Tour report: June 2020

It was a beautiful Spring day on Saturday, June 13, 2020, and Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield had 7 visitors attend our first regularly scheduled guided tour of the season. After an introduction to the battle the guests divided into two groups. One went with guide Sam Pruett and followed the interpretive markers. Four more seasoned battlefield enthusiasts took to the woods to follow the Stonewall Brigade Trail to tell the story of the brigade’s clash with the six companies of the 3rd Wisconsin and the 46th Pennsylvania. Guide Brad Forbush also covered the approach of the 10th Virginia. The course path through the woods showed the difficult approach to the battle experienced by the Confederates on the left of Stonewall Jackson’s line. Included in the tour group was Mr. Bill Irby whose ancestor William Branch Coleman of the 21st Virginia, Company C, was mortally wounded in the battle. Emphasis on the ordeal of that regiment was given during the rest of the battlefield walk. At the end of the tour the group posed for pictures near where the regiment fought. Everyone enjoyed their visit and promised to return with friends. It was a great day on the battlefield for the guides and the guests.

Visitors are welcome to join us on our next scheduled guided tour on July 11 or explore on the trails on their own year-round. Our site has  information for self guided tours  including a walking route and trail map.

Information for Self-Guided Battlefield Tours

There are 7 historical interpretive markers on the battlefield for visitors who would like to take a self-guided tour. There is no better way to gain understanding of a battle than to walk the ground.

When the American Battlefield Trust (ABT) acquired this property, representatives met with the Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield (FCMB) to discuss trail options. The trails were laid out to make use of the preserved parcels while also keeping the land farmable. Trails had to be safe and easy to maintain.

ABT staffers Gary Adelman and Sam Smith laid out the trail plan and sign options. Alterations were made with input from FCMB board members, including Lon Lacey,  Michael Block, Diane Logan & others. The same process occurred to create the content for the battlefield interpretive markers. The ABT wrote the first drafts, which were improved upon FCMB. The revised comments were reviewed by three outside historians, Greg Mertz, Bob Krick Sr. and Bud Hall. These comments were incorporated into the overall content.

The maps were created by Steve Stanly specifically for these interpretive signs. The installations happened around the start of 2016.

The Trust was looking to try some new things for interpretation and settled on the silhouettes at Cedar Mountain.   In what proved serendipitous,  the infantry silhouettes’ placement gives an accurate approximation of the farthest advance of General John White Geary’s Ohio Brigade.

The first interpretive marker, titled “A Narrow Victory,” is placed at the parking area where the trails begin (see first photo at left of first paragraph).

The second marker, #2 on the trail map, is appropriately placed at the Crittenden Gate. What confuses many who try to interpret the battle is that the original road that was the axis of the battle continues straight along the fencing from this point forward. Modern day General Winder Road was the Crittenden Lane and Highway 15 did not exist.

The historic Crittenden Gate was restored by members of Boy Scouts of America Troop 225 under supervision of FCMB Board Member Sam Pruett.

The Gray LineThe third marker is titled “The Gray Line” and is placed approximately where William B. Taliaffero’s Brigade came into line.

The First BlowMarker #4 is titled “The First Blow.” It represents the launch of Union Brigadier-General Christopher C. Auger’s Division attack upon the Confederate line. The trail from marker #3 to #4 parallels highway 15. On hot days the trail is in full sun with little relief, whereas the other markers are close to shade.

The Battlefield Since 1862Marker #5 is titled “The Battlefield Since 1862.” We call this location the Point. Several of the original stone brigade markers which were placed about the battlefield by Judge Daniel Amon Grimsley of Culpeper in the early 1900’s have been brought to this location for protection. Grimsley was a veteran of the 6th Virginia Cavalry. His other markers can be seen scattered about the field in their original locations. The original placements were sometimes a nuisance to local farmers and some have disappeared over the years.

The Jaws of DefeatMarker #6 is titled “The Jaws of Defeat.” This marker places the visitor in the footsteps of the men of Brigadier-General Samuel W. Crawford’s three regiments who made an astonishing advance upon the left flank of General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s first line. The terrain features here make plain the reason the blow came as such a surprise to the rest of Jackson’s line along the original Culpeper-Orange Road.

Grimsley Marker, Stonewall Brigade

Visitors have the option from here to complete the shorter trail loop to visit marker #7 or continue farther north to see the Stonewall Brigade Grimsley marker and the large monument to the 3rd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry.  See our post on the battlefield monuments for more information.

Jackson Is WIth YouMarker #7 tells the famous story of “Stonewall” Jackson rallying elements of his broken line with General A. P. Hill’s troops just arriving on the field. The timely arrival brought the Confederates a stunning victory.  As can be seen from the photo this marker is in a shady spot.

Trail Map

This gives an overview of what a tour can be; however, there are several other trails available, and guests can naturally follow any paths they prefer. Estimated time touring the battlefield on one’s own is up to 1 1/2 hours.

On Reverend Philip Slaughter’s Property, “The Shelf”

This is the 4th & last installment of a series of four memorable tours given at Cedar Mountain Battlefield in 2019. Links to the previous 3 tour reports can be found at the end of this post.

“The Shelf,” October 7, 2019

The last tour I will profile here was a particular pleasure for me.  It was a comprehensive driving tour of the entire range of the 1862 battlefield.  It began as a challenge. 

FCMB board member Karen Quaintance directed two visitors from New Hampshire to contact FCMB via our website in order to arrange a tour of Cedar Mountain on their next visit to the area, and I answered the call.  These were not average tourists, but seasoned battlefield explorers.  

In his initial contact, Mr. Bill Boyle wrote me: 

“I believe my friend Mike Carlson and I have visited Cedar Mtn. three times over the years. We come fully equipped with battlefield maps.  Just to give you a little background we have been researching battlefields and sites for nearly 25 years.  We are members of the American Battlefield Trust, Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Assoc., Gettysburg Foundation, Friends of the Wilderness etc.

After recently reading Krick’s book Stonewall Jackson at Cedar Mountain and reading the maps we realized we had a lot more to learn.”

Wow, this was intimidating, I thought.  I’m not sure what I can tell them that they don’t know already.  But I had a great opening.  Further conversations revealed their particular interest in Pegram’s night-time artillery duel, a keen interest which I share with them, and which story I know well.  But it wouldn’t  take very long to show them the spot, so I determined to add in some special  extras for our tour.

Pegram's Knoll

Pegram’s Knoll is the high ground behind the white building in this photo.  Old Orange Rd. (the original road during the battle) pictured.

Through our FCMB partners, I obtained permission from the current owner of the Rev. Philip Slaughter property to bring my guests up the 200-foot hill where the Slaughter house once stood.  The battlefield landmark is referred to as “The Shelf.”   From here, Generals Ewell & Isaac Trimble had a magnificent commanding view of the entire battle.

Trimble wrote, “I was ordered to advance through the woods on our right along the slope of Slaughter Mountain and occupy a favorable position. About 3 o’clock the brigade reached the northwest termination of the mountain, in an open space elevated about 200 feet above the valley below, and distant form the position of the enemy’s battery about 1 1/4 miles,  …Having sent for you [Ewell] to examine the point, you decided to drag up Latimer’s battery, of my brigade, and place it in position, which was done promptly, about 3:30 p.m.” #1

From these heights, 18 year old Capt. Joseph Latimer’s untouchable battery belched forth rounds from 4 rifled guns, upon the broad plain below.  Two guns of Nathaniel Terry’s Bedford Artillery joined them.  Soldiers of the 35th Battalion VA Cavalry assisted pushing the guns up the hill.  Some died of heat stroke in the process.  The chance to visit this hill would be a highlight for both visitors and guide alike.

October 7th, 2019, the day of the tour, was a blast.   In my “worse for the wear and tear” Camry, or, “the adventure vehicle of choice,” as I like to call it, we visited the Shelf, where we took our time exploring the mountain, searching out the perfect spot for Latimer’s artillery to take position.  Trees obstruct the view today so it was challenging, but we think we succeeded.  

The current house standing today is built on the same footprint of the original Slaughter home.

A week after the battle, David Hunter Strother, one of General Banks’ staff, wrote in his memoirs:

“August 17, Sunday.   …I rode over to the mountain and visited the house of the Rev. Dr. Slaughter, late rebel head-quarters, and commanding a beautiful and comprehensive view of the country from Culpeper to the Rapidan.  This house has been completely gutted; and it was pitiable to see the fragments of a tastefully-selected library fluttering over the fields on the mountain side.  Among these I recognized the torn leaves of a valuable Italian collection called “IL VATICANO.”  The plates illustrating the frescoes, painting and statuary of St. Peter’s and the Vatican were all gone.  The furniture of the establishment had received no better treatment.”

Strother continued:

“At the corner of a wood I found a large party of our soldiers industriously engaged in exhuming something from under a mound of fresh earth, supposed to conceal silver plate and other treasures.  The sun was broiling, and they sweltered considerably at their voluntary labor.  They presently stirred up the putrid body of a horse.  This instead of disenchanting them only served to create fresh hopes.  What more adroit and natural way of concealing treasure than by burying it under this offensive body?  Suffocated by the intolerable odor I left them, still in high hopes, declaring that every stroke of their mattocks gave forth a hollow sound.  Doubtless their hopes proved as hollow as the sound.” #2

Devine Life Church

Down the mountain we visited Divine Life Baptist Church, which stands on the site of what once was Calvary Church, established 1855.  The Church was destroyed during the battle but the stained glass window was saved by Mrs. Philip Slaughter.

Captain Charles T. Crittenden of the 13th VA, who fought this battle on his own land, is buried at the church.Colonel Charles Crittenden's grave  

Col. Charles T. Crittenden’s grave, pictured.

After visiting these sights we drove up the Old Orange Road to the area of “Pegram’s Knoll.”

“I was directed to follow the enemy.  Colonel Stafford and General Field being now up, Stafford’s brigade was put in advance, and Field with Pegrams’ battery next…Stafford advanced, feeling his way cautiously, skirmishing, and taking prisoners.  Passing through the woods he came upon the enemy in force. By directions of General Jackson, Pegram occupied a little knoll upon the margin of the field and opened fire.” #3

Pegram opened fire.

