James M. (James Madison) Folsom.

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

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seventh Georgia, and a force of cavalry, all under the command
of Colonel Zachry, were ordered on a reconnoitering expedition.
Near Cedar Creek they niet with a force of the enemy, supposed
to have been sent out for a similar purpose. After a short
engagement the enemy were completely routed ; and but for the
failure of the cavalry to execute Colonel Zachry's orders, the
entire party would have been captured. After the battles of
Ocean Pond and Cedar Creek, the Twenty-seventh Georgia
remained in camp, at Camp Milton, eight miles south of Baldwin,
Florida, until the 19th of April, when it marched for Tebeauville^
on the Atlantic and Gulf railroad. Arriving at that point they
took cars, and proceeded by way of Savannali to Charleston,
South Carolina. Upon arriving there it was ordered to James
Island, where the regiment remained until May 11th, when it
returned to Charleston, thence by railroad to Petersburg, Vir-


ginia, Stopping, however, a few days at Weldon, North Carolina,
in anticipation of a raid on that place. Arriving at Petersburg
on the 19th, the Twenty-seventh was assigned a position on the
front lines between the James and Appomattox rivers, where it
remained until the 3l9t, when it was ordered to Cold Harbor.
At the battle of Cold Harbor, on the 1st of June, five companies
of this regiment charged and re-captured that portion of onr
lines lost by the left of General Clingman's Brigade. These five
companies lost in the engagement, eleven (11) killed and iifty-four
(54) wounded. The regiment remained on the front at Cold
Harbor until the 13th of June, when it marched to Malvern Hill,
leaving wliich place on the 14th, it marched to the vicinity of
Richmond, where it remained until twelve o'clock, M., on the
loth, when the march was resumed to Chester Station, on the
Richmond and I'etersburg railroad, where it took the cars for
Petersburg, where it arrived a little after dark, the same day.

The enemy having gained our works by assault before dark,
the Twenty-seventh Georgia was assigned a position, ami
entrenched themselves during the night. On the night of the
1 7th of June the entire line was changed, and the Twenty-seventh
Georgia was ordered to hold a very important salient, where
they again entrenched themselves, as soon as it was possible so
to do.

On the evening of the 18th of June, the enemy in three heavy
columns, charged the position of this regiment. They were
handsomely repulsed, with severe loss, over two hundred of their
dead being left on the field. This salient was held bv the
Twenty-seventh Georgia regiment without any relief, until the
24th of June, with a loss of seventy-six (76) men killed and
wounded. Among the wounded on the 18th was the gallant
Lieutenant Colonel Gardner, who was mortally wounded, and
died a few days thereafter. He was promoted to the position he
» held for distinguished gallantry, and his name and noble dcedn
will live forever embalmed in the hearts of his surviving

From the 24th of Juno until the 18th of August, this regiment
was on the front, one-half of their time, alternating every three
days, with a portion of General Martin's Brigade. On the 18th
of August, while the Twcnty-sevfnth Georgia was in reserve,
the enemy advanced and took possession of the iVeMon and Peters-
bui*g railroad,^ when the Twenty-seventh was ordered to th*


pojnt attacked by the eueuiy, and engaged them on the evening
of the same day. On the 19th this icgimcnt foi-med a portion of
a flanking party, who inflicted a heavy loss on thfe enemy in killed
"and wounded. Many prisoners were also taken.

The Twenty-seventh Georgia on this occasion, Avas under the
command of Major II. Bnssey. Owing to the natural features
of the country, consisting as they did of thickly wooded spots,
Avith a very dense undergrowth, it was impossible to preserve
intact the advancing line of battle, large gnps would frequently
be made in our lines, through Avhich the enemy would make
their way in detaclied parties, so that friend and foe would
become thoroughly intermingled, and of necessity the fighting
was. very desperate, being sometimes almost hand to hand. It
was an occasion which required great coolness and decision on
'th'e part of the commanding officers. The whole regiment was
sevpral times in imminent danger of being captured, inspired
however, by the unwavering coolness and intrepid valor of their
leaders, these wai'-worn and b-at tie-scarred veterans of many a
bloody field would rally with enthusiasm around their tattered
battle flag, and drive back with severe loss the advances of their
assailants. A heavy rain having fallen a short time before the
battle opened, and continuing to fall during its progress, the soil
had become miry and slippery ; the Twenty-seventh Georgia
liowever, with other regiments of the brigade, making a gallant
charge, drove the enemy with great slaughter from his entrenched
line. Xight put an end to the contest. The loss in killed and
wounded in the Twenty-seventh Georgia was thirty, and twenty
were taken prisoners. To compensate for this loss, besides the
number of the enemy killed and wounded, a very large number
of prisoners was taken ; even the ambulance corps, in addition
to attending to the At'ants of the wounded, captured eighty (80)

• At the present time, August 30th, 1864, the Twenty-seventh
Georgia occupies an important position upon the defensive lines,
.uround the city of Petersburg,, Virginia.



