Tarheels During the Civil War

Monday, July 25, 2011

Yet More Preservation News

Having just returned yesterday from the 150th First Manassas re-enactment, this is apropos. The CWT has another preservation opportunity at the Manassas Battlefield, containing core Second Manassas battlefield. Below you will find information and maps so check it out and please donate.

Friday, July 15, 2011


I apologize for the lack of posts in the recent weeks. I have been busy with a lot of stuff here recently not including getting ready for the 150th First Manassas festivities next weekend. Have finally gotten back to the Archives last weekend and found some interesting items. I am currently working on an article that will be posted here, so stay tuned.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

More Preservation Opportunities

Fortunately, I have been sounding like a broken record in regards to preservation over the last year. Here are some more opportunities that have come down the pipeline from the Civil War Trust. First is an update on the Slaughter Pen Farm at Fredericksburg, which was saved 5 years ago, but not fully paid off; 60% of the mortgage on the property is paid, with another 5 million dollars still needed to finalize the purchase. This is an extremely important piece of property, and core battlefield land in relation to the battle of Fredericksburg. Here is where you can donate towards the Slaughter Pen property. Also, there is an opportunity to acquire a 1.4 acre tract on route 20 near the Wilderness battlefield, just off of Rt. 3. Here you will find information how to donate to preserve this piece of land. For more information on the battle of the Wilderness, including maps of this preservation opportunity, go here. Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Third North Carolina at Sharpsburg

Report of Major S.D. Thruston to Governor Zeb Vance on the action at Sharpsburg.

Head Quarters, 3d No. Ca. Troops
Camp near Winchester, Va.
Septr. 27th, 1862.

            In consequence of a severe wound received by Col. Wm. L. DeRosset, it becomes my duty to report to your excellency, the part acted by my Regiment (3d No. Ca.) in the battles of the 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th September, near Sharpsburg, Maryland.
            The evening of the 13th, Sept. about 7 o’clock P.M. we moved from our Camp on the Antietam River to the Town of Boonsboro and bivouacked near the west base of the Blue Ridge for the night:- at an early hour on the morning of the 14th were ordered forward to the top of the Ridge:- Reaching by the right flank along the Western Turnpike we reached the summit of the mountain, where this Pike crossed; here changing directions to the right, we moved along the Ridge to [blank] Gap, and were formed in line of battle preparatory to an attack upon the enemy, who was here massed in heavy force.
            In this position we rested for an hour or more, when we again moved by the right flank, to give place to Genl. Anderson’s[?] Brigade; which formed on our left at the time, I was ordered to take four Companies of my Regt:- and deploy them as skirmishers:- I proceeded to organize companies “A”, Lt. Williams; “D” Capt. Meares, “F”, Lt. Radcliffe, and “I”, Capt. Craige, as a Battalion of skirmishers, and deployed them about (200) two hundred yards in advance and covering the entire Brigade front:- This being completed, we advanced in line of battle up the side of a steep and rugged mountain, covered by an almost impenetrable growth of ivey; advancing along half a mile, my line of skirmishers, came in contact with similar line from Genl George B. Anderson’s Brigade deployed in a direction nearly perpendicular to my line, and masking my entire right:- Making a reconnaissance in person, I discovered the line of battle occupied by my Regt, and Genl Anderson’s Brigade to be so nearly at right angles to each other, as to render both inactive; this I immediately communicated to Brig. Genl. Ripley Comdg the Brigade, who ordered us to fall back to the base of the mountain which was done in good order; here the Companies of skirmishers, were ordered to their proper position in line, and the Regt. again moved by the right flank up the mountain by a steep and narrow road, falling [passing?] as the right reached the top of said mountain it being now about 9 P.M.; we rested in this position, within (200) two hundred yards of the enemy, until about 11 P.M., when we took the road to Sharpsburg. Our casualties during the day, were two (2) wounded and two (2) missing; the latter supposed to be asleep, when we left the mountain, and are prisoners.
            My Regt. dide not get an opportunity of meeting the enemy on this day, owing to some misfortunate error of position, when it was ordered forward, but evinced its readiness, as it ever has done, to defend that Flag which must leade to peace and prosperity.
            The morning of the 15th found us drawn up in line of battle, in front of the town of Sharpsburg, watching the advance of the enemy, who made his appearance about 1 P.M., a desultory fire of artillery, [illegible] we kept our position, under cover, and supporting our artillery during the day without any casualty, and slept on our arms at night.
            Early on the morning of the 16th, the enemy opened with a  heavy fire of artillery, upon the batteries supported by us, which, continuing at intervals during the morning, our position was the same as on the 15th; until about 6 P.M. when we moved by the left flank to an exposed position near the center, and in supporting distance of Genl Hoods[?] Brigade, then skirmishing with the enemy:- here we rested for the night; prepared at a moment to move in that direction where our service might be required.
            The 17th of Sept. found the Regt. at its post, while heavy skirmishing commenced in front:- about 6 A.M. the enemy opened with artillery in front and flank, subjecting us to a heavy and destructive cross fire, from which we suffered much in wounded, yet the [illegible] kept those “[illegible]” quietly and calmly awaiting orders to move forward to the attack. About 6 ½ A.M. the command “Forward” was given; we advanced in line of battle until a burning building in front, forced us to change direction by the right flank, so as to clear the obstacle, which soon as accomplished, the command by the “left flank” caused us again to advance; these manouvres, the Regt executed in splendid order, and soon placing the burning building in its rear, marched by the left flank, to unite with the other Regts of the Brigade, which had moved directly forward:- this union being accomplished we advanced with a shout to the encounter:- Advancing to about 100 yards, we opened fire upon the steady and well formed ranks of the enemy; drawn up in three lines of battle, and supported by artillery; here we fought unsupported by artillery, while our ranks melted rapidly before the well directed fire of the enemy’s rifles, grape and canister; in a short time, our gallant Colonel fell severely wounded, and was borne from the field. Capts Rhodes and MEares, Sts. McNair, Quincey, Corraw[?] and Gillespie had sealed their devotion to their Country, with their own glorious life bloode, which Captains Horne, Emmett and Craige; Lts. Radcliffe, Williams, Wardes[?], Graham, Bevin, DeRosset, Garland and Rhodes had been borne from the field severely wounded:- My Regt. now reduced to a mere handful, with only eight officers still gallantly held its position, with five rounds of ammunition per man, and no support yet on the field, while the enemy was bringing his third line to the attack (the 1st having broken and the 2d breaking) with these five rounds we still held the field and not until[?] the last, was fired, and the order came, did we yield one inch. Forced to retire, we did so in good order, the men turning and firing as they chanced to find a cartridge lying on the field. We continued in this manner to retire until relieved by the Division of Genl McLaws; we were then drawn off to the rear to procure ammunition and organize our shattered units, this completed we were again ordered to the front; while executing this move, a shell from one of the enemy’s guns exploded in our midst, killing instantly, the brave and gallant Captain Williams, and the young and intelligent Lieut, Speight, while (14) fourteen men were disabled. Arriving on the field, I was requested by Maj. Fairfax (Genl. Longstreet’s Staff) to relieve Col. Cooke’s Regt, then supporting a battery in the center, this being readily agreed to, I was ordered by Genl Longstreet to hold the position at all hazards; on assuming my new position, the Regt was subjected to a terrific fire of the enemy’s artillery from 2 P.M. until darkness closed the action:- the casualties during this period, were sixteen (16) wounded. Having received a painful shell wound during the action, which, growing more serious in the night, I left my Regt in command of Lieut. Thos. Armstrong (the [illegible] officer) and retired for the purpose of seeking relief; returning at an early hour on the morning of the 18th., I found it occupying the same position of the evening of the 17th:- having remained the whole time without food or even water – about 9 A.M. – on the morning of the 18th. we were relieved, and rested during the day immediately in rear of the main line of battle. At 9 P.M. we took up the line of march for the Potomac, which we crossed and bivouacked on the Va. side. Thus ended the bloody battles of the 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th, in which many gallant soldiers fell a sacrifice to Northern Vandalism and Yankee brutality.
            The list of casualties, as shown by the accompanying reports, is heavy, including those of the bravest and best of the Sons of the Old North State:- while we mourn the loss of our comrades in arms, yet we have the consolation to know, that they fell at their post, gallantly defending that flag, which is alone the symbol of the free; to say that my officers behaved with coolness and bravery, is but a small meed of honor, compared with their gallant deeds, on the memorably 17th. No mark of distinction can be made, in favor of any, but the deeds of each and all will live forever in the hearts of their grateful countrymen. To the men of the Regt. all honor is due, for their noble conduct on the field and march; enduring privations and hardships without a murmur, and fighting manfully for the Honor and love of their Homes.
            To Sgt. Maj. Clarke and Prvts. Williams, Eason[?] and J.R. Heath of Co: “A” all credit is due, for their gallant services in volunteering to burn a building, directly under the fire of the enemy, and the very satisfactory manner in which it was accomplished.
            To my acting Adjutant, Lt. VanBokkelen, I am indebted for the gallant manner in which he performed his duty on the field. Of the Regiment, I can safely say, it will never betray the trust bequeathed by its “Good Old State.”
With much respect, I am Sir,
Your Very Obt. Svt.
S D Thruston,
Major Comdg. 3d No. Ca. Troops

To Hon. Zeb. Vance,
Gov: of North Carolina, in
Raleigh N.C.

Source: William L. DeRossett Collection, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, N.C.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Peninsula Campaign: Orders & Correspondence Pertaining to the 5th NCT

Orders for the 5th NCT and Ripley's Brigade during the Peninsula Campaign.

