Halifax Virginia Heavy Artillery (Wright’s VA Battery)

   

10 comments

in Virginia Artillery

Editor’s Note: Do you have information on this unit’s role at the Siege of Petersburg?  Please contact us using the Contact button in the menu at the top of the screen.  We are happy to exchange information with other researchers.

Muster In: Organized in Halifax County on March 18, 1862.1
Muster Out: April 9, 18652

Commander(s):
Captain Samuel T. Wright
Commander Image

Commander 2
Commander Image

Commander 3
Commander Image

First Offensive Order of Battle: Coit’s Artillery Battalion | Artillery | Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia | Confederate Army3

  • Commander:
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons:

Second Offensive Order of Battle: Coit’s Artillery Battalion | Artillery | Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia | Confederate Army4

  • Commander:
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons:

Third Offensive Order of Battle: Coit’s Artillery Battalion | Artillery | Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia | Confederate Army5

  • Commander: Captain Samuel T. Wright (at least July 30, 1864)6
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons:

Fourth Offensive Order of Battle: Coit’s Artillery Battalion | Artillery | Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia | Confederate Army7

  • Commander:
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons:

Fifth Offensive Order of Battle: Coit’s Artillery Battalion | Artillery | Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia | Confederate Army8,9

  • Commander:
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons:

Sixth Offensive Order of Battle: Coit’s Artillery Battalion | Artillery | Fourth Corps | Army of Northern Virginia | Confederate Army10

  • Commander: Captain Samuel T. Wright11
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons:

Seventh Offensive Order of Battle: Coit’s Artillery Battalion | Artillery | Fourth Corps | Army of Northern Virginia | Confederate Army12,13

  • Commander: Captain Samuel T. Wright (November & December 1864)14,15
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons: 4 x 12-lb. Napoleons (December 28, 1864)16

Eighth Offensive Order of Battle: Coit’s Artillery Battalion | Artillery | Fourth Corps | Army of Northern Virginia | Confederate Army17,18,19

  • Commander: None listed. (January & February 1865)20,21
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons:

Ninth Offensive Order of Battle: Coit’s Artillery Battalion | Artillery | Fourth Corps | Army of Northern Virginia | Confederate Army22,23

  • Commander: None listed (March & April 1-2, 1865)24,25
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons:

Dyer’s/Sifakis’ Compendium Info:
Siege of Petersburg Battles26:

  • Petersburg Siege (June 1864-April 1865)
  • Appomattox Court House (April 9, 1865)

Bibliography:

    Siege of Petersburg Documents Which Mention This Unit:

    Sources:

    1. Compendium of the Confederate Armies: Virginia by Stewart Sifakis, p. 39
    2. Compendium of the Confederate Armies: Virginia by Stewart Sifakis, p. 39
    3. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., p. 115
    4. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., p. 115
    5. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 125
    6. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 125
    7. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 134
    8. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 142
    9. Sommers, Richard J. “Grant’s Fifth Offensive at Petersburg: A Study in Strategy, Tactics, and Generalship.  The Battle of Poplar Spring Church, the First Battle of the Darbytown Road, the Second Battle of the Squirrel Level Road, the Second Battle of the Darbytown Road (Ulysses S. Grant, Virginia).” Doctoral Thesis. Rice University, 1970. Print. p. 1314.
    10. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 150
    11. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 150
    12. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 158
    13. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 168
    14. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 158
    15. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 168
    16. Compendium of the Confederate Armies: Virginia by Stewart Sifakis, p. 39
    17. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 176
    18. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLVI, Part 2 (Serial Number 96), page 1177: “Organization of the Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General R. E. Lee, January 31, 1865”; This list contains many commanders who were not there.  They were the “official” commanders but may have been gone on leave.  I have used none of the leaders from this list as a result.
    19. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 186
    20. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 176
    21. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 186
    22. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 195
    23. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 205
    24. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 195
    25. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 205
    26. Compendium of the Confederate Armies: Virginia by Stewart Sifakis, p. 39

    ***



    What are your Top 10 Gettysburg Books? See what a panel of bloggers said recently.

    { 10 comments… read them below or add one }

    Sam Blair May 20, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    My great grandfather was with this company Capt. Samuel Wright’s Co.Halifax Va. Heavy Artillery. I have service cards with him at Rockett’s Landing in Richmond and have also seen they were at Blandford Church outside Petersburg at the battle of The Crater,and by eyewitness account “laying murderous fire upon the enemy” after the crater blew up. I’ve also seen where they were at Drewery’s Bluff and more.My great grandfather is on roll at Appomattox so,I imagine this unit was fighting from Petersburg retreating to Appomattox April 9,1865.

    Sam Blair May 20, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Here’s an account of the Crater I found mentioning Wright’s Co. Halifax:Without intimating that Captain McCabe’s sources of information were unreliable, I will state here that an army correspondent of the Richmond papers, in a letter published a day or two after the battle, gave the credit of repelling the enemy to Major Caskie’s battalion, of Virginia. The account was never publicly corrected, and I suppose some future historian will seize upon the files of papers containing that letter as the best evidence to be obtained as to the artillery engaged. The truth is Major Caskie’s battalion of artillery was to the left of Wright’s battery; it could not reach the attacking columns of the enemy, and did not fire a single gun that I know of. I know that Major Caskie, having nothing to do in his front, spent some time with me in Wright’s battery, as being the best position for obtaining a view of the battle. So much for the material out of which history is made up. I think Wright’s battery did most effectual work, for the following reasons: 1st, it was erected for the special purpose of defending the salient; 2d, it was nearest the crater; 3d, The men were well protected from the enemy’s fire, and the gunners fired with deliberation; 4th, the men were inspired to avenge the death of their comrades. Two of the guns of Pegram’s battery were by the explosion thrown over between the two hostile lines, one of them nearly half way to the enemy’s lines. We recovered both by undermining and drawing them through a ditch into our lines. They were all remounted and placed in battery at the Gee house, where they remained until the evacuation of Petersburg. Only one gun was afterwards placed at the salient. This was a 24 pounder howitzer, and manned by a detachment of Kelly’s South Carolina battery under Lieutenant Race. This gun was not brought out at the evacuation, being oo heavy. The orders were to stand by it until the last moment after all the troops were withdrawn, and then to spike it. After sending out the other artillery, and when the troops were all gone I personally attended to the execution of this order. With that gun detachment I was the last to leave that part of the line, made so famous in the defence of Petersburg. Not a Confederate was to be seen as we marched down the line and through the covered way to Petersburg.

    bschulte May 20, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Sam,

    Excellent contributions! Do you know specifically where this account came from? I’m sure I’d like to look into it. I’m finding that for every new account I find, it opens the door for three or four more. At this rate the site will never be “finished”, but that’s okay. I purposefully designed it that way to keep me busy.