Recapitulation of losses in the different battles in which tiie Twenty-seventh

Georgia has been engaged :

Seven Pines,

Battles around Richmond,
Sharpsburg and South Mountain,
Ocean Pond,
■ Cold Harbor,
Salient at Petersburg,
On Weldon Railroad,

killed and wounded,

Total casualties,

Loss in killed (as from statistical record)

Loss in wounded, . ' .




The losses in the regiment have certainly been severe. By adding to the .
real losses of the regiment, amounting to five hundrei^nd forly-six men, the
number wounded six hundred and forty, we find tha" tiie losses of this regU
ment, like those of the Third, Sixth, and other Georgia regiments, exceeds the^
total numhrr of men enli^sfed and recmiied. This is explained by the fact that
the only wounded men fosito the regiment, are those who have been discharged.
Many of the men have also been wounded more than once.




Number of men originally enlisted,
Number of men recruited.





Name of Battle.
South Mills, April 12th, 1862, .
Richmond, June 18th, 1862,
King's School House, June 25th, 1862,
Malvern Hill, July 2d, 1862,
Rappahannock, August 25th, 1862,
Manassas Numlaer 2, August 30th, 1862,
Harper's Ferry, September 16th, 1862
Sharpsburg, September lYth, 1862,
Fredericksburg, December 13th, 1862,
Chancellorsville, May 2d, 3d and 4th, .1863,
Gettysburg, July 2d, 1863,
Manassas Gap, July 23d, 1863, .
Wilderness, May 6th, 18%,
Spottsylvania, May 14th, 1864, .
Siege of Petersburg, . . .

Killed. Wounded. Died of wounds.
5 12 2

4 3

5 8 1
* 80 93 15




The losses by death are : —
Killed in action.
Died from wounds,
Died from disease.

Total, ...
Discharged and transferred,

Total loss from all causes,

The total of casualties is : —

























The Third Georgia Regiment, composed of Volunteer com-
panies who responded to the first call for troops to defend the


integrity of the Confederate States, rendezvoused at Portsmouth,
Virginia. At the Gosport Navy Yard, tlie regiment was
organized by the election of the following officers : A. R. Wright
of Augusta, Colonel ; James S. Keid of iMadison, Georgia,
Lieutenant Colonel j and A. H. Lee of Covington, Georgia,
Major. Lieutenant W. W. Turner, of Katonton, Georgia, was
appointed Adjutant; Captain H. S. Hughs received the ajtpoint-
ment of Commissary, and Captain Alexander Phillips, Assistant
Quartermaster of the regiment ; and the Rev. Mr. Flinii of
Milledgeville, was commissioned Chaplain.

The following comj)anies composed the original organization
of the regiment. With one or two exceptions, all were
organized volunteer companies several years previous to the war.

Company A, Burke Guards, Burke County, Captain CViarlea Musgrove.
Company B, Brown Rifles, Putnam County, Captain Reuben B. Nisbet.
Company C, Dawson Grays. Green County, Captain Robert L. McWhorter.
Company D, Home Guards, Morgan County, Captain Charles H. Andrews.
Company E, Governor's Guards, Houston County, Captain Joel R. Griffin.
Company F, Wilkinson Rifles, Wilkinson Count}-, Captain William O. Beall.
Company G, Confederate Light Guards, Richmond County, Captain Edward J.

Company H, Young Guards, Newton County, Captain .John F. Jones.
Company I, Blodget Volunteers, Richmond County, Captain Foster Blodget.
Company K, Athens Guards, Clarke County, Captain Henry C. Billups.

