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



Download 281.29 Kb.
Page2/3
Date conversion16.05.2016
Size281.29 Kb.
1   2   3

Casualties at Second Manassas:


Company

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

K

Total

KIA

4

1

-

1

1

-

-

-

3

3

13

MWIA

1

2

1

5

2

-

3

2

2

1

19

WDED

7

7

5

5

7

1

7

3

4

3

49

POW

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

TOTAL

12

10

6

11

10

1

10

5

9

7

81

Casualties incurred by the regiment at Second Manassas tripled the losses it later received at Gettysburg, the only equivalent three-day battle in which the Second Virginia participated. Only the ‘Bloody Angle” of Spotsylvania produced more losses in the regiment (100). Most appealing, however, was this statistic: of the estimated 130 men available for duty on August 28, 82 soldiers or 67 percent of the regiment’s strength dropped on the field at Manassas in only 48 hours! No other battle produced such a staggering proportion of losses in the regiment.


Despite these damages, the Second Virginia had no time to recuperate. Robert E. Lee had his eyes glued on Maryland. When the Army of Northern Virginia began wading the Potomac on September 5, the 40 or more survivors in the Second Virginia splashed along also, joining their comrades in a resounding chorus of “Maryland, My Maryland.” The first major invasion of the North was underway. The Maryland campaign of 1862 is known best for two major events. The first is the Confederate siege and capture of Harpers Ferry; the second the Battle of Antietam. In neither of these actions did the Second Virginia participate. In fact, the regiment’s excursion into Maryland lasted but six days.
September 7, 1862 - After crossing the Potomac on September 5, the regiment marched with the brigade to Frederick, encamping on the 7th two miles north of Frederick along the Emmitsburg Road. Several days of inactivity followed; but on the 10th, Stonewall’s men broke camp and proceeded west across South Mountain via Turner’s Gap and the National Pike. After an evening of rest near Boonsboro, Jackson’s forces traveled even further west, recrossing the Potomac on September 11 at Williamsport and then advancing toward Martinsburg on the 12th. The following day, Old Jack’s command zeroed in on Harpers Ferry, arriving just opposite Bolivar Heights during the late morning on September 13.
Harpers Ferry was the reason for this circuitous cross-country gallop through Maryland and Virginia. Garrisoned in the lower valley towns of Harpers Ferry and Martinsburg were 14,000 Federals who posed a potential threat to Confederate communication and supply lines into Maryland. In a bold plan outlined in Special Order 191, Lee had plotted to remove the Yankee menace from the Valley, first by herding the Federals into a trap at Harpers Ferry and then by encircling the town with Confederates. Although behind schedule a few days, Lee’s scheme worked brilliantly, culminating with the surrender of the Harpers Ferry garrison on September 15, 1862. The Second Virginia, however, witnessed none of the Harpers Ferry drama. Detached several days before the investment of the Ferry, the regiment remained behind at Martinsburg as Provost guard. This unexpected development especially thrilled Company D, but the Martinsburg homecoming provided benefits and comforts to all in the Second.
Mid-September 1862 - Thundering artillery at Harpers Ferry and cannon roaring at Sharpsburg interrupted the peace the regiment enjoyed in mid September 1862; but no bullets were flying at Martinsburg; no men were dying. For the moment, at least, the war was only a sound to the Second Virginia Infantry.
Late-September 1862 - Provost duty at Martinsburg remained the regiment’s primary function during the week following September 19 - the day Lee’s bedraggled Confederates completed their retreat from Maryland. After a brief stay near the Potomac, the army and the Second Virginia moved south to Bunker Hill. Three weeks passed before the regiment changed base again, this time traveling east into Jefferson County and pitching Camp Allen near Rippon on October 20.
October 1862 - The month of October 1862 produced a remarkable revitalization of the Second Virginia Infantry. Soldiers wounded during the summer’s campaigns quietly reappeared in the ranks. Sick men absent for months with debilitating diseases returned from the hospitals fully recovered. Stragglers wearied by the summer’s strenuous marches ventured into camp on a daily basis. Conscripts and enlisted men absent without leave silently rejoined to perform their duties. Determined draft and recruitment campaigns generated 67 additional bodies for a regiment resolved to rebuild. When the paymaster finally arrived on October 31, the Second Virginia Infantry mustered 432 men - a phenomenal 1,100 percent increase over the 36 survivors reported in the regiment by Captain John Rowan following the butchery at Second Manassas.
November 22, 1862 - The regiment headed east toward Fredericksburg, its rested and healthy members radiated strength and a new vigor; but despite this resurgence in the Second Infantry, one nagging problem remained: the regiment still lacked a suitable command structure three months after the death of Colonel Lawson Botts. No field officers had been appointed as yet and few promotions had occurred at the company level. Brigadier General E. F. Paxton, the Stonewall Brigade’s new commander, recognized that these deficiencies existed in the Second and had designated a Board of Examiners to find suitable replacements for the field-officer vacancies. These positions were still unfilled however, when fighting erupted at Fredericksburg on December 13.
