THE OLD WAR HORSE
THE VOICE OF GENERAL JAMES LONGSTREET CAMP #1247, SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS
VOLUME 6, ISSUE 5, May, 2004
A battlefield during the War Between the States could be a very colorful place, and countless writers of the period described the "pageantry" of war. As the Battle of Fredericksburg got underway, even Robert E. Lee, perched atop the heights above the town observed, "It is well war is so terrible lest we grow too fond of it." Not only were there countless flag designs and colors, but military attire of the period was as equally diverse. The War Between the States was the last conflict that witnessed such varying and colorful uniforms. The Indian Wars of the following period were fought largely by regulars with "issue" garments, and the Spanish American War, though employing a large number of volunteers, saw little diversity. Americans met their requirements for militia service in varying ways from the Colonial Period through the WBTS. Many men simply reported for drill or muster wearing whatever clothing they had, civilian, military or combinations of both. Others formed companies or smaller units and held frequent drills, parades, balls and other social events where they could display their elaborate and distinctive uniforms. Their motivation was both military and the glamour that was associated with the mystique of military uniforms. In many instances membership in these organizations imparted a social status similar to membership in a very exclusive club. When the call to arms was issued in 1861, the volunteers reported for duty wearing clothing that reflected their militia requirements. They wore either civilian clothes or the most exotic of peacetime uniform. The Zouaves are an example of one exotic uniform style adopted from abroad. As the War progressed both sides displayed fewer and fewer of the exotic uniforms, however they never disappeared completely. As certain units distinguished themselves in battle, their unusual uniforms became symbols of their exploits. This was recognized by the United States government when it continued to authorize the manufacture of "non-regular" uniforms by government depots or private contractors with the requirement that the cost would not exceed that of the regulation issue garments. If the cost was higher, the unit was permitted to have these uniforms made if they would pay the additional cost. These units were in the minority however, since most Federal units found it more practical to adopt the readily accessible issue garments when their original unique uniforms were no longer serviceable. In the Confederacy the situation was similar with the additional factors of cloth shortages and broken lines of transportation. Diversity grew where the situation required utilization of every available material. During the early phases of the War both sides relied largely upon the volunteer and militia companies which were already in existence prior to the outbreak of hostilities. These units were regimented into battalions for active service, often with each company wearing a different uniform. The Union Army had an existing set of Dress Regulations but the Confederacy had to create its own. As the Confederate Army was based initially upon the local volunteers and militia whose uniforms of "cadet gray" were popular for such troops throughout the country, the South wisely decided (as specified in the first Dress Regulations of September 1861) to authorize gray as the standard for the Southern forces. Union regiments which were also dressed in gray were re-fitted as quickly as possible in order to prevent confusion during combat. The volunteer companies of both sides often clad themselves in elaborate and quite impractical costumes which soon became modified (officially or otherwise) when serious campaigning began. Numerous units of both sides were dressed in ornate uniforms styled after the French Zouaves and Chasseurs … Pied, elite European troops which were emulated North and South. These uniforms were extremely impractical and were soon modified, but many units elected to keep these distinctive costumes whenever possible, no matter how incongruous baggy Cossack trousers and Arabian turbans might appear on the battlefields of America. Chasseur a Pied As military clothing gradually became more functional than decorative many troops, particularly officers, began designing their own uniforms, some assuming an almost civilian appearance with long overcoats, brightly colored waistcoats and straw hats being quite popular. Some officers like Ulysses S. Grant, achieved an almost disreputable appearance. Grant often wore a shabby private's jacket on which General's bars were sewn, and a battered felt hat. An English witness to the Battle of Chattanooga wrote in amazement of how Grant was dressed in "plain civilian's clothes.wearing nothing military about him except a large opera glass. Grant wore a black surtout with black