Archive for August, 2009

John Mangus

August 30, 2009


John Mangus

John Mangus


John Mangus moved to Indiana after the war, probably in 1881.  He moved to Ladoga with his wife Sarah and 6 children.  His Great-great-great grandfather was Andreas Mangus, who was a Hessian soldier who came to America to fight the British in the Revolutionary War and stayed after the fighting was over.  John enlisted in the army in 1861 at the beginning of the Civil War and was assigned to Co. E of the 42nd Virginia Infantry.   Company E was called the Dixie Grays.  He served honorably until he was paroled after the surrender at the Appomattox Courthouse, being the only member of Company E to answer the roll call.  The 42nd VA saw action in many battles during the war.  Most notable of which were the 2nd Manassas, Harper’s Ferry, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and finally Gettysburg.  John Mangus was wounded at Antietam and Chancellorsville.  John Chapla, in his history of the 42nd, observed that, “Clearly in the postwar era the surviving members of the Dixie Greys, Co. E of the 42nd Va. Inf., came to believe that he held a special status among the survivors.”  John Mangus died in 1921 and is buried at the Ladoga Cemetery.

 John Mangus


Mark Raines and SHAPE

August 29, 2009

Point Clear 012

One of the goals of the SCV camps is to erect memorial stones honoring Confederate veterans, so we began to search the records and look for stones to see how many of them had Confederate military stones and how many had just civilian stones.  With the help of SHAPE for the South, who have people doing research on Confederate soldiers and their units and who have been doing a great work getting the beautiful white marble stones ordered, we began to tell some amazing stories in words and pictures.

A Southern Mother’s Charge

August 25, 2009

Mother of Sam Davis

by Anonymous

The Southern Mother’s charge to her Son on his departure
to Virginia to defend his country’s rights and honor.

You go, my son, to the battle-field
To repel the invading foe;
‘Mid its fiercest conflicts never yield

Till death shall lay you low.

Our God, who smiles upon the Right,
And frowns upon the Wrong,
Will nerve you for our holy fight,
And make your courage strong.

Our cause is just. For it we pray
At morning, noon and night;
Upon our banners we inscribe
God, Liberty and Right.

I love you as my life,
My dear beloved son;
Your country calls–go forth and fight
Till Freedom’s cause is won.

It may be that you fall in death,
Contending for your home,
Yet your aged mother will not be
Forsaken, though alone.

A thousand generous hearts there are
Throughout this sunny land,
Whose ample fortunes will be spent
With an unsparing hand.

Now go, my son; a mother’s prayers
Will ever follow thee;
And in the thickest of the fight
Strike home for liberty.

On every hill, in every glen,
We’ll fight till we are free–
We’ll fight till every limpid brook
Runs crimson to the sea.

No truce we know, till every foe
Shall leave our hallowed sod,
And we regain that Heaven born boon–
“Freedom to worship God.”

sam davis stone

High Tide at Gettysburg

August 25, 2009




by Will Henry Thompson





Painting by Mort Kuntzler

A cloud possessed the hollow field,
The gathering battle’s smoky shield:
   Athwart the gloom the lightning flashed,
   And through the cloud some horsemen dashed,
And from the heights the thunder pealed.

Then, at the brief command of Lee,
Moved out that matchless infantry,
   With Pickett leading grandly down,
   To rush against the roaring crown
Of those dread heights of destiny.

Far heard above the angry guns
A cry across the tumult runs,–
   The voice that rang from Shilo’s woods
   And Chickamauga’s solitudes,
The fierce South cheering on her sons!

Ah, how the withering tempest blew
Against the front of Pettigrew!
   A Khamsin wind that scorched and singed
    Like that infernal flame that fringed
The British squares at Waterloo!

A thousand fell where Kemper led;
A thousand died where Garnett bled:
   In blinding flame and strangling smoke
   Their remnant through the batteries broke
And crossed the works with Armistead.

“Once more in Glory’s van with me!”
Virginia cried to Tennessee;
   “We two together, come what may,
   Shall stand upon these works to-day!”
(The reddest day in history.)

Brave Tennessee! In reckless way
Virginia heard her comrade say:
   “Close round this rent and riddled rag!”
   What time she set her battle-flag
Amid the guns of Doubleday.

But who shall break the guards that wait
Before the awful face of Fate?
   The tattered standards of the South
   Were shriveled at the cannon’s mouth,
And all her hopes were desolate.

In vain the Tennessean set
His breast against the bayonet;
   In vain Virginia charged and raged,
   A tigress in her wrath uncaged,
Till all the hill was red and wet!

Above the bayonets, mixed and crossed,
Men saw a gray, gigantic ghost
   Receding through the battle-cloud,
   And heard across the tempset loud
The death-cry of a nation lost!

The brave went down! Without disgrace
They leaped to Ruin’s red embrace;
   They heard Fame’s thunders wake,
   And saw the dazzling sun-burst break
In smiles on Glory’s bloody face!

They fell, who lifted up a hand
And bade the sun in heaven to stand;
   They smote and fell, who set the bars
   Against the progress of the stars,
And stayed the march of Motherland!

They stood, who saw the future come
On through the fight’s delirium;
   They smote and stood, who held the hope
   Of nations on that slippery slope
Amid the cheers of Christendom.

God lives! He forged the iron will
That clutched and held that trembling hill!
   God lives and reigns! He built and lent
   The heights for freedom’s battlement
Where floats her flag in triumph still!

Fold up the banners! Smelt the guns!
Love rules. Her gentler purpose runs.
   A mighty mother turns in tears
   The pages of her battle years,
Lamenting all her fallen sons!

Will Henry Thompson

Will H ThompsonPainting by Don Troiani


The Ballad of Chickamauga

August 25, 2009

maurice thompsonThe Ballad of Chickamauga

Maurice Thompson, Scout 63rd GA Inf.

By Chickamauga’s crooked stream, the martial trumpets blew.   The North and South stood face to face, with War’s dread work to do.  O Lion-strong, unselfish, brave, twin athletes battle-wise, Brothers yet enemies, the fire of conflict in their eyes,

All banner-led and bugle-stirred, the set them to the fight, Hearing the god of slaughter laugh from mountain height to height.  The ruddy, fair-haired, giant North breathed loud and strove amain;The swarthy shoulders of the South did heave them to the strain;

An earthquake shuddered under foot, a cloud rolled overhead,  And serpent-tongued of flame cut through and lapped and twinkled red, Where back and forth a bullet-stream went singing like a breeze,What time the snarling cannon-balls to splinters tore the trees.

 “Make way, make way!” a voice boomed out, “I’m marching to the sea!” The answer was a rebel yell and Bragg’s artillery.  Where Negley struck, the cohorts gray like storm-tossed clouds were rent;  Where Buckner charged, a cyclone fell, the blue to tatters went;

The noble Brannan cheered his men, Pat Cleburne answered back, And Lytle stormed, and life was naught in Walthall’s bloody track.  Old Taylor’s Ridge rocked to its base, and Pigeon Mountain shook;  And Helm went down, and Lytle died, and broken was McCook.  Van Cleve moved like a hurricane, a tempest blew with Hood,

Awful the sweep of Breckinridge across the flaming wood.  Never before did battle-roar such chords of thunder make,  Never again shall tides of men over such barriers break.

 “Stand fast, stand fast!” cried Rosencrans; and Thomas said, “I will!” And crash on crash, his batteries dashed their broadsides down the hill.  Brave Longstreet’s splendid rush tore through whatever barred his track,  Till the Rock of Chickamauga hurled the roaring columns back,  And gave the tide of victory a red tinge of defeat,  Adding a noble dignity to that hard word, retreat.

 Two days they fought, and evermore those days shall stand apart, Key-notes of epic chivalry with the nation’s heart. 

Come, come, and set the carven rocks to mark the glorious spot;  Here let the deeds of heroes live, their hatreds be forgot.

 Build, build, but never monument shall last as long  As one old soldier’s ballad borne on breath of battle-song.

Northern Cannon at Oak Hill

August 24, 2009

Cannon at Oak HillThomas F. Birchfield was a member of the 18th Light Artillery Battery of Eli Lilly during the War between the States.  He enlisted on July 18, 1862 and mustered out June 30, 1865.  According to his family, he was given a cannon for his heroic actions.    He and a fellow soldier carried their General to safety after he had been wounded.  After the war, he lived in Crawfordsville and Terre Haute.  The old soldiers of Montgomery County used the cannon to celebrate the 4th of July every year.  When he was on his death-bed, his wife asked him what they should do with the cannon.  He said, “Put it on my grave and point ‘er south.”

Louis Napoleon Nelson

August 21, 2009

Nelson Winbush

Louis Napoleon Nelson rode with Nathan Bedford Forrest during the  War.  He was a member of Co M of the 7th Tennessee Cavalry.  He saw action in battles at Shiloh, Lookout Mountain, Brice’s Crossroads, and Vicksburg.  Forrest said that he had 45 black slaves who went with him to war.  He said “…these boys stayed with me…and better Confederates did not live.”  Louis Napoleon Nelson was buried in his full Confederate uniform with the Battle Flag draped over his casket.  His grandson Nelson Winbush is a proud member of the Jacob Summerlin Camp #1516 of the SCV.  Winbush still treasures the flag that adorned his grandfather’s coffin.  The picture shows Nelson at the Memphis train station in 1932 before leaving for a Confederate reunion—one of 39 that he attended.   The young man shaking his hand is his grandson, Nelson Winbush.

