Thursday, 1864 September 1, [Front Royal], Virginia: “Unfit for Military service at present”

[Certificate granting a medical leave of absence for a Confederate cavalryman]

[unintelligible] Front Royal, Sept. 1st 1864

We hereby Certify that we have carefully
examined G. W. Brooke, [a private in the] [9th?]
Va. Cavalry, of Rosser’s Brigade, and find him
Unfit for Military service at present in
Consequence of
Gun shot wound in lower portion of left leg
Rec’d in fight at Halls [Haw’s] Shop the 28th of
May last.
We therefore recommend a furlough of
Thirty Days.
J. [unintelligible]
J. B[unintelligible]    Board of Examinations
Edward B. Powell [signed]
Captain,  Examiner’s Office 9th District Va.

[back of page]

Extended for reasons stated [unintelligible]
Oct. 1/64     J. [unintelligible] M. D.
Extended for reasons stated [unintelligible]
Nov. 1/64     J. [unintelligible] M. D.
Extended for reasons stated [unintelligible]
Dec. 1, 1864     J. [unintelligible] M. D.
Extended for reasons stated [unintelligible]
Jany. 1, 1865     J. [unintelligible] M. D.
Extended for reasons stated [unintelligible]
Feby. 1, 1865     J. [unintelligible] M. D.

[Editor: This certificate is an example of problems characteristic with some handwritten Civil War documents—documents created 150 years ago. Heavily smudged, it was written on both sides of a sheet of fragile tissue-like paper on which the ink has bled through—obscuring much of the text on either side. An early description of this certificate identified this soldier as C. W. Brooke/Charles Wallace Brooke (b. 1811 or 1812) but no such individual is listed as a member of any Virginia Confederate cavalry regiment in consulted published or online sources; it also identified his unit as the ‘59th Virginia Cavalry”—an organization that never existed according to Lee A. Wallace, Jr., A Guide to Virginia Military Organizations, 1861-1865, rev.2nd ed. (Lynchburg, Virginia: H. E. Howard, Inc., 1988). A Private George W. Brooke served in Company H, 9th Virginia Cavalry. (Another Private George W. Brooke, 12th Virginia Cavalry, Company G, died May 1864.) The “Brooke” referenced in this certificate may have been on special or detached service at the time of his wounding. Major General Thomas L. Rosser (1836-1910) commanded Rosser’s Brigade, also known as the Laurel Brigade, 1863-65; during 1864 it included the 7th, 11th, 12th and 35th Virginia cavalry. The Battle of Haw’s Shop (Enon Church), was fought in Hanover County, Virginia, May 28, 1864, twelve miles north of Richmond, part of the 1864 Overland Campaign during which Rosser’s Brigade served as part of Major General Wade Hampton’s (1818-1902) cavalry division. According to various sources, Virginia cavalry units engaged at Haw’s Shop included the 2nd, 3rd, 4th,  6th, 12th and 22nd regiments. Captain Edward B. Powell was a member of Company F (“the Fairfax Cavalry”), 6th Virginia Cavalry.]

MSS 9339

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