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Full text of "A history of the Laurel brigade"


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CAPT. WILLIAM N. McDONALD 



A HISTORY OF THE 
LAUREL BRIGADE 



ORIGINALLY 



THE ASHBY CAVALRY 

OF THE 

ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA 

AND 

CHEW S BATTERY 



BY THE LATE 

CAPTAIN WILLIAM N. MCDONALD 

Ordnance Officer of the Brigade 
EDITED BY 

BUSHROD C. WASHINGTON 



Published by 

MRS. KATE S. McDONALD 
1907 



. 4- 



COPYRIGHT. 1907. 

BY 
MRS. KATE S. McDONALD 



ILLUSTRATED. PRINTED AND BOUND 

BY THE 

SUN JOB PRINTING OFFICE, 
BALTIMORE 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I ^c^<?i 
Development of the Laurel Brigade from the Seventh Regiment of 
Virginia Cavalry, enlisted under Col. Angus W. McDonald 
Border service under Colonel McDonald and Col. Turner 
Ashby Heroic death of Capt. Richard Ashby Destructive 
expedition against the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and 
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Chew s Battery attached to the 
command Romney winter campaign under Jackson Battle of 
Kernstown 17 

CHAPTER II /7a^t c^- /^** 

Daily skirmishes with force of Banks Addition of new companies 
and recruits swell the brigade Jackson orders it divided into 
two commands, and Ashby tenders his resignation Jackson 
revokes the order and Ashby withdraws his resignation Jack 
son marches to McDowell and defeats Fremont Ashby screens 
the movement from Banks by constant skirmishing in his front 
Destroys railroad and telegraph between Front Royal and 
Strasburg Attack upon Federal infantry at Buckton, where 
Captains Sheetz and Fletcher fall Battle of Winchester and 
pursuit of Banks Ashby throws his cavalry between the con 
verging armies of Shields and Fremont and prevents communi 
cation between them Informs Jackson fully of their move 
ments Capture of Sir Percy Wyndham Death of Ashby 

Cross Keys and Port Republic 48 

CHAPTER III 

Jackson marches from Brown s Gap to the Chickahominy His 
ingenious ruses to deceive Shields and Fremont Munford 
screens Jackson s movement and follows him with the Second 
Virginia Cavalry Genl. Beverly Robertson succeeds in com 
mand of Valley cavalry Reorganization of the Ashby cavalry 
Robertson an organizer and diciplinarian Brigade leaves 



M137958 



CONTENTS 

Valley and joins Jackson near Richmond, July loth, Company 
B of Twelfth Virginia Cavalry being left in the Valley Fight 
ing at Gordonsville and Cedar Run Genl. J. E. B. Stuart leads 
cavalry in a reconnoissance Brandy Station Catlett s Station 

Thoroughfare Gap Sudley Road fight and death of Major 
Patrick Second Manassas campaign Advance into Maryland 

Robertson assigned to Department of North Carolina, and 
Munford again commands the brigade Poolesville and Cramp- 
ton s Gap Affair at Darksville Capture of Harper s Ferry 
Brigade covers Lee s recrossing of Potomac Raid into 
Pennsylvania Col. William E. Jones takes command Various 
skirmishes in the Valley White s Battalion attached to brigade 

Snickers Gap and Castleman s Ferry Company D of the 
Eleventh at Romney, and capture of Capt. E. H. McDonald 
General Jones in command of the Valley District Expedition 
to Moorefield Scarcity of forage Midwinter diversions in the 
Valley ...................................................... 72 



CHAPTER IV 7 

Jones expedition into Western Virginia Weak men and horses 
left in camp Inclement weather and swollen streams Danger 
ous crossing of the Potomac at Petersburg Heroic assistance 
of citizens Rev. Richard Davis Fight at Greenland Gap 
McNeil s Rangers co-operate with Jones Colonel Harman 
enters Oakland, destroys railroad bridge Cranberry Summit 
Mountaineers unfriendly and bushwhack our column Capture 
of Morgantown Bridgeport and Fairmont Destruction of oil 
wells A river on fire Return to the Valley Results of 
expedition Cross the Blue Ridge to join "Jeb" Stuart A 
grand review Battle of Brandy Station ...................... 117 



CHAPTER V 

A short rest The army of Northern Virginia moves northward 
Jones brigade guards the line of the Rappahannock Federal 
cavalry in search of Lee make for the passes of the Blue Ridge 
Aldie and Middleburg Fight at Upperville Stuart makes 
famous raid in rear of Federal Army Jones and Robertson s 
brigades left to defend passes of the Blue Ridge Operations of 
White s Battalion In Maryland Sixth Virginia meets Sixth 
United States Regulars near Fairfield and defeats the latter 
Joy of victory turned to sadness by news of Lee s failure at 
Cemetery Ridge Jones and Robertson hold the passes of Jack 



CONTENTS 5 

Mountain Jones saves Ewell s wagon train Buford and Kil- 
patrick thwarted Fighting between Hagerstown and Williams- 
port Gallant charge of the Eleventh Virginia Cavalry Funks- 
town and Boonesboro Williamsport relieved and Lee s wagon 
train saved The Seventh Virginia retaliates upon Sixth Regu 
lars Artillery practice upon a flying target Lee recrosses the 
Potomac The brigade ordered south of the Potomac to cover 
Lee s communications with Winchester The Twelfth, under 
Colonel Harman, on detached service near Harper s Ferry 
Capture of Federal picket reserves Colonel Harman falls into 
the hands of the enemy Brigade encamps near Charles Town 
and engages in reconnoitering and skirmishes Lee retires up 
the Valley and crossing the mountains resumes the line of the 
Rappahannock .............................................. 147 



CHAPTER VI ^ 

Brigade returns to watch the fords of the Rappahannock Differ 
ences between General Stuart and General Jones The latter 
court-martialed and removed to another field of operations 
Personality of Jones and attachment of his troopers Admira 
tion and loyalty of the men soon won by "J e b" Stuart Federals 
under Meade advance towards Culpeper Court House Hard 
and continuous cavalry fighting against Buford and Kilpatrick, 
in which the brigade now under command of General Lomax 
takes prominent part Capt. Samuel B. Coyner of the Seventh 
Virginia Cavalry killed Enemy surround and capture one of 
Thompson s guns of Chew s Battery A front and rear fight at 
Jack s Shop Successful charge against infantry by Company 
B of the Twelfth Virginia Second battle at Brandy Station 
Fight at Fauquier Surphur Springs Notable exploit at the 
Rappahannock bridge Stuart in a tight place at Auburn 
Bold dash and escape of his command ........................ 167 



CHAPTER VII 

A new commander Sketch of Thomas L. Rosser The Buckland 
races Camp at Flint Hill At Hamilton s Crossing Night 
surprise of a Federal camp Dash upon Meade s wagon trains 
in the Wilderness Back to Hamilton s Crossing Hard fight at 
Parker s Store Watching Meade Raid around Meade s army 
Night attack upon Sangster s Station and death of Captain 
Cartmell Brigade heads for the Valley and crosses the Shenan- 
doah Joins the force of Early at Mt. Jackson A Merry 
Christmas in the Valley ..................................... 196 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER VIII 

Rosser with Fitz Lee They make midwinter raid to capture cattle 
for Lee s army March down the Patterson Creek Valley 
Capture a Federal wagon train Move towards New Creek 
Return to Early in the Valley Fitz Lee with his division 
returns to the Army of Northern Virginia Early and Rosser 
make the Petersburg raid Returning, the Laurel Brigade 
camps at Weyer s Cave Rest and hilarity Across the Blue 
Ridge to catch Kilpatrick Return to Valley The camp in 
Rockbridge county Recruiting Grant moves his multitudes 
A call from Lee The Laurel joins Lee in the Wilderness 
The 5th and 6th of May Join Hampton at Shady Grove Yel 
low Tavern Death of Stuart ................................ 215 



CHAPTER IX 

Hampton takes command of cavalry Milford Haw s Shop 
Atlee s Station Depleted condition of brigade Scarcity of 
food and forage Grant develops his wearing out policy 
Assails Lee s lines of communication Wilson attempts to cut 
the Virginia Central Railroad Fight at Ashland Heroic act 
of Maj. Holmes Conrad Wilson defeated and pursued 
Another affair at Haw s Shop White s Comanches charge 
Federal breastworks Hampton sent to meet Sheridan s 
raiders The battle of Trevilians Pursues Sheridan to the 
North Anna Hard fare for men and horses Some types of 
vandals Skirmishing near White House Cavalry against in 
fantry and gunboats Hanging on Sheridan s flank White s 
Battalion detached Sheridan entrenches at Samaria Church 
Is driven out of entrenchments, leaving dead and wounded 
Col. Thomas E. Massie of the Twelfth wounded Pursuit of 
Sheridan to Charles City Court House ....................... 242 

CHAPTER X L^--T_^_- / ir < 

Hampton marches towards Richmond Federals cross to south side 
of James River, and Hampton follows, crossing near Drury s 
Bluff Moves below Petersburg Camp near Reams Station 
Intercepts Wilson s raiders, and sharp fight near Sapony 
Church Lieutenant Vandiver s account of the engagement 
Ruffian marauders Wilson escapes after punishment and loss 
A short rest, watermelons and hospitality Brigade recuper 
ates by return of men from hospitals and horse furloughs 
Fitz Lee with his division sent to the Shenandoah Valley 



CONTENTS 7 

Hampton kept to hold the lines on Lee s right Grant creates 
a diversion on the north side of the James Hampton ordered 
to Culpeper, but was recalled when he reached Beaver Dam 
Fight at White Oak Swamp Brigade returns to south side 
Monk Neck s Bridge Hatcher s Run Reams Station The 
newspaper raid Hampton s cattle raid ....................... 262 



CHAPTER XI 

The return to the Valley Tedious march and wornout horses 
Eager to avenge the outrages of Sheridan Federals devastate 
the Shenandoah Valley Fitz Lee having been wounded, Rosser 
commands the Cavalry Division Fight at Mill Creek Toms 
Brook A much-mooted night attempt to surprise and bag 
Custer Cedar Creek Brent s Farm Fighting on the Back 
Road Death of Lieut.-Col. Thomas Marshall Brigade camps 
and rest at Fisher s Hill and Timberville Kershaw s division 
and Crosby s brigade of cavalry withdrawn from Early s army 
Sheridan with superior numbers hesitates to attack Early ...... 299 



CHAPTER XII 

Difficulty of supplying subsistence for Early s army Plenty beyond 
the mountains westward Rosser starts out for New Creek 
with the Laurels and Payne s brigade New Creek a Federal 
stronghold Rosser joined by McNeil s Partisan Rangers 
McNeil defeats Federals at Parsons Ford Some unexpected 
happenings A council of war Rosser decides The surprise 
A successful ruse Capture of New Creek Homeward 
bound with captures, flocks, and herds Brigade camps near 
Timberville Moves to near Swopes Depot Custer with large 
cavalry force threatens Staunton Rosser and Payne make 
night attack on Custer s camp Back to old camp at Swopes 
Depot Lack of forage Companies detached in order to sub 
sist Beverly ............................................... 321 

CHAPTER XIII < ^f /* * 67 

The capture of the Federal Major-Generals Crook and Kelly, in 
the City of Cumberland by McNeil The capture proposed and 
planned by John B. Fay, formerly of Company F, Seventh Vir 
ginia Cavalry, but at the time a member of McNeil s partisan 
company Fay with Ritchie Hallar reconnoiters in the neigh 
borhood of Cumberland They locate the sleeping apartments 



CONTENTS 

of each of the generals, and the outpost and reserve pickets 
The hazards of the undertaking The surprise and capture 
Two future Presidents of the United States narrowly escape 
A future judge not so fortunate Federals pursue but give it 
up Prisoners transported to Dixie ........................... 341 



CHAPTER XIV 

After the return from Beverly, Munford s and Payne s brigades 
ordered east of the Blue Ridge Wharton s division of infantry 
and Rosser s brigade of cavalry only force left under Early in 
the Valley to face Sheridan Government supplies almost fail, 
and home supplies no longer cheer the soldiers Sheridan lays 
waste the Valley, and with 10,000 sabres advances Rosser 
meets him with 300 men and, aided by high water, retards him 
at North River Early withdraws towards Charlottesville, is 
overtaken, defeated, and his army captured or dispersed near 
Waynesboro Rosser attempts to recapture the prisoners, but 
fails Rosser made major-general and Dearing takes command 
of the Laurel Brigade The trail of Sheridan Division under 
Rosser, not over 1,200 men, moves below Petersburg Federals 
capture Five Forks Rosser s division forms rear guard of Fitz 
Lee s column 1 Advancing Federals punished in their onsets 
Deep Creek Brigade, April 5th, with rest of division moves 
towards Amelia Court House Soldiers depressed but reso 
lute Desperate charge of Dearing near Amelia Springs 
Desperate fighting by great fighters Federals driven back 
into Jetersville Death of Captains Rutherford and Hugh Mc- 
Guire High Bridge Death of Dearing, Knott, Thompson and 
others and the wounding of many White takes command of 
brigade Appomattox The last charge Brigade disbanded 
near Lynchburg by Colonel "Lige" White Remnant of the 
Twelfth Regiment, under Lieut. Wm. F. Anderson, surrenders 
at Appomattox .............................................. 357 

APPENDIX ....................................................... 382 



PREFACE 



This history was written by the late Capt. William N. 
McDonald, who was ordnance officer of the Laurel Bri 
gade. It was written at the request of Genl. Thomas L. 
Rosser, its one time commander, who gave to the brigade 
the name "Laurel," and who by his courage, dash, and skill, 
in great degree contributed to win the fame which made it 
worthy to be known by that name. 

The labor of Captain McDonald in accumulating the 
data and writing this history, extended through the ten 
years previous to his lamented death on the 4th of January, 
1898. And some idea of the amount and difficulty of the 
labor undertaken may be gathered from his own words, 
below quoted, from a circular letter sent to the survivors of 
the brigade, in his quest for information: "This work was 
entered upon with the settled purpose of making it an 
authentic memorial of those who composed the Laurel 
Brigade, but with little expectation that the story of the 
achievements of the command would equal its measure of 
fame. The facts necessary to make up the record are diffi 
cult to procure. The official reports rarely give details, and 
after February ist, 1864, few if any brigade or regimental 
reports are to be found. From that time, to the end, there 
was such a giving and taking of blows, such a struggle 
for the means of subsistence, that little time was left for 
clerical work. There is therefore a gap of more than a 



10 PREFACE 

year full of stirring events, with small record of even the 
general actions of the brigade." 

It was from the mass of letters received in response to his 
circular, Captain McDonald chiefly gathered the material 
for the history. While many of these were clear and 
explicit, many were contradictory of others, and to gather 
the actual facts out of multitudes of contradictions, was a 
labor easier to be imagined than described. While the body 
of the history was practically complete, the manuscript was 
in its first form and not yet ready for publication when it 
came into my hands. At the request of a committee of the 
survivors of the brigade, I undertook the ivork of reviewing 
the manuscript and preparing it for the hands of a publisher. 

In the posthumous preparation of an author s work, there 
is always the temptation to the reviser, to materially alter it 
in some particular, and here and there to interject some 
thing suggestive of himself. Had the disposition to do 
this possessed me, there would hardly have been the oppor 
tunity, for the manuscript as I received it, practically 
covered the achievements of the brigade from Kernstown 
to Appomattox. My work, was rather to supply such 
missing links in the narrative as were to be found here and 
there; to make such corrections as subsequent revelations 
made necessary, and such additions in the way of official 
reports, and well-authenticated individual statements, as 
would add authority and verification to the history. Besides 
this, there was also such a general revision of the manu 
script, as the author himself would have given before 
placing it in the hands of a publisher. 

Captain McDonald having been my personal friend as 
well as a close comrade both in the infantry and cavalry 



PREFACE 1 1 

arms of the Confederate service, the labor of revising his 
work, has been mingled with a great deal of pleasure, and 
I have endeavored to discharge the duty in a way that 
would have been gratifying to him. 

It is impossible but that there will be some omissions, 
both regarding events, and individuals worthy of mention, 
and perhaps a few incidents mentioned not exactly in accord 
with the recollections of some. The lapse of time before 
undertaking the work, the lack of sources of information, 
and the fallibility of memory must be sufficient excuse for 
these. The intention of the author was to produce an 
authentic record, free from exaggeration and also from 
mere rhetorical display. It w r as his intention also to append 
as complete a roster of the officers and men as could possibly 
be procured. No effort has been spared to carry out this 
intention. Nevertheless the rolls of some companies are 
entirely missing and others incomplete, which is greatly to 
be regretted. 

It has been the wish that every soldier who served in the 
brigade and helped to contribute to its fame, should have 
honorable mention. Unfortunately, the missing names are 
likely to be those of the killed or mortally wounded in battle 
and dropped from the rolls, who of all others, if possible, 
should be especially remembered. 

To the comrades who by letters, loan of private diaries, 
and in other ways assisted the author and the reviser in 
preparing this history, whose names are too numerous to 
mention here, sincere thanks are given. Most of them, 
however, are mentioned in the body of the work. 

It was at first the intention, that there should be an 
addendum to the work containing special mention of officers 



12 PREFACE 

and privates who rendered conspicuous and meritorious 
services. But after mature consideration this was con 
sidered unadvisable and the intention abandoned, for the 
reason that the Laurel Brigade was composed of so many 
heroic men } that to single out a few for special mention, 
would seem in the nature of an invidious distinction. 

BUSHROD C. WASHINGTON. 



THE AUTHOR 



The late Capt. William N. McDonald, author of this work, 
was born in 1834 in Romney, Virginia; was educated in his 
native State, taking the degree of A. M. at the University of 
Virginia in 1857, and was elected professor of belles-lettres in 
the University of Public Schools of Louisville, Kentucky, the 
same year; the following year he was promoted to presidency 
of the same, and in that capacity was acting superintendent of 
the schools of Louisville. 

In 1859 he resigned and studied law, and in 1860 went to 
Europe as secretary to his father, Col. Angus W . McDonald, 
commissioner of Virginia, to report upon the Maryland and 
Virginia boundary line. 

On April ipth, 1861, he enlisted as a private in Company G, 
Second Virginia Regiment, Stonewall Brigade, in which he 
served until after the reorganization of the army in 1862. He 
was transferred to the Laurel Brigade and served as ordnance 
officer upon the staff of General Rosser. He served the Con 
federacy with distinguished gallantry during the entire war 
from the day Virginia seceded to Appornattox. At the time of 
the surrender he was chief of ordnance of Mahone s division of 
Lee s army, with the rank of captain of artillery. 

In 1865 he established the Cool Spring School in Clarke 
county, Virginia. While there he wrote, in conjunction with 
Prof. John S. Blackburn, the first Southern school history of 



14 THE AUTHOR 

the United States. It was published at their own cost, passed 
through about twenty editions, and still has a wide circulation. 

In 1868 he left Cool Spring to accept his old place as presi 
dent of the University of Public Schools of Louisville, Kentucky, 
at an advance of nearly double the previous salary. 

In 1872 he resigned this position and established the Louis 
ville Rugby School, which for fifteen years was the largest and 
most flourishing private school for boys west of the Alleghanies. 
While principal of the same he became editor and half pro 
prietor of the SOUTHERN BIVOUAC, which magazine during his 
connection with it greatly flourished. 

In 1887 he left Louisville and established at Berryville, Vir 
ginia, the Shenandoah University School, of which he was 
principal until his death on June 4th, 1898. 



INDEX TO ILLUSTRATIONS 



FACES PAGE. 

THE AUTHOR i 

COL. ANGUS W. MCDONALD 16 

GENL. TURNER ASHBY 32 

DR. NELSON G. WEST 36 , 

REV. JAMES BATTLE AVIRETT 40 

COL. R. PRESTON CHEW 44 

ASHBY S CHARGE AT MIDDLETON 60 

MAJ. WILLIAM PATRICK 80 

GENL. THOS. T. MUNFORD 88 

BRIG.-GENL. WILLIAM E. JONES 104 

MAJ. EDWARD H. MCDONALD 108 

OLIVER RIDGWAY FUNSTEN 112 

MAJ. SAMUEL B. MYERS 120 

COL. RICHARD H. DULANY 128 

COL. E. V. WHITE 136 

GENL. L. L. LOM AX 144 

COL. ASHER W. HARMAN 164 

LIEUT. B. C. WASHINGTON 176 

LIEUT.-COL. THOMAS E. MASSIE 184 

GENL. THOMAS L. ROSSER 196 

MAJ. JOHN W. EMMETT 232 

GENL. J. E. B. STUART 240 

MAJ. HOLMES CONRAD 244 

GENL. WADE HAMPTON 248 

ROSSER S DEFEAT OF CUSTER AT TREVILIANS STATION 252 

LIEUT. PHILIP B. WINSTON 256 

MAJ. F. M. MYERS 264 

CAPT. J. W. CARTER 304 

LIEUT.-COL. THOMAS MARSHALL 320 

CAPTURE OF GENERALS CROOK AND KELLEY 340 

COL. M. D. BALL 360 

BRIG.-GENL. JAMES DEARING 364 

CAPT. HUGH H. McGuiRE 372 

MAJ. JOHN LOCHER KNOTT 374 

MAJ. JAMES THOMPSON 376 

MAJ. FOXHALL A. DANGERFIELD 378 




McDonalds In Virginia. 




COL. ANGUS w. MCDONALD 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 
CHAPTER I 

June, 1861 

Development of the Laurel Brigade from the Seventh Regiment of Vir 
ginia Cavalry, enlisted under Col. Angus W. McDonald Border 
service under Colonel McDonald and Col. Turner Ashby Heroic 
death of Capt. Richard Ashby Destructive expedition against the 
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal 
Chew s Battery attached to the command Romney winter cam 
paign under Jackson Battle of Kernstown. 

Fourteen months of the War between the States had 
passed before the troops of Ashby possessed a brigade 
organization. Their gallant leader was dead and Stonewall 
Jackson had completed his brilliant Valley campaign. The 
Federal armies that had gathered from three quarters of 
the compass for the purpose of annihilating the army of 
"Stonewall" were now in full retreat; and the opportune 
moment was availed of to put into brigade form the 
twenty-six unorganized companies of border troopers 
which Ashby had commanded. This was effected at Swift 
Run Gap on the i5th and i6th of June, 1862. 

Though it is purposed to confine this narrative, mainly 
to events that happened subsequent to this date, it is deemed 
not only proper but necessary, first to give a brief account 
of what was done by the Ashby cavalry prior to its brigade 
formation. 

In the official reports, this body of troops, as was the rule 
in the Confederate service, is designated by the name of its 



1 8 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

commanding officer at the time, and it was not until Genl. 
Thomas L. Rosser became its commander that it was known 
by any other name than by that of the brigadier command 
ing. Influenced, probably, by admiration of its prowess, 
pride of commandership, and a laudable desire to increase 
its esprit du corps, Rosser named it the Laurel Brigade. 
Subsequently this name was occasionally recognized by the 
division commanders when they meant to compliment the 
command for gallant conduct; but by members of other 
brigades, especially in the cavalry, the name was not used, 
its assumption being regarded by many as a piece of 
arrogance. 

To what extent the name was deserved history must 
determine ; but the fact that it is the only name which iden 
tifies and generally describes a certain body of Confederate 
troops, sufficiently justifies the use of it in these pages for 
the sake of clearness and brevity. 

The Laurel Brigade was certainly unique in one respect. 
It was a growth and not an artificial formation. Brigades, 
as a rule, were the result of an arbitrary combination of 
different bodies of troops into a single group by the com 
manding general of the army. The Laurel Brigade had 
for its nucleus a few companies which developed into a 
regiment, and then into a command of brigade proportions. 
The added strength that constituted the development came 
from new companies that voluntarily joined, or from the 
old companies whose ranks overflowing furnished the 
material for other new companies. The original nucleus, 
from which by natural accretions sprung the Laurel Brigade, 
by happy coincidence, was Ashby s old company. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 19 

At the breaking out of the war, Col. Angus W. McDon 
ald, 1 repairing to Harper s Ferry, offered his services 
in defense of his State and of the Southern Confederacy to 
General Harper, the commanding officer. Although then 
sixty-two years of age, Colonel McDonald being a West 
Point graduate, and having served in the army of the 
United States, earnestly desired to do what he could for 
the South. General Harper accepted his offer and com 
mitted to him the important duty of guarding the bridges 
and fords along the Potomac. 

The troops assigned to him for this purpose was a com 
pany of cavalry commanded by Capt. Turner Ashby, from 
Fauquier county, Virginia. Dividing it into small detach 
ments, he organized parties who scouted along the border, 
and sometimes disguised as citizens, actually entered 
Washington City. 

This service was exacting but attractive on account of 
its comparative freedom from restraint, and the oppor 
tunities it afforded for personal adventure. 



1 Col. Angus W. McDonald, born in 1799, at Winchester, Virginia, was 
over sixty years old at the breaking out of the Civil War, and just 
returned to his home from London, whither he had gone as Commis 
sioner of Virginia for information relative to the settlement of the 
disputed boundary between Maryland and Virginia. A graduate of 
West Point in the artillery corps, he was assigned by Gen. Kenton 
Harper, in command at Harper s Ferry, to the duty of guarding the 
fords and bridges of the Potomac below that point. 

Among the troops assigned to him was the cavalry company of Capt. 
Turner Ashby, whose energy, daring, and soldierly traits so won the 
admiration of Colonel McDonald that, when authorized by President 
Davis to raise a regiment of cavalry, he recommended Captain Ashby 
as lieutenant-colonel of his command. After a few months of active 
service, being compelled by acute rheumatism to resign his command, 
Colonel McDonald was assigned by General Jackson to the command 
of the post at Winchester, and after its evacuation to that of Lexing 
ton, Virginia. Upon the approach of the Federal army under General 



2O A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Encouraged by applications for enlistment in his com 
mand, from new companies, Colonel McDonald asked and 
obtained from the Confederate Government, permission to 
raise an independent regiment for border service. 

Upon his recommendation and probably with Ashby s 
knowledge and consent, the latter was commissioned 
lieutenant-colonel, and Dr. Oliver Funsten major of the 
new command, that was soon afterwards known as the 
Seventh Regiment of Virginia Cavalry. 

The necessary complement of companies was gradually 
obtained, and by the assiduous efforts of Colonel McDonald, 
the regiment was soon armed and equipped. 

The organization of the Seventh was consummated on 
the 1 7th of June, 1861. 

Because of the distinguished services rendered by this 
regiment before it was incorporated into the Laurel Bri 
gade, a roll of the original regimental officers and company 
commanders is worthy of the special place here given to it. 



Hunter, having no troops for its defense, he retreated with his son 
Harry, aged sixteen, to what he supposed a place of safety near Buck- 
hannon, where they were captured after a gallant resistance, in which 
Colonel McDonald was wounded. 

He was treated in the most inhuman manner by General Hunter and 
his officers, and compelled to ride in an ammunition wagon without 
springs from Lynchburg to Charleston; afterwards confined in the 
Atheneam Prison at Wheeling, West Virginia, handcuffed like a com 
mon felon. While there he received great kindness from the Sisters 
of Charity, and the picture here inserted is a copy of one he had taken 
for them the basket in his hand showing their last gift to him as he 
was leaving to be exchanged. 

Arriving in Richmond November 7th, 1864, he rapidly declined from 
the effects of his ill treatment, and died December 1st. He was laid 
to rest in Hollywood with a son, Capt. C. W. McDonald, who was killed 
at the battle of Cold Harbor. His only brother, Col. E. C. McDonald, 
died in the Confederate service, and six sons enlisted in the army, two 
of whom were severely wounded and in prison during the war 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 21 

REGIMENTAL OFFICERS. 

Angus W. McDonald of Winchester, Va Colonel. 

Turner Ashby of Fauquier Co., Va Lieutenant-Colonel. 

Oliver M. Funsten of Warren Co., Va Major. 

Angus W. McDonald, Jr., of Hampshire Co., Va Adjutant. 

Dr. A. P. Burns, , Surgeon. 

Rev. J. B. Avirett of Frederick Co., Va Chaplain. 

Capt. T. P. Pendleton of Clarke Co., Va., Asst. Quartermaster. 
Capt. John D. Richardson of Clarke Co., Va Commissary. 

CAPTAINS OF COMPANIES. 

Richard Ashby of Fauquier Co., Va Company A. 

J. Q. Wingfield of Rockingham, Va Company B. 

S. D. Myers of Shenandoah Co., Va Company C. 

Macon Jorden of Page Co., Va Company D. 

Walter Bowen of Warren Co., Va Company E. 

George F. Sheetz of Hampshire Co., Va Company F. 

Frank Mason of Maryland Company G. 

A. Harper of Shenandoah Co., Va Company H. 

Shands of Rockingham Co., Va Company I. 

William Miller of Shenandoah Co., Va Company K. 

The regiment engaged in active service from the day of 
its organization. 

The headquarters of the Seventh was located at Romney, 
a central point from which to watch the Federal movements 
in West Virginia, and to operate upon the line of communi 
cation afforded by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The 
first service engaged in was the destruction of the super 
structures of this road. So thoroughly was the work done, 
that scarcely a bridge, culvert, or water station remained on 
that part of the road extending from Piedmont to the Big 
Cacapon, a distance of sixty miles. 



22 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

As the war thickened, border duty became more onerous, 
and it soon devolved upon the Seventh to guard the Con 
federate frontier from Harper s Ferry to the head waters 
of the Potomac, a distance of 125 miles. 

The Federal authorities had distributed numerous bodies 
of troops along this border; and the presence of these 
menaced the northern frontier with constant raids. The 
Union men on both sides of the line gave much trouble, 
carrying information to the Federals and suggesting plun 
dering expeditions, for the purpose often, of gratifying 
private malice. Some of these overzealous "patriots" were 
particularly offensive, and their arrest and removal were 
deemed necessary. It was in an attempt to arrest one of 
these that Capt. Richard Ashby was killed. He was Col. 
Turner Ashby s younger brother and had succeeded him in 
the command of his old company. 

Captain Ashby was the handsomest and most soldierly 
figure in his regiment, being more robust-looking and more 
commanding in appearance than even his elder brother. 
His death, especially the heroic features of it, made a pro 
found and lasting impression upon his comrades ; while the 
effect upon his brother Turner was transforming. 

It was on the morning of the 26th of June, that Captain 
Ashby was ordered by his brother to take a small detach 
ment of his company and arrest a certain obnoxious citizen, 
who was believed to be a spy. Failing to find the man at 
his home, Captain Ashby kept a path straight on, leading 
towards the Federal lines which extended along the track 
of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. At a place suitable 
for the purpose, the Federals, as if in anticipation of his 
further advance, had carefully prepared an ambuscade. A 
volley from a neighboring wood was the first intimation 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 23 

of the enemy s presence, and this was immediately followed 
by the charge of an overwhelming body of mounted 
Federals. Discovering his disparity of force, which con 
sisted of only eleven men, Captain Ashby ordered a retreat. 
The retreat soon became disorderly, and Captain Ashby, 
who was some distance in the rear of his retreating com 
mand, was thrown to the ground by his horse falling in an 
unsuccessful attempt to leap a cattle-stop. He was soon 
surrounded by the enemy at close quarters, but without 
thought of surrender, he fought them single-handed as they 
swarmed around him intent only upon his destruction. At 
last, wounded in many places, he fell and, while prostrate, 
received additional wounds; one man stabbing him in the 
abdomen with his bayonet. Here he was left for dead, the 
enemy for some reason retreating. 

Captain Ashby, having rallied sufficient strength, dragged 
himself to the shelter of a neighboring tree, where he was 
afterwards found. 

In the meantime Col. Turner Ashby, with a detachment 
of his command, scouting in the neighborhood, arrived by 
merest accident in time to avenge his brother. Learning 
from a young lady that firing of small arms had been heard 
in the direction his brother had taken, he at once galloped 
to his aid. Discovering the bloody place where he had 
fallen and full of forebodings, he rode on in search of the 
foe. The Federals had retired to Kelly s Island in the 
Potomac. Ashby seeing them from the Virginia shore, 
dashed into the stream and called upon his men to charge. 
A volley that emptied two saddles greeted them as they 
pressed through the current and gained the bank. 

"At them with your knives, men!" cried Ashby, whom 
grief for his brother had rendered furious. 



24 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

The contest was most unequal, but the fiery rush of 
Ashby and his men made up for the lack of numbers, and 
after a short and bloody fight the Federals gave way before 
them and fled. 

Among the articles captured in the fight were Captain 
Ashby s spurs and horse. The sight of these convinced 
Colonel Ashby that his brother had been killed, for it does 
not appear that any information was obtained from Federal 
prisoners, if any were taken. 

Search was now made for the body, which, mangled and 
pierced with eight wounds, was at last found. It was soon 
discovered that life was not extinct, and the wounded 
captain was carried to the house of Col. George Washing 
ton, where, though kindly cared for, he died after seven 
days of intense suffering. 

The fight at Kelly s Island and the death of Richard 
Ashby were events of no small importance, occurring as 
they did in the beginning of the war. The heroic example 
of the dead soldier in his terrific death struggle, his brutal 
treatment at the hands of the victors, and the subsequent 
punishment by Colonel Ashby, formed exhaustless topics 
around the camp-fires. Thoughts of vengeance were the 
more readily indulged in, now that the valor of Colonel 
Ashby had shown what true prowess might accomplish. 

In a letter to his family after the death of his brother, 
Colonel Ashby wrote: "His country has lost the services 
of a brave man with a strong arm, which he proved upon 
his enemies in losing his life. He was buried with all the 
honors of war, and never was greater respect paid to the 
memory of one man." 

About the I5th of July, 1861, the forward movement of 
the Federal Army under General Patterson, across the 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 25 

Potomac, caused the Seventh Regiment to be ordered to 
Winchester. At this point the scattered companies gathered 
from the Potomac frontier, on the I9th of July. Already 
on the 1 8th righting had begun at Manassas. 

Joseph E. Johnston, who commanded the army at Win 
chester, secretly moved his troops by a forced march to 
Piedmont and thence by rail to Manassas, deceiving General 
Patterson, who still believed the Confederate Army to be 
in his front at Winchester, and by rendering timely aid to 
General Beauregard, gained for the Confederacy the battle 
of Bull Run the first great battle of the war. 

The border cavalry were ordered to co-operate in the 
movement, but the Seventh reached Bull Run the day after 
the battle. Thence after a short rest it was ordered to 
Staunton, and soon back again to resume its old position 
along the Potomac frontier. 

Colonel McDonald, with a portion of the regiment, 
re-established his headquarters at Romney, while Ashby, 
with the remainder, held the right of the border line, with 
his headquarters at Charles Town. 

The work of destroying the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 
went on, with occasional skirmishing with scouting parties 
of the Federals. 

Early in September, General Geary, commanding the 
Federals near Harper s Ferry, crossed the Potomac and 
seemed about to march further southward. Colonel Ashby, 
assisted by 400 militia and two new companies of cavalry 
under Captains R. W. Baylor and John Henderson, con 
fronted the foe at Bolivar Heights near the Ferry. After a 
spirited skirmish, Ashby retired to the next commanding 
eminence, known as School-House Hill. During the night 



26 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Geary recrossed the Potomac and the next day Ashby took 
possession of Harper s Ferry. 

On the 24th of September a serious brush with the enemy 
occurred near Romney. A Federal force gathered from 
Cumberland and Piedmont, making a night march, 
attempted to surprise Colonel McDonald s camp. The 
attempt was anticipated, and before the Federals reached 
Romney they were met in Mechanic s Gap of the South 
Branch Mountain and driven back. With creditable per 
sistency, another gap further down the mountain was 
passed, and the enemy having crossed the South Branch 
River, advanced upon Romney. Their road led them 
through a narrow pass called Hanging Rock, where the 
way has the river on one side and an almost perpendicular 
wall of rock on the other. From the summit of the cliff, 
Col. E. H. McDonald, with thirteen Hampshire militiamen, 
threw down rocks among the Federals and created a panic 
among them. After firing a few volleys, the column 
retreated in great confusion, the cavalry, in their eagerness 
to escape, riding over the infantry, and forcing many into 
the river. 

The repulse, however, did not deter the Federals from 
making a third attempt. Moving further down, they 
successfully crossed the mountain barriers and threatened 
the rear of the Confederates. Colonel McDonald now 
evacuated Romney and the Federals took possession of the 
town. 

Next morning, having learned that the enemy were pil 
laging the country around Romney, and were somewhat 
disorganized and scattered, Colonel McDonald advanced 
upon them. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 27 

The Federals, apprised of his coming, hastily withdrew 
to the South Branch bridge, which they attempted to hold. 
A gallant charge of Confederate horse drove them from this 
position and forced them into a disorderly retreat. Assisted 
by the Hampshire militia, under Colonels E. H. McDonald 
and A. Munroe, the cavalry continued the pursuit through 
the gap and, following close upon the heels of the fugitives, 
harassed them until they reached New Creek Station (now 
Keyser), a fortified position on the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad, having suffered considerable loss. 

About a month later, on the 26th of October, another 
more formidable attempt was made to occupy the South 
Branch Valley. Romney was considered a place of con 
siderable strategic importance, especially to the Federals. 
From it as a center, fifty miles of the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad could be reached in a short day s march. Hence 
the small force of Confederates at Romney was regarded 
as a constant menace to the only direct railroad communi 
cation between Washington and the West. Its only support 
was at Winchester, forty miles off, while within an average 
distance of twenty miles along the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad were stationed considerable bodies of Federal 
troops. In a few hours it would have been quite easy to 
concentrate a force strong enough to march upon and 
occupy Romney. The failure of their first expedition was 
attributed by the Federals to lack of numbers sufficient to 
impress and overawe the population. 

On the 24th of November, a heavy Federal force of all 
arms under General Kelly advanced upon Romney. Colonel 
McDonald was advised of its coming and of its superior 
strength. There was no hope of his being able to hold 
Romney ; but he determined, in retiring, to make resistance 



28 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

wherever the advantages of position gave opportunity to 
punish and cripple the foe. 

Six miles west of Romney the invading column was first 
confronted and opposed. Thence back through Mechanic s 
Gap to the South Branch bridge, the Confederates withdrew, 
disputing the Federal progress. On the Romney side of 
the bridge Colonel McDonald determined to make a stand, 
notwithstanding he had only a force of about 400 against 
more than 2,000 of the enemy. The place, however, was 
admirably suited for a small force to inflict a serious blow 
upon a large one. The high ground that, like a mountain 
barrier, shuts in the river valley is near to and commands 
the bridge and the road to Romney. About a half mile 
from the bridge, where the road turns and ascends through 
a slight defile, is Cemetery Hill, from a point on which a 
piece of artillery may sweep the road to the bridge. 

On the high ground near the bridge a part of the com 
mand under Major Funsten was posted, with a howitzer. 
Colonel McDonald himself, with the reserve and a rifle gun, 
occupied Cemetery Hill. 

At the approach of the Federals, their great superiority 
in numbers was plain to all. An artillery fire from both 
sides began, while a column of infantry attempted to force 
a passage through the bridge. This was driven back by a 
well-directed fire from Funsten s men. In the meantime 
a squadron of Federal cavalry had succeeded in fording 
the river and appeared unexpectedly on the Confederate 
flank. The sight of them and the formidable display of 
infantry coming to their support, made it apparent that 
further defense was futile. Major Funsten s command at 
once abandoned the high ground and retreated. The 
Federal horse, encouraged by this, charged in pursuit. The 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 29 

retreat soon became a rout and then a stampede. The 
fugitives broke through the reserve and carried it along 
with them. Soon the wagon trains, two miles in the rear, 
were reached by the Federal horse and captured, as were 
also both guns. 

The Federal victory, though a bloodless one, was com 
plete. Romney was taken and possessed by the Federals, 
and until the end of the war remained virtually in their 
possession. 

Jackson, in the following December, retook and held it 
for a short time, but his expedition thither proved how 
untenable it was. 

The logic of war is inexorable. As the commanding 
officer receives the most praise when a victory is gained, so 
he chiefly bears the penalty of defeat. Even where others 
are to blame, there is no difference in the result. Disaster 
breeds a want of confidence, and this in turn portends more 
calamity. The situation was painfully clear to Colonel 
McDonald. The good of the service demanded a change, 
and the majority of the men were clamorous for the leader 
ship of Ashby. 

In an interview with Jackson, Colonel McDonald asked 
to be relieved from the command of the Seventh. The 
request was acceded to, and he was placed in charge of the 
artillery defenses at Winchester. 

It is not hard to discover why the hearts of the men of 
the Seventh were set upon Lieutenant-Colonel Ashby, and 
why they were clamorous for his leadership; for being in 
the flower of young manhood, he combined in the highest 
degree those attributes of the born soldier which ever attract 
men of similar mould. In person, while little above the 
average height, his form was well shaped, erect, sinewy, and 



30 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

graceful. His features were regular, clear-cut, and deter 
mined; his eyes black and rather deep-set for his age, and 
his swarthy complexion was almost hidden under a heavy, 
flowing black beard of unusual length. Harnessed in the 
accoutrements of a Southern cavalry officer, and mounted 
on his milk-white charger, which he sat with the ease of 
the hereditary horseman, he was a figure needing only to be 
seen to attract the wonder and admiration of both friend 
and foe. His manner in repose was modest, gentle and 
approachable. 

It was when the duties of a soldier aroused him to action, 
that the transformation took place that made him the most 
impetuous and daring cavalry leader in the Confederate 
service. 

His loyalty to his State and to the Southern cause was 
intense and almost romantic. Their enemies were his 
enemies, and it was his motto to attack and destroy them 
whenever they showed themselves; and when they did not 
show themselves to hunt for, locate and harass them with 
impetuous onsets. 

Such in brief was the soldier who now succeeded to the 
command of the Seventh. 

Ashby established his regimental headquarters near 
Charles Town, and continued with his troops to picket the 
Potomac frontier as far west as the border of Hampshire: 
for Romney still remained in possession of the Federals. 

On the nth of November, 1861, under special authority 
of the Secretary of War, there was organized a battery of 
artillery, which, becoming as it did a most important factor 
in the achievements of Ashby s command, is worthy here 
of special mention, as to its organization and services and 
subsequent assignments. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 31 

It was organized with thirty-three men and the following 
officers: R. P. Chew, captain; Milton Rouse, first lieuten 
ant; J. W. McCarty and James Thompson, second lieuten 
ants. The company had three pieces of artillery; one a 
rifle gun called the "Blakely," one howitzer, and one six 
inch rifle gun. At the suggestion of General Ashby the 
men were all mounted, and this was the first mounted 
battery of flying artillery organized in the Confederate 
Army. It served throughout the Valley campaign under 
Stonewall Jackson, and accompanied the brigade of Ashby 
at the front of its advances, retarding the enemy in its 
retreats through all that marvelous campaign. 

Its officers were cadets of the Virginia Military Institute. 
Educated as soldiers, young and daring, it was natural 
enough that a battery commanded by them would render 
most effective service and attain a worthy distinction. So 
it was that "Chew s Battery" soon earned for itself a name 
and reputation second only to that of the Ashby command. 

This company served after the death of Ashby and 
Jackson with the battalion of Stuart s Horse Artillery, and 
perhaps was engaged in more skirmishes and battles than 
any battery in the Confederate Army. The membership 
of the company increased rapidly after its first organization, 
and included during the war a membership of 197 men. 
Lieutenants Rouse and McCarty, who participated in its 
organization, resigned and joined the cavalry in 1862, 
where they distinguished themselves for gallantry, dash, 
and courage. Thompson was then elected first lieutenant, 
and James W. Williams and J. W. Carter second lieuten 
ants. Captain Chew was in 1864 promoted to the command 
of Stuart s Horse Artillery, when Thompson succeeded 



32 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Chew as captain of the battery, and E. L. Yancey became 
the second lieutenant. 

On March ist, 1865, the Stuart Horse Artillery was 
reorganized into five battalions of two batteries each, when 
Chew was made lieutenant-colonel and Thompson was pro 
moted to major, Carter succeeding Thompson as captain. 
As successive captains of Chew s Battery both these men 
served with great distinction. 

When Jackson struck Banks column at Middletown, this 
battery charged with the cavalry, and under the direction 
of General Ashby engaged in the close pursuit of the enemy, 
and it was perhaps the first battery in the service to inaugu 
rate this peculiar and effective mode of fighting. 

At Upperville, when the brigade under Genl. William E. 
Jones, while in marching column and without order of 
battle, was attacked at right angles to its line of march by 
the Federal cavalry, and thrown into temporary confusion, 
this battery under Captain Chew dashed to the front and, 
firing canister at close range into the head of the Federal 
advance, produced such havoc as to arrest it for a time, and 
saved the brigade from what might have been a serious 
disaster. 

On the 6th of May, 1864, when Genl. Thomas L. Rosser 
attacked Wilson s division on the Catharpin Road, the 
beginning of the battles of the Wilderness, this battery 
charged with the Eleventh Cavalry, doing great execution 
and aiding greatly in the defeat of the enemy. Afterwards 
this method of fighting became a distinctive feature of the 
fighting of the Confederate horse artillery, the batteries 
being often found in the charging column of cavalry or 
abreast with the skirmish line. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 33 

This battery served in the Maryland and Gettysburg 
campaign and in the great battles between Lee and Grant 
from the Rapidan to Richmond, and took a conspicuous 
part in the battle of Trevilians and in the numerous battles 
of the Army of Northern Virginia around Petersburg to 
Appomattox. 

Genl. Thomas T. Munford, who took command of the 
Ashby brigade at Cross Keys, after the fall of Ashby, in a 
letter to W. McVicar, a private of Chew s Battery, of date 
June 1 2th, 1906, says: "Chew s Battery was Ashby s pet, 
and under the gallant Chew it was as much Ashby s right 
arm as Ashby was the right arm of Jackson. Indeed the 
fame of this battery extended throughout the Army of 
Northern Virginia, and the attestations to its distinguished 
service are too numerous for present mention." 

In the minds of the people of the Valley, the Ashby 
cavalry and Chew s Battery belonged to one another as by 
natural affinity, and they located the position of the 
Federals by the familiar crack of "Chew s Blakely," which 
awakened the echoes of the mountains and spread commo 
tion in the encampments of the enemy ere the farmers had 
aroused to call and feed their hogs. 

Early in December Ashby s command, including Chew s 
Battery, was ordered to join Jackson at Martinsburg to 
co-operate with him in an attempt to destroy Dam No. 5 
in the Potomac. This was the most important of a succes 
sion of dams that supplied water to the Chesapeake and 
Ohio Canal. A Federal force on the opposite bank of the 
river attempted to prevent the execution of the work, but 
without success. Sharpshooters at points of advantage 
concentrated their fire on the path that led down the bank 
to the dam, while a brisk cannonade was kept up. The 



34 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

work could only be done at night, in the water, which was 
freezing cold. 

A few days afterwards, on January ist, 1862, Jackson, 
now reinforced by Loring s brigade, set out on his famous 
Bath and Romney expedition, the object of which was to 
re-occupy Romney and hold possession of the South Branch 
Valley. Ashby, with his command, was ordered to join 
him. 

New Year s Day opened bright and promising, but 
towards evening a northwester blew, bringing storm of 
rain and sleet. The by-roads, which Jackson for sake of 
secrecy usually traveled, soon became almost impassable. 
Biting winter had now set in and the men suffered severely. 
After a weary journey of three days Bath was reached. As 
Ashby entered the town the Federals were moving off 
towards Hancock, a village three miles distant, on the oppo 
site bank of the Potomac. Ashby followed and soon came 
up with their rear guard, with which he skirmished. In 
this affair Lieutenant Lang and three privates of Company 
C were badly wounded. The enemy, however, got safely 
across the river and halted in Hancock. Jackson sent 
Ashby across the river to demand a surrender, and threat 
ening that if the town was not evacuated he would bom 
bard it. 

Says Dabney in his "Life of Jackson," "As Ashby was 
led blindfold up the streets, he overheard the Federal 
soldiers whispering the one to the other, That is the famous 
Colonel Ashby/ and soon the suppressed hum of a crowd 
told him that they were thronging around to catch a sight 
of the warrior whose name had so often carried confusion 
into their ranks." 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 35 

The Federal general naturally refused to surrender to a 
hostile force on the other side of the Potomac, and declined 
also to evacuate the place. Upon Ashby s returning and 
delivering his reply, Jackson ordered the guns to open upon 
the town. This was done, it is said, in retaliation for the 
bombardment of Shepherdstown a short time before, but 
Jackson probably had a better reason. 

Jackson began preparing to cross the river, but hearing 
that the enemy was reinforced, he decided to go on to 
Romney. 

On January 7th his column left the vicinity of Hancock 
and marched by mountain roads sheathed with ice towards 
Romney. The progress was exceedingly slow. The horses, 
smooth-shod, continually slipped and fell ; the men, ill clad, 
were nearly frozen; the artillery was dragged along with 
great difficulty. Romney was not reached until January 
I4th. When Capt. George Sheetz, with two companies of 
cavalry, was seen approaching, the Federals, supposing the 
main body to be near by, departed hastily, abandoning their 
tents and many valuable stores. Ashby pursued them, 
harassing their rear and taking some prisoners. 

Long before Romney was reached, it was discovered that 
the troops under General Kelly had behaved like vandals. 
While in possession of Hampshire county mills, tanneries 
and factories had been burnt. From Blue s Gap to Romney, 
a distance of sixteen miles, scarcely a house had been left 
standing. The wayside was strewed with the carcasses of 
cattle and other domestic animals. In Romney the out 
buildings were gone and many of the dwellings had been 
converted into stables, while every church save one had been 
foully desecrated. 



36 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

The brutal treatment of the Hampshire people by the 
Federal soldiers appears to have been not only winked at 
but authorized by those in command. There were few 
slaveholders in the county, and the stubborn adherence of 
the people to the Confederate cause could not be understood 
from a Federal point of view. Their "treason" was 
regarded as of a malignant type, and deserving of the 
severest punishment. It was inconceivable to men believing 
the war to be a slaveholders rebellion, how the yeomanry 
of the non-slaveholding mountains should be among the 
boldest and bravest defenders of secession ; and consequently 
these "senseless rebels" were shown none of the mercies of 
civilized warfare. Hunted to their homes, they were shot 
down, and their houses burnt in many instances. 

Such brutality only deepened the feeling of hostility in 
the hearts of the people and evoked reprisals, and the crack 
of the deadly rifle from wooded cover often saluted the 
Federal scouting parties. Sentinels were cut off, pickets 
captured and whole companies sometimes ambuscaded. The 
unconquerable mountaineers left no ground undisputed 
except that upon which the Federal forces camped. 

Now that, after a march of nearly 100 miles through ice 
and snow, the South Branch Valley was occupied, the 
trouble of holding it began to appear. There was no 
danger of immediate attack. To few besides the intrepid 
Jackson would campaigning be thought of in the dead of 
winter; but spring was coming and the Federals were 
gathering at different points on the border. Winchester 
was far in the rear and a day s march nearer Harper s 
Ferry than Romney. Jackson therefore determined to 
leave General Loring with the bulk of the command at 




DR. NELSON G. WEST 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 37 

Romney and Moorefield and return with the Stonewall 
Brigade to Winchester. 

Ashby was sent with the larger part of his cavalry to 
watch the Potomac border. He established a cordon of 
pickets from Harper s Ferry to Hampshire. Captain 
Sheetz, with his company stationed near Blue s Gap, having 
charge of the left of the line. 

On the 25th of January, the Secretary of War, learning 
that Loring s force was threatened with capture, ordered 
Jackson to recall him to Winchester. This was done on 
the 3ist of January, and thus, after a respite of a few weeks, 
Romney and the South Branch Valley again fell under 
Federal sway. 

General Loring, with his brigades, was transferred to a 
distant command, and Jackson was left with about 6,000 
men to hold the Shenandoah Valley. 

General McClellan, with a formidable army, was now 
threatening Richmond, and the Federal forces under Banks 
and Shields were now expected to co-operate in the move 
ment. 

Ashby, with scouts entering their camps and reporting 
their numbers, with pickets holding vigilant watch at every 
river crossing, kept Jackson exactly informed as to the 
movements of the enemy. Jackson trusted him implicitly. 

Confident that Banks and Shields would soon march upon 
Winchester, and knowing that it was hazardous to attempt 
to hold the place, Jackson was busily engaged in removing 
his stores far up the Valley to a place of safety. 

On the 25th of February Banks crossed the Potomac at 
Harper s Ferry, and by the 4th of March his forces and 
those of Shields, numbering more than 30,000, were 
encamped in the vicinity of Charles Town and Martinsburg. 



38 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Slowly and cautiously Banks advanced towards Winchester, 
Shields following with equal deliberation. Their snail-like 
pace was due in great measure to the fear of Jackson, and 
scarcely less to the fear of Ashby and to the activity of his 
cavalry, which, coming close up to the Federal infantry 
camps, beat back within their lines such bodies of cavalry 
as dared venture beyond them. 

As the Federal main body moved forward, the head of 
the column from each successive hilltop was saluted by the 
guns of Captain Chew, and every stray squadron, discovered 
beyond the infantry supports, was promptly driven back 
by the shells of Chew and the charge of the cavalry. 
Ashby s force was too small to attempt serious resistance, 
but his sleepless vigilance and activity kept the Federals 
in a state of ignorance and anxiety as to the movements of 
Jackson. 

On the nth of March, 1862, Winchester was evacuated 
by Jackson and the Confederates marched slowly south 
ward, the main body reaching Mt. Jackson on the I7th. 
Ashby brought up the rear, skirmishing with the Federal 
vanguard. Ever on the alert, he was constantly seeking 
points of attack, and contriving with bold ingenuity sur 
prises and ambuscades. 

At Fishers Hill, concealing a body of his men in the 
woods, he waited till the Federal horse was passing, and 
then rushed upon them. At Stony Creek, he lay in wait 
for some foraging parties, and swooping down from his 
place of concealment, took many prisoners. When there 
were no isolated parties to ensnare or surprise, he would 
make a stealthy approach to a Federal camp with one gun 
from Chew s Battery, and startle the inmates with a well- 
directed bomb. A Federal officer in Banks army once said 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 39 

that he had learned to look for Ashby s shells as regularly 
as he did for his breakfast. This hanging hornet-like on 
the front and flanks of the enemy, did apparently no great 
damage, but the effect of it was to greatly facilitate Jack 
son s operations. It kept the enemy always in the dark 
as to the whereabouts of Jackson, and helped to create that 
almost superstitious dread of Jackson which possessed the 
minds of the Federals and which almost attributed to him 
the power of ubiquity. 

There is no doubt that Jackson s success in the Valley 
was largely due to the secrecy that enveloped his move 
ments. It was Ashby s impenetrable cordon of pickets, at 
the fords, crossroads, and mountain passes, and his ever 
aggressive demonstrations that had most to do in making 
Jackson s mantle of mystery, and in keeping General Banks 
in absolute ignorance of his movements. 

On March the iQth information was received from Genl. 
Joseph E. Johnston, who was then retiring before McClellan 
towards Richmond, that a part of Banks force was about 
to be recalled to aid McClellan, and that it was important 
to make a demonstration against Banks in order to prevent 
this movement. 

On the 2 ist Ashby, who had been skirmishing with the 
enemy between Woodstock and Strasburg, reported that 
the Federals had evacuated the latter place, and that he was 
harassing their rear as they fell back towards Winchester. 

Jackson at once prepared to pursue, ordering Ashby to 
press the enemy. On the 22nd the Confederate main body 
made a forced march to Strasburg, a distance of twenty- 
two miles. The same day Ashby pressed vigorously the 
retreating Federals, and by five o clock P. M. had driven 
them into Winchester. One of his divisions, Williams , 



40 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

had marched that morning towards Manassas; the other, 
Shields , was still in camp near the town. The fugitive 
Federal troopers galloping through the streets and the 
sound of Ashby s guns startled General Banks. Shields 
division was ordered under arms. An infantry brigade, 
two batteries of artillery and some cavalry were sent to 
confront Ashby. The latter had about 250 cavalry and 
three guns of Chew s Battery, but he did not decline the 
unequal combat. A spirited skirmish ensued. Chew s 
guns answered those of the enemy with defiant roar, while 
the menacing attitude of the grey squadrons, ever ready to 
charge, kept the Federal horse in the background and com 
pelled the infantry to advance with great deliberation. 
General Shields, in command of the Federals, had his arm 
fractured by a piece of shell. Perchance it was a fateful 
hit, as it disabled and prevented him from being actively 
present on the field the next day. 

Ashby gradually retired to Kernstown, three miles from 
Winchester, and took position for the night. In his report 
General Shields says he purposely concealed his numbers. 
The impression this produced upon Ashby was confirmed 
by some of his scouts, who in disguise had entered Win 
chester, and from conversation with citizens reported that 
only four regiments of infantry were stationed there. 

This information being sent to Jackson, doubtless induced 
him to hurry forward from Strasburg the next day without 
waiting for his sore-footed stragglers to catch up. 

During the night the Federals took defensive positions 
against further attack; but a reconnoissance in force the 
next morning convinced Shields and Banks that Ashby only, 
with some cavalry, was in their front. Ashby had misled 
him before by his daring strategy, but General Banks, not 




REV. JAMES BATTLE AVIRETT 

and JOHN (Black Hawk) COOK OF GENERAL ASHBY S 
HEADQUARTERS MESS 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 41 

wishing to be outwitted again, took train and left for 
Washington. 

It was true that Ashby only was near, but Jackson was 
coming, having hurried forward four companies of the 
Second Virginia Infantry, under Captain Naidenbousch, 
to support the cavalry and artillery. 

In the meantime Ashby had engaged the Federals who 
had come out on the Strasburg turnpike to feel his strength, 
by opening on them with his artillery. 

At ten o clock Captain Naidenbousch arrived with his 
four companies, which were at once pushed forward against 
the Federal skirmishers, which after some resistance gave 
way, and Ashby s whole force advanced. 

So serious did this movement appear to Colonel Kimball, 
who took command of the Federals after the wounding of 
Shields, that to check Ashby he brought up an additional 
force consisting of the Eighth Ohio, two companies of the 
Sixty-seventh Ohio, Sullivan s brigade and several batteries 
of artillery. Kimball s brigade and Daum s Artillery were 
already there, and these, together with the reinforcements 
mentioned, constituted more than a third of Shields division 
of 9,000 men. 

For nearly two hours Ashby held this force at bay, by a 
cunning and audacious handling of his small force. Chew s 
guns seizing points of advantage, with a continuous roar, 
fought at close range confident in the support of the grey 
squadrons, that at every attempt to take the guns dashed 
out and drove back the enemy. 

The gallant Naidenbousch, with his four companies of 
infantry deployed as skirmishers, boldly faced the battle 
lines of the Federals. 



42 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Slowly, but with a steady front, Ashby fell back to the 
hills south of Kernstown. 

When Jackson, with the main body of his army, arrived 
about ten o clock "he found," says Dabney, "Ashby pressed 
back to the highlands south of Kernstown and confronted 
by heavy masses of the enemy." 

Jackson s rapid march of thirty-six miles in thirty-two 
hours had greatly wearied his troops. Many broken down 
with fatigue were far in the rear. At first he thought of 
waiting until the next day, but fearing that Williams 
division would return during the night he resolved to attack 
at once. 

By four o clock his men had taken position., On the right 
was Ashby, with four companies of infantry and 150 
cavalry, the Forty-second Virginia Infantry being in the 
turnpike in supporting distance. 

About one-half of his troopers had been, under Major 
Funsten, to guard Jackson s extreme left. Next to Ashby, 
covering a mile in the Federal front, was the Fifth Virginia, 
then the rest of the infantry and artillery. 

As nearly one-half of Shields army was in front of 
Ashby, Jackson s plan was to threaten the Federal left and 
center with the small force of Ashby, while he would mass 
the main body of his infantry and artillery on their right, 
and make his chief attack there. 

When his dispositions were all made, the center and left 
advanced, the latter being thrown continually forward. 

The infantry were soon at close quarters, and for two 
hours there was an incessant rattle of musketry and roar 
of artillery. Ashby, with his handful, behaved as if a 
division was at his back, for his orders were to occupy the 
attention of the large force in his front. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 43 

Nothing but his marvelous audacity concealed the weak 
ness of Jackson s right and prevented its being turned, and 
the Valley turnpike from being seized by the enemy. 

As soon as Jackson s left began to go forward, Chew s 1 
guns on the right drawing nearer the Federals, poured shot 
and shell into their dense columns; while Ashby, moving 
squadrons from point to point, now threatened, now charged 
their lines. 

"On the right," says Dabney, "Colonel Ashby cannonaded 
the enemy continually with his three guns, with such 
audacity as to win ground all day from their multitudes." 

The fierceness of Ashby s attack must have greatly 
deceived the Federal commander, for it was not until the 
battle had lasted nearly two hours that he withdrew a portion 
of the force in front of Ashby to reinforce his right. That 
flank was then giving way before the deadly fire and 
intrepid valor of Jackson s infantry, but upon the arrival 
at Kernstown of six regiments sent to reinforce them, soon 
rallied and, recovering their lost ground, became in turn 
the assailants. 

Jackson was now sorely pressed by overwhelming num 
bers; already his small arms ammunition was nearly 
exhausted and the fire of his infantry slackening. 

Soon the whole Stonewall Brigade was out of ammuni 
tion, and General Garnett ordered them to fall back. 
Meanwhile Jackson had ordered to the left the Fifth 
Virginia Regiment, that connected with Ashby, and the 
Forty-second Virginia, which supported him on the turn 
pike. 



1 Col. R. Preston Chew, commander of the Horse Artillery, Army of 
Northern Virginia. 



44 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Ashby was now left with four companies of infantry and 
150 cavalry to keep back a force more than four times his 
own. Nearly a mile of unguarded front was between him 
and Jackson. Although the force in front of him had been 
diminished one-half, he had suffered a like diminution, and 
the relative strength of his adversary was the same. 

The Federals, suspecting his paucity of numbers, which 
his menacing attitudes and constant shifting of squadrons 
had hitherto concealed, began to advance with confidence. 
It needed no courier to inform him that Jackson was power 
less to send aid, for the loss of his position would probably 
ensure the destruction of Jackson s army. The departure 
of the Forty-second and Fifth regiments hurrying towards 
the left, the clouds of smoke over the crest of Kernstown 
heig-hts, and the increasing roar of battle from that quarter, 
revealed the gravity of the situation and told him more 
plainly than words that he must do the best he could with 
the troops he had in hand. 

Cunningly displaying his force so as to magnify it, he 
pushed his artillery forward and assaulted the foe. 

Chew, with his dauntless gunners, secure of Ashby s 
support, with grape and canister kept off the Federal 
skirmishers, while with shot and shell they staggered the 
advancing battle lines. 

When light detachments would approach his flank, or 
from under cover make a rush upon his guns, right at the 
auspicious moment a squadron would charge and drive them 
back. 

Ashby was everywhere apparently, foreseeing and pro 
viding for every contingency and meeting the weight of 
numbers with that of skill and daring. 




COL. R. PRESTON CHEW 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 45 

Evening slowly wore on; the roar of battle showed that 
Jackson was giving ground. The Federals redoubled their 
efforts to dislodge Ashby and seize the turnpike, but nothing 
could move him until it was time to go. Naidenbousch s 
four companies in skirmish order still grimly faced and 
fought the foe. 

Chew s guns with a furious cannonade continued to keep 
the battle lines at bay. 

The Federal right was victorious. The news spreading 
to the Federal left inspired them to make a bolder advance. 
On they came, with steady and menacing front, with bodies 
of skirmishers threatening Ashby s flanks. The flanking 
parties were charged and driven, but the main battle line 
moved steadily forward. 

At this juncture, Ashby ordered a charge of cavalry. It 
was made by a squadron led by Lieutenant Thrasher. The 
impetuosity of the charge broke the Federal lines, created 
great disorder and quite a number of prisoners were taken. 

This well-delivered blow helped much to stop the advance 
of the enemy and gave Ashby opportunity to withdraw in 
order, and to cover Jackson s rear as he retired, but it cost 
the life of the gallant Thrasher and two privates of 
Company G. 

In the meantime the cavalry under Major Funsten, 
stationed on Jackson s extreme left, had guarded that flank 
during the fight. Towards the close when the infantry fell 
back, the Federal cavalry emboldened by the retreat of the 
Confederates, attempted to increase the disorder by charg 
ing their ranks. They w r ere speedily met by the squadrons 
of Funsten and held in check. 

Making a circuit by the Cedarville turnpike, the Federal 
horse attempted to fall suddenly upon the retreating 



46 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

infantrymen ; but they were confronted by Funsten and not 
only checked but put to flight, hurrying at breakneck speed 
towards their own lines. 

Jackson s wearied foot soldiers, who had marched thirty- 
six miles to engage an enemy nearly threefold their own, 
and having inflicted a loss upon them nearly equal to their 
own fighting force, the shadows of evening rapidly falling, 
fell back upon Newtown, some three miles south of Kerns- 
town, where the wagons were parked, and bivouacked for 
the night. 

Ashby, with his undaunted handful, which had so gal 
lantly held the right of Jackson s line, retired in good order, 
resisting the Federal advance, and guarding Jackson s rear, 
halted at Bartonsville, only a mile and a half from the 
scene of conflict. 

While the boldness of Jackson in hurling upon the 
Federal right the main body of his army, which all told 
was less than one-third the force he was attacking, misled 
the Federal commander, Shields, into supposing he was 
supported by a large force at the center and right, yet it 
was Jackson s dependence and absolute confidence in the 
resourcefulness and boldness of Ashby, and the heroism of 
his men, that gave him the confidence to make such a 
daring movement. 

Had Ashby, with his handful of cavalry, Chew s Battery, 
and a few skirmishers acted only on the defensive in trying 
to hold position, the enemy would unquestionably early in 
the engagement have discovered the weak spot, attacked 
the right in force, occupied the Valley turnpike, cutting off 
the only way by which Jackson could retreat, and probably 
have attacked him in reverse. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 47 

It was the aggressiveness of Ashby and his ingenious 
show of force by the incessant cannonading with the guns of 
Chew, the constant fusillade kept up by the skirmish line, 
and the activity of the cavalry, that entirely deceived the 
Federal commander. 



CHAPTER II 

March, 1862 

Daily skirmishes with force of Banks Addition of new companies and 
recruits swell the brigade Jackson orders it divided into two com 
mands, and Ashby tenders his resignation Jackson revokes the 
order and Ashby withdraws his resignation Jackson marches to 
McDowell and defeats Fremont Ashby screens the movement from 
Banks by constant skirmishing in his front Destroys railroad and 
telegraph between Front Royal and Strasburg Attack upon Federal 
infantry at Buckton, where Captains Sheetz and Fletcher fall 
Battle of Winchester and pursuit of Banks Ashby throws his cav 
alry between the converging armies of Shields and Fremont and 
prevents communication between them Informs Jackson fully of 
their movements Capture of Sir Percy Wyndham Death of 
Ashby Cross Keys and Port Republic. 

The day after the battle of Kernstown the Federals 
followed, and at Middletown the Federal cavalry advanced 
and endeavored to cut off Chew s Battery, which as usual 
in retreat was full in the rear, and now occupying the crest 
of a hill. The Federals had gotten on its flank and nearly 
in its rear, when out of a skirt of woods dashed Ashby 
leading a squadron and forced them to retire. 

Nearly every day similar affairs occurred, and the success 
of Ashby s cavalry under his bold leadership, gave to both 
it and him, throughout the armies of friend and foe, a 
fame that was akin to romance. 

Though beaten at Kernstown, Jackson remained in the 
eyes of the Confederates a real victor. The long, hard 
fight against a greatly superior force of the enemy was a 
signal proof of Southern valor. The report of the battle 
kindled a martial spirit. Jackson s boldness and skill 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 49 

inspired confidence, while Ashby s activity and personal 
daring made his leadership attractive. 

Fresh recruits poured in to fill up the regiments of 
infantry. The mounted companies under Ashby began to 
overflow in numbers, and from the surplus new ones were 
formed. New companies also enlisted, and among the 
latter were those of Capt. Thomas Marshall of Frederick, 
Capt. T. B. Massie of Rappahannock, Captain Harness 
from Hardy, and Capt. Murat Willis from Warrenton. 

By the 2Oth of April Ashby had twenty companies. His 
command, however, was unorganized. Though a brigade 
in size it did not have as many field officers as one regiment 
ordinarily has. Besides Ashby, Major Funsten was the 
only officer above the rank of captain. 

On the 1 5th of April General Banks wrote to McClellan : 
"The progress of Fremont in the west towards Staunton 
has alarmed Jackson, who has moved above New Market. 
Ashby is still here. We have a sleepless eye upon him, and 
are straining every nerve to advance as quickly as possible." 

The advance of Fremont was part of a concerted move 
ment to drive Jackson out of the Valley and seize Staunton. 

On the 1 7th of April Banks marched to Mt. Jackson. 
Ashby having ordered Chew s guns back to Rude s Hill, 
remained on a eminence north of the bridge. He had with 
him a small body of men. He had prepared the kindling 
to burn the bridge, but the cavalry of the enemy, with 
exceptional enterprise, charged him with a large force and 
drove him across the bridge, pursuing along the turnpike. 
A Federal cavalrymen riding up near Ashby endeavored to 
kill him with his pistol. Harry Hatcher of Loudoun county 
observing his danger, with the greatest coolness galloped 
forward and killed the trooper. Ashby paid little attention 



50 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

to this attack, being intent on getting his cavalry back to 
recapture and burn the bridge. His cavalry had gone so 
far, however, in the direction of Rude s Hill, that it was 
impossible to recall them in time. Ashby escaped from this 
conflict unscathed, but his famous white horse was shot by 
the enemy. He was led back beyond Rude s Hill and died 
near the Valley turnpike. 

On this retreat Ashby fought the advance of the enemy 
from every hilltop, and at Edenburg, where he laid for thirty 
days, he was engaged with his guns and cavalry twenty- 
eight times. 

On the 1 7th Jackson broke camp and retreated up the 
Valley. The next day he reached Harrisonburg, and there 
leaving the turnpike, marched in the direction of Swift Run 
Gap. Crossing the Shenandoah he went into camp at 
Conrad s Store in Elk Run Valley, and there stood at bay. 
The place lies between the South Fork of the Shenandoah 
and Swift Run Gap. A road running through the latter 
furnished easy communication with General Ewell, whose 
division of about 7,000 men lay encamped along the Rapidan 
River, within two days march. 

He now seemed to have abandoned the Valley and 
Staunton to the mercies of the Federals; but, in fact, 
nothing was further from his mind. 

In the meanwhile Ashby, with his cavalry, confronted 
Banks, disputing his advance and so worrying him that he 
was kept in a chronic state of bewilderment as to Jackson s 
movements. 

So completely was Banks deceived, that at one time he 
thought Jackson had crossed the Blue Ridge. He reports 
nothing to Washington except that, "Ashby is here." 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 51 

Jackson, though quiet, was intensely on the alert. From 
his mountain perch he was watching and planning. 

The road was opened to Staunton, but Banks hesitated 
to go forward. Perhaps he was waiting for Fremont, who, 
on the other side of the North Mountain, was moving 
slowly southward. 

In the meantime Jackson, who neglected nothing, was 
busily engaged in reorganizing his command. The infantry 
recruits were distributed among the old companies and the 
skeleton regiments were rapidly filled up. 

The mounted men were put into the cavalry, and Ashby 
now reported twenty-one companies. There was still no 
regimental formation, and his large brigade with only two 
field officers was an unwieldy body. There was no regi 
mental drill, and no action as regiments in the field or 
elsewhere. It was more like a tribal band held together 
by the authority of a single chief. 

Increase of numbers rather diminished than increased its 
efficiency as a whole, and made it more unmanageable. 
Jackson saw the evil and tried to correct it. 

The constant demand for Ashby s presence on the enemy s 
front, and the absence of so many of his companies on 
detached service, had hitherto proved a serious obstacle to 
reform, but at Swift Run Gap Jackson took summary 
proceedings. 

Eleven companies of the Ashby cavalry were ordered to 
report to Brigadier-General Taliaferro and to be attached 
to his command. The rest were ordered to report to 
General Winder. For Ashby was reserved the honor of 
commanding the advance and rear guards, with authority 
to call for portions of his command as necessity required. 
The effect of this order, was to virtually deprive Ashby of 



52 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

his command. But what followed is best told in Jackson s 
own words. In a letter to Colonel Taylor, Lee s assistant 
adjutant-general, of date May 5th, 1862, Jackson says: 
"I so felt the importance of having the cavalry of this 
district more thoroughly organized, drilled, and disciplined 
as to induce me to take action in the matter; but Colonel 
Ashby claimed that I could not interfere with his organiza 
tion, as he was acting under the instructions of the late 
Secretary of War, Mr. Benjamin. * * * When I took 
steps for organizing, drilling, and disciplining the cavalry, 
both of its field officers sent in their resignations ; and such 
was Colonel Ashby s influence over his command that I 
became well satisfied that if I persisted in my attempt to 
increase the efficiency of the cavalry, it would produce the 
contrary effect, as Colonel Ashby s influence, who is very 
popular with his men, would be thrown against me. Under 
these circumstances, I refrained taking further action in 
the matter (as I was in the face of the enemy), until the 
War Department should have an opportunity of acting in 
the case. At present there is no field officer on duty with 
the cavalry referred to, as Colonel Ashby and Major 
Funsten are both sick." 

This letter, written from Staunton, explains why Jackson 
about ten days before had reinstated Ashby in his command. 

It is true that Ashby s mode of fighting and managing 
his command, was quite at variance with West Point 
methods, but this was to be expected, both on account of 
the rapid increase of his force from raw recruits, and the 
active field service demanded, and also from the irregular 
nature of the service. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 53 

Jackson kept Ashby so busy fighting the enemy night and 
day, that he had no time to give to the details of organiza 
tion. 

Then, too, it may be said of Ashby s method, that it was 
most likely the best under the circumstances. He taught 
his men that war meant getting close to the enemy, and 
requiring him to fight for every foot of the ground he 
attempted to advance upon; a lesson, if choice had to be 
made, of far more importance than dress parades and 
regimental maneuvers. At any rate, his mode of fighting 
had the desired effect of beating the enemy in small as well 
as in large affairs, and at the same time of attracting the 
chivalry of Virginia and Maryland to his standard. 

On the evening of April 3Oth, General Ewell arrived at 
Swift Run Gap with an aggregate force of 8,000 men. A 
few hours before Jackson had broken camp and, ascending 
the right bank of the Shenandoah to Port Republic, crossed 
the river through Brown s Gap, and thence marched to 
Staunton along the line of the Virginia Central Railroad. 

In the meantime Ashby s cavalrymen were busy among 
the Federal outposts, keeping Banks in constant expectation 
of an attack, and acting as a screen to Jackson s movements. 

But, in some way, news of Ewell s arrival and Jackson s 
departure reached Banks, and he felt sure that Jackson was 
coming by way of Thornton s Gap to attack his rear. He 
at once broke camp and fell back to New Market. Ashby, 
with eleven companies, remained to make demonstrations 
upon Banks front and to mask Jackson s movement against 
Milroy, while the other companies went with Jackson, who 
was now on his way to McDowell. 

Lee had directed Jackson to assume an offensive course, 
but his movements were left to his own discretion. 



54 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Fearing a union of Banks and Fremont s forces, he 
determined to fight them in detail, and to make his first 
attack upon Fremont. 

Leaving Ewell with 8,000 troops in the Luray Valley, 
on the 7th of May Jackson left Staunton, where his com 
mand had halted to rest for a day, and making a junction 
with Genl. Edward Johnson west of Staunton, marched 
against Milroy, who was at McDowell. 

The cavalry that accompanied Jackson on this expedition, 
did little else but capture the enemy s pickets, and at different 
points blockade the roads leading to Jackson s rear by 
felling trees across them. 

While Jackson was marching west in search of Milroy, 
Banks pushed his cavalry advance as far as Harrisonburg. 
Here, May 7th, quite a spirited skirmish with Ashby s 
horsemen occurred. 

In his report of this, General Banks says : "The enemy 
does not show himself except by cavalry. * * * His 
chief object will doubtless be to prevent a junction of forces 
on this line with General McDowell." 

Evidently he, ignorant of Jackson s designs, thought the 
Confederates intended to abandon the Valley. A like 
impression prevailed at Washington, and when Shields, with 
his division, was shortly afterwards ordered to cross the 
ridge and join the forces of General McDowell, Banks was 
ordered to fall back to Strasburg, so as to be able to leave 
the Valley on short notice and aid McDowell if necessary. 

When Banks found that he might probably be left alone 
to confront Jackson, he began to change his opinion as to 
the designs of Stonewall. He made frequent requests for 
aid, but nothing could shake the purpose of the Federal 
administration. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 55 

The demonstrations on McDowell s front created alarm 
at Washington, and the Federal authorities might almost be 
accused of leaving Banks in the Valley, as a bait to keep 
Jackson from uniting his forces with those in front of 
McDowell. 

Jackson, even while pursuing Milroy, feared that Banks 
would get away before he returned. But he defeated Milroy 
and then began to retrace his steps. 

The fruit of Kernstown was now to be plucked by Stone 
wall. His audacity there in attacking a force so superior 
in numbers, had caused his enemies now to suspect him 
capable of any bold and unusual enterprise. 

General McDowell (May loth) writes that Jackson is in 
his front. Schenck at Franklin, nearly 100 miles distant, 
is positive that Jackson is trying to get in his rear, while 
Fremont is equally sure that Jackson is going west. 

Of course, from. these conflicting accounts, the authorities 
at Washington remained in dense ignorance and fear of 
Jackson s designs. 

Much of Jackson s success is justly attributed to the 
secrecy of his movements. His rapid action and closeness 
of counsel, joined to a bold strategy, had much to do with 
the mystery that enveloped his actions, but not a little of 
that secrecy and mystery was due to the impenetrable veil 
created by the cordon of pickets maintained by Ashby, and 
the audacious demonstrations of his cavalry. 

This was only possible where there were great activity, 
and sleepless vigilance on the part of the cavalry detach 
ments, joined to their uniform successes over the foe in the 
numerous skirmishes. 



56 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

While Jackson is away beyond the Shenandoah moun 
tains, Ashby is busy with the companies left him in screen 
ing the movements of his chief. 

May loth Ashby writes from Lacy Springs to Maj. 
James Barbour, Ewell s adjutant-general : "You will please 
inform the General (Ewell) that I have moved to this 
point on my way from New Market to Luray, but will wait 
until my companies with General Jackson, expected today, 
come up. * * * I thought it best not to leave this road 
until I had followed their column as far as Strasburg, so 
as to cause them to believe you were behind them upon this 
road." 

In the last sentence we get a glimpse of Ashby s idea of 
his duty as the leader of Jackson s cavalry; namely, to so 
use it that the movement of the main body should be 
effectually hidden from the enemy. 

Whatever he did was without reference to selfish ends. 

We find him never attempting a brilliant raid for personal 
glory. Though always close to the foe and worrying them 
in a thousand ways, it is solely to further what he conceives 
to be the plan of his commanding officer. 

On Sunday morning, May i8th, Jackson rested after his 
long march from Franklin at Mt. Solon. Ewell rode across 
the Valley and joined him here. In the interview that 
occurred between them it was resolved to go quickly and 
assail General Banks army. 

Fearing, if they attacked him by marching down the 
Valley turnpike, he would retreat to Strasburg and thence 
to McDowell s army, they determined to head him off by 
delivering the first blow at Front Royal. 

Success depended on secrecy, and secrecy on the activity 
and faithfulness of the cavalry in front of Banks. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 57 

So well was the movement hid by Ashby s cavalry that 
Jackson had reached Front Royal, routed and captured the 
force there before General Banks heard a word about it. 
And when a messenger in hot haste brought him the news, 
it was not credited, so confident was the Federal general 
that Jackson was on his front. 

Jackson, with his division and that of Genl. Edward 
Johnson, followed the Valley turnpike to New Market. Here 
he turned to the right and, passing through New Market 
Gap in Massanutton Mountain, crossed the Shenandoah 
River at Columbia bridge and united his column with 
Ewell s, that had marched down the Luray Valley. 

The Confederates went from Columbia bridge straight 
towards Front Royal, until within four and a half miles of 
the town, when they turned from the main road and 
followed one that approached the place from the south. At 
Spangler s crossroads the cavalry under Ashby and Flournoy 
were sent to destroy communications between Strasburg 
and Front Royal. 

A short distance beyond the river Ashby and Flournoy 
separated, the former taking a more western course, while 
Flournoy kept on so as to strike the railroad near Front 
Royal and come around in the rear of the Federal garrison. 

Ashby moved towards Buckton Station, between Front 
Royal and Strasburg, a point of importance, and guarded 
by three companies of Federal infantry. 

Upon discovering his approach, the Federals quickly 
took shelter in the depot building and the outhouses of a 
Mr. Jenkins. 

Thus protected they made a spirited defense. Their 
musket volleys poured into the ranks of the grey horsemen 
were not without effect, but the continued persistence of 



58 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

the mounted men finally ended all resistance. The station 
was taken and the Federals were captured or driven off. 

The victory, however, was dearly bought, for two of 
Ashby s best captains fell mortally wounded Fletcher and 
Sheetz. 

In the meantime Front Royal had been taken by Jackson. 

The Federal garrison, consisting of Colonel Kenly s First 
Maryland Infantry and two companies of the New York 
cavalry, retreated across the North and South Forks of the 
Shenandoah, A short distance beyond the latter, they were 
overtaken by Colonel Flournoy s cavalry. The rear guard 
made but a feeble resistance, then broke and fled. The 
infantry made a brief stand, but upon Flournoy s men 
charging among them, they also soon gave way. 

Company B, Captain Grimsly, charged directly up the 
turnpike supported by Company E; Colonel Flournoy on 
the left, and Companies A and K on the right. 

Colonel Kenly made a gallant effort to rally his men in 
an orchard. Here for a few minutes stout resistance was 
made, but the progress of the Confederates was not stopped. 
Charging boldly among the infantry they attacked them 
furiously with sabre and pistol, Stonewall himself near the 
front urging them on. 

Colonel Kenly fell badly wounded; his men broke and 
fled and the retreat of the Federals soon became a wild 
rout. 

As the result of this day s fight 750 prisoners were 
captured; also two parrot guns and nearly all the enemy s 
wagon train. 

Jackson camped at Cedarville that night and waited for 
the rest of his forces. Ewell s division arrived about dark. 
Jackson s old division and that of Genl. Edward Johnson, 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 59 

weary with their long march from Franklin, 120 miles 
distant, got no further than Front Royal. 

Banks was still at Strasburg. A courier despatched from 
Front Royal had ridden around the cavalry pickets of the 
Confederates and carried the information that Jackson in 
heavy force was at Front Royal. 

Banks refused to believe the messenger. 

Firmly convinced that Jackson s main body was still in 
his front on the turnpike, and that the attacking force at 
Front Royal was only a raiding body of cavalry, he took 
no steps to retreat until despatches were received from 
Winchester from fugitives who had come from Front Royal. 

His persistence in believing that the Confederate main 
body was south of him was probably due to a demonstra 
tion made in that quarter by a small body of the Ashby 
cavalry under Capt. Sam Myers. With his own company 
and those of Capt. E. H. McDonald and Capt. William 
Harness, he had boldly driven in the Federal pickets and 
erected breastworks on the hills near Strasburg in sight of 
Banks army. Moving his troops about from point to point 
partly in view of the Federals, he created the impression 
that he was supported by a large force. 

That the demonstration had the effect intended is shown 
by the fact that even after hearing from Winchester General 
Banks did not abandon Strasburg until he had sent out a 
cavalry force towards Woodstock and learned that the 
driving in of his pickets and the bold display of the Ashby 
cavalry was a "take in." 

After resting all night at Cedarville, Jackson in the 
morning set out to find and assail the foe. 

Not knowing which way General Banks would retreat, 
whether by Strasburg or Winchester, Jackson planned to 



60 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

intercept him by either road. In his official report he says : 
"In order to watch both directions and at the same time 
advance upon him if he remained in Strasburg, I deter 
mined with the main body of the army to strike the Valley 
turnpike near Middletown, a village five miles north of 
Strasburg and thirteen south of Winchester." 

As the column moved towards Middletown, Ashby led 
the advance supported by skirmishers from Taylor s brigade, 
with Chew s Battery and two parrot guns from the Rock- 
bridge Artillery. 

Ashby was directed to keep scouts on his left in order to 
prevent Banks from passing unobserved to Front Royal. 

Some time before Genl. George Stuart, temporarily in 
command of the Sixth and Second Virginia Cavalry, had 
been sent to Newtown, a village five miles north of Middle- 
town, to observe the movements of the enemy. 

While Jackson was thus preparing to confront Banks, 
the latter, whom Jackson describes in one of his letters as a 
"cautious" man, was making great speed down the turn 
pike. It was a race between the fresh troops of the Federals 
and the footsore Confederates; a race, too, in which the 
Federals had several hours start. 

General Banks was long in making up his mind, but the 
conclusion once formed he acted promptly, and his retreat 
ing column moved rapidly. 

By the time Jackson s advance reached Middletown all 
the Federal infantry had passed and were nearly to Win 
chester. 

When near Middletown Ashby discovered that the 
enemy s cavalry, 2,000 strong, was rapidly retreating, only 
trains and a large body of cavalry being seen. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 61 

Ashby, with a small body of cavalry, ordering three guns 
of Chew s Battery to follow him, swooped down on their 
right like an eagle. The guns moved with the cavalry, and 
unlimbered within a few hundred feet of the retreating 
colu mn, and opened on them with canister. Soon the road 
was so blockaded with dead men and horses that those in 
rear could not pass., and an indescribable scene of carnage 
and confusion ensued. The main body of the Federals 
escaped in detachments across the fields westward. 

General Jackson, in his official report referring to this 
incident, says : "In a few moments the turnpike, which just 
before had teemed with life, presented a most appalling 
spectacle of carnage and destruction. The road was literally 
obstructed with the mingled and confused mass of strug 
gling and dying horses and riders. Amongst the survivors 
the wildest confusion ensued, and they scattered in disorder 
in various directions, leaving some 200 prisoners in the 
hands of the Confederates." 

Ashby then pursued the enemy with the utmost vigor to 
Newtown, fighting his guns upon the skirmish line, and with 
the greatest boldness and audacity he pressed the enemy 
through the whole night. The morning following, he was 
at the head of Jackson s column, and after the battle of 
Winchester, followed the enemy on the turnpike until dark. 

Dabney, in his "Life of Jackson," says Ashby went off 
on an independent expedition towards Berryville, and sub 
sequent historians, including Henderson, have fallen into 
this error. It is thoroughly attested by soldiers who were 
with him at the time, that, at no time was Ashby anywhere 
during this particular conflict, except at the head of Jack 
son s army on the Valley turnpike. 



62 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

The Federal column was effectually sundered, the rear 
retiring towards Strasburg, though not until after a gallant 
effort was made to cut its way through towards Winchester. 

Jackson halted his force at Middletown until he could 
ascertain whether the Federal main body had passed or not. 
Upon learning that it had he pressed on towards Winchester. 

In the battle of Winchester, which occurred May 25th, 
Ashby, with the few cavalry with him, took position on 
Jackson s left. 

It has been claimed that the small number of the Ashby 
cavalry present for duty at this battle was due to the fact 
that they stopped the pursuit in order to plunder the captured 
trains. 

This was in part true, but the same may be said of many 
of the infantry, as Jackson bears witness in his report. 

The true reason was, that Ashby had only a small part 
of his command with him when he reached Middletown, 
the greater number of his men being engaged in picketing 
the roads leading to Jackson s line of march from 
McDowell, and many were detailed to guard prisoners. 
After the battle at Winchester, Ashby, notwithstanding his 
small force, kept up the pursuit to Martinsburg. 

It would seem that a vindication is due to Ashby as to 
the commonly accepted statement contained in Dabney s 
"Life of Jackson," and quoted later by Henderson in his 
"Stonewall Jackson and the American Civil War," that at 
the time of Banks defeat at Winchester, Ashby was off on 
an independent expedition, and not present on the turnpike 
in pursuit, and also as to the alleged plundering of the 
wagon trains by his cavalrymen. Such vindication is amply 
found in a letter of Col. R. P. Chew to Rev. Jas. B. Avirett, 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 63 

found in his "Ashby and His Compeers," page 269, here 
quoted in part by permission of the author 

"CHARLES TOWN, W. VA., Jan. i8th, 1867. 

REV. J. B. AVIRETT. 

