Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Stonewall Jackson - Happy Birthday!

Lt. Gen. T.J. "Stonewall" Jackson
by John Adams Elder
Statue of Stonewall Jackson at his grave
in Lexington, Va. (Library of Congress)
It was on 21 January 1824  that Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson was born in Clarksburg (or Parkersburg), West Virginia. He was orphaned at an early age and raised by an uncle, Cummins Jackson. He was admitted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. in 1842 and graduated 17th in a class of 59 cadets in 1846. Jackson fought with the artillery at the Siege of Vera Cruz and in the battles of Contreras, Chapultepec, and Mexico City. By the end of the war he was promoted to the brevet rank of major. Jackson left the army in 1851 and took a teaching position at the Virginia Military Academy. He was married the first time to Elinor Junkin, with whom he had one child who was stillborn. Elinor died soon after of complications. He remarried to Mary Annna Morrison, and they had two children. The first was a daughter who died at one month. The second child, Julia, was their only surviving child. Jackson entered the Confederate Army as a colonel and was promoted to brigadier general and commanded the 1st Virginia Infantry Brigade, afterward known as the "Stonewall Brigade," at the First Battle of Manassas 21 July 1861. His brigade famously stopped a Federal assault, which led to a great Confederate victory. It was there he received his immortal nickname by standing like a "Stonewall." Promotions followed to major general of a division, and then lieutenant general of the Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia. His other notable battles and campaigns included the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1863; the Seven Days Battles; the Battle of Cedar Mountain; the Second Battle of Manassas; the Battle of Chantilly; the Battle of Sharpsburg  and the Battle of Chancellorsville. At the last battle he led his corps on a famous flank march that shattered the Federal right and led to one of the greatest Confederate victories of the war. Jackson, however, was mortally wounded by friendly fire and died May 10, 1863. He was buried with full military honors at Lexington, Va. and mourned by the entire Confederacy. Jackson was known at a man of deep Christian faith who was instrumental in bringing many of his men to Christ. All honor to his memory.

Monday, January 19, 2015

ROBERT E. LEE - HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Today, January 19, 2015, is an official state holiday in Louisiana. All honor and respect to Robert E. Lee!
Gen. Robert E. Lee
by John Adams Elder

Robert E. Lee at Stonewall Jackson's
grave in Lexington, Va.

Post war image of Lee on Traveler in Lexington, Va.

Equestrian statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, astride his horse, Traveller, in the park that surrounds the headquarters of the Dallas Park Board in Oak Lawn section of Dallas, Texas. (Library of Congress)
Lee and Jackson's Last Meeting

Lee at Jackson's grave in Lexington, Virginia

Recumbent State of Robert E. Lee, Lee Chapel,
Lexington, Va. (Library of Congress)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

150-years-ago FALL OF FORT FISHER, North Carolina

Fall of Fort Fisher, North Carolina on Jan. 15, 1865
(Library of Congress)

[National Park Service]


North Carolina artillery soldier with
North Carolina belt buckle and sword.
(Lilijenquist Family Collection
Library of Congress)
Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler was relieved of command of the Army of the James and assigned to lead an amphibious expedition against Fort Fisher, which protected Wilmington, the South’s last open seaport on the Atlantic coast. Learning that large numbers of Union troops had embarked from Hampton Roads on December 13, Lee dispatched Hoke’s Division to meet the expected attack on Fort Fisher. On December 24, the Union fleet under Rear Adm. David D. Porter arrived to begin shelling the fort. An infantry division disembarked from transports to test the fort’s defenses. The Federal assault on the fort had already begun when Hoke approached, discouraging further Union attempts. Butler called off the expedition on December 27 and returned to Fort Monroe. Estimated total casualties were 320.

After the failure of his December expedition against Fort Fisher, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler was relieved of command.  Maj. Gen. Alfred Terry was placed in command of a “Provisional Corps,” including Paine's Division of U.S. Colored Troops, and supported by a naval force of nearly 60 vessels, to renew operations against the fort. After a preliminary bombardment directed by Rear Adm. David D. Porter on January 13, Union forces landed and prepared an attack on Maj. Gen. Robert Hoke's infantry line. On the 15th, a select force moved on the fort from the rear. A valiant attack late in the afternoon, following the bloody repulse of a naval landing party carried the parapet. The Confederate garrison surrendered, opening the way for a Federal thrust against Wilmington, the South's last open seaport on the Atlantic coast. Estimated casualties were a total of 2,000.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

