ls-ls-nltr.jpg THE OLD WAR HORSE
VOLUME 12, ISSUE 1,           January, 2010
SCV logo

A quick jump to the articles in this issue:
Commander's Comments, Adjutant's Report, January Program (next), November Program,
December Program (last), Camp Officers, Longstreet's First Corps, Oakwood & Woodland Cemeteries, Coming Events,


I would like to wish all members of the Longstreet Camp a  Very  belated
Happy  New  Year.  January always seems to bring with it a renewed sense
of hope for us all - New Year's resolutions; the beginning of a new year
and  new opportunities.  Hope is certainly something that I think we all
will agree on is needed this year as we charge full-force into the  next

If you are like me you have known people who have been directly affected
by the recent economic downturn in the economy  -  from  a  decrease  in
sales, to housing foreclosures, and people losing their jobs.  Company's
that called Richmond home have had to either make  some  very  difficult
decisions  with employee lay-offs, or simply close their doors for good.
Employee's have seen their job benefits get cut  back  or  get  cut  out
completely   leaving   their  family's  without  any  medical  insurance
coverage.  This economic downturn has affected everyone, but there  does
seem  to be a glimmer of hope on the horizon.  We have not seen anything
like this since easily the early 1930's, but we should try and take some
solace  from  a  much  earlier  time  when  things were a lot harder and
harsher than they are now.  Remember the riots around Richmond?  Hard to
imagine  but  it  did  actually  happen  during  the WBTS - riots in the
streets of Richmond because there was not enough flour, bread, food  and
clothing  to  feed  and  cloth  the  Southern  populace.   Inflation was
rampant,  and  wide-spread;  unemployment  was  through  the  roof;  our
Southern  economy  was  in  total shambles - the war had exacted a heavy
toll on the Southern people-men, women and  children.   Yet  these  same
Southern  people persevered through it all.  They withstood the constant
harassing attacks from Northern Calvary, and they defended  their  homes
and their families often at the expense of their own lives, and when the
fighting was finally over they helped to re-build their homes and  their
communities.  They persevered through it all, and so can we.            

For  those  of you who were able to attend the Longstreet Camp Christmas
Banquet in December at the Westwood Club - I hope that you  enjoyed  the
evening  as  much  as  I did.  We had a wonderful turnout, a great guest
speaker (Thank you Taylor), and there was good food and much  fellowship
and  I  was particularly pleased to see the many guests who were able to
join us that night.  Definitely it was a wonderful  evening  even  if  I
learned  some  things about Walter Tucker that I probably shouldn't have
learned (just kidding).                                                 

A reminder - the annual Lee-Jackson program WILL NOT be held at the  old
House   Chambers   in  the  State  Capitol  Building.   Because  of  the
inauguration of our new Governor, the ceremony will be held at the  Bass
Pro  Shop  off  of  Interstate-95  just  north of the city at Ashland on
Friday, January 15th,  and  will  start  at  6pm.   If  you  have  never
attended, or haven't attended in a while - I encourage you to do so. The
event is sponsored by the Virginia Division SCV,  and  the  UDC  and  it
promises to be an eventful evening.                                     

I  would be remiss if I did not remind all SCV members that the incoming
Governor and his running mates all promised that they  would  honor  All
Confederate's  by  proclaiming April as Confederate History and Heritage
Month in the Commonwealth if elected - so let's see if  these  gentlemen
are indeed men of their word.  Otherwise - let's throw the bums out!    

Remember - "Longstreet is the Camp boys - Longstreet is the Camp!"

I look forward to seeing everyone at our next camp meeting!

Deo Vindice!                       


It is hard to believe that two busy months have flown by since the  last
issue  of  The  Old  War Horse came out.  I hope that your holidays were
pleasurable and that the New Year will be  rewarding  to  you  and  your

On  Saturday  7  November  we  had  ten  Camp members who cleaned up our
section of Studley Road, Route 606, Hanover  County,  near  Enon  United
Methodist  Church.   Road  chief  Lewis Mills was ably assisted by Clint
Cowardin, Lee Crenshaw, Ray Crews, Gene Golden, Tom Hicks,  Don  Jewett,
Andy  Keller,  Joe  Price,  and yours truly.  Special thanks to Joe, who
lives in Ohio.  He was in a meeting in  Washington  the  first  week  in
November  and  came  down  to help us before returning home.  The number
working and nice weather enabled  us  to  finish  in  record  time.   We
perform this service twice a year.                                      

