Army of Northern Virginia
Second Mississippi Brigade
Composed of the 12th, 16th, 19th, and 2nd Batt./48th Regiments
Formed June 1862
Brigadier General Winfield Scott Featherston
Brigadier General Carnot Posey
Brigadier General Nathaniel Harrison Harris
Colonel Joseph McAfee Jayne
Battles of the Brigade
The Seven Days - June 25-July 1, 1862
Second Manassas - August 28-30, 1862
Harper's Ferry - September 1862
Sharpsburg - September 17, 1862
Fredericksburg - December 13, 1862
Chancellorsville - May 1-4, 1863
Gettysburg - July 1-3, 1863
Bristoe Station - October 14, 1863
Mine Run - November-December 1863
The Wilderness - May 5-6, 1864
Spotsylvania Courthouse - May 8-21, 1864
North Anna - May 23-26, 1864
Cold Harbor - June 1-3, 1864
Petersburg Seige - June 1864 - April 1865
Weldon Railroad - June 24, 1864
Reams Station - August 21, 1864
Hatcher's Run - February 5, 1864
Burgess' Mill - February 6, 1865
Fort Gregg - April 2, 1865
Appomattox Courthouse - April 9, 1865
Company C, Raymond Fencibles
Kelley, Frost J., Killed
May 31, 1862 at Seven Pines
Kelly, James A., Honorably Discharged October 2, 1861
Company I, 12th Regiment MS Infantry
Mustered into State Service April 24, 1861
at Satartia, Yazoo County, Mississippi
Kelly, Charles *
Martin, John* (*) denotes
Martin, Isaac Killed in Action
At this time, Lieutenant-Colonel [M. B.] Harris, commanding the Twelfth [Mississippi], was severely wounded while gallantly leading on his command, and was taken off the field. I continued my advance across the Furnace road, through a dense wood thickly set with undergrowth, driving back the enemy's skirmishers through the woods, until I reached a marsh and became much exposed to a rapid shelling from the enemy's artillery, when I halted my command, and remained here until about 11 p.m., when I received an order from the major-general commanding to advance as far as I could. I then pushed my skirmishers forward, and with much difficulty crossed the marsh in front,
Reports of Maj. Gen. Richard H. Anderson, C. S. Army, Commanding Division.
APRIL 27-MAY 6, 1863.--The Chancellorsville Campaign.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXV/1 [S# 39]
NEAR FREDERICKSBURG, VA.,
June 6, 1863.
Brig. Gen. R. H. CHILTON,
A. A. and I. G. and Chief of Staff, Army of Northern Virginia,
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the division under my command during the late engagements along the Rappahannock:
Before April 29, the brigades were posted as follows: Mahone's and Posey's, at United States Ford; Wilcox's, at Banks' Ford; Perry's, near the Old Mine road, about 3 miles west of Fredericksburg; and Wright's, at Massaponax Church.
On the morning of April 29, when the enemy crossed the river at the mouth of Deep Run, Wright's brigade was brought up from Massaponax Church, and placed to the left and rear of Major General Early's position.
Later in the day it was ordered to take post near Perry's brigade, and at dark the latter was moved to the river, to relieve such of the troops of McLaws' division as were on duty above Fredericksburg and opposite Falmouth.
About 9 p.m. the same day, I received orders from the commanding general to repair to Chancellorsville, and to make such a disposition of the two brigades (Mahone's and Posey's) which had been posted at United States Ford as to check the advance of the enemy, who had crossed the Rappahannock at the fords above the Rapidan, and were approaching Ely's and Germanna Fords on the latter river. I proceeded to obey these directions, and ordered Brigadier-General Wright to move his brigade to Chancellorsville.
Upon arriving at Chancellorsville at midnight, I found that Brigadier-General Mahone had already occupied that place with the troops from United States Ford, having left a regiment from his own and five companies of the Nineteenth Mississippi Regiment, from Posey's brigade, to hold the ford as long as possible. I learned also that the enemy had crossed the Rapidan at Ely's and Germanna Fords, capturing, after a very obstinate resistance, the greater part of a working party and picket which had been stationed at the latter place. After consultation with Brigadier-Generals Mahone and Posey, and an examination of the position at Chancellorsville, I decided upon falling back from that place to the point on the Plank road at which the Old Mine road crosses it, and this was done early on the morning of April 30, Wright's brigade, which had arrived at daylight, and the force which had been left at United States Ford, being withdrawn at the same time. Wright's and Posey's brigades retired from Chancellorsville by the Plank road, and Mahone's by the old turnpike. While they were moving off, and before the pickets had been called in, the cavalry of the enemy, under cover of fog and rain, dashed upon the picket on the Ely's Ford road and captured a part of one company. They subsequently attacked the rear guard of Mahone's brigade, but were so effectually repulsed that we were no further annoyed by them during the movement.
