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Browsing named entities in a specific section of John Esten Cooke, Wearing of the Gray: Being Personal Portraits, Scenes, and Adventures of War.. Search the whole document.

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Louis Saxon (search for this): chapter 1.10
a, was one of the most accomplished gentlemen of his time. He emigrated to South Carolina at the age of twenty-one, married, and commenced there the practice of law. To the son, the issue of this marriage, he gave the name of William Downs Farley, after his father-in-law, Colonel William F. Downs, a distinguished lawyer, member of the Legislature, and an officer of the war of 1812. The father of this Colonel Downs was Major Jonathan Downs, a patriot of ‘76; his mother, a daughter of Captain Louis Saxon, also distinguished in our first great struggle; thus our young partisan of 1863 had fighting blood in his veins, and, in plunging into the contest, only followed the traditions of his race. From earliest childhood he betrayed the instincts of the man of genius. Those who recollect him then, declare that his nature seemed composed of two mingled elements — the one gentle and reflective, the other ardent and enthusiastic. Passionately fond of Shakspeare and the elder poets, he lo
ss occasions he surprised the enemy's pickets; and with three others, waylaid and attacked a column of several hundred cavalry led by Colonel (afterwards General) Bayard, whose horse he killed, slightly wounding the rider. This audacious attack was made some ten or fifteen miles beyond the Southern lines, and nothing but a love o pines; and although they might easily have remained perdus until the column passed, and so escaped, Farley determined to attack, and did attack-firing first upon Bayard, and nearly stampeding his whole regiment. After a desperate encounter he and his little party were all captured or killed, and Farley was taken to the Old Capitol in Washington, where he remained some time in captivity. General Bayard mentioned this affair afterwards in an interview with General Stuart, and spoke in warm terms of the courage which led Farley to undertake so desperate an adventure. Released from prison, Farley hastened back to his old stamping ground around Centreville
William F. Downs (search for this): chapter 1.10
gentlemen of his time. He emigrated to South Carolina at the age of twenty-one, married, and commenced there the practice of law. To the son, the issue of this marriage, he gave the name of William Downs Farley, after his father-in-law, Colonel William F. Downs, a distinguished lawyer, member of the Legislature, and an officer of the war of 1812. The father of this Colonel Downs was Major Jonathan Downs, a patriot of ‘76; his mother, a daughter of Captain Louis Saxon, also distinguished in ourColonel Downs was Major Jonathan Downs, a patriot of ‘76; his mother, a daughter of Captain Louis Saxon, also distinguished in our first great struggle; thus our young partisan of 1863 had fighting blood in his veins, and, in plunging into the contest, only followed the traditions of his race. From earliest childhood he betrayed the instincts of the man of genius. Those who recollect him then, declare that his nature seemed composed of two mingled elements — the one gentle and reflective, the other ardent and enthusiastic. Passionately fond of Shakspeare and the elder poets, he loved to wander away into the woods, a<
soul went to rejoin its Maker. One of the chiefest spites of fate is that oblivion which submerges the greatest names and events. The design of this brief paper is to put upon record some particulars of the career of a brave soldier-so that, in that aftertime which sums up the work and glory of the men of this epoch, his name shall not be lost to memory. Farley was born at Laurens village, South Carolina, on the 19th of December, 1835. He was descended, in a direct line, from the Douglas of Scotland, and his father, who was born on the Roanoke river, in Charlotte county, Virginia, was one of the most accomplished gentlemen of his time. He emigrated to South Carolina at the age of twenty-one, married, and commenced there the practice of law. To the son, the issue of this marriage, he gave the name of William Downs Farley, after his father-in-law, Colonel William F. Downs, a distinguished lawyer, member of the Legislature, and an officer of the war of 1812. The father of t
mity of opinion on this subject in his own district. He made frequent visits to Charleston, with the hope of being in the scene of action should an attack be made on the city; and was greatly chagrined that the battle of Sumter was fought during a short absence, and he only reached the city on the day following. He was the first man in his district to fly to the defence of Virginia, whose sacred soil he loved with a devotion only inferior to that which he bore his own State. He joined Gregg's regiment, in which he served three months, and on the disbanding of which he became an independent fighter. From this time commences that career of personal adventure and romantic exploits which made him so famous. Shouldering his rifle-now riding, then on foot-he proceeded to the far outposts nearest to the enemy, and was indefatigable in penetrating their lines, harassing detached parties, and gaining information for Generals Bonham and Beauregard. Falling back with the army from Fa
