THE OLD WAR HORSE
THE VOICE OF GENERAL JAMES LONGSTREET CAMP #1247, SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS
VOLUME 6, ISSUE 2, MARCH, 2004
The War Between the States offers infinite opportunities for those with even the most casual interest in the period to uncover facts that are often surprising as well as fascinating. All too often however, we who study the War get caught up in our own particular areas of interest, thereby overlooking intriguing occurrences that are well deserving of our attention. I, for example, have a penchant for strategy and tactics. On more than one occasion I have been chastised by my lovely wife for walking a battlefield a dozen times, each time in the footsteps of a different participant. On the other hand, our incomparable past Commander, Chuck Walton, had little concern for strategy and tactics preferring to focus on the plight of the civilian population and the War's “human elements.” The possibilities for enlightenment are limitless if we will but “broaden our search,” even momentarily, and consider aspects of the War not normally our own. In this endeavor we are indeed fortunate to be within easy reach of what is without question the finest repository of period artifacts and memorabilia in the world, displayed with unbiased historical accuracy in an almost magical setting. That place is Richmond's Museum of the Confederacy. Anyone who fails to take advantage of this unparalleled historical resource does a disservice not only to himself but to future generations. Therefore, it is in honor of our ancestors and in the spirit of historical enlightenment that I offer the following less-known facts in hopes that we will all take a moment to place the War in a larger context and make an effort not to limit ourselves in the study of its many facets. By educating ourselves, we are better able to educate others in the true history of the South that is our heritage. 1. 25 year old Sam Clemens enlisted in a pro-Confederate Unit in his native Missouri. It took only a few weeks for him to decide that he had no taste for war. Adopting the alias Mark Twain, he left the military and became one of the most famous authors in American history. 2. Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest made history in Dec. of 1862 when his troops captured a female civilian at Holly Springs, Mississippi. It was then that Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant became his prisoner-of-war; the only wife of a Union major general ever to enjoy that dubious distinction. Once identified, she was immediately escorted through the lines and safely reunited with her husband. 3. The Gray Ghost, John S. Mosby, once spent the better part of an evening in a tree clad only in his underwear as Union troops searched his Warrenton, Va. home in a vain attempt to capture him. After the Federals left, Mosby calmly climbed back inside and went back to bed with his wife. 4. Officers of the 26th NC began to notice that Privates Sam and Keith Blalock seemed to have an unusually close relationship even for brothers. But it was months before it was discovered that Keith's brother Sam was actually Keith's wife Melinda, who had decided to go to war with her husband. 5. The Federal Draft Act brought on bloody rioting in NY which lasted for three days and produced over 2000 casualties. 6. Federal ordnance experts claimed that Union musket fire was so inaccurate, that for each Confederate soldier shot, Union forces had to expend 240 pounds of powder and 900 pounds of lead. 7. The Union declined to issue Spencer repeating rifles at the outbreak of the war for fear that Northern troops would fire too fast and waste ammunition. 8. 19 year old Confederate Capt. Richard Dowling of the Davis Guards with only 43 men drove off a Federal fleet attempting to land 15,000 troops at Sabine Pass, Texas in Sept. 1863. The Confederates sank one gunboat, captured two others, took 400 prisoners and forced the fleet to retreat. Capt. Dowling did not lose a man. 9. Confederate Capt. S. I. Guillet was fatally shot from the same horse on which three of his brothers had previously been killed. 10. When a Confederate invasion of Washington, DC was expected, field artillery guns were placed in the hallways of the Capitol and Treasury buildings. 11. Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest had 29 horses shot from under him during the course of the War. 12. Before the War, Jesse Grant, father of U. S. Grant, lived, worked and socialized with a family named Brown whose son John would later lead the raid on Harpers Ferry. 