d been very fortunate during the expedition in rendering services of various kinds to General Stuart, which obtained his cordial recognition in the Official Report, and in this manner secured for me at once a position in the Confederate army.
I trust I may be pardoned for introducing here that passage in the Report which refers to the part I took in the expedition.
General Stuart says:--
Amongst those who rendered efficient services in this expedition I cannot forget to mention Heros Von Borcke, formerly of the Prussian Brandenburg Dragoons, who distinguished himself by his gallantry, and won the admiration of all who witnessed his bravery and his military conduct during the expedition.
He highly deserves promotion.
A quiet time now followed at headquarters.
Both horses and men needed rest after exertions so long continued and fatiguing.
The weather was glorious, and all nature had put on the full beauty of spring.
Around the house which we inhabited white and red rose
no choice left but to cut our way through.
Our plan hastily formed was this.
The two couriers were to ride on either side of Dabney and myself, and to fire right and left with their revolvers, leaving us to open the way in the centre with our sabres.
The advancing party having now arrived within twenty-five steps from us, I gave the customary order, Halt!
One man forward!
and, this being disregarded, the loud command, Charge!
Just at this moment several voices cried out, That is Major von Borcke!
halt, halt: we are friends!
which at once checked our furious onset, and we found, to our great surprise and delight, and amid hearty laughter on all sides, that we had been on the eve of attacking the remaining part of General Stuart's Staff and escort, who had also been separated from the General, and, like ourselves, were in search of him. We heard now that the way to Jackson, who had repulsed the enemy after a sanguinary conflict, was perfectly unobstructed, and that one of our c
to meet the same kind of reception; for, instead of the cheerful greeting to which I had been accustomed, the old lady, as soon as she caught sight of me, turned suddenly pale, and, with a loud shriek, fled into the house.
Puzzled beyond measure at so extraordinary a proceeding, I pressed for an explanation, when a Richmond paper was handed to me and my attention directed to a paragraph commencing, Among those who fell at the battle of Chancellorsville we regret to report the death of Major von Borcke, &c. Here followed a flattering estimate of my personal qualities, and a minute account of my death.
My amiable friend was so firmly impressed with the fact of my demise, that when I accosted her she believed it was my ghost; and even during our subsequent interview I found some difficulty in persuading her of my identity.
The rumour of my having been killed spread over the whole country, and was accepted as true by every part of our army where I had not been seen since the battle, a
Lafayette was the last foreigner to whom this honour was accorded in America, and out of courtesy the resolution was couched in the same words as had been used on that occasion, and which were as follows:--
Whereas Major Heros Von Borcke of Prussia, Adjutant and Inspector-General of the Cavalry Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia, having left his own country to assist in securing the independence of ours, and by his personal gallantry on the field having won the admiraall of whom deeply sympathise with him in his present sufferings from wounds received in battle, therefore-Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, that the thanks of Congress are due, and the same hereby tendered to Major Heros Von Borcke for his self-sacrificing devotion to our Confederacy, and for his distinguished services in support of our cause.
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted to Major Von Borcke by the President of the Confederate States.