Lee's Farm, April 8, 1862.
Major-General McLaws:
General: Three regiments of General Early's brigade (now at Lebanon Church, viz, Colonel Terry's Twenty-fourth Virginia, Colonel McRae's Fifth North Carolina, and Colonel Cumming's Twentieth Georgia) and Colonel Williams' South Carolina regiment, now at the crossroads half a mile below, will move at early dawn to-morrow morning, and will report by a staff officer to you, awaiting at the cross-roads, each [such] orders as you may send them, provided there should be any move of the enemy on your right to cross the river which will make such orders necessary.
These regiments are not destined permanently for your division, but are intended to meet any emergency which may arise form any unexpected movement of the enemy in your vicinity.
Lieutenant Lyon, of the Fifteenth Virginia Regiment, has not reported to these headquarters.
By order of Major-General Magruder.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Henry Bryan,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

Series I Vol. XI ( Part III). Ch. XXIII Pgs. 432-433.

Headquarters, June 12, 1862.
Maj. Gen. D.H. Hill:
General: Please move one of your brigades to the pine wood where General Ripley's has been and relieve his till to-morrow.
I send you the best affairs that we can get up for Williamsburg and the Seven Pines. I only send you two "Williamsburg," one for the Fifth North Carolina and one for the Twenty-fourth Virginia. If there are others entitled to it send up for others.
I send enough of the Seven Pines for your troops, but think that neither of the regiments that left the battle-field have the slightest claim to it nor the regiment that lost its colors. Properly, it is not even entitled to colors.
We must endeavor to have this thing select, or it will be of no service. Any regiment that goes through the battle creditably I think entitled to the inscription; but I hold that no regiment goes through creditably when it leaves the field before the fight is over; particularly when repeated efforts have to be made to get it back upon the field. 
I have spoken in strong terms about this, because I am entirely satisfied that it is just.
Most respectfully,
James Longstreet,
Major-General, Commanding.
No regiment of mine can ever have the name of a battle upon its banners if it quits the field before the battle is ended.

Series I. Vol XI (Part III) Ch XXIII Pgs. 595-596.

Monday, May 16, 2011

James Turner Keith Letter

Letter written by James Turner Keith of Company C, 1st NCT. Transcribed by myself.

Nov. the 28, 1861
Fredericksburg, Va
Fare [?] Sister
            I reseaved your Welcom an kind letter whitch came [illegible] too hand I was mity glad too here from you an mother an all of you an glad too her that all was well an In [?] good he both I am not well yeat but is rite smart beter than I was when I riten too you beefour & Marin is her he came here the 25 I was glad too see him he has had rite good helth every sins hee has ben gone he will remain her in his compinay now this winter eny how and I expet all of the time he will go too town too day an ree turn too morrow it is ten miles too town from the camp by rail road I gowt a leter from ropers [?] last week he an [illegible] an the lidel wons is all well an in good helth an all of the pepel thar is well and in good helth ropers [rofers] will gow holm Sundy if nothing happens Georg Suney [?] has ben home a gain an back too Richmond I tould you a bout the way Col S[illegible] trebled [?] Zilpha [?] in it is sertin sow an I think rof [Ross?] will pay him good for it when gows there. [illegible] has gowt the shop [sheep] fenst in an sed he will rof Keith whether he gates it or not evry body thar is rofs frends an sey that they will see him out in eny thing that he dos I gess that bob [?] furthens [?] will lefe [?] that when he goose
Sow I will close this leter
            Tempy I will be home in less than three weeks or at Raleigh one sertin an sure for Luetenan Hardy [?] Fenell told me that he wood fix [?] for me too get of an the [illegible] told captin hines that if I was too ask him for a dis charg that he wood bee a blig too doo it for he cant me [?] now good an I will sertin ask him too morrow if I live [?] So this leter will ples mother an lidel Toney [?] honey [?] baby an I regen that I will bee pleased rite well sow I will clos you can rite too me her an if you [illegible] get all of the leters an anser them Don’t Faill too rite your wanted too have that was ded [?] it was William Stuckey.
            Tell the yales [?] howdy [?] for me I remain your Brother
Jams Turner Keith
Too Tempy R Keith

Source: James Turner Keith Letter, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, N.C.

Monday, May 2, 2011

T.G. Cozart Letter

T.G. Cozart of Co. B, 6th NCT, describes the Battle of Bristoe Station, October 14, 1863.

Bivouac near Rappanhanock River
Oct the 23d 1863
Well Patty[?]
            As none of the family will not write to me I thought I would write to you as I want to say a few words to you about those molasses you must not eat them all up from use You must preserved at least one barrel for my special benefit as you know I am a dear lover of molasses How many barrels do you think Pa will make also has he made any cider if so I want one barrel of them I would like very much now to have some cider and sweet potatoes now We have had a very hard march we left Summerville Ford to night two weeks ago and have been marching ever since we have been here two days We left Summerville and went back to Orange C H and from there to Madison C H and then to Warrenton marching all the time in valleys to keep the enemy from discovering our movement We then went to Bristoe Station where Cookes and Kirklands Brigade had a fight the same day I walk over the battle field next day there was no killed lying on the field except our own as the Yankees had taken theirs the night before but I saw several of the Blue Jacket fellows lying about as we came along as we were skirmishing with them all the time after we left Warrenton It is a horrid scene to walk over a battle field the men are lying about in different forms I hate to look at our men but I can look at dead Yankees all day Lunsford Wheeler was wounded in the knee at the Battle of Bristoe Dick Harris was slightly wounded in a skirmish the other day I think the Yankees got the best of the fight at Bristoe they were lying behind the Railroad and our men were in full [v]iew in an open field We did not drive them from the Road but they fell back that night If Genl Heth had been worth any thing in the world he would have whipped them completely every body says it was badly managed but it was all owing to the incompetency of Genl Heth We took any quantity of prisoners all along on our march Our Cavalry whipped them several times We drived[?] them beyond Centreville The Infantry did not go any farther than about one mile beyond Bristoe The Cavalry followed them up Bristoe is 32 miles from Alexandria You all can find out more about our move from the papers than I can tell you Our Regt is cooking 3 days rations this evening we are going some where but I don’t know where some say it is just go over the river on picket Write soon
H G [J G?] Cozart[?]

The Cavalry had a right lively little fight over the river this evening I have written five letters home before this and have received one only

Source: North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, N.C.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

J.J. Philips Letter

Letter from J.J. Philips of Co.G 3rd NC Cavalry.

Camp of Co. “G.” 3rd N.C. Cav
Near Stony Creek, Va, Sept. 24th 1864

My Dear Club Mate:
            It was really a pleasure to me to receive your letter a day or two ago, it came very unexpectedly as I had almost given you out ever writing to me. I was glad however to learn that I still retain a place in your memory, and I hope you will write me often and keep me posted in the news at Chapel Hill. I have seen tough times since I left there and let me tell you, Keep out of this war as long as you honorably can if you come in though at any time I hope you will come to this Company, “G” 3rd N.C. Cav it is a very nice company composed of nice young fellows.
            Our Division and some other cavalry went down near City Point in the rear of Grant’s Army a few days ago and brought out several thousand very nice beeves captured about two hundred and fifty prisoners and good many horses. We had a hard time on the raid on our horses day and night without any rest while returning our Company was sent around on different  rout to picket some roads coming in the main road, our Cavalry was traveling when the Yankees pursuing Gen Hampton cut us off from our command we were surrounded by them know not what way to go. Fortunately we met up with some scouts who piloted us out through the woods. You requested me to write you a long letter continuing my life and adventures minutely since I left Chapel Hill but I have not the time this evening. I have been in six or eight fights one or two of the latter Guthrie can tell you about, he has been with us a month or two, but he has seen very little hard service we had just returned from Northern Virginia there is where we suffered so much Guthrie I believe has become disgusted with cavalry.
            I was glad you wrote me concerning the Clubs for I have been anxious to know something of them since I left Guthrie requested me to write him and let him know of our whereabouts.  I wish you would say to him we are near the same place he left us, and I expect him to bring me something good. You must send me something to eat by him, any thing will be gladly received for a soldier here is always hungry.
            Julius Barlow is in the Tarboro Hospital he joined service at the same time I did, came to Virginia and was taken sick soon after he reached here and has done no duty since been in Hospitals all the time. Poor fellow I fear he has consumption. James Battle is with Gen Early in the Valley well I have not time to write more give my very best respects to Jug and all Club mates, also remember me to Chat Bryan Busber tell Chat I see his brother every day and he tells me about Chats badness at home.
            Excuse this apology for a letter for I have written in the greatest haste, burn it immediately after reading
In haste
I remain Your true friend
J J Philips

Co “G” 3rd Reg N.C. Cav
Barringers Brigade
W H F Lee’s Division
Army Northern Virginia

Source: North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC.

