previous next

[89] killed, 1,436 wounded, and 1,118 missing; total, 2,814. The hardest fighting and heaviest losses fell on Ruger's and Candy's brigades. The divisions were commanded by Generals Williams and Geary.

At Gettysburg, the Twelfth Corps distinguished itself by its gallant defence of Culp's Hill. At one time during the battle, the corps having been ordered to reinforce a distant part of the line, Greene's Brigade, of Geary's Division, was left behind to hold this important point. While occupying this position on Culp's Hill, with no other troops in support, Greene was attacked by Johnson's Division, but the attack was successfully repulsed. The details of this particular action form an interesting chapter in the history of the war. Still, some of Johnson's troops effected, without opposition, a lodgment in the vacated breastworks of the Twelfth Corps, and upon the return of those troops a desperate battle ensued to drive the Confederates out. After a long, hard fight the corps succeeded in re-occupying its works. On no part of the field did the Confederate dead lie thicker than in front of the Twelfth Corps position. Johnson's Division, containing 22 regiments, lost in this particular action, 229 killed, 1,269 wounded, and 375 missing; total, 1,873.1To this must be added whatever loss occurred in Smith's, Daniel's, and O'Neil's brigade,--containing 14 regiments,--which were sent to Johnson's support. The Twelfth Corps, containing 28 regiments, lost 204 killed, 810 wounded, and 67 missing; total, 1,08. General Slocum was in command of the right wing at Gettysburg, which left General A. S. Williams, of the First Division, in command of the corps; General Thos. H. Ruger of the Third Brigade, First Division, took Williams' place as commander of the “Red star” Division; General Geary commanded the “White star,” or Second Division.

The Army followed Lee into Virginia, the Twelfth Corps joining in the pursuit, and pushing forward until it reached the Rappahannock. While encamped there, on the 23d of September, 180(3, the Eleventh and Twelfth corps were detached from the Army of the Potomac and ordered to Tennessee as a reinforcement for Rosecrans. The two corps were placed under command of General Hooker. Arriving in Tennessee, Geary's Division moved to the front, while Williams' Division was stationed along the railroad from Murfreesboro to Bridgeport. Geary. pushed on in order to effect a junction with the beleaguered army at Chattanooga. On the night of Oct. 27th, his division, the “White Stars,” bivouacked in Lookout Valley, in an advanced and isolated position, where he was attacked at midnight by a part of Longstreet's command. But Geary had taken proper precautions against surprise, and the enemy were defeated, Geary receiving in this affair a prompt and gallant support from part of the Eleventh Corps. General Thomas, commanding the Army of the Cumberland, stated in his official report that “the repulse by Geary's Division of greatly superior numbers who attempted to surprise him, will rank among the most distinguished feats of arms of this war.”

The midnight battle of Wauhatchie was followed in the next month by the brilliant victory at Lookout Mountain, where the “White star” Division fought its famous battle above the clouds. Geary was assisted in this engagement by Whitaker's Brigade, of the Fourth Corps, one of Whitaker's regiments, the Eighth Kentucky, being the first to plant its flag on the summit of the mountain.

In April, 1864, the designation of the corps was changed to that of the Twentieth. Generals Williams and Geary still retained command of their divisions, and the men still wore their Twelfth Corps badge. This badge (the star) was adopted by the reorganized corps. The new organization was formed by the consolidation of the Eleventh and Twelfth corps, to which was added some minor commands. The action of the War Department in

1 Pickett's Division lost 232 killed, 1,157 wounded, and 1,499 captured or missing. (Official Report.)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
April, 1864 AD (1)
September 23rd, 180 AD (1)
October 27th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: