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).

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20 responses

29 11 2008
Facts and Incidents of the Battle « Bull Runnings

[...] Facts and Incidents of the Battle 26 11 2008 Richmond Daily Dispatch, July 29, 1861 (see here)  See notes here [...]

29 11 2008
cenantua

Harry,

Double-check your 2nd Va. Inf. info, the companies you have listed here aren’t from the 2nd, but the link you have to the 1st Bull Run site is accurate.

Co A Jefferson Guards: Capt. John W. Rowan
Co B Hamtramck Guards (Shepherdstown): Capt. Vincent Moore Butler
Co C Nelson Guards (also called Millwood Rifles, Millwood, Clarke Co., Va.): Capt. William Norborne Nelson
Co D Berkeley Border Guards (Martinsburg): Capt. John Q. A. Nadenbousch
Co E Hedgesville Blues (Hedgesville): Capt. Raleigh Thomas Colston
Co F Winchester Rifles (Winchester): Capt. William Lawrence Clark
Co G Botts Greys (Charles Town): Capt. Edwin L. Moore
Co H Letcher Riflemen (Duffieds, Jefferson Co.): Capt. James H. L. Hunter
Co I Clarke Riflemen (Berryville): Capt. Strother H. Bowen
Co K Floyd Guards (Harpers Ferry): Capt. George W. Chambers

For the 10th Va. Inf…

Colonel Simeon B. Gibbons

Co A Strasburg Guards (Shenandoah Co): Capt. Joshua Stover
Co B Rockingham Rifles (Rockingham Co): Capt. James Kenney
Co C Southern Greys (Shenandoah Co): Capt. James N Swann – The company was disbanded on April 18, 1862 and the men transferred to Company F.
Co D Bridgewater Greys (Rockingham Co): Capt. John B Brown
Co E Peaked Mountain Greys (Rockingham Co): Capt. William B Yancey
Co F Muhlenburg Rifles (Shenandoah Co): Capt. Samuel C Williams
Co G Valley Guards (Rockingham Co): Capt. Charles Alexander Sprinkel
Co H Chrisman’s Infantry (Rockingham & Shenandoah Co): Capt. George Chrisman
Co I Riverton Invincibles (Conrad’s Store, now known as Elkton): Capt. William D Covington
Co K Page Volunteers (Page County): Capt. William Townsend Young

29 11 2008
Harry Smeltzer

Yikes! I put in the companies of the 30th (2nd) VA Cav in there for the 2nd Infantry. I’ll fix that.

I didn’t put all the companies of the 10th in – just the ones mentioned in the article under that heading.

Thanks Robert!

29 11 2008
Robert Moore

Sorry, I got carried away with the 10th Va. I got ready to post the full company listing for the 33rd, but stopped short. I had relatives in both regiments, but quite interested in the history of the 33rd. Did I already mention that I’m related to (a third-g-grand uncle in Rippetoe’s company) a soldier who was killed in the effort to take the guns at 1st Manassas?

29 11 2008
Harry Smeltzer

Robert,

I guess enough time has passed to say “That’s pretty cool”. As always, anything you’d like to share by way of letters, pictures or biographical sketches is welcomed. I’m not limiting bios to officers.

On a realted note, I’m thinking of adding the company names and commanders to my OOB. First Bull Run.com has done a lot of the work already, but I’m not sure I want to just rip the guy’s work off. I think I’ll try to contact him and get permission, and then give attribution in a footnote to the OOBs. Seems senseless to reinvent the wheel. What do you think?

Also, Amann says Winchester Riflemen, but First Bull Run.com and you say Winchester Rifles. Any idea which is right?

29 11 2008
Robert Moore

Harry,

In the Guide to Virginia Military Organizations, Lee Wallace shows “Winchester Rifles.” In the 2nd Va. Inf., Dennis Frye shows “Winchester Riflemen.” So, I’m not positive which is correct.

I think the company names, commanders and even locality of origin is worthwhile in OOB. I can help with the Virginia units.

In terms of Civil War memory, I find it interesting that you say “enough time has passed.” When growing-up, I heard stories about only three Confederate relatives, two gg grandfathers and a distant uncle (killed at Chancellorsville, though family stories claimed he was killed at Manassas). My family ties with my uncles in the 10th and 33rd were all “learned” through research that I conducted while in my 20s. I still pick-up some interesting Confederate soldier ties from time to time, my most recent discovery was a 1st cousin, 5 times removed in the 2nd Md. Inf. (killed at Culp’s Hill). My Union familial ties were all discovered in the last decade. I’ll see if I can pull together some bios. One of my most interesting “1st Bull Run/Manassas family members” was a member of an Ohio infantry regiment. Not long after the battle, he transfered to an Ohio artillery battery that served in the West, only to resign from that position (1st Lt) in 1864, and go into the Navy as a masters mate on one of the ironclads on the western rivers. Quite the career!

29 11 2008
Linda Mott

Harry,
Don’t know if this is the same direction or not as your discussion. Concern’s a battery once known to some Confederates as “Wise’s Battery ( 4 guns).” Some historians think the battery known as Wise’s, first appeared during the pre-war John Brown affair, others think not. At Bull Run the battery formerly Wise’s was attached to the 1st VA Light Infantry, Co B. under Col. Alburtis. John Pelham at some early point during Bull Run took over the command of the guns from Col Alburtis. Gen Jackson mentions Col. Alburtis guns under Lt. Pelham in his OR. Col. Pendleton was the commanding officer of the 1st VA, and I believe he only mentions Col. Alburtis. The info about John Pelham and a list of onsite sources are located at the John Pelham Historical Assoc. link http://www.gallantpelham.org/
More notes on: Pelham, an Alabaman, was a grad of West Point class of 1861. Interestingly, also grads of West Point 1861 were Maj. Charles McKnight Loeser, of the 11th NY Fire Zous and 2nd Lt. Edmund Kirby of Capt. Ricketts’ Battery. The website has an excerpt of a letter John wrote to his father. Pelham discusses in the letter Bull Run, the batteries he thought were captured etc. Pelham came under the notice of Johnston before Bull Run while drilling Alburtis’ green cannoneers near Winchester, VA. Pelham also attracts the notice of Beauregard and Jackson during Bull Run. Gen Lee becomes impressed with John Pelham. About a year after Bull Run John Pelham joins J. E. B. Stuart’s cavalry. Pelham was instrumental in combining light artillery and the horse cavalry. Pelham was mortally wounded at Kelley’s Ford Mar. 17th, 1863.
Linda

29 11 2008
Robert Moore

Linda,

I covered the Wise Artillery, along with a number of early-war disbanded light Virginia artillery batteries in one of my last books for the VRHS. The battery was originally the “Henry A. Wise Artillery” and was formed in Berkeley County in response to John Brown’s raid. Ephraim Gaither Alburtis was commissioned in the militia in 10/59 and was confirmed by election as captain of the Wise Artillery at Martinsburg on 11/19/1859.

By October 1859, the company carried 70 men on the roster. One section of the company was at Charles Town on the day of Brown’s execution.

When the war came, Alburtis’ battery was mustered into Confederate service on April 19, 1861 at Martinsburg.

Though the battery was originally assigned as Co. B, 1st Virginia Artillery, the company was later detached from that organization as an independent battery on April 26, 1862.

At 1st Manassas, the battery was actually attached to Bartow’s Brigade as an independent battery (the entire issue of independent battery assignments was a real problem in the Confederate army until 1862).

From Pelham’s letter of the fight, it appears Alburtis (44 years old at the time of the battle) may not have been present with the battery at Manassas. He actually resigned 1/25/62 due to “impaired health.”

Two days after the battle, Pelham wrote

“I was under heavy fire of musketry and cannon for about seven hours, how I escaped or why I was spared a just God only knows. Rifle balls fell like hail around me. Shells bursted and scattered their fragments through my Battery – my horse was shot under me, but did not give out till the fight was almost over. I was compelled to take one of my Sergeant’s horses and ride through. At one time I dismounted and directed the guns – one of the gunners asked me to dismount and shoot the Federal’s flag down. I did so – you ought to have heard the cheers they gave me. I directed all my guns three or four times apiece. My men were cool and brave and made terrible havoc on the enemy. They fought better than I expected they would. The highest praise is due them. We shot down three U.S. flags and dislodged the enemy from several positions. I was complimented several times on the field of battle by general officers and a great many times aftert he battle was over by other officers.”

6 12 2008
Harry Smeltzer

Robert,

Where can I find Pelham’s letter?

30 11 2008
Jonathan

Hi All,

The battery was assigned to the command of Col. W N Pendleton commanding batteries of the Thomas Artillery, 1st Rockbridge Artillery and Wise Artillery on July 21, 1861. The records show that the Wise Artillery and Thomas Artillery were deployed with Jone’s Brigade at McLean’s Ford.

The battery was assigned to 1st Virginia Light Artillery as Company B, but the regiment was not completed or recognised and was disbanded prior to April 1862. The battery was reorganized as an independent battery on April 26 and disbanded by Special Order No.209 on October 4, 1862. The men were assigned to Captain J L Eubank’s Company, Virginia Light Artillery, 12th Virginia Battalion Light Artillery as Company C, under Colonel S D Lee.

Hope this helps!

30 11 2008
Harry Smeltzer

Robert and Linda,

Thanks for all the help. Pelham will be the subject of a separate biographical sketch. By the way, his presence at BR1 was also mentioned in Poagues memoir.

Jonathan, thanks for chiming in. I’ll let you and Robert duke it out over the Wise Artillery. For everyone’s info, Jonathan maintains http://www.firstbullrun.com, and has just today launched a blog, http://www.firstmanasas.blogspot.com.

30 11 2008
cenantua

Jonathan,

Late on July 20, the Wise Artillery with Thomas Artillery (Stanard’s) and Jones’ Brigade, was positioned across McLean’s Ford and into a location adequate for an “attack upon the enemy on or about Union Mills and Centreville Road.” According to Johnson’s report, the first indication he had of battle was hearing gunshots about 11 a.m. At that time he directed Col. W.N. Pendleton to hurry to the front, about four miles away, with the Rockbridge Artillery and Thomas Artillery. The Wise Artillery was to follow immediately with its guns. Arriving at Henry House Hill, Pendleton and the batteries were greeted by Gen. T.J. Jackson, who directed the batteries to the crest of the eidge opposite the Henry house. The Wise Artillery was later placed in another position near the Robinson house.

You are correct about reassignment in October 1862. Regretfully, the Wise Artillery was one of the most efficient batteries to go on the “chopping block” under SO 209. The battery’s men were transferre on 10/8 to S.D. Lee’s Bttn for reassignment. Some men ended up with Taylor’s Battery while others were assigned to the Lee Lynchburg Artillery.

Incidentally, the Thomas Artillery was another one of the batteries that I covered in the VRHS.

The Thomas Artillery was ordered up about 11:30 a.m. by Jackson into position on Henry house hill. After forming behind the crest for protection, the battery was posted next to the guns of the Staunton Artillery. They were in front of Jackson’s brigade and faced northwest toward Henry house in a line diagonal to the pines in the rear. After the Staunton guns ran out of ammo, the Rockbridge Artillery came up and took position on both sides of the Thomas Artillery.

While in this position, one shot from the Federal guns found its mark in one of Stanard’s caissons and it exploded “into a billowing mass of smoke, flying metal and splinters.” The Thomas Artillery lost, in the action that day, 2nd Lt. Edgar Macon, killed; Pvt. John Dixon, mortally wounded, and five other enlisted men wounded (2 severely and 3 slightly). The damage to equipment included the one caisson exploded, one limber tongue broken, harness on wounded horses cut to pieces and loss of a few spokes with minie balls. Several of the caissons had also been perforated by small balls. Upon inspection of the caissons, Capt. Stanard estimated “Upwards of 700 rounds fired at the enemy.” Three very effective shots found their mark in the retreating columns.

4 12 2008
Shout Out « Bull Runnings

[...] I try to do that when I’m not sure).  Check out the comments to posts here, here, here, and here.  Now it’s a question of me getting all this other good stuff incorporated into the site.  [...]

13 04 2010
Dana

Help me please…

Looking for information about this person:

The Rockingham Regiment

All of these were in the 10th VA Infantry

Southern Greys – Co. C, Capt. J. N. Swann

13 04 2010
Harry Smeltzer

Dana, this is from Robert Moore:

James N. Swann, enl. 4/18/61 at Edinburg, Va. as captain of Co. C (1st), resigned 12/31/61. NFR. Co. C (1st organization) was known as the Southern Grays from Shenandoah Co. Daniel W. Prescott followed Swann as captain.

13 04 2010
Dana

Thank you so much. Do you know why he resigned, and what he did after that.

You have a cool sight, and the work you have done is fabulous

13 04 2010
Harry Smeltzer

Dana, I believe Robert got the info from the 10th VA book in the Virginia Regimental Series. I think NFR means No Further Record. After Bull Run and I think prior to the end of 1861, elections (or re-elections) were held throughout the Confederate army. Many officers were not re-elected to their positions, and many of those officers chose to resign from the army at that time. I do not know if such was the case with Swann.

28 08 2010
Scott Sizemore

Mr. Moore,
I am currently a member of a unit portreying the 2nd VA Infantry Company D and I have been researching their militia days and the Berkeley Border Guards. I am trying to find out if they had a standardized militia uniform prior to the war and if so, what did it look like. Your name has been given to me on several occasions with the understanding that you may be able to help. Thank you for your help!!

28 08 2010
Harry Smeltzer

Scott, I’m not sure Robert checks the comments here. You can try reaching him on his blog:

http://cenantua.wordpress.com/

23 11 2010
Bull Run Dead « Bull Runnings

[...] Robert Moore has this recent post which concerns the family ties of a Confederate soldier of the 2nd VA killed at Bull Run.  Check it out – good stuff!  Once you read that, you can read a little about this fellow and his regiment here and here. [...]

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