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September 29th (search for this): chapter 6.37
and making a vow to revenge them, is a piece of imagination on his part. He then goes into an account of the fight, but from his account it would appear that the affair was a very slight one indeed, whereas the truth was that upon that same 29th September, Richmond came nearer being captured, and that, too, by negro troops, than it ever did during the whole war, and but for the devotion and bravery of two decimated brigades, Bushrod Johnson's old Tennessee brigade and the Texas brigade, consisfighting done on this part of the line where we were that day, though I think the part of the line occupied by Gary's cavalry was attacked, but I never knew anything about that fight. General Lee arrived from Petersburg during the night of September 29th, with Field's Virginia and Hoke's North Carolina divisions, and upon the 30th both those divisions charged Fort Harrison, but after a desperate fight they were forced to retire, and the Stars and stripes waved over Fort Harrison until Richmon
September 29th, 1864 AD (search for this): chapter 6.37
Attack on Fort Gilmer, September 29th, 1864. By Charles Johnston. [The following letter to the President of the Southern Historical Society was endorsed by him as follows: The young gentleman who furnishes this narrative — a private soldier in Huff's, afterwards Griffin's battery, I believe — is a gentleman by birth ad, to call your attention to some facts connected with the fight known by the troops engaged in it as the Battle of Fort Gilmer, which was fought on the 29th day of September, 1864. My attention was called to this subject by a letter lately published in the Norfolk Landmark, in which the writer refers to a speech made by B. F. Bbe verified by Major W. J. Dance, Powhatan Courthouse, Virginia; Lieutenant Wm. M. Read, Augusta Georgia, and Lieutenant H. E. Blair, of Roanoke. On the 29th September, 1864, there were on the north side of James river, in the neighborhood of Chaffin's Bluff, about two thousand (2,000) men, consisting of what remained of Bushrod
H. E. Blair (search for this): chapter 6.37
hing I had ever heard of. And I write for no purpose of attracting your notice to myself or to my company, but to do what I can to perpetuate the memory of the bravest men I ever saw under fire. With this much of an introduction, I leave my account with you to use as you think proper. I write from memory, and do not profess to be positively accurate; but my statements can be verified by Major W. J. Dance, Powhatan Courthouse, Virginia; Lieutenant Wm. M. Read, Augusta Georgia, and Lieutenant H. E. Blair, of Roanoke. On the 29th September, 1864, there were on the north side of James river, in the neighborhood of Chaffin's Bluff, about two thousand (2,000) men, consisting of what remained of Bushrod Johnson's Tennessee brigade (300 strong), commanded by a colonel whose name I think was Johnston; the Texas brigade, also commanded by a colonel whose name I do not remember; the City battalion, some battalions of Department troops (made up of clerks and attaches of the different depart
B. F. Butler (search for this): chapter 6.37
ublished in the Norfolk Landmark, in which the writer refers to a speech made by B. F. Butler on the Civil Rights Bill. The writer in the Landmark says that what Butler says about riding over a battle-field below Richmond, and looking into the brown faces of the dead negroes, and making a vow to revenge them, is a piece of imagineaten), there was nothing between us and the city, and instead of being burned by our men, as it afterwards was, Richmond must have fallen into the hands of Beast Butler and drunken negroes, though to give the devil his due, we were told by prisoners that Butler was not in the fight at all, but was on the top of his big observatorButler was not in the fight at all, but was on the top of his big observatory at City Point, looking at the fight through a long telescope. Pardon me, General, for having intruded so long upon your time; you may probably have material from which to write an account of this affair much better than this letter, and if you have I shall not be offended that no notice is taken of my effort in that direction
Benjamin F. Butler (search for this): chapter 6.37
ivate soldier in that army, and upon the interest that I know you take in everything connected with the cause which you so earnestly, so honestly and so bravely defended, to call your attention to some facts connected with the fight known by the troops engaged in it as the Battle of Fort Gilmer, which was fought on the 29th day of September, 1864. My attention was called to this subject by a letter lately published in the Norfolk Landmark, in which the writer refers to a speech made by B. F. Butler on the Civil Rights Bill. The writer in the Landmark says that what Butler says about riding over a battle-field below Richmond, and looking into the brown faces of the dead negroes, and making a vow to revenge them, is a piece of imagination on his part. He then goes into an account of the fight, but from his account it would appear that the affair was a very slight one indeed, whereas the truth was that upon that same 29th September, Richmond came nearer being captured, and that, too,
Charles Carter (search for this): chapter 6.37
ments of the Government); Gary's brigade of cavalry, the Louisiana guard artillery, Hardaway's battalion of artillery, consisting of four batteries, four guns each; the Rockbridge artillery, Captain Graham; Third company Richmond howitzers, Lieutenant Carter; the Powhatan artillery, Captain Dance, and the Salem artillery, Captain Griffin. These commands included all the troops engaged during the whole day, I think. The whole force was commanded by Lieutenant-General Ewell, either as commander vy cannon, and was manned by about forty men (of what command I never knew). Between Forts Harrison and Gilmer, a distance of nearly half a mile, were stationed Hardaway's batteries, Dance's being the nearest to Fort Harrison, Griffin's next, and Carter and Graham to their left, supported by the Texans and Tennesseans, with the City battalion deployed as skirmishers. General Ewell was with the skirmish line, constantly encouraging them by his presence and coolness. I remember very distinctly h
W. J. Dance (search for this): chapter 6.37
accurate; but my statements can be verified by Major W. J. Dance, Powhatan Courthouse, Virginia; Lieutenant Wm.zers, Lieutenant Carter; the Powhatan artillery, Captain Dance, and the Salem artillery, Captain Griffin. Thesly half a mile, were stationed Hardaway's batteries, Dance's being the nearest to Fort Harrison, Griffin's nextommenced by the Yankees making a furious charge upon Dance's battery, and they came in such numbers and so rapidly that they got within forty yards of Dance's guns before our fire told upon them. Here it was that the Tennthe attack first began, and by the time they reached Dance's guns the Yankees were almost there, but the coloneI could remember his name), for I was told by one of Dance's men that he had never seen a man so entirely free do not now remember the loss in this charge, but Captain Dance and a good many of his men were wounded, and sev. Almost immediately after the enemy retired from Dance's front, an attack was made upon another part of the
Jubal A. Early (search for this): chapter 6.37
s this narrative — a private soldier in Huff's, afterwards Griffin's battery, I believe — is a gentleman by birth and education, being connected with highly respectable families, and there is no reason to doubt the, accuracy of his statements. J. A. Early.] Salem, Roanoke county, Virginia. General J. A. Early: As the Southern Historical Society has lately called upon all soldiers and officers of the Confederate army for any incidents of the late war that would be of general interest, I haveGeneral J. A. Early: As the Southern Historical Society has lately called upon all soldiers and officers of the Confederate army for any incidents of the late war that would be of general interest, I have presumed upon the fact of having been for four years a private soldier in that army, and upon the interest that I know you take in everything connected with the cause which you so earnestly, so honestly and so bravely defended, to call your attention to some facts connected with the fight known by the troops engaged in it as the Battle of Fort Gilmer, which was fought on the 29th day of September, 1864. My attention was called to this subject by a letter lately published in the Norfolk Land
mpany Richmond howitzers, Lieutenant Carter; the Powhatan artillery, Captain Dance, and the Salem artillery, Captain Griffin. These commands included all the troops engaged during the whole day, I think. The whole force was commanded by Lieutenant-General Ewell, either as commander of the Richmond defences, or of that part of General Lee's army on the north side of James river, I do not now remember which, but at any rate he was in command in person, and by his cool courage and presence wherevearly half a mile, were stationed Hardaway's batteries, Dance's being the nearest to Fort Harrison, Griffin's next, and Carter and Graham to their left, supported by the Texans and Tennesseans, with the City battalion deployed as skirmishers. General Ewell was with the skirmish line, constantly encouraging them by his presence and coolness. I remember very distinctly how he looked, mounted on an old gray horse, as mad as he could be, shouting to the men, and seeming to be everywhere at once.
r of negroes got into the ditch, and the rest of the attacking column having no shelter from the fire of both artillery and infantry, were forced to give way and retire. Thus ended the battle of Fort Gilmer, and there was no more fighting done on this part of the line where we were that day, though I think the part of the line occupied by Gary's cavalry was attacked, but I never knew anything about that fight. General Lee arrived from Petersburg during the night of September 29th, with Field's Virginia and Hoke's North Carolina divisions, and upon the 30th both those divisions charged Fort Harrison, but after a desperate fight they were forced to retire, and the Stars and stripes waved over Fort Harrison until Richmond fell. Another line of works was built around the old line, and several batteries of mortars were placed there, which kept up a pretty constant fire upon the Yankees during the rest of the war. Fort Gilmer is about four miles below Richmond, very near the farm
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