A brilliant record.
[from the Richmond Dispatch, March 22, 1896.] the Nottoway Grays (Co. G), Eighteenth Virginia Regiment, Pickett's Division.
This company nearly twenty years ago took steps to complete a roll of its officers and men. At general meetings, annually held, the roll was made, the main difficulty having been to get the full names and records of the men who, as conscripts, were assigned to it in the latter year of the war, and who, as a general thing, came from counties not represented in the original company.
The company was organized January 12, 1861, with a roll, rank and file of fifty.
Of this number there remained with the command thirty-three—the others having resigned or were discharged as unfit for service—during the four years—
|Of these (33) there were killed in battle,||9|
|Died in service,||6 |
Three escaped casualty.
The company was mustered into service April 21, 1861, assigned to the 18th Regiment, Colonel R. E. Withers
, and left Camp Lee for Manassas
At this time, or just prior to it, it was enlarged by twenty-eight others joining it—
|Of these there were discharged or transferred,||4|
|Died in service,||5|
|Killed in battle,||8|
The one who suffered no casualty was a member of the band.
The first battle it was in was the First Manassas
, July 21st, and afterwards it was in all the battles of Pickett
's Brigade and Division to Sailor's creek, where its organization was broken up, nearly every man having been killed or taken prisoner.
At the reorganization of the company at Yorktown
in April, 1862, there were added by recruits twenty-six—
|Of these there were killed in battle,||6|
|Died in service,||6|
A recapitulation of the roll shows: Captains
, four—one resigned the first year on account of disease; one resigned at the end of the first year on account of age; one resigned June, 1863, on account of wounds; one was killed at Sailor's Creek
, seven—two resigned early in the war on account of physical disability; four were wounded, and one killed.
Non-commissioned officers, 19—wounded, 11; killed 7.
|Privates, 116—detailed or transferred,||6|
|Discharged for age or disability,||9|
|Died in service,||20|
|Total rank and file,||145|
|Killed in battle,||28|
|Wounded (sometimes twice and more),||47|
|Died in service,||20|
Of the enlisted men of 1861-‘62, who went through the war, only five escaped unhurt, and two of these were detailed men.
At the battle of Gaines' Mill
and Frazier's Farm the company had thirty-nine out of forty-five killed and wounded.
At the battle of Gettysburg
, out of thirty-six, rank and file, eleven were killed and nineteen wounded.
At Sailor's Creek Captain Archer Campbell
—the fourth and last commander of the company—was killed in the act of surrendering.
one lieutenant and several of the men who escaped at Sailor's Creek
were included in the surrender.
Colonel R. E. Withers
, the first commander of the 18th Regiment, said of this company: ‘A company which never failed in the hour of trial, and was always “to be depended on.”
Colonel H. A. Carrington
, successor to Colonel Withers
, said of it: ‘One of truest and most gallant companies which fought through the late war.’
Lieutenant-Colonel G. C. Cabell
said: ‘A noble band of Virginia
braves, whose gallant deeds reflected undimmed honor on their county, their State, their country, and her cause.’
At the battle of Gettysburg, Company G was deployed as skirmishers, and at the proper time “assembled” and took its place in the line, I remember well, it was manoeuvred handsomely.
As adjutant, I was in a situation to know, and can testify to the admirable conduct of the entire regiment; how they closed up when large gaps were made in the rank; how orderly they moved forward, driving the enemy, and how the few scattered ones that remained
unhurt held their ground, hoping, but in vain, for support, until they were killed or captured by the fresh troops of the Federals that were pushed forward to restore the broken lines.
No charge could have been more gallant.
Looking at it now, after a lapse of years, with calm reflection, I think I may say, no commendation given by writers concerning this celebrated charge of Pickett's Division has ever exceeded the truth.
Thirty years after the surrender, as far as could be ascertained, there were surviving of the 145 men of Company G, scattered from Virginia
Of these, Captain Richard Irby
and Lieutenant Richard Ferguson
, are the only surviving commissioned officers.
The above items were gathered from a ‘Historical Sketch’ of the company, published in 1878 by the surviving captain, with the aid of Lieutenant Ferguson