150-years-ago The Blockade was Pourous

Richmond Daily Dispatch
January 3, 1865

Blockade Runner Teaser off Fort Monroe, Virginia. (Library of Congress)
     Notwithstanding the alleged ceaseless vigilance of the Yankee navy in watching blockade-runners on the Atlantic and Gulf coast of the Confederate States, their close attention has amounted to comparatively little. Setting aside all that has been supported on State and individual account, the proceeds of the blockade have been very great. The restrictions imposed upon foreign commerce by the act of Congress of last session prohibiting, absolutely, during the pending war, the importation of any articles not necessary for the defence of the country — namely; wines, spirits, jewelry, cigars, and all the finer fabrics of cotton, flaw, wool, or silk, as well as all other merchandise Serving only for the indulgence of luxurious habits, has not had the effect to reduce the number of vessels engaged in blockade-running; but, on the contrary, he number has steadily increased within the last year, and many are understood to be now on the way to engage in the business.
     The President, in a communication to Congress on the subject says that the number of vessels arriving at two ports only from the 1st of November to the 6th of December was for:-three, and but a very small proportion of those outward bound were captioned. Out of 11,796 bales of cotton shipped since the 1st of July last, but 1,272 ere lost — not quite eleven per cent.
     The special report of the Secretary of the Treasury in relation to the matter shows that there have been imported into the Confederacy at the ports of Wilmington and Charleston site October 26, 1864, 8,632,000 pounds meat, 1,507,000 pounds of lead, 13,000 pounds of saltpetre, 546,000 pairs of shoes, 346,000 pairs of blankets, pounds of coffee, 69,000 rifles, 97 packages of revolvers, 2,639 packages of medicine, 43 cannon, with a large quantity of other articles, of which we ed make no mention. Besides these, any valuable stores and supplies are brought, by way of the Northern lines, to Florida, by the port of Galveston through Mexico, across the Rio Grande.
     The shipments of cotton made Government account since March 1864, amount to $5,296,006 in specie. Of this, cotton, to the value of $1,500,000, has been shipped since the 1st of July and up to the 1st of December.
     It is a matter of absolute impossibility for the Federal to stop our blockade-running at the port of Wilmington. If the wind blows off the coast, the blockading fleet is driven off. If the wind blows landward, they are compelled to haul off to a great distance to escape the terrible sea which dashes on a rocky coast without a harbor within three days sail. 
      The shoals on the North Carolina coast are from five to twenty miles wide; and they are, moreover, composed of the most treacherous and bottomless quicksands. The whole coast is scarcely equalled in the world for danger and fearful appearance, particularly when a strong easterly wind meets the ebb tide.
     It is an easy matter for a good pilot to run a vessel directly out to sea or into port; but in the stormy months, from October to April, no blockading vessel can lie at anchor in safety off the Carolina coast. Therefore supplies will be brought in despite the keenest vigilance.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

150-years-ago -- The Battle of Nashville, Tennessee, Dec. 15-16, 1864.

[Excerpted from Company Aytch, Maury Grays, First Tennesse Regiment, or A Sideshow of the Big, by Sam R. Watkins, Columbia, Tenn. 1900]  

Pvt. Sam Watkins, Co. H, 1st Tenn. Inf.
NASHVILLE.

