tavern. Learning from him that Major Wheat was on the line, Meade and I started off in search of him. We found him at his headquarters, a fly under a tree, at the cross road, and it required no great deal of eloquence to induce him to join our dinner-party, for the Major was one of those whole souls that would never hesitate to exchange a mud-hule and camp-fare for a cheerful fireside, boon companions, and a good dinner, when his duty did not forbid it, as willingly as he would the reverse, when the long roll sounded, or the call was—duty. Of a genial disposition, graceful manners, and air of savoir faire, mingled with a certain amount of recklessness, and a lover of good things, he was at once installed, by virtue of military precedence and age, the ruler of the feast. In fancy I can see the happy faces that gathered around the table and responded to the toast, ‘Our Dixie Land.’ Alas! ere another Christmas had come around some of them had paid the soldier's debt—friends were scattered, and other scenes were being enacted. For us there was but one Christmas of the four we spent in service at ‘Stuart's tavern;’ and of those who answered to the roll-call that day, how many could now answer “Here!” The gallant Wheat fell in the battle of Cold Harbor in June, 1862; Colonel Drake fell at the head of the Old First, at Falling Waters, on the retreat from Gettysburg. The others did their part, and some ‘laid their heads upon the lap of earth,’ to fame unknown, and in other commands, but under one flag bore the brunt of the Virginia campaigns. The memory of those days seems like a beautiful dream—seen through the mists of the rolling years. We were boys then, fired with enthusiasm and ardor in the cause we loved so much. The dark side of war had not dimmed the halo that invested all things with a beautiful romance. Up to that time we had known no such word as defeat. The victories of Bull Run and Manassas, and several small cavalry fights, had given us a prestige, and we gloried in our colors and our chief. The cypress had not become so entwined with the laurel as to dim the lustre of our chaplets, and cause us to mingle tears with our songs of triumph; and ‘victory’ was the watchword of those who followed the feather of Stuart. The dinner passed pleasantly without interruption, and the stars had ‘set their sentinel watch in the sky’ when we parted and made our way back to camp, filled with enthusiasm, turkey, and punch, to say nothing of egg-nog, oysters, and many other delicacies provided
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
General Beauregard 's report of the battle of Drury's Bluff .
Federal testimony as to the Merrimac and Monitor.
Report of General Braxton Bragg .
List of officers of the C. S. Iron-clad Virginia, March 8th , 1862 .
[read before the Louisville Southern Historical Association .]
Paper no. 4 .
A lecture delivered in Baltimore , in November , 1872 , by Rev. Dr. R. L. Dabney .
Letter to General Bragg .
[funeral eulogy at Port Gibson , December 27th , 1882 .]
Address of Hon. C. E. Hooker , of Mississippi .
Confederate Artillery at Second Manassas and Sharpsburg .
Our fallen comrades.
Speech of Colonel T. L. Bayne , of the Washington Artillery .
Unveiling of Valentine 's Recumbent figure of Lee at Lexington, Va. , June 28th , 1883 .
General Lee in command of the Army of Northern Virginia —Richmond, Manassas , Harper's Ferry , Sharpsburg , Fredericksburg .
Sketch of the Lee Memorial Association .
The artist and his work.
Sketches of the Third Maryland Artillery .
Lee and Scott .
The Kentucky campaign.
The twenty-fourth South Carolina at the battle of Jonesboro .
Official report of Colonel George William Logan , on the engagement between the Federal gunboats and Fort Beauregard , on the 10th and Sixth May , 1863 .
Who fired the first gun at Sumter ?
A narrative of Stuart 's Raid in the rear of the Army of the Potomac .
The annual meeting of the Southern Historical Society .
Sketches of the Third Maryland Artillery .
Address of General Dabney H. Maury at the Reunion of Confederate veterans, Maury camp, no. 2 , Fredericksburg, Va. , August 23 , 1883 .
Stray leaves from a soldier's Journal.
Correction of errors in statement of Governor Anderson , and letter of General Echols .
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.