Monday, April 18, 2011

George Brandt Letters Part 2

Yorktown Va July 12 1861
My Dear Cousin Jacob
            Your [illegible] communication for[?] Leeds[?] Pemberton came duly to hand & much gratified inasmuch as it gave me a complete idea of the affairs of Harmmusty[?] & I always imagined that our beloved Uncle who has thus far been nothing else to no but a source of great mortification, was the Ringleader in the fray As far as Cousin Salush[?] is concerned the only fault that Karmishy[?] finds with him is in giving work to hands without consulting his Harmmosky[?] first. This is wrong as H[?] should be the best judge of these things I shall write to Karmishy[?] to pay[?] & tell to leave the settlement with [illegible] as well as the paying out to you. As it is out of the question for me to become a furlough the reasons I gave in one of my letters to Henry. I requested Brother[?] Henry to come here there may in all probability be a great Battle fought during his stay about here, and he will have some thing to amuse him, as I shall take him with me in the trenches, and give him a musket by the way of pastime[?].as far as the danger is concern he will only be exposed to the same chances as his oldest Brother, an old soldiers alongside of me was reading the few lines I wrote just now remarked that will[?] just hein[?] through a course of sprouts[?] We have very quiet times here quiet now (and except our usual rations which I enumerated so often) there is nothing stirring day before yesterday while on Dress Parade, 2 fine Heroes ran away with a Brass Cannon and seriously injuring 2 Artillerists and riding on one of the horses and the other setting on the ammunition wagon the horses [illegible] down the canon & carriage part exposed one of the soldiers thrown of the other between the wheels. The whole mess came very near running into the whole of the 5th North Carolina Regiment of Vol to 1150 men who were drawn up in a line of Battle. They stood like a solid wall in view of there danger and never moved an inch. But they turned over before they reached them, such occurences are nothing new these 2 soldiers of the first N.C. Regt were buried yesterday of Comp A. & B. they died from effects of measles & fever. Present my respects to Wilson[?] family Baker[?] family & Powers family. Tell Mrs Powers Eddy[?] is well I have seen him this morning
Your True Cousin George

Source: George Brandt Letters, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

George Brandt Letters Part 1

Letter from George Brandt, Company F 1st NC Vols. while at Yorktown VA. Items in brackets are mine.

Yorktown Va June 20 1861
My Dear Cousin Jacob:
            I truly regret of the troubles that has come up amongst the trio & harmmick[?]. It provoked me to such an extent that it kept me away for about 2 days. To see how shabby [illegible] about the aimfactory[?] [illegible] has been managed by [illegible] that had no business with it and I commenced to blame my self for having enlisted in this noble cause as I once thought that everything [illegible] conducted right during my absence. But I am now sorry to say that I was much mistaken. You will please to let me know by return of main who the originate [?] is that great[?] discontention[?] of hammock[?] is and who really is to blame or Henry[?] is not [illegible] enough. You will please to give your attention to Karmisoky[?] and let him refund his order to you. Let him have the management of the new factory altogether and need to keep out of the office and of the store altogether if he can not keep everything quiet and add to the good order of the store instead of in confusion. What in the devil has Salush[?] to do with Harmmick[?] Please to write me the whole particulars by return of mail. The [illegible] has been lost [illegible] … table had for the past few weeks & it is very [illegible] am not to be out & exposed to the sun. To work good  [illegible] I have every day. Bob[?] yet we all with  [illegible] few exceptions enjoy excellent health.
In conclusion I would beg you for Heavens sake see that every thing is kept in decent order, as I look to you as the most reasonable of the whole and I hope the most discreet. Give the name of the aggressor so that I can put him down in my memorandum. If I can succeed if peace is not declared soon I may get a furlough for 10 days & come home. Our Company I amongst the number have just come off guard we have all been on 24 hours with proper[?] relieved & have slept but very little during that time. I am tired & sleepy. We have guarded a Church which is turned into a prison. There were 50 Prisoners in it Soldiers for insubordination. My Station was at a Graveyard and a rainy night at that, it was in Yorktown. How would you have liked that Jacob? We are all on the look out all the time. Though at present we have but a small force here[?] about 4000 Soldiers but over 10,000 within hailing distance almost we do not expect any great Battles now until after the 4 of July if after. Please to write to me soon Give my respects to [illegible] & Alex [illegible] & tell them I am much obliged to them for the cheese tobacco & cake Kiss all the Boys & Girls for me at [illegible] Give my respects to Mrs Baker[?] & family and all inquiring friends
[illegible] your Cousin Geog

Source: George Brandt Letters, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Graphic Letter From Big Bethel

Letter from Henry E. Benton, Co. F 1st NC Vols ( 6 Months ) describing battle of Big Bethel. First part of letter is missing, or I just missed seeing it. Spelling and punctuation is original. Items in brackets are my own.

if they had just kept on we would have had one of the hardest kind of fights at the ford for they were in a large force and we were only a hundred strong still[?] in the bushes, but I think we would have whipped them. Just after this the Capt called out for five volunteers to go and scout down the road and creek. I and four others stepped out of the ranks and we went down the creek some two or three miles but did not see anything. We staid out all day. We went to a mans house and took dinner and came back just at night. As soon as I got back I went to see some of the battle field. I saw the Captain that was shot he had a hole through his breast as large as a hens egg his face was covered with blood he was a fine looking man also near him there was a young man that was shot just under his breastbone he was ghastly looking for his eyes were open and glassy  but the worst sight I saw was near the edge of the creek there was one man there that had a shot strike him just where the hair meets his forehead and split his skull open clear through his brains were scattered all about and his face was covered with bloody foam from his mouth. I did not have any more time to look about for the Companys were forming to march back to Yorktown they all thought that I was taken for I could not be found and so I was reported missing but I turned up at the right time. Those that went over the field after the battle … that they saw only about 75 dead but that they also saw a great many limbs brains entrails and other parts of bodies where there was no dead bodies to be found it was a very bloody fight on their part for they had seized on a great many wagons and carriages to carry their dead and wounded away. And the cavalry that followed them down to Hampton said that they had burnt all the houses on both sides of the road as they came up and that they found some of their dead scattered along the road. We had only one man killed and four wounded slightly. The one that was killed and two of the wounded would not have been so, but their Capt called for volunteers to fire a house during the heat of the fight and six stepped out, they jumped over the entrenchments and ran for the house but alas one of them was shot down and two of them wounded. And so our artillery fired a shell into it and set it afire for it sheltered the enemy. While the fight was going on one of the enemy was looking through the cracks[?] of a house and a bomb shell went through the house and through him also. One man was found with a shot hole through im from the Rifle Cannon it was big enough to put your two fists through. Now I will tell you the force of the enemy and our own and the number that were engaged on our side. The enemy were 4500 strong with five or six cannons. They had several stronger and larger than ours for we could tell it by the noise that they made. We had only two pieces that could be brought to bear on them with any effect and two more that got an occasional shot and three that were placed in different places to keep them from out flanking us. The one of them was at the ford with us and shot at them once[?] our men that were actively engaged were only 500 the rest were placed about in different parts and did not get only a few shots some of them none. Our whole number was 1100 strong with 7 pieces of artillery. One Rifle and six Howitzers. That Rifle is a great improvement for it will shoot any sort of shot you will put in it to the distance of five miles. I could not see much of the fight but I could hear the bombs bursting and and the shrieks of the wounded and the cheers whenever a good shot was made. The trees crashing and limbs breaking trampling of the men above the din of the battle. Our Company (Co F) was in a dangerous place and could not return the fire. The shot fell like rain amongst them and did not touch them bombs burst around and over them and and did not bit one of them. One of our men had a piece knocked out of his musket [illegible], but did not get hit, one had a ball pass through his blouse and not touch him. Charly Murphy had a bomb burst within ten feet of him and did not touch him several burst over his head and did not touch him here our company was the trees were all skinned up. The Southern Horse[?] were just above us also in a dangerous place but they were more sheltered than we were one of them had his cheek grazed by a piece of bomb bursting but did not hurt him. The old FJSJ[?] were not in as dangerous a position as our company they were on the right flank, during the fight a body of the enemy tried to turn our right flank but they were met by the Hornets Nest Rifles who fire a volley and then charged bayonet, he had a ball pass through his wrist it is a great wonder to me and also to them that more were not hurt for the shot struck their pieces and embankment and one shot struck their tar[?] bucket just under the Howitzer and did no damage. They worked their guns as coolly as when they were on drill their officers would not let them fire only when the enemy were formed and pretty thick then they would take aim and scatter them like chaff, there were some five hundred of the enemy hid in the woods just over the creek waiting for our men to be run out by the firing of the bombs but they waited in vain. I must close up now for I am about run out of news, and have written enough of this dangerous fight and glorious victory. Next day (yesterday) we heard that they had lost [illegible] three to five hundred, the country people went into the woods around there and they found as many more killed than were thought to have been. They were strewed all around in the bushes, there were some 75 left in a yard near Hampton that died going on down there. The aide camp to the Col (Hill) had his hat knocked off his head but did not get hurt. One of the [illegible] horses had a ball pass straight through his breast. One of their mules had a bomb pass through his body this poor mule tried to run by fell down and died. It kept the bomb from bursting amongst the ranks. Col McGruder and Col Hill were walking about as if they were at home Col Hill was eating a cracker and made his servant cook his dinner all the while the firing was going on. We have the best of officers and have great confidence in them. Col Hill said that we were spoiling for a fight and so he marched us down there to have it he also that he never commanded a body of men but that he had a fight the enemy said ( so we heard by a deserter) that they were not afraid of the NC Volunteers nor Virginians that they could whip them out with cornstalks[?] and [illegible] of their muskets, but they were afraid of the Geo and Louisiana troops. I guess they found out their mistake, the prisoners that were took said that they would not have a fight but that we would of run or surrender two of the prisoners were wounded that we took one had both his legs shot off we took five in all during the fight. Please draw off an account of the fight for Miss Mary Williams for Charly Williams has had the measles he is getting well now and is most able to be about there has been two or three cases of the measles in camp. Also let Mr Murphy read it for Charley did not write any description of it to them keep the original yourself. Tell Mr McDougald all about it we are all well as may be expected only stiff and sore from our long march for we marched back to Yorktown that same night and got there at 7[?] oclock at night. The Louisiana marched down there early in the morning and got there just after the fight they marched back with us. We are expecting an attack every day from them but we will whip them again we have 5800 men and 24 field pieces besides our entrenchments. The steamer down the river had drawn nearer. They will also attack us by water. No more until after another fight and then I will write and tell you all about it if I am not killed. Let Mr Vink[?] read this and tell him if he want to fight to come here Love to all at home my respects to Mr Williams family Charley has not been very sick. George Baker sends you his kindest regards he looks forward to my getting a letter from you with as much pleasure as myself for I let him read them
Your affectionate Son
Henry E Benton

Source: Henry E. Benton Papers, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, N.C.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Report of Brig. Gen. Samuel Garland on the Seven Days.

