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[71]

Charlotte Cavalry. [from the Richmond, Va., Dispatch, May 27, 1900 ]

A brief history of the gallant command.



Its Record a splendid one

From its organization to the end of the war. In the charging Squadron. With roll added.


The following sketch of the Charlotte Cavalry has been offered for file in the Charlotte county court, together with the roll of the company:

The Charlotte Cavalry left Charlotte Courthouse, Virginia, May 16, 1861, having been called into service by the Governor of Virginia. It went by Farmville, Cumberland Courthouse and Richmond, to Ashland, Virginia, to a camp of instruction. On the 27th of May, 1861, it was mustered into service. This roll contains not only those mustered in there, but the others who were mustered in afterwards.

After drilling for some weeks, it was ordered to reinforce General Garnett in West Virginia, and with the Pittsylvania Cavalry, went to [72] Staunton on the railroad from Ashland, and then marched to Monterey and Cheat Mountain, arriving at Laurel Hill July 6, 1861. General Garnett was forced to retreat by General McClellan, who had taken Rich Mountain, on his flank. Our army retreated by Carrock's ford, and participated in that battle, where Garnett was killed. It went then to Moorefield, in July, 1861. At Franklin, West Virginia, the company spent the winter of 1861 and 1862. While at Franklin, a new Captain and Second and Third Lieutenants were elected, the First having resigned. It guarded the right flank of our army in that section, and was in several skirmishes. The services of the men and non-commissioned officers were arduous, indeed, owing to the severity of the cold in that mountainous country.

In 1862 it served in Major George Jackson's squadron, under General R. E. Lee, at Valley Mountain, in West Virginia. From this place the company went to Churchville, Augusta county, Va. In April, 1862, it was reorganized, and new officers elected. From Churchville, under the command of Major George Jackson, this and several other cavalry companies were sent to the Kanawha Valley, West Virginia, and operated there under General Loring.

In 1862 the Charlotte Cavalry and the Churchville and two Rockbridge Companies of Cavalry made a raid over the mountains in the night to Nicholas Courthouse, West Virginia, and stormed a camp of Federals, capturing nearly every man and officer. As many prisoners under the Federal Lieutenant-Colonel Starr, were captured as we had men. The men and officers were brought through the mountain paths, and delivered to our army. This was one of the most difficult and daring marches and captures of the whole war. The enemy was surprised just at daybreak, and the entire post taken, though it was a fortified place.

Part of the winter of 1862-‘63 was spent at Salem, Va., where the company was put into the 14th Virginia cavalry, and became company B of that regiment. James Cochran was colonel, John A. Gibson lieutenant-colonel, and B. F. Eakle major. This company and the Churchville cavalry constituted the charging squadron of the regiment, and Jenkins's brigade, with myself first, and Captain James A. Wilson, of the Churchville cavalry, second in command.

In 1863 the 14th, with several other regiments, 16th and 17th cavalry, with V. A. Witcher's battalion of cavalry, were put under General A. G. Jenkins. Jenkins's Brigade was in advance of General [73] R. E. Lee's army in 1863, when it invaded Pennsylvania. Our brigade was in the battle of Martinsburg, Va., where we captured (with the aid of other troops), the town, artillery and prisoners. In June, 1863, this company and the Churchville cavalry charged through Chambersburg, Penn., about 9 o'clock at night, and drove away the home guard. From Chambersburg Jenkins's Brigade went to Carlisle, and then was ordered again in front of Lee's army on its way to Gettysburg. Some of our company were with General Jubal A. Early in the first day's fight at Gettysburg. We guarded prisoners 'til the evening of the third day, when we were sent to the rear of the Federal lines to join General Jeb. Stuart's command, who was fighting General Grigg's cavalry. We were put in line of battle on the extreme left of our infantry, near Rummel's barn. The cavalry fight of the evening of the third day at Gettysburg was a desperate battle. Major Eakle, the only field officer, was soon disabled, and had to retire, leaving the command of the regiment to myself. A very large per cent. of the men and officers engaged were killed or wounded.

I went, together with Generals Hampton, Munford, and others, to that battle-field, long after the war, and aided in locating the very lines which we then occupied.

Returning from Gettysburg, several of our company were killed and wounded at Williamsport, July 14, 1863, myself among the wounded. The hard service the company saw with Lee's army after its return from Pennsylvania, in 1863, until I recovered from the effects of my wound, I have no personal knowledge of. It participated in the great cavalry battle at Brandy station, where more cavalry were said to have been engaged than in any other battle.

