Lorena

 

Lorena is considered the most popular love ballad of the Civil War.  Some believe this song was played among the Confederate ranks more than any other, so it is likely that Parham heard it in the camps.  It has also been said that one Confederate officer banned the song because of the homesickness and desertion it inspired.

 

 

The years creep slowly by, Lorena,
The snow is on the ground again;
The sun’s low down the sky, Lorena,
The frost gleams where the flowers have been.
But the heart throbs on as warmly now
As when the summer days were nigh;
Oh, the sun can never dip so low
To be down affection’s cloudless sky.

A hundred months have passed, Lorena,
Since last I held that hand in mine,
And felt the pulse beat fast, Lorena,
Though mine beat faster far than thine.
A hundred months – ’twas flowery May,
When up the hilly slope we climbed,
To watch the dying of the day
And hear the distant church bells chime.

We loved each other then, Lorena,
Far more than we ever dared to tell;
And what we might have been, Lorena,
Had our loving prospered well!
But then, ’tis past; the years have gone,
I’ll not call up their shadowy forms;
I’ll say to them, “Lost years, sleep on,
Sleep on, nor heed life’s pelting storms'”

The story of the past, Lorena,
Alas! I care not to repeat;
The hopes that could not last, Lorena,
They lived, but only lived to cheat.
I would not cause e’en one regret
To rankle in your bosom now – 
“For if we try we may forget,”
Were words of thine long years ago.

Yes, these were words of thine, Lorena – 
They are within my memory yet.
They touched some tender chords, Lorena,
Which thrill and tremble with regret.
‘Twas not the woman’s heart which spoke – 
Thy heart was always true to me;
A duty stern and piercing broke
The tie which linked my soul with thee.

It matters little now, Lorena,
The past is in the eternal past;
Our hearts will soon lie low, Lorena,
Life’s tide is ebbing out so fast.
There is a future, oh, thank God!
Of life this is so small a part – 
‘Tis dust to dust beneath the sod.
But there, up there, ’tis heart to heart.

 

 

 

 

 

Women’s Movement in the South

Anyone who has been on a road trip through the South has seen visual reminders in town squares of the cause for which Parham fought and died.  One should not underestimate the influence that monuments and cemeteries which honor Confederate dead have upon Southern identity.  To show that influence, the previous blog post entitled Four Score and Seven Years Ago concluded with the statement that this edition will focus on three points in particular.

  1. What was The Gettysburg Address about?

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If a person on the street were asked what they remember from President Lincoln’s short address at Gettysburg, he or she “may” be astute enough to quote from the opening sentence Four score and seven years ago and also that all men are created equal.  If that same person were asked what the speech was about, the likely response would be that men died on the battlefield in a struggle to end the unjust practice of slavery.  As President Lincoln said, all men are created equal.  Right?

Indeed, all men are created equal; Lincoln borrowed the phrase from the Preamble to the U.S. Declaration of Independence.  As nice as the phrase sounds, the sad reality is that it was not inclusive of slaves in the minds of the forefathers in 1776, President Lincoln when elected in 1860, and the majority of Northern soldiers who died at Gettysburg in 1863.  A response from a random bypasser today that the speech was about slavery is to be expected; afterall, it’s what he or she was likely taught in school.  The United States has been quite effective in teaching it’s youth the myth that the federal government sends its men (and now women also) off to war to fight for social justice.

So, what was The Gettysburg Address about?  The purpose of this historic speech is found in its third and fourth sentences of the second paragraph, specifically that:

We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.  

What comes after this sentence is a host of “verbal niceties” supporting this main point of the speech, including statements that may be familiar to some readers such as they gave the last full measure and these dead shall not have died in vain.  The closing statement of the speech, like the opening sentence, has another famous and often quoted “feel good” line that has nothing to do with the main point of the speech itself, specifically that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

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Click image to learn more about Gettysburg National Cemetery from the National Park Service.

In short, the focal point of The Gettysburg Address is sandwiched between memorable opening and closing statements.  The purpose of the address itself is that those who fought and died to preserve the Union (i.e. only Yankee soldiers) at Gettysburg would be buried in a section of the battlefield set aside as a National Cemetery.