Report of Brig. Gen. Samuel Garland, jr., C.S. Army, commanding Third Brigade, of the engagement at King's School-House, or Oak Grove, and battles of Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill, and Malvern Hill.

Headquarters Third Brigade, Third Division
July 14, 1862.
Major: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this brigade in the recent engagements and operations of the army before Richmond:
On June 25 the movements of the enemy on the Williamsburg road inducing Major-General Huger, whose troops were in front, to call for support, I was ordered to move forward my brigade in supporting distance of Generals Armistead and Wright and co-operate with them to such extent as the exigency might require. Those generals having moved forward their troops into the woods in front of our lines on the Williamsburg road, my brigade was placed in the vacated rifle pits and kept under arms and exposed to artillery fire during the entire afternoon. The Fifth North Carolina, Col. D.K. McRae, was ordered to move forward out of the rifle pits across the field in front to the edge of the woods opposite and protect a section of artillery brought up to that point to silence the enemy's guns. This duty they performed with their accustomed alacrity and happily escaped casualties.
Having spent more than half the day under arms and under fire, the brigade was permitted to return to camp after dark and make preparations for the impending movements. I mention the foregoing fatigues and exposure because they were in the nature of extra duty borne by this brigade on the eve of general operations, and the troops should receive the proper credit for it.
Cooking until a late hour of the night and then catching a little sleep, the brigade moved about 2 o'clock on the morning of June 26, along with the rest of the division, to a position on the Mechanicsville turnpike just behind the crest of the commanding hills which overlook the Chickahominy, where we remained in position, masked from the observation of the enemy, until Maj.Gen. A.P. Hill's troops should carry Mechanicsville from the other side. This part of the plan being at length accomplished late in the afternoon, this brigade, along with the rest of the division and Major-General Longstreet's, crossed the Chickahominy, and was drawn up in line of battle under the crest of a hill on the right of the turnpike just in rear of Anderson's brigade. In taking this position the brigade was exposed to a severe artillery fire from the works of the enemy on the Beaver Dam Creek. The fire ceasing as night closed in, the men slept upon their arms in line of battle.
At an early hour on the morning of the 27th we were put in motion to move off to the position assigned the division en echelon to Major-General Jackson's column on the left as we swept down the Chickahominy. To reach this position it was necessary to cross the Beaver Dam Creek. The line of the Mechanicsville turnpike being still obstructed by an earthwork of the enemy, where they had artillery and some infantry, while our artillery engaged that of the enemy and part of the division remained to support it, this brigade, along with that of General Anderson, moved up a road more to the left, and turning in through the country and crossing the creek higher up at a secret ford, turned the position of the enemy and gained the Mechanicsville turnpike again without firing a shot. The enemy meanwhile withdrew their guns and retired, leaving the way open for the artillery to come up from Mechanicsville and the other brigades also. The whole division was now reunited and effected a junction with Major-General Jackson's forces near where the road from Pole Green Church crosses the turnpike.
From thence we moved to Jackson's left, and taking a circuitous route by Bethesda Church, proceeded to Cold Harbor and thence toward New Cold Harbor, which point we reached early in the afternoon of Friday, the 27th. As we approached a road crossing the line of our route near New Cold Harbor the enemy was discovered in line of battle with artillery to oppose our progress. Their position was quite a strong one and dispositions were made for an engagement. Captain Bondurant's battery, of this brigade, being brought up to the front, took position just to the right of the road, and Anderson's brigade being in line of battle on the right, this brigade was placed in line of battle on the left of and perpendicular to the road by which we had advanced, the Fifth North Carolina, on the right, holding a little copse of timber just next the battery and the road, the rest of the line in the edge of a second growth of diminutive pines, which should be called a jungle - not a piece of timber - through which I threw forward a line of skirmishers to the farther side, next and near to the enemy. These skirmishers found themselves on one side of a valley through the bottom of which ran a ditch, the ground rising to a crest on the other side, where on the edge of the woods the enemy's lines extended, being some 400 yards off. Their line of battle seemed oblique to our own, and in my view the advance of my own brigade in line of battle through the tangled growth in front seemed impracticable, and further liable to the objection that my right flank would be exposed to the fire of the enemy's line, posted obliquely to my own. These views were stated to the general of division, and determined the direction of the subsequent movement of the brigade. An active artillery fight was now carried on for some time, in which Captain Bondurant's battery was engaged. That fine officer, his men, and officers, behaved well and rendered an effective fire; but the enemy soon ascertaining the exact range and bringing up heavier metal, Captain Bondurant sustained a loss of 2 killed and 1 mortally wounded, since dead, making 3; 14 wounded and 28 horses killed and disabled. He was now relieved and sent to the rear, having fired nearly all his rounds. Captain Bondurant had also been engaged at Mechanicsville on Thursday evening.
Major-General Jackson arriving on our part of the field, a change was made in the disposition of our infantry forces equivalent to a change of front to rear on the left battalion of my brigade, the expectation being that the enemy would be rolled back upon us and received by us in this new position. The sounds of an active engagement were now heard going on immediately in front of the last position, and perceiving that the result was doubtful, brigade after brigade of our division was ordered to proceed toward the sound of the firing. To do this all had to cross an open field several hundred yards wide under a vigorous enfilading fire of artillery and gain a skirt of timber covering a ravine some half mile in front. This brigade was ordered forward last to go to the support of the others, this being deemed more judicious on the whole than to charge the enemy's batteries and infantry supports already referred to.
Reaching the skirt of woods referred to, I there found the rest of the division lying unengaged under cover, the fight being still farther on in another woods, separated by an opening of 800 or 1,000 yards. General Anderson's brigade, the first sent over, seems to have driven some of the enemy from the belt of woods in which I found the division. Owing to the necessity of prolonging lines to left or right as the brigades came up, I found that several regiments were detached from their brigades and that there were several lines of our troops in the belt of timber in reserve to each other.
Communicating with General Anderson, we ascended out of the raving to commanding open ground, from whence we could see the engagement in front of us. We perceived a line of fresh troops brought up at right angles to our position to the edge of the woods in our front and pouring volley fires into a line screened from our view by the woods. We concluded, from our imperfect knowledge of localities, that the line we saw must be the enemy and that their flank was fairly exposed to us. In the absence of superior commanders we were consulting as to taking the responsibility of ordering a charge on this exposed flank of the enemy across the intervening open fields under the heavy fire of artillery when Major-General Hill joined us in person. We pointed out to him the situation and explained our proposed plan, which he at once adopted and ordered the charge to be made without delay, as the evening was already wearing late. Under the order of the general of division all the brigades were to advance, and accordingly no time was lost in sending back detached regiments to their brigades. This will account for the fact that I found on the left and under my general supervision the Third North Carolina, Colonel Meares, of General Ripley's brigade, and one of the regiment of General Rodes' brigade. By a change of position, unnecessary to be detailed, I had placed Colonel McRae, with the Fifth North Carolina, on the left of my brigade, and the line being a long one with the additions stated, I requested him to exercise a general supervision over the troops on the left, subject to my orders.
The whole line now moved forward with rapidity and enthusiasm. So soon as it had well cleared the skirt of timber and emerged upon the open plateau the enemy's artillery played upon it, but their fire was checked by a movement presently to be mentioned. The effect of our appearance at this opportune juncture, cheering and charging, decided the fate of the day. The enemy broke and retreated, made a second brief stand, which induced my immediate command to halt under good cover of the bank on the road-side and return their fire, when, charging forward again, they broke and scattered in every direction, and following, I found that I had effected a junction with Major-General Jackson's column, meeting with General Lawton in person and with the officers and troops of Hood's and Winder's brigades.
The battle was now over, except a scattering fight around a house to our left, near which the enemy's batteries had been posted. As our line moved forward several regiments on the left, viz, the Twentieth North Carolina and Third North Carolina, were swung around by Major-General Hill's orders to attack this battery, and thus to prevent it from playing on the other troops charging over the plain. In this movement the Twentieth North Carolina, Colonel Iverson, participated, sustaining a heavy loss, and at a later period I sent Col. A.M. Scales, Thirteenth North Carolina, to re-enforce our troops there. The attack was partially successful, our troops especially acting handsomely and maintaining themselves against superior numbers.
Having effected the junction with Major-General Jackson's troops as above stated, I suggested to General Lawton that further re-enforcements should be sent to this point on the left, which being done, the enemy made no further stand, but abandoned the entire field.
Thus ended the battle of Cold Harbor, in which this brigade bore an honorable part, sustaining a loss there of about 500 killed and wounded. That night, with the other troops, we bivouacked on the field.
The next morning about 10 a.m. we moved with the other troops in the direction of the Grapevine Bridge to Turkey Hill. Finding the bridge destroyed and that the enemy had some force and a battery on the other side, we were halted and drawn up in line of battle on the left of the road, while several of our batteries shelled the supposed position of the enemy.
We were delayed at this point during that day and the next. On the morning of the ---, the Grapevine Bridge being rebuilt and the road clear, this brigade, with the rest of the division, crossed, and, moving across the line of the York River road, struck into the road to Bottom's Bridge, down which we proceeded, capturing prisoners, &c., until we turned to the right, following the course of the enemy, and took the road crossing the White Oak Swamp and running into the Long Bridge road. Upon reaching the White Oak Swamp we found the bridge destroyed and the enemy drawn up in a strong position on the other side with artillery. The infantry being kept under cover, our artillery was brought up in force and opened on the enemy with marked effect. They withdrew their battery to a safer position.
At this point we were delayed another day until the enemy retired and the bridge over the White Oak Swamp was rebuilt.
Crossing next morning, we followed up the retreat of the enemy toward James River into the Long Bridge road and then into the Quaker road toward Turkey Bridge.
At Malvern Hill the enemy made their last stand, with several batteries and two lines of infantry in a commanding position. Our own infantry were put under cover near the road, waiting to observe the effect of the fire of our artillery, this brigade lying behind that of General Ripley, in reserve, with Colquitt's still in our rear. The concentrated fire of two of the enemy's batteries from the hill was too heavy for the single battery (Moorman's) which we opposed to them.
Late in the afternoon orders were communicated that the commander-in-chief had selected a position from which our artillery could enfilade the enemy's batteries; that the effect of our fire could be seen, and that when the enemy's guns were crippled or silenced a general advance of the infantry would be ordered. The enfilading fire soon commenced, and the commander of this division, accompanied by several of the brigade commanders, including the writer, went to a point from which the effect could be observed. So far from producing marked effect, the firing was so wild that we were returning to our posts under the impression that no movement of infantry would be ordered, when suddenly one or two brigades, belonging to a division on our right (either Magruder's or Huger's), charged out of the woods toward the right with a shout. Major-General Hill at once exclaimed, "That must be the general advance! Bring up your brigades as soon as possible and join in it." Hurrying back to my own brigade, I moved it down the road by the flank to the edge of the field over which the enemy's batteries were playing and filing out to my right formed line of battle. I was then ordered to advance and charge the batteries, which were some 800 or 900 yards off on a commanding hill, straight to the front, supported by two lines of infantry. There was no cover, and the ground nearest the enemy was plowed. Anderson's, Ripley's, and Rodes' brigades, Gordon commanding, had proceeded farther down the road, thus keeping under partial cover, and approaching somewhat nearer and on the right of the enemy's position. When ordered forward I saw no troops of our own in front of me.
The brigade moved forward with alacrity about half way to the battery or nearer, when the terrible fire of artillery and the opening fire of the infantry induced it to halt, lie down, and commence firing without my orders and contrary to them. The fire of the enemy was very severe, and being satisfied that the exhibition of force presented by a single brigade on that front was not sufficient to intimidate the foe nor to carry the position, I sent my acting aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Haywood, to inform Maj. Gen. D.H. Hill that unless I was re-enforced quickly I could effect nothing, and could not hold the position I then occupied. After some delay a brigade appeared from the woods in my rear and seemed coming up to my support. But their movements seemed slow, and before they reached me my men began to give way, and very many ceased to respond to my efforts to hold them in line and maintain the position. Remaining on the spot until, in spite of every effort, the men could no longer be held there, the brigade fell back to the edge of the woods from which we had started.
It is not my desire to indulge in criticism or crimination. It is enough to say that there was somehow a want of concert and co-operation in the whole affair that made a successful attack impracticable and the consequent disorder and straggling of troops most lamentable. My own brigade went up as far as any troops I saw upon the field and behaved as well. If they retired, so did all the rest who were ordered to charge the battery. The whole division became scattered.
As night closed in General Ripley, Colonels Gordon and Colquitt (commanding brigades), and myself set to work in concert to collect our commands together, and bivouacked them in a place of security. Next morning we found that the enemy were themselves so far damaged by the previous day's work that they had retreated from Malvern Hill. Having gotten our commands together during the day, suitable details were made for burying the dead.
This brigade, along with the rest of the division, was now put in bivouac near the scene of the late battle-fields, with orders to collect the arms and munitions, get off the wounded, the prisoners, &c. I had neglected to say that Colonel McRae, of the Fifth North Carolina, with his own regiment and the Fourth North Carolina, of Anderson's Brigade, had been previously ordered back upon similar duties nearer to Richmond. They were not present at Malvern Hill. These duties being all discharged, and our army receiving orders to return toward Richmond, this brigade, along with the division, returned to its old position near the Williamsburg road.
It affords me pleasure to testify to the general good conduct of the regimental commanders of this brigade throughout these trying scenes. Colonel McRae, absent from Malvern Hill under orders, exhibited his accustomed gallantry and good judgment at Cold Harbor, rendering me material assistance in looking after the left of my line. Colonel Scales, Thirteenth North Carolina, was conspicuous for his fine bearing. Seizing the colors of his regiment at a critical moment at Cold Harbor, and advancing to the front, he called upon the Thirteenth to stand to them, thus restoring confidence and keeping his men in position. Colonel Iverson was seriously wounded at an early period while gallantly leading up his regiment to take the battery at the house on the left at Cold Harbor. This movement seems to have been ordered by the division commander. The Twentieth North Carolina, after Colonel [Alfred] Iverson was wounded, was led by Lieut. Col. Franklin J. Faison. It advanced gallantly and took the battery, which it held for ten minutes. The gallant Faison received a mortal wound in the very act of turning one of the captured pieces upon the fleeing foe and breathed out his noble spirit in the moment of victory. He was greatly beloved and his memory will be cherished with veneration and pride.
Having sustained a loss of 70 killed and 202 wounded in this charge, which was temporarily successful, the enemy soon returned in larger force, and this regiment, having no supports, retired, under orders from Major [William H.]Toon, to the cover of the wood out of which it had charged.
Colonel [Benjamin O.]Wade, Twelfth North Carolina, conducted his regiment with coolness and discretion.
Colonel Christie, Twenty-third North Carolina, had the misfortune to be wounded in the successful charge at Cold Harbor while leading his regiment and bearing himself handsomely, when the command of this regiment again fell upon Lieut. I.J. Young, who had been in command during the absence of Colonel Christie from the effect of his injuries at the Seven Pines. I desire to notice the conduct of Lieutenant Young as worthy of special commendation. He was severely wounded at Malvern Hill while leading his regiment and compelled to retire.
In the absence of three regimental commanders, who led the Thirteenth, Twentieth, and Twenty-third North Carolina in the recent engagements, the regimental reports of those commands refrain from the selection of the names of particular officers and men for special gallantry.
Colonel McRae presents the following from the Fifth North Carolina as deserving special mention at Cold Harbor, viz: Maj. P.J. Sinclair, wounded early and compelled to retire; Lieutenants Riddick, Sprague, Davis, Brookfield (severely wounded), Taylor, and Haywood; Color-Sergeant Grimstead, wounded, and Privates Noah McDaniel, who captured 7 prisoners, and John Trotman.
Colonel Wade, Twelfth North Carolina, mentions the good conduct of Lieutenant Plummer, Company C, and Private T.L. Emory, Company G. 
My personal staff during these engagements consisted of Capt. Charles Wood, assistant adjutant-general, and Lieuts. R.D. Early and F.M. Haywood, jr., the last at Malvern Hill only. I can most sincerely testify to their gallantry and intelligence. Lieutenant Early was severely wounded and Captain Wood had his horse instantly killed under him by a solid shot.
I present a succinct statement of killed and wounded and file lists of the same by name.
I have the honor to subscribe myself, major, your obedient servant,
S. Garland, Jr.,
Brig. Gen., Comdg. Third Brigade, Third Division.

