Clement Anselm Evans.

Confederate military history; a library of Confederate States history online

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Cornell University

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There are no known copyright restrictions in
the United States on the use of the text.

Military History

a library of confederate
states history, in twelve
volumes, written by distin-
guished men of the south,
and edited by gen. clement
a. evans of georgia



Atlanta, Ga.
Confederate Publishing G)mpany

Copyright, 1899,
BY Confederate Publishipjc Company



CHAPTER I. Virginia in 1 860— Her Seven Grand Divisions-
Geological Characteristics, Climate and Agricultural Prod-
ucts—Her Population — Political and Historical Importance 3

CHAPTER II. Slavery in Virginia— The Agitation of the
Slavery Question — Distribution of Slaves in the State — John
Brown's Invasion 17

CHAPTER III. From John Brown's Execution to the Federal
Invasion — The Election of President Lincoln — Meeting of
the Virginia Convention — Governor Letcher's Reply to the
Call for Troops — Seizure of Harper's Ferry — Union with the
Confederate States 32

CHAPTER IV. The Plan of Invasion— Northwestern Virginia
— Grafton, Philippi and Rich Mountain — May to July, 1861 43

CHAPTER V. The I^irst Kanawha Valley Campaign, April to
July, 1861 57

CHAPTER VI. The First Shenandoah Valley Campaign,
April to July, 1861 63

CHAPTER VII. The Bull Run, or Manassas, Campaign,
January to July, 1861 91

CHAPTER VIII. Operations about Norfolk and Yorktown—
Battle of Big Bethel — Burning of Hampton 123

CHAPTER IX. The Tygart's Valley and Cheat Mountain Cam-
paign — Battle of Greenbrier River, or Camp Bartow — Battle
of Alleghany Mountain 152

CHAPTER X. Operations along the Potomac— From First
Manassas to Battle of Leesburg 178

CHAPTER XI. Battle of Leesburg — Operations on the Lower
Potomac and East Shore — Action at Dranesville 187

CHAPTER XII. Stonewall Jackson's Romney Campaign 197

CHAPTER XIII. Review of Military Conditions, Spring of
1 862 208

CHAPTER XIV. Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign of
1862 214

CHAPTER XV. The Peninsula Campaign of 1862— Yorktown,
Williamsburg and Seven Pines 269

CHAPTER XVL The Seven Days' Battles before Richmond. . 281

CHAPTER XVII. Stonewall Jackson's Cedar Run Campaign 304

CHAPTER XVIII. Lee's Campaign against Pope in Northern
Virginia 315

CHAPTER XIX. The Maryland Campaign against McClellan 335

CHAPTER XX. The Fredericksburg Campaign 360

CHAPTER XXI. The Chancellors ville Campaign and Death
of Jackson 375




CHAPTER XXII. The Campaign in Pennsylvania 395

CHAPTER XXIII. The Autumn and Winter Campaigns of

1863 423

CHAPTER XXIV. The Wilderness Campaign against Grant 431
CHAPTER XXV. The Battles of Spottsylvania Court House—

The Defeat of Sigel and Butler 445

CHAPTER XXVI. The Maneuvers on the North Anna River. 458

CHAPTER XXVII. The Richmond Campaign of 1864 463

CHAPTER XXVIII. Early's Lynchburg and Valley Cam-
paigns 476

CHAPTER XXIX. The Siege of Petersburg 516

CHAPTER XXX. Closing Events in Southwest Virginia and

the Valley - 533

CHAPTER XXXI. The Appomattox Campaign and Lee's

Surrender 546




facing page,

Anderson, Joseph R 576

Armistead, Lewis A 576

Army of Virginia, Position of Troops, Aug. 27, 1862 321

AsHBY, Turner 576

Barton, Seth M 576

Beale, Richard L. T 576

Bethel, Battle of (Map) 136

Chambliss, John R ; 576

Chancellorsville, Salem Church and Fredericksporg (Map of)

, Between pages 384 and 385

Chilton, Robert H 576

Cocke, P. St. George 576

Colston, Raleigh E 576

Corse, Montgomery D 576

Dearing, James 576

DeLagnel, Julius A 610

Echols, John 576

Floyd, John B 626

Fredericksburg, Map of Battle 369

Garland, Samuel 674

Garnett, Richard B 642

Garnett, Robert S 642

Gettysburg, Map of Battlefield 416

Harris, David B 642

Heth, Henry 610

Hotchkiss, Jed i

HUNTON, Eppa 626

Imboden, John D 626

Jackson, William L 6io


facing page.

