I thought some of you might enjoy this excerpt that comes from the
SHSP. I'm totally unfamiliar with the Black Eagle Company. Perhaps
someone on the group knows something about them.
"A GOOD MAN.
Jesse Barker, the counterpart as a soldier, was of humble and obscure
parentage, possessing no earthly comforts unless it was the battered and
faded Confederate uniform which wrapped his body, serving as a winding
sheet for his burial, he having been buried where he fell.
Jesse Barker had seen more than a score of his comrades killed and
wounded carrying the flag of his regiment. He saw Boston killed at
Williamsburg, Va. He saw the entire color guard, consisting of a
sergeant and eight corporals killed and wounded at Gaines' Mill, Va. He
witnessed the same fatality among his comrades four days afterwards at
Frayser's Farm, Va., when the entire color guard was again shot down. He
saw the head of Garland Sydnor, of Lunenburg county, Va., one of the
noblest soldiers in the army, crushed to a pulp with a cannon shot,
bearing aloft this same emblem of liberty and love. With these facts
before him, knowing, as he did, that to be the standard hearer of the
regiment made his killing or wounding inevitable, <shv37_57>yet when a
volunteer ensign was called for, Jesse Barker offered his services.
The test came at Sharpsburg, Md. It became necessary to change the
position of the regiment, then in action. Major George C. Cabell, of
Danville, Va., commanding the regiment at that time, than whom no truer
patriot or braver soldier ever drew a sword in defense of a country,
gave the command, "Color and general guides post," which meant that the
color sergeant should advance fifteen paces to the front of the
A SAD AFFAIR.
In the din and confusion of battle Barker did not hear the command and
did not advance. Major Cabell, seeing his orders disregarded, and
supposing Barker was hesitating about it, reprimanded him, called him a
coward, and asked that same brave soldier take the flag and go forward
with it. Barker heard that and told Major Cabell he was no coward and
was ready then to make as much sacrifice for the cause as any soldier in
the army, and, if ordered to do so, he would advance with his flag as
far toward the enemy as any other soldier would do, and asked that the
order be repeated. Major Cabell again gave his order. Barker quickly
advanced the fifteen paces to the front and stood waving the flag he
loved so well in the face of the enemy till he fell a corpse.
While Jesse Barker was poor in purse, he was rich in patriotic devotion.
He was as true patriot, as fearless and intrepid a soldier as ever faced
an enemy, and as proud of being a volunteer soldier in the Confederate
ranks as if he had been commander in chief of the Army."