We served under General John Echols, in the battle of Droop Mountain, not far from Lewisburg, West Virginia, and spent the winter of 1863-‘64 in Monroe county, West Virginia.

In the spring of 1864, General Jenkins having been killed, our brigade was placed under General John M. McCausland. This company and the Churchville cavalry constituted McCausland's extreme rear-guard from Covington to Buchanan, while McCausland was in front of Hunter and Crook, delaying their advance on Lynchburg, Va. Every foot of ground was contested, and every possible hindrance imposed in the enemy's advance. We made charge after charge, and had many skirmishes. At Buchanan, so closely was [74] the rear guard pursued that some of it could not cross the bridge over James river before we set it afire, and had to swim the river. Hunter and Crook were thus delayed by McCausland until General Early could be sent to save Lynchburg. As a reward for the gallant conduct of this squadron in that march a month's furlough was given it, and Lynchburg presented McCausland a horse, sword and pair of silver spurs for saving the city. Over and over again did the men and officers display in this long journey of seventy-five or one hundred miles the greatest endurance and unflinching bravery. To have been thus kept so long without relief at the post of danger, and where the most important service was to be rendered, was the best evidence of how our services were appreciated. When we returned from this furlough to the army we again advanced down the Valley of Virginia in 1864 in front of General Jubal A. Early, in his raid on Washington city.

Our regiment and some of our company, were in the battle of Monocacy, where General Lew Wallace was routed. The cavalry was very highly commended by General Early for the very gallant manner in which the enemy's flank was turned by it.

On our return from Washington, McCausland with his brigade, and General Bradley Johnson's cavalry brigade, were sent to Chambersburg to retaliate for the burning Hunter and others had done in Virginia and the South. Our squadron did not actively participate in the burning of Chambersburg, but was guarding one of the approaches when it was burnt, and constituted McCausland's rear guard when he left there. McCausland captured Old Town, Md., and after making feints at Cumberland, came to Moorefield. Here the enemy surprised General Johnson, whose brigade was next to the enemy, and came in among his men at daybreak. While commanding the regiment, I ordered our squadron to charge the enemy. It did so in splendid style, and stopped the enemy at that point.

Right at the ford across the South Branch of the Potomac, was the hardest of the fights, one where this squadron lost most in killed and wounded.

It lost heavily in killed, wounded and captured, and myself among the captured. I was taken to Camp Chase, O., and there remained 'til the spring of 1865. I cannot, therefore, give even a slight personal account of the hard fights the company was in until my return to the army. They were many, though, and its services were highly commended by all when I returned. [75]

In March, 1865, I came back to our regiment, then transferred to Beale's Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia. It was near Five Forks. I was put in command of our regiment by Colonel Cochran (the only field officer present), who was too unwell to command. From Five Forks to Appomattox we were hard pressed, with little food and rest. All the way we were attacked on every side. Our ranks were thinned out by sickness, fatigue, hunger, wounds, death, broken down horses, until we had not over a hundred men and officers in our regiment on the morning of the 9th of April, 1865. Notwithstanding all this, and the general impression that our cause was lost, General W. H. F. Lee ordered our regiment on the 9th of April, 1865, to charge and take a battery then in our front. This it did, with other cavalry, capturing it and a number of prisoners. The regiment lost in killed and wounded in a few minutes a very large per cent. Its color-bearer was killed in the charge while planting his flag on the enemy's artillery. This is said to be the last charge ever made by, and this the last man killed in battle in the Army of Northern Virginia.

It gives me the greatest pleasure to testify to the gallantry of the men and officers of our old company in many hard-fought battles. Even when hope was gone, and all looked dark, they were willing to do their duty as soldiers, and led in one of the most desperate charges ever made, with such spirit as to overcome every obstacle.

Our regiment was recalled from that part of the field by General W. H. F. Lee soon after the charge, and told that General Lee had surrendered; that we might make our way out, or surrender. Those of us who were left made our way out, but many surrendered with General Lee. Those of the Charlotte Cavalry who were not paroled then, received honorable paroles with the rest of Lee's army in a few days after the surrender.

This short and imperfect sketch I hope will enable those who were in our command to place us in the general histories of brigades, divisions, and corps. I could have embraced no more in so small a space. The dates and localities of the killed and wounded tell the battles our company was in. From Valley Mountain to Appomattox Courthouse it followed our great commander, and, when all hope was gone, when reduced to but a handful by killed, captured, wounded, fatigue and hunger in the retreat, they still fought with that same gallantry that distinguished them in other fields. Such [76] courage was born of the conviction that we were fighting for the right, and I ask to be excused for adding a few words to urge our descendants to read the history of those times for themselves, and to study the form of our government as it existed then.

