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By EDWARD L. J'KEPAKED AT THE REQUEST OF THE SURVIVORS' ASSOCIATION OF THE COiMPANY.. .WELLS CHARLESTON. .JOB PRINTERS.STEAM 15O0K AND . LUCAS. RICHARDSON & CO. 1888. 130 EAST Bay. S. C.A SKETCH )in FROM THE EARLIEST FORMATION OP THE CORPS.
PUBLIC LIBRARY ASTOR. LENOX AND TILDtN FOUNDAIIONS R 1917 L .
acts upon many as a red flag upon a bull still. their lace collars hastily put . But there is a better reason it is marked degree of the army a grand body of because the Dragoons were representative in a influences which made the Confederate citizen-soldiers. at the South quasi-aristocrats. which has existed in must be a subject of some than this . as a joke. in spite of the risk of being gored. we will refer to Edmund " Burke's statement to a colour-line " British Ministry. instead of being read. under the breath. when the French army. would not have been very hard to bear. and gallants rustling in silk aoublets. the outcome of which was a brave people devotedly attached to civil liberty. Of this state of society the Dragoons were. surprised and war. but the imputation of "kid-gloved company. community for many generations. as has been Once. as well as gentry. is a good rule. called upon the household troops to save the day. that when he required Wellington used to remark. however simple. to the effect. a man for a specially difficult service. for a T corps. even if it had been true. said. as Croker says.A SKETCH Charleston Light Dragoons. he seen peering looked around for one of the faces often from White's windows. that every writing. if Aristocracy is a word it now only to be spoken. In fact the dandy in all times has played an important part." them the styled dandyism implied. should be held to " show cause " why it ought not to be burned. routed. particularly where the game happened to be As at Steinkirk. some one. because . peculiarly representative. this interest. that the had made yeomanry. at all. In a sketch of the Charleston Light Dragoons this "condition precedent" is readily fulfilled.
and all the pretty in gratitude to those " kid-gloved women for many a day wore lace scarfs knotted round their shapely throats in Steinkirk-fashion. from lack of means of its transportation. however small. that they were a fraction. brigade. old muster-rolls and similar were necessarily abandoned. of Hampton's corps. after surrender with Johnston's army in North Carolina in April. for of the surviving many exist only in the memories members. ? If the story of the it is Charleston Light Dragoons it is to be preof the facts full time should be written. doubtless in deference to Republican sentiment. Thus the dandies fought and throughout the land peasant vied with prince companies. That the history of the cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia will yet be written by the hand of the chieftain.'"' to personnel and memories. and that records of archives. What more could French"" man want served. or division where this is necessary an understanding of the Dragoons' story. . The story of the Charleston Light l3ragoons is interwoven with the social and. into '^Charleston Light Dragoons. down I their line of bat- " Fire no shots! give them cold steel " For once the Saxon went down before the Celt heirs of the memories of Cressy and : Agincourt before the splendid chivalry of France. is earnestly to be hoped. being the corps existed at least as early as 1733. who led its columns so ably. and before long this detachment will hear the bugle-call to which they must yield obedience. 1865. *In 1733 Samuel Prioleau was captain. or of underrating those of others. to the " The j^resent sketch its is intended to be confined Old Company. It is to be regretted that public data in regard to its organization and personnel have been its lost in the lapse of time. and the greatest pride of the Dragoons will always be. and some hundred and thirty years later two of his blood and the licvolution. January 6th. own." a at title changed. sprang to arms. but because the writer's information is too limited to warrant his entering a broader field. gallantly under the *South CaroUua Gazette." name fought 1T33.4 SKKTCII OF THE on. referring its regiment. military history of South Carolina from early only to to colonial days. called then with British loyalty the " Charleston Horse-Guards. This is not done for the purpose of unduly magnifying the services of the Company. at the end of the It is clear that War between the States. tlicn the order rang tle.
of pretty faces. for that was long before the democratic usurper Cotton was crowned king. rode out of the lines of Charleston to reconnoitre for the . In the stormy times of the Revolution the command is believed This was the case in to have consisted of several companies. and whispers long tales of the past. or ground once rich bricks. where scattered now or in some tangled covert you stumble upon encounter in rude cabins tatterdemalion same regions was formerly many a fine dwelling. in our day. The banks of the Ashley and Cooper. are almost the only survivors. rences among the Dragoons of family names indentified with the "Horse-Guards" furnish circumstantial evidence that the former was merely the successor of the original corps. in agricultural produce now recaptured by the forest. but only somewhat changed as to localities and details. colours 5 — one brother being severely wounded at Pocotaligo. of good fellows. Goosecreek and Strawberry were centres. down to the Civil "War. the condition of things was not radically altered. they died. the lands of which Dorchester Church and those of St. and Similar recur- the other dying a hero's death at Cold Harbor. On their muster-rolls. At the present time. Town and country constituted a community practically one in blood and interest. as he was in all social life. the halcyon days. the old oaks. and the breeze through the tops of the pines sighs. This was the state of society under which the Dragoons lived. fashioned after some hall in " merrie England/' surrounded by trim lawn or park. and old Madeira. or associated with them could always be found recurring such names as Rutledge and Huger. and for which. 1777. the golden-age of Carolina. Andrews. in those corps. and later on. Where at the present day you will see field and woodland torn up into an unsightly desert by the phosphate-diggers.CHARLESTON" LIGHT DRAGOONS. somewhat the worse for wear. when Major Benjamin Huger. and beaux yeux. Prioleau Captain commanded the company in the picturesque olden time. the cavalier commingled with the Huguenot there. Middleton and Prioleau. Harleston and Manigault. and many tinted garden. Indigo and rice were the twin-monarchs of agriculture. Thus it was in the days of Captain Prioleau. were jDeopled by a prosperous and cultured gentry. with a detachment from the negroes . and a brave and self-respecting yeomanry. and solemnly bowing their gray beards of Spanish moss over the mournful scene.
who mistook them General Hampton." a charming gentleman of very fine personal appearance. In a book of regulations for the militia of the State. two company in the organization. under the date of 1794. J). fought under the flag of the Dragoons at Pocotaligo.G SKETCH OF TUK Not having discovered was l)ringing his men back." as he expressed it. There is extant a printed dinner invitation sent on June 27th. Alfred Huger ("The Post* . In 1813 there were at least three troops of Charleston Light Dragoons. 1798. is an elaborate frontispiece in which are blazoned the coats of arms of South Carolina and of the United States." which indicates that there was then more than one On the right of the of the State.. to Capt. and always well- mounted. war. in command presumably of some militiamen. L. From that date. and on the left are on one of which are engraved the letters C. by " The First Troop Charleston Light Dragoons. was riding "boot-leg and boot-leg. and liad readied a point in wliat is now Meeting street near the Citadel. In 1832 the companies composing the corps were consolidated and the number has never since been increased. with Major linger. at that time with the detachment. linger was killed. Haiieston.." The length of the list makes one thirst for a share of the old Madeira. Ilawes-shop. and ready to resume a warlike condition when the time to *Thi8 was I'elated master". when they were fired upon with grape from a field piece. and of the strong characteristics of the blood. from which it must be inferred not only that this corps was then of note. into one. as the Times of that year gives the toasts drunk at a dinner by the "Third Troop. At that time Captain Lynah commanded the "Drags. and other hotly contested fields. but that it was considered representative of the cavalry branch of the service.* The relative of this latter gallant gentleman. for the King's troops. lie grandfather of the present General. the inheritor of his name. the enemy in the vicinity. by Hampton himself Hon. the organization was kept substantially the up as same material and with had always figured in its its ranks. i:)icture is a Federal flag. useful to the community as a guarantee of law and order. which must have flowed. expecteil approach of the British forces. It continued during those peaceful years honorable existence. up to the breaking out of the civil in completeness.
riencing any serious mishap. They crossed the Port Royal ferry. . and therefore they were obliged to hurry away from their houses quite unpreMany were compelled to leave behind all their perpared. was sad in The detachment returned to camp without expethe extreme. as the unaccustomed trappings dangled against their sides and between their legs. S. H. Robert E. have not heen voluminous. the chief result of the expedition in a material point of view being a plentiful supply of poultry ''acquired" from abandoned residences. The company. and compelled to drink their full share of a dozen of Madeira. Beaufort. kick and plunge. pany. their ideas of law and order not having yet been A gun-boat was lying near at completely "civilized away. although the negroes were in full possession. The fall of the forts was entirely unexpected by most of them. 1861. Lee sent Captain Ives of his erty. like the happy nations.CHAELESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS. marched from Charleston in November. staff Avith a detachment of ten of the Dragoons to reconnoitre. their horses vigorously protesting by many a snort. So the Dragoons were the last Southern soldiers ever in the town of Sullivan's Island. IT. to Pocotaligo. Federal fleet of Forts Walker and Beauregard. N. with the evidences within and around them of the sudden flight of their owners. Eutledge." hand looking quite harmless at the moment. and rode into the town of Beaufort. . was bombarding Forts Walker and Beauregard at Port Royal. should 7 Meanwhile. Lee was then in command of the Military Department of South After the reduction by the Carolina. who were mercilessly fined. as State troops. as they tore themselves from their pleasant homes forever. on the Charleston and Savannah Kailroad. while Commodore Dupont. sonal possessions. the town of Beaufort was abandoned by the inhabitants. as a militia comcommanded by Captain B. and consist perhaps chiefly of recollections of dinners and suppers. were ordered to where they performed with cre'lit their duties. with which the troopers' saddles were loaded. and of the strict enforcement of discipline against thrown riders. the Dragoons. or a basket of champagne. plunging from prosperity into life-long povA few days after this Gen. its annals come. No Federal soldiers were occupying the place. and everything there was quiet. Gen. The scene presented by the silent houses. Georgia and Florida. Early in the spring of 18G1.
a member of this company. although rested of course only on it "unwritten law. and cities. a assigned to picketing from tliere to Boyd's Landing. No new members were admitted contrary to the wishes of the old ones. would be competent to perform eflRciently a duty requiring in privates such a large fund of perIt was too a hard kind of service in many sonal manhood. Tliese picket-posts were intend- ed to observe. and accoutrements in perfect Federals." manufactured by mere mechanical discipline out of an ignorant European peasantry. exposure ajid this period of the war were in prosthem at of most for clover.8 SKKTcn OF TlIK The company was ordered from Pocotaligo trilnitary of the Poeotalipjo Eivor. their servants. or in parties of twos. to head -quarters. and some of the cooks excellent. and resigning them to enlist in the " Drags". time during the war. the appearance of the command'was very fine. a system which was adhered to throughout the war. were good. being far from camp. and to cover. to trying emergencies. order. and thus thwart an attempted landing of the would result in great disaster. the service required men whose personal intelligence and courage enabled them to be equal. No ''machine-made soldiers. and thus sever the line of communication between those two The purpose was of course a very important one. aiul to Bee's Creek. some were wealthy: their messes were well supplied by foraging in the neighborhood. A failure to discover. throughout which there was such a large proportion of well-born men in the ranks. the points at which the enemy couhl land from their tleet to cut the Charleston and Savannah Bailroad. who had not been. Naturally there were fre- quently members being promoted to commissions in other commands. and resulted in a social composition probably quite unique even in the Confederate service." The reputation of the " Drags" as a " crack corps. of which each man had at least one. so that it used to be jokingly said there was not a general-oflticer in the State." and the pleasant companionship to be found there. and the fatigue picket-posts the respects. at some ." perous circumstances. report or threes. when alone. and by provisions sent from their homes. were very attractive. when in camp the Dragoons were ''in But great. With horses carefully groomed. as far as practicable with such an inadequate force. and then there Avould be officers disgusted for some reason with their positions elsewhere.
They called to their cook to give them dinner as quickly as possible." off Imagine two starving fellows dining on a visionary." who duly paid his respects to the General. taking in everything apparently at once at a glance. " A woman scorned '^ is a dangerous thing. 'cus ^' and hungry. sail!" was the reply. at which he expressed himself well satisfied. After their business with the General was finished. He afterwards looked over the details of the camp. as the properly behaved scriptural Joseph discovered long ago. About the time arrangements were being made for reorganizing the company "for the war. " Send in the rest. One night these officers returned to all camp very tired day inspecting distant picket-posts. to The company went through a mounted- before him. and showing especial Lieutenant O'Hear had a funny monkey "Jack. and he cast around for some propitiatory excuse. and it must be remembered that the interview occurred before the blaze of glory had been kindled. that of Captain Rutleclge and Lieutenant Nowell was notorious for always being the worst provided. without brass-buttons. relates that he Avas more impressed by his appearance. and made it a sacred word in every Southern houseinterest in the horses. but a famished man may be worse. the —what is passion but jtiniiig! ? But where man that can live without dining " General Lee's head-quarters were at this period at Coosawhatchie. having been engaged I git contrach for one hog. 9 Of all the messes in the company. about seven miles from the which he paid a drill visit. or any insignia of rank. camp of the Dragoons. far contrack for a hog !'' " He may live is without love. "Ain't got no more." said the hungry men." Captain Eutledge and Lieutenant Nowell called upon General Lee at head-quarters in referThe General was dressed in a plain blue ence to the matter. than by that of any living man he has ever seen. Mausa. it consisted of some rice and rice only. conscious no doubt of having himself eaten what ought to have been kept for the dinner. dat all. a negro is never long at a loss for one. but Avhen this appeared. Nowell coat. which afterwards immortalized Lee's name among all nations. " 'Fore Gord. called hold. But Jack observed a terrible storm brewing within those empty stomachs.CHAELESTON LIGHT DEAGOONS. but I gib yer somet'ing good termoiTer. So thought the uuscriptural Jack. Cap- .
During a very "cold snap. being "to the manner born" of regiment. and perhaps some others. well knows how easy it is to get "turned-round" in one's ideas of direction. but was unable to convince them of their error. the Tennesseeans meantime preparing the "compliments of the season" and a warm welcome." and '' lesser these with tain Kutledge nml Lieutenant was discussed. persons. which managed to float away. and then pushed on a boat further. equally ignorant of the localities. for the men on shore were only a picket from a Tennessee infantry Lieutenant OTIear. and will understand the Colonel's mistake. . Nowell left liim. the entire The minies Avhizzed and picket-post turning out in fine style. did not fall into the North Carolinians' mistake. and went into where they met the members of his stulf. Major Washington. not so with shots so all hands laid flat in the bottom of the boat. be attempted and then the Tennesseeans opened fire in real earnest. and get to the other side of the marsh after until they arrived opposite observed some soldiers." but was it soon became a case of the hunter hunted .10 SKETCH OF THE anotlier room. and were sure a landing in force was to Not very far from the shore the boat grounded. and Anyone who has had some these they were bent upon bagging. and they took it into their heads that the people whom they saw on the Point were a party of the enemy. and nothing would satisfy them but an immediate attack. Now .'' which occurred that winter. and Captains Ives. about salt *'green" the country. hissed and screeched persuasively around the ears of the North Carolinians it may have been "long between drinks. the " wine of the counsome of lights. rowed down to the obstructions. Taylor and Manigaiilt were A pleasant chat was had present. the colonel of a North Carolina regiment of infantry camped near the Dragoons invited Lieutenant Ollear to accompany him in try *' down Bee's creek to inspect the obstructions lately arranged near the mouth to prevent Federal gunboats from Accordingly the party. So they rowed towards the shore for this purpose. upon which they these North Carolinians were unacquainted with the topography of water. experience of the tortuous navigation through marshes. for. . getting into the Coosawhatchie river and proceeding Mackey's Point. consisting of some eight ascending. Southern salt-marshes. they mistook them for Federals.
When this was communicated to General Lee by JVIajor Washington. and by means of these after awhile the stray sheep. a cutting wind from theseaj)ourbelated in similar localities. and out accompanied by three or four. 18G2. foot across the marsh to the nearest land. and his neat velveteen shooting-coat a mass of dirt. it and with no guide in the darkness but was not an easy undertaking. large prescription of hot whiskey-punch and rolled him up in blankets. he told his friends of the poor fellows who lost tried to follow him through the marsh. where they were ghicl to remain concealed until dark. with able small crooked creeks. able to speak. and the next day he was as jolly as usual. set who chose to trust themselves to him. in preference to this. and as fresh But the Tennessee picket was in dead earnest. as the intervening space was. and who were were at once lighted along the shore. found their way out of their veritable "slough of despond. and though very much liked by everyone in camp. one by one. Some hours afterwards emerged from the darkness. reported to head-quarters that the enemy had attempted to land. better than quicksand. "I think there is some mistake about this." and the men in the boat turned up early in the morning not much the worse As for O'Hear. in dilapidated drawers. a silent figure fire in When had there. By this time it was very cold. the mud soft innumerand tenacious. nobody could possibly help laughing at the droll figure he cut. and they would have reported before now any attemjjt to land." The officers were : . with trousers knotted round his neck like a scarf." During the latter part of March. the "Drags"' administered to him a for wear. But unfortunately the boat proved to be aground. as an independent company. with muddy water streaming from his hair. and as impossible to get her was found there seemed no alternative but to await with chattering teeth the flood-tide. 11 awhile. and as a lark.?. the Charleston Light Dragoons. he remarked to the latter in his quiet grave way. O'Hear ti-y determined.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOON. the Dragoons' camp. were mustered into Con- Large fires federate service "for the war. and glided up to a He was hatless. that he would to make his way on distant. The Charleston Light Dragoons are picketing in that neighborhood. This woe-begoue apparition was O'Hear. little the stars. it ing over the open space in a way that will be appreciated by those who may have been off. However. about a mile Cut up. He offered to pilot those of the party.
J. Happoldt. John lieyward. Fourth Sergeant. Holland. Gordon. Jenkins. Arthur Fairly. B. Fuller. H. First Sergeant. C. Creighton. Ilarleston. W. Colcock. R. Bostick. Second Cojjmral. H. J. Chisolm. Ifit Lieutenant. G. Holmes T. Dupont. James Davis. Fourth Corporal. Manigault. A. J. Huguenin. E. D. Elliott. W. C. A. H. Jr. C. G. Bickley. Fifth Sergeant. II. Hutchinson.. Second Sergeant. C. C. J. G. F. P. M. The was : muster-roll of the non-commissioned officers and privates NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS. Third Sergeant. First Cor2)07'al. B. Miles. M. PRIVATES. H. Bostick. R. B. NowKLi. K. F. A. T. Fitzsimons. Freer. Gregorie. S. R. N. Junior 2d Ijienlenaut. J. M. Gregorie. Burnett. H. Dupont. E. D. Barnwell. Lining. Gregorie. II. Third Coiyoral. Manigault. Fludd. ('OLcot'K. J. W. Holmes. Rose. Daniel . R. J. Desel. \l. Jr. S. O'Wx^KM. A. G. W. J. Simons. J. B. Jnd Lieutenant. Bee. M. L. Ball. E. H. Huger. Burnett. William Frierson. A. Bostick. E. T. Lance. B. James L. Clark. A. Ca2)tain. RuTLEDGE. W. Isaac M. J. J. Alex. L. Bell. 0. W. H. J. Edward GaillaiKl. W. T. B. E. Thomas Lining. F. E. Desel. T. F.12 SKETCH OF THE B.
B. O'Neille. Ion . W. C. a landing. M. E. A. J. J. but the latter. with Colonel W. McLeod. G. P. A. Wragg. Jr. Walker in command of the district from the Ashepoo to Savannah Rivers. and in the section of country already mentioned. S. E. Martin. G. Maxwell. Rhett. Wilkins. Meetze. A. M. the Dragoons were assigned to to picket duty from Bull River Mackey's Point to cover the Charleston . W. Waring. Vincent Martin. S.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS. Edward Martin. After this date the Dragoons continued performing the same duties as before. Witsell. W. Josepli Simons. The being armed only with shotguns. R. E. K. B. E. In the latter part of April of this year the enemy had eifected and pushed a column to within a mile and a half of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad near Pocotaligo. Robinson. Arthur Seabrook. C. J. H. W. Miles. Vincent. D. F. Vanderhorst. Purcell. By important tioned. White. Neyle. McPherson. Pritchett. J. Marion. 13 Richardson. Prioleau. B. of troops not armed with long range rifles. Robiuson. J. W. for that kind of service. J. from which point they retreated to their gunboats. Richardson. J. J. 0. affair was a very trifling one in respect both to fighting and results. O'Brien. but it served to demonstrate the inefficiency. John Robertson. J. J. McD. James W. Middleton. II. Palfrey. They had been confronted by only two companies of mounted men the Rutledge Mounted Riflemen and Nettle's Company. Lee had left the department for a more and had been succeeded by General Pembierton. B. J. W- Wagner. Y. P. John Martin. W Thurston. Henry Seabrook. proved of little use. in which the Dragoons were stathis time General field. Witsell. A. White. J. Alex. L. — Near the end of May. J. Pringle. E. J. Nowell. G. M. T.
