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AUG

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Micah Jenkins.jpg
goree-thomas-j-1835-1905.jpg


Letter by Brig. Gen. Micah Jenkins to Longstreet's aide, Thomas J. Goree [Goree Family Papers].

Hd. Qrs., Petersburg, Va.
Aug. 10, 1863.

My Dear Friend,

As you have once again gotten within reach, I take advantage of Mr Reily's going up to your Hd Qrs. To send a few lives of remembrance.

I have had a very pleasant time indeed, the Hospitalities of Richmond & this city having been unsparing. We have made most charming lady friends & had very old comrades here in safety, I could not have been situated more to my pleasure. But I have been longing to be with you all the time and have made most earnest exertions to that effect. Have you all forgotten us? If not can not another effort still bring me to you. My brigade is in the best possible discipline & spirits & strong in numbers.

I volunteered to go to Charleston & drive the Yankees off Morris Island, submitting a place of attack through Col. Chesnut to President Davis. The President approved the plan said my troops were the troops & I the officer to make it, but that he could not spare me from Richmond.

I am now at Petersburg in command & have a considerable force under me; but I would rather be back with Hood in the old Corps than here.

Present me with warmest regards to the Genl and my friends on the staff. Try & get leave to visit me for a short time, I want much to see you.

Your sincere friend,
M. Jenkins


http://digital.library.shsu.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/p243coll3/id/2974/rec/2

Jenkins letter 1.jpg
Jenkins letter 2.jpg
 

AUG

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In summer of 1863 Jenkins' brigade of South Carolinians was detached from Longstreet's Corps in the Army of Northern Virginia and left to guard Richmond, therefore missing the Gettysburg Campaign. He was assigned to D.H. Hill's command in the Department of North Carolina during this time. Lee had petitioned for Jenkins' return to the army prior to the Gettysburg Campaign, sending letters to Hill and President Davis; however, Davis turned down his requests. Jenkins and his men also wished for their return to their old place in Longstreet's Corps; he also made multiple requests, but to no avail.

With his brigade sitting around Richmond, Jenkins at least wanted to participate in some action - contribute somewhere. With Fort Wagner at Morris Island under siege from July through September, he then requested to have his brigade transferred to Charleston and proposed a plan to break the siege and relieve the garrison at Wagner (I don't know exactly what that plan comprised of). Davis initially refused and the fort was abandoned in early September.

Just when Jenkins was beginning to believe he would never return to Lee's army and expected an eventual transfer to South Carolina despite the fall of Morris Island, his brigade was returned to Longstreet's Corps and placed in Hood's Division in September 1863 - just prior to the corps' transfer to the Western Theater to reinforce the Army of Tennessee. Longstreet had sent Tige Anderson's brigade of Georgians to Charleston in exchange for Jenkins', one reason being that Jenkins was a good friend and favorite of Longstreet's. It was also thought the Georgians might desert while in their home state without Anderson's leadership, he having been wounded at Gettysburg. Davis had then preferred Jenkins' transfer to Charleston, however it was too late before that could be countermanded.

Jenkins and his men were glad to be back in their old corps and on campaign again, though they would still be separated from Lee's army and now a long way from home, having just thought they would be sent back to South Carolina. Unfortunately for Jenkins, shortly after being sent west his youngest son died at home - he not able to be there to console his pregnant wife and children. His brigade arrived too late to participate at Chickamauga and they would suffer heavy losses in the battle of Wauhatchie at Chattanooga.

The Knoxville Campaign was a harsh and bitter one for Longstreet's command - lots of squabbling among Longstreet and his subordinates, especially between Jenkins and Evander Law over promotion and command of Hood's former division, only to have Charles W. Field promoted to major general and assigned command of the division by February 1864. The campaign took a toll on Jenkins' health, and on his return to Virginia he was suffering from carbuncles. Finally back in the ANV in spring of 1864, Jenkins would unfortunately be killed by friendly fire at the Wilderness on May 6, in the same incident that wounded Longstreet.

I think it's interesting to ponder what if Jenkins had been sent to South Carolina, what his plan for relieving Morris Island entailed and if it would have succeeded. Fort Wagner fell in early September 1863, leading to the closure of Charleston's port, bombardment and destruction of the city and its eventual evacuation. If Davis had consented to Jenkins' first request then he might have made it there before the fort fell. Also, he probably wouldn't have rejoined Longstreet's Corps - at least not by September.

