« 上一頁繼續 »
that he would rather sacrifice his life than to leave him until he had placed him out of danger. The situation was an exposed one. Our men were sadly scattered and there was hardly a handful of men between the little group and the advancing enemy.
"But the horse arrived in time; the General was lifted upon him and was led by Captain Dorsey to a safer place. There, by the General's orders, he gave him into the charge of Private Wheatley, of his company, and returned to rally his scattered men.
"Wheatley procured an ambulance and placed the General in it with the greatest care, and supporting him in his arms, he was driven to the rear. I was hastening forward to that part of the field, when I had heard that he was wounded, when I met the ambulance. The General had so often told me, that if he were wounded, I must not leave the field, but report to the officer next in rank, that I did not now presume to disregard his orders, and the more so, because I saw Dr. Fountain, Venable, Garnett, Hulliben and several of his couriers attending him. I remained with General Fitz Lee until the next morning, when he sent me to the city to see General Bragg, and I thus had an opportunity to spend an hour with my General."
Lee the next day into Richmond with dispatches to General Bragg. After delivering the documents, the Major called to see his wounded chief. He found him comparatively calm and in full possession of his mind. Stuart direted McClellan to make proper disposition of his official papers, then made him executor of his personal effects. He said: "Let Venable have the gray and you take the bay. You will find a Confederate flag in my hat sent me by a lady of Columbia, S. C., who had desired me to wear it, then return it to her. Send it to her. My spurs which I have always worn in battle, I promised to give to Mrs. Lilly Lee of Shepherds. town, Virginia. My sword I leave to my son."
The report of cannon attracted his attention; he asked what was the meaning of it. Major McClellan told him Gracie was moving upon Sheridan's rear, while Fitz Lee was opposing his advance at Meadow Bridge. Earnestly Stuart responded: "God grant they may be successful." Then realizing his own condition said, "but I must prepare for another world." Just then President Davis came into the death chamber. Taking the Cavalier's hand he asked: "General, how do you feel?" "Easy, but willing to die if God and my country think I have fulfilled my destiny and done my duty." In the afternoon he asked Doctor Brewer if he could survive the night. The doctor frankly told him that death was close at hand. Stuart's reply was: "I am resigned if it be God's will. But I should like to see my wife. But, God's will be done!" Soon after he said to Dr. Brewer, "I'm going fast now; I am resigned; God's will be done," and then the spirit sought "the shade of the trees," across the river. Thus passed away one of the greatest cavalry leaders the world has produced. As an out-post officer, he had no superior; as a raiding commander Dame Fortune rode with him and
As the ambulance was being driven to the rear, he noticed the disorganization of his men retreating and he called to them: "Go back! Go back!! and do your duty as I have done mine, and our country will be safe. Go back! Go back!! I had rather die than be whipped." These were his last words upon the battle field-words not of idle egotism, but of soldierly entreaty. It was after midnight when the ambulance bearing the wounded cavalier reached Dr. Brewer's, his brother-inlaw, in Richmond. Stuart suffered much during the trip into the city.
Major McClellan was sent by Fitz smiled success in every effort. Hand
some, a splendid rider, bred to arms, of wonderful physical endurance, he was a beau ideal trooper; and since the death of Jackson, the Army of Northern Virginia had sustained no such loss. In General Orders General Lee thus bemoaned the loss of his cavalry commander: "Among the gallant soldiers who have fallen in this war General Stuart was second to none, in valor, in zeal, and in unflinching devotion to his country. His achievements form a conspicuous part of the history of this army, with which his name and services will be forever associated. To military capacity of a high order, and to nobler virtues of the soldier, he added the brighter graces of a pure life, guided and sustained by the Christian's faith and hope. The mysterious Hand of an all-wise God has removed him from the scene of his usefulness and fame. His grateful countrymen will mourn his loss and cherish his memory. To his comrades in arms, he has left the proud recollection of his deeds and the inspiring influence of his example."
That was General Lee's estimate of Stuart. When Jackson had been struck down in the dark shadows of the wilderness surrounding Chancellorsville, and A. P. Hill wounded and disqualified to command the Stonewall Corps, General Jackson said: "Send for General Stuart," and when the bronze bearded cavalry man reported and asked for Stonewall's plans, Jackson responded, "Tell General Stuart he must act upon his own judgment and
Some Reminiscences From Men on the
[All the tales of the Civil War have not been written nor told. Watson's Magazine proposes to publish each month short narratives from those who actually took part in the "War of the '60's." In fighting their battles over, the old Veterans will be surprised first, then gratified at the eager interest with which their tales are read. We hope our old Confederate Veterans will send in their recollections; their war-time anecdotes, the history of the foraging tours, their brief romances, and all the data which went to make up the lives of "the Boys in Gray" in '61-'65.-The Editor.]
