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Newspaper Account of a 1916 Confederate Reunion Convention attended by J.D. Hogan


This is from W. F. Turner (proprietor), “After Separated 51 years, Old Veterans Hug and Weep: Russell Tells of Capt. Hogan’s Assault on Yankee Camp during Civil War,” in Ledger, (Birmingham, Alabama), then given by J. A. Bost to Atkins Chronicle (Friday May 26, 1916):



For the first time in 51 yr., Capt. J.D. Hogan and W.W. Russell, members of Hampton’s scouts met in Birmingham Wednesday afternoon. The old comrades rushed into each other’s arms and there were tears of joy in their eyes as they embraced after years of separation.


            They were accompanied by James P. Willis of Fountain Inn, S. Carolina and they held a reunion.


            Mr. Russell told this story: “Capt. Dick Hogan and a little band of scouts, about 40 in number, crawled through the enemy lines and into the camp of a Michigan brigade of cavalry which was encamped on the Smith farm in Stafford County, Virginia in 1863”.


            “We crawled into the camp on our hands and knees”, said Mr. Russell, “Crawling more than 300 years through this brush and past the sentries, we arrived at the brigade headquarters where the flag floated over the general’s tent. It was about midnight and chilly. The sentry paced back and forth in front of the tent, and had a big roaring log fire.”


            Suddenly Capt. Hogan rose within ten (10) feet of the sentinel and demanded the surrender of the camp and followed his demand with a shot which brought down the sentry. The general in command opened the flap of his tent and peeped out, his bald head glistening in the night. A shot rang out and the general fell dead as a bullet crashed through his brain. In the meantime the surprised troops rallied and a hand to hand conflict started. Hogan fell in a few minutes, shot through the right lung. He pitched forward with his head almost in the fire. W.W. Russell, then a boy of 17 years, pulled him out of the fire.”


            “The fight raged on. Soon the Yankees began to yell “We surrender.” At least 500 of them stacked their arms before the fire. However, the captain of one of their companies showed that he was a soldier. He rallied his company, which had been some distance from the fire, and advanced pouring a volley into us and we had to retreat.”


            “Russell to command and the retreat started. The colonel of the Yankee regiment ran for his horse and attempted to cut it loose from a tree to which it was tied. One of the boys fired at him and he dropped, the same bullet cutting his jugular vein and killing his horse.”


            “Russell picked up Hogan and the party retreated to a branch where they slipped to get water. Hogan, who had apparently been dead, feebly asked for a drink of water, and asked us not to let the rascals get him. Three or four of us got Hogan into a saddle and I rode behind him. We rode five or ten miles to Capt. Charles Tagyarts house where we were compelled to stop for the night. The next day the Yankees started in pursuit. We made a litter from two fence rails and escaped to the pine thickets. Soon we found the ruins of an old log cabin. Only one corner of the house stood, the rest having decayed. A part of the roof sheltered this nook. Here we put Hogan and he remained there two months until his wounds healed without medical attention. The only attention he had was the nursing of Russel and Barney Henderson, a member of a prominent South Carolina family. He improved so rapidly that in two month we moved him to the house of a Mrs. Humphreys, where at the direct of Gen. Wade Hampton, Dr. Jankin, a surgeon, visited him. Gen. Hampton stated that if necessary he would hold his whole force and move Hogan into the Confederate lines. However, he was able to move without assistance.”


            W.W. Russell now resides at Anderson, South Carolina. Capt. Hogan is now a resident of Pope County, Arkansas.