James M. (James Madison) Folsom.

Heroes and martyrs of Georgia. Georgia's record in the revolution of 1861 online

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reinforce General Stonewall Jackson ; at which point they
arrived on the IStb; and on the 19th left Staunton, and were
transported to Frederick's Hall, remaining there for two days to


prepare for the great work anticipated by that far-seeing chieftain,
General Jackson.

On the 26th, the regiment arrived in front of Richmond,
opposite Mechanicsville, and at four o'clock in the evening, on
the 2Vth of June, they went into the battle of Gaines' Farm,"
charging the enemy's batteries, placed in position under the
immediate supervision of General McClellan himself, and said by
liim to he impregnable; but the intrepid spirits composing the
Texas brigade, needed only the command of onward, to drive the
vandals from their guns, and turn them upon the retreating foe.
The battle closed about nine o'clock in the evening, the whole
country being covered with the victims of the horrid strife.

The Eighteenth Georgia in this engagement, captured rvinc
splendid brass pieces of artillery, with a loss to the regiment of
thirty-seven killed, and one hundred and six wounded. They
remained on the field the remainder of the night. The 28th was
spent in burying the dead, and caring for the wounded. On the
29th, thev took up the line of march in pursuit of McClellan's
retreating and badly whipped forces. On the 31st, the regiment
received a heavy shelling at White Oak Swamp, but sustained no
loss. On the 1st of July, it took an active part in the battle of
Malvern Hill. The casualties in this fight were three killed and
seven wounded. On the 4th, the regiment marched to Charles
City Court House, The regiment was very much fatigued, but
after remaining at the latter place four days, were ready and
willing to perform any duty which might have been assigned it.

On the '8th, the regiment marched for Richmond, where it
arrived on the 10th. Here it went into camp, where it quietly
remained tmtil the 7th of August, when, in response to the
command of fonmrd, it marched to the plains of Manassas,
whore it arri\ cd on the 29th of Atigust, having undergone many
hardships and ]>iivfilions, being frequently compelled to subsist
on green corn, as it was impossible to obtain any other kind of
food. The regiment dnring this march, was engaged in two
different encounters with the enemy, the first at Freeman's Ford,
and the second at Thoroughfare G.i]».

At six oVlork in the evening of tlie 29th of August, the
raiment engngcd the enemy in a hand to hf nd encounter. Afler
two hours hard fighting, they succeedt<l in repulsing the enemy,
with the following result: A large number of jirisoners were
taken. Private T. H. Northcutt of Company A, captured one


staftd of colors belonging to the Twenty-fourth New York
Regiment. On the 30th, the regiment participated in the second
battle of Manassas, completely routing the enemy, killing the
greater portion of the Fifth and Tenth New York Zouave
Regiments, and capturing a battery of four guns. •

During the heat of the xingagement, Private William Kay
succeeded in capturing the colors of the Tenth New York
Kegiment. The casualties during this terrific battle in the old
Eighteenth, amounted to thirty-seven killed and eighty-seven

August 31st was spent in burying the dead and attending to
the wounded. The regiment left during the latter date, and by
severe marching arrived at the Potomac on the 5th day of Sep-
tember, crossed and marched to Frederick City, Maryland, where
it remained and rested three days. On the 14th of Sej^tember
a portion of the army were hotly engaged at Boonsborough
Mountain. Hood's Brigade, by a forced march, arrived in time
to take a part in the engagement. The Eighteenth Georgia in
this fight lost but one wounded. On the 17th of SSptember
the rfegiment was engaged in the battle of Sharpsburg, and from
five o'clock in the morning until late in the evening, bore a prom-
inent part in that bloody strife, losing (27) twenty-seven killed,
and (63) sixty-three wounded. During the night of the 18th
the regiment recrossed the Potomac at Shepherdstown, and
were there compelled to assist the teamsters in gaining the
heights on the south bank of the river, the mud being too deep
for the half-worn down animals to drag their loads througli,
which consisted of principally army stores, collected from the
enemy while in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The regiment
encamped for the remainder of the night at Martinsburg, and
after a week of much needed rest, again took up the line of march
for Winchester, where it went into camp on the 29th, remain-
ing there for one month. At this point the regiment received a
new supply of clothing, of which they stood greatly in need,
particularly of shoes. Many of the poor Georgia boys had
marched mile after mile and fought several battles with their
feet bare, and bleeding at almost every step. On the 29th of
October the regiment again struck camp and marched for Cul-
pepper, arriving there on the 1st day of November, and on the
20th of the same month marched for Frederitksburg, at which
place it arrived and went into camp on the 28th, Under an


order from the War Department, the regiment was transferred
from General Hood's Texas lirigade to General Cobb's Georgia
Brigade. This change, at the time, was not much relished by
the majority of the regiment, who were not pleased at the idea
of leaving their old and tried companions in arms, the Texans ;
but their new commander, the lamented Cobb, soon won their
confidence and admiration by his m'banity and zeal for their wel-
fare, together with the many soldierly qualities which had already
marked him out for high preferment in the military lijie, and
which were unfortunately too soon thereafter lost to his brigade
and country.

On December 13th, together with the remainder of Cobb's
Brigade, the regiment went into the battle of Fredericksburg,
in which engagement it sustained very nobly its former dearly
bought reputation. It was upon this day that the brigade lost
its gallant leader, General Cobb, who fell while among his noble
band of Georgians, speaking words of encouragement, and cheer-
ing them with his presence.

In this engagement, one of the severest of the war, the Eigh-
teenth killed, in all probability, one half its number — itself sus-
taining a loss of fourteen killed and thirty wounded.

The regiment remained in camp after the battle of Fredericks-
burg until the night of the 30th of April, when it marched up to
Chancellorsville, where it lay in line of battle until the 3d of
May, when the great contest began. The regiment was very
hotly engaged for one hour and twenty-five minutes, confronting
the formidable works of the enemy, and sustaining a loss of
twenty-one killed and eighty-six wounded. On May 4th, an
advance was made upon the enemy and he was driven toward
Banksford, losing a great many jjrisoners. On the let of June
the regiment marched for Culpepper Court House, where it
arrived after two days severe marching. On the 16th, it marched
from Culpepper by way of Woodsville, Sperryville, Little Wash-
ington, to Parria, and crossed tlie Shenandoah Hiver. On the
2l8t, recrofised the viver at Ashby's Gap, and lay in line of battle
as support to cavalry. On the 22d, it crossed back to same camp.
On the 24th, marched by way of Millwood, Berryville, Summer
Point, Smythville and Darksville, to Martinsliurg; crossed the
Potomac, on the 26th, at Willianisi)ort, and maichod by way
of llagerstown, Middleburg, Green Castle, Chamlx-rsburg and
Cashtown, to Gettysburg, where it arrived on the 31st.



The troops suffered very severely on this inarch from the
excessive heat ; so great was it indeed that as many as one hun-
dred cases of sun-stroke occurred in the division during one day.
On the 2d day of July the regiment was engaged in the battle
of Gettysburg, driving the enemy for over a mile, and resting on
the field during the night. The casualties were nine killed and
thirty-one wounded. On the night of the 4th, marched by way
of Fairfield and Waterloo, to HagerstoAvn, remaining at the lat-
ter place until the 14th of August, awaiting an attack from the
enemy. At that time the regiment recrossed the Potomac at
Williamsport, marched to Bunker Hill ; from thence to Culpep-
per Court House, where it arrived on the 24th instant. While
on the march from Bunker Hill to Culpepper, the regiment was
engaged in dislodging a body of the enemy's cavalry, sustaining
no loss whatever.

General Longstreet's Corps being selected by General Lee to
reinforce General Bragg, in the West, the regiment accordingly,
on the 9th of September, was placed on the cars at Hanover
Junction, and were, without delay, transported to Chickamauga,
Georgia, where it arrived on the 19th, but did not participate in
the battle of that name, as the brigade could not get up to the
scene of action in time. After some days spent in skirmishing
with the enemy, in which the regiment lost altogether three men
wounded, it was again, on the 5th of October, transported by
railroad, by way of Cleveland, Charlestown and Athens, to Sweet
Water, Tennessee. On the 12th, it marched from Sweet Water,
by way of Philadelphia, Morganton, Lowdon, Lenoir Station, to
Campbell's Station, where it arrived on the iVth and took ])art
in a heavy skirmish with the enemy, but sustained no loss of life.
On the 18th, marched within two miles of Knoxville. Heavy
skirmishing was inaugurated and continued every day until the
29th instant, when tlie Eighteenth participated in the celebrated
charge of McLaws' Division on Fort Lowdon, in which the regi-
ment sustained one of the most irreparable losses which could
have befallen it, viz: the loss of its gallant leader, Colonel S. Z.
Ruff. Each member of the regiment, with perhaps a very few
exceptions, mourned the loss of their Colonel as they would
the loss of a father or a brother. Having been led by him in
every engagement, save two or three, they had become ardently
attached to him, always feeling that all M^as right with the
Eighteenth Georgia, at least, when Colonel Ruff was in command.


All honor to his name. The Colonel was commanding Wofford's
Brigade when he received the shot that ended his earthly career.
He received his mortal wound while endeavoring to scale the
walls of the fort. His name will long occupy a place in the
memories of the members of the regiment, who he had so long
commanded. May he rest in peace. During this engagement,
the regiment lost fifteen killed, and twenty-three wounded. On
the night of the 4th of December, the regiment marched by way
of Rutledge and ]\Ioorsburg, to Bean Station, where, on the 13th,
it participated in a small skirmish with the enemy; remaining at
the latter place until the 20tli, when it marched across the Hols-
ton river to Russelville, and received orders to build winter
quarters. The men since the departure of the regiment from
before Chattanooga, and during the hard marching and fighting
up to the time of their arrival at Russelville, had suffered severely
for clothing, especially for shoes and blankets, and the weather
being extremely cold in that region, adding to which the contin-
ued snow and rain, showed many cases of real misery ; but the
spirits of these noble sons of the Empire State rose proudly above
all physical suffering, and but few murmurs were ever heard.

The men went to work with a will, and soon had some very
comfortable cabins erected, just in time for the Christmas holi-
days, and it is almost needless to add that this mode of living
was duly appreciated by all.

The regiment remained in quarters until the 11th of February,
when it moved to New Market, when they again built winter
quarters, and there remained until the 22d, when they marched
to Greenville, remaining there until the 28tb of March, when
they again took the road marching for Bristol, where they arrived
on the 31 St.

The regiment while encamped at Greenville, reerdisted xmani-
mc/iisly for the tear. On the 10th of April, the regiment was
placed on board the care, and transported to Charlottesville,
Virginia. From thence they marched to Gordonsville, and from
thence to the battle ground of the Wilderness; arriving there
just in lime by a forced march, to participate in the memorable
battle fought on the 6th of May. The regiment with the
remainder of Wofford's Brigade, went into the fight at eight
o'clock in the morning, and very soon the command fonrard^
was given, and in a few moments, the leaden messengers of death
might be heard whistling through the ranks. The enemy were


Stubborn, and refused to give an inch of ground. Just at this
time, General Woflbrd asked and obtained permission to make a
flank movement on the enemy's, left, "which was attended with
the most signal and triumphant success. Done as it was, with
great promptness and celerity of movement, it caused the utter
rout of the enemy all along his front, thereby turning the tide of
battle in favor of General Lee.

General Wofford merits a great deal of credit for the masterly
manner in which this move was planned and carried into
execution. The regiment lost in this engagement, seven killed
and thirty-seven wounded. On the night of the 1th of May, the
regiment marched for Spottsylvania Court House, arriving there
at eleven o'clock, on the morning of the 8th. Although the
men were completely exhausted, they were immediately put into
position in the lines, and on the 3 2th, participated in the battle
known as the Hor»e Shoe, during which the Eighteenth charged
the enemy, and retook a portion of the fortifications. The
regiment lost in this battle, ten men killed and thirty wounded.
After some fighting and marching, the regiment reached Coal
Harbor, and there on the 1st of June, was engaged in the battle
known by that name, losing four men killed and twenty-five

Among the historic regiBaents of Georgia proudly stands the battle-scarred
Eighteenth. Though no minstrel has timed his harp to sing the praises,
though not seeking, and therefore not ol^taining a newspaper reputation, this
noble regiment has gained a name which will live through all future time, in
the memory of those who have so closely watched its career of glory. Twenty
times has its battle flag, the glorious Cross of the Confederacy, been observed
with its fiery folds flashing brightly over as many gory fields. The soil
of Vicginia has "drank, deeply drank" the life blood of many of these
noble Georgians, as half clad and freezing, with feet bare and bleeding at
every step, they plunged, with the startling, piercing, enthusiastic yell of the
Southern soldierj', into the midst of the fight, driving in utter rout, the well
dressed Federals before them. The sufferings of our forefathers at the
historic Valley Forge, can scarce compare with the sufferings of the members
of this and other regiments, but amid all their privations, when hunger with
its gnawing pangs attacked them, and they suffering with a hundred discom-
forts, at the call of their leader, they would spring to their arms, and rush
into the midst of the fray, caring for nought but for victory to again perch
upon their banners.




The Sixth Georgia was organized at Atlanta, Georgia, on the
2'7th day of May, 1861, and was composed of the following com-
panies :

Company A-
Com]>any B-
Company C-
Couipany D-
Company E-
Company F-
Company G-
Company H-
Company I-
Company K-

-Hancock County,

-Houston "

-Crawford "

-Twijrffs " •

-Oglethorpe "

Captain W. M. Arnold, Commanding.

Captain John G. Hannah,

Captain C. D. Anderson,

Captain John W. Newton,

Captain Wilde C. Cleveland,

Captain E. H. Shackleford,

Captain John T. Griffin,

Captain A. H. Colquitt,

Captain John A. Barclay,

Captain John T. Loftin,


Number of men orip;inally enlisted,
Number of recruits and conscripts.





Killed in action,
Died of disease,

Which FhowB a logs by death of
To which add discharged




eTl men.

Making a total Iobs to the regiment of .

Tliis regiment was mustered into service b)' Majer Elzey, and
was the first from tlie iState of Georgia,* and I believe from the
Confederacy, enlisted for the war. Cajilain A. it. Colquitt was
elected Colonel ; Cajttain J. M. Newton, Lieutenant Colonel, and
Philemon Tracy, of Bihb, M.njor. Private W. F. Plane was
elected Captain of Company II, and First Lieutenant Lewis J.
Dupree was promoted Captain of Company D.

*I shall give the history of this regiment in the language of Colonel Loftin,
itfl commander.


The regiment at once proceeded to Richmond, Virginia, and
at that place received orders to report immediat-ely to Colonel J.
B. Magruder, at Yorktown, Virginia.

On the 4th of June, 1861, six days before the battle of Bethel,
we reached Yorktown. Though within hearing of the guns, we
did not participate in the- first infantry engagement of the war.
While anxiously awaiting orders to join our comrades on the
field, intelligence reached us that our arms were victorious, and
that Butler was retreating to his stronghold at Fortress Monroe.
We were stationed at Yorktown from June 4th, 1861, until the
3d of May, 1862. During these eleven months, with the excep-
tion of a slight skirmish, the Sixth Georgia did no fighting; but
by thorough drilling, and those long and repeated marches by
which General Magruder threatened first one point and then
another, and thus, by artful and rapid movements with an incon-
siderable force, kept a large and formidable army inside their for-
tifications, the regiment was preparing for the arduous duties and
brilliant achievements of the future. While at Yorktown we
lost one hundred and twenty-five men ; and very often by far
the greater portion of the regiment was prostrated by sickness.
Many of the diseases were incident to, and inseparable from,
camp life, and the great and sudden' change in the mode of
living ; but in my judgment, the greater part had their origin in
defective policing of the camp. Those who thus died, far from
their kindred and their homes, deserve not less the love and
admiration of their country, than those who fell upon the field
of battle. Hundreds of our sick were removed to Gloucester
county, on the opposite side of the York ; and through the
unprecedented attention of her worthy citizens, the lives of many
were saved. Their fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters could
not have treated them with greater kindness. The names of Dr.
Jones and his estimable wife, Mr. and Mrs. Baytop, Mr. and
Mrs. Catlett, Mr, and Mrs. Stevens, and Mr. and Mrs. Stubbs,
and others, will be cherished in aifectionate remembrance as long
as a single member of the Sixth Georgia survives. They fully
sustained the fai'-famed reputation of the Old Dominion for
hospitality. In the late fiery ordeal through which the citizens
of Gloucester have passed, from Yankee invasion, she has had
the cordial sympathy of the members of the Sixth Georgia, and
it has been a common remark in the regiment, that there are no
people in the defence of whose homes and firesides its members


