CHAPTER 23 – JASPER’S 23RD USCT “RUNS OFF” TOM ROSSERS’ VIRGINIA CAVALRY NEAR CHANCELLORSVILLE by Jim Surkamp

3382 words.

https://web.archive.org/web/20190612202911/https://civilwarscholars.com/2017/03/story-23-lees-men-first-face-black-men-in-bluecoats-by-jim-surkamp/

FLICKR 26 images
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimsurkamp/albums/72157678730919713

That cloudy, soggy Sunday morning of May 15, 1864, Theodore Lyman’s doubts of colored men fighting were scotched.

Pvt. Luman Tenney and others in the 2nd Ohio Cavalry lazed about after breakfast disassembling and cleaning and drying out their guns in camp near Piney Branch Baptist Church and after several days of drenching rain.


Shortly after twelve noon, Confederate Brigade Cavalry commander Thomas Rosser, whose men were doing other business and easing north on Catharpin Road, saw them and pounced, sending the Ohio horseman jumping on their horses and the chase up Catharpin road began.


One of the Ohioans went northwest instead to get word to and help from Union General Edward Ferrero’s colored infantry troops who were guarding supply wagons kept at the ruins of the old Chancellor house.


Ferrero made Jasper’s 23rd infantry regiment a historical footnote by sending them marching the two miles at the double quick down Old Plank Road to their place in history, as one historian has termed it the first African-American Union unit to have “ordered, directed combat” with Gen. Robert. E. Lee’s redoubtable Army of Northern Virginia – and more. They prevailed.


After two miles of chasing the Ohioans and as the 23rd was on its way from the northwest, Rosser’s cavalry pressed down hard on the panicked fleeing Ohioans.


Edward Allen Hitchcock McDonald, who would later live out his days at Media Farm (not far from the Washingtons and the Thompsons) had been commanding the 11th Virginia Cavalry regiment in Rosser’s brigade and was at this encounter. Rosser pressed the fleeing Ohio Cavalry across the Old Plank Road and into the woods approaching Ely’s Ford,


when as Rosser’s horsemen were reaching Old Plank Road were astonished to find themselves hit on their left by the 23rd with bayonets displayed. Rosser’s men, in an instant, went from the fighting router of an enemy to the retreating routed.


Ohioan Pvt. Luman Tenney drolly wrote in his diary” Rebs fell back as soon as the “dark cloud’ made its appearance.” In an account recently uncovered by


Historian Gordon C. Rhea, one of the Ohio cavalrymen wrote, “It did us good to see the long line of glittering bayonets approach. Those who bore them were blacks, and as they came nearer they were greeted by loud cheers.”


Jasper’s Division Commander Ferrero wrote in his report:
I immediately ordered the Fourth Division in readiness, and marched the Twenty-third U. S. Colored Troops to support the cavalry. On arriving at Alrichs, on the Plank Road, I found the Second Ohio driven across the road, and the enemy occupying the cross-roads. I ordered the colored regiment to advance on the enemy in line of battle, which they did, and drove the enemy in perfect rout. Not being able to pursue with infantry,


the Second Ohio formed and gave chase to Piney Branch Church, which they (the Second Ohio) now occupy. Recovering, the Ohioans joined the pursuit on horseback of Rosser back down Catharpin road where they regained their old position near the Piney Church by 4:30 that day. Both sides had a handful of wounded and each lost between 10-20 horses.


Rosser, perhaps flummoxed at facing determined black men in bluecoats, barely reported the event in his official report, and not mentioning anything about a soldier’s ethnicity.

City Point, Virginia. Negro soldier guarding 12-pdr. Napoleon. (Model 1857?) – loc.gov

VIDEO VERSION 23 WITH VOICE TRACK, CLOSED CAPTIONING & MODIFIED CONTENT – START: 1:43:06

References and Image Credits:

“In Our Midst: First Combat of the USCTs in Northern Virginia.” Noel G. Harrison, Posted June 15, 2010.
This small engagement has huge symbolic importance: it was the first directed combat between Union African American soldiers, known then as United States Colored Troops (USCT’s), and Confederates in the Army of Northern Virginia. . .

On May 15, 1864, Rosser’s men sought information on a Union army corps as it shifted southeastward towards Spotsylvania Court House. Apprised by the retreating Ohioans of Rosser’s approach, the 23rd United States Colored Infantry hastened southeast from Chancellorsville, where those and other African American regiments of Brig. Gen. Edward Ferrero’s division had bivouacked. Moving in column along the plank road, the reinforced 23rd first made contact through its deployed skirmishers with Rosser’s men. The Confederate troopers had stopped short of the Catharpin-plank road intersection to occupy the southwestern side of the Alrich clearing, holding an edge-of-treeline position that likely straddled Catharpin Road.

The climax of the action came when the column of the 23rd reached the intersection and faced right. In an account recently uncovered by historian Gordon C. Rhea, one of the Ohio cavalrymen wrote, “It did us good to see the long line of glittering bayonets approach, although those who bore them were Blacks, and as they came nearer they were greeted by loud cheers.” The 23rd charged southwest toward the treeline. Rosser’s men withdrew, pursued by the now-reformed Ohio cavalrymen.
npsfrsp.wordpress.com 7 April 2010 Web. 15 June 2010.
https://npsfrsp.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/in-our-midst-first-combat-of-the-uscts-north-of-the-james/

“The 23rd Regiment United States Colored Troops became the first colored troops to fight in “directed combat” against Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.”
Steward T. Henderson – Fact List About the 23rd United States Colored Troops…Past and Present. Posted on February 16, 2012.
emergingcivilwar.com 16 September 2011 Web. 20 February 2017.

Fact List About the 23rd United States Colored Troops…Past and Present

At the beginning of the Overland Campaign, the 23rd Regiment United States Colored Troops was an infantry regiment in the 4th Division of the independent IX Army Corps. This regiment became the first black regiment to fight in directed combat against the Army of Northern Virginia. This happened 150 years ago today, on May 15, 1864.. . .
During the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, the 23rd Regiment USCT was at the Chancellorsville ruins, guarding wagon trains on May 15, 1864, when the 2nd Ohio Cavalry asked for assistance. The Ohioans were being attacked by General Thomas Rosser’s Confederate Cavalry Brigade. General Edward Ferrero marched the 23rd at the double quick to the intersection, now known as the Catharpin and Old Plank Roads intersection. “It did us good to see the long line of glittering bayonets approach, although those who bore them were Blacks,” one Buckeye wrote, “and as they came nearer they were greeted by loud cheers.”

The 23rd USCT formed a battle line and fired on the Confederate army and drove them away. They became the first African American soldiers to fight in “directed combat” against the Army of Northern Virginia. They were cheered by the white soldiers of the 2nd Ohio, who now knew that these black soldiers would fight against the Confederates.

Tenney, Luman H. (1914). “War Diary of Luman Harris Tenney 1861-1865.” Cleveland, OH: Evangelical Publishing House. babel.hathitrust.org
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=loc.ark:/13960/t1pg2b07c&view=1up&seq=7&skin=2021

p. 116 – May 15, 1864 – Trains passing to the rear all night and today. Started teams for forage. Rainy day and cloudy today. Several from the Regt. down, Col. P Regt under Maj. Nettleton had a fight with a brigade of rebs. Lost 15 or 20 horses and four men were wounded. Rebs fell back as soon as the “dark cloud’ made its appearance. Big Reports came to the rear. Guess Dutton showed little pluck. – Tenney, Luman H. Pvt. p. 116. (actual #)

Tenney service record page
fold3.com 16 September 2011 Web. 10 January 2017.
https://www.fold3.com/image/292528472?terms=luman,h,tenney

Armstrong, Richard L. (1989). “11th Virginia Cavalry.” Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, Inc. pp. 72, 163.

Davis, Julia. (1967). “Mount Up: A True Story Based on the Reminiscences of Major E.A. H. McDonald of the confederate Cavalry.” New York, NY: Harcourt. Brace & World, Inc. p. 130.

Rhea, Gordon C.(2000). “To the north Anna River: Grant and Lee, May 13-25, 1864.” Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press. pp. 106; 412.
quoted in:
npsfrsp.wordpress.com 7 April 2010 Web. 15 June 2010.
https://npsfrsp.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/in-our-midst-first-combat-of-the-uscts-north-of-the-james/

The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies.; Series 1 – Volume 36 (Part I) Volume XXXVI – in Three Parts. 1891. (Vol. 36, Chap. 48)
Chapter XLVIII – Operations in Southeastern Virginia and North Carolina. May 1-June 12, 1864. Part I – Reports: babel.hathitrust.org
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924097311744&view=1up&seq=11&skin=2021

Report of Brig. Gen. Edward Ferrero U. S. Army, commanding Fourth Division. HDQRS. FOURTH DIvision, NINTH ARMY CORPS, Millers House, on Plank Road east of Alrich’s, May 15, 1864.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that at 12.30 p.m. this day the Second Ohio Cavalry, stationed at Piney Branch Church, were compelled to fall back, being attacked by superior forces, consisting of one brigade of cavalry, with two pieces of artillery. I immediately ordered the Fourth Division in readiness, and marched the Twenty-third U. S. Colored Troops to support the cavalry. On arriving at Alrichs, on the Plank Road, I found the Second Ohio driven across the road, and the enemy occupying the cross-roads. I ordered the colored regiment to advance on the enemy in line of battle, which they did, and drove the enemy in perfect rout. Not being able to pursue with infantry, the Second Ohio formed and gave chase to Piney Branch Church, which they (the Second Ohio) now occupy. All quiet elsewhere. Our loss amounted to about 8 or 10 wounded. The enemy lost some 5 horses killed. I have changed my position to a more secure one, to protect the trains and roads leading to the army. I have since learned from one of my scouts that Hamptons brigade is in full retreat, in perfect disorder, toward Todd’s Tavern. I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant, EDW. FERRERO, Brigadier- General, Commanding.
hathitrust.org 11 December 1997 Web. 20 February 2017.
p. 986.
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924097311744&view=1up&seq=1004&skin=2021

Report of Lieut. Col. George A. Purington, Second Ohio Cavalry
About noon May 15 a rebel cavalry brigade, under command of Colonel Rosser, suddenly attacked us in two columns, driving in the pickets and causing us to fall back on the ford, which we held for some time, and until it was plain they outnumbered us 3 to 1, and were moving columns to our right and left with the intention of flanking our position. Major Nettleton, being in command of the regiment during my absence in Fredericksburg, then fell back slowly, fighting all the way, by forming alternate lines wherever the ground would admit it. On reaching Alrich’s he found that infantry had come to his support, when, by order of General Ferrero, he again advanced toward Piney Creek Church, coming upon the enemy’s rear several times. At 4 p.m. he re-established his picket at Piney Creek Church. Our loss in this affair was 4 men wounded and 18 horses killed and wounded. babel.hathitrust.org 11 December 1997 Web. 20 February 2017.
pp. 892-4. (actual #s)
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924097311744&view=1up&seq=910&skin=2021

Report of Brig. Gen. Thomas L. Rosser, C. S. Army, commanding brigade, of operations May 15, 1864.
I have just returned from an expedition in rear of the enemy’s position, and as General Hampton is not here, think it well to report directly to you. Near Piney Creek Church I found this morning a brigade of cavalry, which, after a brisk skirmish, I drove to the Plank Road, about 2 miles below Chancellorsville, below the Catharpin road, where I met a small force of infantry at Mr. Alrich’s.

Not more than a regiment was seen. Captured a few prisoners, who reported the Ninth Corps at this place. I then moved to the right, passing down the Ny River to Mr. Armstrong’s, where I found a new road cut by the enemy, leading out into the Spotsylvania Court-House and Fredericksburg road, passing between the poor house and Mr. Harris. Pressing down upon this road (which is almost impassable) I ran upon the Second Corps (so reported by the prisoners captured), which was just going into camp just to the right of the poor house. In going to this point I passed in rear of the enemy’s line for some distance, the right of which rests at this time (I think it will be moved to-night) on the heights opposite Captain Browns place (Mr. Rowe lives there now). All wagons, cattle, & c., which have been on the Plank Road have been moved off toward Fredericksburg. There is nothing but a few cavalry near Chancellorsville, one brigade head-quarters at Zion Church, about 3 miles from Chancellorsville, on the old pike. Yours, truly, THOS. L. ROSSER, Brigadier-General. babel.hathitrust.org 11 December 1997 Web. 20 February 2017.
pp. 1098-1099.(actual #s)
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924097311744&view=1up&seq=1116&skin=2021

Additional resources:

(Cited previously in these references in less detail) Fact List About the 23rd United States Colored Troops…Past and Present
Posted on February 16, 2012 by stewardthenderson

I wanted to convey some information about the 23rd United States Colored Troops. The unit proudly served in the Army of the Potomac and the Army of the James. Today, the unit is based out of Spotsylvania County Virginia, and I am one of the proud representatives that brings the unit and their stories back to life. We plan on participating in numerous Sesquicentennial events, including an upcoming event on February 25th at the John J. Wright Museum. I hope to meet some of our readers at the events. In the meantime, I have provided information on the wartime and current unit below.

Recruitment – The 23rd Regiment United States Colored Troops (or 23rd Regiment United States Colored Infantry) was recruited in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD from November 23, 1863 until June 30, 1864. They were organized at Camp Casey, VA (near the location of the Pentagon today).

Armies – The 23rd was originally assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, of the IX Army Corps. This was an independent unit until May 24, 1864, when it was assigned to the Army of the Potomac. From September to December 1864, the 23rd was assigned the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, IX Corps, and in December, it was in the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division of the XXV Corps (an all-black Corps) in the Army of the James. After the war, they were assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division of the XXV Corps in the Department of Texas

Officers – The General-in-Chief of the United States Army was Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant. The commanding officer of the IX Army Corps was Major General Ambrose E. Burnside, and the 4th Division commander was Brigadier General Edward Ferrero. The Brigade commander was Colonel Henry G. Thomas. When they became part of the Army of the Potomac, Major General George Gordon Meade was the commanding officer. In the Army of the James, the commanding officer was Major General Benjamin Butler until January 1865; then, General Edward Ord commanded that Army. General Godfrey Weitzel commanded the XXV Corps. Colonel Henry G. Thomas was promoted to Brigadier General and commanded the division.

Service – The 23rd served in the following battles and campaigns:

Overland Campaign, May to June 1864
Battle of Petersburg, June 15 – 18, 1864
Siege of Petersburg and Richmond June, 1864 – April 2, 1865
Battle of the Crater – July 30, 1864
Weldon Railroad – August 18-21, 1864
Fort Sedgwick-September 28, 1864
Poplar Grove Church – September 29-30, 1864
Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher’s Run – October 27-28, 1864
Bermuda Hundred – December 13, 1864
Bermuda Hundred Front – December 1864 – March 1865
Appomattox Campaign, March 28th to April 9th, 1864
Hatcher’s Run – March 29-31, 1865
Fall of Petersburg – April 2, 1865
Pursuit of Lee – April 3 – 9, 1865
Surrender of Army of Northern Virginia – April 9, 1865
Duty in Department of Virginia until May
Department of Texas from May until November 1865
Mustered out November 30, 1865
emergingcivilwar.com 16 September 2011 Web. 20 February 2017.
https://emergingcivilwar.com/2012/02/16/fact-list-about-the-23rd-united-states-colored-troops-past-and-present/

Chancellorsville,_Virginia
Coordinates: 38°18′30″N 77°38′4″W
wikipedia.org 27 July 2001 Web. 10 December 2016.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chancellorsville,_Virginia

May 13–16: Reorienting the lines
Reorienting the lines, May 13–16

Despite the significant casualties of May 12, Grant was undeterred. He telegraphed to the Army’s chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck, “The enemy are obstinate and seemed to have found the last ditch.” He planned to reorient his lines and shift the center of potential action to the east of Spotsylvania, where he could renew the battle. He ordered the V and VI Corps to move behind the II Corps and take positions past the left flank of the IX Corps. On the night of May 13–14, the corps began a difficult march in heavy rain over treacherously muddy roads. Early on May 14, elements of the VI Corps occupied Myers Hill, which overlooked most of the Confederate line. Col. Emory Upton’s brigade skirmished most of the day to retain possession of the high ground. Grant’s command was too scattered and exhausted to undertake an assault against Spotsylvania Court House on May 14, which was unfortunate because Lee had left it practically undefended for most of the day. When he realized what Grant was up to, Lee shifted some units from Anderson’s First Corps to that area. Grant notified Washington that, having endured five days of almost continuous rain, his army could not resume offensive operations until they had 24 hours of dry weather.[42]
wikipedia.org 27 July 2001 Web. 10 December 2016.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Spotsylvania_Court_House

Image Credits;

10727 Piney Branch Road address of African American school google.com/maps
https://www.google.com/maps/place/10727+Piney+Branch+Rd,+Spotsylvania+Courthouse,+VA+22553/@38.2559967,-77.6389095,880m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x89b6beb12df03ae1:0x73a28757842aae32!8m2!3d38.2559925!4d-77.6367208

Piney Branch Baptist Church
Added by: MKlump 8/25/2011
findagrave.com 2 February 2001 Web. 20 June 2016.
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=2320364

Miller, Francis Trevelyan. (1912). “The photographic history of the civil war in ten volumes.” Vol. 4. New York, NY: The Review of Reviews Co. Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010. archive.org
p. 75 – Lancers in the Federal Cavalry
http://archive.org/stream/photographichis08lanigoog/page/n85/mode/1up?view=theater

Miller, Francis Trevelyan. (1912). “The photographic history of the civil war in ten volumes.” Vol. 4. New York, NY: The Review of Reviews Co. Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010. archive.org
p. 73 – Thomas Rosser
http://archive.org/stream/photographichis08lanigoog/page/n83/mode/1up?view=theater

Piney Branch Road and south showing Route 612 (Catharpin Road)
google.com/maps 13 October 2001 Web. 20 January 2017.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Piney+Branch+Baptist+Church,+Spotsylvania+Courthouse,+VA+22553/@38.2557979,-77.6366089,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x89b6beb132eadb31:0xe9cda54a4152b32a

“Battles and Leaders. Vol. 1.” (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010. archive.org
p. 126 – An Affair of Outposts
https://archive.org/stream/battlesleadersof01cent/page/126/mode/1up?view=theater

Map of battle May 15, 1864
npsfrsp.wordpress.com 7 April 2010 Web. 15 June 2010.
https://npsfrsp.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/in-our-midst-first-combat-of-the-uscts-north-of-the-james/

Chancellor House was the headquarters of General Joseph Hooker during the Battle of Chancellorsville, 1863. The general was knocked off his feet with a possible concussion when a Confederate artillery round smashed into a column that he was standing beside. Later, the general would take flight leaving the house to fall prey to heavy Confederate fire.
Date Published 1911 (photo 1863)
Source File from The Photographic History of The Civil War in Ten Volumes: Volume Two, Two Years of Grim War. The Review of Reviews Co., New York. 1911. p. 126.
wikipedia.org 27 July 2001 Web. 10 December 2016.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Chancellorsville/

Ruins of the Chancellorsville House (NOTE Previous entry)
Title: Chancellorsville (Ruins), State Routes 3 & 610, Chancellorsville, Spotsylvania County, VA. Historic American Buildings Survey, creator
loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 10 December 2016.
https://www.loc.gov/item/va0921/

Catharpin Road and Old Plank Road Intersection today 610 and 612
Google maps
street view
google.com/maps 13 October 2001 Web. 20 January 2017.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Piney+Branch+Baptist+Church/@38.286039,-77.6161999,184m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x89b6beb132eadb31:0xe9cda54a4152b32a!8m2!3d38.2559692!4d-77.6366845

or

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Old+Plank+Rd,+Fredericksburg,+VA+22407/@38.2859116,-77.6155089,3a,60y,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sZi7FlhvfN2_TcvjGCdrcTA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m5!3m4!1s0x89b6bf8fdbb558bb:0x4ada6c71e4a4b329!8m2!3d38.2861709!4d-77.590698

street view 11769 Catharpin Rd
Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia
google.com/maps 13 October 2001 Web. 20 January 2017.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/11769+Catharpin+Rd,+Spotsylvania+Courthouse,+VA+22553/@38.2830371,-77.6206127,3a,75y,34.04h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1s5ByvREUvoYzDxHVmzbD8Dg!2e0!6shttps:%2F%2Fstreetviewpixels-pa.googleapis.com%2Fv1%2Fthumbnail%3Fpanoid%3D5ByvREUvoYzDxHVmzbD8Dg%26cb_client%3Dsearch.gws-prod.gps%26w%3D86%26h%3D86%26yaw%3D34.040646%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i16384!8i8192!4m5!3m4!1s0x89b6bef0ad59de41:0xf16a94762ffade!8m2!3d38.2828692!4d-77.6202571

street view
11799 Catharpin Rd closer to old plank
Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia
google.com/maps 13 October 2001 Web. 20 January 2017.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/11799+Catharpin+Rd,+Spotsylvania+Courthouse,+VA+22553/@38.2835179,-77.6200625,3a,75y,229.23h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1ssopMg-GTm3AoN8RDI8n-gg!2e0!6shttps:%2F%2Fstreetviewpixels-pa.googleapis.com%2Fv1%2Fthumbnail%3Fpanoid%3DsopMg-GTm3AoN8RDI8n-gg%26cb_client%3Dsearch.gws-prod.gps%26w%3D86%26h%3D86%26yaw%3D229.22604%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i16384!8i8192!4m5!3m4!1s0x89b6bef0ad59de41:0x6a04af7d6da9fa99!8m2!3d38.2832644!4d-77.6198111

street view
11807 Catharpin Rd
Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia
google.com/maps 13 October 2001 Web. 20 January 2017.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/11807+Catharpin+Rd,+Spotsylvania+Courthouse,+VA+22553/@38.2833631,-77.6218532,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x89b6bef0ad59de41:0xe75371092a88c39e!8m2!3d38.2833589!4d-77.6196645

street view
11805 Catharpin Rd looking down Caparthin 23rd USCT view of Rosser
Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia
google.com/maps 13 October 2001 Web. 20 January 2017.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/11805+Catharpin+Rd,+Spotsylvania+Courthouse,+VA+22553/@38.2833379,-77.6218939,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x89b6bef0ad59de41:0x7cd144125304ba87!8m2!3d38.2833337!4d-77.6197052

Intersection of Old Plank Road and Catharpin Road
google.com/maps 13 October 2001 Web. 20 January 2017.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Piney+Branch+Baptist+Church/@38.2866011,-77.6175115,879m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x89b6beb132eadb31:0xe9cda54a4152b32a!8m2!3d38.2559692!4d-77.6366845

Edward Allen Hitchcock McDonald – Julia Davis Adams.
findagrave.com
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/143120024/edward-allen_hitchcock-mcdonald

Media Farm
National Register of Historic Places Inventory. Nomination Form for Media Farm / Media 1/1/93, last page not numbered
wvculture.org
https://wvculture.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Media-farm.pdf

“Battles and Leaders. Vol. 3”. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010. archive.org
p. 1. In the Van.
http://www.archive.org/stream/battlesleadersof03cent/page/1/mode/1up?view=theater

L. H. Tenney – frontispiece.
Luman H. Tenney Diary 1865-1866 – babel.hathitrust.org
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=loc.ark:/13960/t1pg2b07c&view=1up&seq=7&skin=2021

(detail) Siege of Petersburg – The colored Infantry Bringing in Captured Guns Amid Cheers of the Ohio Troops – Frank Leslie’s Weekly
Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. archive.org 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
http://www.archive.org/stream/importantevents00franrich/page/438/mode/2up?view=theater

Black cloud Luman Tenney Catharpin road May 15 1864 from Frank Leslies June 27, 1863 Port Hudson
Title: Bombardment of Port Hudson by Admiral Farragut’s fleet Assault of the Second Louisiana (Colored) regiment on the Rebel works at Port Hudson, May 27 from a sketch by our special artist. Illustration in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, 1863 June 27 pp. 440-441.
Date Created/Published: 1863 June 27.
Medium: 1 print (2 pages) : wood engraving.
loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 10 December 2016.
http://loc.gov/pictures/resource/cph.3c33081/

General Edward Ferrero
wikipedia.org 27 July 2001 Web. 10 December 2016.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Ferrero

Also (For general reference):

Frank Leslie’s illustrated history of the Civil War. The most important events of the conflict between the States graphically pictured. Stirring battle scenes and grand naval engagements … portraits of principal participants.
Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. archive.org 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
http://www.archive.org/stream/importantevents00franrich/page/440/mode/2up?view=theater

The First Virginia Cavalry at a halt, Antietam campaign. Pencil drawing by Alfred R. Waud, 1862. Reproduction number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-21554
loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 10 December 2016.
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/ppmsca.21554/

Thomas_L._Rosser
wikipedia.org 27 July 2001 Web. 10 December 2016.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_L._Rosser

CHAPTER 24 – The Crater Climax – Jasper’s Biggest, Bravest Fight by Jim Surkamp.

10989 words

https://web.archive.org/web/20190612213717/https://civilwarscholars.com/2017/03/jasper-thompsons-destiny-day-september-6-1906-by-jim-surkamp-the-crater/

FLICKR 64 images
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimsurkamp/albums/72157681927460936

Robert K. Beecham, a white, Wisconsin-born officer for the 23rd wrote they had recruited some “pretty hard cases” in Baltimore and Washington, but:

Unknown Soldier, United States Colored Troops Source: Library of Congress – nps.gov

“As a rule the men were sober, honest, patriotic and willing to learn and fulfill the duties of soldiers. . . The 2nd Wisconsin was not as sober and temperate as the 23rd U.S. Colored Troops, (in fact) there was never an organization of 1,000 men in all this broad, free America where a woman was held in greater esteem or her honor more sacred.” Beecham added the men “were not filthy, rather the opposite and for that reason if for no other, I would prefer to command a company or regiment of black, rather than white soldiers.”

Battles and Leaders. Vol. 2. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). p. 465 The rear of the column from a wartime sketch, p. 465 – archive.org
The Supply Train by Edwin Forbes as a part of his ‘Life Studies of the Great Army’ series, 1876 – collection1.libraries.psu.edu

The 23rd resumed escorting the infinite train of wagons to the front and returning with wounded to the ships at Belle Plain,

‘Bummers’, They’re Johnnies as Sure as You’re Born, Boys! by Edwin Forbes as a part of his ‘Life Studies of the Great Army’ series, 1876 – collection1.libraries.psu.edu

facing ambushes en route.

James Rickard signature – fold3.com ; dog – loc.gov

James Rickard wrote ( “Services with Colored Troops in Burnside’s Corps” by James H. Rickard. pp. 18-22 – books.google.com ):

“There were not ambulances enough for the emergency,

Battles & Leaders Vol. 2 p. 686 – archive.org

“and the baggage wagons had to be used.

Battles & Leaders Vol. 2 p. 367 – archive.org

“The roads were very rough; it was a most pitiful situation, the shrieks and groans of the men, as the

Get That Team Out of the Mud – Battles & Leaders Vol. 2 p. 192 – archive.org

“wheels would strike stumps or sink suddenly into holes in the deep ruts which had been formed. It was necessary to have a strong guard all the way with the teams, to prevent surprise and capture of the trains.

Autumn Morning on the Potomac by William Louis Sonntag Sr. – wikipedia.org

“I shall never forget a sight I beheld that morning.

The Leader of the Herd by Edwin Forbes as a part of his ‘Life Studies of the Great Army’ series, 1876 – collection1.libraries.psu.edu

“The cattle for the Ninth Corps were herded in a valley a mile or two in diameter, and they completely filled it, and at sunrise it was a magnificent sight as I beheld them from an eminence near by. . . .

Harper’s Weekly, August 22, 1863 – sonofthesouth.net

“Before crossing the James they were all eaten. This gives something of an idea what it took to supply provisions for such an army.

“The first sight for central Virginians of black men in blue coats with muskets and bayonets drew violence,

The Sanctuary by Edwin Forbes as a part of his ‘Life Studies of the Great Army’ series, 1876 – collection1.libraries.psu.edu

“consternation, fear or sublime joy for those enslaved. Their Redeemer had arrived.

fold3.com; dog – loc.gov

Wrote Sergeant John C. Brock:

Coming into the Lines by Edwin Forbes as a part of his ‘Life Studies of the Great Army’ – 1876 Pennsylvania State University. Special Collections Library. collection1.libraries.psu.edu

“The slaves come flocking to us from every part of the country. You see them coming in every direction, some in carts, some on their master’s horses, and great numbers on foot, carrying their bundles on their heads. They manifest their love for liberty by every possible emotion. As several of them remarked to me, it seemed to them like heaven, so greatly did they realize the difference between slavery and freedom. – “Making and Remaking Pennsylvania’s Civil War” edited by William Blair, William Pencak p. 152 quoting Brock – books.google.com

[White House Landing, Va. View down river, with supply vessels] from the main eastern theater of war, the Peninsular Campaign, May-August 1862. loc.gov

“They were all sent to White House Landing in wagons. From hence they are to be taken to Washington in transports.

“We have been instrumental in liberating some five hundred (152) of our brothers and sisters and brethren from the accursed yoke of human bondage” – Brock pp. 151-152 – books.google.com

HANGED FOR RAPE

[Execution of Private William Johnson, 23 regt., U.S.C.T.] 1864 Created/Published: New-Bedford, Mass. : Charles Taber & Co., manufacturers, loc.gov

June, 1864 – Pvt. William Johnson of the 23rd regiment confessed his guilt to the charges of desertion and rape and was executed and in plain view of the enemy, a white flag covering the ceremony. The site is near where the current visitor center sits.

Wrote blogger historian James “Jimmy” Price:

Map of Petersburg, Va. – 1862
The War of the Rebellion Atlas – digitalcollections.baylor.edu

June 15-18, 1864 – 23rd participates in the opening battles outside of Petersburg. Rebels under P.G.T. Beauregard hold on to the city, however, and a siege begins. The 23rd is engaged in building fortifications until late June.

Gen Ambrose Burnside – loc.gov
Battles & Leaders p. 548 – archive.org

In July, Gen. Burnside’s proposed mine attack against the Confederate lines along the Jerusalem Plank Road was underway.

Within the mine. Col. Pleasants superinting [sic] the arrival of powder by Alfred Waud – loc.gov

“Towards the end of the digging, members of the 23rd United States Colored Troops were employed to carry dirt from the mine in sacks.

Battles & Leaders Vol. 4 p. 550 archive.org
Battles & Leaders vol. 4 p. 548 archive.org

“They also hauled timber to the gallery [of the mine] for framing its sides.”

SOURCE: William H. Powell (major, U.S.A.) wrote in his article in the 4th volume of Battles & Leaders, entitled: “The Battle of the Petersburg Crater” pp. 545-560. archive.org

On the Eve of the Battle of the Crater – July 29th, 1864:

Music notation of the song the African-American troops sang to prepare for battle, as written down by Henry Gordon Thomas.

Song of the Colored Division Before Charging Into the Crater. Notation by Henry Goddard Thomas p. 564 and taken from the article “The Colored Troops at Petersburg” pp. 563-567 by Henry Goddard Thomas, Brevet Major-General, U.S.V. in Battles & Leaders Vol. 4.- archive.org Image [Wounded colored soldiers at Aikens Landing] by E. & H.T. Anthony (Firm)[New York City : E. & H.T. Anthony Co., photographed between 1862 and 1865, printed later] – loc.gov

“The black men in blue were in high spirits on the eve of the battle outside Petersburg. But when Gen. Thomas told them higher-ups took away their planned position as the leading attack division – the African-American division – of the four – they stopped singing that song.

“Until we fought the battle of the crater they sang this song (563) every night to the exclusion of all other songs. After that defeat they sang it no more.”

[Wounded colored soldiers at Aikens Landing] by E. & H.T. Anthony (Firm)[New York City : E. & H.T. Anthony Co., photographed between 1862 and 1865, printed later] – loc.gov

“About 3 am, the morning of the battle we were up after a short sleep under arms. Then came the soldiers’ hasty breakfast. This morning our breakfast was much like that on other mornings when we could not make fires: two pieces of hard-tack with a slice of raw, fat salt pork between, not a dainty meal, but solid provender to fight on. And black coffee.”