General Horatio C. King, on one occasion narrating some war memories,
"We suffered many harships on both sides, but the poor, brave Confederates suffered most. I remember a grizzled old colored man who at the outbreak of the Spanish war applied for a place
as an army cook.
"What experience have you had?' the old fellow was asked.
"I was cook, sah, fo' a Confederate regiment in sixty-fo', he answered“that is, sah, I had the position of cook, but, to tell the truth, I didn't work at
""Why not?' ""There wasn't nothin' to cook, sah.'"
The Battle of Yellow Tavern
I noticed in your issue of October 12 a communication from Mr. Frank Dorsey respecting the wounding of MajorGeneral J. E. B. Stuart at Yellow Tav. There has been so much controversy in the papers during the last 35 or 40 years as to how the wounding and death of our noble General occurred, and as historians and others vary in their accounts of that sad tragedy and seem unable to agree, please allow an eyewitness and one who participated in that memorable engagement at Yellow Tavern to give to the public the exact truth. Mr. Dorsey's statement is nearer correct than any I have yet seen. I was in a position to know every particular of that memorable fight on May 11, 1864, when our beloved General re
ceived his death wound. I belonged to Company K of the First Virginia Cavalry, Companies D and K forming our squadron. Company D was made up of men from Washington county, Virginia, commanded by Captain Litchfield, and Company K, of Maryland, commanded by Lieut. Gus Dorsey. The First Virginia on that day was in line
of battle on the extreme left of Wick. ham's brigade with Companies D and K forming the left of the regiment, resting on the Yellow Tavern road. Just across the road was General Lomax's brigade. D and K were deployed along a line of fence in the woods-a position they, together with the regiment, had held nearly the entire day. About 5 o'clock in the afternoon General Stuart came riding slowly through the woods, whistling and entirely alone, and took a position directly between Fred Pitts (a young man from the eastern shore of Maryland) and myself, with his horse's head extending over the fence. My left elbow was touching the boot on General Stuart's right leg, while Pitts was equally as close to the General on his left. He had been with us in this position scarcely five minutes when some of General Lomax's mounted men made a charge up the road and were driven back by a regiment of Federal cavalry, which, when they got to our line of battle, filed to the left along the fence in front of our command, passing within 10 or 15 feet of General Stuart. General Stuart. They fired a volley as they passed, one shot of which hit the General in the side. I saw him press his hand to his side and said to him:
"General, you are hit." "Yes," he replied. "Are you wounded badly?" I asked. "I am afraid I am," he said, "but don't worry, boys, Fitz (meaning General Fitz Lee) will do as well for you as I have done." We were then taking him back, Tom Waters of Balti more leading his horse, while Fred Pitts and myself, one on either side of him, went back about 100 yards, when Pitts and myself left him in charge of Waters and some men from the ambulance corps and returned to our position at the fence, as it was of the greatest importance to hold this position to prevent him from being captured. This we did until General Stuart had been removed from the field, when our regiment slowly retreated. When Pitts and myself left him, the General was still sitting on his horse. When he was wounded he was near the center of Company K, with no other troops near him. He took neither a courier nor any member of his staff with him. Who took him off his horse, I do not know.
J. R. OLIVER. 235 W. Preston St., Baltimore.
Captured and Court-Martialed The writer, a Virginian, a youth of nineteen, had already seen three and a half years of active service in the Confederate army, when early in November, 1864, he joined a foolhardy expedition of 380 men to capture the town of Beverly, in Randolph county, West Virginia, held by an Ohio cavalry regiment (the Eighth, I understood) 800 strong.
Our command (called in army parlance a "Q" Battalion, viz: men from different companies and different regiments of General John D. Imboden's brigade, recently ordered to Highland county to recruit our horses, broken down in Early's raid on Washington City, and the active campaign in the Shenandoah valley, lately ended), was
by Captain Hill, of the Sixty-second Virginia, a young West Virginia mountaineer of reckless daring.