 

How did it lead to the creation of National Cemeteries?

The Gettysburg Address did not specifically lead to the creation of the first National Cemeteries.  It did, however, honor Northerners who perished in the bloodiest battle of the entire war, a battle that shook the foundations of every household on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.  There was a realization that the war would keep going on and on and that the number of dead would continue to increase.  U.S. Congress passed legislation a year prior to Gettysburg which authorized the President to purchase land for the establishment of cemeteries for the burial of those fighting on behalf of the United States, not the Confederate States.  About a dozen smaller cemeteries were established during that first year.  In fact, the well known Arlington Cemetery was previously the property of Confederate General Robert E. Lee which the United States government took to bury their Northern dead.

Why did it influence the reinternment of Parham’s remains back to Southern soil?

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Click image to learn more about Ladies’ Memorial Associations.

There is a deep-rooted history behind the cemeteries with Confederate dead and the monuments in town squares.  To vandalize or remove them because of a political agenda is a disgraceful “slap in the face” to the Southern women who worked tirelessly to honor their sons, brothers, fathers, and lovers.  Whereas Washington used tax-payer dollars to honor Northern dead; Ladies’ Memorial Associations across the South spear-headed a grass-roots movement to raise monies to finance the proper burial of their dead.  This was not an easy task because much of the previously wealthy South was left in a poverty-stricken state for generations.  Southern women persevered in spite of this economic setback, and funds were raised.  This is how the Ladies of Richmond arranged for Parham’s remains, along with other Confederate dead from the Army of Northern Virginia, to be transported from Gettysburg and buried in Richmond, Virginia at Hollywood Cemetery.

 

“Four Score and Seven Years Ago”

Unknown-1Four score and seven years ago…These are the words which open the famous speech delivered on November 19, 1863, by US President Abraham Lincoln and known as The Gettysburg Address.  Many people in the United States, including this blogger, were required to memorize and recite the speech before their peers while in grade school.

So what happened four score and seven (i.e. 87) years prior? To be exact,  on the 87th anniversary of what event did Jack Fernandez write about Parham’s expected amputation from a hospital near Gettysburg?  To use the words penned by Thomas Jefferson, The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America. Today, we call this the Declaration of Independence.

Representatives gathered together as a Congress and signed the document to:

  • declare the causes which impel them to the separation (from Great Britain),
  • list a long train of abuses and usurpations,
  • state the patient sufferance of these Colonies,
  • explain that they had been reduced to live under absolute Despotism, and
  • confirm that it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Ironically, President Lincoln did not focus on these points in his speech. They were the very sentiments echoed in each of the declarations of causes of the seceding States. One may not agree with some or any of the reasons listed by the Southern states for choosing to secede; however, that is not the issue here. The fact is that elected officials from those sovereign states exercised what they believed to be their right to separate and in the same manner in which their forefathers had severed ties from Great Britain. Parham’s state of Mississippi, after building a case for secession, wrote in their declaration for far less cause than this, our fathers separated from the Crown of England.

How did President Lincoln respond when the Southern states declared their independence?  He did the same as King George III of Great Britain, sent troops to suppress the rebellion so that taxes/tariffs would continue to be gathered.  The politically correct term for this by the Lincoln administration was Preservation of the Union. How did the Southern States respond?  They did so in the same manner as the original thirteen States, raised-up arms against what they perceived to be an invasion from an occupying force. Separation (and the reason for doing so) is one matter; fighting for the right to do so after being invaded is another. Unfortunately, we learn about this embarrassing conflict from the 1860s in the modern classroom by mixing the two.  In 1776, there were people loyal to the crown initially opposed to separation who in the end chose to defend themselves against British occupation.  To be historically consistent, why is it different for the Confederacy?

Stay tuned for the next blog post when it will be explained what The Gettysburg Address was about, how it led to the creation of National Cemeteries, and why it influenced the reinternment of Parham’s remains back to Southern soil.

