ls-ls-nltr.jpg THE OLD WAR HORSE
VOLUME 8, ISSUE 7,           JULY, 2006
SCV logo

A quick jump to most of the articles in this issue:
Commander's Comments, Adjutant's Report, Camp Officers, JULY Program (next), JUNE Program (last),
Longstreet's First Corps, Notice, Calendar of Events, Union Visit, MOC Aid, Remember Pearl Harbor,


As soon as Richmond became the "Rebel" capital it  became  a
target  for  invasion by the Federal forces.  Fear of attack
by gunboats and raiders meant the city had to be on constant
guard.  There were several close calls and false alarms, but
each time the alarms were sounded tensions escalated for the
citizens  of  the  city.  One of those close calls came with
the attempted raid of Richmond by Colonel Ulrich Dahlgren in
early  March  1864.   Due  to  bad  luck,  bad  weather  and
incompetency, Dahlgren's raid was unsuccessful.  If  it  had
been  a  success his raid would have not only devastated the
city but the entire Confederacy.                            

This plan of attack  was  authorized  by  President  Lincoln
after  a  great  deal  of  hard selling by Brigadier General
"Kill-Cavalry" Kilpatrick and Dahlgren who  thought  up  the
plan to free their comrades from Confederate prison camps in
Richmond.  With stories of starving and suffering prisoners,
Lincoln  was  pressured  into  approving  the plan.  General
Meade, who was  then  the  commander  of  the  Army  of  the
Potomac,  wasn't  too  keen  on  the  plan but he had little
choice but to approve it as well since it  was  endorsed  by
Lincoln.  The young Dahlgren was not only a flamboyant young
cavalryman but also the son of Rear Admiral  John  Dahlgren,
the  chief  of  the  US Navy's Ordinance Bureau and personal
friend of President Lincoln.  At the age  of  21  he  showed
considerable  bravery  on  the  battlefield and lost his leg
during a skirmish after Gettysburg.                         

Near  the  end  of  February  4000  troopers  commanded   by
Kilpatrick  made  their  way towards Richmond from the North
while Dahlgren and a force of around 500 men split  away  to
attack Richmond following River Road to eventually cross the
James and attack from the south.   The  "official  goal"  of
this  attack  was  to  free  the  union prisoners from Libby
Prison and Belle Isle.  It is the "unofficial goal"  -  that
is the part of the plan considered to be against the laws of
civil  warfare  -  that  makes  the  story  so   much   more

Ultimately  the  attacks  failed.   News  of the attacks hit
Richmond just in time for the city to put  together  a  last
minute  defense.   Kilpatrick's  forces  were turned away at
Brook Road near the intersection of Laburnum.  Dahlgren  and
his  men  wreaked  havoc  on the plantations along the river
wasting  time  and  ruining  the  chances  of   their   plan
succeeding.  A terrible rainstorm that had been in place for
several days made the river waters rise which made  crossing
the  river  at  the  designated  spot impossible.  He had to
improvise and cross at another point wasting more time.   As
he  got  closer  to  Richmond he met resistance from the 300
strong Home Guard.  This group, made up of men too  old  and
children  too  young  to  join  the  regular  army prevented
Dahlgren from proceeding any further.   He  was  killed  and
about 350 of his men were taken captive.                    

The  story  takes  a  twist  when  a  young school boy named
William Littlepage  searched  through  the  fallen  Yankee's
uniform  looking  for  a  gold  pocket  watch to give to his
teacher.  He was unable to find a watch  but  did  find  the
Colonel's  cigar case, which he gave to his teacher instead.
Upon  opening  the   case,   Edward   Halbach,   the   boy's
schoolteacher  and  organizer  of  the  school  boy fighters
discovered Dahlgren's papers and the deadly plans  contained
in them.                                                    

The  papers  contained  the  entire  plans for the raid from
beginning to end with the end result of the  plan  being  to
"destroy  and  burn  the  hateful  city.and  Jeff  Davis and
Cabinet killed." Upon learning about  the  covert  plans  of
killing  Davis  and the Confederate Cabinet the residents of
the city called for the execution of the remaining captives.
General  Lee  called the raid a "barbarous and inhuman plot"
but was against execution.  "I think it better to  do  right
even  if  we  suffer in so doing, that incur the reproach of
our consciences and prosperity." At  that  time,  Lee's  son
Rooney   was  a  POW  and  he  feared  retaliation  for  any

After Dahlgren's body was searched and most of his valuables
removed  (the  little finger of his left hand was cut off in
order to remove his ring) his body was temporarily buried at
the  side  of  the road where he was killed.  Before burial,
his prosthetic leg was also removed and put  on  display  at
the  office  of  one  of  the city's newspapers before being
given to a needy  confederate  amputee.   Orders  were  soon
given  to  dig  up  his  body and bring it to Richmond for a
positive identification.  Afterwards  he  was  buried  in  a
secret  location  at  Oakwood cemetery among deceased Yankee

