Woodson's Missouri Cavalry in the Battle of New Market
In front of you is one of only two monuments erected by veterans of the battle. This one was placed by members of Woodson's Company of Missouri Cavalry. The unit followed perhaps the strangest path to this field of conflict.
Captured in Mississippi in 1862, the men were exchanged at City Point, Virginia a year later. In Richmond, some 70 officers and men were designated as Co. A, 1st Missouri Cavalry under the command of twenty-one-year-old Capt. Charles H. Woodson. The Missourians were transferred to the Valley District and attached to the 62nd Virginia Mounted Infantry Regiment. Lack of horses meant the "mounted" troops would fight on foot.
During the battle, the Missouri men faced heavy fire from Capt. Albert von Kleiser's 30th New York artillery battery. Lieutenant Ed Scott recalled:
"We were now within pistol shot of the battery and just as I fired the last shot from my revolver at a canoneer, Sgt. Day came up to me pale and staggering with the blood flowing from his breast and back, and said as he gave me his hand, ?Lt., I am almost gone, please help me off.' Just then I saw Lt. Jones, my bosom friend and companion fall full length beside me?I was struck at the same time in the arm with a fragment of shell?I assisted Will Day a few steps to the rear and laid him down. He would soon be dead. I spoke but he answered not. I placed my mouth close to his ear and begged him to call upon our Heavenly Father for the pardon of his sins?Will was a wild but a brave and generous boy. Just as I was lowering him Tommy Cave came to me with blood pouring from his neck and said, ?Good-bye, Lt., I am killed.' I took his hand and eased him to the ground. These were the last words he spoke."
In all, four soldiers were killed and about 35 were wounded, including Woodson. Two veterans of the company, J.H. Dwyer and W.R. Fallis, commissioned a limestone marker to the unit's position on the Bushong farm. A local Confederate veteran, Major Christian Shirley, offered a load of sand, and Jacob Bushong provided the rock. In early May of 1905, the two Missourians, assisted by Shirley and L.M. Henkel, erected the monument, which reads thus:
This rustic pile
The simple tale will tell:
It marks the spot
Where Woodson's heroes fell.
(Sidebar):Love and War
For Missourians J.H. Dwyer and W.R. Fallis, service in Virginia brought more than battle; it also brought romance, as reported in the May 25, 1905 edition of the Shenandoah Valley newspaper:
Not many months after the battle of New Market, Mr. Dwyer married Miss Ada Sprinkle, a maiden of 15 or 16 years, who had cared for him when wounded whilst in Harrisonburg.
In 1867, Mr. Fallis married Miss Sallie Gay, of Harrisonburg, a war sweetheart, where she died in 1882.
In August, 1885 he married Miss Mattie O. Giles, of Nelson County, where they resided for some time. Mr. Fallis jocularly remarked that man may escape the perils of battle, but never the wiles of Cupid. In his case, he married two ladies with red hair, when he had vowed he never would, and one of them declared most emphatically she would never marry a widower, but he got the best of all, and they were Virginians.