Upon arriving at the intersection of the Old Mine and Plank roads, I met Col. W. P. Smith, chief engineer Army of Northern Virginia, and Captain [S. R.] Johnston, of the Engineer Corps, who had been sent by the commanding general to examine the position and establish a line of intrenchments. The work of intrenching was commenced immediately after the line had been selected, and was continued with great diligence and activity throughout that day, the night following, and the early part of the next morning.
During the day there were occasional skirmishes with the enemy's cavalry, who had followed from Chancellorsville. In the afternoon Colonel [T. H.] Owen, commanding Third Regiment Virginia Cavalry, joined me with his regiment, and threw out pickets to the front and upon each flank.
A little before sunrise on May 1, Major-General McLaws, having come up with his division, strengthened the force immediately in front, and secured our right flank by occupying the trenches along Mott's Run. At 8 a.m. Lieutenant-General Jackson arrived. By his orders the work on the trenches was discontinued, and the troops were put in readiness for an advance, Wilcox's and Perry's brigades, which had been left above Fredericksburg, being at the same time ordered to join their division. The advance commenced at 11 a.m., Mahone's brigade, with [Tyler C.] Jordan's Battery, of [E. P.] Alexander's battalion, leading the movement on the old turnpike, and Wright's and Posey's brigades, with the other batteries of Alexander's battalion, leading on the Plank road. Colonel Owen's regiment of cavalry was employed reconnoitering these roads and others diverging from them. When the troops on the Plank road had advanced about 2 miles, the enemy was discovered in considerable force. They opened on us with artillery, and seemed determined to resist our farther progress. Brigadier-General Wright was directed to follow with his brigade the line of the unfinished Fredericksburg and Gordonsville Railroad, to threaten their right and to compel them to fall back. This was executed with spirit and rapidity, and the enemy fell back with precipitation before our advance, which was resumed soon afterward. General Wright continued to follow the line of the railroad without opposition until he arrived at the Catherine (or Welford's) Furnace, where he had a sharp encounter with a superior force of the enemy. Darkness put a stop to this conflict, without any decided results having been attained, and at 11 o'clock at night, in obedience to orders from Lieutenant-General Jackson, he returned to the Plank road, along which Posey's brigade had in the meantime advanced to within a short distance of the enemy's intrenchments around Chancellorsville. Mahone's brigade had in like manner fought its way along the old turnpike to a point about 1 mile from Chancellorsville. Wilcox's and Perry's brigades, in coming up from Fredericksburg, had been directed to follow the old turnpike, and during the afternoon had co-operated with McLaws' division.
A little before daylight on May 2, Wilcox's brigade was ordered to resume the position at Banks' Ford from which it had been withdrawn.
The night of the 1st and morning of May 2 passed quietly. At 7 a.m. Posey's brigade moved a little to the rear of the line of battle, having been relieved by that of Brigadier-General Thomas. When Lieutenant-General Jackson's command moved against the enemy's right, the position immediately on the left of the Plank road which had been held by a part of his troops was taken by Wright's brigade. At midday the enemy appeared in some force at the furnace. Posey's brigade was sent to dislodge him, and was soon engaged in a warm skirmish with him. The increasing numbers of the enemy made it necessary to move Wright's brigade to the support of Posey's, and Mahone's was at the same time moved over from the old turnpike to the position just left by Wright's. Posey's brigade gallantly maintained its position against great odds, and checked the farther advance of the enemy. Perry's brigade rejoined me at dark. During the night, Posey's brigade constructed a line of breastworks.
At daylight on the 3d, Perry's brigade was directed to gain the Catharpin road and move toward the furnace.
At sunrise, when it was supposed that General Perry had had time to reach the vicinity of the furnace, General Posey's skirmishers were pushed forward toward it, and it was discovered that the enemy had retired. Soon afterward, in obedience to the directions of the commanding general, my whole force was advanced toward Chancellorsville, Mahone's brigade having its right on the Plank road, and Wright's, Posey's, and Perry's successively forming a line of battle on the left of and nearly perpendicular to that portion of the Plank road between us and Chancellorsville. The troops pressed forward with spirited impetuosity and with as much rapidity as was permitted by the dense thickets and tangled abatis through which they were obliged to force their way. After a short and sharp encounter, they drove the enemy from his intrenchments. Wright's brigade was the first to reach Chancellorsville, at which place it captured a large number of prisoners. The other brigades coming up immediately afterward, the division was placed in line along the old turnpike to the east of Chancellorsville.
