May 26, 1914
Gen. C. A. Reed Lost His Arm Just 50 Years Ago
of Gen. C. A. Reed of Anderson, S. C., of the battle of Hawes’ Shop, Va., which
was fought on the 28th of May, 1864,and was declared by Gen. Wade
Hampton of the southern army and Gen. Sheridan of the union forces, as the most
“severe cavalry fighting of the war. The
engagement lasted from about 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., the union forces losing
about three to our one killed and wounded,”says Gen. Reed. Following is the
sketch he has prepared.
left camp on May 27th on a scouting expedition under charge of
Lieut. Hinson of Co. B, 7th S. C. Cavalry, and after proceeding a
few miles we arrived at a forked road where our commander divided the squad of
men, he taking the remaining four under charge of Sergeant Lawton, out the
other road with orders to meet him at Old Church, several miles away. Our party camped the night in an oak grove
and during the still hours of the night could hear bugles, sounding in the
distance and what appeared to be tramping of horses and men.
slept but little, and at early dawn, started on our way, in direction of the
noises heard on the previous night. We
had not proceeded more than two miles when we [were] warned by a woman, whose
home we were passing, that we had better not go on, as there was accompany of
“Yankee Cavalry,” in the woods just ahead.
We did not see them however, and started on our way, but had not gone
far until a number of soldiers appeared in the road ahead and ordered us to
we were not inclined to be captured we quickly turned our horses and left at
full speed, and it appeared as if fifty guns were fired at us and we could hear
the “zip” of the bullets, but luckily none of us were hit. We discovered where Gen. Wickham’s cavalry
brigade was in camp a few miles away.
reported what had occurred and immediately the bugle call was sounded and
quickly a force of cavalry was on the march to meet the enemy and soon
Wickham’s and Rosser’s brigades were advancing to battle.
4th S. C. Cavalry was also advanced and our little party realizing
that we could not obey orders and meet Lieut. Hinson at Old Church unless we
whipped the Yankees out of our way, decided to go into the fight with Capt.
J.C. Calhoun’s company of the 4th Regiment, which we did and our
forces pressed Sheridan’s Cavalry back for two miles, when they were supported
by Grant’s infantry, and there we halted, and the firing was intense.
gun, a breech loader, had got hot from frequent firing and after my last shot
as I was reloading the gun by inserting a cartridge in the chamber, I was
struck by a minie ball, which went through my left wrist severing the artery
and entered the palm of my right hand, going through about four inches of the
wrist joint, which wound rendered necessary the amputation of my right hand,
thus severing my connection with my comrades and friends and ending my active
last day of our state reunion, the 28th of May, will be the 50th
anniversary of this battle.
[Note: C. A. Reed was a private in
the 7th SC Cavalry. Not sure
where the probably honorary title of General comes from.]
by: Sharon Strout]