    Brett

    bschulte May 20, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Sam,

    If you have your great grandfather’s accounts of the Crater and any other incidents during the Siege I’d love to publish them on the site.

    Brett

    Sam Blair May 20, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Here’s the roster for Wright’s Company…my great grandfather is Luther Rice Blair.
    Wright’s Company Heavy Artillery

    Adams, J.W. Hazlewood, Charles T. Shaw, Marshall
    Adkins, William S. Hill, James L., Lt. Shaw, William
    Adkisson, Duncan R., Sr.2nd Lt. Hite, James Smith, Andrew J.
    Allen, Lafayette Hodges, William M. Smith, H.J.
    Anderson, Thomas M., Jr.2nd Lt. Hopkins, J.S.E. Smith, Richard
    Asby, Andrew T. Hopkins, S.E. Smith T.E.
    Ashby, Richard Hudson, Elias F. Smith, Thos. E.
    Averette, James T., Artif. Hudson, J.A. Smith, William F.
    Avrette, Patrick Hudson, Jas. A. Snead, Lewellen
    Bagby, James T. Hudson, Jas. L. Snead, Parker E.
    Bagby, John S., Cpl. Hudson, Thomas J. Snead, Samuel E.
    Beadles, William Hughes, Charles W. Sparrow, James J.
    Blackstock, David A. Lacks, Benjamin Stephens, William T.
    Blair, Luther R. Lacks, John Strange, John
    Blair, William A,Y. Leeson, John W., Cpl. Talbott, John B.
    Bradshaw, Robert V., 1st Lt. Levy, Miles J. Talley, Almond D.
    Bray, Obediah Link, Cary B. Talley, D.
    Brewer, Samuel P. Link, Henry B. Talley, Hubbard G.
    Britton, William Link, John K. Talley, John
    Brooks, Jackson, QMSgt. Lipford, Thomas H., Sgt. Talley, Joseph D.
    Canada, David A. Lipscomb, Joseph H. Terree, Richard
    Carter, William P. Locks, Benj. Thaxton, James
    Cassada, Elisha Locks, William H., Music. Thomas, Henry
    Caudle, Henry N. Loftis, John J. Tines, Jos. T.
    Chappel, Andrew J. Long, J.A. Tisdale, C.W,
    Chappell, William C. Lowry, Henry M. Tolly, D.T.
    Childress, Charles Lowry, William P. Torean, John T.
    Coats, Thomas Mahan, John Traynham, D.J.
    Cole, Daniel G. Mahan, Preston A. Tuck, James E., Cpl.
    Cole, Edward Martin, Charles Tuck, Richard B.
    Cole, Edward F. Martin, John J. Tudale, C.W.
    Cole, John H. Miller, Sam’l. C. Tynes, J.A., Sgt.Maj.
    Conner, Samuel A., Cpl. Mitchell, James W. Tynes, John P.
    Connor, Hezekiah Mitchell, John A., Cpl. Tynes, T.J.
    Covington, Henry Mitchell, John W. Tynes, Wm. F.
    Crews, Josiah O. Morris, Robert A. Tyris, W.F.
    Crowder, W.R. Moseley, W.P. Wall, Andrew J.
    Crowder, Wm. Mosly, W.T. Wall, Richard E.
    Crump, Sterling J. Murray, Wiley M. Watkins, John S., Jr. 1st Lt,
    Crute, Robert P. Murry, Robert A. Watkins, William E., Sgt.
    Dickerson, John W., Sgt. Neal, John T. Watts, George R.
    Dunaway, Thomas Nelson, Howard O. Watts, John H.
    Dyer, William R. Nelson, Irby Watts, John T.
    Elliott, George A. Newbill, Jno. R., Cpl. Watts, Samuel
    Elliott, Reuben Nichols, John J. Watts, Samuel R., Bugler
    Elliott, W.J. Nichols, McAlvin Watts, Thomas
    Estes, James S. Oaks, John A., Cpl. Watts, W.T.
    Faulkner, Isaac M. Overley, Joseph N., Cpl. Weatherford, Asa T.
    Fitts, George W. Owen, Theophilus Whitlow, E.
    Foster, James Palmer, Isaac M. Whitlow, Irby
    Foster, John Peck, Alexander Whitlow, J.G.
    Francisco, Jas. H, Peck, Zachariah A. Whitt, James
    Francisco, Jos. H. Perkins, George W. Whitt, Owen B.
    Franklyn, Elias Pincham, Alfred K. Whitworth, Henry C.
    Gibson, J.W. Pincham, F.D. Wilborn, George D.
    Glass, John Pringle, William G., Sgt. Wilborn, George W.
    Gravitt, Charles Ragland, Robert L., 1st Lt. Wilborn, John
    Gravitt, Henry Reese, Joel W. Wilkes, Bannister
    Gravitt, Thomas E. Reese, Richard H. Wilkes, John H.
    Griffin, B.W. Resnar, Henry Wilkins, Robert S.
    Griffin, Bird Richardson, John G. Wilkins, Robert T.
    Griffin, John A. Rickman, Abram Wilkins, Stephen R.
    Griffin, William H. Seagles, O. Wilkinson, John F.
    Guthery, Chastain Seamore, Henry Wilks, William D.
    Guthery, Joseph H. Seamster, Henry Wilson, H.O.
    Guthery, Thomas T. Seamster, James R. Woodall, Peter W., Black.
    Haley, Charles Seay, Andrew Woodey, A.C.
    Hall, J.R. Seay, M.F. Woody, Gibbs L.
    Hall, Jackson V. Seay, M.J. Woosely, George M.
    Harper, George Seay, Miles Wright, Samuel T., Capt.
    Haskins, R.E. Shaw, J.F. Yancey, Edward B.
    Hawkins, A.M. Shaw, John J, Younger, J.G.
    Younger, Thomas L., Sgt.

