country, surpassed the patriotism, sufferings, sacrifice, devotion and long suffering of the women of the South
during the Civil War
. These splendid traits were more conspicuous immediately after the war, amid the ruin, desolation and despoiling legislation which followed its close.
At the recent reunion at Richmond, Va.
, of the United Confederate Vetrans
, the writer had vividly recalled to his memory and met many of the young Confederate soldiers, whose heads were just beginning to grow gray, belonging to a company of artillery from Richmond
, composed nearly entirely of beardless boys from fourteen to eighteen years of age. The company was known as the ‘Parker Battery,’ commanded by Captain W. W. Parker
, a very religious member of one of the leading Methodist Churches
of Richmond, Va.
It was also known as the ‘boy company’ because only the officers were of age, and possibly a few other members.
It was organized in the late spring
of 1862, when General McClellan
with the Union Army
was hammering at the very gates of the city.
At the time the conscript law was being agitated, and parents could scarcely hold the boys in hand.
To meet the situation several churches asked Dr. Parker
to form a company of boys, and when he consented nearly every boy who could, or felt he could, be a soldier tried to enlist, and this, too, generally with the consent of their parents, for otherwise the boys would have been likely to have run off and enlisted anyway.
The company was a pretty green one, including the captain, lieutenants
, drivers and all the members of the battery; they had had little or no experience in drilling, in caring for the horses attached to the guns, and in every respect was a very crude organization.
After General Lee
had driven General McClellan
from the gates of Richmond
and began to move towards Maryland
in the first campaign of invasion across the Potomac
, the ‘boy company’ reported to Colonel S. D. Lee
, who had a battalion of three batteries of artillery, all of whom had seen service in battle.
When on the march towards the battlefield of Second Manassas
the ‘boy company’ reported to make the fourth battery of the