December 13, 1862 - At daybreak on the morning prior to the battle, the Second Virginia had marched with the Brigade from its encampment near Guinea’s Depot to Hamilton’s Crossing on the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad. During the afternoon, the men moved westward and were positioned approximately 400 yards behind A. P. Hill’s division in a large woods covering the crest of a hill.
When the front line of the Confederate right became hotly engaged on the morning of the 13th, the Stonewall Brigade was ordered to advance. As the brigade pushed forward with the Second Virginia on its right, Captain Nadenbousch observed that “there was no support on our right.” Nadenbousch feared that “if the enemy was near at hand they would take advantage of this gap and fall upon our flank at this unguarded point.” Sure enough, as Nadenbousch had predicted, the Federals drove toward “the gap” on the right of the Second with a large force of infantry. The veteran captain responded decisively to this threat, first by filing the regiment to the right and then by presenting the front of the Second to the oncoming Unionists. A sharp fight ensued, but only momentarily, for the Federals soon withdrew. The regiment then rejoined the brigade and continued forward until reaching the R. F. & P. Railroad, where it remained until 7 p.m., when instructions were received ordering a withdrawal from the front for the evening.
December 14, 1862 - In practical terms, the fight at Fredericksburg had ended. Some “lively skirmishing” kept the brigade and the regiment occupied throughout the 14th. The Second Virginia had escaped from the Fredericksburg action relatively unscathed. Total casualties for the regiment numbered 20, with two men killed and 18 wounded, two wounds being mortal. The battle at Fredericksburg did establish one record, however. One of the men killed in the Second - John Kiser of Company E - had been in the army only nine days. No other soldier in the regiment served so little time before meeting his death.
With the Federals soundly defeated and winter rapidly approaching, Jackson moved his forces southeast of Fredericksburg and established winter quarters at Moss (or Corbin’s) Neck. For the next two months, the “good log huts” of Camp Winder sheltered the Stonewall Brigade and the Second regiment from a winter that was “variable and disagreeable if not severe.”
March 17, 1863 - John Q. A. Nadenbousch and Raleigh T. Colston received their appointments as colonel and lieutenant colonel of the Second Virginia Infantry. It was highly protested by John W. Rowan of Company A who was senior captain in the Second Virginia. The rank of major remained vacant, as Samuel J. C. Moore had received a promotion in the Adjutant General’s Department and had transferred out of the regiment. Edwin L. Moore of Company G later occupied the major’s position.
April 30, 1863 - Messengers reported a large portion of Hooker’s army crossing the Rappahannock west of Fredericksburg and concentrating on the extreme left and to the rear of Lee’s outnumbered forces. General Lee promptly responded by withdrawing much of his army from Fredericksburg and redeploying it seven miles to the west, near Chancellorsville.
May 1, 1863 - The Stonewall Brigade arrived near Lee’s western front.
May 2, 1863 - Jackson led his 28,000 Confederates on a flanking maneuver that eventually crushed the unsuspecting Federal right. The Second Virginia and the Stonewall Brigade participated in the 12-mile venture that exposed Hooker’s right; and though “the day was very hot and the movement rapid,” Colonel Nadenbousch proudly reported “that not a man of the regiment straggled or fell to the rear.” The Stonewall Brigade was posted on the extreme right of Jackson’s line, along the Plank Road. The brigade and the regiment remained in this position while Jackson’s warriors pounced on the Federal Eleventh Corps.
6 p.m. - The Stonewall Brigade moved forward to join the victorious Confederates and spent much of the rest of May 2 changing positions to the right and left of the Plank Road.
May 3, 1863 - Vengeful Federals greeted their Rebel flankers at sunrise with a “terrific shelling.” Despite this bombardment, the brigade and the regiment received orders at about 6 a.m. to advance to a position about 300 yards to the right of the Plank Road. Their mission - to attack and capture some enemy breastworks obstructing the advance on the Confederate right. An interminable mass of undergrowth, a swamp, and a “destructive musketry fire” made passage toward the breastworks quite difficult; but the determined veterans pressed forward with the watchword “Remember Jackson” (who had been wounded the previous evening), and successfully seized the Federal works.
During this advance, the Second Virginia had been detached and had positioned itself upon high ground approximately 100 yards to the right of the brigade. When Union reinforcements massed to retake the contested breastworks, the Second Virginia used its advantage on the higher elevation “to maintain an incessant fire upon the head” of the Yankee counterattack. The Federals were driven back and the breastworks belonged to the Stonewall Brigade.

