Clement Anselm Evans.

Confederate military history; a library of Confederate States history online

. (page 60 of 153)
Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 60 of 153)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

and he placed there a picket of five mounted men, from
whom he received and transmitted to Beauregard the
first intelligence of McDowell's flank movement. In the
fight his regiment won special mention for gallantry.
Subsequently General Hunton was severely afflicted
physically, and underwent several surgical operations.
In this condition he was hauled to the battlefield of Ball's
Bluff in a spring wagon, and commanded his regiment,
selecting a position which he maintained for many hours
against five regiments of the enemy, repulsing their
assatilt. Finally charging, with another regiment, he
drove the Federals over the bluff and captured their guns


and many prisoners. After this his regiment joined the
main army at Centreville and was attached to Pickett's
brigade, then commanded by Gen. Philip St. George
Cocke. In 1862 General Hunton was on sick leave at
Lynchburg when Lee was about to attack the Federals
before Richmond, and against the protests of his physi-
cian he rejoined his beloved regiment and commanded
it through the Seven Days, so glorious in the history of
the army. At the battle of Gaines' Mill, where Pickett's
brigade made a brilliant assault and carried the three
fortified lines of the enemy, before the assistance from
Jackson came up, Pickett was wounded early in the
assault, and Hunton, as senior colonel, carried on the suc-
cessful action, which was never officially reported, owing
to Pickett's severe wounds, and. General Hunton's con-
tinued ill health, on account of which he was sent back
to Lynchburg by General Longstreet. Again with his
regiment and Pickett's division, at Gettysburg, he was
wounded and his horse killed while leading his command
in the charge against Cemetery hill, where his men were
nearly all killed or wounded or captured, some of them
beyond the stone fence, the first line of the enemy. His
promotion to brigadier-general, well deserved and nobly
won, but long delayed, as President Davis expressed to
him after the war, on account of his reported feeble
health, was dated from Gettysburg. His brigade, con-
sisting of the Eighth, Eighteenth, Nineteenth, Twenty-
eighth and Fifty-sixth regiments of Virginia infantry, he
was ordered to recruit at Chaffin's farm on James river.
Early in the spring of 1864 he brought his command into
the campaign against Grant, and served with conspicuous
gallantry throughout, the brigade suffering particularly
heavy losses at Cold Harbor, where General Hunton lost
his adjutant-general and warm friend. Captain Linthicum.
While Grant was preparing to cross the James, Lee was
planning to fight at Malvern hill, and with his cavalry on
the north side of the river he was not advised of Grant's
movement until Beauregard was compelled to abandon
the Howlett house line and Drewry's bluflf, and rush to
the defense of Petersburg. At this juncture Pickett's
division was ordered from Malvern hill to retake Beau-
regard's position, General Hunton to take the lead toward
Drewry's bluff. Making one of the most rapid marches
of the war, he found the. position still in our hands, and


he then marched toward Petersburg with the Eighth
deployed as skirmishers, until he struck the enemy, and
after a hot fight, drove the Federals across Beauregard's
lines to their own. This very important duty was so
brilliantly performed as to elicit the enthusiastic praise
of General Lee. During subsequent movements in
the long siege, Hunton's brigade became separated from
its division. On the last of March, 1865, he was ordered
with his own and two other small brigades to hold the
White Oak road on the left of Five Forks, where Pickett
and Fitz Lee confronted Sheridan's cavalry. His line
had hardly been formed when a division of Warren's
infantry corps advanced and was immediately attacked
by Hunton and driven back to Gravelly run. With rein-
forcements the Federals were able to push Hunton back
to the fortified lines, but the delay that had been caused
greatly embarrassed Sheridan and led to Warren's unjust
suspension from command. Two days later the retreat
began, and Hunton's brigade marched with Wise's bri-
gade, and Fitz Lee's cavalry in the rear. On this mourn-
ful march it was a continual conflict with the enemy's
rapid advance. On one occasion in crossing a bridge.
General Hunton found it necessary to form his brigade
to meet the enemy from all sides while the cavalry and
other troops crossed over, which he did with wonderful
skill and courage. Next day he united his command
with Pickett's division, and though sick, he remained
with his men. At Sailor's creek the division recaptured
Huger's artillery and repulsed the assaults of Custer.
General Hunton soon comprehended that these charges
were to prevent his retreat until the Federal infantry
could surround him, but his superior officers were unable
to meet the movement. The gallant men fought to the
last, and many broke their muskets rather than surrender
them, but were soon overpowered. Only eight men of
Hunton's old regiment escaped. General Hunton was now
suffering severely with physical illness, and was kindly
cared for by the gallant Custer at his headquarters. He
was thence carried to Petersburg, passed through Wash-
ington a few hours before the assassination of President
Lincoln, and remained in prison at Fort Warren, where
he was kindly treated and won the admiration of his
guards, until the latter part of July. During the war his
home, at Brentsville, had beep destroyed, and his wife


