SUBMITTED BY: Steve Bailey (transcribed by Laurie Jones; edited by Cheri Todd Molter)
Editor’s Notes: The following is a transcription of an article published on page 3 of the Anson Times on Thursday, July 30, 1885. I’ve taken the liberty of providing some background information about the people named and other clarifications below.
W. C. or “Cal” Little was William Calvin Little, an Anson County man who was twenty-three years old when he joined the Confederate Army on August 1, 1862. He enlisted at Richmond, Virginia and served in Company C of the 14th Infantry, North Carolina Troops. As stated in this article, Little was mortally wounded on June 2, 1864 at Bethesda Church, Virginia.
There were four men who rightfully could have been referred to as the “Gudger of company F”: Charles, David, James, and William Gudger. Nevertheless, the man the author was most likely referring to was either William McCree Gudger, a Buncombe County man who enlisted at the age of nineteen in 1861, or James M. Gudger, a Buncombe County farmer who enlisted in 1861 when he was twenty-four years old. William was promoted several times during the war and was present at the surrender at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. James was elected Captain of company F, 14th Infantry, North Carolina Troops, and he served as such until he was severely wounded in May of 1864 while fighting at Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia. The wound ended his military career, but he survived and returned home to work as a state legislator, a farmer, a teacher, and eventually, an attorney. Either William or James could have been the man referred to by “M” in the following article. However, Charles Gudger died of disease in 1862, and David was discharged from the army on April 25, 1863, so they probably were *not* the Gudger that “M” referred to.
Regarding the misspellings that occurred in the article: “Ramsuer” referred to Major General Stephen Dodson Ramseur (William Ruffin Cox took command of this brigade during Ramseur’s leave of absence to get married in 1863, and then again after Ramseur’s death in October 1864). Link: https://www.nps.gov/people/stephen-d-ramseur.htm
“Rhodes” referred to Major General Robert Emmett Rodes. Link: https://www.nps.gov/mono/learn/historyculture/general-rodes.htm
Transcription of the published piece (click on images to enlarge):
Recollections of a Private
July 27, 1885
The sharp shooters of Ramsuer’s [sic] afterwards Cox’s brigade, and perhaps those of the other brigades in the division (Rhodes’) [sic], were organized into two corps, 1st and 2nd. Each corps was made up of three or four or more men from the several companies in the brigade. So a single corp mustered, say from one hundred to one hundred and fifty men strong.
On the evening of June 2nd, 1864, Rodes’ division was ordered to “fall in.” We took the direction of Bethesda Church. A shower coming up we halted to let the rain cease, as it was soon over the sharp shooters were thrown forward driving the enemys [sic] pickets within their line and taking prisoners, and pushing their way in between two of the enemy’s army corps. Thence we were ordered to fall back and rejoin the brigade, which had been heavily engaged with a body of the enemy marching on a road in their front. We took position to cover the front of the brigade and after a sharp skirmish the enemy retired to a thicket on our left and and front. The writer called to W. C. LIttle, a sharp shooter of company “C” to “come and have a parting shot before they left under cover.” He raised his gun and fired and was in act of turning around to reload when a bullet from the thicket struck him in the left side. He threw up his hands exclaiming “Oh! God, I’m dead,” and ran a few paces, fell and immediately expired. We gave him to the ambulance corps, who bore him to the rear, and “Cal” Little, a sharp shooter of Company C was with us no more. He was a splendid fellow, a noted scout, and often with Gudger of company F brought many a surprised picket post to the Confederate line. The soil of old Virginia is rich with the blood of the brave. M.