DEAR SIR: * * * With reference to the affair refer 
red to by Dr. Dabney, I will give you a statement of the facts 
as far as my observation and knowledge extend. General 
Ashby followed the infantry of General Jackson with a detach 
ment of his cavalry, a portion of it having been sent down the 
Shenandoah Valley to confront the enemy at Strasburg. I 
accompanied him with my guns. He diverged from the Front 
Royal and Luray Road, and struck the railroad, as you know, 
at Buckton. I was not with him until I rejoined the head of 
the army near Cedarville. Here General Ashby, with his cav 
alry, my battery, two guns of Poague s Battery and some 
infantry skirmishers, left the turnpike and pushed for Middle- 
town. * * * After a short delay, to enable his force to 
reach its destination at the proper time, he formed his skir 
mishers and advanced rapidly across the fields to the lower part 
of the town. Here he encountered a considerable force of 
cavalry, and running up his artillery to within 100 yards 
opened on the Federals with artillery and small arms. The 
enemy crowded in the turnpike, gave way and retreated in all 
directions. Ashby dashed in among them, pistol in hand, and 
captured himself many prisoners. Major Funsten in the mean 
time had reached the turnpike below Middletown, perhaps two 
miles, and forced the retreating cavalry of the enemy towards 
the Back Road, besides capturing a large wagon train. It was 
here that our cavalry became dispersed, and the reasons why 
Ashby failed to have his cavalry in hand next morning, as I 
have understood them, were these: The cavalry we defeated 
at Middletown retreated towards North Mountain and Win 
chester, scattered, in fact completely routed. Major Funsten 
prevented those going towards Winchester from pursuing their 
retreat in that direction, and forced them to retire across the 



64 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

hills, as I said before, towards the Back Road. Our cavalry of 
course pursued, and in following a scattered foe became dis 
persed themselves. 

Ashby pushed on with my guns towards Winchester, and 
when we reached the point where Funsten struck the turnpike, 
we threw the guns into position, and Ashby with about forty 
men charged a line of the enemy s infantry between us and 
Christman s house. 

General Ashby had started from New Market with but a 
part of his cavalry. They had marched until the horses were 
exhausted, without rest day or night ; and when the enemy 
became dispersed, and fled in the greatest confusion, our cav 
alry scattered in pursuit of them. Major Funsten had but a 
very small detachment when he reached him, and we had 
passed the wagon train where the plundering was reported to 
have occurred, and the cavalry were not there, and unless they 
returned to the wagon train after we passed it, it was the 
infantry and not the cavalry who got the benefit of the spoils. 
General Ashby pushed the enemy with his small force of cav 
alry and my guns through Newtown, and until dark, when we 
went into camp to feed our exhausted horses, having pushed 
the enemy from hill to hill between Middletown and Newtown. 

General Jackson now pressed forward and night found him 
before the enemy at Winchester. * * * General Ashby 
was with General Jackson on the morning of the battle of Win 
chester, while the latter was engaged in planting his batteries. 

I know nothing of his subsequent action until after the battle. 

I overtook him below Stephenson s depot, dashing upon the 
enemy whenever an opportunity offered, with a handful of his 
men. 

I never heard of any independent enterprise of General 
Ashby, nor do I believe he was anywhere but at the front of 
the army with a small force of his cavalry. 

The rapidity of General Jackson s movements added to the 
confusion attending the march of a large army, and prevented 
our cavalry from re-forming quickly after they had scattered 
in pursuit of the enemy on different roads and across country. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 65 

I always believed that the matter was misrepresented to 
General Jackson, and hence his severe criticism of the cavalry. 

It was certainly unfortunate for Ashby as well as the cause, 
that more of his men were not with him on that day, as an 
excellent opportunity was afforded to dash upon and pursue 
the enemy. Yet I do not believe he was to blame for their 
absence. 

It was then popular to say that Ashby exercised no control 
over his men beyond personal influence, and that there was no 
discipline in his command. It was said that his successes were 
gained, not by skillful maneuver, but by the reckless dash and 
courage of himself and men; but I will do him the justice to 
say that he could always command more men for duty from 
the same muster-roll than any cavalry commander under whom 
I have sinced served. * * * I have served at different 
times during the war, with almost all the prominent cavalry 
leaders of the Army of Northern Virginia, and I have never 
seen one who possessed the ability to inspire troops under fire 
with the courage and enthusiasm that Ashby s presence always 
excited. 

He adopted in the beginning of the war the tactics with 
cavalry by which, later in the war, other cavalry commanders 
could only secure success ; namely, always to meet the enemy 
with bold and determined charges, and when they were 
defeated to press them with the utmost vigor." 

Jackson had ventured far and the Federals were gathering 
for his destruction. It was necessary to retrace his steps 
somewhat hurriedly if he wished to save the spoils of 
victory and avoid defeat, if not destruction. 

The object of the movement which was to arrest the 
advance on Richmond had been accomplished. Besides, 
Banks had been badly beaten, and with a loss of one-third 
of his army had been driven across the Potomac. 

The retreat was more full of peril to Jackson s army than 
the advance had been, for from the west and east armies 



66 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

were marching to cut off his retreat, while from the north 
his rear would be threatened by a force superior to his own. 

Jackson did not hurry. Four days after the battle of 
Winchester, on the 29th of May, he laid siege to Harper s 
Ferry, and occupied the Loudoun heights as if he had con 
cluded to move on Washington. 

Next day, on the 3Oth, he began to retire and was fol 
lowed as far as Charles Town by Banks and Saxton with 
14,000 Federals. By the evening- of the 3ist, his main body 
was in Strasburg, where he halted for the rear of his 
column to close up. 

Fremont, marching from Wardensville and making for 
the same point, had encountered Ashby.. Whatever fault 
Jackson might find with his cavalry for plundering, he 
always placed them on guard at the point of greatest 
danger. 

Ashby was soon supported by Ewell, and the advance of 
Fremont was arrested. 

Meantime, Jackson s rear column was closed up, and he 
fell back to Harrisonburg. From that point Jackson retired 
to Port Republic, which was twelve miles eastward. In 
this march, it was Ashby s command which, picketing and 
scouting in all directions, kept Jackson informed as to the 
movements of the enemy. On Shields front towards Front 
Royal hung Ashby s men. In the path too, of Fremont, 
as we have seen, were they. And in the rear of Jackson 
nearly all the time. 

On the 2Oth of June the Sixth and Second Virginia 
Cavalry were transferred to Ashby s command, and for 
more than a year the Sixth remained a part of the Ashby 
brigade. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 67 

On Monday, June the 2nd, Jackson retreated to Mt. 
Jackson, closely followed by Fremont. The cavalry under 
Ashby protected the rear, engaging almost constantly in 
skirmishes with the enemy. 

The Federals evidently wanted vengeance for Banks 
disaster, and frequently with great gallantry charged the 
Confederate rear guard. 

On the afternoon of the 2nd, Jackson crossed the North 
Fork of the Shenandoah, the cavalry burning the bridge 
in spite of the efforts of the Federals to prevent it. 

On the 5th Jackson reached Harrisonburg. The next 
day Fremont, who had been delayed by the burning of the 
bridge across the North Fork, was close at hand. 

Jackson withdrew towards Port Republic as the head of 
the Federal column approached., The same evening Ashby 
was attacked by the Federal cavalry under Percy Wyndham, 
an English adventurer and soldier of fortune, commanding 
the First New Jersey Cavalry, w r ho, greedy of Ashby s 
fame, wished 

"To pluck the budding honors on his crest 
To weave them on his own." 

He openly avowed his intention of capturing Ashby, and 
was said to be watching an opportunity to make a successful 
dash for that purpose. 

Ashby was, however, prepared for them, and as they 
approached his line of battle draw r n up across the road and 
extending into the fields, some dismounted men in a wheat- 
field, stationed there for that purpose, fired into the flank 
of the Federal column. In the confusion which followed 
in their ranks, Ashby s men charged, capturing Wyndham 
and the colors of the First New Jersey Regiment, and 



68 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

inflicting an acknowledged loss of thirty-six killed and 
wounded upon the Federals. 

This repulse caused the Federals under General Bayard 
to come forward with reinforcements of all arms. Ashby 
anticipating him, asked and received from General Ewell 
the support of the First Maryland and Fifty-eighth Virginia 
regiments of infantry. 

In the hotly contested fight which ensued the skirmish 
line of the Fifty-eighth Virginia was forced back, and 
Ashby while rallying them, having ordered in the reserve, 
had his horse shot under him, and rising and leading on 
foot fell himself, pierced by a bullet, and died almost 
instantly. His death at the morning tide of his fame, with 
his face to the foe, and in defense of his beloved country, 
was such as he would have wished it to be, and in perfect 
keeping with his heroic ideal. 

Beloved and idolized by his command, the news of his 
death, which quickly spread among the men, produced 
general and profound sorrow, which was mingled with a 
resolve for vengeance. 

While the admiration of Ashby s prowess had extended 
even to the enemy, yet the news of his death encouraged 
greatly the opposing Federal cavalry, and was hailed by the 
Federal authorities as a distinctive loss to the Confederate 
cause, and, as to the Union side, equal to a Federal victory. 

On June 7th the armies of both Jackson and Fremont 
remained comparatively quiet. The latter having been 
roughly handled the day before, its commander was dis 
posed to even more than his usual caution and characteristic 
indecision, and his slowness of motion gave to the wearied 
Confederates a moment of enjoyable repose. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 69 

But Shields was approaching Port Republic from Luray 
by a road on the east side of the South Fork of the Shen- 
andoah, skirting the foothills of the Blue Ridge. 

He seems to have believed that Jackson was in full retreat 
before Fremont, and accordingly moved his forces as 
rapidly as the unfavorable condition of the road would 
permit, having Tyler s brigade attended by considerable 
cavalry, far in advance of his main body. His purpose was 
to make a dash across the river at Port Republic and destroy 
the bridge before Jackson could reach there, and thus inter 
cept his retreat eastward across the mountain through 
Brown s Gap. 

The plan was well conceived, and that the execution of 
it was not a success was more due to the blundering good 
luck on the part of the Confederates than to a lack of enter 
prise and dash on the part of the Federals. 

The cavalry of Shields, with one gun of a light battery, 
actually had possession of the eastern end of the bridge, 
Jackson himself having dashed across it in advance of them, 
leaving most of his staff behind and escaping capture him 
self only by a hairbreadth. 

The Federals were driven back by the timely arrival of 
one gun of a battery near at hand and a battalion of infantry. 

Colonel Munford, who with the Ashby brigade had been 
operating upon the flanks of Fremont, now arrived and 
pursued the retreating Federals some distance in the direc 
tion of Conrad s Store, capturing many prisoners and much 
plunder, and occupied the rest of the day in arresting 
Shields advance, though the nature of the country did not 
favor cavalry operations. 1 

1 Account by Genl. T. T. Munford. 



/o A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Fremont had heard the sound of the brief cannonade at 
Port Republic on the 7th, and supposing Shields had arrived 
there, on the morning of the 8th put his army in motion and 
cautiously advanced in that direction, but soon found his 
progress arrested by the pickets of Swell s division. 

Jackson had planned that Ewell should hold Fremont in 
check on the west side of the Shenandoah, while he with 
his own division would deal with Shields on the east side 
of the river. 

Ewell, with about 6,000 infantry, five batteries of artil 
lery, and 500 cavalry, was opposing his adversary, whose 
army numbered 10,000 infantry, with eight batteries of 
artillery, and 2,000 cavalry. 2 

In an all-day battle near Cross Keys, at times fought with 
great fierceness, Ewell was victorious, having driven back 
Fremont and camped upon the field. The losses on both 
sides, killed, wounded, and missing, were 972, of which the 
Federal loss was 684. 

The cavalry does not appear to have been heavily 
engaged. 

The next day, June the 9th, was fought perhaps the most 
hotly contested battle of the Valley campaign, at Port 
Republic, which, says Henderson (Vol. I, page 385), was 
the most costly to the army of the Valley during the whole 
campaign. Out of 5,900 Confederates engaged 804 were 
disabled. The Federal losses were heavier, being 1,001 
killed, wounded, and missing. 

The ground was of such nature, being heavily wooded on 
both sides of the road, that the cavalry could not operate 
except in pursuit. But the battery of Chew, which always 



2 Figures given by Henderson, Vol. I, page 368. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 71 

accompanied the Ashby cavalry, did fine service. Being 
ordered from the field of Cross Keys on the morning of the 
9th, it crossed the river at Port Republic, and came upon 
the field just as the Stonewall Brigade was being driven 
back with heavy loss by Tyler s Federal brigade, and under 
the heavy fire of a Federal battery well and strongly posted 
on an eminence near the Lewis house. 

The gunners of Chew s Battery promptly got the range 
of this battery and poured upon it a terrific enfilading fire, 
crippling the enemy s guns, just at the time that Taylor s 
brigade of infantry had moved around through the forest 
and attacked it and its infantry support in front and flank. 

Taylor s brigade charged through the battery and cap 
tured it. 

Chew s Battery then moved rapidly to a position near the 
Lewis house, and opened upon the retreating columns of 
the enemy, producing great havoc amongst them, and joined 
in the pursuit for about two miles. 

The cavalry led by Munford now dashed upon the retreat 
ing Federals and pursued them for nine miles, when the 
pursuit was arrested near Conrad s Store by the presence 
of Shields, who had arrived there with his main force of 
two brigades, which were deployed in line of battle. 

Fremont, after an ineffectual attempt to aid Shields by 
throwing a few shells from his batteries east of the river, 
and witnessing Shields discomfiture, retired to a point 
north of Harrisonburg. Shields withdrew to Luray. 

The cavalry brigade continued to watch both armies, the 
large part with Chew s Battery crossing to the east side of 
the river for the purpose of observing Fremont. 



CHAPTER III 

June, 1802 

Jackson marches from Brown s Gap to the Chickahominy His ingeni 
ous ruses to deceive Shields and Fremont Munford screens Jack 
son s movement and follows him with the Second Virginia Cavalry 
Genl. Beverly Robertson succeeds in command of Valley cavalry 
Reorganization of the Ashby cavalry Robertson an organizer 
and disciplinarian Brigade leaves Valley and joins Jackson near 
Richmond, July loth, Company B of Twelfth Virginia Cavalry being 
left in the Valley Fighting at Gordonsville and Cedar Run Genl. 
J. E. B. Stuart leads cavalry in a reconnoissance Brandy Station 
Catlett s Station Thoroughfare Gap Sudley Road fight and death 
of Major Patrick Second Manassas campaign Advance into 
Maryland Robertson assigned to Department of North Carolina, 
and Munford again commands the brigade Poolesville and Cramp- 
ton s Gap Affair at Darksville Capture of Harper s Ferry 
Brigade covers Lee s recrossing of Potomac Raid into Pennsylva 
nia Col. William E. Jones takes command Various skirmishes 
in the Valley White s Battalion attached to brigade Snickers Gap 
and Castleman s Ferry Company D of the Eleventh at Romney, 
and capture of Capt. E. H. McDonald General Jones in command 
of the Valley District Expedition to Moorefield Scarcity of forage 
Midwinter diversions in the Valley. 

After defeating Shields at Port Republic, Jackson with 
drew into Brown s Gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and 
there rested his footsore and battle-worn soldiers until June 
1 7th. On that day, receiving orders from General Lee, he 
broke camp and marched towards the Chickahominy, where 
he arrived in time to join the commander-in-chief in the 
famous Seven Days Battles before Richmond, in which 
McClellan and his myriads were beaten and driven with 
great loss to the cover of his gunboats. 

So successfully was the movement of Jackson screened 
from the doughty Federal generals in the Shenandoah Valley 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 73 

that between the I7th and 28th of June he had made the 
march from Brown s Gap to near Richmond, 130 miles, and 
had been successfully participating in the defeat of 
McClellan for two days before either Shields, Fremont, 
Banks, or even the authorities at Washington were aware 
that he had moved from the scene of his late victory over 
Shields near Port Republic. 

The success of this movement depended primarily upon its 
being hidden from the observation and knowledge of the 
enemy. That duty devolved upon the cavalry and was per 
formed with eminent skill and resourcefulness by Col. 
Thomas T. Munford, who succeeded to the command of 
Jackson s cavalry after the death of the lamented Ashby. 

Referring to this, says Henderson in his " Stonewall Jack 
son and the American Civil War" : "The cavalry, though 
far from support, was ordered to maneuver boldly to pre 
vent all information reaching the Federals, and to follow 
Fremont as long as he retreated. 

"The bearers of flags of truce were impressed with the 
idea that the Southerners were advancing with great 
strength. The outpost line was made as close as possible; 
no civilians were allowed to pass, and the Confederate 
troopers, in order that they should have nothing to tell if 
they were captured, were kept in ignorance of the position of 
the infantry. 

"Jackson s real intention was concealed from every one 
except Colonel Munford. The officers of his staff fared 
worse than the remainder of the army. Not only were they 
debarred from their commander s confidence, but they 
became the unconscious instruments whereby false intelli 
gence was spread. The engineers were directed to prepare a 



74 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

series of maps of the Valley; and all who acquired a knowl 
edge of this carefully divulged order told their friends in 
confidence that Jackson was going in pursuit of Fremont. 
As these friends told their friends without loss of time, it 
was soon the well-settled conviction of everybody that noth 
ing was further from Jackson s intention than an evacuation 
of the Valley." 

After masking Jackson s eastward movement, Colonel 
Munford returned from the pursuit of Shields, and receiving 
orders from Jackson to follow him to the Chickahominy 
with his regiment, the Second Virginia Cavalry, he turned 
over command of the Ashby brigade, which had just been 
reorganized, to Col. Beverly Robertson, a West Pointer, 
who undertook to inaugurate for it a discipline more in keep 
ing with West Point ideals than it had heretofore known. 
No curtailment of personal liberty either of civilian or soldier 
is accepted without protest, and it is needless to say that 
Colonel Robertson s discipline did not make him especially 
popular with soldiers who had followed Ashby, and looked 
upon the suggestion of needed discipline as a reflection upon 
their fighting qualities. So it became the popular sentiment 
among the men that Robertson was more at drilling than he 
was at fighting. 

Nevertheless the brigade did some splendid fighting under 
him in the campaign against Pope, which shortly followed, 
and for which both the brigade and the commander received 
high praise in official reports of that campaign. It is well 
known, however, that the brigade won fame for the com 
mander and not the commander for the brigade, and that 
Robertson, not being a capable commander in the field, was 
soon after that, at the suggestion of General Stuart, relieved 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 75 

of the command of the brigade and sent to South Carolina to 
organize the cavalry for which he was particularly fitted. 

Munford, with the Second Virginia Cavalry, overtook 
Jackson at Ashland, and led his advance every day in the 
Seven Days Battles around Richmond. 

The Ashby brigade, including Chew s Battery, now under 
Colonel Robertson, being left for a time to observe the 
movements of the Federals in die Valley, moved east of the 
Shenandoah to near Harrisonburg, Fremont having retired 
to a short distance north of that place, and Shields occupy 
ing Luray. 

Here a partial reorganization of the brigade was under 
taken. The twenty-six companies that had composed the 
command of Ashby were still known as the "Seventh Regi 
ment," and though numerically of brigade proportions, had 
been commanded by only two field officers, Genl. Turner 
Ashby and Maj. Oliver Funsten. 

Although Ashby had been promoted to the rank of brig 
adier-general on May the 27th, the campaign had been too 
active under him to allow time for reorganization. 

The overgrown Seventh Regiment was now reduced to 
the ten original companies. Ten other companies composed 
the Twelfth Regiment, and the remaining companies were 
formed into the Seventeenth Battalion. 

An election of officers now took place. While the regi 
mental officers now elected, were preferred by the men for 
gallant and skillful services under Ashby, and were most 
capable and well qualified for commanders, yet, owing either 
to General Jackson s not recommending them, or to the War 
Department s arbitrary overruling of the elections for rea- 



76 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

sons known only to the officials, they did not receive com 
missions. 

The reorganization was completed a few days later 
between Conrad s Store and Swift Run Gap, when Col. 
William E. Jones, late of the First Virginia Cavalry, was 
appointed colonel of the Seventh Regiment, Capt. Richard 
Dulaney lieutenant-colonel, and Capt. Thomas Marshall 
major. Col. Asher W. Harman was appointed colonel of 
the Twelfth; Lieut. Richard Burks, late adjutant of the 
Second Virginia Cavalry, was appointed lieutenant-colonel, 
and Capt. Thomas B. Massie major. Capt. William Patrick 
was appointed major of the Seventeenth Battalion. 

The Second Virginia Cavalry, under Colonel Munford. 
and the Sixth Virginia, under Colonel Flournoy, which had 
been under Genl. George H. Stuart of Maryland, had been 
at the request of the officers commanding them, and upon 
the recommendation of General Ewell, transferred and 
assigned to Ashby s command. 1 

The brigade, therefore, at this time consisted of the Sec 
ond, Sixth, Seventh and Twelfth regiments and the 
Seventeenth Battalion, all Virginia cavalry, and Chew s Bat 
tery of horse artillery. 

Col. William E. Jones of the First Virginia Cavalry, and 
Col. Beverly Robertson of the Fourth, each having failed of 
re-election to the command of those regiments, and both of 
them having been West Pointers, and having been assured 
of commands in the Confederate Army by the authorities at 
Richmond, were now assigned to this brigade, Jones as 
colonel of the Seventh, and Beverly Robertson to command 
of the brigade with rank of brigadier-general. 



1 Statement of General Munford in a letter to the reviser of this work. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 77 

The Second Virginia Cavalry, under Colonel Munford, 
as before stated, was temporarily detached to act with 
Jackson s division in front of Richmond. 

The success of Lee on the Chickahominy, to which Jack 
son had so signally contributed, had the effect of with 
drawing Shields, Fremont, and Banks from the Valley, and 
their armies marching eastward by way of Sperryville and 
Warrenton, were consolidated into the army of Genl. John 
D. Pope, a new army sent out to protect Washington, or 
to co-operate with McClellan in the attempt upon Richmond, 
as circumstances might require. 

This army was then occupying positions on the upper 
branches of the Rappahannock River, and numbered 47,000 
to 50,000 men of all arms. 

With this army were the two cavalry divisions of Bayard 
and Buford, 6,000 strong, and led by those enterprising 
Federal cavalrymen. 

Upon the withdrawal of the Federal armies from the 
Valley, Robertson s brigade was ordered to join Jackson 
near Richmond, which it did immediately, reaching there 
about July loth. 

Company B of the Twelfth Virginia, under Lieutenants 
Milton Rouss and George Baylor, having been left behind 
to operate in the lower Valley. 

On the 1 3th of July Jackson, with Ewell s corps, was 
ordered to Gordonsville to dispute the advance of Pope, 
which on the 27th of July had been pushed as far as the 
Rapidan River, the upper fords of which were picketed by 
a portion of Robertson s cavalry. 

Jackson was soon after reinforced by A. P. Hill s 
division. 



78 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

The Robertson brigade, operating upon the front of this 
advance, was now strengthened by the return of the Second 
Virginia Cavalry under Colonel Munford. 

For several days prior to the 2nd of August the Con 
federate pickets were driven in, but on the 2nd a reconnois- 
sance in force was made, by the Federals proceeding from 
Raccoon Ford to Orange Court House. The reconnoiter- 
ing force consisted of the Fifth New York Cavalry, Colonel 
De Forest commanding, and the First Vermont, under Col. 
Charles H. Thomkins, all under command of Genl. S. W. 
Crawford. 

After driving in the Confederate pickets, the reserve, con 
sisting of Company F of the Eleventh Virginia, Captain 
Dangerfield in command, was pushed to half a mile beyond 
Orange Court House- 
Here the Seventh Virginia, under Col. William E. Jones, 
appeared upon the scene. Throwing out sharpshooters from 
McGruder s company, the enemy s advance guard was soon 
driven in, and the Seventh followed in a charge which 
turned back the head of the enemy s column and created 
much confusion in his main body. 

The main street of Orange Court House was packed with 
the contending horsemen, the choice spirits of both sides 
pushing into the thick of the fight, the timid withdrawing. 

In the meantime Major Marshall, with a squadron, made 
a flank attack by the railroad depot ; but his own party was 
soon struck in the flank by a Federal company, that forced 
back his command and cut off his retreat. His pistols being 
empty, he tried to cut his way through, but was knocked 
senseless by a sabre stroke. 

Colonel Jones had by this time come up to the head of the 
regiment, and shot the Federal trooper, who was about to 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 79 

kill Marshall, but so hard was the resistance that Marshall 
remained in the hands of the Federals. For while this was 
going on, another flanking party of Federals had attacked 
Jones right and rear. 

Lieutenants Neff and Mohler of Company K wheeled 
and charged this body, but were followed by about a dozen 
men only, and the enemy for the moment checked, returned 
to the charge and drove the rear companies up the plank 
road, wounding and capturing quite a number. 

The main body of the Seventh, however, kept on their 
course, driving the enemy through the town ; but soon again 
returned, having observed in the open field the great super 
iority of the enemy in numbers. 

In this fight the Seventh had about 200 men present. 
The two Federal regiments must have had double that 
number. 

"To Lieutenant Smith, commanding Company A; Cap 
tain McGruder, commanding Company B ; Company C, 
commanded by Captain Myers at first, and, when he was 
severely wounded, by Lieutenant Myers ; and to Company D, 
commanded by Lieutenant Brown," says Colonel Jones in 
his report, "my thanks are especially due, for noble bearing 
in the fight. Sergt. Clarence L. Broadus 2 of Company D is 
recommended for promotion for distinguished gallantry." 

Colonel Jones acknowledged a loss of ten wounded and 
forty missing. 

About an hour after the fight the Federals retreated, 
followed by the Seventh, which being reinforced by the 

2 This gallant soldier returned to his command after the loss of his 
arm, and continued in the service to the close of the war. He served 
the first year of the war in the Tenth Virginia Infantry, and in 1862 
re-enlisted in Ashby s cavalry. From Jones Official Report. 



8o A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Sixth Virginia, under Colonel Flournoy, pursued the 
Federals vigorously as far as Rapidan Station. 

The action at Orange Court House was soon after fol 
lowed by an advance of Jackson s army, which now con 
sisted of the divisions of Ewell, A. P. Hill, and his own; 
that of A. P. Hill having recently arrived. 

Having learned that only a portion of Pope s army was at 
Culpeper Court House, Jackson resolved to attack it before 
the arrival of the remainder, and on August 7th moved 
from Gordonsville for that purpose. 

On the morning of August 8th, the Federal cavalry north 
of the Rapidan was driven back by ours under Brigadier- 
General Robertson. 

On the evening of the 8th, the Seventeenth Battalion and 
a part of the Sixth Regiment marched towards Madison 
Court House. 

The main force of the Federal cavalry retreated towards 
Culpeper Court House, making a feeble resistance. A 
part fell back towards Madison Court House, and were 
pursued by a portion of the Sixth, under Colonel Flournoy, 
and the Seventeenth Battalion, under Major Patrick. At 
several points they attempted to rally, but each time being 
vigorously charged they broke and finally ran, leaving about 
twenty wounded and prisoners in the hands of the Con 
federates. 

For five miles the chase continued, the Seventeenth Bat 
talion and the Sixth Regiment pursuing in the direction of 
Madison Court House. 

On the Qth was fought the battle of Cedar Run, in which 
Robertson s cavalry took little part, the main body being 
stationed on Jackson s left, while Colonel Jones, with the 
Seventh, who had been sent to Madison Court House, 



191 



MAJ. WILLIAM PATRICK 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 81 

returned towards evening and after dark passed to Jackson s 
right and front. 

The battle of Cedar Run was still going on., Jackson 
was still pursuing Banks, eager to drive him beyond Cul- 
peper Court House. 

In the darkness, the Seventh charged a body of the 
Federal cavalry and forced them to take shelter under their 
infantry. 

A prisoner captured in this charge gave the first informa 
tion of Seigel having arrived to reinforce Banks. Upon 
this being told to Jackson the pursuit was discontinued. 

The following day all the cavalry with Jackson was put 
under the command of Genl. J. E. B. Stuart. 

Robertson s brigade, which was now added to Stuart s 
division, consisted of the Second Virginia, Col. T. T. Mun- 
ford ; the Sixth Virginia, Col. P. S. Flournoy ; the Seventh 
Virginia, Col. W. E. Jones; the Twelfth Virginia, Col. A. 
W. Harman, and the Seventeenth Battalion, under Major 
Patrick. 

On the 2Oth of August Stuart s command led the advance 
of Jackson s army in its movement against Pope. 

The Second Virginia Cavalry, under Colonel Munford, 
was ordered to keep on the left of Jackson s army and keep 
pace with its movements. 

The rest of Robertson s brigade, accompanied by Stuart, 
marched by way of Stephensburg, a village four miles east 
of Culpeper, and when nearing Brandy Station encoun 
tered a force of Federal cavalry. 

The Seventh Virginia led the Confederate advance and 
soon engaged the Federals, who after a stubborn resistance 
were forced back beyond Brandy Station upon their support. 



82 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

It was now evident that the enemy was in heavy force, 
and in fact they had five regiments on the field, the First 
New Jersey, the Second New York, the First Pennsylvania, 
the First Maine, and the First Rhode Island. 

General Robertson, with the Sixth, Twelfth, and Seven 
teenth battalions, was sent to the left to sweep across the 
open country and flank the enemy s position. 

At first, as Stuart advanced, the enemy fell back along the 
road towards Rappahannock Station, but about midway 
between Brandy Station and Rappahannock Station, he 
made a determined stand in solid columns of squadrons on 
the ridge, with skirmishers deployed. 

With these the Seventh soon became engaged, and quickly 
followed with a charge. Immediately opposing the Seventh 
were the First New Jersey, the Second New York, and the 
First Pennsylvania. 

Says the Federal general, Bayard, in his report, "As soon 
as the leading regiment of the enemy came up, they formed 
and quickly charged with loud shouts and wild yelling. The 
sudden charge and yells of the enemy seemed to strike panic 
in the men, so that they soon began running." 

Robertson was now sent for in haste to support the 
Seventh. He had mistaken the road and borne too much to 
the left. The enemy, however, did not profit by the delay, 
and Robertson arrived in time to join in the battle. The 
remaining regiments were hurled in succession upon the 
enemy s main body, which fell back and took refuge under 
the protection of his batteries planted beyond the river. 

"In the action at Brandy Station," says Stuart, "Colonel 
Jones, whose regiment so long bore the brunt of the fight, 
behaved with marked courage and determination." The 
enemy occupying woods and hedgerows with dismounted 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 83 

men, armed with long-range carbines, were repeatedly dis 
lodged by his bold onslaughts, while Flournoy and Harman 
nobly supported the Seventh at the critical moment. 

In this engagement General Robertson acknowledged a 
loss of three killed and fourteen wounded. He captured 
sixty-four prisoners, many of whom were wounded. The 
Federal loss nowhere appears in the reports. 

The armies of Lee and Pope now lay confronting each 
other on the opposite banks of the Rappahannock. 

On the morning of August 2ist, with the apparent design 
of opening a way for a general advance of the Confederates, 
Stuart directed Col. T. L. Rosser, commanding the Fifth 
Virginia Cavalry, to move with his command for Beverly 
Ford, and to re-seize the opposite bank by a sudden attack. 
This was successfully accomplished by Colonel Rosser, and 
enough of the bank \vas held to make a crossing practicable 
for the infantry. 

In the meantime Robertson s brigade had crossed at a 
ford above and prepared the way for an advance. For some 
reason there was a change of plan, and Stuart s cavalry was 
withdrawn to the south bank of the Rappahannock before 
night. 

As the positions of the Confederates on the south bank 
were commanded by those occupied by the Federals who 
guarded all the fords, it was determined to seek a more 
favorable place to cross higher up the river and thus gain 
the enemy s right. Accordingly, Lee s army on the 2ist 
began marching up the river, Jackson in front. 

On the 23rd Jackson crossed Hazel River and proceeded 
up the Rappahannock. The same evening a portion of his 
troops crossed the Rappahannock, but owing to a heavy 
rain they recrossed on a temporary bridge during the night. 



84 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

In the meantime Stuart with his cavalry was engaged in 
harassing the enemy s rear. On the morning of the 22nd 
he crossed the Rappahannock at Waterloo Bridge and Hart s 
Ford, with all of his division except the Seventh and Third 
Virginia Cavalry and two pieces of artillery. He reached 
Warrenton in the afternoon and moved in the direction of 
Catlett s Station with the design of destroying the railroad 
bridge that crosses Cedar Creek at that point. 

Had the object of the expedition been accomplished, 
Pope s line of communication would have been sundered, 
and the importance of success spurred Stuart to go forward, 
though a terrific thunderstorm drenched his troops and 
enveloped them with thick darkness. The downpour, too, 
threatened to make the streams impassable on his return. 

Approaching Catlett s Station under cover of the stormy 
night, the Federal pickets were captured by the direction of 
Colonel Rosser, who commanded the advance, and his bold 
horsemen were soon in the ; midst of the enemy s encamp 
ments. 

Pope s headquarters were near by, and they were guided 
to the spot by a captured negro. Pope himself was away, 
but many of his official household were there, and most of 
them with much valuable plunder were taken possession of. 
Among the captured articles was Pope s despatch book, 
revealing his plans and describing his embarrassments. 

The destruction of the railroad bridge, the main object of 
the expedition, was not accomplished on account of the dark 
ness and the heavy rain, but Stuart returned with much 
plunder and 300 prisoners. 

Pope, now aided by the high waters, massing his army 
between Waterloo Bridge and Warrenton, seemed to defy 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 85 

his foes. But while Longstreet and Hill engaged his atten 
tion in front, Jackson began the celebrated flank movement 
which put him in Pope s rear. 

Crossing the Rappahannock four miles above Hensons 
Mills on the 25th he reached Salem in the night. Next day, 
26th, he passed through Thoroughfare Gap and, going 
through Gainesville, reached Bristoe Station on the railroad. 

Stuart with his command was ordered to take part in 
Jackson s movement. 

Early on the morning of the 26th he crossed the Rappa 
hannock at Hensons Mills, and at Gainesville joined Jack 
son s column. To him and his command was entrusted the 
duty of guarding the two flanks. The main portion was 
kept on Jackson s right towards the enemy. 

After crossing Broad Run, a few miles above Bristoe 
Station, the cavalry fronted towards the enemy, still in the 
direction of the Rappahannock, and covered Jackson s 
movement on the railroad bridge. When near it the Second 
Virginia, under Colonel Munford, made a bold dash and 
captured the station and most of the occupants. 

From this point, by order of Jackson, Stuart, with the 
portion of Robertson s brigade not on outpost duty, pro 
ceeded to Manassas. 

In the meantime, soon after the arrival of the Con 
federates at Bristoe Station, a train of cars passed, and 
escaping capture gave the alarm at all points north. The 
Federals, therefore, were fully prepared to give the Con 
federates a warm reception at Manassas, where there were 
immense quantities of army stores which were supposed to 
be securely stacked away. Jackson s tired and hungry men 
sorely needed these and Stuart was sent to take them, 



86 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Trimble s brigade of infantry being also ordered to support 
him. 

The cavalry advanced until halted by the interior senti 
nels, and also being saluted by a fire of canister. On 
account of the darkness and ignorance of the ground, the 
cavalry waited until Trimble s command arrived, when the 
latter advanced and took the station. 

The 27th was spent by the cavalry in chasing fugitives 
of the enemy s cavalry, and in capturing Pope s stragglers, 
that like rats leaving a sinking ship, were making their way 
towards a place of safety. One company D of the Seven 
teenth Battalion, Robertson s brigade near Manassas cap 
tured over 100 of them. 

On the morning of the 28th the main body of Robertson s 
brigade rendezvoused near Sudley Church. 

Jackson s forces were massed between Sudley Ford and 
the turnpike on Bull Run. Longstreet was not yet through 
Thoroughfare Gap, and the enemy was moving in between 
them to cut off Jackson. 

On the 28th Stuart proceeded with portions of his two 
brigades towards Thoroughfare Gap, to establish communi 
cation with Longstreet. He reached the vicinity of Hay- 
market, capturing a detachment of the enemy on his way, 
but went no further, as Haymarket was occupied by a large 
force of the enemy, and he could see "Longstreet struggling 
through the gorge." 3 He sent a trusty messenger to Long- 
street, and retired towards evening to rejoin Jackson, who 
was already engaged with the enemy. 

The next morning, the 29th, he again set out intending, 
if possible, to reach Longstreet. Soon after leaving the 



3 From Stuart s Report. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 87 

Sudley Road, his command was fired into from woods on 
the roadside. It was now discovered that a Federal force 
was between Jackson and his baggage train. 

Major Patrick, 1 commanding the Seventeenth Battalion 
(afterwards a part of the Eleventh Virginia Cavalry), was 
sent to take care of the baggage. Infantry also was sent to 
assist him, and some artillery. 

Major Patrick was soon attacked by the enemy, but with 
a spirited charge drove them off. The loss to the Con 
federates was great, for in the charge Major Patrick fell 
mortally wounded. Says Stuart, "The sacrifice was noble, 
but the loss to us irreparable." 

In the meantime Stuart, proceeding on his way, met the 
head of Longstreet s column between Haymarket and 
Gainesville, and informed Longstreet of Jackson s position. 
Here he took position with his command on Longstreet s 
right, and advanced directly upon Manassas, while Long- 
street pressed down the turnpike to move into position on 
Jackson s right. 

General Robertson with his brigade had the advance, and 
soon reported the enemy in front. 

Rosser with the Fifth was soon engaged with the enemy 
on the left of the road, and Robertson on the right met the 
enemy moving towards Sudley. This was a critical 



j. Wm. Patrick, -of the Seventeenth Battalion of Virginia Cavalry, 
was born near Waynesboro, Augusta County, Virginia, December 22, 
1822. Was captain of the Augusta Troop when the State of Virginia 
seceded from the Union, and on that day started for Harper s Ferry. 

This troop was then made Company E, of the First Virginia Cavalry, 
under Col. J. E. B. Stuart. 

Captain Patrick was commissioned major in the summer of 1862, 
and assigned to command of the Seventeenth Battalion of Virginia 
Cavalry, which he commanded with ability until August 29, 1862, on 



88 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

moment, for an army corps of Federals was in motion to 
strike Longstreet s flank. 

In order to arrest the Federals, or at least to retard them, 
Stuart resorted to a ruse, and ordered a number of his men 
to drag brush along the road for some distance, that the 
clouds of dust rising, might create the impression upon the 
Federal commander, that Longstreet with large bodies of 
infantry was coming to his aid. 

In the meantime three brigades of infantry were sent to 
reinforce Stuart, and the enemy soon retired in the direction 
of Manassas. 

During the day Jackson had been fighting against greatly 
superior numbers, but succeeded in holding his ground until 
Longstreet arrived and took part in the battle, when the 
enemy was repulsed at all points. 

Next morning, the 3Oth, Stuart s cavalry moved to the 
front and seized an important point of observation, from 
which the Federals could be seen massing their troops 
against Jackson s corps. 

Intelligence of this was sent to Lee. About three P. M., 
after the Federals were repulsed, our whole right and left 
advanced. Robertson s brigade and the Fifth Virginia 
pushed forward on the extreme right. 



which day he fell mortally wounded near Sudley Church. It was in 
the movement of Stonewall Jackson against Pope, known as the second 
Manassas campaign. 

A Federal force had intervened between Jackson s main body and his 
baggage train. Major Patrick with his battalion, assisted by some 
infantry and artillery, was sent to protect the train. He was soon 
attacked by the Federals, but in a spirited charge, in which he drove 
back the enemy, he fell mortally wounded, dying on the 2nd of 
September. 




GENL. THOMAS T. MUNFORD 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 89 

Four batteries Stribbling s, Rogers , Eshleman s, and 
Richardson s moved along with the cavalry under the 
command of Col. T. L. Rosser. Soon they had an enfilad 
ing fire upon the enemy s lines which told with fearful 
effect. 

In the meantime Robertson s brigade had reached the 
Lewis house on the ridge overlooking Bull Run. The 
Second Virginia, under Colonel Munford, was in front. A 
small body of Federal cavalry was seen. 

Lieut-Col. J. W. Watts of the Second, with one squadron 
charged and routed it, but before he had gone far discovered 
Buford s brigade of cavalry drawn up. The rest of the 
Second now coming up, the whole regiment was soon 
engaged with the enemy, meeting their charge with a 
countercharge. 

Here a terrible hand-to-hand fight ensued, and the 
Federals with greatly superior numbers began to force back 
the Confederates, when the Seventh, under Capt. S. B. 
Myers; the Twelfth, under Col. A. W. Harman, and the 
Sixth, under Colonel Flournoy, coming up to the rescue, the 
Federals were soon forced from the field, and the Seventh 
and Twelfth continued the pursuit until the enemy were 
driven beyond the turnpike at Stone Bridge. 

Says Stuart in his report, "Nothing could have equaled 
the splendor with which Robertson s regiments swept down 
upon a force greatly outnumbering them." 

In this fight Colonel Brodhead of the First Michigan 
was mortally wounded by Lieut. Lewis Harman, adjutant 
of Twelfth Cavalry. 

Three hundred prisoners with many horses, arms, and 
equipments were captured The loss in Robertson s brigade 
was five killed and forty wounded. 



90 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Pope was now in full retreat, and Jackson early the fol 
lowing morning, leaving Longstreet to bury the dead, fol 
lowed in pursuit. 

Stuart, with Fitz Lee and Robertson s brigades, preceded 
Jackson, harassing the enemy s rear. 

Pope, falling back behind the defenses at Washington, 
was now let alone, and Lee turned the head of his column 
towards Maryland. 

While Lee was crossing the Potomac, the Seventh and 
Twelfth regiments of Robertson s brigade, with the guns of 
Chew s Battery, were ordered to make a demonstration 
against the enemy and hold him in check. 

The Federal pickets were encountered near Vienna, and 
resisting were driven in, suffering a loss of three killed. 
Quite a brisk skirmish now began between the opposing 
forces, which lasted until sundown, when Robertson s 
brigade withdrew. 

On September 4th the brigade lost its commander. Genl. 
B. H. Robertson was ordered to the Department of North 
Carolina. "Where," said the general order, "his services 
are indispensably necessary for the organization and instruc 
tion of cavalry troops of North Carolina." 

From this time until the latter part of October the brigade 
was commanded by Colonel Munford. 

The command of Colonel Munford consisted of the 
Twelfth, now reduced to 120 men; the Second, numbering 
200, and the Seventh Virginia Cavalry, under Major Myers. 

The Seventeenth Battalion had been ordered on detached 
service, while the Sixth had been ordered to stay behind to 
collect arms and guard the captured property on the field 
of Manassas. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 91 

On the morning of September 8th Munford was ordered 
to Poolesville by Stuart, with instructions to expel the enemy 
from that place. His advance guard had hardly entered the 
town, when three regiments of Federals with four pieces of 
artillery appeared upon the scene, and driving out Munford s 
pickets pressed towards his main body and charged his 
most forward gam. 

The Federals also charged the rifle piece supported by the 
Twelfth, w^hen this regiment, gallantly led by Colonel Har- 
man, pressed forward and drove them off, inflicting consid 
erable damage, and suffering a loss of eight men killed and 
wounded. 

Munford, however, seems to have been finally worsted in 
the fight, and fell back to the crossroads, where he could 
guard the approaches to Sugar Loaf Mountain. This point 
he held for three days, skirmishing with the enemy. 

On the i ith, upon the advance of a Federal division under 
General Slocum, Munford retired to a point within three 
miles of Frederick City on the Buckeystown Road. 

The advance now of McClellan s army forced back the 
Confederate line of cavalry pickets. Munford fell back to 
Burkittsville pursued all the way by Federal cavalry, who 
were intent upon capturing the trains guarded by him. The 
enemy were, however, kept away from these, though not 
without constant skirmishing. 

The train having safely passed over Crampton s Gap, 
Munford there halted to dispute the Federal advance, plac 
ing three pieces of artillery in position. Having received 
orders from General Stuart to hold the Gap at all hazards, 
on the morning of the I4th, reinforced by two small infantry 



92 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

regiments, Munford posted his small force so as to make 
the best defense. 

The infantry took position behind a stone wall at the base 
of the mountain, Chew s Battery and a section of the Ports 
mouth Battery on the mountainside. The cavalry, consist 
ing of the Second and Twelfth Virginia, were dismounted 
and placed on the right and left flanks. 

In a short time the enemy appeared and boldly attacked, 
hurling upon the position brigade after brigade of infantry 
until the whole of Slocum s division, assisted by a brigade 
of Heintzelman s, were engaged in the assault. 

In the meantime two regiments of Mahone s brigade rein 
forced the Confederates, and the battle waxed hot and 
bloody. 

For full three hours this little force of Confederates held 
the Gap against overwhelming numbers. Then General 
Cobb arrived with two more regiments to reinforce Munford 
and to assume command. 

The ammunition of the Confederates, who had been so 
long engaged, was exhausted. Very soon the Federals press 
ing forward entered the Gap and drove the Confederates 
over the mountain. 

The Federal loss in killed and wounded was over 700, 
while that of the Confederates was comparatively small; 
although on the retreat over the mountain many prisoners 
were captured. For after once the line of defense was 
abandoned the pursuit was hot and the retreat disorderly. 

Colonel Munford, in his report to General Jackson of the 
operations of the brigade while under his command, says : 
"The cavalry fought here (at Crampton s Gap) with pistols 
against rifles. Captain Chew, as true as steel and ever 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 93 

ready, deserves to be mentioned. Col. O. R. Funsten is a 
noble man, and General Jones brigade is second to none I 
have ever yet seen in point of mettle." 

In a private letter since the war, General Munford writes : 
"We were ordered from Poolesville, Maryland, to Cramp- 
ton s Gap, and were closely followed by Slocum s division 
and Franklin s corps, 30,000 strong. Jackson had been sent 
to capture Harper s Ferry. Chew s Battery was left with 
me with a part of the brigade to hold that Gap. General 
Stuart with Hampton s command went southward along the 
mountain to co-operate with McLaws, whose division held 
the Maryland heights. Genl. Ho well Cobb of Georgia was 
to support my command. At that time we were cavalry 
with very few arms but sabres and pistols, and it was simply 
absurd to expect cavalry to contend with infantry on a 
mountainside. It was there that Chew s Battery delayed an 
army several hours, supported by my command, which was 
poorly supported by Cobb." 4 

The defense of Crampton s Gap for three hours, in all 
human probability, not only enabled Jackson successfully to 
invest Harper s Ferry and capture it with its garrison of 
12,520 prisoners, 73 pieces of artillery, 13,000 small arms, 
several hundred wagons, and great stores; but had Slocum 
and Franklin succeeded in forcing the Gap early in the 
afternoon of the i4th, they would have taken McLaws in 
reverse with overwhelming numbers, and separated as he 

4 It is plain from General Munford s account, and he being in com 
mand, with orders to "hold the Gap at all hazards," was in best posi 
tion to know that the cavalry was at great disadvantage, and the 
infantry having arrived too late to assist, it was the artillery under 
Captain Chew that delayed the Federal Army three hours at Crampton s 
Gap. An achievement without parallel in the annals of the war. 



94 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

was from Jackson by the Potomac River, might have cap 
tured his force and raised the siege of Harper s Ferry. 

The command had been given to Munford by Stuart to 
hold Crampton s Gap at all hazards. Had he indifferently 
executed that order, it is impossible to estimate how great 
and far-reaching a disaster might have befallen the Confed 
erate arms. 

The Seventh Regiment had on the loth been ordered to 
report to General Jackson for operations against Harper s 
Ferry. 

On the same day Jackson started from Frederick City, 
and on the nth recrossed the Potomac en route to Harper s 
Ferry, and drove the Federals out of Martinsburg before 
him to swell the garrison at Harper s Ferry. 

In this almost bloodless episode, which ended in the cap 
ture of the Federal garrison at Harper s Ferry, the Seventh, 
under Major Myers, accompanied Jackson, helping to mask 
the movement and otherwise furnishing aid. 

The Seventeenth Battalion, under command of Maj. 
Thomas B. Massie, and a company of the Twelfth did not 
participate in the Maryland campaign until after the sur 
render of Harper s Ferry, September 151)1, 1862. 

On the 3te, ; ,of September this battalion crossed the Blue 
Ridge at Snickers Gap, and spent several days scouting in 
the neighborhood of Winchester. 

On the 7th of September Major Massie took his com 
mand on a reconnoissance towards Harper s Ferry, and 
when near Darksville met with a small force of Federals 
and charged and pursued them to the neighborhood of 
Martinsburg. In the charge many prisoners were captured, 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 95 

and Massie s command stringing out in pursuit, lost their 
proper position in the column. 

On the return, when near Darksville, they were suddenly 
attacked by a Federal cavalry force. Forming his men as 
best he might in the streets of Darksville, he gave battle, 
and after a contest in which several of the Confederates 
were killed and wounded he was forced to retreat. 

In this skirmish the Federals had a force of five com 
panies of cavalry, four companies of infantry, and a section 
of artillery. 

Colonel Voss, who was in command of the Federals, 
acknowledged a loss of thirteen wounded. 

Shortly after this skirmish Major Massie and his com 
mand joined Jackson at Harper s Ferry, where they occu 
pied a position on his flanks, picketing the fords of the 
Shenandoah and Potomac until the surrender of the place. 

The immense plunder captured at Harper s Ferry would 
have furnished enjoyment to the victors for several days, 
but the pressure on Lee in Maryland left no time for a 
glorification. 

On the 1 6th Jackson s whole army, with the exception of 
Hill s division, began to retrace their steps to the side of 
Lee, who was now threatened with an attack from McClel- 
lan s army. 

Soon the opposing forces gathered and confronted each 
other near Sharpsburg in Maryland. 

The brigade being posted on the right of Lee s line near 
the river, did not actively participate in the hard-fought 
battle of Sharpsburg, Antietam as it is commonly called, 
although engaging in several skirmishes. 

Lee s army, though more than decimated by the unequal 
contest of the day before, still defiantly confronted a foe 



96 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

who, though conscious of superior numbers, did not again 
move to the attack. 

During the night of the i8th Lee safely withdrew to the 
south bank of the Potomac. The cavalry was the last to 
cross, and Munford s command brought up the rear, 
making the passage in sight of the Federals and under 
cover of friendly guns on the south bank. 

The brigade now took position on the Confederate right 
near Boteler s Ford. Near this ford also was stationed 
Lee s reserve artillery, supported by two infantry brigades, 
Armistead s and Lawton s. 

On the evening of the ipth four regiments of Federals 
crossed at this point and, making a vigorous attack, drove 
off the Confederate infantry and captured four guns. 

The disaster would have been greater had not Munford 
covered the retreat of the infantry and artillery with his 
cavalry. 

Shortly after the 2Oth of September Lee s whole army 
returned and took position south of Martinsburg. 

While the jaded infantry was enjoying a well-earned 
repose, the cavalry kept watch on the front, occasionally 
engaging in skirmishes with the enemy. 

When the brigade under Robertson crossed the Blue 
Ridge to operate with Jackson in June near Richmond, 
Company B of the Twelfth Virginia Cavalry was left in 
the Valley, and the services of this company while thus 
detached, under command of Lieutenants Milton Rouss and 
George Baylor, won for it a name, which being well sus 
tained by its subsequent conduct during the entire war, 
made it famous throughout the Army of Northern Virginia. 

The operations of the company were chiefly in the lower 
Valley. Shields, Fremont, and Banks having gone east of 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 97 

the mountain to join Pope, the other Federals had with 
drawn to points on, and near to the Baltimore and Ohio and 
the Winchester and Potomac railroads. 

Brigadier-General White occupied Winchester with a 
considerable force of all arms. General Reddin was occupy 
ing Front Royal August loth and some time prior, with a 
force of 800 infantry of the Third Delaware Regiment, 400 
cavalry, and a battery of artillery. 

Company B at that time had its camp near Harrisonburg. 
Lieutenant Rouss being absent on short leave, Lieut. George 
Baylor, next in command, with thirty men started on a scout 
in the Luray Valley, and made a dash into Front Royal, 
which for its rashness and success had few equals in the 
annals of the war. The account of it is best told as far as 
practicable in Lieutenant Baylor s own language found in 
his "Bull Run to Bull Run," page 45 : 

"On the loth of August with thirty men I started on a scout 
to Luray, expecting to find a small force of the enemy in 
possession of the town ; but on marching there found the enemy 
had moved east that morning, and a few stragglers were cap 
tured. The night was spent in Luray with our friends. 
* * * The next morning with twenty-five men I started on 
the road to Front Royal. We inquired along the road as to 
the enemy s position, but failed to elicit any further informa 
tion than that it occupied Front Royal. About noon on the 
nth we had reached the vicinity of that town, but had 
encountered no foe. 

"About one-half mile south of the place, however, we came 
suddenly upon the enemy s cavalry picket-post, and a charge 
was immediately ordered. Recklessly we dashed into the town, 
capturing the cavalry picket reserve, and finding the town 
occupied by a large infantry force. Our men were soon 
scattered, pursuing fleeing Yankees in every direction. 



98 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

"Noticing- a company of infantry forming in front of the 
hotel, and about forty men in line, I called Henry Beall and 
Charley Crane to my assistance and we dashed in among them, 
and drawing my pistol on the officer in command, demanded a 
surrender. He turned to his men and ordered them to ground 
arms/ an order quickly obeyed. Securing the officer, I 
directed the men to march out by the Luray Road. 

"Just then another officer appeared on the scene, and he too 
was made prisoner. General Reddin, who was in command of 
the force, made his escape on a cart horse. Our handful of 
men were soon overwhelmed with prisoners, and I was satis 
fied we must beat a hasty retreat. 

"In looking up our boys and getting them together, I found 
John Terrill and Bob North in among the infantry tents, 
slashing holes in them with their sabres and ordering the occu 
pants to come out. 

"Our situation was critical indeed, and gathering up as many 
of the prisoners as could hastily be gotten together, our retreat 
was begun. 

"We left Front Royal with about 300 prisoners, most of 
them infantrymen, and among them a major and two captains. 

"When about a mile south of the town, the enemy s cavalry, 
about 300 strong, appeared in our rear. About fifteen horses 
had been captured from the enemy. On these prisoners were 
mounted, and with the residue on foot in charge of fifteen men, 
were started off at a rapid pace towards Luray, while with ten 
men I undertook to cover the retreat. The enemy was held in 
check for some time, but finally broke our little rear guard and 
succeeded in releasing the foot prisoners, but those on horse 
back were brought off safely. 

"In a running fight of five miles, with countercharges we 
kept this body of cavalry sufficiently in check to permit the 
mounted prisoners and guards to keep at a safe distance from 
recapture. 

"In one of the enemy s charges Private Baker of our com 
pany was captured, a countercharge was ordered and Baker 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 99 

was released. In this engagement George Timberlake was 
slightly wounded; Orderly Sergt. Seth Timberlake, known 
as the Fighting Sergeant, had his horse killed, and my horse 
was wounded in the shoulder and neck, and though losing 
blood, bore me safely through the conflict. 

"The enemy s loss was ten killed and wounded, and two 
officers and thirteen men prisoners. The officers were Cap 
tains Darrell and Baker of the Third Delaware Regiment." 

After this event Company B rested in camp, which was 
still near Harrisonburg, and on August 26th started on 
another expedition under command of Lieut. Milton Rouss. 

Leaving a sufficient picket for the post under command 
of a sergeant, Lieutenant Rouss with thirty men started 
down the Valley to observe the enemy and follow the lead 
of opportunity in demonstrations against him. Winchester 
was at that time occupied by the Federals under Brigadier- 
General White, with a brigade of infantry, a battery of 
artillery, and 290 cavalry. 

The neighborhood of Winchester was the objective point 
of Rouss expedition, and the point arrived at was midway 
between Summit Point and Wade s Depot, at each of which 
places the enemy had a force of eighty infantry and five 
cavalry. The distance between the two depots is four miles, 
hence in either direction Rouss command of thirty men 
was only two miles from the enemy, with the garrison at 
Winchester directly between his present position and his 
camp at Harrisonburg, and a part of that garrison consist 
ing of 290 freshly-mounted cavalry. 

At four o clock P. M. the Potomac Railroad was reached 
and in a few minutes the sound of the passenger engine was 
heard. A quick disposition was made of the force, and 
obstructions were at once placed on the track to bring the 



ioo A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

engine to a halt. When the train had reached within ioo 
yards of the obstruction the command was given to halt, 
but the frightened engineer took no heed of the command. 
A pistol fire was at once opened upon the moving train, 
which came to a standstill just in front of the obstruction. 

The engineer was immediately taken in hand, and some 
of the men entering the cars made prisoners of the eight 
Federal soldiers on board. 

The few citizens on board were permitted to proceed on 
foot towards Winchester. The agent of the Adams 
Express Company in an attempt to escape was badly 
wounded in the thigh. 

The express car was full of wines, fruit, and other 
delicacies which the Confederate troopers enjoyed with fine 
appetites, drinking bumpers of champagne to the health of 
Jeff Davis, the Southern Confederacy, and to each of their 
sweethearts by name. 

The United States mail was also secured, and about 
$4,000 in money that was intended for the Federal pay 
master. 

The engine was put under full steam and started towards 
Winchester, and the cars set on fire and pine laid on to 
facilitate the burning. The telegraph wire was cut and the 
line destroyed for 200 yards. 

Sending back the prisoners by Lieutenant Roland with 
thirteen men, Rouss with Baylor and seventeen men started 
to capture a small cavalry force at Middleway, some six 
miles north, in Jefferson county. Upon arriving in sight of 
the pickets he charged them, capturing them, three in num 
ber, without firing a shot, and pressed on quickly into the 
town, where the reserve, fourteen in number, were captured 
before they had time to mount their horses. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 101 

Loaded down with Federal prisoners and plunder, Rouss 
thought it prudent to return to his encampment, in accom 
plishing which he camped for an hour about daylight within 
five miles of Winchester, having passed within three miles 
of that place, seeing the Federal camp-fires. 

This bold enterprise caused much excitement among the 
Federals, and soon thereafter White hastily evacuated Win 
chester, leaving four thirty-two pounders, which he first 
spiked, and burned the carriages; and destroying 70.000 
pounds of forage and 60,000 rations besides other stores, 
tools, etc. 

Rouss soon after moved his camp down the Valley, 
harassing the enemy wherever practicable. 

On the 6th of September the company took active part in 
the affair at Darksville, under Lieutenant-Colonel Massie, of 
which mention has already been made ; he having with him 
Company I of the Twelfth and a squadron of the Eleventh 
Virginia Cavalry, at that time consisting of only six com 
panies and known as the Seventeenth Battalion. 

On the 7th Company B took position near Charles Town 
and remained there until the morning of the I3th, when it 
was attacked by four companies of the First New York Cav 
alry, about a mile west of the town, and after a sharp brush 
the enemy retired. In this encounter Lieutenant Rouss and 
Private Cary Selden were wounded. 

This company remained on detached service in the Valley 
until the early part of the winter of 1863, when it was 
recalled to its place in the Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, the 
brigade at that time being under the command of Genl. Wil 
liam E. Jones. 



1O2 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

For six weeks Lee s army, after the battle of Sharps- 
burg, remained quiet, recruiting its strength. 

In the meantime Stuart engaged in one of those bold raids 
that added so much to his fame. 

On the loth of October Stuart with a command consisting 
of about i, 800 men, each of his brigades furnishing 600, 
crossed the Potomac a little above McCoy s Ford. By eight 
o clock in the morning the Federals were aware of this 
movement, but before any resistance could be organized the 
bold Confederates swept northward, spreading consternation 
among the thrifty farmers of Pennsylvania. 

On either flank squadrons scoured the country for fresh 
horses, and in spite of McClellan s army along the Potomac, 
the chattels of the good citizens of Pennsylvania were appro 
priated for the benefit of the Confederacy. 

The first day s march brought the column to Chambers- 
burg, where the night was passed in the midst of a drizzling 
rain. 

The news of the raid had been telegraphed from point to 
point, and in every direction preparations were made by the 
Federals to intercept Stuart on his return. 

It had proved easy enough to enter the enemy s country. 
The more difficult task of getting out of it now confronted 
him. Stuart, however, was equal to the emergency. He 
determined that the "longest way around was the shortest 
way home"; so contrary to all expectations he turned his 
face eastward instead of westward, proceeding nearly to 
Gettysburg. At Cashtown he turned southward ; as soon as 
he crossed the Maryland line, the flankers gathering horses 
were called in and the column closed up. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 103 

By rapid marching he disappointed all the expectations of 
the foe. Avoiding his enemy at one point, at another he 
brushed him aside, reaching Emmitsburg about sundown on 
the nth. 

There were yet forty-five miles to the Potomac. All night 
long his command moved at a trot, the artillery keeping up 
by means of fresh horses, ever ready. By daylight on the 
Twelfth he entered Hyattstown, twelve miles yet from a 
place of safety. 

When near Poolesville the Federal cavalry under General 
Pleasonton were seen, when a sudden charge upon them 
cleared the road, and marching towards White s Ford he 
there crossed safely with all his command. The detachment 
from Munford s command on this raid was under Col. W. 
E. Jones. It was the second to cross at White s Ford. 

The results of this raid were manifold. Twelve hundred 
horses were taken from the farmers of Pennsylvania, not 
to speak of other spoils. Perhaps the most valuable result 
was that it called into activity many thousands of the Fed 
erals, and used up their cavalry in their attempts to find and 
intercept Stuart. 

Like all of Stuart s raids, however, it taught the Federals 
the advantage of a well-organized and numerous cavalry 
force, and stimulated them to increase and better equip this 
arm of the service. 

While Lee was resting his men, collecting stragglers, and 
drilling new levies in the lower Valley, the Federals were 
similarly engaged, and with much greater resources to draw 
from. 



104 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

The authorities at Washington wanted McClellan to move 
nearer to Washington, across the Potomac, fearing, as they 
always did, a surprise by way of Manassas. 

McClellan, believing that if he crossed below Harper s 
Ferry, Lee would again invade Maryland, at first hesitated, 
but afterwards yielded, having left the important points 
along the Potomac heavily garrisoned. 

On the 26th of October the Federals began crossing the 
Potomac in force at Berlin. 

On the 29th the Second and Fifth corps crossed at Har 
per s Ferry, and the whole Federal Army, by November the 
2nd, were moving on both sides of the Blue Ridge south 
ward, to get between Lee and Richmond. Before this, how 
ever, Harper s Ferry had been occupied by a considerable 
force of Federals, and their advance was watched, and fre 
quently attacked by portions of our cavalry. 

On the 1 6th of October, and for a short time before, Mun- 
ford s command was occupied in picketing from Walper s 
Crossroads, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, to Berry s 
Ferry. 

The Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, under the command of 
Lieutenant-Colonel Burks, was on picket at Charles Town, 
and with them Capt. B. H. Smith, Third Company Rich 
mond Howitzers, and Lieut. J. W. Carter of Chew s Battery. 

Early in the morning of the i6th a division of Federal 
infantry and artillery drove in our pickets, and for four 
hours were held in check by the Confederate force men 
tioned. 

Our loss was two killed and five or six wounded ; that of 
the enemy much greater. 




BRIG.-GENL. WILLIAM E. JONES 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 105 

For gallantry in this engagement Colonel Munford com 
mends Lieutenant Carter, Colonel Burks, Captain Smith, 
and Lieut. L. F. Jones. 

The latter part of October, the Confederate Army, in 
response to McClellan s southern movement, began to leave 
the Valley and set out for Culpeper Court House. 

Munford s brigade was detached from Stuart s division 
and ordered to bring up Jackson s rear. 

The Federals having now made the Rappahannock their 
line and threatening to advance on Richmond, Lee kept 
Jackson in the Valley to menace their flank if they moved 
further south. 

While matters were in this condition, on November the 
8th, Col. W. E. Jones was made brigadier and assigned to 
the command of the brigade, now called the Second Brigade. 

On November the loth, 1862, it was ordered from army 
headquarters that Jones (the Second Brigade) was to con 
sist of the Seventh, Twelfth and Sixth regiments, the Seven 
teenth Battalion, and White s cavalry. 

In a skirmish at Philamount, on the gth of November, 
four men of White s Battalion Mortimer W. Palmer, R. 
Henry Simpson, David J. Lee, and Robert A. Ritacor 
charged and drove out of the town fifty Federals, capturing 
two negroes and three wagons from their train. 

On the evening of November Qth, Geary with 2,500 
infantry marched from Bolivar Heights, and driving the 
Confederate picket from Halltown, pursued them beyond 
Rippon. The picket was a portion of the Twelfth Virginia. 

On the 28th of October White s cavalry was organized 
into a battalion, and its captain, E. V. White, was promoted 
to major. 



io6 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Up to this time this command, consisting of only one com 
pany, had been engaged in detached service chiefly, in the 
counties of Loudon, Va., and Montgomery, Md., and had 
won quite a reputation for dash and efficiency under its gal 
lant leader. 

At this time Major White was recovering from a wound 
he had received. The battalion was stationed in Snickers 
Gap. A Federal force, the Eighth New York, tinder Colonel 
Davis, attempted to force its way through the Gap, but was 
driven back. 

On November 3rd another attempt was made upon the 
Gap with a heavy force of cavalry, infantry, and artillery, 
which was again repulsed with the assistance of Hill s 
infantry. At this time the main portion of Lee s army was 
still between Winchester and Martinsburg. 

In this engagement White s men were forced through 
the gap across Castleman s Ferry, the Federals advancing to 
the river bank. 

In the meantime, a battery belonging to A. P. Hill s corps, 
came to the rescue, and delivering a heavy fire upon the 
Federals massed upon the east bank, killed a great many and 
drove them in confusion up the mountain. 

The Federal force in this engagement, consisted of forty- 
six cavalry, 219 of the Fourteenth Massachusetts Infantry, 
and a part of two other regiments of regulars. Their loss is 
not exactly reported, but the Fourteenth Infantry lost thirty 
killed and wounded. Among the rest five officers. 

A few days after this, White went through the Gap and 
harassing the rear of the Federal column, captured twenty 
wagons and 102 prisoners. This was followed by other 
raiding expeditions of White, on the trains and camps of the 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 107 

Federals now moving southward towards Fredericksburg, in 
which more wagons and provisions were captured. 

On the 28th of November, however, the Federals had their 
revenge. General Stahl with a considerable force of cavalry 
crossed the Shenandoah at Castleman s Ferry, and attacked 
the small company on picket there belonging to White s 
command. White s camp of sick and dismounted men was 
but two miles further from the river, the rest of his com 
panies being stationed elsewhere. The Federals soon drove 
the company on picket towards Berryville and pressed them 
vigorously. 

White, who was sick at a house near the road, joined the 
rear of his men before the camp was reached, and was soon 
wounded in the thigh. All attempts to rally the men at the 
camp proved fruitless, and the retreat was continued beyond 
Berryville, where the enemy was met by a portion of the 
Twelfth Cavalry under Major Massie. 

A vigorous charge by the Twelfth gave a serious check, 
but the victorious Federals advanced on the turnpike as far 
as the Opequon. 

Colonel Burks, who commanded the Twelfth, reports that 
Company F, under Lieutenant Randolph, turned out first, 
and was followed by Capt. E. Sipe, commanding Company 
H ; Lieutenants Harman and Myers, commanding Com 
panies K and C in all about 100 men. 

The Confederate loss was twenty-seven captured, four 
wounded and two wagons captured. The Federals acknowl 
edge a loss of fifteen killed and wounded, but they claim to 
have captured forty Confederates and killed and wounded 
fifty. 



io8 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

On the 1 2th of November Maj. E. V. White was sent on 
a scout with his battalion east of the Blue Ridge, and was 
so successful as to win praise from both Stuart and Lee for 
his boldness and discretion. 

Crossing at Snickers Gap he went to Hillsboro in Loudon 
county and captured a picket of twelve infantrymen. Push 
ing on towards Leesburg he came up with some Federal cav 
alry, which he charged and routed, capturing two and 
wounding three. 

On the morning of the I4th he came upon the company 
of Loudoun Guerrillas commanded by Capt. Means. These 
he charged and drove, pursuing them for five miles, killing 
one, a lieutenant, and capturing two. 

Hearing that there was a company of Federals at Pooles- 
ville, he made for that point with ninety-three men in his 
command. Here he learned that one-half of the Federal 
force was out of town and that the remainder was quartered 
in the town hall. 

Dividing his forces he advanced, attacking the hall from 
different directions. The garrison fired upon them, killing 
one man ; but White s men poured in upon them such a well- 
directed fire, killing and wounding ten, that the rest sur 
rendered. 

While marching upon Poolesville he had sent a detach 
ment to watch the enemy at Harper s Ferry, which was 
lucky enough to capture and parole a picket of twenty-six, 
thus swelling the number of Federals captured on this raid 
to seventy-seven. 

The brigade during the month of December shifted its 
headquarters from point to point, according to the avail- 




MAJ. EDWARD H. McDONALD 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 109 

ability of forage, but gradually moved southward until about 
Christmas, when it camped at New Market. 

General Jones, when not on the march, was an indefati 
gable organizer. While constantly sending out detached 
companies to deliver attacks at distant points, he kept the 
rest of the command constantly drilling and subjected to a 
rigid discipline, which greatly increased its efficiency. 

On the ist of December, Company D of the Seventeenth 
Battalion, under Capt. E. H. McDonald, was sent on a 
reconnoissance to Moorefield. The primary object being to 
recruit the company in men and horses, most of the men 
having homes in Hampshire county. 

Upon reaching Moorefield, and being informed that no 
enemy was in the neighborhood, the company scattered 
through the town, and while so disorganized was surprised 
by a force of 200 Federal cavalry, who captured Captain 
McDonald and several of his men. 

On December the nth, a portion of the Seventh Virginia, 
while on picket near Martinsburg, was attacked by a 
superior Federal force and driven to Darksville, where being 
reinforced, it in turn drove back the Federals. The latter 
claimed to have captured thirteen prisoners in this encounter. 

December 29th, 1862, Genl. W. E. Jones was assigned, by 
order of General Lee, during the absence of Jackson from 
the Valley, to the command of the Valley District and of all 
the troops operating in that region not embraced in the 
Department of West Virginia. 

Of the same date as above was a letter to Colonel David 
son at Staunton from Lee, telling him that he had ordered 
General Jones to gather all the Valley troops and drive the 
enemy beyond the Potomac. 



i io A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

This was done in consequence of information stating that 
Milroy, stationed at Petersburg, was heavily oppressing the 
people of Mineral county. 

Also a letter to Jones of same date, directing him to drive 
the enemy out of the valley of the South Branch. 

About the 24th of December, 1862, Jones, then stationed 
at New Market, hearing that Cluseret had entered the Val 
ley at Strasburg and was moving on Winchester, followed 
him with one regiment and a battery to Kernstown, where 
a light skirmish occurred, and Jones withdrew to New 
Market. 

On the 2nd of January, 1863, Jones, commanding a force 
composed of his brigade and Chew s Battery, together with 
the First Battalion, Maryland Cavalry; First Battalion, 
Maryland Infantry, and the Maryland Battery, marched on 
Moorefield and reached there on the morning of the 3rd, 
having marched rapidly in order to surprise and overcome 
the Federal force at Moorefield before it could be aided by 
the Federal force at Petersburg. 

Having selected an inferior position for his artillery, the 
shells from his battery fell short, while those of the enemy 
reached him. 

In the meantime the Federals from Petersburg came 
within striking distance and opened upon his rear. The 
batteries of this force also opened on him with effect, while 
his shots again failed to reach them. 

The two wings of his command could not unite, but for 
tunately, those of the enemy were in a like condition. 

Fearing that the enemy would receive reinforcements 
from New Creek, he determined to withdraw, which he did 
after holding his position two hours. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 1 1 1 

A picket of twenty Federals were captured near Moore- 
field in the morning by a part of the Seventh under Lieu 
tenant Vandiver, and the Sixth and the Seventh, under Col 
onel Dulany, captured forty-six more at Petersburg. 

Late at night the two wings of Jones command united 
about ten miles above Moorefield. The following morning 
an attack was determined upon, but the enemy being rein 
forced Jones withdrew, having met with only partial success. 

He had captured in all ninety-nine prisoners, having no 
loss but two men wounded. 

In his report the following are spoken of with praise : 
Colonel Dulany, Lieut. C. H. Vandiver, Privates J. W. 
Kuykendall, and J. S. Hutton, of the Seventh Virginia 
Cavalry. 

The attack upon Moorefield in midwinter though appar 
ently fruitless, yet had the effect of alarming the Federals, 
who thought it the advance of a strong movement down 
the Valley upon Harper s Ferry. In consequence, Wash- 
burn on the 8th was ordered to fall back from Moorefield to 
Romney, twenty miles further north. 

Four days later General Milroy, who was at Winchester, 
telegraphed for help against a foe that his own imagination 
had conjured up, and on the I7th he again telegraphed that 
Jones with 2,700 infantry was between him and Strasburg, 
but adds, "I have no fears for this place," and ends in asking 
for Washburn s two regiments, saying, "It is cruel to keep 
me here so helpless." 

After his return from Moorefield General Jones was 
ordered by General Lee to organize a force in the Valley, 
including his own, Colonel Davidson s at Staunton, and 
Imboden s, and endeavor to curtail the operations of the 



H2 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

enemy if he could not force him to retire. At this time there 
was a great outcry for this from the people of the lower 
Valley, on account of Milroy s assessments for the support 
of his army and of his brutal treatment of the non-com 
batants. Jones was, however, much restricted in his move 
ments by the scarcity of forage, and midwinter having now 
arrived, he busied himself preparing for the spring cam 
paign, drilling his men and recruiting his forces. He was 
always, however, wide-awake and did not fail to strike a 
blow when an opportunity presented itself. 

Early in February the Thirty-fifth Battalion, under com 
mand of Lieut.-Col. E. V. White, was detached by General 
Jackson and sent to arrest certain parties living in Loudoun 
county, Virginia. 

Milroy still remained at Winchester, strengthening his 
position and acting the petty tyrant towards the defenseless 
citizens of that section. He seemed to think that he had mis 
sionary as well as military duties to perform. He resorted 
to every kind of espionage to ascertain the opinion of the 
women, as well as the male non-combatants, who were at 
his mercy; and tried by threats and ill treatment of the 
staunchest Confederates to make proselytes to his political 
creed. This disgraceful conduct only served to intensify the 
loyalty of the people to the Southern cause. 

General Jones, while in camp at New Market, devoted 
his time to* fully organizing his command and perfecting 
them by daily drill in military exercises. 

In January the Seventeenth Battalion, increased by the 
addition of new companies, was organized into a regiment 
and was thenceforward the Eleventh Regiment, of which 




OLIVER RIDGWAY FUNSTEN 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 113 

Major Funsten, promoted to a lieutenant-colonelcy, was put 
in command. 

He entered upon the work of regimental organization with 
great zeal, and in a short time the new regiment was strong 
in numbers and full of an esprit du corps, the effect of which 
was seen at the first opportunity presented for its display. 

On the morning of February 26th an event occurred 
which broke the monotony of winter quarters. It was occa 
sioned by the adventurous enterprise of Capt. F. A. Bond 
of Brown s Battalion of Maryland Cavalry on picket near 
Strasburg. 

Having learned that the Federal picket near Kernstown 
might be captured, without orders from General Jones, com 
manding in the Valley, he attacked the picket and capturing 
them, made off with his prisoners. 

Apparently enraged at his audacity, about 500 Federal 
cavalry of the First New York and Thirteenth Pennsylvania 
regiments followed him, in hot pursuit. From Kernstown to 
Strasburg, over thirteen miles of frozen turnpike, went 
pursuer and pursued. 

When the head of the flying column reached the pickets 
of General Jones they too joined in the flight to some dis 
tance beyond Woodstock, still pursued by the wrathful 
Federals. Here they left the turnpike, and while some of 
the Federals pursued the flying pickets up the Back Road, 
which runs parallel with the turnpike, others attempted the 
capture of the wagon trains then in quest of forage in the 
neighborhood of Woodstock. They were, however, beaten 
off by Col. J. Herbert with a portion of the Maryland 
infantry encamped near by. 



ii4 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Hardly had they returned to the turnpike when there 
came in view the head of the Confederate column coming 
to punish in turn the Federal audacity. These troops had 
been ordered forward from New Market by General Jones 
at the first news of the Federal dash, and consisted of a 
portion of the Eleventh, under Colonel Funsten, numbering 
about 120 men. At the head of the column rode Funsten 
and Jones. 

Says Colonel Funsten in his report to General Jones : 
"Led by you we dashed past their rear guard, who occupied 
an eminence near the road, and charged the rear of the 
column. So sudden and impetuous was the attack that 
every attempt, of which there were several, made by their 
officers to form a line and rally, was unavailing. 

"We pressed them hotly, using both sabre and revolver 
with good effect, to Cedar Creek bridge, a distance of about 
twelve miles, where a part of them made a stand. I halted 
the front of the column preparatory to renewing the charge, 
my command being greatly reduced by the capture and 
guarding of prisoners, of whom the number already taken 
was greater than that with which I made the attack. The 
casualties in my regiment were two killed and two wounded. 
It is always a delicate point to discriminate among those 
who have done their duty faithfully, but I cannot forbear 
to mention Captains W. H. Harness, E. H. McDonald, and 
F. A. Dangerfield." 

Not far in the rear of the Eleventh in this mad ride for 
vengeance thundered the old Seventh. After a hurried 
march of nineteen miles they came up with the Eleventh at 
Strasburg, Colonel Dulany in command, and having with 
him about 220 men. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 115 

Says Dulany in his report : "When we reached the high 
ground beyond Strasburg, we found the enemy had returned 
and again formed about 300 yards south of Cedar Creek. 
As we came in sight of each other they seemed to advance 
slowly towards us, but when we got within 200 yards, our 
sabres drawn, they wheeled and went at full speed towards 
the bridge, crossed and again formed to receive us. As 
only two men could cross the bridge abreast, they could 
easily have prevented our crossing with their long-range 
guns, since their position was very strong and higher than 
the bridge. Changing the direction of our column, we 
crossed the creek at the ford, some 200 yards below the 
bridge. 

"As soon as a portion of my command had crossed, the 
enemy broke, not waiting for us to close with them." 

The retreat now became a race, the best mounted Con 
federates taking the lead. He continues : "As we came up 
with the rear not a man that I saw offered to surrender 
until driven back by the sabres of our men, or shot. Some, 
finding we were overtaking them, slipped from their horses 
and sought refuge in the houses along the road ; and many 
had thrown their pistols away when captured." 

After capturing about seventy prisoners, many of them 
wounded, the Seventh halted about a mile and a half beyond 
Middletown, after a race of twenty-six miles. 

General Jones in his report to Lee says that his men cap 
tured 200 prisoners, killing and wounding many more. 
Some of these were captured by Brown s Battalion which, 
close behind the Seventh, participated in the chase. For 
gallantry and wise action on this occasion, General Jones 
warmly recommended Colonel Funsten to Lee for the 
vacant colonelcy of the Eleventh Regiment. The sugges- 



1 1 6 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

tion, approved by Lee, was, however, disregarded by the 
Government, and not long afterwards Col. L. L. Lomax was 
made colonel of the Eleventh. Being a West Point graduate 
and a dashing officer, he soon won the confidence of his 
men. 

The brilliant affair down the turnpike furnished food for 
entertainment for many days. It had occurred in mid 
winter and served to vary the monotony of camp life and 
the drudgery of the daily drill. 



CHAPTER IV 

March, 1863 

Jones expedition into western Virginia Weak men and horses left in 
camp Inclement weather and swollen streams Dangerous cross 
ing of the Potomac at Petersburg Heroic assistance of citizens 
Rev. Richard Davis Fight at Greenland Gap McNeil s Rangers 
co-operate with Jones Colonel Harman enters Oakland, destroys 
railroad bridge Cranberry Summit Mountaineers unfriendly and 
bushwhack our column Capture of Morgantown Bridgeport and 
Fairmont Destruction of oil wells A river on fire Return to 
the Valley Results of expedition Cross the Blue Ridge to join 
"Jeb" Stuart A grand review Battle of Brandy Station. 

The soldiers of the brigade were anxious for another 
opportunity to enjoy the frolic of a warlike chase, not 
dreaming that their commander was hatching a scheme that 
would give them their fill of marching and fighting. 

This was the famous West Virginia expedition. For 
more than a month before it took place, General Jones was 
busy studying all the known ways of destroying iron 
bridges, tunnels, and trestling. 

He was evolving a plan to do such destruction to the 
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, exposed as it was on account 
of its tunnels, bridges, and trestling to damage from hostile 
parties, that for six months at least no troops might pass 
over it. 

During the month of March he made many trips to 
Staunton, with the design of perfecting his preparations for 
the expedition. 

He had communicated his plans to General Lee and gotten 
his full consent and approval. Forage was gathered from 
all quarters to get his horses in condition for the long and 



1 1 8 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

tedious march. Frequent inspections were held and the 
arms as well as horses carefully looked after. 

The soldiers knew instinctively that something serious 
was impending, but what it really was they were far from 
surmising. 

Having arranged with Genl. J. D. Imboden and his com 
mand, for a concert of action against the Baltimore and 
Ohio Railroad, Jones determined to move on the 2ist of 
March. 

On the day previous orders were issued to the regimental 
commanders to have issued eight days rations and forty 
rounds of ammunition, and on the 2ist to meet him at 
Brock s Gap. 

The men and horses unfit for a hard campaign were left 
behind under Colonel Funsten, near Harrisonburg, while 
Maj. S. B. Myers 1 of the Seventh, an experienced and effi 
cient outpost commander, was stationed near Strasburg with 
several well-mounted companies, one from each regiment of 
the brigade. 



j. Samuel B. Myers, of the Seventh Virginia Cavalry, a native 
of Pennsylvania, but having become thoroughly identified with all that 
pertained to the home of his adoption, few men of Southern birth and 
traditions made greater sacrifices for the cause of the South than he. 

He was the owner and operator of Columbia Furnace in Shenandoah 
County, Va. Upon the withdrawal of Virginia from the Union, he at 
once raised a company of cavalry among the sturdy farmers and hearty 
mountaineers of the Shenandoah region, which was one of the first 
enlisted in the regiment of Col. Angus McDonald, and was known as 
Company C of the famous Seventh regiment, from which developed 
the Ashby Cavalry and Laurel Brigade. He later was promoted to 
major of the regiment, and after the wounding of Colonel Dulany, 
and the death of Lieut. -Col. Thos. Marshall he was usually in com 
mand of the regiment. 

There was no braver, more sagacious nor enterprising officer in the 
service than Major Myers. He was severely wounded at Orange Court 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 1 19 

On the 2 ist the column started. Besides his own brigade 
General Jones took with him Wiener s Battalion of mounted 
riflemen, Brown s Battalion of cavalry, and the Maryland 
Battalion of infantry under Colonel Herbert, and what 
artillery he had. 

At the outset the weather was inclement, and the con 
tinual rains made the roads so muddy that the column was 
forced to move slowly. 

Before the South Branch of the Potomac was reached it 
was swollen by the downpour, and all idea of crossing it at 
Moorefield was abandoned. 

This disappointment secured the safety of the Federal 
force under Colonel Mulligan at Petersburg, which General 
Jones had hoped to intercept and capture. 

The route now had to be changed, but from Moorefield 
the wagon train under convoy of Colonel Herbert, together 
with the artillery, was sent back with orders to return by 
way of Franklin and gather up the "surplus bacon" along 
the route, which order was successfully accomplished. 

After making a detour from the projected route, the 
column, now relieved of baggage and artillery, reached 
Petersburg, where the river was found to be still high and 

House and his horse was shot under him. The wonder is he was not 
killed in battle. He had many narrow escapes and several horses were 
killed under him. Among others his favorite white charger "Bill." 
He was stricken with a disease incident to the exposures of the war 
and died at his home, on the 25th of February, 1865. He was appre 
ciated and beloved both by the soldiers of the Laurel Brigade and by 
the people throughout the Shenandoah Valley. 

During the absence of the Brigade under General James in West 
Virginia, Major Myers was left in the Valley with three companies of 
cavalry. With these he planned and executed a successful ambuscade 
upon the Federals south of Strasburg, in which he killed, wounded and 
captured a large number. 



I2O A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

dangerous to cross. Men who would be quick to charge a 
battery if ordered, were appalled at the rushing, angry 
waters. Besides the ford was exceedingly rough unless the 
exact path was followed. 

Men with weak horses were not forced to attempt the 
ford, and a few here turned back. A number of citizens 
of the neighborhood, loyal to the South, and who were 
familiar with the crossing, having provided themselves with 
long poles, boldly rode out into the river and took stations 
at regular intervals along the ford, with their horses heads 
directly up stream. They constantly warned the troopers 
to keep their horses heads up stream, and when a horse 
would start down would tap him on the neck with a pole, 
and thus help to keep him in the ford. 

There was no bantering nor frivolity among the men, 
each one realizing the danger and the necessity of keeping 
his horse in the ford. While there were only one or two 
men actually drowned, there were many narrow escapes, a 
notable one being that of Sergt.-Maj. James Figgat of 
the Twelfth, whose horse falling, he was swept off, but 
grasping the tail of a trooper s horse nearest him, was towed 
across in safety. 

The following is General Jones official report of the 
incident: "When but a part of the Sixth Virginia, the 
leading regiment, had crossed one man and horse were 
drowned and two others narrowly escaped. But for the 
timely assistance of Messrs. Hattan, Cunningham, and 
other citizens of Petersburg, and Private Aaron Welton, 
our loss must have been serious. The bravery and hardi 
hood evinced by them on this occasion is worthy of the 
highest praise. The conduct of the Rev. Mr. Davis, chap 
lain of the Sixth, was here conspicuously good. His 




MAJ. SAMUEL B. MYERS 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 121 

example, courage, and abiding faith in Providence won the 
admiration of all." 

After leaving Petersburg the route lay through Greenland 
Gap. Contrary to information received, this pass was 
occupied by the enemy, who had constructed entrenchments 
around a log church. The position could have been turned, 
but the time consumed would have created delay enough to 
probably endanger the success of the general plan. Accord 
ingly General Jones determined to take the position by 
assault. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Marshall with a portion of the 
Seventh was ordered to charge the works supported by Col. 
R. H. Dulany with the rest of the Seventh. 

The charge was gallantly made. The enemy, apprised of 
the attempt, were fully prepared and received the bold 
troopers with a well-directed volley that emptied several 
saddles. The Seventh, however, pressed forward and the 
Federals were forced to retreat into the log church and a 
house near by. With port-holes between the logs they could 
fire with a sense of security and with great accuracy against 
an enemy that had no artillery. 

In the charge of the Seventh, Colonel Dulany was 
unhorsed with a severe wound in the arm, and lay within 
easy range of the Federal marksmen. The outlook was 
very unpromising, but General Jones was bent on taking 
the position. 

Some of the Seventh had gotten past the church and were 
in the rear of it. The sharpshooters of the Seventh secured 
the woods and hillside on the left. The mounted riflemen 
of Lieut.-Col. V. A. Wiener s Battalion, under Captain 
Chapman, were dismounted and thrown to the right. With 
great boldness they penetrated close to the building and 



122 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

secured the stone works erected by the enemy. A flag was 
sent out demanding a surrender. Upon this being scorn 
fully refused, preparations were made to storm the buildings 
and, if necessary, to burn or blow them up. 

The dismounted men of Brown s and White s Bat 
talions, under their respective leaders, advanced to the 
assault, while the Pioneer Corps, under Lieut. William G. 
Williamson, moved forward with torches and powder ready 
for blowing up the buildings. 

In the charge White s men "crossed a rocky and rapid 
stream in the face of a galling fire from the enemy in the 
church, and an enfilading fire from a portion of those con 
cealed in a building to the right of the church. They 
rushed bravely on until they arrived at the church, where, 
knocking out the chinking and firing through the holes, they 
soon drove the enemy from one side of the house. 

"In the meantime the Pioneer Corps coming up, broke 
out the window, set fire to a bundle of straw and threw it in, 
thus firing the lower part of the building." 1 

Fortunately for the assailants, General Jones had delayed 
the assault until near dark. This saved the Confederates 
from a much heavier loss. In the charge only four of the 
assailing column were killed and eight or ten wounded. 
General Jones entire loss was seven killed and twenty-two 
wounded. The enemy lost two killed and six or eight 
wounded and eighty prisoners. Four wagons and teams 
and one ambulance were captured. 

The stubborn resistance of the Federals greatly enraged 
the Confederates, who had suffered much the greater loss. 
Some insisted that the prisoners should be killed, but Gen- 



iColonel White s Report. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 123 

eral Jones said : "They fought like brave men and did their 
duty. They shall receive honorable treatment." 

The same evening a "Swamp Dragon," one of a robber 
gang that was justly charged with atrocious crimes, was 
brought before him. The captor requested that he might 
kill him. Said General Jones : "You should never have 
taken him alive, but since you have brought him to me, he 
shall be treated as a prisoner of war." 

From Greenland Gap the column advanced towards the 
North Western Grade. "Upon reaching this Col. A. W. 
Harman was sent with the Twelfth Virginia, Brown s Bat 
talion, and McNeil s Company of Partisan Rangers to burn 
the railroad bridge at Oakland, Maryland, and to march 
from there by way of Kingwood to Morgantown. 

"A squadron of the Eleventh, under Capt. E. H. 
McDonald, was sent from the same point to Altamont, 
twelve miles east of Oakland, to burn some small bridges 
and then to follow and join Colonel Harman. 