Jenkins, Albert G 674

Johnson, Edward 658

ioNEs, John M 642

ONES, John R 610

ONES, Samuel 626

ones, William E 658

ORDAN, Thomas 610

Temper, James L 642

Lee, Edwin G 658

Lee, Fitzhugh 642

Lee, George W. C 658

Lee, William H. F 658

LiLLEY, R. D 626

lomax, lunsford l 626

Long, Armistead L 642

McCausland, John 610

Magruder, John B. , . . .~ 674

Mahqne, William 658

Manassas, Map of First Battle Between pages 96 and 97

Maury, Dabney H 674

Mechanicsville and Cold Harbor, Map of Battlefield 288

Moore, Patrick T , 658

Munford, Thomas T 610

Page, Richard L 626

Paxton, Elisha P 610

Payne, William H. F 642

Pegram, John 674

Pendleton, William N 674

Pickett, George E 658

Pryor, Roger A 610

Reynolds, Alexander W 626

Richmond and Petersburg (Map of) Between pages 528 and 529

Robertson, Beverly H 674

RossER, Thomas L 674

RuGGLES, Daniel 658

Slaughter, James E 674

Smith, William 626

Starke, William E 642

Stevenson, Carter L 658

Stevens, Walter H 610

Stuart, James E. B 626

Taliaferro, William B 674

Terrill, James B 674

Terry, William 674

Virginia, Map of Battlefields Between pages 572 and 573

Walker, Henry H 626

Walker, James A 610

Walker, R. Lindsay 658

Weisiger, Daniel A 658

Wharton, G. C 642

Wickham, Williams C 626

Wilderness and Spottsylvania, Maps of Battles 440

Winchester, Battle of (Map of Route to) 240

Wise, Henry A 6to




Maj. Jed. Hotchkiss.



VIRGINIA was, in i860, in nearly all the particulars
of area, resources, productions and population, one
of the leading States of the Union, just as she had
been from colonial and revolutionary times. Her
influence in the councils of the nation was very great, if
not even paramount, and she was looked up to, not only as
"the mother of States and of statesmen," but as the ar-
dent defender of the Union, in the formation of which she
had taken the leading part. One-sixteenth of the native
population of the United States, in i860, claimed her soil
as their birthplace ; and it was said that a majority of the
members of Congress, at that time, were either natives'
of Virginia, or the sons or grandsons of those who had-
been bom within her borders.

The geographical position and general relations of
Virginia gave her a commanding position. Classed as
one of the Middle Atlantic States, situated midway be-
tween Maine on the northeast and Florida on the south-
east, she was, in reality, the representative mid-coast^
State of the Union; having, in consequence of her posi-'
tion and variety of land relief, many of the characteris-
tics of the States lying both to the north and south of her.
Because of her great extension, of over 500 miles, from
the Atlantic across the Atlantic highlands to the Ohio,
she had many of the features and adaptations of the
States lying to the west as well as of those on the
northwest and southwest. She was also the eastern one
of the central belt of States, as the latitude of the en-
trance to Chesapeake bay very nearly corresponds to that
of the Golden Gate of California.

In extent of surface Virginia was one of the greatest of
the States east of the Mississippi river, her area then


being about 68,000 square miles, while New York had
47,000, all of New England 68,348, and Georgia but
59,000. Her greatest breadth from the North Carolina
line to the northern end of the "panhandle," within 90
miles of Lake Erie, was about 430 miles; her greatest
length, from east to west along the North Carolina and
Tennessee lines, from the Atlantic to Cumberland gap,
was 440 miles. Her outline was varied and richly devel-
oped. On the east the Virginian sea of the Atlantic and
Chesapeake bay — with its many tidal rivers and estuaries,
some penetrating her territory fully 150 miles, dividing
it into numerous large and small peninsulas and furnish-
ing more than 1,500 miles of tide-washed shore line, with
numerous harbors of unsurpassed capacity and depth —
permeate over 11,000 square miles of her tidewater coun-
try. The navigable Ohio belonged to her all along her
northwestern border, receiving numerous navigable
tributaries that drained the larger part of her Trans-
Appalachian territory.

