I wanted to take a moment to thank K. S. McPhail (New Kent County History) for sending along multiple postwar accounts of the Siege of Petersburg, including a lengthy reminiscence on the August 21, 1864 action at the Battle of Globe Tavern by Confederate veteran John H. Neil. Neil was a member of the 7th South Carolina Battalion, of Johnson Hagood’s South Carolina Brigade, Hoke’s Division. Unfortunately for Neil and his fellow soldiers, Hagood’s Brigade marched into a strong spot in the Union lines, and were surrounded on three sides as they drove home their charge. Hagood’s Brigade took horrendous casualties that day, including Neil, who was wounded.
A second article sent by Mr. McPhail discusses an incident which occurred during this charge. Captain Dennis B. Dailey of the 2nd Wisconsin, Iron Brigade, Cutler’s Division, V Corps, Army of the Potomac, saw the confusion which reigned among Hagood’s men as they were being hit from all sides by Union fire. He spurred his horse out amongst Haggod’s men, and had convinced some to surrender, when Johnson Hagood came charging up. In the ensuing confrontation, Hagood shot Dailey at point blank range, took back the regimental colors in dailey’s possession, and saved his brigade from disaster. Dailey survived his wound, and sent a letter to Hagood in 1879 asking him to corroborate the story to be used in his pension application. Hagood happily complied, for he thought he had killed Dailey that day. It’s a fascinating story of the Siege of Petersburg, one which is almost unknown among Civil War buffs.
Thanks to Mr. McPhail and others like him, I’m slowly retelling these stories at The Siege of Petersburg Online. If you have newspaper accounts concerning any aspect of the Siege of Petersburg, I’ll gladly accept and use them, so don’t be shy!