|"General Lee to the Rear."*
by R. D. FUNKHOUSER.
Maurertown, Shenandoah Co., Va., 1906.
From the Times-Dispatch, October 21, 1906.
Recollections of a Soldier in
Sir,-I read in the Confederate Column
of the Times-Dispatch some time ago Corporal Tom's article, in which he
gave some intensely interesting accounts of his close calls and other experiences
in the War of the Sixties. This has encouraged me to offer a few
of my own experiences, and other incidents
I was a native of Warren County,
and in the early days of 1861, when I was just a plain farmer, twenty-four
years of age, I assisted in organizing an infantry company of eighty-four
men. The organization was completed on the
We remained at Front Royal, drilling
and having our uniforms made, until July, 1861, when on the 16th day of
BATTLE OF MANASSAS.
On the morning of the 21st of July,
1861, we were bivouacked near the Lewis House, and within four hundred
yards of the Henry House, which was destined to become
We had just received our guns since
our arrival at Manassas, and were without cartridge boxes or bayonet scabbards,
We were formed, when the crisis
of the battle had come, on the left of the 39th Virginia Regiment, which
was the left wing of the Stonewall Brigade. We lost four men killed
and eighteen wounded out of our company that day. This was my first battle,
and I wish I could describe my feelings on that
And here I wish to mention that
it was a singular coincidence that our company and regiment were thrown
into the balance when the crisis had come at the first battle of Manassas,
as already described, and also on the ever-memorable
The night after the battle at Williamsburg,
the 6th of May, 1862, our regiment was standing in line of battle in front
of the winter quarters of some of General Magruder's troops, and it was
pouring down rain. We were wet as water could make us, even with good overcoats
on, and it was very dark,
My first close call was at Seven Pines, the 31st of May, 1862, when we were going into the fight and wending our way through that impenetrable swamp and abatis, sluiced with water after a big rain. I was following in the wake of Corporal G. W. Fox, a file closer, it being my position in line of battle as lieutenant. When Fox was steeping around a tree he hesitated to push some briers to one side, and after I stepped with my right foot forward, I withdrew it and pushed by the other side of the three, instead of waiting for him to get out of my way. Just then a cannon-ball came along and took one of Fox's legs off. We went in that fight with forty-six men, and only twenty-two came out unharmed. Captain B. S. Jacobs was wounded and Lieutenant L. V. Boyd was killed.
We were in General George B. Anderson's Brigade, with the 4th North Carolina and two Georgia Regiments there, and in the entanglement of brush and felled trees we became mixed up, but still trying to go forward. I noticed Colonel, afterwards General, Bryan Grymes, of the 4th North Carolina, riding near me, carrying the flag of his regiment, the bearer having been shot down. When I called to him to let me carry the flag, saying, too, that he would be killed, he replied, calmly: "Lieutenant, your like is worth as much as mine." I did not think of the awkward looks of a Virginian carrying a North Carolina flag for them, and I do not known whether the General did or not.
The morning after the battle of Frazier's Farm, June 30, 1862, I was detailed to take command of forty-five skirmishers to charge the bluecoats out of a barn, and when we started at double quick it looked like going into the jaws of death. We were greatly relieved when the enemy hoisted the while flag and surrendered, sixty-two of them, for the whole Yankee Army had left the night previous for Malvern Hill.
R. D. FUNKHOUSER.
Maurertown, Shenandoah Co., Va.,
*Taken from the Southern Historical
Society Papers, Richmond, Va
Portrait of General Lee from
Columbia Record Lp entitled