BTC Notes: A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865

   

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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.

A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865 by James B. ClarySubject: A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865 by James B. Clary

Important Points:

Notes:

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

Chapter 8: From the Wilderness to Petersburg

  • At Cold Harbor on June 1, 1864, Colonel John B. Davis took over command of Kershaw’s Brigade and Lt. Colonel Frederick S. Lewie took command of the 15th South Carolina1
  • At 7:30 a.m. on June 18, 1864, Kershaw’s Division occupied Rives’ Salient southeast of Petersburg, just in time to repel a major Union assault.2
  • From June 19-21, 1864, Kershaw’s Brigade faced several small attacks.  From June 25-29, 1864, the brigade was rested about a mile behind the lines at Petersburg’s water works.3
  • The author appears to have mixed up the First and Second Battles of Reams’ Station.  He mentions Kershaw’s Division moving south on June 29, 1864, the correct date for the First Battle of Reams’ Station, but then talks about Hancock’s Second Corps losing 1700 prisoners after having their lines rolled up, something which occurred in late August 1864 at the Second Battle of Reams’ Station.  If Kershaw’s men did participate on Jue 29, they were fighting Federal Cavalry under James Wilson and August Kautz.4
  • On July 23, 1864, Kershaw’s Division was ordered to Chaffin’s Bluff to oppose a Union offensive from Deep Bottom.5
  • For a description of Kershaw’s Division at the First Battle of Deep Bottom,  see pages 213-221.6
  • Kershaw’s Division rested at Swift Creek from the night of July 30 to August 5, 1864.7

Chapter 9:

  • On August 6, 1864, it was decided to send Kershaw’s Division to the Shenandoah Valley to reinforce Early’s Army there.  Kershaw’s Brigade would never again fight in a major action at the Siege of Petersburg, returning to Richmond in late November 1864 and heading to South Carolina to face Sherman’s Union armies who invaded that state in early January 1865.8

Unit Strengths

  • 2nd South Carolina, Kershaw’s Brigade, Kershaw’s Division, First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia: 127 men (June 1, 1864)9
  • Kershaw’s Brigade, Kershaw’s Division, First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia: 1800 men on July 26, 1864.10

Unit Armament

  • All new conscripts and returning soldiers were given brand new Enfield Rifles on April 24, 1864.  The armament of existing members of the regiment was not mentioned.  However, just prior to Gettysburg a large supply of Enfields was captured by Kershaw’s Brigade in the Shenandoah Valley.  Did the entire regiment have Enfields by this point in the war?   Clues point to a positive answer, but more research is needed.11

Unit Commanders:

  • Kershaw’s Brigade, Kershaw’s Division, First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia: Colonel John B. Davis (June 1, 1864)12
  • 15th South Carolina, Kershaw’s Brigade, Kershaw’s Division, First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia: Lt. Colonel Frederick S. Lewie (June 1, 1864)13
  • 2nd South Carolina, Kershaw’s Brigade, Kershaw’s Division, First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia: Major (Lt. Colonel?) William Wallace (June 1, 1864)14
  • 3rd South Carolina Battalion, Kershaw’s Brigade, Kershaw’s Division, First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia: Captain Benjamin M. Whitner (June 1, 1864)15
  • Kershaw’s Brigade, Kershaw’s Division, First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia: Colonel John Henagan (July 23 & 27, 1864)16
  • 15th South Carolina, Kershaw’s Brigade, Kershaw’s Division, First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia: Lt. Colonel Frederick S. Lewie (July 23-27, 1864, wounded on July 27)17
  • MacGowan’s Brigade, Wilcox’s Division, Third Corps, Army of Northern Virginia: Lt. Colonel Isaac F. Hunt (July 23, 1864)18
  • Lane’s Brigade, Wilcox’s Division, Third Corps, Army of Northern Virginia:  Colonel John D. Barry (July 23, 1864)19
  • Brigadier General James Conner commanded MacGowan’s and Lane’s Brigades of Wilcox’s Division, Third Corps on July 23, 1864.  Apparently this situation was semi-permanent during the early portion of the siege and was considered a demi-division of sorts.20

Sources:

  1. Clary, James B. A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865. Broadfoot Publishing, 2007, p. 199
  2. Clary, James B. A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865. Broadfoot Publishing, 2007, pp. 207-210
  3. Clary, James B. A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865. Broadfoot Publishing, 2007, p. 212
  4. Clary, James B. A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865. Broadfoot Publishing, 2007, p. 212
  5. Clary, James B. A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865. Broadfoot Publishing, 2007, p. 213
  6. Clary, James B. A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865. Broadfoot Publishing, 2007, pp. 213-221
  7. Clary, James B. A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865. Broadfoot Publishing, 2007, p. 221
  8. Clary, James B. A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865. Broadfoot Publishing, 2007, p. 223
  9. Clary, James B. A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865. Broadfoot Publishing, 2007, p. 200
  10. Clary, James B. A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865. Broadfoot Publishing, 2007, p. 215
  11. Clary, James B. A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865. Broadfoot Publishing, 2007, p. 158
  12. Clary, James B. A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865. Broadfoot Publishing, 2007, p. 199
  13. Clary, James B. A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865. Broadfoot Publishing, 2007, p. 199
  14. Clary, James B. A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865. Broadfoot Publishing, 2007, pp. 200-201: He is referred to as a major on page 200 and a lieutenant colonel on page 201.  Look at his compiled service record (CSR) for confirmation.
  15. Clary, James B. A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865. Broadfoot Publishing, 2007, p. 200
  16. Clary, James B. A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865. Broadfoot Publishing, 2007, p. 213, 215: Colonel John B. Davis was on sick leave in South Carolina.
  17. Clary, James B. A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865. Broadfoot Publishing, 2007, p. 213, 221
  18. Clary, James B. A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865. Broadfoot Publishing, 2007, p. 213
  19. Clary, James B. A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865. Broadfoot Publishing, 2007, p. 213
  20. Clary, James B. A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry 1861-1865. Broadfoot Publishing, 2007, p. 213

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