Tarheels During the Civil War

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.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

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

Brigadier General George H. Steuart Official Report for the Battle of Second Winchester, June 13-15, 1863.

Reports of Brig. Gen. George H. Steuart, C.S. Army, commanding brigade.
Headquarters Steuart's Brigade, June 19, 1863.
Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my brigade in the recent operations around Winchester:
On the morning of the 13th instant, I marched up the Front Royal road toward Winchester, with the Tenth Virginia and First and Third North Carolina Regiments, the Twenty-third Virginia having been detached to guard the division train, and the Thirty-seventh Virginia to support the reserve artillery. The brigade was not engaged during the day, being posted to the right of the road as a support to the Stonewall Brigade.
Early on the morning of the 14th instant, that brigade moved nearer the town, throwing out skirmishers, and I also moved forward, and in the afternoon farther to the right, next to the Berryville turnpike. At dark, I was directed by the major general commanding to move down the road toward Berryville, and, after marching several miles ( a guide afterward coming up to show the way), the brigade took a circuitous left hand road, passing by Jordan Springs, and was halted just before daybreak on the 15th instant at the small bridge where the road crosses Winchester and Potomac Railroad, about 4 miles from Winchester and a few hundred yards from the Martinsburg turnpike. Wagons were heard moving along the pike, and, after a few minutes' halt, the major-general commanding, who had gone forward to reconnoiter, gave orders to move into the woods to the right of the road between the railroad and turnpike; and just as the head of the column was crossing the bridge, it was fired into, causing momentary confusion.
Notwithstanding the difficulty of crossing, in the dark, fences to the right and left of the road, line of battle was soon formed along the railroad cut, the Tenth Virginia to the right of the bridge, and the First and Third North Carolina to the left, where there were no woods. Skirmishers were thrown forward, and a brisk fire commenced. The enemy advanced in line of battle, cheering and driving in our skirmishers, but were soon themselves in turn driven back. 
Receiving information that an attempt was being made to turn our left flank, I threw out two companies of the Third North Carolina to protect it. Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews, commanding the artillery battalion attached to this division, had previously placed a piece of the Maryland artillery on the bridge, and the other pieces of that battery and a section from each of the batteries of Captains Raine and Carpenter on the rising ground in rear of my left, rendered most valuable support. A column of the enemy was now observed passing round to our left and rear, and I directed the Third North Carolina to repel the attack; but finding that two regiments of Nicholl's brigade were coming up, that regiment was returned to its original position. Colonel [E.T.H.] Warren, of the Tenth Virginia, sent word from the right that the enemy were pressing him very hard, his supply of cartridges rapidly diminishing, and I sent the First and subsequently a portion of the Third North Carolina to his support. Just before this, the major-general commanding, with the aforementioned regiments of Nicholl's brigade, attacked and pursued most vigorously that portion of the enemy who were passing to our left and rear. After awhile, I was informed that the ammunition of the Tenth Virginia was all but expended but one round, held in reserve, and that the other two regiments of my brigade had only a few rounds left; also, that the ordnance wagons were behind, and, after sending repeatedly, I found it impossible to get more ammunition.
Several attempts were made by the enemy to carry the bridge, and almost all of the cannoneers of the piece placed there were killed or wounded. The gallant Lieutenant Contee was also wounded; and I must here mention the gallant conduct of Lieut. John A. Morgan, First North Carolina Regiment, who, with Private [B.W.] Owens, of the Maryland artillery, and some occasional assistance, manned the piece most effectively, driving the enemy back from the bridge at a most critical moment, as the regiments near, from want of ammunition, were unable to render any assistance.
Up to this time my brigade (with assistance from the artillery), had alone sustained the attack upon the front and right. Brigadier-General Walker now came up on my right with two regiments of his brigade (Stonewall), and rapidly advanced in line of battle through the woods toward the turnpike. The major-general commanding being engaged in a different part of the field, I directed two regiments of Nicholl's brigade to cross the bridge and attack the enemy's rear, which was passing. At the same time, General Walker was pressing them on their right, and, thus hemmed in, they gave way, and many were taken prisoners, about 1,000 by my brigade and the remainder by General Walker. Four stand of colors were taken by my brigade; also about 175 horses.
I am glad to say that my loss was small (only 9 killed, and 34 wounded), though I regret to mention among the killed Captain J.S.R. Miller, a gallant and meritorious officer of the First North Carolina Regiment.
I cannot speak in terms too high of the manner of which all the officers and men conducted themselves, every one doing all in his power to accomplish the end in view.
Capt. G.G. Garrison, assistant adjutant-general, and First Lieut. R.H. McKim, my aide-de-camp, rendered valuable assistance, the latter occasionally serving at the piece on the bridge.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Geo. H Steuart,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Maj. B.W. Leigh, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Johnson's Division.

Headquarters Steuart's Brigade,
June 18, 1863.
Major: No flags were captured in the recent battle near Winchester, by the Third North Carolina Regiment and by the Tenth Virginia. Four stand of colors were captured by the First North Carolina, of which one was given to Lieutenant [William P.] Zollinger, Company A, First Maryland Battalion Infantry, as officer of the guard at court-house in Winchester, and there left by him. One was taken by members of the Fourth Brigade, under the circumstances stated in the accompanying report. Two were turned over at these headquarters, and are hereby turned over to division headquarters - one a common flag. It is not known from whom the flags were captured. The other two regiments of the brigade were not engaged. 
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Geo. H. Steuart,
Maj. B.W. Leigh, Assistant Adjutant-General, Johnson's Division.

Series I Vol. XXVII. (Part II) Ch. 39 Pgs. 507-509