The Guns of Roselawn

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Roselawn Chronicles, part 2

Author’s note: The research for this post is not mine. It comes in its entirety from the inestimable Craig Swain, Civil War artillery expert extraordinaire. If you haven’t visited his blog at To The Sound of the Guns it is well worth a visit or ten. I don’t normally post about artillery, but after mentioning them in the last post it would be rude not to follow up with the photos.

As one enters Roselawn Cemetery, there is a memorial to the left side of the entrance. The Civil War memorial was erected in 1902 by the Women’s Auxiliary of the Grand Army of the Republic. The woman who spearheaded this effort is buried a few dozen feet away next to her husband.

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The two cannon are iron 24-pounder flank howitzers. They were not battlefield pieces, as they were too heavy. They were normally placed in the bastions of forts to cover the interior angles – the dead space near the walls not covered by cannon with longer range. They typically fired grapeshot and cannister across the moat of the fort to repel infantry assaults rather than dueling opposing artillery with solid shot.

Early in the war the Confederates tried placing them on field carriages and using them in the field, but the iron howitzers were simply too heavy to be easily used at roughly 1,500 pounds. The 12-pounder howitzer was frequently used in the field, as it was half of that weight and much more maneuverable.

Both of these howitzers were cast at Cyrus Alger’s foundry in Boston, Massachusetts. The one on the right side of the photo was cast in 1847. Its registry number was 198, and it weighed 1,495 pounds. The left howitzer, registry number 277, was cast in 1849 and weighed 1,503 pounds.

The initials “J.W.R.” underneath the muzzles on both guns are those of the army ordnance officer who inspected it for quality, then-Major James Wolfe Ripley. He later achieved the rank of brigadier general and served as the army’s Chief of Ordnance for the first half of the Civil War. He was criticized during the war for being slow to adopt new technological innovations. On the other hand, Craig points out, he supervised a budget of $46 million at a time when ten cent cigars only cost a nickel.

The photos below are of the left howitzer, as an inconsiderate bird had defaced the muzzle of the one on the right side at the time of my visit.

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For more information on the 24-pounder flank howitzer, look here: https://markerhunter.wordpress.com/2009/11/04/24-pdr-flank-howitzers/

An Unexpected Find in Pueblo

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Roselawn Chronicles, part 1

“No kidding there I was…”

This is a slightly cleaned up version of how nearly every Army story I’ve ever heard starts, but in this case it happens to be true. I was in Pueblo with my wife last weekend to visit her great aunt. After lunch, they decided they wanted to stop by Roselawn Cemetery to look in on their relatives laid to rest there. As the family has been in town for several generations, rather a lot of them are buried there.

As we drove through the entrance to the cemetery, I saw two old cannon on the left side of the car. “Oh, that’s the Civil War section of the cemetery,” my wife’s great aunt said. I took note of the remark, but being a good husband I stayed with the group and we duly checked on various deceased family members.

On the way out I resolved to stop – just for a minute – and take a couple pictures of the cannon. I didn’t recognize them, and thought they might make an interesting question for Craig Swain over at To The Sound of the Guns. So I parked the car, hopped out, and strolled over to the cannon with my camera. I looked the cannon over, then spied an veteran’s headstone behind them. Curious, I walked over to it. It marked the grave of a former member of the 122d Illinois Infantry. That’s odd, I thought, that regiment was never anywhere near Colorado during the war. No one in the car was honking the horn yet, so I decided to look at a few more of the headstones.

My luck being what it is, two headstones later I came across a former member of the 6th U.S. Cavalry. It was nearly halfway into the earth, with the unit nearly obscured by the grass. First Sergeant Louis C. Hartman, Co. G, 6th U.S. Cavalry.

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“Why on earth is he here?” I wondered. In the course of our research for our book on the regiment during the Civil War, my co-author and I came across former members of the regiment buried all over the country. There’s even one in an unmarked grave in Cripple Creek who apparently died there as an old man during the gold rush, but Pueblo seemed an odd spot to find one. After the war the regiment served in Texas and later in Arizona against the Apache Indians, but to the best of my knowledge the unit never passed through Pueblo. I vaguely recalled a Hartman or two from our regimental roster, so I took a couple of pictures of the headstone and hurried back to the car.

“What did you find?” my wife asked.
“A guy from the 6th Cav,” I replied.
“Here? Really?”

I scribbled myself a note on one of my omnipresent 3×5 cards and resolved to look into the matter once we got home.
Louis was a bit more difficult about the matter than I expected. I checked the roster in our book, and discovered that while two Hartmans served in the regiment during the war neither was named Louis or assigned to Company G. A bit more searching revealed at least part of the man’s story.

Louis C. Hartman enlisted in Company C, 78th New York Infantry as a private on November 8, 1861. He was born in Berlin, Prussia in 1841, and worked as a clerk prior to his enlistment. Company C was one of three raised in New York City. They were originally intended to be part of the 1st Regiment, Eagle Brigade, but merged with the Lochiel Cameron Highlanders to become the 78th New York Infantry in New York City on April 26, 1862.

The regiment shipped out a few days later. After a brief stay in the defenses of Washington, they were assigned to Harpers Ferry. Its first major engagement was at Cedar Mountain, followed by Antietam, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. It was transferred to Tennessee in October 1863, and fought in numerous engagements around Chattanooga that fall and winter. The following spring it fought under General Sherman in the advance on Atlanta at Resaca and around Kennesaw Mountain.

On July 12, 1864, due to depleted ranks, the 78th’s remaining soldiers were transferred to the 102nd New York Infantry, where they completed the remainder of their enlistments. They had nearly completed Sherman’s march to the sea when Hartman was discharged as a sergeant at the expiration of his enlistment on November 8, 1864.

Louis returned to New York City, but didn’t stay long. Despite a very impressive service record, he apparently had not yet seen enough of war. On December 1, 1864, he enlisted as a private in Company K, 18th New York Cavalry in New York City. His muster card describes him as 5’10” tall, with brown hair, brown eyes and a fair complexion. He joined the regiment in the field in Louisiana, and served there and in Texas until the company mustered out in Victoria, Texas on May 31, 1866.

Not until 1868 did Louis Hartman join the 6th U.S. Cavalry. He was enlisted into Company G by Captain Tullius C. Tupper, the regiment’s former sergeant major, on June 3, 1868 in New Orleans, Louisiana. With his wartime experience, it is not surprising that he rose quickly through the ranks and was the company’s first sergeant when his enlistment expired in 1873. He re-enlisted into the same company on June 10, 1873 at Fort Dodge, Kansas, and was still the first sergeant when his second tour expired in 1878. He re-enlisted in the company a third time at Camp Grant, Arizona Territory on June 10, 1878. He was discharged the following year by Special Order 277 of the Adjutant General’s Office. He was a sergeant vice the first sergeant, but his service was characterized as excellent so it was most likely not a disciplinary issue.

It isn’t clear what Louis did for the next several years, as the next time he surfaces is in 1884. He filed a pension claim as an invalid on January 2nd in Kansas. On June 30th, he joined Lewis Post No. 294 of the Grand Army of the Republic in Dodge City, Kansas. He claimed his service in the 78th New York as his basis for GAR membership, but listed the 78th New York, the 18th New York and 6th U.S. Cavalry on his pension application.
The following year Hartman moved to Pueblo, Colorado. According to the state census, he was boarding at the home of Benjamin Ott while working as a bookkeeper in Pueblo on June 1, 1885. He married soon after. I could not determine the date of his death, but his widow Lizzie submitted a pension claim on July 25, 1894.

Craig, I apologize. After seeing the headstone, I forgot all about the cannon, but I’ll get a picture when I return there later this week. This section of Roselawn Cemetery isn’t overly large, but I suspect there are more Civil War stories there.

Sources:

Carter, W.H. From Yorktown to Santiago with the Sixth U.S. Cavalry. Austin: State House Press, 1989.
Caughey, Donald C. and Jimmy J. Jones. The 6th United States Cavalry in the Civil War. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2013.
Heitman, Francis B. Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1903. Page 437.
Kansas G.A.R. Bound Post Records, 1866-1931, Lewis Post No. 294, June 30, 1884. Accessed on Ancestry.com on February 1, 2015.
National Archives, Record Group 94, Letters Received by the Office of the Adjutant General, 1861-1870.
National Archives, Record Group 94, Letters Received by the Commission Branch, 1863-1870.
National Archives, Record Group 94, U.S. Army Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914
National Archives, Record Group 94, U.S. Returns from Regular Army Non-infantry Regiments, 1821-1916: 6th U.S. Cavalry.
Phisterer, Frederick. New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd. ed. Albany; J.B. Lyon Company, 1912.

Fiddler’s Green: Thomas Hood McCormick

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It’s ironic that this Fiddler’s Green entry follows the last one of James McIntyre. These two officers were virtually inseparable throughout their cavalry service during the war, though their careers ended rather differently. Contrary to appearances from the frequent mention of McCaffertys, McCormicks and McIntyres, there were a number of non-Irish officers in the 4th U.S. Cavalry during the Civil War.

Thomas Hood McCormick was born on February 24, 1836 at Mill Hall, Clinton County, Pennsylvania to Saul and Catharine Hood McCormick. He graduated Lafayette College with a law degree in 1855, and according to census information was living with his mother and family and working as an attorney in Lock Haven in 1860.

He was appointed second lieutenant in the 1st U.S. Cavalry on March 27, 1861. As one of the early appointees he was quickly promoted as resignations thinned the regiment’s officer ranks, achieving first lieutenant less than a month and a half later on May 7, 1861.

Lieutenant McCormick quickly completed his initial training as a cavalry officer at Carlisle Barracks over the summer, and was assigned to the squadron of the regiment in Washington, D.C. Although only a first lieutenant, he assumed command of Company A, 1st U.S. Cavalry, which was redesignated the 4th U.S. Cavalry in August. The commander of Company E and the squadron of the 4th U.S. Cavalry as a whole was Captain James McIntyre. In addition to his other duties, McCormick also served as an acting assistant quartermaster for the squadron, as the remainder of the regiment was serving in the western theater.

He requested additional recruits to bring his company to full strength in September, and appears to have served well over the winter in the defenses of Washington. As the Army of the Potomac prepared to embark on the Peninsula Campaign, the squadron was assigned as Major General McClellan’s escort. It served in this position throughout this campaign, assigned to the army headquarters. The squadron’s men saw little action other than the odd artillery shelling when the general moved too close to the action. McCormick was promoted to captain and retained command of Company A on August 7, 1862.

The day after the battle of Antietam he recommended his first sergeant, Neil J. McCafferty, for a commission in the regiment. The two had been together since McCormick joined the company, first McCafferty was the quartermaster sergeant, then he was promoted to company first sergeant in October 1861. Captain McCormick wrote in his recommendation, “The highest compliment I can pay to the excellence of his character and his soldierly qualities is to request that if he should receive a commission he may be attached to my company.” Captain McIntyre, still commanding the squadron, endorsed the request, and McCafferty was commissioned a short time later.

The squadron finally rejoined the rest of the regiment during the winter of 1863-1864, and the following spring saw its first active campaigning of the war. Captain McCormick apparently had no issues with the adjustment. He was commended for his actions during fighting at Franklin, TN on April 10, 1863. According to the report of Captain James McIntyre, who commanded the regiment during the battle, “No officer could have behaved more gallantly than Captain McCormick, who with the rear squadron repulsed the enemy who in force attempted to surround and cut off our retreat to the ford.” He served through the remaining campaigning of 1863 and 1864 without reported incident.

Captain McCormick took a leave of absence during the winter of 1864-1865. He saw a doctor while at home in Lock Haven and requested an extension of twenty days on February 24, 1865 for “congestion of the liver,” which was granted. This is the first clue in his records that something may have been wrong.

On June 18, 1865, Captain McCormick’s cavalry career came to an abrupt and unpleasant end. According to the report of acting regimental commander Captain John A. Thompson:

“I have the honor to state that at about 5 o’clock last evening Capt. Thos. H. McCormick 4th U.S. Cav was driven into this camp in an ambulance in a beastly or insensible state of intoxication – he was lying on his back on two seats with his head hanging down and totally unconscious of where he was or his condition. I believe several of the men saw him. Myself and Lieut. W.W. Webb saw him and conversed with the driver.

“The driver said he had been taken out of the cars in that condition by Col Eggleston and himself aided by others at the depot.

“His condition was such that I could not permit him to be taken out in presence of the command and ordered the driver to take him to Wilson Hospital.”
The regimental surgeon, Assistant Surgeon Merritt S. Jones, concurred with Captain Thompson’s assessment, describing McCormick’s condition as “insensible from intoxication. He was so entirely helpless that he had to be carried into the ward on a stretcher.”

