Thy Will Be Done – Chapter 1 – 1850s – The Days That Never End – But That Did – The Day of the Horses – The Ring Tournament in Leeland Field by Jim Surkamp

1783 words

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The wheat harvest was gathered, and the heats of midsummer were beginning to drive all who had means and leisure to congregate about famous springs and cool places in the mountains.

It was really the discovery of printing that killed chivalry, soul and body. Then the power that comes of knowledge passed over to the unarmed people. The unlettered prince could no longer delegate the writing and reading of his letters to a hired valet.

Front field of Leeland, Route 480 Shepherdstown, WV Google Maps

Tuesday August 4th, 1857, Shepherdstown, Va.

The Day of the Horses – The Ring Tournament in Leeland Field.

On Tuesday last, a large assemblage of people, consisting of the youth and beauty of Jefferson, and Berkeley counties, Va., and Washington County, Md. collected at Leeland, near this place to witness the exciting scenes of a Tournament that came off there. – (1).

The tournament lists were staked out on a long level of evenly mowed turf some four hundred yards in length, guarded on either side by a railing of rope, and spanned near the further extremity by an arch of evergreen boughs, from the centre of which the ring was suspended. Outside of these lines were double rows of light wagons and carriages, regularly packed and filled with eager spectators.

Near the centre were several extensive pavilions, made of wagon covers, bolting-cloths, or more agreeably thatched with fresh green boughs, shading rows of rough plank seats already occupied by the elite of the company – rustic dames whose silks and ribbons, or maidens whose delicate cheeks, shunned the scorching sunshine.

Between this dress circle and the rope harrier the space was crowded with the undistinguished multitude of leather-faced mountaineers, squatting or lounging upon the grass, of lint-headed, bare-legged

children, and negroes full of eager hilarity and vociferous expectation. Behind all, barns, stables, sheds, fodder-racks, fence corners, and umbrageous thickets afforded shelter for the four-footed chivalry who were to play the leading part in the amusements of the day. – (2)

Prior to the tilting the Gallant Knights were addressed by the President, Mr. Henry K. Douglas, of Ferry Hill, Md. in the following neat and appropriate speech. His delivery was bold, clear and impressive for one so young:

Gallant Knights – You have assembled here today not for the purpose of provoking Iron Mars, but that you may exhibit your devotion to the fair daughters of Eve, and given them assurances that as you now make known your consciousness of their charms, so you will ever consider it your greatest duty and supreme pleasure, to protest those charms though death alone be your reward.

You need no allusion to Knights of ancient days to increase your valor, nor stories of bleeding champions and fainting ladies to arouse your gallantry. You possess that generous spirit which would welcome the sword as readily as the harmless lance, did the cause of love require it.

But even if you did not, you have before you a picture of loveliness that could change the hermit to a sprightly courtier, make the tottering sire forget his hoary hairs, and straightway as a boy again. And the merry hearts of these fair ladies are beating in unison with yours, for as your fleet steeds pursue their swift course, and you hasten towards the fatal ring, they wait an anxious sympathizing expectation and hail your success with a smile or announce your failure with a sigh. Knowing that you feel doubly inspired by the beautiful scene before you, and bearing on your banner the motto: “Cupid and the Ladies,” I bid your charge and may the God of Love grant you success and your reward the smiles of the fair with crowns of rosy garlands. – (3)

The hour had come, the trumpet call had sounded. The enlisted knights were already mustered behind the barn. The chief marshal of the tournament a handsome fellow, superbly mounted, with peaked beard and flowing locks cultivated expressly for the role, bobbing with plumes and fluttering with rosettes, with an air of egregious importance, was galloping to and fro, posting his guards, heralds, and pursuivants at their proper stations.

The ladies were lightly and gracefully dismounted, and their horses led away. Choice seats had been reserved in the green pavilion, and a sweep of the chiefs broadsword removed the rope barriers from their path.

