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Catlett's Station Raid again.

King William Courthouse, June 12, 1899.
To the Editor of the Dispatch:
Somt time ago I sent to the Dispatch, a communication entitled ‘My Recollections of General J. E. B. Stuart's Raid on Catlett's Station.’ In that communication I endeavored to state nothing but what came under my personal observation, and what were actual facts. Since writing I have read ‘Another Account of that Raid on Catlett's,’ in which the writer, L. M. Redd, says I wrote both ‘fact and fiction.’ Had my name been signed to the piece when it was printed, I am sure my old comrade and friend would never have accused me of writing ‘fiction.’ The scenes and events of that night do not call for fiction. The realities were too numerous and, exciting to be enlarged upon. And, really, I don't see a great deal of difference between my recollections and his. The only difference appears to be (1) as to who the man was who climbed the telegraph pole, and (2) whether the man came down with a ‘thud’ when fired on, or whether he backed down, bear fashion, ‘slowly.’

I maintain that the man belonged to the Gloucester Cavalry, and that he did come down with a ‘thud,’ and I mean no disparagement to him when I say so. Nor do I mean any reflection upon him. Most soldiers would have done likewise. Nothing could be accomplished by staying up there. My friend Redd says the man who volunteered to climb the pole was a member of Company G. I should be the last man of my old company to detract anything of praise from any member of that old company. I love them all too much for that. They were all brave soldiers, and would go wherever ordered; but I often observed during the war that where the danger was great and little could be accomplished the officer in command would call for volunteers, thereby leaving it to the soldier to perform the duty as he best saw how.

Had Captain Newton that night ordered any man in his company [214] to climb a pole his order would have been obeyed, even at the risk of death.

E. M. Redd does not disclose the name of the man from Company G who, he says, climbed the pole. I know that modesty forbids him. He was as true and as brave a soldier as there was in the service. He may have gone up half a dozen poles that night, so far as I know; but I did not see him. The writer says ‘Captain Newton took his whole company down to the railroad.’ That may have been so, but this member was not with it. He only had the first set of fours, if I remember aright, when I went with him. I could have mentioned many of the incidents that E. M. Redd mentioned, but it would have made my article too long.

I should be very much pleased, Mr. Editor, if you would publish this communication, for I dislike very much that any member of my old company should think I would cast any reflection upon him, or withhold from him any measure of praise to which he is entitled.

Yours respectfully,

J. Churchill Cooke, Company G, Fourth Virginia Cavalry.

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L. M. Redd (2)
E. M. Redd (2)
Newton (2)
James Ewell Brown Stuart (1)
Editor (1)
J. Churchill Cooke (1)
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June 12th, 1899 AD (1)
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