Correspondence then followed fast and furiously on the subject of McCormick’s dismissal. Brevet Major General James H. Wilson recommended immediate dismissal for habitual drunkenness. “This is no new thing in his conduct,” he wrote. “His public disgrace by drunkenness is a matter of notoriety in service tho’ hitherto he has managed to escape punishment. A Court Martial cannot well be convened to try him, and the credit of the public service, as well as its discipline and good order demands his summary dismissal.” Major General George H. Thomas concurred and forwarded the recommendation. It was approved by Lieutenant General U.S. Grant on July 12th, and by the Secretary of War on July 21st. McCormick was dismissed on July 25, 1865, and returned home to Lock Haven.

Thomas Hood McCormick died in Lock Haven on March 30, 1866. He is buried in Highland Cemetery, Lock Haven, PA.

A thorough examination of McCormick’s personnel records revealed no clues as to what may have happened other than the surgeon’s certificate on his request to extend his leave. While it was far from infrequent for there to be issues with alcohol for officers on the frontier following the war, examples such as this during the war were pretty infrequent and seldom drew such high-ranked ire. General Wilson’s evident disgust may have been the result of extended service by the regiment as his escort during that spring’s campaigns.

I give you Thomas Hood McCormick, gallant in battle, but all too human in the end.

Sources:
Coffin, Selden Jennings. Record of the Men of Lafayette. Easton, PA: Skinner & Finch, Printers, 1879.
Heitman, Francis B. Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1903. Page 430.
National Archives, Record Group 94, Letters Received by the Office of the Adjutant General, 1861-1870.
National Archives, Record Group 94, Letters Received by the Commission Branch, 1863-1870.
National Archives, Record Group 94, U.S. Returns from Regular Army Non-infantry Regiments, 1821-1916: 4th U.S. Cavalry.

Research for Hire

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Fair warning, this is a shameless plug for a new enterprise I am instituting this year. Those interested in research help can now visit the Research for Hire link at the top of this page.

Over the last several years, I have had many requests for research assistance. While I thoroughly enjoy investigating these leads and assisting people to learn of their ancestors or people of interest, the simple fact of the matter is that they delay the book projects on which I’m working. While some queries can be dealt with in an hour or two, several last year spread into multiple weeks.

Like most amateur historians, I pursue writing and research in my spare time. And no history writer I know has enough time for research. This is simply a means of financing my research and justifying the expenditure of my limited research time on your project. Since my ‘business’ only generates a book every two to three years at the best of times, it will also prove to my accountant and the tax folks that all of those research costs actually do occasionally result in income.

The process is fully controlled by the patron, and proceeds at their pace and direction. There are no hidden fees, and what I discover is available to the patron as I turn it up – no “I found more information but it will cost you another $50 to see it.”

Quest for a Quartermaster

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This post is proof once again that initial looks can be deceiving. It started when I came across the letter below.

“Headquarters 6th U.S. Cavalry
Camp near Falmouth
January 30th 1863

General,
I have the honor to very respectfully request that the appointment of 1st Lieut. J.W. Spangler, 6th U.S. Cavalry as Regimental Quartermaster of the 6th U.S. Cavalry be revoked and his position on the Regimental staff of this regiment be vacated in consequence of his inability to perform the duties appertaining to it on account of his absence from his Regiment and the duties of his rank in it. Lieut. Spangler having accepted the position of Division Quartermaster on the staff of Brig. Gen. Pleasonton Comdg Cavalry Division. I also have the honor to very respectfully recommend that in the event of a favorable consideration of the above recommendation Lieut. John A. Irwin of the 6th U.S. Cavalry be appointed Regimental Quartermaster of the 6th U.S. Cavalry.
This regiment from recent recruitment is nearly full situated as it is at this season, it is not only a matter of justice to it but essential to the completion of its internal organization that it should have a Regimental Quartermaster present with it.
Trusting that the above recommendation, made from a sense of duty to my Command will receive the favorable consideration of the War Department.
I am Sir
Very Respectfully
Your Obt Servt
G.C. Cram
Capt 6th U.S. Cavalry
Commanding”

Kentucky-born Lieutenant John W. Spangler initially made a name for himself as an enlisted man with the 2nd (later 5th) U.S. Cavalry fighting Indians in Texas. He was commended in dispatches several times for gallantry in action, and was first sergeant of his company when the regiment left Texas at the outbreak of the war. Shortly thereafter he received a commission in the newly authorized 6th U.S. Cavalry.

My initial thought was that this was simply another example of Captain Cram whining, something which happened frequently in various letters during the first half of 1863. The 6th U.S. Cavalry’s picket line was over fifteen miles from its camp, and moving supplies for the regiment was a challenge even with an officer dedicated to it full time. Brigade and division staffs were pulled from regimental officers, and Captain Cram wanted his lieutenant back. A reasonable issue and request, but one common to many regiments. It would have helped Spangler as well, who was performing a captain’s duties or more for a lieutenant’s monthly pay.

The request, however, was endorsed recommending approval all the way up the chain of command. General Pleasonton wrote, “It is respectfully recommended that Lt Spangler receive the appointment of Captain in the Quartermaster Dept to fill the office of Division Quartermaster.” Most of Pleasonton’s responses to queries from Captain Cram that I have seen were somewhat less than positive. Even Army of the Potomac commander Major General Joseph Hooker’s endorsement read, “Respectfully forwarded to the Adjt General of the Army, approved.” Surprisingly, however, the request was not approved.

Lieutenant Spangler was relieved as regimental quartermaster for the 6th U.S. Cavalry on February 1, 1863. One of the companies was short an officer, but the regiment was able to assign an officer to attend to its logistical needs. And Captain Cram’s request was granted – that officer was Lieutenant John A. Irwin, another former first sergeant. Spangler remained on the regiment’s rolls, and continued to work as an acting assistant quartermaster in the Cavalry Corps through the end of the war.

Several months of hard campaigning later, the issue was still not resolved. It wasn’t simply a problem for the Cavalry Corps, but for quartermasters across the Army of the Potomac. In a letter to Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs in August 1863, Army of the Potomac Chief Quartermaster Rufus Ingalls submitted a request for additional quartermaster officers. He submitted a list of “officers who have for a long time been doing duty in the QMaster Dept as Acting Asst QMasters. I respectfully request that the officers be appointed Asst QMasters Vols with the rank of Captain and be ordered to report to me for assignment to duty with this Army.” Among the officers listed was First Lieutenant J.W. Spangler, who was then working as an acting assistant quartermaster for the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac.

“I beg leave to call your special attention to Lt. J.W. Spangler 6th US Cavly now acting Chief QMaster Cavly Corps,” Ingalls continued. “Lt. Spangler has been acting in the QMaster Dept with the Cavalry during the Peninsula Campaign, and has been with this army since its return, serving with different commands in the Cavalry Corps. He is in my opinion one of the best officers in the service and I cheerfully recommend him for the appointment of an Asst QMaster in the regular army.” Despite this, once again the request was not approved.

