Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Funeral of Stonewall Jackson - The Lexington Gazette, May 20, 1863

All that was mortal of our great and good chief, Lieut. Gen. T.J. Jackson was consigned to the tomb on Friday last.

The body having reached Lexington by the Packet boat on Thursday afternoon, accompanied by his personal staff, Maj. A.S. Pendleton, Surgeon H. McGuire, Lieut. Morrison, and Lieut. Smith, by his Excellency Gov. Letcher, and a delegation of the citizens of Lynchburg, it was received by the Corps of Cadets and escorted to the Institute, and deposited in his late Lecture Room, which had been appropriately draped in mourning.

There was the table used by the late Professor--the same chair in which he sat--the cases with the Philosophical apparatus he had used--all told of his quiet and unobtrusive labors in his Professional life--and placed just as he left them, when he received the order of the Governor of Virginia to march the Corps of Cadets to Richmond, on the 21st of April 1861. He left the Va. Military Institute in command of the Cadets. He has been brought back to sleep among us--a world renowned Christian Hero.

The procession moved from the Institute on Friday morning at 10 A.M. The Funeral escort was commanded by Maj. S. Ship, Commandant of Cadets, a former pupil of Gen. Jackson and a gallant officer who had served with him in his Valley Campaign, as Major of the 21st Va. Regt.
The Escort was composed as follows:
1. Cadet Battalion
2. Battery of Artillery of 4 pieces, the same battery he had for ten years commanded as Instructor of Artillery and which had also served with him at 1st Manassas, in [the] Stonewall Brigade.
3. A company of the original Stonewall Brigade, composed of members of different companies of the Brigade, and commanded by Capt. A. Hamilton, bearing the flag of the "Liberty Hall Volunteers."
4. A company of convalescent officers and soldiers of the army.
5. A Squadron of cavalry was all that was needed to complete the escort prescribed by the Army Regulations. This squadron opportunely made its appearance before the procession moved from the church. The Squadron was a part of Sweeny's battalion of Jenkin's command, and many of its members were from the General's native North-western Virginia.
6. The Clergy.
7. The Body enveloped in the Confederate Flag and covered with flowers, was borne on a caisson of the Cadet Battery, draped in mourning.The pall bearers were as follows:Wm. White ; Professor J.L. Campbell--representing the Elders of the Lexington Presbyterian Church.Wm. C. Lewis; Col. S. McD. Reid--County Magistrates.Prof. J.J. White; Prof. C.J. Harris--Washington College.S. McD. Moore; John W. Fuller--Franklin Society.George W. Adams; Robt. I. White--Town Council.Judge J. W. Brockenbrough; Joseph G. Steel--Confederate District CourtDr. H.H. McGuire; Capt. F.W. Henderson--C.S. Army.Rev. W. McElwee; John Hamilton--Bible Society of Rockbridge
8. The Family and Personal Staff of the deceased.
9. The Governor of Va., Confederate States Senator Henry of Tenn. The Sergeant-at-Arms of C.S. Senate, and a member of the City of Richmond Council.
10. Faculty and Officers of Va. Mil. Institute.
11. Elders and Deacons of Lexington Presbyterian Church of which church Gen. Jackson was a Deacon.
12. Professors and Students of Washington College.
13. Franklin Society.
14. Citizens.

Article Regarding Auction of Flora's handmade Battle Flag

“My darling One--My battlefield flag, the beautiful one you made fell from the tent-front the other day into the fire,” said Jeb Stuart, Confederate Civil War General, in a note to his wife Flora. “It has proudly waved over many battlefields and if ever I need a motive for braving danger and trials I found it by looking upon that symbol placed in my hands by my cherished wife,” Stuart added.

The same red-wool bunting flag, showing the Confederate “Southern Cross” with its 13 stars and burn marks was retuned to Stuart’s wife in 1862. Most likely, it was the same flag at Stuart’s side during his battles. Little could Flora know, in two years, her husband, one of the most famous and colorful cavaliers in the Army of Northern Virginia, would also be snuffed out.

The flags soldiers carried in battle were fragile. Some were silk, others wool. Subjected to sun, rain, snow, bullets and bayonets, they were lovingly birthed from wedding dresses and Sunday best garments. Soldiers died for them. Prized trophies, flags were the most sought after objects on the battlefield. Waving proudly in front of regiments, at wars end all that remained of some flags were shreds of cloth nailed to a staff. Faced with ultimate surrender, hundreds were buried, burned and otherwise destroyed by Johnny Rebs themselves. Still others were cut up into dozens of tiny pieces. Each surviving warrior would carry one home as a souvenir.

