Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 08.djvu/435
Reminiscences of the Powhatan Troop of Cavalry.
ginia—Pat Moore, commanding, "Yours truly, John Dooley" Major—a great favorite with us, as was gallant Colonel Fred. Skinner, who succeeded him on "old Fox," genial and belligerent Surgeon D'Orsay Cullen, of the First Virginia, now distinguished in his profession, and Dr. Ran. Barksdale, Surgeon of my squadron, now in charge of the insane hospital, and dear Dr. Maury, Assistant Surgeon, now relieved of Cullen's and Barksdale's affection and gone to his rest—the magnificent band under Leader Smith, then Grey Latham, "bad luck to him," and Wheat, of the Tigers, we knew and appreciated them—braver, more tender-hearted men never lived. Walton, of the Washington artillery; Cabell, our Quarter-master and consistent and valuable friend; Colonel George W. Lay, of the old army, and a host of other friends, our daily comrades and friends. We recall you all, our comrades, with pleasurable thought, and celebrate your memories; nor will we forget our old friend, the ecstatic, consistent and fast friend of the cavalry gallant and true General Ewell. Many names and many incidents we would love to recall; but we must pass on, only giving mention to our first real sorrow in our little camp.
It was a sorrow which cast a deep shadow over the sunshine of our camp, and which aroused the sympathy of the army.
It was a bright May morning in 1861 all nature clothed in its loveliest apparel and just as the first golden rays of the sun appeared and gilded the hilltops around Manassas, a melancholy procession wended its way from camp to the railroad depot, with our good comrades of the "Black Horse" and a detachment kindly sent by Colonel P. T. Moore from the First Virginia regiment, marching with reversed arms to the grand dirge by Smith's celebrated band, we escorted to the train, to be returned to his home (left by him but a few days before in health and vigor), the corpse of a young comrade, the younger son of his mother and "she a widow." As we passed the headquarters, Generals Beauregard and Jordan and other friends of his staff appeared upon the balcony and stood uncovered. It was a sad and impressive scene, for only three days before a mere boy, bright, fresh and handsome, barely sixteen years of age, with a letter from his mother to the captain confiding him to his especial care, and begging especial consideration by reason of his tender years, reported and enlisted a lad of determined spirit. For three days he remained on duty in camp, and then one bright morning was sent out on seemingly safe picket duty, under charge of Sergeant Hugh N. French, one.