Friday, December 17, 2010

A gift to the Powhatan Cavalry Troop

Today at Brandy Station: December 17, 1861

The article below appeared today (1861 of course) in the Richmond Dispatch concerning a give to the Powhatan Troop, otherwise known as Company E, 4th Virginia Cavalry Regiment. Someone in the company must have made a very positive impression on Annie E. Wise of Culpeper.

A "Battle-Flag" for the Powhatan Troop.
We have been favored with the following correspondence between one of our patriotic Virginia ladies and the gallant commander of the Powhatan Troop. The letters speak for themselves, and we therefore, without further comment, give them to the reader:

Bel Bee, near Brandy Station, Culpeper, Nov. 28, 1861.Capt. Jno. F. Lay:
Dear Sir:
Be pleased to accept this "Battle-Flag" which I have taken great pleasure in making, and which I now present to your command; though it be pierced with many balls and stained with precious blood, rally around it with brave and determined hearts, protecting the interest common to us all — our beloved country. With much respect,
Annie E. Wise.

Cavalry Camp Beauregard, December 3, 1861.
My Dear Miss Annie:
This banner sent to us from your fair young hands was as opportune a gift to the "Powhatan Troop" as it was beautiful--"deep feelings, few words." Be assured your banner shall be borne proudly at the head of my command, wheresoever duty shall call, and whensoever a "battle flag" is flung to the air by the Army of the Potomac, and as we look at its brilliant folds, there shall ever be mingled kind memories of the fair donor, with a determination to be worthy of the love and devotion of the women of the South--a determination to secure to their homes immunity from the presence of the brutal invaders whose feet are now at the threshold of our beloved Virginia.
With warm regards and thanks in the name of the company, I am, my dear Miss Annie, your friend.
John F. Lay,

Capt. Commanding Powhatan Troop.

Captain Lay survived the war, being promoted to Major in March 1865. He left Company E and joined General Beauregard's staff in April, 1862.


  1. Thank you so much for posting this. I ran into it in a search for John F Lay. He is my 3rd great grandfather. I enjoyed reading this. If you know where I might find other information about him and the Powhattan Troop, I would greatly appreciate the tip. Once again, thank you.

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