This is just a little something outside the norm, every now and then I’m going to show you guys a random photograph from Flickr.com that is tagged with “Cleveland Browns”. I think it’s a awesome way to showcase other people’s creativity, whether that is photography, painting, drawing, or some other kind of flickr-applicable art.
If you like what you see, be sure to check out the owner’s flickr site to see what else they may have to offer.
Image by Jim Surkamp
Civil War Scholars: The Powerful Experience of the War-Torn, Northern Shenandoah Valley
Newton D. Baker “Sees The Elephant” – July, 1861 (Pt. 2 of 4) by Jim Surkamp
By Jim Surkamp on February 2, 2016 in Jefferson County
NEWTON D. BAKER “SEES THE ELEPHANT” – JULY 21, 1862 (Pt. 2 of 4) by Jim Surkamp
Each generation rebels against the former. The Bakers of Maryland, Shepherdstown and finally Martinsburg – muddled thru traditional inter-generational discords like a schooner pitching through high seas. Elias Baker one-upped a father who deserted his children by being a good father. His son, antsy nineteen-year-old Newton D. Baker rebelled against his doting father, a soon-to-be appointed federal postmaster in Shepherdstown, by riding off and enlisting in Company F of the First Virginia Cavalry – Confederate – following the recent example of a figurative avalanche of nine of his blood cousins into that same company. Still more cousins would enlist.
Life in a wartime saddle matured him for four years: battles, imprisonment, routine heroics, his wounding, having a fine bay mare shot from under him, (and later, a suspiciously extravagant compensation package for this lost horse offered by a cousin with clout), and, finally, coming home. Bearing witness to so many in need of medical care begat Newton’s post-war calling as a doctor. He finished training, was mentored by Shepherdstown neighbor and physician, John Quigley, who transferred his practice to the young up-and-comer.
But burgeoning ambition called away the next son of a Baker – Newton D. Baker Jr. Reading voraciously and eschewing the stethoscope and his father’s beckoning practice, off Junior went to Cleveland – joking that he was being a carpetbagger invading the Northern states – ascending a skyward ladder to heights of acclaim unprecedented for the Bakers. He was the progressive mayor of Cleveland; then, after more promotions, President Woodrow Wilson approached his fellow Virginian and appointed Newton D. Baker, Jr. to be our Secretary of War, managing the best he could the American role in the calamitous First World War. Today we have the Newton D. Baker Veterans’ Hospital in Martinsburg to his fond memory.
Newton “Sees The Elephant” – July 21st, Manassas/Bull Run:
Cousins of Co_F_FINAL
William Morgan, Newton Baker and his eleven cousins in the First Virginia Cavalry’s Companies F & B would soon “see the elephant” on July 21st, 1861 at Manassas/Bull Run, Virginia – but not before Col. J.E.B. Stuart, their new commander, gives them a lecture on the cavalry craft.
Newton Baker left home and his dismayed parents Friday, June 15th to Charlestown where he joined Captain Morgan’s company and his cousins at their campsite on the Bullskin Run south of town. From there, they rode to either Winchester where the First Virginia Cavalry formally consolidated, or to Bunker Hill, an early encampment for that regiment.
David Hunter Strother observed the encampment where Baker’s Company F was a part, after it marched through Charlestown:
By sunset the army was gone and the town quiet. They encamped for the night on Bull Skin run, about four miles on the road toward Winchester. During the day I had a full opportunity of criticizing the appearance and material of the army. The infantry despite its rags and dust, had a dangerous look. . . The regiments from the Gulf States were apparently of picked men. The tenth Georgia (I think it was) numbering eleven hundred, was the finest looking regiment I ever saw. Looking along the line, you were struck with the uniformity of size and height, all healthy, athletic men, between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-five. . . . – Strother.
The cavalry, under Col. J.E.B. Stuart, was admirably mounted, and better equipped according to its needs than any other . . . It was composed almost entirely of volunteers from the rural gentry and independent landholders of the country, who furnished their own horses, arms, and accouterments. They generally appeared on picked animals, and armed with a greater variety of ordinance stores . . .
not omitting the Havelock oblige. These young fellows were bold and dashing riders, good shots, full of spirit and emulation, and promised with experience and iron discipline to constitute a formidable body of cavalry. The habits and opinions of the times, however, had developed in them that exaggerated individuality which would render the strict enforcement of discipline almost impossible, and they had begun to exhibit decided Cossack tendency. – Strother, July, 1866, p. 142. (According to service records, about sixty-eight men from Jefferson County served in the 1st Virginia Cavalry, enlisting at different times.-ED)
Their first task was to go north and confront, with an infantry of about 4,000 men under Confederate Col. Thomas J. Jackson about 8,000 men under Federal commander Robert Patterson crossing into Virginia at Williamsport. (These were portions of larger forces: Patterson had 18,000; Johnston, Jackson’s commander, had 12,000).
LATE JUNE-VERY EARLY JULY, 1861 – 1st Va. Cavalry Camp – Bunker Hill, Va.:
The camp was in a little valley – between the rows of company tents picket ropes were stretched, to which were haltered the horses, while over a detached group of tents some forty or fifty horsemen were drawn up for inspection, and the young officer in a U.S. undress uniform was Lt. Col. Stuart. He was giving the men their final instructions for the night, for this was the guard going out for the relief on picket posts. . . . He was a little above medium height, broad shouldered and powerfully built, ruddy complexion and blue-gray eyes which could flash fire on the battlefield . . . – Blackford, p. 16.
Newton Baker and his cousins no doubt listened intently to Stuart’s horseback tutorial to his greenhorns:
“Attention!” he cried. “Now I want to talk to you, men. You are fellows, and patriotic ones too, but you are ignorant of this kind of work, and I am teaching you.
I want you to observe that a good man on a good horse can never be caught. Another thing: cavalry can trot away from anything, and a gallop is a gait unbecoming a soldier, unless he is going toward the enemy. Remember that. We gallop at the enemy, and trot away, always. Steady now! don’t break ranks!” (NOTE: Near Falling Waters at that time, according to David Hunter Strother, Stuart had to employ a gallop, not a trot, to escape capture, momentarily dropping his usual vigilance when he happened upon a classmate and chum from West Point, and – a Federal commander. – Strother July, 1866, p. 153. (See “References.”)
The tutorial continued:
And as the words left his lips, a shell from a battery half a mile to the rear hissed over our heads. “There,” he resumed, “I’ve been waiting for that, and watching those fellows. I knew they’d shoot too high, and I wanted you to learn how a shell sounds.”
Wrote another greenhorn:
We spent the next day or two literally within the Federal lines. We were shelled, skirmished with, charged, and surrounded scores of times, until we learned to hold in regard our colonel’s masterly skill in getting into and out of perilous positions. He seemed to blunder into them in sheer recklessness, but in getting out he showed us the quality of his genius; and before we reached Manassas, we had learned, among other things, to entertain a feeling closely akin to worship for our brilliant and daring leader. We had begun to understand, too, how much force he meant to give his favorite dictum that the cavalry is the eye of the army. – Eggleston, pp. 116-117.
Tuesday – July 2nd, 1861 – Hoke’s Run (Falling Waters, Va.):
In what has been called the Battle of Hoke’s Run or Falling Waters, Jackson and Stuart’s men stopped Patterson’s southward progression into Virginia toward Martinsburg, thus crippling the Federal plan to have Patterson keep Jackson and Stuart’s men under Confederate Gen. Joe Johnston from ever travelling east and combining at Manassas with a Confederate army of 20,000 that was nervously watching the approach of a 35,000-man Federal Army.
Patterson’s total force of 18,000 men would stay put in Charlestown – about fifteen miles to the east – with the mistaken notion that he was successfully confining Stuart, Jackson and Johnston to his area. Inaction was popular because his men had three-month tours of duty scheduled to expire in just six days on the 24th.
Joe Johnston and his army at Winchester needed to leave the Valley immediately, and scurry to Manassas Junction to reinforce the Confederates there and to stop this Union advance. And so Jackson’s men hurriedly began to march east from Winchester – to the Shenandoah River, crossing at Berry’s Ferry in Clarke County. . . – Dennis Frye, Chief Historian, Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. More. . .
NOON, THURSDAY, JULY 18TH, 1861 – BUNKER HILL, VA. ENCAMPMENT OF JACKSON AND STUART:
Jackson wrote his wife:
On the 18th of July I struck my tents, rolled them up, and left them on the ground, and about noon marched through Winchester, as I had been encamped on the other side of the town (at Bunker Hill). – Jackson to Mrs. Jackson, Memoir, p. 175.
His men had to hard-march over the Blue Ridge to Piedmont, Va. where they would catch a ride on the Manassas Gap Railroad the rest of the way, making several trips.
Next, Gen. Johnston informed Stuart that his 334 cavalry troopers – including Morgan, Baker, his cousins and about sixty other men in the regiment from Jefferson County – had to linger to screen this departure farther away from Federal Gen. Patterson at Charlestown. They also had to ride and walk the whole way – and train-less. – Driver, pp. 11-12.; Official Record, Series 1, Vol. 2, Chapter IX, p. 187.
Almost at that same time, the overall Federal commander, General Winfield Scott, telegraphs Gen. Patterson at Charlestown:
WS: McDowell’s first day’s work has driven the enemy behind Fairfax Court House. Do not let the enemy (Johnston) amuse and delay you with a small force in front while he reinforces the Junction with his main body.
With Johnston’s main force already a good hour into their departure on July 18th, Patterson sent the second of two reassuring, but wrong replies to his superiors. The first reply was:
“The enemy has stolen no march upon me. I have caused him to be reinforced.”
The second reply at 1 PM on the 18th stated: I have succeeded, in accordance with the wishes of the General-in-Chief, in keeping General Johnston’s force at Winchester. – Battles and Leaders Vol. 1, footnote, pp. 182-183.
FRIDAY EARLY MORNING, JULY 19 – NEWTON’s HARD RIDE: EXHAUSTING AND HUNGRY:
Baker, his many cousins, Captain Morgan, Stuart and the others began their own stealthy withdrawl from the northern Valley, still screening the movements of the Confederate force – first to Winchester then east to Berry’s Ferry, stopping for water at Millwood then a hard climb up to the top of the Blue Ridge, through Ashby’s Gap to the eastern side and onwards – those thirty-five hours – spread over Friday, overnight and Saturday – in the saddle with little food or rest for neither man nor horse. The bond between a horse and its rider is a mystical thing.
Another new recruit on that march wrote after the war, speaking for all: “to a cavalry officer in active service, his horse is his second self, his companion and friend, upon whom his very life may depend.” Confederate officers generally provided their own horse while the Federal Army’s cavalrymen were provided with horses. – Blackford, pp. 21-22. More. . .
William Blackford on the trek with Baker shared every dust-choked step of his famished progress with his horse – a dark mahogany bay, almost brown, with black mane, tail and legs and a small white star on his forehead – great eyes standing out like those of a deer, small delicate muzzle – delicate ears in which you could see the veins, and which were in constant motion with every thought which passed through his mind – small and beautiful feet – and legs as hard as bone itself. . . . When I would be eating on the march his eyes would watch me, and if I did not soon lean forward and hand him a taste, he would stop deliberately and reach his mouth up for his share; nothing seemed to come amiss; bread, crackers, meat, sugar, and fruit all seemed to be relished. I could tie the halter strap to my leg and lie down to sleep while he would graze around, step over me or lie down by me without ever treading on me. Sometimes when he would lie down he would lay his head in an affectionate if uncomfortable manner upon me, and though it was disagreeable I could never have the heart to push it off. – Ibid.
FRIDAY, JULY 19TH-SATURDAY, 20TH – BERRY’S FERRY, VA. & OVER THE BLUE RIDGE EN ROUTE TO MANASSAS:
The road was full of infantry and artillery and we had to pass through the fields. All night long they marched forward, and we were compelled to encounter the fatigue of constantly crossing ditches and fences and the uneven ground on the side. Hundreds of men from the infantry, who had slipped out of the road to sleep, were scattered about everywhere and we had constantly to be on the lookout to keep from riding over them in the dark. – Ibid., p. 19.
Remembered one cavalryman on the trek:
I was famishing when we halted for rest, but just then a man passed by with a huge bullfrog he had just caught in a creek we had crossed and he told me I might have it if I liked as he would not eat one for all the world. It was but the work of a few moments to kindle a fire, dress the frog and broil him, not the hind legs, but the whole body; it was delicious and quite enough to serve as a pretty good meal. . . I had been in saddle all the day before and all the night, and without food during that time, except the bullfrog – Ibid, p. 20.
More. . .
As all this was going on, the telegraphed exchange between Federal Gen. Patterson and his understandably peeved superior, General Scott was:
Patterson: Shall I attack?
General Scott: I have certainly been expecting you to beat the enemy, or that you at least had occupied him by threats and demonstrations. You have been at least his equal and I suppose superior in numbers. – Battles and Leaders Vol. 1, footnote, pp. 182-183.
Newton Baker’s company commander, William Morgan, writes his wife, Anna Jacquelin:
My Dearest Wife:
We left the neighborhood of Winchester very suddenly and marched day and night for the (Manassas) Junction – which we reached on Saturday. We camped that night on what was the battlefield the next day. . .
SUNDAY, JULY 21st, 1861 – BLACKBURN’S & MITCHELL’S FORD VICINITY:
The first major battle of the Civil War began early, while Col. Jackson’s units and Stuart’s cavalry waited for orders calling them into battle.
Men in the nearby Clarke County Cavalry (soon to be merged into the Virginia 6th Cavalry) scorned and derided an order to wear identifying strips of cloth to set their motley collection of uniforms apart from those of the enemy in battle. Wrote one: . . . the regiments having formed into line, great bolts of white cotton were brought out, which the officers tore into strips, and we tied a piece around our hats and another to our left arms. Opie, p. 26.
More. . .
This measure would turn out to be prescient as mistaking the foe-for-friend was a decisive fact several times in the day’s battle, even for Stuart, when he mistook Federals for his men; also when a Federal battery commander in the vicinity of Stuart’s charging cavalry fatefully took the fast approaching 33rd Virginia Infantry under Col. William Lee of Shepherdstown, for arriving support Federals. His moment’s hesitation in reacting to the charge cost many lives and the battery was captured.
THE FACE OFF, THE FLANKING AND THE FEDERAL FIASCO:
Morgan wrote Anna Jacquelin:
Sunday bright and early, by dawn the conflict began with the booming of artillery and the sharp reports of musketry, mingled with the hoarse commands given by the officers, the screams of the dying horses and the groans of the wounded which was kept up without intermission . . . – Morgan – More. . .
Recalled one of Stuart’s men:
About daylight I was awakened by Col. Stuart’s springing up and exclaiming, “Hello! What is that?” It was rapid musketry firing away off several miles on our left . . .The horses were fed and we took breakfast, and wishing to know something of the country, our Colonel then took us on a scout across the Bull Run. . . . It not being a part of Stuart’s plan to make an attack, he re-crossed the Bull Run and here we remained until about two o’clock.
A skirt of woods hid the battlefield from our view, but occasionally a shell would burst high in the air, and sometimes the wind wafted the clouds upward above the trees, the roar of conflict becoming louder and louder. Stuart was uneasy for fear that he would not be called into action. – Blackford, p. 26.
Their task was to prevent the Federals from turning Col. Thomas J. Jackson’s threatened left flank.
The state of the battle at two o’clock was this:
The slaughter had ebbed and flowed over rolling terrain. The arrival of Johnstons’s men (Jackson and Stuart) to help the Confederate line and the wearing effects on new Federal troops of much marching prior to battle were gradually combining to begin turning the battle to the Confederates. Two key events involving the unauthorized charge by the 33rd Virginia Infantry and ordered charges by Stuart cavalrymen, including Company F, to protect Col. Jackson’s threatened left flank – had the initial effect of breaking the line of the Federals and, as time passed, gave added pressure to what transformed a fixable break-down of the Federal offensive, into an unforeseen outcome for the day.
2 PM – STUART’S ROLE UNFOLDS:
The day’s fighting had many deadlocked moments and then turning points. The sequence beginning at 2 PM in which the 33rd Virginia charged and briefly took Ricketts’ powerful battery, timed with Stuart’s 1st Cavalry sabotaging the support regiment coming to aid Rickett’s – conspired to begin a spreading confusion, then panicked flight of larger and larger numbers of green Federal troops – a change in morale that escalated and gave the Confederates the field strewn with valuable arms and goods.
. . . About two o’clock Stuart was striding backwards and forwards in great impatience. Presently we saw a staff officer dash out of the woods and come spurring towards us. The men all sprang to their feet and began tightening their saddle girths, for we had a presentiment he was coming for us. The supreme moment had come at last. Col. Stuart stepped forward to meet the officer. The officer reined up his horse and with a military salute, said: “Col. Stuart, General Beauregard directs that you bring your command into action at once and that you attack that you attack where the firing is hottest.”
The bugle sounded “boots and saddles” and in a moment more we were moving off at a trot in a column of fours. . . Upon reaching the edge of the wood a view of the battle burst upon us, and Stuart halted to take a look. Smoke in dense white clouds lit up by lurid flashes from the cannon wrapped the position of the artillery .
. . . about seventy yards distant, and in the head of the column as the grand panorama opened before us, and there right in front, and in strong relief against the smoke beyond, stretched a brilliant line of scarlet – a regiment of New York Zouaves in columns of fours, marching out of the Sudley road to attack the flank of our line of battle.
Dressed in scarlet caps and trousers, blue jackets with a fringe with quantities of gilt buttons, and white gaiters, with a fringe of bayonets swaying above them as they moved, their appearance was indeed magnificent. . . there were about five hundred men in sight – they were all looking toward the battlefield and did not see us.
. . . Just then, however, all doubt was removed by the appearance of their colors, emerging from the road – the Stars and Stripes. I shall never forget the feeling with which I regarded this emblem of our country so long beloved and now seen for the first time in the hands of a mortal foe.
THE FACE OFF:
The instant the flag appeared, Stuart ordered the charge, and at them we went like an arrow from a bow.. . . . Half the distance was passed before they saw the avalanche coming upon them, but then they came to a “front face” – a long line of bright muskets was leveled – a sheet of red flame gleamed, and we could see no more.- Ibid, pp. 28-29.
Five hundred men of the 11th New York Zouaves leaving Sudley Road and cutting into a wooded area towards the fight at Ricketts’ battery with the 33rd Virginia Infantry, stopped – and turned upon seeing Stuart’s cavalrymen coming and fired their leveled guns. Capt. Welby Carter’s horse sprang forward and rolled over dead. . . . and seventeen other charging horses.
Our cavalry, that is one or two companies suffered a good deal – two whole front ranks went down as they entered the enemies’ lines, myself and company were in the very center of their ranks. The balls flying thick all around, apparently as thick as hail and yet strange to say there was no one killed . . . Morgan.
It seemed strange that the fire from five hundred muskets, at thirty yards, should not have been more effective, but they had to shoot in a hurry and they were no doubt a little nervous . . . – Blackford, p. 31.
The smoke which wrapped them from our sight also hid us from them, and thinking perhaps that we had been swept away by the volley, they, instead of coming to a “charge bayonet,” lowered their pieces to load, and in this position we struck them. The tremendous impetus of horses at full speed broke through and scattered their line like chaff before the wind. – Ibid., pp. 29-30.
Owing to the dust and smoke which made vision impenetrable, the enemy did not see us until we were among them. With our pistols and sabers we charged them through and returned, cutting and riding them down in every direction. The charge was made just in the nick of time for believe me we were whipped beyond doubt, but our cavalry charge decided the fate of the day. – Morgan.
THE FEDERAL FIASCO:
We charged back taking their line in the rear at another place, but they had begun to break and scatter clear down to the Sudley road before we reached them; all order was gone and it became a general melee or rather a chase. – Blackford, p. 30.
The Fire Zouaves were completely paralyzed by this charge, and though their actual loss in killed and wounded was not very great, their demoralization was complete. The arrest of their dangerous move upon the exposed flank of our mainline of battle was a result of the utmost importance. Our loss was nine men and eighteen horses killed. – Ibid., p. 31.
More. . .
. . . two or three of us were slightly wounded, myself among the number – three or four horses were shot and bayoneted by the Zouaves – my wound was caused by the jam of horses and men and has ceased to give me any trouble. It was in the knee of my right leg; in an hour I had forgotten it. In my first letter I did not mention it, for the reason it was not worth notice, so you need not be at all uneasy — for I assume I am in perfect health now. My horse, George, behaved nobly, never flinching at any time. – Morgan
MONDAY, JULY 22nd – A SOBERING SCENE . . . WITH “TREATS”:
The following morning – Monday, July 22nd, Baker and his cousins saw the evidence of the previous day, wandering mute among the carnage while also finding treats to keep, much to the fleeting consternation of their commander.
Wrote Morgan to wife Anne Jacquelin:
Seeing so much blood and carnage (I) soon became used to it, and my curiosity was only to know what sort of wound the poor wretch had received to kill him. There are dead men everywhere – all around – some crawled into the bushes and died, some went a mile or two and died, everywhere are the dead, – and the whole country smells so very offensively that no one can stay in it or near that region. Our loss in officers has been severe. You have no idea of the plunder that was taken – 500 wagons would not hold it – arms – 40 odd pieces of artillery – numbers of elegant horses – any quantity of provisions and clothing, fancy articles, etc.
Our boys (in Company F) are literally loaded down and I had to scold them for having so much about them – they all turned out in new clothes of the finest kind – most of them had more clothes now than they ever had. When I started from Winchester, I had but one shirt, and that on my back, and after wearing it a week and a half, it was of course ready for a change – and seeing quantities of nice new shirts lying around I just appropriated one to myself. We have quantities of overcoats, in addition to all our other traps.
Wrote another of the “haul of booty” that even included a pile of bacon higher than a house:
By stepping or jumping from one thing to another of what had been thrown away in the stampede, I could have gone long distances without ever letting my foot touch the ground, and over a belt forty or fifty yards wide on each side of the road. – Blackford, p. 32.
Thomas P. Rossiter (American painter, 1818-1871) The Rural Post Office 1857
As the news of the great battle began to filter out to the world at large, families in the eastern Panhandle waited for word of their sons. We don’t know if Newton Baker wrote Father Elias and Mother Susan. But they waited for any news.
While Newton may well have been keen on a new shirt he drew from the plunder on the battlefield, a deeper impression was left in him – as he and the others passed through a hospital area to their first battle charge – from the scene of the wounded under the fierce care of doctors – then followed this aftermath Monday, when strewn everywhere were those who died in the worst ways – all such impressions stayed with Newton, so that he would spend the rest of his postwar life in Martinsburg as a family doctor.
It was our fate, however, to pass through a sickening ordeal before reaching the field. Along a shady little valley through which our road lay, the surgeons had been plying their vocation all the morning upon the battlefield. Tables about breast high had been erected upon which screaming victims were having legs and arms cut off. The surgeons and their assistants, stripped to the waist and all bespattered with blood, stood around, some holding the poor fellows, while others armed with long bloody knives and saws cut and sawed away with frightful rapidity, throwing the mangled limbs on a pile near by as soon as removed. – Ibid, p. 27.
BAKER, NEWTON DIEHL: b. Washington County, Md. 10/3/41. 5’6″ fair complexion, brown hair, blue eyes. attended Wittenberg College one year; clerk Shepherdstown post office, Jefferson County; enlisted in the 1st Virginia Cavalry Charles Town 6/15/61 as Pvt. in Co. F. Present until detached to Gainesville 12/10/61. Captured Smithfield 5/31/63. Sent to Ft. McHenry. Exch. 6/63. Promoted 2nd Corp. Present until detailed as ordinance Sgt. of regt 11/15/63. Horse killed 8/19/64. Wounded leg Fishers Hill 9/22/64. Paroled Winchester 4/23/65. Medical school 1868; surgeon for the B&O railroad. d. Martinsburg 1909. – Driver, Robert J. (1991). “1st Virginia Cavalry.” Lynchburg, Va.: H. E. Howard, Inc. Print. More . . .
1. NEWTON BAKER’S “MOST” DIVIDED CLAN (Pt. 1 of 4) by Jim Surkamp
2. NEWTON BAKER “SEES THE ELEPHANT” MANASSAS, VA (Pt. 2 of 4)(above) by Jim Surkamp
3. NEWTON BAKER’S LIFE IN THE FAMED FIRST VIRGINIA CAVALRY 1861-1865 (Pt. 3 of 4) by Jim Surkamp
4. NEWTON BAKER”S REMARKABLE SON (Pt. 4 of 4) by Jim Surkamp
For References and Image Credits: