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Diary excerpt: William Ellis Jones, Army of Northern Virginia

The following is an August 9, 1862 diary entry from William Ellis Jones, an artillerist with Crenshaw’s Battery, Pegram’s Battalion, Army of Northern Virginia, contributed by a descendant, Connie Jones, and copied below as submitted through our Facebook page. William Ellis Jones’ entire Civil War diary and comprehensive biography, The Spirits of Bad Men Made Perfect: The Life and Diary of Confederate Artillerist William Ellis Jones, is forthcoming from Southern Illinois University Press later this year.

Saturday, August 9, 1862
Started this morning before sunrise and all felt that we would have a
fight before sunset. We traveled as fast as we could under a sun that must have been one hundred degrees in the shade. We crossed the Rapidan at Barnett’s Ford where there was a pretty good skirmish last night at twelve o’clock between 400 Yankee cavalry and some of our troops. A pretty daring dash for the Yanks. It is quite a novel sight to see a regiment crossing a stream. Such a pulling off of shoes and stockings, rolling up pants and the majority of them taking off their pants. We had nothing of this to do for we rode on the caisson. We traveled on and saw a good many evidences of the outrages committed by the Hessians. There was one place which must have been a lovely spot before the war, but now a perfect waste. We crossed Robinson’s River in the middle of the day, a small stream which empties itself into the Rapidan and is the boundry line between Madison and Culpeper counties. We reached Mrs. Pettit’s farm about four or five o’clock, when the battle had commenced. We halted and were ordered to remain here until further orders. We could plainly hear the din at first but it gradually ceased till nothing but the sullen roar of artillery could be heard, and that died out by nightfall. We whipped the Yanks very badly after a sharp and bloody struggle and drove them back two miles. General Wender, a gallant officer and commander of the Stonewall Brigade, was killed by a piece of a shell. His death was quite a misfortune to the country. The 21st and 23rd Virginia regiments done deeds of valor. At one time the 23rd was surrounded by the foe and had to cut their way out, which they did in gallant style. The Yanks fought with more bravery on this occasion than they have ever done, charging and receiving and giving bayonet thrusts, and in some incidences clubbing their muskets and tapping our brave boys on the cranium, but all this was met by Virginia lads with an ardor and coolness that they could not stand and therefore retired leaving the field and woods strewed with their killed and wounded. We took a great many prisoners. I saw a batch of two hundred and fifty amongst them were a great many officers. We also took Brid. Gen. Prince. These prisoners seemed to be lively and very chatty. Some of them told awful big lies about their forces, saying that Pope had four hundred thousand troops and that he would bring up two hundred and seventy one pieces of artillery during the night, all of which was believed. I got tired of listening to them and went over to where we were parked to get a little sleep, when a pretty severe thunderstorm commenced. I had not more than got there when orders came for us to report to Col. Walker about four miles down the road. Our boys were aroused and they soon put themselves in marching order. Soon after starting the cannonade ceased. We learned that Purcell battery was shelling the roads and that they were soon silenced, the enemy bringing three batteries up all bearing on them. Lieut. Featherstone and a private were killed and eight wounded, also losing eight horses.

Our march was anything but agreeable as we met ambulances filled with wounded all along the road, and as we approached the battlefield the groans of the wounded were pitiful to hear. A great many dead bodies were laying just on the edge of the road and their ghastly and bloody features were not pleasant to look upon in the moon’s pale light. I don’t think I ever shall forget that march. After getting to our stopping place we parked our pieces and immediately went to sleep. Although we were in good shelling range of their guns. There is one outrage I must not omit. Opposite to a mill at Burnett’s Ford lived two estimable ladies. Whilst the Yankee cavalry was leaving this ford this morning two infernal scoundrels took deliberate aim at them, whilst sitting in their door, and shot one of them just above the knee and the other in the foot. General Jackson took down as near as he could from some prisoners what company and regiment they belonged to. Hanging is too good for such miscreants. They ought to be covered with tar and set on fire.