Nathan Bedford Forrest


The Thompson Family

August 21, 2009



Matthew Grigg Thompsonmaurice thompson 1will and maurice thompsonMatthew and Maurice Thompson                         THE THOMPSON FAMILY


One of the most famous of the Confederate soldiers who settled in Montgomery County was Maurice Thompson, the distinguished author, who along with Lew Wallace, the Union General who wrote the best seller Ben Hur, a Tale of the Christ, was thought to be one of the most gifted authors of his day.  Maurice Thompson was actually born in Fairfield, Indiana, the son of a Baptist minister named Matthew Grigg Thompson.  The pastor’s callings led him to Missouri, where another son, Will H. Thompson was born and finally to Georgia about the time the  War started.  All three Thompsons joined the Confederate Army in Georgia.   Matthew became chaplain of the 46th Georgia Inf., Maurice was a scout for the 63rd GA Inf., and Will was a scout for the 4th Georgia Inf.  The Thompson family holdings were devastated by the War and all three ended up in Indiana.  Maurice and Will studied for the bar and had successful law practices in addition to their literary activities.  Maurice wrote a best seller about the Revolutionary War entitled Alice of Old Vincennes and a book on archery which is still considered the definitive book on the subject.  It was entitled, The Witchery of Archery.  Will wrote two  poems about the War Between the States that were anthologized in many high school literature books.  One was entitled “High Tide at Gettysburg,” and the other “The Bonds of Blood.”  Maurice died at Crawfordsville in 1901 and is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery beneath a large memorial obelisk.  Will moved to Seattle, Washington where he practiced law for the rest of his life.  He is buried at Lakeview Cemetery in Seattle.  Matthew Grigg Thompson returned to Missouri and settled at Ashland where he was killed in a fall from a horse.  He is also buried at Oak Hill Cemetery at the Thompson Memorial.

Maurice Thompson

August 21, 2009

by Maurice Thompson
I was a rebel, if you please,
  a reckless fighter to the last,
Nor do I fall upon my knees
  and ask forgiveness for the past.

A traitor? I a traitor? No!
  I was a patriot to the core;
The South was mine, I loved her so,
  I gave her all,–I could no more.

You scowl at me. And was it wrong
  To wear the gray my father wore?
Could I slink back, though young and strong,
  From foes before my mother’s door?

My mother’s kiss was hot with fight,
  My father’s frenzy filled his son,
Through reeking day and sodden night
  My sister’s courage urged me on.

And I, a missile steeped in hate,
  Hurled forward like a cannonball
By the resistless hand of fate,
  Rushed wildly, madly through it all.

I stemmed the level flames of hell,
  O’er bayonet bars of death I broke,
I was so near when Cleburne fell,
  I heard the muffled bullet stroke!

But all in vain. In dull despair
  I saw the storm of conflict die;
Low lay the Southern banner fair
  And yonder flag was waving high.

God, what a triumph had the foe!
  Laurels, arches, trumpet-blare;
All around the earth their songs did go,
  Thundering through heaven their shouts did tear.

My mother, gray and bent with years,
  Hoarding love’s withered aftermath,
Her sweet eyes burnt too dry for tears,
  Sat in the dust of Sherman’s path.

My father, broken, helpless, poor,
  A gloomy, nerveless giant stood,
Too strong to cower and endure,
  Too weak to fight for masterhood.

My boyhood home, a blackened heap
  Where lizards crawled and briers grew,
Had felt the fire of vengeance creep,
  The crashing round-shot hurtle through.

I had no country, all was lost,
  I closed my eyes and longed to die,
While past me stalked the awful ghost
  Of mangled, murdered Liberty.

The scars upon my body burned,
  I felt a heel upon my throat,
A heel that ground and grinding turned
  With each triumphal trumpet note.

“Grind on!” I cried “nor doubt that I,
  (If all your necks were one and low
As mine is now) delightedly
  Would cut it by a single blow!”

That was dark night; but day is here,
  The crowning victory is won;
Hark, how the sixty millions cheer,
  With Freedom’s flag across the sun!

I a traitor! Who are you
  That dare to breathe that word to me?
You never wore the Union blue,
  No wounds attest your loyalty!  

I do detest the sutler’s clerk,
  Who dodged and skulked till peace had come.
Then found it most congenial work
  To beat the politician’s drum.

I clasp the hand that made my scars,
  I cheer the flag my foemen bore,
I shout for joy to see the stars
  All on our common shield once more.

I do not cringe before you now,
  Or lay my face upon the ground;
I am a man, of men a peer,
  And not a cowering, cudgeled hound!

I stand and say that you were right,
  I greet you with uncovered head,
Remembering many a thundering fight
  While whistling death between us sped.

Remembering the boys in gray,
  With thoughts too deep and fine for words,
I lift this cup of love to-day
  To drink what only love affords.

Soldier in blue, a health to you!
  Long life and vigor oft renewed,
While on your hearts, like honey-dew,
  Falls our great country’s gratitude.



Braxton Delaney Cash

August 21, 2009



Braxton Cash was another prominent farmer who came to Montgomery County after the war and settled southwest of Crawfordsville.  His obituary indicated that he was, “…a Confederate soldier who served in Stonewall Jackson’s Black Horse Cavalry.”  He was buried with Masonic honors and was surrounded by fellow Masons who fought on the Union side.  The speaker observed that, “The boys in blue filed around the grave of the boy in gray, depositing a sprig of evergreen upon his remains.  Beneath these tributes of respect, the ex-confederate sweetly sleeps in peace.  His last march is ended, his last battle fought and he silently bivouacs in the tentless field of the dead where he calmly awaits the bugle call when the blue and the gray will be marshaled under the one flag, the flag of peace.”  Braxton Cash died in 1899 and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery on Grant Street.