Major Ratchford,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

Series I. Vol. XI (Part II) Ch. XXIII. Pgs. 639-645.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Colonel Hamilton A. Brown Letter, 1st NCST

Letter written by Colonel Hamilton Allen Brown of the 1st Regiment North Carolina State Troops, to his mother, where he was wounded at 3rd Winchester. Transcribed by myself.

Camp Near Waynesboro VA
Sept 30 1864

My Dear Mother:
                I write to let you know that I am still in the land of the living, since I wrote to you I have passed through several narrow places and have witnessed scenes that I hope will never be called upon to witness again. Our Army has been defeated twice latily once at Winchester where we lost our [one?] Maj Gen and once at Strasburg or Fishers Hill. I was wounded at Winchester the ball struck my watch, which happened to be in the watch-pocket of my pantaloons [?] the watch was very badly broken, but saved my life I did not leave the field. Shortly after I was wounded the Yankee cavalry overtook and compelled me to surrender to them. They were forced to retire in consequence of our own artillery fire and I found a way to get back within our lines. Gen Rodes was killed at Winchester in the early part of the engagement the ball passed through his head he never spoke but died without a struggle. The death of Gen Rodes has cast a gloom over the whole of this Army he had few equals as a military man, in him I lose a friend whose confidence I had won by hard fighting and unremitting [?] wit [?]. Gen Ramseur is in command of the Division I am still in command of the Sharpshooters of this Division. I think of taking command of my Regt before long. I have heard nothing yet from [illegible] Col Barber would probably have an opportunity of this wrong. I asked for [illegible] I could get in [illegible].
We are resting today near Waynesboro twelve miles east of Staunton the Yankees have destroyed the rail road from Staunton to this place. It is reported [?] that Gen Longstreet took command of the Army of the Valley District this morning.
Tell Ellen I will answer her letter before long wish very much I had been at home to have enjoyed the nice thing and the [illegible]…
Hoping to hear from you now I am
Very affectionately
Your Son
H A Brown

Source: James B. Gordon Papers; North Carolina State Archives

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bryan Grimes photo

Photographed this while I was at the State Archives yesterday. Autographed by Bryan Grimes.

Source: Bryan Grimes Papers, North Carolina State Archives.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Tinkered with the layout of the blog. Too much? Just right? Improvement?

New Additions

Be sure to check out the North Carolina Civil War 150 blog, hosted by the excellent folks at the state Archives in Raleigh. You can find it here, and I'm adding it to the blogroll. Also, the archives are also digitizing Civil War related letters, diaries, etc. by and to North Carolina civilians and soldiers. Be sure to check that out as well, here.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Preservation Update

30,000 acres saved, with the completion of the Dallas and Resaca ventures. Excellent! Here's the story: 30,000 Acres

Monday, February 28, 2011

Official Report of Jubal Early for Battle of Williamsburg

Report of Brig. Gen. Jubal A. Early, C.S. Army, commanding brigade.

