Tuesday, May 25, 2010

To Active Service

Today at Brandy Station: May 25, 1861

It's a Saturday, and the Little Fork Rangers (soon to be Company D, 4th Virginia Cavalry) are drilling at Oak Shade, midway between Rixeyville and Jeffersonton. A courier, from the Court House arrives with orders, nearly killing his horse in the process. It is The orders.

Their Captain, Dr. Robert Utterback, calls them together. If there are men here who do not want to commit to service, now is the time to leave. Some will. The remainder, ride to the Baptist Church in Jeffersonton later this day.

Utterback reads the orders they all expected: Proceed to Camp Henry, Culpeper Court House on Monday, May 27, to be mustered into Confederate Service.

One wonders what passed through the minds of these young men - called to defend their new country. How many thought they would each kill 10 Yankees. It was heady times indeed.

There first assignment, however, would be on the mundane side. They are to guard the railroad bridge that spans the Rappahannock. The Little Fork Rangers would have their glory. But first things first.

Utterback would survive the war and become the Culpeper school superintendent in 1870.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mike. What is Oak Shade? A home or village? Does it still survive. The Little Fork Church in Rixeyville is one of my favorite spots in Virginia!