragers," that 
they allowed the cavalryman to ride away unmolested and 
unquestioned. 

The bones of the unfortunate Jim lie buried on the top of 
Missionary Ridge, and the name of his slayer remains a mys- 
tery to this day. 

While in Tennessee our diet was .somewhat changed. In 
the East, flour, with beef and bacon, was issued to the troops; 
but here we got nothing but corn meal, with a little beef and 
half ration of bacon. The troops were required to keep four 
days' rations cooked on hand all the time. Of the meal we 
made "cart wheels," "dog heads," "ash cakes," and last, but 
not least, we had ' 'cush." Now corn bread is not a very great 
delicacy at best, but when four days' old, and green with 
mold, it is anything but palatable. But the soldiers got around 
this in the way ' 'cush' ' was manipulated. Now it has been 
said "if you want soldiers to fight well, you must feed them 



292 HISTORY OF KEKSHAW'S EKKJADE. 

well ;" but this is still a mooted question, and I have known 
some of the soldiers of the Souih to gi>.e pretty strong battle - 
when rather underfed than overfed. 

For the benefit of those Spanish-American soldiers of the , 
late war, who had nothing to vary their diet of ham and eggs, 
steak, pork, and potatoes, buscuit, light bread, coffee, and 
iced teas, but only such light goods as canned tomatoes, green- 
corn, beans, salmon, and fresh fish, I will tell them how to 
make "cush." You will not find this word in the dictionaries 
of the day, biat it was in the soldier's vocabulary, now obso- 
lete. Chip up bacon in fine particles, place in an oven and fry 
to a crisp. Fill the oven one-third or one-half full of branch 
water, then take the stale corn bread, the more moldy the bet- 
ter, rub into fine crumbs, mix and bring the whole to a boil, 
gently stirring with a forked stick. When cold, eat with 
fingers, and to prevent waste or to avoid carrying it on the , 
march, eat the four days' rations at one sitting. This dish 
will aid in getting clear of all gestion of meat, and prevent 
bread from getting old. A pot of "cush" is a dish "fit for a 
king," and men who will not fight on it would not fight if 
penned. 

The forest and farms around abounded in sheep and hogs. 
In fact, Tennessee and North Georgia were not the worst 
places in the South in which to live through a campaign. We 
had strict orders to protect all private property and molest 
nothing out.side of camp requirements, but the men would 
forage at night, bring in a sheep or hog, divide up, and by the 
immutable law of camps it was always proper to hang a 
choice piece of mutton or pork at the door of the officers' tent. 
This helped to soothe the conscience of the men and pave the 
way to immunity from puni.shment. The stereotyped orders 
were issued every night for "Captains to keep their men in 
camp," but the orders were as often disregarded as obeyed. 
It was one of those cases where orders are more regarded ' 'in 
the breach than in the observance. " OfiBcers winked at it, if 
not actually countenancing the practice, of ''foraging for 
something to eat." Then again the old argument presented 
itself, "If we don't take it the Yankees wi'l,'' so there you were. 
Most of the soldiers took the opportunity of visiting Look- 
out Mountain and feasting their eyes upon the finest scenery of 
the South. While they had crossed and recrossed the Blue 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 293 

Ridge and the many ranges of lesser note in Virginia, Mary- 
land, and Pennsylvania — had gazed with wonder and admira- 
tion at the windings of the Potomac and Shenandoah from the 
Heights of Maryland overlooking Harper's Ferry — yet all 
the.se were nothing as compared to the view from Lookout 
Mountain. Standing on its bruw, we could see the beautiful 
blue waters of the Tennessee flowing apparently at our feet, 
but in reality a mile or two distant. Beyond lay the city of 
Chattanooga, nestling down in the bend of the river, while 
away in the distance occasional glimpses of the stream could 
be had as it wound in and out around the hills and mountains 
that lined its either side, until the great river looked no larger 
than a mountain brooklet. From the highest peak of Lookout 
Mountain we catch faint .streaks of far away Alabama; on the 
right, North Carolina; to the north, Tennessee; and to the 
south and east were Georgia and our own dear South Carolina. 
From this place many of our soldiers cast the last lingering 
look at the land they loved so well. On the plateau of the 
mountain was a beautiful lake of several acres in extent, sur- 
rounded by lovely little villas and summer houses, the.se all 
hurriedly deserted by the necessities of war — the furniture and 
fixtures left all in place as the owner.^ took thair hastened 
departure. In one house we visited was left a handsome 
'piano,. on which those who could perform gave the soldiers 
delightful music. 

There was a roadway winding around the base of the moun- 
tain and gradually up its slopes to the plateau above, where 
wagons and other vehicles passed to the top. Most of the 
soldiers who wished to visit this beautiful ar.d historic place 
passed up this road wa}', but there was another route — just a 
foot-path — Ujj its precipitous sides, which had to be climbed 
hundreds of feet, perpendicularly, by means of ladders fastened 
to its sides. After going up one ladder, say fifty or seventy- 
five feet, we would come to a little offset in the mountain side, 
just wide enough to get a fout-hold, before taking another 
ladder.. Some of the boldest climbers took this route to reach 
the summit, but after climbing the first ladder and looking 
back towards the gorge below, I concluded it was safer "and 
more pleasant to take the "longer way round." It certainly 
takes a man of stout heart and strong nerves to climb those 
ladders up to the "lauds of the .sky." 



394 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

The scenery in and around Chattanooga and Lookout Moun- 
tain is grand, far beyond pen picturing. The surroundings 
had a kind of buoyancy even to the spirits of the badly clad 
and badly fed soldiers, which caused their stale bread and 
"cush" to be eaten with a relish. The mountain homes 
seemed veritable ' 'castles in the air. ' ' Looking from the top 
of Lookout Mountain — its position, its surroundings, its 
natural fortresses — this would have made an old Feudal lord 
die of envy. Autumn is now at hand, with its glorious sun- 
sets, its gorgeous coloring of the leaves and bushes away to 
the right on Missionary Ridge, the magnificent purple dra- 
peries along the river sides that rise and fall to our right and 
left, its blue waters dwindling away until they meet the deeper 
blue of the sky — are all beautiful beyond description. Lovely 
though this scenery may be in autumn, and its deeper coloring 
of green in the summer, how dazzled must be the looker on in 
beholding it in its tender, blushing mantle of spring? 

For quite a time rumors came of Buruside's advance through 
East Tennessee and of Longstreet's detachment from the army 
to meet him. The troops were kept in constant expectation, 
with the regulation "four days" cooked rations on hand. It 
is not our purpose to criticise the acts of Generals, or the 
schemes and plans of the Southern Government, but future 
histoiical critics will not differ as to the ultimate results of the 
East Tennessee move. That Longstreet's advance to East 
Tennessee was without results, if not totally disastrous, all will 
agree. To divide an army in the face of an enemy, is danger- 
ous at best, and, with few exceptions, has been avoided by 
Generals and commanders of all time. Lee could afford it, 
because he was Lee and had a Jackson to execute the move- 
ments, but on occasions when the enemy in front are more 
numerous and commanded by the most able and astute Gen- 
erals of the time, the movement is hazardous in the extreme. 
Lee and his Lieutenants had already "robbed the cradle and 
the grave" to replenish their ranks, and what real benefit 
would accrue to the South had Longstreet cajitured the whole 
of Burnside's Army, when the North had many armies to 
replace it? The critics of the future will judge the movement 
as ill-timed and fraught with little good and much ill to the 
Confederacy. However, it was so ordered, and no alternate 
was left the officers and soldiers but to obev. 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 295 

On the 9th ot October President Davis came out to Chatta- 
nooga to give matters his personal attention and seek, if possi- 
ble, some "scape-grace" upon which to saddle the blame for 
not reaping greater fruits of the battle, and to vindicate the 
conduct of his commander in chief. 

General Bragg had already preferred charges against I^ieu- 
tenant General Polk, commander of the right wing of the 
army, for his tardiness in opening the battle of the 20th, and 
General Hindman was relieved of the command of his division 
for alleged misconduct prior to that time. Many changes 
were proposed and made in the corps and division command- 
ers, as well as plans discussed for the future operations of the 
army. All agreed that it should be aggressive. 

Major General Cheatham was temporarily placed in com- 
mand of Polk's Corps after the downfall of that General, and 
he himself soon afterwards superseded by Lieutenant General 
Hardee. President Davis had thought of placing Pemberton, 
who had capitulated to Grant at Vicksburg, but who had been 
exchanged, in command of the corps; but the ofBcers and 
troops demurred at this, and public opinion was so outspoken, 
that Mr. Davis was forced to abandon the idea. It was, there- 
fore, given to Hardee. For some offense given by Major 
Genaral D. H. Hill, who commanded the right of the right 
wing on the 20th, he was relieved of his command and his 
connection with the Army of Tennessee. Major General 
Buckner, commanding the divisions on the left of L,ongstreet's 
wing, also came under the ban of official displeasure and was 
given an indefinite leave of ab.sence. There was wrangling, 
too, among the Brigadiers in Hood's Division, Jenkins, I/aw, 
and Robertson. Jenkins being a new addition to the division, 
was, senior officer, and commanded the division in Hood's 
absence by virtue of his rank. Law had been in the division 
since its formation, and after Hood's disabilities from wounds, 
commanded very acceptably the balance of the days at Gettys- 
burg. For this and other meritorious conduct, he thought 
the command should be given to him as senior in point of 
service with the division. Robertson had some personal difi5- 
culty with General Longstreet, which afterwards resulted in a 
call for a court-martial. The advanced ideas and undisguised 
views of Longstreet himself were considered with suspicion by 
both the President and the General commanding the army, 



296 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

and had it not been for the high prestige and his brilliant 
achievements in the East, the unbounded love and devotion of 
his troops, the loyalty and confidence of General Lee in the 
high military ability of the old War Horse, his commander of 
the First Corps, in all probability his official head would have 
fallen in the basket. But President Davis was strong in his 
prejudices and convictions, and as usual, tenacious in his 
friendship and confidence towards his favorites. Bragg, in 
President Davis' estimation at least, was vinuicated, but at 
the expense of his subalterns, and was, therefore, retained in 
command in the face of overwhelming discontent among the 
Generals and the pressing demands of public opinion for his. 
recall from the command of the armj'. 

General Lee in the meantime had sought to relieve the 
pressure against Bragg as much as possible by making a 
demonstration in force against Meade, forcing the Federal 
Army back behind Bull Run, thereby preventing a further 
reinforcement of Rosecrans from the Army of the Potomac. 

I digress thus far from the thread of my story, that the 
reader may better understand the conditions confronting our 
army — the morale and esprit de corps of the officers and troops 
composing it. 

On the 19th of October General Rosecrans was superseded 
by Major General George B. Thomas, in command of the 
Union Army, with Grant, who was rapidly climbing to the 
zenith of this renown, marching to his relief as commander of 
the department. 

A considerable commotion was caused in camp about the 
last of October by the news of a large body of Union soldiers 
making a demonstration against onr left flank and rear. It 
seems that a body of troops had embarked on board pontoon 
and flat boats in Chattanooga, and during the night had 
floated eight miles down the river and there were joined by a 
similar body marching over land on the north side. This, 
formidable array was crossed over to the south side and moved 
in the direction of our rear and our line of communication 
under cover of the hills and mountain ridges. Jenkins' and 
McLaw's Divisions were ordered to intercept them and drive 
them off. A night attack was ordered, but by some misunder- 
standing or disobedience of orders, this movement on the part 
of the Confederates miscarried, and was abandoned; not, how- 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 297 

ever, until General Bratton, of Jenkins' old Brigade, came up 
and attacked the rear guard with such vigor that the enemy 
was glad enough to get away, leaving their wounded and dead 
upon the field. No further movements were made against the 
army until after our removal to East Tennessee. 

About the first of November orders were issued for the 
transfer of I^ongstreet to begin, and on the 5th and 6th the 
greater part of his army was embarked oq hastily constructed 
trains at Tyner's Station, some five or six miles out on the 
E. T. & K. R. R. The horses, artillery, and wagon trains 
took the dirt road to Sweetwater, in the Sweetwater Valley, 
one of the most fertile regions in East Tennessee. 

I/Ongstreet's command consisted of Kershaw's (South Caro- 
lina), Bryan's and Wofford's (Georgia), and Humphreys' 
(Mississippi) Brigades, under Major General Mclyaws; Ander- 
son's (Georgia), Jenkins' (South Carolina), Law's (Alabama), 
Robertson's (Arkansas and Texas), and Benning's (Georgia) 
Brigades, under Brigadier General M. Jenkins, commanding 
division; two batteries of artillery, under General Alexander; 
and four brigades of cavalry, under Major General Wheeler. 

General Hood had been so desperately wounded at Chick- 
amauga, that it was thought he could never return to the 
army; but he had won a glorious name, the prestige of which 
the war department thought of too much value to be lost, but 
to be used afterwards so disastrously in the campaign through 
Middle Tennessee. General Hood was, no doubt, an able, 
resolute, and indefatigable commander, although meteoric, 
something on the order of Charles, the "Madman of the 
North;" but his experience did not warrant the department in 
placing him in the command of an expedition to unde.take the 
impossible — the defeat of an overwhelming army, behind 
brea.stworks, in the heart of its own country. 

The movement of Longstreet to East Tennessee and Hood 
through Middle Tenne.ssee was but the commencement of a 
series of blunders on the part of our war department that cul- 
minated eventually in the South's downfall. But it is not our 
province to speculate in the rosy fields of "might-have-been," 
but to record facts. 

General Longstreet had of all arms fifteen thousand men, 
including teamsters, guards, medical and ambulance corps. 
General Burnside had an army of twenty-five thousand men 



298 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

and one hundred pieces of artillery, and this was the army 
I/Ongstreet was expected to capture or destro}'. 

General Grant was marching from Mississippi with a large 
portion of his victorious troops of the Vicksburg campaign to 
reinforce Rosecrans, Sherman coming down through Tennes- 
see, and Meade was sending reinforcements from the Kast, all 
to swell the defeated ranks of Rosecrans. With the knowl- 
edge of all these facts, the department was preparing to further 
reduce the forces of Bragg by sending Longstreet up in East 
Tennessee, with soldiers badly clad, worse equipped, and with 
the poorest apology of camp equipage, for an active and pro- 
gressive campaign. 

Both governments were greatly displeased with the results 
of the battle of Chickamauga — the Federals at their army fail- 
ing to come up to their expectations and gaining a victory, 
instead of a disastrous defeat; the Confederates at their com- 
manders in not following up their success and reaping greater 
results. Under such circumstances, there must be some one 
on whom to place the blame. General Rosecrans censured 
General McCook and General Crittendeu, commanders of the 
Twentieth and Twenty-first Corps, and these two able soldiers 
were relieved of their commands, while General Rosecrans 
himself was severely censured by the department in Washing- 
ton, and soon afterwards relieved of his command. 

The regiments of the brigade were now all short of field 
officers — the Seventh and Battalion with none, and the Eighth 
and Fifteenth in charge of Majors. However, Colonel W. G. 
Rice joined us on the way to East Tennessee and took com- 
mand of his battalion. 

After a stay of a week in the beautiful Valley of Sweet- 
water, we were moved to lyondon, the railroad crossing of the 
Tennessee River, the railroad bridge having been burned by 
the enemy. The country in East Tennessee was greatly di- 
vided in sentiment, some for the Union cause and some for the 
Confederate cau.se. Rumors of outrages and doings of desper- 
adoes were rife, and the soldiers were somewhat dubious in 
going far into the country, for fear of running up against 
bushwhackers, of which the country was said to be full. 

While one train with the Third was being pulled over the 
East Tennessee Railroad towards Sweetwater by a strange 
•engineer over a track long unused, and cars out of repair, aii 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 299 

occurrence took place which might have ended more seriously 
than it did under the circumstances. The train, composed of 
box cars, one company inside and one on top, was running 
along at a good, lively rate. A stampede took place among 
the troops on top, who began jumping right and left down a 
steep embankment and running with all their speed to the 
woods in the distance. It was just after daylight, and those 
inside the cars not knowing what the trouble was, and a great 
many on the top being roused from their slumbers and seeing 
the others leaping in great disorber, and hearing the word 
"bushwhackers" being called out, threw their blankets aside 
and jumped likewise. Soon the cars were almost empty, those 
above and within all thinking danger was somewhere, but, in- 
visible. Just then a train of passenger cars, containing Gen- 
eral Mclvaws, General Kershaw, their staffs, and others, 
rounded the cut in our rear, and was running at break-neck 
speed into the freight train in front. Those in the passenger 
cars seeing those from the train in front running for dear life's 
sake for the woods, began to climb through windows and off 
of the platforms, the engineers and firemen on both trains 
leaping like the men. So we had the spectacle of one train 
running into another and neither under control, although the 
levers had been reversed. In a moment the rear train plunged 
into the front one, piling up three or four cars on their ends. 
Fortunately, only one or two were hurt by jumping and none 
by the collision. It seems almo.st triiraculous to think of two 
car loads of soldiers jumping from trains at full speed and on a 
high embankment and a great many from top, and so few get- 
ting hurt. 

General Longstreet's plan of campaign was to move up the 
east side of the Holston, or, as it is now called, the Tennessee 
River, pass through Marysville, cross the river in the vicinity 
of Knoxville with his infantry, the cavalry to take possession 
of the heights above and opposite the city, thus cutting off the 
retreat of the Federals in front of London, and capture the 
garrison in the city of Knoxville. But he had no trains to 
move his pontoon bridge, nor horses to pull it. So he was 
forced to make a virtue of necessity and cross the river just 
above the little hamlet of London in the face of the enemy. 
On the night of the 12th the boats and bridge equipment were 
carried to the river, the boats launched and manned by a 



300 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

detachment of Jenkins' South Carolina Brigade, under tire 
command of the gallant Captain Foster. This small band of 
men pushed their boats across the river under a heavy fire of 
the enemy's pickets, succeeded in driving off the enemy, and 
took possession pf the opposite side. The boats were soon 
joined together and the bridge laid. The troops then began to 
cross rapidly and push their way out far in advance. By- 
morning the greater part of the army was on the west side ot 
the river. 

General Wheeler, with his cavalry, .started simultaneously 
with the infantry, but on the east side, with the view of taking 
possession of the heights around Knoxville, which he partly 
accomplished after several severe engagements with the Union 
cavalry, in which the young Confederate cavalier came off vic- 
torious. 

The next morning after our crossing the enemy showed 
some disposition to attack our lines, but did no more than 
drive in our skirmishers, and then began to fall slowly back. 
I/ongstreet remained near the river constructing .some defen- 
sive earthworks to protect the bridge, and to allow the supply 
train, which had been out on a foraging expedition, time to 
come up. By his not making as rapid advance as was 
expected, the enemy again, on the 14th, returned to feel our 
lines and to learn the whereabouts of his foe. 

On the morning of the 15th,. just at daylight, we took up 
our line of march through a blinding mist or fog, our skir- 
mishers not being able to see an object fifty paces in front. 
Our line of advance was along the dirt road, on the west side 
of the little mountain range, a spur of the clinch, while the 
main body of the enemy kept close to the railroad, on the east 
side, and between the mountain range and the river, traversing 
a narrow valley, which gave him strong positions for defensive 
battle. The mountain was crossed in several places by dull 
roads and bridle paths, and it was the intention of the com- 
manding General to take possession of these passes and tiirn 
the enemy's flank, or to move around the heiid of the moun- 
tain, where the, two roads followed by the armies came to- 
gether on converging lines, then to , either close him in 
between the mountain and the river and give battle, or fall 
. upon his rear and crush him. Some few miles out Jenkins'' 
skirmishers came upon those of the enemy and a running fio-ht 



HISTORY, OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 801 

took place, the Federals retreating through the mountain gap 
to the east side. 

Jenkins kept up his advance (not following the enemy, how- 
ever, over the mountain), with Alexander's Battalion of 
Artillery, while McLaws followed closely, with I,eydon's Bat- 
tery as a support. Thus the march was continued all day, 
taking up camp at night far in advance of the enemy on the 
other side ot the mountain. Jenkins was ordered at midnight, 
with a part of his command, to take possession of a gap in the 
mountain, and at daylight throw himself across the line of the 
enemy's retreat. But for some unforeseen circumstance, 
or treachery or ignorance in Jenkins' guide, he failed in his 
undertaking, and the enemy passed in safety during the night 
beyond our lines to a place of comparative security. 

Early next morning the army was in motion, but instead of 
an enemy in our front we found a park of eighty wagons, well 
laden with supplies of provisions, camp equipage, tools, etc. , 
deserted by the retreating column. The horses had been cut 
loose, still this capture was a very serviceable acquisition to 
the outfit of the army, especially in entrenching tools. Jen- 
kins followed close on the heels of the retreating army, occa- 
sionally coming to a severe brush with the enemy's rear guard, 
using every exertion to force Burnside to battle until McLaws, 
with Hart's Brigade of Cavalry, could reach Cambell's Station, 
the point where the two converging roads meet. McLaws 
marched nearly all day in full line of battle, Kershaw being 
on the left of the main thoroughfare and under a continual 
skirmish fire. But all too late. The wily foe had escaped the 
net once more and passed over and beyond the road crossing, 
and formed line of battle on high ground in rear. Longstreet 
still had hopes of striking the enemy a crushing blow before 
reaching Knoxville, and all he desired and all that was neces- 
sary to that end was that he should stand and give battle. 
The attitude of the Union Army looked favorable towards the 
consummation of the Confederate leader's plan. Our troops 
had been marching all the forenoon in one long line of battle, 
near a mile in length, over ditches, gullies, and fences; through 
briars, brambles, and undergrowth; then again through wide 
expanse of cultivated fields, all the while under a galling fire 
from the enemy's batteries and sharpshooters, and they felt 
somewhat jaded and worn out when they came upon their 



302 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

bristling bayonets, ready for combat. A great number of our 
men were barefooted, some with shoes partly worn out, clothes 
ragged and torn, not an overcoat or extra garment among the 
line officers or men throughout the army, as all surplus bag- 
gage had been left in Virginia. But when the battle was 
about to show up the soldiers were on hand, ready and willing 
as of old, to plunge headlong into the fray. McL,aws was on 
the left wing and Jenkins on the right. 

Preparation for a general engagement was made. Mcl,aws 
was ordered to throw forward, Wofford on his extreme left, 
supported by cavalry, while Jenkins was to send two of his 
brigades, under General Law, far to the right, on the flank 
and rear of the enemy's left. Law was first to make the attack 
on the enemy's flank, then the columns in front were to 
advance and make direct assault. But the "best laid plans of 
mice and men oft' gang aglee." Law missed his line of direc- 
tion — failed to come upon the enemy's flank, night was upon 
us, and it must be remembered that all these movements took 
tim.e, thus giving the Union Army an opportunity, under the 
sable curtains of night, to "fold their tents and gently steal 
away." 

General Longstreet, in his book written nearly thirty years 
after the occurrence of Cambell's Station, severely criticises 
General Law, who commanded the two flanking brigades, and 
in withering and scathing terms directly charges him with the 
loss of a great victory. He quotes one of his staff ofiBcers as 
saying that it was the common camp rumor that General Law 
had made the remark "that he could have made a successful 
attack, but that Jenkins would have reaped the credit of it, 
hence he delayed until the enemy got out of the way." This 
is unjust and ungenerous to a gallant and faithful officer, one, 
too, who had, by his many and heavy blows in battle, added 
largely to the immortal fame of Longstreet himself. That 
there was a laudable ambition and rivalry among all officers 
and men in the Confederate Army, there can be no question — 
an ambition to outstrip all others in heroic actions, noble 
deeds, and self-sacrificing, but jealously never. As for 
treachery, as General Longstreet clearly intimates in the case 
of General Law, why the poorest, ragged, starved, or maimed 
soldier in the South would not have sold his country or com- 
panions for the wealth of the Indies, nor would he have unnec- 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 303 

essarily sacrificed a life of a comrade for the greatest place on 
this continent, or the fairest crown of Europe. It must be 
remembered in this connection that there were personal differ- 
ences between the corps commander and General I^aw at times, 
and with one of his division commanders, all during our West- 
ern campaign. That General Law was obstinate, petulant, 
and chafed under restraint, is true, but this is only natural in 
a volunteer army, and must be expected. And had General 
Longstreet, so rigid a disciplinarian as he was, but a breath of 
suspicion at the time of disobedience, lack of courage, or 
unfaithfulness in his subaltern, General Law would have been 
put under immediate arrest, and a court-martial ordered. The 
old General, in several places in his memoirs, makes un- 
complimentary remarks and insinuations against some of his 
old compatriots in arms, but these should not be taken seri- 
ously. It will be remembered by all the old Confederates in 
this connection that during the period just succeeding the war 
mighty social convulsions took place in the Souths— political 
upheavals, whereby one party was as bitter against the other 
as during the mighty struggle of the North again.st the South, 
and that General Longstreet, unfortunately for his name as a 
civilian, aligned himself along with the party whom the whites 
of the South acknowledged as antagonistic to their welfare and 
interest. This roused the ire of all his old army associates, 
and many of his former friends now began to hurl poisoned 
and fiery shafts at the old "War Horse" of the South, and no 
place so vulnerable as his army record. This, of course, was 
resented by him, and a deadly feud of long standing sprang up 
between Generals I/ongstreet, Mahone, and a few others, who 
joined him on the one side, and the whole army of "Codfed- 
erate Brigadiers" on the other. This accounts, in a large 
measure, for many of Longstreet's strictures upon the conduct 
of officers of the army, and, no doubt, a mere after thought or 
the weird imaginations of an old and disappointed politico- 
persecuted man. 

No, No ! The officers and men of the Confederate Army were 
patriots of diamond purity, and all would have willingly died 
a martyr's death that the Confederacy might live. 



304 HISTORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 



CHAPTER XXV 

Around Knoxville — The Siege and Storming of 
Fort Sanders. 

After the fiasco at Cambell's Station, the enemy retired 
behind his entrenched position in the suburbs of Knoxville. 
lyongstreet followed rapidly, with McLaws in front, in line of 
battle, but all hopes of encountering the enemy before he 
reached his fortified position around the city had vanished. 
We reached the rolling hillsides just outside of the city limits 
about noon on the 17th, and found the enemy's dismoui.ted 
cavalry, acting as sharpshooters, posted on the heights in front 
and between the railroad and the river, well protected by rail 
piles along the crest of the hill. 

Colonel Nance was ordered with the Third South Caro- 
lina Regiment to dislodge those on the hill, near the railroad, 
by marching over and beyond the road and taking them in 
flank, which was successfully done by making a sudden dash 
from a piece of woodland over an open field and gaining the 
embankment of the railroad immediately on the right flank of 
the enemy's sharpshooters. But scarcely had the Third got 
in position than it found itself assailed on its left and rear by 
an unseen enemy concealed in the woods. Here Colonel 
Nance was forced to sacrifice one of his most gallant officers, 
Lieutenant Allen, of Company D. Seeing his critical and 
untenable position, he ordered the L,ieutenant, who was stand- 
ing near him, to report his condition to General Kershaw and 
ask for instruction. This was a hazardous undertaking in the 
extreme, but lyieutenant Allen undertook it with rare courage 
and promptness. Back across the open field he sped, while 
the whole fire of the sharpshooters was directed towards him 
instead of to our troops behind the embankment. All saw and 
felt that the brave officer was lost as soon as he got beyond 
the cover of the railroad, and turned their heads from the 
sickening scene. But Allen did not hesitate or falter, but kept 
on to the fulfilment of his desperate mission, while hundreds of 



HISTORY OP KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 305 

bullets flew around him in every direction — over his head, 
under his feet, before, and behind — until at last the fatal mes- 
senger laid him low, a heroic martyr to the stern duties of 
war. Colonel Nance seeing the hopelessness of his attack, 
ordered a retreat. Then the whole regiment had to run the 
same gauntlet in which young Allen lost his life. Away across 
the open corn field the troops fled in one wild, pell mell, every 
man for himself, while the bullets hummed and whistled 
through our scattered ranks, but luckily only a few were shot. 

Jenkins' Division came up late in the day and took position 
on McLaws' left, then with the cavalry commenced the invest- 
ment of the city on the west side of the Holston or Tennessee 
River. To advance Mcl^aws' lines to a favorable position, it 
was first necessary to dislodge the sharpshooters on the hill 
tops between the river and the railroad. General Kershaw 
was ordered to take the works in front by direct assault. The 
Third was on the extreme left of the brigade, next to the rail- 
road, while the Second, Seventh, Eighth, and Third Battalion 
were in the center, with the Fifteenth, under Major Gist, 
between the dirt road on which we had traveled and the river 
on extreme right. The Third had to assault the same troops 
and position that they had failed to di,slodge some hours 
before. 

Major William Wallace was in command of the skirmishers. 
The heavy siege pieces at Fort Sanders had been hammering 
away at us all day, as well as the many field batteries that 
bristled along the epaulments a];oj)nd Knoxville. The skir- 
mishers were ordered forward, the battle line to closely follow; 
but as Colonel Wallace was in front and could see the whole 
field, I will allow him to give his version of the engagement. 

"We were stationed on a high hill," says Colonel Wallace, 
"west of said town, which descended gradually some two 
hundred yards, then rose to a smaller hill nearer to Knoxville. 
Between these two hills was a smooth valley, the middle of 
which was distinctly marked by a line running north and 
south by different crops which had been planted on opposite 
sides of it. Brigade skirmishers were ordered to advance 
towards Knoxville and drive in the enemy's pickets. I was in 
command of the left wing, and drove the enemy from my 
front, across the creek, which was beyond the smaller hill. 
On reaching the creek and finding our skirmishers on my 
20 



306 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

right, did not advance over the hill. I returned to my origi- 
nal position where I found them. Soon afterwards the skir- 
mish line was again ordered forward to the line in the valley- 
above described, and to lie down. Just then I heard a yell 
behind me and' saw the Third South Carolina advancing 
rapidly towards the smaller hill. I did not order my .skir- 
mishers to lie down, but as soon as the regiment was abreast 
of me 1 advanced and drove the enemy again across the creek. 
On hearing firing on the west of the hill, I closed up my skir- 
mishers and advance^, south towards the crest of the hill. I 
found a regiment of Union sharpshooters lying behind a 
breastwork of rails and firing on the Third, which was within 
forty yards of them. As soon as the enemy saw us on their 
flank, they threw up their hands and surrendered. The 
Third had lost forty men up to this time." 

Colonel Wallace tells also of how a Federal soldier, who 
had surrendered, was in the act of shooting him, but was pre- 
vented from doing so by the muzzle of a rifle being thrust in 
his face by a member of Company E, W. W. Riser, afterwards 
Sheriff of Newberry County. Colonel Nance was much grati- 
fied at the able assistance rendered him by Colonel Wallace, 
and made special and favorable mention of him in his report. 

The Second, Seventh, Eighth, and Third Battalion swept 
across thejplain like a hurricane, driving everything before 
them right in the teeth of the deadly fire of Fort Sanders, but 
the Third and Fifteenth Regiments were unusuall}' unfortunate 
in their^positions, owing to the strength of the works in their 
front. The Fifteenth got, in some way, hedged in between 
the roadjand river, and could make little progress in the face 
of the many obstacles that confronted them. Their j'oung 
commander, Major William Gist, son of ex-Governor Gist, 
becoming somewhat nettled at the progress his troops were 
making, threw aside all prudence and care, recklessly dashed 
in front of his column, determined |to ride at its head in the 
assault that was coming,, but fell dead at the very moment of 
victory. How many hundreds, nay thousands, of brave and 
useful officers and men of the South wantonly threw away 
their lives in the attempt to rouse their companions to extra 
exertions and greater deeds of valor. 

The Third fought for a few moments almost muzzle to 
muzzle, with nothing but a few rails, hastily piled, between 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 307 

assailants and the assailed. At this juncture another gallant 
act was performed by Captain Winthrop, of Alexander's Bat- 
tery. Sitting on his horse in our rear, watching the battle as, 
it ebbed and flowed, and seeing the deadly throes in which. 
the Third was writhing, only a few feet separating them from 
the enemy, by some sudden impulse or emotion put spurs to. 
his horse and dashed headlong through our ranks, over the 
breastworks, and fell desperately wounded in the ranks of the 
Federals, just as their lines gave way or surrendered. This 
was only one of the many heroic and nerve-straining acts wit- 
nessed by the soldiers that followed the flag of Kershaw , 
McLaws, and lyongstreet. 

Colonel Rice, of the Battalion, was so seriously wounded 
that he never returned to active duty in the field. Maj.or 
Miller, in a former battle, had been permanently disabled, but 
no other field promotions were ever made, so the gallant little 
Battalion was commanded in future by senior Captains. 

By mortjing of the igth of November the enemy had retired 
within the walls of Knoxville, and the investment of the city 
completed. During the nights our sharpshooters were ad- 
vanced a little distance at a time until they were under the 
very walls of the city, and there entrenched themselves in rifle 
pits. The troops began building works to protect against 
attacks, and laying parallels, so that every few nights we - 
advanced a little nearer the city. 

Jenkins, with three brigades and a part of the cavalry,, 
stretched around the city on the north and to the river on ther 
opposite side of us. A pontoon bridge was laid across the- 
river below the city, and lyaw, with two brigades of Jenkins' 
Division and a battery of our best artillery, crossed the Hoi" 
ston River and took possession of some heights that were 
thought to command the city on the south side. Burnside 
had also some strong works on the south of the Holston, 
strongly guarded by infantry, dismounted cavalry, and some 
of their best rifled pieces of artillery. This force was just 
opposite the city, having easy access thereto by a military 
bridge and a pontoon bridge. Burnside had twelve thousand 
regular troops in his outer trenches, several thousand recent 
volunteers from Tennessee in his inner lines, with fifty-one 
pieces of artillery in place, ready for action, in Knoxville 
alone. I<ongstreet had between fifteen and seventeen thou- 



308 HISTOKY OF KEKPHA-tt-'S BKIGADE. 

sand, after some reiiiforcenients had reached him, and three 
battalions of artillery, inclusive of the horse artillery. 

Night and day the work of entrenchment went bravely on 
in both anaies, each wurkiiig in plain \-ie\v of the other, with- 
out any disposition to disturb tiie operati^ins of either by 
shelling from the forts in our front or liom oiir works in the 
rear. Each commander seemed willing and .disposed to give 
his opponent an open field and a fair fight. No advantage was 
asked and none taken on either side, and the coming contest 
appeared to be one between the hot blood of the South in 
assault and the dogged determination of the North in resist- 
ance — valor, impetuosity, dash, impulsive courage against 
cool, calculating, determined resistance. Greeks of the South 
were preparing to meet Greeks of the North — the passionate 
Ionian was about to measure swords with the stern Dorian, 
then of a necessitj' "comes the tug of war." 

On the 2 2(3, McLaws reporting as being ready for the 
assault, he was ordered to prepare for it on the night of the 
23d. But a report coming to the commanding General that a 
large b dy of the enemy's cavalry was moving upon our rear 
from near Kinston, General Wheeler, with his troopers, was 
detached from the army to look after the,m, and did not return 
until the 26th, having frightened the enemy away in the mean- 
time. The officers of McLaws' assaulting column protested 
against the night attack, preferring daylight for such impor- 
tant work, which in the end was granted. 

The night of the 24th the enemy made a sally, attacking 
Woflord's front; but was soon repulsed and driven back within 
his lines. Longstreet now awaited the reinforcement that was 
approaching with all speed. Jones' Bragade of Cavalry, from 
Southwest Virginia, came up on the 28th, while Bushrod 
Johnston, with his own Brigaide of Tennessee. Infantry and 
Grade's Brigade of Alabamians, was near at hand and moving 
with all haste. The infantry and artillery promised from Vir- 
ginia were more than one hundred miles away, and could not 
reach us in time to take part in the pending attack. General 
Bragg, commanding the Army of Tennessee after his disas- 
trous defeat at Missionary Ridge, in front of Chattanooga, was 
at the head of the, war department, and ordered Longstreet to 
assault Knoxville at once. 

Orders Were given and preparations made to cf>mmemfce the 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 309 

attack on Fort Sanders at early dawn on the 29th by the bri- 
gades of McLaws. Fort Sanders, the key to Burnside's posi- 
tion, was a forinidable fortress, coveriuja^ several acres of 
ground, built by the Confederates when in possession of Knox- 
ville, and called by them "Fort London," but named "Fort 
Sanders'.' by the Federals, in honor of the brave commander 
who fell in wresting it from the Confederates. The enemy 
had greatly strengthened it after Longstreet's advent in East 
Tennessee. It was surrounded by a deep and wide moat, from 
the bottom of which to the top of the fort was from eighteen 
to twenty feet. In front of the moat for several hundred 
yards was felled timber, which formed an almost impassable 
abattis, while wire netting was stretched from stump to stump 
and around the fort. The creek that ran between our lines 
and the enemy's had been dammed in several places, forcing the 
water back to the depth of four to five leet. The fort was 
lined on three sides with the heaviest of field and siege pieces, 
and crowded to its utmost capacity with infantry. This fort 
was on an acute angle of the line of entrenciiments. From 
the right and left ran the outer or first line of breastworks, 
manned by infantry, and at every salient position cannons 
were mounted, completely encircling the entire city. 

In the early gray of the morning L,ongstreet had marshalled 
his forces for the combat, while the troops in Fort Sanders 
slept all unconscious of the near appi caching storm cloud, 
which was to burst over their heads. The artillery was all in 
position, the gunners standing by their guns, lanyard in hand, 
awaiting the final order to begin the attack. The armies were 
separated by a long, shallow vale — that to our left, in front of 
Jenkins, was pierced by a small stream, but obstructed by 
dams at intervals, I'.ntil the water was in places waist deep. 
But the men floundered through the water to the opiiosite side 
and stood shi\-ering in their wet garments, while the cool 
air of the Novem'ier moruing chilled their whole frames. All 
along the whole line the men stood silent and motionless, 
awaiting the sound of the signal gun. 

