Category Archive '“Rebel Yell”'

05 Nov 2022

The Rebel Yell

, , , ,

At the First Battle of Bull Run, General Jackson turned the tide of battle by having his brigade deliver a downhill charge with fixed bayonets that shattered the Union advance. “And, When you charge,” Jackson ordered his men: “yell like Furies!”

Smithsonian has an interesting video of a Confederate Reunion at which a number of very old men perform the famous Rebel Yell.


You might well think that the famous Rebel Yell is long extinct, but you’d be wrong.

Fox hunters traditionally signal viewing the fox with a cry of “Tally-ho!.” But in Old Virginia, the aboriginal element responds to the appearance of the fox (or the rabbit in the case of beagle or basset footpacks), not with a “Tally ho!. but with the old-time Rebel Yell.

Getting involved with the Old Dominion Hounds and fox hunting in Fauquier County, I inevitably became acquainted with the renowned 80-odd-year-old retired huntsman Melvin Poe.

Fox hunting is just another of the Field Sports and it is really a natural extension of the better known kinds of hunting and fishing. Melvin and I immediately recognized each other as the sorts of hunting and fishing keen rural rednecks that my disapproving female relatives would refer to as “woodrats.”

If I ran into Melvin at an Old Dominion meet, he and I would often car follow the hunt in my SUV. Melvin knew the Old Dominion country like the back of his hand. He’d hunted it for many decades. And Melvin had about as many inhibitions about entering and crossing posted private ground as I did when I was 17.

Following a hunt with Melvin as guide was sure to have us finding foxes before the pack ever showed up. One day, Melvin posted us along a small stream, and sure enough! a small parade of foxes began vacating the area along the far bank with no sign or sound of hounds or horn nearby. Melvin drew himself up and commenced saluting those foxes with loud Rebel Yells. I stood there admiring all this, but soon found myself fixed with Melvin’s imperative eye. I had no choice. I found myself there, in the Virginia woods, doing my best to deliver the traditional Rebel Yell like a good Confederate. Needless to say, the huntsman Gerald and the mounted field heard our commotion and after an interval arrived to pick up the scent.

Melvin Poe.

04 Sep 2016

Still Audible Defeatism

, , , , ,

John C. Frémont

S.C. Gwynne, Rebel Yell — The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson, 2014, p. 319, on the impending Battle of Cross Keys, June 8, 1862:

(emphasis added)

Frémont should’ve won the battle quickly. He had a two-to-one numerical advantage, and better than that in artillery. If he had thrown his entire force at Ewell’s line, which was set up on a long ridge, he would very likely have broken it. But with Frémont nothing was ever that simple. He was facing not just Stonewall Jackson now but also the myth of Stonewall Jackson, and the myth told him and his officers that they were facing twenty thousand battle-hardened Confederate troops instead of the five-thousand-plus effectives in front of them. At Frémont’s council of war he and his brigade commanders worried about this terrible numerical disadvantage and bemoaned the poor condition of their ragged, starved-out, exhausted army. A hundred and fifty years later, you can almost hear the defeatism.

Result: Decisive Confederate Victory.


Your are browsing
the Archives of Never Yet Melted in the '“Rebel Yell”' Category.

Entries (RSS)
Comments (RSS)
Feed Shark