"The remainder of the force moved on Rowlesburg. 
arriving at Cheat River about t\vo P. M., April 26th. 

"Having captured the pickets of the enemy and learning 
that there was a garrison of only 300 men at Rowlesburg, 
Col. J. S. Green, commanding the Sixth Virginia, was 
ordered to charge the place, the Seventh, under Colonel 
Marshall, and the Eleventh, under Colonel Lomax, to form 
his support. 

"Capt. O. L. Weems of the Eleventh, with eighty sharp 
shooters of his regiment and a part of Wicher s Battalion, 
was sent across the hills from the bridge on the North 
Western Grade to attack the east end of the railroad bridge 
at Rowlesburg and to burn it at all hazards." 2 



2 General Jones Report. 



124 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

The attempt on Rowlesburg failed, and General Jones 
deemed it best to move on, leaving the railroad bridge and 
trestlework unharmed. 

He had now penetrated far into the enemy s country. 
Forage was scarce and food for his men hard to procure. 

Rumors of advancing columns of the enemy from several 
directions reached him. The country people were un 
friendly, and frequently in the mountain passes his march 
ing column was fired into by bushwhackers. 

General Irnboden up to this time had failed to unite forces 
with him or even to communicate with him as to his location 
and movements. 

Next day Jones moved on to Evansville, and late in the 
evening learned that Lieut. C. H. Vandiver and a party of 
eight men had captured the town of Independence and the 
home guard of twenty men. A force was immediately 
thrown into Independence and the bridge near by was 
effectually destroyed. 

"At daylight Harman joined the brigade, bringing the 
first tidings of his and McDonald s success at Oakland and 
Altamont." 3 

Colonel Harman had moved with his usual celerity upon 
Oakland, capturing a company of fifty-seven Federals. 
After destroying the railroad bridge east of the town and 
the railroad and turnpike bridges over the Youghiogheny 
River, he moved on to Cranberry Summit, where he cap 
tured the guard of fifteen men and destroyed the railroad 
property. 

In the meantime Captain McDonald with a squadron of 
the Eleventh had burned the bridges at Altamont, and 
following up Colonel Harman s line of march was endeavor- 

3 General Jones Report. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 125 

ing to overtake him. Harman, however, with scrupulous 
care was burning all the bridges over which he crossed. 
Besides, his burning of bridges had roused the mountaineers, 
and the woods became alive with bushwhackers ready to 
waylay the now perplexed squadron of the Eleventh. After 
fording many deep streams and continuously marching, 
Captain McDonald succeeded in joining Harman. 

April the 27th, the day of the capture of Oakland, being 
Sunday, and the hour about eleven o clock A. M., the good 
people of the town had just turned out for church. The 
late Hon. William L. Wilson, sometime member of Con 
gress from West Virginia, and Postmaster-General under 
President Cleveland, was a private in Company B of the 
Twelfth Virginia Regiment, which led the charge into the 
town. Wilson, than whom there was no braver nor more 
efficient soldier in the Southern army, and who was natur 
ally of a jocular and cheery disposition, seeing a young man 
and young woman together apparently agitated at the 
sudden appearance of the Confederates, addressed some 
reassuring remarks to them. 

"Don t you think the Rebels are better looking men than 
the Yankees ?" said Wilson to the young woman. 

"Not you, anyway, with that moustache the color of 
buttermilk !" replied the girl. 

The laugh was on Wilson, who had been cultivating with 
some pride the then budding moustache which in after life 
contributed in no small degree to his pleasing and striking 
appearance. 

The whole command reuniting on the 28th of April 
marched on Morgantown, and arriving there about noon 
crossed the suspension bridge to the west side of the Monon- 
gahela River. Here a halt was made of a few hours. At 



126 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

dark the column moved on Fairmont. Approaching the 
town from the west it was discovered that the hills com 
manding the road were occupied by the enemy. By turn 
ing to the right the position was flanked and the Con 
federates entered the town at a charge pell-mell with the 
flying Federals. The enemy retreated up the river by both 
the east and the west banks, uniting with the force of 
Federals stationed for a guard at the railroad bridge. The 
Confederates pursued vigorously, and after a brief conflict 
the Federals on the west bank, numbering 260, raised the 
white flag and surrendered. 

The prisoners arms were hardly stacked before a Federal 
reinforcement arrived on the scene, consisting of artillery 
and infantry. Their first salutation was a round volley of 
artillery and musketry which to many of the Confederates 
was the first indication of their presence. 

Colonel Marshall at once moved his horses under shelter 
of a hill, and dismounting his men armed them with the 
captured muskets of the enemy. 

The volleys of the Federals were now quickly returned, 
and "the reception of the newcomers was soon too warm 
for a long tarry." 

On the opposite side of the river Colonel Harman, with 
the Twelfth and the skirmishers from the Eleventh, 
Brown s Battalion and White s Battalion, pushed the enemy 
vigorously. The Federal reinforcements on Harman s side 
were driven off, and he asked for reinforcements to enable 
him to capture the whole command. "But," says General 
Jones, "as the bridge was my main object, I preferred to 
exert my whole energy in its destruction, and to allow the 
troops who could do me no more harm to escape." 4 

4 Jones Report. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 127 

Under the supervision of Lieutenant Williamson and Cap 
tain Henderson the work of destruction now began, and 
soon after dark the magnificent structure tumbled into the 
river. The bridge was of iron, three spans, each 300 feet. 

In the charge on the town one piece of artillery was cap 
tured by Lieut. B. F. Conard and four men of Company A, 
White s Battalion. It was afterwards spiked and thrown 
into the river. 

In this affair General Jones loss was three wounded; 
that of the enemy, twelve killed and many wounded, besides 
250 prisoners. 

Leaving the wounded in the hands of friends, at dark the 
command moved on, still indulging in the hope that General 
Imboden would soon be found. Learning that Clarksburg 
was occupied by the enemy, the Monongahela was crossed 
and the Federal force at Bridgeport, five miles east of 
Clarksburg, was captured, the work being done by the 
Maryland cavalry under Maj. R. Brown. 

As nothing better offered itself at this point, a bridge to 
the left of the town was destroyed and a captured train run 
into the stream. 

The next day an early start was made towards Philippi, 
and along the march many horses and some cattle were 
picked up. 

Upon reaching Philippi about noon, the led horses and 
cattle were sent off to Beverly, and the rest of the command 
moved towards Buckhannon, where there was constant 
expectation of falling in with Imboden s command. 

On May the 2nd, a few miles from Buckhannon the first 
certain intelligence of him was received from one of his men 
on furlough, who met Jones column in the road. From 



128 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

him it was learned that Imboden was at Buckhannon, at 
which place the two commands soon united. 

A joint movement was now made upon Clarksburg. At 
Weston, after a rest of two days, the attempt upon Clarks 
burg was abandoned and the commands separated, General 
Imboden going southward, while General Jones went for 
ward to destroy the Northwestern Railroad. 

On the 6th of May Colonel Harman, with the Eleventh 
and Twelfth and Wicher s Battalion, moved on West Union, 
while with the rest of his command General Jones went to 
destroy the railroad at Cairo. 

Colonel Harman found the garrison at West Union too 
strong to be dislodged, but feigning an attack with a part 
of his force, he diverted their attention, while with the 
remainder he succeeded in burning the bridges east and 
west of the town and capturing nineteen prisoners. 

At Cairo General Jones gained an easy victory. The 
garrison of twenty-one men surrendered without firing a 
gun. 

The fruits of the victory hardly paid for the trouble of 
gaining it, the cavalry, already well jaded, having marched 
eighty miles without unsaddling. 

The command now moved on Oil Town, and the work 
done there made a lasting impression upon those engaged 
in it. 

The oil wells were owned mainly by Southern men who 
had been driven from their homes and their property appro 
priated by the Federal Government or by Northern men. 5 
This, it appears, was the chief reason for destroying the 
works. All the oil tanks, barrels, engines for pumping, 
engine-houses, wagons, etc., were burned. 
^General Jones Report. 




COL. RICHARD H. DULANY 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 129 

"The boats filled with oil in bulk burst with a report 
almost equal to artillery and spread the burning fluid over 
the river." 

Flowing over the surface of the meandering streams that 
led to the river the fiery wave rolled on with the current. 
Soon as far as the eye could reach the river was on fire, 
sending up dense columns of black smoke that by contrast 
increased the brightness of the conflagration. 

General Jones had strict orders from General Lee to 
respect private property. He did all he could to have these 
orders obeyed by the troops and never overlooked a violation 
of them even when circumstances greatly palliated the act. 
It was hardly to be expected that men traveling through a 
hostile country, themselves and horses at times almost 
starved, would wait for permission from the proper 
authority to gratify their pressing wants. Stores were fre 
quently plundered, although General Jones more than once 
punished those caught in the act ; on one occasion belaboring 
with his sabre a soldier who had tied behind his saddle a 
bundle of hoop-skirts. 

Two saw-mills were burned, one at Fairmont that was 
engaged in making gun-stocks for the Federal Government, 
and another at Cairo because it would have been used to 
saw material to repair the damages done to the railroad. 

From Oil Town the command moved to Summerville, 
where General Imboden and his force were found, and the 
raiders now turned their faces homeward. The work of 
destruction had been done. Many cattle had been seized and 
nearly every trooper returned leading a captured horse. 

In thirty days Jones command had marched 700 miles, 
gathering by the way subsistence for man and horse. Some 



130 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

twenty-five or thirty of the enemy had been killed, three 
times that number wounded, and 700 prisoners captured. 

It had burned sixteen railroad bridges and rendered use 
less one tunnel, thus for quite a time interrupting- the use of 
the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad for the Federals ; but what 
was most important, they had brought back for the use of 
the Confederacy 1,000 cattle and 1,200 horses. 

The entire loss of the Confederates upon the raid was ten 
killed and forty-two wounded. 

"Throughout this arduous march," says General Jones, 
"the men and officers have evinced a cheerful endurance 
worthy of tried veterans. They have shown skill in glean 
ing a precarious subsistence from a country desolated by two 
years of oppressive tyranny and brutal war that would have 
won the admiration of the most approved Cossack." 6 

General Lee, in his endorsement of General Jones report, 
says : "The expedition under General Jones appears to have 
been conducted with commendable skill and vigor, and was 
productive of beneficial results. The injury inflicted on the 
enemy was serious, and he will doubtless be induced to keep 
troops to guard the railroad that otherwise might be 
employed against us. General Jones displayed sagacity and 
boldness in his plans and was well supported by the courage 
and fortitude of his officers and men." 

On its return the last week in May, the brigade rested a 
few days in camp at Mt. Crawford, and in the first week in 
June crossed the Blue Ridge to join the cavalry corps of 
"Jeb" Stuart near Culpeper Court House. 



General Jones Report. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 131 

On the 5th of June a grand review of all the cavalry of the 
Army of Northern Virginia was held in the plains between 
Brandy Station and Culpeper Court House. 

Upon a commanding point from which could be seen the 
whole corps as it was marshaled for the display, Stuart 
watched their motions with admiring eye and waited for 
them to pass in review. 

The soldierly pride of each body from company to brigade 
was stirred, and as they marched in squadron front past 
their commander even the horses seemed to know that they 
were on dress parade. 

Each regiment appeared different from every other, and 
in turn evinced some peculiarity that evoked admiration 
from the lookers-on. 

The Carolinians were easily distinguished. They rode 
with military primness and were mounted on steeds of deli 
cately-shaped limbs with glistening eyes and full of fire and 
motion. At their head rode Wade Hampton, then in the full 
bloom of manhood and looking every inch the soldier he 
proved himself to be. 

The Lower Virginians challenged attention by the grace 
ful nonchalance of their riding, and the ease with which 
they moved along, yet having the steady front of veterans. 

The Valley and Piedmont men, of which Jones brigade 
was composed, were from the blue-grass section, and the 
strong, well-limbed horses gave to their squadrons an 
impression of massive and warlike strength. The riders like 
centaurs appeared almost one with their steeds. General 
Jones rode at their head, evidently proud of his command, 
but with disdainful air, for he hated the "pomp and circum 
stance of war." 



132 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Among scenes that made good riding conspicuous, and 
where there seemed to be some enjoyment of glory won in 
previous battles, not a few missed the lamented Ashby, the 
recollection of whose surpassing horsemanship brought back 
so vividly his short but glorious career. 

Stuart s 8,000 horsemen first passed the grandstand at a 
walk, then rounding their circuit went by at a charge, while 
the guns of the artillery battalion on an opposite eminence 
lent to the scene the charms of mimic warfare. 

When the "performances" were ended the men returned 
to camp, having gained that day much information in 
regard to the cavalry s strength, and were inspired with 
additional esprit du corps. 

Many, however, grumbled at the useless waste of energy, 
especially that of the horses ; and when it was announced a 
few days afterwards that there was to be another grand 
review on the 8th, the grumblers were even more numerous 
and outspoken. Complaints, however, ceased in a measure 
when it was learned that Genl. Robert E. Lee was to be pres 
ent and witness the review. 

On the appointed day the corps again assembled and 
marched in review. General Lee, always careful to husband 
the energies of his troops, would not allow the squadrons 
to charge nor the artillery to fire, and the ambitious eques 
trians had to content themselves with marching at a walk 
past the grandstand. 

Lee had already begun moving his army northward to 
enter upon his Gettysburg campaign, and the cavalry was 
ordered to camp towards the Rappahannock and hold the 
fords of that river. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 133 

Jones brigade had particular charge of the road that 
crossed at Beverly Ford. On the night of the 8th the Sixth 
Virginia held Jones front, picketing Beverly Ford and 
camping near St. James Church. 

Nearby and somewhat in advance of them the battalion of 
horse artillery bivouacked; for orders had already been 
issued to march at an early hour the next day. 

From this point the river was distant about two miles, 
and the road for half the distance was shut in by continuous 
forests until an eminence is reached that commands the 
country about Beverly Ford. 

Jones men lay down that night little dreaming that there 
would be fought on the morrow the greatest cavalry battle 
of the Civil War, or indeed of modern times, on the very 
ground where they -had passed in the harmless review. 
There were some, however, who thought the Yankees would 
soon come over the river to inquire the meaning of all the 
reviews reported by their scouts. 

In the meantime General Pleasonton, commanding the 
Federal cavalry, had determined upon making a recon- 
noissance in force across the Rappahannock, in order to 
press in Lee s outposts and unmask the position and move 
ments of the main army. So, on the 8th of June, while the 
Confederates were engaged in their pageantry, the Federals 
were concentrating for an advance next clay over the fords 
of the Rappahannock in the direction of Culpeper Court 
House. 

Pleasonton s force consisted of three divisions of cavalry 
and two of infantry, with one reserve cavalry brigade in 
addition. One column, including the first cavalry division, 
the reserve cavalry brigade and one brigade of infantry, all 



134 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

under the command of Genl. John Buford, crossed at 
Beverly Ford. The remainder of the force under General 
Gregg was sent across by Kelly s Ford, about four miles 
below the railroad bridge, Pleasonton accompanying the 
column under Buford. 

As no fires were left in the Federal bivouac on the night 
of the 8th, the Confederates on the south bank of the Rap- 
pahannock remained in profound ignorance of the designs 
of the enemy. The rattle of small arms at the ford in the 
early dawn conveyed the first information of the hostile 
movement. 

At the head of the advancing Federal column was the 
Eighth New York Cavalry under the command of Col. B. F. 
Davis. It was met at the ford by Company A of the Sixth 
Virginia, under Captain Gibson, and gallantly resisted. 
Yielding to numbers the company gradually fell back, being 
favored in their retreat by ditches in the low grounds on 
either side of the road, which, by preventing an attack 
towards their flank and rear, confined the assault to the 
limits of the narrow road. 

In the meantime the Sixth Regiment was aroused. The 
call to arms was quickly responded to, and in a short time 
Maj. C. E. Flournoy, hastily getting together about 150 
men, came rapidly to the rescue. Charging down the road 
he struck with vigor the head of the Federal column and 
forced it back for a short distance. 

The fight was at close quarters, and for a short time was 
fierce and bloody. In a few minutes the Sixth sustained a 
loss of thirty men, that of the enemy being probably less. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 135 

Yielding to superior numbers, Major Flournoy slowly fell 
back, the enemy being loath to pursue, as appears from the 
following incident : 

"Lieut. Owen Allen of Company D, who was in the charge 
above mentioned, was riding in the rear of Flournoy s retreat 
ing column. Seeing a Federal Officer in the road some sev 
enty-five yards in front of his column, which was halted, Allen 
advanced upon him with his horse at a canter. 

"The officer s attention was given to his own men, to whom 
he was waiving his sword as if to order them forward. 
Remembering that he had but one shot in his pistol, Allen 
reserved fire until within swords length of his foe. Per 
ceiving his danger, Colonel Davis turned upon Allen with a 
cut of his sabre, which Allen avoided by throwing himself on 
the side of his horse, and at the same moment fired and Colonel 
Davis fell. He met a soldier s fate, and at the hands of one as 
brave and daring as himself. 

"Sergeant Stone of Company H, Sixth Regiment, and 
Private G. Larue of Company D now came forward to the 
assistance of Lieutenant Allen. Others of the enemy advanced 
at the same moment, when Sergeant Stone was killed almost 
instantly, and Allen and Larue, finding themselves alone in the 
presence of a large force, made a hasty retreat to their own 
lines." 7 

In the meantime the Seventh, under Lieut. -Col. Thomas 
Marshall, had already reached the field and struck the enemy 
on the left of the Sixth. 

General Jones was with them and had brought the brigade 
off in such a hurry that many of the men rode bareback into 
the fight. 

Indeed there was no time for dallying. Not far from the 
enemy, and far in advance of any support, was the battalion 

7 McClellan s "Campaigns of Stuart," page 265. 



136 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

of horse artillery, which the bold dash of the Confederates 
alone saved f romi capture. 

As the Seventh approached the enemy on the left of the 
Sixth, which was charging down the road, it came under the 
fire of the enemy s sharpshooters protected by woods. Con 
tinuing to advance it dispersed the sharpshooters, and pene 
trating the forest some distance encountered a large body of 
Federals. 

After a brief encounter, in which two men of the Seventh 
were killed, Marshall was ordered to fall back. Retiring 
slowly, he, with dismounted men, retarded the Federal 
advance. 

Two guns of Hart s Battery were now in position in the 
road and had opened on the enemy. When the Seventh 
retired these guns were without support, but the gallant 
artillery covered their own retreat, keeping the enemy at bay 
with canister. 

The Federals had now been retarded long enough to allow 
the wagons to move to the rear, and the artillery to be put in 
position near St. James Church. 

General Jones formed his line in connection with the 
artillery, bringing up to their support the Eleventh and 
Twelfth regiments and the Thirty-fifth Battalion. 

The Seventh had in the fighting gotten far off to the left, 
and for the rest of the day participated with W. F. Lee s 
brigade in its repulse of the enemy. 

The Sixth veered to the right, and united with Hampton, 
who had now come up and formed on Jones right. 

There was now a slight breathing spell on Jones front, 
which faced an open field, beyond which was a thick woods, 
from which Federal sharpshooters delivered a scattering fire, 




Ofcl 




COL. E. V. WHITE 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 137 

but their heavy columns did not continue to advance. Genl. 
W. F. Lee was pressing their right flank, while Hampton 
had partially enveloped their left. 

Jones was now ordered to move forward and press their 
center. With the Twelfth in front, under Col. A. W. Har- 
man; the Thirty-fifth Battalion, under Lieut.-Col. E. V. 
White; and the Eleventh, under Colonel Lomax, on the 
left, Jones advanced. The edge of the woods held by the 
enemy smoked with the rifles of hidden sharpshooters as the 
grey squadrons crossed the open grounds in front of the 
woods. Just as Harman reached the forest, a murderous 
volley was poured into his ranks, and Buford s troopers 
came charging up the road right upon them. 

The head of the Twelfth was shattered, and out into the 
fields rushed the Federals. The bulk of the Twelfth was 
still fighting, and the Eleventh and White s battalion rushed 
into the melee. 

There was now charging and countercharging. Squad 
rons cut in two and, again reuniting, turned upon the daring 
foe. Grey and blue were intermingled ; men were captured 
and recaptured, and for a brief space the issue was doubtful. 

In the midst of the tumult of battle the Sixth Pennsyl 
vania and the Sixth United States Regulars made a most 
daring charge. Breaking through the fighting squadrons in 
the open field, they made straight for the Confederate guns 
at the church. Shrapnel and canister greeted them, but they 
rode on undismayed, and dashing up to the very muzzles 
went past the guns. 

Immediately they were attacked on both flanks by Jones 
and Hampton s squadrons and driven back; and though 



138 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

they suffered heavy loss, they returned as they came, with 
ranks well closed up. 

Again there was a breathing spell, and nothing but the 
dropping fire of the skirmishers on General Lee s front broke 
the stillness that succeeded the storm. No bluecoats were 
even in sight. Perhaps they had gone back to the ford and 
the battle was over. The surgeons were looking after the 
wounded, and the soldiers were telling of their hairbreadth 
escapes and boasting of victory. 

But a sound of cannon was heard far to the rear. The 
reports ceased in number and seemed to be getting nearer. 
Presently a courier on a foaming horse galloped up to Gen 
eral Jones with orders from General Stuart to lead his bri 
gade with all speed to Fleetwood Hill, a mile and more to 
the rear of the position he then occupied. 

Fleetwood Hill was the commanding position of the field 
contended for. 

Gregg with a full division of cavalry and artillery in pro 
portion had crossed the Rappahannock at Kelly s Ford, and 
having evaded Robinson s command, was moving rapidly 
in the rear of Stuart s position in the direction of Brandy 
Station, and was in cannon shot of Fleetwood Hill, which 
was then occupied only by one gun of Chew s Battery, a 
howitzer commanded by Lieut. John W. Carter. This gun 
being only supplied with a few rounds of damaged ammuni 
tion, could do no execution, but made a brave show of 
defending the position, and the boldness of Carter created 
the impression upon Gregg that he was well supported. 
Hence he delayed to make an immediate attack upon the 
position with his cavalry, but opened a cannonade upon it 
with three rifle guns. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 139 

Moments were now precious, and the best description of 
the situation is given by Maj. H. B. McClellan, chief of 
staff of Stuart s cavalry corps, in his "Life and Campaigns 
of Stuart," page 271, here quoted. 

"The nearest point from which a regiment could be sent was 
Jones position, one and a half miles distant from Fleetwood. 
The Twelfth Virginia, Col. A. W. Harman, and the Thirty- 
fifth Battalion, Lieut. -Col. E. V. White, were immediately 
withdrawn from his line and ordered to meet this new danger. 
The emergency was so pressing that Colonel Harman had no 
time to form his regiment in squadrons. He reached the top 
of the hill as Carter was retiring his gun, having fired his very 
last cartridge. 

"Not fifty yards below Col. Percy Wyndham was advancing 
the First New Jersey Cavalry in magnificent order, in column 
of squadrons, with flags and guidons flying. 

"A hard gallop had enabled only the leading files of the 
Twelfth Virginia to reach the top of the hill, the rest of the 
regiment stretching out behind in column of fours. It was a 
trying position both to the pride and the courage of this regi 
ment, to be put into action in such manner, that a successful 
charge seemed hopeless. But with the true spirit of a forlorn 
hope Colonel Harman and the few men about him dashed at 
the advancing Federals. * * * And now the first contest 
for the possession of Fleetwood Hill was on, and so stubbornly 
was this fought on either side, and for so long a time, that all 
of Jones regiments and all of Hampton s participated in the 
charges and countercharges which swept across its face." 

So far McClellan. 

It was Company B of the Twelfth, Lieut. Milton Rouss in 
command, and only fifteen to twenty men, who first reached 
the crest of the hill and charged and received the counter 
charge of Wyndham and the First New Jersey. 



140 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Sergt. George Lewis and Privates Upshur Manning and 
Warner McKown of Company B were killed and four others 
of the company wounded in this encounter. 

In referring to this charge, McClellan in a footnote, page 
272, says : 

"The result of this charge was always a matter of mortifica 
tion to this gallant regiment and its leader. It is but just that 
I should say even at this day, that the whole responsibility 
rested with me and not with Colonel Harman. The Colonel 
was not aware of the extreme urgency of the case, and his regi 
ment was only advancing at a trot. Seeing this I rode down 
the hill to meet him and ordered the gallop, and put him into 
the fight in the disorderly manner narrated. I have, however, 
always believed that the circumstances justified the sacrifice of 
this regiment ; for had Colonel Wyndham obtained undisputed 
possession of the summit, with time to make arrangements for 
holding it, the subsequent fighting would probably have had a 
different result." 

For a moment only the enemy was checked, though por 
tions of the Twelfth came gallantly to the aid of their leader. 
Forced back by the onward sweep of Wyndham s squadrons, 
the head of the Twelfth was shattered, but fought in the 
general melee with the supports that came up. 

It was now White s turn. The long gallop had dis 
arranged his column, but he paused for a moment to make 
a hasty formation before assailing the foe. While Harman s 
assault had failed, it had not been fruitless, for it broke the 
solidity of the Federal front. Wyndham having his regi 
ment in squadron formation, charged en masse to meet the 
assault of Harman s unorganized handful. The enemy s 
array was no longer compact. His squadrons in the tumult 
of battle were separated. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 141 

White, seizing his opportunity, hurled three of his com 
panies under Major Ferneyhough against the foe on his 
right, and the other two companies he led against a body of 
troops on his left. 

A part of Hampton s brigade now participated in the con 
test for the possession of the hill, and there was charging 
and countercharging, squadrons broken and again reformed, 
the gallant spirits on both sides refusing to yield. 

White, having driven off the troops on his left, returned 
to find the hill again in possession of the Federals. 

Meantime Harman, who had not been idle a moment, 
having reformed his regiment, united with White in another 
desperate effort to take the hill. The bluecoats were hard 
to move, but their steady valor yielded to the impetuous rush 
of the Confederates. 

Harman, charing under his recent repulse, raged like a 
lion in the combat that ensued. Dashing at the leader of 
the Federal horse, he engaged him in a personal encounter 
and was severely wounded. 

The brave hearts of the Twelfth and White s Battalion 
pressed forward, dealing vigorous blows, and the enemy, 
yielding to the fierce assault, finally gave way and abandoned 
the hill. 

During the contest for the position the Federals had been 
greatly aided by a battery posted at the foot of the hill lying 
eastward. It became necessary now to drive away or cap 
ture this battery. White was ordered to charge it. Hastily 
reforming his men, and reinforced by a company of the 
Sixth Virginia, he rode at the guns. 

Across an open plain for 300 yards, exposed to a murder 
ous fire, the bold horsemen galloped. The cavalry supports 



142 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

of the battery delivered steady volleys, while the brave can 
noneers poured grape and canister into the ranks of their 
assailants. As nearer they came the more rapid and deadly 
were the discharges. 

Could they live under such a fire? The smoke partly 
obscured the issue, but through the rifts were seen the charg 
ing horsemen bearing down upon the foe. Once more the 
cannons blazed forth, and now, mid flame and smoke, 
White and his men were seen among the guns. Some fought 
hand to hand with the brave artillerists, while others dashed 
at the cavalry supports. These soon gave way and broke in 
full retreat. But the gunners w r ere unconquered and refused 
to yield, using their small arms against the cavalrymen. 

White, sending a portion of his men after the broken 
cavalry supports, with about twenty troopers turned back 
and galloped to the guns, around which was raging a hand- 
to-hand conflict. 

"There was no demand for a surrender or offer to do so 
until nearly all the men, with many of their horses, were 
either killed or wounded." 8 

The capture of the guns was not yet accomplished, for 
help for the gallant artillerists was near at hand. Bodies of 
Federal horse bore down upon White and almost surrounded 
him. The dearly won prize was wrenched from his grasp, 
and he was forced to cut his way out through the ranks of 
the bluecoats to avoid losing heavily. 

Once more the guns were in the hands of the Federals, 
but most of those who had manned them lay dead or dying 
near by. Around the now silent guns stood a body of Fed 
eral horse. To the right and left the battle was still raging. 



8 White s Report. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 143 

General Jones, who, as we have seen, remained near St. 
James Church with only the Eleventh and his artillery, had 
been ordered to take part with his troops in the fight at 
Fleetwood Hill. He reached the field just as White had 
been driven away from the guns of Captain Martin s battery. 

The Eleventh, under Col. L. Lomax, 9 was now ordered to 
charge. As with well-closed columns it swept across the 
ridge, a galling fire of small arms greeted it, for the other 
section of Captain Martin s battery near the Miller house 
was still intact. 

The fighting of Hampton s regiment had almost by this 
time cleared the hill east of Stuart s headquarters, and they 
were still engaged when the Eleventh reached the scene of 
strife. 

With steady gallop the Eleventh went forward, passing 
through the guns that White had been compelled to sur 
render, taking them and many of the cavalry prisoners. 10 

Now dividing his force, Lomax sent "Capt. E. H. 
McDonald with a squadron after the fugitives east of the 
railroad, while with the remainder of his regiment he 
assailed three regiments of cavalry awaiting him near the 
depot, which force he completely routed." 1 

The fighting around the station and along the railroad 
east of it was stubborn, and it was not until after repeated 
charges of the men of the Eleventh that the Federals gave 
way. 



Genl. L. L. Lomax, colonel of the Eleventh Virginia Cavalry, Laurel 
Brigade ; frequently by seniority in command of the brigade. A dashing 
and successful officer, promoted to brigadier-general, and later to 
major-general, commanding a division of Cavalry Corps, Army of 
Northern Virginia. 

10 Lomax s Report. 

11 Jones Report. 



144 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Gregg was now totally discomfited and withdrew his 
troops, going off, however, at "his own gait" to make con 
nection with Buford at Beverly Ford. 

Mention here should be made of a charge of the Sixth 
that occurred about the same time White was charging the 
right section of Captain Martin s battery. The Sixth, 
under Major Flournoy, joined Hampton in his attack upon 
Gregg s right. Being ordered by Hampton to move quickly 
in the direction of Brandy Station, while on his way he 
received orders from General Stuart to cut off 300 Federals 
who were near the Miller house. 12 

These he soon routed, but was suddenly attacked in the 
flank and forced to retire towards the Miller house. Here 
a Federal battery was discovered, which opened furiously 
upon the retreating Confederates. 

The gallant Sixth, now almost surrounded, charged the 
battery, rode up to the muzzles of the guns and captured 
them. 

Here also the artillerists bravely defended the pieces with 
their revolvers, and speedily aided by a heavy force of 
Federal cavalry, drove off the men of the Sixth. 13 

The Eleventh now went towards Stevensburg to guard 
against another attack from that direction, while the 
Twelfth, Sixth, and Seventh regiments were from this time 
on held in reserve, alternately supporting the artillery at 
Miller s house and reinforcing Genl. W. F. Lee on our 
extreme left. 14 

When Jones and Hampton withdrew their brigades to 
meet Gregg s attack at the Fleetwood house Buford, who 



12 Flournoy s Report. 
13 Flournoy s Report. 
14 Jones Report 




GENL. L. L. LOMAX 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 145 

had marched from Beverly Ford, had apparently nothing 
in his front to prevent his advancing and attacking Jones 
and Hampton in their rear. 

Just at that time, fortunately for Stuart, Genl. W. F. Lee 
was threatening Buford s right flank, and thus prevented a 
movement which might have proved disastrous to the Con 
federate arms. Indeed from the time that Gregg made his 
appearance beyond Fleetwood Hill and fired his first cannon 
shots at what he supposed was a Confederate force near 
Stuart s headquarters, to the time when he was driven from 
Fleetwood Hill, not much over thirty minutes had elapsed, 
although Jones and Hampton were more than a mile away 
when the ominous roar of Gregg s guns first attracted their 
attention. 

Buford, therefore, had not much time in which to make 
his arrangements for an advance, menaced as he was by 
Genl. W. F. Lee, and before anything could be done Gregg 
was beaten and retiring to\vards the Rappahannock. 

Stuart now formed a new line, and in the evening there 
was heavy fighting between Buford s and W. F. Lee s 
troops, Jones brigade, except a part of the Seventh, being 
held in reserve. 

In this battle the Confederates lost 523 officers and 
enlisted men, while the loss of the Federals was 936. The 
Confederates captured 486 prisoners, three pieces of artil 
lery, and six regimental and company flags. There were 
on the field or near it, twenty-one Confederate regiments 
opposed to thirty-four Federal regiments. 

The fighting was mainly done by fifteen regiments, five of 
which belonged to Jones brigade. 



146 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Of the total Confederate loss in killed, wounded, and 
missing 523, the loss in Jones brigade was 130 killed and 
wounded, the number missing not known. 

Says General Jones in his report : "My brigade bore the 
brunt of the action. We ended the fight with more horses 
and more and better small arms than we had in the begin 
ning. We took two regimental colors, many guidons, and 
a battery of three pieces. We took many prisoners, prob 
ably 250, as one regiment, the Eleventh, reports I22." 15 



15 For the splendid fighting done by the commands of Hampton, W. F. 
Lee, Fitz Lee, and the horse artillery only incidentally mentioned in 
this narrative, the reader is refered to "The Campaigns of Stuart s 
Cavalry," by Maj. H. B. McClellan. While credit is also given to the 
Federals for the gallant charges of their cavalry and the stubborn 
bravery of their artillerists. 



CHAPTER V 

June, 1863 

A short rest The Army of Northern Virginia moves northward 
Jones brigade guards the line of the Rappahannock Federal cav 
alry in search of Lee make for the passes of the Blue Ridge Aldie 
and Middleburg Fight at Upperville Stuart makes famous raid in 
rear of Federal Army Jones and Robertson s brigades left to 
defend passes of the Blue Ridge Operations of White s Battalion 
In Maryland Sixth Virginia meets Sixth United States Regu 
lars near Fairfield and defeats the latter Joy of victory turned to 
sadness by news of Lee s failure at Cemetery Ridge Jones and 
Robertson hold the passes of Jack Mountain Jones saves Ewell s 
wagon train Buford and Kilpatrick thwarted Fighting between 
Hagerstown and Williamsport Gallant charge of the Eleventh 
Virginia Cavalry Funkstown and Boonesboro Willamsport 
relieved and Lee s wagon train saved The Seventh Virginia retali 
ates upon Sixth Regulars Artillery practice upon a flying target 
Lee recrosses the Potomac The brigade ordered south of the 
Potomac to cover Lee s communications with Winchester The 
Twelfth, under Colonel Harman, on detached service near Har 
per s Ferry Capture of Federal picket reserves Colonel Harman 
falls into the hands of the enemy Brigade encamps near Charles 
Town and engages in reconnoitering and skirmishes Lee retires 
up the Valley and crossing the mountains resumes the line of the 
Rappahannock. 

A short but well-earned rest was enjoyed by Jones men 
after the battle of Brandy Station. 

The movement of Lee s infantry northward soon necessi 
tated great activity on the part of the cavalry. 

Ewell was already engaged in the successful movement 
that ended in the capture of Milroy at Winchester. Long- 
street followed, crossing the Blue Ridge through Ashby s 
and Snickers Gaps. 



148 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

A. P. Hill s corps brought up the rear, and while it was 
passing northward, Hampton s and Jones brigades guarded 
the line of the Rappahannock. 

On the i /th of June Fitz Lee s brigade, under Col. T. T. 
Munford, was attacked near Aldie by General Gregg s 
division of cavalry. 

After a most gallant resistance Munford, in obedience to 
orders from Stuart, retired towards Middleburg. The 
enemy had been so severely punished that he did not follow. 1 

Aldie is in a gap in the Bull Run Mountains, and is 
directly east of Ashby s Gap in the Blue Ridge. A turnpike 
connects the two points, passing through Upperville and 
Middleburg. The next mountain pass in the Blue Ridge 
north of Ashby s is Snickers Gap, from which also a road 
runs to Aldie, making with the turnpike from Ashby s 
nearly an isosceles triangle, having the twelve miles of the 
Blue Ridge between the gaps mentioned for its base. The 
space between is a rich and well-cultivated section of the 
beautiful Piedmont country of Virginia, with county roads 
intersecting it. It is well watered by the mountain streams 
which, with the rolling and sometimes broken plains and 
numerous stone fences, render it ill adapted for cavalry 
movements. 

After the retirement of Col. T. T. Munford from Aldie 
Stuart, with his headquarters on the road from Middleburg 
to Aldie, stationed his cavalry at different points to com 
mand the passes of the Blue Ridge. 

He was threatened by a large cavalry force under General 
Pleasonton, supported by General Barnes division of 
infantry of three brigades. 



1 Munford s Report. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 149 

On the 1 9th of June General Gregg moved out from Aldie 
and attacked Stuart, strongly posted a few miles west of 
Middleburg on the Upperville turnpike. After a stubborn 
fight Stuart fell back about half a mile and took a new posi 
tion, from which the Federals did not attempt to drive him 
that day. In the evening Jones brigade arrived and Avas 
posted on the road to Union, covering that place, which is 
north of the turnpike and about five miles from Upperville. 

The next day Jones was reinforced by General Cham-bliss* 
brigade. On the morning of the 2ist Gregg, now reinforced 
by Buford s division of cavalry and one brigade of infantry, 
1,500 strong, advanced on the Union and Middleburg roads, 
Buford attacking Jones and Chambliss 

Gregg s movement, it seems, was a mere feint to divert 
Stuart until Buford could brush away Jones and Chambliss 
and assail the Confederate left flank. 

Jones and Chambliss, however, proved no small obstacle, 
and Buford, despite his superior numbers, made slow 
progress. There was sharp fighting along the whole cavalry 
front, Gregg no longer making a feint, but pushing forward 
and dealing vigorous blows. 

Stuart, feeling unable to cope with a foe so greatly 
superior in numbers, fell back slowly before Gregg, and 
ordered Jones and Chambliss to abandon the Union Road 
and retire gradually towards. Upperville. 

Their contemplated line of retreat was seriously inter 
fered with by Buford, who, pressing forward and inclining 
towards Stuart s left flank, forced Jones and Chambliss to 
deviate towards the mountain. 

The artillery of both brigades was put in the road and the 
cavalry on the flanks, Chambliss to the left and Jones to 



150 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

the right. In front bearing towards Upperville was a hill 
which they aimed to reach and thence give battle to the 
enemy. In this they were anticipated by Buford, who, being 
on the inside of the circle around the circumference of which 
the Confederates were marching, reached the hill first and 
blocked their way. Although the enemy was strongly 
posted with a stone fence in front, the Confederates immedi 
ately assaulted the position. 

From behind a stone fence the Federal dismounted 
squadrons with their carbines delivered successive volleys, 
to which the Confederates with their pistols made but an 
ineffective response. 

Another stone fence along the road prevented Jones 
artillery from; getting immediately into position. However, 
a part of this fence was soon pulled down and Captain 
Chew, quickly placing his guns into position, opened a gal 
ling fire on the foe at close range. His well-aimed shots, 
crashing into the heads of the Federal regiments, provoked 
a charge upon his battery. On came the bluecoats in fine 
style, massed in column and flanked with battle lines of 
carbineers, who showered bullets among the gunners and into 
the ranks of their supporting squadrons. The leaden hail 
fell thick and fast, rattling on the smoking pieces and 
wounding some of the artillerists. 

Says Colonel Chew, referring to the part performed by 
his battery in this engagement : "When we reached the hill 
opposite the position of the enemy a squadron of our cavalry, 
I think under Captain Hatcher, had let down the fence and 
charged in the direction of Upperville. Our cavalry was 
forming on the west side of the road in considerable con 
fusion. We put the guns on the east side of the road, but 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 151 

finding this position would not be supported, I had a gap let 
down in the fence on the west side of the road, and put my 
guns into position so as to command the gap and the fields 
in front. 

"The enemy frequently charged up to the stone fence, 
but it was easy to make the gap so hot with canister that 
they would not venture across. Our cavalry had formed in 
the field behind us, and after remaining there for some time 
commenced to move off towards the Upperville turnpike. 
The guns were served with deadly effect, and kept the enemy 
completely in check until we had an opportunity to retire." 

The effect of Chew s guns was apparent. Not less than 
forty-five horses by actual count had been shot down in one 
place, at the opening in the fence referred to. The number 
of killed and wounded Federals is not known, but if in pro 
portion to the number of horses the loss must have been 
heavy. The cavalry made several ineffectual attempts to 
protect the battery, which all the time seemed in imminent 
peril, and which retired from the field under the protection 
of its own discharges. 

Never was the brigade taken at greater disadvantage than 
in this engagement. Buford had arrived first at a point 
intersecting Jones line of march, and assailed him on the 
left of his marching column in a road parallel with the 
eastern foothills of the Blue Ridge. The road, as already 
stated, was between stone fences, which made it impossible 
for Jones to get his regiments into any sort of formation, 
and the stone fences beyond in the fields occupied by the 
enemy furnished protection for his sharpshooters, who fired 
with deadly effect into the almost helpless Confederate 
masses. 



152 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

The Twelfth, under Colonel Massie, was ordered to pass 
through a gap in the fence and check the advance of the 
enemy, but such a heavy fire was concentrated upon the 
opening that the head of the regiment was shattered and 
thrown into confusion. Captain O Ferrall, commanding 
Company I of the Twelfth, was here desperately wounded. 2 
Several were killed here and quite a number wounded. 

At this juncture the Eleventh, under Colonel Funsten, 
was ordered to charge, and a portion of the Seventh, led 
by Colonel Marshall, charged up to the stone fence to the 
left of Chew s Battery. This combined attack in a measure 
retarded the Federal advance, but it was the well-served 
artillery that repulsed the enemy. 

Chambliss and Jones now together advanced upon the 
retiring foe and made connection with Stuart s forces, then 
falling back towards Ashby s Gap. 

In reference to this engagement General Buford says in 
his report : "The enemy brought four twelve-pounder guns 
into position, and made some excellent practice on the head 
of my regiments as they came up. The gunners were driven 
from their guns, which would have fallen into our hands but 
for two impassable stone fences. The enemy then came up 
in magnificent style from the direction of Snickersville, and 
for a time threatened me with overwhelming numbers." 

In this fight Jones, who had three regiments on the field, 
White s being on detached service, lost in the Seventh, five 
killed and sixteen wounded; in the Twelfth, two killed and 
eleven wounded; in the Eleventh, seven killed and twenty- 
four wounded. 



2 Capt. O Ferrall survived the war, was elected to Congress and later 
Became Governor of Virginia. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 153 

The next day the Federals withdrew from Upperville, and 
Stuart s headquarters were re-established at Rectortown. 

On the 24th Stuart, taking with him all of his cavalry 
except Robertson s and Jones brigades, started on his raid 
in the rear of the Federal Army. Jones and Robertson 
"were left in observation of the enemy on the usual front, 
with full instructions as to the following up the enemy in 
case of withdrawal, and joining our main army." 3 

The reason assigned by Major McClellan in his "Cam 
paigns of Stuart s Cavalry" for Stuart s leaving Jones 
brigade behind, is that it was the largest in the division, and 
because Stuart regarded Jones as "the best outpost officer" 
in his command. 

On the 29th of June Jones brigade left Snickersville and 
united with that of General Robertson at Berryville. The 
Twelfth Virginia Cavalry had already been sent on picket 
duty near Harper s Ferry. 

June the 3Oth a part of this regiment, under Lieutenants 
Lewis Harman and George Baylor, surprised and captured a 
Federal cavalry picket reserve in Bolivar, killing one and 
capturing twenty-one prisoners, among whom were two 
officers. 

White s Battalion, which had been detached a few days 
after the fight at Brandy Station, accompanied Ewell s 
column against Winchester. When about to cross the Blue 
Ridge, Ewell permitted White to make a raid on Point of 
Rocks. When near the place White sent Company B, under 
Lieutenant Crown, to the north side of the town to cut off 
the retreat of the Federals. Here Lieutenant Crown came 



3 Stuart s Report. 



154 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

up with Cole s Battalion and routed it, capturing thirty- 
seven prisoners. 

In the meantime White had routed Means command in 
the town and captured about twenty prisoners, and when 
Crown returned was engaged in setting fire to two railroad 
trains that had just arrived. 

After gathering up the spoils of war, White with his bat 
talion returned to Loudon and there remained until ordered 
to join Ewell in Maryland. 

About the 3Oth of Juhe. Jones brigade, in company with 
Robertson s, set out for Maryland. The Twelfth Regiment 
was left near Charles Town to picket towards Harper s 
Ferry. 

The Sixth, Seventh and Eleventh regiments crossed the 
Potomiac at Williamsport and, going by way of Chambers- 
burg, reached Cashtown July 3rd. 

Towards evening General Jones, by order of General Lee, 
moved his command towards Fairfield to take position in the 
rear of Lee s line of battle. About two miles from Fairfield 
the Sixth United States Cavalry was met enroute to capture 
the cavalry division w r agon train which, but for the timely 
arrival of Jones, w r ould have fallen into their hands. 

The two columns met face to face in a lane having on both 
sides a stout post and rail fence. The country was open but 
cut up into small fields fenced in a similar manner. Neither 
party could form any estimate of the force opposed to it, and 
circumstances forced immediate action. Major Stair, in 
command of the Federals, upon discovering the Confed 
erates, deployed mounted men on his flank, who with their 
carbines could pour a destructive fire into a columin advanc 
ing down the lane. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 155 

The Seventh Regiment being in front, General Jones at 
once ordered Lieut. -Col. Thomas Marshall to charge the 
enemy. The command was quickly obeyed, and with its 
usual dash the Seventh moved towards the foe. But the 
head of the column soon encountered a terrible fire from the 
flanking squadrons, those on the right partly concealed and 
covered by an orchard. 

Shattered and broken the head of the charging column 
faltered, the men behind it halted, and soon the whole regi 
ment returned in spite of the strenuous efforts of some of the 
officers to force it forward. 

The failure of the Seventh, General Jones old and 
favorite regiment, was clearly due to the fire from the 
mounted men on the flanks, who, being unmolested, shot 
with deadly effect into the charging column. 

General Jones was greatly disappointed and mortified. 
Riding up to the Sixth Virginia, who were in the rear over 
a rising ground out of sight of the repulse of the Seventh, 

he said, "Shall one regiment of Yankees whip my 

whole brigade?" 

"Let us try them !" cried the men of the Sixth. 

The order was at once given to charge. Forming rapidly 
and with eagerness to be in front, the Sixth moved off with 
a steady gallop, with the gallant Colonel Flournoy at the 
head of the column. Some of the Seventh moved abreast 
of the column in the field, and to some extent disturbed the 
mounted bluecoats on the flanks 4 

With drawn sabres the grey troopers bore down upon the 
foe, now flushed with victory and waiting with confidence 
the onset. 



Colonel Marshall s Report. 



156 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

The Clarke Cavalry, under Captain Richards, was in 
front, and many of the Seventh, smarting under their recent 
defeat, joined in the charge. 

Again the fire from the mounted men on the flanks told 
with deadly effect upon the ranks of the assailants. Under 
it Adjutant Allen and others fell at the head of the charging 
force. But the Sixth never slackened pace, and its steady 
advance soon caused dismay among the Federals. 

The leading files of blue began to hesitate and half turn. 
Officers were seen pressing through the column to the front, 
making efforts to keep the men steady. 

Major Stair, commanding the Sixth United States Reg 
ulars, bravely struggled to stem the tide, as his troops, 
shrinking from the rush of the Confederates, turned to flee. 
For a moment there was some resistance, as the head of 
the grey column plunged into that of the blue. 

The gallant Major Stair fell desperately wounded, with 
his skull crushed by a sabre cut from Lieutenant Duncan. 
Capt. G. C. Gram, second in command, was also wounded 
and captured. 

The Federals now broke into a wild rout, the men of the 
Sixth riding among them and slaying or capturing at will. 

For a mile the pursuit was kept up, until the village of 
Fairfield was reached. 

In this fight the Sixth United States Regulars seemed 
almost annihilated. Their total loss was 242 ; six men killed, 
five officers and twenty-three men wounded, and five officers 
and 203 men captured or missing. 

The Seventh Virginia lost three killed and twenty-one 
wounded. The Sixth Virginia lost three killed and seven 
teen wounded. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 157 

During the fight at Fairfield Lee was engaged in an 
attempt to take Cemetery Hill. The roar of the artillery 
supporting Pickett in his desperate charge was still reverber 
ating as the Confederates galloped down the lane towards 
Fairfield. 

After the battle in the evening twilight, as the men talked 
over their success, the joy of victory was dashed with sad 
ness, when it was learned that Lee had failed to take Cem 
etery Hill. There were whisperings of retreat during the 
night. Next day, the 4th of July, Lee s whole army began 
its march back to the Potomac. Jones brigade and Robert 
son s were ordered to hold the passes of Jack Mountain and 
keep back Federal raiders from the wagon train. 

In the evening it was reported that the enemy was 
advancing in force on the Emmitsburg and Waynesboro 
roads. 

General Jones, fearing that Ewell s train, then on its way 
to Williamsport, would be attacked, asked leave to go with 
his command to protect it. He was allowed the Sixth and 
Seventh regiments, and Chew s battery, but the Seventh was 
afterwards ordered back and the Fourth North Carolina, 
under Colonel Fernbee, took its place. 

It rained incessantly all night; the road was soon badly 
cut up; the ruts got deeper and deeper. At many points 
where mountain streams crossed the road the weaker teams 
would stall and block the way. Through the mud and 
darkness the artillery floundered along. Wagons with 
broken axles abandoned by their drivers had to be passed, 
and sometimes broken-down ambulances filled with wounded 
were encountered. 



158 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

It being wholly impracticable to push ahead the artillery, 
or even the cavalry, General Jones went forward with his 
staff. 

Arriving at the junction of the Emmitsburg road with 
the one upon which the train was moving towards Williams- 
port, he found there Capt. G. M. Emack s Company of 
Maryland, with one gun, opposed to a whole division of 
Federal cavalry with a full battery. 

"He had already been driven back within a few hundred 
yards of the junction of the roads. Not half of the long train 
had passed. 

"This little band of heroes was encouraged with the hope of 
speedy reinforcements, reminded of the importance of their 
trust, and exhorted to fight to the bitter end rather than yield. 
All my couriers and all others with firearms were ordered to 
the front, directed to lie on the ground, and be sparing with 
ammunition. The last charge of grape was expended and the 
piece sent to the rear. 

"For more than two hours less than fifty men kept many 
thousands in check, and the wagons continued to pass along 
while the balls were whistling in their midst." 5 

At last the Federals with a cavalry charge swept away 
resistance and got possession of the road. 

General Jones in the darkness was separated from all his 
command and made his way through the woods to Williams- 
port. Here he found everything in confusion, and began to 
reorganize the stragglers for the defense of Lee s army 
train. 

The enemy was momentarily expected. But soon a force 
of Confederate cavalry and infantry arrived and General 
Imboden took command. 



5 Jones Report. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 159 

General Jones now made his way back through the 
enemy s lines to his brigade on the night of the 5th. In 
the morning he rejoined his brigade at Leitersburg, and 
returned with it by way of Smithtown and Cavetown and 
the old Frederick Road, so as to participate in the attacks 
on General Kilpatrick at Hagerstown. 

General Kilpatrick, who had pushed Jones and Emack 
aside at Monterey Gap, captured over 300 prisoners and 
forty wagons. 

On the 6th he withdrew to Boonesboro. Here it was 
arranged between Kilpatrick and Buford that the latter 
should attack Lee s trains at Williamsport, while Kilpatrick 
kept Stuart back in the direction of Llagerstown. 

Stuart, divining their intentions, attacked the Federals at 
Hagerstown, and after a stubborn resistance drove them 
before him. 

But according to the plan prearranged, Kilpatrick retired 
towards Williamsport with his artillery, having a heavy 
line of skirmishers on both sides of the road. The fields 
adjoining w r ere crossed frequently by post and rail fences 
and afforded shelter for the skirmishers. 

Already the sound of cannon \vas heard in the direction 
of Williamsport, and it was evident that unless aid was 
furnished quickly the trains at Williamsport would fall into 
Federal hands. 

Stuart at once determined to press the enemy. Cham- 
bliss brigade of North Carolinians charged, "the Ninth 
and Thirteenth Virginia participating with marked gal 
lantry. Robertson s two regiments and Jenkins brigade 
kept to the left of the road, moving in a parallel direction 
with Chambliss. 



160 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

"The column on the flank was now hurried up to attack 
the enemy in the flank, but the obstacles, such as post and 
rail fences, delayed its progress so long that the enemy had 
time to rally along a crest of rocks and fences, from which 
he opened with artillery, raking the road." 6 

Jenkins brigade was ordered to advance, dismounted, and 
dislodge the enemy. Over the broken and difficult ground 
Jenkins men moved forward, driving the foe. Mounted 
cavalry pressed the retreating ranks of blue, but Kilpatrick 
brought up fresh squadrons and hurled them upon the lines 
of the Confederates. Their onset was met by a counter 
charge conducted by Col. James B. Gordon, commanding a 
fragment of the Fifth North Carolina Cavalry. Before his 
impetuous rush the blue lines fell back in some disorder. 

The Eleventh Virginia, under Colonel Lomax, was now 
ordered to charge, for a simple repulse was not sufficient. 

The guns of Buford, assailing General Imboden, who was 
defending Lee s trains at Williamsport, admonished 
Stuart that partial success would mean defeat, and that 
nothing but a victory that swept Kilpatrick from his path 
would save the trains at Williamsport. Kilpatrick, knowing 
this, aimed above all to gain time and had cunningly placed 
his guns and squadrons so as to retard the advance of the 
Confederates. 

When the Eleventh was ordered to charge, two regiments 
of Federals were drawn up in line across the turnpike and 
the field to the left, their artillery on the brow of the hill 
raking the turnpike; their right protected by a stone wall 
with only one gap in it by which to enter the field. 



6 Stuart s Report. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 161 

The Eleventh was moved parallel with the turnpike until 
within about 500 yards of the enemy s position, when it 
turned into the turnpike under a heavy fire from the enemy s 
battery. 

It then moved slowly until within 200 yards of the enemy, 
when the command to charge was given. 7 

Right down the straight turnpike, swept by the Federal 
guns, with drawn sabres rode the Eleventh under the gallant 
leadership of Colonel Lomax. 

Bullets from the blue line in front ; bombs, grape and 
canister from the Federal battery tore through their ranks. 
No line of sharpshooters, no supporting squadrons with 
their volleys disturbed the Federal gunners. They shot with 
deliberation and with telling effect. 

Under the terrible fire men and horses fell headlong. 
Hands that grasped the flashing steel relaxed their hold, and 
brave hearts that erstwhile swelled with expectation of vic 
tory, felt the bitterness of death. Each step forward multi 
plied the danger, as with increased rapidity the flaming guns 
sent forth their missiles of destruction. But nothing could 
stop the impetuous rush of the grey troopers, as with lifted 
sabres and battle shouts they plunged through the smoke 
towards the foe. 

The blue masses in the turnpike did not abide the onset, 
but turned and fled, leaving many prisoners in the hands of 
the Confederates. 

Colonel Lomax, discovering two squadrons in the field 
still in line and moving towards the stone fence, which 
would afford them, good protection from a charge and from 
the fire of his men, reformed his regiment and moved back 



r Lomax s Report. 



1 62 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

on the turnpike to the gap. Here again, as at Upperville, 
the enemy concentrated his fire upon the gap, while many 
of the Federals, to save their artillery, bravely rushed to the 
breach as the Eleventh poured through. Near the opening 
the fight waxed hot and bloody, but once in the field the 
Confederates pressed forward, driving the enemy before 
them. 

The Federals now hastily retreated, going by the Downs- 
ville Road. The siege of Williamsport was raised and Lee s 
trains were saved. 

In this fight the Eleventh captured 100 prisoners and fifty 
horses, killing and wounding many of the enemy. 

The next day the Seventh had an opportunity to repay 
the Sixth United States Regulars for what it had suffered 
at their hands at Fairfield, and the debt was paid with 
interest. 

On the road leading to Funkstown the two regiments met, 
Lieutenant Marshall in command of the Seventh. As before, 
the Seventh w r as the first to make the attack, and this was 
done- with so much energy that the regulars broke and fled, 
pursued for nearly five miles by the Seventh. 

Says Colonel Marshall : "Our column pressed upon them 
with great rapidity, killing and wounding a number and 
taking some sixty prisoners." 

The sweets of victory were not unalloyed. In the pursuit 
the thirst for vengeance carried the head of the column too 
far. The regiment \vas stretched for some distance along 
the road and in disorder. 

The Federals at last rallied, and seeing the small num 
bers of their pursuers, turned upon them; and now the 
Seventh, after repeated efforts to rally, retired hastily, losing 
nine prisoners and having two men wounded. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 163 

Lieut. Nicholas Nolan, who commanded the regulars in 
this fight, admits a loss of fifty-nine killed, wounded and 
missing, of whom ten were killed. 

Near Boonesboro Stuart made a bold demonstration of 
his cavalry, threatening an advance upon the enemy, in 
order to cover Lee s retrograde movement. Jones brigade 
being in front, encountered the enemy on the Boonesboro 
Road at Beaver Creek bridge, and pressed them back to the 
verge of the village. 8 In this contest, the fighting being 
mainly on foot, Fitz Lee s and Hampton s brigades partici 
pated in a very handsome manner. 

The Federals were forced back from the village to the 
mountain pass, from which point, with artillery posted on 
the heights, they prevented Stuart from entering the town. 

There was now a spirited and deafening combat between 
the artillery of the opposing commands, on ridges facing 
one another, while in the valley between skirmish lines of 
dismounted men fought with their long-range guns. 

Having accomplished his object of putting the enemy 
upon the defensive, towards evening Stuart withdrew. "The 
enemy observing this from his mountain perch, tried to 
profit by it with a vigorous movement on our heels, but was 
foiled. As the last regiment was passing the bridge over 
Beaver Creek, a squadron of the enemy more bold than the 
others galloped forward as if to charge. Steadily a portion 
of the First North Carolina Cavalry awaited their arrival 
within striking distance, but before reaching their vicinity 
the enemy veered off across the fields. 

"Here a Blakely gun of Chew s Battery advantageously 
posted marked their movement, and although the squadron 



8 Stuart s Report. 



164 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

moved at a gallop, never did sportsman bring down flying 
birds with more unerring aim than the aim of the Blakely 
firing upon that moving squadron. In vain did it turn to 
the right and to the left. Each shot seemed drawn to the 
flying target with fatal accuracy until the enemy, driven 
by the shots of the Blakely and followed by the derisive 
shouts of our cavalry, escaped at full speed over the plain." 9 

Stuart new fell back slowly, his men encamping the night 
of the 8th near Funkstown. On the loth and nth Jones 
retired by the Cavetown Road. On the I3th Stuart with 
drew all his cavalry from: Lee s front and massed it on the 
left of the main body of the army, in expectation of a gen 
eral advance of the Federal force. During this movement 
the Eleventh Virginia, under Colonel Lomax, while retiring 
through Hagerstown was charged by the enemy s cavalry 
from two streets. These assaults were quickly repulsed by 
the sharpshooters of the regiment, having suffered a loss of 
three wounded in the skirmish. 

On the 1 3th of July Jones brigade was sent across the 
Potomac to cover Lee s communications with Winchester. 

It now appearing that the enemy, instead of attacking, 
was entrenching himself in our front, General Lee deter 
mined to cross the Potomac. 

Accordingly, during the night of the I3th the Army of 
Northern Virginia returned to the south side of the river. 
Stuart s cavalry, with the exception of Jones brigade, stayed 
in the infantry trenches during the night, and crossed 
the next morning. 

When General Jones with the rest of the brigade was in 
Pennsylvania, the Twelfth Regiment, under Col. A. W. 



9 Stuart s Report. 




COL. ASHER W. HARMAN 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 165 

Harman, remained in the neighborhood of Harper s Ferry, 
operating against the enemy as occasion offered. 

During the night of the 3Oth Lieutenants Lewis Harman 
and George Baylor with forty men attacked the enemy s 
picket-post near Harper s Ferry and captured one lieutenant 
and nineteen men. 

By July the 2nd the Federals had abandoned Harper s 
Ferry and the Maryland Heights, but after the battle of 
Gettysburg, on the 7th, they returned to the Maryland 
Heights, and on the izj-th reoccupied Harper s Ferry. 

Col. A. W. Harman, who had just returned from home, 
having recovered from the wound received at Fleetwood, 
went with a squadron on a reconnoissance to Bolivar 
Heights. 

Taking a squad of six men he went somewhat in advance 
and to the left of the road. Suddenly the enemy appeared 
in force and charged. 

Colonel Harman s horse fell, stunning him. He and 
Lieutenant Eastham and two men from Company B who 
were with him, were captured. The rest of the squadron, 
under Capt. George J. Grandstaff and Lieut. George Bay 
lor, who were in the road, bravely met the charge of the 
enemy and drove him back in confusion, taking twenty-five 
prisoners. 10 

On the left of the line, guarded by the Twelfth, Maj. 
J. L. Knott was as usual very active. When the enemy 
advanced towards Shepherdstown he attacked them and cap 
tured thirty-three prisoners. 

On the 1 6th Jones brigade went into camp near Charles 
Town. Within the next week there were a few small 
skirmishes, but nothing worthy of note occurred. 



10 Col. T. B. Massie s Report. 



1 66 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

At this time the Shenandoah from recent rains was much 
swollen, and the Federals took advantage of it to cross the 
Potomac and march along the east side of the Blue Ridge, 
taking possession of the gaps in the mountain as if to get 
between Lee and Richmond. 

Jones brigade was ordered to picket the lower Shenan 
doah as long as necessary for the safety of Lee s right flank, 
and then to follow the army. 

Lee now moved up the Valley, and crossing the Blue 
Ridge, by the ist of September had resumed the line of the 
Rappahannock. 

By the middle of September the main army had with 
drawn behind the Rapidan. 



CHAPTER VI 

September, 1863 

Brigade returns to watch the fords of the Rappahannock Differences 
between General Stuart and General Jones The latter court- 
martialed and removed to another field of operations Personality 
of Jones and attachment of his troopers Admiration and loyalty 
of the men soon won by "Jeb" Stuart Federals under Meade 
advance towards Culpeper Court House Hard and continuous 
cavalry fighting against Buford and Kilpatrick, in which the bri 
gade now under command of General Lomax takes prominent part 
Capt. Samuel B. Coyner of the Seventh Virginia Cavalry 
killed Enemy surround and capture one of Thompson s guns of 
Chew s Battery A front and rear fight at Jack s Shop Successful 
charge against infantry by Company B of the Twelfth Virginia 
Second battle at Brandy Station Fight at Fauquier Sulphur 
Springs Notable exploit at the Rappahannock bridge Stuart in a 
tight place at Auburn Bold dash and escape of his command. 

The Gettysburg campaign was over, and the army, after 
an active service of three months, was back once more in 
the section of country from which it had started northward. 
There was time now for retrospect. The campaign was 
reviewed by the troops with various conclusions. 

The failure of Lee s magnificent army to take the heights 
of Cemetery Ridge and win a decisive victory north of the 
Potomac disheartened some. 

"Never again," they said, "would Lee invade the North. 
Henceforth the battles must be fought on Confederate soil, 
and the Southland alone be ravaged by the hand of war." 

If such gloomy forecast appeared to many well founded, 
they were on this account more resolved to fight harder for 
success. With them the most distressing feature of the 
repulse at Gettysburg was the disappointment of Lee. That 



1 68 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

his army was not regarded as a beaten one was shown by 
the refusal of the enemy to attack it at Hagerstown. 

It might be that experience had taught the wisdom of a 
defensive policy, whatever might happen, they were as ready 
as ever to follow Lee as far north as he might wish to lead 
them, even to the banks of the Hudson. 

During this short period of rest the time was occupied in 
recruiting the strength and numbers of the cavalry, and in 
reorganizing it into brigades and divisions. The whole 
force! was now divided into two divisions, commanded 
respectively by Generals Wade Hampton and Fitz Lee; 
Jones brigade becoming a part of Hampton s division. 

It was during this period, too, that the brigade was 
deprived of its much loved commander, Genl. AVilliam E. 
Jones. His removal was due to an unfortunate personal 
difference between himself and his superior officer, Genl. 
J. E. B. Stuart. About the ist of September General Stuart 
ordered him under arrest and preferred charges against him 
for using disrespectful language to his superior officer. 

The result of the court-martial was that General Jones 
was removed from the command of his brigade and assigned 
to duty in southwestern Virginia. It was generally under- 
stood that the court based its action upon a recognition of 
the fact that the good of the service necessitated the removal 
of Jones from under the authority of General Stuart, the 
incompatibility of their dispositions being apparent. Though 
the action of the court was unquestionably dictated by a 
proper regard for the public good and the maintenance of 
superior authority, yet from force of circumstances it was 
liable to misconstruction. For some time after, the impres 
sion prevailed among the rank and file of the brigade, that 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 169 

their commander had been sacrificed to the animosity of 
General Stuart. 

A succession of stirring events, however, with the sense 
of comrade-ship in danger, Stuart s uniform kindness to 
Jones old troopers, his quick personal recognition of the 
men, even the humblest private, coupled with his personal 
bravery and dashing leadership, soon won for him the 
admiration and affection of the men. Loyalty to the 
Southern cause, however, would have attracted them to any 
commander who would lead them to victory. 

General Jones connection with the brigade had much to 
do with the compactness of its organization. His great 
talent in this respect had been wisely exercised in increasing 
its efficiency. He looked after everything, and his close 
attention to details had effected many needed reforms. At 
first he was regarded as a martinet, but afterwards, when 
better understood, he was greatly respected and loved by 
rank and file. 

Totally unlike Ashby, except in his modesty, which almost 
amounted to bashfulness, with neither superb horsemanship 
nor martial presence to impress the imagination of his 
soldiers, yet when the hour for action came the brigade felt 
itself always strong and ready to do its full part, and con 
fident in the courage and ability of its leader. His personal 
appearance was not suggestive of the dashing brigadier, 
much less did it aspire to the pomp and circumstance of 
office. The faded slouch hat was decorated with no nod 
ding plume, but while it served to conceal the baldness of 
his head it partly shaded a strong and noble brow. His 
features were plain and the expression determined yet 
kindly. His eyes of steady blue glistened with intelligence, 
and at times his countenance glowed with a rather cynical 



170 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

humor. He was entirely self-adjusted in all his notions and 
opinions, and his remarks were almost always original and 
striking. 

In the confusion of ideas brought about by the war, he 
was not tempted to forget the standard of truth and honesty 
he had set up for his own guidance. And never was needle 
truer to the pole, than he, to what he conceived to be his 
duty. His affection for his troops was deep and strong. 
He refused to fare better than they, and on the march, when 
necessary to bivouac in the rain he would not sleep himself 
under shelter, though a house might be within a few steps 
of him, but with his oilcloth around him would lie down in 
the rain or snow among his troopers. His contempt for all 
kinds of display perhaps made him go too far in the other 
extreme, especially in the matter of dress. The insignia of 
his rank, if worn at all, was usually concealed by his coat 
collar, and he was frequently taken by his own men for a 
private in the ranks. 

Once, on his West Virginia raid, when the troops were 
crossing the Gauley River, a soldier who was afoot was 
anxious to find some way to get over dry-shod., He asked 
another soldier to assist him. The latter, pointing to 
General Jones, who was sitting in a skiff near the shore, 
said, "Maybe that old fellow there will row you across." 

Going up to General Jones he said, "Old man, I will give 
you a dollar to take me over the river." 

"All right," said the General, "jump in." And he rowed 
him over, greatly enjoying the joke. 

It was during the session of the court-martial before 
which General Jones was arraigned, that the Confederates 
were forced to abandon Culpeper Court House, by a general 
advance of the Federal Army across the Rappahannock. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 171 

About midnight September i2th, 1863, Stuart received 
information that General Meade would on the following 
day make a forward movement. 

Steps were taken to start the baggage trains on the way to 
the Rapidan as soon as practicable, and every necessary pre 
caution was taken to delay the enemy s advance. 

At the first streak of dawn the Federals drove in the Con 
federate pickets at the river, and crossing in heavy force 
about a mile south of the Rappahannock bridge, formed in 
line of battle. Three divisions of cavalry, followed closely 
by Warren s corps of infantry, constituted the advance 
column. They were met at first by Jones brigade only, 
commanded by Col. L. L. Lomax. White s Battalion had 
not yet returned from detached service, and on that day 
Lomax s command consisted only of the Eleventh, Seventh, 
Twelfth, and Sixth Virginia Cavalry. 

As the odds against him were clearly overwhelming, 
Lomax only attempted to retard the enemy as much as his 
force would permit. No detailed account of the fight is 
given, as there were no official reports of it from Con 
federate sources. The Federal reports, however, warrant 
the inference that their advance was hotly contested. 

The First Brigade, under Col. H. E. Davies, led the 
advance. The Confederate outposts were pressed back, as 
the Federals moved forward, confident in their strength. 
Upon approaching the railroad there were signs of serious 
resistance. The enemy was charged by the Seventh Vir 
ginia, under Colonel Marshall, and driven back some dis 
tance in confusion, but reinforcements pouring to the front, 
soon the blue lines again advanced. 

The grey troopers were not idle. Colonel Lomax had 
posted his squadrons at points of advantage, and as soon as 



172 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

the enemy s column moved forward, it was met and driven 
back with a sabre charge. Chew s Battery did effective 
work, taking positions close to the enemy and sending bombs 
with unerring aim into his ranks. The enemy, in spite of 
overwhelming numbers, did not have it all his own way, and 
Lomax s purpose to delay him for a time was successfully 
accomplished. 

Retiring from the vicinity of the station, with heavy lines 
of skirmishers supported by mounted squadrons, and Chew s 
Battery from different points maintaining a constant fire, 
Lomax halted on a range of hills northeast of Culpeper 
Court House. Here, according to Federal accounts, Lomax 
made a gallant stand with four regiments against the two 
divisions of Federal cavalry under Buford and Kilpatrick. 

Says General Kilpatrick in his report : "The enemy here 
made a determined resistance with a battery of artillery and 
a large force of cavalry." 

The "large force" consisted of no more than the Eleventh, 
Twelfth, Seventh and Sixth Virginia Cavalry. With these 
four regiments Lomax held his ground for quite a time 
against the overwhelming odds. Not until the Federals, 
swinging around their left threatened the Confederate rear 
and right, did Lomax abandon his position. 

On the hills south of the Court House another stand was 
made. Lomax was here joined by W. H. F. Lee s brigade 
under Col. R. L. T. Beall, and the two brigades for several 
hours resisted all attempts to drive them from this position. 
Charge after charge, gallantly made by the Federals, was 
met with countercharge by the men in grey and repulsed, 
while the scattered columns of the Federals were torn with 
shells from Chew s guns. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 173 

Says General Kilpatrick in his report : "I rode over and 
led the Fifth again into the woods. Here we met with Gen 
eral Custer, who was heavily engaged, and did all that men 
could do to advance. We were, however, overpowered by 
numbers, and the Second New York was flanked, and its 
extreme right driven in. At this juncture the affair looked 
badly and I feared the command would be driven back, but 
I brought up the First West Virginia Cavalry, the last regi 
ment at my command, which had only the day before been 
supplied with Spencer rifles. Hitherto they had not taken 
any active part in the engagements, and on my call sprang 
from their horses and, led by Colonel Richmond, rushed 
into the woods." 

It will thus be seen from Federal accounts how hotly the 
ground was contested. Being overpowered by numbers," is 
the usual Federal excuse for the failure of an advance move 
ment. 

When it is remembered that the two brigades of Lomax 
and Lee were confronted by two divisions of Federal cav 
alry, the numerous repulses of the Federals must be attrib 
uted rather to the valor and skill of the Confederates than to 
their superiority in numbers. 

It \vas in one of these hand-to-hand conflicts that the gal 
lant Capt. Samuel B. Coyner, commanding Company D of 
the Seventh Virginia, was killed. 

When it became evident that the small Confederate force 
could no longer hold the position against Buford s and Kil- 
patrick s divisions, Stuart, who had taken command, began 
to withdraw his troops. One gun of Chew s Battery sta 
tioned on a hill north of Culpeper Court House, being very 
near the enemy in a commanding position, had greatly pun- 



174 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

ished the Federals. More than once, mounted and on foot, 
ineffectual attempts had been made to capture it. But as 
Lomax withdrew a Federal regiment, concealed by a rail 
road cut, passed beyond the gun and turning came up in its 
rear. The squadron supporting the gun, discovering the 
Federal regiment making for their rear, gave way without 
resistance, leaving the gun helpless. Captain Chew, discov 
ering the situation and seeing the impossibility of saving 
the gun, started with Lieutenant Thompson to make their 
own escape. Noticing that the officer leading the charging 
regiment was far in advance of his command, they bore 
down upon him, exchanging several shots as they 
approached. A well-aimed shot from Thompson s pistol 
unseated the gallant Federal, and seizing the reins of the 
riderless horse, Thompson led him off as he and Chew in a 
gallop made good their escape. 

Stuart, having held his position long enough to secure the 
safety of his trains, fell back towards the Rapidan at his own 
gait. 

On September the 22nd Stuart had an engagement with 
the enemy at Jack s Shop in Madison county, that threatened 
at one time to end in a serious disaster. Of this affair no 
reports can be found from Confederate sources, while the 
Federal commander, Genl. John Buford, contents himself 
with speaking of it as a great Federal success. 

It appears that General Buford, with one division of Fed 
eral cavalry, started from Madison Court House September 
the 22nd on a reconnoissance down the Gordonsville turn 
pike, expecting to connect with another division under Gen- 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 175 

eral Kilpatrick, in the vicinity of Jack s Shop, not far from 
Liberty Mills. 1 

Stuart, hearing of Buford s coming, went out from Lib 
erty Mills with a portion of Hampton s division and encoun 
tered him near Jack Shop. Stuart, hurling regiment after 
regiment upon the strong columns of the enemy without 
making much impression. In the midst of this struggle, 
Kilpatrick s division, with Davies brigade in front, struck 
the turnpike just in the rear of Stuart s column. 2 

There was a rush of riders in hot haste informing Stuart 
of his danger, and the sound of small arms in their rear, 
soon made the Confederates understand the gravity of the 
situation. Between the two Federal divisions Stuart was 
now hemmed in, and naught but a cool head and steady 
valor could extricate him. 

Colonel Davies had come unexpectedly upon Stuart, and 
the surprise was mutual. But to the Confederates, who 
were aware of Buford s hostile presence in their front, it 
looked as if a trap had been cunningly laid for bagging 
Stuart and his whole army. 

Stuart, however, was equal to the occasion. Placing the 
guns of Chew s Battery in an open field, at a point from 
which could be had a range and view to front and rear, the 
battery opened in both directions at the same time. The 
bullets from the sharpshooters of Buford and Kilpatrick 
now interlapped among the Confederate ranks. The perilous 
situation of the Confederates was understood by every 
soldier, but inspired by the coolness and gallant bearing of 
Stuart, as he quickly made his dispositions, every man 
resolved to do his best. 



1 From General Buford s Report. 
2 Davies Report. 



176 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

The task of breaking through Kilpatrick and reopening 
the way to Liberty Mills was chiefly assigned to Jones bri 
gade, then commanded by Colonel Funsten. A part of this 
command was dismounted and advanced upon the woods, 
while the mounted men charged where openings would per 
mit. On the left was the Seventh, under Lieutenant- 
Colonel Marshall; on the right the Eleventh, under Major 
Ball. 

The Twelfth, under Colonel Massie, occupying the center, 
advanced upon the woods close to the edge of which was 
a rail fence separating it from the open field. Openings in 
the fence were quickly made in the face of a heavy fire from 
the enemy s mounted and dismounted men in the woods. 
The nature of the ground was such that organization could 
not be preserved, and soon the men and officers of the 
different regiments, were mingled almost en masse, and 
rallied around the person of General Stuart, who urged and 
led them into action. 

It was fortunate that Stuart met the rear attack of Kil 
patrick with such promptness and vigor, for had there been 
delay sufficient for Kilpatrick to throw his whole force 
across Stuart s line of retreat, with Buford s strong division 
pressing his front line, it is hardly possible that Stuart could 
have escaped from the net set for him without loss of his 
artillery and a good part of his command. 

The fighting in this engagement was close and fierce with 
both sabre and pistol, and there were some notable instances 
of personal adventure and heroism, rewarded afterwards 
by General Stuart, with official mention and recommenda 
tion for promotion. 

Having swept Kilpatrick from his path and put him to 
flight, Stuart withdrew from the engagement with Buford ; 




LIEUT. B. C. WASHINGTON 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 177 

followed by him, however, almost to Liberty Mills, where 
he crossed the Rapidan, being there reinforced by Wilcox s 
division of Confederate infantry. 

The losses in this fight while considerable on both sides, 
considering the short time they were engaged, are not men 
tioned in either the Confederate or Federal reports except 
that Colonel Davies reports that Major Mclrvin of Kil-- 
Patrick s staff, Captain Hasty of the Second New York, and 
sixty-nine prisoners fell in the hands of the Confederates. 3 

The severest loss to the Confederates in this engagement 
was in the death of that splendid soldier, Capt. John H. 
Magruder, of Company B, Seventh Regiment, who fell in 
the assault on Kilpatrick s column. 

Thaddeus Baney of Company B, Twelfth Virginia, and 
Lieut. John Green of the brigade staff, were also among the 
killed. 

After the affair at Jack s Shop, for two weeks there was 
comparative quiet along the cavalry front. Many of the 
men were furloughed to go home and procure fresh horses, 
while the rest gave themselves up to making the most of 
their freedom from active service. 

The orchards of Madison county groaned under loads of 
precious fruit, the pastures were fine and the people kind and 
hospitable. 

On the loth of October all were again in the saddle near 
Madison Court House, Colonel Funsten of the Eleventh 
commanding the brigade. 



3 Major Mclrvin was captured by Private B. C. Washington of Com 
pany B, Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, in a hand-to-hand fight, in which 
Washington disarmed Mclrvin by a cut across his sabre hand. Wash 
ington was promoted to a second lieutenancy for his services at Jack s 
Shop. 



178 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

General Lee had begun his flank movement on Meade s 
army, and was engaged in what is known as the Bristoe 
campaign. 

As the success of the movement depended upon its secrecy, 
the cavalry were expected to screen the march of Lee s 
infantry. Funsten s command was in front of the column 
that moved towards Woodville on the Sperryville turnpike. 
It moved for the most part over blind roads or through the 
fields, twisting and turning under the shelter of woods and 
hillocks to avoid observation from the Federal signal-posts 
on the peaks of the neighboring mountains. 

On the morning of the nth the command had reached 
and was marching along the road that leads from Sperry 
ville to Culpeper. Here it was joined by Stuart, who de 
tached the Eleventh, under Lieutenant-Colonel Ball, and 
sent it towards Rixeyville on the Warrenton Road. Early 
in the day the Federal pickets were driven in. Their infan 
try camps showed that they had just been deserted in great 
haste, and the column moved forward at a trot. 

When within a few miles of Culpeper Court House a regi 
ment of infantry was seen emerging from the skirt of a 
woods into an open field and moving in the direction of 
Culpeper Court House. 

Company B of the Twelfth Virginia, under command of 
Lieut. George Baylor, was in the advance, being that day 
detached and under the immediate direction of General 
Stuart for any service he might require. 

As soon as General Stuart saw the Federal regiment, 
having no other force at hand he directed Baylor to charge 
it immediately. The enemy had reached the open ground 
and, forming quickly in line, delivered an irregular volley 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 179 

in the face of the troopers at close range, which, however, 
overshot them, doing but little execution. Having no time 
to reload and the horsemen bearing down upon them, they 
fled precipitately, having cast away their knapsacks and some 
of them their guns. But for an almost impassable ravine, 
which they had crossed before delivering their fire, a large 
number of them would have been captured. There were 
several killed and wounded and a few prisoners taken by 
such horsemen as crossed the ravine here and there. 

Col. John Esten Cooke, then aide-de-camp to General 
Stuart, an eye-witness of the charge, says : 

"Never have I seen him (Stuart) more excited. He was 
plainly on fire with the idea of capturing the whole party. 
The staff scattered to summon the cavalry, and soon a company 
came at full gallop. It was the Jefferson Company, under that 
brave officer Capt. George Baylor. 

Charge and cut them down ! shouted Stuart, his drawn 
sword flashing as he forced his horse over fallen trees and the 
debris of a great deserted camp. A fine spectacle followed. 
As the Federal infantry double-quicked up a slope Baylor 
charged. As his men darted upon them they suddenly halted, 
came to a front face as though they were the parts of some 
glittering machine. The muzzles spouted flame and the cavalry 
received the fire at thirty yards. It seemed to check them, but 
it did not. They had come to an impassable ditch. In 
another moment the infantry broke, every man for himself, and 
making a detour the cavalry pursued and captured large 
numbers." 

General Stuart s official report of the incident is as 
follows : 

"In our rapid pursuit of the enemy we found we had passed 
an infantry regiment of the enemy which had been on the out- 



180 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

post and was now marching- parallel to our column on our right 
in the direction of Culpeper Court House. Every effort was 
made to close up the column, then elongated by pursuit, so as 
to catch this regiment, but apprehending it would escape, the 
only cavalry I could lay my hands on was ordered to charge 
the regiment as soon as it debouched into the open ground. 
This was gallantly responded to by a company of the Twelfth 
Virginia under Lieutenant Baylor, and but for an impassable 
ditch these brave men w r ould have ridden over the enemy and 
cut them down with the sabre. They charged within twenty 
or thirty yards of the column and fired a volley into it, but were 
forced, from the nature of the ground, to retire, which was 
done without the loss of a man or horse, although the enemy s 
fire was delivered almost in their faces. The enemy did not 
further contest the field. They broke and ran, dropping guns, 
knapsacks and blankets, several of their number being 
captured." 

Funsten, whose command now consisted only of the 
Twelfth and Seventh Virginia, gave the front to General 
Gordon s North Carolina brigade, and the whole column 
moved forward at a gallop towards Culpeper Court House. 

As the leading files emerged from a dense woods upon a 
slope in sight and within a half mile of the Court House, 
they were saluted with well-directed volleys from a battery 
placed on an eminence near the town. 

A squadron of Federal cavalry now made its appearance 
and was driven through the town by a gallant charge of 
Colonel Ferribee s regiment, Gordon s brigade. But it was 
soon discovered that Kilpatrick s whole division, 4,000 
strong, was massed east of the Court House in a good 
position. 

Stuart having only five regiments available, amounting in 
all to about 1,500 men, concluded not to attack the enemy 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 181 

at this point. Turning the head of his column to the left, 
with Funsten s two regiments leading, the Twelfth in front, 
he marched rapidly towards Brandy Station and soon got 
into a road nearly parallel with the one leading from the 
Court House to the same point. Before reaching this place 
it was apparent, from great clouds of dust on the right, that 
heavy masses of the enemy were moving in the same direc 
tion. 

Soon, upon passing a belt of timber, the two columns came 
in full view of each other. 

About a half mile to the right, on higher ground and on a 
line nearly parallel to Stuart s course, appeared the serried 
masses of Kilpatrick s column. He, divining Stuart s pur 
pose, was going at a rapid gait, giving him in fact a race 
for the hill at Brandy. The point each was riding towards 
was nearly three miles off, and each step brought the forces 
a little nearer each other. As they moved along at a trot, 
grey and blue sent up shouts of mutual defiance, brandishing 
their sabres menacingly, and occasionally solitary horsemen 
rode out from either column and exchanged shots. 

It was a novel situation and a remarkable sight to behold. 
The compact masses of Kilpatrick, stretching back as far as 
the eye could reach, came on in all the panoply of war. The 
sun shone brightly in a cloudless sky, and its beams glancing 
from the myriad glittering sabres presented a scene of 
martial splendor. 

The manifest disparity of the opposing forces was by no 
means encouraging. In his five regiments Stuart could not 
have numbered more than 1,400 men. Kilpatrick acknowl 
edges an effective strength of 4,000. 



1 82 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

To the common soldier, as the endless stretch of the blue 
masses was surveyed, the odds seemed overwhelming, but 
Stuart was leading and they were content to follow. 

Upon approaching the inevitable point of contact, Stuart 
kept rising in his stirrups as if looking for something on the 
other side of the Federal column, the head of which was now 
far in advance of his. 

At last, when near the Botts house, the smoke of a burst 
ing shell was distinctly seen above the ranks of the enemy. 

"That s Fitz!" cried Stuart, and immediately ordered a 
charge. 

The Twelfth was in the advance and, under Col. Thomas 
E. Massie, led the charge. But the retreating column they 
were charging seemed to dissolve, and there was exposed to 
view a battle line of dismounted men confronting them. It 
was the First West Virginia Regiment, armed with Spencer 
repeating rifles. From this double line of carbineers flamed 
continuous volleys that carried death in the ranks of the 
Twelfth, but the files came pressing on with shouts. Right 
bravely the West Virginia men stood to their work. They 
could see what fortunately the men of the Twelfth could not 
see, blue squadrons assailing the column, charging on the 
right flank. Nothing, however, could stop the onset of the 
Twelfth, and before it got within sabre s length the First 
West Virginia broke in headlong flight, hotly chased by the 
grey troopers for half a mile. 

In the meantime the Federals were not idle. Observing 
the charge of the Twelfth, Colonel Davis led two regiments 
against the two North Carolina regiments supporting the 
Twelfth Virginia. Taken in flank the troops were thrown 
into disorder and broken. The pursuing Federals were met 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 183 

by the Seventh Virginia and driven off, the contest drifting 
all this time towards the neighborhood of Brandy Station. 

While thus engaged there was much confusion. Many of 
the bombs from Genl. Fitz Lee s batteries fell in the ranks of 
the Confederates. 

Hearing the shouts of the Twelfth, and seeing the rush 
of the bluecoats towards the body of men he was attack 
ing, he mistook the movement for a Federal reinforcement 
and was checked rather than encouraged by it. 4 

The Federals, still pushing on, soon gained the hill, and 
planting their batteries raked the approaches to it with shell 
and shrapnel. 

Stuart, now uniting with Fitz Lee, vigorously assailed the 
Federal position. The fighting here was chiefly done by 
Lomax s and Chambliss brigades. 

"Our dismounted men were several times surrounded by 
the enemy s cavalry, but were each time rescued by gallant 
charges of their mounted comrades." 5 

Driven from the woods around Brandy Station the enemy 
took position with infantry and artillery supports on Fleet- 
wood Hill. 

Deeming it unwise to assail him here, Stuart forced him to 
retire by ordering Fitz Lee by a flank movement to threaten 
his rear. 

He then withdrew, much harassed by our cavalry, and 
crossed the Rappahannock about sundown. 

The losses sustained by the Twelfth, which had three com 
panies detached, and the Seventh, amounted to thirty-three 



4 Stuart s Report. 
6 Stuart s Report. 



184 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 



killed and wounded. They captured in this fight 200 hun 
dred prisoners. 6 

Referring to the first charge upon the Federal column, 
which was led by himself, Captain Baylor, in his "Bull Run 
to Bull Run," page 166, says: 

"On the afternoon of October the nth, we reached the 
Barbour house, overlooking Brandy Station, and found Kilpat- 
rick s division of cavalry moving back from Culpeper in the 
direction of the station. It was a magnificent spectacle. Our 
artillery was not in reach and few of our cavalry up. 

"But General Stuart, being apprised that Fitz Lee had 
arrived on the opposite flank of the enemy at Brandy Station, 
ordered the Twelfth, under Colonel Massie, to charge the 
column and cut off Kilpatrick s retreat. Company B was in 
front of the regiment, and down the slope it went and reached 
a point near the station, where it was discovered that the 
enemy had enveloped us, and it became a race on our part to 
escape capture. We were so intermingled with the enemy that 
they could not use their guns and pistols without endangering 
their own men. Lieutenant Washington and myself were near 
together on the retreat, and jumping a ditch his horse fell and 
pinioned him to the ground. As my horse cleared the ditch 
safely, Washington called for help, but with visions of Forts 
McHenry and Delaware before me and a host of pursuers 
behind, I was constrained to leave him to his fate. I escaped 
and he was taken prisoner, but did not remain long in the 
enemy s hand, as he appeared next morning in camp, minus 
horse and arms, having made a miraculous escape during the 
night." 

General Stuart, in his report, says : 

"The Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Massie 
commanding, was at the head of the column, and having been 



6 Stuart s Report. 




LIEUT.-COL. THOMAS E. MASSIE 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 185 

ordered to charge did so in the most gallant manner, cutting 
off 1,200 or 1,500 of the enemy, all of whom would have been 
killed or captured had not the headlong rapidity of the pursuit, 
added to the difficult character of the ground, so greatly 
extended the column as to impair for the moment the efficiency 
of its action. The loss to the enemy in killed, wounded and 
missing was considerable, the two regiments of Colonel Fun- 
sten s command alone having taken 200." 

General Kilpatrick, in his report says : "Many gallant 
charges were made by the division, and many equally gal 
lant charges by the enemy repulsed. The division fell slowly 
back, one brigade after another, in good order, and finally 
crossed the Rappahannock and went into camp about eight 
P. M." 