“When all preparations were made, we lay down for a little sleep, and were awakened shortly after daylight by the explosion and the terrible discharge of cannon, that made the ground tremble as by an earthquake.”

Sunrise over Plain, with Figures by Joseph Mallord William Turner – 1830
Tate Britain – London (United Kingdom – London) – web.archive.org

Thomas:

Before Petersburg at sunrise, July 30th 1864 by Waud, Alfred R. (Alfred Rudolph), 1864 July 30 – loc.gov

“At 4:45 came a dull, heavy thud, not at all startling;

“It was a heavy, smothered sound, (but) here was a mine blown up, making a crater from 150 to 200 feet long, 60 feet wide, and 30 feet deep,”

American Heritage Company
Diagram of the Crater Battles & Leaders Vol. 4 p. 549 – archive.org

Rickard:

“The First Division only went as far as the crater and stopped, and it was nearly an hour before the colored troops were ordered in, having been standing crowded in the covered ways leading up to the breastworks.”

Atlas of the War Against the Rebellion

“The First Division of white soldiers advanced with little opposition but jammed in the narrow, six foot passageway beside the crater, unable to advance. The 2nd Division, now under fire became stuck similarly and were being fired upon from along the breastworks and artillery in front,

driving them for the safety inside the crater. The same occurred with the 3rd Division of white soldiers. Their orders did not anticipate the jam in the passageways and close range gunfire

Their commanding officer Ledlie was elsewhere. . drunk – image: wikipedia.org

and their commander Gen. Ledlie who commanded the lead division was not there.”

The 23rd USCT Charges the Crater

Battles & Leaders Vol. 4 p. 552 – archive.org
fold3.com; loc.gov

“It seemed [to take] forever [to move forward]. The whole [division]…filed through a single parallel… we were hindered by officers and orderlies coming to the rear, the parallel being only six feet wide.” – Diary of Warren H. Hurd, 30 July 1864, Private Collection

“The crater was already too full; that I could easily see.”

“My brigade moved gallantly on right over the bomb-proofs and over the men of the First Division & as we mounted the pits, a deadly enfilade from eight guns on our right and a murderous cross-fire of musketry met us.

[Spotsylvania Court House, Va., vicinity. Burial of soldier by Mrs. Alsop’s house, near which Ewell’s Corps attacked the Federal right on May 19, 1864] by Timothy O’Sullivan – loc.gov

“Among the officers, the first to fall was the gallant Fessenden of the 23d Regiment.

“. . . Liscomb of the 23d then fell to rise no more; and then Hackhiser of the 28th and Flint and Aiken of the 29th. Major Rockwood of the 19th then mounted the crest and fell back dead, with a cheer on his lips.”

fold3.com

“Nor were these all; for at that time hundreds of heroes “carved in ebony” fell. These black men commanded the admiration and respect of everyone who beheld. (564)” – Thomas, Battles & Leaders Vol. 4

A painting, dated 1892, by J. André Castaigne (painting courtesy of the West Point Museum, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York). It depicts the 22nd United States Colored Troops engaged in the June 15-18, 1864, assault on Petersburg, Virginia – usps.com

“(565) About eight hundred feet from the crater, having been reached, we leaped from the works and endeavored to make a rush for the crest. . . .

“Lieutenant Christopher Pennell, hastened down the line outside the pits. With his sword uplifted in his right hand and the banner in his left, he sought to call out the men along the whole line of the parapet. In a moment, a musketry fire was focused upon him, whirling him round and round several times before he fell. . . and he probably sleeps among the unknown whom we buried (unrecognized) in the long deep trench we dug.”

Burial of the Union dead at Fredericksburg, December 15, 1862 (i.e. May 19 or 20, 1864. Working within the Confederate lines under a flag of truce. Our army had retreated, leaving our dead on the field by John C. Taylor – May, 1864 – loc.gov

After being driven back into the crater, Thomas reorganized his men and followed orders to charge and capture the Confederates at the crest.

The Confederate line as reconstructed at the crater – Battles & Leaders Vol. 4 archive.org p. 557
I then directed the commanders of the 23d, 28th, and 20th regiments to get their commands together.

“As I gave the order, Lieutenant-Colonel John A. Bross, taking the flag into his own hands, was the first man to leap from the works into the valley of death below. He had attired himself in full uniform, evidently with the intent of inspiring his men.

He had hardly reached the ground outside the works before he fell to rise no more. He was conspicuous and magnificent in his gallantry. The black men followed into the jaws of death, and advanced until met by a charge in force from the Confederate lines. (566)”

The 23rd charged forward but could not get past the crater itself.
Pvt. George Washington – Henry Kurtz Collection – USAMHI

“The black men formed up promptly. There was no flinching on their part. They came to the shoulder like true soldiers, as ready to face the enemy and meet death on the field as the bravest and best soldiers that ever lived.” – Lt. Beecham

The 12th Virginia leading the charge into “The Crater by John Elder – archive.org

Beecham and the rest of the 23rd held a portion of the crater until around 2 p.m. when the Confederates counter-attacked and swept over them, killing many men who were attempting to surrender. The 23rd sustained the heaviest losses of the entire Fourth Division.”

Of this last scene in the battle the Confederate General Bushrod R. Johnson says in his official report:

“I proceeded to concert a combined movement on both flanks of the crater. A third charge a little before 2 PM gave us entire possession of the crater and adjacent lines.” (image – wikipedia.org)
“These movements were all conducted by General Mahone, while I took the 22d and 23d South Carolina into the crater and captured three colors and 130 prisoners.” (image – wikipedia.org)

“One little band, after my second charge was repulsed, defended the entrenchments we had won from the enemy, exhibiting fighting qualities that I never saw surpassed in the war. This handful stood there without the slightest organization of company or regiment, each man for himself, until the enemy’s banners waved in their very faces. Then they made a dash for our own lines, and that at my order. It was now too late, as their second line of works was full of men, brought up from each flank, and our men were not only exposed to the terrible musketry fire in front, but to an enfilading fire of shell, grape and canister that no troops could withstand, and the charge was made through a line of white troops going to the rear. The slaughter was terrible.” – Thomas.

Gen. H. G. Thomas:
“I lost in all thirty-six officers and eight hundred seventy-seven men; total, nine hundred and thirteen. The Twenty-third Regiment entered at the charge with eighteen officers, it came out with seven. The Twenty-eighth entered with eleven officers, it came out with four. The Thirty-first had but two officers for duty that night.”

” Hereafter let no man say that black troops, led by graduates of Harvard and Yale, and the sons of the first families of the North, will not fight.”

Unknown Soldier, United States Colored Troops Source: Library of Congress – nps.gov
VIDEO VERSION 24 WITH VOICE TRACK, CLOSED CAPTIONING & MODIFIED CONTENT – START:1:47:41

References:

William Blair; William Pencak, eds. (2000). “Making and Remaking Pennsylvania’s Civil War.” University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press.
googlebooks.com 2 February 2003 Web. 20 January 2017.
pp. 151-153 – Sgt William Brock’s letter to “The Christian Recorder” from Camp near Hanover, Va, June 5, 1864.

Report of Brig. Gen. Edward Ferrero U. S. Army, commanding Fourth Division.
Title: The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies. ; Series 1 – Volume 36 (Part I). library.cornell.edu 11 December 1997 Web. 2 February 2017. p. 986.

Grant Ulysses S. (1886). “Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant.” Vol. 2. New York, NY: Charles L. Webster & Company. Internet Archives: archive.org. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 12 Feb. 2012.
p. 315 – The effort was a stupendous failure . . . and all due to inefficiency on the part of the corps commander and the incompetency of the division commander (Ledlie) who was sent to lead the assault.”

Hall, H. Seymour. (1906). “Mine Run To Petersburg from War Talks in Kansas, Volume 1.” Kansas City, MO.:Press of the Franklin Hudson Publishing company.

Hess, Karl J. “Into the Crater: The Mine Attack at Petersburg.” Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press.

Hurd, Warren H. Diary 30 July 1864, Private Collection; Christian Recorder 3 June 1865. books.google.com 24 November 2005 Web. 20 December 2016.

Kinard, Jeff. (1995). “The Battle of the Crater.” Fort Worth, TX: Ryan Place Publishers.

Powell, Maj. William H. “The Battle of the Petersburg Crater.”
“Battles and Leaders. Vol. 4”. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010. pp. 545-560.

James Price. “Freedom by the Sword: A Historian’s Journey Through The American Civil War” sablearm.blogspot.com 7 January 2011. Web. 10 January 2017.

Rickard, James H. (1894) “Services with Colored Troops in Burnside’s Corps.”
from Personal Narratives of events in the War of the Rebellion, being papers read before the Rhode island Soldiers and Sailors Historical Society. Fifth Series – No. 1(1894). Providence, RI: The Providence Press. googlebooks.com 2 February 2003 Web. 20 January 2017.
pp. 1-47.

Schmutz, John F. (2009). “The Battle of the Crater – A complete History.” Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & company, Inc. books.google.com 24 November 2005 Web. 20 December 2016.

Slotkin, Richard. “The Battle of the Crater.” July 29, 2014, The New York Times.
opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com 3 February 2006 Web. 29 July 2014.

Slotkin, Richard. (2009). “No Quarter: The Battle of the Crater 1864.” New York, NY: Random House, Inc.
googlebooks.com 2 February 2003 Web. 20 January 2017.

Stevens, Michael E. ed. (1999). “As If it Were Glory: Robert Beecham’s Civil War from the Iron Brigade to the Black Regiments.” Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. googlebooks.com 2 February 2003 Web. 20 January 2017. p. 184.

Bryce A. Suderow, “The Battle of the Crater: The Civil War’s Worst Massacre,” Civil War History Vol. 43 (September, 1997), p. 221.

Thomas, Gen. Henry G. “The Colored Troops at Petersburg.” in
“Battles and Leaders. Vol. 4”. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. archive.org 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010. pp. 563-567.

The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

Author: United States. War Dept.
Title: The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies
Other Title: Official records of the Union and Confederate armies
Publisher: Govt. Print. Off.
Place of Publication: Washington
MoA Volumes: Series I, 1-53; Series II, 1-8; Series III, 1-5; Series IV, 1-4 (1880-1901)
Cornell Digital Library Making of America: library.cornell.edu 11 December 1997 Web. 20 February 2017.

Volume XXXVI – in Three Parts. 1891. (Vol. 36, Chap. 48)
Chapter XLVIII – Operations in Southeastern Virginia and North Carolina. May 1-June 12, 1864.
Part I – Reports
Part II – Reports, Union and Confederate Correspondence, etc.
Part III – Union and Confederate Correspondence, etc.

Volume XL – in Three Parts. 1892. (Vol. 40, Chap. 52)
Chapter LII – Operations in Southeastern Virginia and North Carolina. June 13-July 31, 1864.
Part I – Reports

Union Maj. Gen. U.S. Grant first reports on the Crater and the institution of a Committee of Inquiry

CITY POINT, VA., July 30, 186410 a.m. Finding that my effort to surprise the enemy by sending an army corps and three divisions of cavalry to the north bank of the James River, under cover of night, for the purpose of getting on to the rail- roads north of Richmond, drew all of his forces from Petersburg except three divisions, I determined to attack and try to carry the latter place. The enemy’s earth-works are as strong as they can be made, and the ground is very broken and favorable for defense. Having a mine prepared running for a distance of eighty feet along the enemy’s parapet, and about twenty-two feet below the surface of the ground, ready loaded, and covered ways made near to his line, I was strongly in hopes, by this means of opening the way, the assault would prove successful. The mine was sprung a few minutes before 5 o’clock this morning, throwing up four guns of the enemy and burying most of a South Carolina regiment. Our men immediately took possession of the crater made by the explosion, and a considerable distance of the parapet to the right of it, as well as a short work in front, and still hold them. The effort to carry the ridge beyond, and which would give us Petersburg and the south bank of the Appomattox, failed. As the line held by the enemy would be a very bad one for us, being on a side hill, the crest on the side of the enemy, and not being willing to take the chances nf a slaughter sure to occur if another assault was made, I have directed the withdrawal of our troops to their old lines. Although just from the front, I have little idea of the casualties. I think, however, our loss will be but a few hundred, unless it occurs in withdrawing, which it may not be practicable to do before night. I saw about 200 prisoners taken from the enemy. Hancock and Sheridan returned from the north side of the river during the night, and are now here. U. S. GRANT, General. Maj. Gen.

To H. W. HALLECK, Chief of Staff. CITY POINT, VA., August 1, 1864. The loss in the disaster of Saturday last foots up about 3,500 of whom 450 men were killed and 2,000 wounded. It was the saddest affair I have witnessed in the war. Such opportunity for carrying fortifications I have never seen and do not expect again to have. The enemy with a line of works five miles long had been reduced by our previous movements to the north side of James River to a force of only three divisions. This line was undermined and blown up, carrying a battery and most of a regiment with it. The enemy were taken completely by surprise and did not recover from it for more than an hour. The crater and several hundred yards of the enemy’s line to the right and left of it and a short detached line in front of the crater were occupied by our troops without opposition. Immediately in front of this and not 150 yards off, with clear ground intervening, was the crest of the ridge leading into town, and which, if carried, the enemy would have made no resistance, but would have continued a flight already commenced. It was three hours from the time our troops first occupied their works before the enemy took possession of this crest. I am constrained to believe that had instructions been promptly obeyed that Petersburg would have been carried with all the artillery and a large number of prisoners without a loss of 300 men. It was in getting back to our lines that the loss was sustained. The enemy attempted to charge and retake the line captured from them and were repulsed with heavy loss by our artillery; their loss in killed must be greater than ours, whilst our loss in wounded and captured is four times that of the enemy.- U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant- General. Major-General HALLECK, Washington, D. C.

ADDENDA. CITY POINT, August 2, 1864 9.30 p.m.

To Major-General HALLECK, Chief of Staff:

I have the honor to request that the President may direct a court of inquiry, to assemble without delay at such place as the presiding officer may appoint, to examine into and report upon the facts and circumstances attending the unsuccessful assault on the enemy’s position in front of Petersburg on the morning of July 30, 1864, and also to report whether, in their judgment, any officer or officers are censurable for the failure of the troops to carry into successful execution the orders issued for the occasion, and I would suggest the following detail: Maj. Gen. W. S. Hancock, Brig. Gen. R. B. Ayres, Brig. Gen. N. A. Miles, Volunteer service; Col. E. Schriver, inspector-general and recorder. U. S. Grant, Lieutenant General
pp. 17-18.

Record of the Court of Inquiry on the Mine Explosion. RECORD OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF A COURT OF INQUIRY INSTITUTED BY VIRTUE OF THE FOLLOWING ORDER: SPECIAL ORDERS, 258 WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERALS OFFICE, No. 258. Washington, D. C., August 3, 1864. * * * * * * 43. By direction of the President, a Court of Inquiry will convene in front of Petersburg at 10 a.m. on the 5th instant, or as soon thereafter as practicable, to examine into and report upon the facts and circumstances attending the unsuccessful assault on the enemy’s position on the 30th of July, 1864. The Court will report their opinion whether any officer or officers are answerable for the want of success of said assault, and, if so, the name or names of such officer or officers. Detail for the Court: Maj. Gen. W. S. Hancock, U. S. Volunteers; Brig. Gem lit B. Ayres, U. S. Volunteers; Brig. Gen. N. A. Miles, U. S. Volunteers; Col. E. Schriver, inspector-general, U. S. Army, judge advocate. By order of the Secretary of War: E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant- General.

FIRST DAY. COURT-ROOM, HEADQUARTERS SECOND CORPS, August 6, 1864. The Court met pursuant to the foregoing orders: Present, Major-General Hancock, Brigadier-Generals Ayres and Miles, and Colonel Schriver, judge-advocate. The order instituting the Court was read and the Court and judge- advocate were sworn according to law. The judge-advocate then presented and read the orders issued from the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac on the 29th of July, 1864, containing the instructions for the guidance of all concerned ,in the operations against the enemy’s position before Petersburg on the 30th of July, as follows:

ORDERS. HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, July 29, 1864. The following instructions are issued for the guidance of all concerned:

  1. As soon as it is dark Major-General Burnside, commanding Ninth Corps, will withdraw his two brigades under General White, occupying the entrenchments between the plank and Norfolk roads, and bring them to his front. Care will be taken not to interfere with the troops of the Eighteenth Corps moving into their position in rear of the Ninth Corps. General Burnside will form his troops for assaulting the enemy’s works at daylight of the 30th, prepare his parapets and abatis for the passage of the columns, and have the pioneers equipped for work in opening passages for artillery, destroying enemy’s abatis, & c., and the entrenching tools distributed for effecting lodgment, & c.
  2. Major-General Warren, commanding Fifth Corps, will reduce the number of his troops holding the entrenchments of his front to the minimum and concentrate all his available force on his right, and hold them prepared to support the assault of Major-General Burnside. The preparations in respect to pioneers, entrenching tools, & c., enjoined upon the Ninth Corps will also be made by the Fifth Corps.
  3. As soon as it is dark Major-General Ord, commanding Eighteenth Corps, will relieve his troops in the trenches by General Motts division, of the Second Corps, and form his corps in rear of the Ninth Corps and be prepared to support the assault of Major-General Burnside.
  4. Every preparation will be made for moving forward the field artillery of each corps.
  5. At dark Major-General Hancock, commanding Second Corps, will move from Deep Bottom to the rear of the entrenchments now held by the Eighteenth Corps, resume the command of Motts division, and be prepared at daylight to follow up the assaulting and supporting columns, or for such other operations as may be found necessary.
  6. Major-General Sheridan, commanding Cavalry Corps, will proceed at dark from the vicinity of Deep Bottom to Lees Mill, and at daylight will move with his whole corps, including Wilson’s division, against the enemy’s troops defending Petersburg on their right by the roads leading to that town from the southward and westward.
  7. Major Duane, acting chief engineer, will have the pontoon trains parked at convenient points in the rear prepared to move. He will see that supplies of sand-bags, gabions, fascines, & c., are in depot near the lines ready for use. He will detail engineer officers for each corps.
  8. At 3.30 in the morning of the 30th Major-General Burnside will spring his mine and his assaulting columns will immediately move rapidly upon the breach, seize the crest in the rear, and effect a lodgment there. He will be followed by Major-General Ord, who will support him on the right, directing his movement to the crest indicated, and by Major-General Warren, who will support him on the left. Upon the explosion of the mine the artillery of all kinds in battery will open upon those points of the enemy’s works whose fire covers the ground over which our columns must move, care being taken to avoid impeding the progress of our troops. Special instructions respecting the direction of lire will be issued through the chief of artillery.
  9. Corps commanders will report to the commanding general when their preparations are complete, and will advise him of every step in the progress of the operation and of everything important that occurs.
  10. Promptitude, rapidity of execution, and cordial co-operation are essential to success, and the commanding general is confident that this indication of his expectations will insure the hearty efforts of the commanders and troops.
  11. Headquarters during the operation will be at the headquarters of the Ninth Corps.
    By command of Major-General Meade: S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.
    Whereupon the Court directed the judge-advocate to notify all the officers named therein of the institution and design of the Court, so as to enable them to be present during its sessions, which was done by addressing the following circular to each:

COURT-ROOM, HEADQUARTERS SECOND CORPS, August 6, 1864.
SIR: The Court of Inquiry instituted by War Department Special Orders, No. 258, of August 3, 1864, for the investigation of the facts and circumstances which attended the unsuccessful assault on the enemy’s lines before Petersburg on the 30th ultimo, will meet here on the 8th instant, and the days following, at 10 a.m., and l am directed to acquaint you thereof; so that you may be present at the Courts sessions should you desire to do so. Please acknowledge the receipt of this communication to me at the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac. Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
ED. SCHRIVER, inspector-General, Judge-Advocate. (Addressed to Major-Generals Meade, Burnside, Warren, Sheridan, and Ord, Brigadier-Generals White, Hunt, and Mott, and Major Duane.) The Court then adjourned to meet at 10 a.m. on the 8th instant.
pp. 42-44.

p. 44 – Gen. Meade sworn in for the first time

pp. 86-87 General Meade’s main testimony

pp. 58-75 – Gen. Ambrose Burnside full testimony

TESTIMONY OF LIEUT. GEN. U. S. GRANT.
Lieut. Gen. U. S. GRANT, U. S. Army, being sworn and

examined by the JUDGE-ADVOCATE, says: Question. Will you please to state what in your judgment caused the failure of the attack on the enemy’s lines on the 30th of July?

Answer. It seemed to me that it was perfectly practicable for the men, if they had been properly led, to have gone straight through the breach which was caused by the explosion of the mine, and to have gone to the top of Cemetery Hill. It looked to me, from what I could see and hear, that it was perfectly practicable to have taken the men through; but whether it was because the men themselves would not go, or whether it was because they were not led, I was not far enough to the front to be qualified to say.

Question. What orders which you issued were not executed, if any?

Answer. I could send you copies of all the dispatches that I wrote. The orders for the assault were issued by General Meade in obedience to general instructions from me. I saw the detailed order of General Meade before the mine was exploded, and I thought that the execution of that order was practicable. That order I presume you have before you. My order was to General Meade, and then General Meade made his order from what I directed him to do, and sent me a copy of it, and I thought It was all that could be required. I recollect that, failing on the north bank of the river to surprise the enemy as we expected or hoped to do, but instead of that drew a large part of his force to the north side, I telegraphed to General Meade that we would now take advantage of the absence of that force of the enemy to explode the mine and make an assault on Petersburg.

By the COURT: Question. From your information how many of the enemy were in Petersburg at the time of this assault?

Answer. My information was that three divisions were left in Petersburg, with one brigade absent from those divisions, (Gen. Bushrod Johnson’s). From the best evidence none of the enemy’s troops crossed the James River until 2 o’clock of the 30th of July, on their way back. Then they had fully sixteen miles to travel to get back, with, however, the advantage of a railroad near them to carry many of the men. The distance I guess at when I say sixteen miles.
pp. 82-83 – Gen. U.S. Grant.

TESTIMONY OF COL. H. G. THOMAS.

Col. H. G. THOMAS, Nineteenth U. S. Colored Troops, being duly sworn, says to questions by JUDGE-ADVOCATE:
Question. Were you at the assault on the 30th of July, and what was your command?

Answer. I was at the assault on the 30th of July, and commanded the Second Brigade, Fourth Division, Ninth Corps (colored troops).
Question. What was the formation of your troops in going to the assault?
Answer. The formation was by file left in front, which brought us faced by the rear rank when we made the charge. Question. The head of your troops struck the enemy’s line, where?
Answer. I forced my brigade around the right of the crater, contrary to orders, because the crater was so full that no man could get through that is, I left two staff officers to force them through. I went straight to the front and filed to the right, and went into these rifle-pits in the enemy’s line as far as the head of the First Brigade of our division, which I was ordered to support.
Question. Did you get beyond the line of the crater with your troops?
Answer. I did sir.
Question. flow far? Answer. I should say about between 300 and 400 yards to the right of the crater, and in front of it. I was ordered to support the First Brigade when it made its charge. Question. Did you get beyond the enemy’s line?
Answer. I did, sir. I led a charge which was not successful. The moment I reached the head of the First Brigade I started out the Thirty-first Colored Regiment which was in front, but it lost its three ranking officers in getting in position, and did not go out well.
Question. What, in your opinion, were some of the causes of the failure of the general assault on that day?
Answer. So far as I can judge from my own stand-point, my utter inability to make a decent charge with my own brigade was the fact that the pits into which we were sent were entirely occupied by dead and dying rebel troops and our own, from the First Division of our corps, General Ledlie’s. There was no room for us to move up. We were delayed, I should think, an hour and a half, in the covered way through which we moved, from the fact, so far as I can learn, that the First Division did not make the charge. We were to occupy the pits after they made the charge. (105)

Question. Do you know why the First Division did not go forward?
Answer. I do not, sir.
Question. Did you see any of the appliances for overcoming obstacles that usually accompany troops working parties with tools?
Answer. I saw no such preparations to remove obstacles in the enemy’s line. I had no such assistance.
Question Do you think the mode of marching up your command was a judicious one the form I mean?
Answer. No, sir; it was injudicious, for two reasons. First, we moved up by the flank. That I consider injudicious. And secondly, we were ordered up left in front which made us face by the rear rank, which was not a satisfactory way of
maneuvering.
Question. Was it a verbal or a written order, and by whom was it issued?
Answer. It was a verbal order issued by General Ferrero about 11 o’clock on the night before. The order to me that night was to go up by division, follow the First Brigade, and to move left in front. But early in the morning I learned from a staff officer whom I sent out to tell me when the First Brigade moved, that it was filing along the covered way. My instructions were to follow the First Brigade. I was detained at least an hour and a half in the covered way by the troops in front, and by the order of the assistant inspector-general of the corps. He, finding the pits into which we were to go full of troops, suspended the other order until lie could see General Burnside.
Question. How did your particular command retire from the front ?
Answer. In confusion.
Question. Driven?
Answer. Driven back by a charge of the enemy.
Question. And not by any orders?
Answer. No, sir; they received no orders. They were ordered to stop by myself and all my staff officers who were in the pits. When I got into this position on the right of the crater the fire was very severe; there was also a very severe enfilading fire from the right. I attempted one charge without success the moment I reached there. I could not get more than fifty men out. I sent word to General Burnside by Major Van Buren, of his staff as he was the only staff officer I saw in the pits except my own that unless a movement was made to the right to stop the enfilading fire not a man could live to reach the crest; but that I should try another charge in ten minutes, and hoped I would be supported. In about eight minutes I received a written order from General Ferrero in pretty near these words, Colonels Sigfried and Thomas, commanding First and Second Brigades: If you have not already done so, you will immediately proceed to take the crest in your front. It was signed in the ordinary official manner, By order of General Ferrero: George A Hicks , captain and assistant adjutant-general. I cannot produce that order because I destroyed it when I was captured in Petersburg. Colonel Sigfried had, I think, already received it as he was in the crater. I sent word to Colonel Sigfried’s brigade, on my right, where I supposed the colonel to be, that I was about to charge, that we should go over with a yell, and that I hoped to be supported. I went over with two regiments and part of a third, but I was driven back. The moment they came back the white troops in the pits all left and they after them. I was not supported at all in my charge.

Question. Where was the division commander all this time? Answer. I do not know. When I went up with my brigade he was in the bomb-proof on the left, with the commanding officer of the First Division. Generals Willcox, Ledlie, and Ferrero were in the bomb-proof on the left.

Question. Was the bomb-proof a good place to see what was going on?
Answer. No, sir; there were places near there here something could be seen, but the earth about the crater prevented almost anything being seen immediately to the left of it. The dirt was thrown up very high. There were, I think, however, places near there where a view could be got. (106)

Question. From what you know of affairs that day, is it your opinion that the assault ought to have been successful if the troops engaged in it had performed their duty?
Answer. Going up so late as I did I am not a good judge, but I think, from what I could see at the late hour at which I got in, that if the division that went in first had gone ahead there is no question of our taking the crest on that ridge (Cemetery Hill), hardly with the loss of a man. We waited in the covered way over an hour with almost no musketry on our right. We were detained there; we could not get up.
By the COURT:
Question. Did you ever go over that ground afterward?
Answer. I did, sir. Question. Under what circumstances? Answer. I went over it two days afterward, the 1st of August, when the flag of truce was out.
Question. Did you see anything in the nature of the enemy’s defenses that would change the opinion you formed on the day of the assault?
Answer. No, sir.
Question. Did you see any obstacles in the nature of the ground?
Answer. No, sir.
Question. Did you have an opportunity of seeing what the enemy had on the top of Cemetery Hill?
Answer. No, sir; I did not have an opportunity of seeing just what they might have had there.
Question. Did you see any works there?
Answer. No, sir; I did not think there were any.
Question. How did the colored troops behave?
Answer. They went up as well as I ever saw troops go up: well closed, perfectly enthusiastic. They came back very badly. They came back on a run, every man for himself. It is but justice to the line officers to say that more than two-thirds of them were shot, and to the colored troops that the white troops were running back just ahead of them.
pp. 104-107.

FINDING

The Court, after discussion with closed doors, adjourned to meet at 10 o’clock on the 9th of September. SEVENTEENTH DAY. HEADQUARTERS SECOND CORPS, The Court met pursuant to adjournment. September 9, 1864. Present, Major-General Hancock, president, Brigadier-Generals Ayres and Miles, and Colonel Schriver, judge-advocate. The proceedings of the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth days were read and approved. The Court, with closed doors, then resumed the discussion of the testimony, and decided on the following finding and opinion:

FINDING.

After mature deliberation on the testimony adduced the Court find the following facts and circumstances attending the unsuccessful assault on the 30th of July:

The mine, quite an important feature in the attack, was commenced by Major-General Burnside soon after the occupation of his present lines without any directions obtained from the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac. Although its location (and in this the engineers of the army concur) was not considered by Major-General Meade a proper one, it being commanded from both flanks and reverse, the continuance of the work was sanctioned.

It was not the intention of the lieutenant-general commanding or of the major-general commanding the Army of the Potomac, it is believed, to use the mine in the operations against Petersburg until it became known that the enemy had withdrawn a large part of his forces to the north side of the James River, when it was thought advantage might be taken of it in an assault. All the Union troops sent north of the James had been recalled in time to participate in the assault, so that the whole of the forces operating in front of Petersburg were disposable. The mine was ordered to be exploded at 3.30 a.m., but owing to a defective fuse it did not take place till 4.45. (126)

The detailed order or plan of operations issued by Major-General Meade is in accordance with General Grant’s instructions, and was seen and approved by the latter previous to its publication. (It is marked K in the Appendix.)

It is the concurrent testimony that had the order been carried out, success would have attended the attack. Also it is in evidence that General Meade met General Burnside and three of his division commanders the day before the assault and impressed upon them that the operation was one of time; that unless prompt advantage were taken of the explosion of the mine to gain the crest it would be impossible to get it or the troops to remain outside of their lines.

That order directed that General Burnside should form his troops (the Ninth Corps) for assaulting, and that General Ord, commanding the Eighteenth Corps, and General Warren, commanding the Fifth Corps, should support the assault on the right and left respectively. Major-General Burnsides order (No. 60, Appendix) directed Brigadier-General Ledlie’s division, immediately on the explosion of the mine, to be moved forward and crown the crest known as Cemetery Hill. Brigadier-General Willcox was to move his division forward as soon as possible after General Ledlie’s, bearing off to the left, and Brigadier-General Potter was to follow and go to the right. Brigadier-General Ferrero was to move his (colored) division next, and pass over the same ground that General Ledlie’s did.

Five minutes after the explosion of the mine General Ledlie’s division went forward, and it was followed by those of Generals Willcox and Potter, though it is in evidence that the latter did not move in the prescribed order, and that they were not formed in a manner to do the duty assigned them.

General Ledlie’s division, instead of complying with the order, halted in the crater made by the explosion of the mine and remained there about an hour, when Major-General Meade received the first intimation of the fact through a dispatch from Lieutenant-Colonel Loring, assist ant inspector-general of the Ninth Corps, intended for General Burnside, in which he expressed the fear that the men could not be induced to advance.

This crater was on the enemy’s line of works, and was 50 to 60 yards long, 20 yards wide, and 20 to 25 feet deep. It was about 500 yards from the cemetery crest.

General Burnside was then (at 5.40 a.m. ordered to push forward to the crest all his own troops, and to call on General Ord to move for- ward his troops at once. It is in evidence that when the order was communicated to General Ferrero, commanding the colored division, he said he could not put in his troops until the troops already in front should be moved out of the way. They did go forward, however, after some delay, but only to be driven back and in their flight to rush impetuously against other troops, destroying their formation and producing disorder.

At 6.10 a.m., inquiry being made of General Burnside if it would be an advantage for Warrens supporting force to go in at once on the left, the answer was there is scarcely room for it in our immediate front. The importance of the utmost promptness and the securing of the crest at once at all hazards were urged upon him at 6.50 a.m.

