Golden Thread "Cheer less, boys and fight more" - Wofford's Brigade at Gettysburg

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lelliott19

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Does anybody have information on what Wofford's instructions were before the brigade stepped off? I'm pretty sure he didnt file an after action report.
@MBuehner After he assumed command of the brigade, Wofford never filed an after action report for any engagement that I know of. Too bad too. I'm sure that a lot of credit that should have been given his brigade, never was - not just at Gettysburg, but also at Chancellorsville, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, etc.

I'm curious if his right turn into the wheat field was a question of battlefield exigence, if he was ordered to bail out Kershaw, or if he was preemptively ordered to turn right and finish off Caldwell and seize the wheat field.
Interestingly, Wofford's brigade seemed to have a tendency to drift to the right. Besides Gettysburg, it also happened at Chancellorsville and Cedar Creek. And before, when he was commanding Hood's brigade at Sharpsburg. Still, as you mentioned, Longstreet was right there with Wofford..... so you would think if it was not as intended, he would have made the correction.
 
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Tom Elmore

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Captain James Lemon of the 18th Georgia indicates the brigade actually inclined to the left after dispatching Sweitzer's regiments in the Wheatfield. They were drawn in that direction by Walcott's battery, just north of the Wheatfield road, which they captured temporarily.
 
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lelliott19

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Captain James Lemon of the 18th Georgia indicates the brigade actually inclined to the left after dispatching Sweitzer's regiments in the Wheatfield. They were drawn in that direction by Walcott's battery, just north of the Wheatfield road, which they captured temporarily.
Ahhhh. Good point Tom. I think MBuehner was talking about early in the attack, as they stepped off - there was some confusion about whether they should angle to the left to support Barksdale or go straight (which is what they did) aligned on the Wheatfield road. So in this case - straight being opposite of angling left toward Barksdale's flank?
 

lelliott19

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Gettysburg. Gen J B Sweitzer's Brigade in the Fearful Struggles of the Second Day
W J Patterson, Lieutenant commanding Co F, 62nd PA
From The National Tribune, May 30, 1907, Page 6.


....About the time we [Sweitzer's Brigade] moved forward across this field Graham's Division had been driven from the Peach Orchard, and Humphrey's Division, being threatened in reverse, changed front and moved further to the rear. These operations made a large opening in the line, through which the Confederates hastened to enter in strong force. We had not been long in this advanced position when shots were noticed striking our line from the woods to our right and rear. Gen. Wofford's Brigade of Georgia troops held the Peach Orchard road and the elevation at Zook's monument, and was firing into our command. Col. Boyd McKeen, in his report of the First Brigade, First Division, Second Corps, says: "They were relieved by a brigade (Sweitzer's) of Barnes Division, Fifth Corps. Passing the relieving brigade by file they were enfiladed by a galling fire." Thus showing that the enemy made his appearance on our flank and rear almost immediately after we moved from the Peach Orchard road.

The 4th Mich and the 62nd
[PA] changed front to the right to meet our enemies in that direction. The brigade was now nearly surrounded and in a very perilous situation. Attacked in front, right and rear, its chances of extricating itself were anything but good. Gen. Barnes exclaimed: "There goes the Second Brigade: we may as well bid it goodbye." But it was not the first time the Second Brigade had been in critical positions, and by good judgment and indomitable pluck came out alright. The command was terribly exposed in the open field, while our enemies had the cover of the woods. The men's blood was up, and they fought with desperate resolution.....
 

lelliott19

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There is a Wofford letter of August 14, 1863 that mentions several Union flags captured by the brigade on July 2.
1st Lieutenant Milton A. Brown of Company E, Cobb's Legion wrote a letter to the editor of the Southern Confederacy, published on July 20, in which he claims Cobb's Legion actually captured two colors, one of them belonging to the 11th U.S. Infantry.
Look what I just found. :wavespin:
From fold 3 - The August 14th letter from Wofford to Maj Jno Goggin describing the capture of the colors by Cobb's Legion and Phillip's Legion.