would sooner pour out their blood. On the 5th of April, Gen-
eral McClellan, with more than one hundred thousand men, -Nvas
brought to a halt in front of the work at Yorktown, by the
brave and dauntless little array of General Magruder, numbering
not more than nine thousand. On the 16th, the Sixth Georgia
was, for the first time, under fire, having been thrown out a»
skirmishers, a few hundred yards in advance of the works, to
discover the -precise position of the enemy, II«re Ave liad
three men wounded, Dr. James M. Montgomery, of Company
H, being one of them, and the first man ever Mounded in the
regiment. After the arrival of General Johnson's army at
Yorktown, we were temporarily attached to a brigade com-
manded by Brigadier General Gabriel J. Rains, of torpedo
notoriety, and placed in the Division of General D. H. Hill. On
the 3d of May, with General Johnson's army, we evacuated
Yorktown and commenced the retreat, which after great suffer-
ing and privation, ended in the works around Richmond. At
no time during the war has the Sixth Georgia suffered as it did
on this retreat.^ At the battle of Williatnsburg, though on the
field we did not engage the enemy. We reached Richmond,
broken down and exhausted, as did the entire army. Fortu-
nately for the cause of the Confederacy, General McClellan gave
time for rest and to revive the broken spirits of the troops: and
in a few weeks they were ready and anxious to drive back the

In the battle of Seven Pines, on the 31st of May, the regiment
was for the first time, heavily engaged with the enemy. The
right companies sustained very heavy loss in this action. We
lost besides many other gallant soldiers, Adjutant James Reid, a
young man of thefinest promise, an elegant scholar, a brave soldier,
and one who had endeared himself to the entire regiment, bv
his gentlemanly deportment, unostentatious manners, and kind
and noble heart. This is the only battle in which Colonel
Colquitt commanded the reiginent, as shortly afterward he was
placed in command of the brigade, and subserjucntly received,
after the battle of Sharpsbiirg, the well merited appointment of
Brigadier General. From the b.ittle of Seven Pines, until the
26th of June, the regiment was quietly encamped on the
Williamsburg road, al»out four miles from Riclmiond ; at which
time, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel J. M. Newton, it
broke up camp, preparatory for the great battles around Rich-


mond. By ten o'clock, A. M., of tlie 26tli of June, after a march
of about ten miles, we halted in sight of Mechanicsville, and
impatiently listened for the guns, that were to inaugurate the
battles upon which the fate of Richmond depended.

About four P. M., the battle commenced, but it was not until
dark, that our front was cleared at Meadow Bridge, by the
brave command of General A. P. Hill, and we crossed over and
rested for the night on the field of battle, from which the enemy
had been driven. They had, however, retreated but a short
distance, and at daylight, could be seen in great force, and
strongly fortified on the road about one mile from Mechanicsville.
While expecting orders to move forward and charge the enemy,
General Jackson's columns moved upon his right flank, and
forced him to abandon his strong position, with but slight loss
on our part. Though not engaged, we had a few casualties in
the Sixth.

The road being cleared, we at once moved on towards the
bloody field of Cold Harbor, under a burning sun. We marched
rapidly, and reached the battle-field about one^ o'clock in the
afternoon. Under a hot fire from the batteries on the adjacent
hills, we were thrown first on one part of the lines, and then on
the other, as the enemy seemed to be concentrating upon one
or the other points. At last we were ordered forward and soon
met the foe. With a shout, our boys charged, and the enemy
gave way until reinforced by a second line of battle, when we
were halted, and with our thinned ranks, fought most desperately
for more than two hours. Just at this time, reinforcements were
sent to our relief, and mistaking us for the enemy, poured a
desperate volley into our rear. Even under the concentrated fire
from friend and foe, our shattered ranks stood unbroken. The
reinforcements swept by, driving the enemy before them.
Darkness coming on, under order, we retired a few hundred
yards to the rear, and slept upon our arms. Our loss in this
battle was exceedingly heavy; the casualties numbered more
than two hundred killed and wounded, being fully half the
number carried into action.

Next morning, our line was as distinctly marked by the dead,
as it was the evening before, by the living. For three days, we
remained near Cold Harbor, and on the third day, crossed
McClellan's Bridge, and hastened on, until checked by the
enemy's batteries at White Oak Swamp. At this place,- a heavy


artillery duel took place, which lasted nntil night, with but little
loss on our side. Next morning the enemy were gone. Being

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Online LibraryJames M. (James Madison) FolsomHeroes and martyrs of Georgia. Georgia's record in the revolution of 1861 → online text (page 2 of 15)