Fredericksburg: federal brigades order of battle against stonewall

Mr King

Sergeant
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
I apologize if this has been covered and please provide link. I watched the the prequel to Gettysburg last night and wanted to know the list in order of all the federal brigades that assaulted the stonewall and casualties for each. In the movie it mainly focused on the Irish brigade and 20th Maine regiment. I read that the Irish brigade was the only one that got to the wall the closest, not only out of bravery but may have been because they preferred the smoothbore muskets over the rifles. Thanks!
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
The casualties and composition would be in the ORs without much trouble. I can see about providing those. I don't have the brigade assault order at the moment though.


Order of mention on Wikipedia:


French:
Kimball
Andrews
Palmer

Hancock:
Zook
Meagher
Caldwell

Howard:
Owen
Hall
2 regiments of Sully

Also Sturgis' division (but it's not clear when)

Later, Griffin (three brigades, one by one)

Then Humphreys 1st brigade (and possibly the other?)

At the same time as Humphreys, Getty goes in
Hawkins
Harland


Then Sykes' division to support Humphreys' retreat



I'll see about providing composition and numbers for these.
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
French:
Kimball (14 IN, 24 NJ, 28 NJ, 4 OH, 8 OH, 7 WV) 520
Andrews (1 DE, 4 NY, 10 NY, 132 PA) 342
Palmer (14 CT, 108 NY, 130 PA) 291

Hancock:
Zook (27 CT, 2 DE, 52 NY, 57 NY, 66 NY, 53 PA) 527
Meagher (28 MA, 63 NY, 69 NY, 88 NY, 116 PA) 545
Caldwell (5 NH, 7 NY, 61 NY, 64 NY, 81 PA, 145 PA) 952

Howard:
Owen (69 PA, 71 PA, 72 PA, 106 PA), 127 PA attached 258 (+ 146 for 127 PA) so 406
Hall (19 MA, 20 MA, 7 MI, 42 NY, 59 NY) 369 (not counting 127 PA)
2 regiments of Sully (Sully took 122 casualties overall)

Also Sturgis' division (but it's not clear when or in what order)
Nagle was (2 MD, 6 NH, 9 NH, 48 PA, 7 RI, 12 RI) 500
Ferrero was (21 MA, 35 MA, 11 NH, 51 NY, 51 PA) 491

Later, Griffin (three brigades, one by one, order unclear)
Barnes: (2 ME, 18 MA, 22 MA, MA SS, 1 MI, 13 NY, 25 NY, 118 PA) 500
Sewitzer: (9 MA, 32 MA, 4 MI, 14 NY, 62 PA) 222
Stockton: (20 ME, MI SS, 16 MI, 12 NY, 17 NY, 44 NY, 83 PA) 201
+ 1st US SS

Then Humphreys, probably 1st brigade then 2nd
Tyler: (91 PA, 126 PA, 129 PA, 134 PA) 454
Allabach: (123 PA, 131 PA, 133 PA, 155 PA) 562

At the same time as Humphreys, Getty goes in
Hawkins (10 NH, 31 NH, 25 NJ, 9 NY, 89 NY, 103 NY) 255
Harland (8 CT, 11 CT, 15 CT, 16 CT, 21 CT, 4 RI) 41


Then Sykes' division to support Humphreys' retreat
Buchanan: (4 US, 1/12 US, 2/12 US, 1/14 US, 2/14 US) 51
Andrews/Lovell: (1 and 2 US, 6 US, 7 US, 10 US, 11 US, 17 and 19 US) 140
Warren: (5 NY, 140 NY, 146 NY) 36



Based on these numbers, I would say that Harland, Buchanan and Warren likely did not make any significant charge against the wall. Andrews probably also did not and was just invovled in extracting Humphreys, making ~16 brigades which probably charged based on casualty figures alone, though I don't believe they all went in against the stone wall.


The five hardest hit brigades were Caldwell, Allabach, Meagher, Kimball and Zook in that order. Caldwell was the clear outlier and took enormous casualties.

The 20th Maine suffered only 36 casualties, of which four died. Every single regiment in French's division and every single regiment in Hancock's division suffered worse than the 20th Maine; they just didn't suffer much at Fredericksburg by comparison with others.


I believe the Irish Brigade were focused on for marketing purposes (they're a recognizable and IRISH unit) and the 20th Maine because of Gettysburg.
 

Mr King

Sergeant
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Thank you Saphroneph for providing this with such great detail, I really appreciate this.
 

SgtDarby8OVI

Private
Joined
Jun 30, 2021
According to Lt. Col. Franklin Sawyer, the 4th and 8th Ohio and the 1st Delaware were assigned the job of "clearing the interval between the town and the heights" to make way for the rest of Kimball's brigade and subsequent 2nd Corps units. Having accomplished this task, the three regiments took shelter in the last row of buildings on the edge of town. They "occupied this position for over an hour before any part of the charging column came into sight," and held that position under fire while wave after wave of troops unsuccessfully assaulted the wall. Total losses in the 8th were 44 killed or wounded, and Sawyer states (perhaps with some post-war hyperbole) that "no body of troops was able to make a nearer approach to the rebel works than the first position taken by the Eighth and Fourth Ohio and First Delaware."
Franklin Sawyer, The Military History of the 8th Regiment Ohio Vol. Inf'y: Its Battles, Marches, and Army Movements (1881; reprint by Blue Acorn Press, 1994), 93-100.
 
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