As (one lady) ascended the steps all the men and boys within range jostled each other and stretched their necks to catch a glimpse, while all the rosy cheeks turned pale with curious envy. The music ceased, the vocal murmurs died away. The orator and knights remounted to join the muster behind the barn.

Again the signal bugle was blown, and a troop of horsemen burst into the lists at full gallop. They were received with a storm of drums, trumpets, brass-bands, cheers, and waving of handkerchiefs and banners. Charging through the whole length of the course, they executed some pretty military maneuvers, and wheeling, galloped back to their starting-place. The parade resembled the grand entree at a circus, or, perhaps, a fancy ball on horseback. The knights were attired variously, according to their whims and pretensions, each wearing some token – a glove, a handkerchief, a ribbon, or bouquet from the lady in whose honor he proposed to risk his neck and exhibit his skill. Two or three were masked, and wore no favors by which they might be distinguished unknown, perhaps, except to their lady-loves, with whom there had been a secret understanding. At length all the preliminary ceremonies were concluded, and the game commenced. Then the judges were posted beside the arch where the ring hung suspended.

Heralds to proclaim the count, grooms and attendants to replace the ring when taken off and to assist any cavalier in case of an accident. Others along the line kept back the eager and excited crowd with drawn sabres, while at the lower end the chief marshal called a roll of the knights, who took their places in line in order as they were named. – (4).

We never before saw such an array of female beauty and chivalry, as was there assembled:

The following are the names of the officers and Knights:

President – Henry K. Douglas
Heralds – James L. Towner, Samuel Moore


Judges – R. Davis Shepherd, Jr., Samuel B. Neil
George H. Murphy – Knight of Ivanhoe
Thomas Chapline – Hotspur
R. T. Berry Harvy Percy

E. G. Lee – Knight of Alhambra

George R. Bedinger – Saladin
Joseph T. Hess – Rienzi
Daniel Morgan – Long Star
Dr. P. Grove – Knight of Woodburry

(In a previous tournament held at Shannondale Springs, the president

had been Col. John F. Hamtramck of Shepherdstown; R. D. Shepherd, Jr. won three consecutive contests, allowing him to award the Queen of Love and Beauty to Miss Rosa Parran of Shepherdstown). – (5).

The riding at Leeland was very graceful and well done, exiting and animating, evidencing great proficiency in Equestrianism and abundantly showing that the chivalry of the Old Dominion is still in keeping with the world-wide reputation she has won in days of yore.

After three alternate charges by each Knight, R. T. Berry, George H. Murphy, and Dr. P. Grove, were declared the victors; after which the Knights were again marshaled in front of that array of beauty and love that could be with the many colors of the rainbow, when the coronation took place as follows: – R. T. Berry crowned Miss Julia J. Hays, of Sharpsburg, MD., Queen of Love and beauty; George H. Murphy selected Miss Mary Abbott of Georgetown, D.C., First Maid of Honor; Dr. P. Grove selected Miss Lillie Parran, Second Maid of Honor.

The coronation was performed by the President in a graceful and becoming manner and each was prefaced by a neat speech in the most beautiful language.

At night the exercises of the day were wound up by a magnificent Cotillion.

After the selection, the company repaired to the hotel where a most sumptuous feast was spread there with the flow of champagne and the

exchange of toasts consumed the afternoon. Every one then retired to their rooms to prepare for the fancy ball.

At about half past eight o’clock, the spacious ballroom was thronged with spectators awaiting entrance of the Queen and her Champion and cortege and attendants.

At the sound of music, the folding doors at the upper end of the room were suddenly opened, and the Queen and her Champion, richly

dressed in fancy costumes, the same wreath of such freshness . . . resting on his brow, appeared followed by the Knight and Maids of Honor and a long train of attendants all fancifully attired.

They proceeded to the far end of the room and took their stand when the crowds made their obeisance. Then the Queen and her Champion and three Knights and Maids of Honor took hands, formed and danced

a cotillion, and the ball was opened for the evening. I have been to many balls and have seen much in this way, but have never seen one so bright and beautiful as this. The many characters represented every nation, and flitted before you in such rapid succession that it was impossible to identify. A few, however, were very conspicuous.

