THE OLD WAR HORSE
THE VOICE OF GENERAL JAMES LONGSTREET CAMP #1247, SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS
VOLUME 6, ISSUE 8, SEPTEMBER, 2004
I once had the good fortune to attend an appearance by one of America's most famous historians, Shelby Foote. Mr. Foote was speaking at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg and I was eager in anticipation of his remarks. A portion of the lecture was to include an analysis of the Battle of Fredericksburg, a resounding victory for General Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia, and as I awaited the beginning of the program I was struck with a sense of pride; pride in being a Southerner and even more so in being a Virginian. This was to be a night to remember. A hush of reverence fell over the hall as Mr. Foote slowly ascended the stage and eyed his audience. "Ladies and gentlemen," he began, "I am very pleased to be with you this evening. It is always a pleasure for me to have the opportunity to visit Virginia." Smiles of approval graced the faces of the audience at the gracious salutation. "But you know," he continued, "I have found that with the possible exception of some folks living in Montana, Virginians know less about the War than just about anyone else." The smiles quickly faded and an indignant murmur began circulating among the guests. I must confess that I too felt an indignation at this slight so matter-of-factly served to me by a man whom I held in so high a regard. To be sure my knowledge of the War was considerable; perhaps not to the extent of a Shelby Foote, but surely greater than any poor unfortunate souls relegated to the wastelands of Montana! Mr. Foote paused then smiled, obviously enjoying the reaction of his audience. But after savoring the discomfiture of us haughty Virginians for a few moments, he continued. "And that's because you people think that the War was fought between Richmond and Washington and everything else was just a skirmish!" The crowd broke into riotous laughter and applause, and for the next hour and a half we sat riveted while Shelby Foote held us spellbound with a masterful presentation of events taking place both within and without The Old Dominion. As I drove home I began thinking about what he had said concerning the "voluntary ignorance" of we Virginians, and I had to admit that at least as far as I was concerned, he was right. I had to admit that outside of an intimate knowledge of the personalities and campaigns of the Army of Northern Virginia I possessed only a cursory knowledge of the War elsewhere. For a Virginian however, this is understandable. The Virginia front was by far the most prestigious theater of the War. It was in Virginia that Robert E. Lee, JEB Stuart, Stonewall Jackson and a host of other stars which adorned the firmament of the Confederate military directed their brilliant campaigns. And it was also in Virginia that the largest and most celebrated armies of the War, the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac, fought the War's bloodiest and most famous battles. Yes, it was quite easy for me to be somewhat smug and elitist in my view of the War. Embarrassed and chagrined at my own arrogance I immediately set out to educate myself on these "skirmishes" which had taken place outside Virginia while Robert E. Lee was fighting the War Between The States, and my first step was to purchase an outstanding work by no less an authority than Shelby Foote himself. Since then I have made the acquaintance of countless personalities previously unknown to me, each fascinating in their own right and each adding to my understanding of the War. I have also learned that the outcome of the War was not decided solely within the confines of the Commonwealth, but also in the vast expanse of the Confederacy that stretched from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi and beyond. It was in the West that many truly decisive battles were fought in an area characterized by vast distances, unfavorable topography, complicated political problems, and "difficult" generals. My study of the War in the West became an eye-opening adventure, and I subsequently wrote a letter to Shelby Foote expressing my appreciation for jarring me out of an arrogant complacency and offering me the opportunity to explore other facets of that monumental conflict known as The War Between The States. To my surprise and delight he wrote back, graciously acknowledging my correspondence and thanking me for choosing one of his texts to begin my "enlightenment." We would all do well to remember that the War was fought on many battlefields, in many places and by many people. As Virginians we certainly have "bragging rights" concerning the War and well deserved they are;however, to study the War efforts