"What Avas written of this (Jenei-al Farnsworth in the histoiy
of Butler's coniniand. and what is written here, was not done
through love of disparaging. One thing, however, may be said
for him ; he was a brave and able officer, who, before his promo-
tion to a brigadier generalship, commanded the Eighth Illinois
Cavalry, one of the hardest fighting regiments in either army.
The writer of this fought against these brave men and knows
whereof he speaks.
Now, let us turn to the relative strength of the opposing forces
in the two days fight at Trevillian. Our critic thinks the state-
ment made on page 18 of "Butler and His Cavalry" and the more
detailed account of the Trevillian battle on page 245 are exagger-
ated. In respect to the numbers of troops engaged on either side,
he is of the opinion that our book underestimates the force of Gen-
eral Hampton and overestimates that of General Sheridan. He
quot-es from the "Memoirs" of Sheridan, who puts the forces led
into the fight at G,000 and Hampton's at 5,000.
Statistics on Forces.
Xotwithstanding this evidence, upon wdiich the editor of the
"Journal of Military Service" seems to rely wholly, the j^resent
writer is not disposed to abate one jot what is said regarding the
matter in his history of Butler's Cavaliy. Hampton's command,
according to "Wells's history of "Hampton and His Cavalry," did
not exceed 4,700 men all told in the two divisions — Butler's and
Fitz Hugh Lee's. Of this force, Butler's division, consisting of
2,224, alone bore nearly the whole brunt of the fighting at Tre-
villian; for Lee, who was momentarily expected to come to the
aid of our right, did not put in an appearance until towards the
close of the second day, when the battle was practically won.
When Lee arrived he sent Wickham's brigade to our assistance,
of which only one regiment, the First North Carolina cavalry,
became engaged. So, admitting for argument's sake General
Sheridan's statement as to his strength being 6,000, it will be
seen that there was the usual disparity of numbers in this battle
as existed in every other battle fought in Virginia; in other
words, the old ratio of about 3 to 1.
But with all due respect to General Sheridan, his statement
cannot be admitted. If in his imagination he exaggerated the
strength of Butler's force, stating in his report to General Grant,
after his return from his ill-starred expedition against Hampton,
that he found the Confederate calvary chief with all the rebel
cavalry at Trevillian and whijDi^ed him, "but," said he, "Brecken-
ridge's division of infantry came to his rescue and as I was about
out of ammunition I deemed it best to come back." Now^, the
man who could imagine the woods full of rebel cavalry and
infantry, when there was no Confederate infantry nearer than
Richmond, would naturally let that same imagination mislead
him into the belief that his own force was very little in excess, if
any, of the rebel cavalry.
However, one is not left to surmise in the matter, or to an
exposition of the weakness of human nature to account for Sher-
idan's statement in his "Memoirs," General Butler, in his speech
at the unveiling of the Wade Hampton monument, November
20, 1906, said this respecting the battle of Trevillian: "General
Fitz Lee had about 3,000 men in his two brigades, Lomax's and
Wickham's, at Trevillian. We were in a thickly wooded country
unfit for mounted operation ; consequently, we dismounted every-
thing except one squadron, and opened the attack on foot with our
long range Enfield rifles and drove the enemy a half mile or more,
all the time expecting to hear Lee's guns on our right. Our left
flank was about to be turned, when Young's brigade was sent in
to reinforce it. Lee's division did not take position as I was
assured it would."
So much for Butler's statenicnt. which discredits Sheridan's,
regarding the Confederate force really engaged at Trevillian.
Now let us see what the military secretary of the war depart-
ment at Washington has to say respecting the strength of General
Sheridan's conmiand. The following letter from him was written
in reply to one he had received from General Butler making
inquiries as to Sheridan's force at Trevillian :
"War Department, The jNIilitaiT Secretary's Office.
"Washington, November 8, 190G.
^'General M. C. Butler.
"My Dear General : In response to your letter of the r)th inst.,
in which you ask to be furnished with a statement of the strength
of General Sheridan's command at Trevillian Station, Va., June
11 and 12, 1864, I have the honor to advise as follows: ....
"A field return of the Army of the Potomac for June 1, 1864,
. . . shows an aggregate present for duty in the cavalry corps
commanded by General Sheridan of 12,420. As already stated,
the number of men carried into action on June 11 and 12, 1864,
has not been found of record, nor is there any return of strength
on file bearing date between June 1 and June 11, 1864.
"F. C. AiNSWORTH,
"The Military Secretary."