There were some others whom we noticed were magically attracting much attention, and there was one, “the gayest in the revel, the lightest in the dance,” who “Like a fairy on a festival morning, She tripped in the merry quadrille, Bright blushes her features adorning, She conquered the crowd at her will.”

The dancing was kept up until the “wee hours of morning admonished them to part. And this ended a gala day long to be remembered by all.”- (6).

At an earlier ring tournament at Shannondale Springs in the County, an older generation prevailed.

“The president of the day, one Henry Bedinger addressed them in such eloquent tones and elevated and inspired sentiments that the dullest bosum was roused to the highest daring and the true spirit of ancient chivalry was revived. . . The speech of Mr. Bedinger was most appropriate and beautiful. When he had concluded, the knights repaired to the place of starting. Then began the most splendid contention that I ever witnessed. It is impossible to give a detailed

account of it, but the horses catching the spirit of the rider, flew like the wind and their flashing eyes and foaming mouths betrayed the high excitement . . .

Mr. Lewis Washington, as the English hunter of the 15th century, so superbly he filled the character so to very life, and Mr. John Pendleton Kennedy in the court dress of Louis the 14th looked remarkably striking and handsome.” – (7).

Main sources:
The Shepherdstown Register, August 8, 1857.

Crayon, Porte (Strother, D. H.). “The Mountains – X.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. Volume 51. Issue: 304 (September, 1875). pp. 475-486. Print.

The Baltimore Sun, September 1, 1849.

The Baltimore Herald, August 2, 1848,
(Thornton Perry collection, Virginia State Library).

Image Credits:

Col.John Francis Hamtramck http://www.wvculture.org/history/thisdayinwvhistory/1118.html

The Virginia Reel https://reallifeartist.wordpress.com/

19th Century Social Dance
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/dihtml/diessay6.html

Howe’s Complete Ball-room Handbook
http://www.kickery.com/civil_war_american/

An illustration of three American couples performing a Country-dance in the Longways Minor set, c. 1820.
The Granger Collection, New York, ID: 0048338.
http://testaae.greenwood.com

War – Newell Convers Wyeth (detail of horse)
http://www.militar.org.ua/foro/la-pintura-y-la-guerra-t18709-7455.html

By Wing-Chi Poon [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/33/Sanddunes_Sunrise.jpg

NEXT: Chapterette 2. https://civilwarscholars.com/american-civil-war/thy-will-be-done-chapter-2-working-jefferson-countys-peaceful-fertile-lands-by-jim-surkamp/

Thy Will Be Done – Chapter 3 Henry Bedinger & Alec Boteler – The Creative Congressmen by Jim Surkamp

1838 words

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Alexander “Alec” Boteler who had inherited Fountain Rock, married Helen Stockton and they had Helen (“Tippie”), Charlotte (“Lottie”), Elizabeth (“Lizzie”), and Alec Junior.

Preceding Boteler as the area’s Congressman in Washington, was Henry Bedinger who met Caroline (“Carrie”) Lawrence, the daughter of a fellow Congressmen who, only after he found the forces of love unstoppable, consented to the pact. Before the Bedingers accepted the honorable adventure of setting sail for Denmark and Bedinger being our first ambassador there for most of the 1850s, the two young fathers and husbands were friends, both young lawyers with families. Each also had a strong penchant for art – for Henry poetry, for Alec drawing and painting. – (1).

Alec’s love of drawing and art is not surprising given he was the great-grandson on his mother’s side to Charles Willson Peale, the leading portrait painter in early America, who painted General Washington.

Boteler himself would write:
Drawing is my great delight. If I could have my way. I would have been an artist. But my father threatened to whip me if he ever saw me painting anything. I was descended from a family of painters and my father wanted me to stick to something more material. When my house was burned down during the war it contained some excellent specimens of the Peales, which were heirlooms there. Among other paintings was one representing the artist, to whom my great-grandmother’s picture is being shown on the easel by my grandmother, while she also seeks to steal away the painter’s brush.