“All at once Bang! went a cannon and a shell came whistling over our heads.” wrote a gunner from Battery K, 1st NY Light Artillery  “We had our battery in position in front of this Rebel battery but they did not know it for it was very dark when they ran their battery through the woods in front of us.  As they came up with the battery by our pickets the captain of their battery says to our pickets, “Here men help get this battery in position and we will give them g-d d—- Yankees hell!”  But he thought they were his own men.  They (our pickets) thought it was one of our batteries, but when he spoke our pickets left on the double quick. As I said before they fired the first gun. I tell you when our guns opened upon them the shells made them scatter very quick.  When they fired, you oddly see a regular stream of fire come out of their guns.”  #4

“The next morning 2 lieutenants of artillery were found dead on the spot occupied the evening before by the enemy’s battery, with abundant evidence that they had suffered terribly in killed and wounded.  Eleven dead horses were piled up within a few rods and 8 more were found dead along the road upon which the enemy retreated, together with a disabled caisson.”#5

Timothy O'Sullivan photo, Aug. 1862. Dead Horses on the Battlefield

Pictured are the dead horses on Pegram’s Knoll.  Photo by Timothy O’Sullivan, August 1862.

After our brief stop near Pegram’s Knoll the tour continued up Old Orange Road, across Route 15 to the sight were Colvin’s Tavern once stood.  From a hill above the tavern, artist Edwin Forbes sketched the tavern then being used as a hospital.  His caption, “The battle of Cedar Mountain.  Night at the hospitals.  Arrival of Gen. McDowell’s Corps.”  The key on the back describes numbers 1 – 7 on the drawing.  1.  Blue Ridge Mts.  2.  Turnpike.  3.  Confederate battery firing on the retreating Union forces. 4.  Thompson’s Union battery replying.  5.  Old farm house used as a Union hospital. Wounded lying on the ground.  6.  McDowell’s Corps arrived after forced march from Culpeper C.H.  7.  Gen. Pope’s headquarters.

Edwin Forbes Sketch, Library of Congress

Edwin Forbes Sketch of Cedar Mtn. Battlefield, night of August 9th, 1862.

The site of the tavern and the hillside behind it are today dotted with modern houses.

The driving portion of this comprehensive overview of the battle continued.  We passed the Nalle House on route 15, which was Gen. Pope’s headquarters the night of August 9th, and turned up a road which took us to the hill where the Brown House once stood. 

46th PA MonumentThen, with the 27th Indiana tour fresh in my mind, we drove to the Wayland’s Mill road trace and walked into the woods to see the broken ground which General Gordon’s Brigade crossed to the battlefield.    Next we visited the three monuments in the woods and took pictures.  These are the monuments to the  28th NY, the 27th Indiana, and the 46th PA.  Lastly, we drove around to the front of the woods to see the 10th Maine monument.  Because the site was then covered with corn stalks, it was difficult to see the low ridge where Major Pelouze and Colonel Beale had their tete-a-tete over whether to advance or fall back.

John M. Gould wrote in the history of the 10th Maine: 

“Without delay we faced about, and had retreated a few steps when Major Pelouze, a staff officer, rode out and said that Gen. Banks forbade this movement, but the Colonel persisted and we kept on.”

“The staff officer grew furious and appeared to be having a fist-fight with our Colonel, so animated were the gesticulations of the two officers.  The Major said much that the Colonel thought was unnecessary, and ended with the peremptory order to halt the regiment.”#6

The 10th Maine Infantry lost 39 killed, 179 wounded of 487 men present.

Pictured is the 10th Maine Monument at Culpeper National Cemetery.

This ended the driving portion of our tour.

Back on preserved ground we proceeded to walk the length of the entire field.  After circumnavigating from “The Gate” to “The Point” to the 3rd Wisconsin Monument, and the Stonewall Brigade marker, I felt I had presented all the information I could.  But Bill & Mike were not finished. 

My two guests wanted to walk the bit of preserved land across VA Route 15 that was Brig-Gen. Taliaferro’s  line, and so we did.

Pictured, Mike Carlson at Cedar Mtn. Battlefield.

Taliaferro’s Brigade quickly marched to this spot, in line of battle, from their position in the woods near the Crittenden Gate.  They had been lying is support of Confederate batteries and taking enemy shells, that “were tearing the forest to atoms.”  So they eagerly complied with orders to connect with the left of Gen. Early’s Brigade to the south along Crittenden Lane.  At the proper place they wheeled 90 degrees and advanced “over the ridge” near the lane, then over the fence on the east side of the lane and into the presence of enemy infantry skulking in the corn.”#7

Bill Boyle & Brad Forbush chat while visiting the position of Brig.-Gen. Taliaferro’s  Brigade.  

This was the kind of tour that was a blast for me.  One where the participants had the time and passion for seeing it all.  Everything I learned through research and following FCMB V.P. Michael Block around the field for 1  1/2 years was conveyed, and new places were visited by all.#8  

 The year 2019  was an exciting one at Cedar Mountain Battlefield.  Our battlefield guides await new visitors in 2020.


#1.  OR, Series 1, Vol. 12, part 2; p. 235.

#2.  David Hunter Strother, Virginia Yankee; p. 81-82.

#3.  OR Series 1, Vol. 12, part 2;  p. 216.

#4.  Letter from W. E. Smith, Battery K, 1st NY Light Artillery, Feb. 23, 1863, seen on eBay October 31, 2009.

#5. OR, Series 1, Vol. 12, Part 2;  p. 172.

#6.  History of the First–Tenth–Twenty-ninth Main Regiment, By Major John M. Gould, 1871; p. 184-185. 

#7.  Krick, Robert K., Stonewall Jackson at Cedar Mountan, UNC Press, 1990;  p. 84.   OR p. 211.]

 #8.  Look for the release of  FOCMB Vice President Michael Block’s new  book on the battle next year, titled  The Carnage was Fearful” coming from Savas Beate books.  It will be a great compliment to the already outstanding work on the subject, “Stonewall Jackson at Cedar Mountain” by Robert K. Krick.

Links to the previous posts in our 2019 tour highlights series:

Some Memorable Moments from the 2019 Tour Season

The 27th Indiana Volunteers at Cedar Mountain

The 31st Virginia at Cedar Mountain

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31st Virginia at Cedar Mountain

This is the 3rd installment of a series of four memorable tours given at Cedar Mountain Battlefield in 2019.

On September 25, 2019, Friends of Cedar Mountain vice president Michael Block hosted Dr. Victor L. Thacker, retired Air Force Colonel, on a visit to the Cedar Mountain battlefield. Mike contributed the following tour report.

Victor was most interested in the 31st Virginia Infantry, as his great great uncle French Harding played a prominent role in the August 9 fight. The 31st Virginia was part of Jubal Early’s Brigade, Ewell Division; all part of Stonewall Jackson’s Army of the Shenandoah.

After introductions, we traveled south to the ford at Crooked Run, where Harding and the Army of the Shenandoah crossed as they advanced towards the eventual fight. The ford is on private property, with very limited access.

We continued to follow the Confederate march to a point just west of the battlefield, where Early’s command briefly rested along the banks of one of Crooked Run’s feeder streams, then marched on to the battlefield.

At the start of the day’s fighting, Early was ordered to advance and clear out the Federal cavalry, who were maintaining a picket line. Early’s Virginians advanced and made short work of the horse soldiers, clearing the western end of the field and allowing Jackson’s men to deploy.

We began our tour of the fighting again on private property (with permission), where the 31st Virginia fought. Early’s brigade aligned to the south of modern US Route 15 and spent the majority of the day fighting near the Crittenden Lane, first on a rise to the east, and later in the fields below the lane. Victor was knowledgeable about the fight and the role the 31st played.

Dr. Thacker
Dr. Victor Thacker on the battlefield.

In September 2019, much like August 1862, the land was in corn. We were able to find viewing points along the field as Early’s portion of the fight was discussed. In that late 1862 afternoon, combined advances by three Federal Brigades broke portions of the Confederate lines, including Early’s position on this rise.  The 31st retreated about 200 yards into a wooded hollow and that is where French Harding had his moment. 

Jubal Early, in his after-action report, stated the event thusly: “A body of men from the Thirty-First Virginia Regiment, around their colors, advancing the same way, attracted my attention by their gallantry. I was particularly struck by the bravery exhibited by the color-bearers, of these two regiments (the 13th being the other), who, with these small bodies of men around them, were waving their flags in the very front, as if to attract a fire upon them, and advancing all the well.” One of those color-bearers was French Harding.1

Harding’s memoirs were published in 2000 and tell the same story, from his perspective. “My Immediate later actions is to me, now inexplicable. Probably I then had no reason for it, other than the knowledge that some of my comrades had been left dead, and others wounded, on the battlefield. Be that as it may, one of the color guard – Martin Mulvey – had brought up the regimental flag; which I at once caught up and waved, called the boys to follow me, and without orders, started back to meet the enemy.”2

It is always a moving experience to walk significant family ground and it was not different for Victor Thacker. As a guide I draw profound pleasure from walking with descendants, recounting their personal histories on the spot where that history occurred. 

We followed French and the 31st Virginia as they advanced across the corn toward the Culpeper Court House – Orange Courthouse road, as they chase the broken Federal ranks and where the fighting for this particular unit ended.  

Victor Thacker photographs Early’s Brigade Marker at “The Point.”

Our last stop was The Point, where the recovered Grimsley Marker for Early’s Brigade is now located. It was a bright clear early afternoon, and easy for both of us to look at the rolling land, practically unchanged in 157 years, to reflect on the events and fortunes of all involved that day. Harding French survived the Battle of Cedar Mountain without injury, but was wounded in the arm three weeks later in the Thunder at Ox Hill.

French Harding survived that wound and the war.


1.   Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 12, Part 2, p 233.

2.  Thacker, Victor K., ed., French Harding Civil War Memoirs, (Parsons, WV, McClain Printing Company, 2000), p 60-61.

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Lon Lacey, a remembrance

By Michael Block, Vice President, Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield

FCMB Board Member Lon Lacey passed away, Friday, December 13, 2019.  He was 84.

I first met Lon Lacey in February 2012, when we both joined the Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield (FCMB) Board of Directors. We were two of three new members who joined at that time, with the general thought of infusing ‘fresh blood’ into the organization. It was also just prior to Cedar Mountain’s Sesquicentennial commemoration. We were both thrown into the deep end from the start. Lon didn’t miss a beat. His first project was to plan and execute a one-day symposium on the Battle of Cedar Mountain. The program went off flawlessly. 

Lon brought a passion for the history of the fight with him, having an ancestor who fought with the 27th Indiana Infantry. The historical detail of the battle was something Lon realized was missing from the FCMB. The current board makeup had an understanding of the fight, but lacked the details. We decided that needed to change. 

Over the intervening seven years we served together the variety and depth of tours increased significantly. No longer were visitors conducted along the wartime road and out to the “Point.” They were taken onto Cedar Mountain where Joseph Latimer positioned his guns. They strode down into the “brushy field” where George H. Gordon’s men were set upon from three sides. Our guests were also taken off the battlefield, to the streets of Orange Court House, the Widow Brown house site, the front yard of the Gilbert House, where McGilvery’s battery anchored the Federal left. And most importantly for Lon, the positions of Capt. James Thompson’s Battery C, Pennsylvania Light Artillery in their late night engagement with Captain Willie Pegram’s Purcell Artillery. That evening, the Federal guns stopped the Confederates. 

Lon researched that portion of the fight in significant detail. Not only diving into archives and online resources for the bits of information, but also reaching out to re-enactment groups who had the passion for the units involved. The information Lon assembled was amazing. He pin-pointed the battery’s location. Having served in the U. S. Marine Corps and a full career in the FBI, it is no small leap where he acquired his skills. His efforts rewrote our understanding of the artillery duel, and how Thompson was able to use his guns to their maximum effect, quickly rendering the Confederates combat ineffective and forcing their withdrawal. The impact of Thompson’s skill was documented for posterity by Timothy O’Sullivan’s stunning photo of the dead horses of Pegram’s battery, the first Civil War image of dead on the battlefield. 

His quest for accuracy did not end there. In 2013, the American Battlefield Trust (ABT), then Civil War Trust, proposed to replace our aging wayside markers with updated ones, with new text, images and maps. Lon and I dove into that project, reviewing the proposed markers line-by-line, discussing what was being said, its relevance to the location and the proposed supporting material. In nearly every case, based on our research, the markers were revised based on the on-the-ground battlefield knowledge and the significance of the position where the marker was placed. In Lon’s mind, this was fast becoming his battlefield, and the accuracy was not to be encroached upon. 

The locations and types of the fences throughout the battlefield was another project Lon pursued. Fences on the Cedar Mountain battlefield have never been mapped, though there is a wealth of information available in the period photographs, after-action report, diaries and letters and the art. Lon convinced the ABT to revise and relook at their understanding of the battle and how the fences impacted the fight. It was through Lon’s efforts that a fence now runs along the “Point.” Each year, on Park Day, it grows a little more. And this coming April, that legacy Lon began will continue. In my mind that fence is and will always be Lon’s. 

Lon was also a teacher. He loved nothing more than meeting guests on the battlefield and detailing the brief campaign and Battle of Cedar Mountain. The groups were varied and diverse, and Lon had the skill to speak to each group at their level of understanding and their particular interest. He coordinated and brought corporate leaders led by Maj. Gen. (Ret) Eric Vollmecke, members of the North-South Skirmish Association, and the Warwick School. These are just three of the hundreds of tours, groups or individuals Lon led across the battlefield. 

The corporate leaders participated in a staff ride of the battlefield and had an additional experience during their afternoon. They were taken to a nearby farm that had a firing range. Once there, Lon broke out a number of rifles from his extensive collection. After describing the weapons, the staff riders were allowed to try their hand at firing these historic weapons. 

When the North-South Skirmish Association toured the field, Lon gained permission and access to the Cedar Mountain Shelf, a private location few have had the privilege of visiting. The view is spectacular and you gain an immediate understanding of the impact on the battle Confederate artillery had from that position. 

In April 2016, we were visited by the Sixth Form (or Seniors) from the Warwick School, Warwick, England. This boys’ school is believed to be the oldest boys’ public school in the world. The group was traveling up and down the east coast and made Cedar Mountain a stop on their journey to Charlottesville. For three hours, Lon and I described the battle and the relevance to the Virginia campaign of 1862. While I am sure the young gentlemen enjoyed the tour and talk (and lunch) what got them all excited was the opportunity to handle Lon’s weapons. It was a rare treat and the boys thoroughly enjoyed the moment. 

Lon was instrumental in acquiring the two replica cannon that crown a hill on the battlefield. Plans were underway and funds collected to purchase a replica when the opportunity to have two from a former museum at Gettysburg were made available to the FCMB. Lon took point on all aspects of the cannon movement and refurbishment. He worked to transport them from Gettysburg, found a location and individual who would strip, break down, repair, rebuild and repaint the 126-year-old cannon. The result of the six-month process revealed two nearly pristine 3 inch ordinance rifled cannon you see at Cedar Mountain. 

As many of our board members d0, Lon re-enacted with a passion. He was key in finding units that would journey to Culpeper to take part in living history events or demonstrations. He brought Thompson’s Battery C down from Pennsylvania (a unit after his own heart) and the 2nd Maryland Fife and Drum Band, of which his son is a member. Artillery and music on the battlefield provides impact, and Lon delivered. 

Lon was intensely focused on battlefield preservation. He constantly looked for opportunities for some positive action whenever a piece of property on the battlefield became vulnerable. One of our first actions was supporting the ABT in purchasing the home on the edge of the battlefield that is now used for multiple purposes and functions as well as the ten acres directly across the street. When property fell onto our radar, Lon would research the history of that ground so the significance was understood. The documentation created was passed to those who needed it to fight whatever the fight was, be it an outright purchase, a viewshed challenge or just to better understand its relevance. 

I will miss the battlefield walks Lon and I took, going over the movements, actions and reactions, as well as the healthy discussions on what each of us believed happened, and where it happened. We always parted friends. His conversations at board meetings were always on task as to how the actions taken by the FCMB would move the group forward. The impact of his loss has not yet been realized. But Lon Lacey, you are already sorely missed. 

Rest in peace my friend, and Semper Fi! 

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The 27th Indiana Volunteers at Cedar Mountain

This is the 2nd installment of our look at four memorable tours given at Cedar Mountain in 2019.

The 27th Indiana at Cedar Mountain, September 19, 2019

In July, Mr. Bob Shaffer contacted FCMB Vice President Michael Block to share information about his grandmother’s uncle, Edmund R. Brown, and to schedule a private tour with the Friends of Cedar Mountain.   The date September 19 was set to escort Mr. Shaffer around the battlefield.  Edmund R. Brown wrote the beautifully descriptive regimental history of the 27th Indiana Volunteers published in 1899.   His eloquent words are often quoted on tours of the battlefield. Here’s a brief example describing the regiment’s  eight mile march to Cedar Run which began just beyond Culpeper.

“The air was as hot as a bake oven.  Going directly south, near the noon hour, the sun beat mercilessly into our faces.  Our small, cloth caps, with narrow visers, were poor protection for our heads and eyes, while, with our heavy, regulation dress coats tightly buttoned, our bodies seemed to be a furnace of fire.  Not more than one or two of the Twenty-seventh were sunstroke and fell down in convulsions, but scores of other regiments were affected in that way. As we passed along in the intense heat we saw many o them lying on the ground, frothing at the mouth, rolling their eyeballs and writhing in painful contortions.  This march was the first of several almost incredible things accomplished that day.”

The day of the battle, August 9, 1862, happened to be Edmund Brown’s 17th birthday.  What were you doing when you were 17?  

Bob brought a copy of his ancestor’s book with him to Cedar Mountain while the 3 of us, Mike, Bob and I, explored the battle from the perspective of the 27th Indiana.  We drove behind the preserved land to see the high hill where the Brown House once stood, the jump-off point of the 27th when they advanced into battle.  From here,  two companies, C & F, were detached to the right a half mile as flank guards and were not engaged this day.  They were forgotten about when the Union lines fell back, so the two companies had an adventure finding their comrades after the retreat.  From the Brown House the regiment stepped off on the double-quick, across Cedar Run, towards the battle already in progress.  It was a long difficult approach.  

Our tour stopped in the woods, again on private property, where the old road trace of the Civil War era Wayland’s Mill road can be found.  Before us was the rugged, rock-strewn embankment the 27th charged over during their advance.  Brown wrote:

“Where the left wing of the Twenty-seventh struck the slope it rises at an angle of almost forty-five degrees.  All the way up the surface is not only steep, but mostly very broken.  Ravines, gulches, ledges of rock and innumerable loose stones, large and small, impede the progress at every step.  Trees and low bushes stand thick, with fallen tops and limbs and a tangle of vines and briars in many places, next to impenetrable.”

Looking down the slope today, the ground remains the same and Edmund Brown’s words came alive for us.   Nearby, on top of the wooded hill, stands a monument to the 27th, near the spot where the regiment stepped off the hill into combat.   It was placed in 1901 by John Bresnahan, of Washington, D.C., a Company A veteran who also placed the regiment’s monument at Chancellorsville. 

Our tour group left the woods and proceeded to the battlefield proper, where we walked the ground near the 3rd Wisconsin Monument.  It was here the 27th met the enemy in earnest.  When the regiment hit the fence bordering the wheat field they had to climb over it, or get around it somehow as best they could.  The enemy brigades of James J. Archer and Charles A. Ronald were in front and firing.  The regiment, being unprepared to respond,  had to fall back.  They reformed on a ridge a short distance from the fence and went in again, this time firing as they entered the fray.  Now in addition to Archer & Ronald’s brigade, William D. Pender’s brigade was on their flank.  And here we have a mystery, still to this day.

In the first advance the  3rd Wisconsin, was on the left of the 27th Indiana.  Six companies of the 3rd Wisconsin followed  Crawford’s brigade into the wheat field after a short delay and were forced back.  The 27th Indiana passed some of these troops in the woods on their advance.  The 3rd WI troops reformed and returned to the battle.  Because their battlefield monument is so far to the right of the Union line, it is presumed they came in on the right of the 27th Indiana.  It is a puzzle that remains to be solved.