While we submitted to the result of war, there is nothing before or since to show that we were wrong. The very States which waged war against the South have been since most tenacious to maintain State rights, for which we fought, and the first to resist interference on the part of the Federal Government. I hope it will ever be so, and the children of Northern and Southern soldiers alike, will live and die to maintain State rights, or home government. If they do not, the liberty of this country will be gone. No free government can ever exist on any other basis. Though the South did not achieve her independence, the principle of State rights is her only hope. Though millions of dollars of private property were taken from her without law, and for which she has never received a dollar, still, the very principle of State rights, which recognized that property, but which was disregarded by Mr. Lincoln and his party, is the same that we, of the South and those of the North must alike rely on, alone, to give us home government and liberty. I hope then, that none of our descendants will ever think that we were fighting in the wrong. Let them study the United States Constitution, writings before and pending its adoption, the decisions of the Supreme Court, and the great expounders of that Constitution, and they will see that we were right.

The members of our company and their descendants have gone north and south, east and west, in this country, and some have followed the western sun half around the globe! But I hope they will never go where they will not be able to maintain that we fought in the right. There is no fear that they will ever go where our valor is not recognized, for those who were our enemies now proclaim it from the housetops; and it is now spoken of around the world. But, is there not danger that some of them will not study these questions, and too easily conclude we were wrong, because we were not victorious? Let none think, either, that because, in the providence of God, we were not allowed to establish our independence, therefore, we were wrong in trying to maintain our cause. If that were so, all failures to defend one's acknowledged rights would prove he had none. Let us impress upon our descendants their duty to carefully and impartially study those questions. From their study they must [77] learn the facts for themselves. All of us who were actors will soon be gone. More than half have already crossed the river. The rest have long since passed the meridian of life.

To name all the officers and men who acted with bravery in various battles would be impossible, and, therefore, none have been named.

If your honors please, I do not think the time will ever come when the people of this, or any other, country will fail to honor the memory of this gallant band.

E. E. Bouldin, Formerly Captain Charlotte Cavalry, Company B, 14th Virginia, Confederate States Army.

[The following revised roll, has been recently furnished by Captain Bouldin.—Ed.]

Roll of the Charlotte Cavalry. It served first in Major George Jackson's Squadron of Cavalry, C. S. A.; then it was made Company B in the 14th Virginia Cavalry, C. S. A., under General A. G. Jenkins, next under General John M. McCausland, and last under General Beale, in the Army of Northern Virginia:

Adams, Paul V., Second Sergeant.

Barksdale, Claiborne G.

Barksdale, Armistead, First Lieutenant.

Barksdale, E. Henry.

Bouldin, Powhatan.

Bouldin, Robert C.

Bouldin, Breckenridge C., Second Lieutenant and Adjutant 14th Virginia Cavalry. Killed at Brandy Station.

Bouldin, E. E., First Lieutenant, then Captain from April, 1862, until May, 1865. Wounded at Williamsport, July 14th, 1863.

Bouldin, Thomas T., Jr.

Bouldin, John E.

Beirne, Andrew, died in prison at Point Lookout. From Monroe county, West Virginia.

Baldwin, Samuel.

Bailey, Dr. L. P.

Booker, John, from Prince Edward county.

Bouldin, W. O.

Cardwell, Toby.

Chafin, Robert. [78]

Carrington, Robert.

Caperton, Allen, wounded at Stevenson's depot. From Monroe county, West Virginia.

Chappell, Henry C., Sergeant, wounded at Gettysburg, on July 30, 1863.

Clarkson, R. A.

Chick, Henry, killed in the service, 1861, N. W. Va.

Cronin, Robert W.

Chappell, Wash B., wounded at Gettysburg in July, 1863.

Crews, James R., wounded in Rockbridge county in 1864.

Carrington, Edgar, killed in service.

Clarkson, W.

Dennis, Rice, from Halifax county, Va. Wounded in head at Winchester.

Dennis, Thomas H.

Daniel, Joel W., First Lieutenant until November, 1861.

Daniel, Thomas.

Daniel, John.

Dickerson, Henry P., Third Sergeant; wounded.

Dice, David. Wounded near Strasburg.