Somehow  Elizabeth  Van  Lew,  and  her  network  of   Union
sympathizers  learned the location of his plot, secretly dug
up the body and buried it in  a  new  location  until  plans
could  be  made  to return it to his family back north.  The
spot of this temporary burial  was  approximately  10  miles
northwest  of  Richmond in Henrico not too far from where we
meet at Roma's.  After lengthy negotiations  between  Davis'
administration  and  the  Federals, an agreement was made to
relax  the  restrictions  on  prisoner  exchange  with   the
condition  that  Dahlgren's  body  be  returned  home.  Upon
opening his grave at Oakwood the Confederates  were  shocked
to see that his body had been removed.                      

It  wasn't  until  after  the  war that his body was finally
allowed to be taken back home by his father to Philadelphia.
In  November  of  1865  his  prosthetic leg was recovered in
Albemarle County from an amputee Confederate veteran.       

Almost from the onset of Dahlgren's papers being made public
there have been those who argue that they were forged by the
Confederate government to incite anti-Yankee sentiment among
citizens  of the weakening Confederacy.  Today most scholars
believe that the papers were legitimate but  Dahlgren  added
the  more  violent  parts  later  shortly  before the actual
attack after gaining approval by  Lincoln  and  the  Federal

These  plans  only  cemented Davis' belief that the Federals
were  waging  a  new   type   of   warfare   that   included
assassination.   This  hardened  his  resolve to try and use
unconventional means to swing the tide of  public  sentiment
in  the  north  against  the war and in turn spoil Lincoln's
chances  in  the  presidential  election  later  that  year.
Despite  these  efforts  Lincoln  would  go  on  to  win the
election and the War would be over the following year.      



Each year the Camp submits an annual report to  Headquarters
as  of  June 30.  We had 74 members as of that date in 2006,
compared to 75 a year ago.  This is the  first  decrease  in
seven years.  This is a good record in view of the fact that
eight of our members transferred out of Longstreet to  start
James City Cavalry Camp in Williamsburg.                    

Highlights  of  the  year  were  last  fall's  grave  marker
dedication  at  Hollywood  Cemetery  for  two   of   General
Longstreet's  staff  members  and  the  awarding of the Buck
Hurtt Scholarship to the outstanding senior history  student
at  Douglas  S.   Freeman  High  School.   We cleaned up our
section of Studley Road, Route 606,  Hanover  County,  twice
during the year.                                            

Our  former  member  John  Thompson has returned to Richmond
after a sojourn in Florida and, with two of  his  sons,  has
applied  for transfer to Longstreet Camp.  The sons of Peter
Knowles have also expressed an interest in  transferring  to
Longstreet.  We are delighted and welcome all.              

The  deadline for ordering Robert E.  Lee specialty Virginia
license tags is approaching.  Please honor this great man by
displaying  his picture on your automobile (s.) Those of you
on the Internet can get the necessary forms and instructions
there.  If you're not on the Internet, please let me know if
you're interested in obtaining this license plate.          

Isn't  it  great  to  observe  historians'  recently   found
appreciation  of  George  Washington?  On July 4 the History
Channel  showed  the  movie  The  Crossing,  featuring  Jeff
Daniels  as  the  illustrious father of our country.  Sander
VanOcur had interesting interviews with Don Higginbotham and
Gordon  Wood  at  intervals during the movie.  David Hackett
Fischer's Washington's Crossing is an interesting account of
the  same  campaign.  David McCullough, who will be speaking
at the Virginia Historical Society this fall, is the  author
of  the  best  selling  1776.  Washington was underrated for
years because he  was  neither  a  prolific  writer  nor  an
outstanding  orator.   Words  are important, but they can be
overrated.  Sports writer Joe Falls wrote that  Alex  Karras
played tackle for the Detroit Lions three years after he was
no good because he was  such  a  good  interviewee.   George
Washington  was  a leader in the best sense of the word.  R.
E.  Lee, whose hero was Washington, was in the same mold.   

A new (to me) Revolutionary War name,  Bernardo  de  Galvez,
appeared  recently  in  a  newspaper.   The Internet gives a
brief  biography  of  this  Spaniard  who  was  governor  of
Louisiana  from  January 1, 1777 on.  The fact that we later
bought Louisiana from France has tended to obscure the  fact
that  it  was  a  Spanish  possession  from 1762 until 1800.
Galvez corresponded  directly  with  Patrick  Henry,  Thomas
Jefferson,   and  Charles  Henry  Lee.   He  received  their
emissaries, Oliver Pollock and Captain  George  Gibson,  and
responded to their pleas by securing the port of New Orleans
so that only  American,  Spanish,  and  French  ships  could
travel the Mississippi River.                               