Historian guide Michael Block was able to point to certain characteristics of the ground here, and offered his theories on the location of the hill where the 27th fell back and re-formed before their second charge. 

One last point on behalf of the 27th Indiana Infantry.  Their Brigade Commander General George H. Gordon constantly slighted them.  Another member of our board, historian Alonzo Lacey, whose great great uncle, Henry A. Ferris (Farris) served in the 27th and survived all its campaigns, said to me, “at Buckland Station, between Strasburg and Front Royal, the [27th IN] regiment, with some others of the 3d WI skirmished with Turner Ashby’s Cavalry and beat them back, but Gordon said they were routed.” 

General Gordon slighted the regiment again in his official report of Cedar Mountain.  But as Edmund Brown points out, in Gordon’s own book, “From Brook Farm to Cedar Mountain,” which was written years later, the brigade commander gives a more accurate account of events.

And so ended our exploration of the 27th Indiana at Cedar Mountain.  Its a part of the battle we don’t often get to tell due to time considerations.  In Mike’s words, “getting down to details and really understanding what was happening” make these kinds of tours especially rewarding for visitors and guides alike.  As Bob Shaffer summed up, “Walking the ground is the only way to understand it.”

Pictured above is the author at left with Mr. Bob Shaffer at the 27th Indiana Monument.

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Some Memorable Moments from the 2019 Tour Season

Reflecting on the past year’s activities, the board members of Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield take great pride in their successful efforts to increase the number of public and private guided tours of the battlefield offered in 2019. In addition to the regularly scheduled and advertised monthly tours, generally given on the 3rd Saturday of each month, May through October, there were a few tours given by happenstance. The most important of these for the author was when he guided Mr. George Griffin, a descendant of a 10th Virginian soldier, and fulfilled this out of state visitor’s long-time desire to walk in his ancestor’s footsteps.

The last time George and his wife Jo Ann visited many years ago, the land was not preserved, nor were there any markers to delineate where the fighting happened. It was a marvel for George to have access to the land and walk in his ancestor’s footsteps. It was especially meaningful for me to provide that service. And then there were the pre-arranged tours presented by special request. All of these were significant but four tours stand out as being especially enjoyable for the visitors as well as the guides.

We will feature a summary of these special guided tours, each as an individual post, in the coming weeks. Here is the first installment.

Adjutant Charles Sprout’s Sword Returns to Cedar Mountain, May 13

On May 13, Mr. Joseph Maghe and his wife Deb brought several artifacts from their private collection to the Cedar Mountain Battlefield Visitor’s Center. Most prominent among them was the sword of Adjutant Charles P. Sprout, 28th New York Volunteers, who was killed in action at the Battle of Cedar Mountain on August 9, 1862. I’ve had a long association with Joseph through our common interest in the 13th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. He is one of the most magnanimous collectors it is my pleasure to know, who has no qualms about sharing his collection with interested parties. In his words, “The historical articles are meant to be seen and shared.”

Many years ago, it was Joseph who tipped me off that eBay was auctioning one of my great-great grandfather’s Civil War letters. Joseph’s consideration, allowed me to purchase this singularly treasured artifact, a September 1861 letter written from Harper’s Ferry. When I learned Joseph was traveling to Manassas to share some of his collection with a private tour, I invited him to Cedar Mountain. He accepted. We had not yet met face to face, but that introduction was made at the Manassas tour. A couple of days later we met again at Cedar Mountain.

FCMB Vice President Michael Block and battlefield historian Lon Lacey were also in attendance. The most exciting relic was the sword of Adjutant Charles Sprout, the popular officer of the 28th NY Infantry whose death in the battle was widely lamented. He was killed during the famous charge of General Samuel W. Crawford’s first brigade, against the weak left flank of Stonewall Jackson’s line. In this action the regiment went in with 320 men, and lost 209.

General Crawford himself mentioned Sprout in his report of the battle:

“Lieutenant Sprout, adjutant of the Twenty-eighth New York, was killed at the side of the enemy’s battery, and the gallant conduct of the men was sufficiently attested by one of the generals of the enemy himself, as we stood together upon the battlefield twenty-four hours after the action amid the mingled bodies of the dead of both sides.” A touching denouement to this story is that Adjutant Sprout’s daughter attended the 28th New York monument dedication ceremony at the Culpeper National Cemetery in 1902.

Harry E. Bowen, the son of Captain Erwin Bowen, described the scene in a letter to his family:

“Mrs. Stilson [of Detroit] was introduced to the audience as the daughter of Adjutant Sprout being three months old at the time of his death at Cedar Mountain. Her father had wished her named Annie Lourie Sprout, which lent an added charm to the song of Annie Lourie which she sang. The enthusiasm brought her back the second time, and all joined in the Star Spangled Banner.”

After enthusiastically swapping stories and sharing personal artifacts from the war, we walked the battlefield together. A drizzly day gave the tour added interest.

Pictures are worth a thousand words, so here are  several from that special day.

Board members Michael Block and Lon Lacey talk while Joseph reads the transcript of my great-great grandfather’s September 1861 letter written from Harper’s Ferry, on the Maryland side of the river.

Board member Lon Lacey shows Joseph his ancestor’s carbine with name inscribed on the stock.

FCMB Vice President Michael Block sets the stage for the battlefield tour.

At “The Point.” This is the spot on the battlefield where the 28th New York charged through the wheat field to attack the weak Confederate left flank.

Near the spot on the battlefield where Adjutant Charles Sprout, 28th NY, was killed.

Walking the field, Cedar Mountain in the background.

FOCMB Vice-President Michael Block, with Adjutant Sprout’s Ceremonial Sword.  Mike gave a talk the following week in Sprout’s home-town of Lockport, N.Y.

A photo of Mike speaking at the New Holland Land Office Museum, in Batavia, N.Y., May, 2019.  He spoke on the 28th New York’s action during the Battle of Cedar Mountain, and the postwar reconciliation between the 28th NY and the 5th Virginia Infantry.  This included the “returning of the 28th’s battle flag by the Virginians in 1882, and the New Yorker’s visit to Staunton, VA the following year.

So that’s it for this week.  Next up will be a recap of a July tour that focused on the 27th Indiana Infantry with the descendant of Edmund Brown, the author of the 27th’s regimental history.

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Dedication of the 28th New York Monument at Culpeper National Cemetery

In the relics room at the Friends of Cedar Mountain meeting house, there hangs a laminated newspaper.  It is an original edition of the Culpeper Enterprise, dated August 15, 1902.  The dedication of the 28th New York Monument in the Culpeper National Cemetery is the subject of the entire issue.  Thinking it might be  of interest to our visitors, I transcribed the paper and post it here.

A few notes on the transcription:  Some obvious typos have been corrected.  In one or two places the newspaper was torn, but if I was able to discern a name in the torn section, specifically N.E.G. Wadhams, I added it to this transcription.  Also, regarding Horatio King’s poem, read at the ceremony,  I found a printed version of the poem on line at the web  archive, and added the lines that were illegible in the newspaper due to folds in the newsprint.  And, I included a few extraneous things from the banner, and the advertisement at the very bottom of the newspaper page, just for kicks.  –Bradley M. Forbush.


Published by The Enterprise Publishing House
The Enterprise has the Largest Circulation of any paper in this location ––with possibly one exception–– (The Warrenton Virginian.)
Devoted to the Interest of Culpeper and Adjacent Counties.
Price 75 Cents Cash;  TRADE —-$1.00 per year.

Survivors of the 28th Reg’t.    New York Volunteers
Held Their Annual Reunion in Culpeper, Virginia.

At which Meeting they Dedicated a Handsome Monument to the Memory of those of their Comrades who fell in the Battle of Cedar Mountain.  The monument constructed of great blocks of Granite, weights 40 tons, stands 25 feet high, and cost $2,500.  A perpetual testimonial to the valor of those in whose honor it was erected.

Business Meeting of the Association.
28th New York, at Culpeper, Va.

At the annual  business meeting of the Association, held at the National Cemetery on Friday the 8th, the following reports were made.


Col. E. F. Brown, New York city; S.S. Marvin, Phila., Pa;  F. B. Seeley, Lockport, NY; C. W. Boyce, Buffalo,, J.W. Little, Lockport, N.Y.;  B. B. Brown, Cooperstown; N. Dakota; E.H. Ewell, St. Louis, Mich; Jas. Taylor, Vassar, Mich.; Jas. Phillips, Buffalo, NY;  N H. White, Chesaning, Mich;  G. B. Swick, Ramsonville, NY; Thos. Granville, Lockport;  L. A. Brace, Eau Claire, Wis; Ziba Roberts, East Shelby, NY;  E.B. Whitmore, Rochester; D. L. Raynolds, Rushville, NY; S. H. Beach, Jersey City;  C. H. Liscom, NY city; G. H. Boker,[?] Brooklyn;  E. A. Newbury, Westen, Wash;  F. W. Morse, Garwood, NJ;  N.E.G. Wadhams, Niagara Falls; T. Fitz?? (torn)  Washington, DC;  Capt. J. Waller, Monticello, NY:  W. McIntyre, Mangalup Valley, NY  M. Warfield; Hampton, Va.


Number of comrades supposed to be surviving at last reunion, 280.  Six names added this year, of comrades whose addresses were not previously known, vise: Edwin A. Newberry, Sgt-Major, Weston, Mass.; Edward S. Newman, Co. B.  N.S. Home, Milwaukee, Wis; Patrick Lavelle, Co. E, Columbus, Mont; Leonard B. Taylor, Co F, Athens, Maine; Ed. St. John, Co. G, Noroton Heights Conn; Edward J. Watts, Co. F, Wellington, Ohio.   286.

We have lost by death 8 members –– see obituary report.

We have been compelled to drop the names of the following comrades, whose correct address couldn’t obtained;  Frank F. Church,  Lawrence Metzger, Homer H. Fields, and Henry Dykeman. Leaving names now on Roster, 224.

The Secretary has received personal responses from 204 of these, leaving 20 whose address, as recorded to his book must be incorrect, as no response has been received from them.  But letters addressed to these comrades have not been returned, showing that either they, or their friends, had received them; or that their mail had been forwarded to some other address and had not been received.  If received, no attention had been given it.  The names and lost addresses of these 20 comrades, are as follows:

Henry Reparsz, Lockport, NY.
Wm. Winthrop, Lockport, NY.
Alvin A. Eaton, Portis, Kansas.
Lucius Stickney, Alabama NY.
Wright Rodger, Lockport NY.
E.S. Newman, NS home Milwaukee
Samuel Davis, Edgerton, Mich.
John Kempter, E Saginaw, Mich.
John Kugler, Lockport, NY.
Eugene Shepard, N Ridgeway, NY
ML Parkhurst, Canandaigua, NY
Wm H. Brown, Hillsdale, Mich.
Geo. W. Thayer, Pembroke, NY.
Owen McAlister, Clarendon, NY.
Wm A. Lovett, Newark, Ohio.
James Coddington, Wurtsboro, NY.
George Young, Elleville, NY.
John J. Sullivan, Niagara Falls, NY.
William H. Frank, St Paul, Minn,
Byron C Anderson, Wissington, So. Dakota.

The Secretary has also received the following names of comrades who are reported to be surviving, but letters to them at the addresses given have met with no response:

W A Thomas, leader of band, Athens, Maine.
Henry Burk, Co B, N S Home, Dayton, Ohio.
James Gay, Co E, N S Home, Milwaukee, Wis.
James Fox, Co F, 510 Fowler street, Milwaukee, Wis.

The new Roster, thus revised, has been sent to each comrade with the invitation to the reunion.  It has been prepared with great care and may be relied upon as being very nearly correct.  If the comrades would co-operate with the secretary in correcting changes in the addresses where necessary, the Roster would be more reliable.  All of which is respectfully submitted.      C.W. BOYCE,    Secretary.

The report of the Treasurer shows the association to be in good financial condition.  The voluntary subscriptions of the comrades being sufficient, with the State appropriation, to dedicate the monument free of debt, and leave a balance in the treasury to pay all obligations fo the Reunion for the present year.


Reports of the death of the following comrades have been received at the Secretary’s office since our last reunion :

John Quinton, Band, died in 1898.
John H Smith, Co K, died in Aurora, Ill. April 26, 1898.
Leander Hamilton, Co F, died Fairport, NY, 1900.
Erastus R Peek, Co F, died Brockport, NY, June 10, 1901.
Joseph H Camp, Co I, died in Nyack, NY, November 13, 1901.
W H Withey, Band, died in Sioux Falls, SD, December 19, 1901.
Alexander Simpson, Co I, died in Lewistown, NY, October 14, 1901.
John D Woods, Co I, died in Lockport, NY, May 4, 1902.

It is with sorrow we are compelled to drop these names from our list of surveying comrades; and no longer call their names at our yearly roll call.

They were our associates on the weary march, in the camp and on the battle-field; and were endeared to us by the strong ties of comradeship.  We cherish their memories and pay this last tribute of respect to them our heartfelt sympathies to their relatives and friends.  Singed

C.W. Boyce,    F. B. Seeley.  E.B. Whitmore.        Obituary Committee.

The following Officers were elected :  George Irish, President;  N E G Wadhams, Vice-President, and C W Boyce, Secretary and Treasurer.

The place selected for the next reunion is “Olcott Beach, New York.”  The date :  May 22d 1903.

The Dedicatory services were presided over by the colonel of the 28th, Col. E. F. Brown, who lost an arm on Cedar Mountain.

The Colonel made an address of welcome and informed his comrades and the visiting hosts that they had assembled for the purpose of dedicating that imposing block of stone, erected to the memory of their fallen comrades.  A silent sentinel, yet its presence will forever perpetuate the memory of those to whom and over whose ashes it stands; a fitting tribute to the bravery of man.

Col. E. F. Brown, at the monument dedication ceremony, 1902.
Colonel E. F. Brown, seated, center, at the actual ceremony, 1902.

Rev. W. T. Williams made a very touching prayer.  An oration by Judge Oren Britt Brown, of Dayton, Ohio, son of Col. E. F. Brown, who proved himself a worthy son of his much-loved sire.  His remarks were interesting and appropriate.  “We are here,” he said, “to dedicate this beautiful monument, expressive of the gratitude, affection and appreciation of the citizens of the great Empire State, by unanimous vote of its representatives in the General Assembly, to the memory of the volunteers of the 28th New York, as an enduring mark to the bravery and loyalty of its officers and men, both living and dead.”  He spoke of the terrors of war and declared that of all battles of the war, Cedar Mountain stands forth as one of the bloodiest, and that the 28th New York, his father’s regiment, suffered most severely on that bloody field.  This regiment marched upon the slope of Cedar Mountain on the morning of the ninth of August, 1862, 357 strong, and ere the setting of the sun  57 were killed, 61 wounded and 92 were prisoners; total loss, 210.  Every officer was either killed, wounded or taken prisoner, and “your colors captured.”  Yours it was to do and to die.  We are in the midst of the scenes where that dreadful conflict between brothers occurred.  The conscientiousness of the men who participated in that war is not now questioned.  The men who took part in the civil war, ever since the surrender at Appomattox have accepted the decree of that day as an expression of the final settlement of the principles and issues involved.

“Since the late war with Spain many have proclaimed that the conflict served to reunite the nation; that the bitter feeling engendered by the civil war had given place to the fraternal love engendered by the companionship of a Nation’s Common Cause.  This may have strengthened the ties of friendship between the two sections and may have made still firmer the foundations of our nation as they existed at the termination of the civil war in 1865; but in-so-far as the soldiers of either side were concerned, this had been accomplished at Appomattox.”

Then followed this beautiful poem read by the author, Gen. Horatio C. King of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Come here my boy, and sit down upon my knee,
How old are you?  you say you’r twelve and three?
Why bless my heart, how fast the time does fly !
It seems less years than that since crippled I
A gawky stripling lad, no taller than you be
Shouldered my trusty gun and fought for liberty.
Just see me now with my old wrinkled head,
Near bald as that round ragged ball of lead
The surgeon dug from this poor limping leg,
( Though stiffened, better than a wooden peg ),
In old Virginia, on that August day,
When Stonewall Jackson brought our boys to bay
At Cedar Run –– Ah me, who could forget
That bloody fight, its memories haunt me yet.

I guess you’ve heard –– No?  Well I declare
And you’re fifteen”  Say tell me when and where
You’ve been to school, and who my boy’s your teacher
I can’t believe there lives a single creature
Who hasn’t heard of Slaughter’s famous Mountain;
Perhaps he doesn’t drink straight from the fountain
Of real history –– not the pre-diluvian kind
Of Rome and Greece; why boy he must be blind
To skip what’s done and doing here at home
And waste his time on ancient Greece and Rome.

I’ve seen of more than forty years that fight
Since first though Shenandoah’s valley bright
We marched in old Virginia, noble State
But then embittered with unreasoning hate.
And just because we loved our brethren so
We wouldn’t let them from the Union go.
And so we boys put on our uniforms of blue,
And tramped that sacred soil just through and through
“Twas mighty rough, but then you ought to know
That war is hell:   Pap Sherman told us so.

And yet I hear some foolish people say
That war’s not war; and that the proper way
To fight those devils in the Philippines
Is just to feed them bibles, junk and greens,
To send them flags of truce and tracts galore,
And while they fight to send them more and more––
And if those friends go in for nameless slaughter
To shoot them down with squirts and violet water
What bally rot!  If I could only see
Those valiant jays in Congress and without,
I’d give them facts to jog their thoughts about,
And you can bet I’m not afraid to speak and tell
The President to give those fellows hell.
Excuse my swearing, but you see when I
Just hear our boys abused, I’d rather die
Than shut my mouth.  Why bless your heart
My boy is there a fighting for the flag,
He’ll do his duty while his tongue can wag,
And when I hear men call him what he is not,
I don’t deny it makes me piping hot!

When I was just a little older than you be,
I joined the 28th New York in Lockport:  see?
As fine a lot of boys as ever fired a gun,
And quite as fond of fighting as they were of fun.
The ladies, bless their hearts!  of Lockport town
Lent willing hands and did us royal brown,
Presenting us with colors just as fine
As ever fanned the air.  No golden mine
Could buy that flag when we left home and all,
And marched away to heed our county’s call.

We had our ups and downs like other boys,
And many troubles, though a share of joys;
Thro’ dust and mud, in rain and sleet snow,
We went, no kicking, where we had to go,
Until in August eighteen sixty-two
We pitched our camp, a likely sight to view
Among Culpeper’s green and shady hills.
and filled our canteens from its sparkling rills,
the tents they shone like silver in the sun,
the stacks of muskets and each frowning gun
Stood ready, for a mile or two away
Was Stonewall Jackson, waiting for the fray.

Our flag, ah me!  it never looked so bright
As on that summer morning in the growing light|
When we fell in, and felt it in our bones
That bloody work was coming and the stones
On Cedar Mountain would be red with gore
And hundreds sleep the sleep of never more,
We asked not questions; all we soldiers knew,
Was, Banks was there to tell us what to do:
And wherefore wasn’t ours to think or ask
But just to buckle to the awful task
Of fighting twice our number (that’s no lie)
’Twas ours, in face of all to do and die.

’Twas a’most noon.   We heard our Colonel shout
“Charge old 28th; drive the Johnnies out!”
A ringing cheer swelled all along the line,
And with a rush that stiffened every fellow’s spine
We sent the Johnnies flying like the wind
And left their dead and wounded far behind.
Our Gallant Colonel, Dudley Donnelly fell,
And bleeding died there in that mouth of hell;
And Lewis too, who bore our flag that day
Fell on the field and while he wounded lay,
Brave hands to rescue, held the banner high
Till each and all were stricken down to die;
Our Lieutenant Colonel Brown, God bless him!  he
There lost his arm –– a fighting for the free.
He’s here, but Sprout  our Adjutant was shot,
And breathed his last upon that fearful spot.

