Charles Alexander Ware
and written by: Judith Ware
Judy C. Ware
Charles Alexander Ware was
the youngest child of Josiah William Ware and his first wife, Frances Toy Glassell. He was born on April 26, 1841 (ref.#1)
at his fathers plantation (Springfield Farm) near Berryville, Virginia. Papers signed after the Civil War state that
he was 25 (would be in 8 days) years of age at the time, five feet 11 inches tall,
had a fair complexion, light hair, and blue eyes. (ref.#106) A confirmed bachelor who was beloved by many, his
letters are witness to his keen wit and sense of humor.
Charles mother, Frances,
passed away when he was only one year old. With
two older brothers (James Alexander and John Glassell) and two older sisters (Elizabeth
Alexander and Lucy Balmain),
he didnt lack for care and attention though. On
January 30, 1845, his father (Josiah William Ware) remarried, and Charles was then raised
by the only mother he really remembered; Edmonia Jaquelin Smith Ware. He was always close to all of his siblings (even
the four step-brothers that Josiah & Edmonia gave him) but Charles and his sister Elizabeth
were especially close. In one of his letters,
dated October 12, 1909, he wrote that she was an extraordinarily fine and
intelligent woman no one can be more entertaining than she; when she chooses to. I am very proud of her as my sister. (ref. #214)
He also felt humorously free to share that he
felt Elizabeth was sometimes bossy. He wrote,
First, brother John used to catch it all the way
to and from school. When he went away to
college, then I fell heir to it.
Your father (James) escaped as he left home before she and Lucy had to be driven to
school, but she just cant help herself. She
would do anything in the world for me. (ref. #214)
At the age of 19, Charles entered the University
of Virginia as a medical student on October 24, 1860.
According to the Chairman of the Faculty in a letter dated January 10, 1862,
Charles attended the full course of Medical lectures until the date of his withdrawal, the 1st of May 1861. (ref. #47)
The only reason he chose to leave school at that time was because the South had seceded
from the Union and he wanted to serve.
Charles joined the Confederate army as
a private and first served in the cavalry under the renowned J.E.B. Stuart. He later (after the Second Battle of Manassas in
1862) transferred over to the medical corps when General Lee put out a specific request
for medically trained people. With the rank of
Captain, he was appointed Surgeon in Charge of Dr. Boyds church in Winchester [which
was serving] as a hospital.
[ref.#205) He also served as a surgeon in McClanahans Battery, and Head Surgeon for
Imbodens Corps. (ref. #34} Dr. Ware was captured with the wagon train of
wounded after the Battle of Gettysburg and sent to Fort Delaware. (ref. # 171) He was exchanged a few months later and returned to
the war, serving as a surgeon in Lomaxs Cavalry Division. It was from this assignment that he was paroled on
April 18, 1865 at the cessation of the war. (ref. #106)
During this bloody time in our
nations history, Charles Ware saw action at Manassas, Cedar Run (Slaughter
Mountain), Harpers Ferry, Bunkers Hill, Bull Run, Catlett Station, 2nd
Battle of Manassas, Gettysburg, Winchester, and Fishers Hill. He served with such notable leaders as General
J.E.B. Stuart, General Turner Ashby, General Stonewall Jackson, General Richard Ewell,
General James Longstreet, Captain John Pelham, General Jubal Early, Colonel J.D. Imboden,
Colonel John Mosby, and (of course) General Robert E. Lee.
Amazingly, there is no record of him having ever sustained an injury, wound, or
major illness during the war.
The following excerpts,
taken from different books, help identify some of the major battles that Ware was
associated with. In his own handwriting, he
made notations in the margins about events that pertained to him. The wording in italics represents quotes extracted
from the reference itself; his responses are put in quotation marks.
OF THE STONEWALL BRIGADE
the Shepherdstown Independent (ref. #205)
old soldier, a few days ago, found an old war memorandum book and in it was recorded the
list of battles and skirmishes that the Stonewall Brigade was in from the First Manassas
to Appomattox Court house. We publish it for
the benefit of the old soldiers that are fond of fighting their old battles over again. (ref.#205)
Plains, July 21, 1861
I was there in Clarke Cavalry.
