U. R. (Ulysses Robert) Brooks.

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Butler and His Cavalry


War of Secession






Columbia, S. C.






Gently and tenderly fold it away,
The tattered and faded jacket of gray;
Bloodstained are the buttons of "C. S. A."

We loved it so ! when our hopes were brightest,
And their valor made our hearts the lightest,
And our Cause the purest and the whitest.

When we count the rosary of our years
For the Heroes who died ah ! saddest tears !
For the Knights in gray oh ! glorious cheers.

Of our dead, we ll sing in a minor song
And the sobbing low notes of woe prolong,
And we ll lay in a grave all thought of wrong.

Their honor untarnished bright as the day,
Patriots so grand ! we ll love them alway,
Oh ! gallant Heroes of the C. S. A.


BUTLER AND His CAVALRY, 1861-1805.


An old man living in Kentucky during the Secession War had
two sons ; one enlisted in the Confederate Army and the other in
the United States Army. Within twelve months one was brought
home dead, and within a short time the other was brought home
like his brother, having also been killed in battle. Both w r ere
buried in his garden side by side and this inscription was placed
upon the monument: "God alone knows which was right.

It is not left with me to decide who was right or who was
wrong. I think that some one should write a history of the gal
lant deeds of the men who composed the brigade to which he
belonged. I have attempted to write the history of "Butler and
his Cavalry." Though very imperfectly done, I console myself
because it was the best I could do.

"History is a brilliant illustration of the past, and leads us into
a charmed field of wonder and delight. It reflects the deeds of
men, and throws its rays upon the just and unjust, and leads us
upward and onward to that mention of facts bearing directly
upon a brilliancy surrounding our everyday life as it was and as
it is."

In the language of Gen. Johnson Hagood, "My comrades, it is a
long time since we have looked into each other s eyes and grasped
each other s hands. In the long ago we together toiled in the
weary march and looked upon battle s magnificently stern array ;
together we have felt the mad excitement of the charge, the
glorious enthusiasm of victory, the sullen anger of defeat; and
harder, sterner duties have been our lot. Together we have passed
through the valley and the shadow of political reconstruction.
We have seen civil rights, sacred from tradition and baptized in
the blood of a patriotic ancestry, trampled in the dust. We have
seen the accumulations of two centuries of thrift and industry
sw^ept away and the State plundered as a ship by a pirate crew.
But God fulfills Himself in many ways.



to the
Memory of my Brother

Whitfield Butler Brooks

Company B, Sixth S. C. Cavalry

2 1st July, 1845 12th June, 1864

Killed at the Battle of Trevillian, Virginia

Brief, Yet Brave and Glorious Was His Young Career

BUTLER AND His CAVALRY, 1861-1865.


As it is our duty, so it is our sad pleasure, to entwine the laurel
with the cypress above the tomb of those who, preferring glory
and honor to shame and degradation, sacrificing their ease
and comfort for hardships and dangers, have offered up them
selves willing sacrifices upon the bleeding altar of their country.

"Two years ago, with heart bounding high with hope, form
elastic with health eyes bright with the enjoyment of life, Whit-
field B. Brooks left his parental roof for the tented field, a noble
and patriotic ambition, gilding, like the dawning sun, the opening
pathway of life. Alas ! in the terrible ordeal, in the fierce colli
sion and shock of battle, he has gone down, while honor decks
the turf that wraps his clay.

"He was a member of Company B, Sixth Regiment, South
Carolina Cavalry, and, in the language of his captain, was ever at
his post and never failing in his duty. On the second day s fight
at Trevillian Station, Va., June 12th, 1864, fell this noble boy,
pierced through the head by a ball from the enemies of his
country, and the despoilers of his native land, ere he had reached
the age of nineteen years. His gentle, kind and unassuming man
ners that peculiarly endeared him to his parents, won for him the
affection of his comrades in arms, and the confidence of his
officers. Of quiet habit, energetic and ambitious in his studies,
had he lived, and borne out the promise of his youth, he would
have culminated an honor to his family, an ornament to society,
and in usefulness to his country."

The above was written in June, 1864, by that gallant soldier
and able lawyer, Colonel H. W. Addison, who left a leg on the
plains of Virginia.