At 7.20 a.m. General Burnside reported to General Meade that he was doing all in his power to push forward the troops, and, if possible, carry the crest, and also that the main body of General Potters division was beyond the crater. It does not appear in evidence, however, (127) that they ever got any considerable distance, not exceeding 200 yards, beyond the crater toward the crest, whence they were driven back
immediately. This was also the fate of the few colored troops who got over the enemy’s line for a moment.

At 9 a.m. General Burnside reported many of the Ninth and Eighteenth Corps were retiring before the enemy, and then was the time to put in the Fifth Corps. It having just been reported, however, by two staff officers (not General Burnsides) that the attack on the right of the mine had been repulsed, and that none of the Union .troops were beyond the line of the crater the commanding general thought differently, and the lieutenant-general concurring General Burnside was directed at 9.50 a. m. to withdraw to his own entrenchments immediately or at a later period, but not to hold the enemy’s line any longer than was required to withdraw safely his men. This order brought General Burnside to General Meade’s headquarters, where he remonstrated against it, saying by night-fall he could carry the crest. No other officer who was present, and who has testified before the Court, concurred in this opinion. The troops in the crater were then ordered to retire, but before it could be effected they were driven out with great loss at 2 p.m. These troops, however, were making preparations to retire, and but for that would probably not have been driven out at that time.

The Fifth Corps did not participate at all in the assault, and General Ord’s command only partially, because the condition of affairs at no time admitted of their co-operation as was contemplated by the order of assault.
The causes of failure are:

  1. The injudicious formation of the troops in going forward, the movement being mainly by flank instead of extended front. General Meade’s order indicated that columns of assault should be employed to take Cemetery Hill, and that proper passages should be prepared for those columns. It is the opinion of the Court that there were no proper columns of assault. The troops should have been formed in the open ground in front of the point of attack parallel to the line of the enemy’s works. The evidence shows that one or more columns might have passed over at and to the left of the crater without any previous preparation of the ground.
  2. The halting of the troops in the crater instead of going forward to the crest when there was no fire of any consequence from the enemy.
  3. No proper employment of engineer officers and working parties, and of materials and tools for their use, in the Ninth Corps.
  4. That some parts of the assaulting column were not properly led.
  5. The want of a competent common head at the scene of the assault to direct affairs as occurrences should demand.

Had not failure ensued from the above causes, and the crest been gained, the success might have been jeopardized by the failure to have prepared in season proper and adequate debouchays through the Ninth Corps lines for troops, and especially for field artillery, as ordered by Major-General Meade. The reasons why the attack ought to have been successful are:

  1. The evident surprise of the enemy at the time of the explosion of the mine and for some time after.
  2. The comparatively small force in the enemy’s works.
  3. The ineffective fire of the enemy’s artillery and musketry, there being scarcely any for about thirty minutes after the explosion, and our artillery being just the reverse as to time and power. (128)
  4. The fact that some of our troops were able to get 200 yards beyond the crater toward the crest, but could not remain there or proceed farther for want of supports or because they were not properly formed or led.

OPINION.

The Court having given a brief narrative of the assault, and the facts and circumstances attending it, it remains to report that the following- named officers engaged therein appear from the evidence to be answerable for the want of success which should have resulted:

I. Maj. Gen. A. E. Burnside, U. S. Volunteers, he having failed to obey the orders of the commanding general.

  1. In not giving such formation to his assaulting column as to insure a reasonable prospect of success.
  2. In not preparing his parapets and abatis for the passage of the columns of assault.
  3. In not employing engineer officers, who reported to him, to lead the assaulting columns with working parties, and not causing to be provided proper materials necessary for crowning the crest when the assaulting columns should arrive there.
  4. In neglecting to execute Major-General Meade’s orders respecting the prompt advance of General Ledlie’s troops from the crater to the crest; or, in default of accomplishing that, not causing those troops to fall back and give place to other troops more willing and equal to the task, instead of delaying until the opportunity passed away, thus affording time for the enemy to recover from his surprise, concentrate his fire, and bring his troops to operate against the Union troops assembled uselessly in the crater. Notwithstanding the failure to comply with orders and to apply proper military principles ascribed to General Burnside, the Court is satisfied he believed that the measures taken by him would insure success.

II. Brig. Gen. J. H. Ledlie, U. S. Volunteers, he having failed to push forward his division promptly according to orders and thereby blocking up the avenue which was designed for the passage of troops ordered to follow and support his in the assault. It is in evidence that commander reported to General Burnside that his troops could not be got forward, which the Court regards as a neglect of duty on the part of General Ledlie, inasmuch as a timely report of the misbehavior might have enabled General Burnside, commanding the assault, to have made other arrangements for prosecuting it before it became too late. Instead of being with his division during this difficulty in the crater, and by his personal efforts endeavoring to lead his troops forward, he was most of the time in a bomb-proof ten rods in rear of the main line of the Ninth Corps works, where it was impossible for him to see anything of the movement of troops that was going on.

III. Brig. Gen. Edward Ferrero, U. S. Volunteers.

  1. For not having all his troops formed ready for the attack at the prescribed time.
  2. Not going forward with them to the attack.
  3. Being in a bomb-proof habitually, where he could not see the operation of his troops, showing by his own order issued while there that he did not know the position of two brigades of his division or whether they had taken Cemetery Hill or not. (129)

IV. Col. Z. R. Bliss, Seventh Rhode Island Volunteers, commanding First Brigade, Second Division, Ninth Corps. In this, that he remained behind with the only regiment of his brigade which did not go forward according to the orders and occupied a position where he could not properly command a brigade which formed a portion of an assaulting column, and where he could not see what was going on.

V. Brig. Gen. 0. B. Wilicox, U. S. Volunteers.
The Court is not satisfied that General Willcox’s division made efforts commensurate with the occasion to carry out General Burnsides order to advance to Cemetery Hill, and they think that more energy might have been exercised by Brigadier-General Wilicox to cause his troops to go forward to that point. Without intending to convey the impression that there was any disinclination on the part of the commanders of the supports to heartily co-operate in the attack on the 30th of July, the Court express their opinion that explicit orders should have been given assigning one officer to the command of all the troops intended to engage in the assault when the commanding general was not present in person to witness the operations.

WINFD S. HANCOCK, Major- General, U. S. Volunteers, President of Court. ED. SCHRIVER, – Inspector-General U. S. Army, Judge-Advocate. The court then adjourned sine die. WINFD S. HANCOCK, Major- General, U. S. Volunteers, President of Court. ED. SCHRIVER, Inspector-General U. S. Army, Judge-Advocate.

pp. 125-129 – FINDING of the Court

Report of Confederate General Bushrod Johnson, commanding, on The Crater battle:
pp. 791-792 key excerpts
In the events of the 30th of July there will perhaps be found nothing more heroic or worthy of higher admiration than this conduct of the Twenty-second and Twenty-third South Carolina Regiments. Colonel Goode, commanding Wise’s brigade, caused the Fifty-ninth Virginia Regiment, under Captain Wood, to be formed in a ditch running perpendicular to the rear of the main work, and when the enemy attempted some five times to form in rear of the breach for the purpose of charging to the right, and after they had planted four colors on the line, by which the movement designated was to be made, this regiment, under Captain Wood, and the Twenty-sixth Virginia Regiment, under Captain Steele, with the Twenty-second and Twenty-third South Carolina Regiments and two guns of battery near the junction of the Baxter and Jerusalem plank roads, opened with a fire that drove them precipitately back to the crater.

In this way the conflict was maintained from 5 till nearly 10 a. m. with coolness and steadiness by deter- mined men and officers on both flanks of the breach, and with a success worthy of. much praise and with great damage to the enemy. The assailing force of the enemy, consisting of the Ninth and parts of two other army corps, was directed upon the breach at Pegram’s salient, and was held in check by little more than three regiments of Elliott’s, two regiments of Ransoms, and two regiments of Wises brigades, with the efficient aid of artillery, especially of Wright’s battery and the four mortars, under Captain Lamkin, on the Jerusalem plank road. The enemy also made considerable demonstration in front of Wise’s brigade, and appeared in front of their works on south side of Baxter road. On the left of the crater a large force was advanced to threaten the works occupied by Ransom’s brigade. It came forward in irregular order and took shelter at the foot of a steep hill, which descends to Taylors Creek, in front of that portion of our line. This force was engaged without any important results by Ransoms brigade and the right howitzer of Slaten’s battery.

Our whole line, from the right of Colquitt’s to the left of Gracie’s brigade, suffered from artillery fire. The Sixty-first North Carolina Regiment, of Hoke’s division, sent to re-enforce the troops engaged at the breach, arrived at the same time with Mahone’s division and proceeded to form in the ravine in rear of Pegram’s salient for the purpose of charging the enemy in the breach. General Mahone had placed one brigade in position, and was waiting for the second to come up, when the enemy advanced upon his line of battle. He met their advance by a charge, in which the Twenty-fifth and Forty-ninth North Carolina and the Twenty-sixth and part of the Seventeenth South Carolina Regiments, all under Colonel Smith, of Elliott’s brigade, gallantly joined, moving upon the left of General Mahone’s line. The enemy was driven from three-quarters of the trench cavalier and most of the works on the left of the crater, with moderate loss to our forces and heavy losses to the enemy, especially in prisoners. During this charge a large number of the enemy’s troops, black and white, abandoned the breach and fled precipitately to their rear. Upon this fleeing mass, in full view from our works on the right of the Baxter road, the left regiments of Wises brigade poured a raking fire at the distance of from 150 to 500 yards, while the left gun of Davidsons battery (which Colonel Goode had manned with a company of the Thirty-fourth Virginia Regiment, under Capt. Samuel D. Preston) discharged upon them several rounds of canister. (792)

It is proper here to state that Captain Preston was wounded, and Edward Bagby, aide-de-camp to Colonel Goode, commanding brigade, was killed while serving this gun, and that Capt. A. F. Bagby, with Company K, Thirty-fourth Virginia Regiment, then took charge of it and served it with fine effect until near the close of the action. The first charge having failed in completely dislodging the enemy I ordered all of my available forces to press steadily on both flanks with a view to their final expulsion.

Between 11 and 12 am. a second unsuccessful charge having been made by Wrights brigade, of Mahone’s division, I proceeded to concert a combined movement on both flanks of the crater, to which most of the enemy’s troops were now drawn. By arrangement a third charge was made a little before 2 p.m., which gave ns entire possession of the crater and the adjacent lines. This charge was made on the left and rear of the crater by Sanders brigade, of Mahone’s division, by the Sixty-first North Carolina, of Hoke’s division, and Seventeenth South Carolina Regiments, of this division. The last two regiments, under Major Culp, of the Seventeenth South Carolina Regiment, Elliott’s brigade, advanced on the right of Sanders brigade. These movements on the left were all placed under the direct supervision of General Mahone, while I proceeded to the right to collect what troops I could from the thin line on that flank to co-operate in the charge and divide the force of the enemy’s resistance. The time allotted only permitted me to draw out the Twenty-third and the fragments of the Twenty-second South Carolina Regiment, under Captain Shedd. They moved gallantly forward as soon as the main line was seen advancing on the heft, and entered the crater with the troops of that line, capturing 3 stand of colors and about 130 prisoners. Previous to this charge the incessant firing kept up by our troop~ on both flanks and in rear had caused many of the enemy to run the gauntlet of our cross-fires in front of the breach, but a large number still remained, unable to advance, and perhaps afraid to retreat. The final charge was therefore made with little difficulty, and resulted in the complete re-establishment of our lines and the capture of many additional prisoners.

pp. 791-792 key excerpt.

Image Credits:

Robert K. Beecham
wisconsinhistory.org 24 July 2001 Web. 10 January 2017.

Unknown Soldier, United States Colored Troops
Source: Library of Congress
nps.gov 13 April 1997 Web. 10 January 2017.

Battles and Leaders. Vol. 2. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. archive.org 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
p. 465 The rear of the column from a wartime sketch

Title: The Supply Train
Description Etching created by Edwin Forbes as a part of his ‘Life Studies of the Great Army’ series, documenting military life in the Army of the Potomac.
Creator Forbes, Edwin, 1839-1895
Date Original 1876
libraries.psu.edu 6 February 1997 Web. 10 January 2017.

Title: ‘Bummers’, They’re Johnnies as Sure as You’re Born, Boys!
Description Etching created by Edwin Forbes as a part of his ‘Life Studies of the Great Army’ series, documenting military life in the Army of the Potomac.
Creator Forbes, Edwin, 1839-1895
Date Original 1876
libraries.psu.edu 6 February 1997 Web. 10 January 2017.

James Rickard signature
fold3.com 16 September 2011 Web. 5 December 2017.

Battles and Leaders. Vol. 2. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. archive.org 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
p. 192 – Get that team out of the mud

Battles and Leaders. Vol. 2. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. archive.org 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
p. 367 Union troops building a corduroy road

Battles and Leaders. Vol. 2. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. archive.org 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010. p. 686 – In the Wake of Battle
archive.org 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 12 Feb. 2012.

Shenandoah Valley by William Louis Sonntag, Sr – 1859-1860
the-athenaeum.org 23 May 2002 Web. 20 December 2016.

Title: The Leader of the Herd
Description Etching created by Edwin Forbes as a part of his ‘Life Studies of the Great Army’ series, documenting military life in the Army of the Potomac. Creator: Forbes, Edwin, 1839-1895. Date Original: 1876. libraries.psu.edu February 1997 Web. 10 January 2017.

Harper’s Weekly, August 22, 1863 The Army of the Potomac Drawing Rations.
sonofthesouth.net Start date unavailable Web. 20 February 2017.

Sergeant John C. Brock:
fold3.com 16 September 2011 Web. 5 December 2017.

Edwin Forbes Civil War Etchings Home Page
Penn State University Libraries. collection1.libraries.psu.edu February 1997 Web. 10 January 2017.

Title: Scenes About the Countryside: ‘Gone of with the Yankees,’ A Land Flowing with Milk and Honey, A Scouting Party, An Old Campaigner. Description: Etching created by Edwin Forbes as a part of his ‘Life Studies of the Great Army’ series, documenting military life in the Army of the Potomac. Creator: Forbes, Edwin, 1839-1895
Date Original: 1876
libraries.psu.edu February 1997 Web. 10 January 2017.

Title: Coming into the Lines
Description Etching created by Edwin Forbes as a part of his ‘Life Studies of the Great Army’ series, documenting military life in the Army of the Potomac.
Creator Forbes, Edwin, 1839-1895
Date Original 1876
libraries.psu.edu February 1997 Web. 10 January 2017.

Title: The Sanctuary
Description Etching created by Edwin Forbes as a part of his ‘Life Studies of the Great Army’ series, documenting military life in the Army of the Potomac. Creator: Forbes, Edwin, 1839-1895
Date Original: 1876
libraries.psu.edu February 1997 Web. 10 January 2017.

Title: [White House Landing, Va. View down river, with supply vessels]
Summary Photograph from the main eastern theater of war, the Peninsular Campaign, May-August 1862.
Created / Published: 1862.
loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 10 December 2016.

Sgt William Brock’s letter to “The Christian Recorder” from Camp near Hanover, Va, June 5, 1864. from William Blair and William Pencak, eds. – pp. 151-153
googlebooks.com 2 February 2003 Web. 20 January 2017.

5001 Siege Road
Petersburg National Battlefield
Prince George, VA 23875
google.maps.com 5 March 2007 Web. 10 January 2017.

Hanging of William Johnson
Title: [Execution of Private William Johnson, 23 regt., U.S.C.T.]
Date Created/Published: New-Bedford, Mass. : Charles Taber & Co., manufacturers, [1864]
Medium 1 photographic print on carte de visite mount : albumen ; 6 x 10 cm.
loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 10 December 2016.

image Jimmy Price – sablearm.blogspot.com 7 January 2011. Web. 10 January 2017.

Title: Map of the vicinity of Petersburg, Va. 1862
Publication Info: Washington : Government Printing Office
Date: 1864/06/09
Publication Date: 1891
digitalcollections.baylor.edu 18 February 2012 Web. 20 January 2017.

P. G. T. Beauregard 1818 – 1893
wikipedia.org 27 July 2001 Web. 10 December 2016.

Title: [Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside (reading newspaper) with Mathew B. Brady (nearest tree) at Army of the Potomac headquarters]
Date Created/Published: [1864 June 11 or 12]
Medium: 1 negative (2 plates) : glass, stereograph, wet collodion.
Summary: Photograph from the main eastern theater of the war, Burnside and Hooker, November 1862-April 1863.
loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 10 December 2016.

Battles and Leaders. Vol. 4. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. archive.org 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
p. 548 – cross section of mine

Music notation Battles and Leaders. Vol. 4. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. archive.org 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
p. 564.

Title: [colored soldiers at Aikens Landing]
Contributor Names: E. & H.T. Anthony (Firm)
Created / Published: [New York City : E. & H.T. Anthony Co., photographed between 1862 and 1865, printed later]
loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 10 December 2016.

Henry G. Thomas 1837-1897
wikipedia.org 27 July 2001 Web. 10 December 2016.

Image – Thomas, p. 565.
archive.org 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.

Sunrise over Plain, with Figures
Joseph Mallord William Turner – 1830
the-athenaeum.org May 2002 Web. 20 December 2016.

Alfred R. Waud 6 Drawings Petersburg Crater
loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 10 December 2016.

Title: Before Petersburg at sunrise, July 30th 1864
Creator(s): Waud, Alfred R. (Alfred Rudolph), 1828-1891, artist
Date Created/Published: 1864 July 30.
loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 10 December 2016.

Title: Scene of the explosion Saturday July 30th
Creator(s): Waud, Alfred R. (Alfred Rudolph), 1828-1891, artist
Date Created/Published: [1864] July 30.
loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 10 December 2016.

Title: Union veterans of trench and field before Petersburg Dec. 1864
Other Title: corrected title Union soldiers entrenched along the west bank of the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg
Creator(s): Russell, Andrew J., photographer
Date Created/Published: [photographed 1863, printed later]
loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 10 December 2016.

Wounded in action July 30th, 1864
Warren H. Hurd 23rd USCT
fold3.com 16 September 2011 Web. 5 December 2017.

The Charge of the USCT 23rd to the Crater
archive.org 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 12 Feb. 2012.

Title: Mine, Petersburg
Creator(s): Waud, Alfred R. (Alfred Rudolph), 1828-1891, artist
Date Created/Published: [1864 ca. July 30] loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 10 December 2016.

Zelotis Fessenden
fold3.com 16 September 2011 Web. 5 December 2017.

John Hackhiser
fold3.com 16 September 2011 Web. 5 December 2017.

William Flint
fold3.com 16 September 2011 Web. 5 December 2017.

H.H. Aiken
fold3.com 16 September 2011 Web. 5 December 2017.

Theodore Rockwood
fold3.com 16 September 2011 Web. 5 December 2017.

Battles and Leaders. Vol. 4. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. archive.org 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
p. 567 – Image Christopher Pennell

Title: [Spotsylvania Court House, Va., vicinity. Burial of soldier by Mrs. Alsop’s house, near which Ewell’s Corps attacked the Federal right on May 19, 1864]
Summary: Photograph from the main eastern theater of war, Grant’s Wilderness Campaign, May-June 1864. Contributor Names: O’Sullivan, Timothy H., 1840-1882, photographer. Created / Published: [1864 May 20] loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 10 December 2016.

Title: Fredericksburg, Virginia. Burial of Federal dead
Related Names: O’Sullivan, Timothy H. 1840-1882 , former attribution
Date Created/Published: 1864 May [19 or 20].
loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 10 December 2016.

Battles and Leaders. Vol. 4. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. archive.org 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
p. 557 – The Confederate Line at the Crater

John A. Bross 1826-1864
findagrave.com 2 February 2001 Web. 20 June 2016.
http://content.wisconsinhistory.org/cdm/ref/collection/tp/id/55643
fold3.com 16 September 2011 Web. 5 December 2017.

Memorial of Colonel John A. Bross, Twenty-Ninth U.S. Colored Troops, Who Fell in Leading the Assault on Petersburgh, July 30, 1864.
content.wisconsinhistory.org 20 October 2003 Web. 10 February 2017.

Pvt. George Washington – Henry Kurtz Collection – USAMHI.

John Elder’s famous painting of the 12th Virginia leading the charge into “The Crater”
twelfthva.tripod.com 18 April 2001 Web. 20 January 2017.

Bushrod Johnson
wikipedia.org 27 July 2001 Web. 10 December 2016.

William Mahone
wikipedia.org 27 July 2001 Web. 10 December 2016.

Henry G. Thomas, Battles and Leaders. Vol. 4. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. archive.org 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 12 Feb. 2012.
p. 567.

Battles and Leaders. Vol. 2. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. archive.org 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
p. 675 – two image charging line and firing line

The Crater as seen from the Union side – dead
Battles and Leaders. Vol. 4. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. archive.org 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
p. 554

Defiance (also known as Inviting a Shot before Petersburg)
Winslow Homer – 1864
the-athenaeum.org 23 May 2002 Web. 10 February 2017.

Robert Gould Shaw
wikipedia.org 27 July 2001 Web. 10 December 2016.

CHAPTER 25 – Conclusion: Jasper Thompson’s Destiny Day September 6, 1906 by Jim Surkamp.

11018 words

https://web.archive.org/web/20190612204649/https://civilwarscholars.com/2017/03/jasper-thompsons-destiny-day-september-6-1906-by-jim-surkamp-conclusion-draft/

FLICKR 121 photos
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimsurkamp/albums/72157678711522843

This post corresponds to the VIDEO on youtube and the start time of 2:01:29.

SPRING, 1865 – WAR ENDS – LIFE AND FREEDOM – BEGIN FOR JASPER AND DOLLY THOMPSON

courtesy Monique Crippen-Hopkins
[Dead Confederate soldier in the trenches of
Fort Mahone, Petersburg, Virginia]
Roche, T. C., photographer
Created / Published [1865 Apr.]
loc.gov
Antietam, Maryland. A lone grave
Creator(s): Gardner, Alexander,
Date Created/Published: 1862 Sept.
loc.gov – loc.gov

The dirt and blood went on ’till spring. Vast dead on the open fields no longer caused tears or sighs,

Dolly Thompson – courtesy Monique Crippen-Hopkins

but to think of one person – Dolly – lit Jasper’s sustaining dream of that day he would walk through the door in Jefferson County a free man, hoping to become a husband, a father, and a pillar in his church.

Jasper Thompson – courtesy Monique Crippen-Hopkins
Returning Home by Gilbert Gaul Birmingham Museum of Art gift of John Meyer
Washington home – Claymont – WVU Library West Virginia & Regional History Center

Claymont was quiet. The fences gone ever since Gen. Sheridan took them and the Washington cattle were sent south with the Union army – their walking food supply: Washington beef cooked over the fire made of Washington fence rails.

Philip Sheridan by Mathew Brady wikipedia.org
The Leader of the Herd – by Edwin Forbes – collection1.libraries.psu.edu
A Cow in the Pastures – Constant Troyon – 1856

The Washingtons were allowed just one “milch cow.” That was punishment by Sheridan for taking in two of their visiting close kin — soldiers: James C. Washington and Herbert Lee Alexander.

James C. Washington – Zion Episcopal Churchyard – findagrave.com – Bill Jordan
fold3.com
Herbert Lee Alexander – findagrave.com – Zion Episcopal Churchyard – Monte Harding
fold3.com

Sheridan had forbidden their release because he firmly believed, with little evidence, they fought for Mosby’s partisans. They both died before 1867 because prison hardships quickened their frailties. (Tombstone Inscriptions, p. 353, p. 378).

wikipedia.org

A NORTHERN JOURNALIST VISITS CHARLES TOWN WHERE SOME WHITE FOLK SEETHE FROM THEIR HUMILIATION.

John Townsend Trowbridge – wikipedia.org

That summer of 1865, John Trowbridge wrote that Charles Town seethed in resentment. “The war feeling here is like a burning bush with a wet blanket wrapped around it.

(left) Bathhouse keeper Berkeley Springs, Va. by David Hunter Strother

Looked at from the outside, the fire seems quenched. But just peep under the blanket and there it is, all alive and eating, eating in. The wet blanket is the present government policy; and every act of conciliation shown the Rebels is just letting in so much air to feed the fire.”

Godey’s September, 1862 – nypl.org

“The townspeople passed on the sidewalk, ‘daughters and sons of beauty,’ for they were mostly a fine-looking, spirited class; one of whom, at a question which I put to him, stopped quite willingly and talked with us.

September 13, 1858 by David Hunter Strother – West Virginia and Regional History Collection
Acc. No.:P.95.30.12

“I have seldom seen a handsome young face, a steadier eye, or more decided pose and aplomb, neither have I ever seen the outward garment of courtesy so plumply filled out with the spirit of arrogance. His brief replies spoken with a pleasant countenance, yet with short, sharp downward inflections, were like pistol shots. . . And no wonder.

“His coat had an empty sleeve. The arm which should have been there had been lost fighting against his country. His almost savage answers did not move me; but all the while I looked with compassion at his fine, young face, and that pendant idle sleeve.

Autumn Morning on the Potomac by William Louis Sonntag – Los Angeles County Museum of Art – wikipedia.org

“His beautiful South was devastated, and her soil drenched with the best blood of her young men.

VISITING IN 1865 WHERE JOHN BROWN WAS HANGED DECEMBER, 1859 – THE SPARK THAT LED TO THE WAR

“Walking through town, we came to other barren and open fields on the further side.

black woman with neckerchief by David Hunter Strother Acc. No.:P.95.30.387pg27b West Virginia and Regional History Collection
Map of Jefferson County, Virginia / by S. Howell Brown from actual survey with the farm limits – 1852 – loc.gov; (insert) ID 006571 Hanging of John Brown at Charles Town, W. Va. by Strother, David Hunter West Virginia History OnView wvhistoryonview.org

“Here we engaged a bright young colored girl to guide us to the spot where John Brown’s gallows stood. She led us into the wilderness of weeds waist-high to her as she tramped on, parting them before her with her hands. . . A few scattering groves skirted them; and here and there a fence-less road drew its winding, dusty line away over the arid hills.

John Brown (hanged) by David Hunter Strother Acc. No.:P.95.30.394pg20b West Virginia and Regional History Collection

‘This is about where it was, ’ said the girl, after searching some time among the tall weeds.”

THE WASHINGTON MEN WHO WENT WITH THE CONFEDERACY NOW FACED ECONOMIC RUIN.

Rebecca Janet Cunningham Washington – ancestry.com

Bushrod Corbin Washington returned from years of fighting, adjusting to the departure of his widowed mother to become a missionary in Asia. He re-married, faced almost insurmountable financial odds that would eventually force him to sell Claymont out of the family and start over in Washington State.

Richard Blackburn Washington’s family felt the loss of what Gen. Sheridan’s men took the previous November when they also captured and took away the two young Washingtons – Herbert and James.

Richard Blackburn Washington and Bushrod Corbin Washington (from A History of the Laurel Brigade by William McDonald)

Both Richard and Bushrod had wartime losses but their alliances with the Confederacy during the war, either fighting or providing supplies, disqualified both from any claim for compensation for their material losses, and those that November were substantial:

500 bushels of potatoes,

four horse loads of straw,

3000 pounds of bacon,

200 cords of firewood,

30,000 rails for fire wood, four horse wagon loads of stacked wheat, 200 bushels of housed corn,

40 tons of timothy hay,

150 head of sheep,

100 head of hogs,

30 head of fat beef cattle, four mules and three horses.

Farmers Nooning 1836 by William Sidney Mount artsandculture.google.com
Harvesters at Rest – artnet

Though they lived next door, neither Solomon nor Jasper’s names appear among those hired by Bushrod Corbin’s farm or in payment records after the war.

Bushrod Corbin Washington’s Farm Diary 1867-1871 – Perry Room, Charles Town, Library
[African-American soldiers mustered out at Little Rock, Arkansas]
by Alfred Waud Published in Harper’s Weekly, May 19, 1866 – loc.gov

Resentment at their lot could easily have translated into not seeking the services from a former 1st Sergeant of the U.S. Colored Troops to till and grow their corn and wheat, or tend their hogs.

Prospect Hill – courtesy the Washington Family – Schley, Anna W. and Linnie Schley. (1941). “Old Homes of the Leetown Neighborhood.” Magazine of the Jefferson County Historical Society. Charles town, WV: JCHS.
pp. 4-16

Solomon and his family appeared to have found living arrangements at Bushrod Washington Herbert’s Prospect Hill that had been expanded over time to include the house, other buildings, a barn and even a graveyard. They would have fit in, joining Solomon’s sister, Matilda, and brother Richard.

Solomon Thompson (left), Jasper’s father – courtesy Monique Crippen-Hopkins
wikipedia.org

Solomon and son Jasper would likely be hired at Henry B. Davenport’s farm, Altona, immediately north and adjacent to the Washington farms,

West Virginia Regional and History Center
Google Maps

Henry B. Davenport of Altona, in some twenty years, would transfer his deed to the land for the homestead of Solomon and then Jasper’s family.

Jasper Thompson – courtesy Monique Crippen-Hopkins

As one who had seen hell and survived, Jasper plunged into his new life.

Of those years, Beverly Douglas Taylor of Charles Town related from his family’s history that African-American communities were starting all across Jefferson County, vivified by the new freedom, owning one’s own land, with a church and a school.

Jefferson County Clerk Deed Room

Jasper and Dolly joyously married October 28, 1869 with Beverly Kirk, presiding.

Spirit of Jefferson – chronicling america – loc.gov
Edouard Marquis, Creole Women of Color Out Taking the Air, 1867 – Louisiana State Museum
(semblance) Moxley’s Brass Band
Margaret Doleman and Moxley drum – courtesy Washington County Historical Society

On Thursday, October 21st, less than a month later, Jasper took a lead in organizing an impressive big event in Charlestown for the new organization: the Order of Industry, a celebration that included a procession to Bushrod Washington Herbert’s “woods” with a band playing followed by speechifying. The editor of the Spirit of Jefferson in Charlestown, Benjamin F. Beall, lavished praise on the event:

“Last Thursday was a gala day with our (African) American citizens, and they enjoyed it hugely; but in a manner creditable to them, and in a style which would have reflected no discredit upon any community.

“It seems that there exists in our midst a society of the colored people known as the “Order of Industry,” and it was the members of this society, arrayed in appropriate regalia, and the two Sabbath Schools of the town, that made up the procession. — To the first, there was a banner presented by the “colored ladies” of the town, in front of the old Court-House. Upon this banner was the significant motto, “By industry we thrive.”

“The presentation was by Miss Houk, and the reception by Jasper Thompson, both of whom acquitted themselves very well. After these exercises, the procession moved to Herbert’s Woods, headed by Moxley’s Brass Band from Hagerstown. – Spirit of Jefferson, October 26, 1869 – p. 3 col. 1

Storer College Musical Group Members, Harper’s Ferry, W. Va. – Date: 1873. includes Robert Trent, Portia Lovett, Mary Ella Dixon, and Charlie Hale, Walter Johnson, Alberta Redmond, Hamilton Keys, and Mertia Lovett – storercollege.lib.wvu.edu
Courtesy Monique Crippen-Hopkins
Gibsontown today – Google Maps
Jim Surkamp

Dolly and Jasper began their own in-house community when Solomon H. Thompson was born August, 1870. (Monique Crippen Hopkins) – the first of fifteen children.

The first, Solomon; the fifth, named Jasper R.; and the thirteenth child, Frances – would keep the family memory fires aburnin’.

Jasper and Dolly’s first born Solomon H. – would carry the family’s ways forward and far away, preserving its legacy with a powerful mind and dedication.

SOLOMON H. THOMPSON’S MAJESTIC INNER DRIVE

Drawing of Dr. Solomon H. Thompson, Sr.
Howlett, J. Homer, “S.H. Thompson, M.D.” Date: Saturday, July 20, 1895 Paper: Topics (Kansas City, Kansas) Page: 4. genealogybank.com
Protecting the Groceries – fineartamerica.com

He was certainly among the young scholars who attended Littleton Page’s school for African-American children, located conveniently right next door to the second Baptist Church. Littleton Page would very likely have taught all the subsequent Thompson children, because they lived a short walk from the school.

