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us intVs^t 

l^arbarlr College Itbrarg 



(Class of X897) 




Some Opinions. 

This history purports to be an absolutely truthful account of 
the facts recorded. Following are a few of the many testimonials 
received from friends and acquaintances of my reputation as a 
soldier : 

Arkansas City, Kan., October 1, 1893. 
J. O. easier: 

Dear Sir: I have read your book, "Four Years in the Stonewall 
Brigade," and find it intensely interesting. I would not take twenty- 
five dollars for it if I could not get another. Yours truly, 


Bloomery, W. Va., July 25, 1893. 
This is to certify that John O. Casler belonged to Company A, 
33d Virginia Infantry, Stonewall Brigade. John was a good soldier, 
always ready and willing to perform any duty assigned him. 

Captain Company A, 33d Virginia Infantry, Stonewall Brigade. 

Arkansas City, Kan., March 12, 1894. 
J. O. Casler: 

Dear Sir: 1 nave read your book through. I must say it is a 
fair, impartial record — the first one I ever read from a Southerner; 
not from any prejudice, but because I have never found them on 
the market. Respectfully, C. M. SCOTT. 

Norway, Me., June 1, 1894. 
J. O. Casler: 

Dear Comrade in Gray: I received your book, "Four Years in 
the Stonewall Brigade," yesterday. I read it through and was de- 
lighted with it. «««♦♦* J ^ig|j yQij success with the 
book. I am sure I will speak a good word for it, and will sell all 
I can for you. Yours fraternally, J. B. BRADBERRY, 

10th Maine Infantry, U. S. A. 

New York aty, March 3, 1894. 
Mr. J. O. Casler: 

My Old Confederate Comrade: Your interesting book, "Four 

Years in the Stonewall Brigade,*' came duly to hand, and as illus- 
trating the daily life of a soldier in the ranks it is one of the very 
best publications I have yet read. I found it a vivid reminder of 
the days gone by, and, regardless of the fact as to whether one 
was a "Johnnie" or "Yank," it should have a very large sale 
with all. Especially interesting to me was your narrative of Stone- 
wall's and Turner Ashby's early movements in the Valley about 
Bolivar, Winchester, Dam No. 5 and Hancock. ♦♦♦♦♦♦ 
Excuse length, and I hope to hear from you again, old Comrade, and 
should you ever come this way, the latch-string is out, and we will 
drink from the same canteen. Yours fraternally, 

Late Sergeant Company C, 13th Massachusetts. 

Staunton, Va., June 10, 1895. 
Mr. John O. Casler: 

My Dear Comrade: A friend of mine in England (Colonel Hen- 
derson of the Staff College), is writing a two-volume life of Stone- 
wall Jackson. He has written to me to know something about the 
private soldier of the Confederacy. Send me one of your books and 
I will send it to him, as it is the best information of the private 
soldier I have ever read. Yours most sincerely, 


Baltimore, Md., December 23, 1896. 
John O. Casler: 

Dear Sir: I have your letter of December 19, 1896, and your 
book, which I read with profound interest until after midnight last 
night. *♦»»»*! am surprised at the accuracy of your 
memory. How pleasant it is to look back to the oases in the desert 
of the war such as that experience. Yours truly, 

Staff Officer in Stonewall Brigade. 

Charlestown, W. Va., March 1, 1894. 
John O. Casler: 

Dear Sir: — L have read your book recounting your experience as 
an eye witness — the very best history of the particular events of 
intensely interesting, and,being the only history recording the daily 
experiences of a private soldier during the whole of the late struggle, 
I believe it entitled to a place in our permanent literature. It is as 
interesting as "Robinson Crusoe," with the advantage of being true 
to life. Yours sincerely, DANIEL B. LUCAS, 

Late President Supreme Court of Appeals, West Virginia. 

Hennessey, Okla., December 18, 1900. 
To Whom it May Concern: This is certify that John O. Casler 

was a member of Company A, 33d Regiment, Virginia Infantry, 
Stonewall Brigade; was a good soldier, prompt and efficient in the 
discharge of his duties as such. 

He has written a book, title, "Four Years in the Stonewall 
Brigade," which is intensely interesting and true, and all friends of 
the cause in which we were engaged will appreciate it. Respect- 
fully, P. T. GRACE, 

Captain Company A. 33d Virginia Infantry, Stonewall Brigade. 

Promoted to Major of Regiment in September, 1862. 

Ardmore, I. T., May 6, 1895. 
The Ardmorite acknowledges with sincere gratitude a copy of J. 
O. Casler's book entitled "Four Years in the Stonewall Brigade." It 
is handsomely printed, and portrays the life of a soldier in a striking 
and graphic manner. It is a work of more than ordinary merit, and 
should be read by everyone who desires an impartial history of the 
bloody four years* struggle, written by one from the ranks as he 
saw it. Everyone who cares to go over the events of soldier days 
should not fail to secure a copy. 

Lexington, Mo., February 23, 1904. 
John O. Caslerj 

My Dear Sir and Brother: I have just finished reading your 
"Four Years in the Stonewall Brigade," and cannot refrain from 
writing you a line. It is the most real, lifelike picture of actual 
soldier life that I have seen. ***** I am glad you wrote 
that book. It will do for our boys to read, and in after time will 
be helpful in preparing a correct history of Lee's campaign. * ♦ ♦ 
* * * I, too, was a Confederate^ soldier, in the 1st Missouri 
Brigade, for four years, under Brigadier General F. M. Cockrell. Re- 
spectfully, THOMAS M. COBB. 

The Times-Journal is under obligations to Mr. John O. Casler 
for an advance copy of his new book, "Four Years in the Stonewall 
Brigade," a story of the war from the standpoint of a private in 
the ranks of that noted brigade, under the command of that noted 
general. It does not deal with the causes of the war, nor its effects, 
but is a story of field and camp life, telling of the incidents of the 
march, the happenings in camp and around the camp-fire, the battles 
and skirmishes, the amusements and the tragedies — and all told in a 
most interesting fashion. It will be read with interest by the old 
soldiers of both armies, and by the young and rising generation. 

New Orleans, La., March 27, 1894. 
John O. Casler i 

Dear Comrade: I have read the book written by you, and was 
interested in it) from the first to the last page. It is replete with 

historical facts and data, And interspersed with humorous incidents, 
making it a most useful book for lovers of history, and of a most en- 
tertaining nature for general readers. You deserve thanks and grat- 
itude for having preserved and embodied these historical incidents in 
book form, for the benefit of the living and for those to come after 
us, and I hope you will receive such substantial financial reward 
in the sale of your book as its high merit justly entitles it to. Fra- 
ternally, GEORGE MOORMAN, 

Adjutant General and Chief of Staff, U. C V. 

Oklahoma City, O. T., October 1, 1897. 
J. O. easier: 

Dear Sir: I have just finished reading your book, "Four Years 
in the Stonewall Brigade." Your style is clear and entertaining. It 
will do all the old boys of both sides good to read it. The Confed- 
erates were entertaining during the '60s, but not so pleasing or sat- 
isfactory to the Federals. 

I am also proud of the fact that Federals and Confederates vie 
with each other in showing that nothing is now left in their hearts 
but kindness to and for each other. It will do them all good to 
read your book. Yours fraternally, J. G. WINNE, 

Late 16th New York Horse Artillery. 

Martinsburg, W. Va., February 27, 1894. 
J. O. easier: 

Dear Comrade : I state with pleasure that I have read your book. 
Being very familiar with the whole country; with every Campaign 
personally, a captain of the Confederate cause, I can vouch for the 
similarity and lifelike experiences — not exaggerated, but plain facts 
jotted down at the time, and from careful thought. Those who would 
know the true life and worth of a private soldier in one of the 
grandest brigades of an anrmy that was great in all that could make 
an organization great, should read this S)ok carefully, and compare 
it with the life of Lee and Jackson. Most truly yours, 

Mayor of Martinsburg, W. Va. 
Captain in 2d Virginia Infantry. 

The undersigned know that John O. Casler was in the service of 
the Confederate Army up to the year 1865. Having been ourselves 
soldiers of the Confederate service, attached to the army in Virginia, 
and having, in the year 1865, met and known said John O. Crtsler in 
said service. His reputation was that of a good and brave soldier, who 
had been a member of Company A, 33d Regiment, Stonewall Brigade, 
from the organization of said company, in 1861, until it was wiped out 
by the killing, wounding and capture of nearly all the company, 
when (in 1865) said John O. Casler was for a short time attached 

to CJompany D, 11th Virginia Cavalry, in the Confederate service, 
until his capture by the Federal forces. 

Company D, 11th Virginia Cavalry. 

McNeil's Rangers. 

Romney, W. Va., July 17, 1893. 
I, William Montgomery, of Hampshire county, West Virginia, 
was Orderly Sergeant Company A, 33d Regiment, Stonewall Brigade, 
Confederate Army, at the time of and some time before my capture by 
the Federal forces at Spottsylvania, in May, 1864, and was a member 
of said Company A from the time it entered the service in the 
spring of the year 1861, and know that John O. Casler, who was 
raised in said county, volunteered in said company when it was or- 
ganized, and remained a member thereof up to the time of my said 
capture (in May, 1864), and that he was a faithful and gallant sol- 
dier during that time. This I speak of my own knowledge. And 
speaking upon information received by me from other Confeder- 
ate soldiers who were good, reliable men, I am perfectly satisfied 
that he remained in the Confederate service, a good and faithful sol- 
dier, until his capture in the year 1865. Respectfully, 


STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA, County of Hampshire— To -wit: 

I, C. S. White, Clerk of the County Court of Hampshire County, 
in said state of West Virginia, certify that William Montgomery, 
John S. Pancake and William H. Maloney, who have signed the pre- 
ceding testimonials, are citizens and taxpayers of said county, 
known to me for many years, and whose standing and character are 
unimpeachable, and whose statements are entitled to full credit and 

In witness whereof I have hereto set my hand and official seal 
(which is the seal of said court), the 17th July, 1893. 
(Seal) C. S. WHITE, County Court Clerk, Hampshire County. 

It describes the different engagements of the regiment, brigade, 
division and army in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. 

Had such a history been written from a diary kept during the 
Revolutionary war, or War of 18 12, it would have been invaluable 
at this time. 

It is entertaining as a novel, and is the only history of the kind 
ever published. 

It preserves those very particulars we would most like to know, 
and which have escaped the attention of the historians of the period* 

It is written in the plain style of a common man, telling a simple 
it explains some discrepancies and corrects some errors in contempo- 
raneous history. 

Taken altogether, it is — because authentic, impartial and from 

an eye witness — the very best history of the particular vents of 
which it treats, of any yet given to the public, or that it is possible 
should be hereafter written. 

To the public at large it will be a surprise — ^to the compilers of 
war history a revelation. A. T. STONE, 

Colonel 17th Louisiana, C. S. A. 

Staunton, Va., March 23, 1894. 
Mr. John O. Casler, Oklahoma City, Okla.: 

I have read through with very great interest and pleasure your 
book entitled "Four Years in the Stonewall Brigade," and do not 
hesitate to recommend it as one of the most graphic and truthful 
stories of our great Civil War that it has been my privilege to read. 

Having been the Topographical Engineer of the Army of the 
Valley District, and of the 2d Corps of the Army of Northern Vir- 
ginia, in both of which the Stonewall Brigade was an important 
factor, and in consequence of my position on the staff of Lieutenant 
General Jackson, and of his successors, Lieutenant General Ewell 
and Lieutenant General Early, and John B. Gordon, and of necessity 
thoroughly familiar with all the events of the campaigns in which 
this famous brigade participated, I think I may say that I am 
thoroughly competent to judge of the merits of such a work as 
yours; and it is from this standpoint, and with this knowledge, that 
I commend it, not only to all the veterans who wore the "gray," 
but also to those who wore the "blue," as recalling to each of 
them the stirring events in which they participated with equal 
courage and devotion, and which have become a part of the common 
history and heritage of glory of our Nation, one now united by a 
common baptism of blood. I not only recommend it to those who 
participated in it, but to all others who would know how soldiers, 
and more especially those of the Confederacy, endured the privations 
of war and the contest of arms in defense of what each considered 
the right as he himself saw it. 

Trusting that your modest volume may have the wide circula- 
tion that its merits deserve, I remain, Fraternally yours, 

Topographical En^neer Jackson's Corps, R. E. Lee's Army of 

Northern Virginia. 

"Four Years in the Stonewall Brigade," by John O. Casler, is a 
peculiar write-up of the late war — peculiar because it is his own ex- 
perience and observation as one of that mighty body of marchers, 
campers and fighters, whose dash and pluck placed Stonewall Jack- 
son among the immortals. 

It records the private's joys, dangers, privations, fatigues and 
battles to the life — ^never strained or stilted — always so candid, so 
true, that the soldier reader^ be lie "Yank" or "Johnnie," lives his 

army life over again, journeying, suffering, exulting with the author. 
Mr. easier has written war as it is. The civilian who reads learns 
that an army is not all major generals — not all panygeries. He 
finds prosy, practical heroes in the ranks, whose fighting and dying 
clothes in garish colors the few of whom writers write. He who 
carried the musket knew this before. DELOS WALKER. 

Major General 137th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, U. S. A. 

Colonel William Byrd, an old Texas soldier, in the Winchester, 
Va., Times, says: 

"Four Years in the Stonewall Brigade," by John O. Casler, a 
private in Company A, 33d Virginia Infantry, Stonewall Briagde, 
who appears to have served his country faithfully from the birth 
of that proud and renowned corps to the surrender at Appomattox. 
It is a very interesting narrative, and far more entertaining to 
the mass of readers than any general account of battles, however 
complete and accurate they could possibly be. The book is well 
and clearly written, and gives a thrilling detail of the personal 
daily life of a private soldier, his grievances, his hardships, and the 
scenes of blood, disease and suffering through which he passed. 
He declares that he was neither a hero nor a coward, and modestly 
admits that while he always went where duty called him, he 
went no farther than he was obliged to go., 

I am greatly pleased with the book, and think that everyone 
who is interested in history should have it. 


Four Years in the Stonewall Brigade, by an Oklahoma Authoi. 
(Copied From the Daily Oklahoman.) 

"Four Years in the Stonewall Brigade" is the title of a volume 
lately issued. The author is John O. Casler, a citizen of Oklahoma 
City, who served as a private through four years in "Stonewall 
Jackson's Brigade." In his preface the author frankly disclaims 
any special literary style or finish, but simply aimed to present the 
everyday experiences of a private soldier. 

In this he appears to have succeeded admirably, and the charm 
of the anecdotes and reminiscences with which the book is filled is 
the very simplicity of authority. 

One can shut his eyes and almost ima^^ine the bivouac scenes, 
when the days* weary march is over and the tired soldiers are 
stretched about the camp-fire, beguiling the time by exchanging ac- 
counts of their personal experiences. In the life of the soldier there 
are alwavs more or less exciting experiences, and Mr. Casler seems 
to have had his full share of adventures during his four years' ser- 
vice. His accounts of them read with thrilling interest. 





Ex-Commander Oklahoma Division United Confederate Veterans, 

Private Company A, 33d Regiment Virginia Infantry, 

Stonewall Brigade, 1st Division, 2d Corps, Army 

of Northern Virginia, Gen. Robert E. 

Lee, Commanding. 


Containing ttie daily experiences of four years' service in ttie ranlcs from a 
diary Icept at ttie time— A truttiful record of ttie battles and skirmishes, 
advances, retreats and maneuvers of the army— Of incidents as 
they occurred on the march, in the field, in bivouac and 
in battle, on the scout, in hospital and prison- 
Replete with thrilling adventures and 
hair-breadth escapes. 


Revised, corrected and improved by Mai. Jed Hotchkiss. Topographical 

Engineer 2d Corps. Army of Northern Virginia. 




Copyrifirhted by 

Maynadier T. Bruce, Dallas, Texas. 



The demand for "Four Years in the Stonewall Brigade" 
has led to a re-issuQ in a cheaper form, but as several years 
have elapsed since the first edition made its appearance, the 
author considered that extensive alterations and improvements 
would be necessary before its re-publication. It has, there- 
fore, been carefully revised, and, though the salient points of 
the history have been left untouched, several new chapters, and 
more and better illustrations have been added in order to 
make it a more complete history, which will be read by future 


The Author. 


This work is respectfully dedicated to the boys who wore the 
Gray and the boys who wore the Blue, and who fought and suffered 
for what they conceived to be right. 

No more shall the war cry sever, 

Or the winding rivers be red; 
They banish our anger forever 

When they laurel the graves of the dead; 
Under the sod and dew. 

Waiting the judgment day, 
Love and tears for the Blue, 

Tears and love for the Gray. 
! —The Author. 


John Overton Casler, Frontispiece 

Maynadier T. Bruce 326 

Romney, West Virginia, 1861 17 

33d Virginia going to Bull Run 23 

Where the Brigade Received the Name of "Stonewall" 28 

Burial of William I. Blue 31 

rlohn O. Casler, 1863 39 

Guard House at Camp Harman 62 

Stealing WTiiskey from the Ist Kentucky Regiment 55 

• Night Amusements in the Confederate Camp 65 

Foraging 75 

Pi'ayer in "Stonewall" Jackson's Camp 70 

"Sionewair Brigade at Malvern Hill, 1862 93 

I^nishments for Unruly Soldiers 100 

Field Hospital at Bull Run . . Ill 

Federal Soldiers Plundering Virgjiiiia Homes 117 

T^st Meeting of Generals Lee and Jackson 144 

"Stonewall" Jackson Mortally Wounded 148 

A Charge and Capture of Federal Breastworks 150 

"The Night was Lighted Up by Burning Human Bodies' 15? 

Federal and Confederate Pickets Trading Tobacco and Coffee... 160 

"Stonewall" Brigade Marching into Pennsylvania 169 

"Stonewall" Brigade at Gulp's Hill, Gettysburg 175 

The Famous Snowball Battle 203 

Lieutenant-General John B. Gordon, of Georgia 211 

Stump of Tree Cut Down by Ballets 210 

Bruce and Casler Capturing McFern, a Federal Quartermaster. . 254 

In the Cells at Ft McHenry 271 

Last Davs of the Confederacy 283 

The Confederate Soldier's Return Home 290 

Conquered Banners 314 

Cumberland, Md., in 1863 332 

John Dailey 334 

John S. Arnold 335 

Capture of Generals Crook and Kelley 337 

McNeil, Welton and Fay 341 

Kuykendall and VanDiver 340 

Generals Crook and Kelley 355 

The "Stonewall" Jackson Medal 360 

Their Game of Poker Was Spoiled 365 


The War Inevitable. 


Enters the Army — ^Attached to T. J. Jackson's Brigade — ^Buli 
Run — In Line of Bieittle — ^Pledges Burial to a Companion. 


First Battle of Bull Run — General Jackson's Brigade Christened 
Stonewall — Fulfills Pledge and Buries Dead Body of Comrade. 


Letters of Colonel A. C. Cummings, Captain Randolph Barton 
and J. O. Casler. 


Gets in the Guardhouse — Jackson Promoted to Major General — 
His Address to the Brigade. 


Midwinter Campaign of '62 — ^Battle of Kemstown, or First Bat- 
tle of Winchester. 


Up the Shenandoah — ^Battle of McDowell — From Front Royal to 
Harper's Ferry — ^A Running Fight of Fifty Miles — Jackson's Retreat 
Up the Valley. 


- Death of Ashby — Battle of Cross Keys — Battle of Port Republic 
— On the Road to Richmond — ^R. E. Lee in Command — First Battle 
of Cold Harbor. 


Savage Station — ^Malvern Hill — ^The Blues and Grays Mingle in 
the Blackberry Field — Incidents of the Seven Days' Fight. 


Battle of Cedar Mountain — ^Death of General Winder — Flag of 


Capture of Commissary Stores at Manassas Junction — Second 
Battle of Man&ssas* 


Soldiers Shot for Desertion — ^Battle of Chantilly — Death of Gen- 
eral Kearney — Battles of South Mountain and Antietam — Jackson 
Captures Harper's Ferry — Skirmishes at Keameysville. 


"^ Lieutenant Blue's Scouting Party — Join the "Outfit" — Thrilling 


At Imboden's Camp — Court-Martialed — ^Detailed in the Pioneer 


Battle of Chancellorsville — Jackson's Flank Movement — ^Re- 
ceives His Death Wounds — ^Last Words of "Stonewall." 


To Culpepper, Front Royal, Winchester, Shepherdstown, Wil- 
, liamsport, Hagerstown and Up the Cumberland Valley to Carlisle- 


On the March to Gettysburg — ^Battle of Gettysburg — ^In Position 
at Gulp's Hill— In Line July 4, 1863— Retreat to the Potomac— Build- 
ing Pontoons — Cross Into Virginia — Incidents. 


Arrested — Escapes — ^Interesting Adventures — ^Deserters Shot to 


Flank Movement Towards Washington — ^Turned Back at Bris- 
tow Station — Kelly's Ford — ^Retreat Across the Rapidan — ^Mine Run. 


Battle of the Snowballs — General Grant Takes Command of Army 
of the Potomac — Battle of the Wilderness — In a Hot Place May 11th 
— Battle of Spottsylvania Court House May 12th. 


Clubby Johnson Prisoner — ^''Remember Fort Pillow! Charge" — 
Back in Company A — A Terrible Night on Picket — To Sleep Was 
Death — ^Battles of Bethesda Church. 

Second Battle of Cold Harbor — ^At Lynchburg — Federals Retreat 
to West Virginia — ^Brigades Consolidated. 


Battle of Monocacy — Skirmish at Winchester — ^In Line at Ce- 
dar Creek — ^Battle of Winchester or Opequon — ^Early Retreats Up the 
Valley — Thrilling Adventures. 


Death of Lieutenant Meigs, U. S. A. — ^Battle of Cedar Creek. 


The Last of Company A — ^Attempts to Wade the Potomac — Cap- 
ture of McFern. 


Lets McFem Escape — Captured by the "Jessie Scouts" — On the 
Road to Prison. 


Prisoners on the March — ^Two Escape — ^Arraigned Before Sheri- 
dan—Treated as Guerrillas — At Fort McHenry. 


Lee Surrenders — ^Lincoln Assassinated — ^Released From Prison- 
Oath of Allegiance. 


Arrives at Home— Neither a Hero Nor a Coward. 


Justice to Absentees — ^Roster of Company A — ^Roster of the Of- 
ficers of the 33d Regiment, Stonewall Brigade, 1st Division, and 2d 
Corps, with list of Killed^ Wounded and Prisoners. 


A Few Opinions — ^Devotion of the Soldiers — A Rebel Colonel Re- 
sents the Hissing of the Stars and Stripes in a London Theater — 
Union Soldiers Protect Rebel Soldiers in Baltimore. 


Conclusion — ^Tribute to the Women of the South — ^Their Appeal 
to the Soldiers — ^Romantic Letter of War Times. 

Southern Songs and Poems. 


Appendix. j 


It is not the purpose of the writer, in giving the events 
that happened in the four years^ struggle between the North 
and South, to enter into a detailed account of the causes 
that led up to the war. 

These are matters of history, and have gone upon rec- 
ord, according to the prejudices and passions of the contend- 
ing parties; or they have been given from the different 
points from which men viewed them. 

When the Mason and Dixon line was first blazed out 
the country was divided into two powerful, distinct and 
widely diverging factions, differing radically in the policy 
of the government and financial interests, and these of such 
magnitude that the casual observer will understand at once 
they must not only lead to a disruption of the government, 
but to war and bloodshed. 

From that very hour the two factions began forming 
their ranks for the final conflict; the coming was as fixed as 
fate itself. 

Nor did either think of grounding their arms. True, 
one was aggressive and the other defensive. But if the ag- 
gression was persistent, the defense was determined. In 
both the North and the South the worst passions of men 
were appealed to, and in the name of patriotism each was 
called upon to stand for their homes, their firesides and 
their country. South of the Mason and Dixon line were the 
homes and firesides of the Southerner, and north of it the 
homes of their former Northern brethren. 

True, there was a large element, both North and South, 
whose patriotism arose above sectional lines, and who looked 
with dark forebodings upon the coming conflict, and who 
were ready to interpose in behalf of peace and good govern- 
ment, and whose love of country reached beyond the sec- 
tional strife that was raging. 


But in the great whirl of passion and prejudice their 
efforts proved in vain; their voices hushed, and they found 
themselves powerless to avert the inevitable. The die had 
been cast; the line drawn; the decree had gone forth, and 
no mortal hand could stay the tempest or arrest the 

And when, at last, the crash came,, even the conserva- 
tive element had nothing to do but to drop into line, ac- 
cording to their feelings or mutual interests. 

There was no half-way ground to occupy; war knows 
nothing but decision, and if one could not decide for him- 
self there was a fate to decide for him. 

"He that is not for me is against me'^ is an inexorable 
decree of battle, and to that decree men were compelled to 
bow, whether they would or not. Thus, as the mighty ava- 
lanche, or the terrible cyclone, were they swept on. 

America was young, and filled with younger sons, sons 
each of whom felt himself a king. With him to be an 
American was to be a freeman, and he stood proudly upon 
his royal rights; to dare to trample upon these inherent 
privileges was an insult to his honor, to his Americanism. 
The fires of seventy-six were rekindled into a blazing, burn- 
ing flame, as each pictured to himself the long catalogue of 

The cannon of 1812 echoed and re-echoed over the 
plains of South Carolina, while the defiant tones were 
hurled back from the mountains of New Hampshire, rous- 
ing the young blood of the sons of New England. 

The yoimg men, full of martial fire, pictured the Amer- 
ican flag borne, with proud, victorious arms, into the very 
Halls of the Montezumas, showing that our arms had been 
victorious on every battle-field; that never had we crossed 
swords with any foe but that victory had followed. 

The American eagle, proud, victorious bird, belonged to 
each, and each felt called upon to see that that bird soared 
unfettered in the clear, bright sunlight of heaven. 

Each thought himself the special guardian of freedom 
and the protector of American liberty. None stopped to 
ponder the old adage, "When Greek meets Greek, then 
comes the tug of war.^^ 


With such a spirit animating each heart, it was not sur- 
prising that, when the bugle sounded to arms, from the 
prairies of Texas to the cotton and rice fields of South Car- 
olina, and the blue^tinged hills of the Old Dominion, men 
sprang to arms by the thousands, eager for the battle to 
begin. If the Southerner felt his arm strengthened and 
nerved for the conflict, the Nori;hem son as confidently 
rushed to the front at his country^s call. 

The muttering thunders of war rolled over the vast 
sweep of country from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and was 
echoed back from the Gulf to the Lakes. 

The hour for calm, sober reflection had passed; no time 
to reason now, but from hilltop to valley echoed the tramp 
of war, till a nation trembled beneath the tread of armies. 

As the drunken, frenzied rabble rolls on, moved by they 
know not what, so the gathering hosts shouted, "To arms! 
To arms r 

From the time of the election of Abraham Lincoln in 
November, 1860, until the conflict actually began, the 
whole country was thrown into a fever of excitement, and 
this was increased in intensity with every floating breeze. 
One startling event followed another in quick succession; 
reason was dethroned, and the great whirlwind of passion 
and prejudice swept the whole land, kindling the fires of 
conflict in all the States. 

On the 20th of December, 1860, the Legislature of 
South Carolina unanimously declared that that State no 
longer belonged to the American Union. In January, 1861, 
Florida withdrew, followed by Mississippi on the 9th of the 
same month, Alabama on the 11th, Georgia on the 20th, 
Louisiana on the 26th, and Texas on February 1st. Thus, in 
less than three months from the time of the election of Abra- 
ham Lincoln to the Presidency, all the cotton states, 
proper, had, by a unanimous vote, withdrawn from the 
Union, and had taken possession of all the Federal fortifica- 
tions except those in Charleston harbor. 

While the sympathies of the people of Virginia were 
overwhelmingly with the South, yet her condition, adjacent 
as she was to the border of the Free States, made her hesi- 
tate before she took a decided stand. She even tried to 


throw herself into the breach, and, if possible, heal up the 
differences and wounds of the past, and thus avert the ter- 
rors of war. But her effort was not only in vain, but futile. 
The storm had already gathered; the dark clouds of passion 
and hatred had already formed, and each hurled black 
defiance at the other. 

The two volcanoes, one at the South and the other at 
the North, whose pent-up fires had been hissing and strug- 
gling to break loose from their smothered furies, were now 
belching forth fire and flame, and the burning lava rolling 
on but mocked the feeble efforts of the Middle States for 

Hot blood was up, and the furies were all turned loose, 
and an inexorable fate led them on. What Virginia could 
not settle for herself was soon settled for her, and she was 
compelled, whether she would or not, to action. 



I was bom in Gainsboro, Frederick County, Virginia, 
nine miles northwest of Winchester, on the first day of De- 
cember, 1838. My mother's maiden name was Heironimus, 
an old family of that county, dating back of the Eevolu- 
tionary war. When I was three years old my father removed 
to Springfield, Hampshire County (in what is now West 
Virginia), an adjoining county, where I spent my boyhood 
days as most other boys do, in learning a trade and going 
to school, where I received a fair English education for 
those days. 

In March, 1855, when I was in my 21st year, I cut 
loose from the parental roof and took Horace Greele/s 
advice to "Go West and grow up with the country." I landed 
in Cass County, Missouri, in which state I remained, living 
in different counties, until the spring of 1861, when the 
signs of the times indicated war, and I concluded to go back 
to old Virginia. I left Sedalia, Mo., the 8th day of April, 
1861, and returned to Frederick County, Virginia, where my 
father was engaged in farming, having moved back to that 
county during my absence. 

After leaving Sedalia I went to St. Louis, and there 
got on board a steamboat bound for Pittsburg, Pa. After 
passing Cairo, 111., we heard of the firing on Fort Sumter, 
and saw bills posted at the different towns we passed calling 
for 75,000 troops for ninety days to protect Washington and 
put down the rebellion. Then we knew that war had com- 

Various opinions were indulged in by the passengers, 
some sa3ring that the North did not need that many troops, 
and that it would all be settled in less than ninety days. 
But, alas! vain hope! How little we knew of the struggle 
that was before us. I parted with my fellow passengers at 


Parkersburg, W. Va. Some were going into the Union 
army, and some of us into the Southern army. 

I arrived at home and remained there a short time. At 
that time the Governor of Virginia was calling for volun- 
teers. There had been a company raised at Springfield, my 
native town, and they were in service and camped at Blue's 
Gap, fifteen miles east of Eomney, on the road leading to 
Winchester. As I had but fifteen miles to go to reach them, 
I bade farewell' to my parents and sisters and went to the 
company, and arrived that evening in camp. 

I met old schoolmates and acquaintances whom I had 
parted from two years before in the school room, and 
now found them in arms. I signed my name to the muster- 
roll, put on the uniform of gray, and was mustered into 
service for one year. The name of the company was "Poto- 
mac Guards," Captain P. T. Grace, commanding; S. D. 
Long, First Lieutenant; Jacob N. Buzzard, Second Lieuten- 
ant; William Johnson, Third Lieutenant. There was an- 
other company camped at that place, the "Hampshire Eifle- 
men,'' Captain George Sheetz. They were doing picket 
duty, not having yet been assigned to any regiment. 

The next morning, which was the 19th of June, we were 
ordered to fall in, and marched to Eomney. The day was 
hot and the road dusty, and marching went quite hard with 
us, especially myself, who had never marched a day in my 
life; but I kept in ranks, for, "Who would not a soldier be, 
and with the soldiers march ?" Arriving in Eomney about 3 
p. m., we quartered in an old building, took a good wash, 
had some refreshments, and felt like soldiers indeed, with 
our clothes covered with brass buttons and the ladies smil- 
ing at us and cheering us on. 

In the early part of June Colonel A. C. Cummings, 
who had seen service in the Mexican war, and whose home 
was at Abington, Va., was commissioned Colonel by the 
Governor of Virginia, and sent from Harper's Ferry to 
Eomney to collect together the different companies organ- 
izing in that and adjacent counties and form a regiment. 
He had been there but a few days, and had three companies 
— the Potomac Guards, from Springfield; the Hampshire 
Eiflemen, from New Creek, and the Independent Greys, 







from Moorefield, Hardy County. The Eiflemfin were organ- 
ized before the war, and were well equipped. The other 
two companies came there with nothing but their uniforms, 
but were given old, altered muskets and old flintlock rifles 
that had been sent there from Harper^s Perry, and two four- 
pound cannon that had been sent there during the John 
Brown raid, but had no one to use them. They had a few 
rounds of ammunition in their coat pockets; no tents, cart- 
ridge boxes, or any other equipment. 

In order that the reader may more fully understand 
the organization of the Southern army, I will explain: 

The maximum number of a company was one hundred 
men, commanded by a Captain and three Lieutenants, com- 
missioned oflScers; then there were Sergeants and Corporals, 
non-commissioned oflScers, appointed by the Captain. 

A regiment was composed of ten companies, making 
one thousand men. Sometimes there were less, and often a 
regiment was reduced to two or three hundred able for 

The field oflBcers of a regiment were a Colonel, Lieu- 
tenant Colonel and Major. Two or more regiments com- 
posed a brigade, generally four or five regiments — some- 
times more, sometimes less, according to circumstances — 
and commanded by a Brigadier General. 

Two or more brigades (generally four) composed a 
division, commanded by a Major General; two or more di- 
visions (generally three) composed an army corps, com- 
manded by a Lieutenant General, who was styled a full Gen- 
eral. General E. B. Lee ranked as such. There were five 
full Generals in the Southern army. 

Several companies banded together — ^less than ten — 
was called a battalion, and commanded by a Major. Two 
companies of cavalry formed a squadron. A company of 
artillery had four or six cannon, generally four, and one 
piece was called a section; going into action and unlimber- 
ing ready for business was called going into battery. 

The Federals were camped at New Creek, about twenty 
miles from Eomney, and sent a regiment over one morning 
to capture the whole outfit, and they woidd have succeeded 
had it not been for a citizen on the road coming a near way 


and giving the Colonel warning. The consequence was the 
Colonel beat a hasty retreat, taking everything with him. 

Talk about your first big battles of the war, that was 
one of them. There were about a dozen shots exchanged, 
no one hurt and no one captured, the Southern boys pull- 
ing out for Winchester and the Federals coming into town. 
They remained about an hour, and then went back to New 
Creek — ^both armies marching from each other all day. As 
a result, three regiments under Colonel A. P. Hill were 
sent there from Harper's Perry: the 10th Virginia, 13th 
Virginia, and 3d Tennessee. 

When our companies arrived we found those regiments 
there. Our three companies were then formed into a battal- 
ion and put in command of Major William Lee, and called 
Lee's Battalion — Colonel Cummings going back to Win- 
chester to recruit more companies. 

We remained there until the 24th, expecting an attack 
every night, and consequently had plenty of false alarms. 
We then marched back to Winchester, a distance of forty- 
five miles, leaving some cavalry there under command of 
Captain Turner Ashby. 

As we marched out of town the brass bands were play- 
ing, the drums beating, colors flying, and the fair ladies 
waving their handkerchiefs and cheering us on to "victory 
or death." Oh! how nice to be a soldier! 

On the 27th we went into camp on Opequon creek, 
three miles south of Winchester, remaining several days, 
cleaning arms, drilling, etc. Our next move was to the 
Shawnee Springs, in the suburbs of Winchester, where we 
were temporarily attached to General Blzey's Brigade. The 
Hampshire Eiflemen, not numbering enough (only forty- 
five) to be mustered in, were transferred to the cavalry and 
ordered back to Eomney to recruit and get horses. How I 
wished then that I had joined that company, and could 
have done so only a short time before, but my name was 
down on the roll, and there was no chance to get it off 
honorably. I therefore had to remain in the infantry. 

General Elzey was quite fond of a dram, as most sol- 
diers are, and one night when he and his staff were drinking 
quite freely, and feeling very liberal, he called in the sen- 


tinel who was on guard at his quarters and gave him a drink, 
and then went to bed. Now, when this same sentinel was on 
post again, about daylight, he put his head in the tent door, 
and, finding the General still asleep, woke him up by ex- 
claiming: "General! General? ain^t it about time for us to 
take another drink ?'' 

The General roused up, and, not being in as merry a 
mood as the night before, ordered him to be taken oflE to the 
guardhouse for his insolence. 

That soldier was greeted for months afterwards by the 
whole command by, "General, General, ain't it about time 
for us to take another drink ?'' 

The Federal General Patterson had crossed the Po- 
tomac with a considerable force. Our army, under Gen- 
eral Joseph E. Johnston, had evacuated Harper's Perry, 
and the two armies were close together below Martinsburg. 
One day our advance had a considerable skirmish with the 
enemy and captured forty-five prisoners, and then fell back 
south of town to Darksville, where our whole force lay in 
line of battle. They were the first prisoners I had seen. 
As we were ordered to tear down all fences, it looked 
like a battle was imminent. We lay in line the next day, 
which was the 4th of July, but still no fight, and on the 5th 
we returned to Winchester and went into camp at the 
"Shawnee Springs.'' 

The boys were all mad because we had had no fight, and 
accused General Johnston of being a coward, but they soon 
found out that he knew his business, and that a braver man 
never lived. After remaining in this camp three days our 
battalion was ordered to report to Colonel Cummings, one 
mile south of Winchester, where we found he had collected 
five more companies, viz.: Page Grays, Captain Eippe- 
toe; Shenandoah Eiflemen, Captain Gate wood; Emerald 
Guards, Captain Sibert (nearly all Irishmen); Mount Jack 
son Eifles, Captain Allen, and Brook Company, Captain 

We remained in this camp several days, and received 
our equipments from Springfield, as our company was 
equipped by private subscription, and they were not ready 


when we left. Our equipments consisted of knapsacks^ blan- 
kets, cartridge boxes, canteens and tents. 

We had all started out with a carpet sack full of ^^store 
clothes, biled shirts and paper coUars,^^ but we loaded them 
in the wagon and sent them home. We soon found out that 
we had no use for "store clothes and biled shirts.^' 

On the 15th of July our regiment was marched one mile 
north of Winchester and permanently attached to General 
T. J. Jackson^s Brigade, consisting of the 2d, 4th, 5th and 
27th Virginia Eegiments. Ours, not being full yet, was not 
numbered, but called Colonel Cummings^ Eegiment. 

On the 16th, the report being that General Patterson 
was advancing on Winchester, we were rushed out in line of 
battle, tore down all the fences, and lay on our arms ready 
for action at a moment's warning. The next day passed 
off in the same way, but no enemy appeared, and we re- 
turned to camp and lay quiet. 

Another new company comes to our regiment, the 
"Shenandoah Sharpshooters,'' Captain David Walton. They 
have no arms and are given flintlock muskets. We are now 
ordered to cook rations and be ready to march at a moment's 
warning. Our regiment now has eight companies, and 
numbers about 650 men; but the measles have been raging 
in camp and about 200 are sent to the hospital, being una- 
ble to march. 

July 18th we marched through Winchester and took 
the road leading to Berry's Ferry, on the Shenandoah river, 
about eighteen miles distant. The citizens were very much 
grieved to see us leave, for fear the enemy would be in town, 
as there were no troops left but a few militia and Colonel 
Turner Ashby's cavalry. 

After marching a few miles we were halted, and the 
Adjutant read us orders that the enemy were about to 
overpower General Beauregard at Manassas Junction, and 
we would have to make a forced march. It was General 
Johnston's wish that all the men would keep in ranks and 
not straggle, if possible. Then we started on a quick march, 
marched all day and nearly all night, wading the Shenan- 
doah river about 12 o'clock at night, halted at a small vil- 
lage called Paris about two hours, then resumed the march 


about daylight, and arrived at Piednuont Station, on the 
Manassas Gap railroad. 

Our brigade was in the advance on the march, and 
when we arrived at the station the citizens for miles around 
came flocking in to see us, bringing us eatables of all kinds, 
and we fared sumptuously. There were not trains enough 
to transport all at once, and our regiment had to remain 
there until trains returned, which was about 3 o^clock in the 
afternoon. We had a regular picnic; plenty to eat, lemon- 
ade to drink, and beautiful young ladies to chat with. We 
finally got aboard, bade the ladies a long farewell, and went 
flying down the road, arriving at the Junction in the night. 

The next day, the 20th of July, we marched about four 
miles down Bull Eun, to where General Beauregard had en- 
gaged the enemy on the 18th, and repulsed their advance. 
There we joined the brigade. We lay on our arms all night. 
We tore all the feathers out of our hats, because we heard 
the Yanks had feathers in theirs, and we might be fired on 
by mistake, as our company was the only one that had black 
plumes in their hats. We could hear pickets firing at in- 
tervals, and did not know what minute we would be rushed 
into action. 

My particular friend and messmate, William I. Blue, 
and myself lay down together, throwing a blanket over us, 
and talked concerning our probabje fate the next day. We 
had been in line of battle several times, and had heard 
many false alarms, but we all knew there was no false alarm 
this time; that the two armies lay facing each other, and 
that a big battle would be fought the next day; that we 
were on the eve of experiencing the realities of war in its 
most horrible form — ^brother against brother, father against 
son, kindred against kindred, and our own country torn to 
pieces by civil war. 

While lying thus, being nearly asleep, he roused me up 
and said that he wanted to make a bargain with me, which 
was, if either of us got killed the next day the one who 
survived should see the other buried, if we kept possession 
of the battle-field. 

I told him I would certainly do that, and we pledged 
ourselves accordingly. I then remarked that perhaps we 








would escape unhurt or wounded. He said: ^^o, I don^t 
want to be wounded. If I am shot at all I want to be shot 
right through the heart.^^ 

During the night we heard a gun fired on the left of the 
regiment and I got up and walked down the line to see what 
had happened. I found one of the men had shot himself 
through the foot, supposed to have been done intentionally, 
to keep out of the fight, but the poor fellow made a miscal- 
culation as to where his toes were, and held the muzzle of 
the gun too far up and blew off about half of his foot, so it 
had to be amputated. 



July 2l8t dawned clear and bright (and for the last 
time on many a poor soldier), and with it the sharpshooters 
in front commenced skirmishing. We were ordered to "fall 
in/^ and were marched up the run about four miles, and 
then ordered back to "Blackbum^s Ford/' Our company 
and the ^^ardy Greys'' were thrown out as skirmishers, op- 
posite the ford, in a skirt of woods commanding a full view 
of the ford, and ordered to fire on the enemy if they at- 
tempted to cross the run. While we were lying in that po- 
sition heavy firing was heard on our left, both infantry and 
artillery. In a few moments we were ordered from there to 
join the regiment, and went "double quick'' up the run to 
where the fighting was going on. The balance of the 
brigade was in line of battle behind the brow of a small 
ridge. We were halted at the foot of this ridge and Colonel 
Cummings told us that it was General Jackson's command 
that our regiment should depend principally on the bayonet 
that day, as it was a musket regiment. 

Some of the boys were very keen for a fight, and while 
we were down in the run they were afraid it would be over 
before we got into it. One in particular, Thomas McGraw, 
was very anxious to get a shot at the "bluecoats," and when 
the Colonel read us the order about the bayonet I asked 
Tom how he liked that part of the programme. He said 
that was closer quarters than he had anticipated. 

Our regiment marched up the hill and formed ^lef t in 
front," on the left of the brigade, and on the entire left of 
our army. As we passed by the other regiments the shells 
were bursting and cutting down the pines aU around us, and 
we were shaking hands and bidding farewell to those we 
were acquainted with, knowing tlat in a few moments many 
of us would be stretched lifeless on the field. 

At this time our troops were falling back, but in good 


order, j&ghting every inch of the way, but were being over- 
powered and flanked by superior numbers. They were the 
2d Mississippi and Colonel Evans* 4th Alabama Eegiments, 
General Bee^s South Carolina Brigade, Colonel BartoVs 
7th and 8th Georgia Eegiments, Major Wheaf s Battalion 
(called the Louisiana Tigers), and Imboden's Battery. They 
had resisted the main portion of the ^Tederal Army** and 
had done all that men could do, and had lost severely, but 
were still holding the enemy in check while we were forming. 

It was there and at this time that General Jackson re- 
ceived the name of "Stonewall,** and the brigade the ever 
memorable name of "Stonewall Brigade.** General Bar- 
nard E. Bee, riding up to General Jackson, who sat on his 
horse calm and unmoved, though severely wounded in the 
hand, exclaimed in a voice of anguish: "General, they are 
beating us back!** 

Turning to General Bee, he said calmly: "Sir, we*ll give 
them the bayonet.** 

Hastening back to his men, General Bee cried enthusi- 
astically, as he pointed to Jackson: "Look yonder! There 
is Jackson and his brigade standing like a stone wall. Let 
us determine to die here and we will conquer. Eally behind 

They passed through our brigade and formed in the 
rear. I knew they were South Carolinians by the "Palmetto 
tree** on their caps. General Bee and Colonel Bartow fell, 
mortally wounded. The enemy, flushed with victory, pushed 
on, never dreaming what was lying just behind the brow 
of the hill in the pines. There seemed to be a lull in the 
firing just at this time, and Sergeant James P. Daily, of my 
company, walked up to the brow of the hill, but soon re- 
turned with the exclamation: "Boys, there is the prettie&t 
sight from the top of the hill you ever saw; they are coming 
up on the other side in four ranks, and all dressed in rcfl.** 

When we heard that, I, with several others, jumped up 
and started to see, but Colonel Cummings ordered us to 
"stay in ranks,** and Daily remarked: "We will see them 
soon enough.** Sure enough, in a few seconds the head 
of the column made its appearance, with three of- 
ficers on horseback in front, and marching by the flank. 


with the intention of flanking one of our batteries — ^the 
Eockbridge Artillery, Captain W. N . Pendleton. In a few 
minutes they spied us lying there, and I heard one of the 
oflBcers say: ^TBello! what men are these ?^^ At that moment 
some of our men who, evidently, had the ^T)uck fever,'^ com- 
menced, without orders, firing some scattering shots. The 
enemy then poured a volley into us, but as we were lying 
down the balls went over our heads, harmless. 

That morning we had been given a signal to use in 
time of battle, to distinguish friend from foe, which was to 
throw the right hand to the forehead, palm outward, and 
say, "Sumter/^ When this regiment (which was the 14th 
Brooklyn, "N, Y.), appeared in view Colonel Cummings gave 
the signal, and it was returned by one of the officers, but 
how they got it was a mystery. So, when the scattering 
shots were fired by some of our regiment. Colonel Cum- 
mings exclaimed: "Cease firing, you are firing on friends!^' 
and the volley came from them at the same time, and I 
know' I remarked, ^Triends, hell ! That looks like it.'^ 

Colonel Cummings, seeing his mistake, and also seeing 
a battery of artillery taking position and unlimbering, in 
close proximity and in a place where it could enfilade our 
troops, determined to capture it before it could do any 
damage. I don^t think he had any orders from any superior 
officer, but took the responsibility on himself. Then came 
the command : "Attention ! Forward march ! Charge bayo- 
nets! Double quick !^* and away we went, sweeping every- 
thing before us; but the enemy broke and fled. 

We were soon in possession of the guns, killed nearly 
all the horses, and al great portion of the men were killed 
or wounded; and we were none too soon, for one minute 
more and four guns would have belched forth into our 
ranks, carrying death and destruction, and perhaps been 
able to have held their position. As it was, the' guns were 
rendered useless, and were not used any more that day, al- 
though we had to give them up temporarily. 

We were halted, and one of my company, Thomas Fur- 
lough, who had belonged to the artillery in the Mexican war, 
threw down his musket and said : ^^oys, let^s turn the guns 



on. them/' That was the last sentence that ever passed his 
lips, for just then he was shot dead. 

While this was going on, the enemy were throwing a 
force on our left flank in the pines, and commenced pouring 
it into us from the front and an enfilading fire from the 
flank, and were cutting us to pieces, when we were ordered 
back, and halted at our first position. 

Then we were reinforced by the 49th Virginia and the 
6th North Carolina Eegiments, conmianded by Colonel Chas. 
P. Fisher (who was killed a few minutes afterwards) and 
"Extra Billy'' Smith. This made our line longer, and we 
were ordered to charge again. The charge of Jackson's men 
was terrific. The enemy were swept before them like chaflE 
before a whirlwind. Nothing could resist their impetuosity. 
The men seemed to have caught the dauntless spirit and 
determined will of their heroic commander, and nothing could 
stay them in their onward course. The 33d Virginia, in its 
timely charge, saved the day by capturing and disabling 
GriflSn's battery, altho' they could not hold it just then. The 
name won that day by the brigade and its General is immortal. 

In this action our regiment (the 33d Virginia), being 
on the extreme left, was alone, the balance of the brigade 
not charging until later, and we were terribly cut up and 
had to fall back. General Jackson said he could afford to 
sacrifice one regiment to save the day; and it was the first 
check and first repulse the enemy had received, and during 
the remainder of the day the battle turned in favor of the 

We did not follow them far, for fresh troops were com- 
ing in all the time, and we had lost severely, and were con- 
siderably demoralized. I then took a stroll over the battle- 
field, to see who of my comrades were dead or wounded, and 
saw my friend, William I: Blue, lying on his face, dead. I 
turned him over to see where he was shot. He must have 
been shot through the heart, the place where he wanted to 
be shot, if shot at all. He must have been killed instantly, 
for he was in the act of loading his gun. One hand was 
grasped around his gun, in the other he held a cartridge, 
with one end of it in his mouth, in the act of tearing it off. 
I sat down by him and took a hearty cry, and then, thinks 


I, ^T.t does not look well for a soldier to cry/^ but I could not 
help it. I then stuck his gun in the ground by his side, 
marked his name, company and regiment on a piece of 
paper, pinned it on his breast, and went oflf. 

I then saw three field officers a short distance from me 
looking through a field glass. I very deliberately walked up 
to them and asked them to let me look through it, and one 
of them handed it to me. When looking through it I saw, 
about two miles ofiF, in a large field, what I took to be about 
10,000 of the enemy. The field appeared to be black with 
them. I returned the glass, saying : "My God ! have we all 
of them to fight yet?^^ Just at that moment "Pendleton^s 
Batter/' turned their guns on them and I saw the first shell 
strike in the field. I donH think it was five minutes until 
the field was vacant. I felt considerably relieved. I had 
had enough of fighting for that day. We had gained a 
great victory. The enemy were completely routed and 
panic-stricken, and never halted until they arrived at Alex- 
andria and Washington. 

My company only numbered fifty-five, rank and file, 
when we went into service, but, so many having the measles 
and other ailments, we went into the fight with only twenty- 
seven men, and out of that number we lost five killed and 
six wounded. The killed were William I. Blue, Thomas 
Furlough, James Adams, John W. Marker and Amos Hol- 
lenback. The wounded were Sergeant William Montgom- 
ery, John Einehart, Eobert C. Grace, Edward Allen, A. A. 
Young and Joseph Cadwallader. 

The regiment went into action with about 450 men, aild 
lost forty-three killed and 140 wounded. Our regiment 
fought the 14th Brooklyn Zouaves and the 1st Michigan, 
which poured a deadly volley into us. While we were en- 
gaged in front. Colonel Cummings ordered the regiment 
to fall back three times before they did so. All the troops 
engaged suffered more or less, but the loss in the 33d Vir- 
ginia was greater than that of any regiment on either side, as 
the statistics will show, and it was the smallest regiment, not 
being full and not numbered. 

We worked nearly all night taking care of the wounded, 
for nearly all of the enemy's wounded were left in our 








hands. I took a short sleep on the battle-field. The next day 
was rainy and muddy. The regiment was ordered to ^^f all in/^ 
but not knowing where they were going, I did not want to 
leave until I had buried my friend, according to promise. 
When they marched oflE I hid behind a wagon, and Sergeant 
Daily, seeing me, ordered me to come on. I told him never 
would I leave that field until I had buried my friend, unless 
I was put under arrest. He then left me, and I looked 
around for some tools to dig a grave. I found an old hoe 
and spade, and commenced digging the grave under an apple 
tree in an orchard jaear the "Henry house.^^ 

While I was at work a Georgian came to me and wanted 
the tools as soon as I was done with them. He said he 
wanted to bury his brother, and asked if I was burying a 
brother. : ^ j 

"No,^^ I replied, "but dear as a brother/' 

"As you have no one to help you,'' he said, "and I have 
no one to help me, suppose we dig the grave large enough 
for both, and we can help one another carry them here." 

"All right," I said, "but I want to bury my friend next 
to the tree, for, perhaps, his father will come after him." 

So we buried them that way and gathered up some old 
shingles to put over the bodies, and a piece of plank between 
them. Then I rudely carved his name on the tree. 

Captain William Lee, who was acting Lieutenant Colo- 
nel, was killed, and our Sergeant Major, Eandolph Barton, 
a cadet from the Virginia Military Institute, was severely 

That evening there was a detail made^ from each com- 
pany to bury the dead, and we buried all alike, friend and 
foe, and thus ended the first battle of "Bull Eun," and the 
first big battle of the war. 

There is no doubt but that the timely charge of the 
33d Virginia turned the tide of battle and saved the day for 
the Confederates. Colonel Cummings took the responsi- 
bility upon himself and ordered the charge just in the nick 
of time, for in five minutes' time the Federals would have 
had their battery in position and would have had an enfilad- 
ing fire on the brigade and Pendleton's Battery, and made 
their position untenable. I herewith append a letter from 


Colonel Cummings, and one from Captain Eandolph Barton, 
which bear me out in my statement, and more fully explain 
the situation and results. Also one that I had written to 
my parents three days after the battle, and which is still 



"AbiD^on, Va., November 10, 1896. 
"John 0. Casler, Esq. : 

"My Dear Friend : If you could realize the great pleas- 
ure your letter gave me you would not regret the time spent 
in writing. As you know, the 33d Regiment, which I organ- 
ized at Winchester, was made up from Hampshire, one com- 
pany; Hardy, one; Frederick, one; Rockingham, one; Page, 
one, and Shenandoah five, and as I have hardly ever been 
from home for the last fifteen years I rarely meet any of 
the old regiment, and when I do, or hear from them, it is a 
source of the greatest pleasure, especially when I learn 
they are getting on well, as I am sure you are. 

"As you say, I never had a great deal to say, and am 
somewhat reserved in my manners, but from my experience 
as Captain in the Mexican war I found that the greatest 
service I could render the men under my command was to 
see they were as well taken care of and provided for as cir- 
cumstances would permit. 

"I am pleased to know that you have written your ex- 
perience of Tour Years in the Stonewall Brigade,^ and 
when your new edition is published I will certainly procure 
a copy, as I am sure of being interested in it. 

"I noticed one slight mistake in your letter with regard 
to myself, but of no importance. I did not resign, but for 
what I regarded as sufficient reason (not necessary to state 
now) was not a candidate for re-election at the reorganiza- 
tion! of the army. Was elected to the Legislature, in which 
I served the last years of the war, until the surrender; 
practiced law for some fifteen or more years, since which 
I have devoted myself to my farm a few miles from 

"The law was my profession, which I commenced to 
practice the year after the close of the Mexican war. I have 


had two letters from Randolph Barton recently, whom 
you may remember, who had for the first time since the 
close of the war visited the battle-field of the First Manas- 
sas, and who seems to be much interested in the part per- 
formed by the 33d and the Stonewall Brigade on that mem- 
orable 21st of July, 1861. 

^TBarton was a cadet at the Virginia Military Institute, 
Lexington, Va., at the commencement of the war; was as- 
signed to the 33d when I was organizing at Winchester in 
the early part of July. I had no field officer at that time, 
and made him Sergeant Major. He was a bright young man, 
an Adjutant General on General Walker^s staff, and is now 
a prominent lawyer in Baltimore. He desired my recol- 
lection of the part performed by the 33d and the Stonewall 
Brigade, which I furnished him, and which corrresponded 
pretty well with his own, with a few minor exceptions. 

"Our army left Winchester about 2 o^clock on the 18th 
of July, the Stonewall Brigade in front. The 33d did not 
reach Manassas until a little before daylight on Saturday 
morning, the 20th. On Saturday morning we marched 
out and joined the other regiments of the brigade in rear 
of McLane's Ford, on Bull Run. Our line of battle ex- 
tended from about Union Mills, on Bull Eun, on the right, 
to the stone bridge. It was expected we would be attacked 
upon the right and cenetr, but when it was ascertained early 
Sunday morning that the enemy was marching in the direc- 
tion of the stone bridge, with the evident design of turning 
our left flank and reaching the Manassas Gap railroad, the 
Stonewall Brigade was moved up Bull Eun and somewhat 
parallel with it (making short stops at intervals), until we 
reached the brow of the hill in front of the ^Henry house,^^ 
where the brigade was formed in line of battle in a thicket 
of small pines. In the meantime, the battle was raging in 
the direction of the stone bridge, and our forces were being 
driven back before overpowering numbers. The line of the 
brigade was formed, with the 5th Regiment on the right, 
then the 4th and 27th (the latter two supporting Pendle- 
ton's Battery), then the 2d and 33d. 

^^At that time the brigade was the extreme left of our 
army, and the 33d, on the left of the brigade, was ordered 


to lie down in the edge of the pines, which, aided by the 
conformation of the ground, at that time concealed us from 
the sight of the enemy, who, in large numbers, were press- 
ing towards our right. 

"Our orders were to wait until the enemy were within 
thirty paces, then to fire and charge with the bayonet. 
About that time General Jackson came along the lino and 
directed me to look out for the enemy^s artillery. As you 
are aware, the 33d had just been organized before we left 
Winchester, and, with the exception of two or three compa- 
nies, were perfectly raw troops, and two of those. Captain 
Hollida/s (afterward Governor) and Captain Jones* (af- 
terward Colonel) were left behind, one as guard and one on 
detached service, and consequently were not in the fight. 
So there were but eight companies present, numbering 
about 400 men, for active duty. When General Jackson di- 
rected me to look out for the enemy^s artillery. Captain Wil- 
liam Lee, who was acting as Lieutenant Colonel, an^ a gal- 
lant man he was, and I walked out on the plateau and saw 
the artillery of the enemy moving rapidly up the Sudley road 
to our front and left, and large bodies of the enemy^s 
infantry moving along the hill towards our left flank, and 
we returned immediately to the regiment. 

"There had been some confusion in the regiment, pro- 
duced by a solid shot being fired towards the regiment and 
tearing up the ground, together with the appearance of 
some red-coats on our left. Previous to this time the en- 
emas artillery fire had been directed towards the regiments 
of the brigade and at Pendleton^s Battery. This little con- 
fusion in the regiment, and the fact of the men being raw 
and undisciplined, made me uncertain as to what would be 
the result, if I waited, as directed by General Jackson, 
until the enemy was within thirty paces. And, therefore, as 
soon as I returned to the regiment I ordered the charge, 
without waiting, as directed, until the enemy was within 
thirty paces, with the result that the enemy^s battery was 
taken, or rather, as I think, a section of it, without, as I be- 
lieve, a gun being fired. No old regulars ever made a more 
gallant charge, though not a very regular one. Of course, 
we could not hold it witbQVit support, in the face of such 


overwhelming numbersy though the horses were shot down, 
and I have now an artillery bit, cut from one of the horses, 
which I have used ever since. 

"The 33d suffered more in the first battle of Manassas 
than any regiment in our army. 

"I regretted very much Captain Lee^s death. My ac- 
quaintance with him was short, but I esteemed him very 
highly. He was a true and gallant man, and being from 
the old army, and experienced, was of great service to me. 
My friend Barton is also of the true blue order. I have long 
cherished the hope of visiting the Vallev, where I would 
meet some of the survivors of the 33d, but suppose I must 
be content to remember them with the greatest kindness. 

"I am now in my 75th year, and feel the heavy weight 
of years. Very truly your friend, 

"Colonel 33d Virginia Infantry." 

^Ttfanassas Junction, July 24, 1861. 

^T)ear Father and Mother: I seat myself once more to 
write you a few lines, to let you know where I am and that 
I am still alive. 

"Last Sunday was such a day as I had never seen, and I 
hope to God I never will see another such a time. We had 
one of the hardest battles that ever was fought in the 
United States. I have not power to describe the scene. It 
beggars all description. 

^T^e left Winchester on Thursday, and traveled that 
day and night, and Friday, about 9 o^clock, we arrived at 
Piedmont Station, and that evening we got on the cars and 
arrived at the Junction that night. The next morning we 
marched about four miles east, where they had had a battle 
on Thursday. We stayed there all that day and nighty ex- 
pecting ian attack every hour. 

"On Sunday morning our forces were attacked four 
miles higher up, and we made a quick march from there to 
the battle-field, where we arrived about 12. They had 
been fighting all morning, but about 10 they got at it in 


earnest. We got there (that is, Jackson's Brigade) just in 
the heat of the battle, and our regiment was on the ex- 
treme left, and the enemy was trying to flank us. They did 
not see us until they were within fifty yards of us, as we 
were under the brow of the hill, and they were ordered to 
fire, but we were too soon for them. We fired first, and ad- 
vanced, and then they fired. We then charged bayonets, 
yelling like savages, and they retreated, and our regiment 
took their artillery; but they were reinforced, and we had to 
fall back, exposed to two heavy fires, when we were rein- 
forced by a North Carolina regiment; then we charged 
again and they retreated, and that part of the field, with 
the famous Griffin's Battery, was ours. But the battle lasted 
about one hour longer in another part of the field, when 
they retreated in great confusion towards Alexandria, and 
then the cavalry and artillery pursued them about seven 
miles, killing and wounding a great many, and taking all 
their artillery and baggage; but the field for five miles 
around was covered with the dead and the dying. 

"I cannot tell how many we lost, but we lost a great 
many. Their loss was three times as great as ours. Our reg- 
iment lost thirty-five killed and over one hundred 
wounded. Our little company of thirty-two lost five killed 
and five wounded. Among the killed was poor Will Blue. 
He was shot dead. Never spoke, shot through the heart. 
A.mos HoUenback, Polk Marker, Tom Furlough and Jim 
Adams, a fellow that lived with Dr. Moore, were killed. 
Will Montgomery was badly wounded, but not dangerously. 
Also John Eineliart, Bob Grace, Arch Young and Ed Allen 
were slightly wounded, but are able to go about. 

"We took seventy-six pieces of cannon and between 
1,000 and 2,000 prisoners — several important ones, some of 
Lincoln^s cabinet. Also, General Scott^s carriage. He and 
some of the ladies from Washington came out as far as Cen- 
terville to see the Rebels run. They saw us running, but it 
was after the Yankees. 

"The next morning I went on their retreat two miles, 
and the baggage was lying in every direction — coats, cartridge 
boxes, canteens, guns, blankets, broken-down wagons. 

"The bombs, cannon balls and musket balls whistled 



John O. easier. 1863. 
*Hiirh Private in the rear rank." 


all around my head. I could feel the wind from them in 
my face, but I was not touched. It is rumored that we are 
going to take Washington. Jeff Davis got here just after 
the battle, and is on his way to Alexandria now. 

^There were about 40,000 of the enemy engaged in the 
battle, and 25,000 Confederates. 

^^ou must not be surprised to hear of me getting 
killed, for we don^t know when we will be killed. Farewell, 

^'JOHN 0. CASLER.^' 


"Baltimore, Md., January 15, 1897. 
"John 0. easier: 

^T)ear Comrade: Our command reached Manassas 
Junction on the 20th of July, in the morning, I think. We 
marched during the day to the right of the line, and the 
next day we marched and countermarched, halted and 
rushed, as the chanpins: localities of the conflict, as far as 
our commanders could anticipate, seemed to require. My 
dinner was made from blackberries, for being outside of the 
ranks (as Sergeant Major) I could pick them as we passed 
over the fields. About 1 o'clock our regiment reached the 
elevation on which is seated the historic Henry house, and 
took position on the left flank of our brigade, up to that 
hour known as the 1st Brigade, or Jackson's Brigade, ever 
afterwards as the Stonewall Bricade. 

"As we approached our position, we heard for the first 
time the horrid screaming of hostile shells going over our 
heads, high up in the air, but not so high as not to be dan- 
gerous. I recall now with some amusement the intense 
gravity and astonishment written upon the faces of the men 
as these dangerous missiles from the batteries of Rickett 
and Griffin went hurtling: over us; but I recall no signs of 
timidity. The men kept in their ranks, obeyed orders and 
moved into position on the left of the 2d Virginia, of which 
Brother Strother, my cousin, Willie Barton, and all my Win- 
chester friends were members, with steadiness and resolu- 
tion. My brother David was in the Rockbridge Battery, 


which was being supported by our brigade. My uncle, 
Frank Jones, and my brother-in-law, Thomas Marshall, were 
on Jackson^s stafif. I felt the solemnity of the moment, but 
I recall no disposition whatever to turn and run. On the 
other hand, a sense of pride, a desire to emulate the action 
of the best men on the field possessed me, as it did, I believe, 
all of our command, except the Adjutant of our regiment. 
I think I went into that action with less trepidation than 
into any subsequent one. Inexperience doubtless had much 
to do with it, but, again, I attribute much of the nerve that 
sustained me to my year at Lexington. I felt on the field 
that the orders of our oflScers were supreme; that come 
what might, they must be obeyed, and discipline told on me 
from first to last. I will not give many details of the battle; 
they have been told by so many writers that it would pro- 
long this narrative unduly for me to repeat them. I will 
only say that, after taking our position on the left of the 
brigade, we laid upon the ground listening to the musketry 
and cannonading going on to our right, or, rather, somewhat 
in front of our right, from the Confederate fores, which 
was being vigorously responded to by the Yankees. The 
^enry house' was in front of our brigade, over the hill — 
the upper part of the house visible — ^and the Kobinson house 
was to the right of that a few hundred yards. Occasional 
shells would explode over our regiment, and the solemn won- 
derment written on the faces of the men as they would crane 
their heads around to look out for falling branches . was 
almost amusing. I was near the left flank of the regiment, 
a few steps in rear, where, upon the formation of the regi- 
ment in line of battle, I belonged. Doubtless I wished I 
was home, but I had to stick. I remember an elderly man 
riding leisurely by towards the left, in rear of us, apparently 
giving orders. Some one, possibly myself, asked him who he 
was. He turned his horse and said: 1. am Colonel Smith, 
otherwise Governor Smith, otherwise Extra Billy Smith/ 
It was, in fact, Colonel Smith, a game old fellow, who, I 
suppose, was looking over the firround for a position for his 
regiment, the 49th Virginia, as it subsequently took position 
on our left, and finally united in one of the charges upon 
GriflBn's Battery, 


"Colonel Cummings and Lieutenant Colonel Lee were 
in front of our regiment, perhaps a hundred yards, stooping 
down, and occasionally standing to get a view over the 
crest of the hill that rose gently hef ore us for a little over 
a hundred yards. The musketry kept up on our right, and 
then Colonels Cummings and Lee were seen to rise and, 
bending down, to come back with somewhat quickened steps 
to the regiment. I remember, as Colonel Cummings drew 
near, he called out: ^Boys, they are coming, now wait until 
they get close before you fire.^ 

"Almost immediately several pieces of artillery, their 
horses in front, made their appearance on the hill in front 
of us, curving as if going into battery, and at the same time 
I descried the spear-point and upper portion of a United 
States flag, as it rose in the hands of its bearer over the hill ; 
then I saw the bearer, and the heads of the men composing 
the line of battle to the right and left of him. At the sight 
several of our men rose from the ranks, leveled their mus- 
kets at the line, and, although I called out, ^Do not fire yet,^ 
it was of no use ; they fired and then the shrill cry of Colonel 
Cummings was heard, ^Charge !^ and away the regiment 
went, firing as they ran, into the ranks of the enemy, and 
particularly at the battery towards which our line rapidly 
approached. Although bearing a non-commissioned of- 
ficer's sword, I had obtained ^ cartridge box, belted it on, 
and had in some way secured a flintlock musket, with which 
one of our companies was armed. This gun, after two futile 
efforts, I fired at a man on horseback in the battery, one of 
the drivers, I think. I got near enough to the battery to 
see that it was thoroughly disabled, horses and men falling, 
and our line driving ahead, when I felt the sting of a bullet 
tearing a, piece from my side, just under my cartridge box, 
which I had pulled well around on the right and front of 
my waist. I called out that I was wounded to my uncle, 
Frank Jones, who helped me up on his horse, and carried 
me to the rear. 

"I think it can be demonstrated that the victory of 
First Manassas is traceable to Colonel Cummings. For fifteen 
or twenty minutes before, our resriment (the 33d Virginia) 
rose and charged Griffin's Battery the men of Bee's and Bar- 


tow's (and, I think, Evans') commands were coming back 
over the hill from the Eobinson and Henry houses in the 
greatest disorder, a flying, panic-stricken mob. The Stone- 
wall Brigade maintained its line with the steadiness of vet- 
erans. The Rockbridge Battery, with its little guns, was do- 
ing its best. Jackson, about that time, rode along the 
front of his brigade, waiting for the critical moment to or- 
der his men into action. It was in his efforts to rally his com- 
mand that the gallant Bee called to them to rally behind the 
Virginians. Pointing to Jackson, he used the memorable ex- 
pression, ^Look at Jackson, standing like a stone wall.' The 
precise expression he used it is impossible to learn. He most 
probably said, 'Look at Jackson and his men, standing like a 
stone wall.' He had galloped up to Jackson a moment be- 
fore, and had said: 'General, they are driving us back,' and 
Jackson replied, the words snapping from his lips like 
grape-shot from a gun, 'Then we will give them the bayonet.' 

"Bee turned to gallop toward his fleeing men, with the 
inspiration of Jackson possessing him, called out his immor- 
tal language, and fell, mortally wounded. 

"Jackson had, within the half hour before, passed along 
his brigade the order not to fire until the enemy was within 
thirty paces, and then charge. So Colonel Cummings writes 
to me under date of September 20, 1896. But, says Colonel 
Cummings, the shells of the enemy had caused some con- 
fusion 'with the left company of my regiment,' or, rather, 
his command, of eight companies, and when Griffin's Bat- 
tery showed itself on the hill in front of us, and occasional 
shots began to fall among us from the enemy moving 
towards our left to flank us, when the tumult of the broken 
ranks of Bee and Bartow was threatening the steadiness of 
our right, and the enemy, with exultant shouts, was pressing 
on. Colonel Cummings, like a flash, thought if those guns 
get into battery and pour one discharge of grape and canis- 
ter into the ranks of my raw recruits the day is gone, 
and then it was, with splendid discretion, he took the re- 
sponsibility of changing his orders, with the changed con- 
ditions, as Grouchy should have done at Waterloo, and 
charged the enemy. 

