THE OLD WAR HORSE
THE VOICE OF GENERAL JAMES LONGSTREET CAMP #1247, SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS
VOLUME 8, ISSUE 1, JANUARY, 2006
The antebellum era saw Richmond rise as a major industrial center in the south. Its manufacturing and mercantile strength combined with its rail and canal systems to link the western, northern, and southern portions of the country. This made Richmond one of the strongest cities in the South. The 1860 US census reveals that Richmond was 13th in the nation by the number of manufacturers. By early 1861 Richmond was a bustling city with all the sights and sounds of an urban metropolis, but as soon as it was made the capital of the Confederacy it saw changes and circumstances that it had never seen before. Once it became the capital of a newly formed nation, Richmond acquired all the baggage that came with it. Soon floods of people arrived. Delegates, their entourages and loads of soldiers soon arrived along with those looking for new opportunities and riches in the capital city. A good portion of these were not of the respectable sort. Prostitution and drunkenness became more prevalent and these newcomers attacked the cultural values of the city. Bell Wiley's Life of Johnny Reb declares Richmond "the true Mecca of prostitutes." According to one Richmond native, before the war these enterprising women did not venture any further north into the city than Cary Street. After the influx of these newcomers, one could find the ladies of the evening just about anywhere. Some were even so brazen as to set up shop across from a soldier's hospital and taunt the soldiers through their windows. Some less criminal but still punishable laws were also being violated. Gentlemen were no longer "giving way to ladies" on sidewalks, miscegenation became common and the price of whisky skyrocketed as its supply became scarcer. Native Richmonders now had a lot to contend with. By Fall of 1861 things had not gotten any better. The Richmond Dispatch wrote, "Our readers by this time become prepared for hearing of almost any sort of diabolism." The Examiner referred to the city as a "bloated metropolis of vice." City jails became overrun; more police had to be hired and the chain gang had to be re-established to ease the overcrowding of the jails. Despite the new obstacles of living in the new capital city, there were also many more opportunities for enjoyment during the early years of the war. Plays, minstrel shows, concerts, and balls were held more frequently and on a grander scale. Richmond's native elites were now joined by the elites of the south. Unfortunately circumstances grew less enjoyable and luxuries became scarcer, if available at all. As the war ravaged on and the blockade squeezed tight, life became much harder for our Confederate ancestors. We must never forget the sacrifices they made in order to stand up for the cause. There are several good books that cover Civil War Richmond. The Confederate State of Richmond by Emory Thomas is in my opinion one of the best. Virginius Dabney's history of Richmond and Alfred Hoyt Bill's Beleaguered City are also great chronicles of this time period. In my opinion the best book on antebellum Richmond is by Gregg Kimball and is titled American City,Southern Place. You may have read the books by Dabney, Thomas and Bill but if you haven't read American City, Southern Place you should definitely put that on your list of books to read! Gregg is a great writer and he even spoke to our camp several years ago. I look forward to seeing everyone at the January 24th Meeting. Remember that is the 4th Tuesday in January! Deo Vindice. Taylor
We have received from headquarters the membership certificate of Hayes M. Huff, who submitted his application at our November meeting. His ancestor John Joseph Edmonds served in Company F of the 41st Virginia Infantry. We plan to induct Hayes at a meeting soon, along with Greenie Maury and Bobby Vass, whose work schedules have prevented them from attending since they became members. At our November meeting we inducted Deane Maury and Richard Rennolds. The 41st Virginia, mentioned above, was assigned to the brigade of General William Mahone, a fascinating character if there ever was one. The current issue (Volume 113 No. 4) of Virginia Magazine of History and Biography has an interesting article entitled "William Mahone, The Lost Cause, and Civil War History." After The War Mahone committed the unpardonable sin of becoming a Republican, thus earning him the enmity of Jubal A. Early, one of the champion haters of all time. Early probably hated Mahone more than he did General Longstreet, because Mahone was active in Virginia politics, whereas our General lived south of here. Mahone was a railroader before and after The War. Postwar he was president of the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Ohio Railroad, known as the AM&O. Wags of the time said that AM&O stood for "All Mine and Ophelia's." At least Generals Early, Mahone, and Longstreet enjoyed some successes on the battlefield, unlike two other Confederate generals who shared responsibility for the loss of Vicksburg and wasted a lot of paper and ink after The War blaming the other totally for the defeat. Good news came out of the November hearing at the State Capitol about the fate of the Museum of the Confederacy. The legislators implied that help might be forthcoming from the Commonwealth of Virginia. Listening to speakers representing other historic sites in that area emphasized once again that there needs to be cooperation among the historic groups and that the City of Richmond and the Commonwealth need to do more to protect and promote these unbelievable assets. I was reminded of the historic significance of this area two days before the hearing when City Councilman Bill Pantele spoke at the dedication of a monument marking the 1909-1960 location of John Marshall High School in the 800 block East Marshall Street. John Marshall's Richmond home is still there at the corner. It is extremely difficult to visit, because of the lack of parking. When Marshall became Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, that body was a weak stepchild of the Federal Government. Marshall by his knowledge, his persuasiveness, and by his adherence to laws as passed by Congress raised the Court to the mighty institution that it became. Marshall demolished the "I was following orders" lame excuse sometimes offered by military officers by ruling against a Navy commanding officer who claimed that his seizure of a ship was authorized by President John Adams. The Marshall Court's ruling was based on a law passed by Congress. Marshall, like George Washington, believed in a strong national government, earning both of them unfavorable comments from Thomas Jefferson. Marshall and Jefferson were second cousins and have been referred to as "Cussing Cousins." In many recent election campaigns television news readers and newspaper reporters will lament the dirty campaigning of candidates and their supporters. The most enlightening thing that comes out of these comments is the revelation of a lack of knowledge of American history. Disagreement and dissent have always been there and always will be. When America consisted of a few sparsely settled colonies, John Milton wrote, "Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do ingloriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple: who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter." Amen! Walter
I would like to express my sincere thanks to everyone for the tremendous support my family and I received upon the death of my mother in November. Words cannot express how much we appreciate the outpouring of sympathy and compassion from the members of the Longstreet Camp and their families, as well as from Compatriots throughout the SCV. You know when I was but a very small child, it was my mother who took me on my first visit to a battlefield. I shall never forget that trip to Appomattox. It was there on the porch of the McLean House that she explained how our ancestors had stood on that very ground, "surrendering in theory, but not in practice." And as I grew, she never omitted any opportunity to make certain that I was aware of my Southern heritage and that I should feel nothing but pride in being a Son of the Confederacy. I recall one Spring day when I was nine or ten years old, I had bought a kite. It was a rather large kite but somewhat plain, so I took the liberty of adorning it in the colors and pattern of the Confederate Battle Flag. Proudly showing my handiwork to my mother, she immediately and enthusiastically said, "Let's go fly it!" Our home was some three blocks from a little league baseball field which, in the off-season, was an outstanding place to fly a kite, so off we went. It was a fine, windy day with a clear, blue sky, and immediately upon launch my Battle Flag took to the heavens, sailing upward to the very extent of its cord; a very substantial distance above the ground. I must say it was an inspiring sight to see the Southern Cross once again flying proudly above the Capital of the Confederacy, higher than General Lee himself ever saw it unfurled, but as proud as the General would have been, none could have been more so than Mom. It was a day to remember and my mother spoke of it often over the years, once more recalling the event to me just days before her passing. An active member of the UDC for many years, Kathleene Ragland Boyd remained unreconstructed to the last. One of her most prized possessions was a Second National Flag lapel pin which she wore constantly, even having me pin it to her robe while hospitalized. True to her heritage, she was buried wearing that pin. Now I'm not sure if any Yankees ever made it to Heaven, but if by some chance a few did find their way through the Pearly Gates, they're in for an earful from Mom. Once again, my sincere thanks to all. Deo Vindice. Harry
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The last shot of the Civil War was fired, not on an obscure battlefield, but in the ice bound Bering Sea, nearly three months after Lee's surrender and the last Confederate Flag was not lowered until November of 1865 in Liverpool, England! William Connery, noted Civil War author, will speak to us on the CSS Shenandoah and The Last Shot of the Civil War.