While a student at Princeton Boteler’s passion for drawing surfaced in fantastic irrepressible ways.

His daughter, Tippie Boteler much later wrote:

While his future wife was en route to Princeton in a carriage she heard of this Alec Boteler. The story she heard of her (future) husband was that he had thrown a farmer into the water to copy his expression of terror and that the man accidentally drowned; and the young student never recovering from his remorse, had become a gloomy, morose and changed man!

One afternoon soon after his arrival at college, in passing a large brick house, he noticed outlined against the window the profile of a beautiful girl who was evidently intent upon reading. He quickly drew out his pencil and sketchbook and made rapid outlines. On getting back to the college, he finished it and showed it to a fellow student in triumph as the prettiest girl he had ever seen. “Why, that is Miss Helen Stockton!” exclaimed his friend, who was A. S. Dandridge, who lived in Jefferson County and would own the Bower. “If you think she is up to your standard, I’ll take you to see her tomorrow night!”

But Alec Boteler’s meeting Helen Stockton inspired him out of the gloom his absurd behavior had wrought.

Once married and with responsibilities settling on their dreamy shoulders, Alec would love getting together with his creative friend and forever treasure their times together with the wives and children elsewhere.

Henry Bedinger was home at his ancestral home at Bedford nearby and just outside Shepherdstown around 1851 when he tossed off a limerick to his neighbor over the hill at Fountain Rock. The invitation, inspired by his recent readings of Robert Burns, went:

My wife’s awa;’ my wife’s awa’,
Na mair she can me tease;
She’s gan til her father an’ mither an’ a’,
And I can do as I please.

So if you’re in for a night of joy,
And gin grat fun ye wad see,
Just don your plaidie my merry boy,
And o’er the meadow to me.

A wee bit room in eastern wing,
A ceiling so love and snug,
A cheerfu’ bleeze in the chimney neuk
And ablains a bit of a jug.

A bit of jug wi’ the barley bree,
A jest and merry sang,
And twa, thra friends what helping me
To push the hours along.

The wind may roar an’ the rain may fa’,
My wife’s awa’, my wife’s awa’;
Na mair she can me tease,
She’s gan til her father an’ mither an’ a’,
An’ we can do as we please.

After serving in Congress for four years, Henry Bedinger left with his family for Denmark. Boteler, a self-admitted novice at business who pleaded with his uncle to not be given the responsibility of running his father’s prosperous cement mill along the river upon his father’s death, had a costly miscalculation. In 1852, a business calamity overtook Alexander Boteler in the failure of Willoughby R. Webb, a merchant of Shepherdstown, who built his woolen mill on the site of today’s Blue Moon Cafe with thirty employees and upon whose notes he had placed his name because of his friendship for Mr. Webb. He was thus called upon to pay nearly twenty thousand dollars, a large part of it his wife’s money, her father having left her considerable property. – (2).

That woe may have propelled him into the field of elected office with a steady salary, serving in Bedinger’s old Congressional seat from early 1859 until just before war broke out. In 1856, Congress had voted its first annual salary of $3,000.

Artist/Congressman Boteler created a cartoon of Charles Harper’s home and apothecary shop, still looking much the same adjacent on the eastern side of McMurran Hall on German Street. Sensing dark times ahead, Boteler added as its caption, the ominous words from Shakespeare’s Henry VI: “Heavy looks foretell some dreadful story hanging on thy tongue.” – (3).

In November, 1858, Ambassador Henry Bedinger finally returned home to Carrie and their three children who came back from Denmark two years earlier. Carrie disliked the card-playing of even the Episcopalian priest in Denmark. Henry was a favorite to King Frederick VII and many a late evening an excessively homely and sensitive man would materialize from the shadows looking for Henry for a chess game: Hans Christian Anderson, the famed children’s writer.