In August, 1861, Captain Blodget's company was transferred
from the regiment, and shortly afterwards the Clarke County
Rifles, Captain Isaac S. Vincent, and the Carswell Guards, from
Wilkinson County, Captain N. A. Carswell, were added to the

On the 29th of August, 1861, in pursuance of orders from
Brigadier General, afterwards Major (ieneral, linger, the Third
Georgia embarked on small steamers and canal boats for tin-
coast of North Carolina. Information being receiver! on the
way that Port Hatteras had fallen, the Third Georgia was landed
on Roanoke Island, and charged with the important duty of
fo^ifying that position as speedily as poRsibie, in order to
prevent the further encroachments of the Yankees on the inland
waters of North Carolina, and the approaches to the rear of
Norfolk. The emergency was great, and the men comi»rehending
it, worked with a will, night and day for several weeks, until
formidaVile sand batteries, mounted with thirty-two pounders
and columbiads bade defiance to Batler^s fleet.


On the 1st of October three or four companies of this regiment
emba!-kcd on two or three gnnboats belonging to Commodore
Lyncli's iieet, and participated in the capture of the United
States gunboat Fanny. The prize, with its cargo of provisions
and. clothing for the Twentieth Indiana Regiment, estimated to
be worth one hundred thousand dollars, together with two pieces
of field artillery and about forty prisoners, were the fruits of
this combined movement of our little navy and the four compa-
nies<above mentioned.

On the 4th of October all the companies of this regiment,
about seven hundred strong, together with two companies of the
Seventh North Carolina State Troops, and Colonel Shaw's
Eighth North Carolina Regiment, went on board the gunboats
and transport steamers constituting Commodore Lynch's " Mos-
quito Fleet," and sailed by night for the point where the Fanny
had been captured. Arrived there, the camp of the enemy was
discovered on the Chickamacomico banks, and we at once
commenced a vigorous shelling. The enemy's camj) was stam-
peded, the Hessians flying for their lives. They left behind
them a smoking breakfast of poultry, coifee and various other
luxuries. Their whole camp equipage, consisting of tents,
cooking titensils, etc., all the officers' baggage, and ten days'
rations of bacon, bread, sugar, coffee, &c., fell into our hands ;
all of which was successfully transported to our own camp on
Roanoke Island.

The Third Georgia landed as. soon as possible, wading in the
water up to their cai'tridge boxes about one half mile, and
immediately started in rapid pursuit of the Yankees. The latter
having about two hours' start of us, the time occupied in landing
troops, and proving exceedingly swift footed, kept out of our
reach, and succeeded in gaining the light house, where they
received reinforcements, — not escaping, however, without a loss
of about forty prisoners, and the throwing away of nearly all
their knapsacks and accoutrements, and the throwing into the
sea of all the muskets belonging to their regiment. ^

On the 5th, the Third Georgia and two companies of the
Seventh North Carolina, having chased the enemy a distance of
twenty miles, returned to the place of landing. While returning
along the ocean beach, the troops Avere shelled for several hours
by the Federal. sloop of wr^r MonHcdlo., but escaped without
loss of life OP casualties of Sihy kind. After going through that


arduous luarcli, all safely rctnniecl oii tiie Gth, to Roanoke Island,
with a loss of but one man, m lio <lied from exliauslion on the
march. Tiic above detailed aftUir is well known as the "Chicka-
macomico races."

After completing the fortifications on Roanoke Island and
building winter quarters, — <.he enemy in the meanwliije having
been kept close to their conquest of the Ilatteras sand banks,— "■
our regiment was relieved by the Thirty-tirst North Carolina,
Colonel Jordan, and returned to General Blanchard's Brigade
station, ui'ound l\)itsmouth.

After the fall of Koauoku Island, the regiment was ordered to
Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and remained in that vicinity for
several months.

On the 19th of April, 1862, Colonel VV right, then in command of
the forces around South Mills, learning of the landing of a large
body of the Yankees prepared his troops (consisting of a few
militia under Colonel Furribee, two companies of the Seventh
North Carolina, Ca])lain McComas' Virginia battery, and theThird
Georgia) for battle. With this small force we met the enemy,
and a battle was fought about two miles south of South Mills,
which resulted in inflicting a heavy loss upon the enemy-. We
kept them back until nearly night, when our forces fell back into
their entrenchments, and the enemy came upon the ground occu-
jiied by us in the morning. After niglu the enemy retreated to
tljeir gunboats, leaving their dead and pait of their wounded in
our hands. Considering the disparity of numbers engaged— the
enemy's force consisting of three brigades of infantry, with two
batteries of artillery, all under the command ol' Hrigadiei- (icTic-
ral Reno, while our force engaged scarcely numbered four hun-
dred, and tlie whole force present amounting to but six hundred
— the brilliancy of this affair is eclipsed by no achievement of
the war. Our loss in killed, wounded, and missing, was four-
teen, while that of tlte enemy is estim.ate<l at from four to five