13. Chimborazo Hospital in Richmond was the largest military hospital ever built in the Western Hemisphere. 14. Four of Abe Lincoln's brothers-in-law served the Confederacy and one was charged with brutality to Union prisoners in Richmond. 15. Union Col. D. H. Dulaney was captured behind Union lines by John Mosby. Mosby's guide was French Dulaney, the victim's son. 16. Maj. H. B. McClellan, JEB Stuart's Chief of Staff, was first cousin to Union Gen. George McClellan. 17. Laura Jackson, sister of Stonewall, was a staunch Union sympathizer and once stated that she could care for wounded Federals as fast as her brother could shoot them. 18. Prior to the War, Union Gen. Benjamin “Beast” Butler unsuccessfully led the movement to nominate Jefferson Davis for the Presidency of the United States. 19. Foremost among its wartime exploits, the 7th TENN Reg. CSA captured the entire 7th TENN Reg. USA, soldiers, drummers, cooks, and all. There are many opportunities to speculate on the “what-ifs” of the War, but one of the most interesting involved John S. Mosby. In the Spring of 1864, Mosby and a contingent of his “irregulars” sighted a force of Union cavalry west of Centerville, Va., near the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. Surprised by the sudden appearance of Southern horsemen and panicked by the realization that it was the dreaded “Gray Ghost”, the Federals were off at a dead run with Mosby close behind. The Yankees headed directly for the station at Warrenton Junction. The woods bordering the tracks offered some protection and the possibility (slim though it was) of escape. As the Federals crossed the tracks and plunged headlong into the forest with Mosby in hot pursuit, a plume of smoke signaled the approach of a westbound train. Had Mosby noticed the now visible train, he would have undoubtedly allowed the Union cavalry to escape in favor of the greater prize. And what a prize it would have been, for this was no ordinary train and its passengers no ordinary travelers. This was a special transport without a guard, carrying none other than the newly appointed commander of the Army of the Potomac Ulysses S. Grant and members of his staff, including Gen. George Armstrong Custer, back to the front lines from a strategy session with President Lincoln in Washington. Had Grant's train arrived at Warrenton Junction just moments earlier, the course of the War could have been decidedly altered. When Grant and Mosby met face-to-face in 1872, the now President Grant immediately began telling the Gray Ghost how he nearly became Mosby's prisoner. Mosby replied with a smile, “If I had (captured your train), things might have been changed - I might have been in the White House and you might be calling on me.” DEO VINDICE. Harry
Longstreet continues to grow. Certified membership applications have been sent to Headquarters for Robert Bruce Johnson and Ron T. Smith, who were introduced to our Camp by their friends Earl Carwile and Mike Kidd. George Franklin Gouldman, great grandfather of Compatriot Johnson, was a private in Company H of the 47th Virginia Infantry. B. W. Smith, great great grandfather of Compatriot Smith, served as a private in Company E of the First Virginia Reserves. Transferring to our Camp is S. Waite Rawls, III, new Executive Director of the Museum of the Confederacy. Waite's great grandfather Robert Rawls served in the 41st Virginia Infantry. Waite has an excellent article entitled “Three Visits to the Wilderness” in the Spring 2004 issue of Hallowed Ground, the magazine of the Civil War Preservation Trust. Battlefield preservation has benefited by our Camp's donations to several preservation organizations of monies received from Ukrop's for its Golden Gift certificate program. Please give your certificates to the Longstreet Camp if you feel so inclined. Preparing reports for the Virginia Division adjutant which are necessary for our Camp to be eligible to vote at the Virginia Division Convention reveals some interesting information. Each of the seven new members who have joined since last July 1 was brought to our Camp by a different existing member. Five members have transferred into our Camp, several because of friends in the Camp, and several because of our Camp's reputation. One former member rejoined us. Death claimed the lives of two