There weren’t enough assistant quartermasters of volunteers in the various armies to support the various staffs. This does not appear to make sense. Quartermasters in the regular army were of course capped by the total number authorized by Congress for the army. These positions, if authorized, would continue in the army once the war was over, thus constituting a long term problem with army size and funding. Volunteer ranks, however, were authorized in support of volunteer formations, and lasted only as long as the position and formation lasted. The chief quartermaster of the Cavalry Corps, for example, would no longer be an authorized position once the Cavalry Corps disbanded. That individual would revert back to his regular army rank and position.

John Spangler served again as the regimental quartermaster for the 6th U.S. Cavalry after the war, from November 5, 1865 to July 28, 1866. He was paid as a lieutenant throughout the war, and was not promoted to captain and command of a company until July 28, 1866. Despite spending the majority of his commissioned career in the quartermaster field, he never did officially work in the quartermaster corps. The issue of additional authorized volunteer assistant quartermasters was not resolved.

Sources:

Arnold, James R. Jeff Davis’ Own. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: 2000.
Caughey, Donald C. and Jimmy J. Jones. The 6th United States Cavalry in the Civil War. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2013.
Heitman, Francis B. Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1903. Page 437.
National Archives, Record Group 94, Letters Received by the Office of the Adjutant General, 1861-1870.
National Archives, Record Group 94, Letters Received by the Commission Branch, 1863-1870.
National Archives, Record Group 94, U.S. Returns from Regular Army Non-infantry Regiments, 1821-1916: 6th U.S. Cavalry.
Price, George F. Across the Continent with the Fifth Cavalry. New York: D. Van Nostrand, Publisher, 1883.
Utley, Robert M. Frontiersmen in Blue. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1967.

Fiddler’s Green: James B. McIntyre

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James B. McIntyre was born in Tennessee on August 14, 1833. His family moved to Texas during his childhood, near the town of Brenham in Washington County. In 1849, he and Horace Randal became the first two appointees to the United States Military Academy from the state of Texas. Randal was later a cavalry officer and brigadier general in the Confederate Army. James graduated the academy on July 1, 1853, near the bottom of a class that included future cavalrymen Philip Sheridan, John Chambliss and Nelson Sweitzer. He received an appointment as a brevet second lieutenant in the 7th Infantry, as there were no open second lieutenant vacancies.

Upon joining the regiment at Fort Brown, Texas, he was initially assigned to Company A. His commander was Robert S. Garnett, later the first general officer killed during the Civil War and cousin of the general killed at Gettysburg. The first lieutenant of the company was Edmund Kirby Smith. Although only a brevet officer, he performed well, and served in command of Company I within a year of graduation from the academy.
On October 17, 1854, James McIntyre married Jane A. Selkirk in Austin, Texas. They had three children over the next four years: Hugh on October 9, 1855, Mary Bell on October 1, 1857 and William James D. in October 1859.

On March 3, 1855, McIntyre finally received his appointment as a second lieutenant, but in a different service. He received an original appointment to the newly authorized 1st U.S. Cavalry, and joined his new regiment at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He spent the next several years on frontier duty skirmishing with the Cheyenne, Sioux and Comanche Indians. He was promoted to first lieutenant in the regiment on January 16, 1857. He was one of four lieutenants present when J.E.B. Stuart was wounded in an action at Solomon’s Fork of the Kansas River on July 29, 1857. The other two were Lunsford Lomax and David S. Stanley.

McIntyre served as the regimental quartermaster from April 15, 1858 to April 30, 1860. He was part of the force under Major John Sedgwick dispatched toward Utah in May 1858. They marched as far as the Colorado Territory before a peace settlement was reached, and they returned to Fort Leavenworth. He assisted with the construction of Fort Wise (later Fort Lyon), Colorado, and served there and at Fort Riley, Kansas until 1860.
McIntyre was on a leave of absence with his family when the war broke out. He was promoted to captain and command of Company E on May 3, 1861, and soon joined his company at Washington, D.C. As the senior officer present, he commanded the only squadron of the 4th U.S. Cavalry in the eastern theater for the next year and a half.

Although kept very busy, the squadron saw little combat, serving as escort for Major General McClellan through the Peninsula, Antietam and Fredericksburg campaigns. After a brief period of detached service in Washington, D.C. from December 1862 to March 1863, he rejoined his company in Tennessee. He commanded the company during operations in Tennessee and Alabama during the spring of 1863. Captain McIntyre received a brevet promotion to major for gallant and meritorious service during the battle of Franklin, Tennessee on May 10, 1863, and assumed command of the regiment the following month.

Captain McIntyre commanded the regiment for the rest of the year. He earned a brevet promotion to lieutenant colonel for gallant and meritorious conduct in his leadership of the regiment in the battle of Chickamauga on September 25, 1863. After a brief leave of absence during the winter, he resumed command of the regiment in March and led it through all of the campaigns of 1864 as well.

In his report on Kilpatrick’s Raid during August 1864, Captain McIntyre made the following statement on his regiment’s performance near Lovejoy’s Station:

“But it was in the charge, when cavalry fought in the legitimate way, the cool, dismounted lieutenant, sergeants and soldiers became the cavalryman, and where all were heroes it would be invidious to make distinction.”

After another brief leave of absence during the winter of 1864, McIntyre again commanded the regiment at Gravelly Spring, Alabama from January to March 1865. Ironically, after commanding the regiment for nearly two years, he missed its last major action of the war, Wilson’s Raid and the battle of Selma. He was detached from the regiment for recruiting duty at Baltimore, Maryland on March 1, 1865 and served there for the remainder of the year.

On November 15, 1865, his wife Jane died, and their three children went to live with his father, Hugh, in Brenham, Texas. His father later received his pension.

In 1866, former Army of the Cumberland commander major General George H. Thomas recommended McIntyre for a brevet to full colonel for his services during the war. In his recommendation, General Thomas noted, “Capt. McIntyre has been an industrious and zealous officer and has performed the duties of every position he has held with ability, and with great credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his commanding officers.”

Following the war, he returned to the frontier with his regiment, once again in command of his Company E in Texas. He commanded Fort Brown, his first assignment as a brevet second lieutenant in 1853, from May 1866 to January 1867. He then moved with his company to Fort Riley, Kansas. Although he was promoted to major in the 3rd U.S. Cavalry on July 28, 1866, the news took months to reach him, and he never joined his new regiment.