      A few more scenes, my dear friends, and we close these
memoirs. We march toward the city of Nashville. We camp
the first night at Brentwood. The next day we can see the fine
old building of solid granite, looming up on Capitol Hill the
capitol of Tennessee. We can see the Stars and Stripes flying
from the dome. Our pulse leaps with pride when we see the
grand old architecture. We can hear the bugle call, and the
playing of the bands of the different regiments in the Federal
lines. Now and then a shell is thrown into our midst from
Fort Negley, but no attack or demonstrations on either side.
We bivouac on the cold and hard-frozen ground, and when we walk about, the echo of our footsteps sound like the echo of a  tombstone. The earth is crusted with snow, and the wind from the northwest is piercing our very bones. We can see our ragged soldiers, with sunken cheeks and famine-glistening eyes. Where were our generals? Alas! there were none. Not one
single general out of Cheatham s division was left not one.
      General B. F. Cheatham himself was the only surviving general
of his old division. Nearly all our captains and colonels were
gone. Companies mingled with companies, regiments with
regiments, and brigades with brigades. A few raw-boned horses
stood shivering under the ice-covered trees, nibbling the short,
scanty grass. Being in range of the Federal guns from Fort
Negley, we were not allowed to have fires at night, and our thin
and ragged blankets were but poor protection against the cold,
raw blasts of December weather the coldest ever known. The
cold stars seem to twinkle with unusual brilliancy, and the pale
moon seems to be but one vast heap of frozen snow, which
glimmers in the cold gray sky, and the air gets colder by its coming ;
our breath, forming in little rays, seems to make a thousand
little coruscations that scintillate in the cold frosty air. I can tell
you nothing of what was going on among the generals. But
there we were, and that is all that I can tell you. One morning
about daylight our army began to move. Our division was then
on the extreme right wing, and then we were transferred to the
left wing. The battle had begun. We were continually
moving to our left. We would build little temporary breastworks,
then we would be moved to another place. Our lines kept on
widening out, and stretching further and further apart, until it
was not more than a skeleton of a skirmish line from one end to
the other. We started at a run. We cared for nothing. Not
more than a thousand yards off, we could see the Yankee cavalry,
artillery, and infantry, marching apparently still further to our
left. We could see regiments advancing at double-quick across
the fields, while, with our army, everything seemed confused.
The private soldier could not see into things. It seemed to be
somewhat like a flock of wild geese when they have lost their
leader. We were willing to go anywhere, or to follow anyone
who would lead us. We were anxious to flee, fight, or fortify.
I have never seen an army so confused and demoralized. The
whole thing seemed to be tottering and trembling. When,
Halt! Front! Right dress! and Adjutant McKinney reads
the following order :

     "Soldiers: The commanding general takes pleasure in
announcing to his troops that victory and success are now within
their grasp; and the commanding general feels proud and
gratified that in every attack and assault the enemy have been
repulsed; and the commanding general will further say to his
noble and gallant troops, Be of good cheer all is well.

"GENERAL JOHN B. HOOD,
"KINLOCK FALCONER, "General Commanding.
"Acting Adjutant-General."

