ls-ls-nltr.jpg THE OLD WAR HORSE
VOLUME 17, ISSUE 3,           March 2015
SCV logo

A quick jump to the articles in this issue:
Commander's Comments, Adjutant's Report, Chaplain's Comments, March Program (next), February(last),
Person/Year, Camp Officers, Longstreet's First Corps, 1864 Events (Mar,Apr), Coming Events Links,


We are now well into March and each day as I read Walter's chronological
count  down  to  the  end  of  the war it gets more and more depressing.
Remember the direness of the weather we have experienced  for  the  last
several months but instead Imagine enduring it in drafty wooden huts and
water filled trenches; all this with little or no food.   That  was  the
experience  of our ancestors 150 years ago.  We are reaching a crescendo
of the siege which will be the topic of our next meeting's talk  on  the
Confederate  assault on Fort Stedman on March 25, 1865.  This key battle
we will see in real time was the immediate predecessor of  the  collapse
of  Lee's  line  of  defense  that  would  follow  one  week later.  The
inevitable failure to break through at Fort Stedman led  to  Five  Forks
which  led  to the roads to Appomattox.  This talk could not be timelier
and I urge you to be present to hear this presentation.  If you want  to
plan  ahead  there will also be a real time guided tour of the battle in
the Petersburg National Battlefield but I will warn  you  it  starts  at
5:00  am  and is over by 8:00 am.  I told you our ancestors did not have
it easy.  There  will  be  another  related  tour  at  Jones  Farm  that
afternoon.   A  full schedule of the park's events is available on their
website.  Appomattox events are available on the Park Service website as
well  as on the MOC website.  We will also have available at the meeting
printed copies "Richmond's Journey" with  information  about  events  in
Richmond  commemorating  the  fall and burning of the Capital which will
occur April 1-4.                                                        

The Camp extends its condolences to the Cowardin family on  the  passing
of Mrs. Leone Cowardin on March 8.                                      


Our February meeting had to be  rescheduled  to  February  24th  due  to
weather  conditions.  The meeting was held at our usual location, Roma's
Restaurant.  We had 13 Camp Members and 1  Guest  in  attendance.   Will
Glasco  provided  us  with  an  excellent  talk on The Fight for Roanoke

The State S C V Convention will be held on April 17-19, 2015 in Colonial
Heights,  VA.   Our  Camp  is allowed 6 Delegates and thus far we have 4
attending.  If you are interested in attending this convention and  wish
to  be a delegate for our Camp please complete the registration form and
send in the fee.  The Registration Form and Convention Schedule  can  be
found on VA Division's Website (  Please note in order to
receive a price reduction on the registration fee it  should  be  in  by
March 20th.                                                             

The National Reunion will be held on July 15-19, 2015 at the 1021 Double
Tree Inn  1021  Koger  Center  Boulevard,  Richmond,  VA.   If  you  are
interested  in  attending this Reunion and wish to be a delegate for our
camp please complete the registration form and send  in  the  fee.   The
Registration  Form  and  Reunion Schedule can be found on National S C V
Website  (   Please  note  in  order  to  receive  a  price
reduction on the registration fee it should be in by April 1st.         

Our  Executive  Board has agreed to pay registration fees for at least 6
delegate members that attend the State Convention or  National  Reunion.
In  order  to  have  the  registration  fee  reimbursed by our camp, the
participants  must  attend  the  business  meetings  on  of  the   State
Convention  and  the National Reunion.  Camp reimbursement is limited to
six delegates.  In addition please notify  Art Wingo, Adjutant  of  your
intentions to attend.                                                   

Our  camp is in need of donations to our Hurtt Scholarship fund.  Please
consider making a donation to this worthwhile cause.                    

Barton Notes from the Chaplain---

The celebration of Easter will be on us quickly this year.  I  hope  the
weather  will  also reflect the newness of spring - we all probably have
"cabin fever" after this winter.  A change we are all looking for, I  am
sure!   That's  what the first Easter was about - change.  Nothing would
ever be the same again.  The angel at  Jesus's  tomb  said  "He  is  not
here".   Suppose that had been the end of the message?   But it wasn't. 
He went on to say, "He is  risen"  {Luke  24:6}.   That  makes  all  the
difference  in the world, and for eternity.  Because He is risen, Easter
brings us a hope found nowhere else.  As we often proclaim now in church
as  part  of our Easter worship, "He is risen indeed"!  May this message
be a part of your Easter!                                               


NEXT MEETING - Tuesday, March 17, 2015




Fort Steadman and the Final 4 Days Fighting
Randy Hall Watkins
Randy Watkins has a career in Public Service.  He is a 12  year  veteran
of  the  US  Navy  and  Naval  Reserve  as  well  as  being a 20 US Army
reservist.  Prior to working  for  the  National  Park  Service  he  was
employed by the UVA Police Department and the Chesterfield County Police
Department.  With the National Park Service since 1996, he serves as  an
Interpretive Park Ranger and the Historic Weapons Supervisor.           