and son had taken refuge at Lynchburg, where Federal
General Turner took command after the surrender. He
had faced General Hunton on the Howlett house lines,
and immediately ordered that his former enemy's family
should be supplied with every comfort, a courteous act
which General Hunton gratefully acknowledged. On
his return to civil life, he resumed the practice of law at
Warrenton. It was a time of great privation, but he had
confidence in his strength. An incideijt of this period of
struggle was his refusing to sell his war-horse, "Old
Morgan," for $500, a princely sum just then; but his
family sustained him in keeping the faithful horse.
With renewed health, and a brave and confident spirit,
fortune soon smiled again, and he became independent and
prosperous. Before his political disabilities were removed
he was elected to Congress from the Eighth Virginia dis-
trict. By successive re-elections until he voluntarily
retired, he sat in Congress eight years, rendering val-
uable and important services. In the Forty-third Con-
gress, his first, he joined in the memorable struggle under
Samuel J. Randall, for two days and two nights, against
the passage of a "force bill." In the Forty-fourth, under
Democratic control, he was chairman of the committee
on revolutionary pensions, second on the judiciary com-
mittee, member of other committees, and as chairman of
the sub-committee which investigated the famous charges
against James G. Blaine, demonstrated his ability and
fairness, and had occasion to encounter the highly gifted
Republican leader in the committee room and on the
floor of the House, and always with credit. During the
proceedings in Congress which followed the contested
election of Samuel J. Tilden, General Hunton was a
member of the special committee that framed the elec-
toral commission bill, but refused his signature to the
report until the last moment. He was elected one of the
five who represented the House upon that commission,
becoming one of the judges of the highest court the
world had ever known. He labored earnestly for the
success of Tilden before this tribunal, and his anxiety
and the disappointment at the result caused him a severe
attack of illness. As a member of the District of Colum-
bia committee in the Forty-fifth and its chairman in the
Forty-sixth Congress, he and the Hon. J. C. S. Black-
bum framed the present form of administration of that


district, under which the Federal government bears an
equal share of its expenses. Through the wise provisions
of Blackburn and Hunton the city of Washington has
wonderfully developed, realizing the dreams of its great
founder. General Hunton resumed the practice of law
after March 4, 1881, forming a partnership with the
Hon. Jeff Chandler at Washington city, and enjoyed an
extensive and lucrative business. In May, 1892, he was
appointed United States Senator for Virginia, by Gover-
nor McKinney, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of
the lamented Barbour, and this was confirmed by the
legislature. He served until March 4, 1895, holding
places on the committees on the District of Columbia,
postoffices and post roads, and the chairmanship of the
committee to establish a State university, a project which
he advocated in an elaborate and able speech. While in
the Senate he favored earnestly the repeal of the "Sher-
man silver law, ' ' with the understanding that free coin-
age of silver should follow; and voted for the Wilson
tariff bill after an income tax had been added, as the best
legislation that could be obtained. He left the Senate
with a fine reputation for solid sense, capacity for hard
work, and adherence to the tenets of his party. In 1896
he was prominent in the Virginia campaign in behalf of
the candidacy of William J. Bryan. In appearance Gen-
eral Hunton is striking and impressive. He is a man of
full stature, and a face and head that are indicative of
massive strength, which, morally and mentally, is his
distinctive characteristic. In the excitement of battle
his bearing was superb. In the contests of the forum,
the Senate, or the hustings, he was calm, earnest and
impressive, and uniformly fair to his opponent. In
repartee his play is vigorous, and those who play with
him are not unlikely to receive a bruise, but if he knows
it, it hurts him more than it does them. Finally, he is a
gentleman upon whose integrity and moral character no
scrutiny can develop the vestige of a stain.

Brigadier-General John D. Imboden, at the time of the
passage of the ordinance of secession of Virginia, was a
resident of Staunton, in the Valley. He had been a can-
didate for a seat in the convention, but was defeated by
the candidate of the Union party. The policy he advo-
cated was independent secession, and the maintenance


of an independent State which could mediate between
the North and South and lead in the formation of a new
Union, with local rights more clearly defined. Holding
the position of captain of the Staunton artillery, a natural
leader, and influential among the younger men, he at
once took an important part in the action which secured
Harper's Ferry to the State. He was called to Rich-
mond a day or two before the ordinance was passed, and
with other commanders of volunteer companies, under
the leadership of ex-Governor Wise, arranged for a con-
centration of State forces at Harper's Ferry as soon as
the action of the convention could be surely predicted.
He called out his company by telegraph, and at sunrise
following the momentous day, April 17th, was with his
command at Manassas. He and other young and enthu-
siastic leaders were the forerunners of the spirit which
was to dominate Virginia for four years, but at that
moment they were coldly received by the majority of the
people, not yet aroused. Proceeding to Harper's Ferry,
he equipped his battery partly at his private expense, his
men making caissons from carts found at the armory.
Under the command of Col. T. J. Jackson he was posted
at the Potomac bridge at Point of Rocks, and by the order
of that afterward famous commander, captured and sent
to Winchester a number of Baltimore & Ohio railroad
trains. After the organization of the army in the Valley
under General Johnston, he was attached to Bee's bri-
gade, with which the Staunton artillery went into the
battle at Manassas, July zist, 1861. He was just in time
to take a good position near the Henry house as the Fed-
eral attack fell upon the Confederate flank, and immedi-
ately became engaged with the famous batteries of Rick-
etts and Griffin. For half an hour after the Confederate
infantry were driven across Young's branch, Imboden's
battery fought alone, finally retiring and taking a new
position supported by Stonewall Jackson, where it was in
action until the ammunition was exhausted. Subse-
quently Captain Imboden, Lieut. -Col. Robert B. Lee
and Maj. W. L. Cabell constituted a board of inves-
tigation, which reported in explanation of the failure to
pursue McDowell to Washington that the food and trans-
portation were inadequate. During Jackson's Valley
campaign, 1862, Imboden, with a commission as colonel,
was engaged in organizing a command at Staunton. In


charge of artillery and cavalry detachments, he held a
bridge at Mount Crawford during the battle of Cross
Keys, and participated in the battle of Port Republic.
When Jackson left for Richmond, Imboden's little force,
Robertson's cavalry and Chew's battery, were left in the
Valley, and Imboden continued the organization of his-
force there and in the mountain counties. His command
was known as the First Virginia partisan rangers, under
the orders of General Jackson, but early in 1863 it was
mustered in as the Eighteenth Virginia cavalry. In Jan-
uary, 1863, General Lee wrote him: "I hope you will
meet with speedy success in filling up your command to
a brigade, when I shall take great pleasure in recom-
mending your promotion. ' ' He was soon afterward pro-
moted to brigadier-general, and the Twenty-fifth, Thirty-
first and Sixty-second Virginia infantry, and McClana-
han's battery, were assigned to his command, for opera-
tions in northwest Virginia and the Valley, reporting-
directly to Gen. Robert E. Lee. With this force he made
a successful expedition in northwest Virginia in April and
May. During the Gettysburg campaign he raided on the
left flank of Lee's army, and on the retreat his services
were of great value. General Lee attached to his com-
mand eight guns of the famous Washington artillery,
Major Eshelman, and other artillery. He made a splen-
did fight at Williamsport, holding out against the attack
of 7,000 men until Fitzhugh Lee came up, saving the
trains and the wounded of Lee's army. On July 21st
General Imboden was assigned to command of the Valley
district, Stonewall Jackson's old district. When General
Lee made his Bristoe campaign of October, 1863, Imbo-
den was instructed to advance down the Valley and guard
the mountain passes. He captured the garrison at
Charlestown on the i8th, for which he was compli-
mented by Lee. Early in May, 1864, he marched from.
Mount Crawford to meet the invasion under Sigel, and
held the Federals in check until, reinforced by Breckin-
ridge, the successful battle of New Market was fought.
Breckinridge being called again to Lee, Imboden's small
command was pushed back to Mount Crawford, where he
was reinforced by Vaughn, and W. E. Jones took com-
mand, to meet with serious , defeat at Piedmont. Gen-
eral Imboden then, in command of his own, Jackson's
and McCausland's brigades, fought Hunter's advance

'Brig.-Qen. Thos. Jordan.
Brig.-Qen. Hknky A. Wibb.
Brlg.-Gen. Julius A. DkLagnel.
Brlg.-Oen.WM. L. Jackson.