Thus it is seen that the author of "Butler and His Cavalry"
did have excellent data on w^hich to base his statement as to the
relative strength of the opposing forces at Trevillian; but by
what sort of arithmetic Sheridan figured his force at only 6,000
when on the 1st of June, 1864, his cavalry corps mustered over
12,000 strong, we are at a loss to know. Of course he did not take
his whole corps with him to crush Hampton, for Wells states that
he carried with him only the pick of it, numbering about 9,000,
consisting of twenty-four regiments, and a large force of artillery.
Between nine and ten thousand troops may be said to have com-
posed his strength at Trevillian.
"Liquor Bottles and Jugs."
As for the episode of emjity liquor bottles and jugs found by
-our men at the enemy's camp just after he began his precipitate
retreat, it is a small matter and calls for only a remark or two.
Our fellows were not adverse to a wee taste of spiritus f rumen ti,
a very scarce article at Confederate commissariats in the field,
and doubtless, after so long a period of dryness, they went
through the three Federal hospitals in search of it; but, alas!
they found none, it was all drunk up. Along the whole way of
Sheridanls circuitous route of a hundred miles back to Grant's
headquarters empty whiskey bottles, jugs and demijohns were
;seen at every halting place of the enemy. Some were doubtless
broken, but —
^\, You may shatter the bottle or jug if you will,
The scent of the liquor lingers there still.
Very exasperating to the thirsty Kebs, who could smell, but not
taste, wasn't it?
General Alger (McKinley's War Secretary), if he were living,
and General Lomax, now of the Gettysburg cemetery commission,
could give our critic some valuable information as to the respec-
tive numbers engaged on either side at Trevillian. It is suggested
that he consult General Lomax.
Sheridan's Slaughter of Horses.
One thing more and this screed will end. If Sheridan was
not routed at Trevillian on June 12, 1864, why did he shoot to
death two thousand of his cavalry horses to keep our cavalry
from getting them? It really seems that the little general should
have been punished for cruelty to animals, if he was not afraid
of what he called the "Rebel Cavalry." A-NHien one of his men was
captured on Monday evening, June 13, 1864, this scribe asked him
to describe General Sheridan. His reply was: "He is a nervous
little man and looks like your General John Dunovant." "Wliere
and how did you know General Dunovant?" "I served under
him in the Tenth Eegulars, U. S. A., before the war."
T. F. RODENBOUGH VS. U. R. BROOKS.
Reply and Counter-Reply, in Discussion on "Butler and His
Cavalr>," Precipitated by Criticism Appearing in
. "Journal of Military Service."
Followin": is a reply by Editor Rodenbough, of the "Journal
of Military Service," to the reply by General U. R. Brooks to a
criticism on "Butler and II is Cavalry"*; also a counter-reply by
The Military Service Institution of the United States,
Governor's Island, X. Y., March 25, 1910.
U. Ii. Brooks, Esq., Cohnnhia, S. C.
Dear Sir: Yours of the 17th inst., with criticism of certain
statements contained in a review of your book published in the
March number of the "Journal of the Military Service Institu-
tion" is at hand.
AMiile I do not wish to enter into a controversional campaign,
yet one or two connnents by you merit reply.
I do not question your "conscientious desire to state only those
things which were well authenticated," but must maintain that
in certain respects the result falls short of the intent. I am also
actuated by a desire to be as impartial as one can who embraced
the army as a profession, free from sectional i)rejudice and
counting among my personal friends Generals Fitzhugh Lee and
Lomax, Major H. B. McClellan, of General Stuart's staff, and
other Confederate officers.
It does not add to the historical value of a book containing civil
war reminiscences to repeat in the twentieth century what was
excusable in letters, reports and diaries (like Calhoun's,) dated
nearly fifty years ago. although it does add "local color'' to camp
fire gossi}): it is in my opinion quite as objectionable as the
"veneering of civilization," mentioned by you.
I plead guilty to an inadvertent error in referring to 3'our
account of Captain Leoser's capture and subsequent treatment by
(as you say) "one of Thompson's men.'' The account of the
incident (pp. 242-243) agreed in most respects with leoser's
account (as often told me by him) and as described in a contribu-
tion to the history of his regiment (copy of extract enclosed)
with the exception that Captain Leoser accuses Captain Thomp-
son (and not Thompson's man) of taking the boots. Even as
stated in your account the act was a grave breach of discipline
such as might be expected of a "bushwhacker" or one of Sher-
man's "bummers," but not of first class troops such as General
I trust you will accept my apology for the misquotation ; your
remarks under the circumstances are excusable.
