In the fall of 1864, as the 17th Mississippi Regiment pushed eastward into the Shenandoah Valley under General Jubal Early, they continued to engage in battle. On October 19, 1864, the 17th fought in the Battle of Cedar Creek in the area of Fishers Hill, Virginia. The National Park Service describes the Battle of Cedar Creek or Battle of Belle Grove as follows:
At dawn, October 19, 1864, the Confederate Army of the Valley under Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early surprised the Federal Army at Cedar Creek and routed the VIII and XIX Army Corps. Commander Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan arrived from Winchester to rally his troops, and in the afternoon, launched a crushing counterattack, which recovered the battlefield. Sheridan’s victory at Cedar Creek broke the back of the Confederate army in the Shenandoah Valley. Lincoln rode the momentum of Sheridan’s victories in the Valley and Sherman’s successes in Georgia to re-election.
At Belle Grove, the 17th shared the disaster which befell the Confederate Army. Among the soldiers killed or wounded that day was William. William’s Civil War records reflect that on October 23, 1864, he appeared on the register of the CSA General Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia with a “N S Right Shoulder.” It also shows he was furloughed on November 14, 1864.
In 1901, William applied for a Pension under the Laws of 1889 for the Relief of Confederate Soldiers and Widows through the State of North Carolina. This pension application describes William’s injuries:
W. E. Schultz (another spelling), age 72, and a resident at Waynesville post-office in the County and State (Haywood County, North Carolina), and who. being duly sworn makes the following declaration in order to obtain the pension under the provisions….that he is the identical W. E. Schultz who enlisted in Co. E, 17 Miss. State Troops, on or about the 18th day of October, 1865 to serve in the armies of the late Confederate States, and that while in said service at Fishers Hill in the State of Va, on or about the 18th day of October, 1865 he received a wound or wounds: Was shot through the right shoulder which has caused the loss of the use of his right arm as far as performing manual labor. He also received bruises in the back and legs from the explosion of a bough shell which has greatly disabled the applicant in that now he cannot do more than 1/3 days labor.
The physician notes for the application states “Gunshot wound right shoulder disabling permanently arm. Shell wound in back which enfeebled right leg. General health quite feeble. Has organic cordial lesion. Disability 3/4. Left little finger shot off also.
Obviously there are a number of errors in this Pension Application. William did not enlist on the 18th day of October, 1865. The other error is the Battle of Cedar Creek took place in 1864, not 1865. His pension application was disallowed. But even with these errors, this pension application was an absolute gem for me. Here was definitive proof that the William E. Shultz I had researched and found in North Carolina, was indeed my great-grandfather from Tishomingo County, Mississippi.
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