Georgia Confederate Veterans' Association of Fulton County.

History, Confederate Veterans' Association, of Fulton County, Georgia (Volume 2) online

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moreover, to a gallant and gifted soldier :

Texas furnished to the Confederacy her full quota of men, and none excelled
them in bravery and daring, and throughout the long struggle for liberty and inde-
pendence they proved to the world that in courage they had no superiors. The
State of their nativity or adoption was a great school of character. Here a choice
seed of manhood had been planted, and even in its rudest and wildest types, the
population was a mixture of honor and chivalry. This peculiarity was well illustra-
ted in the war. Wherever the rough sons of Texas fought there was blood and
glory, the terrible spasm of battle, the desperate achievement. Yet no soldier of the
Confederacy was more generous to the enemy, more magnanimous to prisoners, and
more fully alive to all the appeals of the cause for which they fought. They were
the men in the army of Northern Virginia upon whom Gen. Lee relied for desper-
ate enterprises, and whom he once designated in the strongest compliment he was
capable of bestowing.

Gen. Johnson, of the army of the west, frequently said that he could always
depend upon the men from Texas. In every dangerous and difficult enterprise,
fighting with a fierce and apparently untamed courage, capable of the most sublime
self-devotion, the soldiers of Texas yet carried a reputation for generosity, and in
their tattered uniforms bore the true ornament of manhood, the rough diamond of
chivalry. Their deeds alone, taken apart from the general story of the war, would
fill volumes and be a complete testimony of the best manhood of the living age.

Chief among these men we find the incomparable and gallant Hood, the brave
and indomitable McCullough, the chivalrous Ross, and the subject of this paper, the
Prince Rupert of our civd war, the bravest of the brave, the knightly Earl Van Dorn.
He was not a native of Texas, but, like many soldiers of the Lone Star State, he
owed his lineage to Mississippi, and was born in 1820, in the town of Port Gibson.
After receiving a liberal education, he graduated at West Point in 1842. He served
in the Mexican war with credit, and at the battle of Cerro Gordo was breveted on
the field for gallant and meritorious conduct, and in the battles of Contreras and
Cherubusco he fell wounded in the thickest of the fight, and upon the surrender of
the City of Mexico he was again promoted, receiving the rank of Major.

The State of Texas seceded from the Union the 1st of February, 1861, and



99

soon after Van Dorn organized a company of about eighty men to operate against
the enemy on the coast, and on the 20th of April he succeeded in capturing the
Federal steamer "Star of the West" in Galveston harbor. The ship was loaded with
troops and stores, therefore there was great rejoicing throughout the country over its
capture. Some of you are probably familiar with the story of the taking of the
"Star of the West," but, being a participant, I may be able to give some facts con-
cerning the capture that have never found their way into print.

On the night of the 20th of April, which was extremely dark, we embarked on
a "lighter" which the Federals had used the day before in transporting troops, and
approached the steamer, whose commander thought he was about to take on board
his own men, but he reckoned wrong; for before he had time to offer resistance we
had gained the decks, and were in possession of the ship, and had driven the Fede-
rals below the hatches, which we battened down, thus securing possession, with-
out the loss of blood. This success only whetted the appetite of our gallant leader
for more exploits, whereupon he secured more volunteers, and proceeding in our
captured steamer to Seluria, where we arrived on the 24th of April, and anchored in
easy range of two Federal transports loaded with troops, about 600 in number.
They obeyed our summons to surrender, whereupon we took their paroles, they
agreeing not to take up arms again during the war.

These exploits gained for Van Dorn the rank of Major General, and much to
our regret he was called from Texas and assigned to duty in Virginia, where he
greatly added to his fame as a tactician of the first order and a gallant soldier.
After his departure from Texas the regiment that I became associated with, the Sixth
Texas cavalry, was organized, and took up its line of march for Arkansas, and the
Indian nation. Afterwards we became a part of Gen. Price's army in Missouri.
After much fighting and many vicissitudes, we found ourselves at Elkhorn, Ark.,
confronting the united Federal armies, under the command of Sigel, Curtis and
Fremont. Here Van Dorn joined us, and took command, and the stubbornly fought
and bloody battle of Elkhorn followed soon after. We undoubtedly gained a bril-
liant victory, but owing to jealousy that existed between Van Dorn and that great old
war hero, Sterling Price, the fruits of the victory were lost. Gen. Curtis, one of the
Federal commanders, afterwards acknowledged that owing to the superior tactics of
Van Dorn they were fairly defeated, and if it had not been for the lack of harmony
between the Confederate Generals the forces would have been compelled to capitu-
late. From Elkhorn we retired to Van Buren, and soon after joined the army under
Albert Sidney Johnson in Tennessee. Many of you, my comrades, know from per-
sonal experience, what followed ; therefore it is unnecessary for me to go into par-
ticulars.

In June, 1862, our honored commander was again taken from us, and transfer-
red to the department of Louisiana, with headquarters at Vicksburg. Here he
performed the most brilliant service of his entire military career, which was the first
successful defense of that river stronghold. After the departure of Van Dorn for
his new field of action, much fighting and many important military movements occur-
red in our department, but I will briefly pass over the movements of Beauregard,
now in full command of the united armies of the West and Tennessee, and the
bloody scenes that followed. His masterly retreat to Tupelo was regarded by the
first military men of Europe as the greatest feat of strategy on record, considering



100

the number and condition of his troops, and the trifling loss attendant on such a
movement, confronted by so large a force, there being 125,000 of the enemy against
35,000 Confederates. In September, Van Dorn again joined the army of West
Tennessee and took command, Beauregard having retired. The battles of Farming-
ton, Iuka, and Corinth followed in quick succession, but the heretofore unequalled
bravery of our troops engaged on these bloody fields could not prevail against the
overwhelming numbers of the army of the enemy, and, notwithstanding the most
stubborn resistance on our part, we were compelled to steadily fall back, leaving
West Tennessee and a large portion of Mississippi in possession of the invaders.

If the true history of the attack on Corinth should be written, it would furnish
a satisfactory excuse for the failure of Van Dorn in that memorable and desperately
fought battle ; our defeat must be attributed to the facts, that Gen. Bragg saw fit to
ignore the plans of Van Dorn, and to concentrate the army, for the purpose of
engaging the enemy at Iuka. The result of the battle is well known, our force was
reduced from 30000 effective men to less than 17.000.

But Van Dorn, with this small force, successfully stormed the works of this
Gibraltar of the Mississippi, defended by 35,000 men, composed of the flower of the
entire Federal army, and commanded by their favorite general — Grant. I say suc-
cessfully, because in the face of the strongest and most formidable works, protected
by the most powerful field guns then in use, and supported by 35,000 bayonets, Van
Dorn, with less than 17,000 men, succeeded in capturing the works and driving its
defenders back into the town, with great slaughter, where they were forced to take
refuge in the houses. But this success was gained by the loss of nearly one-half of
our number in killed and wounded, which weakened our army to such an extent
that the largely reinforced enemy were enabled to repulse, and after a stubborn hand-
to-hand fight, drive us out of the fortifications. This battle ended the West Tennes
see campaign, but did not end the brilliant exploits of Van Dorn.

On the 19'h of December, 1862, with a thousand cavalry volunteers, he made
a detour around Grant's army, and struck its rear guard at Holly Springs, Miss.
The enemy were taken completely by surprise, and we captured the town without
the loss of a man. We took nearly 2,000 prisoners, and destroyed the immense
collection of army stores found there. This movement was of the greatest impor-
tance to the Confederacy, as the destruction of Grant's supplies caused him to aban-
don his advance on Vicksburg and fall back to Memphis ; it practically put an end
to that season's campaign. The surprise of the Federals at Holly Springs caused
some ludicrous scenes. A lady came to Van Dorn, and said "General, Colonel
Murphy is concealed in my house," and upon a search being made the gallant
Federal commander was found under the lady's bed in his night clothes. The pro-
vost marshal was also taken in bed with his wife, and when discovered he pulled the
bed clothes over his head, and cried out "I will surrender." After the destruction
of the vast accumulation of stores found there, the railroad was destroyed, and a
successful retreat accomplished. Van Dorn was engaged in many active and bril-
liant operations until May 8th, 1863, when the life of this noble man was ended by
the hands of an assassin. Dr. Peters, a renegade Tennesseean, was the man.
bad many times been befriended by Van Dorn, but regardless of the debts of
gratitude that he owed his benefactor he brutally murdered him. After the fatal shot
was lired, Van Dorn never breathed. Tims ended the career of the gallant, noble



101

and patriotic Earl Van Dorn, whose equal in many respects is not known, or record-
ed in history. Had he lived till the close of the war there would be found chronicled
gallant acts before unheard of. His loss to the southern cause at that critical period
was irreparable, and contributed largely to its collapse.

In conclusion, I will recite the following lines, which were written at the time
of the siege, in commemoration of Van Dorn's successful defense of Vicksburg :

For sixty days and upwards,

A storm of shell and shot
Rained around us in a naming shower,

But still we faltered not ;
"If the noble city perish,"

Our grand young leader said,
"Let the only wall that the foe shall scale

Be ramparts of the dead."

For sixty days and upward,

The eye of heaven waxed dim,
And even throughout God's holy morn,

Over Christian's prayer and hymn,
Arose a hissing tumult,

As if the fiends of air
Strove to engulf the voice of faith,

In the shrieks of their despair.

There was wailing in the houses,

There was trembling on the marts,
While the tempest raged and thundered,

'Mid the silent thrill of hearts ;
But the Lord, our shield, was with u<?,

And ere another month had sped,
Our very women walked the streets,

With scarce one thought of dread.

And the little children gamboled,

Their faces purely raised
Just for a wondering moment,

As the large bombs whirled and blazed,
Then turning with silvery laughter,

To the sports that children love,
Thrice mailed in the sweet instinctive thought,

That the good God watched above.

Yet the hailing bolts fell faster,

From scores of flame clad ships,
And above us denser, darker,

Grew the conflict's wild eclipse,
'Till a solid cloud closed o'er us,

Like a type of doom and ire,
When shot a thousand quivering tongues,

Of forked and vengeful fire.

But the unseen hands of angels,

These death-shafts warned aside,
And the dove of heavenly mercy

Ruled o'er the battle tide ;
In the houses ceased the wailing,

And through the war-scarred marts
The people strode, with the steps of hope

To the music of their hearts.



102



OFFICIAL MINUTES

OP THE

FULTON COUNTY
Confederate Veterans' Association,



Atlanta, Ga., April 20, 1886.

Pursuant to a call, published in the city papers, a large number of ex-Con-
federate soldiers met in the basement of the Court House at 8 o'clock p. m.

Captain John Milledge was called to the chair, and Jas. A. Anderson re-
quested In art as Secretary.

Captain Milledge, <>n taking the chair, explained the objects of the meet-
ing and said:

Fellow soldiers: We have gathered here to-night having in view objects en-
tirely proper. We have come from our offices, from our stores, from our
domes, to confer together as to what we shall do towards permanent organiza-
tion. Xii matter what our circumstances; no matter what our experiences may
have been, since the banner we loved and honored was furled and laid away
forever, one tie >till hinds to each other — the tie of the memory of the glorious
deeds in widen we participated. We may not all be acquainted with each
other, hut, looking into each other's faces, we recognize those who bore the
lirunt in the camp, on the march, and in the field, in the days that tried men's
souls.

The time has come when the surviving ex-Confederate's of Fulton county

should act together in order to know each other better, and for the purposes of
reunion social reunion. We are daily becoming fewer. As we travel the
railroad of life, we arc daily getting oil' at the station of death. We owe it
to those win. lost their lives i n the greal struggle between the states, that their
memories shall oot be forgotten. We owe it to them that their history shall
nut he written b) those who had no part in the struggle. We should organize

JO thai we may aid those ex-Confederates Whose fortunes have been wrecked,
and win. are in. w destitute. | Applause.] We should organize so that we may
hold up the hands of the few women still struggling to keep green the graves
oi the Confederate dead. You cannot understand, unless by actual investiga-



103

tion, how few of the women are left, who, at the end of the war, undertook
the sacred task of caring for the last resting places of the dead heroes of tin-
lost cause.

What have we done for the Confederate dead? We have the monument
in the cemetery; the City Council has appropriated $300 a year, for ten years
to keep in order the graves in the cemetery, and the City Engineer has made
a map of the plot occupied by the graves. These things are all that have been
done. The women have done wonders. Now we must back them up, and I
know that we will do it.

There are times when we should form in solemn column and march to the
cemetery to do honor to the Confederate dead. We should thus continue to do
until but one man of us remains.

An occasion is soon to come when we can march to meet that grand old
man who stood at the head of the Confederacy. [Prolonged applause and
cheers.] He stood as a monument of nobleness and grandeur. Like some
grand old tree, he stood with head erect toward heaven, ashamed of nothing,
[Great cheering.]

There are three thousand ex-Confederate soldiers in Fulton county. If
each should pay twenty-five cents towards a fund for those purposes, the per-
petuity of an association w T ould be assured, and we could supply the needs of
destitute ex-Confederates. [Applause.]