" It was necessary. . however. but the authorities failed to furnish it. but on reaching Charleston he unexpectedly obtained from General Pemberton an order for a supply. which offered tlie enemy an easy means of approach. in spite of this. some Enfields havi7ig been received through the blockade.11 SKETffl OF TIIK ' and Savannah Railioad. had in general a strong aversion to regularly carrying rilles. the scarcity of arms being one of the many difficulties with which the Confederacy had to contend. that it was hardly credited. as has been said. supi^lemented by shotguns when on picket. . to which they were unable to reply. up Then One would drag his rifle it was a funny sight to see him leave. Their arms consisted only of sabres and pistols. But there was destined. until the rifles themselves actually arrived. to issue the guns. Most of the men. They were short Enfields. The duty performed here by the company during this summer was of a very delicate nature and arduous. None the less did the officers endeavor to obtain the needed supply. were very much opposed to being obliged to carry a kind of arm which they thought unsuitable and cumbrous. to be a through "conversioii" on . The insufficiency of these weapons was a source of great anxiety to Captain Rutledge and his officers. Each man marched received his weapon and separately and cartridge box. Great was the joy at company head-quarters when news of this success was received so much so. and from whicli tliey repeatedly made threatening demonstrations. All this was meant to express the contempt entertained by all genuine light cavalrymen for rifles. like a log another rode away on it in broom-stick fashion a third shouldered arms "up-side down. as will soon be seen. in length between that of a carbine and an infantry musket. behind him. though often annoyed by the fire of the Federal pickets from the other side of the river at Port Royal FerW. that Lieutenant Nowell should go to Richmond in the hope of procuring there the much coveted guns." and hung the belt of the cartridge box round his throat. the liiu' einljracing Port Royal Ferry. of the use to be made of such outlandish things. considering them unbecoming weapons for light cavalry. which was accordingly done by Lieutenant JSTowell. like a necklace. and proved to be excellent weapons. and their utter ignorance . they were "dead-set" against the "innovation. At length it was decided by Colonel Walker and Captain Rutledge. The men.
near which were Col. ")tli and (itli Rhode Island. about two miles from Pocotaligo Station on the Charleston and Savannah Eailroad.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS. aceordins to the statements published at the time in the New York papers. and TOth Pennsylvania.") *The force. said to nuinbei. which was covered for a cei'tain distance by Their object was to seize the railroad at Pocothe gunboats. the Charleston Light Dragoons were at McPhersonville. . The vital importance of maintaining the railroad intact is therefore evident. or more properly speaking. of portions ot 47th. a creek of the same. treason though be to say and the Enfiekls were hardly issued before their services proved of vital importance. and placing both cities in jeopardy from a Hank attack. troops could be dispatched. and three howitzers manned by sailors One leg-iment ot the above named is said to have been detached to make a feint upon Coosaw- M hatchie. known«. numbered certainly not less than 2600 men. M. IT. as needed. Connecticut. On in camp October 22nd. a section of Co. Walker's head-quarters. destroying the small force there the night before in gunboats and transports. an advance up this road. under command Brannan. it was impossible to protect each point of danger by a separate adequate force. ord and 4th New Hampshire. and some sailors. but. to threatened positions. 15 it seems^ after it all. and two sections. Walker. as long as the line of communication was preserved. the artillery being mostly *Regulars. S. this subject .over 3000 infiuitry. 1862. Colonel Walker (afterwards General Walker. Early that morning the enemy effected a landing on Mackey's Their force. taligo station. .s "Livehad' to oppose to the Federals a force of 475 men which only 405 could be actually engaged after arms. and there were many places at which landings could be readily made under cover of gunboats. of Gen. :)5th. 4Hth New York. a small detachment of cavalry.. thus severing the line of under command communication between Charleston and Savannah. par-t of 1st Massachnsetts Cavalry. Point at the head of Broad River. besides artillery. S. Artillery. consisting of two brigades of infantry. and a battery. and a Rhode Island Hattery. and thence to Pocotaligo station about two miles furTlie Federals commenced before ten o'clock A. was composed. They had left Hilton Head good road led from Mackey's Point to Pocotaligo (old Pocotaligo) about eight miles distaiit^^i a river. it. ther. Artillery. besides a detachment from the New York Volunteer Engineers. As this line was about a hundred miles in length. of all of Oak Walker. and a section of Lieutenant fLenry's Batlery of 1st TJ. E. majorities are not always right. A of Col.
that it burst just when it should. They *Col. and thirteen poor devils were rendered hors de combat. surprised apparently at an incident not down on the programme of a dress-parade. and a brigadier general in the Army of Northern Virginia. about 75 yards. posted his command at Yemassec plantation. but soon were formed in line of battle. as none were absent from camp on picket. as usual.IG SKETCH OF THE liorsc-liolders for the deducting the necessary artillery.* His eight guns — four from the Beaufort Ar- of and four of Latham's Battery. They had got within very short range. whose stalwart figure was a living refutation of all the nonsense formerly heard about "effete Southerners. were for the moment a little disconcerted. at Walker Col. where about point a road crosses a marsh wet at high tide. cavalry. and the Federals. and the enemy was marching gayly on in column of fours. and disgusted at such rough horse-play. he dropped the shell into the desired spot. (Each fourth L"4th"] cavalryman has charge of the horses of the other three. but not impassable. and were near the centre of the line on the right of the road. their horses. Elliot's four guns of the Beaufort ArIt was a beautiful autumn day tillery stationed near the road. having been sent back to a safe distance. as if on a holiday street parade instead of being engaged in invading a country. Walker's Official Report. the live miles from Mackey's Point. not a man would then have exchanged his hitherto hated Enfield for a fortune. and attacked. very out skirmishers. for these were now making music j)leasant to hear. Thus the fight opened.) . consisting of tillery. Sergeant?" said he. Thin woods fringing the edge of the marsh on the left afforded but slight shelter to Capt. Bang! went the gun. but as the liutledge Mounted Rillemen happened to be then on few from that corps were available for the fight. was under the command Captain Stephen Elliot (afterwards the hero of Fort Sumter. although the range was so very short." replied Fuller. with fuse so nicely timed. withthis duty. The Dragoons had been dismounted to fight. and as neatly as one might put an orange on his plate at dessert. think I can." "Can you "I drop a shell in the head of the column.) The Charleston Light Dragoons mustered that day some sixty men. The "conver- sion" spoken of had already been consummated. when Captain Elliot turned to Sergeant Fuller.
on ing the balls generally went overhead. went he deliberately "drew a bead" on him. It had not been expected that this first position occupied by *Daniel P. the long rank grass being no jn'otection from bullets. He was The memory of the brave boy has shot dead. Terry. and pulled. the rifle to his shoulder. in spite of the orders of their officers. . so that Huger had a great repugnance Up came to killing him." Sergeant Huger (Ben Huger) saw that the line could no longer be held. but it must be done for duty's sake. put on a fresh one. having borrowed a rifle from a horse-holder. and Holland slightly hurt. had volunteered that morning in the ranks of the Dragoons. if Terry succeeded by his brave example in steadying his men. commanding one of their up the flag. less than He was a fine soldierly looking man. but it He too snapped. brigades. and with the powder carefully primed the tube. Then he broke a cartridge. but his friends put him on a horse caught galloping by and *Young Lieutenant Campbell. attacking columns was extremely heavy.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS. would retreat a short distance if they had realized the smallness of the force opposing them. and eighty yards distant. which proved The Federals would again and again charge forvery effective. Here also O'Neill and always had a warm place in their hearts. Then the retreat began. ated from the Citadel Academy. and there he was at point-blank range. poor fellow. the contrary. of course they would have quickly run over the line. but owing to bad shootThe Confederates. so Snap. very promptly. lately graduthus he was saved. happening to be in the neighborhood. and placed on it a nice bright There was still time. poured in steady Avell directed shots. and shouted to his troops ''forward. T. fire a volley and then. Porcher were badly wounded. was behaving gallantly. the cap without exploding the charge. M. Prioleau had been badly wounded. caught it At length Gen. and pulled the trigger of It snapped again. and through the notch he saw the sight against the blue breast of Terry's coat. for Terry's men had not "enthused" cap. by all the Gods! his sweet shooting rifle. but serving fortunately to conThe fire from the ceal from the foe their scanty number. rode forward gallantly and planted within about seventy-five yards of the Confederate position. waved his sword. CampbelL 3 . 17 were fighting on the edge of the marsh. ward to within seventy or eighty yards of the Dragoons.
without crossing the creek at all. as the Federals. Having taken his force across the bridge into old Pocotaligo. The Dragoons were taligo. when the pickets were driven in.'' Just at this *Col. Walker." says Col. to arrive. That gallant corps came forward with an inspiriting shout. waited until a little bridge. The plan was now withdraw to old Pocotaligo. over which was a bridge. A de- tachment of the Dragoons in fact crossed in this way. and marching down a neighborhood road leading to Mr. The withdrawal to this point was to distant. at first held in reserve back of old Poco- near the road leading to the station a mile and a half it distant. where the creek virtually ended in some wet swampy ground.18 SKETCH OF THE the Confederates could be held for any considerable length of time against the overwhelming odds attacking. and to leave the Confederates in his rear. could have been thrown round Walker's right by marching to own left and pushing through the head of the marsh. Elliot's house. effected without much difficulty. the urgent necessity for and thus gain time for which had reinforceof course been telegraphed to head-quarters in Charleston early in the morning.* "1 ordered up the Charleston Light Dragoons. yet quite practicable ground. Walker had the planks torn up and formed his line to cover the creek. The main point to be held was where the road having traversed the marsh on a cause- way crossed at the bridge. and rejoined their company on the further side of the creek. . Here was the natural line of defence on which a final stand must be made. but the object was to cause as much delay as possible to the progress of the enemy towards the ments railroad. but he was proba. The enemy could also have struck the railroad. "x\t the crisis of the fight. because only there could the artillery if be brought over. bly unwilling to get away from his artillery. crossing a part of the marsh at Yemassee. and took position on my left. and thence going across some wet. could be put in order for the passage of artillery. by leaving Walker on his right. between three and four miles on the further side of a salt marsh divided by a creek about thirty yards wide and too deep to be forded. which wanted strengthening. Walker's Official Report. their energetically handled. but was soon found necessary to order them to occupy the line near the bridge. although infantry. instead of push- ing forward boldly with their infantry. Col.
and the casualties among them were compnratively large. . as three had already been snapped without igniting the So without priming. he put on a cap. but somehow it suggested itself to him. in the air. was about to should be mentioned here. that before doing so. that shapes our oids. Referring to the Terry incident. pulled the trigger. which afforded protection in fighting. and also markedly commends the conduct of the company. J^ow why was this ? Chance ? Gen. The main body of the Federals was obliged to come to the attack across a narrow causeway leading to the bridge. although this appeared hopeless." who was busily plying his rifle. I was dead against them. but now I say. pointed the rifle no result. 19 moment Lientenant Nowell and took his place with the galloped up. bless God. called out in high glee to Kutledge. that all earth's flora and fauna are developed from a common germ. was cut dowii by the minies. But tlie disproportion o£ numbers was so excessive. or through the open marsh. expecting ! I and bless you for the Enfields. having reached Pocotaligo station a few minutes before on his return from Charleston. where he had been on leave. that it Huger after crossing the creek. It was here that one of the "Drags. and bang went the gun as clear as a bell. if it had not been for the fortunate circamstauce. that on their bank of the stream was a cluster of live oaks. one is inclined to admit relationship to those grey-bearded aristocrats of the forest. powder. It may serve to illustrate how thickly the bullets flew to mention. as it was spiked. Terry might well entertain some old fashioned opinions about "a destiny. There is a natural affinity between brave men and oaks. Captain. but however that may be. tliat the limb of a tree (from one of the brave old oaks). as thick as the upper part of a man's leg. he would try another cap. in fact science would convince us. Walker speaks in terms highly complimentary of the 'cool and collected" manner in which Captain Eutledge ably handled his men under the tremendous fire.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS. *Col. sprang off his horse company. that the Dragoons on the opposite side of the creek could not have lived under their volleys.'" Official *CoL Walker's Report. undertake the troublesome business of drawing the bullet from his rifle. "Thank God for the Enfields. who bared their sturdy breasts that morning to the bullets.
as to ascertain whether the contents v/ere there. thus showing that the withdrawal was hurried. The efforts of the Federal artillery were directed to taking up a position in the road beyond this point of junction. besides many coats.. Walker to have been over 300. and did handsome execution. The Federal loss is estimated by Col." and then sang out. but never succeeded. "One and one make two. One of the company was slightly wounded in the head. and their many dead left at this point attested to the stubbornness of the struggle on both sides. it may justly be considered to have been fought by the 405 men origiCol. was reinforced by about two hundred men forwarded by railroad from Adams Run. two and two make four. when the enemy withdrew and succeeded in reaching his gunboats withAlong out material molestation from the Confederate pursuit. and tested the working of the machinery by counting. the brain is safe. when the decisive There is reason to think howpart of the affair was fought. and the Confederate sharpshooters would pick off the enemy's battery-horses. After the fight the body of Captain Hamilton. The firing continued until about six o'clock P.20 SKETCH OF THE cheerfully sent another whistler into the mass in Then he front. as soon as they emerged from the cover Again and again the Federal artillery attempted of the woods. which could then be rej^aired. he inif stantly clapped both hands to his forehead. . was found at this place. who reached him after the final stand had been successfully made on the line of the creek. but as the fight was virtually won at this time. blankets. But Elliot's guns were magnificently served. The main road from Charleston united with that from Mackey's Point in open ground less than two hundred yards from the bridge. Walker's force nally engaged. the line of his retreat however he left some six dead men. and the heaps of horses. "Thank God. commanding one of the batteries. haversacks. which would be equal to about three-fourths of the Confederates in action. to effect their purpose. thus enabling their column to cross. and similar articles (according to his Virginia habit). M. intending thence to sweep away the troops covering the bridge." at which every one within hearing lauglied.
Walker on the other side of the creek. Prioleau. Report. march. and the punish ment inflicted proved a discouragement to the repetition of similar atttsmpts. and found in it a nice loaf of bread. to ascertain the position of the enemy. the hours. The object the enemy had in view was of great importance. men This was done. Col. Porcher. no prisoners were lost. One side of the loaf was discolored by the poor fellow's blood. For these reasons the battle is worthy of being remembered among the notable events characteristic of the War between the States. The Dragoons out of about 45 dismounted to fight. Eutledge joined Col. the two last being very slightly hurt. and for the fierceness of the fighting. the planks having been replaced on the bridge. Huger and Vanderhorst.) and nine wounded Holland. O'Neill. Pringle. when victories were won against fearful odds by American soldiers warring with the heterogeneous mass composing the Northern armies. *5C) bodies were buried the next day. 21 ever that the Federal casualties much exceeded this number. but their reports are contradictory. Walker Samaritan. after a very distressing night being entirely without food for over twenty-four Report of the +CoL Walker's OfBcei* in Official command of the Burial Partj'. which the provident defunct had doubtless intended for his own supper. except five men captured on one of the picket-posts. and wounded was fl45. Eutledge ate his share of the remainder with great gusto. although the accounts published in Northern news- and wounded were carried off. and proceed papers claimed that all their dead in The Confederate loss killed at once in the direction of Port Eoyal Ferr}^. The Colonel was examining a haversack taken from the body of a dead Federal." that the names of Rutledge and the Charleston Light Dragoons should occujjy a conspicuous place. washing it down with some "tonic" obtained from a good Immediately after this late lunch. On such an occasion it was fitting.CHARLESTON" LIGHT DRAGOONS. Hopkins. if practicable. and in accordance with the saying ''history repeats itself. This battle of Pocotaligo was remarkable for the disparity of the combatants in numbers. ordered Captain Eutledge to mount his company. Manigault. his purpose was entirely frustrated. had one man killed (Campbell. soon after the retirement of the enemy. but that part being cat off. In the evening. Capt. . and to re-establish pickets at tiiat place.
" the conquering hero of many a Court House meeting. 1863. In August. When the Dragoons saw the countrymen's horse. ajough. but it was not thought worth while meantime by the backers of the mare to look at her projjosed rival. whose shaggy unkept winter-coat concealed the muscles beneath. During the siege carried on by Gilmore against Batteries Wagner and Gregg on . and pronounced her "a fine thing. the company continued doing It was Dragoons were stationed here. The They inspected the beautiful animal with interest. which impressed upon them the uncertainty of equine. they had compunctions of conscience at the thought of pocketing money on such an unequal contest. and doubtless she often sighed at the thought that there was only one world to conquer. who laughs last. as well as of human affairs. to the start." It came out afterwards that the winning horse did not belong to the guileless countrymen. where resided the "driving power" essential to a spurt. She had won so many matches. and away went the gelding. fident were they of the result.^2 SKETCH OF After tlio TIIH events just ilescribed. "He laughs best. and won the race as if it had been child's play. they felc mortified at having been inveigled into such a ridiculous exhibi- The word was given. was a mare of noted speed in a ''quarter race" (a quarter mile dash). in the same section of country. thickset gelding. the company was ordered to Charleston. preparatory tion. wliile the this celebrated creature. a privilege readily accorded. and arrangements made for the race. and had been brought from a distance to beat the mare. that an incident occurred. so contheir company. One day three men from another cavalry command called at the Dragoons' camp. The time for the meeting came." Then they timidly proposed a match between the mare and a horse belonging to whom they would back to the extent of 1100. but no more. Of course the bet was accepted. but was a far famed "quarter horse. But when a verdant youth mounted the nag barebacked. ran their hands with special attention over the hard swelling muscles of the upper parts of the hind legs. that now no competitors were left to her. and a large number of spectators was present. strangers were innocent guileless countrymen. Among many fine horses owned by members of the company. and camped at the Washington Race Course. and asked to be allowed to see picket duty us before.
you will realize that the forces of nature are more irresistible. in rusted cans. these positions against the land and naval forces of the Northern States is matter of history. But when you reach the spot where Wagner once stood. and cooking utenor bayonet. but the encroachments of the sea and the shifting sands have much altered the ground. canteens. a nar- row. moaning and groaning for the dead. anc^ such they were these thousands were the "chips" in the "game of war. one of the Battery Cregg. will be not far from where (iilniore first effected a landing. Morris Island." the j)rice which Gilmore paid for the evacuation of the fort. on Cummings outer bulwarks of the city. all vestiges of the once powerful to destroy. The presence of good shoes on a dead man would indicate to any "old Confederate. The bones are much disintegrated by the action of the atmosphere and salt water. detachments from the Dragoons were sent there to act as couriers between the two forts. 23 Morris Island. irregular strip of lies at sand. The stranger finding himself on Morris Island near the present Life-saving Station. breakers. which the winds alternately pile up and strip from the skeletons beneath. but. Avill but the be rolling in. and spreading snow-white winding sheets of foam over what remains of this place of glorious memories. if it As for Gregg. sti'ange to say. (that nearest the southern entrance of Charleston har- mile from the northern end was Batter}^ Wagner. which the Federals were unable be high tide. and notice many signs of the former occupation. he will often observe the toes of shoes projecting from the loose sand. some four miles in length from of a south to north. distant about three-quarters of a mile from Wagner. But the names of Wagner and Gregg no longer have anything but an historic existence. was a much smaller fortification. has been devour- . Walking on still further in the direction of Wagner. the jawhones are best preserved. the very point on which it stood. in effect little more than an outwork of the latter on the The heroic defence of line of communication with the city. with an occasional fragment of a rifle-barrel. though less cruel. bor. Proceeding in a northerly direction. sils. for About three-fourths to Charleston) .CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS." that these remains were once Federal troops. one ^vill now pick up old mmies. the ocean has willed out nearly fortification. at the extreme northern end of the Island. Point. from which one may draw a moral to suit his taste. than man.
and thus the wounded were brought back. as you look across at old Sumter. the details The first defor it from the Dragoons were selected by lot. engaged in this service up to August 2()th. On the 21st of August. his own name. Cavalry. and the sappers had dug their way to the moat by the evening of September 6th. he taking his turn regularly: this was voluntary. These the animals. and you be a better man for the political thought. frightful. whom Dragoons relieved. ordered to Wagner on August It Huger. always saddled and bridled. Just behind this place. who remained in it during the last seventeen days of the bombardment. The Dragoons landed at Battery Gregg. C. the parallels had crept up to within 300 yards of the Fort. when the position was evacuated. them any horses.24 ed by the waves. SKETCH OF THE All these things will set you reflecting and are moralizing. It home may be. as well as ammunition and food. but the last seventeen were of course necessarily much worse. he was exempt from this duty. were left by the couriers. for. was necessary to go from the city by row-boats at night. men. Daring daylight all the water approaches were liable to be swept by the Federal gunboats. Always Huger appointed a man to Book for 1884. page 382. The duty being considered especially dangerous. or whatever your has been said in *accouut6 written of the siege of Wagner. this was the only mode by which the Fort could be supplied with reliefs of men. five in number. in comparative security. you nuiy well Avill feel that your feet treading holy ground. before mounting to carry a dispatch. was Benj. *Charlestou Year being in command. that the courier duty there was performed by detachments from The Fifth was the Fifth S. and they were to ride in the order fixed. where quarters were assigned them in a little bomb-proof into which they could barely squeeze. the latter not bringing with Huger placed a list of all the inside wall of the bomb-proof. but this is an error. when they were relieved by the Dragoons. . unless you are a veritable Gi'adgrind. under command of Sergeant ten of consisting tachment. F. just as a pot becomes hottest as it nears the boiling point. up to the completion of the The first forty days of the siege were no doubt evacuation. their horses were fastened. wherever your sentiments. on including the men. 20th.
and ploughing out a deep hole. For these purposes two couriers were always stationed at the former fort. for he well knew that it was a race for life. as fast as he could run. the rest at the Important dispatches were forwarded by two men. so as to guard against couriers. and also the minies from the sharp-shooters in the rifle pits. mount him. horse and rider were at once exposed to the projectiles from the fleet. and at about a quarter of a mile from Wagner the course along the beach turned a little to the right. The duty from bring- of the couriers consisted in carrying dispatches. received the city via Fort Johnson by boat. The felas the loose sandhills further lows used to stand in the sally-port of Wagner to watch the . for here one not only plunged among all the big shells hurled at the fort from ships and land batteries. this stretch was fearful. The distance between the forts was about three-quarters of a mile. The big shells. whip. which would otherwise be caused by the death of It was impossible to communicate between the the first sent. with sufficient rapidity by any other means than mounted and it was necessary for these to ride along the beach.CHAllLESTON LIGHT DKAGOONS. Nothing else was needed: neither word. but amidst the little perpendicularly-dropping Coohorn mortar-shells too. and then turn the animal round the corner of the wall. or in case of his death. to Battery Wagner and ing from there dispatches intended for the town. 25 command until his return. and of course became a special target. upon him to slack speed. order to carry from Gregg. the horse would dash down the beach and make straight for an old gun-carriage under a projection of the wall near the sally-port of Wagner where he was accustomed to Nothing but contact with shot or shell could prevail be tied. forts starting a little later. which brought one in full view of the fort. would come along with their horrible shriek often striking the sand. until he reached this place. which was continually pounding away. he would lead his horse to near the end of a curtain-wall running down to the front beach. 200 and 3()0 pounders. then ricochettiug and cutting huge trenches in the opposite marsh. of Wagner and Gregg. 100. from the water would render locoWhen a man received a dispatch or an motion very slow. one the loss or delay in transmission. nor spur. as well as in riding with communications verbal and written between the com- mandants latter. On leaving the cover of the curtain at Gregg.