Wofford, with his Georgians, and Humphrey, with his Mis- 
sissippians, were to lead the forlorn hope in the assault on Fort 
Sanders, supported by Bryan's (Georgia) Brigade and one 
regiment of Mississippians. Kershaw stood to the right of the 
fort and Anderson, of Jenkins' Division, on the left, supported 



310 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

by the other two brigades then present of Jenkins'. The 
battle was to focus aronnd the fort until that was taken 
or silenced, then Kershaw was to storm the works on 
the right, carry them, charge the second line of entrench- 
ment, in which were posted the reserves and recent Tennessee 
recruits. Jenkins, with Anderson's Brigade on his right and 
next to McLaws, was to act as a brace to the assaulting col- 
umn until the fort was taken, then by a sudden dash take the 
entrenchments to the left of the fort, wheel and sweep the line 
towards the north, and clear the way for Jenkins' other 
brigades. 

The expectant calm before the great storm was now at 
hand. The men stood silent, grim, and determined, awaiting 
the coming crash ! The crash came with the thunder of the 
signal gun from Alexander's Battery. Longstreet then 
saluted his enemy with the roar of twenty guns, the shells 
shrieking and crashing in and around Fort Sanders. Burnside 
answered the salutation with a welcome of fifty guns from the 
fort and angles along the entrenchments. Salvos after salvos 
sounded deep and loud from the cannon's mouth, and echoed 
and re-echoed up and down the valleys of the Holston. After 
the early morning compliments had continued ten or fifteen 
minutes, the infantry began to make ready for the bloody fray. 
Wofford commenced the advance on the northwest angle of the 
fort, Humphrey the South. Not a yell was to be given, not 
a gun to be fired, save only those by the sharpshooters. The 
dread fortress was to be taken b5' cold steel alone. Not a 
gun was loaded in the three brigades. As the mist of the 
morning and the smoke of the enemy's guns lifted for a mo- 
ment, the slow and steady steps of the "forlorn hope" could 
be seen marching towards the deaih trap — over fallen trees and 
spreading branches, through the cold waters of the creek, the 
brave men marched in the face of the belching cannon, raking 
the field right and left. Our sharpshooters gave the cannon- 
eers a telling fire, and as the enemy's infantry in the fort rose 
above the parapets to delivei their volley, they were met by 
volleys from our sharpshooters in the pits, now in rear of the 
assaulting columns, and firing over their heads. When near 
the fort the troops found yet a more serious obstruction in the 
way of stout wires stretched across their line of approach. 
This, however was overcome and passed, and the assailants 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 311 

soon found themselves on the crest of the twelve foot abyss 
that surrounded Fort Sanders. Some jumped into the moat 
and began climbing up upon the shoulders of their compan- 
ions. The enemy threw hand bombs over the wall to burst in 
the ditch. Still the men struggled to reach the top, some 
succeeding only to fall in the fort. Scaling ladders were now 
called for, but none were at hand. Anderson had moved up 
on Wofford's left, but finding the fort yet uncovered, instead 
of charging the entrenchment, as ordered, he changed his 
direction towards the fort, and soon his brigade was tangled in 
wild confusion with those of Worfford and Humphrey, gazing 
at the helpless mass of struggling humanity in the great gulf 
below. 

Kershaw's men stood at extreme tension watching and wait- 
ing the result of the struggle around the fort. Never perhaps 
were their nerves so strung up as the few moments they 
awaited in suspense the success or reverse of the assaulting 
column, bending every effort to catch the first command of 
"forward." All but a handful of the enemy had left the fort, 
and victory here seemed assured, and in that event the result 
of Kershaw's onslaught on the right and Jenkins' South Caro- 
linians and Benning's Georgians on the left would have been 
beyond the range of conjecture. Just at this supreme moment 
Major Goggans, of Mclyaws' staff, who had oeen at the fort 
and took' in the worst phases of the situation, rode to General 
Ivongstreet and reported the fortress impregnable without axes 
and scaling ladders. Under this misapprehension. General 
Longstreet gave the fatal order for the assaulting columns to 
retire, and all the support back to their entrenchments. Thus 
was one of the most glorious victories of the war lost by the 
ill judgment of one man. General lyongstreet bitterly regret- 
ted giving this order so hastily, but pleads in extinuation his 
utmost confidence in Major Goggans, his class-mate at West 
Point. 

In the twenty minutes of the assault Longstreet lost in his 
three brigades, Wofford's, Humphrey's, and Anderson's, 
eight hundred and twenty-two; Burnside, six hundred and 
seventy-three. During the campaign L,ongstreet lost twelve 
hundred and ninety-six. During the campaign Burnside lost 
fourteen hundred and eighty-one. 

Kershaw's Brigade lost many gallant officers and men dur- 



312 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

ing the sanguinary struggles around Knoxville, and it must be 
confessed in sorrow and regret, all to no purpose. Not that 
the commanding general was wanting in ability, military train- 
ing, or tactical knowledge; nor the soldiers in courage, daring, 
and self-denials. None of these were lacking, for the ofBcers 
and men of the line performed deeds of prowess that have 
never been excelled by any soldiers on the planet, while in 
skill or fearlessness the regimental brigade and division com- 
manders were equal to Ney, Murat, St. Cyr, or any of the host 
of great commanders of the Napoleonic era. But in the first 
place the Confederate forces were too weak, poorly equipped 
in all those essentials that are so requisite to an invading army. 

MAJOR WILLIAM M. GIST. 

Major William M. Gist was a son of Governor W. H. Gist, 
the Governor just preceding Secession, and Mrs. Mary E. 
Gist; born in Union County in- 1840. He was educated in the 
common schools of Union and York Counties and by private 
tutors, until January, 1854. He then went to school at Glenn 
Springs to Rev. C. S. Beard for six months. His health fail- 
ing, he returned to his home, and in Januarj', 1855, entered 
the Mt. Zion College, at Winnsboro, Fairfield County, taught 
by Hon. J. W. Hudson, and .spent one j'ear at that institution. 
He next entered the South Carolina College, in January, 1856, 
and graduated in the class of '59. The class which Major 
Gist was in at the time, the Junior, did not participate in the 
great "college rebellion" of March 28th, 1858. Through that 
rebellion one hundred and eleven of the students were, sus- 
pended for six months. 

When the first alarm of war was sounded. Major Gist re- 
sponded promptly, with the same chivalric spirit that was sO' 
characteristic of his whole life. He joined, as a private. 
Captain Gadberry's Company, from tjnion, and left for Char- 
leston on January 12, 1861, the company forming a part of 
Colonel Maxey Gregg's First Six Months' Volunteers, and 
remained with the command until their term of service ex- 
pired. A vacancy occurring, Colonel Gregg appointed him his 
Sergeant Major. 

After the fall ot Sumter a part of Colonel Gregg's Regiment 
was disbanded, and Major Gist returned to Union and began 
at once organizing a company for the Confederate States 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 313 

Army. He was elected Captain of the company and was 
joined to the Fifteenth Regiment, then collecting at camp 
near Columbia for drill and instruction. He served as Captain 
until the death of Colonel DeSanssure, then was promoted to 
Major. There being no of&cer senior to him, his way was 
open to the Colonelcy of his regiment at the time of his death. 
Major Gist was a young man of rare qualities — open, frank, 
generous, and brave. He commanded the respect and esteem 
of all. Just verging into mature manhood as the toscin of war ' 
sounded, he had no opportunity to display his great qualities 
as a civilian, but as a soldier he was all that the most exacting 
could desire. He was beloved by his men, and they appreci- 
ated his worth. He was kind and aifectionate to all, and 
showed favoritism or privileges to none. ' It was through that 
ungovernable impulse that permeates the body and flows 
through the hot Southern blood that he so recklessly threw 
his life away, leading his men to the charge. In a moment 
of hesitancy among his troops, he felt the supreme respon- 
sibility of leadership, placed himself where danger was great- 
est, bullets falling thick and fast; thus by the inspiration of 
his own individual courage, he hoped to carry his men with 
him to success, or to meet a fate like his own. 

LIEUTENANT COLONEL W. G. RICE. 

Lieutenant Colonel W. G. Rice was born in Union County, 
S. C, on December 9th, 1831. He was the fourth son of 
R. S. Rice and Agnes B. Rice, nee Morgan, and resided in the 
upper portion of the county, near Broad River. His famiiy 
removed to the lower section of the county, near Goshen Hill, 
when the son was ten years old, and he attended the schools 
of the surrounding country until fourteen years of age, when 
he was sent to the Methodist Conference School, at Cokes- 
bury. He remained a pupil here until October, 1848, then he 
entered the South Carolina College, graduating from that 
institution with the class of '51. He engaged in planting for 
one year at his original home, then began the study of law in 
the office of Judge T. N. Dawkins, but did not prosecute the 
study to graduation. 

In March following he married Miss Sarah E. Sims, of 
Broad River, of which union eleven children were born, seven 
of whom are living. The year of his marriage he moved to 



314 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

Laurens County, near Waterloo, where we find him sur- 
rounded by "peace and plenty" until the outbreak of the Civil 
War. In October, 1861, he raised a volunteer company, and 
later, together with three other companies from I,aurens 
County, formed a battalion, and tendered the command to 
George S. James, who had resigned from the United States 
Army. Major James assumed command at Camp Hampton 
in December. During the early months of 1862 three other 
companies united with the battalion, and Major James was 
promoted to lyieutenant Colonel, and Captain W. G. Rice being 
senior Captain, was made Major. 

During the month of April following, a reorganization took 
place, and Lieutenant Colonel James and Major Rice were re- 
elected to their former positions by exacth- the same vote. 
Major Rice being detailed on court martial on James' Island, 
did not accompany his battalion to Virginia, but joined it soon 
thereafter, near Richmond. 

The battalion marched with the brigade (Drayton's) from 
Gordonsville to second battle of Manassas, but was not actively 
engaged. At the battle of Crompton's Gap, Md., Colonel 
Rice was severely wounded. Colonel James killed, and the 
battalion almost torn to pieces. Colonel Rice was left for dead 
upon the field, and when he gained consciousness he was 
within the enemy's line, and only by exerci.-ing the greatest 
caution, he regained the Confederate camp. By Colonel Rice's 
prudence at this battle in ordering a retreat to a more sheltered 
position, the battalion was saved from utter destruction, but 
suffering himself almost 'a fatal wound. He was sent across 
the Potomac, and next day to Shepherdstown. Returning" 
from leave of absence occasioned by the desperate nature of 
his wound, he found that he had been promoted to Lieutenant 
Colonel, and that his battalion and the Fifteenth Regiment 
made a part of Kershaw's Brigade, this being in December, 
1862. Colonel Rice led his command through the battles of 
Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville without incident of special 
interest (vide sketch of battalion). 

Returning from an enjoyable leave of absence, he found his 
command at Chambersburg, Pa. Three days later he com- 
manded the battalion at the bloody battle of Gettysburg. 
Again Colonel Rice is absent on sick leave, and regains the 
army just as Longstreet was crossing the Holston! Four daj's 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 315 

afterwards he was given ore company from each of the five 
regiments to reinforce his battalion, and ordered to feel for 
and drive the enemy from the position which they held. This 
proved to be a fortified camp and the enemy in strong line of 
battle. In the engagement that followed, Colonel Rice was 
again so severely wounded as to render him unfit for service 
thereafter. 

After this he returned home to the prosecution of his life- 
work, farming. He removed to Abbeville, now Greenwood 
County, December, 1869, where he may now be found, as he 
says, "in the enjoyment of a reasonable degree of health and 
strength, surrounded by friends and relatives." 

JULIUS ZOBEL. 

To show with what devotion and fidelity the private soldier 
of the Southland served the cause he espoused, I will relate as 
an example the act of Julius Zobel, who fell so dangerously 
wounded before Knoxville. This is not an isolated case, for 
hundreds and thdusands were tempted like Zobel, but turned 
away with scorn and contempt. But Julius Zobel was an ex- 
ception in that he was not a native born, but a blue-eyed, fair- 
haired son of the "Fatherland." He had not been in this 
"Land of the free and home of the brave" long enough to 
comprehend all its blessings, he being under twenty-one years 
of age, and not yet naturalized. He was a mechanic in the 
railroad shops, near Newberry, when the first call for volun- 
teers was made. He laid aside his tools and promptly joined 
Company E (Captain Nance), of the Third South Carolina, 
called "Quitman Rifles." 

He had a smooth, pleasant face, a good eye, and the yellow 
hair of his countrymen. His nature was all sunshine, geni- 
ality, and many a joke he practiced upon his comrades, taking 
all in good humor those passed upon him. One day, as a 
comrade had been "indulging", too freely, another accosted 
him with — 

"Turn away your head, your breath is awful. What is the 
matter with you?" 

Zobel, in his broad German brogue, answered for his com- 
panion. "Led 'em alone, dare been nodden to madder mid 
Mattis, only somding crawled in him and died." 

He lost his leg at Knoxville and fell in the enemy's hands 



316 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

after Longstreet withdrew, and was sent North with the other 
wounded. While in the loathsome prison pen, enduring all 
the sufferings, hardships, and horrors of the Federal "Bastile," 
he was visited by the German Consul, and on learning that he 
had not been naturalized, the Consul offered him his liberty if 
he would take the oath of allegiance to the North. 

Zobel flashed up as with a powder burst, and spoke like the 
true soldier that he was. "What 1 Desert my comrades; 
betray the country I have sworn to defend; leave the flag 
under whose folds I have lost all but life ? No, no ! Let me 
die a thousand deaths in this hell hole first !" 

He is living to-day in Columbia, an expert mechanic in the 
service of the Southern Railroad, earning an honest living by 
the sweat of his brow, with a clear conscience, a faithful heart, 
and surrounded by a devoted family. 



That the campaign against Knoxville was a failure, cannot 
be wondered at under the circumstances. In the first place 
Longstreet's forces were too weak — the two thousand rein- 
forcements to come from Virginia dwindled down to a few 
regiments of cavalry and a battery or two. The men were 
badly furnished and equipped — a great number being barefoot 
and thinly clad. Hundreds would gather at the slaughter 
pens daily and cut from the warm beef hides strips large 
enough to make into moccasins, and thus shod, marched miles 
upon miles in the blinding snow and sleet. All overcoats and 
heavy clothing had been left in Virginia, and it is a fact too 
well known to be denied among the soldiers of the South that 
baggage once left or sent to the rear never came to the front 
again. 

Longstreet did not have the support he had the right to 
expect from his superiors and those in authority at Richmond. 
He had barely sufiBcient transportation to convey the actual 
necessaries of camp equippage, and this had to be used daily in 
gathering supplies from the surrounding country for man and 
beast. He had no tools for entrenching purposes, only such 
as he captured from the enemy, and expected to cross deep 
and unfordable rivers without a pontoon train. With the dead 
of winter now upon him, his troops had no shelter to protect 
them from the biting winds of the mountains or the blinding 
snow storms from overhead save only much-worn blankets and 



HISTORY OF KHRSHAW'S BRIGADE. 317 

thiu teut flys five by six feet square, one to the man. This 
was the condition in which the commanding General found 
himself and troops, in a strange and hostile country, com- 
pletely cut off from railroad connection with the outside world. 
Did the men murmur or complain? Not a hit of it. Had 
they grown disheartened and demoralized by their defeat at 
Knoxville, or had they lost their old-time confidence in them- 
selves and their General ? On the contrary, as difficulties and 
dangers gathered around their old chieftain, they clung to 
hmi, if possible, with greater tenacity and a more determined 
zeal. It seemed as if every soldier in the old First Corps 
was proud of the opportunity to sufifer for his country — never 
a groan or pang, but that he felt compensated with the 
thought that he was doing his all in the service of his country 
— and to suffer for his native land, his home, and family, was 
a duty and a pleasure. 

The soldiers of the whole South had long since learned by 
experience on the fields of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsyl- 
vania, along the valleys of Kentucky, the mountains and 
gorges of Tennessee, and the swamps of the Mississippi, that 
war was only "civilized barbarism," and to endure uncom- 
plaining was the highest attributes .of a soldier. Civilization 
during the long centuries yet to come may witness, perhaps, 
as brave, unselfish, unyielding, and patriotic bands of heroes 
as those who constituted the Confederate Army, but God in 
His wisdom has never yet created their equals, and, perhaps, 
never will create their superiors. . 



CHAPTER XXVI 

The Siege of Knoxville Raised — Battle of Bean 
Station— Winter Quarters. 

On the night of the 4th of December preparations were 
made to raise the siege around Knoxville and vacate the forti- 
fications built around the city after a fortnight's stay in the 
trenches. The wagons had begun moving the day before, 
with part of the artillery, and early in the night the troops 



318 HISTORY OF KBiRSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

north and west of the city took up the line of march towards 
Rutledge, followed by McLaws on the right. 

Kershaw being on the extreme right of the army and next 
to the river on the South, could not move until the troops on 
the le,ft were well under way, thus leaving us in position until 
near midnight. Lieutenant Colonel Rutherford commanded the 
rear guard of skirmishers, deployed several hundred yards on 
either side of the road. Our march was extremely fatiguing, 
the roads being muddy and badly cut up by the trains in our 
front. The weather was cold and bleaky; the night so dark 
that the troops could scarcely see their way, but all night long 
they floundered through the mud and slough — over passes and 
along narrow defiles, between the mountain and the river to 
their right — the troops trudged along, the greater portion 
of whom were thinly clad, some, with shoes badly worn, 
others with none. Two brigades of cavalry were left near the 
city until daylight to watch the movements of the enemy. 
The next day we met General Ranson with his infantry divis- 
ion and some artillery on his long march from Virginia to rein- 
force Ivongstreet, but too late to be of any material service to 
the commanding General. Bragg' s orders had been impera- 
tive, "to assault Knoxville and not to await the reinforce- 
ment." 

Burnside did not attempt to follow us closely, as he was 
rather skeptical about leaving his strong positions around 
Knoxville with the chances of meeting Longstreet in open 
field. But strong Federal forces were on a rapid march to 
relieve the pressure against Knoxville — one column from the 
West and ten thousand men under Sherman were coming up 
from Chattanooga, and were now at London, on the Tennessee. 

Longstreet continued the march to Rodgersville, some fifty 
or sixty miles northeast of Knoxville, on the west bank of the 
Holston, and here rested for several days. It was the impres- 
sion of the troops that they would remain here for a length of 
tirhe, and they began building winter quarters. But Burnside 
feeling the brace of strong reinforcements nearing him, moved 
out from Knoxville a large detachment in our rear to near 
Bean Station (or Cross Roads), the one leading from Knox- 
ville by way of Rutledge, the other from the eastern side of 
the Holston and over the mountain on the western side at 
Bean's Gap. Longstreet determined to retrace his steps, strike 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 319 

Burnside a stunning blow, and, if possible, to capture his 
advance forces at Bean Station. 

Here I will digress a few moments from my narrative to 
relate an incident that took place while encamped near Rodgers- 
ville, an incident that will ever remain fresh in the memory Of 
all of the old First Division who witnessed it. It is with feel- 
ings of sorrow at this distant day to even recall it to mind, and 
it is with pain that I record it. But as I have undertaken to 
give a faithful and true story of the army life of the First 
Brigade, this harrowing scene becomes a part of its history. 
It was near the middle of the month. The sun had long since 
dropped out of sight behind the blue peaks of the distant 
Cumberland. All is still in camp; the soldiers, after their 
many hardships and f.itiguing marches, rest, and soon all in 
sound slumber. Even the very voices of nature seemed hushed 
and frozen in the gloomy silence of the night. All is quiet, 
save in one lonely tent, apart some distance from the rest, 
before which walks a silent sentinel, as if he, too, feels the 
chilling effects of the sombre stillness. Murmurings soft and 
low in the one lighted tent are all that break the oppressive 
death-like silence. In the back ground the great forest trees 
of the mountain stand mute and motionless, not even a nod of 
their stately heads to a passing breeze, while far away to the 
south could be seen an occasional picket fire, making the sur- 
rounding objects appear like moving, grotesque phantoms. 
The heavens above were all bedecked with shimmering stars, 
pouring down upon the sleeping Valley of the Holstdn a cold 
and trembling light. 

In the lonely tent sits a soldier, who is spending his last 
night on earth; by his side sits his little sop, who has come 
far away over the mountains to spend the last moments with 
his father and see him die — not to die like a soldier wishes for 
death, but as a. felon and outcast, tHe ignominous death at the 
stake. Ah occasional sob escapes the lips of the lad, but no 
sigh or tears of grief from the condemned. He is holding 
converse with his Maker, for to His throne alone must he now 
appeal for pardon. Hope on earth had gone. He had no 
friend at court, no one to plead his cause before those who had 
power to order a reprieve. He must die. The doomed man 
was an ignorant mountaineer, belonging to one of the regi- 
ments from North Georgia or Tennessee, and in an ill-fated 



320 HISTORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 

moment he allowed his longings for home to overcome his 
sense of duty, and deserted his colors — fled to his mountain 
home and sought to shelter himself near his wife and little 
ones in the dark recesses and gorges thereabout. He was 
followed, caught, returned to his command, courtmartialed, 
and sentenced to death — time, to-morrow. 

During the days and nights that passed since the dread sen- 
tence had been read to him, he lay upon his rude couch in the 
guard tent all indifferent to his environments, and on the 
march he moved along with the guard in silence, gazing 
abstractedly at the blue vaults of heaven or the star-strewn, 
limitless space. That far away future now to him so near — 
that future which no vi.sion can comtemplate nor morLal mind 
comprehend — is soon to be unfolded. Little heed was paid to 
the comforting words of his sympathetic comrades in arms, 
who bid him hope, for the condemned man felt inwardlj' and 
was keenly conscious of the fact that he had been caught upon 
the crest of a great wave of aestiny, soon to be swept away by 
its receding force to darkness, despair, death. "Fate had 
played him falsel}'. ' ' 

To witness death, to see the torn and mangled remains of 
friends and comrades, are but incidents in the life of a soldier, 
While all dread it, few fear it. Yet it is upon the field of 
battle that it is expected — amid the din and smoke, the shouts 
of his comrades, the rattle of musketry, and the cannon's roar. 
There is the soldier's glory, his haven, his expected end; and 
of all deaths, that upon the battlefield, surrounded by victori- 
ous companions and waving banners, the triumphant shouts of 
comrades, is the least painful. 

The grounds .selected for the carrying out of the court's 
sentence were on a broad plateau, gently sloping towards the 
center on three sides. So well were the grounds and surround- 
ings adapted to the end in view, that it seemed as if nature 
had anticipated the purpo.ses of man. 

By 9 o'clock the troops of the division were in motion, all 
under the command of Colonel James D. Nance, of the Third 
South Carolina, marching for the field of death. Kershaw's 
Brigade took the lead, and formed on the left of the hollow 
square. Wofford's on the right, with Bryan's doubling on the 
two, while Humphrey's closed the space at the west end of 
the square. 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 321 

A detail of thirty men were made to do the firing, fifteen 
guns being loaded with powder and ball, the others with powder 
alone, this arrangement being made, perhaps, with a view to 
ease the qualms of conscience, should any of the guards have 
scruples ot shedding the blood of a former comrade in arms. 
None could know positively who held the death-dealing guns. 
An opening was made at the lower end and the first platoon of 
guards entered with arms reversed, then the band playing the 
"Dead March," followed by the condemned and his son, the 
second platoon bringing up the rear. The cortege marched 
around the whole front of the lined-up troops, keeping step to 
the slow and dismal sounds of the "Dead March." The 
■prisoner walked with the firm and steady step of a Sagamore, 
or an Indian brave marching and singing his death chants, to 
the place of his execution. His son was equally as courageous 
and self-possessed, not a tremor or faltering in either. At 
times the father and son would speak in low, soft tones to each 
other, giving and receiving, perhaps, the last messages, the last 
farewells on earth, the soldier-outcast being now under the 
very shadow of death. 

After making the entire circuit of the square, the condemned 
was conducted to the open space at the eastern side, where a 
Tude stake had been driven in the ground. To this he boldly 
walked, calmly kneeling in front, allowing himself to be ban- 
daged and pinioned thereto. The guards had formed in double 
ranks, fifteen paces in front, his faithful son standing some dis" 
tance to his right, calm, unmoved, and defiant, even in the 
face of all the terrors going on before him. The officer in 
charge gives the command, "ready," thirty hammers spring 
back; "aim," the pieces rise to the shoulders; then, and then 
only, the tension broke, and the unfortunate man, instead of 
the officer, cried out in a loud, metallic voice, "fire." The 
report of the thirty rifles rang out on the stillness of the morn- 
ing; the man at the stake gives a convulsive shudder, his head 
tails listlessly on his breast, blood gushes out in streams, and in 
a moment all is still. The deserter has escaped. 

The authorities at Washington had grown tired of Burn- 
side's failure to either crush I^ongstreet or drive him out of 
East Tennessee, and had sent General Foster to relieve him, 
the latter General bringing with him the standing orders, 
•"Crush or drive out Longstreet." How well General Foster 
21 



322 HISTORY OF EliESHAW'S BRIGADE. 

succeeded will be related further on. In obedience to the 
department's special orders, General lyongstreet had, several 
days previous, sent Wheeler's Cavalry back to General John- 
ston, now commanding Bragg's Army. Our troops had heard 
the confirmation of the report of General Bragg's desperate 
battle at Missionary Ridge — his disastrous defeat, his with- 
drawal to Dalton, and his subsequent relinquishment of com- 
mand of the Army of Tennessee. This had no effect upon our 
troops, no more so than the news of the fall of Vicksburg just 
after Lee's bloody repulse at Gettysburg. The soldiers of the 
Bastern Army had unbounded confidence in themselves and 
their commander, and felt that so long as they stood together 
they were invincible. 

The enemy had fortified a position at Bean's Station, in a 
narrow valley between the Holston River and the Clinch 
Mountains, the valley being about two miles in breadth. This 
force lyongstreet determined to capture, and his plans were 
admirably adapted to bring about the result. To the right of 
the enemy was the river; to their left, a rugged mountain spur,, 
passable at only a few points. Part of our cavalry was to pass 
down the western side of the mountain, close the gaps in rear, 
the infantry to engage the enemy in front until the other por- 
tion of the cavalry could move down the east bank of the river, 
cross over, and get in the enemy's rear, thus cutting off all 
retreat. This part of the Valley of the Holston had been 
pretty well ravaged to supply the Federal Army, and our 
troops, with never more than a day's rations on hand at a 
time, had to be put on short rations, until our subsistence 
trains could gather in a supply and the neighborhood mills 
could grind a few days' rations ahead. Old soldiers know 
what "short rations" mean — next to no rations at all. 

General Longstreet says of the morale of his army at this 
time: "The men were brave, steady, patient. Occasionally 
they called pretty loudly for parched corn, but always in a 
bright, merry mood. There was never a time we did not have 
corn enough, and plenty of wood with which to keep us warm 
and parch our corn. At this distance it seems as almost in- 
credible that we got along as we did, but all were then so 
healthy and strong that we did not feel severely our really 
great hardship. Our serious trouble was in the matter of 
shoes and clothing." 



HISTORY OF KEKSHAW'S BRIGADE. 323 

Early on the morning of the 14th the troops were put in 
motion and marched rapidly down the almost impassable 
thoroughfare. Bushrod Johnston's Division being in the 
front, followed by McLaws' — Kershaw's Brigade in the lead. 
Part of Jenkins' Division was acting as escort for supply trains 
in the surrounding country, and that Division did not join the 
army for .several days. Late in the day of the 15th we came 
in sight of the enemy's breastworks. The Federal artiller}'- 
opened a furious fusilade upon the troops, coming down the 
road with their rifled guns and field mortars. Bushrod John- 
ston had filed to the left of the road and gotten out of range, 
but the screaming shells kept up a continual whiz through the 
ranks of Kershaw. The men hurried along the road to seek 
shelter under a bluff in our front, along the base of which ran 
a small streamlet. The greater portion of the brigade was 
here huddled together in a jam, to avoid the shells flying over- 
head. The enemy must have had presage of our position, for 
they began throwing Shells up in the air from their 6iortars 
and dropping them down upon us, but most fell beyond, while 
a great many exploded in the air. We could see the shells on 
their downward flight, and the men pushed still closer together 
and nearer the clifl".- Here the soldier witnessed one of those 
incidents so often seen in army life that makes him feel that 
at times his life is protected by a hand of some hidden, unseen 
power. His escape from death so often appears miraculous 
that the soldier feels from first to last that he is but "in the 
hollow of His hand," and learns tb trust all to chance and 
Providence. 

As a shell from a mortar came tumbling over and over, just 
above the heads of this mass of humanity, a shout went up 
from those farther back, "Ivook out ! Look out ! There comes 
a shell." Lower and lower it came, all feeling their hopeless- 
ness of escape, should the .shell explode in their midst. Some 
tried to push backwards; others, forward, while a great many 
crowded around and under an ambulance, to which was hitched 
an old broken down horse, standing perfectly still and indiffer- 
ent, and all oblivious to his surroundings. The men gritted 
their teeth, shrugged their shoulders, and waited in death-like 
suspense the falling of the fatal messenger — that peculiar, 
whirling, hissing sound growing nearer and more distinct 
every second. But instead of falling among the men, it fell 



324 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

direct!}' upon the head of the old horse, severing it almost from 
the body, but failed to explode. The jam was so. great that 
some had difficulty in clearing themselves from the falling 
horse. Who of ns are prepared to say whether this was mere 
chance, or that the bo'.t was guided and directed by an invisible 
hand? 

Bushrod Jolmston had formed on the left of the road; Ker- 
shaw marching over the crest of the hill in our front, and put- 
ting his brigade in line of battle on a broad plateau and along 
the foot hills of the mountains on the right. Here the troops 
were halted, to wait the coming up of the rest of the divi.sion 
and Jei. kins' two brigades. The cannonading of the enemy 
was especialh- severe during our halt, and (General Kershaw 
had to frequently shift his regiments to avoid the terrific force 
of the enemy's sliells. It was not the intention of the com- 
manding General to bring on a general engagement here until 
he heard from his cavalry beyond the river and those to the 
west of the mountain. The cavalry had been sent to cut off 
' retreat and close the mountain passes, and the infantry was to 
press moderately in front, in order to hold the enemy in 
position. 

Just before sunset, however, a g^ neral, advance was made. 
One of Kershaw's regiments was climbing along the mountain 
side, endeavoring to gain the enemy's left, and as our skir- 
mishers became hotly engaged, the movements of the regiment 
on the side of the mountain were discovered, and the enemy 
began to retire. Now orders were given to press them hard. 
The rattle of Bushrod Johnston's rifles on our left told of a 
pretty stiff fight he was having. As the long row of bristling 
bayonets of Kershaw's men debouched upon the plain in front 
of the enemy's works, nothing could be seen but one mass of 
blue, making way to the rear in great confusion. Our artil- 
lery was now brought up and put in action, our infantry con- 
tinuing to press forward, sometimes at double-quick. 

We passed over the enemy's entrenchments without firing a 
gun. Night having set in, and General lyongstreet hearing 
from his cavalry that all in the enemy's rear was safe, ordered 
a halt for the night, thinking the game would keep until 
morning. During the night, however, by some misunder- 
standing of orders, the commander of the cavalry withdrew 
from the mountain passes, and the enemy taking advantage of 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 325 

this outlet so unexpectedly offered, made his escape under cover 
of darkness. Here we had another truthful verification of tTie 
oft', quoted aphorism of Burns, about "the best laid plans of 
mice and men." 

This last attempt of Longstreet to bring the enemy to an 
engagement outside of Knoxville proving abortive, the com- 
manding General determined to close the campaign for the 
season, and to put his troops in as comfortable winter quarters 
as possible. This was found on the right or east bank of the 
Holston, near Morristown and the little hamlet of Russellville. 
The brigade crossed the Holston about the 17th of December, 
in a little flat boat, holding about two companies at a time, 
the boat being put backwards and forwards by means of a 
stout rope, the men pulling with their hand.'--. A blinding 
sleet was falling, covering the rope continually with a sheet of 
ice, almost freezing the hands of the thinly clad and birefooted 
soldiers. But there was no murmuring nor complaint — all 
were as jolly and ■ good-natured as if on a picnic excursion. 
Hardship had become a pleasure and sufferings, patriotism. 
There were no sickness, no straggling, nor feelings of self- 
constraint. 

General L,ongstreet speaks thus of his army after he had 
established his camps and the subsistence trains began to 
forage in the rich valleys of the French Broad and Chucky 
Rivers and along the banks of Mossy Creek: 

"With all the plentitude of provisions, and many things, 
which, at the time, seemed luxune*, we were not quite happy. 
Tattered blankets, gnrments, shoes (the later going —some 
gone) opened ways on all sides for piercing winter bhsts. 
There were some hand looms in the country from which we 
occasionally picked up a piece of cloth, and here and there we 
received other comforts — some from kind, some from unwilling 
hands, which could nevertheless spare them. For shoes, we 
were obliged to resort to raw-hides, from beef cattle, as tem- 
porar}' protection from the frozen ground. Then we found 
soldiers who could tan the hides of our beeves, some who 
could make shoes, some who could make shoe pegs, some who 
could make shoe lasts, so that it came about that the hides 
passed rapidly from the beeves to the feet of the soldiers in the 
form of comfortable shoes. ' ' 

We took up very comfortable quarters, in the way that com- 



326 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

fort goes with a soldier — cut off from the outside world. Only 
a few officers had the old army fly tents; the soldiers were 
each supplied, or rather had supplied , themselves upon the 
battlefield of the enemy with small tent flies, about five by 
six feet, so arranged with buttons and button holes that two 
being buttoned together and stretched over a pole would make 
the sides or roof and the third would close the end, making a 
tent about six feet long, five feet wide, and four feet high, in 
which three or four men could sleep very comfortably. In the 
bitter weather great roaring fires were built in front during 
the night, and to which the soldier, by long habit, or a kind 
of intuition, would stretch his feet, when the cold would be- 
come unbearable under his thread-bare blanket. 

But notwithstanding all these disadvantages, the men. of 
Kershaw's Brigade were bent on having a good time in East 
Tennessee. They foraged during the day for apples, chickens, 
butter, or whatever they could find to eat. Some of sporting 
proclivities would purchase a lot of chicken roosters and then 
fight, regiment against regiment, and seemed to enjoy as 
much seeing a fight between a shanghai and a dunghill, as a 
match between gaved Spanish games. 

Many formed the acquaintance of ladies in the surrounding 
country, and they, too, Union as well as Southern, being cut 
ofi" like ourselves — their husbands and brothers being either in 
the Northern or Southern Army — seemed determined on hav- 
ing a good time also. Dancing parties were frequent, and the 
ladies of Southern sympathies gave the ofiicers and soldiers 
royal dinners. 

In this connection, I will relate an anecdote told on our 
gallant Tieutenant Colonel Rutherford, of the Third, by a 
friend of his. 

When the Third South Carolina Regiment of Infantry was 
in East Tennessee, in the month of January, 1864, not only 
did the soldiers find it difiicult to get enough to eat, but their 
supply of shoes and clothing ran pretty low. Those who had 
extra pants or jackets helped their needy friends. Lieutenant 
Colonel Rutherford had turned over his extra pair of pants to 
some one, which left him the pair he wore each day as his only 
stock on hand in the pants line. Heavy snows fell. The 
regiment was encamped very near a pleasant residence, where 
B bevy of pretty girls lived. After an acquaintance of some- 



HisfORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 327 

time, a snow-balling was indulged in. It was observed that 
Colonel Rutherford used his every endeavor to constantly face 
the girls, who were pelting him pretty liberally on all sides. 
After awhile he slipped up and fell, but in his fall his face was 
downward, when lo ! the girls discovered that he had a hole in 
Ws pants. Too good-natured to appear to see his predicament, 
no notice was seemingly taken of his misfortune; but as the 
•officers were about going ofi to bed that night, the married 
lady said to him: 

"Colonel, lay your pants on the chair at your room door to- 
night, and you will find them there again in the morning. 
We hope you won't mind a patch." 

The Colonel, who was always so gallant in actual battle, 
and could not bear to turn his back to the Federal soldiers, 
Tvas just as unwilling to turn his back to snow-balls, who hap- 
pened to be Confederate lasses, and the reason therefor, 
although never told, was discovered by them. 

The weather had gotten down to two degrees below zero,, 
the ground frozen as hard as brick-bats, and the winds whis- 
tled gaily through our tattered tents, our teeth beating tattoo 
•and our limbs shivering from the effects of our scanty clothing 
and shoes. But our wagons were gathering in supplies from 
the rich valleys of the French Broad and the Nollachackey, 
and while we suffered from cold, we generally had provisions 
sufiScient for our want. By the middle of January we had to 
temporarily break up camp to meet the enemy, who had left 
Knoxville with the greater part of the army, and was march- 
ing up on the right banks of the French Broad to near Dan- 
dridge. General Foster seeing the penalty put upon General 
Burnside for not driving out Longstreet from East Tennessee, 
the former undertook to accomplish in this bitter weather 
what the latter had failed to do in comparative good season. 
Our cavalry, with Jenkins' Division, headed direct towards the 
moving column of the enemy, while Mcl/aws' Division marched 
in the direction of Strawberry Plains, with a view to cutting 
off the enemy and forcing him to battle in an open field. But 
■General Granger, in command of the Federal column, was too 
glad to cross the French Broad and beat a hasty retreat to 
.Knoxville. We returned to our old camps, and waited, like 
Micawber, "for something to turn up." 

By some disagreement or want of confidence in General 



328 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

Mcl^aws bj' the commanding General, he was relieved of hi& 
command, and General Kershaw being the senior Brigadier 
General of the division, was placed in command. What the 
differences were between General Longstreet and his Major 
General were never exactly understood by the soldiers. While 
General McLaws may have been a brave soldier and was well 
beloved by ofiEicers and men, still he was wanting in those 
elements to make a successful General of volunteer troops — 
dash, discipline, and promptness in action. 

General L,ongstreet had bent all his energies to the repair- 
ing of the railroad through East Tennesse and Virginia, and 
as soon as this was accomplished, a limited number of soldiers 
were furloughed for twenty-one days. A large lot of shoes 
and clothing was sent us from Richmond, and this helped to- 
make camp life more enjoyable. Not all the men by any 
means could be spared by furlough even for this brief period, 
for we had an active and vigilant foe in our front. Most of 
the men drew their furloughs by lot, those who had been from 
home the longest taking their chances by drawing from a hat, 
"furlough" or "no furlough." 

While in winter quarters, during the spasm of chicken 
fighting, a difEculty occurred between Lieutenant A and 
Private B, of the Third, both good friends, and no better sol- 
diers were ever upon a battlefield. These are not the initials 
of their names, but will answer the purpose at band, and that 
purpose is to show the far-reaching results of the courtmartial 
that followed, and a decision reached under difficulties, that 
the most learned jurist might feel proud of. 