Passing to the Farnsworth matter, I see no reason to change
the language of the review and this without seeming to "invent"
any detail. The incident is mentioned on pages 129, 489 and 490.
On page 129, under the head of "The Murder of Billy Dulin," it is
set forth that "early in the spring of 1863 at Warrenton, Va., a
body of our scouts were charged by Colonel (afterward General)
FarnsAvorth, of the Eighth Illinois Cavalry. A young scout. by
name Billy Dulin, only 16 years old, was caught under his
wounded horse and in this helpless condition surrendered. Col-
onel Farnsworth shot the lad dead." .
The above agrees with the language of my review as to the four
details which you style "misrepresentations made for a sinister
purpose"; any sort of a collision between small parties of armed
men in war may be properly called an "affair."
By the way, I noticed for the first time that the account quoted
mentions "Colonel" Farnsworth ; there was a Colonel J. F. Farns-
worth, Eighth Illinois Cavalry; but on page 289 another account
calls him "Captain Farnsworth." In your comment you use both
titles and say that "before his promotion to a brigadier general-
ship he commanded the Eighth Illinois Cavalry, etc." You are
wrong. Colonel J. F. Farnsworth commanded that regiment;
General E. J. Farnsworth was promoted from captain in the
same regiment four days before his death.
You ask "why our critic should be so adverse to accepting as a
fact this incident?" Because, although it is possible, the reputa-
tion of the man makes it highly improbable and until the evi-
dence of witnesses on both sides can be obtained I cannot believe
Farnsworth guilty of the crime charged.
As to tlie otluT c-har<re (suicide) it api)ears to l)e made out of a
newspaper paragi-aph (see Ca])tain Parson's statement enclosed).
I prefer to believe that Captain Bachman did not withhold any-
thinir he saw of the incident.
I am willing to take General Butler's own statement as to the
strength of Hampton's forces ("Cavalry Fight at Trevillian Sta-
tion,'' ''Battle and Leaders of the Civil AVar," IV, page 237.)
(Captain Calhoun says 6,000, page 191,) and I pin my faith on
General Sheridan's statement as to strength of his command
The shooting of a large number of disabled horses on the return
march to the Army of the Potomac was our custom on all expe-
ditions, to prevent their falling into the hands of the enemy after
recuperation. As Sheridan brought back some 400 prisoners
(permitting them to share the saddles, alternately, with his own
troopers) the double duty may have added somewhat to the
number. By the way, is it not stated in your book (page 380)
that after Trevillian "many hundred horses of Hampton's com-
mand were unfit for service''? This was the natural result of con-
tinuous mounted service during the winter and spring.
The writer had the honor of opening the fight on the 11th of
Jime in command of the Second United States Cavalry, at head
of Torbert's column, was wounded early in the day, rode back
with the column and can testify to the leisurely retirement of
Sheridan's command; until West Point was reached we didn't
hear a shot, although we understood that Hampton's men were
moving on our flank and keeping us in sight.
However, there are admirable things in your book of which the
space available in a magazine limits extended notice.
T. F. RODENBOUGH, EditoF.
Columbia, S. C, March 30, 1910.
General T. F. Rodcnhough, Goveimor's Island, N. Y.
My Dear Sir: Like yourself, I have no desire to enter into a
controversy relative to matters about the war. Life is too short
for that, and, besides, it generally stirs up feelings of bitterness
between those who ought to be friends. Mj' only excuse for
replying to your review of "Butler and His Cavalry" was that
I thought you a little astray in some of your statements, and I
simply wanted to set you right, while at the same time feeling
that you were as honest and sincere in your opinions as I was in
mine. I am sure if we could meet and talk over those dark days
of the past, we should find ourselves not so far apart as we
I find we differ somewhat as to the value of "letters, reports and
diaries" written at the time the Avar was going on. You seem to
regard them as of no value, at least as objectionable for historical
purposes; while I look upon those things as the stuff that must
necessarily enter into history. However, this is only a difference
of opinion about which we will agree to disagree.
I accept in the spirit in which it was tendered your apology
for inadverent misquotations from my book. Only a soldier and
a gentleman would confess to a wrong and handsomely apologize
for it, as you have done, and it arouses within me a great desire
to meet you.