Whitfield Butler Brooks, on his paternal side, descended from
Captain James Butler, who was massacred by Bloody Bill Cun
ningham on Cloud s Creek, Lexington County, S. C., in 1781, who
was the father of Elizabeth Butler (a sister of General William
Butler, grandfather of General M. C. Butler), who married
Zachariah Smith Brooks, whose only son was Whitfield Brooks,
who married Mary Parsons Carroll, a sister of Chancellor Carroll,

8 BUTLER AND His CAVALRY, 1861-1865.

in 1818, whose second son was James Carroll Brooks, who was the
father of Whitfield Butler Brooks, whose uncles were Preston S.
Brooks and Whitfield Butler Brooks, who fell mortally wounded
at Cherubusco, Mexico, August 20, 1847, and Hon. John Hamp-
den Brooks, now of Greenwood County, S. C. His*oniy aunt was
Ellen Brooks, who married General R. G. M. Dunovant.

On his maternal side he descended from Rev. Peter Robert,
who was the first Huguenot minister of the Carolina Colony and
settled in St. Johns, Berkeley, in 1690, who was father of John
Robert. His son, James Robert, and grandson, John Robert, Jr.,
whose son, William H. Robert, fought in the Revolution and was
the father of Ulysses Maner Robert, whose daughter was Sarah
Crawford Robert, married James Carroll Brooks, November 20,
1843, and was the mother of Whitfield Butler Brooks, who was
born July 21st, 1845.

"Whitfield B. Brooks, with other young Carolinians, tendered
their young lives in obedience to the call of South Carolina, their
native State, enlisted as volunteers in the Confederate army, in
defense of th<eir homes, and fell in battle, contending for a prin
ciple taught them by their fathers, transmitted from preceding
generations, accepted, considered and believed by them to be truth

BUTLER AND His CAVALRY, 1861-1865.


It has been forty-four years since the Confederate sun sank
behind the horizon at Appomatox never, never to rise again, and
those of us who have survived the waste of time should write
something to cherish the memories of our heroes who fell in battle
by our side and to recall the gallant deeds that were displayed on
the bloody fields in the War of Secession. Whether the deeds were
crowned with success or consecrated in defeat, is to idealize prin
ciple and strengthen character, intensifying love of country and
convert defeat and disaster into pillars of support for future man
hood and noble womanhood.

I had the honor to belong to Butler s Cavalry. The cavalry
men were proud of their leader and he was equally proud of them.

Shall w r e allow the heroic deeds of his brave followers to sink
into oblivion ? We are a people with memories of heroic suffering
and sacrifices, so let us preserve our history and let it be written
by eye-witnesses as the story of Butler and his Cavalry is now
being told.

On the 20th November, 1843, Capt. James Carroll Brooks, of
Edgefield, S. C., was happily married to Miss Sarah Crawford
Robert, the eldest daughter of Col. and Mrs. Ulysses Maner
Robert, at Mt. Pleasant, Barnwell, S. C. This beautiful home was
situated between Allendale, S. C., and the Savannah River, and
was, by that "prince of incendiaries," Major-General W. T. Sher
man, burned to the ground in 1865 in his march of destruction and

To this happy couple was born on the 21st July, 1845, Whit-
field Butler Brooks, who was killed in battle 12th June, 1864, in
the second day s fight at Trevillian, Va. On the 27th October,
1846, Ulysses Robert Brooks w r as born to them. My mother of
blessed memory Almighty God be praised for creating such a
woman was well persuaded that the right or wrong state of
human nature depends as necessarily upon the education of
children as that of a plant upon proper culture, and that the whole

10 BUTLER AND His CAVALRY, 1861-1865.

of this art consists not only in strengthening the body by suitable
exercises, and opening and improving the faculties of the mind
by proper studies, but, above all, by forming in youth strong and
lasting habits, and inspiring them with the most noble sentiments
of all virtues. Well do I remember the beautiful Bible stories
she used to tell me. She taught me to fear nothing but to do
wrong. She was blessed with a fine intellect and possessed of
wonderful energy. She loved the poor and they loved her, no one
in want ever left our house with an empty basket. On the 29th
December, 1861, God s finger touched her, and she slept.

I attended school at the Edgefield Male Academy four years.
My father served in Kershaw s Brigade in the Peninsula cam
paign in 1862, and in the same year was appointed enrolling officer
for Edgefield District, and was elected Captain of Co. I, State
Troops. On the 21st May, 1899, he went to his reward, full of
years and honors.

In 1862 my brother, Whitfield Butler Brooks, and myself
wanted to have a good time and joined the Confederate Cavalry,
and incidents of the different battles that our Cavalry participated
in are as fresh to me as though they had been fought only last
week. There is to me a fascination about a battle that cannot be
explained or described. Among other things I learned in the
army was that a smooth sea never made a skillful mariner;
neither do uninterrupted prosperity and success qualify for use
fulness and happiness. The storms of adversity, like the storms
of the ocean, arouse the faculties and excite the invention, pru
dence, skill and fortitude of the voyager.