I will say for the benefit of those not learned in the law of 
army regulations, that for an officer to strike a private he is 
cashiered, and for a private to strike an ofiBcer the penalty is 
either death or long imprisonment with ball and chain attach- 
ments. 

Now it appeared to the officers who composed the court- 
martial, Captain Herbert, Lieutenant Garlington, and the 
writer of this (all parties of the Third), that Lieutenant A had 
knocked Private B down. The officer appeared in his own 
defense, and gave in extenuation of his crime, that Private B 
had hit his (Liutenant A's) chicken a stunning blow on the 
head while they were 'petting" them between rounds. Now 
that decision of the courtmartial astonished our Colonel as 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 329 

much as the men who were parties to the combat themselves. 
Now it read something like this — time, dress parade: 

"Whereas, lyieutenant A, of Company , Third South 

Carolina, did strike Private B, of same company and regiment, 
with his fist in the face, that he should receive the severest 
of punishment; but, whereas, Private B did strike the game 
chicken in the hands of I/ieutenant A, without cause or provo- 
cation, therefore both are equally guilty of a crime and misde- 
meanor, and should be privately reprimanded by the Colonel 
commanding." 

Such a laugh as was set up, notwithstanding the grave 
countenance of the Colonel, was never heard on ordinary 
occasions. 



CHAPTER XXVII 

In Winter Quarters, 1863 and 1864— Re-enlist- 
ment. 

Christmas came as usual to the soldiers as to the rest of the 
world, and if Longstreet's men did not have as "merry and 
happy" a Christmas as those at home, and in the armies out- 
side, they had at least a cheerful one. Hid away in the dark 
and mysterious recesses of the houses of many old Unionists, 
was yet a plentitude of "moon-shine," and this the soldiers 
drew out, either by stealth or the eloquent pleadings of a faded 
Confederate bill. Poultry abounded in the far away sections 
of the country, not yet ravaged by either army, which it was a 
pleasure to those fixtures of the army called "foragers" to 
hunt up. The brotherhood of "foragers" was a peculiar insti- 
tute, and some men take as naturally to it as the duck to 
water. They have an eye to business, as well as pleasure, and 
the life of a "forager" becomes almost an art. They have a 
peculiar talent, developed by long practice of nosing out, 
hunting up, and running to quarry anything in the way of 
"eatables or drinkables." During the most stringent times in 
a country that had been tjver-run for years by both armies, 
some men could find provisions and delicacies, and were never 



B30 HISTORY OF EERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

known to be without "one drink left" in their canteens for a 
needy comrade, who had the proper credentials, the Confed- 
erate "shin-plaster." These foragers had the instinct (or 
acqui.ed it) and the gifts gf a "knight of the road" of worm- 
ing out of the good house-wife little dainties, cold meats, and 
stale bread, and ;f there was one drop of the "oh be joyful" 
in the house, these men of peculiar intellect would be sure to 
get it. So with such an acquisition to the army, and in such 
a country as East Tennessee, the soldiers did not sufEer on that 
cold Christmas day. Bright and cheerful fires burned before 
every tent, over which hung a turkey, a chicken, or a choice 
slice of Tennessee pork, or, perhaps, better still, a big, fat 
sausage, with which the smoke-houses along the valleys of the 
French Broad were filled. 

It was my misfortune, or rather good fortune, to be doing 
picket duty on the Holston on that day. Here I had an 
adventure rather out of the regular order in a soldier's life, 
one more suited to the character of Don Quixotte. I, as com- 
mandant of the post, had strict orders not to allow anyone to 
cross the river, as "beyond the Alps lie Italy," beyond the 
Holston lay the enemy. But soldiers, like other men, have 
their trials. While on duty here a buxom, bouncing, rosy 
■cheeked mountain lass came up, with a sack of corn on her 
shoulder, and demanded the boat in order that she might cross 
over to a mill and exchange her corn for meal. This, of 
■course, I had to reluctantly deny, hower gallantl}' disposed I 
might otherwise have been. The lass asked me, with some 
feeling of scorn, "Is the boat yours? " to which I was forced 
to answer in the negative. She protested that she would not 
go back and get a permit or pass from anyone on earth; that 
the boat was not mine, and she had as much right to its use 
as anyone, and that no one should prevent her from getting 
bread for her family, and that "you have no business here at 
best," arguments that were hard to controvert in the face of a 
firey young "diamond in the rough." So to compromi.se mat- 
ters and allow chivalry to take, for the time being, the place 
of duty, I agreed to ferry her over my.self. She placed her 
corn in the middle of the little boat, planting herself erect in the 
prow; I took the stern. The weather was freezing cold, the 
wind strong, and the waves rolled high, the little boat rocking 
to and fro, while I battled with the strong current of the river. 



HISTORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 331 

Once or twice she cast disdainful glances at my feeble and 
emaciate^ form, but at last, in a melting tone, she said: "If 
you can't put the boat over, get up and give me the oar." 
This taunt made me strong, and the buxom mountain girl was 
soon at the mill. While awaiting the coming of the old miller, 
I concluded to take a stroll over the hill in search of further 
adventure. There I found, at a nice old-fashioned farm house, 
a bevy of the prettiest young ladies it had been my pleasure to 
meet in a long while — buoyant, vivacious, cultured, and loyal 
to the core. They did not wait very long to tell me that they 
were ''Rebels to the bone." They invited me and any of my 
friends that I chose to come over the next day and take dinner 
with them, an invitation I was not loath nor slow to accept. 
My mountain acquaintance was rowed back over the HoLston 
in due season, without any of the parting scenes that fiction 
delight in, and the next day, armed with pass-ports, my 
friends and myself were at the old farm house early. My 
companions were Colonel Rutherford, Dr. James Evans, Lieu- 
tenant Hugh Farley, Captains Nance, Gary, and Watts, with 
Adjutant Pope as our chaperone. Words fail me here in giv- 
ing a description of the dinner, as well as of the handsome 
young ladies that our young hostess had invited from the sur- 
rounding country to help us celebrate. 

Now will any reader of this question the fact that Long- 
street's men suffered any great hardships, i.'solated as they were 
from the outside world ? This is but a sample of our suffer- 
ings. We had night parties at the houses of the high and the 
low, dinners in season and out of season, and not an enemy 
outside of the walls of Knoxville. Did we feel the cold ? Did 
the frozen ground cut our feet through our raw-bide mocca- 
sins? Did any of the soldiers long for home or the opening of 
the next campaign ? Bah ! 

It was during our .stay in winter quarters, March, 1864, 
that the terra of our second enlistment expired. The troops 
had volunteered for twelve months at the commencement of 
the war; this expiring just before the seven days' battle around 
Richmond, a re-enlistment and reorganization was ordered in 
the spring of 1862 for two more years, making the term of 
Kershaw's Brigade equal with other troops that had enlisted 
for "three years or the war." By an Act of Congress, in 
1862, all men between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five 



332 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

years were compelled to bear arms. This had been extended 
first to forty and then to forty-five and during Grant's mem- 
orable campaign against Richmond, the ages ran from sixteen 
to fifty-five, though those between sixteen and eighteen and 
those between fifty and fifty-five were to be Used only in State 
service. This brought out the expression of Grant to the 
authorities in Washington, that "I,ee had robbed the cradle 
and the grave." Our re-enlistment was only a form, no 
change in ofiicers or organization. Some few failed to volun- 
tarily re-enlist, not with any view to quit the' army, but some 
had grown weary of. the hard marches of the infantry service 
and wished to join the cavalry. However, when the morning 
came for re-enlistment the troops were called out in line of 
regiments and a call made by the Colonel to all who were 
willing to enlist for the war to step two paces to the firont. 
All, with the very fewest exceptions, stepped proudly to the 
front. Of course, none were permitted to leave his company 
for the cavalry, as that branch of the service was yet filled to 
its full quoto, its ranks had in no discernable degree been 
depleted by the casualties of war. It seemed that fortune 
favored our troopers, for battle as they would, none were 
scarcely ever wounded, and a less number killed. Infantry 
soldiers were furloughed, through wounds, by the thousands, 
and artillerymen by the hundreds, after every great battle, but 
the cavalryman was denied this luxury, and his only hope in a 
furlough wa;s a short leave of absence to replace a wornout 
horse that had fallen by the wayside. Their ranks of fur- 
loughed men in this line were usually quite full. 

As for returning to their homes, no soldier, however humble 
his station, either in the army or socially at home, would have 
dared to leave the service had a discharge been offered him. 
A man in good health and with stout limbs preferred facing 
bullets and even death, rather than bracing the .scorn and con- 
tempt the women of the South had for the man who failed his 
country when his services' were needed. No man, however 
brave, would have had the hardihood to meet his wife or 
mother unless "with his shield or on. it" in this hour of his 
country's need. There were some few exemptions in the con- 
script law; one particularly was where all the men in a neigh- 
borhood had gone or was ordered to the front, one old man to 
five plantations, on which were slaves, was exempted to look 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 333 

after said farms, manage the negroes, and collect the govern- 
ment taxes or tithes. These tithes were one-tenth of all that 
was raised on a plantation— cotton, corn, oats, peas, wheat, 
potatoes, sorghum, etc. — to be delivered to a government 
agent, generall}' a disabled soldier, and by him forwarded to 
the army. 

During the winter most of the vacancies in company and 
field officers were filled by promotion, according to rank. In 
most cases, the office of Third I^ieutenant was left to the 
choice of the men, in pursuance to the old Democratic princi- 
ple, "government by the will of the people." Non-commis- 
sioned officers usually went up by seniority, where competent, 
the same as the commissioned officers. 

All these vacancies were occasioned by the casualties of war 
during the Pennsylvania, Chickamauga, and Knoxville cam- 
paigns. The Seventh, Fifteenth, and Third Battalion were 
without field officers. Captain Huggins was placed in com- 
mand of the Seventh, and Captain Whiter, the Thifd Battal- 
ion. No promotions could be made in the latter, as Major 
Miller and Colonel Rice had not resigned, although both were 
disabled for active service in consequence of wounds. 

There was considerable wrangling in the. Fifteenth over the 
promotion to the Colonelcy. Captain F. S. Lewie, of L,exing- 
ton, claimed it b}' seniority of rank, being senior Captain in 
the regiment. Captain J. B. Davis, of Fairfield, claimed it 
under an Act of the Confederate Congress in regard to the 
rank of old United States officers entering the Confederate ser- 
vice — that the officers of the old army should hold their grade 
and rank in the Confederate Army, the same as before their 
joining the South, irrespective of the date of these commissions 
issued by the war department. Or, in other words, a Lieuten- 
ant in the United States Army should not be given a commis- 
sion over a Captain, or a Captain, ever a Major, Lieutenant 
Colonel, or Colonel, etc., in the Southern Army. As all the 
old army officers entering the service of the South at different 
periods, and all wanted a Generalship, so this mode of ranking 
was adopted, as promising greater harmony and better results. 
Captain Davis had been a Captain in the State service, having 
commanded a company in Gregg's six months' troops around 
Charleston. And, furthermore, Davis was a West Pointer — a 
good disciplinarian, brave, resolute, and an all round good 



334 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

oiEcer. Still Lewie was his peer in every respect, with the 
exception of early military training. Both were graduates of 
medical colleges — well educated, cultured, and both high- 
toned gentlemen of the "Old School." But Lewie was sub- 
ject to serious attacks of a certain disease, which frequently 
incapacitated him for duty, and on marches he was often 
unable to walk, and had to be hauled for days in the ambu- 
lance. Then Lewie's patriotism was greater than his aiiibi_ 
tion, and he was willing to serve in any position for the good 
of the service and for the sake of harmony. Captain Lewie 
thus voluntarily yielded his just claims to the Colonelcy to 
Captain Davis, and accepted the position of Lieutenant Colo- 
nel, places both filled to the end. 

COLONEL J. B. DAVIS. 

Colonel J. B. Davis was born in Fairfield County, of Scotch- 
Irish decent, about the year 1835. He received his early 
education in the schools of the country, at Mount Zion 
Academy, at Winnsboro. in same county. Afterwards he was 
admitted to the United States Military Sclioijl, at West Point, 
but afler remaining for two years, resigned and commenced 
the study of medicine. He graduated some years before the 
war, and entered upon the practice of his pmlession in the 
western part of the county. He was elected Captain of the 
first company raised in Fairfield, and served in Gregg's first 
six mouths' volunteers in Charleston. Alter the fall of Sum- 
ter, his company, with several others, dishanded 

Returning home, he organized a companv for the Confeder- 
ate service, was elected Captain, and joineu the Fifteenth 
Regiment, then forming in Columbia under Colonel De- 
Saussure. He was in all the battles ot the Maryland cam- 
paign, in the brigade under General DrHyttm, -nd in all the 
great battles with Kershaw's Brigade. In the winter of 1863 
he was made Colonel of the Fifteenth, ^nd served with his 
regiment until the surrender. On sever.il occasions he was 
in command of the brigade, as senior Colore i present. He 
was in command at Cold Harbor after the death of Colonel 
Keitt. Colonel Davis wa^ one among tne best tacticians in 
the command; had a soldierly appearance— tall, well-devel- 
oped, a commanding voice, and an all round gi.ud officer. 

He returned home after the war and began the practice ot 
medicine, and continues it to the present. 



HISTORY OP Kershaw's brigade. 335 

COLONEL F. S. LEWIE. 

Colonel F. S. Lewie was born in Lexington County, in 1830, 
and received his early training there. He attended the High 
School at Monticello, in Fairfield County. He taught school 
for awhile, then began the study of medicine. He attended 
the "College of Physicians and Surgeons" in Paris, France, 
for two years, returning a short while before the breaking out 
of hostilities between the North and South. 

At the outbreak of the war he joined Captain Gibbs' Com- 
pany, and was made Orderly Sergeant. He served with that 
company, under Colonel Gregg, in the campaign against Sum- 
ter. His company did not disband when the fort fell, but fol- 
lowed Gregg to Virginia. At the expiration of their term of 
enlistment he returned to Lexington County, raised a com- 
pany, and joined the Fifteenth. He was in most of the, battles, 
in which that regiment was engaged. Was promoted to Lieu- 
tenant Colonel, and in 1864 was elected to the State Senate 
from Lexington. He refused to leave his regiment, and did 
not accept the honor conferred upon him by the people of his 
county. While with his regiment in South Carolina, early in 
the spring of 1865, he was granted a few days' furlough to 
visit his home, at which smallpox had broken out, but was 
captured by Sherman's raiders before reaching home. He was 
parolled in North Carolina. 

He was elected to the Legislature in 1866, serving until 
reconstructioti. He died in 1877. 



There was never a Major appointed afterwards in the 
Fifteenth. 

About the last of January we had another little battle scare, 
but it tailed to materialize. General Longstreet had ordered a 
pontoon bridge from Richmond, and had determined upon a 
decent upon Knoxville. But the authorities at Washington 
having learned of our preparation to make another advance, 
ordered General Thomas to reinforce General Foster with his 
curps, take command in person, and to drive Longstreet 
"beyond the confines of East Tennessee." The enemy's 
civalry was thrown forward, and part of Longstreet's com- 
mand having been ordered East, the movement was aban- 
<l()ne(i; ilu ircleinency of the weather, if ^no Other cause, was 



336 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

sufficient to delay operations. Foster being greatly rein- 
forced, and I^ongstreet's forces reduced by a part of his cav- 
alry going to join Johnston in Georgia, and a brigade of 
infantry ordered to reinforce Lee, the commanding General 
determined to retire higher up the Holston, behind a moun- 
tain chain, near Bull's Gap. 

On the 22d of February we quit our winter quarters, and 
took up our march towards Bull's Gap, and after a few days 
of severe marching we were again snugly encamped behind a 
spur of the mountain, jutting out from the Holston and on to 
the Nolachucky River. A vote of thanks from the Confeder- 
ate States Congress was here read to the troops : 

"Thanking Lieutenant General James Longstreet and the 
officers and men of his command for their patriotic services 
and brilliant achievements in the present war, sharing as they 
have the arduous fatigues and privations of many campaigns 
in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Tennes- 
see," etc. 



CHAPTER XXVIH 

In Camp on the Holston, East Tennessee. 
Return to Virginia. 

While Longstreet's Corps had done some of the most stub- 
born fighting, and the results, as far as victories in battle were 
concerned, were all that could be expected, still it seemed, 
from some faults of the Generals commanding departments, or 
the war department in Richmond, that the fruits of such vic- 
tories were not what the country or General Longstreet ex- 
pected. To merely hold our own, in the face of such over- 
whelming numbers, while great armies were springing up all 
over the North, was not the true policy of the South, as Gen- 
eral Longstreet saw and felt it. We should go foiward and 
gain every inch of ground lost in the last campaign, make all 
that was possible out of our partial successes, drive the enemy 
out of our country wherever he had a foothold, otherwise the 
South would slowly but surely crumble away. So much had 
been expected of Longstreet' s Corps in East Tennessee, and so 



HISTORY OF KBRSHAW'S BRIGADE. 337 

little lasting advantage gained, that bickering among the 
oflBcers began. Brigadier Generals were jealous of Major 
Generals, and even some became jealous or dissatisfied with 
General Longstreet himself. Crimination and recrimination 
were indulged in; censures and charges were made and denied, 
and on the whole the army began to be in rather a bad plight 
for the campaign just commencing. Had it not been for the 
unparalleled patriotism and devotion to their cause, the un- 
daunted courage of the rank and file of the army, little results 
could have been expected. But as soon as the war cry was 
heard and the officers and men had sniffed the fumes of the 
coming battle, all jealousies and animosities were thrown aside, 
and each and every one vied with the other as to who could 
show the greatest prowess in battle, could withstand the great- 
est endurance on marches and in the camp. 

General Law, who cornmanded an Alabama Brigade, had 
been arrested and courtmartialed for failing to support General 
Jenkins at a critical moment, when Burnside was about to be 
entrapped, just before reaching Knoxville. It was claimed by 
his superiors that had Law closed up the gaps, as he had been 
ordered, a great victory would have been gained, but it was 
rumored that Law said "he knew this well enough, and could 
have routed the enemy, but Jenkins would have had the 
credit," so that he sacrificed his men, endangered the army, 
and lost an opportunity for brilliant achievements through 
jealousy of a brother officer. Much correspondence ensued 
between General Longstreet and President Davis, and as usual 
with the latter, he interfered, and had not the Wilderness 
campaign commenced so soon, serious trouble would have been 
the result between General Lee and General Longstreet on 
one side, and President Davis and the war department on the 
other. But General Law never returned to our army, and left 
with any but an ennobling reputation. 

General Robertson, commanding Hood's old Texas Brigade, 
was arrested for indulging in , mutinous conversation with his 
subaltern officers, claiming, it was said, that should General 
Longstreet give him certain orders (yvhile in .camp around 
Lookout Mountain), he would -not. recognize them, unless 
written, and then, only under ^prqtest. He was relieved by 
General Gregg. 

General McLaws was relieved of his command from a want 
22 



338 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

of confidence iji jGeneral Lpngstreet, an4.inpre especially^ foF 
his inactivity and, tardiness. at, the a5sa.ults on Fprt ganders, at 
Knoxville. . On ordinary occasionSi ; General, .MpLaws was 
active and vigilant enough— hi? courage could not ,he dpubted.. 
He and the troop? under him .had adde(J .largely to , the pame 
and fame of the Army of Northen Virginia, . Jle had oncers 
and men under him who.wer^ the,"flovver,Qf qhiyalriy'? of the 
South, and were really the "Old Guard'' of ^I^ee's Army. 
McLaws was a graduate of West Point, .and had seen service 
in Mexico and on the plains of the ,West. , But General Mc- 
Laws vyas not the man for the, times— not the man to command 
such troops as he had— r was not. the officer to lead in, an active, 
vigorous campaign, where all depended.opalertness and dash. 
He was too cautious, and as such, too slow, ,The two Georgia 
brigades, a Mississippi brigade,, and a South Carolina brigade, 
composed mostly of the first volunteers from their respective 
States, needed as a commander a hotspur like our own J.. B. 
Kershaw. While the army watched with sorrow and regret 
the departure of our old and faithful General, one who had 
been with us through so many. scenes of trials, harships, and 
bloodshed, whose, name had been so identified with, that of 
our own as to be almost a part of it, still none could deny 
that the change was better for the service and the Con- 
federacy. 

One great trouble with the organization of our army was 
that too many old and incompetent officers of the old regular 
army commanded it. And the one idea that seemed to haunt 
the, President. was that none but those who had passed through 
the great corridors and halls of West Point could command 
armies or men — that civilians without military training were 
unfit for the work at hand — furthermore, he had favorites, 
that no failures or want of confidence by the men could 
shake his faith in as to ability and Generalship. What the 
army needed was young blood — no old army fossils to com- 
mand the hot-blooded, dashing, enthusiastic volunteers, who 
could do more in their impetuosity with the bayonet in a few 
moments than in days and months of manceuvering, planning, 
and fighting battles by rules or conducting campaigns by fol- 
lowing the precedent of great commanders, but now obsolete. 

When the gallant Joe Kershaw took the command and 
began to feel his way for his Major General's spurs, the divis- 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 339 

ion took on new life. While the brigade was .lo.ath to give 
him up, still they were proud of their little. "Brigadier," who 
had yet to carve out a name for hitriself on, tlje pill,ars of fame, 
and write his achievements high up pn the pages of ^ Jiistory in 
the campaign that was soon to begin. 

It seems from cotemporaneous history that ; President Davis 
was baiting between two opinions, either, to have L,ongstreet 
retire by way of the mountains and relieve the pressure, against 
Johnston, now in command of Bragg's Army, or to iinite with 
I<ee and defend the approaches to Richmond., 

A counsel of war was held in Richmond between the Presi- 
dent, General. Bragg as the military advisor of, his Excellency, 
General Lee, and General Longstreet, to form some plan by 
which Grant might be checked or foiled in the general grand 
advance he was preparing to make along the whole line. The 
Federal armies of Mississippi and Alabama had concentrated in 
front of General Johnston and were gradually pressing him 
back into Georgia. 

Grant had been made commander in chief of all the armies 
of the North, with headquarters with General Meade, in front 
of Lee, and he was bending all his energies, his strategies, and 
boldness in his preparations to strike Lee a fatal blow. 

At this juncture Longstreet came forward with a plan — bold 
in its conception; still bolder in its execution, had it be^n 
adopted — that might have changed the face, if not the fate, of 
the Confederacy. It was to. strip all the forts and garrisons in 
South Carolina and Georgia, form an arm}' of. twenty-five 
thousand men, place them under Beauregard at Charleston, 
board the train for Greenville, S. C. ; then by the overland 
route through the mountain passes of North Carolina, and by 
way of Aberdeen, Va. ; then to make his way for Kentucky; 
Longstreet to follow in Beauregard's wake or between him and 
the Federal Army, and by a shorter line, join Beauregard at 
some convenient point in Kentucky; Johnston to flank Sherman 
and march by way of Middle Tennessee, the whole to avoid 
battle until a grand junction was formed by all the armies, 
somewhere near the Ohio River; then along the Louisville 
Railroad, the sole route of transportation of supplies for the 
Federal Army, fight a great battle, and, if victorious, penetrate 
into Ohio, thereby withdrawing Sherman from his intended 
"march to the sea," relieving Lee by weakening Grant, as 



340 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

that General would be forced to succor the armies forming to 
meet Beauregard. 

This, to an observer at this late hour, seems to have been 
the only practical plan by which the downfall of the Confed- 
eracy could have been averted. However, the President and 
his cabinet decided to coii.tiuue the old tactics of dodging from 
place to place, meeting the hard, stubborn blows of the enemy, 
only waiting the time, when the South, by mere attrition, 
would wear itself out. 

About the loth of April, 1864, we were ordered to strike 
tents and prepare to move on Bristol, from thence to be trans- 
ported to Virginia. All felt as if we were returning to our old 
home, to the brothers we had left after the bloody Gettysburg 
campaign, to fight our way back by way of Chickajuaiigaand 
East Tennessee. We stopped for several days at S^ncellorV 
=^^&. and here had the pleasure of visiting the home of the 
great Jefferson. From thence, down to near Gordonsville. 

The 29th of April, 1864, was a gala day for the troops of 
Longstreet's Corps, at camp near Gordonsville. They were to 
be reviewed and inspected by their old and beloved com- 
mander, General R. E. Lee. Everything po.'^sible that could 
add to our looks and appearances was done to make an accept- 
able display before our commander in chief. Guns were burn- 
ished and rubbed up, cartridg'e boxes and belts polished, and 
the brass buttons and buckles made to look as bright as new. 
Our clothes were patched and brushed up, so far as was in our 
power, boots and shoes greased, the tattered and torn old hats 
were given here and there "a lick and a promise," and on the 
whole I must say we presented not a bad-looking body of sol- 
diers. Out a mile or two was a very large old field, of perhaps 
one hundred acres or more, in which we formed in double 
columns. The artillery stationed on the flank fired thirteen 
guns, the salute to the commander in chief, and as the old 
warrior rode out into 1:he opening, shouts went up that fairly 
shook the earth. Hats and caps flew high in the air, flags 
dipped and waved to and fro, while the drums and fifes struck 
up "Hail to the Chief." General Lee lifted his hat modestly 
.from his head in recognition of the honor done him, and we 
know the old commander's heart swelled with emotion at this 
outburst of enthusiasrn by his old troops on his appearance-. 
If he had had any doubts before as to the loyalty of his troops. 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 341 

this ojd "Rebel yejl" must have soon dispelled them. After 
taking his position near the centre of the columns, the com- 
mand was broken in columns of companies and; marched by 
him, each giving a salute as it passed. It took several hours 
to' pass in review, Kershaw leading with his division, Jenkins 
following. The line was again formed, when General Lee and 
staff, with Longstreet and his staff,, rode around the troops and 
gave them critical inspection. No doubt Lee was then think- 
ing of the bloody day that was soon to come, and how well 
these brave, battle-scarred veterans would sustain the proud 
prestige they had won. 

Returning to our camp, we were put under regular disci- 
pline — drilling, surgeon's call-guards, etc. We were being 
put in active fighting trim and the troops closely kept in camp. 
All were now expecting every moment the summons to the 
battlefield. None doubted the purpo.se for which we were 
brought back to Virginia, and how well Longstreet's Corps 
sustained its name and reputation the Wilderness and Spott- 
sylvania soon showed. Our ranks had been largely recruited 
by the return of furloughed men, and young men attaining 
eighteeh years of age. After .several months of comparative 
rest in our quarters in East Tennessee, nothing but one week 
of strict camp discipline was required to put us in the best of 
fighting order. We had arrived at our pre.seut camp about 
the last week of April, having rested several days at Char- 
lottsville. 

General Lee's Army was a day's, or more, march to the 
north and east of us, on the west bank of the Rapidan River. 
It was Composed of the Second Corps, under Lieutenant Gen- 
eral Ewell, with seventeen thousand and niaety-three men; 
Third Corps, under Lieutenant General A. P. Hill, with 
twenty-two thousand one hundred and ninety-nine; unattached 
commands, one thousand one hundred and twenty-five; 
cavalry, eight thousand seven hundred and twenty-seven; 
artillery, four thousand eight hundred and fifty-four; while 
Longstreet had about ten thousand; putting the entire strength 
of Lee's Army, of all arms, at sixty-three thousand nine 
hundred and ninety-eight. 

General Grant had, as heretofore mentioned, been made 
commander in chief of all the Union armies, while General 
Lee held the same position in the Confederate service. Grant 



342 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

had taken up his headquarters with the Army of the Potomac, 
giving the directioii of this army hi^ personal attention, retain- 
ing, ' howevel'^ Ge'n'&rkl George S. Meade as its immediate 
commander^' 

Grant had divided his army into three corps— Sedond, under 
Major General W. SJ Hancock;' Fifth, Major General G. K. 
Warren; Sixth, Majoi: General John Sedgwick — all in camp 
hear Culpepper Court' House, while a separate corps, under 
Major General A. E. Burnside, was stationed near the railroad 
crossing on the Rappahannock River. 

Lee's Army was divided as follows : Rodes', Johnston's, and 
Early's Divisions, under Lieutenant General Ewell, Second 
Corps; R. .H. Anderson's',' Heath's; and Wilcox's Divisions, 
under Lieutenant (I'enera'l A; P. Hill, Third Corps. 

Longstreet had no Major Generals under him as yet. He 
had two divisions, McLaws' old Division, under Brigadier 
General Kershaw, and Hood's, commanded by Brigadier Gen- 
eral Fields. The division had been led through the East 
Tennessee campaign by General Jenkins, of South Carolina. 
Also a part of a divisidri under Geiieral Bushrod Johnston, of 
the Army of the West. 

Grant had in actual numbers of all arms, equipped and ready 
for battle, one hundred and Sixteen thousand eight hundred 
and eighty-six men. He had forty-nine thousand one hun- 
dred and ninefy-oue liiore infantry and artillery than Lee and 
three thousand six hundred and ninety-seven more cavalry. 
He had but a fraction less than double the forces of the latter. 
With this disparity of numbers, and growing greater every 
day, Lee successfully combatfed Grant for almost a year with- 
out a rest of a week from battle somewhere along his lines. 
Lee had no reinforcernerits to Call up, and no recruits to 
strengthen his ranks, while Grant had at his call an army of 
two million to draw froth at Will, and always had at his imme- 
diate disposal as many troops as he could handle in one field. 
He not only outnumbered Le.fe, but he was far better equipped 
in arms, subsistence, transportation, and cavalry and artillery 
horses. He had in his medical, subsistence, and quartermaster 
departments alone nineteen thousand one' hundred and eighty- 
three, independent of his one hundred and sixteen thousand 
eight hundred and eighty-six, ready for the field, which he 
called non-combattants. While these figures and facts are 



HISTORY OF KKRSHAW'S BRIGADE. 343 

foreign to the "History of Kershaw's Brigade," still I give 
them as matters of general history, that the reader may bet- 
ter understand the herculean undertaking that confronted 
I/ongstreet when he joined his forces with those of Lee's. 
And as thi^, w4s to "be the deciding canipaign of the war, it 
will be better understood by giving the strength and environ- 
ment of each; array. .The Second, South Gajrolina Regiment 
was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Gaillard; the Third, 
by Cblbnel Jas. D. Nance; the Seventh, by Ceiptaih Jerry Gog- 
gans; the "Eighth, by Colonel Henagan; the- Fifteenth, by 
Colonel J. B. Davis; the Third Battalion, by Captain Whiter. 
The brigade wks commanded by Colonel J. D. Kennedy, as 
senior Colonel. ' ' 

Thus stood the command on the morning of the 4th of May, 
but by the shock of battle two days later all was changed. 
Scarcely a cbmmatider of a regiment or brigade^reraained. 
The two military giants of the nineteenth century were about 
tb face each othei', and put to the test the talents, tactics, and 
courage of their respective antagonists.' Both hald Deen suc- 
cessful' beyond alii precedent, and both considered themselves 
invincible in the field. Grant had tact and tenacity, with an 
overwhelming army behind him. Lee had talent, impetuosity, 
and boldness, w^ith ah army of patriots at his command, who 
had never known defeat, and considered themselves superior 
in courage and endurance to any body of men on earth. Well 
might the clash of arms' in the Wilderness' of these mighty 
giants cause the' civilized world to watch and \Jvonddr. Lee 
stood like a lion iU thepath — his capital 'behirtd him, his army 
at ba5^-^while Grant, with equal pugnacity, sought to crush 
' him by sheer force of overwhelming numbers. 



344 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 



CHAPTER XXIX 

Battle of the Wilderness. 

At midnight, on the 3rd of May, Grant put this mighty- 
force of his in motion — the greatest body of men moving to 
combat that had ever been assembled on the continent. On 
the 4th his army crossed the Rapidan, at Germania and Ely's 
Fords, and began moving out towards the turn-pike, leading 
from Orange Court House by way of the Wilderness to 
Fredericksburg. 

On the 5th Ewell had a smart engagement on th$ tururpike, 
while Heath's and Wilcox's Divisions, of Hill's Corps, had 
met successfully a heavy force under Hancock, on the plank 
road — two roads running parallel and about one mile distant. 
Both armies closed the battle at night fall, each holding his 
own field. However, the enemy strongly entrenched in front, 
while Hill's troops, from some cause unexplainable, failed to 
take this precaution, and had it not been for the timely arrival 
of Longstreet at a critical moment, might have been fatal to 
Lee's Army. 

On the morning of the 5th we had orders to march. For- 
agers coming in the night before reported heavy firing in the 
direction of the Rapidan, which proved to be the cavalry en- 
gagement checking Grant at the river fords. All felt after these 
reports, and our orders to march, that the campaign had 
opened. All day we marched along unused roads — through 
fields and thickets, taking every near cut possible. Scarcely 
stopping for a moment to even rest, we found ourselves, at 5 
o'clock in the evening, twenty-eight miles from our starting 
point. Men were too tired and worn out to pitch tents, and 
hearing the orders "to be ready to move at midnight," the 
troops stretched themselves upon the ground to get such com- 
fort and rest as was possible. Promptly at midnight we began 
to move again, and such a march, and under such conditions, 
was never before experienced by the troops. Along blind 
roads, overgrown by underbrush, through fields that had lain 
fallow for years, now studded with bushes and briars, and the 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 345 

night being exceedingly dark, the men floundered and fell as 
they marched. But the needs were too urgent to be slack in 
the march now, so the men struggled with nature in their en- 
deavor to keep in ranks. Sometimes the head of the column 
would lose its way, and during the time it was hunting its 
way back to the lost bridle path, was about the only rest we 
got. The men were already worn out by their forced march 
of the day before, and now they had to exert all their strength 
to its utmost to keep up. About daylight we struck the plank 
road leading from Orange Court House to Fredericksburg, and 
into this we turned and marched down with a swinging step. 
Kershaw's Brigade was leading, followed by Humphreys' and 
Wofford's, with Bryan bringing up the rear. The Second 
South Carolina was in front, then the Third, Seventh, Fif- 
teenth, Third Battalion, and Eighth on extreme right, the 
brigade marching left in front. 

After marching some two miles or more down the plank 
road at a rapid gait, passing Hill's field infirmary, where the 
wounded of the day before were being cared for, we heard a 
sharp firing in our immediate front. Longstreet's artillery 
was far in the rear, floundering along through the blind roads 
as the infantry had done the night before. Our wagons and 
subsistence supplies had not been since dawn of the 5th, 
although this made little difference to the men, as Ivongstreet's 
Corps always marched with three days' rations in their haver- 
sacks, with enough cooking utensils on their backs to meet 
immediate wants. So they were never thfown off their base 
for want of food. The cartridge boxes were filled with forty 
rounds, with twenty more in their pockets, and all ready for 
the fray, 

As soon as the musketry firing was heard, we hastened our 
steps, and as we reached the brow of a small elevation in the 
ground, orders were given to deploy across the road. Colonel 
Gaillard, with the Second, formed on the left of the road, 
while the Third, under Colonel Nance, formed on the right, 
with the other regiments taking their places on the right of the 
Third in their order of march. Field's Division was forming 
rapidly on the left of the plank road, but as yet did not reach 
it, thus the Second was for the time b,eiUg detached to fill up. 
The Mississippians, under Humphreys, had already left the 
plank road in our rear, and so had Wofford, with, his Geor- 



346 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

gians, and were making their way as best they could through 
this tkhgled mbrass 'of the ^A^ildei■ness,' to'forth linedf battl6'on 
Kershaw's ri^Hf. "The'task was difiSciilt in the ektreme, but 
the'men were 'eq'ualto the-btcasibh. ' Bryan's Gebrgia Brigade 
filed off to the right, in rear; ds reserves'.' 

The line had 'not yet formed before a perfect hail of bullets 
came flyiUg overhead arid thSrbugh ' Ouri'anks.'but not a man 
moved, only to allbw' the sta'm^ede'd troops of Heath's and 
Wilcox's to pass to the rear. It Seems that these troops had 
fought the day before', a'nd'lay upon the "b'attlefield with the 
impression thdt they Would be relieved before day. They had 
not rfefbrrbed their lines, nor replenished their atflmunition 
boxes, nor made any preteiition towards protecting their front 
by any kind of work^. The enemy, whO'had likewise occu- 
pied their ground of the day before, had reformed their lines, 
strengthened their position by breastworks — all this within 
two hundred yards of the unsuspecting Confederates. This 
fault lay in' a misunderstanding of oWers, or upon the strong 
presumption that Lotig-street would be up before. the hour of 
cotnbat. Hancock had' ordered his advance at sunrise, and 
after a feeble defense by Heath's and Wilcox's skirmish line, 
the enemy blirst Upon th'e unsuspecting Confederates, while 
some were cooking a hasty meal, others still asleep— all unpre- 
pared for this thiitiderbolf that' fell in their midst. While 
forming his lines' of battle.and While bullets were flying all 
around, General Kershaw came dashing down in front of his 
column, his eyes flashing fire, sitting his horse like a centaur 
— that superb style as Joe Kershaw only could — and said in 
passing us, "Now, fey bid brigade. I expect you to do your 
duty." In all my long experience, in war and peace, I never 
saw such a picture as Kershaw and his war-horse made in 
riding down in frbnt of his' 'ti-ob'ps at the Wilderness. It 
seemed an inspiratibu to every man in line, especially his old 
brigade, Whb knew too well that their conduct to-day would 
either win or lose him his Major General's spurs, and right 
royally did he gain Iherri. The columns were not yet in 
proper order,' but the ' ne'edS' so pressing to eheck the advance 
of the enemy, that a forward movement was ordered, and the 
lines fbrmed'uf) as the trobps matched. 