The next morning, October i2th, Colonel Funsten was 
ordered to march to Rixeyville and move in front of Gen 
eral Ewell s column. About two miles from Jeffersonton 
Ewell was met with, and here the Eleventh Regiment, under 
Lieutenant-Colonel Ball, which had been detached for two 
days, rejoined the brigade. 

In and around Jeffersonton, strongly posted behind hills, 
fences, and a stone wall that enclosed a churchyard, were 
two regiments of Federal cavalry. The Eleventh, dis 
mounted, had already made a vigorous assault upon the posi 
tion, but had been repulsed with considerable loss. 

Colonel Funsten now sent Colonel Marshall with the Sev 
enth to assail the left and rear of the enemy, he himself going 
with the Twelfth, Lieutenant-Colonel Massie commanding, 
towards their right and rear. 

About a half mile from Fauquier Springs, in the pines, 
Colonel Funsten suddenly came face to face with another 
Federal regiment of Gregg s division. The Twelfth, being 



iS6 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

ordered to charge, quickly responded with pistol and sabre 
upon the opposing column. Though somewhat surprised, 
the Federals made a short and stubborn fight, and then 
retreated towards the river. 

In the meantime Colonel Ball with the Eleventh, having 
failed in his assault on foot upon the Federal position at Jef- 
fersonton, now, with his regiment mounted, made a vigorous 
charge upon his right flank, and succeeded in driving back 
the cavalry supporting the enemy s sharpshooters. The lat 
ter were cut off, but were in part saved from capture by fresh 
troops coming to their assistance. Ball fell back for a 
moment, but reforming again, with repeated charges forced 
the Federals down the road to the point where Funsten was. 
This Federal force, now uniting with the one in Funsten s 
front, pressed bravely forward. The Twelfth again charged, 
aided by a portion of the Eleventh, and a bloody and doubt 
ful contest now raged with disorder on both sides, through 
the piney thickets and heavy timber, and over occasional 
spots of cleared but rocky ground. 

The shouts of officers and men calling their commands to 
"stand fast" and "come on," and the cries and oaths of the 
combatants at close quarters, mingled with the rattle of small 
arms, intensified this war scene. 

Flere Lieutenant Poague of the Eleventh, who in many a 
previous battle had shown extraordinary gallantry, after 
performing prodigies of valor, fell mortally wounded. 

The Federals were gradually forced back. Though 
often rallying and advancing with stubborn courage, at last 
broken and in full retreat they recrossed the river, leaving 
many of their dead and wounded and 200 prisoners in the 
hands of the Confederates. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 187 

The Federal version of this affair is given in part by Gen 
eral Gregg in his official report. He says : "They charged 
impetuously in front and on both flanks with infantry and 
cavalry, and we were driven into the woods, where for half 
an hour the fight raged furiously. At this juncture informa 
tion was brought that the enemy had possession of the road 
in my rear, and that we were surrounded. This information 
having found its way to the men, created some confusion, 
and it became impossible to reform the command, and I w r as 
compelled to retire in some confusion, fighting, however, 
every foot of the ground. It was here that Major Young, 
Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry, and Lieutenants Cutler and 
Martin of my staff were wounded." 

Sending now r the Seventh and Eleventh Virginia to cross 
the river higher up, Stuart made arrangements to force a 
passage at Warrenton Springs. 

The Rappahannock at this point is narrow and deep, and 
across it w r as a bridge hardly more than a gangway of planks. 
On the east or north bank, the land rises gradually for a half 
mile into a ridge, which at that time was heavily wooded. 
Between the crest of this ridge and the Springs Hotel, the 
ground was open, except, that about half way from the river 
to the top of the hill, was a body of timber running west of 
and reaching to the Warrenton Road. On the ridge General 
Gregg, the officer in command of the Federal force, had 
planted a battery, placing one gun near the river. The 
northern bank of the river above and below the bridge, 
was lined with sharpshooters, most of them in rifle-pits, 

Under Stuart s personal supervision the Twelfth Regi 
ment was ordered to charge the bridge and dislodge the 
enemy on the other side. Company B of the Twelfth Vir- 



1 88 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

ginia, under Capt. George Baylor, was to make the dash, 
the rest of the regiment to follow in supporting distance. 
Behind the Twelfth and on a wooded eminence, eight guns 
of General Long s artillery were prepared to support the 
assault, though this fact was unknown to most of the cav 
alrymen. 

At the command to charge Baylor s company, compactly 
formed, with sabres drawn, moved promptly forward from 
cover of a wooded knoll, first at a trot and soon quickening 
into a gallop, Colonel Massie closely following with the rest 
of the regiment. Immediately the guns from the Federal 
battery and those of Long opened with a deafening roar. 
So loud for a few minutes were the discharges of artillery, 
that the shells bursting over the charging squadrons were 
hardly noticed, and the smoking carbines of the sharp 
shooters, who lined the opposite bank of the river and 
delivered steady volleys, were almost inaudible. 

Straight for the bridge rode the men of the Twelfth. 
Upon reaching it at full speed, the front ranks of the 
advance company being more than midway upon it, it was 
discovered that the plank flooring at the farther end had 
been taken up, which made it impassable. Notwithstanding 
this check, under the steady fire of the enemy, they with 
drew quickly from the bridge, and dashing into the river 
through a disused ford below, were so quickly among and 
over the rifle-pits that the astonished Federals were driven 
out and captured in large numbers. 

An account of this charge led by Captain Baylor is given 
in his "Bull Run to Bull Run," as follows : 

"Pressing on to the river at Warrenton Springs we found 
the enemy had posted his artillery on an eminence beyond the 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 189 

stream, and placed dismounted men in rifle-pits near the banks 
of the river to contest our advance. Dismounted men were 
thrown forward on our side supported by a small force of our 
infantry. 

"The horse artillery not having come up, General Long of 
Swell s corps opened fire with eight guns on the enemy s bat 
teries and supporting squadrons. At this juncture General 
Stuart ordered me to charge with Company B across the river, 
and drive the enemy from their rifle-pits. 

"I had been for some time a spectator of the futile efforts of 
the infantry and dismounted men to effect a crossing, and to 
accomplish this with a cavalry dash struck me as impracticable. 
But a soldier s duty is to obey, do or die, assured that a bold 
front is half the battle. * * * Generals Robert E. Lee, 
Ewell, Stuart, and others were in full view watching the move 
ment. It was the occasion of our lives. 

"The order was given, and down the road the company 
dashed amid a shower of bullets, and reached the bridge over 
the river to find the flooring torn up. Here we were forced to 
halt, turn about, and strike for a ford below. This movement 
was effected without faltering, and soon the river was crossed, 
and the rifle-pits, with a large number of prisoners in our pos 
session . The rest of the regiment now coming to our aid, the 
prisoners were secured and turned over to the infantry." 

General Stuart, in his official report, speaking of the inci 
dent, says : 

"This little band of the Twelfth Virginia Cavalry was 
worthy of special praise as it was made under circumstances of 
great embarrassment. Charging first up to the pier of the 
bridge, it was discovered that it had been taken up, thus expos 
ing them to a dangerous fire from the enemy on the opposite 
side. Nothing daunted in purpose, however, they turned about 
and took the road to the ford below, which they plunged into 
in the face of the enemy s fire without halt or hesitation." 



190 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Maj. H. B. McClellan, assistant adjutant- general of the 
cavalry corps and Stuart s chief of staff, who was present, 
thus describes the charge in his "Campaigns of Stuart and 
His Cavalry," page 386: 

"Now the Twelfth Virginia was ordered to charge the 
bridge. Lieutenant Baylor s company still had the front. 
Darkness was settling down upon the field. Along a narrow 
causeway Baylor lead his men in a column of fours. 

"In the face of a sharp fire from the rifle-pits, he reached 
the very abutment of the bridge before he discovered that the 
planks had been removed and that a crossing was impossible. 
He must retrace his steps and try the ford. There was no 
hesitation nor confusion. By fours right about wheel. For 
ward ! And in a moment he had descended from the causewa\ 
and his column was plunging through the narrow ford, where 
hardly four could ride abreast. It was a gallant sight, and 
called for wild huzzas from the Confederate infantry, many of 
whom were spectators of the scene. Up the hill went Baylor, 
and in a few moments the rifle-pits were cleared of the enemy 
and the approaches of the bridge were under our control." 

At the close of the Bristoe campaign, as it was called, 
this company was the recipient of a unique compliment 
from the commander-in-chief of the Army of Northern 
Virginia. It was an order from General Lee through Gen 
eral Stuart, that a furlough of ten days be given to Com 
pany B of the Twelfth Virginia Cavalry as a recognition of 
their gallant conduct. 

Gregg now slowly withdrew, followed by Funsten, 
whose command bivouacked that night near Warrenton. 

"In the operations of this day the Twelfth Regiment cap 
tured between 275 and 300 prisoners, and the Eleventh 150, 
with their horses, arms and equipments. The casualties in 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 191 

these regiments amounted to three officers killed and 
wounded." 7 Of the number captured by the Twelfth, forty- 
seven were taken on the road while moving from the 
Springs to Warrenton. They had been on picket at points 
above the Springs, and while falling back came up in the 
rear of the Twelfth, which they mistook in the darkness for 
a Federal regiment, and so fell into the hands of the Con 
federates. 

On the 1 3th of October Stuart made a reconnoissance 
towards Catlett s Station, going by a road that led through 
the village of Auburn to this point. Sending General 
Lomax in advance with his brigade, he followed with Fun- 
sten s and Gordon s brigades, taking also seven pieces of 
artillery and some ordnance wagons. 

General Lomax, upon reaching Auburn, learned that a 
large body of Federal infantry were at Warrenton Junc 
tion, distant from Auburn about four miles. He at once 
sent word to Stuart, and halted his command. 

About four o clock P. M. Stuart arrived at Auburn. 
Leaving Lomax there to guard his rear, he pushed on with 
Funsten s and Gordon s brigades towards Catlett s Station. 
When within two miles of the station he saw large bodies 
of Federals marching along the railroad eastward. Halt 
ing under cover of a piece of woods, he was quietly watch 
ing the movement when a messenger rode up post-haste and 
informed him that the Federals were in possession of 
Auburn, having driven off Lomax. In point of fact a 
whole corps of the enemy was falling back on a road that 
led eastward through Auburn, and Stuart became aware 
that he was hemmed in between the moving columns of 



7 Funsten s Report. 



1 92 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Meade s vast army. Hastily retracing his steps he ap 
proached Auburn, seeking some way of escape. Finding 
the road blocked by the Federals and apprehensive of attack 
in case he should be discovered, Stuart at once moved his 
command out of the road he was traveling off to the right 
into a narrow valley between two wooded hills, and halted 
in close column \vaiting for developments. Soon night set 
in and the hungry and tired troops, now fully aware of the 
situation, with eyes and ears busy, waited and wondered 
what fate had in store for them. 

The enemy was marching within speaking distance of 
them, and as they plodded along, stopping now and then 
to build fires that made their column distinctly visible, they 
seemed a flowing stream of armed men. 

Stuart s reason for staying so close to the highway was 
that he hoped to find an opportunity for breaking through. 
But hours passed and the Federal stream was continuous. 
All night long the procession of artillery and infantry 
moved on. 

While thus watching it was of supreme importance to 
conceal his presence from the enemy. Every kind of noise 
was forbidden. The men spoke in whispers. Sabres were 
not allowed to rattle against canteens, and guards were sta 
tioned to enforce profound silence. Even the horses seemed 
to realize the necessity of being quiet, though now and then 
a hungry mule of the ordnance teams would protest with 
rising voice against the unpleasantness of the situation, 
which sound, if heard by the Federals, was no doubt taken 
to come from their own column. 

The long and dreary night was nearly spent, but to crush 
out every hope, just at the first grey streak of dawn ap- 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 193 

peared, right close in front a body of Federal infantry 
halted, stacked arms, and went to making coffee. There 
was no alternative now but to prepare for battle. 

During the night Stuart had sent six messengers to 
inform General Lee of his position. All six succeeded in 
the attempt by one o clock at night. These messengers 
were six privates, who volunteered for this dangerous serv 
ice, which required that they should go in and through the 
Federal column. Their names are Robert W. Good, First 
Virginia Cavalry; Ashton, Chester, and Sharley of Mc 
Gregor s Horse Artillery; and Privates Crocket Eddins and 
Richard Baylor of Company B, Twelfth Virginia Cavalry. 
Had they been caught in the attempt they would probably 
have been shot as spies. 

Believing that Lee was aware of his perilous situation, 
as day approached Stuart listened anxiously for the sound 
of firearms in the direction of Warrenton; making, how 
ever, arrangements if no aid came, by a bold stroke to take 
care of himself. 

The stars were already fading from the sky when, hear 
ing the welcome sound of musketry on the other side of the 
Federal column, Stuart opened fire on the enemy. His 
seven guns, under Major Beckham, had been posted so as 
to be barely concealed by the rising crest of an intervening 
hill. At the word of command they were quickly advanced, 
and with simultaneous roar poured canister at close range 
into the Federal masses in the road. The Federals, amazed 
at the sudden and close assault, were at first panic-stricken 
and ran helter-skelter in every direction, but rallied by the 
officers, soon fell into line. With bold front they now 
advanced and assaulted the position of Stuart s guns, tak- 



194 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

ing advantage of the slope of the hill to get close to the 
guns before they charged. 

Gordon s brigade remained in the saddle, while Funsten s 
command was dismounted and posted to support the artil 
lery. 

Confident in numbers the Federals pressed forward, but 
soon recoiled before the cannon fire and the volley of Fun 
sten s dismounted men. 

Renewing the attempt with increased numbers they now 
approached on the left flank, but a gallant charge made by 
the First North Carolina Cavalry, under Colonel Ruffin, 
drove them back in confusion. The brave Colonel Ruffin 
was killed in this charge. 

In the meantime the firing on the other side of the road 
had ceased, and taking advantage of the check afforded by 
the bold dash of Ruffin s regiment, Stuart pushed forward 
and crossed the road with all his command without losing 
"a wheel." He now retired towards Warrenton, Funsten s 
brigade bringing up the rear, and striking the route the 
enemy had lately marched captured many stragglers. 

On the morning of the I5th Stuart pursued the retreating 
Federal cavalry, which fell back upon infantry supports. 

At Bull Run a stand was made, but, dismounting his 
men, Stuart attacked en masse with great spirit and soon 
drove the foe across the Bull Run. Hearing that a wagon 
train had not yet crossed, Stuart attempted to capture it. 
Finding the road upon which it moved was covered by a 
heavy force of Federal cavalry, he ordered Gordon to at 
tack it in front while he detoured with Funsten s brigade 
towards their right flank 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 195 

After a very circuitous route he reached at dark a point 
only a short distance from the ground where Gordon had 
been engaging the enemy. The road passed through a 
dense thicket of pines and was barricaded. 

The Twelfth Regiment being in front, Colonel Massie 
commanding, was ordered to charge the barricades. This 
was gallantly done, and the enemy was driven from his 
strong position to precipitate flight. 



CHAPTER VII 

October, 1863 



A new commander Sketch of Thomas L. Rosser The Buckland races 
Camp at Flint Hill At Hamilton s Crossing Night surprise of 
a Federal camp Dash upon Meade s wagon trains in the Wilder 
ness Back to Hamilton s Crossing Hard fight at Parker s Store 
Watching Meade Raid around Meade s army Night attack 
upon Sangster s Station and death of Captain Cartmell Brigade 
heads for the Valley and crosses the Shenandoah Joins the force 
of Early at Mt. Jackson A Merry Christmas in the Valley. 

While halted at Manassas the brigade received a new 
commander, General Thomas L. Rosser. To the greater 
part of the command he was then comparatively a stranger, 
although known to many through report as a daring and 
successful soldier. 

The campaign was now nearly closed, and little was done 
before the men returned to their old camp at Flint Hill, but 
that little disclosed a mettle and dash in the new chief that 
reminded the men of the days of Ashby. 

While not possessing those peculiar qualities of Ashby, 
which both attracted the admiration of his men and won 
and cemented their individual affections, Rosser in personal 
appearance, by education and experience, and by a repu 
tation for courage and dash already acquired, appealed to 
their soldierly instincts. Tall, broad-shouldered and mus 
cular, with black hair and moustache, dark brown eyes, 
strong jaw, and a countenance denoting self-confidence, a 
good horseman and always superbly mounted, the men of 




THOMAS L. ROSSER 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 197 

the brigade recognized in their new commander the typi 
cal soldier, and transferred their loyalty to him. 

When the Southern States seceded and established the 
Confederacy, Rosser was a cadet at the West Point Uni 
ted States Military Academy from Louisiana, being in 
April, 1861, a member of the graduating class. The de 
mand for officers to command the United States troops 
caused the Government to issue an order declaring his class 
graduated by April the I3th, and the members of that class 
were ordered to Washington. 

Rosser at once determined to resign, and on the I3th of 
April he and several other Southern men of his class, who 
afterwards became distinguished soldiers in the Confeder 
ate Army, resigned, left West Point and started southward. 

Meeting with various interruptions, which caused them 
to take unusual and circuitous routes to the new "Land of 
Dixie," they at length reached Montgomery, Alabama, and 
offered their services to the Confederate Government. 
Their services were immediately accepted and they received 
commissions. Rosser was made a first lieutenant of Artil 
lery and ordered to Wilmington, North Carolina, on re 
cruiting service. Eager to be in the field he requested per 
mission to attach himself to the staff of General Holmes, 
and shortly afterwards reached Richmond, where in time 
he was elected captain in the Washington Artillery. He 
participated in the first battle of Manassas, but only reach 
ing the field towards the close of the fight, he joined in pur 
suit of the enemy. 

After that battle, he was assigned to Stuart s command, 
and first served on outpost duty at Munson s Hill. Going 
to the assistance of General Robertson at Mechanicsville, 



198 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

he participated in that action with unusual boldness and 
vigor, and being much exposed in pressing the enemy, he 
was badly wounded. President Davis was present, wit 
nessed the fight, and promoted Rosser, on the field, for 
gallantry, and he received the commission of lieutenant- 
colonel of artillery on June loth, 1862. 

On the 20th of the same month he was made colonel of 
cavalry and took command of the Fifth Virginia Cavalry. 

The Fifth Virginia was but poorly armed when Rosser 
took command, but soon supplied itself at the expense of 
the enemy in the fight at Catlett s Station, in which it took 
conspicuous part. 

Here also an incident occurred that came near costing 
Rosser his life. Some Federal infantry had been captured, 
and while the fight was going on Rosser was asked, "What 
shall we do with the prisoners?" To which he carelessly 
and, not meaning it, replied, "Kill them." One of the prison 
ers heard the reply and, taking him in earnest, told the 
others. Immediately they revolted and began to fight for 
their lives with stones, fence rails, and whatever came to 
hand. One prisoner, who still had his bayonet in the 
scabbard, drawing it threw himself furiously upon Rosser, 
wounding him in the arm and stabbing his horse. It was 
not until the mistake was explained and the prisoners 
assured of protection that they were pacified. 

It was here (Catlett s Station) that Major Von Bourke, 
a Prussian soldier, aide-de-camp to General Stuart, climbed 
a telegraph pole and cut the wire with his sabre. The fact 
of his gigantic size and bulk is what is remarkable about 
the incident. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 199 

During the following week, including the Second Manas- 
sas campaign, Rosser was assigned to duties that required 
both unusual skill and audacity. 

On the 30th Rosser was ordered, in conjunction with a 
part of the Ashby brigade and some artillery, to annoy the 
flank of the Federal infantry. 

"This was done with splendid effect, Colonel Rosser, a 
fine artillerist as well as a bold cavalier, having immediate 
direction of the batteries." 1 In this action Rosser com 
manded all the artillery in Stuart s command, comprising 
Eshleman s and Richardson s batteries of the Washington 
artillery, and Stribbling s and Rogers batteries. With 
these he directed an enfilading fire upon the Federal flank, 
and as they fell back he pressed his advantage with so much 
eagerness that his batteries were at one time half a mile in 
advance of the Confederate line. The enemy, seeing their 
exposed position, attempted by a desperate charge to cap 
ture Rogers battery, which was the most advanced. The 
battery, however, defended itself by reserving fire until the 
enemy was within fifty paces, and then discharging 
deadly volleys of canister into his ranks. 

From Manassas, Rosser with his regiment accompanied 
Fitz Lee into Maryland, and participated in the Maryland 
campaign of 1862. 

Here, as well as elsewhere, Rosser with the Fifth 
Virginia, and generally accompanied by a section of guns, 
had serious work to do. 

On the 1 3th of September the Federals pressed eagerly 
forward into Boonesboro Gap, in the South Mountain, for 
the purpose of raising the siege of Harper s Ferry. 



1 Stuart s Report. 



200 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Says Gen. D. H. Hill, who was defending the Gap : 
"There were two mountain roads practicable for artillery 
on the right of the main turnpike. The defense of the 
farther one had cost Garland his life. It was now entrusted 
to Col. Thomas L. Rosser of the cavalry, who had reported 
to me and who had artillery and dismounted sharpshooters. 
Rosser, Anderson and Ripley held their ground, and the 
Yankees failed to gain their rear." 

After Lee withdrew from Pennsylvania and the Army of 
Northern Virginia again resumed its positions along the 
Rappahannock, Stuart engaged in his Dumfries raid, 
December the 28th. In this Rosser took a leading part. 

Says Stuart, speaking of the passage of the Occoquan : 
"General Fitz Lee discovered that the northern bank of the 
stream was occupied by the enemy s dismounted sharp 
shooters in force. Without waiting to exchange shots they 
were gallantly charged by files, the Fifth Virginia, under 
Colonel Rosser, leading across a narrow, rocky and difficult 
ford. They crossed the stream and captured or dispersed 
the whole party." 

Says Fitz Lee in his report: "The charge across the 
narrow, rocky ford of the Occoquan by file, in spite of the 
enemy s sharpshooters on the other side, was one of the 
most admirable performances of cavalry I have ever wit 
nessed, and great praise is due to Colonel Rosser in this 
connection." 

With this well-earned reputation General Rosser took 
command of the brigade, a body of soldiers whose reputa 
tion under Ashby, Munford, and Jones was not second to 
that of their new commander. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 201 

When the head of Stuart s column had nearly reached 
Bull Run, the further bank of which was held by the enemy, 
Rosser was ordered to seize McLean s ford. A body of 
the enemy s infantry was holding it, being strongly posted 
on some high ground beyond, and supported by artillery. 

With his men dismounted and deployed as skirmishers, 
Rosser advanced under a heavy fire and took possession of 
both sides of the ford. 

The enemy on the high ground remained in position and 
kept up such a galling fusillade that the Confederates were 
forced to shelter themselves under the banks of the creek, 
from behind which they replied to the fire of the enemy. 

Night was now drawing near, and although Rosser was 
ordered by Stuart to fall back, he wanted to retreat under 
the cover of darkness. 

The enemy was on the alert, and it was hazardous to 
leave the friendly shelter of the bank. At a preconcerted 
signal the men raised a yell as if about to charge, and then 
retreated rapidly. The ruse was discovered by the Federals, 
who at once pursued. 

The horses of the brigade had been brought near the 
creek, and in mounting under fire some confusion occurred. 
But in crossing the run the Federals also were thrown into 
some disorder, and Rosser taking advantage of this, with a 
portion of his men held them in check, until aided by Stu 
art in successfully withdrawing. 

Lee was already falling back, while Meade remained 
near Bull Run; but the cavalry under Stuart which fol 
lowed Lee was pressed by the Federal horse. 

Early on the iQth Hampton s division, to which Rosser s 
brigade then belonged, was engaged in preventing Kilpat- 



2O2 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

rick s division from crossing Broad Run at Buckland, on 
the Warrenton turnpike. 

At the same time Fitz Lee was retiring with his division 
on a line parallel to the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. 
At the suggestion of Fitz Lee, Stuart, who was in com 
mand of Hampton s division, withdrew before Kilpatrick 
for the purpose of enticing him to follow upon the turn 
pike, so that Fitz Lee could fall upon his rear. 

Kilpatrick fell into the ruse, but with his usual caution 
left Custer s brigade to hold the ford, while he with the 
rest of his division followed Stuart within three miles of 
Warrenton. Here the sound of Lee s guns reached Stuart, 
and he turned upon the Federals. After some resistance 
they broke and fled down the turnpike, hotly pursued five 
miles. 

Custer held the ford at Buckland against Fitz Lee, until 
most of Kilpatrick s men escaped through the woods, and 
then withdrew with his artillery. 

The Federal loss was about 250 prisoners and a few 
wagons and ambulances. The pluck of Custer and the 
fast riding of Kilpatrick had prevented a much more seri 
ous disaster. 

This incident has always been known by the cavalry 
as the "Buckland Races," it being more of a chase than a 
fight. 

General Stuart, in his official report of it, says: "The 
force opposed to us on this occasion consisted of ten regi 
ments of cavalry and six pieces of artillery commanded by 
General Kilpatrick, and I am gratified in declaring the rout 
of the enemy at Buckland, the most signal and complete 
that any cavalry has suffered during the war. It is remark- 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 203 

able that Kilpatrick s division seemed to disappear from the 
field for more than a month, that time being necessary no 
doubt to collect the panic-stricken fugitives." 

After their experience at Buckland, the Federal cavalry 
followed the Confederates in their withdrawal at a respect 
ful distance, and the old positions on the Rappahannock 
and Rapidan were resumed. 

At Flint Hill, in Rappahannock county, the brigade 
took a short rest, which was much needed and much en 
joyed. Provender was abundant, the orchards full of 
delicious fruit, and the rich autumnal grasses supplied an 
abundance of milk and butter which the hospitable farmers 
of the county dispensed to the soldiers. The merry-mak 
ings were numerous but soon over. In a short time the 
command was ordered to break camp, and return again to 
Hamilton s crossing, about eight miles above Fredericks- 
burg. Here for several weeks it was engaged in picketing 
the fords from Germania to Fredericksburg. 

On the /th of November the Federal army forced a pas 
sage across the Rappahannock at Kelly s Ford and the rail 
road bridge, and resumed its old position near Culpeper 
Court House. 

General Lee now retired beyond the Rapidan, and pre 
pared to go into winter quarters. 

On the 1 7th of November, Hampton ordered Rosser 
with his brigade to Chancellorsville. Before sundown Ros 
ser was on hand with his troops, who were joyous at the 
prospect of some relief from the monotony of drill and 
picket. 

After a few hours rest, they set out in the night and 
marched towards Stephensburg, where a Federal regiment 



2O4 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

was stationed. Near daybreak they found the enemy and 
charged his camp. The darkness and the sudden attack 
made victory easy. The Federals fled and scattered, leav 
ing about sixty prisoners, many horses and the camp 
equipage in the hands of the Confederates. Hampton s 
loss was one man killed and two wounded. After load 
ing the captured wagons, he retired with deliberation, and 
recrossed the river unmolested. 

The brigade now again returned to Hamilton s Crossing 
and resumed the monotonous duty of picketing the fords, 
though somewhat consoled by their share in the recent 
spoils of war. 

Scarcely had they gotten comfortably fixed in quarters, 
when the news of a general advance of the Federals re 
called them to the saddle. 

To the surprise of the Confederates, Meade had on the 
26th crossed the fateful river, and the next day with his 
whole army was marching up the Plank Road towards 
Orange Court House. 

Rosser, upon the first report of his scouts, moved his 
brigade to Todd s Tavern as a good point of observation, 
and sought opportunity to annoy the enemy s marching 
column. He did not have long to wait, for on the 27th 
he learned that the Federals were moving up the Plank 
Road, and that they had neglected to picket the Brock 
Road, that crossed Meade s line of march, and led to 
Todd s Tavern. The tract, through which Meade was 
marching, was what is known as the "Wilderness." It was 
an almost uninhabited expanse of country, rendered so by 
the extreme poverty of the soil, and was covered with 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 205 

stunted trees and an almost impenetrable growth of 
underbrush. 

On the morning of the 2/th, with ranks closed up as 
much as the narrow road permitted, Rosser moved with 
caution towards the Plank Road. 

Soon the rattle of the Federal wagon trains was heard, 
and upon a nearer approach, the confused hum of a march 
ing army. 

The advance guard now rode silently forward, the very 
horses seeming to step softly, and at a given signal from 
Rosser dashed into the Plank Road, followed by the main 
body. In an instant the wagon first passing was turned 
into the Brock Road. Those behind it were made to follow, 
and soon more than a dozen came thundering along with 
mules under whip and sabre down the narrow road 
towards Todd s Tavern. 

In the meantime the hubbub at the crossing, and the 
sight of the charging Confederates, stampeded the teams 
that had gotten by, while those coming on, were abandoned 
by their drivers or \vheeled around in an attempt to escape 
capture. Some were upset, others colliding with the rear 
ones became hopelessly entangled. The shouts of the terror- 
stricken teamsters, the frantic efforts of the mules to free 
themselves, mingling with the noise of the combat, made 
c scene of indescribable confusion. 

In a few minutes the contest was over. From both direc 
tions the Federal infantry advanced to save their trains, 
which were being snatched from the very midst of the army. 
Exposed to a fire from opposite quarters, the Confederates 
beat a hasty retreat, and disappeared in the Wilderness. 
Not a few wagons had been broken or destroyed on the 



206 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Plank Road, the mules being cut loose and brought out. 
Of those driven off towards Todd s Tavern, some were 
burned for fear of recapture, after being rifled of their 
valuable contents by the troopers. But the net result of 
the enterprise was a goodly number of mules and wagons 
and twenty prisoners captured, with the loss of only one 
man. 

Rosser, after securing his prisoners, moved along a road 
parallel to the Plank Road, bivouacking that night, in spite 
of a drizzling rain, almost in sight of the enemy s camp- 
fires. The next day he rejoined the main body of the 
cavalry. 

On the following day Stuart, with Hampton s division, 
made a reconnoissance around the enemy s letft, having 
Rosser s brigade in front. 

The road through the dense forest was muddy, narrow, 
and rough, and the column in marching was often broken 
into single files. 

Running across the line of march, was an abandoned 
railroad bed which was nearly parallel with the Plank 
Road, and distant from it a few hundred yards. Just 
beyond it, at Parker s Store, was stationed a Federal camp, 
and in the roadbed was a Federal picket. The advance 
guard, Company A of the Seventh, under Captain Hatcher, 
upon discovering the Federal picket, charged and pursued 
it, the brigade following closely, with the Seventh Regi 
ment in front. Soon the camp of the enemy near the road 
on the right came in view, and Rosser ordered a charge, 
himself leading it. But Hatcher had pressed in hot pur 
suit of the picket, and the rest of the Seventh, except a few 
of the front files, was some distance behind, and the entire 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 207 

brigade was strung out in the narrow road on which it was 
advancing, fully a mile in length. So the action was com 
menced without formation, the men engaging in the fight 
as they came upon the firing line. The enemy poured a 
volley into these few and for a brief space kept them at bay. 
But the column soon closed up and the camp was charged 
and taken wdth many prisoners. 

The \voods was full of tempting articles of plunder, 
among which were savory breakfasts which had been has 
tily abandoned. The cold and hungry Confederates 
yielded to the temptation, and many broke ranks to gather 
the spoils of victory. In the meantime the enemy, heavily 
reinforced with a heavy line of skirmishers on the flanks, 
made a vigorous effort to recover the field. For full two 
hours a fierce struggle raged, each side refusing to yield. 
The action was chiefly between dismounted men, the dense 
forest growth preventing in large degree the advantageous 
movement of mounted squadrons. In the road, however, 
there \vas frequent charging of mounted men with vary 
ing fortune. 

At last, with portions of all the regiments of the brigade, 
a charge was made down the Plank Road that proved 
resistless. The Federals, though pressed with sabre and 
pistol, stood manfully a while, then turned and fled, pur 
sued with fury by the Confederates. For several miles the 
pursuit continued, the Federals losing heavily in killed, 
wounded, and prisoners. 

The line of dismounted men disappeared before Rosser s 
front after the rout of the Federal horse. Remaining for 



208 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

a short time in possession of the field, Rosser at length 
withdrew with his captures. 2 

The next day at dawn all were in the saddle, confident 
that Meade would attack Lee s lines ; but they were disap 
pointed. Meade had come to Mine Run to go into winter 
quarters, and it did not seem likely that after crossing the 
Rappahannock he would fear to cross Mine Run. Another 
night of anxious expectation followed, such as generally 
precedes a great battle. At dawn, however, the reveille of 
the enemy was not to be heard, and it was soon learned 
that Meade had made off during the night. 

After following Meade to the banks of the Rappahan 
nock, the brigade retraced its steps and on the 5th of 
December resumed its old position at Hamilton s Crossing. 
The vicinity of the camp was almost an uninhabited waste. 
So bare had it been swept by the waves of war, that a few 
persimmons was all that rewarded the most industrious 
flanker. Forage was scanty, rations meagre, and the 
troops exposed in shelter tents, yearned for the full barns 
and plenteous tables of the Valley. Not a few took solace 
in the "starvation parties" given by the hospitable citizens 
of Fredericksburg, where the charms of wit and beauty 
banished remembrance of their discomforts in camp ; but 
the most lived in hope that some lucky chance would 
remove them to the banks of the Shenandoah. Sooner 
than they thought the hope was realized. 

On the evening of December the i6th, the brigade set 
out on what is known as the Sangster Station raid, an expe 
dition attended not only with some hard fighting but with 



2 The casualties among the men of "The Laurel" in this fight were 
considerable. Among the killed was Richard Baylor of Company B, 
Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, a private distinguished for his gallantry. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 209 

a great deal of suffering, the horrors of which made a last 
ing impression upon every soldier who participated in it. 
General Lee having heard that one or two regiments of 
Federal cavalry were moving up the Shenandoah Valley 
from Winchester towards Staunton, directed Rosser to 
cross the Shenandoah in the rear of this force and prevent 
its escape. Accordingly on the i6th of December Rosser 
with his command marched to Fredericksburg, where he 
waited until low tide, and then crossed the Rappahannock 
about twilight. The fording was deep and some of the 
men had to swim their horses. 

For the first three or four miles the road led through the 
old camping-ground of Burnside s army. The prospect, 
indistinct in the gloaming, recalled the fate of that mighty 
multitude, and the deserted cabins, many of whose last 
inmates lay buried near, were silent witnesses of the hor 
rors of war. The road now led through a barren waste. It 
was rough and narrow, but the troopers were homeward 
bound, and for a few hours before drowsiness set in, moved 
on right merrily. 

Soon the camp-fires of Meade s army were seen on their 
left, and they could not for a moment forget that they were 
within the enemy s line. About midnight the column 
halted and rested until morning, when the march was 
resumed. Rain now set in, at first a drizzle and then a 
downpour, drenching the men, swelling the streams, and 
making the roads sloppy and muddy. Rosser, being appre 
hensive, lest some of the streams ahead of him would rise 
so high as to impede his march, now moved faster. 

All day long through the continuous rain, the men, wet 
to the skin, pushed on through mud and mire. Three days 



2io A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

rations had been cooked before starting, but these were 
now nearly consumed, and the improvident ones had quite 
exhausted their haversacks. 

The Seventh Regiment was in front, followed succes 
sively by the Twelfth, Eleventh, and White s Battalion. 
Towards night the order came to close up at a trot. Night 
had already set in when the Occoquan was reached. It was 
found to be rising rapidly, but a passable ford was found 
at Wolf Run Shoals. 

Up to this time Rosser, in his anxiety to cross the rail 
road without delay, and to hurry on to the Shenandoah 
before the rain had swollen it past fording, procured a 
guide who could take him through the country along by 
roads, so as to avoid the enemy s outposts. 

The darkness and rain now made him change his plan, 
and he moved more rapidly, following the road that led to 
Sangster s Station, where he knew the enemy had a force 
guarding the railroad bridge. 

Upon Hearing this point, he came to the bank of a small 
stream which was rising rapidly, and evidently very deep. 
Loud bursts of thunder now accompanied the rain, and the 
bright flashes of lightning lifted for a moment the thick 
veil of darkness from surrounding objects. Beyond the 
angry-looking stream, right across the path of his advance, 
was a stockade fort, whose garrison had already discovered 
him. 

A challenge and a shot from the sentinel on duty, re 
minded him that there was no time to examine the ford. 

The Seventh Regiment, commanded by Col. R. H. 
Dulany, was ordered to cross and attack. The First Squad 
ron, under Captain Hatcher, Company A, gallantly 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 211 

responded, and plunging across the stream dashed at the 
stockade. 

Up and around it they went, crossing the railroad, the 
heavy force in the breastworks preventing their return. 
The rest of the Seventh, blinded by the darkness, passed 
down the stream without crossing it. 

The Eleventh Regiment, commanded by Lieut-Col. M. 
Beal, was now ordered to charge. Rosser s stirring appeal 
to the men was answered with a loud cheer. Forming in 
close column, they moved steadily across the roaring creek, 
guided by the lightning flashes and the bursts of flame that 
came from the foe s receiving volleys. 

"Although by this time, the enemy was thoroughly 
aroused, and was pouring sheet after sheet of fire into the 
head of Beal s column, the gallant old regiment went cheer 
ing through water, and in a moment was up the hill on the 
other side and the stockade was ours." 3 

The brave Captain Cartmell of Company B was at the 
head of the First Squadron, and was instantly killed. Sev 
eral others were wounded, some mortally, though most of 
the garrison, under cover of darkness, escaped. 

Among the captures was a silver bugle and the flag of 
the one Hundred and Sixty-fourth New York, a part of 
which regiment had occupied the fort. The bugle was pre 
sented to Hatcher s squadron, and the flag, through Colo 
nel Beal and the Eleventh, to the Virginia Military Insti 
tute. Afterwards, in 1883, when peace and mutual good 
will had returned, the flag, which was very beautiful, was 
presented, through the corps of cadets, to the Mayor of 
New York, and by him returned to its old regiment. 



3 Rosser. 



212 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

After attending to his wounded and dead, Rosser moved 
on through the rain and darkness towards Upperville. 
Men and horses were well nigh exhausted, but the enemy 
was now certainly in the saddle in hot pursuit, and no rest 
could be taken. 

All night the drenching rain continued. Towards morn 
ing it began to turn cold, and the falling drops, turning to 
sleet, increased the tortures of drowsiness and extreme 
fatigue. The horses, jaded and hungry, staggered through 
the mud, now stiffened with cold, while the men with gar 
ments frozen, bodies benumbed, and faculties almost palsied 
with distress, half unconscious, kept their places in the 
laboring column. 

At sunrise Upperville was reached, and a halt was made 
to have breakfast and to feed the horses. Here some of the 
men had to be lifted from their horses, being stiff with cold 
and their clothing frozen to the saddles. 

After an hour s respite the weary march was resumed. 
The rain had now ceased, and the clouds lifting, the wel 
come sight of the Blue Ridge cheered the hearts of the half- 
frozen troopers. 

In a few hours they had crossed through Ashby s Gap and 
were once more upon the banks of the Shenandoah. The 
swollen, angry river barred their passage, and across its 
turbid waters lay the promised land, which, in spite of the 
terrible march, they had come too late to enter. 

Rosser knew that the enemy was close upon his heels, 
and was apprehensive lest taking advantage of the swollen 
condition of the river, he would also endeavor to intercept 
him at Front Royal or Luray. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 213 

He had no choice but to move up the right bank until he 
found a practicable crossing. Again the weary column 
moved forward, picking its way over the rough and narrow 
road that winds along between the river and the mountain, 
now in worse condition by reason of the recent torrents. 

At last when Front Royal \vas reached there was a halt, 
and the men went into camp for the first time in forty- 
eight hours, having marched in thirty-six hours more than 
ninety miles. 

Next morning Rosser pushed on, and arrived at Luray a 
few hours before a division of Federals had passed through 
Thorton s Gap in his rear. 

The river was still very high, but a crossing was effected 
with some difficulty at Conrad s Store, and on the 2Oth of 
December the brigade reached the army of General Early 
in the Valley. 

It was now learned that the raiding party which Rosser 
had started out to capture, had returned to Winchester, and 
the brigade was permitted to go into camp and take a rest. 

After such a tiresome march, the week s holiday which 
followed was much enjoyed. The horses were shod, and 
their strength recruited on the abundant forage of the 
Valley. 

It was Christmas time too, and in spite of the ruin 
wrought by war, thanks to careful housewives, many good 
things remained. The half-starved troopers made the best 
of their opportunity, and gladly banishing thoughts of 
"grim-visaged war," yielded themselves to the cheerful fes 
tivities of Christmas time. If turkeys were hard to get, the 
savory sausage of the forehanded farmers was accepted as 



214 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

a fair substitute, and the apple, peach, and pumpkin pies, 
rye coffee, and sorghum molasses, galore, made one think 
that plenty, if not peace, had again returned to the land. 



CHAPTER VIII 

January, 1864 

Rosser with Fitz Lee They make midwinter raid to capture cattle for 
Lee s army March down the Patterson Creek Valley Capture a 
Federal wagon train Move towards New Creek Return to Early 
in the Valley Fitz Lee with his division returns to the Army of 
Northern Virginia Early and Rosser make the Petersburg raid 
Returning, the Laurel Brigade camps at Weyer s Cave Rest and 
hilarity Across the Blue Ridge to catch Kilpatrick Return to 
Valley The camp in Rockbridge county Recruiting Grant 
moves his multitudes A call from Lee The Laurel joins Lee in 
the Wilderness The 5th and 6th of May Join Hampton at 
Shady Grove Yellow Tavern Death of Stuart. 

The cavalry being not only the eyes and ears of the army, 
but also foragers for it, it was not in the nature of things 
that Fitz Lee s force, being now augmented by the arrival 
of Rosser s brigade, could long remain idle in camp. An 
expedition west of the mountains was ordered by Early to 
secure cattle for the use of Lee s army, and at the same time 
to capture detached bodies of the enemy and do such 
damage to his communications on the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad as might be found practicable. 

The expedition under General Fitz Lee started in the lat 
ter days of December. The citizens of the Moorefield and 
South Branch valleys were loyal, with few exceptions, to 
the Confederacy, and most of them zealous in its cause, 
and had consequently suffered, both in their persons and 
substance, from the frequent predatory visits of the Fed 
erals. 



216 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

When it was known that the expedition was made for 
the purpose of procuring beef for Lee s army, it was not 
long before droves of well-fed steers were on their way to 
"Dixie." 

Upon arriving at Moorefield, Fitz Lee learned that a 
Federal force, eight or nine hundred strong, was at Peters 
burg and strongly fortified behind entrenchments and 
abattis. For the want of artillery and because much of 
the small-arms ammunition had been ruined in the storm, 
he decided not to attack Petersburg, but to move upon the 
enemy s line of communication on the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad. 

On the morning of January the 2nd, he marched down 
the South Branch, and began to cross the Branch Mountain 
at Mills Gap. Rosser s brigade led the advance, with the 
Eleventh Virginia in front, followed by the Seventh. 

Upon nearing the top of the mountain, the road was 
found to be blockaded with fallen trees, and a way had to 
be opened by axemen. While engaged in this, scouts 
reported that a Federal wagon train, moving in the direc 
tion of New Creek, was approaching the point where the 
road on which Rosser was marching forked with the 
Petersburg and New Creek road. 

Rosser at once hurried up his foremost regiments, and 
the men at many places leaped their horses over the fallen 
trees in their eagerness to get to the front. 

After passing the top of the gap and rounding a curve 
in the road, they came in sight of the train, which was 
moving slowly and in careless security, attended by a small 
guard of soldiers. There were about forty wagons, six 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 217 

mules to each, loaded, as was afterwards found, with 
ammunition, hides, and sutlers stores. 

Rosser ordered the Eleventh, commanded by Maj. E. H. 
McDonald, to charge the train, and the Seventh, com 
manded by Colonel Dulany, to follow closely in support. 
The column emerged from cover of the woods, and with 
loud shouts galloped down the mountainside. The train 
quickened its snail-like pace into a run, and then rushed 
along at a furious speed. In their eagerness to escape, the 
faster teams tried to pass the slower ones, and then fol 
lowed upsets and collisions, mules entangled, kicking to free 
themselves from harness, and great confusion. It seemed 
at first an easy capture, the guard in sight making off to 
the woods. But as the train halted, about seventy-five 
infantrymen leaped out of the wagons, and running up the 
hillside beyond the road, began to fire upon the nearest 
horsemen. They were soon charged by a small portion of 
the Eleventh, under Major McDonald, and most of them 
compelled to surrender. Among the captured sutlers 
stores were canned goods of every description, which were 
much enjoyed by the victors. 

Fitz Lee now moved down Patterson s Creek with fora 
gers on the flanks gathering cattle and sheep. At Burling 
ton more sutlers stores were captured, and a blockhouse 
abandoned by the enemy was destroyed. 

After a short delay at Burlington the column moved on 
to Ridgeville and pitched camp. This place was six miles 
from New Creek, against which Fitz Lee intended to 
advance the following day. But a severe snowstorm set in 
during the night, and next morning Fitz Lee withdrew and 
returned to the Valley, going by way of Romney and 



218 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Brock s Gap to Harrisonburg. He took back with him 
400 cattle and no prisoners. 

Very soon after his return Fitz Lee with his command 
rejoined the Army of Northern Virginia. Rosser s brigade, 
however, remained with Early, then in command of the 
Valley district. 

After a short rest the brigade participated in another cat 
tle expedition across the mountain that proved quite suc 
cessful, and the fruitful results of which were due in a 
great measure to Rosser s skillful handling of his com 
mand. 

On January 28th, 1864, General Early, with Rosser s 
brigade, Thomas brigade of infantry, all the effective men 
of Gilmore s and McNeil s Partisan Rangers, and four 
pieces of McClannahan s Battery, moved from New 
Market to Moorefield. 

On the 29th Rosser, with the cavalry and artillery, ac 
companied by Early, reached Moorefield somewhat in 
advance of the infantry. Scouts having reported that a 
large train was on its way from New Creek to Petersburg, 
Rosser was ordered to cross over the Branch Mountain 
and capture it. 

Accordingly, on the morning of the 3Oth, he marched 
from Moorefield, having besides his own brigade one or 
two pieces of McClannahan s Battery. 

Moving by way of the Moorefield and Alleghany turn 
pike, when nearing the top of the mountain, he found the 
road to be blocked with fallen trees, and the gap held by 
a regiment of Federal infantry. Rosser, dismounting the 
Twelfth Regiment, made a vigorous attack, and soon 
forced his way through, driving the enemy before him, 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 219 

who retired in the direction of Medley to meet the train 
which was then coming- up towards Petersburg. 

Upon discovering Rosser s approach the Federals parked 
their train of ninety-five wagons at Medley, and prepared 
to defend it. The guard consisted of about 800 infantry 
and a small body of cavalry, which seemed amply sufficient 
to keep off an inferior number of Confederate cavalrymen. 
Rosser at once determined to attack, though having all told 
not more than 400 men. The Twelfth Regiment, under 
Colonel Massie, was ordered to go around and fall upon 
the enemy s rear, and the other regiments, partly dis 
mounted, were advanced upon his front and flank. 

The attempt was a bold one. The Federals were in a 
defensive position, superior in numbers, and at that time 
dismounted cavalrymen were hardly considered a match 
for disciplined infantry. 

Encouraged, however, by the confidence of their leader 
and stimulated by the sight of the rich prize, the Confed 
erates moved forward with spirit to the assault. The Fed 
erals stood firm and repulsed the first onset, inflicting some 
loss. Rosser determined to attack again, as by this time 
a piece of artillery had reached the field, which he ordered 
to immediately open upon them, and the sight of its burst 
ing shells spreading panic among the teamsters, was exhil 
arating to the Confederates. 

After one or two salutes from his gun, Rosser renewed 
the attack. The dismounted men advanced on the enemy s 
left, while the cavalry, led by Major Meyers, charged in 
front. The Federals broke and fled in disorder, leaving all 
their wagons and forty-two prisoners in the hands of the 
victors. With the retreating Federals the teamsters carried 



22O A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

off mules belonging to nearly forty wagons, which escape 
was owing greatly to the fact, as stated by General Ros- 
ser, that the Twelfth Regiment, from some misunderstand 
ing, had failed to get in position in the rear before the 
retreat began. The wagons were loaded with bacon, sugar, 
coffee, and other army supplies, and proved to be a very 
valuable capture. 

In the engagement Rosser lost in killed and wounded 
twenty-five men. The enemy s loss was greater. Their 
dead and wounded were left on the field, but the number is 
not reported. 

On the morning of the ist of February Rosser, now re 
inforced by Thomas brigade of infantry, moved against 
Petersburg. Upon arriving there, it was found that the 
Federal force was gone, having abandoned in their haste 
a considerable quantity of ammunition and commissary 
stores. 

From Petersburg Rosser, in obedience to orders from 
Early, moved down Patterson s Creek to collect cattle, and 
do what damage he could to the Federal communications 
on the line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. 

After sending Colonel Marshall with the Seventh Regi 
ment to hold the gap at Mechanicsburg against General 
Averill, who was expected from Martinsburg, Rosser 
marched down Patterson s Creek to its mouth, sending 
parties out to bring in cattle and sheep. Upon reaching 
the line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at the mouth 
of the creek, he captured one guard there, and destroyed 
the railroad bridges over the Potomac, Patterson s Creek, 
and the canal. With his prisoners and cattle, he now re 
traced his steps, moving cautiously to avoid Averill, who. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 221 

he learned, had forced the gap at Mechanicsburg and got 
ten in his rear. 

By taking by-roads at different points, Rosser succeeded 
in eluding Averill, who, mistaking his purpose, or fearing 
to come up with him, adroitly kept out of his way while 
pretending to pursue him. 

Rosser with all his prisoners, about 1,200 cattle, and 
other captures reached Moorefield unmolested by the 
enemy. 

Captain John McNeil also arrived, bringing from beyond 
the Alleghany 300 cattle. 

General Averill, disappointed on all sides, now ap 
proached Moorefield and menaced it. Early recalled 
Thomas brigade, which had started for the Valley, and 
ordered Rosser to withdraw through Moorefield as if in 
retreat. He thought to draw Averill into the clutches of 
his infantry, but the wily Federal, whose caution now 
served him a good turn, refused the bait and halted. Early, 
after waiting a few hours, set out for the Valley, taking 
with him fifty of the captured wagons, 1,500 cattle, and 
500 sheep. 

Stuart s appreciation of what was done by Rosser and 
his command on this expedition, is shown in the following 
endorsement of Rosser s report : The bold and successful 
enterprise herein reported furnishes additional proof of 
General Rosser s merit as a commander, and adds fresh 
laurels to that veteran brigade, so signalized for valor 
already." 

Upon its return to the Valley the brigade went into camp 
near Weyer s Cave. Many of the sutlers stores found in the 
captured wagon train, had been appropriated by the sol- 



222 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

diers, and for several days the new camp was the scene of 
festive mirth. Brandied cherries, pickled oysters, boned 
turkey, and other delicious canned edibles, formed a part 
of the menu, while Boston gingerbread and Goshen cheese 
were served ad libitum. 

The weather was bright and cool. There were daily 
visits to Weyer s Cave, not a few picnics, and an occasional 
horse-race. The luxuries disappeared rapidly, and when 
the sugar and coffee had been exhausted, the troopers 
began to yearn for another raid. 

The opportunity soon came. On the evening of the 2Qth 
of February the command W 7 as again in saddle, and started 
across the Blue Ridge. 

Kilpatrick and Dahlgren were then making their noto 
rious raid on Richmond. Rosser marched rapidly to take 
part in the pursuit. At the outset the weather was fine, 
and many of the men not dreaming of a long march, left 
their overcoats in camp. By night the clouds thickened, 
the moon and the stars were hid, and a drizzling rain began 
to fall. By and by a stiff northeaster blew, and before mid 
night it began to sleet. The falling drops freezing as soon 
as they touched horse or man, enveloped each in a sheet of 
ice. The moon from behind the clouds furnished enough 
light to make objects visible, and the appearance of the 
moving horsemen was weird and ghostlike. Hat, coat, 
equipments, hair, and beard covered with ice, furnished a 
complete disguise. The horses, too, were masked in glist 
ening white, and shivering with cold the men moved on in 
profound silence, nothing being heard but the steady tramp 
of the column. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 223 

After an all-night ride Charlottesville was reached. 
There a short rest was taken, and thence by forced marches 
the command proceeded, sometimes marching all night, 
until they went into camp within six miles of Richmond. 
Kilpatrick was, however, not overtaken, though so closely 
were his heels clogged, that frequently in the night, the 
country people insisted that Rosser s men were a part of 
the enemy. After marching and Countermarching for two 
weeks in vain pursuit of the doubling Federals, a rest of 
two days was taken at Gordonsville, which was greatly 
enjoyed in spite of the scarcity of food and forage. 

March the i6th the brigade started back to the Valley, 
making short marches until by the 3ist it was settled in 
comfortable quarters near Lexington, Virginia. Though 
the section of country in which the new camp was pitched 
was rich and as yet untouched by the devastating hand of 
the enemy, its abundant supplies had been much exhausted 
to feed Lee s half-starved veterans. The army ration was 
reduced to a quarter of a pound of meat and one pound of 
meal a day. The soldiers submitted, though they reserved 
the right to grumble, and seldom failed when opportunity 
offered, to supplement the deficiency at the tables of the 
hospitable farmers in the vicinity. Although food was 
scarce the air and water were fine, and among a people full 
of patriotic zeal, ardor for the cause was rekindled. 

Indeed it was a period of happiness for many, who far 
away from scenes of war, with reviews and dress parades, 
enjoyed its pomp and circumstance, while giving full range 
to the enjoyment of the charms of peace. 



224 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

It was a season, too, of growth for the brigade. New 
recruits were added, fresh horses brought in, and the old 
ones rested, if not fattened. 

With the approach of spring, came rumors of the mov 
ing of Grant s vast multitude. Lee had appealed to the 
mothers of Virginia to send all the laggards to the field, 
to help him in the desperate struggle he felt was approach 
ing. In response to this, recruits poured in, and the bri 
gade got its share of what was called the "new issue." 
Many of the sick and wounded had recovered and rejoined 
their regiments, so that the brigade was now much stronger 
both in quantity and quality of material than it had been 
since its active campaigns. 

When the flowers of April foretokened, alas, the return 
of war and a leave-taking from the new-found friends, 
there was no hanging back now, as formerly, at the pros 
pect of quitting the Valley. The trumpet call of Lee had 
stirred the depths of the Confederate heart. Like the 
slogan of the Highlands, "Lee needs help !" was the word 
passed from house to house, and from mountain and plain 
came the sons of Virginia in response. 

The Valley men were behind none in their eagerness to 
take part in the decisive struggle; and when on a bright 
May morning the column descended the slopes of the 
Blue Ridge and turned towards the banks of the Rappa- 
hannock, there was a look of firm resolve in the faces of the 
gallant troopers, which said that they would do their best 
for Lee and their country. 

May the 4th, 1864, Grant crossed the Rapidan and the 
Wilderness campaign began. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 225 

After breaking camp at Wolf Town, Madison county, 
May the 4th, Rosser s brigade moved up and joined Lee s 
army, passing the infantry in breastworks at Mine Run and 
encamping on Lee s right. 

From all appearances the morrow promised to be a 
busy day. 

That night a prisoner captured by some of the Eleventh 
Regiment was brought into Rosser s camp. Many ques 
tions were put to him by some of the soldiers, as to what 
was thought of Grant, the new commander of the Army of 
the Potomac. His answers indicated that there was great 
confidence in Grant s luck and energy. 

"Where is your pontoon train?" said one. To the sur 
prise of all he responded, "Grant has no pontoon train/ 

"How, then, are you going to get back over the river?" 
asked another. 

"Grant says," answered the Federal quietly, "that all of 
his men who go back over the river can cross on a log." 

This, with other trifling incidents that soldiers eagerly 
seized upon, showed that the Federal army under its new 
leader, confiding in numbers and Grant s luck, meant 
serious work. 

Next day, the 5th, the sun rose hot and lurid. The heat 
of the night had been oppressive and the men poorly 
refreshed by broken slumbers, were called early into the 
saddle. 

The command moved down the Catharpin Road, which 
led to Todd s Tavern. A short distance west of the river 
Po, a strong force of the enemy was encountered. On both 
sides of the road it was heavily wooded, and the fight began 
between dismounted men on the flanks. At first these 



226 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

lines were strengthened, and for some time the battle was 
of an infantry character. It continued to increase in inten 
sity, the enemy using his artillery with considerable effect. 
Soon the enemy began to yield to the impetuosity of the 
attack. But a Federal battery on a hill sorely annoyed 
Rosser, who now became impatient to get to close quarters. 
There was no charging practicable except by fours in the 
road, and that which was in front and to be overcome was 
an unknown quantity. Had Rosser been aware that a 
Federal division, Wilson s, was confronting him, he might 
have been more cautious. Under the circumstances, there 
seemed nothing else to do but go forward, and the whole 
brigade was ordered to advance by fours. The Twelfth was 
in front under Col. Thomas Massie; next came the Sev 
enth, followed by the Eleventh, with White s Battalion 
bringing up the rear. 

The Twelfth, with the "Rebel yell," dashed at the solid 
ranks of the enemy over a barricade of abattis. For a while 
they stood firm and received the charge. Now it was man 
to man and hand to hand. Pistol and sabre were busy in 
slaughter, while the shrieks of the stricken and the shouts 
of the victors mingled with the roar of battle. 

The fierce onset of the Confederates did not slacken. On 
pressed the whole brigade, crowding to the front. The 
Federals gave way and retreated across the river Po. On 
the other side they made a gallant stand, but the Confed 
erates, now flushed with victory, pressed forward, and 
again drove them, in spite of the efforts of the officers to 
hold the men in line. 

With great coolness, the enemy kept selecting new posi 
tions for their artillery, which enabled him to shell the 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 227 

advancing column, but nothing could keep back the horse 
men in the road. 

The Federal retreat, however, was orderly, and at every 
favorable point the enemy again made efforts to rally. 
Although the attempts were ineffectual, they were success 
ful enough to allow their artillery to withdraw and escape 
capture. Finally a good position was reached, where there 
was little timber, and posting squadrons with supporting 
squadrons on both sides of the road, the Federals poured 
a deadly fire from carbines into Rosser s advancing column. 
Most bravely did the Twelfth charge, rally and charge 
again, but the Federals stood like a rock. 

Rosser now ordered the Seventh and Eleventh to charge. 
Says Lieutenant Vandiver, who commanded Company F 
of the Seventh, that day: "At length we reached a point 
where the enemy had evidently made a stand. Coming to 
an old field grown up in scattering pines and sumac, we 
found the Federal cavalry formed. General Rosser stood 
on a slight eminence to our left, and as the organized sup 
porting column emerged from the timber he ordered the 
charge. My company came up in good shape. It seemed 
to me that the enemy was then weakening, and in spite of 
efforts of brave officers to hold them in line, were breaking 
up. About that time, the Eleventh Regiment, which fol 
lowed us, came into the open ground, and Maj. E. H. Mc 
Donald led it into action, heading the charge. Our boys 
joined in, and the body went like a solid shot into the ranks 
of the Federals, who now broke and ran. Many of them 
were captured in the pursuit, which was continued for sev 
eral miles." 



228 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

During this retreat the Federals made several attempts 
to rally, selecting new positions for their guns, and sta 
tioning fresh squadrons of carbineers on the flanks to 
annoy the oncoming Confederates. 

But the Confederates only halted to reform, and charg 
ing the flanking parties drove them away. 

Rosser s men had begun the fight with a scant supply of 
ammunition, the ordnance train in the march from the 
Valley not having kept up with the column. As prisoners 
were taken their ammunition was eagerly seized, but this 
was not sufficient, and after several hours of fighting some 
of the men became discouraged. 

White s Battalion was drawn up on one side of the road, 
and as a regiment of Yankees galloped down in their front 
Captain Meyers, commanding Company A, turned to Col 
onel White and asked, "Colonel, how can we fight those fel 
lows with no ammunition? We d as well have rocks as 
empty pistols." But the Colonel replied so grimly, "What 
are our sabres for?" that the men drew their blades with 
out further hesitation, and charged square at the Yankee 
column, which wheeled about and retired faster than it 
came. 

White s Battalion had been christened by Rosser "The 
Comanches" on account of the wild and reckless dash with 
which they usually bore down upon the enemy. 

After pursuing the Federals to the vicinity of Todd s 
Tavern, Rosser halted and began to retrace his steps. 

Meantime Wilson, reinforced by Gregg s division, 
assumed the offensive and began to harass Rosser s rear. 
The skirmishing was slight, but continued until the Con 
federates had crossed the river Po. In this fight Rosser s 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 229 

loss was considerable, but not nearly so great as it was the 
next day; yet it seems to be remembered with greater pride. 
It was a sort of duel between a Confederate brigade and a 
Federal division, in which the former had come out victor 
ious. The superiority of the enemy in numbers, clearly 
seen by the men. instead of dispiriting only roused them to 
more energetic action. There was, too, a good deal of dis 
order on both sides, and more than once the scales of vic 
tory were turned by the prowess of a few. 

Whether Gregg came up before Wilson had retired, does 
not appear. 

General Grant, in his memoirs, says : "During the after 
noon, Sheridan sent Gregg s division of cavalry to Todd s 
Tavern in search of Wilson. This was fortunate. He 
found Wilson engaged with a superior force under General 
Rosser supported by infantry, and falling back before it. 
Together, they were strong enough to turn the tables upon 
the enemy and themselves become aggressive. They soon 
drove the Rebel cavalry back beyond Corbin s bridge. 

Grant was evidently misinformed and, if we are to com 
pute the historical value of all the "Personal Memoirs" by 
the measure of truth in this statement, it would amount to 
very little. There was no infantry with Rosser and his 
force was greatly inferior to that of Wilson. It was not 
known for a long time afterwards, by the men at least, that 
Gregg had reinforced Wilson, or they would have been still 
more proud of the work done that day. 

The general impression among the survivors is that then 
for the first time the command assumed the name of the 
Laurel Brigade. Whether, as some say, it was due to the 
fact that several soldiers conspicuous on the field wore lau- 



230 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

rel on their hats, or that Rosser, proud of his victory, 
dubbed the command the "Laurel Brigade," does not ap 
pear. Certain it is that from and after that date the name 
of "Laurel" was first used by the men themselves. 1 

General Wilson, in his official report of this fight on May 
5th, says: 

"By eight A. M. the Second Brigade, with the First Vermont 
Cavalry, Colonel Preston commanding, in advance, had arrived 
at Craig s Meeting-House. Just beyond they encountered the 
enemy s cavalry, Rosser s brigade, and after a very sharp fight 
and several handsome charges, drove it rapidly back a distance 
of two miles, taking some prisoners. About noon Chapman s 
ammunition became exhausted, and, fearing to pres-s the pur 
suit too far, I directed him to hold the position he then occupied 
and observe closely the movements of the enemy s troops. 
Having observed the menacing disposition of the enemy in 
front of Chapman s brigade, I directed him to collect his dis 
mounted men and be prepared to fall back if the enemy should 
press him too severely. Soon after this, having received rein 
forcements, the enemy advanced and compelled Chapman to 
retire. It was now apparent that the Rebel force was consider 
ably superior to ours, and, being short of ammunition, I direct 
ed Chapman to fall back rapidly beyond the Meeting-House, 
and reform in rear of the First Brigade. My headquarters hav 
ing been located at Mrs. Faulkner s house, when the Rebels 
arrived at that place my escort, composed of about fifty men of 
the Eighth Illinois Cavalry, commanded by Lieutenant Long, 
Third Indiana Cavalry, gave them a severe check, and in con 
junction with a heavy fire from Pennington s and Fitzhugh s 



J Quite a number of survivors of the brigade insist that the name was 
given by General Rosser, at an earlier date, in the Valley, which is prob 
ably true ; the name, however, was not immediately adopted by the men. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 231 

batteries, enabled everything to withdraw from the main road 
to the position occupied by the First Brigade. I had scarcely 
arrived there, however, when I was informed by Colonel Bryan 
that the enemy had made his appearance, at an early hour in the 
forenoon, in his rear, on the road to Parker s Store, and that 
none of my couriers to General Meade had succeeded in getting 
through. Surprised at this, and fearing for the safety of my 
command, I immediately determined to withdraw by a blind 
road by Todd s Tavern to Chancellorsville. I had scarcely 
taken this resolution, when I perceived that the enemy was 
pushing rapidly down the Catharpin Road in the same direc 
tion. The march was begun at once ; the Second Brigade in 
advance, followed by the batteries and the First Brigade. The 
Eighteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, Lieut. -Col. W. P. Brinton 
commanding, was left to cover the rear. The main column 
crossed the river Po near its head, and struck the Catharpin 
Road just beyond Corbin s Bridge. It had scarcely got upon 
the road when the Rebels made their appearance on the hill 
west of the bridge. I succeeded in reaching the road with my 
escort just in time to prevent being cut off. The rear guard 
found the road occupied by the enemy, but Colonel Brinton 
made three brilliant and determined charges, breaking the 
enemy s cavalry; but finding he could not succeed in getting 
through without heavy loss, he struck off to the left and joined 
the division late in the evening. 

"At Todd s Tavern I found Brigadier-General Gregg, with 
his division, and passing behind him, formed my command to 
assist in holding the place. Gregg moved promptly out, 
attacked the enemy, and after a sharp fight repulsed him." 

General Davies of Gregg s division, in his report, says : 

"On the morning of the 5th we marched to Todd s Tavern, 
and on arriving there relieved the Third Division. We fought 
until dark and succeeded in driving the enemy. Lost sixty- 



232 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

one men, mostly from the First New Jersey and First Massa 
chusetts Cavalry." 

Col. John W. Kester, of First New Jersey Cavalry, 
reports : 

"When we arrived at a village called Todd s Tavern, we met 
the Third Cavalry Division, commanded by General Wilson, 
rapidly retreating before the enemy s cavalry in a very dis 
ordered state. General Davies brigade was immediately 
thrown forward, and having repidly moved a half mile, we 
met the advance of the enemy s cavalry pressing forward on 
the rear of General Wilson. Captain Hart, with the First 
Squadron, was ordered to charge, which he did with such 
impetuosity that the enemy in turn was routed, and the gallant 
First Squadron pressed them back on their main body, until 
they in turn were met by the charge of a Rebel regiment, which 
again turned the tide of battle. At this critical juncture, I 
hastened to his support with three squadrons of my regiment, 
the remaining two being sent on the flanks. Hastily forming 
these squadrons in line of battle, the whole line moved forward 
and gave the enemy such a sharp volley, followed by a rapid 
fire at will, that they desisted from their charge and endeavored 
to keep back the advancing line of my regiment, but without 
success. Forward we moved as steadily as a parade, the Rebels 
endeavoring to check us with showers of canister, but with no 
avail ; and they hastily limbered up their guns, and fell back 
just in time to prevent their capture." 



Maj. John W. Emmett, assistant adjutant-general on staff of 
Genl. Thos. L. Rosser. This gallant gentleman and officer, so well and 
favorably known to the men and officers of the Laurel Brigade, was 
severely wounded in the body in the battle of the Wilderness, on the 
5th of May, 1864, and again was wounded in the foot in one of the 
battles with Sheridan in the Valley of Virginia, by which he was 
disabled for the rest of the war. 




MAJ. JOHN W. EMMETT 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 233 

From the foregoing official reports of the Federal offi 
cers in command of the opposed forces, it will be seen that 
the Laurel Brigade, consisting of three regiments, one 
battalion, and Chew s Battery, had repulsed the whole of 
Wilson s division, and driven it beyond the Po River, com 
pelling Wilson to seek shelter and reform his command in 
the rear of Gregg s division, which had been sent to his 
support. It was not until the Laurel Brigade was assailed 
by the combined forces of Wilson and Gregg, numbering 
seventeen regiments of cavalry and six batteries, that it was 
forced to fall back beyond the Po River. 

General Lee, in his report to the Secretary of War, says : 
"A large force of cavalry and artillery on our right flank 
was driven back by Rosser s brigade." 

The brigade, in this all-day conflict, had more than sus 
tained its previous reputation, and earned the name of 
"Laurel," by which it was thereafter known. It had opened 
the ball of the Wilderness campaign, the most noted in the 
annals of modern warfare, the campaign in which, more 
than in any other, the marvelous generalship of Robert E. 
Lee was demonstrated, and had protected the right flank 
of his army against an overwhelming force of Federal 
cavalry. 

Its loss in killed, wounded, and missing was 114, the 
larger part in killed and wounded. It had inflicted upon its 
antagonist, as admitted by Federal reports, three officers 
and ninety-four men killed, twenty-seven officers and 389 
men wounded, and 187 men missing. 

Weary with the hard day s work and the excitement of 
battle, the men slept an unbroken sleep, little dreaming that 



234 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

the morrow would prove for them the bloodiest day of the 
war. 

At break of clay on the 6th all was astir, and by sunrise 
the bugle called to horse. The sun was just glinting through 
the pine-tree tops as the column marched out to its place in 
the battle line. 

Lee s infantry was already engaged, and on the right 
could be distinctly heard the ceaseless roll of musketry, 
which rose and fell like the distant roar of a mighty torrent. 

White with his battalion led the advance, with Company 
A, commanded by Captain Myers, in front. After crossing 
the river Po, and passing the Chancellor plantation, the 
brigade entered the open pine country bordering the Wil 
derness. Rosser sent orders to White to run over every 
thing he came to. "How far must I go ?" inquired White. 
To this the officer bearing the order could not well reply, 
and at White s suggestion went back for more explicit in 
structions. Tell him," said Rosser, "to drive them as far 
as he can." In obedience to which, White immediately 
closed up his ranks and moved briskly forward. Soon the 
enemy s pickets were encountered and driven rapidly back 
upon their reserve. White pushed them all before him, 
the whole brigade following at a gallop. Above the rush of 
the column could be heard the shouts of the "Comanches" 
as they dashed upon the flying Federals. 

White, in the ardor of the pursuit, which carried his 
command some distance in advance of any support, came 
suddenly upon Federal infantry and dismounted cavalry 
in a pine forest, who promptly opened upon him with vol 
leys of musketry and carbines, inflicting some loss among 
the "Comanches." 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 235 

He would probably have been pursued by the mounted 
cavalry, which had reformed, had not Rosser quickly put in 
the Eleventh to cover his retreat. 

The Eleventh, under Major McDonald, now charged in 
fine style, and again the pines resounded with the "shout of 
the captains" and the roar of battle. 

The Federals were now better prepared, and the rattle of 
the musketry grew louder. The Eleventh pressed on into 
the pines and turned back the advancing column of Fed 
erals, driving them through the pines until it came sud 
denly upon Grant s entrenched infantry. Though the Elev 
enth had delivered a staggering blow, yet it quailed before 
the tremendous fire then poured into it, and began to retire. 

Now the Twelfth, under Colonel Massie, tried it, closely 
followed by the Seventh under Colonel Dulany. Into the 
pines, murky with the smoke of battle, they charged. Every 
step forward revealed new bodies of the enemy. The timid 
recoiled, but a few of the bravest pushed on until forced to 
retire to avoid capture. 

Rosser now ordered a piece of artillery, which was the 
first of Thompson s Battery to reach the field, and was com 
manded by Lieutenant Carter, to open. Carter hastily 
pulling down a rail fence, brought his piece at a gallop into 
the field, and planted it on the rising ground before men 
tioned. He delivered his fire into the pines over the heads 
of the few struggling Confederates who, at the edge of 
the woods, still faced the foe. The enemy did not advance. 
Not a bluecoat rode out of the pines. For a brief space, the 
broken regiments attempted a stand on the hill upon which 
Carter s piece was planted. But the Federals had now 
quickly placed in position to the left of the pines, on a 



236 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

slight eminence opposite to Carter, five or six guns. These 
swept the hills with a terrible fire. Before it went down 
men and horses, and the ground was strewn with the dead 
and dying. The horsemen now fell back into a woods 
behind Carter s piece in much confusion. There they halted 
and began to reform. Rosser hastily strengthened his left 
with about 150 dismounted men under Maj. E. H. 
McDonald. 

The enemy lined the ridge-like eminence opposite with 
infantry or dismounted men, whose continuous volleys, 
uniting with those of their well-served artillery, swept 
every part of the Confederate position. A little to the right 
and rear of Carter s piece, White had gathered about thirty 
of his men, and a little further to the right was a small por 
tion of the Eleventh, probably a dozen men, under Lieut. 
Isaac Parsons, still facing the foe. Carter stood his ground, 
answering with great rapidity the Federal shots. Now and 
then the enemy concentrated his fire on Carter, raining 
bombs around him. But he and his men, like salamanders, 
seemed to revel amidst the fire. Enveloped in the smoke of 
bursting shells the brave gunners worked their pieces, Car 
ter encouraging them with cheering words and with shouts 
of triumph as he saw his well-aimed shots take effect. 

The truth is that the Federal artillery was making great 
havoc, though the foe could not see it. Most of the bombs 
aimed at Carter s gun passed over him, so close was he to 
the enemy, and burst in the woods where the Confederate 
cavalry regiments were attempting to reform, falling right 
among them, killing and wounding a great many. 

The care of the dead and dying, and the plunging of the 
wounded and frightened horses, created unavoidable con- 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 237 

fusion. Under the circumstances, it seemed impossible 
to form column. Stuart was there, riding among the men 
and officers, and calling upon them to be steady. The 
ordeal was a terrible one for cavalry, and though apparently 
deaf to orders amidst the thunder of bursting shells, yet 
most of the men stood firm. The number of killed and 
wounded was considerable. 

Meantime Rosser sat on his horse near Carter s gun, 
expecting every moment to see a regiment of Federal horse 
burst over the crest of the opposite hill. None came, how 
ever, and it was evident that the splendid and well-main 
tained charges of the Laurel Brigade, together with the 
incomparable service of the horse artillery, which had 
charged with the cavalry, and discharged canister into 
large bodies of the enemy at close range, had severely 
punished the Federal cavalry and dampened the ardor of 
Wilson. 

On the 7th, there was little fighting along any part of 
Lee s line. White s Battalion had a light skirmish at the 
bridge over the river Po, in which it defeated an attempt of 
the Federals to take and hold it. 

Towards evening General Hampton met a reconnoiter- 
ing force of the enemy, and drove it back. In this engage 
ment the brigade participated to some extent. 

On the night of the 7th, Grant began his movement by 
the left flank towards Spottsylvania Court House, and on 
the 8th, Lee s infantry began a movement to the right. 

On the morning of May the 8th, Rosser with the Lau 
rel Brigade joined Genl. Wade Hampton at Shady Grove, 
and from that time to the ist of September, the brigade 
formed a part of Hampton s division. 



238 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

When Stuart fell and Hampton was put in command of 
the cavalry corps, his division was commanded by Gen 
eral Butler of South Carolina. 

The enemy now appeared, May 8th, in full force in front 
of Hampton s division, then consisting of Young s and 
Rosser s brigades. By means of the artillery s well-directed 
fire his advance was soon checked. 

Receiving orders from Lee to attack the enemy vigor 
ously, in order to co-operate with Early, who was about to 
attack their left at Todd s Tavern, Hampton sent Rosser 
to attack their right and rear, while he with Young s bri 
gade pressed their front. Both movements were executed 
handsomely and vigorously, and the attack was a complete 
success. The enemy fell back rapidly, abandoning his 
camp and newly-issued rations. 

The fighting had been mostly against the enemy s infan 
try, little or no cavalry having been seen since the 6th. 

This was the first engagement of the Laurel Brigade 
under Genl. Wade Hampton, and was fought mainly by 
dismounted men. It was Hampton s favorite method, to 
use cavalry as mounted infantry and carbineers, wherever 
the nature of the country, such as that of the Wilderness, 
made it practicable; the horses being of use primarily for 
quickness of movement from one point to another, the 
fighting being done on foot with carbines. By adopting 
this use of cavalry, Hampton had by several decades antici 
pated the universal modern use of mounted soldiers. The 
introduction of the long-range repeating carbine having 
rendered the cavalry charge with sabre and pistol almost 
entirely impracticable and obsolete. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 239 

The cavalrymen realizing the usual success of Hampton s 
method, especially where there was to be long-maintained 
opposition to the enemy s infantry, were willing to dis 
mount and accepted the use of carbines, which many of 
them had heretofore despised, preferring to dash in upon 
the enemy with sabre and pistol. 

The fighting on the 8th being mainly skirmishing with 
the infantry, most of whom were behind breastworks and 
abattis, the day was destitute of incidents worthy of men 
tion. 

Next day the enemy drove in Hampton s pickets and after 
a sharp fight obtained possession of the main road leading 
from Shady Grove to Spottsylvania Court House, and also 
held the bridge over the river Po. 

On the loth Early was sent to dislodge them. In this 
attack, which was successful, Hampton s division partici 
pated. 

On May the I2th, the great and bloody battle of Spott 
sylvania Court House was fought. Hampton took posi 
tion on Lee s left, with his sharpshooters in the trenches, 
and his artillery posted so as to seriously annoy the right 
flank of the Federals. 

On the 1 5th, Rosser made a forced reconnoissance as far 
as the Poor House, in the direction of Fredericksburg, 
driving in all the cavalry he met, and developing the posi 
tion of Grant s right flank. In this movement the Eleventh 
was in front and suffered some losses. Among the wounded 
was Lieut. B. Funsten, adjutant of the regiment. 

On the 1 6th, news came of the fight at Yellow Tavern 
and the fall of Gen. J. E. B. Stuart. The effect of the news, 
at first, was greatly to depress the men of the Laurel Bri- 



240 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

gade, who had followed the plume of Stuart on many a 
hard-fought field, and had been extricated by his genius 
and daring, from frequent situations of imminent peril. 
But recognizing such fatalities as the inevitable and looked- 
for incidents of war, they steeled themselves to the per 
formance of present duty for sake of the cause, which, with 
the noble example of Stuart, still remained. 

Grant was now moving rapidly towards Spottsylvania 
Court House, and Lee s infantry, in order to confront him, 
moved speedily in the same direction, leaving the Laurel 
Brigade to protect the left wing of Lee s army. 

Sheridan with his cavalry corps continued his march 
towards Richmond, and on the Qth had gone around Lee s 
right with a heavy force of cavalry, and on the nth, 
was confronted at Yellow Tavern by Stuart with greatly 
inferior numbers. Sheridan pressed his whole front vigor 
ously, while he sent one brigade to make a dash upon Stu 
art s left. To this point, as the one of greatest danger, 
Stuart rode. Before he got there, nearly the whole left had 
given way, but he found a few men still holding the 
ground, and these he joined. With these men he fired into 
the enemy s flank and rear as they passed and repassed him, 
for they were driven back by the First Virginia Cavalry. 
As the Federals retired "one man who had been dismounted 
in the charge, and was running out on foot, turned as he 
passed the General and discharging his pistol, inflicted the 
fatal wound." 2 While a few still held the enemy in check 
Stuart was borne from the field in an ambulance. When he 
noticed the disorganized ranks of his men he cried out : 
"Go back, go back and do your duty as I have done mine, 



2 McClellan s "Stuart and His Campaigns." 




GENL. J. E. B. STUART 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 241 

and our country will be safe. Go back! Go back! I had 
rather die than be whipped." 3 These were his last words 
on the battlefield. On the evening of the following day he 
died. 

Few, if any, of Lee s great captains had won more 
fame than Stuart, and none was more beloved by the 
cavalrymen. Perhaps, his most distinguishing character 
istic, and the one which endeared him most to the rank 
and file, was his self-contained and buoyant manner in the 
presence of the greatest danger, and his personal courage 
and dash. The brilliant and successful charge, being in 
the nature of what he expected, often seemed unnoticed by 
him ; but if there was a repulse or a threatening of disaster, 
right in the deadly breach was to be seen the waving plume 
of Stuart, where with burning words and flashing sword he 
strove to wrest victory from defeat. 

In the bloom of manhood and the noontide of his fame, 
this brilliant soldier, superb cavalier, and Christian patriot 
gave to his State the libation of his blood, and his life a 
noble sacrifice on the altar of his country. 



3 McClellan. 



CHAPTER IX 

June, 1864 

Hampton takes command of cavalry Milford Haw s Shop Atlee s 
Station Depleted condition of brigade Scarcity of food and for 
age Grant develops his wearing out policy Assails Lee s lines of 
communication Wilson attempts to cut the Virginia Central 
Railroad Fight at Ashland Heroic act of Maj. Holmes Conrad 
Wilson defeated and pursued Another affair at Haw s Shop 
White s Comanches charge Federal breastworks Hampton sent 
to meet Sheridan s raiders Battle of Trevilians Pursues Sheri 
dan to the North Anna Hard fare for men and horses Some types 
of vandals Skirmishing near White House Cavalry against in 
fantry and gunboats Hanging on Sheridan s flank White s Bat 
talion detached Sheridan entrenches at Samaria Church Is 
driven out of entrenchments, leaving dead and wounded Col. 
Thomas E. Massie of the Twelfth wounded Pursuit of Sheridan 
to Charles City Court House. 

On the i Qth of June Hampton, taking with him Rossers 
brigade, co-operated with Ewell in his attack on the enemy. 
Moving around Ewell s left, he drove in some Federal 
cavalry and succeeded in planting two guns in the rear of 
the enemy s right flank, which did good service. This good 
service was rendered by two guns of Thompson s Battery. 
Their well-aimed shots drew the attention of the enemy, 
who sent a force of infantry to capture them. At first 
Thompson checked them with grape and canister, but upon 
discovering the magnitude of the attacking force, he with 
drew, having been ordered by Rosser to do so. Ever since 
the battle of May the i2th, when Grant suffered such heavy 
loss in his attempt to break through the Confederate lines, 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 243 

there had been a continuous movement of the Federal army 
towards Lee s right. This necessitated a corresponding 
movement of the Confederates. 

On the 2 ist of May, Hampton proceeded towards Mil- 
ford, and encountered some cavalry at Wright s Tavern, 
within two miles of Milford. Rosser charged at once and 
drove them back on a strong force of infantry and artillery, 
thus developing Grant s movement to Hanover Junction. 
Placing his division in front of this column Hampton fell 
back slowly to the Junction, skirmishing with the enemy 
and checking him at the bridge near the Junction, until re 
lieved by infantry. The division was then posted on Lee s 
left. 

On the 25th and 26th there were heavy rains, which 
made the roads very muddy. On the 27th, at eleven o clock 
in the night, the brigade mounted and marched towards An 
derson s Ford, passing through Ashland and camping near 
Atlee s Station, with the whole division within six miles of 
Richmond. 

At Atlee s Station Hampton, now commanding all the 
cavalry, was ordered to ascertain if all the infantry of the 
enemy had crossed the Pamunkey River. Accordingly, on 
the morning of the 28th, taking with him William H. F. 
Lee s division, Wickham s, Butler s, and Rosser s brigades, 
he moved towards the enemy and encountered his pickets 
within two miles of Haw s Shop. These were at once 
driven in on the main body. 

Rosser s and Wickham s brigades led in the assault and 
a heavy engagement ensued. Only dismounted men and 
the artillery were engaged, and the ground was stubbornly 
contested by both sides, with mutual loss, for some hours. 



244 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

After much bloodshed the Federals gave way but, being 
heavily reinforced, they soon recovered their lost ground, 
and became the attacking party. 

Hampton hearing from some of the prisoners that Sheri 
dan s whole cavalry force, besides a large body of infantry, 
was opposed to him, determined to withdraw. 

With an aggressive and superior force in his front this 
was no easy matter, and the difficulty was increased by the 
too sudden withdrawal of Wickham s brigade, which, being 
in the line between Rosser s and Butler s brigades, left a 
gap that exposed their flanks. The enemy was quick to 
take advantage of this. "Rosser s men being veterans," 
says Hampton, "withdrew without loss and in perfect order 
under their able commander," but Butler s troops, many of 
whom were raw recruits, were not so easily handled. Vig 
orously attacked on the flank before they had begun to 
retire, though up to this time they had fought admirably, 
they now fell into disorder and suffered heavily. Being 
without any general officer in command, for Butler was 
absent from a previous wound, Hampton went in and 
brought them out. 

The Confederate loss in this engagement was quite seri 
ous, though that of the enemy was probably greater. Ros 
ser s loss was eight killed and about twenty wounded. 

By this time the number of men fit for duty in the bri 
gade was much less than on the 5th of May, though not a 
few recruits had come to fill up the depleted ranks. More 
than 300 had been killed, wounded, or captured since the 
beginning of the campaign. A still greater number of 
horses had been killed or disabled, and the ranks of the dis 
mounted men continued to swell. The scarcity of forage 




MAJ. HOLMES CONRAD 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 245 

was severely felt. Little was furnished and the cavalrymen 
had to rely mainly upon the pastures they chanced to find at 
the places of temporary rest. Often, after a hard day s 
fight, they were occupied long after dark in hunting food 
and forage. The rations, too, were poor and supplied in 
scant quantity. 

Grant had already discovered, that the only way to over 
come Lee was to destroy his means of subsistence, and 
accordingly, by- means of his numerous and well-appointed 
cavalry, he began to assail Lee s lines of communication. 

On the 3 ist of May, Wilson with his division was sent 
to seize the Virginia Central Railroad and destroy it as far 
back as possible. 

On the ist of June this raiding column attacked William 
F. Lee s command near Hanover Court House, and forced 
it to fall back towards Ashland. Hampton at once went to 
his assistance with Rosser s brigade, and struck the rear of 
the Federals. Having notified W. F. Lee that Rosser 
would attack as soon as he came up with the enemy, this 
column was charged as soon as it was discovered and 
thrown into confusion. Following up his success, Rosser 
pressed the enemy vigorously, and in a series of brilliant 
charges, some of which were over dismounted men, he 
drove Wilson into Ashland, capturing prisoners from eight 
regiments, about 200 horses and many arms. 

Wilson now made a stubborn stand, posting his artillery 
in the village of Ashland, and his men behind the houses 
and the railroad embankment. 

"Meeting Lee on the Telegraph Road near Ashland, I 
directed him to attack at once. The North Carolina Bri- 



246 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

gade was dismounted for this purpose, and in the first vol 
ley fired against them, Brig.-Genl. P. M. B. Young, who 
was temporarily in command of the brigade, received a 
severe wound. Deprived of the direction of this gallant 
officer, the brigade failed to dislodge Wilson in the first 
assault. Lee immediately formed his troops for another 
attack, whilst I took the Tenth Virginia and a squadron of 
the Third North Carolina of his division, together with a 
squadron of the Seventh Virginia, Rosser s brigade, to 
attack on the right flank." 4 

Simultaneously with these assaults Rosser pressed his 
front. The Federals, though now vigorously attacked, for 
some time stubbornly held their ground. Hampton s well- 
formed plan of attack, seconded by the persistent valor of 
the Confederates, finally forced the enemy to give way at 
all points, leaving his dead and wounded and many prison 
ers in the hands of the victors. 

In the beginning of this action, when Rosser first struck 
the enemy on his left and rear, the Twelfth was in front 
under Col. Thomas Massie, the leading squadron consisting 
of Companies B and I under Lieut. George Baylor. They 
first reached the led horses and pushed through them until 
they came up with the marching column. This they struck 
with so much vigor that the enemy, surprised and broken, 
fell back rapidly upon Ashland, where dismounted men, 
strongly posted in some houses of the village, received the 
Confederates with a galling fire. In the effort to dislodge 
these men some lives were lost, and there were many instan 
ces of valor that we have no space to record. 



l Hampton. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 247 

In the fight that now ensued, both the Seventh, under 
Colonel Dulany, and the Eleventh, under Colonel Beal, bore 
conspicuous parts. Colonel Dulany had two horses shot 
under him. At one time during the battle the enemy, hav 
ing placed dismounted men with artillery behind the rail 
road embankment, poured deadly volleys into the ranks of 
the Confederates. 

Taking advantage of an apparent confusion in Rosser s 
brigade, their mounted squadrons made a dash at a column 
that Rosser was bringing up. The day was hot and the 
dust fetlock deep. Coming up to within pistol shot the 
Federals, seeing Rosser s defiant attitude, halted and began 
firing their carbines. On both sides there was apparent 
hesitation, the men moving about restlessly instead of 
remaining in their places ready to obey the word of com 
mand. Rosser, as usual, in the forefront, was exhorting the 
men to prepare to charge; while on the other side, the 
Federal officers were urging their men to hold firm. The 
smoke of the small arms, mingled with clouds of dust from 
the moving horsemen, added to the confusion of the scene. 

At this juncture it was evident that the action of one man 
might turn the scale of victory. Maj. Holmes Conrad, 1 on 



1 Maj. Holmes Conrad, major and inspector-general of the Laurel 
Brigade, when the State of Virginia seceded, enlisted in a company of 
cavalry from Frederick County, Va., commanded by Capt. Jas. W. 
Drake, which was later Company A, of the First Virginia Cavalry. 
The same day he was made first lieutenant of the company ; was made 
adjutant of the Seventeenth Battalion August, 1862. The Seventeenth 
Battalion was the nucleus upon which was developed the Eleventh 
Regiment of the Laurel Brigade. 