"The suddenness of our attack, the boldness of it, for 


our men went over and past the battery, the disabling of the 
guns, all cheeked the advancing line. It was immediately 
followed up by the remainder of the brigade charging, and 
the troops on our left poured in. The tide of battle turned 
when it dashed against the farmer boys of the 33d Vir- 
ginia. It was the first resistance it had met. The enemy 
came upon the point of a spear, one small regiment of undis- 
ciplined boys and men, not a month from the plough-handle 
and the mechanic's shop. The point broadened, as to the 
right and left assistance poured in, until it became a sharp 
blade against which the enemy could not and dared not 
rush; but the 33d led the van of the movement that first 
arrested McDowelFs victorious line, and from that moment 
the scene changed, and from the brink of disaster our army 
turned to a great victory. Colonel Cummings changed the 
life of McDowell by his order, ^Charge!' He may have 
changed the history of the war. The battle pivoted upon 
his nerve. It was the turning point in tremendous events. 

"I visited the Robinson and Henry houses in Septem- 
ber, 1861, and again in September, 1896. My last visit 
caused me to correspond with Colonel Cummings and read 
every line I could lay my eyes upon, including the reports of 
officers on both sides, as published in the compilation called 
the Eebellion Record, and I believe what I have attributed 
to Colonel Cummings cannot be successfully gainsaid. He 
turned the tide of battle at First Manassas. Instead of the 
Confederate army flying as a mob to the Rappahannock, the 
Yankee army fled as a mob to Washington. 

"Several days have elapsed since I wrote the above. A 
day or so ago I accidentally saw in the Mercantile Library 
the ^Recollections of a Private,^ by Warren Lee Goss, of the 
Federal army. Turning to his narrative of the battle I find 
(p. 13) a good representation of the Henry house platteau 
and the confusion in Griffin^s Battery following the attack 
of the 33d Regiment. I recognize the Sudley mill road, 
the entrance to the Henry place, on the left of the road, 
and the fence torn away to allow Griffin^s Battery freely to 
leave the road and go upon the plateau. In September, 
1896, I stood on, this very ground, and, observing that be- 
tween the bed of the road and the fence on the left hand 


side there was the usual wash, or gutter, I remarked to my 
com.panions that no doubt GriflBn tore down the fence and 
filled the wash with the rails, thus making an easy crossing 
into the field for his artillery. The picture I am looking at 
shows the fence torn down, and imagination shows the rails 
placed as I surmised. 

"And now I quote from the book what seems to me 
brings the 33d face to face with the troops Goss writes 
about. Eemember that the Sudley Mills road runs a south- 
easterly course from the mill to the Henry plateau. Our 
regiment charged northwesterly. McDowelPs line came 
over the hill supporting Griffin's Battery, at right angles to 
the Sudley Mills road, advancing southeasterly. 

"Says Goss : 'About 1 o'clock the fence skirting the road 
at the foot of the hill was pulled down t6 let our batteries 
(Griffin's and Rickett's) pass up to the plateau. The bat- 
teries were in the open field near us. We were watching to 
see what they'd do next, when a terrible volley was pourea 
into them. It was like a pack of Fourth of July ^^^"^^^^^^^ 
\mder a barrel magnified a thousand times. The Ke e^^^ 
had crept upon them unawares and the batteries were 
killed and wounded. . rp^xik- 

" 'Here,' says Goss, continuing:, let me interrupt ^^^ 
ermaon's narrative to say that one of the artiUerycc^®^ ^^^^ 
engaged has since told me that, though he had ^^^^J^^on ^^ 
eral battles since, he had seldom seen worse ^^^^^^^xicit^' 
BO short a time. He said they saw a xegiment ^^-.^ "B^t 
and the natural inference was that they were ^® x. *^h^ch 
an officer insisted that it was a New "York regio^®^^ ^^ ftte^ 
was expected for support, and so no order was S^^^^glcetxy/ 
on them. Then came a tremendous explosion of ^ a^d xa®^ 
said the artillerymen, 'and all was confusion ; ^^^^^o ^^^^^^ 
with dripping wounds were clinging to caissons, ^^^^^ a^- 
were attached frightened and wonnded horses, ^^^xl^s- ^ 
tached to caissons rushed throngli the infantry ^i^^ vr^'^ 
saw three horses galloping off, dra^eingr a fourth, ^ 
dead. of ^^^ 

"The dead cannoneers lay with the ^^^^fl^was ^^' 
guns and the lanyards in their hands. The J^^^^v^o coxii^O' 
nihilated by those volleys in a naoment. Those ^ 


get away didn't wait. We had no supports near enough to 
protect us properly, and the enemy was within seventy yards 
of us when that volley was fired. Our battery being demoU 
ished in that way was the beginning of our defeat at Bull 
Run/ says the old regular. 

"This ends the quotation. I have italicized the words 
which strike me as a direct confirmation of the claim I 
make that the 33d turned the tide, and Colonel Cummings' 
timely order let loose the 33d at the very crisis of the bat- 
tle. I distinctly only claim that with the order and because 
of the order came the first check McDowell sustained. That 
other troops immensely aided in forcing back the Yankee 
line when thus checked, I freely admit. But our regiment 
called a halt in the victorious advance of the enemy. I 
dwell upon the circumstance because of the great interest 
it adds to the engagement to know that you belonged to the 
regiment that received and repelled the dangerous thrust of 
the enemy at the nice turning point of the day. I should 
think to Colonel Cummings the circumstance would be of 
extraordinary interest, and that he would time and again 
reflect how little he thought, when he braced himself to 
give the order to his regiment, that he was making a long 
page in history. RANDOLPH BARTOIST, 

"Late Staff Officer 2d Corps, A. N. V.'^ 


The Adjutant of our regiment was L. Jacquelin Smith, 
and the re^ment took a dislike to him from the first, for he 
was a fop in kid gloves, and wanted to be very strict, es- 
pecially on dress parade. In reading orders he always pro- 
nounced his name as above, and put on more airs than a 
Brigadier General. Some of the boys prophesied that he was 
a coward. Sure enough, when the battle commenced he 
showed the "white feather*^ and disappeared. In a few days 
he returned to camp. 

When Colonel Cummingrs saw him he called out, ^^ello. 
Smith, how did the battle go about Winchester?" and then 
told him that he had no further use for him. Winchester 
was about eighty miles to the rear. That was the last we 
ever heard of "L. Jacquelin Smith, Adjutant."* 

We were camped about five miles east of the battle- 
field, and from the impurity of the water and the stench 
from the surrounding country the boys gave it the name of 
^Ttfaggot Camp." A great many were taken sick at this 
caipp, and General Jackson turned the house that he used 
for his headquarters into a hospital. 

While here we received two more companies into our 
regiment — the ^Ttfountain Bangers," Captain W. F. M. Hol- 
liday, from Frederick County, Virginia, and the ^Ttocking- 
ham Confederates," Captain J. E. Jones, from Rockingham 
County, which made ten companies — ^the full number for a 
regiment. We were numbered and lettered, our number 
being 33d Virginia Infantry, and my company "A." There- 

♦Some years after this was written, I met in Texas an old 
gentleman by the name of JacqueUn Smith, from Fauquier County , 
Virginia, who, having seen an extract from my diary published in a 
newspaper, begged of me, if I should ever publish my diary, to leave 
that part out, as someone might think that it referred to him. tte 
was a true representative of the Virginia gentleman, and 1 ™*r* 
this statement in justice to the Smith family. It wasn t ttua Snutn. 


fore I belonged to Company A, 33d Virginia Infantry, 
Stonewall Brigade, General Joseph E. Johnston's Corps, 
Army of the Potomac, as it was then called. 

The regimental which composed the Stonewall Brigade 
were the 2d, 4th, 5th, 27th and 33d Virginia Eegiments of 
Infantry, the Eockbridge Artillery, commanded by Captain 
W. N. Pendleton, and Carpenter's Battery, as it was com- 
posed of a company of the "Allegheny Boughs" from the 
27th Virginia Infantry. Those five regiments were together 
in that brigade during the whole war, and no others were 
attached to it. 

It would not be amiss to give here a brief history of the 
famous Stonewall Brigade Band. 

This historic association was organized in 1855, at 
Staunton, Va., under the name of "The Mountain Sax- 
Horn Band,'' which name it retained until the commence- 
ment of the Civil War, at which time it mustered in as the 
"5th Virginia Eegiment Band." 

Being recognized by General "Stonewall" Jackson, as 
the best band in the brigade, he appointed it his Brigade 
Band, hence its present name. 

The band served during the entire four years of strife, 
and the members were often exposed to great danger, as 
they acted as assistant surgeons, and helped to bear the dead 
and wounded from the field. They also did hospital duty, 
and several of them could, in war times, amputate a leg or 
an arm as well as a regular surgeon. Only two were killed 
in battle. 

At Appomattox General Grant issued an order to allow 
the members of the band to take their instruments* home 
with them, and they are now on exhibition in their band hall. 

The band occupied a post of honor at the funeral 
of General Grant, in New York, and has attended nearly all 
the famous military events in this country. The organiza- 
tion was incorporated in 1874 under the laws of Virginia. 

* These instruments, which are probably the only complete set 
in existence that were used during the entire Civil War, have at- 
tracted much attention in Northern cities, and were exhibited by 
the Band at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. 


The present membership (exclusive of honorary war 
members) is thirty. 

There are three original war members still in active 

A few days after the battle, Joseph Earsome, of the 2d 
Regiment, and myself took a stroll over the battle-field and 
surrounding country, on the line of retreat as far as Center- 
ville. The whole country was strewn with broken guns, 
cartridge boxes, canteens, knapsacks, cannon, caissons, broken 
wagons and the general, baggage of an army. 

I must here relate an act of heroism that happened 
where the battle raged the hottest. There was a small 
house that stood between the lines of the two armies, and in 
it lived an old lady of 90 years, and her daughter, who was 
pretty well advanced in years. 

I donH suppose the soldiers of either army knew there 
was anyone living in the house, for all the other citizens 
around had fled for safety earlv in the day. However, be 
that as it may, they were there. The house was riddled 
with shot and shell from both sides, and the old lady, being 
helpless and confined to her bed, was pierced with several 
bullets and killed, while the daughter, unable to carry her 
off at the commencement of the fight, remained with her. 
She had crawled under the bed and escaped unhurt. I con- 
versed with the daughter the next day, when she related 
what is here recorded. I also saw the corpse of the old lady. 
Their names were Henry, and this was the since noted 
"Henry house.^^ 

We moved camp the 1st of August, one mile east of 
Centerville, to a beautiful place where we had good water, 
which we called "Camp Harman," in honor of Major John A. 
Harman, our Bri<rade Quartermaster, who selected the camp. 
We remained in this camp one month, nothing of interest 
transpiring but the usual routine of camp life. We 
marched three different times down to Fairfax Court House 
to fight the enemy, but each time it was a false alarm. 

Some six or seven of my company, being very anxious 
to go home on a visit, and not being able to get a furlough, 
took a ^Trench Furlough'^ and disappeared one night. What 
we meant by ^Trench Furlough'^ was simply "absent without 


leave/^ and was not considered desertion. If they returned 
without bein^ arrested they were put on extra guard duty 
for a few nights, but if arrested and brought back they 
were court-martialed, and had to ride a wooden horse, or 
wear a barrel shirt, or receive some such punishment. 

While here Lieutenant Buzzard, of my company, was 
detailed to go to Hampshire County and gather up absentees. 
When he returned be brought back sixteen. 

The day before those boys took their "French Fur- 
lough" Sergeant James A. Parsons had taken several of 
them to the surgeon's tent to get some medicine, as they 
were complaining of being sick. Dr. Nete Baldwin, our sur- 
geon, prescribed for them, and that night they left. The 
next morning Parsons rushed up to Dr. Baldwin's tent, very 
much excited, exclaiming: "Doctor! doctor! for God's sake 
what kind of medicine was that you gave those men yes- 
terday ?" The doctor, thinking perhaps he had made some 
mistake in prescribing, wanted to know what had hannened. 

Parsons replied that it had had a terrible effect on 
them, as it had worked them clear out of the county, and 
to not give the men any more of that kind of medicine. 
When they returned we were joking them about it, and they 
were very much insulted, and talked of whipping Parsons. 

While in this camp we received our first pay, and I re- 
ceived some new clothes from home. There were a great 
many hucksters came to camp, with chickens, butter, eggs, 
etc., to sell, and always found ready sale. One morning, 
just after roll call, Mike Dagnon (a messmate) and myself 
saw a wagon near camp, retailin.o^ produce. 

"Come," says Mike, "we will have some chickens for 

When we arrived at the wagon we found a considerable 
crowd. So Mike mounted the wagon, and, selecting two fine 
chickens, handed them to me, saying: ^TTou hold these until 
I get my change." 

""W^at change ?" says I, "you haven't paid him yet." 

^^ever mind," says he, "you hold the chickens. Come, 
old man," turning to the chicken vendor, "give me my 
change. I'm in a hurry." 


The old man, being very busy selling, and confused, 
says : ^^ow much did you give me ?'' 

^Tive dollars,^^ says Mike. 

When he handed us the change and we walked off with 
four dollars and the chickens I told Mike that was too bad. 
He "allowed^' it was good enough for war times. 

At this time we had a cook, Jacob Adams, detailed, who 
cooked for the* whole company, so we repaired to the cook 
house and wanted him to cook our chickens for us, but he 
contended that chicken was not on the bill of fare, and refused 
to do so. Consequently, we took the frying pan from him 
and proceeded to cook them ourselves. This ended in a skir- 
mish between us and the cook, in which the cook beat a re- 
treat. He went to the Captain's tent and reported the state 
of affairs. The Captain ordered the Sergeant to take a file 
of men and conduct us to the guardhouse. By this time 
the chickens were about cooked, and we took th^m along. I 
told Mike that we were getting paid for cheating the old 
man out of his change and chickens. 

Now, this was the brigade guardhouse we were put in, 
and as it was getting pretty well crowded. Colonel Cum- 
mings concluded to have a regimental guardhouse. So the 
next day all those who were in the guardhouse from my reg- 
iment were taken out and taken to our regimental head- 
quarters and put in charge of an officer and ordered to build 
a new guardhouse. A guardhouse was simply a large pen of 
round logs, with no roof on. 

Mike and I were ordered to carry up the corners. Some 
of the logs were crooked, and Mike says to me: "Let's put 
two of the crooked logs together, so we can creep out some 

"All right." says I, and we did so. * 

We remained in the guardhouse six days, and every 
night we would slip out that crack and roam around over 
the brigade, crawling back before day. We did not care 
if the sentinel did see us coming back, for we would make 
him believe we got out while he was on duty, and would 
report him for negligence. So he would keep mum, and 
every night there woiild be a different sentinel. But soldiers 






had to do some devilment to relieve the monotony of camp 

On the 1st of September we moved camp to within one 
mile of Fairfax Court House, about ten miles nearer Alex- 
andria, and our regiment went on picket duty at "Mun- 
son's Hill,'' in sight of Washington City. We remained on 
picket one week, and had quite a nice time. 

My cousin, Smith Casler, of the 1st Kentucky Eegi- 
ment, came to see me while in this camp. I had not seen 
him since we were little boys, he living in Louisville, Ky., 
when the war broke out. I got a pass for a few days and he 
and I went to the battle-field^ and I showed him all about 
the place, and the ground we fought over. We saw the mar- 
ble shaft erected to mark the place where General Bee fell. 

We then went to the "Henry house/' and there acci- 
dentally met a son of the old lady who was killed there. 
He was living in Alexandria, and had slipped through the 
lines to visit his old home, now desolate and torn to pieces 
by the ravages of war. He spoke kindly to us, and was 
much grieved about his mother's death. He gave us a 
short history of his past life, and entreated us to go forth 
and avenge his mother's death. He was apparently about 50 
years of age, and we parted with him with sad hearts, if not 
with tears in our eyes. We then went to a house near by 
and stayed all night. 

The next morning we went to Manassas Junction and 
got on the cars and went to Fairfax Station, visited the 
"Hampshire Guards" in the 13th Virginia, remained two 
days and then returned to our respective commands. I 
found my regiment about starting on picket again. This 
time we went to "Falls Church," which was very close to the 
enemy. We had very strict orders, for we were expecting 
an attack from the whole army. 

I was on post the first night, and had orders to fire at 
anything I heard in front that would not "halt" when chal- 
lenged. I had not been on post long when I heard some- 
thing walking in the leaves. 

"Halt!" I cried, and it stopped. 

"Who comes there?" 

No answer. 


Directly I heard the steps a^ain, and was about to fire, 
when I heard a hog gnint. By this time the captain had 
come from the reserve post, having heard my challenge. I 
felt a little mortified from being deceived by a hog, but he 
said I did exactly right, for the enemy had killed several of 
our pickets in that way — ^by sneaking up on them in the 

One time, when the 13th Virginia was on picket at 
^Ttfunson^s Hill,'^ near Alexandria, they had thrown up a 
little earthwork for protection, and the Federal pickets had 
done the same, as in those days the pickets would fire on 
each other whenever the opportunity presented itself, but 
we learned better afterwards. Our pickets had the old 
smooth-bore altered muskets, and the Federals had longer 
range guns, and it was soon found that our guns would not 
reach their lines, while theirs would whistle around, making 
it very uncomfortable for a fellow to be exposed too much, 
and they, knowing our bullets could not reach them, took 
advantage of the situation, and would expose themselves on 
their works and tantalize our boys. 

Lieutenant P. W. Pugh, of the 62d Virginia, who was 
then temporarily attached to the 13th Virginia, and an- 
other soldier, happened to capture two of the Federal pick- 
ets who had these long-range guns. Pugh then remarked 
that we would pay those pickets back in their own coin. 

Consequently, the next day, when the firing and tan- 
talizing commenced, Pugh and his partner took deliber- 
ate aim at two of the Federals, who were making themselves 
conspicuous, and fired. The Federals rolled off the bank 
and disappeared, but whether they were hurt or not was 
not known. Anyway, they kept concealed after that, but 
stuck their heads above the works and hallooed over to our 
boys: ^TTou stole them guns, you d — d Eebel thieves.^' 

They at least found out that our boys had guns that 
would reach their lines, and kept quiet. 

We remained on picket one week, were not attacked, 
and had plenty to eat. There was a farmhouse near by, 
but the family had all left, leaving a fine garden of potatoes 
and other vegetables behind, which we dug for them and 
appropriated to our own use. The woods were full of 






chestnuts and chinquepins, which we gathered when not 
on duty. 

We came hack to camp, and after remaniing a few 
days the whole army had orders to fall back to Centerville 
and commence fortifying. But before leaving this camp the 
rail fence all around the field we were camped in had disap- 
peared, and we had had strict orders not to burn a rail. But 
they were gone, and, of course, nobody did it. Colonel 
Cummings knew that it was done by his regiment, and he 
made the whole regiment go into the woods, make new rails, 
and rebuild the fence. 

The day we fell back to Centerville we marched very 
slowly and halted quite often. One time we halted where 
the 1st Kentucky had been camped, and where they had left 
some commissary stores behind in charge of the Commis- 
sary Sergeant until the wagons returned for them. We had 
not halted long before we discovered a barrel of whiskey in 
the lot. To get it out of the bunghole without being dis- 
covered was the trouble with us, but one fellow happened 
to have a long reed pipestem that had, never been used. We 
soon had it in the bunghole, and took turns sucking 
through it. But that was too slow a process to supply so 
many, so we got to tilting the barrel over and catching it 
in oui* tin cups. But the old Commissary Sergeant discov- 
ered us just as we were ordered to "fall in" and march off. 
He raved and charged and swore that if the 1st Kentucky 
was there he would make them whip the whole brigade, but 
it did no good, for we had the whiskey and he had the 

While in this camp near Centerville we had a grand 
review before Governor John Letcher, then Governor of 
Virginia, who presented each Virginia regiment with a 
beautiful state flag, and made us a short speech, in which 
he told us we had a long and bloody war before us. 

It was against orders for anyone to sell whiskey to the 
soldiers, or bring any into camp; but one day a huckster, 
more bold than the others, had some five-gallon kegs full 
of whiskey in the bottom of his wagon, and was selling it on 
the sly to the soldiers. My mess, some eight in number, 
concluded to buy a keg, which we did, and smuggled it into 


the tent and buried it in the ground! under the bunk. We 
appointed one of the mess to issue it out, as we needed 
it, but in a few days we were ordered to get ready to go on 
picket, none being left in camp but the sick. We therefore 
detailed one of the mess (who was pretty good at it anyhow) 
to play off sick, so he would be excused from duty and get 
to stay in camp and take care of our tent, which he did ad- 
mirably the next morning. The rest of us went on picket 
down on the "Little Eiver Turnpike," and remained one 
week. When we returned we found him well and the whis- 
key safe, but each of us had taken his canteen full along 
on picket for fear of an accident. 

On the 4th of October General Jackson was promoted 
to Major General, and ordered to Winchester, to take com- 
mand of the forces then in the Shenandoah Valley, and 
he had his brigade paraded to bid them farewell. We all 
had the blues, for we did not want to part with him as our 
commander. Besides, we all wanted to go with him, as 
nearly all of us came from the different counties in the 
Shenandoah Valley. 

General Jackson and his staff officers rode up in front 
of the brigade, after we had formed on the hillside, and 
looked up and down the line. He then slowly raised his cap 
and said: 

"Officers and Soldiers of the First Brigade: I am 
not here to make a speech, but simply to say farewell. I 
first met you at Harper's Ferry, in the commencement of 
this war, and I cannot take leave of you without giving ex- 
pression to my admiration for your conduct from that day 
to this, whether on the march, the bivouac, the tented field, 
or the bloody plains of Manassas, when you gained the well 
deserved reputation of having decided the fate of that battle. 

"Throughout the broad extent of country over which 
you have marched, by your respect for the rights and prop- 
erty of citizens you have shown that you were soldiers, not 
only to defend, but able and willing both to defend and pro- 
tect. You have already gained a brilliant and deservedly 
high reputation throughout the army and the whole Con- 
federacy, and I trust in the future, by your own deeds on 
the field, and by the assistance of the same kind Providence 


who has heretofore favored our cause, you will gain more 
victories, and add additional luster to the reputation you 
now enjoy. 

^^ou have already gained a proud position in the fu- 
ture history of this, our second war of independence. I shall 
look with great anxiety to your future movements, and I 
trust that whenever I shall hear of the 1st Brigade on the 
field of battle it will be of still nobler deeds achieved and a 
higher reputation won.^^ 

Here he paused and glanced proudly around him. Then, 
raising himself in his stirrups and throwing the reins on his 
horse^s neck, he exclaimed in a voice of such deep feeling 
that it thrilled through every heart in the brigade: "In the 
Army of the Shenandoah you were the First Rrigade, in the 
Army of the Potomac you were the First Brigade, in the 
2d Corps of this army you are the First Brigade; you are 
First Brigade in the affections of your general, and I hope by 
your future deeds and bearing you will be handed down to 
posterity as the First Brigade in this, our second war of in- 
dependence. Farewell \" 

For a moment there was a pause, and then arose cheer 
after cheer, so wild and thrilling that the very heavens rang 
with them. General Jackson waved farewell to his men, 
and, gathering his reins, rode rapidly away. 

This was the only time I ever heard him open his 
mouth to speak, except once afterwards he spoke a few words 
in my presence. He was a man who had very little to say. 

Now, I don^t consider that the "Stonewall Brigade^* 
was better than other brigades, for there were plenty of 
other brigades that did just as good service as we did, and 
if any other brigade had been similarly situated at the first 
battle of Manassas I have no doubt they would have done 
as well as we did, and gained the same reputation. 

We had to pay dearly for our reputation afterwards, 
for whenever there was an extra hard duty to be performed 
General Jackson always sent his old brigade to that post of 
duty for fear the other brigades under his command would 
think and say that he favored his old command. Conse- 
quently we often had harder duty to perform than the 


We all returned to camp after his farewell address con- 
siderably out of humor, for we wanted to go with him 
wherever he went, and be immediately under his eye, and 
especially to the Valley, as our homes were there. 

Nothing of interest transpired in camp, except every 
few days some private belonging to the brigade would come 
into camp with a long yam, that he heard such and such 
oflBcers say that our brigade had orders to report to General 
Jackson. But they all proved to be "false alarms,^^ imtil 
one day, about a month after he left us, such an order did 
come, and we were ordered to "strike tents" and be ready to 
march the next morning. Then there was joy in the camp, 
and the excitement kept up until the next morning, when 
the 2d, 6th and 27th Eegiments marched oflE to Mlanassas 
Junction and took the cars for Strasburg, about fifty miles 

For want of transportation, my regiment and the 4th 
had to wait until the next day. We then marched to the 
railroad, but the trains had not returned, and we anxiously 
waited all day. It then commenced raining, but we could 
not put up our tents, for we did not know what moment 
the trains would return; so we had a glorious night in the 
rain and mud. 

About one hour before day the cars came, when we 
loaded on our baggage, boarded the trains and away we 
went, as merry a set of fellows as ever rode. We had a gay 
time that day, waving our hats and cheering every lady we 
saw, and, in due time, arrived at Strasburg. 

Several of our companies were from that neighborhood, 
and their friends and relatives came to meet them, and 
brought them cooked food and many delicacies. It was quite 
an affecting scene for a short time, for some were overjoyed 
with meeting their husbands, brothers and lovers, while 
others were bathed in tears for their husbands, brothers, 
sons or lovers who had fallen on the bloody plains of Ma- 

We then marched about one mile from town on the 
road to Winchester, and camped in an old bam. 

The next day we marched toward Winchester, eighteen 


-miles distant, and joioed the brigade and went into camp 
near Kemstown, a few miles from Wiochester. 

Some of the soldiers belonging to the 27th Regiment 
were determined to go on to Winchester, and they flanked 
the guard and kept on down the road, but when in sight of 
town they were halted by the militia picket and were told 
they could go no farther without a pass. 

Now, the militia were never much in the way of vol- 
unteers when they had a notion for a raid in town. So one 
of the volunteers took command of the squad and ordered 
them to load their arms and prepare to charge the militia. 
Then the militia broke and fled as fast as their legs could 
carry them — ^the boys yelling and charging until they got 
to town. Here they scattered, for fear of being arrested 
by the provost guard. 

They all got on a spree, and most of them landed in the 
guardhouse that night, and were sent to the camp under 

• arrest. We remained in this camp about one week, when 
my cousin. Smith Casler (who was on a furlough), and my 
sister Sallie came in a buggy to see me. They spent a few 
hours with me and returned home. 

I wanted a leave of absence for a few days to go with 
them, but could not get it. Smith told me to meet him in 
Winchester the next day and he would let me have the horse 
and his pass, and I could go home, a distance of fifteen 
miles. I got a pass the next day from my Captain to go to 
Winchester and meet my cousin. I then changed the date 
of his pass, got on the horse, and was soon on my way home, 
as merry as if I had a genuine furlough. 

I remained at home seven days, and then returned to 
camp, and found the brigade had moved camp four miles 
north of Winchester, near Stephenson's Depot. I was put 
on double duty for seven nights, as a punishment for my 
"French Furlough.'' 

We remained at ^Tamp Stephenson" for some time; 
had good tents, plenty to eat, and nothing to do but guard* 
duty and drill, with plenty of visitors at our camp every 
day. While at this camp Brigadier General R. B. Gamett 

.was made Brigadier of our brigade, and we had a review, in 


order to display our soldierly qualities before our new Gen- 
eral and the ladies. 

On the 17th day of December we struck tents and 
inarched about fifteen miles towards Martinsburg, and 
camped within three miles of that place. The next morning 
we were on the march, and went through Martinsburg down 
to Dam No. 5, on the Potomac river — another fifteen miles. 
We had about twenty flatboats with us, in covered wagons. 
They were not so much concealed but they could be easily 
seen by any spies there might be about, and there were 
plenty of them. This was a ruse to make the Federals 
think we were going to cross the Potomac, while our object 
was to destroy the dam, so the Chesapeake and Ohio canal 
could not be used by the enemy. 

Almost everybody thought we were going to invade 
Maryland, but we halted at the dam and commenced to 
destroy it. The enemy, on the other side of the river, 
kept up such a continuous firing that we could not work, so 
we took the boats up the river opposite Little Georgetown, 
Md., unloaded them, and made preparations as if we were 
going to cross. The enemy at once drew all their forces up 
there in order to intercept us, and left us free to tear open 
the dam in their absence, which we did. We then returned 
to our old camp near Winchester, where we remained until 
January 1, 1862. Thus ended the first year of the war. 



On the 1st of January, 1862, we struck tents, marched 
out of camp, and took the road leading to Bath (now 
Berkely Springs), Morgan County, Va. (now West Virginia), 
about forty miles distant, and near the Baltimore and Ohio 
railroad. It was a very pleasant, warm day for the time of 
year, and we marched about twenty miles and camped for 
the night. I went home, as it was near, and stayed all 
night, and returned to camp next morning, ready for the 
march. But the weather had changed considerably, and it 
was cold and rainy. We continued the march, but it snowed 
that evening, so that our baggage wagons could not get 
up with us, and we were without tents, blankets and rations. 

They came up next morning, when we cooked rations, 
and were soon on the march again. That evening we en- 
tered Bath (now Berkely Springs) and captured some few 
of the enemy, but the greater portion escaped by running 
over the militia force that was sent around to cut off their 
retreat to the Potomac. 

The next day we went on to the river, opposite Hancock, 
Md., and threw a few shells across. We captured some gov- 
ernment stores and remained there two days, the weather be- 
ing very bad all the time — ^snowing, sleeting, raining and 
freezing. We would lie down at nights without tents, rolled 
up head and heels in our blankets, and in the morning would 
be covered with snow. Every few minutes some one of the 
party I was sleeping with would poke his head out from 
imder the blankets and let in the snow around our necks, 
when he would get punched in the ribs until he would ^Tiaul 
in his homs.^' 

We then marched back towards Winchester and camped 
at Unger's Store. The roads were one glare of ice, and it 
was very difficult for the wagons and artillery to get along. 
Four men were detailed to go with each wagon in order to 
keep it on the road on going around the hillside curves. I 


was on one detail, and we would tie ropes to the top of the 
wagon-bed in the rear and all swing to the upper side of the 
road. The horses were smooth shod, and in going up a 
little hill I have seen one horse in each team down nearly 
all the time. As soon as one would get up, another would 
be down, and sometimes all four at once. 

That day I saw General Jackson get down oflf his horse 
and put his shoulder to the wheel of a wagon to keep it 
from sliding back. By slow and tedious work we arrived 
at camp after night. The troops were marching in the rear. 
I had our tent up and a good fire made out of rails by the 
time they arrived. 

We remained at this camp three days, sent all the sick 
to Winchester, and took up the line of march for Eomney, 
Hampshire County, thirty-five miles west. The first night 
we camped at the Great Capon river, built a bridge across 
it and North river, and camped the second night at Slane^s 

The third day we entered Eomney, and found the en- 
emy had evacuated the place on hearing of our approach. 
The weather was extremely rough. We were all covered 
over with sleet, and as it would freeze fast to us as it fell 
we presented rather an icy appearance. 

We remained in Eomney several days, when our brigade 
was ordered back to Winchester, some of General W. W. 
Loring's command remaining. My company, being from 
Hampshire County, received ten days' furlough, through the 
kindness of Lieutenant Colonel J. E. Jones, who pleaded 
with General Jackson in our behalf. So we all started oflf for 
Springfield, our native town, nine miles north of Eomney, 
in high spirits, and the brigade started for Winchester. 

But when we arrived at Springfield we were not as 
happy as we expected to be, from the fact that we were two 
miles outside of our pickets, and were constantly in danger 
of being picked up by a scouting party from the enemy, 
which came in nearly every day or night. But we managed 
to dodge them all the time, and enjoyed ourselves hugely 
with the girls with whom we had spent our schoolboy days. 
But the last day they came near capturing some of our 
boys, for they were just starting out of town when the scouts 


. ■ - . J.I ri : ^ 

came in, and they ran into the houses and hid until all 
were safe. 

We all met in Eomney at the time appointed, and 
started en route for Winchester, leaving Lorin^s brigade to 
hold the place, and arrived in Winchester in three days. 
We found the brigade building winter quarters four miles 
northwest of town, on the Pughtown road. So we went to 
work and did likewise. Thus ended a severe winter cam- 

We were out nearly one month, and had miserable 
weather all the time, and did no fighting, except some little 
skirmishing, but we lost more men from sickness than if we 
had been engaged in a big battle. We accomplished noth- 
ing, for the enemy retreated across the Potomac, only to 
come back again as soon as we left. Winchester was full 
of soldiers sick with the pneumonia, and they died by 

We lost our Second Lieutenant, Jacob N. Buzzard, who 
died in Winchester, where our company buried him with 
the honors of war. It was a very solemn ceremony, as he 
was greatly beloved by the whole company. 

We finished our quarters the 1st day of February, when 
I was taken sick and sent to the hospital in Winchester. I 
remained there until the 11th of March, at which time 
General Jackson evacuated Winchester, and the boys had to 
give up their good quarters and take the field for it again. 
I was sent on to the hospital at Mount Jackson. General 
Jackson fell back to Kude^s Hill, fifty miles from Winches- 
ter, and remained there some time. I began to get better, 
and, being tired of the hospital, I returned to my regiment 
the 21st of March. That day we started towards Winches- 
ter to advance on the enemy. The next day we made a 
forced march of twenty-eight miles, and I, just getting over 
my sickness, could hardly make the "riffle,^^ and it was dif- 
ficult to keep up with the troops. The next day, the 23d 
of March, we marched fifteen miles, and met the enemy 
three miles south of Winchester, near Kemstown, and there 
fought one of the hardest little battles of the war, and were 

General Jackson attacked 8,000 of the enemy under 




General Shields, with 2,500 infantry and Ashby^s cavalry, 
and xepRBatedly charged them, but was driven back, and finally 
had to give up the field and retreat. Darkness was all that 
saved us. 

As part of our brigade were marching up a hill in the 
open field, alongside a fence, to take position, at the com- 
mencement of the fight, the enemy could see us, and they 
commenced shelling us from a hill on our right, and killed 
and wounded several. Just as Elijah Hari;ley, of my com- 
pany, was making a step a shell passed between his legs 
and exploded, literally tearing him to pieces. He fell over 
in the fence comer, and that was the last we ever saw or 
heard of him. 

We went on and took position, and were soon hotly 
engaged. A shell struck an artillery horse and exploded 
inside of him, tearing him to pieces and tearing both legs 
off of his driver. 

There was a stone fence between two fields running 
parallel with the lines of battle — a Federal regiment on one 
side, a short distance from it, and the 37th Virginia about 
the same distance on the other side, advancing towards each 
oilier. Both regiments charged for the fence about the 
same time, and it was "nip and tuck'' which would reach it 
first, but the 37th Virginia got there, and, kneeling down, 
poured a deadly volley into the other at close quarters, and 
nearly annihilated it. Such would have been their fate if 
the Federals had gotten there first. 

Our company lost two men killed- — Elijah Hartley and 
Thomas Gross — ^three wounded^Sergeat James P. Daily, 
Eobert C. Grace and Mart Miller — ^and two captured — Mike 
Bright and Ed. Allen. R. C. Grace was wounded early in 
the action, and put into an ambulance with other wounded 
and sent to the rear. The ambulance was fired on by the 
enemy's cavalry and Grace wounded again, and all captured. 
He was taken to Winchester, and from there his friends 
took him home, where he died. Sergeant J. P. Daily was 
wounded in the leg as we were falling back, and his brother, 
William Daily, wanted to stay and help him along, but 
he said, "No, save yourself, and I will do the best I can." 
He fell into the hands of the enemy, was taken to Win- 


Chester, and died. Mart Miller was shot in the back of the 
neck as we were running down a hill, and the bullet came 
out in front, near his windpipe; but he kept on running, 
when a spent ball struck him in his overcoat collar and 
lodged there. He turned a complete somersault, and we all 
thought he was dead ; but he said he was all right, and was 
helped up and escaped. He was sent to the hospital, but 
came back to the company in about six weeks, perfectly well 
and ready for duty. 

Several of us had halted under a tree in the edge of 
the woods, to see what was best to do, and while there a 
man on horseback came dashing up to us and asked us what 
command we belonged to. Seeing that he was a Confed- 
erate, we told him. He exclaimed: "We've lost the day; 
we've lost the day,'' in the saddest tones I ever heard. He 
looked all around and then repeated it : "We've lost the day ; 
we've lost the day," and turned his horse toward the battle- 
field and dashed off at full speed. None of us knew him or 
his rank, as it was getting too dark to observe him well. 
But I thought then, and have since thought, that the man 
was shocked by a shell passing or exploding near him, for 
he appeared crazy, or bewildered. We all scattered back as 
far as Newtown that night, about five miles from the battle- 
field, and lay along the road, every fellow for himself, build- 
ing fires out of fence rails, and making ourselves as com- 
fortable as we could after the fatigues of the day. I did 
not see but one regiment in any kind of order, and that 
was the 5th Virginia, of our brigade. It had acted as a 
reserve during the battle,, and covered our retreat. There 
was no attempt to rally us that night, but next morning we 
were all at our posts in our respective regiments. 

We continued to fall back in good order to the south 
side of Cedar creek, Ashby's cavalry holding the enemy in 
check. They did not appear very anxious for another fight. 
Our loss was not very heavy in that battle. The citizens 
who gathered up our dead, and buried there, reported eighty- 
three dead on the field. A greater portion of the wounded 
fell into the enemy's hands; also a few prisoners. 

That was a kind of Virginia fight, for they were all 
Virginians, except a few Maryland companies, on the South- 


em side, and there were a good many Virginia regiments 
on the Federal side J and it was fought in Virginia. 

After the fight was over it was a mystery to ns why 
General Jackson would evacuate Winchester and fall back 
fifty miles, and then turn around with a smaller force than 
he left Winchester with and go back and attack such a large 
force, with no chance of success. We had a smaller army, 
to my certain knowledge, for after we left Winchester there 
were one or two regiments sent away, and the soldiers were 
re-enlisting, getting $50 bounty and thirty days furlough; 
besides, one-fourth or one-third of our command were already 
absent on furlough. We had also left all the militia behind. 

But military men don^t tell privates their plans, and 
General Jackson never told officers his. But we knew it 
was all right when "Old Bluelight" gave his orders. We 
found out afterwards the cause. 

When the Southern army evacuated Manassas Junction, 
and fell back to the Rappahannock, General Jackson had to 
evacuate Winchester and fall back, in order to form a line 
or junction, if necessary. As the Federals had given up 
going to Richmond by way of Manassas Junction, and were 
landing troops on the peninsula, under General McClellan, 
to approach Richmond from the east, also a large force in 
the Valley to approach Richmond from the west, it was 
highly important for the Southern army to keep them from 
forming a junction. The very day that General Jackson 
fought the battle of Kemstown there were Federal troops 
leaving Winchester and marching towards Fredericksburg, 
and when the battle commenced they were halted and or- 
dered back, and that scheme was frustrated. So General 
Jackson lost the battle of Kemstown, but accomplished 
what he went to do with a very small force. 

This was the only time he was ever defeated, and the 
only battle he lost during the war.* 

He made such an impression on the enemy that a large 
force was recalled in order to hold him in check, thinking 

•Major Jed Hotchkiss said: "General Jackson spent the night 
after the battle near where he had formed his line of battle in the 
afternoon. He never oopgidered that he was defeated at Kemstown." 


he had* five times the men he had. The enemy^s loss was 
much greater than ours in killed and wounded, as they stood 
so thick that a bullet could hardly miss them if aimed low 

The day after the battle, while we were cooking rations 
on a hill south of Cedar creek, the enemy came in sight on 
an opposite hill, placed a battery in position and com- 
menced throwing shells at us, in order to knock over our 
camp kettles, I suppose, and we were ordered to load up the 
wagons, "fall in^^ and depart hence. Now, four regiments 
of our brigade marched to the left around the brow of the 
hill, and were soon out of view and out of danger; but 
Colonel A. J. Grigsby, commanding the 27th, who was always 
rather headstrong, marched his regiment to the right, in 
the main road and in full view, when a shell came tearing 
along through the ranks, killing and wounding twelve men. 

We continued to fall back slowly until we reached Rude's 
Hill, Colonel Ashby, with his cavalry, covering our retreat 
and harrassing the enemy. We remained there several days, 
skirmishing nearly every day. 

While at this camp the militia force was disbanded and 
put into the volunteer companies, by which each coi^pany 
was considerably recruited. Our company was larger than 
ever before, numbering about eighty. But the militia did 
not like that way of doing business, for they considered it 
certain death to be put into the Stonewall Brigade, and 
wanted to choose their own companies. The consequence 
was the greater number of them ran off and went home to 
their respective counties, and there formed cavalry compa- 
nies, organized new regiments, and did good service during 
the balance of the war. About twenty remained in my com- 
pany, and some of them made as good soldiers as ever shoul- 
dered a musket. 

The enemy kept advancing on us in considerable force, 
and as Colonel Ashby was disputing the passage of the 
Shenandoah at Meem's bottom he had his white horse ^ shot 
imder him, but he rode him back to the rear, where he died 
in a short time. (^^I saw this myself .^^ — J. H.") My uncle, 
R. S. D. Heironimus, who belonged to Ashby's cavalry, was 
wounded in this skirmish. 


We kept on falling back until we reached Harrison- 
burg, when we turned abruptly to the left and marched east 
to Swift Eun Gap, in the Blue Kidge mountains. The en- 
emy advanced no farther than Harrisonburg, with the ex- 
ception of some scouting parties. We lay here for some time, 
the weather being very rough, it raining and snowing con- 

While here the army was reorganized. As we had been 
mustered into service for one year, and the time expiring, 
most of the men had re-enlisted. They received $50 boun^ 
and thirty days* f urlough> but as only part of the army could 
be furloughed at once, those who did not get a furlough be- 
fore we began to move never got one at all, and those who 
would not re-enlist were retained in service also, and received 
the bounty, but not the furlough. 

All the companies elected company oflficers, and the 
company officers elected regimental officers, but that was 
the last time it was done, for after that they always went 
up by promotion. 

Colonel A. C. Cummings, of my regiment, would not 
serve any longer, and our Adjutant, A. J. Neff, was elected 
Colonel, which very much disappointed the Lieutenant Colo- 
nel and Major. But he made a splendid officer, and did 
good service. We were then mustered into service for three 
years, or during the war. 

A good many men who lived along the base of the Blue 
Ridge, who were liable to military duty, and some deserters, 
had taken refuge in the mountains and fortified themselves, 
and defied the conscript officers to arrest them. General 
Jackson sent some infantry and cavalry to capture them, 
when an old lady living near remarked that "The deserters 
had mortified in the Blue Ridge, but that General Jackson 
sent a foot company and a critter company to ramshag the 
Blue Ridge and capture them.*' 

The day we arrived at Swift Run Gap our wagon train 
was in advance, and part of them had taken the wrong road 
and did not reach camp that night. Sergeant Parsons, of 
my company, was with them. The next day, when they 
arrived in camp, he said he stayed all night at a house way 
up in the mountains, and the people were so ignorant that 


they did not know that the war was going on. When he 
began to explain it to them and told them that he belonged 
to General Jackson's command, they said: "Oh! yes; we 
have read about General Jackson and his army!'' He got 
them to show him the book. It was about old Andy Jack- 
son, in the war of 1812. 



My father had left home for fear of being arrested and 
sent to prison, for he had been in the militia six months, and 
with our army until we arrived at this camp, when he eon- 
eluded to go to Eichmond and join the heavy artillery. He 
was over age, and could not stand active field service. I 
tried to persuade him to remain out of the army, for if both 
of us got killed my mother and three sisters would be left 
alone in the world. But he would go, and so we parted; 
but after he got to Eichmond the company he joined was 
put in the infantry. He would not be mustered in, but re- 
turned to the Valley, and afterwards, when our army occu- 
pied Winchester, he went home and remained there during 
the war. 

The 10th Virginia Eegiment was organized in the Val- 
ley, but had been east of the Eidge in General Johnston^s 
army ever since the battle of Manassas. It had been trying 
for a long time to be transferred to the Valley under Jack- 
son, and at last succeeded. So the regiment came to us at 
this camp, and was put into the 3d Brigade of our division, 
and we had considerable sport out of them tantalizing them. 
We told them they had lain down there in good quarters all 
winter, doing nothing but eat and sleep ; that they would 
soon get enough of Jackson; that he would soon take the 
starch out of them and make them earn their board. Sure 
enough, we soon had a battle at McDowell, and they got into 
it hot and heavy, and lost a good many men; among them 
their commander, Colonel S. B. Gibbons, a fine officer. The 
regiment acted nobly, and had a high reputation during the 
whole war. 

General E. B. Gamett, commanding our brigade, was 
relieved of his command by General Jackson for some mis- 
management at the battle of Kernstown. I never heard ex- 
actly what it was; but General C. S. Winder took command 


of our brigade. He was an old United States oflScer, and 
very strict. General Gamett afterwards commanded a bri- 
gade in Pickett's Division, and was killed at Gettysburg. 

We had heretofore always had a large wagon train to 
haul our cooking utensils, mess chest's, tents and blankets, 
but were here ordered to reduce the train, use fewer cook- 
ing utensils, and dispense with the mess chests and tents, 
and every man to carry his knapsack and blankets. If 
found in the wagons they were to be thrown away. So we 
started on the march up the Shenandoah river under the 
new tactics, through the rain and mud; and, as we had a 
good many blankets and an overcoat apiece, it was a hard 
task, and a great many blankets were thrown away. I sup- 
pose the order was from headquarters, but General Winder 
had just taken the command of the brigade, and, as this 
order came at the same time, we all thought he was the 
cause of it. 

As he was a kind of fancy General, and seemed to put 
on a good many airs, and was a very strict disciplinarian, 
the boys all took a dislike to him from the start, and never 
did like him afterwards. Whenever he would pass the bri- 
gade on the march we would sing out, "More baggage, more 
baggage,*' until he got tired of it. He wheeled suddenly 
around one day and told my Captain to arrest the men for 
such conduct. I was one of the men, but it was like "hunt- 
ing for a needle in a haystack'' to find out who we were, 
so we escaped. 

We marched on and crossed the Blue Eidge to the east 
by Brown's Gap, and continuel until we reached the Vir- 
ginia Central railroad, at Mechum's river, when we got on 
the cars and went by rail to Staunton. 

Before we left Swift Run Gap General Ewell's Division, 
from General Joseph E. Johnston's army, had come and 
taken our position, and lay there ready to form a junction, 
either with Jackson or Johnston, as was necessary, and at 
the same time to watch the enemy in the lower Valley. Gen- 
eral Ed. Johnson had a small force in Augusta county, and 
he was falling back on Staunton from the west, before Gen- 
eral Milroy. So, when we got to Staunton, we marched 
west to Bufl!alo Gap, and, joining Johnson's command. 

turned on the enemy, who in turn fell back to McDowell, 
about twenty-five miles, and there made a stand on the top 
of Bull Pasture mountain. 

Now, Johnson, being about six hours in advance of 
Jackson, did not wait until we came up, but pitched in and 
came very near being repulsed; but Jackson coming up in 
tim^, by double-quicking us several miles, we swept the field 
just at dark. Our loss was small, but Johnson lost severely, 
as also did Milroy. 

Our brigade marched thirty-six miles that day. We 
carried our faiapsacks twenty miles, when we were ordered 
to "pile them'^ and go for it double-quick. 

The Federal soldiers knew General Johnson by sight, 
and, during the battle one time, being separated a little 
from his command, some of them hallooed out: ^^There's old 
Johnson; let's flank him!" Johnson heard them, and, wav- 
ing his club in the air, exclaimed: "Yes, damn you, flank 
me if you can." He was wounded in the foot. H^ very 
seldom carried a sword, but nearly always a big hickory 
club, or cane. We always called him "Old Clubby Johnson," 
to distinguish him from the other Johnsons. 

That was the only battle I was ever in or heard of dur- 
ing the war where there was no artillery used. The place 
was so rugged and steep that neither army could get a piece 
in position, nor could we get an ambulance to the battle- 
field. We had to carry the wounded down a steep, rocky 
hollow, and it took us nearly all night to do so. 

The enemy retreated about one mile and went into 
camp, we thought, for they built a great many fires, but the 
next morning they were gone. They had been retreating 
all night, leaving some baggage and a good many wounded 
in camp. We were on the march early next morning, but 
did not overtake them until we got near Franklin, Pendle- 
ton County, a distance of forty miles, where they met rein- 
forcements and made another stand. 

We were drawn up in line of battle, and lay there all 
day, skirmishing some with them, but had no general en- 
gagement. At dark we retired from their front, went into 
camp, cooked rations, and the next morning started back. 
We marched east until near Staunton, when we turned down 



the Valley, marching north, passing by Stiibling Springs, 
Mount Solon, Bridgewater and Dayton, on to Harrisonburg, 
where we were ordered to pile away our knapsacks in the 
court-house. We knew there was some game on hand then, 
for when General Jackson ordered knapsacks to be left be- 
hind he meant business. 

We marched on at a quick march down the Valley to 
Newmarket, where we turned east, crossed the Massanutton 
mountain, and over into the Page Valley, on down Page 
Valley until we arrived at Front Eoyal. 

Now, General Banks, of commissary fame, had a con- 
siderable army at Front Eoyal and Strasburg, and we had 
been re-enforced by General EwelPs Division. Our advance 
surprised the enemy at both places, and got in between the 
two armies. We had some sharp fighting for a while, but we 
got them cut off, and captured a great many, besides wagons, 
artillery, etc., and the rout became general. The roads to 
Winchester, a distance of eighteen miles, showed wreckage of 
all kinds of baggage and commissary stores. We followed 
the retreating army all that night. Their rear guard would 
sometimes take advantage of the darkness and lay in am- 
bush for us, but we would soon outflank them and move 
on. My company and Company F were in advance, and we 
had several men wounded. 

When we got to Winchester, at daylight, they had made 
another stand in the fortifications around the tbwn, and we 
had to form a line around them and charge. Our brigade 
did not get engaged in this fight, but we lay in line of battle 
on a hillside and were exposed to a severe shelling from the 
enemy, and lost several men in killed and wounded. The 
Louisiana Brigade in EwelPs Division charged the fort under 
a galling fire. They hotly contested the place, but finally 
gave way at all points, and the rout became general. We 
followed them a few miles north of Winchester and halted; 
but the cavalry kept up the pursuit until dark. 

We captured a great amount of commissary stores, am- 
munition and baggage of all kinds, also all the sutler stores 
in Winchester, and, I think, about 5,000 prisoners. The 
enemy had set fire to a part of the town in order to bum 
up theiir stores, but we were too close on them and extin- 


guished the fire, so there were only two or three buildings 
burnt. In one of them I saw the corpses of two men chained 
to the wall; but we never knew who they were, whether 
Rebels, citizens, or some of their own men. A guard was 
put around the captured stores, which worried us consid- 
erably, for we wanted to plunder the sutlers. The main 
force of the enemy had taken refuge in Harper^s Ferry, and 
there was no way of capturing them or driving them out 
without getting possession of the Maryland Heights, across 
the Potomac. 

The day after the rout at Winchester our brigade, alone, 
marched on towards Harper's Ferry. When we got to 
Charleston, a few miles from the Ferry, we found a small 
force posted there to dispute our passage. We were formed 
in line and my company deployed as skirmishers on the 
extreme left of the brigade in order to watch flankers; but 
we saw no enemy, and a shot or two from our artillery caused 
them to retreat. We then hurried on to get with the brigade. 

When we got to the edge of town the brigade had passed 
through, and two of our cavalrymen came dashing up from 
another direction and wanted my Captain to take his com- 
pany out a short distance on the Martinsburg road and capt- 
ure some of the enemy's cavalry. They were cut oflE from 
their command, but would not surrender. He told them he 
was ordered to join the brigade as soon as possible and 
could not disobey orders. The cavalrymen then said if he 
would only let them 'have ten men it would do. The Captain 
said he would not order ten men out, but if they chose 
to volunteer he would give his consent. Immediately ten 
men stepped out of the ranks, myself included, and went 
double-quick up the road, keen for a capture. 

We had not proceeded far when we saw them coming 
down the road in a gallop. We jumped over a stone fence 
that ran parallel with the road, and, bringing our muskets 
to bear on them, commanded them to halt and surrender. 
No sooner was this said than a white handerchief was seen 
to flutter in the breeze. All were made prisoners without 
firing a shot. They were composed of a squad of twelve 
men with a Captain, and belonged to some New York regi- 


ment, and were all Germans. We took them on to town and 
delivered them to the guard. 

In a few minutes we learned that in the morning this 
same squad had passed through town, riding along on each 
side of the street, and broke every window with their sabres, 
and that this brave Captain had struck a lady in the face 
with the flat side of his sword. Had we known this when we 
jumped over the stone fence we would never have called 
on them to surrender, but shot them down in their tracks 
and left their bodies there for food for buzzards. We then 
went into camp near Charlestown and put out pickets near 
the Ferry — all that was left of General Banks' army was 
being cooped up there and at Williamsport, Md. 

This fighting has been designated by some as the battle 
of "Front Eoyal/' also "Battle of Winchester ;'' but it was 
a continuous fight and skirmish from Front Eoyal to Har- 
per's Ferry, a distance of fifty miles. We had no general 
engagement, and our loss was small ; it being a kind of one- 
sided fight all the time. General Jackson "got the drop" 
on them in the start, and kept it. 

The enemy's loss was great in killed, wounded, prison- 
ers and munitions of war. In fact, it was nearly annihi- 
lated; for hundreds of them were cut off from their com- 
mands and took to the woods and mountains. This hap- 
pened the 23d and 24th of May, 1862. 

Previous to this time we had fared very well in the way 
of rations, clothing, etc. We had the usual army rations: 
one pound and two ounces of flour ; three-fourths of a pound 
of bacon, or one and one-fourth pounds of beef; coffee, rice, 
beans, sugar, molasses, etc.; but on account of transporta- 
tion and blockade, it soon came down to meat and bread, 
with occasional sprinklings of the others. So, whenever 
we made such a haul as we did from Banks we fared sumptu- 
ously until the quartermasters got it in their clutches. That 
would be the last of it, especially the sutler stores. There- 
fore, the soldiers began to appropriate anything in the way 
of grub, such as hogs, chickens, apples, com, etc., to their 
own use. We would not allow any man's chickens to run 
out into the road and bite us as we marched along. We 







would not steal them! No! Who ever heard of a soldier 
stealing? But simply take them. 

Some wag in the brigade had gotten up a nick-name 
for every regiment in the brigade. The 2d was called "The 
Innocent 2d," because they never stole anything; the 4th, 
"The Harmless 4th/^ because they had no fights in camp; 
the 5th, "The Fighting 5th/' because it was the largest regi- 
ment and would have some rows in camp; the 27th, "The 
Bloody 27th,'' as there were several Irish companies in it, 
and the 33d (my regiment), was "The Lousy 33d," because 
it was the first regiment in the brigade that found any lice 
on them. So this is the way it went from camp to camp: 
"The Innocent 2d," "The Harmless 4th," "The Fighting 
5th," "The Bloody 27th" and "The Lousy 33d." 

We lay in camp near Charlestown several days picket- 
ing and skirmishing near Harper's Ferry. I suppose Jack- 
son could have taken Harper's Ferry, but he had to watch 
some armies that were threatening his rear. So one morn- 
ing my company, being then on picket, was ordered to join 
the regiment, and we all started on the march towards Win- 
chester. We marched hard all day, and at dark, when 
within a few miles of town, our Colonel came riding back 
along the line and told us we would have to make a forced 
march; that he did not know how far we would go before 
camping, and desired all of us to keep up if we could; if 
not, to keep on coming until we got up with the regiment. 
But when we got to Winchester I and three others of my 
company concluded we would stay all night with some of 
our friends. We could start early in the morning, refreshed, 
and soon overtake the command. We had a good supper, 
good beds and good breakfast. We started out early and 
found a good many soldiers in town that had done as we 
had. We found out at the same time that the quartermas- 
ters had failed to take all of the sutler stores we had capt- 
ured out of town, but had turned them over to the soldiers, 
and most of them were loaded with good things. We had 
missed it all, which we regretted very much. We also found 
out that the army had marched eight miles beyond Win- 
chester that night and went into camp near Newtown. This 
made forty miles the brigade had marched that day. 


We struck out in a hurry to overtake them. On reach- 
ing Newtown, now Stephens City, we met some of our cav- 
alry that General Jackson had sent hack to inform all strag- 
glers that the enemy under General Shields was approaching 
from the east; also a force under General Fremont from 
the west; that they had formed a junction at Middletown, 
between us and our army, and that all stragglers should leave 
the road and take to the mountains on our right and follow 
the mountains on up the Valley until we should reach our 

There were about five hundred of us cut off in this 
way; but if we had all been together, and had a commander, 
we could have forced our way through the enemy's cavalry. 
As it was we were scattered along the road for about eight 
miles in little squads of three and four. 

82 i'OUfi YllAIlS liT l^Hti STOl^EtTAlt iRlGAlJfi. 


We then left the main road and went towards the 
mountains, keeping in the woods as much as possible. When 
near the mountains we came to a house, and as we were 
going up to it to make some inquiries about the roads we 
saw a Federal soldier walking about in the yard. We did 
not know what that meant, but, as he appeared to be alone 
and unarmed, we thought there was not much danger. As 
he saw us coming he went into the house. When we got to 
the house we met a lady who begged us not to arrest him, as 
he had been put there as a guard by General Banks when 
his army was there. That when Banks retreated this soldier 
did not know it in time, and had remained under her pro- 
tection. We told her we would not bother him; that we 
were trying to escape ourselves, and might be captured yet 
before night. She gave us a good dinner and we left, tell- 
ing her the enemy would soon be there and she could put 
the soldier on guard again. We also asked him not to in- 
form his cavalry which way we went, and he promised to 
do so ; but whether he did or not I do not know. 

A squad of cavalry was sent after us in a few hours, 
and we just escaped by accident. That evening there was 
a very hard thunder shower, and we went into a barn to 
keep out of the rain. While there a little negro boy came 
running down from the house, and said : "You soldiers had 
better hide, for the upper end of the medder is black wiM 
Yankees.'' We then got up into the haymow and hid under 
the hay, the boy still staying outside saying: "Here they 
come; now they got some of your men; they'll soon be 
here." I had told him several times to run on to the house 
and not tell on us, but he still stayed, and, fearing he would 
draw the enemy's attention, I put my gun out of a crack 
and told him if he did not scamper off to the house I would 
shoot him. It had the desired effect, for he left immedi- 


ately. Very soon the cavalry rode by, but we were not mo- 
lested. We then got out and hurried on, and would have over- 
taken our army sometime that night, but when we got to 
Cedar creek we found it so much swollen from the rain 
that it was impossible to cross it. We could not remain 
there, so there was nothing left for us to do but to follow 
up the bank of the creek to the mountains. 

When we got there we remained on the top of North 
mountain one whole day, traveling without road or path, 
keeping the mountain as our guide. At night we came down 
to stay at some house. After that day we kept the by- 
roads between the mountains. Charley French, Mart Mil- 
ler, John Kelley aQd myself remained together. We would 
often meet up with other soldiers in small squads, aad there 
would be twenty of us together for a short time. But as 
we had to subsist upon the citizens living in this moun- 
tainous country we were obliged to travel in small parties 
in order to get provisions. We would inquire every day 
from some one as to the whereabouts of our army. We 
learned it was falling back every day, closely pursued by the 

We could never get ahead far enough to leave the moun- 
tains. One day we heard heavy cannonading and then we 
knew that Jackson had made a stand. The next day we 
could still hear the artillery belching forth, but it appeared 
to be in a different place, and as we were getting tired of 
the mountains we passed through Hopkins^ Gap and came 
out in the Valley. We stayed all night about eight miles 
from Harrisonburg. The next morning we were feeling our 
way slowly, and trying to find out how the battle went, when 
we came to Mr. TJfiompson's farm house, and he told us that 
he was not certain, but thought General Jackson had de- 
feated the enemy, and he thought they were retreating down 
the Valley. 

^If such is the case,^^ he said, "I advise you to remain 
here until night, and we will know for certain, and then 
you can soon reach your command.^^ We took his advice 
and halted, and got every soldier who came along to do 
likewise, until we had collected about thirty. 

'^Now/* says Thompson, "whenever tb§ ^Q^my retreat 


down the Valley they always send out their cavalry, far and 
near, on each side of the main road and take all the horses 
they can find. I and my neighbors have some good farm- 
ing horses that we don't want to lose; and if you men will 
go with me we will go out on the hill in the woods beyond 
my house, and if they come into this neighborhood after 
horses we will give them a warm reception.^' 

. "I have a good rifle/' he remarked, "that is true to its 
aim, and I can aim it as well as any one, and I assure you 
I will bring down as many of the enemy as any of you old 

We all agreed to his proposal, for it was sport for us to 
have a brtish with the cavalry, especially when we had the 
drop on them. So we all took a position on the hill and 
put out a picket, who could see the road for some distance, 
and remained there all day. But no enemy came; and at 
dark we all went to Thompson's house and got a good sup- 
per, and slept in the bam. The next morning we heard that 
Jackson had defeated the enemy in two different battles 
and they were retreating in a hurry and did not have time 
to plunder the country for horses. 

We then went on and soon arrived in Harrisonburg, 
where we found some of our cavalry, who informed us that 
our brigade was camped near Port Eepublic at Weyer's Cave. 
We then went on towards camp, having marched about 
eighty miles through the mountains, and arrived there that 
evening. Our Captain had reported us captured. 

I must now go back and bring up the brigade, and 
give an account of its transactions from the time I left it 
at Winchester until I joined it again at Weyer's Cave, as 
was tbld me by members of my company. 

They camped south of Newtown, now Stephens City, 
the first night after leaving Charlestown, and the next 
morning hurried on and just got through Strasburg before 
the enemy made their appearance. They had not yet formed 
a junction; but some portion of our army had a little skir- 
mish with the enemy in order to save the wagon train. Jack- 
son kept falling back slowly, Ashby with his cavalry cover- 
ing the retreat and holding them in check. 

When Jftcjfsos ^acbed Harrisonburg he turned to the 


left, taking the Port Republic road, and marched east to- 
wards the Blue Eidge. When a few miles from Harrison- 
burg Colonel, now General, Ashby, thinking the enemy were 
pressing too close to be healthy, charged them at the head 
of the Ist Maryland and 58th Virginia Infantry and was 
killed (June 6, 1862) ; but the enemy was repulsed. 

We there lost a brave and gallant cavalry oflBcer, who, 
had he lived, would have been one of the greatest cavalrj^ 
generals of the war. 

The death of his brother, Eichard Ashby, about a year 
before, near Cumberland, Md., while a member of his (then 
Captain) company, had greatly affected him. He had sent 
his brother Dick with a small detachment to reconnoiter 
the enemy on Kelley's Island. He was ambuscaded by 
a detachment of an Indiana Zouave Eegiment in charge of 
Corporal Hays, at the mouth of a ravine near the railroad. 
His horse made a misstep and threw him into a cattle-guard, 
where he was set upon by the enemy and severely beaten 
and left for dead. He was rescued by his brother. Turner 
Ashby, but was so severely wounded that he lived but a few 
days. He was buried in the beautiful Indian Mound ceme- 
tery at Eomney, Va., July 4, 1861. General (then Captain) 
Ashby's behavior at his brother's funeral, as described in 
^ToUard^s Southern History of the War,'^ was touching and 
pathetic, and doubtless had a marked effect upon his sub- 
sequent acts. 

"He stood over the grave, took his brother^s sword, broke 
it and threw it into the opening; clasped his hands and 
looked upward as if in resignation; and then, pressing his 
lips as if in the bitterness of grief, while a tear rolled 
down his cheek, he turned without a word, mounted his 
horse and rode away. Thenceforth his name was a terror 
to the enemy .'^ 

Both bodies have since been removed, and now lie buried 
in the Stonewall Cemetery at Winchester, Va. 

Now General Shields and General Fremont each had an 
army superior in numbers to General Jackson; therefore, 
to render Jackson^s capture certain, they had divided down 
the Valley near Strasburg. General Fremont with his army 
followed General Jackson up the Main Valley, while General 


Shields went up the Page Valley in order to cut him off 
near Harrisonburg, where the two valleys intersected. They 
had the bag tied, but could not hold the game. 

When General Jackson found they were about to form 
a junction he wheeled suddenly on Fremont at Cross Keys, 
and, after a severe fight, defeated him and put his army to 
flight. He could not follow him far as he had to turn and 
cross the Shenandoah river in order to get ahead of General 
Shields. The next day he attacked Shields under a great 
disadvantage; but after hard fighting he defeated him and 
the cavalry pursued them for fifteen miles. 

A portion of General Jackson's coirvnand lost severely, 
especially EwelPs Division. Our brigade did not lose many 
men in either engagement. The 33d, the regiment to which 
I belonged, was not engaged in this last fight, as they were 
out on picket watching for a flank movement. 

It was said by those who knew that before General 
Jackson and staff had crossed the river the enemy were 
placing a battery in position between him and the river, and 
were about to fire on some of our troops; that Jackson rode 
up to them and ordered them not to fire ; and they, mistak- 
ing him for one of their officers, did not fire, and he and 
his staff rode on and escaped being captured. Those two 
battles were called the battles of "Cross Keys'' and "Port 
Eepublic," and occurred on the 8th and 9th of June, 1862. 

We lay in camp at Weyer's Cave three days, the army 
washing in the river and cleaning up generally, and also 
exploring the wonders of the cave. We were soon ordered 
to cook rations and be ready for another march. The day 
before we started we were reinforced by General Whiting's 
division from Richmond. Whether they came to help Jack- 
son to fight the enemy in the Valley or to give him a larger 
force in order to turn General McClellan's flank, I never 
knew. Be that as it may, I know they came one day and 
we all started down the Virginia Central railroad the next 
day towards Richmond. 

Some of the troops were embarked on the cars, but as 
there were not trains enough for all, our old brigade had to 
march, as we had gained the name by this time of "Jack- 
son's Foot Cavalry/* We could break down any cavalry bri- 


gade on a long march. As the cars reached their destination 
Siey would return and meet us, and take another load; but 
we still had to march. We passed through Charlottesville and 
Gordonsville on to Louisa Court House, where we got on the 
cars and rode twenty miles to Beaverdam Station. Here 
we got oflE the cars and marched all night, the rain at in- 
tervals pouring down in torrents. 

A short time before this the army around Richmond, 
commanded by Joseph E. Johnston, had fought the battle 
of "Seven Pines.'^ General Johnston was wounded and Gen- 
eral Bobert E. Lee was placed in command. General Mc- 
Clellan was concentrating his troops near Bichmond and his 
lines were, at one place, within three miles of the city. We 
all knew by this time that there was some fighting on hand, 
and that General Jackson was hunting their rear, or flank. 
And, sure enough, at daylight we heard our skirmishers in 
front firing, and soon learned that they had attacked the 
enem3r's fiank at Mechanicsville and the enemy had fallen 
back on the main line. 

We, therefore, marched slowly all day, and in the morn- 
ing, which was the 27th of June, the firing commenced again. 

A big battle was imminent; for the two armies were 
drawing closer and closer together. Our division was march- 
ing in the rear, acting as the reserve, and consequently 
moved along very slowly; but firing in front kept getting 
heavier and heavier, the artillery belching forth in volleys, 
and we all knew they were at it then. We kept moving on 
slowly until 3 o'clock in the afternoon, when we heard ter- 
rific firing and were ordered to load our arms and start 
for the scene of action double-quick. We all threw down 
our knapsacks in a pile, leaving one man to guard them, 
and kept on at double-quick through woods, fields and 
swamps until we arrived at a little hill, where the shells 
commenced bursting over us. We were formed in line of 
battle, where we remained a few minutes, the shells and 
bullets flying thick and fast. While in this position a spent 
ball struck my cartridge box, but did no damage. We soon 
advanced in line of battle through a deep swamp and up a 
little rise, when we heard cheer after cheer rend the air. 


We knew it came from Southern soldiers and that the day 
was ours. 

When we reached the place whence the cheering came 
there was little left for our brigade to do; which little was 
to give the enemy a few volleys to inform him that we had 
arrived. Our brigade lost but few men, but the field was 
covered with dead. Colonel J. W. Allen, of our 2d Eegiment, 
was killed; and also Johnnie Washington and Tom Brooks, 
of the 13th Virginia, old schoolmates of mine. Some of 
our troops lost severely — ^the enemy terribly. It was a hardly 
contested fight, but the enemy had to yield. At dark we 
had possession of the entire battle-field, and the enemy were 
in full retreat, darkness saving them from a rout. 

As we were going into the fight a bullet struck in my 
shoe heel, and a shell burst just after passing me, and so 
near that it fairly lifted me off the ground, and made me 
see more stars than I ever saw before. 

After the firing ceased our brigade marched by the 
flank, left in front, through a piece of woods. It then being 
dark, and my regiment being in the rear, about one-half of 
it became separated from the balance of the brigade, when 
Major Holliday, who was riding in the rear of the regiment, 
ordered us to halt until he got in front to find the brigade. 

A few minutes afterwards we heard great cheering on 
our right, and Major Holliday, thinking it was our brigade, 
turned our course in that direction. Some of the men said 
it was not our men cheering; it was the Yankees. 

"Oh! no,'' says Holliday, "they have nothing to cheer 
about," and kept on marching. We then passed down a 
little slope, at the bottom of which was a ravine, some four 
or five feet deep, with some water in it. 

As we were all very thirsty we got down in it to get 
water; and just as some few of the men, who had satisfied 
themselves with drinking, got out on the opposite bank, we 
were challenged by some one a short distance in our front. 

^TVhat regiment is that?" came the voice. 

"The 33d Virginia," they replied, thinking, of course, 
that it came from some of our troops. 

Instantly a volley of musketry was poured into us at 
close quarters; but as nearly all of us were in the ravine 


we escaped with the loss of one man killed and two wounded. 
We returned the volley, but they had fired and fled. 

