THE OLD WAR HORSE
THE VOICE OF GENERAL JAMES LONGSTREET CAMP #1247, SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS
VOLUME 9, ISSUE 3, March, 2007
As a Soldier, engineer, physicist and mathematician, Wilfred E. Cutshaw contributed a great deal to the Confederacy during the War of Northern Aggression and to his hometown Richmond after the war. Many of the structures and street layouts we see today can be attributed to Cutshaw. The most notable of these is what we now call the "Old City Hall." Injured and captured numerous times during the war, even loosing his right leg, Cutshaw fought to the end and never lost his loyalty to his state and fellow Virginians. Wilfred Emory Cutshaw was born in Harper's Ferry on 25 January 1838. His father was a tailor and much of the schooling he received was at home before he entered a local private academy. He soon entered VMI and graduated in 1858 with his strong points being in physics and mathematics. After VMI he taught mathematics and artillery tactics at the Hampton Military Academy. Soon the war began and he resigned from his teaching position to enter the Confederate army as one of Stonewall Jackson's engineers. In 1862 he was elected captain of his own artillery unit known as Cutshaw's Battery. In May of that year he received his first injury and was caught by the Yankees near Winchester. He was paroled on the condition that he remain within Union lines. Violating this condition, Cutshaw was imprisoned again and was exchanged for Yankee prisoners in May of 1863. Deemed unfit for battlefield duty by the Confederate government (due to his injury) he returned to VMI as the commandant. Later on, he rejoined the army as an artillery inspector and was promoted to major in 1864. He saw battlefield action at Spotsylvania Courthouse and was again wounded, this time in the right arm. He was able to continue his command and led his unit through the battle of Petersburg in early 1865. Right before the end of the war Cutshaw was promoted to lieutenant colonel. He was captured again at Sailors Creek where he received yet another injury. This time he was not so lucky. The injuries sustained at the battle caused him to loose his right leg. After the war he returned to VMI to teach his beloved cadets and serve as assistant commandant. In 1873, he said his final farewells to the Institute and returned to Richmond. Later that year he became the engineer for the city of Richmond. Even though Richmond was going through tough times he took charge and began making all sorts of improvements to the city. He took a methodical and comprehensive approach starting with the demolition of the City Hall. This building was originally erected in the early part of the century and after the Capital Disaster in 1870 it was decided that a new building was needed. The result was what we now call the "Old City Hall." The style of this beautiful piece of architecture can be attributed to Cutshaw. All of the major buildings erected during his tenure were in the Italianate style, his favorite. He also oversaw the construction of numerous armories in the city. These included the armories for the First Virginia Regiment, the First Virginia Volunteers Battalion and the Richmond Howitzers Battalion. Cutshaw believed that public parks should be a major part of all cities. In Richmond he reserved land on its western edge (about 300 acres part of which is now Byrd Park) to establish a tree nursery to furnish the landscaping of the city's streets and parks. In 1875 he oversaw the improvement of the Union Hill community. For this project he used state of the art technology and engineering tactics installing complete sewage, water and gas systems, grading streets for proper drainage, building sidewalks and paving roads. Afterwards he pushed for the improvement of the entire city using Union Hill as an example. The design of the towering Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Libby Hill can also be credited to Col. Cutshaw. In 1888 he was selected to be on the design committee. He proposed a monument based on Pompey's Pillar in Alexandria, Egypt. On top of this pillar would stand a confederate soldier. The committee went with his design and the monument was completed in 1894. Cutshaw was very unlucky in married life. He didn't face tough divorces but his wives would die soon after the wedding day. His first wife, Emma Norfleet, died thirteen days after they were married from cholera. His second and final wife, Margaret Morton, died within one year of their wedding date. He served as City Engineer until his death in December, 1907 from kidney disease. He is buried in Hollywood cemetery. Today the triangular park bordered by Stuart Avenue, Park Avenue, and Meadow Street is named Cutshaw Place in his honor. Cutshaw Avenue is also named in his