braid on and quite loose, black trousers and a black wide-awake hat and thin Wellington boots. General Hunter, standing next to Grant, was similarly dressed, except that his black wide-awake having gold cord around it but having the brim turned down all round over his cadaverous face." The appearance of General Grant in stark contrast to the immaculately clad Robert E. Lee at Appomattox is legendary. Other Generals like JEB Stuart and George Custer designed their own ornate uniforms. General Custer, his uniform made entirely of black velvet with a blue sailor-collar and covered with "ludicrous amounts of gold braid," was once described as "a circus rider gone mad." The black felt campaign-hat was a favorite of many officers both North and South, but it soon lost its shape so that many had to be "modified" to fit properly. Union General Ambrose Burnside wore his hat with the crown "punched up" or stuffed with various materials so that one observer described it as "resembling a tall dunces' cap." The practice of wearing civilian clothes was naturally confusing and sometimes fatal. At Logan's Cross Roads in the Western Theater, Confederate General Felix Zollicoffer apparently mistook a body of Federal troops for his own and rode up to speak to their commanding officer. Zollicoffer was wearing a white raincoat so large that it completely covered his uniform and it was only after several minutes of conversation that the Union officer realized that he was conversing with the enemy and shot the General dead. The factor which brought about the most radical change in the appearance of the uniforms of the Confederacy was the Union naval blockade of Southern ports which caused desperate shortages among both Southern civilians and military. By the mid-point of the War Confederate troops were dressed in a mixture of what few regulation uniforms were available, much captured Union clothing, civilian attire, and home-dyed uniforms which came to be known as the famous Southern "butternut." Supplies of gray dye having been exhausted, a crude replacement was made by boiling nutshells and iron oxide (commonly known as rust). Shoes were improvised by nailing leather onto wooden soles, using horseshoes as boot-irons, or as one Confederate wrote, "The men get pieces of rawhide from the butchers and after wrapping their feet up in old rags, sew the hide around them.which they wear until it wears out." Appropriating clothing and equipment from battlefield dead was a repugnant but necessary tactic of the ill equipped Southern troops late in the War which led to large portions of the Confederate military wearing Union light blue trousers and captured boots. Southern officers discouraged this practice as much as possible as it often led to tactical difficulties in combat with both sides having a similar appearance. In addition, captured Confederates clad in Union uniforms could technically be declared spies and summarily executed. The expected wear-and-tear of campaigning was not the only reason why uniforms quickly became ragged or entirely worn out. Many uniforms, particularly at the beginning of the War, were made of a material named "shoddy." Harper's Weekly described shoddy as, "a villainous compound, the refuse stuff and sweepings of the shop, pounded, rolled, glued, and smoothed to the external form and gloss of cloth, but no more like the genuine article than the shadow is to the substance.soldiers on the first day's march or in the earliest storm found their clothes, overcoats and blankets, scattering to the wind in rags, or dissolving into their primitive elements of dust under the pelting rain." The term "shoddy" remains today as descriptive of inferior products or workmanship. Rank markings, while varying between the two armies, were of the same basic style, though the following details cannot be regarded as universal. It was not uncommon to find Union soldiers wearing Confederate style rankings and vice versa. Non-commissioned officers of both armies were identified as follows; Corporal, two chevrons worn on the upper sleeve. Sergeant, three chevrons. First Sergeant, three chevrons with an arc or "lace lozenge" above. Ordnance Sergeant, three chevrons with a five-pointed star above. Quartermaster Sergeant, three chevrons with a horizontal "tie" of lace linking the upper corners. Sergeant Major, three chevrons, with an arc of lace linking the upper corners. Rank of Union officers was indicated by laced shoulder-bars on a backing of cloth of the color of the arm of the service to which they were attached. Red indicated the Artillery, Yellow the Cavalry and Engineers, Sky Blue the Infantry, Green Riflemen or Sharpshooters and Green and Buff the Medical Corps. Second Lieutenant, no rank insignia on shoulder bars. First Lieutenant, one gold bar at either end of shoulder bar. Captain, two gold bars on shoulder bars. Major, gold oak leaf on shoulder bars. Lt. Colonel, silver oak leaf at either end of shoulder bars. Colonel, silver