Tarheels During the Civil War

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

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