ls-ls-nltr.jpg THE OLD WAR HORSE
VOLUME 9, ISSUE 5,           May, 2007
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A quick jump to the articles in this issue:
Commander's Comments, Adjutant's Report, May Program (next), In Memoriam, April Program (last), Camp Officers,
Longstreet's First Corps, Calendar of Events, New Books, Gen. Birthdays, Parade Photos, W&L Letter


Originally intended as  a  temporary  holding  facility  for
Yankee prisoners on their way to prison camps further south,
Belle Isle soon became a permanent prisoner camp as Richmond
scrambled  to  find  places  to  hold  the  huge  influx  of
prisoners captured at the  numerous  battles  taking  place.
Just  like all wartime prisons, Belle Isle was very far from
paradise.  Starvation and misery were commonplace throughout
its  existence.  Although it was harsh, it was definitely no
worse than other camps of its day.                          

Belle Isle is an island located  in  the  James  River  just
above  the  fall line and between Gamble's Hill on the north
side and Chesterfield on the south bank.   Originally  known
as Broad Rock Island due to the huge outcropping of rocks on
the island, it later became known as Belle Isle and by  1836
was   home  to  the  Belle  Isle  Manufacturing  Company  (a
predecessor to the Old Dominion Iron and Steel  Works).   In
1852,  the  property  was purchased at auction by William H.
MacFarland and B.  W.  Haxall.  They in turn sold it to Hugh
Fry  who allowed the Danville Railroad to construct a bridge
from the south bank  of  the  James  to  the  island.   This
allowed  the  transport  of coal from Chesterfield's pits to
the furnaces on the island.  By 1860, the island was home to
the  Old Dominion Iron and Nail Company.  During the war the
company became a vital supplier of nails to the South.      

By 1862, as many as 10,000  prisoners  were  held  at  Belle
Isle.    On  July  15th,  the  Richmond  Examiner  gave  the
following description of the camp:                          

"Seeing a Good Time  -  The  prisoners  of  Belle  Isle  are
encamped   on   the  lower  ground  of  the  island,  within
convenient distance of the water and at  all  times  in  the
full face of the breezes that almost continually sweep along
the  river.   They  pass  away  time  in  exercise  such  as
wrestling,  jumping and tumbling about generally, apparently
caring for nothing and nobody and quite as contented as they
can  be  under  the  circumstances.   They are supplied with
excellent tents and have plenty to eat."                    

One Yankee prisoner described the camp as a sandy plain of a
few  acres  enclosed  by  a  ditch  three feet wide behind a
breastwork made from the dirt taken from the ditch.   Behind
the  breastwork  were  guards  who were ordered to shoot any
prisoner who crossed that point.                            

This may have been a  comfortable  spot  during  warm  sunny
days,  but  imagine  living in tents on a beach during rain,
ice  and  snow  storms  or  being  exposed  to  the   frigid
temperatures during the winter.  By 1864, the camp had grown
to  around  12,000.    As   dire   conditions   struck   the
Confederacy,   conditions   at   the   camp  worsened.   The
Confederacy could barely provide the needed  goods  for  its
citizens, let alone the Yankee prisoners.  Starvation became
commonplace and descriptions of the men  at  the  camp  from
that  time until the end of the war depict images similar to
those unlucky souls in  German  concentration  camps  during

As  conditions  worsened,  one  prisoner decided to get even
with his captors by stealing  several  poodle  puppies  that
belonged  to  the  guards.   The last one disappeared on the
last day that he, along  with  several  others  were  to  be
removed  from  the  camp.   The  officer  to  whom the puppy
belonged refused to let any prisoners leave until the guilty
party  was  given  up.   The  guilty  party was very quickly
identified by his fellow prisoners and for  punishment,  was
forced to eat a pound of raw dog meat in the presence of the

Soon there were not enough  tents  for  all  the  prisoners.
Tensions  were  rising  and  the  camp got to be so bad that
General Winder stationed cannon around the  camp  for  added
security.    Jefferson   Davis  refused  to  give  any  more
assistance  to  the  prisoners  in  reprisal  for  the  poor
treatment of Confederate prisoners in the north.            