It was a regiment of the enemy placed there on picket, 
as we learned the next day from prisoners, and we asked 
them what they were cheering about. They said they heard 
that the left wing of their army had captured Richmond. 
We told them they were woefully mistaken; that the left 
of their army was retreating as fast as the right. 

We soon found our brigade ; but my company was sent 
to the front on picket duty. Of course, I went with them; 
but I knew what many of the boys were up to. Shall I tell 
you? They were robbing the dead. That is, they were 
searching the dead bodies. 

N"ow, I am not a moralist, nor capable of moralizing, ex- 
cept in a crude way ; but all m,y moral training caused me to 
abhor the idea of taking anything from a dead body, except 
for the purpose of restoring it to the rightful owner, be he 
friend or foe ; and I was greatly shocked when I first learned 
that such things were done. But why try to conceal what is 
well known by all the soldiers of both armies. 

Of course, the orders were very strict, and after a bat- 
tle details were made from each company, so far as possible, 
to bury their own dead, and preserve their effects. 

Undoubtedly war has a demoralizing effect upon the 
soldier. He becomes familiar with scenes of death and car- 
nage, and what at first shocks him greatly he afterwards 
comes to look upon as a matter of course. It was difficult 
for a soldier to figure out why a gold watch or money in 
the pocket of a dead soldier, who had been trying to kill 
him all day, did not belong to the man who found it as 
much as it did to anyone else. 

This was among the first of the hard-fought battles of 
the war. There were a great many killed and wounded on 
both sides, and we could hear the shrieks, cries and groans 
of the wounded and dying all night long. The ambulances 
and the ambulance corps were working all night; but there 
were so many that all could not be attended to for several 
days. Thus ended the 27th of June, 1862, and the first 
battle of Cold Harbor and Gaines* Mill. 



In the morning at daybreak, as we were still on picket, 
we gathered up several prisoners who had got lost from their 
command the night before; and while conversing with them 
about the battle one of them remarked that we got the best 
of them in that fight; but that Greneral Shields and General 
Fremont had General Jackson surrounded in the Valley and 
would sure capture him and his command. I then told him 
that we belonged to Jackson^s command; but could hardly 
make him believe it. He asked me how we got here so 
quick. I informed him that General Jackson and his little 
army had cleared the Valley of both Shields and Fremont, 
and was now here to help clean out McClellan, and that in 
less than a week we would have him in the James river. 

In a few moments another Federal soldier came to me 
from the brush and wanted to know where our hospital was. 
He had his hand on his breast, and I asked him where he 
was wounded. He said he was shot in the breast and the 
ball had gone through his lungs, and that he had to keep 
his hand over the bullet hole so that he could get his breath. 
When he removed his hand I could hear the breath puffing 
through the wound. I directed him to the field hospital, but 
never knew whether he got well or not. 

Soon after, as some of us were advancing to pick up 
more stragglers, or whatever came in our way, I was pass- 
ing by a small ravine where some bushes had grown up 
quite thick, and saw a man come crawling out of the ravine 
in his shirt sleeves with blue pants on. I halted to see what 
he wanted, as he did not look like a soldier. As he came 
up he said, ^T want to surrender to you; I have been watch- 
ing for some of your infantry to come along for some time. 
I saw some of your cavalry in sight, but was afraid to come 
out to them for fei^r they were '^guerillas'* and would kill 
me; and I wanted to gwrender to the infantry, knowing 

they would treat me iright/^ I then told him we did not 
keep such animals as guerillas in our army; that they were 
(General Stuarfs cavaSy he had seen, and if he had come 
out to them they would have treated him as a prisoner of 
war, and I could do no more. 

I then asked him where his coat and gun were. He 
said that he had pulled off his blouse and hid it in his 
haversack, as he thought we would shoot at anything blue 
we saw, whether in battle or not, and that his gun was hid 
in the ravine. I told him to go back and get it and bring it 
to me, which he did, when I stuck it up in the ground, and 
told him to put on his blouse and go back to the rear; that 
he would there find the guard with other prisoners, and to 
report to the oflScer in command. 

He insisted that I should go with him, but I told him 
I had not time as I was on the skirmish line and could not 
leave; but that I would insure him that he would not be 

He started, and after going a few steps he halted, and, 
turning towards me, said: "Look here, what troops were 
those who fought us here yesterday?" 

I told him it was "Stonewall" Jackson and his com- 

"Well," he says, *T)y Q ! I thought something was 

wrong all day, and that accounts for it. How did you get 
here so quick?" 

I answered that we walked here to by the ^^ight of the 
moon." He then went his way and I went mine. I think 
that was the first fight he was ever in, for he was terribly 
demoralized. I then went a short distance and picked up a 
long string of Catholic beads with a cross attached. I sup- 
pose some fellow was counting them over, and, in his haste, 
dropped them. I kept them a long time, but finally lost 

We then saw some of the enemy near a house on a small 
hill wandering around as if lost, and, making our way to- 
wards them, we called them to come to us, which they started 
to do; but just then some of their cavalry came dashing 
around the brow of the hill between us and saved them 
from capture. But they received a volley from us when 


they disappeared. That was the last of the enemy we saw 
thai day. 

Chickahominy river was near by, and the enemy had 
destroyed the bridge in their reiJeat the night before 
and we had to repair it before we could advance; therefore, 
our portion of the army remained on the battle field all day 
and repaired the bridge. While six of us were carrying a 
log on the bridge with hand-sticks General Jackson was 
standing on the bridge, with his back toward us, directly in 
our way. As we were turning to one side to pass around 
him he noticed us and, quickly stepping to one side, said: 
"Oh! come on, never mind me,^^ as if he were somebody 
of small importance. 

Those few words and the farewell address that I have 
mentioned were the only words I ever heard him speak dur- 
ing the whole of his military career. I have often been 
close to him, just before, during and after a battle, and 
have seen couriers bring dispatches to him which he would 
read, write out something, hand it back to them and not 
open his mouth to speak during the tim!e. I have seen some 
of his aids and staff oflScers ride up to him when he was 
sitting on the "little sorreF' viewing the country and tell 
him something about the lines, or about something of im- 
portance, and he would calmly sit there for a few moments, 
then turn his horse and ride slowly away, his staff following, 
without his uttering a single word. 

Such was Stonewall Jackson; a man of few words. He 
was not a man of moods, but always the same. He kept his 
own counsel. Jim, his cook and camp servant, knew as 
much of his intentions as anybody. He said whenever Jack- 
son got up at night and commenced to pray he immedi- 
ately packed his haversack. "Cos den I knowed dere wuz a 
move on hand,^^ he would say. 

But the soldiers loved him. Every time he would pass 
our brigade we would all commence cheering him, to see 
him raise his cap, show his high, bold forehead, and go 
dashing by in a gallop. No matter whether it was raining 
or snowing, the cap would be raised and kept off until he 
had passed the whole line> 

It got to be a comonon saying in the army, when any 




cheering was heard in camp or on the march, that it was 
either "Jackson or a rabbit/^ 

While we were repairing the bridge we heard heavy 
firing on our right; but that did not disturb us, as some 
portion of our army was engaged every day. We did not 
move, however, until the 29th. 

McClellan would fall back every night, and we would 
overtake his rear every evening when there would be some 
fighting done by some portion of the army. We had a con- 
siderable battle at Savage Station, where McClellan destroyed 
an immense amount of commissary stores, etc. I have seen 
molasses knee deep in the railroad ditch, and great piles 
of burnt coffee. Some of it was burnt too much for use, 
but some was scorched just enough to be good, and we went 
for it "heavy.'' 

We, that is our brigade, had no general engagement 
until the 1st of July, when both armies met on Malveiu 
Hill, where a desperate battle was fought. Our troops 
charged and recharged, and finally gained the field at dark; 
that was all. We could not rout them and it was with heavy 
loss that we gained a victory. The enemy had a good posi- 
tion, bristling with bayonets and plenty of artillery. They 
threw some shells over from their gun-boats about the size 
of camp-kettles, but as they were as likely to light among 
their owq troops as ours they soon ceased. Dark put an end 
to the fight, when the enemy fell back under cover of their 
gun-boats, and we could advance no farther. 

Colonel Grigsby, of the 27th Virginia, was wounded in 
the shoulder, and while some of us were at a spring that 
evening getting some water he came along and wanted some 
water poured on his wound. 

One of the boys says: "Colonel, does it hurt?'' 

^^es, damn it," says he, "it was put in there to hurt." 

The 3d day of July we marched down to Harrison's 
Landing, on the James river, and while on the march I had 
a chill. I had not had a chill for nearly two years; but 
being down in the Chickahominy swamps caused it, I sup- 
pose. I lay down in a fence corner and rolled my blanket 
around me and was making the best of it I could. 

The whole army had passed, and I had lain there sev- 


eral hours in a kind of stupor. Now the wagon train was 
passing. Hundreds of wagons, ambulances and artillery had 
passed and I never looked up. All at once I thought I had 
better draw my feet up, as I was working down in the road 
too far. Just as I did so, from some cause, the wagon 
wheels went right along where my feet had been. If I had 
not drawn them up as quick as I did both legs, just above 
my ankles, would have been crushed off by a heavy ordnance 
wagon. It was one of the most providential things I ever 
heard of, for hundreds of wagons had passed and I had 
never even given them a thought. If this one had kept in 
the track it would not have hurt me if I had let my feet 
remain ; but the mules shied at something and ran the wagon 
upon my side and I had not moved one minute too soon. 
After the fever passed off some I got up and toddled on to 
my regiment. They had not gone many miles and were 
in camp. 

The next day, the 4th of July, we lay in line of battle 
all day, my regiment being on picket; but not a shot was 
fired. The post I was on was in the woods, and in front of 
us was an open field; beyond the field were woods, and the 
enemy was on picket there. This field was full of black- 
berries; so our boys and the "Yanks'^ made a bargain not 
to fire at each other, and went out in the field, leaving one 
man on each post with the arms, and gathered berries 
together and talked over the fight, traded tobacco and coffee 
and exchanged newspapers as peacefully and kindly as if 
they had not been engaged for the last seven days in butch- 
ering one another. 

I was not well, and felt badly and did not go out with 
them, but remained on post. At the battle of Cold Harbor, 
as we charged across a swamp, the mud was about one foot 
deep, and my shoes got full of mud and gravel, and, being 
new and stiiSf, as all army shoes are, they rubbed all the 
skin off of my heels. My feet hurt me so much that night 
that I pulled my shoes off, and my feet were so sore the 
next morning that I could not get them on, so I had to go 
barefooted during that campaign. It was not for the want 
of shoes, however, for I could have picked up a good pair 


every day, as the whole country was full of knapsacks, blan- 
kets, etc. 

As we had left our knapsacks behind at the commence- 
ment of the fight, we would gather up some blankets, sleep 
on them at night and leave them there in the morning. 
One morning, as it was a little rainy, I put on a blue blouse, 
and that evening was on the skirmish line. As we were 
going through a piece of woods I thought I had better pull 
off my blue blouse, as I might be taken for the enemy by 
some "Johnnie Beb'^ and popped over. So I took it off and 
hung it on a bush, never thinking of a fine meerschaum pipe 
I had left in the pocket until too late to go back for it; 
but I suppose some one got it that knew how to appreciate it. 

While on this skirmish I saw a man in a kneeling posi- 
tion, as if in the act of firing; but upon closer examination 
he did not appear to have any gun. As no one was firing 
just then I thought strange of his position; but as I went 
up to him I found him dead. He had been killed the day 
before, and so suddenly that he remained in the same posi- 
tion as when living — one knee and one foot on the ground, 
his arms in position of taking aim, but the gun had fallen 
and his head was thrown a little back. 

The night after the battle of Malvern Hill I was on 
a detail to guard some ordnance wagons that we had cap- 
tured and which were packed together. There was a guard 
put around them simply to keep any one from going amongst 
them with fire. It was late at night when I went on post, 
and, being very tired, I quit walking my beat and sat down. 

Directly the sentinel on the next post came to me and 
says: "Soldier, you must not sit down on your post, it 
is against orders.^^ I told him I knew the orders. I got 
up and walked a few rounds and again sat down on a stump. 

He soon came to me again and says : "Soldier, indeed, 
you must not sit down on your post; if the oflScer of the 
guard finds you he will punish you, and if you go to sleep 
you will be shot.** 

"Look here,** says I, "what regiment do you belong to ?** 

"The 47th Alabama,** he replied. 

^*How long have you been in service?** 

'^ut a short time/* said he. "Our regiment and the 


48th Alabama came to Eichmond a few days ago and drew 
arms that you fellows had captured at Cold Harbor and 
we were put in Greneral Jackson^s division. We have been 
in *nary fight yet.*^ 

^^Well/^ I remarked, "I thought you were some new 
recruit and did not know how to play oflE when you were 
on camp guard. We old soldiers sit down on our posts on 
camp guard every time we have a chance and signal to one 
another, by whistling, when the officer or relief is coming. 
I never go to sleep on my post ; but camp guard is different 
from a picket post next to the enemy. So you just go along 
and walk your beat as much as you want to and I will at- 
tend to mine as I please.^^ With that he left me and did 
not bother me any more ; but every few turns he would walk 
up close enough to see if I was asleep. 

The 5th of July we left Harrison's Landing and 
marched back towards Eichmond and went into camp three 
miles from the city; drew new clothing, washed up, and 
cleaned our arms. Thus ended the seven days' fight at 
Eichmond; and instead of General McClellan capturing the 
city, he was compelled to seek shelter under cover of his 
gunboats with the remnant of a demoralized army, and the 
loss of thousands in killed, wounded and prisoners, besides 
a great amount of army stores. 



Stonewall Jackson's Corps, including his old brigade, at 
the close of the seven days' fight, returned from Harrison's 
Landing to within three miles of Eichmond and went into 
camp. On the evening of the second day after our arrival 
Charley French, my dog-tent messmate, and myself got 
passes to spend the next day in Richmond. Neither of us 
had ever been in Richmond and we intended to make a 
day of it. But when morning came we had orders to march 
to Richmond sure enough; but it was for the whole corps. 
We marched there and took the cars for Louisa Court House. 
That was the only time I was in Richmond during the war. 

When we arrived at Louisa Court House we went into 
camp near town. The next day Tom Powell and myself 
got a pass from our Captain to go out in the country and 
"forage" for something good tb eat. So we traveled around 
the country, stopping at farm houses, and, finally, got a 
good dinner, and there heard that at the next station, a 
short distance off, there was a store where they kept whiskey 
for sale. We then sallied forth, thinking we would get 
our canteens full to take to camp. When we arrived at 
the place. the merchant told us he had some whiskey to sell, 
but that General Jones was making his headquarters at his 
house, and had forbidden him to sell any to soldiers without 
an order from him. I asked him what Jones it was, when he 
replied, "General J. R. Jones, of the 2d Brigade." Now 
we were personally acquainted with General Jones, for he 
had been Captain and afterwards Lieutenant Colonel of our 
regiment. I then studied up a plan to get the whiskey. I 
told him to conduct me to General Jones' room, which he did. 

Upon entering his presence I saluted him, and he rec- 
ognized me and enquired my business. I then said, "Gen- 
eral, I have a pass here from my Captain for this day in 
order to procure some extra rations, and he told me if I 

found any whiskey in my rounds to bring him a canteen 
full to camp. The gentleman here says he has some^ but 
can not let me have any without your orders, and I would 
like to have your consent/^ 

He looked at me a few moments, and, knowing my 
Captain was quite fond of a dram, he said: *^N"ow, you 
are not telling me a lie, are you, in order to get it for 
yourself? You are certain your Captain will get it?^' 

"0, no, I am not lying. General ; I will deliver it safely,*' 
I replied. 

Then, addressing the merchant, he told him to let me 
have a canteen full. I asked him if he could not let us 
have two canteens full. 

"No,** says he, "that is enough, and I will ask Captain 
Grace the next time I see him if you delivered it saiely.'* 

We then got the whiskey and tried to get the mer- 
chant to fill the other canteen, but it was "no go.^ We 
each got an extra dram from him, and that was all; but 
Captain Grace nor any one else ever saw or heard anything 
of that canteen of whiskey. 

I was afraid for a long time that Greneral Jones would 
ask my Captain about it, but he never did. Some time after- 
wards I told my Captain how I had run the blockade for a 
canteen of whiskey on his responsibility, but he just laughed 
at the trick. 

After leaving Jones's headquarters we started for camp. 
On the way we met with a very clever farmer, who sold us 
a nice ham, some lard and butter, and invited us to stay all 
night, which we concluded to do, and were treated very 
kindly. After breakfast the next morning we went to camp and 
found the brigade had marched towards Gordonsville about 
one-half hour before we arrived. Some of the boys had 
put our guns in the wagon, but our knapsacks, full of nice 
things that we had gotten at the Richmond fight, were car- 
ried off by some stragglers, which we regretted very much. 

We soon followed the brigade up the railroad towards 
Gordonsville, and before overtaking it a train of cars passed 
us loaded with wounded from Eichmond which were being 
taken to Staunton. As it was running very slowly we jumped 
aboard and rode to Gordonsville and got there ahead of the 



The Barrel Shirt. 

Is this soldier doing this for fun? 
Not much, he ain't. He was absent 
from camp without leave and came 
back drunk. The Colonel thinks this 
will sober him. 

Tied Up By the Thumht. 

The way of the transgressor is 

Carrying the Bail. 

Been absent without leave, and 
sentenced to carry the rail eight 
hours under guard. 


brigade. While v^e were in a house getting our dinner the 
brigade marched through town and went into camp about 
one mile beyond. 

General Winder, commanding our brigade, had issued 
orders that morning that when the regimente halted tb camp, 
and stacked arms, the roll should be called, and all who were 
absent should be bucked the next day from sunrise to sunset; 
that he was determined to break up straggling in ttie bri- 
gade. As I and my friend Powell were not there in time to 
answer to roll call we were included in the number to be 

Now, bucking a soldier is tying his hands together at 
the wrists and slipping them down over his knees and ttien 
running a stick through under the knees and over the arms. 
Gagging is placing a bayonet in the mouth and tying it with 
a string behind his neck. 

Some of the oflScers complained to General Winder about 
the severity of the order and tried to get him to revoke it; 
but it was no use — ^it had to be done. Accordingly about thirty 
belonging to the brigade were taken out in the woods the 
next morning, placed under guard, and bucked from sun- 
rise to sunset. It was a tiresome and painful situation, as 
we had to sit cramped up all day in one position, and if 
a fellow happened to fall over one of the guards would 
have to sit him up. 

We were all as mad as fury about it, for it was a 
punishment that had never been inflicted in our brigade 
before. That night, after we were released, about one-half 
of the number deserted. 

We marched the next day a short distance, but I would 
not ^^fall in ranks.^^ I told my Captain I did not intend 
to answer to roll call that evening, and if I was bucked again 
for straggling it would be the last time; that I would never 
shoulder my musket again for a cause that would treat 
soldiers in that manner. 

Some of the officers then went to General Jackson and 
made complaint about Winder's order. He sent Winder word 
that he did not want to hear of any more bucking in that 
brigade for straggling. That was the last of it, and the only 
time it was ever done. General Winder would often have 


some of the men tied up by the thumbs at his headquarters 
all day for some small offense. 

He was a good General and a brave man, and knew 
how to handle troops in battle; but was very severe, and very 
tyrannical, so much so that he was "spotted^' by some of 
the brigade; and we could hear it remarked by some one 
near every day that the next fight we got into would be the 
last for Winder. So it proved ; for in a short time we fought 
the battle of Cedar Eun, or Slaughter Mountain, and General 
Winder was killed. But he was killed by a shell from the 
enemy before the brigade was engaged. 

We lay in camp near Gordonsville about three weeks, 
nothing of interest transpiring, but all taking a good rest 
after our severe campaigns. From the time we left Swift 
Eun Gap, about the first of May, we had marched hundreds 
of miles and fought seven general battles, viz.: McDowell, 
Front Eoyal, Winchester, Cross Keys, Port Eepublic, Cold 
Harbor and Malvern Hill, besides some smaller engagements 
and skirmishes, and had defeated and demoralized four sep- 
arate armies, viz. : Milroy's, Banks', Fremont's and Shield's ; 
had cleared the whole Valley of the enem/y and assisted Gen- 
eral Lee to defeat McClellan and banish the foe from before 
Richmond. We had remained in no camp over three days at 
one time until we reached Gordonsville; but had marched 
and fought the enemy, often marching all night and often 
through rain and mud, and never, during that time, did 
General Jackson have over twenty thousand men, and often 
not that. History does not record more brilliant campaigns 
within the short period of a little over two months than 
those of "Stonewall" Jackson. 

We had in the Army of Northern Virginia General 
"Stonewair Jackson, Generals A. P. Hill and D. H. Hill, 
General Early, General Pickett and General Longstreet. So 
we would tell the enemy, or send them word, that before 
they could capture Richmond they would have to wake up 
"Early," charge the "Pickett," have two big "Hills" to climb, 
a "Longstreet" to pass through and a "Stonewall" to batter 
down, and that they would find it a hard road to travel. 

While in camp near Gordonsville we heard that General 
Pope, from the West, had taken command of the Federal 


Army, and that he was going to Eichmond sure. He was 
going to show us how to fight; that he had never seen any- 
thing but the back of a Rebel yet, and would head his dis- 
patches, ^headquarters in the Saddle." I heard that Gen- 
eral Jackson sent him word that it was "strange that a Gen- 
eral would have his headquarters where his hindquarters 
ought to be." 

We had been victorious in so many battles that the boys 
were rather anxious to meet General Pope; and we could 
hear it remarked in camp, "Just wait Hill Old Jack gets a 
chance at him ; he'll take some of the starch out of him." 

We did not have long to wait, for we soon heard that 
he was advancing on us and had crossed the Rappahannock 
river, and was in Culpeper county. On the 8th of August 
we left camp, marched toward the enemy, passed through 
Orange Court House, crossed the Rapidan river and went 
into camp about one mile beyond. The day was hot and 
several men dropped dead in ranks from sunstroke. 

The next morning we were on the march and soon 
heard some skirmishing. We still advanced until about 
12 o'clock, when we filed out of the road to the left and 
were formed in line of battle in a piece of woods and halted. 
We had not been there long before the artillery opened out 
on both sides and shells rattled through the woods over our 
heads very lively. We advanced in line slowly for some dis- 
tance and could hear the infantry at it on our right as if 
heavily engaged. In a few moments we reached an open 
field with woods on each side. As we entered it the right 
and left of our brigade extended into the woods. My regi- 
ment being on the right was partly in the woods. When 
we were about half way across the field we met the enemy's 
line lying down behind a small slope. We commenced fir- 
ing and advancing — the enemy returning the fire — ^but as 
our line on the left was about one regiment longer than 
theirs the brigade kept on advancing and coming around 
on a wheel. The first line of the enemy fell back on the 
second; and as our regiment reached the edge of the woods 
we came to a wheat field that was cut and shocked. There 
the firing was very heavy. We halted at the fence, when 
Major HoUiday, commanding the regiment, ordered us sev- 


eral times to advance, and, as we were slow getting over the 
fence, he says: "Get over the fence with the colors and I 
know the men will follow/' The color bearer sprang over, 
and the whole regiment at the same time. The color bearer 
was shot down; but the colors did not more than touch the 
ground before they were up again. 

Major Holliday lost his arm and was taken to the rear. 
We had severe fighting for a short time, when the enemy 
broke. An oflScer came dashing down between the- lines to 
rally them and was riddled with bullets. He was a Lieu- 
tenant Colonel,* I know, for I took particular notice of his 
shoulder straps a few minutes afterwards; they were such 
beautiful ones, with silver leaf. 

We pursued the enemy two miles, until dark, and lay 
in line all night. At one time we received a shower of 
shells from the enemy, but we did not reply. 

So ended the 9th of August, 1862, and the battle of 
Cedar Eun, and Mr. Pope had a chance to see the faces of 
the "Johnnie Kebs,'' but would rather have seen their backs. 

Our Brigadier General, C. S. Winder, heretofore re- 
ferred to, was commanding our division in this battle, and in 
the commencement of the fight was riding forward, giving 
some instructions to a battery, when he was mortally wounded 
by a shell from the enemy and died in a short time. I saw 
him as he was carried back by the brigade on a stretcher. 
His death was not much lamented by the brigade, for it 
probably saved some of them the trouble of carrying out 
their threats to kill him. I would not have done it had I 
the chance; but I firmly believe it would have been done 
by some one in that battle. 

The next day the army was marched back to the rear 
a short distance and went into camp. Everything was quiet. 

♦Lieutenant Colonel Louis H. D. Crane, 3d Regiment Wisconsin 
Infantry, was killed August 9, 1862, at the battle of Cedar Mountain, 
Va., falling from his dark claybank horse inside the fence in the 
wheat field. The extreme right of Union army that day was 27th 
Indiana Infantry; next, 3d Wisconsin Infantry, then the 2d Massa- 
chusetts Infantry. Most respectfully yours, 

Formerly Company H, 3d Regiment Wisconsin Infantry. 


our cavalry being deployed in front. A detail was made 
to bury the dead and gather up the guns, etc. I was on the 
gun detail. We gathered them up, loaded them in wagons 
and started them to the rear. 

Just as we were starting for camp some soldiers, who 
were straggling over the battle field, commenced running 
and saying the Yankee cavalry was charging. We looked 
and saw them coming, and for a few moments it caused 
quite a stampede; but it turned out to be a flag of truce 
come to bury the dead and get the wounded. But as we 
went to camp we found the stampede had gained strength 
as it went; we found wagons hitched up and pulling for 
the rear, and the troops out in line of battle ; but it was 
soon settled down. 

General Jackson fought this battle with his corps, and 
he gave General Pope a foretaste of what was to follow if 
he remained in Virginia long. We remained here two days 
and then marched back to our old camp near Gordonsville, 
and General Pope fell back across the Eappahannock. 



The enemy, being heavily reinforced, commenced ad- 
vancing their cavalry again, and had got as far as Orange 
Court House when General Lee came on from Eichmond 
with the whole army. 

On the 20th of August we again took up the line of 
march and crossed the Eapidan river and went on to the 
Rappahannock. We lay along the south bank, while the 
enemy occupied the north bank of the river. A continual 
firing, by both infantry and artillery, was kept up, each 
army trying to cross, or making believe they were trying 
to, and each army failed in every attempt, until one morn- 
ing General Jackson started to the rear with his corps. 

As we passed through a small village we were .ordered 
to leave our knapsacks in some vacant building with men 
to guard them. We then knew what was up the same as 
if "Stonewair^ had told us. It simply meant a ^^forced march 
and a flank movement.^^ We then turned our course west- 
ward up the Rappahannock, and, after marching some dis- 
tance, crossed the river and turned east towards Alexan- 
dria. After marching two days and nights, with very little 
rest, we struck the Orange and Alexandria railroad, at 
Bristoe Station; captured several trains of cars, and, leav- 
ing General EwelFs Division there, went a few miles to 
Manassas Junction, where we captured several more trains, 
a large amount of commissary stores and several sutlers. 
We also dispersed and captured a brigade of the enemy tliat 
was guarding that point. 

We were now completely in General Pope's rear, and 
between his army and Washington City. General Lee, with 
the greater portion of our army, was in his* front at the 
river. We had no wagon train with us except ordnance 
wagons, medical wagons and ambulances. 

We had started with but three days' rations, and if we 


had failed to make those captures we would have been in 
a barren country without rations. We remained there all 
day loading ourselves with provisions. The soldiers were 
at liberty to take all they wanted except the sutler stores, 
which were kept under guard for the officers. But we would 
form in a solid mass around the tents and commence push- 
ing one another towards the center until the guard, who 
was not very particular about it, would give way, and then 
we would make the good things fly for a short time, until 
some officer would ride up with more guards and disperse 
us. We kept this up imtil we had gobbled up nearly every- 
thing, when we would look aroimd for fresh supplies. I 
went to the commissary building, which was full of army 
rations up to the roof. I soon found, in one corner of the 
second story, a room filled with officers^ rations and several 
soldiers supplying themselves with coffee, sugar, molasses, 
etc. When we had appropriated all we could carry we 
found a barrel of whiskey, which we soon tapped; but as 
we had our canteens full of molasses, and our tin cups full 
of sugar, we had nothing to drink out of. We soon found 
an old funnel, however, and while one would hold his hand 
over the bottom of it another would draw it full. In this 
way it was passed around. But the officers soon found us 
out and broke up that game. 

We then sallied forth in quest of more plunder, and 
went to the captured trains of cars. They were loaded with 
everything belonging to an army — such as ammimition for 
infantry and artillery, harness, tents, blankets, clothing, hos- 
pital stores, and several loads of cofl5ns for officers to be sent 
home in (we didn't want them), and one car was loaded with 
medical stores in boxes. Here we found something we did 
want, for each box had stored away in it from four to eight 
bottles of fine brandy and whiskey. We soon commenced 
tearing them to pieces, throwing the medicine around in 
every direction in search of bottles. I squeezed into the car 
among a number of others and got a box opened and found 
eight bottles of brandy in it. I then told a comrade at the 
car door that as I got them I would pass the bottles to him 
and he should hide them away and we would divide. Our 
surgeons, seeing that it was a medical car, came up and 


begged us to save the morphine and chloroform, as they 
were scarce articles in our army and they would greatly 
need them in the coming battle. But we paid no heed to 
their entreaties, telling them that we had no use for medi- 
cine. They then rode off and informed General Jackson 
how affairs stood. He then ordered the guard to disperse 
us and save the medicines. I had just passed my chum four 
bottles when some oflScer came with a guard to rout us out. 
I slipped the other four under my jacket. As I was pass- 
ing out of the car door some one jammed me against the side 
of the car and broke one of my bottles; but I escaped with 
three. I met my partner outside, but the guard had relieved 
him of his four. We then' went to the regiment, where I 
divided two of them with my Captain and the company, 
keeping one for myself. 

We now heard firing up the railroad, where we had left 
Gleneral Ewell, and soon learned that General Pope was 
coming down on us with his army like an avalanche. We 
remained there until dark, when we had orders to burn up 
everything that was left, which was soon done. When the 
ammunition cars got on fire they made as great a racket as 
if a big battle was going on. General Jackson then started 
on the march to the old battle ground of Bull Eun. 

We had had a great day of plundering and eating, and I 
was somewhat tired. So, after marching some distance, T 
lay down in a fence corner and went to sleep ; but was soon 
roused up by the rear guard, who told me if I did not want 
to be captured that I had better go on, as the enemy would 
soon be there. I then marched on and soon came to whei« 
the roads forked. Some troops had taken one road and some 
the other, and I could not find out which one my brigade 
had taken; but I took one of the roads and reached Center- 
ville a little after daylight. I found that my brigade had 
taken the other road and was a few miles west of Center- 
ville, near Sudley church. I then started for my command, 
and had gone about one mile when one of our cavalrymen 
came dashing by leading a mule and said to me : "The Yan- 
kee cavalry are in Centerville and if you don^t want to be 
captured jump on this mule,^^ which I was glad to do, and 
we went up the road as fast as the mules could carry us. 


I had a big load of provisions and five or six pounds of coffee, 
roasted and ground, tied up in a piece of old coffee sack, 
tied to my gun. In, my ride it came loose and I lost it all. 

I also had a fine silver watch, and, on looking for it, 
found it was gone. As the enemy did not appear to be fol- 
lowing I told the cavalryman to halt and I would dismoimt; 
that by riding in that style I would lose all my "commissary,^' 
which I could not afford to do in so critical a time, as we 
knew not where the next was to come from. But upon look- 
ing around I found my watch down next to my belt between 
my fatigue shirt and undershirt. It had got loose from the 
chain and slipped through the pocket in my fatigue shirt 
and my cartridge belt being tight had saved it. 

I write thus particularly now that it may be seen to 
what straits we were put to in emergencies and what means 
were resorted tb by the soldier in the field upon occasions. 
Such an appearance as I presented would be ludicrous enough 
could it be witnessed in these "piping times of peace.'' 

I arrived at the brigade safely, with no loss but my 
coffee, which I had treasured very highly, as genuine coffee 
was a rarity for a Johnnie Eeb. I found my division in 
line of battle in an old field, and some skirmishing going 
on in front. General Jackson had taken his position and 
was waiting for the enemy. They came up in fine style 
about 3 o'clock p. m., when we opened fire on them. We 
had a terrible fight, which lasted until 9 o'clock at night, 
neither party giving back, but remaining as we had com- 
menced, and being guided in our firing by the flash of the 
other's guns. But the firing gradually ceased, each army re- 
taining the same position as before. My brigade was behind 
an old fence, and would lie down, load and fire, and it 
seemed that every one who would raise up was shot. 

We lost severely. My company had but seventeen men 
in the fight, and we lost five killed and mortally wounded, 
five severely wounded and one missing, who was supposed 
to be killed, for he never turned up afterward nor was he 
ever heard of after the war. The whole brigade lost in the 
same proportion. Colonel Neff, of my regiment, was killed, 
and Lieutenant Joseph Earsome, of my company, was mor- 
tally wounded. He had just been transferred from the 2d 


Eegiment to ours. General Ewell lost a leg, and our loss 
in officers was great. 

We carried the wounded back that night a short distance 
to a piece of woods. Major F. W. M. HoUiday had been 
wounded at Cedar Eun; Lieutenant Colonel Edwin G. Lee 
was absent sick, and Colonel Neff being killed, it left us 
without a field officer. Captain Grace of my company being 
the oldest officer, took command of the regiment. We had 
our old wheel horse, "Stonewair^ left, and knew he could 
manage affairs. 

The next morning the enemy was gone from our front, 
but had only changed position, and skirmishing soon com- 
menced. My Captain told me to get Lieutenant Earsome, 
who was shot through the bowels, into an ambulance and 
take him to the hospital at Sudley church, which I did. 
After going a short distance, he said he could not stand the 
jolting of the ambulance and wanted us to take him out. 
We did so, and, making a stretcher out of two rails and a 
blanket, four of us started to carry him on our shoulders, 
but soon met the ambulances and wounded coming back in 
a hurry, saying the enemy was at Sudley and we would have 
to go in another direction. After going to the rear, as we 
thought, some distance, the enemy suddenly ran a battery 
up on a hill in front of us and commenced shelling. I told 
the other boys that we would stop and rest until we found 
where the rear was, if there was any rear, as the enemy ap- 
peared to be on three sides of us, and, perhaps, would soon 
be on the fourth; but we soon saw a yellow flag hoisted to 
denote a hospital, and we went to it. I tiien got a surgeon 
to examine the Lieutenant's wound. When he had done so, 
he said that he was shot through and through and his 
entrails were cut; that he could not live and he could do 
nothing for him. 

As I was a particular friend of his, he asked me to 
remain with him and take care of him until he died, as he 
knew he could not live. 

I told him I would like to do so, but could not do it 
without permission from the Captain. He begged me to go 
and see the Captain, as he knew his dying request would be 






I immediately did so, when my Captain said: "Cer- 
tainly, remain with him; and when he dies bury him and 
join the company/^ 

I went back to him and did all I could for him, but he 
suffered terribly; he could not lie still, but was up and 
down continually, and I worried with him all day and all 
night. The next morning he died, when I buried him as 
decently as I could and then joined my regiment. 

There had been some fighting the day previous, but no 
general engagement, as General Jackson wanted to hold his 
position and keep off a general battle until General Lee 
should arrive with the balance of the army. As Lee was 
following General Pope's army, and had to pass through 
Thoroughfare Gap, a gorge in the mountain, and his pas- 
sage was disputed by the enemy, he was kept back some 
time. Our condition appeared critical, indeed, for we had 
lost severely and were being hemmed in on all three sides 
by nearly the whole army of the enemy; our retreat cut off, 
and no assistance possible until Lee and Longstreet could 
arrive. But the way was forced, and we could see clouds of 
dust rising up between us and the mountain and we knew 
assistance was at hand if we could hold out a little longer. 
Soon cheer after cheer rent the air as General Longstreet 
arrived and straitened out the line on our right. 

The night was spent in forming troops. Our division 
was formed along the line of the Alexandria, Loudoun and 
Hampshire railroad, which had been graded before the war, 
but never finished, and served as a breastwork. At day- 
light on the third day skirmishing commenced and was 
kept up, but the firing increased as brigade after brigade 
became engaged, until about 3 o'clock p. m., when the whole 
line on both sides became heavily engaged. It was one con- 
tinuous roar from right to left. My brigade was in a small 
cut, with a field in front sloping down about four hundred 
yards to a piece of wood. The enemy would form in the 
woods and come up the slope in three lines as regular as 
if on drill, and we would pour volley after volley into them 
as they came; but they would still advance until within a 
few yards of us, when they would break aud fall back to the 
woods, where they would rally and come again. They 


charged in this maner three times, and the third time, as 
they broke, we were ordered to charge, and as Longstreet's 
corps had turned their left, our whole line charged and the 
rout became general. But the stone bridge over Bull Run 
became blocked up with artillery and caissons, and we could 
not cross with our artillery; and as it was getting dark, this 
put an end to the conflict. If we could have had a few hours 
more of daylight they would never have been able to rally 
until they reached Alexandria. It was a terrible battle, and 
both sides lost severely. The slope in front of us was cov- 
ered with dead, dying and woimded; but my brigade lost 
but few, as we were protected by the railroad. Thus ended 
the second battle of Manassas, the 28th, 29th and 30th days 
of August, 1862. 

General W. S. H. Baylor, commanding the brigade, for- 
merly Colonel of the 5th Virginia, was killed the evening 
of the third days' fight, in the railroad cut. He had just 
grabbed the colors of the 33d Virginia from the dead color- 
bearer and was rushing to the front. Colonel C. A. Ronald, 
of the .4th Virginia, took command of the brigade, and Cap- 
tain P. T. Grace took command of the 33d Regiment. 

Charles Amall,*- of Staimton, Va., and who was General 
W. S. H. Baylor's Adjutant and Chief of Staff, but now 
living in Atlanta, Ga., tore the flag of the 33d Virginia 
from the staff that General Baylor was holding when killed, 
replaced it with a new one, and still has that flag, and has 
it on exhibition at the Confederate Reimions. 

*He is now dead. 



The next day after the battle the enemy came up with 
a flag of truce and a long train of ambulances to get their 
wounded. A few hours were granted them; and they gath- 
ered up all they could take and left. We gathered up the 
dead by wagon loads and threw them into a cut in the rail- 
road — ^hundreds together. 

I must here relate an incident that happened during 
this campaign, which, probably, has never before been re- 
corded. Before we left Gordonsville we had a general court- 
martial, and among the prisoners to be punished for deser- 
tion there were four to be shot from our division, three be- 
longing to the 10th Virginia, in the 3d Brigade, and one to 
the 5th Virginia, in my brigade. They were the first that had 
been sentenced to be shot for desertion in our division. While 
on the march, as we went into camp for the night near "Pis- 
gah Church,^^ in Orange County, their sentences were read to 
them. They were to be executed the next day; but in the 
night one of the doomed men, belonging to the 10th Vir- 
ginia, by the name of Eothgeb, broke through the guard and 
ran for dear life and made his escape to the enemy, who were 
close by. The others were taken out the next day and exe- 
cuted; after which we resumed our march. In the battle 
of Manassas, which soon came off, all three of the oflScers 
who composed the court-martial were killed or mortally 
wounded (my Colonel, A. J. Neff, being one of the number), 
and most of the soldiers looked upon it as a judgment. 

But no one cast any reflections upon our Colonel, for 
he was a splendid oflScer, a gallant man and always treated 
us with respect and kindness. He was greatly beloved by 
the whole regiment, and his death was much lamented. 

The next year General Lee issued a general order, re- 
citing, I think, a proclamation, pardoning all absentees and 
deserters who would return to their commands in thirty days. 


Then this man Bothgeb returned and was pardoned; but in 
a short time he deserted again. He was afterwards arrested, 
but as the guards were talang him to Richmond to be placed 
in Castle Thunder he jumped from the cars while they were 
running at full speed and made his escape the second time, 
and remained North until the war closed, when he came 

After this severe campaign and the battles of Manassas 
I foimd myself completely used up. I had slept but little 
for six days and nights, and was suffering with sore feet and 
hemorrhoids. I had been worrying night and day with my 
Lieutenant, who died, and could go no further. I, there- 
fore, reported to our surgeon, as the army started on the 
march again, and he sent me to the field hospital near the 
battle ground. When I got there I found a great many 
tents filled with sick and woimded — ^more than the surgeons 
and nurses could attend to. I thought it was a poor place 
to recruit; but upon looking around I found a great many 
farmers there with their wagons, who brought in supplies 
for the wounded, such as butter, milk, chickens, vegetables, 
etc. As one of them, a fatherly-looking old man, was about 
starting home I went to him and told him my condition and 
asked him if he would not take me home with him and take 
care of me until I got well. He was much pleased to do 
so, and would willingly have taken a wagon load if the 
doctors would consent to it; but the wounded had to remain 
in their charge until properly cared for. 

I proceeded home with my farmer, whose name was Lee. 
He lived about ten miles from the hospital in Loudoun 
County. He and his family treated me very kindly and 
gave me every attention. In about a week I felt like a new 
man. General Lee's army had crossed the Potbmac into 
Maryland, and as none of our troops except a few cavalry 
were in this part of Virginia it was open to the enemy 
from Alexandria, and the sick and wounded were being re- 
moved to Winchester. After remaining at my friend Lee's 
ten days, I went to the hospital at Aldie, and was sent from 
there to Winchester, but was as well as ever. When we were 
within a few miles of Winchester I left the main road, 
"flanked'' around Winchester and went home. I remained 


at home until General Lee^s army came back from Mary- 
land into Virginia, and camped a few miles north of Win- 
chester at a small place called Bmiker's Hill, when I left 
home and reported to my regiment. 

A few days after the Manassas battle part of our army 
had a short, but hard, engagement with the enemy at Ox 
Hill, or Chantilly, on the Little Eiver turnpike. 

It was in this battle, and inside our lines, that (Jeneral 
Philip Kearney, a Federal General, spoken of in both armies 
as "Brave Phil Kearney,^^ was killed. The Southern soldiers 
had so much respect for him that his body was wrapped in 
a captured United States flag and sent to their lines after 
the battle. 

The army thei crossed the Potomac into Maryland, 
went to Frederick City and marched up the left bank of the 
Potomac; the enemy, imder General McClellan, following. 
They had a considerable battle on the South Mountains and 
at Crampton^s Gap, and afterwards a general engagement at 
Antietam, or Sharpsburg, on the 17th of September. Gten- 
eral Starks, Brigadier General of the Louisiana Brigade, 
was commanding the division and was killed. In the mean- 
time General Jackson surrounded the enemy at Harper's 
Ferry and compelled them to surrender, capturing a large 
quantity of artillery, wagons, army stores aud eleven thou- 
sand prisoners, who were paroled on the ground for want 
of men to guard them to the rear. Jackson had to hurry 
back to Antietam to support Lee. 

The battle of Antietam was one of the severest battles 
of the war. The loss was very heavy on both sides; but 
neither army was defeated. General Lee did not fall back 
until the next night, when he fell back across the Potomac 
into Virginia. The Federal Army was too much crippled 
to follow. They claimed, however, a great victory; but Gen- 
eral Lee would have been compelled to fall back into Vir- 
ginia if he had defeated the enemy. His supplies were in 
Virginia, and he had but a small force in Maryland, as the 
greater portion of his army had been killed, wounded, or 
had straggled before crossing into Maryland. The coimtry 
was covered with stragglers from Eichmond to the Potomac 
on account of hard marching and hard fighting, and a few 










days after the battle in Maryland his army was larger than 
it was during the fight. If the enemy had followed him into 
Virginia he would have been repulsed. A considerable force 
of the enemy did attempt to cross the Potbmac at Shepherds- 
town, and several brigades actually crossed, but were repulsed 
by General A. P. Hill with great slaughter. 

We remained in the lower Valley of Virginia for some 
time, recruiting the army and making raids on the Baltimore 
and Ohio railroad, from above Martinsburg down to Harper's 
Ferry, destroying the road, burning the ties and bridges and 
that company^s works at Martinsburg. After destroying the 
road we would fall back to Bunker Hill, when the enemy 
would rebuild the road and get the cars to running. We 
would then make another raid and destroy it again ; but no 
general engagement followed. 

One time our brigade went down to the railroad to Kear- 
neysville, a few miles south of Shepherdstown, and while 
we were destroying the track a division of the enemy came 
out from Shepherdstown and attacked us and we had to give 
up the job and fall back; but before we fell back we were 
formed in line of battle, and my company and Company "W 
were put in a small redoubt near the station in advance of the 
line. When the line fell back we had no orders to leave, 
and remained there until the enemy had crossed the rail- 
road above and below us and were closing in on us in front, 
when we left without orders, and joined the brigade at 
double-quick. If we had stayed a few moments longer we 
would have been captured. 

We then fell back about one mile, in a piece of woods, 
and took a stand and remained until dark, but the enemy 
did not attack us. We had several killed and wounded. 
Colonel Ronald, commanding the brigade, was wounded, 
when Colonel Grigsby, of the 27th Virginia, took command. 
We started back to camp at dark and went several miles. It 
rained in torrents and was so dark we could hardly get 
along. We finally camped in an old mill that accommodated 
the whole brigade ; and the next morning went on to our 
old camp at Bunker Hill. 

We remained in the lower Valley for some time, mov- 
ing about from place to place, nothing of interest trans- 


piring. Colonel E. F. Paxton, of the 27th Begiment, was 
promoted to Brigadier General of the brigade; Lieutenant 
Colonel Lee was promoted to Colonel of my regiment; Ma- 
jor F. W. M. HoUiday (afterwards Governor of Virginia) 
was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and Captain Grace (my 
Captain) was promoted to Major; consequently we had to 
have a new Captain, and First Lieutenant William Powell 
was promoted to that rank. 

About the 1st of December the whole army started on 
the march to Fredericksburg, as the enemy were moving in 
that direction from Washington under the command of Gen- 
eral Bumside, with another "On to Bichmond/* Majw 
Grace's family being all sick or dying, he resigned and went 
home. The first day the army passed through Winchester 
and camped near Newtown, and, as usual, I stopped in Win- 
chester and remained for the night. 

The next morning as I was on my way to join the 
command I met Sergeant M. Miller and Private W. A. 
Daily of my company. They informed me that eight men of 
our company had deserted that night and gone home to 
Hampshire, with the intention of mounting themselves and 
joining the cavalry, as they were determined not to go east 
of the Blue Eidge again, being tired of the foot cavalry. 
Consequently they (Miller and Daily) were detailed and 
supplied with written instructions to go to Hampshire County 
and try to persuade them and other absentees to return to 
their company, and to tell them if they would do so they 
would not be punished; but if they refused they would be 
punished to the full extent of martial law. 

Sergeant Miller wanted me to go along with them and 
be included in the detail. I was very anxious to do so, but 
was fearful I would get into trouble, but he assured me he 
would be responsible for my absence, when I readily con- 
sented to go. Now it was rather a critical undertaking for 
a small squad of Southern soldiers to go into Hampshire 
armed with rifles, in those days, as the county was in pos- 
session of the enemy, who were camped at Springfield and 
Eomney, and who were scouting all over the country. Our 
absentees lived in and around Springfield; therefore, when 
we reached the borders of the county we had to move cau- 


tiously, keeping to the byroads and woods as much as possi- 
ble. But we succeeded very well, as we were raised there 
and knew every hog-path and knew who were Union men 
and who were Eebels. 

We remained in that neighborhood about two weeks, 
stopping at houses where we would be safe in the daytime 
and visiting the members of the company at night. In that 
manner we saw nearly all of them, but got but one man 
(Thomas McGraw) to consent to go back with us. 

The Federals had told these absentees if they would 
remain at home peaceatly and not go to bushwhacking they 
would not molest them^ for they knew if they arrested them 
and sent them to prison they would be exchanged and put 
in ranks again; butaf they did not molest them the proba- 
bilities were that they would remain at home. 

Those absentees were all good soldiers, but they were 
tired of the infantry, and said they would do service in the 
cavalry; they knew as soon as General Jackson found out 
they had joined the cavalry he would send for them and 
have them brought back to the infantry, and they were de- 
termined never to do service in the infantry any more. If 
he would give them a transfer to cavalry they would go in 
service again; if not, they would remain at home or go 
across the lines. Therefore, we could do nothing with them, 
as we had no orders to arrest them, and could not have got- 
ten out with them if we had. 

So we concluded to return to our company and report. 
But before we started back I told the boys I must go into 
Springfield and see some of my old friends. We were stop- 
ping within two miles of town, and there was a company of 
Federal cavalry quartered in town (Captain Greenfield's 
company, 100 strong). They said I would be captured; 
but I told them I would risk it. I was wearing a blue over- 
coat and Mrs. Conley gave me a pair of blue pants, so I 
thought if I was seen by any one I would be taken for a 

The weather was very cold, and about one hour before 
dark I slipped through the woods and posted myself on a 
high hill about one-half mile from town, and watched where 
they posted their pickets for the night. 


There were two roads which led through the town, and 
they crossed in the center at right angles. There was a 
picket post on each of the four roads a few hundred yards 
out of town. As it grew dark I went down the hill, through 
an open field in the angle formed by the roads, until I came 
to the rear lot of Mr. John W. Shouse^s house, got over the 
fence, went through the back yard and onto the porch, and 
there waited for developments. 

I had heard that the officers and some of the privates 
were boarding with the citizens, and that I had better be 
careful how I entered a house. I listened for a few mo- 
ments and then looked in at the window, and, seeing no one 
but the family, I cautiously opened the door and went in. 
Mrs. Shouse raised her hands in astonishment and was as 
much surprised as if one had arisen from the dead. Every 
one in the town, both black and white, had known me from 
my childhood up. There were but one or two Union men 
in the place, and I was not afraid of them reporting me; 
neither was I afraid of the blacks; but still I did not want 
them to know I was there. 

After I got in the first house I felt safe. I could then 
lay my plans for seeing my friends, as I intended to stay 
all night and run the blockade before daylight. I conversed 
with the family a short time and then got Miss Gennie 
Shouse to rim across the street to the house of Mr. John 
Hawes, who lived in my old home, to see if the coast was 
clear. I then went over, for I wanted to see the house that 
I had spent most of my boyhood days in, not knowing 
whether I would ever see it again. I did not stay there long, 
however, for Mrs Hawes appeared so frightened for fear I 
would be captured; besides it made me feel sad, as the old 
house brought back to memory scenes of other days when 
all was joy and peace. To think that I had to sneak back 
like an outlaw, in the night, to look once more upon the 
scenes of my childhood, and then depart to the distant bat- 
tle-field, and, perhaps, leave my bones bleaching in the sun, 
was too much. I had to leave. 

I then went up the street a short distance to the resi- 
dence of Mrs. Daily, whose son, William, was in the country 
waiting my return. They were glad to see me and hear from 


their son and brother. I will state that a Eebel soldier from 
"Lee's Army'' was quite a curiosity in that place, for the 
enemy had possession of the country from the time the war 
commenced until it ended, except during some occasional 
raids made by our cavalry. 

The next place I wanted to visit was the house of Mr. 
Uriah Blue, who had lost a son in our company; but he 
lived near the center of the village, and I was told iiiere was 
a sentinel a few yards from his house on the store porch. 
But I struck out down the street whistling "Yankee Doodle/' 
and soon met the relief picket going out to the post in the 
west end of town. I passed on down, walking on the side- 
walk, while they kept in the middle of the street. 

As soon as I arrived at Mr. Blue's house I reconnoitered 
a short time and then went in. Mr. Blue told me that a 
Federal officer had just left his house a few moments be- 
fore I came. I was perfectly lionized by the family. I had 
intended to go to Mr. James KuykendalFs house, but learned 
there were five or six Yankees in there spending the evening, 
so I concluded it might not be agreeable to all concerned, and 
remained where I was. But Mr. K's family all came to see 
me, one at a time, as it was only a few doors away, and so 
were able to entertain their company at the same time. 

It was now getting late, and I concluded to go to Mr. 
Jacob Grace's (my Captain's father) house and spend the 
remainder of the night. His residence was the last house 
in the lower end of the town ; so when I left Blue's I went 
through the back lots and down the back street, then up 
through the garden to the house. There was a back porch 
to the house, and I knew the family stayed in the dining 
room in the wing building. I boldly stepped onto the porch 
and was about to enter when I thought I had better be 
careful, as there might be someone in there whom I did not 
care to see. So I took ofE my shoes, slipped up to the 
window, sat down on a bench and listened. The window was 
down and I could not see in; but after listening for some 
time I found out that Mr. Yankee was in there. As it was 
very cold I went into the hall of the main building and sat 
down about half way up the stairs in order to retreat further 
up if necessary. 


After sitting there some time I heard some one come 
into the yard and go to the well and draw some water; at 
the same time I heard the dining-room door open and shut; 
but as no one passed through the hall I thought they were all 
in there still. After waiting some time and getting very 
cold, I heard the door open and some one come out on the 
porch and into the hall. I then went further up the stairs. 
He passed through the hall, opened the front door, and shut 
it. I now thought my Yankee was gone and I would go 
down and entertain the family; but as soon as I started 
down the steps some one started up, so I wheeled and ran up 
the first flight of stairs and then on up the second flght to 
the garret. When at the turn of the stairs I fell over some- 
thing and came down with considerable racket. Some one 
exclaimed, "Who^s that?" I thought all the time that, per- 
haps, this Yankee boarded there and was coming up stairs 
to go to bed; but as soon as I was challenged I knew the 
voice and felt safe. It was my Captain's brother^ Stephen 
W. Grace, about my own age and one of my old playmates. 
I never answered him, but started down stairs, and he kept 
on hallooing to me making threats, so I made myself 
known. After a hearty hand-shaking I was conducted to the 
sitting room, where there was a nice warm fire in the fire- 
place, and his three sisters. Misses Amelia, Flora and Katie, 
and his father, who was an invalid, confined to his bed. 
Well! I then and there spent several hours, I think, as 
pleasantly as any I ever spent in my life, for the whole 
family were near and dear friends to our family. They 
then explained to me the mistake I had made in thinking 
the Yankee was leaving. He had been gone for some time; 
had left when the one came to the well for water, and had 
gone with him through the back yard while I was expecting 
him to go through the front door. 

I intended leaving there that night and going back to 
where I left Miller and Daily; but they insisted on me stay- 
ing all night and the next day and then go out the next 
night, as I could stay up stairs by a good fire and no one 
would know it. I concluded to do so, and Stephen and I 
went up stairs and retired for the night — ^but not to sleep. 
I believe we talked until daybreak. The next day I enjoyed 


myself hugely. I stayed up stairs all day. They brought 
my meals up to me, and informed friends where I was, so 
I was tHronged with company all day. 

But only one came at a time, in order to avoid suspi- 
cion. Several Yankees were in the house during the day. 
Some ate dinner there at the same time I was eating my 
dinner up stairs. About one hour after dark I bade fare- 
well to my friends, and ran the blockade between the pickets, 
but by a different route from that by which I had come in. 
I arrived safely where the boys were, who had conjectured 
that I was captured, as I did not return the first night. 

I ran a greater risk than I thought I was running at 
the time by having on the blue uniform of the enemy. If 
I had been captured by them in their camp I would have 
been hung as a spy, and there could have been no reprieve 
for it. 



The next day we started to go to our command, which 
we heard had fought the battle of Fredericksburg, and was 
then in winter quarters below Fredericksburg, near Guinea 
Station, on the Eichmond and Potomac railroad. As we 
were passing through the woods and came in sight of a road 
that led out from Springfield, about three miles from there, 
I told the boys to halt and I would go down to the road and 
see if the way was clear before we crossed. I passed on to 
the road. There was a high bank on one side, but as I did 
not see anyone I jumped down the bank and came face to 
face with Double-Thumbed John Kerns, who was walking 
along close to the bank and coming from the Yankee camp. 
I knew in a moment I was caught, for I knew him to be 
one of those meddlesome Union men who took the trouble to 
report to the enemy everything he knew about the Rebels. 
I knew he would have every one of us arrested if he could, 
and I knew if I let him pass he would have a squad of the 
enemy after us in two hours. 

His life had been threatened several times for having 
the boys arrested and reporting the citizens, and I made 
sure he knew me, for he had Imown me from boyhood up. 
I was just revolving in my mind whether to kill him right 
there or call the other boys and take him in the woods and 
kill him, when a few words he uttered saved his life. 

"Have you been out hunting ?^^ he asked. It struck me 
in a moment, from my having a blue overcoat on, he had 
mistaken me for a Yankee from the camp out hunting, and 
I concluded to keep up the deception until I got rid of him. 

"Yes,'^ I replied, ^T)ut I find game scarce.^' I asked 
him if he had been to camp. He said he had ; he had taken 
some butter and eggs to sell, and got a good price from 
the boys. 


I asked him what the boys were doing, and if any of 
them were out on the scout. 

^^No/^ he said, "they are all lying around doing not'hing.^^ 

I then asked him if there were any Eebels about that 
hei knew of. 

"Oh, no,'^ said he, "they are afraid to come in here 
now, except some who have run off from the army and are 
at home, and I can tell you where they all live if you want 
to arrest them.^^ 

"No, we do not want to bother them," I replied, "if 
they will stay at home and not bushwhack us." I then 
ask^d him the time of day, and told him I must hurry on 
to camp, and be there in time for roll call, and left him. 

As soon as he got out of sight I whistled for the boys 
and they came ; they had heard me talking ta some one, and 
when I told them who it was and what had transpired they 
said we ought to have killed him anyhow; but I did not 
want to hurt him if it could be avoided in any way. 

But he was a very meddlesome fellow and did a great 
deal of michief in the neighborhood without doing any good 
for himself. He had two thumbs on one hand, and was 
called "Double-Thumbed John Kerns." He was killed before 
the war was over by some Rebel for reporting. 

We then proceeded on our way and when we reached 
Lost River, about one da/s march from Springfield, we met 
Lieutenant Monroe Blue, belonging to General Imboden^s 
Cavalry Brigade, witti a small squad of soldiers. Lieutenant 
Blue formerly belonged to my company, but had left it and 
joined the cavalry and was elected Lieutenant. , 

He said business was dull in their camp and he thought 
he would come down into Hampshire with a squad and 
gather up some more soldiers, and make a raid on the Yan- 
kees and stir them up and see what they were doing. He 
wanted us to go along with them, as they were going to 
leave their horses and go in on foot. He simply wanted 
to get near their camp and watch the road for some scout- 
ing parties from their camp, and capture them in order to 
get their horses; and all we captured would be divided 
equally among the men. We were just keen for a raid of 


that kind, but Sergeant Miller would not consent to go; he 
woidd, however, give us liberty to go if we wished. 

So we arranged the plan, and were to meet at Mr. 
Ewer^s, on top of South Branch mountain, about six miles 
east of Springfield, and be ready to start at daylight the 
next morning. Lieutenant Blue then left us, and said he 
would hunt up some more men. T. McGraw, W. Daily and 
myself then started for the place of rendezvous, leaving Mil- 
ler behind to await our return or hear of our capture, as the 
case might be. 

The next morning Lieutenant Blue made his appearance 
with a guide and scout (Ed. Montgomery) and we numbered 
in all fifteen, each one armed with a rifle and sixshooter. 
We then marched down the mountain in sigle file imtil we 
reached the river (the south branch of the Potomac), where 
we found a canoe and crossed. We then kept down the 
mountain, going north, aiming to get in rear of their camp. 
It was seven miles from Springfield to the Baltimore and 
Ohio railroad. 

We knew the troops at Springfield and Eomney got their 
supplies at the railroad, and we would aim to post ourselves 
about half way between the railroad and camp and capture 
all that passed. 

We arrived at our point of destination about the middle 
of the day. There was a rail fence on each side of ilie road, 
and on the west side there was a small ravine with some 
scrubby pines. We divided our force, placing one-half at 
a point near the road, and the other half at a point also 
near the road, but about three hundred yards farther down. 
If a scouting party came along, going either north or south, 
the first party was to let them pass until halted by the other 
party and then run out behind them and cut off their re- 
treat. In this manner we would bag our game; but if the 
enemy should be too strong for us to attack we were to keep 
concealed and let them pass. 

We had not been long in position when the lookout re- 
ported a wagon and team coming from the railroad, driven 
by one man. So when he got in our trap two men stepped 
out and ordered him to halt, and opened the fence for him 
to drive in and ordered him to drive up the ravine out of 


sight, which he did. We then got around him in order to 
hear the news. The poor fellow was nearly scared to death; 
thought he had fallen into the hands of guerillas, and that 
his day had come; so he commenced praying and begging; 
but we soon assured him that he should not be hurt; that 
we were regular soldiers, out on a raid of our own get up; 
that all we wanted of him was all the information we could 
get, but if he did not tell us the truth he should surely die. 

He then told us that he had been sent that morning to 
the railroad for a load of beef for the company, but as it 
did not come on the cars he had to return empty ; that there 
were no scouting parties out that he knew of; that they did 
not scout much, as it was too cold; that he had left two 
cavalrymen at the depot and each one had a large sack of 
mail for the troops at Komney and they would be along in 
a short time; that the next day there would be five wagons 
leave camp and go up to Patterson^s Creek, about eight miles 
west of camp, for hay ; that there would be one man besides 
the driver ix) each wagon, and four or five cavalrymen as 
a guard, all armed with six-shooters, and they would leave 
camp about sun-up. He would not have to go, as he had 
gone that day to the depot. 

In a few moments we saw the cavalrymen coming with 
the mail, and when they got into our trap we told them to 
ride in, and we had a fine time plundering the mail and 
reading love letters to the boys in the army. We now had 
four horses and three prisoners. We would have paroled 
the prisoners, but had more work to do and were afraid to 
turn them loose. We did not want to be bothered with them 
and the horses on our next day's raid, so we concluded to 
send them back to the rear that night. Lieutenant Blue 
then detailed three men to take them back to Lost River 
and there wait until we came. 

As soon as it was dark three men started with the three 
prisoners, four horses and the mail, and we started for the 
Frankfort road to be ready for the hay wagons the next 
day. We stayed all night with John Martin, who lived in 
a secluded place, put out a picket and passed the night com- 

Directly after daylight we were on the road, about four 


miles west of Springfield and two miles east of Frankfort. 
We divided in two squads, as on the day before. We held a 
little council of war as to the best method of procedure. 

Ed. Montgomery said we should lay our trap and capt- 
ure the whole outfit as they came from camp, and would 
have daylight to make our escape in, and they would not 
know anything of it in camp until evening, and we would 
be too far ahead for pursuit. I replied that that was all very 
good if we succeeded in capturing all, but if any escaped 
they would only have four miles to go, while we would have 
to make a circuit of about ten before we could cross the road 
leading from Springfield to Komney, and they could cut 
us ofE and capture us; that I thought we had better wait 
until they had got their hay and capture them on their 
return. We could then bum the wagons and have the night 
to go out in, and they could not trail us after dark. But 
we finally concluded to adopt Ed.^s plan, as our escapade 
of the day before would be found out before night and our 
plans foiled. 

It was a cold, icy morning, with a light snow on the 
ground. We did not have long to wait. We soon heard the 
wagons coming, rattling over the frozen ground, and pre- 
pared for them. There were pine bushes on each side of the 
road. I was in the front squad and was to halt the train. 
Our object was to capture; we did not want to kill any one 
or fire a gun if we could help it. Our plan was a good one 
and would have succeeded well if the wagons had been closed 
up; but they were scattered along the road for a quarter of 
a mile. There were three cavalrymen in advance, and when 
they got up to our post we ran out and halted them. One 
surrendered on the spot, but the other two wheeled and 
dashed into the pines and made their escape. Some of the 
boys fired at them, but did no harm. I grabbed the reins 
of the horse belonging to the one who had surrendered, dis- 
mounted and disarmed him, and was about to mount when 
Ed. Motgomery came running up and wanted to ride back 
to the rear to see what was going on. 

As soon as we halted the advance the rear squad ran 
out and captured one cavalryman; but there were three 
wagons that did not get into the trap. 


The wagoners, and all who were with them, jumped out 
and Iran at the first fire and let the horses go; so we had 
to run to the wagons in order to keep the horses from run- 
ning oflf. 

There were five wagons and four guards. We got two 
of the guards and twelve horses; the balance escaped. As 
one man was running across the road Lieutenant Blue shot 
at him and hit him in the arm^ He then ran to where he 
was, tracking him by the blood, and found him in the pines ; 
took his pistol and let him go. 

We were now in a critical condition. We were in rear 
of their camp and had to make a considerable circuit to get 
out. We had to cross the river, and the main road leading 
from Springfield to Eomney, a distance of nine miles, and 
then open country for two miles before we reached the 
mountains; and we knew they would soon have the news 
and be in hot pursuit. So we mounted at once. There were 
twelve of us, and twelve horses; but only two saddles. The 
two prisoners we took on behind us. 

We laid on the whip and went as hard as we could go 
over hill and hollow, through woods and fields, and never 
slackened up until we had crossed the river and the road 
leading to Eomney. When we reached the foot of the moun- 
tain we halted to fix the saddle-blankets and arrange the 
harness, which were still on the horses. I told the boys we 
had better get up the mountain side before we halted for 
fear of being surprised ; but they thought we were safe from 
pursuit. We were sadly disappointed, however, for in a few 
moments the head of the pursuing column came dashing over 
the hill not one hundred yards oflf. 

Part of our men were dismounted, but we soon galloped 
oflf as fast as we could go, the enemy yelling and firing at 
us as rapidly as possible. We soon came to a fence running 
along at the foot of the mountain, and nine of us rode up 
to it, when Daily threw oflf a few rails and we passed through 
and up the steep mountain side. 

Lieutenant Blue, Montgomery and McGraw went to 
another place to get through, but just as they had succeeded 
in getting over the fence, and as Montgomery attempted to 
mount, his saddle turned. By this time the Yankees were 


upon them. They captured the three horses and McGraw. 
Lieutenant Blue and Montgomery ran and hid in the laurels 
and escaped. 

At the first onset we had released the prisoners and 
told them to take care of themselves. The nine of us who 
were together went up the mountain through the brush as 
fast as we could go, the bullets rattling around us, and the 
Yankees in hot pursuit. We nearly all lost our hats, and 
Will Daily had his eye put out by a brush. 

We had made no calculation for a fight after we cap- 
tured the wagons. We knew our only chance was in fiight; 
but if we had posted ourselves at the foot of the moimtain 
we could have ambushed and repulsed them. We did not 
want to hurt any one, nor get hurt ourselves, if we could 
avoid it. We had made a good capture and wanted to get 
away with our booty. As we got near the top of the moun- 
tain our pursurers fell behind, and we made sure the other 
three had been captured at the foot of the mountain. 

The horse I was riding happened to be the oldest in the 
outfit, and gave out before we reached the top. I had to 
dismount and lead him. The other boys wanted to wait for 
me, but I told them to save themselves, and I would try to 
take care of myself the best I could. So they went on as 
fast as possible. After reaching the top I came to an open 
field, and, seeing a thicket of pines off to my right, I thought 
I would hide my horse there and then hide myself until the 
storm had passed. 

I went to the thicket and concealed the horse the best 
I could and then passed out. After going a short distance 
I saw the trail where my companions had just passed along. 
I thought I was leaving the trail and had come back on it 
again ; but it was tbo late then to go back and move the horse. 
Seeing a small house not far off I went to it, not knowing 
whether they were friends or foes. I went into the house 
and enquired how long since our boys had passed along. 

^^ About half an hour,'' the man said dubiously. 

I sat there a few minutes when the dog conmienced 
barking. On looking out of the window I saw the blue coats 
coming over the hill. I jumped up instantly. 

"Where will I hide?'' I asked him. 


"There is no place to hide here/^ he replied. 

I knew then I was in the hands of a Union man. Seeing 
a door leading to another room I started for it, but recol- 
lecting I had left my gun outside I stepped to the door and 
got it and then ran into the other room and crawled under 
the bed that was there and got behind some wool that was 
under the bed. By this time some of the Yankees were in 
the house, and I heard them inquiring about our fellowa 
They never suspicioned I was in there and soon went out on 
the porch; the man of the house following them. While 
they were talking out there I heard a little girl crying in the 
next room. 

"Oh! mother, don^t tell," she pleaded. 

"Hush up ! I am going to tell the truth if they ask me. 
This is no way of stealing horses from one another." 

"Well," I thought, "I am gone up for ninety days, no 
Providence preventing." 

But the Yanks never came in the house any more, and 
what few stopped for information soon mounted and went 
on. As soon as they were gone the man came to the door 
and said : "You had better get out of here as quick as pos- 
sible; they have gone now, but will soon return." 

I felt considerably relieved, for my heart was in my 
mouth all the time I was under that bed. As I came out I 
looked at the woman as savage as I could, and said : ^TTou 
would have told on me, would you?" She never looked up 
and I passed on out and went back and looked for my horse, 
but he was gone. He must have nickered as they passed by, 
and they probably took him. 

Now, I knew Lieutenant Blue had left his horse at Mr. 
Jack Thompson's, about two miles from where I then was. 
Therefore, I concluded, as he had been captured at the foot 
of the mountain, I would go to Thompson's and get his horse 
and wait in the bushes until dark and then escape. I went 
on, and when I got there I found the family had all gone to 
church, except the blacks, it being Sunday. I told the black 
woman all about our adventure, and that I came for the 
horse, but that I wanted something to eat, as I was hungry 
as a dog, She hurried around and soon had a dinner pre- 


pared, and just as I was commencing to eat who should 
step in but Lieutenant Blue himself. ' 

^Why, Lieutenant!" I exclaimed, "I thought you were 
captured V 

^T thought so, too," says he, ^T)ut they happened to ride 
over me while I was hid in the laurels and did not see me." 

He then told me that Montgomery had escaped in the 
same manner, but that McGraw was captured, and we had 
lost the finest horse of the bunch. 

He said he came for his horse, but that we had better 
eat some and then hide in the woods until night. So we 
sat down and ate a hearty meal, leaving the black woman 
on picket at the door. 

As soon as we were done we started out, when Blue 
remarked that he was ^^so tired." 

Just then the black woman threw up her hands and 
exclaimed, "Lord God! men, here dey is!" 