Owing to the disparity in numbers, our only hope of success lay in a "surprise," and as a large portion of the denizens of West Virginia were stanch Unionists, we were forced to abandon the public roads and make the journey through the heart of the mountains. The afternoon of October 27th, found us some six miles from our destination. Here we got our supper and rested till dark, when with injunctions of strict silence, and to muzzle our canteens to prevent their jingling, we resumed our march, flanked the enemy's pickets, and took a position on the river bank, less than a mile distant from the town, where we lay on our arms, intending to attack at dawn, while the enemy still slept. Despite our precautions, the enemy apprised of our approach, had posted a chain guard (connecting sentinels) over a half mile from their camp, and nearly an hour before dawn their bugle sounded "Reville."
We sprang to our feet at the sound, and formed in line. Undaunted at the miscarriage of his plans, and though outnumbered nearly three to one (having lost a hundred men by straggling the previous night), our intrepid leader determined on an intsant attack, and passed the order down the line, "Forward."
We had advanced but a few hundred yards when "Who comes there? Halt!” Bang! Bang! greeted us.
"Charge boys," shouted Hill, and the "rebel yell" awoke the echoes of the mountains as we dashed up the river bank, and swept at double quick on their line, they firing on us by our "yell" and we on them by the flash of their carbines. As we neared their line they broke and retreated to their quarters, one-story log huts built on a hollow square. We cut off and captured several hundred prisoners, who subsequently escaped, as we could spare few men to guard them.
We thought "the red field won," and pressed on to their quarters, yelling
"surrender, surrender," and many of our men fell dead at the dors of the various cabins, shot dead by the inmates who could distinguish their forms in the dim light, while within all was dark as Erebus. After discharging our muskets, at close range, we clubbed them and battled hand to hand. Captain Hill, Lieutenant Gamble, and every of ficer in command went down in the "shock of battle," and dawn now revealing the paucity of our numbers, the enemy rallied, and attacked us with renewed fury. Without leaders, and scattered in this pell-mell fight in the dark, our men were driven back and began to retreat in all directions.
Had I realized that we were whipped (a most difficult task for a volunteer to learn) I could have mounted eight or ten men (as the enemy's horses stood in the stables near by, fully equipped), captured their pickets and made my escape; but I attempted in vain to rally our men, until I found myself nearly alone, when I retreated, waded the river (holding my gun and cartridge box above my head, as the water came up to my neck) and succeeded in reaching a wooded swamp nearby, with five of my comrades, where we were soon surrounded, and forced to surrender to a scouting party sent out to cut off our retreat to the mountains.
Ninety of us, picked up in small squads, were captured and huddled together in what had once been on old frame church, now utilized as a guard house. The stone foundations four feet high, with the upright beams supporting the roof, still stood, but the sides, flooring and other woodwork had been ripped off, and devoted to campfire duty. With its floor of earth and open sides, it afforded little protection from the wintry blasts that swept from the surrounding mountains.
My loved mother (peace to her ashes) had sent me from Philadelphia, Pa., (made into a skirt and worn by a Vir
ginia relative through the lines) some gray cloth which I had made into a uniform resembling (as I subsequently learned) those worn by "Jesse Scouts," Federal soldiers, thus clad, to pass more readily as "Rebs" within our lines.
When I was brought into camp, one of the "Yanks" remarked: "Johnny, you look very much like a fellow that used to scout for General Averill." Deeming it only a casual remark I replied simply, "Do I?" and gave no further heed to the matter.
About three o'clock that afternoon I was summoned and escorted by two guards before a drumhead court martial composed of five regimental officers (the other officers being present as "amici curiae") held in a large room on the first floor of one of the town dyellings, used as army headquarters by the Colonel commanding, and charged with desertion and joining the enemy, conviction for which meant death.
I had braved the "grim monster" on many fields, but, amid "the rapture of the fight," when not altogether oblivious of his presence, his visage was not unfriendly, but now, at the thought of being led out and shot "like a dog" on a false accusation, death inspired disgust rather than terror. Friendless and exhausted, by the long tramp through the mountains, the charge and fight of the early morn, I sank into a chair and gazed at the stern faces about me; no pity in their eyes, not even in those of a young lieutenant whom I had captured that morning, and to whom I had given a blanket (picked up on the field) remarking that "it would be very cold going back through the mountains and that he would need it."
When he came into the room I said
pleasantly, "Lieutenant, they have me on very serious charges." He replied. coldly, "Well I guess they are true." I said no more. The court was rapped to order; silence reigned and the judgeadvocate proceeded to read the "charg