In 1864 he was commissioned major and assistant inspector-general 
of Rosser s Cavalry Division. 

Major Conrad was a familiar figure to the men who were at the 
front in the battles of the Laurel Brigade. 



248 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Rosser s staff, taking in the situation, seized the flag of the 
Eleventh Regiment and exclaiming, "Men, save your 
colors !" rode straight at the Federal column. With banner 
waving he penetrated the first files, and turning to the left 
he escaped unharmed. Partly from the clouds of dust, and 
partly from astonishment and admiration of the audacity of 
Conrad, the foremost Federals failed to assault him. Their 
attention was immediately engaged by the onset of the 
grey troopers, who followed closely upon his heels. 

The "Bath Squadron," under Captain Dangerfield of the 
Eleventh, was in front. Aroused by the desperate valor of 
Conrad, with a shout they charged, and soon drove the 
enemy in confusion upon his main body. 

When Wilson withdrew beaten from the field of Ash 
land, Hampton pushed him until night, when he drew off. 
By what route Wilson withdrew in the night is not cer 
tainly known, but from Grant s memoirs it is found that he 
rejoined the Army of the Potomac on the 3rd of June. 

On the same day, Hampton with his division assaulted 
the enemy strongly posted behind earthworks near Haw s 
Shop. Dismounting his North Carolina Brigade, under 
Colonel Baker, and attacking promptly, Lee carried the 
outer line. In this engagement Rosser with the Laurel Bri 
gade seems to have borne a part, though the main work of 
the day was performed by Lee s North Carolina Brigade. 

On the next day Rosser moved with the brigade to the 
same point with the purpose of gaining information. Col 
onel White with his mounted squadrons was ordered to 
charge the earthworks. With great gallantry the "Co- 
manches" rode up to and along the fortifications, discharg 
ing their pistols at the enemy. The Federals, astonished 




GENL. WADE HAMPTON 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 249 

at the audacity of the Confederate horsemen, abandoned 
the works, and some of White s men climbing over, or at 
points riding through, pursued them for a short distance. 
So daring a charge excited the admiration of the rest of 
the brigade, and Rosser s cheers for the "Comanches" 
were joined in by the whole command. 

There was now for some time a calm along the front. 
Grant s punishment at Cold Harbor, had strengthened his 
conviction that Lee s lines could not be broken through, no 
matter what sacrifice of life he was willing to make in the 
attempt. What, therefore, bullet and steel could not accom 
plish he thought starvation might. He, therefore, planned 
to menace Richmond with sufficient force to keep Lee s 
army near by; while, with light marching divisions of 
infantry and cavalry, he would destroy the railroads, and 
devastate the country from which Lee drew his supplies. 

The vandal Hunter was at this time in the Shenandoah 
Valley burning and destroying. News of his outrages had 
reached the camp of the Laurels, and there was manifested 
a great desire to go to the defense of their homes. They 
also had heard of the capture of Staunton, and the death 
of their former commander, Genl. W. E. Jones. But, there 
was soon quite enough close at hand, to engage their atten 
tion. 

On the 7th of June, "Sheridan was sent with two divi 
sions to communicate with Hunter, and to break up the 
Virginia Central Railroad and James River Canal." 5 The 
intention, as was evident from papers which fell into the 
hands of the Confederates afterwards, was that Sheridan 
should destroy Charlottesville and Gordonsville, with the 



5 Grant s Memoirs. 



250 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

railroads near those places, and then unite with Hunter in 
his attack on Lynchburg. He had with him about 8,900 
effective men, well mounted. With flanking squadrons 
scouring the country for fresh horses, he proceeded on his 
mission of destruction with fine promise of success. 

Early on the morning of the 8th, Hampton with his own 
division and that of Fitz Lee, and several batteries of horse 
artillery, was sent to look after this raiding column. The 
enemy had a day s start. To follow in his wake would have 
been to invite destruction from famine, unless he could be 
overtaken before the pursuers rations gave out, for the 
track of Sheridan was like that left by a cyclonic hailstorm ; 
what man and beast did not devour or take away, was 
burnt or destroyed. He even shot his own broken-down 
horses. Hampton, therefore, with characteristic foresight, 
sought by celerity of movement to get ahead of the raiding 
column and post his force right on its projected line of 
march. As soon, therefore, as the order was received from 
Lee, Hampton with his own division moved out at once to 
get between Gordonsville and the enemy, ordering Fitz Lee 
to follow as soon as possible. 

Outmarching Sheridan, Hampton got ahead of him, and 
encamped the night of the loth in Green Spring Valley, 
three miles beyond Trevilians Station, on the Virginia Cen 
tral Railroad. Fitz Lee encamped the same night near 
Louisa Court House. 

There was a road from this place to Trevilians which 
Sheridan was expected to march into and along it approach 
the station. 

Hampton, having learned during the night that Sheridan 
had crossed the North Anna, determined to attack him at 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 251 

daylight. Fitz Lee was ordered to attack on the road lead 
ing from Louisa Court House to Clayton s Store, while 
Hampton, with his own division, intended to move against 
the enemy on the road leading from Trevilians Station 10 
the same point. 

"By this disposition," says Hampton, "I hoped to cover 
Lee s left and my right flank, and to drive the enemy back if 
he attempted to reach Gordonsville, by passing to my left, 
and to conceal my real design, which was to strike him at 
Clayton s Store after uniting the two divisions." 

At dawn Hampton was ready with Butler s and Young s 
brigades to go forward, Rosser with his command having 
been sent to cover a road on Hampton s left. 

Soon a message was received from Fitz Lee that he was 
moving out to attack, and Butler immediately advanced to 
engage the enemy, supported by Young. 

According to Hampton s report, the Confederates re 
pulsed the enemy and drove him behind his breastworks. 
According to Sheridan, the contrary was the case. Up to 
nine o clock, at any rate, Hampton pressed the enemy. All 
seemed to be going well. Fitz Lee was momentarily 
expected to join on the right, but Custer s dash materially 
changed the Confederates plans. Instead of waiting to be 
pressed by Fitz Lee, Custer, finding an unguarded road 
leading around Hampton s right to Trevilians Station, fol 
lowed it blindly. Coming upon the ambulances, caissons, 
and led horses of the division, he fell upon them with his 
accustomed alacrity, and then looked around to see what 
else he could do. Near him on the right was Thompson s 
Battery, behind Butler s line, and ignorant of any hostile 



252 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

movement in the rear. Custer at once made preparations to 
take it. 

Says Col. R. P. Chew, commander of the horse artillery, 
who was present : 

"I had gone to the position occupied by General Butler, to 
select a position for artillery to aid him in his fight, and return 
ing about nine o clock I met General Hampton, and was 
informed by him that the enemy was in our rear, and had 
captured our caissons and led horses, and was told by him to go 
back and do the best I could with the guns. 

"Butler was at this time hotly engaged in front. I went back 
rapidly and found Custer s men advancing from the rear to 
capture the guns. 

"Fortunately a company of South Carolina cavalry was 
formed near our position, which charged and drove back the 
enemy. I then moved the guns to a hill north of and facing 
the station. They were without support. 

"At this stage of affairs Rosser, who was on the Gordons- 
ville Road some distance off to the left, was quickly recalled by 
Hampton to oppose Custer. He returned rapidly, but Custer 
was now trying to escape with his captures, by going off the 
Gordonsville Road around Butler and Young and the horse 
artillery, and getting through on their left." 

From his new position Chew opened fire on the column 
and drove them back on the station, and by a well-directed 
fire delayed its escape by crippling the horses and stopping 
the wagons. After considerable delay Custer again at 
tempted to escape by the same route, but Rosser hearing 
the firing, brought his brigade at a gallop down the Gor 
donsville Road, and wheeling to the left struck Custer s col 
umn and doubled it back on Fitz Lee, who was coming up 
on the other side of the station, and who attacking vigor- 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 253 

ously, pushed that part of Custer s column back, recaptur 
ing many wagons and taking five caissons. Some idea may 
be formed of the vigor of Lee s attack from the desperate 
charge of one company of the Sixth Virginia, known as the 
Clarke Cavalry, which lost in a single charge upon a Fed 
eral battery more than half its number. 

The well-timed assault of Rosser was made in double 
column, the Eleventh in front on the right of the road, and 
White in front on the left. 

To the Laurels, success meant more than victory. The 
enemy had captured the division trains and many prisoners. 
His presence for a moment in Hampton s rear meant gen 
eral disaster. What was to be done, had to be done quickly. 
Seldom did a duty of heavy responsibility where prompt 
ness of decision in the leader, and ready valor in the men 
was needed, fall upon a command better fitted to perform it. 
With well-closed ranks and steady gallop, the Laurels fol 
lowed Rosser towards the point where the firing indicated 
the presence of the enemy. A glance at the victorious Fed 
erals, accompanied with captured trains and ambulances 
filled with prisoners, only quickened the rush as the brigade 
swept with shouts to the rescue. 

The bluecoats, who, following the adventurous Custer, 
had by a wild dash created a momentary panic in the Con 
federates rear, were now in their turn surprised, and the 
impetuous charge of the grey troopers soon put Custer to 
precipitate flight. Wagons, prisoners, and precious plunder 
were now quickly abandoned, and the marching column 
soon scattered in many directions. The pursuit of the fugi 
tives, many of whom had taken for shelter to the woods, 
left Rosser s force somewhat diminished. The main body 



254 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

of the enemy fell back towards the station, hotly pursued 
by the Confederates. Here, forming his men with artillery 
commanding the approaches, Custer stood at bay, while 
Rosser, putting his regiments in order and gathering his 
men, made ready to attack him. 

Colonel Chew, who had counted Custer s men as they 
passed in front of his battery, now informed Rosser that 
Custer had only about 1,200 men, and that by promptly 
charging he could capture them. 

Rosser, especially eager to discomfort the vainglorious 
Custer, ordered White to charge. Just then Hampton rode 
up and forbade the movement. 

Custer remained at Trevilians assisted, doubtless, by the 
advance of Sheridan s whole force on Hampton s right 
flank. 

Butler and Young fell back, and they, with Rosser, were 
posted by Hampton along a new line to the west of the 
station and facing Sheridan. 

The enemy in the evening made several attempts to dis 
lodge Hampton from his new position, but without success. 

After the repulse of one of these assaults Rosser, still 
believing that a bold charge would drive Custer from his 
position, had just begun the perilous task when he was 
badly wounded. 6 This put a stop to the movement. The 
command of the brigade now devolved upon Col. R. H. 
Dulany of the Seventh. The remainder of the day was 
spent in repelling Sheridan s assaults upon Hampton s 
new line. 



G Says Hampton in his report, "In the list of wounded was Brigadier- 
General Rosser, who received a painful wound whilst charging at the 
head of his brigade." 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 255 

Night closed the scene, and after dark both sides began to 
entrench preparatory to the next day s decisive struggle. 

At dawn the combatants were in position, and until 
twelve o clock stood facing each other. 

Fitz Lee, who on the previous day attacked Custer 
beyond the station, and recaptured many wagons and pris 
oners, now swung around and about twelve o clock con 
nected with Hampton. His division was placed in a 
position to support Hampton s division in case the enemy 
attacked Hampton s right. 

About three o clock Sheridan began a series of heavy 
assaults. His dismounted men, armed with repeating 
rifles, had an immense advantage over the Confederate 
sharpshooters, who had to be content with the ordinary 
carbines or muskets. Many of their carbines were of Con 
federate make, and were nearly as dangerous to the man 
behind as to the enemy in front. 

As the fighting this clay w r as chiefly on foot, and the 
woods at places furnished good cover, the incessant fire of 
the assailing Federals, called for heroic powers of resist 
ance on the part of the poorly-armed Confederates. The 
brunt of the fight fell on Butler s brigade and the horse 
artillery, and they proved equal to the occasion, repelling 
with stubborn courage all the assaults of the enemy. 

The nature of the ground prevented much use of the 
enemy s artillery, while the Confederate position was excel 
lent in this respect, though from its being in the open field 
and near the enemy, the gunners were much exposed to the 
deadly aim of the sharpshooters. 

A space of only 250 yards was between the lines. The 
Confederate gunners lay close to the ground, and only rose 



256 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

when the Federals charged. The colors of Thompson s 
Battery were riddled with bullets, and around a single piece 
nine men were killed or wounded, among them the color- 
bearer. 

The fighting continued until after nightfall, when the 
flash of the guns lifting for a moment the veil of darkness, 
revealed the position of the on-coming enemy. 

In the meantime Fitz Lee, directed by Hampton, rein 
forced Butler s left with Wickham s brigade, while he took 
Lomax s brigade across to the Gordonsville Road, so as to 
strike the enemy on his right flank. 

Says Hampton with laconic brevity, "This movement 
was successful." 

Desperately did Sheridan struggle to force Hampton 
from his path. But with greater resolution did the Confed 
erate leader maintain his ground against the superior num 
bers of his opponent. 

Under the cover of darkness Sheridan began to retreat, 
and by morning was far on his way back to Grant s army, 
leaving behind him his dead and many of his wounded. 
Grant explains in his memoirs (Vol. II, page 302) that 
"Sheridan went back, because the enemy has taken posses 
sion of a crossing by which he proposed to go west, and 
because he had heard that Hunter was not at Charlottes- 
ville." This, however, will hardly explain his hurried re 
treat, and the abandonment of his dead and wounded. 

He could not have thought of going to Charlottesville, 
when it was as much as he could do to give Hampton the 
slip, and get back to Grant s infantry. This, however, he 
did without being vigorously pursued by Hampton, though 




LIEUT. PHILIP B. WINSTON 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 257 

it was evident that the Federals had retreated very hur 
riedly. 

Hampton, in his report, says : 

"In the meantime Fitz Lee reinforced the left with Wick- 
ham s brigade, while he took Lomax s brigade across the Gor- 
donsville Road to strike the enemy on his left flank. Sheridan 
now heavily pressed in front and attacked on the left, fell back 
hurriedly! 

Sheridan s report is disingenuous, and indeed lacks the 
internal evidence of truth. For instance, he accounts for 
the loss of some caissons by saying, "When the enemy 
broke they hurried between General Ouster s command and 
Colonel Grigg s, capturing five caissons of Remington s 
Battery." 

This is perhaps the only instance in the annals of war, 
where the victor lost caissons because the enemy ran away. 

On the 1 3th, the brigade with Hampton followed on after 
Sheridan to the North Anna, and down the river to a point 
opposite Frederick Hall. 

As an evidence of what the cavalry suffered now for lack 
of food and forage, the following extracts from the diary 
of a soldier of the Laurel Brigade will be of interest. 

"May I4th. Lay still all day; no rations. Ewell is at 
Frederick Hall. 

"i5th. Crossed North Anna at Caws Bridge, moved along 
very slowly, reached our stopping place after dark, and fooled 
around till late hunting grass. No rations yet. 

"i6th. Drew two crackers and a little meat ; nothing for the 
horses. Marched all day on the county roads ; borrowed a few 
rations from another command for us. No corn tonight and 
not a particle of grass ; camped after dark. 



258 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

"i7th. Grazed the horses a little this morning; wagons with 
corn and rations expected, but no one seems to know anything 
definite about them. The dust is three inches deep every 
where, and the sun broiling hot. 

"i8th. No wagons yet, the men are suffering very much 
for rations, and have been for several days. Drew plenty of 
corn. Moved back on Wickham s Farm on the Pamunkey 
River, where we found the long expected wagons with four 
days rations. Two squadrons have been without rations since 
the 1 2th." 6 

While Sheridan failed to unite with Hunter, or to do 
much damage to the Virginia Central Railroad, there was 
one part of Grant s program for crushing the Confederacy 
which Sheridan never failed to carry out. That was to 
ravage the country through which he passed, destroying or 
carrying off everything possible to be removed. Grant s 
object, as a war measure, was to starve out the men whom 
he could not beat in the field, reduce Richmond to the point 
of starvation, and thus decrease the efficiency of Lee s army. 

Whatever may be said of Sheridan as a fighter, no one 
can deny that as a ravager he was not wanting in the ele 
ments of success. While he had not yet quite mastered this 
method of restoring the amity of a disunited country, he 
was learning fairly well, from those two past masters in 
that art, Generals William Tecumseh Sherman and David 
Hunter. It is fair to say, by way of classification, that the 
ravaging of Sheridan was somewhat systematic and pur 
poseful, being part of an avowed military plan. That of 
Sherman in his march through Georgia was brutal and 
wanton; while that of David Hunter in the Valley of Vir 
ginia was absolutely heinous and devilish. 



From the Diary of Private Joseph L. Sherrard. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 259 

Hampton did not give Sheridan much time to make way 
with property as he went along, but he did the best he could 
under the circumstances. He gathered up all the horses 
his flanking column could find, and when one of his own 
gave out he had it shot, lest some one of the farmers he had 
tried to ruin might use the animal to raise a crop for his 
family. 

On the 2Oth Hampton reached the vicinity of the White 
House, and had a small engagement with some infantry 
and cavalry of the enemy, assisted by their gunboats on the 
Pamunkey. 

During the night Sheridan crossed over and marched 
towards the James, with his force much increased by 
infantry. 

Hampton, after skirmishing with him the best part of 
the day, withdrew towards evening and encamped at 
Bottom s bridge, on the Chickahominy. 

Sheridan, who was in full retreat, was acting as rear 
guard for Grant, \vho on the night of the 2ist began the 
operation of transferring the Army of the Potomac across 
the James River, the bulk of which was already on the 
south side. 

For two or three days Hampton hung on Sheridan s 
flank, but without accomplishing any serious results. The 
starved condition of the Confederate horses had greatly 
reduced the efficiency of the brigade. The sore-backed and 
broken-down animals were sent to the rear for rest, and 
with the remainder of the command, a large portion being 
now dismounted, Colonel Dulany, commanding the bri 
gade, had to engage in almost daily fights with the enemy. 



260 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

On the 24th the command was roused up at two o clock, 
and lay in a field near Samaria Church until morning. The 
pickets had been driven in and there was expectations of an 
advance of the Federals. 

Sheridan, however, had begun to throw up earthworks 
with the obvious design of holding his ground, and Hamp 
ton immediately formed his plan of attack; arranging to 
have the brigades of Gary and Chambliss to assault in flank, 
while the rest of his command pressed in front. 

As soon as Gary had engaged the enemy, Chambliss was 
thrown forward, and by a movement handsomely executed 
connected with him. At the same moment the whole line, 
under the immediate command of Maj.-Genl. Fitz Lee, 
charged the works of the enemy, who, after fighting stub 
bornly for a short time, gave way, leaving his dead and 
wounded on the field. 

This advance of our troops was made in the face of a 
heavy fire of artillery and musketry, and it was most hand 
somely accomplished. 

In the charge of the works, the Eleventh and the Seventh 
regiments participated, White s Battalion being absent on 
detached service. 

The Twelfth, being mounted, joined in the pursuit of 
the retreating Federals, driving them for three miles. In 
this charge Lieut.-Col. T. B. Massie, commanding the 
Twelfth, was wounded while gallantly leading his men over 
the works of the enemy. 

Sheridan was completely routed, and his broken and fly 
ing columns pursued to within two and a half miles of 
Charles City Court House. Hampton captured 157 prison 
ers, including one colonel and twelve commissioned officers, 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 261 

while a considerable number of Federal dead and wounded 
was left on the field. Thus foiled and defeated at Tre- 
vilians, severely punished at the White House, and routed 
at Samaria Church from a chosen position defended by 
earthworks, Sheridan very wisely concluded to rejoin Grant 
as soon as possible. This he speedily did, falling back to 
the James River under protection of gunboats, and crossing 
to the south side. 

The loss in Hampton s division was six killed and fifty- 
nine wounded. 



CHAPTER X 

June, 1864 

Hampton marches towards Richmond Federals cross to south side of 
James River, and Hampton follows, crossing near Drury s Bluff 
Moves below Petersburg Camp near Reams Station Intercepts 
Wilson s raiders, and sharp fight near Sapony Church Lieuten 
ant Vandiver s account of the engagement Ruffian marauders 
Wilson escapes after punishment and loss A short rest, water 
melons and hospitality Brigade recuperates by return of men 
from hospitals and horse furloughs Fitz Lee with his division 
sent to the Shenandoah Valley Hampton kept to hold the lines on 
Lee s right Grant creates a diversion on the north side of the 
James Hampton ordered to Culpeper, but was recalled when he 
reached Beaver Dam Fight at White Oak Swamp Brigade 
returns to south side Monk Neck s Bridge Hatcher s Run 
Reams Station The newspaper raid Hampton s cattle raid. 

On June the 25th Hampton withdrew, moving towards 
Richmond, but following the farm roads lest the dust on the 
highway might subject his column to a shelling from the 
gunboats on the James. 

Passing by Frazier s Farm and Malvern Hill the weary 
soldiers halted and encamped within five miles of Rich 
mond. Next day they crossed the James near Drury s 
Bluff. 

On the 2/th the brigade moved towards Petersburg. 
That city was now invested by Grant and was being vigor 
ously shelled. The brigade did not pass through the town, 
but around it, on account of the bombardment. Some of 
the soldiers ventured to pass through and were astonished 
to find people going about on the streets as if nothing was 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 263 

going on. Such incessant warfare, bringing grief into 
almost every home, had inured even the women and chil 
dren to its dangers and hardships. 

The trains running out from Petersburg were regularly 
shelled, but they moved along on schedule time, apparently 
indifferent to the shots of the Federal artillery. 

After dark the brigade went into camp near Reams 
Station, on the Weldon Railroad. The horses had nothing 
but one sheaf of green oats apiece during the day, and were 
also much jaded with the long and dusty march. 

Early next morning the command moved out and halted 
in an oat field to feed. It was now known to the soldiers 
that Hampton was making an effort to intercept a raiding 
column of two brigades under Wilson which had been 
destroying a part of the Weldon Railroad and devastating 
the surrounding country. Wilson was known to be on his 
return and endeavoring to rejoin the army of Grant. The 
difficulty was to ascertain by which route he was coming. 

Hampton, however, had his plans well laid, and with 
pickets on all the roads and scouts scouring the country 
around, the men were ordered to sleep on their arms. There 
was not much sleep for some of them. The brigade had 
halted near Sapony Church, and soon after dark picket 
firing was heard, and every one knew that Wilson was try 
ing to break by. 

His first assault, which was on a part of the line held by 
Chambliss brigade, after some stubborn fighting was 
repulsed. The Seventh seems to have been the only regi 
ment of the Laurel Brigade that participated in the repulse. 

Says Lieutenant Vandiver of Company F, Seventh Reg 
iment, who lost an arm in this fight : "Mounting hurriedly 



264 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

and forming" in line the Seventh went forward at a trot, 
while the distant picket firing on the road south of Sapony 
Church told what was going on. The Federals had forced 
the pickets in at a gallop, and the Seventh was ordered to 
dismount and fight on foot. The regiment had barely time 
to get in position on the left of the road and church, in fact 
it formed under fire. It was then dark, and the bullets and 
shells went over the heads of the men. The men carried 
rails and everything movable in reach to make breastworks, 
and in less than thirty minutes after the dismounted men 
were in the midst of one of the hottest battles of the cam 
paign." 

Lieutenant Vandiver was at that time commanding Com 
pany F of the Seventh, being the only officer with the 
company, Captain Kuykendall and Lieutenant Parker then 
being prisoners. On account of the absence of the regular 
commander Lieutenant Vandiver was assigned the com 
mand of the second Squadron dismounted. 

The battle raged furiously, and the Federals were so 
near the Confederate lines that their forms could be seen by 
the flash of the discharges, and the commands "Forward !" 
"Close up !" etc., given by their officers were distinctly 
heard. But they would not advance to closer quarters, 
although outnumbering the Confederates three to one. The 
continual discharge of small arms was interspersed with 
artillery firing, and the shells exploding over the heads of 
the men caused great confusion among the led horses and 
mounted men in the rear of our line of battle. 

The attack on Chambliss continued until nearly daylight. 
At one o clock, and again at three, the brigade was aroused 
by the noise of the combat. 




MAJ. F. M. MYERS 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 265 

About daylight all was astir and the men formed in line 
dismounted. Colonel Dulany swung his command around 
and participated in a vigorous assault on the Federal left 
flank. They were driven in disorder, many falling into the 
hands of the Confederates. 

In the meantime White s Battalion went with General 
Butler to fall upon the enemy s rear; and simultaneously 
with Chambliss attack in front and that of Dulany and 
others on the left flank White s mounted men charged. 
Pressed in front and flank, the Federals scattered through 
the pines, and broke away to the right, leaving 800 prison 
ers in the hands of the victors. 

The plunder thrown away by the fugitives was of many 
kinds, and is worthy of notice as indicating, not only that 
these raiding columns had all the license of pirates, but that 
plunder was one of the chief objects of their raids. The 
license to plunder served to swell the ranks of the raiding 
regiments for the time being with professional marauders 
and cutthroats. Over the field of flight were found shawls, 
silk dresses, mantles of velvet, jewelry, and every kind of 
light valuables to be found in the houses of well-to-do 
people. 

The war, now that the Confederacy was declining, had 
become popular with the ruffian classes of the North, and 
many entered the army for no other purpose than to steal 
and plunder. 

After pursuing Wilson s column for some eight or ten 
miles the command returned to Stony Creek. 

On the morning of the 3Oth the pursuit was again taken 
up, but Wilson, after running against infantry and cavalry 



266 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

in turn, and retreating by way of obscure country roads, at 
last got by with a remnant of his division and rejoined 
Grant s army. 

From the 4th of July until the 3Oth there was little more 
than picketing. Quiet reigned along the lines and the caval 
rymen had time to rest and recruit. The fishing in the 
streams was fine and the country abounded in melons and 
luscious fruit. The land of that section appeared sterile to 
the eye, but nevertheless it furnished bountiful supplies for 
the table, and in the plain but spacious homes of the land- 
holding people there was dispensed a generous hospitality. 
Three weeks of comparative rest did wonders for the men 
and horses. Many of the sick and wounded had returned. 
Many of the dismounted had returned from "horse fur 
lough" with fresh horses. The improved appearance of 
the command was noticeable, and once more the men were 
in good spirits. What if Grant was besieging Richmond, 
was not Early at the gates of Washington? The vandal 
Hunter had done his worst in the Valley, and was now with 
his stolen goods flying through the hills of West Virginia. 
The dark cloud in Georgia was then no bigger than a man s 
hand, and few dreamed to what dimensions it would grow 
before another winter set in. 

The 3Oth of July was the day selected by Grant for blow 
ing up a part of the Confederate works and the capture of 
Petersburg. 

In order to divert a considerable part of Lee s army 
away from the south side of the James River, Grant now 



Maj. F. M. Myers, of the Thirty-fifth Battalion, was formerly 
captain of Company A, Thirty-fifth Battalion, and afterwards pro 
moted to major of the battalion, succeeding Maj. Geo. N. Ferneyhough. 
He was a courageous and efficient officer. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 267 

began a demonstration on the north side with Hancock s 
corps and Sheridan s cavalry. The news of this called most 
of Lee s cavalry into the saddle, but the collapse of the 
scheme in a few days restored the soldiers to their camps. 
Every attempt of Grant to assault Lee s lines ended in com 
plete discomfiture. 

In the early part of August Fitz Lee was sent with his 
division to the Shenandoah Valley, and Hampton with his 
own division and that of W. F. Lee was left to hold the 
lines to the right of Lee s infantry. 

On the nth of August Hampton was ordered by Lee to 
proceed with his division to Culpeper and report to Genl. 
R. H. Anderson, commanding in that quarter. Lee s object 
was to threaten the enemy s flank and rear should he move 
across the Blue Ridge. 

In obedience to command Hampton marched his division 
northward, passing through Richmond August I3th. At 
Beaver Dam he received a telegraphic despatch from Lee 
recalling him. Before daylight on the i4th he began to 
retrace his steps, and at ten o clock the next day brought his 
command to the support of Genl. W. F. Lee, who was then 
being heavily attacked at White s Tavern, eight miles below 
Richmond. 

Grant, in order to prevent Lee from sending reinforce 
ments to Early, had made another demonstration north of 
the James. 

W. F. Lee s right was being forced back when Hampton 
arrived and took a small part in the repulse of the enemy 
by W. F. Lee s division. It was here that General Cham- 
bliss was killed while gallantly rallying his men. 



268 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

On the morning of the i8th it looked as though serious 
work was at hand. The bugle called to horse at two o clock 
A. M. At seven the brigade moved out, the Eleventh Reg 
iment in front. 

Lee had ordered Hampton to attack the enemy in his 
front. General Fields, commanding the left of the infantry, 
was directed to co-operate in the movement. 

W. F. Lee s division attacked on the Charles City Road. 
Butler with his own and Rosser s brigade, under Col. R. H. 
Dulany, on the left, while Fields with his infantry pressed 
the enemy in front. Delay occurring in getting the forces 
in position, the attack was not begun until evening. 

W. F. Lee drove the enemy some distance in his front, 
and Butler made a most successful attack on his right, when 
with the assistance of Rosser s brigade, under the command 
of Col. R. H. Dulany, he drove the Federals from their 
breastworks and pursued them two miles. There were cap 
tured in this affair 167 prisoners. The Federals during the 
night withdrew and recrossed the James, and Hampton was 
accordingly ordered by Lee to return to the south side and 
re-establish his picket line in front of Reams Station. 

Grant having extended his left flank far enough to get 
possession of a part of the Weldon Railroad, was now 
attempting to destroy the part south of him. For this pur 
pose Hancock s corps and Gregg s division of cavalry, on 
the 2 ist of August, were sent to the neighborhood of Reams 
Station. 

Hampton s division was moving towards the same point 
when on the 23rd of August the enemy was encountered at 
Monk Neck s Bridge, two miles west of the station, on the 
Rowanty Creek. Butler here attacked them in position and 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 269 

had a severe engagement. He succeeded, however, in driv 
ing back the enemy, a division of infantry, and in establish 
ing the picket-line. 

As this was a pitched encounter between Confederate 
cavalry and Federal infantry aided by cavalry, in which the 
latter after a stubborn contest were badly worsted, it 
deserves full space. But the story can only be told from 
the standpoint of the Laurels, some of whom speak of the 
contest with great and commendable pride. 

In this action the brigade was still commanded by Col. 
R. H. Dulany, General Rosser not having sufficiently 
recovered from the wound received at Trevilians to resume 
command. 

On the 23rd the command moved down the Stage Road 
to meet the enemy. Upon reaching Hatcher s Run there 
were the usual signs of a recent fight. Broken ambulances 
and dead horses lined the road. 

Very soon the enemy was found, and the Seventh Regi 
ment, which was in front, was forced back. The bulk of the 
Seventh and Eleventh regiments and a part of the Twelfth, 
under Lieut. George Baylor, were now dismounted and 
deployed on each side of the road, White s Battalion and 
the Twelfth remaining mounted. 

White s First Squadron joined General Butler on his 
right. The dismounted men of the Eleventh, under Maj. 
E. H. McDonald, advanced on the left side of the road, 
while the Seventh, under Col. Thomas Marshall, advanced 
on the right. 

The movement at first was through a woodland, and the 
Federals being mounted, retired before the Confederate 
advance. After following them for half a mile the latter 



270 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

reached the end of the woods, and before them lay an open 
field across which at a distance of 500 yards, was distinctly 
seen a line of breastworks occupied by infantry. Halting 
at the edge of the woods behind a dilapidated rail fence, 
the Seventh and Eleventh lay down. 

For half an hour the Federals waited for an attack. Then 
a considerable force, apparently a brigade, moved out and 
took position on the left of the line occupied by the Elev 
enth. The design of the enemy was plainly to execute a 
flank movement and take the Eleventh in reverse ; but there 
were no orders to fall back and the Confederates grimly 
awaited the issue. 

Presently the enemy advanced in heavy force beyond 
their breastworks to within a short distance of the fence 
behind which lay the Confederates. A withering fire met 
them, but they fell flat on the ground and, partly concealed 
by the grass, poured volley after volley into the thin lines of 
the dismounted men. Attacked by greatly superior num 
bers, and threatened by the brigade of infantry on their 
left, the Confederates fell back through the woods. Soon 
they met General Butler bringing up a South Carolina bri 
gade. Hastily reforming they resumed their old position 
under a heavy fire, and the battle raged furiously. 

The flanking brigade of Federals swung around on But 
ler s left, and the South Carolinians, pressed in front and 
flank, after heroic efforts were forced to retire. This neces 
sitated the falling back of the Confederate line of dis 
mounted men which was under command of Maj. E. H. 
McDonald. 

The Federal commander, seizing his opportunity, 
ordered forward a squadron of horse that now rode among 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 271 

the disordered Confederates, and pressed on, endeav 
oring to stampede Dulany s reserves. But this proved not 
so easy a task. Their charge was met with a countercharge, 
and the beaten Federals in a few moments \vere seen by the 
dismounted men returning hotly pursued by the grey 
troopers. 

Butler, now readjusting his lines, forced the Federals 
behind their breastworks, where they remained. He was un 
able to dislodge them without the aid of infantry, although 
the fighting continued until after dark, heavy volleys of 
musketry at intervals breaking the stillness of the night. 

The next day was one of comparative quiet. 

The success of Butler at Monk Neck s Bridge suggested 
to Hampton the feasibility of driving the Federals from 
their works at Reams Station. His plan of attack was com 
municated to General Lee and concurred in. 

General Heth s division of infantry was ordered to co-op 
erate with Hampton, and Genl. A. P. Hill was sent to take 
command of the expedition. 

On the morning of the 25th, Hampton moved out with 
his two divisions of cavalry under Generals Butler and Bar- 
ringer. After disposing part of his command so as to cover 
Hill s advance, with the remainder, including the Eleventh 
and Twelfth regiments, and White s Battalion, he crossed 
Malone s Bridge at nine A. M. and drove in the enemy s 
pickets. Following up these he encountered a heavy force 
of Federals strongly posted. After a sharp fight the enemy 
fell back rapidly towards Malone s Crossing, hotly pursued 
by the Confederates. 

Near Reams Station Federal infantry came up and took 
the place of their cavalry, while the latter attempted to turn 



272 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Hampton s flanks. "In this," says Hampton, "they were 
foiled and I held my ground steadily." 

Hill, whose advance was masked by some of the cavalry, 
was not yet ready for the assault. He requested Hampton 
to retire slowly and draw the enemy after him, so that he 
with his infantry might take them in rear. This Hampton 
proceeded to do, but the Federals followed with great cau 
tion. 

At five P. M. the boom of Hill s artillery indicated that 
all was ready, and Hampton at once ordered forward his 
battle line of dismounted men. Before them were the ser 
ried ranks of veteran infantry, with strong works to retire 
behind; while the enemy s cavalry was threatening their 
right. Unskilled in the maneuvers of infantry, and know 
ing little beyond keeping an even front, the dismounted men 
moved steadily forward. The sharp volleys of Federal 
musketry were only answered by the rattle of Confederate 
carbines, but the grey line kept steadily advancing while de 
livering its fire, and soon the bluecoats fell back in con 
fusion, seeking safety behind their works at Reams Station. 

Up to this point of the engagement, Hampton s line had 
been extended across the railroad, occupying both sides. 
Discovering now that Hill, approaching from the west side, 
was driving the enemy, he moved his force to the right and 
east side of the railroad. Pivoting his left on this, and with 
his right far extended, he ordered the line to advance and 
swing around so as to envelop the enemy s rear. 

Rosser, who had returned to the field the day before, 
though still suffering from the wound received at Trevil- 
ians, was in command of his brigade. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 273 

The Eleventh, under Colonel Funsten, and a portion of 
White s Battalion formed part of a second line supporting 
Young on Hampton s right, while the extreme right of the 
assaulting column was occupied by the Twelfth under Col 
onel Massie, the two right companies, B and I, being armed 
only with pistol and sabre. 

As the advancing line moved on, it was obliged to pass 
over ground naturally rough and broken, and now made 
still more difficult of passage by felled trees that had been 
cut down for purposes of defense. The right was obliged 
to go forward more rapidly than the center and left, and 
besides, it encountered a body of the enemy until then unas- 
sailed, and in position outside of the entrenchments. 

It was now nearly sundown, when amid the roar of can 
non, bursting of bombs, and the pattering of the deadly 
bullets through the foliage, Hampton s line, clambering 
through the branches and over the trunks of the fallen 
timber, drove the last line of the enemy behind his fortifica 
tions. 

The circle around the enemy was now complete. The 
Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, on Hampton s extreme right, as 
it formed anew for the final rush, found itself alongside of 
the Twelfth Virginia Infantry, that, on Hill s extreme left, 
had swung around from the opposite side of the works. 
When it was discovered that there were two Twelfth Vir 
ginias side by side salutations were interchanged, and there 
was not a little bantering and boasting as to which of the 
two, the Twelfth Infantry or the Twelfth Cavalry, would 
be the first to reach and scale the ramparts in front of them. 
It was quite understood that there was to be a contest of 
valor, and bracing for the struggle, each regiment waited 



274 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

anxiously for the command to go forward. The envelop 
ing lines were dressed and presented a steady front. The 
Federal gunners were at their posts, and the last beams of 
the setting sun glanced along the musket barrels of the 
awaiting enemy. It was only the stillness that usually 
heralds the storm-burst. 

Hill opened with deafening roar, and above the din were 
heard the shouts of his gallant soldiers, and the whole line 
now moved forward. 

The two Twelfth regiments at the word "Charge !" went 
forward with noble rivalry, facing undaunted a heavy fire 
from the Federal artillery. For a brief space the race for 
glory was an even one; but, when near the works, the 
Twelfth Infantry halted to deliver its fire before rushing 
on. The Twelfth Cavalry never stopped, but with cocked 
pistols in hand, made straight for the breastworks, and 
leaping over them fairly won the race. The Federals fired 
one volley and, then throwing down their arms, fled pre 
cipitately. 

In the meantime the Seventh Regiment, under Col. R. H. 
Dulany, had been engaged in masking the advance of Hill s 
column of infantry. The following is Colonel Dulany s 
account of the same : 

"I was ordered by General Rosser to report with my regi 
ment, Seventh Virginia, to Gen. A. P. Hill near Reams Station 
August 24th, 1864. When I found General Hill, he told me 
that he was very anxious that the Federal forces who were 
entrenched at Reams Station should not know of his presence 
until he attacked their earthworks, and to that end he wished 
me to drive in all the cavalry in his front. Not knowing what 
was before me, I ordered Colonel Marshall to advance with a 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 275 

squadron and attack any forces he came up with. I followed 
with the rest of the regiment. We had not advanced more than 
a mile when I heard firing, and Colonel Marshall was brought 
back badly wounded. I immediately rode to the front, and 
taking command of the advanced squadrons, charged the 
enemy and drove them behind their earthworks. We were 1 
so close on their heels that two of my men, unable to control 
their horses, followed the Federal cavalry into their fortifica 
tions. One of the men was Pendleton of Baltimore, the other 
I do not remember fell dead in the trenches. I do not recol 
lect what other loss was suffered. General Hill was repulsed 
in his first attack with a heavy loss. 

"On the morning of the 25th Hill ordered me to protect his 
flanks with the assistance of a portion of Wright s command, 
while he made his second attack when he carried the earth 
works, capturing twenty-six or eight hundred men and six or 
eight new three-inch rifle-guns. During the fight the Federal 
cavalry made three efforts to get at his flanks, but we drove 
them back every time. As Hill sent his prisoners to the rear, 
the Federal cavalry again attempted a flank movement, and 
with more stubbornness than at their first attempt. We had a 
number of the Henry sixteen-shooters recently captured 
from Wilson s cavalry, and our fire was so rapid that Hill 
became uneasy, supposing we had run up against infantry, and 
sent to me an aid to see if we needed any assistance. I asked 
for two howitzers, which he sent me, and immediately after a 
portion of General McCowan s command. They came at a 
double-quick and the General, being a large man, was pretty 
well blown. He asked me to put his men in position, as he did 
not know the ground. As the howitzers were all the help I 
wanted, and I desired my own men to have all the credit of the 
frequent repulses of the enemy, I told General McCowan, that 
there was a stream in the woods in our rear, where, if he would 
take his command, he would be near enough if we required his 
assistance. After this General Hill ordered me to move for 
ward and take possession of the battlefield, to secure the guns 



276 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

and ammunition left by the enemy, and bury the dead. While 
carrying out these orders, a squad of Federal cavalry under a 
flag of truce came, asking permission to bury their dead. I had 
orders to refuse such applications and they retired." 

General Hill wished to get back to the army before the 
enemy should know that he had left Reams Station. 

After dark Hampton with seven regiments of his com 
mand, including the Twelfth Virginia and White s Battal 
ion, remained in the trenches to cover the withdrawal of 
the infantry. For there was still a force of the enemy out 
side of the works in the direction of Grant s army, and 
there was some apprehension of its attempting to recover 
the station. 

After a twelve hours battle an almost sleepless night fol 
lowed. The ground in front of the trenches was strewn 
with dead and dying Federals, and the shrieks of the 
wounded banished slumber. At midnight a terrific storm 
burst forth, deluging all with a downpour of rain, and 
bringing much relief to the wounded. The dreadful patter 
of the elements with the sharp rattle and deafening roar of 
the thunder was appalling, and the bright flashes of light 
ning, that revealed the ghastly features of the dead and of 
others in the agonies of death, added to the horrors of the 
scene. 

During the night the Federals withdrew from the vicin 
ity, and next day were followed and harassed by Hampton s 
cavalry, with which was the Twelfth Virginia. 

While the battle around the station was going on the 
Seventh, as we have seen from Colonel Dulany s report, 
had been doing some good work. It had been ordered to 
report to Gen. A. P. Hill to mask the movement of his in- 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 277 

fantry, which it did by driving in all the Federal cavalry 
in his front. Lieutenant-Colonel Marshall, leading in this 
attack, was badly wounded, and so vigorous was the charge 
which was pressed by Colonel Dulany that two of his men 
rode over the enemy s entrenchments, one of them being 
killed inside of them. 

On the 24th the Seventh repulsed several bold attempts 
of the Federals to turn the flanks of Hill, blocking their 
way at every attack until, foiled and disheartened, they 
finally withdrew. 

The engagements before Reams Station on the 25th, in 
which the cavalry did most of its fighting on foot, co-oper 
ating and forming parts of the fighting line with the infan 
try, a large part of them armed only with pistols and sabres, 
tended greatly to inspire the infantry with admiration for 
the dash, and confidence in the staying qualities of the cav 
alry, which arm of the service they had heretofore affected 
to belittle. It was shown that they were capable of attack 
ing infantry in entrenched positions with such inferior 
weapons as carbines and pistols and this, not only on foot, 
but in some instances mounted. 

There were engaged in this fight on the part of the Con 
federates about 8,000 men under command of Genl. A. P. 
Hill, consisting of McRae s, Cook s, and Lane s brigades, 
with Pegram s Artillery, and the cavalry division of Hamp 
ton and Barringer; while the Federal force under General 
Hancock was composed of the Second Army Corps, Mills 
and Gibb s divisions, fifty regiments, the two cavalry divi 
sions of Gregg and Kautz, and the whole supported by 
Wilcox s division in reserve, numbering from 16,000 to 



278 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

20,000 men, the Federals having advantage of fortified 
positions. 

The victory of the Confederates was decisive, nine guns 
being captured and some of them turned upon the enemy. 
According to the official report of General Hill the captures 
were, "Twelve stands of colors, nine pieces of artillery, ten 
caissons, 2,150 prisoners, 3,100 small arms, thirty-two 
horses. My own loss, cavalry, artillery and infantry, being 
720." 

The Federal official reports on the 26th, of the engage 
ments near Reams Station on the 25th, are interesting 
reading mainly for their inconsistencies, contradictions, 
and general inaccuracy, though some are wonderfully 
candid ; Grant being misinformed by his subordinates. 

General Grant reports : 

"Cmr POINT, VA., August 26th, 1864, 10 A. M. 
MAJOR H. W. HALLECK, 

Washington, D. C. 

I have no report of the casualties yet from operations yes 
terday near Reams Station. Orders were given during the 
day for General Hancock to return, but being pressed by the 
enemy he could not do so until night. Frequent assaults were 
repulsed, but just before night the enemy carried one point of 
the line and captured eight pieces of artillery. 

The staff officer, who gives the only report I have, thinks the 
enemy were very severely punished, and that our loss in 
prisoners will be small. 

During the night General Hancock returned to his place in 
line without opposition. * * * 

U. S. GRANT, 
Lieutenant-General." 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 279 

August 26th, 1864, ten A. M., Genl. George D. Meade 
reports to General Grant : 

"Hancock s troops were withdrawn without molestation or 
being followed. He is now near the Williams house. He 
reports his command at present unserviceable. A report from 
General Gregg, commanding cavalry on Warren s left and 
Hancock s rear, reports the enemy pressing his pickets a little 
this morning with a view, he thinks, of picking up stragglers." 

At half past twelve P. M. Meade reported to General 
Grant: "A safeguard that was left on the battlefield 
remained there until after daylight this morning. At that 
time the enemy had all disappeared, leaving their dead on 
the field unburied. This shows how severely they were 
punished, and doubtless hearing of the arrival of reinforce 
ments, they feared the result if they remained." 

Again at one o clock P. M. Meade despatched to Grant 
as follows : 

"Since sending my last despatch, I have conversed with the 
safeguard referred to. He did not leave the field until after 
sunrise. At that time nearly all the enemy had left, moving 
towards Petersburg. He says that they abandoned not only 
their dead but their wounded also. He conversed with an 
officer, who said that their losses were greater than ever before 
during the war. 

"The safeguard says he was over a part of the field, and it 
was covered with the enemy s dead and wounded. He has 
seen a great many battlefields, but never saw such a sight. 
Very few of our dead, nearly all of the enemy. 

"All of our wounded are brought off, but our dead unburied. 
I have instructed Gregg to make an effort to send a parry to 
the field and bury our dead. 



280 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

"I should judge from all accounts the enemy will most likely 
be quiet for some time." 

The absurdity and absolute falsity of the statement of 
this safeguard" is so apparent that it is a wonder that 
Meade should have forwarded it to General Grant and with 
remarks indicative of his having given credence to it. We 
have seen from Meade s report to Grant of ten A. M. of the 
same day, two hours before he forwarded this statement of 
the "safeguard," that Hancock had fallen back in such con 
dition that he reported his command as "unserviceable/ We 
have seen also that after the discomfiture of Hancock, in 
which he lost 2,724 men, of whom 2,150 were prisoners, 
nine guns, ten caissons, 3,100 small arms and twelve stands 
of colors, A. P. Hill, wishing to return unobserved by the 
enemy to the army near Petersburg, left Col. Richard 
Dulany with the Seventh Regiment, Laurel Brigade, of 
Cavalry, to screen his movement, to occupy the field, secure 
the captures, and bury the dead. 

Colonel Dulany, in his modest report, has said: "While 
carrying out the order a squad of cavalry under flag of 
truce came asking permission to bury their dead. I had 
orders to refuse any such applications, and they retired." 

The people of the North, as well as the Northern Gov 
ernment, having raised magnificent armies, supplied with 
the most modern and approved equipments of war, de 
manded, with good reason, that their generals should win 
victories. In order to satisfy this demand, victories won 
only by peculiar processes on paper, were very often sub 
stituted in the place of real ones in the field. So a first-class 
official report could easily convert a serious defeat into a 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 281 

victory of very respectable proportions. It was a victory of 
this kind that General Meade, upon the statement of the 
"safeguard," reported to General Grant. It is not likely, 
however, that Grant was enthused with the report of the 
victory in which he knew that Hancock had fallen back 
hors de combat, leaving guns, colors, prisoners, etc., in the 
hands of the Confederates. 

General Miles, commanding the First Division of the 
Federal Second Army Corps, says in his report : 

"At five P. M. the enemy drove in the skirmishers of the 
consolidated brigade, who made feeble resistance, debouched 
from the woods in front of that and the Fourth Brigade, 
advancing through the slashing, which was thirty yards wide. 
At first he was met by a sharp fire from these brigades, part of 
the First Brigade which fired to the left oblique, and the 
Fourth New York Artillery to the right oblique. Although he 
pushed forward with determination he was repulsed at several 
points, and his organization greatly broken up by the severity 
of the fire, and the obstacles in his front ; but unfortunately, 
just as his entire repulse seemed certain, a portion of the con 
solidated brigade, consisting of the Seventh, Fifty-second and 
Thirty-ninth New York regiments, broke and fell in confusion. 
At the same time a break occurred in the same brigade the 
One Hundred and Twenty-fifth and One Hundred and 
Twenty-sixth New York regiments. I stood at the time en 
the banks of the railroad cut, and saw a Rebel color-bearer 
spring over our works and down into the cut almost at my 
feet. But few of the enemy had reached the works, and a 
determined resistance of five minutes would have given us the 
victory. 

"I looked for Lieutenant-Colonel Rugg, but not at the 
moment seeing him, I directed his regiment to rush into the 
gap and commence firing. Not a minute s time was lost before 
giving this order, but instead of executing it, they either lay on 



282 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

their faces or got up and ran to the rear. I then rode down 
the line of the Fourth Brigade, ordering them to move toward 
the right and hold the rifle-pits. These troops were then 
fighting gallantly, their brigade commander, Lieutenant-Col 
onel Broady, being conspicuous, encouraging and directing the 
men. Finding the enemy had gained the angle and flanked my 
line, I rode to the Twelfth New York Battery and directed 
Lieutenant Dandy to fire canister at that point, which he did 
with great effect, working his guns gallantly until the enemy 
was upon him. His horses were killed, and it was impossible 
to limber up and draw off his guns in the breaking of the line. 
The enemy pushed forward, and taking possession of them, 
turned one of them and opened fire with it upon our troops. 
"The One Hundred and Fifty-second Regiment, Captain 
Brent commanding, when the assault was made, was directed 
to attack the enemy in flank and rear. The regiment had 
changed front and was moved up to within 200 yards and 
directed to open fire. Captain Martin, division inspector, a 
very cool and reliable officer, reports that not a shot was fired 
at it, but the men broke from the ranks and fled in the most 
disgraceful manner, only two men in the regiment discharging 
their pieces. The panic had become somewhat general, and it 
was with the greatest difficulty that my line could be formed." 

General Gibbon, commanding the Second Division of 
Hancock s corps, in his official report, states the following : 

"About five P. M., the enemy having placed his batteries, 
opened a heavy fire, most of which took my part of the line in 
reverse. Soon afterwards he made his assault on General 
Miles line, from which a portion of the First Brigade had 
been withdrawn to strengthen mine, under the impression 
that an attack was to be made there. The enemy broke through 
General Miles line and, pushing forward his troops, appeared 
to be for a time carrying everything before him. His fire 
taking my line in reverse, I shifted my men to the opposite 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 283 

side of the parapets to resist his further advance, but there was 
checked by the steadiness of a portion of Miles division, and 
my division was then ordered forward by General Hancock 
to attack the enemy and re-take the breastworks. In attempting 
to obey this order, that portion of the division with me did not 
sustain its previous reputation, and demoralized, partly by the 
shelling and musketry firing in its rear, and partly by refugees 
from other parts of the line, retired after a very feeble effort 
and very slight fire, in great confusion, every effort of 
myself and staff failing to arrest the rout until the breast 
works were reached. Soon after this the enemy attacked my 
line, the men shifted to the inside of the parapet. Besides 
the fire from the front which, however, was very feeble, they 
were subjected to a musketry and artillery fire from the right 
flank, when the enemy turned our guns upon us. The men 
soon gave way in great confusion, and gave up the breast 
works almost without resistance, and were partially rallied in 
the woods behind the right wing. The result of this action 
was a source of great mortification to me, as I am confident 
but for the bad conduct of my division, the battle would have 
terminated in my favor, even after the enemy had broken 
through General Miles line." 

The minuteness and candor of the two foregoing reports 
indicate their truthfulness, and corroborate the accounts of 
the engagement made from the Confederate standpoint. 

Genl. Robert E. Lee, in his report to the Secretary of 
War, says : 

"Gen. A. P. Hill attacked the enemy in his entrenchments 
at Reams Station, and at the second assault carried the entire 
line. Cook s and McRae s North Carolina brigades, under 
General Heth, and Lane s North Carolina brigade of Wilcox s 
division, under General Conner, with Pegram s Artillery, com 
posed the assaulting column. One line of breastworks was 



284 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

carried by the cavalry under General Hampton with great gal 
lantry, who contributed largely to the success of the day. The 
loss of the enemy in killed and wounded is reported to be 
heavy, ours relatively small. Our profound gratitude is due to 
the Giver of all Victory, and our thanks to the brave officers 
and men engaged." 

General Lee, in his letter replying to a communication to 
General Hampton of date August 26th, 1864, says: 

"I am very much gratified with the success of yesterday s 
operations. The conduct of the cavalry is worthy of all praise. 
I wished you to be near them because I feared that as Gregg 
was so much in the background in yesterday s operations, he 
might be preparing for a raid on the Danville and Southside 
Railroad." 1 

There was now a few days of rest, but on the ist of Sep 
tember Rosser had the men again in the saddle for the pur 
pose of making a reconnoissance. This expedition was 
called by the troopers the Newspaper raid, because it was 
believed by them that it was made for the purpose of get 
ting the latest Northern papers. 

About four miles beyond Reams Station Rosser drove in 
the enemy s pickets, and the whole brigade galloping in 
pursuit ran the fugitives into their camp close by the infan 
try fortifications. The surprised Federals stoutly defended 
their camp, and for a brief space there \vas hot work with 
pistol and sabre. After securing some prisoners and a good 
deal of plunder Rosser withdrew. In this charge the Elev 
enth was in front and lost two killed and several wounded. 
It does not appear that a newspaper was secured, nor is 



United States War Records, Series I, Vol. XLII. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 285 

there any intimation of the nature of the information 
expected to be obtained. 

The brigade had continued in camp resting and recuper 
ating after the fight at Reams Station until the I4th of 
September. That morning, with five days rations in hav 
ersacks, the brigade under Rosser started with Hampton on 
his celebrated Cattle raid. The rest of the column consisted 
of Maj.-Genl. W. H. F. Lee s division, Bearing s brigade, 
and 100 men from Young s and Dunnavant s brigades 
under Colonel Miller of the Sixth South Carolina Regi 
ment, and the horse artillery under Col. R. P. Chew. 

The object of the expedition was to capture and secure 
for the use of Lee s army, a large herd of cattle belonging 
to the Federals, grazing in security on the James River 
near Coggin s Point, in the rear of Grant s army. The 
location of the cattle being well within the enemy s lines, it 
became necessary to force the lines at the most practicable 
point. 

Hampton had been well informed as to the exact location 
of the cattle, and the position and approximate number of 
the force guarding them, by intelligent scouts under Shad- 
burn of the Jeff Davis Legion; John G. McCleur of Com 
pany B, Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, being one of them. 
Upon their information, Hampton selected Sycamore 
Church, in Prince George s county, as the point at which to 
make the attack. 

The first night the whole force bivouacked near Wilkin 
son s Bridge, over the Rowanty Creek. Early next morn 
ing the march was continued. The region through which 
the expedition passed was flat and marshy. The road 
wound along through occasional pine forests that helped to 



286 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

conceal the strength and design of Hampton s force. Few 
houses were seen, and almost unperceived they stole along 
towards Grant s rear.. Early in the evening the Black- 
water was reached at a point where Cook s Bridge, recently 
destroyed, had stood. 

Hampton purposely took this route because the absence 
of a bridge averted suspicion of any approach that way. 
Here he halted and fed, while the engineer corps built a 
new bridge, finishing it before nightfall. 

At midnight the column crossed over, and each subordi 
nate command proceeded to perform the part that had been 
assigned to it. 

Lee was ordered to move up the Stage Road, drive in the 
pickets, force back the Federals, and occupy the roads lead 
ing from the direction of Grant s army to Sycamore Church. 
Bearing was to proceed to Cox s Mill and remain there 
until the attack had been made at Sycamore Church, when 
he was to charge across and attack the picket on the Min- 
ger s Ferry Road. 

To Rosser was assigned the duty of carrying the outpost 
position of the enemy at Sycamore Church, and then to 
push on and capture the cattle which \vere corralled about 
two miles from the church and guarded by another consid 
erable force of cavalry. 

When within a mile and a half of the church, Rosser 
halted and waited until morning. At the first streak of 
dawn, while darkness yet lingered, the column moved for 
ward and the enemy was soon discovered in a strong posi 
tion. This was the outpost of the force protecting the cattle, 
the approaches to it being protected by felled trees and 
abattis. This position was occupied by about 400 men of 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 287 

the District of Columbia Cavalry, armed with sixteen- 
shooter Henry rifles. The narrow roadway leading through 
the abattis into the camp, which the scouts had reported to 
be open w r as now found to be well barricaded, which fact 
indicated that the Federals had become suspicious of 
Hampton s approach, and had prepared in a measure to 
receive him, but were, perhaps, somewhat deceived as to his 
numbers. 

A squadron of the Eleventh Regiment was ordered to 
charge, which it did promptly, the men riding up against 
the barricade, where heavy volleys were poured into them, 
it being too dark to see the enemy except by the flash of the 
discharges. A number of casualties occurred as the result 
of this gallant charge. The horse of Adjutant Funsten was 
killed, falling across the narrow roadway. A portion of 
the Seventh Regiment was dismounted and attacked and 
removed a portion of the barricade in the roadway. 

The Twelfth Regiment was now ordered to charge 
mounted, the First Squadron, Companies B and I, in front. 
The opening in the barricade was carried, a number of men 
and horses being killed there. 

The enemy, covered by darkness and from behind trees, 
kept up a rapid fusillade with repeating rifles upon the front 
and flanks of the charging column, the streaks of flame 
from their guns now and then revealing their forms to the 
aim of the assailants. Quite a number of them w^ere killed 
and wounded and about 300 captured, besides a number of 
horses and ten wagons. They had, however, inflicted a 
heavy loss upon the brigade. The Seventh, under Colonel 
Dulany, had three men killed and fifteen wounded ; among 



288 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

them Lieut. G. P. Smith of Company A, who fell leading a 
charge. 

Among the killed and wounded of the Twelfth, were 
Lieutenant Lucas of Company D and Private Richard Tim- 
berlake, a gallant soldier of Company B. 

The horse of Orderly-Sergt. Seth Timberlake, known as 
the "Fighting Sergeant" of Company B, was shot dead, 
and falling upon him, it required several comrades to 
remove the animal and extricate the rider. 

The Eleventh also had some losses, as well as White s 
Battalion, which, however, was mostly in reserve and not 
engaged until later. 

Daylight had now appeared, and the brigade pushing on 
without much organization for a mile further, came sud 
denly upon a line of cavalry composed of a few squadrons 
mounted, and in the rear of them the coveted prize the 
cattle in close corral. 

General Rosser, riding at the head of the brigade, 
directed a soldier to ride in advance and demand the sur 
render of the opposing force. 

Private Cary Seldon of Company B, Twelfth Regiment, 
with a white handkerchief hanging upon the point of his 
sabre, riding a little in advance, called to the Federals, 
"General Rosser demands your surrender." The officer in 
command replied, "Go to h 1 !" Which defiance was 
instantly followed by a volley from his men. With a yell 
the brigade fell upon them, White s Battalion taking the 
front. The Federals fled in disorder through their encamp 
ment, firing into the cattle as they passed and yelling in 
order to stampede them. A few of the beeves at the farther 
end of the corral stampeded, but were overtaken and 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 289 

rounded up, not one escaping. The net result of the cap 
ture was 2,486 large, fat young steers, 304 prisoners, a 
considerable number of horses, arms and equipments, 
including several hundred of the Henry sixteen-shooter 
rifles. The camps of the enemy were burned, the stores 
being first secured and brought off in several captured 
wagons. 

The following is an account of the capture of the cattle, 
written by General Rosser, which appeared in the Philadel 
phia Times some time after the war. It \vas written from 
memory without consulting any official reports or other 
data. 

"Our army had been for some time on short rations, and 
as our cavalry was stronger than that of the enemy, we 
determined to forage in the rear of the enemy s position. 
Scouts reported a large herd of beef cattle near Coggin s Point, 
and on the morning of the I4th of September, General Hamp 
ton took Bearing s brigade and mine, and \V. H. F. Lee s 
division, and by making a long detour, crossing the Jerusalem 
Plank Road at Belcher s Mill, and marching the I4th and I5th 
and night of the I5th, we halted near daylight on the morning 
of the 1 6th, as we were Hearing the enemy s line, to dispose 
of our troops for the attack upon the enemy and the capture 
of the beeves. W. H. F. Lee was sent off to the left towards 
Prince George Court House to amuse Gregg and keep him off. 
Bearing was sent to threaten Cabin Point, and I was ordered 
to break through the line at Sycamore Church and secure the 
cattle. 

"These preliminaries all arranged I resumed the march. 
The moon had set, and although the sky was cloudless, the 
night in the woods was very dark. My men were ordered to 
march in silence, but the road was hard, and in the profound 
stillness of the night the tramp of the horses could be heard a 



290 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

long distance, and I knew it would be impossible to surprise 
the enemy, and therefore made my arrangements to fight. I 
knew that I would find a regiment of cavalry at Sycamore 
Church, and I knew that every man of them would be in posi 
tion and ready for me on my arrival there, and I brought up 
the Twelfth Virginia Regiment and gave orders to the com 
mander, Major Knott, a very gallant officer, to charge just as 
soon as he was challenged by the enemy. 2 

"My guide reported that we were near the church, and I was 
riding by the side of Knott, telling him how to proceed in the 
event of his being able to dislodge the enemy, when, as if by 
the flash of lightning, the front was all ablaze by the flash of 
musketry, but the gallant Twelfth was not the least staggered 
by the sudden discharge in its face, but as quick as thought the 
charge was sounded, and the noble old regiment went thun 
dering upon the enemy. But a strong abattis had been thrown 
across the road, over which cavalry could not pass, and when 
it was reached the men were dismounted and put to work 
clearing it away ; and, seeing this, I dismounted the next regi 
ment, the Seventh, and ran it up in line as skirmishers, and 
soon cleared the way for the mounted men of the Twelfth, who 
were followed by the Eleventh and Twenty-fifth battalions, 
and before the enemy could mount and escape, or communicate 
with the guard over the cattle, they were our prisoners. 

"When we captured the regiment at Sycamore Church it was 
barely light enough to see the road, and leaving a strong guard 
with the prisoners, I pressed on in search of the cattle. 

"I had proceeded about a mile, when in the dim light of the 
early morning, I saw a line of cavalry about two squadrons 
drawn up on a hill in front of me. My command was not 
closed up, and I had to halt for a few minutes, but a portion of 
White s Battalion coming up, we made a dash at this little 



2 Col. Thomas E. Massie, and not Major Knott, was in command of 
the Twelfth on this occasion, and received the order referred to by Gen 
eral Rosser, and executed it with great gallantry, which the heroic 
Knott would have done had he been in command. The mistake is an 
inadvertence of General Rosser. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 291 

squad, which broke on our approach, and pursuing we soon 
came upon the beeves. 

"When I came in sight of the beeves they were running 
rapidly in the direction of the James River. The herders had 
thrown down the fence of the corral, and by firing pistols and 
yelling Indian fashion, had stampeded the cattle, and they were 
running like mad. I ordered the Seventh Virginia, which had 
just overtaken me, to run their horses until they got in front 
of the herd, then to turn upon it and stop it. This order was 
not easily obeyed, for the young steers ran like buffalo, and it 
was requiring too much of jaded cavalry to force it into a race 
like this. But after running a mile or so the steers slackened 
their pace, and the cavalry was thus able to get in front of 
them, and then to round them up, and quiet them, then turn 
them about and start them to the pens of their new masters on 
the Dixie side of the line. When the excitement was all over 
and the herd was obediently following the leader, I had them 
counted and found that our haul amounted to 2,486 head, and 
all fat young steers." 3 

The cattle having been captured had to be taken care of, 
and moments now were precious, for the overwhelming 
cavalry force of Grant s army was in striking distance and 
could intercept Hampton by several roads unless the cap 
tures and escort could be hurried past the roads intersecting 
the line of retreat, and these approaches successfully 
defended. 

The situation was a dangerous one for cavalry without 
encumbrance, but to escape successfully with an additional 
column composed of the cattle, wagons, and prisoners made 
it more than doubly difficult, and taxed to the fullest both 
the genius of Hampton and the steadiness and courage of 
his command. Hampton, however, was equal to the occa- 



3 Taken from the Southern Bivouac, page 417. 



292 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

sion, and before making the attack had made his arrange 
ments and prepared for almost any contingency. 

W. H. F. Lee and Bearing had attacked the enemy at 
the opportune time, with success, and had established 
themselves at the points they were ordered to secure on the 
roads leading to Grant s army. 

By eight o clock A. M. Hampton had secured everything, 
destroyed the enemy s camps and immovables, withdrawn 
his forces and started upon the return. 

It is not to be supposed that all the hubbub created so 
near the main body of the Federal army, in its very rear, 
only five miles from its base of supply at City Point, and in 
sight of the gunboats at Cabin Point, and the capture of so 
much valuable property, had not caused a stir at Grant s 
headquarters, and that vigorous efforts were not instantly 
put forth to make a recapture, and punish the Confederate 
raiders for their insolence and audacity. In this connec 
tion, some of the Federal reports and despatches are of 
interest. 

On the 1 6th General Kautz reports to General Grant : 

"General Hampton has captured all the cattle and taken 
them away on the road leading south from this point. I shall 
pursue and endeavor to annoy them as much as possible. 
About 150 of the First District of Columbia Cavalry have been 
captured." 

General B. F. Butler to General Grant, September i7th: 

"Yesterday three brigades of Hampton s cavalry turned our 
left and struck the cattle corral about seven miles below City 
Point, and captured about 2,000 cattle and our telegraph con 
struction party." 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 293 

Grant despatches to General Davies, commanding cav 
alry near Williams house : 

"September i6th. I send you despatch just received from 
City Point. The Commanding General wishes you to strike 
the enemy on their return, if they are now in return. 

(Signed) A. A. HUMPHRIES, 

Chief of Staff." 

General Davies the same day replies : 

"MAJOR-GENERAL HUMPHRIES, 

Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac. 

GENERAL: Upon the information in your last communica 
tion I will move all the available force of this division down 
the Jerusalem Plank Road, instructing General Kautz to move 
out in pursuit with a view of cutting them off between here 
and the river." 

September i/th General Kautz despatches to General 
Grant from Baxter s Mills : 

"I have returned thus far from the pursuit of Hampton s 
forces. I followed him to the Jerusalem Plank Road, and my 
advance skirmished last night with what I presumed to be his 
rear guard. I thought it possible it might be Gregg s forces 
and fell back about two miles. * * * This morning I sent 
a scout to the Plank Road and found no enemy. * * * He 
drove the cattle more than thirty miles, and very few were left 
in the road. I was disappointed not to effect a junction with 
General Gregg s forces." 

It will be seen from the following from Grant to Kautz 
of the 1 6th that Kautz, besides his division of cavalry, had 
been reinforced by a brigade or more of infantry. 



294 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

"HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, 

Sept. 1 6th, 1864. 840 A. M. 
BRIGADIER-GENERAL KAUTZ, 

Commanding Cavalry Division : 

Colonel Smyth, commanding Second Division, Second 
Corps, is ordered to send you a brigade of infantry immedi 
ately, and to hold the remainder of the division ready to fol 
low. General Hunt will send you a battery of artillery. * * * 

A. A. HUMPHRIES, 
Major-General and Chief of Staff." 

The success of Hampton in securing the cattle and 
defeating the forces sent to intercept him, had to be 
accounted for by the Federal subalterns to their superiors, 
especially to the commander-in-chief. Hence Meade 
attributes it to Hampton s superior numbers, which he 
estimated to be 6,000. Kautz had it from a reliable citizen 
that the Confederates numbered 14,000, of whom a large 
part was infantry. 

From the various reports and despatches relating to the 
Cattle raid, which fill not less than fifteen pages of Volume 
XLII. Series I, of the United States War Records, from 
which the foregoing reports and despatches have been 
taken, it can be shown that, while the Confederate raiding 
column largely outnumbered the force protecting the cattle, 
the forces of Gregg and Kautz sent out to intercept Hamp 
ton outnumbered his available forces two to one. Besides 
Hampton s losses in killed and wounded in the attack near 
Sycamore Church, a considerable number of his troopers 
v%ere sent with the captured prisoners and cattle, greatly 
reducing his force opposing Kautz and Gregg. 

While the divisions of Gregg and Kautz had been quickly 
despatched to intercept Hampton on the Jerusalem Plank 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 295 

Road, this had been expected and prepared for by Hamp 
ton, who had ordered Rosser, with the artillery under 
Chew, to hold that road at a point east of the Weldon 
Railroad some distance below Petersburg. W. H. F. Lee s 
division was assigned to protect his rear, Bearing s bri 
gade and Miller being ordered to support Rosser. 

Rosser sent White ahead with his battalion to look out 
for the enemy on the Plank Road. White had hardly got 
ten into position before the Federals appeared in heavy 
force a whole division. 

White with characteristic audacity blocked the way with 
an attitude of defiance that suggested that he had strong 
backing. It was a fine play of bluff. The Federals moved 
slowly and cautiously forward. W r hite now fighting and 
falling back, but moving his men from point to point, 
deceived the enemy as to his numbers. Soon Rosser came 
up with the rest of the brigade, and the Federals were 
attacked and driven back. Ordered by Hampton to make 
a firm stand at Ebenezer Church, Rosser promptly took 
position there. Behind him about three miles the captured 
herd was crossing the Plank Road. Everything now 
depended on his keeping the enemy back. On pressed the 
Federals in a heavy column with flanking parties. It was 
Kautz reinforced by the division of Gregg. Their artil 
lery, numerous and well handled, swept the road and the 
adjacent fields with shot and shell, and under cover of this 
fire their whole line advanced. Rosser with dismounted 
men on his flanks and mounted squadrons in the road never 
yielded an inch, but hurled his regiments against them shat 
tering the head of the blue column and driving it back some 
distance. 



296 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

The Federals, realizing that this was the only opportu 
nity to recapture the valuable prize in Hampton s posses 
sion, made an effort to break through his line at this point. 
But Rosser held his ground steadily until reinforced by 
Bearing and Miller, Lee also having been ordered to form 
on the right. Colonel Chew had already taken position with 
his guns, and the Federal artillerists were soon forced to 
give him their attention. "After a heavy cannonade of an 
hour he completely silenced the guns of the enemy." 4 Being 
repulsed repeatedly the Federals withdrew after dark. 
Hampton, fearing a movement towards his left, also retired, 
and the whole command bivouacked for the night near 
Wilkinson s Bridge. 

Next day the subdivisions of the raiding column returned 
to their respective camps, the mighty, bellowing drove of 
fat beeves that preceded them having already conveyed to 
the army the news of their brilliant success. 

The expedition had been absent three days, during which 
time it had marched upwards of 100 miles, defeating the 
enemy in two fights, and bringing from behind his lines in 
safety 2,486 cattle, a large amount of captured property, 
together with 304 prisoners. The Confederate loss was ten 
killed, forty-seven wounded, and four missing. 

Genl. Benjamin F. Butler, on the i/th, sent a despatch 
to General Meade saying: 

The cavalry sent in pursuit of the captured cattle have 
returned, having found all avenues of approach so strongly 
held by the enemy as to prevent any attempt on their part to 
recapture the cattle." 

4 Hampton s Report. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 297 

September the 2Oth General Grant, in a communication 
to General Meade, says : 

"General Lee claims in an official despatch that in driving 
back our pickets they captured ninety men from us. In the 
cavalry fight he claims to have captured 300 prisoners, a large 
amount of horses and some arms, besides 2,500 cattle. The 
ease with which our men of late fall into the hands of the 
enemy would indicate that they are rather willing prisoners." 

The caution with which Hampton conducted this expedi 
tion, his frequent halting of the column waiting informa 
tion from his scouts as to the latest situation within the 
camp of the enemy, the silence enjoined upon the men, and 
the stealthiness generally that marked his approach, together 
with the careful assignment of each subdivision of his com 
mand, providing as well for his return as for the attack, 
marked him as a cavalry leader of the most commanding 
genius. While great praise is due to Generals Lee and 
Bearing, and to Colonel Miller, for their hard fighting in 
keeping the way open and protected against the vastly 
superior forces of Kautz and Gregg, yet the most conspic 
uous service, the central attack and capture of the cattle, 
devolved upon the Laurel Brigade, and was duly acknowl 
edged by Hampton in the following report : 

"The enemy had a strong position, and the approaches to it 
being barricaded, he had time to rally in the woods around 
his camp, where for some time he fought as stubbornly as I 
have ever seen him do. But the determination and gallantry 
of Rosser s men proved too much for him, and he was com 
pletely routed, leaving his dead and wounded on the field." 



298 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

The success of the expedition was highly gratifying to 
Genl. Robert E. Lee, and expressed by him to General 
Hampton, who in just pride promulgated the following 
order : 

"General Order No. 2. 

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS, 
ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA. 

The Major-General commanding takes pride in communi 
cating to his command the praise which their recent achieve 
ment has won from the Commanding General, who, in 
acknowledging his report of the successful return of his com 
mand from the rear of the enemy s army, says : You will 
please convey to the officers and men of your command my 
thanks for the courage and energy with which they executed 
your orders, by which they have added another to the list of 
important services rendered by the cavalry during the present 
campaign. 

To such praise the Major-General Commanding would only 
add the expression of his own appreciation of the gallantry 
of his officers and men, whose conduct in battle is all he could 
desire, and inspires him with pride and perfect confidence in 
such a command. 

By command of MAJ.-GEN. WADE HAMPTON. 

H. B. MCCLELLAN, Assistant Adjutant-General." 



CHAPTER XI 

September, 18G4 

The return to the Valley Tedious march and wornout horses Eager 
to avenge the outrages of Sheridan Federals devastate the 
Shenandoah Valley Fitz Lee having been wounded, Rosser com 
mands the Cavalry Division Fight at Mill Creek Toms Brook 
A much-mooted night attempt to surprise and bag Custer Cedar 
Creek Brent s Farm Fighting on the Back Road Death of 
Lieut. -Col. Thomas Marshall Brigade camps and rests at Fisher s 
Hill and Timberville Kershaw s division and Crosby s brigade of 
cavalry withdrawn from Early s army Sheridan with superior 
numbers hesitates to attack Early. 

After the Cattle raid the Laurels had a week of rest, dur 
ing which time came the pleasant rumor that the brigade 
would soon be ordered to the Valley. News that reached 
camp from that section was depressing. Sheridan was 
reported as marching through the Valley counties with fire 
and sword; and the letters from home telling of the desola 
tion made by his soldiers kindled a strong desire among the 
men to go and defend their firesides and punish Sheridan. 

On the 26th of September orders were issued to prepare 
to move to the Shenandoah Valley. The preparations were 
made with much rejoicing. Little attention was given to 
the details of packing, all being absorbed with the single 
thought of getting off as soon as possible. 

On the 27th the brigade moved under the command of 
Col. R. H. Dulany; Rosser and his staff going in advance 
by rail, via Lynchburg to Staunton. 



300 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

By the 3Oth the column had reached Lynchburg, and 
thence continuing through Lexington arrived late in the 
evening of October 5th in front of the enemy at Bridge- 
water. The march had been a long and hard one. When 
the brigade went into camp at Bridgewater the ranks had 
been thinned by the length and fatigue of the journey. 

On the morning of the 6th the troopers awoke somewhat 
refreshed by deep slumbers, and though needing more rest, 
the sight of the burning barns and stack-yards banished 
everything from their minds but thoughts of vengeance. 
The fires of destruction were partly visible. Clouds of 
smoke hung across the Valley, extending from the Blue 
Ridge to the North Mountain, hiding the movements of the 
incendiaries, but clearly showing the fiendish character of 
their work. 

Fitz Lee had been badly wounded at Winchester, and 
was still absent from the field. To his division, consisting 
of Wickham s and Payne s brigades, the Laurels were tem 
porarily assigned, and the whole put under the command 
of General Rosser, Col. R. H. Dulany taking command of 
the brigade. 

Rosser found Fitz Lee s division thinned and exhausted 
by a long and unequal contest with Sheridan s greatly 
superior force of Federal cavalry. His own brigade was 
much reduced in numbers by the toilsome forced march 
from beyond Petersburg, but the men, many of whom 
lived in the Valley and were now on their native heath, 
were eager to engage the enemy. 

It was soon discovered that Sheridan was retreating, and 
the Confederates moved rapidly in pursuit. As they 
advanced the sight of the burnt barns and stack-yards, and 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 301 

occasionally of dwelling-houses, inflamed them with rage. 
Groups of houseless women and children, who had been 
robbed of every means of sustenance, stood near the way 
side bemoaning their fate. 

With zeal quickened by such new scenes of desolation, 
the Laurels galloped forward and late in the evening over 
took the rear guard of Custer s cavalry near Brock s Gap. 
Here a spirited skirmish ensued, and the Federals being 
worsted withdrew across Dry River. Custer posting his 
artillery on the high ground on the other side, kept Rosser 
at bay until night, and then under cover of darkness con 
tinued his retreat in company with Sheridan s whole army. 

During the whole night the work of destruction went on. 
Every kind of provender for cattle and food for men was 
burnt, while the live stock of every kind was driven off. 
The burning parties distributed across the Valley swept it 
with the fire of desolation. Every home was visited, the 
proud mansion and the humble cottage feeling alike the 
blasting and savage hand of war. 

At dawn the next morning Rosser s whole force was in 
the saddle, and straightway began a vigorous pursuit of the 
enemy. 

To understand the several cavalry actions in which the 
Laurels participated in the weeks following, some knowl 
edge is necessary of the relative positions of the main roads 
that traverse the Valley between Harrisonburg and Win 
chester. Three roads run nearly parallel the whole length 
of this tract, the Valley turnpike along the eastern border, 
the Back Road skirting the foothills of the North Moun 
tain, and the Middle Road between the two. The last two 
are hilly and rough, but the Back Road, which occasionally 



302 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

hugs the jutting spurs of the North Mountain, is especially 
so. It was along the latter that Custer retired with the 
flocks and herds and other movables he had taken from the 
doomed inhabitants of the burnt district. The broken and 
steep approaches to the crossings of the mountain streams 
afforded admirable positions of advantage for defense. 

About three o clock in the evening Rosser s pursuing 
column overtook the enemy at Mill Creek, the Laurels 
under Colonel Dnlany in the lead. On the opposite bank of 
this stream the Federals were discovered in force and 
strongly posted. Colonel Dulany was ordered to take a 
part of the Seventh and White s Battalion and cross at a 
lower ford. This he accomplished without molestation, 
but it quickly appeared that the flanking column was not 
unobserved. No sooner had it crossed than it was con 
fronted by a body of Federal horse which, though it had 
come too late to hold the ford, stood ready to block the way 
of the Confederates. 

Dulany at once ordered a charge. Capt. Dan Hatcher, 
commanding the First Squadron of the Seventh, led with 
his customary dash, and executed a movement that quite 
disconcerted the enemy. While advancing he adroitly 
turned to the left, then quickly wheeling to the right, struck 
the Federals on the half flank just as Dulany with the rest 
of his force charged full in front. The Federals taken by 
surprise, after a feeble resistance turned and fled up the 
creek, halting on a hill near their main body. Beyond them 
could be seen their wagon train and droves of sheep and 
cattle, a prize worth fighting for. 

White s Battalion, under Captain Myers, now charged 
the force on the hill, while Rosser, pressing forward his 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 303 

column, with the Eleventh and Twelfth regiments in front, 
burst across the ford and assaulted the main body. 

The Confederates, eager to get within sword range of the 
detested barn-burners, rode at them furiously. The Fed 
erals fought bravely, but could not withstand men who 
were seeking vengeance rather than victory. 

The fight that began at Mill Creek lasted until night, 
being renewed whenever the Federals attempted a rally, 
and the loss of the enemy was considerable. Darkness 
coming on, Rosser ceased to pursue, while Custer moved 
on. 

It was not until noon the next day that the Confederates 
again overtook the Federals, who, as before, fell back down 
the Back Road all the way to Toms Brook and across it. 
Rosser followed Custer more than twenty-five miles beyond 
New Market, where Early had halted his infantry. 

Beyond Toms Brook Custer doubled and attempted to 
get in Rosser s rear, having first moved off towards the 
turnpike. Rosser, already perilously far in Sheridan s rear, 
divined Custer s purpose, and turned back in time to pre 
vent its accomplishment. With a dashing sabre charge 
Custer s column was again driven off the Back Road, and the 
Confederates recrossed Toms Brook and went into camp. 

For two days the Confederates had been driving and 
chasing Custer s detested barn-burners. The Laurels, 
blinded with rage at the sight of their ruined homes, had 
struck with savage fury. Impelled by a sense of personal 
injury, they had dashed on counting no odds and taking all 
risks. Custer s men had repeatedly quailed before their 
onset, and seemed to severely avoid an encounter with the 
men whose families had suffered so much at their hands. 



304 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

But now that bloody punishment had been inflicted upon 
the enemy, though a sense of superiority remained, the pas 
sion for revenge, somewhat satiated, began to cool; and 
when the Laurels first began to retrace their steps, they 
found occasion for sober thought. That night, when 
gathered around their camp-fires on the high ground south 
of Toms Brook, they could not avoid thinking of their situ 
ation. All knew the country well, and were not ignorant 
of the fact that Early with his infantry was twenty-five 
miles away to the rear, while Sheridan s whole army was 
camped near by. 

The numerous camp-fires of the Federal cavalry indi 
cated, without much if any exaggeration, the greatly 
superior strength of Sheridan s mounted force. 

Says Pond in his "Shenandoah Valley in 1864" : 

"The assurance with which Rosser challenged Custer all the 
way down from Harrisonburg, showed that he had no concep 
tion of Sheridan s mounted strength, though his fatal zeal was 
probably due in part to the excitement of his men at seeing 
their barns and houses in flames ; for many of Early s cavalry 
men were from this region. Their eagerness to exact retribu 
tion brought upon them double mortification and suffering." 

Perhaps the Laurels did feel some pangs of remorse for 
the bloody retribution they had exacted. At all events they 
lay down that night with a sense of insecurity, which only 
yielded to a strong faith in the genius of their fearless 
commander. Rosser himself was not without misgivings. 
At one time he thought seriously of withdrawing during 
the night. Some of his officers tried to pursuade him to do 




CAPT. J. W. CARTER 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 305 

so; but regarding Early s orders as imperative, he deter 
mined to stay where he was, thinking that if pressed by an 
overwhelming force on the morrow, it would be quite easy 
to retire in good order before an enemy whom he had driven 
pell-mell for two days. 

At dawn on the morning of the Qth, the Federals were 
in the saddle and were observed to be moving into position 
along Toms Brook. 

In the fights of the two preceding days the greatly 
superior numbers of the enemy had either not been noticed 
or were disregarded. Now, as squadron after squadron de 
ployed in full view, the inequality of the contest was mani 
fest. Rosser had all told less than 2,000 men, probably not 
more than 1,500, while opposed to him were at least 4,000 
Federals, freshly mounted and armed with the Spencer 
seven-shooter carbines, which were effective at over 1,000 
yards. 

Wickham s brigade, under Colonel Munford, held Ros- 
ser s left, resting its right on the Back Road. Near by on 
the right of this road were posted two pieces of Thomp 
son s Battery under Carter, supported by William Payne s 
small brigade of about 300 men. The right of Rossers 
line was held by the Laurel Brigade under Col. R. H. 
Dulany. The Seventh occupied the center of the brigade 
line, supporting the dismounted sharpshooters of the 
Eleventh. On its right was the Twelfth mounted in single 
battle line, with White s Battalion mounted on its left. 

The fighting began all along the front with little prelim 
inary demonstration. Sheridan had ordered General Tor- 
bert commanding Merrit s and Custer s divisions of cavalry, 
"to start out at daylight and whip the Rebel cavalry or get 



306 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

whipped himself." The command was imperative for the 
the Federal horse to assume the offensive, and it went to 
the work with promptness and activity. A heavy line of 
sharpshooters advanced, supported by numerous bodies of 
mounted men. Every opening disclosed moving masses of 
bluecoats, and soon they advanced, covering the hill slopes 
and blocking the roads with apparently countless squadrons. 

It needed but a glance at the oncoming foe to start Car 
ter s guns to action. The intervening woods at first partly 
obscured them from view, but at every flash of blue through 
the trees, Carter sent a shot of defiance. The enemy s guns, 
greatly superior in number and admirably posted, now 
challenged his attention, and the Federal horse, taking 
advantage of this diversion, in dense swarms moved steadily 
forward. The sharpshooters on both sides were busy, those 
of the enemy pressing on with confidence. 

On Dulany s front their audacity was severely punished 
by charges from the Twelfth and White s Battalion, which 
drove them back in confusion. Confident in numbers and 
heavily supported, they reformed and again advanced. 
Meantime they were getting near Carter s guns on Dulany s 
left. 

While their long and heavy battle line began to envelop 
Rosser s left flank, held by Wickham s brigade, Carter saw 
his danger and worked his guns with redoubled energy. 

From several directions mounted and dismounted bodies 
of the enemy were coming eager to seize the prize, while a 
superior number of Federal pieces, from positions of secur 
ity, sent bomb after bomb at the doomed battery. But 
Carter never flinched for a moment. Often before his won 
derful pluck, and the gallantry of his men, had saved the 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 307 

guns. Perhaps it could be done again, at least they thought 
it worth the effort, and their well-directed shots made the 
enemy waver. But Custer had gotten around Rosser s left 
flank, Wickham s brigade had withdrawn, and the Back 
Road near by, and to the left of Carter s position, was 
swarming with bluecoats. 

With a shout the Federal squadrons that had recoiled 
before Carter s fire renewed their efforts to take his guns, 
which continued to send grape and shrapnel into their 
ranks. It was a desperate chance, but the gallant Payne 
made a heroic effort to save the guns. Straight across the 
slope, with banner flying and sabres flashing, rode his men 
right at the crowding Federals, Payne and Rosser in the 
forefront. It was too late ; the enemy was among the guns, 
and Payne, almost surrounded, fell back. 

But the Laurels, under Dulany, were holding the enemy 
at bay. 

White s men, under Lieut. N. Dorsey, had met the onset 
of the bold Federals with a countercharge. The Eleventh 
dismounted as sharpshooters, presented a steady front, 
while the mounted men of the Twelfth repulsed all efforts 
of the enemy to advance upon them. At this juncture Col 
onel Dulany was wounded and had to leave the field, but 
the Laurels were still facing and threatening the enemy. 
After the artillery on the left had been taken, and the enemy 
in pursuit of Munford s brigade were far past their front 
and towards the rear, nothing remained for Rosser but to 
retire, which he did after covering the dismounted men 
until they had gained their horses. 

About this time Captain Emmet, a gallant officer of Ros 
ser s staff, was seriously wounded. 



308 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Custer pushed his advantage vigorously, and was only 
prevented from producing a panic by Rosser s coolness in 
handling his rear guard, which, by dashing charges, repelled 
the most aggressive of the enemy s advance squadrons. 

About two miles from Toms Brook Rosser attempted to 
make a stand and retrieve his fortune, but the numbers and 
activity of the Federals forced him back in some confusion, 
and he withdrew his division as far as Columbia Furnace. 

In this fight, the greatest loss the Laurels suffered was 
the two guns of Thompson s Battery, and it was a source 
of great regret and some mortification to them. Although 
they were not to blame, they chafed greatly under the dis 
aster and were anxious for revenge, while Rosser was still 
more eager for an opportunity to get even with Custer. 

With this end in view he had his scouts watching Cus- 
ter s division and making daily reports of his camping- 
ground. He was waiting for a chance of finding him 
bivoucking away from Sheridan s infantry. 

At last it seemed as if the longed-for occasion had arrived. 
Custer was reported to have gone into camp near Old 
Forge, a point several miles distant from Sheridan s main 
body, and easily approached without discovery by a column 
moving along the blind roads at the foot of North Moun 
tain. 

Rosser, after obtaining Early s consent, took 500 picked 
men from his cavalry, and mounting Grimes brigade of 
infantry behind them, started out after dark to "bag Cus 
ter." It was on the night of the ifth of October, eight days 
after Toms Brook. 