First school building used by freed African-Americans in Charles Town
(left) Kept In by Edward Lamson Henry; David Hunter Strother – wikipedia.org

David Hunter Strother, who was a famous writer/illustrator for Harper’s New Monthly Magazine and who grew up in the eastern Panhandle, dropped in on such a school nearby and very much in the same spirit of the Page’s Charlestown classrooms in 1874. (“On Negro Schools, by David Hunter Strother – Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, September, 1874 pp.

Littleton Page – courtesy James L. Taylor; road photo Biscoe brothers Jefferson County 1880s – West Virginia and Regional History Collection

“In winter (it) is always full to overflowing. In summer the attendance is reduced one-half owing to the necessity of the older pupils going out to service, or engaging in remunerative labor of some sort.

(detail) Harper’s Ferry, [W.] Va., 1894 by Edward Lamson Henry – Morse Museum, Winter Park, Florida
morsemuseum.org

“The children were of both sexes, ranging from three to twenty years of age, neatly and comfortably clad, well fed, healthy, and cheerful, with an uncommon array of agreeable and intelligent countenances peering over the tops of the desks. They were also remarkably docile, orderly, and well mannered, without a trace of the rudeness among those who don’t go to school.

“Every thing moves by the silvery tinkling of a small table-bell. The boys and girls are seated in separate columns, and make their entrances and their exits by opposite doors.

Rosenthal, Max (Lithographer); L. Franklin Smith, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1865 – loc.gov
The Chimney Corner by Eastman Johnson 1863 – Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, New York – eastmanjohnson.org

“While the majority of the pupils have come into existence since the Emancipation Proclamation, there is still a number older than that event, and some whose recollections antedate the great war. Yet in their career of schooling they have all started even, and it is rather curious and amusing to remark the utter absence of any thing like gradation in size or equality in years.

William Henry Snyder (1829–1910) Tutoring the Children at a Quiet Time b-womeninamericanhistory19.blogspot.com

“It may also be observed that the great scholars are usually outstripped by the little ones, which only goes to confirm the generally received opinion that young plants are more easily transplanted and trained than older ones.

Solomon H. Thompson – was one such young plant that grew and grew, majestically fed by his inner drive.

Wrote one newspaper editor (Howlett, J. Homer, “S.H. Thompson, M.D.” Date: Saturday, July 20, 1895 Paper: Topics (Kansas City, Kansas) Page: 4. genealogybank.com):

Image of early Storer College campus Harpers Ferry NHP Museum Collection, Catalog #11427

“He attended his home school until he finished and entered Storer College at the age of 13 years and in 1886 he graduated, but claimed that his education was not completed. Not having satisfied his craving for knowledge and ambition to fully prepare himself for life’s battle, he immediately

St. John’s College – Fordham, New York (postcard_ – ouroldneighborhood.com

entered Fordham University and at the expiration of a three years course, the last year of which was spent in the office of a physician, he began the study of medicine earnestly until the year of 1889. He determined to leave for Washington, D.C. where

Howard University Medical School in 1892, the year Solomon Thompson graduated – collections.nlm.nih.gov

he matriculated at Howard University. Two months after his admission to said university he was successful and given the appointment of resident student to the hospital a place that is highly prized by all medical students. He retained this position until he graduated in April, 1892.

Map of Kansas City, Missouri, U.S. (c. 1900)
britannica.com

His brother, Jasper or “Jack” Thompson was moving towards medicine also. Both brothers would wind up in Kansas City, Kansas for the balance of their lives and remarkable contributions.

Solomon H.’s notebook – courtesy Monique Crippen-Hopkins

All this time the conscientious Solomon H. was collecting information from his graying forebears while it was still to be had all about his family, down the back road of time.

Changing Horses – americangallery.wordpress.com

The Thompsons, Nelsons and Saunders – families that worked for the Blakeley/Claymont Washingtons for many years, still lived near one another and the old farms.

From the “Down Memory Lane” section of the Spirit of Jefferson Farmer’s Advocate, courtesy of Edward W. (Pat) Dockney, Jr.)

They gravitated to the services of the white-led First Baptist Church in Charlestown as they were beginning to raise families.

Crayon, Porte (Strother, D. H.). “On Negro Schools.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. Volume 47 Issue: 282 (September, 1874)


His church congregation supported them and paid for Jesse Saunders to study at the Richmond Theological School. Charlestown businessman William Hill, a white Baptist, provided much of the funds for the new Rev. Saunders for him to have his own Church congregation, which was built at its present location, (but an earlier structure than today’s), on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue at the intersection of Summit Point Road and Middleway (Rte. 51) Pike. It was called – the “Second Baptist Church.”

Taylor, Evelyn M.E. (1999). “Historical Digest – Jefferson County: West Virginia’s African-American Congregations 1859-1994” Washington, D.C.: Mid-Atlantic Regional Press.

On August 6, 1881 their church was completed to receive the Holy Spirit. Its first board of trustees, were William Braxton, Ben Nelson – and Jasper Thompson.

Spirit of Jefferson, June 5, 1883
wvencyclopedia.org – Drivin’ Steel

On June 12, 1903, The Martinsburg Statesman of Martinsburg reported that two hundred African Americans left Kabletown and Rippon to coal towns in Pennsylvania and southwest, West Virginia

by David Hunter Strother – Harper’s New Monthly Magazine November, 1873

Late summer in Jefferson County stands out on the calendar for the heaviest rain storms in decades – a month of rains. Thousands of bullets and materiel on the Antietam Battlefield came to the earth’s surface.

nps.gov
From North George Street in the distance Courthouse, Charles Town, West Virginia, WV, Jefferson County, 1890-1910.

First, the guests make a pilgrimage to Charles Town five miles away and pose before the courthouse where John Brown’s raiders were convicted of treason against the state of Virginia.

Niagara Movement members outside the Jefferson County Courthouse in Charles Town, West Virginia, August 1906. Courtesy of the Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

W.E.B. DuBois stood before both men and women for the first time in public and on American soil. He stated the principles of a soon to-be formed organization, to become known as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People:

W.E.B. Du Bois in Cyberspace FEBRUARY 12, 2015 | BY JOSHUA STERNFELD
neh.gov

The battle we wage is not for ourselves alone but for all true Americans. It is a fight for ideals, lest this, our common fatherland, false to its founding, become in truth, the land of the thief and the home of the slave, a byword and a hissing among the nations for its sounding pretensions and pitiful accomplishments. In detail, our demands are clear and unequivocal. First, we would vote; with the right to vote goes everything: freedom, manhood, the honor of your wives, the chastity of your daughters, the right to work, and the chance to rise, and let no man listen to those who deny this.We want full manhood suffrage, and we want it now, henceforth and forever!

Program showing Richard Thompson providing music for the Niagara Movement meeting at Harpers Ferry in 1906 – in the Niagara Movement exhibit on Washington Street at the Harpers Ferry National Historic Park

A local church group sang from Charles Town with one Richard Thompson, likely the relation to Jasper, listed among the chorale.

Crayon, Porte (Strother, D. H.). “On Negro Schools.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. Volume 47 Issue: 282 (September, 1874). p. 463.
Painting showing a line of meeting delegates, with suits and umbrellas, crossing a field to gather in front of a small building. “Marching to a Monument For Freedom” portrays the delegates of a meeting of the Niagara Movement, held at Harpers Ferry in August of 1906. By Richard Fitzhugh, 1994. Courtesy of Richard Fitzhugh.

On the last day – a Sunday – the attendees in their Sunday finest – picked their way over soggy lands – their fine shoes in hand – to see the building that was the lightning rod of conflict for the struggle. Standing in a characterless open field stood the real “John Brown Fort,” in 1859 once the Armory engine house. Today, the brick crucible for freedom

Life went on.

Shepherdstown Community Club

The skies cleared August 31st – a Friday – in time for the eagerly anticipated Morgans Grove County Fair and accompanying horse show featuring a hundred entrants. Dry ground meant visitors could set up their family sized tents and stay all through the Fair. That began Tuesday September 4th.

In two days, something terrible happened.

Snyder, Harry Lambright III. (1999). “John Snyder 1823-1864: A Soldier and His Family.” self-published. Print.

Snyder clearly did not know Jasper Thompson’s character – or care:

A Tragedy on Charles Town District

A fatal tragedy, attended by some peculiar circumstances, occurred last Thursday afternoon at Gibsontown, a negro settlement about two miles south of Charles Town. A man named Samarion, who says that his father was a Hindoo and his mother an Egyptian woman, came to this country from Sidney, Australia, some eighteen months ago and located near Charles Town. He was a music teacher, and earned his living by following his profession. He incurred the enmity of his negro neighbors by advising them to accept white supremacy as a settled fact, and his views upon this subject are said to have aroused strenuous animosity of Jasper Thompson, a colored man, who, it is said, advocated negro equality and was particularly officious at elections in opposing the white majority. Under the leadership of Thompson, the negroes of the neighborhood are said to have been persecuting Samarion and his wife in various ways, Thursday Samarion notified Thompson to keep his hogs out his (Samarion’s) lot of he would kill them. This started the trouble afresh. Sometime during the afternoon Thompson went to Samarion’s house. Samarion says that his enemy threatened to kill him and made a motion to draw a pistol. Samarion quickly pulled his own revolver and shot Thompson twice, and the wounded man walked a few steps and fell dead.

Sarmarion’s word was all they had.

wikipedia.org
wvtourism.com

The next March, Circuit Judge Faulkner gave Samarion two years in Moundsville penitentiary.

So it goes.

Monique Crippen Hopkins:

So, one day, I was just doing my research on the Thompson family like I ordinarily do – and

Shelley Murphy said to me: “There’s somebody I think you need to meet.” I said: “OK.” So she put me in touch with Joyceann Gray. Me and Joyceann realized that we were related through marriage.

Her Cross family had married my Thompson family – three different times. So I told Joyceann that I had a lot of information and we started sharing information. I said: “I have a quote from the Thompson family and our family has some history out at the University of Kansas because two of the Thompson sons moved out there.” She wanted to see it. She said: ”Can you send me that quote?”

(I said “yeh.” I didn’t think about it. (delete) (After Monique sent the quote) – She wrote back to me and said: “I sent (the quote) off. Is that OK?” and I was excited . . . actually ordered it.”

Well that quote came back less than a week later and my entire family history was on this page.

Slave names and everything. Unbelievable, So surreal. I get chills just thinking about them. My entire family history. So that led me back two more generations to the original Jasper Thompson who was enslaved by John and Elizabeth Ariss, and his kids – Fortune – was of the Blakeley plantation; and then Fortune’s kids ended up somehow on the Claymont plantation. I’m not exactly sure where that transfer came from. I don’t know how they went back and forth from Claymont to Blakeley.

That’s where most of my research comes in. There’s plenty of documentation. Even after finding this family history page, Sarah Brown led me to a website that was put up by Scott Casper. He had tables of slaves listed and who owned them from the Washington family. I found my family. Just as they are listed on my family Bible page, they were listed on these tables that Scott had posted up, which led me to even more research. The whole research on the Thompson family has been one of the most amazing journies in my research. So that’s pretty much my story about the Thompson family history.

References:

Beeline Chapter NSDAR. (1981). “Tombstone Inscriptions Jefferson County, West Virginia 1687-1980.” Charles Town, WV. NSDAR. p. 353; p. 378.

Trowbridge, John T. (1866). “The South: a tour of its battlefields and ruined cities, a journey through the desolated states, and talks with the people: being a description of the present state of the country – its agriculture – railroads – business and finances.” Hartford, Conn., L. Stebbins. Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. archive.org 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 12 Feb. 2012.
pp. 69-74.- Trip to Charlestown.

John Trowbridge’s visit to Mount Vernon September, 1865:
On a day of exceeding sultriness (it was the fourth of September) I left the dusty, stifled streets of Washington, and went on board the excursion steamer Wawaset, bound for Mount Vernon, Ten o’clock, the hour of starting, had nearly arrived. No breath of air was stirring. The sun beat down with torrid fervor upon the boat’s awnings, which seemed scarce a protection against it, and upon the glassy water, which reflected it with equal intensity from below. Then suddenly the bell rang, the boat swung out in the river, the strong paddles rushed, and almost instantly a magical change took place.

A delightful breeze appeared to have sprung up, increasing as the steamer’s speed increased. I sat upon a stool by the wheelhouse, drinking in all the
deliciousness of that cooling motion through the air, and watching compassionately the schooners with heavy and languid sails lying becalmed in the channel, — indolent fellows, drifting with the tide, and dependent on influences from without to push them, — while our steamer, with flashing wake, flag gaily flying, and decks swept by wholesome, animating winds, resembled one of your energetic, original men, cutting the sluggish current, and overcoming the sultriness and stagnation of life by a refreshing activity. On we sped, leaving far behind the Virginia long-boats, with their pointed sails on great poles swung aslant across the masts, — sails dingy in color and irregular in shape, looking, a little way off, like huge sweet potatoes. Our course was southward, leaving far on our right the Arlington estate embowered in foliage on the Virginia shore; and on our the Navy Yard and Arsenal, and the Insane Asylum standing like a stem castle, half hidden by trees, on the high banks back from the river. As we departed from the wharves, a view of the city opened behind us, with its two prominent objects, — the unfinished Washington Monument, resembling in the distance a tall, square, pallid sail; and the many-pillared, beautiful Capitol, rising amid masses of foliage, with that marvelous bubble, its white and airy dome, soaring superbly in the sun. Before us, straight in our course, was Alexandria, quaint old city, with its scanty fringe of straight and slender spars, and its few anchored ships suspended in a glass atmosphere, as it seemed, where the river reflected the sky. We ran in to the wharves, and took on board’ a number of passengers ; then steamed on again, down the wide Potomac, until, around^ a bend, high on a wooded shore, a dim red roof and a portico of slender white pillars appeared visible through the trees. It was Mount Vernon, the home of Washington. The shores here, on both the Maryland and Virginia sides, are picturesquely hilly and green with groves. The river between flows considerably more than a mile wide : a handsome sheet, reflecting the woods and the shining summer clouds sailing in the azure over them, although broad belts of river-grass, growing between the channel and the banks like strips of inundated prairie, detract from its beauty. As we drew near, the helmsman tolled the boat’s bell slowly. “Before the war,’ said he, “no boat ever passed Mount Vernon without tolling its bell, if it had one. The war kind of broke into that custom, as it did into most everything else ; but it is coming up again now.” We did not make directly for the landing, but kept due on down the channel until we had left Mount Vernon half a mile away on our right. Then suddenly the steamer changed her course, steering into the tract of river-grass, which waved and tossed heavily as the ripple from the bows shook it from its drowsy languor. The tide rises here some four feet. It was low tide then, and the circuit we had made was necessary to avoid grounding on the bar. We were entering shallow water. We touched and drew hard for a few minutes over the yielding sand. The dense grass seemed almost as serious an impediment as the bar itself. Down among its dark heaving masses we had occasional glimpses of the bottom, and saw hundreds of fishes darting away, and sometimes leaping sheer from the surface, in terror of the great, gliding, paddling monster, invading, in that strange fashion, their peaceful domain.

Drawing a well-defined line half a mile long through that submerged prairie, we reached the old wooden pier, built out into it from the Mount Vernon shore. I did not land immediately, but remained on deck, watching the long line of pilgrims going up from the boat along the climbing path and disappearing in the woods. There were, perhaps, a hundred and fifty in the procession, men and women and children, some carrying baskets, with intent to enjoy a nice little picnic under the old Washington trees. It was a pleasing sight, rendered interesting by the historical associations of the place, but slightly dashed with the ludicrous, it must be owned, by a solemn tipsy wight bringing tip the rear, singing, or rather bawling, the good old tune of Greenville, with maudlin nasal twang, and beating time with profound gravity and a big stick. As the singer, as well as his tune, was tediously slow, I passed him on the way, ascended the long slope through the grove, and found my procession halted under the trees on the edge of it. Facing them, with an old decayed orchard behind it, was a broad, low brick structure, with an arched entrance and an iron-grated gate. Two marble shafts flanked the approach to it on the right and left. Passing these, I paused, and read on a marble slab over the Gothic gateway the words, — “Within this enclosure rest the remains of General George Washington.” The throng of pilgrims, awed into silence, were beginning to draw back a little from the tomb. I approached, and leaning against the iron bars, looked through into the still chamber. Within, a little to the right of the center of the vault, stands a massive and richly sculptured marble sarcophagus, bearing the name of “Washington.” By its side, of equal dimensions, but of simpler style, is another, bearing the inscription, “Martha, the consort Washington.”

It is a sequestered spot, half enclosed by the trees of the grove on the south side, — cedars, sycamores, and black-walnuts, heavily hung with vines, sheltering the entrance from the mid-day sun. Woodpeckers flitted and screamed from trunk to trunk of the ancient orchard beyond. Eager chickens were catching grasshoppers under the honey-locusts, along by the old wooden fence. And, humming harmlessly in and out over the heads of the pilgrims, I noticed a colony of wasps, whose mud-built nests stuccoed profusely the yellowish ceiling of the vault. There rest the ashes of the great chieftain, and of Martha his wife. I did not like the word “consort.” It is too fine a term for a tombstone. There is something lofty and romantic about it; but “wife” is simple, tender, near to the heart, steeped in the divine atmosphere of home, — “A something not too bright and good For human nature’s daily food.” She was the wife of Washington: a true, deep-hearted woman, the blessing and comfort, not of the Commander-in-Chief not of the first President, but of the man. And Washington, the MAN, was not the cold, majestic, sculptured figure which has been placed on the pedestal of history. There was nothing marble about him but the artistic and spotless finish of his public career. Majestic he truly was, as simple greatness must be; and cold he seemed to many; — nor was it fitting that the sacred chambers of that august personality should be thrown open to the vulgar feet and gaze of the multitude. It is familiar. “Yet shine forever virgin minds, Beloved by stars and purest winds, Which, o’er passion throned sedate, Have not hazarded their state; Disconcert the searching spy, Rendering, to the curious eye. The durance of a granite ledge to those who gaze from the sea’s edge.” Of these virgin minds was Washington. The world saw him through a veil of reserve, as habitual to him as the scepter of self-control. Yet beneath that veil throbbed a fiery nature, which on a few rare occasions is known to have flamed forth into terrible wrath. Anecdotes, recording those instances of volcanic eruption from the core of this serene and lofty character, are refreshing and precious to us, as showing that the ice and snow were only on the summit, while beneath burned those fountains of glowing life which are reservoirs of power to the virtue and will that know how to control them. A man of pure, strong, constant affections, his love of tranquil domestic enjoyments was as remarkable as his self-sacrificing patriotism. I know not Washington’s “consort”; but to me a very sweet, beautiful, and touching name is that of “Martha, Washington’s wife.” Quitting the tomb, I walked along by the old board fence which bounds the corner of the orchard, and turned up the locust-shaded avenue leading to the mansion. On one side was a wooden shed, on the other an old-fashioned brick barn.

Passing these, you seem to be entering a little village. The out-houses are numerous; I noticed the wash-house, the meat-house, and the kitchen, the butler’s house, and the gardener’s house, — neat white buildings, ranged around the end of the lawn, among which the mansion stands the principal figure. Looking in at the wash-house,
I saw a pretty-looking colored girl industriously scrubbing over a tub. She told me that she was twenty years old, that her husband worked on the place, and that a bright little fellow, four years old, running around the door, handsome as polished bronze, was her son. She formerly belonged to John A. Washington, who made haste to carry her off to Richmond, with the money the Ladies’ Mount Vernon Association had paid him, on the breaking out of the war. She was born on the place, but had never worked for John A. Washington. “He kept me hired out; for I suppose he could make more by me that way.” She laughed pleasantly as she spoke, and rubbed away at the wet clothes in the tub. I looked at her, so intelligent and cheerful, a woman and a mother, though so young; and wondered at the man who could pretend to own such a creature, hire her out to other masters, and live upon her wages. I I have heard people scoff at John A. Washington for selling the inherited bones of the great, — for surely the two hundred thousand dollars, paid by the Ladies’ Association for the Mount Vernon estate, was not the price merely of that old mansion, these out-houses, since repaired, and two hundred acres of land, — but I do not scoff at him for that. Why should not one, who dealt in living human flesh and blood, also traffic a little in the ashes of the dead? “After the war was over, the Ladies’ Association sent for me from Richmond, and I work for them now,” said the girl, merrily scrubbing. “What wages do you get? ” “I get seven dollars a month, and that’s better than no wages at all!” laughing again with pleasure. “The sweat I drop into this tub is my own ; but before, it belonged to John A. Washington.” As I did not understand her at first, she added, “You know, the Bible says every one must live by the sweat of his own eyebrow. But John A. Washington, he lived by the sweat of my eyebrow. I always had a willing mind to work, and I have now; but I don’t work as I used to; for then it was work to-day and work to-morrow, and no stop.”

Beside the kitchen was a well-house, where I stopped and drank a delicious draught out of an “old oaken bucket,” or rather a new one, which came up brimming from its cold depths. This well was dug in General Washington’s time, the cook told me; and as I drank, and looked down, down into dark shaft at the faintly glimmering water, — for the well was deep, — I thought how often the old General had probably come up thither from the field, taken off his hat in the shade, and solaced his thirst with a drink from the dripping bucket. Passing between the kitchen and the butler’s house, you come upon a small plateau, a level green lawn, nearly surrounded by a circle of large shade-trees. The shape of this pleasant esplanade is oblong at the farther end, away on the left, is the ancient entrance to the grounds; close by on the right, at the end nearest the river, is the mansion. Among the shade-trees, of which there are a great variety, I noticed a fine sugar-maple, said to be the only individual of the species in all that region. It was planted by General Washington, who wished to see what trees would grow in that climate, the gardener told me. It has for neighbors, among many others, a tulip-tree, a Kentucky coffee-tree, and a magnolia set out by Washington’s own hand. I looked at the last with peculiar interest, thinking it a type of our country, the perennial roots of which were about the same time laid carefully in the bosom of the eternal mother, covered and nursed and watered by the same illustrious hand, — a little tree then, feeble, and by no means sure to live ; but now I looked up, thrilling with pride at the glory of its spreading branches, its storm-defying tops, and its mighty trunk which not even the axe of treason could sever. I approached the mansion. It was needless to lift the great brass knocker, for the door was open. The house was full of guests thronging the rooms and examining the relics; among which were conspicuous these: hanging in a little brass-framed glass case in the hall, the key of the Bastille, presented to Washington by Lafayette; in the dining- hall, a very old-fashioned harpsichord that had entirely lost its voice, but which is still cherished as a wedding-gift from Washington to his adopted daughter; in the same room, holsters and a part of the Commander-in-Chief’s camp-equipage, very dilapidated; and, in a square bedroom up-stairs, the bedstead on which Washington slept, and on which he died. There is no sight more touching than this bedstead, surrounded by its holy associations, to be seen at Mount Vernon.

From the house I went out on the side opposite that on which I had entered, and found myself standing under the portico we had seen when coming down the river. A noble portico, lofty as the eaves of the house, and extending the whole length of the mansion, — fifteen feet in width and ninety- six in length, says the Guide-Book. The square pillars supporting it are not so slender, either ; but it was their height which made them appear so when we first saw them miles off up the Potomac. What a portico for a statesman to walk under, — so lofty, so spacious, and affording such views of the river and its shores, and the sky over all! Once more I saw the venerable figure of him, the first in war and the first in peace, pacing to and so on those pavements of flat stone, solitary, rapt in thought, glancing ever and anon up’ the Potomac towards the’ site of the now great capital bearing his name, contemplating the revolution accomplished, and dreaming of his country’s future. There was one great danger he feared: the separation of the States. But well for him, O, well for the great-hearted and wise chieftain, that the appalling blackness of the storm, destined so soon to deluge the land with blood for rain-drops, was hidden from his eyes, or appeared far in the dim horizon no bigger than a man’s hand! Saved from the sordid hands of a degenerate posterity, saved from the desolation of unsparing civil war. Mount Vernon still remains to us with its antique mansion and its delightful shades. I took all the more pleasure in the place, remembering how dear it was to its illustrious owner. There is no trait in Washington’s character with which I sympathize so strongly as with his love for his home. True that home was surrounded with all the comforts and elegances which fortune and taste could command. But had Mount Vernon been as humble as it was beautiful, Washington would have loved it scarcely less. It was dear to him, not as a fine estate but as the home of his heart A simply great and truly man, free from foolish vanity and, he served his country with a willing spirit; yet he knew well that happiness does not subsist upon worldly honors nor dwell in high places, but that the favorite haunt is by the pure waters of domestic tranquility. There came up a sudden thunder-shower while we were at the house. The dreadful peals rolled and rattled from wing to wing of the black cloud that overshadowed the river, and the rain fell in torrents. Umbrellas were scarce, and I am sorry to say the portico leaked badly. But the storm passed as suddenly as it came; the rifted clouds floated away with sun-lit edges glittering like silver fire, and all the wet leafage of the trees twinkled and laughed in the fresh golden light. I did not return to the boat with the crowd by the way we came, but descended the steep banks through the drenched woods in front of the mansion, to the low sandy shore of the Potomac, then walked along the water’s edge, under the dripping boughs, to the steamer, and so took my leave of Mount Vernon.
pp. 91-99.

Marriage of Jasper Thompson and Dolly Irwin Oct. 28, 1869, line 88
wvculture.org 2 March 2000 Web. 10 February 2017.

Spirit of Jefferson/The Colored Celebration
10/26/1869 Page(s):p3c1
wvgeohistory.org 5 October 2010 Web. 20 January 2017.

The text:
THE CELEBRATION

Last Thursday was a gala day with our Negro American citizens, and they enjoyed it hugely; but in a manner creditable to them, and in a style which would have reflected no discredit upon any community. What it was they sought to celebrate, we do not know, as we are by no means familiar with their anniversaries or associations. We do know this, however, that they had a procession which was imposing, and that they had banners and devices in procession, some of which were appropriate and some otherwise. It seems that there exists in our midst a society of the colored people known as the “Order of Industry,” and it was the members of this society, arrayed in appropriate regalia, and the two Sabbath Schools of the town, that made up the procession. — To the first, there was a banner presented by the “colored ladies” of the town, in front of the old Court-House. Upon this banner was the significant motto, “By industry we thrive.” The presentation was by Miss Houk, and the reception by Jasper Thompson, both of whom acquitted themselves very well. After these exercises, the procession moved to Herbert’s Woods,

1st Brigade Band Steve Bockmiller

1st Brigade Band, U.S. Colored Troops, according to local historian Steve Bockmiller.

The unit’s work during the war included performances as a way to encourage others to join the Union cause, said Bockmiller, who added the musicians were later sent to the front lines.

Many of the local black Union soldiers were members of Lyon Post No. 31
https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/151977

Margaret Doleman Moxley’s band
Catalog Number PH9113
Object Name Print, Photographic
Description Color photograph of Marguerite Doleman, holding two trumpets and standing next to a large drum. The drum has these words written on it: Moxley’s Band Hagerstown, Md. 1910. The drum used to be in Mrs. Doleman’s collection of black history artifacts
Collection WCHS Miller House-Photographs
https://washcohistory.pastperfectonline.com/photo/B0B447B2-0072-46C4-B9C5-899522749264

headed by Moxley’s Brass Band from Hagerstown. The inclemency of the day prevented us from being present at the Grove, but we learn that, after a collation, very sensible speeches were made by W. W. Grimes and Rev. Dungey. On their return, the procession moved through the principal streets of the town, and finally brought up in front of the Court-House, where other addresses were made by orators selected for the occasion. — The first speech we did not hear, but understand it was a strong mixture of nothing, showing more the ignorance of the author than anything else. The second speech was delivered by a young man named Beverly, formerly the property of Col. John J. Grantham. He has some shrewdness, and no little ambition — appears anxious to improve and elevate himself above the ordinary level, and will no doubt succeed. An address from Rev. Dungey closed the speaking exercises, and we were sorry when his speech terminated. In matter and in manner, it was an admirable effort, and the man of heart as well as of brain. He commenced by saying that he was a Virginian, of which he felt proud; that he loved Virginia, her soil, her climate, her hills and her vales, but more than all these he loved her people — and closed his brief address with an exhortation to his hearers to demean themselves as men, so as to give offense to none, and to retire quietly and unobtrusively after the procession was dismissed to their homes, carrying with them the recollections of the day, and the circumstances surrounding.

At the close of his speech, the band struck up a quick march, and the procession moved off briskly, to the Methodist Church, where ranks were broken and the day’s proceedings ended. To their credit be it said, that not a single disturbance occurred, and the whole affair was conducted with the most commendable decorum.

Since writing the above, we have been furnished with the following, as a copy of W. W. Grimes’ remarks at the grove:

Ladies and Gentlemen: — We are here to-day to celebrate the glorious event of the emancipation of the colored man; but what does that word emancipation signify? Freedom! you will all reply. But freedom from what? Not from honorable, dignifying labor, which sets a man above want and enables him to take his place among his fellow-men as an honest, industrious citizen! Not freedom from obeying the salutary laws of the land, which forbid drunkenness, rioting, and behavior unbecoming a respectable, law abiding citizen! No, my friends, not freedom from these, for in that case we would be in a bondage far more galling and disagreeable than when we served in the cotton or tobacco fields or on the sugar plantations. We are free from slavery, free to call ourselves and no one else, master — but that fact ought to make us ambitious to be worthy of this blessed boon. We should strive, by patient industry and good conduct, to win the respect of every one. My friends, I need not tell you that we are here to-day, surrounded by circumstances quite different from what we were in slavery, when we were oppressed by its galling chains. Now we are free and happy, and what we earn is our own, and we are now equal before the law. Oh! may we never forget that we owe all these to a kind and merciful Benefactor, and in the genius of a free government, and to our free schools, that are now over the land. My friends, we are much respected by the white population, and under these circumstances we must respect ourselves.

The white population do no expect us to carry out this procession as they would, knowing that they have had more opportunities than we have; but we hope to do better hereafter than we have done heretofore. You know our capital is small, and unless we be industrious we cannot progress. We should be very cautious and obedient to the white race of people, from whose hands we have received support, and always attend to our own business, and not meddle with others. We know there has been a tremendous change. Persons who once deeply studied our interests have not now the interest in us, so we have now to rely on ourselves for support. — God has given us strength and means to support ourselves, and let us use them perfectly.

As this is my first attempt to address a congregation, I will not say any more, for fear I might speak something I could not comprehend — probably I would not take notice of it myself but some one standing around would. I tender you my sincere thanks, for waiting on me on this occasion.

Crayon, Porte. (September, 1874). “Our Negro Schools.” Harpers Magazine. Cornell Digital Library – The Making of America. 19 July 2011. Web. 29 January 2014.

Listing of all graduates of Storer College
jcblackhistory.org 22 June 2011 Web. 20 January 2017,

Howlett, J. Homer, “S.H. Thompson, M.D.” Date: Saturday, July 20, 1895 Paper: Topics (Kansas City, Kansas) Page: 4. genealogybank.com 27 October 2006 Web. 10 February 2017.

Taylor, Evelyn M.E. (1999). “Historical Digest – Jefferson County: West Virginia’s African-American Congregations 1859-1994” Washington, D.C.: Mid-Atlantic Regional Press. pp. 109-114.

Circuit Court – June 5, 1883, Spirit of Jefferson, Charlestown, WV.
wvgeohistory.org 5 October 2010 Web. 20 January 2017.

June 12, 1903, The Martinsburg Statesman of Martinsburg reported that two hundred African Americans left Kabletown and Rippon to coal tons in Pennsylvania and southwest, West Virginia

Niagara Movement Speech by W.E.B. DuBois
“Address to the Country”
Delivered at the second conference of the Niagara Movement
Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, 1906

The men of the Niagara Movement coming from the toil of the year’s hard work and pausing a moment from the earning of their daily bread turn toward the nation and again ask in the name of ten million the privilege of a hearing. In the past year the work of the Negro hater has flourished in the land. Step by step the defenders of the rights of American citizens have retreated. The work of stealing the black man’s ballot has progressed and the fifty and more representatives of stolen votes still sit in the nation’s capital. Discrimination in travel and public accommodation has so spread that some of our weaker brethren are actually afraid to thunder against color discrimination as such and are simply whispering for ordinary decencies.