Even  though  conditions  became  horrid at Belle Isle, they
were no worse than most other  camps  and  prisons  on  both
sides.   Sure,  Yankee POWs lived though hell in Confederate
camps but it was because the Confederacy was  going  through
hell.   Northern  camps  starved  and  deprived  its "Rebel"
prisoners as punishment when they could have easily provided
for its captives.                                           



We extend our heartfelt  sympathy  to  Camp  Chaplain  Henry
Langford  and  his family in the passing of his beloved wife
Florence.  Henry and Florence  attended  several  Longstreet
Christmas banquets when her health was better.              

Compatriot   Joe   Moschetti  has  been  experiencing  heart
problems, which have  curtailed  his  activities.   Joe  was
regular  in  attendance  prior  to  his  moving to The Rivah
several years ago.   Please  keep  Joe  and  Carol  in  your
prayers as we wish the best for them.                       

Since we included in last month's Old War Horse my letter to
President Ruscio of Washington and Lee University  regarding
Robert  E,  Lee, it is only fitting to print his informative
response in this issue.  I was pleased  to  learn  that  Dr.
Ruscio  is  an  alumnus  of that fine school which bears the
name of two of the greatest men  (both  Virginians)  in  the
history of our country.  Our Camp has made a donation to the
Lee Chapel 200th Anniversary Campaign.                      


Editor's Note Dr. Ruscio's letter is attached. Dave
(Photo near the bottom of this web page - Gary)






Our speaker for May will be Ed Harris whose subject will  be
General John B. Hood.                                       

Ed has been with us before and we are looking forward to his
presentation on one of the more interesting generals of  the

Please be sure to come and give Ed a Longstreet welcome!!   

In Memoriam

Mrs.  Florence Carroll Pfenninger Langford  passed  away  on
Wednesday, May 2, 2007.                                     

She  is  survived  by  her  husband  of almost 60 years, The
Reverend  Henry  V.   Langford  and  two  sons,  Dwayne   C.
Pfenninger  and  his  wife,  Dolores  of McKinney, Texas and
Jeffery D.  Langford  and  his  wife,  Denise  of  Richmond,
Virginia;  two  grandchildren,  Ashley  Carroll Langford and
Bradley Davis Langford also of Richmond.                    

Florence's life will be celebrated on May 13, 2007, at  4:00
p.m.   during  a service at River Road Church, Baptist, 8000
River Road, Richmond, Va.                                   

In lieu of flowers,  memorial  gifts  may  be  made  to  The
Baptist  Theological Seminary 3400 Brook Road, Richmond, VA,

Death is only an old door
Set in a garden wall:

On gentle hinges it gives, at dusk
When the thrushes call.

Along the lintel are green leaves,
Beyond, the light lies still;

Very willing and weary feet
Go over that sill.

There is nothing to trouble any heart;
Nothing to hurt at all.

Death is only a quiet door
In an old wall.

                                Nancy Byrd Turner


In no way can the written word capture the effectiveness  of
a  talk  well given.  Our own immediate past Commander Harry
Boyd began his talk about the paranormal by  telling  us  of
his  experience  as a young Henrico County policeman when he
entered the pastor's study at River Road Church Baptist on a
dark and stormy night and saw two feet behind a curtain.    

Approaching  cautiously  with  flashlight  in  one  hand and
weapon in the other, he twice ordered  the  person  to  come
out.   Receiving no response, he pulled back the curtain and
saw  the  pastor's  waders  which  were  used  in  baptismal

Harry mentioned several concepts of ghosts:                 

earthbound spirits of the deceased
naturally occurring apparitions   
creatures of a parallel universe  
figments of our imaginations      

He described several visits to Cashtown.   In  the  Cashtown
Inn  there  is  a  guest  book  in each room in which people
record their experiences.  Harry heard a noise like  marbles
rolling  down  a  stairway.   Tobacco  and perfume have been
smelled.  Gunfire, bugles, and drums have been heard.       

Harry turned on a tape recorder one night in the Inn.   Next
morning  heard  on  the  tape were rapping, knocking, a door
opening, a bump, and a clink.  Harry catalogued some guests'
comments in the guest books.                                

