Confederate military history is deeply rooted in the fertile soil and rolling hills of Kentucky’s Bluegrass region. John Hunt Morgan and Basil Duke are buried here, and it is where John Bell Hood was born. The spirit of the place touched lifelong resident Phil McCoy as a boy, and he read just about every book on modern warfare in his grade school library. The first book he ever owned, at age 11, was titled Men of War.
Growing up on a farm near Lexington and riding horses, and learning about an ancestor in the 2nd Virginia Cavalry who rode with JEB Stuart, Phil became captivated by the campaigns of Confederate troopers and the photographs of these intrepid souls.
Phil’s first image hooked him on collecting Confederate photography. It was also a photo sleuthing thrill. The soldier, a young boy in a homespun uniform with Virginia buttons, was purchased on eBay from a New Jersey seller. After receiving the image, a hard plate, Phil discovered an inscription. With the help of a friend, he deciphered the writing: “George Gilmer June 1863.” The name and date matched the enlistment of a trooper in Company C of the 2nd Virginia Cavalry, the regiment and company in which Phil’s ancestor served. A little more research uncovered that one of Gilmer’s sons settled in New Jersey—the same state as the eBay seller. “The chills I felt and knowing he shared several campfires with my ancestor puts chills down my back still to this day,” Phil notes.
Phil has since built a collection, and is always on the lookout for rare and unusual photographs. Fellow collectors helped him along the way. “Bill Turner was a tremendous influence and taught me a lot about the hobby,” Phil observes, adding, “Mike Romano, Seth Goodhart, Rick Brown, and Mahlon Nichols have all been a wealth of knowledge and true friends as well.” Bob Lurate and Ed Hibarger also helped.
One of Phil’s tips for collectors: “Buy quality over quantity.”
Over time, Phil’s images fell into logical groupings. “I didn’t set out to put these groups together they just kinda developed on their own when a few of each category found their way into my collection,” he explains. Several of them are showcased here, and another—Morgan’s men—will appear in a future issue.
To this day, Phil continues to be moved by a range of emotions whenever he holds and looks at Civil War images.
Often in the thick of the action
Among the first Virginia militia companies that responded to quell John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry was the Shepherdstown Troop commanded by Capt. William Augustine Morgan (1831-1899). Morgan, a native of Northern Virginia, and his troopers became Company F of the commonwealth’s 1st Cavalry after the war began. Over the next four years, the regiment participated in every major campaign as part of the Army of Northern Virginia, and Morgan rose in rank to colonel and occasionally commanded on the brigade level. Though often in the thick of the action, he managed to survive the fighting with a minor wound at Leetown, Va., following the end of the Gettysburg Campaign. After the war, Morgan returned to Shepherdstown, reunited with his family, and served as a deputy sheriff until his death. A son survived him.
“Bound for the theater of war in the New World”
On April 29, 1862, Heros von Borcke (1835-1895) boarded a blockade runner along the Irish coast “bound for the theater of war in the New World,” he wrote. The 27-year-old Prussian cavalry officer made his way by sea and land to Richmond, where he received a captain’s commission and an assignment to Maj. Gen. JEB Stuart’s staff. A tall, athletic man and an aggressive warrior, he gained Stuart’s confidence and became his Chief of Staff. Following Stuart’s death, now Maj. von Borcke advanced to lieutenant colonel and left for Great Britain on a diplomatic mission directed by President Jefferson Davis. The publication of von Borcke’s Memoirs of the Confederate War for Independence as a magazine series beginning in late 1865 and in book form in 1867 detailed his adventures in gray.
Views of Pickett
Views of George Edward Pickett (1825-1875) picture the general at two points in his career. The portrait at left may date to January 1862, when he received a promotion from colonel to brigadier general. Note the evenly spaced button pattern on his frock coat that is consistent with a colonel, and the general’s collar insignia. He appears younger, with thicker hair on top and shorter locks flanking his slightly fuller face. In the other two views, he is pictured as a major general. The center portrait, autographed by him, is the well-known and often produced likeness. The portrait on the right appears to have been taken at a different time as evidenced by differences in the design of the stars and wreath on his collar insignia.
He wrote the history of Pickett’s Division
The preservation of the record of Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett’s Division fell to its inspector general, Maj. Walter Hamilton Harrison (1826-1871). Born in Fredericksburg, Va., he had relocated to New York City as a young man and worked as a newspaper art critic. He returned to his birth state after the war began and joined Pickett’s staff. Harrison’s position and abilities as a writer made him a perfect choice to document the annals of the Division. In Pickett’s Men: A Fragment of War History, Harrison writes an honest account of Gettysburg and other campaigns interspersed with biographical sketches and personal anecdotes of its commanders. He posed for this picture in New York City after the war, signing and dating it July 30, 1865.
Severely wounded on the morning of Appomattox
Near Appomattox Court House about sunrise on April 9, 1865, Maj. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee and his cavalrymen charged and drove back Union troopers. As Lee’s men regrouped, a bullet ripped into the chest of a favorite aide standing at his side—Charles Frederick Ernest Minnegerode. The son and namesake of the minister of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, “Charlie” lay on the ground writhing in pain as the enemy returned. Lee and his staffers bid Charlie goodbye, assuming his wound mortal. But Charlie survived, reunited with Lee and remained a devoted friend. Plagued by financial troubles, Charlie took his own life in 1888. In his pocket he carried a talisman—the bullet that had almost killed him at Appomattox.
JEB Stuart’s faithful aide-de-camp
Theodore Stanford Garnett Jr. (1844-1915), hailed from a distinguished Confederate military family. Older brother James served as Lt. Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s chief of ordnance. Cousins Robert and Richard became generals and fell in battle. In May 1863, 18-year-old Theodore enlisted in the ranks of the 9th Virginia Cavalry. In early 1864, Stuart tapped him for duty on his staff as a first lieutenant. Theodore ably served his commander until Stuart’s mortal wounding at Yellow Tavern in May 1864, and went on to join the staff of Maj. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee. After the war, Theodore became an attorney and judge. Active in Confederate veterans’ affairs, his memoirs, Riding with Stuart: Reminiscences of an Aide-de-Camp, edited by Robert J. Trout, were published in 1994.
Leader of the Caskie Rangers
In 1861, Virginia-born tobacco merchant Robert Alexander Caskie (1830-1928) organized and captained an independent company of cavalry known as the Caskie Rangers. The troopers became Company A of the 10th Virginia Cavalry, and Caskie rose in rank to lieutenant colonel and commander. The 10th participated in numerous operations with the Army of Northern Virginia, including the 1864 Battle of Reams Station, where Caskie suffered a serious leg wound. Present at Appomattox, he numbered among the 3 officers and 19 enlisted men of the 10th who were surrendered. Caskie died at age 98. He outlived his wife, Amanda, and was survived by two sons and two daughters.
This unpublished portrait of Nathan Bedford Forrest (1821-1877) picturing the general in an oval frame is credited to photographer Ben Oppenheimer of Mobile, Ala. Though the pose, tonal quality and oval cut are similar to an uncredited glass negative copy in the Library of Congress, the coat (buttons reversed) and length of the general’s hair are different. Oppenheimer was active in Mobile and vicinity during the war. Other portraits of Confederate officers in oval cut frames are credited to his gallery, including one of a member of Forrest’s staff.
This portrait of South Carolina’s Wade Hampton III (1818-1902) is one in a series of general officers with the imprint of photographer Richard H. Wearn of Columbia. Born in the Isle of Wight, Wearn immigrated to South Carolina in 1850 and opened a gallery in Columbia before the end of the decade. By 1860, he established a partnership with portrait painter and colorist William Preston Hix. They worked together for the next 15 years, with the exception of a few years during the war, when Hix was absent. The partnership ended in 1874 after Wearn committed suicide.
Gettysburg park commissioner
One veteran who did much to preserve the history of the war was Lunsford Lindsey Lomax (1835-1913). The son of a prominent Virginia family and an 1856 West Point graduate, he served with the 2nd U.S. Cavalry prior to joining the Confederate army. A multi-talented officer, Lomax served in several roles. He started on the staff of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, led the 11th Virginia Cavalry at Gettysburg, commanded troopers in the Shenandoah Valley, and coordinated with Col. John Singleton Mosby and his rangers. Following the evacuation of Richmond in 1865, Lomax and his cavalry rode for North Carolina, joined forces with his first commander, Joe Johnston, and surrendered with him. Lomax ended the war as a major general and went on to serve as a college president, a participant in the publication of the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, and a commissioner of Gettysburg National Military Park.
Smart. Aggressive. Modest.
Thomas Taylor Munford (1831-1918) established himself as a smart, aggressive commander with a modest, chivalrous demeanor at the First Battle of Manassas. An 1852 graduate of Virginia Military Institute, the Richmond native started the war as lieutenant colonel of the 30th Virginia, a mounted infantry regiment. He advanced to colonel when the regiment was re-designated the 2nd Cavalry. Munford went on to become an acting brigadier and commanded cavalry on the brigade and division level in the Army of Northern Virginia. Munford evaded surrender at Appomattox with the goal of linking up with Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s army, but Johnston surrendered his forces before he could fulfill the mission.
Memoirs reveal joys and sorrows of war
Long after the war, veterans on both sides published recollections, motivated by a need for money, seeking catharsis, or a desire to share their experiences with future generations. Charles Minor Blackford (1833-1903) and his wife, Susan, wrote their two-volume Memoirs of Life in and Out of the Army in Virginia for future Americans. Blackford, a Lynchburg, Va., attorney, began his military service with his home state’s 2nd Cavalry in 1861 and went on to serve as Judge Advocate on the staff of Maj. Gen. James Longstreet. In 1894, the Blackfords privately published their wartime correspondence in context to the joys and sorrows of the war. Republished several times since then, the work is considered a historically important text.
“Where is the Army of Northern Virginia? For there I make my camp.”
Gilbert Moxley Sorrel (1838-1901) made a positive and lasting impression on Gen. James Longstreet. Sorrel, a Savannah, Ga., native, joined Longstreet as volunteer aide in the middle of the First Battle of Manassas. Longstreet praised Sorrel in his after-action report: “He came into the battle as gaily as a beau, and seemed to receive orders which threw him into more exposed positions with peculiar delight.” Thus began Sorrel’s long association with Longstreet and the Army of Northern Virginia. Sorrel ended the war as brigadier general. Late in life, Sorrel’s admiration of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army and its veterans remained as enthusiastic as ever. “Who that marched with it, fought with it, took part in its victories and defeats, shared its sufferings and its joys, shall ever be deaf when its deeds are sung or mute when ring out its plaudits! For my part, when the time comes, I shall be found asking at the gates above, ‘Where is the Army of Northern Virginia? For there I make my camp.’” This passage appears in Sorrel’s memoirs, Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer.
Wounded at Crampton’s Gap and in The Wilderness
In 1861, William Crawford Smith left his home in Nashville, Tenn., and returned to his birthplace in Petersburg, Va., to fight for the South. He joined the Petersburg Grays, which became Company B of the 12th Virginia Infantry. Over the next four years, he advanced to sergeant and fought in numerous battles, including Crampton’s Gap in 1862, where he suffered a minor injury and capture for a brief time, and an ankle wound in The Wilderness in 1864. He surrendered at Appomattox and returned to Nashville, where he became a prominent architect and contractor. In 1898, Smith donned a U.S. uniform to fight in the Spanish-American War. As colonel of the 1st Tennessee Infantry in the Philippines, he suffered a deadly stroke while leading his men into action in 1899. He was 61.
Long association with the Washington Light Artillery of Charleston
Considering his surname, it is perhaps no surprise that James Salvo (1830-1875) served in the artillery. A South Carolinian by birth, he enjoyed a long association with the Washington Light Artillery of Charleston that predated the war. In 1855, he became the company’s second lieutenant and advanced to first lieutenant by the time of the bombardment of Fort Sumter. Salvo served with distinction through the war in the Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Offered a promotion to colonel of a Louisiana battery in 1863, he politely declined on grounds of his strong connection to his men and battery. He remained with his company after the war and until his death from bowel issues. He outlived his wife and was survived by a young son.
The “Grave of Genl. T.J. Jackson, Lexington, Va.,” is inscribed on the back of this view of the celebrated officer’s final resting place, a pilgrimage for many following his death in 1863. Photographers John C. Boude and Michael Miley began advertising their “Stonewall Art Gallery” about 1867, offering the latest styles colored in oil, ink, and water colors. Respected for their abilities, the duo is best known for landscapes and portraits of Gen. Robert E. Lee as president of Washington College.
Lost in time
The identity of this cavalry or staff officer with buff collar is currently lost in time.
“Mosby Boy” is inscribed in modern pencil on the back of this view of an unidentified trooper, a postwar copy of a ninth plate ruby ambrotype. The photographer, Adam Hamilton Plecker (1840-1929), served in the 28th Virginia Infantry and the Botetourt Light Artillery from 1861-1864. After the war, he became a successful photographer with galleries in Salem, Roanoke and Lynchburg. He is best known for his circa 1866 portrait of Gen. Robert E. Lee seated on his war horse, Traveller.
Fitzhugh Lee (1835-1905) led the final Confederate charge at Appomattox, the last hostile act in an impressive chapter of his career as a major general in his Uncle Robert’s army. The photographer’s backmark includes “‘Enquirer’ Print,” likely a reference to the Richmond Enquirer.
Empty sleeve after Marye’s Heights
The guns of the Richmond Howitzers blazed away near Marye’s Heights at the Battle of Fredericksburg on Dec. 13, 1862. Casualties were heavy, including George Alvin Smith (1844-1908) who served in the ranks of the Third Company. He suffered a severe wound in his left arm above the elbow and a flesh wound in the left leg. The empty sleeve in this portrait reveals the outcome of his arm wound. The brother of Capt. Benjamin H. Smith, one of the commanders of the Third, the wounds ended his combat service. He however remained in the army on detached duty with the Quartermaster Department in Richmond. When Union forces broke the defenses protecting the capital on April 2, 1865, Smith formed part of the guard protecting President Jefferson Davis as he and his entourage abandoned the city. After the war, Smith became a prominent merchant. He outlived his first wife May, and was survived by his second wife, Mary, and children from both marriages.
“Stovepipe” Rankin’s 1862 Indiana Raid
On July 18, 1862, about 30 Confederate raiders crossed the Ohio River from Kentucky into Indiana and attacked the town of Newburgh. Led by Adam Rankin Johnson (1834-1922), the band inflated its size with two fake cannon made from a charred log and a stove pipe. The bluff worked—80 Union soldiers convalescing in a hospital surrendered and were paroled, supplies confiscated and houses looted. The raiders returned to Kentucky hours later with captured treasure, and Johnson with a nom de guerre—“Stovepipe.” A surveyor in Texas who had returned to his native Kentucky to fight for the South, Johnson rode into Indiana again a year later as part of Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan’s Ohio Raid. When the raid ended in defeat at Buffington Island, Ohio, Johnson and about 350 of his troopers evaded capture. Johnson received an appointment as brigadier and organized his own force of about 1,700 to continue the fight. During an August 1864 skirmish near Princeton, Ky., a musket, accidental shot by one of his men, sent a bullet into Johnson’s right eye and through his left temple causing permanent blindness. Captured by the federals, he spent much of the rest of the conflict as a prisoner of war. He detailed his Confederate service in his 1904 book, The Partisan Rangers of the Confederate Army.
Wounded after Jubal Early’s 1864 Raid on Washington, D.C.
On July 20, 1864, a week after Lt. Gen. Jubal Early withdrew his corps from the outskirts of Washington, D.C., Union forces struck his command near Winchester. Casualties were heavy, including one of his brigadiers, Robert Doak Lilley (1836-1886), who suffered three wounds and fell into enemy hands. Union surgeons amputated his mangled right arm. A Virginia-born graduate of Washington College, he recruited and became captain of the Lee Rifles when the war began. It became Company C of the 25th Virginia Infantry. Over the next three years, he proved his fighting mettle in major engagements with Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and rose steadily in rank. Following Spotsylvania, he advanced to brigadier and command of a brigade under Early’s leadership. Rescued days after his capture, Lilley returned to command reserve forces in the Shenandoah Valley. After the war he returned to his alma mater as a financial agent—serving again with Gen. Lee.
“One of the most vivid imaginations ever”
Killing 60 Yankee soldiers in 60 minutes with a sharpshooter’s rifle. Capturing 125 more Yanks with an unloaded musket. Swimming the Mississippi River in the dead of night to liberate 125,000 federal percussion caps for Vicksburg’s defenders. These are some of the war stories told by Maj. Lamar Fontaine (1829-1921), a man who, according to his obituary, “had one of the most vivid imaginations ever.” His memoirs, My Life and Lectures, details his birth on the Texas frontier to his exploits as a Confederate soldier. The fantastical stories with which he entertained veterans had some factual basis, as evidenced by this carte de visite and his military service record. At the time of this portrait, Fontaine was major of the 4th Alabama (Roddey’s) Cavalry and a prisoner of war. Captured on Dec. 14, 1863, after he fell and became trapped beneath his horse while fleeing Union troopers in Lauderdale County, Ala., he spent much of the next year in captivity. While held at Fort Delaware, he posed with a crutch to support the badly injured leg from his fall. During his detention, Fontaine became one of 600 Confederates sent to South Carolina in a tit-for-tat battle using prisoners as a human shield. The Southern prisoners were forever known as the Immortal 600. After the war, Fontaine authored a number of writings about his life, military service, and Ku Klux Klan association.
Lieutenant with a crutch
The crutch cradled by this well-dressed lieutenant indicates he is recuperating from a leg or other injury affecting his ability to walk. His identity is currently lost in time. An inscription in modern pencil on the back of the mount speculates he may have been a prisoner of war wounded at Gettysburg. He might also have been a Marylander, as evidenced by the photographer’s imprint on the back of the mount for the Whitehurst (Passano) Gallery of Baltimore. Joseph Passano Jr. became proprietor of the Whitehurst Gallery about 1867.
Shell wound at Atlanta
Brigadier General Alfred Jefferson Vaughan Jr. (1830-1899) posed for this portrait with the crutch he used following the loss of his leg—the result of an enemy artillery shell that hit him as he rested with his men in trenches during the 1864 Atlanta Campaign. An aggressive, hard-fighting commander who hailed from Virginia, he graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 1851. He began his Confederate military service as a captain in the 13th Tennessee Infantry. Steadily promoted for his leadership in Western Theater battles, he advanced to brigadier and brigade command following the death of his superior officer, a promotion given to him by President Jefferson Davis. He told his story in Personal Record of the Thirteenth Regiment, Tennessee Infantry.
Berry and Clark’s “consternation and dismay”
Two of the larger-than-life figures in the irregular military activities of divided Kentucky are pictured here—“One-Armed Berry” and “Sue Mundy.”
Samuel Oscar Berry, noted a newspaper, “carried consternation and dismay throughout the whole country around Lexington, and even to the gates of Louisville itself.” Born in Missouri, he moved to Lexington with his father after the early death of his mother. He had suffered the loss of an arm in a farming accident. An 1858 graduate of Kentucky State Normal School, he became a teacher and associated with the Shakers at the beginning of the war. Berry cast his lot with the Confederacy and enlisted as a sergeant in the 6th Kentucky Cavalry. Riding with Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan’s men until their defeat on the 1864 Ohio Raid, Berry joined a band of guerrillas led by Henry C. Magruder. Berry and his comrades terrorized the Lexington area until Dec. 10, 1865, when a detachment from the 2nd U.S. Infantry captured him. Tried and convicted for his war crimes, he succumbed to tuberculosis in a New York prison on July 4, 1873.
Marcellus Jerome Clark’s alias, “Sue Mundy,” has several origins. One story is set in Boston, where Clark’s obsession with a woman drove him to steal and dress in her clothes, then ride side-saddle around the city in imitation of her. Another claim is a girl and horse thief by this name tried to pin her crimes on Clark, and this became his nickname. And yet another version relates how his Confederate comrades declared Clark “Queen of the May” at a camp May Day celebration on account of his delicate features and long hair.
One admirer described him as “nearly six feet tall, straight and remarkably well built, and would weigh almost one hundred and sixty pounds. His complexion was fair; he had long dark hair which touched his shoulders, he had a beautifully shaped mouth, and in short was a handsome man. His whole demeanor was firm, polite, quiet and unassuming; he bore the air of a man of culture and gentlemanly refinement.” The writer added, “He wore a black velvet cap, a black or dark blue jacket with one row of Kentucky State buttons, a pair of dark cashmere pants and a pair of old boots, cut down in imitation of a pair of shoes.”
Clark started the war in the 4th Kentucky Mounted Infantry. His service record lists him as having been surrendered at Fort Donelson and escaping from Camp Morton in Indianapolis, Ind., ten days later. Clark surfaced in early 1864 with the 15th Kentucky Cavalry and rode with John Hunt Morgan’s command for a time. Wounded and left behind at Cynthiana during Morgan’s 1864 Kentucky Raid, Clark reemerged as an irregular. He spread fear throughout parts of Kentucky until federals ended his reign of terror in 1865. Captured after a shootout with Wisconsin soldiers, he was hauled off to Louisville, convicted in a drumbeat court-martial and hanged March 15, 1865.
Lyon’s Kentucky Raid
On the intensely cold day of Dec. 6, 1864, in Paris, Ky., about 800 horse soldiers embarked on a mission with two aims: to draw Union troops away from Lt. Gen. John B. Hood’s army on the Nashville Campaign and to enforce conscription laws. The men, with less than four months’ service, lacked proper training and organization. They possessed weapons but little other equipment save a pair of 12-pound howitzers. A hundred were without horses.
The leader of this irregular force was a native Kentuckian and West Pointer who had proven his fighting qualities. Brigadier General Hylan Benton Lyon, 28, had earned high marks for his stubborn resistance against federal attacks at Fort Donelson, avoided capture at the conclusion of the Vicksburg Campaign, and received credit for saving Lt. Gen. Braxton Bragg’s artillery during the retreat from Chattanooga.
In December 1864, Lyon led his 800-man force down near impassable roads on a raid that lasted until mid-January 1865. Along the way, the troopers destroyed millions of dollars of property, captured enemy soldiers, and torched seven county courthouses converted to Union army barracks. Some Union forces were withdrawn from Hood’s front to thwart the raiders. The rigors of the raid whittled down Lyon’s command, including the loss of his cannon and a number of men. During the wee hours of January 15, Union cavalry captured Lyon in his night clothes. He escaped after asking his captor to allow him to change into his uniform, then seized a pistol and shot him.
After the war, Lyon followed other Confederate leaders to Mexico, and returned to Kentucky a year later. He prospered in the mercantile business, and served as state prison commissioner. He died in 1907. Lyon outlived two spouses and was survived by his third wife and many children.
“I believe I was right in all I did”
Samuel “Champ” Ferguson was by all accounts a defiant man wholly committed to the defense of his homeland. An 1865 newspaper report described the 43-year old native of the Kentucky Highlands as having “a full set, well preserved and vigorous frame, encompassing a world of animal life, force of will and self-control.”
His exploits during the war are the stuff of legend. Operating on his own in Unionist-dominated East Tennessee, his abilities as a guerrilla fighter attracted the attention of generals John Hunt Morgan and Joe Wheeler, with whom he cooperated on occasional operations. Ferguson and his band were accused of numerous sadistic killings and murders of citizens and soldiers, including men and officers of the 5th U.S. Colored Cavalry following the Confederate victory at the Oct. 2, 1864 Battle of Saltville, Va.
At the war’s end, the federal government charged Ferguson with a number of deaths and a jury in Nashville found him guilty in a trial that gained national media attention. Prior to his hanging on Oct. 20, 1865, an unrepentant Ferguson told a newspaper reported he did not believe the trial fair and repeated that he “died a rebel out and out.” He explained, “I was a Southern man at the start. I am yet and will die a rebel. I believe I was right in all I did. I don’t think I done anything wrong at any time. I committed my deeds in a cool and deliberate manner. I killed a good many men, of course, I don’t deny that; but never killed a man whom I did not know was seeking my life. It is false that I never took any prisoners. I have taken a great many, and after keeping them awhile, paroled them.”
He refused to regularize
Drinking negatively impacted the life and career of Col. Tom Woodward. Born Thomas Griffitts Woodward in Massachusetts, alcohol-related incidents cut short his education at Yale and West Point. Woodward left the North and landed in Hopkinsville, Ky., where he became an attorney. After the war started, he organized the Oak Grove Rangers, which became companies A and B of the 1st Kentucky Cavalry. A reorganization in late 1862 ended with Woodward raising a new cavalry regiment which mustered in as the 15th.
He proved a poor administrator who fell astray of army brass—reprimand, suspension and courts-martial. About 1863, he struck out with a band of irregulars, joined forces with Nathan Bedford Forrest for a time, and resisted entreaties to regularize. According to one report, Woodward’s command captured a Union telegraph stringing-party and ordered the prisoners shot.
Woodward met his end on Aug. 19, 1864, when he charged into Hopkinsville reportedly under the influence of alcohol. Union infantry opened fire and stopped the attacking column. Woodward “rode several rods in advance of his band, and was in the act of firing his pistol when his horse was shot, and he fell mortally wounded,” reported one newspaper, adding that “he was carried into an adjacent store, and after two hours of agony, expired.” The same account pointed out that Woodward fell in the exact spot where, in October 1861, he had met Lt. Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner. Woodward was 37.
This portrait of Woodward at the zenith of his military career was likely taken at the same time as another view described in Confederate Veteran magazine: He “did not weigh more than one hundred and ten pounds and had long curly hair flowing over his shoulders; his very small legs were stuck in high cavalry boots reaching above his knees and on which was an enormous pair of Mexican spurs. He had a cavalry saber that was much too long for him and an army pistol attached to his belt which, contrasted with his size, looked like a small cannon. His gray pantaloons were stuffed in his boots, while a dark-gray hunting shirt, with a narrow-brim corduroy slouch hat, completed his apparel.”
SPREAD THE WORD: We encourage you to share this story on social media and elsewhere to educate and raise awareness. If you wish to use any image on this page for another purpose, please request permission.
LEARN MORE about Military Images, America’s only magazine dedicated to showcasing, interpreting and preserving Civil War portrait photography.
VISIT OUR STORE to subscribe, renew a subscription, and more.