The relief characteristics of the State were noteworthy
and remarkable. These divided it into seven natural
grand divisions, each differing from the other in soil,
adaptation to production, climate and other character-
istics, and each equal in area to some of the States of the
Union ;

1. The Tidewater, about 11,000 square miles in area,
is the great low-lying plain that extends from the Atlan-
tic border westward from 150 to 200 miles, rising from
«ea level to an elevation of about 200 feet at the head of
ihe tide, where it meets the granitic step, or "Coast
Tidge, ' ' at the borders of the Midland, at the first falls of
the rivers, where are situated the commercial and man-
ufacturing cities of Alexandria, Fredericksburg, Rich-
raond and Petersburg. Many of the most important bat-
tles of the war of 1861-65 in Virginia were fought along
this "Coast ridge," generally a sharply-defined line of

2. The Midland is the undulating higher plain of the
Atlantic slope, somewhat triangular in form, that ex-
tends from the eastern rim of the "ridge" westward to
the broken range of hills and low mountains called the
coast range of the Atlantic. Its area is about 12,500
square miles. It is intersected by many eastwardly flow-
ing rivers ; its surface is rolling or uneven, and deeply


carved into stream valleys with intervening watershed
ridges. It rises from an altitude of from 150 to 200 feet
on the east to one of from 300 to 500 on the west.

3. The Piedmont is the greatly diversified region
lying between the eastern foot of the Coast range moun-
tains and the eastern foot of the Blue ridge. Its area is
nearly 7,000 square miles; in altitude it rises from an
average of nearly 400 feet along its Midland border to
one of nearly 1,000 feet along its Blue ridge border,
while its included mountain ranges and Blue ridge spurs
vary in altitude from 1,000 to 4,000 feet. It is a genuine
piedmont, or foot-of -mountain country, that extends for
a distance of over 300 miles along the eastern side of the
Blue ridge from the Potomac to the North Carolina line,
with an average breadth of nearly 25 miles. Its greatly
varying forms of relief make it one of the most attract-
ive and picturesque portions of the State.

4. The Blue ridge is a many-branched mountain
chain, with swelling domes and considerable plateaus,
extending for some 300 miles entirely across the State,
from the northeast to the southwest, varying in elevation
from about 1,000 feet near the Potomac to over 4,000 feet
in the plateau in the southwest, on which are the three
Blue ridge counties of the State. This is not only a
striking feature in the landscape, from both its eastern
and its western sidfes, but is one of the most important
military features of the State. It played an important
part in the many engagements of the Confederate war
that took place in or near the passes that cut or cross it.
Its area, as a grand division, is about 2,000 square miles.

5. The Great Valley, or the valley of Virginia, is the
elevated plateau-like country l5dng between the western
base of the Blue ridge and the eastern one of the North
mountains — Kittatinny as a whole — of the Appalachian
system. Its length is over 300 miles and its average breadth
about 20 miles, giving it an area of about 7,600 square
miles of the most fertile and productive portion of Vir-
ginia. It is her part of the great limestone valley that
extends, for 1,500 miles, from near the mouth of the St.
Lawrence far into Alabama. It is composed of a series
of river basins, those of the Shenandoah and parts of
those of the James, the Roanoke, the New river and the
headwaters of the Tennessee. Its altitude varies from
500 to 2,600 feet. Its surface is diversified by hills and


detached mountain chains and ranges that render it one
of the most remarkable fields for military operations in
all the country, as is attested by the numerous battles
that took place within it in Virginia and its extensions
into Maryland and Tennessee.

6. Appalachia, or Appalachian Virginia, is the moun-
tain belt, some 350 miles long, that extends west of the
Great Valley entirely across the State ; wedge-shaped in
form, some 60 miles wide in the northeast and narrowing
to 20 in the southwest. It is traversed by a large number
of parallel ranges that vary in altitude from 2,000 feet to
about 5, 000, with long and generally narrow valleys
between these mountain ranges running parallel with
them. Within these mountain ranges and running with
their valleys, are the principal tributaries of the Potomac
in the northeast, of the James and the Kanawha in the
central portions, of the Tennessee in the southwestern
portions, and in the northwestern, the easterly branches
of the Monongahela; all of which, in finding their way
out, break through the successive ranges of the moun-
tains and thus furnish ways through them. In i860, Vir-
ginia's portion of Appalachia was divided into eighteen
counties. The larger portion of this territory was cov-
ered with forests. As a whole, it was a most difficult
region for the conduct of military operations, of which it
was largely the theater during the first year of the war.

7. Trans- Appalachian Virginia, or Trans- Alleghany,
as it was often called, is the region beyond the Appa-
lachian or main mountain ranges ; it is the inclined table-
land that slopes to the northwest from the eastern outcrop
of the great conglomerate rock border of the Trans- Appa-
lachian coal-field to the Ohio, descending from an average
elevation of nearly 3,000 feet along its eastern border, in
the great Flat- top mountain and its extensions, to one of
about 600 along the Ohio. The streams have deeply
-eroded its long westward slope, leaving it in high relief
with long and narrow stream valleys separated by inter-
vening ridges, generally rugged in character. The val-
leys widen and the between ridges sink as they approach
the Ohio. This great region was divided into forty-one
counties, nearly every one of which is underlaid by coal
of highly-useful varieties, making it, intrinsically, one of
the most valuable portions of the State; while a large
part of its surface was covered with virgin forests.


The waters of Virginia are among the most striking of
its characteristics. Its tidal waters are very remarkable
and inviting, by their extent and character, to commer-
cial enterprises, in which Virginia took a fair part during
all her history up to i860, and in consequence of which
she is now rapidly advancing, in the growth of her com-
mercial ports, to the position she is entitled to from her
large facilities for engaging in commerce. Her fluvial
waters are numerous and full volumed, draining and
watering every portion of the State, and furnishing nu-
merous water powers. In i860, those in her Trans- Appa-
lachian territory, the Ohio and its tributaries, were the
avenues of a large internal commerce. Virginia early
embarked in the improvement of many of her fluvial
waterways by canals and slack-water navigation, espe-
cially patronizing the Chesapeake & Ohio canal, to open
a highway to the West by the Potomac and the Mononga-
hela, and the James River & Kanawha canal, for a com-
mercial highway up the James and down the Kanawha to
the Ohio farther to the south. The State as a whole is
undoubtedly one of the best watered regions in the
United States.

Virginia is unique in geological characteristics. She
has within her borders, large areas underlaid by the rocks
of every geological formation found in North America.
This means that she possesses nearly every variety of soil
and most kinds of valuable economic rocks and minerals,
especially the best of granites, slates, brownstones, sand-
stones, and other building rocks ; great deposits of the
ores of iron, zinc, lead and copper ; a wide belt of gold-
bearing rocks extends through the length of the midland ;
limestones in the greatest abundance, especially in the
valley and throughout Appalachia; and, surpassing all
others in value, she had, in i860, over 17,000 square miles
of bituminous and semi-bituminous coals, mostly in
Trans- Appalachia, but with a considerable area in the
midland near Richmond, that in the number of beds and
the variety of adaptation were tmsurpassed by those of
any Statfe in the Union.

The climate of Virginia presents a great variety in con-
sequence of her position in relation to the ocean, and
especially because of the relief of the surface of the
State, from the low levels of tidewater, where grow and
flourish the long-leaf pine, live-oak, cotton and other


warm-temperate productions, to the high levels of the
Blue ridge, the Valley, Appalachia and Trans-Appa-
lachia, where are broad areas over 4,000 feet above the
sea level, and to the still higher ridges of the southwest-
ern Blue ridge and of western Appalachia, where flour-
ish the pines, the balsams and the larches of the cool-tem-
perate regions of the United States. Her high mountain
chains intercept and turn aside the great storm waves of
the northwest, but taking from them their moisture,
while they intercept the vapor- laden winds from the
ocean on the southeast, and from them draw tribute of a
larger precipitation. As a whole, it is a State with per-
ennial rains, long growing seasons, and a climate of
means rather than of extremes.