66th Ohio soldier Aaron Riker’s account of the battle at Cedar Mountain

It’s always our pleasure to meet visitors whose ancestors were at the Battle of Cedar Mountain. The July 20 tour group led by board member Brad Forbush included descendants of soldiers serving with the 42nd Virginia and 66th Ohio regiments. Tour participant Ivars Peterson is connected by marriage to Aaron Riker, a soldier who served with the 66th Ohio in the commissary department supporting troop supplies. Mr. Peterson shared his post-tour blog entry that includes an excerpt specific to Cedar Mountain from Aaron Riker’s wartime diary and photos from the July tour.

Read the blog entry

Aaron Riker of the 66th Ohio

Please note: Descendants who submit an ancestor form may have their ancestors honored during a recognition ceremony at our annual commemoration of the battle in August.

Annual battle commemoration & living history event

Valley Guards, 10th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment at Cedar Mountain
Photo by Buddy Secor, Ninja Pix

Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield will present the Cedar Mountain 157th Anniversary Living History Weekend on August 10 and 11, 2019. The event is free and open to all ages. Visitors will be able to choose from a variety of immersive activities designed to share the stories of Civil War soldiers and civilians before, during, and after the battle, the bloodiest day in Culpeper’s history.

The event commemorating the August 9, 1862 battle will be held at the battlefield along James Madison Highway/Route 15 south of Culpeper at 9465 General Winder Road. Parking will be available at the George Washington Carver Center, located at 9433 James Madison Highway/Route 15 near the battlefield. Shuttle buses will transport visitors every 15 minutes.

SCHEDULE

Saturday, August 10

11:00 am Opening shot, followed by combined arms demonstration (infantry and artillery).

1:00 pm School of the soldier. Open to the public, this session offers the opportunity to experience the life of a Civil War soldier by participating in basic drill and instruction; working with the infantry and learning how to handle a musket; learning how to march, drill and fight; and even serving on a gun crew.

3:00 pm Combined arms demonstration (infantry and artillery).

5:00 pm Camp life. Camps open to the public.

7:00 pm Ancestors’ Ceremony presented by Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield. A recognition of the fallen at Cedar Mountain whose names have been submitted to the Friends of Cedar Mountain Ancestors Roll by their descendants.

8:00 pm Torchlight tours of the camps and battlefield. ($5/adult, students free; fee supports battlefield preservation efforts)

Sunday, August 11

10:00 am Combined arms demonstration (infantry and artillery).

12:00 pm School of the soldier. Open to the public, this session offers the opportunity to experience the life of a Civil War soldier by participating in basic drill and instruction; working with the infantry and learning how to handle a musket; learning how to march, drill and fight; and even serving on a gun crew.

Questions about the event? Contact Friends of Cedar Mountain at info@friendsofcedarmountain.org

Civil War exhibit at new Carver 4-County Museum

While at Cedar Mountain, please consider a visit to the new Carver 4-County Museum, located in the Carver Center that is hosting parking for the battlefield living history event. More than 200 African American men from the counties of Culpeper, Rappahannock, Madison and Orange left their homes to join on the side of the Union during the Civil War.  Their Sacrifice: Our Freedom, an exhibit curated for the Carver 4-County Museum, highlights some of those men.   Visitors to the museum will view original Civil War artifacts and read of soldiers’ devastating experiences documented from actual pension files.    Exhibit time:  10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday, August 10-11, 2019.

For more information about the museum and the exhibit, please contact carver4cm@gmail.com.

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:

LIEUT. COL. L. H. D. CRANE.
CAPT. MOSES O’BRIEN.
CO. A DAVID BUCHTERKERCHEN.
C. FREDERICK EDDY.
J.C. LARIMORE.
GEO. MAXWELL.
C. DAVID ROUKE.
ANSON W. LOVELACE.
FRED G. REAGER.
ISAAC W. WINANS.
D. CURTIS JACOBS.
WESLEY J. BUTTS.
E. ETHAN W. BUTLER.
ANDREW CRAIGO.
FRANK DARLIN.
H. WM. H. MASON
NICOLAS WALLACE.
I. W.M. H. HUBBELL.
PETER JENSON.
EDWIN E. POLLEY.
JOHN. O. LYMAN.
CHAS. S. CURTIS.

