CIVIL WAR BATTLE AT SALEM
Quoting from a Birmingham, AL, newspaper ( ___ALD The South’s Greatest Newspaper) of March 22, 1936:
All the known survivors of Company B, Tenth Alabama Infantry, G. S. A., that marched away from Elyton in June, 1861, held an unexpected but nevertheless joyful reunion in Birmingham on Confederate Memorial Day. Of the 95 men who comprised the company but two are living. They are Robert G. Hewitt, 89, and Robert L. Killough, 92. - - - Company B was the first unit of the Confederate Army organized in Jefferson County. It joined the regiment at Montevallo and then moved north and became a part of the famous Army of Northern Virginia. (Mr. Hewett was 13 years old at the time and Robert “Bob” Killough was 18.)
RIVALS SPUN YARNS AS FIGHT ENDED
Confederates and Yankees Swapped Tobacco and Coffee at Salem Church
Describing the battle at Salem Church, VA, Mr. Hewett said:
“The Tenth Alabama was stationed in front of the church, the Ninth in the rear, one company inside the church and the other regiments lined up along the plank road that passed in front of the church. The Federals, circling to Gen. Lee’s rear, came up through a low limbed pine thicket. Lying down, waited for them and as they emerged into an open space about 75 feet wide, we fired and many of the enemy fell, the others retreating to the thicket. This was repeated twice and then the Federals gave up the effort to attack Lee’s rear as their general had planned.
After a few hours of silence, men from both sides crossed over and for some time we fraternized as though we were not engaged in opposing armies. We won the battle even though we were outnumbered more than five to one.
With the Federal attacking force was the Twenty-Third New Jersey Regiment, and the Jerseyites were the first to come across the line to talk with the Confederates. All thought of war or enmity was forgotten for the time and in after years when the state of New Jersey erected a monument to her sons, the Alabamians were not forgotten. A tablet was placed in front of the church on the spot occupied by the Tenth Alabama during the fight, with the following inscription: “To the brave Alabama boys—our opponents on this field of battle, whose memory we honor—this tablet is dedicated.” On the reverse side of the tablet are these words: “Battle of Salem Church, May 3, 1863. Brocks-Newton vs. Wilcox-Semmes Marone.”