in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, or anywhere the Confederate Flag has been proudly unfurled is to gain a new appreciation of our ancestors and their tremendous sacrifices. The challenge for each of us is to educate ourselves in an area of the conflict that we may have hitherto neglected in favor of a more exciting or appealing topic. Each of us has the responsibility of being modern-day ambassadors of the Confederacy in order to educate the general public on the true history of the South and the War Between The States. The possibilities for expanding our knowledge of the period are literally endless and by sailing into uncharted waters you may find as did I that you will gain a greater appreciation of your own history and heritage regardless of what Confederate State may lay its claim to you. God Bless Virginia and God Save the South! Harry
Wasn't it great to have Patricia, Lia, and Chip Walton and Samantha Bortell and her parents with us at the July meeting? The Waltons participated in the "official" attachment of Chuck's bow tie to the flagstaff of one of our Confederate flags. Samantha was recognized as recipient of the Camp's Buck Hurtt award recognizing the outstanding senior history student at Douglas S. Freeman High School. Samantha begins her college life at Longwood University in late August. Longstreet Camp is starting the fiscal year on the right foot by continuing to grow. We have received the membership certificate from headquarters of Frederick Wills Boelt, recruited for our Camp by Ken Parsons. Fred's ancestor Edmund Thomas Wynne, Jr. served the Confederacy as a 2nd lieutenant in Company I, York Rangers, of the 32nd Virginia Infantry. We plan to have an induction ceremony for Fred at our September 21 meeting. Changing his status from associate member to regular member is J. E. B. Stuart, VI, who has chosen to make Longstreet his home camp. We welcome Fred and J. E. B., and we thank Ken Parsons for his recruiting efforts. Several members have already paid their dues in response to an email request. If you haven't already paid, please bring your $35.00 check payable to Longstreet Camp # 1247 to our September 21 meeting or mail it to me at 2524 Hawkesbury Court, Richmond, VA 23233. Delegates to the SCV national convention elected Denne Sweeney national commander-in chief and Dr. Anthony Hodges lieutenant commander-in chief. Army of Northern Virginia delegates at the convention elected former Virginia Division commander Henry Kidd to the office of commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. Randy Burbage is the newly elected Army of Northern Virginia councilman. Former Virginia Division Commander Sonny Carwile received the Robert E. Lee award. Sonny for several years has been chairman of the Jefferson Davis Memorial Committee. Tireless Mike Kendrick received the Edward L. Darling Award as the top recruiter in the entire SCV. Congratulations to the officers elected and to the award recipients. Delegates defeated the attempt to dissolve the relationship between the SCV and the Military Order of the Stars and Bars. No word has been received yet regarding other amendments. While on a gift-buying mission at Barnes & Noble the other day I bought an intriguing book titled The Military 100 by LCOL (Ret) Michael Lee Lanning. His ranking is based on leaders who were the most influential. Ordinarily I take such rankings with a grain of salt, but it is most pleasing to see George Washington in first place. Showing that this ranking is unlike the NCAA tournament, the Duke of Wellington is number 22, while the loser at Waterloo, Napoleon, is number 2. Hannibal, a household name, is number 30, while the Roman who defeated him, Scipio Africanus, is number 34. Robert E. Lee is number 60, while Grant is 33. The sub title says "of all time," but Lanning starts with the 5th century BC, thus omitting Joshua and King David. Most of the names are familiar, but how many will recognize Tilly, Student, Conde, Torstensson, Mannerheim, Colin Campbell, Konev, Berthier, Turenne, and Vauban? Each subject is covered in three to four pages. This bargain book is well worth the modest price. We won't know how much Ukrop's will be sending the Camp for Golden Gift certificates until late August. We shall decide at our September meeting what to do with these funds which are due to your generosity and Ukrop's' community spirit. Walter Tucker
NEW ROMA'S RESTAURANT 8330 STAPLES MILL RD. LOCATED IN "THE SHOPS AT STAPLES MILL" TURN LEFT AT FIRST STOPLIGHT NORTH OF THE WISTAR SHOPPING CENTER PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE!! DINNER- SOCIAL 6:00 PM BE SURE TO COME AND BRING A PROSPECTIVE MEMBER OR GUEST!YOU WILL BE PLEASED TO KNOW THAT THE NEW ROOM HAS A CAPACITY OF 100 AND THAT THE BACKGROUND MOOD MUSIC CAN BE TURNED OFF!!!!
Our September speaker will be Robert Krick of the National Park Service!! Bob is considered to be one of the top historians of modern times of the Army of Northern Virginia and his career with the National Park Service has spanned over thirty-five years. He will speak to us about General James Longstreet's Staff officers. Don't miss this talk!!
The following is a cumulative listing of contributors to the upkeep of “The Old War Horse” for the period July, 2004 through the current month. As you know, our cumulative listing starts in July of each year. Gary Cowardin Chris Jewett Walter Tucker Hugh Williams Legend: * - Multiple contributions § - Visitor Donation
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
Virginia B. Morton, author of War Between The States novel Marching Through Culpeper, gave a fascinating talk with slides at our July 20 meeting. A long time resident of Culpeper, she developed a deeper interest in The War eight years ago on a tour conducted by Bud Hall. The inspiration for writing a novel about Culpeper came when she and her daughter took the Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil tour during a visit to Savannah. She said that she wanted her novel to be based on fact. She also wanted to have positive, God-fearing people in her book. Culpeper occupied a strategic location on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. Twelve fights took place there during The War. A real life character in her book is Frank Stringfellow a graduate of Alexandria's Episcopal High School, who taught school in Mississippi just prior to The War. Stringfellow, described as emaciated, was rejected by the Little Fork Rangers. Undeterred, he went to a Confederate encampment and captured Powhatan troops, whom he took to a commanding officer. He became a courier for J. E. B. Stuart at Manassas. He later became a scout and spy for JEB. He went three times on missions to Washington, once dressed as a woman. Another character is Stuart's Horse Artillery commander John Pelham, called the gallant by Robert E. Lee Stringfellow and Pelham spent some time at Culpeper's Virginia House Hotel, where they befriended the Shackleford family. In March 1863 Pelham was visiting two ladies in Orange before catching a train to Kelly's Ford, where he was mortally wounded, dying in the Shackleford house. Stonewall Jackson said," With two Pelhams on my flanks, I could whip the world." Bessie Shackleford was the inspiration for Constance Armstrong, fictional heroine of the novel. Pelham's successor Robert Franklin Beckam commanded three pieces of Stonewall Jackson's artillery when Jackson launched his flank attackr at Chancellorsville. Other famous Culpeper natives were A. P. Hill and Extra Billy Smith, about whom Virginia told several interesting stories. Infamous Yankees coming to Culpeper during The War were Custer and Judson Kilpatrick. Virginia's stimulating talk about her book and Culpeper encouraged a number of our members to buy her book. Walter Dunn Tucker
519 battles were fought in Virginia, 298 in Tennessee, 214 in Missouri, 186 in Mississippi, 167 in Arkansas, 138 in Kentucky, 118 in Georgia, and 118 in Louisiana. One each was fought in the District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, New York, Utah and Washington.
PAST COMMANDER CHARLES E. ("CHUCK") WALTON COMPLETE WITH CONFEDERATE TARTAN TIE Chuck's signature bow tie is now a part of the Camp's Second National flag and its staff and will honor his memory at all of the functions attended by us as a Camp. At our July meeting, Chuck's widow, Patricia, and their daughter Lia, together with Chuck's son Chip, were present and joined with us in the ceremony of attaching Chuck's bow tie to the flag.
JEFF, BETH AND SAMANTHA BORTELL WITH PAT HOGGARD We were delighted to have Samantha and her family as our guests at the July meeting. Not only did Samantha win the Hurtt Award for being the outstanding History student at Douglas Freeman, she was also a winner of the monthly Camp raffle which is the source of the funds for the Hurtt Award! We wish Samantha well in her studies at Longwood University. Maybe we have a budding historian of the "Late Unpleasantness" 1861-65 era, who knows?
