Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: re Moxley Sorrel and September 16th (Night)
This is what Priest actually says, Chapter One, Antietam: The
"The West Woods
"An ominous spirit visited the Confederate Camp also. Major
Moxley Sorrel and the rest of "Pete" Longstreet's staff had just
bedded down in a small wood west of the West Woods. The Jeff
Davis Legion securely picketed its mounts along the northern
perimeter of the trees while sentinels alertly tramped their
beats. That night seemed quiet -- deathly quiet. Shortly after
midnight, an indescribable presence whispered along the picket
rope. Horses whinnied and neighed! The rope snapped! The mounts
shied and stampeded to the rear, nearly trampling the dozing
officers into mush.
"Moxley Sorrel, a devout Christian, hastily picked himself up
from the dirt as the troopers frantically chased after their
animals. Some spirit had frightened the horses. He could sense
its presence. Weak from diarrhea and galled, the major lay down
once again, disturbed to his soul by his narrow escape. He
thanked God for his good fortune."
Footnote 90 for the above notes simply Moxley's memoir.
I did not complete the entire quote from Sorrel...so I conclude
the relevant portion here, from Sorrel:
(Previously I said in quote Sorrel wrote about "the wildest scene
ensued.") "The horses for no reason that could be found had
become stampeded, in the greatest panic and excitement. The broke
away from their picket ropes, and droves of different sizes, some
few, some many, were thundering along over the country and about
the army in wild confusion. Fortunately, they drew to our rear,
and the troopers were all night and part of the next day
recovering them. Duncan [I think he means his old friend 'Sandy'
Duncan of the Hussars???] has well described to me this
extraordinary stampede, the like of which did not occur during
the four years' war."
Well, based on that, it seems to me a different interpretation
entirely. First of all, Sorrel mentions being nearly stampeded
but not exactly where. Secondly, it makes me wonder how much
Priests has "enlarged" the story in his book?
Yr. Obt. Svt.
G E "Gerry" Mayers
To Be A Virginian, either by birth, marriage, adoption, or even
on one's mother's side, is an introduction to any state in the
Union, a passport to any foreign country, and a benediction from
the Almighty God. --Anonymous
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dean Essig" <d.essig@...>
Sent: Friday, April 03, 2009 11:37 AM
Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: re Moxley Sorrel and September
> Great detail, Larry. Thanks!
> Too bad they don't show up on the CC maps.
> Gerry, Does Priest give a source for his positioning in the
> West Woods?
> On Apr 3, 2009, at 10:21 AM, eighth_conn_inf wrote:
>> I think the reason it doesn't jibe is that the JDL wasn't with
>> Hampton at HF according to Carman. In some previous posts
>> there was a discussion of where the JD was and what it did. It
>> on semi-detached duty according to Carman:
>> "When Hampton's cavalry brigade marched from Burkittsville on
>> morning of September 14, part of
>> it went along the east base of South Mountain to Knoxville, on
>> Potomac, and picketed the roads leading to Berlin and
>> Frederick. Two regiments crossed Brownsville Gap into Pleasant
>> Valley. One of these, the Jeff Davis Legion, with Hart's
>> of six guns, was placed at Solomon's Gap in Elk Ridge. Colonel
>> Martin, commanding the regiment, threw out pickets
>> in the direction of the Potomac; some of these were
>> encountered and
>> brushed away by the Union cavalry about 10:00 p.m.,
>> as it neared the bridge spanning the Antietam near its mouth.
>> information was quickly carried to Martin, who was
>> surprised at news of an enemy in that direction, and, after a
>> conference with some of his officers, the conclusion was
>> that McClellan's left wing had interposed between Jackson's
>> besieging Harper's Ferry and the Confederates
>> at Turner's Gap, Boonsboro, and Hagerstown.