Head Qrs Brigade
August 14th, 1863
Maj:
According to instructions received. I send you the Flag captured by Cobb's Legion. The following is the facts regarding its capture as stated by Capt. Moore in his official report "Sergt. J L Born, Co C distinguished himself by the capture and preservation of a stand of the enemy's colors - A C Adair, Co D bayoneted and Killed several of the Color Guard of the enemy. Captured the colors and Killed an officer advancing on him with drawn sword. Corp'l [James D] Putnam Co F received two severe bayonet wounds in a personal encounter over the colors of the enemy.["]

I enclose a note from Major Hamilton Com'ding Phillips Legion in which he states that the colors captured by his command have been sent to Gov Brown of Geo. The incidents relating to their capture is as follows. Two stands of colors were captured. one of them by private Alfred Norris Co E which he carried to the rear and delivered to a Lieut. who claimed to be of Barksdale's Brigade & who was wounded and sent to the hospital carrying the Flag with him which is supposed to be still in his possession. The other stand was captured by Private E J Smith of Co E & was also carried to the rear and handed to a Lieut. of Frazier's Battery but was returned when the Battle was over and has now been sent to the Gov. of Geo. Private Thos. Jolly was bayoneted & killed with a stand of the enemy's colors in his hands his death was bravely avenged by Private [Michael] McGovern of Co F. Private [Geo J] Blanton Co. B. & Private Ovtrn [?] of Co L. The two former each bayoneting a man. The latter taking from the belt of the enemy's Color Bearer his pistol. Killing him and Two others- In this hand to hand fight the colors in the hands of the gallant "Jolly" was lost by the man who strove so bravely to obtain them, though supposed to be in the hands of some other Reg't.
Respectfully,
Wm T Wofford, Maj Gen
https://www.fold3.com/image/643041209
J L Born - James L Born (C/Cobb's Legion) Age 19, enlisted as a Private into Capt Glenn's Company (Stephen's Rifles) Georgia Legion August 17, 1861 at Decatur Dekalb Georgia for the war. Captured at Crampton's Gap Sept. 14, 1862. Sent from Fort Delaware to Aikens Landing Oct 2, 1862 for exchange. Exchanged Nov 10, 1862. "Recommended for promotion to first vacancy for valor and skill" (date not recorded) and promoted to Sgt. Wounded GSW shoulder at Knoxville (Fort Sanders) November 29, 1863 and captured. Exchanged (date not recorded.) Listed on the Roll of Honor GO 64/2 August 10, 1864. Captured April 6, 1865 near Farmville (Sailor's Creek) described as Complexion fair; Hair light; eyes Grey; height 6 feet. Pledged the Oath and released June 25, 1865 at Newport News, VA.
A C Adair - (D/Cobb's Legion) Enlisted Co D Cobb's Legion, as a Private March 1, 1862 at Athens Ga. for the war. "Recommended for promotion to first vacancy for valor and skill" (date not recorded) Wounded at Knoxville (Fort Sanders) November 29, 1863 and captured. Died a prisoner April 23, 1864 of chronic diarrhea at US Military Hospital, Knoxville TN and buried Grave No. 3, "Rebel Burial Ground." Listed on the Roll of Honor GO 64/2 August 10, 1864.
 
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lelliott19

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The latter taking from the belt of the enemy's Color Bearer his pistol. Killing him and Two others- In this hand to hand fight
You just keep on finding good stuff don’t you Laura. Great work!!!!
I wish I could figure out who Private Ovrtn of Co L Phillips Legion is. There's a Pvt Simon W Overton, age 18, and a Pvt. Thomas J Overton, but both are listed in Co A and neither has a card indicating his name was added to the Roll of Honor.
 
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Ole Miss

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What a really fascinating thread! Very informative and thought provoking in learning how a smaller unit fits into the Confederate assault late on the July 2nd.
Congratulations on being awarded the Golden Thread as it is well deserved.
Regards
David
 
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lelliott19

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From the same file. The above letter from Wofford is page 7-8. This one, directed to Col R H Chilton, AAGenl, is page 3 of Confederate Letters, Feb - Sept 1863, G M Sorrell.

Head Quarters 1st Army Corps
Near Orange CH Sept 2. 1863

Colonel.
By direction of Lieutenant General Longstreet I have the honor to forward herewith two United States Regimental Standards and a guidon, captured at Gettysburg Pa July 2nd 1863. A report of the circumstances attending their capture is also transmitted herewith.
I am Genl, veryrespy
Yrmosobt svt
G. M. Sorrell
Lt.Col. AAGenl
1557521447190.png

https://www.fold3.com/image/1/643041205
And this is page 2, but I havent figured out what it says.
1557522152574.png
1557522184648.png

At the bottom, I can decipher "Col Withers to be placed on Roll of Merit"
https://www.fold3.com/image/1/643041204
 

lelliott19

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1st Lieutenant Milton A. Brown of Company E, Cobb's Legion wrote a letter to the editor of the Southern Confederacy, published on July 20, in which he claims Cobb's Legion actually captured two colors, one of them belonging to the 11th U.S. Infantry.
1557537678046.png

Southern Confederacy. (Atlanta, Ga.), July 20, 1863, page 1.
 

Tom Elmore

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(the) gallantry displayed (by) the soldiers named in the written report would appear to come within the provisions of the acts entitling them to promotion for the exhibition of valour & skill. ... I do not perceive there are any vacancies to ---- at present ... of gallantry may be appropriate ...
 
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lelliott19

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From the same file. The above letter from Wofford is page 7-8. This one, directed to Col R H Chilton, AAGenl, is page 3 of Confederate Letters, Feb - Sept 1863, G M Sorrell.

Head Quarters 1st Army Corps
Near Orange CH Sept 2. 1863

Colonel.
By direction of Lieutenant General Longstreet I have the honor to forward herewith two United States Regimental Standards and a guidon, captured at Gettysburg Pa July 2nd 1863. A report of the circumstances attending their capture is also transmitted herewith.
I am Genl, veryrespy
Yrmosobt svt
G. M. Sorrell
Lt.Col. AAGenl
View attachment 306810
https://www.fold3.com/image/1/643041205
And this is page 2, but I havent figured out what it says.
View attachment 306813View attachment 306814
At the bottom, I can decipher "Col Withers to be placed on Roll of Merit"
https://www.fold3.com/image/1/643041204
(the) gallantry displayed (by) the soldiers named in the written report would appear to come within the provisions of the acts entitling them to promotion for the exhibition of valour & skill. ... I do not perceive there are any vacancies to ---- at present ... of gallantry may be appropriate ...
(the) gallantry displayed (by) the soldiers named in the written report would appear to come within the provisions of the acts entitling them to promotion for the "exhibition of valour & skill."
Sep 4/63 S.Cooper
... I do not perceive there are any vacancies to fill at pre-sent When they are, these acts of gallantry may be appropriate ........Secr'y of War (men?) to place on the Roll of Honor for the ....of....?
<signed>
Noted on roster-
Col Withers to be placed on Roll of Merit
 

lelliott19

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Bumping this thread a day late. Casualties, as reported, for Wofford's brigade at Gettysburg. This newspaper list is incomplete. A careful comparison of casualty figures reported vs. actual data from carded records indicates that casualties in the brigade may be under reported by 10-25%. For example, for the 16th GA, casualties were reported as K-14; W-58; M-33 = 105 TOTAL. But carded records reveal K-12; MW-13; W-50; W&C-19; C-39; M-1 = 134 TOTAL which translates into an under reporting of casualties by about 22%.
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[The Savannah Republican. (Savannah, Ga.), August 07, 1863, page 1.
 

rpkennedy

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Bumping this thread a day late. Casualties, as reported, for Wofford's brigade at Gettysburg. This newspaper list is incomplete. A careful comparison of casualty figures reported vs. actual data from carded records indicates that casualties in the brigade may be under reported by 10-25%. For example, for the 16th GA, casualties were reported as K-14; W-58; M-33 = 105 TOTAL. But carded records reveal K-12; MW-13; W-50; W&C-19; C-39; M-1 = 134 TOTAL which translates into an under reporting of casualties by about 22%.
View attachment 314370
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View attachment 314373View attachment 314374View attachment 314375View attachment 314376
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View attachment 314382

[The Savannah Republican. (Savannah, Ga.), August 07, 1863, page 1.
I'll take a look at Georgia's rosters later and see what I can come up with.

Ryan
 
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rpkennedy

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I just did a quick scan of the 16th Georgia's records and just let me say, "Yikes". Out of 6 companies, I had only 1 man wounded with about 2 dozen each killed and captured. The 16th's roster is severely lacking necessary information. There are far too many "killed in battle" and "wounded" with no further data.

Ryan
 

lelliott19

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I just did a quick scan of the 16th Georgia's records and just let me say, "Yikes". Out of 6 companies, I had only 1 man wounded with about 2 dozen each killed and captured. The 16th's roster is severely lacking necessary information. There are far too many "killed in battle" and "wounded" with no further data.
Yep. Ive been working on that. :wink:
 
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