Another guest won a book in the raffle that night! Kitty Moreau, guest of Richard Faglie, received a copy of Tracks In The Sea. As you can see, she was somewhat excited! As our Commander is wont to say "A rose among the thorns" is always welcome at our Camp meetings. We are delighted that she came and invite her to come again. (Maybe we should ask her to give a book report next time!)
VA Div. 1st. Lt. Commander Michael D. Kendrick has announced that the network is back up and running! If you wish to join the network, send an email message With the following information in the body of the message: VA Div. E-Mail network Your full name, Camp Name and Number and your current E-mail address. E-mail this to: email@example.com. No emails with attachments will be accepted. All information must be in the body of the letter. The Network is for the communications on upcoming events, important information from the Executive Council and other important news pertaining to the VA Division. IT IS NOT AN OPEN FORUM FOR DISCUSSION OR OPINIONS ON CURRENT EVENTS OR COMMENTS ON INFORMATION THAT HAS BEEN SENT OUT TO THE MEMBERSHIP. All of your emails must be signed with your full name, camp name and number and your email address.
By Preston Nuttall (Mrs. Jane George, a friend of ours down in Northumberland County, loaned me an original letter pertaining to her grandfather, George Cornwell, who was color sergeant of the 40th Virginia. Written by his commanding officer, Captain H. E. Coles, upon the occasion of Sergeant Cornwell's death in 1906, it is a touching tribute to a gallant soldier, but also speaks volumes about the 40th Virginia and is an interesting account written from the common soldier's perspective. Except for minor spelling and grammar corrections, the letter is presented here verbatim.) "I have learned with profound sorrow of the death of George Cornwell, color sergeant of the 40th Va. Regiment, better known as 'Me Lad'. I was a captain in this regiment and had the honor to serve as its commander after our senior field officers were killed or captured at Falling Waters. I never knew a braver man in the Army of Northern Va. than George Cornwell. Only once did I know him to fail to place his battle flag on the enemy's works on first charge, and that was on the second day at Chancellorsville, which experience I will now relate. Our brigade, known at various times as Field's, Hill's, Heath's, Brokenbrough's, Walker's, Major's and Archer's, was in the advance of A.P. Hill's Division, Jackson's Corps, and struck the enemy about two miles west of Chancellorsville on Saturday evening about two hours before sundown on May 1. We drove them from their camp, capturing their outfit and a nice supper which was in process of preparation. We poor devils had had nothing to eat since the day before, and it was fun to grab the hot camp kettles as we ran through their camp in pursuit. We fought them until 9 or 10 o'clock that night, when General Jackson called a halt to await reinforcements. During the night, Generals Jackson, Hill, Pender and others were wounded and our corps was left entirely without a commander until Gen. Stuart arrived next morning. Our troops were greatly demoralized, having lost our beloved generals, wounded in the darkness by our own men, many of them. Our brigade, which had fought on the front line the evening before, was put on the reserve line the next morning, with our left touching the right of the old Stonewall Brigade, and two North Carolina brigades in front of us. During the night, the enemy took advantage of our halt and fortified himself with three lines of formidable entrenchments. When the battle commenced next morning, these North Carolina brigades were ordered forward, one after the other, and they both stampeded, coming back over us in quick succession. We tried our hardest to rally them, but could not succeed. We called out 'for God's sake, what are you running for?' and the answer came back 'because we cannot fly!" Soon our brigade, with the 40th Va. In front, and supported by the Stonewall Brigade, General Walker in command of both brigades, was ordered forward and, as Sherman