On the 26th April, 1865, when Joe Johnston surrendered his
army to Sherman, who had IT to 1, I thought the war was over.
Well, it was, collectively, bu;t individually it was still on, and is
yet. The battle of life honestly fought is a struggle that requires
courage and fortitude. While in the ranks you get lots of encour
agement, but when you climb up the hill above the level, oh, how
slippery and steep. Those in the ranks will cheer you for a while,
and then jealousy will crop out and you will soon discover that for
every Caesar there is a Brutus who will, in the absence of his dirk,
use his tongue which is keener and a shade more dangerous. Yet I
have had, and still have, some friends tried and true, and thank
God, I cling to the memory of those that are gone and to the
living ones with hooks of steel.

BUTLER AFD His CAVALRY, 1861-1865. 11

In the War of Secession Butler s Cavalry fought some of all
nationalities and captured a few of each. I say, without fear
of contradiction, that the most cruel of human beings when
aroused is the pure white man, and yet the bravest, most enduring,
most patient and superior to all races.

In December, 1864, some of the white men of Grant s Army
outraged some of our women and burnt the houses over their
heads in Virginia. The ground was frozen and covered with
sleet. Gen. M. C. Butler, as soon as apprised of it, at once ordered
his men to catch these people and throw them into the flames of
the houses. Some had their throats cut before being put into
the flames. The most imitative people on earth hail from Africa.
Some of them ape the men w r ho committed these outrages and
invite their own destruction.

On the 24th January, 1883, when I hung up my hat in the State
House, I said to myself, "This beats plowing," especially if you
have to plow on bread and water, as I did on one occasion in
the absence of meat. I plowed in the day and studied law at
night. Lawyers don t plow, you know.

I wrote my good friend General Butler not to worry about me,
that I liked my surroundings and would stay as long as I could
without embarrassing my friends. I am confident that they are
not embarrassed, and I am still at my post. "Duty," General Lee
said, "was the sublimest word in the English language." My
motto is, "Glory be to God on high and peace on earth to men of
good will." Let us pray that the others will be good, too. Let
us throw the veil of charity over all mankind, for charity is the
noblest of all virtues and undoubtedly the rarest practiced. And
yet it is a virtue especially loved by God, without which it is
impossible to win His favor, and after our duty to Him, He
commands us to practice it. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
above all things, and thy neighbor as thyself."

Here is a Confederate permit:

Confederate States of America,

Provost Marshal s Office,
First Military District S. C.,
Charleston, 3d December, 1862.

Permission is granted to W. B. Brooks and horses to visit Adams Run
upon honor not to communicate, in writing or verbally for publication, any

12 BUTLER AND His CAVALRY, 1361-1865.

fact ascertained, which, known to the enemy, might be injurious to the
Confederate States of America.
Good for two days.

WM. J. GAYER, Provost Marshal.

In 1863 the Conferedate Government had all the horses of our
regiment appraised. Here is the form :

Muster roll of horses and equipments of U. R. Brooks : Bay stallion, 12
years old, $1,000.00; equipments, etc. We certify on oath that the figures
opposite the name on this roll for the valuation of horse and horse equip
ments represent and shows the true cash value of the horse and equip
ments of U. R. Brooks at the place of muster, according to our honest,
impartial judgment.


2 W. D. Evins, First Lieutenant Co. E, 6 S. C. C. j

3 J. Taggart, First Lieutenant Co. G, 6 S. C. C. } Appn
Sworn to and subscribed before

J. J. GREGG, Captain Co. B, Sixth S. C. C.,

Mustering Officer.

I certify on honor that I have carefully examined the above mentioned
horse and equipments and have accepted them into the Confederate States
service for the term of war from this first day of September, 1863.

J. J. GREGG, Captain Co. B, Sixth S. C. C.,

Mustering Officer.


Confederate States of America War Department,

Richmond, July 17, 1864.

Permission is granted U. R. Brooks, Co. B, Sixth Cavalry Regiment
State of South Carolina, to pass to Edgefield, S. C., (subject to the discre
tion of the military authorities.

Major and Provost Marshal.

Description: Age, 17 years and eight months; eyes, gray; hair, light
brown ; height, 5 feet 7 inches ; complexion, fair.

J. H. C.

Although I had a short furlough signed by Butler, Hampton
and R. E. Lee, so strict were the orders that the above passport
had to be issued before I could leave Richmond. My wound was
soon healed and within a short time I was again with the Cavalry.