Major Sprout's Sword
Major Charles Sprout’s Sword

The rank and file went in three hundred strong,
And more –– I guess you’ve heard that famous song
Of Balaklava, and old England’s braves
Whom blundering orders sent to heroes graves.
Well ! Balaklava was like children’s play
And wasn’t in it with the desperate way
The 28th went down like soldier toys,
And lost two hundred of its noble boys
The fight was worse than useless.  Who’s to blame?
Don’t ask; no good !  We won a glorious name,
But not the field;  we lost and worst of all
Our cherished flag; the Johnnies had the call.

Like sheep they packed us in the cattle cars,
’Til Libby found us penned behind its bars,
With one small piece of our shot-riddled flag,
A precious, frayed out little bit of rag,
But full of cheer day after weary day,
While pain and hunger wore our lives away.

But wars like all things else must have an end,
Though still for three years more twas fight and spend.
But blood and money flowed in storms away,
Until upon that fateful April day,
At Appomattox, Southern flags were furled
And peace our peace was hailed throughout the world.

We boys had had enough of fights and [and repeated] gore
And glad were we to see our happy homes once more
We’d saved the Union; not a silvery star
Was blotted from the flag, no single scar
Defaced the stripes of lovely red and white;
But stars and stripes reflected freedom’s light.
Our angry foe became our loyal friend,
Til in another war we both contend
To see who’ll fight the hardest for the land
Whose life was threatened once by brother’s hand.

Well twenty years went by and not a sign
Of our old flag except that six by nine,
That little strip held fast by Colonel Brown
When we were captives in old Richmond town,
Till eighty-two, perhaps ’twas eighty-one
He spent a happy day in Washington,
When searching in the pile with eager air
Of captured flags, he found it lying there.
He dragged it from its dusty hiding place’
Our flag once lost, but lost not in disgrace,
He matched the missing fragment to a T,
And you may well believe when told to me
I cried for joy, I threw my cap on high
And cheered until I thought I’d surely die!

But that’s not all; we’ll not forget the day
When these brave men who took that flag away ––
The 5th Virginia, traveled North to give
it back; I‘ll not forget it while I live.

We’ve got [have] it yet; and when my time shall come
To shuffle off this coil and go up home,
I hope my comrade who may linger there
Will lay that tattered flag upon my bier,
And when the preacher’s had his final say
I want some comrade who was there that day
At Cedar Mountain just to read this song
I’ve writ below:  And let him read it strong!
Then bugle sound “lights out”;  perhaps I may
Just hear;  for heaven can’t be far away.


All hail our starry banner
The emblem of the free,
Whose stars and stripes forever
Shall stand for liberty.
The world beholds thy glory,
‘Bright banner of the stars,
And nations held in bondage
Shall break their prison bars.

In thee the blue of heaven
Proclaims thy purity,
And peoples plunged in sorrow
Shall fondly turn to thee:
To lead the world in honor,
The weak to cheer and save,
These are thy tasks forever,
Dear banner of the brave,
To thee our holy pledges
We solemnly renew,
Until our hearts are silent,
To thee will we be true.
The centuries shall claim
Till time here? shall end,
And all the world proclaims thee
Protector, savior, friend.


Private S. S. Marvin in a few well chosen remarks presented to the government  for its “care and keeping, the beautiful granite shaft that adorns the sacred spot we now occupy.

Gen. T. E. True of the Quartermaster General’s Department of the Army, received the monument for and in the name of the United States.

At this juncture the vast throng was thrilled by the voice of Mrs. Arthur Stilson as she sang “Annie Laurie” and “The Star Spangled Banner.”

And last, but not least, was the address of Gen. M. N. Curtis, ex-Congressman, from New York, who said in part:  “In many ways I claim fellowship with you, my brave Virginians.  In all the glory given the 28th today you are silent participants of honor.

“Happy, indeed, are the American people that on both sides they met as they did this conflict which was necessary.  It had to come; the question whether the Union or State was sovereign was not one for courts or legislatures.  And we are glad it was fought to the end, leaving nothing to our children but to love and honor the Union which remains.”

The benediction by Rev. W. T. Williams, closed the annual reunion of the 28th N.Y.   A memorable meeting it was –– one that will be long and pleasantly remembered by every one present.

A vast throng had gathered from our little city and surrounding country to join in hearty sympathy and co-operation with those from the North, who had journeyed here to do honor to the memory of their dead.

The sun shone beautifully bright.  The little birds chanted solemn requiems o’er the sleeping heroes.  No cloud in the sky.  No word, or act, to mar the unsullied pleasure of the solemn occasion.


At night–– Friday, Aug. 8th,––  there was a “Camp-fire” in Rixey’s Opera House, around which were assembled veterans of both the Blue and the Gray.

Major Grimsley presided, and many stories and incidents of camp-life were related.  General King’s jokes carried the audience by storm.

Judge Grimsley has done all in his power to make this a memorable occasion and we feel confident that the cordial reception we have extended to our visitors  is duly appreciated by them.


On a hot Saturday, August 8, 1862, [August 9th is correct – B.F.] Cedar Mountain was the scene of one of the many bloody combats that drenched the soil of old Virginia with the blood of contending armies.

Last Saturday, the 8th, just 40 years thereafter, there met upon that fatal spot, survivors of those who participated in that fearful drama.

Last Saturday they met not as enemies, but as friends and brothers.  Together they tramped over the ground and talked the stirring scenes that they witnessed on Cedar Mountain 40 years ago.

The positions the several commands occupied to various times during the engagement, have been marked with huge blocks of granite which bears the same of each command.  The credit of this work is due to our honored townsman, Judge D. A. Grimsley.

Having erected a monument to the memory of their dead, the survivors of the 28th New York determined to hold their annual reunion in Culpeper for the double purpose of dedicating the monument and to again visit the Cedar Mountain battlefield to satisfy themselves that the granite markers had been properly placed, and invited the Confederate veterans, especially the members of the 5th Virginia, to join them;  but Colonel (Judge) Grimsley determined to capture his old adversaries, and to this end called upon the good people of the town and county of Culpeper (holding the old vets in reserve) to constitute themselves a committee to entertain the members of the 28th New York and their comrades and friends.  Nobly did they respond to Judge Grimsely’s request.  It reminded the writer of an old-time Virginia picnic.

Our people came for many miles around and most of them brought bountiful supplies of eatables.  A veritable feast, such as one only gets at an old Dominion picnic  Fully six thousand people were on the grounds.  

The beautiful grove in which is situated Cedar Run Church, was thronged with those who came in honor of the occasion whose presence demonstrates the good fellowship that warms the hearts of true Virginians.

Cedar Run Baptist Church
Cedar Run Baptist Church

It was an ideal day.  A day that will remain green in our memory; a day where our beautiful girls (of which Culpeper is justly proud) vied with each other in their efforts to entertain their new made friends.

The presiding officer, Judge Grimsley, selected some of Culpeper’s fairest daughters and assigned to them the pleasant task of pinning a badge on the lapel of each veteran’s coat.  It was a beautiful sight to see those gray haired warriors, standing in two long columns, while these pretty young maidens bestowed upon them a badge of honor.

Forward, march! was the next order of the day.  And the veterans marched either side of the long tables that fairly groaned ‘neath the weight of viands.  This sumptuous feast was served by the dainty hands of our sweet girls, which added no little to the enjoyment of the repast.  After the old soldiers had been served, a general invitation was extended to all.  Everyone present was bountifully provided for, and so generous was the supply that there was enough left to have fed as many more.  Surely the hospitality of Culpeper (of which we are proud) was fully sustained last Saturday.

Our business men, many of whom could not spend the day with the visitors, yet wished to contribute to their pleasure, so they procured Staley’s Band from Washington, which proved a very pleasing feature of the day.

Dinner over, Judge Grimsley introduced Capt. C. M. Blackford of Lynchburg, of the 2d Va. Cavalry, who was temporarily attached to Gen. Jackson’s staff at the time of the battle.  Capt. B told of one incident of the battle:  The Confederate troups faultered;  old Jack seeing his columns wavering rushed into the breach, drew his sword and waved it for the first and last time during the war.   Capt. Blackford’s able and instructive address was greatly enjoyed;  at the close of which he introduced Gen. M. N. Curtis, saying Virginia owed much to the General; that he had proven her friend.  General Curtis is a pleasant speaker and his friendly remarks were highly appreciated.

The others who spoke were:  Col. E. F. Brown, 28th N.Y.;  Capt. W. P. Pendleton, Col. J. W. Williams of the 5th Va. Infantry;  Brig.-Gen. J. T. Taylor of Penn., who was a Captain in the battle of Cedar Mountain and led a cavalry charge, and Col. Wm. Penn Loyd, Adjt-Gen’l of Gen’l Taylor’s brigade.  The writer was very pleased with Col. Loud’s remarks,  And also Mr. John Bresnahan.

The crowning feature of the day was a song by Mrs. Arthur Stilson of Detroit, Mich., daughter of Adjutant Sprout of the 28th New York, who was killed in the battle of Cedar Mountain.  Standing within view of the spot where her father sacrificed his life for the flag, his daughter in her unusually sweet voice sang the song of the South, “Dixie.”  It was indeed a most touching incident; one that should convince the most skeptical of the changes 40 years have wrought.

A number of patriotic songs was rendered by a chorus composed of the different choirs of the town, with band accompanyment, which added to the enjoyment of the occasion.

With one accord all agree that the Veterans Reunion Picnic was a success.  Too much credit cannot be given Judge Grimsley, for to his untiring energy and unceasing efforts, all are indebted for such an enjoyable time.

Before leaving the field the members of the 28th unanimously passed the following resolution:

RESOLVED, That the hearty thanks of every comrade of the 28th New York Regiment, and of every Northern citizen visiting the city of Culpeper at this time, be, and the same hereby is, extended to Judge D. A. Grimsley and his citizen and Confederate associates, who have so ably arranged all the details for our pleasure and comfort at this reunion ; and to the ladies of Culpeper, who have so kindly opened their houses for our entertainment;  also to the ladies and citizens who have provided the very generous lunch on the battlefield; and to all, who have in so many ways, aided in making our stay among you so very delightful.