3 p.m. - The Second Virginia were supplied with rations and ammunition and proceeded to march north from the Chancellor House toward the United States Ford on the Rappahannock. Confederate strategists hoped to reach the ford and to cut off Hooker’s main avenue of escape. The Federals, however, hurled a “terrific fire of grape and shell” at the Rebel advance and maintained a secure stronghold behind their newly-constructed breastworks. The Stonewall Brigade ventured to within 200 yards of the Union fortifications, but severe artillery fire forced the brigade to retire and to seek shelter during the night behind some abandoned Federal works.


May 4, 1863 - The Stonewall Brigade and regiment transferred to a position three-quarters of a mile east of the road leading to the United States Ford. The men faced the enemy’s works and remained here skirmishing until the morning of May 6.
Chancellorsville was a masterful Confederate triumph, but a Pyrrhic victory at best. Morale soared as the Stonewall Brigade and the Second Virginia Infantry rested comfortably near Hamilton’s Crossing at Camp Paxton. Most eagerly awaited the army’s next campaign.
Casualties at Chancellorsville:


Company

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

K

Total

KIA

1

-

1

2

-

-

1

1

-

2

8

MWIA

-

2

-

1

-

1

-

-

3

1

8

WDED

3

2

2

3

5

2

4

1

9

3

34

POW

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

0

TOTAL

4

4

3

6

5

3

5

2

12

6

50



June 5, 1863 - The drive to Pennsylvania begins. Jackson’s corps, now reorganized and commanded by Richard S. Ewell, headed west from Fredericksburg via Culpeper toward the Shenandoah Valley. The journey was “steady and regular” during the next week with marches ranging between ten and 18 miles each day. Division commander Edward Johnson reported that “nothing occurred worthy of particular note during the march.” In honor of the return to the Valley, the Second Virginia and the Stonewall Brigade were ordered to the front to take the advance. “How all stepped out with renewed vigor and pressed forward eager to meet the foe and drive him from our beloved homeland.” The foe, as expected, waited nervously behind its defenses at Winchester. Union general Robert Milroy knew the Confederates were coming, and his 6,000-8,000 men prepared to give the Rebs a hot reception. “Old Baldy” Ewell, on the other hand, planned a different program. Ewell and Jubal Early schemed to rout the Federals from their forts and to gobble them up during their subsequent retreat. Milroy was to be bagged.
June 13, 1863 (Saturday) - At daybreak, Edward Johnson’s division began marching north on the Winchester and Front Royal Turnpike. Johnson placed the Second Virginia Infantry in from of the division about nine miles from Winchester. The advance experienced no opposition until noon when, four miles south of Winchester, the Confederates encountered enemy pickets. The Second Virginia was detached from the Stonewall Brigade and deployed as skirmishers. General Johnson watched the movement and later complimented the Second: “This regiment advanced handsomely, driving the enemy to a stone fence near the junction of the Millwood and Front Royal Roads.” The Federal pickets sheltered themselves behind this rock fortification; but when the Second “continued to press them sharply,” the bluecoats evacuated their position. The regiment remained in a skirmish line along the Millwood Pike until 9 p.m. It then rejoined the brigade and later advanced under cover of woods to a position nearer Winchester.

