|A Wheat's Battalion Zouave (reenactor) from Company B,|
Tiger Rifles, waving the flag of the Louisiana Republic.
(Photo by M.D. Jones)
This battalion, which came from Louisiana early in the war 500 strong has been reduced by various causes to about 150 effective men. Being active participants in Jackson's campaign in the Valley, they have marched 200 miles within a short period, and fought in nine different engagements. On Monday, the 9th inst., near Port Republic, they were in the glorious bayonet charge which resulted in the capture of the Yankee battery. In this charge Major Wheat's horse was shot through the head within twenty yards of the guns, after which he led his command on foot, and was the first field officer who reached the coveted prize. Of eight officers who went into the fight, five were badly wounded--Lieuts. Coyle, Cockroft, McCarthy, Ripley, and Adjutant Bruce Putnam--and thirty casualties occurred among the ninety-five men carried into action. The officers and men of Major Wheat's battalion think that his gallantry in this and many other battles entitles him to promotion. He has sacrificed much and suffered much in the cause of his country, and has been frequently congratulated by General Officers on his prospect of advancement, but has never received it from the Government; yet his zeal has shown no abatement, nor has his courage ever faltered when there was work to be done.