Jon C. Hatfield, Executive Director of the Virginia War Memorial, presented a very interesting program at our November meeting. When Jon was hired, the Memorial reported to an advisory committee which had no power. This was replaced by a foundation which charged Jon with: 1. Seeing that needed repairs and maintenance to physical facilities were done; 2. Creating educational programs; 3. Building a new education center; 4. Creating an endowment. These goals have been accomplished. Jon, only staff member when hired, is assisted now by one full-time and two part-time staff members. The main program now being worked on is called Virginians at War. Eight hundred veterans have been interviewed since the beginning of this effort in 1999. A number of interviews have been blended into a VCR/DVD focusing on World War Two. These are provided to middle and high schools to be used in history classes. These first person accounts are extremely effective. The second volume will have two sections each on World War Two, Korea, and Vietnam. There are 784,000 veterans in Virginia. Jon encouraged us to recommend to him veterans whose stories will be of interest. He then showed us a segment of Volume 2 about the World War Two Navy cruiser USS Birmingham (CL 62). Birmingham was a Virginian because she was built at Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Company. She was commissioned 29 January 1943. She saw a lot of action, being hit at various times by two torpedoes, an aerial bomb, and a kamikaze. She also took casualties being close to USS Princeton (CVL 23) when that ship was sunk at the Battle of Leyte Gulf 24 October 1944. The Birmingham came through it all and was never sunk. All told, Birmingham had 796 casualties during the war. This was an incredible number for a crew of 1,200. Many of the veterans were interviewed at a reunion of the ship's crew and became emotional when talking of shipmates who had been killed and wounded. Watching and hearing these gentlemen speak was a very moving experience. Written words are inadequate to match seeing these veterans speak. Jon handed out copies of the Memorial's quarterly newsletter and a schedule of upcoming events. On January 21 at 2:00 PM Actor John R. Hamant will portray President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and recount his actions and thoughts throughout World War Two. Additional announced events at the Memorial in 2006 are: February 25 -2:00 PM VMI Glee Club March, 2006 JROTC Appreciation Week (Details TBA) April 15 -2:00 PM Virginia Tech Regimental Band May 29 -10:00 AM Memorial Day ceremony June 6 -7:00 PM General Jack Mountcastle discusses Overlord preparation. September 15 -10:00 AM National POW/MIA Recognition Day October 1 -10:00 AM 3rd Annual Massing of Colors Ceremony Additional War Memorial events may be seen on the schedule on the web site: www.vawarmemorial.com. Writer's note: I attended the December 7 Pearl Harbor Day Ceremony at the Memorial sponsored by Richmond Council Navy League. SCV member Edwin Ray, research historian at the Library of Virginia, had come up with additional Virginians killed at Pearl Harbor whose names were previously unknown. Edwin's outstanding work gained front page coverage in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Also on Pearl Harbor Day the War Memorial had sessions of high school history students listening to and interacting with veterans. Jon Hatfield is doing a great work with the Virginia War Memorial and deserves our support. Our Camp made a donation to the Memorial in appreciation of Jon's work and his program at our Camp meeting. Walter
Appropriate to the occasion, John and Ruth Ann Coski of the Museum of the Confederacy spoke at our annual Christmas banquet about Christmas in 19th century America and particularly in the Confederate States. John recalled in his opening remarks that his first speaking engagement for the Longstreet Camp was at our 1988 Christmas banquet held at the Officer's Club of Defense Center Richmond, better known locally as Bellwood. Ruth Ann opened her remarks by commenting that the date of our banquet, December 6, was St. Nicholas Day in Europe and was the death date of Jefferson Davis, only President of the Confederate States of America and occupant, with his family, of Richmond's White House. The movement toward America's celebration of an earthly figure at Christmas began in 1823 with the publication of Clement Moore's A Visit from St. Nicholas, more popularly known now by its opening line "Twas the Night Before Christmas. Credit for America's first Christmas tree goes to William and Mary Professor Charles Minnegerode of Williamsburg in 1842. This followed closely Prince Albert's bringing the idea of the Christmas tree to England from the continent. President Franklin Pierce (1853-1857) had the first White House Christmas tree. Jefferson Davis served in President Pierce's cabinet as Secretary of War. Many early Christmas trees were small. There being initially no ornaments to buy, the ladies felt that if something was pretty, it should go on the tree. Ladies also brought greens into the house. Whoever brought in the first holly ruled the house. Constance Cary wrote that all the ladies turned out in the streets in green. Custom dictated that folks went to church on Christmas Day. The 12 days of Christmas were observed. This became a popular time for weddings. Phoebe Pember wrote that every girl in Richmond was engaged. Times became more austere as The War progressed. People walked to St. Paul's Episcopal Church on Christmas 1864. The price of eggnog soared to $100 a gallon. Despite the straitened circumstances, the people still celebrated the season. Drawing on his knowledge of the Confederate Navy, John Coski focused his remarks on Christmas aboard famed Confederate commerce raider CSS Shenandoah in 1864. The ship was in the southern Indian Ocean and encountered fierce winds and rough seas. Captain Waddell wrote that most dishes left the table for the deck. Surgeon Lining wrote that a man washed overboard and was washed back aboard by the waves. Everything was flooded. It turned much colder at night. John Thompson Mason recalled that on Christmas morning he woke the idlers and wished them Merry Christmas. The severe weather did not prevent the enjoyment of food and drink. The seafarers' toast "To our wives and sweethearts" was observed. Since the ship carried pigs and geese, the men ate a first rate dinner with pork, goose, and beef. The toughest aspect for the crew of the Shenandoah was the separation from family and loved ones. The men longed to see them, as sailors have done from time immemorial. Walter
2003-2004 CAMP OFFICERS LONGSTREET CAMP #1247Commander: Taylor Cowardin 356-9625 1st. Lt. Cmdr.: William F. Shumadine, III 285-4044 2nd Lt. Cmdr.: Michael Kidd 270-9651 Adjutant/Treasurer: Walter Tucker 360-7247 Judge Advocate: Richard B. Campbell 278-6488 Quartermaster: R. Preston Nuttall 276-8977 Chaplain: Henry V. Langford 474-1978
PUBLICATIONSWebmaster: Gary F. Cowardin 262-0534 Website: longstreetscv.org War Horse: David P. George 353-8392
The following is a cumulative listing of contributors to the upkeep of “The Old War Horse” for the period July, 2005 through the current month. As you know, our cumulative listing starts in July of each year. Harry Boyd Lloyd Brooks Brian Cowardin Clint Cowardin Taylor Cowardin Raymond Crews* Jerold Evans Richard Faglie Charles Howard Chris Jewett Frank Marks Lewis Mills John Moschetti Joe Moschetti Joey Seay Bill Setzer Austin Thomas David Thomas Walter Tucker David Ware Harold Whitmore Hugh Williams Anonymous (In memory of Chuck Walton) Legend: * - Multiple contributions § - Visitor Donation + - in memory of Past Cmdr. Tom Lauterbach
THROUGH 2006 Confederate Navy Exhibit, featuring ships, commanders, naval technology, paintings and artifacts. Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond. For info:(804)649-1861, www.moc.org JANUARY 21 181ST Anniversary of the birth of George Pickett at Capital Ale House. Speaker is Larry Chowning on "Soldiers at the Doorstep." Sponsored by the Pickett Society. For info: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.pickettsociety.com JANUARY 28 Civil War Ball at Gadsby's Tavern Ball Room, Alexandria, VA. 8-11 P.M. Live music, dance instruction, period desserts. The wearing of period attire encouraged. $30 in advance, $40 at door. Dance classes also held on January 12, 19, 26 at 7:30 P.M.-9:30 PM. For info and reservations, call (703)838-4242 www.gadsbystavern.org
Toward the end of the War, when meat was an almost unobtainable luxury for Lee, he lived chiefly on boiled cabbage. One day, when he had several important guests dining with him, the table was set with the usual heap of cabbage and a very small piece of meat. The guests politely refused the meat and Lee looked forward to having it all for himself the following day. However, on the next day there was nothing but the usual cabbage. Lee inquired as to the whereabouts of the meat. He learned to his dismay that his servant had only borrowed the meat to impress the guests, and had duly returned it, untouched, to its rightful owner.
"Richmond, April 17, 1861 Well my dearest one, Virginia has severed her connection with the Northern hive of abolitionists, and takes her stand as a sovereign and independent State. By a large vote she decided on yesterday, at about three o'clock, to resume the powers she had granted to the Federal government, and to stand before the world clothed in the full vestments of sovereignty. The die is thus cast, and her future in the hands of the gods of battle. The contest into which we enter is one full of peril, but there is a spirit abroad in Virginia which cannot be crushed until the life of the last man is trampled out. The numbers opposed to us are immense; but twelve thousand Grecians conquered the whole power of Xerxes at Marathon, and our fathers, a mere handful, overcame the enormous power of Great Britain. The North seems to be thoroughly united against us. The Herald and the Express both gave way and rally the hosts against us. Things have gone to that point in Philadelphia that no one is safe in the expression of a Southern sentiment. At Washington a system of martial law must have been established. The report is that persons are not permitted to pass through the city to the South. Two expeditions are on foot-the one directed against the Navy Yard at Gosport, the other Harper's Ferry. Several ships are up the river at the Navy Yard, and immense supplies of guns and powder; but there is no competent leader, and they have delayed it so long that the government has now a very strong force there. The hope is that Pickens will send two thousand men to aid in capturing it. From Harper's Ferry nothing is heard. The city is full of all sorts of rumors. To-morrow night is now fixed for the great procession; flags are raised all about town. Your devoted, J. Tyler"
1. A good deal of money 2. A good deal of patience 3. A good case 4. A good lawyer 5. A good counsel 6. Good witnesses 7. A good jury 8. A good judge 9. Good luck