memory. Although Col. Cutshaw does not grace the pages of the history books like Lee and Jackson, he deserves a more prominent place in history with so many other forgotten heroes who gave their all for the cause. Devoted to his state, his beloved VMI and the city of Richmond, W. E. Cutshaw tirelessly endeavored to make life better for those around him. The next time you drive by "Old City Hall" or see the great monument on Libby Hill think of Cutshaw and what he did for our city and for the Confederate cause. We need more people like him today! I relied heavily on the Dictionary of Virginia Biography, Volume 3 produced by the Library of Virginia for this article. This is the newest volume to be printed. Once completed, this series will be an invaluable asset to those seeking information on prominent Virginians. You will need to be patient though if you are looking for someone whose name starts with a letter at the end of the alphabet. It has taken them several years to get from the beginning to the names beginning with "D"! See you at the next meeting! Taylor
At our February meeting we inducted into the Camp and welcomed our newest member Howard S. Donald, Jr. It was discovered at our meeting that the ancestor of one of our visitors served in the same unit as Howard's ancestor. We extend our heartiest congratulations to Camp member Richard Campbell upon his election by the Virginia General Assembly to serve as a judge in Richmond's Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. He is scheduled to be sworn in in April. The City is fortunate to have a man of Richard's ability, integrity, and character serving as a judge. A few years ago Doug Knapp opened his talk to our Camp by reminding us how fortunate we are to have Confederate ancestors. We are also blessed to be living in an area with great history, resources, and attractions. Our history goes back to 1607 when Jamestown settlers sailed up the James River to the fall line. At the intersection of 9th and Marshall Streets is the home of John Marshall, who as Chief Justice of the Highest Federal Court made that branch of government powerful. John Marshall High School was in that same block until the building was demolished in the early 1960's to be replaced by the John Marshall Courts building. Justice Marshall was a second cousin of Thomas Jefferson. There was no love lost between them. Aaron Burr's treason trial was held in Richmond with Marshall presiding. Jefferson was not happy with Burr's acquittal. Marshall's body is buried in Shockoe Cemetery, also the final resting place of the earthly remains of the notorious War Between The States Yankee spy Elizabeth Van Lew. While speaking of cemeteries, we have two treasures, Hollywood and Oakwood. Richmond achieved its everlasting fame by becoming the capital of the Confederate States of America early in the War Between the States. The state capital building, designed by Thomas Jefferson, was used by the Confederate government. Mark Greenough gave an interesting talk about this at a Longstreet camp meeting not too long ago. The White House of the Confederacy after the departure of Jefferson Davis had as its most prominent Yankee tourist Abraham Lincoln. The State Capitol building, the White House, the Museum of the Confederacy, and the battlefields of the Richmond area attract tourists from all over the world. On the Boulevard are located the Virginia Historical Society and the headquarters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Dr. Charles Bryan has led the Society into expanding its reach and its influence. He has been aided by the generous contributions of many people. The current Pocahontas exhibit, which runs through June 24, is a must see. Dr. William M. S. Rasmussen gave an excellent gallery talk February 28 in which he pointed out that New Englanders opined in the mid 19th century that Captain John Smith didn't do all the things that he claimed in his writings. Isn't it interesting that nobody made that assertion for 230 years! The Historical Society has another interesting gallery talk scheduled March 28, when William Marvel will discuss his new book Mr. Lincoln Goes to War, in which he discusses Lincoln's missed opportunities to avoid the war after his election and his blunders and unconstitutional acts in the early stages of the war. Favorable dust jacket comments from Peter Carmichael, Nelson Lankford, George Rable, and Gary Gallagher portend an interesting read and a provocative talk. The Library of Virginia has this book in its collection, but it is presently checked out. The Richmond Civil War Round Table, meeting monthly at Boulevard United Methodist Church, is able to attract top notch speakers. John Hennessey of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park made several cogent points in his February talk. He cited