2nd Virginia Infantry Regiment, Company d april 18, 1861



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2nd Virginia Infantry Regiment, Company D
April 18, 1861 - The Berkeley Border Guards reported to Harpers Ferry, VA (now West Virginia) under command of Captain John Q.A. Nadenbousch.
May 11-13, 1861 - The Berkeley Border Guards became Company "D" of the 2nd Virginia Infantry Regiment, under the overall command of Colonel James Allen. Company D's muster roll showed 26 different occupational titles, as well as the father of Belle Boyd, Benjamin Reed Boyd, a merchant from Martinsburg, VA.

Late May 1861 - For two weeks, the 2nd VA performed outpost duty and ford guarding duty from Shepherdstown to Williamsport, then returned to Harpers Ferry.
June 14, 1861 - General Joseph Johnston evacuates Harpers Ferry. 2nd VA marched to Shepherdstown, burned the bridge over the Potomac River and then proceeded to Bull Skin Creek, four miles south of Charles Town. For the next two weeks, Jackson marched the 2nd VA up and down the Shenandoah Valley between Winchester and Martinsburg changing camp 7 times in 17 days.
July 2, 1861 - Union MG Patterson crossed the Potomac River. the 2nd VA marched to Hainesville, loaded their weapons and formed battle line to the right of Jackson's line. The 2nd never fired a weapon, but upon the regiment's retiring, the Federals confiscated the 2nd Virginia's brand new tents, much to the displeasure and disgust of the regiment. The 2nd camped at Darkesville for four days returning to Winchester on July 11 to make preparations for a battle with Patterson.
July 18, 1861 - After hearing news of some activity at Manassas Junction, 10 soldiers deserted the 2nd VA (eight from Company E). The regiment marched to the Blue Ridge Mountains thru Frederick and Clarke Counties. They crossed the Shenandoah River at Berry's Ferry. The chest high water caused much caution among the soldiers as they attempted to cross the river. However, when the 33rd VA marched right on through, most of the 2nd's soldiers felt shame and embarrassment. They proceeded through Ashby's Gap to Paris and then Piedmont on the night of the 18th.
July 19, 1861 - The Regiment boarded the train at Piedmont and arrived at Mitchell's Ford on Bull Run and bivouacked there.
July 21, 1861 - The Regiment first arrayed for battle at Blackford's Ford, then marched about four miles to the Henry House and formed in line of battle with the remainder of the brigade. The Regiment's Colonel, James Allen, had one bad eye from which he could not see. At one point during the battle a bullet or shell from the enemy forced a limb from a pine tree above his head to fall . The tree limb fell struck him in his good eye, thus blinding him for the remainder of the battle. The Regiment became somewhat disorganized, but managed to redeem itself during the fight on Henry House Hill. The entire brigade became immortalized with General Jackson and the brigade as the "Stonewall Brigade". The Regiment bivouacked on the battlefield until August 2 when they moved to Camp Harman one mile east of Centreville.
Casualties for Company D at Manassas were as follows:



KIA

4

MWIA

0

WDED

10

POW

0


The total casualties for the 2nd Virginia are as follows:


KIA

15

MWIA

8

WDED

53

POW

0

Total

76


August 1861- October 1861 - These three months consisted of camp life, picket duty, and morning, afternoon, and evening drill. In mid September transferred their base of operations from Centreville to Fairfax Court House. From this camp they picketed for eight days near Falls Church, picketed for five days at Braddock Ford on Accotink Creek, and then performed picket and guard duty on the Little River Turnpike near Germantown. On October 16 they returned to Centreville for three weeks.
November 8, 1861 - The Regiment boarded the train at Manassas to return to the Shenandoah Valley.
November 9, 1861 - The Regiment arrived in Strasburg, VA and marched in the mud to Winchester. They camped at Camp Stephenson, north of Winchester during November and December.
December 17, 1861 - General Jackson ordered the Regiment to destroy Dam #5 on the Potomac River. Captain Colston of Company E took over and for the next four and a half nights the 2nd VA worked through the icy waters and annoying Federal artillery to destroy the dam. The Regiment returned to Camp Stephenson on December 22 and the soldiers enjoyed a subdued and peaceful Christmas.
January 1 - 25, 1862 - Expedition to Bath (Berkeley Springs) and Romney. The 2nd battled wretched weather, sleet, snow, rain, etc. The Bath Resort Hotel's banquet hall caught fire providing much needed warmth. Five inches of snow buried the soldiers while sleeping in a field near Hancock. Threatened the Federals at Hancock.
January 25 - March 10, 1862 - The Regiment returned to Winchester, VA. Prepared winter quarters at the Old Smithfield House situated northeast of Winchester and called it Camp Zollicoffer. Most soldiers obtained furloughs to visit family in the Valley. The Regiment watched the execution of a military cavalryman from Jefferson County. Lawson Botts, of the 2nd VA, was the acting Provost marshal administering the execution. An entire company of cavalry was created by members of the 2nd VA Infantry who had enough of the infantry.
March 11, 1862 - General Jackson marched his troops south to Mount Jackson as Major General Shields shadowed him to Strasburg, VA. Stayed in this area until March 21.
March 21, 1862 - Intelligence showed that the Yankees had evacuated Strasburg causing Jackson some concern because he needed to keep the Yankees in the Valley so as not to unite with the Federals thus outnumbering Joe Johnston's Army.
March 22, 1862 - At dawn the Confederates started moving north and covered 25 miles to Cedar Creek where they bivouacked.
March 23, 1862 - Companies D, H, and I had been detached as infantry support to Turner Ashby's cavalry and horse artillery a few days prior. Captain Nadenbousch of Company D was in command of the detachment. Early on the morning of the 23, Ashby ordered Captain Nadenbousch and his detachment to the aid of Captain R. Preston Chew's horse artillery. Federal skirmishers had found the range on Chew's three guns just north of Kernstown. Captain Nadenbousch deployed his skirmishers and advanced to the woods concealing the Federal skirmishers. A quick volley ensued scattering the Federal skirmishers. More Federal soldiers in heavy columns soon arrived forcing Ashby to order Nadenbousch to fall back to the Valley Turnpike (Present day Route 11) and await further orders.
Meanwhile, the remaining Confederates broke camp early on the 23 at Cedar Creek and marched 14 miles north to Kernstown. Arriving around 2:00 pm, the Confederates heard massive firing and knew the fight was brewing. Jackson thought he faced a rear guard Federal force, not realizing it was stronger than his. The 2nd VA was posted on the extreme right of Jackson's line of the Stonewall Brigade in front of the stone wall held by the Federals. The 2nd VA's flag was a primary Yankee target throughout the day as the flag had fourteen discernible bullet holes and the staff had been shot in two. at 6:00 pm, the Regiment received the order to retire after almost four hours of rigorous fighting.
Company D battle losses at Kernstown:


KIA

0

MWIA

0

WDED

1

POW

3


2nd VA battle losses at Kernstown


KIA

3

MWIA

2

WDED

8

POW

34

1TOTAL

47



March 23, 1862 - The Regiment retreated south to Rude's Hill. The Army stayed here until the third week of April. During this small respite, the company commanders embarked upon a full scale recruiting campaign to fill their depleted ranks.
April 16, 1862 - Meanwhile, the Conscription Act was passed by the Confederate Congress. Thus, the 2 VA's muster rolls were strengthened with recruits from Augusta and Shenandoah Counties. The Regiment suffered some desertion with the new conscripts. Nonetheless, they added a total of 274 fresh bodies (208 through enlistment, 66 through draft). Many veterans over 35 were allowed to quit under the new Conscription Act.
April 20, 1862 - Officer elections.
April 21 - May 23, 1862 - 2ndnd VA participates in massive field maneuvers conducted by Jackson throughout the Shenandoah Valley. No combat during these maneuvers.
May 24, 1862 - The Stonewall Brigade led Jackson's soldiers into Winchester, VA to complete the rout of Federal defenders holding the city. The Federals had confusedly scurried to Winchester, leaving a trail of arms. Federal ambushes during the night of the 24th slowed the Stonewall Brigade's advance and continual night skirmishing with the enemy.
May 25, 1862 - Regiment enters outskirts of Winchester and finds the Federals in force on the higher ridges southwest of Winchester. Jackson orders the Stonewall Brigade to form line of battle and seize the heights. The 2nd formed in the middle of the Brigade and stormed the heights scattering the Federals. The advance halted when Federal artillery started crashing among the Brigade and Regiment and lasted for almost two hours. The 2nd VA participated in another repulse of the Federals in town and followed them closely, pursuing them down Main Street. The Regiment had 3 dead and 13 wounded, all at the heights southwest of town. Continued chasing the Feds five miles north of Winchester.
May 28, 1862 - Jackson ordered the Stonewall Brigade to march from Winchester to Charles Town as a “demonstration toward the Potomac”. The 2nd remained in Winchester on Provost Duty until the 29th when it rejoined the Brigade near Charles Town and marched to Loudoun Heights to demonstrate against the Federals on Bolivar Heghts.
May 31, 1862 - The Regiment received a message that Shields and Fremont were concentrating in Jackson’s rear. Jackson started south up the Valley Pike not waiting for his old Brigade. They were forced to fend for themselves in the attempt to meet Jackson and the rest in Strasburg. The rains began and the 2nd had to cross a swelling Shenandoah River at Keys Ferry and were aided by Munford’s 2nd VA Cavalry. At 10 pm on the night of May 31 the Brigade and the 2nd bivouacked at Newtown. The 2nd had marched through mud, rain and river crossings for 36 miles in 14 hours on empty stomachs. This was not without losses. 18 stragglers were picked up by Federals and 12 deserted.. The Brigade and the 2nd joined Jackson on June 1.
June 2 - 6, 1862 - Marched and bivouacked around Harrisonburg, VA.
June 7, 1862 - Marched east toward Cross Keys and Port Republic. The 2nd encamped at Port Republic while the battle of Cross Keys was fought on June 8.
June 8, 1862 - Company I was guarding Jackson’s supply trains at Port Republic and Federal cavalry had seized a crucial bridge. Colonel Allen ordered the resting 2nd into marching order and they beat back the Federal cavalry.
June 9, 1862 - 3:45 am - Reveille. Marched into Port Republic again. They were to measure the strength of Shield’s army and to settle the account from Kernstown. Companies D and I were sent out as skirmishers when they encountered Federal pickets. The march continued shortly when a hail storm of shot and shell found its mark. The 2nd was ordered along with the 4th VA to flank the battery on the Federal left. 3 regiments of Yankees protected the battery. Allen called for reinforcements and ordered the companies to the left of the Regiment to take deliberate aim and fire at the gunners. The surprised Federal gunners angrily replied with canister in quick successive shots that threw Allen’s forces into confusion. After a long wait, General Richard Taylor and his Louisiana Brigade came to the rescue taking position to the right of the 2nd and in position to flank the Federal battery. One killed and 25 wounded.
June 17 - June 25, 1862 - Movement toward Richmond arriving at Ashland 12 miles north of the nation’s capital.
June 26, 1862 - The regiment bivouacked at Hundley’s Corner.
June 27, 1862 - 5:00 am - Began a slow and tedious march south and east towards Gaines Mill and Cold Harbor. The 2nd rested with the Stonewall Brigade in reserve in an open field near Old Cold Harbor as Rebels under Jackson, Ewell, and D.H. Hill assaulted the Federal right at McGehees Hill. At 5 pm the Stonewall Brigade was ordered into action. The 2nd VA and the 5th VA were detached to support Purcell’s Battery. At 5:30 pm, the two detached regiments rejoined the Brigade and moved towards its objective - McGehees Hill. The 2nd and 5th became detached from the Brigade in the excitement of the attack. Enemy batteries took its toll on the two exposed regiments. As the regiment reached the crest of the hill its strength stood at 80 men. Colonel Allen was killed instantly with a bullet to the brain while rallying for a final charge. Major Frank Jones received a mortal wound.
June 28-30, 1862 - Regiment remained at McGehee’s Hill removing the dead and wounded and repairing Grapevine Bridge. During the night of the 29th, the Regiment crossed the Chickahominy past Savage Station and bivouacked near White Oak Swamp at noon on the 30th.
July 1, 1862- Pursuit of the Federals to Fraziers Farm and onto Malvern Hill. The 2nd held in reserve at Willis Methodist Church about a mile and a half to the rear. Orders were received at 6:30 pm to march along the Willis Church Road to support D.H. Hill’s attacks on the Federal center. The 2nd futilely carried out this order. The onset of darkness thick swamp undergrowth entangled the 2nd and 5th movements that they lost the Brigade when they finally reached the road, which was choked with retreating infantry and artillery. Colonel Botts and Colonel Baylor of the 5th were determined to locate the Brigade but only managed to stumble into an open field facing Malvern Hill, whereupon Yankee gunners bombarded them. The 2nd and 5th sought shelter in a ravine 150 yards to the right of the Willis Church Road. The lost Regiments finally rejoined the Brigade 2 miles from the front at 6 am on July 2. The recent battles had produced 6 men dead and 21 wounded (four mortally).
July 2, 1862 - McClellan retreats to Harrison’s Landing.
July 2 - 9, 1862 - In and around the Chickahominy River. Not much activity.
July 10, 1862 - Moved towards Richmond.

July 10-14, 1862 - Encamped around Richmond.

July 14, 1862 - Started march from Richmond to Gordonsville.
July 19 - August 7, 1862 - Arrived Gordonsville. Carefully observing Pope's Army.
August 7, 1862 - Jackson crossed the Rapidan at Barnett's Ford and moved north in the direction of Culpepper.
August 9, 1862 - Jackson and Banks met about 8 miles south of Culpepper, around Slaughter's Mountain. At 5:00 pm, the 2nd deployed in line of battle with the Brigade facing north across a wide open field. The 2nd was posted on the left, moved forward to a tree line to within 400 yards of oncoming Federals, fired upon them, and then charged. This movement started to turn the Federal right flank. The 2nd pursued the Federals until they countercharged. Darkness arrived ending the day's fighting.
August 10, 1862 - The 2nd remained on the battlefield.
August 11, 1862 - The 2nd withdrew to Orange Court House.
August 12-23, 1862 - Continued to observe the federal troops in and around Orange Court House.
August 24, 1862 - Ordered to cook three day's rations and be ready to move at anytime.
August 25, 1862 - Marched 26 miles to Salem, VA.
August 26, 1862 - Marched east toward Thoroughfare Gap and Manassas Junction.

Shortly of sunset, Jackson neared Bristoe Station on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. The Second Virginia was placed in advance of the army. After crossing a small stream near the station, the Second encountered a large force of Union cavalry; but after a brief skirmish, the Federals fled. Bristoe Station belonged to Stonewall.



Evening, Jackson reported to Lee that his command “was now in the rear of General Pope’s Army.” Pope’s flank had been turned, his communications sliced, and his rear endangered. . .
August 27, 1862 - Jackson seized Pope’s supply depot at Manassas Junction and ordered that the captured booty be distributed to the troops.
August 28, 1862 - Pope, well aware of the Confederate threat to his hindquarters, started withdrawing his scattered forces northward. Jackson responded quickly, first by torching all remaining Federal supplies at Manassas Junction and then by maneuvering his 20,000 men northward also. Old Jack finally settled his veterans on commanding ground at the base of Sudley Mountain. Jackson rested in this new position - just north of Warrenton Turnpike and three-quarters of a mile west of Groveton - and waited patiently for the arrival of Longstreet and the remainder of Lee’s army.
“To arms!” resounded urgently through Jackson’s resting army. Stonewall had spied a Federal column approaching along the Warrenton Turnpike and promptly had determined to attack it. At about 4 p.m., Old Jack directed his forces to advance through a woods until they reached a commanding position near Brawner’s house. The Stonewall Brigade subsequently formed near Jackson’s right, facing an open field and peering silently south toward the Turnpike. Deployed and coiled to strike, Jackson waited - waited for the most opportune moment to pounce on the unsuspecting Federals. A long hour passed. The Second Virginia stood patiently on the left of its Brigade, bu some of its men found the wait unsettling.
Thoughts of battle turned into reality about 5 p.m. when Jackson advanced his men into the open field. Seconds later the Confederates were firing toward the Warrenton Turnpike and shredding the exposed flank of Rufus King’s division. Stonewall’s initial sting stunned the surprised Federals, but the men in blue quickly recovered and responded to the Rebel attackers with “a most terrific and deadly fire.” For the next four hours, the two opponents squared off in the open field and engaged in a stand-up, knock-‘em-down fight that Jackson described as “fierce and sanguinary.” Not until 9 p.m. on the evening of the 28th did the slaughter at Brawner’s farm mercifully end. The Federals finally withdrew, but the four-hour bloodbath had produced devastating Confederate losses. The Stonewall Brigade suffered at Brawner’s farm and “ever afterwards was weak in numbers.” The August 28 duel had produced at least 39 casualties (eight killed, 31 wounded - seven mortally) to the Second Virginia.
The Brawner farm shootout not only had decimated the ranks of the Second Virginia, but it also had wrecked the regiment’s officer corps. Colonel Lawson Botts had received a ghastly wound. A speeding minie had knocked him off his horse, the deadly ball having penetrating the colonel’s cheek and then exited behind his ear. The feeble Botts survived this initial injury, but died on September 16 from secondary hemorrhage. The regiment’s company commanders had fared better than its commander, but a groin wound had sidelined Company D’s Nadenbousch and Moore of Company I needed time to nurse his wounded thigh. The resignation of Company B’s Captain Lee Moler (on August 15, 1862) and John Rowan’s self-removal (due to the painful recurrence of a foot injury received at First Manassas) had weakened further the regiment’s command structure.
August 29, 1862 - The Second Virginia had no field officers and lacked four of its company commanders. There was not time to fret over losses, however, and no time to fill vacancies. The Second Manassas fight was not over, and as the Second Infantry prepared for action, Raleigh Colston controlled the helm of a regiment whose numbers had dwindled to fewer than 100.
The second day of Second Manassas proved relatively uneventful. Most of the hard fighting of the 29th focused on the Confederate left. With the exception of the intermediate shellings and occasional brushes with Federal skirmishers, the Confederate right witnessed little action.
August 30, 1862 - At about 4 p.m., the long blue lines of Fitz-John Porter’s Fifth Corps filled the horizon and began approaching Jackson’s forces. The Second Virginia, anchoring the right flank of the Stonewall Brigade, watched the Federals advance from a woods parallel with and 200 yards from the cut of an unfinished railroad. As the Union infantry inched forward, Raleigh Colston received orders “to get the regiment into the railroad cut.” “The conflict from the woods to the railroad was terrible,” Colston reported later, “and it was at this time that casualties in the Second were the greatest.” Wave after wave of Union attackers swept toward the Confederate defenders, but none succeeded in breeching the Rebel position. Porter’s thrusts finally ceased after Longstreet crashed into Pope’s left flank, forcing the Federal commander to retreat from the field and to withdraw his defeated army to Centerville. The three-day fight at Second Manassas had crippled severely the Second Virginia Infantry. Casualties had stripped the regiment to a skeleton unit:
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