We were just passing out the door onto the porch, and 
sure enough there they were close to the yard fence. They 
commenced firing at us and commanding us to halt, but 
we ran down the steps and around the end of the house. As 
we passed through the yard the little negroes there set up 
such a yelling and squalling as I never heard before in all 
my life. I thought they were all shot by the racket they 

As we passed around the end of the house I said, to 
Blue : ^^Oh ! let^s give up ; they will be sure to kill us if we 

"They will kill us anyhow if they get us, and we may 
as well run for it," he replied. He kept on running and I 
after him. They had to ride around the house to get a view 
of us, and by that time we were running along by a fence. 
We had to get over the fence and run across a large field 
to the woods. I can never tell how I got over that fence; 
whether I jumped over, rolled over, or crawled over, anyway 
I got over, and then we had to run the gauntlet, for by this 
time there were forty Yankees ranged along that fence. 
Each one emptied his carbine and six-shooter at us as we 
ran across the field. They were so sure of killing us that 
they never attempted to pull down the fence and ride us 


down, which they could have done before we reached the 

Now, I will explain how I know all this to be true. 
They had McGraw prisoner at the time, and he was sitting 
on a horse and witnessed it and heard what they said. 
McGraw was sent to "Camp Chase,^^ Ohio, to prison; and I 
saw him after he was exchanged, when he told me all about 
it. He knew how many there were, and that they emptied 
their arms firing at us. He said he expected to see us drop 
every minute. 

I expected it, too, for the bullets rattled around us on 
every side, and when we reached the woods they were spat- 
ting the trees. As we ran across the field Lieutenant Blue 
threw down his carbine, but I held on to my rifle. 

The woods were very open, and we kept on running as 
long as we had breath to run. After we had stopped run- 
ning and were walking along, all at once — ^bang ! bang ! bang ! 
came from the rear. They were still after us. We started 
off again on the run, and as quick as if we had not run 
any that day. I then undertook tb throw down my Enfield 
rifle behind a log; but as I threw it the hook in the gun 
strap caught in my overcoat, and it dragged along. Said 
I : "Old fellow, if you don^t want to leave me I will hold 
on to you and we will both die together." So I picked it up 
and went on. 

At last we reached some thick underbrush and lay down 
perfectly exhausted. We heard no more of the enemy then, 
but concluded they were surrounding the piece of woods we 
were in and would have us anyhow. So we concluded we 
had better try and get across the road, and then we would 
be in woods they could not surround. 

We were sneaking along as cautiously as we could, and 
had nearly got to the road when we heard horses^ feet. We 
dropped to the ground, when the command rode by, not one 
hundred yards from us. They appeared to have given us up 
and were on their way to camp. There were eighty of them 
when they first came on us, but had afterwards divided. 

We lay there until after dark, two of the worst demor- 
alized lads that ever shouldered a gun. I came very near 
being captured three times that day, and I don't know how 


many times I came near being killed. I was afraid of my 
own shadow. To hear a brush crack would frighten me. 
Oh ! I was terribly used up. If I had seen another Yankee 
I would have rim all night, I think. 

After it had been dark a while we concluded we would 
slip back to Thompson's and see if the horse was still there, 
but we were afraid the Yankees had left part of their force 
on the lookout for us. Finally, however, we started, and, 
after going some distance, we heard someone talking. We 
jumped over the fence and lay down in the gi'ass, but it was 
only some people going to church. We then ventured on, 
and when we arrived at Thompson's we found the horse was 
still there, and that the blacks had seen Lieutenant Blue 
throw down his carbine and had gone out in the field and 
found it. We saddled the horse and left. We concluded 
to go to a Union man's house near there and stay all night. 
If they searched for us they would hardly search his house; 
and then we knew he was an honest Union man — a Union 
man from principle, not a Union man for devilment, as some 
were. He said we could stay all night, but if they came to 
search for us he would have to tell them we were there; 
but said he would manage that we should have a chance to 
escape first. We knew we could trust him, and we slept — 
"Oh! how sweetly!" 

It was one of the most eventful days of my life, and I 
always call it "Eunning the Gauntlet." The next morning 
we started on to Lost Eiver to meet the balance of our party 
at the place we had appointed; but when we got there we 
found none but Will Daily, who was suffering from the loss 
of his eye. They had all escaped safely, but had concluded 
that we were captured, and so went on to General Imboden's 
camp in Augusta County. It was, therefore, arranged that I 
should go to camp with Lieutenant Blue, and he would 
make sale of our captures and divide the proceeds equally. 
I was then to return with my share and Daily's, when 
Miller, Daily and myself were to go to our own command in 
Eastern Virginia. 



We parted there, I going with Lieutenant Blue, and 
Miller and Daily remaining. I have never seen them from 
that day to this, for reasons I shall relate hereafter. In a 
few days we reached General Imboden^s camp, when our 
captures were put up at public sale and sold to the highest 
bidder, and the money divided, which amounted to four 
himdred dollars apiece in Confederate money. 

There was a soldier in camp who had a broken-down 
horse, and he wanted to send him home to Hampshire to 
recruit, so he got me to ride him back. Two of the Pownell 
boys, who had just returned from prison, were going home 
to recruit, so the three of us started back for Hampshire 
together. After two days^ march we stopped for the night 
at Mr. Thompson's, in Rockingham County. After dark there 
were three other soldiers came to stay all night. While con- 
versing around the fire that evening they inquired what 
command we belonged to. The Pownell boys told them 
they belonged to Imboden's command, and I told them I 
belonged to the 33d Virginia, Lee's Army. 

When we went to bed that night Mr. Thompson told us 
that those soldiers were conscript officers and were gather- 
ing up all absentees from Lee's Army, and if I did not have 
a pass he was afraid they would arrest me in the morning; 
that I had better told them I belonged to Imboden's Cavalry. 
I told him I would not deny my command. 

Sure enough, the next morning they told me as I had 
no pass they would have to arrest me and send me back to 
my command under guard. I explained matters to them; 
that Sergeant Miller had the pass and I was on my way to 
report to him; but it all did no good. I had to leave the 
horse there and go with them to Harrisonburg, a distance 
of eight miles, and was put in the guard-house. I hated it 
very much; not because I had to go back to the army, but 
because I had to go back under arrest. I knew my officers 


knew nothing of the circumstances of my long absence, and 
that I would be court-martialed without Miller should appear 
and relieve me. 

I was sent off from Harrisonburg in a few days with 
about thirty other absentees from our division. We marched 
to Staunton and then took the cars for Guinea Station^ 
After arriving there we were conducted about six miles to 
General J. R. Trimble^s headquarters, who was command- 
ing the division, when we were ordered to our respective 
brigade guard-houses. I found two or three hundred in 
the guard-house, and the court-martial in full blast. Pun- 
ishments of all kinds were being inflicted on the prisoners, 
such as shot to death, whipped, heads shaved and drummed 
out of service, riding wooden horses, wearing barrel shirts, 
and all other punishments in the .catalogue of military courts- 

I soon sent word to Captain Wm. Powell, commanding 
my company, of my situation, when he came to see me in 
the guard-house. I explained to him how matters stood, 
and he said he would have me out in a few days; that I 
should not be punished much, but that I had been reported 
"absent without leave^' and would have to be court-martialed ; 
but it should be done in the regiment and should not go to 
a brigade court. 

During this time Colonel Edwin 6. Lee, Colonel of our 
regiment, had been assigned to other duty at Lexington, Va. ; 
Lieutenant Colonel Holliday, who lost his arm, was elected 
to the Confederate congress, and Major Grace had resigned, 
therefore. Captain A. Spangler, of Company F ("Hardy 
Grey^s'^), was Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment. So Colo- 
nel Spangler, Captain Herrell and Captain Eastman com- 
posed the court-martial and they all knew me personally. 
When I appeared before them for trial and explained to them 
where I had been and what I had done, and that I had never 
been home during the time that I was absent (for my pa- 
rents lived then in Frederick County), they said they would 
make the punishment as light as possible. It resulted in 
my being put on extra duty for ten days, when I was re- 

At this time the roads had become so muddy and bad 


between our camp and Guinea Station, a distance of eight 
miles, that it was almost impossible to haul rations for the 
army; so there was a detail of one hundred men made from 
our division to make pole or corduroy roads from camp to 
the railroad station. Some were taken out of each regi- 
ment and there were twenty-two regiments in our division. 
It fell to my lot to go and work the road. 

We were put in command of Lieutenant David Cock- 
rill, of the 2d Regiment, and camped about half way be- 
tween our camp and the station. We would cut down pine 
poles (there were thickets of them close by) and lay them 
crosswise, put some brush on top and then throw some dirt 
on that and make a splendid road. 

At the tim^e I left the brigade at Winchester the army 
was on the march to Fredericksburg, on the Eappahannock 
river. They arrived there and fought the battle of Freder- 
icksburg the 12th and 13th of December, 1862, and de- 
feated General Burnside, commanding the Federal Army. 
He fell back across the river and was relieved of his com- 
mand, and another "On to Eichmond^^ was upset by the 
superior generalship of Lee, Jackson and Longstreet. 

During our raid in Hampshire County we remained on 
Jersey mountain, at different places, for some time. While 
there a Methodist revival was going on. We frequently at- 
tended church at night; and through the influence and 
earnest working of Miss Sallie Cain, afterwards Mrs. Sallie 
Harper (an old schoolmate of mine), who was teaching 
school there. Lieutenant Blue, Mart Miller and myself be- 
came seekers of religion and made a profession and joined 
the church. We soon afterwards separated, never to see 
each other again in this world. How Miller held out I never 
heard, but have heard that he died some time after the war. 

As for myself, I have not lived up to the doctrines of 
Christianity as I should. At times I have been wild and 
reckless, and, continuing in the army as I did, amongst wild 
companions, naturally retrograded considerably; but I never 
forgot the teachings of pious parents nor the good offices 
of Miss Sallie, nor the pleasure I experienced in trying to 
be good. 

Lieutenant Monroe Blue, as I afterwards learned, for 


I never saw him after parting with him in Gteneral Imboden^s 
camp, was, shortly afterward, captured by the enemy and 
taken to ^^Johnson's Island/' an oflScers' prison near San- 
dusky, Ohio. As they were renioving him and some other 
oflBcers to Ft. Delaware he jumped from the train in the 
dead of night while it was running at full speed, after hav- 
ing knocked down the sentinel, who was guarding the door, 
and, by traveling at night and hiding in the day-time, finally 
reached Virginia. He went to his command, but was after- 
wards killed at the battle of New Hope in Augusta County. 
He lived faithful to his professions to the end; and a better 
soldier never stood in ranks. Peace to his ashes. 

General Lee's army remained in winter quarters near 
Guinea Station all winter, picketing along the Kappahan- 
nock. The enemy were on the opposite side. Our detail 
continued to work the road until about the first of April, 
when we were taken down to the river at Skinker's Neck 
and commenced fortifying along the hills near the river 
between Fredericksburg and Port Koyal. We drew plenty 
of rations and more sugar than we had use for, and would 
trade sugar to the negroes for corn meal. We drew plenty 
of flour, but little com meal; One day Bill Grady was sick, 
and we told him, to take our sugar (about ten pounds) and 
trade it off. When we came in at night and I saw the 
small quantity of meal that he had, I asked him how he 
had traded. He said "Pound for pound, of course." He 
thought that was the way to trade, he said. He never heard 
the last of "pound for pound." One pound of sugar was 
worth ten pounds of corn meal. The devices resorted to by 
the soldiers to procure extra rations may be interesting to 
those who never dream of want of "grub" in these times of 
peace. I will relate an instance. 

Our rations were drawn from the commissary at Guinea 
Station. One day when the wagon went after flour two of 
my mess went along to help. They were to get eight bar- 
rels of flour. Sewell Merchant, one of the detail, was in 
the wagon, and when the first barrel was rolled in left it 
lying on its side, and the other eight he sat up on end. 
So when the Commissary Sergeant looked in the wagon from 
the rear he could see but eight. "All right," said he, and 


they drove off to the camp, but before reaching camp they 
halted and rolled the extra barrel out and hid it in the 
pines. That night several of our mess took sacks and went 
to where the barrel was hid and carried the flour to camp, 
and we had extra rations for some time. 

We were expecting the spring campaign to open most 
any time, and the army was making preparations to move 
or fight, as the case might be. Lieutenant Cockrill had 
orders to organize a regular pioneer corps of 100 men, and 
to select the best workmen out of the force that he had; 
principally mechanics, who could build bridges, pontoons, 
etc., and was furnished a wagon load of tools. He had one 
man, who was a shoemaker, to cobble up the shoes as they 
wore out. One day as we were cutting down some trees that 
would be in the way of our artillery a limb, as it fell, hit 
the axe of the shoemaker and drove it into his leg, making 
a fearful wound. He was sent to the hospital and soon died. 

The Lieutenant said he must have another shoemaker 
in his corps, and some of them told him that I was a shoe- 
maker, when he had me regularly detailed in the pioneer 

I did not want to belong, to it, for, on the march, we 
had to go in front of the division and carry our shovels, 
picks and axes, and repair the roads and bridges when nec- 
essary; and when a fight came off we had to go into the 
fight with a battery of artillery to cut out roads for them in 
the woods, or cut down timber in front that obstructed their 
view of the enemy, and remove blockades, etc. When lying 
in camp we had to repair roads and make breastworks, so 
it was all work and danger, and no play; although it was 
not as dangerous as being in the line of battle with a 
musket, for we had a chance to protect ourselves when at 
work. Sometimes also we had nothing to do during the 
fight; but we had to be there in readiness, should we be 
needed. We never let an opportunity slip to protect our- 
selves the best we could by digging holes to get into in case 
of emergency, or finding some gully that would protect us. 
As soon as a battle was over we had to bury the dead. Each 
division in Lee's Army had a pioneer corps from that time 
until the end of the war. 



On the 29th of April, 1863, we left our winter quar- 
ters and marched up the river to Hamilton's Crossing, near 
Fredericksburg,* about twelve miles from Chancellorsville. 

We found the whole army on the move, and formed in 
line of battle. General Joe Hooker (Fighting Joe), com- 
manding the Federal army, was threatening to cross the 
river and some artillery and skirmish fighting was going on. 

We now had six divisions of infantry; Early's, A. P. 
HilFs, D. H. HilFs (commanded by General R. E. Rodes) 
and Trimble's, commanded by General E. E. .Colston, all 
belonging to Jackson's Corps; and Anderson's and McLaw's 
Divisions, belonging to Longstreet's Corps. General Long- 
street was down in Southeastern Virginia, near Suffold, with 
his other three divisions, and did not come to us until after 
the battle of Chancellorsville. 

We maneuvered around near Fredericksburg until the 
1st of May, when we all marched twelve miles up the river 
to near Chancellorsville (excepting General Early's Division), 
as General Hooker had crossed the main part of his army 
and fortified at Chancellorsville. Hooker had left Sedgwick's 
6th Corps at Fredericksburg to attract Lee's and Jackson's 

* Fredericksburg is on the Rappahannock river. Chancellors- 
ville, a mere hamlet, is about twelve miles above, and to the north- 
west, and some two miles from the Rappahannock at its nearest 
point, where there is a shallow place called the United States ford. 

Hamilton's Crossing, a station on the Richmond and Potomac 
railroad, is also about two miles from the river, below Fredericks- 

A country road nms between Hamilton's Crossing and Chan- 
cellorsville, keeping at some distance from the river. 

The country around Chancellorsville is high and rolling, and 
covered with timber interspersed with dense undergrowth, with an 
occasional farm; and on the south and west forming what was called 
the '^Wilderness." 


attention, while he massed his forces at another place. Stu- 
art's Cavalry, however, soon informed them of the movement 
up the river. If all Lee's army had marched against Hooker 
the Federals could have crossed at Fredericksburg and come 
in on our rear. So General Early was left there to watch 
their movements. In the morning, on the 2d of May, our 
army was lying in line of battle in front of General Hooker, 
near Chancellors ville, facing westward. 

Three divisions of our corps under Jackson started on 
the march and moved south for a while, and we could hear 
skirmishing on our right. We could not imagine where we 
were going. We continued marching through fields and 
woods until about three o'clock in the afternoon. The day 
was hot, and we marched fast — ^the men throwing away their 
overcoats and blankets. 

The other two divisions were in front of ours and we 
began to think Jackson was on one of his flank movements, 
when one of his couriers came back and told our General 
to hurry up his command, as General Jackson was waiting 
for it to form in line. We knew then there was business 
on hand. Our pioneer corps always marched in front of 
the division near the General and staff, and was under direc- 
tions from the engineers; consequently we heard and knew 
more of the movements of the army than generally falls 
to the lot of a private. . 

In a short time, about three miles southwest of Chan- 
cellorsville, we came to a road leading from Orange Court 
House through Chancellorsville to Fredericksburg. We were 
halted and the three divisions formed in three lines of battle 
across the road to the right and left — one division in rear 
of the other. General Eodes' formed the first line, our 
division the second and General A. P. Hill's the third, but 
marching in column facing to the east, directly opposite to 
our position in the morning. 


Near 3 p. m., May 2, 1863: General — The enemy has made a 
stand at Chancellor's, which is about two miles from Chancellors- 
ville. I hope as soon as practicable to attack. 

I trust that an ever kind Providence will bless us with great 


success. Respectfully, T. J. JACKSON, Lieutenant General. 

Later — 3:16 p. m. General — The leading division is up, and the 
next two appear to be well closed. T. J. J. 

As yet not a gun had been fired; everything was still 
and quiet i the troops were tired and moved about noise- 
lessly; there were thick woods and underbrush on each side 
of the road, with an occasional field or farm. While resting 
in this position a courier came to us, who was acquainted 
with some of ouir boys, and said we were in rear of the 
Yankees, and that he could not tell how it was, but we would 
soon see the greatest move of the war. 

In a few moments Lieutenant Oscar Hinrichs, one of 
the engineers, came and said he wanted ten pioneers to go 
with him to remove a blockade in the road. I was one of 
the ten. We moved down the road in front and commenced 
clearing the road of trees that had been felled across it. 
There were four pieces of artillery there waiting to move 
forward. They unlimbered one piece, and we helped them 
to get it over the blockade before we had it cleared. They 
then fired a shot down the road, and moved on. At the 
same time the three lines of infantry moved forward at 
double-quick with a yell. I learned afterwards that the 
firing of the gun was a signal for all to move; and move 
they did with a vengeance, and moved everything in front 
of them. 

We soon got the blockade open and all the artillery 
through. We then came to another blockade and soon opened 
that. I heard two or three shells come tearing up the road 
from the enemy, but heard nothing else from them until 
we got to Chancellorsville after dark. 

It was a running fight for three miles. We took them 
completely by surprise, and our three divisions got merged 
into one line of battle, all going forward at full speed. Our 
artillery did not have time to unlimber and fire; they had 
to keep in a trot to keep up with the infantry. We ran 
through the enemy's camps where they were cooking supper. 
Tents were standing, and camp-kettles were on the fire full 
of meat. I saw a big Newfoundland dog lying in one tent 
as quietly as if nothing had happened. We had a nice chance 


Last Meeting of Gen. Bobert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackaoa. 


to plunder their camps and search the dead; but the men 
were afraid to stop, as they had to keep with the artillery 
and were near a good many oflBcers, who might whack them 
over the head with their swords if they saw them plundering; 
but the temptation was too great, and sometimes, they would 
run their hands in some dead men's pockets as they hurried 
along, but seldom procured anything of value. 

I saw a wounded man lying beside the road and had 
got past him; but, noticing he was an officer, I ran back 
to him to get his sword and pistol. I asked him if he was 
wounded badly. He said he was not. He was shot through 
the foot, but thought he would lie there until the fight was 
over; that he was a Captain of some Ohio regiment. I took 
off his belt and sword, which was a very fine one, but I 
found no pistol in the scabbard. I asked him where the 
pistol was, and he said he supposed he must have lost it in 
the fight; that he did not know it was gone; but I thought 
he had it in his bosom, so I unbuttoned his coat and searched 
him for it, but could not find it. He declared he did not 
have it, but he had a fine gold watch and chain. I was look- 
ing at it when he told me to take it along ; but I would not 
do it. I told him that as he was wounded and a prisoner 
I would let him keep it. 

It was the 11th United States Army Corps that we first 
attacked and demoralized. Another corps, the 5th, was sent 
to their assistance, but were likewise repulsed. Our army 
did not halt until dark, when we came to the enemy's for- 
tified position in and around Chancellorsville. 

Our oflScers then commenced forming the men in line, 
and. getting them in some kind of order, but the men kept 
up a terrible noise and confusion, hallooing for this regi- 
ment and that regiment, until it seemed that there were not 
more than three or four of any regiment together. They were 
all mixed up in one confused mass. The enemy could hear 
us distinctly by the noise we made. They located us pre- 
cisely, and immediately opened on us with twenty pieces of 
artillery, at short range, and swept the woods and road with 
the most terrific and destructive shelling that we were sub- 
jected to during the war. 

Charlie Cross, Sam Nunnelly, Jake Fogle and myself 


were together when the shelling commeneed. We stepped 
to one side and happened to find a sink, or low place, where 
a tree had blown down some time in the past, and laid down 
in it. We filled it up even with the ground, and it seemed 
as if the shells did not miss us more than six inches. Some 
would strike* in front of us, scattering the dirt all over us. 
I believe if I had stuck my head up a few inches I would 
have been killed. 

We could hear some one scream out every second in the 
agonies of death. Jake Fogle kept praying all the time. 
Every time a shell would pass directly over us Jake would 
say: "Lord, save us this time!^^ "Lord, save us this time!^^ 
Sam Nunnelly, a wild, reckless fellow, would laugh at him 
and say: "Pray on Jake! Pray on Jake!^^ and the two 
kept that up as lOng as the shelling lasted. Cross and I 
tried to get Sam to hush, but it was no use. 

Our infantry and artillery did not reply, as we did not 
have a piece in position. It stood in the road just where 
they left it when they drove up, and every man of them 
was lying as close to the ground as he could get They 
dug "nose holes^^ to get closer. The Yankees soon ceased 
firing, however, and the men commenced calling their com- 
mands again, making as much noise as ever. Immedi- 
ately we were treated to another dose of shells as terrific as 
before, and with fearful effect, but for some reason it was 
not long continued. 

If the enemy had known our situation, and the good 
range they had on us, and had kept it up, they would liter- 
ally have torn us to pieces and nearly annihilated our corps 
that night. It was fortunate for us that they kept it up no 
longer; but it was fearful while it lasted. It was some time 
during the shelling that General Jackson was wounded, which 
resulted in his death one week afterwards. 

I happened to hear of it that night, but it was not 
known to many of the soldiers. I was standing near some 
oflBcers, who were on horseback, and heard them say some- 
thing about General Jackson being wounded, and it sur- 
prised me so much that I stepped up to them and asked them 
if he wasj wounded badly. One of them replied that he was 
slightly wounded, and told me to go on to my command. 


The next morning that road was covered for some dis- 
tance with dead men torn to pieces; dead horses, cannon 
wheels, cannot broken off at the trunnions, caissons over- 
turned, and desolation generally. 

That night, it seems. General Jackson and his staff had 
gone in front of our line of skirmishers to reconnoiter,* in 
order to throw his corps between the enemy and the river, 
when he met their line of skirmishers advancing. He wheeled 
at once and came back rapidly. Our line mistaking him and 
his staff for the enemy, fired a volley into them with fatal 
effect, killing several of them and wounding others. 

General Jackson was shot through the right hand and 
received two balls through the left arm. He had to lie there 
during the shelling, and nearly bled to death before his 
wounds were staunched. 

They finally got him on a stretcher and started to the 
rear, when some of the bearers were cut down and he fell 
heavily to the ground, opening the wounds afresh. They 
finally got him to the ambulance, and he was taken to the 
field hospital, where Dr. Hunter McGuire amputated his 
left arm near the shoulder. 

The battle that day was only a prelude to what was to 
follow on the next two days. General Hooker had massed 
his troops that night and strengthened his works and con- 
structed new ones. The next morning, the 3d of May, Gen- 
eral J. E. B. Stuart took command of the corps and at- 
tacked the enemy on the flank, while Lee attacked in front. 

Before General Stuart took command of the corps he 
saw Jackson and attempted to ascertain from him what his 
plans were. 

"Form your own plans, General,^^ said Jackson. 

What Jackson^s plans were at the time he was wounded 
was the subject of speculation at the time, and has been 

* Major Jed Hotchkiss says: "Jackson halted his men at the 
enemy's abattis near Chancellor sville, and, having ordered a new- 
line of battle from his reserves, he rode forward with his staff to 
reconnoiter, which, done, turned and rode back, when, in the dark, 
he was fired on by the men of his new line of battle, who mistook 
his staff and escort for the enemy's cavalry," 



ever since. It was discussed among the soldiers in the field 
who generally believed that if Jackson had succeeded in 
getting in the rear of the enemy, between Chancellorsville 
and the river (and it has been claimed this was his object), 
he would have been powerless to prevent Hooker's retreat 
across the Kappahannock at United States Ford; and that 
an attempt to hold the Ford would have been disastrous 

But I am not writing a history of the war, only of my 
experiences in the army. I will leave that to those wise men 
\irho are presumed to know all about it. But I am satisfied 
no one but Jackson himself ever knew exactly what his 
plans were at that time. 

It would be well also to remember that couriers are 
soldiers taken from the ranks; that couriers have opportu- 
nities to learn more military secrets than even staff officers; 
that they have comrades in the army, and that intelligent 
soldiers composed the rank and file of both armies. The 
reader can form his own conclusions. 

It was charge after charge, through thick underbrush, 
as the cry of "Eemember Stonewall Jackson!'' rang along 
the lines, until the works were gained; the enemy driven off 
the field and our troops in possession of his strongest posi- 
tion. But at what cost? The loss of life was fearful, some 
of our regiments being decimated. 

A large brick house was fired by our shells, and it was 
said that General Hooker was standing by one of the col- 
umns of the porch when a shell struck it and exploded. A 
Federal battery of six or eight guns, near the house, was 
entirely disabled, not a live horse or whole cannon being left. 
Many of the cannoneers were found dead. 

We fortified that night in order to hold our position, as 
we did not know how General Early would succeed in driv- 
ing the enemy back at Fredericksburg. Several brigades 
had been sent to his assistance, and we soon learned that 
the enemy, "under General Sedgewick, had been compelled 
to retreat across the river. 

Meanwhile General Lee was not idle, but kept ham- 
mering away all day at Chancellorsville, driving the enemy 
back at some points, and holding his own. everywhere. That 
night General Hooker, finding all his plans frustrated and 








his army defeated at both points, hastily retreated across 
the Eappahannock, leaving a good many prisoners, arms, 
artillery, etc., in our hands. 

Our pioneer corps then went to work burying the dead, 
when I witnessed the most horrible sight my eyes ever beheld. 
On the left of our line, where the Louisiana Brigade had 
fought the last evening of the battle, and where they drove 
the enemy about one mile through the woods, and then in 
turn fell back to their own position, the scene beggars de- 
scription. The dead and badly wounded from both sides 
were lying where they fell. The woods, taking fire that 
night from the shells, burnt rapidly and roasted the wounded 
men alive. As we went to bury them we could see where 
they had tried to keep the fire from them by scratching the 
leaves away as far as they could reach. But it availed not; 
they were burnt to a crisp. The only way we could tell to 
which army they belonged was by turning them over and 
examining their clothing where they lay close to the ground" 
There we would usually find some of their clothing that was 
not burned, so we could see whether they wore the blue or 
gray. We buried them all alike by covering them up with 
dirt where they lay. It was the most sickening sight I saw 
during the war and I wondered whether the American people 
were civilized or not, to butcher one another in that man- 
ner; and I came to the conclusion that we were barbarians. 
North and South alike. 

Three of our pioneers were badly wounded by shells 
during the battle, and Lieutenant Pownell, who had lately 
been elected Lieutenant of my company, was mortally 
wounded, and died at the field hospital. I had given him 
the handsome sword I got at the first day's fight. 

The day after the battle I wandered back to the field 
hospital to see if I could find Lieutenant Pownell, to learn 
how badly he was wounded, and find my sword. I found 
out that he was dead and buried, and no one knew anything 
about the sword. But as I was passing through the wounded 
a Federal officer hailed me and called me to his side. I 
found him to be the Captain that I had found wounded the 
first day, and from whom I had gotten the sword. He had 
recognized me and said that I had better taken his gold 







watch that day; that I had not been gone ten minutes until 
some soldier came along and took his watch. I then re- 
gretted that I had not done so ; but it was too late. 

After everything was quiet we moved down in the neigh- 
borhood of Hamilton's Crossing and went into camp, and 
the doctors were busy for some time, embalming dead bodies 
and sending them to their friends south by rail. 

Our loss was estimated at ten thousand five hundred; 
the enemy's at eighteen thousand; but we lost Jackson, who 
was a whole corps in himself. General Lee's force was fifty 
thousand men, General Hooker's Army was estimated at 
one hundred and twenty-five thousand. The Federal Army 
was better prepared to continue the fight than we were, 
for the difference in numbers was greater after the battles 
than before. General Hooker's Army lay on the north side 
of the river, with pickets along the bank, while ours was 
on the south bank. The picket guard of each army would 
go in swimming together, and trade coffee and tobacco, and 
be as friendly as if nothing had happened. Such is war. 

General Jackson was taken to a private house near 
Guinea Station, the best physicians attending him, and his 
wife and daughter (Miss tfulia, then seven months old,) 
came to see him. Our old brigade would inquire after him 
every day, and the news was that he was doing well, and 
we thought that he would soon be with us. But alas ! vain 
hope! death is no respecter of persons, and we were doomed 
never to see him again. He suddenly got worse, and died 
on the 10th of May, 1863. We were terribly shocked, for 
we thought from what we had heard that he would surely 

A great many of our boys said then our star of destiny 
would fade, and that our cause would be lost without Jack- 
son, as there was no General who could execute a flank 
movement with so much secrecy and surprise as he could. 
So it proved to be ; but the war might have ended the same 
as it did had he lived. Though the destiny of a nation may 
appear to be in one man's hands sometimes, yet there is 
One above all who controls both men and nations. 

But I believed at the time, and believe now, and always 
shall believe, that if we had had Jackson with us at the 


battle of Gettysburg he would have flanked the enemy oflE 
those heights with his corps, if he had to take one day^s 
rations and go around by Washington City to get there. 
He would have found his rear if he had any. 

General Jackson would order some other General to 
hold some position at all hazards, and the General would 
reply that he was afraid he could not hold it if the enemy 
should press him. Jackson would say, "You must hold it; 
my men sometimes fail to drive the enemy, but the enemy 
always fail to drive my men." 

General Stuart had reported to him that a considerable 
force had crossed the river above Chancellorsville, and 
threatened his left. He then sent one brigade up there 
after dark with orders to form a line when they came in 
view of the Federals, to fire three volleys and then return 
and take their places in line of battle. They did so, and 
the consequence was the force of Federals at that ford re- 
mained there during the next two days' fight, fortifying 
their position for fear of an attack. Such was the strategy 
of "Stonewall." Shortly after he was wounded, and when 
the enemy were rushing up fresh troops. General Pender 
told him that his men were in such confusion that he 
feared he would not be able to hold his ground. 

"General Pender," said Jackson, "you must keep your 
men together and hold your ground." 

This was the last military order ever given by Jack- 
son. The last sentence he ever uttered was, "Let us pass 
over the river and rest imder the shade of the trees." 

Before his death he sent General Lee word that he 
had lost his left arm. General Lee replied that he (Lee) 
had lost his right arm in losing him. 

He inquired minutely about the battle and the different 
troops engaged, and his face would light up with enthusiasm 
when told how his old brigade acted, and he uttered "Good, 
good," with imwonted energy when the gallant behavior 
of the "Stonewall Brigade" was alluded to. He said: ^^he 
men of the brigade will be, some day, proud to say to their 
children, ^I was one of the Stonewall Brigade.' They are 
a noble body of men." 

Jlist brfore he died he seemed to be caring for his 


soldiers, and giving such directions as these: "Tell Major 
Hawks to send forward provisions to the men; order A. P. 
Hill to prepare for action. Pass the infantry to the front.^^ 

After his death orders came to the "Stonewall Brigade^^ 
to be in readiness to march to the house where Jackson lay 
a corpse and escort the remains to the railroad depot, to 
be sent to Richmond. The brigade rigged up in the best 
they had, cleaned their arms and were anxious to go, and 
kept waiting impatiently until, finally, the order was coun- 
termanded and we did not get to see him. 

We all thought very hard of it, for we wished to show 
our respect for our beloved commander, and gaze on his 
face once more ; but that small privilege was denied us. His 
only escort were some doctors and officials who never had 
followed him in battle, while the men who had followed him 
from Harper's Ferry to Chancellorsville had to lie idle in 

The news of the wounding of General Jackson filled 
the army with the most profound and undisguised grief. 
His men loved him devotedly, and he was the idol of the 
whole army. 

Many stout-hearted veterans, who had, under his guid- 
ance, borne hardships and privations innumerable, and dan- 
gers the most appalling, without a murmer, wept like chil- 
dren when told that their idolized General was no more. 
The death of General Jackson was commimicated to the 
army by General Lee in the following order: 

Headquarters Army Northern Virginia, May 11, 1863. 
General Order No. 61. 

With deep grief the commanding General announces to the army 
the death of Lieutenant General T. J. Jackson, who expired on the 
10th instant, at quarter past 3 p. m. The daring, skill and energy of 
this great and good soldier, by the decree of an Allwise Providence, 
are now lost to us. 

But while we mourn his death we feel that his spirit still lives, 
and will inspire the whole army with his indomitable courage and un- 
shaken confidence in God as our hope and strength. 

Let his name be a watchword to his corps, who have followed 
him to victory on so many fields. 

Let his officers and soldiers emulate his invincible determination 
to do everything in the defense of our beloved country. 

R. E. LEE, General. 


On Monday morning, the 11th of May, it was announced 
that the remains of General Jackson would reach Eichmond 
during the day, and the Mayor of that city at once requested 
all persons to suspend business after 10 o^clock, in token 
of their respect for the departed hero. All stores, work- 
shops, the government departments, and all places in which 
labor was performed, were closed. Flags were hung at 
half-mast and a deep silence reigned over the Capital of 
Virginia. Large crowds filled the streets, and, in spite of 
the intense heat, waited patiently for the arrival of the 
cars from Fredericksburg. 

Shortly after 4 o^clock in the afternoon the special 
train containing the precious burden, moved slowly into the 
city. Only the solemn peal of the bells as they tolled their 
mournful knell broke the deep silence that reigned over 

At the depot the coflBn was removed from the cars, and 
placed in a hearse to be carried to the mansion of the Gov- 
ernor. The escort which received it consisted of Major 
General Elzey and staff, the State Guard of Virginia, with 
colors shrouded in mourning, the 44th North Carolina and 
the 1st Virginia Eegiments (after which came the hearse 
and General Jackson's staff), the city authorities and citi- 
zens on foot. 

The remains were escorted to the mansion of the Gov- 
ernor and placed in the reception parlor. The lid of the 
coffin was removed, the new flag of the Confederacy, which 
had never before been used for any purpose, was thrown over 
it, and a single wreath of laurel laid upon the lifeless breast. 

During the evening his friends were allowed to visit the 
body. The only change that was perceptible was that the 
features seemed somewhat smaller than they were in life. 
But there was still the firm, grave expression which had 
always dwelt there, and, above all, there rested upon the 
lifeless countenance an expression of happiness and peace 
so perfect and so intense that the gazer was awed and 
thrilled by it. 

During the night the body was embalmed and a plaster 
cast of his features taken in order that they might be pre- 
served in marble. 


The next day all the honors that his native state could 
lavish upon her noble son were heaped upon him. At 11 
o^elock his body was removed from the Executive Mansion^ 
and conveyed, with appropriate ceremonies, to the Capitol 
of Virginia. 

The procession was formed in the following order, the 
troops marching with reversed arms : 

A brass band; the 19th Eegimjent of Virginia Infantry; 
the 56th Eegiment of Virginia Infantry ; the State Guard of 
Virginia; Major General Picket and Staff, mounted; a bat- 
tery (six pieces) of artillery; a squadron of cavalry; the 
hearse, containing the coflBn, with Major General Ewell, Bri- 
gadier Generals Winder, Churchill, Corse, Stuart (G. H.), 
Kepiper and Gamett, and Admiral Forrest of the Navy, as 
pallbearers; the favorite horse of General Jackson fully 
caparisoned and led by his servant; the members of the old 
"Stonewall Brigade^^ who were present in the city; a band 
of music; General Elzey and Staff; the officials of the 
military department of Henrico; a carriage containing the 
President of the Confederate States; the Members of the 
Cabinet on foot; the heads of bureaux and their clerks on 
foot; the Governor of Virginia and his Aids; the State oflRcers 
and clerks; the Mayor and city > authorities ; the judges of 
the State and Confederate Courts, and the citizens on foot. 

The procession moved from the Executive Mansion down 
Governor street into Main, up Main to Second, through Sec- 
ond to Grace, and down Grace to Capitol Square. The streets 
were filled with large crowds. The mournful cortege moved 
on in silence, which was only broken by the solemn strains 
of music and the discharge of artillery at intervals of half 
an hour. Tears rolled down many cheeks, and hundreds who 
had known General Jackson only by his great deeds wept 
as though mourning for a brother. Such an outburst of 
grief had never been witnessed in Virginia since the death 
of Washington. 

Upon the arrival of the procession at the square the 
column was halted, the body removed and borne into the 
capitol, where it was laid in state, in the hall of the House 
of Eepresentatives of the Confederate States. At least twenty 


thousand persons visited the hall to behold the remains of 
the hero of that day. 

The next morning the remains were placed on a special 
train and conveyed to Lynchburg. 

It was hoped that General Jackson would be buried in 
Hollywood Cemetery, near Eichmond. There Virginia has 
prepared a last resting place for her honored children. There 
rest the ashes of Monroe and Tyler and many of the good 
and brave of this revolution, and it was hoped that there, 
too, would rest the dust of General Jackson; but it was his 
wish to sleep in his dearly loved home in the Valley, and 
thither all that remained of him was carried. On Wednes- 
day morning the remains passed through Lynchburg. Minute 
guns were fired, bells were tolled, and a large procession of 
citizens followed the body through the city. On Thursday 
afternoon they reached Lexington. They were met at the 
canal by the corps of cadets, the professors of the Institute, 
and a large number of citizens, and escorted to the Institute 
barracks. The body of General Jackson was placed in the 
old lecture room, which once had been his. Two years be- 
fore he had left it an humble and almost unknown man; 
now he returned to it with the hero's laurel wreath encircling 
his brow and enshrined forever in the hearts of his coun- 

With the exception of the heavy mourning drapery with 
which it was himg, the room was just as he had left it. It 
had not been occupied during his absence. The body was 
deposited just in front of the chair in which he used to sit. 
It was a beautiful and touching scene, and brought tears 
to every eye that witnessed it. Guns were fiired every half 
hour during the day, and the deepest grief exhibited by 

The next day, the 15th of May, General Jackson was 
buried in the cemetery at Lexington, Virginia, where rest 
the remains of his first wife and child. 

"There in the beautiful Valley of Virginia, with which 
his name is so imperishably connected, the hero lies sleep- 
ing. Around him Hhe everlasting Jiills' keep eternal guard, 
and the deep and unswerving love of his siricken, but still 


glorious, mother, watches with tender devotion over his 
sacred dust. 

"Ages shall roll away, empires crumble into dust, nations 
pass away, but the memory of Jackson will still shine out in 
all its clear and radiant splendor. And when the last great 
trump shall sound, and the dim light of the resurrection 
mom shall break away the gloom which overshadows the 
world, Virginia, whose pure heart beats but for God and 
duty, shall there be found still watching by the tomb of 
Jackson. And yet he is not Virginia's alone; God gave him 
to the world.'' 

After the death of General Jackson the oflBcers and men 
of the old "Stonewall Brigade" met and passed a series of 
resolutions, which were but a feeble expression of their 

The following is an account of their proceedings: 

"Camp Paxton, near Fredericksburg, Va., 

"May 16, 1863. 

"At the appointed hour there was a full attendance of 
oflRcers and men of the brigade. 

"The meeting was organized by the selection of Colonel 
Charles A. Eonald, of the 4th Virginia, as President, and 
Adjutant Eobert W. Hunter as Secretary. On motion of 
Captain H. Kidd Douglas, a committee of three, consisting 
of Colonel J. Q. A. Nadenbouch, 2d Virginia, Major Wil- 
liam Terry, 4th Virginia, and Adjutant E. W. Hunter, 2d 
Virginia, was appointed to prepare appropriate resolutions. 
The committee retired, and, after consultation, reported, 
through Adjutant Hunter, the following preamble and reso- 
lutions, which were unanimously adopted: 

"^Whereas, It has pleased Almighty God, in the ex- 
ercise of supreme, but unsearchable wisdom, to strike down, 
in the midst of his career of honor and usefulness, our glo- 
rious hero. Lieutenant General T. J. Jackson, the oflBcers 
and men of this brigade, which he formerly commanded, 
who have followed him through the trying scenes of this 
great struggle, and who, by the blessings of Providence, im- 
der his guidance, have been enabled to do some good in our 
country's cause; who loved and cherished him as a friend, 



honored him as a great and good man laboring with hand 
and heart and mind for our present and future welfare ; who 
obeyed and confided in him as a leader of consummate skill 
and unyielding fortitude, and who now mourn his loss, unite 
in the following tribute of respect to his memory : 

"^Eesolved, 1st, That in the death of Lieutenant Gen- 
eral Jackson the world has lost one of its best and purest 
men, our country and the church of Grod, ^a bright and 
shining light,^ the army one of its boldest and most daring 
leaders, and this brigade a firm and unwavering friend. 

^^^Eesolved, 2d, That General Jackson has closed his noble 
career by a death worthy of his life, and that while we mourn 
for him, and feel that no other leader can be to us all that 
he has been, yet we are not cast down or dispirited, but even 
more determined to do our whole duty, and, if need be, to 
give our lives for a cause made more sacred by the blood of 
our martyrs. 

^^^Eesolved, 3d, That in accordance with General Jack- 
son^s wish, and the desire of this brigade to honor its first 
great commander, the Secretary of War be requested to order 
that it be known and designated as the ^Stonewall Brigade f * 
and that, in thus formally adopting a title which is insep- 
erably connected with his name and fame, we will strive to 
render ourselves more worthy of it, by emulating his virtues, 
and, like him, devote all our energies to the great work 
before us of- securing to our beloved country the blessings 
of peace and independence. 

'^ ^Eesolved, 4th, That a copy of these proceedings be for- 
warded to the widow of the deceased, and published in the 
newspapers of the City of Eichmond, Va., with a request that 
they be copied by the papers throughout the state.^ 

^'Captain H. Kidd Douglass addressed the meeting in a 
feeling manner; among other things, stating that it was the 
GeneraFs wish that his old brigade should be known as the 
Stonewall Brigade, and moved in this connection that a com- 

* The Secretary of War and Confederate congress confirmed the 
name of "StonewalF* for the brigade and made it the official and his- 
torical name of the brigade. 


mittee of five be appointed to correspond with the Secre- 
tary of War in order to carry out the third resolution of the 
meeting. The Chair named the following committee: Colo- 
nel Funk, 5th Virginia ; Lieutenant Colonel Colston, 2d Vir- 
ginia; Mlajor Terry, 4th Virginia; Captain Frazier, 27th 
Virginia, and Captain Bedinger, 33d Virginia. 

"MJajor Terry submitted the following resolutions: 

" ^Eesolved, 1st, That it is the desire of this brigade to 
erect over the grave of Lieutenant General Jackson a suita- 
ble monument.* 

" ^Eesolved, 2d, That a committee of five be appointed to 
carry into effect the above resolution; and that for the pur- 
pose the committee be clothed with full power to appoint a 
treasurer and sub-committees in each regiment to collect 
funds, adopt design, inscriptions, etc.^ 

"The resolutions were passed unanimously, and the fol- 
lowing committee appointed: Colonel J. Q. A. Nadenbouch, 
2d Virginia; Captain Strickler, 4th Virginia; Lieutenant 
Colonel Williams, 5th Virginia; Lieutenant Colonel Shriver, 
27th Virginia, and Lieutenant Colonel A. Spengler, 33d 
Virginia. On motion, meeting adjourned. 

"C. A. EONALD, President. 

"E. W. HUNTEE, Secretary.^' 

*A fine monument and statue were erected over the grave of 
General Jackson and unveiled the 21st of July, 1891, just thirty years 
after the battle of Bull Run. There were a good many survivors of 
the old brigade present. 



General Paxton, commanding the Stonewall Brigade, 
was killed at Chaneellorsville, and General James A. Walker, 
who was Colonel of the 13th Virginia, was put in command. 
General Trimble, division commander, being unfit for service 
by reason of sickness. General Ed. Johnson took command of 
the division. General E. E. Colston commanded the division 
at Chancellorsville. Johnson always carried a big hickory 
club or cane, and when he got mad could work his ears like a 
mule, so that he had the name in the army of "Clubby John- 
son^^ and "Allegheny Johnson.^' 

Our army lay in camp near Hamilton's Crossing; noth- 
ing of interest transpiring, except a thorough reorganization 
of the troops. 

There were nine divisions in the 1st and 2d Corps, five 
in Longstreet's, and four in Jackson's, up to the time of the 
reorganization. After Jackson^s death, about the 20th of 
May, 1863, the* army was formed into three infantry corps 
of three divisions each. The 1st Corps was composed of 
Hood's, Pickett's and McLaw's Divisions, and commanded 
by General Longstreet; the 2nd of Johnson's, Early's and 
Eodes', commanded by General Ewell, and the 3d of An- 
derson's, Pender's and Heth's Divisions, commanded by 
General A. P. Hill. 

The cavalry was formed into one corps, commanded by 
General J. E. B. Stuart; the artillery corps by General W. 
N. Pendleton (formerly Captain of the Eockbridge artillery), 
and the whole army by General Eobert E. Lee. 

The different divisions, brigades and regiments, previ- 
ous to this time, had been scattered over different portions 
of Virginia, and had been called at different times the 
"Army of the Potomac," the "Army of the Shenandoah," but 
was now consolidated an'd called the "Army of Northern 
Virginia," although there were detachments often sent away 
to operate at different points. 

164 fotTr ttARB In l?Hi: stokeWall Brigade. 

Our division, commanded by General Edward Johnson, 
consisted of four brigades, nearly all Virginians. The 1st and 
3d North Carolina Eegiments were in the 3d Brigade, and 
part of the time the ^^aryland Line" was attached to that 
brigade. The 4th Brigade was composed of the Ist, 2d, 10th, 
14th and 15th Louisiana Eegiments. 

The 2d Division was composed of Virginians, North 
Carolinians and Louisianians, and commanded by General 
Jubal A. Early. 

The 3d Division was composed of Georgians, Alabam- 
ans and North Carolinians, and commanded by General 
E. E. Eodes. 

The infantry and cavalry were always casting jokes at 
one another as they passed. The infantry would ask them 
how long it took "them things to ffrow out of a man^s 
heels" (referring to their spurs), and "who ever saw a dead 
man with spurs on?". They would reply: ^T^f it wasnH for 
them things you'd lose your wagon trains," intimating they 
would have to protect them while we retreated. We would 
ask the North Carolinians if they had any "tar," and call 
them "Tar Heels." They would reply that they were just 
out, as they had let us Virginians have all they had to make 
us stick in the last fight, and call us "sore-backs," as they 
had knocked all the skin off our backs running over us to 
get into battle. 

And so it would go, but all in the best of humor, know- 
ing that all did their duty. 

About the 1st of June we got orders to cook three 
days' rations and be ready to move at a moment's warning. 
Our pioneer troops were in camn a short distance from the 
station, and did not get orders for rations until near night, 
as they had neglected us. So, when the orders did come, 
we had to be in a hurry. We had to draw our rations from 
the commissary at the "Crossing" and cook them that night. 
Therefore, in order to lose no time, our Sergeant detailed 
about twenty of us to go with him to the commissary and 
carry them to camp. When we got .there all hands were busy 
weighing and packing up, and we had to wait some time. 
While waiting Sam Nunnelly, of the 21st Virginia, and my- 
self noticed a large pile of hams lying there, with no one 


guarding them. We soon stole a ham apiece and hid them, and 
told some of the other boys about it. When we drew our 
rations and got back to camp we found we had nine extra 
hams for our trouble, which was a fine treat, and kept us 
in extra rations for some time. The bacon the soldiers drew 
waff side meat, the hams being reserved for the officers. We 
never let an opportunity pass to get extra rations, no mat- 
ter if we had to steal them — ^never forgetting the motto 
that "everything is fair in war.^^ 

On the 3d of June our army, EwelFs Corps, took up the 
line of march. Our corps went west through Culpeper 
Court House, and went into camp a few miles beyond, where 
we remained but a few days. We were soon ordered to fall 
in, and were marched in a hurry back through Culpeper. 
We heard the enemy^s cavalry had recrossed the Rappahan- 
nock, and that there was fighting at Brandy Station, about 
twenty-five miles up the river from Chancellorsville. We 
were soon halted and remained there about an hour; then 
marched back to camp. We found out that it was a general 
cavalry fight, and one of the hardest cavalry engagements 
of the war. 

The enemy's cavalry had crossed in force and took our 
cavalry by surprise. They had some advantage at the start, 
but we soon rallied and were reinforced by other brigades. 
It was a desperate hand-to-hand confiict, but our cavalry 
soon got the best of them and they retreated across the river. 

I saw more men cut with the sabre that day than I ever 
saw before or have seen since. My uncle, R. S. D. Heironi- 
mus, belonging to Eosser's Brigade, was severely wounded 
by being cut through the scalp with a sabre, laying the skull 
bare, but he recovered. The enemy lost four hundred pris- 
oners, three pieces of artillery and several stands of colors, 
besides killed and' wounded. 

The next day we resumed our march^ and, crossing the 
Blue Ridge, proceeded to Front Royal. We then turned 
towards Winchester. We then began to understand what 
was up. The Federal General, Milroy, occupied Winchester 
with a considerable force, and was well fortified. He had 
a strong position. As we waded the Shenandoah river that 
evening I told the boys that we would get no rest that night 


until our line wa» formed around Winchester. HaTing 
been so accustomed to General Jackson's flank moT^nents, 
we knew if be were in command there would be no halt, but 
we soon went into camp. I then remained that Milroj would 
hear of our more, and would either retreat to Harper's 
Ferry or be prepared to gire us battle^ as we could not sur- 
prise him. 

We were on the march the next morning, the 13th of 
June, and soon heard our caTalry skirmishing with the 
enemj. We moTcd on to near Winchester, when our troops 
were disposed around in battle order, but there was no en- 
gag^nent of any consequence by our dirision. 

That night our division was marched around to the east 
of Winchester, by Jordan's Springs, and came on to the 
turnpike leading from Winchester north to Martinsburg. 
We were now at Stephenson's depot, about four miles from 
Winchester. We were not quite soon enough, for as the head 
of our column got in sight of the road we saw the enemy 
retreating. We were in their rear, and if we had been one 
hour sooner we would have had our line formed across the 
road and captured th^ whole **outfit." 

Some had already got through, but it was a running 
fight as it was. A large number were captured, and others 
dispersed and demoralized. My old brigade captured six reg- 
iments and got six stands of colors. The (Jeneral gave one 
to each regiment and kept one himself. 

The Louisiana Brigade was running parallel with a 
brigade of the enemy, trying to head them off; but they 
made such good time that they were about to get away, 
when they happened to meet about twenty stragglers from 
our army, who had fallen behind during the night, and who, 
while coming on, seeing the Yankees rushing along at such 
headlong speed, and faiowing that we were in their rear, 
formed across the road and called on them to halt. The 
enemy, thinking it was another detachment of our infantry, 
halted and surrendered. But the Louisiana Brigade was 
near by and took them in charge. That was one time 
stragglers came in good play. The enemy's column would 
doubtless have escaped had it not been for the stragglers in 
their front. 


Our cavalry were on the flanks, and we had none there 
to follow the retreating enemy. So the infantry gathered 
up the wagon horses and mules and mounted them, bare- 
back and in every way, as best they could. They were the 
hardest looking cavalry regiment I ever saw, with their 
knapsacks and blankets around their shoulders; with their 
long rifles and no saddles, and blind bridles, and mounted 
on mules and horses promiscuously. Away they went down 
the pike, as hard as they could go, yelling and firing, as if it 
were big fun for an infantry man to be mounted in any 
shape. They were after the wagon train ahead of the in- 
fantry, and made a fine capture. 

Hays^ Louisiana Brigade charged the enemy in their 
forts around Winchester, driving them out and capturing 
their guns, and turning them on them. Early's Division 
charged and ran them out of Winchester, our division head- 
ing them oflf and capturing them. Rodes' Division was at 
Berryville, to cut off their retreat in that direction, and went 
from there to Martinsburg and captured a great amout of 
stores. We followed them on to Harper's Ferry, when they 
crossed the Potomac and occupied Maryland Heights. 

General Milroy escaped, with about 300 cavalry. Our 
captures amounted to 4,000 prisoners, twenty-nine pieces of 
artillery, 270 wagons and ambulances, 400 horses, and a 
large amount of military stores. Our loss was small. 

General Ewell was a good officer, and our corps pre- 
ferred him to any other after we had lost General Jackson. 
He did well in routing Milroy from Winchester, but Jack- 
son (in my opinion) would have marched all night the night 
we went into camp, and by daylight would have had his line 
of battle around Winchester, and captured the whole com- 
mand. Our corps was rather" anxious to capture Milroy, as 
he had tyrannized over the citizens of Winchester, insulting 
ladies (so it was reported), and rendering himself obnoxious 
in different ways — ^more so than any Federal General had 
done during the war; and if he had been captured by some of 
our men he would have fared badly. 

All this time General Hooker's army was lying on the 
north bank of the Eappahannock, opposite Fredericksburg; 
General A. P. Hill remaining there to watch him. Long- 



street had remained in Culpeper, while Ewell moved on 
Winchester, and as Ewell had cleared the Valley of the en- 
emy, the key to Washington City was open, consequently 
the Federal Army fell back to Washington to protect it. 

This was General Lee's object— to draw the Army out of 
Virginia on Northern soil. A. P. Hill followed up and took 
Longstreet^s place, east of the Blue Eidge, at Snicker^s Gap, 
and came into the Vallev, while Ewell, with our corps, 
crossed the Potomac at Shepherdstown into Maryland. We 
then went to Williamsport, from there to Hagerstown, and 
on to Greencastle, Pa., through Shippensburg and many 
other villages and towns, on to Carlisle, Pa., about one day^s 
march from Harrisburg, the capital, and then halted. 

When we crossed the Potomac we thought we would 
have a fine time plundering in the enemy's country, and 
live fine ; but General Lee had orders read out that we were 
not to molest any of the citizens, or take any private prop- 
erty, and any soldier caught plundering would be shot. 

The infantry did not have much chance to plunder, as 
we were kept close in ranks and marched slowly. We would 
camp every night near some town; but there would be a 
guard in town, and we could not get in without a pass, and 
after we got in were not allowed to disturb anything. Of 
course we could go to the houses and get all we wanted to 
eat without money, for they did not want our money, and 
were glad to give us plenty through fear. 

But our quartermasters managed to gobble up every 
thing they came to. They would take the citizens' horses 
and wagons and load them up with provisions and goods 
from the stores; consequently, we accimiulated an immense 
train. The cavalry were in front, and on our fianks, and 
they had a good chance for plundering and getting good 
horses. They made good use of it, too, and came out well 
supplied; but the infantry got nothing but what we could 
eat, but we got plenty of that. As soon as we would go into 
camp in the evening some of the soldiers would strike out 
into the country, before they had time to put out a guard, 
and would come back loaded with "grub." As we would 
march through the towns the ladies would usually be at the 
up-stairs windows, waving their Union flags at us. We would 






laugh at them, but never disturb them. If the ladies of the 
South had done what I saw them do in Pennsylvania it 
would not have been tolerated by the Federals. 

Some of them would look very sour at us, when we 
would ask their names so we could write them on a piece of 
paper, so we told them, and put the paper in water, as we 
knew it would turii the water to vinegar. 

One day there was a very red-headed one at a window, 
who was very insulting, when the boys got to calling her 
"brick-top,'^ and such names. She got so mad she fairly 
frothed at the mouth, and threatened to fire into the ranks. 
We then tried to persuade her to assume male attire and join 
the army and get satisfaction fighting us. They would make 
sport of our dress, when an Irishman among our troops 
replied : "Be jabers, we always put on our dirty clothes when 
we go to a hog-killing.^^ 

Cherries were ripe while we were in Pennsylvania, and 
there were a great many trees along the road. We stripped 
them both of cherries and limbs, leaving nothing but the 
trunks. Otherwise, we were kept close in ranks, and not al- 
lowed to plunder or destroy anything. General Lee was 
more strict on us than while in Virginia. 

One day there was an old farmer standing by his gate 
talking to the boys, saying he was a "copper-head" and a 
Eebel sympathizer, and had quite a crowd around him. He 
had a fine farm and a fine house, and was well "fixed," but 
when any of them attempted to go in the gate he 
would say they had nothing to eat, as the soldiers ahead 
of us had already eaten him out. I listened to him awhile, 
but soon "tumbled to the racket," and saw he was giving us 
that kind of taffy to keep us out of the house. I told my 
chum to come on, and we would sooil see what was in there. 
When we were about to go in at the gate the old man said 
there was nothing in there to eat. I told him that was too 
"thin;" that we would go in and see; that if he was such n 
good Eebel he could sacrifice a little for us; that he might 
never have another opportunity of feeding the Eebels, and 
that he oughl! to embrace this chance, as this was our first 
trip into Pennsylvania, and in all probability would be our 
last. We went on to the house and found plenty to eat by 


simply asking the ladies for it. When we went back to the 
road we told the other boys that the old woman said we were 
to "come on^^ and get what we wanted, and they went. The 
old man saw his game was up, but I expect he raised a racket 
with the old woman afterwards. 

As we lay in camp near Carlisle one day, and I saw we 
were not going to march, I told Charlie Cross, of the 10th 
Louisiana, a messmate of mine, that we would go out to 
some farmhouse and get a good dinner and some cherries. 
We went about one mile, when we came to a large farm- 
house. A picket was posted there, and they would not let us 
go any farther. We then went into the house and found 
the family were Dutch; an old man, his wife and daughter. 
We asked if we could have some cherries. He said we could 
have all we wanted except from two trees that stood near 
the house; that he wanted them for their own use. When 
we examined the other trees we found very few cherries, 
as the soldiers had stripped them. We then got up in the 
trees the old man had reserved and ate what we wanted 
and broke off several limbs, and went to the house and sat 
down on the porch where the old folks were, and asked them 
if they would not have some cherries, but they declined. We 
then asked them if we could get dinner. They said no, the 
soldiers had eaten all they had. 

While sitting there, conversing with the old people, we 
heard a terrible racket around in the back yard, and did not 
know what to make of it. The old woman jumped up and 
ran around the house, and soon came back with both hands 
up. By the expression of her face we knew something ter- 
rible had happened. She kept on talking Dutch all the time. 
So we all ran around to see what was the cause. We found 
one of the horses had fallen into the cistern, and there' lay 
doubled up, all in a mass, at the bottom. 

The old man then explained that he had run all his 
horses off to the mountains when he heard the Kebels 
were coming, except this one, which was an old family mare 
that they prized very highly for the good service she had 
done them, and as she was getting old he thought the Kebels 
would not take her. He had turned her loose in the yard so he 
could watch her, but as there had been no horse in tlie yard 


for years, and the old cistern was not used any more, and had 
no watef in it, it was only covered with some loose planks. 
The old mare had stepped on them, when they broke and 
precipitated her to the bottom. 

The cistern was very wide, and about twelve feet deep. 
We felt sorry for the old folks, as they appeared so distressed 
about the fate of the old mare. They would doubtless rather 
have lost their best horse than to lose her. Cross, who had 
been an old sailor, soon climbed down the wall to see what 
could be done. He found her doubled up considerably, but 
still alive, and asked the old man if he had' any stout rope. 
He replied that he had a block and tackle out at the barn. 
We told him to go and get it, and to tell two of the soldiers 
at the picket post to come and help. He went to the barn 
and got the rope. He also found some other soldiers there, 
stealing eggs, and got them to come along. 

We then got ropes around the old mare, and fastened 
one end around a tree near by, and commenced hauling 
away, and as we would raise her we would dig down the 
bank and fill up under her, and in this way finally got her out 
and lifted her upon her feet. We rubbed and worked with 
her some time, until she stood up and commenced eating 

The old folks were very much rejoiced. When we all 
went around to the porch the old man took me to one side 
and told me and Cross to remain awhile and they would 
have something to eat. The pickets went back to their posts 
and the others went oflf, and then we were invited in to din- 
ner. We sat down to the best meal we had had in iTinny 
a day. 

We parted good friends, leaving the impression that 
Eebels were not such a detestable set as he had been led to 



Eodes^ Division and ours (Clubby Johnson's) had 
marched direct from the Potomac to Carlisle, while Early's 
Division had crossed the mountains east, and -gone to York, 
where they captured some ninety-day men who were guard- 
ing the place, whom they paroled and sent home. Long- 
street's and Hill's Corps had not advanced far into Pennsyl- 
vania at this time. 

After lying in camp one day at Carlisle we started on the 
march and returned towards the Potomac, when we met the 
paroled prisoners that Early had captured at York. General 
Johnson made them pull off their shoes and give them to his 
men who were barefooted. Some of our men thought it was 
cruel, but Johnson said they were going home, and could get 
other shoes quicker than he could, as he had work for his 
men to do. 

We marched on until one day we turned abruptly to 
the left and crossed the South Mountain to the east. We 
had not heard a gun fired, nor heard anything about the 
Yankees until we had reached the top of the mountain, when 
we heard some artillery firing a long) way off. Some of the 
boys remarked that "Old Early" had found some of the Yan- 
kees some place. We had no idea that the two armies were 
closing together, and that the greatest battle ever fought on 
the American continent had virtually commenced; but, of 
course, our officers knew. 

We marched on down the mountain and heard the battle 
raging louder and fiercer; and just before sundown we 
reached the battle-ground, and saw some of the wounded 
and a great many prisoners. We learned that Early and Hill 
had attacked the advance corps of the enemy and driven 
them (with great slaughter on both sides) from the field and 
through the town of Gettysburg, on to the adjoining heights 
of Cemetery Eidge. Our division was marched over the bat- 
tle-field and around to the east of Gettysburg, and took po- 


sition that night on the extreme left of our army. We soon 
heard that the two armies had concentrated at that point, 
and that the ball would open in earnest at daylight. This 
was the night of July 1st, 1863. 

The battle raged with increasing fury for the next two 
days. It commenced on the 1st of July, 1863, and lasted 
three days — ^the whole of both armies being engaged on the 
2d and 3d. 

Our pioneer troops had a good time during that battle. 
We had to remain near our division, but were not in much 
danger except from a few shells that would pass over us 

Lee^s Army was the attacking party, and the enemy 
were strongly entrenched on the ridge, and acting on the 
defensive. General Lee wanted to turn their left; the 
hardest fighting was on our right and center. Our whole di- 
vision had less to do and was in less danger than any other 
portion of the army, as we had in our front the rugged and 
steep ridge of Culp^s Hill, covered with trees and huge rocks. 
As the men advanced they could protect themselves. They 
had to fire at an angle of about forty-five degrees to reach 
the breastworks on top of the ridge, and it would have been 
foolhardiness for any troops to attempt to charge the works 
at that point. The main object of our division was to make 
a bold front and keep up a continual firing, with an occa- 
sional charge, where the ground would admit of it, in order 
to attract the enemy^s attention, while Longstreet was to 
charge and turn their left. 

The enemy had every advantage of position, and would 
repulse every charge that was made. Our troops would at 
different points drive them from their vrorks, but could not 
hold them for want of proper support. 

The charging column would be nearly annihilated, and 
if a position were taken, they would not have men enough left 
to hold it. During the evening of the third day all the artillery 
on both sides opened fire (about 400 pieces), and it was the 
most terrible cannonading I ever heard. I was in a position 
where I could see the smoke from both sides along the whole 
line, which was in crescent shape, and it was one continual 
roar. I could not distinguish one report from another. 










Night closed the terrible havoc, with nothing accom- 
plished, both armies resting on their arms in the same posi- 
tions they occupied the day before. That night the left of 
our army withdrew quietly from its position in front of the 
enemy, fell back beyond Gettysburg, and formed a line 
of battle in a good position, and laid there in line all day 
the 4th of July, expecting to be attacked by the enemy. His 
position was too strong for our army to successfully attack, 
and General Lee did not have ammunition enough to risk 
another engagement, except on the defensive. But I sup- 
pose the enemy had enough of fighting, too, for they never 
left their works during the day, and everything was quiet. 

Thus ended the battle of Gettysburg; and, as General 
Lee had failed to drive the enemy from their position, there 
was nothing left for him to do but to retreat into Virginia. 

During the second day's fighting we were rather short 
of rations, and, as all the people in the neighborhood had 
fled for safety, leaving everything in their houses, we found 
plenty to eat by going to them and helping ourselves. 

There was one large farmhouse close by» where we pio- 
neers were placed, and we went to it and found a bountiful 
supply of provisions. The family must have left in haste, 
as the table was still set, with the dishes on it, just as if 
they had left their meal and run for dear life. We found 
several barrels of flour, a smokehouse full of bacon, a spring- 
house full of milk and butter, the garret full of crocks of ap- 
ple butter,' and everything eatable that is kept in a well-to- 
do farmhouse of a Pennsylvania Dutchman. If we did not 
live well for two days, and fill our haversacks full of good 
things there, I don't know a good thing when I see it. We 
would build fires in the stoves and outside and bake bread, 
cook meat and chickens, milk the cows, and run the planta- 
tion generally. We told the boys in the regiment about it, 
and some of them came over and cooked rations and carried 
them back for others. But in the evening of the third day, 
by some carelessness, the house caught on fire in the sec- 
ond story from the stovepipe. 

I was on the hill watching the artillery duel, and hap- 
pened to look towards the house and saw the smoke coming 
from the roof, and knew it must be on fire. Several of us 


ran to the house. The men that were cooking inside did not 
know it was on fire. We then ran up stairs and found it all 
in flames, and too far gone for us to save. We th^i went to 
work and carried everything out of the lower story and base- 
ment, except the stoves, and put them in the garden near 
the bam. The house was soon reduced to ashes, but it was 
done accidentally, and we regretted it very much. There 
must have been several young ladies living there, for we 
found their pictures and clothing in the bureau drawers, 
and also letters from their sweethearts in the army. 

I suppose that when they came back and found their 
house burned they thought it was set on fire by the shells, 
as several had hit near tliere, and one had gone through the 
bam. They could see by the things we had saved that it 
was not burned intentionally. 

That night, when the army fell back, our. pioneers never 
received any orders to leave, and we remained there all 
night. The next morning, as some of our cavalry were scout- 
ing around, they came to us and asked our officer what we 
were doing there, and if he did not know that our whole 
army had fallen back beyond Gettysburg that night. 

Our Lieutenant replied that he did not know it, and 
that he had no orders to leave; but the cavalryman told us 
there was nothing between us and the Yankees, and that we 
would soon be captured if we did not get away in a hurry; 
that they were just on a scout to see and watch the enemy's 

But we had been moved around so much, and moved 
in the night sometimes, that we did not know where to go, 
nor which way to start. One of the cavalry oflfered to pilot 
us out, when we started, and by making a considerable cir- 
cuit we arrived at our division in safety. If the Yanks had 
pushed out from their front that morning they would have 
picked up many a straggling Rebel ; but they did not appear 
anxious to see any Rebs. They remained quiet all day. 

The night of the 4th we started on the retreat towards 
the Potomac. We had such an immense wagon train that 
we traveled very slowly, keeping the wagon train in front. 
The next day our rear guard and the enemy had several 
little skirmishes, but we were not bothered much except at 


one place. The Federal cavalry dashed into our wagon 
train as it was crossing the mountain, and turned about 
twenty wagons over and down the mountain side. The citi- 
zens would run out of the woods in some places and cut 
the spokes of the wheels, until one or two of them got killed 
for their trouble, when they ceased. 

One day we were out of rations, and our officers let us 
kill any stock we found to get something to eat. We had 
stopped near a mill and large farmhouse, and some of the 
men were searching through the mill for rations. Down 
amongst the wheels they found a large lot of store goods 
that had been hidden there from a store near by, so they 
loaded themselves down with them and carried them off. I 
went to the house and found some of the soldiers carrying 
off the bee-hives, but the bees stung one fellow so bad that 
he had to throw the hive down. Just then General Walker 
rode up and reprimanded them for taking the bees, and 
made them leave them. 

I saw a beautiful young lady and her mother on the 
porch of the house, the only occupants about, and they were 
weeping so bitterly at the losses they had sustained from 
the soldiers that I had no heart to take anything. Just then 
I saw a soldier crawling out of the window* with a ham of 
meat, and, as the young lady saw him, she commenced cry- 
ing again, and said: "Thero goes the last mouthful in the 
house; what will we do?'^ and gave me an imploring 
look, and asked me if I could not do something for them. I 
knew it was no use for me to interfere, but, recollecting that 
General Walker was near by, I ran around the house and 
told him the situation of affairs, when he rode around and 
made the man give the ladies the ham of meat, and they 
thanked us so kindly on their bended knees, the tears flow- 
ing down their cheeks, that it made an impression on 
me that I shall never forget. I went back to my command as 
well satisfied as if I had eaten a hearty meal. The looks of 
that beautiful lady imploring me for mercy did me good all 
over, although I knew our own dear women in Virginia had 
suffered ten times more from brutality of soldiers than these 
ever did. 

When we arrived at Hagerstown, Md., our army halted 


formed a line of battle and made breastworks, in order to give 
battle should the enemy- advance. Their cavalry had got 
between our army and the river, in order to destroy our 
wagon train; but General Imboden, with his cavalry and- the 
wagoners, had repulsed them and driven them back, and 
saved the train. 

The pioneers of each division were then sent on to Wil- 
liamsport, on the Potomac river, a distance of six miles, and 
put to work building a pontoon bridge. We had brought 
pontoons along when we first crossed the river, and left the 
bridge there while we were north; but the enem/s cavalry 
had made a raid in our absence, and had cut the bridge loose, 
and a great many of the pontoons had floated off; conse- 
quently we had to build some rough ones. We went to a 
lumber yard and carried the lumber to the bank of the 
river, and in two daysj had built sixteen pontoon boats, or 
scows. The lumberman remarked, as we were taking his 
lumber, that the lumber was worth five dollars per hundred 
in gold. I told him to charge it to Jeff Davis & Co. — ^that 
General Lee^s army was worth more than his lumber in gold. 
The river was full and past fording when we arrived at it, 
and the ferryboat was kept busy taking men across and 
bringing ammunition back for our army. The cavalry were 
swimming their horses across all the time we were at work, 
the army lying in line of battle, waiting for us to get the 
bridge built. When we got the boats made we got some tar 
and borrowed the wash kettles around town to boil it in. 
The old women wanted to raise a row when we took their 
kettles, but we promised to bring them back; but we didn-t. 
We then caulked and pitched the boats, launched them in 
the river, loaded them with lumber and went down the 
river to Falling Waters, five miles below, and put in the 
bridge. We there gathered up ten of the original pontoons 
that had been cut loose by the Yanks, and that had lodged 
along the river for a distance of five miles. Then the good 
ones we had saved and the sixteen new ones made twenty- 
six in all. It took all of them to reach across the river. 
When the bridge was completed the army commenced cross- 
ing the river, but the bridge was kept full all the time with 
ambulances, medical wagons, ordnance wagons and artillery. 


and such things as had to be kept dry, consequently there 
was no room for the infantry to. cross, except one division, 
that was guarding the bridge. The rest waded the river at 
Williamsport. The greater portion of the wagon train had 
to ford at the same place. The water would come up under 
the arms of the men, but by crossing in a body and using 
their guns to steady themselves, they all got over safely. 

We brought out 5,000 prisoners and had paroled 2,000 
on the field, who had been captured at different places before 
the battle commenced. We also had an immense wagon 
train. We lost but few wagons, and only one or two pieces 
of artillery, that had been broken down. 

The enem/s cavalry made a charge to capture the bridge, 
not knowing there was infantry lying behind the brow of 
the hil] untU they came close upon them, when the infantry 
poured such a volley into them at close quarters that they 
were nearly annihilated, and horses without riders were seen 
running in every direction. As the last ones crossed the 
bridge they cut the cable that held it on the Maryland side, 
and the bridge floated around to the Virginia side. 

That night, when everything was quiet, with sharp- 
shooters on each side of the river, and the rain pouring 
down, we pioneers slipped down to the water^s edge and 
drew out the ten good pontoon boata, loaded them on the 
wagons and sent them to the rear, and at the same time 
scuttled and sank the ones we had made up at Williamsport; 
but we worked very quietly, and made no noise, for we ex- 
pected a volley every minute from the other side, but there 
was not a shot fired. 

I will now give a detailed account of General Ed John- 
son's Division of the 2d Corps (my division), from the time 
it crossed the Potomac river, going north, until it returned. 
Other divisions and corps crossed at different times, at dif- 
ferent places, and marched different roads. 

We waded the Potomac river on the 18th of July, 1863, 
at Shepherdstown, what is now West Virginia, camped in 
Maryland, and moved by easy marches to Middleburg, on 
the State line between Maryland and Pennsylvania, and 
camped there the 23d; then on to Greencastle and Marion, 
and camped near Chambersburg, and remained there one 


day. Then through Chambersburg and Green Village, and 
camped near Shippensburg. On the 27th we marched 
through Shippensburg, Palmstown, Stowestown, Mount 
Rock, and camped near Carlisle. 

We lay in camp at that place the 28th, about twenty 
miles from Harrisburg, the capital of the State. The 29th 
we marched back over the same road through Mount Eock, 
Stowestown and Palmstown, and went into camp. The 30th 
we passed through Shippensburg and Green Village, then 
turned to the east through Scotland, destroyed a railroad 
bridge, and camped near Fayetteville. 

On the Ist of July marched through Fayetteville, Grif- 
fenburg Springs and Cashtown, arriving on the battle-field 
at 4 o'clock p. m. A. P. HilFs Corps and Earl/s Division of 
the 2d Corps had been fighting all day, and were driving the 
enemy when we arrived. We were marched around Gettys- 
burg and took position on the extreme left, at Culp's Hill, 
but were not engaged that day. General E. E. Bodes' Divis- 
ion crossed the South Mountain, near Carlisle, and marched 
to the battle-field on the east side of the mountain, and ar- 
rived in time on the Ist of July to take part in the battle, 
and drove the Federals through Gettysburg. 

The division was engaged more or less during the next 
two days, with varying success, sometimes advancing and 
gaining temporary advantage, then falling back and taking 
another position; sometimes losing heavily, and sometimes 
lightly, some brigades losing more than others, but the ag- 
gregate loss was less than several other divisions. 

We started on the retreat from our line of battle at 
midnight of the 4th of July, moved along very slowly, wait- 
ing for the wagon train and artillery to get strung out in 
advance. Then marched all day, passing through Fairfield 
and Fayetteville, and camped at the foot of South Mountain 
at 10 o'clock at night. On the 6th we marched over the 
mountain, through the villages of Mountain Dale, Caledo- 
nia Springs and Frogtown, and camped to the left of Waynes- 

On the 7th, marched through Lightersburg and camped 
three miles from Hagerstown, Md. The 8th and 9th re- 
mained in camp. On the 10th the pioneers were marched 


to Williamsport, on the Potomac river, and commenced 
building pontoon boats, the army remaining near Hagers- 
town in line of battle and entrenching, receiving ammunition 
from the Virginia side. 

On the 11th the pioneers floated the pontoon boats, 
loaded with lumber, down the river five miles, to Falling 
Waters, and made the bridge. 

The army crossed the Potomac into Virginia the 13th 
and 14th, at Falling Waters, and we took up the bridge the 
night of the 14th, making twenty-seven days that the divis- 
ion was north of the Potomac. 

So ended the Pennsylvania campaign and the battle of 
Gettysburg. Our loss has been estimated at 15,000 — the en- 
emy's at 18,000, besides the 5,000 prisoners on each side. 
Captain William Powell, of my company, was severely 
wounded, which was all the loss our company sustained; 
but there were very few in the company at that time. In one 
of the charges on our right a color-bearer in one of the 
Louisiana regiments in our division was cut off from his 
command and found that he would be captured, so he tore 
the flag from the staff, pulled off his clothes and wrapped the 
fla^ around his body, then put his clothes on over the flag. 
He was captured and went to prison. When he was ex- 
changed and arrived in Eichmond he took off his clothes 
and unfurled the flasr. Soldiers love their colors with such 
devotion that they will die in defending them, and consider 
it a disgrace to have them captured, and especially the color- 

"Billy,'' or Wes Gulp, was born and raised at Gettys- 
burg, but had been living in Virginia for some time, and was 
a member of the 2d Virginia Infantry, Stonewall Brigade, 
and was killed on Gulp's Hill the third day of the battle. 

In a few days our army moved on up the Valley, and, 
crossing the Blue Eidge, went into camp in Orange county, 
with the Eapidan river as our line of defense. 



My father and family were living in Frederick County, 
about fifteen miles west of Winchester, and as we had given 
up all hope of emigrating to Missouri, they had concluded 
to move to Eockingham County, Virginia, the first opportu- 
nity. When our army drove the enemy out of Winchester 
and went on to Pennsylvania* my father came on after the 
army to see me. He overtook us the night we camped on 
the line between Maryland and Pennsylvania, and stayed all 
night with me, when we consulted as to what had best be done. 
I advised him to return home at once and move as soon as 
possible to Rockingham, as we did not know how long our 
army would remain north of Winchester, and if we fell back 
before he got moved, the chances were that he might not 
be able to get through for another year, as the enemy would 
occupy Winchester as soon as we left. He then left me, to 
return home and move farther south. 

When our army reached Winchester, on our way to 
Orange County, I had not heard a word from my father — 
whether he had moved or not — and was very anxious and 
uneasy about the family, and thinking: perhaps they did 
not know we were f allins: back, and would be caught and cap- 
tured while moving, I therefore stated the circumstances to 
our Lieutenant, and asked permission to leave the army and 
go to my father's, that I might assist them if they had not 
left, and if they had moved I would return to the army the 
next day. 

The Lieutenant said that he could not give me permis- 
sion to go, as it would have to come from higher authority, 
and that a pass from him would not amount to anything, 
anyhow; that he could not take the responsibility on himself 
to grant me leave of absence, but, if I went, he would not 
report me, and if I returned as soon as possible, without be- 
ing arrested, he would not have me punished; but if I was 
arrested for being absent the martial law would have to 


take its course, and I would have to take the responsihility 
on myself. 

So, with that understanding I started for home, and by 
keeping the by-roads I arrived there that night. I found 
my mother and sisters in a great state of excitement and 
fear. They had heard that our army was falling back, and 
told me father had taken one load to Eockingham, a distance 
of seventy miles, and had returned and started with another, 
and if he went on he would not be back for several days, 
and that my sister Mary had gone on horseback with my 
uncle, who belonged to the cavalry. But while we were pon- 
dering over this state of affairs my father drove up with 
the team. He heard that our army was falling back, and 
had unloaded the wagon at Strasburg, in Shenandoah 
County, and made all haste to return for the family. 

So we loaded up in a hurry, and by daylight were on 
the road to Winchester with the wagon and a one-horse 
l^^ggy- When we got within nine miles of Winchester we 
heard that our army had already passed through, and there 
would be no troops between us and the enemy. We were 
then afraid to go on for fear of being captured and losing 
the team, especially if I was with them, so we concluded to 
take a by-road and keep near the mountains until we ar- 
rived at Strasburg. 

That evening the rain poured down in torrents, and 
when we arrived at Hog creek, a small stream that crossed 
the Northwestern turnpike, we found it so swollen from the 
rain that it was impossible to cross. I did not like the idea 
of remaining there in that public place all night, for I 
wanted to travel on during the night; so I waded into the 
stream to see if we could risk it, but found it impossible to 
do so. I waded until the water reached my armpits, and 
found it getting deeper and swifter. There was no alterna- 
tive but to camp on the bank of the creek all night. 

At daylight the waters had so receded that we could 
cross in safety, and we did so. As we neared Winchester we 
heard that some few of our cavalry were still in the place, 
and that the enemy were not advancing. We then concluded 
to risk it by going through Winchester, as we would have a 
good macadamized road to travel, while if we took the by- 


road it would be rough and muddy. But in crossing a 
small washout in the road one of the hind wheels chucked 
down in a hole, and as the wagon was very heavily loaded 
it strained and cracked the axle. We passed safely through 
Winchester, but when we arrived at Middletown, five miles 
from Strasburg, we found the axle had given way so much 
that we could go no further. 

My father then went to Major Crisman, a farmer near 
by, with whom he was acquainted, and borrowed a large 
wagon of him, so we could get on to Strasburg. We unloaded 
the contents of our wagon into it and proceeded on our jour- 
ney. When we arrived at Cedar creek we f oimd the bridge 
burned, and had to cross the creek at a miserable ford. The 
wagon being a four-horse wagon, with a heavy load on it, our 
two horses could not pull it up the bank on the opposite 
side, so we had to camp another night on the bank of a 
creek and run the risk of being captured. But by good 
luck, with all the bad luck mixed with it, we arrived in 
Strasburg the next day. We felt considerably relieved, as 
no enemy had yet been heard of in the neighborhood. 

We then imloaded Major Crisman's wagon, and my 
father took it back, and returned with our wagon when he 
had a new axle put in. We loaded up and proceeded on our 
journey safely, nothing of interest transpiring until we ar- 
rived at Lacy Springs, in Eockingham Coimty, where my 
father had rented a! house of Mr. Barly, and where he had 
left his first load of goods. We f oimd that Sister Mary had 
arrived there in safety. I remained a few days at home, 
helping them to fix things up, when I filled my haversack 
with good "grub,^^ bade them farewell, and started across the 
mountain on a by-path to the army, in Orange Coimty. 

The first night I stayed with a farmer in Swift Run 
Gap, at the foot of the Blue Ridge. The next evening I ar- 
rived at Standardsville, on the east side of the Ridge, in 
Green county, and there found several soldiers on their way 
to the army — some of them musicians belonging to the 10th 
Virginia band. They wanted me to stay all night with 
them, but I went on. 

After traveling about two miles, I met a man on horse- 
back and two soldiers walking. He halted me and wanted 


to know where I was going. I replied that I was "on my way 
to my command/^ 

"Have you a pass ?'' said he. 

I told itiim- 1 had not. He then said he would have to 
arrest me and take me to the army; that he had orders to 
arrest every soldier that had no pass or furlough, and take 
them to headquarters; that he had arrested the two men 
that were with him; and told me to turn round and go back 
to Standardsville with him, and Ke would take us to the 
army the next day. 

It surprised me very much, for he was dressed in cit- 
izens^ clothes, and did not look like a soldier that had seen 
any service. So I sat down by the side of the road and 
wanted to know who he was, and what command he be- 
longed to. He replied that he was a "conscript officer,^' and 
that he did not belong to the army, but that he lived in 

I then told him that he could not arrest me; that I wap 
an old soldier, and was on my way to the army; that my 
home was many miles behind me, and that I would arrive at 
the army the next day. I then commenced abusing him 
for keeping out of the army, and told him he had better 
take a musket and go in ranks, instead of hunting up men 
that were in the service; and that I did not intend to go 
back with him. 

He then said he would make me go, and pulled out his 
pistol and threatened to shoot me. I just dared him to 
shoot, and told him that I would bet that he never shot at a 
Yankee or any one else in his life; that he was coward, or 
he would not seek for such an office in order to keep out of 
the range of bullets. I\ then scolded the two soldiers who 
were with him for being arrested by such a "puke" as he was. 

One of the soldiers then came to me, and, whispering, 
told me they were Louisianians, and for me to come and go 
back with them, and we would put the "fixins" on our bold 
conscripting officer that night. I knew then they had some 
plan to escape; so, after quarreling awhile longer with him, 
I told him I was very tired after walking all day, and if he 
would dismount and let me ride back to town, I would go; 
but if not, I would remain where I was. 


He concluded that was the best he could do, and I got 
on his horse and rode back; but I abused him so much he 
threatened, if I did not stop, to make me walk. I told him 
if he did I would not go a step further, so that settled it. 
When we arrived in town it was dark, and he took us out 
to the edge of town and put us in a small brick jail (the 
county jail). 

But before leaving us we made him promise to bring 
us something to eat. I then told him there were several 
more soldiers up there at the hotel, and to go and bring 
them also, and we would have a fine time. He said he 
would, but I knew some of them had guns, and if he went 
to fooling around them they would kill him. I did not care 
if they did; but he never brought them down; neither did 
he bring us anything to eat, and we never heard of him 

As soon as he had gone we inspected our room by the 
aid of matches, and found it had two windows with iron 
gratings across, and a fireplace in one corner. There hap- 
pened to be an old musket standing in one comer. So we 
soon formed our plan, which was that when he brought 
us something to eat we would knock him in the head with 
the musket and then make our escape. But we waited in 
vain. After a long time we commenced hallooing, and 
yelled as loud as we could; but no one came. We then con- 
cluded to try another plan. We tore out all the sash in the 
windows and made a fire in the fireplace. I divided my ra- 
tions with the others, and as we had table knives in our hav- 
ersacks, we commenced digging the mortar out between the 
bricks near one window. As soon as we got one brick loose, 
we took the stock off the gun, and, using the breech for a 
pry, we soon made a hole large enough to crawl through, 
but still prepared, if any one came, to adhere to our firs* 
plan. But everything remained quiet. 

The jail appeared to be in an isolated place, for we 
made as much noise as possible, to attract some one there. 
When the breach in the wall was large enough one of the 
Louisianians got out, and I passed him the gun-barrel. He 
surveyed the premises, and found no one about. We then 
handed out our baggage, and left. After going a short dis- 


tance we held a council of war. The other two soldiers said 
they had deserted the infantry, and were going to join 
Major Harry Gilmore^s command. That they were tired of 
the infantry, but would go in the cavalry, and insisted that 
I should go with them, but I would not consent. I told 
them I was going on to the army. They said that fellow 
would arrest me again. I told them he would not. I then 
parted with them — they goin^ one way and I another. I 
then walked down the road about two miles, and lay down 
and slept until daylight. 

The next day I kept in the big road and went on to the 
army, unmolested. I never saw nor heard anything more 
of my bold "conscript officer.'^ I arrived in camp that even- 
ing, and told everybody of my adventures, but was not pun- 
ished in any way. 

Our division was camped at Montpelier, President Mad- 
ison's old homestead, a few miles from Orange Court House. 
As the weather was hot and dry, we did not have any work 
to do, but lay idle in camp and took a good rest, and re- 
cruited up after our severe campaigns. 

There was a large cornfield between our pioneer camp 
and where our brigade was camped, and the com was in 
roasting-ears; but there was a guard kept stationed around 
the field to keep the soldiers from stealing the com. There 
was a road through the field, and on one side the Eapidan 
river. Every day some of us would go through the field to 
the brigade, and as we came back we would steal a few ears 
of com, and then hide them under our jackets, so the guard 
could not see them. On the river side there were no guards 
stationed. JVe would go above the field and go in swimming, 
taking sacks along, and swim down the river until we had 
passed the guards and gotten opposite the cornfield, when 
we would get out of the water and fill our sacks with com, 
and then swim back, keeping the sacks under water. We 
managed in that way to steal about half the com that was 
in the field, although it was guarded night and day as long 
as we remained in that camp. 

Directly after we arrived at this camp there were about 
thirty soldiers belonging to the 1st and 3d North Carolina 
Eegiments in our division, who deserted in a body and took 


their guns with them. They started for home in North 
Carolina, intending to resist arrest if molested; hut when 
they arrived at the James river they found every ford and 
ferry guarded, and could not cross. They undertook to 
force their way, with the result that some were killed and 
wounded on both sides, some escaped, and ten were captured. 
They were sent to Eichmond and court-martialed imme- 
diately, and sentenced to be shot to death. They were then 
sent back to their regiments to be executed in the presence 
of the whole diviison, as a warning to the balance of us. 
When they arrived our pioneer corps were detailed to dig 
the graves, make the coffins, put up the posts and buiy them. 
We planted ten posts in the groimd, about three feet high 
and about fifty feet apart, all in line, boring a hole in each 
post near the top, and putting in a cross-piece. We dug 
one large grave in the edge of the woods, large enough to 
hold the ten coffins. 

When everything was completed and in readiness, the 
division was formed in a hollow square around the field, ex- 
cept the side the posts were on. The prisoners were then 
brought from the guard-house, conducted by a heavy guard, 
accompanied by the Chaplain and surgeons. As the column 
entered the field they were headed by the fifers and drum- 
mers — ^the drums being muffled-splaying the dead march. 
They had some distance to march before arriving at the 
place of execution, and I noticed that they kept step and 
marched as precisely as if they were on drill. 

On arriving at the place they were halted, and the 
Chaplain talked to and prayed with them. Then an officer 
took each man, conducted him to his post, placed him on his 
knees, with his back toi the post and his arms hooked over 
the crosspiece, and his hands tied together in front of his 
body, and then blindfolded him. 

One hundred and fifty men composed the detail for the 
execution of the prisoners. They were taken from the different 
commands of the division. The posts before which the pris- 
oners were placed were fifty feet apart. Ten men marched 
out in front of each prisoner — ^making one hundred in all in 
the front line. One-half the guns were loaded with ball 
cartridges — having been prepared by some ofl5cer so the 


soldier would not know whether his gun was loaded with 
ball or not. In the rear of each ten men there were five 
more soldiers with loaded guns, as a reserve, to finish the 
execution should any of the condemned men not be killed 
at the first fire. At the command: "Eeady! Aim! Fire!^' 
one volley was heard, all the guns in the front rank being 
discharged. Then a surgeon stepped forward to each pris- 
oner and felt his pulse. They found two of them, not dead, 
when the reserve guard stepped out and fired again. When 
they were pronounced dead the division was marched by 
them in two ranks, in order that all might see them. 

After the troops had gone to camp the wagons drove up 
with the coffins, and it was our duty to untie them, place 
them in the coffins and load them in the wagons. The one 
that I helped to put away had received, four bullets in his 
breast, and the rope that his hands were tied with was cut 
apart by a bullet. We then buried them. The Chaplain, 
being an Episcopalian, performed the services according to 
the ritual of his church. 

It cast a gloom over the entire army, for we had never 
seen so many executed at one time before. But we knew it 
would never stop desertion in the army, for I believe the 
more they shot the more deserted, and when they did desert 
they would go to the enemy, where they knew they would 
not be found. One day the whole army was formed near 
Orange Court House and marched in review in columns and 
inspected by the officers. They kept us marching around all 
day, and at night we returned to camp. 

As we were cleaning up camp one day we were divided 
into two squads, sweeping with brush broonis and doing 
police work generally. As we finished we met in rear of 
the camp, and each squad claimed they had done the most 
work, until, finally, one fellow belonging to the other squad, 
named James Eoadcap, of the 10th Virginia, got mad at 
some remark I had made, and struck me over the head and 
face with his brush broom. I flew at him, and we had a 
regular knock-down for a few minutes, until some of the 
others separated us, for fear the officers would see us and 
put us in the guard-house. But I mashed the knuckle of my 
little finger against his head, and it is in that fix today, al- 


though not the least in my way. I think every time I look 
at it that it is one of the relies of the war. But Jim and I 
were soon good friends again. I carried a crippled hand for 
several days, and told the officers I had a boil on it. 



In September, as the enemy had advanced their lines 
from the Eappahannoek to the Eapidan, we were moved 
down the river several miles north of Orange Court House, 
and camped at Pisgah Church, and commenced fortifying 
alon^ the south bank of the Eapidan. 

The first day they took us out to work we reported to 
the engineers, who were laying off some gun-pits for artillery 
in a potato patch, near a large farmhouse, and as the pio- 
neers had to wait until they were laid off before we could 
go to work, we soon commenced digging potatoes. 

I had gotten some distance from my squad and was very 
busily occupied with the potatoes, not noticing that they had 
gone to work at the pits, when General George H. Stuart 
(Maryland Stuart), Brigadier of the 3d Brigade, happened 
to notice me and saw what I was doing, and came riding up 
to me, and, before I knew it, was alongside of me. 

"What are you doing here?" said he. He took me so 
by surprise that I wheeled around, not realizing who had 

"Digging a gunpit," I replied. 

"The h — ^1 you are," said he, "you are digging potatoes; 
now go back to your place and let those potatoes alone." 

But I had my haversack full of potatoes, and the boys 
joked me for a long time about it, and by the time those pits 
were done there wasn't a potato left in that patch. 

The Yankee pickets were quartered in some houses 
along the river on the opposite side from us, and our boys 
would make up a volunteer party and wade the river at night, 
surround the house and capture the whole post, just for 
amusement, and get some good, genuine coffee. They had 
to get the consent, however, of some of the officers first. 

They had made several successful raids of that kind 
when, one day, as we were working near the river, we located 
a good post to capture, and as General Ewell came riding up 


at that time some of the boys asked him if we could not go 
over that night and capture the post. He remarked that it 
would not amount to anything, and that we would be run- 
ning a risk that was not at all necessary, and that he' had 
found that if a soldier did his duty in the ranks he had 
enough to do without volimteering to do any more. 

I often thought of his advice afterwards, and was 
pleased to think that he would not rush us into danger 
unless it was necessary. 

As we were making trenches for the infantry we would 
divide out in squads of three, one pick for two shovels, and 
as soon as we would finish one piece we would move on up 
the line. One evening the Lieutenant had gone to camp and 
left us in charge of Sergeant McGhee, of the 23d Virginia, 
and when the time arrived to quit work the squad that I 
was with had not finished our space. As they were all re- 
turning to camp I proposed that we should go, too, and leave 
it unfinished. The others sanctioned my proposal, and we 
went to camp. 

On arriving there the Lieutenant inquired if the line 
was completed. The Sergeant replied that there were sev- 
eral spaces unfinished. He wanted to know, then, ^TVho was 
working at them, and who proposed leaving it imdone?^^ He 
was informed that I was the one. He ordered me before his 
august presence and commenced cursing me, and wanted to 
know why I did not remain and finish it. I replied that we 
had done as much work as the balance of the corps, and had 
gotten that much ahead of them, and that I did not consider 
that we were required to remain there longer than the 
others, but that if they would have remained I certainly 
would. "And furthermore,^^ said I, "you must not curse me, 
or I will report you to headquarters.^^ 

He then ordered the Sergeant to take me out and make 
me pile brush for one hour. I went out with the Sergeant, 
but told him that "I would not pile brush,^^ that "I would 
go to the guard-house first." That was one advantage a pri- 
vate had over an oflBcer. An officer can punish a private, 
but he dare not curse him. 

The Sergeant then went back to the Lieutenant and 
told him what I had said. He then sent for me and talked 


very mildly, and said that he did not want to punish me; 
that he knew I was a good hand to work, and that he wanted 
that to he the last time I disobeyed orders. He knew that 
I would report him, and' he wanted to smooth it over. He 
told me to go to my quarters, and he never cursed me after- 

Several days after that someone stole his watch out of 
his tent, and the next morning he had the long roll beat at 
daylight, and we were ordered to fall in and be ready to 
march at once. None of us knew that he had lost his watch 
but the one who stole it, and we were taken by surprise to 
think there was a move on hand. But it was a ruse of his 
to search the whole corps for his watch; but no watch was 
found. He never did get it or hear from it. The fellow 
who stole it was as sharp as he was, and made way with it. 
We always suspected Sam Nunnelly stole it, but never knew. 
Sam would risk his life for a watch. 

On the 8th of October the greater portion of our army 
crossed the Bapidan, and by a circuitous route, through Mad- 
ison Court House, came to the Rappahannock river, west of 
where General Meade's Army lay, the object being to make 
a flank movement and get in rear of his army and between 
him and Washington City. 

We met a small force of the enemy, who wanted to op- 
pose our passage across the river, but they were soon driven 
back by our cavalry. We had left some of our troops on 
the south bank of the Eapidan, and the enemy had crossed 
there, but were repulsed and driven back. 

By this movement General Meade learned General Lee's 
intentions, and fell back towards Manassas Junction. Our 
advance troops under General A. P. Hill attacked him at 
Bristoe Station, but were repulsed. He failed to get in his 
rear, and before the whole army was up and in line General 
Meade had fallen back again beyond Bull Run and com- 
menced fortifying. As Lee was too near Washington to 
effect a flank movement, there was nothing left for him to 
do but fall back across the Rappahannock. As we fell back 
we destroyed the railroad and burned the bridges. 

As we were tearing down the stone abutments of a 
bridge one day several of us were sent to the base of the 


^T)utmeiit" to roll the rocks in the river. Some of the men 
above, not noticing the party working below, threw a 
large rock down on us, but fortunately no one was hurt ex- 
cept myself. One corner of the rock grazed my head and 
cut a gash about one inch long, and stunned me considera- 
bly; but I soon recovered and was all right except a sore 
head for several days. It was a narrow escape, for if it had 
hit me squarely it would have fairly mashed me. 

The flank movement was planned all right, but failed 
in its execution, as the enemy found out our movements soon 
after we started. We did not have Jackson, with his secrecy 
and midnight marches, to take them by surprise. He was 
the only General in the army that could make a move of that 
kind succesf uUy. It was the same kind of a move, and over 
some of the same ground, that he had made in rear of Gen- 
eral PoDC previous to the second battle of Manassas. Our 
other Generals were good defensive Generals, but we never 
had a General that could execute a flank movement like 
General Jackson. Dliring the balance of the war we had to 
fight the enemy when attacked, and fortify in order to hold 
our own. 

After crossing the Eappahannock our division went into 
camp near Brandy Station, and as the weather was getting 
cold some of the soldiers commenced building winter quar- 
ters, although we had no orders to do so. 

My mess hesitated in building quarters, fearing that we 
would have to move again, and leave them, but as regiment 
after regiment continued to build and the officers were hav- 
ing permanent quarters put up, we concluded that we would 
build also. Charley Cross, Sam Nunnelly, John Hawkins 
and myself were messing together. We went to work in 
earnest and put up a nice log shanty, covered it with clap- 
boards, went to an old bam near by and got some planks 
for a floor and bunks, built a stick chimney, and were pre- 
pared to Hve in high style. 

The evening we finished it I built a fire in the fireplace 
to see how my chimney would draw. Hawkins cooked sup- 
per, and just after dark we were seated on the floor partak- 
ing of our evening meal, and complaining of being very tired, 
as we had worked hard, when the unwelcome sound of *long 


roir^ aroused us from our reveries, and we had to fall in 
ranks, bag and bagrsrage, and inarch off at a quick march 
down the river to Kelley's Ford, where Eodes' Division was 

We learned that the enemy had crossed in force, taking 
our troops by surprise and capturing the greater portion of 
two regiments. We were halted in Rodes^ camp, where his 
men had rushed out in line of battle in order to check the 
enemy, and had left everything belonging to them in their 
shanties except their arms. We remained there about one 
hour, and plundered their camp thoroughly, taking what- 
ever we could mal^e use of. We then marched back, passed 
our quarters, and continued all night towards Culpeper 
Court House. That was the last time I saw our shanty from 
that day to this. 

That night, on the march, Sam Kunnelly came to me 
and gave me what he thought to be a bag of smoking to- 
bacco, as I was a great smoker and he did not use the weed. 
So I filled my pipe to take a good smoke, but, after a few 
puffs, I found I had something besides tobacco in my pipe, 
as it burned my tongue and seemed to set my mouth on fire. 
I then went to a light to examine the contents of the bag, 
and found it to be cayenne pepper. I was going to fight 
Sam about it, thinking he had done it intentionally, but he 
declared he thought it was tobacco, as it was in a tobacco 
sack; but we kept the pepper all the same, and used it on 
our meat. 

General Barly^s Division was guarding the river above 
our division, and had two brigades on the north side of the 
river, and a pontoon bridge thrown across. They were at- 
tacked in the night, taken by surprise, and nearly all cap- 
tured. There were not many killed or wounded in these en- 
gagements, but we lost about 2,000 prisoners and two strong 
positions, and General Lee was compelled to fall back across 
the Eapidan to our old position, that we had left in October. 
It showed a good piece of generalship on the part of Gen- 
eral Meade, and neglect on the part of our division command- 
ers, but as the enemy had never been known to make an 
advance in the night A^^itb s^gh desperate and quiet charges. 


our troops were taken by surprise before they could realize 
the situation. 

The second night of our retreat I laid down in a fence 
comer near Culpeper Court House, by a good fire made of 
rails, went to sleep with my feet to the fire, and got to 
dreaming of having my feet mashed as in a vise, and awak- 
ened with so much suffering that I at once grabbed my feet 
and found that my shoes were burned to a crisp, and held 
my feet like a vise sure enough. I took them off in a hurry 
and could never get them on again. I had to go on to camp 
barefooted, although the weather was severely cold. 

When we arrived in camp Sam Nunnelly was missing, 
and we thought he was captured; but some of the boys said 
they would bet he was out plundering some place. 

Sure enough, the next day Sam came riding into camp 
on a crippled cavalry horse he had picked tip, barebacked 
and with a rope bridle. He had such a load of plunder that 
he looked like a Jew peddler. The boys all commenced teas- 
ing him and wanted him to "divide up." They wanted to 
know if he had joined the cavalry, and where were his sputs, 
and stripes, as we thought he ought to be a Brigadier. 

Sam was as good-hearted a fellow as ever lived ; a brave 
soldier, and) one of the best foragers in camp. If there was 
anything to be had for love or money or by stealing it, Sam 
would have it; but he was the greatest of all in plundering a 
battle-field. Sam said he intended to keep that horse to for- 
age with, but he soon had to turn him over to the quarter- 

Our division was camped near, and guarding Ger- 
manna Ford, on the Kapidan. On the 27th of November 
General Meade crossed the river and undertook a flank 
movement around our army; but our division was marched 
out to intercept him, and as we were marching along the road 
near Mine Eun, we were suddenly attacked. The division 
was thrown into confusion for a few moments, but General 
Johnson soon faced them in line towards the enemy, and 
charged them so vigorously that they were soon repulsed, 
and by the time the other division arrived the battle was 
over. Our loss in killed and wounded was about 450; the 


enemy^s must have been double that number, as we fought 
the 3d Corps (Frenches) and one division of the 5th. 

We were marching in front of the division as usual, 
when all at once we heard firinsr in our rear on the road that 
we had just passed along. The attack was so sudden and 
unlooked for that if it had not been for the presence of mind 
and indomitable courage of General Johnson, the other offi- 
cers and the men, the whole division might have been routed 
and the flank of our whole army turned, our strong position 
taken and a repetition of the affair of Brandy Station and 
Kelley^s Ford enacted. But as it was, General Lee formed 
his line that night on the south bank of Mine Kun, on a 
commanding position, and fortified. 

For several days General Meade lay in front of us with 
his whole army, and kept up a skirmish and artillery fight, 
but declined a general engagement. We heard from some 
prisoners that at one time he had ordered an attack, but 
thinking our position too strong he countermanded the or- 
der and fell back to the north bank of the Kapidan. 

While we lay in line of battle on Mine Kun two men 
belonging to the Louisiana Brigade were sentenced to be 
shot, and were taken out in front of the works to be exe- 
cuted, but they broke and ran to the enemy^s line and es- 
caped. The guards fired at them, but did not hit them, and 
did not try, I suppose, for we did not want to see any of 
the soldiers executed, and would give them every chance to 
escape that we could so as not to incriminate ourselves. 

After everything was quiet we marched back and went 
into winter quarters near Orange Court House. Our pioneer 
troops happened to get some good quarters, already built, 
that had been vacated by a battalion of artillerymen. So 
we were repaid for the quarters we lost at Brandy Station. 

When we were camped at Pisgah Church, ^rly in the 
fall, John Hawkins, of the 23d Virginia, was acquainted with 
a family named Kube, near Mine Run, and insisted that I 
should go on a visit with him one Sunday to see them. I 
readily consented as soon as he had informed me that there 
were two or three good-looking younsr ladies there. We paid 
them a visit and spent a pleasant time. I was considerably 
smitten with one of them, Miss MoUie, and, being invited to 


come again, we visited them at every opportunity, and I 
came nearer falling in love than I had during any time of 
the war. 

When we were lying in line of battle at Mine Eun we 
were near the house, and several shells fell in their yard, 
and, of course, Hawkins and myself sympathized with them 
and watched every opportunity to offer them protection 
should they need it, as the family was composed of a widowed 
mother and three daughters, their son and brother being in 
a different portion of the army, and the husband and father 

After going into winter quarters we visited them several 
times and enjoyed their company hugely. The other boys 
would tease us and want to know when we were going again 
to "Cuba.^^ We lay quietly in camp, with nothing to do except 
keep the roads in repair between our camps and Orange 
Court House, where we drew our supplies. Thus ended the 
campaign of 1863. 



General Meade displayed better generalship than any 
General in the Northern army that we had to contend with, 
except General McClellan, and came nearer baffling General 
Lee than any of the others by his vigorous and prompt 
movements and his secrecy in every movement from Gettys- 
burg to Mine Eun. 

The pioneer troops were divided into messes of twelve, 
and one of the twelve remained in camp to cook, while the 
others went out to work. During the winter of 1863 and ^64 
I was cook for our mess. 

One day as they returned from work Sam Nunnelly 
brought a pig along that he had caught in the road near 
some negro shanties, and gave it to me to raise. I told him 
I did not want to be bothered with it, but he insisted we 
should keep it, and as it was quite a pet we adopted it and 
called it "Susan Jane.^^ It would run around the quarters 
and eat the scraps and find some com at the stables and get 
plenty to eat. At night we would let it sleep in our shanty 
under the bunks ; but when we got up every morning it would 
be lying in the fire-place in the ashes to keep warm. Every 
wash day we would wash it clean in the suds, and then 
make it stand up on the bed until it got dry. It was a white 
pig and Improved rapidly, and was as taine as a dog and 
would follow any one who called it. I had to tie a clog to 
it to keep it from following some of the soldiers to their 

One day it got loose from the clog and I could not find 
it ; but some one told me they had seen it following some Geor- 
gians who belonged to Eodes^ Division. I hurried over to 
Eodes^ Division, which was camped about one-half mile from 
us, and just got there in time to save its throat from being 
cut, and it being made a feast of by the Georgians. It was a 
great pet in camp and I had to watch it continually to keep 
it from being stolen from me, as it would make good pork 


any time. Every one who knew it said they never saw a 
hog increase in weight so rapidly. 

About the first of April I concluded to butcher it and 
have a barbecue for the whole company, as it would weigh 
about two hundred pounds, and we did not know how soon 
we would have to start on a campaign. Lieutenant Cockrill, 
of the 2d Virginia, had spoken for the head for his mess ; but 
we were all doomed to disappointment, for a few days before 
the slaughter was to take place "Susan Jane'^ turned up 
missing, and we never saw her again. I always thought the 
Louisianians stole her, as they had made the attempt several 
times. Anyway, I lost my pork. 

Soldiers are very fond of pets, as I think all persons 
are who are isolated from home. Nearly every separate 
command had some kind of pet. The Louisiana Brigade had 
a medium sized dog, black and white spotted, very intelli- 
gent, called "Sawbuck.^^ Nearly every one in the division 
knew the dog. He would go into battle with the brigade, 
dashing up and down the line barking and making all the 
racket he could. One time he got wounded in the fore leg, 
and never would go in again. The boys said "Sawbucl?' 
was playing "old soldier.^^ If he would happen to get lost 
from the brigade when they went into camp after a da/s 
march, he would station himself by the road and watch for 
the stragglers until he saw one belonging to his brigade, then 
follow him to camp. He knew every man who belonged to 
Stafford's Louisiana Brigade. 

Mjy father came from Eockingham to see me in this 
camp and brought me a new pair of boots and some new 
clothing; also a box of good things to eat, which were rel- 
ished by my mess. He remained with us several days and 
then went home. Some of the boys would get up parties 
and dances in the country, and have a houseful of ladies. 
We would take the musicians from camp, and, altogether, 
spent a pleasant time that winter. 

Considerable snow fell that winter, and every time it 
snowed the soldiers would turn out and have snow-ball bat- 
tles. One day our division challenged Kodes' Division to 
battle in a large field. They came out, and the battle raged 
with various success until towards evening, when a great 


many of our division got tired of it and went to camp. When 
Eodes^ men saw our line weakened they brought up some 
fresh troops and made a charge and ran us into our quarters, 
and then fell back, formed a new line and dared us out 
It looked rather bad for us to be defeated in that way, so 
some of the boys went to General Walker and got him to 
come out and take command. 

It was fun for Walker, so he mounted his horse, col- 
lected his staff, and sent conscript officers all over camp and 
forced the men out. We had signal corps at work, took our 
colors out in line, had the drummers and fifers beat the 
long roll, had couriers carrying dispatches and everything 
done like in a regular engagement with the enemy. 

In the meantipie Eodes^ men were making snow balls, 
and had piles of them along the crest of the ridge ready for 
us when we should charge. Some of their officers on horse- 
back started on a raid to get in our rear and capture our 
wagon train. They did get in our rear and came across 
three wagons that were going to the station for rations, and 
rode alongside and commenced whipping the mules and 
started off with them at a gallop, the drivers not knowing 
what it all meant. But our officers got after them and re- 
captured the wagons and dispersed them, and they had to 
make a circuit of about five miles to get back to their lines. 
Several of them lost their hats and never did find them. 

When General Walker got everything in readiness, and 
the line formed, he ordered us to charge up close to Eodes' 
men and then wheel and fall back, so as to draw them after 
V us and away from the piles of snowballs they had made. 
When the drums beat we were to wheel again and charge 
' I them and run them over the hill and capture their snowballs. 

• J We did so and the plan worked successfully. At the same 
^'' / time the Louisiana brigade slipped around through the woods 
• ,^ir^ and struck them on the left flank, by surprise, and the rout 
"^f^fK ^^^ complete. We ran them on to their camps and through 
7/'*' them, and as some of the Louisianans were returning they 
stole some cooking utensils from Rodes' men and kept them. 
We captured several stands of colors, but we had lost sev- 
eral in the earlier part of the fight. Officers would be capt- 
ured and pulled off their horses and washed in the snow. 








but all took it in good part. Atter the fight was over we 
went out with a flag of truce and exchanged prisoners. 

It was probably the greatest snowball battle ever fought, 
and showed that "men are but children of larger growth.^' 
The Eichmond papers had several columns each giving an 
account of the battle. If all battles would terminate that 
way it would be a great improvement on the old slaughter- 
ing plan. ' ij 

Directly after we went into winter quarters, near Or- 
ange Court House, the Louisiana brigade and our brigade 
joined together and built a large log house, covered it with 
clapboards, erected a stage, organized a theatrical troupe of 
negro minstrels and gave performances nearly every night 
to a crowded audience. "Admission one dollar-7-net pro- 
ceeds to be given to widows and orphans of Confederate 

Noble T. Johnson, of the 5th Virginia, was one of the 
end men, handled the bones, and was one of the most com- 
ical characters I ever saw. He could keep the house in a 
roar of applause all the time. Miller, of the 1st Louisiana, 
was banjoist, and a splendid performer. They would write 
some of their own plays, suitable to the times and occasion. 

One splendid piece was called the "Medical Board'^ — a 
burlesque on the surgeons. The characters were a number 
of surgeons sitting around a table playing cards, with a 
bottle of brandy on the table, which was passed around quite 
frequently, until one doctor inquired how they came to get 
such good brandy. 

"Oh! this is some that was sent down from Augusta 
County for the sick soldiers, but the poor devils donH need 
it, so we^l drink it.^^ 

Then a courier would come in and inform them that 
there was a soldier outside badly wounded. 

"Bring him in! bring him in!^' said the chief surgeon. 
When brought in an examination would take place with the 
result that his arm would have to be amputated. Then the 
poor fellow wanted to know if when that was done he could 
not have a furlough. 

"Oh! no,'' replied the surgeon. A further examination 
developed that his leg would have to be amputated. 


"Then can I have a furlough?^' said the soldier. 

"By no means/^ replied the surgeon, "for you can drive 
an ambulance when you get well/^ 

It was finally determined by the medical board, as he 
was wounded in the head, that his head would have to 
come off. 

"Then,'^ says the soldier, "I know I can have a fur- 

"No, indeed," replied the surgeon, "we are so scarce 
of men that your body will have to be set up in the breast- 
works to fool the enemy." 

Many such pieces as the foregoing were acted — ^bur- 
lesques on the officers, quartermasters and commissaries, or 
whatever was interesting and amusing. Taking it all to- 
gether we had splendid performances. I have never seen 
better since the war, as we had amongst us professional actors 
and musicians; and the theatre became a great place of re- 
sort to while away the dull winter nights. 

As I was a shoemaker and had a few tools, such as 
awl, claw-hammer and pocket-knife, I was prepared to half- 
sole the boys^ shoes. I made my own pegs and a last. The 
next thing, and most important, was leather. Sometimes we 
could get government leather from the quartermaster; but 
in order to obviate that difficulty I formed a partnership 
with Sam McFadden, a messmate, of the 14th Louisiana. 
Sam was to steal the leather, such as cartridge-box lids, 
saddle-skirts, and housings from the harness, as they were 
very common on the Virginia harness used in the army. 
We would then charge five dollars in "Confed" for half- 
soling, and divide, which kept us in spending money. 

One night as we were returning from a visit to our 
brigade, in passing the tent of the Colonel of the 2d Vir- 
ginia, we noticed his McClellan saddle hung up on the out- 
side. Sam said that was a good chance to lay in a stock 
of leather, as the firm was about out. Consequently we 
clipped the skirts off and went on to our quarters; but as 
there were several soldiers in our shanty who did not belong 
there, we concluded to leave the saddle skirts on the out- 
side until the coast was clear, knowing full well the Colonel 


would raise a racket in the morning about his saddle being 

After the crowd had dispersed we went out to bring in 
our stock, but it was gone. Some one had stolen it from 
us. We never did hear of those skirts again, and were afraid 
to inquire for fear the Colonel would hear of it and have 
us punished. 

Our division was not called out for any active service 
during the winter of 1863-4 until in March, when the Fed- 
eral cavalry crossed the Kappahannock under Kilpatrick and 
Dalgren on their raid to capture Kichmond. They were 
repulsed, when our corps was sent down to the old battle- 
field of Chancellorsville to head them off, but they did not 
return that way. After lying there one day our corps re- 
turned to camp. As I was cook I was left in camp, and had 
charge of the camp in their absence. The boys reported 
that the old battle ground was full of bones bleached white 
by exposure, as the bodies of the slain had been covered very 
shallow, and the rains had washed the dirt off. 

We were kept busy fortifying along the Kapidan, mak- 
ing roads and doing picket duty until May 4, 1864, when we 
heard that General Grant had taken command of the "Army 
of the Potomac^' in person and was crossing the Eapidan at 
Germanna and Ely^s fords with his whole army, intending 
to turn General Lee's right and march on to Eichmond. 

My old Company A was quite small at this time. It 
consisted of Sergeant William Montgomery and John Tharp, 
who had returned to the company from Imboden's cavalry; 
James Gaither, William Sivells; Captain William Powell, 
who was not well yet from his wound ; Jos. Carder, who was 
detailed as Commissary Sergeant; Elisha Carder, the drum- 
mer nick-named "Purty,'' Joe McNemar, who was sick in 
the hospital, and myself, detailed in the pioneer troops. 

Lee's Army left camp on the morning of the 4th of 
May and marched all day towards the enemy, passed by 
Mine Kun and the house where Miss Mollie Kube lived. I 
called in and gave her farewell and have never seen or 
heard of her since. So that wound up my army courtship. 

The next morning, the 5th, we were on the march again 
and soon heard the skirmishers engaged. It was not long 


until the battle of the Wilderness opened with great fury. 
We pioneers were halted while the battle raged the hottest, 
but were soon ordered up to the front and commenced for- 

We found our iiroops had repulsed and driven the enemy 
some distance^ and we were ordered to make a line of works 
in order to hold our position. We worked with the troops 
nearly all night and had a very good line by daylight. 

I got a pocket diary out of a dead Yankee^s pocket that 
evening and he had written in it that morning just after 
he had crossed the river. It ran thus : "May 5th our corps 
has crossed the river safely and seen no Eebels yet; have 
not heard a gun fired.^^ 

But the poor fellow soon met the Rebels and lay cold 
in death. I kept the diary for a long time intending, if I 
ever had an opportunity, to send it home to his parents, as 
their address was in it. He was from Pennsylvania; but, 
having lost it, I have forgotten his name. On the 6th the 
battle iraged again with fury. Grant making the attack at 
different points along the line, but he was everywhere re- 
pulsed with great slaughter, as our men had gathered up 
all the guns from the dead and wounded, and had them 
loaded and ready for a charge. Towards night the troops 
on our right charged the enemy under Generals Shaler and 
Seymour, capturing them and nearly all of their commands. 
They came near routing the whole army; but it was then 
dark and they did not know how successful they had been, 
and did not push on. 

General Grant, on the 7th, seeing that he was foiled 
and outgeneraled, commenced moving to the right. A por- 
tion of our army, keeping on the move parallel with him, 
had considerable skirmishing and fighting. Our corps re- 
mained in the Wilderness on the 7th to watch their move- 
ments and bury the dead. At one place in front of the 3d 
Brigade, where the enemy had made a desperate charge on 
the 6th, we buried five hundred of them that lay in line 
as they fell. Our troops at this place only lost two men, 
and one of them was shot accidentally. 

Sergeant Bradly, nicknamed "Doggie" because he could 
bark like a fice, of Company F, was on the skirmish line on 


the fifth. He always held to the theory that if a man was 
born to be killed he would be killed anyway and there was 
no use in trying to protect himself from the bullets. As 
the firing was heavy, and each man behind a tree on the 
skirmish line, some one hallooed to ^^Doggie^' to get behind 
a tree or he would be killed. He replied that if he was 
"to be killed the tree wouldn^t save him," and remained 
where he was. In a few moments he was shot dead. I 
never believed in such a theory and would shield myself all 
I could. 

One evening one of our officers was telling us that he 
had found a wounded Yankee officer down in the pines; 
that he had a fine gold watch and had taken it off and 
wrapped it up in a piece of paper and put it in his pants^ 
pocket; that he was mortally wounded and unconscious, and 
would die soon, when he would go back and get the watch, 
as he did not like to take anything from a wounded man. 
Sam Nunnelly heard him telling this. That was enough 
for Sam — ^he was soon missing. When he came back I 
asked him if he had not been down there and taken that 
watch from the Yankee. He said he had, as the man was 
about dead anyhow, and that the Lieutenant would never 
see that watch. 

As we started out to bury the dead there was one of the 
Federals lying beside the road, who had been killed about 
the first fire, and had lain there nearly three days. I had 
noticed him the first. I and another soldier started to 
bury him, when the other fellow said: "Hold on until I. 
search him." I said that was no use, as he had been lying 
there so long, and thousands of troops had passed by him, 
and that he had probably been searched before he got cold. 
But he kept on searching and finally found forty dollars 
in greenbacks. I then wanted him to divide, but he re- 
fused to do so. After that I searched every one I helped to 
bury, but found nothing but a few pocket-knives. 

We got out of rations during this battle and could not 
get to our wagons, but the Yankees had four or five day«^ 
rations of ^Tiard tack" and bacon in their haversacks, and we 
would get them from the dead. I have been so hungry that 
I have cut the blood off from crackers and eaten them. 


On the 8th our corps moved on down the line as Gen- 
eral Grant was concentrating his force near Spottsylvania 
Court House. But General Lee had headed him off, and 
there was considerable fighting that day. Our whole line 
was formed in the evening, and that night we fortified again. 
General Longstreet^s Corps, commanded by General Ander- 
son, fought them on the 8th, General Longstreet having been 
wounded on the 6th. 

There was considerable skirmishing and artillery firing 
on the 9th, and General Sedgewick, commanding the 6th 
United States Corps, was bantering some of his men, so it 
was reported by prisoners, about dodging their heads at the 
whistling of the Eebel bullets, and said that we could not 
hit an elephant at that distance. A moment afterwards he 
was killed, pierced through the brain by a Eebel bullet. He 
was one of their best corps commanders. 

On the 10th they made a desperate attempt to carry 
our works on the left of our corps, and succeeded in getting 
over the works at one point, but were repulsed and driven 
back to their lines. Each army would fortify at night, and 
through the day, when not fighting, in order to hold the 
ground they had gained, and resist an attack. On the night of 
the 10th Sam Nunnelly came to me and said we would get 
over in front of our works that night and plundered the dead, 
as he knew there were plenty of them there that had never 
been searched. I told him I would not do it, as we would be 
in danger of being shot by our own men as well as the enemy. 
But he said he would go by himself and crawl around and 
^^play off" wounded. So he went, and was gone all night, 
coming back at daylight. He got three watches, some money, 
knives and other things. He would risk his life any time 
for plunder. 

On the 11th there was some skirmishing and heavy 
artillery firing from both sides, and everyone who had to 
be near the front had a hole dug to get into. Our line in 
front of our corps was crescent shaped — our division in the 
center, HilPs and Longstreef s to the right and left. We 
were exposed to shells from two directions and shells from 
one direction would drop in behind the works from the 


opposite angle. Therefore, on part of the line we had to 
throw dirt on each side of the ditch. 

While making a ditch of this kind on the 11th they 
opened on us with artillery. Most of the pioneers ran to 
another ditch, which was already completed, for protection. 
Several of them, myself included, remained where we were 
working, and among the number was one great, big cowardly 
fellow named Ayleshire, of the 10th Virginia, who always 
carried a big knapsack and wore a No. 13 shoe. He was six 
feet high and could take half a plug of tobacco at one chew. 
At the first fire he fell flat to the ground. As the shells 
passed over he would attempt to rise to run to the works, 
but by the time he would get on his hands and knees another 
shell would pass over, when he would fall flat and stretch 
out as before. He would then attempt to rise again, but 
never did get on his feet to run. He kept up that motion 
while the shelling lasted, which was about half an hour. 
He had nearly pumped himself to death, and had the ground 
all pawed up with his feet — the balance of us laughing at 
him and hallooing to him to "Kun Ayleshire ! run Ayleshire V 
If I had known I would be killed for it the next minute I 
could not have helped laughing at him, it was so ridiculous. 
I was wishing a shell wound take his knapsack off without 
hurting him. If one had I believe he would have died right 
there from fright. 

On the night of the 11th every preparation was made 
for a big battle, as both armies lay close together. The 
space between the two lines was thick with underbrush and 
little jack oaks, which stood so close that we could not see 
twenty steps in advance. The artillery was posted behind 
the works with the muzzles pointing over and the horses 
were all taken to the rear. The cannoneers themselves had 
pits dug to shield them. The ambulance corps, the bands 
and musicians, with the pioneers, all had pits to get into, as 
at times the shells would fairly rain over us. 

As the army had been marching, fighting, or working, 
night and day ever since the morning of the 4th, with but 
little sleep, one-third of the men were allowed to sleep at a 
time, on their arms. The others had to keep on the look- 
out for an attack. We had a skirmish line a little in front 


Iiieutt-Oen. John B. Oordon, of Oeoryia* 
(From a war-time photograph.) 


of the works and a line of videttes on top of the works. A 
detail of pioneers was sent back to the rear to cook rations 
and bring them up before daylight. 

But just at daylight on the morning of the 12th, it being 
so foggy that a man could not be seen ten feet away, and 
having massed their troops in front of our corps, and in 
front of the crescent, or horseshoe, the enemy made a charge, 
and before the men knew it they were coming over the 
works in front of the second brigade of our division in solid 
column. They filed out to the right and left, firing at us 
behind pur breastworks. 

The result was they got possession of that part of the 
works held by our division, captured sixteen pieces of our 
artillery, and about two-thirds of our division, together with 
our Division Commander, General Ed. Johnson, wounded our 
Brigadier, Greneral Walker, and demoralized the balance of 
the division. All that escaped had to "run for it^' some 
distance, but were soon rallied by General Gordon, who took 
command and formed into line. The troops from the right 
and left of our line closed in and checked the enemy until 
HilPs and Longstreet's corps came up, when the enemy 
were driven back, and part of the works regained, but the 
battlie raged with great fury at that point from daylight until 
dark; bullets rained and shells shrieked, but we never did 
recover all our lines, nor our artillery. 

The enemy had the key to our position, and if they had 
not been checked there by the most desperate fighting on 
record, the whole of Lee's army would have been routed, 
and General Lee knew it. He came dashing up to take the 
head of the troops in a charge, knowing full well that the 
men would follow him any place he went; but the soldiers 
caught him and held him back, when General Gordon rode 
up and made him go back, saying : "General Lee, you must 
go to the rear; we are Virginians and Georgians, and we will 
recover your lines, won't we, boys?" They answered with 
a yell, when Gordon took them to the front, and General 
Lee was forced to the rear. 

As there has been some controversy in regard to what 
troops took General Lee to the rear, I will here explain 
and settle that controversy. ^h§ Texas Brigade took G^i- 


eral Lee to the rear on the 6th of May, at the battle of the 
Wilderness. Under similar circumstances the Georgians and 
Virginians took him to the rear on the 12th of May at the 
battle of Spottsylvania Court House, or "Bloody Angle.'^ 

Sergeant Will Montgomery and John Tharp were cap- 
tured, and James Gaither, after getting out some distance, 
as he turned around to look at the enemy, was struck by a 
ball in the" eye and fell dead. That was three more of 
Company A gone, which left but two in ranks, William 
Sivells and myself. 

I was going to the front that morning with rations, 
but the fight opened before we got there. The firing with 
small arms was kept up during the whole night, and we 
had to form a new line across the Angle and work all night 
through a thicket of pines. Some were building breastworks, 
cutting down trees, which fell in every direction, some car- 
rying them and piling them up, others with picks, shovels, 
bayonets and tin-cups throwing up earth on tbp of the logs, 
it being at the same time so dark we could not see each other, 
and we so sleepy we could hardly stand up. 

I was digging with a pick, and every time I would stick 
it in the ground it would get fast in the pine roots, which 
was very aggravating. The bullets whistled around us all 
night, and every few minutes some one was hit with a ball. 
Daniel Hoffman, a North Carolinian, was shoveling after 
me as I was digging, and I heard a bullet "spat,'^ when he 
fell over and hallooed out that he was "hit.^^ 

"Are you hurt bad?" I asked. 

"No, I think not," said he. "I am hit in the leg." 
His brother George was working along the line some place, 
and I called to him and told him Daniel had a "furlough," 
and to come and take himi to the rear. He did so, and I 
never heard of him afterwards. 

It got to be a common saying among the soldiers, when 
a man got wounded, that he had received a "furlough," and 
the length of his furlough was rated according to his wound. 
If mortally wounded he had his "final discharge." A sol- 
dier who received a moderate wound was considered in luck, 
as he could go to the rear and get a rest and nurse his wound, 
wounded soldiers being the only ones furloughed. 


Generals Lee and Ewell walked up and down the line 
all night encouraging the men to work, and telling us that 
"the fate of the army depended on having that line done 
by daylight/^ and I knew by the way they actfed that it was 
a critical time. At daylight the works were filled with 
troops expecting a charge; but everything was quiet. Gen- 
eral Grant had withdrawn his troops from our front and we 
lay undisturbed all day. 



That was one time I cannot help but think General 
Grant displayed poor generalship, for he had gained a great 
advantage over us. If he had made a desperate attack that 
morning with the superior number of troops he had, he 
certainly would have driven us from the field and turned 
our flank and captured a great portion of the army and 
compelled General Lee to surrender then and there, instead 
of a year hence. But he quietly gave up all the advantage 
he had gained with such immense loss, being baffled again, 
and started on another flank movement. He kept up those 
flank movements until he arrived at Petersburg on the south 
side of the James. 

Every move he would make brought him nearer Eich- 
mond ; but he was going all the time in an oblique direction, 
with General Lee^s army moving parallel with him, and every 
time he attempted a direct course he was headed off and 
confronted by Lee. After every battle Grant would dispatch 
north that he was so many miles nearer Eichmond, which 
was true, and they in the North would think he was driv- 
ing us straight back, when the fact was he was no nearer, 
so far as the army was concerned, when he reached the 
James river than he was at the Wilderness. He could have 
gotten that close, as respects distance in miles, on the 5th 
of May, without a battle; but he had lost thousands of men 
in the attempt, and was just wearing our army out by de- 
grees, for what we lost could not be replaced, as we did 
not have the men to draw from. No prisoners were being 
exchanged at this time, and General Grant knew if he lost 
ten thousand men every day they could be replaced by new 
ones, while we could not get a man. General Lee had about 
fifty thousand men when the Wilderness fight commenced 
and General Grant one hundred and twenty-five thousand. 

During ttie battle on the 12th there were two trees cut 
down with bullets that stood between the lines. One was 



Stump of iht Tree Cut Down by Bullets at SpottsylvanU 

Court House, May 18th, 1864. 

Taken from "The Blue and Gray." 


eighteen inches across the stump, the other, a pine, twelve 
inches across. They were cut so near off that they fell, and 
nothing but bullets hit them. I have heard that the stumps 
were taken up and taken to Washington and kept there as 

It is related that as the Federals were rushing our pris- 
oners to the rear and punching them with bayonets to hurry 
them up, ^^Clubby^^ Johnson, who was also a prisoner, halted 
in the road and, waving his ^^club^' in the air, cursing, swore 
he would not move another step, but die there if they did 
not quit bayoneting his men; and that he worked his ears 
backward and forward and was in a terrible rage. They 
then quit pimching them with the bayonets and all were 
marched to General Grant's headquarters. I was told this 
by Bob Coffman since the war. Bob belonged to the 10th 
Virginia Kegiment and was captured at the same time. 

We lay still for several days, with the exception of 
some skirmishing, until the 18th, when General Ewell took 
our corps and moved in front of our works to find out what 
the Yanks were doing. If they kept still for a few days it 
was a sure sign they were making a move of some kind. We 
marched several miles to the front and found the enemy 
had abandoned the ground in front of us. 

Our skirmish line, however, suddenly came to their 
wagon train as it was moving along the road and captured 
a great many wagons; but as the balance of the troops were 
marching along the road some distance behind, the enemy 
sent some of their infantry back and drove off our skirmish 
line and recaptured them before our troops could be formed 
in line of battle. The enemy, thinking it was some cavalry, 
attempted to charge us, but were repulsed. They finally 
brought up more troops and it seemed at one time that there 
would be a general engagement. 

Our troops lay silently in line, "and just at dark we 
could hear the enemy ordering a charge. The command 
was ^Torward! Eemember Fort Pillow! Charge !'' But they 
could not tell exactly where our line was, as our men were 
ordered not to fire until they came close up. The enemy 
would charge a short distance, fire a volley and then break 
and run back. We could hear the oflBcers rallying them and 


ordering another charge. This they did three times, 
the command being the same, to "Eemejnber Fort Pillow! 
Charge!'^ Our line never fired a shot and the enemy soon 
retired. We lay there for some time and then fell in and 
marched back to camp that night. 

We had just heard of General Forrest killing the negro 
troops at Fort Pillow, and it seemed to inspire the enemy 
with great bravery to have revenge. 

Our troops had captured a whole company of Federals 
that evening who had been stationed at Washington all the 
time of the war as heavy artillerymen, and only a few days 
before had been ordered to the front and given muskets to 
guard the wagon train. They were captured the first en- 
gagement they were in, and without firing a shot, and were 
sent to Eichmond. They hated it very much, but there was 
no help for it. There was one very clever fellow among 
them who took it so hard that I would have assisted him 
to escape, but had no opportunity. 

General Lee, anticipating General Grant^s move, marched 
out and formed a line of battle between the North Anna and 
South Anna rivers before General Grant reached the North 
Anna. Being baffled again, there being no fighting except 
some skirmishing, General Grant swung around to the right 
when he found Lee confronting him at Hanover Junction. 

On the 23d, and agam on the 25th, General Grant made 
attempts on the Confederates, but was repulsed. (Jeneral 
Grant then left the North Anna, and on the 27th and 28th 
his entire army was across the Pamunkey. 

General Lee formed his line so as to cover all the wagon 
roads and railroads leading into Eichmond from a distance 
of about ten miles. General Ewell being now unable, from 
ill health and the loss of one leg, for service in the field, 
was assigned to duty in Eichmond, and General Early took 
command of the corps, (Jeneral J. Pegram commanding 
Early's Division. General Gordon commanded our division 
in place of ^'Clubby*' Johnson, now a prisoner. 

Colonel Wm. Terry, of the 4th Virginia, was made Bri- 
gadier of our brigade. It was recruited to some extent by 
putting in ranks some of the musicians, the wagoners and 
pioneers that belong^ to the brigade, and calling in nearly 


all that were on different details. So I left the pioneer 
corps, took a musket and went to my old company, which 
consisted of Captain Powell, Sivells, Will Pollard, from 
Rockingham (who had to go into tiie infantry from the 
cavalry because he had no horse), and myself. 

The day I went to the company they were lying in 
the breastworks across a level field and the enemy were in 
the woods a short distance in front of us. Their sharp- 
shooters would get up in the tree tops and fire at every 
fellow who showed himself behind the works. The sun was 
hot and we had to lay in the ditches all day and nearly suflEo- 
catfe, and when we would want water would draw straws who 
should go for it. The one whose lot was to go would take 
as many canteens as he could carry and run the gauntlet 
to the rear, to a small ravine. While filling them he would 
be safe, but he had to run back again, for the sharpshooters 
would open fire on him as soon as he started. Several got 
shot in this way. 

Every nxove we would make we would fortify, and the 
enemy would do the same. The country was dug up along 
the whole line from the Wilderness to Bichmond, and nearly 
every fight would come off in the open field or woods, for 
as soon as we were fortified the enemy, instead of attack- 
ing us, except in a few instances, would undertake to flank us. 

One day, about 1 o'clock, our division was ordered to 
leave the works we were in and move farther to the right, 
some of HilFs Corps being ordered to take our place. We 
had our flags stuck up on the works, and the artillery point- 
ing over; the horses being in the rear. When HilFs men 
came they had sneaked down the line unperceived by the 
enemy, and, being very tired, they lay down to rest. When 
we left the works we made a rush for a piece of woods not 
far off, and the enemy saw us leave and fired at us. 

After we had marched down the line some distance we 
heard terrific firing back at the place we had left. We were 
halted and formed along the works, expecting a general 
attack, but in a short time everything was quiet, and we 
soon learned the cause of the firing, as we were told by the 
prisoners. It seems the enemy had seen us leave the works 
in front of them, but had not seen Hill's men come in and 


take our places, and they concluded, as there was no in- 
fantry there, they would charge the works and capture the 
artillery. Consequently they formed in three lines and 
charged across the field; but HilFs men held their fire until 
they were close to the works and then opened on them with 
a deadly volley of musketry, and grape and canister from the 
artillery, and nearly annihilated them. 

They then caime out of the works and charged them in 
turn, capturing nearly all that were left alive, and all with- 
out the loss of a man. 

We were marched on that evening some distance, Peg- 
ram^s Division being in front, feeling for the enemy. Sud- 
denly the division ran onto a full corps and had to fight 
tetribly to keep from being surrounded before our division 
could arrive. We went forward double-quick, and when we 
came up Pegram's men were falling back. We formed in 
line across an open, sandy field, and were ordered to throw 
up a hasty work in order to check the enemy. 

There was a fence near by, and a large pile of cord- 
wood near a house, and every soldier took a load of rails or 
wood and, laying them along the line, would dig up the sand 
with his bayonet and throw it over with a tin cup or tin 
plate, or with his hands, and in a few minutes we had very 
good defense. 

I never before saw men carry such loads of rails^ or 
work so hard, as they did on that occasion. It undoubtedly 
saved our two divisions, for by the time Pegram^s men got 
back to us they fell in behind our works, and the enemy, 
seeing a formidable line in front, halted. 

General Terry complimented us very highly, and said 
that he knew if men would not flinch under those circum- 
stances, and under a galling fire, they could be depended on 
for anything, and that he did not see a man shrink from 
duty, and that he was proud that he commanded such a 
body of men, although few in number. 

That night we fell back about a mile to a good posi- 
tion and threw up a line of good works. We lay in this 
position several days, not much fighting being done, except 
on our extreme right. Our rations of corn bread and bacon 
would be cooked in the rear and brought up to the front. 


three days^ rations at a time; but as we were moving about 
so much and changing positions all the time we often missed 
our "grub/^ 

We were allowed one pint of corn meal (not sifted) 
and one-fourth of a pound of bacon for one da/s ration, 
and as there was nothing in that country to steal, we were 
pretty badly off. The corn bread would get so hard and 
moldy that when we broke it it looked like it had cobwebs 
in it. Numbers of the citizens came into our lines who had 
been robbed of everything they had, aad their houses burned 
besides, and we often divided our scanty rations with them 
to keep them from starving. 

The poor in Richmond were suffering for something to 
eat, and when the soldiers heard of it tiie whole of Lee's 
Army voted to give them one day's rations; and that was 
done several times to my certain knowledge. After being 
up and losing sleep for three nights, one evening I thought I 
wotild have a good rest, but was soon ordered to report to 
General Gordon's headquarters with my gun. 

When I arrived I found about two hundred soldiers 
there, detailed for special duty. We were then taken up 
the line and deployed in a swamp in front of our lines, in 
shape to take the enemy by flank. As soon as we were 
ordered te move forward it commenced pouring down rain, 
but we moved on and soon came te the enemy's line, and, 
taking them completely by surprise, they were thrown into 
confusion. As soon as our guns opened our main line from 
the breastworks moved forward, and we drove the enemy 
about two miles and captured about one thousand prisoners 
and took position at their works, but on the opposite side. 
We were kept awake all night by false alarms and firing 
from the pickets. During this campaign if we got two hours' 
sleep out of twenty-four we were doing well. 

The next night I was put on picket in this swamp, and 
it came my turn to stand the first two hours. I was so near 
the enemy that I could not light my pipe and so sleepy that 
I could not keep my eyes open te save my life, and I knew 
that if I sat down I would be fast asleep. 

I pleaded with the officer of the guard for "God's 
sake and for the sake of humanity te not leave me on post. 


for it was impossible for me to keep my eyes open/^ but 
of no avail, as he replied "that all were in the same condi- 

I was more frightened than I had ever beai in any 
battle during the war, for I could conceive of no way to 
keep awake and was not allowed to walk my beat. I well 
knew what my fate would be if found asleep on the outpost, 
which was death by a drum-head court-martial; I would 
have rather died a dozen deaths on the field of battle than 
be disgraced by being shot to death for negligence of duty. 

I, therefore, braced myself on the ground, and, rest- 
ing my chin on the muzzle of my gun, would soon be fast 
asleep, only to be awakened by falling. In that manner I 
worried out the two hours — ^the rain continuing to pour 
down all the time. I thought it was the longest two hours 
I ever spent in my life. I never was so sleepy before or 
since. When finally relief did come, I went back to the 
reserve and rolled up in my gum blanket and slept — oh! 
how sweetly — ^the rain pouring down all night, but an earth- 
quake could not have awakened me. Those engagements 
were called the battles of Bethseda Church. 



General Grant then moved to Cold Harbor, where he 
could have been the 1st of May without firing a gun; but 
that was McClellan's plan, and Grant did not want to fol- 
low any of his predecessors, but take a new route for Rich- 
mond by the Wilderness. But he had to adopt all of their 
old routes, and fail as they did. 

On the 3d of June he was determined to fight the de- 
cisive battle of the war, and massed his troops and rushed 
them on our works amidst a storm of shot and shell that 
it seemed no men could stand, but they were repulsed with 
great slaughter. The battle did not last more than one hour. 

It was the most destructive that had been fought dur- 
ing the war, considering the length of time the engagement 
lasted. It was estimated that he lost ten thousand men in 
that short time, and his troops, it is said, seeing it was a 
useless slaughter, could not be induced to try it again. That 
place, the second Cold Harbor battle, was called "Grant^s 
Slaughter Pen.^^ The men were left there to rot, as Grant 
would not bury them; neither would he allow us to do so. 

There were fourteen different assaults made along the 
line in that short time and all repulsed with the above re- 
sults, and but very few Confederates lost; but the enemy 
were no nearer Richmond than before, and Grant had to 
adopted another plan. 