BrJp.-Gon. Walter H. Stkvkns. Brig.-Gen. Taos. T. Mukford.

Mai.-Gen. Henry Hktii. Brig.-Gen. James A, Walker.

'Brig.-Qen. Roger A. Pryor. Brlg.-Gen. John MoCausland.

Brig.-Gen. E. F. Paxton. Brlg.-Gen. John 11. Jones.


until Early came to Lynchburg. Subsequently he partici-
pated in the advance upon Washington, and Early's
campaign against Sheridan, and was on duty in the Val-
ley until the close of hostilities.

Major-General Edward Johnson was bom in Kentucky,
April 1 6, 1816, and was graduated at the United States
military academy in 1838 and promoted second lieu-
tenant of the Sixth infantry, U. S. A. He served during
the operations against the Florida Indians from 1838 to
1841, and subsequently was on duty in the southwest.
He rendered honorable service during the war with Mex-
ico, taking part in the siege of Vera Cruz in March, 1847,
the battle of Cerro Gordo, the skirmish at Amazogue and
the battle of Churubusco ; earned the brevet of captain
at Molino del Rey, and was brevetted major for gallant
and meritorious conduct at Chapultepec. He also partic-
ipated in the assault and capture of the Mexican capital.
Subsequently he was on duty at the frontier, being sta-
tioned at various posts in Kansas, Dakota and California.
He was also for a time with the garrison at Fort Colum-
bus, N. Y. Early in 1861 he resigned his Federal
rank of captain, and was commissioned lieutenant-col-
onel, corps of infantry, C. S. A. As colonel of the
Twelfth Georgia infantry he was called to Virginia and
sent to the relief of Garnett, but was not able to reach
that officer before his death. Falling back he occu-
pied Alleghany mountain, and two Virginia regiments
were added to his command. In December he defeated
an attack by Milroy, his troops fighting splendidly under
his inspiring leadership, and he was at once promoted
brigadier-general. In May, 1862, with his command,
the army of the Northwest, he defeated Milroy at Mc-
Dowell. This battle was fought under his direction and
by his own command, reinforced by Taliaferro. Stone-
wall Jackson commended his "skill, gallantry and pres-
ence of mind. " Near the close of the battle Johnson was
severely wounded. In February, 1863, he was promoted
major-general, and at the reorganization following the
death of Jackson he was put in command of a division of
the Second corps of the army of Northern Virginia,
under Lieutenant-General Ewell, comprising Steuart's,
NichoUs', J. M. Jones' and the Stonewall brigades.
Soon afterward he was conspicuous in his third defeat of


Milroy. Deploying his division east of Winchester, he
masked the operations of Early, and after that officer had
captured the Federal works, he cut off the retreat of the
enemy, inflicting great loss and demoralizing his forces.
Then marching to Carlisle, Pa., he reached the battle-
field of Gettysburg on the evening of the first day's fight.
He was ordered to the attack upon Gulp's hill on the
second day and was successful in carrying the enemy's
intrenchments, where the fight was renewed, and raged
with great fierceness, on the morning of July 3d. During
the operations on the Rapidan in November, 1863, he
fought successfully at Payne's farm. At the Wilderness,
May 4, 1864, he took position on the Orange turnpike
with his division and sustained the attack of Warren's
corps, which opened the bloody fighting of that campaign.
On the 12th of May, he held the "bloody angle" at Spott-
sylvania, and having been weakened by the withdrawal
of artillery to meet an anticipated flank movement, was
overwhelmed by a morning attack of Hancock's corps,
in which he and a large part of his command were cap-
tured. After his exchange he was assigned, September,
1864, to command of Anderson's division of the army of
Tennessee. In the corps of Gen. S. D. Lee he took part
in Hood's Tennessee campaign, commanding the advance
and occupying Florence, Ala., October 30th. He led a
desperate charge in the battle of Franklin, and fought at
Nashville, December isth and i6th; on the latter day
being captured, with a large part of his division, in the
general defeat of Hood's army. After the close of the
war he retired to his farm in Chesterfield county, Va. ,
and resided there until his death, February 22,1873.

