Other Bull Run Projects

30 11 2008

You’ll notice on my Civil War Blogroll and Links List two sites with the same name, First Bull Run.com.  Both sites are maintained by the UK’s Jonathan Soffe.  Jonathan has decided to separate his blog and his data compilation website.  The latter has been around a long while, longer than my site, and includes Orders of Battle down to company levels.  Johnathan has graciously permitted me to incorporate his research into my own OOBs, and I’ll be doing that gradually.  Johnathan will be listed on the OOBs as a contributor – currently I have listed only Jim Burgess of the NPS, whose name you’ll find at the bottom of the Artillery OOBs.

Johnathan’s blog just launched today.  He has set up the blog as a place “for users to share comments and information about the content of the [Bull Runnings.com web]site.”

Check both the blog and the website out when you get a chance.





Notes on “Facts and Incidents of the Battle”

29 11 2008

The basic building block of Civil War armies was the company.  Typically raised in the same, small community, they were often formed from existing militia units.  Especially early on, the companies were better known by their militia or nicknames than their regiment number and company letter.  For the most part, that is how the author of the Richmond Daily Dispatch article posted here referred to the companies.  So, with help from Robert of Cenantua’s Blog, First Bull Run.com, and Vol. I of William Frayne Amann’s Personnel of the Civil War, I’ll try to make a little sense out of the article here.

Latham’s Battery

Captain H. Grey Latham’s Lynchburg Artillery consisted of two sections of two model 1841 six pound guns.  Two guns of one section were commanded by Lieutenants Davidson and Leftwich.

Seventh Virginia Regiment

Captain J. H. French’s company of the 7th Virginia was D, the Giles Volunteers (see here).

The Botetourt troops

The Botetourt troops on the field included Co. F of the 28th VA Infantry (Botetourt Springs Rifles, Capt. F. G. Rocke, see here), possibly Co. I of the 28th VA (Capt. J. W. Anderson’s Mountain Rifles, later the Botetourt Artillery, see here), and Company C of the 30th (2nd) VA Cavalry (Botetourt Dragoons, Captain A. L. Pitzer – Lieut. C. Breckenridge commanding, see here).

Capt. Rippetoe’s Company

Robert informed me that Capt. W. D. Rippetoe’s Page Grays was Co. H of the 33rd VA Infantry.  This company  may have been credited with temporarily capturing guns of Griffin’s West Point Battery.  Rippetoe was a Methodist minister for whom Bull Run was his last battle.  Apparetnly his behavior after the battle was less than admirable.

“Victory or Death”

The West Augusta Guards was Capt. J. H. Waters’ Company L of the 5th VA Infantry (see here).  They were briefly the West Augusta Artillery for a period.

Another gallant soldier gone

Capt. T. L. Yancey’s Rockingham Cavalry was Co. K of the 1st VA Cavalry.  Later they became Co. C of the 6th VA Cav (see here).

The Rockingham boys

The Rockingham Regiment was the 10th VA Infantry (thanks Robert – see here).

Deceived the enemy

The Valley Guards was Capt. C. A. Sprinkel’s Co. G of the 10th Virginia Infantry (see here).

Record of Brave Men

Col. J. W. Allen’s regiment was the 2nd VA Infantry (see here).

  • Capt. W. L. Clarke commanded the Winchester Riflemen, Co. F.
  • Capt. J. Q. A. Nadenbusch commanded the Berkeley Border Guards, Co. D.

The Rockingham Regiment

All of these were in the 10th VA Infantry (see here).

  • Southern Greys – Co. C, Capt. J. N. Swann.
  • Valley Guards – Co. G, Capt. C. A. Sprinkel.
  • Page Volunteers – Co. K, Capt. W. T. Young.
  • Bridgewater Grays – Co. D, Capt. J. B. Brown
  • Chrisman’s Infantry – Co. H, Capt. G. Chrisman

Second Regiment Virginia Volunteers

See here:

  • Co. A – Jefferson Guards.
  • Co. B – Hamtramck Guards.
  • Co. C – Nelson Guards.
  • Co. D – Berkeley Border Guards.
  • Co. E – Hedgesville Blues.
  • Co. F – Winchester Riflemen.
  • Co. G – Botts Greys.
  • Co. H – Letcher Riflemen.
  • Co. I – Clarke Riflemen.
  • Co. K -Floyd Guards.

The Wythe Grays

This was Capt. J. T. Kent’s Co. A of the 4th VA Infantry (see here).





Facts and Incidents of the Battle

26 11 2008

Richmond Daily Dispatch, July 29, 1861 (see source here, see notes here)

Facts and incidents of the battle.

Our exchanges furnish some interesting facts connected with the great battle, which we copy:

Gallant feat of arms.

The Fredericksburg News records a feat performed by W. C. Scott, of that town, as follows:

Though not strictly speaking in the fight, his position being that of Private Secretary to Gen. Holmes, whose command was not engaged in the action, his proximity to the scene of conflict was rewarded by an unexpected encounter with four straggling Yankees, whose muskets were somewhat out of order and who were endeavoring to escape. Our young Virginia hero “surrounded” the squad, instantly dispatched two with his revolver, and marched the other two into camp as his prisoners. We’ll venture to say not a man of his inches did as much on that great day of triumph. The soul makes the hero and one Southern boy is good for a dozen Yankees at any time.

Latham’s Battery.

A correspondent of the Lynchburg Republican writes that “God never made a braver man than Capt. Gray Latham.” He noticed him frequently in the battle, and says the Latham Battery saved the 28th Regiment, (Preston’s.) He believes they did as much or more execution than the famous Washington Battery. He saw one shot from Latham’s Battery kill 40 men. This is the testimony of one competent to judge, and not connected with the Battery or any of its members.

Seventh Virginia Regiment.

The killed and wounded of Capt. James H. French’s company, from the county of Giles, Va., 7th Regiment, Col. James L. Kemper:

Killed.–Edward Bane.

Wounded.–Lloyd Fry, Harvey Bane, Stuart Johnson, William Lewey, Mr. Lee, (son of Rev. J. B. Lee, of the Baptist Church,) Samuel Shannen and Lewis Skenes.

The Botetourt troops.

The Valley Sentinel says that out of some four hundred Botetourt men upon the field, young Calvin Utz is the only one that is certainly known to have been killed. He was struck in the head by a fragment of a shell.

Capt. Rippetoe’s Company.

Among the killed in the battle of Manassas was Robert Newman, Esq., formerly one of the editors of the Front Royal (Va.) Gazette. He was a member of Capt. Rippetoe’s company. Some twenty or more of this gallant company were killed and wounded. Capt. Rippetoe’s escape was miraculous, his sword and belt being shot off.

Gen. Barnard E. Bee.

The following is from the Richmond correspondence of the Charleston Mercury:

The name of this officer deserves a place in the highest niche of fame. He displayed a gallantly that scarcely has a parallel in history. The brunt of the morning’s battle was sustained by his command until past 2 o’clk. Overwhelmed by superior numbers, and compelled to yield before a fire that swept everything before it, Gen. Bee rode up and down his lines, encouraging his troops, by everything that was dear to them, to stand up and repel the tide which threatened them with destruction. At last his own brigade dwindled to a mere handful, with every field officer killed or disabled. He rode up to Gen. Jackson and said: “General, they are beating us back.”

The reply was: “Sir, we’ll give them the bayonet”

Gen. Bee immediately rallied the remnant of his brigade, and his last words to them were: “There is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer. Follow me!”

His men obeyed the call; and, at the head of his column, the very moment when the battle was turning in our favor, he fell, mortally wounded. Gen. Beauregard was heard to say he had never seen such gallantry. He never murmured at his suffering, but seemed to be consoled by the reflection that he was doing his duty.

“Victory or death.”

The Rockingham Register contains the following:

Among the gallant spirits who fell in the battle at the Junction on Sunday last, was Wm. C. Woodward, of the West Augusta Guards. To those who knew him, it is need less to say that he died like a patriot and fell at his post. He was in the battle from its commencement until three o’clock in the afternoon, when he fell in the ranks, struck by a musket ball and buck shot in the head, just above the left ear. Throughout the whole fight he evidenced the highest gallantry, all the time urging his comrades to deeds of heroism and bravery. His last words to his friends before he fell were, “Victory or death.” He was a noble, generous spirit, and was a favorite of his company. His remains were brought to Staunton on Monday and followed to their last resting place by a large concourse of sincere friends, amongst them the I. O. O. F., of which he was a faithful and worthy member, and Captain Skinner’s company.

Another gallant soldier gone.

We learn (says the Register) that our young friends, George W. Messick, son of Gessner Messick, of this vicinity, a member of Capt. T. L. Yancey’s troop of cavalry, was killed in the battle of Sunday last, near Manassas Junction. He had, we learn, been ordered to make a charge for the rescue of some prisoners, when he received a shot in the head, which killed him instantly. He was a gallant soldier, and met his death like a patriot.

The Rockingham boys.

We are proud to learn that all the boys from Rockingham, in the late battle, conducted themselves with spirit and gallantry.–Not a man quailed — not a nerve that trembled. They were in the thickest of the fight, and at one time were assailed by three times their number; but they stood their ground like men, and drove the enemy back.

Deceived the enemy.

During the fight on Sunday last, Maurice Guiheen, of the Valley Guards, was captured by the Lincolnites; but his wit saved him — He succeeded in persuading his captors that they had a friend, and they let him off.

Record of brave men.

The Winchester Republican, alluding to the gallant conduct of Colonel Allen’s regiment, says:

Capt. Wm. L. Clarke received a painful but not dangerous wound. Capt. W. N. Nelson, of Clarke, was seriously wounded in the breast. Hopes are, however, entertained of his recovery.

The “Winchester Riflemen” lost 5 killed and 14 wounded. The bodies of the killed reached here Tuesday evening. They were Lloyd Powell, Isaac Glaize, Owen Burgess, Chas. Mitchell and Chas. Young.

Capt. Nadenbousch’s company, of Martinsburg, performed good service. The bodies of four of his company were sent on through here Tuesday. We were pained to learn that two of them were the sons of Holmes Conrad, Esq. They were killed by the same fire and fell side by side Peyton R. Harrison was also one of the killed: the name of the fourth we could not learn.

The Rockingham Regiment.

The Harrisonburg (Va.) Register furnishes the annexed list of the killed and wounded of the Rockingham Regiment, which was in the thickest of the fight:

Killed.–Southern Greys, Edinburg.–Lt. John W. Heaton, shot in the heart with a musket ball; died a few hours after he was shot.

Valley Guards, Harrisonburg–Privates John W. Bowles, printer, of New Market, and Isminius A. Moore, of Mt. Jackson. Mr. Bowles was instantly killed by a musket shot through the heart. Mr. Moore was shot and received a bayonet wound. He died on Monday morning.

Page Volunteers, Luray.–Privates Ambrose Comer, John W. Kite, and James H. Gaines, all instantly killed by musket shots.

Wounded–Southern Grays.–Geo. W. Sibert, badly wounded — shot through the breast. P. H. Grandstaff, flesh wound in the thigh.

Valley Guards.–Lieut P. Bryan, slightly wounded in the head. Corporal M. D. Coffman, severely wounded through the left side. Private John J. Roof, badly wounded in the foot, Private David Harrigan, badly wounded in the foot and ankle.

Bridgewater Grays–Private Jas. Minnick, wounded slightly in the heel.

Chrisman’s Infantry.–Lieut. Jas. Ralston, slightly wounded in the forehead. Private William Whitmore slightly wounded in the left hand.

Page Volunteers.–Corporal Trinton O. Graves, badly wounded in the leg. Private James H. Cubbage, badly wounded in the thigh.

Second Regiment Virginia Volunteers.

The Winchester Republican furnishes the annexed list of the killed, wounded and missing of the Second Regiment (Col. Allen) Virginia Volunteers:

Company A, of Jefferson County–Capt. J. W. Roan–Wounded–Capt. J. W. Roan, wounded in the ankle; Privates T. J. Hurst, shot through the body; Ogden, in the hip; Edmonds, in the hip; Triplett, thumb shot off; G. N. Myers, shot through the leg.

Company B, Jefferson County.–Capt. V. N. Butler–Wounded–Private A. R. Botles wounded slightly on the knee by a piece of spent shell.

Company C., Clarks County.–Capt. W. N. Nelson. –Killed–Privates George S. Whitter, Benjamin E. Grubbs, Scott Dishmar Wounded–Captain W. N. Nelson, severely wounded in the left breast; Corporal T. H. Randolph, wounded in left breast; Corporal Hibbard, thigh; Privates Basil Burnett, in the right shoulder; Alex Parkins, left arm Bush Fuller, in shoulder Samuel Ritter in neck, breast and arm; Adam Thompson, in the back; C. F. Whiting; left arm and stomach; J. E. Ware, left arm; John Welsh left breast; Noland, in the neck.

Company D, Berkeley County–Captain J. Q. A. Nadenbousch–Killed.–Lieutenant Peyton R. Harrison. Sergeant Holmes A. Conrad, Privates H. Tucker Conrad and John Fryatt. Wounded.–Sergeant J. A. Dugan, in the thigh; Privates William Light, face an neck; W. H. McGary, neck; J. H. Lashort in the head; J. S. Armstrong, in the arm; T. E. Buchanan, in shoulder; George D. White man, in thigh; Color Sergeant Edmund P. Dandridge, in foot; David Hunter, slightly or left arm; Lambert S. McMullen, in foot; Charles McFarly, in the leg; Joseph C. Simmons, in two places.

Co. E, Berkeley County–Capt. R. T. Colston. Killed–Lieut. D. H. Manor. Wounded-Privates C. Manor, in the face; G. Miller mortally. Missing — E. Tobin, J. Frizer, J. Turner, N. Keesecker.

Co. F. Winchester–Capt. Wm. L. Clark, Jr. –Killed — Serg’t E. O. Burgess, Serg’t I. N. Glaize, Privates Lloyd Powell, William Young, Charles Mitchell. Wounded–Capt. W. L. Clark, Jr., in the thigh; Privates R. Meade, lost an arm; S. Barton, in the leg, McCarty, head; Kidd, back; Beatty, leg; Hobson, leg; Coontz, ankle; J. Sherrard. slightly wounded; James Rines lost a leg. Missing–Ten men, supposed to be at the Junction.

Co. G. Jefferson County–Capt. E. L. Moore Wounded–Lieut Robert M. English, wounded in the arm, leg and breast; Sergeant Middlecough, in forehead; Privates Aisquith, in neck; F. G. Butler, in chest, since dead; Foster, in both legs; W. Manning, in breast and face; L. Page, mortally, in arm and abdomen; Painter, in the thigh; J. Timberlake, neck; S. Timberlake, both legs; C. Wiltshire, in the leg; T. Briscoe in the side.

Co. H., Jefferson County, (near Daffield’s)–Capt. J. H. L. Hunter.–Killed–Private Hendricks. Wounded–Privates H. M. Snyder, wounded in the thigh; G. E. Curry flesh wound; George Gall, in thigh; James Crussell, leg broken; Joseph Colbert, George Ashby, breast and arm; John Christfield flesh wound; Corporal Henry Billings, flesh wound.

Company I, Clarke County.–Capt. S. H. Bowen. –Wounded–Corporal Holmes McCuire; in the arm; Privates Geo. W. Ketly, in the leg; A. May, in the cheek; Wm. Niswanner, bayonet wound in the arm and breast.

Company K. Jefferson County, (Harper’s Ferry,)–Capt. G. W. Chambers–Killed–Corporal McArdell. Wounded–Privates McCabe, dangerously; Foley, slightly; Kennedy, Hudson, Dovle.

Total killed, 2 officers and 13 men. Total wounded, 72. Missing, 14.

The Wythe Grays.

This company was in the hottest of the fight. The following list of killed and wounded is from the Wytheville Telegraph:

Killed — N. D. Oglesby, James R. Pattison, Thos. J. Kavenagn, T. W. Cooper Wounded — Samuel Crockett, badly; W. H. Locket, Sanders Harsh, W. H. Harrison, Wise, Ferguson and Bryant, wounded slightly. Balance all safe — officers not touched.





Bull Run on Film

25 11 2008

Oh, just for the hell of it.  If you like, we can discuss the accuracy of this clip in the comments section here.  It might be fun!  But let’s limit the discussion to the clip, please.  I don’t want to rehash bad acting, bad screenwriting, bad cinematography, or the whole general badness of this film.

By the way, Ride with the Devil is on AMC tonight.  I think it’s an under rated film, skillfully directed by Ang Lee with some fine, nuanced performances and beautifully filmed.  In my opinion, the writers skillfully and thoughtfully handled the characterization of a free black man who fought alongside his former master, though I’m sure it angered some folks and caused quite a few knees to jerk.  Here’s the raid on Lawrence (look for the Eldridge Hotel):





Wheat Photo

24 11 2008

I received a packet from Mike Musick in the mail on Saturday with all sorts of neat info on the newly discovered photo of an individual who looks a lot like Rob Wheat of the 1st Special Louisiana Battalion (see here and here).  It included quite a few testimonials from big shots in the ACW field as to their opinions on the photo.  I’ll be posting more on this later.