Others were less seriously hurt. wildly. and laughing and cheering carry him on their But when a rider was wounded shoulders into the sally-port. Burgess Gordon. a little flea-bitten grey was the favorite. they therefore experienced even point. and the smell of the putrifying corpses but partially buried in the sands outside. as they saw horse and rider coming. The result harder service than their predecessors. was carrying a dispatch. the summary oj^eration performed by a shell. Taylor and Fairly were stunned by the explosions of large shells. these same devil-may-carcs would run out into the fire unhesitatingly to pick him up and The way in which the last quarter. the " home-stretch. down against the of mane present clieering least surface and dozens spectators On one of these occasions a looker-on among the sandhills exposed body. by a lack of water. He would leap off at full speed and run steadily and low in a thoroughly The poor animal became bobtailed through business-like way. himself literally carelessly. Others received injuries. going at was a somersault for both.26 riding. of Huger's Squad. one was shot in There was much suffering caused the chest by a minie bullet. All of the horses were eventually more or less wounded. and boiling was near when a shell tore up a full speed. they would often catch up the ha dismounted. The rations were limited and in very unwholesome condition. A relief squad from By that time the pot the Dragoons reported on August 30th. the heat being excessive." Avas made wa? a sight to stir the blood of the most phlegmatic. as never horse to ran before. got through safely. and knocked down by the concussion. which had to be picked up by his friends in a wheelbarrow for burial. but remained on duty after reviving. The stench produced by obvious causes within the Fort. as When man these the horse running. or thrown by a horse falling. but Gordon was not permanently disabled by the fall. but afterwards ran even the better for the recollection of his mishap. were . but none of the detachment were killed. the " fires of hell " pouring around. SKETCH OF TUE They would cheer and yell and leap and dance in excitement. Of all the horses. huge hole in front of his horse. a large shell struck him in the scattering the corpse in fragments. bring him under cover. and were sent up to John Harleston was struck by a fragment of a shell the city. the rider to leaning bullets.
September Gth. sickening. whose guns pointing in that direction had long since been dismounted. the rifles of the 27th Georgia contributing gallantly to this result. Wagner. To prevent this a . after a furious shelling in many hours continuance.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS. The usual garrison was about a hundred men." At length was determined night. which were hourly being pushed nearer and nearer. these were stationed among the sand sufficient cover which afforded a very inand none at all from mortarprojectiles. the two Dragoons just mentioned being part of the '^orchestra. was a proSo close were the ceeding of almost superhuman difficulty. and Grilmore was foiled in his attempt to capture Charleston. September oth. "I it ain't afeard of hell no more. it can't touch Wagner. had An inner line of defences had to evacuate been perfected. The had been up to that time held. and Sunday upon for the purpose. from rifle shells. while the sharp-shooters made it death for any head shown above the parapet or through a crevice between sand-bags." On the night of August Gth. and the Iron- hammering away. the withdrawal of a garrison of less than a thousand men hemmed in by ten times their number of land forces supported by a large fleet of Ironclads. It can easily be understood than an evacuation under such circumstances. clads kept 27 All the while the enemy plied his land batteries. A Georgian was heard to say just after the evacuation. that the slightest sounds or movements of a suspicious kind within the fort would have betrayed the besieged to their vigilant foe. it will be remembered that the enemy had succeeded in digging his way up to the very moat of Wagner. hostile forces brought together. but were repulsed at close quarters with considerable loss. there being no room to shelter a larger number. advancing from the hills. John Ilarleston and Charles Prioleau from the Dragoons took rifles and fell in with a detachment from the 27th Georgia. a part of the reinforcements from Wagner. but reinforcements had been sent from Wagner in expectation of the attack. Gregg was attacked by the Federals boats. The enemy attacked in some twenty barges. On of Saturday night. a feat not destined to be accomplished by any Federal commander. creek side. was fixed object for which this fort now been accomplished.
C. C. C. but of little fellow will never be forgotten. grasped his hand. and Edward Harleston Junior 2d. / have suffered more in realizing what I had done.28 spirited fire was kept SKETCH OF THE up to the last moment. the 4th. lot for Harleston had not been drawn by the service on the for reasons had volunteered in place of a man. you are safel If you had been killed. the besieged were found boats to the inner line of fortifications. consented to let him go . " Thank God. However much you may have suffered during this last week. so that "not at home/' The Dragoons were kept very busy while all the evacuation was going on. but the bridle belonging to the little gray was brought off as a memento. from which point they were successfully removed in when the Federals next morning were about advancing to make another of their assaults in force upon the position. O'Hear 2d lieutenant. would form a new Brigade for M. among the the Island.. the Dragoons. C. and only after the detachments from Wagner had been brought last to leave ofP did they embark. as Co. C. 4th S. with the 5th and 6th S. Hardly had Harleston landed on the wharf in Charleston on returning before his friend rushed up to him. 18G4. were stationed at Accabee on Ashley River. C. about seven miles from the city. Soon the rumor assumed more definite shape. and at length all doubts were dispelled. which was to rendezvous at Columbia. Gradually the troops were withdrawn from Wagner and marched quietly down to Gregg. and Colcock had become captain of the Dragoons. and the brave Island." After the evacuation of Morris Island the Dragoons i^erformed duty on the land-approaches to Charleston. The horses had to be left behind. with Nowell 1st lieutenant. Here the monotony of their life was broken by a ripple of excitement. lately promoted to be Brigadier-General. K. and would march for Virginia. I would have been your murderer. and in April. his own. C. a hard thing to do after they had served their country so faithfully. were ordered to join the Regiment. Previous to this Captain Rutledge had been promoted to the Colonelcy of the 4th S. who. Butler. and cried out. it was rumored that they were to be ordered to Virginia to serve in the campaign about opening. silence in other respects being observed as far as possible. The Brigade thus to be organized would be an important addiin his stead.
in some sense. tion to the Cavalry of the 29 The of Northern Virginia. and increasing the importance of cavalry was carried into effect when Hampton. not only in covering retreats. where the cavalry had been much weakened in numbers and efficiency by the operations of the previous year. could move with soldiers. took command of these forces attached to the Army of Northern Virginia. as well as men. after Stuart's death. it may be said to have telling effect. and desultory skirmishing. and it was no small consideration to Government to secure such a body of fresh horses." armed with sal)res Butler's Brigade was had revolvers. Since the end of our War this idea. and indeed may be said to have been up to that time unique. Instead of using cavalry chiefly for raids. that they might be considered. or forcing the enemy to "show his hand. Moreover they were well mounted. but the rifles carried by all and most of the men were the important . and Butler's Brigade was destined to play an important part in this programme. but they were still more needed by Lee's Army. with the and tenacity of infantry. or been a "new departure.CHARLESTON" LIGHT DRAGOONS. whilst that of their enemy had much improved. as veterans. was thought. It was true that these regiments could ill be spared from the defense of the coast of South Carolina. This conception of the practicability of widening the sphere. and who. affairs too often more captivating to the fancy. much greater celerity than footit would be capable of being handled. has become familiar to general military science. according to tlie practice of the Confederate Army. while losing of its serviceable qualities as cavalry. and had been disciplined and accustomed to army life so long. when dismounted. Army stantial results. but at the time of which we are speaking. Men in large none numbers. originated by Hampton. for the next Virginia campaign. being provided with horses. each officer and private furnishing his own animal.'* but also in striking important blows on their own account at weak points. Butler's Brigade was intended to form part of the Division of General Hampton. who could steadiness be relied upon to fight. than productive of subthree regiments had full ranlvs. Hampton conceived the idea of making this arm terribly effective as masses of infantry. with masking advances of larger forces. whose system of manoeuvring cavalry was different from that previously in vogue in Virginia.
First Sergeant. follows. Bostick. as ''honest drinkers. Second Sergeant. W. Afterwards Butler's Division. Jas. R. L.'' was well maintained. the The company before leaving maximum number fixed by the coast had to be reduced to law. S. '2nd Lieutenant. J." A muster-roll of the Company. 1st Lieutenant. Blake. Cajitcdn. Adger. may be a matter for doubt. in plenty. T. which the reputation Whether that made them wear iinusually grave faces the next morning. J. throwing a minie-ball. Bee. F. .. such as had most recently enlisted. Adams. NowELL. counting detached men. Jr. R. H. As soldiers provided with breech-loaders ought to be a match for double their number armed with muzzle-loaders only. Bostick. tiie immense disadvantage under which Butler's and Young's Brigades. thus remaining with the "Drags. weapon. though all the names do not represent men who actually served with tlie colours in Virginia: OFFICERS. there being at that time an The members thus cut off were excess. while the troops they fought used breech-loaders. E. No doubt there had been tender leave-takings less to dwell. Jr. as thus constituted. Adams. was this. O'Hear. C. Early in the morning of April lOth the "Drags" commenced their march for the rendezvous at Columbia. T. but some of these volunteered "for Virginia. labored in this respect. CoLCOCK. Beckley. B." and exchanged with older members. B. L. L.30 SKETCH OF THE These were muzzle-loaders. HuCtER. R. ought to be borne in mind in estimating their successes gained against fearful odds in men and materiel. Brisbane. A. but on these it is need- the chief reminiscence remaining being of a sympoat sium on the night before the departure it of the corps. JIarleston. 0. composing *Hampton's Division. W. J. Junior 2d Lieutenant. privates. or more sentimental causes.
Robinson. R. M. J. B. W. E. P. Waring. Gordon. Pringle. Bell. McD. Robertson. W. Withers. M. Frierson. Boone. H. Mikell. Neyle. C. H. Prioleau. W. R. Jas. Miles. H. J. Hutchinson. J. W. E. L. H. Thurston. Vanderhorst. Josiah Bellinger. Davis. C. H. John Rhett. B. J. P. E. Dupont. R. Thomas Trenholm. Pringle. F. S. H. R. Lining. W. Waring. Richardson. R. Manning. Miles. N. T. Evans. J. E. E. J. L. Taylor. W. G. W. J. T. J. J. G. W. A. William Chisolm. Fairly. J. W. E. Desel. A. P. Gregorie. L. Vincent. Boyle. G. Holland. B. M J. A. Richardson. Freer. 0. Alex. A. Durant. W. Pringle. Fishburne. 0. O'Brien. White. Pringle. A. Phillips. Nowell. J. R. H. 31 W. H. B. B. J. B. J. Jr. W. R. E. H. M. W. Alfred Manigault. A. A. a junction was . Prioleau. C. Robertson. C. L. H. W. P. A. W.CHAKLESTON LIGHT DKAGOONS. W. R. McLeod. Wragg. W. Richardson. A. W. On the route to Columbia. H. Burnett. Hopkins. Middleton. Manigault. R. E. W. Porcher. M. H. B. Bedou. O'Hear. Elmore. Palfrey. Howell. J. W. Weston. Jenkins. M. E. A. J. Wells. Lewis. Clark. W . M. A. A. Holmes T. Law. L. Kirkland. at Branchville. C. C. R. D. Middleton. J. J. Arthur Robinson. F. Lining. Desel. F. R. B. W. L. Martin.
The quartermaster and commissary of course preceded the column for the purpose of making the necessary arrangements for rations and camping. to The 4th Eegiment was march for Virginia. B. and were continually waving farewells as they rode along the '*' streets. At Camden quite an ovation was met with from the ladies. but the "Drags" could always give them " fel- a Roland for their Oliver in the person of a "silver-tongued Sergeant. Frequently there would be. other companies by tiieir superior uniforms. on the part of the entertainers. When the General galloped down the lines.32 SKETCH OF THE made with the regiment. Some- . and gave them kindly honest welcome. the air rang with the shouts of the diers. as best they could. At Columbia a review of the regiment was held by General Hampton. and when the regiment reached their destination at night. being usually poor wounded lows on furlough. or men too aged for the field. looking sol- every inch a chieftain. Col. Recollections of matters and things towards the close are a little vague. as well as with sentimental gifts. thus facilitating the obtaining of rations and forage along the route. C. Rutledge comnumding. speechifying in the good old American Fourth-ofJuly-style of oratory. The march to Virginia for each of the three Regiments of the Brigade was different. and horses. with none of the fair sex present. There was another supper. there being a supply of iron at that place. but with oceans of old Madeira to sustain one's spirits in their absence. go to Camden to have their horses leaving Columbia were shod. there was about them a mute eloquence often more effective than words. C. however. this was the last of these "feasts. and more refugee " friends found. soon to be repeated in far different scenes. the 4th 8. equipments. it was occasionally found that the country people had got up a gratuitous " spread " for the boys. consistAs. and the effect was quite impressive. for a thousand troopers mounted have the appearance of very much greater numbers than a body of infantry containing an equal quantity The Dragoons were easily to be distinguished from the of men." the souls of Prohibitionists will line of no more be vexed by rpcitals of such levity. H. As for the hosts. ing chiefly of lights and decanters dancing the can-can. too. and thence to The "Drags" on less loaded with flowers." all the men becoming afterwards per force " total abstineuts. formerly captuin of the Dragoons.
but this was not obtained until after arrival in Virginia. only were the raiders reported to have a force several times larger than the Fourth. for a full cavalry regiment was a novelty in those rural places remote from the theatre of actual hostilities. times the kind ladies. and to facilitate the men in leading those belonging to comrades furloughed. but not all of the troopers. were provided with revolvers. too late to prevent the trouble already caused. much of which might have been avoided. This was the case until late in the autumn. and that they might stumble on them This was startling intelligence. who were to The regiment was armed with sabres. had applied to the Quartermaster General at Richmond for a supply of the McClellan pattern.. None of the men had tents. at any moment. and in rainy nights a blanket stretched along a stick served to turn the water. most. 33 who had prepared the entertainment. to gobble-up the Fourth. so that the '^ tented field" was an incorrect figure. but with these alone to fight an enemy very largely outnumber5 . but the latter was without rifles. probably because they used better saddles. This shows the difficulty of keeping up the strength of cavalry. where a disabled horse means a useless man. so as to lighten the load for the horses on the march. not Va. which had been shipped by railroad to Richmond. " But where do you undress ?" It had to be delicately explained. news came to head-quarters that Federal cavalry were on a raid through that section. Col. Rutledge foreseeing the mischief that would be done by defective saddles. it was supposed.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS. most of them slept without any protection from the weather when it was clear. india-rubbers not being owned until captured from the enemy. and yet when the command reached Richmond many horses were temporarily unserviceable from sore backs. The march was made with fresh animals through a country having plenty of forage. partly intended. that a cavalry-man was supposed to be in robe cle nuit when he had unbuckled his spurs. When the regiment reached the neighborhood of Clarksville. and report in Virginia. would gratify their curiosity by looking through the camp. at length exclaimed. and very few of them possessed flies. On one occasion an old lady. because. the average distance being twenty-five miles a day. The Dragoons suffered less in this respect than the other companies of the Kegiment. who was being shown through the camp.
and most of the fellows made merry over the situation in a devilnuiy-cure way. to make a quick mounted charge and ride down and cut through the raiders. but the incident proved a little excitement to relieve the monotony of the march. was an awkward underwas rather a ridiculous position to occujiy. Thus they did not pour out in vain them using breech-loading It taking. who felt the weight of tlie resi)onsibility resting on them. The enemy did not make an appearance. about two miles from town. so the trouble was taken in vain. But those men died in defence of civil liberty. but it might result in the loss of the wagon-train and led-horses. through undue zeal and without sufficient military reason on the part of the Confederate officer in command. " The last libation Liberty draws. attracting no little attention as the regiment was supposed from its numbers to be a brigade. The regiment felt its way along cautiously. The men of the Fourth were sturdy fellows. though crushed for a time. who never expended. Lee sitting motionless on his horse . and had for two years been well instructed in both the infantry drill and in sword exercise. and if that jiroved inevitable. seeing no blue-coats during the day. On one occasion a collision occurred the lives of his soldiers. without necessity. The Fourth in due course reached Eichmond and marched through the city. and at night put out pickets. by that time cooled down. accustomed all their lives to ride. in which many valuable lives were laid down. but to the officers. was rendered possible afterwards by the moral strength of the princiiDles for which such as they fell. but to endeavor to avoid a collision. between infantry out-posts. And now comes the period when this sketch must contain accounts of hard fights." The military movements in which they fell were parts of the grand strategy of Lee. The command camped on the Brook Turnpike. came upon Gen. however. which.34 iiig SKETCH OF THE rifles. Accordingly the Dragoons were sent forward as the advance guard. and realizing bitterly his blunder. which. The officer returning from the pursuit of the enemy. too. it was anything but a laughingThere was nothing to be done under the circumstances matter. developed into an engagement in which many lives were lost. This latter alternative was perfectly practicable.
CHARLESTON" LIGHT DRAGOONS." but his look and tone contained the loftiest eloquence. Along the roads a great movement of wagon-trains was observed. but silent and grave. He took command The situation was alarming. caused by Lee's preparations to move from Hanover Juncdle. was evident that Sheridan was numerically so very much the stronger that he would be able to raid in almost any direction at will. at this time on the Virginia Central Railroad. and some of Young's as yet upon the ground. To this a stop must be put. for they were to be utilized without delay. Jeb" Stuart was killed at event Gen. tbat Gen. nearly tion in order to oppose his front to Grant. " your poor dead. 35 among the dead and dying in the sombre autumn twilight. command not being The neighborhood of Atlee's Station. but was stopped by the gently uttered words " Well well General! Bury your poor dead I'' Only those simple words. made about noon. The Fourth remained camped two days on the Brook Turnand when on the morning of the third day the march commenced for Hanover Junction only some 400 men were in sadhalt was A 600 horses being disabled. C. which . Then the men seeing General Lee. He rode up to Lee as if about to say something in excuse.quarters. but by the hard infantry fighting of dismounted cavalrymen. broke into deafening shouts. and the regiment bivouacked in a wood about a mile in the rear of the Confederate position. it proved advisable to strike Sheridan a serious blow. although neither of the two fresh brigades Avas complete. A tion. not by counter raids. as the latter was en- deavoring to execute a flanking movement to his left. the 6th S. As soon as the Fourth had arrived and reported at Lee's head. expressed profound compassion. by which and penetrated '' to a point very near the city. chiefly by galled backs. for it at a very critical period. and the poor wounded fellows writhing on the ground I ! tried to cheer. short time before the arrival of the Fourth in Richmond the enemy's cavalry had made a raid in the rear of Lee's posiIt was then Yellow Tavern. Thus the arrival of Butler's and Young's Brigades from the South was looked for with great interest. cavalry of the Wade Hampton became senior Major-General in the Army of Northern Virginia. was occupied by Grant's cavalry advance. pike. a grand figure. masking his infantry mana3uvres.
occasionally varied by As wheat-flour. In the meantime Col. where only the limited army rations intended for the men could On the coast of South Carolina it had been differbe obtained. The Fourth remained had halted until the next morning. Frazer's farm and Mechanicsville. The negro servants were always fertile in excuses for lack of food. so their report was made to his adjutant. although there were but too often good reasons for the On the occasion of a halt on the roadside betv/een deficiency. for there these could be supplemented by bought supplies. the servants of the messes took good care not to starve themselves. where the men of the regiment received government McClellan saddles. or other stimulant. Colonel Taylor. This soon necessitated a reduction of camp-followers. There was no sentinel. all The next morning that their negroes. thoughts must have been passing through his mind." who. was ignorant What momentous of the whereabouts of the General-in-Chief. and therefore not to be disturbed except on urgent business. one of the " Dragoons. it followed that the digestive organs of their masters had but little employment. Eutledge and his adjutant. only a few orderlies. In- many a soldier. whose horses were fastened in the vicinity. would allow. These servants proved tyrants of the most merciless kind in Virginia. as he lay His was the genius there in his tent apart from all mortal eyes! that was then transforming meagre battalions into a bulwark against odds apparently absolutely overwhelming from the physical weight of numbers. They were told the General was indisposed. like all the others. Lee. Manigault. of whom inquiries were made. ent. Everything was simple and unpretending around the General's little wall-tent. were seen. the Dragoons ate a very slim breakfast. the officers of his staff being quartered in a farm-hou<5e near by. but in the meantime much needless suffering was incurred by the men. (formerly one of the "Drags") rode to head-quarters to report to Gen. In Virginia the usual daily allowance to a man was one-third of a pound of bacon and some corn-meal.36 SKETCH OF THE to a disastrous it end at Cold Harbor. was already suffering from . there being no coffee. and there was so came Avhere little to distinguish the place in appearance that a stranger would have had some deed difficulty in finding head-quarters. tea. or couriers. lords of the frying-pan.
He replied with some emphasis: ''Can't make no fire to cook by in dis his skill as a Knowing of his master were usually country. known and loved all his friends under the title of Jack Preston." It must here be explained that the lively flame from a few chips of fat resinous wood. but represents " The dismal situation. doleful shades. 'tis a miserable country. looked moody that day. Hampton rode up to regimental head-quarters. The regiment was soon mounted. hope never comes. and marched across the South Anna River." though contrary to his usual habit.CHARLESTON" LIGHT DRAGOONS. Hampton had just come from receiving his orders from Gen. sah. of the average low country Carolina darkey. one of whom was Captain Preston. dare ain't no light-'ood in it. That comes to all. A dungeon horrible. stood to say that there would be " real serious work " the next by day. and then on towards Atlcc's Station. he inquired whether a morsel from his haversack could be spared him. Perhaps he had already had enough of ''following Hampton. from the pitch pine of the coast-belt. A world without light-wood deed to him no world at all. sah. and his estimate of another region is apt to be largely based upon the existence or the reverse of that to is him in- indispensable commodity. waste and wild. Rutledge to proceed without delay in a direction He was underto bo shown by a courier left for the purpose. accompanied by two of his staff. Lee. cook and provider. and he now directed Col. on all sides round Regions of sorrow. for he was naturally cheerful and civil. Gen. of the Fourth." At quite an early hour that morning (May 27th) Gen. my Master. and that the interests uppermost in his mind. as well as to the facility of cooking. where peace And rest can never dwell. is essential to the comfort and happiness. known as light-wood. passing the track of the Virginia Central On the route Railroad. while looking around for some stray crumb that might be in sight." and was thinking of the pleasures and comforts of home. with whom most of the Dragoons were acquainted. Othello by name. 37 chronic hunger. The " Moor. from home acquaintances several with greetings were exchanged . accosted the usually sleek and well-condition- ed servant of Surgeon Gregorie.
composed of fellows The Army of Nortl^ern Virginia was largely who were sure to lay hold of everything that if could be compelled to do duty as a joke. impressed witli the importance of avoiding delays. upon which were some papers. and such remarks as "I say." their failure to do the latter was not Shortly after sun-rise the next morning (May 28th). The fresh Division just from the South was chiefly clad in "home-spun. which were awkward in appearance. phices. ''They'll soon have enough of who were mot. and when on this errand learned from of infantry could be seen other sources that cavalry was supposed to be collected in the vicinity for an important demonstration to be made the next day. following Hampton!" A halt for the night was made near Attime brigades lee's Station. and they did not "laugh and grow their fault. Rutledge. Most of the cavalry of the army. Stokes of the Fourtli. Captain Lowndes. in a piece of woods There the General was seen standing bordering on the road.-Col. an aide-de-camp of Gen. Hampton. and they carried muzzle-loaders not quite as long as infantry rifles." a brown cloth unserviceable. and formerly a "Drag. and unwieldy for cavalry when mounted. So the old soldiers amused themselves Avitli much good natured " chaff" at the expense of the new arrivals.38 SKETCH OF THE some The roads were much blocked by wagons in and at one point Lieut. and very unsoldierly in style. Fitzhugh Lee. who would show him Soon afterwards the Fourth was halted for a few minthe road. and were armed generally with breech-loading carbines captured from the enemy. At tliat moving along the same road the Fourth had been traversing. He was issunear a little table. were well uniformed in gray Jackets. Parson. fat.'" One fellow was heard to mutter grimly in reply. let me have your long-shooter and I'll bite off the end. The adjutant had occasion that evening to seek Gen. with the exception of the newly arrived Division. \"irginia Central Eailroad. who commanded a division." rode up with the General's "compliments to Col. Hampton. as well as to MajorGen. was endeavoring to clear the way for the passage of his column by announcing that he was ordered to " follow Hampton." who asked him "to be kind enough" to order his regiment to mount and proceed with a courier. ing his orders to his Brigade Commanders. and was next . utes opposite to Hampton's head-quarters." were very plentiful.
Eutledge with orders to hurry forward his column. After thus advancifjg at a rapid pace for about a mile and a which was used as a reserve. were heard. whose commission was only Generals Rosser and Lomax were jDointed out to the new comers. Col. with an absence and sounds.'" half. as if they awoke memories from a remote past. far more than that. Butler was not on the field. there was a spirit of selfsacrifice. was observed too among the group near the General.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS. inheritances of the ever-warring Anglo-Saxon race. C. So the command rang out. '' Trot March!" and it became almost at once not a " trot. and Hampton and his staff galloped ahead. This position was close behind the line of battle. and Dugue Ferguson of Fitz Lee's staff as also ''') Major Barker and Taylor (the Cavendish. and oh how their blood tingled as they dashed Prominent among their feelings was no doubt the forward. and just then a courier came galloping to Col. Hampton was present giving orders. a burning desire to do. It was there that a sight was witnessed some will never forget. and after proceeding about a mile and half the rattle of small arms and now and then the booming of artillery. Gen. the first time. recurring of the sense of novelty in the sights instinctive " Like glimi)sc ()f forgotten dreams. followed by a Georgia Battalion of nine companies. in 39 a few weeks older. latter also an " ex-Drag of Hampton's. Rutledgc being in commiiml of the brigade. Butler's Brigade. He was a Lieutenant who was being brought out by two friends. simple sense of duty. but in many and many a generous heart there was more. or perhaps of romance. his body lying on both . Dunnovant's Regiment (5th S. rank in the cavalry to Hampton.) bringing up the rear. was halted in an open space in column of regiments. At that all knew of course the affair had opened. who did gallant service under the Southern Cross. as Gen." but a good round There were many there who were going under fire for gallop. for it was the first poor fellow killed in battle they had ever seen. as was soon realized. unmistakably an Englishman. the (Uh not having as yet reported. or die in emulation of some an "ex-Drag. The regiment before long resumed its march in column of The road fours. I I favorite hero of history. being narrow the progress of the Fourth was rather slow." was there. the Fourth leading.
of that including Cold Harbor. and perhaps A courier it was as well that this should have been the case. besides large reserves . The ludicrous came close on the heels of the tragic. but by great good fortune it was allotted to Butlers Brigade to commence its career in Virginia amidst the historic actions of a most brilliant campaign. but was not much Getting on his feet in a somewhat dazed condition. are to be regarded as minor. liis unmilitary dress of homespun rendered the spectacle more pathetic. but necessary links in the chains of strategy which Lee's genius had forged to bar the road The engagement then taking its title to the capital of the Confederacy. such as must rarely have been heard before on a sides of his horse with the battle-field. was numerically. the blood pouring from the death-wound. he looked to be and no doubt was an American farmer dying in defence of his home. compared with that of his adversary. and then bolted back in the direction from which he had ridden. that the poor animal rolled over almost as a The courier turned hare will do when killed running at speed. getting place is known as Hawes' Shop. broad in proportion.40 SKETCH OF THE back against the saddle. Grant had begun on the 4th day month of ^lay. with incredible swiftness. the movement by which he intended to His force up to and destroy Lee's army and capture Richmond. over six feet in height. was sent to carry a message. suggesting thoughts of a loving wife who had woven it. Hardly had he done so when a shell exploded near him. lie was a very ilne specimen of a man. his sabre trailing out behind him almost horizonAt the droll sight a hearty peal of laughter went up from tally. about as 100 are to 40. This fight and that which the cavalry fought on the next day but one. the brigade. as a frightened rabbit might do before springing up. and started on a gallop across the open field. from a blacksmith of that name there located. a fragment striking his horse on the head and producing death so quickly. the hurt. or unknown in a hand-to-hand struggle in a nameless skirmish. It generally is the fate of a to cavalryman fall to die unheeded on some lonely picket-post. slain probably by a chance bullet fired by some of the foreign recruits whom the North had bought by thousands at so much a head. a somersault worthy of a first-class acrobat. longlimbed and muscular. man looked furtively first on one side and then on the other.
CHAllLESTON LIGUT DRAGOONS.
Potomac was well disciwas handled well and fought hard, for Grant was able in tactics, the mechanical part of war, if deficient in strategy, the brain-work. His immense columns were hurled against the Army of JS"orthern Virginia at the Wilof the
plined and admin'bly equipped;
minor battles, only to and bloody. Finally, at Cold Harbor on June 3d, after a brave fight in which thirteen thousand of his troops fell, twenty fold more than Lee's losses,* G-rant abandoned the " Overland Campaign,"' and laid siege to Petersburg, 4n spite of his declaration that he would '• fight it out on this line if it takes all summer." His losses during those thirty days were over sixty thousand against eighteen thousand Confederates; that is to say, he lost at least as many men as Lee had in his entire army.f The Fourth was the first regiment of the brigade dismounted to fight at Hawes' Shop, Lieut. -Col. Stokes, a good man and true, commanding. It was the duty of each fourth trooper to hold the horses of three comrades who were to fight on foot. An amusing thing on such occasions was to watch how some fellows manoeuvred to be "Ko. 4;" others, on the contrary, would exchange places if hapjDening accidentally to occuj^y the " safe
derness, Spottsylvania Courthouse, and in
place," taking a pride in never serving as horse-holders.
day 400 riders; when the 300 dismounted troopers came out from among the horses and formed, one was struck by the contrast in appearance, the formidable-looking body of horse having dwindled into an attenuated line, comiS'iiie companies of the Fourth were paratively insignificant. ordered to take position on the right of the line then engaged,
Fourth mustered on
to be held in reserve after reaching a All started in good style, giving a splendid
Confederate battle-yell, and the rifles of the rest of the regiment soon announced that they were making their debut as soldiers
Army of Northern Virginia, while the Dragoons were proceeding to their appointed place through an open woods where the trees were far apart and without underbrush. Here
Alexander Robertson fell, shot probably by a chance bullet. He was left in charge of two comrades to be put in an ambulance;
Swinton's "Army of the Potomac," ptig-e 494. tSwinton's "Army of tbe Potomac," page 491.
SKETCH OF THE
longer avail the poor fellow,
they soon rejoined their company, for their services could no teaching a point on the edge of
the wood,, the Dragoons were halted, and
attracting unnecessary attention
or lay down, to
Here they waited some
silent party, for, like
the Irishman's owl, they ''did )iot talk much, but kept up a After a while orders came to take i)osidevil of a thinking."
tion on the right of the line with the second squadron, the first occupying the extreme right. First Lieutenant Lionel C. Nowell led the Dragoons, Capt. Colcock having been permanently invalided by service in malarial districts; Lieutenant O'Hear had been detailed for the day as acting adjutant to Lieut. -Colonel Stokes, with William Kirkland and Frank Middleton as couriers, Adjutant Manigault accompanying Col. Rutledge commandLieutenant Harleston had been ordered the ing the brigade. day before to Richmond to attend to procuring ordnance stores, and was therefore absent on this duty. It thus happened that Lieutenant Nowell was the only commissioned officer with the Dragoons. It was necessary to pass across an open piece of ground to reach the place to which they had been ordered. As they were doing this in single file, the attention of the enemy's sharp-shooters was attracted, and by their fire Percival Porcher was mortally wounded, and Tim O'Brien seriously hurt. Porcher fell across the path they were traversing, so that several of the men had to spring over his writhing body to proceed on their way. Soon the open space was passed, and another wood, with much thicker cover than the first, was entered, and then in a few seconds they were at it with a will. It is a difficult matter to describe properly a cavalry fight, because, as compared with infantry engagements, it is a rough-and-tumble affair, frequently But it is carried on in thick cover, much in the Indian style. only for the writer to relate incidents concerning the Dragoons, and to attempt nothing more. On the left of their line, and parallel with it, ran an old drainage ditch, or perhaps it was a rifle-pit used in some former cam-
this a considerable
afforded a convenient protection from which to
and from there they soon began to make it hot for the enemy, many of whom were as close to them as thirty yards. The cover, as already mentioned, was thick, and the smoke soon
CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOOXS.
becoming entangled in this, made shooting at individuals difficult. Most of the shots had to be snaps, fired at faces only for a second thrust from behind a tree, or j)eering round a bush, or at the rifle flashes, which were sending the lead zipping and singing through the air like devil's bumblebees. Then came in play practice had by many a boy in the forests and fields of
Carolina with his
at the squirrels, or with
gun among the
group of four Federals had crept up quite; near, securely concealed, as they thought, by a dense clump of bushes. A " Drag " touched on the shoulder two of his nearest comrades, and pointed with his finger. Three rifles deliberately aimed, cracked, and there was then only one live man left behind that bush. This one realized his shelter to be ''a delusion and a snare,'" but to reach a better would be compelled to expose himself still more, which he hesitated in doing. He, as well as she, " who hesitates is lost," for when at length he made up his mind to run the gauntlet, those three rifles liad been reloaded and cracked again, and '* subsequent proceedings interested him no more." Similar occurrences were taking place on the right of the Dragoons' line, but there the trees were not numerous, and the under-brush furnished poor protection, and it was in this position that the first casualties happened. Would to God they had possessed the breech-loaders which their foes were plying, for then, besides the great advantage gained in rapidity of firing, no exposure of the person in loading would have been required. Here it was that Arthur Hobinson was instantly killed, the same bullet that passed through his liead striking in the skull also Jas. Adger, a bright lovable boy,and ultimately causing his death. The two were great friends, and when Adger saw his mess-mate fallen, in spite of his own painful disabling wound, he tried his best to crawl to his assistance. Bedon, too, was killed. He had a presentiment that he was to die that day, and when he dismounted for the fight had handed to his horse-holder, for safe keeping, a miniature containing a fair girlish face, which until then had hung around his neck. Thus the fighting went on, and every moment the boys settled down better and better to their work. Some have thought that
they unnecessarily exposed themselves, not sufliciently taking advantage of the trees and other cover, and that to this was in part due their large percentage of loss, but I think that is a mis-
Here they waited in a perfectly orderly manner. it was observed that bullets came from the left of the Dragoons' line. which he would have found a different matter from hiding in the bushes. and they fought as coolly and intelligently as one would expect from such stuff. expecting the approach of the enemy. only fired a few shots at long range from the edge of the woods. In a few minutes Adjutant Jeffords of the Fifth rushed from the right.44 take. Thus ended the affair. and shouted to ISTowell to get out of that position. and that they were firing on their friends by mistake. ever attentive to the well-being of men. again and again pealing their battle cry." Very soon Lieut. This they did. throwing it down and using the rails as a breastwork. Nowell could see that his company was being encircled from the left. how long in hours and minutes is impossible to compute in battle. and parallel with it. having imbibed apparently a good deal of respect for the " long shooters. The enemy. rode up from the rear and ordered Nowell to withdraw his company to their horses. as it was flanked on both sides. To reach them he would have been compelled to try crossing the oi3en field. It seems that two couriers had been sent to order the Fourth to withdraw from the fight. was constantly observing that their safety was not needlessly disregarded. through which they had come to go into the fight. ordered them to save themselves by a rush-out and through the circle. where he had been reconnoitering. Stepping backward a few yards into a comparatively open space. his SKETCH OF THE Lieutenant Nowell. and springing back to his men. but . commanding the Fourth. There were no Confederate troops in sight at that time. therefore these flanking shots were not returned. an unmistakable and Lieutenant especial devilishness which is at once recognized. except the Dragoons formed behind the fence and some men from the regiment who had joined them. but in the flanking movement most of their casualties occurred. behind which they formed. At the further side of the field was % rail fence. however. they had the peculiarly vicious whisper and screech that flanking shots always possess. After a time. The retreat was made out of the wood and across the open field beyond. as in getting out of the position the gauntlet had to be run of many shots at close quarters. Nowell at first supposed the squadrons on his left to have become confused in their position in consequence of the thick cover. -Colonel Stokes.
the men reached their horses. say.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOOXS. vital with the principles it symbolizes. but had managed to come out. as the fighting was done in woods. and blood. The fighting was over. holding the disabled arm and his revolver with the uninjured hand. the squadrons on the right failed to receive this 45 command. was plodding quietly and patiently along towards where he supposed the horses to be stationed. which he was carrying with difficulty. seeming He greeted his friend in much touched by the very incurred on his behalf. In the flanking movement he had been shot through one arm near the shoulder. saying he would prefer to have it on his person in the field-hospital. . having been obliged to abandon ger) When the Enfield. Sergeant liuger (Ben linwas missing. but the saddest part remains to be told. and as such will it always be rememat the of them bered. and open for their therefore were not aware that the companies on their left had been removed. rode back to find him. Let a cold-blooded civilian in time of profound peace. So one of his messmates. and met him not far from the rail fence. as it might be useful for shooting a surgeon. left The chiefly cavalry. and thus it seemed to those boys that day coming with thinned ranks out of the fire. he knows no better. well-fed. and that the way was thus being surrounded. and some will never forget the sensations it produced. he had a not uncommon notion that those gentlemen are often too prompt trifling risk ing. old and young. He did not wish to be relieved of his pistol. leading his horse. it was not ad- visable to attract the enemy's attention to their position by the display of a flag. secure. saints and sinners. and smoke. to be charming manner. As the " Dragoons " returned to their horses. although it was really nothand any one would have been glad to help him. for he was dear to all. and from behind cover. Some one had seen him coming wounded across the field towards the rail breast-work. and though much weakened by the wound. that a flag is a mere nothing. head of the Regiment floated the Southern Cross. But nevertheless it can be a livins^ breathing: reality. comfortable. his much to his mortification. when dismounted. were not usually accompanied into battle by their colour-bearers. if he will. because. but none remembered to have observed him at that place. about amputations.
or South Carolina again. 8 more had been severely wounded. loved by every prisoner. This engagement at Hawes' Shop had lasted from about ten It had resulted o'clock in the morning until nearly five P. as stated. had all fallen. Frank Middleton. and was killed while emptying among them all the chambers of his revolver. M. fell into the hands of the Federals. was that day acting adjutant of the Fourth. for he was in strong health and of a bright. I shall never see my This. severely wounded. The day before he was noticed riding along in silence. who met expected death unfiinchiugly. who. 10 were killed or mortally wounded. cheery voice and good stories. Allan Miles and Holmes. and for the remainder of the war the camp-fires and marches of the "Drags" sadly missed his genial face. O'Hear. White (Billy White. but the losses of the heaviest. of the company. and died in of course suffered most. also acting as Louis Vander Horst. of men. was not the wife. this last was Evans. remember. there. had been surrounded by the enemy as he was endeavoring to extricate his men." sickly depression of a dyspeptic. but proved the true presentiment of a brave man. " nothing. The men wounded over 8(i out of 300 The two squadrons on the right had Dragoons were the Of the forty-seven rank and file which they had sent in. as the "boys" called him). A Federal ojERcer. who had not long before joined the company. who was acting as his courier." Doubtless he lost his life in trying to reach his comrades on the right to warn them that Kirkland. who spoke to him was particularly impressed " with the quiet and composed manner in which he awaited death. this was his fi. with down-cast look and dejected air. replied: "Well.46 SKETCH OF THE Fourtli liad lost in killed and carried into action. one of the most amiable they were being surrounded." at ever lived. was pierced by three bullets. I will tell you. in unmasking and locating the enemy's infantry at a very criti- member ." but u|)on being further pressed on the subject. and one other had been made prisoner unhurt. was mortally wounded. a mere boy. first he said. O'Hear's courier.rst and last experience of battle. and as he remained a prisoner until the end of the Lieutenant war. had fallen into the hands of the enemy in the flanking movement. very different from his usual manner. but was not made hospital the next day. joyous disposition: as good a fellow as A friend asked him what "was troubling him.
" Alger. a fact which augured well for the success of Hampton's "new departure" in handling this branch It had also the effect." and often delicate little compliments were paid (which might easily have been dispensed with) in yielding to the "Drags" particularly hot spots and lonely pickcavalry. there had been a touch of the "bloated bond holder " epidemic in fact." f another says the engagement was " the severest It is not a little ing. in a peasant's arm. and how hard it hit. cavalry fighting of the war. 1st State. On the way there *Gen." and Gen. referring to his Custer " Our loss was greater than campaign. when we were I'elieved bv the infantry. et-posts." and adds "We held our position here until after dark. Kester. in any other engagement of the offering "an obstinate resistance. as far as the Fourth was of the service.CHARLESTON" LIGHT DRAGOONS." for before that the latter had been regarded Avith some jealousy. in report made to the Governor of his . and above all had convinced friend and foe that dismounted Confederate troopers would fight against vastly superior numbers with the stubborn tenacity of infantry. had inflicted severe losses upon his which materially checked them for the future. posed "of seven large regiments (I) principally from South Carolina. Custer. to observe in several reports of this affair. which lasted seven hours. Davies reports the fight as "a. very severe engagement. it seemed that " the might which slumbers cured. and was very formidable. which was thus pretty nearly After all. and at the same time very gratifymade by Federal officers." could be equalled. cal period of the 47 campaign. in consequence of being better dressed. amusing. speaks of " the enemy " own bi-igade." says. +Col. of establishing a feeling of good-fellowship between the other companies and the "Dragoons. by the spirit animating stalwart limbs and hard muscles in some other No more was heard from the regiment about that fellows." and that "the enemy was a new brigade from South Carolina. concerned. perhaps surpassed. fighting our men hand to hand. New Jersey Caxalry. of the 5th Michigan. "kid-gloved company. how greatly they have exaggerated the size of Butler's *One speaks of it as being comBrigade. the Fourth bivouacked about two miles to the rear of Hawes' Shop." On the night of this 28th of May.
That day the " Dragoons " received rations of bacon and hardtack drawn on their full roll of tlie day lefore. A¥ell might the new comers gaze with enthusiasm on " incomparable infantry " of that army. The soldiers jokingly said these were for making milk-punches. a fine looking officer. coming from these veterans. having heard that tliey had been severe. and as most of the negro servants had happily been sent back to the wagons. and frequently words of commendation and sympathy were kindly spoken. but surely " ne'er shall we see their like again. Most of them had heard of the severe fight sustained by the cavalry the day before. Gen. Brcckenridge was in command. Many General Officets rode past." Occasionally there would be a hatt in the passing columns. To the backs of some of the head-quarter wagons would be haltered a milch cow. were very pleatsant to hear. generally carrying as much weight. except for rifles. many not having changed their clothing for three weeks. which. Hill. which had recently won a series of victories worthy of " song and story. May 20th. K (the " Dragoons"). distinctively Amerithe can. but in spite of all that they had about them a cheerful jaunty devil-may-care air. looking weather-beaten set of fellows they were. as the privates.48 SKETCH OF THE they passed infantry going in the direction from wh'ch they had come. for since yesterday they could A toughclaim with these the brothei'hood of comradeship.) was sj^ent by the regiment at the pla' e at which they had camped the evening before. another ffne army in the years to come. . The next day (Sunday. Hampton rode up to inquire about the losses. on the move all day. The line-officers truJged along with their men. and to express sympathy." No wonder that their blood tingled and their young hearts throbbed as they looked. which was the only sign of " luxury " to be seen. and opportunities would thus be given of exchanging a few words with some of the men. and thus was afforded the opportunity of seeing on the march the veterans of tlie Army of Northern Virginia. A. especially in Co. and wearing uniMay our country have many forms almost as worn and stained. Before the men had dismounted Gen. among others the famous Corps-Commander. but it is to be feared the other ingredients were lacking. and many friends called upon the " Dragoons" to inquire about their Large masses of infantry were losses. P.
mostly around one fire. the brigade started on a march. looking as sleek and well-fed as possible. and it is our place to figlit. and die. if need be. Oliver Middleton was standing by the fire. the brigade was complete: on the march that day it was joined bv the Eutledge Mounted Eiflemen (two companies) and Gary's Battalion (eight companies). and Poinsett Pringle always bright and agreeable. a dish was made which seemed then very savory.'' although he was too unaswas in his mind of suming to express it in that way. '"'we came here to fight. though the fi-ying-pan it now is suggestive of nightmare. which was very attractive. no other troops co-operating. The fellows were grouped together. this combined force Butler was to handle."' The manly sentiment noihsse oilige. he deplored the havoc wrought in their ranks the day before: " But. traits which are far better shown in camp and on the march than in any other way. and chatted among themselves like school boys.melting the fat of bacon in a and steeping pieces of hard-tack in the boiling liquid. There was Jimmv Bee. These " gentlemen of the press '' were driving along comfortably in a buggy. when suddenly the prox7 . with big honest boyish eyes the pieces of hard-tack fizzing in He had the faculty of always looking neat. noted for his kindly generous disposition. and then in the direction of Gaines' Mill. Soon after the start two enterprising newspaper vendors were met. The losses of the company were much discussed. soon after sunrise. Gen." said he. Butler Avas in command.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS. this time reported. unless it be in heaven or a battle. the former consisting of only a small collection of Having passed Gaines' Mill the march dilapidated little houses. having As the Sixth Eegiment had by arrived on Saturday evening. There seems to be no place in which one will not meet a newspaperman. and his face wore a refined expression. food for once was plentiful." Both places were disappointing in appearance to those wlio expected them to be in keeping with the great events of which they had been •'* the scenes. Like the others. indeed ''holy ground. Charlie Prioleau was there. proceeded along the Old Church Eoad. watching wistfully the frying-pans. The march took the command through Mechanicsville. On the next morning (May 30th). messes being disorganized by the events of the previous day. all historic. The scene is as fresh in the writer's recollection of memory as if it had occurred yesterday. 49 B}.