of our members, the most recent being Evans Breckenridge Steele, descendant of Major General (and later Secretary of War) John Cabell Breckenridge. Evans had been a member of Longstreet for approximately 20 years. Immediate Past Commander Chuck Walton passed last July. Former Virginia Division Commanders Red Barbour and Henry Kidd and I were recently invited to a presentation at the Tredegar National Civil War Center by President Alex Wise and Director of Museum Services Doug Harvey. Alex and Doug welcomed our suggestions and comments. It was rewarding to be asked for our opinions. The Center has a noble aim in trying to present The War from several different perspectives, which may well cause it to be caught in a cross fire from partisans. The Center is a private organization and should not be confused with the nearby National Park Service Richmond Battlefields Visitors Center. The Tredegar Center, along with the University of Richmond's Jepson Leadership School and Leadership Metro Richmond, recently presented a program at the University about leadership in crisis, featuring three history professors speaking about Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and Jefferson Davis. After alluding to several aspects of Lincoln's greatness, Michael F. Holt of the University of Virginia opined that from the time of his election in November 1860 until Fort Sumter was fired on in April 1861 Lincoln placed a higher value on the welfare of the Republican Party than he did on the welfare of the nation, making no attempt to reach out to the border states which, unlike the lower seven, had not seceded. David Blight of Yale pointed out that Douglass had no power base at all and had to exert his influence by spiritual, intellectual and moral means, using powerful language as a speaker and as an orator. Dr. Blight did not sugar coat Douglass, mentioning that he wanted to cut the throats of slave owners. William J. Cooper, Jr. of Louisiana State said that Davis had the primary responsibility for creating a nation and faced a crisis every single day that he was in office. Dr. Cooper is author of the acclaimed Jefferson Davis, American, published in 2000. Ample time was allowed for questions from the audience, which added to the quality of the program. It was a pleasure to hear speakers give balanced views of these prominent Americans of the era of The War for Southern Independence without resorting to either hero worship or to hate. Walter Tucker
Evans Breckenridge Steele, Sr., beloved husband, father and grandfather, passed away on February 22, 2004, after a long and valiant battle against cancer. He is survived by his wife, Anne Popek Steele, his son, Evans Breckenridge Steele, Jr., his daughter, Mrs. Mollie Steele Merna and her husband, John, of Virginia Beach and two beautiful grandchildren, Meredith and Elizabeth. A veteran of World War II, having served in the United States Navy on board the battleship USS Iowa and the cruiser USS Columbus, Evans was active in the veterans associations of both ships. He was a Compatriot of Longstreet Camp for over 20 years, was also a longtime member and immediate Past President of the Richmond Chapter of the Virginia Society, Sons of the American Revolution and a member of The Society of 1812. Our sympathy goes out to his wife, Anne, and family. Under the wide and starry sky, Dig the grave and let me lie. Gladly did I live and gladly die, And I laid me down with a will. This be the verse you grave for me: Here he lies where he longed to be; Home is the sailor, home from sea, And the hunter home from the hill. Robert Louis Stevenson
ROMA'S RESTAURANT 8831 STAPLES MILL RD. LOCATED ON THE RIGHT IN THE WISTAR SHOPPING CENTER (JUST PAST THE 2ND STOPLIGHT AFTER THE AMTRAK STATION.) DINNER- SOCIAL 6:00 PM BE SURE TO COME AND BRING A PROSPECTIVE MEMBER OR GUEST!
The speaker for this month will be James L. Hutton III. He will be speaking on the psychological experience of the southern male before and after the war. He is a Jungian analyst and an Episcopalian Priest. This should be a rather interesting presentation and is about a subject which, as far as we know, has not been covered by any speaker that has addressed our Camp. In fact, your editor cannot recall that the subject has ever been addressed before in our area of Virginia. Please be sure to attend. It will be enlightening to learn about the state of mind of our ancestors during this period of our history.