Her adaptation to productions, both animal and veget-
able, are great and varied. Of the 31,117,036 acres of her
land embraced in farms, in i860, 11,437,821 acres were
improved, and 19,679,215 acres were unimproved, leav-
ing' an area of over 13,000,000 acres not included in
farms, which was mostly embraced in the great patents,
embracing much of the Appalachian regions, which were
covered with original forests. The cash value of the land
embraced in farms at that time was $371,761,661. Of
the other States, only New York, Illinois and Ohio had
more acres of land under cultivation, and none but Texas
had more unimproved land embraced in farm boundaries.
Virginia ranked fifth in the cash value of her farms,
being only exceeded by Illinois, New York, Ohio and
Pennsylvania. Her agricultural productions embraced
all the cereals, tubers, pulse, grass and grass seeds of the
temperate region, to which were added great quantities
of tobacco, considerable cotton and hemp, a large amount
of sweet potatoes, the products of the warm-temperate
regions, besides all temperate fruits in profusion. She
ranked among the leading States of the Union in the pro-
duction of all the great staples of the country except the
rice, cotton and sugar of the far South. She was the lead-
ing State in the production of tobacco, and ranked fifth
in that of wheat and sixth in Indian corn and oats. Vir-
ginia ranked high also in the numbers and quality of her
domestic animals, her breeds of all which were among
the best in the whole country.

The people of Virginia were of almost unmixed nativ-
ity, the foreign-born of her population in i860 being but


35,058, or less than one-fortieth of the whole. The basis
of her white population was mainly English and Scotch,
with Germans (mainly in the Valley), French Hugue-
nots (mainly in Midland), and some Irish. Her negroes
were mostly the descendants of imported Africans, but
among them were numbers that had been sold into her
borders from Northern States previous to the emancipa-
tion of slaves in those States. The condition of her peo-
ple was, as a whole, as happy and contented as could be
presented by any of the States of the Union. Cultivable
lands were plentiful and comparatively cheap. Nearly'
all articles needed to supply human wants were abund-
ant and held at reasonable prices. Labor was well paid,
especially that of a skilled character. The great body of
the people was prosperous and steadily improving in cir-
cumstances. Kindly relations existed throughout the
commonwealth, not only between the races, but between
the rich and the poor. The laws were respected and
justly and ably administered by an incorruptible judici-
ary, from the gentlemen justices of the peace of the coun-
ties up to her distinguished judges of the circuit courts
and the court of appeals. Crimes aflEecting persons and
property were rare, and the churches of the leading reli-
gious denominations of the country, the Baptists, Meth-
odists, Presbyterians and Episcopalians, this order repre-
senting their comparative numbers, were everywhere
distributed, well attended and cared for by able and
zealous preachers of the Gospel. She was among the
first of the States to establish asylums for the insane and
an institution for mutes and the blind.

While Virginia did not have in i860 a public school sys-
tem under State control, as she now has, she made ample
provision for all those desiring to be educated. In
nearly every neighborhood throughout the State were
private schools, generally well taught, to which all had
access, the State paying the tuition of all who asked such
assistance. Academies and preparatory schools, most of
them classical and taught by well-educated gentlemen,
were found in all parts of the State. Many of these,
conducted by men of high social standing and with
numerous assistants, were not only locally patronized but
drew large numbers of pupils from other States, espe-
cially those of the South and Southwest. Her military
institute, attended by appointed students from every por-


tion of the State, was widely known, from the character
of its training, as the "West Point of the South." Nu-
merous denominational colleges, some of them dating
from colonial times, with able faculties, were established
at various places in the State, while the university of
Virginia, of which Jefferson was the father and which
was liberally subsidized by the State, was, beyond contro-
versy, the leading university of the United States in the
■character of its professors, its methods of instruction and
training, and its large attendance of students from Vir-
ginia and States of the South and West. From its
schools of law, medicine, science and literature, had
heen graduated a large proportion of the leading profes-
sional men not only of the Southern but of many of the
Western States, even to the shores of the Pacific. The
State patronized a medical college at Richmond, and
from the Union theological seminary of the Presbyteri-
ans, near Hampden- Sidney college, and from the Episco-
pal theological seminary, near Alexandria, many able

Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 1 of 153)