Our  Camp  member Tom Spivey has started a Civil War Tour business.  For
information please visit his web site:  We wish
Tom the best in his new venture.                                        

Congratulations to Lee Hart, chairman of the Virginia Division's Oakwood
Cemetery Restoration Committee, and to other Division members  who  have
worked  diligently  and  patiently to improve the Confederate section of
the  cemetery.   The  Richmond  Times-Dispatch  on  28  December  had  a
favorable  story  which  highlighted  the  installation of an iron fence
around the Soldiers' Monument.  The first husband  of  my  wife's  great
grandmother is buried under one of those markers which has three numbers
(but no names) on it.  Responding to several requests of SCV members who
live  out  of Virginia, I have taken several pictures of similar markers
where their ancestors  are  buried  and  emailed  the  pictures  to  the
compatriots.   We  all look forward to the day when upright markers will
replace the numbered markers which now dominate the Confederate section.
Several  of our Camp members made donations to Virginia Division for the
restoration of Oakwood when they paid their renewal dues.  Donations can
be made at any time.  Forms can be downloaded from the December 2009 Old
Dominion Voice section of the Virginia Division web site.  If you'd like
to  make  a  donation now and do not have access to the Internet, please
let me know, and I'll print a form for you.                             

The Virginia Division annual Convention will be in Lynchburg 9-11 April.
Division  officers  for  the  next  two  years  will  be  elected at the
Convention.  Longstreet Camp will elect  its  delegates  at  either  the
February  or  March  meeting.  Any member can attend the Convention, but
the Camp designates delegates who can cast votes.                       

In a 23 day period in January and February we celebrate the birthdays of
four heroic Americans who chose to follow their native state of Virginia
out of the Union in 1861:                                               

    14 January 1806	Matthew Fontaine Maury                          
    19 January 1807 	Robert E. Lee                                   
    21 January 1824	Stonewall Jackson                               
     6 February 1831	J. E. B. Stuart                                 

Virginia Division's commemoration of Lee and Jackson is usually held  on
a weekend near Lee's birthday.  This year, the Capitol is unavailable on
the weekend 15-16 January  due  to  the  inauguration  of  Governor  Bob
McDonnell.   The  Division's  commemoration  will take place at Bass Pro
Shops Friday 15 January at 6 PM.                                        

On Saturday 16 January Lee-Jackson Day will be celebrated in  Lexington,
VA as follows:                                                          

    10:30 AM	Wreath laying Jackson Cemetery                          
    11:00 AM	Parade in downtown Lexington                            
    12 noon	Memorial service Lee Chapel, Washington & Lee University
    1:30 PM	Lunch Hampton Inn Col Alto                              

Reservations for the lunch were required by January 10.                 

The Stuart-Mosby Historical Society has two events scheduled:           

1)Saturday 23 January Lee-Jackson-Maury Commemoration                   
    11:00 AM Virginia State Capitol Old Senate Chamber                  
    followed by lunch at a site to be determined.                       
    Speaker- SCV Heritage Defense Chief (Past VA Division Commander)  B.
    Frank Earnest                                                       
    Lunch reservations SMHS members were required by 14 January         

2)  Saturday 6 February Stuart Commemoration                            
    11:00 AM Stuart section, Hollywood Cemetery                         
    followed by lunch at a site to be determined. 		   	
    Speaker- Ms.  "Teej" Smith, who is working on  a  project  involving
    the letters of Flora Stuart                                         
    Lunch reservations for SMHS members are required by 24 January.     

Let's take advantage of the opportunities to honor these great  men  who
served  with  distinction  in the armies and navies of the United States
and the Confederate States of America.  We as  SCV  members  are  indeed
fortunate  to  have ancestors who served in the military services of the
Confederate States of America.                                          


NEXT MEETING - TUESDAY, January 19, 2010




Author Eric W.  Buckland will give  a  presentation  on  Mosby's  Keydet
Rangers.   Eric has compiled a hardback picture book on the subject that
covers some of Mosby's men who were also "Keydets"  at  VMI  during  the
war.  He will have some copies of his book available for sale.          