Lynchburg, VA., June 9, 1862.

Major: I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of my brigade on Monday, May 5 last, near Williamsburg:
In accordance with orders received the evening before, my brigade was in readiness to take up the line of march from its camp west of Williamsburg toward Richmond at 3 a.m. on the 5th ultimo, but having been detained by the difficulty with which the brigades, with their trains, that preceded it, moved off, about or a little before noon, just as my regiments were formed for the purpose of commencing the march, I was directed by Maj. Gen. D.H. Hill not to move my infantry; and in a short time I was ordered by him to march back and report with my regiments to Major-General Longstreet at Williamsburg, which I did, having with me my brigade proper, consisting of the Fifth North Carolina Regiment, commanded by Col. D.K. McRae; the Twenty-third North Carolina Regiment, commanded by Col. John F. Hoke; the Twenty-fourth Virginia Regiment, commanded by Col. William R. Terry, and the Thirty-eighth Virginia Regiment, commanded by Lieut. Col. Powhatan B. Whittle; to which were attached the Second Florida Regiment, commanded by Col. George T. Ward, and the Second Mississippi Battalion, commanded by Lieut. Col. John G. Taylor.
After reporting to Major-General Longstreet my command, by his orders, was halted in the open space in rear of the college building, where it remained until some time between 3 and 4 p.m., when I was ordered by General Longstreet to move to the support of Brigadier-General Anderson, of his division, at or near Fort Magruder, and to send a messenger to let him know that I was coming. I immediately put my command in motion, moving as rapidly as the condition of the streets would permit, and sent my aide, Lieut. S.H. Early, to inform General Anderson of the fact. Before reaching Fort Magruder I was met by Lieutenant Early, who informed me that General Anderson was not at the fort, but somewhere to the right, where his troops were engaged with the enemy, and that Brigadier-General Stuart, who was in charge at Fort Magruder, requested that I should send four regiments to the right and two to the left of the fort. Before this movement could be executed General Longstreet himself overtook me, and directed me to carry the whole of my brigade to a position designated by him, to the left and rear of Fort Magruder, and await further orders. I proceeded in that direction, General Longstreet himself going to the right in the direction of a heavy musketry and artillery firing which was going on. In a few minutes, and before my command had proceeded far toward its destination, I received an order from General Longstreet, through on of his staff officers, to send him two regiments, which I obeyed by sending him the Second Florida Regiment and the Second Mississippi Battalion, under the command of Colonel War, of the Second Florida Regiment. With the remainder of my command, being my brigade proper, I proceeded as near as practicable to the position designated by General Longstreet on the left and rear of Fort Magruder, and formed my regiments in line of battle on the crest of a ridge in a wheat field, and near a barn and some houses, with a wood some 200 or 300 yards in front, in which position we were not in view of any body of the enemy, though we were soon informed by the firing from a battery in or beyond the woods toward Fort Magruder that a portion of the enemy were in our front.
In a short time Major-General Hill arrived, and having ascertained that the enemy had a battery in front of us, he informed me that he wished me to attack and capture the battery with my brigade, but before doing so he must see General Longstreet upon the subject. General Hill and myself, with my aide, Lieutenant Early, then rode to the front to see if what appeared to be a small stream at the edge o the woods would offer any obstacle to the advance of my brigade, and having ascertained that it would not, General Hill went to the right to see General Longstreet, and I proceeded to inform my regiments that they would, upon the return of General Hill, advance to the attack of the enemy's battery and troops in front, and to give them directions as to their conduct. In a short time General Rains' brigade came up and took its position just in rear of a close to my brigade, and some pieces of artillery also came up, which I was proceeding to place in position, but General Hill returned and, after informing me that the attack was to be made, himself posted the artillery so as to cover the retreat of my brigade should it be compelled to fall back.
As soon as General Hill had completed his dispositions he gave the order to the two regiments on the right to move forward, which I presume was intended for the whole brigade, but the order was not heard by me or the regiments on the left; but seeing the regiments on the right and General Hill with them, I ordered the other two regiments to move forward, and the whole brigade was thus put in motion, the Fifth North Carolina Regiment being on the right, next to it the Twenty-third North Carolina, then the Thirty-eighth Virginia, the Twenty-fourth Virginia being on the left. General Hill being on the right accompanying the brigade, I placed myself on the left with the Twenty-fourth Virginia Regiment for the purpose of directing its movements, as I was satisfied from the sound of the enemy's guns that this regiment would come directly on the battery. The brigade advanced through the wheat field and then through a thick woods, about half a mile in all, when it came upon an open field in view of Fort Magruder, at the end of which farthest from the fort the enemy had taken position with a battery of six pieces, since ascertained to be Wheeler's New York battery, and some two or three pieces from another battery called Kennedy's, which were supported by a brigade of infantry, under the command of Brigadier-General Hancock. In this field were two or three redoubts previously built by our troops, of at least on of which the enemy had possession, his artillery being posted in front of it near some farm houses and supported by a body of infantry, the balance of the infantry being in the redoubt and in the edge of the woods close by. The Twenty-fourth Virginia Regiment, as I had anticipated, came directly upon the battery, emerging from the woods over a fence into the field within musket range of the farm houses at which the battery was posted. This regiment, without pausing or wavering, charged upon the enemy under a heavy fire, and drove back his guns and the infantry supporting them to the cover of the redoubt mentioned and of the woods and a fence close by, and continued to advance upon him in the most gallant manner. I looked to the right to see if the other regiments were coming up to the support of the Twenty-fourth, but not observing them doing so, I sent orders for them to advance.
These were anticipated by Colonel McRae, of the Fifth North Carolina Regiment, who was on the extreme right of my brigade, and marched down with his regiment, as soon as it was possible for him to do so, to the support of the Twenty-fourth and the attack of the enemy, traversing the whole front that should have been occupied by the other two regiment.
Having received a very severe wound shortly after the charge made by the Twenty-fourth on the enemy's battery, I became so weak from loss of blood and suffered such excruciating pain that I was unable to direct the operations of the brigade, and was compelled to retire from the field just as the Fifth North Carolina Regiment, under the lead of its gallant colonel, made its charge upon the enemy's artillery and infantry, but its conduct has been reported to me by impartial witnesses. This regiment, in conjunction with the Twenty-fourth Virginia Regiment, made an attack upon the vastly superior forces of the enemy, which for its gallantry is unsurpassed in the annals of warfare. Their conduct was such as to extort from the enemy himself the highest praise; but these regiments were not supported by the other two regiments of the brigade.
The Twenty-third North Carolina Regiment, it seems from the report of its commanding officer, was ordered by General Hill to change its front before it got through the woods, which brought it in rear of the Twenty-fourth Virginia Regiment, but it never got out of the woods. The Thirty-eighth Virginia Regiment, it seems started to obey my order, though it was so late in doing so that before it got fairly under fire the Fifth North Carolina and Twenty-fourth Virginia had been ordered by General Hill to retire. Had these two latter regiments been properly supported they would unquestionably have captured the enemy's artillery and routed his infantry. As it was, the enemy was compelled to withdraw the most of his pieces from the field, and these two regiments did not give way, notwithstanding the fearful odds against them, until ordered to retire by General Hill. As a matter of course they suffered severely, their loss being heaviest while falling back.
A number of valuable officers were killed in both regiments. The Fifth North Carolina Regiment lost its lieutenant-colonel, J.C. Badham, a most excellent and gallant officer. It lost also several captains and lieutenants while gallantly performing their duty. The Twenty-fourth Virginia Regiment did no suffer so severely in killed, but Captain Jennings and First Lieutenant Radford, two officers of great worth, were killed on the field, and Captain Haden was mortally wounded.
A number of prisoners were taken in these two regiments owing to the fact that in retiring through the woods back to the position from which they had advanced they lost their way and fell into the hands of a body of the enemy that was in the woods.
Returns of the killed and wounded in these two regiments were sent to me, but it has been since ascertained that they are so inaccurate that I forbear to send them, and must refer to the regimental commanders for correct returns.
So well did the officers and men of these two regiments do their duty that it would be invidious to discriminate; but I may be permitted to mention especially the gallant conduct and undaunted courage displayed by the field officers of both regiments: Col. D.K. Mcrae, Lieut. Col. J.C. Badham, and Major Sinclair, of the Fifth North Carolina, and Col. Williams R. Terry, Lieut. Col. Peter Hairston, and Maj. Richard L. Maury, of the Twenty-fourth Virginia, all of whom proved themselves eminently worthy of the positions held by them in their regiments. Of these officers, unfortunately, Lieutenant-Colonel Badham was killed on the field and Col. William R. Terry and Lieutenant-Colonel Hairston were severely wounded.
I do not wish to be understood as casting reproach upon the Twenty-third North Carolina and Thirty-eighth Virginia Regiments, both of which have since that time encountered the enemy on another field and suffered heavily.
I have received no report of the part taken by the Second Florida Regiment and the Second Mississippi Battalion, on the right, the only reports to me being lists of the killed and wounded. I have no doubt they performed their duty well.
On the list of killed in the Second Florida Regiment is found the name of its colonel, George T. Ward, as true a gentleman and as gallant a soldier as has drawn his sword in this war, whose conduct under fire it was my fortune to witness on another occasion. His loss to his regiment, to his State, and to the Confederacy cannot be easily compensated.
My regular aide, First. Lieut. S.H. Early, and young Mr. John Morrow, of Richmond, a volunteer aide, were both on the field under fire and discharged their duties admirably.
Accompanying this report are copies of reports of some of the regimental commanders.
My own report has been delayed thus long because I have been unable to undergo the labor of writing it.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J.A. Early,
Brigadier-General, P.A.C.S.
Maj. J.W. Ratchford,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

Series I Vol. XI (Part I) Ch. XXIII Pgs. 606-609

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Longstreet's Brigade at First Manassas

Official Report of Brigadier General James Longstreet pertaining to the actions of his brigade at First Manassas July 21, 1861.