Major McIntyre set out from Fort Riley on April 16, 1867. He had been ill with consumption since January with symptoms of consumption and “also suffering from excessive indulgence in alcoholic liquors,” according to the post surgeon. He arrived at Fort Larned on May 1st, but his condition had worsened, and he was too sick to continue his journey.

James B. McIntyre died of consumption at Fort Larned, Kansas on May 10, 1867, but his story doesn’t end there. He was buried in grave #9 in the post cemetery. A very popular officer while he commanded the post, the garrison constructed a brown obelisk in his honor that still stands today. Though weathered and difficult to read, one can still make out the inscription:

“J.B. MacIntyre, Col. USA Died at Fort Larned Kansas, May 9 1867. Was one of the officers, of Extra Duty, Maintained the Honor of his Country Gallantly during the Days of the Recent Rebellion.”

When the post was closed in 1888, the cemetery contents were moved to the cemetery at Fort Leavenworth. In an oversight, the contents of the cemetery were not cataloged. They were interred in new graves in their own section of the Fort Leavenworth cemetery, surrounded by a short wooden fence. Captain John McIntyre rests with 62 of his comrades from Fort Larned, in a grave marked “Unknown US Soldier.”

Sources:
Cullum, George W. Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy, Volume II. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1891. Pages 569-570.
Fort Larned NHP website (http://www.nps.gov/fols/planyourvisit/upload/Cemetery.pdf) accessed December 8, 2014.
Heitman, Francis B. Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1903. Page 437.
National Archives, Record Group 94, Letters Received by the Office of the Adjutant General, 1861-1870.
National Archives, Record Group 94, Letters Received by the Commission Branch, 1863-1870.
National Archives, Record Group 94, U.S. Returns from Regular Army Non-infantry Regiments, 1821-1916: 4th U.S. Cavalry.
Tom Jones, “Randal, Horace,” Handbook of texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fm28) accessed December 8, 2014.
Wert, Jeffry D. Cavalryman of the Lost Cause. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008.

Fiddler’s Green: Ephraim Adams

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I don’t often feature enlisted men in the Fiddler’s Green series, for the simple reason that there isn’t normally much information available about them. I found the case of Ephraim Adams somewhat unique, though. He literally grew up in his company, and held every enlisted rank in it before falling at its head in battle.

Ephraim Adams was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in late 1839. He was enlisted into Company F, 2nd U.S. Dragoons at Carlisle on December 24, 1855 by Lieutenant Tyler as a bugler at the age of 16. His enlistment documents describe him as 5’4″ tall, with gray eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion. He served his first enlistment on the frontier with his regiment, earning the rank of sergeant just before reenlisting in Company F at Fort Kearney, Nebraska Territory on September 20, 1860.

Ephraim continued to serve with his company through most of the Civil War, earning the rank of first sergeant by the time he reenlisted a second time. Lieutenant Robert Lennox, his former sergeant major, reenlisted him into Company F on July 12, 1864 at Light House Landing, Virginia, as the regiment recovered from Sheridan’s two raids. Due to heavy losses among the regiment’s officers, he was commanding his company when the regiment moved to the Shenandoah Valley in early September.

First Sergeant Adams was leading his company during the battle of Cedar Creek when he received a gunshot wound to the face on October 19, 1864. After initial treatment at a field hospital on the battlefield, he was admitted to the U.S. General Hospital at York, Pennsylvania on October 26th. He did not regain consciousness before he died there on November 1, 1864. According to the final statement signed by First Lieutenant James Cahill, a former fellow first sergeant, he was buried on November 3, 1864 in plot #130 at Prospect Hill Cemetery, York, Pennsylvania.

Fiddler’s Green: Lewis Thompson

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I am greatly indebted to Sherry Harris, a relative of Lewis Thompson, for adding a great deal of detail and both pictures to the story of this brave cavalryman.

Photo courtesy of Sherry Harris.

Photo courtesy of Sherry Harris.

Lewis Tappen Thompson was born in Philadelphia on July 25, 1838. He was the eldest of five children who survived childhood. His father, also named Lewis, was a publisher and member of the Anti-Slavery Society in Philadelphia. He was also part of the Underground Railroad before the Civil War.

Lewis was raised in Philadelphia, and educated for a business career. He was working as a cashier and bookkeeper for P. Waples and Co. of Philadelphia when the war broke out. Lewis and his brother James enlisted in Company A, 71st New York State Militia, a ninety day regiment, on April 21, 1861, and mustered out with the rest of the company on July 30th. He served primarily at the Washington Navy Yard, but also fought in the first battle of Bull Run.

When the regiment was mustered out, Thompson was appointed a lieutenant of volunteers and assigned as an aide on the staff of Brigadier General John C. Fremont. After Fremont was relieved of command, he worked briefly as an adjutant general for Lane’s brigade before being appointed a captain in the 3rd Kansas Cavalry. Singled out for bravery and leadership in a winter expedition into Missouri for forage, General Lane recommended him for an appointment in the regular army.

On February 19, 1862, Lewis Thompson was appointed a second lieutenant in the 2nd U.S. Cavalry and assigned to Company I. He wouldn’t see his new company for nearly a year. He remained at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas for several more months working as a Mustering & Disbursing Officer. He was promoted to first lieutenant on October 28, 1862, but word of the promotion did not reach him or the regiment until the following spring.
Lieutenant Thompson joined the 2nd U.S. Cavalry at Fort Albany, Virginia in December 1862, where several recently recruited companies were en route to join the regiment. He commanded Company G during the march, then joined Company I upon arrival. He spent the winter on picket duty with his company, based from their winter quarters near Falmouth.

Lieutenant Thompson was active in the spring campaign, serving with his company under Lieutenant Thomas Dewees during Stoneman’s Raid and the battle of Brandy Station. He received a brevet promotion to captain for gallant and meritorious service two weeks later during the battle of Upperville on June 21, 1863.

Lieutenant Thompson was captured during the Gettysburg campaign on July 2, 1863 while “attempting to communicate with corps headquarters,” according to brigade commander Wesley Merritt’s report on the battle. He was held at Libby Prison in Richmond until June 1864, then he was transferred briefly to Macon, Georgia and then onward to Charleston, South Carolina.

Lewis became very sick with tuberculosis and bronchitis while in Charleston, and likely would have died there if not for some family intervention. His sister, Matilda, had married Brigadier General Rufus Saxton, a quartermaster officer. When the Union captured parts of South Carolina in 1864, Saxton was appointed military governor of the state. He established his offices in the same building as the erstwhile Confederate commander of the area, former member of the 2nd Dragoons William Hardee. Hardee had been Saxton’s commander at West Point before the war. Saxton heard of his brother in law’s illness, and by luck was holding one of Hardee’s staff officers of the same rank prisoner. After Saxton contacted Hardee, “he responded cordially, and the two officers were exchanged, and the life of one brave officer was saved.”

Thompson was exchanged at Charleston, SC on October 4, 1864, and sent to Camp Parole, near Annapolis, Maryland to recover in the military hospitals there. After recovering from his illness and his release from Camp Parole, Maryland, Captain Thompson was assigned to special duty on the staff of Governor Cummings in Golden City, Colorado. He served there from September 25, 1865 until September 1866, when he was ordered to join his company. In the interim, he had been promoted twice. He received a brevet promotion to major for meritorious service during the war on September 25, 1865. On July 28, 1866, he was promoted to captain and command of Company L, 2nd U.S. Cavalry.

Thompson continued to suffer the effects of his captivity for the remainder of his life. He took a sick leave of absence from August 16, 1868 to March 29, 1869. He rejoined his company at Fort Ellis, Montana in the summer of 1869. The photo below is from a group picture of regimental officers on a porch at the fort.

Lewis_Tappen_Thompson_2

On February 26, 1869, the President directed that the brevet rank of Colonel be conferred upon Thompson. The reason was not stated. Other than the letter to Secretary of War Schofield directing the promotion on Executive Mansion stationery, there is no documentation of the promotion in his records.

1869 Comm T24 pg 2

Captain Thompson was sent to a retiring board in 1870, but the board recommended him for retention. He proved their judgment in the field, commanding his company during the Piegan expedition under Major E.M. Baker earlier that year. He also led his company in an engagement with Sioux at Prior’s Fork, Montana on August 14, 1872.

He returned home to Germantown, Pennsylvania on a sick leave of absence August 25, 1874 to September 12, 1875. He was suffering from chronic bronchitis and tuberculosis. One of the certificates of sickness states “the latter Cachenia having existed for the past six years, I reproduce the certificate given by Dr. Frantz, Surgeon, U.S.A. and continued in June 67 by Dr. Bailey, Surgeon, U.S.A.”

Despite his illnesses, he remained in touch with the regiment and its former officers. He even wrote a short chapter on the Piegan expedition of 1870 for Theophilus Rodenbough’s From Everglade to Canon with the Second United States Cavalry, published in 1875.

Captain Thompson commanded Company L in Major James Brisbin’s battalion of the 2nd Cavalry in Colonel John Gibbon’s column during the Little Big Horn campaign. He was so ill toward the end of the march that he was carried on a stretcher behind a mule with his company.

Lewis Thompson committed suicide in his bed near the headwaters of the Little Big Horn at 6 a.m. on July 19, 1876 “by shooting himself through the breast.” Assistant Surgeon H.O. Paulding’s letter stated, “Captain Thompson had been ailing with Neuralgia of the Stomach, together with excessive vomiting and diarrhea, for two days previously, and no doubt it was the intense suffering that produced the mental aberration which led to the fatal act.”

An article in the Freeman Journal noted, “He was a gentle, genial man, a true gentleman. He was buried at 6:30 pm. All the officers and men attended. General Gibbon made a few appropriate remarks. 1st LT. Edward McGuire read the service.”

In a letter to General Sherman upon learning of his death, Governor Potts of Montana wrote “He was a fine officer and an accomplished gentleman, & was very popular. He was a Philadelphian.”

Unfortunately, Thompson’s story didn’t end there. His brother in law, Lieutenant Colonel Rufus Saxton, requested to move his remains home from Montana to be buried with the rest of his family. His request was endorsed by Brigadier General John Pope, commander of the Department of the Missouri, and Lieutenant General Philip Sheridan, but denied by order of the Secretary of War.

A year later, Saxton and Lewis’ brother moved his remains to the family plot in Saulsbury Church Yard, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The cemetery is currently known as Thompson Memorial Cemetery.

Sources:

Heitman, Francis B. Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1903. Page 640.

Henry, Guy V. Military Record of Civilian Appointments in the United States Army, Volume 2. New York: George W. Carleton, 1869. Page 345.

National Archives, Record Group 94, Letters Received by the Office of the Adjutant General, 1861-1870.

National Archives, Record Group 94, Letters Received by the Commission Branch, 1863-1870.

National Archives, Record Group 94, U.S. Returns from Regular Army Non-infantry Regiments, 1821-1916: 2nd U.S. Cavalry

Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume 27, Part 1, page 943.

Rodenbough, Theophilus. From Everglade to Canon with the Second United States Cavalry. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2000. Pages 378-383 and 470.

Saxton, Rufus. “The Reminiscences of a Quartermaster in the Early Days of the Civil War,” Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Volume 6 (1921), pages 394-412.

The Death of Charles Russell Lowell

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Lowell

Craig Swain’s post yesterday here on fallen leaders at Cedar Creek jogged a memory. I knew I had seen a contemporary account of the death of Charles Russell Lowell, but couldn’t remember where. Lowell had an interesting position during the battle. He was a captain in the 6th U.S. Cavalry and colonel of the Second Massachusetts Cavalry, both present at the battle, and in command of both regiments as the commander of the Reserve Brigade.

Today, I remembered where I had seen it. Charles A. Humphreys was the regimental chaplain for the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry from 1863 through the end of the war. As the chaplain, he frequently encountered the regimental commander, so one must expect a bit of bias. In his postwar history of the regiment, Field, Camp, Hospital and Prison in the Civil War, 1861-1865, Humphreys chronicles Lowell’s passing.

“I have already told how my gallant Colonel, in this month’s campaign in which he was every day under fire, seemed to bear a charmed life, having had thirteen horses shot out from under him — one of them struck in seven places — and his clothes riddled with bullets. He had not himself been touched till the third charge in the Battle of Cedar Creek, when a spent ball for a moment took away his breath and afterwards left him voiceless. General Torbert urged that he be taken from the field. But Lowell whispered: “No! It is only my poor lung. I have not lost a drop of blood yet. I want to lead in the final charge.” So a little parapet of earth was thrown up to shield him from the bullets of the enemy, and he lay there motionless for two hours, having exacted a promise that he should be told when the charge was ordered. This came about three o’clock. Then, though too weak to mount his horse without assistance, he said, “I am well, now,” and allowed his faithful men to lift him into the saddle, and he rode to the front amid the cheers of his troops. Then his strength rose with the occasion, and though the death flush was on his cheeks he rode firm and erect as ever, and though he could only whisper his commands to his aids, [sic] all saw by the pointing of his sword that he meant Forward to victory or death.