No moon was shining, and the light of the stars was 
dimmed by fleecy clouds that floated across the sky. The 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 309 

column seemed to move with muffled tread over the stony 
road, that wound with snakelike curves around the spurs of 
North Mountain. Upon reaching the place where it was 
necessary to turn to the right and cross the low ground 
towards the enemy s rear, a halt was made. Here Rosser 
had arranged for a trusty scout to meet him and make 
further report of Custer s position. The scout was near by, 
but did not make himself known, for some reason he mis 
took the Confederates for Federals, and remained concealed 
in the bushes by the roadside. This was a disappointment. 
Rosser moved on cautiously. Upon coming near what was 
supposed to be Custer s camp, the Confederate force was 
divided in order that the assault might be made from two 
directions. When everything was ready, at a given signal, 
both divisions of the force went forward with a rush, to 
find Custer gone and nothing but a small picket left in his 
old camp. This was captured by the force under Rosser, 
but owing to the darkness, some of the men in the other 
column, under Colonel Funsten, ignorant of the state of 
affairs, mistook Rosser s column for the enemy, and a brisk 
skirmish between them for a short space ensued. A plucky 
bugler of the Eleventh, noticing the hesitating manner of 
the men on his side, increased the difficulty by blowing a 
vociferous charge, for he drowned the voices of the officers 
commanding the fire to cease. At last, after several were 
wounded, quiet reigned and the command soon set out for 
camp. 

On the return the column passed several bluffs from 
which the outposts of the enemy fired down upon the tired 
and disappointed raiders. 



310 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

This bold attempt of Rosser to capture Custer by a night 
attack, convinced the Federals that the spirit of the Con 
federate horse had recovered from the defeat at Toms 
Brook. The effect, however, as the sequel showed, was a 
bad one for the Confederates, for it put the enemy on the 
alert; and when, two days after, Rosser advanced with 
Early across Cedar Creek, the cavalry on Sheridan s 
right flank was the only part of Sheridan s army that was 
not surprised. 

On the memorable iQth, the day that opened with so 
much promise and closed with so much disaster for the 
Confederates, Rosser with Wickham s and his own brigade 
crossed Cedar Creek before daylight, and attacked the 
enemy s cavalry; Colonel Funsten commanding the Lau 
rels, and Colonel Owen of the Third Virginia Cavalry, com 
manding Wickham s brigade, which \vas dismounted. The 
enemy was in heavy force and fully prepared. Still the 
vigorous advance of Rosser alarmed the Federal chief of 
cavalry. "Torbert s first effort was to check Rosser, who 
appeared on the Back Road and attacked Custer." 1 After 
some hard fighting, mainly done by Owen s dismounted 
men, Rosser steadily advanced, driving the enemy, who 
left his camps, killed, and wounded in our hands. 

Early s successful attack had routed Sheridan s infantry, 
and Rosser pressed forward on his left until the foot sol 
diers of the enemy could be plainly seen flying in great con 
fusion down the Valley turnpike towards New Town. In 
sight of their broken columns Rosser halted, for in front of 
him was a greatly superior force of Federal cavalry. 



iPond s "Shenandoah Valley," page 23. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 311 

For several hours there was now a profound lull all along 
the battle front, and many wondered what it meant. 

The brigade with the rest of the division halted massed 
in squadrons, some in the timber and some in the fields in 
low valleys. Not a few of the men got off their horses and, 
exhausted by the morning s work, fell asleep. 

In the meantime the Federals were not idle. The com 
plete rout of their left called for reinforcements there. 
Torbert moved the greater part of his cavalry force thither, 
leaving only a few regiments in front of Rosser. 

This transfer was, however, unperceived by Early as 
well as Rosser, and both remained under the conviction that 
all day long there was an overwhelming force of cavalry in 
Rosser s front. 

About three o clock, the ominous stillness was broken 
by rapid artillery firing near Rosser s front, where Colonel 
Funsten with the brigade was resting in careless security. 
The enemy seemed to be advancing with great confidence. 
The bombs from their guns fell among Funsten s squad 
rons, and were the first intimation of their nearness in 
force. 

Of course great confusion ensued, and there was mount 
ing in hot haste. Rosser assuming that Custer s whole 
force was moving down upon him, ordered his two brigades 
to fall back. Colonel Funsten was doing his best to retire 
in order, but the shrieking bombs were bursting in his half- 
formed column, and a number of the men broke ranks. 
Besides a heavy column of the enemy was close at hand, 
who, at the sight of disorder among the Confederates, 
were encouraged to come on at a charge. 



312 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Maj. E. H. McDonald, commanding the Eleventh, fear 
ing a panic might ensue, hastily formed about fifty men of 
the Eleventh in battle line and, without waiting to receive 
the onset of the Federals, advanced to meet them, obliquing 
first to the right so as to take them in flank. 

It looked as if this small Confederate band was inviting 
destruction. Behind them was the division falling back, 
before them a force of the enemy ten times their number, 
actually encouraging them with shouts to come on, so con 
fident were they of capturing them. 

But the Federals themselves were in some confusion, a 
few of the bravest far in advance. As McDonald s men 
came on in battle line they presented a steady front, 
increasing their speed when they saw the foremost Federals 
begin to hesitate. For when the latter stopped, for the 
rear of their column to close up, the whole column stopped ; 
the men of the Eleventh now pressing on with shouts, the 
Federals turned and fled and were chased back over the 
hill upon which was planted their artillery. 

Rosser now withdrew the greater part of his division 
across Cedar Creek, and when, later in the evening, 
Sheridan, heavily reinforced, routed Early s infantry, 
Rosser held the Back Road against Custer s cavalry. 

After dark Colonel Funsten was ordered to hold the 
infantry trenches at Fisher s Hill. Here the brigade spent 
the night, and in the morning marched out and formed the 
rear guard of Early s retreating army. 

Everything now looked extremely blue, and the cavalry 
were jaded for lack of rest and loss of sleep. 

The enemy, content with his great victory, made but a 
feeble pursuit. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 313 

At Edenburg his advance column first appeared. Here 
it halted and. after exchanging a few shots, turned back. 

About three miles beyond Edenburg the brigade went 
into camp, and for three weeks afterwards formed a part 
of Early s cavalry line on Stony Creek. 

In spite of heavy disaster, the indomitable Early began 
to reorganize his beaten army with renewed hope and 
energy. A more rigid discipline was enforced, among the 
cavalry at least, and there were now frequent reviews and 
inspections. 

On November the gth, orders were issued to the brigade 
to be ready to march next morning at daylight, with corn 
for horses and three days rations. Sheridan, it seemed, 
\vas falling back and Early was about to follow him. On 
the loth the brigade moved down the Back Road. On the 
nth Rosser, leaving the Eleventh Regiment at Cedar 
Creek, marched with the rest of his command towards New 
Town. Near this place, encountering a force of Federal 
cavalry, he charged and drove it as far as the Opequon, 
where a large force of Federal infantry \vas posted. After 
a brisk skirmish he withdrew, encamping out of range of 
the enemy s guns. 

The Eleventh Regiment, under Maj. E. H. McDonald, 
left a squadron on picket at Snyder s Church. About nine 
o clock on the morning of the I2th this squadron was driven 
in, but the rest of the regiment arrived in time to check the 
Federals at the ford. 

Being ordered to advance down the Back Road, the 
Eleventh was just on the point of starting, when a strong 
column of Custer s command came in view, moving up the 
road with confidence. 



314 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

A sharp fight ensued. The high bank on the south side 
of Cedar Creek furnishing vantage-ground, the Eleventh 
held the Federals at bay until the Twelfth and Seventh, 
coming up from the direction of Middle Town, attacked 
the enemy vigorously on the flank. After a stubborn resist 
ance the Federals gave way, and were followed for several 
miles by the victorious Confederates. 

The Seventh and Twelfth were now withdrawn, and 
joined Rosser with the rest of his division on the Middle 
Road, where a formidable body of Federal cavalry was 
threatening an advance. The Eleventh only was left on 
the Back Road, Rosser supposing that the main body of the 
enemy was on the Middle Road, where they appeared in 
great strength, and threatened to overwhelm him with 
superior numbers. 

1 In the Toms Brook fight, Rosser had to contend with 
Custer s large division and one of Merrit s brigades, but on 
the 1 2th of November both of these divisions confronted 
him, each nearly double his own. 

Between Rosser and the Back Road, was a wooded ridge 
not easily crossed by cavalry. Beyond it was a fair valley, 
through the middle of which ran the Back Road, flanked 
on either side with small, well-cultivated farms; each house 
amid a cluster of trees, with garden and orchard attached. 

While Rosser with his whole division except the Elev 
enth remained, observing the heavy force in his front, Cus- 
ter with his full division advanced up the Back Road. 
There was nothing to intercept him but the Eleventh, under 
Maj. E. H. McDonald, which met him about a half a mile in 
advance of Rosser s left. Hastily disposing his small regi 
ment into four squadrons, Major McDonald prepared to do 



A HISTORY OB^ THE LAUREL BRIGADE 315 

the best he could against a superior force, by deploying two 
companies as skirmishers on his flanks, holding the others, 
formed into three squadrons, across the road. 

Custer moved forward with great confidence. To the 
thin array of Confederate skirmishers he opposed almost 
a battle line. His numerous squadrons, arranged in eche 
lon, extended entirely across the valley, while the road was 
crowded with his main column. 

The rattling fire of the skirmishers began; the volleys of 
the Federals answered by the scattering but well-aimed 
shots of the Confederates. 

The Federals pressed forward, but the Confederates, tak 
ing advantage of the trees and outhouses, held their ground 
with persistent valor. 

Custer s main column now moved forward, the foremost 
squadrons advancing at a charge. They were met by the 
Second Squadron of the Eleventh, under Captain Dough 
erty. For a brief space the weight of the heavy column and 
the vigor of the assault seemed resistless. The Confed 
erates were borne back, and some had turned to retreat, 
but the gallant Dougherty recalled them to duty. They 
now wheeled and turned upon the foe. At their fierce 
onslaught the Federals gave way. Soon Dougherty was 
wounded and his men faltered. The Federals, seeing their 
hesitation, again pressed forward, and the First Squadron 
was broken and pursued. But the victory was not yet 
gained. The brave skirmishers on the flanks were still 
against great odds, keeping back the enemy. As the Fed 
erals galloped forward McDonald hurled at them the First 
Squadron, commanded by Capt. Foxhall Dangerfield. It was 
composed of two veteran companies from Bath county, men 



3i 6 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

accustomed to victory. Mounted on good horses, these 
strong-armed and martial sons of the mountains, dashed 
like a thunderbolt at the head of the pursuing column. The 
bluecoats recoiled before this furious onset, and in spite of 
the efforts of their brave officers, began to give ground. 
The Bath men pressed on, dealing deadly blows until the 
enemy, turning, fled in disorder, carrying along the fresh 
squadrons sent to their aid. For several hundred yards the 
Federals were followed. Such was the fury of the assault, 
that it seemed as if Custer s whole division was about to fall 
back. The main body in the road appeared staggered and 
vacillating, while from the squadrons on the flank many 
men broke ranks, and were beaten back into line by the 
sergeants with their swords. But it was now evident to 
Custer how small was the force opposed to his division. 
Fresh squadrons were put to the front, the broken ones 
reformed, and the whole division moved forward. The 
Bath men were pushed back, and though the Third Squad 
ron came to their aid, it too was driven, and the Eleventh 
fell back in disorder. 

In the meantime, Rosser had sent the rest of the brigade, 
the Twelfth and Seventh, under Funsten, to McDonald s 
help. They reached the field just as Custer had forced the 
Eleventh into a hasty retreat. But in passing over the 
ridge along a blind road crossed by deep gutters, the col 
umn broke into single file, at points, and reached the field 
in bad shape. Custer was already beyond Rosser s left, and 
they had to make a circuit to get around the enemy and pass 
to his front. Had Funsten moved directly against their 
left flank the result might have been different. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 317 

Pennington s whole brigade was now advancing, flushed 
with success. The gallant Col. Thomas Marshall, ever 
ready to lead a forlorn hope, at the head of the Seventh, 
now much scattered, was the first to give aid. With the 
part of the Seventh that had gotten up he charged the 
Federals and checked them for a moment. It was like 
breasting the rush of waters ; the waves rolled around him, 
and Marshall with a few men at his side was almost sur 
rounded. To avoid capture he turned and, after going a 
few yards, was mortally wounded, amid confusion, much 
increased by the fall of their colonel. None was more 
beloved for his virtues; surely his fall was a heavy blow. 

Colonel Funsten withdrew across Cedar Creek and 
attempted to hold the ford. The stand made here was suc 
cessful, until portions of the Federal force, crossing below 
and above the ford, attacked both flank and rear. 

While the fight at the Creek was still going on and the 
enemy was trying to force his way across, Rosser, leaving 
General Payne to watch the enemy on his front, attacked 
Pennington s flank and rear with Wickham s brigade. It 
was commanded by Col. William Morgan, who put his reg 
iments into the fight with so much promptness and decision, 
that Pennington s rear column was soon driven in towards 
the main body, which was now forcing its way across Cedar 
Creek, and pushing the Laurels in front of it. As some of 
Morgan s squadrons swept through the fields and woods 
towards the Back Road, they fell in with small parties of 
Federals either skulking or lost, and took many prisoners. 

Rosser himself, while galloping through the bushes, came 
suddenly upon a tall Federal major, who seemed to rise up 
out of the earth. Hardly had the Federal given up his 



3i 8 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

arms, when a shout near by disclosed the fact, that six or 
seven bluecoats were coming with lifted sabres to the rescue 
of the prisoner. They were already unpleasantly near when 
up rode a body of Morgan s men, until then concealed by a 
clump of trees, and captured the would-be rescuers. 

Custer s men, pushed by Morgan s brigade, had crossed 
Cedar Creek, and from the high ground there were keeping 
off the Confederates. 

But a few minutes before, the Laurels had abandoned the 
position, owing to the enemy s having crossed below the 
ford and gotten in their rear. Now the Federals must hold 
it, to protect Pennington s rear while he was pursuing the 
Laurels. 

The Fourth Virginia, under Colonel Owen, attempted 
with great gallantry to carry the position. From the high 
bank on the other side the Federals delivered a galling fire, 
but the Fourth pushed bravely on. Twice at the ford they 
hesitated under the volleys that came from the enemy 
securely posted. Once more with loud cheers they rushed 
forward. The ford was passed and they galloped up the 
hill, and drove the Federals in wild rout before them. 

Retreating rapidly up the Back Road, Custer s beaten 
vanguard rejoined his division. It was now nearly dark, 
and both sides were exhausted. Custer, gathering up his 
command, made off to the right, and by a mountain road 
returned to Sheridan. 

This fight was counted by the Federals among Custer s 
victories, because he drove the Laurels back upon the Back 
Road. If the punishment inflicted by Wickham s brigade 
upon Custer be considered, honors were about even. The 
loss of the Confederates in this affair was trifling in num- 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 319 

bers, but in the death of Colonel Marshall there was a 
heavy loss not to be expressed in mere numerals. He was 
one of those rare men, nature s noblemen, who, on account 
of extreme modesty, seldom shine in time of peace; but 
when forced into action by a sense of duty, as in time of 
war, attain often to enviable distinction. In him there was 
so much goodness blended with aggressiveness and high 
ability, that he could have shone in any sphere of action. 
But as a soldier only was he known to the men of the bri 
gade, and by common consent he was recognized as the 
knight without fear and without reproach. Endowed by 
nature with all the qualities that excite the love and com 
mand the admiration of our race, he yet added to these the 
graces of meekness and Christian charity. Deeply religious, 
he exemplified the highest type of the Christian soldier. He 
suffered without murmering; while in word and deed he 
helped others to bear the hardness of their lot. Whether 
in camp or field it was his happiness to "go about doing 
good." To his men, though firm, he was tender and con 
siderate, and they repaid him with an affection that had 
grown with the lapse of time. His absorbing desire was to 
follow duty s path, and even if he wandered from that 
straight and narrow way, it was on honor s side, so full of 
martial spirit was his generous and noble nature. 

After the fight at Brent s house the brigade went into 
camp at Fisher s Hill, and on the 2Oth they moved to Tim- 
berville. 

Early had again fallen back, for which he assigned the 
following reasons : 

"Discovering that the enemy continued to fortify his posi 
tion and showed no disposition to come out of his lines with 



^20 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

his infantry, and not being willing to attack him in his 
entrenchments after the reverses I had met with, I determined 
to retire, as we were then beyond the reach of supplies." 2 

In spite of Early s many disasters Sheridan, though 
greatly outnumbering him, was still afraid of the audacious 
Confederate leader. No defeat could break his spirit, and 
calamity but strengthened his resolution to maintain with 
desperate valor the unequal struggle. 

About the 2Oth of November, Early s force was much 
diminished by the departure of Kershaw s division for Lee s 
army, and Crosby s brigade of cavalry to Breckenridge ; 
but Sheridan still insisted upon keeping the Sixth Corps of 
Infantry with him. 3 The doughty conqueror of the Valley 
must, forsooth, still have the odds of nearly three to one in 
his favor, before daring again to face his oft-beaten oppo 
nent. 



2 Early s Memoirs, page 116. 

3 Pond s "Shenandoah Valley," page 247. 




LIEUT.-COL. THOMAS MARSHALL 



CHAPTER XII 

November, 1864 

Difficulty of supplying subsistence for Early s army Plenty beyond 
the mountains westward Rosser starts out for New Creek with 
the Laurels and Payne s brigade New Creek a Federal strong 
hold Rosser joined by McNeil s Partisan Rangers McNeil 
defeats Federals at Parsons Ford Some unexpected happenings 
A council of war Rosser decides The surprise A successful 
ruse Capture of New Creek Homeward bound with captures, 
flocks, and herds Brigade camps near Timberville Moves to 
near Swopes Depot Custer with large cavalry force threatens 
Staunton Rosser and Payne make night attack on Custer s camp 
Back to old camp at Swopes Depot Lack of forage Companies 
detached in order to subsist Beverly. 

j 
Small as Early s army was, the difficulty of supplying it 

with food and forage was a serious one, so complete had 
been the devastation made by the Federals. 

Though there was little left for man or beast in the Val 
ley below Staunton, it was well known that there was an 
abundance beyond the North Mountain, especially in the 
fertile valley of the South Branch of the Potomac. 

On the 26th of November Rosser, with Early s consent, 
set out for this land of milk and honey. He had with him 
his own and Payne s brigade and a few of the choice spirits 
of the cavalry and artillery left behind, among whom were 
Capt. James Thompson, Maj. Robert Mason, Lieut. Charles 
Menegrode, and Maj. James Breathed. 

While the open purpose of the expedition was to secure 
supplies, Rosser intended to try the capture of New Creek. 
The place is now called Keyser. It is the county-seat of 



322 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Mineral county, West Virginia, and is romantically situated 
at the foot of the Alleghanies, on the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad, about twenty-two miles west of Cumberland, 
Maryland. 

It is now a growing town of 2,000 inhabitants, and is 
remarkable for the neatness of its appearance, the number 
of its cosy dwellings, and the picturesque beauty of its land 
scape. Forty years ago the scene was quite different. Then 
it was a mere railroad station, with a few houses in the 
vicinity. But it was regarded as a military point of great 
importance by the Federals. Two forts on commanding 
hills overlooking the depot were erected, one of them 
manned with heavy ordnance. A garrison varying from 
800 to 1,500 men held the place and guarded immense 
stores of food, forage, and ammunition placed there for the 
convenience of troops stationed in the counties of Hardy 
and Hampshire. With mountains on three sides, and its 
natural strength being increased by military art, it was a 
most formidable stronghold of which to contemplate the 
capture with cavalry. 

Its large garrison, and the facility with which reinforce 
ments could be poured into it from Maryland, demanded 
the greatest secrecy in any movement against it. If warn 
ing was given, its frowning castles could laugh a siege to 
scorn, and with their guns sweep out of existence all 
attacking columns. The position was deemed impregnable. 
A much greater force than Rosser s under General McCaus- 
land had previously failed to take it. Fitz Lee not long 
before had gotten within eight miles of it, and turned back 
discouraged after learning the character of its defenses. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 323 

Rosser had been watching for an opportunity to try his 
fortune upon it. Some time before, as a preparatory step, 
he had sent two reliable scouts, John T. Pearce and James 
L. Williams, to spy out the land and bring him a map of 
the fortifications. Their reports encouraged the hope that 
a bold dash might succeed ; and when he marched across 
the mountains, his plans were already matured. Notwith 
standing its strong defenses were rather formidable, the 
place was thought of by Rosser as an object of attack for 
he had planned a surprise. 

Moving through Brock s Gap the column reached the 
vicinity of Moorefield about noon on the 27th. Halting 
his command at the fork, Rosser with a small force went 
ahead to Moorefield. Shortly after reaching there, he 
learned that a body of Federals with one piece of artillery 
was at Old Fields. With about seventy-five men taken 
from Captain McNeil s command of partisan rangers and 
from Company F of Seventh Virginia Cavalry, he moved 
in the direction of the enemy and soon encountered him 
at Parsons Ford. 

Captain McNeil with his detachment w r as sent to pass 
around the enemy s flank and cut off his retreat through 
Reynolds Gap. The movement was soon discovered by 
Lieutenant-Colonel Fleming, the Federal commander, and 
resisted. Before the rest of Rosser s men had gotten up, 
McNeil had beaten the enemy, capturing his piece of artil 
lery and twenty men, and chasing the fugitives through 
Reynolds Gap. Fleming had under him in the fight, 
according to his own official report, 120 men. Those who 
escaped from McNeil rode straight for New Creek. The 
affair occurred about six o clock P. M., and by quarter past 



324 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

nine P. M. Colonel Latham, commanding at New Creek, 
twenty-one miles distant, had learned of Fleming s defeat. 
He at once telegraphed to General Kelly at Cumberland the 
result of the skirmish. The latter replied, "Put your post 
in the best possible position for defense, as it is probable 
that the Rebels will attack you." To this Colonel Latham 
responded, "I am prepared for them." 

To explain the situation it is necessary to state that an 
other scouting party of Federals, under Maj. P. J. Potts, 
had been sent from New Creek on the 26th of November. 
On the evening of the 27th, the same day of Rosser s arrival 
at Moorefield, it camped a few miles north of the town. 
The next morning Major Potts, learning of the near pres 
ence of the Confederates, made off by a mountain path, and 
after wandering through the mountains, reached New 
Creek the day after its fall. It does not appear that Rosser 
was aware of the existence of this scouting party, but the 
sequel shows that its absence from New Creek had much to 
do with his successful surprise of the garrison. 

The unlooked-for meeting with Fleming s detachment 
at Old Fields was discouraging. It was highly probable 
that before sunrise the enemy at New Creek would be 
informed of Rosser s arrival at Moorefield, and would make 
preparations to receive him. Instead, however, of chang 
ing Rosser s plans, these unexpected events only made him 
act with more celerity. He determined to march at once 
against the enemy. Possibly he might reach New Creek 
before the fugitives; at any rate he would go forward and 
see what fortune awaited him. 

Moving his command from Moorefield after dark, he 
proceeded by way of the Alleghany and Moorefield turnpike 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 325 

to the head of Patterson s Creek. There he followed the 
road leading down the creek to the northwestern turnpike. 
When within a mile of Burlington, situated at the junction 
of the road upon which he was marching and the north 
western turnpike, he turned to the left. He had now 7 to fol 
low, at times, little more than a bridle-path, which led up 
Mike s Run to a point on the northwestern turnpike five 
miles west of Burlington and near Harrison s Gap in the 
Knobley Mountain. Thus far he had missed all scouting 
parties, and was within six miles of New Creek station. 
Here the seriousness of Rosser s design was apparent to 
all. The men had been marching all night and were 
exhausted. The sun was just rising, gilding with its beams 
the lofty peaks of the Alleghanies. The column w r as still in 
the woods ; in sight was the turnpike along which at any 
moment a Federal scouting party might pass. 

A council of war was held. The question was, Had not 
some of Colonel Fleming s fugitives already reached New 
Creek and put the Federals on their guard? Such was the 
opinion of not a few, and Rosser \vas urged to go back. 
Captain Pearce, the scout, reasoned that, without doubt 
some of the escaped Federals had given warning of Ros 
ser s being in the neighborhood, but that information, in 
his opinion, would only make the Federals more careless, 
for they would think Rosser would not dare to approach 
the fort, knowing as he must, that they were informed of 
his being near at hand. This view struck Rosser as a sen 
sible one, and offering as it did a fighting chance of captur 
ing a famous stronghold, quickly obtained his approval. 

Genl. W. H. Payne, the second in command, always ready 
to adopt a bold line of action, was of the same opinion. The 



326 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

result of the short talk was, that the column very soon 
moved forward across the turnpike towards New Creek, 
taking a near cut to the New Creek turnpike. 

General Payne with his brigade, consisting of the Fifth, 
Sixth, and Eighth regiments of Virginia cavalry, took the 
front, the Sixth Regiment being in the lead. The Eleventh 
Regiment, under Maj. E. H. McDonald, was sent by 
another road leading down Limestone Branch, and ap 
proaching the station from the east. Traveling down it 
Major McDonald was to strike the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad a half mile east of the station, and after cutting 
the telegraph wire, advance and unite with the main body 
in the attack on the forts. 

The main body had gone but a short distance, when an 
accident suggested the means of success. From a conver 
sation with a wayside resident, it was discovered that a 
body of Federal horse had left New Creek on a reconnois- 
sance, and that their return was hourly expected. It was 
resolved to make the most of this discovery. In order to 
mask his approach and deceive the Federal pickets, General 
Payne put twenty men in blue overcoats in advance under 
Captain Fitzhugh. They were instructed to go at a walk 
and, when in sight of the enemy s pickets, to approach them 
quietly after the manner of friends. These orders were 
executed with great coolness and admirable judgment by 
Captain Fitzhugh. 

In a short time the New Creek turnpike was reached at 
a point about four miles from the station. Thence the road 
led along the bank of the creek, which with very slight 
meanderings washes the western base of Abraham s Ridge. 
The road was almost a dead level and nearly straight. On 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 327 

the right, the woody banks of the stream served partly to 
conceal the column; but it was the blue overcoats of the 
men in front, and the shrewdness of Captain Fitzhugh, 
that served most to disarm and assure the success of the 
movement. 

The Union people, living near the line of march, came 
out of their houses to watch the column pass, supposing 
from the uniform of the advance that it was a body of 
Federal soldiers, and when the appearance of the main 
body in grey revealed the truth, it was too late for any of 
them to get away and give the alarm. Citizens, riding or 
driving out, and even a small scouting party of Federal 
horsemen, met the vanguard in the road, and passing it 
with friendly salutations, rode into the grey column behind 
and were "taken care of." 

The same gait of careless assurance, enabled Captain 
Fitzhugh to ride up to the Federal pickets and capture them 
without the firing of a gun or of making any loud demon 
stration. When within a half mile of the town, it was 
necessary to lay aside the mask and make a dash at the 
enemy. A part of the command, with the Sixth in front, 
turned out of the turnpike to the left, and galloped up the 
hill upon the summit of which was the fort. Its big guns 
frowned savagely upon the grey horsemen, and though the 
gunners were away in the town, the sentinels standing by 
them being plainly seen gave the impression to many that 
the cannon were about to be fired. A minute s delay and all 
would have been lost. Steadily the column moved on, 
Payne and Rosser near the front. When close to the para 
pet, the Federal sentinels presented arms in token of sur 
render, and Payne, taking off his hat, shouted, "Three 



328 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

cheers for the gallant Sixth !" This was given with a will, 
for already, in the plain below to the right of the garrison, 
the enemy was seen running in great confusion towards the 
Potomac. 

When Payne with his column turned out of the road to 
assail the fort, Rosser ordered another part of his command 
to move quickly down the road and take Church Hill, upon 
which was posted Mulligan s Battery of field pieces. For 
tunately, a projecting bluff concealed them from observa 
tion until within a short distance of the station. Rounding 
the bluff, the Fifth suddenly appeared, and turning to the 
left charged up Church Hill, upon the top of which was the 
Federal battery. Here there was a momentary show of re 
sistance. Some of the gunners had made out to load one 
piece. As the cavalry approached at a gallop the artillery 
men fled, but a Federal lieutenant bravely seized the lan 
yard, and was about to fire, when Maj. James Breathed, of 
Stuart s horse artillery, cut him down with his sabre. The 
whole assault had been so sudden and unexpected that the 
garrison, though numbering more than 1,000 men of all 
arms, made no effort to recover from the panic that had 
seized them, but fled en masse towards the river. Most of 
the fugitives were captured, but some succeeded in crossing 
the river, and from the other side opened fire upon their 
pursuers. 

The number of prisoners taken was about 800, and about 
400 horses. A great quantity of forage, grain, and ordnance 
stores was burned. The guns on Fort Hill were spiked, 
and the four pieces of Mulligan s battery were carried off. 
The victory was almost a bloodless one. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 329 

Rosser, not content with his rich capture, now sent Maj. 
E. H. McDonald with the Eleventh Regiment to Pied 
mont to destroy the machine shops of the Baltimore and 
Ohio Railroad located there. 

The place is about five miles west of New Creek station, 
and at that time was guarded by a small force of infantry. 
The road leading to it from New Creek followed the course 
of the railroad, and near the edge of the town passed 
through the mountain gorge made by the North Branch of 
the Potomac. 

With a river on one side and a rocky and steep mountain 
on the other, the pass is easy to defend against a superior 
force by a small and resolute body. The news of the taking 
of New Creek had already reached Piedmont, and when 
Major McDonald got near the town, he found Federal 
infantry strongly posted in the gorge and ready to receive 
him. 

Dismounting some of his men he engaged the enemy, and 
after a sharp fight, in which he lost two men killed 
and several wounded, he drove the enemy from cover, and 
pursued him with his mounted squadrons through the town 
to the Maryland side of the river. 

Turning his attention now to the engines and shops, he 
burnt many of them, though his men were exposed to a 
galling fire from the Federals posted on the neighboring 
hills across the river. 

After the work of destruction was finished, the Eleventh 
withdrew by a road through the mountains. They camped 
on the Alleghanies that evening, and learned in the morn 
ing that the Federal scouting party under command of 
Major Potts had passed near them during the night. 



330 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Rosser, after sending on in advance his prisoners, and 
many of the captured stores in wagons, without much tar 
rying turned his face homeward. Feeling sure that an 
effort would be made to intercept him on his return, he 
sent one regiment forward to hold the narrow pass between 
Petersburg and Moorefield, and went back by way of 
Petersburg, and not by Moorefield, as he had come. The 
regiment sent on to seize the pass between Petersburg and 
Moorefield, got there before the pursuing column of Fed 
erals, and Rosser was thus enabled to move on with his 
captures at a more leisurely gait, and free from molesta 
tion. His foraging parties had with great activity taken 
advantage of the march upon New Creek to gather up cat 
tle and sheep, and Rosser went homeward taking with him 
a goodly quantity of these, to the relief and joy of Early s 
army in the Valley. While the capture of New Creek 
with its strong garrison was a ray of sunshine mid the gen 
eral gloom caused by Early s repeated disasters, yet the 
tidings of victory were not received with near as much 
pleasure as was the arrival of the flocks and herds. 

Upon their return the Laurels went into camp near Tim- 
berville, and for a few days enjoyed a rest much needed, 
with the exception of the necessary picket duty. 

Very soon forage was not to be had. The cattle and sheep 
brought by the raiders supplied for a short time the wants 
of the men, but grain and long food had disappeared almost 
as completely as the pastures which the hard frosts had 
killed. Some of the horses died in camp from the effect of 
starvation. 1 



1 Sherrard s Diary. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 331 

On the 1 6th of December Early broke camp at New Mar 
ket and moved back to the vicinity of Staunton, so as to be 
near the Virginia Central Railroad. 

Rosser s brigade moved to the neighborhood of Swopes 
Depot, seven miles west of Staunton, some of the compa 
nies being left on picket in front of New Market. There 
seemed to be now some prospect of relief, from hard serv 
ice at least, though little from the miseries of want, cold 
and lack of warm clothing. The winter was severe, and to 
survive its rigors without sufficient clothing and food was 
an undertaking of some magnitude. Still the charms of 
repose were sweetened by thoughts of the recent victory, 
and the situation was not altogether without crumbs of 
comfort. 

But hope and fortitude would not feed and clothe the 
men, nor keep alive the horses, upon which the usefulness 
of cavalry so much depends. Day by day the brigade was 
diminishing in numbers. Many went home, by permission, 
after fresh horses; many took Trench leave," not as de 
serters, but for temporary absence without furlough. The 
remnant consoled themselves with the expectation of a short 
season of rest from their labors. It was soon discovered 
that Sheridan s 8,000 horsemen, splendidly equipped and 
armed, would give them little rest. 

On the 1 9th of December Custer s division, 3,000 strong, 
advanced from Winchester towards Staunton. Sheridan, 
spurred on by Grant, was making a grand raid on the Vir 
ginia Central Railroad. The main body, consisting of Mer- 
ritt s and Powell s divisions, crossed the Blue Ridge at 
Chester s Gap and marched towards Charlottesville. Cus- 



332 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

ter s part of the movement was to go to Staunton and 
occupy the attention of Early. 

On the 2Oth Early, learning through his signal corps of 
the Federal advance, with his usual pluck did what he could 
with the means at his command to foil the enemy. 

In the midst of a hailstorm he moved Wharton s division 
towards Harrisonburg, and Rosser was ordered to the 
front with all the cavalry he could collect. Taking what 
could be mounted of his own and Payne s brigades, Rosser 
pushed forward through mud and rain and about ten 
o clock P. M. went into camp below Harrisonburg. 

There was nothing at all for the horses. Even the 
rations of straw obtainable at Swopes Depot could not be 
gotten. 

After a halt of three hours the bugle called to saddle. 
Roused up at one o clock the weary troopers mounted their 
jaded, half-starved horses and, forming column, moved out 
to seek the enemy. 

Custer had gone into camp near Lacey s Springs, and if he 
remained undisturbed until daylight, his large and well- 
mounted division seemed likely to prove more than a match 
for Rosser s small force. There was nothing to do but to 
have it out before morning, and Rosser, ever anxious to 
meet Custer, started on a second expedition to surprise his 
camp. 

The road, muddy from recent rains, was rendered more 
so by additional showers; a cold wind blew and the rain 
froze as it fell. The hats and clothes of the troopers soon 
became stiff with ice; while the horses were enveloped in 
frosty garments; the small icicles hanging from their 
bodies rattling as they staggered along. The road soon 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 333 

became icy smooth, and the horses not being rough shod, 
traveled with much difficulty. 

Following the Middle Road the column struggled on. 
At Krotzer s Spring it turned to the right towards Lacey 
Spring. 2 

When near Custer s camp Rosser and Payne rode for 
ward to reconnoiter. They speedily came in view of the 
enemy s campfires which, stretching away to a considerable 
distance, showed that it was impossible with the small force 
of Confederates present to surprise more than a part of the 
Federal force. There was, however, no other alternative 
but to try the chance of battle. Upon returning to the col 
umn they found the troops shivering with the cold, but 
ready to do their best. "Plans were hastily made, and with 
out a yell or the sound of a bugle \ve swept down upon the 
half-sleeping foe like an avalanche." 3 

The camps first assailed were soon alive with fugitive 
Federals, but the report of the small arms roused the more 
distant sleepers, who hastily mounted and formed column. 

A short and sharp fight now occurred, in which the 
enemy, being worsted, slowly withdrew down the Valley. 
Rosser, after pursuing a short distance, turned his face 
homeward, rightly thinking it no small victory to have 
forced into retreat a body of Federal horse outnumbering 
his own nearly five to one. 

Custer had started to go to Staunton, but had failed to 
get within forty miles of it. Upon learning of Custer s 
discomfiture, Early moved Wharton s division back to 
Staunton. On the 23rd of December a portion of it was 



2 From Joseph Sherrard s Diary. 
3 Account by General Rosser. 



334 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

sent by rail to Charlottesville. The same day Rosser was 
ordered to the same point. An all-night march through 
Rock Fish Gap brought him in its vicinity. Here he 
learned that the Federals had gone back, and after a day s 
halt the column moved for their old camp at Swopes Depot, 
where they arrived on the 26th of December. 

Shortly after Christmas winter set in cold and stormy. 
The great activity, necessitated by the aggressiveness of an 
overwhelming, mounted Federal force, had more and more 
thinned the ranks of the cavalry. 

There was hardly enough of forage to keep the horses 
from starving, while the men were in miserable quarters 
and on short rations. Many whole companies were per 
mitted to go home and recruit. 

On the 3rd of January the First Squadron of the Elev 
enth Regiment went off on leave to McDowell, the Second 
Squadron to Lost River. White s Battalion had already 
gone, January ist, to their native counties east of the Blue 
Ridge. Similar leaves were granted to many of the Seventh 
and Twelfth regiments. So that, by the middle of January, 
there was but a portion of the brigade left at Swopes Depot, 
and this was suffering greatly for the means of subsistence. 
Rosser, who was still in command of Fitz Lee s division, 
began to cast about for some sort of relief. The country 
around him was almost famine-stricken. The people had 
been drained of their substance to support the soldiery. 
The Government could do little. It was straining every 
nerve to maintain Lee s veterans who, in spite of cold, 
hunger, and constant assaults of Grant s multitudes, formed 
a wall of defense for the Confederate Capital. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 335 

It was impossible to submit quietly to an environment 
that threatened to disband his command. As no help was 
to be expected from others, Rosser must strike a blow for 
himself. There was much to discourage any thought of 
campaigning in such a winter. His men were few, half- 
clothed and badly mounted ; besides despondency was in the 
air. 

It was plain, indeed, to the thoughtful that the sun of the 
Confederacy was near its setting, but to the brave hearts 
that defied fortune, it seemed only under a passing cloud. 
At the opening of spring, they thought, the gloom would 
vanish and victory once more perch upon the banner of 
Lee. 

If the darkening prospect led many to despond and to 
falter in devotion to the cause of their adoption, in the more 
dauntless spirits it only awakened heroic constancy, and 
spurred them on to more daring achievements. 

While seeking an opportunity to damage the enemy and 
help himself, Rosser through his scouts learned that at Bev 
erly, a distant point west of the Alleghanies, was stored a 
large quantity of army supplies, and that the Federal garri 
son there did not exceed 1,000 men. Here was a chance to 
do something which might bring relief for a time, and for 
the want of a better opportunity Rosser began to think how 
he might capture the place. 

Beverly is distant from Staunton, as the crow flies, about 
seventy-five miles. But the road traverses the steep ranges 
and winds through the gorges of the Alleghanies. For 
some distance it led through what was then a war-swept 
region, that could furnish little means of subsistence to 
either man or horse, and most of the way over almost im- 



336 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

passable roads and across fierce mountain streams. It was 
blocked up, too, by the snows which for weeks had been 
falling, and in the gorges drifted to a depth of twenty-five 
feet. The people who lived along or near the road were as 
fierce and intractable as the rugged steeps among which they 
dwelt, and were, moreover, bitterly hostile to the Con 
federacy. 

A sober estimate of the difficulties to be overcome did not 
furnish much reasonable hope for success, but necessity 
could not listen to judgment, and despair lent courage to 
hope. 

Having gotten the consent of Genl. Fitzhugh Lee, who in 
Early s absence was in command of the Valley forces, Ros- 
ser took steps to prepare for the raid on Beverly. As the 
work to be done would make great demands upon the pluck 
and fortitude of those engaged in it, he deemed it wise to 
enroll for the expedition none but volunteers. A call for 
these discovered that more men were willing to go than 
there were horses fit for duty. Some wished to march 
afoot, but this was not permitted. 

After some necessary delay a force of 300 men was gath 
ered from the three brigades of Payne, Munford, and Ros- 
ser. These were divided into two detachments of 150 men 
each, commanded respectively by Colonel Cook of the 
Eighth Virginia Cavalry, and Colonel Morgan of the First 
Virginia Cavalry, of whom says Rosser, speaking of this 
diminutive force, "I can safely say that a more intelligent, 
more gallant, and more reliable 300 than composed my little 
army of invasion was never assembled in one command." 

With the small force thus made up, a sort of forlorn 
hope, Rosser started for Beverly. The march was without 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 337 

important incidents except that, being in midwinter, and 
the weather exceptionally cold, the suffering of the troopers 
was intense. A deep snow was on the ground, and this was 
drifted in the mountain passes, in some places, to a depth of 
twenty-five feet. 

While the direct road to Beverly was probably not over 
seventy-five miles, the route followed by Rosser was much 
farther, as his plan was to attack the Federal position from 
the north, it having been found that the road in that direc 
tion was not so well guarded, and also because the Federals 
would be cut off from their line of retreat. Beverly is loca 
ted in Tygarts Valley, through which winds the Tygarts 
Valley River, and the mountain streams across Rosser s line 
of march flow into that river. 

The night of the loth of January the command bivou 
acked on a mountainside in Devil s Hollow, the road follow 
ing the meanderings of a run that flowed into Tygarts Val 
ley River, and intersected the Philippi turnpike in the rear 
of the Federal camp. 

The attack was made before daylight on the morning of 
the nth, most of the command being dismounted. 

A thin line of battle was formed enveloping the encamp 
ment, and advanced over the frozen snow, the noise of the 
troopers feet breaking through the crust being the first 
intimation of the approach of a hostile force. A sentinel 
near the encampment of huts and tents cried, "Who goes 
there?" several times. The only response to his challenge 
was the steady tramp of the advancing line. Thinking that 
he would fire and alarm the camp, a charge was ordered by 
the whole force. The mounted squadron dashed through 
the line and rode boldly up to the tents, demanding the sur- 



338 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

render of the occupants. Being utterly surprised there was 
not much resistance, but some of the more resolute Federals 
fired at the men entering the doors of the tents, killing one 
and wounding several Confederates. 

In a few minutes the place was in the hands of Rosser s 
force, and was quickly sacked by the half-starved Con 
federates. 

The capture, however, did not turn out to be as valuable 
as General Rosser had hoped. The troopers indulged in the 
bountiful supply of the usual food and luxuries to be found 
in a Federal garrison ; among them an abundance of liquor 
which, as may be supposed after the severity of the march, 
was freely indulged in. 

The captures, according to the report of General Ros 
ser, were 580 prisoners, which is corroborated by the Fed 
eral report, which admits 572 men and eight officers taken 
prisoners, six men killed and thirty-two men wounded ; also 
100 horses, about 600 arms and equipments, and 10,000 
rations. 1 

The Federal force consisted of the Eighth Ohio Cavalry 
and the Thirty-fourth Ohio Infantry, about 1,000 in all. 

The following is the report of the incident by the Federal 
general, George Crook, commanding that department : 



1 In a private diary preserved by Capt. Jno. S. Blackburn, ordnance 
officer of Payne s brigade, who attended the expedition, it is mentioned 
that Colonel Cook, a gallant officer commanding the Eighth Virginia 
Cavalry, lately attached to Payne s brigade, was left at Beverly, badly 
wounded in a leg, which was amputated. This is the only casualty men 
tioned, except the killing of private Hite. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 339 

"HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WEST VIRGINIA, 

January 25th, 1865. 
Respectfully forwarded to Headquarters Middle Military 

Division. 

Upon hearing of the surprise and capture of Beverly, I sent 
two trusty staff officers to examine into and report upon the 
affair. Their report has been forwarded. I herewith forward 
the report of Colonel Wilkinson, and recommend that Lieut. - 
Col. R. Yourt, Eighth Ohio Cavalry, and Lieut. -Col. L. 
Furney, Thirty-fourth Ohio Volunteers, be dismissed the 
service for disgraceful neglect of their commands, and for per 
mitting themselves to be surprised and the greater portion of 
their commands captured, in order that worthy officers may fill 
their places, which they have proved themselves incompetent 
to hold. 

GEORGE CROOK, 
Major-General Commanding." 

The return of the expedition to Swopes Depot, which 
was necessarily slow on account of the large number of 
prisoners on foot, was attended with great suffering both 
to the troopers and to the prisoners, but particularly to the 
latter, who were taken many of them without overcoats and 
only partly clad. The frozen feet and hands of quite a 
number necessitated amputation. 

Genl. Robert E. Lee reports to the Secretary of War as 
follows : 

"HEADQUARTERS, January I5th, 1865. 

General Early reports that Rosser, at the head of 300 men, 
surprised and captured the garrison at Beverly, Randolph 
county, on the nth instant, killing and wounding a consider 
able number and taking 580 prisoners. His loss light. 

R. E. LEE. 
To Hon. J. A. Seddon." 



340 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

The irony of fate is strikingly illustrated in an incident 
connected with the affair at Beverly. 

Fontaine Hite, a private of Company D, known as the 
Clarke Company, of the Sixth Virginia Cavalry, being 
without a horse, followed the expedition all the way on 
foot, with the hope of capturing a mount for himself from 
the Federals at Beverly. He was killed while entering the 
door of a tent, the only Confederate reported to have been 
killed in the attack. 



CHAPTER XIII 

February, 1865 

The capture of the Federal Major-Generals Crook and Kelly, in the 
City of Cumberland by McNeil The capture proposed and planned 
by John B. Fay, formerly of Company F, Seventh Virginia Cavalry, 
but at the time a member of McNeil s partisan company Fay with 
Ritchie Hallar reconnoiters in the neighborhood of Cumberland 
They locate the sleeping apartments of each of the generals, and 
the outpost and reserve pickets The hazards of the undertaking 
The surprise and capture Two future Presidents of the United 
States narrowly escape A future judge not so fortunate Federals 
pursue but give it up Prisoners transported to Dixie. 

While this chapter is something of a digression, it con 
tains an interesting item of history which, though it cannot 
properly be claimed as belonging exclusively to the Laurel 
Brigade, can be claimed in large part by members of the 
brigade who participated in it, and contributed in a con 
spicuous way to its success ; and the chronological order of 
the history is best preserved by introducing it here. 

The capture of two distinguished Federal generals- 
Crook and Kelly from their quarters in the center of a city 
of 8,000 inhabitants, guarded with an army of 6,000 to 8,000 
men, by a handful of Confederate cavalry, was an event 
that excited the North with astonishment at its audacity, and 
the South with admiration for its boldness and exultation 
over its success. 

The account is given in the words of John B. Fay, who 
planned the enterprise and assisted in the execution of it. 
Fay was a private in Company F, Seventh Virginia Cav- 



342 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

airy, Laurel Brigade, from August 2ist, 1861, until 1863, 
when he entered the partisan command of McNeil. 

The account was written by him not long after the war, 
when his memory was fresh as to the details. Mr. Fay s 
account is corroborated by the Federal reports as far as they 
relate to it, and the accuracy of it is fully attested by his 
comrades in the enterprise. 

Says Mr. Fay: 

"Towards the close of the war, about an hour before day 
break on the cold, frosty morning of February 2ist, 1865, a 
troop of Confederate cavalry, sixty-five in number, under 
Lieut. Jesse C. McNeil, having forded the Potomac and sur 
prised and captured the pickets, quietly rode into the heart of 
the City of Cumberland, Maryland, then the headquarters of 
the military district of West Virginia, captured Major-Gen 
erals George Crook and B. F. Kelly, together with the latter s 
adjutant-general, Thayer Melvin; and without the loss of a 
man carried their distinguished prisoners back with them into 
the Confederate lines. 

"Being a somewhat prominent actor in this affair, and to 
some extent responsible for its inception and success, and for 
the special purpose of subserving the truth of history, already 
violated by several erroneous accounts, I have undertaken in 
this article to narrate as fully and concisely as my memory will 
permit, the main incidents of the expedition. 

"To enable the reader to properly understand the condition 
of affairs 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 
Ridge, covered an extensive territory running parallel with the 
Potomac, and embraced sometimes the breadth of two or more 
counties southward. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 343 

"During the latter part of the war this region was dominated 
by three famous partisan leaders, Mosby, Gilmor, and McNeil. 
Their forces sometimes intermingled, but the operations of 
Mosby were ordinarily confined to the country east of the 
Shenandoah, those of Gilmor to the Valley of Virginia ; while 
McNeil s special field of action lay to the westward along the 
upper Potomac and the courses of the South Branch. 

"McNeil s command was composed principally of volun 
teers from Virginia and Maryland, though nearly every South 
ern State, and not a few Northern States, had representatives 
in its ranks. Aristocrats of the bluest blood and their rough, 
unpedigreed comrades, lawyers, preachers, doctors, clerks, 
mechanics, sturdy farmer lads, college graduates, and hardy 
mountaineers, mingled in harmony. 

"Moorefield, in the rich valley of the South Branch, was the 
principal headquarters of this command, and Harrisonburg, 
in the Shenandoah Valley, its reserved base of operations. In 
a daybreak attack on a camp of Pennsylvania cavalry at Mt. 
Jackson bridge on the Shenandoah, in the fall of 1864, Cap 
tain McNeil received a dangerous wound and died shortly 
afterwards. His son, Jesse C. McNeil, an officer of great 
courage and gallantry, though somewhat excitable and lacking 
the discretion of his father, was next in command. Some time 
in February, 1865, Lieutenant McNeil sent for me and, after 
alluding to a suggestion I had made his father a year before, 
to capture General Kelly in Cumberland, informed me that 
Generals Kelly and Crook were then in that city, and if I 
thought it practicable and could obtain the necessary informa 
tion, he would make the attempt to secure them both as 
prisoners of war. As my home was in Cumberland, I was per 
fectly familiar with the place and its surroundings, and had 
found no difficulty in getting into it on several previous occa 
sions, once remaining a week. I entered zealously into his. 
project and gave him every assurance of success in case it was 
properly managed. I was then deputed to take someone, in 
whom I reposed sufficient confidence, and to go at once to 



344 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Cumberland or its vicinity and procure certain information 
deemed vital to insure complete success. Selecting as my com 
rade Ritchie Hallar, a lad from Missouri, not yet out of his 
teens, we started at once upon our mission. The understand 
ing was, that McNeil should have twenty-five well-mounted 
men prepared to follow us within a day or two, making their 
way leisurely down the South Branch ; while, in the meantime, 
I was to secure accurate information as to the situation at 
Cumberland, and the exact location of the sleeping apartments 
of Generals Crook and Kelly. 

"Cumberland, which had then a population of 8,000, is sit 
uated on the north bank of the upper Potomac, at the con 
fluence of that river and Wills Creek, and on the site of old 
Fort Cumberland. At the time of which I write, six or eight 
thousand troops were quartered in and around the city, under 
the immediate command of Brigadier-Generals Hayes, Light- 
burn, and Duval; the former since President of the United 
States. 

"Sheridan s army lay at Winchester, and a considerable force 
of Federal troops were strongly entrenched at New Creek, now 
Keyser. The first-named point is southeast, and the second 
southwest, of Cumberland. These facts show the hazard of 
a trip to Cumberland, and the liability of being cut off, to 
which any force of Confederates would be exposed if discov 
ered in that vicinity. 

"Hallar and I proceeded with all due despatch, and a few 
nights after our departure found us about five miles west of 
Cumberland, on the south bank of the Potomac. 

"After reconnoitering the ford we crossed and sought the 
humble home of a Celtic friend, which was close at hand. I 
had implicit faith in this man, and engaged him to procure 
what information we needed. We then recrossed the river, 
and by daylight were twenty miles away, taking breakfast near 
Romney. Selecting that point as a rendezvous, I sent Hallar 
to intercept McNeil and bring him there that evening. He 
arrived in time, and in addition to those of his own command 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 345 

had a number of men, probably a dozen, belonging to Com 
pany F, Seventh Virginia Cavalry, and Company D, Eleventh 
Virginia Cavalry, of Rosser s brigade. The men and horses 
were fed and rested, and the shades of evening saw us on our 
eventful journey. 

"Our route lay over Middle Ridge and across the valley of 
Patterson s Creek, through the ridges beyond to the base of 
Knobley Mountain, where, taking a northeasterly course we 
came to a narrow gap, seldom used, leading up to open fields 
on the mountain-top. Over a road encrusted with ice we 
passed up this gap, and found the fields covered with snow 
drifts of uncertain depths, causing us to dismount and lead our 
struggling horses. 

"Having reached the road passing through a lower gap to 
the Seymour Farm, we descended the mountain into the 
Potomac Valley, made our way to the river, and this, our 
rubicori, being crossed, we found our faithful friend on hand 
with all needed information. At this juncture Lieutenant 
McNeil led the men into the middle of a neighboring field, and 
calling together a number of us, proceeded to the residence of 
S. S. Brady, where we held a little council of war. After 
stating that there was not sufficient time, before daylight, to 
enable us to reach Cumberland and carry out our designs there 
by pursuing the route laid down by me, McNeil proposed that 
that part of our expedition should be abandoned ; but to pre 
vent the trip from being an entire failure, he suggested that 
we surprise and capture the large picket at Brady s Mill near 
by. This proposition met with emphatic and almost unani 
mous dissent. The prizes for which we had traveled so far 
were estimated by quality and not by quantity, and we consid 
ered a company of infantry but poor compensation for the 
chance of capturing two major-generals. The attempt to pass 
quietly through two lines of pickets promised but doubtful 
results, but that being the only satisfactory alternative we 
determined to proceed. 



346 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

"Lieutenant McNeil and Sergeant Vandiver, followed by 
Sergeant Kuykendall and myself, rode ahead as an advance 
guard. The rest of the troops, under Lieut. S. S. Welton, 
keeping close behind. 

"A layer of thin, crusty snow was on the ground, and 
although it was about an hour and a half before dawn, we 
could see very well for a short distance. The New Creek or 
Cresaptown Road skirts the base of Wills Mountain, the rail 
road and river being on the right, and all three come close 
together at the mouth of a deep glen, about two miles from 
Cumberland, where the road deflects to the left, and winds up 
through the glen and over the hills to the city; the railroad 
reaching the same point along the river bottom. A mounted 
picket was stationed at the mouth of the glen, and as we 
reached this point, a solitary vidette was observed standing on 
the roadside. Upon noticing our approach he gave the formal 
challenge, Halt ! Who comes there ? We responded, Friends 
from New Creek. He then said, Dismount one, advance and 
give the countersign/ When, without a moment s warning, 
Lieutenant McNeil, putting spurs to his horse, dashed towards 
the vidette, and as he passed, unable to check his horse, fired 
his pistol at the man s head. We had nothing to do now but 
to follow rapidly and secure the picket, whom we found terribly 
alarmed at the peculiar conduct of his pretended friends. Two 
of his comrades, acting as a reserve, had been making them 
selves as cosy as possible before a few smouldering embers in 
a fence corner, about 100 yards in the rear, but hearing the 
commotion in front they hastily decamped, making towards 
the river. They got no farther than the railroad, for we were 
soon close upon them, and in response to our repeated threats 
of shooting, both halted and gave themselves up. They 
belonged to Company D, Third Ohio, and from one of the 
pickets, a German, the countersign for the night, Bulls Gap/ 
was extorted under menace of instant annihilation at the end 
of a halter. Mounting them upon their horses, which were 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 347 

found hitched to the saplings just off the roadside, we took 
these men into Cumberland. 

"Naturally, our troops had been greatly provoked at the 
independent action of Lieutenant McNeil in firing, as he did, 
a shot which might have caused a general alarm and forced us 
to abandon our project. Sharing in this feeling, I insisted that 
Sergeant Kuykendall and myself should take the advance in 
the approach to the next and inner post. This was assented 
to, and we moved on determined that no more firing should be 
done on our part unless absolutely necessary. 

"The inner post was fully a mile away, over the high inter 
vening hill, and located at the intersection of the road we were 
on with the old Frostburg turnpike. The picket consisted of 
five men belonging to the First West Virginia Infantry, who 
were comfortably seated in a shedlike structure, a blazing fire 
in front, and busily engaged in a friendly game of cards. As 
we drew near the circle of light one of the number was 
observed to get up, reach for a musket, and leisurely advance 
in front of the fire to meet us. To his formal challenge, Kuy 
kendall answered, Friends with the countersign. We kept 
moving up in the meantime, and when the demand was made for 
one of us to dismount, noticing an impatient movement among 
our men behind us, in order to deceive 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, boys. Wait 
until we give the countersign. We did not find it necessary to 
give it, however, as there was an open space around the picket, 
allowing them no chance to escape, and we were close upon 
them. In another instant a swift, forward dash was made and, 
without a single shot, they were surrounded and captured. The 
guns and ammunition of these men were destroyed, and they 
were left unguarded at their posts with strict injunctions to 
remain there until our return. On its face, this would appear 
to have been a very unwise thing, but it was the best we could 
do. We had no intention of returning that way, and we rightly 
trusted, that before the men could realize the situation and 



348 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

get where an alarm could be given, our work in the city would 
have been accomplished. 

"We were now inside the picket-lines, and before us lay the 
sleeping city. We halted for a few minutes whilst Lieutenant 
McNeil hastily detailed two squads of ten men each, who were 
charged with the direct capture of the generals. Sergt. Joseph 
W. Kuykendall of Company F, Seventh Virginia Cavalry, Lau 
rel Brigade, a special scout for General Early, a man of great 
courage and coolness, who had once been a prisoner in Kelly s 
hands, and had a personal acquaintance with him, was placed 
in command of the men detailed to secure that general. To Ser 
geant Vanaiver, a man of imposing figure, a brave and gallant 
soldier, was given charge of the capture of General Crook. 

"An interesting fact in connection with this latter squad 
is that among the number were Jacob Gassman, of the Laurel 
Brigade, a former clerk of the hotel where General Crook had 
his headquarters, 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 telegraphic communication was 
placed upon me, and Hallar was detailed as my assistant. 
These preliminaries being arranged, we moved briskly down 
the turnpike into Green Street around the Court House Hill, 
over the Chain Bridge across Wills Creek, and up Baltimore 
Street, the principal thoroughfare of the city, the men 
whistling such Yankee tunes as they knew, and occasionally 
bandying words with isolated guards and patrols whom we 
passed. Some of our men were disguised in Federal overcoats, 
but in the dim light no difference could be noted in the shades 
of blue and grey. 

"Part of the command was halted in front of the St. 
Nicholas Hotel and Barnum House, now the Windsor Hotel. 
In the latter General Kelly slept. The rest of the command 
rode on to the Revere House, now the Lindell, where General 
Crook reposed in fancied security. Sentries paced up and down 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 349 

the pavement in front of the respective headquarters, but took 
little notice of our movements, evidently taking us for a scout 
ing party coming in to report. Sprigg Lynn, of Kuykendall s 
squad, was about the first to reach the pavement, where he cap 
tured and disarmed the guard, who directed the party to the 
sleeping apartments of General Kelly. Entering the hotel, 
the hall of which and rooms occupied by the officers, they 
found lighted, the party first invaded a room on the second 
floor. This proved to be that of Adjutant Melvin, afterwards 
Judge Melvin. They soon aroused this officer, required him to 
dress and indicate to them the room occupied by his chief. 
Being informed they immediately entered the General s room, 
awakened him, told him he was a prisoner, and desired him 
to make as hasty a toilet as possible. With some nervousness 
the old general complied, inquiring as he did so to whom he 
was surrendering. To Captain McNeil, by order of General 
Rosser, Kuykendall replied. He had little more to say after 
this, and in a very short space of time he and Melvin were 
taken down to the street and mounted upon horses, the owners 
of which gave them the saddle and rode behind. 

"While these things were being done, an almost identical 
scene was being enacted at the Revere House. The guard there 
being taken and disarmed, the capturing party ascended the 
stone steps of the hotel and found the outside door locked. 
After knocking awhile the door was opened by a small colored 
boy and the party entered. The boy was terribly alarmed at 
the brusque manner of the unexpected guests, whom he evi 
dently suspected of improper intentions. When asked if Gen 
eral Crook was in the hotel he said, Yes, sah ; but don t tell him 
I tol j you ! And he afterwards made the inquiry, What kind 
o men is you-all, ennyhow ? 

"While Vandiver and Dailey were getting a light in the 
office below, Gassman went up to No. 46, General Crook s 
apartment, and thinking the door was locked, knocked at it 
several times. A voice within ased, Who is there ? Gassman 
replied, A friend, and was then told to Come in. 



350 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

"Vandiver and Dailey had arrived by this time, and all three 
entered the room. Approaching the bed where the General 
was lying, Vandiver said in an authoritative tone, General 
Crook, you are my prisoner. What authority have you for 
this? inquired Crook. The authority of General Rosser, of 
Fitzhugh Lee s division of cavalry/ said Vandiver in reply. 
Crook then raised up in bed and said, Is General Rosser here? 
Yes, said Vandiver, I am General Rosser. I have 2,500 men 
with me, and we have surprised and captured the place. That 
settled the matter as far as the bonafide general was concerned. 
He was intensely surprised at the bold announcement, but 
knowing nothing to the contrary, accepted Vandiver s state 
ment as the truth, and submitted to his fate with as much 
grace and apparent cheerfulness as possible. Speaking to me 
afterwards of his sensations at the time, General Crook 
remarked, Vandiver was such a looking person as I supposed 
General Rosser to be, and I had no reason to doubt the truth 
of what he said. I was very much relieved, however, when I 
found out the real situation, and that the city and garrison had 
not been captured. In a few hours more I would have been on 
the train going to join Sheridan at Winchester, and I would 
have preferred being captured en route, and not taken out of 
bed as I was. But it is one of the fortunes of war. I expect 
to meet some of my old schoolmates of West Point in the 
Southern army, and I know I will be treated well. 

"General Kelly and his adjutant were secured 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 moved back 
down Baltimore Street to the Chain Bridge. A large stable 
was located here, and under the leadership of Dave Barnum 
this was entered, and a number of fine horses taken, among 
them Philippi, General Kelly s charger. The taking of these 
horses occasioned some delay, and Lieutenant McNeil, becom 
ing impatient, directed me to lead them out of the city at once. 
Turning the column to the left down Canal Street I led it on 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 351 

to the bank which separates the creek and river from the 
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, which has here its western 
terminus. At the locks, a few hundred yards below, we came 
unexpectedly upon a dozen or more guards, whom we sur 
rounded and captured. We destroyed their guns and equip 
ments, but did not encumber ourselves with their persons. 

From this point the column went at a gallop down the tow- 
path, and as its front neared the Canal bridge on the road to 
Wiley s Ford, a mile below town, the men were halted by the 
picket posted there. The column not halting as ordered, one 
of the pickets was heard to say, Sergeant, shall I fire? when 
Vandiver shouted, If you do I will place you under arrest. 
This is General Crook s bodyguard, and we have no time to 
wait. The Rebels are coming and we are going out to meet 
them. This explanation seemed satisfactory, for not another 
word was said. We passed under the bridge beyond the 
picketpost, the enemy s outpost guard, and across the Potomac 
once more. 

McGregor was on his native heath, with McGregor s Clan around him/ 

"We were four or five miles away before we heard the boom 
of a cannon giving the alarm. But what cared we? Although 
sixty miles from base and not yet out of danger, not a man 
among us but felt at his ease. No wonder we felt proud and 
happy as we rode back that cold winter morning over the snow- 
clad Virginia hills. Our expedition was a grand success, our 
every wish was realized. 

"A mounted force from Cumberland in pursuit of us came 
within view on Patterson s Creek, but kept at a respectful dis 
tance in the rear. After passing Romney a few cavalry 
pressed our rear guard, but after the exchange of a few shots 
retired. 

"On reaching the Moorefield Valley we came in sight of a 
battalion of the Ringgold Cavalry, then a part of the Twenty- 
second Pennsylvania Cavalry, sent from New Creek to inter 
cept us. We were on opposite sides of the river in full view 



35 2 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

of each other, and soon our tired horses were being urged to 
their utmost speed. The Federals were endeavoring to reach 
Moorefield ahead and cut off our retreat ; while on our side the 
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 excursion. It soon became evident, 
however, that the fresher horses of our competitors would win 
the race. Then at the very moment when prospects of success 
seemed brightest to our pursuers, to their infinite chagrin, like 
the clansmen of Roderick on the Highland pass 

Down sunk the disappearing band, 
Each warrior vanished where he stood, 
In broom or bracken, heath or wood. 

"Convinced that the town could not be reached and safely 
passed, McNeil had suddenly ordered his men to enter the 
woods skirting the road, where, taking a trail well known to 
us, we passed through the ridge to a point seven miles east of 
Moorefield, on the South Fork, where we encamped for the 
night. 

"In the previous twenty-four hours we had ridden ninety 
miles over mountains and streams, with little rest or food for 
men or horses, and, as may be imagined, heartily enjoyed the 
night s repose. 

"Our prisoners received the best possible care, and next day 
were started for Staunton. The headquarters of General Early 
was there, to whom they were delivered, and who sent them 
from thence to Richmond under charge of a squad of their 
captors. They were fortunate enough to secure an early 
exchange, and were returned safely back into their own lines. 

"The following are verbatim copies of the only official 
reports of the affair on record in the War Department at 
Washington, and have probably never before been published : 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 353 

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, 

February 24th, 1865. 
HON. JNO. C. BRECKINRIDGE, 

Secretary of War: 

General Early reports that Lieutenant McNeil with thirty 
men, on the evening of the 2ist, entered Cumberland, captured 
and brought out Generals Crook and Kelly, the adjutant-gen 
eral of the department, two privates, and the headquarters 
flag, without firing a gun, though a considerable force is sta 
tioned in the vicinity. Lieutenant McNeil and party deserve 
much credit for this bold exploit. Their prisoners will reach 
Staunton today. 

R. E. LEE/ 

CUMBERLAND, MARYLAND, February 2ist, 1865. 
MAJOR-GENERAL SHERIDAN, 

Winchester, Virginia: 

This morning about three o clock a party of Confederate 
horsemen came upon the New Creek Road, about sixty in num 
ber. They captured the picket and quietly rode into the 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 already saddled and waiting. The same was 
done to General Kelly. Captain Melvin, A. A. G. 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 taking 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 almost an 
hour to get them in working order. As soon as New Creek 



354 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

could be called, I ordered a force to be sent to Romney, 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. I am inclined to believe 
that instead of Rosser it is McNeil s company. Most of the 
men of that company are from this place. I will telegraph you 
fully any further information. 

ROBT. P. KENNEDY, 
Major and A. A. G. 

"But little remains to be told. Lieutenant McNeil secured 
at last his long deferred captain s commission, but the war 
closing soon after, he did not long enjoy his promotion, and 
some time in May, 1865, in accordance with the stipulations at 
Appomattox, he surrendered his command for parole. He then 
returned to the West, where for many years he has been a 
citizen of Illinois, whilst many of the captors have since passed 
from time into Eternity, and the survivors are scattered. 

"Though a major-general of volunteers, General Crook s 
lineal rank in the regular army at the end of the war was 
captain in the Fourth Infantry. Since then he has risen to the 
grade of major-general, and is but three removes from full 
command of the Army of the United States. He is at present 
in control of the Military Department of the Missouri, and has 
his headquarters at Chicago. General Kelly, enjoying a sine 
cure post in the Civil Service and a modest pension, oscillates 
between Washington City and the mountains of Maryland, 
spending part of the year at the Capital and his summers on 
his farm in the Alleghanies ; and Major Melvin is a distin 
guished 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 of the most important circuit court in 
that young and prosperous State. It was subsequently ascer 
tained that there were in the hotel, in rooms not far from that of 
General Crook, two future presidents of the United States 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 355 

Brig.-Gen. Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley, the 
latter a major on the staff of General Crook. Had they, or 
either of them, been captured, it might seriously have affected 
the political history of our country. 

J. B. FAY. 
"July nth, 1893." 

The following members of the Laurel Brigade partici 
pated in the raid into Cumberland, several of them enacting 
the most prominent parts in the capture of the Federal 
Generals : 

Joseph W. Kuykendall, Company F, Seventh Virginia Cav 
alry. 

Jacob Gassman, Company F, Seventh Virginia Cavalry. 

John S. Arnold, Company F, Seventh Virginia Cavalry. 

George Everitt, Company F, Seventh Virginia Cavalry. 

Leslie Davis, Company F, Seventh Virginia Cavalry. 

George F. Cunningham, Company F, Seventh Virginia Cav 
alry. 

George Harness Johnson, Company F, Seventh Virginia 
Cavalry. 

Hiram R. Allen, Company F, Seventh Virginia Cavalry. 

John Dailey, Company D, Eleventh Virginia Cavalry. 

Joseph L. Sherrard, Company D, Eleventh Virginia Cav 
alry. 

John W. Poling, Company D, Eleventh Virginia Cavalry. 

John David Parsons, Company D, Eleventh Virginia Cav 
alry. 

Joseph A. Pancake, Company D, Eleventh Virginia Cavalry. 

Richard T. Merryman, Company G, Seventh Virginia Cav 
alry. 

Jacob Gassman of Company F, Seventh Virginia Cav 
alry, was one of the party who went to the room of General 
Crook in the Revere House, being the first to enter. 



356 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

The number of men in McNeil s party was sixty-five, and 
was erroneously reported as thirty in the report transmitted 
to General Lee, and so reported by him to the Secretary of 
War at Richmond. 

The success of McNeil, in reaching Staunton with his 
prisoners, is almost as remarkable as the capture, when it 
is remembered that Sheridan occupied Winchester and 
vicinity with a large cavalry force, and was much nearer 
Moorefield than Cumberland; and that New Creek, also 
eighteen miles nearer Moorefield than Cumberland, was 
occupied by a considerable Federal force, including cavalry. 



CHAPTER XIV 

March, 1865 

After the return from Beverly, Munford s and Payne s brigades ordered 
east of the Blue Ridge Wharton s division of infantry and Ros- 
ser s brigade of cavalry only force left under Early in the Valley 
to face Sheridan Government supplies almost fail, and home sup 
plies no longer cheer the soldiers Sheridan lays waste the Valley, 
and with 10,000 sabres advances Rosser meets him with 300 men 
and, aided by high water, retards him at North River Early with 
draws towards Charlottesville, is overtaken, defeated, and his army 
captured or dispersed near Waynesboro Rosser attempts to re 
capture the prisoners, but fails Rosser made major-general and 
Bearing takes command of the Laurel Brigade The trail of 
Sheridan Division under Rosser, not over 1,200 men, moves below 
Petersburg Federals capture Five Forks Rosser s division forms 
rear guard of Fitz Lee s column Advancing Federals punished in 
their onsets Deep Creek Brigade, April 5th, with rest of division 
moves towards Amelia Court House Soldiers depressed but reso 
lute Desperate charge of Dearing near Amelia Springs Desperate 
fighting by great fighters Federals driven back into Jetersville 
Death of Captains Rutherford and Hugh McGuire High Bridge 
Death of Dearing, Knott, Thompson and others and the wounding 
of many White takes command of brigade Appomattox The 
last charge Brigade disbanded near Lynchburg by Colonel "Lige" 
White Remnant of the Twelfth Regiment under command of 
Lieutenant Wm. F. Anderson surrenders at Appomattox. 

Not long after the return of the raiding column from 
Beverly, the cavalry in the Valley was diminished by the 
removal of Munford s and Payne s brigades to quarters 
east of the Blue Ridge. To face Sheridan s army there 
remained only Wharton s division of infantry and Rosser s 
brigade of cavalry. 

Want of every description, sharpened by the severities of 
winter, proved a more deadly foe than the armed Federals. 



358 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

The Government supplies almost failed, and what was 
almost equally as bad, the customary packages of clothing 
from the soldiers homes no longer came to warm the bodies 
and cheer the hearts of the suffering Confederates. 

Sheridan s policy of destruction had deprived the families 
of the soldiers, not only of the means of helping their sons 
and husbands in the field, but of the bare necessities of life. 
Their cows, fowls, hogs, and sheep, not to speak of horses 
and cattle, had been killed or driven off; their barns and 
outbuildings burned, their crops consumed or destroyed, 
and their winter supplies of food and clothing ruthlessly 
seized. In many instances their houses had been burned, 
and within the bare walls of these left standing, were not 
a few helpless families of old men, women, and children. 

Most of the suffering wives and mothers in their letters 
suppressed the truth, or at least tried to conceal their des 
titution from the absent soldiers, by not writing at all, or 
by sending as cheerful reports as possible of their condi 
tion; but "camp rumors," and the failure of the home sup 
plies, enabled the soldiers to read the truth between the 
lines. 

In a few instances, the absent breadwinners were earn 
estly besought, by oral or written messages, to return home 
and save their families from destruction. 

To remain idle in winter quarters, while wives and little 
ones were freezing and starving at home, or perhaps sick 
and dying from neglect, proved in many cases more than 
husbands and fathers could bear. Hence it was but natural 
that, as the grim winter progressed with unabated fierce 
ness, Rosser s force continued to diminish in numbers. 
Amid so many difficulties Rosser kept his men together as 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 359 

best he could, deriving some comfort from the noticeable 
fact, that the desperateness of the situation had rendered 
the majority of those who remained with him the more 
eager for battle, and more determined to do bloody execu 
tion when the time for action arrived. He felt confident, 
too, that upon the first clash of arms most of the absent men 
would return to their commands. 

When, therefore, about the ist of March word was 
brought that Sheridan \vas again moving up the Valley, 
the report was welcomed as the harbinger of an agreeable 
change of scene and an opportunity for action. 

Grant had been urging Sheridan for some time to renew 
his attempts upon Gordonsville and the Virginia Central 
Railroad. The last effort in that quarter had met with 
ignominious failure. Sheridan s grand column had been 
frightened away from Charlottesville by a handful of 
infantry and militia, while Ouster s march upon Staunton 
with 3,000 sabres had been stopped by a small force under 
Rosser. But Grant was not satisfied, and with character 
istic pertinacity continued to urge Sheridan to move for 
ward. Sheridan, who never brought on a battle except 
where odds were more than two to one in his favor, seemed 
to have been made timid by his so-called brilliant victories. 
He appeared now to be waiting until there was no force left 
in the Valley to oppose him. At last, pushed on by Grant, 
Sheridan on the 2/th of February, 1865, moved up the 
Valley from Winchester with a superb column of 10,000 
sabres. 1 

Rosser with about 300 men met him at North River for 
the purpose of delaying his march until Early s small force 



iPond s "Shenandoah Valley," page 252. 



360 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

of Wharton s brigades of infantry could reach a defensible 
position. Hastily constructing some breastworks near the^ 
bridge, he held Sheridan at bay for twenty-four hours, the 
river being swollen and past fording. Next day, the river 
had run down, or at any rate, a body of Federal cavalry 
crossed the river above the bridge and attacked the Con 
federates in flank. Sheridan now pushing across the bridge, 
a sharp fight ensued, that resulted in Rosser s being driven 
off with a loss of a part of his dismounted men, who were 
in the temporary breastworks near the bridge. Rosser now 
fell back towards Staunton, and was ordered by Early to 
hang on the flanks of the enemy. 

In the meantime Early had withdrawn towards Char- 
lottesville, and upon hearing of the near approach of Sheri 
dan, he halted his command at Waynesboro, and drew them 
up in battle array on the west side of the river, having the 
stream in his rear. Here with characteristic serenity he 
awaited the foe. 

General Custer, who led the Federal advance, did not hes 
itate to attack, adopting the plan that at Winchester, Fish 
er s Hill, Toms Brook, and Cedar Creek had uniformly 
brought victory to the Federal standard. Sending three 
regiments around to assail Early s left flank, with a strong 
force he attacked in front. Early s men, having little hope 
of success at the outset against Sheridan s superior num 
bers, when they saw the same old movement against their 
flank, that had so often before proved disastrous, at once 
despaired of making a successful resistance and threw down 
their arms. General Early escaped through the bushes, but 
nearly the whole of his command was made prisoners. 




COL. M. D. BALL 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 361 

This was the last of that gallant army that had followed 
Early so long, contending nearly always against more than 
double its numbers, and though often beaten, yet had again 
and again rallied and met the foe with intrepid front. 
Under Early s leadership it had invaded Pennsylvania, 
and had marched with victorious banner to the environ 
ments of Washington, creating consternation in the Federal 
Capital, and alarm for its safety throughout the North. 
Upon its withdrawal to the Valley, it had been almost con 
stantly battling against the army of Sheridan, which was 
always superior in numbers and equipment. If the per 
sistent audacity of Early had served to make fame for 
Sheridan, among those ignorant of the true conditions, it 
had revealed to the historian a command composed of 
heroic Southerners, unconquered by defeat, and unappalled 
by disaster. 

The common mind measures the merit of a general by 
the splendor of his victories. To appreciate the conduct of 
Early and his men, a different and higher standard must 
be adopted. The leader who fights for glory only, and will 
not hazard a battle without a double assurance of success, is 
hardly to be compared to one who, for duty s sake, engages 
in an unequal combat with hardly a chance for victory. The 
prime object of Early and his command, was not so much to 
beat Sheridan, as it was to hold him at bay, and by threat 
ening Washington, compel a force greatly superior to his 
own, to remain detached from Grant s army. This was 
successfully accomplished. The wonder is not that Sher 
idan beat Early so often, as that he took so long to drive 
him out of the Shenandoah Valley. And if Early often 
fought with his adversary from a sense of duty and loyalty 



362 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

to the Confederate cause, as he appears to have done, his 
very defeats are more glorious than Sheridan s boasted 
victories. 

The capture of Wharton s two brigades at Waynesboro 
virtually closed the campaign in the Valley. Sheridan from 
Waynesboro moved towards Charlottesville, after sending 
his 1,100 prisoners back towards Winchester under a guard 
of about 1,200 cavalry. 

When Rosser saw the long train of prisoners going down 
the Valley, he determined to try and rescue them. Follow 
ing the column with about 300 men, he seized every oppor 
tunity to harass the guard. The enemy was on the alert, 
knowing his intentions. On the night of the 4th of March, 
near Harrisonburg, Rosser attacked the Federal camp. The 
attack was repulsed, but in the confusion a few of the pris 
oners escaped. Knowing that the Shenandoah was high, 
Rosser sent detachments ahead to hold the fords as long as 
they could. For two days the Federals were detained at 
Meem s Bottom. 

During the evening of March 5th, in order to magnify 
his force in the estimation of the enemy, and create appre 
hension among the guard, as well as to excite the hope of 
the prisoners, Rosser sent detachments on the flanks, with 
orders to move continuously over the hill in full view of the 
enemy. Spies were also despatched to mingle among the 
captives and persuade them to revolt and co-operate with 
Rosser when he should make his attempt at rescue. 

In the morning of the 6th, when the Federal column was 
in the act of crossing the river, Rosser charged the guard. 
The prisoners, either from indifference or despair, failed to 
co-operate, and though Rosser again and again attacked, 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 363 

all his efforts proved futile. For a short time there was 
great confusion, but the Federals succeeded in getting 
across the river without serious loss. Rosser giving up the 
hope of rescuing the prisoners, returned to the upper 
Valley. 

Sheridan was over the ridge on his mission of destruc 
tion. There was nothing to do but to follow on his trail. 
After reaching Charlottesville the Federals had turned 
towards Lynchburg; one-half of the raiding column of 10,- 
ooo sabres were engaged in tearing up the railroad track, 
the other in destroying the locks and culverts of the James 
River Canal. The business was one congenial to Sheridan. 
He had learned from Grant that the most effectual way of 
injuring Lee was to devastate Virginia, and he was doing 
it thoroughly, making his swath of destruction widespread 
and leaving utter desolation behind him. 

Says Grant in his memoirs : "All mills and factories 
along the line of his march were destroyed. Negroes had 
joined his column to the number of 2,000, and they assisted 
considerably in the work of destroying the railroads and 
the canal." 

To follow on the trail of Sheridan was difficult. The 
roads were rendered almost impassable, so badly were 
they cut up by Sheridan s column owing to the frequent 
rains. The country was stripped bare, and so far as food 
and forage were concerned it was like traveling through a 
desert. The havoc and ruin that met the eye at every step, 
suggested the end of all things, and often the scenes of wan 
ton desolation, and the stories of brutal treatment, excited 
in the Confederate soldiers longing for revenge. 



364 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

In the latter part of March, 1865, Brig.-Genl. Thomas L. 
Rosser was promoted to the rank of major-general, and 
placed in command of a division composed of his own bri 
gade, consisting still of what was left of the Seventh, 
Eleventh, and Twelfth Virginia regiments and the Thirty- 
fifth Virginia Battalion, now put under command of Col. 
James Bearing, who was then made a brigadier-general; 
and a brigade consisting of the remnants of the Sixteenth, 
Seventeenth, Twenty-first, and Twenty-second regiments of 
Virginia Cavalry, under Brig.-Genl. John McCausland. 

The new commander of the Laurel Brigade was a young 
Virginian not only descended from distinguished Revolu 
tionary ancestry, but with a reputation of his own for valor 
and skill, well earned, through almost four years of con 
tinuous service in the Confederate Army. 

Having been appointed to West Point in 1858, he with 
Rosser and other Southern cadets resigned and tendered 
their services to Virginia and the Southern Confederacy. 
He was at first assigned to duty with the Washington 
Artillery, served a short time on the staff of General Beau- 
reguard; and was later made colonel of cavalry. He was a 
man of soldierly appearance, and being a courageous and 
dashing soldier, and withal a man of winning disposition, 
during his short but eventful career as commander of the 
brigade, he became greatly endeared to the officers and men. 

On the 1 6th of March Rosser s division reached Hanover 
Court House, and found there a part of Longstreet s corps 
on the lookout for Sheridan, who was then near Mangohick 
Church, on the north side of the Pamunkey. Effort was 
made to get the Confederate force across the river and put 
it in Sheridan s front, but the pontoon train failed to arrive 




BRIG.-GENL. JAMES DEARING 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 365 

and the bridge of boats and rafts was not complete until the 
morning of the i/th. A part of Long-street s corps had 
already crossed, but the movement was put an end to by an 
order from Genl. R. E. Lee recalling the whole force to 
Richmond. 

The division was now ordered to Petersburg, and the bri 
gade once more went into camp near the sluggish Notta- 
way; the division taking position on Lee s extreme right. 

In a few days there was fighting near Dinwiddie Court 
House between Fitz Lee and Sheridan, and Rosser s divi 
sion was ordered to that point. A few days before White s 
Battalion had rejoined the brigade, but like most of the 
other commands, it was greatly diminished in numbers. 
Rosser s division of tw r o brigades hardly numbered 1,200 
men. 

From Dinwiddie Court House Sheridan was attempting 
to reach Five Forks, by a road leading northwest, for the 
purpose of menacing Lee s line. 

"My hope," says General Grant in his memoirs, "was 
that Sheridan would be able to carry Five Forks, get on the 
enemy s right flank and rear, and force them to weaken 
their center to protect their right, so that an assault in the 
center might be successfully made." 

General Lee, knowing the strategic value of this point, 
was obliged to make a great effort to hold it; and accord 
ingly, on the 3Oth of March, Pickett with five small bri 
gades of infantry was sent thither. 

In the meantime General Fitz Lee, now commanding the 
cavalry corps, with a greatly inferior force was disputing 
every inch of ground with Sheridan. 



366 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

After an all-night march Rosser s division, on March 
3Oth, reached the vicinity of Five Forks, where the main 
body of the cavalry had gone into camp. The resting spell 
was short, for about noon on the 3ist Fitz Lee moved out 
to give battle to Sheridan. 

Rosser s and W. H. F. Lee s divisions, followed by 
Pickett s infantry, moved by a concealed wooded road, to 
turn and attack the Federal flank, while Munford with Fitz 
Lee s old division held the lines in front of the enemy. The 
well-laid plan for surprising and assailing the enemy s 
flank seems to have been somewhat anticipated by Sheridan. 
Upon reaching Chamberlin s Creek, it was found that the 
Federals were on the opposite side strongly entrenched. 
Nevertheless the Confederates pushed forward, driving the 
enemy back some distance. The cavalry, dismounted, 
fought on the right and left of the infantry. 

In the battle Rosser was wounded in the arm, but refus 
ing to leave the field, and with his wounded arm in a sling, 
still continued at the post of duty. 

"In this engagement," says Fitz Lee in his report, "the 
loss in Rosser s division was serious, but the details are 
unknown." 

Darkness closed the contest, and Fitz Lee went into camp 
holding the ground he had won. During the night, hav 
ing received the information that his left flank was menaced 
by a Federal corps of infantry that had come to Sheridan s 
assistance, Fitz Lee early on the morning of April the ist 
began to withdraw and again returned to Five Forks. 

Here Pickett drew up his men in line of battle with W. 
H. F. Lee s and Munford s divisions of cavalry on his right, 
and one regiment of Munford s division on his left. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 367 

Rosser was placed just in the rear of the center as a re 
serve, Hatcher s Run intervening between him and our 
line. 2 

About three o clock P. M. a Federal corps of infantry, 
Warren s, marched up and menaced the Confederate left, 
and Munford was sent with two small brigades to meet it. 
Warren s forest of bayonets stretched far beyond the right 
and left of Munford, enveloping the Confederate position, 
and with overflowing numbers swept onward. 

Munford after a brave but vain resistance withdrew, and 
Pickett, now assailed by Sheridan in front and Warren s 
multitudes on his left flank, was driven rapidly towards the 
right of his line. "Before Rosser could cross Hatcher s 
Run, the position at the Forks was seized and held by the 
Federals, and an advance towards the railroad made. It 
was repulsed by Rosser." 3 

So sudden and overwhelming was the Federal assault, 
that masses of infantry poured in between Rosser s division 
and the main body, and cut off Genl. W. H. F. Lee and 
Pickett, who were in Rosser s camp at the time, from their 
commands. Sheridan pressed his advantage, and crowding 
the Confederates drove them back some miles, the retreat 
degenerating into a rout. 

Pickett, with only 7,000 of all arms, could hardly hope 
to successfully resist an army of 26,000 men. 

That night Rosser s division still remained in the rear of 
Hatcher s Run, and on the following morning, April 2nd, 
with difficulty withdrew towards Amelia Court House. 

Anderson s division had been sent to aid in holding Five 
Forks, but taking a circuitous route it did not arrive in time. 



2 Fitz Lee s Report. 
3 Fitz Lee s Report. 



368 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Grant, profiting by the weakening of Lee s center, 
assaulted his works and carried the outer line. The roar of 
the cannon at Petersburg was heard beyond Hatcher s Run, 
and the news of Lee s disaster soon spread through the 
army. 

The night of the 2nd Bearing s brigade had encamped 
near Namozine Church. During the day the Federal pur 
suit had not been vigorous, for Sheridan with most of his 
cavalry had turned towards Petersburg. 

By daylight on the morning of the 3rd Petersburg was 
given up, and the whole army of Lee began to fall back. 
The Federals pressed his rear guard closely, and sent out 
their numerous squadrons to harass the flanks of the retir 
ing Confederates. 

At dawn on the 3rd of April, Bearing s brigade with the 
rest of the Confederates resumed the retreat. 

The news of the disaster at Petersburg had spread 
through the army and deepened their sorrow for the loss 
of Five Forks. Now, for the first time, some began to lose 
confidence in the star of Lee. Though they still deemed 
him invincible in battle, they could not repress the appre 
hension, that even his genius might prove powerless against 
those grim allies of Grant, famine and general want. 

On the march, at first, Rosser s division constituted the 
rear guard of the column under Fitz Lee. A continuous 
skirmish with the enemy was kept up. The road was 
muddy and the wagons dragged heavily. At points of 
advantage a stand was made. Sometimes the men dis 
mounted and fired from under cover, at others a dashing 
charge was made, and the confident foe was taught, by the 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 369 

fierceness of the onset, to beware of valor inspired by 
despair. 

The Federals, however, pressed on with numerous 
squadrons. 

A regiment of infantry. Colonel Tabb s of Wise s 
brigade, now aided the rear guard, and the column 
fell back slowly in the direction of Tabernacle Church, the 
enemy keeping at a respectful distance. 

Upon nearing Deep Creek a regiment of Rosser s divi 
sion was sent out to occupy and hold the bridge. But a 
Federal force had already been despatched on the same 
errand. Within a mile of the bridge it was encountered 
and a sharp fight ensued, in which the Confederates were 
worsted. 

The whole of Rosser s division and Wise s brigade of 
infantry now came to the rescue. The Federals stubbornly 
resisted for a while, but were forced to retire after suffering 
serious loss. 

After crossing Deep Creek the cavalry went into camp 
near Tabernacle Church. 

To give a check to the enemy s rapid advance, at Deep 
Creek the command was placed in line of battle to take 
advantage of the defensive position there offered." 4 

In the battle that ensued the Eleventh Regiment, under 
Col. M. D. Ball, and the Twelfth, under Major Knott, par 
ticipated gallantly, repulsing the advance along their front. 

From Deep Creek Rosser s division moved back to the 
Devil s Bridge Road, \vith orders to cover the rear of the 
wagon trains belonging to the main army of Genl. Robert 
E. Lee. 



4 Lee s Report. 



3/o A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Over Devil s Bridge the bulk of Lee s army had crossed 
the Appomattox River to the right bank, and from this 
point on the line of retreat, the Federal pursuit grew daily 
more vigorous. The wagon trains were a favorite object 
of Sheridan s cavalry, as being next in importance to barns, 
stack-yards, and mills, which had suffered so much at 
Sheridan s hands. The same old policy of destroying Lee s 
means of subsistence was kept up to the end. 

Not a few of Lee s wagons, however, were burned by his 
own orders, the knowledge of which had quite a discourag 
ing effect on his soldiers. 

To aid in protecting the trains, Rosser s division was 
ordered to take position near Pleasant Oaks, on the left of a 
heavy infantry force under General Anderson. 

All night long the Federals threatened an advance, but 
the most serious result of their menace, was the loss of sleep 
it entailed on the part of the Confederates. 

On the morning of the 5th Bearing s brigade, the old Lau 
rel, with the rest of the divisionmoved towards Amelia Court 
House. The suffering of the men for the want of food and 
rest were now almost unbearable, and their spirits were 
depressed by the exaggerated rumors of disaster to the in 
fantry columns, which spread quickly through the ranks. 