Report of Brig. Gen. James Longstreet, C.S. Army, commanding Fourth Brigade, First Corps.

Headquarters Fourth Brigade, July 28, 1861.
In obedience to the general's orders of the 20th to assume the offensive, my command was moved across Bull Run at an early hour on the 21st. I found my troops much exposed to the fire of the enemy's artillery, my front being particularly exposed to a double cross-fire as well as a direct one. Garland's regiment, Eleventh Virginia, was placed in position to carry by assault the battery immediately in my front. McRae's regiment, Fifth North Carolina, under Lieutenant-Colonel Jones, the colonel being sick, was posted in front of the battery on my right, and with same purpose in regard to this battery. Strong bodies of skirmishers were thrown out in front of each column, with orders to lead in the assault, and at the same time to keep up a sharp fire, so as to confuse as much as possible the fire of the enemy, and thereby protect the columns, which were not to fire again before the batteries were ours. The columns were to be supported, the first by the First Virginia Regiment, under Major Skinner, the second by the Seventeenth Virginia Regiment, under Colonel Corse. The Twenty-fourth Virginia Regiment, under Colonel Hairston, was the reserve in column of division in mass, convenient to the support of either column. Arrangements being complete, the troops were ordered to lie down and cover themselves from the artillery fire as much as possible.
About an hour after my position was taken it was discovered by a reconnaissance made by Colonels Terry and Lubbock that the enemy was moving in heavy columns towards our left, the position that the general had always supposed he would take. This information was at once sent to headquarters, and I soon received orders to fall back upon my original position, the right bank of the run. Colonels Terry and Lubbock then volunteered to make a reconnaissance of the position of the enemy's batteries. They made a very gallant and complete one, and a hasty sketch of his entire left. This information was forwarded to the commanding general, with the suggestion that the batteries be taken.
The general's orders were promptly issued to that effect, and I again moved across the run, but some of the troops ordered to co-operate failed to get their orders. After awaiting the movement some time, I received a peculiar order to hold my position only. In a few minutes, however, the enemy were reported routed, and I was again ordered forward. The troops were again moved across the run and advanced towards Centreville, the Fifth North Carolina Regiment being left to hold the ford. Advancing to the attack of the routed column I had the First, Eleventh, Seventeenth, and Twenty-fourth Virginia Regiments, Garnett's section of the Washington Artillery, and Whitehead's troop of cavalry. The artillery and cavalry were at once put in pursuit, followed as rapidly as possible by the infantry.
General Bonham, who was pursuing on our left, finding it difficult to advance through the fields, &c., moved his command to the road, put it in advance of mine, and the march towards Centreville was continued about a mile farther. Night coming on, the general deemed it advisable to halt. After lying in this position about an hour the general directed that the troops should be marched back to Bull Run for water.
Early next day I sent Colonel Terry forward, under the protection of Captain Whitehead's troop, to pick up stragglers, ordnance, ordnance stores, and other property that had been abandoned by the enemy. I have been too much occupied to get the names or the number of prisoners. As I had no means of taking care of them, I at once sent them to headquarters. Colonel Terry captured the Federal flag said to have been made, in anticipation of victory, to be hoisted over our position at Manassas. He also shot from the cupola of the court-house at Fairfax the Federal flag left there. These were also duly forwarded to the commanding general.
About noon of the 22d Colonel Garland was ordered with his regiment to the late battle-ground to collect and preserve the property, &c., that had been abandoned in that direction. Colonel Garland's report and inventory of other property and stores brought in to headquarters and listed by Captain Sorrel, of my staff, and the regimental reports of killed and wounded are herewith inclosed.
My command, although not actively engaged against the enemy, was under the fire of his artillery for nine hours during the day. The officers and men exhibited great coolness and patience during the time.
To our kind and efficient medical officers, Surgeons Cullen, Thornhill, and Lewis, Assistant Surgeons Maury, Chalmers, and Snowden, we owe many thanks. Lieut. F. S. Armistead, acting assistant adjutant-general, and Lieut. P.T. Manning were very active and zealous.
Volunteer Staff. - Colonel Riddick, assistant adjutant-general, North Carolina, was of great assistance in conveying orders, assisting in the distribution of troops, and infusing proper spirit among them. Cols. B. F. Terry and T. Lubbock were very active and energetic. When unoccupied, they repeatedly volunteered their services to make reconnaissances. They were very gallantly seconded by Capts. T. Goree and Chichester, who were also very useful in conveying orders. Capts. T. Walton and C.M. Thompson were very active and prompt in the discharge of their duties. Captain Sorrel joined me as a volunteer aide in the midst of the fight. He came into the battle as gaily as a beau, and seemed to receive orders which threw him into more exposed positions with peculiar delight.
I remain, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
James Longstreet,

Series I Vol. II Ch. IX Pgs. 543-544.

Third North Carolina Flag at Sharpsburg

From the Official Records.

Bivouac Near Winchester, VA., October 5, 1862.

His Excellency Z.B. Vance,
Raleigh, N.C.:
Your Excellency: In accordance with the unanimous desire of my officers and men I beg leave, sir, to return to you the colors intrusted to us by the State of North Carolina at the commencement of this contest. When the regiment was first attached to the army before Richmond the Confederate battle-flag was issued to it and all other colors ordered to be discarded. Previous to the battles in Maryland, however, our colonel, at the request of both officers and men, once more unfurled our North Carolina colors, a special guard was detailed for its defense, and, in addition to our battle-flag, carried this into the engagement at Sharpsburg. This is the only one in which it has ever been, and it bears evidence in its folds that it was in the very thickest, while our list of killed and wounded shows that we did not fail in our trust. Two of its bearers were killed and as many seriously wounded, yet not once were its folds allowed to touch the ground, and we have the satisfaction of knowing that it never left the field until we received orders from those in authority to withdraw. We have flattered ourselves that it is worthy of a place among the relics of which the State may be proud, and we send it to you, sir, desiring that it may be kept ever sacred to the memory of those who fell upon the battle-field of Sharpsburg while engaged in the defense of home and liberty. I intrust the colors, together with a report of the engagement and a list of casualties, to Lieut. John F.S. Van Bokkelen; and, in the name of my officers and men,
Am, sir, most respectfully,
S.D. Thruston,
Major Third North Carolina State Troops, Commanding.

Series 1 Vol. LI (Part II) Ch. LXIII Pg. 632.

North Carolina Re-enlistments

From the Official Records.

Orange Court-House, February 19, 1864.

General S. Cooper:
Since dispatch of 13th [15th] instant the remainder of Hill's corps, except portions of the Sixteenth and Twenty-second North Carolina Regiments, the Stonewall Brigade, Young's cavalry brigade of Hampton's division, the Twenty-fifth Virginia Regiment, Carter's Virginia battery, Troup (Georgia) Battery, First Richmond Howitzers, and Third North Carolina Regiment re-enlisted for the war.
R.E. Lee

Series I Vol. XXXIII Ch. XLV Pg. 1190

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Third North Carolina at Bartlett's Mill

Official report of Colonel S.D. Thruston of the action at Barlett's Mill, VA, November 27, 1863.

Report of Col. Stephen D. Thruston, Third North Carolina Infantry.

December 4, 1863.
Lieutenant: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my regiment in the battle of November 27, near Bartlett's Mill:
On the morning of November 27, having slept the previous night in the trenches, my regiment with the rest of the brigade took up the line of march along the public road crossing Bartlett's Mill and running east of Mine Run. Having crossed Mine Run at Bartlett's Mill, proceeded about 2 miles, when the head of the column (my regiment being the fourth battalion in order of battle) was fired upon by the sharpshooters of the enemy. I immediately received orders to load and throw out skirmishers to feel the enemy. This order was accordingly obeyed by sending forward First Lieut. George W. Ward with the regular detail of skirmishers, connecting his line with that of the regiments on my right. This line pushed forward until it came upon a heavy line of the enemy's skirmishers, when Lieutenant Ward informed me of the fact and of his inability to hold his position. I then ordered my left company, commanded by Capt. John B. Brown, to his support, and a second company, commanded by First Lieut. J.W. Stokley, was held as a reserve to both.
Captain Brown, assuming command of the first and second detachments of skirmishers, now formed on one line, vigorously pushed forward, driving the enemy's sharpshooters back, and discovered the enemy drawn up in force in the edge of a field and under a rail fence. Captain Brown here received one volley from the main line and was in turn driven in. Just here the skirmishers were withdrawn except the regular detail, and the line of battle was formed in a ravine behind, about 400 yards from and in a diagonal line with this road.
I here received an order that the Thirty-seventh Virginia (on my left) should move farther to the left, and that as soon as that was done I should close to the left and go immediately forward. Before this order could be obeyed, and after the Thirty-seventh had moved off to the left, the whole right of the brigade moved forward, and I then received the order to forward with it, thus changing my guide to the right instead of to the left, as previously ordered, and leaving a space of 300 or 400 yards between my left and the Thirty-seventh Virginia unoccupied.
My regiment immediately moved forward in as perfect order as the thick undergrowth and nature of the ground would admit, meeting the enemy just where their line crossed the road. Here the action was quite sharp for a short time, when the men with a yell charged the position, driving in confusion three strong lines of the enemy before them. The pursuit was followed for about 800 yards, when I discovered the enemy turning my left.
I immediately changed front, but three companies on the right, not hearing the command, did not follow the movement, and afterward formed on the First North Carolina Regiment, on my right, with six companies, my left company having been thrown out previously to aid the Thirty-seventh Virginia. I changed front so as to meet the flanking party, but being largely outnumbered, retired to the field beyond the road, where a temporary work had been thrown up of rails and such material as could be hastily gotten together. Here I met the brigade commander, and being soon joined by the Thirty-seventh Virginia, was ordered to remain in that position, with sharpshooters thrown well forward. I remained here until an order was received to form in line with the rest of the brigade on the road. This being done, rested for four or five hours, when we moved on beyond Mine Run, and bivouacked for the night.
The officers and men behaved with their usual coolness and courage, and where all acted well no distinction can be made.
The accompanying list of casualties will show with what determination the men entered the contest.
I cannot speak in too high terms of my lieutenant-colonel (Parsley) and Major Ennett for their coolness and precision in discharge of their respective duties; and my thanks are due to First Lieutenant Mallett, acting adjutant, who had his horse killed under him while conveying my orders, for the faithful performance of his duties.
Respectfully submitted.
S.D. Thruston,
Colonel Third North Carolina Infantry.
Lieut. McHenry Howard,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Steuart's Brigade.