After Gen. Jeb Stuart’s death, a number of items were found in his pockets: a letter to his wife, a poem about the death of a child, a copy of the New Testament, a handkerchief, a lock of his daughter’s hair, a commendation congratulating the infantry he commanded, and a thin round pin cushion embroidered with a Confederate flag. When Gen. Robert E. Lee learned Stuart was dying at the age of 31, he said in a shaken voice, “I can scarcely think about him without weeping.”

Because of the fighting, a disruption in railroad service and a rainstorm, Stuart’s wife was late in reaching her husband’s bedside. After a 10 hour journey, she entered the house where he lay. A certain quiet all around her revealed the inevitable. Words were unnecessary. Flora went and sat alone in a candlelit room beside her dead husband. Stuart’s funeral was held at St. James Church in Richmond, Va. Battles were raging nearby so his troops were absent. Because of the fighting, there was no military escort. As the choir sang, Flora sat in the front of the church weeping. Afterwards, a hearse drawn by four white horses escorted Stuart to Hollywood Cemetery. For the rest of her life, Flora wore black to mourn Stuart’s death and displayed the bullet-riddled, burnt battle flag on her wall. She died on May 10, 1923.

On Dec. 1 and 2, Heritage Galleries & Auctioneers, Dallas, Texas, featured a selection of items belonging to Gen. Jeb Stuart in its Civil War History auction. Among them was the flag discussed. Here are some current values for Stuart’s personal belongings.

Gen Jeb Stuart Portrait and Autograph; matted and framed; 10 inches by 15 inches; $3,884.

Gold Mechanical Pencil and Cuff Links; $19,120.

Field Compass and Lock of Hair; hair removed by wife on night of his death; $44,813.

West Point Class Ring; gold with green stone; given to Stuart by his parents when he graduated in 1854; $113,525.

Gold Pocket Watch; key-wind; 52mm pocket watch; inscribed with his initials; case by E. Maurice and Co., movement by John Cragg of London; $131,450.

Personal Battle Flag; most recognized banner of the Confederacy; 13-star design; $956,000.


It is while I read articles like this I wish I were rich enough to buy some of these items.


Civil War Minute - The Death of J.E.B. Stuart

I am posting a link to a youtube video about the death of Jeb Stuart. The narrative is from Private McCormack.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lee's Reflections on the Death of Stuart

These reflections come from Rob Lee's book on his father.

Captain W. Gordon McCabe writes me:"I was sitting on my horse very near to General Lee, who was talking to my colonel, William Johnson Pegram, when a courier galloped upwith the despatch announcing that Stuart had been mortally wounded and was dying. General Lee was evidently greatly affected, and saidslowly, as he folded up the despatch, 'General Stuart has been mortallywounded: a most valuable and able officer.' Then, after a moment, he added in a voice of deep feeling 'HE NEVER BROUGHT ME A PIECE OF FALSE INFORMATION'--turned and looked away.

What praise dearer to asoldier's heart could fall from the lips of the commanding generaltouching his Chief of Cavalry! These simple words of Lee constitute,I think, the fittest inscription for the monument that is soon to be erected to the memory of the great cavalry leader of the 'Army of Northern Virginia.'

"In a letter from my father to my mother, dated Spottsylvania CourtHouse, May 16th, he says:"...As I write I am expecting the sound of the guns every moment. I grieve over the loss of our gallant officers and men, and miss their aid and sympathy. A more zealous, ardent, brave, and devoted soldiert han Stuart the Confederacy cannot have. Praise be to God for having sustained us so far. I have thought of you very often in these eventful days. God bless and preserve you.

"General Lee, in his order announcing the death of Stuart, thus speaks of him:"...Among the gallant soldiers who have fallen in this war, General Stuart was second to none in valour, in zeal, and in unflinching devotion to his country. His achievements form a conspicuous part of the history of this army, with which his name and services will beforever associated. To military capacity of a high order and to thenoble virtues of the soldier he added the brighter graces of a purelife, guided and sustained by the Christian's faith and hope. The mysterious hand of an all-wise God has removed him from the scene of his usefulness and fame. His grateful countrymen will mourn his loss and cherish his memory. To his comrades in arms he has left the proud recollections of his deeds and the inspiring influence of his example."