Intense bodily distress, and a prospect of impending dis 
aster, filled the minds of many with gloomy forebodings, 
and over the hearts of even the bravest there flitted the 
shadows of despair. Yet no outward sign of discourage 
ment was given, only the weary troopers marched on, with 
an intensified desire for the relief of battle depicted in their 
grim and care-worn countenances. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 371 

The hopeful ones, however, were easily encouraged, and 
the promise of better cheer at the next halting place, in a 
measure sustained their spirits, though like the phantom 
waters of the desert, the good cheer failed to be overtaken. 
It was now said that there was an abundance of food and 
forage at Amelia Court House, and with gladdened hearts 
the starving Confederates moved on. Upon arriving there 
some corn-meal was gotten for the men, but there was noth 
ing whatever for the horses. 

After a short halt the march was resumed. An order had 
come for the division to move at once towards Amelia 
Springs, near which place the Federals were engaged in 
burning Lee s trains. Moving at a trot the command soon 
reached Shank s Farm. There were the blackened ruins of 
the wagons, but the Federals were gone. Fitz Lee, with 
a cavalry force, had gotten there ahead of Rosser, but too 
late to prevent the burning of some of the wagons. He had 
ridden on in hot pursuit, leaving orders for Rosser to join 
him, following on the road to Amelia Springs. The jaded 
horses were spurred into a gallop and Fitz Lee was soon 
overtaken. 

Upon nearing the Springs the enemy was discovered 
drawn up on a high ridge. "Ride over them! was Ros- 
ser s order to General Bearing after a momentary inspec 
tion of the hostile force. Dearing did not wait for a second 
command, though the enemy greatly outnumbered him. 
"Forward! Gallop. March! he cried, and waving his hat 
lie led the way, the gallant spirits of the foremost squad 
ron eagerly contending with him for the post of honor. 

The Federals were strongly posted, splendidly armed and 
mounted, and flushed with victory. Against them came a 



372 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

greatly inferior force, both horses and men weak from want 
of food and sleep. Their ammunition was nearly exhausted, 
but their trusty sabres were sharp and gave a steady gleam 
as the charging column approached the summit of the 
ridge. 

The Federals with solid front and stubborn courage 
received the assault. The Confederates did not pause, but 
with fiery eagerness dashed onward, piercing the hostile line 
and using their sabres with great effect ; and the nearest foe- 
men, appalled at the fury of the onset, began to give way 
and turn their backs. The disorder spread and soon the 
whole Federal force broke and fled. Like an avenging 
nemesis the grey troopers rode among them, doing bloody 
execution. With great spirit the Federal officers attempted 
to stem the tide, but the onward rush of the victors seemed 
resistless. 

Along with Bearing rode many of the choice spirits, offi 
cers, and men of the brigade, for as in the charge so in the 
pursuit, there was a noble emulation of valor. Among the 
foremost were Captains James Rutherford, Hugh McGuire, 
and Fox Dangerfield. There, too, with many others were 
the lions of the horse artillery, Majors James Thompson, 
James Breathed, and Col. R. P. Chew. 

In the charge the leading regiment was the Eleventh, 
under Colonel Ball, the foremost company that of Capt. 
Hugh McGuire. 

The Federals in their retreat, when climbing the hill near 
Jeters house, were so closely pursued that they left the road 
and turned into the pines and escaped. 

The Confederates now halted and began to form, in anti 
cipation of a hostile movement from Jetersville, for a large 







CAPT. HUGH H. McGUIRE 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 373 

body of Federal cavalry was posted there. Soon from this 
direction a heavy column approached. The odds were 
great, but once more the grey troopers, McGuire s company 
in front, dashed forward and turned back the Federal col 
umn, driving it pell-mell. 

The violence of the assault gave no opportunity to re 
form, and the superior numbers of the enemy only made the 
unwieldy mass an easier prey for slaughter. The Confed 
erates rode among them sabring at will and chased the 
fugitives back into Jetersville. 

In this action the Federals lost heavily. The loss to the 
Confederates was small in numbers, but two of their best 
officers were mortally wounded, Capt. Hugh McGuire of 
Company E, Eleventh Virginia, and Capt. James Ruth 
erford of General Bearing s staff. Two of my best and 
bravest officers," wrote Genl. Fitz Lee. Two unusually 
promising men and most superb soldiers." wrote General 
Rosser. 

By the men of the brigade the loss of Capt. Hugh Holmes 
McGuire was especially lamented. Being in the early 
flower of manhood, only twenty-three years of age, of 
splendid form, of genial and winning disposition, and rashly 
brave in battle, there were united in him the qualities that 
never fail to win the admiration and affection of men. 5 

The fight was over for that day at least; the trains were 
rescued and the Federals heavily punished, though the 
cravings of hunger were still unappeased. Perhaps the pain 



5 Among the wounded were General Bearing, and Maj. James W. 
Thompson of the horse artillery, each in the arm, and Capt. Foxhall 
Dangerfield of the Seventh Virginia Cavalry, through the thigh. All 
of whom, with their wounds bandaged, participated in the next day s 
fighting, in which the two former met death. 



374 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

of long abstinence had much to do with the fierceness of the 
Confederate charge at Jetersville. 

Says Fitz Lee in his report, "In this encounter thirty of 
the enemy were killed, principally with sabres, and 150 
wounded or captured. The gallantry of General Bearing in 
leading the charge of his command was conspicuous." 

This bloody little victory greatly encouraged the men of 
the brigade, and though they passed a restless night, spend 
ing much of it in search of food and forage, and in caring- 
tor their wounded, they arose at dawn stirred with new 
hope. Little did they think that to many of their bravest 
that day would be the last. 

During the night of the 5th Grant s army had been 
marching in all directions in the endeavor to encompass 
Lee, who had his main body in and around Amelia Court 
House. It was Grant s plan, first, to prevent Lee from 
moving southward and uniting with the army of Johnston, 
and next, if possible, to end the matter before Lee could 
move further west. 

The Federals were full of enthusiasm, each man wishing 
to participate in the overthrow of an army that for four 
long years had been crowned with victory. 

A part of the plan to head off Lee was to destroy High 
Bridge over the Appomattox River. For this purpose a 
considerable body of infantry under General Reid, and a 

Maj. John Locher Knott. of the Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, was 
captain of Company D of the Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, and wa^ 
promoted to the rank of major. He was killed at the desperate fight 
at High Bridge. He was greatly admired and beloved by the men of 
the regiment. No truer patriot nor braver soldier served in the Con 
federate cause. 




MAJ. JOHN LOCHER KNOTT 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 375 

squadron of cavalry under Colonel Washtmrn, had been de 
spatched on the morning of the 6th. 

Rosser with his own division and parts of W. H. F. Lee s 
and Munford s divisions had been ordered by Genl. Fit/ 
Lee to move to Rice s Station, on the Southside Railroad, 
and report to General Long-street. As nearly all the roads 
were occupied by trains and artillery moving in the same 
direction, the march thither had to be mainly through fields 
and woods. By means of efficient guides the march was 
accomplished, and in good time, too, for there was memora 
ble service to be rendered there that day by the cavalry. 

On the part of the Federals General Ord had been 
directed to take possession of all the roads southward 
between Burkeville and High Bridge. 

"On the morning of the 6th Ord sent Colonel Washburn 
with two infantry regiments, with instructions to destroy 
High Bridge and return rapidly to Burkeville station. " 5 

Intelligence of the movement reached Long-street s head 
quarters shortly after the arrival of Rosser with the cavalry, 
and with Long-street s consent Rosser, after having estab 
lished his pickets, and leaving a regiment to support them, 
marched with the rest of his command to overtake and cap 
ture this audacious body of Federals. 

About one o clock P. M. they were discovered near Wat 
son s Farm before they had reached High Bridge. Notified 
of Rosser s approach, General Reid posted his men in a 
strong position along the edge of a forest behind a high 
fence. 

It was of supreme importance that Rosser should attack 
at once, and the Confederates advanced to the assault. 



"Grant s Memoirs. 



376 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Munford s division as well as Rosser s had been greatly 
reduced by the constant fighting and marching, and Ros 
ser s whole force hardly numbered more than 1,200 men. 
The strength of the enemy is unknown, but was less numer 
ically than the Confederate; but their infantry made it 
stronger in point of fact. 

Munford s division, dismounted, advanced through a 
body of pines to the edge of a field, on the opposite side of 
which slightly to the right of Munford s front was General 
Reid s command, behind a high fence in the edge of the 
woods. 

Across this field the dismounted men charged under a 
heavy fire of the enemy s infantry. At the same time the 
mounted brigades of McCausland and Bearing assaulted the 
Federal right flank. Against them boldly advanced a body 
of infantry and cavalry under Colonel Washburn. The 
approaching columns as they drew near each other did not 
slacken speed, but rushed on with reckless daring, eager 
for the trial of strength. 

Washburn, gallantly leading his command, was met with 
equal gallantry by General Bearing, and now all along the 
battle front, there was the clash of steel, and the cries of 
furious combatants mingled with the sound of small arms. 
The two foremost leaders of either side, Bearing and Wash- 
burn, closed in a hand-to-hand encounter, supported each 
by brave followers, who rushed to the rescue of their chiefs, 
and fought around them with determined valor. Bearing 
and Washburn had been old schoolmates at West Point, 
but did not recognize each other. In the general mix-up 
they were separated before either had hurt the other, but a 
moment afterwards Washburn fell pierced by a bullet. 





MAJ. JAMES THOMPSON 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 377 

Bearing 1 , too, fell near by, mortally wounded by a bullet 
supposed by him to have come from his own men, but more 
generally believed to have come from the enemy. Such 
was the confusion and fury of the conflict the truth cannot 
be established. 

Bearing fell while in the act of discharging his pistol at 
General Reid, another schoolmate, who was killed by the 
shot, neither having recognized the other, and around these 
fallen officers the waves of battle surged to and fro, until the 
F ederals of the charging column were all either killed, 
wounded or captured. 

The number of prisoners taken, according to the report 
of Genl. Fitzhugh Lee, amounted to 780. These were taken 
over by the proper officers, and the brigade, now under the 
command of Col. E. V. White, better known as "Lige," of 
the Thirty-fifth Battalion, went with Rosser back to Rice s 
Station. 

Among those who fell in this fight, in the early part of 
it, was the gallant Major Knott of the Twelfth Virginia, a 
modest, brave and efficient officer, exceedingly popular 
among the officers and men, and whose loss was a sad blow 
to the cause. 

There also fell the gallant Maj. James W. Thompson of 
the horse artillery, whose guns being retarded by the impas- 
sability of the roads, had for two days been fighting with 
the cavalry and participated in this desperate engagement; 
the day before, near Amelia Springs he was wounded in 
the arm. He fell while pursuing fugitives after the onset 
at High Bridge, wounded in several places, his death wound 
being through the vertebra of the neck. 



378 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

The hand-to-hand conflicts, in this tierce encounter, 
engaged in by many brave privates as well as officers, are 
worthy of special mention, which space here forbids. 

From High Bridge Rosser returned to Rice s Station 
and took position on the right of Longstreet s line, which 
was in position to resist a threatened advance of the Fed 
erals. The night passed without a battle, though through 
out its weary hours it was constantly expected. 

The tired soldiers, many of whom were suffering from 
wounds, slept on their arms. Indeed, during those seven 
days of retreat sleep was snatched, at odd times, whenever 
the column halted, and often the exhausted riders yielded 
to the demands of nature astride their horses in the march 
ing column. 

On the night of the 6th the position at Rice s Station 
was abandoned, and the cavalry under Genl. Fitz Lee 
moved in the rear of Longstreet towards Farmville, having 
a rear guard fight with the enemy s advance in the streets 
of that town ; the effort of the enemy having been to pre 
vent Fitz Lee from crossing the Appomattox. Their efforts 
were so far successful, that Rosser was forced to move up 
the river about two miles before he could cross, while Fitz 
Lee with the remainder of his force crossed the bridge of 
the Cumberland Court House Road. 

Having gotten successfully over, Rosser moved down the 
river to effect a junction with Fitz Lee. Near the Cum 
berland Plank Road he found the enemy about to assail the 
division under General Munford, and took part in the suc 
cessful defense made by Munford. As the Federals pressed 
on the Laurels, now under White, dashed forward and 
struck the enemy in flank. 




MAJ. FOXHALL A. DANGERFIELD 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 



The other brigade of Rossers division, McCausland s, 
came gallantly on and joined in the fight. The wooded 
and broken country soon made the engagement a desultory 
one, in which detached parties and squadrons charged and 
fought with mutual loss. The Federals, in the confident 
expectation of a general victory near at hand, exhibited 
unusual spirit, charging boldly. But the Confederates, 
though depleted in numbers, fought with the energy of 
despair. 

In one of the Federal charges Genl. J. Irvin Gregg, their 
gallant leader, was unhorsed and captured by one of the 
Seventh Virginia Regiment. 

"The march of the cavalry," says Genl. Fitzhugh Lee 
in his report, "was resumed towards Appomattox Court 
House in rear of Longstreet s corps, and continued that 



Foxhall A. Dangerfield was born in Rockingham county, Virginia, 
at "Westwood," February 8th, 1839. He was descended from dis 
tinguished colonial ancestors, his father and mother being cousins, were 
both grandchildren of Richard Parker, Judge of the General Court of 
the Colony of Virginia, and later of the Supreme Court of Appeals of 
Virginia. 

He was the youngest son of eleven children, and removed with his 
parents to Bath county at an early age ; was educated in most part at 
the semi-military school of George P. Terrill and at Lewisburg Acad 
emy, studied law in the office of his brother-in-law in California, 
from which State he returned home to defend his native State in the 
John Brown raid. Later he studied at the law school now Washing 
ton and Lee University. 

In 1861 the law class disbanded, and after taking his legal examina 
tion at Staunton, he joined the cavalry company commanded by Capt. 
A. T. Richards of Bath county, and in 1862, at the reorganization, 
was elected captain of that compatw, which was soon after transferred 
to Ashby s command, as a company of the Seventeenth Battalion, which 
afterwards was merged into the Eleventh Virginia Cavalry. 

Captain Dangerfield participated in all the engagements of his regi 
ment except when absent from wounds or imprisonments. He was 
wounded at Orange Court House August 2nd. r86-2, receiving a severe 



380 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

order of march throughout the 8th, followed by a portion of 
the Federal infantry. Their cavalry, and the remainder of 
their infantry, pursued the line of railroad from Farmville 
to Appomattox station. 

"During the evening of April the 8th I received orders 
to move the cavalry corps to the front, and to report in per 
son to the commanding general. 

"Upon arriving at his headquarters I found General Long- 
street there, and we were soon joined by General Gordon. 
The condition of our situation was explained by the com 
manding general to us, as the commanders of his three 
corps, and the correspondence between General Grant and 
himself, as far as it had then progressed, was laid before 
us. It was decided that I should attack the enemy s cavalry 
at daylight." 7 



sabre wound and taken prisoner to the Old Capitol, Washington. Being 
soon exchanged, and before his wound was healed, he was again in 
command of his company. 

In the twelve days fighting in the Wilderness the Bath Squadron, 
commanded by him, lost heavily. He was severely wounded at Sapony 
Church. 

In the two days fighting at Trevilians his squadron was actively 
engaged and lost heavily. He was shot through the thigh at Amelia 
Springs, and fought next day in the desperate charge at High Bridge. 

After Appomattox he rode home 230 miles notwithstanding his 
painful wound. 

After the retiring of Col. O. R. Funsten, by seniority M. D. Ball 
became entitled to the rank of colonel, E. H. McDonald of lieutenant- 
colonel, and Foxhall A. Dangerfield of major of the Eleventh Cavalry. 

He was known throughout the brigade as a brave and sagacious 
officer. 

Maj. Holmes Conrad said of him, "The sum of his virtues and graces 
is just that he wore the white flower of a blameless life, and they that 
knew him best can appreciate the fragrance and beauty of that life 
in all its symmetry and perfection. 

7 Last Official Report of Genl. Fitz Lee, War Records, Series I, Vol. 
XLVI, page 1298. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 381 

At daybreak on the Qth the cavalry corps, about 2,400 
men, took position on the right of Gordon s infantry, on the 
Lynchburg Road, a short distance west of Appornattox 
Court House, Rosser s division in the center. 

"The attack was made about sunrise and the enemy s 
cavalry quickly driven out of the way, with a loss of two 
guns and a number of prisoners." 8 

Rosser s division participated in this the last cavalry 
charge of the w r ar, the Laurel Brigade led by the dauntless 
"Lige" White, and when the Lynchburg Road was 
reached wheeled about for the purpose of attacking the 
enemy moving towards Appornattox. 

But soon in the distance white flags were seen, and from 
the mingling of the blue and grey which followed, it became 
evident that all was over. 

Rosser now rode off with his command to Lynchburg. 
The Laurel Brigade the remnant of it, upon reaching 
Lynchburg was disbanded by Colonel White, who informed 
the men that Lee had surrendered, and that the men of the 
Laurel Brigade were at liberty either to accept the terms of 
surrender or to make an effort to join the army of Joseph 
E. Johnston; as to which, each man would have to decide 
for himself. 

A considerable part of the Twelfth Regiment under com 
mand of Lieut. Wm. F. Anderson of Company G, which 
had participated in the last charge, did not escape with the 
brigade towards Lynchburg, but surrendered at Appornat 
tox, according to the special terms agreed upon by Generals 
Lee and Grant, for the cavalry of the Army of Northern 
Virginia. 



8 Lee s Report. 



APPENDIX 



MUSTER ROLL OF SEVENTH VIRGINIA CAVALRY 

(LAUREL BRIGADE), ARMY OF 

NORTHERN VIRGINIA. 



COMPANY A. 
(Furnished by Joshua C. Fletcher. } 

Ashby, Turner, captain, and afterwards colonel of Seventh 

Virginia, and later brigadier-general, killed near Har- 

risonburg, June 6th ; 1862. 
Ashby, Richard, later captain, succeeding his brother Turner, 

was killed or rather wounded at Kelley s Island in 1861, 

and died of his wounds soon after at the house of Mr, 

Washington. 
Ashby, Vernon, dead. 
Ashby, Luther R., third lieutenant, dead. 
Athey, W. Scott (was Baptist preacher), dead. 
Anderson, Edward, died since the war. 
Barnes, Jacob S., living in Baltimore, Md. 
Blackmore, Robert, died since the war. 
Burns, Milton, living in Fairfax county. 
Brent, Warren, killed at Upperville, June 27th, 1863. 
Brent, William, wounded at Buckton in 1862; died October 

3rd, 1904. 
Brent, Hugh, wounded at Buckton in 1863 through the neck; 

living in Baltimore, Md. 

Brent, James A., transferred to Wicher s Battalion. 
Bruce, Charles, killed at Sapony Church in i8C3, Wilson s raid. 
Buckner, Dick, living near Delaplane, Va. 
Cochran, T. B., died since the war. 
Crane, Major, died since the war. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 383 

Cornwall, Silas, died 1862, typhoid fever. 

Carter, George, died since the war. 

Carter, Pitman, killed in the Wilderness in 1864. 

Clem, A. W., blacksmith, dead. 

Chancellor, George, living in Fauquier, near Delaplane. 

Diffendaffer, George, lost sight of. 

Donnelley, John B., died since the war in Washington, D. C. 

Dean, Thomas, drowned in Missouri after the war. 

Darnell, J. B., living at Waynesboro, Va. 

Dawson, Nicholas, living in Baltimore, Md. 

Engle, Bub, Upperville, Va., still living. 

Eastham, Henry, lost sight of; dead. 

Eskridge, H. R., Millbrook, W. Va. 

Flynn, John, died since the war. 

Fletcher, John, captain, was killed at Buckton in 1862. 

Fletcher, Joshua C., second sergeant, badly hurt in a charge in 
November, 1864; living at Bloomfield, Va. 

Fletcher, Clinton, killed at Greenland Gap, West Virginia raid. 

Foster, William, still living ; was a captain in Mosby s Bat 
talion at the close of the war. 

Francis, George W., living in Moundsville, \V. Va. 

Foley, Oswald, killed at Kelley s Island in 1861. 

Geiman, Jesse C., orderly sergeant, living in Bloomfield, Va. 

Gibson, Gurley, living in Alabama. 

Glasscock, Robert, died since the war. 

Grigsby, Bushrod, died since the war. 

Glasscock, Samuel, died since the war. 

Glasscock, Alfred, third lieutenant, died since the war. 

Glasscock, Thomas, living at Paris, Va. 

Garrison, Bushrod, lost a foot in a threshing machine and died 
since the war. 

Garrison, Tip, died since the war ; was wounded at Kelley s 
Island. 

Grigsby, Nat., wounded at Upperville, Ya.. June 2/th, 1863, 
and died. 

Gilmore, Howard, lost sight of as joined other commands. 



384 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Gilmore, Harry, afterwards captain of a partizan company of 

Maryland. 
Gilmore, Dick, lost sight of as joined other commands. In 

Soldiers Home, Pikesville, Md. 
Holmes, Charles, killed at Greenland Gap, W. Va. ; prisoner, 

recaptured; died. 
Hitt, James W., blacksmith for the company, lost sight of; 

dead. 

Harman, Dr. J. D., died since the war at Hamilton, Va. 
Harrison, Daniel B., dead ; wounded several times. 
Hawks, from Texas, killed accidentally. 
Hathaway, C. H., died during the war. 
Homer, Dick, dead. 

Hoffman, Wesley, died since the war at Linden, Va. 
Hughs, Charles, lost sight of. 
Hackley, James, lost sight of. 
Hatcher, D. C., captain, living at Rectortown, Va. 
Hatcher, Harry, sergeant-major, died since the war. 
Hatcher, William, dead. 
Hawbaw, George, living. 
Hefflin, John, lost sight of. 
Herndon, John, living at Hamilton, Va. 
Hoffman, Wesley, died since the war at Linden, Va. 
Jacobs, L. T., living at Hamilton, Va. 
Jones, Scott, killed at Bolivar Heights in 1861. 
Jones, Henry, living. 
Jones, Philip, living. 
Jeffries, James A., living. 
Keys, wounded at Buckton in 1862. 
Kirkpatrick, W. S., lost record of. 
Kincheloe, John W., living at Rectortown, Va. 
Kincheloe, Elisha, no record. 
Kidwell, Evan, died since the war. 

Ladd, John A., wounded at Kelley s Island ; lost sight of. 
Leslie, Thomas, died since the war. 
Long, Pendleton, died since the war. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 385 

Lawler, Robert, died since the war. 

Lake, F. Marion, living in Missouri. 

Lake, Bladen, died with typhoid fever in 1862. 

Lake, Luther, transferred to Eighth Virginia Infantry. 

Larkin, Richard, living in Prince William. 

Marlow, Richard, lost sight of. 

Marlow, John, transferred to White s Thirty-fifth Battalion. 

Massey, Ed\vard, living in Texas. 

McClenigan, S. E. } died since the war. 

Marshall, R. C., wounded at Trevilians depot. 

McArthur, Hickerson, living in Texas ; wounded at Kelley s 

Island. 
Marshall, Tom, joined the Twelfth Regiment; transferred to 

Twelfth Virginia Cavalry. 
Marshall, Polk, joined the Twelfth Regiment; transferred to 

Twelfth Virginia Cavalry. 
Marshall, James, lost sight of. 
Martin, Gibson, died since the war. 
Martin, Thomas, died in 1862. 
Middleton, John, died since the war. 
Middleton, Campbell, living at The Plains, Va. 
Mitler, Proff, lost sight of. 
Mitchell, James, killed in the Wilderness. 
Mitchell, John H., died in 1902. 
Maddox, Webster, died in 1905. 
Maddox, Weadon, killed at Salem (now Marshall). 
Owens, Cuthbert, died since the war. 
O Forton, Dr., killed at Kelley s Island. 
Price, John H., Hillsboro, Va. ; dead. 
Price, James Polk, died since the war. 
Potterneld, Thomas L., orderly sergeant, lives at Lovettsville, 

Va. 
Potterfield, W. H. T., killed near Brandy Station, Va. 



386 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

KNOWN AS THE PAYNE LEGION. 
Payne, Thomas H., orderly sergeant, died in prison (Point 

Lookout). 

Payne, Richard, living near Orleans, Fauquier county, Va. 
Payne, Robert J., killed at Fredericksburg in 1863. 
Payne, Wallace J., killed at Fredericksburg in 1863. 
Payne, Robert B., killed at Fredericksburg. 
Payne, Edward, killed in the Wilderness near Parkers Store. 
Payne, Wilson, killed at Hawe s Shop. 
Payne, Lafayette, living at Orleans, Va. 
Payne, John T., killed at Beverly, W. Va. 
Payne, Upton, living at Orleans. 
Payne, Mason, living at Orleans. 
Payne, Rice, living at Orleans. 

Peyton, Robert E., living near The Plains. 

Pendleton, David, captured at Reams Station and lost sight of. 

Phillips, Evan, living in Fairfax county, Va. 

Phillips, Charles, lost sight of. 

Phillips, John E., lost sight of. 

Packard, William, died since the war. In Point Lookout 
Prison in 1864. 

Reed, Joseph H., died since the war at Luray, Va. 

Rector, William F., dead. 

Rector, Howard, died since the war. 

Rector, Abner, living near Rectortown, Va. 

Rector, Columbus, living near The Plains, Va. 

Rector, Asa, living near Rectortown, Va. 

Rust, H. Clay, transferred to Twelfth Virginia Cavalry ; killed. 

Rust, John R., living near Nineveh, Va. Afterwards first lieu 
tenant of Company I, Twelfth Virginia Cavalry. 

Robinson, (Bear), lost sight of; wounded at. Brandy Station 
in 1863. 

Rogers, William (wagoner), died during the war. 

Scanlon, Bade, lost sight of. 

Skinner, William Jeff, died in 1901. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 387 

Skinner, Charles, living at Rectortown, Va. ; badly wounded at 

Buckton. 

Stewart, John W., living- in Iowa. 
Sutton, James, died since the war. 
Silcott, Landon, died since the war. 
Selix, Tom, killed at Stevensburg in 1863. 
Smith, Golden H., died since the war. 
Smith, Seldon, living in Baltimore. 
Smith, Horace, living near Rectortown, Va. 
Smith, O Connell, died during the war. 
Smith, Granville, first lieutenant, killed on the Cattle raid. 
Smith, Sullivan, second lieutenant, died since the war. 
Settle, Dr. T. L., Paris, Va. 
Strother, Lewis, Paris, Va. 
Smith, Thomas, lost sight of. 
Strother, John W., Paris, Va. 
Taylor, Rufus, living near Rectortown, Va. 
Templeman, James, living near Markham, Va. 
Triplett, Leonidas, living at Mt. Jackson, Va. 
Templeman, Robert, living at Orleans, Va. 
Templeman, Dr. James, died in Baltimore since the war. 
Turner, William F., captain, died since the war. 
Turner, Thomas, killed at Ashland in 1864. 
1 urner, Hezekiah, died since the war. 
Tibbetts, Albert, killed in 1864 near Edenburg, Va. 
Utz, J. J., wounded at Orange Court House. 
Violet, Elizah, killed at Reams Station in 1863. 
Wigfield, William, living. 
Wigfield, James, living. 
Wiggonton, Isaac, living. 

Welsh, F. R., third sergeant, living at The Plains. 
Welsh, Silvester M., living in King George county, Va. 
Welsh, S. M., wounded and captured at Boonesville, Md. 
Wigginton, James, lost sight of. 
Wilson, William, lost sight of. 
Wigginton, Isaac, lost sight of. 



388 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

At the close of the war there were the following officers : 

Capt. Dan Hatcher, of Rectortown, Va. 

First Lieut. Sullivan Smith, dead. 

Second Lieut. Luther Ashby, Staunton, Va. 

Orderly Sergt. T. L. Potterfield, Lovettsville, Va. 

Second Sergt. J. C. Fletcher, Belmont, Va. 

Corp. Wallace Payne, Fauquier county, Va. 

Second Corp. J. W. Middleton, dead. 

COMPANY B. 

(Furnished by Cyrus Fitzer of Maurertown, Va.} 
OFFICERS. 

First Capt. John Q. Winfield, dead. 

Second Capt. J. H. Magruder, killed in Madison county, Va. 
Third Capt. D. Humphreys. 

Lieut. J. N. Liggett, living in Harrisonburg, Va. 
First Lieut. S. B. Jordon, wounded May 28th, 1864; dead. 
First Lieut. J. S. Pennybacker, dead. 
Lieut. P. P. Kenon, dead. 

Second Lieut. Jacob Acker, wounded August 25th, 1864; dead. 
First Sergt. Erasmus Neff, dead. 

First Sergt. Henry Mason, living in Rockingham county, Va. 
Second Sergt. Joe N. Riddle, living in Broadway, Va. 
Second Sergt. S. F. Mullen. 
Third Sergt. Phineas Stickley, dead. 

Third Sergt. T. W. Funk, living in Rockingham County, Va. 
Fourth Sergt. Aaron Fitzwaters. 
Fourth Sergt. Joe Showalter, dead. 
Fifth Sergt. John W. Moore, living in Broadway, Va. 
First Corp. D. D. Pennybacker, living in Broadway, Va. 
First Corp. William F. Bowers, living in Rockingham county, 
Va. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 389 

Second Corp. Isaac Richie, killed May 28th, 1864. 
Fourth Corp, Henry Zirkle, living in Rockingham county, Va. 
Second Corp. Edmund Taylor, living in Rockingham county, 
Va. 

PRIVATES. 

Acker, Peter, living in Indiana. 

Acker, Isaac, living in Rockingham county, Va. 

Ashby, Richard, taken prisoner March, 1862; living. 

Alger, Harry, living. 

Bowman, George, killed. 

Bowman, Michael, living in Madison county, Va. 

Barglebaugh, John M., dead. 

Baker, Daniel. 

Burkholder, George E. 

Bull, A. V., killed in 1864 near Turleytown. 

Beam, John, wounded at Mechanicsburg, February, 1864. 

Byrd, Jerry. 

Barks, David, living in Rockingham county, Va. 

Bush, Henry, dead. 

Baxter, Jacob T., living in Rockingham county, Va. 

Burns, Jacob, living in Rockingham county, Va. 

Barbe, Daniel. 

Barbe, Simon. 

Barbe, Noah. 

Black, Richard, dead. 

Brock, William, dead. 

Brock, Godfrey, dead. 

Beam, Jacob, living in Rockingham county, Va. 

Cowell, A. J., living. 

Carpenter, N. H. 

Custer, Isaac, dead. 

Cromer, David R., living in Rockingham county, Va. 

Coffelt, J. D., lost a leg in the battle of Buckton Station. 

Carpenter, John. 



390 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Coffman, George C., wounded May 28th, 1864. 

Devier, Giles, living in Harrisonburg, Va. 

Devier, H. K., dead. 

Dyer, A. W., dead. 

Duff, W. J., taken prisoner and took oath. 

Emswiler, Samuel, taken prisoner July 7th, 1863; living in 

Rockingham county, Va. 

Emswiler, W. P., living in Rockingham county, Va. 
Emswiler, J. P., dead. 
Emswiler, Noah, killed near Port Republic. 
Fulk, John G., killed ; no better soldier in the army. 
Fulk, George C. 
Fulk, John G. 
Fulk, Harry. 
Fulk, William. 

Fetzer, Cyrus, living in Shenandoah county, Va. 
Funk, Milton E., dead. 

Funk, Hopkins R., living in Shenandoah county, Va. 
Funk, James, living in Texas. 
Funk, William, dead. 
Frank, Samuel, dead. 
Funk, A. D., wounded May, 1864. 
Good, Jacob, living in Texas. 
Grabill, Cornelius, dead. 
Grabill, Charles, dead. 
Grabill, R. C, dead. 
Hollar, Samuel B., living in Texas. 
Hulvey, Peter, dead. 
Haisley, W. T. 
Horn, Alrazi, dead. 
Harris, John H., dead. 
Hupp, Charles T., dead. 
Hulvey, Jonathan, dead. 
Hall, Rasin. 
Jones, Israel, taken prisoner December iith, 1862, near Darks- 

ville, Va. 



A HISTORY OF THE LATRKL BRIGADE 391 

Jones, Evan, living- in Rockingtiam county, Va. 

Keyes, Erasmus L. 

Lindamood, Sylvanus, dead. 

Lindamood, James, dead. 

Leacy, John, dead. 

Miller, Isaac. 

Morris. Alfred, taken prisoner July. 1863; living. 

Miller, John, dead. 

Miller, William, dead. 

Minnick, William, living in Broadway, Va. 

Minnick, Levi, dead. 

Messick, William. 

Mason, Henry, living in Rockingham county. Va. 

Magruder, John H. 

May, George, honorably discharged October 8th, 1863. 

Muller, George. 

Muller, Emanuel. 

Muller, S. F. 

Moore, George, killed. 

Moore, Samuel, living in Rockingham county. Va. 

Neff, John H., dead. 

Neff, Michael, living. 

Newham, William P. 

Penny backer, John S., dead. 

Phillips, John, dead. 

Pennybacker, Isaac, living. 

Penny backer, B. R. 

Pennybacker, John, dead. 

Richey, Isaac, dead. 

Richey, Frank J., living. 

Rader, Peter, living in Broadway. Va. 

Rader, George, dead. 

Rader, Jacob L., dead. 

Rader, C. S., living. 

Rader, George C. 

Reedv, Isaac. 



392 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Ritchie, Solomon, living. 

Sprinkle, William F., living. 

Shoup, John C, killed near Woodstock, Va. 

Shoup, Jacob G., killed at Gettysburg. 

Swanson, William. 

Scott, J. T., living in Rockingham county, Va. 

Stickley, Dan. 

Showalter, Michael. 

Showalter, Abraham, taken prisoner December nth, 1862. 

Simmers, John, dead. 

Silvius, Uriah, dead. 

Turner, Jacob. 

Turner, Moses, living in Rockingham county, Va. 

Trumbo, Benjamin, dead. 

Thomas, John, dead. 

Wean, E. J., dead. 

Wean, Noah. 

West, John, living in Rockingham county, Va. 

Will, C. B., dead. 

Wood, George M., living in Rockingham county, Va. 

Wean, Abram, living in Rockingham county, Va. 

Wean, Jacob, living in Rockingham county, Va. 

Zirkle, David P., living in Shenandoah county, Va. 

COMPANY C. 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. Samuel B. Myers, wounded at Orange Court House; 

promoted major in 1863. 
Capt. J. E. Myers, killed May 7th, 1864. 
First Lieut. Philip Bowers. 

First Lieut. George Murphy, promoted afterwards. 
Second Lieut. R. Rosenberger, killed. 
Second Lieut. R. M. Lantz, wounded. 
Second Lieut. J. E. Allen. 
Third Lieut. S. G. Clark, wounded. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 393 

Third Lieut. J. R. Miley. 
Corp. John Myers. 
Corp. Whiten Bowman. 
Corp. John Dirting. 
Corp. Ananias Sheetz. 
Sergt. D. C. Clinedinst. 
Sergt. Fadely Lorenzo. 
Sergt. C. Rosenberger. 
Sergt. G. C. Rinehart. 

PRIVATES. 

Allison, William. 

Artz, Peter. 

Bradford, William, Q. M., wounded. 

Bird, Hite. 

Bowman, Calvin. 

Brenner, Casper. 

Burke, John T. 

Bowers, Ezra. 

Baker, James. 

Bowman, Daniel. 

Bishop, Thomas. 

Bishop Charles. 

Bird, Samuel. 

Bowers, Harvey. 

Burke, John. 

Bowman, L. B., wounded. 

Bowers, Johnson, killed. 

Bowers, Jacob. 

Bretts, Joseph. 

Cheek, Joseph. 

Clinedinst, Isaac. 

Clinedinst, Augustine. 

Clinedinst, William. 

Clinedinst, A. B., wounded. 

Coffman, Addison. 



394 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Clark, E., wounded. 

Coffman, A., wounded. 

Crabill, J., killed. 

Conn, W. 

Cook, H. 

Coffman, B. 

Chilcott, Jonathan. 

Coffelt, Joseph. 

Coffelt, Ananias. 

Carper, William, wounded. 

Coffman, E., wounded. 

Dudley, William. 

Day, Robert. 

Day, James, wounded. 

Dellinger. Amos. 

Bellinger, James, killed. 

Dellinger, R. 

Dellinger, Emmanuel, killed. 

Dirting, P. J., wounded. 

Day, John, wounded. 

Estep, Jack. 

Estep, Robert. 

Emswiller, Lemuel. 

Evans, A. J. 

Evans, Samuel. 

Fry, R., wounded. 

Fry, James. 

Fadely, William. 

Foster, James T. 

Font, Enoch. 

Fravel, F. M. 

Fry, Israel. 

Fravel, William. 

Farrow, William, killed. 

Fleming, Harvey. 

Fadely, Eli. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 395 



Fadely, Joseph. 

Fogle, Harvey. 

Fry, Joseph. 

GranstafT, Lem. 

Gaw, Robert. 

Griffith, John, killed. 

Grove, William, wounded. 

Grechnour, David. 

Grimm, Franklin. 

Hanson, Aquilla, wounded. 

Hollar, Samuel. 

Hollar, Reuben. 

Hollar, Mahlon. 

Hollar, John, wounded. 

Hollar, William, wounded. 

Hallar, Robert, wounded. 

Holtzman, Beverly. 

Hottel, D. J. 

Hottel, Isaac. 

Helsley, Washington. 

Hanson, William. 

Kerns, Isaac. 

Kees, Alfred. 

Kagey, John. 

Long, Eli. 

Lindamood, George. 

Lutz, William. 

Lantz, George. 

Larkins, William. 

Litten, Eli. 

Litten, Ben. 

Lewland, Lemuel. 

Magruder, John. 

Olinger, William. 

Pain, J. O. 

Pullin, Andrew. 



396 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Patton, John. 
Patton, George. 
Palmer, J. 

Racey, Mat., wounded. 
Reed, John. 

Riddlemoser, D., killed. 
Ross, D. 
Racey, Luke. 
Ran, Ansben. 
Russell, T. 
Russell, M. 
Ran, James. 
Ran, John. 
Ran, David. 
Ruby, David. 
Ross, S. 
Strickler, Abe. 
Shadwell, H., killed. 
Shorts, Frederick. 
Sheets, Isaac, wounded. 
Sheets, Elias, wounded. 
Stoneburner, William. 
Varner, John. 
Watson, John. 

COMPANY E. 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. Thomas H. Buck. 

First Lieut. Samuel J. Simpson. 

Second Lieut. W. H. Willis. 

Third Lieut. Walter Buck. 

First Sergt. Edwin G. Buck, served during the entire war. 

Second Sergt. D. M. Cloud. 

Third Sergt. W. M. Cloud. 

Fourth Sergt. J. R. Jenkins. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 397 

First Corp. Henry Heater. 
Second Corp. W. D. Little. 
Third Corp. T. M. Ray 
Fourth Corp. A. A. McKay. 

PRIVATES. 
Adams, A. 
Ash, J. H. 
Bayly, R. B. 
Beaby, I. L. 
Beren, William. 
Boone, J. W. 
Brown, J. M. 
Brown, J. W. 
Brown, J. H. 
Bowling, W. A. 
Buck, C. N. 
Buck, W. A. 
Buck, John N. 

Buck, T. W., killed at Cedar Creek, Nov. 1863. 
Churchill, W. A. 
Clapsaddle, Byrd. 
Clapsaddle, M. A. 
Cline, H. C. 
Cline, W. R. 
Cook, Giles. 
Cook, Wythe. 
Cook, Scott. 
Doran, B. 
Eastham, Philip. 
Foster, J. L. 
Foster, G. A. 
Garrison, M. L. 
Grubbs, Nathan. 
Green, F. W. 
Heater, John. 



398 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Henry, Hugh. 
Henry, Charles. 
Houser, W. F. N. 
Helm, Robert. 
Invin, Marcus. 
Jackson, William. 
Johnson, John I. 
Kendrick, J. W. 
Lacy, Henry. 
Lacy, J. R. 
Mitchell, Shipp. 
Naid, George. 
Xeville, P. G. 
Neville, J. D. 
Oliver, J. W. 
Orndoff, O. 
Parkins, A. D. 
Putnam, J. K. P. 
Richardson, Marcus. 
Robinson, William. 
Richardson, C. M. 
Rogers, W. A. 
Royston, T. 
Spicer, B. B. 
Steed, F. 
Steed, W. T. 
Vaughan, George. 
Wines, Burwell. 
Brown, Edward. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 399 

COMPANY F.* 

(As published in the Moorefield Weekly Examiner of Decem 
ber i^th, 1904.) 



OFFICERS. 

Capt. George F. Sheetz. 

First Lieut. Angus W. McDonald. 

Second Lieut. George H. Baker, dead ; succeeded by Charle 

H. Vandiver, who lost an arm near Reams Station. 
First Sergt. John C. Leps, killed. 
Second Sergt. John Johnson, wounded. 
Third Sergt. Anthony Cain, dead. 
Fourth Sergt. James T. Parker. 
Fifth Sergt. Charles W. Smoot. 
First Corp. Charles H. Vandiver. 
Second Corp. J. A. Parrill. 
Third Corp. C. H. Sisk. 
Fourth Corp. James Pollick. 

PRIVATES. 
Allen, Hiram. 

Alexander, Eugene, transferred to artillery in 1862. 
Allen, Elijah, died in hospital. 
Arnold, John S., dead. 



*Lieut.-Col. Thomas Marshall, in his official report of the Seventh 
Regiment in the Gettysburg campaign (Records of the War of the Re 
bellion, Series I, Vol. XXII, Part II), says: "In respect to the conduct 
upon the field of the officers of this regiment, as far as my observation 
has extended, it has been active, zealous and gallant. If I may be 
allowed to mention the case of a single one as peculiarly marked, it 
would be that of Lieut. C. H. Vandiver, who on every occasion is among 
the foremost, and who, at the Fairfield fight, with his double-barreled 
shotgun whipped in a single combat three of the foe, shooting one, 
capturing a second and putting the third to flight." 

tHe was one of the party who captured Generals Crook and Kelly in 
Cumberland, Md. 



400 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Bane, James A., wounded in Hampton Cattle raid in 1864; 

dead. 

Bonney, James. 
Baker, Jacob A. 
Baker, Henry, died in 1864. 
Baker, John W., died in 1864. 
Berry, Samuel, dead. 
Baker, Levi. 

Bowers, M. B. Y., dead. 
Bower, Page. 
Bowers, Charles I., dead. 
Berry, Samuel. 
Chancy, Thomas. 

Cupp, Jesse, wounded at Strasburg. 
Carroll, Zedekiah. 

Cunningham, James H., afterwards second sergeant; dead. 
Cunningham, George F. 
Cunningham, James W. 
Cayner, William. 
Clark, William F. 
Cahill, Joseph. 

Cahil, William H., wounded in 1863. 
Davis, Reuben S. 
Davis, Samuel R. 

Davis, Charles, killed at Rudes Hill. 
Davis, Leslie. 
Dawson, Dory W. 
Douphit, John, died in 1861. 
Dignan, Patrick. 
Everitt, George W. 

Engle, Samuel C, killed at Brandy Station in 1863. 
Edwards, Robert, wounded. 
Ervin, W. D., dead. 
Fay, John B., Washington, D. C. ; planned the capture of 

Generals Crook and Kelly, and directed and helped in 

the execution of the raid. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 401 

Fox, David. 

Gassman, Jacob, wounded in 1863; led the way to General 

Crooks room in the Revere House, Cumberland. 
Gill, James. 

Goldsborough, Thomas, died in prison in 1863. 
Gates, Charles. 
Grayson, William. 
Grim, M. V. 

High, Samuel, murdered in 1861. 
High, Frederick, murdered in 1862. 
Heironimus, Jacob. 
Harness, Adam C, dead. 

Houseworth, William W., afterwards with Third Corps. 
Harman, Joseph. 

Harmison, M. G., killed at Orange Court House. 
Harrison, Isaac E. 
Hollenback, Thomas. 
Hutton, J. S., dead. 
Harrison, William B. 
Heitt, James, dead. 
Healy, Thomas, dead. 
Healy, Maurice. 
Harrison, Thomas. 
Harlan, Scott, wounded in 1863. 
Hopewell, John. 

Heltzel, Samuel J., wounded in 1863; dead. 
Harness, W. W. 

Inskeep, W. V., died from wounds. 
Inskeep, James, died in 1862. 
Inskeep, John W. 
Irvin, Elias L. 
Johnson, Isaac, died in 1862. 
Johnson, Robert. 
Jones, David. 
Johnson, George H. 
Kuykendall, Isaac, promoted to captaincy in 1863. 



4O2 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Kuykendall, J. W., dead. 

Kelley, J. T., dead. 

Kelley, Patrick, wounded near Berryville; dead. 

Kackley, Joseph. 

Kackley, George. 

Lamar, William. 

Liller, Isaac. 

Leise, John W. 

Leise, George. 

Leise, James. 

Liggett, Calvin. 

Lovett, Mortimer M., wounded at Orange Court House. 

Lyons, William. 

Leps, William. 

Moore, Joseph. 

McBlain, Duncan. 

McKee, Smith F. 

Maslin, James. 

Maslin, W. H., dead. 

Marts, Michael. 

Me Cord, Thomas. 

Mclnturff - . 

Mathias, G. W., afterwards fifth sergeant. 

Millison, B. F. 

McCauley, B. F. 

McAloy, Warren. 

Miller, H. C. 

Myers, Samuel. 

Neal, Thomas. 

Offutt, Jonathan. 

O Brian, James. 

Parsons, William L. 

Pugh, John W., died in prison. 

Pugh, John, died at Camp Chase. 

Pugh, James. 

Parrill, James R. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 403 

Pan-ill, William H. 

Parrill, John C. 

Powers, Daniel. 

Pollock, James. 

Parran, John. 

Pierce, J. T., dead. 

Price, Richard C. 

Pancake, Silas. 

Rine, John J., wounded at Upperville in 1863. 

Rinehart, Chandler H. 

Rine, James H. 

Rollings, Sanford. 

Seymour, M. 

Shriver, Anthony. 

Shriver, Henry. 

Shriver, John. 

Skelton, W. M. 

Shillenburg, Amos. 

Stover, John. 

Shaw, John. 

Smith, William. 

Smith, Isaac. 

Short, James. 

Shoemaker, G. W. 

Sherrard, Robert. 

Sisk, C. H., dead. 

Taylor, James H., wounded at Culpeper Court House. 

Taylor, Rufus. 

Tilden, Robert J., wounded at Romney in 1861. 

Taylor, John W., wounded at Hampton Cattle raid in 1864. 

Taylor, James, wounded at Culpeper Court House. 

Tremon, Eurbrige. 

Throckmartin, W. W. 

Ulum, John. 

Vanmeter, Charles W. 

Vanmeter, R. B. 



404 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Van Meter, David P. 

Van Meter, Isaac. 

Van Meter, Milton, killed on September i/th in Hampton 
Cattle raid. 

Van Meter, Edwin. 

Van Meter, David G., wounded at Fairfield, Pa., in 1863. 

Vance, James. 

Vest, A. J. 

Vest, Charles F. 

Van Horn, John M. 

Williams, J. V. 

Warden, Jacob, promoted to captaincy and sent to Twenty- 
third Virginia Cavalry. 

Warden, William, died in 1863. 

Warden, James. 

Welch, Robert, dead. 

Welch, Lewis, F. C. W., dead. 

Wright, M. F., surgeon, dead. 

Welton, Aaron. 

Welton, James. 

Wood, James. 

Zell, James A. 

Zell, Robert. 

REORGANIZATION IN APRIL, 1862, AT SPINDLES STORE, LONY 
CREEK, PAGE COUNTY, VA. 

Capt. George F. Sheets, killed at Buckton Station in 1862. 

First Lieut. George H. Baker, asked to resign. 

Second Lieut. Isaac Kuykendall, made captain at battle of 

Cedar Mountain. 

Third Lieut. James T. Parker, made first lieutenant. 
First Sergt. Adam C. Harness. 
Second Sergt. Charles H. Vandiver, who lost an arm near 

Reams Station. 
Third Sergt. Anthony Cain. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 405 

Fourth Sergt Charles W. Smoot. 

Fifth Sergt. James Pollick. 

First Corp. James A. Parrill. 

Second Corp. C. H. Sisk. 

Third Corp. Dory W. Dawson. 

Fourth Corp. Hiram Allen. 

Fifth Corp. or Quarter Master Sergt. George Mathias. 

COMPANY G. 

(Furnished by T. J. Young, of Austin, Texas, and others.) 

OFFICERS. 

Capt. Dr. J. F. Mason. 

Lieut. Sturgis Davis, afterwards captain, Baltimore county, 

Md. ; wounded. 

Second Lieut. Thaddeus Thrasher, killed at Kernstown. 
Third Lieut. Jeff. Smith, Baltimore county, Md., dead. 

PRIVATES. 

Annan, Roger, living in St. Louis. 
Buck, James, Morgan county, Va., wounded. 
Brown, B. Bernard, Baltimore, Md., living. 
Brown, Robert, killed on Catharpin Road, Cattle raid. 
Bouic, J. P., Rockville, Md., dead ; wounded. 
Boone, Daniel, Frederick county, Md., dead. 
Brashears, T. P., Frederick county, Md., dead; wounded. 
Burns, William, Frederick county, Md., dead; wounded. 
Cross, Lew., Baltimore county, Md., dead; wounded. 
Crown, Josh., Frederick county, Md., dead; afterwards cap 
tain; wounded. 

Crown, John, Frederick county, Md., dead; wounded. 
Crown, Frederick, Frederick county, Md., dead. 
Clemens, Ridgley, killed at Beverly, W. Va. 



406 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Canter, John, Charles county, Md. 

Contwell, Joseph. 

Caldwell, Edward, Loudoun county, Va., dead ; wounded. 

Carlisle, Charles, killed near Martinsburg. 

Crampton, B. P., afterwards captain until close of the war; 

dead; wounded. 

Dunlop, John, Frederick county, Md., dead ; wounded. 
Dormedy, John, Cumberland, Md., killed. 
Dorsey, Charles, Howard county, Md. 
Dorsey, Nick. 

Edwards, William, living in West Virginia, wounded. 
Emerson, Ridgely, living in West Virginia, wounded. 
Gilbert, Stevens, living in West Virginia, wounded. 
Graham, Israel, living in Frederick county, Md., wounded. 
Grubb, Richard, afterwards captain, killed. 
Gatch, Thomas, living in Baltimore county, Md., wounded. 
Gover, William, Loudoun county, Va., dead. 
Green, John, Charles county, Md. 
Gilmor, Harry, Baltimore county, Md., afterwards colonel; 



Gittings, Edward, Frederick county, Md., dead. 

Gilmore, Howard, Baltimore county, Md., dead. 

Howell, Rodney, afterwards lieutenant, dead ; wounded. 

Higgins, James, Cumberland, Md., killed. 

Higgins, Henry, Cumberland, Md., killed. 

Hughes, Irving, Howard county, Md., killed. 

Hannon, Henry, Charles county, Md., dead. 

Hilleary, Clarence, Frederick county, Md., living; wounded at 

Fairfield, Md. 

Hilleary, Thomas, Frederick county, Md., living. 
Lee, Edmund, Jefferson county, W. Va., dead ; wounded. 
Hoax, Robert, Loudoun county, Va., dead ; wounded. 
King, Thompson, Anne Arundel county, Md., living ; wounded- 
Kemp, William, Baltimore county, Md., killed. 
Keller, Ab., Allegany county, Md., killed. 
Knott, Frank, Frederick county, Md., killed. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 407 

Merriman, Richard, Baltimore county, Md., wounded. 

Motter, Jake, Frederick county, Md., wounded. 

Miller, William, Washington county, Md., dead ; wounded. 

Money, Ephraim, died at Point Lookout. 

Marshall, Humphrey, Kentucky, dead. 

Minor, Fairfax, Loudoun county, Va., dead. 

Marlow, Robert, Frederick county, Md., dead. 

Mooney, William. 

Norris, James, Baltimore county, Md., dead. 

Orrison, Town, Loudoun county, Va., dead ; wounded. 

Orndorf, Jim, Jefferson county, W. Va., wounded. 

Osburn, Joseph, Loudoun county, Va., living; wounded. 

Owens, Charles, Anne Arundel county, Md., afterwards cap 
tain ; wounded. 

Paul, William. 

Peyton, Henry. 

Philpott, Blanchard, afterward third lieutenant ; wounded. 

Rate, Charles, Charles county, Md., dead ; wounded. 

Rench, Charles, Washington county, Md., dead. 

Ridge, Emerson. 

Ritenour, W. H. 

Russell, Dr. Charles, Loudoun county, Va. 

Singleton, Thomas, Montgomery county, Md., living in Wash 
ington ; wounded. 

Sakers, Sam, Maryland, killed. 

Staub, R. P. H., Virginia, dead. 

Shepperd, Thomas, Baltimore county, Md., wounded. 

Shepperd, Abe, Jefferson county, W. Va. 

Smith, Clapham, afterwards third lieutenant, dead ; wounded. 

Stocks, Thomas, Loudoun county, Va., wounded. 

Stoaks, Brad., Frederick county, Md., dead ; wounded. 

Stone, William, Washington City, living, wounded. 

Trapnell, Joseph, Frederick county, Md., now at Charlestown, 
W. Va. 

Thomas, James H., Frederick county, Md., killed. 

Thomas, Charles, Charles county, Md., killed. 



408 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

White, E. V., Loudoun county, Va., later colonel; wounded. 
Welsh, Warner, Frederick county, Md., afterwards, captain; 

wounded. 

Wagner, Charles, Baltimore City, wounded. 
Wakenight, William, Washington county, Md., now at Har- 

risonburg, Va. ; wounded. 

Wilson, C. P., Frederick county, Md., dead ; wounded. 
West, Eugene, Frederick county, Md., dead ; wounded. 
West, J. P., Frederick county, Md., living; wounded. 
Young, Doric, Loudoun county, Va., living; wounded. 
Young, T. J., Austin, Ark. 

COMPANY H. 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. I. C. Sharp, killed October Qth, 1864. 
First Lieut. Jacob Sharp, killed at Gettysburg. 
Second Lieut. Durich Pennybacker. 

NON-COM MISSIONED OFFICERS. 

First Sergt. Benjamin Pennybacker. 
Second Sergt. Phineus Stickley, wounded. 
Third Sergt. John Folk, killed. 
First Corp. William Hesley. 
Second Corp. Daniel Stickley. 
Third Corp. Jacob Good. 



PRIVATES. 



Altafer, J. M. 
Bowman, Michael, dead. 
Bowman, Edward, dead. 
Black, Richard. 
Brock, Godfrey. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 409 

Brock, William. 

Bean, William, company cook. 

Deppo, Phil. 

Deppo, David. 

Diddier, Hiram. 

Dinkle, Enoch, killed at Gettysburg. 

Ettinger, David. 

Finnegan, Richard. 

Fitzwaters, Isaac, killed. 

Hesley, Milton. 

Harner, George. 

Holtsinger, Andrew. 

Harlow, Samuel. 

Jordan, John. 

Jordan, Samuel. 

Moore, Joseph, killed in Cattle raid. 

Mead, - 

Moffit, Willis, quartermaster. 

Miller, - 

Mulhere, Bernard. 

Manley, George, wounded October Qth, 1864. 

Orelock, Sampson. 

Pence, John, wounded and died. 

Pennybacker, Ide, wounded. 

Roads, 

Ready, 

Rador, Cortus. 

Rice, Joseph, wounded in the Wilderness. 

Shultz, William. 

Simmers, 

Swanson, 

Stanley, 

Sandy, William. 

Showalter, Henry. 

Tappan, Y., wounded in Cattle raid. 

Wiseman, John. 



4io A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 



Wilson, 

Windell, James. 
Whisman, John. 

COMPANY I. 

(Furnished by J. H. Flemming, of Dayton, Va.) 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. E. H. Shans,, killed accidentally in Rockingham county. 
First Lieut. Noah D. Roudabush, died of typhoid fever in 

Hampshire county. 
Second Lieut. A. C. Lincoln. 
Third Lieut. Rease. 

Third Lieut. Jacob Michael, succeeded Rease. 
Third Lieut. Moses O Brian, succeeded Michael. 

AFTER REORGANIZATION. 
Capt. A. C. Lincoln. 

First Lieut. Derick Rader, discharged on account of ill health. 
Second Lieut. John Crawford. 

Third Lieut. John W. Hughes, commanded the company the 
last two years of the war and deserved much credit. 

PRIVATES. 

Armentrout, Abraham. 

Armentrout, David. 

Archer, Peter. 

Bryan, Robert. 

Bryan, Jeremiah, fourth corporal. 

Bazle, Moses. 

Bowman, Benjamin. 

Bowman, Jacob. 

Bowman, Michael. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 41 1 

Brown, Isaac. 

Bush, Henry. 

Bush, Erasmus. 

Bull, Henry. 

Black, Samuel. 

Baldwin, James. 

Baxter, Frank. 

Cook, John. 

Detrick, Jackson. 

Detrick, Harvey. 

Desser, John. 

Desser, Milton. 

Depoy, Isaac. 

Depoy, Philip. 

Depoy, Henry, dead. 

Dinkle, Allen. 

Dinkle, Enos, third sergeant; dead. 

Dinkle, John. 

Flemming, John. 

Flemming, H. F. 

Flemming, J. H., first corporal. 

Flarity, John. 

Foster, Frank. 

Gyer, John. 

Grannels, Christopher. 

Gills, William. 

Gills, Daniel. 

Garland, William, third corporal. 

Gaither, James. 

Good, William. 

Good, Jacob. 

Hayes, John W. 

Homan, Washington. 

Homan, William. 

Holland, Jerry. 

Hess, Abraham, fourth sergeant. 



412 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Hinton, John. 

Harrison, William. 

Harrison, David. 

Harrington, Henry. 

Hume, Benjamin. 

Hoover, Jacob. 

Joseph, Moses. 

Joseph, John. 

Joseph, Strother, killed on Blackwater Cattle raid. 

Kearney, James H. 

Kerigan, Henry. 

Kelly, David. 

Lee, Jack, killed at Upperville. 

Latham, James. 

Laymen, Reuben. 

Loker, Marion. 

Lincoln, David. 

Loftes, Arch. 

Loftes, Ralph. 

Landis, George. 

Landis, Robert. 

Landis, Washington. 

Laymon, Philip, killed at Appomattox. 

McDorman, Samuel. 

McDorman, John. 

Michael, R. T., killed at Cedar Creek. 

Maupin, Horace. 

Morris, Henry. 

Morris, George, dead. 

Morris, P. 

McKey, Edward. 

Odewalt, John. 

Pirkey, E. 

Pirkey, Henry. 

Planger, Jacob. 

Planger, Jacob, Jr. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 413 

Planger, John, second sergeant. 

Roudabush, William R. 

Pennybaker, Joseph. 

Reedy, George. 

Richards, James, second corporal. 

Robinson, John, quartermaster. 

Robinson, John, Jr. 

Robinson, William, wounded at Cedar Creek. 

Robinson, Richard. 

Ray, David. 

Ray, Joseph. 

Rhodes, Preston. 

Rader, Peter. 

Rader, John, killed at the Wilderness. 

Rinehart, John. 

Riley, Owen. 

Riley, Michael, first sergeant. 

Smith, Samuel. 

Scott, George. 

Simpson, Thomas. 

Turner, James. 

Terrill, William. 

Terrill, St. Clair. 

Thomas, Samuel. 

Thomas, Michael. 

Webster, George. 

Webster, William. 

Webster, Robert. 

West, D. 

Winegard, John. 

Whisman, James. 

Whisipan, Charles. 

Wood, George. 

Whitmore, Frank. 

Whitmore, John. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

COMPANY K. 

(Compiled by John L. Schaeffer, Quicksburg, Va.) 
OFFICERS. 



First Capt. William Miller, died in Baltimore. 

Second Capt. H. R. T. Koontz, killed near Mt. Jackson, Va. 

(date forgotten). 
Third Capt. J. G. Neff, wounded three times, twice severely ; 

living in Mt. Jackson, Va. 
First Lieut. J. A. Mohler, sabre cut in forehead ; died in Texas 

since the war. 
Second Lieut. Naason Basye, wounded three times ; living in 

West Virginia. 

PRIVATES. 

Albright, John, first man killed in company. 

Alger, Nathaniel, badly wounded in east Virginia ; dead. 

Alger, John, died since the war. 

Andes, Dilmon J., living near Moores Store, Va. 

Bayse, Jonas, dead. 

Bridagum, Isaac. 

Baker, Milton O., living. 

Bolinger, Adam, dead. 

Brumbaugh, Green S., Martinsburg, W. Va. 

Bridges, Marian F., near New Market, Va. 

Branner, Philip, dead; wounded. 

Bird, William Wirt, died since the war. 

Bird, P. M. S., living near Mt. Jackson, Va. 

Barr, Joseph. 

Barb, David A., died from wounds received in battle. 

Barb, Amos S., died near Alum Springs. 

Barb, Elias, not long in service, detailed. 

Barb, David (of Henry), died in Romney in 1861. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 415 

Coile, Samuel, dead. 
Coile, Cain, dead. 

Cave, John H., whereabouts unknown. 
Cave, Benjamin F., whereabouts unknown. 
Cave, Noah, whereabouts unknown. 
Cook, Cornelius, living- near Columbia Furnace. 
Clem, William B., died in New Market, Va., in 1907. 
Clem, Ammon W., company blacksmith, dead. 
Dingledine, Adam, died from wound in battle. 
Drummond, William, dead. 
Drummond, Jacob, dead. 
Estep, Jesse, living near Orkney Springs, Va. 
Estep, William, dead. 
Estep, George, near Cabin Hill, Va. 
Estep, Moses, West. 
Eckard, John. 

Elbon, Lorenzo D., killed at Greenland Gap, W. Va. 
Fansler, George W., dead. 
Fansler, Siram, Orkney Springs. 

Funkhouser, John H., wounded in battle ; living near Moore- 
field, W. Va. 

Funkhouser, Jacob H., Orkney Springs, Va. 
Funkhouser, William, wounded; died in 1902. 
Funkhouser, Simon, dead. 

Funkhouser, David, company cook, died in January, 1906. 
Funkhouser, Isaac, Orkney Springs, Va. 
Funkhouser, Christ. B., died in 1907. 
Funkhouser, Samuel H._, Indiana. 
Funkhouser, Peter, killed in battle. 
Feller, Mahlon G., Washington, D. C. 
Foltz, Nathaniel S.., Forestville, Va. 
Foltz, Joseph, dead. 
Foltz, Samuel J., dead. 
Fadely, Daniel. 
Frye, William, dead. 
Fry, Jacob. 



416 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Frye, Reuben, Parkersburg, W. Va. 

Filtzmoyer, Lemuel, wounded in east Virginia. 

Fisher, Joel S., Maryland. 

Garber, Joseph J., Forestville, Va. 

Getz, John, died February 3rd, 1901. 

Getz, Samuel D., died February I2th, 1907. 

Good, John W., Hagerstown, Md. 

Good, Jacob. 

Griffith, Mark, killed in east Virginia. 

Hottel, David H., Woodstock, Va. 

Hottel, Nathaniel (Dock), Ohio. 

Hepner, Dice, killed at Upperville, Va. 

Hepner, John J v dead. 

Hepner, Jacob L., wounded twice severely ; living near Orkney 

Springs, Va. 
Hepner, James. 

Hepner, Gideon, detailed; near Orkney Springs, Va. 
Hepner, Henry, wounded at Cedar Creek ; Oregon. 
Hanson, William, died from wound. 
Hanson, Samuel, dead. 
Harpine, Jonathan J., dead. 
Harpine, Silone, Moores Store, Va. 
Hansbarger, J. Lemuel, Conicville, Va. 
Haun, Joseph, Indiana. 
Higgs, Noah, dead. 
Higgs, Frank L., West Virginia. 
Hollar, Robert S., Kansas. 

Hottinger, David (Dwarf), not long in service. 
Kibler, William, Woodstock, Va. 
Kipps, Jacob, killed in skirmish. 
Kipps, Adam, dead. 

Kipps, Lewis, joined company; war closed before he reported. 
Keller, Amos, Mount Olive. 
Keller, Ananias, Toms Brook, Va. 
Kelley, Bryan T., dead. 
Lonas, J. Benton, killed in east Virginia. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 417 

Lambert, Joseph, wounded; Woodstock, Va. 

Lichliter, A. J., sabre cut, August 2nd, 1863, at Orange Court 

House, Va. 

Lichliter, Cornelius B., Towel s Fort, Va. 
Long, Benjamin F., accidentally killed himself. 
Matthews, Robert L. 
Middleton, John, dead. 
Mclnturff, J. B., Strasburg, Va. 
Mclnturff, A. P., Strasburg, Va. 
McMullen, David, Reliance, Va. 
McWilliams, Reuben, dead. 
McWilliams, David, dead. 
Moomaw, Samuel, killed in east Virginia. 
Moomaw, David, Orkney Springs, Va. 
Moomaw, George W., near Hudson s Crossroads. 
Moomaw, Jesse, dead. 
Mohler, William A., died in Texas in 1900. 
Mohler, Thomas J., Timberville, Va. 
Moore, William P., Forestville, Va. 
Neff, J. Michael, teamster, near New Market, Va. 
Nesselrodt, Job. S., Orkney Springs, Va. 
Nesselrodt, A. J., dead. 
Overholser, Samuel P., west. 
Orndorff, Philip, wounded ; dead. 
Orndorff, George W., Toms Brook, Va. 
Orndorff, John H., not long in service. 
Peer, John W., Saumsville, Va. 
Peer, Joseph, Saumsville, Va. 
Pennywitt, Reuben, dead. 
Pence, William A., wounded twice in battles. 
Pence, John W., company cook, died October I4th, 1906. 
Pence, John M., Forestville, Va. 
Pence, Harrison, died October nth, 1901. 
Pence, Samuel, Forestville, Va. 
Pence, Adam, ambulance corps ; Forestville. 
Pence, Michael J., died August 2nd, 1906. 



4i 8 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Pence, Milton, died May loth, 1900. 

Peters, Amos, died at Mt Clifton. 

Prophet, Jacob, cook, died January I7th, 1903. 

Rinker, Israel R v dead. 

Rau, Samuel, dead. 

Ritter, Joseph, shot in mouth. 

Rude, William S., wounded at Trevilians station. 

Reedy, John, dead. 

Reedy, David S., Mount Olive. 

Ryman, David, wounded; dead. 

Ryman, Thomas J., Kansas. 

Rickard, John, wounded at Gettysburg. 

Sheets, Will, dead. 

Showalter, John H., Moores Store, Va. 

Shutters, David, killed in skirmish near Timberville. 

Shutters, Christopher, Forestville. 

Straub, Frederick. 

Steinhart, John, sabre cut, August 3rd, 1863, at Orange Court 

House. 

Stickley, Joseph, dead. 
Stickley, George, killed in Meems Bottoms. 
See, John C v died from wounds received in battle. 
See, Craigen, dead. 

Snarr, John H., wounded in east Virginia. 
Smootz, Harvey, company commissary, dead. 
Swartz, John, Missouri. 
Schaeffer, John L., sabre cuts, August 2nd, 1863, at Orange 

Court House. 

Schaeffer, George W., Quicksburg. 
Sibert, John M., dead. 
Tussing, Henry, near Orkney Springs, Va. 
Webb, Henry, eastern Virginia. 
Webb, Isaac, detailed. 
Webb, Jacob, dead. 
Webb, Reuben, Illinois. 
Wakeman, John. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 419 

Walker, Levi, dead. 

Wunder, Henry S., Mt Jackson. 

Will, John, near Moores Store, Va. 

Walters, Lemuel, not long in service. 

Zehring, John, badly wounded at Cedar Creek. 

Zehring, William, killed in east Virginia. 

Zehring, Jacob, killed at Gettysburg. 

Zehring, Samuel, wounded in battle. 

Zehring, George W., wounded in battle. 

Zirkle, A. J., dead. 

Zirkle, Silone, near Mt. Jackson, Va. 

Zirkle, J. Michael, Forestville. 

Five officers, 170 privates, sergeants and corporals. 



MUSTER ROLL OF ELEVENTH VIRGINIA CAVALRY 

(LAUREL BRIGADE), ARMY OF 

NORTHERN VIRGINIA. 



COMPANY A. 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. A. J. Turner, dead, Luray, Va. 
First Lieut. J. B. Seibert. 
Second Lieut. L. F. Wilson, killed. 
First Sergt. J. W. Satterfield, Seattle. 
Second Sergt. B. Runk, killed. 
Third Sergt. Thad, Britner, killed. 

PRIVATES. 

Betts, James, dead, Martinsburg, W. Va. 

Butler, John, Bunker Hill, W. Va. 

Cross, J. W., Berkeley Springs. 

Cross, D. W., Hedgesville, W. Va. 

Cross, J. A., Bunker Hill, W. Va. 

Callan, Neal. 

Crane, George. 

Doran, Joseph. 

Fooks, J. D. 

Hedges, F. F., killed. 

Harris, C. T. 

Hodson, Louis, Winchester, Va. 

Jenkins, James, killed. 

Kitchen, Charles. 

King, R. A. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 421 

Lillard, Hall, Madison county. 

Mowery, John, killed. 

McNamar, Michael, Martinsburg, W. Va. 

Mingle, John, dead. 

Miller, Henry, dead. 

Miller, Samuel, dead. 

Norman, Matthew, Berkeley Springs. 

Patterson, John, killed. 

Patterson, James, Bunker Hill. 

Patterson, Frank, Bunker Hill. 

Post, James. 

Pifer, George, Bunker Hill. 

Royce, William, Hampshire county. 

Ritter, J. W., killed. 

Ritter, Abe. 

Rockwell, G. W. 

Swagard, Louis. 

Sperry, William, dead. 

Strode, Joseph, dead. 

Smith, Frank, dead. 

Sayles, William T., Martinsburg, W. Va. 

Wilson, T. G., dead. 

COMPANY B. 

(Furnished by T. K. Cartmell) 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. William H. Harness, resigned ; Capon Springs, W. Va. 

First Lieut. S. H. Alex, died after the war. 

Second Lieut. Charles J. Lobb, died after the war. 

Third Lieut. James Wilson. 

First Sergt. M. B. Cartmell, promoted to captaincy; killed 

December 17, 1863. 
Second Sergt. Christian Hoffman. 



422 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Third Sergt. John Wilson, Beverly, W. Va. 

Fourth Sergt. Isaac McKeever, detailed ordnance sergeant; 

died. 
Fifth Sergt. George B. Larrick, wounded 1862; Lexington, 

Va. 

First Corp. H. W. Halterman. 
Second Corp. Benjamin Longacre. 
Third Corp. C. J. Longacre. 
Fourth Corp. William Branson. 

PRIVATES. 

Albin, James. 

Amick, Henry, killed. 

Ashenfelter, David. 

Bean, Joseph, Beans Settlement, Hardy county, W. Va. 

Berry, J. W. 

Beohm, T. S. 

Bovinger, George. 

Crites, Daniel. 

Crites, William. 

Custard, St. Clair. 

Cook, Abner, accidentally wounded. 

Clem, James H. 

Crawford, L. W. 

Coffman, W. W. 

Combs, Armstead. 

Cartmell, Thomas K., detailed for secret service, commissioned 

captain; Winchester, Va. 
Cunningham, D. C. 
Culdice, William. 
Cleaver, George. 
Demond, Edward. 

Daugherty, James H., promoted to captaincy; killed. 
Dyer, J. W. 
Early, James O. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 423 



Fon, Geoige. 
Fisher, J. P. C. 
Fitzwater, 



Fishel, David. 

Fitzwater, Levi. 

Hardy, John. 

Halterman, Jacob. 

Harper, William, lost leg; Postoffice, Lost City, W. Va. 

Halterman, Michael. 

Halter, John. 

Hulver, Isaac, badly wounded when Captain Cartmell was 

killed ; Postoffice, Lexington, Mo. 
Hutton, Daniel M. 
Hudson, Thomas. 
Hawes, Jasper. 

Heiskell, Joe Dan, Romney, W. Va. 
Judy, Enoch, Moorefield, W. Va. 
Ketterman, Aaron. 

Lloyd, William, killed as scout when with T. K. Cartmell. 
Lloyd, Robert, captured as scout when with T. K. Cartmell; 

never heard from. 
Ketterman, Abraham. 
Ketterman, Gabriel. 
Lynch, John W. 
Lyons, William. 
Mayhew, James. 
Mungold, Solomon, scout. 
Miller, Ambrose. 
McDermott, Henry. 

McKeever, William, died 1900, Wardensville, W. Va. 
McKeever, H. C., died 1900, Wardensville, W. Va. 
May, James M. 
Neff, Mortimer, W. 
Newhouse, Thomas, captured. 
Orndorff, Morgan. 
Orndorff, Henry J. 



424 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Pownell, David, absent without leave. 

Parsons, Adam. 

Pratt, John, detailed in Jackson Corps. 

Pratt, Job H. 

Pains, John, absent from wounds received in battle. 

Reed, H. J., Postoffice, Opequon, Va. 

Riffey, Harvey. 

Smith, Reuben. 

Sherman, Noah. 

Snyder, Martin V. 

Sager, Jacob. 

Sulser, John T. 

Sine, Bazil. 

Sine, Elijah. 

Sine, Benjamin, absent with leave; sick. 

Smith, Joseph, absent with leave ; sick. 

Saroil, John, sick. 

Smith, David. 

Smith, Daniel. 

Thorpe, Benjamin F. 

Teetes, Levi. 

Violet, W. H. 

Van Meter, David, killed when Captain Cartmell was killed 

near Fairfax Station. 
Vameter, Isaac. 
Wilson, George. 
Witzel, Jacob. 
Webb, Thomas. 
Painter, Absolom. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 425 

COMPANY C. 

(Furnished by I. N. Beery.) 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. John R. Pendleton, dead. 

First Lieut. E. S. Mitchell, died September 3, 1907; Timber- 

ville, Va. 

Second Lieut. John Fauley, living; Illinois. 
Third Lieut. Edwin Pendeton, killed in Wilderness fight, Va. 
First Sergt. John Famkin, living; Clarksburg, W. Va. 
Second Sergt, Hally Bragoiner, Alexandria, Va. 

PRIVATES. 

Aubry, Polk, West Virginia. 

Beery, I. N., Harrisonburg, Va. 

Bush, Charles, Linville, Va. 

Bennett, Joshua, Linville, Va. 

Bush, Samuel, dead ; Linville, Va. 

Bull, Henry, dead; Rockingham, Va. 

Bailey, Henry, dead; Rockingham, Va. 

Beam, Abraham, dead; Rockingham, Va. 

Clem, Ashford, dead ; Rockingham, Va. 

Cline, Henry, dead ; Rockingham, Va. 

Clem, Frank, dead ; Rockingham, Va. 

Cook, Joseph. 

Durrow, Marion. 

Eversole, Peter, dead. 

Erman, James, Harrisonburg, Va. 

Faught, Joseph L, dead; Rockingham, Va. 

Feller, John L., living; Woodstock, Va. 

Fink, Noah, 

Gray, Richard, dead ; Berryville, Va. 



426 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Hulvy, George, living; Harrisonburg, Va. 

Holsinger, Phil, living; Tenth Leagon, Va. 

Holsinger, John, living; Tenth Leagon, Va. 

Lonthan, James L., died since the war. 

Hess, Harvey. 

Jones, Thomas. 

King, Wilson, dead; Baltimore, Md. 

Miaphes, Charles, killed at surrender. 

Nazlerod, William, killed at surrender; Rockingham county, 

Va. 

Nane, Joseph, living at Broadway, Va. 
Tennington, Harvey. 
Thomas, Perry. 

Roudabush, William, living in Indiana. 
Roadcap, Jacob, dead. 

Roadcap, Harvey, living in Brocks Gap, Va. 
O Roark, Charles. 

Reed, Abraham, dead ; Rockingham, Va. 
Reedy, Joseph, dead ; Rockingham, Va. 
Ritchie, Philip, dead ; Rockingham, Va. 
Ritchie, Simon, dead ; Brocks Gap, Va. 
Showalter, B. R, living; Brandy Station, Va. 
Showalter, G. W., dead; Mt. Crawford, Va. 
Shaner, G. W., dead ; Edom, Va. 
Shipe, Joseph, dead ; Harrisonburg, Va. 
Snyder, D. C, Berryville, Va. 
Smith, Harrison, living; Forestville, Va. 
Smith, Thomas. 
Spencer, Edward. 
Smith, Henry. 

Sprinkel, Calvin, living; Brocks Gap, Va. 
Sanger, Levi, Sangersville, Va. 
Somers, Reuben, Brocks Gap, Va. 
Taylor, Henry. 
Vanmeter, James, living; Berryville, Va. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 427 

Vanmeter, Isaac, Berry ville, Va. 

Vandiver, John. 

Wilson, George R. 

Walters, William, living; Shenandoah county, Va. 

Witting, Harry. 

Wetzel, Simon. 

Zetty, Daniel, living at Melrose, Va. 

COMPANY D. 

(Furnished by E. H. McDonald.) 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. E. H. McDonald, promoted to major, then to lieutenant- 
colonel of regiment; Charlestown, W. Va. 

First Lieut. William Taylor, promoted to captain ; Ridgeville, 
W. Va. 

Second Lieut. John Blue, promoted to first lieutenant; Rom- 
ney, W. Va. 

Third Lieut. Isaac Parsons, promoted to second lieutenant; 
died since the war. 

First Sergt. Joseph Seward, promoted to third lieutenant; 
Afton, Va. 

First Sergt. John D. Parsons, Shaw, Kans. 

Second Sergt. Amos Robinson, dead. 

Third Sergt. R. B. Kidd, dead. 

Quartermaster Sergt. Samuel Bane, Ballington, W. Va. 

Company Sergt. Conrad Nomstat, Ballington, W. Va. 

Corp. Uriah Lease, dead. 

Corp. James Ream, killed at Jacks Shop. 

Corp. Lem. Nixon, dead. 

Corp. George Holt, dead. 



428 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

PRIVATES. 

Adams, John, dead. 

Abbee, Frederick, died in prison. 

Abbee, Philip, dead. 

Brady, Isaac T., promoted to corporal ; dead. 

Brill, Mathias, killed at Darksville. 

Brown, Frank, Shutz Mills, W. Va. 

Bowers, John W., Fort Worth, Tex. 

Brown, Richard, died in prison. 

Barnet, Frank, killed in battle. 

Brown, John. 

Bobo, J. W. 

Carder, Charles. 

Carder, Frederick. 

Carroll, John, killed at Hanover Junction. 

Carroll, Jed. 

Chressap, Robert, killed at Moorefield. 

Chapman, Charles. 

Clayton, Charles. 

Conrad, Charles, died since the war. 

Conrad, Holmes Y., promoted to sergeant-major of regiment; 

Winchester, Va. 
Casler, John O., Oklahoma. 
Clary, Thad. 
Clary, Dick. 

Dailey, Benjamin, twice wounded; Moorefield, W, Va. 
Davie, James, killed in Hampshire county. 
Duvall, George, killed at Brandy Station. 
Davie, John. 
Davis, Morris. 

Dailey, John, Piedmont, W. Va. 
Davis, Randolph, Soldiers Home, Richmond, Va. 
Fridle, Samuel. 
Feshel, S. 
Grove, J., a very gallant soldier ; killed in the Wilderness. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 429 

Huddleson, Henry, Charlottesville, Va. 

Huddleson, Healey. 

Hanas, Stephen. 

Hunot, E., Romney, W. Va. 

Holt, G., killed in Hampshire county. 

Inskeep, J. V. 

Hartman, Ike. 

Haines, Jasper. 

Houser, Henry. 

Kelley, John. 

Leese, Uriah. 

Lovett, C. S. 

Light, Edward, killed near Richmond. 

McDonald, William N., promoted to captain of ordnance. 

Moorehead, William, wounded in the Wilderness. 

Moorehead, Robert, badly wounded; Missouri. 

Murphy, Frank. 

Myers, Frank, captured at Darksville. 

Pancake, Joseph A., Staunton, Va. 

Pancake, S. 

Pancake, John S., Romney, W. Va. 

Parsons, James D. 

Poland, John W. 

Poland, Amos. 

Pownell, Jasper. 

Parsons, William M. 

Robinson, Joel. 

Rudolph, Simon, badly wounded at Reams Station. 

Rudolph, John, died in prison hospital. 

Ruse, John M. 

Riley, Charles, died since the war. 

Senoff, Herman, died in prison. 

Sivell, John. 

Spurline, Luke. 

Swartz, Edward, Missouri. 

Seymour, Dan, killed near Petersburg, W. Va. 



430 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Seymour, John N. 

Shingleton, Abe, killed at Brandy Station. 

Shingleton, Elisha. 

Shelley, James, killed at Brandy Station. 

Smith, James, Winchester, Va. 

Seibert, Charley. 

Stewart, John, died at Camp Chase. 

Starns, John. 

Taylor, Dudley, promoted to corporal. 

Taylor, John. 

Taylor, Enos, died in prison. 

Taylor, D. K. 

Taylor, Rufus, captured near Culpeper Court House; Davy, 

W. Va. 

Uston, John, wounded in the Wilderness. 
Wolfe, Isaac, killed at Brandy Station. 
White, Thomas. 
Watkins, H. M. 

Watkins, Charles, killed near Hagerstown. 
Washington, Edward, Romney, W. Va. 

COMPANY E. 

(Furnished by William F. Hottel.) 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. Joseph T. Hess. 

Capt. J. L. Hooff. 

Capt. H. H. McGuire, mortally wounded at Amelia Springs. 

Lieut. J. W. Brent. 

Lieut. G. W. Hottel, wounded and captured ; Lincoln, Neb. 

Lieut. William Hockman, killed at Brandy Station. 

Lieut. G. W. Spiker, killed at Spottsylvania. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 431 

PRIVATES. 

Agnew, Oscar. 

Baker, Daniel, dead. 

Baker, G. W., killed at Jacks Shop. 

Baker, Henry, wounded at Brandy Station ; Keyser, W. Va. 

Baker, Nicholas, dead. 

Borden, D. M., dead. 

Borden, A. P., dead. 

Borden Joseph, dead. 

Ely, Mason, wounded at Amelia Springs ; dead. 

Bly, Richard, killed at Jacks Shop. 

Brown, J. W., killed at Spottsylvania. 

Beaver, J. E., dead. 

Buck, Bruce, dead. 

Bushony, Isaac. 

Barrenger, Joseph. 

Booth, C. S. 

Booth, John F., Lebanon Church, Va. 

Boyer, Bent. 

Boyer, J. A. 

Bell, R. F., Strasburg, Va. 

Bell, 

Bowman, J. K. 

Cooper, William, dead. 

Crabill, L. C., killed near Strasburg, Va. 

Crabill, O. H., Strasburg, Va. 

Crabill, Hal. 

Crabill, Benjamin. 

Crabill, Jacob. 

Crabill, D. G., bugler of regiment. 

Coffman, Walter, killed at Fisher s Hill. 

Collins, Carson. 

Chase, Daniel. 

Dodd, R. D., dead. 

Dewar, J. J., dead. 



432 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Dickenson, James. 

DeHaven, Martin. 

Eberly, Jacob. 

Eberly, Joseph. 

Eberly, Isaac, dead. 

Effenger, William. 

Fauver, Noah. 

Funkhouser, Amos, dead. 

Feely, William H., Thomas, W. Va. 

Feeley, John, Lebanon Church, Va. 

Feeley, Silas, Lebanon Church, Va. 

Green, James. 

Green, Zack. 

Glaize, G. W., Strasburg, Va. 

Grove, S. M., Strasburg, Va. 

Hottel, William F., wounded at Brandy Station; Winchester, 

Va. 

Hammond, Lawrence, dead. 
Hammond, John, Fisher s Hill, Va. 
Huffman, A. J., dead. 
Hinkins, G. A., Strasburg, Va. 
Hinkins, J. H., Strasburg, Va. 
Hodges, John. 
Hefline, James. 
Hess, L. Dow, dead. 
Hyde, D. B., dead. 

Harrison, Howard, wounded ; disabled for service. 
Holmes, H. W., dead. 
Holmes, James, dead. 
Hironemoss, Hutch, dead. 
Holler, John, dead. 
Holler, George, dead. 
Holler, John A., Edenburg, Va. 
Hockman, J. W. 
Hoover, William, dead. 
James, Samuel. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 433 

Kerns, Ephraim, dead. 

Killmer, James. 

Luttral, Archibald. 

Lynn, G. B., Winchester, Va. 

Lynn, James, died in prison. 

Luke, William. 

Lutholtz, Robert, Strasburg, Va. 

Lee, G. W., dead. 

Lee, Samuel, killed at Jacks Shop. 

Miller, W T illiam, first, Lebanon Church, Va. 

Miller, William, second, Winchester, Va. 

Miller, J. F. 

Miller, J. H. 

McGlincy, R. P., dead. 

McCloud, James. 

Mort, Jerry, killed by Brown. 

Maphis, George. 

Pangle, Abe, Lebanon Church, Va. 

Pangle, William E., killed near Woodstock, Va. 

Pangle, Joseph. 

Pingley, D. M., Lebanon Church, Va. 

Pogue, R. L., dead. 

Rudy, Isaac, dead. 

Rutherford, J. A. 

Rutherford, Tom, first. 

Rutherford, Tom, second. 

Ree^y, Abe, dead. 

Rhyne, John, dead. 

Ridenour, Alfred, dead. 

Stover, David, dead. 

Smith, James, dead. 

Sheets, Daniel, dead. 

Scroggins, J. E., dead. 

Sonner, J. H. 

Sonner, J. W., dead. 

Showalter, Tom, dead. 



434 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Shambaugh, Cline, Lincoln, Neb. 

Shambaugh, Charles. 

Sievers, G. W. 

Swisher, J., Salem, Va. 

Shotts, Mark, killed in the Wilderness. 

Shafer, Theodore, killed at river, Mt. Jackson. 

Snyder, Henry, dead. 

Snyder, John. 

Stickley, D. H., Strasburg, Va. 

Stickley, William, dead. 

Stickley, Benjamin, dead. 

Stickley, G. W., Strasburg, Va. 

Stickley, D. E., Strasburg, Va. 

Stickley, David E., Strasburg, Va. 

Stickley, J. H. 

Stickley, P. D. 

Stickley, Josiah, dead. 

Stickley, Walter, killed at Brandy Station. 

Sensenuey, E. D. 

Omps, James, dead. 

Beach, Jacob. 

Biers, Charles. 

Whitington, Gershem, dead. 

Whitington, Joseph, dead. 

Wright, Milton, dead. 

Warner, Philip. 

Welch, Samuel. 

Welch, James. 

Welch, Joseph. 

Watson, Samuel. 

Watson, Jacob, dead. 

Watson, Benjamin. 

Winegood, John, dead. 

Winegood, Joseph, dead. 

Windle, William, dead. 

Williams, J. J., dead. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 435 

COMPANY F. 

(Furnished by Lieut. A. C. L. Gatewood.) 
OFFICERS. 

First Capt. A. G. McChesney, died since the war. 

Second Capt. A. J. Ware, died since the war. 

First Lieut. Henry McClintic, Midland, Tex. 

Second Lieut. A. C. L. Gatewood, Linwood, W. Va. 

Brevet Second Lieut. H. M. Poage, killed in 1863. 

Brevet Second Lieut. S. A. Bonner, killed at the Wilderness, 

May 6th, 1864. 

First Sergt. E. L. Beard, Academy, W. Va. 
Second Sergt. A. S. Bratton, Millboro, Va. 
Third Sergt. Jonathan Wise, killed at Sailors Creek, April, 

1865. 
Fourth Sergt. Joseph Silvers, color sergeant, died from wounds 

received October, 1863. 
First Corp. Lewis Payne, Covington, Va. 
Second Corp. J. S. Dickinson, Millboro Springs, Va. 
Third Corp. William G. Payne, Covington, Va. 
Fonrth Corp. Michael Mustoe, died since the war. 
Quartermaster Sergt. J. P. McDonald, died since the war. 

PRIVATES. 

Anderson, Samuel, Mountain Grove, Va. 

Acord, George, killed in the Wilderness, May 6th, 1864. 

Ailstock, Robert, whereabouts unknown. 

Beard, Moffett, died since the war. 

Beard, John G., Academy, W. Va. 

Beard, W. W., Academy, W. Va. 

Beard, J. J., died since the war. 

Banner, S. A., killed second day s fight in the Wilderness. 



436 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Bratton, W. A., killed on Cattle raid near City Point, Septem 
ber, 1864. 

