Records Related to Augusta County Regiments

February 28, 1865.

Confederate General William Pendleton reports on actions during the second half of 1864. He mentions the arrival and refitting of troops in Staunton during June.

February 28, 1865.


About August 10, Gen. Fitzhugh Lee's division of cavalry having received orders to join Gen. Early in the Valley, Johnston's and Shoemaker's batteries marched with the division, Capt. Johnston in command, Maj. Breathed having been wounded in a skirmish on June 29. This force reached Front Royal on August 14, and henceforward participated in Gen. Early's campaign. Nothing material occurred on the Petersburg line until August 18. On that day Brander's battery, Pegram's battalion, accompanied Heth's division and was warmly engaged in an attack upon the enemy at the Davis house, on the Weldon railroad. The next day Lieut.-Col. Pegram was sent with three of his batteries to co-operate with Gen.'s Heth and Mahone in another attack at the same point. His battalion again participated on the 21st in an attack at Poplar Spring Church. Again on the 24th Col. Pegram was directed with Brander's and Cayce's batteries, of his own battalion, Ross', of Lane's, and sections of Hurt's and Clutter's, of McIntosh's to accompany the column sent to attack the enemy at Reams' Station, on the Weldon railroad. Success was marked on this occasion, and due in no small degree to the efficiency of Col. Pegram and the good conduct of his officers and men.

From September 14 to 30 Hart's and McGregor's batteries, and Graham's previously connected with Gen. Beauregard's command, participated in several spirited affairs of the cavalry on our right flank, under command of Gen. Hampton. Desultory skirmishing continued along the lines during this month and the following with no further movement of importance till September 29. On that day the enemy commenced more vigorous operations on the north side of James River, and succeeded in carrying, chiefly by surprise, a commanding salient of our works, known as Fort Harrison, not far from Chaffin's Bluff. To meet this advance of the enemy, forces were promptly moved from Petersburg. Maj. Johnson, of McIntosh's battalion, marched the same evening in command of Clutter's battery, of his own battalion, and the Fredericksburg Artillery, of Pegram's battalion, and the next morning Haskell's battalion moved also to co-operate with the troops north of the James. Gen. Alexander accompanied the expedition to command the artillery. Lieut.-Col. Hardaway, commanding his own battalion, and Maj. Stark's, previously of Lieut.-Col. Pemberton's command, reported at once to Gen. Alexander. The field artillery on that line had been left in his charge, when Col. Carter repaired under orders on September 2 to Gen. Early's army in the Valley as his chief of artillery in place of Gen. Long, disabled by sickness. These battalions (Hardaway's and Stark's, Haskell's and Johnson's) constituted an effective artillery force for operations on that front. Hardaway's and Stark's battalions co-operated as far as practicable, though, from the nature of the ground and the course of the lines and the position of the enemy, they could accomplish but little in the unsuccessful attempt to recover Fort Harrison on the 30th; and in the attack, resumed for the same purpose on October 1 Haskell's guns were added to them and posted as favorably as possible, Lamkin's company, experienced in mortar practice at Petersburg, having charge of a number of mortars. The attack being abandoned and defensive measures resumed, Johnson's and Haskell's guns were posted for use as occasion might arise. Lamkin's mortars remained, as they have done ever since, in position bearing on Fort Harrison. While these occurrences transpired on the lines below Richmond active movements were also going on upon the right of our line below Petersburg. Lieut.-Col. Pegram, with Brander's and Ellett's batteries, participated in an attack made by Heth upon the enemy's left. On the following day (October 1), with Brander's and Cayce's batteries, he again took part in the combined attack of Heth and Wilcox. Col. Pegram warmly commends Capt. Brander and Lieut. Hollis, commanding these batteries, for their gallantry and efficiency on this occasion. On the day succeeding (2d) the enemy, attacking Heth's line, was effectually repulsed by the vigorous co-operation of Ellett's battery with the infantry, Cayce's and Gregg's batteries also assisting from their respective positions. On October 8 [7] Haskell's and Johnson's battalions, north of James River, shared in the repulse of the enemy by our troops on the Darbytown and New Market roads, and performed their part with accustomed energy and success. On this occasion Maj. Haskell, narrowly escaping with his life, received a grazing wound on the head from a minie-ball, and Lieut. McQueen, of one of his batteries (Garden's), was severely wounded.

Haskell's battalion, under Capt. Garden, was again slightly engaged on the 12th (13th) in repelling feeble attacks of the enemy. Corporal Fulsher, of Flanner's battery, performed on this occasion a service deserving of special mention to his honor. Explosion having occurred among some ammunition improperly exposed, wounding six men, this soldier, though himself wounded, caught up several shells with burning fuses and extinguished them in a pool of water near by, and this when other shells were bursting around him.

On October 27 the enemy made a simultaneous attack on our lines below Richmond and on our right flank beyond Petersburg. His advance below Richmond was general and in considerable force. It was, however, repelled with comparative ease, the artillery rendering as usual, its share of service. Haskell's and Johnson's battalions operated against the enemy's flanking on our extreme left as far as the Williamsburg and even the Nine-Mile road, and thence across to Charles City road. Hardaway's and Starks' battalions met the direct attack on their front between the Darbytown road and Fort Harrison. On this occasion Lieut. C. H. Wilkes, commanding Clutter's battery while gallantly discharging his duty, fell at his post mortally wounded. No further attempt has since been made by the enemy on the line north of James River, and the field artillery has remained there, with supporting troops, quietly awaiting such further service as future operations of the enemy may render necessary.

The enemy on October 27 experienced on the extreme right below Petersburg as serious reverse as on the left below Richmond. Early in the day, when encountered by the cavalry alone, his numbers proved of avail to advance, gradually pressing back our horsemen to and across the Boydton plank road. Hart's battery, resolutely served, rendered valuable service in checking that advance. Is faithful commander, Capt. Hart, received in the engagement a severe wound. Subsequently McGregor's and Graham's batteries effectively co-operated in the combined attack which drove back the enemy in confusion and with a heavy loss. Two of Lieut.-Col. Pegram's batteries (Ellett's, under Lieut. Hollis, and Gregg's) also participated in the sharp conflict on this wing that afternoon, Gregg's battery being partially and Ellett's sharply engaged and contributing to the success of the day. After this signal reverse the enemy for some time attempted no movement of consequence, though skirmishing and shelling were continuously practiced on considerable portions of the lines, and at times with much severity.

On December 7 and extensive raid by a large force of the enemy being in progress along the Weldon railroad, toward Belfield and beyond, our cavalry hastened to arrest the operation, attended by Hart's, McGregor's, and Graham's batteries. Their guns were effectual in repelling the enemy at Hicksford and admonishing him speedily to retrace his steps. Our infantry column, which followed in pursuit of this raiding force, was accompanied by four batteries, under Lieut.-Col. Pegram and Maj. Owen. They were not able to obtain a fair opportunity at the enemy, or more than a slight skirmish, owing to his prompt retreat, and after a tour of seven days' extremely hard service, in severe weather and through roads scarcely passable, returned to camp. This effort closed the campaign. Nothing significant has since transpired.

While the campaign around Richmond and Petersburg had thus progressed to its close, that portion of our army detached under Gen. Early on June 18, and operating mainly in the Valley of Virginia, had been engaged in a series of movements and conflicts of very great importance the artillery performing throughout a conspicuous part. Nelson's and Braxton's battalions (Second Corps), which accompanied the expedition to Lynchburg to meet Hunter, though marching with great effort, could not reach that place in time to deal a decisive blow to that atrocious dispenser of fire and fury to the defenseless. He had hastily retreated before Gen. Early on was making as rapidly as possible toward the Ohio. On June 22 these two battalions joined the artillery of Gen. Breckinridge's command, and all the other troops under Gen. Early near Salem in Roanoke County. Thence the Army of the Valley moved by the direct route to Staunton. Here in the delay of two days which occurred some judicious adjustments in his command were made by Gen. Long, chief of artillery, Second Corps. Leaving Maj. Leyden, of the Department of Southwestern Virginia, in charge of a reserve camp of batteries least efficient, he fitted out with the best guns McLaughlin's battalion and a force of horse artillery. The army thus moved from Staunton for the lower Valley with three efficient battalions of artillery-Nelson's, Braxton's, and McLaughlin's-under Lieut.-Col. King, having forty reliable guns well equipped, and ten additional also well provided, to serve with the cavalry. Encountering little resistance on any part of the route, Gen. Early's forces crossed the Potomac into Maryland, at Shepherdstown, on July 5 and 6. On the morning of the 9th they advanced upon Fredericktown. The enemy had evacuated that place, but was found in force on the line of the Monocacy a mile or two to the eat, the railroad bridge and the ford below, on the Georgetown road, being the principal points of demonstration. Here a number of our guns were judiciously posted to bear upon the opposite side and operated with great effect, when McCausland's cavalry and Gordon's infantry, having crossed the stream, attacked the enemy and were met by him in line of battle at right angles to the river. Taken in flank and reverse by our artillery, the enemy's line immediately gave way and was soon routed and driven from the ford and bridge. The victory was complete.

Bibliographic Information : Letter Reproduced from The War of The Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Volume 42, Serial No. 87, Pages 858-861, Broadfoot Publishing Company, Wilmington, NC, 1997.

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