« PreviousContinue »
Detailed on government works. Woodson, B. H. A faithful, good soldier, but slow; served diligently to the end of the war.
Wheeler, V. Died in hospital at Greenbrier river, September,
Womack, John W. Detailed as teamster in quartermaster's department, Second Brigade, Early's Division, and served to the end of the war.
Wiley, T. W. Served to end of war.
ROCKBRIDGE ARTILLERY, C. S. ARMY,
Member of the Famous Battery.
Many of the survivors of the Rockbridge Artillery met several years ago in Lexington, Va., and appointed a committee to gather materials for a brief history of that battery. One of the members has set down such facts as he could recall, and such as were furnished him by others, and presents them in the following paper. He has also examined such of the original pay-rolls of the company as have been preserved and are stored in the War Department in Washington, and has used these so far as he could. Many of these old rolls are illegible, and some are entirely missing. The writer was not serving with the battery after about the 12th of May, 1862, but was frequently near it afterwards, and ever deeply interested in its movements. Whilst he cannot give as many details in regard to its men and their marches and battles after his connection with it ceased, he hopes to be able to add a brief sketch of it, based on such material as he can get from members who continued with it till the surrender at Appomattox.
Members of the company are requested to supply any omissions, and to correct any errors which they may discern in the following pages, and to notify Sergeant David E. Moore, of Lexington, Va., who is chairman of the committee above referred to.
Charlottesville, Va., December, 1895.
C. D. F.
Early in the spring of 1861, after the old "volunteer companies" of the State had been called into service by Governor Letcher, many of the yonng men of Lexington and the county of Rockbridge, in answer to the Governor's call for more troops, determined to organize another company. They selected John McCausland, a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, as their captain, and were sworn into service on the 29th of April, 1861. About this time Captain McCausland received from the Governor a commission as colonel of cavalry, and was sent to West Virginia, where he served with distinction, and became a brigadier-general.
To fill the vacancy thus caused, on May 1, 1861, the new company of artillery chose Rev. William N. Pendleton, D. D., as their captain. Dr. Pendleton was at the time rector of the Episcopal church in Lexington, and was well-known in the State as prominent in ecclesiastical matters, and also to have graduated in 1830 at West Point, where he was a contemporary of many men who were already prominent in one or other of the two armies which were then organizing. He had been a fellow-student of Generals Joseph E. Johnston and Robert E. Lee, and of the newly-elected President of the Confederacy, Mr. Davis.
Some time after this company was organized another company formed near Fairfield, and attached to the Fifty-second Virginia regiment of infantry, under Colonel John B. Baldwin, was equipped as an artillery company under Rev. John Miller, a Presbyterian minister, as captain, and this was known as the Second Rockbridge Artillery, and did good service in the war.
The material of which the First Rockbridge Artillery was composed, and the military antecedents and ecclesiastical prominence of Captain Pendleton, created great enthusiasm in the company, and afterwards brought into it many young men whose engagements at the University of Virginia and other seminaries of learning in the State had kept them from enlisting earlier in the service. The other commissioned officers, whilst not at that time well-known outside their county, were there known to be educated gentlemen of high standing, socially and personally, and all of them afterwards attained to prominence in the army.
Captain Pendleton was the only man, excepting Sergeant Graham, in the company, who had any scientific knowledge of military matHis course at West Point Academy, and his subsequent service in the army, had fitted him well to organize this company, and
to make quickly out of the raw material in it, efficient soldiers. His patience, energy, and kindness were in constant requisition for many months, and contributed largely to the reputation gained by the Rockbridge Artillery. He was made a Colonel of Artillery before the company had seen much service in battle, and eventually became a General in command of the artillery of the Army of Northern Virginia. His subsequent career in that army, and his connection with the military family of our great commander, General Lee, are well known. After the war closed he returned to his labors as a clergyman in Lexington, and died a few years ago, lamented by hosts of friends and honored by his surviving comrades-in-arms.
His successors in command of the company, McLaughlin, Poague, and Graham, all had the benefit of his instruction, and perhaps no company in the army was better officered. They were thorough in their knowledge of the needs of men and horses in camp and on the march, always kind and considerate; and, in battle, active, intelligent, and heedless of personal danger.. It would be difficult for any of the men who served under them to give any satisfactory reason for preferring any one of them above the others. The battery did efficient service under the command of each of them.
The following seems to have been the first company-roll; at least this is the roll showing the organization as of 30th June, 1861.
Captain, W. N. Pendleton.
First Lieutenant, John Bowyer Brockenbrough.
Second Lieutenant, William McLaughlin.
Second Lieutenant, William T. Poague.
First Sergeant, John McD. Alexander.
First Corporal, William M. Brown.
Ayers, Napoleon B.
Bane, Samuel R.
Brockenbrough, Willoughby N. Bumpus, William N., Jr.
Agner, Joseph S.
Beard, William B.
Coffee, Whitfield A.
Craig, John B.
Conner, James A.
Conner, Ro. P.
Dudley, Ro. M.
Ford, James A.
Gold, John M.
Lepard, James N.
McCluer, John G.
Silvey, James A.
Smith, Joseph S.
Thompson, John A.
Trevy, Daniel J.
Johnson, William F.
Leyburn, John (acting surgeon.)
McCampbell, William A.
Montgomery, William G.
Moore, Samuel R., Jr.
Rader, Daniel P.
Strickler, James A.
Thompson, Samuel G.
Wilson, Samuel A.
All the men and officers, except the captain, were enlisted in Lexington by Captain McCausland, on April 29, 1861, excepting, also, William M. Brown, who seems to have enlisted at Harper's Ferry on 22d May.
The company remained in Lexington about ten days, drilling assiduously with muskets, or with the field-guns belonging to the Virginia Military Institute.
Some of the survivors may recall amusing incidents of those early days such as Hostetter's bringing down his musket, at the command "order arms, on the toes of little Henry Ford, and the latter's unsoldierly and profane exclamation, which shocked his comrades, the more as their captain was a clergyman. The captain had a sense of the ludicrous, as well as convictions in regard to pro
priety in ranks, so that Ford escaped punishment, except what Hostetter's musket had inflicted.
On the 1st of May, David E. Moore, Jr., joined the battery; on the 3d, Lawson W. Johnson; on the 5th, Richard G. Davis; on 6th, Samuel B. Anderson, Ferdinand Hetterich, Thomas Martin, and Benjamin F. Tharp; on 7th, John R. Beard; and on the 11th, George W. Conner.
On the 11th of May the company was on the march to Staunton, and on that day William G. Crosen joined it at Steel's Tavern. The same day it was mustered into the Confederate States service at Staunton, Va., by Major M. G. Harman.
The first members of the company may remember, and be able to tell, the route taken from Staunton. I can find only this authenticated account of their movements from Staunton till they were again mustered at Camp Stevens, north of Martinsburg, Va. From Staunton, the place of the last mustering, the company travelled mainly by the railroad, some 230 miles. It has since marched many miles as part of the Army of the Shenandoah. Their route was probably this: By railroads-From Staunton by what was then the Virginia Central, to Gordonsville; thence by the Orange and Alexandria, to Manassas Junction; thence by the Manassas Gap road to Strasburg, in the northern edge of Shenandoah county; thence, leaving the railroad, by the Valley pike to Winchester, Va.; thence by railroad again from Winchester to Harper's Ferry. After two or three weeks spent in and about Harper's Ferry, June 15th it marched back towards Winchester, but turned off to Bunker Hill, where the army was reorganized, and was assigned to the First Brigade, General T. J. Jackson's, and returned to Winchester; thence down the Valley pike, northward till they reached Camp Stevens, a beautiful camp in the corner of an oak forest, on the east side of the Valley pike, which extended from Staunton, Va., to the Potomac river opposite Williamsport, Md. This camp was about four miles north of Martinsburg, and was reached 21st June.
Whilst the battery was at Harper's Ferry, one section of it, commanded by Captain Pendleton and Lieutenant McLaughlin, was sent to the Potomac, opposite Williamsport, Md., where the Federals were expected to cross the river. This section after a few days returned to Harper's Ferry and rejoined the rest of the company.
During the time from the mustering at Staunton (say 11th May) to that of the mustering at Camp Stevens, the following members joined the company: May 15th, John Livingston Massie; on 17th,