       I remember how this order was received. Every soldier
said, "O, shucks ; that is all shenanigans for we knew that we
had never met the enemy or fired a gun outside of a little
skirmishing. And I will further state that that battle order,
announcing success and victory, was the cause of a greater
demoralization than if our troops had been actually engaged in battle.
They at once mistrusted General Hood’s judgment as a
commander. And every private soldier in the whole army knew
the situation of affairs. I remember when passing by Hood,
how feeble and decrepit he looked, with an arm in a sling, and a
crutch in the other hand, and trying to guide and control his
horse. And, reader, I was not a Christian then, and am but
little better to-day; but, as God sees my heart to-night, I prayed
in my heart that day for General Hood. Poor fellow, I loved
him, not as a General, but as a good man. I knew when that
army order was read, that General Hood had been deceived, and
that the poor fellow was only trying to encourage his men.
Every impulse of his nature was but to do good, and to serve his
country as best he could. Ah ! reader, some day all will be well.
       We continued marching toward our left, our battle-line
getting thinner and thinner. We could see the Federals
advancing, their blue coats and banners flying, and could see
their movements and hear them giving their commands. Our
regiment was ordered to double quick to the extreme left
wing of the army, and we had to pass up a steep hill, and
the dead grass was wet and as slick as glass, and it was with
the greatest difficulty that we could get up the steep hill
side. When we got to the top, we, as skirmishers, were ordered
to deploy still further to the left. Billy Carr and J. E. Jones,
two as brave soldiers as ever breathed the breath of life in fact,
it was given up that they were the bravest and most daring men
in the Army of Tennessee and myself ; were on the very
extreme left wing of our army. While we were deployed as
skirmishers, I heard, "Surrender, surrender," and on looking
around us, I saw that we were right in the midst of a Yankee
line of battle. They were lying down in the bushes, and we
were not looking for them so close to us. We immediately
threw down our guns and surrendered. J. E. Jones was killed
at the first discharge of their guns, when another Yankee raised
up and took deliberate aim at Billy Carr, and fired, the ball
striking him below the eye and passing through his head. As
soon as I could, I picked up my gun, and as the Yankee turned
I sent a minnie ball crushing through his head, and broke and
run. But I am certain that I killed the Yankee who killed
Billy Carr, but it was too late to save the poor boy’s life. As I
started to run, a fallen dogwood tree tripped me up, and I fell
over the log. It was all that saved me. The log was riddled
with balls, and thousands, it seemed to me, passed over it. As
I got up to run again, I was shot through the middle finger of
the very hand that is now penning these lines, and the thigh.
But I had just killed a Yankee, and was determined to get
away from there as soon as I could. How I did get back I
hardly know, for I was wounded and surrounded by Yankees.
One rushed forward, and placing the muzzle of his gun in two
feet of me, discharged it, but it missed its aim, when I ran at
him, grabbed him by the collar, and brought him off a prisoner.
Captain Joe P. Lee and Colonel H. R. Field remember this, as
would Lieutenant-Colonel John L. House, were he alive; and
all the balance of Company H, who were there at the time. I
had eight bullet holes in my coat, and two in my hand, beside
the one in my thigh and finger. It was a hail storm of bullets.
The above is true in every particular, and is but one incident of
the war, which happened to hundreds of others. But, alas! all
our valor and victories were in vain, when God and the whole
world were against us.
       Billy Carr was one of the bravest and best men I ever
knew. He never knew what fear was, and in consequence of
his reckless bravery, had been badly wounded at Perryville.
Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, the octagon house, Dead Angle,
and the 22nd of July at Atlanta. In every battle he was
wounded, and finally, in the very last battle of the war, surrendered
up his life for his country s cause. No father and mother
of such a brave and gallant boy, should ever sorrow or regret
having born to them such a son. He was the flower and
chivalry of his company. He was as good as he was brave. His
bones rest yonder on the Overton hills to-day, while I have no
doubt in my own mind that his spirit is with the Redeemer of
the hosts of heaven. He was my friend. Poor boy, farewell!
When I got back to where I could see our lines, it was one
scene of confusion and rout. Finney s Florida brigade had
broken before a mere skirmish line, and soon the whole army
had caught the infection, had broken, and were running in every
direction. Such a scene I never saw. The army was panic stricken.
The woods everywhere were full of running soldiers.
Our officers were crying, "Halt ! halt !" and trying to rally and
re-form their broken ranks. The Federals would dash their
cavalry in amongst us, and even their cannon joined in the
charge. One piece of Yankee artillery galloped past me, right
on the road, unlimbered their gun, fired a few shots, and galloped
ahead again.
       Hood’s whole army was routed and in full retreat. Nearly
every man in the entire army had thrown away his gun and
accouterments. More than ten thousand had stopped and allowed
themselves to be captured, while many, dreading the horrors
of a Northern prison, kept on, and I saw many, yea, even
thousands, broken down from sheer exhaustion, with despair
and pity written on their features. Wagon trains, cannon,
artillery, cavalry, and infantry were all blended in inextricable
confusion. Broken down and jaded horses and mules refused
to pull, and the badly-scared drivers looked like their eyes would
pop out of their heads from fright. Wagon wheels, interlocking
each other, soon clogged the road, and wagons, horses and
provisions were left indiscriminately. The officers soon became
effected with the demoralization of their troops, and rode on in
dogged indifference. General Frank Cheatham and General
Lor ing tried to form a line at Brentwood, but the line they
formed was like trying to stop the current of Duck river with a
fish net. I believe the army would have rallied, had there been
any colors to rally to. And as the straggling army moves on
down the road, every now and then we can hear the sullen roar
of the Federal artillery booming in the distance. I saw a
wagon and team abandoned, and I unhitched one of the horses
and rode on horse-back to Franklin, where a surgeon tied up my
broken finger, and bandaged up my bleeding thigh. My boot
was full of blood, and my clothing saturated with it. I was at
General Hood s headquarters. He was much agitated and af
fected, pulling his hair with his one hand (he had but one),
and crying like his heart would break. I pitied him, poor fellow.
I asked him for a wounded furlough, and he gave it to
me. I never saw him afterward. I always loved and honored
him, and will ever revere and cherish his memory. He gave
his life in the service of his country, and I know to-day he wears
a garland of glory beyond the grave, where Justice says "well
done, and Mercy has erased all his errors and faults.
I only write of the under strata of history; in other words,
the privates history as I saw things then, and remember them
now.

Monday, November 24, 2014

150-years-ago -- THE BATTLE OF FRANKLIN, Tennessee, Nov. 30, 1864

[Excerpted from Company Aytch, Maury Grays, First Tennesse Regiment, or A Sideshow of the Big, by Sam R. Watkins, Columbia, Tenn. 1900]  


FRANKLIN. 
"The death-angel gathers its last harvest. 
 