On the 28th of April, 1802, the regiment was reorifanized
according to the provisions of the conscript act. Hut five of the
old Captains were re-elected. Colonel A. K. W light and I^ieu-
1«-nant-Colonel James S. Reid, were re-elected to their
and Lieutenant John 1^ <tM""- "f •••<• Po-.l- '^i is

elected Major.
, About the time of the evacuatiuu of NvrfolkauJ rortomouth,


this command was ordered to Suffolk, and from there marched
across the country to Petersburg ; and just before the battle of
Seven Pines, joined the Army of General Joseph E. Johnston.
Though on the field and under fire, we did not become engaged
in that battle.

During the month of June, we occupied a position on the ex-
treme front line of the Chickahominy, on the Williamsburg road,
being on picket duty or supporting the pickets the whole time.
Besides many smaller engagements, we participated in a hot
skirmish on the 18th. of June, driving back a New Hampshire
brigade with a considerable loss to them in killed and wounded,
and about a dozen prisoners, while we lost two killed. On the
25th of the same month, we were called upon to repel a heavy
advance of the enemy on our picket lines which crossed the Wil-
liamsburg road. Though under a heavy storm of bullets all day,
and for several hours a perfect hail storm of grape and canister,
we had not the opportunity of returning the fire. On this occa-
sion we lost two killed and several severely wounded.

About the 3d of June Colonel A. R. Wright was promoted to

be Brigadier General, leaving Major Sturgis commander of the

Third Georgia, Lieutenant Colonel Reid having resigned about

the same time. We participated in all the manoeuvres and

marching of Wright's Brigade, Huger's Division, during the few

days preceding the 1st of July, and on that day, with the other

regiments composing the brigade, opened the fight at Malvern

Hill. The Third Georgia was in the \insuccessful charge upon

the enemies batteries, and lost heavily in officers and men. While

they remained in the fight, holding the ground gained, until nine

o'clock, P. M., our loss in killed was fifty-seven and in wounded

ninety-four. Major John R. Sturgis was among the* killed; he

was a Christian gentleman, polished and courteous ; he was also

an efficient officer and generally very popular among his men

and with his superior officers. As do the^^brave, he fell on the

field of victory with his sword di-awn in his country's cajiise.

Captain R. B. Nisbet, second in command, behaved gallantly

and fearlessl) upon this bloody field, and was severely wounded.

We took iuio action about two hundred and fifty men, rank

and file.

On the Chickahominy we suffered sevei'ely from disease. In
one month our ranks were reduced, by sickness and the casualties
of battle, from one thousand to about three hundred for duty.


Soon after the battles around Richmond, we were left without
field officers, and even without a Captain to take command. At
this period Major N. B, Montgomery, P. A. C. S., was assigned
to the command of the Third Georgia. Soon after the celebrated
campaign against Pope commenced, in which this regiment
participated, and in the laurels won in that campaign by Ander-
son's Division, this regiment claims a full share. At the second
battle of ^lanassas we lost four killed and twenty-two Mounded.
Major Montgomery comm.anded in this engagement, and distin-
guished himself by his fearlessness on the field of battle. He
received a severe wound, disabling him from command. At this
time Captain Nisbet (then entitled, and soon after promoted, to
the rank of Lieutenant Colonel) returned and assumed command
of the regiment. The next important battle in which our regi-
ment was engaged, Sharpsburg. Here we took into action
one hundred and twenty-five men, and lost twenty-four killed
and forty-eight wounded. Lieutenant Colonel Nisbet commanded
the regiment in this never to be forgotten battle, and after leading
his command into line, fell dangerou^y wounded in several places.
He left on the field of battle and fell into the hands of the
enemy. Captain John F. Jones succeeded to the command of
the regiment. He was soon after promoted to Major, while Cap-
tain Edward J. Walker was made Colonel, and Csptain R. B.
Nisbet Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment. In the first battle
of Fredericksburg, though present on the field and under a heavy
fire, we did not become engaged with the enemy. We lost one
man killed by a shell, Colonel Edward J. Walker, commanding.
During the months of January ami February, 1863, Wright's
Brigade was stationed at the United States Ford, on the Rap-
})ahannock. Fortifications were required, and the men worked
day and night, through snow and rain, to complete them. The
Third Georgia bore more than an equal share in these hardships.
The sufferings of this command at United States Ford, from cold
short rations, and a scanty supply of clothing, could scarcely
have been excelled by those which so severely tried the fortitude
.and patriotism of our forefathers, when quartered in the historic
Valley Forge. Tender command of Major Jones, the Tliird Geor-
gia .'shared in all the marches and engagements aromid Chancel-
lorsville and Fredericksburg during the first week in May.
Major Jones received a wound at Chancellorsvillo which cost him
his right arna. In a charge upon the Yankees around Donmond'i


