3rd Alabama Infantry Regiment

"The Glorious Third" Alabama's first volunteers

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The Wetumpka Light Guards

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George F. Sedberry, Wetumpka Light Guards

George F. Sedberry, Wetumpka Light Guards

1LT Louis H. Hill,  Wetumpka Light Guards Co I, 3rd Alabama Regiment

1LT Louis H. Hill,
Wetumpka Light Guards
Co I, 3rd Alabama Regiment

On the morning of April 27, 1861, Captain Edward Ready ordered the volunteers of the Wetumpka Light Guards to fall in. Subordinate officers and sergeants then took charge and soon two long ranks of militiamen formed on West Bridge Street, between the whitewashed panels of the Presbyterian Church and the stolid red brick sanctuary of the Baptists. A long covered bridge crossed the Coosa River here, connecting the residential half of Wetumpka to its commercial center. Their uniforms had been delayed from Columbus, GA, and they would not be uniformed until they reached Norfolk, VA.

A few of the men may have been feeling the effects of the night before. The one hundred twelve volunteers had been treated to a feast at Hagerty Hall, courtesy of Mr. McKinney Thomas, who provided “meats and cake enough . . . to feed five hundred . . . and plenty of the best liquors to wash it down,” Enough, at least, for the non-Baptists.

Next morning, by the bridge, the citizens of the county gathered to be warmed up by the Reverend Mr. Brewer’s lengthy address. The ladies of Wetumpka now presented the company with a new national flag, (the ‘Stars and Bars’) which Lieutenant Storrs, accepting on the Guards’ behalf, said embraced “in its various colors of the red, white, and blue” emblems “of courage, purity, and truth, and having upon it a circle of stars, each of which represents a free and sovereign State.” “Under this flag,”, he said, “we go forth to battle for our rights.” Lieutenant Henry Storrs was the pride of the community, and would have made his father, the late Judge, very proud this day. Just twenty-two, Henry was a graduate of the University of Virginia, and had just returned home from Cambridge, attaining a law degree from Harvard.

The Guards had already been deployed once, with Colonel Lomax’ Second Regiment at Pensacola, investing Fort Pickens. They had come home at the end of February well-drilled, disciplined and fit. Storrs concluded his remarks, by praising the ladies: “There is a power, beyond any other, in the influence of woman on man, for patriotism or indifference, for courage or cowardice.” Looking towards the volunteers: “’tis woman’s influence that makes such men as these.” He ended his remarks prophetically: “Nothing more is left for me to say; but for all, and to all: goodbye.”

Through the rousing cheers, Mr. Thomas came through again, contributing one hundred dollars to the benefit of the company, and passing the hat raised about seven hundred dollars. Altogether, the citizens had raised fifteen hundred dollars. Mr. Thomas also committed to furnishing the entire militia with uniforms. It was with chagrin Coosa County had to send off her finest boys without proper uniforms. But in the raising and outfitting of an army, supplies were short, and the mills at Columbus, Georgia, had failed to send the material on time. When the militia joined their regiment in Montgomery, they would be the only company not in uniform.

But their muskets and accoutrements were in good shape, their officers were uniformed, and when they heard the bell from the steamer “Le Grande,” they knew the time had come to part ways. The ranks were formed into column of fours, and (crossing the bridge in route step), they descended Main Street to Crommelin’s landing, for the short journey downriver to Montgomery. Besides Captain Ready and Henry Storrs, the Le Grande carried lieutenants Louis Hill, and William Havis; Orderly (First Sergeant) Oscar Smith, and many others: George Sedberry, James Stamp; William Martin Teague (future Mayor of Montgomery); Horatio Tulane; Ben Melton (who would be their Captain at Appomattox); former Governor Fitzpatrick’s son, John; the four Bross boys; the three Wall brothers; the sharpshooter: Sawyer Ziegler. One young man, J.J. Stoker, probably “missed the boat,” but soon joined the Guards in Norfolk. He would lose an arm to the war, but survive and later prosper in Texas. He would die exactly 78 years after Mr. Thomas’ banquet, the last man in the regiment, save one.


The Election for Major, Part II

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Every regiment had line officers and field officers. Captains and lieutenants were “officers of the line,” in command of the various companies; divided between two battalions: First and Second. Field officers  commanded these: First Battalion was always under its Lt. Colonel; Second battalion, under its Major. (Colonel Lomax had overall command of the entire regiment).

With Captains Sands, Woodruff and Gracie out of the running (for one reason or another) 3d Alabama still had to select a major. As a ‘volunteer’ regiment, their leaders (every officer in fact, with the exception of staff appointments such as commissary and quartermaster) were chosen by ballot. Lomax and Battle had been approved for colonel and lieutenant colonel (respectively) by nearly unanimous vote.

Major was a different matter. Absent the obvious frontrunners, the regimental vote was split among second-tier officers. For a variety of reasons, most of the remaining captains and first lieutenants did not allow their names to be put forward:

Captain Bonham of Co H, for instance, was wrestling for the leadership of his own company, the Lowndes-Beauregards; Captain Powell of D, was also enduring a wave of dissatisfaction among his own volunteers (Both men would have made excellent field officers, and each was promoted to the rank of major before the end of the war). Captain Swanson of C, was a martinet–no one wanted to be under his command; Captain Andrews of the Montgomery True Blues (G) already was making arrangements for his company to be detached as an artillery battery…and so it went. Technically, any officer or man was eligible, but to capture this vote one needed a following. None of the first lieutenants mounted a viable campaign–many were themselves being recruited to officer newly-forming regiments.

The choice appeared to boil down to: Captain Edward Ready of Wetumpka, (Co I) or the erratic Winston Hunter, captain of the Metropolitan Guards (F)–the other Montgomery militia. In the first evening’s balloting, Hunter got the most votes but not a majority. The next night, in two subsequent tallies, Ready overtook Hunter by a slim margin. But neither had a majority. And regiment-wide enthusiasm for either was lacking.

In classic American fashion, a dark horse arose: Charles M. Forsyth was 2nd lieutenant of the Mobile Cadets. He was popular with the men–especially so, with those from Mobile, representing the largest voting bloc. He was young, dashing, and wealthy. He treated the volunteers firmly, but with respect. His father, John Forsyth, was the powerful and influential publisher of the Mobile Register, one of the great pulpits for State’s Rights. Also in his favor was his pretty fiancé, Laura Sprague.

On the minus side (and a serious consideration it was), he was under the command of Captain Robert Sands, 35, ten years his senior, who was, unquestionably, the man best suited for the majority. But Sands had declined the offer, and there was no going back. In a decided upset, the final vote was Forsyth 321; Ready 138; Hunter 131. Young Charlie, 25, while away in Mobile, was elected Major of the 3d Alabama. A decision that would redound over the next three and a half years.

Written by boothma

March 18, 2015 at 5:30 pm

The Election for Major, Part I

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When the 3d Alabama Regiment of Volunteers was organized in Montgomery, April 27, 1861, Jones Withers of Mobile was elected colonel. His election was preordained by the back room maneuvering of two Mobile Cadets: Henry Hotze and Charles Forsyth.

Forsyth, 25,  (son of John Forsyth, Publisher of the influential Mobile Register) held a commission as 2LT in the Cadets; Hotze, the Swiss polymath, was an assistant editor at the paper. As Mobile’s Militias represented the largest faction of volunteers in the new regiment, “honor” dictated they be lead by one of their own, i.e. Jones Withers, their Mayor. All this came at the expense of a more deserving candidate: Tennent Lomax, of Montgomery.

Lomax, while no West Pointer (like Withers), was a veteran of the Mexican War, former Captain of the Montgomery True Blues, and in January 1861 picked by Gov. Moore to lead the Alabama Expeditionary Battalion into Florida, where they invested Federal troops at Pensacola’s Fort Barrancas.

But in the Montgomery election, Forsyth and Hotze canvassed the various militia captains (who were delegated by their men to vote as a bloc) and once they reached a majority, the dissenting votes fell in line as a show of solidarity. Withers, 46, was elected colonel (representing Mobile); Lomax, 40, was elected lieutenant colonel (representing the next largest bloc: Montgomery) and Cullen Battle, 31, a lawyer from Tuskegee (and Lomax’ brother-in-law) was elected major, a nod to the two militias companies from Macon County.