Kind reader, right here my pen, and courage, and ability 
fail me. I shrink from butchery. * Would to God I could tear 
the page from these memoirs and from my own memory. It 
is the blackest page in the history of the war of the Lost Cause. 
It was the bloodiest battle of modern times in any war. It was 
the finishing stroke to the independence of the Southern Con- 
federacy. I was there. I saw it. My flesh trembles, and 
creeps, and crawls when I think of it to-day. My heart almost 
ceases to beat at the horrid recollection. Would to God that I 
had never witnessed such a scene! 
 
I cannot describe it. It beggars description. I will not 
attempt to describe it. I could not. The death-angel was there 
to gather its last harvest. It was the grand coronation of death. 
Would that I could turn the page. But I feel, though I did so, 
that page would still be there, teeming with its scenes of horror 
and blood. I can only tell of what I saw. 
 
Our regiment was resting in the gap of a range of hills in 
plain view of the city of Franklin. We could see the battle- 
flags of the enemy waving in the breeze. Our army had been 
depleted of its strength by a forced march from Spring Hill, 
and stragglers lined the road. Our artillery had not yet come 
up, and could not be brought into action. Our cavalry was 
across Harpeth river, and our army was but in poor condition to 
make an assault. While resting on this hill-side, I saw a courier                          dash up to our commanding general, B. F. Cheatham, and 
the word, "Attention !" was given. I knew then that we would 
soon be in action. Forward, march. We passed over the hill 
and through a little skirt of woods. 
 
The enemy were fortified right across the Franklin pike, 
in the suburbs of the town. Right here in these woods a detail 
of skirmishers was called for. Our regiment was detailed. 
We deployed as skirmishers, firing as we advanced on the left of 
the turnpike road. If I had not been a skirmisher on that day, 
I would not have been writing this to-day, in the year of our 
Lord 1882. 
 
It was four o’clock on that dark and dismal December day 
when the line of battle was formed, and those devoted heroes 
were ordered forward, to "Strike for their altars and their fires, 
For the green graves of their sires, For God and their native land." 
 
As they marched on down through an open field toward the 
rampart of blood and death, the Federal batteries began to open 
and mow down and gather into the garner of death, as brave, 
and good, and pure spirits as the world ever saw. The twi- 
light of evening had begun to gather as a precursor of the coming 
blackness of midnight darkness that was to envelop a scene 
so sickening and horrible that it is impossible for me to describe 
it. "Forward, men, is repeated all along the line. A sheet of 
fire was poured into our very faces, and for a moment we halted 
as if in despair, as the terrible avalanche of shot and shell laid 
low those brave and gallant heroes, whose bleeding wounds at 
tested that the struggle would be desperate. Forward, men! 
The air loaded with death-dealing missiles. Never on this earth 
did men fight against such terrible odds. It seemed that the 
very elements of heaven and earth were in one mighty uproar. 
Forward, men ! And the blood spurts in a perfect jet from 
the dead and wounded. The earth is red with blood. It runs 
in streams, making little rivulets as it flows. Occasionally there 
was a little lull in the storm of battle, as the men were loading 
their guns, and for a few moments it seemed as if night tried to 
cover the scene with her mantle. The death-angel shrieks and 
laughs and old Father Time is busy with his sickle, as he gathers 
in the last harvest of death, crying, More, more, more! while his 
rapacious maw is glutted with the slain. 
 