Series I Vol. XXIX (Part I) Ch. XLI. Pgs. 866-867.

Friday, February 18, 2011

George H. Steuart Official Report for the Gettysburg Campaign Part II

Brigadier General George H. Steuart official report on the Battle of Gettysburg, PA, July 1-3, 1863.

Headquarters Steuart's Brigade,
September 2, 1863.

Captain: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my brigade in the battle of Gettysburg:
We reached the battle-field of July 1 toward evening of that day, and, marching through a part of the town and along the Gettysburg and York Railroad, formed a line of battle to the northeast, our front facing the south and our left wing in  a skirt of woods. The Fourth and Second Brigades were on our right, the Stonewall on our left. We slept on our arms that night.
At about 3 p.m. the following day, the enemy's and our own batteries opened fire, and the shelling was very heavy for several hours. The brigade, however, suffered but little, being protected by the woods and behind rising ground. Our pickets, which had been stationed 300 yards in front of our line  the night previous, were relieved at about 5 o'clock by four companies of skirmishers from the Twenty-third Virginia, and shortly afterward the brigade was formed in line of battle and moved forward. 
The hill where the enemy was strongly entrenched, and from which we were ordered to drive him, lay in a southwesterly direction from our position, and accordingly our left wing was obliged to swing around by a right half-wheel , and the brigade thus formed front toward the west by south. The enemy's skirmishers fell back rapidly as we advanced through the fields and across Rock Creek, they suffering slightly, and inflicting little or no injury. The right wing of the brigade crossed the creek considerably in advance of the center and left-wing, owing to the fact that the order to move by a right half-wheel was not immediately understood on the left, and also to the greater number of natural obstacles to be overcome by that part of the brigade. The slope of the hill above referred to at the point where the brigade crossed the creek commences about 50 feet from the bank, and, being thickly wooded, the charge of our right wing was made under great disadvantages. The Third North Carolina and First Maryland Battalion, which were now entirely separated from the rest of the brigade, advanced up the hill, however, steadily toward the enemy's breastworks, the enemy falling slowly back. Our loss was heavy, the fire being terrific and in part a cross-fire.
The order was now given by the major-general commanding to advance our left wing as rapidly and as steadily as possible, which was done as soon as the regiments composing it could be hurried across the creek. The left of the brigade now rested very near one line of the enemy's breastworks, which extended up the hill at right angles to the creek and then parallel with it on the summit. The enemy's attention being called more especially to our right, this fortification was not occupied in force. The Twenty-third Virginia accordingly, under Lieutenant-Colonel [S.T] Walton, immediately charged the work, and scattered the enemy which was behind it. This regiment then filed to the right, until it reached the portion of the breastworks which was at right angles to the part first captured. Forming in line on the flank and almost in rear of the enemy, there stationed, it opened fire upon them, killing, wounding, and capturing quite a number. The Thirty-seventh and Tenth Virginia and First Maryland Battalion then came to the assistance of the Twenty-third Virginia, and fully occupied the works. The Third North Carolina still maintained its former exposed position, although its ammunition was nearly exhausted, notwithstanding the fact that the men had sought to replenish their cartridge-boxes from those of the wounded and dead. The First North Carolina, which had been kept in reserve, was at this crisis led by Lieutenant McKim to its support.
The brigade, with the exception of the two North Carolina regiments, was then formed in line of battle between the captured breastwork and a stone wall on the left of and parallel to it, from which position it was enabled to open a cross-fire upon the enemy, doing considerable execution. More, however, might have been done had not the impression at this time prevailed that we were firing upon our friends, and the fire been discontinued at intervals. To ascertain the true state of the case, the Tenth Virginia, under Colonel [E.T.H.] Warren (which was on our extreme left, and had formed a line at  and perpendicular to the stone wall above referred to), changed front forward to the wall, and then moved by the left flank along it until it was supposed the regiment had gained the enemy's rear, when it opened fire, and drove that part of the enemy's line back.
Finding, however, the enemy in its own rear, as evinced by their fire, the regiment was compelled to change front to the rear and perpendicular to the wall, from behind which it repulsed a bayonet charge made by a regiment of the enemy which emerged from a wood on the left of the stone wall. The enemy not renewing the attack, the brigade was ordered back to the works, where it was formed in line of battle, the First Maryland Battalion on the right and Tenth Virginia on the left, the North Carolina regiments still remaining outside the breastworks. This reconnaissance, as well as the reports of scouts and the statements of prisoners, gave us the assurance that we had gained an admirable position. We had been but a short time behind the breastworks when at least two regiments advanced from the woods to the left of the works, and opened fire upon us, but they were soon driven back.
The prisoners and wounded were sent a little to the rear, and our sufferers received such attention as could be given them by Dr. [D.] Snowden, assistant surgeon of the Maryland Battalion.
The whole command rested from about 11 p.m. till about daylight, [3d], when the enemy opened a terrific fire of artillery and a very heavy fire of musketry upon us, occasioning no loss to the brigade, excepting the First Maryland Battalion and Third North Carolina, which in part alternated positions behind the breastworks. The First North Carolina, with the exception of four companies which had been stationed as a picket on the other side of the creek, was at this time formed to the left of the brigade.
At about 10 a.m. the Tenth Virginia was ordered to deploy as skirmishers, and clear the woods on our left of the enemy's skirmishers. This was done, and the enemy was discovered in the woods, drawn up in line of battle, at not over 300 yards from the west of the stone wall.
The brigade then formed in line of battle at right angles to the breastwork in the following order: Third North Carolina, First Maryland Battalion, Thirty-seventh Virginia, Twenty-third Virginia,and First North Carolina, and charged toward the enemy's second breastworks, partly through an open field and partly through a wood, exposed to a very heavy fire of artillery and musketry, the latter in part a cross-fire. The left of the brigade was the most exposed at first, and did not maintain its position in line of battle. The right, thus in advance, suffered very severely, and, being unsupported, wavered, and the whole line fell back, but in good order. The enemy's position was impregnable, attacked by our small force, and any further effort to storm it would have been futile, and attended with great disaster, if not total annihilation.
The brigade rallied quickly behind rocks, and reformed behind the stone wall which ran parallel to the breastworks, where it remained about an hour, exposed to a fire of artillery and infantry more terrific than any experienced during the day, although less disastrous. Ultimately, in accordance with orders from the major-general commanding, the brigade fell back to the creek, where it remained during the rest of the day, nearly half of it being deployed as skirmishers.
During the night, the enemy advanced their line some distance beyond the breastworks, but were driven back to them again. Toward midnight, the brigade, with the rest of the division, recrossed the creek, and, passing to the rear of the town, occupied and intrenched itself on the crest of the hill where the enemy had been posted on the first day of the engagement.
It affords me the greatest pleasure to say that the officers and men of the brigade, with a few exceptions of the latter, conducted themselves most gallantly, and bore the fatigue and privations of several days in a soldierlike manner.
The commanding officers of the different regiments of the brigade - Colonel Warren, Tenth Virginia; Lieutenant-Colonel Walton, Twenty-third Virginia; Major Wood, Thirty-seventh Virginia; Lieutenant-Colonel Brown, First North Carolina; Major Parsley, Third North Carolina, and Lieutenant-Colonel Herbert, First Maryland Battalion Infantry, who was dangerously wounded the evening of the 2d, his successor, Major [W.W.] Goldsborough, also severely wounded next morning, and Capt. J.P. Crane, upon whom the command of the battalion finally devolved-- handled their regiments with great skill and manifested the utmost coolness.
The following officers and non-commissioned officers are mentioned in the regimental reports as deserving of great praise for their coolness and bravery: Adjt. T.C. James, Third North Carolina, dangerously wounded; Lieut. R.H. Lyon, Company H, Third North Carolina; Lieut. R.P. Jennings, Company E, Twenty-third Virginia; Sergt. Thomas J. Betterton, Company A, Thirty-seventh Virginia, who took a stand of colors and was severely wounded.
To the officers serving on my staff - Capt. George Williamson, assistant adjutant-general, First Lieut. R.H. McKim, aide-de-camp, whose duties kept them constantly with the brigade; Maj. George H. Kyle, commissary of subsistence Maryland troops, who was always with me when his other duties would allow, and Mr. John H. Boyle, volunteer aide - I am greatly indebted for valuable assistance rendered, and of whose gallant bearing I cannot too highly make mention.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Geo. H. Steuart,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Capt. R.W. Hunter,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Johnson's Division.

Series I Vol. XXVII (Part II) Ch. XXXIX. Pgs. 509-512.