Catherine Wright of the Museum of the Confederacy  opened  her  talk  by
telling  us that the seeds of her book Lee's Last Casualty: The Life and
Letters of Sgt.  Robert W.  Parker, Second Virginia  Cavalry  were  sown
when  she was a graduate student at UNC Greensboro where her advisor was
Professor Peter Carmichael.   Carmichael  serves  as  Series  Editor  of
Voices of the Civil War.                                                

200  letters  of  Civil  War soldier Robert W.  Parker and his family of
Bedford County were found in a family attic.  Catherine discovered  that
the  typescript  by another student was poorly done, so she went through
them herself.                                                           

Robert Parker was born in  August  1838  in  Pittsylvania  County.   His
family  later moved to Bedford.  Robert married Rebecca Walker less than
six months before he joined the Confederate Army.  They lived in  a  log
house on the farm of Robert's father.                                   

Robert's  unit  was  known as the Bedford Southside Dragoons.  Each unit
member brought his own horse and  was  responsible  for  replacing  that
horse  if  it  were  killed  or  became  unfit  for service.  Several of
Robert's trips home during The War were to  obtain  replacement  horses.
Three children were born to the Parkers during The War.                 

Robert's letters to Rebecca were intended to be shared with other family
members and friends.  They related to his  concerns-  survival,  horses,
clothes, food, fellow soldiers, and the welfare of family and friends at
home.  One letter referred to "our struggle  for  liberty  and  rights."
Religion  was important to Robert, as indicated by his statement "Let me
ever be resigned to His will."                                          

Things got tougher as The War went on.  In May 1864 eighteen members  of
Robert's  company  were killed.  Despite the increasing hardships of the
soldiers and home folks, Southerners  remained  loyal.   Catherine  said
that  the letters revealed to her that the theory of a demoralized South
is incorrect.                                                           

Robert Parker was killed at  Appomattox  April  1865.   Several  of  his
compatriots  said  that  he  was  the  last  Confederate soldier killed.
Initially his body was  buried  in  woods  behind  the  Robertson/Walton
House.   In  December  1866  it  was  moved  to  the Appomattox National
Cemetery, but the exact grave is unknown.                               

Catherine's book is nicely summed up on the dust  jacket  by  Lesley  J.
Gordon,  co-editor,  Inside  the  Confederate Nation: Essays in Honor of
Emory M.  Thomas.  "These poignant letters provide readers with  a  rich
portrait of Parker, a thoughtful, caring young Virginian concerned about
his family and farm, but also torn  by  his  sense  of  loyalty  to  the
Confederacy.  Anyone reading just a few of Parker's letters will see the
undeniable tie between the home  front  and  the  battlefront,  the  tie
between a soldier's duty and his family."                               





Jeff Toalson of James City Cavalry Camp  #  2095  spoke  to  us  at  our
Christmas  banquet at the Westwood Club about his book Send Me a Pair of
Old Boots &Kiss My Little Girls: The Civil War Letters  of  Richard  and
Mary Watkins, 1861-1865.                                                

In  researching  and editing his earlier book No Soap, No Pay, Diarrhea,
Dysentery & Desertion Jeff found a letter  from  Richard  Watkins  which
impressed  him  with the humor, phrasing,writing style and warmth.  Jeff
then found a treasure  trove  of  letters  at  the  Virginia  Historical
Society  written  by  Richard  to his wife Mary and from Mary to Richard
covering the War years 1861-1864.  Jeff spent several years  researching
them and writing his book.  Letters meant everything to the soldiers and
their families.  Richard wrote to Mary  "I'd  like  to  have  a  million
letters from you."                                                      

Richard  Henry  Watkins,  born  4 June 1825 in Prince Edward County, was
shown in the 1850 census as a 24 year  old  lawyer  owning  real  estate
valued  at  $  200.00.  On 24 August 1858 he married Mary Purnell Dupuy,
also a resident of Prince Edward County, whose date of birth was 23 June
1839.   By  the  1860  census,  Richard's  real  estate  was valued at $
10,000.00.  He was described as a lawyer/farmer.  They had  a  one  year
old daughter Emily.                                                     

Following  Virginia's  secession  from  the Union in the spring of 1861,
Richard and many of his neighbors enlisted  in  Company  K  (The  Prince
Edward  Dragoons).  His ability and education enabled him to move to the
Commissary department as a Quartermaster.                               