says, it was like storming hell, such was the terrible fire. We could not make it on the first charge, but neither did we stampede as did our Tarheel friends. By order of Gen'l. Walker, we dropped on our stomachs under a little hill for about ten minutes. When the enemy fire had lulled a little, we rose up and swept rapidly across the field, and George Cornwell placed the first battle flag on the ramparts of the enemy. The gallant Pegram and Braxton, with Stuart's cavalry and horse artillery, came to our support and soon we put them to inglorious flight. It was here on this field of glory and courage that George Cornwell received recognition from Gen'l. Robert E. Lee, an honor that he prized for as long as he lived. I also was recognized and recommended for promotion to major, but alas, owing to the bad condition of the War Dept at the time, I did not get my commission. Lest I tire you I must close. May we emulate the bravery of 'Me Lad' and hope he is defending the battle flag of his Maker as nobly as he defended the battle flag of the Confederate States." Captain H. E. Coles Lillian, Va. January 8, 1906
Your Editor was presented with the SCV Commander- In-Chief Award at the July Meeting. I want you to know that this award is really appreciated and I am highly honored to be the recipient. I feel, however, that I am receiving it not for my work alone but also that of the officers and members of Longstreet Camp. The input from the contributors of articles is unbelievably excellent and I would say that few newsletter editors could claim better writers than those we have here in Longstreet. The support from the Compatriots of this Camp, both financial and otherwise, is something that I will always treasure. I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful it makes me feel to be a part of Longstreet and to be able to make a contribution that has been so warmly received by all of you. We are truly, the best Camp in the nation! Dave George THEY ARE OURS-RESPECT THEM BOTH!
AUGUST 21, 22 National Civil War Arms and Antique Show at The Showplace, Richmond. Saturday 9-5, Sunday 9-3. Sponsored by The North South Trader's Civil War. For info: Stephen W. Sylvia, (540)672-4845 or firstname.lastname@example.org or www.nstcivilwar.com AUGUST 27-29 Image of War Seminar on battlefield photography, Spotsylvania County. Speakers: John Hennessy, Gary Adelman, Ron Coddington, Rob Gibson, William Gladstone, John Kelly, Eric Mink, David Richards, Bob Zeller. Battlefield tours of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Massaponax Church. Sponsor: The Center For Civil War Photography and the Spotsylvania County Tourism Commission . For info: Gary Adelman, email@example.com; www.civilwarphotography.org AUGUST 28, 29 7th Annual WBTS Battle of Saltville, VA. Camps open at 10:00 a.m. Demonstrations, battles both days at 2:00 p.m. Free. For info: (276)496-5342, Ext. 6 or www.saltville.com SEPTEMBER 13, 14 "The Road to Second Manassas," led by Edwin C. Berss. Tour of August, 1862, with Jackson from the Rapidan River to Manassas Battlefield; from Cedar Mountain to Brawner Farm. Hosted by the Friends of Manassas National Battlefield Park. $210 payable to the Friends, P. O. Box 2847, Manassas, VA 20108-0894. For info: (703) 670-3277 or info@fnmbp, www.fnmbp.org SEPTEMBER 17-19 "The Third Battle of Winchester and Its Aftermath: Sept. 19, 1864" in Winchester. Student events, lectures, battlefield tours with field hospital, living history, exhibits. For info:(888)689-4545 or www.shenandoahatwar.org SEPTEMBER 18, 19 4HT Annual Harvest Fair at Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier, Petersburg. 1800 plantation harvest fair with music, dancing ,storytelling, games, contests, races, children's activities. For info: (877)PAMPLIN; www.pamplinpark.org SEPTEMBER 24-26 The Battle of Stanardsville, near Stanardsville. Return of the original 15-year event. Battles, fashion show, ladies' tea, dinner, dance, night artillery fire. SEPTEMBER 25, 26 Fort Harrison Anniversary Program, Satrurday 10-5, Sunday 10-4. Talks, tours, living history demonstrations. For info: Richmond National Battlefield Park, (804)226-1981.