Carrie and the children marveled that the widespread Christmas custom they brought back from Europe – a decorated tree – was a completely new notion both in Long Island and Shepherdstown. The custom “caught on” in Europe when Prince Albert and Queen Victoria had one.

Fighting his homesickness, Henry wrote a long Shepherdstown-smitten poem to John Boroff, a blacksmith with a shop at the Washington and Princess Street intersection:

“To My Good Old Friend, Mr. John Boroff, of Shepherdstown, Virginia by the Exile.

I am walking on a Sandy Shore, hard by the Sound Sea,
And, to save me, John, I cannot tell why I should think of thee.
And yet, throughout this lengthened day, thy friendly face will come
To fill my soul with memories of happier hours and HOME.

Go where I will, do what I may, I cannot fail to hear
The roaring of thy furnace and thy hammer ringing clear.
What art thou forging now, John, that echoes such as those
Should cross the broad Atlantic from the thunder of thy blows?

My mind has run away, John, and all that I can do
Cannot coax it to come back again from Shepherdstown and you.
It is playing with those marbles, it is spinning the same top.
That often in your absence, John, I’ve spun within your shop.

Does the coulter of the plowman demand the glowing fire,
Or do thy sturdy strokes descend upon the wagon’s tire?
Art thou forming for the woodman’s axe an edge of perfect proof?
Or striking from the solid anvil strong shoes for horse’s hoof?

I know not and I cannot guess, but this I say to thee,
I would give a very pretty gift could I be there to see.
For I must confess the honest truth – my mind has run away
As limber legged Bill Russell did from you one sunny day.

It is wrestling with your prentice boy and tripping up his heels,
And shouting with a merry shout to find how cheap he feels.
It is moulding bullets at your forge, and yet with watchful eyes.
Lest your too sudden entrance should take it by surprise.

And when, with ears all wide awake, it hears your heavy stride.
Although the door is much too near, the window opens wide,
And with a bound away it goes, still leaving you to guess
What evil spirit could have left your tools in such a mess.

Homecoming, then tragedy:

In November, 1858, Henry Bedinger had indeed come home to Shepherdstown and his family to great joy. His daughter, Mary, watched from a window from their home at the southwest corner of Princess and German Street. In the center of the street that November night in 1858 was a huge bonfire, and her father’s joyous speechifying face shone in the hot blaze making them cheer more and more. Then, eight-year-old Mary noticed the adults in their house had become silent, huddled. Their father came home and, a great blow – suddenly was “called home.” Pneumonia took him. And Carrie sold Henry’s share of his ancestral home of Bedford back to his sister, Henrietta and her husband Edmund Lee, (a first cousin of the general, Robert E. Lee). Carrie then used the money to build a new, more modest home near town Carrie named Poplar Grove.

Carrie purchased the farm from Daniel Morgan with a brick house in the middle of a grove of great oaks and poplars. She built an addition to the old house with woodwork of black walnut so common in those days, and there she took her young family just before the storm of the war between the states took over their land. – (4).

The Bedingers’ writing genes continued to create through Henry and Carrie’s children.

Henry’s gifted youngest daughter, Caroline Bedinger, nicknamed “Danske,” was already a prodigious writing talent and even shared editing preferences in her poems with Mr. Boteler. Danske’s daughter, Serena, wrote in later years:

The Bedinger children seemed to have taken to writing books as ducks like to water. They all complained that paper was too scarce and too “hard to write on,” but they utilized every scrap that came to them. Danske’s foil was poetry with a few romantic stories for good measure. Mary’s (nicknamed “Minnie:), I’m told, was fairy tales, with which she could enthrall her younger brother and sister.

Of little Danske it can be said “the ink was in the baby. she was born to write a book” and she was. It was not long out of the cradle before she began to wield her pen. As she presented a book of original poetry, “A Present” to Hon. A. R. Boteler with a note in the book saying that he must excuse the writing, as the paper was hard to write on, and compared to Shakespeare and Milton were not so good either – another note calls attention to the fact that the “thee”‘s and “thou”‘s are customarily used instead of “you”‘s in poetry, and apologizes for a few “you’s that had slipped in. – (5).