    Sam Blair May 20, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    From Rootsweb.com
    Battle of the Crater..(Mention of Wright’s Co. Halifax)

    Search billions of records on Ancestry.com

    BATTLE OF THE CRATER
    JULY 30, 1864

    GENERAL BUSHROD JOHNSON’S REPORT FROM THE OFFICAL RECORDS OF THE WAR OF THE REBELLION

    OPERATIONS IN SE VA & NC, THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN

    HEADQUARTERS JOHNSON’S DIVISION, AUGUST 20, 1864

    COLONEL: The following report of the part taken by this division in the action of Saturday the 30th of July, 1864, is respectfully submitted:

    For a proper understanding of the condition of this command on the occasion referred to it is necessary to state that on the night of the 28th of July every man in reserve in this division was placed in the trenches. Colquitt’s brigade, of Hoke’s division, was temporarily transferred to my command in exchange for Gracie’s brigade and placed on my right. For the purpose of relieving Field’s division from the trenches my line was extended to an attenuation that was deemed barely secure against an ordinary assault. From the left to the right the brigades were stationed in the trenches in the following order, viz: Ransom’s, Elliott’s, Wise’s and Colquitt’s brigades.

    About 4.55 o’clock on the morning of the 30th of July the enemy sprung a large mine under that portion of my line about 200 yards north of the Baxter road, known as Pegram’s salient. In this salient there were four guns of Captain Pegram’s battery, and the Eighteenth and Twenty-second South Carolina Regiments, of Elliott’s brigade, occupied the parapets in the battery and adjacent to it. The Twenty-second South Carolina Regiment extended from a point some seventy yards to the right of the right fun to a point beyond, but near to the left gun of the battery. The Eighteenth was posted on the left of the Twenty-second South Carolina Regiment. The regiments of Elliott’s brigade were distributed along the parapet from left to right as follows, viz: The Twenty-sixth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth, Twenty-second and Twenty-third South Carolina Regiments. To strengthen Pegram’s salient a second line or trench cavalier had been thrown up in its rear, commanding our front line and the enemy’s works at a distance of from 150 to 200 yards. Owing to the extension of our line, already explained our troops occupied only the front line of our works. The mine, as has been since ascertained, was laid along two wings, extending to the right and left of the main gallery, nearly parallel to the interior crest of our work and beneath the foot of the slope of the banquette, or perhaps farther back, and completely destroyed a portion of the front or main line of our fortification and the right of the trench cavalier. The crater measures 135 feet in length, 97 feet in breath, and 30 feet deep. The two guns of Pegram’s battery were not disturbed by the explosion. The two left guns were thrown out in front of our works, and only eight men out of twenty-eight men and two officers with the battery escaped alive and unhurt. The battery was occupied by five companies of the Twenty-second South Carolina Regiment, which were blown up. The Eighteenth South Carolina Regiment, on the left of the battery, had four companies blown up or destroyed by the falling earth.

    From the facts furnished by Col. F.W. McMaster, commanding Elliott’s brigade since Brig. Gen. S. Elliott was wounded, it appears that the losses sustained by the explosion of the mine are as follows, viz:

    22ND SC Regiment:

    Killed & Wounded, Officers & Men, Total 179

    18th SC Regiment:

    Officers Killed 4, Wounded 5, Total 9

    Men Killed 39, Wounded 38, Total 77

    Pegram’s battery:

    Officers & men, Total 23

    Aggregate losses known to have occurred

    from explosion: 278

    Of 4 officers and 72 men missing from the Eighteenth South Carolina Regiment, over and above the foregoing estimate, a part may have been blown up or killed by the falling earth, but most of them are supposed to have been captured.

    The astonishing effect of the explosion, bursting like a volcano at the feet of the men, and the upheaving of an immense column of more that 100,000 cubic, feet of earth to fall around in heavy masses, wounding, crushing, or burying everything within its reach, prevented our men from moving promptly to the mouth of the crater and occupying that part of the trench cavalier which was not destroyed, and over which the debris was scattered. Each brigade of this division had, however, been previously instructed as to the course to be pursued and the stubborn resistance to be offered on each flank in case a breach was made in our lines, and the troops of Elliott’s brigade, not blown up or injured, maintained their ground with remarkable steadiness. When the torrents of dust had subsided the enemy was found in the breach. Some four flags were counted and a continuous column of white and black troops came pouring on from the enemy’s lines to support those in the advance, while their artillery, mortars, and cannon, opened all along their lines, concentrating on our works and grounds adjacent to the crater on of the heaviest artillery fires known to our oldest officers in the field. Their heaviest fire was from the batteries in the vicinity of the Baxter road, where they had, since the 16th of June, seemed to concentrate their greatest strength, worked with greatest industry, built the strongest works and fought with unwearied energy.

    On the advancing column the Twenty-third and apart of the Twenty-second South Carolina Regiments, on the right, and the Seventeenth and part of the Eighteenth South Carolina Regiments, on the left, opened from our parapets a most destructive fire. The flanking arrangements of our works on both sides of the breach afforded peculiar advantages. Soon the fire along the line of the division, extending far out on each flank wherever the enemy’s column could be reached, swept the ground in front of the crater. To the men of Wise’s brigade, occupying the eminence south of the Baxter road about 200 yards from the crater, the enemy’s masses moving on the open ground up to the breach, presented a most inviting and accessible target, upon which their fire took unerring effect. Wright’s battery, of four guns, admirably located, and entrenched on the left of Elliott’s brigade and in rear of our lines, poured its whole column of fire in the right flank of the enemy’s masses. The position of this excellent battery was perhaps unknown to the enemy, and the superior manner in which it was served, the rapidity of the fire, and the terrible effect on the enemy’s forces no doubt greatly astonished and demoralized them.

    One fun of Davidson’s battery, commanded by Lieutenant Otey, occupying a position on our main line on the right of the Baxter road- admirably adapted to throw canister-shot into the enemy’s left flank, and with Wright’s battery to sweep the ground in front of the breach with a destructive cross-fire opened with a few rounds, and for some reason, not explained to me, became silent, and was deserted by the officers and men. This battery was connected with my command on the night of the 28th of July by the extension of my line to the right, and did not comprise a part of the artillery properly serving with this division. The battery was, however, subsequently manned and officered by Wise’s brigade, under instruction from Colonel Goode, and did excellent service.

    Major Haskell’s mortar batteries, in charge of Captain Lamkin, consisting of four Coehorns on the Jerusalem plank road, one Coehorn and two 12-pounder mortars in the ravine some 200 yards to the left and in rear of the breach, and two mortars to the left of Wright’s battery, were all opened promptly upon the enemy’s colums. The practice of the four mortars on the plank road was admirable. Its shells were dropped with remarkable precision upon the enemy’s masses clustering in disorder in front of and in the crater. Some three mortars on the right of the Baxter road, commanded by Lieutenant Langhorne, also opened early in the engagement, and continued to fire at intervals with good effect until its close.

    As soon as I was aware that the enemy had sprung the mine and broken my line near the center I immediately communicated with the brigades in both wings of the division and directed them to extend their intervals and re-enforce the wings of Elliott’s brigade, so as to give as great strength as possible to the forces on which the weight of the enemy’s columns must first fall. At the same time I dispatched staff officers to the two divisions on my flanks for re-enforcement’s could be furnished, as the line was already too weak. Captain Smith, acting aide-de-camp, who went to the right, promptly reported that General Mahone was moving up to our support with two brigades.

    As soon as the enemy occupied the breach they attempted to advance along our trenches upon the flanks of our broken line: but our men, sheltering themselves behind the angles and flanks of our works, in the boyanx running out perpendicular to the rear of our trenches, and behind the piles of earth above their bomb-proofs, opened a fatal fire on ever point where the foe exposed themselves. Thus their advance was stayed, and they commenced the work of intrenching, while they still tried by more cautious means to press back our faithful and gallant men.

    Brig. Gen S. Elliott, the gallant commander of the brigade which occupied the salient, was making prompt disposition of his forces to assault the enemy and reoccupy the remaining portion of the trench cavalier when he was dangerously wounded. He had given the necessary orders for the Twenty-sixth and the left wing of the Seventeenth South Carolina Regiments to be withdrawn from the trenches, and had preceded them to the open ground to the left and in rear of the cavalier when he was struck by a rifle-ball. The command of this brigade now devolved upon Col. F.W. McMaster, of the Seventeenth South Carolina Regiment. This officer (having received the re-enforcement of one regiment, sent to him by Colonel McAfee, commanding Ransom’s brigade) directed Colonel Smith, of the Twenty-sixth South Carolina Regiment to form in a ravine on the left and rear of the breach a rear line consisting of the Twenty-fifth North Carolina, Twenty-sixth South Carolina, and three companies of the Seventeenth South Carolina Regiments, arranged from left to right in the order named.

    Some fourteen Federal flags were now counted on our works, and it became evident that it would be better to endeavor to hold the enemy in check until larger re-enforcements arrived than risk the disaster that might follow from an unsuccessful assault by a very inferior force without any support.

    The new line to the left and rear of the salient was scarcely formed when the enemy attempted, with a force thrown out to the rear of our works, with those in our trenches, and with a line in front of our trenches, to charge to our left along our breast-works and in rear and front. The Twenty-fourth and Forty-ninth North Carolina Regiments, Ransom’s brigade, had promptly closed in on the part of the Seventeenth South Carolina Regiment remaining in the trenches when the intermediate regiments were drawn out to form the rear line, and now met and repulsed the charge in front, while the line under Colonel Smith, of the Twenty-sixth South Carolina Regiment, was equally successful in rear Two companies of the Forty-ninth North Carolina Regiment, posted in the covered way near the main line, poured a heavy volley on the flank of the enemy in rear, and our men of the Seventeenth South Carolina and Forty-ninth North Carolina Regiments, under cover of angles, boyaux, & c., drove back the charge along the trenches. After this the enemy continued to fight along the parapet keeping under cover: but, tough our forces on the left failed in several attempts to throw up barricades in the trenches, the former made but slow progress in this movement.

    In the meantime the Twenty-third South Carolina Regiment, under Captain White, and a few remaining men of the Twenty-sixth and part of the Forty-sixth Virginia Regiments, gallantly defended the trenches on the right of the breach.

    The South Carolina troops on that side succeeded in placing a barricade in the trenches on the side of the hill, and planting themselves behind it and in the boyaux running to the rear, maintained their position within thirty yards of the crater for about five hours, curing which the enemy never drove them a foot to the right, though they made several assaults, and attempted several times to form a line in rear of our works, so as to move on the flank and rear of this gallant little band. In the events of the 30th of July there will perhaps be found nothing more heroic or worthy of higher admiration than this conduct of the Twenty-second and Twenty-third South Carolina Regiments.

    Colonel Goode, commanding Wise’s brigade, caused the Fifty-ninth Virginia Regiment, under Captain Wood, to be formed in a ditch running perpendicular to the rear of the main work, and when the enemy attempted some five time to form in a rear of the breach for the purpose of charging to the right, and after they had planted four colors on the line, by which the movement designated was to be made, this regiment under Captain Wood, and the Twenty-sixth Virginia Regiment, under Captain Steele, with the Twenty-Second and Twenty-Third South Carolina Regiments and two guns of —- battery near the junction of the Baxter and Jerusalem plank roads, opened with a fire that drove them precipitately back to the crater. In this way the conflict was maintained from 5 till nearly 10 a.m. with coolness and steadiness by determined men and officers on both flanks of the breach, and with a success worth of much praise and with great damage to the enemy.

