91st PA's headquarters wagon is captured

The 91st's headquarters wagon is captured

[Thomas Walter described how he was captured when he returned to Snicker's Gap in November 1862, attempting to recover the regimental wagon; Joseph T Jones mentions this also in a letter to William C Reiff. (Perhaps the capture of Joseph Everhart on 7 November at Snicker's Gap is relevant.) Two Confederate accounts of this capture were published in the Confederate Veteran, in articles describing Elijah V White's career. Here are the relevant parts of each, along with an apparently corresponding report from Official Records:]


[paragraphs omitted]

On the 28th of October, 1862, five additional companies united with his [sc. with White's], forming the 35th Battalion of Virginia Cavalry, when he was unanimously elected major commanding. Soon thereafter the battalion was mustered into the regular service, and in the fight between A. P. Hill and Burnside in Snicker's Gap he rendered such valuable and conspicuous service as to elicit from Gen. J. E. B. Stuart, commanding cavalry in the Army of Northern Virginia, a letter of commendation, in which he said he had heard with much pleasure of the successful operations of his battalion in the actions with the enemy at Snicker's Gap and hoped that it "may be a forerunner of still further deeds of daring, skill, and success by your command."

After this engagement, the enemy withdrew and moved south along the base of the mountain with Major White raiding his rear, and within a few days he captured about one thousand prisoners, two hundred wagons, and an immense amount of stores, arms, etc., among them the headquarters wagon of Col. W. P. Wainwright, of the 91st Pennsylvania [p.159] Volunteers, including his sword, the Colonel barely escaping. [William P Wainwright was commanding the seventy-sixth New York infantry on 14 September 1862; see Official Records series 1 volume 19 part 1 pages 237-238. He was discharged on 25 June 1863 (Official army register), under 76th NY Infantry.] Major White sent, among other trophies, the Colonel's sword to General Jackson, and received the following reply:

Major: The beautiful sword which you have so kindly presented me and also the other much-prized presents have been received from Lieutenant Marlow, of your distinguished command.

Please accept my thanks for them. I have watched with great interest your brilliant exploits. Your men may well feel proud of having such a leader. Press on in your successful career.

With high esteem I am, Major, very truly your friend,
T. J. JACKSON, Lieutenant General."

[rest omitted]

[Confederate Veteran 15 (1907) 158-160 at 158-159]



In the interim several companies were formed and encamped at Snicker's Gap for independent partisan service, and on the 28th of October Captain White was unanimously elected major, and the battalion was then and there formed. After the battle of Sharpsburg, our army returned to the Valley of Virginia and, the Federals following, crossed the river into Loudoun Country, on the east side of the Blue Ridge, in an effort to get between Lee's army and Richmond. Our little band located in the mountain gap to watch every move, and their supply trains and stragglers fell an easy prey to us. Great quantities of army stores were captured and turned over to our army. To our great surprise and grief, we were ordered into the regular service, much against the wishes of the men, who had volunteered for independent service and therefore dreaded the restrictions imposed upon regulars. However, our brave leader prevailed upon us to accept the situation as good soldiers, and, loving him as we did, no farther complaint was heard, and thenceforward we followed him without question.

In recognition of the capture of such vast stores from McClellan's army, the following official report was made by General Lee to General Stuart: "You will be pleased to learn that Major White with his battalion captured many prisoners, including a large number of wagons loaded with stores." General Jackson to Major White: "Major, the beautiful sword of Col. T. P. Wainwright, of the 91st Pennsylvania Infantry, which you have so kindly presented to me, and also the other much-prized presents, have been received from Lieutenant Marlow, of your distinguished command. Please accept my thanks for them. I have watched with great interest your brilliant exploits, and your men may well be proud of having such a leader. Press on in your successful career. With high esteem, I am, very truly, your friend, T. J. Jackson, Lieutenant General." Gen. William E. Jones, commanding the brigade, said: "The recent captures made by Major White's command, evidenced in this instance, is characteristic of this command."

On December 14, 1862, ...

[rest omitted]

[Confederate Veteran 29 (1921) 298-303 at 299]

November 3, [1862]--5.20 p.m.

CAPTAIN: One brigade and a squadron of cavalry advanced down to the ford this evening, apparently with the intention to essay a crossing. I had Archer's and Pender's brigades and Pegram's and Latham's batteries there, under command of General Archer. They handsomely repulsed the enemy, and when I left were taking off their dead and wounded, under a white flag. I have added Brockenbrough's brigade to the picket to-night, and sent a picket to Shepherd's Mill, some 4 miles above Castleman's Ferry. Major White gallantly held his position on the other side, and preceded the enemy so closely that caution had to be exercised to prevent exposing his men. I directed General Jones to leave at 2 o'clock. I have not thought it necessary to call upon him.


A. P. HILL, Major-General.

[To] Capt. A. S. PENDLETON, Assistant Adjutant-General

[Official Records series 1 volume 19 part 1 page 983]

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