eagle on shoulder bars. Brigadier General, One silver star on shoulder bars. Major General, two silver stars on shoulder bars. Lt. General, three silver stars on shoulder bars. Color also indicated the Confederate branch of service, but was not limited to shoulder insignia. The facings for General officers and for the officers of the Adjutant General's Department, Quartermaster General's Department, Commissary General's Department, and the Engineers was to be Buff. The tunic for all officers was to be edged throughout with the facings designated Medical Department Black, Artillery Red, Cavalry Yellow, and Infantry Light Blue. Caps were to be distinguished by the colors of the branch of service, with the number of the regiment in yellow metal to be worn in front. Confederate rankings were indicated in two ways; by the thickness of lace decorations on sleeves and caps, and by gold rank insignia on either side of the collar. Second Lieutenant, one bar on collar, one braid on cap. First Lieutenant, two bars on collar, one braid. Captain, three bars on collar, two braids. Major, one star on collar, three braids. Lt. Colonel, two stars on collar, three braids. Colonel, three stars on collar, three braids. General (all ranks), three stars in a laurel wreath on collar, four braids. Information on the uniforms of both navies is very detailed and provides more than enough data to be the subject of an article devoted solely to the sailors of the Union and Confederacy. But no matter what the color, design or insignia, the uniforms of both North and South provide yet another fascinating avenue of exploration into the War Between the States and allow us to once again acknowledge the sacrifice and heroism of our ancestors. God SaveThe South! Harry
Please assist us in battlefield preservation by donating your Ukrop's Golden Gift certificates to the Longstreet Camp. Ukrop's will mail certificates to customers in May. Please bring yours to our May 18 meeting or mail them to me if you will not attend that meeting. For the past several years we have made donations to several Civil War battlefield preservation organizations and to the Museum of the Confederacy. Ukrop's will send checks to participating organizations in August. We shall decide at our September meeting where we plan to send our money. Longstreet Camp celebrated Confederate History and Heritage Month by inducting two new members, Chris Jewett and Ron Smith. Ron wasted no time in going to work for Confederate heritage by making a video of the April 4 parade down Monument Avenue and gathering at Hollywood Cemetery. He showed it to us at our April 20 meeting as we were eating our supper. A reading of Partisans and Redcoats: The Southern Conflict That Turned the Tide of the American Revolution, by Walter Edgar reminds us that South Carolinians fought hard in bloody battles to win independence from Great Britain in the Revolutionary War. Famous names appear in this book. Thomas Sumter and William Moultrie had forts named after them. Statesman of the Jackson Age, John C. Calhoun, had ancestors in this war. Jackson himself participated. Confederate generals Wade Hampton and Joseph Kershaw were descended from Revolutionary War soldiers. The backcountry was a ferocious battleground. British soldier Banastre Tarleton and his minions were brutal to people and burned homes and churches. Tarleton could be considered a spiritual ancestor of William Tecumseh Sherman. Detractors speak and write of South Carolina's fire eaters. The passion for independence of nineteenth century South Carolinians is easy to understand in light of memories of hardships endured by their Revolutionary War ancestors. There is a framed drawing of Wade Hampton on the wall of Maurice's Barbecue in Santee with a quote, "Those who criticize Robert E. Lee for what he did might as well criticize George Washington." An eagle-eyed reader of the ancestor list contained in the magnificent Longstreet Camp information packet developed by Preston Nuttall detected an error made by yours truly regarding an ancestor's unit. I apologize. This has now been corrected. Our membership roster has changed since that list was prepared. My goal is to update the list by our May 18 meeting. Please let me know if you find any other errors. Let's keep the flag flying and be proud of our heritage. Walter Tucker
1ST LT. COMMANDER COWARDIN ADMINISTERS THE OATH TO CHRISTOPHER P. JEWETT (ON LEFT) AND RON T. SMITH (CENTER) Longstreet continues to grow by leaps and bounds!! Please be sure to introduce yourself to our new Compatriots if you have not already done so. Let's let them know that they have joined the finest Camp in the SCV. Make them feel at home with us and show them what makes us great.
ROMA'S RESTAURANT 8831 STAPLES MILL RD. LOCATED ON THE RIGHT IN THE WISTAR SHOPPING CENTER (JUST PAST THE 2ND STOPLIGHT AFTER THE AMTRAK STATION.) DINNER- SOCIAL 6:00 PM BE SURE TO COME AND BRING A PROSPECTIVE MEMBER OR GUEST!
Our speaker for May is Mark Greenough, Supervisor and Historian, Virginia State Capitol Guided Tours. Mark will speak to us on "The History of the Capitol." No matter if you are a life-long resident of Virginia or not, you are sure to learn much that you did not know about our classically beautiful Capitol and its inhabitants and contents. Be sure not to miss this presentation and bring a guest along with you.
The following is a cumulative listing of contributors to the upkeep of “The Old War Horse” for the period July, 2003 through the current month. Ben Baird Lloyd Brooks Richard Campbell Gene Carty Earl Carwile* Phil Cheatham Brian Cowardin Gary Cowardin* Ron Cowardin Taylor Cowardin Lee Crenshaw Raymond Crews* John Deacon Jerold Evans Shirley Ferguson† David George David Harris Pat Hoggar Jack Kane* Michael Kidd* Roger Kirby Frank Marks Lewis Mills* Joe Moschetti* John Moschetti* Preston Nuttall Ken Parsons* Rufus Sarvay* Wally Scott Bill Setzer John Shumadine Austin Thomas* Walter Tucker* John Vial* Patricia Walton†† David Ware Jerry Wells§ Harold Whitmore Hugh Williams Bobby Williams* Legend * - Multiple contributions † - In Memoriam- Commander “Hef” Ferguson ††- In Memoriam- Commander “Chuck Walton” § - Visitor Donation From July to date, 61% of our members have made a donation to the upkeep and well-being of “The Old War Horse!!” Thanks to all of you for your help.
2003- 2004 CAMP OFFICERS LONGSTREET CAMP #1247 Commander: Harry Boyd 741-2060 1st. Lt. Cmdr.: Taylor Cowardin 356-9625 2nd Lt. Cmdr.: Michael Kidd 270-9651 Adjutant/Treasurer: Walter Tucker 360-7247 Quartermaster: R. Preston Nuttall 276-8977 Chaplain: Henry V. Langford 340-8048
CHARLES H. PEPLE Charles H. "Chuck" Peple, Research and Development Coordinator of Henrico County's Recreation and Parks, gave an interesting presentation on research done at the location of the November 29, 1864 Battle of New Market Heights. Several years ago some of Harry Boyd's compatriots in the Henrico County Police Department caught three Tarheels on this property with metal detectors. An intelligent judge sentenced the three lads to community service assisting Chuck in finding relics and marking where they were found. Using GIS and several sets of maps Chuck has developed images which give a clear indication of where various actions occurred. The Tarheels have continued to volunteer after serving their required community service time. Items found include 15 to 20 different kinds of bullets, buttons, pocket knives, caisson handles, belt buckles, locks, pieces of a sword blade, and artillery shell fragments. Henrico County bought the battlefield property several years ago. The battle occurred in connection with the action at Fort Harrison. Fourteen soldiers of US Colored Troops received Medals of Honor, the most famous being Powhatan Beaty. Three were killed rescuing colors. After the Confederate troops pulled back, the Union built a fort and reversed the trenches. The images shown us by Chuck and many others will be incorporated into a two volume set with narrative written by Louis Manarin, a noted historian. Dr. Manarin lives in Henrico and was co-author, with Clifford Dowdey, of The History of Henrico County, published in 1984. Dr. Manarin's new book entitled Henrico County: Field of Honor will include 800 images and 14 pieces of original artwork in its approximately 1,020 pages. We are indebted to Chuck for an interesting presentation, and we look forward to the late summer publication of Dr. Manarin's book. Walter Dunn Tucker
6TH STREET WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN! GENERAL ROB'T. E. LEE ( TOM DUGAN) POSES OUTSIDE THE CARPENTER CENTER WITH A CANNON AND REENACTORS FROM PIBBS BATTERY At the request of SCV Virginia Division Commander Brag Bowling, Longstreet Commander Harry Boyd met with representatives of the Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts to coordinate an SCV role in the promotion of the world premier play, "Robert E. Lee: Shades of Gray." After an initial meeting, it was determined that the SCV could play a large part in not only the promotion of the play but the production as well. To this end, Commander Boyd established a committee consisting of Longstreet Lt. Commander Taylor Cowardin, Lt. Commander Michael Kidd, and Executive Council Member, with Commander Boyd serving as Chairman. It was determined that the Committee would focus on several specific areas of responsibility, including Promotional Assistance, Technical Assistance, Documentary Assistance, Historical Accuracy and Authentication, On-site Staffing, Historical Displays, and SCV Recruitment. OUR THREE NATIONAL FLAGS The play was a tremendous success. Even though the premier coincided with the burial of the Hunley crew in Charleston, S.C., the two-day attendance was estimated to be approximately 1200 persons. The producers were extremely pleased with the reception the play received. Standing ovations and curtain calls were the order of the day and all in attendance seemed thoroughly pleased with the portrayal of General Lee. OUR CAMP FLAG WELCOMES PATRONS The names of all persons who expressed an interest in SCV membership were forwarded to the Division for follow-up, with two requests for information on membership in the UDC and one for membership in the Sons of Union Veterans received as well. In addition to recruiting, Committee members addressed questions from interested parties on many topics, including the origin and specifics of individual Confederate flags, questions on various battles of the War, the background of Robert E. Lee, the history of Richmond, and Hollywood Cemetery. Both the producers of the play and the Carpenter Center expressed their sincere appreciation for the efforts of the Committee and stated their admiration for the professionalism and dedication of the SCV. The Committee devoted well over 100 man hours in the planning, preparation and staffing of the event and the operation was conducted at no cost to the Division. However, the real dividends for the time and efforts expended will be paid in the tremendously positive impression of the SCV left with both the producers and the general public. The Committee received nothing but praise from event personnel and the public alike. This operation was an overwhelming success and a public relations triumph for the SCV, thanks to the efforts of the General James Longstreet Camp. Harry Boyd HARRY PRESENTS THE FAMOUS LONGSTREET GLASSES AND A SET OF OUR NEW CAMP CUFFLINKS AND LAPEL PIN TO GENERAL LEE RECRUITING TAYLOR COWARDIN ENJOYS THE RECEPTION
At the April 24 Virginia Division Convention in South Hill the following officers were elected to two-year terms: Commander Brandon Dorsey 1st Lt. Commander Michael Kendrick 2nd Lt. Commander Frank Earnest Adjutant/Treasurer Jerry Wells Inspector Michael Masters Quartermaster Tom Davis Chaplain Tim Manning Judge Advocate John Graham Archivist Rob Millikin 2nd Brigade Commander Grayson Jennings
Russell Darden, Immediate Past Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, will be visiting Mrs. Albert Martin in Alabama in May. He has requested members to send her a Mother's Day card. Her address is: Mrs. Alberta Martin c/o Dr. Ken Chancey Box 311087 Enterprise, AL 36331 Mrs. Martin received 273 cards from all over the country for her 97th birthday last December 4. Russell and Dr. Chancey visit her several times a year and report that she loves to receive cards. A scholarship fund has been established in her name. Checks for this should be payable to SCV for Mrs. Alberta Martin Scholarship Fund and should be mailed to: Russell Darden Box 340 Courtland, VA 23837 Gifts will be acknowledged with a thank you accompanied by a report on Mrs. Martin's health. Russell and Dr. Chancey are doing a great work. With good legal help, they have been able to increase the assistance she receives from the Alabama Confederate Pension Fund to a point where her needs are taken care of.
Forty people attended our March meeting, an all time High! Our April meeting had an attendance of thirty-eight! We must be doing something right!