Against this the Niagara Movement eternally protests. We will not be satisfied to take one jot or little less than our full manhood rights. We claim for ourselves every single right that belongs to a freeborn American, political, civil and social; and until we get these rights we will never cease to protest and assail the ears of America. The battle we wage is not for ourselves alone but for all true Americans. It is a fight for ideals, lest this, our common fatherland, false to its founding, become in truth the land of the thief and the home of the Slave – a by-word and a hissing among the nations for its sounding pretentions and pitiful accomplishment.

Never before in the modern age has a great and civilized folk threatened to adopt so cowardly a creed in the treatment of its fellow-citizens born and bred on its soil. Stripped of verbiage and subterfuge and in its naked nastiness the new American creed says: Fear to let black men even try to rise lest they become the equals of the white. And this is the land that pro- fesses to follow Jesus Christ. The blasphemy of such a course is only matched by its cowardice.

In detail our demands are clear and unequivocal. First, we would vote; with the right to vote goes everything: Freedom, manhood, the honor of your wives, the chastity of your daughters, the right to work, and the chance to rise, and let no man listen to those who deny this.

We want full manhood suffrage, and we want it now, henceforth and forever.

Second. We want discrimination in public accommodation to cease. Separation in railway and street cars, based simply on race and color, is un-American, un-democratic, and silly. We protest against all such discrimination.

Third. We claim the right of freemen to walk, talk, and be with them that to be with us. No man has a right to choose another man’s friends, and to attempt to do so is an impudent interference with the most fundamental human privilege.

Fourth. We want the laws enforced against rich as well as poor; against Capitalist as well as Laborer; against white as well as black. We are not more lawless than the white race, we are more often arrested, convicted, and mobbed. We want justice even for criminals and outlaws. We want the Constitution of the country enforced. We want Congress to take charge of Congressional elections. We want the Fourteenth amendment carried out to the letter and every State disfranchised in Congress which attempts to disfranchise its rightful voters. We want the Fifteenth amendment enforced and no State allowed to base its franchise simply on color.

The failure of the Republican Party in Congress at the session just closed to redeem its pledge of 1904 with reference to suffrage conditions at the South seems a plain, deliberate, and premeditated breach of promise, and stamps that party as guilty of obtaining votes under false pretense.

Fifth. We want our children educated. The school system in the country districts of the South is a disgrace and in few towns and cities are the Negro schools what they ought to be. We want the national government to step in and wipe out illiteracy in the South. Either the United States will destroy ignorance or ignorance will destroy the United States.

And when we call for education we mean real education. We believe in work. We ourselves are workers, but work is not necessarily education. Education is the development of power and ideal. We want our children trained as intelligent human beings should be, and we will fight for all time against any proposal to educate black boys and girls simply as servants and under- lings, or simpIy for the use of other people. They have a right to know, to think, to aspire.

These are some of the chief things which we want. How shall we get them? By voting where we may vote, by persistent, unceasing agitation; by hammering at the truth, by sacrifice and work.

We do not believe in violence, neither in the despised violence of the raid nor the lauded violence of the soldier, nor the barbarous violence of the mob, but we do believe in John Brown, in that incarnate spirit of justice, that hatred of a lie, that willingness to sacrifice money, reputation, and life itself on the altar of right. And here on the scene of John Brown’s martyrdom we re-consecrate ourselves, our honor, our property to the final emancipation of the race which John Brown died to make free.

Our enemies; triumphant for the present, are fighting the stars in their courses. Justice and humanity must prevail. We live to tell these dark brothers of ours – scattered in counsel, wavering and weak – that no bribe of money or notoriety, no promise of wealth or fame, is worth the surrender of a people’s manhood or the loss of a man’s self-respect. We refuse to surrender the leadership of this race to cowards and bucklers. We are men; we will be treated as men. On this rock we have planted our banners. We will never give up, though the trump of doom find us still fighting.

And we shall win. The past promised it, the present foretells it. Thank God for John Brown! Thank God for Garrison and Douglass! Sumner and Phillips, Nat Turner and Robert Gould Shaw, and all the hallowed dead who died for freedom! Thank God for all those to-day, few though their voices be, who have not forgotten the divine brotherhood of all men white and black, rich and poor, fortunate and unfortunate.

We appeal to the young men and women of this nation, to those whose nostrils are not yet befouled by greed and snobbery and racial narrowness: Stand up for the right, prove your- selves worthy of your heritage and whether born north or south dare to treat men as men. Cannot the nation that has absorbed ten million foreigners into its political life without catastrophe absorb ten million Negro Americans into that same political life at less cost than their unjust and illegal exclusion will involve? Courage brothers! The battle for humanity is not lost or losing. All across the skies sit signs of promise. The Slave is raising in his might, the yellow millions are tasting liberty, the black Africans are writhing toward the light, and everywhere the laborer, with ballot in his hand, is voting open the gates of Opportunity and Peace. The morning breaks over blood-stained hills. We must not falter, we may not shrink. Above are the everlasting stars.

“Address to the Country” – Delivered at the second conference of the Niagara Movement
Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, 1906. american-historama.org 4 August 2014 Web. 10 January 2017.

“Lift Every Voice and Sing” was written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson in 1899 and set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson in 1905. In 1919, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) dubbed it “The Negro National Anthem.” wikipedia.org 27 July 2001 Web. 1 October 2016.

Shepherdstown Register September 13, 1906
A Tragedy on Charles Town District
A fatal tragedy, attended by some peculiar circumstances, occurred last Thursday afternoon at Gibsontown, a negro settlement about two miles south of Charles Town. A man named Samarion, who says that his father was a Hindoo and his mother an Egyptian woman, came to this country from Sidney, Australia, some eighteen months ago and located near Charles Town. He was a music teacher, and earned his living by following his profession. He incurred the enmity of his negro neighbors by advising them to accept white supremacy as a settled fact, and his views upon this subject are said to have aroused strenuous animosity of Jasper Thompson, a colored man, who, it is said, advocated negro equality and was particularly officious at elections in opposing the white majority. Under the leadership of Thompson, the negroes of the neighborhood are said to have been persecuting Samarion and his wife in various ways, Thursday Samarion notified Thompson to keep his hogs out his (Samarion’s) lot of he would kill them. This started the trouble afresh. Sometime during the afternoon Thompson went to Samarion’s house. Samarion says that his enemy threatened to kill him and made a motion to draw a pistol. Samarion quickly pulled his own revolver and shot Thompson twice, and the wounded man walked a few steps and fell dead.

Killing at Gibsontown – Clarke courier., September 19, 1906, page 2, column 2.
chroniclingamerica.loc.gov 3 June 2008 Web. 2 February 2017.

Jasper Thompson, colored, was shot and killed by S. A. Mario, also colored near Charlestown, W. Va in a dispute growing out of the trespassing of Thompsons – Date: Friday, September 7, 1906 Paper: Sun (Baltimore, Maryland) Volume: CXXXIX Issue: 114 Page: 1. genealogybank.com 27 October 2006 Web. 10 February 2017.

Jasper Thompson’s Death
Name: Jasper/Thompson
Sex: Male
Death Date: 06 Sep 1906
Death Place: West Virginia
Occupation: Pensioner
wvculture.org 2 March 2000 Web. 10 February 2017.

Thompson Family Collection, Kansas Collection, RH MS 510, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries
etext.ku.edu 12 January 2010 Web. 20 December 2016.

VIDEO VERSION 25 WITH VOICE TRACK, CLOSED CAPTIONING & MODIFIED CONTENT – START: 2:01:29

D. Wilson Arnett Post – References and more

https://web.archive.org/web/20190612142441/https://civilwarscholars.com/2018/03/daniel-arnett-and-the-medal-of-honor-moment-by-jim-surkamp-references/


10,750 words

Bailey, Chuck. (2014, July 29). “The Saddest Affair: A Geologic Perspective on the Battle of the Crater, U.S. Civil War.” wmblogs.wm.edu 19 June 2014 Web. 22 February 2018.
– (wm.edu).

One hundred and fifty years ago this week a terrible and pernicious battle was fought at Petersburg, Virginia during the American Civil War. In the summer of 1864 the Confederate and Union armies were at a stalemate; dug in and facing each other across a long front. Lt. Colonel Henry Pleasants, a mining engineer from northeastern Pennsylvania, proposed digging a tunnel (in essence a mine shaft) beneath the Confederate lines and then setting off explosives to pierce the Southern defenses. The Union troops would then storm the breach with the prospect of a significant breakthrough on the Petersburg front.

Union general George Meade originally thought the proposition little more than a curious endeavor to occupy bored troops. Between June 25th and July 17th, Pleasants’ men excavated a 500-foot (~150 m) tunnel from just behind the Federal lines to a location immediately beneath the Confederate position. Eventually the plan was embraced by the Union high command and just before dawn on July 30th, 1864 ~8,000 lbs. (~3,600 kg) of gunpowder was detonated in subsurface galleries. In an instant the explosion violently displaced 400,000 cubic feet of earth. That’s equivalent to about 50 modern railroad boxcars) and in the process killed more than 250 Confederate soldiers. A massive crater with a ragged maw and steep walls, upwards of 25’ high (9 m), was created. In the aftermath a cloying dust cloud settled back to the surface coating both Confederate and Union troops.

Rather than immediately storm through the breach, Union troops reacted with confused caution. Ladders and footbridges weren’t available to facilitate Union troop movement out of their own trenches. After traversing the no-man’s land between the lines many Union troops went into the Crater as opposed to going around it, as called for in the original battle plan. Eventually the Confederates regrouped and mounted a counterattack on the Union forces, now mostly stuck in the Crater. Rather than cutting the ever-growing Union losses, General Ambrose Burnside sent a division of the Unites States Colored Troops into the Crater. What ensued was effectively a race riot and many black soldiers were massacred after they’d surrendered. By midday the Confederates had regained the lost ground and the Union was routed. Between 5,000 and 6,000 men were killed, wounded, or captured during the battle of the Crater (the vast majority of casualties were from the Union army). General Ulysses Grant lamented, “it was the saddest affair I’ve witnessed in this war.”

2c.


Powell, William H. “The Battle of the Petersburg Crater.” Battles and Leaders. Vol. 4. Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co., 1887. pp. 545-560. Internet Archives: archive.org. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
pp. 550-551.
– between pages 908 and 909 – (archive.org).

I returned immediately, and just as I arrived in rear of the First Division the mine was sprung. It was a magnificent spectacle, and as the mass of earth went up into the air, carrying with it men, guns, carriages, and timbers, and spread out like an immense cloud as it reached its altitude, so close were the Union lines that the mass appeared as if it would descend immediately upon the troops waiting to make the charge. This caused them to break and scatter t6 the rear, and about ten minutes were consumed in re-forming for the attack. Not much was lost by this delay, however, as it took nearly that time for the cloud of dust to pass off. The order was then given for the advance. As no part of the Union line of breastworks had been removed (which would have been an arduous as well as hazardous undertaking), the troops clambered over them as best they could. This in itself broke the ranks, and they did not stop to re-form, but pushed ahead toward the crater, about 130 yards distant, the debris from the explosion having covered up the abatis and chevaux-de-frise in front of the enemy’s works.

Little did these men anticipate what they would see upon arriving there an enormous hole in the ground about 30 feet deep, 60 feet wide, and 170 feet long, filled with dust, great blocks of clay, guns, broken carriages, projecting timbers, and men buried in various ways some up to their necks, others to their waists, and some with only their feet and legs protruding from the earth. One of these near me was pulled out, and proved to be a second lieutenant of the battery which had been blown up. The fresh air revived him, and he was soon able to walk and talk. He was very grateful and said that he was asleep when the explosion took place, and only awoke to find himself wriggling up in the air ; then a few seconds afterward he felt himself descending, and soon lost consciousness.

The whole scene of the explosion struck every one dumb with astonishment as we arrived at the crest of the debris. It was impossible for the troops of the Second Brigade to move forward in line, as they had advanced; and, owing to the broken state they were in, every man crowding up to look into the hole, and being pressed by the First Brigade, which was immediately in rear, it was equally impossible to move by the flank, by any command, around the crater. Before the brigade commanders could realize the situation, the two brigades became inextricably mixed, in the desire to look into the hole.

Paragraph 3

3a.

– (sablearm.blogspot.com).


Price, James C. (2017, January 12). “The Battle of New Market Heights at Five: Looking Back” sablearm.blogspot.com 7 January 2011 Web. 15 February 2018.

3b. Price, James S. (2011). ”The Battle of New Market: Freedom Will Be Theirs By The Sword.” Charleston SC: The History Press, Inc. p. 9 first paragraph in the Preface.

Paragraph 4


  1. Reid, Whitelaw. (1868). “Ohio in the war: her statesmen, her generals, and soldiers.” Vol. 1. Cincinnati, OH: Moore, Wilstach & Baldwin. Internet Archives archive.org 19 January 2001 Web. 6 November 2017.

Paragraph 5


Hanna, Charles W. (2002). “African American Recipients of the Medal of Honor: A Biographical Dictionary.” Jefferson, North Carolina, and London: McFarland & company, Inc. – (books.google.com) 24 November 2005 Web. 22 February 2018.

Powhatan Beaty p. 16
James H. Bronson p. 19
Milton Holland pp. 38-40
Robert A. Pinn pp. 46-47

Paragraph 8

8a.


D.W. Arnett service record Aug 28 1863 fold3.com
Civil War Service Record of Daniel W. Arnett 5th USCT Infantry (17 pages)
– (fold3.com) 16 September 2011 Web. 2 October 2017

Paragraph 9

OVERVIEW OF SEPTEMBER 29-SEPTEMBER 30, 1864 BY DAVID A. NORRIS:


Norris, David. (2017, July 29). “Battle of New Market Heights.” – (warfarehistorynetwork.com) 8 June 2014 Web. 16 October 2017.

Along New Market Road, 1,800 Confederates manned one mile of works. Below the entrenchments was an abatis, a tight barrier of interlocking trees, branches, and brush. On the left, the 1st Rockbridge Artillery provided cover with their guns. Brig. Gen. Martin Gary’s brigade came next, followed by the Texas brigade of Brig. Gen. John Gregg to Gary’s right, and then a detachment of the Richmond Howitzers. Gregg was at Fort Harrison, leaving command on the ground to Colonel Frederick S. Bass. Brig. Gen. Alfred Terry’s division held the Union right, facing Gary and the Rockbridge Artillery. Brig. Gen. Robert Sanford Foster’s division waited in reserve.

Paine’s division held the Union left, facing Bass’s Texans and the Richmond Howitzers. Early that morning they were arrayed on high ground south of Four Mile Creek, where they were instructed to lie down and wait for further orders. Colonel Samuel Duncan’s brigade was sent ahead first, but they were blocked by the abatis. Colonel Alonzo Draper moved his brigade forward and to the right to support Duncan. Draper took skirmisher fire from the woods until he reached the creek’s ravine.

. . . After half an hour, Draper moved his men ahead in double columns. Emerging from a stand of young pines, they burst into the open 800 yards from the enemy’s works. Charging across the field, they lost many men to heavy enemy fire and found themselves mired in the wetlands of Four Mile Creek, 30 yards from the Confederate lines. Slogging through the water, they formed ranks again on the north side of the creek. There, wrote Draper, “The men generally commenced firing, which made so much confusion that it was impossible to make orders understood.” Amid the chaos, Draper was unable to communicate the order to charge, and the brigade remained stranded and tangled in front of the abatis. All the while, men were falling by scores.

For half an hour, under heavy enemy fire, Draper’s men hacked at the abatis with axes. Draper’s aide-de-camp fled from the field. But to Draper’s relief, Confederate fire began dying away. The colonel ordered each regimental commander to rally his men around the colors and charge. Draper’s regiments were short of officers. That morning, the 550 men of the 5th USCT went into action with only one officer per company, and managed that only because the adjutant took command of one of the companies.

“Better Men Were Never Better Led”

By the time they reached the New Market Road works, several companies were missing their officers. Stepping into their places to take command under fire, four sergeants in the 5th USCT and four in the 36th USCT became de facto company captains—the first African American soldiers to command troops in combat. Pouring through the abatis, the Union soldiers rushed up the slope to the Confederate breastworks. Unknown to the Federals, the Confederate fire had slackened because Bass and Gary had received orders to abandon their position and reinforce the lines closer to the city, which were coming under attack from Ord’s XVIII Corps. As Paine’s troops reached the ramparts, enough Rebels were still in place to keep up a lively fire.

For their actions in the final dash to the entrenchments several men were commended in after-battle reports. Among them, Private James Gardiner charged ahead of his company and into the Confederate works. He shot and bayoneted an officer who was trying to rally his men. A musket ball struck Corporal Miles James and shattered his upper left arm bone. James stayed on his feet, urged his men forward, and somehow loaded and fired his musket with his one good arm.

Paine’s strategy of throwing in his regiments piecemeal resulted in needlessly high casualties for a position that was being abandoned anyway. Confederate soldiers remaining in line delayed the Union advance and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy before commencing an orderly evacuation. The sacrifices of Paine’s men had meaning far beyond the value of the ground taken. Until that day, the worth of black soldiers was doubted by much of the Union Army in Virginia. Paine’s brigade sufferedmore than 1,000 casualties, most of them in front of the New Market Heights works. “Better men were never better led,” wrote Butler. “The colored soldiers by coolness, steadiness, and determined courage and dash have silenced every cavil of the doubters of their soldierly capacity.” . . .

Aftermath of Grant’s Fifth Offensive

While Field and Hoke made their attacks on September 30, Meade charged the Confederate entrenchments southwest of Petersburg. They captured a section of works around a redoubt called Fort Archer. Under Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill, Confederates dug new fortifications and repelled the Union forces from further progress. Fighting continued until October 2, when each side settled into their newly established lines of entrenchment. Another 2,800 Union and 1,300 Confederate casualties were added to the cost of Grant’s fifth offensive.

Fourteen men from Draper’s brigade and other USCT regiments in the Army of the James received Medals of Honor for their actions on September 29. Butler was so impressed with the conduct of his USCT regiments at New Market Heights that he supplemented the Medal of Honor awards with a citation of his own, known as the Army of the James Medal or the Butler Medal. Butler himself ordered and paid for the specially designed medals and ribbons. They were manufactured by Tiffany & Company and modeled on the Crimean War Medals issued by Great Britain. “I record with pride,” wrote Butler, “that in that single action there were so many deserving that it called for a presentation of nearly two hundred.” The Army of the James Medal was the only military honor created for a specific battle during the Civil War.


“The Union Army” Vol. 2. Madison, WI: Federal Publishing Company. Internet Archives archive.org 19 January 2001 Web. 6 November 2017.
– pp. 449-450 Fifth U.S. Colored Troops – (archive.org).

Fifth U. S. Colored Troops.— Cols.. James W. Conine, Giles W. Shurtleff; Lieut.-Col., John B. Cook; Maj., Ira C. Terry. This was the first colored regiment recruited in Ohio, the nucleus of which was a few colored men collected at Camp Delaware. Much difficulty was met in the organization, as there was no law of Congress regulating the same and no order from the war department calling for their services. The initiative, however, was taken by mustering into the U. S. service J. B. T. Marsh, as quartermaster of the 127th Ohio infantry, and the formation of this regiment was commenced under what was known as the “contraband law,” which gave a colored laborer in the service $to per month, $3 of which was for clothes. Recruiting progressed slowly and but for a few faithful men, who were ambitious to show themselves worthy of their freedom, the organization would have failed. The companies were mustered into the U. S. service as follows : B, C, E, G and H, July 23, 1863; D, Aug. 20; F, Sept. 9; I, Oct. 17, and K, Jan. 15, 1864. The war department finally called colored men into the service and promised that Congress would place them on an equality with other troops. Officers were examined and assigned to the regiment and early in November the regimental organization was formed. The synonym of the regiment was changed to 5th U. S. colored troops, the equipment was completed and the regiment was ordered to Virginia with nine companies and nearly the full complement of officers. It served the government honorably in many battles, and no troops ever did better fighting. Upon the roll of honor will be found the names of 266 brave soldiers, who gave up their lives on the field of battle, in hospital from mortal wounds received, or from disease. The regiment was mustered
out on Sept. 20, 1865, at Carolina City, N. C.

Paragraph 12

– (udayton.edu).


Washington, Versalle F. (1999). ” Eagles on their Buttons: A Black Infantry Regiment in the Civil War.” Columbia, MO.: University of Missouri Press. books.google.com 24 November 2005 Web. 22 February 2018.
pp. 25-26 – “C” Company’s commander Capt. Gustavus Fahrion was not accounted for as present at the battle
pp. 52-57, 60 – New Market Heights Battle

Paragraph 15


Reid, Whitelaw. (1868). Ohio In The War-Volume II. Cincinnati, OH: Moore, Wilstach & Baldwin.
archive.org 19 January 2001 Web. 6 November 2017.
– p. – (915

Paragraph 17

– p. 269 – “Fifty Years and Over of Akron and Summit County” – (books.google.com).


Marvin, U.L. “Estimate of General G.W. Shurtleff as a Soldier, by a Comrade in Arms.” In Oberlin Alumni Magazine. June 1911. babel.hathitrust.org 6 December 2009 Web. 20 February 2018.
pp. – (316-322).

p. 316:
it is certain that the officers and the enlisted men looked to Colonel Shurtleff as their leader, and it was the inspiration of his presence which was always needed to induce his regiment to do its best.

Before any full colonel had been assigned to the regiment, Colonel Shurtleff, by his zeal and care of his troops, as well as by the firmness with which he commanded, and the discipline upon which he insisted and which he enforced, had become to the Fifth Regiment the embodiment of the soldierly qualities which bespeak the safe commanded.

On the next day, the 16th of June, the regiment, with the other forces with which they were joined, made an attack upon the enemy lasting for several hours, but resulting in no decided victory for anybody.

This was the first general engagement in which Colonel Shurtleff commanded his regiment, and in this engagement, as in all those that followed, he took his position in advance of the center of the front line of his regiment.

He was exposed more than any other officer, both in this and all the subsequent engagements of this regiment, and this because of the fact that instead of taking his position at the right of his regiment, and (317) simply in line with the front rank, he always took his position about two paces in front of the center of the front line.

This made him a target for the enemy, and exposed him more, as already said, than any other officer of the regiment was exposed. In this engagement we lost several men, and the first officer of the regiment who was killed, was killed in this engagement on the i6th day of June, 1864, Lieutenant Johnson, of Bellefontaine, Ohio, a gallant officer and a worthy man.

On the 17th of June we remained quietly in camp at a safe distance from the enemy. On the 18th the attack was renewed and the enemy driven from its first line of breastworks.

It fell back, however, only to its second line, which it was able to hold. We took possession of the first line and reversed the earthworks which the enemy had thrown up, so as to make them a protection to us, and from this line we never retreated, but, as known to all who have read the history of those days, it was many months before we were able to hold any position nearer to Petersburg than the one which we secured on the 18th day of June.

From this time on we were engaged in skirmishes almost daily. Our trenches, as we called them, (which were simply a line of earth thrown up in our front about 4 1-2 feet high, and extending from the Appomattox in a semi-circular form to the east and south-east for a distance of several miles) were so near to the enemy’s line that musketry fired from either side reached the other, and scarcely a day went by that we did not lose some men by the firing of the enemy.

During this time also there was danger of an epidemic, and it required the utmost exertion on the part of the officers, among whom none was more faithful in any part of the command than was Colonel Shurtleff, to keep the camps policed so as to be reasonably clean, and during this time it was largely due to Colonel Shurtleff that we were furnished with rations which were reasonably fit for men to eat.

He made a personal inspection daily of the commissary stores supplied, and under his direction we erected posts and cross bars, and covered them over with branches of trees so as to protect ourselves as far as might be from the intense heat of the sun.

On numerous occasions it was necessary to tumble these branches off, and that very hurriedly, because some force of the enemy would come out from behind their trenches, or (318) we would make, and did make on several occasions advances in front of our trenches, but at night each army occupied the position that it had occupied before.

This state of things continued until the 30th day of July, when the famous mine explosion took place. This explosion was brought about by the excavation under the fort of the enemy of an immense chamber, in which large quantities of powder had been placed, and the details all arranged for an explosion of this mine, which was expected to, and which did blow up the enemy’s fort, killing a large number of men, and filling all their troops in that immediate neighborhood, at least, with consternation.

The colored division was to make the attack immediately following this explosion, and while it was hoped the confusion of the enemy would be so great that they would not be prepared to offer vigorous resistance.

The result is well known; somebody blundered. The attack was not ordered as early as it should have been, and until the enemy had had some opportunity to recover and to prepare themselves for the attack, and when the advance was made, the troops were ordered into the very chasm which had been caused by the explosion, and there hundreds of then met a horrible death. The Fifth Regiment, however, was not among those who fell into the chasm.

We were at the extreme right of the charging column, and so were saved from this horror, but our own experience of that day was sufficient to warrant us in characterizing war as General Sherman characterized it in that famous expression of his.

The enemy retreated to a line of entrenchments but little removed from this fort and the lines extending from it, and there held their own. During that day we made four distinct charges upon the enemy.

They were entrenched; we exposed. The result was, that as we retreated from these charges to the line which we had established, and which had been the enemy’s line in the morning, we left many of our men dead and many more wounded on the field.

The day was hot beyond almost any experience which we have ever had in Ohio, and on the 31st of July, which was Sunday, these wounded and dead men were in our sight, and yet we were unable to help them until late in the afternoon, when a flag of truce, (which we had tried to have recognized the entire (319) day was recognized by the enemy, and we were permitted to remove our wounded.

As a result of the siege up to this time and of the battle of the Mine, our numbers had become greatly depleted, and earnest pleas were made to Ohio for more men. Not only this, but we succeeded in enlisting a very considerable number of men who had been slaves.

These men were, of course, intensely ignorant, but they had sufficient intelligence to know that the defeat of the confederate army meant emancipation of their race, and they had the merit to be willing to face the dangers and endure the hardships of the
battle and the siege for the accomplishment of this result.

Shortly after this engagement, we were removed to the North side of the James, and from that time on participated in the siege of Richmond. The work was practically a repetition of that in which we were engaged while in the trenches in front of Petersburg, but during all this horrible summer, when the men of the regiment were enduring all that it would seem as though men could endure, they were kept in heart, their courage was stimulated, their pride and a determination to win in the long run was kept up, as I firmly believe, more by Colonel Shurtleff than by any other one man.

The battle in which the Fifth Regiment lost most, was fought on the 29th of September, 1864, in an attack on a fortification of the enemy known as “New Market Heights.”

The night before this attack was made, the regiment was furnished with ammunition, and with everything to indicate that we were expected to go into battle on the next day.

By this time our regiment had been recruited so that we numbered on the morning of the battle five hundred and fifty enlisted men. At this time Colonel Shurtleff was the full colonel of the regiment.

Besides him, we had one field officer, Major Ira C. Terry, who had before that been wounded and had just returned to the regiment.

The number of line officers was so reduced that instead of having, as a full complement of officers would require, three to each company, we had but one to each company, and this only because the adjutant took command of a company.

That is, we had ten company commanders, one of whom was the adjutant, who volunteered to take the command of a company, though it was not one of his duties.

Our entire complement of officers, exclusive of the chaplain, the (320) surgeons and the quartermaster, who of course were non-combatants, was on this morning twelve.

We started on the march to the front at early dawn, within an hour we had come up with the enemy who, aside from the protection of the fort, had earthworks extending in either direction, to their right and to their left, along the entire front, and in front of these they had constructed with the boughs and branches of trees abatis, so near to their lines that in our attack we were obliged to go over this, or when we could, pull it to one side, and while we were engaged in this work, we were under severe musketry fire of the enemy, who were near by.

Again we had a full realization of General Sherman’s characterization of war. In this engagement, out of five hundred and fifty men of the Regiment who entered it, eighty-five were killed and two hundred and forty-eight in addition were wounded, and nine of the officers were wounded, one of whom was killed, Captain Wilbur, of Marion, Ohio.

These statistics are taken from Whitelaw Reid’s “Ohio in the War.” It was in this engagement that Colonel Shurtleff received the wound from which he suffered during the remainder of his life, and which for a time seemed likely to prove fatal.

Examining the statistics as to other Ohio regiments in the same volume, it will be found that no regiment from Ohio suffered as great a percentage of loss in any one day as this regiment suffered on the 29th of September, 1864, and it will be further found that no regiment from Ohio suffered as great a percentage of loss during the entire three days of Gettysburg as this regiment suffered at New Market Heights on the 29th of September, 1864.

When Colonel Shurtleff was struck, he was, as I have described him earlier, in front of his regiment, encouraging them by his conduct, by the waiving of his sword and by his calling on them to come on.

General Butler, in his account of this engagement, uses this language: “Then the scene that lay before us was this: There dipped from the brow of the hill quite a declivity down from some meadow land.

At its foot ran a brook of water only a few inches deep, a part of the bottom, as I knew, being gravelly and firm. The brook drained a marsh which was quite deep and muddy, a little to the left of the direct line.

The column of division unfortunately did not oblique to the right far (321) enough to avoid that marsh, wholly. Then rose steadily, at an angle of thirty to thirty-five degrees, plain, hard ground to within one hundred and fifty yards of the redoubt. At this point there was a very strong line of abatis.

A hundred yards above that, the hill rising a little faster, was another line of’ abatis. Fifty yards beyond was a square redoubt mounting some guns en barbette, that is, on top of the embankment, and held by the enemy.

I rode with my staff to the top of the first hill, whence everything was in sight, and watched the movement of the negroes.

The column marched down the declivity as steadily as if on parade. At once when it came in sight the enemy opened upon it, but at that distance there was not much effect.

Crossing the brook their lines broke in a little disorder, the left of the divisions having plunged into the morass, but the men struggled through, holding their guns above their heads to keep them dry.

The enemy directed its fire upon them; but, as in all cases of firing downward from a fort, the fire was too high. The leading battalion broke, but its colonel (Colonel Shurtleff) maintained his position at its head.

Words of command were useless, as in the melee they could not be heard; but calling his bugler to him the rally rang out, and at its call his men formed around him.

The division was at once re-formed, and then at double quick they dashed up to the first line of abatis. The axmen laid to, vigorously chopping out the obstructions. Many of them went down. Others seized the axes. The enemy concentrated their fire upon the head of the column. It looked in one moment as if it might melt away.

The colors of the first battalion went down, but instantly they were up again but with new color bearers. Wonderfully they managed to brush aside the abatis, and then at double quick the reformed column charged the second line of abatis.

Fortunately they were able to remove that in a few minutes, but it seemed a long time to the lookers on. Then, with a cheer and a yell that I can almost hear now, they dashed upon the fort.

But before they reached even the ditch, which was not a formidable thing, the enemy ran away and did not stop until they had run four miles, I believe.
They were only fired at as they ran away, and did not lose a man.

As I rode across the brook and up towards the fort along this (322) line of charge, some eighty feet wide and three or four hundred yards long, there lay in my path five hundred and forty-three dead and wounded of my colored comrades.

And, as I guided my horse this way and that way that his hoof might not profane their dead bodies, I swore to myself an oath, which I hope and believe I have kept sacredly, that they and their race should be cared for and protected by me to the extent of my power so long as I lived.

On every anniversary of this battle, it may, without doubt, safely be said that every man of the Fifth regiment feels a sadness and gloom in his recollection of the terrible losses of that day.

Colonel Shurtleff was immediately taken to the hospital at Hampton, and after remaining there several weeks, came home. He might now very properly have tendered his resignation.

His wound was such as to entitle him to be honorably discharged on a resignation. While at home on this occasion, he was married, but as soon as he was able—indeed before he was able to fully resume his duties in the field, he returned to the regiment.


BATTLE MAP – New Market Heights – September 29, 1864 – (civilwar.org) 5 September 2017 Web. 22 February 2018.

Service records – Teeters, Turners
– (fold3.com) 16 September 2011 Web. 8 November 2017.

Service record – Jackson
– (fold3.com ) 16 September 2011 Web. 8 November 2017.

Service record – Jacob Lee
– (fold3.com) 16 September 2011 Web. 8 November 2017.

Service record – Jefferson Carpenter
– (fold3.com) 16 September 2011 Web. 8 November 2017.

Paragraph 19

BATTLE OF NEW MARKET HEIGHTS
– (thegospelarmy.com) 2 February 2011 Web. 16 November 2017.

Paragraph 20


Pickens, James D. (1909). “Fort Harrison.” Confederate Veteran Vol. 21 No. 10.
Internet Archives archive.org 26 January 1997 Web. 22 February 2018.
– p. 484 – (archive.org).

The Online Books Page Confederate Veteran
– (onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu

Paragraphs 22 & 23

– Brady Collection – (loc.gov).


Butler, Benjamin F. (1892). “Butler’s Book.” Boston, MA: A.M. Thayer & Co. Internet Archives archive.org 26 January 1997 Web. 16 October 2017.
pp. 730-733.

Just before’ sunset on the 28th of September I rode along the James River on the south side from a point opposite Aikens’ Landing down to Deep Bottom. There was no more appearance of the proposed movement than if there had not been a soldier within fifty miles of the place — not the slightest appearance of any preparation for throwing a pontoon or other bridge across the river, and no pontoons in the river or in sight.

When darkness fell the work began, and at half past eleven I was again there. A thoroughly serviceable pontoon bridge had been thrown across the liver to convey infantry and artillery, and it was entirely muffled.

At five minutes of midnight the head of Ord’s column struck the bridge, and with a quiet that was wonderful the march across was performed.

I had sent an aid to Deep Bottom, and he met me half way coming back to say that at precisely twelve o’clock Birney’s column silently began crossing the bridge, and that General Birney had said that after he had bivouacked three divisions of colored troops as well as his own, he should remain quiet and move exactly at daybreak; and that he expected that I would take personal command of the colored troops at that time.

I rode quickly to my headquarters and snatched a few minutes’ sleep. At three o’clock I took my coffee, and at four I was crossing the Deep Bottom Bridge. (731) At half past four o’clock I found the colored division, rising three thousand men, occupying a plain which shelved towards the river, so that they were not observed by the enemy at Newmarket Heights. They were formed in close column of division right iD front. I rode through the division, addressed a few words of encouragement and confidence to the troops. I told them that this was an attack where I expected them to go over and take a work which would be before them after they got over the hill, and that they must take it at all hazards, and that when they went over the parapet into it their war cry should be, “Remember Fort Pillow.”

The caps were taken from the nipples of their guns so that no shot should be fired by them, for whenever a charging column stops to fire, that charge may as well be considered ended. As there was to be no halt after they turned the brow of the hill, no skirmishers were to be deployed.

We waited a few minutes, and the day fairly shining, the order was given to go forward, and the troops marched up to the top of the hill as regularly and quietly as if on parade.

Then the scene that lay before us was this : There dipped from the brow of the hill quite a declivity down through some meadow land. At its foot ran a brook of water only a few inches deep, a part of the bottom, as I knew, being gravelly and firm. The brook drained a marsh which was quite deep and muddy, a little to the left of the direct line. The column of division unfortunately did not oblique to the right far enough to avoid that marsh wholly. Then rose steadily, at an angle of thirty to thirty-five degrees, plain, hard ground to within one hundred and fifty yards of the redoubt. At this point there was a very strong line of abatis.

A hundred yards above that, the hill rising a little faster, was another line of abatis. Fifty yards beyond was a square redoubt mounting some guns en barbette, that is, on top of the embankment, and held by not exceeding one thousand of the enemy. I rode with my staff to the top of the first hill, whence everything was in sight, and watched the movement of the negroes. The column marched down the declivity as steadily as if on parade. At once when it came (732) in sight the enemy opened upon it, but at that distance there was not much effect.

Crossing the brook their lines broke in little disorder, the left of the divisions having plunged into the morass, but the men struggling through, held their guns above their heads to keep them dry. The enemy directed its fire upon them; but, as in all cases of firing downwards from a fort, the fire was too high. The leading battalion broke, but its colonel maintained his position at its head. Words of command were useless, as in the melee they could not be heard; but calling his bugler to him the rally rang out, and at its call his men formed around him.

The division was at once re-formed, and (733) then at double quick they dashed up to the first line of abatis. The axemen laid to, vigorously chopping out the obstructions. Many of them went down. Others seized the axes. The “enemy concentrated their fire upon the head of the column. It looked at one moment as if it might melt away. The colors of the first battalion went down, but instantly they were up again but Avith new color bearers.

Wonderfully they managed to brush aside the abatis, and then at double quick the re-formed column charged the second line of abatis. Fortunately they were able to remove that in a few minutes, but it seemed a long time to the lookers on. Then, with a cheer and a yell that I can almost hear now, they dashed upon the fort. But before they reached even the ditch, which was not a formidable thing, the enemy ran away and did not stop until they had run four miles, I believe. They were only fired at as they ran away, and did not lose a man.

As I rode across the brook and up towards the fort along this line of charge, some eighty feet wide and three or four hundred yards long, there lay in my path five hundred and forty-three dead and wounded of my colored comrades. And, as I guided my horse this way and that way that his hoof might not profane their dead bodies, I swore to myself an oath, which I hope and believe I have kept sacredly, that they and their race should be cared for and protected by me to the extent of my power so long as I lived.

When I reached the scene of their exploit their ranks broke, but it was to gather around their general. They almost dragged my horse up alongside the cannon they had captured, and I felt in my inmost heart that the capacity of the negro race for soldiers had then and there been fully settled forever.

Meanwhile the white troops under Birney had advanced up the Newmarket road in the direction indicated by his orders without meeting any force except a few skirmishers and pickets who fled before him, and occupied the abandoned line of the enemy’s entrenchments, which had been carried by the colored division.

Paragraph 24

– p. 60 – (archive.org).


Moore, Edward Alexander. (1907). “The story of a cannoneer under Stonewall Jackson, in which is told the part taken by the Rockbridge artillery in the Army of northern Virginia.” New York, NY; Washington, Neale Publishing Co. Internet Archives archive.org 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010. pp. 263-265.

The summer now drawing to a close had been a most trying one, and the future offered no sign of relief. The situation was one of simply waiting to be overwhelmed. That the fighting spirit was unimpaired was demonstrated in every encounter, notably the one on July 30, at The Crater, near Petersburg.

During the night of September 28 there was heard the continued rumbling of wheels and the tramp of large forces of the enemy crossing on the pontoon bridges from the south to the north side of the James. At dawn next morning we hurriedly broke camp, as did Gary’s brigade of cavalry camped close by, and scarcely had time to reach high ground and unlimber before we were attacked. The big gaps in our lines, entirely undefended, were soon penetrated, and the contest quickly became one of speed to reach the shorter line of fortifications some five miles nearer to and in sight of Richmond.

The break through our lines was on our right, which placed the Federals almost in our rear, so that a detour of several miles on our part was necessary. On the principle that the chased dog is generally the fleetest, we succeeded in reaching the breastworks, a short distance to the left of Fort Gilmore, with all four guns, now ten-pound Parrotts, followed by the straggling cannoneers much exhausted. I vividly recall George Ginger, who was No. 1 at one of the guns, as he came trotting in with the gun-rammer on his shoulder, which he had carried five miles (264) through brush and brake for want of time to replace it on the gun-carriage.

Much has been written about the defense of Fort Gimore, and much controversy as to who deserved the credit. The fact that a superb fight was made was fully apparent when we entered the fort an hour later, while the negroes who made the attack were still firing from behind stumps and depressions in the cornfield in front, to which our artillery replied with little effect. The Fort was occupied by about sixty men who, I understood, were Mississippians.

The ditch in front was eight or ten feet deep and as many in width. Into it, urged on by white officers, the negroes leaped, and tO’ scale the embankment on the Fort side climbed on each other’s shoulders, and were instantly shot down as their heads appeared above it. The ground beyond was strewn with dead and wounded. A full regiment had preceded us into the Fort, but the charge on it had been repulsed by the small force before its arrival.

Next morning we counted twenty-three dead negroes in the ditch, the wounded and prisoners having previously been removed. There was great lamentation among them when ” Corporal Dick” fell. He was a conspicuous leader, jet black, and bald as a badger. A mile to the right of Fort Gilmore and one-fourth of a mile in advance of our line of breastworks was Fort Harrison, which was feebly garrisoned by reserves.

This force had beep overpowered and the Fort taken by the Federals. Two. days later, (265) and after it had been completely manned with infantry and artillery, an unsuccessful attempt was made to recapture it, of which we had a full view. The attack was made by Colquitt’s and Anderson’s brigades, while General Lee stood on the parapet of Fort Gilmore with field-glass in hand, waving his hat and cheering lustily. Of course our loss in killed, wounded, and captured was very heavy. This ended the fighting, except sharpshooting, on the north side of the James.

During our stay in Fort Gilmore a company of Reserves from Richmond took the place of the regular infantry. They were venerable-looking old gentlemen — lawyers, business men, etc., dressed in citizens’ clothes. In order to accustom them to the service, we supposed, they were frequently roused during the night to prepare for battle. After several repetitions of this they concluded, about two o’clock one night, that it was useless to retire again and go through the same performance, so a party of them kindled a fire and good-humoredly sat around in conversation on various subjects, one of which was infant baptism.

My bedfellow, Tom Williamson, a bachelor under twenty years of age, being deeply interested in this question, of paramount importance at this time, forthwith left his bunk, and from that time until daylight theology was in the air.

Paragraph 25


Giles W. Shurtleff, “Reminiscences of Army Life”, Oberlin College Archives, RG 30/032, Series 7, Subseries 1, Box 1, “Writings re the Civil War” p. 41.

Paragraph 36

Butler’s report to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton four days after the battle in part read: ‘My colored troops under General Paine…carried intrenchments at the point of a bayonet….It was most gallantly done, with most severe loss. Their praises are in the mouth of every officer in this army. Treated fairly and disciplined, they have fought most heroically.’ Volume XLII – in Three Parts. 1893. (Vol. 42, Chap. 54)
Chapter LIV – Operations in Southeastern Virginia and North Carolina. August 1-December 31, 1864. Part III – Union and Confederate Correspondence
p. 65.

Paragraph 39


Shepherdstown Register., September 17, 1896, page 3 – chroniclingamerica.loc.gov 3 June 2008 Web. 20 February 2018.


Record of D. Arnett and Maria L. Carter October 15, 1873
– (wvculture.org) 2 March 2000 web. 20 February 2018.

Paragraph 40


1890 Veterans Schedule
Shepherdstown Wv Enumeration District No. 5 p. 1
D. W. Arnett loss of hearing ancestry.com
– (ancestry.com) 29 October 1996 Web. 20 February 2018.


Shepherdstown Register, November 28, 1890, page 3 – (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov) 3 June 2008 Web. 20 February 2018.

Paragraph 41


Shepherdstown Register., September 17, 1896, page 3 – (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov 3 June 2008 Web. 20 February 2018.


plat of Arnett property DB 99 pages 279-281 – (documents.jeffersoncountywv.org) 10 October 2014 Web. 20 February 2018

Location of Daniel Wilson Arnett’s property on east High Street in Shepherdstown – (google.com/maps) 13 October 2001 Web. 20 February 2018.


Shepherdstown Register., October 22, 1896, page 3 – (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov) 3 June 2008 Web. 20 February 2018.

Paragraph 42

Map of, and house at 317 W. Academy St., Charles Town, WV – (google.com/maps) 13 October 2001 Web. 20 February 2018.

Paragraph 43


Marriage certificate 1902 D. Arnett and Charlotte Adams – (wvculture.org) 2 March 2000 web. 20 February 2018.

Paragraph 44


Widow’s Pension Application for Husband War-Related Injury for D.W. Arnett (505493) Bureau of Pensions – U.S. Department of Interior. October 24, 1912, pp. 1 & 2.

– Robert A. Pinn. April 30, 1902. – Ordered to be printed – (genealogybank.com).

Paragraph 45

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

– (findagrave.com).


Tombstone Inscriptions Jefferson County, W. Va. (1687-1980) – NSDAR. Hagerstown, MD: HBP, Inc.

p. 312 Rose Hill Cemetery Maria L. Arnet d. Oct. 5, 1900, aged 50 years 40 mo. 17 da. wf of D.W. Arnet;
Arnet, D.W. – b. Oct. 28, 1846 d. Aug. 5, 1912 aged 66 5th Regt. USC Inf. Honorably discharged

– Shepherdstown Register Aug. 8, 1912 – (archive.org).

Paragraph 46

Paragraph 47

James Alvin Tolbert obituary
eackles-spencerfuneralhome.com 25 March 2004 Web. 22 February 2018.

Image Credits:

Paragraph 1

  1. Jim Tolbert at Fisherman’s Hall, Charles Town, WV June 24, 2014 videotaped by Jim Surkamp

1a. Semblance only image D.W. Arnett
Title: [Unidentified young African American soldier in Union uniform]
Date Created/Published: [between 1863 and 1865]
Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 10 October 2017.

1b. D.W. Arnett service record Aug 28 1863 fold3.com
Civil War Service Record of Daniel W. Arnett 5th USCT Infantry (17 pages)
fold3.com 16 September 2011 Web. 2 October 3017

Paragraph 2

2a. Explosion at sunrise by A. Waud loc.gov
Before Petersburg at sunrise, July 30th 1864 by Alfred Waud
loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 6 November 2017.

2b. Dimensions of the tunnel B&L 4 pp. 548-549
The Battle of the Petersburg Crater by William H. Powell
“Battles and Leaders. Vol. 4”. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: archive.org. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
pp. 548-549.

2c. On the James River, Virginia Edward Lamson Henry – 1864 athenaeum.org
Member rocsdad uploaded on 16 August 2004.
the-athenaeum.org 23 May 2002 Web. 10 November 2017.

Paragraph 3

  1. Jimmy Price image
    sablearm.blogspot.com 7 January 2011 Web. 6 November 2017.

Paragraph 4

4a. detail USCT charge B&L 4 p. 552
The Battle of the Petersburg Crater by William H. Powell
“Battles and Leaders. Vol. 4”. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: archive.org. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
p. 552.

4b. Confederates behind the line B&L 4 p. 557
The Battle of the Petersburg Crater by William H. Powell
“Battles and Leaders. Vol. 4”. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: archive.org. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
p. 557.

Paragraph 5

5a. dead and wounded on battlefield near Richmond, 1864 B&L 4 p. 555
The Battle of the Petersburg Crater by William H. Powell
“Battles and Leaders. Vol. 4”. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: archive.org. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
p. 555 – dead and wounded on battlefield near Petersburg , Va. and Richmond, 1864

5b. Samuel A. Duncan
ourwarmikepride.blogspot.com 3 April 2013 Web. 10 November 2017.

5c. Charles Jackson Paine
wikipedia.org 27 July 2001 Web 10 November 2017.

5d. Brig. Gen. Giles Waldo Shurtleff
added by John “J-Cat” Griffith
findagrave.com 5 December 1998 Web. 16 October 2017.

5e. Ulysses L. Marvin in later life
Lane. Samuel A. (1892). “Fifty Years and Over of Akron and Summit County.” Akron, OH: Beacon Job Department. image and text p. 269.
NOTE: “wounded at New Market Heights September 25 (should be 29-ED), 1864.”
books.google.com 24 November 2005 Web. 6 November 2017.

5f. Robert Pinn
Robert A. Pinn, Medal of Honor recipient. This photograph was part of the material prepared by W.E.B. Du Bois for the Negro Exhibit of the American Section at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900 to show the economic and social progress of African Americans since emancipation. (slightly retouched to remove mark over the person’s mouth).
commons.wikimedia.org 5 June 2004 Web. 9 October 2017.

5g. Montage of Medal of Honor Honorees from the 5th U.S. Colored Troops Infantry regiment

5g1. Civil War Medal of Honor – civilwarhistory.wordpress.com 26 June 2007 Web. 22 February 2018.

5g2. James H. Bronson findagrave.com 5 December 1998 Web. 22 February 2018. Photo added by Don Morfe.

5g3. Powhatan Beaty Co. G 5th USCT (same as Arnett) wikipedia.org 27 July 2001 Web. 22 February 2018.

5g4. Milton M. Holland Sergeant Major 5th U.S. Colored Infantry Took command of Company C, after all the officers had been killed or wounded, and gallantly led it wikipedia.org 27 July 2001 Web. 22 February 2018.

5g5. Robert A. Pinn, Medal of Honor recipient. This photograph was part of the material prepared by W.E.B. Du Bois for the Negro Exhibit of the American Section at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900 to show the economic and social progress of African Americans since emancipation.commons.wikimedia.org 5 June 2004 Web. 22 February 2018.

Paragraph 6

6a. Benjamin Butler loc.gov
Title: [Portrait of Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, officer of the Federal Army]
Contributor Names: Brady National Photographic Art Gallery (Washington, D.C.), photographer
Created / Published: [Between 1860 and 1865]
loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 10 October 2017

6b. Fort Pillow Montage Leslie’s Weekly May 7, 1864
wikipedia.org 27 July 2001 Web. 9 October 2017.

Paragraph 7

7a. Hon. Chas. J. Faulkner by Brady
Date Created/Published: [between 1855 and 1865] by Mathew B. Brady
loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 6 November 2017.

7b. Mrs. Lydig and Her Daughter Greeting Their Guest
Edward Lamson Henry – 1891-1897
the-athenaeum.org 23 May 2002 Web. 6 November 2017.

7c. Boydville Mansion uploaded
4 September 2012, 13:07:19
Source Own work
Author Susan Seibert. Its use here does not indicate any endorsement of content.
commons.wikimedia.org 5 June 2004 Web. 6 November 2017.

Paragraph 8

8a. Nathaniel P. Banks by Mathew Brady
wikipedia.org 27 July 2001 Web. 9 October 2017.

8b. Martinsburg, then-Va. by Alfred Waud
Summary: Includes four scenes: Ruins of the depot; The Square; The Barricades; On the Opequan n. Martinsburg 64. Contributor: Waud, Alfred R. (Alfred Rudolph), 1828-1891, artist
loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 6 November 2017.

8c. Map Martinsburg Winchester, Va
wikipedia.org 27 July 2001 Web. 9 October 2017.

8d.detail Map of Summit Co., Ohio (Akron)
Contributor Names: Paul, Hosea.
Created / Published: Philada. : Matthews & Taintor, 1856.
loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 6 November 2017.

8e. A Group of People Posing in Front of a Grocery Store Along the Ohio and Erie Canal in Akron, Ohio
The Chubachus Library of Photographic History
chubachus.blogspot.com 4 January 2015 Web. 6 November 2017.

8f. A Waiter at the Galt House, Louisville, Kentucky King p. 696
The Great South; A Record of Journeys in Louisiana, Texas, the Indian Territory, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland:
Electronic Edition. King, Edward, 1848-1896
Illustrated by Champney, James Wells, 1843-1903
docsouth.unc.edu 19 January 2001 Web. 6 November 2017.

Paragraph 9 (one sentence)

9a. A portion of the 127th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, later re-designated the 5th USCT, in Delaware, Ohio wikipedia.org
wikipedia.org 27 July 2001 Web. 9 October 2017.

9b. Service Record D. W. Arnett USCT 5th Infantry fold3 p.3
Civil War Service Record of Daniel W. Arnett 5th USCT Infantry (17 pages)
fold3.com 16 September 2011 Web. 2 October 3017

Paragraph 10

10a. Bomb proof quarters at Dutch Gap Canal
Butler, Benjamin F. (1892). “Butler’s Book.” Boston, MA: A.M. Thayer & Co. Internet Archives archive.org 26 January 1997 Web. 16 October 2017.
p. 748.

10b. Brig. Gen. Giles Waldo Shurtleff
added by John “J-Cat” Griffith
findagrave.com 5 December 1998 Web. 16 October 2017.

Paragraph 11

11a. Camp of Colored Volunteers before Richmond
Butler, Benjamin F. (1892). “Butler’s Book.” Boston, MA: A.M. Thayer & Co. Internet Archives archive.org 26 January 1997 Web. 16 October 2017.
p. 709.

11b. Detail charging U.S. Colored Troops B&L 4 p. 552.
The Battle of the Petersburg Crater by William H. Powell
“Battles and Leaders. Vol. 4”. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: archive.org. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
p. 552 – detail of a charge

11c. Cheval_de_frise wikipedia.org Illustration Chevaux de frise at the Confederate Fort Mahone defenses at Siege of Petersburg
wikimedia.org 24 July 2003 Web. 10 October 2017.

Paragraph 12

  1. Illustration of abatis
    Permission details
    This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Pearson Scott Foresman. This applies worldwide. In some countries this may not be legally possible; if so: Pearson Scott Foresman grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law. This work is free
    wikipedia.org 27 July 2001 Web. 9 October 2017.

Paragraph 13

13a. [Unidentified African American soldier in Union uniform with bayoneted musket, cap box, and cartridge box] loc.gov
Date Created/Published: [between 1863 and 1865]Title: [Unidentified African American soldier in Union uniform with bayoneted musket, cap box, and cartridge box]
Date Created/Published: [between 1863 and 1865]
loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 6 November 2017.

13b. Image captioned “Grant’s Campaign – The Battle at Chapin’s [sic] Farm, September 29, 1864.- Sketched by William Waud.-[See page 684]”. The text on page 684 describes the image as the assault on Fort Harrison in Henrico County, Virginia. (image cropped and cleaned)
Date: 1864; Source: Harper’s Weekly, page 676.
Author: William Waud (original sketch)
commons.wikimedia.org 5 June 2004 Web. 9 October 2017.
Also:
Battle of Chapin’s (sic) Farm – Harper’s Weekly, October 22, 1864, p. 676
sonofthesouth.net start date unavailable Web. 9 Oct. 1864

13c. (detail) Blacksmith loc.gov
Title: [Antietam, Md. Blacksmith shoeing horses at headquarters, Army of the Potomac]
Creator(s): Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882, photographer
Date Created/Published: 1862 September.
loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 6 November 2017.

13d. Crop of Fawx’s General Ulysses S. Grant at Cold Harbor loc.gov
Date: 1864
Source: Library of Congress
Author: Fawx, Edgar Guy [1]
commons.wikimedia.org 5 June 2004 Web. 9 October 2017.

Paragraph 14

14a. Captain George B. Cock of Company G 5th USCT service record “Wounded in action September 29, 1864, Deep Bottom, Va.” fold3.com
fold3.com 16 September 2011 Web. 2 October 2017

14b. Sergeant Powhatan Beatty wikipedia.org
Powhatan Beaty, Medal of Honor recipient. This photograph was part of the material prepared by W.E.B. Du Bois for the Negro Exhibit of the American Section at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900 to show the economic and social progress of African Americans since emancipation.
Date: Exhibited in 1900 (thus PD-US)
wikipedia.org 27 July 2001 Web. 9 October 2017.

14c. Captain Wales Wilbur service record fold3.com Co. A 5th USCT wounded and died Oct. 17, 1864 – fold3.com 16 September 2011 Web. 8 November 2017.

14d. Gustavus Fahrion service record p. 10 showing likely absence on September 29, 1864
fold3.com 16 September 2011 Web. 8 November 2017.

14e. Alexander Poundstone – Service record p. 11 showing absence on September 29, 1864
fold3.com 16 September 2011 Web. 8 November 2017.

14f. Sgt Major Milton Holland wikipedia.org
E. S. Walker; Columbus, Ohio – Heritage Auctions
This photo of Holland appears to have been taken later than the other wartime one. The large medal he’s wearing could by the Medal of Honor, which would place this photo in 1865, when he was awarded the medal.
Carte de Visite portrait photograph of Milton M Holland
wikipedia.org 27 July 2001 Web. 9 October 2017.

14g. Semblance only of First Sergeant James Bronson loc.gov
[Unidentified African American soldier in Union infantry sergeant’s uniform and black mourning ribbon with bayonet in front of painted backdrop]
Date Created/Published: [between 1863 and 1865]
loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 10 October 2017.

14h. James H. Brunson (sic) limited service records (lists as “musician”)
fold3.com 16 September 2011 Web. 8 November 2017.

Paragraph 15

Reid, Whitelaw. (1868). Ohio In The War-Volume II. Cincinnati, OH: Moore, Wilstach & Baldwin.
archive.org 19 January 2001 Web. 6 November 2017.
p. 915.

Paragraph 16

16a. wounded man arm up B&L 2 in front of battery Robinett by Walton Taber
“Battles and Leaders. Vol. 2”. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
p. 751 – wounded man arm up in front of battery Robinett by Walton Taber from photo by Matt Morgan.

16b. bugle on ground B&L 2 p. 644 by F. H. Schell
“Battles and Leaders. Vol. 2”. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
p. 644 – detail bugle on the ground

Paragraph 17

Title: The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies. ; Series 1 – Volume 42 (Part I)
Author: United States. War Dept., John Sheldon Moody, Calvin Duvall Cowles, Frederick Caryton Ainsworth, Robert N. Scott, Henry Martyn Lazelle, George Breckenridge Davis, Leslie J. Perry, Joseph William Kirkley. ebooks.library.cornell.edu 28 August 2004 Web. 20 February 2018.
– p. 136 – (casualties (total Federal) September 29, 1864).

Paragraph 18

  1. Assault of the Second Louisiana (Colored) Regiment on the Rebel Works at Port Hudson, May 27 From a Sketch by Our Special Artist Frank Leslie’s June 27, 1863 loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 20 February 2018.

Paragraph 19

19a.cannonfire – Jim Surkamp

19b. Cheval_de_frise wikipedia.org
Petersburg, Va. Sections of chevaux-de-frise before Confederate main works
SUMMARY: Photograph from the main eastern theater of war, the siege of Petersburg, June 1864-April 1865. NOTES: Civil War photographs, 1861-1865 / compiled by Hirst D. Milhollen and Donald H. Mugridge, Washington, D.C. : Library of Congress, 1977. No. 0428
Two plates form left (LC-B811-3206A) and right (LC-B811-3206B) halves of a stereograph pair. Forms part of Selected Civil War photographs, 1861-1865 (Library of Congress) – wikipedia.org 27 July 2001 Web. 6 November 2017.

19c. Redoubt and Signal Station at Cobb’s Hill, Va. by Michie, Peter S., 1st Lieut.
– digitalcollections.baylor.edu 18 February 2012 Web. 20 February 2018.

Paragraph 20

No Image

Paragraph 21

21a. Rallying behind the turnpike fence B&L 2 by Walton Taber
“Battles and Leaders. Vol. 2”. (1887). Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
p. 675 – Rallying behind the turnpike fence B&L 2 by Walton Taber

Paragraph 22

  1. Unidentified African American soldier in Union infantry sergeant’s uniform and black mourning ribbon with bayonet in front of painted backdrop – loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 20 February 2018.

22a. Battle of Nashville by Louis Kurz & Alexander Allison 1893 loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 20 February 2018.

22b. Arrival of First Confederate Cannon Captured by Gen. Butler’s Colored Troops.
Butler, Benjamin F. (1892). “Butler’s Book.” Boston, MA: A.M. Thayer & Co. Internet Archives archive.org 26 January 1997 Web. 16 October 2017.
p. 732.

22c. Unidentified African American soldier in Union sergeant uniform holding a rifle – loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 20 February 2018.

Paragraph 23

  1. Maj. General Benjamin Butler in the field by Mathew Brady
    warfarehistorynetwork.com 8 June 2014 Web. 17 November 2017

Title: Major General Benj. F. Butler
Date Created/Published: [photographed between 1861 and 1865, printed between 1880 and 1889]
Medium: 1 photographic print on card mount : albumen.
loc.gov 16 June 1997 Web. 20 February 2018.

Paragraph 24

  1. Edward A. Moore archive.org
    Moore, Edward Alexander. (1907). “The story of a cannoneer under Stonewall Jackson, in which is told the part taken by the Rockbridge artillery in the Army of northern Virginia.” New York, NY; Washington, Neale Publishing Co. Internet Archives archive.org 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.
    p. 60.

Paragraph 25

  1. Giles Waldo Shurtleff
    oberlinheritagecenter.org 22 November 2013 Web. 17 November 2017.

Paragraph 26-29

No images

Paragraph 30

Map Gilmer Harrison Harrison New Market Heights Butlers Book
Butler, Benjamin F. (1892). “Butler’s Book.” Boston, MA: A.M. Thayer & Co. Internet Archives archive.org 26 January 1997 Web. 16 October 2017.
p. 662. – Map Gilmer, Harrison, New Market Heights Butlers Book – (archive.org).

Paragraph 31

detail of painting of men charging
Catton, Bruce. (1960).”American Heritage Picture History of the Civil War” first edition.
New York: American Heritage Pub. Co.,

Paragraph 32-33

No images

Paragraph 34

special medal from Butler
Butler, Benjamin F. (1892). “Butler’s Book.” Boston, MA: A.M. Thayer & Co. Internet Archives archive.org 26 January 1997 Web. 16 October 2017.
Butler medal p. 743 – (archive.org).

Civil War Medal of Honor – ( civilwarhistory.wordpress.com) 26 June 2007 Web. 22 February 2018.

Paragraph 35

No images

Paragraph 36

Edwin Stanton – (wikipedia.org).

And, as I guided my horse this way and that way that his hoof might not profane their dead bodies, I swore to myself an oath, which I hope and believe I have kept sacredly, that they and their race should be cared for and protected by me to the extent of my power so long as I lived.

AFTER THE WAR:

Paragraph 37

Mustered Out by Alfred Waud – Harper’s Weekly May 19, 1866 – (loc.gov) 16 June 1997 Web. 20 February 2018.

37b. Tolbert Montage Semblance D.W. Arnett – (loc.gov) 16 June 1997 Web. 20 February 2018.

37c. Montage Title: Map of Jefferson County, Virginia
Summary: Shows Jefferson County before the formation of West Virginia in 1863.
Brown, S. Howell. Created / Published [S.l., s.n.,] 1852. – (loc.gov) 16 June 1997 Web. 20 February 2018.

Paragraph 38

  1. Shepherdstown, Va. 1862 viewed from Maryland by Alexander Gardner loc.gov (not online).

Paragraph 39

  1. Arnett’s marriage in 1873 to Maria Louisa Carter.
    – (wvculture.org).

Paragraph 40

40a. Arnett’s Pension Approval – (ancestry.com).

40b. Announcement of Arnett’s pension
Shepherdstown register., November 28, 1890, Image 3 – (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov).

Paragraph 41

FIRES HIT ARNETT’S SHEPHERDSTOWN HOMES

41a. Shepherdstown Register., September 17, 1896, page 3 – (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov).

41b. Plat of Arnett property Deed Book 99 pages 279-281.
– p. 281 -(documents.jeffersoncountywv.org).

41c. Location of Daniel Wilson Arnett’s property on east High Street in Shepherdstown – (google.com/maps) 13 October 2001 Web. 20 February 2018.

41d. Shepherdstown Register., October 22, 1896, page 3 – (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov) 3 June 2008 Web. 20 February 2018.

  1. Montage Map of, and house at 317 W. Academy St., Charles Town, WV – (google.com/maps) 13 October 2001 Web. 20 February 2018.
  2. Marriage certificate 1902 D. Arnett and Charlotte Adams – (wvculture.org) 2 March 2000 web. 20 February 2018.

44a. Jim Tolbert by Jim Surkamp, 2014.

44b. Robert A. Pinn – commons.wikimedia.org.

44c. Pension application – Robert A. Pinn. April 30, 1902. – Ordered to be printed – (genealogybank.com).

44d. Jim Tolbert by Jim Surkamp, 2014.

45a.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

– (findagrave.com).

45b.
– Shepherdstown Register Aug. 8, 1912 – (archive.org).

46.

  1. Former W.Va. NAACP President Jim Tolbert Has Died By LIZ MCCORMICK • NOV 1, 2017
    – (wvpublic.org).

D. Wilson Arnett – Jim Tolbert’s ancestor – “saw the elephant” – 14 Medals of Honor in one day

wikimedia.org

3,961 words

https://archive.org/details/battlesleadersof04cent/page/552/mode/2up?view=theater

The Charge to the Crater Battles & Leaders Vol 4 p. 552

18-year-old Private D. Wilson Arnett could no longer hear a thing in his left ear, burst in the awe-inspiring explosion of 8,000 pounds of gunpowder that in the wee hours of July 30, 1864 in front of Petersburg heaved horses, men and 400,000 cubic feet of earth into the air. The Federals planted the dynamite underground at the end of a tunnel they dug in secret and it blew a swath in the Confederate line. From that moment on and into old age, Arnett could only hear a bit in his right ear, not at all in his left ear – only of faint shouted orders, conversation, the birds and life in general. It mattered.

https://www.battlefields.org/learn/maps/new-market-heights-september-29-1864

The day before, Private Arnett’s 5th U.S. Colored Troops led . . .

wikipedia.org, fair use background film “Glory”
fold3.com
battlefields.org
Civil War Preservation Trust

TITLE: September 29, 1864 – The Battle on Chaffin’s Farm

Congressional Medal of Honor (the highest combat honor) of 1864 wikipedia.org
All images of recipients are under their individual names on wikipedia.org
Recipients without available likeness: William Henry Barnes, James H. Bronson, Alfred B. Hilton, Miles James, Edward Ratcliff, Charles Veale,

Fourteen men of color are awarded the highest honor – the Congressional Medal of Honor for their extreme, individual decisions of great bravery.

Civil War historian James Price writes:

James Price – sablearm.blogspot.com

“Thursday, September 29, 1864 is arguably one of the most important days in American history. Without question, it is certainly one of the most (if not THE most important day in African-American military history.” – Price, James S. (2011). ”The Battle of New Market: Freedom Will Be Theirs By The Sword.” Charleston SC: The History Press, Inc. p. 9 first paragraph in the Preface.

He goes on to say that the fighting Arnett bore with others “broke the outer ring of defenses” protecting the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.

fair use from the film Glory, map battlefields.org (Civil War Preservation Trust)

Arnett’s 5th U.S. Colored Troops infantry regiment had been given the heavy honor to lead an assault of 1,300 men – leading two other regiments: the 36th and 38th U.S. Colored Troops infantry regiments –

Battles & Leaders Vol. 4, p. 557

on a fortified position of seasoned Confederate Texans and Virginia artillerymen. The assault across an open field, part pine forest, part swamp, part ravine riddled with defensive abatis that needed to be breached – would come around 7:30 AM.

dead and wounded on battlefield near Richmond, 1864 B&L 4 p. 555

You could see dead and wounded on the field from an earlier failed assault by another.

Samuel A Duncan 1836-1895 MOLLUS

Gen. Duncan’s 1st Brigade,

Charles Jackson Paine (1833-1916) wikipedia.org

also in Gen. Paine’s Division to their right. Pvt. Arnett had to hear and follow any orders crossing that no man’s land –

Brig. Gen. Giles Waldo Shurtleff 1831-1904 findagrave.com

be it from the 5th’s Lt. Colonel Giles Shurtleff,

Ulysses L. Marvin 1839-1925 in later life S.A. Lane p. 269

Company I’s commander Ulysses Marvin

5f. Tolbert Robert Pinn 1843-1911 commons.wikimedia.org

or from his First Sergeant Robert Pinn.

Benjamin Butler 1818-1893 loc.gov
Fort Pillow Montage Leslie’s Weekly May 7, 1864

“Remember Fort Pillow and No quarter!!” exhorted their Major General Ben Butler, who commanded the overall Army of the River James, – the wholesale massacre of surrendering black Federal troops in that spring in Tennessee of which not a soldier listening that morning in that trench needed the slightest reminding.

detail Coffee Cooler by Edwin Forbes loc.gov

During the tense wait, sipping his coffee as the dawn came, Arnett perhaps thought how he came to this hinge-point in history: being born in October 28, 1846 in Martinsburg, serving as a teen coachman for Charles J. Faulkner Sr., one time Minister to France and a congressman at another, at Faulkner’s Boydville mansion.

Hon. Chas. J. Faulkner by Brady loc.gov; Mrs. Lydig and Her Daughter Greeting Their Guest by Edward Lamson Henry – the athenaeum.org
Boydville – boydville.com
Nathaniel P. Banks by Mathew Brady wikipedia.org; Martinsburg, then-Va. by Alfred Waud loc.gov
Map-Martinsburg-Winchester-Va-wikipedia.org_

May, 1862 saw Federal General Nathaniel Banks Army fleeing Confederate General Stonewall Jackson’s men northward through Martinsburg heading north – literally, for some – to the Promised Lands,

detail Map of Summit Co., Ohio (Akron) loc.gov

very likely when Arnett got his chance to abscond, winding up in Akron, Ohio where, married to one Maria Louisa of Jefferson County.

A Waiter at the Galt House, Louisville, Kentucky Edward King, The Great South; Illustration by James Wells Champney p. 696 docsouth.edu

He took a job as a waiter to help pay their bills. He himself would enlist during that time near Akron August 28, 1863.

A portion of the 127th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, later re-designated the 5th USCT, in Delaware, Ohio wikipedia.org
Service Record D. W. Arnett USCT 5th Infantry fold3 p.3
Bomb proof quarters at Dutch Gap Canal Butlers p. 747 archive.org
Giles Waldo Shurtleff Oberlin College

Their cups of coffee emptied, Lt. Colonel Giles Shurtleff rose and said to them all: “If you are brave soldiers, the stigma — denying you full and equal rights of citizenship shall be swept away and your race forever rescued from the cruel prejudice and oppression which have been upon you from the foundation of the government.” (Price, p. 70)

TITLE: 7:30 AM Deep Bottom Camp –

Camp of Colored Volunteers before Richmond archive.org

To Shurtleff’s order the 1300 men rose and stepped out on to no man’s land, stacked in a single column — feet wide 800 yards ahead were the dug in Texas sharpshooters and artillery.

Detail charging U.S. Colored Troops B&L 4 p. 55

The 5th led them easily at first out of the sharp-shooters range. They clambered through the first abatis of fallen trees, some using axes to remove it. Closer to the Confederate earthworks fire picked up then became a storm of blood letting men falling right and left in front. Shurtleff went down, Co. I’s Marvin was wounded also — officer in all, leaving all those units without officers to lead.

Cheval_de_frise wikipedia.org
abatis wikipedia by by Pearson Scott Foresman

The 5th led the others forward hacking through a second abatis of trees then found themselves raked with gunfire and in a marshy ravine, slightly to the left in a ravine. The slaughter was terrific as blue coats climbed up the wall of the ravine closest to the Confederates earthworks.

J. D. Pickens of the Texas Brigade acknowledged the fighting qualities of their attackers, writing, ‘I want to say in this connection that, in my opinion, no troops up to that time had fought us with more bravery than did those Negroes.’

Brigade commander Alonzo Draper who was also wounded and the only one able to furnish an official report wrote of the carnage of the white officers:

Lieut. Col. G. W. Shurtleff, Fifth U. S. Colored Troops, though repeatedly wounded, still strove to lead his regiment; First Lieut. Edwin C. Gaskill, Thirty-sixth U. S. Colored Troops, rushed in front of his regiment, and, waving his sword, called on the men to follow. At this moment he was shot through the arm, within twenty yards of the enemy’s works; First Lieut. Richard F. Andrews, Thirty-sixth U. S. Colored Troops, had been two months sick with fever and was excused from duty. He volunteered, being scarcely able to walk. He rode to the thicket, dismounted, and charged to the swamp, where he was shot through the leg; First Lieut. James B. Backup, Thirty-sixth U. S. Colored Troops, excused from duty for lameness, one leg being partially shrunk so that he could walk but short distances, volunteered, hobbled in as far as the swamp, and was shot through the breast; Lieutenant Bancroft, Thirty-eighth U. S. Colored Troops, was shot in the hip at the swamp. He crawled forward on his hands and knees, waving his sword and calling on the men to follow. When the brigade was making its final charge, a rebel officer leaped upon the parapet, waved his sword amid shouting, “Hurrah, my brave men.” Private James Gardiner, Company I, Thirty-sixth U. S. Colored Troops, rushed in advance of the brigade, shot him, and then ran the bayonet through his body to the muzzle.

Gen. John Gregg’s Texas Brigade had urgent orders to abandon the defense of New Market Heights and hurry towards Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy just a few miles away to help defend the attacked and under-manned Fort Gilmer.

The erroneous racist-tainted deduction went: “We killed or wounded almost all the white leaders of the black men. Thus, they are defeated because the black men don’t know how to fight and win on their own. They will panic and run for the camp back at Deep Bottom.”

Instead, the black first sergeants in four companies of the 5th, including Arnett’s Company I rose like lions, seized their colors from the fallen, bared bayonets and swooped down upon the earthworks, crashed through sending the Confederates scattering far and wide.

Powhatan Beaty Co. G 5th USCT (same as Arnett) wikipedia.org

Powhatan Beatty of Co. G left his men who retreated back to the first abatis rose ran forward in a hail of gun fire to retrieve their colors, returned to his men and charged forward. towards the enemy.

Of Company G’s eight officers and eighty-three enlisted men who entered the battle, only sixteen enlisted men, including Beaty, survived the attack unwounded. With no officers remaining, Beaty took command of the company and led it through a second charge at the Confederate lines. The second attack successfully drove the Confederates from their fortified positions, at the cost of three more men from Company G. By the end of the battle, over fifty percent of the black division had been killed, captured, or wounded. For his actions,

All of Company D’s officers had been killed or wounded in the first charge. So, James H. Bronson, a private and listed as a “musician,” took command of Company D, rallied the men, and led a renewed attack against the Confederate lines. They successfully broke through the abatis and palisades and captured the Confederate positions after hand-to-hand combat with the defenders.

Milton M. Holland Sergeant Major 5th U.S. Colored Infantry took command of Company C, after all the officers had been killed or wounded, and gallantly led it wikipedia.org

Milton M. Holland Sergeant Major of Company C, took command of Company C, after all the officers had been killed or wounded, and gallantly led it.

Edward A. Moore archivedotorg

Rockbridge artilleryman Moore recalled:
We hurriedly broke camp, as did Gary’s brigade of cavalry camped close by, and scarcely had time to reach high ground and unlimber before we were attacked. The big gaps in our lines, entirely undefended, were soon penetrated, and the contest quickly became one of speed to reach the shorter line of fortifications some five miles nearer to and in sight of Richmond.

Colonel Shurtleff regained consciousness just in time to see his troops “chasing the rebels over a hill a quarter of a mile beyond the works they had captured.”

Arnett’s Company has to fight again at nearby Fort Gilmer;

Division commander Charles Paine, oblivious to the fight the 5th and others had just fought, ordered them to the Confederate-held Fort Gilmer, facing more withering fire. Private Arnett and Sergeant Pinn were among them.

Moore, whose Rockbridge Artillery traveled the five miles from New Market Heights saw what happened from their new position to the right of and close to Fort Gilmer:

The fact that a superb fight was made was fully apparent when we entered the fort an hour later, while the negroes who made the attack were still firing from behind stumps and depressions in the cornfield in front, to which our artillery replied with little effect. The Fort was occupied by about sixty men who, I understood, were Mississippians. The ditch in front was eight or ten feet deep and as many in width. Into it, the negroes leaped, and to scale the embankment on the Fort side climbed on each other’s shoulders, and were instantly shot down as their heads appeared above it.

Sergeant Pinn was shot through the right thorax, rendering his right arm useless for the rest of his life.

Pinn, Beaty, Holland and Bronson (Brunson) were all awarded Congress-approved Congressional Medals of Honor for their bravery that day along with eleven other men of color.

Butler’s report to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton four days after the battle in part read: ‘My colored troops under General Paine…carried intrenchments at the point of a bayonet…It was most gallantly done, with most severe loss. Their praises are in the mouth of every officer in this army. Treated fairly and disciplined, they have fought most heroically.’

AFTER THE WAR

Arnett survived, eventually returned to live in Shepherdstown and remarried after the death of his first wife. A fire destroyed their Shepherdstown home. The Arnetts moved to Charlestown where began a long-term effort to obtain a pension for Arnett’s health, although he had a pension for his deafness.


In 1902, he was married to my great-great-great aunt Charlotte Arnett. Charlotte Arnett lived at 317 W. Academy Street here in Charles Town, West Virginia.

Google Maps
ancestry.com

David (Daniel) Arnett) after the Civil War, his wife applied for a pension because his wife was hard of hearing, also he developed heart trouble and he died from heart trouble.

She put in an application to the Pension Bureau (in the Department of Interior at that particular time). She wanted to get a pension and contained in his pension records are affidavits, also statements from several physicians, who had indicated that there was no indication on the record that showed that Arnett developed heart trouble from being in the military and being in combat. She tried from several directions to get a pension for his heart trouble.

chronicling america – loc.gov

However, she did get a small pension – he got a small pension for his deafness.

findagrave.com

He died. He was buried in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. His gravesite is clearly marked, of course.

He was also in the same group – the same company (Company I) – with Robert Pinn. Pinn was a Medal of Honor winner.

And when Arnett and his wife were trying to get the pension, Robert Pinn was asked for an affidavit,

Robert Pinn Medal of Honor recipient and after the war a lawyer who provided some confirmation that Arnett’s deafness was caused September 29-30, 1864 – wikipedia.org, civilwar.org


Pinn had returned to his home in Stark County, Ohio, and opened a contracting business. Later he attended Oberlin College, studied law and, after being admitted to the bar, served as a U.S. pension attorney.

Pinn only mentioned that he did serve with him (Arnett) was also there when the cannons were going off at New Market Heights, Virginia; but he, of course, could not verify that his (Arnett’s) heart trouble was from that, only that he served in the same unit with Arnett.

Charlotte Arnett even approached Congressman Brown from the State of West Virginia, trying to get a pension on Arnett’s behalf. But in the long run, she did not get that pension, because the army doctors had all certified that the heart trouble did not come from being in close proximity with the cannons.

The house that Charlotte and David (Daniel) Arnett lived in is still in the family at 317 West Academy Street, and every time I approach that particular house, I think of Aunt Charlotte and of course Uncle David.

Miller’s Photographic History of the Civil War
George Rutherford, Sen. Robert C. Byrd and Jim Tolbert. representing the WV NAACP

James Alvin Tolbert, Sr. | 1932 – 2017 | Obituary

James Alvin Tolbert, Sr. of Charles Town, WV passed on October 26, 2017. He was a guest of Hospice of the Panhandle, Kearneysville, WV. He was born in Charles Town on September 3, 1932 to the late Edward and Ollie Lightfoot Tolbert. He was the youngest of four siblings. He graduated from Page-Jackson High School in 1950.

After graduation James began his working career serving in US Air Force as a dental laboratory technician in Japan during the Korean War. After his military service, he attended West Virginia State (University) in Institute, West Virginia, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology in 1958. He became a medical technologist at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD before beginning a career with the Department of Veterans Affairs as a nuclear medical technologist at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center. He then served as a Personnel Staffing Specialist at the Baltimore Medical Center and retired in 1988 as a Personnel Staffing Specialist in the Washington, D.C. Central Office.

As a Life Member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, James served in numerous capacities and on various committees. He was President of the Jefferson County Branch from 1968 to 1974 and President of the West Virginia State Conference of Branches from 1986 – 2007. He also served as the Region III Chair for Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, West Virginia, and Illinois.

From 1983 to 1985, he served as Most Worshipful Grand Master, Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of WV, F&M, Inc.; Past Master and Secretary, Star Lodge #1, Charles Town; Past Recorder, Nile Temple #27 of the Shriners, Martinsburg; Prior, I.M. Carper Consistory #192, 32nd Degree, Martinsburg. James was also a member Allegheny Chapter #9 of the Royal Arch Masons of Fairmont and a member of Gibraltar Commandery #10 of the Knight Templars, Fairmont. He was Grand Inspector General, 33rd Degree, United Supreme Council, Prince Hall Affiliation, Washington, DC; Deborah Chapter #38, Order of the Eastern Star, Charles Town, Grand Historian, Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of WV and a proud member of Alpha Iota Lambda Chapter, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Charleston, WV.

A lifelong member of St. Philips Episcopal Church, James served as a lay reader, chalice bearer, Vestry member, clerk and Sunday School Superintendent and as Senior and Junior Wardens. He was former Chair of the Episcopal Keymen of the Eastern Convocation, Diocese of West Virginia and served as former member of Executive Committee and Member and Past President of the Diocesan Committee on Racism. He served as a member of the Committee to elect the Fifth Bishop of West Virginia.

James was committed to numerous community activities. He was a board member of the Jefferson County Economic Development Authority; Chair of the African-American Community Association that was responsible for the restoration of Fisherman Hall; he was a Founder/Secretary of the Jefferson County Black History Preservation Society; he was a member of the West Virginia Martin Luther King Holiday Commission; member of the Community Relations Council, Harpers Ferry Job Corp; and a member Marshall- Holly Mason American Legion Post #102. James was the longest serving member of the Zenith Club, a social organization; and he supported a Multicultural Scholarship named in honor of his mother, Ollie Lightfoot Tolbert, at Shepherd University. James was the Chair and sat on the Board of Directors of the George Washington Carver Institute; served on the City of Charles Town Development Committee; was an interviewer on the Affirmative Action Committee for the Shepherd University Multicultural Leadership Scholarship. He was on the Boards of Directors of the Arts and Humanities Alliance; the Jefferson County American Red Cross; and the Jefferson County Boys and Girls Club. He served on the Board of Managers, Charles Town General Hospital; was President of the Board of Directors, Eastern Panhandle Mental Health Center. He was an organizer, leader, and committeeman of Cub Scout Pack #42; and organizer of the Charles Town Recreation League; Treasurer of the Jefferson County Civic League; and served on the EEO Committee, Baker VA Medical Center, Martinsburg. He served on numerous committees for the Jefferson County Schools.

Because of his dedicated service to his local, state, and national communities, James was honored with various awards and recognition. The James A. Tolbert, Sr. Civil Rights Scholarship was donated in perpetuity by Attorney and Mrs. J. Franklin Long of Bluefield WV and Hilton NC. He was awarded the 2011 Martin Luther King, Jr. Achievement Award from the West Virginia University Center for Black Culture and Research and the 1976 T.G. Nutter Award from the West Virginia NAACP. He received the 2003 West Virginia Civil Rights Day Award by the Governor’s Office; the Charleston Job Corp Center; West Virginia State University; and the West Virginia Human Rights Commission. In 1987, he received the Community Service Award given by Kappa Lambda Mu Sorority and in 2008, he was awarded the Community Service Award from the Eastern Panhandle Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. In 1988, he received the Living the Dream Award from the West Virginia Martin L. King Holiday Commission for Human and Civil Rights. In 1991 & 2002, he received the Dr. Benjamin Hooks Award, NAACP Midwest Region III as State President of Year. He was recognized in 1987 by the West Virginia Blue Ribbon Commission on Educational Reform and was honored by the West Virginia Human Rights Commission Task Force in 1992. In 2003, he received the 2003 Earl Ray Tomblin Community Service Award from the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.

James is survived by his wife of 61 years, Shirley Tolbert; his sons James Jr. (Constance) of Pittsburg, California; Michael (Erica) of Charles Town, WV and Stephen (Kim) of Ellicott City, Maryland; three grandsons, Miles, Aidan, and Logan; step-grandsons, Garik Pugh and William Lewis, Jr. and step-great granddaughters Alexis and Aniya Hemingway-Lewis. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a son Gregory and three siblings, Marion Tolbert Taylor, Edwina Tolbert, and William Tolbert, Sr. Survivors also include many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He is also survived by former daughter-in-law Rachel Mahoney Tolbert.

Visitation will be from 6 pm to 8 pm, Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at the Eackles-Spencer & Norton Funeral Home, 256 Halltown Rd, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425. The funeral; service will be held at Zion Episcopal Church, 301 East Congress St., Charles Town, WV. 25414 at 11 am on Thursday, November 2, 2017. The service will be conducted by Reverend Joseph Rivers of St. Philips Episcopal Church, Charles Town and Reverend Michael Morgan of Zion Episcopal Church.

Interment will be in Milton Valley Cemetery in Berryville, Virginia.

In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that donations be made to Hospice of the Panhandle, 30 Hospice Ln, Kearneysville, WV 25430.

REFERENCES;

Links to previous two posts no longer available on the main web, but in the wayback machine’s web.archive:

Daniel Arnett & The Medal of Honor Moment – New Market Heights, Va. Sept. 29, 1864 by Jim Surkamp https://web.archive.org/web/20181024145240/https://civilwarscholars.com/2018/03/daniel-arnett-the-medal-of-honor-moment-new-market-heights-va-sept-29-1864-by-jim-surkamp/

Daniel Arnett and the Medal of Honor Moment – by Jim Surkamp References
https://web.archive.org/web/20190612142441/https://civilwarscholars.com/2018/03/daniel-arnett-and-the-medal-of-honor-moment-by-jim-surkamp-references/

The CRATER STORY THE FOLLOWING DAY (SEPTEMBER 30, 1864(

18-year-old Private D. Wilson Arnett could no longer hear a thing in his left ear, burst in the awe-inspiring explosion of 8,000 pounds of gunpowder that in the wee hours of July 30, 1864 in front of Petersburg heaved horses, men and 400,000 cubic feet of earth into the air. The Federals planted the dynamite underground at the end of a tunnel they dug in secret and it blew a swath in the Confederate line. From that moment on and into old age, Arnett could only hear a bit in his right ear, not at all in his left ear – only of faint shouted orders, conversation, the birds and life in general. It mattered.

The Charge to the Crater Battles & Leaders Vol 4 p. 552

The deafening explosion that destroyed Arnett’s hearing is narrated here with the ensuing fight on September 30, 1864 near to where the fight the day before occurred on Chaffin’s Farm, Va.

STORY 24 – THE CRATER CLIMAX FROM 1.47:41 to 1:58.39

MORE

The “Bromance” of Dick Morris and Ambrose Hite Ranson. . .and the bottle

2477 words

Ambrose Ranson – findagrave.com of Zion Episcopal Church, Charles Town, WV; Dick Morris – semblance only from a painting by Julian Scott, Surrender of a Confederate Soldier, 1873, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Nan Altmayer, 2012.23 americanart.si.edu

from “Dick” by A.R.H. Ranson – Harper’s July, 1911

loc.gov
Harper’s New Monthly January 1860, p. 170 – David Hunter Strother (Porte Crayon)

When Dick was a little boy, he was scullion in the kitchen. He carried the wood and water for the cook, and scoured the pots and kettles,

Kitchen at Mount Vernon by Eastman Johnson (not Gap View)

and turned the spit when the turkey was roasting, dipping and basting the gravy from the pan. I took him out of the kitchen and put him on the box with me to open gates as I drove about the country.

West Virginia and Regional History Center – by David Hunter Strother P.95.30 390pg 13a

I soon found out that he had a liking for horses, and that he took great pride in his promotion, and gradually I worked him up into a coachman.

King, Edward. (1875). “The Great South; A Record of Journeys in Louisiana, Texas, the Indian Territory, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland:” Illustrated by Champney, James Wells. Hartford, Conn. American Publishing Co. Print.
San Francisco Plantation, Garyville, Louisiana – pinterest.com

I not only taught him to drive, but also had him taught how to take care of harnesses and carriages, and when he grew to manhood gave him the charge of my wife’s carriage and horses. The horses were beauties, the carriage and harness were new and bright, and Dick showed his pride in them by keeping everything in order, and never turned out without seeing that everything was bright and would shine and glitter in the sun. But the glories of that time were passing away from Dick. When the war came the carriage rested in the carriage-house, the horses were taken by the Yankees, and Dick became my servant in the army of the South — a gentleman’s gentleman, as he called himself.

THE CIVIL WAR

He was captured twice with me by Union forces, and each time refused the freedom which his capture gave him. Once I discharged him for being drunk. Think! Discharging a slave! It was at Chattanooga, and Dick hung around headquarters for several days and was very unhappy. Finally he came to me with a Bible in his hand and said, “I want to swear on this that if you will take me back, I will not drink a drop during the war.” He took the oath and kept it faithfully to the end, at Appomattox.

Julian Scott, Surrender of a Confederate Soldier, 1873, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Nan Altmayer, americanart.si.edu semblacnes only of Ranson and Dick

When I was captured at Rich Mountain I was ill, and was sent to the Federal hospital, an immense tent. I had not fully recovered when we evacuated our position, and wandering about the mountains in the rain for two days and two nights without food had brought on a relapse. And besides enduring the exposure, we had forded the river nine times in the vain effort to avoid large bodies of the enemy’s troops. The sand got into my boots, and when my socks were taken off, the skin came off with them. I was a pitiable object. Dick stuck to me. He was free now to go where he pleased, but he never left me. He was by my cot all day, kept off the flies from my raw and skinless feet, and did what he could to alleviate my sufferings.

At night he crept under my cot and took his only rest on the bare ground.

Col. John Pegram CSA – wikipedia.org

When I was well enough to go North with Colonel Pegram. I asked Dick what he was going to do, now that he was free. He said that he would go with me. When I told him that was impossible, he said, “Well, if I can’t go with you, I will go back to Miss Lizzie” (A.R.H. Ranson’s wife Lucy Ranson).

semblance of Lucy Glenn Ranson (1842 – 1919) (his wife)
by David Hunter Strother – WV and Regional History Collection wvhistoryonview.org
Google maps

When he was leaving. I gave him two hundred dollars in Virginia Valley Bank notes (it was before the days of Confederate money), and he walked two hundred and sixty-three miles by way of Staunton one hundred and fifty, and down the Valley, a hundred and thirteen — to my home in the Valley, and gave my wife one hundred and ninety-six dollars of the money.

Battle of Murfeesboro, Tennessee – wikipedia.org

When I was exchanged, Dick joined me and remained with me to the end. He followed me on to the field at the battle of Murfreesboro, against orders, and when I remonstrated he said, “Who’s going to carry you off when you’re killed?” The shells were skipping over the ground and bursting about us in a lively way, and I was thinking that I was risking two horses.

confederate drummer boy – Library Of Congress / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY 1.0 ranker.com

At last I came upon a little drummer-boy shot through the body, and put him up in front on Dick’s horse, and sent him to the hospital, and thus got rid of Dick. Dick never forgot me.

The Bright Side by Winslow Homer – Google Arts Project wikimedia.org

The other officers had servants (hired ones), but with them it was “out of sight, out of mind.” They came generally when they were called, and not always then.

The photographic history of the Civil war by
Miller, Francis Trevelyan Volume 1
p. 279 archive.org

After a long day’s march, when the wagons and all supplies were far behind, Dick would come up when we halted for the night, and take my tired horse and leave me a fresh one. He always had in his pocket some morsel of food, if only a dirty piece of bread, for me.

By the summer of 1864 General Lee’s staff was camped on the north bank of Appomattox, opposite Petersburg. It was a good camping-ground, and for a long time we enjoyed it, but when the leaves fell from the trees, we found we were in sight and range of the enemy’s guns. Before the leaves fell, we found that out. It may have been on information from a deserter, or it may have been our tell-tale smoke, but at any rate,

Camp Fire by Winslow Homer – metmuseum.org
detail National Park Service
Briscoe Gerard Baldwin Jr Col CSA Arty – geni.com

one morning the enemy opened on us with great energy and precision. A shell passed through Colonel Baldwin’s tent, and he came out with a look on his face as though some indignity had been offered him. But there was no time for explanations.

The tents of the medical department were on fire, and there could be no doubt as to the source from which had come the rain of shot and shell which poured in on us, and we lost no time in gaining a position of safety behind some projecting rocks.

Photograph from the main eastern theater of the war, Bull Run, 2nd Battle of, Va., 1862, July-August 1862 by O’Sullivan, Timothy H. loc.gov

When the firing began, Dick was watering the staff horses in the river, sitting on one and holding three by the halter straps. A shell fell in the water near him, and, bursting, threw up a fountain higher than the trees, and one of the horses got loose.

We all yelled at Dick to come under shelter and leave the loose horse to follow, but it was useless. Around and ’round he rode in the river, vainly striving to catch the perverse beast, regardless of the shells flying thick around him, churning the water into foam and covering him with spray.

[African American men tending a horse]
Creator(s): Brady, Mathew B. – loc.gov

At last he succeeded, and riding leisurely along by our hiding-place, we heard him mutter, “White folks gittin’ mighty careful of themselves.”

During the year I was on duty in Tennessee I went to Richmond, taking Dick with me. I had many commissions to execute for the staff. One day I took him shopping with me to carry the many packages. Prices had advanced since I was last there, and the money gave out before I had completed my purchases.

1862 T-49 $100 One Hundred Dollar Confederate Currency Lucy Pickens CSA WAR Note | eBay

When Dick saw the situation, he drew from his pockets large wads of Confederate notes, and laid them on the counter, saying, “There’s plenty of money.” I told him I could not take his money. He exclaimed: “Don’t I belong to you? Don’t my clothes, my money, and everything I have belong to you? I am surprised at you, I am. If you won’t take the money, the man can have it,” and he thrust his hands into his empty pockets, and walking to the door, looked out into the street.

Of course I took enough for my purposes, and, when we reached my quarters, repaid him, and

asked him where he got so much money. Oh, he said, that was easy. When last in Richmond, he had sold his watch for two hundred dollars. It had not run for two years for him, but he thought perhaps it might run for somebody else. He who bought it was a “fool,” he said, but “thought he was smart.”

When he got back to the army, Dick invested his money in eatables.

farmhouse by Thomas and Walter Biscoe wvhistoryonview; medicalnewstoday.com; lymanorchards.com; extension.usu.edu; ebay.com

When the army was on the march, he visited all the farmhouses along the road, and bought anything they had in the shape of food — apples, potatoes, cabbage, chickens, eggs.

loc.gov

When the column halted, he set up shop by our wagon, and the hungry men bought him out at any price he would ask. Once he said he bought a barrel of apples for five dollars and retailed it out at more than one hundred dollars profit. He bought cabbage at ten cents per head and sold it at one dollar a head. Every day on the march he did this, until he was known in the army as a capitalist with thousands of dollars.

He was very ordinary-looking, short, thickset, strong as an ox; black, with short kinky wool, receding forehead, very small eyes, and a nose so turned up that the nostrils looked like the muzzle of a double-barreled gun. He had one tooth out in front, and when he grinned and his red tongue was thrust into the vacant space of the missing tooth, he was a sight to behold.

A habitual frown wrinkled up his forehead and gave him a forbidding look, but when he smiled, his face lighted up in a wonderful way. Take him altogether, Dick was certainly no beauty, but beneath his ugliness, there was a faithful heart which redeemed him in the eyes of those who knew him. I, for one, never saw his ugliness unless some one reminded me of it.

loc.gov

Besides being a trader, Dick was a horse-doctor, with a large and lucrative practice. He cured scratches at ten dollars a head for soldiers, and up to fifty dollars for a general.

Once when I was absent from the army, Dick was up for stealing. He defended himself, making, I was told, a very effective speech.

He said: “I don’t steal, I don’t. I has no cause to steal! I got more money than I know what to do with [and he pulled out his wads of it]; then what am I going to steal for? I forgot! There is one thing I will steal for — my master’s horses. If the Quartermaster won’t give me the feed, then he got to look out, for I’m going to steal it sure,

and I’ll tell him so to his face [the Quartermaster was on the court}. And I would steal for my master if he needed it, but he don’t need it. But I won’t steal for myself, ’cause I got no cause to steal. Now I’ve told you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.”

And he was acquitted by unanimous vote of the court martial, all of them laughing, and Dick grinning, with his small eyes nearly closed, his double-barreled nose leveled at them, and his red tongue protruding through the aperture in his white teeth.

Texas, the Indian Territory, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland:” Illustrated by Champney, James Wells. Hartford, Conn. American Publishing Co. Print. p. 325

When the army surrendered at Appomattox, Dick asked me if I could spare him until he could go back to Petersburg with General Lee. He said there was a “nice yeller gal” in Petersburg, and that he would marry her and bring her home with him, so that “Miss Lizzie’ (Lucy – Mrs. Ranson-ED) would have somebody to wait on her.

He had been taking care of the General’s horse, “Traveler,” on the retreat from Petersburg, and of course I told him to go. General Lee’s servants had deserted during the retreat.

About three months after I reached home I had a letter from an officer I had known, telling me that Dick was in Petersburg and wished to come home, but had no money. The days of Confederate dollar were over, and Dick’s thousands would not buy him a breakfast. I sent the money, and in four days Dick appeared at the farm, minus the wife.

He remained with me about a year, but he was but an indifferent hand for a poor man trying to farm. He might have done well as a coachman, but even that is doubtful, because he had taken to drinking again, and being free, I could exercise no control over him. At last I determined to part with him. One day when he was perfectly sober I told him I thought we had better part, that I wished we might do it as friends, but feared that some day I would lose my temper. He agreed with me, and we parted in the most friendly way.

Some years after, I moved to Baltimore, and then saw Dick once a year, when I visited Charlestown on business relating to settling up my father’s estate. On each of these visits I saw that Dick was degenerating more and more.

He was always overjoyed to see me, but insisted on my taking him to Baltimore with me. I explained that I was living in a small house and on small means, and there was no room for him, nor anything for him to do, as I had no horses.

The last time I saw him was in 1885, twenty years after the end of the war. I had gone to Charlestown, and after breakfast the next morning I was walking across to the court-house, when I met Dick in the middle of the street. He rushed at me and, taking me in his arms, lifted me and held me high in the air.

Jefferson County Museum

I begged him to put me down — everybody was laughing. He said, “I got you now, and I ain’t going to let you go until you promise to take me back to Baltimore.” Of course I could not take him. About a year afterward I heard that he was dead. Poor Dick!

Today in the Jefferson County Courthouse deed room, where all the original record books are, there is only one man, listed as being black who died in the period from 1885-1889 inclusive. This man listed in the record books died August 9th, 1889 of consumption. He was forty-nine years old. His name was Richard Morris. Poor Dick.

Jefferson County Clerk – Deed room Death Records

Ambrose Robert Hite Ranson
VMI Class Other Affiliation
1849
Biography & Genealogy
Ambrose Robert Hite Ranson, Class of 1849: Genealogy: Born- April 12, 1831 in Jefferson Co. Va. (Now W. Va.) Father- James Lackland Ranson, born in Kentucky; Mother- Fanny Madison Hite of Jefferson Co. Va. Pat. Grandfather- Ambrose Ranson; Pat. Grandmother- Betty Lochland. Mat. Grandfather- George Hite; Mat. Grandmother- Deborah Rutherford. Married- 1st [first name unknown] Frame of Jefferson Co. Va.; 2nd- Helen Glenn of Baltimore, Md. Children- Four daughters from 1st marriage [names unknown]; one daughter named Miriam and one son, name unknown from 2nd marriage. VMI Record: Entered VMI- Oct. 5, 1846; Graduated July 4, 1849 standing 22 in a class of 24. Civil War Record- Appointed 2nd Lieut. in the Provisional Army of Confederate States. Infantry Nov. 5, 1861; Assigned as Adjutant to then Lt. Col. J. Pegram; Captured at Rich Mountain July, 1861; Exchanged, then assigned to ordnance duty at Briarfield Arsenal, Columbus Ms., but probably never reported there; Appointed Major in the Provisional Army of Confederate States. and assigned to Pegram’s staff as Commissary Officer; reigned as Major of PACS Dec. 12, 1863; Assigned to duty with Lt. Col. B. G. Baldwin, Chief of Ordnance as 2nd Lieut.; In hospital with Camp Fever Sept 21- Oct. 12, 1864; Promoted to Captain Oct. 28, 1864; Paroled at Appomattox. Careers: Farmer before the war; Merchant after the war. Died- May 12, 1919 in Baltimore, Md.
vmi.edu

VIDEO: Dick Morris and Ambrose Ranson by Jim Surkamp TRT: 15:41

VIDEO: Dick Morris and Ambrose Ranson by Jim Surkamp TRT: 15:41- the video’s text is the same as the post, but some images vary.

Flickr.com presents images used in the video in sequence and each accompanied by the script of the video that shows that images place in the narrative.

Flickr.com
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimsurkamp/sets/72157642317237773/

Stephen Goens – Cook and People Smuggler (?)

When the war began, Stephen Goens was a free, mulatto, 23-year old boatsman, living with the family of 53-year-old boatsman Lawson and 50-year-old Sarah Goens. Stephen’s birth parents had moved back to Rockingham County in the 1840s. In the summer of 1840, Lawson and Stephen ferried high society types, who had taken a B&O train to Harper’s Ferry, then a MORE. . .

Isaac Carter owner of Carter House and at one time also manager of The Springs resort Image is semblance only and by David Hunter Strother – West Virginia University Library
Shannondale Springs as seen from the Kabletown side of the Shenandoah

Winchester-Potomac train to Charlestown, where the owner of the fancy Carter House, across from the courthouse there, provided them with carriage services to this Isaac Carter’s other prize – the famous, President-studded, ring tournament-holding Shannondale Springs resort across the Shenandoah River from Kabletown. And to get there, no matter who you were – you needed Stephen and Lawson Goens and their ferry.

Bushy Ridge- and the Underground Railroad and Shannondale Springs

Shannondale Springs, with many social types coming and going from Washington or by train from Baltimore was suspected of being a facilitator of an underground railroad operation that required the ferry of the Goens. Strong indications are that the ferry and the freed black community, within a mile from the resort called Bushy Ridge, was a first stop on the dangerous journey to Canada. The freed families of the Halls (7), Newmans (8), Goens (13), Johnson (4), and Hart (4) made up this community.

He appears to have been impressed into becoming the cook for Company K of the 2nd Virginia Confederate regiment drawing its members from around Charlestown. Cleon Moore, later the County clerk and, other times, an employee for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad wrote later of the time Company K arrived in Winchester in the fall prior to a march – a fatal, disastrous affair – to Bath (today Berkeley Springs) in which the men under Jackson slept without tents and would awake to find themselves covered with snow, and cholera ravaging their numbers.

In a few days we were marched through Winchester and encamped near Stephenson’s Depot. Here we fixed for the winter, at least we thought so. We did not build huts but pitched our tents in a field. Joe Crane, Charlie Aisquith, Horace Gallaher occupied a tent together.

Cleon Moore – Moore, Cleon. (1988). “The Civil War Recollections of Cleon Moore.” Louis Santucci, (Ed.). Magazine of the Jefferson County Historical Society Vol. LIV. pp. 89-109. Print.

We had Steve Goens (a colored) man to cook for us and we lived well.

Stephen Goens died March 28, 1890 and was buried in the Old School Baptist churchyard in Rippon, WV – findagrave.com and County Death Records. Actual age at death is likely not sixty but fifty-three, because the only Stephen Goes (mulatto) in the 1850 and 1860 Censuses shows him to be 13 and 23, respectively.
Courtesy Aaron Lennox
Courtesy Addison Reese – NOTE GPS coordinates upper right

John Wesley Seibert – The Revered Black Barber of Shepherdstown

2147 words

from left to right names below (History of Shepherdstown 1730-1733 by C.S. Musser p. 97
findagrave.com –
Addison Reese

The wagon moving the coffin of black barber, John Wesley “Wes” Seibert, rumbled gingerly on to the entrance to Rose Hill Cemetery, on the north side of Shepherdstown’s High Street in the black part of town – followed on foot by Henry L. Snyder, the editor of the superb Shepherdstown Register and Wes’ neighbor, three ministers from the black Methodist Church, the white Presbyterian Church and, followed by those, still alive and wearing grief arm bands, from the 2nd Virginia Infantry regiment forty years ago -John G. Unseld, Jacob Wintermoyer, the haberdasher; J. William Taylor, David Hout, George G. Adams, the confectioner; J.T. Grove; John Philip Entler, , carpenter; Joseph Yontz, a painter; Edward Lucas, Charles Ferrell, William Arthur, Post Humrickhouse.

These were just some of the heads – what Beatle Paul McCartney sang – “that he had the pleasure to know,” first, in a building that burned, then in half of a rebuilt one on the same site with a partitioned interior. The other half matched the clipping sounds and small talk of Wes with his patrons with the hair-raising howls and screams through the wall of those patrons as the dentist was determined to yank out that bad tooth.

As those veterans made their way, memories flew to their young selves waking up with no tent protection in December, 1861 to find their blankets covered with a blanket of snow. Henry Kyd Douglas of Ferry Hill awoke startled by the men flailing on flames of his blankets from the crackling fire. So how Wes – the official cook for Company B of the 2nd Virginia – found them something to eat. When supply wagons couldn’t make it there on the ice, somehow it was Wes who found them food and cooked it for them. On this march, Wes looked out for them better than Stonewall, who seldom did. All through the war you could count on Wes. So they were walking behind their brother in war to his grave.

John Wesley Seibert’s home in later years; his next-door neighbor of H.L. Snyder, was the editor of the Shepherdstown Register – Google Maps

Wes never had children. He lived on New Street in his final years in a fine house still standing today and once owned by Brooks Lucas and Daniel Bedinger Lucas that Wes gave a fine porch across the front.

SUMMER, 1859 at FALLING SPRINGS/MORGAN SPRINGS

drawing in summer 1859 by A.R. Boteler of Morgans Springs estate where Wesley Seibert was a teenager

Born in January, 1846, he was a busy teenager at the Falling Springs farm of Eliza Morgan — where Richard Morgan’s 1734 cabin site was neighbor’d by a majestic mansion — cooking for a huge barbecue and celebration in the summer of 1859 a few weeks before the John Brown Raid.

Congressman Alexander R. Boteler

Congressmen Alexander Boteler who lived nearby at Fountain Rock with his family wrote:

We arrived at Morgan’s Spring, which is less than a mile from the town; and having consigned our horses to the care of the servant, we were glad to leave the carriage and take a stroll about the premises.

No lovelier spot could be selected for a rural festival. In front of an old-fashioned and somewhat dilapidated house, long since abandoned by its proprietors for a more modern mansion, not far off, upon a loftier but less romantic site, a sloping lawn sweeps down to the margin of a mimic lake, which mirrors on its silver surface the “high o’er-arching” trees that bend their sheltering arms above it.

Morgan Springs – My Ride to the Barbecue by A.R. Boteller

This is “Morgan’s Spring” and such has been its designation for more than a century, the property of which it constitutes a part having continued in possession of the same family since the first settlement of the valley. In former times it is said to have been a favorite trysting-place for the faithful lovers of the neighboring town.

We found the principal improvised tables arranged for dinner in the form of a quadrangle, inclosing an area of at least an acre, in the center of which was a large tent or booth, filled with a great variety of provisions. In convenient proximity to the tables the culinary operations were progressing upon a scale of profuse abundance, and after a fashion that was no less primitive than profuse.

There appeared to be about half a hundred whole carcasses of full-grown and well-fattened sheep and hogs, each having two long iron rods run through its length — ” barbe a queue” — so as to keep it spread open in the position termed by heraldic writers “displayed.” These were all laid across a trench (the projecting ends of the rods resting upon each side thereof), which was about a hundred feet in length by four deep, and in the bottom of which was a bed of glowing coals, that was replenished from time to time from large log fires kept constantly burning close by for that purpose.

At suitable intervals along the sides of the trench were iron vessels, some filled with salt, and water; others with melted butter, lard, etc., into which the attendants dipped linen cloths affixed to the ends of long, flexible wands, and delicately applied them with a certain air of dainty precision to different portions of the roasting meat.

This part of the process was done with such earnest solemnity of manner, as to impress a beholder with the conviction that there was some important mystery meant by the particular mode in which the carcasses were so ceremoniously touched with the saturated cloths. During this operation, other attendants were busily engaged in turning over the huge roasts, one after another, so that all sides of each should be done equally alike.

William Augustine Morgan, descended from Eliza, brought his family to Falling Springs and took it over for Eliza who still owned it but lived in Shepherdstown with the Parran’s on the northeast corner of German and Mill Street. A sale of enslaved at Fallings Springs executed by William Morgan appeared to have included Wesley’s parents, Jacob and Susannah Seibert.

When Virginia voted to secede in mid-April, 1861 and local militias raced to at least capture equipment and guns from the federal arsenal in Harper’s Ferry, William Morgan was joining the 1st Virginia Cavalry as other Shepherdstown men were becoming Company B in the 2nd Virginia regiment. Wes, in the shuffling around and still “owned” by the Morgans, became the cook for Company B.

(semblance only of Seibert) – A Confederate picket post near Charleston, S.C., 1861 – loc.gov

Their commander, Thomas Johnathan Jackson, was hard on his men, expecting miracles. Wes and the others at his funeral survived the next four years.

The 2nd fought at First Manassas, First Kernstown, and in Jackson’s Valley Campaign.

Winter 1861-62 – Wesley Seibert had the impossible task of providing for the men amid starvation, no supplies, men dying of disease and freezing in blowing snow without tents. Jackson, still inexperienced, drove them on ice covered byways towards Bath, Virginia from Winchester, expecting to find Union opposition, but no. They got wind of his movements and Jackson found no one to fight at Bath, leaving death and meaningless suffering in his wake.

https://web.archive.org/web/20190612183446/https://civilwarscholars.com/2018/01/icicles-in-their-beards-winter-1861-1862-bath-wv-by-jim-surkamp/

It went on to fight with the Army of Northern Virginia from the Seven Days’ Battles to Cold Harbor.

It reported 90 casualties at First Kernstown,
25 at Cross Keys and Port Republic,
27 at Gaines’ Mill, and
77 at Second Manassas.
The regiment lost 2 killed and 19 wounded at Fredericksburg,
had 8 killed and 58 wounded at Chancellorsville,
and had about eight percent of the 333 engaged at Gettysburg disabled.

On April 9, 1865, it surrendered with 9 officers and 62 men.

https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/soldiers-and-sailors-database.htm

by William Gilbert Gaul Birmingham Museum of Art
http://werehistory.org/johnny-rebs-march-home/

JOHN WESLEY SEIBERT – BARBER – OPENS FOR BUSINESS

Historic Shepherdstown Museum NOTE: focus on left side of the image beyond the tree

The boys would doze back with this black man, gliding a razor across their face and throat. Wes, at times, startled the dozer up by flicking-clicking his brush against the walls of his mug.

April 3, 1880 – The Shepherdstown Register
May 1, 1880 – The Shepherdstown Register
August 29, 1884 – The Shepherdstown Register

GETTING A SHAVE FROM WESLEY

pinterest.com

He takes a warm wet towel from water on an wood stove and places it over the man’s face while Wes paused to resharpen his razor on the strop about fifteen pulls each for each face of the razor. Then with the face and necks’ pores open from the heat, Wes took his moistened left hand to pull the skin smooth for the resharpened blade, his right hand set with the straight-edge between his third and pinkie finger.

Wes carefully kept his thumb and finger holding chin skin tight despite its tricky slipperiness all while learning the skill of pulling the razor – sometimes against the whiskers’ grain or with it – in neither a too heavy or too light way.

Wes very gently turned his customer’s head slightly in the headrest. He sets his razor down, takes from the shelf a menthol preparation and applies it to the man’s face, then fetches a very warm wet towel and covers the man’s face. Wes removes the towel, and taking the other, dry towel across the man’s breast and tucked in and around his neck and wipes off all wetness on the man’s face and neck. Then Wes finishes with a face powder he made by adding the essential oils of lemon and bergamot into a mix of rose pink and corn starch in his mortar. After Wes applied this from his dry folded hand towel, he ceremoniously closes his straight-edge and sets back on the washstand. He resets his customer’s chair back into the upright position to see if he wishes more.

Facing a head of dirty hair with lice

His hair would be washed with a pint of boiling water, a half ounce of powdered borax, two drams of aromatic spirits of ammonia, two ounces of sherry wine, and two drams of tincture of arnica.

If he had lice his head was washed with rum made very strong with black pepper, followed by combing with fine tooth comb.

Then Voila. Out goes the happy fellow with a bouquet of jockey club cologne (jasmin-rose-orange pomade, 3rd wash, jockey club compound and cloves) or another favorite called new mown hay – (jasmin-tuberose-orange-rose pomade, 3rd wash, and a spritz of new mown hay compound in his train as he sa-shays down German Street.

shopgoldfinch.com
New Mown Hay cologne parfumo.net

“It seems to me,” said a customer to Wesley Seibert the other day,”that in these hard times you ought to lower your prices for shaving.” “Can’t do it,” replied Wesley. “Now-a-days, everybody wears such a long face that I have a great more surface to shave over.” – recounted his neighbor H.L. Snyder, the editor of The Shepherdstown Register (July 10, 1885)

1891 – Entlers build new building for Seibert and another tenant

February 3, 1891- The Shepherdstown Register
Sanborn Insurance Maps Shepherdstown, WV November, 1894 – loc.gov

Then, on Sunday May 12, 1895

May 16, 1895 – The Shepherdstown Register

Wes Seibert’s barber shop is rebuilt and is bigger and all Wesley Seibert’s by late, 1899 The split use of the building didn’t work partly because the howls of agony from the dentist working on the other side of the wall dampened the spirits of Wesley’s people.

January 20, 1898 – The Shepherdstown Register
Note barber pole of Wes Seibert’s barber shop around 1899 – West Virginia and Regional Collection – photos wvonview.org
Sanborn Insurance Maps Shepherdstown, WV March,1899 – loc.gov

A prosperous man owning several properties and with Lester Wells as his trained assistant and likely successor to him in running the business. Wesley Seibert always could find a meat bargain.

December 6, 1900 – The Shepherdstown Register
pinterest.com

Wes agreed with his wife Josephine’s urging to mind his health better and sold his barbering business to his one-time assistant, Lester Wells.

February 12, 1903 – The Shepherdstown Register
Henry Lambright Snyder, editor, neighbor, and friend of Wesley and Josephine Seibert

Lester’s parents, William and Hannah, lived near the Seiberts and H.L. Snyder, the newspaper’s editor all on the west end block and the north side of New Street.

“Aunt Fanny” taken in the backyard of William and Hannah Wells home located on the north side of New Street between Church and Duke Streets. West Virginia and Regional History (West Virginia History On View)

May 3rd, 1903 – John Wesley Seibert died of heart trouble, leaving Josephine – and an unforgettable day in the chapters of Shepherdstown’s long history.

May 7, 1903 – The Shepherdstown Register
vintagebladesllc.com

John Henry Fox – A Man of Color – “Beautiful and Moral”

born: 1900 Census that he provided information personally for says “Oct. 1845” but the WV Death Index says “1846”; His tombstone – created after John Fox’s death says “Nov. 27, 1845”

“We firmly believe that there is not another section in the United States where a better community of colored people live and are more highly respected than that illuminated by that beautiful moral and religious life of John H. Fox. Every family within a radius of five miles has felt his influence for good. He was a man of superb courage. Danger never weakened him. Disaster never appalled him and whenever there was something good to dare and do from which others shrank he was ready. The feeling that he cannot be spared is general. He was a self-made man and his principal inheritance from his parents was his character”- J.R. Clifford

John Fox with Adam Stephen Dandridge III in the Rockbridge Artillery

Adam Stephen Dandridge – Dandridge Collection – Duke University

Born at the Bower near Leetown among over sixty other enslaved persons, John Fox was one of five children to Mary Fox. Before the war and up to about 1862, he worked cutting out timber at one of the Dandridge farms in Kearneysville, where the Baltimore & Ohio stopped for water. John Fox’s grand-daughter, Bertha Fox Jones told me – when a train was getting water, John Fox would smuggle enslaved persons into the cars and covered them with straw. He was about the same age as Adam Stephen Dandridge III of the owning family who, because of ASD III’s impulsive disposition, saw him to Virginia Military Institute (his daughter Serena Katherine Dandridge later wrote that, in order to join the Confederate Army, he achieved a record number of demerits, hopefully enough to get kicked out of VMI – over a hundred). His parents hoped he could be ensconced there during at least some of the conflict. The highly reliable John Fox wound up with ASD III ensconced in the Rockbridge Artillery to perform as a civilian teamster and to mind Adam Stephen. Both lived to see the surrender at Appomattox.

SOURCES: Dandridge Papers, Duke University; Interview by Jim Surkamp of Bertha Fox Jones, John Fox’s grand niece; Confederate Service Records – fold3.com; “The Story of a Cannoneer Under Stonewall Jackson” by Edward A. Moore & One Small Village: Kearneysville 1842-1942 by Elsie Hamstead

Today, Charles Fox Makes A Journey to Solve the Mystery of John Fox, His Great-Grandfather

Charles Fox

For two days, I questioned what was the meaning of that dream and it was when I was back in the house – quiet – a voice said to me: “Go see your grandfather.”

“Go see my grandfather? He’s been dead for 10 years!” The voice was deeper. It felt like it was coming from inside me. I could feel a trembling from this voice. It said: “Go see your grandfather!” Okay. I’ll go see my grandfather, I love to travel by train.

Sunny day, and I mean nothing’s going on except the cows grazing on the other side of the narrow road.

Freed Black Church and Community from the 19th century
Johnsontown Church and cemetery where Charles’ grandparents are buried

THE NEXT DAY,

I was with Charles later. He said: “Let me tell you. It was so peaceful since I was there with Papa and my grandmother, Sarah,

courtesy Charles Fox

I decided I was going to lay down right between both their graves and take a nap; and when I woke up, my cousins came back by and they picked me up.

I turned to my grandfather’s grave: “Papa – I don’t know why I’m here. but I did as I was told and I’m here.”

Harris, Joel Chandler. (1886). “Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings.” illustrations by A.B. Frost. New York: Hawthorn. reprint from 1921 edition. p. 203 (actual) digitally listed as 249 = babel.hathitrust.org
loc.gov chronicling america

“Sixty-five years ago ( about 1846), Mr. John H. Fox was born a slave to the Dandridge family . . .

Lemuel Dandridge with family at the Bower courtesy the Dandridge family

and about two years ago Mr. Lemuel Dandridge told us: “that of all men he ever knew, John Fox regardless of color, is the best type of Christian gentleman,” and in that we concur.

Harris, Joel Chandler. (1886). “Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings.” illustrations by A.B. Frost. p. 259 (actual 219) babel.hathitrust.org

Forty-one years ago (1870), he was without house and home, but three years later 1873, he was seen with an ox and cart

Ranson, A. R. H. “Reminiscences of the Civil War by a Confederate Staff Officer – Plantation Life in Virginia Before the War.” Sewanee Review. Vol. 21 (October, 1913) p. 431 babel.hathitrust.org IMAGE: Ox cart carrying lots by Enrico Coleman – artnet.com

‘I remember part of one of the songs which the ox-driver sang in a slow monotone, sitting on the pole of the ox-cart, and keeping time to the slow, swinging steps of the oxen: “See the bull go to school, hooie booie, hooie booie, See the bull go to school, hooie booie John.’

‘See the bull go to school, with his book on his horn, And that is the last of old blind John. See the cow build the mill, hooie booie, hooie booie, See the cow build the mill, hooie booie John. See the cow build the mill, water runnin’ up the hill, An’ that is the last of old blind John.” The verses were endless and seem to have been extemporized as he drove along.’

Toll Gate House built 1840 – JHL Resources 2020 – Jefferson County GIS office
google.com/maps; Map of Jefferson County, West Virginia Shows district boundaries and land ownership.
Contributor: Brown, S. Howell – Date: 1883 loc.gov

“living in a small house and keeping a tollgate one mile south of Kearneysville.

Map of Jefferson County Va, by Howell Brown – 1852
loc.gov

“From this place he moved on Dr. Border’s farm

Old Farmer by A. B. Frost 1887 – artsandculture.google.com; Harris, Joel Chandler. (1886). “Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings.” illustrations by A.B. Frost. p. 246 (actual 200)

“where he toiled unceasingly and saved his earnings.

Old Farmer by A. B. Frost 1887 – artsandculture.google.com Norman Rockwell Museum Collection, NRM.2006.15

“By and by, the Doctor (Border) made other arrangements.

Map of Jefferson County, West Virginia – 1883 Brown, S. Howell loc.gov

“Little did he (Dr. Border) know that Mr. Fox had already purchased 87 acres

Jefferson County Courthouse Deed Book H pages. 226-227 September 16, 1871
Uncommon Vernacular by John C. Allen p. 12

“Mr. Fox had already purchased 87 acres of as fine land as was in Jefferson County, with a nice house thereon. The house was improved.

“Fine barns and all kinds of other necessary buildings were, in due time, erected, a splendid orchard planted good fences put up and roads made.

The Pink Peach Tree – Vincent van Gogh (1853 – 1890), Arles, April-May 1888
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation) vangoghmuseum.nl
Jefferson County Clerk Deed Room

“Not many years had passed ’till Mr. Fox had bought more land, adjacent.

“He bought nearly a hundred more acres adjoining the land of his second purchase with a good dwelling house.

“About a month before his death he bought sixty-three more acres including a house.

Pioneer Press – Aug. 1, 1885 chronicling america loc.gov

“He was not an educated man — and we admit that education is great – But we insist that manhood is greater, for the latter is principle and the former is accident.

“He was by nature honest, truthful, industrious, frugal and economical.

“He was that kind of citizen which made him respected and others to emulate it.”

“None but God himself knows the blessing he has been to that entire vicinity.

Montage
Begin lower right (viewer’s) counter-clockwise:
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Dolly Irvin Thompson
SOURCE: Jasper Thompson’s Destiny Day by Jim Surkamp with Monique Crippen-Hopkins. youtube.com
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Jasper Thompson USCT 23rd Regiment murdered September 6, 1906 by, according to the Charlestown newspaper a self-described “white supremacist;”
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Mary Goins
Family Historian Shelley Murphy on the Goins Family – civilwarscholars.com
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(Across top row going left (viewer’s) Storer College Musical Group Members, Harper’s Ferry, W. Va. – 1873 ID: 023804; From left to right is Portia Lovett and Mary Ella Dixon – wvhistoryonview.org MORE

(Continuing across the top row, going from viewer’s right to their left) (numbered 1,2,3) Thomas, Etta and John Lovett

SOURCES: facebook.com/HFPAssociation/photos/; wvhistoryonview.org; jcblackhistory.org; & Storer College Catalogue – 1875 – ancestry.com

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Azemia (Azzie) Harris, Shepherdstown, WV midwife and mother of long-time school teacher Dr.John Wesley Harris – (John Wesley Harris/Jim Surkamp Collection)

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(One row down from the top row image of the three Lovetts)
Coralie Franklin Cook (#4), Storer College, Harper’s Ferry, W. Va.
Identifier: 023821
Collection Number: A&M 2621

MORE
Born in Lexington, Virginia in 1861 to enslaved parents, Cook attended Storer College in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, graduating in 1880 and later served on the Storer faculty as an assistant professor. Cook was also active in the NAACP and involved in the inner circles of the NAWSA, working for the passage of the 19th amendment.

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(Two rows down from the top row image of the three Lovetts)
Storer College Musical Group Members, Harper’s Ferry, W. Va.
Identifier: 023804; Front row seated. middle two persons from viewer’s left to right: Alberta Redmond, Hamilton Keys Date: 1873

MORE:
Description: From left to right in the upper row standing is Robert Trent, Portia Lovett, Mary Ella Dixon, and Charlie Hale. Sitting from left to right is Walter Johnson, Alberta Redmond, Hamilton Keys, and Mertia Lovett. First concert was given in Buffalo, N.Y., May 2, 1873. They gave 40 concerts in the principal cities between Buffalo and Utica, going home, July 5, 1873.
wvhistoryonview.org

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(Immediately to the viewer’s left of the musical group)
George Johnson (courtesy Charles Fox), founder of Johnsontown with his wife Sarah

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(Bottom row third from George Johnson to the viewer’s right)
View from today’s Visitor’s Center site in Harper’s Ferry – about 1910 (Jim Surkamp, Helen Goldsborough) – justjefferson.com

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(Immediately above the Visitors’ Center photo and last two images in the montage starting with the image to the viewer’s left)
Abram (Abe) Minor – Shepherdstown (Jim Surkamp, Helen Goldsborough) – 1872-1930
ancestry.com

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commons.wikimedia

“Every family within a radius of five miles has felt his influence for good —- He was a man of superb courage. Danger never weakened him, disaster never appalled him. Whenever there was something good to dare and do from which others shrank, he was ready.

“His life was an open book and his whole makeup was devoid of deceit and cunning. The feeling that he cannot be spared is general He was a self-made man and his principal inheritance from his parents was his character. . .

Google Maps St. Paul’s Baptist Church, Kearneysville – founded by a few men including John Fox who provided the cut lumber

findagrave.com – Montgomery County contributer

“and we will say, that if it had been possible for everyone within that radius to have known and loved him as did his heavenly Father, every father and mother, son and daughter, regardless of color would have been a mourner and in that apparently endless procession that followed all that was mortal of Mr. Fox to his final resting, praising God that such a noble man had lived among them.

“His life was an open book and his whole make up was devoid of deceit and cunning. His main concern was not death, and what lies beyond it. Life was his province, the living his duty. In christian character, he was the rare edelweiss in his home, at the church and in his neighborhood. He was a man of superb courage. Danger never weakened him, disaster never appalled him. Whenever there was something good to dare and do from which others shrank, he was ready.

findagrave.com – Addison Reese

VIDEO:

Starts at 4:39 CORRECTION: at 15:21 and in the bibliography at 38:14 – Instead of “grand-daughter” It should say/read: “John Fox told his youngest son, Dewey Fox, this – which he shared with his niece, Bertha Fox”.

4 County Men of Color – Bound to Serve “The Gray”

John Fox, enslaved at The Bower by the Dandridges became a teamster with the Rockbridge Artillery and was present at the surrender at Appomattox. He also had the unofficial task of keeping the highly impulsive Adam Stephen Dandridge III from hurting himself and others, besides the enemy. After the war, his industry and strength of character was well known. His timber was used to build St. Paul’s Church in Kearneysville. He had several farms. over the years, one being the land where today the USDA Fruit research station is located on Wiltshire Road.

The full documented story of the remarkable John Fox with support from his descendant Charles Fox follows. MORE. . .

John Wesley Seibert, like Fox was lauded, honored and prosperous when he died. with ministers from three churches white and black, giving eulogies at the Africa church in Shepherdstown; and the wagon bringing his earthly remains to their final resting place at Rose Hill Cemetery was followed by all surviving men from Company B of the 2nd Virginia Infantry regiment, for whom he foraged food and cooked under the relentless – merciless even – demands of their commander Stonewall Jackson.

“Wes” Seibert’s full documented life story follows on civilwarscholars.com. MORE. . .

FREEDMAN 23-YEAR-OLD STEPHEN GOENS – COOK FOR CO. K, 2ND VIRGINIA INFANTRY REG’T

[Culpeper, Va. “Contrabands”] O’Sullivan, Timothy H., 1840-1882, photographer
Created / Published 1863 November (Not an image of Stephen Goens), He was a 24-year old mulatto male cook for Company K of the 2nd Virginia Infantry Regiment beginning in late 1861. loc.gov

When the war began, Stephen Goens was a free, mulatto, 23-year old boatsman, living with the family of 53-year-old boatsman Lawson and 50-year-old Sarah Goens. Stephen’s birth parents had moved back to Rockingham County in the 1840s. In the summer of 1840, Lawson and Stephen ferried high society types, who had taken a B&O train to Harper’s Ferry, then a MORE. . .

Shannondale Springs as seen from the Kabletown side of the Shenandoah

When Dick was a little boy, he was scullion in the kitchen. He carried the wood and water for the cook, and scoured the pots and kettles, and turned the spit when the turkey was roasting, dipping and basting the gravy from the pan. I took him out of the kitchen and put him on the box with me to open gates as I drove about the country. I soon found out that he had a liking for horses, and that he took great pride in his promotion, MORE. . .