>> Martin did not know the result of the day's fighting at South
>> Mountain, and, as his scouts reported a large Union force
>> south and west, he decided to fall back toward Hagerstown and
>> quickly set out in that direction, throwing scouts on the
>> cross-roads to the left, which reported the Union column (the
>> cavalry from Harper's Ferry) moving parallel to him up the
>> Here is something from Carman about the JDL on the 16th:
>> "After a short pursuit past the burning wagons, Martin
>> withdrew to
>> Williamsport, crossed the Potomac, went down the Virginia
>> recrossed the river at Shepherdstown Ford
>> on the afternoon of the sixteenth, and rejoined his brigade at
>> Sharpsburg on the seventeenth."
>> --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, Dean Essig <d.essig@...>
>> > Hi Gerry!
>> > The Jeff Davis Legion (and the rest of Hampton's Cavalry
>> > Brigade) is
>> > following McLaws up from Harpers Ferry screening the march.
>> > This doesn't jive with Priest and makes Sorrel's story
>> > improbable.
>> > I'd welcome the correction if my info is wrong.
>> > Dean
>> > On Apr 3, 2009, at 9:07 AM, G E Mayers wrote:
>> > > 1. Where was the Jeff Davis Legion posted/encamped the
>> > > night of
>> > > September 16? (According to Priest, the Jeff Davis Legion
>> > > was in
>> > > the West Woods; he places Sorrel and the rest of
>> > > Longstreet's
>> > > staff in the West Woods also.)
>> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- And we can't forget the raincoat Stonewall had on the night he was shot; it is at the VMI museum and a picture is on their website. It has the two bullet holes in the left sleeve.
--- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, Dave <gewehr@...> wrote:
> For what it's worth, even though it was very early in the war, when CSA
> Gen Felix Zollicoffer was killed in the battle of Mill Springs in KY on
> Jan 19, 1862, he was wearing either a "white rubber" or "light drab
> overcoat buttoned to the chin." Due to the rain and hanging smoke, he
> managed to ride right through the Federal lines unmolested and was only
> shot when he spoke to a US officer on his way back out. One of the
> accounts said that a US Lt. Col was wearing a similar coat, so nobody
> thought anything about it.
> Dave McGowan
> Thomas Clemens wrote:
> > To parse terms with you for a moment, officers purchase all of their
> > own clothing and equipment and although guidelines are published, a
> > certain lattitude is in what they wear and use. Lee's talma and
> > overalls were likely rubberized and privately purchased. Jackson was
> > wearing a rubberized coat when he was shot.
> > Thomas G. Clemens D.A.
> > Professor of History
> > Hagerstown Community College
> > >>> "Teej Smith" <teej@... <mailto:teej%40nc.rr.com>> 04/04/09
> > 1:01 PM >>>
> > Larry wrote:
> > Teej,
> > I see only Sorrel mentioning this--do you have other sources
> > mentioning raingear?
> > Sorry, no I don't. In fact the only other place I've "over-alls"
> > mentioned was in connection with a Union soldier at Ball's Bluff.
> > Sorrel wrote, "It had rained and he (Lee) was wearing a rubber poncho
> > and over-alls, his body and legs being thus well protected." I suppose
> > they could be the canvas wear you described in your message but that
> > wouldn't be much protection from the rain. But perhaps from the mud?
> > Whatever they were, they must have been loose fitting because later
> > Sorrel wrote that while reaching for his bridle, Lee "tripped in his
> > over-alls and fell forward, not prone, but catching on his hands."
> > Sorrel then went on to describe the nature of Lee's injuries and to
> > note word of his being hurt reached the Northern newspapers which went
> > into great detail as to the nature of his injury. Their report was Lee
> > had been seriously wounded and even went so far as to describe how Lee
> > received his wound. Would like to see that newspaper report. Sorrel
> > confirmed Lee was able to ride a little by the time of Antietam.
> > However, I have seen a letter written by Lee in April 1863 in which he
> > said he was still having problems with one of his hands.
> > Regards,
> > Teej
> > .
> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]