A little after midday, Mahone's brigade was detached, by order of the commanding general, to operate with McLaws' division against the enemy, who were then reported to be moving from Fredericksburg up the Plank road. At 4 o'clock in the afternoon I proceeded, in obedience to instructions, with Wright's, Perry's, and Posey's brigades, to the River road, below United States Ford, to watch that road, and to threaten the enemy's communications and his line of retreat from Chancellorsville. Major [R. A.] Hardaway, with fourteen pieces of rifled artillery, was attached to my command. Upon arriving at the River road, I found the enemy strongly posted on Mine Run, and when I had completed a reconnaissance of his position, it was too late to effect anything that evening.
Captain Johnston, of the Engineer Corps, who accompanied me, having discovered large parks of the enemy's wagons and the camps of some of his troops on the opposite side of the river, Major Hardaway was directed to post his guns at daybreak on the 4th at a point indicated by Captain Johnston, and to open a hot fire upon the parks and camps. This was executed as directed, and, I believe, with good effect.
Soon afterward our skirmishers were pushed forward, with orders to drive back those of the enemy, and to discover his position and strength. This was accomplished without delay, the enemy being found in force fortifying a high ridge between Mine Run and the road connecting United States Ford and Chancellorsville. Just at this time, I received orders to march with my division toward Fredericksburg and report to Major-General McLaws, at Salem Church, on the Plank road, being relieved from duty at this point by General Heth's command. I arrived at Salem Church with my command at 11 a.m., and reported, as directed, to Major-General McLaws.
At 12 m., in obedience to the directions of the commanding general, my division was placed in line of battle on the left of Major-General Early's, which was occupying Marye's Hill and the heights extending west from Fredericksburg. The general direction of the enemy's line was parallel with the Plank road. At 6 p.m., the signal to advance being given, Early's division and my own marched rapidly upon the enemy's position, and drove him from it without much trouble, meeting with but slight resistance. Wright's brigade advanced with great intrepidity across a wheat field, under a hot fire of grape, and drove one of the enemy's batteries from its position. The enemy retreated toward Banks' Ford, and was followed closely as long as there was light enough to continue the pursuit. At daylight on the 5th, reconnoitering parties discovered that he had disappeared from our side of the river.
At 4 p.m. I received orders to return with my command to the vicinity of Chancellorsville, and at dark I halted the head of the column 1 mile from that place, Wilcox's and Wright's brigades lying in bivouac on the Catharpin road; Mahone's, Perry's, and Posey's on the Plank road.
At 8 a.m. on the 6th, the division was moved forward to a position at the junction of the Ely's Ford and United States Ford roads. At 11 a m., in obedience to the orders of the commanding general, I marched toward Fredericksburg, and in the afternoon returned to the position which had been occupied by the division previously to these operations. Wilcox's and Mahone's brigades, after being detached from my command, participated in the fight at Salem Church.
I cannot too highly commend the gallant conduct of the division which I had the honor and good fortune to command. Where all performed their duty with so much zeal and courage, it is almost impossible to make a distinction; but Brigadier-General Posey and his brave, untiring, persevering Mississippians seem to me to deserve especial notice. Their steadiness at the furnace on Saturday evening, when pressed by greatly superior numbers, saved our army from great peril, while their chivalrous charge upon the trenches on Sunday contributed largely to the successes of that day. After three days and nights of incessant occupation, Saturday night was again passed by them in hard work upon intrenchments in front of the furnace, while the others had an opportunity to take some rest.
But it would be doing injustice to Brigadier-General Wilcox to pass unnoticed his own gallant conduct and that of his troops at Salem Church, where they bore almost the whole brunt of the enemy's onset, and successfully repelled it; to Brigadier-General Mahone, to omit to mention his bold, skillful, and successful management, so well seconded by his brave Virginians; to Brigadier-General Wright and his high-spirited, fearless Georgians, whose attack at the furnace on the evening of the 1st, and whose unflinching advance against the enemy's guns under a heavy fire of grape on the evening of the 4th, excited the admiration of all who saw them; and to Brigadier-General Perry and his heroic little band of Floridians, who showed a courage as intrepid as that of any others in their assault upon the enemy in his intrenchments on the 3d, and in their subsequent advance upon Chancellorsville.