Run (Slaughter Mountain), August 9, 1862
I was there in Clarke Cavalry.
Ferry Sept. 11, 1862
I was there in the cavalry. I
left cavalry after this; went on as acting Surgeon in Charge of Dr. B.s church in
Winchester; [used] as a hospital.
Nov. 2, June 14, 15, 1863
July 1, 2, 3, 1863
- was here
Nov. 5, Sept. 19, 1864
Hill, Sept. 24, 1864
In the writing, REBEL
RECOLLECTIONS Reminiscences of a Confederate in the Field by George Cary
WARE made another notation:
Stuart As a Military Schoolmaster it was not until Gen. Patterson began his
feint against Winchester that our colonel had full opportunity to give us his field
I was here with J.E.B.
again, made a note in the following publication:
OF THE WAR CHAPTERS OF UNWRITTEN HISTORY by: General J.D. Imboden (ref.
I was in this raid on the side of the South.
I was Surgeon with McLanahans Battery.
In addition to the notes he made
himself, there is an excellent accounting of his activity in one of the letters his father
wrote to James Alexander Ware, Charles older brother.
The letter is dated January 7, 1863 and states that then came the flight and
pursuit after the battle of Slaughter Mountain, in which they were awfully slaughtered,
across to Washington City. Charles was
actively in this, and after being in the saddle night and day for some time, they stopped
in the streets of Warrenton and he dismounted to rest and Vista (his mare) went to sleep. He was in the raid at Catletts Station and
while getting the good things there, they were fired on by the Yankee infantry and
narrowly escaped. They fed for some days on
apples, peaches, & green corn - not allowed fire to cook it, what with the cavalry
constantly being on close picket. They were
near catching Pope he had just time to get in the car & steam off. (ref. #41)
Josiah was a renowned
horse breeder in the Shenandoah Valley and was very well respected for the blooded stock
he raised. In an excerpt from the book Boots
and Saddles, Captain Stevenson of the Union army wrote: Col. J.W. Ware, who
resided on a fine old plantation near the Shenandoah, was a true type of the old Virginia
gentleman. He had some of the best blooded stock in Virginia and had spent a great deal of
money in importing horses and sheep.(ref.#181) Josiahs
horses won many races and he was well established in the racing community both here and
abroad. He even gave one of his fine stallions
from the Skylark line as a gift to J.E.B. Stuart who rode him throughout the war. Having
been raised around such fine horses, it was only natural that Charles would have first
entered the cavalry.
After the war, in an article
called PANOLA! (written by his father, Josiah William
Ware,) Charles also made some notes in the margins concerning the horses he rode during
the war. In Panola!, it states that
Maygo was by Cosmo out of Virginia Johnson, by
imported Skylark, his dam by imported Priam, out of Sophia by Red Gauntlett, out of Col.
Singletons (of South Carolina,) celebrated 4 mile mare, Clara Fisher. Charles confirms in his own handwriting that
Maygo was my mare.
The article went on to state
that Vista combines singularly enough
immediately, the blood of the Champion of the North, with the two famed brood and 4 mile
mares in the South, Bet Bounce and Lady Lightfoot; whose families for generations brought
capital 4 mile horses in great numbers, and were the two mares relied upon, by the racers
North and South for their great produce matches.
Charles Ware expands on this with the following information, I rode Vista
in the Civil War while in General J.E.B. Stuarts Cavalry. He later added, I rode Maygo during the War Between North and South, through the whole war, she and her sister, Vista,
for four years. [I also rode] Decca Singleton
(all daughters of Skylark) and was very much envied by General J.E.B. Stuart though he was
also mounted on a son of Skylark. My father
used to say the worst blood in Vista was that of old English Eclipse and that was not
bad. (ref.# 210)
With humor and forthrightness, Dr. Ware
was not hesitant to express his personal opinions in some of these writings as well. In the preface to a book entitled MOSBY, he
wrote simply Col. Mosby was first a private in our J.E.B. Stuarts Cavalry and
never could be kept in line; always persisted in riding off from the column.(ref. # 158)
Mosby gained quite a bit of attention with his famous Mosbys Rangers who raided the
Union troops that were harassing the families in the Shenandoah area.
In 1990, there were five books
left outside the Clarke County museum in Berryville, Virginia that had other notations in
the margins from Charles. The titles of these
books were Surry of Eagles Nest, Hammer & Rapier, Hilt
to Hilt, Out of the Foam, and Robert E. Lee and were written by John
#34) Once again, CA Wares written comments offer
great insight into the man himself and the times in which he lived. In one book he mentioned that he had an
appointment as Captain of the Provisional
Army of Virginia, with orders to report to Col. Jackson, commanding at Harper's
Ferry." He also added later that it was
at Harpers Ferry where he for the first time saw dead men lying in the
streets--afterwards I saw Brown's men hung." (ref. #34)
One experience at Catletts
Station, when he was still a private in Stuarts Cavalry, caused CA Ware to remember
vividly that the enemy rallied in the edge of the woods and fired on us. Singular to say, though we were in front of a fire
and they not over 100 feet from us, they failed to hit any of
usor any of our horses that we were holding. We
heard the bullets whir by, thoughseveral of them! (ref.#34)
was after the 2nd Battle of Manassas that Charles left the cavalry and joined
the Medical Corps. He wrote that I left
Stuart after the 2nd Battle of Manassas and went into the Medical Department as
Surgeon-in-charge, in Dr. Boyds church at Winchester. (ref. #34) Sadly,
Dr. Ware wrote little about his experiences as a surgeon.
With his participation in so many important engagements, it would be of great
interest to read his personal views during that phase of his service.
It would seem that, with
the end of the war, Charles wanted to remove himself from the area that held so many
memories for him. He decided to
move to St. Louis, Missouri and set up a very lucrative medical practice there. Dr. Ware practiced medicine in St. Louis for 46
years. He was not, however, overly fond of the
heat so he would spend the summers in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In a letter to his nephew, Somerville Ware, dated
May 27, 1913, he wrote . . . plan to go to Virginia in June, returning here in October. Of course, will be at the Chalmonte [Hotel], Atlantic
City all of August. (ref. #42) Another
letter was written on stationary from the Moser Hotel, and it was humorously written to
his nephew that whenever I stop at these high priced hostels, I always (as you can
see) help myself plentifully to the stationary. Your
Aunt Key (Elizabeth Alexander
says it looks bad, but you must pardon it as done during a brainstorm. (ref. #214) A third letter written to his niece stated
your letter received but it has been so hot it has been beyond me to write. Will make the amends honorable
by sending you postals from dear old Atlantic City. (ref. #87)
can also be gleaned from his letters, that CA Ware was quite a clotheshorse. He bought very expensive suits that he had
especially tailored, and he would very generously pass them on to his nephew Somerville. In one of the many letters written to Somerville,
he stated that the Boardwalk suit went today by express prepaid. What fine times we had together (meaning he and
the suit) at the seashore; 5 years of it. I
fear your aged Uncle looked like a sport but your aunt (Elizabeth) thought not. (ref. #87)
Whether writing opinions about the war,
suits, or the weather, Charles wrote with great wit in all of his correspondence. He stayed in close contact with all his extended
family, especially his nephew Somerville, by his brother James. In later years, he once laughing wrote of his
sister she is so visionary and impractical - just like Pa [Josiah] and your father [James] were . . . both of whom I believe should
have had guardians. (ref. #43)
Charles also showed his humorous
side in his letters referring to love and marriage. He
remained a bachelor all of his life but a few years before his death at the age of 74,
Charles wrote to his nephew Somerville that were I not afraid my wife would poison
me, [I] believe I would marry some 30 year old today, but wives do seem now to poison or
shoot their husbands until I am afraid of them. This
retiring business is growing irksome. (ref. # 42) He
also teasingly wrote in another letter, I see Glassell is like all the Wares; marrying for that myth love.