Brigadier-General John Marshall Jones was bom at
Charlottesville, Va., July 26, 1820, and was educated for
the profession of arms at West Point, graduating and
receiving the rank of brevet second lieutenant of infantry
in 1841. His first service was at Fort Mackinac, Mich.
In 1843-45 he was stationed successively at Detroit, in
Florida and in Texas, with the army of occupation ; but
he did not participate in the Mexican war, during that
period and until 1852, being on duty at the military acad-
emy as an instructor in infantry tactics. He was pro-
moted first lieutenant. Seventh infantry, in 1847. After
this, with the exception of some time spent as a member


of a board of revision of tactics, he was on duty in the
west, escorting Whipple's topographical party, on the
Utah expedition and the march to New Mexico, and in
garrison duty, until he was granted leave of absence in
i86i. He was promoted captain in 1855, and held this
rank when he resigned to enter the Confederate service.
He was commissioned lieutenant-colonel, corps of artil-
lery, C. S. A. , and in September was assigned to duty as
adjutant-general, on the staff of Maj.-Gen. Richard S.
Ewell. Participating in this capacity in the battles of
Front Royal, Winchester, Cross Keys and Port Republic,
of the Valley campaign, he was commended in each report
of General Ewell for the coolness and efficiency with
which he performed his duties. He was with General
Ewell through the Seven Days' battles before Richmond,
at Cedar mountain, and Groveton, where Ewell was
wounded, and subsequently being appointed inspector-
general of the division, was commended for gallantry on
the field of Fredericksburg by General Early. After
participating in the battle of Chancellorsville he was pro-
moted brigadier-general in May, and assigned to the
command of the old Second brigade of Jackson's division,
now Edward Johnson's division, Ewell's corps. He
reached the field of Gettysburg with his brigade about
sunset July ist, and on the following day took part in the
assault upon Gulp's hill, but fell with a dangerous wound
when near the first line of the enemy's intrenchments.
The brigade was commanded during the remainder of
the battle by Lieut. -Col. R. H. Dungan. Returning to
his brigade in September, he commanded it during the
operations on the Rappahannock and Rapidan, and led
the advance of his division on November 27th, to Payne's
farm, where he received a serious wound in the head,
early in the fight, while gallantly exposing himself at the
front. Notwithstanding his hurt, he reported for duty a
few days afterward, when a general engagement was
supposed to be imminent. On May 5, 1864, Jones' bri-
gade opened the terrific struggle in the Wilderness, driv-
ing back the Federal flanking skirmishers early in the day.
He sustained the first attack by Warren's corps, the enemy
suddenly striking his right flank and driving his men
back in confusion. In a desperate attempt to rally his
brigade, the brave commander and his aide-de-camp.
Captain R. D, Early, were killed. General Ewell, in his


report of the campaign, alluding to the fact that out of his
fourteen generals, three had been killed, four wounded
and two captured, said of General Jones: "I consider his
loss an irreparable one to his brigade. ' '

Brigadier-General John R. Jones entered the Confed-
erate service as captain of a company of the Thirty-third
Virginia regiment, Stonewall brigade, and shared the
services of that command at First Manassas and in the
Valley campaign of May and June, 1862, winning promo-
tion to lieutenant-colonel of his regiment. On June 23,
1862, he was promoted brigadier-general and assigned to
the command of the Second brigade of Jackson's division.
In this capacity he served at Cold Harbor and Malvern
hill, until wounded in the night following the latter
battle. His command in this campaign was composed of
the Forty-eighth, Forty-second and Twenty-first Vir-
ginia regiments, the First Virginia battalion, the Hamp-
ton artillery and Jackson's battery. He resumed com-
mand of his brigade, which had fought under Bradley
T. Johnson at Second Manassas, after it had reached
Frederick in the march through Maryland. He then
assumed command of Jackson's division, and was in
charge of it at Harper's Ferry. After the surrender of
that post he marched at i o'clock on the morning of the
16th of September to reinforce Lee at Sharpsburg.
There he took position on the extreme left. His brigade
and Winder's (Stonewall) formed his front line, and the
two, numbering less than 400 men, attacked at 6 o'clock
on the morning of the 17 th, held back the enemy for
nearly an hour, then retired to the second line, and after
remaining for half an hour under a terrific storm of shot

Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 60 of 153)