“Just as they were in the thickest of the fight, Lowell — still leading on his men — was pierced by a bullet from shoulder to shoulder and fell into the arms of his aids [sic]. Yet even thus he would not check the vigor of the assault, but allowed himself to be carried forward in the track of his rapidly advancing brigade till he reached the village of Middletown and saw that the battle was won. Then he lay down upon his death-couch as calmly as to a night’s repose, and, though partially paralyzed, he remained for a time conscious, and gave minute directions about the business of his command, dictated some private messages of affection, and twice directed his surgeon to leave him to look to the wounds of other officers and of some wounded prisoners whose cries of pain he overheard, and then quietly and contentedly went to sleep and waked no more on earth.”

Obviously Humphreys uses a bit of poetic license in his account. From the nature of his final wound and other accounts of his fall, it seem far more likely that he was in the village or on its outskirts when he was shot.

Lowell was mourned across the Cavalry Corps. His division commander’s comments were contained in the previous post, and his corps commander, A.T.A. Torbert, commented in this excerpt from official report:

“In this general advance Colonel Lowell, Second Massachusetts Cavalry, commanding reserve Brigade, First Division, while charging at the head of his brigade, received a second wound, which proved to be mortal. Thus the service lost one of its most gallant and accomplished soldiers. He was the beau ideal of a cavalry officer, and his memory will never die in the command.”

Sources:

Humphreys, Charles A. Field, Camp, Hospital and Prison in the Civil War, 1861-1865. Boston: Geo. H. Ellis Co., 1918. Pages 179-181.

Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume 43, Part 1, Page 434.

Photograph of Charles Russell Lowell in 1864, USAMHI.

150 Years Ago: Cedar Creek

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150 years ago today, the battle of Cedar Creek was fought. The previous month’s defeat had all but ended the campaign the month before, but Confederate general Jubal Early cast one last throw of the dice to try to destroy Sheridan’s army.

I have decided to include two versions of the regular cavalry’s piece of the battle. The first and most direct, is an excerpt from the official report of the Reserve Brigade commander, Lieutenant Colonel Casper Crowninshield, on the battle. It is very brief and to the point, as he assumed command of the brigade toward the end of the battle.

“October 17, remained in camp, picketing on right of First Brigade. October 18, remained in camp, picketing as before. October 19, broke camp at daylight and moved to the right of the infantry on a reconnaissance for the purpose of ascertaining the position of the enemy; found their cavalry in force; skirmished with them about an hour, when orders were received to fall back, as the whole army had been attacked; proceeded to the left of the infantry and formed skirmish line, connecting with infantry on the right and First Brigade on left; Second Massachusetts made two charges on the enemy’s infantry, checking their advance; held our position until 3 p.m., when the whole line advanced, and this brigade, together with Second Brigade, charged a battery of the enemy’s artillery; were repulsed, with considerable loss, Colonel Lowell being mortally wounded while leading his command in the charge. Lieutenant Colonel Crowninshield, Second Massachusetts Cavalry, assumed command of brigade. The enemy’s line commenced to fall back, when we again charged, pursuing them down the pike and across Cedar Creek. Here we were halted and ordered to fall back, recrossed the creek, and camped on left of infantry.” (Official Records, Series I, Volume 43, Part 1, page 492)

The official report of the division commander, Brigadier General Wesley Merritt, is typically much more animated and verbose.

“HEADQUARTERS FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION,
October 24, 1864.

MAJOR: I respectfully submit the following report of the part this division took in the battle of the 19th and subsequent operations:

About 4 a. m. on the 19th an attack was made on the pickets of the First Brigade near Cupp’s Ford, which attack, coupled with the firing on the extreme left of the infantry line, alarmed the camps, and everything was got ready for immediate action. The First Brigade was at once ordered to move to the support of its picket-line, while the Reserve Brigade, which had the night before received orders to make a reconnaissance on the Middle road, was ordered to halt and await further orders. This brigade had advanced in the execution of its reconnaissance to the picket-line, and subsequently acted for a short time with the First Brigade in repelling the attack of the enemy feebly made on that part of the field. Soon after moving from camp the heavy artillery firing, and immense number of infantry stragglers making across the country to the Back road from our left, showed that it was in that direction the heavy force of the enemy was advancing. The Fifth U. S. Cavalry, attached to division headquarters, was immediately deployed across the fields, and, together with the officers and orderlies of the division staff, did much toward preventing the infantry going to the rear, and forced everyone to stop and form line. About this time the Second Brigade (General Devin) was ordered to move to the left of the line, cover and hold the pike, and at the saline time deploy men in that part of the field to prevent fugitives from going to the rear; this General Devin quickly accomplished, and did good service, especially in preventing the infantry straggling. On moving to the left General Devin ordered his battery to report to division headquarters, where Lieutenant Taylor, commanding, received orders to advance to an eligible position on the infantry line of battle, and use his pieces on the enemy till such time as it was unsafe to remain there. Great credit is due Lieutenant Taylor for the prompt and efficient manner in which he carried out this order. He was well advanced to the front of battle, without supports from his own command, and none save what was offered by the thin and wavering line of infantry near his position. The artillery of the infantry had gone unaccountably to the rear, or had been captured by the enemy, and Taylor’s was the only battery for some time on that part of the field. It is thought that his rapid and destructive fire did much toward preventing a farther advance of the enemy on that flank in the early part of the day. About 10 o’clock, in compliance with orders from the chief of cavalry, the First Division was moved to the left of the infantry line and disposed so as to connect with the infantry and at the same time cover the Valley pike and the country to the left. This was soon done — the Second Brigade (Devin’s) occupying the right, the Reserve Brigade (Lowell’s) the center, and the First Brigade (Kidd’s) the left of the division line of battle. Orders were then sent to each brigade to press the enemy warmly, and Lowell was cautioned to watch his opportunity and charge a battery of the enemy which seemed exposed in the open country to the left of the pike. Never did troops fight more elegantly than at this time; not a man shirked his duty, not a soldier who did not conduct himself like a hero. All through the day each man fought with the instinct and judgment of an officer and with the courage for which this division has become so celebrated. Twice or thrice by movements in the infantry line on our right the enemy got in the flank of the division line and subjected it to a murderous fire; but there was no movement on the part of the men save that demanded by superior judgment for a fresh disposition to meet the contingency; no running, no confusion, where at one time among so many others there was the most intense demoralization. The line at this time, in compliance with orders given as above stated, advanced nearly to Middletown, driving the enemy before it through the open country, the gallant Lowell, as usual, with his noble command forcing from the enemy every available inch of ground. This advance was handsomely made by all the brigades; at the time it was intended more as an offensive-defensive movement than one looking to a final victory. The enemy withdrew from the open country, evidently fearing the attack of the cavalry, and the battery which was marked for attack and possible capture also withdrew to a safer position. Sheltered by the woods on each flank and the houses and fences of Middletown, the enemy (Kershaw’s and Pegram’s divisions) in our front, Kershaw on the extreme right, continued a sharp skirmish, varied by attacks on both sides, until the final advance by the whole army under the major-general commanding Shortly after taking position on the left of the line as above described, Colonel Moore’s brigade, Second Division, was ordered to report to the First Division for orders. This brigade, having skirmishers on the line to the left of the pike, was ordered to advance with the line of the First Division; it did so handsomely, fighting with spirit while it remained with1 the command; it was ordered to the left toward Front Royal later in the day by the chief of cavalry. During the entire day the enemy kept up an artillery fire on our position whit h was truly terrific; it has seldom been equaled for accuracy of aim and excellence of ammunition. The batteries attached to this division did nobly, but were overpowered at times by weight of metal and superior ammunition. So excellent was the practice of the enemy that it was utterly impossible to cover a cavalry command from the artillery fire; a number of horses and men were destroyed by this arm during the day. As the news spread through the command that the major-general commanding the army had arrived a cheer went up from each brigade in this division; every officer in the command felt there was victory at hand; they all had confidence in him who had formerly commanded them more directly in trying circumstances, and when the order was given for a general advance each veteran in the First Division bent his brow resolutely and rode fearlessly toward the goal. Words are but poor vehicles to convey a description of the scene; suffice it to say, the charge was successfully made, each brigade doing its duty nobly. The Reserve and Second Brigades charged into a living wall of the enemy which, receiving the shock, emitted a leaden sheet of fire upon their devoted ranks; but the enemy were broken and fled before the resistless force of the blow, coupled with the stern, steady, unrelenting, yet swift, advance of the infantry, who, under the new regime, excited the admiration of all beholders.

The First Brigade, in column of regiments in line, moved forward like an immense wave, slowly at first, but gathering strength and speed as it progressed, overwhelmed a battery and its supports amidst a desolating shower of canister and a deadly fire of musketry from part of Kershaw’s division, at short range, from a heavy wood to our left. Never has the mettle of the division been put to a severer test than at this time, and never .did it stand the test better. The charge was made on an enemy well formed, prepared to receive it with guns double-shotted with canister. Into that fearful charge rode many a noble spirit who met his death. One more prominent than the rest, if individual prominence among a band of heroes is possible, received his death wound — the fearless Lowell, at the head of as gallant a brigade as ever rode at a foe, fell in the thickest of the fray, meeting his death as he had always faced it — calmly, resolutely, heroically. His fall cast a gloom on the entire command. No one in the field appreciated his worth more than his division commander. He was wounded painfully in the early part of the day, soon after which I met him; he was suffering acutely from his wound, but to ask him to leave the field was to insult him almost; a more gallant soldier never buckled on a saber. His coolness and judgment on the held were unequaled. An educated and accomplished gentleman, his modest, amiable, yet independent, demeanor endeared him to all his superiors in rank; his inflexible justice, temperate, yet unflinching, conduct of discipline made him respected and loved by his subordinates. He was upright as a mall, pure as a patriot, and preeminently free from the finesse of the politician. His last breath was warm with commendations of his comrades in arms and devotion to his country’s cause. Young in years, he died too early for his country, leaving a brilliant record for future generations, ending a career which gave bright promise of yet greater usefulness and glory.

After the charge our ranks were soon formed and the command moved forward resistlessly to Cedar Creek. Part of the enemy’s forces which had bed by the fords below were followed by detachments of the First and Reserve Brigades, which captured quite a number of prisoners, the First Brigade adding another to its trophies in the shape of a battle-flag. The Second and Reserve Brigades moved to Cedar Creek (the Second Brigade in advance), charged across the fords and bridge, pursuing the enemy with unparalleled vigor to his stronghold — Fisher’s Hill — leaving, like the whirlwind, nothing but the wreck in their track to be gathered up.” In this pursuit the Second Brigade lost heavily. I respectfully call attention to the report of General Devin, commanding Second Brigade, who ably conducted this movement. Great credit is due him for his untiring energy and determination in following up the victory, toward which he and his gallant command had done as much during the entire day as men could do. The Reserve Brigade was also ” in at the death,” but, in compliance with orders, halted and formed as a reserve, while the First and Second Brigades pursued the enemy on their different roads. Night alone saved Early’s demoralized army from total annihilation. As it was, he carried off with him but five pieces of artillery and but few other wheels.

The following morning (October 20) the division moved to Fisher’s Hill, where a small force of the enemy’s cavalry was found. This disappeared from our front and the command was pushed on to Woodstock. At that point it was ascertained from citizens and prisoners that the enemy was some distance in advice. The First and Second Brigades were halted and the Reserve Brigade ordered on toward Edenburg, beyond which point it went, without, however, coming up With the dying enemy. During this pursuit a number of wagons, ambulances, caissons, arms, &c., abandoned by the enemy, were found on the road and destroyed.

During the battle and subsequent pursuit the following captures were made and property destroyed by the division: 3 battle flags, 22 pieces of artillery, 8 caissons, 37 ambulances, 29 wagons, 95 horses and harness, 141 mules and harness, 389 prisoners of war, including 6 commissioned officers; two of the above wagons were loaded with muskets. Property destroyed; 12 army wagons, 28 ambulances, 81 muskets, 2 caissons
In concluding this report I must again return my acknowledgments to my staff and subordinate commanders for their untiring energy and zeal ill the performance of their duties and implicit and unquestioning obedience to orders; they are commended to the notice of superior headquarters.
The men and officers of the command have endured all the hardships of the arduous campaign without the comforts afforded by a regular system of transportation, oftentimes without regular issues of rations uncomplainingly and cheerfully. If there have been any instances of unsoldierly conduct they are exceptions to the rule. The command as a whole is gallant and well disciplined, confident in its own strength and justly proud of its prowess.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. MERRITT
Brevet Major-General, Commanding Division.” (Official Records, Series I, Volume 43, Part 1, pages 448-452)

Despite the effusive description of their role in the battle, casualties in the Reserve Brigade were relatively light. The total was only 37 killed, wounded and missing, broken down as follows:

2d MA Cav: 1 officer killed, 6 men killed; 3 officers and 13 men wounded; 1 man captured or missing. (24)
1st US Cav: 2 men killed; 5 men wounded. (7)
2nd US Cav: 2 officers and 4 men wounded. (6)
(Ibid., page 137)

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