The following is a cumulative listing of contributors to the upkeep of “The Old War Horse” for the period July, 2003 through the current month. Ben Baird Lloyd Brooks Richard Campbell Gene Carty Earl Carwile Phil Cheatham Brian Cowardin Gary Cowardin* Taylor Cowardin Lee Crenshaw Raymond Crews* John Deacon Jerold Evans Shirley Ferguson† David George David Harris Pat Hoggar Jack Kane Michael Kidd* Roger Kirby Frank Marks Lewis Mills* Joe Moschetti* John Moschetti* Preston Nuttall Ken Parsons Rufus Sarvay* Wally Scott Bill Setzer John Shumadine Austin Thomas Walter Tucker* John Vial* Patricia Walton†† David Ware Jerry Wells§ Harold Whitmore Hugh Williams Bobby Williams* Legend * - Multiple contributions † - In Memoriam- Commander “Hef” Ferguson ††- In Memoriam- Commander “Chuck Walton” § - Visitor Donation From July to date, 61% of our members have made a donation to the upkeep and well-being of “The Old War Horse!!” Thanks to all of you for your help.
2003- 2004 CAMP OFFICERS LONGSTREET CAMP #1247 Commander: Harry Boyd 741-2060 1st. Lt. Cmdr.: Taylor Cowardin 356-9625 2nd Lt. Cmdr.: Michael Kidd 270-9651 Adjutant/Treasurer: Walter Tucker 360-7247 Quartermaster: R. Preston Nuttall 276-8977 Chaplain: Henry V. Langford 340-8048
COLONEL TAYLOR Colonel Thomas C. Taylor USMC (Ret), Executive Director of Stratford Hall, gave a most interesting talk with slides about this historic landmark and its connection with the Lee family. Thomas Lee, of the third generation of Lees in the colony of Virginia, bought this beautiful acreage on the Potomac River known as the “Clifts'” in 1717. He married Hannah Ludwell in 1722. Thomas renamed the property Stratford, after his grandfather's estate in England. Construction of the present home began in 1738. Some described the unique home, with its eight chimneys, as the most elegant in colonial America. Upon the death of Thomas in 1750, the property passed to his eldest son Philip Ludwell Lee. Philip was a leader in politics and expanded the plantation. He was not popular with his siblings. After a “decent interval” after Philip's death in 1775, his widow Elizabeth married again and moved to Alexandria. Title to Stratford passed to Matilda, Philip's oldest daughter. The younger brothers of Philip were referred to as “that intrepid band of brothers” by John Adams. Richard Henry Lee was the author of the Westmoreland Resolves, a precursor of the Declaration of Independence. Francis Lightfoot Lee was a behind the scenes operator. They were the only two brothers who signed the Declaration of Independence. Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee, III married Matilda Lee. Because of Light Horse Harry's inability to manage financial affairs, he never had full access to Stratford. After Matilda's death he married Ann Hill Carter. They became the parents of Robert E. Lee. The family moved to Alexandria. Light Horse Harry spent two years in Westmoreland County's debtors prison and later fled to Barbados. Title to Stratford passed to Harry Lee IV, son of Light Horse Harry and Matilda. Harry IV was a failure morally and financially. He was involved in a scandal with his sister-in-law Elizabeth. He became destitute and sold Stratford to William C. Somerville to pay his mounting debts. Somerville died in 1826 in France at the home of Lafayette. Stratford was sold at auction to satisfy a mortgage held by Henry Storke of Westmoreland County. Ironically, his wife Elizabeth McCarty Storke was the sister-in-law of Harry IV who had been dishonored by him. Surviving Storke, Elizabeth lived at Stratford for 50 years. Stratford was then left to her nephews, Charles E. and Richard H. Stuart. They farmed the land, but the house fell into disrepair. Mrs. Charles Lanier was the daughter in-law of Confederate veteran Sidney Lanier, considered one of the most accomplished poets of the American South in the latter half of the 19th century. Lanier was captured in 1864 and spent four months as a prisoner at the infamous Point Lookout. Mrs. Lanier became interested in Stratford and decided to make it a shrine to Robert E. Lee, organizing the Robert E. Lee Memorial Association. Famed architect Fiske Kimball was employed to oversee restoration. Overall his work was valuable, but some of the