Now, as to the Farnsworth matter. It appears from your letter
that the Eighth Illinois Cavalry had two Famsworths on its
roster of officers — one. Captain E. J. Farnsworth, afterwards
promoted to brigadier generalship, and the other. Colonel J. F,
Farnsworth, who commanded the regiment. I can readily per-
ceive how the names of these two men might have got mixed in
the minds of our troops and the deed of the one ascribed to the
other. So the probability is that both of us are right. It was not,
as you said. General Farnsworth who shot the boy Dulin, but
Colonel Farnsworth, as I stated. The fact that there were two
Farnsworths in the Eighth Illinois Cavalry, both officers, which
I didn't know until I received your letter, will also perhaps
explain the report that the one who killed Dulin committed
suicide on the field of Gettysburg. It is easy to understand how it
originated. Our men, knowing of the crime charged against the
colonel of the Eighth Illinois, very naturally jumped to the con-
clusion that it was he who fell at Gettysburg, and that pursued
by a guilty conscience he took his own life rather than fall into
the hands of the enemy, loiowing what his fate would be. This
explanation of the mistake gives me great satisfaction, for it is
not in me to do a gallant officer an intentional wrong.
I am afraid you did not exactly catch the point I made with
respect to the relative strength of the opposing forces at Tre-
villian Station. I do not question General Butler's statement,
which you accept, as to the strength of Hampton's forces, nor did
I minimize his estimate; hut what I said was that nearly all the
fighting done at Trevillian was by Butler's division, consisting of
about twenty-two hundred men. General Hampton's other
division, Fitz Hugh Lee's, did not take part in the fight until the
battle was practically over and won, when he sent in only one
regiment. As to General Sheridan's force, I know nothing except
what General Ainsworth stated in his letter to General Butler^
which I quoted in my former communication. I said he had
between nine and ten thousand troops, giving my authorities.
Possibly it was a wrong estimate; but, accepting General Sheri-
dan's statement of the force he led into the battle, there still
stands out the fact of the immense odds against which our force
actually engaged had to contend. Until more light is throw^n
upon the whole matter, we will for the present accept Sheridan's
Yes, we had several hundred horses unfit for service after the
Trevillian fight, but I don't recall that we shot any of them. Such
cruelty was never our practice.
I accept without question your statement that General Sher-
idan's '"retirement" from Trevillian Station was "leisurely," and
withdraw my statement that it was a precipitate retreat, border-
ing on a rout. In saying this, I simply want to get even with
you in generosity. Yours truly.
U. R. Brooks.
Hampton C. H., S. C, August IG, 1911.
Colonel U. R. Brooks, Columhia, S. C.
My Dear Colonel: I have read recently some correspondence
(which was published some time since) between General T. F.
Rodenbough and yourself in regard to statements in your book,
"Butler and His Cavalry."
^Vhile I have no desire to engage in a discussion of any of the
matters embraced in this correspondence. I have concluded to
write you of a conversation I heard some years ago, in regard to
the death of General Farnsworth at Gettysburg.
In 1886, Colonel Batchelder invited a number of officers, both
of the Federal and Confederate Cavalry, to meet him on the
battlefield of Gettysburg, for the purpose of locating the positions
occupied by the different cavalry commands during the battle.
On returning to the hotel from the battlefield, I was in the same
carriage with Colonel Batchelder and two of Custer's officers,
Colonel Briggs and Colonel Stringfellow. In conversation the
story of General Farnsworth's death was related by one of the
party. The substance of it was that after his magnificent charge,
while he was lying on the ground, under his horse, a Confederate
soldier ran up and demanded his surrender. He refused to sur-
render, at the same time firing his pistol at the Confederate, but
missing him. The Confederate soldier returned the fire, wound-
ing him, and said, "Now you will surrender." General Farnsworth
replied that he would never surrender, and turning his pistol on
himself killed himself.
Colonel Batchelder was asked if this statement was true. He
replied that it was; that he had, himself, hunted up the Con-
federate soldier referred to and had got the details from him.
He also stated that he belonged to an Alabama regiment.
Coming from as high a source as the man who was employed
by the United States Government to write up the battle of Gettys-
burg, and also had for years been engaged in a most careful pre-
paration of the history of the battle, it seems to me to be proper
to call your attention to this little scrap of history of that battle
which happened to come to my knowledge in the way above
Yours very truly,
James W. Moore,
Adjutant 2nd S. C. Cavalry, Battle of Gettysburg.
Adams, Litniti'iiimt : womuled, 2G3 ;
again iiainfully wounded, 2G7.
Adger, Captain of the Charleston
Light Dragoons, 275.
Adolphus, Gustavus : "Lion <•! ilu'
Alexander, Private H. W. : though
helpless himself, takes a prisoner,
Aldrich, A. P.: of General Rnnluim's
Anderson, Maj. William: died from
Andrews, Capt. S. J. : 14G.
An unknown hero, 215.
Archer, Federal General: captured,
Arnot, Corporal : works in B. & O.
Arnot, Sergt. William: wounded,
Armistead, General : severely wound-
Ashe, Major : of transi)()rtatiun de-
Atwell, Capt. .J. B. : woundetl, 87.
Augustien, General Donation : 280.
Aunt Sally : surprised that the Con-
federates "look just like our
Bachman's Battery : sketch of by
James Simons of Charleston, 276;
first known as The German Vol-
unteers, 278; mustered in by Lieu-
tenant Mills, C. S. A., 278; muster
roll of, 278-270 ; joined Hampton's
Legion, 270 ; wins field pieces
offered as prize by Hampton, 280;
transformed into light battery,
280; served under General Ha-
good, 280; returned to South Caro-
lina, 280; Captain Simons in com-
mand, 280; participates in the
campaign of Army of Northern
Virginia, 281 ; disbanded at Cam-
den, S. C, 281 ; a few members of
now living, 283.
Bagley, Worth : of Spanish-Ameri-
can War, monument, 305.
Baker, Colonel: 85. 150, 151; takes
charge of Han)pton's Cavalry,
177 ; wounded, 100 ; brigadier gen-
Bamberg, Lieutenant : commands
Hart's Battery, 203.
Barksdale, of Mississippi : contrary
to lying Yankee correspondent,
died at his post fighting for his
Bartow, Mrs. : wife of General Bar-
Barrier, Lieutenant : 08.
Barry, Capt. J. H. : 181.
Barringer, Col. Rufus: 206.
Bassard, Milton: killed, 38.
Bayard, General : 135.
Baynard, Willie: a veteran soldier,
Beale, Captain: put in prison, 216.
Beckham, Maj. R. F. : succeeds Pel-
Bell, Lr.-Col. W. H. : 280.
Black, Colonel : wounded, 100.
Blackwell, Mrs. S. L: poem by, 28.
Blair, Lieutenant: 178.
Blount, Corporal : one of the best of
Bohliu, Colonel Henry: 285.
Bonhaui, Major-General : staff parts
with regretfully, 300.
Boyd, Judge: 2S0.
Brown, Captain Wilmer: 382.
Branch, : killed, 93.
Brooks, Col. U. R. : at Confetlerate
Reunion at Spartanburg, 359.
Brooks's Battalion : origin, 313 ; the
organization, 314 ; service near
Savannah, 314-315; desertion of
sixty men, 315; a conspiracy to
mutiny, 316 ; pluck of the officers,
317 ; assistance sent for, 318 ;
standing the men off, 318 ; the
mutineers falter, 320 ; succor ar-
rives at last, 320; coolness of a
mutineer, 321 ; after all was over,
322 ; execution of ringleaders,
322; the day after the tragedy,
322; boarding a train. 324; the
officers' after career, 325 ; after
many years, 326.
Brooks, James C. : copy of commis-
sion issued to, 358.
Brooks. "Lieutenant-Colonel" J. H. :
some papers concerning, 310-312.
Bowman, Mrs. : a victim of Yankee
Brown, Lieutenant-General : killed,
Brown, John : a monument to the
treason of, 89.
Brownlee, Jimmie: feilled by ne-
Breland, Private: dies of fever. 250.
Buckley, Mr. : correspondent N. Y.
Herald, captured, 150.
"Buckland Races," 207.
Buckner, Lieutenant : seriously
Bunch, Col. H. J. : 289.
Burke, Captain of the Irish Volun-
Butler, Colonel : at Brandy Station,
145 ; loses leg, 148 ; 258 ; and U. S.
navy, 368; killed the Force Bill.
368 ; service in the Spanish-Ameri-
can War, 368.
Butler, Capt. James : and band
"Butler and His Cavalry" : reply to
criticism of, 383.
Calhoun, Capt. W. R. : musters
Hart's Battery into service, 247.
Calhoun, J. C. : expressed himself
as favoring Cuban annexation,
Campbell, Lieut. James : captured,
Carroll. Lilla: recollections of a
Confederate school girl, 22 ; at-
tends bazaar where a "bale of
money" was raised, 24; made
sandbags for Fort Sumter, 25;
leaves Columbia in governor's
special car, 26 ; describes a Con-
federate wedding, 58; "Memorial
Carolina boy, though fatally wound-