previous next

[135] time. This fight was one of Sheridan's selection. It was in a location well suited to his advantage, immediately under the eyes of his signal officer, stationed on the south end of Round Top, where he could see our whole number and location. His infantry were in sight supporting, while he knew ours were twenty-five miles away in our rear. When Rosser joined Early ‘he had only about six hundred mounted men for duty’—the burning which the enemy was doing in the direction of the homes of many of Rosser's men had taken off a large number in their anxiety for their families—so that his command must have been reduced to a minimum number. Payne had been actively engaged, and had suffered both at Winchester and Milford, and upon each occasion had received the shock of their attack, so that his command was very much weakened. I have shown that we had been incessantly on the go and had suffered a good deal, so that our division was really not equal in number to a small brigade of the enemy. To make the fight at Tom's Brook was against all the rules of discretion and judgment, and the whole responsibility belongs to Rosser as I will show.

It was a trap Sheridan set for him and was successful. The very acts that the Federal cavalry were committing would demoralize any body of civilized men; they could realize the consequences; the most of the enemy's cavalry were American citizens; a corresponding vim was given to me, and consequently, their rear had been severely punished. We had been incessantly engaged in severe skirmishing; Rosser's head seemed to be completely turned by our success, and in consequence of his rashness, and ignorance of their numbers, we suffered the greatest disaster that had ever befallen our command, and utterly destroyed the confidence of the officers of my brigade in his judgment—they knew that he could fight and was full of it, but he did not know when to stop, or when to retire.

I will here say that my brigade had wonderful advantages in its recuperative ability. It was constantly receiving accessions of boys, ‘young bucks,’ just eighteen (when they came in as volunteers, which was generally the case, they were the best material in the world). These young fellows had heard their fathers and elder brothers talk of the war, until they ‘burned to go and take a hand,’ but their extreme youth and their mother's anxieties had held them back. In my own regiment I do not know how many boys had run off from home and ‘jined’—they would come down to bring a fresh horse for a brother, and would not return. Many a boy was

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Tom's Brook (Virginia, United States) (1)
Milford, Va. (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Thomas L. Rosser (3)
Sheridan (2)
Round Top (1)
Payne (1)
J. A. Early (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: