Discussion Cleburne's Division: An Amateur Thread

Luke Freet

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BG James Argyle Smith's Report on the Battle of Nashville

James Argyle Smith was a West Point graduate from Tennessee who would be assigned as Colonel of the 5th Confederate Infantry, and following Chickamauga, would be promoted to command of Deshler's Texas Brigade. He only led this formation breifly; On November 25th, 1863, he was wounded at Tunnel Hill and would be out of action until June of 1864, where he took command of the brigade and led it at Bald Hill July 21st and 22nd, before again being wounded. He was transferred to command Olmstead's Savannah Brigade. This unit was left behind to guard the bridges across the Tennessee River while the rest of the division fought itself to death at Spring Hill and Franklin. J. A. Smith, the senior Brigade commander of the division, took command of the division on December 6th, and would lead the remnant of Cleburne's Command, some 1500 men (not counting the Georgians, who seemed avoided seeing action again at Nashville), at Nashville and Bentonville, before the division was merged and dispersed in April 1865.
The following is Smith's report of his division during the Battle of Nashville.
Source: O.R.s, Series 1, Part 45 (XLV), Part 1, 739-740
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Luke Freet

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A thread on the career of the unluckiest and most forgotten of Cleburne's brigade commanders, James Argyle Smith:
 

lwhite64

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Overall a good listing, but I would also suggest seeing some of the battle studies like for Pickett's Mill, Symonds makes some errors in his battle descriptions. For instance there, there wasnt a 30 foot sink hole, it was a deep and steep ravine. Also for the first part of the Tennessee Campaign, see Steve Woodworth's The Tennessee Campaign of 1864, for an edited piece of Cleburne's Diary (covering about 3 weeks of the move into North Georgia).
 

Luke Freet

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Overall a good listing, but I would also suggest seeing some of the battle studies like for Pickett's Mill, Symonds makes some errors in his battle descriptions. For instance there, there wasnt a 30 foot sink hole, it was a deep and steep ravine. Also for the first part of the Tennessee Campaign, see Steve Woodworth's The Tennessee Campaign of 1864, for an edited piece of Cleburne's Diary (covering about 3 weeks of the move into North Georgia).
Thank you. I've found Symonds' book to be a bit more forgiving of Cleburne than he lets on, and is not the most objective source for Cleburne and his division. However, I'm working with what i've got.
Funny thing though; I've visited Pickett's Mill and saw the ravine you mentioned. Somehow, I did not question the absurdity of a sinkhole in North Georgia until you pointed it out just now. I wish I could edit older posts, because I'd fix that if I had the chance.
 

lwhite64

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Thank you. I've found Symonds' book to be a bit more forgiving of Cleburne than he lets on, and is not the most objective source for Cleburne and his division. However, I'm working with what i've got.
Funny thing though; I've visited Pickett's Mill and saw the ravine you mentioned. Somehow, I did not question the absurdity of a sinkhole in North Georgia until you pointed it out just now. I wish I could edit older posts, because I'd fix that if I had the chance.
Im currently working on a short book on Cleburne, just focusing on the last year of his life. I think there has yet to be a
definitive biography of him.
 

Luke Freet

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Im currently working on a short book on Cleburne, just focusing on the last year of his life. I think there has yet to be a
definitive biography of him.
Symonds may be the closest to what you speak of. I heard of a biography on Cleburne written by a couple named Perdue that I can't find a copy of (from the 70s and out of print).
I'd say the last 2 years of his life were very eventful, and worthy of a book on its own. He may not be as colorful as some of the cavalry commanders, but he certainly stands out among his contemporaries. Though I will say, having been fanboying over him for the last half decade, I can now say I think he may have been overrated by those who thinkk he should have been a corps or army commander. He had his screwups at Chickamauga and at Jonesboro. The man is not the perfect general.
 

James N.

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Sam Foster's Account of the engagement at Granbury's Lunette, Battle of Nashville, Dec. 15th 1864

Sam Foster was a Captain servering in the 24th Texas Dismounted Cavalry (consolidated with the 17th, 18th, and 25th Texas Dismounted Cavalry), part of Granbury's Texas Brigade since Arkansas Post. He had fought with the division at Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Ringgold Gap (where he was presumably wounded), Pickett's Mill, Bald Hill, Jonesboro, and Franklin. He would fight in his last battle of the war here on December 15th. According to his account, he suffered a bullet wound to the leg around 3 hours into the engagement, and went back to the field hospital to recieve treatment. He'd soon have to make a desperate trek south after the disaster of the following day left much of the wounded stranded behind the Federal advance. He would return to his unit, but he would see no major action for the rest of the conflict (he would have been present at Bentonville, but his brigade arrived after the AoT's assault on Day 1 and took no action; it seems it was so insignificant to Foster that he does not even record it in his diary).
His diary entry for December 13th (actually the 15th; for some reason he was off a few days in his writings):
"I am on picket today as Brigade officer of the day. The Yanks have been fighting our picket line with negroes, for nearly a week, and we have killed several so close that they can't get them. So they remain where they fell froze as hard as a log.
About One O'Clock they send a skirmish line out to fight us. About 4 O'Clock PM I am wounded in my right leg about 6 inches above the knee, the ball going in, in the front side of my leg, passing out the back side to the right of the bone without touching it."
Source: Brown, Norman. One of Cleburne's Command: The Civil War Reminiscences and Diary of Capt. Samuel T. Foster, Granbury's Texas Brigade, CSA. 153-154
My "favorite" part of Foster's account relates to his walk back to the aid station, which as I remember was two or more miles in the rear. After arriving at the little log cabin in which it was located, the surgeon or assistant surgeon knelt down and inserted his fingers into both entry and exit wounds until they met, encountering no bone splinters - which indicated that there had been no damage to the bone - thereby averting amputation.
 

James N.

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Overall a good listing, but I would also suggest seeing some of the battle studies like for Pickett's Mill, Symonds makes some errors in his battle descriptions. For instance there, there wasnt a 30 foot sink hole, it was a deep and steep ravine...
... I've visited Pickett's Mill and saw the ravine you mentioned. Somehow, I did not question the absurdity of a sinkhole in North Georgia until you pointed it out just now. I wish I could edit older posts, because I'd fix that if I had the chance.
The "sinkhole" in question:
DSC01484.JPG

Foster also gives a wonderful description of Granbury's Brigade's counterattack down it and the slaughter he witnessed there!
 

Luke Freet

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The "sinkhole" in question:
View attachment 384783

Foster also gives a wonderful description of Granbury's Brigade's counterattack down it and the slaughter he witnessed there!
Yeah. I'll get to posting more of his entries down the line..
Was saddened to read his reminiscences get muddied around the time of Ringgold Gap. The next clear section we see is in March of 64 when he's returning from a field hospital on crutches.
Was he wounded at Ringgold?
 

James N.

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Yeah. I'll get to posting more of his entries down the line..
Was saddened to read his reminiscences get muddied around the time of Ringgold Gap. The next clear section we see is in March of 64 when he's returning from a field hospital on crutches.
Was he wounded at Ringgold?
Unfortunately, I don't remember, though since he was likely involved in the counterattack by Granbury's Brigade there he certainly might've been. I don't have my copy at hand here in the library and will try to remember to look later.
 

Luke Freet

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Many thanks for writing and sourcing all of that. I very much enjoyed reading through the history, I learned a lot and it helped fill in a lot of gaps in my knowledge of Cleburne and the men he led.
I've seen a couple threads on Cleburne, but very few on the men who served under him. I hope other people can contribute accounts of individuals who served in the division, ones I don't have the sources on. My one primary source (and this wasn't published until 1962) is Sam Foster's diary.
 

Luke Freet

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Granbury's Texas Brigade: BG James A. Smith (WIA); Ltc. Robert B. Young
  • 5th Confederate: Maj. Richard J. Person (CIA); Capt. Aaron A. Cox
  • 35th/48th Tennessee (?): Col. Benjamin J. Hill (I believe this was detached to the Provost Guard)
  • 6th/15th Texas: Capt. Steven E. Rice (CIA); Lt. Thomas L. Flynt
  • 7th Texas: Capt. J. William Brown
  • 10th Texas: Col. Roger Q. Mills (WIA); Ltc. Robert B. Young; Capt. John A. Formwalt
  • 17th/18th Texas Cavalry [Dismounted]: Capt. George D. Manion (WIA); Capt. William H. Perry
  • 24th/25th Texas Cavalry [Dismounted]: Maj. William A. Taylor
Its been a while since I made a post in this thread, but I've done much research on Granbury's Texas Brigade. I have made an overview of the brigade's history, a thread on their actions at Bald Hill, and on the oddballs of the 5th Confederate and 35th Tennessee Regiments which joined them in June of 1864.
Some notes: It seems that at the start of the Atlanta Campaign, the brigade numbered around 1500 men, and suffered some 32 killed and 114 wounded. With the addition of the 100-strong 5th Confederate in mid June, the brigade numbered around 1270 men. At Peachtree Creek, the brigade lost some 20 men to artillery fire; it had lost 47 killed, 120 wounded, and 19 captured at Bald Hill July 21st; and 311 total casualties (107 WIA; 25 MIA; and 160 Captured) on July 22nd. The brigade had only 750 men left effective the next day.
A further breakdown of the Atlanta battle casualties; while it is not recorded what units suffered on July 20th, we do have some numbers for the other days. On July 21st, the 5th Confederate lost 8 of its 100 men; the 6th/15th Texas lost 6 killed, 18 wounded, 6 captured, and two senior officers (Captains Rhoads Fisher and Matthew M. Houston) wounded; 7th Texas lost 2 killed and 7 wounded; 10th Texas lost 8 killed and 12 wounded; 17th&18th Texas suffered 12 killed and 39 wounded; and 24th&25th Texas, the most heavily engaged, 9 killed, 25 wounded, 9 captured, and its commander, Ltc. William Neyland, wounded.
On July 22nd, 6th&15th Texas lost 44 casualties (5 KIA; 24 WIA; 15 MIA) including Captain S. E. Rice wounded; 7th Texas went in with "a mere one hundred rifles" and suffered 30 casualties; command of the 10th Texas devolved to Captain James Formwalt, counting 5 killed and 15 wounded; the 17th&18th Texas under Captain William H. Perry lost 119 of 160 men brought into action (12 KIA; 29 WIA; 87 Captured); Major William A. Taylor's 24th&25th Texas lost 28 men (4 KIA; 21 WIA; 3 Captured); and the 5th Confederate lost 71 out of 92 men, around 46 of whom were captured, including Major Richard J. Person.
I should note as well (if I haven't already): the 35th Tennessee seems to have never have truly served with the brigade on the field, as far as I can tell. It had been assigned to the army provost guard, and was thus on detached service for all of 1864.
 

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Following the actions at Missionary Ridge, Daniel Govan and Hiram Granbury were promoted to brigadier. At the onset of the Atlanta Campaign, the Division numbered 5218 men (ETP). [3]
  • Cleburne's Division (5218 men): MG Patrick Cleburne
    • Polk's Brigade: BG Lucius Polk
      • 1st/15th Arkansas: Ltc. William H. Martin
      • 5th Confederate: Capt. W. A. Brown
      • 2nd Tennessee: Col. William D. Robison
      • 35th Tennessee: Col. Benjamin J. Hill
      • 48th Tennessee: Capt. Henry G. Evans
    • Govan's Arkansas Brigade: BG Daniel C. Govan
      • 2nd/24th Arkansas: Col. Elisha Warfield
      • 5th/13th Arkansas: Col. John E. Murray
      • 6th/7th Arkansas: Col. Samuel G. Smith
      • 8th/19th Arkansas: Col. George F. Baucum
      • 3rd Confederate: Capt. Mumford H. Dixon
    • Lowrey's Brigade: BG Mark P. Lowrey
      • 16th Alabama: Ltc. Frederick A. Ashford
      • 33rd Alabama: Col. Samuel Adams
      • 45th Alabama: Ltc. Harris D. Lampley
      • 32nd Mississippi: Col. William H. H. Tison
      • 45th Mississippi: Col. Aaron B. Hardcastle
    • Granbury's Texas Brigade: BG Hiram Granbury
      • 6th/15th Texas: Capt. Rhoads Fisher
      • 7th Texas: Capt. J. H. Collett
      • 10th Texas: Col. Roger Q. Mills
      • 17th/18th Texas Cavalry [Dismounted]: Capt. George D. Manion
      • 24th/25th Texas Cavalry [Dismounted]: Col. Franklin C. Wilkes
So, after more research on Granbury's Brigade, I have found more info on its units and some of Polk's Brigade. A few corrections, such as Colonel Garland in command of 6th/15thTexas, and removing the 35th Tennessee from the OoB, as they didn't really serve in the division for the remainder of the conflict, as far as the records can tell.
  • Cleburne's Division (5218 men): MG Patrick Cleburne
    • Polk's Brigade: BG Lucius Polk
      • 1st/15th Arkansas: Ltc. William H. Martin
      • 5th Confederate: Capt. W. A. Brown
      • 2nd Tennessee: Col. William D. Robison
      • 48th Tennessee: Capt. Henry G. Evans
    • Govan's Arkansas Brigade: BG Daniel C. Govan
      • 2nd/24th Arkansas: Col. Elisha Warfield
      • 5th/13th Arkansas: Col. John E. Murray
      • 6th/7th Arkansas: Col. Samuel G. Smith
      • 8th/19th Arkansas: Col. George F. Baucum
      • 3rd Confederate: Capt. Mumford H. Dixon
    • Lowrey's Brigade: BG Mark P. Lowrey
      • 16th Alabama: Ltc. Frederick A. Ashford
      • 33rd Alabama: Col. Samuel Adams
      • 45th Alabama: Ltc. Harris D. Lampley
      • 32nd Mississippi: Col. William H. H. Tison
      • 45th Mississippi: Col. Aaron B. Hardcastle
    • Granbury's Texas Brigade: BG Hiram Granbury
      • 6th/15th Texas: Col. Robert R. Garland
      • 7th Texas: Capt. J. H. Collett
      • 10th Texas: Col. Roger Q. Mills
      • 17th/18th Texas Cavalry [Dismounted]: Capt. George D. Manion
      • 24th/25th Texas Cavalry [Dismounted]: Col. Franklin C. Wilkes
 

Lubliner

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I went back to the beginning of your thread here @Luke Freet because I had found some information for @LeadShark about sharpshooters, and wondered about the skip in your record report with Cleburne. In Volume 52, Series 1 Part 1, being a Supplement to the format (late send-ins) while Cleburne was under Hardee, after Shiloh; he was commanding the Second Brigade on its movement against Farmington, to the east of Corinth in May of 1862; pages 34 and 35. He says he was leading the Fifth, Forty-eighth, Twenty-fourth, and Second Tennessee Volunteers. He mentions Lieutenant Jetton, Colonel Hill, and Colonel Allison. I was curious because he twice mentions sharpshooters separately from skirmishers, saying they were from the Twenty-fourth. Did he have an organization of sharpshooters as one of his companies? Because this Volume was Supplemental and received the later submissions that could not make it to press in the chronological order, I thought maybe you had overlooked it. Just calling attention to it. Thanks,
Lubliner.
 

Luke Freet

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I went back to the beginning of your thread here @Luke Freet because I had found some information for @LeadShark about sharpshooters, and wondered about the skip in your record report with Cleburne. In Volume 52, Series 1 Part 1, being a Supplement to the format (late send-ins) while Cleburne was under Hardee, after Shiloh; he was commanding the Second Brigade on its movement against Farmington, to the east of Corinth in May of 1862; pages 34 and 35. He says he was leading the Fifth, Forty-eighth, Twenty-fourth, and Second Tennessee Volunteers. He mentions Lieutenant Jetton, Colonel Hill, and Colonel Allison. I was curious because he twice mentions sharpshooters separately from skirmishers, saying they were from the Twenty-fourth. Did he have an organization of sharpshooters as one of his companies? Because this Volume was Supplemental and received the later submissions that could not make it to press in the chronological order, I thought maybe you had overlooked it. Just calling attention to it. Thanks,
Lubliner.
From what I've read, he organized a special company of sharpshooters following Shiloh. I have not found any other information on it; about if it remained a fixture of the brigade after Cleburne is promoted; who commanded it; if he did something similar on division scale; etc. I titled this an amateur study, for that is what it is. I wish I knew every detail of Cleburne's division, but I do not.
 

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Thanks so much for all your work on Cleburne’s Division and it’s brigades. I am in process of studying specifically the 7th Texas Regiment, which was the heart of what was known later as
Granberry’s Brigade.
I am following the regiment’s movements from it’s organization in Marshall Texas, it’s official formation at Hopkinsville, Kentucky, through all the engagements from Fort Donaldson to their surrender at Greensboro.
While doing this research, obviously there was great info on Cleburne. I plan on posting this in a few days if not sooner. I know it will not be of interest to many folks, due to it’s myopic nature, but I thank you for your research and postings of the OR records, in particular.
My sources will be listed at bottom of post, and might be helpful to you....
Marty
 
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