I've been researching some of our veterans and found a wealth of information about Joseph Banks Lyle. He was quite the hero! You can read more about him at several Civil War websites, and in many books about the war.
August 22, 1913
Capt. Lyle Dead
Capt. J. B. Lyle died at his home in Caddo last Saturday afternoon at two o’clock of a complication of troubles attendant on extreme age. The funeral was held Sunday afternoon, internment in Caddo cemetery, attended by a large number of friends and acquaintances.
Captain Lyle had lived in Caddo the past sixteen years, was 84 years of age at his death. Previous to coming to Caddo he was an educator of wide reputation in North Texas and South Carolina, from which latter state he enlisted in the Southern army during the sixties. In this war he received several wounds and served with distinction and honor.
At his death he was surrounded by his wife, two sons, Joe and Ed, and daughter Fannie, besides a number of close friends, among them being E.K. Cross of Checotah, Okla., Howard Sawyer of Bonham, and Mrs. Barlow Roberts of Sherman.
Captain Lyle’s long life was one of great usefulness. Many there are who say, “He helped me.” In his latter days he was too feeble to teach, but none ever went to him for instruction without receiving it. While he will be missed, there is great consolation in the fact of his usefulness.
Joseph Banks Lyle
CAPTAIN 5 REGT SC INF
Confederate States Army
Dec. 6, 1829 Aug. 16, 1913
May 28, 1915
Captain J. B. Lyle
In view of the fact that the Caddo chapter of the United Daughters of Confederacy was named for Captain J. B. Lyle, who for the fourteen years previous of his death made his home in Caddo, something about he man here will be found of interest The Herald believes.
Captain Lyle prior to the Civil War was a school teacher in South Carolina and at the outbreak raised a company of volunteers composed chiefly of his pupils. He served the entire four years in the Confederate Army and was recommended for promotion for conspicuous bravery and intelligent conduct.
In 1864 he was married to Mrs. Lyle, who still survives him, and who goes this week to the reunion at Richmond. In announcing his getting married to general Bratton, the Captain requested a present to his bride, and general Bratton gallantly gave him a carbine which he had captured from the Federal troop; and this carbine Mrs. Lyle yet owns, having it in her home today. Just prior to taking his furlough to get married Captain Lyle made a capture of six hundred men and three colors alone, the account of which is related by general Bratton in a letter to Miss Fannie which follows:
The most conspicuous feat of valor and skill (personal) that came in my knowledge during the war of secession was achieved in my brigade by an officer on the 27th of October, 1864. In the severe and constant fighting of that army, my staff, as well as line suffered, and it was necessary to fill the places of the wounded with officers of the line. To meet such demands, Capt. J. Banks Lyle, of the 5th S.C. regiment was then and had been for some time rendering efficient service in the brigade staff. On the morning of the above date, the enemy were in heavy force on the north side of the James and assailed our works with more or less vigor at various points, extending their attacks to and beyond the Charles City Wood.
In the afternoon his cavalry assaulted our works, on the Williamsburg road held by our cavalry and were driven off. Field’s division of cavalry was promptly moved to the Williamsburg road in anticipation of the assault by infantry, which followed, pushing our cavalry further to the left, my brigade under its Senior, Col. Walker, occupying the line crossing the road and were in position to meet and repulse it. In their retreat quite a number of them took refuge in a wash or gully, which ran through a depression in the filed some 300 or 400 yards in front of our line, nearly half way to the enemy’s line. Capt. Lyle saw that they were whipped and would surrender if called on to do so. He so reported and asked permission to advance the skirmish line and take them in. His request was refused , but convinced that they would escape, simply because they were not invited to surrender before night came to cover their retreat he determined to attempt their capture.
He went to the skirmish line and tried to get them to volunteer, and failing in that (all were willing to go if ordered), he started alone, but had not advanced a great ways when two men (I am sorry I cannot give their names) called out “hold on captain, you shan’t go by yourself” and moved out with him. They had gone but a short distance when he concluded not to subject his brave little force to the danger of the possible error of his judgment, but to use their aid without risk to them.
He had observed an officer trying to arouse the collapsed spirit of his men in the gully, and halting his volunteers on the crest overlooking their position, and ordered them to fire on the officer and put a stop to the harangue, while he advanced alone over the open field in full view of Field’s division on our side and the whole force of the enemy on the other side. He was recognized by the men of his own brigade, but hose of the other one, misapprehending his conduct, fired on him at long range so heavily that the dust form bullets falling around him almost concealed him from view. This continued until word could be passed along the line stopping it, and of course served to attract the attention of all to him as he approached the gully where the enemy were, and in full view of friend and foe accomplished the capture, and made them file out without arms and move on to our lines.
There was great excitement and enthusiasm on our side. Men all along the division mounted the works and exclamations of admiration, and inquiring “who is he, etc.” The enemy did not seem to understand it at first, and took no part until they saw the men filing into our works, when they opened a battery on the scene which contributed to the general excitement, but was especially effective in hurrying the movement of the prisoners into our works.
The number of officers and men captured were about 600 with three stands of colors and swords by the armful.