BTC Notes: 6th Virginia Infantry

   

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Note: The BTC Notes series serves as a way to gather important information about a given source on the Siege of Petersburg like a book, article, essay, map, etc.

Subject: 6th Virginia Infantry by Michael A. Cavanaugh

Important Points:

Note:

  • Earlier chapters do not discuss the Siege of Petersburg and were not consulted for the purposes of this research.

Chapter IV: March 1864 to April 1865 Slugging It Out With U. S. Grant

  • 6th VA and Mahone’s Brigade reached Petersburg on June 18, 1864 and “spent two days near Battery 33 on the Dimmock Line”.1
  • The 6th VA participated in attacks on Federal advances on both June 22nd and 23rd during the Battle of Jerusalem Plank Road.2
  • From late June to late July 1864 the 6th VA was stationed in the trenches near the Wilcox farm south of Petersburg.3
  • The 6th VA participated in the Battle of the Crater and played a role in driving back the assaulting Union troops, suffering 80 casualties out of 95 men engaged.4
  • Mahone’s Division participated in several attacks during the Battle of Globe Tavern from August 18-21, 1864, but the 6th VA’s role is not specifically mentioned.5
  • Weisiger’s Brigade was the fourth to attack the Federal earthworks at Ream’s Station on August 25, 1864, helping to drive away the Union Second Corps.6
  • The 6th VA was involved in a flank attack at the Battle of Boydton Plank Road on October 27, 1864, but they were in turn partially trapped and lost “by far the most men in any engagement as prisoners of war” as a result.7
  • The 6th VA participated in the expedition to challenge General Warren’s raid south down the Weldon Railroad in December 1864, but no battle was fought.8
  • The 6th VA participated in the Battle of Hatcher’s Run with an attack near Dabney’s Stream Saw Mill on February 6, 1865.9
  • The 6th moved north of the Appomattox after the battle with the rest of Mahone’s Division and retreated with the rest of Lee’s army when Richmond and Petersburg fell in early April 1865.10

Unit Strengths

  • 6th VA, Weisiger’s Brig, Mahone’s Div, Third Corps, ANV: At least 200 men PFD and 95 taken into action at the Crater on July 30, 1864.  Cavanaugh writes: “At this time, the 6th Virginia Infantry had more than half of its number out on picket, so only about 95 men were gathered for the march [to the Battle of the Crater].”11
  • 6th VA, Weisiger’s Brig, Mahone’s Div, Third Corps, ANV: 200 men PFD (18 officers and 182 enlisted men) in November 1864 in an official inspection report.  Look for this later to find the exact date.12
  • 6th VA, Weisiger’s Brig, Mahone’s Div, Third Corps, ANV: 215 men PFD (16 officers and 199 enlisted men) in December 1864 in an official inspection report.  Look for this later to find the exact date.13
  • 6th VA, Weisiger’s Brig, Mahone’s Div, Third Corps, ANV: 146 men PFD (12 officers and 134 enlisted men) in January 1865 in an official inspection report.  Look for this later to find the exact date.14
  • 6th VA, Weisiger’s Brig, Mahone’s Div, Third Corps, ANV: 161 men PFD (15 officers and 146 enlisted men) in February 1865 in an official inspection report.  Look for this later to find the exact date.15
  • 6th VA, Weisiger’s Brig, Mahone’s Div, Third Corps, ANV: 143 men PFD (12 officers and 131 enlisted men) in March 1865 in an official inspection report.  Look for this later to find the exact date.16
  • 6th VA, Weisiger’s Brig, Mahone’s Div, Third Corps, ANV: 109 men surrendered at Appomattox Court House in April 1865.17
  • Weisiger’s Brigade, Mahone’s Div, Third Corps, ANV: Around 850 to 950 PFD each month from November 1864 to March 1865 according to inspection reports.18

Unit Armament

  • 6th VA, Weisiger’s Brig, Mahone’s Div, Third Corps, ANV: Inspection reports from November 1864 to March 1865 showed the 6th VA had .58 caliber weapons, presumably most if not all British made Enfield Rifles.19

Unit Commanders:

  • Mahone’s Brigade, Anderson’s Division, Third Corps, ANV: David A. Weisiger of the 12th Virginia was promoted to command of Mahone’s Brigade after James Longstreet’s wounding in the Wilderness caused a shuffle at the upper levels of the Army of Northern Virginia.20
  • 6th VA, Weisiger’s Brig, Mahone’s Div, Third Corps, ANV: Colonel George T. Rogers was in command of the 6th Virginia at the Battle of the Crater on July 30, 1864, and assumed command of the brigade temporarily after Colonel Weisiger was wounded.21
  • Mahone was promoted to Major General for his performance at the Crater, thus allowing his division to officially be called Mahone’s Division rather than Anderson’s Division.22
  • 6th VA, Weisiger’s Brig, Mahone’s Div, Third Corps, ANV: Colonel George T. Rogers was in command of the 6th Virginia at the Second Battle of Ream’s Station on August 25, 1864.23
  • 6th VA, Weisiger’s Brig, Mahone’s Div, Third Corps, ANV: Colonel George T. Rogers was in command of the 6th Virginia as of mid-February 1864.24
  • Mahone’s Division, Third Corps, ANV: General Joseph Finnegan was in temporary command of the division at the Battle of Hatcher’s Run from February 5-7, 1865 due to an illness suffered by General Mahone at the time.25
  • Colonel George T. Rogers appears to have been the commander of the 6th VA throughout the entire Petersburg Campaign, though it cannot be said with certainty that he held active command of the regiment the entire time.  He was definitely present as its commander at the times listed above.

Sources:

  1. 6th Virginia Infantry, page 48
  2. 6th Virginia Infantry, pages 48-49
  3. 6th Virginia Infantry, page 49
  4. 6th Virginia Infantry, page 54
  5. 6th Virginia Infantry, pages 55-56
  6. 6th Virginia Infantry, page 56
  7. 6th Virginia Infantry, page 57
  8. 6th Virginia Infantry, pages 57-58
  9. 6th Virginia Infantry, page 58
  10. 6th Virginia Infantry, pages 58-59
  11. 6th Virginia Infantry, page 53
  12. 6th Virginia Infantry, page 57
  13. 6th Virginia Infantry, page 57
  14. 6th Virginia Infantry, page 57
  15. 6th Virginia Infantry, page 57
  16. 6th Virginia Infantry, page 57
  17. 6th Virginia Infantry, page 57
  18. 6th Virginia Infantry, page 57
  19. 6th Virginia Infantry, page 57
  20. 6th Virginia Infantry, page 43
  21. 6th Virginia Infantry, page 53
  22. 6th Virginia Infantry, page 54
  23. 6th Virginia Infantry, page 56
  24. 6th Virginia Infantry, page 58
  25. 6th Virginia Infantry, page 58

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