Lee-Jackson Day Presentation: Save Confederate Memorials — Civil War Chat

(January 9, 2020) On Saturday, January 18th, I will be making a presentation at the Lexington, Virginia Lee-Jackson Day memorial to explain why Confederate statues and symbols should be preserved. Presentation Subject: Defending Confederate Memorials Speaker: Philip Leigh Date: January 18, 2020 (a Saturday) Time: Noon Location: Hampton Inn on Col Mansion Grounds 401 East Nelson Street Lexington, Virginia 24450 […]

via Lee-Jackson Day Presentation: Save Confederate Memorials — Civil War Chat

“The Confederacy Had No Truer Soldier”

Screen Shot 2019-07-21 at 7.04.34 PMParham Morgan Buford passed away on August 15, 1863, as a prisoner of war at Camp Letterman General Hospital.  He held on for 43 days after being wounded on July 3rd during Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg and was less than six weeks away from his 21st birthday.  The cause of death was amputation, likely from infection which followed.

Several dates were documented for the date of death on various military records; however, August 15th is most frequently found which is why the great-great-grandson of Parham’s sister (this blogger) selected it for Parham’s grave marker.  Some military records indicate that Parham’s left leg was amputated, yet Pacolet (Jack) Fernandez wrote per Parham’s request in a letter to the family that a mini-ball entered just above the right knee and passed directly through.  

Parham was buried in grave number 26 of section 2 of the General Hospital, most likely just feet from the tent in which he passed.  Elderly survivors from his company, not having access to all military records, would write in 1901 the following about Parham in A History of Company G, Eleventh Mississippi Regiment, C.S.A.

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Click image of Parham M. Buford to view source.

PARHAM MORGAN BUFORD, enlisted August 9, 1861, at Camp Jones, for one year.  Born in Mississippi, and a student at College Hill where his mother resided.  He was nineteen years old and single.  He was present in all the battles in which the Company took part after he joined it until he was mortally wounded at Gettysburg, to wit:

  • Two days Seven Pines,
  • Gaines’s Farm,
  • White Oak Swamp,
  • Malvern Hill,
  • Freeman’s Ford
  • Thoroughfare Gap,
  • Two days at Second Manassas,
  • Boonsborough,
  • Sharpsburg,
  • Gettysburg, where he was wounded in the right leg; was captured at field hospital, leg amputated.  He died soon afterwards in July, 1863. [The patriotic ladies of Richmond removed our dead from Gettysburg to Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Va., so we conclude his remains have been reinterred in Hollywood.

The Confederacy had no truer soldier than he who bore the name Parham Morgan Buford.

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Click photo of Parham M. Buford’s grave marker to listen to “Wearing of the Gray,” a tribute to the fallen Confederates.

The Origin of Memorial Day

Parham's Letters

210In the midst of the current Cultural Revolution when it has become fashionable to dishonor Confederate dead by vandalizing and removing monuments and in vogue to erase the memory of our history, The Washington Times posted The Confederate gift to the nation at the close of Memorial Day, 2018 on the origin of the national holiday.  A wounded nation was inspired during post-Civil War years when Southern women decorated the graves of fallen soldiers, both Confederate and Union.  People of that day who once fought each other as foes on the battlefield set the example for future generations by annually memorializing those who gave the last full measure.  Memorial Day reminds us that reconciliation is possible and that it is honorable to remember.

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Captured During a Religious Service

I was captured in the afternoon of a beautiful Sabbath day, the fifth of July, 1863, in a hospital tent, in the midst of a religious service, surrounded by the wounded on every hand, to whom I was ministering, and at whose urgent solicitation I had voluntarily remained within the enemy’s line.

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Click the image of Thomas Dwight Witherspoon to view source.

These were the words of Confederate Chaplain Thomas Dwight Witherspoon.  Thomas was ordained in 1860 and installed as pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Oxford, Mississippi. He was influential in the lives of many university students within the community and enlisted with them when the call to arms came in 1861.  Thomas served in the 11th Mississippi Lamar Rifles with Parham until, as the need for chaplains in the Confederacy increased, he was transferred to the 2nd and later to the 42nd.  Providentially,  both he and Parham were attached to Davis’ brigade at Gettysburg.  It is possible that Parham, as an amputee, might have been in the hospital tent among the wounded on every hand during the religious service described above.