General Lee Talks About Traveller and His Other Mounts

If I were an artist like you I would draw a true picture of Traveller--representing his fine proportions, muscular figure, deep chest andshort back, strong haunches, flat legs, small head, broad forehead,delicate ears, quick eye, small feet, and black mane and tail. Sucha picture would inspire a poet, whose genius could then depict hisworth and describe his endurance of toil, hunger, thirst, heat, cold,and the dangers and sufferings through which he passed. He could dilate upon his sagacity and affection, and his invariable responseto every wish of his rider. He might even imagine his thoughts, throughthe long night marches and days of battle through which he has passed. But I am no artist; I can only say he is a Confederate gray. I purchased him in the mountains of Virginia in the autumn of 1861, and he has been my patient follower ever since--to Georgia, the Carolinas,and back to Virginia. He carried me through the Seven Days battlea round Richmond, the second Manassas, at Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg,the last day at Chancellorsville, to Pennsylvania, at Gettysburg, and back to the Rappahannock.

From the commencement of the campaign in 1864 at Orange, till its close around Petersburg, the saddle was scarcely off his back, as he passed through the fire of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbour, and across the James River. He was almost in daily requisition in the winter of 1864-65 on the long line of defenses from Chickahominy, north of Richmond, to Hatcher's Run, south of the Appomattox.

In the campaign of 1865, he bore me from Petersburg to the final days at Appomattox Court House. You must know the comfort he is to me in my present retirement. He is well supplied with equipments. Two sets have been sent to him from England, one from the ladies of Baltimore, and one was made for him in Richmond; but I think his favourite is the American saddle from St. Louis.

Of all his companions in toil, 'Richmond,' 'Brown Roan,' 'Ajax,' and quiet 'Lucy Long,' he is the only one that retained his vigour. The first two expired under their onerous burden, and the last two failed. You can, I am sure, from what I have said, paint his portrait."

Robert E. Lee's Letter to Anna Jackson

I found this letter on line and thought I would share it. It concerns Joseph Morrison, Anna's younger brother, who was with Jackson when he was wounded. I believe the wound is the one that would cause the amputation of Joe's foot.

Petersburg 8 Sept 64

Mrs T. J. Jackson

I have recd your letter of the 2nd ulto: in reference to your brother Capt J. G. Morrison. It will give me great pleasure to aid him in obtaining any position he desires, but at present it is difficult to say upon what kind of duty he will be capable of entering. I am glad to say that he is doing well from his last wound, but it will be some time I think before he is able to perform field duty of any kind. I should think it better for him when recovered to obtain Bureau duty, or duty within his State, at least until he finds by experience what labour & exposure he can undergo. I was much distressed at the reception of his last wound, which though very serious I trust will not inflict upon him permanent disability. His youth & temperament will in time overcome everything. He is now a Captain in the line. A very honourable position, & from which but for his late wound, his merits would soon have advanced him.

Wishing you & yours every blessing, I am with great respect most truly yours

R E Lee

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

General Orders Twenty Eight

Yikes! October is nearly over, and I have done very little blogging this month. Not because I don't want to, but working, school, and writing papers for my masters has swallowed up a great portion of my time.

Now, I do have to admit, I would rather be studying the life of Jackson or Stuart than delving into the mind of Osama bin Laden or Lawrence of Arabia, but unfortunately, my degree is not in American History. Too bad!

I have also finished the eleventh draft (at least) of my novel. I have a very special person reading it now. If all goes well and she doesn't point out a major flaw, then, hopefully the manuscript will begin its quest for an agent. I have a new query letter to entice agents into representing me.

When people ask me about my novel and what I hope to accomplish with it, I think they find my answer disappointing. I don't think I've written the next Da Vinci Code or anything like that. My subject matter (an alternative history about the Civil War) is too limiting, I think. It's a book for a profitable market, but, that market is very small. But that's okay with me.

So, what do I hope to accomplish? Well, I think I can best describe that by telling you about my reaction to the mini-series, Lonesome Dove. I first saw it on T.V. way back in the 1980's and purchased the videos. I haven't seen it for a while, so I was at the library and saw the DVD's. I checked it out. I only have one more episode to watch and, you know what, I'm sad. I love these characters, and I don't want the story to end. Have you ever read a book like that? You start to panic when you near the end of the book because you know the story is coming to an end? Lord of the Rings is like that for me. When I finished Return of the King, I was sad. No more adventures for Merry and Pippin, Aragorn, or Sam and Frodo. That's what I really want to accomplish. To create characters that a reader can't get enough of. To have the reader sigh a little sigh of regret when they close the back cover. Have I done that? I don't know. I do know when I finished the first draft and there was no more story to tell, I felt like I had lost my best friends for a day or two.