This structure lasted no longer than it took for Withers’ thirst for higher rank. Withers was promoted to Brigadier in late June, returned to Mobile, and Lomax and Battle were each promoted by the nearly unanimous vote of the men (no longer voting as blocs), in July. So the question before them: who to fill the open position of Major?

There were several obvious frontrunners: Sands, Gracie and Woodruff, all three captains of Mobile companies; Sands, 35, was the Captain of Mobile’s elite militia: the Mobile Cadets. As senior line captain of the regiment (his commission dating from 1846), the promotion was his for the taking. But he declined…professing his only desire was to captain his beloved Cadets.  Louis Woodruff was next senior, captain of the vaunted Mobile Rifles––the best-drilled militia in the State and described as the only company that could have been accepted by the French Army. But Woodruff also declined! Possibly due to his age (45) or to his aspirations to raise a regiment of his own (which he eventually did). The third choice–but far from least–was Archibald Gracie, age 29, United States Military Academy class of ’54. An imposing officer (he was a beefy 6’4″), Gracie nonetheless was popular with officers and men, despite the fact he was a New Jersey Yankee. He had married into the Mayos of Richmond, and had left the army a few years before to start his business career in Mobile. But Gracie had just received a promotion to major in another regiment…and he declined! (he eventually attained the rank of Major General).

This left the race for major wide open.

Written by boothma

March 18, 2015 at 12:26 pm

The Gulf City Guards, Roster: April 23, 1861

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The 92 officers and men (age and rank) of the Gulf City Guards Militia, as of their boarding the steamer Selma, bound for Montgomery, April 23, 1861. “This is a fine and gallant company [the Gulf City Guards], of the flower of Mobile. Verily has Mobile contributed 400 of her best and most chivalrous youth in the four companies that have gone North…at 5 o’clock, the Guards moved from the armory, and marched up Royal to Dauphin, and down Dauphin to the steamer ‘Selma,’ on board of which they took passage…”                         – New Orleans Picayune   Alvarez, Alexander King,  20 Anderson, Simeon H.,  24; Anderson, William T.,  24; Ayers, William C.,  21

Ballufoy, Francis C. ; Bartee, J. Frank,; Bealle, Crawford Montgomery,  19; Bingham, Charles Ogden, 1SGT,  31; Bostwick, William W.,  19; Branch, Thomas W.,  22; Bullis, Halsted C.,

Campbell, Charles C.,  18; Carver, Thomas J. Jr.,  18; Chappell, William A.; Comegys, William Crawford,  24; Cooke, James Jarvis,  27; Cotlin, John Joseph, Jr.,  24; Couch, Edgar William,  18; Couch, James E.,  22; Crane, Julius M.; Cuthbert, Octavius,  20;

Dailey, James,  Musician,  [30]; Deas, Thomas Jerome,  20; Dent, George Truman,  19; Donovan, Octavius C.,  22; Downe, Charles W.,  28

Ellis, Henry J.,  1CPL,  25; England, Richard,  24

Flannery, Matthew W.,  23; Ford, Edward C.,  22; Griffing, Hiram L., [2]CPL,  24; Hall, Alexander P.,  34; Hall, Benjamin R., ; Hall, Willis Edgar/Emerson,  19; Hampshire, Francis P.,  20; Harris, Willmond C.,  21; Hartean, Samuel W. ; Hartwell, William, Captain,  41; Hawthorn, Keeler Hartwell,  20; Holland, Jacob F., 1LT,  27; Hollingsworth, James B.,  23; Holmes, John W. Jr.,  19; Hudson, John J.; Huggins, Charles R.,  21; Hunt, James P.

Kellogg, Quincy A.,  25

Langdon, Lewis B.,  21; Langdon, Daniel Webster, 3SGT,  28; Lavalette, John L.,  23; Lee, Samuel B.; Lee, Hugh Alison,  24; Lethwaite, Alexander E.,  [21]; Lewis, John H.,  24

Mahorner, Matthew,  22; McVoy, Wilberforce; Melville, Thomas H.,  [23]; Merrill, Willis M. , [13–17]; Monk, William Harrison,  18

Nash, Franklin J.,  3CPL, 21

Partridge, Daniel Jr.,  2SGT,  24; Partridge, William, @20; Payne, John,  24; Pillson, William A.; Punch, John Asbury,  20

Randall, James F.,  23; Rea, George H.,  21; Richey, Robert,  26; Robbins, Arthur Ferris, 2LT(jg), 23; Rondeau, Henry W.,  21; Russell, Simeon J.M.,  [28?]

Sharpe, Gordon,  22; Shaw, Robert H.,  [22;] Sheffield, Frederick Augusta, 5SGT,  23; Sheffield, Robert Paul, [4]Cpl,  20; Simpson, John Richard, 2LT(sr),  28; Spencer, Francis E.,   21; Spencer, Thomas A.,  24; Steele, Charles,  30; Steele, William H.,  22; Sturdivant, Norwood,  20; Summersell,  George Fishweek,  22; Summersell, William Fishweek,  25

Tarleton, William W.,  21; Taylor, John T.,  20; Toomer, Edward Terry

Vail, Lovick C.,  17

Ward, George Emory,  29; Weaver, Walter T., 21; White, Emmett J.; Wilkins, Sidney T.,  20; Wragg, Henry Clay, 21

Young, Samuel A.,

An additional 13 volunteers joined the company, May ’61: Barker, Walter B.,,  age 19; 5-10-61 “at Mobile” by John Curren Bestor, John T.,   age?; 5-15-61 at Mobile Bibb, Thomas H. Jr., [21]; 5-22-61 at Mobile Brooks, Samuel Berry,  21; 5-22-61 at Mobile Hudson, James, age ?; 5-15-61 at Mobile Johnston, Henry C.,  @25?; 5-10-61 at Mobile Keines, Leander J., 24?; 5-18-61 at Mobile Pardieu, Lucian B., 30; 5-22-61 at Mobile Richardson, Samuel H.,  29; 5-22-61 at Mobile Sheehan, Francis,  19; 5-22-61 at Mobile Shotwell, Reuben H., 31; 5-22-61 at Mobile Turner, Jacob Henry,  18; 5-22-61 at Mobile Turner, George Elmore,  20; 5-22-61 at Mobile

The Washington Light Infantry, Roster: April 23, 1861

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The 101 officers and men (age and rank) of the Washington Light Infantry, Captain Archibald Gracie, as of boarding the steamer St Nicholas, April 24, 1861, bound for Montgomery.

Adams, Homer,  26

Adams, Quintus Sertorius,  22

Bagby, John Hampden,  19

Bagby, Simon Connell,  24

Baird, Henry Clay, 3CPL,  22

Bancroft, Sydney S.,  21

Battle, James M.,  16

Battle, Samuel G. Jr.,  19

Bird, Albert Galliline,  19

Boullemet, Milton Hyman,  17

Bowers, George Florian,  16

Bridges, George Rodney,  24

Burnham, Charles Edward,   ?

Burton, John Thomas,  23

Byard, Edward Hogan,  22

Chester, John Wood, 1LT,  29

Childers, James Edward,  17

Cleveland, James Brown,  25

Cocke, Thomas Watt,   ?

Cocke, William Gustavus,  20

Coleman, Fountain Pitt,  21

Coleman, James LaFayette,  CPL,  ?

Coleman, Wiley Theophilus,  21

Crawley, John J.,  20

Dalton, Edmund Richard,  23

Dargen, Edward Pickens,  20

Dean, William Edward,  21

Donaldson, James,   ?

Donoho, Osceola Charles,  23

Donovan, William G.,  33

Drish, Archibald Rye,  27

Ellison, George H.,  4CPL,  19;

English, David Crawford,  25

Foley, John Sylvester,  [21]

Foster, Aaron Whitney,  28

Foster, David Alexander,  2CPL,  [25]

Gilmore, John Young,  24

Goldsmith, Leo,  ?

Gordon, Jesse A., [22]

Gracie, Archibald Jr., Captain,  29

Gwin, George Bailey,  19

Heddon, William Henry,   ?

Heirs, William Andy,  18

Hemstag, William,  25

Hill, Van Courtland,  21

Hodges, William Harrison, [4]SGT,  20  (Hodges actually enlisted in Montgomery, 4-28-61)

Hooks, Alfred B.,  23

Hopkins, Robert,   ?

Huggins, John Thomas, 1SGT,  24

Hull, H. Edgar,  18

Irwin, Richard Learn F. “Lee,” 1CPL,  20

Johnson, Robert Bruce,   ?

Jones, George C.,   ?

Jones, Harvey Ellis,  3SGT,  19

Keough, Arthur Magee,   ?

Latham, Mortimer Aldridge,  26

Lenoir, Thomas Middleton,  22

Levy, Julian Camden,  2SGT,  27

Massey, Wright Stanley,  21

May, Charles Henry,   ?

McDonald, Thomas Anthony,  19

McGillivary, William Stuart,  26

McKeon, Daniel Valentine,   ?

McLaughlin, Thomas Jefferson,  21

McVoy, Cornelius,   ?

Meldrum, George Sterling,   ?

Miller, Duncan James,   ?

Murrill, Charles Washington “Walter,”  20

Myer, Franklin Samuel,  22

Needy, John Albert,  24

Nicolson, George William,  19

Norris, William Young,  20

Oppenheim, Edward Lewis,   ?

Owen, Franklin Alexander,  20

Parham, Rutledge Thomas Blessingame,  17

Patten, William Thompson,   ?

Peabody, Horace M.,  19

Porter, Charles S. D.,  [18]

Reynolds, Hugh,   ?

Riley, James Augustus,  19

Rutherford, John S.,  20

Shearer, Walter W.,   ?

Sherwood, John J.,   ?

Simon, James Julius,  20

Skates, Henry Schuyler,  20

Sloan, Joseph R.,   ?

Smith, Chandler Starr, 2LT,  27

Smith, Edward,   ?

Smith, James Xavier,  23

Steed, George Edward,   ?

Stephenson, William Henry,  22

Toulmin, John Francis,  18

Turner, Samuel Coote,  36

Vail, William Benners,  20

Waltz, William Christopher,  39

Watt, James N. Jr.,  [22]

Westfeldt, Charles/Class Fleetwood, 3LT,  22

Wilcox, Robert H.,  18

Williams, John Parey,  32

Woodward, John Gosee,  [22]

Wyckoff, Cornelius Peter,  26

The Mobile Rifles: Roster, April 23, 1861

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108 Officers and men (age and rank) of the Mobile Rifles Militia; Roster as of their boarding the steamer Selma, bound for Montgomery, April 23, 1861.

“It must have been with no ordinary feelings of pride that Woodruff led forth from the Armory Hall (where he dressed their ranks with as accurate an eye as if they were to be inspected by the President), the brave followers whom he had so faithfully and skillfully trained in the use of arms…With them are associated a large number of the new recruits, selected from numerous applicants who sought admission to the Corps, well-knowing they were about to come under the command of one who tolerates no infringement or neglect of military rule. It is the strictness which has made the Rifles the pride of Mobile.”

— The Mobile Register

Adams, James K. 3LT,  35

Atkins, William Thomas, 19

Aubert, Aristide Louis,  26

Bailey, John Chaucer,  ?

Baumer, Joseph, Drummer, 14, (ward of Capt. Woodruff)

Bryant, Jacob, 23

Buford, John Crittenden 1SGT,  26

Burton, Horatio/Horace,  25

Butt, Melville C.,  23

Campbell, Bayles Earle, 19

Cherry, William W.,  22

Child, Dr. Duff D.,  27

Childress, Jeff V.,  ?

Clark, Charles H.,  22

Colburn, John H.,  26

Collier, Charles Crowe,  22

Cooper, Thomas E.,  20

Crawford, W.D.   ?

Crowder, Eli H.,  29

Daily, James,  2SGT,  32

Dawson, Joseph G.  ?

DeBell, Robert Francis,  22

Donaldson, Henry, “Shanghai”  34

Duffie, George G.,  26

Dunlap, George Hamilton Jr.,  22

Ellis, John Beach,  22

Ellis, William L.,  22

Foster, James Fleetwood,  18

Fowler, John D., 2CPL, [26]

Gardner, William H.,  28

Garrow, William M.,  19

Gazzam, William P.,  [21]

Geaudreau, William A., 3SGT,  [25]

Goodloe, George,  27

Goodman, Leonard H., 22

Goodwin, John W., 5SGT,  33

Gould, James Perine,  16

Greenwood, Wm. Henry H.,  27

Grist, William B.,  21

Harwell, Charles R.,  18

Haughton, Robert H.,  24

Henry, Thomas Jr.,  24

Hodges, John C. Jr.,  22

Howard, James E. M.,  @19

Hoyt, James Henry, 19

Hoyt, John Keais, 4SGT,  20

Hurter, John Christopher,  19

Hutchinson, Francis S.,  [21]

Inerarity, John W.,  22

Innerarity [sic], John E. DeVilliers,  20

Jackson, Joseph A.,  [27]

Jenks, John Matthew,  23

Johnston, G. Floyd,  [19]

Jones, William M., (20)

Jordan, Richard Bartholomew,  21

Keeler, Charles Alfred,  27

Keith, John H.,  27

Labuzan, Charles Jr.,  21

Lake, John Jemison,  23

Lathrop, George F.,  20

Lavender, Wright H.,  20

Lecesne, Thomas Jr.,  20

Loper, William E.,  @28

Manning, James,  19

Marrast, John Calhoun, 1LT,  35 (Servant John C)

Maybrey, Peter L.,  27

Mayrant, Robert Woodruff,  32

McDonald, William M. Jr.,  22

McGuire, Albert Galister,  27

Moore, John F.,  [21]

Mosby, B. McRae,  19

Mosby, Edward Chamberlayne Jr.,  24

Monelle, Robert A.,  19?

Neville, Samuel Alexander,  18

O’Brien, William J.,  24

Pairo, Samuel H.,  19

Parker, Arthur C.,  ?

Pope, Charles H.,  17

Post, James B.,  28

Powers, William H.,  20

Punch, Archibald Malloy,  18

Robeson, William B.,  21

Roper, Benjamin Franklin,  25

Ryder, Corbet Autin,  28

Simonton, Gilbseath F. Jr.   ?

Singleterry, Frank C.,  29

Skinner, Joseph Harvey,  25

Smith, Thomas M.,   ?

Smith, William G., 1CPL, [@26?]

Smoot, Alfred E.,  27

Sullivan, William Henry,  19

Swain, Harvey Jr.,  17

Taylor, David S.,  17

Taylor, Joseph H.,  [19]

Thompson, Archibald Simpson “Sim,”  21

Thompson, Joseph Savier,  22

Treat, William Hamilton,  20

Vidmer, John,  25

Watkins, Charles W.,  18

Weedon, John, 2LT,  25

Whitehurst, Charles C.,  28

Williams, Isaac S.,  20

Williams, Robert H.,  @24

Williamson, Daniel H.,  [24]

Wilson, Henry Felix,  24

Woodcock, Benjamin S.,  25

Woodruff, Lewis T., CAPTAIN,  45

Yeates, Joseph James,  22

3rd Alabama Regiment: The Mobilians

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Many in the 3d Alabama were, as it once was common to say, “to the manor born.”  This was especially true of two militias from Mobile: The Cadets and the Rifles. These were the oldest local militias and the pride of the city.  Their captains: Robert Sands of the Cadets and Lewis Woodruff of the Rifles were the senior captains of the regiment, and when the command structure was penciled in in Montgomery, the Cadets and Rifles were placed on the right flanks of their respective battalions, meaning they occupied the “positions of honor.” (all positions in a regiment’s battle line were assigned by the seniority of the captains, spreading them out in a logical manner) The Cadets were designated Company A; the Rifles: Company K.  Likewise, the remaining two Mobile militias were split: The Gulf City Guards under Hartwell, and the Washington Light Infantry, captained by Archibald Gracie.  

