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THE CHARGE AT BURKITSVILLE.
Although in nearly all the engagements from Yorktown, around Richmond, Manassas and on the march into Maryland, it was at Burkitsville, September 13, 1862, "The Cobb Legion, Georgia Cavalry," first asserted its individuality.
With nine skeleton companies, reduced by the casualties of months of hard fighting and marching to less than one-fourth we had started with, Young was ordered and led the sabre charge against McClellan's advance guard on that road, hurrying to the relief of "Harper's Ferry," hurling back two of their crack regiments, the 8th Illinois and 3d Indiana cavalry, upon the infantry of the "Army of the Potomac." The picture can never be forgotten by those who witnessed it. We had to charge down a steep, rocky lane by twos between stone fences, from whose shelter their dismounted men were firing on us, over a narrow plateau, where we deployed into a company front at the run. The Dougherty Hussars of Albany (who were cut to pieces), leading the Fulton Dragoons, of Atlanta, next, then the Richmond Hussars, his favorites always, and as we passed Colonel Young, he was lying, surrounded by dead and wounded men and horses, in front of a little country church, his dead horse pinning him to the ground. As we came by at full speed, his clarion voice rang out clear and distinct above our yells, "Give 'em hell! boys, give 'em hell!" waving his plumed hat over that handsome face illumined by the fierce excitement of the charge. We crossed the ditch where lay First Lieutenant Marshall and the brave eightyyear-old Sergeant Barksdale, with his snowy beard almost to his waist, his sabre at the guard, the ball through his forehead, then up the steep hill to the stone fences on the crest, from whence the dismounted sharp-shooters vied with the mounted men in seeking the protection of their infantry line of battle. So P. M. B. Young's and the "Cobb's Legion's" reputation was established. So exciting
was the charge, that General Hampton, who was always well up in front, snatched off his overcoat and throwing it to his son, with, "Take care of my overcoat, Preston," drew his sabre and dashed into the fray, followed by that brave boy, who pitched the overcoat into a fence corner, as he "had come to Maryland to fight Yankees, and not to carry his father's overcoat."
THE BRANDY STATION FIGHT.
At Brandy Station the 9th of June, 1863, did Colonel Young re
capture Stuart's headquarters and check the triumphant advance of Pleasanton, who had driven back all our cavalry until they met the “Cobb Legion." "I do not claim that this was the turning point of the day." (P. M. B. Young's Report, Records of War of the Rebellion, Vol. xxii, p. 732.) As Major Heros Von Borke, the celebrated Prussian officer on General Stuart's staff, said to General Stuart in my presence: "Young's regiment made the grandest charge I see on either continent," and Brandy Station is considered the greatest cavalry battle of the war.
Wounded again while attempting to lead two regiments of infantry in the charge, which had been sent to reinforce him, he being in command of Hampton's brigade, August 1, 1863, (but although one of the color-bearers rushed out waving his flag following Colonel Young,) both regiments laid down, preferring "to fire lying down" than to follow the cavalry colonel, whose conspicuous uniform, commanding presence and emphatic pleadings for them to "forward," in tones that "could be heard a mile," was too fair a mark for the hundreds who were shooting at him, and he was shot through, and once more promoted for "gallantry on the field."
THE GREAT BLUFF AT CULPEPER.
Of his saving the commissary and quartermaster trains of the Army of Northern Virginia at Culpeper, October 9, 1863, by a lucky inspiration (bluff the boys called it), by covering the hills with dismounted men as infantry, and one piece of artillery to the hill, which "to keep a shooting," and keeping the brigade building fires all night and his band playing music, to make the Yankees believe there was a corps instead of the few hundred men he had for "duty," is too well told by John Esten Cook for me but to incidentally mention. For the third time was he wounded, and as usual in displaying conspicuous gallantry, for which he was promoted majorgeneral of cavalry.
Sherman's forces threatening the powder mills at Augusta, Beauregard, Bragg, the Governors of Georgia and South Carolina appealed for reinforcements from the Army of Northern Virginia. "Major-General P. M. B. Young, with a division (?), consisting of 900 dismounted cavalrymen, under the immediate command of Captain F. E. Eve, was all that General Robert E. Lee could spareand General Young was selected, hoping his men could be mounted and he assist General Wheeler in opposing General Kilpatrick, whose brigade he had defeated at Brandy Station with the sabre,
and at the supreme moment of his supposed victory, in the most celebrated cavalry battle of the war. On their arrival in Augusta, without rest, they rushed to Green's Cut, to meet Kilpatrick's raid, who was then threatening Waynesboro, where Wheeler met and defeated him.
DEFENCE OF SAVANNAH.
Two hundred and fifty of Young's men were there mounted, and under Captain Eve were marched hastily to Pocotaligo, and from Pocotoligo to Tullifini, Coosawhatchie, Salkehatchie, Izard's Farm, Argyle Island. The crack of the rifles of Young's men-for the remainder of his division had been hurried forward (being unable to mount them) by rail, under the command of "that hard old fighter," the gallant Major Puckett, was heard in nearly all of "the bloody and obstinate fighting along the rice dams," during the seige of Savannah. A complimentary order from Lieutenant-General Hardee "but for the gallant conduct of General Young's command, I could not have held Savannah so long"-was read by Adjutant-General Church before us at Heyward's Farm, soon after the evacuation. He was without a peer as a cavalry officer from Georgia, and was one of Stuart's as well as Hampton's, most trusted lieutenants. That the choice should have fallen upon him, demonstrates what the War Department, General Lee, aye, President Davis, thought of him. Hampton, Butler, Rosser, Young-think of that immortal quartette! Of their commanding presence, as they rode at the head of your columns, of the imperishable glory they gained-and that you helped make. Is it not a glorious legacy to bequeath your children? Does any one think this fulsome praise? Then let him or them search the records of the War of the Rebellon, and see what P. M. B. Young is accredited with during that war. We know the half has never been told, or ever will be.
AFTER THE WAR.
It would take volumes to write all we know of him outside of what history records. His political standing during the gloomy days of reconstruction—as a Congressman, as United States minister at foreign courts, as a diplomat-is green in the minds of the present generation. A social favorite, he has been as much petted by the women as spoiled by the men, for there was a strong personal magnetism that was hard to resist about his chivalric presence and courtly bearing. To you, descendants of Confederate soldiers, do I cite his
eventful life as a glorious example for you to emulate. cadet, who, by meritorious deeds and gallantry on the battlefield, that his numerous wounds attested, was promoted to major-general of cavalry in less than four years. This is his record as a soldier. As a civilian, elected soon after the war and serving several terms as Congressman, the wisdom of this selection being confirmed by his appointment by the National Government as their fit representative in foreign lands during the only two Democratic administrations since the civil war. "Our Confederate Brigadiers" die, but when their mortal remains have been long mouldering in the dust they will live forever in history and in tradition, and children's children learn with their earliest breath to lisp the names of the great chieftains of the South, and with their youngest emotions to admire and emulate their illustrious example. Amidst the wreath of immortelles that will garland the memory of him who was called the " Beau Sabreur of Georgia," the most noted cavalry officer of your State, and one the most celebrated in either army, North or South, we desire to contribute this leaflet as a memento of our estimation of him who was once our colonel and an honorary member of this Association.
E. J. O'CONNOR,
F. E. EVE,
[From the Raleigh, N. C., News and Observer, April 11, 1897-]
THE 23rd NORTH CAROLINA INFANTRY.
Organized in 1861, as the 13th Regiment of Volunteers.
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF BY H. C. WALL.
Upon the secession of North Carolina, May 20, 1861, the convention passed an ordinance authorizing the raising and equipping of ten regiments of infantry, to be designated "State Troops," the said regiments to be numbered from one to ten, inclusive, in the order of their organization, the enlistment in the same to be made for and during the war. Subsequently the raising of other regiments, as volunteers for the term of twelve months, was authorized, these to be, in like manner, numbered from one up, in the order of their organization. This distinction between "State Troops" and volun
teers was kept up until the re-organization under the general Conscript Act, which went into effect on the 17th of May, 1862, when the order of numbering the regiment was changed by adding the volunteer regiment, as originally numbered, to the number of "State Troops," by which the 1st regiment of volunteers became the 11th, and the others, in like manner, ten numbers beyond those they first bore. The re-arrangement, therefore, changed the old 13th into the 23rd. Under the ordinance referred to, ten companies from the following counties, viz: one from each, Richmond, Anson, Montgomery, Mecklenburg, Lincoln, Gaston, Catawba and three from Granville, were entered in the official records of the adjutant-general at Raleigh, as the 13th Regiment Volunteers. The several companies were ordered to rendezvous at Garysburg, Northampton county, and the line officers thereof directed to hold an election for field officers on Wednesday, the 10th of July, 1861. At the election so held John F. Hoke, of Lincoln, at the time being Adjutant-General of the State, was elected Colonel; John W. Leak, of Richmond, Lieutenant-Colonel, and Daniel H. Christie, at that time of Granville county, but originally from Virginia, was elected major. Isaac J. Young, of Granville, was the first adjutant of the regiment.
During the war the office of colonel of the regiment was succeeded to respectively by D. H. Christie, commissioned May 10, 1862; Charles C. Blacknall, August 15, 1863; William S. Davis, of Warren, a transfer from the 12th North Carolina, who was commissioned in October, 1864. That of lieutenant-colonel was succeeded to by Robert D. Johnston, of Lincoln, commissioned May, 1862, who was promoted to a brigadier generalship in July, 1863. That of major by Ed. J. Christian, of Montgomery, May, 1862, and by Charles C. Blacknall, May, 1862-more than a year before he became colonel of the regiment. The office of adjutant, subsequent to original organization, was held respectively by Vines E. Turner, of Granville, commissioned May, 1862; Junius French, of Yadkin, June, 1863; Thomas F. Powell, of Richmond, July, 1863, and by Lawrence T. Everett, of Richmond, May, 1864. The first quartermaster of the regiment was Edwin G. Cheatham, of Granville, commissioned July, 1861; succeeded by W. I. Everett, of Richmond, in the spring of 1862; by Vines E. Turner, June, 1863. The first commissary was James F. Johnston, of Lincoln. The first chaplain, Theophilus W. Moore, a Methodist, of Person, who later in the war was succeeded by Rev. Berry, a Baptist, of Lincoln. The names of Robert J. Hicks, of Granville, surgeon; Dr. Caldwell, of Mecklenburg, assist