These are some of the objects for which we have met. Let us proceed to
organize, determined to accomplish these objects. [Applause and cheers. ]

Colonel George T. Fry moved that a committee of nine, with one-legged
Ben Davis as chairman, be appointed to prepare business for the meeting. Mr.
H. H. Colquitt amended the motion by proposing that the committee also nom-
inate permanent officers for the organization proposed to be made by the Con-
federate veterans.

The motion, as amended, was carried, and the chairman appointed as the
committee: Messrs. B. J. Davis, chairman; George T. Fry, Hugh H. Colquitt,
W. G. Newman, John A. Stephens Lovick P. Thomas, W. L. Calhoun. .1. S.
Todd, and Amos Fox.

Messrs. W. H. Harrison, Frank Myers, W. C. Dodson, and R. L. Rodgers
were appointed to make a list of the ex-Confederates present, stating name,
rank, company and regiment.

While the committee was out preparing business, .Mr. W. I. Heyward
asked if the sons of deceased Confederate soldiers would be admitted to mem-
bership.

Major J. Gadsden King made a motion that the sons of all e.\ Confederate^.
both dead and living, be allowed to become members.

The motion was seconded.

Captain W. D. Ellis thought it better to await Hie action of the committee
of nine on that subject. He said that no Confederate survivor could possiblj
have objection to the sons of ex-Confederates becoming members, hut a- he
understood the call, it was for the organization of a Survivors' Association. The
sons could not be included in that call. The Federal soldiers had organized
Grand Army Posts, and the ex-Confederates of Fulton county derire to organize



104

34 imel bing similar. If the association was to perpetuate Confederate memories,
then lit the sens come in; but the question is, what are we going to organize?
If a Confederate Survivors' Association, none but veterans can become mem-
bers. His idea was to organize a Confederate Survivors' Association. Every
man in the county that bore arms should join it; and then, if it were thought
proper, the Bons might be elected honorary members. He was not opposed to
the young men's manifesting interest in the association; merely desired that the
proposed organization should be distinctive in character.

Major King urged the adoption of his motion, and spoke earnestly in its
support. One object of the organization was to procure and keep funds for
tin' relief of indigent soldiers, to which end the young men's help would be
very valuable. The name need not be followed literally. He wished his sons
to be eligible to membership, and thought the object ought to be to keep alive
the mempiies of the lost cause.

Captain Arnold said the association, in Augusta, was composed entirely of
Surviving Confederate soldiers, properly vouched for as having done actual ser-
vice, and elected by ballot.

( laptain Milledge suggested that the matter should be postponed to a future
meeting.

Mr. Hey ward said he understood the call to be for a Survivors' Association
to be formed, but he wished for the young men some kind of recognition;
that they should be allowed honorary membership, anyhow. He would like it
to be recorded in the minutes of the association that he was a member because
his father was a Confederate soldier,.

Colonel A. J. McBride moved as a substitute for Major King's motion, that
the matter lie referred to the committee of nine on permanent organization.
His motion was seconded and unanimously carried.

Colonel McBride and Major King were appointed a committee to commu-
nicate with the committee of nine.

Mr. .1. I). Garrison asked if only those who went into service from Fulton
county were included in the call.

The chair informed him that all ex-Confederates now resident of Fulton
county wen- eligible to membership.

At this point the committee of nine appeared, and the chairman announced
thai the Secretary of the Committee. Mr. Hugh H. Colquitt, would read the
report .

REPORT (>K THE COMMITTEE.

Mr. Chairman- The Committee of Nine beg leave to submit the following

II poll ;

li i- recommended that the organization he known as "The Fulton County
Confederate Veterans' Association," and that the permanent officers be a Presi-
dent and Commander, a Vice-President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.

It i- further recommended, thai the following gentlemen be declared
elected;

Colonel W. A. Wright, President and Commander.

Captain John Milledge, Vice-President.

Captain W. T. New man. Treasurer.

B -I. Davis. Secretary.



105

For an Executive Committee, it is recommended that the following gentle-
men be declared elected, the officers of the Association to be members ex-afficio:
W. W. Hulbert, J. Gadsden King, W. L. Calhoun, A. J. McBride and I.. P.
Thomas.

It is recommended that the Constitution and By-Laws be prepared by the
Executive Committee, and that the by-laws shall determine the eligibility to
membership.