Harry and Barbara heard drums on the Gettysburg battlefield.
He showed us a post card with a picture taken of  the  porch
of  the Inn around the turn of the 20th century.  There is a
soldier standing on the porch  away  from  the  owner.   The
owner  said  that he was alone on the porch when the picture
was taken.                                                  

Locally, people at  Cold  Harbor  have  heard  men  yelling,
horses neighing, and rifle shots.                           

At Gaines's Mill a lady investigating ghostly phenomena with
Harry saw a man bleeding who gave her a  yellow  rose.   She
said  that her foot hurt.  Taking off her shoe, she found an
old locket which contained blood.  Harry circulated the rose
and the locket for all to examine.                          

Harry talked about other interesting occurrences  and  urged
us to listen harder on future visits to battlefields.       

Writer's postscript:                                        

Jackie  and  I  spent  the  night  after the Longstreet Camp
meeting in a  North  Charleston  SC  motel,  where  we  were
attending  a  reunion  of crew members of USS Betelgeuse (AK
260).  Waking up in the night, I heard the clink of a  glass
and a door closing.  Jackie was sound asleep.  We had locked
the door before going to sleep.  I wonder these noises would
have been noticed if Harry's presentation wasn't fresh in my



Commander: Taylor Cowardin 359-9277 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 200-1311



The following is a cumulative listing of contributors to the
upkeep of “The Old War Horse” for the period September, 2007
through the current month.   As  you  know,  our  cumulative
listing starts in July of each year.                        

Ben Baird
Lloyd Brooks
Brian Cowardin*
Clint Cowardin*
Gary Cowardin
Lee Crenshaw*
Raymond Crews*
Jerold Evans*
Kitty Faglie*
Richard Faglie*
Dave George
Pat Hoggard
Louis Heindl
Chris Jewett
John Kane
Roger Kirby
Mike Miller*
Conway Moncure
Joe Moschetti
Preston Nuttall
Rufus Sarvay
Lewis Mills
Waite Rawls
Peyton Roden
Bill Setzer
John Shumadine
Will Schumadine
Harrison Taylor
Walter Tucker*
John Vial
Will Wallace
David Ware
Harold Whitmore
Hugh Williams
Joe Wright

In Memory of Bill Jones-Anonymous
In memory of Tom Lauterbach-Anonymous
In Memory of Chuck Walton-Ben Baird

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

Your editor thanks each of you for your contributions to the
welfare  of The Horse.  Without them, we could not afford to
publish it.                                                 

All suggestions,articles and comments are always appreciated.



THROUGH MAY "Many Thousands Go: African  Americans  and  the
Civil  War,"  new  exhibit  at Pamplin Historical Park & The
National Museum of the Civil War  Soldier  focusing  on  the
contributions of black soldiers & civilians on both sides of
the conflict.  Featuring original  copy  of  the  Thirteenth
Amendment  (through  September,  2006,)  artifacts  from the
William A.  Gladstone black militaria  collection  owned  by
Pamplin  and  other  collections.   For info: 1-877-PAMPLIN;

THROUGH  SEPTEMBER  "Generations:  The   MacArthur   Family"
exhibit   at   The  MacArthur  Memorial,  MacArthur  Square,
Norfolk.  Displays on General of the Army Douglas  MacArthur
from  MacArthur  clan roots in 14th century Scotland, to his
father who received the Medal of Honor  in  the  Civil  War,
other   family  members.   Monday  through  Saturday,  10-5,
Sundays,   11-5.    Free.    For   info:   (757)   441-2965;

MAY   18-20   The  North-South  Skirmish  Association  115th
National Competition  near  Winchester.   Live-fire  matches
with  muskets,  carbines,  breech-loading rifles, revolvers,
mortars and cannon.  The largest Civil War  live-fire  event
in    the    U.     S.     Free    admission.    For   info: ,

MAY 19-20 143rd Anniversary of The Battle of New  Market  at
New  Market  Battlefield  State  Historical Park.  Stonewall
Brigade  Band  concert,  reenactor  dance,  tactical  battle
Saturday,  Battle of New Market Reenactment Sunday, military
and civilian living history presentations both  days.   Hall
of  Valor  Museum,  Emmy  winning battle film, free parking,
food service by local charities.  Infantry, cavalry, medical
and  artillery  reenactors  needed.   Registration $10 until
April 30, after and walk -on $20.  All tickets sold at gate,
$10  adult,  $5 children, 6-17, under 5 free.  For info: Ron
Paull, (717)528-8761 until  10  p.m.,  or
(866) 515-1864;