under the charge of the holders. "but never again grumble at not being taller. which is not surprising. for they were privates. whilst a farm-house and out-buildings in a field on the other side of the road also furnished them shelter. they did some effective shooting. and some squadrons were dismounted to "feel the position of the enemy. had been thrown down. It was here that Withers. The ''Dragoons" dismounted for the fight 28 men under the command of First Lieutenant Nowell. When the " Dragoons " got into position to open fire they found very hot work going on. not yet full grown. and went forward for about half a mile further in None of the men had the least the direction of Cold Harbor. but at length the order for them rang out." they all knew they were of his soldiers enemy was demonstrated by two foot being seen near a farm-house just off the road. which cut some hair from his head without hurt" Spoilt my hat. The " Dragoons " were among the last remaining on their horses. Lieut. even a sickness of the stomach. into a sort of temporary breastwork.-Colouel Gary was placed in charge of the line of attack. often mistaken for fear. The horses.50 imity of the SKETCH OF THE on These fellows made off at sight of the cavalry. as they were needed. and the force was ordered in by squadrons. as the sequel will The fence. '' Dismount to fight I" Most of these young fellows went into action that day with the irrepressible cheeriness and disregard of danger which belong to youth and courage. idea of what the programme was to be. taking off the injured ing the scalp. which rested upon a road. and took position behind a rail fence on the The enemy was posted further side. *' in for it " again. and therefore without the sense of responsibility which makes many a conscientious officer experience in such trying moments a sinking of the heart." said he." Before long the bullets began to come from . article and looking at it somewhat ruefully. however. and by lying down verted behind this partial protection. and probably the lineofficers were no wiser. for a hat was valuI'll able property in those days. a mere lad. in standing up in haste to load. as usual. and conshow. were left near a road leading through a tract of woodland. which was at once ordered to the trot. received a bullet through the crown of his felt hat. behind fences. but Avhen a halt Avas made in a ploughed field on the left of the road. and the company advanced through a field on the left.
and he was made prisoner. tlien every private a shot. however poor tion. and shot away as fast as possi- which was supposed to Potomac. Poor Jimmy Bee no more would ride the pretty petted mare he loved so well. A sad number from their ranks were lost that afternoon. for by this time the enemy was sweeping the field with an overwhelming fire. counting his own life as nothing. to fail of hitting that mass. was 250 to 300 yards distant and was descending a slope or low hill. and afforded them some slight cover in retreating. were only enabled to do so by the fortunate circumstance that a fringe of woodland projected into the left of the open field. when struck in the Avaist by a bullet. was descried marching slowly down the road on the side of which the " Dragoons " Avere posted. as best they could. the left. It was only the boldness of the attack that prevented the affair from being ended much sooner. Soon after this a compact mass of blue extending rearward as far as one could see. Army of the K *Gen. for one Confederate Brigade was fighting a heavy body of Sheridan's Cavalry. 51 and the fence ceased to be of much service as a protecknew. as well as if each had been the commanding general. The "Drags. . for he was mortally wounded in traversing the wood-edge. he was firing his revolver. and the ti'oops posted to the right of the " Dragoons " were soon seen retreating. Lieutenant Nowell on the left. And well might they sweep the field. when first observed. and it looked as if every blade of grass and each weed in the field were being cut down as they skimmed past humming their devilish tunes. and then Co. Bat the coming out of this Hell was a terrible matter." But naturally this unequal contest could not be of long duration. supposing they were about to encounter infantry in Nowell was surrounded by a score of the enemy on whom force. lor the Federals advanced cautiously. and be the *infantry of the ble into the advancing stream of blue. It was next to impossible for any one.CHARLESTON" LIGHT DRAGOOXS. Custer's Report states that no infantry was actually cngag'ed. so many stopped firing at the concealed enemy near them. who were fast falling around him. was busied in endeavoring to extricate his men. that the line was flanked." who managed to reach their horses. was ordered back. and surely every bullet must then have had its ''billet. supported by the extreme left of G-rant's Infantry. Thicker and thicker came the bullets. The head of this column. only his sword-belt preventing the wound from proving fatal.
besides Lieutenant No well. Volume page 301. a differThis was ence of thirty-three per cent. . that one out of eight Confederates died. lating the natural At the South motives of an exactly opposite nature were stimuhumanity of the authorities to take the best I.. ton. or proportionately three Confederates to two Federals. and thus wrought yourself uj) to the proper pitch of horror and commiseration. if the clamors of the relatives of Federal captives should force the administration to resume exchanges. and among Federal prisoners at the South less than 8| per cent. but his charming face and manly bearing gave assurance of a useful and gracious maturity. these latter remaining prisonend of the war. lithe athletic figure and winning manners would never again attract man or please the eyes of woman. the death rate among Confederates confined in Northern prisons was over 12 per cent.. and Volume III. said to be facsimiles of some of the "victims. a boy in years. iu other words. fighting like a hero on the left. remember that. with all its boasted mate- progress. and examine carefully the pictures published by the New York Tribime. in relative mortality. look over the descriptions of Andersonville." when you have done all this. hemmed in by foes. By stopping the exchange of prisoners customary between civilized combatants. had laid down his young life for his country. read accounts emanating from Northern sources of the miseries represented as endured by their men in Libby and other Southern prisons. no doubt the result of Staunton's system of silent prison tactics. *Southein Historical Society Papers. he ensured the least practicable quantity of Confederates being returnable. and Surgeon-General Barnes. wounded and ers until the captured. and by establishing a suitable course of prison treatment. Poinsett Pringle's handsome face. consisted of two The other losses of the "Dragoons" wounded and five others.52 SKETCH OF THE shot while giA' Adams was ing him assistance. possesses no treasures so precious as those that the Old South has buried. rial The New South. as appears from the *Official Reports of Secretary of War Staunton. page 216. and only one out of twelve Federals. and CharOliver Middlelie Prioleau had gone down near the rail fence. he prevented the Confederacy from regaining the services of soldiers worth relatively three times their number of Union levies. If you would appreciate what their sufi'erings in captivity must have been.
as the enemy were exhibiting a disposition to push their pickets forward. Thus the casualties in the ''^Dragoons"' had amounted to 12 out of 28 carried into battle. and performed no more duty during the war. but the satisfactory accomplishment of this programme sometimes beThis affair of May 3()th Harbor. to which the ''Dragoons *' responded at once with a cheer. that the latter was sent to hospital. and had withdrawn about four. Col.CHARLESTON" LIGHT DRAGOOSTS. who happened to have been horse-holder at Hawes' Shop. and in this fight. however. at Matadequin Creek. necessary. Gary called for volunteers to go back to check the Federals. which was exemplified on this occasion by his rolling over and crushing his rider so badly. carried out. Rutledge. The brigade had gone . Edward Treuholm. therefore. but a rear-guard was formed consisting of the " Dragoons " and about two dozen men from the 4th and the other regiments. was called among the cavalry Cold about one and a half miles from that spot. This proceeding was not. and was fought four days before the great battle of Cold Harbor. and they lost the services of another man just after mounting. to send out a detachment to ascertain their A few of the " Drawhereabouts. and without experiencing material molestation. and to extricate them at the proper moment. After the troopers of the brigade had remounted their horses. The enemy gave indications before sunset of being engaged in cautiously pushing forward their It was pickets in dangerous proximity to the Confederate lines. The object of the movement was to ascertain in which direction Grant was advancing to attack. into action soon after two o'clock. The retreat was then effected without any further losses. they withdrew generally towards the rear tiously than much more expedi- was deemed advisable. and to picket the main road. but it in fact took place comes difficult. are the requisites in such feeling-operations. and this necessary information was thus gained. 53 care possible under the circumstances of their prisoners. so as to have them in a condition to exchange when the earnestly hopedfor renewal of that practice should be obtained. To put men into action boldly. this detachment being under the command of Col. rode a very poor animal with quite a knack for falling down. which ^ut an end to Grant's Overland Campaign against Richmond.
is uncertain. when the adventures of the evening w^ould no doubt have termiIt was a clear summer night. longing to their fallen comrades. wounded. when similarly situated. Between nine and ten o'clock the picket had worked its way slowly to a point on the road on the further Some six side of a small brook. The picket detachment was placed under the direction of an infantry officer. a very unusual thing for them to do. not belonging to Butler's Brigade. for their habit is to sidle together. so in lieu of an evening meal they had to take-up the buckle of their sword-belts several holes. its first sergeant. because he was thought to be well acquainted with the roads of that locality. Beckley. Tiie company was now withont commissioned officers. and not too much then. Huger. and the about ten in num- which consisted in all of thirty to forty men made np from various commands. or whether it ran into the head of the column because unaware of its proximity in time to draw rein. and it proceeded carefully in the direction of the enemy. like Dugald Dalgetty. The men had had nothing to eat since sunrise. same moment a few rifles flashed in the men's faces fired from the concealment of the fence and bushes on the road-side. Then ensued a scene that baffles description. and it soon became quite dark. especially under the shadows of the trees along the road-side and in strips of woodland. The column was in formation of fours. and each for himself strove madly to break through and get nated differently. and second sergeant. on both sides of which were rather high and substanThe horses became perfectly frantic with terror. but the effect was the same.54 SKETCH OF THE to lead to the rear the riderless horses berest. Just here the clatter of their horses' hoofs returning at full speed . disregarding the formation of fours. as should have been done. placed in about the centre of the squad. The "Dragoons"' were were cletailed for the picket. was ill. had been sent ahead as an advance-guard. or eight men. instead of being used as an advance-guard. tial fences. snorting and pushing against each other. goons" were ordered ber. where the ground rose slightly. and at once all the other animals became very excited. and striving to turn round singly. whatever the At the reason: there was a frightful collision in the darkness. Whether the advance-guard was in panic-stricken flight. . but without any light from the moon. occupying nearly the entire width of the narrow road.was heard.
but they were ridden down to a man. are vividly remem- bered. fell into the hands of the enemy. at the top. The "Dragoons" . men. but he drew his revolver and lay quiet. wandering about in the darkness. some of the wounded into a little farm-house. until both sometimes become mere of "Dragoons. It was a frightful scene. the cries for help and groans. in doing so often passing close to the "Dragoon. were literally covered fi'om head to foot with blood. the cause not far to seek. he knows not how. and no doubt many of their riders were for the time being It is not surprising that cavalry as demoralized as the animals. so friends. to scramble and crawl from under the horses. some of which were never One of their recovered. portunity of escaping. Plis rifle was lost.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS. being attached to the saddle. endeavored to preserve their formation and thus resist the pressure. Though by no means '' on ])leasure bent. and another." occupying nearly the centre of the column. for the poor victims pulled out from beneath the horses." "he had a frugal mind. which happened to be close at hand." and succeeded in procuring there a lost their horses. Phillips. in several cases the being underneath. and eight feet or more deep. are. was crippled for life. much more is liable to jjanics than infantry. was also gone. The excitement The handful of the horse in- creases that of the man. and all their trappings and effects. People soon began moving about assisting sufferers and clearing up the debris. One. hoping that in the darkness he would find an op- berry bushes and weeds. A better trap could hardly Many horses have been devised for this particular occasion. the rains of Just behind where the '^Dragoons" had been in tbe column. The others were more or less hurt. 55 away. not seriously injured. managed. but not permanently disThe " Dragoon" already referred to assisted in getting abled. the clay-hill had been trenched on the road-side by many years into a ditch four or five feet in width narrowing to only a foot or two at the bottom. that they could not have been recognized by their own brothers. gradually and riders had been pushed into men this place. and his sabre. Howell. for he supposed himself surrounded by the enemy. and found himself in a dark fence-corner among some black- frantic brutes. on the average."' who at length gradually realized that they were and came out from his hiding place. and the fearful shrieks of one broken-backed animal. and vice versa.
other. except some disagreeable picketing at night with the Federals in front. and on meeting neither could help laughing at the sorry aijpearance cut by the With bruised. but sought out a quiet nook in a wood near a wagon-train. and discovered at a glance the feint at an attempted crossing of the river. and (what was worse) countless hordes of mosquitoes on all sides. torn clothes and without hats. in some ''It's a pack of lies from beginsurprise. the fruits of his study were soon to be conspicuous at Cold Har- . which to some of the "Dragoons" will always be more memorable than a hard fought battle. smoked a pipe. for they saw for the first time their preeminent commander. reserving it to be eaten as soon as he had leisure for the purpose. The next morning the " Dragoons. that an event occurred. marched towards the Chickahominy. however. replied that he had. when suddenly his companion raised his head and said: "Have you ever read Charles O'Malley?" Harleston. bungry. during a picket on the Chickahominy. as if to cross the stream. the couple were certainly very unlike the idea given in fiction of the " dashing Dragoon/' It reminds one of the incident related by Lieutenant Harleston as happening to him one night not long Weary and afterwards." with the rest of the bri- gade. although doubtless herself far from wellprovided." and soon after awaking succeeded in rejoining the company. but with sincere gratitude he took the food. A enemy. he met Julius Pringle doing the same thing. which was then being made. he and another young officer had been sitting together on a log without a word having been exchanged between them for an hour. and then slept as soundly until day-light as if there were no such things as ''wars and rumors of wars. but nothing came of it. The poor woman who gave it to him would accept no pay. worn-out witb fighting mosquitoes and breathing malaria. It was here. dirty faces. Lee. divided the piece of corn-bread. Pro- ceeding down the road a couple of miles in search of his horse. and remained for a demonstration was made by the day near Bottom's Bridge. the same disgusted state of mind. sitting in a covered He was driven along a part of the picket-line "Jersey wagon. ning to end!" exclaimed the other indignantly slapping his leg Pringle and his companion felt somewhat in with his hand.56 SKETCH OF THE small piece of corn-bread. the enemy's position." and at one point stopped No doubt he was reconnoitring personally for a few minutes.
and when each time the attacking columns were repulsed. But a For at last a a more momentous issue was well nigh reached. a place rendered famous by the desperate stand there made by McClellantwo years At that time. rusty canteens. now partially decayed. and while the brigade occupied that position the great battle of Cold Harbor was fought. the fighting being confined to infantry and artillery. It was thus possible to know would open by the ears. Two and to appreciate the customary furnishing gratis Quartermaster's days were spent at Frazier's Farm. fragments of rubbercloths and similar reminders the roads. as the animal was supposed to be in the possession of some of the other It so happened that this trooper was not very Cavalry Brigades. pitces of uniforms and other leather accoutreand blankets discolored by long exposure to the weather. the guns from both sides in one continuous roar. Here. and when they came again and again rushing back from the fruitless Important results were being wrought during those slaughter. It were strewed plentifully along was easy to understand how rich the pickings at the time. in which it did not participate. when Grant again and again ordered his troops to advance. must have been generosity of the enemy in stores to Lee's army. and encamped at Frazier's Farm. like line-of-battle musketry. being impossible to distinguish between the separate discharges." The command moved from the river towards White Oak Swamp. and there would ensue a short interval of comparative quiet. far in the rear of the Confederate line engaged on that memorable day! The thunder of the artillery was indescribably grand. as well. On that day (June 3d) one of the "Dragoons" was sent to search for his horse lost in the stampede of the night of May 30th. as elsewhere along his route. the awful roar would cease. this probably accounts for his not being then mounted on " Traveller. for (^rant's "Overland Campaign" was then being ended amidst the cariuige of thousands of his followers. the hurried nature of McClellan's retreat was evidenced by the debris still visi- ble. as well as if one v^itnessed it with the eyes. the General was far from enormous strain of the previous thirty days having told even on his grand physique.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS. bor. the previously. . 57 is now known. When it the Federal charges were made. cartridge-boxes ments. while the "'Dragoon" was listening to the terrible thunder. minutes.
The ''Dragoons" now numbered about a dozen men under the command of a non-commissioned officer. like ocean-waves dashed against granite cliffs." for the result many times during those ! It is well four years wsrs within a hair's breadth of the grasp. would have been a decisbattle. but if eleven administration to recruit another army. chatting. drawn of a instead Gettysburg. promptly obeyed had Lougstreet months before. and had desired about a year before this time to join the '' Dragoons" as a private.58 general assault their leader. the company then being stationed at Green Pond. talk flippantly of ^'ifs. all SKETCH OF THE along the line was ordered by Grant. but the and sullenly refused to move forward. C. to remember this in these days when they would have us believe that there never was a possibility of success for the side weaker in numbers. or fallen in the heroic attempt. already " sick unto death of war. who was Qaartermasters. and would have carried Lee's position. called upon his troops not to go. . S. For such a catastrophe. and by this proof of their broken spirit. " facts. On the march the Fourth passed along the rear of Lee's lines." page 487. " falling at that time upon the North. Butler's Brigade was in bivouac at Frazier's Avere received for Farm when orders an immediate march to Mechanics vi He. stung to the quick by the useless destruction of the flower of his army. was met by Colonel Eutledge and Adjutant Macigault. master of McGowan's Brigade. and the Army of the Potomac would have forever ceased to exist. and thus saw many a comfortable tent and ration-wagon and fat horse of the QuarterIt thus happened that the Major. as if the brightest pages of history were not illu- mined by the victories of energetic (^evoted minorities. and "in clover. if he had thus hurled in desperation his massed columns upon the Army of Northern Virginia. but follow. nations of the one of the now Confederacy and the ive victory. and must have been more than human if he did not now con+Swinton's "Armj' of the Potomac." He had been dissuaded from doing so. they certainly would have dissolved into nothingness. would have rendered it impracticable for the Federal If Yes. us But let world.* then soldiers silently if a man of a sensitive nature. If Grant had done so. Lee's orders." accomplished overwise after not. and they rode along together for a while The Major had held the position but a few months. would probably have sprung upon his horse.
some thirty miles had been made." (" in for the war"). derstood that days' rations tain kind. The next morning the march was resumed. familiarly known in those days as "I. gratulate himself 59 upon this. soon became known among the men. not aware of his destination. but at that time the Brigade Commander himself was It was not until the halt at night. for it was unit was to march early the next morning. A steady walk was kept up all day. . so let us mention him no more. Butler then sent the Adjutant of the Fourth to say to one of the " Dragoons. On first acquaintance he was sickening. the once full and brilliant when the scant battered remnant of company was pointed out to him as it marched along dron of war. and when a halt for the night was ordered. and Gen. that be was to quietly fall out of ranks. At about noon a short halt was made. and the mystery added a charm to the expected movement. where unserviceable animals and men had been left. and refreshing to the eyes. plenty of "music" of a cer- night was spent. others perhaps looked forward to dancing in Baltimore.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS. This incident was thought to indicate a long expedition. and the blue mountain-ridges in the dis- tance looking peaceful and pretty. like all old camping-grounds. about three miles from Trevylian Station. that he knew the obThis news ject of the movement was to intercept' Sheridan. or expedition of some kind was intended. proceeding north of Richmond. F. Certainly a raid. and five had been issued. the cool crisp grateful after the heat and well-nigh unendurable dust of the two days' march. Early on the following morning the brigade was put on the march. Some said they were going to Washington. was well stocked with that insect which has a special fondness for lean soldiers. and his memory is unsavory." whose horse had become slightly lame. and few of them will ever forget the occasion. and return to the Reserve Camp near Mechanicsvillc. to encounter further boiling-down in the caul- In the afternoon Mechanicsvillc was reached. so summer evening. at all events. and there the This place. the quiet air. Change is usually welcome. There was much interested discussion and speculation that evening as to where the command was about to move. but no one doubted that there would be. W. but neither officers nor men had the slightest idea of where they were going.
Federal accounts of this affair are. For it was exclusively a cavalry-battle. for there was refuted the degrading sophistry that soldiers are only eifective in jiroportion to their numbers. and pursued him until he "took refuge behind strong fortifications and heavy infantry supports at Gordonsville. On that field Hampton and the most dashing of the Northern horsemen confronted each other face to face. After lIic capture of the latter place. very meagre." In point of fact the "driving" was in the opjiosite direction. and there was demonstrated the relative merits of the combatants. Sheridan having of tlic battle of Trevylian tions in the breasts of cavalrymen. for obvious reasons. For instance. The Federals would then be it am aware. and the nearest approach to that place made by Sheridan was at Trevylian. and Hampton's "long-shooters" for serried ranks of foot-soldiers. and to form a junction with Plunter. there were no fortifications nor infantry at Gordonsville. Sheridan said that he drove Hampton from the field. The mention ventured to leave his infantry supports. Kautz would naturally have joined the combined force. and to i)nperfect knowledge of geography. as far had been ascertained that Sheridan had crossed artillery. then in front of Lynchburg. but still it must be admitted that the historian in search of accuracy had better obtain his facts from sources more reliable than such official reports. never been written.60 SKETCH OF THE awakens lively sensaand may well warm the hearts of all true men. of any cavalry encounter during the war. From a Confederate stand-point the story of this battle has. On June 8th the Pamunkey as I with a heavy force of cavalry and . His objects were to destroy Gordonsville and Charlottesville. to defective eyesight in mistaking distant mountains for earth-works. twelve miles distant. For all these reasons the subject possesses especial interest. for some reason or other. but it deserves lasting remembrance on even better grounds. Not only was it an aifair on the result of which very important consequences depended. Let us suppose that his errors are due to lack of appreciation of the difference in meaning between an active and passive verb. and the little thus told does not always leave correct impressions. but it was probably the largest engagement in respect to numbers. men differing inherently no more than grains of sand on the seashore. and the most fiercely contested on both sides.
id Division.' There were four regiments in this brigade. 18H8. D. In the field-return of Custer's Brigade for May 31st. May 15th. commanding 1st Brigade . *Col. must. his and one paper gives the organization of whole Corps. in . commandBrigade 1st Division. counnanding 2d Brigade 3d Division. and Lee had present but 1. Hampton to Gen. commanding Reserve fJiigade <!en. Gregg'. upon whom the brunt of the fighting fell.904 men. and Hampton's Division. but a careful perusal of the official copies of the reports of his f Generals there to be found.Records Office at Washington there are *no returns of June 10th. IGen.800 strong. I think. certainly not over 3. Moreover. for Sheridan's force. that this cavalry encounter may well be considered unique in the history of the war. in round numbers. the necessity for which at this critical juncture might have caused the abandonment of Petersburg. ing 1st IJiigade 1st Division. commanding Gen. Hampton followed him. M . with artillery pertaining to these commands. 61 occupying a position that would strategically compel Lee to detach infantry to expel them.700 men. Mei-ritt. and putting each at the same average. From the above it will be seen that Sheridan had. Gen. his force amounted to 8. Besides this. Gen. Lee: "At The that engagement my Division was about 2. Gol. The duel between Hampton and Sheridan consequently involved issues of such deep moment. Custei-. the fiower of Grant's Cavcharge of War Records OfHce. numbers of the opposing forces will be best understood by reference to the following extract from a report made after the The war by Gen. Torbeit.500. H. Col. giving them an average of 371 men to each regiment.700 Among the papers caj)tured during the fight were the field-returns of some men. J. troops engaged on our side did not therefore exceed 4.000. Davies. taking for this purpose his own division and that of Major-General Fitz Hugh relative Lee. Lazello. McM. 1864. Sheridan had twentyfour regiments engaged in the fight. Sheridan had picked men. commanding 1st Division. Irvin Gregg. Gen. M.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS.484. the Federals were armed with breech-loaders. commanding 3d Division. and were probably not more than 4." At the War. of Sheridan's Brigades. Devin. To frustrate the designs of Sheridan's expedition. there were ^effective mounted men present for duty 1. npon whose lines Grant was rushing. used muzzle-loaders. two men to Hampton's one. convince the reader that Hampton's estimate of his adversary's strength is not excessive.
