This coming weekend is Emerging Civil War’s 4th Annual Symposium at Stevenson’s Ridge. On Sunday, we’ll be touring Brandy Station Battlefield.
Who’s your favorite officer or common soldier at the Battle of Brandy Station? Why?
Grimes Davis, the Mississippi-born Union officer killed very early in the fighting. I was very taken with his bold escape from Harpers Ferry the previous fall, and I think he might have risen far had he lived.
This is a good one. The boldness of his decision and action getting his men out of the HF trap and the inept command of Dixon Miles, and then capturing some of Longstreet’s trains while he was at it, are almost unparalleled. Like Buford, it’s a real shame that he didn’t survive – the two of them could have outshone both Stuart and Sheridan, IMHO.
The Confederate who killed Grimes was bold and clever. A proud moment for him.
Major General John Buford, of course. Buford got there first and had to attempt to seize the day until more Union cavalry showed up–sound familiar?
i think Major General John Buford had everything it took to be a superior officer. I admired his quiet efficiency, foresight and thoroughness. He seems to have been a quiet person, comfortable in himself, without the need to grandstand as seen in some other cavalry contenders for the top. His early demise was tragic.
Elias Franklin Alexander, 1st South Carolina Cavalry. He left an interesting account of a post-battle controversy with his commanding officer. While on assignment the day following the battle he learned that his CO had loaned Alexander’s horse to another trooper. On returning to camp the private confronted his CO and punched him. A board of enquiry ruled that Pvt. Alexander did no wrong because the horse was his personal property and the officer had no right to loan the animal to another trooper. For me, this story sums up much of the independent nature of a Confederate soldier and the organization of the army. Discipline was needed and followed when required but personal independence was jealously guarded.
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