REFERENCES:

1. Mary Bedinger Mitchell, “Memories,” edited by Nina Mitchell. Shepherdstown, WV: Printed privately.

2. Helen Boteler Pendleton, “A Nineteenth Century Romantic” The Shepherdstown Register, December 21, 1933.

3. Boteler Collection, Duke University.

4. Mary Bedinger Mitchell, “Memories,” edited by Nina Mitchell. Shepherdstown, WV: Printed privately.

5. Serena K. Dandridge undated letter, Dandridge Collection, Duke University.

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 “Thy Will Be Done” – Chapter 18 Tippie Recalls the Fight Near Fountain Rock in July, 1863. by Jim Surkamp.

1467 words

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Tippie_Cameo


It was in July, 1863, a time of so much interest to all Virginians, when the tide of battle ebbed and flowed like an angry flood over our lovely Valley leaving desolation and sorrow in its path. Our home, known as Fountain Rock, was about one mile from the Potomac river, directly on the turnpike between Shepherdstown and Kearneysville, a point on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad.

July 16 was an unusually quiet day. No Federal soldiers were to be seen riding over the country. Consequently our fears were aroused knowing, as we did from experience that a calm always came before a storm. The next morning we found that our fears were not groundless, for a large force under General Gregg had crossed the Potomac and some were encamped on the turnpike and some on the road leading to Martinsburg.

UNWELCOME VISITORS

Stragglers, mostly from Col. Gregg’s regiment, began to swarm all over the place. Numerous and outrageous were the depredations they committed. Hearing a thumping at the back of the house, we went in and found two men in the pantry. “What are you doing here?” said my mother, with dignity. One of them impudently answered: “Oh, we just came to see what sort of style you lived in.” and added mockingly, “I’ll take that ham, if you please.” Turning around, she found he had already done so. He then reached over and said: “I’ll take these preserves too.” “No,” she said, “I don’t think you will.” He said: “I’d like to know who in the hell will prevent me?” “I will,” she said, very quietly and leaning forward, she put out her hand and gave a little push, which sent the preserves to the floor with a crash. He looked startled for a moment, but quickly recovered and sneered: “Oh, that’s your style is it?” “Yes, and you walk out of the house. It is a pity you had no mother to teach you not to break into houses and steal.” The reference to his mother seemed to rouse him and he said: “ I have a mother, and as good a one as you, if you are a right good-looking woman.” Nevertheless, he walked very meekly off.

ASKING FOR A GUARD

So great were the ravages committed that my young sister and cousin from Baltimore went into town to ask for a guard. When the complaint was laid before General (David) Gregg, he turned to an officer and said, “Tell Colonel (John) Gregg that I have nothing but complaints of his regiment this morning, and if needs be, he must take one-half-his men to keep the other half in order.” I doubt if the order was ever delivered, for while he was speaking a courier came in and reported “a large body of rebels advancing on the turnpike from Leetown.”

The girls now anxious to be at home, asked for an escort, for the soldiers had been very impertinent to them on their way into town. An escort was readily granted, and although our house was near the outposts, he came all the way to the door and there received my mother’s thanks for his courtesy. She also asked him his name, which at first he refused to give, but upon her reminding him that he knew what a day might bring forth, he gave Major Gaston of General Gregg’s staff. None but those who have seen and felt it can realize our feelings as we saw the enemy advance in such order and numbers, knowing as we did that only a few miles further on they were to meet our forces, among whom were many friends near and dear. Soon a few stray shots were heard, then the drumbeat and all stragglers were drawn in and quiet reigned for a little while. Then came the whir and shriek of the shells as they passed over the house, and the villainous little “zip:” of minie balls as they cut leaves from the hedge around the door. All of us retreated to the cellar. The family consisted of my mother, her two daughters, her niece, her two little grandchildren, whose mother was in Baltimore, a negro woman, and a terror-stricken dog.