ich he bore his own State. He joined Gregg's regiment, in which he served three months, and on the disbanding of which he became an independent fighter. From this time commences that career of personal adventure and romantic exploits which made him so famous. Shouldering his rifle-now riding, then on foot-he proceeded to the far outposts nearest to the enemy, and was indefatigable in penetrating their lines, harassing detached parties, and gaining information for Generals Bonham and Beauregard. Falling back with the army from Fairfax, he fought-though so sick that he could scarcely stand — in the first battle of Manassas, and then entered permanently upon the life of the scout, speedily attracting to himself the unconcealed admiration of the whole army. To note the outlines even of his performances at that time, would require thrice the space we have at our disposal. He seemed omnipresent on every portion of the lines; and if any daring deed was undertaken-any expedition which
nferior to that which he bore his own State. He joined Gregg's regiment, in which he served three months, and on the disbanding of which he became an independent fighter. From this time commences that career of personal adventure and romantic exploits which made him so famous. Shouldering his rifle-now riding, then on foot-he proceeded to the far outposts nearest to the enemy, and was indefatigable in penetrating their lines, harassing detached parties, and gaining information for Generals Bonham and Beauregard. Falling back with the army from Fairfax, he fought-though so sick that he could scarcely stand — in the first battle of Manassas, and then entered permanently upon the life of the scout, speedily attracting to himself the unconcealed admiration of the whole army. To note the outlines even of his performances at that time, would require thrice the space we have at our disposal. He seemed omnipresent on every portion of the lines; and if any daring deed was undertaken-an
partisan. At the desperately contested battle of Fleetwood, in Culpeper county, on the 9th of June, 1863, he was sent by General Stuart to carry a message to Colonel Butler, of the 2d South Carolina cavalry. He had just delivered his message, and was sitting upon his horse by the Colonel, when a shell, which also wounded Butler,Butler, struck him upon the right knee and tore his leg in two at the joint. He fell from the saddle and was borne to an ambulance, where surgical assistance was promptly rendered. His wound was, however, mortal, and all saw that he was dying. At his own request the torn and bleeding member, with the cavalry boot still on, was put eetwood. It is as follows: Captain W. D. Farley, of South Carolina, a volunteer aide on my staff, was mortally wounded by the same shell which wounded Colonel Butler, and displayed even in death, the same loftiness of bearing and fortitude which characterized him through life. He had served, without emolument, long, faith
George Washington (search for this): chapter 1.10
ines, and nothing but a love of the most desperate adventure could have led to it. Farley ambushed the enemy, concealing his little band of three men in some pines; and although they might easily have remained perdus until the column passed, and so escaped, Farley determined to attack, and did attack-firing first upon Bayard, and nearly stampeding his whole regiment. After a desperate encounter he and his little party were all captured or killed, and Farley was taken to the Old Capitol in Washington, where he remained some time in captivity. General Bayard mentioned this affair afterwards in an interview with General Stuart, and spoke in warm terms of the courage which led Farley to undertake so desperate an adventure. Released from prison, Farley hastened back to his old stamping ground around Centreville, reaching that place in the winter of 1861. He speedily received the most flattering proposals from some eminent officers who were going to the South-west; but chancing to meet
tol hurled one of the enemy. Iii. I have spoken of his modest, almost shy demeanour. All this disappeared in action. His coolness remained unaffected, but he evidently felt himself in his proper element, and entitled to direct others. At such moments his suggestions were boldly made, and not seldom resulted in the rout of the enemy. The cavalry once in motion, the quiet, modest gentleman was metamorphosed into the fiery partisan. He would lead a charge with the reckless daring of Murat, and cheer on the men, with contagious ardour, amid the most furious storm of balls. His disregard of personal exposure was supreme, and the idea that he was surrounded by peril never occurred to him. He has repeatedly told the present writer, with that simplicity and sincerity which produce conviction, that in action he was wholly unconscious of the balls and shells flying and bursting around him — that his interest in the general result was so strong as to cause him to lose sight of th
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