Upon being captured, Thomas and other chaplains remaining behind were allowed to continue ministering to their wounded at Camp Letterman until they and the medical doctors were transferred on August 7th to Union-controlled Fort McHenry, Fort Monroe, Fort Norfolk, and then back to Fort McHenry again. They were released on November 21st during a prisoner exchange.

Prisoner of War Leg is Amputated

July 4, 1863, the very day Jack Fernandez wrote the previously posted letter to Parham’s family, the Army of Northern Virginia began their escape from Gettysburg.  Parham’s fellow 11th Mississippians were strategically placed at the rear where they victoriously defeated the 8th Illinois Cavalry in hot pursuit at Narrow Fairfield Gap.

Screen Shot 2019-04-13 at 1.42.30 PMParham could not join the retreat; the day before during Pickett’s Charge a Yankee minie ball entered just above the right knee and passed directly through.  As a result of this wound, Parham was left behind at Camp Letterman General Hospital near Gettysburg where he was taken as a prisoner of war and had his leg amputated at the thigh.

 

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Click image to view American Battlefield Trust video about period amputations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

37th Letter: Dreaded News (July 4, 1863)

Hospital near Gettysburg

July 4th 63

Mr Luckie

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Click image of hospital at Camp Letterman 1.25 miles east of Gettysburg to learn more about where wounded Parham was taken.

Dear Sir

I take it on myself at Parhams request to write to you and let you know how Parham is getting along with his wounded leg as I expect you will hear he is wounded before this He does not suffer much with his wound although it is a very severe one.  The ball entered just above the right knee and passed directly through.  

I expect it will be amputated.  

Tell Mrs Luckie not to be uneasy about him as Newt Shaw and and myself are both with him he is in as good spirits as any body.

I would give a list of the killed and wounded but there are a great many missing who we don’t know whether they are killed or Prisoners.  It was the most Horrible fight of the war. Our regiment in with 425 and came out with 65 we suffered I believe more than any other in the division. Our troops are still in very good spirits although we driven back.  

I will close by again telling you not to be uneasy about Parham for Newt Shaw has got permission to stay with him

                                                                                                                              Yours truly

Jack Fernandez

Parham will write in a day or two                                                                                             J.F.

 

 

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Blogger’s Notes:

  • With respect to Parham’s wound, the ball entered just above the right knee and passed directly through.  This may suggest Parham reached within Federal musket range during Pickett’s Charge somewhere between the vicinity of Emmitsburg Road and the stone wall near Brian’s Barn.  See previous post on Pickett’s Charge.
  • A History of Company G, Eleventh Mississippi Regiment, C.S.A. documents information about persons listed by name in this letter.
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      Click image of Pacolet (Jack) Fernandez to view source.

      Pacolet (Jack) Fernandez, writer of this letter per Parham’s request, enlisted May 23, 1863, at Oxford, Miss., for one year. Born in South Carolina, and a student at College Hill, Miss.; seventeen years of age and single.  He was present and took part in the battles of Freeman’s Ford, Thoroughfare Gap, and Second Manassas, two days at Gettysburg; Falling Waters, Bristol Station.  In the engagements of August 22, 28, 29, and 30, 1862, he acted as an independent soldier.  After the battle at Bristol Station he was on detailed duty, I think as a courier.  Parham previously wrote of Jack’s family on January 17, 1863, stating that he learned Union forces occupied College Hill and burned the Fernandez house.

