Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

AUG

Major
Retired Moderator
Joined
Nov 20, 2012
Messages
6,998
Location
Texas
dec15micahjenkins-jpg.jpg

Having done a thread on Micah Jenkins at the battle of Glendale, I thought I should also do one on his actions in the battle of Seven Pines/Fair Oaks, which I think ranks among the best small unit actions of the war.

For a rather large and bloody battle, Seven Pines is very overlooked in comparison to others in the East. So is Jenkins' performance there. Although some of the things he did later in the war can be called into question, this was without a doubt the shining moment of his career, earning him high accolades in the Army of Northern Virginia.

Part of the Peninsula Campaign, the battle was fought on May 31 - June 1, 1862. Having withdrawn up the Virginia Peninsula, pursued by McClellan's army until on the outskirts of Richmond, Gen. Joe Johnston decided to strike back in an attack on two isolated Federal corps south of the Chickahominy River.

After the battle got underway on May 31, Brig. Gen. Richard H. Anderson's brigade (containing Col. Jenkins and his regiment, the Palmetto Sharpshooters) was sent in to support D. H. Hill's division. Anderson divided his brigade, placing Jenkins in command of both his own regiment and the 6th South Carolina. He was also joined by the 27th Georgia from another brigade. With these three regiments, Hill then sent him on a flanking movement on the Federal right.


In a letter to his sister written not long after the battle, Longstreet's aide, Major Thomas J. Goree, sums up Jenkins' performance rather accurately:
Genl. Anderson's S.C. Brigade under Col. Jenkins (Genl. Anderson being temporarily in command of a division) immortalized itself.
Col. Jenkins carried the brigade into action about 3 O'clock P.M., a little further to the left of where Genl. D.H. Hill was engaged. From this time until night he fought unsupported and alone, and advancing all the time. He fought 5 separate & distinct lines of the enemy, whipping each one. He whipped the whole of Genl. Couch's Division, consisting of 12 or 15 regiments, with a little brigade of 1900 men. He passed over several abattis of felled timber, two lines of breastworks, captured three pieces of artillery, 250 prisoners, & several stands of colors.
He whipped the fifth lines of the enemy about 8 O'clock P.M. At that time he was near two miles in advance of anyone else. His brigade rested that night in a Massachusetts camp, and had every luxury nearly that you can imagine: a plenty of brandy, lemons, & preserved fruits of all sorts, oil clothes, boots and shoes, opera glasses, etc. etc. etc.
The Yankee prisoners were perfectly surprised when they found he had accomplished so much with only one little brigade. They told him that every line he met was composed of fresh troops, and that they thought he was receiving reinforcements all the time.
Genl. Longstreet was very much surprised, too, when Col. Jenkins came in at night, and reported where his brigade was.
This brigade went into action with 1900 men. It lost 700 killed & wounded, & among this number were more than half of its field officers, and near one third of the line officers. But, it never faltered, nor even stopped. It advanced slowly but steadily for more than two miles, all the time in the face of a galling fire, and nearly all the way over felled timber & the enemy's breastworks. . . .
A few days previous to the battle, Genl. Longstreet presented to Col. Jenkins' Regt. ("Palmetto Sharpshooters") a battle flag. A noble, manly fellow was the color bearer. In the fight he was shot down; as Col. Jenkins rode by where he was lying he raised himself on his elbow & exclaimed: "For God's sake, Colonel, take care of my flag."
This flag has 9 bullet holes in it. It had a guard of 12 men, 10 of them were killed & wounded. This flag, at one time, changed hands 4 times in 3 minutes without falling to the ground. It now has inscribed on it "Williamsburg" & "Seven Pines."

(The Civil War Letters of Major Thomas J. Goree edited by Thomas W. Cutrer, p. 87)


As mentioned, Jenkins was not actually commanding Anderson's entire brigade, but only three regiments. A fourth regiment, the 5th South Carolina, was later sent to his aide, before he defeated the final, fifth line.

As Jenkins details in his report, which I'll post below, his key was speed. He kept his men moving, never fighting for more than five minutes in one place. After defeating one line he would immediately advance to the next, chasing the retreating Union troops back to the next line, before they had time to prepare or open fire at long range. His men also made some complex maneuvers while under fire. That was rather impressive for a commander and troops who had only seen one or two major battles previously, and nothing nearly as intense.

Graduating at the top of his class at the Citadel and later founding the King's Mountain Military Academy, Jenkins was an exceptional drill master. As Capt. W. B. Smith, Co. G, Palmetto Sharpshooters later wrote, "General Jenkins was magic. He could come nearer making his men work like machinery than any other man I ever saw."
 

AUG

Major
Retired Moderator
Joined
Nov 20, 2012
Messages
6,998
Location
Texas
This map of the battle gives a general idea of where Jenkins was in relation to the battle as a whole, though doesn't show his movements in detail.
Seven Pines map 2.jpg


Basic map I put together, just to better explain the tactical details. Based on those in James J. Baldwin's bio of Jenkins, The Struck Eagle.
Seven Pines map 1.jpg
 

AUG

Major
Retired Moderator
Joined
Nov 20, 2012
Messages
6,998
Location
Texas
Here is Jenkins' official report. It's quite long so I'll put it in quotes. Note that he mistakenly refers to the 27th Georgia as the 28th.

Report of Colonel M. Jenkins, Palmetto Sharpshooters, commanding brigade.

HEADQUARTERS PALMETTO SHARPSHOOTERS, --- --, 1862.

SIR: Having been placed in command of the brigade prior to getting under fire, by General [Richard H.] Anderson's being charged with the control of three brigades, and though for a time detached with my regiment for a special service, yet from the circumstances of the fight, being called on during nearly the whole time we were under fire to control and direct the movements, first of two regiments, then of three, and afterward, for a short time, of four, I find it difficult to make, as I am called on to do, a detailed report of my own regiment only, as my attention and thoughts were directed to their combined movements as well as to the conduct of my own.

When Major General D. H. Hill called for a regiment from the brigade to take one of the enemy's batteries, mine having been designated, I with it, and guided by Colonel George B. Anderson to the left of the Twenty-eighth Georgia (one of his regiments), took position against a small abatis, with my left company deployed near the York River Railroad and my right adjacent to the Twenty-eighth Georgia. Colonel John Bratton, with the Sixth South Carolina Volunteers, having afterward come up, took position on the right of the Twenty-eighth Georgia, and an advance being concerted, the regiments moved forward without firing and with fixed bayonets. A continuation of the forward movement brought the Sixth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers and my own together, shutting out the Twenty-eighth Georgia to the rear. The colonel of that regiment having asked a position with us, I directed him to the right of Bratton's regiment. Our advance was now continued, with little or no opposition, through the enemy's camp and across a neighborhood road leading to [the] railroad. Here the lines were halted and dressed, my left company called in, and at this time, seeing General Richard H. Anderson, I reported to him. His instructions being to advance, we went forward to the second abatis, a very heavy and difficult one to pass. At this point, the railroad being open to view and some of the enemy being seen to our left and front, I threw out as skirmishers to feel it Captain Colclough's company, and having allowed sufficient time to discover their presence, I advanced my regiment through the abatis under a very heavy fire, which was repaid with interest after crossing. Finding after crossing that the Sixth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers and mine were isolated, I instructed Colonel Bratton to keep his left touching to my right; and the enemy's line, after a stubborn resistance, having given way to our attack, I perceived that we had pierced his line [first line], and having dressed the line, I executed, under fire from the right front, a change of front obliquely forward on right company. Directing the two regiments forward in line, we drove the enemy to the front and right, passing over their second camp and through a swamp.

At this point the enemy, heavily re-enforced, made a desperate stand, and our fighting was within 75 yards [second line]. Not pausing even to load, and pouring in my volleys at close range as I advanced, I never allowed a broken line to get through their new lines before I pushed on the new line and drove them back, losing heavily myself, but killing numbers of the enemy. Our advance continued in this steady manner, the enemy steadily giving back. The ranks of the enemy having broken to our right and front and the fire having lessened, I halted the lines, dressed them, and then changed front obliquely forward.

Following the retreating enemy either fresh troops or heavy re-enforcements met us, and in front of their third camp offered us battle with greatly superior numbers [third line]. Without pausing our lines moved on him, and our steady advance was not to be resisted. After a most obstinate resistance and terrible slaughter the enemy gave back to our left and right across the Williamsburg road, about a mile or more from General Casey's headquarters. Following the latter and heavier body, they were again re-enforced and took position in a wood parallel and about 300 yards on the right of the Williamsburg road [fourth line]. With the Sixth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers and six companies of my regiment in line in the bed of the Williamsburg road and with five companies sweeping the remnant of the enemy who had retired to our left, I was fired upon by our battery near General Casey's headquarters, the fire enfilading my line in the road and leading me to believe that I had gotten too far in the enemy's rear; but on sending notice of my position to General D. H. Hill the fire was stopped. By this time my left five companies had gained the road. The fire from our battery rendered me uncertain as to the location of my command; but at this moment Major William Anderson, commanding my regiment, reported to me a heavy column of the enemy advancing on me by the Williamsburg road [fifth line], and being then engaged with superior numbers in my front and not wishing to retire, I determined to break the enemy in front before I could be reached by this new advance, and then by a change of front to meet them.

I sent my adjutant, Captain Seabrook, to get re-enforcements either from General Anderson or General Hill, and ordering Major William Anderson to fight the advance of the column on the Williamsburg road with my left two companies (Kilpatrick's and Martin's), I carried forward swiftly and steadily my line against the enemy. Having to pass across an open field on this advance I lost heavily, but succeeded in routing and dispersing the enemy in my front, driving them at least a quarter of a mile; then, gathering my men promptly, and finding out from Lieutenant Colonel J. M. Steedman, who was then in command of the Sixth (Colonel Bratton having been wounded), that one of his men had reported the Fifth South Carolina Volunteers as being in our rear at the enemy's trenches, which they had taken in gallant style, I dispatched Adjutant Gaillard, of the Sixth, to order the regiment forward as rapidly as possible.

In the mean while, Major William Anderson advancing down the Williamsburg road and firing upon the enemy's advanced skirmishers, they retired to the advancing column, and in the momentary check gave me time to make my dispositions to meet them. Having dressed the lines, I moved by the flank, under cover of the wood to avoid the fire of our battery to the left of the Williamsburg road, and took up line of battle oblique to the road and to the left, so as to present front at once to the enemy's advance by the road and to any rallied party that might recover from my last attack. I had formed my line of battle in the manner indicated for want of numbers to occupy a position I preferred, facing the enemy coming on the Williamsburg road, but Captain Seabrook, my adjutant, who had been sent to General Anderson for re-enforcements, reported to me the Twenty-eighth Georgia [was] about 300 yards to my rear, and I sent him to bring them up at the double-quick.

During this time we had evidence of the near approach of the enemy by hearing their words of command and their cheers. I should have said that in my advance I had passed the enemy's artillery in two positions - in their second camp two pieces and in the Williamsburg road one piece and two caissons - but so closely were we on the heels of their troops that they could not use them upon us.