THE FAMOUS BOW TIE Compatriots, you may not have known it, but Chuck joined us on the march in the Heritage Parade. We felt it was fitting to bear the Second National Flag, donated to the Camp in his honor, in the parade with his famous Confederate Tartan bow tie attached to it. We plan to have a formal ceremony at the May meeting at which we shall permanently attach the tie to the flag as a memorial to him. CHARLES EDWARD WALTON, JR. MARCH 31, 1942-JULY 5, 2003 PAST COMMANDER GENERAL JAMES LONGSTREET CAMP #1247 SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS
May 14-16 140th Anniversary of the Battle of New Market, held on original battlefield where VMI cadets fought in 1864. Batttle each day, living history programs. All proceeds donated to New Market Battlefield Park. For info: (717) 528-8761 MAY 15 "Mayhem in the Muleshoe." 140th anniversary of the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. Living history walking tours. "Disaster at Dusk; The Confederate Struggle Against Upton's Attack," 10 a.m.-12 noon. Meet near cannon on Anderson Drive. "Taking Back the Bloody Angle: In the Footsteps of the Confederates,: 2-4 p.m. Meet near the intersection of Anderson and Gordon Drives. "Shadows of War: Echoes of Battle," torchlight tours of Bloody Angle starting every 10 minutes from 8:15-9 p.m. from Bloody Angle parking lot. Info: Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. For info: (540) 373-6122, (540) 786-2880. May 15,16 Drewry's Bluff Anniversary Program. Info: Richmond National Battlefield Park. For info: (804) 226-1981. MAY 21-23 "The Peninsula Campaign and Seven Days Battles," tour from Richmond. A. Wilson Greene and Robert E. L. Crick lead tour of battlefields and historic sites.. Private tour of Monitor turret, evening walking tour of Colonial Williamsburg. Reservation required, special room rates available. Sponsored by Pamplin Historical Park and The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier. For info: (877)PAMPLIN, www.pamplinpark.com. MAY 21-23 109th National Competition of the North-South Skirmish Association near Winchester. Largest Civil War live-fire event in the country. Live-fire matches with muskets, carbines, breech loading rifles, revolvers, mortars and cannon. Free admission, sutlers, food. For info: Bruce Miller (248) 258-9007, www.n-ssa.org MAY 22 Dedication of "Maryland Scroll" and other recovered graffiti house walls at Graffiti House, Brandy Station, 1-4 p.m. Speaker Robert Trout, author of the "Stuart Horse Artillery." Free. Sponsored by Brandy Station Foundation. For info: Bob Luddy, (301 474-1253 MAY 23 North Anna River 140th Commemorative Program. Info: Richmond National Battlefield Park For info: (804) 226-1981 MAY 27-31 Special programs for the 2140th anniversary of the Battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House. May 27 candlelight tour of Chatham 8-10 p.m. May 28 & 29, four bus tours of battlefields. May 29 Luminaria at Fredericksburg national Cemetery 8-11 p.m. May 31 Memorial Day ceremony at the cemetery 11 a.m. For info: Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park at www.nps.gov/frsp or Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield at www.fowb.org MAY 30 140th Walking Tour of Totopotomoy Creek National Battlefield. For info: Richmond National Battlefield park (804) 226-1891. MAY 31 Memorial Service, speakers, 10 a.m. at Confederate War Memorial Chapel on the former grounds of the Confederate Veterans Home. Located behind the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. Sponsored by the Lee-Jackson Camp #1, SCV. For info: Bill Mountjoy (804) 740-4479. MAY 31 Memorial Day program at Fort Harrison National Cemetery. Sponsored by Richmond National Battlefield Park. For info: (804) 226-1891. JUNE 3 140th walking tour of Union Breakthrough at Cold Harbor. For info: Richmond National battlefield Park, (804) 226-1891 JUNE 5 North Anna/Cold Harbor Civil War Van tour from Lee Hall Mansion, Newport News, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Tour of Grant's Overland Campaign, failed Union attempt to break Lee's defenses at Cold Harbor. With Michael Moore. Massaponax Church, Ox Ford, Cold Harbor, Wilcox's Landing, $45. For info: (757) 888-3371 or www.leehall.org. JUNE 5 "Following the Piedmont Campaign" in Augusta County. Tour of sites leading up to and including the Battle of Piedmont. Sponsored by Blue Ridge Community College, led by John Heatwole. Fee charged. For info: (540) 234-9261, ext. 2215, or www.br.vccs.edu. JUNE 5 Buffet luncheon and Five Forks Batrtlefield Tour from Petersburg, 11 a.m., with Ranger Tracy Chenault. Sponsored by the Pickett Society. Members $19, non-members $25 by May 29. Checks payable to the Society. For information, tickets: Pickett Society Events, 945 Banyan Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23462. JUNE 5, 6 Infantry living history at Endview Plantation, Newport News. Demonstrations throughout the day. Included with regular admission. For info: (757) 887-1862 or www.endview.org.