Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery — George Michael Neese.

Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery — George Michael Neese.

November 5, 2013

Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery — George Michael Neese.

November 5 — We had a grand review to-day. General Stuart’s cavalry corps and horse artillery passed in general review before General R. E. Lee and John Letcher, Governor of Virginia. We arrived on the field early in the day. A great many of the cavalry were then already arriving on the review ground from two or three different directions, and the whole field was soon covered with bodies of horsemen in their cleanest attire and best appearance, all carefully prepared and trying to look pretty for review. Some of us men tried to blacken our shoes by rubbing them over a camp kettle.

On the east side of the field on a small wave-like hill was a flagstaff with a large, new, beautiful Confederate flag proudly floating in the crisp November breeze. At twelve o’clock the troops were all formed and ready for the grand reviewing exhibition. General R. E. Lee and staff, General Stuart and staff, and Governor Letcher rode in a gentle gallop along the whole length of the line, then quickly repaired to the review station and assembled in the rippling shadow of the large Confederate flag that moved above their heads.

When the resplendent and brilliant little cavalcade, with the grand old chieftain, R. E. Lee, in the center, had settled down for business, the column of horsemen began to move like some huge war machine. The horse artillery moved in front, then came the cavalry in solid ranks and moving in splendid order,— horsemen that have followed the feather of Stuart in a hundred fights. General Wade Hampton’s mounted band was on the field and enlivened the magnificent display with inspiring strains of martial music. The review was held on John Minor Botts’ farm. After the review we came back to camp, when the first section of our battery was detached from the battalion and ordered to report to our old brigade, now commanded by General Rosser.

We immediately prepared to march after we received the order, and at dusk we left the battalion camp and started for Rosser’s brigade. At ten o’clock to-night we arrived at Rosser’s camp near Major’s house on the Rickseyville road, about eight miles north of Culpeper Court House. We had very dark and difficult marching to-night on a cut across the country road; at one place one of our horses fell in a ditch, which detained us some little time to extricate it from its doubled-up, hors de ditch situation.

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