The second moved forward ori the left of the plank road, in 
support ol a battety stationed there, and which was drawing a 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. . 347 

tremendous fire upon the troops on both sides of the road. 
Down the' gfentle slope ^the' brigade marched,' over and' under 
the tangled shrubber^ 'and 'dvi^arf sapplirgs; While' a' 'T^ithering 
fire was'being pblired into theni by' as yet an utiseen'en^'my. 
Men fell here 'arid "there, ' officers iifging on their' commands 
and brdering them' to' ''hold their" fir^l"' '\A7heti near the 
lower end of the declivity, 'the shodk came. ' Just in frOat of 
us, and riot forty' yards awaj', lay' the eriemV. The long line 
of blue could be seen urider the' ascending sriioke of thousands 
of rifles; the red flashes of their guns seemed to blaze iri our 
very faces. Now the battle was on in eafrifest; The roar of 
Kershaw's guns mingled with those of the enemy. lyOngstreet 
had met his old antagonist of Round, Top, Hancock, the North- 
eirn hero, of Gettysburg. The roar of tbe small arms, min- 
gled with the thunder of ' the cannori' that Longstreet had 
brought forward, echoed and re-echoed up a''nd down the little 
valley, but nevei: to'die away, for new troops were being put 
rapidly in actiori to the right and left of us. M'en rolled and 
writhed in theif last death struggle; woundecl men groped 
their way to the rear, being blinded by' the stifling smoke. 
All commands we're drowned iri this terrible din of battle — the 
earth and elements shook and trembled with the deadly shock 
of combat. Regiments were left without commanders; compa- 
nies, without ofiEcers. The gallant Colonel Gaillard, of the 
Second, had fallen. The intrepid young tolonel of the Third, 
J. D. Nance, had already died in the lead of his regiment. 
The commander of the Seventh, Captain Goggans, was 
wounded. Colonel John D. Kennedy, commanding the 
brigade, had left the field, disabled from further service for 
the day. 

Still the tattle rolled on. It seemed for sl time as if the 
whole Federal Army was upon us — so thick arid fast came the 
death-dealing missiles. Our ranks were being decimated by 
the wounded and the dead, the little valley in the 'Wilderness 
becoming a veritable "Valley of Herinom." The enemy held 
their position with a tenacity, born of desperation, while the 
confederates pressed them with that old-time' Southern vigor 
and valor that no amount of courage could' withstand. Both 
artiiies stood at extreme tension, arid the cord must soon snap 
one way or the other, or it seemed as all would be annihilated. 
I/Ongstreet seeing the desperate struggle in Which Kershaw 



348 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

and Humphreys, on the right, and Hood's old Texans, on the 
left, were now engaged, sought to relieve' the pressure by a 
flank movement with such troops as he had at his disposal. 
R. H. Anderson's Division, of Hill's Corps, had reported to 
him during the time Kershaw was in such deadly throes of 
battle. Four brigades, Wofford's, of Kershaw's, and G. T. 
Anderson's, Mahone's, and Davis', of Anderson's Division, 
were ordered around on our right, to strike the left of Hancock 
But during this manceuver the enemy gradually withdrew 
from our front, and Kershaw's Brigade was relieved by Brat- 
ton's South Carolina Brigade. I quote here from Colonel 
Wallace, of the Second. 

"Kershaw's Division formed line in the midst of this confu- 
sion, like cool and well-trained veterans as they were, checked 
the enemy, and soon drove them back. The Second Regiment 
was on the left of the plank road, near a battery of artillery, 
and although completely flanked at one time by the giving 
away of the troops on the right, gallantly stood their groimd, 
though suffering terribly; they and the battery, keeping up a 
well-directed fire, to the right oblique, until the enemy gave 
way. General Lee now appeared on our left, leading Hood's 
Texas Brigade. We joined our brigade on the right of the 
plank road, and again advanced to the attack. * * * We 
were relieved by Jenkins' Brigade, under command of that 
able and efficient officer, General Bratton, and ordered to the 
rear and rest. We had scarcely thrown ourselves upon the 
ground, when General Bratton requested that a regiment be 
sent him to fill a gap in the lines, which the enemy had dis- 
covered and were preparing to break through. I was ordered 
to take the Second Regiment and report to him. A staff 
officer showed me the gap, when I double quicked to it, just in 
time, as the enemy were within forty yards of it. As we 
reached the point we poured a well-directed volley into them, 
killing a large number, and putting the rest, to flight. Gen- 
eral Bratton witnessed the conduct of the regiment on this 
occasion and spoke of it ip the highest terms." 

But, meanwhile, Longstreet's flanking columns were steadily 
making their way around the enemy's left. At ten o'clock 
the final crash cfeme. Like an avalanche from a mountain 
side, Wofford, Mahone, Anderson, and Davis rushed upon the 
enemy's exposed flank, doubling up Hancock's left upon his 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 349 

center, putting all to flight and confusion. In vain did the 
Federal commander try to bring order out of confusion, but 
at this critical moment Wadsworth, his leading Division Gen- 
eral, fell mortally wounded. Thus being left without a com- 
mander, his whole division gave wayy having, with Stephen's 
Division, been holding Fields in desperate battle. The whole 
of Hancock's troops to the right of the plank road was swept 
across it by the sudden onslaught of the flanking column, only 
to be impeded by the meeting and mixing with Wadsworth's 
and Stephen's retreating divisions. 

At this moment a sad and most regretable occurrence took 
place, that, in a measure, somewhat nullified the fruits of one 
of the greatest victories of the war. One of Mahone's regi- 
ments, gaining the plank road in advance of the other portion 
of the flanking column, and seeing Wadsworth givjng such 
steady battle to Fields, rushed over and beyond the road and 
assailed his right, which soon gave way. Generals L,ongstreet, 
Kershaw, and Jenkins, with their staffs, came riding down the 
plank road, just as the Virginia Regiment beyond the road 
was returning to join its brigade. The other regiments com- 
ing up at this moment, and seeing through the dense smoke 
what they corisidered an advancing foe, fired upon the return- 
ing regiment just as General Longstreet and party rode be- 
tween. General Jenkins fell dead, Longstreet badly wounded. 
Captain Doby, of Kershaw's staff, also was killed, together 
with several couriers killed and wounded. 

This unfortunate occurrence put a check to a vigorous pur- 
suit of the flying enemy, partly by the fall of the corps com- 
mander and the frightful loss in brigade and regimental com- 
manders, to say nothing of the of&cers of the line. Captain 
Doby was one of the most dashing, fearless, and accomplished 
officers that South Carolina had furnished during the war. 
The entre brigade had witnessed his undatinted valor on so 
many battlefields, especially at Mayree's Hill and Zoar 
Church, that it was with the greatest sorrow they heard of 
his death.- Captain Doby had seemed to live a charmed life 
while riding' thrcttigh safely the storms upon storms of the 
enemy's.battres, that it made it doubly Sad to think'of his 
dying at the hands of h-is ■ttiistaken friends.' On 'this same 
plank road; only a'fewmiles'distant. General Jackson' lost his 
life one year before, under similar circumstances, and at the 



350 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

hands of the sapie troops. Had it not beep for the qoplness of 
General Kershaw, in riding, oi;it to where, h^ heard Jenkins' 
rifles clicking tp retijrn the fire, and called out, '-Friends," it 
would be difltt.cult to tell what might have been the result. , 

To show . the. light in which the actions of Kershaw's 
Brigade were held in thus throwing itself between I,ee and 
impending disaster at this critical moment, and stemming the 
tide of battle singlehanded and alone, until his lines were 
formed, I will quote an extract from an unprejudiced and 
impartial eye witness, Captain J. F. J. Caldwell, who in his 
"History of McGowan's Brigade" pays this glowing but just 
tribute to Kershaw and his men. In speaking of the surprise 
and confusion in which a part of Hill's Corps was thrown, be 
says: , 

"We were now informed that Longstreet was near at hand, 
with twenty-five thousand fresh men. This was good matter 
to rally on. We were marched to the plank road by special 
order of General Hill; but just as we were crossing it, we 
received orders to return to the left. We saw General Ivong- 
street riding down the road towards us, followed by his column 
of troops. The firing of the enemy, of late rather scattering, 
now became fierce and incessant, and we could hear a reply to 
it from outside. Kershaw's South Carolina Brigade, of 
Mclyaws' (afterwards Kershaw's) Division, had met them. 
The fire on both sides of the road increased to a continuous 
roar. Kershaw's Brigade was extended across the road, and 
received the grand charge of the Federals. Members of that 
Brigade have told me that the enemy rushed upon them at the 
double-quick, huzzahing loudly. The woods were filled with 
Confederate fugatives. Three brigades of Wilcox's Division 
and all of Heath's were driven more or less rapidly, crowding 
together in hopeless disorder, and only to be wondered at 
when any of them attempted to make a stand. Yet Kershaw's 
Brigade bore themselves with illustrious gallantry. Some of 
the regiments had not only to deploy under fire, but when 
they were formed, to force their way through crowds of flying 
men, and re-established their linfes. They met Grant's 
legions, opened a cool and murderous fire upon them, and 
continued it so steadily and resolutely, that the latter were 
compelled to give back. Here I honestly believe the Army of 
Northern Virginia was saved! Th« brigade sustained a heavy 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 351 

loss, beginning with many patient., .gallant spirits ,in .the ranks, 
and culminating in Nance, G^illard,. and Dob}'.," 

No further pursuit being mad,e, by Kershaw's Brigade dur-. 
ing the day, it was allowed, to ^e^t- a,fter its day and night 
march and the bloody and trying ordeal of the morning. 
Friends were hunting out friends among, the dead and 
wounded. The litter-bearers, were io.Qking ., after those too 
badly wounded to make their way to the rear. 

Dr. Salmond had established his brigade hospital near where 
the battle had begun in, the morning, and to, this haven of the 
wounded those who were able to, walk were making their way. 
In the rear of a battlefield ar^ scenes too sickening for sensi^ 
tive eyes and ears. Here you see men, with leg shattered, 
pulling themselves to the rea.' by the strength of their arms 
alone, or exerting themselves to the utmost to get to. some place 
where they will be partially .sheltered from the hail of .bullets 
falling all around; men, with, arms swinging helplessly by 
their sides, aiding some comrade worse crippled than them- 
selves; others on the ground appealing for help, but are forced 
to remain on the field amid all the carnage going on around 
them, helpless and almost hopeless, until the battle is over, 
and, if still alive, await their turn from the litter-bearers. The 
bravest and best men dread to die, and the halo that surrounds 
death upon the battlefield is but scant consolation to the 
wounded soldier, and he clings to Ijfe with that same tenacity 
after he has fallen, as the man of the world in '.'piping times 
of peace." 

Just in rear of where Colonel Nance fell, I. saw one of the 
sadest sights I almost ever witnessed. A soldier from Com- 
pany C, Third South Carolina, a young soldier just, verging 
into manhood, had been shot in the first advance, the bullet 
severing the great artery of the thigh. The young man 
seeing his danger of bleeding to death before succor could 
possibly reach him, had struggled behind a small sapling. 
Bracing himself against it, he undertook deliberative measures 
for saving his life. Tying a handkerchief above the wound, 
placing a small stone underneath and just over the artery, and 
putting a stick between the handkerchief and his'Ieg, he began 
to tighten by twisting the stick around. Bat too late; life had 
fled, leaving both hands clasping the stick, kis «y«s glassy and 
fixed. 



352 HISTORY OP KERSHAW'S BRIGADK. 

The next day was devoted to the burying of the dead and 
gathering such rest as was possible. It was my misfortune to 
be wounded near the close of the engagement, in a few feet of 
where lay the lamented Colonel Nance. The regiment in 
some way became doubled up somewhat on the center, perhaps 
in giving way for the Second to come in, and here lay the 
dead in greater numbers than it was ever my fortune to see, 
not even before the stone wall at Fredericksburg. 

In rear of this the surgeons had stretched their great hos- 
pital tents, over which the yellow flag floated. The surgeons 
and assistant surgeons never get their meed of praise in sum- 
ming up the "news of the battle." The latter follow close 
upon the line of battle and give such temporary relief to the 
bleeding soldiers as will enable them to reach the field hos- 
pital. The yellow flag does not always protect the surgeons 
and their assistants, as shells scream and burst overhead as the 
tide of battle rolls backward and forward. Not a moment of 
rest or sleep do these faithful servants of the army get until 
every wound is dressed and the hundred of arms and legs 
amputated, with that skill and caution for which the army 
surgeons are so proverbially noted. With the same dispatch 
are those, who are able to be moved, bundled off to some city 
hospital in the rear. 

In a large fly-tent, near the roadside, lay dying the North- 
ern millionaire, General Wadsworth, The Confederates had 
been as careful of his wants and respectful to his station as if 
he had been one of their own Generals. I went in to look at 
the General who could command more ready gold than the 
Confederate States had in its treasury. His hat had been 
placed over his face, and as I raised it, his heavy breathing, 
his eyes closed, his cold, clamy face showed that the end was 
-near. There lay dying the multi-millionaire in an enemy's 
country, not a friend near to hear his last farewell or soothe 
his last moments by a friendly touch on the pallid brow. Still 
he, like all soldiers on either side, died for what he thought 
was right. 

"He fails npt, who stakes his all, 

■ Up'on the right, aad dares to fall ; 

■ What, though the living bless or blame 
For him, the long success of fame." 

Hospital trains had been run up to the nearest railroad 



HISTORY OV KERSHAW* SBRIGABE. 853 

Station in the rear, bringing those ministering angels of 
mercy, the "Citizens' Relief Corps,'' composed of the best 
matrons and maidens of Richmond, led by the old men of the 
city. They brought crutches by the hundreds and bandages 
by the bolt. Every delicacy that the South afforded these 
noble dames of Virginia had at the disposal of the wounded 
soldiers. How many thousands of Confederate soldiers have 
cause to bless these noble women of Virginia. They were the 
spartan mothers and sisters of the South. 

COtONEI, JAMES D. NANCE. 

I do not think I would be accused of being partial in saying 
that Colonel Nance was the best all round soldier in Kershaw's 
Brigade, none excepted. I have no allusion to the man, but 
the soldier alone. Neither do I refer to qualities of courage, 
for all were brave, but to efficiency. First to recommend him 
was his military education and training. He was a thorough 
tactician and disciplinarian, and was only equaled in this 
respect by General Connor. In battle he was ever cool and 
eoUected^he was vigilant, aggressive, and brave. Never for 
a moment was he thrown off his base or lost his head under 
the most trying emergencies. His evolution in changing the 
front of his regiment from columns of fours to a line of battle 
on Mayree's Hill, under a galling fire from artillery and mus- 
ketry, won the admiration of all who witnessed it. Socially, 
he had the manners of a woman — quiet, unassuming, tender 
of heart, and of refined feelings. On duty — the march or in 
battle — he was strict and exacting, almost to sternness. He 
never sought comfort or the welfare of himself — the interest, 
the safety, the well being of his men seemed to be his ruling 
aim and ambition. 

I append a short sketch of Colonel Nance taken from Dr. 
Barksdale's book, "Eminent and Representative Men of the 
Carolinas :" 

"Colonel James Drayton Nance, the subject of this sketch, 
was born in Newberry, S. C, October loth, 1837, and was the 
son of Drayton and Lucy (Williams) Nance. He received 
his school education at Newberry, and was graduated from the 
Citadel Military Academy, at Charleston. In 1859 he was 
admitted to the bar and began the practice of law at New- 
berry. . • . 
23 



354 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

"When the State seceded from the Union, Dedember, i860,, 
and volunteers for her defense were called for, he *as unani- 
mously elected Captain of "The Quitman Rifles," an infantry- 
company formed at Newberry, and afterwards incorporated, 
into the Third Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers. With 
his company he was mustered into the Confederate service at. 
Columbia in April, 1861, and was in command of the company 
at the first battle of Manassas and in the Peninsula campaign, 
in Virginia. 

"On May 16th, 1862, upon the reorganization of the Third 
Regiment, he was chosen its Colonel, a position which he- 
filled until his death. As Colonel, he commanded the regi- 
ment in the various battles around Richmond, June and July,. 
1862, Second Manassas, Maryland Heights, Sharpsburg,. 
Fredericksburg (where he was severely wounded), Gettys- 
burg, Chickamauga, Knoxville, and the Wilderness, where on 
the 6th of May, 1864, he was instantly killed. His body was- 
brought home and interred at Newberry with fitting honors. 
He was a brave, brilliant young officer, possessing the confi- 
dence and high regard of his command in an extraordinary 
degree, and had he lived, would have risen to higher rank and 
honor. His valuable services and spleuded qualities and 
achievements in battle and in council were noted and appreci- 
ated, as evidenced by the fact that at the time of his death a 
commission of Brigadier General had beet, decided upon as his 
just due for meritorious conduct. 

"At the age of seventeen he professed religion and united 
with the Baptist Church at Newberry, and from that time to 
his death was distinguished for his Christian consistency." 

LIEUTENANT COLONEL FRANKLIN GAILLARD. 

Lieutenant Colonel Franklin Gaillard is not known to fame 
by his military record alone, but was known and admired all 
over the State as the writer of the fiery editorials in the 
"Carolinian," a paper published in Columbia during the days 
just preceding Secession, and noted for its ardent State Rights 
sentiment. These eloquent, forcible, and fearless discussions- 
of the questions of the day by young G-aillard was a potent 
factor in shaping the course of public sentiment and rousing 
the people to duty and action, from the Mountains to the Sea^ 
Through the columns of this paper, then the leading one in. 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 355 

the State, he paved the way and prepared the people for the 
great struggle soon to, take place, stimulating them to an en- 
thusiasm almost boundless. 

He was in after years as fearless and bold with the sword as 
he had been with the pen. He was not the man to turn his 
back upon his countrymen, whose war-like passions he had 
aroused, when the titne for action came. He led them to the 
fray — a paladin with the pen, a Bayard with the sword. He 
was an accomplished gentleman, a brave soldier, a trusted and 
impartial officer, a peer of any in Kershaw's Brigade. 

Colonel Gaillard was born in 1829, in the village of Pine- 
ville, in the present County of Berkeley. In his early child- 
hood his father, Thomas Gaillard, removed to Alabama. But 
not long thereafter Franklin returned to this State, to the 
home of his uncle, David Gaillard, of Fairfield County. Here 
he attended the Mount Zion iVcaderay, in Winnsboro. under 
the distinguished administration of J. W. Hudson. In the fall 
of 1846 he entered the South Carolina College, and graduated 
with honor in the class of 1849, being valedictorian of the class. 
Shortly after graduation, in company with friends and rela- 
tives from this State and Alabama, he went to California in 
search of the "yellow metal," the find of which, at that time, 
was electrifying the young men throughout the States. 

After two or three years of indiflFerent success, he returned 
to this State once more, making his home with his uncle, in 
Winnsboro. In 1853 (or thereabout ) he became the proprie- 
tor of the "Winnsboro Register," and continued to conduct 
, this journal, as editor and proprietor, until 1857, when he was 
called to Columbia as editor of the "Carolinian," then owned 
by Dr. Robert W. Gibbes, of Richland, and was filling that 
position at the time of the call to arms, in 1861, when he 
entered the service in Captain Casson's Company, as a Lieu- 
tenant, and became a member of the renowned Second Regi- 
ment. 

In March, 1853, he was married to Miss Catherine C. 
Porcher, of Charleston, but this union was terminated in a few 
years by the death of the wife. Colonel Gaillard left two 
children, one son and one daughter, who still survive, the son 
a distinguished physician, of Texas, and the daughter the 
wife of Preston S. Brooks, son of the famous statesman of that 
name, now of Tennessee. 



; HISTORY OK'.KB.KSffli'W'iS "BSIGAEIE. 

: Golonel- GaiUard was a descendant of .a'Ejren'efaHitigtietiot 
emigrant, who, with tnany others, settled MthiS'Stafearfterthe 
Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, in 1685-. 



CHAPTER XXX 

Brock's Cross Road and SpottSylvania to North 

Anna. 

Having been wounded in the l^st assault, I insert here 
Adjutant Y. J. Pope's description of the operations of Ker- 
shaw's Brigade from the Wilderness to North Anna River, 
covering a period of perhaps two weeks of incessant fighting. 
The corps had been put under the command of Major General 
R. H. Anderson, known throughout the army as "Fighting 
Dick Anderson." His division had been assigned to I,ong- 
street's Corps in the place oi Pickett's, now on detached ser- 
vice. Colonel Hennegan, of the Eighth, commanded the 
brigade as senior Colonel. 

NORTH ANNA PIVER, VIRGINIA.' 

How many times, as soldiers, have v\e crossed this stream, 
and little did we imagine in crossing that on its banks we 
would be called upon to meet the enemy. "Man proposes, but 
God disposes." In may, 1864, after the battles of the Wilder- 
ness, Brock's Road, and Spottsylvania — .stop a minute- and 
think of these battles — don't 5 on recall how, on that midnight 
of the 5th day of May, 1864, the order came, "Form your 
regiments," and then the order. came to march? Through the 
■woods we went. The stars shown so brightly. The hooting 
of the owls was our only music. The young Colonel at the 
head of his regiment would sing, in his quiet way, snatches of 
the hynins he had heard the village choir sing so often and so 
sweetly, and then "Hear me Norma." His mind was clear; 
he had made up his determination to face the day of battle, 
with a calm confidence in the power of the God he trusted and 
in the wisdom of His decrees. The Adjutant rode silently by 
his side. At length daylight appears. We have at last struck 
in our march the plank road. The sun begins to rise, when 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 357 

all of a suddfen we hear the roll of rriusketry. The armies are ■ 
at work; General Lee has riddeh tip the plank road with hiS'- 
First Lieutenant, the tried, brave old soldier, Longstreet. 

Nance has fallen, pierced by five balls, but we knew it not. 
Every hand is full. Preseritly, our four companies came up; 
so gallantly they looked as they came. Promptly filling up 
the broketi' line, we now move forward once more, never to 
fall back. We have Nance's body. The wild flowers around 
about him look so beautiful and sweet, and some of them are 
plftfckfed by his friend to send to his sister, Mrs. Baxter 

But go back to the fight. It rages wildly all around. 
Presently, a crash comes from the right. It is Longstreet at 
the head of the flanking coltimn, and then Hancock is swept 
from the field in front. Joy is upon us. Hastily Longstreet 
rides to the front. Then a volley and he falls, not dead, but 
so Shattered that it will be months before we see him again. 
Then conies the peerless chieftain, Lee, and he orders the pur- 
suing columns to halt. A line of hastily constructed field- 
works arise. A shout — such a shout rolls from right to left of 
Lee's lines. It has a meaning, and that meaning is that 
Grant's advance is bafSed! But the Federal commander is not 
to be shut off. If he cannot advance one way, he will another. 
Hence, the parallel lines are started — the farther he stretches 
to our right, we must stretch also. 

So now comes the affair at Brock's Road, on the 8th of May, 
1864. As before remarked. Grant commenced his attempt at 
a flank movement, by means of an extension of his columns 
parallel to ours, hoping to meet some opening through which 
he might pour a torrent of armed men. Early in the morning 
of the 8th of May, 1864, we are aroused and begin our march. 
Soon we see an old Virginia gentleman, bareheaded and with- 
out his shoes, riding in haste towards us. He reports that our 
cavalry are holding the enemy back on Brock's Road, but that 
the Federal infantry are seen to be forming for the attack, 
and, of course, our cavalry cannot stand such a pressure. 
General Kershaw orders us forward in double-quick. Still we 
are not then. Then it was that a gallant cavalryman rushes' 
to us and said, "Run for our rail piles; the Federal infantry 
will reach them first, if you don't run." Our men sprang for- 
ward as if by magic. We occupy the rail piles in timfe to see 
a column, a gallant column, moving towards' us, about sixty 



358 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

yards away. Fire, deadening fire, is poured into that column 
by our men. A gallant Federal officer rides just in rear, 
directing the movement. "Pick that officer off of his horse," 
is the command given to two or three of our cool marksmen. 
He falls. The column staggers and then falls back. Once more 
they come to time. We are better prepared for them. 

Right here let me state a funny occurrence. Sim Price 
observed old man John Duckett, in the excitement, shooting 
his rifle high over the heads of the Yankees. This was too 
much for Sim Price, and he said, "Good God, John Duckett, 
are you shooting at the moon?" 

Here is the gallant J. E. B. Stuart, Lieutenant General, 
commanding the cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia, 
with hat oflF, waiving it in an enthusiastic cheering of the 
gallant men of the old Third. Well he may, for the line they 
held on that day was that adopted by General Lee for the 
famous Spottsylvania battle. 

Just prior to the battle of Spottsylvania Court House, which 
was fought on the 12th of May, 1864, sharpshooters were 
posted in trees in the woods, and kept up a pretty constant 
fusilade when any head showed itself. It is recalled that 
when Major R. P. Todd returned to our command an officer, 
eager to hear from his home in South Carolina, entered a little 
fly-tent with Todd, and presently one of these sharpshooters 
put a ball through this tent, between the heads of the two. 
Maybe they didn't move quickly. Here it was, that lest a 
night attack might be made, one-third of the men were kept 
in the trenches all the time, day and night. One of these 
nights, possibly the nth of May, a staff' officer stole quieily 
where the Colonel and Adjutant were lying and whispered, 
"It is thought that the enemy have gotten betwixt our out 
posts and the breastworks and intend to make a night attack. 
So awaken the soldiers and put every man in the trenches." 
The Colonel wtnt to one end of the line and the Adjutant to 
the other, and soon had our trenches manned. The Colonel 
was observed full of laughter, and when questioned, stated 
that on going to the left wing of the regiment to awaken the 
men, he came across a soldier with some small branches kin- 
dled into a blaze, making himself a cup of coffee. He spoke to 
the soldier, saying: 

"Who is that?" 



HISTORY OF KBHSHAW'S BRIGADE. 359 

The soldier replied, not recognizing the Colonel's voice: 
■* 'Who in the h — 1 are you?' ' 

The Colonel said: 'I Don't you know the Yankees are be- 
tween the pickets and the breastworks, and will soon attack 
our whole line?" 

He reported the man at these words, saying: "The Jesus 
Christ, Colonel!" rolling as he spoke, and he never stopped 
rolling until he fell into the. pit at the works. Never was a 
revolution in sentiment and action more quickly wrought than 
on this occasion with this soldier. 

It is needless to speak of the battle of Spottsylvania Court 
House, except to remark that here our comrades of McGowan's 
Brigade showed of what stuff they were made, and by their 
gallantry and stubborn fighting, saved the day for General 
lyce. 

Soon after this battle General Grant, though baffled by its 
result, renewed his effort to reach Richmond. By a rapid 
march. General Lee was before Grant's columns at the North 
Anna River. Here we hoped the enemy would attack us. On 
the South side of this river, on the road leading to Hanover' 
Junction, good heavy works had been completed, while a fort 
of inferior proportions on the North side was intended to pro- 
tect the bridge across the river frpm raiding parties of the 
enemy. To our surprise, when the part of our army that was 
designed to cross the river at this point, had crossed over, the 
Third Regiment, James' Battalion, and the Seventh Regiment 
were left behind about this fort. We had no idea that anj'- 
thing serious was intended; but after awhile it leaked out that 
General Lee needed some time to complete a line of works 
from one point of the riyer to another on the same stream, on 
the South side, and that it was intended that the bare handful 
of men with us were intended to hold the approach to the 
bridge in face of the tens of thousands of Grant's Army in our 
front. Trying to realize the task assigned us, positions were 
assigned the different forces with us. It was seen that the 
Seventh Regiment, when stretched to the left of the fort, 
■could not occupy, even by a thin line, the territory near them. 
We were promised the co-operation of artillery just on the 
■other side of the river. Presently the attack opened on the 
light and center, but this attack we repulsed. Again the 
same points were assailed, with alike result. Then the attack 



360 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

was made on our left, and although the Seventh Regiment did 
its whole duty, gradually our left was seen to give way. This 
emboldened the enemy to press our right and center again, 
but they were firm. It was manifest now that the enemy 
would soon be in our rear, and as the sun was sinking to rest 
in the West, we made a bold dash to cross the river in our 
rear, bringing down upon us the enemy's artillery fire of shot 
and shell, as well as musketry. It looked hard to tell which 
way across the river was best — whether by way of the bridge, 
or to wade across. It was said our Lieutenant Colonel, who 
was on foot when reaching the opposite bank, and finding his 
boots full of water, said to a soldier: "Tom, give me your 
hand." "No, no, Major," was the reply; "this is no time for 
giving hands." The ascent of the long bill on the South side 
was made under the heavy fire of the enemy. When at its 
height, a stuttering soldier proposed to a comrade to lay down 
and let him get behind him. Of course the proposition was 
declined without thanks. When we reformed at the top of 
the hill, there was quite a fund of jokes told. Amongst 
others, the one last stated, Tom Paysinger said: "Nels. , if I 
had been there, I would have killed myself laughing. ' ' Where- 
upon, the stutterer said: "T-T-Tom Paysinger, I .saw a heap 
of men down there, but not one that laughed." 

War has its humorous as well as its serious side, and many 
a joke was cracked in battle, or if not mentioned then, the 
joke was told soon afterwards. It is recalled just here that in 
this battle an officer, who had escaped being wounded up to 
that time, was painfully wounded. When being borne on the 
way to the rear on a stretcher, he was heard to exclaim: "Oh I 
that I had been a good man. Oh! that I had listened to my 
mother." When he returned to the army, many a laugh was 
had at his expense when these expressions would be reported. 
But the officer got even with one of his tormentors, who was 
one of the bearers of the litter upon which the officer was borne 
away, for while this young man was at his best in imitating 
the words and tone of the wounded man, he was suddenly 
arrested by the words: "Yes, I remember when a shell burst 
pretty close you forgot me, and dropped your end of the lit- 
ter." The laugh was turned. All this, however, ^as :i-a 
perfect good humor. 



HISTORY OF KBRSHAW'S BRIGADK. 361' 

It-hfts'been shown how' Kershaw's South Garelina Brigade 
closed the breach in Lee's Army on the 6th of May, and 
turned disaster into a glorious victory, atid iasthe 12th of May, 
at "Bloody Angle," near Spottsylvania Court house, will go 
dowd in history as one among the most memorable battles of 
all time; I wish to show how another gallant South Carolina 
Brigade (McGowan's) withstood the shock of the greater por- 
tion of Grant's Army, and saved Lee's Army from disaster 
during the greater part of one day. This account is also taken 
from Captain Caldwell's "History of McGowan's Brigade." 
Being an active participant, he is well qualified to give a 
truthful version, and I give in his own language his graphic 
description of the battle of the "Bloody Angle." 

HISTORY OF MCGO WAN's BRIGADE. 

Reaching the summit of an open hill, where stood a little 
old house, and its surrounding naked orchard, we were fronted 
and ordered forward on the left of the road. * * * Now 
we entered the battle. There were two lines of works before 
us; the first or inner line, from a hundred and fifty to two 
hundred yards in front of us; the second or outer line, perhaps 
a hundred yards beyond it, and parallel to it. There were 
troops in the outer line, but in the inner one only what ap- 
peared to be masses without organization. The enemy were 
firing in front of the extreme right of the brigade, and their 
balls came obliquely down our line; but we could not discover, 
on account of the woods about the point of firing, under what 
circumstances the battle was held. There was a good deal of 
doubt as to how far we were to go, or in what direction. * * * 
The truth is, the road by which we had come was not at all 
straight, which made the right of the line front much farther 
north than the rest, and the fire was too hot for us to wait for 
the long loose column to close up, so as to make an entirely 
orderly advance. More than this, there was a death struggle 
ahead, which must be met instantly. We advanced at a 
double-quick, cheering loudly, and entered the inner works. 
Whether by order or tacit understanding, we halted here, ex- 
cept the Twelfth Regiment, which was the right of the bri- 
gade. That moved at once to the outer line, and threw itself 
with its wanted impetuosity into the heart of the battle. * * * 
The brigade advanced upon the \vorkSi About the time we 



362 HISTORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 

readied the inner lines, General McGowan was wounded by a 
iminie ball in the arm, and forced to quit the field. Colonel 
Brockman, senior Colonel present, was also wounded, and 
Colonel BroWn, of the Fourteenth' Regiment, assumed com- 
mand then or a little later. The four regiments, the First, 
Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Rifles (the Twelfth had passed on 
"to the outer line), closed up and arranged their lines. Soon 
the order was given to advance to the outer Hue. We did so 
with a cheer and a double-quick, plunging through mud knee 
■deep and getting in as best we could. Here, however, lay 
Harris' Mississippi Brigade. We were Ordered to close to the 
right. We moved by the flank, up the works, under the 
fatally accurate firing of the enemy, and ranged ourselves 
-along the entrenchments. The sight we encountered was not 
•calculated to encourage us The trenches dug on the inner 
•side were almost filled with water. Dead men lay on the sur- 
face of the ground and in the pools of water. The wounded 
bled, stretched, and groaned, or huddled in every attitude of 
pain. The water was crimson with blood. Abandoned knap- 
sacks, guns, and accourtrements, with ammunition boxes, 
were scattered all around. In the rear disabled caissons stood 
and limbers of guns. The rain poured heavily, and an inces- 
sant fire was kept upon us from front and flank. The enemy 
•still held the works on the' right of the angle, and fired across 
the traverses. Nor were these foes easily seen. They barely 
laised their heads above the logs at the moment of firing. It 
was plainly a question of bravery and endurance now. 

We entered upon the task with all our might. Some fired 
-at the line lying in our front on the edge of the ridge before 
■described; others kept down the enemy lodged in the traverses 
-on the right. At one or two places Confederates and Fed- 
'crals were only separated by the works, and the latter not a 
few times reached their guns over and fired right down upon 
ithe heads of the former. So continued the painfully unvary- 
ing battle for more ihan two hours. At the end of that time a 
Tumor arose that the enemy was desirous to come in and sur- 
render. Colonel Brown gives the following in his oflficial 
report: "About two o'clock P. M; the firing ceased along the 
line, and I observed the enemy, standing up in our front, their 
colors flying and arms pointing upwards. I called to them to 
lay down their arms and come in. An o65cer answered that 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S" BRIGADE. 363 

he was waiting 'out surrender — that we had raised a white 
flag, whereupon he had caased firing. I replied, 'I command 
here,' and if any flag had been raised it was without authority, 
and unless he came in, firing would be resumed. He begged 
a conference, which was granted, and a subordinate ' officer 
advanced near the breastwork and informed me that a white 
flag was flying ou my right. He was informed that unless his 
commander surrendered, the firing would be continued. He 
started back to his lines, and failing to exhibit his flag of 
truce, was shot down midway between the lines, which was 
not more than twenty yards at this point. The firing again 
commenced with unabating fury." * * * The firing was 
astonishingly accurate all along the line. No man could raise 
his shoulders above the works without danger of immediate 
death. Some of the enemy lay against our works in front. I 
saw several of them jump over and surrender during the relax- 
ation of the firing. An ensign of a Federal regiment came 
right up to us during the "peace negotiations" and demanded 
our surrender. lyieutenant Carlisle, of the Thirteenth Regi- 
ment, replied that we would not surrender. Then the ensign 
insisted, as he had come under a false impression, he should 
be allowed to return to his command. Lieutenant Carlisle, 
pleased with his composure, consented. But as he went away 
a man from another part of the line shot him through the face, 
and he came and jumped over to us. This was the place to 
test individual courage. Some ordinarily good soldiers did 
next to nothing, while others excelled themselves. The ques- 
tion became pretty plainly, whether one was willing to meet 
death, not merely to run the chances of it. There was no 
further cessation of fire, after the pause before described. 
Every now and then a regular volley would be hurled at us 
from what we supposed a fresh line of Federals, but it would 
gradually tone down to the slow, particular, fatal firing of the 
siege. The prisoners who ran into us now and then informed 
us that Grant's whole energies were directed against this 
point. They represented the wood on the other side as filled 
with dead, wounded fighters, and skulkers. We were told 
that if we would hold the place till dark, we would be relieved. 
Dark came, but no relief. The water became a deeper crim- 
son, the corpses grew more numerous. Every tree about us, 
for thirty feet from the ground, was barked by balls, Just 



364 HISTORY OF- KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

before night a tree six or eight inches in diameter, just behind f 
the works, was cut down by, the bullets of the enemy. We' 
noticed at the same time a large oak hacked and torn in siich a ■ 
manner never before seen. Some predicted its fall before morn- 
ing, but the most of us considered that out of the question. 
But about 10 o'clock it did fall forward on our works, wound- 
ing some rnen and startling a great many more. An officer, 
who afterwards measured this tree, informed me that it was 
twenty-two inches in diameter. This was entirely the work 
of rifle balls. Midnight came, still no relief; no cessation of 
the firing. Numbers of the troops sank, overpowered, into 
the muddy trenches and slept' soundly. The rain continued. 
Just before daylight we were ordered, in a whisper, which was 
passed along the line; to slowly and noislessly retire from the 
works. * * * Day dawned, and the evacuation was 
complete. 

******* 

Thus ended one of the most stubbornly contested battles of 
the war, if not of the century. The whole army, from one 
end to the other, sung the praises of the gallant South Caro- 
linians, who, by their deeds of valor, made immortal the 
"Bloody Angle." 



CHAPTER XXXI 

From North Anna to Cold Harbor — Joined by 
the Twentieth South Carolina. 

It was while entrenched south of North Anna that our 
troops heard of the death of our great cavalry leader. General 
J. E. B. Stuart, who fell mortally wounded at Yellow Tavern, 
on May the i8th. If the death of Jackson was a blow to the 
army and the South, the death of Stuart was equally so. He 
was the Murat of the Southern Army, equally admired and 
beloved by the infantry as the cavalry. The body of the 
army always felt safe when the bugle of Stuaft could be 
heard on the flank or front, and universal sadness was thrown 
around the Army of Northern Virginia,* as well as the whole 



HISTORY OP KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 365 

South, by his death. It was conceded by the Novth, as well 
as the South, that Stuart was the finest type of cavalry 
leader in either army. lyongstreet badly wounded, Stuart 
and Jenkins dead, certainly gave the prospects of the cam- 
paign just opening anything but an assuring outlook. 

TWENTIETH SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT. 

About this time our brigade was reinforced by the Twenti- 
eth South Carolina Regiment, one of the finest bodies of men 
that South Carolina had furnished during the war. It was 
between one thousand and one thousand two hundred strong, 
led by the "silver-tongued orator," I^awrence M. Keitt. It 
was quite an acceptable acquisition to our brigade, since our 
ranks had been depleted by near one thousand since the 5th 
of May. They were as healthy, well clad, and well fed body 
of troops as anybody would wish to see, and much good- 
humored badgering was indulgei! in at their expense by Ker- 
shaw's "web feet." From their enormous strength in num- 
bers, in comparison to our "corporal guards" of companies, the 
old soldiers called them "The Twentieth Army Corps." I 
here give a short sketch of the regiment prior to its connection 
with the brigade. 

