Richmond Howitzers--second Company.
Camp Near Richmond. June 19th, 1862.
To the Editors of the Dispatch:
In reading the pleasing encomiums justly passed on the valor of the regiments and companies which have been rrecently engaged in the defence of Richmond
, I have seen nothing concerning a company whose ‘"exprit de corps"’
has been universally admired.
I mean the second company of Richmond Howitzers.
I would prove recreant to my convictions were I not to give it is mead of praise, though by this crude effort, and I know I hardly need your hearty co-operation.‘" in granting unto Cæsar that which is Cæsar's."’
This gallant, chivalries, and youthful corps, was among the first to respond to its country's call, and to exchange the civic garb for martial panoply.
Ere they were emancipated from the regime of college life and private avocation, they were ushered into the scene of war; for they fired the first piece of ordnance fired in Virginia
, at Gloucester Point
, with honor, credit, and with desired effect.
They, with their comrades in arms, fought the first battle of the war, and the name of Howitzer will be known as long as that of Bethel
They were the gallant Magruder
's first command, and won his esteem and confidence.
In the history of the Peninsula
they have figured handsomely, and acquitted themselves honorably.
Though their labors were great and tiresome, a kind of interregnum has occurred in their career since June 10th, 1861. till April 5th, 1862. On the 5th, when the grand army attacked the Yorktown lines
with its improved guns, no artillerists ever fired with mere precision and coolness than did these Howitzers.
They were instrumental in checking the progress of the stupendous works of the enemy.
They were the artillerists that played such havoc at Wynne's Mill, by dismounting guns, shooting down a wagoner of the topographical engineers
, demolishing his instruments and plane tables, &c. Lying, as they were under the continual shelling of the enemy for thirty days, they will always be gratefully remembered for their vigilance and marked nonchalance when danger was so near, and the handsome manner in which they acquitted themselves in responding to the Yankee
Inspired by the classic ground of Williamsburg
, no hearts ever panted and throbbed more to co-operate in checking the miscreant vandals in their pursuit.
When ordered to support the celebrated charge of Gen. Early
, their familiar faces and determined coolness could not escape the eye of the noble (Bethel
Afterwards, in conversation with his friend, he said:
"Before the charge, I recognized the Howitzers of Great Bethel on the field by their familiar faces and their same cool and man like demeanor.
I went to the charge, and when I returned I found them not affected by the gloomy ill success of the charge, but standing at their posts ready to immolate themselves on the altar of their country."
How proud ought they to be of such a compliment from such a General!
At the ‘"Seven Pines
"’ they were prompt to enter the bloody field in the midst of death, suffering, and in the midst of the smoke and roar of guns and fire with all possible coolness and speed.
They were on the field Saturday and Sunday, ready to meet any emergency that might arise, and win such laurels and guerdons as real Virginia
Composed of young men of high social standing, I know no corps to which I would entrust Virginia
chivalry for perpetuation rather than to these.
Young and valiant, they fight with determination for their beloved principles and to enjoy the free ægis of the Constitution
They feel the polities of their country, and believe them based upon religion and the most just principles of jurisprudence.
The present Captain
of the company is David Watson
, and Lorraine Jones Lieutenant
They, with gunners Halyburton
, are deservedly popular with the men. * * * *