house, near Fredericksburg, under the immediate observation of
General Lee, the Third Georgia elicited the hearty praise of that
soldier chieftain. Our loss in the several engagements was six-
teen killed and one hundred and fifteen wounded.

The Third Georgia continued in Wright's Brigade, Anderson's
Division, Hill's Corps, and participated largely in all the hard-
ships and fighting of these organizations in the second invasion
of the enemy's country by tlie Army of Northern Virginia.

The deeds of Wright's Brigade on the 2d of July, 1863, at
the battle of Gettysburg, aj-e already knovyn to the public. It is
but sufficient to say, that the Third Georgia merited a full share
of the laurels won there. We carried into action five hundred
men, and our losses were forty-one killed and one hundred and-
forty-eight wounded. Colonel Walker commanded in the battle of
Gettysburg, and Captain C. H. Andrews acted as Lieutenant

On the 23d of July, 1863, Wright's Brigade was ordered to
guard the pass at Manassas Gap. The different corps of our army
were marching through Front Royal and Chester Gap, and it
was important to prevent the enemy from cutting our columns in
two. This regiment was assigned to a position on the right of
the brigade, and separated from it nearly a mile. Our posi-
tion was on the top of a mountain, which commanded, a view of
the enemy's positioi*. About two o'clock, P. M., the enemy
having concentrated a force of about ten thousand men, advanced
in solid column. Our command skirmished with them until
numbers bore down too heavily, when we fell back to a position
nearer the brigade. Here Captain Andrews, in obedience to
orders to hold our position at all hazards, disposed of his forces
properly, and calmly awaited tlie approach of the enemy. Soon
their solid massive columns appeared over the mountain top, and
they came pouring down upon us. When they arrived within
three hundred yards, our Enfield rifles commenced fire upon them,
and as they steadily advanced, our boys kept up a (iontinuous
fire, which often broke their ranks, and turned them back in con-
fusion. But the fresh columns supporting their advance came on,
until out-flanked and borne down by weight of numbers, our
regiment was ordered to tall back to the supporting line behind
us. The Yankees did not pursue, being checked by our artil-
lery, which had by this time gotten into position. We had done
heavy execution in the enemy's ranks, killing and wounding


more tlian the total number* of oui* regiment engaged; besides,
our biigade tlius lield the enemy in check until Lieutenant Gen-
eral Ewell could bring up the troops of his corps, and get them
into position to prevent their further advance. Colonel Edward
J. Walker was in command of the brigade, and was badly
wounded. Tlie regiment numbered in this engagement about
two hundred men, and lost in kjlled, fourteen, and in wounded,
forty-five men. The brigade was highly complimented by Lieu-
tenant General EwcU, who was on the field and witnessed its
conduct. The troops in the line of battle supporting us, were
on a hill which commanded a view of the combatants. They
warmly congratulated their comrades of the Third Georgia upon
theii" heroic conduct.

The enemy after a long season of quiet, suddenly exhibited
signs of activity euily in May, 1864.

On the 4th instant, the regiment, in conjunction with the Divi-
sion of General Anderson, broke u}) cam|) and marched to
Vediersville. A part of our cavalry force had already engaged
the enemy and drove them back towards Chancellorsville. We
continued on the road to a point known as Parker's Store, w*hen
the advance of otir army became engaged, and fought during the
rest of the day, and again on the next day.* These fights on the
5th and 6tb of May, are well known as the battle of the Wil-

General Gr.ant having failed in his direct assault, pursued his
future movements by parallels, and the two armies again collided
at Spottsylvania Court House. The Third Georgia was not
actively engaged in the g^jneral engagements of either of the
above named fights, VmU on the 14th instant at Spottsylvania, in

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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 7 of 15)