    The assailing force of the enemy, consisting of the Ninth and parts of two other army corps, was directed upon the breach at Pegram’s salient, and was held in check by little more than three regiments of Elliott’s, two regiments of Ransom’s, and two regiments of Wise’s brigades, with the efficient aid of artillery, especially of Wright’s battery and the four mortars, under Captain Lamkin, on the Jerusalem plank road. The enemy also made considerable demonstration front of Wise’s brigade, and appeared in front of their works on south side of Baxter road. On the left of the crater a large force was advanced to threaten the works occupied by Ransom’s brigade. It came forward in irregular order and took shelter at the foot of a steep hill, which descends to Taylor’s Creek, in front of that portion of our line. This force was engaged without any important results by Ransom’s brigade and the right howitzer of Slaten’s battery. Our whole line, from the right of Colquitt’s to the left of Gracie’s brigade, suffered from artillery fire.

    The Sixty-first North Carolina Regiment, of Hoke’s division, sent to re-enforce the troops engaged at the breach, arrived at the same time with Mahone’s division and proceeded to form in the ravine in rear of Pegram’s salient for the purpose of charging the enemy in the breach. General Mahone had placed one brigade in position, and was waiting for the second to come up, when the enemy advanced upon his line of battle. He met their advance by a charge, in which the Twenty-fifth and Forty-ninth North Carolina and the Twenty-sixth and part of the Seventeenth South Carolina Regiments, all under Colonel Smith of Elliott’s brigade, gallantly joined, moving upon the left of General Mahone’s line. The enemy was driven from three-quarters of the trench cavalier and most of the works on the left of the crater, with moderate loss to our forces and heavy losses to the enemy, especially in prisoners. During this charge a large number of the enemy’s troops, black and white, abandoned the breach and fled precipitately to their rear. Upon this fleeing mass, in full view from our works on the right of the Baxter road, the left regiments of Wise’s brigade poured a raking fire the distance of from 150 to 500 yards, while the left fun of Davidson’s battery (which Colonel Goode had manned with a company of the Thirty-fourth Virginia Regiment, under Capt. Samuel D. Preston) discharged upon them several rounds of canister.

    It is proper her to state that Captain Preston was wounded and Edward Bagby, aide-de-camp to Colonel Goode, commanding brigade was killed while serving this gun, and that Capt. A.F. Bagby, with Company K, Thirty-fourth Virginia Regiment, then took charge of it and served it with fine effect until near the close of the action.

    The first charge having failed in completely dislodging the enemy I ordered all of my available forces to press steadily on both flanks with a view to their final expulsion.

    Between 11 and 12 a.m. a second unsuccessful charge having been made by Wright’s brigade, of Mahone’s division, I proceeded to concern a combined movement on both flanks of the crater, to which most of the enemy’s troops were now drawn. By arrangement a third charge was made a little before 2 p.m., which gave us entire possession of the crater and the adjacent lines. This charge was made on the left and rear of the crater by Sanders’ brigade, of Mahone’s division, by the Sixty-first North Carolina, of Hoke’s division, and Seventeenth South Carolina Regiments, of this division. The last two regiments, under Major Culp, of the Seventeenth South Carolina Regiment, Elliott’s brigade, advanced on the right of Sanders’ brigade. These movements on the left were all placed under the direct supervision of General Mahone, while I proceeded to the right to collect what troops I could from the thin line on that flank to co-operate in the charge and divide the force of the enemy’s resistance. The time allotted only permitted me to draw out the Twenty-third and fragments of the Twenty-second South Carolina Regiment, under Captain Shedd. They moved gallantly forward as soon as the main line was seen advancing on the left and entered the crater with the troops of that line, capturing 3 stand of colors and about 130 prisoners. Previous to this charge the incessant firing kept up by our troops on both flanks and in rear had caused any of the enemy to run the gauntlet of our cross-fires in front of the breach, but a large number still remained, unable to advance, and perhaps afraid to retreat. The final charge was therefore made with little difficulty, and resulted in the complete re-establishment of our lines and the capture of many additional prisoners.

    To Major-General Hoke I am indebted for some sixty men of the Twenty-first South Carolina Regiment, who occupied about 1 p.m. a portion of the works on right of Baxter road, from which my troops were moved to the left, and also for Colonel Radcliffe’s Sixty-first North Carolina Regiment, which re-enforced my command in the morning and joined the charge, as already stated.

    To the able commander and gallant officers and men of Mahone’s division, to whom we are mainly indebted for the restoration of our lines, I offer my acknowledgments for their great service. It is not, however my privilege to make any further report of the operations of that division than is necessary for a proper understanding of those of my own command.

    To the officers and men of my command, whose steadiness, determination, and courage held in check for five hours a greatly superior force elated with success, and aided to inflict on them a chastisement so memorable, my admiration and gratitude are due. It is believed for each buried companion they have taken a twofold vengeance on the enemy, and have taught them a lesson that will be remembered as long as the history of our wrongs and this great revolution endures.

    The troops of this division I would invite to a lesson yet more profitable, in view of what may lie before them. They have learned in practice that which has been taught them by theory and historical example—that the coolness and steadiness of a few resolute and determined officers and men will prove the salvation of a command, whether in an unavoidable surprise or against the disordered lines of a charging column.

    To the prompt and energetic co-operation of Colonel Jones, chief of artillery, and Major Haskel, commanding the mortar battery, and to their officers and men, my acknowledgments are due.

    The gallantry of Private Patrick Sweeney, Company A, Fifty-ninth Virginia Regiment, as been justly reported by his brigade commander. He voluntarily joined in the last charge and captured two colors of the Twentieth Michigan Regiment, and though wounded through the body he persisted in bringing them off, with a Sharps rifle.

    In the last charge Sergt. J.W. Connelly, Company F, Twenty-second South Carolina Regiment, captured the colors of the First Michigan Sharpshooters, which he delivered to General Beauregard in person.

    The zeal and activity of my aides—Capts. E.R. Smith, John E. Saunders, and T.H. Skinner—were arduously tasked on the lines and fully merit the compliment of this official notice. Captain Skinner, who had joined me within the previous twenty-four hours as a volunteer aide, from a foreign soil, besides doing much arduous duty during the day, gallantly joined the troops on the right in the final charge, by which the enemy were utterly repulsed.