The Twentieth Regiment was organized under the call for 
twelve thousand additional troops from South Carolina, in 
1862, along with the Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nine- 
teenth, Holcomb Legion, and other regiments. The compa- 
nies composing the Twentieth assembled at the ra-:e course, in 
Charleston, S. C. , in the fall of 1862. The companies had 
already organized in the respective counties, and elected 
officers, and after assembling in Charleston and organizing the 
regiment, elected the following field officers: 

Colonel— I/. M. Keitt. 

Lieutenant Colonel — O. M. Dansler. 

Major — S. M. Boykin. 

Adjutant — ^John Wilson. 

Q_uartermaster — John P. Kinard. 

Commissary — Brock. 

Surgeon — Dr. Salley. 

Assistant Surgeon — Dr. Barton. 

Chaplain— Rev. W. W. Duncan. 
, ■ Company A, Anderson and Pickens — Captain Partlow^ 



366 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE, 

Company B, Orangeburg — Captain McMichael. 

Company C, lycxington — Captain Leaphart. 

Company D, Orangeburg — Captain Danley. 

Company E, Laurens — Captain Cowen. 

Company F, Newberry — Captain Kinard. 
' Company G, Sumter — Captain Moseley. 

Company H, Orangeburg and lyexington — Captain Ruff. 

Conipany I, Orangeburg and Lexington — Captain Gunter, 

Company K, Lexington — Captain Harmon. 

Captain Jno. P. Kinard, of Company F, was made Quarter- 
master, and First Lieutenant Jno. M. Kinard was promoted to 
Captain. 

A singularity of one of the companies, I, was that it had 
twenty-eight members by the name of Gunter. The Captain 
and all three Lieutenants and seven non-commissioned of&cers 
were of the name of Gunter, and it is needless to add that it 
was called the Gunter Compan'y. 

Colonel Keitt, acting as Brigadier General while in Charles- 
ton, the entire management of the regiment was left to Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Dansler. He was a fine ofiBcer, a good tacti- 
cian, and thorough disciplinarian. A courteous gentleman, 
kind and sociable to all, he was greatly beloved by oflBcers and 
men, and it was with feelings of universal regret the regiment 
was forced to give him up, he having resigned in the spring of 
1864, to accept the position of Colonel of the Twenty-Second 
Regiment. 

The regiment remained at the race course for several months, 
for drill and instruction. In February, 1863, they were 
moved to the west end of James' Island, near Secessionville, 
for guard and picket duty. After this, they were transferred 
to Sullivan's Island, and quartered in the old Moultrie House 
and cottages adjacent. Four companies were ordered to Bat- 
tery Marshall, on the east side of the Island, to assist in the 
management of the siege guns at that point. 

On the 7 th of May the Federal gunboats crossed the bar and 
made an attack upon Forts Sumter, Moultrie, and the batteries 
on Morris' Island. Here the regiment was subjected to a 
heavy cannonading from the three hundred pounders from the 
Fede.al ironclads. Colonel Dansler, however, moved the 
regiment to the east, in the sandhills, thus avoiding the direct 
fire of the enemy. One of the ironclads was sunk and others 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 367 

badly crippled, drawing off after dark. In December eight 
companies were moved over to Mt. Pleasant and two to Kin- 
loch's Landing. 

During the memorable siege of Morris' Island, the Twen- 
tieth did its turn at picketing on that island, going over after 
dark in a steamer and returning before day. 

On the night of the 30th July, 1863, while the regiment was 
returning from Morris' Island, the tide being low, the steamer 
Sumter, on which the regiment was being transported, was 
forced to take the main ocean channel. It was the duty of 
those on garrison duty at Fort Sumter to signal Moultrie and 
the shore batteries df the movements of the transport steamer. 
For some cause or other Sumter failed to give the signals, and 
Moultrie being aware that there was a steamer in the harbor 
and no signals up, opened upon the ill-fated steamer with all 
her guns, thinking it one of the enemy's ironclads. This was 
a signal for the shore batteries to open their guns, and in a 
few moments shells came crashing through the decks and 
cabins of the crowded steamer from all sides. This created a 
panic among the troops, and had it not been for the self-posses- 
sion and coolness of the captain of the steamer, the loss of life 
would have been appalling. The captain turned his boat and 
beached it as soon as possible, not, however, before the men 
began leaping over the sides of the vessel in one grand pell- 
mell. The dark' waves of unknown death were below them, 
while the shells shrieked and. burst through the steamer. 
There' was but little choice for the panic stricken men. For- 
tunately the waters here were shallow enough for the men to 
toucli bottom and wade out, some to Fort Johnson, some to 
Fort Sumter, while others remained in the shallows until re- 
lieved by small boats from shore. The regiment lost sixteen 
men, either killed or drowned. 

On the i6th or i8th of May, 1864, the regiment was ordered 
to Virginia, and reached Richmond about the twenty-second, 
and was ordered to join Kershaw's Brigade, reaching it about 
the 28th of May, near South Anna River. 

After the resignation of Lieutenant Colonel Dansler, Major 
Boykin was promoted to that position, and Captain Partlow 
made Major. By the death of Colonel Keitt, Boykin and 
Partlow were raised in regular grade, and Captain McMichael 
made Major. Lieutenant Colonel Partlow was wounded at 



370 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

that he was. Never before in our experience had the brigade 
been led in deliberate battle by its commander on horseback,, 
and it was perhaps Colonel Keitt's want of experience that 
induced him to take this fatal step. Across a large old field 
the brigade swept towards a densely timbered piece of oak- 
land, studded with undergrowth, crowding and swaying iu 
irregular lines, the enemy's skirmi.'^hers pounding away at us 
as we advanced. Colonel Keitt was a fine target for the sharp- 
shooters, and fell before the troops reached the timber, a 
martyr to the inexorable laws of the army rank. Into the- 
dark recessess of the woods the troops plunged, creeping and 
crowding their way through the tangled mass of undergrowth,, 
groups seeking shelter behind the larger trees, while the firing 
was going on from both sides. The enemy meeting our 
advance in a solid regular column, our broken and disorgan- 
ized ranks could not cope with them. Some of the regimental 
officers seeing the disadvantage at which our troops were fight- 
ing, ordered a withdrawal to the old roadway in our rear.. 
The dense smoke settling in the woods, shielded our retreat 
and we returned to our starting point without further molesta- 
tion than the whizzing of the energy's bullets overhead. The 
lines were reformed, and Colonel Davis, of the Fifteenth, 
assumed command (or perhaps Colonel Henagan). 

Colonel William Wallace, of the Second, in speaking of this 
affair, saj's: 

"Our brigade, under the command of the lamented Colonel 
Keitt, was sent out to reconnoitre, and came upon the enemy 
in large force, strongly entrenched. Keitt was killed, and the 
brigade .suffered severely. A few skirmishers thrown out 
would have accomplished the object of a reconnoissance, and 
would have saved the loss of many brave men. Our troops 
finding the enemy entrenched, fell back and began to fortify. 
Soon our line was established, and the usual skirmishing and 
sharpshooting commenced. That same evening, being on the 
extreme left of Kershaw's Division, I received orders to hasten 
with the Second Regiment to General Kershaw's headquarters. 
I found the General in a good deal of excitement. He in- 
formed me that our lines had been broken on the right of his 
division, and directed me to hasten there, and if I found a 
regiment of the enemy flanking his position, to charge them.. 
I hurried to the point indicated, found that our troops to the 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 371 

extent of a brigade and a half had been driven from their 
works, and the enemy in possession of them. I determined to 
charge, however, and succeeded in driving them from their 
position, with but little loss. Our regiment numbered one 
hundred and twenty-seven men. The enemy driven out con- 
sisted of the Forty-eighth and One Hundred and Twelfth New 
York. We captured the colors of the Forty-eighth, took some 
prisoners, and killed many while making their escape from the 
trenches. We lost in this charge one of our most eflEcient 
officers. Captain Ralph Elliott, a brother of General Stephen 
Elliott. He was a brave soldier and a most estimable gentle- 
man." 

Our lines were formed at right angles to that on which we 
had fought that day, and the soldiers were ordered to fortify. 
The Second and Third on the left were on an incline leading to 
a ravine in front of a thicket; the ^Fifteenth and Twentieth, on 
the right of the Third, were on the brow of a plateau; in front 
was the broad old field, through which we had marched to the 
first advance; the Third Battalion, Eighth, and Seventh, on 
extreme right, were on the plateau and fronted by a thicket of 
tall pines. 

As nearly all regimental commanders had been killed since 
the 6th of May, I will give them as they existed on the ist of 
June, three weeks later: 

Second — Major Wm. Wallace. 

Third— Lieutenant Colonel W. D. Rutherford. 

Seventh — Captain James Mitchel. 

Eighth — Major E. S. Stackhouse. 

Twentieth — Lieutenal Coloiiel S. M. Boykin. 

Third Battalion — Captain Whitener. 

Brigade Commander — Colonel James Henagan. 

Grant stretched his lines across our front and began ap- 
proaching our works with his formidable parallels. He would 
erect one line of breastworks, then uuder cover of night, an- 
other a hundred or two yards nearer us; thus by the third of 
June our lines were not one hundred yards apart in places. 
Our pickets and those of the enemy were between the lines 
down in their pits, with some brush in front to shield them 
while on the look out. The least shadow or moving of the 
branches would be sure to bring a rifle ball singing danger- 
ously near one's head — if he escaped it at all. The service in 



,372 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S -BKIOADE. 

th^ pits here for two weeks was the, most ienormoiis and fatfgn- 
ing of any in the service — four men being in-a pitfor twenty- 
four hours in the broiling sun during the day, without any 
protection whatever, and the oit was so small that one conld 
neither sit erect nor lie down. 

Earlj' on the morning of the 3rd of June, just three days 
.after our fiasco at Cold Harbor, Grant moved his forces for the 
assault. This was to be the culinin-Jtion of his plan to break 
through Ler's lines or to change his plans of campaign and 
settle down to a regular siege. Away to our right the battle 
commenced. Heavy shelling on both sides. Then the mus- 
ketry began to roll along in a regular wave, coming nearer 
and nearer £1.=; new columns moved to the assault. Now it 
reaches our front, and the enemy moves steadily upon our 
works. The cheering on our right told of the repulse by our 
forces, and had a discouraging effect upon the Federal troops 
moving against us. As soon as their skirmish line made its 
appearance, followed by three lines of battle, our pickets in 
front of us were relieved, but many fell before gaining our 
breastworks, and those who were not killed had to lie during 
the day between the most murderous fire in the history of the 
war, and sad to say, few survived. When near us the first 
line came with a rush at charge bayonets, and our officers had 
gre It difficulty in restraining the men from opening fire too 
SDon. But when close enough, the word "fire" was given, 
and the men behind the works raised deliberately, resting 
their guns upon the works, and fired volley after volley into 
the rushing but disorganized ranks of the enemy. The first 
line reeled and attempted to fly the field, but were met by the 
next column, which halted the retreating troops with the 
bayonet, butts of guns, and officers' sword, until the greater 
number were turned to the second assault. All this while our 
sharpshooters and men behind our works were pouring a gall- 
ing fire into the tangled mass of advancing and retreating 
troops. The double column, like the first, came with ashout,-- 
a huzzah, and a charge. But our men had by this time re- 
loaded their pieces, and were only too eager awaiting the com- 
mand "fire." But when it did come the result was telling — 
men falling ou top of men, rear rank pushing forward the first 
rank, only to be swept away like chaff. Our batteries on the 
hills in rear and those mounted on our infantry line were rak- 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 373 

ing the field, the former with shell and solid shot, the latter 
with grape and canister. Smoke settling on the ground, 
soon rendered objects in front scarcely visible, but the steady 
flashing of the enemy's guns and the hail of bullets over our 
heads and against our works told plainly enough that the 
enemy were standing to their work with de.sperate courage, or 
were held in hand with a powerful grasp of discipline. The 
third line of assault had now mingled with the first two, and 
all lying stretched upon the ground and hidden by the dense 
smoke, caused the greater number of our bullets to fly over 
their heads. Our elevated position and the necessitv of rising 
above the works to fire, rendered our breastworks of little real 
advantage; conside.ing, too, the disparity of numbers, then 
three lines against our one, and a very weak line at that. The 
loud Rebel yell heard far to our right told us to be of good 
cheer, they were holding their own, and repulsing every 
assault. The conflict in front of Breckenridge's Dvision was 
the bloodiest, with the possible exception of that of Mayree's 
Hill, in front of Fredericksburg, and the "Bloody Angle," of 
any during the war. Negro troops were huddled together and 
forced to the charge by white troops — the poor, deluded, un- 
fortunate beings plied with liquor until all their sensibilities 
were so deadened that death had no horrors. Grnnt nmst 
have learned early in the day the impo.ssibility of breaking 
I/ce's line by direct charge, for by twelve o'clock the filing 
ceased. 

This last assault of Grant's thoroughly convinced the hero 
of Vicksburg and Missionary Ridge of tlie impo.ssibility of 
breaking L/ce's, lines by direct advances. He could not sur- 
prise him at any point, or cdtch him off his guard, for Lee 
knew every foot of the ground too well, having fought all over 
it for two j-ears. It was estimated and confirmed aftewards by 
official reports, that Grant had lost sixty thousmd n^en from 
his crossing of the Rapidan to the end of the 3rd of June, just 
thirty days — more men than Lee had in the commencement of 
the campaign. Grant had become wiser the more familiar he 
became with Lee and his veterans, and now began to put in 
new tactics — that of stretching out his lines so as to weaken 
Lee's, and let attrition do the work that shells, balls, and the 
bayonet had failed to accomplish. The end showed the wis- 
dom of the plan. 



374 HISTORY OF KERSHA-W'S BRIGADE. 

The two regiments on the left of the brigade did not suffer 
so greatly as the others, being protected somewhat by the tim- 
ber and underbrush in their front. The enemy's dead lay in 
our front unburied until Grant's further move to the right, 
then it became our duty to perform those rites. 

COLONEL LAWRENCE MASSILLON KEITT. 

Colonel I^awrence Massillon Keitt was the second son of 
George and Mary Magdalene Wannamaker Keitt. He was 
born on the 4th day of October, 1824, in St. Matthews Parish, 
Orangeburg District, S. C. He received his early education 
at Asbury Academy, a flourishing institution near the place of 
his birth. 

In his thirteenth year he entered Mt. Zion College at Winns- 
boro, Fairfield County, where he spent one year in preparation 
for the South Carolina College, which he entered in his four- 
teenth year, graduating third in his class. He read law in 
Attorney General Bailey's office in Charleston, S. C, and was 
adnjitted to the bar as soon as he was of legal age. He 
opened a law office at Orangeburg, the county seat. 

At the first vacancy he was elected a member to the Lower 
House of the General Assembly of the State, in which body he 
served until his election to the I,ower House of Congress in 
1853. He served in that body until December, i860, when he 
resigned his seat and returned to South Carolina on the eve of 
the secession of his State from the UViion. He was a leading 
Secessionist and was elected a member of the Secession Con- 
vention. That body after passing the Ordinance of Secession 
elected him a delegate to the Provisional Congress of the Con- 
federate States, which met at Montgomery, Ala. He was a 
very active member. On the adjournment of the Provisional 
Government of the Confederate States he returned to South 
Carolina and raised the Twentieth Regiment of South Caro- 
lina Volunteers and went into the Confederate Army. His 
command was ordered to Charleston. He served with hi§ com- 
mand on James' Island, Sullivan's Island, Morris' Island, and 
in Charleston in all the important engagements. He was in 
command of Morris' Island twenty-seven days and nights dur- 
its awful bombardment. When ordered to evacuate the island 
he did so, bringing off everything without the loss of a man. 
He was the last person to leave the island. General Beaurfe- 



HISTORY OF KERSHAw'S BRIGADK. 375 

gard in his report to the War Department said it was one of 
the greatest retreats in tlje- annals of warfare. 

The latter part of May, .1864, he left Charleston with his 
•command and joined General I^ee's Army thirteen miles from 
Richmond. He carried about sixteen hundred men in his reg- 
iment to Virginia. It was called the "Twentieth Army Corps. " 
He was assigned to Kershaw's Brigade and put in command of 
the brigade. On the first day of June, 1864, while leading the 
brigade, mounted on a grey horse, against a powerful force ot 
the enemy he was shot through the liver and fell mortally 
Tvounded. He died on the 2d of June, 1864. By his request 
his remains were brought to South Carolina and laid by the 
side of his father in the graveyard at Tabernacle Church. 
Thus passed away one of South Carolina's brightest jewels. 



CHAPTER XXXII 

From Cold Harbor to Petersburg. 

The field in the front at Cold Harbor where those deadly 
assaults had been made beggars description. Men lay in 
places like hogs in a pen — some side by side, across each other, 
some two deep, while others with their legs lying across the 
Tiead and body of their dead comrades. Calls all night long 
could be heard coming from the wounded and dying, and one 
could not sleep for the sickening sound "W — a- t — e — r" ever 
•sounding and echoing in his ears. Ever and anon a heart- 
rending wail as coming from some lost spirit disturbed the 
hushed stilness of the night. There were always incentives 
for some of the bolder spirits, whose love of adventure or love 
•of gain impelled them, to visit the battlefield before the burial 
detail had reached it, as many crisp five-dollar greenbacks or 
■even hundred-dollar interest-bearing United States bonds could 
be found in the pockets of the fallen Federal either as a part of 
his wages or the proceeds of his bounty. The Federal Gov- 
•ernment was very lavish in giving recruits this bounty as an 
inducement to fill the depleted ranks of "Grant the Butcher." 
Tom Paysinger, of the Third, who had been detailed as a scout 
to General Longstreet, was a toaster hand at foraging upon 



376 HISTORY OF KEKSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

the battlefield. Whether to gain information or to replenish 
his purse is not known, but be that as it may, the night after 
the battle he crept quietly through our lines and in the still- 
ness and darkness he made his way among the dead and 
wounded, searching the pockets of those he found. He came 
upon one who was lying face downward and whom he took to 
be beyond the pale of resistance, and proceeded to rifle his 
pockets. After gathering a few trifles he began crawling on 
his hands and knees towards another victim. When about ten 
steps distant the wounded Federal, for such it proved to be, 
raised himself on his elbow, grasped the gun that was lying 
beside him, but unknown to Pay singer, and called out, "You 
d — n grave robber, take that," and bang! went a shot at his 
retreating form. He then quietly resumed his recumbent posi- 
tion. The bullet struck Paysinger in the thigh and ranging 
upwards lodged in his hip, causing him to be a cripple for sev- 
eral long months. It is needless to say Paysinger left the field. 
He said afterwards he "would have turned and cut the rascal's 
throat, but he was afraid he was only 'possuming' and might 
brain him with the butt of his gun." 

We remained in our position for several days and were great- 
ly annoyed by the shells thrown by mortars or cannon mounted 
as such, which were continually bursting overhead or drop- 
ping in our works. The sharpshooters with globe-sighted 
rifles would watch through the brush in front of their rifle pits 
and as soon as a head was thoughtlessly raised either from our 
pits, which were now not more than fifty yards apart, or our 
breastwork, "crack!" went a rifle, a diill thud, and one of our 
men lay dead. It is astonishing how apt soldiers are in avoid- 
ing danger or warding it off, and what obstacles they can over- 
come, what work they can accomplish and with so few and ill 
assortment of tools when the necessity arises. To guard 
against the shells that were continually dropping in our midst 
or outside of our works, the soldiers began burrowing like rab- 
bits in rear of our earthworks and building covered ways from 
their breastwork to the ground below. In a few days men 
could go the length of a regiment without being exposed in 
the least, crawling along the tunnels all dug with bayonets, 
knives, and a few worn-out shovels. At some of these angles 
the passer-by would be exposed, and in going from one open- 
ing to another, only taking the fraction of a second to accom- 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW' S BRIGADE. 377 

plish, a bullet would come whizzing from some unseen source, 
either to the right or left. As soon as one of these openings 
under a covered way would be darkened by some one passing, 
away a bullet would come singing in the aperture, generally 
striking the soldier passing through. So annoying and dan- 
gerous had the practice become of shooting in our works from 
an unseen source that a detail of ten or twenty men was sent 
out under Lieutenant D. J. Griffith, of the Fifteenth, to see if 
the concealed enemy might not be located and an end put to 
the annoyance. Griffith and his men crept along cautiously 
in the underbrush, while some of our men would wave a blan- 
ket across the exposed places in the breastwork to draw the 
Federal fire, while Griffith and his detail kept a sharp lookout. 
It was not long before they discovered the hidden "Yank" 
perched in the top of a tall gum tree, his rifle resting in the 
fork of a limb. Griffith got as close as he well could without 
danger of being detected by some one under the tree. When 
all was ready they sighted their riflles at the fellow up the tree 
and waited his next fire. When it did come I expect that 
Yankee and his comrades below were the worst surprised of any 
throughout the war; for no .sooner had his gun flashed than 
ten rifles rang out in answer and the fellow fell headlong to 
the ground, a distance of fifty feet or more. Beating the air 
with his hands and feet, grasping at everything within sight 
or reach, his body rolling and tumbling among the limbs of 
the tree, his head at times up, at others down, till at last he 
strikes the earth, and with a terrible rebound in the soft 
spongy needles Mr. "Yank" lies still, while Griffith and his 
men take to their heels. It was not known positively whether 
he was killed or not, but one thing Lieutenant Griffith and his 
men were sure of — one Yankee, at least, had been given a long 
ride in midair. 

After Grant's repulse at Cold Harbor he gave up all hopes 
of reaching Richmond by direct assault and began his memor- 
able change of base. Crossing the James River at night he 
undertook the capture of Petersburg by surprise. It appears 
from contemporaneous history that owing to some inexcusable 
blunders on our part Grant came very near accomplishing his 
designs. 

To better understand the campaign around Petersburg it is 
necessary to take the reader back a little way. Simultaneous 



"378 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

with Grant's advance on the Rapidan an army of thirty thous- 
and under the Union General B. F. Butler was making its way 
up the James River and threatening Petersburg. It was well 
known that Richmond would be no longer tenable should the 
latter place fall. Beauaegard was commanding all of North 
■Carolina and Virginia on the south side of the James River, 
but his forces were so small and so widely scattered that they 
promised little protection. When L,ee and his veterans were 
holding back Grant and the Union Army at the Wilderness, 
Brocks Cross Roads, and Spottsylvania C. H., Beauregard with 
a handful of veterans and a few State troops was "bottling up 
Butler' ' on the James. What Kershaw had been tg I^ee at the 
Wilderness, McGowan at Spottsylvania, General Hagood was 
to General Beauregard on the south side around Petersburg. 
General Beauregard does not hesitate to acknowledge what ob- 
ligations he was under to the brave General Hagood and his 
gallant band of South Carolinians at the most critical moments 
during the campaign, and it is unquestioned that had not Gen- 
eral Hagood come up at this opportune moment, Petersburg 
would have fallen a year before it did. 

General Beauregard fought some splendid battles on the 
south side, and if chey had not been overshadowed by the mag- 
nitude of Lee's from the Wilderness to the James, they would 
have ranked in all probability as among the greatest of the 
war. But from one cause and then another during the whole 
campaign Beauregard was robbed of his legitimate fruits of 
battle. 

The low, swampy nature of the country below Richmond, 
especially between the James and the Chickahoiuiny, pre- 
vented Lee's scouts from detecting the movements of Grant's 
Army for some days after the movement began. Grant had 
established his headquarters at Wilcox's Landing, on the 
James, and had all his forces in motion on the south of the 
river by the 13th of June, while Lee. was yet north of the 
Chickahominy. 

General Beauregard and the gallant troops under him de- 
serve the highest praise for their conduct in successfully 
giving Butler battle, while Petersburg was in such imminent 
peril, and Lee still miles and miles away. It is scarcely credi- 
ble to believe with what small force the plucky little Creole 
held back such an overwhelming army. 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 379 

When Grant made his first crossing of the James and began 
the movement against Petersburg, General Beauregard had 
only Wise's Brigade of infantry, twenty-two pieces of artil- 
lery, two regiments of cavalry under General Bearing, and a 
few regiments of local militia. 

Grant had ordered the Eighteenth Corps (Smith's) by way 
of the White House to Bermuda Hundreds, and this corps had 
crossed the narrow neck of land between the James and tbe 
Appomattox, crossing the latter river on a pontoon bridge, and 
was at the moment firing on Petersburg with a force under 
his command of twenty-two thousand, with nothing between 
General Smith andJPetersburg but Beauregard's two thousand 
men of all arms. fKant'^— Gavairy and one division of negro 
troops, under HinKST'Bad joined their forces with Smith after 
coming to the south side. Hancock's and Warren's Corps 
crossed the Chickahominy at Long Bridge and the James at 
Wilcox's Landing, and with Grant at the head, all were push- 
ing on to Petersburg. Wright (Sixth) and Burnside (Ninth) 
crossed by way of Jones' Bridge and the James and Appomat- 
tox on pontoon bridges, pushing their way rapidly, as the 
nature of the ground permitted, in the direction of Petersburg. 
Beauregard in the meantime had been reinforced by his own 
troops, they having been transferred temporarily to Lee, at 
Spottsylvania Court House. 

Hoke's Division reached Petersburg at twelve o'clock, on 
the 15th of June. Hagood's Brigade, of that division, being 
transported by rail from the little town of Chester, reached the 
city about night. Bushrod Johnson's Brigade was ordered up 
from Bermuda on the i6th. Beauregard being thus reinforced, 
had ten thousand troops of all arms on the morning of the 
i6th, with which to face Meade's Army, consisting of Han- 
cock's, Smith's, and Burnside' s Corps, aggregating sixty-six 
thousand men. Meade made desperate and continuous efforts 
to break through this weak line of gray, but without effect 
Only one division of Federals gained any permanent advan- 
tage. Warren, with four divisions, now reinforced Meade, 
bringing the Federal Army up to ninety thousand, with no 
help for Beauregard yet in sight. From noon until late at 
night of the 17th the force of this entire column was hurled 
against the Confederate lines, without any appreciable advan- 
tage, with the exception of one division before alluded to. Lee 



380 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

was still north of the James with his entire army, and unde- 
cided as to Grant's future movements. He was yet in doubt 
whether Grant had designs directly against the Capital, or was 
endeavoring to cut his communications by the capture of 
Petersburg. Beauregard had kept General Lee and the war 
department thoroughly advised of his peril and of the over- 
whelming numbers in his front, but it was not until midnight 
of the 17th that the Confederate commander determined to 
change his base and cross to the south side of the James. It 
was at that hour that Kershaw's Brigade received its orders to 
move at once. For the last few days the army had been grad- 
ually working its way towards the James River, and was now 
encamped near Rice's Station. From the manner in which we 
were urged forward, it was evident that our troops somewhere 
were in imminent peril. The march started as a forced one, 
but before daylight it had gotten almost to a run. All the 
regiments stood the great strain without flinching, with the 
exception of the Twentieth. The "Old Twentieth Army 
Corps," as that regiment was now called, could not stand 
what the old veterans did, and fell by the way side. It was 
not for want of patriotism or courage, but simply .a want of 
seasoning. Fully half of the "Corps" fell out. When we 
reached Petersburg, about sunrise, we found only Wise's 
Brigade and several regiments of old men and boys, hastily 
gotten together to defend their city, until the regulars came 
up. They had been fighting in the rauks, these gray-beards 
and half-grown boys, for three days, and to their credit be it 
said, ''they weatheied the storm" like their kinsmen in Wise's 
Brigade, and showed as much courage and endurance as the 
best of veterans. On the streets were ladies of every walk in 
life, some wavinjj banners and handkerchiefs, some clapping 
their hands and giving words of cheer as the soldiers came by 
with their swinging step, their clothes looking as if they had 
just swum the river. Were the ladies refugeeing — getting 
out of harm's waj? Not a bit of it. They looked equally as 
determined and defiant as their brothers and fathers in ranks — 
each and all seemed to envy the soldier his rifle. If Richmond 
had become famous through the courage and loyalty of her 
daughters, Petersburg was equally entitled to share the glories 
of her older .sister, Richmond. 

Kershaw's Brigade relieved that of Geaeral Wise, taking 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 381 

position on extreme right, resting its right on the Jerusalem 
plank road, and extending towards the left over the hill and 
across open fields. Wise had some hastily constructed works, 
with rifle pits in front. These later had to be relieved under a 
heavy fire from the enemy's battle line. As the other brigades 
of the division came up, they took position on the left. Fields' 
Division and R. H. Anderson's, now of this corps, did not 
come up for some hours yet. General Anderson, in the 
absence of General Ivongstreet, commanded the corps as senior 
Major General. Before our division lines were properly 
adjusted, Warren's whole corps made a mad rush upon the 
works, nbw manned by a thin skirmish line, and seemed deter- 
mined to drive us from our entrenchments by sheer weight of 
numbers. But Kershaw displayed no inclination to yield, 
until the other portions of our corps came upon the field. 
After some hours of stubborn fighting, and failing to dislodge 
us, the enemy withdrew to strengthen and straighten their 
lines and bring them more in harmony with ours. About four 
o'clock in the afternoon Meade organized a strong column of 
assault, composed of the Second, Fifth, and the Ninth Army 
Corps, and commanded in person, holding one corps in reserve. 
The artillery of the four corps was put in position, and a 
destructive fire was opened upon us by fifty pieces of the best 
field artillery. The infantry then commenced the storming of 
our works, but Field's Division had come up and was on the 
line. General Lee had given strength to our position by his 
presence, coming upon the field about eleven o'clock, and gave 
personal direction to the movements of the troops. The battle 
raged furiously until nightfall, but with no better results on 
the enemy's side than had attended him for the last three days 
— a total repulse at every point. By noon the next day Lee's 
whole force south of the James was within the entrenched 
lines of the city, and all felt perfectly safe and secure. Our 
casualties were light in comparison to the fighting done during 
the day, but the enemy was not only defeated, but badly 
demoralized. 

Kershaw and Fields, of Lee's Army, with ten thous- 
and under General Beauregard, making a total of twenty 
thousand, successfully combatted Grant's whole army, esti- 
mated by the Federals themselves as being ninety thousand. 
These are some figures that might well be taken in considera- 



382 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

tion when deeds of prowess and Southern valor are being 
summed up. 



Grant seemed determined to completely invest Petersburg on 
the south side by continually pushing his Imes farther to the^ 
left, lengthening our lines and thereby weakening them. On 
the 2 1 St of June the Second and Sixth Corps of the Federal 
Army moved on to the west of the Jerusalem plank road, while 
the Fifth was to take up position on the east side. In the ma- 
noeuver, or by some misunderstanding, the Fifth Corps became 
separated from those of the other divisions, thereby leaving a 
gap of about a division intervening. General Lee seeing this 
opportunity to strike the enemy a blow, and as A. P. Hill was 
then coming up, he ordered him to push his force forward and 
attack the enemy in flank. Moving his troops forward with 
that despatch that ever attended the Third Corps of our army, 
it struck the enemy a stunning blow in the flank and rear, 
driving them back in great disorder, capturing several thous- 
and prisoners and a battery or two of artillery. The enemy 
continued to give way until they came upon their strong en- 
trenched position; then Hill retired and took his place on the 
line. Again Grant started his cavalry out on raids to capture 
and destroy the railroads leading into Petersburg and Rich- 
mond, the route by which the entire army of Lee had to look 
for supplies. But at Reams' Station Hampton met the larger 
body of the enemy's cavalry and after a hard fought battle, in 
which he utterly routed the enemy, he captured his entire 
wagon train and all his artillery. A short time after this 
Grant sent Hancock, one of the ablest Generals in the Fed- 
eral Army, (a true, thorough gentleman, and as brave as the 
bravest, and one whom the South in after years had the pleas- 
ure of showing its gratitude and admiration for those qualities 
so rare in many of the Federal commanders, by voting for him 
for President of the United States) with a large body of cavalry 
to destroy the Weldon Road at all hazard and to so possess it 
that its use to our army would be at an end. After another 
■>- hard battle, in which the enemy lost five thousand men, Han- 
cock succeeded in his mission and captured and retained the 
road. The only link now between the capital and the other 
sections of the South on which the subsistence of the army de- 
pended was that by Danville, Va. This was a military road 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 38? 

completed by the government in anticipation of those very 
events that had now transpired. Another road on which the 
government was bending all its energies to complete, but failed 
for want of time, was a road running from Columbia to 
Augusta, Ga. This was to be one of the main arteries of the 
South in case Charleston should fail to hold out and the junc- 
tion of the roads at Branchville fall in the hands of the enemy. 
Our lines of transportation, already somewhat circumscribed, 
were beginning to grow less and less. Only one road leading 
South by way of Danville, and should the road to Augusta, 
Ga., via Columbia and Branchville, be cut the South or the 
Armies of the West and that of the East would be isolated. 
As gloomy as our situation looked, there was no want of con- 
fidence in the officers and the troops. The rank and file of the 
South had never considered a condition of failure. They felt 
their cause to be sacred, that they were fighting for rights and 
principles for which all brave people will make every sacrifice 
to. maintain, that the bravery of a people like that which the 
South had shown to the world, the spirits that animated them, 
the undaunted courage by which the greatest battles had been 
fought and victories gained against unprecedented numbers, 
all this under such circumstances and under such leadership — 
the South could not -fail. Momentary losses, temporary re- 
verses might prolong the struggle, but to change the ultimate 
results, never. And at the North there were loud and wide- 
spread murmurings, no longer confined to the anti-abolitionist 
and pro slavery party, but it came from statesmen the highest 
in the land, it came from the fathers and mothers whose sons 
had fallen like autumn leaves from the Rapidan to the Appo- 
mattox. The cries and wails of the thousands of orphans went 
up to high Heaven pleading for those fathers who had left them 
to fill the unsatiate maw of cruel, relentless war. The tears of 
thousands and thousands of widows throughout the length and 
breadth of the Union fell like scalding waters upon the souls 
of the men who were responsible for this holocaust. Their 
voices and murmuring, though like Rachael's "weeping for 
her children and would not be comforted," all this to appease 
the Moloch of war and to gratify the ambition of fanatics. The 
people, too, of the North, who had to bear all this burden, 
were sorely pressed and afflicted at seeing their hard earned 
treasures or hoarded wealth, the fruits of their labor, the re- 



384 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

suit of their toil of a lifetime, going to feed this army of over 
two millions of men, to pa}' the bounties of thousands of mer- 
cenaries of the old countries and the unwilling freedmen sol- 
diers of the South. All this only to humble a proud people 
and rob them of their inherent rights, bequeathed to them by 
the ancestry of the North and South. How was it with the 
South? Not a tear, not a murmur. The mothers, with that 
Spartan spirit, buckled on the armor of their sons with pride 
and courage, and with theSpartan injunction, bade them "come 
home with your shield, or on it." The fathers, like the Scot- 
tish Chieftain, if he lost his first born, would put forward his 
next, and say, "Another one for Hector." Their store- 
houses, their barns, and graneries were thrown open, and 
with lavish hands bade the soldiers come and take — -come and 
buy without money and without price. Even the poor docile 
slave, for whom some would pretend these billions of treasure 
were given and oceans of blood spilled, toiled on in peace and 
contentment, willing to make any and every sacrifice, and toil 
day and night, for the interest and advancement of his 
master's welfare. He was as proud of his master's achieve- 
ments, of our victories, and was even as willing to throw his 
body in this bloody vortex as if the cause had been his own. 
The women of the South, from the old and bending grand- 
mothers, who sat in the corner, with their needles flying 
steady and fast, to the aristocratic and pampered daughter of 
wealth, toiled early and toiled late with handstand bodies that 
never before knew or felt the effects of work — all this that the 
soldier in the trenches might be clothed and fed — not alone for 
members of their families, but for the soldiers all, especially 
those who were strangers among us — those who had left their 
homes beyond the Potomac and the Tennessee. The good 
housewife stripped her household to send blankets and bedding 
to the needy soldiers. The wheel and loom could be heard in 
almost every household from the early morn until late at night 
going to give not comforts, but necessities of life, to the boys 
in the trenches. All ranks were leveled, and the South was 
as one band of brothers and sisters. All formality and re- 
straint were laid aside, and no such thing as stranger known. 
iThe doors were thrown open to the soldiers wherever and 
whenever, they chose to enter; the board was always spread, 
and a ready welcome extended. On the march, when homes 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 385 

were to be passed, or along the sidewalks in cities, the ladies 
set the bread to baking and would stand for hours in the door- 
way or at some convenient window to cut and hand out slice 
after slice to the hungry soldiers as long as a loaf was left or a. 
soldier found. 

With such a people to contend, with such heroes to face in 
the field, was it any wonder that the North began to despair 
of ever conquering the South? There was but one way by 
which the Northern leaders saw possible to defeat such a 
nation of "hereditary madmen in war." It was by contin- 
ually wearing them away by attrition. Every man killed in 
the South was one man nearer the end. It mattered not what 
the cost might be — if two or a dozen soldiers fell, if a dozen 
households were put in mourning, and widows and orphans 
were made by the score — ^the sacrifice must be made and en- 
dured. The North had fouUd in Grant a fit weapon by which 
to give the blow — a man who could calmly see the slaughter of 
thousands to gain an end, if by so doing the end in view could 
be expedited. The absence of all feelings of humanity, the 
coolness and indifference with which he looked upon his dead, 
his calmness in viewing the slaughter as it was going on, 
gained for him the appellation of "Grant, the Butcher." 
Grant saw, too, the odds and obstacles with which he had to 
contend and overcome when he wrote these memorable words, 
"Lee has robbed the cradle and the grave." Not odds in 
numbers and materials, but in courage, in endurance, in the 
sublime sacrifice the South was making in men and treasure. 
Scarcely an able-bodied man in the South — nay, not one who 
could be of service — who was not either in the trenches, in 
the ranks of the soldiers, or working in some manner for the 
service. All from sixteen to fifty were now in actual service, 
while all between fourteen and sixteen and from fifty to sixty 
were guarding forts, railroads, or Federal prisoners. These 
prisoners had been scattered all over the South, and began to 
be unwieldy. The Federals under the policy of beating the 
South by depleting their ranks without battle in the field had 
long since refused the exchajige of prisoners. They, had, by 
offers of enticing bounties, called from the shores of the Old 
Country thousands of poor emigrants, who would enlist merely 
for the money there was in it. Thousands and thousands of 
prisoners captured could not speak a word of English. They 
25 



386 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

had whole brigades of Irish and Dutch, while the Swedes, 
Poles, Austrians, as well as Italians, were scattered in the 
ranks throughout the army. In the capturing of a batch of 
prisoners, to a stranger who would question them, it would 
seem more like we were fighting the armies of Europe than, 
our kinsmen of the North. In fact, I believe if the real truth 
of it was known, the greater part of the Federal Army in the 
closing days of the Confederacy was either foreigners or sons, 
of foreigners. 

Were there ever before such people as those of the South- 
land? Were there ever such patriotic fathers, such Christian 
mothers, such brave and heroic sons and daughters? Does it 
look possible at this late day that a cause so just and righteous 
could fail, with such mSn and women to defend it? It is 
enough to cause the skeptic to smile at the faith of those who 
believe in God's interference in human affairs and in the 
efficacy of prayers. The cause of the South was just and 
right, and no brave men would have submitted without first 
staking their all upon the issue of cruel, bloody war. Impar- 
tial history will thus record the verdict. 



CHAPTER XXXIII 

In the Trenches Around Petersburg. 

As soon as General I^ee's Army was all up and his lines- 
established, we began to fortify in earnest. The breastworks 
t hat were built now were of a different order to the temporary 
o nes in the Wilderness and at Cold Harbor. As it was known 
now that a regular siege had begun, our breastworks were 
built proportionately strong. Our lines were moved to the 
left to allow a battery to occupy the brow of a hill on our 
right, Kershaw's Brigade occupying both slopes of the hills, a 
r avine cutting it in bwo. Field pieces were mounted at inter- 
vals along the line with the infantry, every angle covered by 
one or more cannon. The enems'^ commenced shelling us- 
from mortars from the very beginning of oar work, and kept 
itup night and day as lohg as we remained in the trenches. 
The day after Kershaw took position Grant began pressing our 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 387 

picket line and running his parallels nearer and nearer our 
works. It was said that Grant won his laurels in the West 
with picks and shovels instead of rifles and cannon, but here 
it looked as if he intended to use both to an advantage. As 
soon as he had his lines located, he opened a fusilade upon 
Petersburg, throwing shells into the city from his long-ranged 
guns, without intermission. It was in the immediate front of 
the right of the brigade and the batterj' on the hill that the 
enemy's mine was laid that occasioned the "Battle of the 
Crater" a month afterwards. Before we had finished our 
works, several night assaults were made upon us, notably the 
one up the ravine that separated the Second and Third on the 
night of the 2 ist of June. It was easily repulsed, however, 
with little loss on our side, the enemy firing too high. What 
annoyed the soldiers more than anything else was the con- 
tinual dropping of shells in our works or behind them. We 
could hear the report of the mortars, and by watching over- 
head we could see the shell descending, and no one could tell 
exactly where it was going to strike and no chance for dodg- 
ing. As every old soldier knows, card playing was the 
national vice, if vice it could be called, and almost all partici- 
pated in it, but mostly for amusement, as the soldiers scarcely 
ever had money to hazard at cards. While a quartet was 
indulging in this pastime in the trenches, some one yelled, 
"Lookout, there comes a shell!" Looking up the disciples of 
the ' 'Ten Spots' ' saw a shell coming down right over their 
heads. Nothing could be done but to stretch themselves at 
full length and await developments. They were not loui^ in 
suspense, for the shell dropped right upon the oilcloth on 
which they had been playing. There it lay sizzing and splut- 
tering as the fuse burned lower and lower, the men holding 
their breath all the while, the other troops scattering right and 
left. The thing could not last; the tension broke, when one 
of the card-players seized the shell in his hands and threw it 
out of the works, just before exploding. It was the belief in 
the brigade that those men did not play cards again for more 
than thirty days. 

Another annoyance was t,he enemy's sharpshooters, armed 
with globe-sighted rifles. These guns had a telescope on top 
of the barrel, and objects at a distance could be distinctly seen. 
Brush screened their rifle pits, and while they could see 



388 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

plainly an5' object above our works, we could not see them. 
A head uncautiously raised above the line, would be sure to 
get a bullit in or near it. 

About one hundred yards in our rear, up the ravine, was a 
good spring of water. The men could reach this in safety by 
going down the breastworks in a stooping posture, then up the 
ravine to the spring. A recruit in the Second Regiment had 
gone to this spring and was returning. When about twenty 
paces from the works he undertook, through a spirit of adven- 
ture, or to save a few steps, to run diagonally across the field 
to his regiment. It was his last. When about midway he 
was caught by a bullet from the enemy's picket, and only 
lived long enough to call out, "Oh, mother!" Many lost 
their lives here by recklessness or want of caution. 

After remaining in the trenches about two weeks, Kershaw's 
Brigade was relieved by a part of Hoke's Division and retired 
to some vacant lots in the city in good supporting distance of 
the front line. We were not out of reach of the shells by any 
means; they kept up a continual screaming overhead, bursting 
in the city. The soldiers got passes to visit the town on little 
shopping excursions, notwithstanding the continual bursting 
of the shells in the city. The citizens of Petersburg, white 
and black, women and children, like the citizens of Charles- 
ton, soon became accustomed to the shelling, and as long as 
one did not drop ia their immediate vicinity, little attention 
was paid to it. One night after a furious bombardment the 
cry was heard, "The city is on fire; the city is on fire." A 
lurid glare shot up out of the very heart of the city, casting 
a dim light over the buildings and the camps near about. . 
Fire bells began ringing, and the old men rushing like mad to 
fight the fire. As soon as the enemy discovered that the city 
was on fire, they concentrated all their efforts to the burning 
buildings. Shells came shrieking from every elevated position 
on the enemy's lines, and fell like "showers of meteors on a 
frolic. ' ' Higher and higher the flames rose until great molten- 
like tongues seemed to lick the very clouds. The old men 
mounted the ladder like boys, and soon the tops of the sur- 
rounding buildings were lined with determined spirits, and the 
battle against the flames began in earnest. We could see 
their forms against the dark back-ground, running hither and 
thither, fighting with all the power and energy of the brave 



HISTORY OF KEllSHAW'S BRIGADE. 389 

and fearless men they were. They paid no heed to the 
screaming, shrieking, bursting shells all around, but battled 
bravely to save the cit)'. After the burning of several con- 
tiguous buildings, the flames were gotten under control, and 
eventiially the fire was extinguished. I have seen many bat- 
tles, but never more heroism displayed than by the old citi- 
zens and boys that night in Peter.sburg. The soldiers were 
not allowed to leave their camp, and all the citizens of military 
age were aw'ay in the army, so the old men and boys had to 
fight this fire single-handed and alone, and amid a perfect 
storm of shot and shell. 

Grant had been daily reinforced by recruits and forces from 
the West. Butler had received a large reinforcement from 
Banks, on the lower Mississippi, and was gradually working 
his way up to Richmond. A great number of these troops, to 
judge from the prisoners we captured, were foreigners; many 
could not speak a word of English. Kershaw was ordered to 
reinforce the troops on the north side, and on the 13th of July 
we crossed the James on a pontoon bridge, near Chaffin's 
Bluff, after an all night's march over brush, briars, through 
field and bog, and took position on a high ridge running out 
from the river. In front of us was a vast swamp of heavy 
timber and underbrush, called Deep Bottom. Beyond Deep 
Bottom the enemy had approached and entrenched, being 
supported by gun boats in the James. This position it >vas 
determined to surprise and take by assault. Early at .night 
the brigade was moved out in this swamp, along a dull road 
that ran along its edge, and advanced in the direction of the 
enemy. No attempt of assault was ever more dreaded or 
looked on with such apprehension, save, perhaps, our charge 
on the works at Knoxville, than this night charge at Deep 
Bottom. When near the enemy's position, we formed line of 
battle, while it was so dark in the dense woods that an object 
ten feet away could not be distinguished. We had to take 
and give commands in whispers, for fear the enemy, would 
discover our presence. We moved forward gradually, a few 
steps at a time, each step a little nearer the enemy, who lay 
asleep behind their works. We had advanced, perhaps, two 
hundred yards, and as yet had encountered none of the 
enemy's pickets or videttes, showing how securely they felt in 
regard to a night attack. While halting to adjust our lines. 



390 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

which had to be done every few paces, Colonel Rutherford 
and myself were reconnoiteting in front, and discovered a 
white object a few feet away. The men saw it, too, and 
thought it a sheep. The Colonel advanced and gave it a 
slight Jab with his sword. In a moment a white blanket was 
thrown off, and there lay, as nicely coiled up as little pigs, two 
of the Yankee sentinels. They threw up their hands in a 
dazed kind of way, and to our whispered threats and uplifted 
swords, uttered some unintelligible jargon. We soon saw they 
did not understand a word of English. So it was we captured 
almost their entire picket line, composed of foreigners of 
Banks' Army, of Louisiana. Just then, on our right, whether 
from friend or foe, I never learned, several discharges of rifles 
alarmed both armies. It was too late then to practice secrecy, 
so the command "charge" was given. With a tremendous 
yell, we dashed through the tangled, matted mass of under- 
growth, on towards the enemy's line. Aroused thus suddenly 
from their sleep, they made no other resistance than to fire a 
few shots over our head, leaving the breastworks in haste. 
Some lay still, others ran a few rods in the rear, and remained 
until captured, while the greater part scampered away towards 
their gun boats. 

Colonel Henagan, of the Eighth, being in command of the 
brigade, ordered breastworks to be thrown up on the opposite 
side of an old road, in which the enemy lay and which they 
had partly fortified. The next day, about 3 o'clock, the 
enemy opened upon us a heavy fusilade with their siege 
mortars and guns from their gun boats and ironclads in the 
James. These were three hundred-pounders, guns we had 
never before been accustomed to. Great trees a foot and a 
half in diameter were snapped off like pipe-stems. The pecul- 
iar frying noise made in going through the air and their enor- 
mous size caused the troops to give them the name of "camp 
kettles." They passed through our earthworks like going 
hrough mole hills. The enemy advanced in line of battle, 
and a considerable battle ensued, but we were holding our 
own, when some watchers that Colonel Henagan had ordered 
in the tops of tall trees to watch the progress of the enemy, 
gave the warning that a large body of cavalry was advancing 
around our left and was gaining our rear. Colonel Henagan 
gave the command "retreat," but the great "camp kettles" 



HISTORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 391 

coming with such rapidity and regularity, our retreat through 
this wilderness of shrubbery and tangled undergrowth would 
have ended in a rout had not our retreat been impeded by this 
swamp morass. We reached the fortification, however, on the 
bluff, the enemy being well satisfied with our evacuation of 
the position so near their camp. 

The brigade, with the exception of marching and counter- 
marching, relieving other troops and being relieved, did no 
further service than occupying the lines until the 6th of 
August. The brigade boarded the train on that day at Ches- 
ter for destination at that time unknown. 

About the first of July the enemy, commanded by General 
Burnside, undertook to blow up a portion of our lines by tun- 
neling under the works at a convenient point suitable for 
assault, and attempted to take our troops by surprise. The 
point selected was that portion of the line first held by Ker- 
shaw's Brigade, near Cemetery Hill, and in front of Taylor's 
Creek, near Petersburg. The continual night assaults on us at 
that point and the steady advance of their lines were to gain as 
much distance as possible. From the base of the hill at Tay- 
lor's Creek they began digging a tunnel one hundred and 
seventy yards long, and at its terminus were two laterals, dug 
in a concave towards our works, of thirty-seven feet each. In 
these laterals were placed eight hundred pounds of powder, 
with fuse by which all could be exploded at once. 

General Beauregard, who commanded at this point, had 
been apprised of this undertaking, and at first had sunk coun- 
ter-mines. But this was abandoned, and preparations were 
made to meet the emergency with arms. At this point and 
near the "Crater," as it was afterwards called, were stationed 
Colquit's (Ga.), Grade's (Ala.), and Elliott's (S. C.) Bri- 
gades. Elliott's was posted immediately over it with Pegram's 
Battery. Rear lines had been established by which the troops 
could take cover, and reinforcements kept under arms night 
and day, so that when the explosion did take place, it would 
find the Confederates prepared. Batteries were placed at con- 
venient places to bear upon the line and the place of explo- 
sion. 

On the morning of the 30th qi July, everything being in 
readiness, the fuse was placed, and at 3.30 o'clock the light was 
applied. Before this terrible "Crater," soon to be a holocaust 



392 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

of human beings, were massed lyedlie's, Potter's, Wilcox's, an^ 
Ferrero's Divisions, supported by Ames'. In the front was 
Ferrero's Division of negro troops, drunk and reeling from the 
effects of liquor furnished them by the wagon loads. This 
body of twenty-three thousand men were all under the imme- 
diate command of Major General Ord. On the left of Burn- 
side, Warren concentrated ten thousand men, while the Eigh- 
teenth Corps, with that many more, were in the rear to aid 
and support the movement — the whole being forty-three thou- 
sand men, with eight thousand pounds of gun-powder to first 
spring the mine. General Sheridan, with his cavalry, was to- 
make a demonstration in our front and against the roads lead- 
ing to Petersburg. Hancock, too, was to take a part, if all 
things proved successful — fifty thousand men were to make a 
bold dash for the capture of the city. Immediateiy over the 
mine was Elliott's Brigade, consisting of the Seventeenth,. 
Twenty-sixth, Twenty-third, Twenty-second, and Eighteenth 
South Carolina Regiments. At 3.30 o'clock the fuse was 
lighted, and while the Confederates, all unconscious of the 
impending danger, lay asleep, this grand aggregation of men 
of Grant's Armjr waited with bated breath and anxious eye the 
fearful explosion that eight thousand pounds of powder, under 
a great hill, were to make. Time went on, seconds inta 
minutes. The nerves of the assaulters were, no doubt, at 
extreme tension. Four o'clock came, still all was still and, 
silent. The Federal commanders held their watches in hand 
and watched the tiny steel hands tick the seconds away. The 
streaks of day came peeping up over the hills and cast shadows, 
high overhead. The fuse had failed ! A call was made for a. 
volunteer to go down into the mine and relight the fuse. A 
lyieutensnt and Sergeant bravely step forward and offered to- 
undertake the perilous mission. They reach the mouth of the 
tunnel and peer in. All was dark, silent, sombre, and still. 
Along they grope their way with a small lantern in their 
hands. They reach the barrel of powder placed at the junc- 
tion of the main and the laterals. The fuse had ceased to- 
burn. Hurriedly they pass along to the other barrels. Ex- 
pecting every moment to be brown into space, they find all as- 
the first, out. The thousands, massed near the entrance and. 
along Taylor's Creek, watched with fevered excitement the 
fetwrn of the brave men who had thus placed their lives im 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADK. 395 

such jeopardy for a cause they, perhaps, felt no interest. 
Quickly they placed new fuse, lit them, and quickly left the 
gruesome pit. Scarcely had they reached a place of safety 
than an explosion like, a volcano shook the earth, while the 
country round about was lit up with a great flash. The earth 
trembled and swayed — great heaps of earth went flying in the 
air, carrying with it men, guns, and ammunition. Cannon 
and carriages were scattered in every direction, while the 
sleeping men were thrown high in the air. 

But here I will allow Colonel F. W. McMaster, an eye 
witness, who commanded Elliott's Brigade after the fall of that 
General, to tell the story of the "Battle of the Crater" in his- 
own words. I copy his account, by permission, from an 
article published in one of the newspapers of the State. 

BY COLONEL F. W. MeMASTER. 

In order to understand an account of the battle of the "Cra- 
ter," a short sketch of our fortifications should be given. 

Elliott's Brigade extended from a' little branch that separated 
it from Ransom's Brigade on the north, ran three hundred and 
fifty yards, joining Wise's Brigade on the south. Captain Pe- 
gram's Virginia Battery had four guns arranged in a half cir- 
cle on the top of the hill, and was separated from the Eigh- 
teenth and Twenty-second South Carolina Regiments by a 
bank called trench cavalier. 

The Federal lines ran parallel to the Confederate. The 
nearest point of Pegram's Battery to the Federal lines was 
eighty yards; the rest of the lines was about two hundred 
yards apart. The line called gorge line was immediately be- 
hind the battery, and was the general passage for the troops. 
The embankment called trench cavalier was immediately in 
rear of the artillery and was constructed for the infantry in 
case the battery should be taken by a successful assault. 

The general line for the infantry, which has been spoken of 
as a wonderful feat of engineering, was constructed under pe- 
culiar circumstances. Beauregard had been driven from the 
original lines made for the defense of Petersburg, and appre- 
hensive that the enemy, which numbered ten to one, would 
get into the city, directed his engineer. Colonel Harris, to 
stake a new line. This place was reached by General Han- 
cock's troops at dark on the third day's fighting, and our men 



394 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

were ordered to make a breastwork. Fortifications without 
spades or shovels was rather a difficult feat to perform, but our 
noble soldiers went to work with bayonets and tin cups, and in 
•one night threw up a bank three feet high — high enough to 
cause Hancock to delay his attack. In the next ten days' 
time the ditches were enlarged until they were eight feet high 
and eight feet wide, with a banquette of eighteen inches high 
from which the soldiers could shoot over the breastwork. 

Five or six traverses were built perpendicularly from the main 
trench to the rear, so as to protect Pegram's guns from the 
enfilading fire of the big guns on :he Federal lines a mile to 
the north. Besides these traverses there were narrow ditches 
five or six feet deep which led to the .sinks. 

The only safe way to Petersburg, a mile off, was to go down 
to the spring branch which passed under our lines at the foot 
of the hill, then go to the left through the covered way to 
Petersburg, or to take the covered way which was half way 
down the hill to Elliott's headquarters. 

At this point a ravine or more properly a swale ran up the 
hill parallel to our breastworks. It was near Elliott's head- 
quarters where Mahone's troops went in from the covered way 
and formed in battle array. 

The soldiers slept in the main trench. At times of heavy 
rains the lower part of the trench ran a foot deep in water. 
The officers slept in burrows dug. in the sides of the rear 
ditches. There were traverses, narrow ditches, cross ditches 
and a few mounds over officers' dens, so that there is no won- 
der that one of the Federal officers said the quarters reminded 
him of the catacombs of Rome. 

An ordinary mortal would not select such a place for a 
three months' summer residence. 

About ten days after the battle, and while I was acting Brig- 
adier General and occupying General Elliott's headquarters, a 
distinguished Major General visited me and requested me to 
go over the lines with him. I gladly complied with the re- 
quest. He asked me where the men rested at night. I 
pointed out the floor of the ditch. He said, "But where do the 
officers sleep?" We happened then to be in the narrow ditch 
in front ot my quarters, and I pointed it out to him. He re- 
plied, in language not altogether suitable for a Sunday School 
teacher, that he would desert before he would submit to such 
hardships. 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 395 

THE "crater." 

The explosion took place at 4.45 A. M. The "Crater" made 
by eight thousand pounds of gun powder was one hundred and 
thirty-five feet long, ninety-seven feet broad and thirt5 feet 
deep. Two hundred and seventy-eight men were buried in 
the debris — Eighteenth Regiment, eighty-two; Twenty-second, 
one hundred and seventy, and Pegram's Battery, twenty-two 
men. 

To add to the terror of the scene the enemy with one hun- 
dred and sixty-four cannon and mortars began a bombardment 
much greater than Fort Sumter or battery were ever subjected 
to. Elliott's Brigade near the "Crater" was panic stricken, 
and more than one hundred men of the Eighteenth Regiment 
covered with dirt rushed down. Two or three noble soldiers 
asked me for muskets. Some climbed the counterscarpe and 
made their way for Petersburg. Numbers of the Seventeenth 
joined the procession. I saw one soldier scratching at the 
counterscape of the ditch like a scared cat. A staunch I,ieu- 
tenant of Company E- without hat or coat or shoes ran for dear 
life way down into Ransom's trenches. When he came to con- 
sciousness he cried out, "What! old Morse running!" and 
immediately returned to his place in line. 

The same consternation existed in the Federal line. As 
they saw the masses descending they broke ranks, and it took 
a few minutes to restore order. 

federal charge. 

About fifteen minutes after the explosion General L,edlie's 
Corps advanced in line. The cheval-de-frise was destroyed for 
fifty yards. Soon after General Wilcox's Corps came in line 
and bore to L,edlie's left. Then Potter's Corps followed by 
flanks and was ordered to the right of I^edlie's troops. 

The pall of smoke was so great that we could not see the 
enemy until they were in a few feet of our works, and a lively 
fusillade was opened by the Seventeenth Regiment on the north 
side of the "Crater." I saw Starling Hutto, of Company H, 
a boy of sixteen, on the top of the breastworks, firing his 
musket at the enemy a few yards off with the coolness of a 
veteran. As soon as I reached him I dragged him down by 
his coat tail and ordered him to shoot from the banquette. On 
the south of the "Crater" a few men under Major Shield, of 



396 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE^. 

the Twenty-second, and Captain R. E. White, with the Twen- 
t5'-third Regiment, had a hot time in repelling the enemy. 

Adjutant Sims and Captain Floyd, of the Eighteenth Regi- 
ment, with about thirty men, were cut off in the gorge line. 
They held the line for a few minutes. Adjutant Sims was 
killed and Captain Floyd and his men fell back into sofne of 
the cross ditches and took their chances with the Seventeenth. 

It was half an hour before the Federals filled the "Crater," 
the gorge line and a small space of the northern part of the 
works not injured by the explosion. All this time the Federals 
rarely shot a gun on the north of the "Crater." 

Major J. C. Coit, who commanded Wright's Battery and 
Pegram's battery, had come up to look after the condition of 
the latter. He concluded that two officers and twenty men 
were destroyed. Subsequently he discovered that one man had 
gone to the spring before the explosion, that four men were 
saved by a casemate and captured. 

Colonel Coit says he took twenty-five minutes to come from 
his quarters and go to Wright's Batter}', and thinks it was the 
first gun shot on the Federal side. Testimony taken in the 
court of inquiry indicate the time at 5.30 A. M. 

GENERAI. STEPHEN EI,I,IOTT. 

General Stephen Elliott, the hero of Fort Sumter, a fine 
gentleman and a superb officer, came up soon after the explo- 
sion. He was dressed in a new uniform, and looked like a 
game cock. He surveyed the scene for a few minutes; he dis- 
appeared and in a short time he came up to me accompanied by 
Colonel A. R. Smith, of the Twenty-sixth, with a few men, 
who were working their way through the crowd. He said to 
me: "Colonel, I'm going to charge those Yankees out of the 
"Crater;" you follow Smith with your regiment." 

He immediately climbed the counterscrape. The gallant 
Smith followed, and about half a dozen men followed. And 
in less than five minutes he was shot from the "Crater" 
through his shoulder. I believe it was the first ball shot that 
day from the northern side of the "Crater." He was im- 
mediately pulled down into the ditch, and with the utmost 
coolness, and no exhibition of pain turned the command oveir 
to me, the next ranking officer. Colonels Benbow and Wallace 
were both absent on furlough. 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 397 

I immediately ordered John Phillips, a brave soldier of Com- 
pany I, to go around the "Crater" to inform the commanding 
ofiBcer of the serious wounding of General Elliott, and to 
inquire as to the condition of the brigade on the south side. 
Major Shield replied that Colonel Fleming and Adjutant 
Quattlebaum, with more than half the Twenty-second, were 
buried up, but with the remainder of his men and with the 
Twenty-third, under Captain White, and a part of Wise's 
Brigade we had driven the Yankees back, and intended to keep 
them back. 

Being satisfied that the object of the mine was to make a 
gap in our line by which General Meade could rush his troops 
to the rear, I ordered Colonel Smith to take his Regiment, and 
Captain Crawford with three of my largest Companies, Com- 
panies K, E and B, containing nearly as many men as Smith's, 
to proceed by Elliott's headquarters up the ravine to a place 
immediately in rear of the "Crater" — to make the men lie 
down — and if the enemy attempted to rush down to resist them 
to the last extremity. This was near 6 o'clock A. M., and 
the enemy had not made any advace on the North side of the 
"Crater." 

By this time the "Crater" was packed with men. I counted 
fourteen beautiful banners. I saw four or five officers waiving 
swords and pointing towards Petersburg, and I supposed they 
were preparing for a charge to the crest of the hill. 

RLWOTT'S BRIGADE. 

The line and strength of the Brigade from left to right was 
as follows : Twenty-sixth Regiment, two hundred and fifty 
men; Seventeenth, four hundred; Eighteenth, three hundred 
and fifty; Twenty-second, three ■ hundred; Twenty-third, two 
hundred. In all one thousand and five hundred men, a full 
estimate. 

BENBOW'S REGIMENT. 

The first severe attack of the enemy was on the South of 
the "Crater," which was defended by a part of the Twenty- 
second under Major Shedd, and Benbow's Twenty-third under 
Captain White. The enemy attacked with fury. Our men 
fought nobly, but were driven down their ditch. Wise's 
Brigade then joined in, and our men rushed back and recov- 
ered the lost space. About this time they shot Colonel Wright, 



398 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

leading the Thirteenth Minnesota regiment, and then the 
Federals slacked their ejEForts and bore to their right, and mul- 
titudes of them climbed the "Crater" and went to the rear of 
it and filled the gorge line and every Vacant space on the 
North side. No serious aggressive attack was made on the 
Twenty-third Regiment during the rest of the day. The 
principal reason I suppose was the direct line to Cemetery Hill 
was through the Seventeenth Regiment. Every Federal offi- 
cer was directed over and over again to rush to the crest of 
the hill. 

SEVENTEENTfl REGIMENT. 

The Federals being checked on the South of the "Crater" 
charged Company A, the extreme right Company, next to 
the "Crater." Captain W. H. Edwards was absent sick, amd 
a few of the men were covered with dirt by the explosion and 
were consequently demoralized. Private Hoke was ordered to 
surrender — declared he never would surrender to a Yankee. 
He clubbed his musket and knocked down four of his assail- 
ants, and was bayoneted. There were five men killed in 
Company A. Company F was the next attacked, and private 
John Caldwell shot one man and brained two with the butt of 
his musket. I,ieutenant Samuel L,owry, a fine young man of 
twenty years, and four privates were killed. Company D 
surrendered in a traverse, and twenty-seven men were killed. 
Had the splendid lyieutenant W. G. Stevenson been present 
the result would have been differept- Fourteen out of twenty- 
seven of these men died in prison of scurvy at Elmira, N. Y. 
Private J. S. Hogan, of Company D, leaped the traverse. He 
joined in Mahone's charge, and after the fight was sickened 
by the carnage; went to the spring to revive himself, then 
went into the charge under General Sanders. After the battle 
he procured enough coffee and sugar to last him a month. 
This young rebel seemed to have a furor for fighting and 
robbing Yankees. At the battle of Fort Steadman he manned 
a cannon which was turned on the enemy, and in the retreat 
from Petersburg he was in every battle. He was always on 
the picket line, by choice, where he could kill, wound or cap- 
ture the enemy. He feasted well while the other soldiers fed 
on parched corn, and surrendered at Appomattox with his 
haversack filled with provisions. 



HISTORY OP KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 399 

Company C, the next Company, had fourteen men killed. 
Its Captain, William Dunovant, was only eighteen years of 
age, and as fine a Captain as was in lyee's Army. lyieutenant 
C. Pratt, a fine officer not more than twenty-five years old, 
was killed. The command devolved on Sergeant T. J. I^a- 
Motte. G and H had two each; I, three; K, five; and B, one; 
F, five. 

The Federals had the advantage over the Seventeenth be- 
cause there were some elevated points near the "Crater" they 
could shoot from. After being driven down about fifty yards 
there was an angle in the ditch, and Sergeant LaMotte built a 
barricade, which stopped the advance. A good part of the 
fighting was done by two men on each side at a time — the, rest 
being cut off from view. 

LOOKING AFTER SMITH'S MEN. 

About 6:30 I went down a narrow ditch to see if Smith and 
his men were properly located to keep the enemy from going 
down to the ravine before I got back. I saw there was a va- 
cant space in our trench. I hustled in and saw two muskets 
poked around an angle, as I got in the muskets were fired and 
harmlessly imbedded the balls in the breastworks. I immedi- 
ately concluded that it was not very safe for the commander 
being on the extreme right of his men and went lower down. 
In a short time I again went in a ditch a little lower down the 
hill, anxious about the weak point on our line. I was smoking 
a pipe with a long tie-tie stem. As I returned I observed a 
rush down the line. As I got in the ditch the bowl of the 
pipe was knocked off. A big brawny fellow cried out, "Hold 
on men! the Colonel can't fight without his pipe!" He 
wheeled around, stopped the men until he picked up the bowl 
and restored it to me. I wish I knew the name of this kind- 
hearted old soldier. 

The principal fighting was done by the head of the column. 
A few game fellows attempted to cross the breastworks. A 
Captain Sims and a negro ofiicer were bayoneted close together 
on our breastworks, but hundreds of the enemy for hours stuck 
like glue to our outer bank. 

A LONG AND LAZY FIGHT. 

The sun was oppressively hot. There was very little mus- 
ketry, the cannonading had closed; it was after 7 o'clock, and 



400 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

the soldiers on both sides, as there was not much shooting 
going on, seemed to resort to devices to pass the time. I saw 
Captain Steele throwing bayonets over a traverse. I saw 
I,amotte on one knee on the ground, and asked what be was 
■doing. He whispered, "I'm trying to get the drop on a 
fellow on the other side. " They would throw clods of clay at 
€ach other over the bank. As an Irishman threw over a lump 
of clay I heard him saj', "Tak thart, Johnny." We all wished 
that Beauregard had supplied us with hand grenades, for the 
battle had simmered down to a little row in the trenches. 

THE BATTLE THAT CONQUERED MEADE. 

At 8. ID A. M. Ferrero's four thousand three hundred ne- 
groes rushed over and reached the right flank of the Seven- 
teenth. This horde of barbarians added greatly to the thous- 
ands of white men that packed themselves to the safe side of 
the breastworks. Thousands rushed down the hill side. 
Ransom's Twenty-sixth and Twenty-fifth Regiments were 
crazy to get hold of the negroes. "Niggers" had been scarce 
around there during the morning, now they were packed in an 
acre of ground and in close range. The firing was great all 
down the hill side, but when it got down to the branch the 
musketry was terrific, and Wright's Battery two hundred 
yards ofE poured in its shells. About half past 8 o'clock, at 
the height of the battle, there was a landslide amongst the 
negroes. Colonel Carr says two thousand negroes rushed back 
and lifted him from his feet and swept him to the rear. Gen- 
eral Delavan Bates, who was shot through the face, said at 
that time that Ransom's Brigade was reported to occupy those 
lines. 

When the battle was at its highest the Seventeenth was 
forced down its line about thirty yards. lyieutenant Coloi.el 
Fleming, of Ransom's Forty-ninth Regiment, came up to me 
and pointed out a good place to build another barricade. I 
requested him to build it with his own men, as mine were 
almost exhausted by the labors of the day. He cheerfully as- 
sented, stepped on a banquette to get around me, and was shot 
in the neck and dropped at my feet. 

At this moment of time an aide of General Bushrod Johnson 
told me that the General requested me to come out to Elliott's 
headquarters. I immediately proceeded to the place, and 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADK. 401 

General Mahone came up. I was introduced to him, and 
suggested to him when his men came in to form them on 
Smith's men who were lying down in the ravine. A few min- 
utes afterwards, by order of General Johnson, Captain Steele 
brought out the remnant of the Seventeenth Regiment, and 
they marched in the ravine back of Mahone's men. 

MAHONE' S CHARGE. 

By this time General Mahone's Brigade of Virginians, eight 
hundred men strong, was coming in one by one, and were 
formed a few steps to the left and a little in advance of Smith's 
and Crawford's men. I was standing with General Johnson, 
close to Elliott's headquarters, and could see everything that 
transpired in the ravine. It took Mahone so long to arrange 
his men I was apprehensive that the enemy would make a 
charge before he was ready. A few Federal ofificers began to 
climb out of the main ditch until they numbered perhaps 
twenty-five men. General Mahone was on the extreme right 
it seemed to me busy with some men — I have heard since they 
were some Geoi-gians. Captain Girardey had gone to Colonel 
Weisinger, who was worried with the delay, and told him 
General Mahone was anxious to take some of the Georgians 
with him. But the threatening attitude of the enemy preci- 
pitated the charge. 

The noble old Roman, Colonel Weisinger, cried out "For- 
ward !' ' and eight hundred brave Virginians sprung to their 
feet and rushed two hundred yards up the hill. It had not the 
precision of a West Point drill, but it exhibited the pluck of 
Grecians at Thermopylae. The men disappeared irregularly 
as they reached the numerous ditches that led to the main ditch 
until all were hid from view. The firing was not very great 
for the bayonet and butt of the muskets did more damage 
than the barrel. If any one desires a graphic description of a 
hand to hand fight I beg him to read the graphic detailed 
account given by Mr. Bernard in his "War Talks of Con- 
federate Veterans. ' ' 

In a few minutes the enemy in the ditches up to fifty 
yards of the "Crater" were killed or captured. The 
whole battlefield of three acres of ground became suddenly 
quiet comparatively. 

Mahone in an hour's time sent in the Georgia Brigade, under 
26 



402 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

General Wright. There was such a heavy fire from the; 
"Crater" the brigade was forced to oblique to the left and 
banked on Mahone's men. In a few minutes after they landed 
at the foot of the "Crater" in their second charge. 

Sanders' Alabama Brigade came up at this time. Besides 
his Alabamians were Elliott's Brigade and Cliugman's Sixty- 
first North Carolina. The charge was made about one o'clock 
P. M., and the Federal artillery poured all its fire on the 
"Crater" for some minutes, slaughtering many of their own 
men. At this charge I^ieutenant Colonel Culp, who was absent 
at the explosion, being a member of a courtmartial, came up 
and took charge of the Seventeenth in the ravine, where Captain 
Steele had them. In the charge of the ' 'Crater' ' under Sanders 
were Colonel Culp, Colonel Smith and lyieutenant Colonel 
J. H. Hudson with the Twenty-sixth, and a large number of 
privates, especially from the Seventeenth Regiment, which also 
had a good many in Mahone's charge. 

. A good many of the Twenty-third joined in the charge, and 
Private W. H. Dunlap, Company C, Twenty-third Regiment, 
now of Columbia, was the first man who got in the "Crater" 
on the south side. 

While the men were piled up around the "Crater" Adjutant 
Fant heard some Alabama soldiers picking out the fine banners 
within, and he was lucky to get two of them. He laid them 
down, and in a minute they were spirited away. 

A little incident recited by Honorable George Clark Sanders, 
Adjutant General, illustrates how true politeness smoothes the 
wrinkled brow of war. He says that he saw a fine looking 
Federal officer making his way out of the "Crater" with much 
pain, using two reversed muskets for crutches, seeing one leg 
was shot off. He said I'm very sorry to see you in .so much 
pain. The soldier replied the pain occurred at Spottsylvania a 
year ago. This is a wooden leg shot off to-day — then gave his 
name as General Bartlett, but Colonel Sanders kindly helped 
him out. 

The horrors of war are sometimes relieved with incidents 
which amuse us. Adjutant Faut tells an amusing incident of 
Joe Free, a member of Company B. The Adjutant had gone 
in the afternoon to the wagon yard to be refreshed after the 
labors of the day. There was a gro'up of men reciting inci- 
dents. The Adjutant overheard Free say he had gone into aa 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 403 

officer's den for a few minutes to shade his head from the heat 
of the sun, as he was suffering from an intense headache, and 
as he began to creep out he saw the trench full of negroes. He 
dodged back again. Joe says he was scared almost to death, 
and that he "prayed until great drops of sweat poured down 
my face." The Adjutant knew that his education was defec- 
tive and said, "What did you say, Joe?" "I said Lord have 
mercy on me ! and keep them damned niggers from killiag 
me!" 

It was an earnest and effective prayer, for Mahone's men in 
an hour afterwards released him. 

In a recent letter received from Captain E. A. Crawford, he 
says the enemy formed three times to charge, but we gave them 
a well directed volley each time and sent them into the rear 
line in our trench. When Mahone came in and formed my 
three companies charged with him. Colonel Smith told me 
they charged four times. Cusack Moore, a verv intelligent 
private of Company K, said they charged five times. After 
the charge Captain Crawford requested General Mahone to 
give him permission to report to his regiment, and he ordered 
him to report to General Sanders, and he joined in that charge 
with his men. Company K had fifty-three men, Captain 
Cherry; Company E, forty, and Captain Burley, Company B, 
twenty-five; in all, one hundred and eighteen men. 

Lieutenant Colonel Culp was a member of a military court 
doing dutj' in Petersburg at the time of the explosion, and 
could not get back until he reported to me at Elliott's head- 
quarters. I made some extracts from his letter recently re- 
ceived: "I recollect well that in the charge (the final one) 
which we made that model soldier and Christian gentleman, 
Sergeant Williams, of Company K, was killed, and that one of 
the Crowders, of Company B, was killed in elbow touch of me 
after we got into the works. These casualties, I think, well 
established the fact that Companies K and B were with me in 
the charge, and, as far as I know now, at least a portion of all 
the companies were with me. I recollect that poor Fant was 
with us very distinctly, and that he rendered very efficient 
service after we got to the "Crater" in ferreting outbidden 
Federals, who had taken shelter there, and who, for the most 
part, seemed very loath to leave their hiding places. I feel 
quite confident that Capt. Crawford was also there, but there 



404 HISTORY OF KHRSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

is nothing that I can recall at this late day to fasten. the fapt 
of his presence on my mind, except that he was always ready 
for duty, however perilous it might be, and I am sure his 
company was there, in part at least. So, too, this will appjy 
to all of the officers of our regiment whose duty it was to be 
there on that occasion, and who were not unavoidably kept 
away. In the charge that we made we were to be supported . 
by the Sixty-first North Carolina. They were on our left, and 
I suppose entered the works entirely to the left of the "Cra- 
ter," for I am sure that our regiment, small as it was, covered 
the "Crater," and when I reached the old line with my com- 
mand we found ourselves in the very midst of the old fort, 
which, I may say, had been blown to atoms in the early morn- 
ing. When we arrived the Federals began, in some instances, 
to surrender to us voluntarily, others, as before intimated, had 
to be pulled out of their hiding places. And with these pris- 
oners we captured quite a number of colors, probably as many 
as a dozen, certainly not less than eight or ten. I was so 
occupied in trying to clear the trenches of the enemy that I 
gave no attention to these colors after they fell into the hands 
of our men, and afterwards learned, to my sorrow, that they 
had fallen into hands which were not entitled to them. Suffice 
it to say that few, if any of them, could -be found. After 
perfect quiet had been restored, and we were thus robbed of 
these significant trophies of our triumph at which we felt quite 
a keen disappointment, it is pleasing to me to say that I think 
that every man of our regiment who was present acted his part 
nobly in the performance of the hazardous duty assigned us on 
that memorable occasion. * * * You gave me the order 
to make the final charge already referred to." 

THE ARTILLERY. 

The Confederates only had twenty-six cannon, and only 
three of them were conspicuous. The Federals had one hun- 
dred and sixty-four cannon and mortars. They fired five 
thousand and seventy-five rounds. They had only one man 
killed and two wounded. 

General Hunt and others spoke slightingly of our guns, 
with two exceptions, Wright's Battery and Davenport's, 
which is mentioned as the two-gun battery. General Hunt 
the day before had accurately prepared to silence a^l these 



HISTORY OF KERSHAw's BRIGADE. 405 

guns, except the Davenport Battery. General Hunt said he 
expected a company of infantry would take us in fifteen min- 
utes after Pegram's Battery was gone. But the Wright Bat- 
tery was a complete surprise. It was constructed just behind 
Ransom's Brigade, about one hundred yards. General Hunt 
never could locate the place, and shot at short range above 
five hundred shell's doing no damage, but honeycombing the 
surrounding ground. 

Wright's Battery was in five hundred yards of the "Crater," 
and Colonel Coit informed me he shot about six hundred 
rounds of shell and shrapnel at short range. 

In my opinion it did more damage than all our guns put 
together. Its concealed location gave it a great advantage 
over all other guns. 

Davidson's Battery had only one gun, which only could 
shoot in one line. But it created more anxiety amongst the 
enemy than any other. The infantry officers constantly 
alluded to its destructive power, and they dug a trench to 
guard against its fire. Major Hampton Gibbes commanded it 
until he was wounded, and then Captain D. N. Walker for the 
rest of the day did his duty nobly, and no doubt killed many 
Federals. General Warren was ordered to capture this gun 
about 8.30, but at 8.45 he was ordered to do nothing "but re- 
connoitre." This was before Mahone came up. 

The most interesting of our guns were the two coehorns of 
Major John C. Ha.skell, because all of his j;hells were emptied 
into the "Crater," which was packed with men^ General 
Mahone says: "In the meantime Colonel Haskell, a brilliant 
officer of our artillery, hunting a place where he could strike a 
blow at our adversary, presented himself for any service which 
I could advise. There were two coehorn mortars in^ the de- 
pression already referred to, and I suggested to him that he 
could serve them . I would have them taken up to the outside 
of the "Crater," at which place he could employ himself until 
one o'clock, as perhaps no such opportunity had ever occurred 
or would be likely to occur for effective employment of these 
little implements of war. Colonel Haskell adopted the sug- 
gestion, and the mortars being removed to a ditch within a 
few feet of the "Crater," they were quickly at work emptying 
their contents upon the crowded mass of men in this horrible 
pit." 



406 HISTORY OF KERSHAW' S BRIGADE. 

Lieutenant Bowley, a Federal officer, says: "A mortar bat- 
tery also opened on us. After a few shots they got our range 
so well that the shells fell directly among us. Many of them 
did not explode at all, but a few burst directly over us and cut 
the men down cruelly." He also speaks of a few Indians 
from Michigan. "Some of them were mortally wounded, and, 
drawing their blouses over their faces, they chanted a death 
song and died — four of them in a group." 

A FEAST AFTER A FAMINE. 

About 3 o'clock p. m. absolute quietness prevailed over the 
battlefield where the carnage of war rioted a few hours before. 
My Orderly, M. C. Heath, a boy of sixteen, who now is a dis- 
tinguished phj'sician of Lexington, Ky., came to me at El- 
liott's headquarters and told me that the Lieutenant Colonel 
and Adjutant sent their compliments and requested me to come 
to dinner at my den in the trench. I went, and had to step 
over the dead bodies-^all negroes. A narrow ditch led to a 
plaza six feet square, where a half dozen men, in fine weather, 
could sit on campstools. On the breastworks hung a dead 
negro. In the ditch I had to step over another dead negro. 
As I got to my plaza I saw two more negroes badly wounded 
in a cell two feet deeper than the plaza where I slept. One of 
the negroes was resting his bloody head on a fine copy of 
Paley's philosophy, which I came across in my wanderings. 
Heath's big basket was well stored with good viands, and we 
ate with the ferocity of starving men, regaling ourselves with 
the incidents of battle, without any expressions of sorrow for 
our friends. Colonel David Fleming and Adjutant Quattlebaum, 
who a few yards above were entombed in our old sleeping place 
in the "Crater" which we occupied as our quarters until they 
succeeded us ten days before, or any lamentations for the hun- 
dreds of dead and dying on the hillside around. 

The joy of the glorious victory drowned out all sentiments 
of grief for a season, and it seemed a weird holiday. 

A BI<UNDER IN BEAUREGARD'S BOOK. 

Mr. Barnard, in his interesting article on the "Crater," crit- 
icises a remarkable paragraph in Colonel Roman's work, "bas- 
ing his statements made by General Bushrod Johnson and 
Colonel McMaster." The only objection to my statement was 
I said Mahone's charge was at lo o'clock a. m. 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 407 

The paragraph is as follows: 

"Such was the situation. The Federals unable to advance 
and fearing to retreat, when, at lo o'clock, General Mahone 
arrived with a part of his men, who had laid down in the shal- 
low ravine to the rear of Elliott's salient held by the forces 
under Colonel Smith, there to await the • remainder of the Di- 
vision, but a movement having occurred among the Federals, 
which seemed to menace an advance. General Mahone then 
forwarded his Brigade with the Sixty-first North Carolina, of 
Hoke's Division, Jwhich had now also come up. The Twenty- 
fifth and Forty-ninth North Carolina, and the Seventeenth 
South Carolina, all under Smith, which were formed on Ma- 
hone's left, likewise formed in the "Crater" movement, and 
three-fourths of the gorge line was carried with that part of 
the trench on the left of the "Crater" occupied by the Fed- 
erals. Many of the latter, white and black, abandoned the 
breach and fled under a scourging flank fire of Wise's Bri- 
gade. ' ' 

This is confusion worse confounded. It is diSicult to find a 
paragraph coniaining so many blunders as the report of Gene- 
ral Johnson to Colonel Roman. 

The Sixty-first North Carolina of Hoke's Brigade was not 
present during the day, except at Sander's charge two hours 
afterwards. The Twenty-fifth and Forty-ninth North Caro- 
lina were not present at all, but remained in their trench on 
the front line. 

Smith's men on the extreme right did not as a body go into 
Mahone's charge. Captain Crawford with one hundred and 
eighteen men did charge with Mahone. In fact he commanded 
his own men separate from Smith, although he was close by. 

Colonel Roman's account taken from General Johnson's state- 
ment is unintelligible. 

TIME OF mahone's CHARGE. 

I dislike to differ with Mr. Bernard, who has been so courte- 
ous to me, and with my friend, Colonel Venable, for we liter- 
ally carried muskets side by side as privates in dear old Captain 
Casson's company, the Governor's Guards, in Colonel Ker- 
shaw's Regiment, at the first battle of Manassas, and I .shot 
thirteen times at Ellsworth's Zouaves. Venable was knocked 
down with a spent ball and I only had a bloody mouth. And 



408 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

the rain}' night which followed the battle we sheltered our- 
selves under the same oilcloth. But I can't help thinking of 
these gentlemen as being like all Virginians, which is illus- 
trated by a remark of a great Massachusetts man, old John 
Adams, in answering some opponent, said : "Virginians 
are all fine fellows. The only objection I have to you is, in 
Virginia every goose is a swan. ' ' 

Colonel Venable says : "I am confident the charge of the 
Virginians jWas made before 9 o'clock a. m." Mr. Bernard 
says, in speaking of the time: "Mahone's Brigade left the 
plank road and took to the covered way." "It is now half- 
past 8 o'clock." In a note he says : "Probably between 8.15 
and 8.30." "At the angle where the enemy could see a mov- 
ing column with ease the men were ordered to run quickly by, 
one man at a time, which was done for the double purpose of 
concealing the approach of a body of troops and of lessening 
the danger of passing rifle balls at these points." 

It took Mahone's Brigade, above eight hundred men, to 
walk at least five hundred 5'ards down this covered way and 
gulch, one by one, occassionally interrupted by wounded men 
going to the rear, at least twenty minutes. At a very low 
estimate it took them half an hour to form in the ravine, to 
listen to two short speeches, and the parley between Weisinger 
and Girardey. With the most liberal allowance this will bring 
the charge at 9.15 A. M., but it took more time than that. 

Captain Whitner investigated the time of the charge in less 
than a month after the battle. I extract the following, page 
795, 40th "War of Rebellion:" "There is a great diversity of 
opinion as to the time the first charge was made by General 
Mahoue * * * But one oflBcer of the division spoke with cer- 
tainty. Colonel McMaster, Seventeenth South Carolina Volun- 
teers. His written statement is enclosed . ' ' Unluckily the paper 
was "not found." But there is no doubt I repeatedly said it 
was about ten o'clock A. M. 

General Mahone took no note of the time, but says: "Accord- 
ing to the records the charge must have been before nine 
o'clock. General Burnside in his report fixes the time of the. 
charge and recapture of our works at 8.45 A. M." 40th "War 
of kebellion," page 528. He is badly mistaken.. , General, 
Burnside says: "The enemy regaine^ti a portion of his line on 
the right. This was about 8.45'A.' M.J'but not all the colored 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 409 

troops retired. Some held pits from behind which they had 
advanced severely checking the enemy until they were nearly 
all killed." 

"At 9.15 I received, with regret, a peremptory order from 
the General commanding to withdraw my troops from the 
enemy's lines." 

Now this battle indicated as at 8.45 was a continuation 
of the one that many officers said was about half- past eight 
o'clock. And both Mahone and Mr. Bernard were mistaken 
in stating that the great firing and retreat of soldiers was the 
result of the Virginian's charge, whereas at this time Mahone's 
Brigade was at the Jerusalem plank road. Moreover, when 
Mahone did come up his eight hundred men could not, create 
one-fourth of the reverberation of the Seventeenth Regiment, 
Ransom's Brigade, and the thousands of the enemy. Besides 
Mahone's men's fighting was confined to the ditches, and they 
used mostly the butts and bayonets instead of the barrels of 
their muskets. No it was the fire of Elliott's men, Ransom's 
men, the torrent of shells of Wright's Battery and the enemy, 
Ord's men, and the four thousand negroes, all of them in an 
area of one hundred yards. The part of the line spoken of by 
Generals Delavan Bates and Turner and others as the Con- 
federate line were mere rifles pits which the Confederates held 
until they had perfected the main line, and then gave up the 
pits. They were in the hollow, where the branch passes 
through to the breastworks. 

Now the tumultuous outburst of musketry. Federal and 
Confederate, and the landslide of the Federals, was beyond 
doubt before I went out to Elliott's headquarters on the order 
of General Johnson. 

For two hours before this Meade had beeri urging Burnside 
to rush to the crest of the hill until General B. was irritated 
beyond measure, and replied to a dispatch: ' 'Were it not insub- 
ordination I would say that the latter remark was unoffice:^ 
like and ungentlemanly." Before this time Grant, Meade and 
Ord had given up hope. They had agreed to withdraw, hence 
the positive order "to withdraw my troops from the enemy'$ 
Une at 9.15. 

Now this must have been before Mahone. came up, for there 
is no allusion to a charge by any Fedei'al Geheral at the court 
of inquiry. With the 8.30 charge made at the hollow, there 



410 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADB. 

■was a synchronous movement made by General Warren on the 
south of the "Crater," but at 8.45 he was informed that it was 
intended alone for a reconnoissance of the two-gun battery. 

At 9. 15 General Warren sends dispatch: ' 'Just before receiv- 
ing your dispatch to assault the battery on the left of the 
"Crater" occupied by General Burnside the enemy drove his 
troops out of the place and I think now hold it. I can find 
no one who for certainty knows, or seems willing to admit, but 
I think I saw a Rebel flag in it just now, and shots coming 
from it this way. I am, therefore, if this (be) true no more 
able to take this battery now than I was this time yesterday. 
All our advantages are lost." 

The advantages certainly were not lost on account of Ma- 
hone's men, but on account of the losses two hundred yards 
down the hill, of which he had doubtless been advised. He 
saw what he thought was a "Rebel flag," but for a half an 
hour he had heard of the terrific castigation inflicted on the 
Federals down the hill. 

But here is something from the court of inquiry that ap- 
proximates the time of Mahone's charge. 

General Griffen, of Potter's Ninth Corps, in reply to the 
question by the court: "When the troops retired from the 
"Crater" was it compulsory from the enemy's operations, or by 
orders from your commanders?" Answer. "Partly both. 
We retired because we had orders. At the same time a column 
of troops came up to attack the 'Crater,' and we retired instead 
of stopping to fight. This force of the enemy came out of a 
ravine, and we did not see them till they appeared on the rising 
ground." 

' ' What was the force that came out to attack you ? The 
force that was exposed in the open?" Answer, "five or six 
hundred soldiers were all that we could see. I did not see 
either the right or left of the line. I saw the center of the line 
as it appeared to me. It was a good line of battle. Probably 
if we had not been under orders to evacuate we should have 
fought them, and tried to hold our position, but according to 
the orders we withdrew. ' ' 

General Hartranft, of Ninth Corps, says in answer to the 
question "Driven out?" "They were driven out the same 
time, the same time I had passed the word to retire. It was a 
.simultaneous thing. When they saw the assaulting column 



HISTORY OP KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 411 

within probably one hundred feet of the works I passed the 
word as well as it could be passed for everybody to retire. 
And I left myself at that time. General GrifEen and myself 
were together at that time. The order to retire we had en- 
dorsed to the effect that we thought we could not withdraw 
the troops that were there on account of the enfilading fire 
over the ground between our rifle pits and the ' 'Crater' ' with- 
out losing a great portion of them, that ground being enfiladed 
with artillery and infantry fire. They had at that time brought 
their infantry down along their pits on both sides of the "Cra- 
ter," so that their sharpshooters had good range, and were in 
good position. Accordingly we requested that our lines should 
open with artillery and infantry, bearing on the right and left 
of the "Crater," under which fire we would be able to with- 
draw a greater portion of our troops, and, in fact, everyone 
that could get away. While we were in waiting for the ap- 
proach of that endorsement and the opening of the fire, this 
assaulting column ot the enemy came up and we concluded — 
General Griffin and myself — that there was no use in holding 
it any longer, and so we retired." 

This proves beyond doubt that Mahone's charge was after 
9.15. It probably took Burnside some minutes to receive this 
order and some minutes for him and Griffin to send it down the 
line, and to send orders to the artillery to open on their flanks 
to protect them. This would bring Mahone's charge to 9.30 
or 9.45. 

SMITH AND CRAWFORD SAVE PETERSBURG. 

I ordered Smith to take his regiment, the Twenty-sixth, and 
Crawford with Companies K, E, and B, to lie down in the 
ravine. Every General was ordered to charge to the crest. 
Had the enemy gotten beyond Smith's line fifty yards they 
could have marched in the covered way to Petersburg; not a 
cannon or a gun intervened. General Potter says his men 
charged. two hundred yards beyond the "Crater," when they 
were driven back. Colonel Thomas said he led a charge 
which was not successful; he went three or four hundred yards 
and was driven back. General Griffin says he went about two 
hundred yards and was driven back. Colonel Russell says he 
went about fifty yards towards Cemetery Hill and "was 
driven back by two to four hundred infantry, which rose up 



412 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S' BRIGADE. 

from a little ravine and charged, us. " Some officer said he 
went five hundred yards beyond the "Crater." There was 
the greatest confusion about distances. General Russell is 
about right when he said he went about fifty yards behind the 
"Crater." When they talk of two or three hundred yards 
they must mean outside the breastworks towards Ransom's 
Brigade. 

From the character of our breastworks, or rather our cross 
ditches, it was impracticable to charge down the rear of our 
breastworks. The only chance of reaching Petersburg was 
through the "Crater" to the rear. Smith and Crawford-', 
whose combined commands did not exceed two hundred and 
fift}' men, forced them back. Had either Potter, Russell; 
Thomas, or Griffin charged down one hundred yards farther 
than they did, the great victory would have been won, and 
Beauregard and Lee would have been deprived of the great 
honor of being victors of the great battle of the "Crater." 

Elliott's brigade. 

After the explosion, with less than one thousand two hun- 
dred men, and with the co-operation of Wright's Battery and 
Davenport's Battery, and a few men of Wise's Brigade, re- 
sisted nine thousand of the enemy from five to eight o'clock. 
Then four thousand five hundred blacks rushed over, and the 
Forty-ninth and Twenty-fifth North Carolina, Elliott's 
Brigade, welcomed them to hospitable graves at 9 o'clock A. M. 

At about 9.30 A. M. old Virginia — that never tires in good 
works — with eight hundred heroes rushed into the trench of 
the Seventeenth and slaughtered hundreds of whites and 
blacks, with decided preference for the Ethiopeans. 



Captain Geo. B. Lake, of Company B', Twenty-second 
South Carolina, who was himself buried beneath the debris, 
and afterwards captured, gives a graphic description of his 
experience and the scenes around the famous "Crater. " He 
says in a newspaper article: 

BY CAPTAIN GEORGE B. LAKE. 

The evening before the' mine was spruug, or possibly two 
evenings before, ColOnel David Fleming, in command of the 
Twenty-second South Carolina Regiment — I don't know 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 413 

whether by command of General Stephen Elliott or not — 
ordered me to move my compan}', Company B, Twentj'- 
secoijd South Carolina, into the rear line, immediately in rear 
of Pegram's four guns. I had in mj' company one officer, 
Lieutenant. W. J. Lake, of Newberry, S. C, and thirty-four 
enlisted men. This rear line was so constructed that I could 
fire over Pegram's men on the attacking enemy. 

The enemy in our front had two lines of works. He had 
more men in his line nearest our works than we had in his 
front. From this nearest line he tunnelled to and under 
Pegram's salient, and deposited in a magazine prepared for it 
not less than four tons of powder, some of their officers say it 
was six tons. We knew the enemy were mining, and we sunk 
a shaft on each side of the four-gun battery, ten feet or more 
deep, and then extended the tunnel some distance to our front. 
We were on a high hill, however, and the enemy five hundred 
and ten feet in our front, where they began their work, conse- 
quently their mine was far under the shaft we sunk. At night 
when everything was still, we could hear the enemy's miners 
at work. While war means kill, the idea of being blown into 
eternity without any warning was anything but pleasant. 

THAT TERRIEI,E SATURDAY MORNING. 

On that terrible Saturday morning, July 30, 1864, before 
day had yet dawned, after the enemy had massed a large num- 
ber of troops in front of our guns, the fuse which was to 
ignite the mine was fired. The enemy waited fully an hour, 
but there was one explanation, the fuse had gone out. A 
brave Federal officer, whose name I do not know, volunteered 
to enter the tunnel and fire it again, which he did. 

A minute later there was a report which was heard for 
miles, and the earth trembled for miles around. A "Crater" 
one hundred and thirty feet long, ninety-seven feet in breadth, 
and thirty feet deep, was blown out. Of the brave artillery 
company, twenty-two officers and men were killed and 
wounded, most of them killed. Huijdreds of tons of earth 
were thrown back on the rear line, in which my command 
was. 

A WHOLE COMPANY BURIED. 

Here was the greatest loss suffered by any command on 
either side in the war, myself, my only Lieutenant, W. J. 



414 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

I^ake, and thirty-four enlisted men were all buried, and of 
that little band thirty-one were killed. Lieutenant Lake and 
myself and three enlisted men were taken out of the ground • 
two hours after the explosion by some brave New Yorkers. 
These men worked like beavers, a portion of the time under 
perpetual fire. 

BURIED THIRTY FEET DEEP. 

Colonel Dave Fleming and his Adjutant, Dick Quattlebaum, 
were also in the rear line, only a few feet to my left, and were 
buried thirty feet deep; their bodies are still there. I do not 
know how many of the Federal troops stormed the works, but 
I do know the Confederates captured from them nineteen flags. 
The attacking columns were composed of white men and 
negroes; sober men and men who were drunk; brave men and 
cowards. 

One of the latter was an officer high in command. I have 
lost his name, if I ever knew it. He asked me how many 
lines of works we had between the "Crater" and Petersburg, 
when I replied, "Three." He asked me if they were all 
manned. I said, "Yes." He then said, "Don't you know 
that I know you are telling a d — d lie?" I said to him. 
"Don't you know that I am not going to give you information 
that will be of any service to you ?" He then threatened to 
have me shot, and I believe but that for the interference of a 
Federal officer he would have done so. 

DEATH TO ADVANCE AND DEATH TO RETREAT. 

I had just seen several of our officers and men killed with 
bayonets after they had surrendered, when the enemy, who 
had gone through the "Crater" towards Petersburg, had been 
repulsed, and fell back in the "Crater" for protection. There 
was not room in the "Crater" for another man. It was death 
to go forward or death to retreat to their own lines. It is said 
there were three thousand Yankees in and around the 
"Crater," besides those in portions of our works adjacent 
thereto. 

Then the Coshorn mortars of the brave Major Haskell and 
other commanders of batteries turned loose their shells on the 
"Crater." The firing was rapid and accurate. Some of these 
mortars were brought up as near as fifty yards to the "Crater." 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADK. 41^ 

Such a scene has never before nor never will be witnessed again ^ 
The Yankees at the same time were using one hundred and 
forty pieces of cannon against our works occupied by Con-, 
federate troops. 

Elliott's Brigade in the day's fight lost two hundred and 
seventy-eight oflScers and men. Major General B. R. John- 
son's Division, Elliott's Brigade included, lost in the day, nine 
hundred and thirty-two officers and men. This was the most 
of the Confederate loss. 

FEDERAL TOTAL LOSS OVER FIVE THOUSAND. 

While the enemy acknowledged a loss of from five to six; 
thousand men — and that I am sure is far below their real loss— I 
make another quotation from Major General B. R. Johnson's^ 
official report: 

"It is believed that for each buried companion they have 
taken a tenfold vengeance on the enemy, and have taught them, 
a lesson that will be remembered as long as the history of our 
wrongs and this great revolution endures. ' ' 

Virginians, Georgians, North Carolinians, South Carolinians 
and others who may have fought at the "Crater," none of you 
have the right to claim deeds of more conspicuous daring over 
your Confederate brethren engaged that day. Every man 
acted well his part. 

What about the four cannons blown up.'' you ask. One 
piece fell about half way between the opposing armies, another 
fell in front of our lines, not so near, however, to the enemy, 
a third was thrown from the carriage and was standing on end, 
half buried in the ground inside the "Crater," the fourth was 
still attached to the carriage, but turned bottom side up, the 
wheels in the air, and turned against our own men when the 
enemy captured it. That day, however, they all fell into the 
hands of the Confederates, except the one thrown so near the 
enemy's works, and in time we regained that also. 

CAPTAIN LAKE A PRISONER. 

Before the fighting was over the Yankee officer who could 
curse a prisoner so gallantly ordered two soldiers to take charge 
and carry me to their lines, no doubt believing that the Con- 
federates would succeed in recapturing the "Crater." We had 
to cross a plain five Jiundred and ten feet wide that was beings 



416 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

raked by rifle balls, cannon shot and shell, grape and canister. 
l{ was not a very inviting place to go, but still not a great deal 
worse thaii Haskell's mortar shells that were raining in the 
center. I had the pleasure of seeing one of my guards die. 
The other conducted me safely to General Patrick's head- 
quarters.' Patrick was the Yankee provost marshall. 

When I was placed under guard near his quarters he sent a 
staff officer to the front to learn the result of the battle. 

After a short absence he galloped up to General Patrick and 
yelled out "We h^ve whipped them !" 

Patrick said: "I want no foolishness, sir !" 

The staff officer then said: "General, if you want the truth, 
they have whipped us like hell. 



CHAPTER XXXIV 

Leaves the Trenches in the Shenandoah 

Valley. 

To relieve the tension that oppressed both Richmond and 
Petersburg, General L,ee determined to dispatch a force to the 
Valley to drive the enemy therefrom, to guard against a flank 
movement around the north and west of Richmond, and to 
threaten Washington with an invasion of the North. The 
Second Corps of the army was ordered Northwest. General 
Ewell being too enfeebled by age and wounds, had been re- 
lieved of his command in the field and placed in the command 
of Henrico County. This embraced Richmond and its defen- 
sive, the inner lines, which were guarded and manned by re- 
serves and State troops. General Early, now a lyieutenant 
General, was placed in command of the expedition. Why or 
what the particular reason a corps commander was thus placed 
in command of a department and a separate army, when there 
were full Generals occupying inferior positions, was never 
known. Unless we take it that Early was a Virginian, better 
informed on the typography of the country, and being better 
acquainted with her leading citizens, that he would find in 
them greater aid and assistance than would a stranger. The 
department had hopes of an uprising in the "Pan Handle" of 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 417 

Maryland in recruits from all over the States. The prestige 
of Early's name might bring them out. Early was a brave 
and skillful General. Being a graduate of West Point, he was 
well versed in the tactical arts of war; was watchful and vigi- 
lant, and under a superior he was second to none as a com- 
mander. But his Valley campaign — whether from failures of 
the troops or subaltern officers, I cannot say — but results show 
that it was a failure. There could be no fault found with his 
plans, nor the rapidity of his movements, for his partial suc- 
cesses show what might have been accomplished if faithfully 
carried out. Still, on the whole, his campaign in the Valley 
was detrimental, rather than beneficial, to our cause. Early 
had already made a dash through the Valley and pushed his 
lines beyond the Potomac, while his cavalry had even pene- 
trated the confines of Washington itself. It was said at the 
time, by both Northern and Southern military critics, that had 
he not wavered or faultered at the critical moment, he could 
have easily captured the city. No doubt his orders were dif- 
ferent — that only a demonstration was intended — and had he 
attempted to exceed his orders and failed, he would have re- 
ceived and deserved the censure of the authorities. The bane 
of the South's civic government was that the Executive and 
his military advisors kept the commanders of armies too much 
under their own leading strings, and not allowing them enough 
latitude to be governed by circumstances — to ride in on the 
flow tide of success when an.' opportunity ofi^ered. But the 
greatest achievements, the greatest of victories, that history 
records are where Generals broke away from all precedent and 
took advantage of the success of the hour, that could not have 
been foreseen nor anticipated by those who were at a distance. 
Be that as it may, Early had gone his length, and now, the 
last of July, was retreating up the Valley. 

Kershaw, with his division, was ordered to join him, and on 
the 6th of August the troops embarked at Chester Station and 
were transported to Mitchel Station, on the Richmond and 
Mannassas Railroad, not far from Culpepper. On the 12th the 
troops marched by Flint Hill, crossed the Blue Ridge, and 
■camped near the ancient little hamlet of Front Royal. The 
next day we were moved about one mile distant to a large 
spring, near the banks of the beautiful and now classic Shen- 
andoah. How strange to the troops of the far South to see 
27 



418 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

this large river running in the opposite direction from all our 
accustomed ideas of the flow of rivers — that water seeks its 
level and will therefore run South, or towards the coast. But 
here the stream rises in the south and runs due north towards 
the Potomac. After long and fatiguing marches, the soldiers 
here enjoyed a luxury long since denied them on account of 
their never ceasing activity. The delight of a bath, and in 
the pure, clear waters of the Shenandoah, was a luxury indeed. 
On the 17th of August the march was again resumed, and we 
reached Winchester, Va., on the next day. Remaining two 
days near the old city which had become so dear to the hearts 
of all the old soldiers through the hospitality and kindness of 
her truly loyal people, and being the place, too, of much of 
our enjoyment and pleasure while camping near it two years 
before, we left on the 21st, going in the direction of Charles- 
ton. 

On Bearing the latter place we found the enemy in force, 
and had to push our way forward by heavy skirmishing. When 
within two miles of Charlestown, we halted and went into 
camp, and threw our pickets beyond the town on the north. 
On the 25th we moved through the city and took the Harper 
Ferry Road, two miles beyond. Here we took up camp, and 
were in close proximity to the enemy, who lay in camp near 
iis. A heavy skirmish line was thrown out about half a mile 
in our front. Lieutenant Colonel Maffett of the Third, but 
commanding the Seventh, was deployed in a large old field as 
support. We were encamped in line of battle in a beautiful 
grove overlooking and in full view of our skirmishers. 

The enemy seemed to display little activity. Now and then 
a solitary horseman could be seen galloping away in the direc- 
tion of his camp. 

The want of alertness on the part of the enemy threw our 
pickets off their guard. Colonel Maffett was lounging under 
the shade of a tree in the rear of the skirmish line, with a few 
of the reserves, while those on the picket line lay at convenient 
distances, some with their coats off, others lying under the 
shade of trees or in the corners of a fence, all unconscious of 
an approaching enemy. The Federals had surveyed the field, 
and seeing our pickets so lax, and in such bad order for de- 
fense, undertook to surprise them. With a body of cavalry, 
concealed by the forest in their front, they made their way^ 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 419 

ider cover of a ravine, until within a short distance of the 
isuspecting pickets. Then, with a shout and a volley, they 
shed upon the line and over it, capturing nearly all, made 
eir way to the rear, and there captured I^ieutenant Colonel 
affett and many of his reserves. 

Commotion struck our camp. Drums beat, men called to 
ms, line of battle formed, and an advance at double-auick 
IS made through the old field, in the direction of our unf or- 
nate friends. But all too late. The surprise had beefi com- 
;te and the captured prisoners had been hurried to the rear. 
)lonel Maifett's horse, which was grazing near the scene of 
e skirmish, galloped through the enemy's disorganized lines, 
me trying to head him off, others to capture him, but h e 
Hoped defiantly on to camp. The enemy amused themselves 
' throwing a few shells into our lines. 

The horse of Colonel Maffett was carried home by his faith- 
1 body servant, Harry, where both lived to a ripe old age. 
3t so with the unfortunate master. Reared in the lap of 
xury, being an only son of a wealthy father and accustomed 
all the ease and comforts that wealth and affluence could 
VQ, he could not endure the rigor and hardships of a North - 
a prison, his genial spirits gave way, his constitution and 
alth fouled him, and after many months of incarceration he 
;d of brain fever. But through it all he bore himself like a 
le son of the South. He never complained, nor was his 
Dud spirit broken by imprisonment, but it chafed under con- 
ement and forced obedience to prison rule and discipline . 
le Confederacy lost no more patriotic, more self-sacrificing 
dier than Lieutenant Colonel Robert Clayton Maffett. 
On the 27th we marched to Princeton, and remained until 
; 31st, picketing on the Opequan River, then returned to 
arlestown. On the da}' before, the Third Regiment went 
t on the Opequan, being in hearing of the church bells and 
sight of the spires of Washington. What an anomaly! The 
derals besieging the Confederate capital, and the Confed- 
ites in sight of Washington. 

Prom CharleStown we were moved back to Winchester and 
nt into camp for a few. days. So far Early's demonstration 
i been a failure. Either to capture Washington or weaken 
ant, for day in and day out, he kept pegging away at Pe- 
sburg and the approaches to it and Richmond. These 



420 r HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

seemed to be J;he objective points, and whicbeyentually cauised' 
the downfall of,the twp, places. The eiigmy in out front had 
moved up'to Berryville.ra small hamlet about eight mites froiiin] 
Winchester, and on; the 30th of September we were' orderedf^ 
out to attack the plan. The Federals had fortified acnoss' the' 
turnpike and had batteries pfecedjat every com raandiiiig 'point! 
In front of this fortification was a large old field, through" 
which we had to advance. The Brigade was formed in line of 
battle in some timber at the edge of the opening and ordered, 
forward. The frowning redoubts lined with cannon and their 
formidable breastwork, behind which bristled the bright' bayo- 
nets, were anything but objects to tempt the men as' they ad- 
vanced to the charge. As soon as we entered the opening the 
shells came plunging through our ranks, or digging up the 
earth in front. But the Brigade marched in good order, not a 
shqt being fired, the enemy all the while giving us volley afteir 
volley. The men began to clamor for a charge, so much so 
that when we were about half way through the old field thfe 
command came "charge." Then a yell and a rush, each man 
carrying his gun inthe most convenient position, and doing all 
in his power to reach the work first. The angle in front of 
the Third was nearer than the line in front of the other Regif-: 
ments. Just before we reached the worksthe enemy fled to a 
grqve in rear under an incline and began firing on our troops, 
who had now reached the work and began to fire from the 
opposite side. The firing in this way became general all along 
the line. The Artillery had withdrawn to the heights in rear 
and opened upon us a tremendous fire at short range. Thei 
enemy could be seen from our elevated position moving" around 
our right through a thicket of pines, and some one called out 
to the troops immediately on the right of the Third Regiment,- 
"The enemy are flanking us." This caused a momentary 
panic, and some. of the Brigade left the captured' work and 
began running to the rear. Colonel Rutherford ordered some 
of his officers to go down the line and get the deinoralized 
troops to return to the ranks, which was accomplished without 
much: delay. 

The enemy in front begafi slackening their fire, which 
caused some of the men to leap over the works and advance to 
the brow of a.hill just in front of us to geta'betteir view. The 
enemy rallied and began potiring a heavy-fire into' the bold 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 421 

irits who had advanced (beyond the lines, wounding quite a 
Lniber. General jKershaw, with a brigade of the division, 
Dssedover the turn-pike and began a counter-move on the 
emy's right, which caused such panic, that in a few minutes 
eir whole line withdrew .beyond the little town. -Acting 
ssistant. General Pope, on the brigade staff, received a pain- 
1 wound in the cheek, but outside of a sprinkling throughout 
e brigade of wounded, our loss was slight. 
That night the enemy was reinforced, and about 9 o'clock 
xt day there was a general advance. The enemy had 
langed his direction, and now was approaching parallel to 
e turn-pike. I was in command of the brigade skirmishers 
iring the night, posted in a large old field on left of the turn- 
ke. Just as a detail, commanded by an officer of the Twen- 
;th, came to relieve me, the enemy was seen advancing 
rough a forest beyond the old field. The officer, not being 
miliar with the skirmish tactics, and never being on a skir- 
ish line during action before, asked me to retain the cora- 
and and also my line of skirmishers and conduct the retreat, 
lich 1 did. The brigade at that time was on the retreat, and 
is double skirmish line covered and protected the rear. If 
ere is any sport or amusement at all in battle, it is while on 
irmish line, when the enemy is pressing you. On a skir- 
ish line, usually, the men are posted about ten paces apart; 
d several hundred yards in front of the main line of battle, 
receive or give the first shock of battle. In our case the 
le was doubled, making it very strong, as strong, in fact, as 
me of the lines of General Lee's at that time holding Peters- 
irg. When the enemy's skirmishers struck the opening our 
lejopened upon them, driving them helter-skelter back into the 
3ods. I ordered an advance, as the orders were to hold the 
emy in check as long as possible to give our main line and 
igon train time to get out of the way. We kept up the fire 
we advanced, until we came upon the enemy posted behind 
;es; then, in our turn, gave way into the opening. Then 
B enemy advanced, so forward and backward the two Imes 
vanced and receded, until by the support of the enemy's 
le of battle we were driven across the turn-pike, where we 
sembled and .followed in rear of the brigade. There is noth- 
J in this world that is more exciting, more nerve stirring to 
ioldier, than to participate in a battle line of skirmishers, 



422 HISTORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 

when you have a fair field and open fight. There it takes 
nerve and pluck, however, it is allowed each skirmisher to take 
whatever protection he can in the way of tree or stump. Then 
on the advance you do not know when to expect an enemy to 
spring from behind a tree, stump, or bush, take aim and fire. 
It resembles somewhat the order of Indian warfare, for on a 
skirmish line "all is fair in war." 

We returned without further molestation to the vicinity of 
Winchester, the enemy not feeling disposed to press us. It 
was never understood whose fault it was that a general en- 
gagement did not take place, for Early had marched and began 
the attack, and pressed the enemy from his first line of works, 
then the next day the enemy showed a bold front and was 
making every demonstration as if to attack us. 

General Kershaw having been promoted to Major General,. 
General James Connor was sent to command the brigade. He 
was formerly Colonel of the Twenty-second North Carolina 
Regiment, promoted to Brigadier, and commanded McGowan's 
Brigade after the battle of Spottsylvania Court House. After 
the return of General McGowan, he was assigned to the com- 
mand of lyaws' Brigade, and about the 6th or 7th of September 
reached us and relieved Colonel Henagau, of the Eighth, who 
had so faithfully led the old First Brigade since the battle of 
the Wilderness. 

While in camp near Winchester, the Eighth Regiment, 
under Colonel Henagan, was sent out on picket on the Berry- 
ville road. In the morning before day General Sheridan, with 
a large force of cavalry, made a cautious advance and captured 
the videttes of the Eighth, which Colonel Henagan had posted 
in front, and passing between the regiment and the brigade, 
made a sudden dash upon their rear, capturing all of the regi- 
ment, with Colonel Henagan, except two companies com- 
manded by the gallant Captain T. F. Malloy. These two 
companies had been thrown out on the right, and by tact and 
a bold front Captain Malloy saved these two companies and 
brought them safely into camp. The whole brigade mourned 
the loss of this gallani portion of their comrades. Colonel 
Henagan, like Colonel Maffett, sank under the ill treatment 
and neglect in a Northern prison and died there. 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 423 

COL. J. W. HENAGAN. 

Col. J. W. Henagan was born November 22nd, 1822, in 
Marlboro County, S. C. Was the son of E. L- Henagan and 
wife, Ann Mclnnis. His father was a Scotch-Irishman. His 
mother Scotch. Was educated at Academy in Bennettsville 
and Parnassus. Was elected SheriflF of Marlboro County in 
October, 1852, and went into ofiBce February, 1853. In i860 
was elected to the Legislature. Was re-elected to the Legisla- 
ture in 1863. 