During this time General Grant had sent an army under 
General Sigel up the Shenandoah Valley in order to destroy 
railroads in our rear and cut off our line of retreat; but 
General John C. Breckinridge came from Southwest Vir- 
ginia with his division, and gathered up some scattering 
troops in the Valley, together with the cadets from the 
Virginia Military Institute, and met General Sigel at New 
Market. Sigel was defeated on the 15th of May and re- 
treated to Winchester. General J. C. Breckinridge then left 
the Valley and reinforced General Lee at Hanover Junction 


and remained with ns until after the battle of Cold Harbor. 
But in the meantime another army was sent up the Valley 
under General Hunter, whose march was opposed by General 
William Jones, a cavalry commander, with a small force of 
cavalry. General Jones was defeated and killed at the bat- 
tle of Piedmont, in Augusta County. 

The enemy soon had possession of Staunton and our 
railroad communication, and continued his march on through 
Lexington to Lynchburg. At the same time a large Federal 
force was approaching Lynchburg from West Virginia under 
General Crook, who joined Hunter at Staunton. Should 
they capture Lynchburg we would be cut off from our base 
of supplies. Therefore, General Breckinridge was sent from 
Lee's Army to get between Hunter and Lynchburg and de- 
feat him ; but he failed to do so, and had to protect Lynch- 
burg with his division, the cavalry and some militia. 

It was a critical time, and as Grant, being defeated in 
his plans, had changed his base to the south side of the 
James river, our corps, under General Early, was started 
out on a forced inarch to Lynchburg, two hundred miles 
distant. We marched one hundred miles, to Charlottesville, 
in four days. The night we arrived there it was my turn 
to cook rations. The wagons were late coming up, and by 
the time I drew rations and cooked them the long roll beat 
to fall in. My feet were so sore that I had to crawl around 
the fire and cook on my hands and knees. I got no sleep 
the whole night. So when we were ordered to fall in I went 
to Dr. Baldwin, our surgeon, and showed him my feet and 
told him that it was impossible for me to march any farther. 
He said we would not march that day, as we were going to 
take the cars from there to Lynchburg. I told him I could 
stand that very well. 

We loaded up and started out, the artillery, wagon train 
and ambulances keeping on the wagon road. Some of the 
divisions also had to march all day, as there were not trains 
enough to transport all at once. They had to go to Lynch- 
burg, unload, and return and load up again. 

We had a fine time until our engine broke down, when 
we had to unload and camp all night. When the train came 
we were crowded in, and just as we got on the high bridge 


over the James river at Lynchburg, the rear car jumped the 
track; but as we were going very slowly and the soldiers 
commenced hallooing to the engineer, he stopped. Some of 
the men jumped off for fear the whole train would be pulled 
off the bridge. One or two were killed and some fell on the 
bridge, and some caught in the timbers and were badly hurt. 
But they soon tumbled the rear car off the track and 
rushed on to the depot. 

It was rushing times then, as the Yankee shells were 
falling in the edge of Lynchburg. We unloaded and went 
double-quick through the city and out to the fair groimds 
and formed a line of battle, threw out skirmishers, and went 
to our old trade-^fortifying. 

Our division and Pegram's were on the ground, 
but Eodes^ Division was still behind and would not get up 
until that night. General Gordon wanted to attack the 
enemy that evening, but General Early would not consent 
to do so until Eodes arrived. General Gordon said the 
^TTanks^' would be gone by morning. Sure enough, at day- 
light we found they wer^ many miles ahead of us, and all 
had gone towards Liberty. 

We then started on a forced majch to overtake them; 
but I could not march, and Dr. Baldwin gave me a pass to 
remain in the rear and get in an ambulance when they over- 
took us, or else go back to Lynchburg to the hospital. 

I did not want to go to the hospital just for sore feet, 
although they were raw and bleeding; but I thought they 
would be all right in a few days, and I waited for the am- 
bulances. When they came up I got in and arrived in 
Liberty, now Bedford City, a distance of twenty-five miles, 
the next day. There we heard that the advance of our army 
had overtaken the rear of the enemy at Liberty, now Bed- 
ford City, near night, and had driven them on to their 
main line ; but they had the night to retreat in again. This 
was repeated every day until our army iieached Salem, Eo- 
anoke Coimty. iSvery evening our army would overtake 
them; but night would again save them. As it was, after 
we attacked them at Hanging Eock Pass, they were scat- 
tered to the mountains and disbanded, and made their way 


to the Ohio river and points in West Virginia in small 
squads, and had to subsist off the country. 

The cavalry followed them up; but General Early, with 
the infantry, turned at Salem and started down the Valley 
towards Staunton. When the ambulance I was in arrived 
at Liberi;y the doctors there had orders to put all the men 
in the hospital who were unable to march, and I was left 
at Liberty, now, Bedford City. I remained there seven days, 
and was nearly eaten up by the bugs at night, and did not 
know from which I suffered most, my feet or the bugs. 

As soon afi I heard the army had gone down the Valley 
I applied for my discharge from the hospital. I could have 
stayed there longer; but as my parents and sisters lived in 
the Valley at Dayton I knew it would be a good excuse to 
get home for a few days. As the railroads had been de- 
stroyed, there was no transportation, and I had to "foot if' 
twenty-five miles to Lynchburg. I arrived there next day 
and took the cars, around by way of Charlottesville, to 
Staunton. There were a good many in the cars going on to 
the army from the different hospitals; also, quite a number 
of stragglers. We were to draw rations in Staunton, but 
when we arrived there Early's army was one day ahead of 
us, and had taken all the rations with them and we got 
none. The citizens had also been stripped of provisions by 
having both armies to feed. 

We started down the turnpike, thinking we would get 
something to eat in the country; but after trying at every 
house for five miles without success I told the boys I was 
going to kill the first thing T came across that would do to 
eat. I was anxious to get home that night, but knew I 
could not make it unless I ate something, as I had not 
eaten a mouthful since leaving Lynchburg. The first house 
I came to I went into the yard and commenced throwing 
my ramrod at the chickens, but the old woman saw me 
and "fired'' me out. We soon came across some hogs in the 
road. I loaded my gun, and as I was trying to slip around 
them to head them off they started to run, and I fired and 
hit one just behind the shoulder, and he fell over in the 
fence comer and never squealed. I had killed him dead. 
As we were not near camp we did not have to use the bay- 


onet. We then saw some officers coming down the road, and 
we threw the hog over the fence and went and sat down on 
the opposite side until they parsed. We then "skinned^^ a 
ham and cut out aa much as we wanted, when we left. 
Some more soldiers coming up, we told them to draw their 
rations of pork; and I don't think there was any of that 
hog left but the hair. 

The next point to make was to get some bread and 
coffee. I went to a house and inquired for bread; but, as 
usual, they had none. I was not to be baffled in this way, 
however. I went around to the kitchen and told the old 
negro woman that I would give her plenty of meat if she 
would give me some bread. "You bet'' the bread was forth- 
coming immediately. We then cooked our meat, had a good 
square meal, and proceeded on our journey. I arriv^ at 
home that night after a twenty-five-mile march and one meal. 

I remained at home in Dajrton a few days, hearing from 
the army every day. It was still marching on north down 
the Valley toward ihe Potomac. 

I did not like the idea of marching on after the army 
such a long distance, as the time had arrived in the progress 
of my soldiering that I wafi about "played out." I could 
not stand hard marching and was broken down other ways 
aad completely used up by hard service aad severe exposure. 
I had no energy or activity left and just felt like lying 
down and resting in one place for months; but I knew I 
could not stay at home, and that I must follow on after the 
army or be arrested by the provost guard. 

My sister Sallie at that time wanted to make a visit 
to our friends and relatives in Frederick and Hampshire 
Counties; and as my father had a horse and buggy we con- 
cluded that we would follow up the army in that style, as 
it was more agreeable and comfortable to me than walking. 
I thought also that, perhaps, I could come up with the army 
near Winchester. So we started out, my discharge from the 
hospital and my musket being a good pass. When we ar- 
rived at Winchester, a distance of ninety miles, we heard 
that General Early had crossed the Potomac river into Mary- 
land, and was advancing on Washington City. He had sent 
orders back to Winchester to hold all the stragglers and ab- 


sentees from the army in Winchester until his return from 
Maryland^ as it was not safe to follow on for fear of being 
captured by the enemy. My sister wanted to go fifteen miles 
west of Winchester to our uncle's. As I did not want to 
lie around Winchester I wanted to go with her int6 the 
country and wait for the army; but I knew I could not get 
a pass to go through the pickets. 

We stopped at Miss Afflick's, and I sent Sallie around to 
the provost marshal's office to get a pass for herself and 
driver ; we determined to see if we could not run the blockade 
in that manner. When she arrived at the c^ce she f oimd an 
old acquaintance there, Mr. Tom WiUdns, from Dayton, 
who belonged to the 10th Virginia, and who was temporarily 
detailed provost clerk. She very easily got a pass from Tom 
for her and myself, and when she came back we proceeded 
on ouiT journey to our uncle's unmolested. 

I remain^ there severed days, until I heard that Gen- 
eral Early had returned from Maryland and was in camp 
near Winchester. My uncle then hitched up his team and 
we started for camp; but when we got near Winchester we 
heard considerable fiadng, so we halted until we could hear 
further news. We stayed all night near Winchester and 
found out next morning that our army had fallen back dur- 
ing the night, and that the Yankees were in possession of 

I then came to the conclusion that I had better be 
making myself scarce in that neighborhood. I, therefore, 
started on foot by the mountain road up the Valley, knowing 
that I would soon get with them, as they would not go far. 
I soon fell in with two other soldiers and we traveled on 
until we reached the Valley turnpike at Woodstock, when 
we found we were ahead of the army, as they were camped at 
Fisher's Hill and were fortifying. 

I reached my command the next day. I foimd them 
in camp on Cedar creek, a few miles north of Strasburg; 
but found no Company "A." Captain Powell had gone 
home, as he could not stand the service on account of his 
wound. Joseph Carder was in the hospital at Lynchburg 
and William Sivells had gone home to Hampshire. Elisha 
Carder, with his drum, and I, with my musket, were all 


there was left oi Company A fit for duty, and I felt con- 
siderably discouraged. I was put in Company "F/^ under 
Captain A. H. Wilson (the Hajdy Company), but made up 
my mind that I would leave the regiment and go into the 
cavalry, or to somje partisan ranger company, the first op- 
portunity. I hated to leave the old brigade, as I had been 
with it so long; but I was of no use in the infantry. I 
could not stand marching any longer, and had no company, 
and I must either go to the cavalry or leave the service. 

The officers in the regiment, and Captain Martin, our 
commissary, gave me the name of "The Last of the Mohi- 
cans.^^ The whole division was considerably reduced, as we 
had lost about two-thirds of the number captured at Spott- 
sylvania Court House, and kept losing men all the time, with 
no recruits except possibly a few from the hospitals. Our 
whole brigade did not number over 500 men. Each of the 
other brigades in the division contained about the same. 
There were not 100 men in my regiment, all told. The three 
Virginia Brigades in our division were consolidated into one. 

The soldiers and officers cared very little for exact dis- 
cipline. We drilled very seldom, and dress parade was 
played out. Very little camp guarding was done, and when 
we did have a camp guard they would sit on their posts 
unconcerned. In some ways the discipline was as good and 
strict as ever; but we were on the march or fighting nearly 
all the time. 

One day a soldier was sitting on his post as camp 
guard, and had taken his gun to pieces and was cleaning 
it when the "officer of the day^^ happened to come along 
and asked him what he was doing there. 

"Oh,^^ said the soldier, "I am sort o' sentinel.^' 

"Well,^^ said the officer, "don't you know it is against 
orders to sit down on your post while on duty, much less 
to take your gun to pieces in that manner ?" 

"That used to be the law in the commencement of the 
war,'^ replied the sentinel, ^^ut it's sort o' played out now.'' 

^TTes, but I want you to understaad that I am officer 
of the day, going on my rounds." 

"Are you?" .replied the sentinel. ^TV^ell, just hold on 


^till I get this old gun together and 1^11 give you a sort o' 

It showed how careless and indifferent the soldi^s had 
become about technicalities; but in a fight^ or on picket in 
"the fronf they were as dutiful as ever. 



General Early had marched into Maryland and fought 
a battle at Monocacy bridge, defeated the enemy, and con- 
tinued his march to within four miles of Washington City. 
He laid there one day and then returned to Virginia. It 
was said that he could have taken Washington, as there were 
but few troops there; but the move was made to draw a large 
force from General Grant's Army and relieve General Lee, 
which it did, as troops were sent to Washington at once. 

It was during this battle that two of my former mess- 
mates and intimate friends, who have been mentioned before, 
passed out of existence, andwill be dropped from further men- 
tion — Jacob Fogle and Sam Nunnelly. Fogle was killed in 
the charge, and Nunnelly turned up missing. Whether he 
was killed or captured or died in prison is imknown, for he 
was never heard of afterwards, and inquiries for him since 
the war failed to reveal his fate; but he is numbered with 
the great army of unknown. 

After remaining in camp a few days, after I had 
reached the army at Cedar creek, we started on the march 
towards Winchester. After getting below Newtown we were 
filed out to the left of the road and formed in line of battle 
and ordered to load our arms. We were not thinking of a 
battle and it took us rather by surprise when we heard the 
skirmishers firing. When I went to load my gun I foimd 
I had no cartridges; but in place of cartridges I had a 
withered boquet of flowers a young lady had given me at 
Dayton. I had thrown my cartridges away when I left the 
hospital and had forgotten about it; but I soon borrowed 
some from the others. 

We were ordered to advance, when the enemy gave way, 
and we had a running fight from there to Winchester. There 
they made a short stand, but were soon routed and put to 
flight. We ran through the streets of Winchester pellmell, 
at full speed — ^the ladies waving their handkerchiefs and 


cheering us on. We halted that night in the open fields 
below Winchester with rain pouring down upon us in tor- 

We then maneuvered in the lower Valley for some tirne^ 
in and around Bunker Hill, Smithfield and Berryville, until 
the enemy advanced on us, when we, in turn, fell back, with- 
out a general engagement, to the south bank of Cedar 
creek. That was the last battle I was in while belonging 
to that brigade; and I was the only man of Company A that 
was carrying a musket My career in the Stonewall Brigade 
was soon to terminate. 

The next day we lay in line of battle in the hot, broil- 
ing sun of August, without a particle of shade, from day- 
light until dark. The enemy was lying in line on the hills 
on the opposite side of the creek, and considerable skir- 
mishing was going on all day along the banks of the creek. 
At times it was very heavy on our right, the enemy open- 
ing on us once in awhile with artillery. We could see the 
smoke from their guns, and occasionally a shell would come 
whistling by; but we seldom heard the report, although we 
were not more than a mile away. I suppose the reason for 
our not hearing the reports so near can be accounted for by 
the peculiar shape of the coimtry and direction of the wind; 
but it appeared singular to us. 

After dark our army fell back to Fisher's Hill, about 
two miles south of Strasburg, to our intrenched position. 
That night I was taken desperately sick, and I thought I 
would surely die. I had them get the doctor and he said 
I had the cholera morbus. He gave me some relief, but I 
was very sick the next day. It was the worst attack I ever 
had in my life. It was occasioned, they said, by lying in 
t^e hot sun all day. 

The second day the army started on the move again, 
towards Winchester, as the enemy had fallen back. I was 
put into an ambulance and taken to Winchester and there 
left at the hospital. I got permission in a few days to go 
to my uncle, J. H. Heironimus, who lived in the country. 
I remained there one week, but was afraid of being cap- 
tured, as the Yankees were scouting everywhere. My uncle 
took me to Winchester, and got permission from the sur- 


geon of the hospital to let me stay at a private house^ which 
I did, but had to report to the hospital every day for medi- 
cine, as I had the chronic diarrhoea. I remained there mitil 
the 19th of September, the day the big battle of Winchester 
was fought. 

General Sheridan attacked General Early at daybreak 
down on the Opequon creek. As General Eodes' Division 
was down near Bunker Hill there was no chance for Early 
to fall back until Eodes formed a junction with him. By 
that time the troops were so hotly engaged that retreat in 
good order was impossible. General Eodes* Division was 
nearly cut off; and as he waa bringing them int6 action he 
was killed, which was a severe loss. 

I was in Winchester at the time, and it was thought 
there that it would be a short fight, and I went to the 
hospital to see what orders they had, but foimd they had 
none to move. I knew I would have to ride if I got away, 
and I did not like the way the battle was raging, for it 
appeared to me that the musketry was getting closer and 
that our right was being turned. Just before sundown the 
enemy^s cavalry had flanked our cavalry, and the whole line 
was going back. I could see them on the hills west of 

I then started out of town on foot, but soon got into 
a wagon, and when we reached the south end of town we 
foimd aU our wagon train parked there, and the army routed. 
Our wagons, ambulances aud artillery commenced dashing 
up the pike, three abreast, and the infantry in the fields on 
each side were running — every fellow for himself. Every 
few minutes a shell would go tearing through the wagon 
train and make the camp kettles and things fly; but dark 
soon put a stop to the rout. 

If the enemy had pushed on a little longer they would 
have captured nearly the whole command, for Earl/s Army 
was completely routed, and there is no use in denying the 
fact. It was the first time I ever saw it routed and stam- 
peded; but the army had fought well all day. 

General Early had about 8,000 infautry and 2,500 cav- 
alry, and General Sheridan 40,000 infantry and 11,000 
cavalry, and our line never gave back until both flanks were 


turned. General Early was to blame for the defeat. He 
displayed poor generalship. He ought to have fallen back 
to Fisher^s Hill in time^ and not fought a general battle with 
such oddsy in that place^ where the Valley was so wide and 
open. The corps never had any confidence in him after- 
wards^ and he never could do much with them. He was as 
brave a General as ever lived, and did well when he com- 
manded a brigade or division under some other General; 
but when he had command of a corps, and was operating by 
himself, he displayed no strategy whatever. He would fight 
the enemy wherever he met them and under any circum- 
stances, no matter if he had but one brigade and the whole 
northern army came against him. He would always show 
fight. It was a critical time with our army and it required 
Generals that knew how to strike a blow and at the same 
time save their men. 

This may appear unusual criticism coming from a pri- 
vate in the ranks; but after three years' service in the thick 
of the fight, under various commanders, and under every 
variety of circumstances, and with opportunities of observa- 
tion, such as fall to the lot of pioneers and picket guards, 
it would seem that a man of ordinary intelligence might have 
opinions which are entitled to consideration. 

The next day the army arrived safely at Fisher's Hill; 
but we had lost considerably. It was said, however, that 
General Sheridan lost more men than Early had in his 
whole command. 

I was sent on with the sick and wounded to Harrison- 
burg to the hospital. When we got there we were ordered 
on to the Staimton hospital, as the Harrisonburg hospital 
was overcrowded. There was a young soldier in the wagon 
with me who belonged to an Alabama Eegiment, from 
Wetumpka, Ala., and who was wounded slightly in the neck. 
After we passed through Harrisonburg I told him we would 
get out of the wagon and go to my home in Dayton and stay 
there until we got well; that I did not intend to go to a 
hospital as long as I had a home that near to go to. We 
then got out of the wagon and went across the fields to 

We had been there but three days when we heard that 


General Early had been defeated again at Fisher's Hill, and 
was falling back towards Staunton, and the ^TTanks^' would 
soon be in Dayton, so we took my father's horse and started 
to "refugee" towards the mountains. The roads were full 
of citizens "refngeeing" with their stock and valuables. 

When we arrived at Haxnsberger's farm, on Muddy 
creek, we found Captain Stump, from Hampshire County, 
who belonged to Imboden's command, lying there very badly 
wounded through the head. He insisted that we should 
take him along with us and take care of him, as he would 
rather die than be captured. 

He had one of his company with him and a black boy 
waiting on him. We told him we would do all we could 
for him and would defend him to the last. So we hitched 
our horses to Hamsberger's carriage and took him on six 
miles farther to a friend's house. 

After remaining there a few days we heard that Early 
wus still falling back and that Sheridan's cavalry was scout- 
ing the whole country. We then moved him farther back 
to the foot of the mountain on Briery branch and stopped at 
a small house. I rode out in the settlements every day to 
get rations and find out the news. 

We could still hear that the Yankees were spreading 
their scouting parties farther and farther into the country 
every day, and Captain Stump was fearful they would come 
across us and that we would be captured. We told him there 
was no danger and that we would move him if it became 
necessary; but one day they came within two miles of us 
and we concluded to move farther into the mountains. We 
found out from the man we were stopping with that by going 
up a deep hollow or gorge in the mountain about six miles 
we would find an old vacant house; but there was no way 
to get t6 it but by a bridle path. 

So nothing would do Captain Stump but we must go to 
that house. He was suffering terribly from his wound, as 
he was shot through and through the back part of the bead, 
and could sit up but a short time. We had to pour cold 
water on the wound every few minutes out of .a coffee pot 
to relieve the pain; but he repeated he would rather die 


than be captured and would try and ride the distance on 

We then started on the march, but had to stop every mile 
and get him off the horse and let him rest while we bathed 
his wound. He had more fortitude and endurance than 
any man I ever saw before or have seen since. We finally 
arrived at our rendezvous and made him as comfortable as 
we could imder the circumstances. 

The second night we were there his wound pained him 
so severely that we were afraid he would have the lockjaw. 
Hie said he could not stand it till morning if he did not 
get relief of some kind, and insisted that I should go to 
Sangersville, a distance of ten' miles, for a doctor. We 
tried to persuade him that it would be useless, as no doctor 
would come, and could do him no good if he did come, and 
that by pouring water on the woimd continually it would give 
him relief. But he still insisted that I should go, and if 
the doctor would not come he could send some morphine, 
which would give relief, 

I then procured a pine torch, as it was very dark, sad- 
dled the best horse, and started down the mountain. I got 
along very well for two or three miles until it commenced 
thundering and lightning in a most terrific manner. In a 
short time the rain poured down in torrents, putting out my 
light and leaving me in darkness as dense as in a cave. But 
I still kept on, the horse following the path by instinct, until 
I reached the settlements and got into the wagon road. It 
was still raining, but not so hard, and was not quite so dark. 
I still had four miles to go, but with great difficulty, and 
losing the road several times, I finally reached Saugersville 
about 12 o'clock and found a doctor. 

It was as I expected; he would not go. He said he 
knew the place very well and it would be impossible, in the 
rain and darkness> for us to find our way back that night, 
and insisted that I should stay until morning and he would 
go with me. I pleaded with him my best to go with me, 
but in vain. I then told him to give me some morphine and 
I would return, or make the attempt. He did so, and said 
Tie would come to see the Captain in the morning. 

Under these promises I started to return, but it seems 


the horse was bewildered and could not keep in the road 
where it led through the woods, and I often found myself 
out of my path in the woods. I would then get down and 
strike a match and feel my way to the road. In this manner 
I proceeded until near the moimtain, when I came to a 
branch. I thought I would ride up the bed of the branch 
until I came to the place where the road recrossed it; that 
by so doing I could cut off about one mile, and that I could 
keep in the bed of the branch better thaa in the path. But 
I found it a difficult task, as the branch was obstructed by 
drifts, logs and rocks. The water was shallow, and by the 
aid of the streaks of lightning I could manage ix) get around 

Finally my horse came to a stand just as I had gotten 
out on the edge of the bank to get around some logs, and. 
with all the whipping and spurring I could do, I could not 
make him move. Just then, by the aid of the lightning, 
I saw that the horse was standing on the edge of a perpen- 
dicular rock, and I could not see the depth below. I quickly 
dismoimted and turned the horse around and got him on 
solid ground. I then tied him to a tree, took off the saddle, 
rolled myself in the blanket and slept until morning. It 
rained, thundered and lightened the whole night. 

Under* most circumstances I would have felt some fear 
and lonesomeness ; but, strange to say, nothing of the kind 
entered my mind. The next morning at daybreak I resumed 
my journey, and at the first house I came to, which was the 
last one I would pass, I stopped and got my breakfast, and 
told them of my adventure of the night. 

They all remarked that they were not surprised at me 
not getting through that place, as that thicket of pines was 
haunted, and there had never anyone been able to go through 
there after dark, as they woi^ld invariably get lost, see ghosts, 
and hear unusual noises, groans, etc. There had been a 
man murdered there once, they said, and no sum of money 
could be laid down that would induce them to sleep there 
as I had done. I had heard nothing of the kind, however, 
and paid no attention to their ghost stories. I was too mad 
all night to think of fear, and to have met a well-disci- 


plined ghost would have been company and amusement 
for me. 

When I arrived where Captain Stump was I found him 
considerably better. He said he got relief directly after I 
had left, and was sorry I had gone, and that if he lived he 
would do anything in his power to help me. But, alas! 
like many a dear and near friend that I have had in old 
Hampshire County, he never lived to see the war over. Many 
of my old-time friends and comrades who survived the war 
also have passed over the river and are quietly resting imder 
the shade of the trees, while I still live (but in a far dis- 
tant state), and seldom see anyone that I ever knew in my 
younger days. 

The doctor never came the next day, as he promised, 
nor did I ever see him again. In a few days we persuaded 
the Captain to go down in the settlements, as there was no 
danger of being captured, for if he were to die in that lonely 
place we would be unable to give him a decent burial. Af- 
ter placing him in kind hands we heard the enemy were 
falling back down the Valley, when we bade him farewell and 
started to Dayton. 



When we arrived in Dayton we saw a distressing sight — 
ruin and desolation on every hand. The enemy, in falling 
back, had burned all the bams and mills on their line of- 

The greater part of Sheridan's Army had been camped 
around Harrisonburg and immediate vicinity. One regi- 
ment at that time was camped at Dayton, four miles" south, 
and several regiments were camped in the advance at dif- 
ferent points. His cavalry had scouted the coimtry and 
done picket duty near General Early's lines. Some of our 
cavalry would scout inside of the Yankee lines and in their 
rear to find out their movements, strength, etc.; principally 
men who were acquainted with the country and knew every 

One day Frank Shaver, of the 1st Virginia Cavalry, 
and Campbell and Martin, of the 4th Virginia Cavalry, were 
passing along a by-road between Dayton and Harrisonburg, 
when they imexpectedly came upon three Yankees. It was 
either fight or be captured; and as they preferred fighting 
the ball soon opened. In the affray one of the "Eebs'' was 
wounded and one of the Yankees killed and one captured, 
while the other one made his escape and returned to camp. 
The "Eebs'' left in a hurry, taking their wounded man with 
them. It so happened that the one killed was Lieutenant 
Meigs, a promising young officer of General Sheridan's staff, 
and greatly beloved by the General. 

He was so enraged about his death, particularly as the 
one who escaped had reported to him that they were am- 
bushed by bushwhackers, that he issued orders that Dayton 
should be burnt to the ground and also all the habitations 
for five miles aroimd. Consequently the torch was applied 
to houses and bams in the coimtry, and the citizens of Day- 
ton given one hour to move out of their houses into the 
fields. But the Colonel of the Federal Eegiment camped at 


Dayton knew they were regulaD soldiers who did the killing, 
and, thinking the order inhuman, refused to fire the town 
until he could prevail upon General Sheridan to counter- 
mand the order. 

A petition was sent to him signed by the whole r^ment 
to that effect. In the meantime the citizens, who were all old 
men, women and children, had to remain out in tiie fields 
during that day and night. No orders came during tiie 
next day, when my mother and Mrs. Williams went to (Jen- 
eral Custer's headquarters, about one mile from the village, 
and begged him to relieve them of tiieir suspense. 

He informed them that he had just received a dis- 
patch from General Sheridan countermanding the order to 
bum the town; then, turning to one of his staff oflScers, he 
told him to ride to the village and tell the citizens to move 
back into their homes, that they Would not bum tiiem. 
The ladies returned with the staff oflBcer, who informed the 
citizens that "Through the mercy of General Custer their 
property was saved.^^ 

It was the 116th Ohio Eegiment of infantry tiiat was 
quartered in the town, and but for the gallantry of that 
noble Ohio regiment the town would have been in ashes 
and the inhabitants rendered homeless. 

Lieutenant Button, quaHfermaster of that regiment, was 
at my father's house making out the payrolls, and did all 
he could toi protect the family ; and when the Federal Army 
fell back he bade them an affectionate farewell and said: 
"When I return again I hope to bring an olive branch of 

But not so with the country, for nearly every house 
and bam within the circle of five miles was bumed. It 
was a rich neighborhood, with fine residences and outbuild- 
ings, and the bams full of grain and farm implements. 
They were not even allowed to save their household property. 
Oh I those who never saw war have no idea of the ruin, deso- 
lation, death and suffering it brings. My mother, father 
and sistfers went through this ordeal, and related the scenes 
to me when I arrived at home. 

In a few days after this burning took place our army 
began the advance on the enemy, when he in turn fell back 


to Winchester, burning all the mills and bams on the route. 
Greneral Sheridan had orders from General Grant to reduce 
tiie Shenandoah Valley to such a state of poverty that a 
crow, in flying over it, would have to carry his rations to 
keep from starving; and it looked like such would be the 
case. The mills and bams were full of grain, and Grant 
knew the Vklley was a rich store-house for General Lee^s 
Army. If he could not whip us out he would starve us out. 
Such is policy in war. 

Poverty stared the citizens in the face, as this was in 
the fall season of the year, and too late to raise any pro- 
visions. Their horses and cattle were all gone, their farm 
implements burnt and no prospects of producing anything 
the next year. Thousands of them "refugeed'^ with the 
Federal Army, as all were furnished transportation any 
where north they chose to go. 

There lived a family by the name of Baugh on the Val- 
ley turnpike, two miles north of Harrisonburg, consisting 
of father, mother and seven children — five daughters and 
two sons. Four of the daughters were grown. When the 
Federal Army passed their house on their way back to Win- 
chester they told this family they had better get in their 
wagons and go with them and they would be given trans- 
portation to any point north they wished to go. That there 
were hundreds of families going, and that they were going 
to bum up the Valley so that no one could subsist tiiere. 
It had that appearance, for hundreds of bams and mills 
were then burning; so the old people consented to go, as it 
looked like starvation to stay. 

They then gathered up some clothing and bedding and 
got into the wagon; but the grown girls would not go and 
determined to remain where they were. The Federals then 
told them if they did not go with them they would have 
to bum their house down over their heads, and they would 
be compelled to go. The girls told them they could bum 
if they wanted to, but remain they would. 

Consequently the house was fired and burnt to the 
ground ; the girls trying to save what they could by dashing 
into the house and rescuing what they could carry out. Some 


of the Federals, seeing their determination, assisted them 
and saved most of the property. 

After the Federals had left one of the girls went across 
the field to Mr. Armentrout's, a neighbor about one-half mile 
distant, procured a wheelbarrow and moved their goods to 
his house. They then lived with their relatives and friends 
until the war closed. 

After the war I married Miss Martha E. Baugh, one of 
those same girls. We still have a mirror frame that was 
saved at that time, but the glass was broken and I had a 
new glass put in after marriage, and keep it as relic of 
other days. 

But thousands preferred to remain, let the consequences 
be what they would. It caused hundreds to take up arms 
for the South, who had, up to that time, remained out of 
the army. Our cavalry followed close after the burners and 
dealt out vengeance with a vengeful hand. Whenever they 
caught a party burning they would take no prisoners, but 
shoot them down; and often threw them in the fire alive 
when they caught them burning their own homes. 

The main body of the enemy^s infantry marched down 
the main road, our infantry foUowing, while the enemy^s 
cavalry were scattered over the country in small squads 
doing the burning. 

Some of the Federal soldiers would bum the property 
with fiendish delight and not let the people save anytiiing, 
not even wearing apparel, while others, more humane, would 
not bum them if they could possibly avoid it, and would tell 
the women that they would set them on fire in order to 
shield themselves and obey commands; but that they would 
fire them in such places that it would not do any harm for 
some time, and as soon as they got out of sight ihey, the 
women, could extinguish the fire. I saw several bams after 
the war that were saved in that manner, but they were very 
rare cases. 

As to the battle of Cedar Creek, the 19th of October, 
1864, where General Early atfcicked Gteneral Sheridan's 
Army, commanded by Greneral Wright, I will make this 
statement as told me by a relative of mine, Mr. Sewell Mer- 
chant, of the 2d Virginia, who was wounded in both legs 


and had one amputated on the field. I took him from the 
hospital in Harrisonburg to my f ather^s house, where he re- 
mained until he got well. He said that our army attacked 
the Federal Army at daylight, routing them, capturing their 
camps and a great amount of baggage. That after the 
Federals were driven off our army was halted and in a short 
time the whole army were plundering, and had nothing in 
line of battle but a thin skirmish line; that when the Fed- 
erals returned there was nothing in shape to resist them but 
this skirmish line, which soon gave way, and the whole army 
went pellmell back to Fisher's Hill. 

Now, whoever was to blame for our army not pushing 
on when the eilemy were routed, and for being allowed to 
scatter and plunder, it is not for me to say. But it was a 
terrible oversight, and was the cause of the disaster in the 
evening. It was reported that General Gordon was anxious 
to push on after the enemy, but that General Early ob- 
jected. The enemy, finding no one in pursuit, had halted 
at Newtown, eight miles from Winchester. 

Now, I wish to correct some erroneous statements in 
regard to G«Qeral Sheridan's "twenty-mile ride," made in 
one hour, and which has been repeated in song and story 
until it is believed to be true by the rising generation. 

I will prove by General Sheridan's own words that he 
only rode eight miles in one hour and a half, and only five 
of that at a lively gait. In "Personal Memoirs of P. H. 
Sheridan," page 68, Vbl. II., he says: "Towurd 6 o'clock 
on the morning of the 19th the officer on picket duty at 
Winchester came to my room, I being yet in bed, and re- 
ported artillery firing from the direction of Cedar Creek." 
Again, on page 71, says: ^^e mounted our horses between 
half -past 8 and 9." Then on page 80 he says : ^T returned 
to the road, which was thickly lined with unhurt men, who, 
having got far enough to the rear to be out of danger, had 
halted, without any organization, and began cooking coffee, 
and I arrived not later, certainly, then half-past 10 o'clock." 
On page 88, he says : "Between half -past 3 and 4 o'clock I 
was ready to assail." 

Cedar Creek is fifteen miles south of Winchester, where 
the battle commenced. The enemy fled to Newtown^ seven 


miles from Cedar Creek and eight miles from Winchester, 
where General Sheridan arrived at half -past 10 o^elock; 
then eonsnmed the time until 3 or 4 o'clock in forming his 
troops ready to advance, with no enemy nearer than five 
miles. Now suppose General Eariy had followed on instead 
of halting, where would General Sheridan's ride come in? 

Any reasonable person would say between Winchester 
and Harper's Ferry, thirty-two miles north of Winchester. 

I am a great admirer of the truth, especially in relation 
to historical facts. Let the truth be told, no matter whom 
it hurts, for the rising generations. 

Another fictitious poem is "Barbara Frietche" of Fred- 
erick City, Md., wherein it was said that Stonewall Jack- 
son was indiffenrait about the actions of the soldiers in re- 
gard to threatening to shoot the ladies for waving the "Stars 
and Stripes" until he saw this old lady, when he ordered 
them to desist. No such circumstance as related in that 
poem of Whittier's ever happened. It was too un-Jackson 
like. On the other hand, if one of his soldiers had attempted 
siich a dastardly outrage, Jackson would have had him shot 
on tiie spot. Jackson's m^en were soldiers in every sense of 
the word, and had mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and 
lovers at home, and knew how to protect and defend defense- 
less females regardless of their politics. 

This is confirmed by Dame Barbara's own nephew, Valer- 
ius Ebert, of Frederick City, who writes to a Northern paper : 
"As to the waving of the Federal flag in the face of the 
Eebels by Dame Barbara on the occasion of Stonewall Jack- 
son's march through Frederick City, Md., truth requires me 
to say that Stonewall Jackson, with his troops, did not pass 
Barbara Frietche's residence at all ; but passed through what 
in this city is called ^The Mill Alley,' about three hundred 
yards, from her residence, then passed due west towards An- 
tietam, and thus out of the city. But another and stronger 
fact with r^ard to this matter may be here presented, viz.; 
the poem by Whittier represents our venerable relative (then 
ninety-six years of age) as nimbly ascending to her attic 
window and waving her small Federal flag defiantly in the 
face of Stonewall Jackson's troops. Now, Dame Barbara 
was at the moment bf^-ridfi^B and helpless, and had lost 


the power of locomotion. She could at that period only 
move as she was moved by the help of her attendants." 

These are the facts, proving that Whittier's poem npon 
this subject is pnre fiction. 

Here is another mistake which has often been told in 
song and story, and spoken of by prominent orators: That 
at the surrender of Lee^s Army at Appomattox General Lee 
offered his sword to General Grant and that he refused to 
accept it. 

Following is an extract from Colonel Charles Mar- 
shelFs letter, who was General Lee's Chief of Staff, and who 
was present at the surrender: 

"There is one very important mAtter I wish settled. It 
is this: General Lee did not meet General Grant in the 
McLean house in the morning of April 9th, 18§5, for the 
purpose of then and there effecting a surrender of his army. 
It was simply for the purpose of hearing General Grant's 

"As a matter of fact, if they had not suited General Tjcc 
he would not have accepted them; but General -Grant's offer 
was so liberal, so magnanimous, and so chivalrous that it 
was accepted at once. 

"It is well to add that had General Gran't terms been 
less favorable than those he made. General Lee would not 
have accepted them, no matter what the circumstances might 
have been. We had become accustomed somewhat to deal 
with desperate circumstances. 

"I wish to have another matter understood before begin- 
ning a consecutive narmtive of the surrender. 

"This is in regard to General Horace Porter's statement, 
made repeatedly, orally and in writing, that General Ijee of- 
fered his sword to General Grant. General Lee never of- 
fered his swovA to General Grant, and the latter never re- 
fused it. 

''/ was with the great Southern chieftain from the time 
he greeted General Grant in the McLean house until he rode 
away, and the only time the mention of a sword was made 
was when Grant apologized to Lee for his dress, explaining 
that it was not possible for him to get access to his baggage 
and at the same time keep the appointment. 


^*The terms of capitulation expressly excepted side arms, 
and in view of that fact it would have been a most unusual 
procedure for General Lee to have oflfered his sword to (Jen- 
eral Grant. These matters are unimportant in themselves, 
but it is well for the sake of history to have them cleared up. 

*^hen General Grant had writt^a his ultimatum em- 
bodying tiie terms of surrender he took it to General Lee, 
who remained seated. 

"Gteneral Lee read the letter and called General Grant^s 
attention to the fact that he required the surrender of the 
cavalry horses as if they were public horses. He told Gten- 
eral Grant that Confederate cavalrymen owned their horses 
and they would need them for planting a spring crop. (Jen- 
eral Grant, at once accepted the suggestion.^' 



I remained at home in Dayton for a few days, but had 
to report to the hospital in Harrisonburg. The doctor in 
charge there would not give me permission to remain at 
home, although it was only four miles, but said I was not fit 
for duty in the field, and that I could do duty in the hospital 
as Ward Master. 

Our army was so ^Tiard up" for men that as soon as 
one was fit for duty he would be sent to the front, and a 
sick one, as soon as he was convalescent, would have to 
nurse or be Ward Master until he was fit for active service. 

I remained there as Ward Master until some time in 
December, 1864, when our corps, then in the Valley, was 
placed under command of General John B. Gordon and or- 
dered to Petersburg. General Early was left in command of 
the Valley, with a few regiments of infantry and some cav- 
alry. As the army marched through Harrisonburg I bade 
farewell to a great many of the boys that I knew in the 
brigade, and in the old pioneer corps, but there was not one 
man of Company A there, and but few of Company F. 
Elisha Carder, our drummer, had been given a musket and 
was wounded at Fisher's Hill, and had gone home ; Will Pol- 
lard having been wounded at the battle of Winchester, Sep- 
tember 19, 1864. Joseph McNemar had returned to the reg- 
iment from the hospital while it was in front of Petersburg 
in 1865, and was captured at Hatcher's Run and remained in 
prison, until the close of the war, and he was thef last repre* 
sentative of Company A. 

When I saw there was no Company A, and never would 
be, I told Captain Wilson, of Company F, that I intended to 
go to the 11th Virginia Cavalry, Company D, from Hamp- 

^^ell,'' he said, ^^you can go as far as I am concerned, 
and I wish I could go myself.'' That if I went he would 
never report men. 


In a few days we had orders to move the hospital to 
Staunton, and as I was fit for duty I got my discharge to 
report to Company A, 33d Virginia Infantry. But, as I was 
familiar with the hospital office, I ffot some blank discharges 
and filled one out to suit myself, which was to report to Com- 
pany D, 11th Virginia Cavalry, Rosser's Brigade. It was 
camped at Swope's Depot, west of Staunton. 

I went home and stayed one day, and then went to 
Staunton and reported to the provost marshal, and he fur- 
nished me transportation to Swope's Depot. I was soon with 
the 11th Cavalry, and found Lieutenant Parsons in com- 
mand, and several that I knew. Kennison Taylor was there 
under the same circumstances, as he was an old member of 
the 13th Virginia. John Daily, Eph Herriott and a good 
many that I cannot recollect now were there; also a great 
many that I did not know, but they were all Hampshire 
boys, and I felt at home. I told Lieutenant Parsons that I 
came to join his company. He advised me to go and see 
Major McDonald. I did so, and told him my situation; that 
I had no company, but did not want to desert the cause, and 
would like to be in his command, and if I could not join it I 
would go to some partisan ranger company. He replied that 
he would like for me to remain, and that I should do so, but 
if General Lee called on him for me he would have to give 
me up, as it was his orders to deliver up an infantryman 
when caught in the cavalry. 

I told him what Captain Wilson said, and that I had no 
fear of being called back to the infantry. But there was an- 
other difficulty in the way ; I had no horse, and each soldier 
had to furnish his own horse; but I knew I could, get one 
some way or other. The third day after I arrived in this 
camp the brigade was disbanded for the winter, and sent to 
different portions of the country to get provisions for their 

The squadron I was with, composed of the Hampshire 
and Hardy Companies, were ordered to Lost River, in Hardy 
County. John Daily happened to have an extra broken-down 
horse that he wanted to send to Hampshire to recruit, and 
he gave it to me to ride. So I fastened a good lot of blankets 
on him and mounted. We happened to go by my father's 


house, and I got his saddle, but it was a eitizen^s saddle; 
so when we arrived at Brookes Gap I exchanged his saddle 
with Bud Peterson for a Confederate cavalry saddle, and 
went on to camp. The squadron went into winter quarters 
near Mathias, on Lost river. 

After remaining there a few days and helping to build 
quarters, Ken Taylor and myself started to Hampshire to 
capture each of us a horse. TJfie others bade us farewell, and 
said we were bound for Camp Chase. We continued on until 
we reached Joseph Paucake^s, on the "South Branch'^ of 
thie Potomac, where he turned over the horse he was riding 
and I delivered Daily^s horse to Joseph Patterson. We were 
now both afoot, buii determined to go to the Yankee camp 
and capture a horse apiece. 

We then went to Eomney, where Taylor's parents lived. 
We maneuvered in that county as far down as Springfield for 
some time, and finally fell in with William French, of the 
13th Virginia, "Manny'' Bruce, of McNeil's Eangers, and Ed 
Montgomery, and formed a plot to watch the road for a 
squad of straggling Yankees, capture them, take their horses 
and turn the prisoners loose. But the weather was very cold, 
with snow on the ground, and the "Yanks" did not venture 
far from camp. 

We finally heard that there was a cattle speculator, 
quartermaster or government afi:ent, or something of the 
kind, by the name of McFern, who came out from Cumber- 
land, Md., every week on Patterson's creek. He bought all 
the cattle he coidd find, and if a Southern man wo^d not 
sell him he would take them anyhow, or if he heard of their 
selling them to go South he would take them, and he gen- 
erally had a good pile of greenbacks with him. 

We did not care who or what he was; it would be a 
picnic for us to get him and take him "in out of the wet." 
Therefore we marched across Middle Ridge early one morn- 
ing in the cold and snow and posted ourselves in a school- 
house that stood near the road leading from Frankfort up 
the creek. We would keep one man on post near the road, 
while the others would remain in the schoolhouse; but we 
were afraid to make a fire, for fear of attracting attention. 
We waited and watched a-ll day, but in vain, for our man 


never came. At dark, being cold and hungry, we went to a 
house near by and the gentleman gave us a good drink 
of apple brandy, a good supper and a good, warm fire to sit 
by, which was quite refreshing. 

We then held a council of war to determine how to pro- 
ceed. Montgomery, French and Taylor were in favor of 
going to the mouth of Patterson's creek, on the *^North 
Branch^' of the Potomac, cross over into Maryland and get 
horses out of a camp of condemned cavalry horses that were 
there recruiting. Manny Bruce, who was raised in Cumber- 
land, was in favor of going into Cumberland and getting 
good horses, as he did not want any of the old, broken- 
down ones. 

Now, there were about 12,000 troops camped in and 
around Cumberland, Md., and it was quite a risky business 
wading that river and going into that camp ; but Bruce said 
he knew every hog-path, and he would pilot us safely. I was 
indifferent about which route we took, and Bruce, seeing 
this, insisted that I should go with him to Cumberland. So 
things were arranged in that way. Bruce and I started for 
Cumberland, and French, Montgomery and Taylor for the 
Potomac, to the condenmed camp. We gave each other good- 
bye. We did not know whether we would be killed or land 
in prison or be hung as spies. It was a critical and danger- 
ous move, but we were hardened to such woi^, and did 
not care. 

After traveling through the snow for several miles 
Bruce and I came to the conclusion that we could not make 
the trip on foot, as it was about twelve miles, and get out 
safely by daylight, so we concluded we would stop at some 
farmhouse and get horses, ride them to the river and turn 
them loose. At the next house we came to we stopped and 
wakened the old man and told him that we had a very im- 
portant trip to make that night, and that we were *^given 
out" entirely, and could not mak^ it on foot, and that he 
should let us have a horse to ride, and we would return him 
safely. We did not tell him which army we belonged to, but 
pretended we were Yankees, as we had on English-grey 
overcoats, which appeared blue after dark. He told us that 
he had but one horse, and be could not think of letting it 


go for any consideration. We offered to pay him for it, but 
it was ^^no go.^^ I then told him it was a case of necessity, 
and if no persuasion would do, we would take the horse 

So we proceeded to the stable and got the horse, and 
both mounted, it, bareback, and rode to the river at the 
place where we expected to wade it, as Bruce said there was 
a "riffle'^ there, and we could wade very easily. The weather 
was very cold, but the river was not frozen over. 

When we got to the ford we learned* that there was a 
picket post on the opposite side. We could see their fire and 
see the men standing around. So we were foiled, and did 
not know what to do, but concluded to go down the river 
until we could find another rift or bar, and then wade. 

After going some distance we thought we had found the 
desired place, and made preparations to take to the water. 
We each procured a long stick, and as we were armed with 
six-shooters, we kept our belts on. When we started into the 
water it was very cold, and kept getting deeper every step. 
When it reached our waists we unbuckled our belts and 
swung them over our shoulders to keep them dry; but as we 
proceeded it got deeper and deeper, until nearly up to our 
armpits. As I was in front, I halted and told Bruce we 
could not make it, as I could tell by feeling with my stick 
that it was still deeper further on, and that we would get so 
chilled that we could do nothing if we got across safely, and 
that if we got down with our overcoats on we could not swim 
with them, and would be sure to drown. He said: "No, 
we can not make it, and will have to give it up.*^ 

We then came out of the water and went to a house 
about one-fourth of a mile from there, and by that time our 
clothes were frozen stiff. We wakened the man of the house, 
not knowing whether he was Eebel or TJnion, and told him 
"for God^s sake" to make a fire, as we were nearly frozen to 
death. He got up and made a roaring fire, which felt very 
comfortable to us. After drying and warming ourselves we 
lay down by the fire and took a short nap. When I awak- 
ened I had burned my boots so badly that the whole front 
came out of one of them. I told Bruce we must get out of 
this before daylight, or we would be captured. We then tried 


to hire the man of the house to take us a few miles on his 
horses, but no go; he would not do it. So we drew our pis- 
tols and informed him that we would make him go. We 
then marched him to the stable and got two horses and 
mounted them, taking him along. 

We had not proceeded more than one mile when we 
came across the old horse we had ridden to the river and 
turned loose. We then discharged our man and sent him 
home, giving him a $5 bill on a broken bank in Michigan 
that I had gotten while in Maryland. We mounted our old 
horse and arrived at the house where we had procured him 
by daylight. We found them perfectly delighted at the re- 
turn of their horse, as they never expected to see him again. 
They insisted we should remain and have a good, warm 
breakfast, which was very acceptable. During our travels 
in the night we passed by a house where a sleighing party 
from Springfield and Frankfort were having a dance. I 
knew several who were there, but we did not stop or make 
ourselves known, as we were engaged in more pressing busi- 
ness at that time than "tripping the light fantastic toe.^^ 

After partaking of breakfast we started on until 
we arrived at Joshua Johnson^s, who had several sons in the 
Confederate Army — one, William Johnson, was Lieutenant 
in my old company, and had died at Charlottesville, Va.— 
and we knew we would be welcomed. We needed rest and 
sleep. Mr. Johnson gave us a good drink of brandy and 
put us up-stairs to sleep, promising to keep a lookout for us 
if any Yanks should pass along, and to waken us about 4 
o'clock, as we wanted to get out of that neighborhood that 
night, for fear the boys that went to the condemned camp 
might have stirred up the enemy and they would make it 
red hot for us. 

We slept sweetly until Mr. Johnson roused us up from 
our peaceful slumbers, gave us another good dram and a 
good supper, when we sallied forth for fresh adventures. We 
proceeded up the creek until we came to the path that led 
across Middle Ridge to the South Branch. There was a ne- 
gro cabin there, and Bruce was acquainted with the colored 
man who lived in it, as he had lived in Camberland with 
the Lynn family. Bruce made him believe that he was 


Sprig Lynn, and that I was Johnnie Fay. He "took it all 
in'^ and believed it firmly, as Bruce could relate to him 
many incidents of his boyhood days. 

We then inquired of him if McFem had gone up the 
creek that day, but he did not know, as he had been away 
all day himself, but we could find out by going to the next 
house. Bruce went on to the next house, while I stood 
picket in the road. We still had it in our heads to capture 
him if we could. So when Bruce returned he brought the 
joyful news that McFem had gone up the creek that morn- 
ing, and was still up there, buying cattle. We then deter- 
mined to have him, if it took us all night. There was a lady 
in that neighborhood who requested us, if we captured him, 
to hold him as a hostage for her father, whom the Yankees 
had in prison as a citizen, and it was my full determination 
to do so. 

. As we proceeded up the creek we were overtaken by a 
man in a wagon, and we got in and rode a short distance. 
We soon found that he was a Rebel, and we divulged our 
plans to him. He told us that we would find McFem at one 
of two houses that he located. We then got out of the 
wagon and waited some time, in order to keep suspicion 
from our friend, and then cautiously proceeded to the first 
house and inquired for our man, but they said he was not 
there ; that we would find him at the next house, 'Mr. Davis 

We then knew how to lay our plans. I was to arrest 
him while Bruce was to watch that no one else interfered. 
We belted our pistols, already cocked, under our overcoats, 
walked up to the front door of the house, and knocked, pass- 
ing ourselves off as Yankees. A young ladv came to the door 
and we asked her if we could stay all night. She said she 
supposed we could, and asked us to come in. We then walked 
into the front room. She sat some chairs up to the fireplace 
and requested us to be seated there. There was no one else 
in the room. 

We had no sooner taken our seats than the young lady 
left us and went into the dining room. As she opened the 
door I saw several men seated there. I tapped Bruce on the 
shoulder and told him to come on. We went into the other 








room and found some seven or eight men, mostly citizens. 
We bid "Good evening^' to them and took our seats side by 
side. They seemed a little surprised at our abruptness, but 
said nothing, and soon resumed their conversation. In a few 
minutes we knew which one was our man, and Bruce touched 
my foot as a sign to proceed. I then opened the conversa- 

^^our name is McFem, is it not ?'' 

^^es, sir.^^ 

"You are buying cattle for the United States govern- 
ment, are you not ?'' 

"Well, not exactly. I am butchering them.^^ 

"Well, Mr. McFem, you can consider yourself our pris- 
oner," I said, at the same time rising and walking up to 
him with pistol drawn, Bruce at the same time standing up 
with his pistol ready. McFern, thinking we were Yankees, 
wanted to know, very insolently, what he had done to be ar- 
rested for in this manner, and what authority we had to 
arrest him. 

"Simply," says I, ^Hbecause we are Rebels, and you are a 
Yankee, or working for the government, and we want those 
cattle you have to take to the Southern Army, and you along 
with them." 

If a cyclone had struck the house it would not have 
more surprised him, and all that were there, as they did not 
think there was a Rebel under arms within forty miles of 
that place. 

He commenced begging at once, and as I was standing 
by him holding my pistol in hand, with the muzzle pointed 
to the floor, my finger on the trigger, and searching him for 
arms with my other hand, my pistol, I suppose from the 
numbness of my hand, accidentally went off and bored a 
hole through the floor. He then pleaded "for God's sake" 
not to kill him, and the women commenced screaming and 
begging me not to shoot him, I explaining all the time that 
it was an accident, and that he would not be hurt. One of 
the men in the room spoke up and said he knew it was 
accidental. We finally got quiet restored. 

He declared he had no arms but a pocketknife, and 
gave that to me, but as I was searching him I felt a big, fat 


pocketbook^ but did not take it just then. We then made 
preparations to ^o. He said he had twenty-four head of 
cattle in the yard, but had let the young ladies of the house 
have his horse to go sleighing that evening. We gave him his 
overcoat, and, as we stenned out of the door, I told him he 
had better let me carry that pocketbook, for fear of an acci- 
dent, and that I would trade gloves with him, also, as he 
had a nice pair of lamb's wool gloves, and mine were quite 



I guarded him while Bruce, after pressing two or three 
of the young men who were there into service, drove the cat- 
tle out of the yard and counted them. There were twenty- 
four big, fat cattle. My old school teacher, Ziler Chadwick, 
was in the room at the time, but I did not let it be known 
that I knew him, and he avoided recognizing me. A young 
Mr. Herriott was there also. Chadwick was teaching school 
in the neighborhood. 

After starting the. cattle I told Bruce to take charge of 
the prisoner and I would take charge of the cattle, as it 
would be difficult to drive them. It was my full determina- 
tion to bring the cattle and prisoner out South, for we had 
made arrangements with the colored man to help us drive 
them across the Eidge from his house. But after we had pro- 
ceeded about one mile Bruce came running to me and told 
me that the prisoner had gotten away from him, and we had 
better "skip out,'^ as he would give the alarm and have the 
Yankees after us. I was vexed considerably, and upbraided 
him for being so careless, when he said it made no difference, 
as there was plenty of money in that pocketbook to get us 
all the horses we wanted. I asked him how he knew what 
was in it. He said McFem told him there was nearly $900 
in it, and he knew he had told him the truth, and if we had 
captured him in the morning we would have gotten $2,500. 
So there was no other course to pursue, and we left the cattle 
in the road and departed. 

We hurried on down the road to the old colored man^s, 
and gave him $5 to take us across the Eidge on his horses, 
which he did. For fear of getting separated we went to a 
cabin in the woods and aroused them. By the light from 
a pine torch on the hearth we divided the money and found 
it as McFern had said, nearly $900 in greenbacks. Bruce 
then told me he let him go on purpose, as he did not want 
to be bothered with him. 


We then went on the ^^South Branch" to Vanse Herri- 
ott's plantation, and roused him up and asked him to let us 
stay the remainder of the night. It was arraneed before we 
got there that I was to buy Vause's fine bay horse, and 
Bruce was to buy a fine black mare from Frank Murphy. 

So, after we had, gone to bed, I asked Vause what he 
would take for the horse. He said $225 in greenbacks, but 
as I wanted him for service, and he was afraid the Yankees 
would take him, I might have him for $200. We had not 
told him of our capture, and he did not think we had any 
money, but I told him I would take him. He then wanted 
to know where we had made a raise. Bruce told him we had 
been to Cumberland and made a capture. But in the morn- 
ing, when I handed him $200 and took the horse he was 
very much surprised. We then told him how we got it, and 
he became very uneasy, and wanted us to leave immediately, 
as he said the Yankees would be sure to be after us, and if 
they found us there they would bum him out. We told 
him we were as anxious to leave as he was to have us, and 
to help us across the river, as it was quite high. I swam the 
horse across, and Vause took Bruce across in the canoe, when 
we both mounted and started for Komney. We did not stay 
at Romney long, but went on to Mr. Pancake^s. I left 
nearly all my money with Mrs. Sallie Pancake and went to 
Patterson^s and got the saddle I had left there, and, mount- 
ing, I began to feel lika a cavalryman. Bruce went on to 
Frank Murphy^s and bought the black mare, when he, too, 
was well mounted. 

I intended to go right on to the company, but meeting 
William French and George Arnold at Pancake's, they per- 
suaded me to go back with them to Jersey Mountain, as 
some more of Company D were coming in, and we would 
make a raid on the railroad and capture a train of cars. I 
concluded to do so. 

We first went to their stronghold up in the mountains, 
called ^Tort Defiance," and from there on down the moun- 
tain to Frank Ewer's place, and then down on the ^Tjevels'* 
to Swisher's, where I got Mrs. Swisher to go to Paw Paw 
Depot, on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, for me, and run 
the blockade with some grey goods to make me a new suit; 


also a pair of boots and a lot of calico. I wanted to take the 
calico out South, as it was a great object at that time. A 
young lady who could sport a calico dress those times felt 
rich, as all the wear was homespun. As Bid Leopard used 
to say, we could board a week in the Valley for a yard of 
calico or a Hagerstown almanac. He and Bill Herbert, 
both cavalrymen, once took a load of almanacs to the Page 
Valley and made a fortune in "Conf ed.^' But I am di- 
gressing, and will return. 

I had left some money with Mrs. Scanlon to run the 
blockade for me and get some clothes also, thinking if one 
failed the other would not, and if they both succeeded I 
could very easily dispose of all I could carry at a handsome 
profit when I got South. I wanted the clothing mainly for 
myself and father's family. William French and I were 
together for some time, scouting around to see what we could 
pick up. 

At Swisher's I met my old friend and comrade in arms, 
Mr. Charles French, but he was only with us a short time. 
We went from there up the South Branch one night and 
learned that a sleighing party was having a dance at Mrs. 
Brooks', across the river. So we left our horses at Forman 
Taylor's and crossed the river on the ice, and engaged in the 
dance until nearly daylight. We had to do our traveling at 
night and lay by in the daytime, for fear some scouting 
party of the enemy would capture us. At those dances I 
would meet girls and young ladies that I had been raised 
with and had gone to school with, and enjoyed myself 

One night I was in Springfield and sat up at a wake 
with a dead child of John Seeders, and before daylight 
James Parsons and myself left and stopped at George John- 
son's, a tavern stand, where we remained a short time. Just 
as we were leaving, at daybreak, and going through a little 
passageway between the main building and kitchen. Par- 
sons, who was ahead, just as he got to the gate, wheeled 
around to me and said: "Run, for God's sake, the Yankees 
are right here." So I wheeled and ran and went up the 
steps and into the icehouse. By that time the Yanks were 
in the house, but did not see me. They proved to be a squad 

S60 fotJB YMlts IK in^ sT0K]fiWAlL Brigade. 

of infantry from Green Spring Station, and did not stay long, 
but I thought I would freeze to death while they did stay, 
as I had to remain in that cold icehouse. 

Every time Johnson came out of the house he would 
shake his hand at me, as he knew I was 'looking out of the 
latticed window. They would not trouble Parsons, as he 
was staying at home. Finally they left and I came down, 
and they were not out of sight of town before I was down 
on the square. 

William French and myself went to several dances, and 
had a fine time with the girls, and I never enjoyed myself 
better in my life. But those happy days were soon to be 
over, and days and months of misery to follow. 

There was no chance to capture a train, and I had made 
all my arrangements to go on to the company. I had gotten 
my money from Mrs. Sallie Pancake, had bought a good cav- 
alry saddle from W. J. Long, had bought a pistol (as the 
one I was using was borrowed) and had gotten my clothes 
from the tailor. I had to make a trip to Mrs. Scanlon's to 
get the things she had bought for me, and had intended to 
go out by the Grassy Lick road, but as there were several of 
the company going in another direction, they insisted that I 
should come back and go that way, which I did. I was in- 
duced to do so, however, more from the fact that some 
young ladies, the Misses Murphy and some others, wanted 
to send some valentines by me to the boys. 

The day I started out I met John Lynn, Manny Bruce, 
M. Lovett, of Company D, and Captain Stump at Frank 
Murph/s. Lynn and Bruce were going to McNeiFs Com- 
pany, Lovett was going to stay at Murphy's, and Captain 
Stump would have me go home with him and stay all night, 
as I had been so attentive to* him when wounded. I spent 
the night with Captain Stump. Lovett was to meet me at 
Stump's at 9 o'clock the next morning. We were to go to- 
gether, and, after we got up the road a few miles, take a 
bridle path across the mountain. I spent a pleasant night 
with Captain Stump at his sister's, Mrs. French, and it was 
the last night for him on this earth. The next day he was 
murdered in cold blood. 

The next morning, after breakfast, we saddled up our 


horses and waited awhile for Lovett. When the hour had 
passed that he was to meet me, and as Captain Stump 
wanted to go down the river, near Eomney, to his father^s, 
I concluded I woul^ ride on slowly, and I told him to tell 
LoYctt to hurry up and overtake me, and thus we parted. 
When I peached the place at the road where the path led 
across the mountain I left, word at a house there for them 
to tell Lovett that I had gone on up the road, as I was not 
acquainted with the bridle path. 

After going some distance I came to where the roads 
forked, one road leading to Moorefield, the other through the 
Bean settlement .to Lost Kiver. I took the latter road, but 
they ran nearly parallel with each other for some distance, 
gradually widening out. There had been a little thaw the 
day before, but it had frozen that night, and the roads were 
one sheet of ice, and my horse being smooth shod it was 
difficult to get along. I had the goods that I had bought 
under the saddle, and the boots tied behind, and was carry- 
ing the saddle that I had borrowed from Bud Peterson at 
Brock^s Gap. 

As I was riding along, thinking I was safe from the en- 
emy, my horse pricked up his ears and threw up his head, 
and I knew he saw something. Looking ahead I saw a man 
riding across from the road I was in towards the other road, 
with the cape of his overcoat thrown back, and I could see 
the red lining. I halted for a few seconds, but thinking it 
was some of Major Harry Gilmore's command, or Captain 
McNeiFs men, as I knew they were camped near Moorefield 
(and our men wore such coats), I rode on, but had not gone 
far until I saw several men riding about in the woods in a 
suspicious manner, and concluded, whether they were Eeb- 
els or not, that I would get out of there. So I wheeled my 
horse around, threw down the extra saddle I was carrying, 
and put spurs to my horse and went down the road as fast 
as I could go. I could &ee no other way of escape. But as 
soon as I had wheeled and started they commenced firing at 
me, and the bullets whistled by, but I kept on. I knew my 
horse was fast, my greatest fear being that he might fall on 
the ice ; but when I got to the forks of the road I saw ten or 


twelve men just ahead of me. I dashed in amongst them, 
as I could not check my horse. 

One fellow grabbed the reins of my horse, while an- 
other had his pistol leveled at my head, when some of the 
others pulled me off the horse and commenced taking my 
things. I was quarreling with them all the time, thinking 
they were Bebels, as they were dressed like Bebels and 
talked like them. I kept asking them what they were. They 
said they were Eebels and belonged to Gilmore's command, 
and that I was a d — d Yankee spy. 

I told them I was a Bebel and had papers in my pocket 
to show them where I belonged. They replied that if I was all 
right I would get all my things back again; that Harry 
Gilmore was on behind. They wanted to kQow if there were 
any more soldiers down the road. I told them there was 
one coming behind me (meaning Lovett). They said if I 
told them a lie they would kill me. 

One took my hat and gave me an old one about three 
sizes too large; one took my overcoat and vizer, and gave me 
a citizen's coat; another took my haversack and pocketbook, 
with $125 in it; another pulled at my boots, but I held my 
foot so it would not come off, when he called on a compan- 
ion to take hold of the othen boot, which he did, throwing 
me flat on my back and straddle of a small tree. Each man 
continued piilling at a boot until they pulled them off. One 
of them put on my boots and gave me. his old ones, which 
were a size too small. I could not get my heel any further 
into them than the top of the counters. They took my fine 
horse and gave me a young horse they had picked up along 
the road, and a citizen's saddle. In a few minutes all that 
change was made, and as it was a bitter cold morning I felt 
the change very perceptibly. They then left one man to 
guard me, and the balance rode on. 

They were the "Jessie Scouts," or Captain Blaser's 
Scouts, and numbered about thirty men, under the command 
of Major Young — as desperate a set of guerrillas as ever 
graced a saddle. They dressed like Rebels, and would go in 
advance of the command, which was some distance behind. 

After they had all left I asked the one who was guard- 










ing me to tell me the truth, what they were, whether they 
were Yanks or Bebs. 

''Oh, we are all Kebs,^^ he said, ''and belong to Gilmore, 
and you will get all your things back/^ 

I then began to think they were Eebels; but in a short 
time the main column came in sight, and as soon as I saw 
them, all dressed in blue, my ^ard hunched me and asked 
me what I thought of those fellows. I told him he need not 
tell me any more lies, that I knew where I was now. So, 
when they came up, about 400 of them, he turned me over 
to the guard, and, sure enough, Major Harry Gilmore was 
there, but he was a prisoner, and his cousin, Hoffman Gil- 
more, also. They had thirteen prisoners, and among them 
John Lynn and Manny Bruce. They made the prisoners 
ride single file, with a guard on each side of each prisoner. 

They had come out of Winchester by the Moorefield 
road, piloted by a deserter from Gilmore's command, for 
the express purpose of capturing Harry Gilmore. They cap- 
tured him at a house where he had his headquari;er8. As 
soon as that was accomplished they stari^d ^back to Win- 
chester by way of Eomney, picking up all soldiers they met. 
We had not gone far until they brought Lovett in. He 
blamed me for hia capture, because I did not take the path 
across the mountain, and I blamed him for out capture for 
not being on time, as he had promised. If I had been fifteen 
minutes sooner I would have been beyond the turn of the 
road and would have escaped; or if I had been fifteen min- 
utes later I would have been with Lovett, and we would 
have gone the bridle path, and both escaped capture. So my 
fate at that time hung on fifteen minutes of time either way. 
What a trivial circumstance often changes the tide of a 
man^s life I 

I was imeasy all the time after I was captured about 
Captain Stump, as I knew that he had gone down the road 
and would be deceived by them; and I had often heard him 
say that he would rather die on the field of battle than fall 
into their hands. But as we went on and they did not bring 
him back I began to hope that he had given them the slip, 
and especially after passing his father's house. But we had 
not passed the house far when I saw him lying dead in the 


road, with nothing on but his pants and shirt, and his face 
all black. But I knew him by his home-made pants, and re- 
marked that there lies Captain Stump. John Lynn said it 
was not Stump, but I was sure of it, and it proved too true. 

The scouts said they had killed the chief of all the guer- 
rillas, as he was heavily armed, having two or three six- 
shooters, besides a carbine. 

One of them told me that when they rode up to the 
house Stump came out and attempted to get on his horse, 
and they shot him through the leg; and after they had cap- 
tured him he said he could whip all of them if they would 
give him a chance, and that when they got out in the road 
they gave him a chance, and commenced firing on him until 
they killed him. Another one told me that after they left 
the house and got in the road, their commander said that 
he was an old guerrilla chief, and told them to kill him, 
which they did, and I believe that part is true. 

That was the last of Captain George Stump, a good and 
brave soldier. He always carried several pistols, and his 
command called him "Stimip's Battery.'^ One of the scouts 
told me that when they captured me, as I dashed up into 
them, he had his pistol cocked and pointed right at my head, 
with his finger on the trigger, and was in the act of firing, 
when he saw I could not check the horse, and did not fire. I 
was just that near death that time. 



It was a very cold day when we were captured — the 5th 
of February, 1865 — and they kept on the march all day, and 
until about 9 o^clock at night, when they halted on the road 
leading from Bomney to Winchester, to feed their horses. 
I had suffered terribly from the cold, having been warmly 
dressed when captured, but now nearly stripped. The change 
was as sudden as taking a cold bath. 

When they stopped to feed I was in hopes they would 
stay all night. While our guards were building a fire I whis- 
pered to Bruce that now was our time to escape. He said 
"Hush.^^ I was more anxious for Bruce to escape than my- 
self, for they had captured him once and condemned him 
as a ^^spy,^' but he made his escape, and afterwards went into 
service, and I knew if they found that out it would go very 
hard with him. When they took Bruce^s coat away from him 
they gave him a Yankee blue overcoat, and gave me a black 
one. As some of the guards were busy making fires, others 
kept us huddled up together, and kept counting us; but 
Bruce and I kept stirring around to confuse them. Directly 
afterwards I saw Bruce walk out of the ring and mix up 
with the men that were feeding the horses. As soon as the 
fellow commenced counting us again I began stirring 
around to confuse him and to make two men out of myself 
if I could, to give Bruce as much time as possible, but he 
soon found there was one missing and gave the alarm. 

Some two or three of them ran down in the woods and 
fired several shots, but they did not get Bruce, and I have 
never seen him since, but heard that he went a short dis- 
tance in the woods and laid down behind a log until the com- 
mand moved on. I would like to see my old partner once 
more on earth and talk over our adventures, but I do not 
expect ever to have the opportunity. 

After the horses had been fed and had rested a short 
time, we resnuj^^ the march. As we were crossing one of 


the mountains we were suffering so intensely with the cold 
that I asked the oflBcer. in command if we could not walk 
awhile, as our feet were nearly frozen. He said we could if 
the guards would walk with us, which they were glad to do, 
as they were nearly as cold as we were. So we all dismounted, 
but I happened to be in advance and could see no chance of 
escape. We had not been walking long, however, until 
the rear man in the line broke ranks and jumped down the 
side of the mountain and made his escape. The guard fired 
several shots after him, but without effect. 