But the skirmish line being deployed out, extending a little 
wider than the battle did passing through a thicket of small 
locusts, where Brown, orderly sergeant of Company B, was 
killed we advanced on toward the breastworks, on and on. I 
had made up my mind to die felt glorious. We pressed for- 
ward until I heard the terrific roar of battle open on our right. 
Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne
(Library of Congress)
Cleburne's division was charging their works. I passed on until 
I got to their works, and got over on their (the Yankees) side. 
But in fifty yards of where I was, the scene was lit up by fires 
that seemed like hell itself. It appeared to be but one line of 
streaming fire. Our troops were upon one side of the breast 
works, and the Federals on the other. I ran up on the line of 
works, where our men were engaged. Dead soldiers filled the 
entrenchments. The firing was kept up until after midnight, 
and gradually died out. We passed the night where we were. 
But when the morrows sun began to light up the eastern sky 
to reveal its rosy hues, and we looked over the battlefield, O, my 
God! what did we see! It was a grand holocaust of death. 
Death had held high carnival there that night. The dead were 
piled the one on the other all over the ground. I never was so 
horrified and appalled in my life. Horses, like men, had died 
game on the gory breastworks. General Adams horse had his 
fore feet on one side of the works and his hind feet on the other, 
dead. The general seems to have been caught so that he was 
held to the horse’s back, sitting almost as if living, riddled, and 
mangled, and torn with balls. General Cleburne’s mare had her 
fore feet on top of the works, dead in that position. General 
Cleburne’s body was pierced with forty-nine bullets, through 
and through. General Strahl’s horse lay by the roadside and 
the general by his side, both dead, and all his staff. General 
Gist, a noble and brave cavalier from South Carolina, was lying 
with his sword reaching across the breastworks still grasped in 
his hand. He was lying there dead. All dead! They sleep 
in the graveyard yonder at Ashwood, almost in sight of my 
home, where I am writing to-day. They sleep the sleep of the 
brave. We love and cherish their memory. They sleep beneath 
the ivy-mantled walls of St. John’s church, where they 
expressed a wish to be buried. The private soldier sleeps where 
he fell, piled in one mighty heap. Four thousand five hundred 
privates! all lying side by side in death! Thirteen generals 
were killed and wounded. Four thousand five hundred men 
slain, all piled and heaped together at one place. I cannot tell 
the number of others killed and wounded. God alone knows 
that. We’ll all find out on the morning of the final resurrection.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

150-years-ago -- The Battle of Liberty, Mississippi

Col. John S. Scott
[Excerpted from the upcoming book "9th Battalion Louisiana Louisiana Infantry in the Battle of Baton Rouge and Siege of Port Hudson" by Michael Dan Jones.]

On November 15, the scattered Confederates began converging on the
fast moving Federal column [commanded by Federal Gen. A.L. Lee]. Colonel [J.S.]Scott’s 1st Louisiana Cavalry was camped three miles from Clinton along the road to Liberty. He began tracking the Federals and also found on November 15 the Federals had passed through Clinton and were on their way to Liberty. Colonel Gober’s Mounted Infantry was on the road from Greensburg and moving toward Liberty. The various Confederate columns, which had been looking for one another, and finally converged when they met on the 17th. Scott took command, since they couldn’t find Hodge. He ordered their wagon trains to a place of safety and the Confederates moved in the direction of Liberty to confront A.L. Lee’s troopers there.
           The Confederate column rested the men that night for the next days expected attack on Liberty. “My men having been called up three nights in succession, and my horses having been without food thirty-one hours, my command were in no condition to pursue an enemy traveling so rapidly. I consequently halted for the night,” [Col. Daniel] Gober wrote. Early on the morning of November 18, Scott put his tiny brigade in line of battle. They approached Liberty throughdense woods, and then found the Federals drawn up on a hill in front of the town. Gober dismounted his men, placed them on the right side of the road, and immediately went for the Federal left flank. “In order to drive them from this position I moved with right wing of my regiment upon their left and succeeded in forcing them to retire in great confusion up into the town,
where they formed a second time behind the houses and on a hill to my left
and dismounted.” There was also an open hill about 100 yards before the
new Federal position. “Against this enemy the men moved at double-quick
and with great spirit, driving the enemy from and taking possession of the
houses,” Gober wrote. Scott wrote in his report, General A.L. Lee was commanding the
Federals in person. “The enemy sent out a regiment of cavalry, which we met
and handsomely repulsed. Moving on to Liberty we engaged their main body,
command by Brigadier General Lee in person, for near half an hour. The
skirmish was quite brisk, but we were compelled to fall back for want of
ammunition.” Lee, in his report, grossly over estimated Scott’s numbers at
800. He said the rebels were first repulsed and then advanced again and drove
in the bluecoat pickets. He noted that the rebels, “dismounted, and attacked
with desperation. “Our men, also dismounted, fought bravely. I brought into
action the section of the First Wisconsin Battery and opened with canister.


           After a fight of something more than an hour the enemy were driven from
the field.” Gober wrote of the end of the battle, that soon after driving the
Federals from their positions at the houses, “. . . I was ordered to retire slowly
to my horses, mount, and move across the bridge three miles from town.”
Scott commented that he had less than 300 men in the battle and the Yankees
had 1,200 and a battery of artillery. “I have never seen officers and men
behave with more gallantry than did Colonel Gober and Ogden and their
commands. In fact, it drew forth the astonishment and praise of the vandals
themselves who we were confronting,” Scott wrote.
            During the fighting, among the killed was 1st Lieutenant Olivier
Couvillion of Company G, 1st Louisiana Cavalry. “He was gallant and
efficient and his death was a severe loss to the regiment,” Lieutenant Carter
wrote in his memoir. Carter also noted that Private J.G. Hawkes of Company
E, 1st Louisiana Cavalry, had his horse killed under him in the battle. He then
asked Captain A.C. Herndon, the quartermaster, to loan him his horse.
Herndon reluctantly did so, fearing his valuable horse would be killed. Sure
enough, the horse was killed and Hawkes was wounded and captured. That
night, while being led off on a mule by his captors, Hawkes managed to
escape and successfully returned to his unit. Hawkes, a native Englishman
amazed his comrades at his boldness in battle, having two horses killed under
him, being wounded, captured and escaping—all within a 24-hour period.
General Scott awarded Hawkes with a battlefield promotion to second
lieutenant.
           Scott reported that three of his men were killed, 10 wounded and 15
horses killed. Gober said in his report that he lost two men killed, eight
wounded and four missing, for the entire period from November 12 to the
20th. Lee said his total casualties in the Battle of Liberty were “about a dozen”
wounded, none killed.” He also claimed that they found three rebel officers
Federals in person. “The enemy sent out a regiment of cavalry, which we met
and handsomely repulsed. Moving on to Liberty we engaged their main body,
command by Brigadier General Lee in person, for near half an hour. The
skirmish was quite brisk, but we were compelled to fall back for want of
ammunition.” Lee, in his report, grossly over estimated Scott’s numbers at
800. He said the rebels were first repulsed and then advanced again and drove
in the bluecoat pickets. He noted that the rebels, “dismounted, and attacked
with desperation. “Our men, also dismounted, fought bravely. I brought into
action the section of the First Wisconsin Battery and opened with canister.
After a fight of something more than an hour the enemy were driven from
the field.” Gober wrote of the end of the battle, that soon after driving the
Federals from their positions at the houses, “. . . I was ordered to retire slowly
to my horses, mount, and move across the bridge three miles from town.”
           Scott commented that he had less than 300 men in the battle and the Yankees
had 1,200 and a battery of artillery. “I have never seen officers and men
behave with more gallantry than did Colonel Gober and Ogden and their
commands. In fact, it drew forth the astonishment and praise of the vandals
themselves who we were confronting,” Scott wrote.
            During the fighting, among the killed was 1st Lieutenant Olivier
Couvillion of Company G, 1st Louisiana Cavalry. “He was gallant and
efficient and his death was a severe loss to the regiment,” Lieutenant Carter
wrote in his memoir. Carter also noted that Private J.G. Hawkes of Company
E, 1st Louisiana Cavalry, had his horse killed under him in the battle. He then
asked Captain A.C. Herndon, the quartermaster, to loan him his horse.
Herndon reluctantly did so, fearing his valuable horse would be killed. Sure
enough, the horse was killed and Hawkes was wounded and captured. That
night, while being led off on a mule by his captors, Hawkes managed to
escape and successfully returned to his unit. Hawkes, a native Englishman
amazed his comrades at his boldness in battle, having two horses killed under
him, being wounded, captured and escaping—all within a 24-hour period.
General Scott awarded Hawkes with a battlefield promotion to second
lieutenant.
           Scott reported that three of his men were killed, 10 wounded and 15
horses killed. Gober said in his report that he lost two men killed, eight
wounded and four missing, for the entire period from November 12 to the
20th. Lee said his total casualties in the Battle of Liberty were “about a dozen”
wounded, none killed.” He also claimed that they found three rebel officers
proud and the cause of Southern Independence, for which they were fighting.
After the battle, Gober’s Regiment began scouting for the direction the
Federals were moving. “On the morning of the 19th Colonel Scott came up
with us at Hog Eye, and ordered me to move around to the north of Liberty
to the Brookhaven road and learn if the enemy had moved in that direction.
The morning of the 20th we were ordered to follow the enemy in direction of
Baton Rouge. The pursuit was kept up until next day about noon, when we
were ordered to move to Clinton from Keller’s Cross Roads,” he
concluded.