We are deeply moved by the fraternal spirit that prompted you to decorate the stores and many of your homes, an unexpected evidence of our welcome to your beautiful city, and the hospitality of your lovely homes, will ever remain with us, a most pleasant memory.  The hearty welcome we have received have made a deep impression upon us, a most pleasant memory.  The hearty welcome we have received has made a deep impression upon us.  We shall take our departure from your city with regret, feeling assured that our visit has been more than simply a day’s pleasure.  To us, at least, has come “The new dispensation of Peace,” which is blinding the North and the South together, in one common brotherhood.

Our dead comrades, lying so peacefully in your beautiful cemetery, are ties that will ever bind our hearts to Virginia. Your kind hospitality for which Virginians have always been so justly famed –– assures us that the  same feelings of kindness and brotherhood which you have shown us, will prompt you to remember the graves of our comrades, when, on each decoration day, you cover with flowers those of your own heroic dead.

And when you give your
“Love and tears for the Gray,”
You will also have
Kind thoughts and flowers for the Blue.

I Know One Sure Remedy
for an obstinate cold. Its name is Pyny-Balsam.

*NOTE:  The flag of the 28th NY was captured at the battle of Cedar Mountain, August 9, 1862.    

A wounded member of the color guard, knowing he would be captured,  tore the flag from its staff and tried to hide it in his jacket.  But it was discovered by a soldier of the 5th VA Inf., of the Stonewall Brigade.  In the evening, while waiting to be marched away, a member of the 28th NY secretly cut out a small piece of the flag as a keepsake.  Months later, when he returned from captivity, he gave it to Colonel Brown, who kept it for 20 years.

In 1882, Col. Brown found the regiment’s lost flag in Washington, D.C., among a collection of recaptured Union Colors retrieved from Richmond after the war.  The scrap piece of flag he carried on his person, fit perfectly into the missing piece of the discovered flag.  He immediately contacted the Secretary of War to reclaim the flag on behalf of the 28th NY Vols.  The request was granted, and the flag was returned to Col. Brown.  The veterans of the 28th NY, then invited veterans of the 5th VA to their annual re-union in upstate New York.  The Virginians accepted, and in a ceremony conducted May 21, 1883, at Niagara Falls, an officer of the 5th VA returned the flag to Col. Brown.  The crowd cheered.  It was the first re-union attended by veterans of both sides.

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Monuments at Cedar Mountain Battlefield

Contributed by Friends of Cedar Mountain board member Brad Forbush

Many visitors are surprised to learn there are five monuments on the Cedar Mountain battlefield. All but one of the battlefield monuments are on private property, which must be respected. The monuments honor the 3rd Wisconsin, the 27th Indiana, the 46th Pennsylvania, the 28th New York and the 10th Maine Infantry regiments.

These monuments are not to be confused with the Grimsley markers that dot the preserved portion of the battlefield. The Grimsley markers are small blocks of stone stamped with a brigade name, or the name of an artillery battery, that marked certain positions of units that participated in the fight. These became a nuisance to the local farmers whose land they occupied, causing them to be moved to less inconvenient sites. Many of the surviving stones have been collected for viewing and placed on the preserved part of the battlefield called “the point.” Others are still positioned near their original placement on the part of the battlefield that is protected.

Grimsley markers visible in front of the interpretative sign, with Cedar Mountain in the distance

In the far corner of the battlefield stands an impressive monument to the 3rd Wisconsin. It is accessible to all visitors willing to make the trek. The monument is engraved with the following names:

”     C.  DAVID FOUKE.
”     F.   ETHAN W. BUTLER.
”     H.  WM. H. MASON
”      K.  WM. H. HUBBELL.

On the base:

Monument to the 3rd Wisconsin

Up in the woods on private land stand 3 other monuments fairly close together: the 27th Indiana, The 46th Pennsylvania, and the 28th New York.

The 27th Indiana reported 50 casualties: 15 killed, 29 wounded, 6 prisoners or missing.  Evidence from the minutes of the 27th Indiana Regiment Association suggest that a veteran of that unit, a Mr. John Bresnahan purchased and placed a monument to this regiment, on his own, at Chancellorsville in 1899, and then solicited funds from the association in 1900 to pay for it.    John Bresnahan toured the Cedar Mountain Battlefield with his friend Edmund Brown in August 1889.  It is probable that Mr. Bresnahan also placed the monument to the 27th Indiana Regiment at Cedar Mountain around the time the Chancellorsville monument was installed, or shortly thereafter.

The monument to the 27th Indiana reads:


Monument to the 27th Indiana

Of their 244 casualties, the 46th Pennsylvania reported 31 killed, 102 wounded, and 111 taken prisoner or missing. The inscription on the 46th Pennsylvania monument reads:

AUG. 19, 1862
LOSS, 244

Monument to the 46th Pennsylvania

Reported casualties for the 28th New York included 21 killed, 79 wounded and 113 taken prisoner or missing, for a total of 213 casualties. The monument inscription reads:

AUG. 9, 1862

Monument to the 28th New York

Some sightseers have spotted the monument to the 10th Maine while driving along route 15. It skirts the edge of a woods north of Dove Hill Road and the battlefield proper. Its often visible in the Winter if you know where to look. It is sometimes mistaken for a headstone, and some visitors have asked, who is buried there in the woods? But it is not a grave marker. It is the monument to the 10th Maine situated on the ground that represents the center of their line during the regiment’s ordeal in the famous wheatfield. The front of the marker reads:

AUGUST 9, 1862.

On the reverse side it reads:

LOSS 179

Monument to the 10th Maine

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Descendant tour: Following the 21st Virginia Infantry at Cedar Mountain

Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield (FCMB) welcomes requests for battlefield tours by individuals or groups seeking to learn more about the battle. FCMB was delighted to respond to a request by Mr. Mike Dove for a  private tour in August 2018. Board member Bradley Forbush provided the tour and wrote this tour report.

Mike Dove had traveled to Cedar Mountain several times in the past, but those trips were before a crucial portion of the battlefield was preserved by American Battlefield Trust.

On those previous visits, only a solitary sign on the side of route 15 indicated the Battle of Cedar Mountain happened “near here.”

In 2018 Mike contacted Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield and scheduled a guided tour of the field. He and his cousin, Kay, drove up from North Carolina for the battle’s 156th anniversary weekend on August 10, 2018. For the first time Mike retraced the footsteps of three of his ancestors, present at the battle on August 9, 1862.

Mike and Kay

Five of Mike’s ancestors served in the 21st Virginia Volunteer Infantry at one time or another. The first 3 family members to enlist were William J. Dove (about age 29), his younger brother Jackson Green Dove (about age 18) and their brother-in-law John J. Rowland (about age 41). Each man was  from Pittsylvania County, Virginia. Their company organized at Chalk Level and was accordingly called the “Chalk Level Grays.” The 3 recruits signed enlistment papers July 1, 1861 in Richmond, and the “Grays” became Company H of the 21st Virginia Volunteer Infantry.

The 21st was sort of a “hard luck” regiment. From its earliest days the men suffered from sickness and exposure. A brief synopsis of their difficult first year of service is provided in a separate post.

The history of the 21st Virginia is closely related to the history of the 3 other regiments of their brigade, the 42nd Virginia, 48th Virginia, and 1st Virginia (Irish) Battalion. This brigade, under the command of Colonel Thomas S. Garnett, fought at Cedar Mountain.

At the Cedar Mountain engagement, Garnett’s brigade happened to occupy the most deadly position on the Confederate line. The 21st Virginia suffered 37 men killed and 85 wounded. Three of the casualties were members of the Dove family.

Walking Tour of Cedar Mountain Battlefield, August 10, 2018

Walking in the footsteps of your ancestors leads to powerful emotions. During the anniversary weekend of the Battle of Cedar Mountain, Mike was retracing the last moments of his great-great grandfather’s life.

Mike was familiar with the memoir of John Worsham, a member of Company F, 21st Virginia. One incident in particular from Worsham’s narrative stood out in Mike’s memory. Worsham wrote:

“Our division was hurried along the road some distance, the Second Brigade marched to the front of the column and halted, the roll was called, we were ordered to load, and, after a few minutes of rest, we resumed the hurried march. Going a short distance, the men on the  left of the road cleared the way for a cannon ball that came bounding along like a boy’s ball.

The force with which it was traveling is indicated by its striking the stump of a tree, glancing  up, and going out of sight. A little farther on we came to four of our men lying in the road dead, killed by this same ball. The road was fairly alive now with shot and shell from the enemy, and we filed to the left into the wood, went about one hundred yards, filed to the right, and continued our march, parallel to the road.” #1

“Where did that happen?” Mike asked me, as we stood in the battlefield’s meeting house.

“Right outside the door here, on the Old Orange Road in front of the battlefield parking area,” I replied.

The tour proceeded from the meeting house.  We followed the Old Orange Road trace  past the Crittenden Gate and onto the battlefield proper. After their circuitous advance through woods to avoid enemy artillery fire in the road, the 21st formed at the edge of the trees lining the turnpike.

John Worsham’s narrative continues:

“The Second Brigade [Colonel T. S. Garnett] formed a line of battle in the corner or angle of the wood, the 21st Virginia Regiment on the right, the 48th Virginia next, both facing east, the 42d Virginia. next, and, at right angles to the road facing north, the Irish battalion next, forming the left.” #2

Our tour followed the path of the Confederate line pointing out approximately where it bent back at a right angle into what was then woods, but what is now an open field. At a point across the field the Confederate line ended. Supporting troops were coming, but would not arrive until after a devastating attack swept past the open left flank of the brigade line. The charging Federals turned, and headed through the woods towards the unsuspecting troops lining the road. The attack rolled up that part of the Confederate line perpendicular to the road. Elements of the 42nd Virginia, virtually defenseless with their front at a right angle to the enemy, did what they could to defend themselves in vicious hand to hand combat, but it proved of little  use.

Those troops along the road, the 21st Virginia and most of the 48th Virginia, were busily engaged with the enemy Ohioans advancing through the cornfields to their front-left, unaware of the charging force directly behind them.

John Worsham continues, “…As soon as we reached the road, we saw a line of Yankees advancing from the corn field, the 21st and 48th opened fire on them at once; and the battle of Cedar Run had commenced in earnest. We caused the advancing line to halt, and the fighting was terrific.”

While thus engaged, the Federal soldiers in their rear began to trickle, then pour, out of the woods behind the Virginians’ line. The Colonel of the 21st realized what was happening and tried to get his men out of harm’s way.

