My brother, on learning the strength of Captain Lee's forces, and that they were ‘ bottled up’ in Smithfield, without the protection of their gunboat, sent a note to Captain Sturdivant, at Ivor, soliciting his return, saying the capture of Lee's forces in Smithfield was an easy thing to do. Sturdivant returned promptly. My brother joined his command at Jones' store, (two miles from Smithfield), and conducted them to Steven's store (less than half a mile from the town). At Steven's store—Lee's forces in Smithfield—posted right on the top of Todd's Hill, at the junction of Church and Main streets, could easily be seen by Captain Sturdivant. Captain Sturdivant sent a note to Captain Lee, demanding instant surrender, and signed that note as Brigadier-General. Captain Lee replied, asking an interview with the officer in command of the Confederate forces. My brother told Sturdivant that Lee was expecting his gunboat, and was playing for time. He asked Captain Cheshire, a boatman, who was present, what tide was it? Cheshire replied that it was flood tide. My brother then informed Captain Sturdivant that this was the tide that would bring the Smith Briggs up to take on and rescue Captain Lee's forces. He urged immediate action. The demand for instant surrender was renewed. It was refused. The officer bearing the refusal (Sergeant Hennis) returned with his horse in a run all the animating influences of whip and spur, saying before he alighted, that the expected gun-boat was in sight. During these negotiations, Captain Sturdivant, at the suggestion of my brother, moved up his forces, a hundred and fifty or two hundred yards to Spratley's Hill, on the same road, just out of the corporate limits of the town. When the demand for surrender was refused—my brother, who was perfectly familiar with every foot of the ground—suggested to Captain Sturdivant, that he divide his infantry forces into two columns — the one on the right to be led by him down and through ravines and behind houses to the Presbyterian church on Church street; the other on the left to be led by Junius Wilson
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
The battlefields of Virginia .
The address of Hon. John Lamb .
Historical memorial of the Charlotte Cavalry .
Some war history never published.
Mr. Davis 's Version of it.
Yankee gunboat Smith Briggs. from the Times-dispatch, March 18 , 1906 , and July 15 , 1906 .
First battle of Manassas .
Mrs. Eggleston 's address.
William Smith , Governor of Virginia , and Major-General C. S. Army , hero and patriot.
Fellow-citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia .
Roll of brave men.
List of Virginia chaplains, Army of Northern Virginia .
Location of the guns.
The Berkeley brothers from the Richmond News-leader, January 21 , 1907 .
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.