Spain  formally  declared war against Great Britain June 21,
1779.  King Carlos III commissioned Galvez to raise a  force
of  men and conduct a campaign against the British along the
Mississippi and the Gulf Coast.  Galvez took  to  the  field
that  fall and defeated the British at Manchac, Baton Rouge,
and Natchez.  On March 14, 1780, after a  month-long  siege,
Galvez's  2,000  men captured the British stronghold of Fort
Charlotte in Mobile.  The climax of the Gulf Coast  campaign
occurred  in  1781  when  Galvez  directed  a joint land-sea
attack on Pensacola, the British capital  of  West  Florida.
His  7,000 men besieged Fort George there May 10, 1781.  His
forces captured the British naval base at New Providence  in
the Bahamas May 8, 1782.                                    

Galvez  was  preparing a campaign against Jamaica when peace
negotiations ended the war.  Galvez helped draft  the  terms
of  the peace treaty.  Congress cited him for his aid during
the American Revolution.   Sadly,  neither  Robert  Leckie's
George Washington's War nor The American Heritage History of
the American Revolution mentions the  name  of  Bernardo  de
Galvez.   In  his  postwar  position of viceroy of New Spain
Galvez ordered Jose de Evia'sqv to survey  the  Gulf  Coast.
The latter named the biggest bay on the Texas coast Bahia de
Galvezton, a name later altered to Galveston.   His  altered
name  lives  on  in the bay, the city, and the Glen Campbell
song, but how many Americans know anything about the man?  I
knew  absolutely nothing until the newspaper article sent me
to the Internet.                                            

History is like the universe, always expanding and revealing
something  new.   We  may think we know all that there is to
know, but something else  always  comes  along  to  make  us
better informed.                                            







Our June speaker will be our own Walter Tucker, who formerly
served as an officer in the U.S.  Navy and who is well known
for his Civil War history studies and research.             

Walter will speak to us on  the  Confederate  Naval  Service
which, as you know, has received far less attention than the
Army of the Confederacy by historians and writers.          

Be sure to come and learn about the brave and dedicated  men
who served us afloat.                                       


We were very lucky to have A.  Wilson Greene, the  Executive
Director  of Pamplin Historical Park, as our speaker for our
joint meeting with the Sons of Union Veterans  Army  of  the
James  Camp.   His  topic was the city of Petersburg and the
toils it faced from the War of Northern Aggression.         

Petersburg traces its history back to 1645 when it was known
as  Fort  Henry.   In  1784  it became a town and in 1850 it
became a city.  Petersburg is also known  as  the  "Cockade"
city because of their militia's caps during the War of 1812.
Petersburg was a port city, the seventh's  largest  city  in
the  Confederacy.   Before  the  war  the city was extremely
prosperous and wealthy due to the commerce and  industry  it
enjoyed from its ports and railroads.  Before the war it had
20 tobacco manufacturers, 5  iron  foundries  and  4  cotton

In  1860  Petersburg  was  a  pro  Union city.  It elected a
Unionist,  Thomas  Branch,  as  a  delegate  to   the   1861
convention.   Lincoln's  aggressive actions surrounding Fort
Sumter turned the tied of the  patriotic  city.   Within  48
hours  of  Virginia's  secession  Petersburg had organized 9
companies of militia.                                       

The war took a heavy toll on the Cockade City.  Most of  the
men needed for labor went off to fight the war.  Monies paid
to wives and families as compensation for  lost  wages  took
its  toll  on  the  treasury.   With its ports and railroads
Petersburg became a strategic hub for the Confederate  Army.
This strained the city even further.  Soon taxes skyrocketed
and industry faltered.  By 1865 inflation  had  risen  9000%
and  crime  was  rampant.   President  Davis  was  forced to
declare marshal law.  By the end of April 1865 the city  was

Greene has a book coming out on the subject later this fall.
If it is as interesting and informative as his  program,  it
should definitely find a home in everyone's library!        



Commander: 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


Webmaster: Gary F. Cowardin 262-0534 Website: 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.                        