They then madei us mount, and were more strict than 
ever, for they made one of the guards take the rein of each 
prisoner's horse and lead him, and they had orders to carry 
their pistols cocked and to fire on us if we made an attempt 
to escape. One reason why they traveled in the night was 
they were afraid that the different commands camped around 
Moorefield would rally and head them off between Eomney 
and Winchester and release the prisoners. 

Finally, about 3 o'clock in the morning, we arrived at 
Capon Bridge and went into camp. They put the prisoners 
in a house, where we had a fire and we got thawed out. I 
stole a pair of sfloves out of the pocket of one of the guards 
who slept in the room with us that night, and wore them 
the next day. Directly after daylight they saddled up, and 
during that day we arrived in Winchester. We were taken to 
General Sheridan's headquarters and brought into his august 
presence. When we were arraigned he pronounced sen- 
tence on us to the effect that we were ^^guerrillas of noto- 
rious character, and should be kept in close confinement at 
Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Md., during the war, and not be 

He had issued orders a short time before that all Rebel 
soldiers captured inside of his lines should be treated as 
guerrillas. He claimed his lines extended up to our picket 
posts, when sometimes the pickets of both armies would 
be twenty miles apart. He claimed the intervening space. 
We were then assigned to the guard-house at Winchester. 

I was very uneasy for fear they would find out about 
us capturing McFem ; but they never, as long as I was a pris- 
oner, said a word about it. They knew such things were 


customary in both armies at that time. I never expected 
anything else, if I got captured, but to be stripped and 
robbed, and vice versa. 

I was uneasy about another thing, which was that I 
had two discharges in my pocket from the hospital. One or- 
dered me to report to Company A, 33d Virginia Infantry, 
and the other to Company D, 11th Virginia Cavalry. As I 
was a cavalryman when captured, I told them I belonged 
to the cavalry, and it went on record that way in the prison. 
When I got my discharge I was put down as a private in 
Company D, 11th Virginia Cavalry, and they never knew I 
belonged to the infantry. So, when I landed in the guard- 
house at Winchester, I had an old hat, old boots, pants, and 
an army jacket. That was all the good I ever got out of 
over $400 that I had captured from McFem, except two 
canteens of apple brandy. The oflScers at the guard-house at 
Winchester called us out, one at a time, made us strip, and 
searched us all over and searched our clothing. I told them 
they could find nothing on me after those "Jessie Scouts 
went through me.^' They laughed and said "they guessed 
not, for they were worse than a dose of salts." 

The next day after landing in Winchester we were taken 
out of the guard-house and marched through a blinding 
snowstorm to Stephenson^s depot, five miles below Winches- 
ter, and put in a cattle car and taken to Harper's Ferry. 
There we had to stand in the snow for four hours waiting 
for a train to take us to Baltimore. I had no blanket nor 
overcoat, and I got so cold that I borrowed a blanket from 
one of the guards and laid down in the snow and rolled up 
in it. At last the train came and we were put in a good 
warm car that had a stove in it, and some time that night 
we arrived in Baltimore, and were taken to the slave-pen 
prison. The next day, which was the 8th of February, we 
were mustered in line and marched out to Fort McHenry. 
They made us march in two ranks in the middle of the 
street, while the guards marched on the sidewalks. There 
being a thaw that day, the water was running considerably, 
but we had to wade every place where the water ran across 
the road, and were wet above our knees. 

When we arrived at Fort McHenry we were taken to 


the provost marshals oflBce and our names, company and 
regiment taken down, and also had to undergo another 
strict search. There we met the crossest, most tyrannical 
man, for a provost marshal, that we had encountered yet. 
He cursed us black and blue, and wanted to know where we 
got those blue clothes we had on. I told him that their 
soldiers had taken ours from us and given us those in return. 
He said: "That's a d — d lie; you stole them off our dead 
soldiers on the battle-field.'' 

We were then conducted into the prison, a large brick 
building that had been used as a stable before the war, and 
put in a room where there were about 250 prisoners. There 
was one large stove in the room, and two rows of bunks on 
each side, with a hallway through the center. The bunks 
were not divided, but all in one, the second tier being just 
one floor above the other, at a distance of about five feet. It 
was about ten feet to the ceiling. We were put in there 
about dark, cold, wet and hungry, and could draw no rations 
until 12 o'clock the next day. 

We began to look for some place to lie down, but found 
every foot of space occupied except the hallway, and that 
was about two inches deep in mud and slush. There was a 
small yard to each prison, and the prisoners could go out and 
in when they chose until 8 o'clock at night. We then tried 
to get to the stove, but could not even get near enough 
to see any of it except the pipe. It was terribly cold, the 
thermometer registering below zero. There were a great 
many crippled soldiers in there who had been captured on 
the battle-field at Winchester, some of them one-legged and 
one-armed, and they had the preference at the stove. 

We were wondering what we would do, as we were 
"fresh fish" and did not know the ropes yet, and were 
thinking our only chance was to lie down in the mud, when 
the door opened and a sergeant called for "that last batch 
of prisoners that came in." We eagerly went forward and 
wanted to know his wishes. He said we were too thick in 
there, and he would take us to another room, where we 
would be more comfortable. 

We were pleased with that idea, but alas! vain hope! 
many of us went to our doom. 


As each one^s name was called he was ordered to step 
outside. When my turn came, and I stepped out, I was 
escorted between two guards through that yard into another, 
and into a building that was full of cells, with a narrow 
passage-way against each wall, and was handed over to a 
sergeant who had a big bunch of keys hung to his arm. 
He opened one of the cell doors and told me to walk in. 

"What is the meaning of all this?^^ I inquired. 

"You will find out before you get out,^^ he replied. 

I had no blanket and there was no fire in the whole 
building, and it shocked me so to think that I would freeze 
to death in that terrible hole that I nearly sank to the floor. 
Presently they opened the door to put another one in with 
me. He had a blanket, but seeing that I had none he 
started back and asked the sergeant to put him in with a 
man that had a blanket; but I grabbed him and pulled him 
in my cell and said "For God's sake come in here.'' At the 
same time the sergeant shut the door and locked it. 

He proved to be Hoffman Gilmore, cousin tb Major 
Harry Gilmore, and was courier for his cousin. His home 
was in Baltimore and he had not been in service long; 
neither had he seen any hardships, so when he was placed 
in the cell he gave up, and broke down entirely, and said 
we might as well conclude to die, that we never would get 
out alive. 

Presently there was another prisoner put in our cell by 
the name of John Eafter. He belonged to McN"eil's Com- 
pany of rangers and had not seen much service. They were 
both younger than I was, and as I was rather hardened to 
privations and dangers I thought it would not do for us 
all to give up, so I commenced trying to cheer them up, 
and put on a lively air and told them we were worth a 
hundred dead men yet. By that means I inspired some 
vigor and confidence in them and myself, too. 

The prisoners were all distributed in the cells in that 
way, three in a cell. The cells were five feet wide and eight 
feet long, made of two-inch oak plank doubled, with a hole ^ 
in each door ten inches square with iron bairs across, and 
ventilator holes just opposite in the brick wall. The cold 






wind blew right in on lis, and it was the coldest spell of 
weather during the winter of 1864 and 1865. 

We finally lay down on the floor close together, and, 
covering ourselves over head and heels, tried to sleep, but we 
just lay there and shivered. We were afraid to go to sleep 
for fear we would freeze to death. 

I said to the boys : "This will never do,^^ and I jumped 
up and commenced dancing and singing and ninning aroimd 
for exercise. I made them get up, and we walked aroimd 
the cell for hours in single file, holding to one another^s 
coats, for it was dark as a dungeon, and we took that pre- 
caution to keep from running against each other. Then, 
when we got tired we would lie down awhile and rub our 
feet and limbs, for we were very scantily clothed. We kept 
that up until 12 o^clock the next day, when we drew some 
rations, which consisted of a piece of bread and a piece of 
meat; and small at that. And that was our rations while 
we stayed there. 

Every day at 12 o'clock we would get a slice of bread 
and piece of sialt pork; and every third day we would draw 
a quart of bean soup, with about three beans to the quart; 
but if we had no cups to put the soup in they would pass 
on and not give us any at alj. None of us had any cups 
at first, and, as I saw I was about to lose my soup, I grabbed 
up my old hat and, by sinking in the crown from the out- 
side, I made a depression large enough to hold my soup, and, 
soaking my bread in it, ate it that way. The other boys 
said they could not do that; but I took notice they "tumbled*^ 
to it the next time soup came round, and continued to do 
so until we procured cups. 

We had no money, no tobacco nor pipes and no writing 
material. I had some acquaintances in Baltimore before the 
war, but did not know whether they were there now or not. 
Hoffman Gilmore had scores of wealthy relatives in Balti- 
more, but to get word to them was the question. 

The second day I was there I got one of the guards to 
give me a paper and he brought me the Baltimore Gazette. 
I scanned it over in a hurry to find by the advertisements 
some one that I knew, and soon found the firm of H. K. 
Hoffman & Co., wholesale grocers, No. 45 South Howard 


street. It was like a beacon light to me. If some one had 
entered the prison at that time to release me it would not 
have filled me with more joy than to see that well-known 
name of H. K. HofiEman. He was once a merchant in 
Springfield, had boarded at my father's house when single; 
had married there and had always be^i a fast friend of 
our family. I did not know his politics, but that made no 
difference; I knew he would help me in distress. I then 
begged the guards for paper, envelope and stamp, and wrote 
to him to please send me a little money. The next day 
I received a letter from him with five dollairs in it. It was 
a Godsend to us; and I don't think five dollars ever did so 
much good to any one in this world as that did to us. I 
divided with my comrades. I did not get the money, but 
the amount was sent into me by the provost marshal in 
Sutler's checks, and we had to spend it with him. The 
provost would not let us buy anything to eat, but would let 
us buy tobacco, etc. The first thing I invested in was pipe, 
tobacco, matches, paper, envelopes, stamps, candles and quart 
cups. It was quite dark in our cell in the day time, and 
the candle made it more cheerful and we even imagined 
it made the cell warmer. 

Hoffman Gilmore then wrote to his friends and soon 
received a check for twenty dollars, and we were then we 
fixed with respect to fimds. As I had cheered hira ^P 
his first distress, and relieved his wants with ^^^^^ ^q 
became one of the best friends I ever had and ^^.^^?\iad 
during our sojourn in prison. He often said that i^ ^ ^^ 
not been for me he believed he would have died io- y^\ ^^at 
Our prisons were located outside of the maiB^ *^^ ^g^\^ 
the water. There were three large, long, brick buil^^^^' Q^e 
one divided into four rooms, two below and two ^^^^lyxt ^^^ 
room was full of cells on the ground ; the other ^^^j^^xouse 
^ound floor of the same building was used as a 8^*^ Z^ offi" 
for their own men. One room above had Confedera ^^^^ 
cers confined in it, while the other was full o^ fjhe 

jumpers. Each room had a small yard attached to i** p^^ 
next building in the row, which was the one we ^^^^^otw» 
into, had "KebeP' prisoners in one room ; the other ^lile 
on the ground floor, was full of *T>oiiiity jumpers. 


the one above them was full of Rebel citizen prisoners. The 
room above the Bebel prison^s was full of n^roes they 
had picked up wherever they could find them, and they kept 
them there until they got two or three hundred, when they 
would ship them to the front, and fill up again. I never 
knew what was in the other brick building. I give this 
description in order that the reader may fully imderstand 
what transpired afterwards. 

Around each prison and yard there was a high plank 
fence with a parapet on top with sentinels walking day and 
night. At night tiiey were placed in the yards also. A sen- 
tinel walked in front of our cells all the time and one stood 
in the door of the building. If a prisoner wanted to go out 
into the yard he would inform the guard, when he would 
sing out, "Sergeant of the guard, cell No. 10,'^ or whatever 
number was called for. The sergeant would then come if 
it suited his convenience (if not he would not come for one 
or two hours), imlock the door and take the men out — but 
one man at a time — ^then have two guards conduct him out 
and back. 

The regiment that was doing guard duty there was the 
91st New York, and they had never been to the front and 
did not know what war was, and, consequently, did not know 
how to treat prisoners, although there were a few who treated 
us kindly. There was one sentinel, who, whenever he got on 
our post, would slip us some coffee, or do any favor he could, 
unperceived; but he was the only one and I have forgotten 
his name. The provost marshal's name was Captain Mc- 
Dermott, a perfect tyrant, even to his own men. They had 
given him the name of "Black Jack^' and he went by that 
name among prisoners and soldiers alike. 

I would sing songs, hymns, and dance; anything to 
make it lively and pass off the time. One night I was in 
a big way singing some religious hymns, when all at once 
old "Black Jack'* stuck his nose in the door and said: ^T. 

don't want so much d d piety in there." The sentinel 

remarked that he had told me to hush and 1 wouldn't do 
it (which was a lie). Black Jack then said: "If they make 
any more noise fire in among them and that will settle them/' 
He would come sneaking around to see what he could hear 

totm Years ik ths stokewall bbigamj. 275 

at night, and would always give us a cursing. I sent word 
to him the second night we were there to send us some 
blankets. He sent word back that "his government did not 
furnish Eebel prisoners with blankets, and that we should 

stay in there until we froze or rot, he didn't care a d d 

which.*' I sent word back — ^for spite — ^that I would not die 
there unless he took me out to that gallows and hung me. 
There was a gallows erected out near the fort, where they 
had hung Leopold aa a spy a short time before we went 
there, and they all called us "gorillas'' and "cell-rats." Every 
few days some of them would come in and say: "Three 
of you 'gorillas' are to be himg tomorrow." Sometimes they 
would say five or ten, just as it suited them. 

After we had been there about one week the weather 
moderated some, and they would let us out in the yard to 
walk around for one, two or three hours, and we would 
have an opportunity to talk with the other prisoners, as 
they would put us in their yard. One day we saw them 
fixing the trapdoor to the gallows, and at the same time 
they told us there would be ten "gorillas" hung the next day. 
It made us feel rather bad that night, and we began to 
think there was some truth in it. I believe old "Black 
Jack" would have hung us, but was afraid our government 
would retaliate. In a few days after we were put in the 
cells the men commenced getting sick, and there were fresh 
prisoners put in every few days until there were seven in 
each cell. They happened to put Ned Bonham in our cell. 
He belonged to the 12th Virginia Cavalry, and was an ac- 
quaintance of Gilmore's and myself, and we three messed 
together during the remainder of our stay in prison. 

When we lay seven in a cell we laid crosswise, and the 
seven of us would fill the cell from one end to the other, 
and we had to all lie spoon fashion at that. There were 
two of the seven that were six feet, and as our cell was only 
five feet we had to "spoon" considerably to get the six- 
footers in. When one turned over we would all have to 
turn. There was not room enough for one man to lie on his 
back. Sometimes some of them would want to turn and 
the others would not turn, and then we would have a row 
and punching of ribs, until we all got in one notion. 


But we did not remain crowded l(mg, for tliej b^an 
to sick^i and die^ and onr cell was soon reduced to four. 
They would take tlie pneunonia and die in a few days. 
One man in a cdl next to mp died in twenty-four hours 
after he was taken sick. The sergeant would come alcmg in 
front of the cells in ihe mornings and want to know if there 
were any sick. If there were any that were able to walk 
he would take them up to the hospital to ihe doctor, who 
woidd prescribe for l^em^ give them s(»ne medicine and 
send them back. If they were not able to walk they woidd 
lie there until they died, or were nearly dead, and then be 
carried to the hospital on a stretcher. By that time the 
disease would have such a hold on them that they were 
almost sure to die. But few got well. Out of eighty prison- 
ers that were in the cells, forty died or were sick in the 
hospital in thirty days. 

I told the sergeant one morning that I was sick and 
wanted to go to the doctor. There was nothing the matter 
with me, but I wanted to go out of curiosity, and to have 
a walk and some exercise. He took me along with a num- 
ber of others, and we had to stand on a long porch in the 
cold until the doctor got through with his brealdast, which, 
I thought, was about one hour. Finally, when he came and 
examined us, and asked me what was the matter with me 
I told him I had the itch, as a great many had that com- 
plaint, and it was the best excuse that I could oflfer. He 
gave me some medicine for it, which I threw away on my 
way back to my cell. That was the last time I volimteered 
to go to the hospital. 

One night, about midnight, they opened the door of 
our cell and put a fellow in who was yelling and screaming 
and crying like he was scared to death. He laid down on the 
floor and kept crying and moaning at a terrible rate. We 
began to make sport of him, and wanted to know what regi- 
ment he belonged to. He said his name was James Glenn 
Gatelow, and that he did not belong to the army at all, and 
he ^^never done nothing,^^ and he did not know what they 
put him in there for. 

Finally we found out all about him. He was an idiot 


they had picked up near Winchester because he had some 
soldier^s clothes on. He was a more fit subject for a lunatic 
asylum than a prison like that. But we had a great deal 
of sport out of him while he remained in prison. 



One day whea we were out in the yard with the other 
prisoners we heard there were some sick and wounded who 
were going to be exchanged^ and the other prisoners had 
thought it terrible that we were kept in the cells. One man^ 
a Louisiana sergeant^ who was going to be exchanged^ took 
down all our names^ the company and regiment to which 
we belonged^ and put them in his boots. When he got to 
Richmond he reported our treatment to President Davis and 
Commissioner Ould and had our names published in the 
Richmond papers. My parents happened to get one of the 
papers, which I saw after I got homfe. Our authorities at 
Richmond sent word to the United States authorities that 
we were no guerrillas, but regular soldiers, and if we were 
not released from the cells, and treated as other prisoners 
of war, they would put a like number of Fedreal prisoners 
in close confinement during the war. 

So one day, as they were returning us to our cells from 
the yard, the sergeant told us we could get the things that 
we had in the cells, as we were not to go back there any 
more, but should remain in the barracks with the others and 
be treated better. Then such a shout of joy as went up — ^it 
made the very walls shake. We knew nothing then of this 
order from Richmond, but heard about it afterwards through 
some guards. 

About this time the 91st New York was ordered to the 
front, as it was a large regiment and had done no service 
except guard duty. Then Captain McDermott, alias "Black 
Jack,^^ received a furlough to go home to New York. While 
there, on a big spree, one night, he fell down a considerable 
flight of steps and broke his neck, as reported to us by the 
guards. That ended his career. 

The 91st New York was replaced by the 5th Ohio, a 
regiment that had been in service during the war and was 
considerably reduced in numbers. It was sent to Ft. Mc- 


Henry to do guard duty and recruit. Captain McEwan was 
made provost marshal. He was a perfect gentleman and 
treated us like human beings. He soon came into our prison 
and said: "Well, boys, how are you getting along ?^^ I 
saw ttiat he would do to talk to, so I stepped out aud told 
him that we were doing very well except that we were not 
allowed to buy anything to eat, and that some of us had 
money, or could get it from our friends, and as our rations 
were shori: we would like to buy some. It seenijed to sur- 
prise him ttiat such was the case, and he said we could buy 
whatever we wanted. I then told him the sutler had no 
bread and the baker wanted money. He said he would have 
some bread checks issued, and when we received any money 
we could take part in sutler checks and part in bread checks. 

After that we fared and were treated as well as a pris- 
oner of war could expect. The change was great, indeed. 
The room was not crowded, we had a good place to sleep, a 
stove to sit by, and could buy some extra rations, and had 
plenty of blankets. We were in the cells thirty days, and 
during that time saw no fire and had but one blanket, and 
were allowed but one scanty meal every twenty-four hours. 
They can talk about the Idbby prison and Andersonville, 
but I will guarantee that there never was greater suffering 
or a greater death rate in any prison than in the cells of 
Ft. McHenry during the war. I look back upon my expe- 
riMice there with horror to this day, and wonder how I 
came out alive. 

When we were in the regular prison they would take 
forty of us out every day to work and clean up about the 
fort, which was light work and good exercise and they could 
always get plenty of volunteers to go out to work. I often 
went out — ^would rather do so than lie around the prison. 
Sometimjes they would take ten or twelve out in the edge 
of the city to a rolling mill to load wagons with cinders 
and haul them back to the Fort to make roads and walks. 
We would meet Kebel sympathizers at the mill and they 
would give us money and the guard would go with us to the 
grocery and we would buy corn meal and molasses, and such 
things, for about one-half what the sutler would charge us. 

Sometimes some of the boys would give the wagon 


drivers some money and a canteen and they would go and 
get some whiskey^ but did not let the guard see them. I got 
some once that way and took it into the prison and gave my 
chums a dram. One of our fellows got too bold about it 
and brought some in prison several times that way and 
woidd sell it to tiie bounty jumpers at a fabulous price^ and 
was making a speeidation of it. In one comer of our prison 
we had a hole cut in the partition between us and the 
bounty jumpers, and would carry on trade with them — 
a chew of tobacco for a "hardtack/' two chews for a quart of 
coflEee, and so on. They never had any money, and the most 
of our prisoners had some and coidd buy tobacco. 

Those who had no friends to send them money were 
always making rings, breastpins, fans, watch-chains, etc., 
out of guttapercha, and put silver and gold sets in them. 
It was like a manufactory every day; and we could sell 
them to the guards and they would sell them again down 
in the city for double what tiiey gave for them. There was 
a continual trade going on all the time. We never drew 
any coffee and the jumpers could get all they wanted. 

One day one of our fellows ta'aded them some whiskey 
and two of them got a little tight and beat one of their 
comrades, whom they had a grudge against, nearly to death. 
About midnight the guards rushed in, but could not find 
the men; but they got them at daylight and took them to 
the provost marshal, and he kept tiiem tied up by the 
thumbs for three days to make them tell where they got thdr 
whiskey. They refused to tell, but he suspicioned that it 
came ihrough our prison. After that when we were brought 
in from work our canteens were searched, and that broke 
up the liquor traflBc. 

I had written to several of my friends who were inside 
the lines; but the provost marshal had to read all letters 
that were sent, and all that were received, and if they did 
not suit him he would desiax)y them. 

I had an uncle, S. M. Heironimus, who was a merchant 
in Webster, Taylor County, W. Va., and a strong Union 
man. I wrote him for some money and clothes. I had, also, 
another uncle there at the time, but I did not know it, H. 
W. Heironimus, and he sent me a suit of clothes in a box. 


with some apples and chestnuts, and two dollars in money. 
I received all but the apples and chestnuts. They were con- 
fiscated, as our f rienda were not allowed to send us anything 
to eat. My uncle also wrote that he would be in Baltimore 
in a few days to do some business for H. K. Hoffman, and 
he would attend to my wants, which he did as long as I 
was in prison. Every week or so he would send me two 
doUara. One time he came out to the Port and brought me 
a new hat, but they would not let him see me. I happened 
to be out at work that day, and saw him going from the 
provost marshal^s oflSce up to the General's headquarters, 
and hallooed at hini, but he did not stop and did not speak, 
being afraid they might arrest him. 

There was a commission of ladies in Baltimore that 
furnished Eebel prisoners with clothing. They would get 
ouiT names from the papers as we were captured, and write 
to us as old acquaintances. One day I received a letter tell- 
ing me I should be supplied with clothing if I needed it. 
It was signed Miss Dora Hoffman. She also wrote to a 
number of others. I think she was president of the society. 
I did not need any clothing, as my uncle had supplied me 
with all I was allowed. When we wanted clothing we had 
to go before the provost and be examined, and whatever he 
gave us permission to have we could get; if anything was 
sent not in the permission the whole was confiscated. So 
we had an old ragged suit that we kept on purpose to put 
on when we went out to be examined by the provost. I 
suppose forty different men have worn that suit out to be 
inspected. The prisoners were well supplied by that com- 
mission of ladies, and they received thousands of blessings 
from the poor prisoners — ^thanks to their kind and generous 

We would have laws and regulations of our own in the 
prison. We had a court-martial to punish any one for 
stealing, and we made each one keep as clean as possible. 
There was a high post in the middle of the yard with a 
cross-piece on top, and every day when it was not too cold 
there would be some one sitting upon that post, as we could 
have a fine view of the steam tugs plying their trade up and 
down. On the west side of the Port was the Patapsco river. 

282 FOtm YEARS m l^fi STOKEWaLL BEiGADfi. 

and way dowii the river as far as the eye could reach was 
Fort Carroll. 

One day the "Red Sergeanf^ came into the prison yard 
and called for forty men to go to work around the Fort. 
We called him the ^^ed Sergeant'^ because he belonged 
to the artillery and wore red chevrons on his coat and was 
a great, big, red-faced Irishman. He soon got nearly enough, 
but lacked one or two men, and as they were slower than 
usual in volunteering, he got out of patience. Looking around 
he observed a fellow by the name of Royston sittmg upon 
the post. 

"Here, come down fTom there and go to work/^ he 
cried out to Royston. 

"I ain't going out today,^^ replied Royston. "I was 
out yesterday, and I'm sick, anyhow." 

The sergeant called a file of men and told them to 
cock their guns, and then pulled out his watch. 

"I'll give you just five minutes to get down. If you 
don't do it in that time I'll have you shot," he said. 

"All right, I'm not coming down," said Royston, coolly. 

Everything was as still as death for about three min- 
utes; all of us standing around and expecting them to fire 
on Royston, who continued sitting there as calmly and un- 
concerned as if nothing unusual was transpiring. When 
the sergeant wheeled around and walked off, we fully ex- 
pected to see him shot. Royston said he had made up his 
mind to die right there, and I believe he would have done it. 

There was an ant bed in the lower end of the yard, and 
every day there would be from five to ten prisoners around 
that bed, picking off lice and having them and the ants 
fighting. They would have a regular pitched battle, and 
would get up bets on them. Sometimes the aunts would drag 
the louse off, but often times a big louse would stand them 
off. It was great sport for the prisoners. 

We had a violin in prison and a fifer with his fife, and 
would have dances at night, and often had dress parade 
with the fife and an old camp kettle for a drum, and read 
out a long string of orders for the next day, and all such 
amusements to keep up our spirits and relieve the monotony 



s i 


» Pi 

1 1 


2 • t^ 
^ e S 

B Hi o 




of priBou life. Bate were iBadj sale. The prisoners would 
cook and eat tiiem. 

LoTett wanted to raise some money one daj^ and adopted 
a noTel plan to do so. He had an old watch key, and 
walked np and down with tlie s^itinel with the key in his 
hand until he attracted the sentinel's attention to it^ and 
then remarked that there was a key tiiat once belonged to 
^^Stonewall Jackson.^ The sentinel wanted to buy it at 
once; but, of course, Lovett would not part with it for any 
consideration. Finally, after a great amount of b^ging, 
LoTctt was induced to take five dollars for it. I suppose 
that key is held as a trophy to this day, but Jacksoa never 
saw the key. 

Whea we were first put in tiie cdls and heard our sen- 
tence we made application to take the oath of all^iance, 
but th^ were too sharp for us and would not let us do so. 
They kiew it was a scheme to get out; but as time rolled 
on we all knew that the Confederacy was bound to fall 
when the spring campaign opened; and when we heard of 
the surrender of General Lee, the 9th of April, it did not 
surprise us. There were lively times about the Fort, firing 
guns, etc., but a sad look among the prisoners, for we did 
not know our fate — ^whether we would be transported or 
what would become of us. 

In a few days, however, their joy was turned to sad- 
ness by the assassination of President Lincoln, ihe 14th of 
April, 1866. We were sorry, too, because we knew they 
would think that the South had something to do with it, 
and then we knew that it would have been better for the 
South if he had lived. When we first heard it at night we 
did not believe it, but next morning the flag in the Fort 
was at half-mast and the minute guns were firing, and dur- 
ing the day the Fort and city were draped in mourning. 

About one week after that Captain McEwan came into 
our prison and told the prisoners who had been sentenced 
there during the war that we had served our term out, as 
the war was over, and that he would go to work and have 
us released, which he did on the Ist of May, 1865. 

We all marched up to the (Jeneral^s headquarters and 
took the oath of alliance to the United States govern- 


ment and signed our names. The next morning we were 
marched outside the walls of our prison, in two ranks, or- 
dered to halt, and then, ^^Break ranks, march!'' That was 
the last military command ever given me. Here is a copy 
of my oath, which I still have in my possession: 

'^United States of America. 
^^I, John 0. Casler, Private 11th Virginia Cavalry, of 
the County of Bockingham, Statfe of Virginia, do solemnly 
swear, in presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth 
faithfully support, protect and defend the Constitution of 
the United States, and the Union of the States thereimder; 
and that I will in like manner abide by and faithfully sup- 
port all acts of Congress passed during the existing rebel- 
lion with reference to slaves, so long and so far as not re- 
pealed, modified or held void by Congress, or by decision of 
the Supreme Court; and that I will in like manner abide by 
and faithfully support all proclamations of the President 
made during the existing rebellion, having reference to 
slaves, so long and so far as not modified or declared void 
by decision of the Supreme Court; so help me God. 

''Subscribed and sworn to before me at Ft. McHenry, 
Md., this first day of May, A. D. 1865. 

"Major and Commissary of Prisoners. 
"The above-named has light complexion, black hair and 
grey eyes, and is 5 feet 6 inches high.'' 

The following is my discharge from prison: 

"OflSce Commissary of Prisons, 
"Pt. McHenry, Md., May 1, 1865. 
"In pursuance of instructions from Commissary Gen- 
eral of Prisoners, dated Washington, D. C, April 29, 1865, 
the Provost Marshal is hereby directed to release from con- 
finement John 0. Casler, 11th Virginia Cavalry, he having 
taken the oath as prescribed in tiie President's proclama- 
tion of December 8, 1863. 

"By command of Colonel Daniel Macauly. 
"Major and Commissary of Prisoners." 



^^Headqnaxtens Army of Northern Virginia, April 10, 
1865. — General Order No. 9. — After four years of ardu- 
ous service, marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, 
the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to 
yield to overwhelming numbers and resources. I need not 
tell the survivors of so many hard-fought battles, who have 
remained steadfast to the last, that I have consented to this 
result from no distrust of them.. But feeling that valor and 
devotion could accomplish nothing that could compensate 
for the loss that would have attended the continuance of 
the contest, I determined to avoid the sacrifice of those whose 
past services have endeared them to their countrymen. 

"By the terms of the agreement officers and men can 
return to their homes and remain until discharged. You 
will take with you the satisfaction that proceeds from the 
consciousness of duty faithfully performed, and I earnestly 
pray that a nuerciful God will extend you his blessing and 
protection. With an unceasing admiration of your con- 
stancy and devotion to your country, and a grateful remem- 
brance of your kind and general consideration for myself, 
I bid you an affectionate farewell. 

"E. E. LEE, General.'^ 



Ditring my three months of prison life but one prisonei 
escaped, and he escaped as we were unloading the wagons 
that hauled cinders from the rolling mill. He was in one 
of the wagons cleaning it out. When he had finished he 
fastened up the tail-gate from the inside and, seeing the 
guards were not looking, he laid down in the wagon-bed, 
which was very deep, and the wagoner drove on out the 
gates; and that was the last we ever saw of him. But the 
driver must have known he was in there, for if he had 
looked back he would have seen hint, or when he got out of 
the wagon he must have seen him. But the wagoners were 
citizens, and frequently favored the soldiens. 

The young fellow had an imcle living in Baltimore, 
where he probably went. He was not missed from our squad 
until we went in at night, when the guards counted us. 
Instead of foriy men there were only thirty-nine. Then 
there was a commotion raised. They hunted all through 
the barracks, and inquired what squad he was working with, 
and who was guarding him. They finally found out who it 
was that had gotten away. 

The provost marshq,l came in the prison and offered 
any of us our liberty if we would go with them to the city 
and help find and recognize him; but none of us would go. 
The guards went, however, and hunted for him all night, 
and for several days, but never foimd him. 

After we ^Tjroke ranks" at the prison gates we scat- 
tered out in squads of two and three together, and went to 
the city. There were about one hundred and fifty released 
that morning; and about one hundred left in prison, as 
there were none released but the sentenced prisoners. We 
were the first batch of prisoners that were relased from any 
Northern prison after surrender. It was before prisoners 
were furnished transportation. Prisoners were being released 


in small squads all summer^ but some did not get home till 
late in the fall. 

I went directly to my uncle, H. W. Heironimus, who 
was salesman for the wholesale grocery of H. K. Hoffman 
& Company, 45 South Howard street, to thank him and 
Hoffman for their kindness. I told them I would pay them 
some day ; but they would not listen to it. I stayed all night 
with my uncle, at his boarding house, and the next day he 
bought me a ticket for Winchester, gave me a carpetsack 
full of clothes, and some money, and I boarded the train. 
I looked like a full-fledged Yankee carpet-bagger going South 
for an oflSce, instead of a released Rcfcel prisoner. 

I met several of our prisoners on the train. Some of 
them stayed in Baltimore several days, and some stariJed 
home on foot, and I have never seen but three or four of 
them since. The citizens of Baltimore were very kind to pris- 
oners. It made no difference whether they had acquaintances 
and relatives there or not, they were furnished new suit^ of 
clothes, money to go home on, and plenty to eat and drink. 

A party of them, so I afterwards learned, who had 
started to walk home, had not gone more than five miles 
when they met a gentleman on horseback, who, seeing they 
were from prison, asked them if they had any money. When 
they told him they had none and expected to walk home, 
he opened his purse and gave them a twenty-dollar gold piece 
and told them to go to the nearest station and get on the 
cars, which they did. 

When I arrived in Winchester, Va., I went out to my 
nucleus, some fifteen miles, and remained several days. I 
had plenty of relatives in the adjoining counties of Morgan 
and Hampshire. I paid them a visit, also, and had a fine 
time ; but was considerably broken down in health and spirits. 

While in Morgan County I met my cousin, Smith 
Casler, who had belonged to Sturdivant's Battery of Artil- 
lery, and was at Lee's surrender. On his way home he had 
come by my father's, in Bockingham County, and spent some 
time there. He told me all about the siege of Petersburg 
and the surrender of Lee's Army. His brother, Charles 
Casler, was a member of the 11th Virginia Cavalry, and 


had died in prison at Point Lookout, Md. Therefore, there, 
was one missing, and one vacant chair in that household. 

I then went to Winchester, but found no conveyance 
up the Valley. I determined, however, not to walk, and 
would sit by the iioadside waiting for some one to come along 
in a buggy or wagon, so I could ride with them as far as 
they went. I kept this up, catching a ride occasionally, until 
I arrived at Harrisonburg, Va., a distance of sixty-eight miles 
from Winchester. I found my father and family living on 
a farm, only two miles from Harrisonburg. I arrived there 
shortly after dark. Then there was joy in that household. 
The prodigal son had returned and the fat hen was killed ! 
I found my father, mother and three sisters all well, but 
having hard times, as they had lost nearly everything they 
had by the war. 

I never saw the Stonewall Brigade after I parted with 
it in Harrisonburg in December, 1864, when on their way 
to Petersburg, but it was in all the campaigns in and 
around Petersburg, and surrendered with the army at Ap- 
pomattox Court House with very few members and oflBcers. 
I was not quite four years in it, but it was just four years 
from the time I left home to join the army imtil I arrived 
at home from, prison. 

It was a very trying time to most of the Southern 
soldiers the last two years of the war, especially those who 
had families, for oftentimes their families were living in- 
side the Federal lines, poorly provided for, enduring untold 
hardships, while the soldiers had no means to supply their 
wants, and could not even hear from them. 

It took nerve and patriotism to remain in ranks under 
those circumstances, being poorly clad and fed, the pay, 
when it did come, being nearly useless for any purpose, and 
with very little prospects of our cause succeeding. But they 
still held on witti indomitable courage and heroism that is 
unparalleled in the history of any nation. 

On the other hand, the army of the North were well 
fed and clothed, paid in good money, given large bounties, 
and had the prospect of a life pension, with their families 
far distant from the seat of war well provided for. 

The difference was immense, for the Southern soldier 




had nothing but love of country and patriotism in view; 
but he remained to the bitter end. 

I do not consider myself a hero by any means, and do 
not wish to be understood as one; neither do I consider 
myself a coward, for I have been in positions that tested me 
thoroughly, and such as a coward could not stand. But I 
always went where duty called me and did the best I could, 
and let fate do the rest— going no further than I was obliged 
to go. No man dreaded going into battle more than I did, 
or was more anxious for one to be over; but the die was 
cast, and I was reconciled to take what came, be it good 
or bad. A soldier in the ranks is like a piece of machinery 
— ^he moves and acts as commanded. 



In giving a roster of Company "A/' my old company, 
hereto appended, I wish to say, in justice to its members, 
that I have marked on the muster rolls, as leaving the army 
or going home and remaining, as good soldiers as ever bore 
a musket. 

Many had become tired of the infantry and wanted a 
transfer to the cavalry. They had been brought up in a 
mountainous coimtry and were used to horseback riding and 
unaccustomed to walking long distances, and in other ways 
were less fitted for the infantry than for cavalry service. 
But as it was impossible to get a transfer, and as no furloughs 
were granted to men whose homes were inside the Federal 
lines, they would go home .whenever the opportunity pre- 
sented itself; but still did service in some shape, either in 
the partisan ranger companies, or as independent scouts. 

Those men lived along the northern border of Virginia, 
adjacent to the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, and would 
form little parties of from eight to twelve and make raids 
on said railroad; sometimes capture a train or tear up the 
track or bum a bridge. The consequence was that the Fed- 
eral Army had to keep about ten or twelve thousand troops 
— cavalry, infantry and artillery — ^posted along the railroad 
from Cumberland, Md., to Martinsburg, Va., in order to 
protect the railroad and keep commimications open. 

Therefore, about fifty absentees from my company and 
other companies from the border kept that many Union 
soldiers employed and kept them from doing duiy at the 
front. Although it was irregular and against the orders of 
the Confederate Government and the commanding oflScer, 
(Jeneral K. E. Lee, it was done on their own hook, and, 
being rather between the lines and in a mountainous coun- 
try, the Federal soldiers seldom captured any of them, and 
the Confederates could not get them to bring them back 
to their lawful conjmands; therefore, they operated in a 


territory of their own, and did the South considerable good, 
though not sanctioned by the proper authorities. 

The Federals had possession of Hampshire County, W. 
Va., during the entire war, except at shori; intervals; but 
there were only ten of my company captured at any time, 
viz. : Edward Allen, Mike Bright, Sergeant James P. Daily, 
Roberi; C. Grace, Thomas McGraw, Sergeant William Mont- 
gomery, David Pence, John Tharp, Joseph McNemar and 
myself; the pari;iculars of which are more fully set forth 
in the following: 


Captain, Philip T. Grace; promoted to Major Septem- 
ber, 1863; resigned November, 1862. 

First Lieutenant, Simeon D. Long; left the command in 
September, 1861, and never returned. 

Second Lieutenant, Jacob N. Buzzard; died of pneu- 
monia in Winchester, Va., February, 1862. 

Third Lieutenant, William Johnson; died in Charlotts- 
ville, Va., August, 1862. 

First Sergeant, James G. Parsons; promoted to Third 
lieutenant April, 1862; resigned September, 1862. 

Second Sergeant, William Montgomery; severely 
wounded at first battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861 ; served in 
the 18th Virginia Cavalry two years ; came back to Company 
A January, 1864; captured at Spottsylvania Court House 
May 12, 1864; remained in prison until close of the war. 

Third Sergeant, James P. Daily; woimded March 23, 
1862, at the battle of Kemstown; captured and died. 

First Corporal, Monroe Blue ; promoted to Second Lieu- 
tenant in 18th Virginia Cavalry; captured in 1863; taken 
to Johnson's Island; while being transferred to Ft. Dela- 
ware made his escape in Pennsylvania; came on to Virginia 
and shortly afterwards was killed in the battle of New Hope, 
June, 186*4. 

Third Corporal, James Connelly; left the company in 
September, 1862, and went home. 

Second Corporal, A. A. Yoimg; slightly wounded July 


21, 1861; left the company in September, 1862, and went 

Allen, Edward; slightly wounded July 21, 1861; capt- 
ured March 23, 1862, at the battle of Kemstown; ex- 
changed and went home. 

Allen, Herman ; went home in September, 1862. 

Adams, James; killed battle Bull Kim, July 21, 1861. 

Adams, Jacob; went home September, 1862. 

Arnold, George; went home November, 1863. 

Baker, Andrew; killed in skirmish, August, 1863. 

Baker, John K.; went home November, 1862. 

Blue, William I.; killed first battle of Bull Bun, July 
21, 1861. 

Blue, Michael; hired a substitute July, 1861. 

Bright, Michael; captured at battle of Kemstown 
March 23, 1862; exchanged; woimded at Antietam. 

Berry, Joseph; went home in September, 1862. 

Cadwallader, Joseph; severely wounded July 21, 1861. 

Casler, John 0.; transferred to 11th Virginia Cavalry, 
January, 1865; captured February 5, 1865; was in prison 
till close of war. 

Carder, Elisha; dnmimer until September, 1864, then 
tbok a musket; wounded at Fisher's Hill. 

Carder, Joseph ; sick in Lynchburg when war closed. 

Dagnon, Michael: Marylander; discharged in one year. 

Daily, William A. ; joined partisan rangers in 1863. 

Doran, Daniel; discharged in 1862. 

Earsome, Joseph; transferred from 2d Virginia Regi- 
ment; elected 2d Lieutenant July, 1862; killed at second 
battle Bull Eun, August 30, 1862. 

Furlough, Thomas; killed July 21, 1861, first battle 
Bull Bun. 

French, Charles M.; joined partisan rangers in Novem- 
ber, 1863. 

Grayson, John; went home November, 1862. 

Gross, Thomas; killed March 23, 1862, battle of Kems- 

Gaither, Geoi^e; died in hospital, July, 1868. 

Gaither, James; killed May 12, 1864,- Spottsylvania 
Court House. 


Grace, Eobert; wounded March 23, 1862, battle of 
Kernstown; captured and died. 

Halderman, John; conscripted August, 1862; killed at 
second battle Bull Eun, August 30, 1862. 

Hass, James; died in hospital at Lynchburg, April, 1863. 

Hartly, Elijah; killed March 23, 1863, battle of Kerns- 

Hartley, Andrew; went home November, 1863. 

Hollenback, Amos; killed July 21, 1861, first battle 
Bull Eun. 

Harris, John; went home September, 1862. 

Kelley, John; went home November, 1862. 

Linthicum, James; went home December, 1861. 

Long, J. W. ; went home November, 1862. 

Miller, Emanuel; went home November, 1862. 

Miller, Martin; wounded severely March 23, 1862, bat- 
tle of Kernstown. 

Marker, Polk; killed July 21, 1861, firat battle Bull 

McNemar, Joseph; captured at Farmersville, Va., 1865; 
in prison when war closed. 

Montgomery, Edward; joined partisan rangers 1863. 

McGraw, Thomas; died in prison, Eock Island, 111. 

Gates, George; killed August 30, 1862, second battle 
Bull Bun. 

Parker, Joseph; went home November, 1862. 

Pence, Hugh; transferred to 18th Virginia Cavalry Sep-- 
tember, 1863. 

Pence, Samuel; killed August 30, 1862, second battle 
Bull Eun. 

Pence, David; in prison when war closed and died on 
road home. 

Perrin, Charles ; died in hospital at Charlottesville, Va., 
August, 1862. 

Perrin, Ealph; killed August 30, 1862, at the second 
battle of Bull Eun, aged 16 years. 

Pollard, William ; wounded at battle of Winchester Sep- 
tember 19, 1864. 

Powell, Thomas; went home November, 1862. 

Powell, H. William ; elected 1st Lieutenant April, 1862 ; 



promoted to Captain October, 1862; severely wounded at 
Gettysburg July 3, 1863, and never after fit for duty. 

Pownell, Newton L. ; made Ist Sergeant January, 1862 ; 
promoted to 2d Lieutenant April, 1863; killed May 3, 1863, 
at Chancellorsville^ 

Pownell, Albert; transferred to 18th Virginia Cavalry 
November, 1862. 

Ehinehart, John; severely wounded at first battle of 
Bull Eim; when well joined cavalry. 

Kizer, John; had a case of measles and was discharged. 

Shelly, David; went home November, 1862. 

Sivills, William ; sick at close of war. 

Short, George; went home September, 1862. 

Simmons, David; went home January, 1863. 

Stockslager, Cul; went home November, 1862. 

Swisher, Frank; went home sick December, 1861. 

Thaxp, John; captured May 12, 1864, at Spottfeylvania 
Court House; in prison when war closed. 

The foregoing embraces only the oflScers and soldiers of 
Company *^A.'^ A further reference to the organization and 
roster of oflScers of our regiment, brigade, division and 
corps might be interesting to the studentis of the history of 
the war. 

The field oflScers of the 33d Kegiment the first year 
were: Colonel, A. C. Cummings; Lieutenant Colonel, J. R. 
Jones; Major, Edwin G. Lee, and A. J. Neflf, a cadet from 
the Virginia Military Institute, Adjutant; Randolph Barton, 
a Virginia Military Institute cadet. Sergeant Major. Our 
first Lieutenant Colonel, William Lee, was killed at Bull 
Run July 21, 1861. 

At the reorganization and re-enlistment in April, 1862, 
the company oflScers elected the regimental oflScers. Colo- 
nel A. C. Cummings went to Southwest Virginia in some 
other branch of service, and was elected to the Virginia Leg- 
islature; and Adjutant A. J. Nefl was elected Colonel. He 
was killed at the second battle of Bull Run, August 27, 1862. 
Major Edwin G. Lee was elected Lieutenant Colonel ; after- 
wards promoted to Colonel, and assigned to other duty in 
Lexington, Va. Captain P. W. M. Holliday, of Company 
'T),^' was elected Major, and lost an arm at Cedar Mountain 


August 9, 1862. He was afterwards promoted to Colonel, 
and elected to Confederate Congress; afterwards Governor 
of Virginia. Captain David Walton, of Company *^K,'^ was 
made Adjutant, and served as such until the surrender. 
Captain Randolph Barton was made a stafiE officer. Captain 
P. T. Grace, of my company, was promoted to Major, and 
not long afterwards resigned on accoimt of sickness in his 
family, some of whom died. Captain George Houstbn was 
promoted to Major, then Lieutenant Colonel, then Colonel; 
was killed March, 1865, in front of Petersburg, Va. Captain 
Eastman, of Company ^^ly^ was promoted to Major, and was 
killed at Gettysburg July 2, 1863. Captain A. Spangler, of 
Company "F,'' was promoted to Major, then Lieutenant 
Colonel, then Colonel, and was in command of the regiment 
at the surrender, and Captain Golliday, of Company ^^D,'^ 
was promoted to Major. Lieutenant Colonel J. E. Jones 
was promoted to Brigadier General of the Second Brigade. 

General T. J. Jackson (Stonewall) was the first Briga- 
dier General of the Stonewall Brigade, then Major General 
of a division, then Lieutenant General of the Second Corps. 
He was wounded at Chancellorsville, Va., May 2, 1863, and 
died the 10th of May, 1863. 

General Eichard B. Gamett was the second Brigadier 
General. He was put under arrest after the battle of Kerns- 
town for ordering the brigade to fall back (when about to 
be flanked, as he supposed) without orders from General 
Jackson; but was never court-martialed. He afterwards 
commanded a brigade in PicketVs Division, and was killed 
in the charge at Gettysburg July 3, 1863. 

General C. S. Winder was the third Brigadier, and was 
killed at the battle of Cedar Mountain, Va., August 9, 1862. 

Colonel W. S. H, Baylor, of the 5th Virginia Regiment, 
was promoted to Brigadier General of the brigade (being the 
fourth one), and was killed at the second battle of Bull Eun 
August 30, 1862. 

Colonel C. A. Eonald, of the 4th Virginia Eegiment, 
took command of the brigade through the Maryland cam- 
paign,, and was wounded in a skirmish on the Baltimore and 
Ohio railroad at Keameysville, Va., in September, 1862; 
but was not promoted to General. 


Colonel J. W. Grigsby, of the 27th Virginia Infantry, 
then commanded the brigade until November, 1862, when 
Colonel E. P. Paxton, of the 27th Virginia Infantry, was 
promoted to Brigadier General as the fifth one. He was 
killed at the battle of Chaneellorsville May 3, 1863. 

Colonel James A. Walker, of the 13th Virginia In- 
fantry, EwelFs Division, was the sixth Brigadier General, 
and was womided at the battle of Spottsylvania Court House 
the 12th of May, 1864, when Colonel William Terry, of the 
4th Virginia Infantry, was promoted to Brigadier General 
for the seventh one. He was in command of the brigade at 
the surrender, April 9, 1865, and a few years afterwards 
was drowned in a river in Southwest Virginia. 

The division was commanded by General Jackson, Gen- 
eral Talliaferro, General Trimble, General Stark (who was 
killed at Antietam), General E. E. Colston, General Edward 
Johnson, "Clubb/^ (who was captured May 12, 1864, at 
Spottsylvania), General John B. Gordon, who afterwards 
commanded the corps, and General Clement A. Evans. 

The 2d Corps was commanded by General Jackson, 
General Ewell (who lost a leg at the second battle of Bull 
Eun), General Jubal A. Early, and, lastly, by General John 
B. Gordon, who was in command at the surrender of the 
army, and was loved and christened by the corps as "Our 
Second Jackson.^' 

Major Jed Hotchkiss was Topographical Engineer on 
General Jackson's staff from the commencement of the war 
up to Jackson's death, and was then Chief Engineer of the 
Second Corps to the close of the war, and was considered 
one of the best officers of the kind in the Army of Northern 



About one-third of the Stonewall Brigade was from what 
is now West Virginia, although the South never had any 
West Virginia Begiments designated as such, for it was all 
Virginia clear to the Ohio river when the war commenced 
and for some time afterwards. 

A greater part of the 2d and 27th Virginia Infantry 
and two companies of the 33d Virginia, with scattering ones 
in other companies and regiments, were from West Vir- 
ginia. General Stonewall Jackson was from West Virginia. 

A few politicians, the Federal Government and the Bal- 
timore and Ohio Kailroad company seceded and divided the 
State and the citizens of neither State had any say in it. What 
was wrong in the Southern States for seceding from the 
TJnion was right in part of Virginia seceding from the State. 
It shows conclusively that "might makes right.'^ Then, 
again, the citizens of neither State had any voice in making 
the dividing line. The Baltimore and Ohio Kailroad com- 
pany made that line suit their own financial interest. When 
the said railroad company procured their charter for their 
road through Virginia the stipulations were that they were 
to pay a yearly tax for said charter, and in dividing the 
States they crooked the line from the mountains and rim 
across the Valley, taking in Berkeley and Jefferson Counties, 
that rightfully belonged to the Valley district and to old 
Virginia; but as their road crossed the Potomac river from 
Maryland at Harper^s Ferry, in Jefferson County, and ran 
through that county and Berkeley Coimty, they needed those 
two counties in their business; hence the crook. Let the 
student of history look on the map and see the line divid- 
ing the two States and he will perceive the zig-zag course 
it pursues and bear me out in my statements. 

The only thing right about secession is whether the 
party who secedes are able numerically and financially to 
carry out their designs; if they are it is all rightj in the 


eyes of the world; if not, it is all wrong; it is all owing to 
"whose bull is gored/^ 

The New England States threatened to secede several 
times from the Union, never dreaming that it was wrong, 
but did not consider themselves quite able to succeed ; and it 
is a great pity that the Southern States had not deliberated 
before seceding and arrived at the same conclusion. It 
would have saved thousands of lives and millions of prop- 
erty and money. 

But, thank God ! the secession movement and the slavery 
agitation is settled forever, and our country is once more 
unitfed. If it ever has any more ruptures or disunions it 
will not be on either of those lines; and let us hope that 
never again while time lasts will our fair country be in- 
volved in another, what they call a civil war. 

Now, as to the cause of the war, I have nothing to say 
but this: The war seemed to be inevitable; but as to who 
were right and who were wrong, it is not for me to say, for 
both sections had their grievances, and two wrongs never 
made one right. They simply "had it in" for one another 
and fought it out, settling the dispute forever. It might 
have been patched up and postponed a few years, like it had 
been before by the ^Ttfissouri Compromise," and other reme- 
dies, but the bubble had to burst, and burst it did. 

No man living knows more about the ill-feeling that 
existed between the two sections than I do, for I was bom 
and raised on the border of Virginia, near the Potomac 
river, and had heard this contention from my earliest recol- 
lections; knew of and witnessed the division in the Meth- 
odist Church; and heard every day the agitation of the 
slavery question all through the "fifties," and was right in 
the neighborhood when the torch was applied to the com- 
bustibles when John Brown seized Harper^s Ferry and at- 
tempted to arm the slaves to butcher the whites indiscrimi- 
nately. Then the South was fired by indignation and was 
determined from that time to separate from the United 
States Government. 

I was no secessionist, and hoped the trouble would be 
settled without recourse to arms; but when the war came 
I shouldered my musket in behalf of my native State and 


defended her to the last; and, although the Stars and Bars 
went down and are furled forever, they never went down 
in disgrace, but they will be remembered by a people who 
gave their best blood and treasure tb sustain tiiem. But 
I hope it will be a warning to future generations to guard 
against dissensions of all kinds, and not involve our fair 
land in another civil war. 

There are no truer people to the Stars and Stripes today 
than the people of the South; none who would sacrifice more 
in their defense against an invading foe. 

To illustrate more fully this devotion to our flag, I 
will relate an incident that happened in London, England, 
since the war. It has already been published, but is worthy 
of being preserved: 

"Sometime after the war Colonel P. E. Winthrop, a 
Southern soldier from Louisiana, was traveling in Europe, and 
while in London, England, attended the Alhambra theatre 
with some friends to witness a ballet dance called 'All Na- 
tions.' A corps of ballet dancers, dressed in the uniform 
worn by the soldiers of each nation, and bearing the flag 
of the nation whose uniform they wore, would appear and 
dance— one corps after the other. 

''As all the countries were being represented, some 
would be applauded and some were hissed. When the United 
States and the 'Stars and Stripes' were represented the au- 
dience began to hiss. Colonel Winthrop, who was seated 
in the back part of a box, looking on, in a not very interested 
way, at the first hiss sprang to his feet and to the front of 
the box, and, leaning far out over the rail, waving his hat 
over his head, his face lividly white, his eyes fairly blazing de- 
fiance at the crowd beneath and around him, he opened his 
mouth and there rang through the theatre the most blood- 
chilling yell, a kind of cross between the savage cry of the 
infuriated Zulu warriors and the screech of a wounded tigress. 

"For an instant the very music ceased ; every one turned 
to gaze at the author of the unearthly sound; even the mu- 
sicians forgot the presence of the dancers for whom they 
were playing. Suddenly, in the lower part of the house, a 
long, lank figure, with white hair and beard, arose, and, 
standing in tibe aisle, took up and gave back an answering 


yell to Winthrop's cry, and in the same peculiar, half -fiend- 
ish manner. Then all around from different quarters of the 
theatre men arose and began to cheer in the hearty, vigor- 
ous, English fashion. 

"The house was full of Americans on their way home 
from the Paris exposition. 

"An august personage who happened to be in the back 
part of one of the boxes, seeing that a terrible row was immi- 
nent, with that ready tact for which he was famous, came 
to the front of his box and began applauding; of course, in 
a moment the storm was stilled, and the whole audience was 
cheering the American flag. Some of them expressed aston- 
ishment at the feeling exhibited by the American, Winthrop, 
inasmuch as he had spoken of being in the Confederate Army 
and fighting against the Union flag. He snapped out in 
I'eply : 'That was a fight of our own family, between Ameri- 
cans, and is settled, forgiven and forgotten, and the flag 
that was hissed tonight is now my flag as thoroughly as it 
is the flag of the men who fought under it in our civil war, 
and — 

" 'I would right some wrongs where they are given 
If it were in the Courts of Heaven.' 

"All were anxious to know where he acquired that 
peculiar wild yell he gave when the audience hissed the 
flag. He said that was the 'Eebel yelP with which the South- 
erners charged in battle, and that he was sure the man who 
had first joined in his protest was some old Southern sol- 
dier, because of the answering of the 'Rebel yell.' 

"The other cheering at first, he told us, came from old 
N'orthem veterans from America. He had heard their cheers 
at Fredericksburg and Gettysburg, and that it meant fight; 
that they had been witnesses to a splendid illustration of 
the only difference in the character of the people N'orth and 
South in the United States; that the Southern people were 
more impulsive and quicker to resent an insult, while the 
Northern people were more calm, cool and slow, but would 
none the less surely and positively fight when necessary, and 
when once aroused, just as the Northern men in the audi- 


ence, they were the most determined and courageous of men/' 

The soldiers in each army got such an acquaintanceship 
with each other during the war as they never would have 
gotten in any other way, and those who were in the army 
and saw service at the front always respected each other. 
Each knew he met foemen worthy of his steel, for they had 
been tested on the field of battle. 

On the other hand, the men who were never in the 
army, and who wanted to do their fighting after the war 
was over, are those who have kept up most of the dissensions 
and ill feeling since. True soldiers will protect one another 
when necessary, regardless of the army they were in, for 
we are all Americans and are proud that we were American 

To illustrate this I will relate an incident that came 
under my personal observation: 

When I reported to the provost marshal in Baltimore, 
after being released from prison, I told him that I wished 
to remain in the city for a few days and would like him 
to give me protection from the mobs and bummers. He 
replied that he had no authority to give anything, but to 
go about my business quietly, seek no quarrel, and if any 
one imposed on me to call on some of the Federal soldiers 
scattered over the city and they would protect me. The 
next day, when some of us were invited into a saloon to 
drink, one of our crowd happened to have his military but- 
tons still on his coat. One of those non-combatants stepped 
up to him and commenced cutting them off, saying he could 
not wear those buttons around there. There happened to 
be two Federal soldiers present who immediately sprang to 
their feet, and one of them knocked the fellow down, re- 
marking that he could not insult a Eebel soldier in their 
presence, and made him leave the house. 

War, with all its terrors, is a great civilizer, if civiliza- 
tion means respect for other people's opinions. 



I cannot close these reminiscences of the war without 
paying to the noble women of the South the highest tribute 
that can be paid them, which is to record their sublime, self- 
sacrificing devotion to the soldier and the cause in which he 
was enlisted. 

At an early period of the war, and in the darkest days 
that followed— during the entire struggle, in defeat as in 
victory — ^they encouraged and sustained us with cheering 
words and noble actions. 

I have oftfen remarked that there were two classes of 
people in the South that upheld the cause from beginning 
to end. They were the soldiers in the field and the women 
at home. How devotedly they would work to supply the 
army with food and clothing. They would always send such 
clothing to us as they knew we needed, such as underclothes, 
knit socks, etc. They would make hats out of cloth, spin, 
weave and make outer garments entirely of homespun; cut 
up their fine carpets to make blankets, and make hundreds 
of other sacrifices to render us comfortable. 

How often, when in camp, would we anxiously look 
over the hill to catch a glimpse of the wagon coming from 
home, knowing full well there would be a box for this one 
and that one, filled with such delicacies as they could pro- 
cure from their scanty means; and what joy there would 
be in camp to eat something that mothers, wives, sisters, 
daughters or lovers had prepared; and how anxiously the 
mails were watched to receive some sweet missive from the 
loved ones. 

They suffered equally as much as the soldiers in the 
field, though not by wounds and death ; but the suspense and 
grief was agony itself. My dear old mother, who is now in 
heaven, spent many an hour on her bended knees praying 
for her dear and only boy, and not only her boy, but others 
as well, for she had relatives who wore the blue. She could 


often hear the raging of the battles, as several were fought 
near my home. But as dearly as she loved me she would 
not let me stay at home long when I happened to get there, 
but advised me to return to my command and be a faithful 
soldier. She would rather hear of my death on the field of 
battle, although it would nearly break her heart, than to 
hear of my being branded as a deserter ; for all our ancestors 
had been engaged in the wars of our country, and had acted 
honorably — ^the Indian wars, the Eevolutionary war, the war 
of 1812 and the Mexican war — and there had be^n no blot 
or stain of desertion attached to any of them, and she did 
not want to hear of it in any of her race. 

After a battle it would often be days and weeks before 
our people at home would receive any tidings of the dead 
and wounded. Oh! the suspense! It was terrible. That 
is why I say they suffered equally as much as we did; for 
every old soldier knows the suspense preceding a battle is 
worse than the battle itself. 

'No doubt the women of the Xorth were just as devoted 
to their loved ones as the Southern women; but they had no 
such diflBeulties to contend with, as their government kept 
the army well supplied. No doubt they, tbo, sometimes, 
when cut ofif from their base of supplies, and in the enem/s 
country, suffered terribly; but the South was cut off from 
all foreign supplies from the first, except what little ran 
the blockade; besides, we had no manufactbries to speak of. 

General Lee's Army was mainly supplied with clothing 
by the women of the South. The only thing we were well 
supplied with was ammunition, and that was mainly pro- 
cured, at one time, through the aid of the women, whom I 
have known to dig the earth from under old houses, boil it, 
and get the saltpetre. Sometimes details were made, from 
those subject to conscription, to dig saltpetre, which privi- 
lege many stay-at-homes were anxious to avail themselves 
of to keep out of the army; but the ladies shamed them and 
called them the "saltpetre boys,'' and told them to go and 
get a musket and go into the army, that they would dig the 

No one can tell, and no pen describe, the sacrifices and 
sufferings of those dear ones; and they never gave up as 


long as there was a soldier in the field. But I am sorry to 
say that a great many of the male citizens were whipped 
the second year of the war, and, as our star of destiny be- 
gan to wane, they seemed to gather in everything they could 
before the wreck was complete. 

The world knows what the women of the South have 
done since the wat in organizing memorial associations, car- 
ing for the dead, building monuments and Confederate 
Homes, and yearly strewing their graves with flowers. 

But I must close. I could write pages about those 
noble women and never exhaust the subject. 

Had the country been as resolute as the army and the 
women the red battle flag with the Southern cross would be 
floating still, instead of drooping and furled with no hand 
te give it te the winds — ^furled and dragged in the dust of 
defeat, but glorious forever. 



Nor Homer dreamt, nor Milten sung. 

Through his heroic verse; 
Nor Prentiss did with wondrous tengue 

In silver tenes rehearse 
The grandest theme that ever yet 

Moved brush, or tengue, or pen — 
A theme in radiant glory set 

To stir the souls of men — 
The women of the South. 

Of nascent charms that thrall the gaze 

Of lovers most pleasing pain. 
Ten thousand tuneful lyric lays 

Have sung and sung again; 
But I would sing of souls, of hearts 

Within those forms of clay. 
Of lives whose lustre yet imparts 

Fresh radiance te our day — 
The women of the South. 


When battle's fierce and lurid glare 

Lit up our «hady glens ; 
When slaughter, agony, despair. 

Or Northern prison pens 
Were portion of the sturdy son 

Of Southern mother b:ue. 
Who prayed the battle might be won 

Of grey against the blue? — 
The women of the South. 

Our lads were true, our lads were brave. 

Nor feared the foeman's steel. 
And thousands in a bloody grave 

Did true devotion seal; 
But brightest star upon our shield 

IJndimmed, without a stain. 
Is she who still refused to yield, 
Eef used, alas, in vain — 

The woman of the South. 

We had no choice but to fight. 

While she was left to grieve; 
We battled for the truth and right 

Our freedom to achieve — 
Assured death we could embrace — 

But there is not yet bom 
The Southern man who dares to face 

The silent withering scorn 

Of the women of the South. 

Who bade us go with smiling tears! 

Who scorned the renegade! 
Who, silencing their trembling fears, ' 

Watched, cheered, then wept and prayed ! 
Who nursed our wounds with tender care, 

And then, when all was lost. 
Who lifted us from our despair. 

And counted not the cost? 

The women of the South. '■• }\ 


Then glory to the Lord of Hosts — 

Yes, glory to the Lord, 
To Father, Son and Holy Ghost, 

And glory to His Word; 
To us is giv^n creation^s prize — 

The masterpiece of Him 
Who made the earth, the stars, the skies, 

The war cloud^s golden rim — 
The women of the South. 

Observe how my memory leads me back to those old 
days and makes me linger in the haunted domain of the 
past — ^reviewing the gallant figures, and heroic struggles, 
listening again to the brave voices and living once more in 
the bright hours that are dead. 

But what is left to us poor "paroled prisoners^^ except 
memory? Leave us that at least, for, as I awake at morn- 
ing or rest my weary head at night, after the lapse of more 
than a quarter of a century, the murmur of the river breeze 
is the low roll of drums from the forest yonder, where the 
camp of infantry are aroused by the reveille. 

In the moonlight night, when all is still, a sound comes 
borne upon the air from some dim land. I seem to hear 
the sound of bugles for the cavalry to mount. In the thun- 
der of some storm I hear the roar of artillery and the burst- 
ing of shells. 

All these thiogs are so burnt in my brain and memory, 
and the scenes of many desperate struggles are so interwoven 
with my past life, that if life is spared me for many long 
years yet they never can be erased. N^o, never ! never ! never ! 

The following appeal from the ladies of the South, 
which was printed in Columbus, Ga., in 1862, and circulated 
throughout the Southern Army (a copy of which I have in 
my possession) may be read with interest at this time : 





"SOLDIERS: The President, Congress, the public press 
and your Generals have told you their high estimate of your 
noble devotion in re-enlisting for the war. We, also, as your 
mothers, wives, daughters, sisters and friends, claim the 
right to thank you. It is the grandest act of the revolution, 
and secures immortality to all concerned in it. It awakens 
anew the enthusiasm with which we began this struggle for 
liberty, and removes all doubt of its eventual success. Such 
men, in such a cause, cannot be overcome. In the dreariness 
of camp life you may sometimes have imagined yourselves 
forgotten or little cared for. Counting up your privations 
and danger, you may have doubted their full appreciation, 
and fancied that those who stay at home and risk nothing, 
while you sufifer and bleed, are more esteemed than yourselves. 
We beseech you harbor no such thought. You are constantly 
present to our minds. The women of the South bestow all 
their respect and affection on the heroes who defend them 
against a barbarous and cruel foe. In their resolution they 
are as firm and determined as you in yours not to lay down 
your arms ^till independence be won. When that sacred 
vow shall have been accomplished your reception by us will 
more than attest our sincerity. It shall also be shown, while 
the contest goes on, by our efforts to increase your comforts 
in the field and to lighten the burdens of the ones left at 
home. For your stricken country^s sake and ours, be true 
to yourselves and our glorious cause. Never turn your backs 
on the flag, nor desert the ranks of honor or the post of 
danger. Men guilty of such infamy wotQd sell your blood and 
our honor, and give up the Confederacy to its wicked invad- 
ers. In after years, from generation to generation, the black 
title of tory and deserter will cling to them, disgracing their 
children's children. But no stigma like this will stain you 
and yours. Brave, patriotic and self-sacrificing in time of 



war, you will be honored in peace as the saviors of your 
country, and the pride and glory of your country-women. 
We beg you to keep near your hearts these memorials of 
affection and respect, and to remember them especially in 
battle, and we invoke for you always the protection of a 
kind and merciful Providence. 

Mrs. li. lUgos, 
Mrs. T. M. Nelson, 
Mrs. A. Sibepherd, 
Mrs. Dexter, 
Mrs. C. Walker, 
Mrs. H. L, Beaming, 
Mrs. M. Ghambers, 
Mrs. S. C. Tarpley, 
Mrs. Anne Dawson, 
Mrs. J. Dawsom, 
Mrs. M. E. Shorter, 
Miss L. Rutherford, 
Miss E. Munnerlyn, 
Miss ^. Threewitts, 
Miss Anna Bennett, 
Miss Rogers, 
Miss Lou Hurt, 
Miss Tarpley, 
Miss M. T. Shorter, 
Mss Lila Howard, 
Miss Torrance, 
Miss Buckley, 
Miss Anna Leonard, 
Misses ElHngton, 
Misses Shepherd, 
Misses Benning, 
Misses Malone, 
Misses Abercrombie, 
Misses Hardaway, 
Mrs. I. M. Gale, 
Mrs. R. Patton, 
Mrs. Geo. Woodn|flf, 
Mrs. R. Ware, 

Mrs. S. C. Law, 

Mrs. L. E. Cairns, 

Mrs. Julia Brice, 

Mrs. B. Gordon, 

Mrs. Rosa Aubrey, 

Mrs. M. A. Floumoy, 

Mrs. Robert Hard- 

Mrs. Virginia Sneed, 

Mrs. Patton, 

Mrs. C. Shorter, 

Mrs. E. R. Ho<^es, 

Mrs. Janies Warren, 

Mrs. Seaborn Jones, 

Mrs. T. Threewitts, 

Mrs. P. H. Colquitt, 

Mrs. Jas. A. Shorter, 

Mrs. Shaaf, 

Mrs. Wm. Woolfolk, 

Mrs. FerguBson, 

Mrs. Buckley, 

Mrs. E. Shepherd, 

Mrs. A. O. Flewellen, 

Mrs. Rogers, 

Mrs. A.- B. Long- 

Mrs. H. Mefgs. 

Mrs. John Banks, 

Mrs. D. Moffett, 

Mrs. J. E. Hurt, 

Mrs. Augusta Er- 

Mrs. Goetchius, 

I also append a letter from Miss N^annie J. Reevs (and 
I see no impropriety in doing so, as, on its face, it shows 
the writer to be a true Southern lady) to Lieutenant J. W. 
Johnston, of the 24th Tennessee Infantry. The letter is 
still in the possession of Mr. Johnston, who has allowed me 
tBfe use of it for this purpose. As the young lady says: 

Mrs. J. A. Strother, 
Mrs. C. J. Williams, 
Mrs. Z. H. Gordon, 
Mrs. C. T. Abercrom- 
Mrs. Lk Q. 0. Lamar, 
Mrs. A. G. Redd, 
Mrs. R. P. Mal6ne, 
Miss C. F. Hargraves, 
Miss C. Ragland. 
Miss Sue Banks. 
Miss K Moffett, 
Miss Anna Forsythe, 
Mtss M. E. Dawson, 
Mrs. John Garter, 
Mrs. Robert Carter, 
Mrs. D. Hudson, 
Mrs. S. E. Wilkins, 
Mrs. M. D. Floumoy, 
Mrs. L. G. Bowers, 
Mrs. J. B. Hill, 
Mrs. H. Branham, 
Mrs. Abercrombie, 
Mrs. A. Liowther, 
Mrs. Dr. Tlckner, 
Miss Mary Ruther- 
Miss Mary Hodges, 
Miss Bessie Hard- 
Miss M. M. Gordon, 
Miss Anna Tyler, 
Miss V. Mason. 