Jenkins' South Carolina Brigade, circa 1863:
1st South Carolina Infantry (Hagood's)
2nd South Carolina Rifles
5th South Carolina Infantry
6th South Carolina Infantry
Palmetto Sharpshooters (Jenkins' own regiment)
Hampton's Legion (now a regiment, with the 4th SC Battalion being consolidated into two companies and added to the Hampton Legion infantry battalion in Nov. 1862)
 
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AUG

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Here's an article in the Yorkville Enquirer, July 22, 1863, on a review of Jenkins' Brigade at Petersburg and a speech by D.H. Hill to the brigade.

The sky blue uniforms mentioned were probably the imported English cadet gray cloth that was starting to be issued out by the Richmond Depot around this time, also famously issued to Longstreet's Corps before they were sent west.

Jenkins' Brigade 1.jpg

Jenkins' Brigade 2.jpg

Jenkins' Brigade 3.jpg

Jenkins' Brigade 4.jpg


@lelliott19 you might be interested in this as it includes D.H. Hill :thumbsup:
 

AUG

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A few letters written by Lt. Richard Lewis in the Palmetto Sharpshooters to his mother while the brigade was around Richmond in summer of 1863. He mentions the same event as in the above newspaper article.

Camp near Petersburg, June 25th, 1863.
Our brigade was reviewed by Major-General D. H. Hill on yesterday evening. There was a large crowd of spectators in attendance on the field, who seemed to be perfectly delighted with our performances. General Hill, after the review, made a very stirring and eloquent address, complimenting the brigade very highly, saying it was the most magnificent brigade he ever reviewed. He showered the compliments on Jenkins so heavy, tickling his pride and vanity so much, that he could hardly sit in his saddle. A certain class of citizens were very bitterly denounced by him, telling them that the citizen's dress worn by a stout and able-bodied citizen was a badge of infamy.



Camp near Richmond, July 2d, 1863.
On last Saturday night, after rallying around our Chaplain to have the precious words of the gospel imparted to us, and prayers, that we might meet the following Sabbath morning to engage in divine service, all retired to our couches (or you may say, beds of clay) to seek our earthly repose; but before we had dozed into a sound and refreshing sleep, orders came to prepare to take the train, so, in obedience to orders, we were found wending our way on to Richmond.

On our arrival General Jenkins, ever ready to show off the drill and efficiency of his brigade, had it formed, and marched through the city in column of companies, at the sound of the stirring strains of music, and awaking the old city from its deep and sound revery—the people pouring out from the different streets to witness the passing of our steady and unwavering columns, eliciting the highest praise from them all; but we were not greeted with the warm salutations of the fair ones here as in the City of Petersburg, they being in perfect ecstasy over us there.

Our camp is located within a few miles of Richmond, near by the grounds where we were lying before the grand drama of the scene of battles that were enacted around Richmond last summer, but are not in that state of fear and alarm as then, there being only a small force hovering around through the country, who could not even offer battle with the militia.


Camp near Richmond, July 23d, 1863.
On last Monday morning we were reviewed by General Elzey, and the brigade was very highly complimented by him, and by their skillful manoeuvring pleased the eye of the spectators very much, and elicited unbounded praise from them. The day, though, was very warm and oppressive, having five men in our company to fall down and faint while in ranks, who were carried from the field, and some of them have not yet recovered from the effects of it. There is still no prospect of our being removed from here yet, and I sincerely hope we will not be this summer, as we had to weather the scorching hot sun enough in the campaign last year.


Camp near Petersburg, Va., August 13th, 1863.
The location of our camp is in the open field, not convenient to any woods, and in consequence we have to suffer a great deal during the heat of the day. The weather has been so intensely hot during the last week, judging from our thermometer, that some of the men while on guard duty fell from the effects of sun-stroke. The young ladies of the city are still honoring us with their pretty looks, and the boys, as usual, are escorting them to their homes, and I are having a gay time, as the Captain says. I guess we will marry about here.


Camp near Petersburg, Va., August 18th, 1863.
General Jenkins had his brigade out, manoeuvring them on drill, yesterday evening, very much to the delight and satisfaction of the spectators, but it was death to those who created the scene, tugging and sweating in the hot sun, and jumping over corn-rows and ditches. We are thinking of moving our camp to-day on the other side of the city, so as to have the men confined in more narrow limits, in order that they can be kept in camp without such a strong guard.

Lewis's letters have been published in Camp Life of a Confederate Boy, which can be read online here: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89062922802;view=2up;seq=6
 

AUG

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