Gracie, 27,  was not only the youngest of these four, but also by far the youngest captain in the regiment. As a graduate of West Point, however,  his abilities were not in question, nor were his loyalties. A Northerner who had married a Richmond girl, after his active duty commitment was fulfilled, he settled in Mobile to work for the Gracie family interests, and wound up as captain of one of the local militias. His allegiance to the south split his family, his parents never spoke to him again. (Gracie mansion is  still in use as the Mayor’s residence in Manhattan).

Robert Sands at 36, Lewis Woodruff at 45, and William Hartwell at 41 were almost too old for this game. The role of a Civil War captain (captains and lieutenants were known as officers “of the line”) would be a vigorous one, and by the next Spring, promotion or disability  (or lack of  popularity) would readjust company commands throughout both armies.  For the time being, though, these “old men” served as the necessary father figures to hundreds of exuberant spirits. In a culture where age inferred respect and rank conferred authority, the Mobile captains still had their hands full controlling their respective commands. It would be fair to say the young gentlemen in their charge knew their business: marching, drilling, maneuvers and marksmanship. It is also fair to say they  thought––with the perquisite bravery of course––little more  would be necessary. These Mobilians were young men of independence––highly educated, many of them––traveled and cultured. A number were lawyers, physicians or merchants well established in their professions.  The younger set were clerks, university students or “gentlemen of leisure,” with the standing and wherewithal to belong to socially advantageous organizations, i.e. militias, Mardi Gras crews and the like.  What’s more, in the highly social setting  that Mobile was then and is still today––they were expected to belong.

Expectations are at the mercy of many things. The Cadets, The Rifles, The Guards, and The Infantry, all elected their members and their officers––in a manner not unlike modern day college fraternities. Because a militia company had to conform to certain size restrictions, each organization had a waiting list for membership. As vacancies occurred, prospective members were proposed and elected, or returned to the wait-list. Wealth was probably not a factor in their deliberations, but character certainly was. Each group had a democratic sprinkling of those men from humbler circumstances, their expenses covered by others as necessary.  In the Cadets there was William Hartman, better known as “Zou” – 37 year old Alsatian––hired to be drum major to the regiment; and Daniel Wheeler, a 31 year old seaman; The Rifles included carpenter James Daily; in the G.C.G.’s Edward Couch, 19, was a brick layer by trade and son of a minister; William Comegys was a harbor pilot. Amongst the Washington Light Infantry was Edward Byard, a young seaman, and John Gilmore, a printer. Thomas McDonald was listed as “laborer” on the 1860 census.

But these were the exceptions.  The Gulf City Guards also included Private Ed Dargan, son of a confederate congressman;  Privates John and Simon Bagby, sons of the former Governor; the Rifles (Co K), had Private Howard Evans in their ranks. His sister Augusta Evans, was one of the most widely read authors in the country, famous for “Beaulah” and “St. Elmo.” Ten Cadet privates of Mess “Number Five” had the panache (or audacity) to throw a dinner party shortly after their arrival at Norfolk, in May of 1861. One of them, James Deas Nott, had recently returned from Heidelberg, interrupting his surgical studies. Dinner was catered at 2 PM, wine was served until 6 PM, when the hosts excused themselves to attend dress parade. Private Edward Waterhouse and Sergeant  Bruno Ynestra, were jewellers; Thomas Emanuel, Harry Toulmin, Henry Sengstacks, Henry Goldthwaite, John Innerarity, James Broun, Nick Weeks, all represented “old” Mobile families.

The following quote may be descriptive of all departures, the New Orleans Picayune ran a piece on the Gulf City Guards on 4-28-61:  “This is a fine and gallant company, of the flower of Mobile. Verily has Mobile contributed 400 of her best and most chivalrous youth in the four companies that have gone North…at 5 o’clock, the Guards moved from the armory, and marched up Royal to Dauphin, and down Dauphin to the steamer ‘Selma’, on board of which boat they took passage…”

On the passage upriver to Montgomery and the subsequent rail trip north to Lynchburg and Norfolk, were 600 pounds of gold,  property of the Mobile Cadets and under the guard of 2LT Charles Forsyth, son of the prominent editor of the Mobile Register.  With an uncertain economy facing the seceding states, this gold made the Mobile Cadets very welcome in Norfolk.