So, in the future, I will try to make time for some more blogging! I miss reading and writing about the menof the Army of Northern Virginia. Now, it's back to Osama bin Laden.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

JEB Stuart's Letter to Flora Upon Learning of the Death of His Daughter

Four days later, word reached Stuart that La Pet was gone. Stuart was at Waterloo Bridge, near Warrenton, Virginia

My Dear, Dear Wife,

The affliction fell at last and its intelligence reached me this morning. I was sometime expecting it and yet it grieves me more, the more I think of it. When I remember her sweet voice, her gentle ways and strong affection for her Pa, and then think she is gone, my heart is ready to burst. I want to see you so much and to know what her last words were. She is better off, I know, but it is a hard blow to us. She is up in Heaven where she will still pray for her Pa and look down upon him in the day of battle. Oh, if I could see her again. No child can ever have such a hold on my affection as she had. She was not of earth however. If you could get to Culpepper Court House or Brandy Station I might be able to see you for a short while but do not go to too much trouble.

I have been in battle every day since I heard of Flora's sickness and that was November 2nd. She died November 3rd and I heard of it November 6th. I have been harassing and checking a heavey force believed to be McClellan's and it will today no doubt reached Warrenton.

Rosser is in command of Lee's Brigade and is my right hand man now. Wickham behaved most gallantly and received a wound which compelled him to visit hom.

God has shielded me thus far from bodily harm, but I feel perfect resignation to go at his bidding and join my little Flora.

I cannot write more.

Your loving husband,
J.E.B. Stuart

Letter from JEB Stuart to Flora Concerning the Illness of Daughter Flora

Last week, I published Stuart's letter to his cousin regarding his grief at the loss of his daughter. I thought I would publish the letters he wrote when he first found out that Flora was ill and then Flora had died. The first was written November 2, 1862, while Stuart was in Upperville, Virginia. There is much in the letter that reveals the personality of Stuart... Like I said, it was when I read this book of letters that I came to love Stuart.

My Darling Wife:

Your last letter received was dated October 16th. Then all was well and I was lithe and merry. On the 9th I moved to this flank to take charge of the very delicate operations entrusted to Lee's Brigade in Loudoun County, since which time we have been fighting all the time and yesterday and the day before were brilliantly successful against Pleasanton and Bayard.

Today, attacked by a heavy force of Infantry and Artillery, we have kept them all day advancing three miles and fought from position to position till dark.

It is McClellan's advance and there is no rest for me. Dr Brewer's (Stuart's brother in-law) first dispatch came yesterday and I answered it at once. The second came today, saying my darling Pet's case was doubtful, and urges me in your name to come. I received it on the field of battle. I was at a loss to decide that it was my duty to you and to Flora to remain. I am entrusted with the conduct of affairs and the issue of which will affect you, her, and the mothers and children of our country much more seriously than we can believe. I wonder if Dr. Brewer really thinks with you that I ought to leave my post under existing circumstances.

If my darling daughter's case if hopeless there are ten chances to one that I would get to Lynchburg too late. If she be convalscent why should my presence be necessary? She was sick nine days before I knew it.

My darling, let us trust in the Good God, who has blessed us so much, to spare our child to us, but if it should please Him to take her from us let us bear it with Christian fortitude and resignation. It is said that woman is better at bearing misfortune than man--I hope you will exemplify it. At all events, remember that Flora was not of this world, she belonged to another, and will be better off by far in her heavenly habitation. My staff are well.

Your devoted husband,
J.E.B. Stuart

General Orders Twenty-Seven

Yesterday, I went to an antique bookstore in a small village not far from where I live and stepped into Aladdin's cave. Wow! The books! The prices! If I had alot of money, I could have walked out of there with an armload of books, and it took all my self-control only to buy three. I found Fitzhugh Lee's biography on his uncle for $1.50. That's right! $1.50. It wasn't a first edition or anything, but still.

I bought a biography on Stonewall Jackson that I had checked out from the library. It was only $4.50. There were books on battles, on Hunt's raid through Ohio, and other goodies. I will have to make a return trip.

Besides books, the other thing I would love to be able to purchase are the wonderful paintings of Civil War scenes that I have seen, mostly at shops in Gettysburg. I dream of filling my house with them. I own calendar prints that I have framed. Mostly all of Stonewall Jackson. My favorite it Kuntsler's "Let Us Cross Over the River." But, the talent these artists have absolutely amazes me.