The New York Times Tackles the Sherman’s Battery Controversy

24 11 2008

w-t-sherman

Thanks so much to reader Linda Mott for once again coming up with a link to a topical newspaper article, this time a New York Times piece from August 11, 1861 (see here).  A couple of things: 

Note that T. W. and W. T. were not classmates at West Point.  T. W. graduated 18th of 49 cadets in 1836.  W. T. was 6th of 42 four years later, 1840. (Cullum)

During the Bull Run campaign, T. W. was in Pennsylvania recruiting for the 5th U. S. Artillery. (Cullum)

As for the two men being “great friends”, they did serve together at Ft. Moultrie in Charleston, SC in 1846.  T. W. rejoined W. T. in the Army of the Tennessee very briefly after Shiloh, and ran into him again briefly in New Orleans in March, 1864.  W. T.’s references to T. W. in his memoirs are cursory, giving no hint that they were ever “great” anythings, friends or otherwise. (Memoirs of General William T. Sherman)

Notice too that the article refers to the famous Sherman’s Battery.

I wish I could figure out that mouseover trick of Robert’s – it would save me having to make these explanatory posts.





The Two Shermans

24 11 2008

The New York Times, August 11, 1861 (see here)

The Two Shermans.

From the Cincinnati Commercial.

Not a little error and confusion has been created by writers in the newspapers, especially since the recent battle before Manassas Junction, by confounding the names of two meritorious officers in the Army.  There are two Col. Shermans in the Army: Col. William T. Sherman, of Ohio, and Col. Thomas W. Sherman, of Rhode Island.  The former is the only one of the two who was engaged in the battle at Bull Run.  He is a brother of John Sherman, Senator from Ohio.  He is not the Capt. Sherman who first organized the famous Sherman’s Battery.

There are some points of remarkable similarity in the case of the two Shermans, which have easily led those ignorant of their history and position into confounding them together.  Their initials are similar – one being W. T. and the other T. W. Sherman; they both graduated in the same class at West Point; both entered the same regiment – the Third Artillery; both served in the Mexican War; and both have been recently appointed Brigadier Generals.

It is T. W. Sherman, of Rhode Island, who commanded and gave his name to “Sherman’s Battery,” which he organized in Mexico, where he served under Taylor and Scott, and which was doing duty on the frontier (Minnesota) when the difficulties with the seceded States broke out.

W. T. Sherman, of Ohio, was found at the beginning of these troubles at the head of a State Military Academy in Louisiana, and upon the secession of that State he resigned, refusing to serve in a State disloyal to the Government.  When the new regiments of the regular Army were formed, Sherman, of Ohio, was appointed Colonel of the Thirteenth Infantry, and Sherman, of Rhode Island, was made Lieutenant-Colonel of the Fifth Artillery, and shortly after, by promotion of Col. Hunter, became Colonel of that regiment.

Sherman’s Battery, although it still retains the name, is now really Ayres’ Battery.  It was Col. Sherman, of Ohio, who commanded the Brigade in the battle fo Bull Run composed of the following regiments:

Seventy-ninth New-York (Highlanders,) Col. Cameron.

Sixty-ninth New-York, (Irish,) Col. Corcoran.

Thirteenth New-York.

Second Wisconsin.

He also had accompanying his Brigade, and under his orders, the Battery of Capt. Ayres, (Shermans Battery,) which was not captured by the enemy, as claimed by all the rebel newspapers, but after a desperate contest every gun was brought off in safety, and was replanted on Capitol Hill, from whence it has since been removed across the Potomac.

Col. Sherman, of Rhode Island, was not in the battle, but was on duty elsewhere.  Both of the Shermans are regarded in the Army as among its best officers.  Both are now Generals, and there is little doubt that they will distinguish themselves in the service, and very probably their actions will be confounded in future as in the past, and each receive the credit due the other.  At this, the two Shermans will not complain, for they are great friends, although not related to each other.

(See explanatory comments here).








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