MAY 26 Illumination of The Fredericksburg National Cemetery,
8-11 p.m.  15,000 candles, one for every man buried  in  the
Cemetery.   Volunteers  staff tour stops throughout.  "Taps"
played  every  hour.   Rain  date   May   27.    For   info:
Fredericksburg  Battlefield  Visitors Center (540) 373-6122;

MAY 26-28 Memorial Day at Popular Grove  National  Cemetery,
Petersburg.   Battlefield  staff  members  will  tell tragic
stories of the veterans.  For info: Ann Blumenschine,  (804)
732-3531, Ext.  203;

MAY  28  Memorial  Day observance at Fredericksburg National
Cemetery, 11  a.m.   For  info:  Fredericksburg  Battlefield
Visitor Center, (540) 373-6122;

MAY  30-JUNE  2  "North  Anna  to  Cold  Harbor: The Unknown
Battles from Jericho Mill to  Cold  Harbor"  with  historian
Gordon  Rhea  Based  in  Ashland.  BGES' Great Authors-Great
Battles Series.  Fees charged.   For  info:  Blue  and  Grey
Education Society (888) 741-2437; blueandgray;

JUNE 3 Jefferson Davis' Birthday walking tour, Museum of the
Confederacy,  Richmond.   1&3 p.m.  Includes Capitol Square,
St.   Paul's  Episcopal  Church,  Davis'  excecutive  office
building  and sites of the homes of Alexander Stephens, Mary
Chesnut and  Matthew  Maury.   Reservations  required.   For
info: Dean Knight, (804) 649-1861 Ext.37,

JUNE  15 History at Sunset.  "Scarred Jewel: Brompton in the
swirl of War" with Frank O'Reilly and Mac Wyckoff.  Meet  at
the  Fredericksburg  Battlefield Visitor Center, 7 p.m.  For
info:  Fredericksburg  Battlefield  Visitor  Center,   (540)


Civil War in Petersburg: Confederate City in the Crucible of
War  by  A.   Wilson Greene.  Illustrated, index, notes, 363
pp., 2006 University of Virginia Press,  P.O.   Box  400318,
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4318; $34.95 plus shipping.       

Bitter  Fruits  of  Bondage:  The  Demise of Slavery and the
Collapse of the Confederacy.,  1861-1865.   by  Armstead  L.
Robinson.   Notes,  index,  352  pp.,  2005.   University of
Virginia Press, P.   O.   B.   400318,  Charlottesville,  VA
22904-4318, $34.95 plus shipping.                           

Clyde  Built: Blockade Runners, Cruisers and Armored Rams of
the American Civil War by  Eric  J.   Graham.   Illustrated,
maps appendices, bibliography, index, 238 pp., 2006. Birlinn
Limited, West Newington House, 10 Newington Road, Edinburgh,
UK EH9 1QS, ś16.95, plus shipping.                          

Eyewitness  to  the  Civil  War:  The  Complete History From
Secession to  Reconstruction.   Edited  by  Neil  Kagan  and
Stephen G.  Hyslop.  Illustrated, maps, bibliography, index,
2006.  National Geographic  Society,  1145  17th  St,  N.W.,
Washington, D.C.  20036-4688, $40.00 plus shipping.         


William Fitzhugh Lee-31 May 1837-Arlington.

John Bankhead Magruder-1 May 1807-Port Royal, Va.

Isaac Ridgeway Trimble-15 May 1802-Culpeper.

Richard Lee Turberville Beale-22 May 1819-Westmoreland County

William George Mackey-9 May 1812-Portsmouth

William Young Conn Humes-1 May 1830-Abingdon 

William Edmondson "Grumble" Jones-9 May 1824-Washington County

Edwin Gray Lee-27 May-1836-Loudon County.

Mosby Monroe Parsons-21 May 1822-Charlottesville

Alfred Jefferson Vaughn, Jr.-10 May 1830-Dinwiddie County.

Reuben Lindsay Walker-29 May 1827-Albemarle County.



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