things he did were his idea of how they should have been. The 1930's were a time of rebuilding Stratford. Active farming occurred in the 1940's. In the golden years of the 1950's and 1960's much period furniture was acquired. The 1990's saw a massive preservation effort with emphasis on facilities management. The goal of Stratford is to educate Americans about the home and about the illustrious Lee family, so important in our nation's history. Facilities are now in place for organizations to hold seminars and retreats in this beautiful location. Stratford is a valuable economic engine in Westmoreland County, being the fourth largest employer. The Board of Directors of Stratford consists of 40 ladies from all over the country. They come there several times a year for meetings. Colonel Taylor's talk and the attractive illustrated Stratford handbooks he gave us will certainly encourage us to make a pilgrimage to this American landmark, whose inhabitants played such significant roles in the history of our country. Walter
YOUNG'S BATTERY - HALIFAX LIGHT ARTILLERY Young's Battery of the Halifax Light Artillery had it's genesis as an infantry unit, serving as Co. G, 14th VA Infantry until transferred to the 1st Regiment, VA Artillery on May 1, 1862. The unit survived several attempts by the Confederate high command to have it disbanded, with an official "disbandment order" issued in October 1862, but that order was rescinded the same day. The Halifax Light Artillery was assigned duty in North Carolina on several occasions and also served with General Longstreet on his "Suffolk Expedition" which immediately followed the Battle of Gettysburg. The unit served with distinction at Petersburg on June 9 and 15, 1864, where it helped stop the Union advance into the heart of the city after a breach in the famed Dimmock Line allowed Federal Cavalry actually to enter the city limits. Young's Battery was praised by Confederate General Henry Wise in his Special Orders No. 11 for its effectiveness on June 9. "To the troops of my command for the defense of Petersburg... I have, with the approval and under the instructions of the commanding general, to offer my grateful acknowledgement for their gallant conduct and my congratulations upon their successful repulse of the enemy, Sturdivant's, Graham's and Young's Batteries, (which) drove back the insolent foe.With such troops as all have proven themselves, commanders may well give assurance with confidence to the people of Petersburg." Young's Battery remained on duty at Petersburg until the unit was overrun when Union forces finally broke the lines on April 2, 1865 near the present location of Pamplin Historical Park. Of the officers and men who served with the unit throughout the course of the War, only five members reached Appomattox to be paroled on April 9, 1865. The remainder were killed in action, taken prisoner at Petersburg, or captured in hospitals at Richmond or Farmville. We salute with gratitude and reverence the members of Young's Battery, Halifax Light Artillery, and proudly acknowledge their ancestors who carry on the traditions of duty and honor that were so much a part of the Confederacy. Harry Boyd
MARCH 13 Defending the Southside: Civil War Van Tour from Lee Hall Mansion, Newport News, 8-5. visits to Fort Boykins, Fort Huger, Fort Powhatan and Drewry's Bluff with John Quarstein and Michael Moore. Cost: $45 per person. For info: 757-888-3371 or www.leehall.org MARCH 20 Elizabeth Estilow lecture on the critical role of Civil War Nurses at Fort Ward Museum, Alexandria. 1 p.m. Admission $5. Reservations suggested. For info: 703-838-4848. MARCH 20, 21 Civil War Reenactment at Endview Plantation, Newport News. 10-4. Battles, children's battle, women's lectures & events, children's booths. Admission $7. For info: 757-887-1862 or www.endview.org. APRIL 3 “In the Steps of Robert Sneden,” Civil War Van Tour from Lee Hall Mansion, Newport News, 9-4. Follows the path of Union artist Robert Sneeden up the Peninsula visiting Ft. Monroe, St John's Church, Big Bethel, Howard's Bridge, Yorktown and Ft. Magruder with Michael Moore. $35. For info: 757-888-3371 or www.leehall.org. APRIL 3,4 Civil War Medicine at Endview Plantation, Newport News, with historians & displays