BUTLER AND His CAVALRY, 1861-1865. 13



Pursuant to notice, there was a meeting of the survivors of
Butler s Brigade in the State House at 11 o clock. Gen. M. C.
Butler called the meeting to order and nominated Col. T. J. Lip-
scomb, of Columbia, as chairman of the meeting. On motion of
Col. U. R. Brooks, Col. Wade H. Manning was requested to act as

On motion of Gen. M. C. Butler, a committee on organization,
consisting of three members, was appointed as follows: Wade
Hampton Manning, U. R. Brooks, J. N. Fowles.

Gen. M. C. Butler then nominated Comrade U. R. Brooks as the
historian of the Association. The nomination was seconded, and
Comrade U. R. Brooks was declared elected.

Comrade Wade H. Manning offered a resolution that the papers
throughout South Carolina request members of the First, Second,
Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Cavalry to send to Comrade U. R.
Brooks, historian, at Columbia, S. C., their names and postoffice
addresses at the earliest date possible. The resolution was

The survivors present at this meeting were as follows: Maj.
Gen. M. C. Butler, Col. T. J. Lipscomb, 2nd S. C. Cavalry; E. A.
Bethea, Co. I, 6th S. C. Cavalry; N. B. Eison, Co. K, 5th S. C.
Cavalry; J. Newton Fowles, Co. I, 2nd S. C. Cavalry; J. W.
Quarles, Co. I, 2nd S. C. Cavalry; J. G. Graham, Co. C, 2nd S. C.
Cavalry; T. H. Dick, Co. A, 2nd S. C. Cavalry; J. P. Rawls, Co.

C, 2nd S. C. Cavalry; Chas. M. Calhoun, Co. C, 6th S. C, Cavalry;
John T. Langston, Co. B, 1st S. C. Cavalry; S. T. McKeown, Co.
K, 1st S. C. Cavalry; W. W. Miller, Co." C, 1st S. C. Cavalry ;
U. R. Brooks, Co. B, 6th S. C. Cavalry; Wade Hampton Man
ning, Co. K, (Charleston Light Dragoons) 4th S. C. Cavalry;
H. W. Richardson, Co. K, 4th S. C. Cavalry; G. M. Cordes, Co.

D, 4th S. C. Cavalry; J. H. Blackwell, Co. A, 2nd S. C. Cavalry;
J. C. Blackwell, Co. A, 2nd S. C. Cavalry; E. Lide Law, Co. I,
6th S. C. Cavalry; T. G. Douglass, Co. C, 6th S. C, Cavalry.

14 BUTLER AND His CAVALRY, 1861-1865.

During the session of the old brigade Mrs. M. C. Robertson, a
daughter of Col. Hugh K. Aiken, was presented to the survivors
by Gen. M. C. Butler.

The members deeply regretted the absence o Mrs. Hugh K.
Aiken, who is now in the city, and by a unanimous vote Mrs.
Aiken was elected an honorary member of the Association.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned subject
to the call of the chair.


Wednesday, October 25th, 1905.


BUTLER AND His CAVALRY, 1861-1865. 17


"Eternal right though all things fail
Can never be made wrong."

Cheerful and merciful in victory, hopeful even in defeat, they
rode to death dauntlessly and won many a field. Equaled by
some, surpassed by none."

The cavalryman s life was one of constant danger, sleepless
vigil, unending fatigue, and ceaseless activity. He did not flood
the soil with offerings of his blood on the great battlefields of the
war, but day by day and night by night, in the skirmish, in the
picket charge, in the wild dash and on the long raid he hourly
laid down his all a sacrifice for the common cause, and when, at
the end of the war, he called the roll and the troops rode out for
review, the shattered ranks, the star which betokened death,
showed a mortality none the less dreadful than among the men
who walked in their marches and who on great occasions made
great sacrifices at war s demand.

Let us now describe briefly some events which are in the highest
degree typical of what the war demands of the cavalrymen.

Survivors of the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth
Cavalry, who rode by Butler s side, have you forgotten the 9th,
10th, llth and 12th of October, 1862, when you forded the
Potomac on the morning of the 10th at early dawn and proceeded
to Mercersburg and thence to Chambersburg, and how you housed
yourselves in the quiet and quaint old town, well up in the boun
daries of the Quaker State? Twenty hours and eighty-one miles,
No sleep ; no rest ; galloping, fighting, scouting and ready to assail
any enemy, with human endurance tested to the greatest possible