In taking up my last line I had detailed a party under my acting major (Captain J. W. Goss) to withdraw the latter piece of artillery, and at this moment he came up and reported the enemy in line of battle, advancing at the double-quick. Strengthened by the nearness of support I advanced my line toward them also at the Williamburg road in the open field along the crest of hill, the woods immediately in front, and the enemy in line about 100 yards distant. The Twenty-eighth Georgia was placed on the right, touching to the road, my regiment, formerly on right, now in center, and the Sixth regiment on left. The enemy poured in a heavy fire on my right eight companies, and the Twenty-eighth Georgia, their right opposite my left, and the Sixth South Carolina Volunteers, being separated by a dense swamp, not firing, the supporting regiment, under a terrible fire, gave back, notwithstanding the gallant efforts of its adjutant and color-bearer, who halted and refused to move. The enemy, encouraged, redoubled his fire on my right, cheered and advanced, and I determined to meet him. In prompt obedience the two regiments rose from their knees, from whence they had been firing upon the enemy with decided effect, and resumed their old, steady advance, firing full in the face of the foe. The two lines neared each other to 30 or 40 yards, and now the left of my regiment and the Sixth South Carolina Volunteers, passing the swamp, came full upon the enemy's right. Losing heavily, I pressed on, and the enemy sullenly and slowly gave way, we had advanced some 200 or 300 yards, the enemy getting more and more disordered and beginning to break badly. By this time Lieutenant Colonel A. Jackson, in command of the Fifth South Carolina Volunteers (Colonel Giles having been killed), received my message, and in prompt response came up at the doublequick. The Twenty-eight Georgia, seeing re-enforcements, rallied and came forward, forming on my right. Jackson, giving to the right, came up on their right, sweeping before him the rallied fragments who had collected and resumed fire from the woods to the right, and thus at 7.40 p. m. we closed our busy day, the last seen of the enemy being his broken and disordered squads of from 5 to 20, visible for one-half mile over an extensive wheat field.

Hearing on the railroad to my left the noise of troops I sent the Fifth South Carolina Volunteers to my left, but we were not disturbed, and night having settled upon the field, I posted in this extreme position, with instructions t throw out pickets, the Nineteenth Mississippi Regiment, which (guided by my commissary, Captain Dick, acting as my aide) had been sent me by General R. H. Anderson and had now arrived. I retired the other regiments to the enemy's camp in rear, where we reposed for the night, my regiment sleeping in the camp of the Tenth Massachusetts Volunteers; and having reported to General R. H. Anderson, under his instructions made arrangements for the night, and sent out details to bring in the wounded and arms, &c.

In this fight I cannot [but] allow myself to speak of the gallantry and good conduct of my men, as well as those of the other regiments of our brigade who fought with us. I was nobly seconded by my major William Anderson, and received great assistance from my adjutant, Captain Seabrook, and commissary, Captain Dick; as also Captain Love, commissary of the Sixth Regiment, who acted as my aide when placed in charge of the brigade and continued with me during the battle. Captain Love was wounded and the other aides had their horses shot.

My officers did their duty promptly and very efficiently, encouraging and leading their men and carrying out my orders with intelligence and spirit. To them I attribute the prompt obedience which rendered success certain.

I must also say that I received most intelligent and ready assistance at all times from the officers commanding regiments fighting with us.

We passed in our march through two abatis of fallen timber, over four camps, and artillery twice, driving the enemy from three pieces. We never fought twice in the same place nor five minutes in one place, and, steadily on the advance, were under fire from 3 p. m. to 7.40 p. m. The service we did will be evidenced by our list of killed and wounded; and I would remark that, although fighting within 100 yards nearly the whole time, there was a remarkable disproportion of killed to wounded, the enemy's aim being disconcerted by our steady advance.

In my two color companies, out of 80 men who entered 40 were killed and wounded, and out of 11 in the color guard 10 were shot down, and my colors, pierced by nine balls, passed through four hands without touching the ground.

Captain Colclough's company, which had been deployed early in the fight to feel the enemy to our left and front, after remaining on the railroad met and took prisoners two companies of the enemy who had been on picket, and with his company - aggregate, 47 - took 1 captain, 5 lieutenants, and 133 privates with Enfield rifles in their hands.