Southern writer Robert Penn Warren who said that the North wrapped itself in a treasury of virtue by proclaiming that The War preserved the Union and abolished slavery. The United Daughters of the Confederacy picked up the banner of vindicating Confederate soldiers. John alluded to the focus on loss at battlefields. In a modern context he mentioned the influence of the relatives of those killed in the attack on the World Trade Center on whatever is done to commemorate that horrible event. A person in the audience mentioned that the leading tourist attraction commemorating World War Two is the Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor. John reminded the group that the Sons of Confederate Veterans bought the battleground at Manassas. This was later turned over to the National Park Service. John spoke of the sometimes conflict between history and memory. The Round Table's web site has a list of speakers for the remainder of the year and monthly newsletters. Please don't anyone criticize me for leaving something out. It would take several years of Old War Horses to outline all the virtues of our area. Let's be grateful for what we have and do our best to keep these institutions, organizations, and historic sites alive and prospering. Walter
ROMA'S RESTAURANT 8330 STAPLES MILL RD. LOCATED IN "THE SHOPS AT STAPLES MILL" TURN LEFT AT FIRST STOPLIGHT NORTH OF THE WISTAR SHOPPING CENTER DINNER - SOCIAL 6:00 PM MEETING STARTS AT 7:00 PM
Our speaker for March will be Donald C. Hakenson, who is currently the Director for the U. S. Armed Services Center for Unit Records Research. This is the DoD Executive Agency for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) claims, Agent Orange inquiries and the daily maintenance of the DoD Persian Gulf Registry for the Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and the Marine Corps. He is a Viet Nam veteran. Don is President of the Stuart-Mosby Historical Society, a founder and a director of the Franconia Museum and with his partner, Gregg Dudding, conduct bus tours for the Stuart-Mosby Historical Society and other historical organizations. He and Gregg are co-authors of two books on John Mosby and his men. Don has published "This Forgotten Land: A Tour of Civil War Sites and Other Historical Landmarks South of Alexandria, Virginia. This book was the recipient of the 2001 Nan Netherton Award from the Fairfax County History Commission and covers the Civil War History in Fairfax County. Don's web site is www.hakenson.com where you will find other facts about Don and Gregg.
Dr. Robert Kenzer University of Richmond history professor, Dr. Robert Kenzer, told us that it was with some trepidation that he reported as instructed to the office of the school's provost. He was relieved to be told that the provost wanted him to undertake a project using a National Leadership Grant of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The project turned out to be the digitization of the 1,384 issues of the Richmond Daily Dispatch covering the period from November 1860 through April 1865. The University had hard copies of the paper. The University of Richmond collaborated with Tufts University's Perseus Project and with the Virginia Center for Digital History. One of the founders of the Virginia Center for Digital History is University of Virginia history professor Dr. Edward Ayers, who has recently been named President of the University of Richmond. The Richmond Daily Dispatch was a "penny paper" with 4,000 subscribers and was considered a non-partisan paper. It had as many readers as the rest of Richmond's papers combined. The escalating price of the paper during The War gave an example of the terrible inflation that occurred. A year's subscription at the beginning of the war covered cost $ 4.00. It went to $ 25.00 mid-war and rose to $ 100.00 at war's end. The population of Richmond exploded as the city became the capital of the Confederacy, going from 37,000 to 100,000. The daily Dispatch, because it was published in the capital, reached out through the entire Confederacy. Every page of the paper is on the web site. They can be hard to read, so excerpts have been made with plain text copy of what the paper contains about specific subjects or persons. As an example, Dr. Kenzer entered the name of General Longstreet. There were 95 matches in 79 records. The index includes 500,000 surnames. The web site went online last October 23. There have been 20,000 hits. A questionnaire on the site reveals that 1,000 visits to the site came from out of the country. SCV members are the second largest users of the site. Forty per cent of the visits are genealogical researchers. This project is a Godsend to researchers and casual users. To provide more information about wartime Richmond, the University hopes to digitize city directories and minutes of meetings of political bodies. The University and Dr. Kenzer are to be commended for making it easy for people from all over the world to learn more about Richmond's most historic period. The Richmond Daily Dispatch web site is http: dlxs.richmond.edu/d/ddr Walter
2005-2007 CAMP OFFICERS LONGSTREET CAMP #1247Commander: Taylor Cowardin 359-9277 1st. Lt. Cmdr.: William F. Shumadine, III 285-4044 2nd Lt. Cmdr.: Michael Kidd 270-9651 Adjutant/Treasurer: Walter Tucker 360-7247 Judge Advocate: Richard B. Campbell 278-6488 Quartermaster: R. Preston Nuttall 276-8977 Chaplain: Henry V. Langford 474-1978
PUBLICATIONSWebmaster: Gary F. Cowardin 262-0534 Website: longstreetscv.org War Horse: David P. George 200-1311
The following is a cumulative listing of contributors to the upkeep of “The Old War Horse” for the period September, 2007 through the current month. As you know, our cumulative listing starts in July of each year. Ben Baird Lloyd Brooks Brian Cowardin Clint Cowardin* Gary Cowardin Lee Crenshaw Raymond Crews* Jerold Evans* Kitty Faglie* Richard Faglie* Pat Hoggard Louis Heindl Chris Jewett John Kane Roger Kirby Mike Miller* Conway Moncure Joe Moschetti Preston Nuttall Rufus Sarvay Lewis Mills Waite Rawls Peyton Roden Bill Setzer John Shumadine Will Schumadine Harrison Taylor Walter Tucker John Vial Will Wallace Harold Whitmore Hugh Williams Joe Wright In Memory of Bill Jones-Anonymous In memory of Tom Lauterbach-Anonymous In Memory of Chuck Walton-Ben Baird Legend: * - Multiple contributions § - Visitor Donation + - in memory of Past Cmdr. Tom Lauterbach
THROUGH APRIL 1 "By the Sea" exhibit of major fine art photographs, contemporary works and historical pieces from The Mariner's Museum collection at the Museum in Newport News. Plus "The Monitor Revisited," original photos by pinhole photographer Willie Ann Wright. Daily 10-5. For info, (800) 581-7245; www.marinersmuseum.org THROUGH MAY "Many Thousands Go: African Americans and the Civil War," new exhibit at Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier focusing on the contributions of black soldiers & civilians on both sides of the conflict. Featuring original copy of the Thirteenth Amendment (through September, 2006,) artifacts from the William A. Gladstone black militaria collection owned by Pamplin and other collections. For info: 1-877-PAMPLIN; www.pamplinpark.org THROUGH SEPTEMBER "Generations: The MacArthur Family" exhibit at The MacArthur Memorial, MacArthur Square, Norfolk. Displays on General of the Army Douglas MacArthur from MacArthur clan roots in 14th century Scotland, to his father who received the Medal of Honor in the Civil War, other family members. Monday through Saturday, 10-5, Sundays, 11-5. Free. For info: (757) 441-2965; www.macarthurmemorial.org MARCH 31 142nd Anniversary of the Battles of Five Forks and Fort Gregg at Petersburg National Battlefield. Ranger and Living History programs. Free. For information, Ann Blumenschine, (804) 732-3531, ext. 203; www.nps.gov/pete MARCH 31 "The Breakthrough Anniversary," Pamplin Historical Park, Petersburg. Lantern tour at dawn on the Breakthrough Battlefield, van tours to area battlefields, lectures. Reservations required. For information and reservations, 877-Pamplin, ext. 605, email@example.com APRIL 14 "Fort Pillow Massacre?" talk by Brian Steele Mills on myths and realities of April 12, 1864 Battle of Fort Pillow. Pamplin Historical Park, Petersburg. Free with Park admission. For information, (804) 861-2408
Jackson had strictly forbidden his men to ride into the fields alongside the roads so as not to damage the crops. Returning to his camp near Richmond one day, Jackson became impatient with the slow progress he was making along a road cluttered with wagon trains and led his men through a field of oats. The farmer, witnessing this blatant violation of well-publicized orders, rushed over and blocked Jackson's path. Purple with rage, he threatened to report the miscreant to Stonewall himself and have all of this men arrested. With some embarrassment, the general admitted that he was Stonewall Jackson. The farmer's manner changed instantly. With tears in his eyes and waving his bandanna around his head, he cried, "Hurrah for Stonewall Jackson! By God, general, please do me the honor to ride all over my damned old oats!"
A JACKSON QUOTE"When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard."
Annual Confederate Heritage Month Parade April 21, 2007 at 2:00pmva-scv.org/site/events/parade.html
Chesterfield Confederate Heritage FoundationSaturday April 7, 2007 12 Noon to 3pm Chesterfield County Confederate History and Heritage Program geocities.com/chesterfieldchf/cchf
Return to the top of this newsletter
Return to Newsletter Index
Return to Home Page
©2007 James Longstreet Camp, #1247, SCV - Richmond, Virginia