Have you forgotten the 9th of June, 1863, at Brandy Station,
where the gallant Col. Frank Hampton was killed and Butler lost
his leg ? Have you forgotten Gettysburg, on the 2nd day of July,
when General Hampton was so badly wounded by the sabres of
the enemy? Have you forgotten the 28th of May, 1864, at Hawe s
Shop, 30th May, 1864, at Cold Harbor, and the 3rd of June, 1864,
at Second Cold Harbor, where Grant lost thirteen thousand men

2 B. c.

18 BUTLER AND His CAVALRY, 1861-1865.

in one hour ? Have you forgotten the hard fighting at Trevillian
on the llth and 12th of June, 1864, where Butler s Division, con
sisting of 2,224 men, fought and routed Sheridan with ten thou
sand of the best equipped cavalry that ever drew sabre; and the
28th of June at Sappony Church, where Butler took one hundred
men and surprised and routed Wilson with three thousand fresh
troops ; and how you were in the saddle for twenty-one days and
nights, and how you fought at Lee s Mill? Have you forgotten
the 23rd of August, at Monck Neck Bridge, and Ream s Station
25th of August, where the sabre and bayonet shook hands on the
enemy s breastworks and Butler won his spurs as Major-General,
and on the 16th September at City Point you helped to capture
all of Grant s cattle; and the battle of the 1st day of October,
McDowells Farm, where General John Dunnovant was killed
leading the charge ; and the Battle of Burgesse s Mill, 27th Octo
ber, 1864; and Warren s raid to Stoney Creek, and from thence
to Columbia in January, 1865, and how we harassed Sherman s
Army; and the surprise on Kilpatrick s camp, 10th March, near
Fayetteville ; and the Battle of Averysboro and Bentonville, N. C.

"Fate denied us victory, but it crowned us w T ith a glorious

Shall we preserve the history that we made or not? The best
way to keep the record straight is by Companies and Regiments.
Will you, comrades, write what you remember of our glorious
cause and forward this information to me, as your historian, to be
handed down to future generations ? Tell us of the days when all
was lost. There were those even in such an hour who made decla
ration of their constancy and devotion to that cause to which they
had already sacrificed their fortunes, and now anew tendered
their lives. And the history of that moment glorifies the manly
courage and gives those who participated in it a place in the
brightest pages which perpetuate human heroism.

Butler s Cavalry was easily distinguished from other com
mands. They rode with military primness and were mounted on
steeds of delicately-shaped limbs, with glistening eyes and full of
fire and motion. At their head rode M. C. Butler, then in the full
bloom of manhood and looking every inch the soldier that he was
by nature.



BUTLER AND His CAVALRY, 1861-1865. 19


Every man who served in the Army of Northern Virginia
remembers "Old Traveler, General Lee s famous war horse, and
all the soldiers who fought under Stonewall Jackson never can
forget "Old Sorrel," which was the only horse the great flanker
rode during the War of Secession. He rode "Old Sorrel" to the
very death. Where is the cavalryman who followed Wade Hamp
ton that has forgotten his beautiful charger Butler"? It was
with this horse that General Hampton made the charges at
Gettysburg and Trevillian Station.

General Butler could not keep a horse long at a time, because
nearly every fight that he led his cavalry into his horse was shot.
I am confident that he had more horses shot under him than any
general in Lee s Army. He had some splendid mounts, but the
Yankees took great pleasure in shooting them.

Jack Shoolbred loved his beautiful horse "Don" almost as
much as Prioleau Henderson was devoted to his admirable little
gray "Arab" that he rode through the war in Butler s Cavalry.
General Hampton rode him in 1876 at Green Pond. * "Arab"
lived to be twenty-seven years old.

Job says: "Hast thou given the horse strength; hast thou
clothed his neck with thunder; canst thou make him afraid as a
grasshopper? The glory of his nostrils is terrible. He paweth
in the valley and rejoiceth in his strength. He smelleth the battle
afar off, the thunder and the captains and the shouting." Job
goes on to say, "the snorting of his horses was heard from Dan;
the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong
ones." Wherever the horse is introduced into Biblical history,
it is readily seen that he is second only to the pretty woman in
the estimation of man. It is only in these cold, selfish, grasping,
mercenary generations that the horse is sacrificed upon the altar
of cruelty and greed with as little regard for his comfort and
sensibilities as though he was a piece of inanimate machinery.
Drive him, starve him, lash him, spur him, kill him, he is nothing
but a horse. Some are guilty of this bad treatment to this, the

20 BUTLER AND His CAVALRY, 1861-1865.

noblest of animals, through ignorance, and some through unadul
terated "cussedness."

Online LibraryU. R. (Ulysses Robert) BrooksButler and his cavalry in the War of Secession, 1861-1865 → online text (page 1 of 52)