    The following is the state of casualties of the division:

    Elliott’s brigade:

    Killed-Officers 15, Men 110

    Wounded-Officers 18, Men 264

    Missing-Officers 14, Men 337

    Total-Officers 47, Men 651

    Aggregate 808

    Wise’s brigade:

    Killed-Officers 1, Men 24

    Wounded-Officers 5, Men 81

    Missing-Officers 0, Men 0

    Total-Officers 6, Men 105

    Aggregate 111

    Ransom’s brigade:

    Killed-Officers 3, Men 11

    Wounded-Officers 7, Men 53

    Missing-Officers 0, Men 8

    Total-Officers 10, Men 72

    Aggregate 82

    Colquitt’s brigade:

    Killed-Officers 0, Men 4

    Wounded-Offiers 3, Men 24

    Missing-Officers 0, Men 0

    Total-Officers 3, Men 28

    Aggregate 31

    Total:

    Killed-Officers 19, Men 149

    Wounded-Officers 33, Men 362

    Missing-Officers 14, Men 345

    Total-Officers 66, Men 345

    Aggregate 923

    For the purpose of preserving the records of this division the following casualties of Gracie’s brigade are added, though that brigade was detached from my command on this occasion. It, however, occupied its usual position in the trenches on my left: Killed, 1 commissioned officer and 9 enlisted men; wounded, 1 commissioned officer and 40 enlisted men; total, 2 commissioned officers and 54 enlisted men.

    The losses of the enemy have been pretty well ascertained, and are between 5,000 and 6,000, including – prisoners.

    The reports* of the brigade commanders of Elliott’s and Wise’s brigade are herewith enclosed. The reports of the other two brigades furnish little else than the casualties.

    Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

    B.R. Johnson, Major General

    Col. G.W. Brent, Assistant Adjutant-General.

    *not found.

    Mark Hudson January 29, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Sam,
    Can you contact me at markhud@chemtreat.com. My relatives were also in Wright’s Battery and wanted to discuss other battles they particapated in.
    Regards,
    Mark