Hampton had succeeded in interposing his command on the night of June lOtli. Hood. § great American of the Nineteenth Century. There were six complete batteries. and whose death at Shiloh." corps the " Old Army. that when his advance guard came into collision the next morning with the Confederate force. whom many rank in ability the third among Confederate commanders."* *Lord Wolseley. •Ha formation obtained from tlie Federal General J." It had been organized in 1855. who foil into the hands of the enemy in the early morning of June llth. Also see Gen. He had " reckoned without his host. they think a calamity second only to that of Stonewall Jackson. with Albert Sidney Johnston as Colonel. Breatlied's and Thomson's." but so completely was he in the dark about Hampton's movements. the "' Second. Palmer and Stoneman on the Northern. — — the Hardee. Adjutant of the Fovirth. Marcli. or one to two of their adversaries. he mistook the latter for some local militia endeavoring to protect their homes. McMillan's Magazine. learned this fact from conversations with Fedei'al oliicers. and in quest of him. Then there were the First and Fifth Regulars. ^Information obtained from Major Hart of Hart s Battcr3'. Kirby Smith. whilst the guns on the Confederate side numbered only ^twelve. 1887. of fonr guns each. which were rated high. and other crack bodies. Manigault. M. after he had reduced Grant's army to a mass of fugitives. The batteries were Hart's. at that time stationed at White House. and was in excellent order. Major. the batteries having recently been reduced from six to four guns each. SKETCH OF THE There was that famous regiment. that d'eli/e of towered far above all men on either side in that struggle. §Capt. During the night scouts-. and had incautiously placed behind himself a river. had been officers in this regiment. Fitz Hugh Lee. and Custer's Brigade. aggregating! twenty-four pieces. and some New Jersey Eegiments. . Toi-bert's Report. Johnson. Robertson. supposing that he would have an undisputed march. thus covering that place and Charlottesville.br ought in the intelligence that Sheridan had crossed the North Anna at Carpenter's Ford. afterwards the hero. who was attending' to business connected with the organization of the batteries with fonr guns instead of six. between the enemy and Gordonsville. The artillery had also been carefully selected.63 airy. Fields. Van Dorn. and Thomas. Divining Sheridan's intentions. men of note on the Southern side. *'A being apart and sujierior to all others in every way. He was entirely iinaware that Hampton was in the neighborhood. the Lieutenant-Colonel had been Lee.
which brushed aside a Federal* picket from the road those fellows with *lt appears to have been from the Second Regulars (Lee. but for absolutely destroying him. ." but he would have mustered very few disciples among all for five days there issued. However. and a bracing breeze coming from the dark mountain ridges. for the programme was commenced by a mounted charge of a squadron from the Fourth. who. his left flank and Hampton's right thus mutually covering each other. camped night near Louisa Court House. The ])lan by his of the battle the writer believes was this: In the morning at dawn Butler's and Young's Brigades of Hampton's Division would encounter the enemy advancing on the road leading from Clayton's Store (near the river) to Ti'cvylian Station. A small piece of musty corn-bread hastily munched represented the only available substitute for breakfast. Fitz Hugh Lee flanking and Rosser advancing to press his right flank.CHARLESTON" LIGHT DRAGOONS. there was soon something else besides hunger \o think of. Hugh Lee's Division. Hampton him on his driving the left. This disposition was intended to place the two divisions united at Clayton's Store. enemy in front. it could be reasonably expected^ river blocked retreat. their negroes left at cam|) having retained the major part of the rations Happy then would have been that mythical personage. and some of the ''Dragoons" had not even that. it is said. and admirable. empty stomachs.Johnston Kegiment formerly). left. as the cavalrymen mounted in the first grey light of that June morning. would be dealt the coup-de-cjrace to Sheridan's host. whilst to the other brigade. surprised and driven back upon the river. The moment had come not merely for checking his adversary. was assigned the duty of covering a road on the that branching from Clayton's Store. " would rather fight than eat. why it was not completely successful will appear from the events to be related. Rosser's. whilst the Then. The j)lan was simple. his entire force would be devoted to ruin. was ordered to move to the attack promptly down a road leading from that point to Clayton's Store. 63 Hami)ton at once realized the opportunity thus afforded him foe. the sweet-scented clover dripping with dew. and Fitz leading towards Cordonsville. The air was chilly. on the (then styled) A^irginia Central Railroad. and prepared to utilize it with his usual vigor.
64 SKETCH OF THE leading to Clayton's Store. that he could not endure again such a position. taking his rifle and cartridge-box and falling-in with the "Dragoons. by Fitz Hugh Lee's Division. but such was the fact. without a commissioned officer. Rosser. Avas carrjing out his instructions. but. for he was soon wounded. and better felpressed back. who was assigned to that duty from one of the other companies of the regiment. twelve men. too. About this time also Wells was disabled by a left. had been detailed for temporary service in attending to ordnance at Eichmond. Advancing a little distance the enemy was encountered. Harleston. and struck awkward situation. low never wore the "Dragoons'" uniform. some quite brisk. as had been expected. and had arranged to carry a rifle and go with his old company into their next fight. but did not succeed in accomplisliing this that morning. Sheridan was being hemmed in for destruction. during the actions at Hawes' Shop and Cold Harbor he had chafed very much at being compelled to remain with the horses. which was not covered. as well as bullet. so that on the centre. the cause of This this is unknown to the writer." He was shot through the femoral artery. and then the brigade was dismounted and deployed on both sides of the road. and much liked. He was colourButler's allotted to bearer of the Fourth. and he told the writer on the march to Trevylian. So on this morning he had exchanged places with an ill man. and then the "Dragoons" were in their normal conLieut. and died before assistance could be rendered. . in an Surprised. as has been said. everything was progressing satisfactorily. news came that the enemy in force having passed round the right flank of Hampton's Division. had hastened to rejoin his company. who. But suddenly the startling was in the rear of ihe Confederate position. as already explained.) went into action under the command of Lieutenant Cordes. it was not considered advisable to carry the flag in fighting on foot in a wooded country. and the firing became The "Dragoons" (what was left of them. He Avas a good ollicer. but he was allowed scant time for enjoying the honor of leading the crack company of the Brigade. and Young's Brigades were performing the part them on the centre of the line. the enemy was being Here Thomas Lining M^as killed. dition again.
went down. in hopes of discovering some military information which might prove of value.ing either. taking from him his captures. but we will not " tell tales out of stant alteration of the plan of battle. but nevertheless he did . racy female correspondence came to light. was required to save the Division from utter demolition. for he had noticed an immense cloud of dust rising to the skies from the place where the horse-holders of Butler's Brigade had been left. bold as a lion. made short work of Custer. and three caissons." As large numbers pressed on to support Custer.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS. and charge the enemy then in the road behind the Confederate line This vigilant officer had already perceived that someof battle. too. Rosser. besides making nearly an entire regiment prisoners. in doing this." being a horseholder. merry as a lark. no doubt. It was here that Burgess Gordon of the ''Dragoons. which proved to be Custer's Brigade. 65 and necessitated an inThere was no time for think. It was necessary afterwards to read the papers found in the latter. and driving most of the rest back as fugitives upon Fitz Hugh Lee. and had captured some led horses. he was acting as a courier that day. Rosser was therefore ordered by Hampton to dash from his position on the left. a few wagons. school. then that Boone of the ''Dragoons" was killed. always " the life " of the camp. who. and lost his life while gallantly riding along the line in the face of a hot fire. that he must have greatly against his 9 known the chances were coming back alive. This latter corps was at that time occupying a road near the Railroad Track. and quick as lightning. a fine athletic youth. he died. bagged four caissons. carrying an order from the commanding officer. action. thing was wrong. fell into their hands. witli sabres and revolvers. dismounted cavalry had by this time it became necessary for the Conmove back in order to take up another line and form of In carrying out this purpose Colonel Rutledge with the Fourth. federates to a junction with Fitz Lee. as a brave man should. was ordered to reverse the position It was of his regiment so as to check the enemy in their rear. In fact the hostile lines were at that moment so near together. with a smile on his face. and promptly struck the enemy. He immediately put his command into a gallop. in consequence. Fairly. changed of course the whole situation. and Custer's head-quarter wagon.
standing near. Gen. and the General Rutledge of the Fourth to proceed further in more effectually to hold the point where the main road crossed the railway through a broad cut in the embankment. was. and after an interval a bullet struck one of the logs with a thud. and was assigned a place from which he was to support the latter in case of an attack.66 his ' SKETCH" QiP^ THE Eutledge found the enemy in over- duty unflinchingly. on the (then styled) Virginia Centi-al Railroad (now Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad). To earry out the purposes of his expedition. Sunday morning found the opposing forces holding the same relative positions. Colonel Rutledge of the Fourth. when the crack of a sharp-shooter's rifle was heard in the distance. Division from this place. Butler's Brigade occupied the left of the line.road and other apjaroaches to Gordonsville. ''That is the opening of the ball. it was necessary for Sheridan to proceed in that direction. wlielming numbers on the railroad. remarked. The brilliant military ability displayed by Hampton on Saturday. but they were fruitless. in extricating his command from a fearfully perilous situation. both sides occupying their ground that night. as has been stated. Butler. which was successfully established near Trevyl'an Station by HampAttempts were made by Sheridan to dislodge Hampton's ton. It was an occasion. was sitting on the top of a pile of wooa by the railroad track. produced by no fault of his. marked him as the born warrior. but Hampton's "carriage stopped the way. but by midday Fitz Lee had formed a junction with Hampton's Division. until he succeeded. and At about three resolute unyielding determination on the other. Most of the Fifth and the Sixth Regiments were on the right of the Fourth." And Col. o'clock in the afternoon. by moving some new line. but managed by good judgment to keep his regiment interposed between tlie Federals and the rest of Butler's Brigade. should make this day memorable for all time." Quiet reigned during that Sunday morning. and the extraordinary influence exercised over his soldiers. so it was. but it was the silence attending earnest preparation for effort on one side. in taking position on the sonal heroism. covering the wagon. near Tre- The position now occupied vylian Station. too. so as now ordered . and were posted chiefly behind the railthat direction. on which his perdistance to his right.
with the detachment from the Fifth. which served as a partial breastwork. Worse still. Fitz by Hampton's orders. His artillery also silenced a Confederate battery supporting the line. . and the Fourth had nearly empty boxes. holding the critical point at the cut in the embankment. His dismounted regiments charged with energy the positions held by Butler's Brigade and the Fourth Regiment. was Lee. however. from the upper windows of which they were able to shoot down with considerable effect. before it reached the railroad crossing." nature of the situation ammunition had run short. The bri- gade line thus formed was not straight. and extending thence to the left along the road at an angle. and now a very insufficient number remained with any of the regiments with which to resist further assaults. Sheridan "meant business.67 road embankment. and were doing severe execution. heaviest part of the onsets. but more completely the Fourth. the foe had retired to a lesser distance. the enemy was ••girding up To each Federal prihis loins " for another and a final charge. the shrapuell killing men lying down behind the rail-fence breast-work as if they were in an entirely open field. so that after his sixth unsuccessful attempt to carry the position. reinforced the left of Butler by Wickham's Brigade. and were partially enfilading the entire brigade line. Six charges were made by the enemy. There was a lull. so placed that these necessarily sustained the While they were in progress. he was established at perilously close proximity to the Confederate line. without the prospect of relief. by a detour to the left. almost a complete cessation in the firing. in some places only a few yards distant." as he soon showed. and was iu To add to the trying fact "having it all its own way. but the Fourth had very little cover. Moreover he had managed to put some sharp-shooters iu a farm-house. except a rail fence along the wagon-road. After each. These pieces were capitally served. a very hard thing for any trooi)s to endure steadily. and took the rest of his division. it had been necessary to collect cartridges from the bodies of the dead and wounded. which was posted behind the railroad embankment. except on the part of the artillery. the Fourth and a detachment from the Fifth on its left. six guns had been brought into position. to strike the Federals on their right flank. and all had been repulsed.
in Let the beggars come on. God and man. All this while the Confederate ti-oopers were enduring the One young officer. Butler. as well as dash. or thinking. then and there was then and there was the promise the pledge kept before the face of It fulfilled. requesting him to bring his battery as quickly as possible. trying ordeal with patient resolution. time the first piece opened. he concentrated the fire of these and his own with shortrange fuses ujDon the house. gallantly. eloquence. who were lying behind what cover there was. that it was driven away in between The importance of this service. Hart took two of his guns. received through Captain Jeffords an urgent message from Gen. who at their homes in the " far South.68 Tfitc SKETCH OF THE a dvam of whiskey was served. and a plentiful supply of metallic shells for his breech-loader. who was working his guns on the right of the line. as unmindful of his own danger as if his skin were bullet-proof. farm-house were eral sharp-shooters in the Dividing his detachattentions.hearts. can readily be connected with the cavalry well . his first he paid and to them ments and thus manning two of the abandoned guns already mentioned. was at this time that Major Hart. to fortitude. were at that very moment sending up It Most High prayers for their safety. promptly and efficiently appreciated. for he was a sincere and brave man. and every one performed. saints and sinners. and the sharp-shooters skurrying out for their lives. It '••' was an effective form of Others again arrived at an equally desirable mental condition for fighting. and galloped to the point indicated. to that of the magnificent infantry of the Army of Northern Virginia. He reminded them of mothers and wives. he had the building in flames. and in less than one minute from the spared. all that could be He found the Feddoing great damage. he poured into it so rapid and accurate a fire. saying." It was promised you that the Cavalry under Hampton should inaugurate a style of amounted to the fighting equal in stubborn tenacity." in their venerable much to the loved churches. were ready to "face the music. thus ten and fifteen minutes. to where the Fourth and Fifth were stationed. Then turning to the Federal battery on the right of the house. sisters and sweet. was walking down the line of his company encouraging the men. and be damned I'' same thing in the end. for all.
embankment." to push the Confederates out of their position by sheer weight of numgate- They concentrated on Butler's Brigade." At this hour the setting sun was just above the mountainramparts with which nature has guarded "the Valley." was to be decided the fate of Gordonsville. and the contents quickly found their way into the hungry cartridge-boxes. Charlottesville and Lynchburg. came. It was well done for a wagoner. in close rifles. which were instantly caught-up. The wagon came rattling down the road with the mules on a full run. His right arm was bent holding his cocked revolver pointing perpendicularly upwards at the "Ready!" and he counted time He presented a fine mark. but not an agreeable one just at that to be rememmoment. and the Fourth and part of the Fifth. a large tine-looking man. as holding the key. the sorely needed ammunition also arrivetl. fair Before the sun should sink behind the warders of "the Valley." At nearly the same moment at which Major Hart reached the ground. were markedly singled out for attentions.CHARLESTON" LIGHT DRAGOONS. the boots extending above his knees. The enemy advanced bers. strode the leader. Spencers or Winchesters. with topshoulder to shoulder. sights like this. always bered. as related. in the order. apparently a gentleman. witnessed at important will linger It is strange how moments in man's life. could hit him. 69 knows that on this and many a similar critical occasion Major Hart proved himself indeed " the man for Galway. and a few steps in advance. He continued at the same furious pace along the line in plain view of the enemy. held On they horizontally at the hip. the driver lashing and cracking his whip. special keeper of the road they wished to traverse. on one side. It was a handsome sight. and now " Richard was himself again./e of glory. This . the nearer foot-hills looking almost despairingly black by contrast. and when any of his men dropped. touching the lower ridges with the soft dreamy colours of hope. perhaps of Richmond. but somehow no bullets. and corduroy riding-trousers. it One body marched straight for the cut moved with beautiful precision. a man in the rear of the wagon throwing out the packages. it seemed.^' lighting up the peaks with a bla. and shooting continuously. in force " to finish up the job. the rest closed-up beautifully and marched straight on. always in the memory. to keep his troopers in regular step.
and it was therefore concluded were fired with "malice 7?re. the whole Confederate line leaped to their feet. These gave way. he thought nothing of it. for the day was won. which evidently threw the enemy into some confusion. All these shots came from the same quarter. It was before the last charge was repulsed that Col. so two men apt at exhortation were quietly sent forward to find this rude fellow. Supposing the incident to be caused by some accidental shot. and had hardly commenced doing so when his cheek was scratched by a bullet. After that it was only a question with Sheridan how to get away. sprang over the temporary breast-work with an exultant yell. effort as if striving to brace-up. The foe was driven back in disorder pell-mell upon his reserves. and by ten o'clock all was quiet on that part of the field. an inert lifeless thing. having staid so long to see the fight over.70 SKETCH OF THE brave fellow had almost reached the rail breast-work. Then the great big fiery-faced Sun. while standing at the outside of his regimental line. Immediately his men broke and ran. but just then one of the officers of the regiment came up to speak to him. had the shoulder and upper part of the sleeve of his coat cut by a bullet. and . but it amounted to little more than an affair of sharp-shooters. and charged. and at the same time Fitz Lee was seen pushing steadily forward in an open space. This was also attributed to chance.'" Naturally people cannot be expected to like having their clothes torn. and then all at he made an once the legs it collapsed upon the ground. doubling-up their right flank. and soon afterwards another ploughed through his beard. At that. when suddenly he stopped. very slowly the right arm descended until the pistol grasped in the hand pointed to the eartli. Butler's Brigade continued to occupy their former line. but shortly afterwards the breast of his coat was furrowed by another ball. sank joyously from sight behind the black mountains. Just at that moment one of Hart's shells exploded an ammunition wagon. and protest against such conduct. and the enemy kept up an irregular skirmish to cover their retreat.jew6'e. Hampton had by sheer skill and pluck wrenched victory from the bloody fangs which had well-nigh rent his vitals. as if by an electric impulse common to thetn all. and with Hampton how to prevent him. faces scratched. tearing out a handful of hair. and beards j^lucked so unceremoniously. Rutledge of the Fourth. or a limberchest.
the otticer . doing this simultaneously so as to leave an agreeable doubt as to which gave the settler. and were not long in espying their man. The wounded prisoners were treated with humanity.cocked lying between his legs. leaving behind their wounded in charge of one of their surgeons." who had beeu wounded on Saturday morning and had been left at a farm-house. with rifle full. he was a big red-haired Celt.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS. This house was turned into a field-hospital by Sheridan's surgeons." it is said. heard there a sei-geant. and down he sank all in a heap. occu- pying a slight elevation on which was a tree. "They who take the sword. but of course sufliered much. fell into the hands of the Federals during the evolutions preparatory to establishing the second Confederate line." Both of these spoke in the warmest terms of respectful regard of Albert Sidney Johnston. and shivering with chattering teeth in a shower of rain on Saturday night. and to this feeling for him was prol:»ably due in a great measure their good nature towards the wounded Confederate." happening in the early part of 1862 to be at one' of the Forts in New York Harbor. as if engaged in land-lord shooting. shall perish by the sword. and we may suppose the same thing fairly applies to rifles. and all that night was engaged in making good his escape. a big stalwart fellow. and over the entire yard and some ground outside were lying the wounded and dying. from behind which he was peering out with cocked rifle watching for another potshot. One of the "Dragoons. with plenty of amputated legs and arms to match. " 1 tell you Albert Sidney Johnston was the best man tliat ever walked on God's earth I" The Dragoons had lost at Trevylian three killed. The next morning they found this red-haired person of homicidal proclivities stiff and stark. say excitedly to a knot of his comrades. It was a rather singular coincidence. It was at this field-hospital during Saturday and Sunday. The two soldiers from the Fourth promptly served their protest. that the '"Dragoon^' mentioned received many kindnesses from a Sergeant and Private of the celebrated "Second. however. as the enemy hurried past all Sunday night in full retreat. that this same "' Dragoon. roasting in the sun all day. The enemy availed himself of the darkness. were compensated for by the tramping of thousands of hoofs on the road close by. 71 crawled along cautiously in the proper direction.
having head-start. which was charged and pursued by two mounted regiments. which enabled him to cross rivers at any point. and thence made for the Chickahominy. Fourth Regiment suffered severely. who. as Adjutant Manigault fell into the hands of the enemy in carrying a message on Saturday morning. and as the Confederate force had none. besides dead and ••' Official Report of Gen.72 assigned to (a SKETCH OF THE command them and one man were wounded. over which he passed at the Forge Bridges. who handsomely carried the breast-works. and thus prevent the junction. train. leaving behind. after a skirmish there in which he was worsted. and his killed and wounded were certainly correspondingly heavy. aggregated ''between 5. until at length he reached the much-desired haven. and one The horse-holder) was captured: a loss of fifty per cent. At this point he crossed during the night. in connection with which he moved down the river. it was necessary for the latter to remain on the Southern sides of the streams. For several days the hostile columns thus marched on parallel lines^ the enemy carefully avoiding a collision." A large percentage of this punishment was inflicted at Trevylian. and routed his command. he was struck by Hampton. so as to keep between him and Grant's army. when the opposing lines were only a few yards apart. Hampton. and during his retreat to the cover of the gunboats. of which 205 were missing. and was met by reinforcements. as the fight is sometimes styled).000.000 and 6. on the Pamunkey River. At Nance's Shop on June 24th (or Samaria Church. his line was charged by the dismounted men. which he was trying to effect. but to what numerical extent the writer does not know. On Monday Hampton pressed on in pursuit of the foe. I have no knowledge of a regular official report of his casualties in the battle of Trevylian having been made by Sheridan." succeeded in crossing the North Anna at As Sheridan was provided with a pontoonCarpenter's Ford. and within two and a half miles of Charles City Court House. the shelter of the gunboats at White House. . It was not until ten o'clock at night. that in Fitz Lee's was very light. *977 prisoners (including 125 wounded) having been taken from him in that battle. The total loss in Hampton's Division amounted to *612. but he states that he thinks those of his corps from May 4th to July 3Uth. that he was able by speed of foot to shake off his pursuers.
wounded." "pursuit. But if it had not been that on Saturday morning. and losing 357 men. and crossed the James River piotected gunboats. such expressions as " driving the enemy. being of frequent occurrence. Custer's report of the Trevylian campaign is interesting. Avas completely surTorbert wanders.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS.This information accords with that received from other sources.. From this place he continued his Wyanoke Neck. Hampton saysf " the men could not have behaved better than they did" under "their hard marches. an early hour that morning." and that the Senior Captain in com- mand was wounded bert. +Officiul Report of Gen. He also says that the next morning in fact Hampton's scouts. proving that Sheridan prised at Trevylian. when he remarks that on June 12th the Confederate force was "reinforced by one or two regiments of infantry *Gen. is a little toned-down from the customary manner." "routing them. . suggestive of an imagination not unlike Rider Haggard's. just before going into camp. however." &c. Thus ended what is known as the " Trevyliaii in which Sheridan was completely frustrated in the and driven by a force greatly inferior in numbers and materiel to his own. *15? retreat to 73 by his prisoners. Usually his style in official reports is somewhat florid. he could obtain no definite news of any enemy. and what he says of June gade 12tli is in a diction of it is chastened sobriety. June 11th. Campaign. From General Merritt's report first learned that the force which Butler's Bri- encountered in opening the fight on June 11th. reports that on the night of June 10th. let us have done with "buts. 10 . back to the cover of Grant's army. the head of his column was attacked by ten or twelve men." And it was not long afterwards that General Butler obtained the well-won stars of a Maobjects of his expedition. commanding Second Division. Gregg. was at the celebrated "Second. Gen. their numerous privations. their want of supplies. Hampton. Tor- commanding First Division." Gen. until encountering their pickets. admits being driven. however. one might almost say edifying. which was the first time any These were Confederates had been seen during the expedition." — jor-General Gen. into the region of romance. the right flank was uncovered however. His account of the operations of June 11th.
for it was not until the afternoon that he attacked. he observes. and fought hard. but that he simply wandered into that position through the gap in the Confederate line on When. He consumed the remainder of Saturday in a series of isolated and spasmodic attacks. and of lack of proper knowledge of the topography of the country. but in a blind fashion. in which his troops were ably handled as far as tactics were concerned. resulting in the surprise of his force. showing himself Fitz Lee's unable to cope with the vigor of his antagonist. which relate to the battle of Trevylian. The impression derived from an examination of those por- tions of the reports of Sheridan's oflicers. and it was then that Sheridan should have concentrated overwhelmingly on Hampton's Division. which was throughout plainly traceable by the dust-clouds. necessary to " read between the lines " to find evidence of want of caution. and destroyed it.74 Sketch of the from Gordonsville. have taken a late Sunday morning nap. so that after crossing the river his Brigade Commanders were almost groping in the dark in their intended advance. who was taken pris- . while without support. armed with the rifled musket. found himself there. and in the meantime Fitz Lee was allowed ample opportunity to make a long detour."' men wounded as in summing up the newspapers say) To one with "a judicial mind" (as the seems rather cool to call it an advantage to have muzzle-loaders against breech-loaders. cannot. and tlius reunite his command with that of Hampton. however. I think." that night tlicy is. The experience of an officer of the Fourth. campaign to July. " When dismounted they (Confederates) have had a great advantage of us." and is an evidence of what a hete noire Butler's Brigade proved to those it good people. he tried to press his advantage. But he failed to utilize the golden moments. The reason given by him for the retreat that they had as many of their "could well take care of. Ci\ster by a fortunate accident left. from the fact that they have a very large Brigade of Mounted Infantry. It is clear that Custer arrived in the rear of Hampton's Division. appa- The next day he must rently without any strategical plan. be otherwise than very unIt is not favorable to the military rej^utation of that General. but the remark is certainly a great compliment to the "long-shooters. not in the pursuance of any definite plan." Later on.
merely because the manufactory. most valuable asset of the dissolved Firm appropriated by the Northern Partners. and soft blue mountains in the far distance. This must be attributed in great measure to the large leaven of regulars in the mass. like scene. it became necessary either to leave behind many on the road-side temporarily exhausted. with hearts and hands. Confederate officers had been halted near a commodious. 75 oner at Trevylian. cious house on a large wheat plantation. represented so many rifles wrested from the slender line of gray encircling. whose technical training and habits of routine would be especially valuable at such a The organization of the "Old Army" was perhaps the time. or ghastly living skeletons. happened to be located at West Point. and at first His rearguard began the march before daysome confusion was observable. by some legerdemain of reasoning.CHARLESTON- LmHT DRAGOOTSTS. that quiet residence It was a pretty homesurrounded by a rolling country with waving fields of "golden grain" and sweet flowering clover. and. they became self-convinced they had of right an exclusive claim. it seemed to the jaded. Secretary Staunton. or to give them occasional rests by dismounting regiments and put- After a order. the loss of able-bodied not which to mattered it corpses. the SouthConfederates in their saddles. Beholding Heaveu and feeling Ikil!" Just then a brisk little man came out of a small tent pitched near the house. due doubtless to the supposed proximity of those villainous "long-shooters. adopted. walking up to the group." little while. The march on the second day of the retreat (TuesOne evening the day) was particularly hurried and distressing. saluted them civ- . and as cavalrymen are at best but poor entries for a foot-race. prisoners. not at all from motives of in his keeping becoming who. ting The latter course was but to prevent humanity. founded and maintained at the common expense. The prisoners were compelled to walk hard to keep pace with the rear-guard. an asset to which. there were no more signs of disand during the remainder of the march good discipline was manifest. half-dead prisoners that they were • Full ill 1 lie sight of Paradise. spaern Cross. light. will serve to illustrate the precipitancy of Sheridan's retreat. by contrast with their condition. however.
P^ Hill. a bright boy and a good soldier. These participated in many skirThey did their part at mishes. What were left continued to do good service under the command of Lieutenant Harieston during the remainder of the summer. though the ghost of its former self in numbers.76 illy SKETCH OP THE in semi-military fashion. the casualties of battle. "They have taken every morsel on the place. so as to accommodate as many of you as possible. and reported for duty. also lost his life. but because the Federal troops purrations. in Early in October the Brigade was conone of which General Dunuovant. was When those who had been wounded came back. It was during these fights that Davis and Benjamin Bostick fell." The speaker was " Phil Sheridan. but their pluck nevertheless enabled them to act men the part of good soldiers. and were Hampton were without so closely pressed as to be unable to forage on the country in a regular manner. but it is unavoidable. then commanding. and had much hard picketing. not in the children's supper. so that a showing of a company * kept up. and sugar. even my little This had been done. who apologized for having no food with which to give them a meal.works. and by illnesses contracted in the service. except some hard-tack. . spirit of sued by coffee wanton destruction. "the sabre shook hands with the bayonet on the enemy's captured breast. or sufferings endured in Northern prisons. for you will require all the rest yon can get to enable you to stand the march to-morrow. I am sorry to have been obliged to march you so hard. and in the words of A. Eeam's Station in August. This was the case with Edward Now- *During their term of Confederate service only two members of tlie company died from causes other than wounds. the General in command. and said: " Gentlemen. As the autumn came on men returned from wounded furloughs." said she." cerned in several affairs. it was not always as sound men. Robertson. F. and some new recruits or detached were also got into camp. which still remained in their wagons. where the cavalry covered themselves with glory. I have given orders that all the mattresses and bedding in this house shall be spread on the floors of the rooms. was killed. E." On entering the building the Confederates were met by the lady of the house. the number of the Dragoons was now reduced to a very small fraction of the aggregate on their muster-roll By when they marched for Virginia.
happened to stop for a moment where the "Dragoons" were posted. the Brigade was compelled to enemy were advancing heavy columns of infantry. At daylight on October 27th. followed by a steady contiuous awe-inspiring roar of musketry. who then withdrew. and of imperturbable coolness. separated by an open field. fighting. and within a very few minutes he had experienced a hair-breadth escape from death. on empty stomachs. most good natured men in the company. and who. which announced that " Lee's foot-cavalry" were in force round the enemy's flank. as proved by ghastly evidence next morning in the ground occupied by the Federals. were killed and wounded. just before which Lee flanked the Federals. would make a thrilling narrative. an account of his adventures on the neutral ground between the two armies. for the the Division settled down to a very brisk set-to with infantry of Hancock's corps. in riding along the lines that afternoon. which continued until dark. was also hit. Philip Hutchinson. which is "agin natur'. it was the commencement of the battle of Burgess' Mill. At about three o'clock leap into saddle very promptly.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOOXS. and had reported back only a few days previously. and his two sons were wounded. he was always called) had been wouiuled at Ilawes' Siiop. In ." It was in this battle that a very deplorable event occurred. Major Barker. eighty rounds of ammunition having been that afternoon expended from the muzzle-loaders. having driven in and followed up closely the pickets. who was shot through the arm at Hawes' Shop. but also one of the best tempered. in which capacity he did excellent service. that preliminary growl. 77 ell. too. had one hand always in a partially crippled condition. The cavalry had a tough time that morning skirmishing in different positions. He was not only a good soldier. Divisional Adjutant. in consequence. and some members of his staff exchanged friendly words with acquaintances in the company. It had been hot work. It was a heavenly sound. and within the enemy's lines. Where the "Dragoons" were fighting the lines were less than 150 yards apart. the opposing forces holding the edges of O'Brien (Tim O'Brien as the woods on their respective sides. on his re- turn became one of the scouts attached to the Cavalry Corps. The General moved on. wounded at Hawes' Shop. one mortally. which were not wasted. General Hampton. and some couriers attached to Hampton's staff.
78' SKETCH OF THK it those flays used to be said jokingly. chiefly by the cavalry. that they only succeeded in buying enough apple-brandy to sweet potatoes. and reached Bellefield. who made feints on that part of the line to conceal his Asa consequence of all this the suffering endured real object. When they returned to camp. when Grant in December made a demonstration. he cried out. which they evidently thought impracticable. flavor. every one settled himself down for the winter. and could procure no other food. at Bellewas field. monotony of which was to be picketing. and so . because one thus secured a furlough. with rations for only four days. two of the members accordingly rode one day between thirty and forty miles foraging for this purpose. it last fill a couple of canteens. " Tank yer Mausa. where it was understood they were to go into winter quarters. however. Harleston being absent on sick-leave. in drawing a bead on a blue-coat. O'Brien was lighting from beliind a tree (oh! liow small those trees did seem then). who told the "Dragoons" they could have it." In December the Division. a villainous but that was considered rather an advantage. and that affair ended the campaign. very great. if able it. sized "A" tent. and this tent was At Christmas a grand effort was occupied by him and others. which latter Huger (Ben Huger) was made by Huger's mess to get up a feast. the weather was cold and stormy. imitating the negro dialect. picket. for gimme new furlough. was used as Company at this time in command. one turkey. but so exhausted of supplies was the coun try in that vicinity. and the videttes and posts were kept night and day in a constant state of disturbance by the enemy. moved to Bellefield (on the railroad to AVeldon). which imparted to the longer. the only variation from the Some few flies and one good head-quarters. and few in The apple-brandy had been kept it a barrel previously used for turpentine. for it made The turkey was purchased from two old woto it catch men. keeping picket details some twelve or fifteen A detachment from the "Dragoons" was on miles distant. was hit by a bullet. whose camp for a longtime before had been near Stony Creek. Realizing liimself to be not critically injured. and. but was driven back. The detail was compelled The men had been provided to remain on picket over a week. were issued from the Quartermaster's Department. that it was good luck to be wounded.
CHARLESTON" LIGHT DRAGOONS. under command of Major-General Butler." for Julius Pringle. an old bayonet. Some of the noncombatants. The town contained more than double the of inhabitants it possessed when circumstances were norThere were refugees congregated there from various places." A few sweet potatoes were in process of roasting under the ashes of the fire outside. the other end serving as socket for a tallow candle. striving to ple. and against the tent-pole was hanging a canteen with the remnant of the peculiar alcoholic compound above described. and the ill. so the fellows were wrapped in blankets. and the canteen prematurely called into requisition to drink with a will the toast " Home. early in February." A figure sometimes seen on the streets. were persons engaged in commercial in\r- number mal. had received orders to march for South Carolina. for the purpose of fighting Sherman. The "Dragoons" reached Columbia with Butler's command. it is true. — suits. but looking nevertheless as you would imagine an aged Senator to have appeared in the glorious years of Rome. tall. But the cards were suddenly thrown down. there were very few "sliirkand should have l)een none. children. always attracting involuntarily respectful observation. and after the game there was to be a rare supper on the potatoes and the contents of the canteen. was stuck in the ground. erect. It was a gala-night. and some corn borrowed from the horses was doing duty as "chips. . The campfire burning outside had no effect in modifying the severity of the cold to those a few feet fi-om it. bringing with them what little of value could be caught up in their fliglit from the destroyer. to the un- bounded surprise and disgust of the women. massive. Alfred Huger (" the Postmaster"). dressed in homespun. but a revolver-bullet brought the coveted bird from his tree of safety. A few days after Christmas a card-party was assembled in finger's tent. to rendezvous at Columbia. brought the glad tidings that Butler's and Young's Brigades. It is fruitless to recount the details of the skirmishing with All was done by Butler's Division that was Sherman's advance. coming from Division Head-quarters. was Hon. venerable. you will observe. chiefly from Sher)nan's line of march old men. make money out of the necessities of the peobut these were mostly foreigners. taken from the enemy during their last demonstration. women. "79 would have proved by ordinary means. ei's.
" It will be observed that these precautions were taken so as to prevent the possibility of a collision between the hostile forces occurring within the town. so as to be able to cover thie retreat of the main column and wagon-train. and the "Dragoons. from v/hich a bird's-eye view of the town could be obtained. and waited in the town. The orders if attacked no shots should be returned. but "fly at them with your sabres. would appear to one looking from the ground given were. Just outside of the limits of the town. Butler's (formerly) Brigade was the Confederate rearguard. that below like the head of a body of considerable size.80 SKETCH OF THE practicable under the circumstances. the rest of the rear-gnard continuing their march and stopping some distance farther on. The Company was drawn up in column of fours on the brow of the hill. and the civil . followed at some little distance behind the Brigade. keeping their horses all the time saddled. until morning. Here the "Dragoons. and although merely a handful of men." accompanying the General. was attempted." the company consisting of about twelve men. commenced early in the morning of February 17th. ascended a hill. The town of Columbia was without foi'tifications and ungarrisoned. but naturally no effectual resistance could be offered by a force of that rial size. but yet the enemy shelled it as soon as he could reach it with his guns. if the term can be correctly used of the mere retreat of troops through an unfortified and ungarrisoned city. there was merely skirmishing in the field with Sherman's advance. as a position. its limits. If all available nuite- had been handled with the same vigor as was used with this cavalry from the Army of Northern Virginia. About midnight of February 16th the "Dragoons" were withdrawn from the opposite side of the river. although it was perhaps too late when Johnston assumed command at C-harlotte. at a point near which the Charlotte Depot was then located. near the end of the bridge. and of course the "Dra- goons^* were to the front. was halted. might have been different. and no defence of it. the road^ or street. The evacuation of the place. no Confederate soldier being then within authorities being. quite beyond the limits of the city. in spite of the fearful odds. The place was only occupied by non-combatants. the result of the subsequent campaign.in charge.
their credibility is destroyed by (among other things) the fact of his saying in the same fpage of his "Memoirs. who would persist invariably.i^ A-i'v iM-hniiiry 5th. ments " remind one (as Mr. and wlio think. +Vol." and "did The contradictory "stateparte was the author of Waverley. and protection to private property promised. fit cetera ad bifinitun}. if any had occurred. and there consummated a deliberately formed intention. There were then no fires having any connection whatever with the great conflagration ignited shortly after dark. which were not returned." shows what measure of reliance can be placed on some Federal If any one still has doubts as to the personality official reports. we must also remember that there are people living who do not believe Shakespeare wrote his own plays. The destruction of Columbia. which consumed the city. . Sherman went to Columbia for the purpose of burning it. While there they watched Sherman's columns march into the city down a street at right angles to the road on which they were. of the destroyer of Columbia." that the conflagration "was accidental. 1888. It is pleasant to have happened to be a witness to these facts. 1873. for from no military purpose. to it to shake the This extraordinary admission also faith of his people in him. Report of Committee appointed to collect Testimony in regard to nurnint? of Cohimbia Article by (ten. and remained there until near two. "in season and out of season. and they could not fail to have seen fires.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS. and the ''Dragoons'' were not withdrawn their post of observation until hours after the formal surrender made by the Mayor had been accepted." in *See sundry articles in Southern Historical Papers. Evidence before the Mixed Commission on Claims. for aught I know. The *evidence of this. was a barbarous act utterly indefensible under the laws of war of all civilized nations. . As for Sherman's tions or garrison. and had been formally surrendered by the civil authorities. Lincoln would say) of a small darkey. 2d. June 24th. republished in Charleston ^mni. entirely unmolested except for six or eight shots from sharp-shooters. a place which had been without fortificawhich contained only noncombatants. that Napoleon Bona- Wade Hampton. is overwhelming. page 11 387. from Federal as well as Confederate sources. Hiimptoii in Ualtimorc BfM/uirer. 81 The " DragooDs " halted on the hill about ten o'clock. and undefended. statements to a contrary effect." and admitting that in his General official report he " distinctly charged so pointedly.
and yet it was a the programme. The wind had been blowing in and when it changed brought with it these indications of the fearful crime which had been committed. a perfect Rosinante. several sizes too large for him. SKETCH OF THE until at length his employer remonstrated: ''Ki It ! missus. their Oa the night of February 17th the Company horses saddled and the men ready to about eight miles from Columbia. that some suggestion of the ludicrous will intrude itself in a mal-apropos manner. gaze towards the town. For days after this Madeira. was being drunk along the road from tin-cups. were parting from kindly retreat- As they had marched through the town many at a woman's pale face was seen windows watching the ing column. waste such glorious wine in this and similar ways. and resume the first part of He was not at all intoxicated. Many of down upon the entrance of them were leaving behind all there near relatives. fearing that other- wise drunkenness and excesses would result from its robbery by Sherman's army. rested. He would the situation." replied he apologetically. It seemed well nigh sacrilegious to case of in vino Veritas. ancient and wonderful in build.82 telling untruths. and so it was at this time. mount instantly. then he would slowly raise with both hands the huge bottle. As soon as it was definitely ascertained that . his charger at the same time looking the picture of woe. but the owners gave it away in preference to destroying it. mingling groOne of tesquely comedy and tragedy. ac(|uaintances. after which h^ would rest it again carefully on the pommel of his saddle. and take a pull. and no one with the heart of a man could feel otherwise than pained and humiliated at being obliged to leave under such circumstances. But it will often happen. within The next morning thick an opposite direction until near daybreak. or dear friends. which gave him a very droll appearance. clouds of smoke drifted past. and utterly out of keeping with the rest of his dress. the "Dragoons" was wearing an overcoat of civilian style. as but lively they looked Sherman into the city. "but dey does come so slick off de tongue I" may naturally be supposed the "Dragoons" were in anything spirits. to his lips. and the tears would roll down his cheeks. and this was heightened by that of his This fellow was sincerely grieved at horse. on the most solemn occasions. shaken-up and muddy. but he also had a magnum of Madeira.
and hitting back. &c. and here Alfred Manigault was stricken down by a sudden attack of illness congestive chill. it was diverting to watch the latter gradually lightening ship. clocks. and would be loaded with all kinds of family property.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAnOONS. His body was properly buried by the authorities. By this arrangement they avoided ordinary picket duty. and were used by the Major-Cfeneral commanding the Division as a body of couriers. then a ham or two. but his pluck had kept him in the saddle in spite of this. but I — have never noticed the return of watches. in small parties committing crimes. they would rarely show decent fight. bags of flour. several "Dragoons" volunteered to return there disguised to learn the condition of the inhabitants. jewelry. or some of them. or silver. first letting go a bag of flour. The service entered upon by the '"Dragoons" from this date was of a very exciting and not altogether disagreeable kind. and for special service. as in spite of this the distance would be abridged between pursuer and pursued. From time to time it may now be observed in the newspapers. and died some hours afterwards. children's clothes and play-things." And then. 83 the town was burned. There were but few days during which they were not under fire. The next day's march was to Winnsboro. that any portion of the Division had. They were detached from the Fourth Regiment. and so on until at length ." and there is probably no other kind When Hushed of warfare that contains such a source of sport. but would run as if Satan himself was after them. and thus left on his departure. It was amusing to see what wonderful speed a '" bummer. women's dresses." fleeing from the wrath to come. could get out of an old mule loaded down with " booty. hams. There was much occupation in running down " bummers. that compunctions induce restitution to be made of articles of no intrinsic value thus stolen. frequently in connection with himself personally. but when Sherman came up it was disinterred. He was left behind in hospital at Winnsboro when the command marched from there. but there was not a brush. Generally they were mounted on farm-animals stolen from the country people. did not have a hand. in the operations near Columbia he had been subjected to much exposure and hardship in scouting. but their offer was not accepted. in which they. involving the brain. He had been far from well for some time previously.
for foraging. in the very act of setting fire to the building. but unhappily it was being pursued systematically under the eyes of the Commanding General and his Staff. legitimately conducted in an enemy's country to obtain necessary supplies for an army. longing to the owner. Aide-de-Camp to Sherman. when pounced upon. and the devotion and fervor of the Crusader are developed in For you feel that if perthe same individual at the same time." in reading their country's history. coolly remarks that "American f magazine No wonder "bummer-running'" Boys and Girls." he says. came suddenly upon a so-called foraging party of In front of a small farm-house stood the cart bethe enemy. and such were usually Sherman's so-called foragers. to see the stealing of the personal effects and children." by Major . we will no more vex barities of Sherman's march. the women and children. (a mild case) may serve as a description of bummer-running. whose only shelter it was. is sanctioned by the laws of war. ments the march. Mclwlas. On the march between Winnsboro and Cheraw. ^St. May. 1887. pursuing a somewhat unfrequented road. it happened one morning that a small detachment." than that which recounts the barHowever. Staff Officer. *" story of the Great March from the Diai-y of a George Ward Nichols.84 pei'haps the pious SKETCH OF THE man would reluctantly throw overboard a of. " will find no chapter more fascinating. It would have been well had the robbery been confined to these.'" rare sport. own soul the reader's and our by dwelling on this subject or deOne incident scribing the track of fire visible night and day. By " bummers" it is not meant to describe foragers. ex- family-bible. I suppose no occupation can be conceived cept bummer-running. change you lose your life in thus defending and avenging women and children. And yet a largely circulated at was which is (or was) the South. One of his *Military Family relates this: " It was comical. you will go straight to Heaven. by "bummer" is meant a cowardly robber. which the "foragers" had loaded with everything from the house that they fancied. and they were. in which the delight of the sportsman. clothing of women and observes that "Comical!" Defenceless of the excite- women bread ! Avith their fatherless children crying to them in vain for He of "the search made one for children. having taken to The cart was loaded with heterothe woods to avoid a worse fate.