"It is quite romantic^^ — ^this writing to soldiers. It is in- 
teresting as showing what true soldiers the ladies can be. 

The circumstances are as follows : When General 0. F. 
StrahPs Brigade, of General Frank Cheatham's Division 
(Lieutenant Johnston being attached to that brigade), were 
passing on the cars, through Loachapoka, Ala., on their 
way from Dalton, Ga., to Demopolis, Ala., the ladies collected 
■ttiere threw bo'quets to the soldiers, as was their custom. 
The one LieuAea^nt Johnston received contained a slip of 
paper with this written on it: "A soldier is the lad I adore." 
Signed, "Nannie J. Eeevs.^' When the brigade arrived in 
camp Lieutenant Johnston wr(^ a letter and mailed it to 
her address, although he did not /know her, never had seen 
her and never did see her. The original is written in a 
beautiful hand, and the composition shows a true lady in 
every respect. It was a common occurrence for soldiers to 
correspond with ladies they never saw. Lieutenant Johnston 
would not part with it for any consideration, but keeps it 
as a relic of other days: 

"Loachapoka, Ala., March 10, 1864. 
"Mr. J. W. Johnston: 

"I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 
very unexpected missive, which was handed me a few days 
since. It proved very interesting to me and merits in itself 
a reply that I am not equal to. I^otwithstanding, I shall not 
hesitate to send you one, though I feel, very sensibly, my 
utter inability to interest you in the least. 

"It is overleaping the rules of etiquette to write to a 
total stranger, but etiquette to a great degree has been dis- 
carded, as these are war times, and I love romance exceed- 
ingly; therefore, I shall be pleased to receive and answer a 
letter from you at any time, if by so doing it will serve to 
while away many lonely hours incident to a soldier's life, 
who is cut off from the hallowed influence of relatives and 
friends. I do not send you this letter to make sport of, but 
to inform you that yours was highly appreciated. 

"'Yes, the soldier is the lad I adore;' because he loves 
his country and freedom tad nobly battles for them. I 
sincerely hope that each brave and gallant soldier of the 
South may soon reap the glorious reward of his labor. ^ 


"I have but little use for croakers and speculators, who 
skulk at home and gain every cent of Confederate money 
they possibly can. While substitution was the theme their 
money was their might, but by dint of spectQation the/ve 
made their money back. But now Congress has served them 
right; they have to shotQder box and gun and walk the 
soldier^s track. I see so many who say : ^We «re now whip- 
ped; just as well give up/ but 1^11 assure jdu th^t I hsfe 
never claimed that we are whipped or a y«iiQd people, nor 
will I own such until our patient soldiers admit that they 
are conquered. 

"I felt very confident that there would be a regular 
engagement up at the front when you all came rolling back 
from Demopolis, but I was agreeably disappointed. Guess 
you were somewhat surprised when the order was counter- 
manded and you had to return; but the soldier's life, like 
the will-o'-th-wisp, is one continual succession of brighten- 
ing and darkening changes; flitting like a blaze of glory to 
one point and anon returning dark and gloomy, as his 
country's prospects vary from one extreme to the other. Oh ! 
how delighted I would be if the glad welkin sound of peace 
could be heard throughout our land again — 

'^ ^When peace shall hold easy sway. 
And man forget his f ellowman to slay.' 

"But there will ever be something to mar my happiness, 
even Vhen this cruel war is over/ which is this: I have 
lost my only brother, who was good and affectionate, indeed, 
and no less brave and patriotic. He gallantly fought and 
nobly braved every hardship and fiery trial that seemed pecu- 
liar to the ill-fated defenders of the once proud and glorious 
Vicksburg. Yes, he breathed his last on the banks of the 
Mississippi river a few moments before he was to take pas- 
sage on the boat for home, after he was paroled. He had 
acute rheumatism which he had contracted in the trenches. 
The pain struck his heart, which caused him to die imme- 
diately, with nothing but the cold earth for his bed and the 
canopy of heaven for his covering. His remains were in- 


terred at Vicksburg. He now rests with God in heaven, no 
doubt, for he was a zealous Christian. 

'TMr. Johnston, I have worried your patience, I fear, 
with this desultory communication. If so, excuse me, if you 
please. I shall expect to hear from you at your earliest 

With best wishes for your happiness and safety, I sub- 
scribe myself. Very respectfully, 


Oh, South! there's no national shepherd to keep 
Your flock from the pinchings of hunger and cold ; 
Hark ! hear you the wail of your suffering sheep. 
As they wander dejected away from the fold. 






By Father Abram J. Ryan, the Poet Priest of the South. 

Purl that banner, for His weary, 
Eound its stafiE His drooping dreary; 

Furl it, fold it, it is best; 
For there^s not a man to wave it. 
And there^s not a sword to save it. 
And there^s not one left to lave it 
In the blood which heroes gave it. 
And its foes now scorn and brave it — 

Furl it, hide it, let it rest. 

Take the banner down— His tattered. 
Broken is its staff and shattered. 
And the valiant hosts are scattered. 

Over whom it floated high. 
Oh! His hard for us to fold it. 
Hard to think there^s none to hold it. 
Hard that those who once unrolled it 

Now must furl it with a sigh. 

Furl that banner, furl it sadly — 
Once ten thousand hailed it gladly. 

Swore it should forever wave; 
Swore that foeman^s sword could never 
Hearts like theirs entwined dissever 
Till that flag would float forever 

O^er their freedom or their grave. 

Furl it! for the hands that grasped it. 


And the hearts that fondly clasped it. 

Cold and dead are lying low; 
And the banner, it is tracing, 
While around it sounds the wailing 

Of people in their woe. 
For, though conquered, they adore it. 
Love the cold, dead hands that bore it. 
Weep for those who fell before it. 
Pardon those who trailed and tore it. 
And, oh ! wildly they deplore it. 
Now to furl and fold it so. 

Furl that banner! True, ^tis gory. 
Yet ^tis wreathed around with glory. 
And ^twill live in song and story. 

Though its folds are in the dust; 
For its fame on brightest pages. 
Penned by poets and by sages. 
Shall go sounding down the ages. 

Furl its folds though now we must. 

Furl that banner, softly, slowly. 
Treat it gently — it is holy — 

For it droops above the dead; 
Touch it not, imfold it never. 
Let it droop there, furled forever. 

For its people^s hopes are dead. 

By Sir Henry Bart^ England. 

Gallant nation, foiled by numbers ! 

Say not that your hopes are fled; 
Keep that glorious flag, which slumbers. 

One day to avenge your dead. 
Keep it, widowed, sonless mothers! 

Keep it, sisters, mourning brothers! 


Furl it with an iron will; 
Furl it now, but keep it still — 
Think not that its work is done. 

Keep it till your children take it. 
Once again to hail and make it 
All their sires have bled and fought for; 
All their noble hearts have sought for — 

Bled and fought for all alone. 
All alone! ay, shame the story! 
Millions here deplore the stain ; 
Shame, alas! for England^s glory; 

Freedom called and called in vain! 
Furl that banner sadly, slowly. 

Treat it gently, for ^tis holy; 
Till that day — ^yes, furl it sadly; 
Then once more unfurl it gladly — 

Conquered banner! keep it still! 



The following beautiful lines were written by Philip 
Stanhope Wormsley, of Oxford University, England, in the 
dedication of his translation of Homer's "Iliad^^ to General 
Eobert E. Lee : 'The most stainless of earthly commanders, 
and, except in fortune, the greatest.^' 

The grand old bard that never dies, 
Eeceive him in our English tongue; 
I send thee, but with weeping eyes. 
The story that he sung. 

Thy Troy is fallen, thy dear land 

Is marred beneath the spoiler's heel ; 

I cannot trust my trembling hand 
To write the things I feel. 


Ah, realm of tombs ! but let her bear 
This blazon to the end of time — 

No nation rose so white and fair. 
None fell so pure of crime. 

The widow^s mourn, the orphan's wail, 

Come roimd thee — ^but in truth be strong- 
Eternal right, though all else fail. 
Can never be made wrong. 

An angePs heart, an angeFs mouth. 
Not Homer's, could alone for me 

Hymn well the great Confederate South, 
Virginia first and Lee! 


We will rear for him the sacred fane. 

Who had a nation's tears; 
No greater name is enwreathed with fame 

Than the one our Jackson wears. 

He was the idol of our hearts. 
The champion of our cause; 

He battled nobly for our rights, 

And gained the world's applause. 

Our hearts were filled with gladness 

At victories that he won; 
From Manassas to the Wilderness 

No cloud could dim his sun. 

He cared for all with gentleness, 
He shared their common fate 

In cold and heat and weariness — 
His goodness made him great. 

The sun grew red with sorrow 

O'er Fredericksburg that even. 


For on that sad tomorrow 

His last command was given. 

In future years will linger 

Our youth beside his tomb. 
And tell with pleasing wonder 

The fields his valor won. 

At rest beyond the river. 

His marchings now are o^er; 
By the tree of life forever, 

He dreams of strife no more. 

Captain F. W. Dawson. 

Only a private! His jacket of gray 

Is stained by the smoke and the dust; 

As Bayard, he^s brave; as Eupert, he^s gay; 

Eeckless as Murat in heat of the fray; 
But in God is his only trust. 

Only a private ! To march and fight. 

To suffer and starve and be strong; 
With knowledge enough to know that the might 
-Of justice and truth and freedom and right 
In the end must crush out the wrong. 

Only a private! NTo ribbon or star 

Shall gild with false glory his name! 
NTo honors for him in braid or in bar. 
His Legion of Honor is only a scar. 

And his wounds are his scroll of fame! 

Only a private! One more hero slain 
On the field lies silent and chill! 


And in the far South a wife prays in vain 
One clasp of the hand she may ne^er clasp again. 
One kiss from the lips that are still. 

Only a private ! There let him sleep ! 

He will need no tablet nor stone; 
For the mosses and vines o^er his grave will creep. 
And at night the stars through the clouds will peep 

And watch him who lies there alone. 

Only a martyr! who fought and who fell 

Unknown and unmarked in the strife! 
But still as he lies in his lonely cell 
Angel and Seraph the legend shall tell — 
Such a death is eternal life! 

Richmond, Va., October 26, 1866. 


James R. Randall. 

Previous to the first battle of Manassas, when the troops 
under Stonewall Jackson had made a forced march, on halt- 
ing at night they fell on the ground exhausted and faint. 
The hour came for setting the watch for the night. The 
oflScer of the day went to the General's tent, and said : ^'Gren- 
eral, the men are all wearied, and there is not one but who 
is asleep. Shall I wake them?'' ^^No," said Jackson, 'let 
the men sleep, and I will guard the camp tonight.'* And 
all night long he rode round that lonely camp, the one lone 
sentinel for that brave but weary and silent body of heroes. 
And when glorious morning broke the soldiers awoke fresh 
and ready for action, all unconscious of the noble vigil kept 
over their slumbers. 

'Twas in the dying of the day. 
The darkness grew so still 


The drowsy pipe of evening birds 

Was hushed upon the hill ; 
Athwart the shadows of the vale 

Slumbered the men of might, 
And one lone sentry paced his rounds 

To watch the camp that night. 

A brave and solemn man was he. 

With deep and sombre brow; 
The dreamful eyes seem hoarding up 

Some unaccomplished vow. 
The wistful glance peered o'er the plains 

Beneath the starry light. 
And with the murmured name of God 

He watched the camp that night. 

The future opened unto him 

Its grand and awful scroll — 
Manassas and the Valley march 
. Came heaving o'er his soul; 
Richmond and Sharpsburg thundered by. 

With that tremendous fight 
Which gave him to the angel hosts 

Who watched the camp that night. 

We mourn for him who died for us 

With one resistless moan. 
While up the Valley of the Lord 

He marches to the throne. 
He kept the faith of men and saints 

Sublime and pure and bright; 
He sleeps — ^and all is well with him 

Who watched the camp that night. 


By Lamar Fontaine. 

"All quiet along the Potomac/^ they said, 
"Except here and there a stray picket 

Is shot as he walks on his beat to and fro 
By a rifleman hid in the thicket.^^ 

^Tis nothing — a private or two, now and then. 
Will not count in the news of the battle ; 

Not an oflScer lost — only one of the men — 
Moaning out, all alone, the death rattle. 

"All quiet along the Potomac tonight,^^ 
Where the soldiers lie peacefully dreaming; 

Their tents in the rays of the clear autumn moon 
Or in the light of their camp fires gleaming. 

A tremulous sigh, as a gentle wind 

Through the forest leaves softly is creeping. 

While the stars up above with their glittering eyes. 
Keep guard o'er the army while sleeping. 

There is only the sound of the lone sentry's tread. 
As he tramps from the rock to the fountain. 

And thinks of the two on the low trundle bed 
Far away in the cot on the mountain. 

His musket falls back — ^and his face, dark and grim. 

Grows gentle with memories tender. 
As he mutters a prayer for the children asleep — 

For their mother — ^may heaven defend her ! 

The moon seems to shine as brightly as then. 
That night when the love yet unspoken 

Leaped up to his lips, and when low murmured vows 
Were pledged to be ever unbroken. 


Then drawing his sleeves roughly over his eyes 

He dashes off tears that are welling. 
And gathers his gun close up to its place, j 

As if to keep down the heart-swellmg. 

He passes the fountain, the blasted pine tree. 

His footsteps are lagging and weary. 
Yet onward he goes through the broad belt of light. 

Toward the shades of the forest so dreary. 

Hark I was it the night wind rustled the leaves ? 

Was it the moonlight so wondrously flashing? 
It looked like a rifle — ^^^Ha! Mary, good-bye!^' ; 

And ihe life-blood is ebbing and plashing. 

^^All quiet along the Potomac tonight,^' 

No sound save the rush of the river ; 
While soft falls the dew on the face of the dead — 

The picket^s off duty forever! 

How the above came to be written. 

It appears that not long after the first battle of Bull 
Eun, in which Fontaine, as a private in Company K (the 
Burt Eifles), 18th Mississippi Begiment, took part, he was 
transferred to the 2d Virginia Cavalry, and at the time of 
which this narrative treats was doing picket duty just above 
the head of an island near the Seneca Palls, on the Potomac. 
This was August, 1861, one month after Bull Eun. So 
many of the Confederates had gone home on furlough that 
the picket lines were thin, being stretched over a vast extent 
of river front, and what few men, comparatively, were at 
the front had to do double duty. 

It was here that Fontaine and another private named 
Moore formed a close friendship. Moore was a married man, 
and fairly idolized his wife and their two beautiful children. 
Moore and Fontaine were together, whether on picket or 
guard duty. They clung to each other. They bought little 
hand-books of poems — ^Byron, Burns and others — ^and to- 
gether fiiey would sit in the cool shade of the trees or hang- 
ing rocks that lined the Potomac above the falls of Seneca 

324 K>tm YEARS m the stonewall brigade. 

and read aloud to each other passages from their favorite 

At this section of the two army lines the pickets on 
either side of the water. Federal and Confederate, had come 
to an understanding and agreement that there should be 
no firing at each other while on picket duty ; and but for the 
treacherous violation of this contract by a dastardly soldier 
the incident herewith related would not have occurred, and 
^^All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight^^ would never have 
been penned. I give the story in Fontaine^s own graphic 
words : 

"We had to stand on post six hours at a time. That 
night I took my stand at 6 o^clock, and Moore retired to 
rest. The nights were chilly, and we usually kept some fire 
burning. There was a small spring of water close by, and 
a large fallen pine tree that I used to sit on and rest at 
times, after walking my beat, and I have frequently stopped 
at the spring and bathed my face when the dreary monotony 
of the still night had a tendency to lull me to sleep. As 
soon as I found that midnight had arrived, I stepped to the 
fire and threw on some pine knots and roused Moore to take 
my place. 

"He rose slowly, picked up his gun, stepped to the fire, 
and stretched himself, as a sleepy soldier will, and gaped 
and yawned, and while his arms were extended, and his 
hands grasping the barrel of his gun, there was a flash across 
the river and the whiz of a bullet, and he sank to the earth, 
with a hole just above his eye on the left side, from which 
flowed a dark, crimson tide. Not a word, not a groan es- 
caped him. 

"I removed his remains from near the fire where he 
had fallen. And as I did so my eyes fell on a telegraphic 
column of a newspaper, and it was headed : ^AU Quiet Along 
the Potomac Tonight.^ 

"And, oh, how truthful it was! It was certainly all 
quiet with me and with him whom I loved as a brother. 

"I could not help shedding a tear, and my thoughts 
reverted to his home, his wife, and his children, and to the 
falsehood told by those whose guest I had been, and whose 
treachery had caused his death, and they grew bitter, and a 


demon of vengeance arose in my heart, which was not stilled 
until the white dove of peace had spread her snowy pinions 
over the whole face of the land and the bombshell rolled 
across the sward like the plaything of a child. 

'^When morning dawned the words in that newspaper 
" were burned in my brain; they rang in my ears, and were 
painted on every scene that met my view. I put my friend's 
effects together — ^his letters, sword, hat, all — ^and expressed 
them to his wife, with a true and perfect description of his 
death. And while I stood beside his cold form and gazed 
at his marble face and glazed eyes in the unbroken silence 
of my lonely watch I felt what few mortals ever feel in this 
shadowy vale. I penned the outlines of my poem then and 
there, but not as they now appear, for the first were 
biting and sarcastic. I read the crude copy to Orderly Ser- 
geant W. W. Williams (who was a fine critic) and Lieuten- 
auts Giraham and Depritt, of my company, and Williams 
suggested that if I would only make it more pathetic, instead 
of sarcastic, it would take better. 

^^1 did so, and on the 9th of August I had it complete, 
as the poem now stands, and I read it to my messmates, and 
received their highest commendation. I gave them copies 
of the original, and they recopied and sent them home and 
soon the whole regiment, brigade, division, and army were 
in possession of it. 

^Tlkfy father, whom I met shortly after the completion 
of it, suggested that instead of ^stray picket' I ought to say 
%ne picket.' But I did not alter it. The ladies of Lees- 
burg, in Loudon County, Virginia, put the words to music, 
and used to sing them for us long before they were printed. 
I gave one copy to Miss Eva Lee, and another to Miss Hemp- 
stone; also a copy to John M. Orr, who at that time was 
mayor of the town. I gave copies to many others whose 
names I cannot recall." 




Of the camp, the march, the battle. 

Let other soldiers sing; 
Let them show our tatter'd banners. 

While on high their hats they fling. 
The sabre, the old musket. 

Can everywhere be seen. 
But there^s nothing brings war days to mind 

Like you — ^my old canteen. 

A thousand friends who kissed you 

Are gone forever more; 
Cried "Here'^ to the mystic angel, 

And crossed to the other shore. 
You are rusty, you are batter'd ; 

Gone is your early sheen. 
But the tempest^s blast can^t thrill me 

Like you — my old canteen. 

WeVe slept and marched together; 

We\e been empty, we've been full; 
We've merry made o'er stolen sweets. 

With buttermilk been dull; 
We've heard fierce oaths o'er sore defeat. 

And the foe in flight we've seen. 
Then crippled, sore, but stout of heart. 

Came home — my old canteen. 

When comrades take me to the grave 

I'd have you brought there, too; 
Pass from lip to lip in silence, 

With my dead face in their view; 
Then let them lay you on my heart. 

And place us 'neath the green. 
And say: "He was a soldier true; 

He loved the old canteen." 


Bfaynadier T Bruce -AuRUSt. Ifm 


They intended you for water. 

When they framed your rounded side. 
Yet you kindly took to— cofifee, 

For your sympathies were wide; 
Distilled peach and "Commissary^^ 

You have held with sober mien. 
And you always furnished bourbon. 

On the night march — old canteen. 

When comrades fell about me 

You stuck closely to my side; 
You brought comfort to the woimded. 

Who without you must have died; 
Even generals have praised you — 

When they tested you unseen — 
And have wiped their beards and whisperM: 

"That's a bully old canteen !'' 


An old comrade, in writing of the Stonewall Brigade, 
says: "The soul of their leader seems to have entered every 
breast. To meet the enemy was to conquer him, it might 
almost be said, so obstinately did the eagles of victory con- 
tinue to perch upon the old battle-flag. The laws of the 
human body seemed to have been reversed for these men. 
They marched and fought and triumphed, like war machines 
which felt no need of rest or food or sleep. In one day they 
marched from Harper's Perry to Strasburg, nearly fifty miles. 
On the advance to Eomney they walked — many without 
shoes — over roads so slippery with ice that men were fall- 
ing and their guns going off all along the column, and at 
night lay down without blankets on the snow, with no camp 
fires and no food. Any other troops but these and their 
Southern comrades would have mutinied and demanded 
bread. But the shadow of disaffection never flitted over a 
forehead in that command. Whatever discontent might have 
been felt at times at the want of attention on the part of 
subordinate officers, the long rolF had only to be beaten, 



they had only to see the man in the old faded nniform ap- 
pear, and hunger, cold, fatigue, were all forgotten. I have 
seen them go into action — ^after fighting four battles in five 
days — ^with the regularity and well-dressed front of holiday 
soldiers. There was no straggling, no lagging, and every 
man advanced with steady tramp. The ranks were thin and 
the faces travel-worn, but the old flag floated in the winds 
of the Potomac as defiantly as on the banks of the Shen- 


(Pound on the body of a Sergeant of the old Stonewall 
Brigade, Winchester, Virginia.) 

Come, stack arms, men; pile on the rails. 

Stir up the camp-fire bright; 
No matter if the canteen fails. 

We'll make a roaring night. 
Here Shenandoah brawls along. 
There burly Blue Eidge echoes strong. 
To swell the brigade's rousing song. 

Of "Stonewall Jackson's way." 

We see him now — ^the old slouch hat 

Cocked o'er his eye askew — 
The shrewd, dry smile — the speech so pat — 

So calm, so blunt, so true. 
The "Blue Light Elder" knows 'em well- 
Says he, "That's Banks ; he's fond of shell — 
Lord save his soul ! we'll give him" — ^well 

That's "Stonewall Jackson's way." 

Silence! ground arms! kneel all! caps off! 

Old Blue Light's going to pray; 
Strangle the fool that dares to scoff; 

Attention! it's his way. 


Appealing from his native sod. 
In forma pauperis to God — 
"Lay bare thine arm; stretch forth thy rod; 
Amen!'' That's "Stonewall's way." 

He's in the saddle now! Fall in! 

Steady, the whole brigade! 
Hill's at the ford, cut off! we'll win 

His way out, ball and blade. 
What matter if our shoes are worn! 
What matter if our feet are torn! 
"Quickstep — ^we're with him before dawn!" 

That's "Stonewall Jackson's way." 

The sun's bright lances rout the mists 

Of morning, and, by George! 
There's Longstreet struggling in the lists. 

Hemmed in an ugly gorge — 
Pope and his Yankees, whipped before — 
"Bayonet and grape!" hear Stonewall roar. 
Charge, Stuart! Pay off Ashb/s score 

In "Stonewall Jackson's way." 

Ah, maiden! wait and watch and yearn 

For news of Stonewall's band; 
Ah, widow! read with eyes that bum 

That ring upon thy hand; 
Ah, wife ! sew on, pray on, hope on. 

Thy life shall not be all forlorn — 
The foe had better ne'er been born. 

Than get in "Stonewall's way." 




In February, 1905, I had some business to transact in 
Dallas, Texas, and while strolling along Elm street I noticed 
a sign reading "Bruce Liquor Companjr.^^ The name Bruce 
attracted my attention and reminded me that I once had a 
friend and fellow-soldier in the army whom we called 
"Manny^^ Bruce (I mention him in a preceding chapter in 
this work as a companion in one of my adventures). I con- 
cluded to step in and inquire if they knew anything of 
"Mann/^ Bruce. 

I saw an elderly gentleman and spoke to him, when the 
following conversation ensued : 

"Is your name Bruce ?^^ 

^^es, sir.^^ 

"Are you from Cumberland, Maryland 5^^ 

"I was bom and raised there, but have been in Texas 
for twenty-five years.^^ 

"Are you the Bruce we in the army called "Manny^^ 

"I am, sir, but my right name is Maynadier.'' 

"I once knew you, Mr. Bruce. I was raised in Hamp- 
shire County, West Virginia, just across the Potomac from 
Cumberland. I was in company with you on a little advent- 
ure during the war in January, 1865, in Hampshire County, 
and finally you and I were captured by General Sheridan's 
^Jessie Scouts,' commanded by Captain Blazer." 

He exclaimed at once: "Why, who are you?" 

I then told him that he made his escape that same 
night on our road to prison, but that I was taken on to 
Fort McHenry and remained there until the war was over. 

He again said: "Who are you?" 

I told him that my name was Casler, that I belonged 
to Company A, 33d Virginia Infantry, but at the time of 


our acquaintance was transferred to the 11th Virginia 

He replied: "This is not my old friend, John Casler, 

is itr 

I assured him it was the same John. 

'TVhere have you been since the war?^' 

'T emigrated to Sherman, Texas, twenty-eight years 
ago, and have been in Dallas many times, but did not know 
you were here.^^ 

^TVell, John, I would rather see you than a brother.^' 

Without going into the particulars, there was a genu- 
ine love-feast right there and then, the old bottle of apple- 
jack was uncorked and we took a drink in remembrance of 
the hills and valleys of old Hampshire County. 

This was on the 5th of February, 1905, and I reminded 
him that it was forty years to a day since we had met; that 
it was February 5, 1865, when we were captured — ^a curious 
coincidence, as the sequel will show. 

I found him prospering and at the head of a flourish- 
ing wholesale business, viz. : "The Bruce Liquor Company,^' 
398 Elm street. We talked over old times, and I called on 
him often while there and went with him to Sterling Price 
Camp, United Confederate Veterans, when he became a 
member of the camp. 

I gave him one of my books (the first edition) to read. 
He was much interested in it, and told me that he had taken 
very little interest in war matters since the war; that he 
was young at the time, only 16 years old, and that my work 
was a revelation to him. He insisted that I should have 
another edition published, and asked me to write up the 
incidents of the following raid and adventure and have the 
story in the book as an "Appendix,'^ as I was not in this 
raid, but Bruce was. I, therefore, give the story, gathering 
the relation of the incidents of the raid from the most re- 
liable authority I could get. And it was one of the most 
daring and adventurous raids by a small body of men ever 
accomplished during the war, and should go down in history 
as such, and every participant in it should be immortalized 
as a hero. 

It is impossible, at this date, to get the names of all of 




the men who participated in this raid, but I give those of 
whom I can leam. 

A short time after the war commenced Captain John 
H. McNeil organized a company of scouts to operate along 
the Potomac river and the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, in 
what is now Hampshire County, West Virginia. They were 
daring young men, and accustomed to riding horses from 
their youth up. They were principally from Hampshire, 
Hardy and Eockingham Counties, in Virginia, and Cumber- 
land, Maryland. But some were from other states and coun- 
ties. One, Kichie C. Hallar, was from Missouri, a younger 
brother of Lieutenant William Hallar, of QuantrelFs com- 
mand. They were attached to the regular Confederate Army 
and under the supervision of the different Generals who op- 
erated in the Shenandoah Valley, but were on detached ser- 
vice all the time, and were called ^^McNeiFs Partisan Eang- 
ers.^^ They were something like "Koosevelt's Rough Eiders,^^ 
except that the "Eangers'^ saw a great amount of hard ser- 
vice in four years, whilst the "Eough Eiders" did very little 
but got a great deal of glory. They would harass the enemy 
wherever found — capture their pickets and scouting parties, 
destroy their wagon trains, destroy the railroads and bridges, 
capture trains, and gather information about the movements 
of the enemy. They and a few others kept an army of Fed- 
erals estimated at fifteen or twenty thousand employed and 
on guard along the Baltimore and Ohio railroad from New 
Creek Station to Martinsburg, a distance of about one hun- 
dred miles. They made many daring raids, captured thou- 
sands of prisoners, destroyed millions of property, etc. But 
their most daring, adventurous and thrilling raid is the 
one of which I am about to relate, and which I shall give 
In the words of Sergeants John B. Fay, J. L. Vandiver, John 
Dailey and M. T. Bruce, who were participants in it, and 
among the principal actors. 

Captain J. H. McNeil was mortally wounded while 
guarding a bridge in the Shenandoah Valley in the fall of 
1864 and died in Harrisonburg, Va. His son, Lieutenant 
Jesse C. McNeil, then took command of the "Eangers,^^ 
which generally numbered from sixty to eighty men for duiy. 
But on this "Cumberland raid," as it is called, there were 


John Dailey. 
Serareant Co. D. 11th Vii^ia Cavabr. 



John S. Arnold. 
Serareant Co. F. 4th Virsrinia Cavalry. 


sixty-five picked men, who were acquainted with the country, 
and some from other commands — Lieutenant Isaac Parsons, 
Eobert Moorehead, Sergeant John Dailey, Edward Wash- 
ington, Joseph Pancake, John W. Poland, John S. Arnold, 
Sergeant Joseph Kuykendall, Eph Herriot, Joe Shearad, 
John Cunningham and Jacob Gassman, belonging to the 
7th and 11th Virginia Cavalry, Kosser's Brigade, all under 
command of Lieutenant Jesse McNeil. Here is an account 
of the raid, written by Sergeant John B. Fay, who was 
one of the principal movers in planning the details. This 
band of adventurous spirits rode fifty miles into the en- 
emy^s country, over hills and mountains, forded rivers 
and creeks, on the 21st of February, 1865, in bitter cold 
weather and with the snow about two feet deep, captured 
the pickets, got the countersign, then rode along the main 
street of Cumberland, Md., a city of 8,000 inhabitants, 
mostly Union people, where an army of 8,000 Fedei-als were 
quartered, to two of the principal hotels, the "Eevere House^' 
and "Bamum^s Hotel,'^ about two squares apart, on Balti- 
more street, and captured General George Crook, in bed at 
the Eevere House, and General B. F. Kelley, in bed at Bar- 
num's Hotel, and took them safely out south, having ridden 
ninety miles in twenty-four hours. They were then sent 
to Kichmond, Va., and soon exchanged for two Confederate 
Generals of the same rank. That was the main reason for 
this daring raid. They also captured Colonel Thayer Melvin, 
General Kelle/s Adjutant General and Chief of Staff. They 
did not intend to bother with him, but he got in their way 
and they had to take him along. 

Generals Kelley and Crook were Major Generals. . There 
were also quartered at those hotels Brigadier Generals R. 
B. Hayes (afterwards President of the United States), Light- 
bum and Duvall, and Major William McKinley (afterwards 
President of the United States), but, as Fay says, they were 
after ^1)igger fish," and did not want to be incumbered with 
too many prisoners, as it would have been detrimental to 
their escape. 

They did not know at the time that such %ig fish" as 
two future presidents were left behind. 







Sergeant Joseph L. Vandiver, of McNeiFs Eangers, 

^Trom where we started, near Moorefield, on our peri- 
lous journey the snow was about two feet deep in the moun- 
tains and gorges. At times we were compelled to dismount 
and lead our horses, until we reached the residence of Mr. 
E. B. Seymour, a Southern sympathizer. When I told Sey- 
mour our plans, Seymour said, Tor your sake, for God's sake, 
and for your mother's sake, turn back. There are over 
8,000 troops in and around Cumberland; you have only a 
handful; you will never return alive.' The old man, seeing 
we were determined, turned loose upon us a whole barrel of 
apple brandy. We filled our canteens and proceeded on our 

"After fording the Potomac, which was running with 
ice and slush, and wetting every man up to the knees, we 
passed on down the main road from New Creek to Cumber- 
land, which was traveled by scouts and others, passing our- 
selves off as Einggold's Cavalry from New Creek. 

"Moorefield is southeast of Cumberland. We were now 
six miles west of Cumberland, on the Maryland side. Our 
main object now was to capture the picket post and get 
their countersign; then we would be safe. We knew where 
their pickets were posted and where the reserve post was. 
When we advanced on the first post — 

" ^Halt ! Who comes dere ?' rang out on the air. 

" Torward, boys,' said I, 4t's a Dutch sentinel.' 

"We soon captured the sentinel, with two others, and 
asked for the countersign. 

"^Me no geef it.' 

" ^Bring me my bridle rein,' said I. After placing the 
bridle rein around his neck he said: tool's Kaap.' 

"Not understanding that they asked the other two sen- 
tinels what the countersign was. They, being Americans, 
replied: 'Bull's Gap.' 

"Half the prize was now won. Taking one of the pickets 
along with us, we proceeded to the reserve post, one-half 
mile distant, with the threat that if we had been given the 
wrong countersign death would be his portion. 

"Arriving at the reserve post we were halted, when we 


informed the guards that we were ^Einggold's Cavalry, from 
New Creek, with important dispatches for General Kelley/ 

"While parleying over the countersign we surrounded 
the picket post of ten or twelve men, and called on them 
to surrender. They did so. We then broke up their guns, 
threw them into the fire, paroled the pickets and told them 
to remain there until they returned, knowing full well that 
we would succeed in our adventure or be captured before the 
alarm could be given. 

"Our way was now clear, and, riding into Cumberland 
at the foot of Baltimore street, we rode up the street whist- 
ling and singing ^Yankee Doodle.^ Arriving at the hotels 
we divided, a squad of men dismounting at each hotel whilst 
the others remained on their horses. The details entered the 
hotels and ordered those two Generals to dress and follow 
them. John Dailey was one of the party that entered Gen- 
eral Crook's room, and he secured some important papers, 
together with several stands of colors.^' 

Maynadier T. Bruce was bom and raised in Cumberland, 
Md. When General Imboden's Cavalry passed through Cum- 
berland on their way to the Pennsylvania and Gettysburg 
campaign, Bruce, then a boy of 16 yeara, ran away from his 
father, taking a horse, and joined Imboden's command. He 
was orderly for General Imboden for some time, finally 
joining McNeiFs Eangers. He was in this Cumberland raid, 
and his recollections are about the same as John B. Fay has 
related. Bruce, with several others, stopped at Eomney to 
talk to the "girls'^ and get something to eat. While there 
the Federal cavalry dashed into them, and wounded J. W. 
Poland and captured Sergeant Joe Shearad. 

This squad fell back on the rear guard. When the Fed- 
erals came up they were repulsed and driven back, but cap- 
tured Lieutenant Griffith, of the Einggold Cavalry. McNeil's 
men then paroled the Lieutenant with the understanding that 
he was to be exchanged for Sergeant Joe Shearad. 

He agreed to that arrangement and Bruce gave him a 
horse. He went to Cumberland and stated the case of his 
parole, but the authorities there would not agree to it, and 
Lieutenant Griffith considered his parole sacred and remained 
out of service during the war. 


As the command passed down Baltimore street to the 
canal they broke the glass in some of the stores and sup- 
plied themselves with a quantity of "store clothes/^ They 
then passed the government stables where the officers^ horses 
were kept. Part of the company stopped there and, over- 
powering the guard, took several horses from the stables. 
The horses all had blankets on them. Bruce got two fine horses 
and John S. Arnold got "Philippi,'' General Kelle/s horse. In 
the early part of the war General Kelley was wounded in a 
small engagement at Philippi, in West Virginia. He was the 
first General wounded in the war, and the citizens of Philippi 
raised some money and purchased the finest horse they could 
find and made a present of it to General Kelley. He called 
the horse "Philippi,'^ and it was considered the finest horse 
in that command. General Kelley had ridden the animal 
from 1861 until his capture in 1865. 

Some two weeks before this raid Bruce, Sprigg Lynn 
and Hallar went into Cumberland in disguise and remained 
there three days and nights, stopping at the home of Lynn's 
mother. Bruce saw his father and walked around "Eose 
HilP' and other important points. Their object was to wreck , 
a train on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad that was convey- 
ing troops from the west to General Grant's Army in front 
of Petersburg, Va. They failed in their undertaking and 
returned safely to Moorefield, Va. 

Charles James Dailey, one of McNeiFs rangers, was the 
son of the proprietor of the Eevere House, and his sister 
was the fiancee of General Crook at the time of this capture. 
General Crook, after the war, married Miss Dailey and Gen- 
eral Kelley married Miss Clara Bruce, cousin of Mr. Manny 
Bruce, who was in this raid. Strange things will happen 
in this world, but we are all proud, both North and South, 
that we are 












Toward the close of the late war, about an hour before 
daybreak on the cold, frosty morning of February 21, 1865, 
a troop of Confederate cavalry, sixty-five in number, under 
Lieutenant Jesse C. McNeil, having forded the Potomac, 
surprised and captured the pickets, rode into the heart of 
the city of Cumberland, Md., captured Major Generals Crook 
and Kelley, together with the latter's Adjutant General, Ma- 
jor Melvin, and, without the loss of a single man, carried their 
distinguished prisoners back into the Confederate lines. Six 
or eight thousand troops were encamped in and around the 
city, which had long been the headquarters of General Kelley, 
commander of the military district of West Virginia, and in 
consequence this exploit created a great local sensation, but 
for obvious reasons made no marked impression upon the 
public mind. 

To enable the reader to form a correct idea of the mil- 
itary situation at the time, a slight retrospect at the outset 
will be necessary. The debatable ground which lay between 
the opposing armies in Northern Virginia, both east and 
west of the Blue Eidge, covered an extensive territory, run- 
ning parallel to the Potomac, and embraced sometimes the 
length of two or more counties southward. During the 
latter part of the war this region was dominated by three 
famous Confederate partisan leaders, Mosby, Gilmore and 
McNeil. Their forces sometimes intermingled, but ordi- 
narily the operations of Mosby were confined to the country 
east of the Shenandoah river ; those of Gilmore to the Valley 
of Virginia; while McNeiFs special field of action lay to 
the westward, along the upper Potomac, and the line of the 
great South Branch. McNeiFs command was composed 
principally of volunteers from Virginia and Maryland, though 
nearly every Southern and not a few of the Northern States 
had representatives in the ranks. 


Nearly every station, avocation and profession in life 
furnished its quota to this famous band of partisan rangers. 
Aristocrats of the bluest blood and their rough, unpedigreed 
comrades; lawyers, preachers, doctors and merchants, in fact 
and embryo; clerks and hardy mountaineers, college gradu- 
ates, mechanics and sturdy farmer lads; the man of mature 
age and the inexperienced youth all mingled in harmony, 
and one would have been hard to please who could not find in 
this organization an agreeable social circle or congenial mess. 
Moorefield, in the rich and fertile valley of the South Branch, 
was the principal headquarters of this command, and Har- 
risonburg, in the Shenandoah Valley, its reserved base of 
operations. In a daybreak attack on a company of Pennsyl- 
vania cavalry, who were guarding a bridge over the Shen- 
andoah, near Mt. Jackson, in the fall of 1864, Captain Mc- 
Neil received a mortal wound. His son, Lieutenant Jesse 
C. McNeil, an oflScer of great courage and gallantry, though 
somewhat excitable and indiscreet, was next in command, 
but General Early hesitated to give him full- control and 
made several efforts to get some one who, in his opinion, 
would be more competent to wear the mantle of our valiant 
and astute old Captain. 

Matters remained in this condition when, some time in 
February, 1865, Lieutenant McNeil consulted with me about 
the feasibility of getting into Cumberland and capturing 
Generals Kelley and Crook. He referred to a suggestion that 
I had made his father, in his lifetime, to capture General 
Kelley, and informed me of his desire to secure both Gen- 
erals, if, on examination, it was found to be practicable. 
Cumberland was my native place. I had on several previous 
occasions entered it with ease — once remaining a week — and 
on my givinpf McNeil every assurance that his design could 
be successfully carried out, it was determined to make the 
attempt. I was commissioned to proceed at once to Cum- 
berland, or its vicinity, and prepare the way for our entry, 
by learning the number and position of the picket posts, 
the exact location of the sleeping apartments of the Generals 
and any other information deemed necessary. Selecting a 
comrade, Eitchie C. Hallar, a lad from Missouri, not yet out of 


his Heens, but of well-tested courage and prudence, I started 
forthwith, and a few nights after our departure from Moore- 
field found us upon the north bank of the Potomac, a few 
miles west of Cumberland. At tbis point the required in- 
formation was procured, and, retracing our steps, by daylight 
we were twenty miles away, enjoying a welcome breakfast 
with a bachelor friend, Vanse Herriott, near Eomney. 

From here Hallar was despatched to intercept Lieu- 
tenant McNeil, who, in our absence, was to have twenty- 
five well-mounted men prepared and move leisurely in the 
direction of Cumberland, ready to act on my report. Cum- 
berland, which had then a population of 8,000, is situated 
on the north bank of the upper Potomac, at the confluence 
of that river and Will's creek, and on the site of old "Port 
Cumberland,^' the frontier post in colonial times, from which 
General Braddock, in 1755, set out on his expedition across 
the AUeghanies to Fort DuQuesne. It is just opposite a 
peninsular neck of land in Virginia, the elongation of the 
Knobly mountain range, which here presses so far north as 
to cause an abrupt bend in the river and nearly to cut this 
portion of Maryland in two, the distance across to the Penn- 
sylvania line being only six miles. At the time of which 
I write 6,000 or 8,000 troops occupied the city, and on the 
night of our entry, in addition to the resident commander. 
Major Generals Kelley and Crook, and Brigadier Gen- 
erals Hayes (since President of the United States), Light- 
burn and Duvall were temporarily in the city. A greater 
harvest of Generals might have been reaped had we been 
aware of this latter fact. Sheridan's Army lay at Winchester 
and a considerable force of Federal troops were strongly en- 
trenched at New Creek (now Keyser), an important sta- 
tion on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. The first-named 
point is southeast of Cumberland and the second southwest, 
and both are nearer Moorefield than Cumberland or New 
Creek by eighteen miles. These facts will show the hazard 
of a trip from our headquarters to Cumberland, and the 
liability of being cut off, to which any small force of Con- 
federates discovered in the vicinity of the latter place would 
Be exposed. 

When McNeil and party arrived at the rendezvous, in 


addition to those of our own command^ there were a number, 
probably a dozen, belonging to Company P of the 7th and D 
of the 11th Virginia Cavalry, of Eosser's Brigade. The men 
aad horses were fed and rested here and the shades of that 
evening saw us upon our ride. Our route lay ever Middle 
Eidge and across the valley of Pattereon^s creek, through 
the ridges beyond to the base of Knobly mountain, where, 
taking a northeasterly course, we came to a narrow gap, lead- 
ing up to open fields on the mountain top. Passing up this 
gap, over an icy read, we found the fields above covered 
with snow drifts of imcertain depths, which forced us to 
dismoimt and lead our struggling horses. Having reached 
the road, through a lower gap to the Seymour farm, we 
quickly descended the mountain into the valley and crossed 
the Potomac into Maryland. 

At this juncture Lieutenant McNeil led the troop into 
a neighboring field, and, calling a number of us together, 
rode to the residence of a prominent citizen close by, where 
he held a little council of war. In this participated Ser- 
geants Vandiver, Dailey and Cunningham, Privates E. G. 
Lobb, Charles Mchols, Lieutenant Isaac Parsons and J. W. 
Kuykendall, the two latter of Eosser's Brigade, myself and 
probably some others whom I cannot now recall. After say- 
ing that there was not then suflScient time to enable us to 
reach Cumberland before daylight by the route laid down 
by me, the Lieutenant proposed that that part of the expe- 
dition be abandoned, but, to prevent the trip from being an 
edtire failure, he suggested that we should surprise and cap- 
ture the pickets at the railroad station near by, at Brady's 
Mill. The prizes for which we had come so far were esti- 
mated by quality, not quantity, aad a company of infantry 
was not esteemed a fair exchange for two Major Generals, 
80 his proposition met with emphatic and almost imanimous 
dissent. It is proper here to say that my route contemplated 
flanking the neighboring village of Cresaptown, moving on 
to the well-known national road, and taking that thorough- 
fare, which was not picketed, to enter Cumberland from the 
northwest, by way of the "Narrows,^' a famous pass through 
Will's moimtain. This would have doubled the distaoce to 
be traveled from the point at which we passed the river. 


but it was the only prudent and reasonably safe route, and 
but for several unnecessary delays already made, for which 
Lieutenant McNeil himself was responsible, ample time had 
been left to pursue it. 

The fact remained, however, as McNeill had declared, 
that we could not then get to Cumberland by that route in 
the required time, and if we were to proceed further on our 
expedition we must at once take the shorter route, the New 
Creek road, and try our chances, by surprising and captur- 
ing the pickets on that road, to get into the city without 
raising an alarm. 

The attempt to pass quietly through two lines of pickets 
promised but doubtful results, but this being the only satis- 
factory alternative, we determined to try it. Lieutenant 
McNeil and Sergeant Vandiver, followed by Kuykendall and 
myself, rode ahead as an advance guard, the rest of the troop, 
under Lieutenant I. S. Welton, keeping close behind. A 
layer of thin, crusty snow was on the ground, and, although 
it was an hour and a half before dawn, we could see very well 
for a short distance. The New Creek road skirts the base of 
WilFs moimtain, rimning almost parallel with the railroad 
and river, and all three come close together at the mouth of 
a deep ravine. About two .miles from Cumberland, where 
the road deflects to the left and winds up through the ravine 
and over the hill to the city, a cavalry picket was stationed 
at the mouth of the ravine, and as we neared this point a 
solitary vedette was observed standing on the roadside, who, 
upon noticing our approach, gave the challenge, "Halt ! Who 
comes there ?^' 

"Friends from New Creek,^^ was the response. 

He then said: "Dismount one, come forward and give 
the coimtersign,'' when, without a word Lieutenant McNeil^ 
putting spurs to his horse, dashed towards the picket, and 
as he passed, unable to check his speed, fired his pistol in 
the man^s face. We followed rapidly and secured the picket, 
whom we found terribly startled at the peculiar conduct of 
his alleged "friends.^^ Two comrades, acting as a reserve, 
had been making themselves cosy before a few embers, under 
a temporary shelter in a fence comer about a himdred yards 
in the rear, and tbeae, hearing the commotion in front. 


hastily decamped towards the river. They got no farther 
than the railroad, however, for we were close upon them, 
and in response to our threats of shooting they halted and 
surrendered. They belonged to Company B, 3d Ohio, and 
from one of them, the desired countersign for the night, 
"BulFs Gap," was extorted imder menace of instant annihi- 
lation at the end of a halter. Mounting these men upon 
their horses, which we found hitched near the roadside, we 
took them into Cumberland and out again, when one was 
turned loose by his weary guard minus horse and equip- 
ments, but plus a very remarkable experience. 

The imprudent action of Lieutenant McNeil in firing, 
as he did, a shot which might have caused a general alarm 
and forced us to abandon our design, created some dis- 
pleasure among the men, and, sharing in this feeling, I in- 
sisted that Kuykendall and myself should take the advance 
in the approach to the next inner post. This was assented 
to and we moved on with the determination that no more 
unnecessary firing should be indulged in on our part. The 
second post was fully a mile away, over the high intervening 
hill and located at the junction of the road we were on with 
the old Frostburg pike. This post consisted of five men be- 
longing to the 1st West Virginia Infantry, who were com- 
fortably ensconced in a shed-like structure, behind a blazing 
log fire and all busily engaged at cards. As we drew near 
the circle of light one of the number was observed to get up, 
reach for a musket, and advance in front of the fire to halt 
us. To his formal challenge Kuykendall answered : "Friends, 
with the countersign." We kept moving up in the meantime 
and when the demand was made for one of us to dismount 
and give the countersign, noticing an impatient movement 
among our men in the rear, to mislead the picket and enable 
us to get as near as possible before our intended dash was 
made, I shouted back in a loud voice: "Don't crowd up, 
men ! Wait until we give the countersign." We did not find 
it necessary to give it, however; there was an open space 
around the picket post, which allowed no chance of escape, 
and we were close upon them. The next instant a swift 
forward dash was made, and, without a single shot, they 
were surrounded and captured. Their guns and ammuni- 


tion were taken and destroyed, and they were left unguarded 
at their post, with strict instructions to remain until our 

On its face this would appear to have been a very un- 
wise thing, but^t was the best we could do. We had no 
intention of returning that way, but we rightly trusted that 
before the men would realize the situation and get to where 
an alarm could be given our work in the city would have 
been done. We were now inside the picket lines, and before 
us lay the slumbering city. The troop was halted here for 
a short time while Lieutenant McNeil hastily detailed two 
squads of six men each, who were directly charged with the 
capture of the Generals. Sergeant Joseph W. Kuykendall, 
of Company P, 7th Virginia Cavalry, a special scout for 
General Early and a soldier of great courage, coolness and 
daring, who had once been a prisoner in Kelley's hands and 
had a personal acquaintance with him, was placed in com- 
mand of the men detailed to secure that General. To Ser- 
geant Joseph L. Vandiver, a man of imposing figure and 
style, was given charge of the capture of General Crook. 

An interesting fact in connction with this lattter is that 
among the number were Jacob Gassman, a former clerk in 
the hotel which General Crook occupied, and whose uncle 
then owned the building ; and Sergeant Charles James Dailey, 
whose father was landlord at the time, and whose sister, 
Mary, is now Mrs. General Crook, and was probably then his 
fiancee. The duty of destroying the telegraph lines was 
imposed on me, and Hallar and others detailed as my assist- 
ants. These preliminaries being arranged, we moved on down 
the pike, rode into Green street and around the Court House 
hill ; then over the Chain bridge across WilFs creek, and up 
Baltimore street, the principal thoroughfare of the city. Tak- 
ing in the situation as they rode along, the men occupied 
themselves in whistling such Yankee tunes as they knew, 
and bandying words with isolated patrols and guards occa- 
sionally passed. Some of our men were disguised in Federal 
overcoats, but in the dim light no difiEerence could be noticed 
in the shades of light blue and gray. Part of the men halted 
in front of the Bamum House, now the Windsor hotel, where 
General Kelley slept, and the others rode on to the Revere 














^^^jf ?■ •• jBpi 

' rS^^firH 


^m^l^E^ r-' ' ' 

w^?^;^_. ^^^^^^^^^^Ipr^^^^^l 



House, where General Crook reposed in fancied security. A 
sentry paced up and down in front of the respective head- 
quarters, but took little notice of our movements, evidently 
taking us for a scouting party coming in to report. 

Sprigg Lynn, of KuykendalFs squad, was about the first 
to reach the pavement, where he captured and disarmed the 
sentry, who directed the party to the sleeping apartment of 
General Kelley. Entering the hotel, the party first invaded 
a room on the second floor, which proved to be that of the 
Adjutant General. Arousing him they asked where General 
Kelley was and was told that he was in the adjoining apart- 
ment, a communicating room, the door of which was open 
and which they entered at once. When General Kelley was 
awakened he was informed that he was a prisoner, and was 
requested to make his toilet as speedily as possible. With 
some degree of nervousness the old General complied, inquir- 
ing as he did so to whom he was surrendering. Kuykendall 
replied: "To Captain McNeil, by order of General Eosser.^^ 
He had little more to say after this, and in a very short space 
of time both he and Melvin were taken down into the street 
and mounted upon horses, the owners of which courteously 
gave the prisoners the saddle, and rode behind. In this 
manner they were taken out of Cumberland, but as soon after 
as separate horses could be procured they were given them. 

At the Eevere House an almost identical scene took place. 
The sentry having been taken and disarmed, the capturing 
party ascended the stone steps of the hotel and found the 
outside door locked. The door was opened by a small col- 
ored boy and the party entered. The boy was greatly alarmed 
at the brusque manner of the unexpected guests, whom he 
evidently suspected of improper intentions. When asked if 
General Crook was in the hotel, he said : "Yes, sah, but donH 
tell ^em I told you," and he afterward made the inquiry: 
"What kind ^o men is you all, anyhow?" While Vandiver 
and Dailey were getting a light in the oflSce below, Gassman 
went to No. 46, General Crook's apartment, and, thinking 
the door was locked, knocked at it several times. A voice 
within asked : ^TV^ho's there ?" Gassman replied : "A friend," 
and was then told to "come in." Vandiver, Dailey and 
Tucker arrived by this time and all entered the room. Ap- 


prOaching the bed where the General lay, Vandiver said in 
a pompous manner: "General Crook, you are my prisoner/^ 
"What authority have you for this V inquired Crook. "The 
authority of General Eosser, of Pitzhugh Lee^s Division of 
cavalry,'^ said Vandiver, in response. Crook then rose up 
in bed and said: "Is General Eosser here?^^ "Yes,^^ replied 
Vandiver, "I am General Eosser; I have twenty-five men 
with me, and we have surprised and captured the town.^^ 
That settled the matter as far as the bona fide General was 
concerned ; he was immensely surprised at the bold announce- 
ment, but knowing nothing to the contrary, accepted Vandi- 
ver^s assertion as the truth, and submitted to his fate with 
as much grace and cheerfulness as he could muster. 

Speaking to me afterwards of his sensations at the 
time, the General said: "Vandiver was just such a looking 
person as I supposed General Eosser to be, and I had no rea- 
son to doubt the truth of his statement. I was very much 
relieved, however, when I found out the real situation, and 
that the city and garrison had not been taken.^^ General 
Kelley and his Adjutant were taken some time before Crook 
was brought out and mounted, but when this was finally 
done and the headquarters and other flags were secured, in 
a quiet and orderly manner, the entire party rode down 
Baltimore street to the Chain bridge. A large stable was 
located here, and from this several fine horses were taken, 
among them "Philippi,^ General Kelley^s charger. The tak- 
ing of these horses caused some delay, which greatly excited 
Lieutenant McNeil, who, calling for me, ordered that 1 
should lead them out of the city at once. Turning the col- 
umn to the left, I led it down Canal street and on to the 
canal bank, where, a few hundred yards below, at the locks, 
we came unexpectedly upon a dozen or more guards, whom 
we surrounded and captured. We destroyed their guns and 
ammunition, but did not encumber ourselves with more pris- 
oners. From this point the column went at a gallop down 
the towpath, until halted by the picket, posted at the canal 
bridge, a mile below town, on the road to Wiley^s ford. The 
column not halting, as ordered, one of the pickets was heard 
to say: "Sergeant, shall I fire?'' when Vandiver, who was 
in front, shouted: "If you do I'll place you imder arrest. 


This is General Crook^s bodyguard, and we have no time to 
waste. The Eebels are coming and we are going out to meet 
them.'^ This explanation seemed satisfactory. We passed 
under the bridge, beyond the picket post — ^the enemy^s out- 
most guard — and across the Potomac. 

We were four or five miles away before the boom of a 
cannon was heard giving the alarm. Sixty rough and rugged 
miles intervened between us and safety, but I doubt if there 
was a man in the troop but now felt at his ease. Elated, 
proud and happy, all rode back that cold winter morning over 
the snow-clad Virginia hills. Our expedition had been a 
grand success and our every wish was realized. A mounted 
force from Cumberland in pursuit came in sight on Patter- 
son's Creek, but kept at a respectful distance in the rear 
until after we had passed Komney, when they pressed upon 
our guard, but, on the exchange of a few shots, retired. On 
reaching the Moorefield Valley, a battalion of the Einggold 
Cavalry, sent from New Creek to intercept us, came in sight. 
We were on opposite sides of the river, in full view of each 
other, and soon our tired horses were being urged to their 
utmost speed; the Federals endeavoring to reach Moorefield 
and cut off our retreat; while our great desire was to pass 
through the town with our prisoners and captured flags and 
exhibit to our friends and sweethearts there the fruits of our 
expedition and the trophies of our success. 

It soon became evident, however, that the fresher horses 
of the other side would win the race, and, convinced that the 
town could not be reached and safely passed, McNeil sud- 
denly led his men into the woods skirting the road, and,, 
taking a well-known trail, passed through the ridge east 
of Moorefield to a point of security seven miles above, where 
we encamped for the night. In the previous twenty-four 
hours we had ridden ninety miles, over hill and moimtain, 
valley and stream, with very little rest or food for men or 
horses, and, as may be readily imagined, heartily enjoyed 
the night's repose. Our prisoners received the best possible 
care and attention, and early next morning pursued their 
enforced march "on to Eichmond" by way of General Barly^s 
headquarters at Staimton. 

The following are verbatim copies of the only ofBicial 


reports of the affair on record in the War Department at 
Washington, and have probably never before been published : 

"Army Northern Virginia^ 

"February 24, 1865. 
"Honorable John C. Breckinridge, Secretary of War: 

"General Early reports that Lieutenant McNeil, with 
thirty men, on the morning of the 21st, entered Cumber- 
land, captured and brought out Generals Crook and Kelly, 
the Adjutant General of the department, two privates and 
the headquarters^ flags, without firing a gun, though a con- 
siderable force is stationed in vicinify. Lieutenant McNeil 
and party deserve much credit for this bold exploit. Their 
prisoners will reach Staunton today, 

"E. E. Lee.^^ 

"Cumberland, Md., February 21, 1865. 
^Ttf ajor General Sheridan, Winchester, Va. : 

"This morning about 3 o^clock a party of Eebel horse- 
men came up on the New Creek road, about sixty in number. 
They captured the picket and quietly rode into town, went 
directly to the headquarters of Generals Crook and Kelly, 
sending a couple of men to each place to overpower the head- 
quarters' guard, when they went directly to the room of 
General Crook and, without disturbing anybody else in the 
house, ordered him to dress and took him downstairs and 
placed him upon a horse ready saddled and waiting. The 
same was done to General Kelly. Captain Melvin, Assistant 
Adjutant General to General Kelly, was also taken. While 
this was being done a few of them, without creating any 
disturbance, opened one or two stores, but they left without 
waiting to take anything. It was done so quietly that others 
of us who were sleeping in adjoining rooms to General Crook 
were not disturbed. The alarm was given within ten minutes 
by a darkey watchman at the hotel, who escaped from them, 
and within an hour we had a party of fifty cavalry after 
them. They tore up the telegraph lines and it required al- 
most an hour to get them in working order. As soon as 
New Creek could be called I ordered a force to be sent to 


Eomney, and it started without any unnecessary delay. A 
second force has gone from New Creek to Moorefield, and a 
regiment of infantry has gone to New Creek to supply the 
place of the cavalry. They rode good horses and left at a 
very rapid rate, evidently fearful of being overtaken. They 
did not remain in Cumberland over ten minutes. Prom all 
information I am inclined to believe that instead of Eosser 
it is McNeiPs Company. Most of the men of that company 
are from this place. I will telegraph you fully any further 
information. ^^Eobert P. Kennedy^ 

"Major and A. A. C/' 

But little remains to be added. Lieutenant McNeil 
secured at last his long-deferred Captain^s commission, but 
did not enjoy it, the war ending soon after — ^sometime in 
May, 1865 — and, in accordance with the stipulations of Lee at 
Appomattox, McNeil surrendered his command for parole. 
Since the war he has married and returned to the West, and 
for many years has been a citizen of Illinois. Many of his 
troops have since passed from time into eternity, and the 
survivors are scattered far and wide. 

Although a Major General of volunteers and also by 
brevet. General Crook^s lineal rank in the regular army at 
the end of the war was Captain in the 4th Infantry. Since 
then he had risen to the grade of Major General and was* 
but three removes from full command of the Army of the 
United States when he died at Chicago in 1890, in command 
of the military department of Missouri. 

General Kelley, after long enjoying a sinecure post in 
the civil service and a modest pension, died on his farm 
in the AUeghanies in 1891. 

Major Melvin is a distinguished member of the bar 
of West Virginia, who, since his creditable career in the army 
closed, has had the honor of presiding on the bench over 
one of the most important circuit courts in that young and 
prosperous state. J. B. Pay/' 





By Mrs. Mary Smith, of Mobile^, Ala. 

"Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of 

the trees,^' 

.. ' * '"1 

Let us cross over the river, my comrades, 
And rest ^neath the shade of the trees; 

Oh! let me wander in silence, my comrades. 
And drink of that heavenly breeze. 

My heartchords are trembling, breaking, my comrades. 
Yes, breaking, with longings and pain; 

I sigh for that haven of rest, my comrades. 
And long for that dulcet refrain 

That Cometh after "Lifers Battle,^^ my comrades. 
And bringeth to each Christian soul 

A balm that's richer and sweeter, my comrades. 
Than nectar when quaffed from the bowl. 

Let me rest underneath the trees, my comrades. 

In Virginia's Valley so fair. 
Where song-birds are ever singing, my comrades, 

'Neath skies that are blue and so rare. 


By Carrie Bell Sinclair. 
Air— "Bonnie Blue Flag/' 

Oh, yes, I am a Southern girl. 

And glory in the name. 
And boast it with far greater pride 

Than glittering wealth or fame. 
We envy not the Northern girl 

Her robes of beauty rare; 
Though diamonds grace her snowy neck. 

And pearls bedeck her hair. 

Chorus — ^Hurrah! Hurrah! 

For the Sunny South so dear; 
Three cheers for the homespun dress 
The Southern ladies wear. 

The homespun dress is plain, I know; 

My hafs palmetto, too; 
But then it shows what Southern girls 

For Southern rights will do. 
We send the bravest of our land 

To battle with the foe. 
And we will lend a helping hand — 

We love the South, you know. 


Now Northern goods are out of date. 

And since Old Abe's blockade 
We Southern girls can be content 

With goods that're Southern made. 
We send our sweethearts to the war; 

But, dear girls, never mind — 
Your soldier-love will ne'er forget 

The girl he left behind. 

358 potjb years in the stonewall brigade. 


The soldier is the lad for me — 

A brave heart I adore; 
And when the Sunny South is free, 

When fighting is no more. 
Til choose me then a lover brave 
From all that gallant band; 
The soldier lad I love the best 
Shall have my heart and hand. 


The Southern land^s a glorious land. 

And has a glorious cause; 
Then cheers, three cheers, for Southern rights. 

And for the Southern boys! 
We scorn to wear a bit of silk. 

Or bit of Northern lace. 
But make our homespun dresses up 

And wear them with a grace. 


And now, young man, a word to you: 

If you would win the fair 
Go to the field where Honor calls 

And win your lady there; 
Remember that our brightest smiles 

Are for the true and brave. 
And that our tears are all for those 

Who fill a soldier^s grave. 



The day was brightly dawning, 

And song-birds filled the air, 
And the bright sun seemed to mock the woes 

Which fate had pictured there; 
For on that field so gory 

Our flag trailed in the dust. 
And Lee, with head bent lowly. 

Surrendered up his trust. 

Tears from brave men were falling. 

And sad it was to see 
The heroes weeping their farewell 

O'er the fall of Lee. 
His war-horse stood beside him 

And seemed, in grief, to know. 
And sadly, with his master. 

His head he bended low. 

Music sweet was sounding 

To Heaven's celestial dome — 
'Twould not dispel our sorrow 

Although it breathed of home. 
Though we'ere by numbers conquered. 

And crushed we were by might. 
There still is o'er us watching 

One who'll protect the right. 





In the winter of 1862 and 1863 the Marquis de Lafay- 
ette, of Paris, France, a descendant of Lafayette of Eevohi- 
tionary fame, visited the armies of the North and South, 
then engaged in a bloody war. After visiting the Federal 
"Army of the Potomac^' he visited the Confederate "Army 
of Northern Virginia." He became a great admirer of Stone- 
wall Jgfckson and his Corps, and especially of the "Stone- 
wall Brigade." After returning to France he had 5,000 
bronze medals made at his own expense, intending one for 
each member of the "Stonewall Brigade." The latter part 
of 1864 he succeeded in shipping them in a blockade-runner 
commanded by Captain Lamar, of Savannah, Ga. He landed 
them at Wilmington, N. C, then shipped them by rail to 
Savannah and hid them in the basement of a warehouse that 
stood on the wharf to keep them from falling into the hands 
of the Federals. They remained there until the war closed. 
Lamar died and they were forgotten. In 1893, when tearing 
down that old warehouse, they were found covered with rub- 
bish and very much corroded. Mrs. Lamar was still living, 
and they were turned over to her and distributed to the sur- 
vivors of the "Stonewall Brigade" wherever found. 


In 1894 General Edward L. Thomas, a Georgian, and 
who commanded a brigade of Georgians in General Lee^s 
Army, came to Oklahoma Territory and was appointed In- 
dian agent for the Sac and Fox Indians, and was elected 
Commander of Oklahoma Division, United Confederate Vet- 
erans. General Thomas died, in 1897, at South McAlester, 
I. T., when I was elected Commander of the United Con- 
federate Veterans to fill his place, and while holding that 
position I received a letter from Mrs. Louis N. Walton, of 
Beverly, New Jersey, inquiring about General Thomas. She 
had seen notice of his death in the papers. I answered her 
letter, telling her who General Edward L. Thomas was, and 


the following letter, which is quite interesting and historical, 
I received in answer to mine: 

"Beverly, N. J.,' April 13, 1898. 
"Mr. John 0. Casler, Com. Ok. Div. U. C. V., Oklahoma 

City, 0. T.: 

"Dear Sir — General Edward L. Thomas is not the 
man I mean. The General Thomas that I desire informa- 
tion of died either in the summer of 1895 or 1896. I tried 
to find this little sketch of his war record in Philadelphia, 
because I saw it in the Thiladelphia Evening Telegraph.' 
I put the paper away carefully, but it was accidentally de- 
stroyed by one of my servants before I clipped the piece out. 

"They do not remember it at the ^Telegraph' office; 
have searched files of paper for it without success. 

"They tell me that ^Henry George Thomas' was a Con- 
federate General, and that ^George Henry Thomas' was a 
Union General, and that the one in Oklahoma must be the 
one. He is not, for he (the one I mean) died earlier than 

"I met him in Philadelphia in 1863. He fainted on the 
pavement in front of my aunt's house one summer morning ; 
her servants carried him into the house, and we used the 
proper restoratives and sent him in a carriage to the Balti- 
more and Ohio depot when he was able to continue his jour- 
ney. He was in company with a younger man, whom I 
never saw again until I saw his face in the papers as the 
murderer of President Lincoln (John Wilkes Booth). Their 
faces are indelibly stamped on my memory; also the con- 
versation. Though we urged them to tell us their names they 
refused, though they assured us they were very grateful. 
I think they feared we would betray them because we were 
Union women. No true woman would be guilty of such an 
act, for suffering always appeals to her heart, sometimes 
against her better judgment. My aunt daily left her luxu- 
rious home to nurse the sick and wounded soldiers at the 
Filbert Street Hospital (near Broad Street Station of Penn- 
sylvania railroad). There were a dozen Confederates there 
at that time, and they were just as carefully cared for as 


the Union soldiers. She lost her life from too great devo- 
tion to the work. 

"Booth told us that Tiis friend had been ill, and in his 
anxiety to reach home had over-estimated his strength.^ Tak- 
ing my aunt^s hand in his and looking her full in the face, 
he said: ^Would you befriend us if you knew us to be 
enemies?' Her reply was: ^If thine enemy hunger, feed 
him; if he thirst, give him drink,^ etc. ^You are a noble 
woman, and have ministered to a man whose life can illy 
be spared. May God bless you for your kindness,' was 
Booth's reply. 

"My aunt entered into life eternal December 31, 1864, 
and never knew the name of either man, or of the tragic 
death of Booth. 'Not did I, until Lincoln's death, know who 
Booth was; nor, for over thirty years, did I know the name 
of the sick man, until I read his death notice in. 1895 or 

"I was a very young girl at the time of this meeting. 
I am the only one living of the quartette. I shall never 
forget those two hours, nor the shock I received at seeing 
Booth's face as the face of an assassin. I had woven a ro- 
mance around him, and expected to see his beautiful brow 
crowned with laurel. Alas! for my dream. 

"Both men were in citizen's dress. General Thomas 
was a medium-sized man, dark mustache, closely cropped hair 
swarthy complexion, and had a white silk kerchief knotted 
around his neck. The piece I refer to spoke of his illness, 
in 1863, in Philadelphia, from a wound on the back of his 
neck (that accounts for the kerchief) ; that when on his way 
to join his command he was recognized in Baltimore as an 
escaped prisoner of war, and was taken to Fortress Monroe. 
So he must have been captured the day after we saw him. 
I cannot remember the initials of his name, and he must 
have been in the thirties when I saw him, for he was much 
older than Booth. Since reading that sketch, I remember 
that booth's' sister, ^Mrs. Clark,' lived only three squares 
from my aunt's, and I suppose she was caring for him in 
his illness. 

^1 think that General Thomas must have belonged to 


a Yirginia family. Was there not more than one General 
Thomas in the Confederate service? 

"I thank you very much for your answer to my letter. 
If I have put you to any expenes I am willing to compen- 
sate you. I wanted to keep this little clipping, if I could 
get it. Very truly yours, 

"Mrs. Louis N. Walton. 

"P. 0. Box 21, Beverly, N. J," 

Note — Booth was a Southern sympathizer and would 
assist prisoners to escape whenever he could. He had as- 
sisted this General Thomas to escape from Fort Delaware. 



L. T^ Dickinson, Commander N. B. Forrest Camp, Chattanooga, 
Tenn: "This sketch represents a true incident. Jones' brigade of 
cavalry was raiding in West Virginia; we were halted near Moore - 
field while our advance was reconnoitering. There were gamblers in 
the army who never missed a chance of plyins their trade. While 
halting as above stated, several card fiends climbed the fence of a 
cornfield, where they could procure 'chips' in grains of com. Spread- 
ing an oil cloth on the ground, the game of poker proceeded, when, 
suddenly, there came a b-o-o-m from a neighboring hill, followed 
with a *Where-is-ye-where-is-ye — ^bang!' A shell which struck the 
ground and burst, scattering a cart load of dirt over them. The 
players fell over one another in a heap, save Charlie Hutton of the 
Maryland battalion. He held three aces and a pair of tens,, 'chips' 
enough to feed his horse, and wouldn't throw up his hand. As 
he lay back on his elbow with one foot in the air, he yelled out in the 
direction of the Yankees, *Say, you fellows over there ! Don't be care- 
less with them things! But the only 'call' he got was from the bu^itr, 
who quickly sounded 'Mount.' Gen. Jones had a little game if bluff 
of his own, and our battalion was sent off to drag brush on a lusty 
road to make the Yankees believe another brigade was coming up." 

This book should be returned to 
the Library on or before the last date 
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A fine is incurred by retaining it 
beyond the specified time. 

Please return promptly. 

ttuV 11 '66 K