Monday, October 19, 2015

Haven't We Met Before?

I'm Not sure exactly when the history of the Civil War captured my imagination, but I think it was  when I was 7 or 8 years old. 

My family was visiting my cousin Charles Mateer and my Aunt Kathryn when they were spending the summer with Uncle Harry whose company was building a facility for the government's war effort  in Beaufort, S.C.  (Pronounced opposed to Beaufort, N.C. (Pronounced BOW-fort).

Walking around, barefoot (as most all kids did back then in the summer time) I stepped on a "mnnie ball." 

From then on, I was hooked.

Manse Jolly
I've never tired of reading about it and was especially thrilled to discover early on that I had ancesters who fought in the war...especially Manse Jolly, who was somewhat "famous," or "notorious," depending on which side you were on.

Then when I discovered that my wife also had an ancester, Sidney Davis, who had fought for the OTHER side...and had even written a imagination has been in overdrive ever since.

Being a Southerner, my sympathies have always been on the side of my ancestors.  But after "meeting" (via his book) Sidney Davis...WELL.....

Anyway, it's a damm good thing they didn't happen to meet up on some battlefield, and start shooting at each other...and........

Or did they?

Sidney Davis devotes an entire chapter of his book to the
Sidney Davis
Battle of Brandy Station the largest Cavalry battle of the War. Manse and Sidney were both Cavalry officers, but on opposite sides, and both fought in that battle!

Small world, huh?

But of course there were thousands of men and horses that participated  so the odds against their actually shooting at each other  were still pretty great.

There were also some new things I learned about Manse that I didn't know:

The Confederate Military Records stated that:

 The company comander, Capt. Baker, wrote that Manse was 6 feet 4 inches tall, and that he had a ruddy complexion, blue eyes and red hair. 

In the heat and confusion of the battle , Davis writes that he found himself knocked off his horse and mingled briefly with a few Coufederate Calverymen also separated from their horses scrambling to return to their units.

In the confusion, Davis writes that he passed  

 "....a tall,  savage looking confederate, his long red hair and flaming whiskers, heavy eyebows, and muscular frame made up a formidable object, of which I should have felt shy...if alone."


Well, he sure fits that description, especially the "formidable object," part.

Nawwww, couldn't be. There were lots of Confederate Calvery soldiers....6'4"...with red hair........