A FIGHT TO BE REMEMBERED

All that evening the battle raged. The Federal wounded were brought from the field and laid upon the lawn before and under the protection of the of the house until they could be taken away, some few in ambulances, others on horses or on stretchers. I shall never forget the sight of a white horse, his whole fore-quarter stained with the life-blood of whom who was lying dead across his back. The firing never ceased until late in the night. Our house was kept closed and perfectly dark. The troops had no time to tarry and I heard them, as they passed to-and-fro from the spring, wonder where the women of the house were. All night we waited in the darkness, each with a candle, a few matches, and a piece of chocolate in our pockets. These had been kept for a time of need, and we thought that time had come. It was truly a night of horrors. By two or three o’clock all the Federals had gone and we heard the smooth canter of the Southern horseman take the place of the sharp ring of the steel shod horses of the Northern cavalry. Daylight found me with a pale face and hollow, but a hearty welcome for the Confederates, who rode into say that they would be back to breakfast. Our friends from town, alarmed for our safety , came almost as soon. Seeing a soldier and being anxious to know who of our friends had come, my young sister asked him to what regiment he belonged, to the great amusement of all around, for it proved to be General Fitzhugh Lee himself. Among the first questions asked was, who was in command of the forces opposed to us. When General Lee was told that it was General Gregg, he instantly said: “I wonder if he knew I was in command on this side?” and I gathered that they had been either classmates or friends before the war.

Oh, the contrast between two days divided by one single night! The day before terror and gloom prevailed and today the house filled with joy and gladness. We had little or nothing to give them to eat, all having been taken from us the day before and the garden trampled by the troops.

While rations that had been sent from the camp were being prepared, we gathered around the piano to entertain our guests with music and to deliver to General J.E.B. Stuart some music that had been in our keeping for several months, sent to him by an admiring friend in Baltimore. “Soldier Boy Nineteen Years Old,” “Benny Havens, Oh” were sung with a hearty good will. Impromptu verses to the latter air were composed by nearly all present. General Stuart’s contribution, written on the back of a piece of music was the following:

STUART’S IMPROMPTU

To the bonnie lass, Miss Lottie,
Our adoration’s due;
She soothes our hearts in times of woe,
With music soft and true.
May she rule her beau of nineteen,
The gallant Brigadier,
Who, though he vanquish men, I ween,
Her own command must fear.

To our jolly friend, Fitz Lee,
A health before we go.
He has a heart all full of glee,
A strong one for the foe.
May his triumphs long continue,
And Miss Lottie always know
The number of his regiment
And smiles on him bestow.

Later in the day a Baltimore American newspaper was gotten hold of by some means and the portico rang with merriment as the account of the battle from a Federal point of view was read out, and its inaccuracy wondered at and commented on. I heard General Lee say: “Well, I have not been in a hotter place since the war began than that fight was at one time yesterday.”

It was indeed a hard-fought fight, though it had had but small mention in the “Annals of the War.” it was here that Colonel Drake of the First Virginia Cavalry (formerly Stuart’s) was killed. When we congratulated Colonel Morgan on his promotion, he said feelingly: “Not yet! Not yet! Too late have I paid my last tribute to poor Drake.”

But this was no abiding place for either army. When the Federals were driven across the river, the Confederates retired beyond the railroad and so it was with us until peace settled down over the whole land and the war became as it now is, a thing of memory only. – (1).

References/Image Credits:

Chapterette 18: Tippie Boteler Recalls The Fight Near Fountain Rock in July, 1863; Kyd Douglas’ Letters to Tippie Don’t Take Hold.

1. Shepherdstown Register February 1, 1934.

2. Henry Kyd Douglas Papers, Duke University.

NEXT: Chapterette 19. https://civilwarscholars.com/uncategorized/thy-will-be-done-chapter-19-henry-k-douglas-writes-tippie-from-a-cold-island-prison-by-jim-surkamp/