Although I may not notice particular instances of gallantry where all did their duty, yet to my gallant wounded and lamented dead I must add a tribute. The wounded gave no groans of anguish as the fatal blow was received, and instead of asking to be carried from the field encouraged their comrades to press on. The dying fell with their faces to the foe, all seeming actuated by a spirit like that of the noble Captain Carpenter, who advanced by my colors until his gallant little band of 28 dwindled to 12 and ever in their front, when the fatal ball pierced his heart turned to his company and, in words fit to be the last of a dying hero and patriot, said, "Boys, I am killed, but you press on!" then yielded up his spirit to the cause.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. JENKINS,
Colonel Palmetto Sharpshooters.

Captain R. P. CRITTENDEN,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Second Brigade, Second Division.

Letter by Micah Jenkins to his wife, Caroline:

Headquarters Palmetto Sharpshooters,
June 2, 1862.
My Ever Precious Wife: Thanks be to our Almighty Father, I am still alive to write you again, I passed day before yesterday through a very severe fight and have won for myself and men a name in history. I accomplished a more brilliant feat than the charge at Balaklava. With two regiments (Palmetto Shapshooters and the Sixth regiment, Col. John Bratton, about 1,800 men.— R. F. J.) I whipped and routed General Couch's division, driving them two miles, fighting five lines of fresh troops and routing every line, and getting so far ahead of our line that our own guns opened on us. I was struck upon the knee, drawing blood and unfortunately ruining my pants.
The brigade under my command covered itself with glory; saving the fate of the day, which was against us when we went in, and setting South Carolina on as high a position as ever. I have been highly complimented. Gen. D. H. Hill, our commander, called my command his "salvation," refused to let me retire yesterday to recruit and get ammunition, saying that he would feel as if he had weakened himself by six brigades. He held me to act as rear guard, selecting me, cut up as we were, out of three divisions as being most reliable, and said to others he would rather have me with one regiment than any brigadier with five.
I never fought in the same grounds twice, nor the same place five minutes, breaking five lines of fresh troops by charging with bayonets, never getting within 75 yards of them, took three of their camps, three pieces of artillery and three stands of colors. My regiment have acted as heroes to sing in history, never faltering, but ever at my word pressing on until night, after six hours steady fighting, ended our labors for the day. I have never heard of such fighting. Out of the 11 color guards, I only brought back one, and in the two color companies I carried in 80 men and lost 40 killed and wounded. I was in my lines or in advance the whole time, cheering and leading my men. The brigade has lost severely. In my regiment I had 20 killed and 202 wounded. Capt Seabrook is safe. I was only hit once, but suffer nothing but soreness and the loss of a pair of pants. Carolinians need feel ashamed no longer. I will send you with this letter an album. You will see General Couch's remarks that his division that I routed was some 7,000 men. May God keep me for you, dearest. Till death yours, Micah Jenkins.
To Mrs. M. Jenkins.

(Career and Character of General Micah Jenkins by John P. Thomas, p. 14)


Capt. W. B. Smith, Co. G, Jenkins's Palmetto Sharpshooters:

I will give you a description of that grand evolution that the Palmetto Sharpshooters made at Seven Pines, which you will see described by Longstreet. After we had driven back four fresh lines of battle General Jenkins drew his lines back a short way and formed a new line. Some one said to him: "Colonel, just look at them coming at the double-quick." Jenkins replied: "We will meet them at the double-quick." He straightened himself up in his stirrups and gave the command to charge front on twelfth company at the double-quick, and I never saw on ordinary parade a prettier maneuver. General Jenkins was magic. He could come nearer making his men work like machinery than any other man I ever saw. That was the last charge at Seven Pines, at which ended the battle. We fought five fresh lines that evening and whipped every one. Jenkins was on his horse all through the battle.
(Ibid., p. 15)
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

AUG

Major
Retired Moderator
Joined
Nov 20, 2012
Messages
6,998
Location
Texas
James A. Hoyt.jpg

The following is by Lt. James A. Hoyt (above) in his history of Co. C of the Palmetto Sharpshooters, The Palmetto Riflemen, pp. 25-26:

The Palmetto Sharp Shooters was most conspicuous in its conduct at Seven Pines, and received the warmest praises from general officers for its gallant bearing. The fighting in which this Regiment was engaged was sharp and desperate, and when night fell upon the scene, although the victory was ours, there was no cause for congratulation. Nearly fifty from our ranks lay in the stillness of death, while two hundred more were among the wounded and disabled. But there was a prowess displayed in which every man felt a pride.
Individual gallantry was the subject of common remark, and as we bivouacked that night upon the ground we had wrested from the enemy, one incident after another was related. In this connection, let me repeat one which is worthy of being told, not less for the intrinsic merit of the deed commemorated than for the associations it will revive among you.
"When the day's long fight was over," the regiment was halted at the edge of a narrow strip of woods, facing toward an old field. An occasional minie ball was flying in our direction, and all danger was not yet over. The ranks had been divided at the colors, and each wing rested respectively on the right and left of the Williamsburg road. The color-bearer was standing in the centre of the road, with his colors planted on the ground, and his arms encircled their folds. He was the only one left of the twelve gallant men forming the color-guard, who had entered the fight as the custodians of that flag; and now, as the dusky shadows of night appeared, there he stood in a sublime posture, fondly cherishing his precious charge. I have often heard the noble and heroic Jenkins declare that this simple act of the gallant Poe was the most striking and impressive instance of devotion he had ever witnessed.

William Poe.jpg

That last man to take up the colors was William Poe. Then a corporal, he was later promoted up to 1st lieutenant. Unfortunately, he didn't survive the war. He was mortally wounded in the battle of Wauhatchie at Chattanooga on October 29, 1863, dying on December 22, 1863.

This company went into action with fifty-six men, rank and file, and at roll-call that night, one-half the number were among the killed and wounded. Among those who were mortally wounded was a man from this immediate neighborhood, who was greatly beloved by every member of the company for his manly and generous character, and in his bravery and integrity there was unlimited confidence. Lieut. Felton possessed the entire respect and admiration of all who knew him, and the fervent grasp of his honest hand made every one feel that he was in truth a friend. In many respects, he was a most remarkable man; not cultured in the schools, and yet instinctively polite and courteous; not gifted in speech, and yet no man failed to understand that his principles were noble and exalted; not demonstrative to any great degree, and yet the lisping child would cling to him at once, for his kindliness of heart and unselfish manner could not fail to win the confidence of childhood, which is strong proof of a man's purity and innate gentleness.

Amazia Felton.jpg

1st Lieutenant Amazia Felton.

Portraits are from a 1903 composite photo collage of Company C "Palmetto Riflemen." Used with the permission of @John Winn who posted his copy in another thread here: https://civilwartalk.com/threads/palmetto-riflemen-sharpshooters-jenkins.136747/
 

AUG

Major
Retired Moderator
Joined
Nov 20, 2012
Messages
6,998
Location
Texas
Letter written by Lt. Richard Lewis, Co. B, Palmetto Sharpshooters:

Camp near Richmond, June 2d, 1862.
I suppose ere this you have heard of the bloody battle that was fought here—one in which victory was again ours, but dearly bought, many of the brave veterans of our gallant army falling victims. All of our mess escaped again, with the exception of Bill Seaborn, poor fellow, who fell early in the engagement, while driving the Yankees back to the banks of the Chickahominy. Our division was relieved this morning, after remaining in possession of the field nearly all the next day. We came back to camp pretty much exhausted and worn out, and hope to remain here until we get rested. Our brigade suffered awfully, but have won a name which any might be proud to boast of—making charge after charge on the Yankees, and completely routing them from every position. Our Color-Sergeant, Lawrence Smith, was killed, and all of his color-guard, eleven in number, fell wounded under the folds of the old colors. Private Poe, of the Palmetto Regiment, volunteered to carry the colors, and nobly and bravely did he do it, for at one time when the regiment was reeling and staggering under the terrific fire he moved to the front, waving his colors to the men, and with a shout and yell, they followed him, driving the Yankees before them. He was wounded, but never surrendered his colors until after the fight. This is the first fight that brother Dave was in, but he behaved himself well.

(Camp Life of a Confederate Boy: Letters Written by Lt. Richard Lewis to his Mother during the War, pp. 30-31)

I don't have a picture of it, but what very little remains of the Palmetto Sharpshooters' first flag is on display at the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum in Columbia, SC. It is a square, silk Confederate Battle Flag ("St. Andrew's Cross" pattern) with Williamsburg and Seven Pines battle honors.
 

AUG

Major
Retired Moderator
Joined
Nov 20, 2012
Messages
6,998
Location
Texas
Another good anecdote to come out of the battle is that, when Jenkins and his men rested in the camp of the 10th Massachusetts that night, he was given a locket picked up by one of his soldiers. Finding that it belonged to the colonel of the 10th Mass., Col. Henry S. Briggs, and contained a photo of his family, Jenkins resolved to have it returned. This article was published in the Boston Journal and reprinted in the Yorkville Enquirer, Nov 12, 1862:

Real Chivalry, Yorkville Enquirer, Nov 12, 1862 1.jpg


Briggs later wrote back to Jenkins:

I beg to assure you of my high appreciation of the generous magnanimity and delicate courtesy of your act, and to thank you with all my heart for the restoration of [the locket]. . . . I cannot without pain contemplate the meeting as a foe. . . . one who has performed so honorable an act, and conferred upon me so great a favor.

(The Struck Eagle: A Biography of Brigadier General Micah Jenkins by James J. Baldwin III, p. 102)

Henry_Shaw_Briggs.jpg

Photo of Briggs, from his Wikipedia page.

@lelliott19 you might be interested in this. #Act of Kindness threads.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

AUG

Major
Retired Moderator
Joined
Nov 20, 2012
Messages
6,998
Location
Texas
Lastly (at least for now) here's the link to an excellent article in the Yorkville Enquirer, August 7, 1862, which details the Palmetto Sharpshooters' actions at Seven Pines, Gaines' Mill, and Glendale. It was authored by war correspondent F. G. DeFontaine, going by the pseudonym "Personne."

https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026925/1862-08-07/ed-1/seq-1/
 

lelliott19

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Mar 15, 2013
Messages
6,029
Great thread @AUG ! Thanks for tagging me. As you know I am a big fan of Micah Jenkins, in spite of the internal rivalry and negative consequences resulting from his promotion during Longstreet's East Tennessee campaign. I especially enjoyed the Act of Kindness included in post #6. You know I love reading those. :thumbsup:

I don't know as much as I'd like about specific examples of Jenkins' leadership, and am looking forward to reading more. Please "tag" me again whenever you post more about Jenkins. Thanks again!
 

AUG

Major
Retired Moderator
Joined
Nov 20, 2012
Messages
6,998
Location
Texas
Great thread @AUG ! Thanks for tagging me. As you know I am a big fan of Micah Jenkins, in spite of the internal rivalry and negative consequences resulting from his promotion during Longstreet's East Tennessee campaign. I especially enjoyed the Act of Kindness included in post #6. You know I love reading those. :thumbsup:

I don't know as much as I'd like about specific examples of Jenkins' leadership, and am looking forward to reading more. Please "tag" me again whenever you post more about Jenkins. Thanks again!
Thank you, I'll make sure to do so!

I think Jenkins is probably best known today for the rivalry with Laws, and his death to friendly fire at the Wilderness. Then there's the fact that he and his brigade didn't see much action in 1863, missing Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Chickamauga. His part in the Peninsula Campaign, Seven Days and Second Manassas doesn't get much attention, but that was really his claim to fame and where both he and his men did the best fighting. Aside from the fact that he was a South Carolinian and had a solid military education, Jenkins' performance in those battles was a major reason why Longstreet had so much trust in him thereafter.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

AUG

Major
Retired Moderator
Joined
Nov 20, 2012
Messages
6,998
Location
Texas
Here's an excerpt from an article in the Yorkville Enquirer describing the presentation of the above-mentioned flag to the Palmetto Sharpshooters. It was only presented two days before the battle, May 29, 1862.

Flag presentation 1.jpg

Flag presentation 2.jpg


The flag was reportedly shot through nine times at Seven Pines and twenty-two at Glendale. It was carried by the regiment until retired in 1863 or 64, sent back to Pendleton, SC, for safekeeping.
 

zhodanius

Cadet
Joined
Jun 19, 2019
Messages
1
Great work! I especially like the line drawing you put together showing Jenkins' pursuit of the various lines he fought. I've been developing a wargame of the Battle of Seven Pines / Fair Oaks at a regimental level. The toughest part has been to identify where everyone was at a given time (for scenario purposes). This will come in handy.

I did my research on Jenkins' Brigade 6 years ago. The information I gathered is here: https://zhodanius.tumblr.com/post/37165906017/counters-for-andersons-brigade-this-unit-was

The text is below. I'll have to reevaluate what I found based on your work.

Counters for Anderson’s Brigade. This unit was commanded by Col. Micah Jenkins, who was best known as the regimental commander of the “Palmetto Sharpshooters.” These were an elite unit from South Carolina who were known for their fighting prowess. There’s a lot of controversy over the role that Longstreet played in the screw-up that was Seven Pines, but it seems that of this brigade, only the Palmettos and the 6th SC were committed.
 

AUG

Major
Retired Moderator
Joined
Nov 20, 2012
Messages
6,998
Location
Texas
Great work! I especially like the line drawing you put together showing Jenkins' pursuit of the various lines he fought. I've been developing a wargame of the Battle of Seven Pines / Fair Oaks at a regimental level. The toughest part has been to identify where everyone was at a given time (for scenario purposes). This will come in handy.

I did my research on Jenkins' Brigade 6 years ago. The information I gathered is here: https://zhodanius.tumblr.com/post/37165906017/counters-for-andersons-brigade-this-unit-was

The text is below. I'll have to reevaluate what I found based on your work.

Counters for Anderson’s Brigade. This unit was commanded by Col. Micah Jenkins, who was best known as the regimental commander of the “Palmetto Sharpshooters.” These were an elite unit from South Carolina who were known for their fighting prowess. There’s a lot of controversy over the role that Longstreet played in the screw-up that was Seven Pines, but it seems that of this brigade, only the Palmettos and the 6th SC were committed.
I see this is your first post, so welcome!

Glad you got something out of this. Yeah, though I don't wargame, I imagine Seven Pines would be a difficult battle to piece together when it comes to brigade and regimental level actions. Not much has been written on it and, from what I have read/recall, it was quite an uncoordinated mess of a battle as a whole (maybe with the exception of Jenkins and some others) - more of a brawl than a battle, largely due to the inexperience of most everyone involved.

Good luck with your research. I'm also interested in the 5th South Carolina's movements prior to their joining up with Jenkins men later in the fight, but have not been able to find much info.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Snowbound

Private
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
44
Great thread. I spent many hours sitting through classes in Jenkins at the Citadel in the early 70s. In those days I had very little knowledge about the military record of this amazing individual.
 

Yankeedave

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
4,745
Location
Colorado
On the ground at Seven Pines he got his small group so the r.r. embankment covered his left with his right in the woods. Moving thru the swampy-ness he was able to turn the right flank of each union unit as pressure was put on the latter's front. This caused each union command to collapse upon the one behind. Genius. Took a few hours for the North to stabilize the line.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top