I am the only one who has had a level head,
and I have been considered the sport of my family. (ref.#87)
After his long career practicing
medicine, Dr. Ware finally retired in St. Louis, Missouri.
He still continued to do small cases on the side for as long as he could. In a letter dated in 1913 he wrote that patients
find me way out here, one or two every day - thereby enabling me to make enough for
expenses. (ref. #42)
October of 1915, however, this changed. He
wrote his sister that the doctors in St. Louis had informed him that he had arterial
sclerosis of the heart and coronary artery. (ref. #346) His letter showed exceptionally weak handwriting,
and it was obvious that his health was failing. He
somehow managed to travel back to Virginia to be with his sister though, and died on
December 23, 1915 at her home.
A newspaper article
reported that upon his death, Dr. Charles A. Ware left bequests of $30,500.00 in
cash. Since he was a bachelor, the money was given to sisters, half-brothers, nieces and nephews; with the residue
of his estate (valued at more than $50,000.00) being given to his sister, Elizabeth
Alexander Ware McGuire. (ref. #59) His
funeral services were held at Grace Episcopal Church in Berryville and he is buried in the
family cemetery there.
The Ware Family Bible This is kept in my home and has dates and names recorded in
it that date all the way back to the 1700s.
Civil War Footnotes: by Richard C.
Plater of The Play Garden in Millwood, Virginia. based
on excepts from the Civil War books of John Esten Cooke (1830-1886), a member of J.E.B.
Stuarts staff & resident of Clarke County. The
John Esten Cooke volumes were left outside the Clarke County museum. There were penciled in notes inside
written by Charles Alexander Ware based on his eyewitness experiences. Richard Plater and Bill Bryarly transcribed &
salvaged these quotes.
Long Letter from Josiah Ware to his son, James - written on January 7, 1863 - contains
lots of information concerning the war.
Letter from Charles Alexander Ware to his nephew, Somerville Ware written May 27,
43. Letter from Charles Alexander Ware to his
nephew, Somerville Ware written Oct. 16,
Letter from the University of Virginia - written
Jan. 10, 1862 Certification of the Medical education of Charles Alexander Ware.
59.News clipping of the death of Charles Alexander Ware and the
generous bequests he left behind.
87.Letter written from Charles Alexander Ware to his niece, Fannie
Glassell Ware (daughter of James & Jane Morton Ware).
Parole certificate issued to Charles A. Ware on April 18, 1865. It was mandatory for all Confederate soldiers to
have one of these after the war
Preface page to a worn book on Mosby that I own. Notations
were made by Charles Alexander Ware on his opinion of Mosby.
Article out of the tall book we own called HARPERS PICTORIAL HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR
copyrighted 1866 by Harpers Brothers, copyrighted 1894 by Alfred H. Guernsey and
Henry M. Alden, copyrighted 1894 by McDonnell Brothers. Under ANNALS OF THE WAR, Charles Alexander Ware
made notations of some of the battles he was in.
Pay receipt for Charles Alexander Ware (1865) with some notations from him.
Except from BOOTS AND SADDLES written by Capt. Stevenson 1st New York (Lincoln)
Cavalry regiment - 1897.
Battles of Stonewall Brigade List of battles in which Charles Alexander Ware
notated that he was active.
206. Rebel Recollections by George Cary
Eggleston - Notations were made by Charles Alexander Ware.
Article on horses written by Josiah William Ware - - also has notations of the
battles that Charles Alexander Ware was in during the Civil War.
214. Letter from Charles Alexander Ware to his nephew,
Somerville Ware, written on October 12, 1909.
346. Letter from Charles Alexander Ware to his sister,
Elizabeth A. Ware McGuire written October 1915 shortly before his death.