focusing on medicine of the Civil War era. Included with regular admission. For info: 757-887-1862 or www.endview.org. APRIL 3,4 32nd Annual Civil War Memorabilia, Relics, Books, Art and Antique Weapons Show at Dulles Expo Center, Chantilly. Saturday 9-5, Sunday 10-2. Sponsored by Northern Virginia Relic Hunters Assn. For info:John Graham, 1056 N. Pegram St., Alexandria, VA 22304, 703-823-1958 APRIL 9-12 Interpretive and living history programs observing the 139th anniversary of surrender at Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park. For information: 434-352-8987 or email@example.com. APRIL 10-11 Living History, Men and Women of 1862 at Endview Plantation, Newport News. How gender roles defined a generation and changed during the War. Included in regular admission. For info: 757-887-1862, www.endview.org. APRIL 16-17 10th Biennial Symposium on Stonewall Jackson at The Stonewall Jackson House, Lexington. Friday night keynote address by Bill Bergen. Saturday speakers Gary Gallagher, Robert K. Krick, Michael Musick, Stephen L. Ritchie, Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr. Saturday evening entertainment by Theatre of Lime Kiln. Pre-registration required by April 6. For info, brochure: 540-463-2552.
LOOK WHO WON!! After passing the bucket around for chances on the monthly meeting drawing so professionally for so long. our captive Professional Engineer par excellence, John Reagan Deacon, finally won the draw himself !!! Congratulations, John, we knew you had it in you or the bucket had you in it or you had it in the bucket or whatever...
“In 1861 the Union Army was an organization of recruits learning how to be soldiers and do close order drill; by 1862 it was a group of soldiers learning how to be an army; by 1863 it was an army with a group of officers learning how to run it and fight with it; and by 1864 it was probably the best army the world had seen. It is no historical slight to the Confederacy to say that it, in contrast, started the war with a magnificent conglomerate of individuals and ended it the same way; it was perhaps the world's greatest “natural” army, but it did not go through the evolution the Union Army did, and since northern industrial society represented the society of the future, it is that evolution with which we are here concerned. While the Confederate Army remained a group of highly skilled individualists, the Union Army became a machine, a sentient, reasoning machine. Dating such a generalization is hazardous, but one might say that the army reached that stage in 1863, at Chancellorsville and Chickamauga. Ironically, both of these battles were crushing defeats for the Union, and D. H. Hill, a Confederate general, later said that the Southern soldier never fought after Chickamauga as he had before it; he still had all the old skill and doggedness, but his élan vital was gone. With a deep folk intuition, he knew he had met something beyond his experience and that he was not going to win this war. What he had met was a machine army; it still lacked the directing brain that could handle it-otherwise Chancellorsville and Chickamauga would not have been defeats-but what was significant was that this army could survive these defeats and not panic or be routed beyond recovery. Probably no other army in the world could have done that.” Excerpted from: Masters of the Art of Command by Martin Blumenson and James L. Stokesbury, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston 1975
OLD BETSY Come with the rifle so long in your keeping, Clean the old gun up and hurry it forth; Better to die while “Old Betsy” is speaking, Than to live with arms folded, the slave of the North. Hear ye the yelp of the North-wolf resounding, Scenting the blood of the warm-hearted South; Quick! or his villainous feet will be bounding Where the gore of our maidens may drip from his mouth. Oft in the wildwood “Old Bess” has relieved you, When the fierce bear was cut down in his track- If at that moment she never deceived you, Trust her today with this ravenous pack. Then, come, with the rifle so long in your keeping, Clean the old girl up and hurry her forth; Better to die while “Old Betsy “ is speaking, Than live with arms folded, the slave of the North. JOHN KILLUM