On the base:
THIRD WIS. INFTY.
ERECTED BY THE SURVIVORS
1906.

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. The monument to the 27th Indiana reads:

27TH INDIANA
INFANTRY.

Monument to the 27th Indiana

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

46 PENN. INF.
AUG. 19, 1862
CHARGED ACROSS
WHEAT FIELD AGAINST
STONEWALL JACKSON’S
COMMAND.
ENGAGED, 524
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:

28TH REG’T
NEW YORK STATE
VOLUNTEER
INFANTRY
AUG. 9, 1862
ERECTED 1902

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:

TENTH MAINE
AUGUST 9, 1862.
26 OFFICERS
435 ENLISTED MEN

On the reverse side it reads:

LOSS 179
OFFICERS MEN
KILLED 3 36
WOUNDED 4 130
PRISONERS 1 5

Monument to the 10th Maine

The Civil War in Culpeper and Fauquier Counties

The Upper Rappahannock River Mapping Project: The Civil War in Culpeper and Fauquier Counties, 1862-1864 documents the broad and complex historical landscape that extends across much of Virginia’s Culpeper and Fauquier Counties, anchored along the Rappahannock River. During 1862-1864, nine battle engagements – including Cedar Mountain – took place in this area, and its strategic importance during the Civil War is supported by this report’s in-depth analysis that includes a wealth of current resources as well as historic photos and maps. An excellent resource for anyone interested in learning more about the historical landscape of Culpeper and Fauquier Counties.

Click on the image below to read the full report on issuu.com

Cedar Mountain in Summer 2019 Hallowed Ground magazine

One of the benefits of membership in the American Battlefield Trust (ABT) is a subscription to Hallowed Ground, the Trust’s award-winning quarterly magazine filled with beautiful photography and interesting articles. Each issue takes readers into an exploration of American battlefield history, preservation successes and challenges, special events, planning a battlefield visit, and much more.

The Summer 2019 issue of Hallowed Ground features an article about Cedar Mountain penned by our own Mike Block, vice president of Friends of Cedar Mountain. The ABT has generously shared Mike’s article on their website: please read Under a Deadly Sun at Cedar Mountain

Rich history is just one of the contributors to the vibrancy of our area. To learn about all that Culpeper offers, take a look at  Make Some History This Weekend: Explore Culpeper

We hope that after reading both articles you’ll be inspired to come visit!

Summer and fall history tours at Cedar Mountain Battlefield

Join Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield (FCMB) for a guided walking tour of the battlefield on the third Saturday of each month in June, July, September and October at 10:00 am (please note that August 10-11, 2019 is the annual commemoration of the battle, a free living history event open to the public). Summer and fall tours are open to all ages to learn about the August 9, 1862 encounter in which Confederate troops led by General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson prevailed over Federal troops led by General Nathaniel Banks at a cost of 3800 men killed or wounded.
Tour dates: June 15, July 20, September 21 and October 19.
Donation: A $10 donation to FCMB is requested.
Parking: Friends of Cedar Mountain Meeting House, 9465 General Winder Road, Rapidan, VA 22733.
Please direct any inquiries to info@friendsofcedarmountain.org or 540-727-8849.

Editorial: Preserving Culpeper’s heritage must be our priority

The following is an editorial published by the Culpeper Star Exponent on June 9, 1863, available at www.starexponent.com

Ancestors of some who read this newspaper lived in Culpeper 156 years ago, and experienced firsthand the carnage of June 9, 1863.

Roughly 20,000 cavalrymen, both blue and gray, fought for their lives that day, slashing on horseback their brothers who served a different flag. More than a thousand died. All these decades later, many remain where they fell, buried in the rich green meadows of Culpeper County.

