Brunswick guard. [from the Richmond, Va., Dispatch, October 21, 1900.]A detailed account of its fine Record.
Its marches, fights and roll of members.The 5th Virginia Battalion was, in 1862, transferred to General L. A. Armistead's brigade, Huger's division; was at the battle of Seven Pines, the Seven Days fight around Richmond, and Malvern Hill. In July of the same year it was transferred to General A. P. Hill's division, was ordered to the south side of James river, and ordered to camp at Falling Creek, and was there placed in the division of General R. H. Anderson. The battalion broke camp in August, 1862, and moved to Louisa Courthouse, from there to Orange Courthouse, thence to Clark's Mountain, then to Warrenton Springs, and from there to the battle of Second Manassas. It went from Second Manassas to Leesburg, wading the Potomac river, crossed over into Maryland at Frederick City, and from Frederick City proceeded to Harper's Ferry, and crossed back again over into Maryland at Shepherstown, and was at the battle of Sharpsburg; crossing back in the night over into Virginia. It reached Harper's Ferry, and was in the fight at this place. It then went into camp near Winchester. I should have stated that shortly after the battle of Sharpsburg company A, Brunswick Guards, was disbanded and put into company H, 53rd Virginia regiment. At that time there were forty-nine of the roll of the Brunswick Guards, and between thirty to thirty-five reported to that regiment. Those not reported were reported either sick in hospitals or joined other commands by transfers. In November, 1862, Armistead's brigade was transferred to Pickett's division, which at that time was composed entirely of Virginians.
Cowhide Moccasins.From the camp at Winchester we moved to Culpeper Courthouse. The troops were without shoes at this place, and General Armistead  detailed men to make moccasins out of green cowhide for his men.. While used for marching in the wet these stretched so that the men would have to cut them off. When the soldiers stopped at night and dried out their boots they would have to cut them off their feet. This ‘footwear’ answered very well for camp duty, but not for marching. From Culpeper Courthouse we went to Fredericksburg. This was a very hard march on account of the extremely muddy roads and the cold and freezing weather. We went into camp at Fredericksburg, and were at the battle of Fredericksburg on the 13th December, 1862. After the battle at this place we went into camp at Guinea Station. The winters of 1862—‘63 were the hardest of the war. Our men were without tents, and had only ‘tent flies’ and brush houses. At Guinea Station general orders were issued that the men could build fires during day, but that at night they should be extinguished, and the ashes swept away. We slept where the fires had been. While in camp here we were on hard duty all the time, working on breastworks from Hamilton crossing to Spotsylvania Courthouse.
Hard Times, indeed.In February, 1863, we broke camp at this place and marched to Richmond, and from Richmond to Chester Station. While at Chester Station we were entirely without tents or tent flies, and the men had to lie on the bare ground without any protection. During the night the snow fell several inches deep, and the soldiers were covered completely. They knew nothing of it until they were waked up the next morning, and fared as comfortably as if they had been in a house. From Chester Station we marched to near Petersburg and camped below Petersburg on the Prince George road. Thence we marched to Fort Powhatan, and worked on fortifications until about the 1st of April. Our line of march from this place led to Suffolk, by way of Franklin. We crossed Blackwater river at South Quay, with four days cooked rations. On reaching Suffolk we formed line of battle. Our regiment was sent on picket. The line of battle never advanced, but we had severe picket fighting. Several of our company were hurt. Three of the Brunswick guards were also wounded—one mortally. In May the company was ordered back, marching by way of Ivor Station. We camped at this place a few days, guarding supplies  collected. This might be termed a foraging campaign. The enemy being in pursuit of us, we burned the bridge across the Backwater and left the supplies we had collected on the opposite side of the river. We had to transfer them across in what we called ‘dugouts.’ We next marched from this place to Petersburg by way of Jerusalem, in Southampton county; from Petersburg to Falling Creek; from Falling Creek to Hanover Junction. Armistead's brigade was ordered from Hanover Junction to Newtown, King and Queen county, and from Newtown to Culpeper Courthouse, where we camped a few days. The command was ordered from Culpeper with four days cooked rations in their haversacks, and ten days rations on the wagon. We did not know where we were going, but crossed the Blue Ridge at Snicker's Gap, waded the Shenandoah at Sheppard's Mill, and camped at Berryville for a few days. We passed through Martinsburg, crossed the Potomac river over into Maryland at Williamsport, marched through Hagerstown, entered Pennsylvania at Middleburg, marched to Chambersburg, camped there one night, and then marched from Chambersburg to Gettysburg over the South Mountain at Gettysburg. The command was frequently fired on during the day by bushwhackers. It was in the charge of Gettysburg on the 3d of July. The Brunswick part of the company had fifteen men in the charge --five were killed and seven wounded. Two prisoners were captured unhurt, one belonging to the ambulance corps escaped unhurt. The division crossed the Potomac back to Virginia on July 7th, and went in camp near Petersburg, and rested. In October the command broke camp, and was ordered to Kinston, N. C., and from Kinston to New Berne. In February, 1864, it was ordered back to Virginia. They took the train for Richmond, stopped at the Nine Mile road, and camped there until the last of March or about the first of April. Our regiment with another was detailed to guard the fishing squad. In May we were ordered back to the command, and stopped on the Brook turnpike for a few days. We were then sent to Drewry's Bluff, and on the 16th of May, 1864, were in the fight at that place. On the 19th of May the division was sent as reinforcements to the Wilderness, and met the command on retreat from that place. The two armies marched in parallel columns to Cold Harbor, skirmishing nearly all the way. They had a hard battle at Cold Harbor. We went from Cold Harbor to Malvern Hill. About the 19th of June there was a forced march from Malvern Hill. We crossed the river at Drewry's Bluff on pontoon  bridges, and met the enemy on the Petersburg turnpike, tearing up the railroad. Here the fight commenced. We re-established the Howlett line about the 20th of June, but had a very hard fight. Here General Lee complimented Pickett's division. The General did not wish to bring on an engagement at this point, and sent repeated orders to Pickett to halt. These orders were transmitted to the troops, but were of no avail. Pickett's men dashed on in spite of the efforts of their officers to stop them, in a fierce and impetuous charge, and drove Butler into his own works, and re-established Beauregard's line, with the enemy in front and the woods afire behind us. This drew the following complimentary letter from General Lee to General Anderson, then commanding Longstreet's corps, he (Longstreet) having been wounded at the Wilderness:
In this connection I will say your division stayed on the Howlett line until about the 1st of March, 1865, Armistead's brigade being ordered at different times to reinforce other commands at different places, viz: Chaffin's Bluff, Fort Harrison and the Darbytown road, and in pursuit of Sheridan's raid around Richmond.