Pvt. David Myers, Co. B, Hampton’s Legion

2 04 2022


“A Brave Soldier Boy!”

Among the many acts of heroic bravery, so widely circulated among the newspapers as stirring “scenes by blood and field” in the recent battle of Manassas Plain, on the 21st July, 1861, none more justly deserves a passing memento than the gallant deportment of young David Myers, of Louisiana, a grand son of Col. David Myers, deceased, formerly of Richland District, in South Carolina.

This grown soldier is only fourteen years old, and a member of Capt. Gary’s Company, in Hampton’s Legion, and is a nephew of the Hon. Tilman Watson, of Edgefield District, whose name that company bears (the Watson Guards).

This little fellow deserted his military school at Aiken, and contrived to enlist secretly in a Company for the defense of Charleston and the subjugation of Fort Sumter, without letting his father or any of his relatives know anything of his whereabouts, and lived so privately at Morris’ Island during the siege there, that although he had two uncles (Senators in the State Legislature) in that city during the month of January, who frequently visited the works and defences, they never dreamed that he was enrolled in the encampment as a soldier there, where he remained until the surrender by Major Anderson.

This so fired his young heart, that he then insisted on going to his grandmother’s, in Edgefield District, that he would be permitted to join the Watson Guards, under Capt. Gary, and said that he was determined to fight the Yankees to the end of the war, and his grandmother at last yielded, and sent a big strong negro fellow to take care of him.

On the day of the memorable battle Dave was sick, and had been several days; but, with a light breakfast, and a blister on him the size of a breakfast plate, he ran seven miles as well as any of them, and when in the midst of the severest part of the fighting, after being five ours on foot, shot an officer and advanced upon him under a heavy fire some distance in front of his company, and captured a sword from his person, which he now has in his own possession; he killed a soldier and took his gun, also, in another part of the fray; and at the outset of the battle, when Lieut. Col. Johnson fell dead, and his brother field officers were bearing him off the field to the rear, and the legion began to exclaim, “We have no officer left to lead us,” Capt. Gary, in a loud voice, said (waiving his sword), “Follow me!” when, among the fifteen or twenty who followed him, Dave was of that number, though they had eventually to fall back to the main body.

After the action and subsequently to the disastrous defeat and disorderly retreat of the Grand Army, when once more upon his sick pallet, Mr. John Nicholson, a brother soldier who had more experience, advised him to go back to Richmond to recruit his health, but turning over which his teeth firmly set, he declared that he would never do that until the Confederate Army had captured the City of Washington.

That nothing should deprive him of being present on that occasion, and true to his instincts he is still lingering in the field awaiting the slow but certain approaches of the army to that result.

Long life to the noble fellow, the gallant boy, whose grandfather fell mortally wounded by the Tories, near Orangeburg, in the Revolution of 1776, while leading a detachment of Whigs to the charge, and in the moment of victory!! Well done!! Our brave soldier boy!!

Charleston (SC) Daily Courier, 8/20/1861

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David Myers at Ancestry

David Myers at Fold3

“Legion,” Hampton’s Legion, On the Death of Col. James Cameron, 79th New York Infantry

2 04 2022

Who Killed Cameron – Near Manassas, August 16, 1861. – To the Editors of the Richmond Whig: I have seen several answers to the above interrogatory, but none which, I think, gives a true version of the affair. With your permission, I will give you what came under my own observations. On our march from Manassas Junction to the battle ground on the morning of the fight, we were joined by an individual, who was known in Charleston Harbor by the name of “Texas,” (he, I believe, hailing from that State,) who informed us that he had permission to volunteer during the battle, to fight where he pleased, and, seeing the Palmetto flag, he concluded to join us. During the heat of the battle, when the famous Seventy-ninth of New York were driven back in some confusion, their Colonel, who had paused as though contemplating the sad havoc of his regiment, was about three hundred yards in our front and between us and his retreating column. At this moment, “Texas” asked and obtained permission to advance in front and take a shot at the officer. Advancing some thirty or forty paces to a fence, he took deliberate aim with his rifle and fired, and the exclamation was made by several in the ranks, “He has brought him.” On coming back to the line, I remarked – “Well, Texas, have you killed a Yankee?” His reply was, striking his rifle, “She never lies.” Twice after that I saw him leave the ranks and advance in front and fire. There were many in the Legion, beside myself, who witnessed the above, and who have no doubt but that Cameron found his death from “Old Texas,” formerly of the Columbia, S. C. Artillery. I have not seen him since the battle, but have heard that he was slightly wounded.


Charleston (SC) Daily Courier, 8/22/1861

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