    • William N. (Newt) Shaw, who was granted permission to stay behind with Parham at the hospital, enlisted August 9, 1861, at Bristol Station, Va., for one year. Born in Mississippi; a farmer near College Hill, Miss.; twenty-three years old and single.  He was present at Seven Pines, two days; Gaines’s Farm, and was absent wounded until he was present second day at Sharpsburg, Gettysburg, two days; Falling Waters, Bristol Station, Wilderness, two days; Tolles Mill, Spotsylvania, Hanover Junction, Bethsaida Church, two days; then Weldon Railroad where he was killed on first day. Promoted to Corporal, November, 1864…Of the four (Shaw) brothers only one survived the war, and he was shot through the left lung.  How dear was the cause that required such costly sacrifices!  Is there any wonder that the memory of it should still be dear to every Southron?  Whilst time lasts may this memory be cherished.
  • The name “Fernandez” is noteworthy as it reveals the service of persons with Hispanic heritage in the town of College Hill, the state of Mississippi, and the Confederacy.  Many Hispanic Confederates came from well established and prominent families; some traced their ancestry to explorers who settled in North America generations ahead of the English according to National Park Service article Hispanics and the Civil War.
    • College Hill Presbyterian Church Cemetery list of buried reveals the Fernandez family was one of the early settlers in the community.  A total of 18 persons bearing the name are buried there, including the writer of this letter.
    • Pacolet was not the only Fernandez from the community who volunteered with the Lamar Rifles; Henry Gore also bore the name.  Both Pacolet and Henry Gore Fernandez are listed by John O’Donnell-Rosales in a 90 page directory of Hispanic Confederates.

Pickett’s Charge

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Click image to watch History Channel’s portrayal of Davis’ Brigade during Pickett’s Charge.

History Channel portrays a minute by minute description of the artillery barrage into which CSA Brigadier General Joseph R. “Joe” Davis led the 11th Mississippi.  The long march from west of the tree line on Seminary Ridge to the stone wall near the Brian Barn, known as Pickett’s Charge, is believed by many to be the turning point of the War.

Below are the on-site monuments to the 11th Mississippi and their inscriptions about the fateful charge.

11th Mississippi
Infantry Regiment

Davis’ Brigade – Heth’s Division
A.P. Hill’s Corps
Army of Northern Virginia
Confederate States of America
Afternoon July 2 – July 4, 1863

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Click photo to view source on gettysburg.stonesentinels.com.

 

The 11th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, under the command of Col. Francis M. Green and Maj. Reuben O. Reynolds, formed west of the tree line on Seminary Ridge behind Maj. William Pegram’s Battalion of Artillery and immediately south of McMillan’s Woods on July 3, 1863. Shortly after 3:00 p.m., Color Sgt. William O’Brien of Company C, memorialized on this monument, raised the colors and the regiment stepped forward. Although clusters of men reached the stone wall near Brian’s Barn, the attack was driven back with heavy loss, and the remnants of the regiment reformed in this vicinity.

Combatants – 393
Killed in action/died of wounds – 110
Wounded/wounded captured – 193
Captured unwounded – 37
Non-casualty – 53

11th Mississippi Regiment 
Company A – University Greys
Layfayette County – 1st Lt. Jonathan V. Moore
Company B – Coahoma Invincibles
Coahoma County – Capt. William D. Nunn
Company C – Prairie Rifles
Chickasaw County – Capt. George W. Shannon
Company D – Neshoba Rifles
Neshoba County – Capt. Jonathan R. Prince
Company E – Prairie Guards
Lowndes County – Capt. Henry P. Halpert
Company F – Noxubee Rifles
Noxubee County – Capt. Thomas J. Stokes
Company G – Lamar Rifles
Lafayette County – Capt. William O. Nelms
Company H – Chickasaw Guards
Chickasaw County – Capt. Jamison H. Moore
Company I – Van Dorn Reserve
Monroe County – Capt. Stephen C. Moore
Company K – Carroll County Rifles
Carroll County – Capt. George W. Bird, Jr.

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Click photo to view source on Civil War Talk.

July 3, 1863. The 11th Mississippi Infantry regiment, with its ranks growing thinner at every step, advanced with the colors to the stone wall near the Brian Barn.

The regiment was here ‘subjected to a most galling fire of musketry and artillery that so reduced the already thinned ranks that any further effort to carry the position was hopeless, and there was nothing left but to retire.

– Report of Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Davis