Dinwiddie, Joe.

Dunlap, Samuel A.

Dennis, Winslow R.

Dennis, John.

Dice, Henry, from Rockbridge county, Va. Wounded in 1864.

Elliott, Allen W.

Eggleston, George M.

Faris, George.

Fuqua, Dr. William M.

Friend, William G.

Friend, Robert M., wounded.

Friend, Isaac.

Flournoy, Nicholas E.

Ford, Luther R., Corporal.

Ford, Abner S., wounded at Lynchburg in 1863.

Ford, John R.

Ford, J. B.

Fossett, Peter.

Flournoy, Dr. David, Captain from November, 1861, to April, 1862. [79]

Gaines, William R., First Lieutenant. Wounded at Moorefield, 1864.

Gaines, Robert L.

Gaines, R. H., Sergeant and Sergeant-Major 14th Virginia Cavalry.

Gaines, James.

Gaines, Samuel M., Lieutenant. Wounded, New Market, Virginia, February, 1862.

Gaines, Thomas.

Garden, James M.

Hopkins, Louis Christman, Rockbridge county, Va.

Hopkins, John James, Pendleton county, W. Va.

Hannah, George B., Lieutenant and aid to Generals Jenkins and McCausland.

Hannah, Andrew, killed at Williamsport, July 14, 1863.

Hannah, Samuel B.

Hamlett, John C., Sergeant and Third Lieutenant.

Hodge, William H.

Harvey, E. C.

Hutcherson, Robert F.

Henry, E. Winston.

Harvey, Mike.

Helms,——

Hundley, Charley, wounded in the head at Cedarville.

Johnson, John S., from Greenbrier county, W. Va.

Kent, Clarence Polk, from Wytheville, Va. Wounded in 1865.

Kent, Edwin Dallas, from Wytheville, Va. Wounded in 1865.

Lewis, Dr. Granville R.

Lewis, William B.

Lawson, George W.

Lacy, Dr. Horace P.

Morton, Clement R., Third Lieutenant.

Morton, Henry O., Corporal.

Moore, Thomas J., First Sergeant.

Morgan, L. Dennis, First Sergeant.

Marshall, Hunter H., Jr., killed at Amelia Courthouse, 1865.

Marshall, John.

Morris, Macon C., wounded at Appomattox Courthouse, April, 1865.

Marshall, John P., died from effects of cannon shot. [80]

Marshall, Joel W., Lieutenant and Adjutant of 14th Virginia Cavalry.

Marshall, Ben W.

Marshall, Joel F.

Morton, David H.

McGhee, William.

McCargo, Samuel, killed at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863.

Moseley, J. B.

Morton, John J.

Welton, F.

Moses, Albert.

Morton, J. P.

Manns, Daniel.

Morton, John A.

Noel, Charles P., wounded in Valley of Virginia, 1864. From Pittsylvania county, Va.

Nichol, Charles, from Monroe county, W. Va.

Pettus, John.

Price, Samuel, wounded near Lexington, Va., in 1864.

Read, George W.

Read, Isaac.

Roberts, George H., Third Lieutenant until November, 1861.

Randol, Alex., from West Virginia.

Rice, Henry C.

Rice, David.

Roberts, John, died from wound received at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863.

Read, Thomas N.

Spencer, Charles.

Spencer, Thomas.

Spencer, James B.

Spragins, Norman B., wounded in Rockbridge county, Va., 1864.

Smith, John M., 4th Sergeant.

Sheperson, David, Third Lieutenant. Killed at Williamsport,

Sheperson, Joel.

Smith, John G., Captain from April, 1861, to November, 1861.

Spencer, William S.

Swicher, Daniel, Rockbridge county.

Saunders, Robert.

Scott, Thomas A. [81]

Spencer, Henry.

Scott, J. H., died at Monterey, Va., in service, in 1861.

Thornton, W. D.

Thompkins, C. C., from Kanawha county, W. Va.

Thompson, James C.

Watkins, Charles W.

Watkins, Henry, killed at Bunker Hill, 1864.

Watkins, Frank B.

Williams, W. B.

Wood, Robert W.

Walker, William A.

Wood, Jas. E.

Walker, Alexander S., from Brownsburg, Rockbridge county, Va.

Wilson, James H.

Watkins, Henry N.

Wills, William B.

Watkins, W. B.

Woods, William H., wounded at Williamsport, July, 1863.

Watkins, Alfred.

West, Addison, from Halifax county, Va.

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