He  received  a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science
from VCU in 1971.  Randy was born in Richmond and lived  on  a  farm  in
western Hanover County.  His wife, Elizabeth, is from Big Lick, Virginia
and they have 2 children, 2 step-children and 2 step-grandchildren.     

Randy currently lives in Dinwiddie County at Sysonby,  circa  1763-1780.
The  property  was  once owned by Fletcher Archer, who commanded the 3rd
Battalion Va.  Reserves at the Battle of Old Men and Young Boys on  June
9,  1864.   Randy's  own  ancestor  in the Army of Northern Virginia was
Robert Henry Watkins,  sergeant,  Company  G,  46th  Virginia  Infantry,
Wise's Brigade.                                                         


Will Glasco, Director of Annual Fund at Preservation Virginia and former
staff  member  of the Museum of the Confederacy, cited the book A Famous
Command: A History of the Richmond Light Infantry Blues  as  a  valuable
source of information of the storied unit, which originated in the early
days of  our  independence.   The  book,  by  Colonel  (later  Brigadier
General) John A.  Cutchins was published in 1934, and a circulating copy
is in the Henrico County Library.                                       

In October 1859 the Blues entrained in Richmond to go to Harper's  Ferry
to deal with John Brown and his gang who had seized the arsenal, but the
train was turned back.  The Blues actually went  to  Harper's  Ferry  in
November,  when rumors circulated that there might be an attempt to free

The South remained on edge after the Brown affray.  Sensing  in  January
1861  that  something adverse might be happening in the near future, the
members of the Blues were required to have gray uniforms.   In  May  the
Blues  were  shelled  when  they  were in Confederate defenses at  Aquia
Creek, near Fredericksburg.   That  fall  the  Blues  were  attached  to
Brigadier  General  Henry  A.  Wise's Confederate forces in western (now
West) Virginia.  Animosity between Wise and  another  political  general
John B.  Floyd contributed to a disastrous defeat there.                

Wise  was  recalled to Richmond and was sent to the Outer Banks of North
Carolina, where he came under the command of Brigadier General  Benjamin
Huger, with whom Wise's relationship was no better than it had been with

Yankees had captured Hatteras Island in August  1861,  but  Confederates
were  able  to  supply Norfolk from the sounds of the Outer Banks, using
two canals, the Albemarle and Chesapeake,  and  the  Dismal  Swamp.   To
close  this route, the Yankees turned their attention to Roanoke Island,
located between Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.                           

All Confederate forts were on the northern portion of the island, making
defenses  inadequate.   General  Wise  became ill and turned his command
over to Colonel H.  M.  Shaw of the 8th North  Carolina  Infantry.   The
Confederate  Mosquito  Fleet  was  unable  to  stop  the  Yankee armada,
containing soldiers commanded by Brigadier General Ambrose Burnside.    

By midnight of 7 February 1862 almost 10,000 Yankee soldiers had landed.
Confederates were woefully outnumbered.  Attacks began the next morning.
BGEN Jesse L.  Reno's 2nd Brigade  charged  through  the  "impenetrable"
swamp  on  the  Yankee  left.  BGEN John G.  Parke's 3rd Brigade and the
23rd Massachusetts of BGEN John G.  Foster's 1st Brigade attacked  other
portions  of  the  Confederate  lines.   Mortally  wounded  was  beloved
Richmond Light Infantry Blues Captain O.   Jennings  Wise,  son  of  the

Under  assault  from three sides, the Confederates broke and fled.  With
no fall-back defenses and bereft  of  artillery,  COL  Shaw  surrendered
2,500  men  who  became prisoners of war.  Roanoke Island remained under
Yankee control  for  the  remainder  of  The  War.   This  loss  by  the
Confederates led to the fall of Norfolk.                                

The  body  of  Jennings Wise was brought to Richmond for The War's first
large funeral.                                                          
February Meeting Attendance: 14 (Re-scheduled due to snow)

American Civil War Museum Person of the Year 1865 Symposium

21 February 2015
Library of Virginia
As always, the symposium was outstanding.
Speakers and their nominees were:        

Will Greene        Robert E. Lee
Pamplin Historical Park

Cassandra Newby Alexander        Freedmen
Norfolk State University

William J. Cooper, Jr.        Jefferson Davis

Robert C. Kenzer        Abraham Lincoln
University of Richmnd

Elizabeth Brown Pryor        Clara Barton

The attendees chose Clara Barton as the  person  who  had  the  greatest
impact.   For  the  first  time,  the  winner received a majority of the

Hats off to the Museum's John Coski for great annual  symposia  covering
the five years of The War.                                              


Commander: Andy Keller 270-0522 1st. Lt. Cmdr.: Paul Sacra 754-5256 2nd Lt. Cmdr.: Chris Trinite Adjutant/Treasurer: Art Wingo 262-2796 Judge Advocate: Waite Rawls Quartermaster: Floyd Lane 519-1023 Historian: Gary Cowardin 262-0534 Chaplain: Barton Campbell 794-4562 For officer E-mail addresses see our
Contact Us page.


War Horse Editor & Webmaster: Gary Cowardin 262-0534 Website:



Longstreet Camp Donors to  Virginia  Division  Special  Funds,  Old  War
Horse, Hurtt Scholarship Fund, and Longstreet Camp General Fund.  As you
know, our cumulative listing starts in July of each year and we  do  not
meet in August.          1 August 2014 - 1 March 2015                 

Walter R. Beam        Leroy G Crenshaw         Arthur B. Cowardin
Dale A Harlow         Crawley F. Joyner, III   Phillip Jones     
Andy Keller           Peter I Knowles II       Jack Maxwell      
Lewis Mills                                                      
Conway Moncure        Robert H Moore, Jr.      Floyd G Mozingo   
Preston Nuttall       Jim Pickens              Joseph S Price    
S Waite Rawles        Peyton Roden             James Smith       
Chris Trinite         Walter Tucker            Harold E. Whitmore

March 1865

1 Sheridan's cavalry pursued the remnants of LTGEN Jubal Early's Confederates. Wisconsin ratified the 13th Amendment; New Jersey rejected it. 2 Yankee cavalry dispersed Early's army at Waynesboro. 3 38th U. S. Congress held its last session. It established the Freedmen's Bureau. 4 Yankee President Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated for his second term. 6 Joseph E. Johnston, in addition to his existing responsibilities, took command of all troops in the Department of North Carolina. 8 Confederate attacks were repulsed in the battle of Kinston, which lasted for several days. The Confederate Senate by a vote of 9 to 8 approved the use of Negroes as soldiers. 11 Yankees occupied Fayetteville NC. 13 Confederate President Jefferson Davis signed the bill approving the use of Negroes as soldiers. 16 Yankees won the battle of Averasborough NC. 18 The Confederate Congress adjourned for what turned out to be its last session. Many essential war measures were not passed. Mainly there were arguments with President Jefferson Davis over who was responsible for the difficulties facing the nation. 19-21 Yankees under MGEN William Tecumseh Sherman defeated GEN Joseph E. Johnston's Confederates in the battle of Bentonville, NC. 23 Sherman and MGEN John M. Schofield joined at Goldsborough, enabling the Yankee force of more than 90,000 to dominate North Carolina. 25 Confederates under MGEN John B. Gordon attacked unsuccessfully Fort Steadman near Petersburg. Yankee President Abraham Lincoln visited LTGEN U. S. Grant at City Point. Lincoln took the military railroad to the Petersburg lines, where he rode horseback over part of the Fort Steadman battlefield. 26 MGEN Phil Sheridan's Yankee cavalry crossed the James River and headed toward a junction with Grant at Petersburg. 27 Lincoln, Grant, and Sherman met aboard the River Queen at City Point.

April 1865

1 Yankees seized Five Forks. 2 The Confederate government abandoned Richmond. General Robert E. Lee ordered abandonment of the Petersburg lines. 3 Yankees occupied Richmond and Petersburg. 4 Lincoln visited Richmond, traveling aboard River Queen, USS Malvern, and then a gig rowed by 12 sailors. He toured the White House of the Confederacy. 6 Yankees defeated Confederates at Sailor's Creek. 7 Grant opened correspondence with Lee, asking for surrender of Lee's Army. Lee asked Grant what terms would be. 8 Lee refused a suggestion from a number of his officers that he surrender. 9 Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia at the McLean house in Appomattox. 12 Confederates surrendered Mobile. 14 Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth.


Visit Virginia 150 Sesquicentennial Events
VA Sesquicentennial Logo
Visit the The Museum of the Confederacy Online and their Events Calendar for MOC Events Calendar
Pamplin Historical Park and The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier and their Special Events Calendar

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