Lieutenant-Colonel [John J.] Garnett and Majors [R. A.] Hardaway and [Charles] Richardson, commanders of artillery, distinguished themselves by their activity, skill, and courage.
I beg leave also to mention the meritious services and general good conduct of the members of my staff--Majs. T. S. Mills beg leave also to mention the meritorious services and general and R. P. Duncan, assistant adjutant and inspector generals; Lieuts. William McWillie and S. D. Shannon, aides-de camp, and Messrs. R. D. Spann, James G. Spann, and E. J. Means, volunteer aides-decamp.
Capt. E. N. Thurston, ordnance officer; Surgs. J. McF. Gaston and H. D. Fraser; Maj. J. A. Johnston, chief quartermaster, and Maj. William C. Wingfield, chief commissary of the division, rendered valuable services by their careful and unremitting attention to their duties.
The reports of the brigade and artillery battalion commanders are herewith respectfully submitted.
The loss of the division in these operations was: Killed, 186; wounded, 1,049; missing, 210. Total, 1,445.
I am, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
R. H. ANDERSON,
Major-General, Commanding Division.
Report of Brig. Gen. Carnot Posey. C. S. Army, Commanding Brigade.
APRIL 27-MAY 6, 1863.--The Chancellorsville Campaign.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXV/1 [S# 39]
NEAR FREDERICSBURG, VA., May 12, 1863.
Maj. THOMAS S. MILLS,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Anderson's Division.
MAJOR: I have the honor of submitting a report of the part my brigade took in the recent engagement about Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg.
On, the evening of the 29th ultimo, being then in camp with Brigadier-General Mahone near the United States Ford, we were advised by our scouts and the cavalry pickets, who were posted at Ely's Ford and Germanna Bridge, that the enemy had crossed in heavy force at those points, and were advancing on the Ely and Plank roads toward Chancellorsville. Upon consultation, we concluded to leave five companies of my brigade (Nineteenth Mississippi Regiment) and one regiment of General Mahone's brigade to watch and defend the United States Ford, while we moved our brigades to Chancellorsville. On reaching that place, we posted my brigade on the right and left of the Plank road at Chancellorsville, and General Mahone's brigade in Ballard's and Nixley's fields, half a mile from Chancellorsville, on the Ely road.
We remained in this position until about 7 o'clock the next morning, the 30th, when we were directed by the major-general commanding, who reached Chancellorsville about 12 a.m., to move our commands back to a position where the Mine road crosses the old Pike and Plank road. We remained in this position until the next morning about 9 o'clock, May 1, when I was ordered to advance my brigade up the Plank road. After moving about 2 miles, I formed a line of battle in Aldrich's field, between the Plank road and old Pike, and sent out the Twelfth [Mississippi] Regiment as skirmishers, moving the other three regiments forward as fast as the skirmishers advanced. The advanced line of skirmishers soon encountered the enemy, when I advanced another line, and we drove the enemy's skirmishers back in gallant style until we encountered the enemy in heavy force, drawn up in line of battle on the Furnace road. This line was soon broken by the vigorous onset of my skirmishers.
At this time, Lieutenant-Colonel [M. B.] Harris, commanding the Twelfth [Mississippi], was severely wounded while gallantly leading on his command, and was taken off the field. I continued my advance across the Furnace road, through a dense wood thickly set with undergrowth, driving back the enemy's skirmishers through the woods, until I reached a marsh and became much exposed to a rapid shelling from the enemy's artillery, when I halted my command, and remained here until about 11 p.m., when I received an order from the major-general commanding to advance as far as I could. I then pushed my skirmishers forward, and with much difficulty crossed the marsh in front, and advanced within a short distance of the enemy's lines of works, the enemy on my right being on my flank and somewhat in the rear of my right. I remained in this position until about 7 o'clock the next morning, when I was relieved by Brigadier-General Thomas, and then moved with my brigade to the field in rear of the Furnace road, where my command was allowed to rest for a short time.
Saturday, May 2, about 10 a.m., my command moved down the Furnace road, and formed a line of battle with three regiments (the Forty-eighth [Mississippi] being left behind as skirmishers, and were not relieved until late at night) on each side of the road, about 500 yards from the furnace. Here my skirmishers were hotly engaged with the enemy during the whole day and part of the night, the enemy being in heavy force in my front, and made frequent efforts to advance, without success. On every occasion my line of skirmishers drove them back in confusion.