Regarding the approaching events of the present month and May, it is re-
commended that all Confederate survivors be requested to meet at the Court
House, at one o'clock p. m., on the 26th day of April, to march in a body to
the cemetery. Suitable badges are to be provided by the Executive Com-
mittee.

Also, all survivors to be requested to meet at the Court House with badges,
on the day of the arrival of the illustrious ex-President Jefferson Davis, in At-
lanta, at an hour hereafter to be designated, to escort him to the residence of
Mrs. B. H. Hill.

Also, that they be requested to join in the procession the next day to attend
the ceremonies of the unveiling of the Hill statue.

Captain Newman declined to act as Treasurer, and suggested the name of
Paul Romare for the position.

The committee accepted the suggestion, and duly elected Paul Romaic
Treasurer.

Captain W. H. Harrison moved that the report of the committee be acted
upon; first, under the head of permanent organization, and then under the
head of recommendations.

The motion was seconded and carried.

The first part of the report was read by the Secretary.

Captain W. M. Bray asked who were entitled to vote, and suggested tin-
call of the roll.

Colonel George T. Fry thought that all present should be permitted to vote.
He made a motion to that effect, which was seconded and carried.

On motion of Captain Newman, the first part of the report was unani-
mously adopted.

Colonel Fry, Mr. Griffin, H. H. Penny, E. F. Couch, and W. A. Honnell,
were appointed by the chair to escort the President and Commander, W. A.
Wright, to the chair.

Colonel Wright ascended the platform amid loud cheers and applause, and
was introduced by Captain Milledge, who said: Fellow soldiers, I have the
honor of introducing a man to whom no member of Wright's brigade needs
an introduction. [Applause.]

Colonel Wright thanked the Association for the honor done him, and Bald
that it was his rule never to shirk a duty, and that he would discharge the du
ties assigned him to the extent of his ability.

B. J. Davis, the Secretary, took the secretary's chair, with a promise to
faithfully discharge his duties.

The second part of the report of the committee was read by the Secretary,
and, on motion of Captain W. H. Harrison, was unanknousljj adopted.



106



Captain MiUedge stated that the Ladies' Memorial Association would fur-
nish badges to be worn on memorial day.

■•a *i t ti,P rPT«irt iust adopted, provided for escorting

Mayor Hillyer -f.^^^L Jin toL residence at which
Mr. Davis, on ins arrival in the city, i &§ the Asgoda .

he W0Uld ^ ^fjt C^raLslm all parts of the State, a committee

?x^££^ *■ rr the state line and conduct

m Z Atlanta. [Cheers greeted this suggestion.]

,- th , President was requested to appoint, at his leisure, a com-

mit r:;;:;:;:;t S£ ^ ^ conduct *« * ***.

, • ff.wwt hv Colonel J F. Jones, was unanimously
The following ^"^."^^S'era.e soldiers in Georgia, and

-I 1= W \«' Cn t°I To eome o Atlanta on the oceasion of the visit of

„ ur Bb ter Southern Steto, tocome* ^ ^^ ^^ „

M , Da* /*J"j£^£2U-ata« the pages of American hie-
^ranZe. XCnL, and .ill teaeh our children, children to ven-



erate his name,



c ins name. , . ,

„„ ^tton of Captain Mil.edge, the Association adjourned unci the .hard

Mondav night in May.

, • f ii,.> Executive Committee was held at the office of the Presi-
A meeting ot the Executive ^o o'clock, to

^. i i w v Wri.rht the msht ot tlie -sisi oi a-^iu,

;:;;;:;;; £^.I B £1« 4. - - — * of - Hm s ; atue - h

( ,„ lnn( , L p. Thomas was authorized to engage a band of music for each
occasion, at a cosl no, to exceed $25 each.

• ot W Hulbert was appointed a committee to prepare badges to be
Captain \\ . W Hulbert was 11 tQ ^ rf ^ ribboDj aud

s„ ',',,::';, .1 Hi .ad. A. .I.McBrido, and W.L.Calhoun.

; ^=^^ - = - -— "~

w ho wished to become members of the Association.

,,,„ p^ id en1 appointed a Committee of Reception, with Dr. Amos Fox,
chahnnaa, to receive visiting ex-Confederates.

=wrS"JK«MsKrS

:;-;-:;:,;=;::c:::r;::t:;::;:;=^ r -

,-„,. fouowing distinguished ex-Confederates were selected from the



107

ferent parts of the State, and requested to act as assistant to the Marshal-in
S^ylst Mmedge ' and <"' «* veterans in the ^on


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