Tigers to the Rescue – The Valley Campaign
Winchester, Virginia. May 25th 1862. Consisting of planters’ sons, gamblers, merchants, mercenaries and not a few criminals, the 1st Special Battalion, Louisiana Infantry, was perhaps the most diverse assemblage of soldiers in the Civil War. Shown here with Captain Alex White of the famed “Tiger Rifles”, on of the companies in the battalion, the Tigers crushed a flank attack by a Federal cavalry squadron on a ridge southwest of the town of Winchester on this date.
Reconnaissance at McDowell – The Valley Campaign
Jedediah Hotchkiss, “Stonewall” Jackson’s cartographer, has led the general to the spur of Sitlington’s Hill to show him the deployment of the Union’s infantry. The men look down over the town of McDowell, which is crowded with Feds. Shortly, McDowell is to become a small victory for Jackson – a victory that was desperately needed by the South.
We Gained Nothing But Glory – Gettysburg
July 3rd, 1863 – about 2:30 pm– It is hot, nearly 90°, and the humidity is smothering. Despite this, General Richard B. Garnett, commanding the First Brigade in Pickett’s Division, is clad in a cadet blue-gray overcoat in order to fight off chills. He I s ill, having suffered a kick by an ornery horse a few days earlier, and his condition has only worsened by the time of the assault. Nevertheless, General Garnett has insisted on leading his brigade in the charge, still smarting from charges of cowardice leveled at him by Stonewall Jackson after Kernstown, March 23, 1862. He is determined to redeem his honor. Beside Garnett rides Colonel E. Porter Alexander who has been charged by General James Longstreet with determining whether “The artillery has the desired effect of driving the enemy off.” After advising General George Pickett to advance his division, Alexander has mounted up and joined Garnett, riding with him as far as the Emmitsburg Road before turning back to Seminary Ridge and the Confederate lines. Beyond Garnett and Alexander, Captain Simkin Jones, holding his sword aloft, shouts to the men of the Color Company of the 19th Virginia, instructing them to close ranks and press forward. With lethal Federal artillery fire already pouring into them, their grimmest work lies ahead. Garnett’s Brigade, along with Kemper’s to his right, has just passed the Spangler Farm, where the barn is a smoking ruin, having caught fire earlier in the morning. Behind Garnett’s line is the brigade of General Lewis Armistead, having just crested the ridge east of Spangler’s Woods, where the division had awaited its order to march. One of Pickett’s regimental officers summed up his appraisal of the doomed assault in these words: “We gained nothing but glory, and lost our bravest men.”
The Prince and the Professor – The Valley Campaign
he Shenandoah Valley, May 20th, 1862. After a long march, Taylor and his troops joined Jackson and started their band for a waltz. After a glance at the frolicking men and a contemplative suck on his lemon, Jackson came forth with, “Thoughtless fellows for serious work..” Despite his original concern, Jackson was soon pleased to discover that the Louisiana Brigade could do a lot more than just dance.