“A part of the force advancing against the left of the brigade, were firing directly into the flank of the 48th and 21st Regiments, and were making terrible havoc in their ranks. Col. Cunningham of the 21st, who was sick, came along the line, walking and leading his horse,  and said to the men as he passed that the enemy are in our rear and he desired to get us out of the position we were in, and we must follow him.

“… After a few steps, I saw a Yankee sergeant step into the road about fifty or seventy- five yards ahead of us, and at the same time heard the firing of rapidly approaching enemy in our rear. … The sergeant, having  his gun in his left hand, his drawn sword in his right, turned  up the road towards us, and approached. A Yankee private stepped into the road just ahead of him; this being the road on which we marched to get to our position, it shows that the enemy were not only in our front, flank, and rear, but actually had the second brigade surrounded. The Yankee sergeant did not stop his advance towards us until he actually took hold of one of the men of our regiment and pulled him out of ranks, and started toward the rear with his prisoner. One of our men, who was in the act of capping his gun, raised it to his shoulder, fired, and the sergeant fell dead not ten feet away. By this time the road was full of Yankees, and there was such a fight as was not witnessed during the war; guns, bayonets, swords, pistols, fence rails, rocks, etc., were used all along the line. I have heard of a “hell spot” in some battles, this sure was one.

“… Col. Cunningham had crossed the road leading his horse, pulled down the fence, passed through the gap into the field, started to mount his horse, his foot in the stirrup , when he was struck by a bullet, and fell back dead, his horse receiving his death wound at the same time. It was a terrible time, the Second Brigade was overwhelmed, nearly half of the 21st VA. Regt. lay on the ground, dead and wounded.” #3

Colonel Cunningham

Among the casualties were Mike Dove’s great great grandfather, Private William J. Dove, killed in action. William’s brother Jackson Green Dove was badly wounded, shot in the left lung; yet he survived the war, even returning to his regiment after his recovery. Their 18 year old cousin  William A. Dove was killed at Cedar Mountain.

The day after the battle, after some minor skirmishing in the morning, the opposing  sides dis-engaged. Orders came to care for the wounded and bury the dead. On this day, August 10, 1862, one Confederate described the section of the Orange Road where Garnett’s Brigade fought, “so backed up with dead men and horses that it was impossible to follow it.”#4

During our tour the question arose: what became of the Confederate dead buried on the battlefield? The answer is a sad one. The field remains a graveyard to this day.

On August 10 and 11, 1862, “The majority of the Confederate dead were buried tenderly by friends and comrades who retraced their movements for that cheerless purpose.”#5

No matter how carefully or hastily the Confederates were buried by their comrades, the graves are lost.

In 1863, on two separate occasions, Southern soldiers camped near the battlefield took the time to cover up the exposed bones and graves of the Confederate fallen because “hogs had been rooting there.” #6

After the war, in 1868 the remains of 405 Union soldiers were exhumed from the battlefield and re-interred at the newly established Federal Cemetery in Culpeper. Only the remains of one of these was identified, the rest are unknown. There is no evidence extant of the removal of Confederate dead. Their remains are most likely forever mingled with the soil on which they died.

Mike’s great great grandfather William J. Dove was about age 30 when he was killed on August 9, 1862. His wife Susan, with her 3 children — William Henry (age 5), Mary Elizabeth (age 3), and Martha J. (age 2) — moved back to Caswell County, North Carolina where she was born and where her parents still lived. In late August 1864, she was granted a one time payment of $83.30 from the Confederate States government for the loss of her husband.

Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield Anniversary Weekend

Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield offers guided tours anytime for visitors who contact us in advance, but there are advantages to visiting during our annual event, always the second weekend in August. Several activities are planned, and as Mike Dove learned, you never know who you might meet.

After taking in an artillery demonstration Mike and his cousin Kay chatted with living historian Kevin Dawson. During the conversation Dawson revealed he too had an ancestor in the Confederate army killed at the Battle of Cedar Mountain.

“What regiment?” Mike asked. “The 21st Virginia,” replied Kevin.

“That’s the same regiment!” Mike responded, surprised. “What Company?” “Company H,” Kevin replied.

The Dove and Dawson ancestors were in the same Company!

Kevin shared his family’s story with Mike and Kay:

“Our family history says that my great great great grandfather, along with his 5 sons (including my great great uncle, Samuel Templeton) joined the 21st Virginia Infantry, Co. H, “Chalk Level Grays”, out of Pittsylvania County. During the fighting, Samuel was mortally wounded, and when the fighting began to subside, his father and brothers went back and found Samuel leaning against a tree, having been shot in the neck. According to family history, Samuel, knowing he was near death, told his family to tell his mother that he loved her and that he was sorry. He told his father and his brothers to continue fighting, so that his death wouldn’t “be for nothing.” He then held his father’s and brothers’ hands and slipped away.”#7

Living historian Kevin Dawson (photo credit Kevin Odom Photography )

In all, it was a memorable visit for Mike and Kay, and they plan to return to attend the anniversary weekend in 2019. The Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield were pleased and honored to make their acquaintance and happy to provide the tour.

A late afternoon memorial service closes the anniversary weekend events. A list of names of soldiers present at the battle, provided by descendants of those soldiers, is read aloud to the gathered crowd. A bell rings out for the names of those mortally wounded or killed. In 2018 the names of William J. Dove and William A. Dove were added to the list.

If you are interested in a guided tour of the battlefield or a customized tour similar this experience, please contact the Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield at 540-727-8849 or


  1. John Worsham. One of Jackson’s Foot Cavalry, Neale Publishing Company, New York, 1912. p. 110-111.
  2. Worsham, p. 111.
  3. Worsham, p. 111-114.
  4. Robert K. Krick, Stonewall Jackson at Cedar Mountain, UNC Press, Chapel Hill, 1990. p. 339.
  5. Krick, p. 340.
  6. Krick, p. 388-392.
  7. The roster in author Susan A. Riggs History of the 21 VA, (H. E. Howard Publisher, Lynchburg, VA, 1991) lists the following members of the Templeton family in Company H.

Templeton, James R. Enlisted July 1, 1861 in Pittsylvania in Company H as Private. Wounded flesh July 1864. Listed AWOL November-December 1864 (final roll).

Templeton, Robert A. Present from November-December 1861. Company H Sergeant. Then to Private. To Corporal August 31, 1862. To Sergeant November 1, 1862. AWOL. To Private January-February 1863. KIA May 3, 1863 Chancellorsville.

Templeton, Samuel; Father John Templeton. Enlisted July 1, 1861 in Pittsylvania County in Company H as Private. KIA August 9, 1862 Cedar Mountain.

Templeton, William E.; Enlisted July 1, 1861 in Pittsylvania County in Company H as Private. AWOL and arrested. POW May 20, 1864 Spotsylvania Court House. (Point Lookout). Joined U.S. service June 15, 1864.

Templeton, William H.; 5’9 1/2”, dark complexion, brown hair, blue eyes. Resident Greenhill, Campbell County. Enlisted July 1, 1861 in Pittsylvania County in Company H as Private. POW April 6, 1865 Burkeville. Oath and released June 2, 1865.


Members of the Dove Family who served in the Confederate Army

21st VA Company H:

Dove, William J. Age about 30 at time of death. (b. between 1832 – 1839 though 1850 census and his widow’s age suggest 1832 is correct). KIA Cedar Mountain. One of 7 children, was born in the 1830s in the foothills of the White Oak Mountain on Magoty Creek in Pittsylvania County, VA. He married Susan A. Strader on March 25, 1853 in Caswell County, NC. In 1860 he was living in Pittsylvania County. Left widow Susan A. Dove and 3 children, William Henry, age 5, Mary Elizabeth, age 3, and Martha J., age 2. His widow moved back to Caswell County, NC where she was born and where her parents still lived. In late August, 1864, she was granted a one time payment of $83.30 from the Confederate States government for the loss of her husband.

Dove, Jackson Green (brother of William J. Dove). 5’11 1/8”, dark complexion, dark brown hair, dark hazel eyes. Resident of Pittsylvania County. Company H. Wounded August 9, 1862 at Cedar Mountain. Court-martialed March-April 1863. POW September 25, 1864 Harrisonburg (Point Lookout). Oath and released June 11, 1865. [Age 18 or 19; b. 1843 – 1844/ source = 1850 census.]

Dove, William A. (cousin to William J. Dove & Jackson Green Dove). Son of George A. P. Dove who also served in 53rd Virginia. Age 18 when KIA at Cedar Mountain.

Rowland, John J. Father John Rowland. Enlisted July 1, 1861 in Pittsylvania County in Company H as Private. Died January 31, 1862 in Winchester. [Probably exposure from Romney Campaign – BF] Age about 42 at time of death. 1850 census gives his age at 31, (b. about 1819 which corresponds with the birthdates of his siblings. His mother, Nancy Tucker is born about 1791).

Shelton, Nathan Frank. Born December 22, 1827, 5’10”, dark complexion, dark hair, dark eyes. Resident of Pittsylvania County. Farmer.  Enlisted March 10, 1862.  Company H.  Private.  Court martialed August 3, 1862. Shoemaker January-February 1864. Wounded. Minie ball March 25, 1865 Fort Stedman and POW April 25, 1865 Petersburg or April 6, 1865 Farmville (Newport News, Fairground Post Hospital, Petersburg). Oath July 1, 1865. Some discrepancies in record. (Brother-in-law to William J. Dove and Jackson Green Dove). [Nathan Frank Shelton lived to be aged 77. He died January 21, 1907; buried in Shelton Cemetery, Pittsylvania County; source  Find A Grave).

Other Regiments:

Thomas H. Dove (brother to William J. and Jackson Green). Enlisted on February 14, 1862 in Motley’s Company 1st Regiment Virginia Light Artillery. Died July 19, 1862 in CSA Hospital at Danville, VA of typhoid fever. He was about age 37 at the time of death. Born about 1825; source: Virginia Deaths and Burials, 1853 – 1912. Index. Family Search, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010; index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records.

George A. P. Dove (father of William A. Dove, cousin to William J. and Jackson Green Dove). George served in the 53rd Virginia. Record not on hand.

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