On the morning of the 3d, the enemy having disappeared from my front, I advanced my command by the furnace, capturing many prisoners and arms, until I reached a point in a field in rear of our batteries on the extreme right of the enemy's lines. Here I formed my command in column of regiments, and after a short time was ordered to advance by flank to the right and attack the enemy, who were in strong force on a hill in front. I deployed first the Nineteenth [Mississippi], then the Twelfth, Forty-eighth, and Sixteenth [Mississippi], directing the commanders to move by the left flank (which would bring them in line of battle fronting the enemy), as soon as they attained sufficient room in the woods, and push forward their skirmishers vigorously against the enemy's. The movement was made in fine order, under heavy fire of shell and grape as each regiment attained its position. The commanders pushed forward gallantly and irresistibly through a dense wood and over a wide abatis and into the trenches of the enemy, driving him off with much slaughter and capturing many prisoners.
Too much credit cannot be given to the officers and men for this gallant and daring and irresistible charge, sweeping the enemy for more than half a mile of their strong works, overcoming without hesitation both natural and artificial obstacles.
It would not be proper in this limited report to mention the many instances of individual daring which came under my observation and which have been reported to me, and where all the officers and men behaved so nobly it would be invidious to individualize. Commanders of regiments acted with consummate skill and valor. Colonel [S. E.] Baker, of the Sixteenth, attacked the enemy's works on their extreme right; Colonel [Jos. M.] Jayne, of the Forty-eighth (who was wounded in the charge); next Major [S. B.] Thomas, of the Twelfth, and Colonel [N. H.] Harris [of the Nineteenth] on the right of the brigade. These commanders simultaneously charged the enemy's works, and I am much indebted to them for the brilliant success of my command. My command, after storming the works, being somewhat scattered on account of the dense woods and vigorous pursuit, I moved it back a short distance and reformed in an open field on the right, and in a very short time was ready to move forward.
On the afternoon of this day, my command was moved on the old pike, the left resting near Chancellor's house and my right extended on the pike. I here sent out ten companies of skirmishers, who penetrated to Ballard's and Nixley's fields, where the enemy were in force and throwing up works of defense. In the afternoon my brigade, with Generals Wright's and Perry's, was moved near the United States Ford, where I sent out the Nineteenth and Twelfth [Mississippi] Regiments, and drove in the enemy's skirmishers.
The next day (Monday, the 4th), my command was moved, with Generals Wright and Perry, toward Fredericksburg, and in the afternoon formed a line of battle near Hazel Run, fronting Dolmer's [Downman's?] house. At the signal to advance, led by the major-general commanding, my command moved across to the Plank road, opposite Guest's house, under heavy fire, and at dark formed a line of battle and remained until about 12 o'clock, when I was ordered to move to a point up the Plank road near Banks' Ford. During this time my skirmishers were actively engaged, and brought in many prisoners.
I remained near Banks' Ford during the balance of the night, and the next evening (the 5th). in a severe storm of wind and rain, advanced to within 2 miles of Chancellorsville, and bivouacked for the night.
Early the next day (6th), I was moved to Ballard's field, and that evening returned to my old camp near Fredericksburg. My command was on foot from April 29 to May 7, inclusive, and bore the privations, fatigue, labor, and fighting without a murmur.
My staff officers--Stanhope Posey, assistant adjutant-general, and J. B. Posey, aide-de-camp--rendered good services. My aide-de-camp being very sick had to leave the field Saturday morning, and my assistant adjutant-general being wounded on Saturday was disabled from doing active duty, but remained in the field while the fighting lasted.
In the meantime one of my couriers (Mr. Asberry Hancock) acted both as courier and aide-de-camp, and did most valuable service, displaying acts of daring and heroism worthy of mention, and for his conduct in the field in front of the enemy deserves the highest consideration, and should be promoted. My courier (Well) also deserves mention.
I must here mention that Lieutenant-Colonel [Thomas B.] Manlove, of the Forty-eighth [Mississippi], volunteered and gallantly led a line of skirmishers on Friday morning with good effect.
It affords me pleasure to notice the gallant conduct of T. L. Duke, chaplain of the Nineteenth [Mississippi] Regiment, who remained in front of his regiment with his musket during the series of engagements, and mainly directed the movements of the skirmishers of that regiment.
I herewith send a list of casualties, and also the reports of commanders of regiments, giving more particular details, which are interesting.
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