In 1862 the unit went to Yorktown and the Poquoson River, where they had
oysters  to  eat!   Richard was elected 2nd Lieutenant in April.  40 men
were sent back to Prince Edward County to get  horses.   In  Louisa,  80
horses were broken down.                                                

At Sharpsburg the unit had only 12 of 82 men in the unit on the field of
battle.  Food was so scarce that at one point  30  men  (including  some
from  other  units)  were  shooting at one squirrel.  Richard wrote Mary
that for awhile they lived on roasting ears and apples gathered  on  the
roadsides as they moved along.  Richard was promoted to Captain.        

Mary  wrote  to Richard that in 1863 Prince Edward County was ravaged by
whooping cough.  65 people were sick on two farms.  Mary wrote, "All you
can hear is whooping cough.  Eight died.                                

In  the  course  of  the War Richard went through ten horses.  One horse
named Henry deserted to  the  Yankees.   Another  horse  named  Magruder
deserted at Hartwood Church in 1864.                                    

The  Confederate  Army took 100 slaves from Prince Edward County to work
in Weldon.  85 became deathly ill, were sent back, and  ultimately  died
of typhus.                                                              

Richard's  unit  did some of its best work in May 1864 at Todd's Tavern.
3,000 Confederate cavalrymen commanded by Fitz Lee and Tom Rosser fought
dismounted  and  held  off  Yankees led by Sheridan and Warren for three
hours until Kershaw and Wofford's Confederate infantrymen arrived.      

Richard was wounded at Tom's Brook 9 October 1864.  He was given 30 days
leave February 1865.  In March he was assigned to the Invalid Corps.  He
was officially paroled at Danville 21 May 1865.   He  then  returned  to
Prince  Edward  County.   It  was difficult for him to collect for legal
services rendered to clients.  Farming was also difficult, so they  sold
their  farm  and moved to another in the Hampden District, where Richard
practiced law until 1895.  They then  moved  to  Farmville  and  Richard
opened  the  law offices of Watkins, Watkins, and Brock.  Richard died 5
July 1905 and Mary 4 June 1921.  Their children Emily  and  Asa  donated
the letters in Mary's trunk to the Virginia Historical Society in 1929. 



Commander: Michael Kidd 270-9651 1st. Lt. Cmdr.: Taylor Cowardin 359-9277 2nd Lt. Cmdr.: Thomas G. Vance 282-6278 Adjutant/Treasurer: Walter Tucker 360-7247 Judge Advocate: Harry Boyd 741-2060 Quartermaster: R. Preston Nuttall 276-8977 Chaplain: Henry V. Langford 474-1978


War Horse editor and Webmaster: Gary F. Cowardin 262-0534 Website:



The following is a  listing  of  Longstreet  Camp  Donors  for  Virginia
Division  Special  Funds, Hurtt Scholarship Fund, Camp General Fund, and
the upkeep of "The Old War Horse" from July through December  2009.   As
you  know,  our cumulative listing starts in July of each year and we do
not meet in August.                                                     

Walt Beam       Lloyd Brooks    Brian Cowardin         Taylor Cowardin
Lee Crenshaw    Ray Crews       Jason Fazackarley      Dale Harlow    
Michael Hendrick                                                      
Crawley Joyner  Jack Kane       Peter Knowles, II      Lewis Mills    
Bob Moore       Joe Moschetti   Joseph Sterling Price  Waite Rawls    
Peyton Roden    Cary Shelton    Chris Trinite          Walter Tucker  
David Ware      Harold Whitmore Hugh Williams          Anonymous      

* - Multiple contributions                 

Updates for Oakwood and Woodland Cemeteries

The Oakwood Restoration Committee has posted photos on the VA Div. web site of the installation of the fencing around the Soldiers Monument:
The Longstreet SCV Camp #1247 has placed on its web site information including a roster of the CSA soldiers buried in the Woodland Cemetery in Ashland, VA:


University of Richmond offers course on The Civil War entitled "At Gettysburg with Lee's Army" that meets 7:00 - 9:00 PM on five consecutive Monday nights, March 1 - 29, 2010. This noncredit course is led by Jack Mountcastle, the Army's former Chief of Military History. The cost of the non-credit course is $169.00. Registration is currently in progress. For details call U of R's School of Continuing Studies at 289-8133 or visit:
Visit The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar and their Events Calendar
Visit the The Museum of the Confederacy Online and their Events Calendar for MOC Events Calendar
Pamplin Historical Park and The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier and their Special Events Calendar

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