    Sam Blair May 15, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Not sure if this was posted? I found this..
    Eyewitness account of my Great Grandfather’s(Luther Rice Blair) artillery company at The Crater in Petersburg,Va. 1864 He was with Capt. Wright’s Halifax,Va. Artillery…..
    Letter from Major J. C. Coit.
    Cheraw, S. C., August 2, 1879.
    Colonel F. W. McMaster, Columbia, S. C.:
    Dear Colonel,–Yours of the 29th ult. received. In giving you an account of the part taken by the artillery under my command, and my observations of the conduct of the other troops engaged at the battle of the crater in front of Petersburg, on July 30th, 1864, you will excuse me for going somewhat into details, as it seemed to me that I could not give an intelligent account of that engagement without doing so. I would state in the beginning that my camp-desk and all official papers [124] of my command were captured when the enemy’s cavalry made an attack on the artillery train near Appomattox station, on the night of April 8th, 1865. What I state, therefore, is from recollection without reference to official documents.
    My immediate command consisted of four batteries of artillery, of four guns each, to-wit: Bradford’s, of Mississippi, four 20-pounder Parrots; Wright’s, of Halifax, Virginia, four 12-pounder Napoleons; Pegram’s, of Petersburg, Virginia, four 12-pounder Napoleons; Kelly’s, of Chesterfield, South Carolina, (my old battery,) four 12-pounder Napoleons.
    At the time of the explosion of the mine Kelly’s battery was on detached service in North Carolina.
    When General Grant crossed to the south side of the James River my battalion was in position in front of General Butler at Bermuda Hundreds, and was moved upon the lines in front of Petersburg, when Grant made his first attack upon that place from City Point. In the defence of Petersburg, therefore, my command occupied the front from the beginning until the close of the siege. During the ten months of that siege, while the infantry were shifted from point to point, my artillery, except for a short time, occupied the same position. While my recollection therefore as to the position of brigades at certain dates (owing to the frequent changes) may not always be correct, still I was perfectly familiar with the general topography of the country and location of troops upon the part of the line occupied by my command. The same may be said in reference to artillery upon the Jerusalem plank road. These guns being some distance from the front line could be easily removed, and frequent changes were made. There were some mortars on the plank road near the covered way, and some guns near the Gee house on the morning of the explosion, but I do not recollect who commanded them that day. Of these I will speak hereafter. I enclose herewith a sketch from memory of the lines and the position of the troops. Batteries, covered ways, and important points adjacent to the crater. This sketch will probably aid you more in understanding the position of the troops as I recollect than any written description I could give.
    The salient marked A, when the mine was exploded, was occupied by Pegram’s battery, four guns. The battery to the left of the crater, marked B, was Wright’s, of Halifax, Va., four guns. The battery marked C, on north side of Appomattox, was Bradford’s, of Mississippi, four 20-pounder Parrotts.
    This battery was opposite the enemy’s battery No. 1, and was intended [125] to enfilade their lines as far as the Hare house and beyond. These were the batteries under my command on the 30th July, 1864. Elliott’s brigade occupied the position marked A, the right being in a gorge line in rear of Pegram’s battery, and the left extending to or near the ravine in front of Wright’s battery. My recollection is that Ransom’s brigade occupied the line on Elliott’s left, and Grace’s brigade on Ransom’s left. I have no distinct recollection what troops were to Elliott’s right and beyond the centre; I think Wise’s brigade. I do not know who commanded the one-gun battery to the right of the crater. This gun was in a ravine or hollow; was intended to sweep the space in front of the salient on the right, but I am sure could not reach the enemy after they occupied our works. I understood at the time the assault was made that this gun was abandoned by those having it in charge, but was afterwards effectively served; Captain McCabe, in his account of the defence of Petersburg, says by Hampton Gibbs and Lieutenant Chamberlayne. This also is the gun alluded to by General Hunt as being the only gun on the right of the crater that he did not silence. The truth is, it was the only gun on the right that could reach the assaulting columns, and it could not reach them after they entered our works. As to the guns in position on the Jerusalem plank road, in rear of the crater, I have no certain recollection. I remember that a section of Garden’s, South Carolina battery, was there a few days before the battle, but whether it was there on the 30th I do not know. I see by the May No., 1878, Southern Historical papers that Captain Flanner’s North Carolina battery occupied that position. General Bushrod Johnson’s headquarters was upon the Jerusalem plank road, near the cemetery, and is marked in the sketch, General Elliott’s and my own near the spring on the covered way, in rear of his brigade.
    The artillery to the left of Wright’s battery, and to the right of the one gun battery on the right of the crater, may have thrown a few shot into the enemy’s lines in their front, but took no part in the engagement at the crater. During the day some artillery was brought from the right or rear and placed in position on Cemetery hill, but took no part in the engagement. The only artillery actually engaged was Wright’s battery, the battery at the Gee house, and the two mortar batteries marked on sketch M, and the one gun battery to the right of crater (F C). The ravine in which General Mahone formed his division, before making the charge upon the crater, is shown in the sketch to the rear of Elliott’s Headquarters, and extending out from the covered way in a direction between the crater and the Plank road.
    The night before the explosion I remained in Pegram’s battery until [126] 12 o’clock, at which time all was quiet on the lines, the men being in remarkably good spirits, singing songs, &c., all unconscious of the fate that awaited them with the dawn.
    At 12 o’clock I returned to my Headquarters at the spring and slept soundly until awakened at daylight by the dull heavy sound of the explosion and by a sensation as of being rocked in a cradle. In a moment I suspected what had occurred and ran up the line in the direction of Pegram’s battery. When within a few yards of the crater, I was met by the few men of the battery that survived the explosion, and the fate of the remainder was fully revealed. At this time the enemy were pouring over our works into the crater. Immediately after the explosion the enemy opened upon our lines with all the artillery concentrated in our front. The roar of the enemy’s guns, the bursting of shells and rattle of musketry was deafening; yet with all I found the men of Elliott’s brigade bravely manning the works up to the borders of the crater, leaving no front for the entrance of the enemy except such as had been made vacant by the up-heaval of the earth. I immediately made my way down the lines, to the left, to Wright’s battery. The battery was not in the main line, but a few yards in the rear; it bore directly upon the salient at very close range, and was erected for the purpose of defending that front of our works. It was upon the hill to the left of and very near the ravine or covered way, in rear of Ransom’s right. The position was a very elevated one (more elevated than the salient) and as there was a gradual ascent from the ravine to Pegram’s battery, Wright’s guns were enabled to sweep the front of our works over the heads of our men in the line occupied by Elliott’s brigade.
    From the moment of the explosion, until my arrival in Wright’s battery, could not have exceeded twenty or twenty-five minutes. Up to this time no artillery from our lines had opened that I know of. I immediately ordered the battery to open with shrapnell and canister, first sweeping the ground in front of Elliott’s line and the salient. At this time the enemy were still pressing their columns from their lines over the intervening space to the crater. This fire, together with the musketry from Elliott’s brigade and other troops along the line within reach, soon checked the advance of the enemy from their own lines. The crater itself could not contain the masses that had already been hurled into the breach, so that thousands were crowded over its interior rim, and stood in its rear without apparent organization in one immense crowd.
    Having checked the advance of the enemy from their lines, Wright’s guns were turned directly upon the crater, and the masses assembled [127] in its rear. The fire from this battery was unremitting from the time it opened until the close of the engagement by the surrender of the crater, having thrown during the time from five to six hundred shell and canister. Anticipating a large expenditure of ammunition, additional supplies were ordered from the rear and brought in wagons from Cemetery Hill as near our lines as it was safe to do so in rear of Gracie’s right, from which point it was borne by details of men appointed for that purpose. From my position in this battery I had a complete view of all the movements in front and rear of the crater and ground within our lines from the ravine to the plank road. Feeling that our safety depended upon our success in preventing the formation of the enemy, I watched their movements closely, and redoubled the fire when I saw any indication of formation or attempt to advance in the direction of the plank road.