Bratton, J. F., Cleeks Mills, Va. 
Bradshaw, J. B., McDowell, Va. 
Burger, David, died since the war. 
Burnside, James, died since the war. 
Callison, J. C., whereabouts unknown. 
Chandler, Samuel, Braxton county, W. Va. 
Chandler, David, Braxton county, W. Va. 
Cleek, George W., Cleeks Mills, Bath county, Va. 
Cleek, D. G., died since the war. 
Cochran, Clark, Academy, W. Va. 
Cochran, G. B., Academy, W. Va. 
Criser, John S., Warm Springs, Va. 
Criser, R. J., dead, Covington, Va. 
Dean, William, whereabouts unknown. 
Douglass, Calvin, whereabouts unknown. 
Douglass, B., whereabouts unknown. 
Dunlap, James R., Missouri. 
Edmiston, Andrew, died since the war. 
Edmiston, Matthew, Washington. 
Edmiston, Richard, Missouri. 
Eagle, Newton, McDowell, Va. 
Estes, William, Albemarle county, Va. 
Frazier, James A., Rock Alum Springs, Va. 
Fry, William, died since the war. 
Gibson, Lewis, dead; Kansas. 
Ginger, George, accidentally killed at Gordonsville. 
Grose, Henry, killed May 6th, 1864, at the Wilderness. 
Gwinn, J. S., whereabouts unknown. 
Gwinn, J. K. P., whereabouts unknown. 
Gwinn, William, whereabouts unknown. 
Gillespie, Joseph G., died since the war. 
Hamilton, Charles, killed near Woodstock, Va. 
Hamilton, J. E., California. 
Hamilton, J. A., Kerrs Creek, Va. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 437 

Hickman, L. W., Hendricks, W. Va. 
Hodge, James, Warm Springs, Va. 
Jordan, John, Millboro, Va. 
Jordan, James, whereabouts unknown. 
Jordan, William, died since the war. 
Keyser, James, whereabouts unknown. 
Keyser, D. W. C., whereabouts unknown. 
Keyser, Hezekiah, whereabouts unknown. 
Kennison, Davis, Academy, W. Va. 
Kennison, J. L., Academy, W. Va. 
King, A. C., whereabouts unknown. 
King, Spatswood, Rich Patch, Va. 
Landes, Joseph, Mountain Grove, Va. 
Lockridge, David, died since the war. 
Lockridge, Stephen, Highland county, Va. 
Martin, W. A., Missouri. 
McElwee, John, died since the war. 
McElwee, D. B., Driscol, W. Va. 
McElwee, B. D., Green Bank, W. Va. 
McElwee, Francis, Huttonsville, W. Va. 
]\l:Carty, John, whereabouts unknown. 
McChesney, James Z., Charleston, W. Va. 
McDonnald, G. W., died since the war. 
McNeil, A. G., died since the war. 
Maffett, W. B., died since the war. 
Maffett, George H., Parkersburg, W. Va. 
Moore, W. H., Covington, Va. 
Mustoe, David, whereabouts unknown. 
Mustoe, James, whereabouts unknown. 
Mayse, Anderson, died since the war. 
O Meara, James, died since the war. 
Payne, W. H., whereabouts unknown. 
Payne, J. E., Warm Springs, Va. 
Porter, A. S., Millboro, Va. 
Pauturff, James, whereabouts unknown. 
Price, Henry, died since the war. 



438 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Revercomb, George, Highland county, Va. 

Revercomb, Archie, killed at the Wilderness, May 6th, 1864. 

Revercomb, John, Highland county, Va. 

Revercomb, C. T., Clifton Forge, Va. 

Rosser, John, killed at the Wilderness, May 6th, 1864. 

Snead, William, Alleghany county, Va. 

Snead, Robert, Alleghany county, Va. 

Stewart, J. H., died since the war. 

Sittington, Alex. H., died since the war. 

Shultz, John, died since the war. 

Surber, M. P., Clifton Forge, Va. 

Swarts, Samuel, whereabouts unknown. 

Swartz, John, whereabouts unknown. 

Swarts, Lewis, whereabouts unknown. 

Thomas, David, whereabouts unknown. 

Thomas, Charles, whereabouts unknown. 

Thomas, Samuel, whereabouts unknown. 

Thomas, George, whereabouts unknown. 

Tinsley, W. H., whereabouts unknown. 

Tinsley, James, whereabouts unknown. 

True, Thomas, whereabouts unknown. 

Thompson, Henry, Missouri. 

Wallace, C. R., Williamsville, Va. 

Wave, G., whereabouts unknown. 

Wave, O., whereabouts unknown. 

Williams, E. B., Healing Springs, Va. 

Williams, Thomas, Healing Springs, Va. 

Williams, E. T., Healing Springs, Va. 

Wilfong, Jacob. 

Wilkinson, James, died since the war. 

Windom, John, whereabouts unknown. 

Woods, P. A., died since the war. 

Quartermaster Sergt. J. P. McDonald died after the war. 

Color-bearer Joseph Silvers was killed in the lower Valley in 
1864. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 439 

COMPANY G. 

(Furnished by George T. McClintic,) 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. Foxhall A. Dangerfield, wounded at Orange Court 
House, August 2nd, 1862; sabre cut on head and shot 
in left shoulder and captured. Wounded at Upperville, 
June, 1863, at Baltimore and Ohio roundhouse; near 
New Creek, in 1864, and near Amelia Springs, April 5, 
1865 ; living at Lexington, Ky. 

First Lieut. Joseph Mayse, wounded at Jacks Shop in 1864; 
lost eye; died 1905. 

Second Lieut. Archibald M. McClintic, wounded at Orange 
Court House, August 2nd, 1862, and at Ashland, 
August, 1864; Fincastle. 

Brevet Second Lieut. John A. Warwick, wounded May 5th, 
1863, at the Wilderness Spottsylvania ; died 1901. 

First Sergt. William H. Hopkins, wounded at Upperville in 
June, 1863; died Millboro, Va. 

Second Sergt. Jasper C. Lewis, wounded at Orange Court 
House, and received three wounds in Hampton s Cattle 
raid in Nottoway county, Va., 1864; Green Valley, Bath 
county, Va. 

Third Sergt. George T. McClintic, wounded at Orange Court 
House; Midland, Tex. 

Fourth Sergt. Robert J. Glendy, wounded in Cattle raid, 1864; 
Pulaski county, Va. 

Color Sergt. Joseph Silvers, wounded and died after the war. 

First Corp. William P. Thompson, killed near Rapidan sta 
tion, Orange county, Va., August 2nd, 1862. 

Second Corp. Fendall C. Donnella, mortally wounded in 1864 
in Hampton Cattle raid on Blackwater River; died in 
hospital in North Carolina. 

Third Corp. Zorobabel Ailstock, wounded ; died after the war. 



440 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Fourth Corp. William H. Anderson, wounded, sabre tierce 
through arm, Orange Court House, August 2nd, 1862, 
and captured; died at Covington, Va., in 1901. 

PRIVATES. 

Ailstock, C. F., survived the war ; history unknown. 

Ailstock, Jordan, survived the war ; history unknown. 

Archie, Robert, died in 1862. 

Armstrong, Peter, lost ; supposed killed on Jones raid in West 
Virginia, April, 1863. 

Armstrong, Dr. J. M., survived the war ; last known residence, 
Knox county, Mo. 

Burger, Samuel C., wounded May 6th, 1864, in the Wilder 
ness Spottsylvania ; died in Bath county, Va., in 1900. 

Burger, David, died after the war in Bath county, Va. 

Burns, Presley F., wounded ; died after the war. 

Burns, John. 

Bishop, George. 

Booth, , killed in West Virginia, where he had gone for 

a fresh horse. 

Brattan, William R., killed. 

Brattan, J. Mitchell, Millboro Springs, Va. 

Brattan, James, died during the war. 

Brodkin, Ami, lost record of. 

Cleek, Eli, Warm Springs, Va. 

Cleek, James G., Warm Springs, Va. 

Crizer, John, died in 1863. 

Crizer, Thomas J., died in Pocahontas county, W. Va., in 1903. 

Crizer, W. H. 

Crizer, Lewis. 

Curry, Andrew, wounded, believed still living; Sunrise, Bath 
county, Va. 

Cade, Balis, Baptist minister; living at last report in Rich 
mond, Va. 

Cosby, Benjamin G., died after the war near Millboro, Va. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 441 

Cosby, John, Millboro, Va. 

Cosby, David, died during the war. 

Cauley, Lee, survived the war ; history unknown. 

Coffee, Henry, Lynchburg. 

Donovan, Stephen, wounded ; living at Warm Springs, Va. 

Dean, William, died in 1862. 

Ervin, James, killed May 6th, 1864, in the Wilderness Spott- 

sylvania. 

Eagle, Newton, history unknown. 
Friel, James, history unknown. 

Furr, , lived in Augusta county, but probably dead. 

Gendy, Robert, wounded, living in Pulaski county, W. Va. 

Glendy, Benjamin, wounded. 

Glendy, John, died after the war. 

^lendy, Thomas, died after the war. 

Green, William, mortally wounded and died near Upperville, 

Va., in 1863. 
Gladwell, John W., survived the war; according to last account 

living in Highland county, Va. 
Gayheart, Joseph, history unknown. 
Holcomb, Joseph, wounded. 

Hook, Elisha, died in Alleghany county, Va., after the war. 
Husk, Thomas J., last heard of resided in Highland county, Va. 
Hoover, David, living at Healing Springs, Va. 
Hively, Thomas J., died during the war. 
Jackson, Peyton, living at Covington, Va. 

Johnson, , history unknown. 

Keister, William R., wounded ; died after the war in Highland 

or Augusta county, Va. 

Kincaid, Joseph B., died during or soon after the war. 
Karnes, William H., wounded, lost leg; died after the war. 

Kemp, , history unknown. 

King, Alexander, living at Iron Gate, Va. 

Lockridge, Cooper, wounded; drowned after the war in Cow 

Pasture River, Bath county, Va. 
Lockridge, John, wounded in leg ; living in Bath county, Va. 



44 2 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Lange, Henry C, killed, February, 1863, in Maurertown fight. 

Lange, John, wounded. 

Law, Aaron, wounded and died of wounds (I think). 

Law, Benjamin, wounded; living at Warm Springs, Va. 

Law, James, died after the war. 

Law, Stephen, living near Staunton, Va. 

Lynch, W. L., died after the war; many years a Methodist 
Episcopal minister. 

Langridge, Richard, living in Lewiston, Mo. 

McClintic, Adam, killed November I2th, 1864, in charge at 
Brent s house, near Cedar Creek, Frederick county, Va. 

McClintic, William S., wounded May 6th, 1864, in the Wilder 
ness and on Cattle raid Blackwater River; died after 
the war. 

McClintic, John S., wounded; living in Monroe City, Mo. 

McClintic, Robert, killed at Pattersons Creek in the winter of 
1863. 

McClintic, Andrew B., died after the war. 

McClintic, James, history unknown ; said to be living in Mon 
tana. 

McDannald, D. Crockett, died in 1862. 

McDannald, William C. 

McDannald, William R., died after the war. 

McMath, Samuel S v died after the war. 

Mayse, Allan C., died after the war. 

Mayse, Charles F., living in Bath county, Va. 

Mayse, George, wounded ; living at Austin, Tex. 

Mayse, Thomas, history unknown. 

Oliver, C. H., wounded ; living at Ollie, Va. 

Oliver, Joseph, died during the war. 

Price, Andrew G., captured ; died in prison. 

Payne, Charles, living in Missouri. 

Phillips, Thomas, living in W. Va. 

Phillips, William, bugler ; living in W. Va. 

Richy, Joseph, died after the war. 

Richy, William, living at Warm Springs, Va. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 443 

Reynolds, William H., survived the war ; history unknown . 

Rogers, Stephen, survived the war, history unknown. 

Simpson, George, living at Millboro, Va. 

Simpson, John. 

Simpson, William. 

Shumate, John K., living; manager of transportation and ani 
mal trainer, Sells Circus. 

Smith, Charles, survived the war. 

Smith, James, wounded ; survived the war. 

Smith, Stuart, survived the war. 

Taylor, Almond C, survived the war. 

Thompson, Benjamin, killed May 6th, 1864, in the Wilderness 
Spottsylvania. 

Thompson, Charles, wounded; died in 1906 near Healing 
Springs, Va. 

Thompson, George, wounded; died after the war. 

Thompson, Mason, died during the war. 

Thompson, William, killed at Rapidan station, August 2nd, 
1862. 

Thomas, Charles, living at Hot Springs, Va. 

Thomas, Jacob, killed. 

Thomas, Samuel, wounded; survived the war. 

Williams, Erasmus. 

Williams, Anthony G. 

Williams, Harvey. 

Williams, James, living at Lewiston, Mo. 

Williams, Lewis, died after the war in Salem, Va. 

Winthrow, Jack, living at Millboro Springs, Va. 

Wallace, Andrew, killed at Patterson s Creek, W. Va., in 1865. 

Wallace, Christopher, survived the war. 

Warwick, J. W., Jr., living at Huntersville, W. Va. 

Woodzell, B. F., living in Bath county, Va. 

Woodzell, William, survived the war. 

Wilkinson, Robert S., survived the war ; Warm Springs, Va. 

Young, George, killed in West Virginia raid in 1863. 



444 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

COMPANY H. 

(Furnished by H. O. Pierce.) 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. A. M. Pierce, died since the war. 

First Lieut. Joseph Sherrard, died since the war. 

Second Lieut. Braxton, went to foreign war. 

PRIVATES. 

Marker, Amos E., wounded; prisoner in Camp Chase; 

Opequon, Va. 
Wireman, John. 

Orndorff, Ananias, living on Cedar Creek. 
Keiffer, James. 

Frye, AL, living in Shenandoah county. 
Frye, B. F., Mountain Falls, Va. 
Lichliter, Daniel, died since the war. 
Fauver, John, died since the war. 
Fauver, Samuel, killed during the war. 
Ashwood, Joseph, Lenora, Va. 
Shell, Samuel, living on Cedar Creek. 
Orndorff, Lemuel. 

Orndorff, Phineas, died since the war. 
Conner, Morgan, living on Cedar Creek. 
Conner, James, living about Halltown. 
Whetzel, James, Clearbrook, Va. 
Clark, James, Braddock Distillery, Cumberland, Md. 
Frye, Joseph Presley, died since the war. 
Himmelwright, Joseph, Star Tannery. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 445 

(Furnished by R. M. Cooper.) 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. A. M. Pierce, wounded ; now dead. 

First Lieut. Joseph H. Sherrard, wounded ; now dead. 

Second Lieut. A. C. Braxton. 

PRIVATES. 

Bowman, John, Wheatfield, Shenandoah county, Va. 
Clarke, James, prisoner; Cumberland, W. Va. 
Crosin, Randolph. 
Conner, Morgan, Zepp, Va. 
Conner, James, Zepp, Va. 
Cauplin, P. 

Cooper, R. M., wounded at Amelia Springs just before sur 
render ; Bloom, Shenandoah county, Va. 
Dinkel, Peter, Winchester, Va. 
Eskridge, Heck, Gravel Springs. 
Fauver. Samuel, killed ; forgot name of place. 
Fauver, John, prisoner; died since the war. 
Frye, Joseph P., killed in valley. 
Frye, A. N., living at Woodstock, Va. 
Frye, James, living at Winchester, Va. 
Green, J. B., prisoner; New Orleans. 
Huff, John, living at Gravel Springs. 
Himelright, Joseph M., wounded; Star Tannery, Va. 
Himelright, James, dead. 

Linaburg, Martin, living at Stephens City, Va. 
Orndorff, Ananias. 
Orndorff, Setz, dead. 
Orndorff, Joseph B., dead. 
Orndorff, Amos, dead. 
Orndorff, M. 



446 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Orndorff, Lemuel, don t know if living or not ; postoffice, Zepp, 

Va. 
Shell, Samuel, wounded near some church; Zepp, Va. (I 

think). 

Smith, Sandy, dead. 

Smith, William, Wheatfield, Shenandoah county, Va. 
Whetzel, James, living at Clearbrook, Va. 
White, Ira, killed at the Wilderness. 
Wilson, Martin. 
Wimer, Jack. 

COMPANY I. 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. M. M. Ball, wounded. 

Lieut. William H. Kirby, killed. 

Lieut. Alfred Moore, severely wounded ; dead. 

Lieut. William H. Reid, dead. 

PRIVATES. 

Alexander, B. 

Alexander, D. 

Ball, Charles H., severely wounded prior to 1864; returned 
and served to Appomattox; 1711 Oxford St., Philadel 
phia, Pa. 

Ball, John H., killed at JefTersonton. 

Ball, John T., wounded; Washington, D. C. 

Ball, Lewin T., Lewinsville, Va. 

Ball, M. M., wounded ; captain at close of war. 

Ball, Summerfield, killed 1864, Nances Shop. 

Ball, William S., wounded on November I2th, 1864; United 
States Treasurer s Office, Washington, D. C. 

Ball, William W., dead. 

Bell, B. A. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 447 

Bell, G. H. 

Billings, Edward. 

Billings, William, severely wounded on raid in West Virginia. 

Burke, T. T. 

Butler, W. B. 

Carrigan, J. P. 

"atlett, H. C. 

Cleveland, H. C. 

Cashman, T. 

Clump, John, wounded. 

Cockrell, Seth, wounded on October 7th, 1864. 

Cooksey, J. W. 

Cooney, Patrick, wounded in Cattle raid in 1864. 

Dodd, Markus. 

Donatini, L. G., died in service. 

Estes, 

Everson, Doyle. 

Fairfax, John. 

Fenton, J. B. 

Ford, W. E. 

Grigsby, P. C. 

Grigsby, T. M., not with company after capture in Alexandria. 

Gheen, G. 

Harding, G. 

Harrison, George H. 

Heath, J. B., did not return after capture in Alexandria. 

Hughes, John T. 

Hughes, L. T. 

Hughes, D. 

Jefferies, Richard, dead. 

Kirby, Asbury, wounded; Falls Church, Va. 

Kirby, George F., wounded; dead. 

McCartney, wounded. 

McClannahan, John. 

McClung, 

McCorkle, 



448 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 



Morter, 

Nelson, James W., killed. 

Nelson, Joseph, died in service. 

Perry, Alex, Conway, Fla. 

Ratcliffe, C. W., did not return after capture in Alexandria. 

Reid, E. C., wounded; Washington, D. C. 

Ritenour, David. 

Rutler, G. W. 

Smith, A. M. 

Smith, F. M. 

Saunders, Plunk. 

Stalcup, Joshua, dead. 

Speaks, J. H., did not return after capture in Alexandria. 

Summers, 

Thompson, Joseph, wounded in arm and breast; Ash Grove, 

Va. 

Taylor, John S. 
Toole, Patrick. 
Toole, John. 

Utterback, William H v severely wounded. 
Ward, Joseph. 

Williams, R., died in service. 
Winn, John, killed. 



COMPANY K. 

(Furnished by D. C. Snyder.) 
OFFICERS. 

Lieut. William Powell, unknown. 

Second Lieut. Jack Smith, Upperville, Va. 

PRIVATES. 

Chappell, George, Bluemont, Va. 
Drish, Donk, unknown. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 449 

Furr, Frazier, Bluemont, Va. 
Furr, Harris, Bluemont, Va. 
Grimes, George, unknown. 
Grimes, Joseph, unknown. 
Moore, James, Bluemont, Va. 
Moore, Joseph C., Bluemont, Va. 
Murphy, J. T., Leesburg, Va. 
Murphy, Moses B., unknown. 
Powell, Lute, unknown. 
Powell, Watt, unknown. 
Pyles, William, Millwood, Va. 
Shell, Alfred, Bluemont, Va. 
Shafer, John T., Bluemont, Va. 
Smith, George, Bluemont, Va. 
Smith, Jackson, Bluemont, Va. 
Stickles, Jno. M., Bluemont, Va. 
Stickles, Henry, Bluemont, Va. 
Thompson, William, Bluemont, Va. 
Tomblin, James, Bluemont, Va. 
Wiley, James, Bluemont, Va. 
Willingham, George, unknown. 



MUSTER ROLL OF TWELFTH VIRGINIA CAVALRY 

(LAUREL BRIGADE), ARMY OF 

NORTHERN VIRGINIA. 



Col. Assher W. Harman, of Staunton, Va., wounded at Fleet- 
wood Hill, near Brandy Station, June gth, 1863 ; long 
time a prisoner of war ; now dead. 

Lieut.-Col. Thomas E. Massie, of Warren county, Va. ; several 
times wounded, once severely; now living in Rappa- 
hannock county, Va. 

Major John Locher Knott, of Jefferson county, Va., wounded; 
afterwards killed at High Bridge. 

Adjt. Lewis Harman, of Staunton, Va., afterwards commis 
sioned captain of Company I ; but short time in com 
mand, being soon after captured and held a prisoner 
to near end of the war. 

COMPANY A. 

(Furnished by A. L. Osbourn and James W. McGarry.) 
OFFICERS. 

First Capt. - Isabel, dead. 
Second Capt. John Henderson, dead. 

Third Capt. James W. Glenn, Shenandoah Junction, W. Va. 
Fourth Capt. W. H. Morrow, dead. 
First Lieut. Jacob Engle, dead. 
Second Lieut. Samuel M. Engle, dead. 
Third Lieut. Charles Owen, whereabouts unknown, 
James Osborn, dead. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 451 

First Sergt. James A. Langdon, New York. 
CLrp. J. Corbin Blackford, killed. 

PRIVATES. 

Ashby, John, whereabouts unknown. 

Blake, George V., Brucetown, Va. 

Billmyer, William, whereabouts unknown. 

Blue, Joseph G., Martinsburg, W. Va. 

Blue, John, Leetown, W. Va. 

Earner, C. Eldrige, Middleway, W. Va. 

Bolus, Thomas, whereabouts unknown. 

Brown, Joe, Charlestown, W. Va. 

Burns, Isaac, whereabouts unknown. 

Brown, Thomas, dead. 

Barringer, Frank, dead. 

Belt, Adam S. ? dead. 

Butt, J. W., Tennessee. 

Barrett, Charles, dead. 

Briscoe, William, whereabouts unknown. 

Boyer, George, dead. 

Cameron, William H., dead. 

Coyle, Joseph H., killed. 

Coyle, Jerome B., Leetown, W. Va. 

Coyle, I. M., killed. 

Cincindiver, James, Ridgeway, W. Va. 

Cincindiver, George, whereabouts unknown. 

Coleman, John, killed. 

Cockrill, Thomas, dead. 

Colbert, John, killed. 

Cincindiver, John, whereabouts unknown. 

Cincindiver, Samuel, whereabouts unknown. 

Cramer, Robert, whereabouts unknown. 

Dillow, Joe, whereabouts unknown. 

Dooley, Lewis, Columbus, O. 

Dorn, James, whereabouts unknown. 



452 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Doran, Matthew, whereabouts unknown. 

Dailey, John, Dailey, W. Va. 

Dailey, Richard, Harper s Ferry, W. Va. 

Driscol, Daniel, killed. 

Dixon, George, Halltown, W. Va. 

Dorsey, Patrick, whereabouts unknown. 

Engle, Benjamin, Bakerton, W. Va. 

Engle, Henry, Engles, W. Va. 

Engle, Brent, Ohio. 

Engle, William, whereabouts unknown. 

Foreman, Perry, St. Louis, Mo. 

Frith, John, dead. 

Foreman, Charles, Missouri. 

Geisling, Harrison, Ellicott City, Md. 

Gheisling, James, whereabouts unknown. 

Gainor, Patrick, Texas. 

Glassford, Alexander, dead. 

Garrison, Lewis, dead. 

Grove, Henry, killed. 

Hicks, John, killed. 

Hess, J. Frank, Shenandoah, Va. 

Homer, Sandy, Gaylord, Va. 

Homer, Thomas, Shenandoah, Va. 

Homer, William, killed. 

Hosier, James, dead. 

Hughes, Thomas, Maryland. 

Harrold, Elihu, whereabouts unknown. 

Hiser, John, killed. 

Jones, George, whereabouts unknown. 

Jones, James, whereabouts unknown. 

Keller, John, Harper s Ferry, W. Va. 

Kimmell, John, Harper s Ferry, W. Va. 

Kimmell, Isaac, Harper s Ferry, W. Va. 

Kane, Maurice, whereabouts unknown. 

Kerfoot, P., dead. 

Lance, James, whereabouts unknown. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 453 

Loyns, Jeff., whereabouts unknown. 

Lattimer, T., dead. 

Manuel, Thornton, Duffields, W. Va. 

Manuel, John, dead. 

Manuel, Columbus, dead. 

McGlone, Edward, dead. 

McCann, Patrick, whereabouts unknown. 

Manuel, Lucien, Culpeper, Va. 

Manuel, Jasper, Duffields, W. Va. 

Moore, Vincent, Kearneysville, W. Va. 

Moore, Albert, Charlestown, W. Va. 

Mercer, Fenton, dead. 

McSherry, William, Charlestown, W. Va. 

McWinkle, J., dead. 

Morgan, Samuel, killed. 

McGarry, James W., Shenandoah Junction, W. Va. 

Miller, James, dead. 

Niceley, A. D v Kansas. 

Noland, Charles, killed. 

Nelson, Isaac, Winchester, Va. 

O Bannon, Hiram, whereabouts unknown. 

O Bannon, Alfred, dead. 

O Connell, Patrick, dead. 

Piper, William, dead. 

Piper, James, dead. 

Painter, Lewis, killed. 

Painter, Jacob, killed. 

Painter, James, dead. 

Pearl, Burt, whereabouts unknown. 

Rockenbaugh, John W., dead. 

Roberts, Samuel. 

Roberts, William, dead. 

Ramey, Michael, killed. 

Reed, Benjamin, Tennessee. 

Ramey, Isaac, whereabouts unknown. 

Sager, John, whereabouts unknown. 



454 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Staley, Parin, Martinsburg, W. Va. 

Seldon, Carey, transferred to Company B ; living at Washing 
ton, D. C. 

Spater, Charles, dead. 

Shepherd, William, dead. 

Shipway, Thomas, dead. 

Staub, Lewis, dead. 

Staub, Jessie, killed. 

Small, A. S., Barton, Md. 

Souders, F. B., dead ; Charlestown, W. Va. 

Skinner, William, whereabouts unknown. 

Thompson, Charles, dead. 

Thompson, Josiah, dead. 

Trist, John, Louisiana. 

Taylor, John, whereabouts unknown. 

Whittington, Daniel, whereabouts unknown. 

Whittington, James W., transferred to Company B ; where 
abouts unknown. 

Wiltshire, Charles B., killed. 

Wiltshire, Dr. James G., transferred to Mosby s Battalion 
Baltimore, Md. 

Wright, W. H., Iowa. 

Whittington, John Newton, dead. 

Webster, Dallas, Charlestown, W. Va. 

Whittington, James C., Jefferson county, W. Va. 

Wagley, William, dead. 

Way, Harrison A., whereabouts unknown. 

Yull, Stephen, dead. 

Zombro, George, whereabouts unknown. 

COMPANY B. 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. R. W. Baylor, badly wounded. 

First Lieut. Milton Rouss, wounded; captured at Brandy Sta 
tion; some time in prison. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 455 

Second Lieut. George Roland, left the service. 

Second Lieut. B. C. Washington, wounded three times; twice 

a prisoner. 

Third Lieut. George Baylor, wounded. 
Orderly Sergt. S. W. Timberlake, wounded; several horses 

shot under him; was called "The fighting Sergeant." 
Second Sergt. J. H. Conklyn. 
Third Sergt. C. W. Trussell. 
Fourth Sergt. W. C. Frazier, wounded. 

PRIVATES. 

Aisquith, E. M. 

Aisquith, W. M., dead. 

Anderson, Isaac, wounded. 

Alexander, Charles, dead. 

Alexander, Herbert, died from effects of imprisonment. 

Averill, William, killed. 

Baylor, Richard C., killed at Parkers Store. 

Baylor, Robert W., Jr., killed in Charlestown, W. Va. 

Bartlett, Joseph, wounded. 

Baker, William H., wounded. 

Baney, Thaddeus, killed at Jacks Shop. 

Barringer, James. 

Beall, H. D. Noted scout; belonged to Baltimore Sun edi 
torial corps ; captured near Lexington, Va., and held in 
prison till end of the war. 

Bell, Daniel, wounded. 

Berry, Charles, wounded; dead. 

Bonham, Edward. 

Butler, J. D. 

Conklyn, C. C. 

Chamberlain, Lucien. 

Crane, C. L. 

Castleman, Robert, wounded; dead. 

Cooke, B. W. 



456 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Coleman, John, wounded. 

Conrad, Morris. 

Conrad, J. M. M. 

Crane, Joseph, dead. 

Crane, J. C., wounded. 

Cookus, Robert. 

Creaton, George, wounded ; dead. 

Coyle, J. W., dead. 

Craighill, R. T., wounded. 

Dovenberger, Daniel, wounded. 

Easterday, Joseph. 

Easterday, John. 

Eddins, H. C., wounded in Cattle raid. 

English, W. D., wounded in the Wilderness, May 6th, 1864. 

Faughnder, Daniel, wounded. 

Faughnder, Fenton. 

Fry, J. D. 

Gallaher, J. H., wounded; dead. 

Gallaher, Edward, dead. 

Gallaher, J. S., dead. 

Gordon, Abraham, wounded. 

Gibson, W. H., dead. 

Grantham, J. S., dead. 

Henderson, Charles E., wounded. 

Henderson, Robert, dead. 

Hilbert, John, dead. 

Hilbert, George. 

Howell, John. 

Huyett, R. D., killed ; refused to surrender. 

Hoffmaster, J. W. 

Hutchinson, Dr. Julian, dead. 

Hunter, H. C., dead. 

Isler, C. H., killed at Brandy Station, June Qth, 1863. 

Johnson, Charles G. 

Lackland, E. M., dead. 

Lewis, B. F. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 457 

Lewis, J. L. 

Lewis, Elisha. 

Lewis, George, killed at Brandy Station. 

Lewis, David, killed. 

Locke, William, killed at Yellow Tavern. 

Manning, C. J. 

Manning, G. U., killed at Brandy Station. 

Manning, William P., wounded, June 9th, 1863. 

Manning, F. J., wounded; dead. 

Manning, A. D. 

Myers, Thomas. 

Mason, William S. 

McKnown, Warner, killed at Brandy Station. 

McCluer, John. 

Moore, Monrose, killed. 

Nicely, Charles. 

North, Robert, dead. 

Rouss, C. B., dead ; enlisted from patriotic duty at the last call 
of Lee. A fine fighter ; was a successful New York mer 
chant ; gave $100,000 to the fund for a Southern battle 
abbey, and spent his fortune freely to relieve needy 
Confederate soldiers. 

Ranson, Thomas D., of Staunton, Va., was wounded at Mc 
Dowell and Cross Keys while lieutenant in Fifty-second 
Virginia Infantry. He joined Company B as a private ; 
was a noted scout for Generals Stuart and R. E. Lee ; 
wounded and taken prisoner at Tom s Brook, and held 
until June, 1865. 

Ranson, B. B. 

Randall, James, dead. 

Redman, T. B. 

Rowland, J. H. 

Strider, Isaac H., wounded. 

Starry, Tustin. 

Sadler, L. L., dead. 

Selden, W. C., wounded. 



458 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Smith, John W., killed in the Wilderness, May 5th, 1864. 
Tearney, Leo. 
Thompson, William S. 
Timberlake, George, wounded. 
Timberlake, Richard, killed in Cattle raid. 
Timberlake, Stephen. 
Timberlake, J. H., wounded ; dead. 
Timberlake, J. L., wounded. 
Timberlake, T. W., wounded. 
Timberlake, Harry. 
Trussell, J. T. 
Trussell, E. C, dead. 
Trussell, Moses. 
Terrill, Philip, killed. 
Terrill, J. U. 

Washington, George, \vounded ; dead. 

Washington, J. C., died in Pert McHenry, prisoner of war. 
Wysong, R. I., wounded; dead. 
Willis, Beale. 

Willis, Albert, died during the war. 
Willis, Frank, dead. 

Wilson, William L., member of Congress and Postmaster- 
General in Administration of Cleveland. 
Wiltshire, J. C., killed. 
Whittington, Benjamin, dead. 
Wolfe, John W. 
Wright, Samuel, killed. 
Workman, John, killed. 
Wingard, George, wounded. 
Yates, John O., dead. 
Young, Mason E. 
Zombro, J. W., dead. 
Zombro, T. B., killed. 
Zombro, J. D. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 459 

COMPANY C. 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. John H. Ford, wounded at Poolesville, Md., and at 

Jacks Shop. 

First Lieut. W. H. Myers. 

Second Lieut. Joseph R. Wood, wounded in the Wilderness. 
Third Lieut. Richard Sydnor, wounded in the Wilderness. 
First Sergt. R. S. D. Heironomus, wounded at Jacks Shop by 

sabre cut and in several other fights. 
Second Sergt. Edgar Davis. 
Third Sergt. George Chenowith. 

Fourth Sergt. Thomas M. Eddy, wounded at Berryville, Va. 
First Corp. Henry Huntsberry. 

Second Corp. T. J. Jackson, killed in the Wilderness. 
Third Corp. George Hilliard, wounded at Culpeper Court 

House. 
Fourth Corp. Marshall McDonald. 

PRIVATES. 

Adams, John D., wounded in the Wilderness. 

Ashwood, Thomas. 

Ashwood, Eli. 

Brumback, Jacob. 

Brumback, Joseph. 

Baylis, Milton, wounded in the Wilderness. 

Bowers, Frank. 

Brown, James. 

Baker, William. 

Baker, John. 

Brown, Joseph. 

Baker, Henry. 

Bennett, Peter. 

Beemer, John. 



460 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Brumback, Dallas. 

Bell, John. 

Bell, Henry. 

Bell, Joseph. 

Copenhaver, Morgan. 

Colsten, John T., wounded at Reams Station. 

Carter, Charles, wounded in the Wilson raid. 

Carter, Joseph. 

Crisman, Jacob, wounded at Jacks Shop. 

Diffendiver, Benjamin. 

Dugans, 

Dugans, 

Daugherty, William, died from exposure in Beverly raid. 

Everhart, Newton. 

Everhart, Jackson, killed at Brandy Station. 

Eddy, Theodore. 

Everhart, Thomas. 

Fenwick, William. 

Fenwick, Ignatius, wounded at Beverly. 

Fry, Marshall. 

Fry, Jesse. 

Fugerson, Charles. 

Fugett, George. 

Flowers, Frank. 

Ginn, C. H. 

Glaze, Henry, wounded in the Wilderness. 

Grove, Josiah. 

Heitt, J. T., wounded at Port Republic; dead. 

Herbert, William. 

Hunter, George. 

Huntsberry, Jacob. 

Hilliard, Jacob. 

Harris, Sulton, killed at Reams Station. 

Jenkins, John, mortally wounded near Richmond. 

Jones, Charles, wounded near Richmond. 

Kaufman, G., dead. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 461 

Kramer, William, wounded at Second Manassas. 

Keefer, Frederick. 

Loge, Jacob. 

Lupton, John, killed at Edenburg. 

Leopard, William. 

McDonald, Samuel, wounded. 

McDonald, James. 

McDonald, Joseph. 

Miller, Dudley. 

Miller, Robert, wounded. 

Marker, J. M. 

Marshall, Edward. 

Meade, James. 

Pitman, Archie. 

Pitman, John. 

Pitman, Joseph. 

Pitzer, Charles. 

Pitzer, Alexander. 

Patterson, Newton. 

Patterson, Henry, wounded in the Wilderness. 

Pitcher, William. 

Perry, Joseph. 

Piper, Calvin, wounded at Patterson s Creek and killed at 

Winchester. 
Piper, William. 

Rudolph, Joseph, killed in the Wilderness. 
Rudolph, N. 
Roderick, Thomas. 
Russell, J. W. 
Reed, W. E. 
Shank, Henry C. 
Shull, Briscoe. 
Snapp, Sydner. 
Shrout, Lewis. 
Shroad, David. 
Shroad, George. 



462 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Sperry, W. S. 

Stump, Calvin. 

Sydnor, Fauntleroy. 

Sydnor, Cyrus. 

Strieker, Robert. 

Shepherd, I. N., badly wounded at Brandy Station. 

Sharley, John. 

Tanquary, Henry. 

White, John. 

Wright, Joseph. 

Wisecarver, A. 

Yolle, J. P., wounded badly at Kernstown. 

Yeakley, Martin. 

COMPANY D. 

(Furnished by A. L. Osbourn.) 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. H. W. Kearney, wounded ; dead. 

First Lieut. George Engle, dead. 

Second Lieut. J. W. James, wounded ; Wyoming, Jones county, 

Iowa. 

Third Lieut. Benjamin Lucas, killed in Cattle raid. 
First Sergt. Charles Haines, wounded ; Waynesboro, Va. 
Second Sergt. John Allen, dead. 
Third Sergt. J. W. McCleary, wounded; dead. 
Fourth Sergt. G. W. Watson, prisoner; Parkersburg, W. Va. 
Fifth Sergt. Andrew Higgins, dead. 
First Corp. James Allen, Summit Point, W. Va. 
Second Corp. J. W. Coffinbarger, Shepherdstown, W. Va. 
Third Corp. E. C. Deck, dead. 
Fourth Corp. A. L. Osbourn, prisoner; Shenandoah Junction, 

W. Va. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 463 

PRIVATES. 

Athey, James, prisoner; Coffeeville, Kans. 

Adams, W. A., dead. 

Andrews, John, dead. 

Andrews, Daniel, prisoner; Louisiana, Mo. 

Brubaker, Isaac, dead. 

Brantner, George, dead. 

Bane, Garrett, dead. 

Burley, P. 

Banks, Washington, dead. 

Badger, John. 

Backus, H. C, prisoner; dead. 

Bowers, George W., dead. 

Barnhart, George, whereabouts unknown. 

Caton, George W., prisoner; dead. 

Conrad, Nathaniel, Charlestown, W. Va. 

Conrad, Alexander, wounded ; Harrisonburg, Va. 

Cook, George, killed. 

Cook, James, prisoner; dead. 

Clymer, Daniel, killed. 

Clymer, Frank, Baltimore, Md. 

Chambers, I. M., dead. 

Currie, Charles, wounded ; dead. 

Dickson, J. C., whereabouts unknown. 

Dodson, Thomas, killed. 

Deck, Frederick, prisoner; Spencer, O. 

Elliott, Charles, killed. 

Engle, Benjamin, prisoner; Alva, Wyo. 

Furrey, John, whereabouts unknown. 

Furrey, Martin, Kearneysville, W. Va. 

Fraley, David, wounded; Molers Crossroads, W. Va. 

Fraley, James, Snyders Mills, W. Va. 

Flanagan, William, dead. 

Farnsworth, John B., Summit Point, W. Va. 

Frazier, James, dead. 



464 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Gall, George, wounded; whereabouts unknown. 

Gay, James, dead. 

Hipsley, Thomas, wounded ; prisoner ; dead. 

Hicks, J. W., killed. 

Hess, Charles, wounded ; dead. 

Henkle, D. Grove, wounded; dead. 

Higgins, Owen, wounded; whereabouts unknown. 

Hayslett, William, Middleway, W. Va. 

Hayslett, John, Middleway, W. Va. 

Hagley, George H., wounded; Charlestown, W. Va. 

Hough, Mason, wounded ; dead. 

Hendricks, Daniel W., Uvilla, W. Va. 

Hendricks, Tobias, Shepherdstown, W. Va. 

Hendricks, J. M., wounded ; Molers Crossroads, W. Va. 

Hoffman, David, killed. 

Hoffman, George, dead. 

Hoffman, John, dead. 

Hanby, William, dead. 

Hudson, Charles, dead. 

Hastings, Daniel B., dead. 

Herr, E. G. W., dead. 

Hartman, George, prisoner; dead 

Holmes, David C., whereabouts unknown. 

Heckroach, William, dead. 

Halpin, Robert, dead. 

House, Samuel, dead. 

James, James W., Wyoming, Iowa. 

Johnson, William, killed. 

Johnson, E. C., dead. 

Johnson, George, wounded; Leetown, W. Va. 

Kilmer, Harry, dead. 

Knott, Charles H., dead. 

Kephart, W. H. H, dead. 

Kephart, Jacob, Duffields, W. Va. 

Keys, J. Richard, dead. 

Keys, James, dead. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 465 

Kisner, Joseph, dead. 

Knott, George S., Molers Crossroads, W. Va. 
Lewis, John, prisoner; dead. 
Lewis, David, prisoner; dead. 

Leopold, Andrew, prisoner; executed as a spy by order Gen 
eral Dix. 

Licklider, John C, dead. 

Licklider, Frank, wounded; whereabouts unknown. 
Licklider, Joseph Seiss, wounded ; Roanoke, Va. 
Loudon, John, prisoner ; Molers Crossroads, W. Va. 
Lambert, Charles O., Martinsburg, W. Va. 
Melvin, William, Shepherdstown, W. Va. 
Morningstar, Charles, killed. 
Minghinna, Joseph, Martinsburg, W. Va. 
Moore, George, dead. 
Melvin, James, Halltown, W. Va. 
More, Bart, whereabouts unknown. 
Moler, D. Griff, dead. 
Moler, Rollin, prisoner ; killed. 
Moler, Raleigh, Uvilla, W. Va. 
Moler, George, dead. 
Moler, Jacob S., Bakerton, W. Va. 
Moler, H. Clay, dead. 
Moler, William, Bakerton, W. Va. 
Moler, Newton, wounded ; prisoner ; Bolivar, W. Va. 
Morgan, Frank, dead. 
Mackin, Patrick, prisoner; Richmond, Va. 
Merritt, Henry, Ilchester, Md. 
McBee, William, dead. 

McGarry, James W., prisoner ; Shenandoah Junction, W. Va. 
Nichols, Lewis, Halltown, W. Va. 
Osbourn, George, Shepherdstown, W. Va. 
Osbourn, James B., wounded, Shenandoah Junction, W. Va. 
Osbourn, R. L., prisoner ; wounded ; Leetown, W. Va. 
Ogden, John J., Parkersburg, W. Va. 
Polly, Samuel, dead. 



466 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Patten, James, Harper s Ferry, W. Va. 

Prather, Charles, dead. 

Prather, Dent, prisoner; Leetown, W. Va. 

Pretzman, Wallace, dead. 

Roberts, Robert, wounded; dead. 

Roberts, James, Leetown, W. Va. 

Reed, Samuel, whereabouts unknown. 

Ronemous, George, dead. 

Reinhart, Phil, Shepherdstown, W. Va. 

Reinhart, William, wounded ; prisoner ; Shepherdstown, W. 

Va. 

Ritter, James, dead. 

Rutherford, Thomas, Shepherdstown, W. Va. 
Roe, George, dead. 
Smith, William, Bolton, Miss. 
Smith, George, wounded; Charlestown, W. Va. 
Strider, Howard, prisoner; dead. 
Simpson, John T., wounded ; Airmont, Va. 
Shirley, James, dead. 

Swimley, H. Harrison, Summit Point, W. Va. 
Swimley, J. Samuel, Brucetown, Via. ; wounded twice. 
Shewbridge, John H., dead. 
Staley, William, prisoner ; Selma, Cal. 
Slavin, John, whereabouts unknown. 
Show, Collin, Shepherdstown, W. Va. 
Snyder, James, killed. 
Snyder, John, dead. 
Ware, Richard, Washington, D. C. 
Wright, James, dead. 
Watson, William, killed. 
Watson, Eph, wounded; Leetown, W. Va. 
Welch, Michael, whereabouts unknown. 
Watson, Bart, Middleway, W. Va. 
Whittington, James, Duffields, W. Va. 
Wintermoyer, William, dead. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 467 

Wilson, John, dead. 

Zombro, Isaac, Middleway, W. Va. 

COMPANY E. 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. James Marshall. 
First Lieut. J. C. McKay. 
Second Lieut. Thomas Marshall. 
Second Lieut. James Marshall. 

PRIVATES. 

Bowman, W. H. 

Conrad, W. B. 

Bowman, Allen. 

Berryman, W. A. 

Strother, John A. 

Boyd, M. A., Clarke. 

Amiss, J. B., Winchester, shoemaker. 

Cullers, L. H. 

Bolen, A. R., dead. 

Brewer, J. W., Shenandoah. 

Berryman, George, killed. 

Berryman, Thomas, killed. 

Bowman, John. 

Bauserman, W. H. 

Brown, J. W. 

Bushong, James. 

Bushong, Calvin. 

Bushong, E. M. 

Bushong, Mark. 

Biedler, Jacob. 

Berryman, W. A. 

Brannan, A. J. 



468 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Crabill, Silas, New Market. 

Castillo, John. 

Derflinger, James, Winchester, Va. 

Delinger, John, Middletown, Va. 

Fox, Sidney. 

French, James H. 

Forsyth, William, dead; Winchester, Va. 

Green, E. A., dead ; Winchester, Va. 

Garrett, R. M., Galveston. 

Hottle, Nathaniel, Frederick, Va. 

Hyde, Peter S., Piedmont, W. Va. 

Hall, David. 

Hall, Jeff. 

Hall, Elijah. 

Hall, Wesley. 

Hockman, Henry. 

Jenkins, Gabriel. 

Johnson, Joseph. 

Kelley, Patrick. 

Knight, George, Winchester, Va. 

Keiser, Edwin. 

Kern, Hy. 

Legg, Bushrod. 

Lambert, William. 

Lichliter, Wayman. 

Lake, A. 

Legg, J. B., Georgetown, D. C. 

Miller, David. 

Mills, Robert. 

Mills, John. 

McDonald, George. 

Mclnturff, James. 

Marshall, James. 

Marshall, Thomas. 

Marshall, Charles. 

Marshall, Alfred. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 469 



Maddox, R. B. 
Maddox, C. J. 
Maddox, J. W. 
Maddox, W. B. 

Maddox, J. N. 
Maddox, T. S. 
McKens, H. 
Mills, Charles. 
Majers, Hy. Coleman. 
Pence, Lemuel. 
Painter, W. H. 
Pickrell, Hy. C. 
Pickrell, George. 
Rucker, Samuel. 
Rouzee, Benjamin. 
Riley, R. V. 
Ryman, Isaac. 
Ryman, George. 
Smith, Ch. 
Smith, John. 
Smith, A. M. 
Silmond, Richard. 
Shipe, Jacob. 
Strickler, Abram. 
Strickler, Martin. 
Smoot, Philip. 
Sealves, George. 
Sealcock, George. 
Wright, A. M. 
Wright, Silas. 
Williams, William. 



COMPANY F. 



This company was composed for the most part of Mary- 
landers. Its first captain was Harry Gilmore, and the next 



47 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

James Clarke. First lieutenant, Warner Welsh; second lieu 
tenant, Maury Hurst, of Jefferson county, Virginia; orderly 
sergeant, Samuel Hansburger, of Harrisonburg, Va. The 
company was not strong numerically, but was composed of 
splendid fighting men, and it is unfortunate no record of its 
brilliant achievements on detached service and with the brigade 
has been obtainable, and that no roll of officers and men seems 
to have been preserved. Harry Gilmore in his book, "Four 
Years in the Saddle," devoted almost every page of it to his 
own personal exploits, mentions Company F only once, and 
does not mention the name of officer or private as having 
served in it. Private John H. Cook, whose residence is not 
given, and W. H. Richardson, of Austin, Tex., are the only 
privates reported. The latter was wounded in the Wilderness, 
was promoted to first lieutenant in a company of the Second 
Maryland Battalion, in which he served until the surrender. 

COMPANY G. 

A partial roll of this company is furnished by Lieut. W. F. 
Anderson, of Covington, Va. : 

OFFICERS. 

Capt. A. M. Willis. 
First Lieut. A. C. Swindler. 
Second Lieut. W. F. Anderson. 
Third Lieut. John Eastham. 

At the reorganization Willis resigned and A. C. Swindler 
was made captain ; W. F. Anderson, first lieutenant ; Eastham, 
second lieutenant, and W. H. Brownell, third lieutenant. Lieu 
tenant Anderson, a most gallant officer, was practically the 
commander of this company throughout the war, from Buck- 
ton Station to Appomattox. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 471 

PRIVATES. 



Samuel J. Spindle, dead. 

Sergt. Samuel Van Horn, dead. 

Sergt. R. J. Wood. 

Turner, Jordan. 

Turner, Thomas. 

Carter, F. Pendleton. 

Howard, H. R. 

Anderson, H. B. 

Dodson, William. 

Dodson, Lloyd. 

Dodson, Stephen. 

Finchams, Jack. 

Pierce, Brock. 

Hackley, James. 

Priest, Mason. 

Bearing, James A. 

Fincham, Fidler. 

Grigsby, Elijah. 

Kirby, Thomas. 

Schwartz, Thomas. 

Schwartz, John. 

Partlow, Leonard. 

Jenkins, Mat. 

Rosson, John. 

Fogg, Joseph. 

Baggarly, Charles. 

Weakley, James K. 

Byers, . 



472 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

COMPANY H. 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. Emanuel Sipe, wounded in Wilderness, May, 1864; Val 
ley, October, 1864; held at Fort Delaware three months; 
made lieutenant-colonel in 1864 and placed in command 
of Seventh Virginia Cavalry; captured in 1865 by Sheri 
dan s army. 

First Lieut. E. C. Randolph, wounded at Brandy Station, 
1863, and at Cold Harbor. 

Second Lieut. Joseph Kratzer, taken prisoner and held at 
Point Lookout and at Charleston. 

Third Lieut. John R. Simpson, resigned January, 1863. 

Fourth Lieut. J. W. Keller, resigned August, 1863. 

Second Lieut. Casper H. Arehart, killed near Ashland, Va., 
first day of June, 1864. 

Third Lieut. O. P. Horn, wounded in battle near Richmond, 
Va., captured and held a prisoner at Fort Delaware; 
promoted lieutenant late in the war. 

First Sergt. W. H. Arehart. 

Second Sergt. Daniel Garber. 

Third Sergt. John Altoffer. 

Fourth Sergt. John A. Ary. 

Fourth Sergt. John W. Huffman, wounded in the second bat 
tle of Manassas. 

First Corp. Martin Holsinger, wounded and died in hospital, 
October, 1863. 

Second Corp. Thomas J. Perry, wounded at Little Washing 
ton, and held prisoner until after the war. 

Third Corp. Jacob Baker. 

Fourth Corp. Samuel Crann. 

Third Corp. Abraham Brunk. 

Fourth Corp. Solon M. Bowman, late in the war. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 473 

PRIVATES. 

Altaffer, J. M., Independence, Kans. 

Altoffer, Joseph, dead. 

Altoffer, William. 

Altoffer, Martin, dead. 

Alford, Robert. 

Arehart, Nason, died from an injury received from a horse in 

1865. 

Adams, George W. 
Arehart, W. Harvey. 
Brown, John M. 
Brannaman, Milkiah. 
Baker, Isaac, died since the war. 
Baker, Samuel, died since the war. 
Brooks, John, died since the war. 
Brooks, Hess. 

Bateman, Elijah, died in hospital in 1864. 
Bouman, David H., died in 1897. 
Bouman, Casper. 
Bouman, J. W. 
Bouman, Socrates. 
Bouman, John S. 
Bouman, Ephraim. 
Bouman, Berryman T. 

Bowman, Franklin M., wounded at Cedar Creek in 1864. 
Bare, John S. 
Bare, David. 
Bowman, Alpheus M., Salem Via.; captured March I, 1865; 

held until war closed. 
Bowman, Paul C. 

Bright, John, died in hospital in 1864. 
Bowman, S. S., wounded at High Bridge in 1865. 
Cool, Littington, captured at Cold Harbor; held as prisoner 

until after the war. 
Carpenter, W. J. 



474 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Crann, John S. 

Clatterbuck, William. 

Dundore, Samuel. 

Dundore, David. 

Dinkle, Calvin. 

Banner, David, killed in the battle of the Wilderness in 1864. 

Dovel, Lucious. 

Ettinger, William, died since the war. 

Fifer, Jerry, died since the war. 

Fitch, Buck. 

Frankum, Walker. 

Frankum, John. 

Fately, Sylvanus. 

Gowl, Daniel, wounded at Brandy Station in June 9th, 1863. 

Gowl, Peter. 

Gowl, William. 

Grandstaff, Branson, died since the war. 

Glovier, Madison. 

Glovier, J. H. 

Groves, William H., wounded at Buckton Station. 

Holsinger, John D., died since the war. 

Holsinger, Samuel, died since the war. 

Holsinger, Peter P., captured at Berryville, Va. 

Holsinger, Abraham, died since the war. 

Huffman, Joseph H., died since the war. 

Hile, Samuel, died in hospital in 1864. 

Hinegardner, Jacob. 

Holsinger, Silas J. 

Hawkins, W. H. 

Hawkins, Jacob, died since the war. 

Hidecker, William, died in hospital in 1863. 

Jones, Adam, died in 1863. 

Jimison, John W., died since the war. 

Jennings, Dallas, wounded twice and died since the war in 

Texas. 
Keller, Phillip, died since the war. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 475 

Lacky, Robert. 

Loker, Thomas, died since the war. 

Lairy, John, wounded near Woodstock. 

Long, Cooney. 

Long, Samuel. 

Myres, E. P. 

Moore, John H., died in hospital in 1863. 

Maston, John. 

May, Joseph F. 

Miller, Jacob, died since the war. 

McLaughlin, Joseph. 

Moyers, Jacob, died in 1863. 

Naras, Patrick, wounded at Fairmont and held prisoner until 

after the war. 

Neff, Washington L., died in hospital at Harrisonburg in 1864. 
Orebaugh, William H. 
Oaks, Dick, died since the war. 
Painter, Allen, died since the war. 
Painter, Robert. 
Painter, Romannus. 
Phillips, John. 

Phillips, Nathaniel, killed in battle of the Wilderness. 
Plecker, William. 
Pitt, Samuel. 
Painter, Uriah. 

Ryman, Samuel A., wounded near Cedar Creek. 
Roller, Henry, w r ounded twice and died in 1907. 
Roller, Emanuel, wounded and died in 1907. 
Roller, Peter. 

Rinker, Erasmus, died since the war. 
Ritchie, Polk. 
Ritchie, Dallas. 

Ritchie, George, died since the war. 
Ritchie, Joseph. 
Rice, Bram. M. 
Rice, Joseph. 



476 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Strickler, B. F., wounded at Wilderness Tavern and died since 

the war. 

Slusser, Samuel, wounded in battle of the Wilderness in 1864. 
Slusser, William, died in 1863. 
Saufley, Joseph, died after the war. 
Saufley, William. 
Sherman, D. W. 
Showalter, Samuel. 
Stover, Jacob. 

Sylvins, Moses, wounded and died since the war. 
Spader, John, died in 1906. 
Smith, Allen. 
Trobough, John. 
Treavy, J. C. 

Will, William A., died since the war. 
Will, Nason. 

White, Milton, died since the war. 
Whitesell, Jacob, killed at Hawe s Shop in 1864. 
Wine, John. 
Wine, William. 
Wilberger, David. 
Smith, Billy. 



Marshall, Thomas. 



Colored. 



Smith, Noah. 

This company was highly complimented by Genl. J. E. B. 
Stuart for its gallantry and efficiency. It was especially noted 
for its fine dismounted fighting. 

COMPANY I. 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. Charles T. O Ferral, transferred and promoted to a 
colonelcy ; congressman from Virginia and Governor of 
the State. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 477 

First Lieut. Granville Eastham, desperately wounded at 
Brandy Station; dead. 

Second Lieut. John R. Rust, wounded ; had six horses shot 
under him; this splendid officer served from the begin 
ning of the war under Ashby to the end; his only 
absence being 60 days in prison. 

First Sergt. John W. Ashby, killed at Appomattox in last 
charge in 1865. 

Second Sergt. James Grubbs, wounded in the Wilderness, May 
5th, 1864. 

Third Sergt. Peter F. Cooley, wounded in the Wilderness, 
May 5th, 1864. 

Fourth Sergt. Joseph R. Coomes. 

First Corp. Horace M. Wade. 

Second Corp. Bushrod Rust, wounded in the Wilderness, May 
5th, 1864. 

Third Corp. John W. Strother. 

Fourth Corp. John W. McKay. 

PRIVATES. 

Ash, George A., wounded in the Wilderness, May 5th, 1864. 
Ash, Buckner, wounded near Petersburg in Reams Station 

fight. 

Ashby, Lewis. 

Ashby, Russell, killed at Appomattox in last charge; recruit. 
Baker, Jonas, wounded in the Wilderness in 1864. 
Biggs, Elias. 
Black, Henry A. 
Black, Benjamin F., wounded in the Wilderness, May 5th, 

1864. 

Breedlove, Samuel. 
Brown, John T. 
Burk, Thomas. 
Costello, Edward. 
Chapman, J. A. 



478 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Cooley, Samuel C. 

Cooley, Smith, wounded in the Wilderness, May 5th, 1864. 

Coverstone, Lewis. 

Crawley, - 

Cunningham, John F. 

Davis, A. C., wounded ; died in prison. 

Eichelberger, D. S. 

Furgeson, Abner, wounded. 

Flynn, James A., killed at Cranberry Summit, in Jones raid 

in West Virginia. 
Green, Casper W. 
Heiflebower, Edward, color-sergeant, badly wounded at 

Brandy fight. 
Harrison, William H. 

Holmes, William F., killed in the Wilderness, May 5th, 1864. 
Haskins, William A., wounded at Buckland. 
Haskins, Daniel. 
Johnson, Thomas. 
Kern, Henry R. 

Lake, Enoch A., wounded at Jacks Shop. 
Lake, John H., wounded at Upperville. 
Long, Isaac, wounded at Toms Brook. 
Muman, William. 

Massie, Edward G., made sergeant-major of brigade. 
McKay, Joseph. 
Mitchell, I. Ship. 
Oliver, John B. 

Oliver, Alfred, killed at Jacks Shop. 
Page, Thomas D. 

Palmer, Robert, wounded at Brandy Station. 
Payne, Edward S., wounded in the Wilderness, May 5th, 1864. 
Petty, Thomas W. 
Petty, George N. 
Powers, John W. 

Putnam, W. R. F., wounded in Trevilians fight. 
Reid, John R. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 479 

Reid, George W., killed in the Wilderness, May 5th, 1864. 

Rice, Benjamin F. 

Ridgeway, Joseph, wounded in the Wilderness, May 5th, 1864. 

Ridgeway, Newton, wounded at Trevilians. 

Reiley, J. W. 

Reiley, J. M. 

Ruley, William A. 

Robinson, James T., wounded in the Wilderness. 

Ruffner, Benjamin F., died since the war. 

Russell, - 

Santmyers, D. M. 

Sherrard, William. 

Seibert, George W. 

Stokes, Newton, wounded. 

vStout George, wounded at Brandy Station. 

Strother, George W. 

Strother R. F., wounded in the Wilderness, May 5th, 1864. 

Strother, John I. 

Strother, Wil iam, killed in the Wilderness, May 5th. 

Strother, James W. 

Strother, Lewis, wounded at Brandy Station. 

Tally, John, wounded at Brandy Station. 

Tolbert, Charles W., badly wounded in the Wilderness, May 

5th. 

Templeman, James, wounded at Poolesville, Md., in 1863. 
Thornhill, Philetus, wounded at Brandy Station. 
Turner, James C, killed in the Wilderness, May 5th. 
Vermillian, James. 

Warwicks, John, wounded at Buckland. 
White, James W. 
Woodward, Thomas E. 
Yuille, A. C. 
Yuille, A. B. 
Yuille, Thomas. 



MUSTER ROLL OF THIRTY-FIFTH VIRGINIA CAV 
ALRY (WHITE S BATTALION), LAUREL 
BRIGADE, ARMY OF NORTHERN 
VIRGINIA. 



Colonel Commanding Elijah V. White, of Leesburg, Va., sev 
eral times severely wounded; died January nth, 1907. 

Major George N. Ferneyhough, of Washington, D. C, resigned 
in 1864. 

Major F. M. Myers, succeeding Ferneyhough; was formerly 
captain of Company C; died October iQth, 1906. 

COMPANY A. 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. F. M. Myers, wounded at Mount Clifton, October 7th, 

1864; died October, 1906. 
First Lieut. William F. Barrett, captured at Brandy Station, 

June 9th, 1863; died since the war. 
Second Lieut. R. C. Marlow, wounded at Trevilians ; died 

since the war. 
Third Lieut. B. F. Conrad, lost leg in the Wilderness; died 

since the war. 
First Sergt. Thomas S. Grubb, killed at Toms Brook, October 

9th, 1864. 
Second Sergt. Edward L. Bennett, lost leg at Trevilians, June 

nth, 1864; died since the war. 
Third Sergt. John Dove, wounded at Waterford, August 27th, 

1862. 

Fourth Sergt. George F. Everhart, wounded in the Wilder 
ness, May 5th, 1864; living at Waterford, Va. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 481 

Fifth Sergt. Charles F. Galloway, wounded at Brandy Station, 

June 9th, 1863; living at Warrenton, Va. 
First Corp. William H. H. Moreland, living. 
Second Corp. J. W. Whaley, Herndon, Va. 
Third Corp. E. H. Tavenner, wounded at Toms Brook ; dead. 
Fourth Corp. J. J. Jenkins, Dranesville, Va. 

PRIVATES. 

Anderson, Colmore. 

Barker, Rufus C. 

Bicksler, John F., wounded, May 5th, 1864; dead. 

Ballenger, Benjamin F. 

Bales, Charles A. 

Buzzard, O. M. 

Barrett, C. Boyd, wounded in the Wilderness, May 5th ; South 

Dakota. 
Brown, - 

Brown, William, killed at Monks Neck in 1864. 
Bussard, Lycurgus, killed at Glenmore in 1864. 
Conner, Joseph E., dead. 
Carper, Philip W r ., wounded at Brandy Station; Dranesville, 

Va. 

Coe, Aurelius. 
Cuizen, William T., dead. 
Conrad, Jonathan T., dead. 
Curry, William F., dead. 
Crumbaker, Samuel W., killed in the Wilderness, May 6th, 

1864. 

Chadwell, John R. 
Cook, Alfred M. 

Craig, George W r ., wounded at High Bridge; Middleburg, Va. 
Cockerill, A. J. 
Debutts, John. 
Dove, Joseph. 
Darr, James W. 



482 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Douglas, John. 

Douglas, Samuel E., killed. 

Douglas, Edward. 

Douglas, James R. ; killed at Neersville, Va., February, 1865. 

Douglas, Theodore, killed. 

Douglas, Ross. 

Drish, Edwin, killed at Leesburg, July, 1864. 

Donohoe, Legrand. 

Ellmore, John D. 

Ellmore, George. 

Edwards, William, killed at Trevilians, June nth, 1864. 

Foley, Fenton, wounded at Greenland Gap. 

Freeman, James, wounded at Brandy Station. 

Fletcher, John W., wounded at High Bridge, April 6th, 1865. 

Fletcher, James H., teamster. 

Fletcher, John T., teamster. 

Grubb, H. 

Grubb, T., killed at Toms Brook. 

Galloway, Charles. 

Galloway, William. 

Garrett, Albert T. 

Householder, William O., wounded in the Wilderness. 

Hayes, Brook, killed at Waterford. 

Herndon, Joseph, killed in the Wilderness in 1864. 

Goard, John, wounded at Mount Clifton in 1864. 

Howard, John, wounded at Enon Church in 1864. 

Harding, Richard. 

Harding, Albert. 

Harper, James W v living in the West. 

Hibbs, Henry C. 

Horseman, William H. 

Hancock, James W. 

Hutchenson, John R. 

Hummer, Braden. 

Hummer, Henry O., killed at Parkers Store, November, 1863. 

Hutchinson, George C. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 483 

Jenkins, Samuel, killed at Poolesville in 1862. 

Jacobs, George W., Leesburg, Va. 

Jones, Edward F., wounded at Edwards Ferry in 1863. 

Kilgore, Mortimer. 

Kidwell, James E., Leesburg, Va. 

Kabrich, Peter J., mortally wounded at Waterford in 1862. 

Kane, Doc. 

Kyle, William P., wounded at Brandy Station. 

Keighn, Samuel, dead. 

Kephart, John, wounded in the Wilderness. 

Kephart, Jasper C. 

Leslie, Benjamin F., killed at High Bridge in 1865. 

Lewis, Thomas R. 

Lewis, John. 

Lyon, William L. 

Lee, Edgar A. 

Lee, John F. 

Lee, William W., dead. 

Lee, James E. 

Luckett, William H. 

Lee, David J., dead. 

Lee, George, wounded at High Bridge. 

Mock, G. 

Moore, Henry R., killed in the Wilderness, May 6th, 1864. 

Marlow, John H., wounded at Sapony Church in 1864. 

McCauley, John F. 

Mobberly, John W., murdered in Loudoun in 1865. 

McFarland, William A., Hamilton, Va. 

McFarland, Henry C., wounded at Brandy Station in 1863. 

McFarland, Richard. 

Myers, Thomas J., dead. 

Myers, Charles P., wounded at Thornton s Mill in 1863. 

Minor, Fairfax C. 

Miller, George, courier for General Rosser. 

Muse, John W. 

McDonough, W. W., wounded in the Wilderness in 1864. 



484 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

O Neal, James W. 

O Niel, Edward. 

Orrison, John W. 

Oxley, E. R., dead. 

Pettingall, D. C, wounded at Thornton s Mill in 1863. 

Presgraves, Samuel T., killed at Monks Neck in 1864. 

Presgraves, Philip. 

Polland, James E. 

Pickett, Enoch F. 

Palmer, Mortimer M. 

Price, Joseph. 

Prince, Daniel L., killed at Brandy Station. 

Richards, Lewis. 

Ryan, James M., dead. 

Riley, James. 

Ryan, Henry C. 

Ryan, William. 

Robertson, Jacob R., wounded at Glenmore in 1862. 

Snoots, William, wounded at the Wilderness in 1864. 

Sellman, Henry. 

Sheeves, W. M. J. 

Spates, T. G., wounded at Greenland Gap; Hillsboro, Va. 

Shugars, C. H. 

Stephenson, John, wounded at Snickers Gap in 1862; dead. 

Simpson, Henry. 

Survick, George W., dead. 

Sloper, John T. 

Smith, James B. N., dead. 

Sampsell, Henry G. 

Sinclair, John H. 

Simpson, John F., dead. 

Saffer, B. F., dead. 

Tribby, James W. 

Tribby, John T. 

Tipper, Thomas C., killed in the Wilderness, May I2th, 1864. 

Titus, William, wounded at Toms Brook; dead. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 485 

Tavenner, Edward, Leesburg, Va. 

Van Devanter, T. H., Wheatland, Va. 

Wenner, C. C. 

Walker, Charles C. 

Walker, William T. 

Walker, John. 

Whaley, C. M. C. 

Whaley, Charles A. 

Wycoff, A. C., wounded in Wilderness ; taken prisoner October 

19, 1864. 

White, John W., wounded at High Bridge. 
Wooten, D. 

COMPANY B. 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. G. W. Christwell, Montgomery county ; dead. 

First Lieut. J. R. Crown, Frederick county ; dead. 

Second Lieut. Nicholas Dorsey, Frederick county; dead. 

Third Lieut. S. C. White, dead. 

First Sergt. H. O. Sellman, Leesburg, Va. 

Second Sergt. G. Henderson. 

Third Sergt. William Fitch, Montgomery county. 

Fourth Sergt. Charles Green, Montgomery county. 

Fifth Sergt. Alonzo Sellman, Montgomery county; wounded 

in the Wilderness ; dead. 

First Corp. Frank Williams, Poolesville, Md. 
Second Corp. John Craft, Washington, D. C. 
Third Corp. Robert T. Bade, Illinois. 
Scholl, C. E., Indiana. 

PRIVATES. 

Allen, , Virginia. 

Alridge, Robert, Virginia. 

Butler, Charles E., Montgomery county. 



486 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Butler, George, Virginia. 

Bezant, William T., Frederick county. 

Beall, Thomas, Frederick county. 

Brisnan, John, Baltimore, Md. 

Brady, Edward, Frederick county. 

Boswell, William, Loudoun county, Va. 

Carlyle, David, Gaithersburg, Md. 

Carlyle, William, Montgomery county. 

Coberth, David, Washington. 

Crown, John O., Berryville, Va. 

Crown, Frederick, dead. 

Cantwell, Michael, Baltimore, Md. 

Christwell, William, Adamstown, Md. 

Christwell, Edward, afterwards made first lieutenant. 

Cecil, 

Davis, James, Virginia. 

Davison, John, Baltimore, Md. 

Dade, Lee, Leesburg, Va. 

Darne, William. 

Durham, James, dead. 

Elgin, John O., Virginia. 

Eader, Charles, Frederick county. 

Eader, Lewis, Frederick county. 

Fitzsimmons, Nicholas, Frederick county. 

Gordon, , Baltimore, Md. 

Grahame, William, Baltimore, Md. 

Gallager, , Baltimore, Md. 

Heffner, Stephen, Loudoun county, Va. 

Hays, R. P., Dickerson, Md. 

Hays, Brook, killed ; Montgomery county. 

Harewood, Thomas, Adamstown. 

Herbert, William, wounded at Brandy Station ; dead. 

Harding, Abraham, Washington, D. C. 

Jones, Benjamin, Dickerson, Md. 

Key, Daniel, wounded at Parkers Store ; dead. 

Lamar, Ab., wounded at Lovettsville ; Frederick county. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 487 

Lowrey, James, Baltimore, Md. 

Martin, Pinkney, dead; Baltimore, Md. 

Magaha, Joseph. 

McCormick, - , killed at Mount Clifton in 1864; Mont 
gomery county. 

Morris, John, wounded at High Bridge; dead. 

Morris, George, Baltimore, Md. 

Maxwell, John, Frederick county. 

Needhammer, Lewis, wounded at Toms Brook; dead; Balti 
more, Md. 

Oden, William, wounded in the Wilderness, May 6th ; dead ; 
Frederick county. 

O Boyle, Charles, Point of Rocks, Md. 

O Boyle, James, dead. 

Orme, Henry, wounded at Toms Brook ; Missouri. 

Orme, Lindley, New Mexico. 

Price, Elias, wounded at Parkers Store; Montgomery county. 

Phillips, Crome, wounded at Trevilians ; dead; Montgomery 
county. 

Peters, Thomas, wounded at Brandy Station ; Frederick 
county. 

Peter, J. P. C, Culpeper, Va. 

Pyles, Thomas, Montgomery county. 

Pyles, Frank, Montgomery county. 

Smith, Rice, dead ; Montgomery county. 

Smith, Charles, wounded at Moorefield, W. Va. ; dead ; Mont 
gomery county. 

Shehan, William, wounded in the Wilderness, May 6th ; dead ; 
Baltimore, Md. 

School, John, Indiana. 

Stewart, Henry, Baltimore, Md. 

Stone, William, Washington, D. C. 

Stallings, Richmond, Montgomery county. 

Tabler, John, Frederick county. 

Thomas, Edwin, Washington, D. C. 

Thomas, Frank, Frederick, Md. 



488 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Thomas, Jacob, Montgomery county. 

Thomas, L., Montgomery county. 

Trundle, Joseph, Kansas. 

Thomas, Byron, wounded at Toms Brook ; dead. 

Taylor, Martin, wounded in the Wilderness, May 6th ; dead. 

Van Bussum, New Jersey. 

Veirs, Boling, Missouri. 

Veirs, Elijah, wounded in the Wilderness, May 6th; dead; 

Montgomery county. 
Veirs, William S., Montgomery county. 
Vinson, Joseph, Missouri. 
White, J. C, Montgomery county. 
White, Thomas, Montgomery county. 
White, William, dead ; Montgomery county. 
White, S. C., afterwards third lieutenant ; dead. 
Welsh, Edward, killed at Brandy Station, June 9th, 1863. 
Yingling, Zadoe, Frederick county. 

COMPANY C. 

(Furnished by Dr. J. E. Copcland, Round Hill, 
Loudoun County, Va.) 

OFFICERS. 

(Organized and mustered into service on October 28th, 1862, 

by Col. Bradley T. Johnson.) 

Capt. Richard B. Grubb, formerly of Company A, Eighth 
Virginia Infantry, killed at Waterford, Va., August ;th, 
1863. 

Second Capt. William Flavins Dowdell, formerly orderly ser 
geant Company A, Sixth Virginia Cavalry ; died March 
3Oth, 1888, in Loudoun county, Va. 

First Lieut. Samuel E. Grubb, formerly of Loudoun cavalry, 
Sixth Virginia; wounded and captured at Hillsboro, 
Va., January, 1865; died in Texas, August 4th, 1867. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 489 

Second Lieut. Thomas W. White, formerly lieutenant-colonel 
of Fifty-sixth Regiment, Virginia Militia ; captured and 
exchanged; joined Company C; killed in the Wilder 
ness, May 8th, 1864. 

Orderly Sergt. William Hilt Grubb, living at Hamilton, Lou- 
doun county, Va. 

Second Sergt. John Early Thompson, formerly of Company 
C, Seventeenth Virginia Infantry; wounded in leg at 
Frazier s Farm in 1862; served through the war; living 
at Round Hill, Va. 

Third Sergt. Silas Copeland, sabre wound in shoulder at 
Brandy Station, June 9th, 1863; dead. 

Fourth Sergt. Eben Simpson, wounded at Toms Brook, Oc 
tober 9th, 1864; died since the war. 

Fifth Sergt. Joseph S. Hart, wounded at Brandy Station, June 
9th, 1863. 

First Corp. Rodney Matthews, color-sergeant ; wounded at 
High Bridge, April 6th, 1865; lost right arm below 
elbow ; living at Hillsboro, Va. 

Second Corp. William Flavins Beans, living in Missouri. 

Third Corp. James M. Foster, wounded at Greenland Gap, W. 
Va., February 25th, 1863. 

Fourth Corp. E. Fletcher Potts, formerly first lieutenant of 
Company A, Eighth Virginia Infantry ; living in 
Atlanta, Ga. 

PRIVATES. 

Armstrong, William H., Missouri. 

Beans, Aaron T., formerly of Company A, Eighth Virginia 

Infantry ; wounded ; dead. 
Beans, Elwood H., wounded at Toms Brook, October 9th, 

1864; dead. 

Best, E. J., transferred to artillery. 
Birkby, Collins T., dead. 
Beans, William H., formerly of Company A, Eighth Virginia 

Infantry ; living at Round Hill, Va. 



490 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Boling, John, died in St. Louis since the war. 

Boling, William D., died at Germantown, Montgomery county, 

Md., since the war. 
Burress, Thomas, Maryland. 
Clendening, William T., wounded in the Wilderness, May 6th, 

1864; stiff arm; died at Hillsboro, Va., since the war. 
Clendening, John J., killed in the Wilderness, May 5th, 1864. 
Carlisle, John H., died in Arkansas since the war. 
Campbell, E. T., from Mississippi infantry ; transferred to 

artillery. 
Chamblin, George, wounded at Phillip Berry s, near Neers- 

ville, Va. ; died since the war. 
Chamblin, John M., formerly major of One Hundred and 

Thirty-second Regiment, Virginia Militia ; living at 

Philomont, Va. 

Chamblin, Richard, died since the war. 
Compton, J. Booten, living in Page county, Va. 
Compton, Burrell, moved to Missouri since the war. 
Copeland, James R., Mexican War veteran; died May 29th, 

1901. 

Copeland, Dr. James Edward, living at Round Hill, Va. 
Canada, Thomas. 

Davisson, John William, formerly second sergeant of com 
pany, Eighth Virginia Infantry; wounded in shoulder 

at High Bridge, April 6th, 1865 J living at Atlanta, Ga. 
Dorrell, James A., living at Round Hill, Va. 
DeButts, Welby, formerly of Sixth Virginia Cavalry ; living 

at Welbourne, Va. 
Davis, Edgar. 

Davis, William H., discharged with leave. 
Douglas, John, killed in the Wilderness, May 6th, 1864. 
Elmore, George, living at Purcellville, Va. 
Elmore, John H., died near Ketoctin Baptist Church, Lou- 

doun county, Va., March I4th, 1906. 
Elgin, Thomas G., wounded at Toms Brook, October 9th, 

1864; living at Leesburg, Va. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 491 

Follin, Richard, wounded in the Wilderness, May 6th, 1864. 
Follin, J. N. 

Follin, Ira, living in Fairfax county, Va. 

Fouche, Sydney, wounded at Greenland Gap, W. Va., Feb 
ruary 25th, 1863; dead. 

Foster, James M., wounded at Greenland Gap; dead. 
Fritts, William, wounded at Glenmore, Loudoun county, Va., 

October 21 st, 1862; living near Charlestown, W. Va. 
Fritts, James, living at Charlestown, W. Va. 
Fogg, Elias W., formerly of infantry, living at Shenandoah 

City, Page county, Va. 
Grubb, John Caden, killed at Waterford, Va., August 7th, 

1863. 

Grubb, Joseph M., living in Missouri. 
Grubb, Rev. James W., pastor Methodist Episcopal Christian 

Science, Christiansburg, Va. 
Gooding, J. Edward, died in Ohio in 1906. 
Gooding, William D., wounded at Brandy Station, June 9th, 

1863; killed at Hillsboro, Va., January, 1865. 
Graham, James M., Maryland ; living in Florida. 
Hood, James, wounded at Glenmore, Loudoun county, Va., 

October 2ist, 1862; living at Purcellville, Va. 
Hood, Smith, died of typhoid fever at Hillsboro, Va., February 

28th, 1863. 
Hammerley, John W., wounded at Brandy Station, June 9th, 

1863; living at Hillsboro, Va. 

Houser, John H., living at Arcola, Loudoun county, Va. 
Hough, James W., died at Middleburg, Va., 1865, on return 

from prison. 

Hough, Thomas E., dead. 
Howell, Benton D., living at Leesburg, Va. 
Hart, Joseph S., wounded at Brandy Station ; dead. 
Henderson, Charles. 

Jett, William, living at Rileysville, Page county, Va. 
Jenkins, Norval, formerly of Company A, Eighth Virginia 

Infantry ; died at Hillsboro, Va. 



492 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

Jenkins, Reuben, living at Bakerton, Jefferson county, Va. 

Jones, William R., formerly of Sixth Virginia Cavalry ; living 
in Oregon. 

Kilgour, J. Mortimer, Maryland; major Quartermaster De 
partment ; dead. 

Keith, E. J. 

Kilgour, Franklin, Maryland ; living at Rockville, Md. 

Keyes, Landon H., living in Iowa. 

Keith, William. 

Lay, Craven C, Jiving at Hillsboro, Va. 

Matthews, Rodney, wounded at High Bridge. 

Moran, Thomas J., dead. 

Morrison, James, died at Front Royal, Va., since the war. 

Morrison, Richard, living in Rappahannock county, Va. 

Marion, Gabriel, from infantry ; living in Missouri. 

Murphy, J. Franklin, living at Bluemont, Va. 

Moffet, Thomas J., living at Herndon, Va. 

Milburn, John, wounded at Brandy Station, June Qth, 1863; 
died at Purcellville, Va., since the war. 

McDaniel, James W., formerly of Company A, Eighth Vir 
ginia Infantry ; wounded at Manassas ; dead. 

Murphy, J. F. 

Neer, N. Frank, living at Baltimore, Md. 

Orrison, George, living at Morrisonville, Loudoun county, Va. 

Price, Joseph, company quartermaster ; living at Berryville, 
Va. 

Price, Charles D., died at Alma, Page county, Va. 

Potts, William C, living at Hillsboro, Va. 

Pierson, John S., living in Fairfax county, Va. 

Purcell, Frank, formerly of Company A, Eighth Virginia In 
fantry; died at Purcellville, Va., in 1906. 

Roach, Philip, drowned in Potomac River, near Washington, 
D. C., since the war. 

Roberts, John D., living at Milford, Page county, Va. 

Scanlin, Patrick, died at Washington, D. C., since the war. 

Simpson, Thomas P., living at Round Hill, Va. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 493 

Sexton, John W., member of Seventeenth Virginia Infantry, 
wounded at Bull Run, July i8th, 1861 ; honorably dis 
charged. 

Touche, Sidney, wounded at Greenland Gap ; dead. 

Thompson, William Hugh, mortally wounded in the Wilder 
ness, May 6th, 1864. 

Thompson, Malcolm, living at Bailey s Crossroads, Fairfax 
county, Va. 

Thompson, Magnus S., wounded near Berryville, Va., Novem 
ber ist, 1862; Washington, D. C. 

Torreyson, Thomas N., color-sergeant, wounded in the Wilder 
ness, May 6th, 1864; dead. 

Taylor, Maitland, wounded, shot through breast in the Wilder 
ness, May 5th, 1864. 

Tollen, Richard, wounded in the Wilderness ; dead. 

Taylor, B. C., Maryland. 

Tribsett, William H., formerly of Mississippi infantry ; died of 
yellow fever in Vicksburg, Miss., in 1878. 

Turner, Creed, died in Fairfax county, Va., May iSth, 1906. 

Turner, William, a boy from Valley of Virginia; died in 1866. 

Triplett, W. H. 

Triplett, Manley, wounded in the Wilderness, May 5th, 1864. 

Tavenner, Jonah, died at Philomont, Va., since the war. 

VanPelt, N. Brown, living at Burks Mill, Augusta county, Va. 

Wilson, , wounded at Waterford, Va., August 7th, 

1863; killed in Maryland September, 1863. 

Wilson, William, wounded; prisoner from September ist, 
1864, to February ist, 1865. 

Wood, Gip S., Rappahannock county, Va. 

White, John J., wounded by sabre at Glenmore, Loudoun 
county, Va., October 2ist, 1862; afterwards quartermas 
ter with rank of major; died at Atlanta, Ga. 

White, Robert Hunter, dead ; Georgetown, D. C. 

\Vhite, Josiah Robert, living at Hillsboro, Va. 



494 A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 

COMPANY D. 
OFFICERS. 

First Capt. - - Trayhern. 

Second Capt. - Anderson, succeeding Trayhern; Rock- 

ville, Md. 

First Lieut. - - Spangler. 
Second Lieut. Samuel Baker. 

COMPANY E. 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. John Grabill, living at Woodstock, W. Va. ; wounded 

and prisoner for two years. 
First Lieut. H. M. Strickler, Methodist preacher of Baltimore 

Conference; wounded April 2nd, 1865. 
Second Lieut. A. C. Grubbs, whereabouts unknown. 

PRIVATES. 

Brumback, Isaac N., killed at Brandy Station, June 9th, 1863. 
Mclnturf, Marcus, killed at Brandy Station, June 9th, 1863. 
Hockman, Philip A., killed in the Wilderness, May 6th, 1864. 
Burnett, George, killed in the Wilderness, May 2Oth, 1864. 
Rogers, - , killed in the Wilderness, May 2Oth, 1864. 

COMPANY F. 
OFFICERS. 

Capt. Marcellus French, succeeded Captain Ferneyhough, who 

became major. 
First Lieut. - - Watts, killed at Brandy Station, June 9th, 

1864. 
First Lieut. Charles A. James, whereabouts unknown. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 495 

PRIVATES. 

Grogan, , killed at Greenland Gap, April 25th, 1863. 

Broy, - , killed in the Wilderness, May 6th, 1864. 

Rhodes, , killed at Hawes Shop. 

Sinclair, Charles, killed at Toms Brook, October Qth, 1864. 



MUSTER ROLL OF CHEW S BATTERY (LAUREL 
BRIGADE), ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA. 



OFFICERS. 

Capt. R. P. Chew. 
First Lieut. James W. Thompson. 
Second Lieut. James H. Williams. 
Third Lieut. John W. Carter. 
Fourth Lieut. E. L. Yancey. 
Orderly Sergt. A. J. Souder. 
First Sergt. George Phillips. 
Second Sergt. John Kagey. 
Third Sergt. Stephen Miller. 
Fourth Sergt. George Everley. 
First Corp. George M. Neese. 
Second Corp. Carthage Kendall. 
Third Corp. Gregory Britner. 
Fourth Sergt. Newton Keyes. 
Fifth Sergt. Samuel Williams. 
Sixth Sergt. Frank Riely. 
Seventh Sergt. Samuel Everley. 
Eighth Sergt. Mark Rodeffer. 
Commissary Sergt. William Shaffer. 
Quartermaster Sergt. John Chew. 

PRIVATES. 

Allen James. Asberry, Frank. 

Ambler, John. Atkinson, R. C. 

Anderson, George. Baker, Samuel. 

Anderson, William. Bird, Derrick. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 



497 



Brook, J. A. 
Brooks, E. C. 
Brady, George. 
Brady, Louis. 
Brownough, J. W. 
Baker, Samuel. 
Blair, James. 
Brown, Bailey. 
Brown, Charles. 

Boston, 

Bowly, E. Devereaux. 
Boyd, Philip W. 
Bliss, A. 
Butts, Samuel. 
Buck, Willie. 
Burgess, A. Bealle. 
Callahan, George. 

Carpenter, 

Carr, J. B. 
Cline, Samuel. 
Cooper, 



Conrad, Charles F. 
Conrad, Frank E. 

Crawford, 

Dabney, 

Davis, Thomas. 
Davis, George. 
Davis, Henry. 

Dennis, 

Dawson, 

Deahl, Henry. 
Deck, William. 
Deck, Morgan. 
Deck, J. 

Dingledine, Jacob. 
Dash, George. 



Edmunds, 

Farris, Moses. 
Fiser, Jacob. 
Fisher, Isaac. 
Fitzsimmons, Matthew. 
Few, Samuel. 
Fravel, Henry. 
Fravel, J. W. 
Furry, William. 
Furry, Van. 
Frazier, William. 
Furry, Robert. 
Fultz, Joe. 
Fultz, Reuben. 
Fry, Jesse. 
Gillock, John. 
Good, Anthony. 
Golladay, Perry. 
Green, John. 
Holliday, B. T. 
Hammer, Junius B. 
Henry, J. W. 
Haas, Isaac, 
Hoshour, Robert. 
Homrick, James. 
Homan, Hiram C. 

Higgs, 

Helsley, 

Henkel, Al. 
Huff, George. 
Huff, H. 
Hare, John. 
Hoofmaster, George. 
Hill, William. 
Johnson, T. D. 
Jolliffe, John. 



498 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 



Jones, 

Kapeharte, 

Kagey, Joseph. 
Kagey, Benjamin. 
Kolhenhousen, Luther. 
Knisely, G. 
Knisely, H. 
Kerr, Upsher. 
Lakin, Charles. 
Long, Benjamin. 
Longerbeam, Abe. 
Longerbeam, Charley. 
Longerbeam, George. 
Longerbeam, John. 
Lyon, John D. 
Loveday, John. 
Lyman, William R. 
Lindsay, John. 

Landon, 

Marstella, William. 
Matheny, Randolph. 
Magruder, William. 
McVicar, Charles W. 
McWilliams, George. 
McGuire, William P. 
Miller, Cal. 
Miller, A. 
Miller, F. Thomas. 
Miller, William. 
Mosher, Frank. 
Morrill, Louis D. 

Nelson, 

Noland, L. 
Noland, C. C. 
Nisewander, Abe. 
Nisewander, George. 



Oakes, R. 
O Roark, J. C. 
O Roark, J. 
Purl, - 
Pierce, John. 
Pifer, Jacob. 
Painter, George. 
Powell, P. 
Powell, Raleigh. 
Phillips, Reuben. 
Procter, John. 
Procter, Noah. 
Ramey, W. H. 
Rinker, Fenton. 
Roderick, Philip. 
Rodeffer, John. 
Rodeffer, Samuel. 
Rodeffer, Theodore. 
Roberts, Stephen. 
Roberts, John. 
Reed, Edward. 
Rivercomb, H. 
Rivercomb, W. 
Stickley, Laban. 
Stuart, George. 
Suddith, Edward. 
Supinger, Lemuel B. 
Stuart, John. 
Stribbling, Frank. 
Shaffer, Amos. 
Shaffer, Ferd. 
Shaffer, J. 

Taylor, 

Teawalt, William. 
Thornton, R. A. 
Thornton, J. R. 



A HISTORY OF THE LAUREL BRIGADE 499 

Thuma, Chap. Weymer, John. 

Thompson, William. Wooton, John R. 

Thompson, Pern. B. Wunder, Reuben. 

Venable, Wheeler, - 

Vourhees, George. Wharton, Isaiah. 

Wiltshire, James G. Whitaker, - 

Whitmire, Lewis. Wright, James. 

Williamson, Levi. Wickes, William. 

Williams, Andy. Wright, S. 

Williams, John. Ware, Nim., color-bearer. 

Williams, John J. Zea, Mart. 

Williams, T. Clayton. Zirkle, A. P. 



NOTE. It is unfortunate that there is no record of the large 
number of gallant men who were killed and wounded in this 
Battery. 

Every reasonable effort has been made to secure complete 
rolls of the companies, by notice in the Virginia papers, in the 
Confederate Veteran and by circulars. Notwithstanding the 
following rolls are missing: Company D, of the Seventh; C 
and K, of the Eleventh, and F and K, of the Twelfth. 







Q^ 
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