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seconded by Meade, knew how to spread an army out and fight it properly, and who did not lose his head when merely repulsed and rush away in retreat, under the impression that all was lost. No such series of rapid and able—even brilliant-manœuvres as those around Spotsylvania were seen on any other battle-field of the war. They were skilfully met; they had to be to save the Confederate army.

It is natural that this continuous fighting and these heavy losses should have had the effect to somewhat impair the morale of the Union army, yet seemingly the troops charged the Confederate breastworks at Cold Harbor, with Richmond in sight, as bravely as they did those at Spotsylvania. Grant never abandoned the offensive from first to last, and was constantly feeling for the weak spot in his adversary's armor.

Now for my parallel. The distinguished Confederate leader, General R. E. Lee, was appointed to the command of the Army of Northern Virginia after the battle of Fair Oaks, where his predecessor, General Joseph E. Johnston, was wounded. For the purpose

of loosening McClellan's hold on Richmond General Lee began a series of operations on the 25th of June, 1862, known as the Seven Days' battles, in which he succeeded in driving off the Union general and relieving Richmond from the menace of immediate attack. In these battles the Confederates acted on the offensive, and were precipitated against the Union positions by their commander day after day with a persistent energy bordering on desperation. Their losses were frightful. In the first battle at Beaver Dam Creek on the 26th of June, some 18,000 Confederates charged a strong line held by McCall's single division and were repulsed with ease, with a loss of about 3,000 men, killed and wounded, McCall's killed and wounded amounting to less than 400, all told. The battle of Gaines' Mill followed on the 27th, the Confederates attacking a strong line and eventually winning a victory, but at great cost of bloodshed. Other battles followed, McClellan retreating to the James, where again the Confederates made desperate efforts to break the Union lines at Malvern Hill, but were signally repulsed, with a loss of not less than 6,000 killed and wounded, the Union army suffering not half as much.

After this series of bloody battles, in which Lee lost 19,739 men, killed and wounded, to McClellan's 9,796, Lee marched toward the Rappahannock, attacking Pope at Cedar Mountain, again at Bull Run and Chantilly, and finally pressing the Union army back into

the fortifications about Washington. He then invaded Maryland, but was attacked at South Mountain on the 14th of September, and again at Antietam on the 17th, where, acting on the defensive, he was enabled to inflict heavy losses on McClellan, but was also badly shattered himself and forced to retire across the Potomac. Shortly after he fell back behind the Rappahannock, through sheer exhaustion, to recuperate and rest his army, which had been incessantly toiling and fighting with splendid valor since the 26th of June. In these various battles Lee's losses were as follows:

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The Confederate returns of losses in these operations are incomplete and unsatisfactory. For several of the lesser battles, in which perhays, 3,000 or 4,000 men were lost, no reports of losses whatever appear. The Confederates did not report their slightly wounded by a special order of Lee himself. It is demonstrated that the total losses of Lee in these campaigns were not less than 45,000 men killed and wounded, and the reports contain internal evidences that they probably exceeded the total of 50,000. The aggregates shown above are approximately correct, so far as they go, and for the Seven Days' battles are undisputed.

Around Richmond, Lee, like Grant, forced the fighting against a partially fortified enemy, and held his men up to the necessary work with the same tenacity of purpose that characterized Grant's operations from the Wilderness to the James. His losses fully equaled and probably exceeded Grant's. Lee's bloody assaults at Beaver Dam Creek and at Malvern Hill were even more unjustifiable by any apparent military necessity than Grant's assaults at Cold Harbor, and they were just as costly in human blood. Every man he lost at Antietam was a waste of life, because he had no need to fight that battle.

Yet no man has risen up to stigmatize the brilliant Confederate leader as a "butcher." It is true that Lee had temporarily relieved Richmond, beaten Pope, captured Harper's Ferry, and made a good fight at Antietam-all brilliant episodes doubtless, as they added greatly to his military reputation. But summing all up after

his forced retreat across the Potomac, who can point out any real, tangible advantage attained for his cause by all these bloody sacrifices? His victories over McClellan and Pope were disappointing, but they did not shake the determination of the North, or for one moment unsettle its purpose to crush the rebellion.

He had inflicted on the enemy losses less than his own army had sustained, except in prisoners; the long, unceasing strain of battle, with its harassments and its killings, had brought his once formidable army to so low a state of morale and discipline that there was well-grounded fear of its total dissolution by wholesale desertion and straggling after Antietam, if we may believe General Lee's own statements and those of D. H. Hill and others. September 22d, five days after the battle, his total infantry force present for duty was officially stated at only 35,757. Lee telegraphed Secretary Randolph September 23d, that "unless something is done the army will melt away.

In short, at this time the Confederate outlook was gloomy. The fortunes of the Confederacy were then at a lower ebb, in my opinion, than at any other period of its existence, except during the last few months prior to the final collapse in 1865. Its army was reduced to a frazzle by its frightful losses, and other causes far more more dangerous to its existence; the object of its chief general's campaign had been defeated and his weakened army thrown back upon the defensive. And what was worse, notwithstanding Lee's apparent successes, which had set the South delirious with joy, while he had thus been sensibly growing weaker, his adversary, constantly gaining in strength, was now confronting him more numerous and pow- ' erful, more confident and determined than ever. McClellan's effective army shortly after Antietam had increased to over 150,000 men. Lee was relatively worse off than at the beginning of his series of brilliant operations. All the reinforcements added to Joe Johnston's army in June had disappeared into the grave, the Southern hospitals or deserted to their homes.

Mere stupidity largely contributed to Lee's principal successes, whereas in Grant's advance upon Richmond, the Confederate defense, from first to last, was conducted with consummate ability. And note the difference in results. Lee lost 45,000 men and gained no permanent advantage, whereas Grant, after losses not exceeding the other's, permanently fastened himself upon the very throat of the rebellion, and just eleven months from the time he set forth he had accomplished his object in its complete overthrow to recompense

the country for its sacrifices. It is highly probable he would have made even a shorter campaign of it had he been in command instead of McClellan after or previous to the battle of Antietam.

Washington, March 4th, 1896.


[From the Richmond Dispatch, April 19, 1896.]


History and Roster of this Command, Which Fought Gallantly.

On the 19th day of April, 1861, just thirty-five years ago to-day, this company marched to Harper's Ferry. In the fall of 1859, many of the members of this organization belonged to the Clarke Guards which went to Harper's Ferry to take old John Brown, the forerunner of a large crusade, whose subsequent fate is known to all. Virginia had, on the 17th of April, 1861-two days before-passed the ordinance of secession, cast the die, crossed the Rubicon, and called upon her sons to keep her escutcheon untarnished. It was in response to this action that this company of as gallant and true spirits as ever went forth to battle, found itself at Harper's Ferry. Colonel J. E. B. Stuart took charge of it and all the cavalry, and Brigadier-General Thomas J. Jackson, was in command of all the forces there collected.


The people of the original thirteen States believed in State sovereignty-that the government they formed had no power to coerce one of their number for any purpose. The Southern people were educated in the belief that the allegiance of the citizen was first due to his State, and that in any conduct between his Commonwealth and the United States, or any other country, his place was at her side "at her feet he should kneel, and at her foe his gun should be pointed." Thus believing, we resented the insolence of a people who denounced the constitution as a league with the devil and a covenant with hell, by resuming our original independence. The splendid achievements of the gallant sons of the South in the long and

bitter struggle that ensued in consequence thereof constitute a theme that will continue to evoke the admiration of mankind to the remotest ages. From the time when Joshua led the mighty hosts of Israel down to the present time the pages of history tell of no military performances more brilliant, no fortitude more enduring, no cause more devotedly followed to the last extremity of possible sucWherever the banner of the Confederacy floated, there followed a lion-hearted host of as gallant and intrepid souls as ever joined the ranks of war, and went forth to battle for what they knew to be right. Neither privation, disaster, sickness, nor death appalled them, and where their standard pointed they followed with a heroism unsurpassed, and so long as nations endure will the story of their exploits be told with admiration.



With this prelude it is proper to say that the object of the writer is to give a brief history of one company, concerning which he knows somewhat of its officers and its members, their names, and the battles in which they participated. As I look back now through the vista of years, from Harper's Ferry to Appomattox, and from Appomattox to 1896, I see more clearly the glories in the lustre of their deeds, feel more satisfied than ever of the righteousness of our cause, and wonder how it was possible that we should have failed. It was a beautiful day that Company D set out to go to Harper's Ferry and save the arsenal there. The trees had put on their loveliest robes, the fields were clothed in the choicest verdure and the Blue Ridge smiled majestically, while the sparkling Shenandoah reflected this fairyland back to its maker. Oh, sir, I doubtless. exclaimed:

"Breathes there a man with soul so dead,

Who never to himself hath said,

This is my own, my native land?"


This company was officered by Captain Joseph R. Hardesty; William Taylor, First Lieutenant; David Hume Allen, Second Lieutenant, and George Mason, Third Lieutenant. The private soldiers


Lewis Ashby, Buckner Ashby, George Ashby, Shirley C. Ashby, John H. Anderson, Milton B. Anderson, Jacqueline R. Ambler,

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