June 14, 1863 - Johnson maneuvered his division onto the hills southeast of town. Johnson’s diversion focused Milroy’s attention on his right and enabled Early to swing around the Federal left in preparation for the main attack against the Union fortifications northwest of Winchester. The Stonewall Brigade suffered no casualties on the 14th since it rested comfortably to the rear of the hills southeast of town under cover of a ravine. To prevent Federal detection of his movement, Johnson marched his division to Stephenson’s via the road which let by Jordan Springs.
June 15, 1863 - Johnson reached his designation position and rapidly deployed behind a stone fence along the edge of the Winchester and Potomac Railroad and immediately adjacent to the Valley Pike. General Johnson scarcely had completed his dispositions when the unexpected happened - a Federal attack viciously and suddenly swooped down upon his lines. Large flanking parties quickly threatened the Confederate position. “The situation was exceedingly critical,” the mortified Johnson reported, “ and nothing could have been more timely than the arrival of the Stonewall Brigade.”
The Second and Fifth regiments formed in line of battle on the Confederate right and advanced immediately across the railroad and onto the Valley Pike. The dense morning fog and the smoke of burned powder reduced visibility to only a “few steps in front” of the men. Upon reaching the Turnpike, however, the Second and Fifth regiments spied a large body of troops moving north towards Martinsburg. It was the enemy - retreating! The Virginians unloaded a volley; the Federals gave way; and a chase through a woods quickly followed. Frightened Unionists ran for their lives, bu only for a moment. With the Confederates hotly pursuing and the situation hopeless, dejected Yanks hoisted the white flag. The battle of Second Winchester had ended. Only Milroy and 200 to 300 of his cavalry had escaped the Confederate pincers. Men in the Second Virginia found themselves the proud possessors of six stands of enemy colors. Colonel Nadenbousch informed headquarters that the following infantry regiments had surrendered to the Second: Eighteenth Connecticut; Fifth Maryland; One hundred and twenty-second Ohio; One hundred and twenty-third Ohio; Eighty-seventh Pennsylvania; and the Twelfth West Virginia. The Second Virginia acquired this remarkable fortune (816 prisoners) at the price of only two men wounded. In no other battle did the regiment gain so much and lose so little.
June 18, 1863 - Ewell’s confident Confederates splashed into Maryland. Ewell’s forces encamped upon the battlefield at Sharpsburg. The Second Virginia picketed for a brief time at Burnside Bridge.
June 19, 1863 - The command traveled to Hagerstown and then started north for Pennsylvania.
June 28, 1863 - Ewell’s forces encamped at Calisle [Carlisle] Pennsylvania.
June 29, 1863 - Johnson’s division countermarched south from Carlisle and raced eastward toward Gettysburg, arriving there too late to participate in the action of July 1.
July 1, 1863 - During the late evening hours, the Stonewall Brigade and the Second Virginia deployed in a position southeast of town on the extreme left of the Confederate line. The brigade and the regiment remained here - on Culp’s farm near the Hanover Road.
July 2, 1863 - 6 p.m. - The brigade advanced to the north side of the Hanover Road. Federal sharpshooters posted inn a wheat field and woods opened an annoying fire on the brigade’s left flank. The Second Virginia was ordered to drive away these menacing harrassers, and “at a single dash, the men advancing with great spirit, “ the regiment accomplished its task.
8 p.m. - The Second rejoined the brigade - still on the extreme left of the Confederate line without Companies I and K, which had been detached “to watch the fellows they had just driven off and to guard the road in the rear of the battle line.”
1   2   3


The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2016
send message

    Main page