Prior to the war was prominent in militia service, serving 
consecutively as Captain, Colonel and Brigadier General. In 
March, 1861, volunteered, and in April became Lieutenant 
Colonel of Eighth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers and 
went with the Regiment to Virginia. Was in battle of Bull 
Run or First Manassas. In 1862 he became by election Colonel 
of the Eighth South Carolina Volunteers and served in that, 
capacity until his capture near Winchester in the fall of 1864 
when he was sent a prisoner to Johnson's Island, Ohio. Here 
he died a prisoner of war, April 22, 1865. 

No Regiment of the Confederacy saw harder service or was 
engaged in more battles than the Eighth South Carolina of 
Kershaw's Brigade and no officer of that Brigade bore himself 
with more conspicuous gallantry than Colonel Henagan. He 
was always at his post and ready to go forward when so or- 
dered. There was little or no fear in him to move into battle, and 
he was always sure, during the thickest of the fight, cheering 
on his men to victory. 

Colonel Henagan, as a citizen of the County, was as gener- 
ous as brave. His purse was open to the needs of the poor. 
Did not know how or could not refuse the appeals to charity. 
He was the eldest son of a large family. When about twenty 
years old his father died and left on his shoulders the respon- 
sibility of maintaining and educating several younger brothers 
and sisters. He never swerved from this duty, but like the 
man that he was, did his work nobly. He was a dutiful son, 
a kind brother, a friend to all. He knew no deception, had no 
respect for the sycophant. 'Loved his country. A friend to 
be relied on. Was a farmer by profession^ A good politician. 
Was a very quiet man, but always expressed his views firmly 
and candidly when called upon. 



424 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

COLONEL ROBERT CLAYTON MAFFETT. 

Colonel Robert Clayton Maffett was born in Newberry 
County, about the year 1836. Was the only son of Captain 
James Maffett, long time a member of the General Assembly 
of South Carolina. At the breaking out ot the war Colonel 
Maffett was Colonel of the Thirty-ninth Regiment of State 
Militia. From this regiment two companies were formed in 
answer to the first call for volunteers. One of these companies 
elected him Captain, which afterwards became Company C, 
Third South Carolina Regiment. His company was one of 
the few that reorganized before the expiration of the term ot 
the first twelve months' enlistment, and again elected Colonel 
Maffett as its Captain. After a thirty days' furlough, just 
before the seven days' battle, he returned with his company 
and became senior Captain in command. He soon became 
Major by the death of Lieutenant Colonel Garlington, Major 
Rutherford being promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. After the 
death of Colonel Nance, 6th of May, he became Lieutenant 
Colonel. He participated in nearly all the great battles in 
which the regiment was engaged, and was often in command. 
He was several times wounded, but not severely. At the time 
of his capture he was in command of the Seventh Regiment. 
Colonel Maffett was conspicuous for his fine soldierly appear- 
ance, being a perfect type of an ideal soldier. 

He was loved and admired by the men as few officers of his 
station were. In camp he was the perfect gentleman, kind 
and indulgent to his men, and in battle he was cool, collected, 
and gallant. He died in prison only a short while before the 
close of the war, leaving a wife and one daughter of tender 
age. 



CHAPTER XXXV 

Reminiscences of the Valley. 

Y. J. Pope, Adjutant of the Third South Carolina, but then 
acting as Assistant Adjutant General on General Connor's 
Staff, gives me here a very ludicrous and amusing account of 
a "Fox hunt in the valley." A hunt without the hounds or 



HISTORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 425 

without the fox. No man in Kershaw's Brigade was a greater 
lover of sport or amusement of any kind than Adjutant Pope. 
In all our Big snow "festivals," where hundreds would engage 
in the contest of snow-balling, Adjutant Pope always took a 
leading part. It was this spirit of sport and'his mingling with 
the common soldier, while off duty, that endeared Pope so 
much to the troop. With his sword and sash he could act the 
martinet, but when those were laid aside Adjutant Pope was 
one of the "boys," and engaged a "boat" with them as much 
as any one in the "Cross Anchors," a company noted for its 
love of fun. 

Says, Adjutant Pope, now a staid Judge on the Supreme 
Court Bench. 

"The Third South Carolina Infantry had been placed on 
pickets in front of Early in September, 1864. The point at 
which picket were posted were at two fords on the Opequan 
River, Captain Dickert, with his company, was posted at some 
distance from the place where the other pbrtion of the Regi- 
ment was posted to cover one of the fords. I can see now the 
work laid cut for Captain Dickert, ought to have been assigned 
to the Cavalry for a company of Infantry, say a half mile from 
the Regiment, might have been surrounded too quickly for the 
company to be retired or to receive assistance from the Regi- 
ment. Well, as it was, no harm came of it for the company 
held the ford unassailable. A company of the Regiment was 
placed at a ford on the highway as it crossed the river. While 
a few ofiBcers were enjoying a nice supper here comes an 
order to call in the companies on picket and to follow the Reg- 
iment with all possible speed towards Winchester, to which 
latter place the army of Early had already gone. Guides were 
sent to us, and our Regiment had marched by country road 
until we struck the turnpike. The march was necessarily 
rapid lest the Regiment might be assailed by overwhelming 
numbers of the enemy. The soldiers did not fancy this rapid 
marching. 

To our surprise and borrow, after we had reached the turn- 
pike road, and several miles from our destination, the soldiers 
set up an imitation of barking, just as if a lot of hounds in 
close pursuit of a fresh jumped fox. Now any one at all 
familiar with the characteristic of the soldier know imitation is 
his weak point, one yell, all yell, one sing, all sing, if one is 



426 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

merry, all are merry. We were near the enemy, and the 
Colonel knew the necessity of silence, and caution Colonel 
Rutherford was, of course indignant at this outburst of good 
humor in the dark watches of the night, and the enemy at our 
heels or flank. He sent back orders by me (Pope) to pass 
down the lines and order silence. But "bow-wow," "bow," 
"bow-wow," "yelp, yelp," and every conceivable imitation of 
the fox hound rent the air. One company on receiving the 
orders to stop this barking would cease, but others would take 
it up. "Bow-wow," "toot," "toot," "yah-oon," "yah-oon," 
dogs barking, men hollowing, some blowing through their 
hands to imitate the winding of the huntman's horn. "Stop 
this noise," "cease your barking," "silence," still the chase 
continued. "Go it, Lead," catch him, Frail," "Old Drive 
close to him," "hurah Brink," "talk to him old boys." The 
valley fairly rung, with this chase. Officers even could not 
refrain from joining in the encouragement to the excited dogs 
as the noise would rise and swell and echoe through the dis- 
tant mountain gorges to reverberate up and down the valley — at 
last wore out by their ceaseless barking and yelling, the noise 
finally died out, much to the satisfaction of the Colonel com- 
manding, myself and the officers who were trying to stop it. 
As mortified as I was at my inability to execute the orders of 
Colonel Rutherford, still I never laughed so much iu my life 
at this ebullition of good feelings of the men, after all their 
toils and trials, especially as I would hear some one in the line 
call out as if in the last throes of exhaustion, "Go on old dog," 
"now you are on him," "talk to him, old Ranger." What the 
Yankees thought of this fox chase at night in the valley, or 
what their intentions might have been is not known, but they 
would have been mighty fools to have tackled a lot of old 
"Confeds" out on a lark at night." 

The negro cooks of the army were a class unique in many 
ways. While he was a slave, he had far more freedom than 
his master, in fact had liberties that his master's master did 
not possess. It was the first time in the South' s history that 
a negro could roam at will, far and wide, without a pass. He 
could ride his dead master's horse from Virginia to Louisiana 
without molestation. On the march the country was his, and 
so long as he was not in the way of moving bodies of troops, 
the highways were open to him. He was never jostled or 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 427 

pushed aside by stragglers, and received uniform kindness and 
consideration from all. The negro was conscious of this con- 
sideration, and never took advantage of his peculiar station to 
intrude upon any of the rights or prerogatives exclusively the 
soldier's. He could go to the rear when danger threatened, or 
to the front when it was over. No negro ever deserted, and 
the fewest number ever captured. His master might fall upon 
the field, or in the hands of the enemy, but the servant was 
always safe. While the negro had no predilection for war in 
its realities, and was conspicuous by his absence during the 
raging of the battles, still he was among the first upon the field 
when it was over, looking after the dead and wounded. At 
the field hospitals and infirmaries, he was indispensable, obey- 
ing all, serving all, without question or complaint. His first 
solicitude after battle was of his master's fate — if dead, he 
sought him upon the field; if wounded, he was soon at his side. 
No mother could nurse a child with greater tenderness and 
devotion than the dark-skinned son of the South did his mas- 
ter. 

At the breaking out of the war almost every mess had a 
negro cook, one of the mess furnishing the cook, the others 
paying a proportional share for hire; but as the stringency of 
the Subsistence Department began to grow oppressive, as the 
war wore on, many of these negroes were sent home. There 
was no provision made by the department for his keep, except 
among the ofBcers of the higher grade; so the mess had to 
share their rations with the cook, or depend upon his ability as 
a "forager." In the later years of the war the country occu- 
pied by the armies became so devastated that little was left for 
the "forager." Among the officers, it was different. They 
were allowed two rations (only in times of scarcity they had to 
take the privates' fare). This they were required to pay for 
at pay day, and hence could afford to keep a servant. Be it 
said to the credit of the soldiers of the South, and to their ser- 
vants as well, that during my four years and more of service I 
•never heard of, even during times of the greatest scarcity, a 
mess denying the cook an equal share of the scanty supply, or 
a servant ever found stealing a soldier's rations. There was a 
mutual feeling of kindness and honesty between the two. 
If all the noble, generous and loyal acts of the negroes of the 
army could be recorded, it would fill no insignificant volume. 



428 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

There was as much cast among the negroes, in fact more, 
as among the soldiers. In times pf peace and at home, t]ie 
negro based his claims pf cast uppn the wealth pf his master. 
But in the army, rank of his master overshadowed wealth. 
The servant pf a Brigadier felt royal as compared to that of a 
Colonel, and the servant of a Colonel, or even a Major, was far 
ahead, in superiority and importance, to those belonging to the 
privates and line officers. The negro is naturally a hero wor- 
shiper. He gloried in his master's fame, and while it might 
often be different, in point of facts, still to the negro his mas- 
ter was "the bravest of the brave." 

As great "foragers" as they were, they never ventured far 
in front while on the advance, nor lingered too dangerously in 
the rear on the retreat. They hated the "Yankee" and had a 
fear of capture. One day while we were camped near Charles- 
town an officer's cook wandered too far away in the wrong 
direction and ran up on the Federal pickets. Jack had cap- 
tured some old cast-off clothes, some garden greens and an old 
dominicker rooster. Not having the remotest idea of the top- 
ography of the country, he very naturally walked into the 
enemy's pickets. He was halted, brought in and questioned. 
The Federals felt proud of their capture, and sought to concili- 
ate Jack with honeyed words and great promises. But Jack 
would have none of it. 

"Well, look er here," said Jack, looking suspiciously around 
at the soldiers; "who you people be, nohow?" 

"We are Federal soldiers," answered the picket. 

"Well, well, is you dem?" 

"Dem who?" asked the now thoroughlj' aroused Federal. 

"Why dem Yankees, ob course — dem dat cotched Mars 
Clayt." 

The Federal admitted thej^ were "Yankees," but that now 
Jack had no master, that he was free. 

"Is dat so?" Then scratching his head musingly, Jack said 
at last, "I don know 'bout dat — what you gwine do wid me, 
anyhow; what yer want?" 

He was told that he must go as a prisoner to headquarters 
first, and then dealt with as contrabands of war. 

"Great God Almighty! white folks, don't talk dat er way." 
The negro "had now become thoroughly frightened, and with a 
sudden impulse he threw the chicken at the soldier's feet, say- 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 



d.^ 



ing, "Boss; ders a rooster, but here is me," then with the 
speed of a startled deer Jack "hit the wind," to use a vulgar- 
ism of the army. 

"Halt! halt!,' — bang, whiz, came from the sentinel, the 
whole picket force at Jack's heels. But the faithful negro for 
the time excelled himself in running, and left the Federals far 
behind. He came in camp puffing, snorting, and blowing like 
a porpoise. "Great God Almighty! good people, talk er 'bout 
patter-rollers, day ain't in it. If dis nigger didn't run ter 
night, den don't talk." Then Jack recounted his night's 
experience, much to the amusement of the listening soldiers. 

Occasionally a negro who had served a year or two with his 
young master in the army, would be sent home for another 
field of usefulness, and his place taken by one from the planta- 
tion. While a negro is a great coward, he glories in the pomp 
and glitter of war, when others do the fighting. He loves to 
tell of the dangers (not sufferings) undergone, the blood and 
carnage, but above all, how the cannon roared round and about 
him. 

A young negro belonging to an officer in one of the regi- 
ments was sent home, and his place as cook was filled by Uncle 
Cage, a venerable looking old negro, who held the distin- 
guished post of "exhorter" in the neighborhood. His "sis- 
ter's chile" had filled Uncle Cage's head with stories of war — 
of the bloodshed on the battlefield, the roar of cannon, and the 
screaming of shells over that haven of the negro cooks, the 
wagon yards— but to all the blood and thunder stories of his 
"sister's chile" Uncle Cage only shook his head and chuckled, 
"Dey may kill me, but dey can't skeer dis nigger." Among 
the other stories he had listened to was that of a negro having 
his head shot off by a cannon ball. Sometime after Uncle 
Cage's installation as cook the enemy made a demonstration as 
if to advance. A few shells came over our camp, one bursting 
in the neighborhood of Uncle Cage, while he was preparing 
the morning meal for his mess. 

Some of the negroes and more prudent non-combattants 
began to hunt for the wagon yard, but Uncle Cage remained at 
his post. He was just saying: 

"Dese yer young niggers ain't no account; dey's skeered of 
dere own shad — " 



430 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

"Boom, boom," a report, and a shell explodes right over his 
head, throwing fragments all around. 

Uncle Cage made for the rear, calling out as he ran, "Oh, 
dem cussed Yankees! You want er kill er nudder nigger, don't 
you?" Seeing the men laughing as he passed by in such 
haste, he yelled back defiantly, "You can laff, if you want to, 
but ole mars ain't got no niggers to fling away. 



"Red tape" prevailed to an alarming extent in the War De- 
partment, and occasionally a paroxyism of this disease would 
break out among some of the officers of the army, especially 
among the staff, ' ' West Pointers, ' ' or officers of temporary high 
command — Adjutant Pope gives his experience, with one of 
those afflicted functionaries, "Where as Adjutant of the Third 
South Carolina," says he, "I had remained as such from May, 
1862, till about the ist of September, 1864, an order came 
from brigade headquarters, for me to enter upon the responsi- 
bilities of acting Assistant Adjutant General of Kershaw's 
Brigade. When General Connor was disabled soon after, and 
the Senior Colonel of the brigade, present for duty, the gallant 
William D. Rutherford, received his death-wound. General 
Kershaw, commanding division, sent the Assistant Adjutant 
General of the division, (a staff officer). Major James M. 
Goggans, to command the brigade. About the 17th of October 
there came a delegation to brigade headquarters, to learn, if 
possible, whether there could be obtained a leave of absence 
for a soldier, whose wife was dead, leaving a family of children 
to be provided for. 

I was a sympathetic man, and appreciated the sad condition 
of the poor soldier, who had left his all to serve his country, 
and now had at home, a house full of motherless children. I 
said "wait till I see the brigade commander," and went to 
Major Goggans, relating the circumstances, and was assured 
of his approval of the application for leave of absence in ques- 
tion. This news, the spokesman of the delegation, gladly 
carried back to the anxiously awaiting group. Soon papers 
were brought to headquarters, signed by all the officers below. 
When the papers Were carried by me to the brigade commander 
for his approval, it raised a storm, so to speak, in the breast of 
the newly appointed, but temporary Chieftain. "Why do 
you bring me this paper to sign this time of day?" it being in 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 431 

I afternoon. "Do you not know that all papers are con- 
ered at nine o'clock A. M?" In future, and as long as I 

in command of the Brigade, I want it understood that 
der no considerations and circumstances, I wish papers to be 
ned, brought to me before or after nine o'clock A. M. The 
;es of the officers composing the delegation, when the news 
s brought to them, plainly expressed their disgust; they 
t, at the idea, that no grief, however great, would be con- 
lered by the self-exalted Chief; except as the clock struck 
ae in the morning. 

Circumstances and occurrences of this kind were so rare and 
ceptional, that I record the facts given by Judge Pope, to 
pose an exception to the general rule of gentlemanly deport- 
;nt of one officer to another, so universal throughout the 
my. The kindness, sympathy and respect that superiors 
owed to subalterns and privates became almost a proverb, 
hile in a reminiscent mood, I will give a story of two young 
icers as given by the writer of the above. He claims to have 
en an eye witness and fully competent to give a true recital. 

is needless to say that the writer of these memoirs was one 

the participants, and as to the story itself, he has only a 
int recollection, but the sequel which he will give is vivid 
lOUgh, even after the lapse of a third of a century. Judge 
)pe writes, "It is needless to say that the Third South Caro- 
la Regiment had a half-score or more young officers, whose 
nduct in battle had something to do with giving prestige to 
e regiment, whose jolly good nature, their almost unparallel 
ciprocal love of officers and men, helped to give tone and 
cognition to it, their buoyancy of spirits, their respect for 
periors and kindness and indulgence to their inferiors, 
deared them to all — the whole command seemed to embibe 

their spirit of fun, mischief and frolic. " Captains L. W. 
iry, John W. Watts, John K. Nance, Lieutenants Farley 
d Wofford, Adjutant Pope and others, whom it may be 
proper to mention here, (and I hope I will not be considered 
otistical or self praise, to include myself) , were a gay set. 
leir temperatures and habits, in some instances, were as wide 
the poles, but there was a kind of affinity, a congeniality of 
rits between them, that they were more like brothers in 
ility than brothers in arms, and all might be considered a 
hip of the old block. " Nor would our dearly beloved, kind, 



432' HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

generous hearted Colonel Rutherford, when ofifduty, feel him- 
self too much exalted to take a "spin with the boys" when 
occasions and circumstances admitted. Many, many have 
been the jolly carousals these jolly knights enjoyed while 
passing through some town or city. The confinement and 
restrictions of camp life induced them, when off duty and in 
some city, to long for a "loosening of the bit" and an ebullition 
of their youthful spirits. 

Judge Pope, continuing, says: "In the spring of 1864 I,ong- 
street's soldiers were orde.ed from East Tennessee, to join Lee 
in Virginia, and it follows that there was joy in the camp 
among the soldiers, for who does not love Virginia? In route 
the command was halted in Lynchburg, and what was more 
natural for the fun-loving, jovial members of the old brigade, 
after being isolated so long, cut off from civilization as it 
seemed to them, shut up in the gorges of the mountains, than 
to long for a breath of fresh air — to wish for the society and 
enjoy the hospitality of the fair ladies of old Virginia, espe- 
cially the quaint old city of Lynchburg. With such feelings, 
two handsome and gallant Captains of the Third Regiment' 
applied for and obtained leave of absence for the day. I will 
call this jolly couple John and Gus. To say that these two 
young Captains — one of the right and the other of the left 
color company — were birds rare, would scarce express it. 
They were both in their 'teens,' and small of statue withal. 
They were two of the youngest, as well as the smallest, officers 
in the brigade. Notwithstanding their age and build, they 
would not hesitate to take a 'bout' with the strongest and the 
largest. As one would say to the other, 'When your wind 
fails you, I will leg him.' Now, these two knights, out on a 
lark and lookout for adventure, did not hesitate to shie their 
castors in the ring and cross lances the first opportunity pre- 
sented. No doubt, after being a while with the famous Sancho 
Panza at the wine skins, they could see as many objects, 
changed through enchantment, as the Master Dan Quixotte 
did, and demanded a challenge from them. In walking up a 
side street in the city, they, as by enchantment, saw walking 
just in front of them, a burly, stout built man, dressed out in 
the finest broad cloth coat. What" a sight for a soldier to see ! 
a broad cloth coat!" and he a young man of the army age. 
Ye gods was it possible. Did their eyes deceive them, or had 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 433 

they forgotten this was a Sabbath day, and the city guard was 
accustomed to wear his Sunday clothes. There were a set of 
semi-soldiers in some cities known as "city guards," whose 
duties -consisted of examining soldier's furloughs and passes in 
cities and on trains. Their soft places and fine clothes were 
poison to the -regular soldiers, and between whom, a friendly 
and good natured feud existed. There was another set that 
was an abomination to both, the gambler, who, by money or 
false papers, exempted themselves. Richmond was their city 
of refuge, but now and then one would venture out into a 
neighboring town. 

" 'Come out of that coat; can't wear that in the city to- 
day,' was the first salutation the jolly knights gave the fine 
dressed devotee of the blue cloth. 

" 'What, do you wish to insult me?' indignantly replied the 
man, turning and glaring at the two officers with the ferocity 
of a tiger. 

" 'Oh, no,' says John, 'we want that coat;' and instinctively 
the young Captains lay hands upon the garment that gave so 
much offense. 

" 'Hands off me, you cowardly young rufiiansr 

" 'Oh, come out of that coat,' replied the jolly couple. 

" 'Rip, rip,' went the coat; 'biff, biff,' went the non-com- 
battant's fist. Right and left he struck from the shoulders, to 
be replied to with equal energy by the fists of the young men. 

'■ 'Rip, rip,' goes the coat, 'bang, biff,' goes the fists. 
Down in the street, over in the gutter, kicks and blows, still 
'rip, rip,' goes the coat. 

" 'Help!' cries the non-combatant. 

" 'Yes,' cries Gus, 'help with the coat John.' 

"The noise gathered the crowd. With the crowd came 
Ivieu'enant H. L- Farley. The burly frame of Farley soon 
separated the fighters. The gambler seeing his hopelessness 
in the face of so much odds, rose to his feet, and made a dash 
for liberty, leaving in the hands of each of the boys a tail of 
the much prized coat, all 'tattered and torn.' The gambler 
made quite a ludicrous picture, streaking it through town with 
his coat-tails off. ' ' 

This is Pope's story, but I will here tell the sequel which 
was not near so amusing to me. 

Sometime afterwards, the writer and participant in the fray 
28 



434 HISTORY OF Kershaw's brigade. 

of the "coat-tail" was slightly wounded, and was sent to 
I^ynchburg to the hospital, formerly a Catholic college, if I 
am not mistaken. After being there for a time, with my 
wounded bi'other officers (this was a hospital for officers alone) 
I became sufl&ciently convalescent to feel like a stroll through 
the city. I, felt a little tender, lest I might meet unexpectedly 
my unknown antagonist and erstwhile hostile enemy; but one 
night I accepted the invitation of a tall, robust-built Captain 
from Tennessee (a room-mate, and also convalescent from a 
slight wound) to take a stroll. Being quite small, friendless, 
and alone, I did not object to this herculean chaparone. 
After tiring of the stroll, we sauntered into a soldier's cheap 
restaurant and called for plates. While we were waiting the 
pleasure of "mine host," the tread of footsteps and merry 
laughter of a crowd of jolly roisters met our ears, and in 
walked some soldiers in the garb of "city police," and with the 
crowd was my man of the "long coat-tail." My heart sank 
into the bottom of my boots, my speech failed me, and I sat 
stupified, staring into space. Should he recognize me, then 
what? My thought ran quick and fast. I never once ex- 
pected help from mj' old Tennesseean. As we were only 
"transient" acquaintances, I did not think of the brotherhood 
of the soldier in this emergency. The man of the "long coat" 
approached our table and raised my hat, which, either by 
habit or force of circumstances, I will not say, I had' the mo- 
ment before pulled down over my eyes. 

"Hey, my fine young man, I think I know 5'ou. Are'nt 
you the chap that torn my coat sometime ago? Answer me, 
sir," giving me a vigorous shake on the shoulder. "You are 
the very d — n young ruffian that did it, and I am going to 
give you such a thrashing as you will not forget." 

I have never yet fully decided what answer I was going to 
make — -whether I was going to say yes, and ask his pardon, 
with t.he risk of a thrashing, or deny it — for just at that moment 
the "tall sycamore of the Holston" reached out with his fist 
and dealt my assailant a blow sufficient to have felled an ox of 
the Sweetwater, pending the man reeling across the room, 
the blood squirting and splattering, he said: 

"Gfsntlemen, I came here with this boy, and whoever whips 
him has first got to walk my log, and that is what few people 
can do." 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 435 

The old "sycamore" from Tennessee looked to me at that 
precious moment as tall as a church steeple, and fully as large 
around. In all my whole life never was a man's presence so 
agreeble and his services so acceptable. It gave me a confi- 
dfence in myself. I never felt before nor since.' His manly 
features and giant-like powers acted like inspiration upon me, 
and I felt for the time like a Goliah myself, and rose to my 
feet to join in the fray. But my good deliverer pushed me 
back and said: 

"Stand aside, young man, I have tickets for both in here," 
and with that he began to wield his mighty blows first here 
and then there — first one and then another went staggering 
across the room, until the crowd gathered outside and put an 
end to the frolid. No explanations were given and none 
asked. Taking me by the arm, the big Captain led me away, 
saying, after we had gone some little distance: 

"Young man, that was a narrow escape you made, and it 
was lucky I was on hand." 

He spoke with -so much candor and logic, that I did not 
have the heart nor disposition to doubt or contradict it. 

I would be willing to qualify before a grand jury to my 
dying day that I had had a close call. 



CHAPTER XXXVI 

Leaves the Valley — Return to Early — Second 
Valley Campaign. 

On the 15th of September we began our return to Lee, 
inarching about six miles south of Middleton. The next day 
we took up the march again to within fifteen miles of Luray 
Court House, then to within eleven miles of Sperryville, on 
the turn-pike, between the two points. Virginia or that part 
of it is blessed for her good roads on the main thoroughfares, 
^he road, from Staunton to the Potomac is one of the finest in 
America, being laid with cobble stones the entire length, 
upwards of one hundred and twenty-five miles. Then tjie 
road engineers did one thing that should immortalize them, 
that is in going around hills instead of over them, as in our 



436 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

State. Thone engineers of old worked on the theory that the 
distance around a hill was no greater than over it, and much 
better for travel. 

Over the Blue Ridge at Thornton Gap and to within five 
miles of Woodville, reaching Culpepper at three o'clock P. M., 
the gth. our ears were greeted with the distant roar of artil- 
lery, which proved to be our artillery firing at a scouting party 
of United States cavalry. Ou through Cylpepper we marched, 
to within one mile of Rapidan Station, our starting point of 
near two months oefore. And what a fruitless march — over 
the mountains, dusty roads, through briars and thickets, and 
heat almost unbearable — fighting and skirmishing, with 
nightly picketing, over rivers and mountain sides, losing 
ofiicers, and many, too, being field officers captured. While 
in camp here we heard of Early's disaster in the Valley, which 
cast a damper over all the troops. It seems that as soon as 
Sheridan heard of our detachment from Early's command he 
planned and perfected a surprise, defeating him in the action 
that followed, and was theu driving him out of the Valley. 
Could we have been stopped at this point and returned to 
Early, which we had to do later, it would have saved the 
division many miles of marching, and perhaps further discom- 
fiture of Early and his men. But reports had to be made to 
the war department. 

Orders came for our return while we were continuing our 
march to Gordonsville, which place we reached on the 23rd of 
September, at 4 o'clock, having been on the continuous march 
for exactly fifty days. On the raorniug of the 24th we re- 
ceived the orders to return to the relief of Early, and at day- 
light, in a blinding rain, we commenced to retrace our steps, 
consoling ourselves with the motto, "Do your duty, therein all 
honor lies," passing through Barboursville and Standardville, 
a neat little village nestled among the hills, and crossed the 
mountain at Swift Run Gap. We camped about one mile of 
the delightful Shenandoah, which, by crossing and recrossing 
its clear, blue-tinged waters ^nd camping on its banks so often, 
had become near and dear to all of us, and nothing was more 
delightful than to take a plunge beneath its waters. But most 
often we had to take the water with clothes and shoes on in 
the dead of winter, still the name of the Shenandoah had 
become classic to our ears. 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 437 

This report had been made over and over again, until it 
became threadbare; but a cavalry ofiBcer thought it a feather 
in his cap to report his defeat or repulse b}', "We met their in- 
fantry." We made a junction with Early near Brown's Gap, 
on the 26th, and camped at night with orders to be prepared 
to march at daylight. The troops of Early's were in a depen- 
dent mood, bul soon their spirits revived at the sight of Ker- 
shaw's Division. We moved forward in the direction of Har- 
risonburg, our duty being to guard the two roads leading 
thereto. Early sent the other part of the army to the left and 
forward of us, and in this order we marched on to Waynsboro. 
Reaching there next day, the enemy's cavalry scattered when 
our troops came in sight. We began, on October ist, moving 
in the direction of the turn-pike, leading from Winchester to 
Staunton, striking near Harrisonburg on the 6th. 

The situation of Early had become so critical, the orders so 
imperative to join him as soon as possible, that we took up the 
march next morning at a forced speed, going twelve miles 
before a halt, a feat never before excelled by any body of 
troops during the war. When within two miles of Port 
Republic, a little beyond its two roads leading off from that 
place, one to Brown's Gap, we encountered the enemy's 
cavalry. Here they made an attack upon our brigade, but 
were repulsed at first fire from the infantry rifles. There was 
one thing demonstrated during this war, that whatever might 
have been accomplished in days of old, the cavalry on either 
side could not stand the fire of the infantry. An 1 it seemed 
that they had a kind of intuition of the fact whenever the 
infantry was in their front. Nothing better . as an excuse did 
a cavalry commander wish, when met with a repulse, than to 
report, "We were driving them along nicely until we came 
upon the enemy's infantry," then we had to give way." 

We began the forward movement down the Valley on the 
7th, the enemy slowly giving way as we advanced. We 
passed through those picturesque Httle cities of the Valley, 
Harrisonburg, New Market, and Woodstock, marching a day 
or two and then remaining in camp that length of time to give 
rest to the troops, after their long march. It must be remem- 
bered we had been two months cut off from the outside world 
—no railroad nearer than Staunton, the men being often short 
of rations and barefooted and badly clad; scarcely any mail 



438 HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

was received during these two months, and seldom a paper 
ever made its appearance ,;,in,Gampi,,, "W[e, ,9nly^ knewiithati Isee- 
was holding his own. We reached and passed through Straus- 
burg on the 13th, In the afternoon of this , (Jay,. j^.while we 
were on the march, but at the tjm,e layipg ,bjr thg side of the 
turn-pike, the enemy tried tp- capture some ot our artillery. 
We had heard firing all day in' our front, but thought this the 
effects of the enerny's ,sullen withdrawal. • While resting by 
the road side, the enemy made a spirited attack upon the 
troops in front. We were hurriedly rushed forward,, put, in. 
line of battle, advanced through an uneven piece of ground, 
and met the. enemy posted behind a hill in .-front. They 
opened upon us at close range, killing and wounding quite a 
number, but as soon as our brigade made the first fire, they 
fled to a brick wall, running at an angle from the turn-pike, 
General Connor fell at the first fire, badly wounded in the 
knee, from the effects of, which he lost his leg; and never 
returned, only to bid his brigade farewell in the pine, regions 
of North Carolina. Colonel Rutherford being next in com- 
mand, advanced the troops to the top of the hill and halted. 
In going out in front to reconnoitre in the direction of the 
stone wall, a party of the enemy, who had concealed them- 
selves behind it, rose and fired, mortally wounding the gallant 
and much beloved Colonel. A charge was made, and the 
enemy fled to a thicket of pine timber and made their escape. 
This was a bloody little battle for the brigade, and some of 
its loss was irreparable. We halted after driving the enemy 
away, and at night withdrew to Fisher's Hill and camped for 
the night. Fisher's Hill is a kind of bluff reaching out from 
the Massanutten Mountain on our right; at its base ran Cedar 
Creek. It is a place of great natural strength. In the pres- 
ence of some of his friends Colonel Rutherford passed away 
that night, at one o'clock, and his remains were carried to his 
home by Captain Jno. ' K. Nance. General Connor had his 
leg amputated. The brigade was without a field officer of 
higher grade than Major, and such officer being too inexperi- 
enced in the handling of so large a number of men. Major 
James Goggans, of the division staff, was ordered to its com- 
. maud. While some staff, officers may be as competent to 
handle troops in the field as the commanders themselves, still 
in our case it was a lamentable failure. Major Goggans was a 



HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 439 

good Staff officer, a graduate of West Point, but he was too old 
and inexperienced to command troops of such vigor ahd enthu- 
siasm as the South Carolinians who composed Kershaw's 
Brigade. 

We remained a short time oil Fisher's Hill, throwing up 
some slight fortifications. Kershaw's Brigade was encamped 
in a piece of woods on the left of the turn-pike as you go 
north. 

COLONEL WILLIAM DRAYTON RUTHERFORD. 

Colonel William Drayton Rutherford was the son of Dr. 
Thomas B. Rutherford and Mrs. Laura Adams Rutherford, 
his wife. He was born on the 21st of September, 1837, in 
Newberry District, South Carolina. By his father he was a 
descendant of Virginians, as well as of that sturdy and patri- 
otic stock of Germans who settled what was known as the 
"Fork." By his mother he was a descendant of the New 
England Adams family — what a splendid boy and man he 
was! He was educated in the best schools in our State, and 
spent somethne abroad. At the sound of arms he volunteered 
and was made Adjutant of the Third South Carolina Infantry. 
At the reorganization of the regiment, in May, 1862, he was 
elected Major of his regiment. When Lieutenant Colonel B. 
Conway Garlington was killed at Savage Station, June 29th, 
1862, Rutherford became Lieutenant Colonel of his regiment. 
When Colonel James D. Nance fell in the battle of the Wil- 
derness, on the 6th day of May, 1864, he became Colonel of 
the Third South Carolina Regiment. He was a gallant 
officer and fell in the front of his regiment at Strausburg, Va., 
on the 13th of October, 1864. 

He married the beautiful and accomplished Miss Sallie H. 
Fair, only daughter of Colonol Simeon Fair, in March, 1862, 
and the only child of this union was "the daughter of the 
regiment." Kate Stewart Rutherford, who is now Mrs. 
George Johnstone. 

Colonel Rutherford was in the battles of First Manassas, 
Williamsburg, Savage Station, Malvern Hill, First Fredericks- 
burg (i2th December, 1862, where he was badly wounded), 
Knoxville, Wilderness, Brock's Road (and other battles about 
Spottsylvania), North Anna Bridge, Second Cold Harbor, 
Deep Bottom, Berry ville, and Strausburg. 



440 HISTORY OP KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 

He was a delight to his friends, by reason of his rare intelli- 
gence, warm heart, and generous impulses; to his family, 
because he was always so considerate of them, so affectionate, 
and so brimfuU of courtesy; but to his enemies (and he never 
made any except among the viceous) , he was uncompromis- 
ingly ^fierce. 



I will state here that General James Connor had been in 
command of the brigade for about two or three months. 
Colonel Kennedy, the senior officer of the brigade, being 
absent on account of wounds received at the Wilderness. 
There is no question but what General Connor was one of the 
best officers that South Carolina furnished during the war. 
But he was not liked by the officers of the line or the men. 
He was too rigid in his discipline for volunteers. The soldiers 
had become accustomed to the ways and customs of Kershaw 
and the officers under him, so the stringent measures General 
Connor took to prevent straggling and foraging or any minor 
misdemeanor was not calculated to gain the love of the men. 
All, however, had the utmost confidence in his courage and 
ability, and were willing to follow where he led. Still he was 
not our own Joseph Kershaw. Below I give a short sketch of 
his life. 

GENERAI, JAMES CONNOR. 

General James Connor, .son of the late Henry Connor, was 
born in Charleston, S. C. , ist of September, 1829. Graduated 
at the South Carolina College, 1849, same class with D. Wyatt 
Aiken, Theo G. Barker, C. H. Simonton, and W. H. Wallace 
(Judge). Read law with J. L. Pettigrew. Admitted to the 
bar in 1852. Practiced in Charleston. Appointed United 
States District Attorney for South Carolina in 1856, Hon 
A. G. Magrath then District Judge. As District Attorney, 
prosecuted Captain Carrie, of the "Wanderer," who had 
brought a cargo of Africans to the State; also prosecuted T. J. 
Mackey for participation in Walker's filibustering expedition. 
Always justified the expectations of his friends in their high 
opinion of his talents and marked ability in all contingencies. 
Resigned as District Attorney in December, i860. Was on 
the committee with Judge Magrath and W. F. Colcock, charged 
to urge the Legislature to call a convention of the people to 



HISTORY OP KERSHAW'S BRIGADE. 441 

consider the necessity of immediate Secession, and upon the 
passage of the Secession Ordinance, prepared for active service 
in the army. But upon the formation of the Confederate 
States Government he was appointed Confederate States of 
America District Attorney for South Carolina, but declined. 
Went into the service as Captain of the Montgomery Guards, 
and in May, i86i, was chosen Captain of the Washington 
Light Infantry, Hampton Legion. In July, 1861, he became 
Major, and in June, 1863, was appointed Colonel of the 
Twenty-second North Carolina Volunteers. Being disabled 
for field duty, temporarily, was detailed as one of the judges- 
of the military court of the Second Army Corps. With rank 
of Colonel, June, 1864, was commissioned Brigadier General, 
and by assignment commanded McGowan's and Laws' Bii- 
gades. Subsequently, as Acting Major General, commanded 
McGowan's, Laws', and Bushrod Johnson's Brigades. On 
return of McGowan to duty, was assigned permanently to 
command of Kershaw's Brigade. 

He engaged in the following battles: Fort Sumter, First 
Manassas, Yorktown, New Stone Point, West Point, Seven 
Pines, Mechanicksville, Chancellorsville, Riddle's Shop, 
Darby's Farm, Fossil's Mill, Petersburg, Jerusalem, Plank 
Road, Reams' Station, Winchester, Port Republic, and Cedar 
Run. Severely wounded in leg at Mechanicsville and again 
at Cedar Run, October 12th, 1864. Leg amputated. 

Returning to Charleston after the war, he resumed law 
practice with W. D. Portier. Was counsel for the South 
Carolina Railway. In 1878 was Receiver of the Georgia and 
Carolina Railway. Was candidate for Lieutenant Governor in 
1870. Elected Attorney General in 1876, re-sigued in 1877. 
Was at one time since the war M. W. G. M. of the Grand- 
Lodge of Masons in this S