Sunday, August 31, 2014

Facing Death with Honor ?

At Cold Harbor ( and other places )
Grant used whiskey to bolster the courage of his men !

William Meade Dame writes ----

“The fight was over, just about as dusk was closing in. In this, and the fight at five o’clock, the enemy lost about six thousand men, killed and wounded. In the assaults, at ten, eleven and at three o’clock, they certainly lost between two and three thousand in killed and wounded, so this day’s work cost them about seven or eight thousand in killed and wounded, besides prisoners.

Our loss was very small. On our immediate part of the line, almost nothing. In the battery, we had one man wounded at five o’clock. In this furious close up fight with infantry, with the awful mauling our guns gave them, strange to say, we had not a man touched. The only blood shed that day, at the “4th” gun, was caused by that rail striking my hand. And our battle line was just as it was, in the morning, save for the hecatomb of dead and dying in front of it, and six hundred prisoners we held inside.

About these prisoners: Numbers of these men were drunk, and officers too. One Colonel was so drunk that he did not know he was captured, or what had happened. The explanation of this fact, I do not profess to know, but this was what the men themselves told us, “That before they charged, heavy rations of whiskey were issued, and the men made to drink it. I know that indignant denial has been made of this charge, that the Federal soldiers were made drunk to send them in, but this I do certainly know, as an eye witness, and hundreds of our men know it too, that here, on the Spottsylvania line, and at Cold Harbor, and other times in this campaign, we captured numbers of the men, assaulting our lines, who were very drunk, and said they were made to drink. And this fact is one reason for the carnage among them, and the light loss they inflicted upon us. It made their men shoot wildly, and the moment our men saw this, they could, with the cooler aim, send death into their ranks. These hundreds of men going, drunk, to face death was a horrible sight; it is a horrible thought, but it was a fact.

Is that facing death with Honor ?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Cold Harbor --

I have run across a great book --
By Craig L Symonds

Battles described on one page with an accompanying map !

Great stuff for a guy with a short attention span !

Today I read about a number of battles, the one at Cold Harbor stuck in my mind.

If you don't read anything else, read the last paragraph. Please !




 On the third anniversary of the founding of our organization, the Va Flaggers are pleased to announce the completion of our third Interstate Flag project. Last month, a 9x12 Army of Tennessee pattern Confederate Battle Flag was quietly hoisted up a 45’ pole, high on a hill, on a parcel of land adjacent to north bound Interstate 295, near Cold Harbor. Raised just days after the 100th Anniversary of the dedication of the Hanover County Confederate Monument, she will fly as a living, breathing reminder of the courage and sacrifice of our Confederate Veterans. This memorial was made possible through the diligence of several Va Flaggers, the continued and generous support from folks across the U.S., and the dogged determination of one 15 year old boy to honor his Confederate ancestors, several of whom fought in battles in Hanover County.


WHEREAS, in April 1861, the Commonwealth of Virginia, in order to retain her honor, exercised her Constitutional Right to secede from the Union; and

WHEREAS, Virginia, known as the Mother of States and Statesmen, did not make this decision lightly but only after exhaustive efforts to bring about a peaceful resolution to the issues which divided Southern and Northern states failed; and

WHEREAS, the sons of Hanover County, Virginia heeded the call of their Mother State by the tens of thousands to defend their country, their Commonwealth, their home and their family from an invading army; and

WHEREAS, these brave Virginians of Hanover County fought in the Confederate Armed Forces alongside other men from across the South; and

WHEREAS, these men sacrificed their all and spilled their blood defending the sacred soil of both Hanover County and Virginia; and

WHEREAS, their sacrifices Hallowed the Ground of Hanover County such as Hanover Courthouse, Mechanicsville, Gaines Mill, Seven Days, First and Second Cold Harbor, Haw’s Shop/Enon Church, Peake’s Station, Beaverdam, Watt House, North Anna and many other battlefields; and

WHEREAS, Richmond, Virginia, was the Capital of the Confederate States of America and the wartime home of President Jefferson Davis and many Hanoverians protected and served this Capital; and

WHEREAS, we must never forget the sacrifices made by the women of the South, who with every ounce of their being supported their men in uniform, undertook the duties normally performed by men, and suffered along with their children, and other citizens untold horrors in a war torn land; and

WHEREAS, “after four years of arduous service marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude”, as General Robert E. Lee so eloquently wrote, the war for Southern Independence ended for the fabled Army of Northern Virginia on April 9, 1865; and

WHEREAS, the honorable blood of such brave Virginians from Hanover County such as John Tyler, Captain William Latane, Edmund Ruffin, and the thousands of known and unknown heroes of Hanover County, Virginia flows through the veins of thousands of its citizens; and WHEREAS, it is the sworn duty and privilege of the citizens of Hanover County to encourage education within Hanover County, defend the good name of Hanover County, and to teach and promote the true history of the Hanover County to future generations;

THEREFORE, the Virginia Flaggers do hereby dedicate the I-295 Cold Harbor Memorial Confederate Battle Flag in honor of the sons of Hanover County, and in memory of all Confederate Soldiers who fought, bled, and died on her soil.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mystery Solved !

For some time I have wondered what happened at the war's end,
to William Henry Tatum and my Great Grand Father John C Tatum.

Brothers who were members of the same outfit / First Company Richmond Howitzers.

Look at the dates of their Parole / Pardons --

J.C Tatum's is April 10th, Appomattox VA.

William H. Tatum April 18th, Richmond VA.

So what happened ? Why would two brothers who had grown up under the same roof and served in the same outfit during the war be split apart at the end ?

Well one thing I've started doing is re-reading books in my collection, and on page 44 of The Richmond Howitzers, by Lee Wallace Jr I found the answer.

JC. went to Appomattox, while William set out for North Carolina. Although his name is not listed the date and location of his pardon indicate he went south.

I'm fortunate to have the documentation available to solve the mystery. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

All things considered ---

I have had the opportunity  to do some reading lately ---

Seems I've got to rethink my position on secession, --

I'll get back to you.

Secession / Slavery

Lincoln said he had no intention to interfere with slavery - in his First Inaugural Address,

"I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."
Yet the party platform in 1860 says--
# 8. That the normal condition of all the territory of the United States is that of freedom: That, as our Republican fathers, when they had abolished slavery in all our national territory, ordained that "no persons should be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law," it becomes our duty, by legislation, whenever such legislation is necessary, to maintain this provision of the Constitution against all attempts to violate it; and we deny the authority of Congress, of a territorial legislature, or of any individuals, to give legal existence to slavery in any territory of the United States.
So is it any wonder slave owners were concerned over Lincoln's election ?

  • Dew in his book admits Virginia left the Union because of Lincoln's call for 75.000 troops. 
  •  And McCardell in his book tells how wide spread "sectionalism" was in the South, so VA could have left the union for reasons other Than SC.
    And people within each state had differing reasons for wanting to leave or stay !

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Well my Ribbon Auction netted $102.50 for the VA Flaggers.
I'm very happy with that !!!

That will buy a few flags to pass out !

I wonder how much I could make for a set of


Saturday, August 2, 2014

How Far Will the Virginia Flaggers Go For Attention?

Silent Simpson !

Good ol Brook's so fast to hammer folks who post inaccurately.
But when one of the folks on his side of the fence does so, NOT ONE WORD !
Kevin shot his mouth off and was proven wrong.
As did quite a few commentators at his blog.
As for Kevin, he posted an apology to the Flaggers and S.C.V. but later removed it.