    During the engagement, Bradford’s battery opened a heavy fire with his 20-pounder Parrots, enfilading the enemy’s lines as far as the Hare house and beyond. I cannot speak in too high praise of the conduct of Captain Wright, his officers and men during this engagement. The day was excessively hot, and the labor of serving the guns so rapidly and bearing ammunition from the rear was very exhausting. So busy were we, that though conscious of the continual bursting of shells over us, I was not aware until after the firing ceased, to what a cannonade we had been subjected. Our works were literally battered, and the ground around us and in our rear was so honey-combed by the explosion of mortar shells that you could have walked all over it by stepping from hole to hole. Notwithstanding this heavy fire, the casualties were not great, owing to the fact that the enemy could only obtain an oblique fire upon the front of the battery, and the gunners were protected by heavy traverses between each gun. I may state here that owing to the nearness of the enemy’s lines to the salient, the gun detachments of Pegram’s battery were required to be awake and ready for an assault at all hours of the night and day. This necessitated the relief of the officers and men each day; two officers and sufficient men to man the guns being on duty, the remainder being in the rear. On the morning of the explosion, Lieutenants Hamlim and Chandler being on duty, were both, with twenty men, killed, three or four only of those on duty escaped.
    Now, Colonel, I have stated all that I think necessary in reference to the part taken by the artillery under my command in the engagement of July 30th, 1864. It is not for me to say whose artillery did most effective service on that day. I think, however, I have cause to [128] complain of the slight praise bestowed upon Wright’s battery by Captain McCabe in his account of the defence of Petersburg, (published in the Southern Historical Society papers). Captain McCabe was Adjutant of Pegram’s battalion of artillery, and probably not upon the scene until the arrival of Pegram’s artillery, which was brought from the right of our lines, and I presume was the artillery that took position on Cemetery hill. I am willing to be judged by those who were present, and in position best able to decide. The enemy certainly were in no mean position to know from what point came the most destructive fire. General Potter, of Burnside’s corps, says in the court of inquiry, “The worst fire I saw came from the right (his right). There was a battery there behind some timber, which it was very difficult for our batteries to reach. I ordered my batteries to turn their whole attention to that one, but it apparently produced no effect.” I have no criticisms to make upon Captain McCabe’s account of what was done by others, but I do claim for the men under my command that they merited, and should have, the meed of praise due to those most prominent in the defence of Petersburg on that day.1 [129]
    Captain McCabe, in the same account, has failed to do full justice to the men of Elliott’s brigade; for on page 284, Southern Historical papers, (December, 1876,) he says: “The dread upheaval has rent in twain Elliott’s brigade, and the men to the right and left of the huge abyss recoil in terror and dismay. Nor shall we censure them, * * etc.” Now I have already stated that when I reached the crater, which could not have exceeded ten minutes after the explosion, I found Elliott’s men standing firm and undaunted, almost up to the very borders of the crater. From my position in Wright’s battery, the whole of the line from the ravine to the crater was exposed to my view, and I witnessed the hand-to-hand engagement in each successive charge made by the enemy, and I venture to say that more men were then killed with bayonet and clubbed guns than in any other engagement during the war. The only thing separating our men and the enemy in the same ditch were hastily thrown up traverses, over the tops of which the opposing forces crossed their bayonets and delivered their fire. So stubbornly did Elliott’s men contest every inch of ground, that the enemy failing to press them down the line from the direction of the crater, resorted to the expedient of rushing from the crater down the front of our works, and then by a flank movement mounting the works and jumping pell-mell upon Elliott’s men in the trenches. I witnessed this manoeuvre executed several times, sometimes with success, but oftener they were repulsed or bayoneted as they leaped from the works. In this manner did they gain the little ground they held of our lines to the left of the crater. All beyond the crater was hid from my view by the rim of the crater and intervening ridge. The only mistaken movement I noticed was when one of our regiments, the Twenty-sixth South Carolina Volunteers, I think Smith’s, attempted to leave the line and occupy the open ground between the crater and Elliott’s headquarters. It was an effort gallantly made to interpose and prevent the advance of the enemy in the direction of Cemetery Hill and the plank road. The whole of this ground was swept by the enemy’s artillery and musketry from their main line, not to speak of the fire from those within our works. No troops could stand a moment exposed to such a fire, and such as did not fall were immediately withdrawn. I think it was at this time Elliott was wounded. The saddest sight I saw was the wounded left in this exposed position appealing for help until they [130] sank down in death. Any attempt to remove them would have been vain under that fife.
    It was thus the battle raged from daylight until the arrival of Mahone’s division, which, I think, was near 11 o’clock. The troops under Mahone were formed in the ravine in rear of Elliott’s headquarters, extending from the covered way in a direction between the crater and the Plank road. New hope was inspired by the arrival of reinforcements, and not without good cause, for no sooner did Mahone’s men emerge from that ravine at a double quick than did the immense mass in rear of the crater break, and without standing upon the order of their going, sought shelter in the cover of their main line. The fire of the artillery was increased, and as Mahone’s men neared the crater, Wright’s guns were turned upon the flying masses in front of the salient. The slaughter was terrific, and probably more men were killed in the retreat than in the advance. The victory was virtually won, but those of the enemy within the crater continued for sometime the desperate contest. In my opinion they remained in the crater more from fear of running the gauntlet to their own lines than from any hope of holding their position. At 1 o’clock P. M. the white flag was raised and the final surrender of the crater made.
    From the time of the explosion until the charge of Mahone’s division, the men of Elliott’s brigade bore the brunt of the battle, and with a portion of Ransom’s, were the only infantry troops that I saw opposing the advance of the enemy to Cemetery Hill and the Plank road, at least to the left of the crater. To the bravery and skilful handling of the brigade is due, more than to all other infantry troops, the credit of saving Petersburg on that day.
    This account has been so hastily written, and is so disjointed that I fear it will not be very intelligible. Perhaps, however, you may extract a few grains of wheat from the chaff, and if anything I have said will aid you in giving a more correct account of that battle I shall be amply compensated for the time it has taken me to scratch it off.
    I am, Colonel, very respectfully yours,
    James C. Coit.
    1 Without intimating that Captain McCabe’s sources of information were unreliable, I will state here that an army correspondent of the Richmond papers, in a letter published a day or two after the battle, gave the credit of repelling the enemy to Major Caskie’s battalion, of Virginia. The account was never publicly corrected, and I suppose some future historian will seize upon the files of papers containing that letter as the best evidence to be obtained as to the artillery engaged. The truth is Major Caskie’s battalion of artillery was to the left of Wright’s battery; it could not reach the attacking columns of the enemy, and did not fire a single gun that I know of. I know that Major Caskie, having nothing to do in his front, spent some time with me in Wright’s battery, as being the best position for obtaining a view of the battle. So much for the material out of which history is made up. I think Wright’s battery did most effectual work, for the following reasons: 1st, it was erected for the special purpose of defending the salient; 2d, it was nearest the crater; 3d, The men were well protected from the enemy’s fire, and the gunners fired with deliberation; 4th, the men were inspired to avenge the death of their comrades. Two of the guns of Pegram’s battery were by the explosion thrown over between the two hostile lines, one of them nearly half-way to the enemy’s lines. We recovered both by undermining and drawing them through a ditch into our lines. They were all remounted and placed in battery at the Gee house, where they remained until the evacuation of Petersburg. Only one gun was afterwards placed at the salient. This was a 24 pounder howitzer, and manned by a detachment of Kelly’s South Carolina battery under Lieutenant Race. This gun was not brought out at the evacuation, being too heavy. The orders were to stand by it until the last moment after all the troops were withdrawn, and then to spike it. After sending out the other artillery, and when the troops were all gone I personally attended to the execution of this order. With that gun detachment I was the last to leave that part of the line, made so famous in the defence of Petersburg. Not a Confederate was to be seen as we marched down the line and through the covered way to Petersburg.
    Richmond, VA. 1882

    Sam Blair June 19, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    If any ancestor’s of the men of Wright’s Battery want to meet at The Crater 150th July 30 2014,drop a line! My brother and I are going down from Maryland,and I’ve heard from one or two others who are going. I want to stand where my Great Grandfather Luther Rice Blair stood July 30 1864….

    bschulte June 21, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Thanks Sam! I hope you find some takers…

    Brett

    Leave a Comment

    Previous post:

    Next post: