Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin.
A PARADE AND REVIEW OF THE RICHMOND DEFENCE ARTILLERY CORPS, composed exclusively of the light artillery, was made yesterday afternoon on the grounds of the Fairfield Race-Course, one mile and a half from Richmond. The occasion, though very little publicity was given to it, attracted a very large collection of ladies and gentlemen from the city on horseback, in carriage and on foot.—It would be contraband to speak of the number of guns and the batteries so thoroughly equipped; but of the evolutions, so rapid, so correct, we can speak without detriment to the cause, notwithstanding the thrill of pride that every one present felt that the Richmond defences were in the keeping of such a corps of defenders.
Lieutenant-General Pemberton was on the ground with an improvised staff, and reviewed the troops. Among the officers of the defences present who merited special commendation was Captain Thomas Thornton, of Caroline county, Virginia, a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, commanding a battery; Lieutenant-Colonel Lightfoot, also a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, commanding a section, and Major Starke commanding the second section. Captain Rives’ company was commanded in his absence by Lieutenant Harrison.
The field was too contracted for the deploying of the whole corps, so, after a section had retired, the section commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Lightfoot gave the exhibition of firing by gun, section and battery, which was most admirable, throwing some of the ladies present into the most indescribable paroxysms of delight.
After the parade and review Colonel Lightfoot and Captain Thornton invited General Pemberton and staff, with the other official visitors present, to their tent at the camping ground, where a collation was served.
Among the distinguished military gentlemen present was Lieutenant-General Ewell, who drove on the ground in a carriage with his family. A splendid band was in attendance, and the whole affair was such an one as the community would like to see repeated soon.1
- No title. Richmond Examiner. September 1, 1864, p. 1 col. 3 ↩