Coming as the anniversary of the Battle of Brandy Station does on the heels of Thursday’s 75th anniversary D-Day observance, sober thoughts bow our heads in gratitude for the grit of those who fought and in sorrow for the futility of war.

Explaining how he shuttled shells to the guns of the USS Texas as it bombarded Omaha Beach, longtime Culpeper resident Howard Mills shared his story in the June 6 Star-Exponent article, “Hometown hero recalls role in D-Day on 75th anniversary.”

This past week, the world watched—with ceremony, tears and fascination—as that era’s aircraft soared again over Normandy’s beaches and countryside, which the French and Americans have preserved to honor the history made and the lives lost as the Allies liberated France from the grip of Nazi Germany. (That’s All Brother, a Douglas C-47 that visited Culpeper in the weeks before the 75th anniversary, led the air fleet that flew past world leaders and D-Day veterans at Omaha Beach on #DDay75. Seventy-five years before, she led the 800-plus other Dakotas carrying paratroopers into Normandy for their night drop over enemy territory.)

June 6, 1944, was Howard Mills’ 19th birthday; when the Allies’ fleet appeared off Normandy’s coast that morning, his whole life lay ahead of him. That day became a defining moment for him and the world, one he says he still thinks about every day. This year, Mills marked his 94th birthday on D-Day’s anniversary.

So, too, was the Battle of Brandy Station a defining moment—not just for its horsemen, but for the American Civil War itself.

In today’s Star-Exponent, columnist Clark B. Hall highlights this fact in his piece, “Hamlet of Brandy Station saw start of fabled 1863 campaign.” (Link to article)

Hall notes that Col. Frederick Newhall, helping dedicate the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry Monument at Gettysburg in 1888, said, “While Gettysburg is generally thought of as a struggle which began on the 1st and ended on the 3rd day of July, 1863, the fact will someday be fully recognized that it had its beginning many miles from here … It was at Beverly Ford then that Gettysburg was inaugurated.”

Had Gen. Robert E. Lee’s plan for the Gettysburg Campaign succeeded, Washington, D.C., might have been captured, with Southern victory a clear possibility.

The Confederates’ retreat after defeat in Gettysburg—the war’s costliest battle—ended Lee’s final strategic offensives. After that point, all combat operations of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia were in reaction to Union initiatives, until Lee surrendered his army at Appomattox Court House in April 1865.

Hall, with the help of others, has worked for more than 30 years to preserve hundreds of acres of Culpeper’s Brandy Station battlefield, where the largest cavalry battle in the Western Hemisphere was waged.

Much of this land now belongs to the American Battlefield Trust, a national land-preservation nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. The trust, as well as an alliance of supporters—including the Culpeper County Board of Supervisors, Culpeper Town Council and state legislators such as Sens. Bryce Reeves and Emmett Hanger and Dels. Nick Freitas and Michael Webert—hope that Virginia will create a state park from the ground saved at Brandy Station and the nearby Cedar Mountain battlefield.

Mark Coombs, deputy director of government relations for the American Battlefield Trust, said the park initiative has come close to becoming a reality during the past two years, with a budget amendment approved by the Virginia Senate both years, but failing to win House approval before last winter’s legislative session ended.

More public support from people all across Virginia, and particularly from folks living in Culpeper County, is needed to make a state park a reality.

“We need people to become more active and engaged with the Brandy Station Foundation and Friends of the Cedar Mountain Battlefield,” Coombs told us. “Events are conducted year-round at both sites that aid in bringing attention to the battlefields and their resources and help from both an advocacy and stewardship perspective. These are the ideal vehicles through which people can assist, in multiple ways.”

Such a state park would be a blessing to the Culpeper region economically. But more importantly, the park will honor, commemorate and interpret our country’s biggest cavalry battlefield, and preserve for future generations the memory of those who lost their lives in the bloody struggle there.

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 info@friendsofcedarmountain.org

NOTES

  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.

ADDENDUM

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.