Ben Baird
Harry Boyd
Lloyd Brooks
Brian Cowardin
Clint Cowardin
Gary Cowradin
Ron Cowardin
Taylor Cowardin
Raymond Crews*
Jerold Evans
Kitty Faglie*
Richard Faglie*
David George
Charles Howard 
Chris Jewett
John Kane
Frank Marks
Lewis Mills
Joe Moschetti
John Moschetti
Preston Nuttall*
Ken Parsons
Joey Seay
Bill Setzer
Austin Thomas
David Thomas
Walter Tucker*
John Vial*
David Ware
Harold Whitmore*
Hugh Williams

In Memory of Chuck Walton-Anonymous
In Memory of Chuck Walton-Ben Baird
In Memory of Hef Ferguson-David George
In Memory of Tom Lauterbach-Harold Whitmore

* - Multiple contributions                 
§ - Visitor Donation                       
+ - in memory of Past Cmdr. Tom Lauterbach 



THROUGH NOVEMBER 30 "Art of the Confederacy" at  the  Museum
of the Confederacy, Richmond.  Wonderful wartime and postwar
sketches, paintings, water colors, photos and  p.o.w.   art.
$7  adults, , $6 seniors, $3 students over age 6.  for info:

THROUGH 2006 Confederate navy  exhibit.   various  types  of
ships, commanders, naval technology, paintings, artifacts at
the  Museum  of  the  Confederacy,  Richmond.    for   info:

JULY  22  Civil  War  Cotillion  in the Marie Louise Jackson
Amphitheater, Northern Virginia Community College,  Manassas
Campus.   Dining and dancing, scenes from Gray Ghost Theatre
shows.       For      info,      tickets:      703-993-8482,;

AUGUST  4  "History  at Sunset: "Ellwood by Candlelight." At
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park  with
Janice Frye and The Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield, 8
p.m.  For info:

AUGUST 12, 13 Living History Weekend at the restored  Sunken
Road,  Fredericksburg  and  Spotsylvania  National  Military
Park,Fredericksburg.  Living historians will  interpret  The
Battle  of  Fredericksburg from the Confederate perspective.
Infantry and firing demonstrations, speakers, tours and  the
battle-damaged  Innis House opened to the public.  For info:

AUGUST 19,20 National Civil War and Antique Arms Show at the
Showplace  in Richmond, Saturday 9-5, Sunday 9-3.  Sponsored
by North South  Trader's  Civil  War  Magazine.   For  Info:
Stephen   W.    Sylvia,   540-672-4845,  show@nstcivil  war,

SEPTEMBER 9 Two hour  Brandy  Station  Battlefield  Tour  of
Buford  Knoll  &  Yew  Ridge  from  Graffiti  House,  Brandy
Station.  10 a.m.  Fighting at that place occurred  late  in
the  afternoon  of  June 9, 1863 between Gen John Buford and
Gen.   W.H.F.    "Rooney"   Lee's   Brigade.    No   advance
reservation  required,  $5 over age 12.  Sponsored by Brandy
Station     foundation.      For     info:     540-547-4106,;


We were delighted to have our friends from the Army  of  the
James Camp visit at our June meeting!                       

Shown  above, from left to right are Will Greene of Pamplin,
David Penhallow (SUV), Longstreet Commander Taylor Cowardin,
Commander  Howard  Bartholf  (SUV), and Robert Krocke (SUV).
Not shown: Jeffrey Vurder (SUV).                            

Gentlemen, please come back again.  You are  always  welcome
at Longstreet Camp!                                         


We were shocked to learn that the  members  of  the  General
Assembly  are apparently totally disregarding the dire state
of  the  Museum  of  the  Confederacy,  resulting  from  the
complete takeover by Virginia Commonwealth University of all
of the property surrounding the Museum.  Waite Rawls soberly
informed  us  that  the  Museum  was gearing up to take what
steps are necessary to ensure its survival.                 

As you  know,  the  Museum  is  the  guardian  of  the  most
extensive    collection   of   Confederate   artifacts   and
memorabilia  extant,  but  the  visitor  count  has   fallen
drastically  since  the  VCU construction has made it almost
impossible for the Museum to be found by those who  have  an
interest in the War Between the States.                     

The  prime  attraction  that Richmond offers our tourists is
its historical heritage.  They come here to learn about  the
War and the Museum of the Confederacy and the White House of
the Confederacy are the prime sites that they want to visit.

Ah, well, the state giveth and the  state  taketh  away  and
those  who  would  rewrite  history  are,  we  are  certain,
overjoyed at this turn of events.                           

                                       Dave George


The years have passed so quickly  that  is  really  hard  to
believe  that  the attack on Pearl Harbor took place over 65
years ago.                                                  

Those of us who remember that day are somewhat sobered  when
we  realize  that we are now really "Grown Ups" in the midst
of so many Americans who have never given that horrible  day
a passing thought.                                          

2nd  Lt.   Commander Michael Kidd has just returned with his
family from a trip to Hawaii and gave us some photos that he
took  at  Pearl  Harbor and we thought that they might be of
interest to those of you who have never visited Hawaii.     






Let us all pray that such a horrible attack to our beloved nation
will never happen again.

Return to the top of this newsletter
Return to Newsletter Index
Return to Home Page
©2006 James Longstreet Camp, #1247, SCV - Richmond, Virginia