Anyway, I thought I would just share my good fortune at finding those extraordinary treasures. I do plan to make a return trip though. LOL!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Jeb Stuart Writes About the Death of His Daughter

Those who have read the blog from the beginning know that I bought a book of Jeb Stuart's letter. I printed a rather funny one written to his father about a fight he had at West Point. This letter, about the death of Little Flora, or LaPet as Stuart called her, is another letter that grabbed my heart. He is writing to his cousin, Nannie Price and the things he says to her reveals much about Stuart and his relationship with his wife, Flora.

Camp Boteler
September 11th, 1863

My Dearest Nannie,

Your charming letter, though long expected gave me much happiness, and I tender you my grateful acknowledgements with the entreaty to do so again. I have been upon the point of answering it several times but I did not feel inclined to submit to the interruptions in such pleasant converse to which I am every day subject, I have waited consequently for this midnight hour to talk when none is near. Ah, if I could with soft music steal to that window and pour the strains, which like the Irishman's fiddle I have in men if I could only get utterance, "I would a tale unfold, etc." If you knew how much and how often my thoughts wander back to "Dundee" and go tripping with you through the garden, here clipping a tea rose bud, there a giant of bottles, there a sprig of arbor-vitae, while you add with that bewitching look a leaf of geranium. Ah, Nannie, don't you recognize the picture? I wish it were once more reality, but the time seems far in the dim future when I have business in Fredericksburg.

Wade Hampton and Fitz Lee are Major Generals Commanding Divisions in my Calvary Corps, but I am not yet Lieutenant General. I command the Corps as a Major General. General Ewell had a review of his entire Corps. I never saw the like of ladies on horseback. How I wished you had been there, and yet I am too selfish to desire so many eyes to behold you. You don't know how proud it makes me feel to hear you say you thought of me often during my long and eventful absence. I am much gratified that the trifles I sent you pleased you. The mantle I brought at a Miller's in Hagerstown Maryland (a Secesh Milliner at that, and I think it was the work of her own hands. I immediately thought how sweet and becoming it would look on Cousin Nannie. You must wear it these cool evenings, and not wait till I come, it might be too long. Did Cousin Lizzie ever get the package Dr. Fontaine sent by Major Ball?

Have no apprehensions, Nannie, of my losing the affection I feel for "Dundee" and its precious inmates. I can never feel otherwise, than I do toward you, and your welfare and happiness, Nannie, are matters of chief concern to me. I will leave nothing undone to promote them. Bless your precious little "self," I wish I could have an old fashion talk with you. You would soon be convinced that there is no change, and how undisputed is the sway you hold over my heart.

Flora is still in Lynchburg and rather indisposed. She was hoping that in passing through she would get to see you. I think Major Langhorne said he could not take the doctor's family.

I have been thinking much of late of my parting with you and my all at "Dundee" a little over a year ago.

When farewells were said and tears had been shed--do you remember how Little Flora ran out after me, climbed up by my stirrup, clung around my neck with her dear little arms, with tearful kisses till forced away. Ah, Nannie, can I ever forget that picture! that parting! that embrace! Can you wonder at the tears that filled my eyes as I write. The thought flashed through my mind at that moment, "we may not meet again." It is now vividly remembered and the gloomy apprehension rose and kindled tears in my eyes. I was just starting on the campaign against Pope and I knew that my life hung by a thread ready to be severed by any one of the thousands of death's missiles which sweep the battle plain. All this flashed through my mind for there are moments which are like a century. I though of the widow (there she stood before me) and the fatherless little sylph in my arms, and breathed a prayer that He who tempers the wind to the shorn lamb, would deal tenderly with mine. Ah! little did I think that I was to be spared and she taken!

I feel it is all gain to her but my grief admonishes me that earth has lost its chief attraction, and while it does not make me reckless, I go forth at the summons of duy of danger with that cheerful resignation which the cold world calls rashness.

Excuse me, Nannie dear, for obtruding my grief upon you. You feel so near to me. I talk to you as if communing with myself. I dare not write to Flora as I have written you. I have to restrain my grief, my feelings, my language on the subject and she little dreams what agony in the lone bivouac and even on the march those choking memories have caused me.

Enough of this. Give my best love to all at "Dundee." Write as often as possible and remember how precious your letters are to me. Give my love to Cousin Corneal and other friends. I saw young Starke a few days ago looking very happy. Who made him so? Tell me Nannie, who are your beaux now? I am interested in everything that concerns you.

Give my love to Mrs. General Wickham. I send you something to remind you of an absent friends.

Yours, xxxx

P.S. Did you get the copy of Moore I send by Chiswell Dabney.