traversing this lane the Fourth would be in plain view. ried out. and also to havi3 fine sport chasing these worthies mounted on plunder. Every now and then some of . when. and was ridinghalloos. On through some long thick broom-grass. but by riding quietly along on a walk. mingled in a wild chorus as that race returning from the chase one of the men took a short-cut near the fork of the roads. and worked capitally. and for life was run. almost from under his horse's feet. Now. geneous 85 articles. and by dashing through the woods and thus saving distance. all manner of four- footed animals loaded pistol-shots down with Yells and cheers. which led to the farm-yard where the Federals had In stacked arms. making a pyramid eight or nine feet in height. poor innocent. The house stood at a point where the road forked at an acute angle. who had been . and reported about 200 infantry "foragers" engaged in pillaging the house and out- buildings preparatory to aj^plying the torch. and near which they were busy plundering. and get off before reinforcements can arrive. talking and laughing. some of the Confederates were able to cut off "bummers" who had fled down the other road at their approach." said he. on the very top of which was a hirge faraily-bible. attached to the Division in Virginia. and had accompanied the command to South Carolina. especially as the men in the head of the column wore blue overThis plan was carcoats captured from the enemy in Virginia. "They have stacked their arms in the yard. nearly a half mile in length.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS. had after leaving the main road the approach to Cantey's to be made down a lane.'' So Colonel Rutledge with the Fourth was ordered forward for this purpose. with sheathed sabres and pistols in the holsters. or avenue. it was thought the "bummers" would mistake the Confederates for their own people. up jumped an officer and begged for his life. Frequently attacks on "bummers" would be of a more serious Such was the case early one rainy morning at Cantey's Farm. "and you can bag every one of them. and was quite ignorant of and horrified at the conduct of his soldiers. He protested that he had been taking a nap. on Lynches Creek D a scout. came galloping in on his little bay horse (or more properly speaking pony). nature.
and a very devil in action.86 SKETCH OF THE tlie the ''foragers" would come out of the house." After that the wound became worse." having thrown the injured limb over the pummel of his saddle in " lady fashion. but not athletic in build. had been the witnesses of much ruthless devastation. His manners were excellent. a high-spirited boy of sixteen. At length. and the tones of his voice habitually gentle. He was a native of the " Valley of Virginia." quietly remarked I)—. Eutledge. he then olfered to give his little horse to one of the " Dragoons. The three oldest of these had met soldiers' deaths in defending their home. a wonderful pistol-shot. or score twenty-five dead Federals for every brother he had lost. D was a very interesting character. and being unable to ride. The day after he had been shot in the leg. The transformation from the man's natural dispowas caused in this way. had joined a cavalry company. he was butchered by Federal mercenaries (Thank God not by Americans!). and then return within doors in fancied security. The count stood at several over seventy. light in weight. inoffensive in appearance. The youngest. who was riding beside Col." whose fertile fields. like a ." by far the greatest compliment the latter ever received. While the child was lying injured and helpless on the ground. had been killed. rendered famous by the genius of Stonewall Jackson. for Rutledge shouted " Charge !" and the "bummer" Fourth made quick clean work. and in retreating the boy's horse had fallen when turning a corner. when the Fourth had reached of the house. From that moment D was a changed man. D was a rather small person. when he sition to his acquired proclivities I himself was disabled by a wound. But most of them were too late. But as for D . and wiry. and with his mother's kisses and tears still almost wet on his cheeks. " They think we are Kilpatrick's men. look at party approaching. he vowed that he would die. A dash had been made into Winchester. which must be the justification for this digression. He was the sole survivor of five brothers. picturesque streams and beautiful mountains. But he was like a blood-liound on the trail of human blood. and immediately they all made a rush for their arms. seldom missing even when at full speed. I know nothing of his subsequent career. a to within a few yards shouted something to his friends. I saw him charge "bummers.
The rider Avas unhurt. The was Company was accordingly ordered to wheel round and take a street at right angles. two rapidly as you could ''bummers" lay dead (he had a knack of hilling. and to rejoin his company. for he was mentally calculating how many seconds would it be required to reload the gun. " Don't you think you will have some further use for those things?" The hint was of course at once taken. tiger on his prey. and when he saw the "Dragoon" was about to leave. feeling sure tically the would be fired from the same position. Butler. but difficulty in disentangling himself from his dead horse. and they were in column of twos. These were withdrawn Dee River in consequence of the approach of Sher- man's large force. At Cheraw across the Pee a junction was made with troops from the former garrisons of Charleston and Savannah. he up his few effects easily removable. which afforded the cavalry a fair cliance for such As for the other Federals. He had first just taken his place. and therefore not to be got without some delay. as a contribution to the cause of the Union. for there were around and behind the house extending a considerable distance. not fields open pell-mell business. struck legs with- and passed out between the front had some out exploding. Butler's Division being the rear-guard. when the gun opened his horse in the rear. which by this time had filed round the hastily snatched corner. and as a "right and left'' at partridges. many escaped. however. and joined the rear rank of the company. The " Dragoons" remained in the town covering the removing of pickets. Freed from the horse. however. not looundiufj). one of the "Dragoons" rode up on his return from delivering to a picket-post an order of withdrawal.CHARLESTON" LIGHT DRAGOONS. and never be- . had remained in the street watching the artillerymen. and that the projectile would strike in iden- same spot as the last. in managed to bring up a gun which they were at that time to fire down the stationed. While this was being done. Gen. pointiiig to the saddle and bridle. which. fire. he scored a third just afterwards. but as the saddle and bridle were under the carcass of the animal. horse fire 87 and rider sprang among them. and more for aught I know. he lost no time in doing. leaving the poor animal nearly disemboweled. a rifled-shell. remarked quietly. and the shot. the Federals main street. he concluded to leave them behind. so as to avoid the line of fire As this being done.
and not by some coarse " buggy" stolen from rise the country people. but I'm damned if I want the lialter. closed in dark and rainy." they opened in full cry on the trail Indeed there were not wanting some older fellows. Kilpatrick to occupy a road was captured. " I've got my saddle and bridle. During that afternoon. there were ocmore important affairs of the cavalry during this cam- paign. Such was the surprise of Kilpatrick's camp. smiled and looked interested. corner. a light carriage. this it To make clear the cause of all will only be necessary to give this explanation. the SKETCH OF THE and bridle removed from horse. a certain very pretty woman. prior to February Iv'th. fortuAt this the Dragoon observed. be a collision with a shell in which he would play a prominent Hardly were they taken oil'." and then made the best of his way round the at the other will. dead or alive. She did not belong to the detnimonde. Then there arose much excitement among certain of the ''Dragoons. nately without hurting any one. . struck a pump standing in the middle of the roadway by the corner. which has A picket sent out by already been *de!=cribed. "dressed to kill. At Columbia. her dainty little feet rarely touching the pavement except when she was entering a shop. some eight miles from Fayetteville. or the "Dragoons." driving in her carriage. man meanwhile expecting each second there would part. on March 10th. on striking: such a road. any day and many times a day. General. 13. might have been seen. without the firing of a shot. his Staff and the Dragoons The night being the force with which this feat was performed. when the considerate gentle- men peace and good end of the street let fly another messenger of which came along shrieking and talking through its nose. and this good fortune was availed of to surprise and route the entire Federal Cavalry Corps before sun- The day preceding this brilliant affair the next morning. N. and the roads over which Kilpatrick's corps passed were much cut-up by vehicles.88 fore were saddle so quickly. and then carromed into a house. pages 123-130. a Confederate detachment noticed the track of wheels looking very unlike the broad ruts left by artillery. or These impressions were evidently those made by wagon-trains. noiselessly. vol. by General Butler. who in fact. casionally Besides the skirmishing and bummer-running. was very wet. C. in some detail." +Southern Historical Society Papers.
therefore. their troubled dreams probably ran more on those wheel-tracks than on the hard fight against many times their number. except William Fishburne. the Federals could not have been more astonished and demoralised. then indulged in pistol-i^ractice in the streets. fell-in with the charging column. where unprotected females were wont to find a haven. It is a glorious thing to be young and without the responsibilities. Now these wheel-tracks ful were supposed to have been made by the carriage of this beautiHelen of Troy. which was in store for them before sun-rise. leaving behind their accoutrements. each man with his bridle-rein through his arm. hungry and they passed that night sitting on the ground. and their probably needs no further explanation. and the attack upon Kilpatrick was arranged. and she herself was believed to be in Kilpatrick's camp. The too. it When. cause of the excitement among the boys. the detachment. who had been sent forward to deliver a message to some one. and having performed this duty. to which had been assigned the first charge. under her mother's wing.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS. but made-oif in every direction. was involved in much obscurity. afterwards the picket was captured. who was by profession a philanthropist. At first they did not attempt to fight. lest enemy detect something wrong. yet it must be confessed her paternity. and afterwards made an advantageous marriage at the North with a relative of a noted Brooklyn preacher. This damsel. All the ''Dra- goons" rode detachment which first charged. left Columbia with Sherman's army. By the first dim light of a foggy morning. of course would not have been acquainted with her. 89 being properly behaved young men. with no fires or smoking. may well be imagined that the delight of the youngsters was unbounded. or conversation allowed. jeunesse lodging a derringer-bullet among the back teeth of one of the dorl'e. like that of some of the most famous Goddesses of Mythology. having a marked into the camp in the rear of the 12 . elders. she figured as defendant in a law suit. thundered through Kilpatrick's camp. ready to mount at com- mand. and finished up by marrying a second time a titled foreigner of Latin extraction. If an earthquake had burst upon them. After skirmishing a little while in the borderland of Gotham's society. to have a strong constitution and a good con- science. As wet. tired. in practice a philogynist.
acting in first connection with a part of Gen. the boys thought their hopes were ful siren with the wonderful blonde hair. but at that moment unfortu- good many horses were tied near this house. wards there stepped forth from the house a a sensation realized. Her urgent wish^on this occasion was that her horses should be harnessed to the carriage. clothed only in shirt and drawers. from Vermont. Wheeler's men. A without boots or hat. after the surprise had been efl'ected. but as that was impracticable. so that it was like a ball at which one could While this was going on. As for the Division. rather plain looking and not over. rushed frantically out of the house. a rather obtain a vis-a-vis readily. and route of Kilpatrick^s Corps . dirty rough nately this was not understood. but with the ver"school-marm" said.90 SKETCH OF THE Just to the right of where proclivity for always being in fights. on finding that occupation did not "pay" to temporarily presiding over Kilpatrick^s mili- tary establishment. and she was incurring great risk of being accidentally shot. it drove the demoralized cavalrymen pell-mell back to the protection of a large body of infantry. some one persuaded her to lie down in a drainageditch on the road-side. like a sensible woman. had turned her people. cut the halter of a horse tied to a post of the jjiazza. looking person. and thus was unhurt by the bullets. This female character who thus made her appearance in the performance. — a lone damsel. including three which had been "appropriated " along the line All the Confederate prisoners of march by the Federal General." if jumped upon upon a "quarter- lowed to escape. and then withdrew. and therefore was alSome little time afterbut it was Kilpatrick. besides much materiel and many horses. the romance had vanished. which proved to be Kilpatriek's head-quarters. This individual was unknown. But it was a sad pity that much of the romance of the adventure was spoiled by lack of attractiveness in the heroine. a it was satility of well. figure.young person. carrying away nearly as many prisoners as the entire number of the attacking force. At the first flutter of the dress which made and sight of the round straw-hat. it She had been. and sped away as race. was a but a nearer view dashed them. she did. as described. and some of the men about there fought handto-hand for awhile. which. the "Dragoons" entered was a small farm-house. the animal bare-backed. of was not the beautiwhom they had been dreaming.
listening to the enlivening clatter made by the weapons of the "valiant trenchermen" within. were released." column of fours. and rushed forward with frantic cheers. tion with this occurred. and it was therefore presumably the advance-guard of a much larger Nearly all the Confederate force had by this time crossed body. Two in which the "Dragoons" Their Division was the rear-guard in the crossing of the Cape Fear Kiver. muttering something." when their attention was attracted by a fellow galloping past. so the three " Dragoons " mounted and rode round the corner in the direction indicated. of the command. as if he had a very pressing engagement elsewhere.atrick. and it looked as if the enemy in the street in drawn up Now this was. but the Company had gone to the town early in the morning to await there the arrival At Fayetteville an affair occurred again figured prominently. if practicable. but a part. sucli not being the habit of Kilpatrick's troopers. was not This did not prove possible however for three of them. and "Jistthar'' they were. and waiting for " their turn. consisting chiefly of stragglers and the sick A tragic incident in connecpoor fellows. It was not to be supposed that the detachment was distant from its supports. Duncan. and were killed." So the three troopers with empty stomachs were ''cooling their heels" on the outside of the hotel. 91 held by Kilp. a serious situation. it had passed There was something in the place that was and the " Dragoons " had leave to get breakfasts for the purpose of crossing after there. broke from the Federal Provost guard." and what there was naturally became appropriated by the " higher dignitaries. but in the fog and powder-smoke were mistaken for charging enemies. the bridge. who was captured. from the infantry. as there sufficient breakfast to " go round. welcoming their deliverers. was still on the Southern side of the river. but without slackening speed he pointed with his thumb over his shoulder. sure enough. stated this to be the . including Butler's Division. which seemed to From this it was inferred that something was wrong. on first seeing the Confederate columns. called a hotel. over the bridge. a mounted company of *seventy-five Federals be "jistthar. I think). or The Captain (named number. while awaiting the arrival of the Division.CHARLESTON LTfiHT DRAGOONS. might become. They hailed him to ask what he was in such a hurry about.
'' and shooting their pistols into the mass. against which they would have dashed at the full run. the Confederates were within a few feet of the head of their column. On the body of one of the killed were found The Conseveral watches. if to avoid the collision. who. which was still some Moreover. as counted. volley with carbines. and a few seconds afterwards gave the order " Charge !" And at them the eight (or seven) rushed in full speed.92 SKETCH OF THE distance from the was about to attempt to cut-off the latter. in which document he says they " acted with conspicuous gallantry in charging and wrote an official Harleston. but no doubt some more escaped wounded. which had already crossed. of the bridge. Hampton to merit marked commendation. which passed out behind the girth. as it was. the entire company had not broken and For their own good they ought either to have left sooner. but before they The Federals fired one had time for doing more. Confederate columns. The result was that the enemy did not make any further attempt to press with cavalry. commanding . as if pealing "the banner-cry of Hell. had after that mere bummer-running. accompanied by either three or four followers. not fighting. but one gallant horse received a bullet in the chest. besides a considerable sum of money. amounted to eleven. and he accordingly communication to that effect to Lieutenant the Company. striking them at close quarters when broken. and yet he showed no symptoms of distress until after the fight and pursuit were ended. the Federals would be able to press the retreating street. or to have stood more firmly. Hampton galloped round the corner. fled. when Gen. by preventing the burning tovvJi. they could not have managed the matter better for their foes. federates lost no men. when his weakness gave the first intimation that he had The service rendered by the three received a mortal wound. but was captured plundering in a house near by. for. the sabres doing good work when the pistols were emptied. "Dragoons" on this occasion was thought at the time by Gen. The bag. except the very last. and the Confederates crossed the bridge unmolested. The three ''Dragoons" had not been long in the and one was about returning to report to head-quarters. yelling. who exchanged some conipli^iients with sharp-shooters. The Captain in command of the Federals was not with his company when it was attacked.
Not long afterwards a detachment of four men under Lieutenant Harleston. who. or Hell. with which were several officers. occasion reflects high credit them At Smithfield the army halted. The people were kindly. Then '* Liars Cowards Deserters I" were some of the vile epithets hurled contemptuously at these men. U2ion Their conduct on as sokliers. but withal not warriors. who had borne "the at a loss for a simile to properly illustrate the courage "He is as brave as — as. Their number had at this time been increased by fresh recruits. Soon afterwards a larger party was encountered." but with " peach and honey" as well. that Lee had surrendered. They found a country not only literally " over-flowing with milk and honey. "as a Oxen. for was it not impossible. They replied that they were from the Army of Northern Virginia. "How is this? Where are you from ?" was asked of the strangers. 93 driving from the town of Fayetteville that party of the enemy's cavah'y which entered the town before it had been evacuated by our troops. and by members returned from sick or wounded furloughs. and a foul thing not even to be whispered in Heaven. and here the " Dragoons " re- ported back to the Fourth Regiment as Co. to collect horses. indeed better men than themselves. was ordered to the adjoining County (Nash)." ! I I agony and bloody sweat" of a terrible crucifixion. in describing some absent friend.^' One need not entertain doubt as to what manner of men these were. who could suppose the highest courage typified by "a Oxen!" In April riding along a road one morning some cavalrymen were met coming from the North. had evaded military service. One of these. and the " Dragoons" discovered then that they had been unjustly reviling as good as. Some of them had been wounded during the campaign. and passed on their way. for these were paroled soldiers. or Earth. There were comparatively a large number of able-bodied men there. but none had been killed. as well as by some absentees resurrected from Bureaudetails. that Lee's Army could surrender They bore the abuse in silence. or by crook. and they were in consequence returning to their homes paroled. became for a mo- ment attributed to his hero: he he hesitated a moment. for whom he evidently entertained a great admiration. who had only .CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS. K." this. by hook.
but rode through the country Southward. small in numbers. and had afterwards. legally and morally right.'" The " by Johnston. together had won victories. Conscious of rectitude in the past. where they understood the war would still be waged. who were with the army. the manhood of the country from highest to lowest. why was the cause at last overwhelmed? Why did eternal right sink before mere numerical might ? This is a problem impossible of solution. we . passing by towns and settled neighborhoods at night. The effects of this we may feel sure the world have reason yet bitterly to deplore. were. who had done notably good service at Pocotaligo. the war was ended. getting little food for man or beast. the Charleston Light Dragoons. and must expunge " with blood and iron. in the name of the just God. Hutchiuson (Philip Hutchinson). intending to renew the fight under the Southern Cross in the Trans-Mississippi Department. performed severe duty as a scout^ burst into tears. but one thing is certain: in the destruction of the inde- pendence of the Southern States was struck the most injurious blow against Civil Liberty. had charged^ shoulder to shoulder. wounds and death. had been wounded at Dragoons. The detachment in Nash County did not surrender for many weeks afterwards. as already related. but of unquenchable courage and unsullied honour." which has been dealt in modern will times. Ilawes' Shop." unless "the mills of the Gods" change their immemorial manner of grinding. In their behalf brilliant genius and unsurpassed valor. Then why.94 reluctantly SKETCH OF THE ceased fighting against incredible Oads at Lee's bidding. beyond question. But it was not to be. threw his hat passionately on the ground. against the principle that Governments among English-speaking peoples derive "their just powers from the consent of the governed. as best they could. together had endured hunger and thirst. ceased to exist. cold and heat. and the momentous news announced. and spoke wild words. confident of vindication in the future. The principles for which the Confederates fought. were surrendered They were formed in line. and with the extinction of the mighty Confederate Armies. insignificant in material strength. whose glory will be immortal. there were many instances of the same kind.
and in this sense it was selected by the " Dragoons. Penned by poets and by sages. The objects of the organization were to preserve. among other meanings. Shall go sounding down the Ages. the imperishable nature of Civil Liberty. the year of the State's redemption. com- and eventually to erect a Monument to solely their fallen fellow- soldiers. a form which has been used in all times to symbolize." After returning to their homes (or what was left of them) at the end of the war^ the remaining members of the Charleston Light Dragoons formed themselves into a Survivors' Association. to the families of rades. During 1876.'' and proclaims the indestructible love cherished for Confederate Soldiers by all of their countrymen worthy of the name. Presidential administrations. and by it only sustained. to dispense charity. consummated under through the voluntary contributions of members. Hordes of ignorant . who. its Though folds are in the dust: For its fame on brightest pages. Furl its folds thougli now we must. All of these purposes were accomplished. the friendships existing between the men. 'twill live in song and story. And wreathed around with glory. "Furl Yet that Banner! True. The Monument. when Law and Order were overturned under a spurious State Government unlawfully erected by Federal force. the last being difficulties.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS. by continued personal association. at Magnolia Cemetery." It signifies. and of the relatives of their dead. a Sabre Club existed here under the title of the Those wore the days of Grant's Charleston Light Dragoons. for them. ''across the River/' now "• rest under the shade of the trees. 'tis 'tis 95 gory. and the immortality of the souls of their comrades. as far as practicable. consists of an obelisk hewn from native granite. undying life. and prior to that date.
then the. Survivors of the War-corps have given their sympathy and best wishes. were armed with riHes furnished from Washing- To keep alive the almost extinguished spark of civilisa- tion. will war to the death for Eternal Right. and corrupt carpet-baggers. and a few infamous renegades. of tlie country. On the setting-up of a real State Grovernment. or many. when in the future . this Club became a Militia Company. and in it they have been much pleased to accept the kindlv tendered positions of Honorary Members. under the leadership of Hampton and Butler. who. and to its cusof Confederate Soldiers. fident that We are con- comes the day. but magnificent array of battle." Dragoon Sabre Club bore an honorable part. tody the Survivors' Association afterwards confided in perpetuTo this post-bellum body the ity their completed Monument.96 SKETCH OF THE negroes. when again the ground shall shake under the impact of thousands of hoofs marshaled in the terrible." self-styled State Militia. these " hostcx Immani (jeneris. name of the Charleston Light Dragoous will be borne by true Soldiers. were banded together against the manliood and woman- hood ton. the Kitle agement and Sabre Clubs were instituted under the manand were maintained in spite In this movement the Charleston Light of "proclamations. as come among all peoples it must. be they few.
C. S. J. T. Louis M. Corporal. Sergeant. Prioleau. Allen Miles. Eber R. Alexander Robertson. G. K. B. . W. R. J. T. W. Nowell. 97 LIST OF THE NAMES OF THE DEAD ON THE MONUMENT. Bee. Boone. Thomas Lining. AV. J. Mordecai. 0. Jr. J. Robertson. E. Middleton. Frierson. Charles E. Phillips. Davis. A. H. Edward W. Fairly. Holmes. W. Jr. Arthur Eobinson. Josiali Corporal. Marion. J. Bedon. Vander Horst. F. W. O'Heab. Benjamin Bostick. James Adger. Jr. L. James W. P. A. Jr. W. Lieutenant. W. O'Neill. Middleton. T. McLeod. Porcher. H. A. Kirkland. Alfred Manigault.CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS. Corporal. James L. James Creightou. H. Percival R. Pringle.
.THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY REFERENCE DEPARTMENT .
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