Battle of the Wilderness

Thomas' Legion
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Confederate Army Order of Battle
Army of Northern Virginia

Gen Robert E. Lee, commanding

First Corps

LTG James Longstreet (w)
MG Richard H. Anderson

Division

Brigade

Regiments and Others

Kershaw's Division
     BG Joseph B. Kershaw

Kershaw's Brigade


   Col John W. Henagan

  • 2nd South Carolina: Ltc Franklin Gaillard
  • 3rd South Carolina: Col James D. Nance
  • 7th South Carolina: Cpt James Mitchell
  • 8th South Carolina: Ltc Eli T. Stackhouse
  • 15th South Carolina: Col John B. Davis
  • 3rd South Carolina Battalion: Cpt B. M. Whitener

Wofford's Brigade


   BG William T. Wofford

  • 16th Georgia
  • 18th Georgia
  • 24th Georgia
  • Cobb's (Georgia) Legion
  • Phillips (Georgia) Legion
  • 3rd Georgia Battalion Sharpshooters

Humphreys' Brigade


   BG Benjamin G. Humphreys

  • 13th Mississippi: Maj George L. Donald
  • 17th Mississippi
  • 18th Mississippi: Cpt William H. Lewis
  • 21st Mississippi: Col D. N. Moody

Bryan's Brigade


   BG Goode Bryan

  • 10th Georgia: Col Willis C. Holt
  • 50th Georgia: Col Peter McGlashan
  • 51st Georgia: Col Edward Ball
  • 53rd Georgia: Col James P. Simms

Field's Division
     MG Charles W. Field

Jenkins' Brigade


   BG Micah Jenkins (k)
   Col John Bratton

  • 1st South Carolina: Col James R. Hagood
  • 2nd South Carolina (Rifles): Col Robert E. Bowen
  • 5th South Carolina: Col Asbury Coward
  • 6th South Carolina: Col John Bratton
  • Palmetto (South Carolina) Sharpshooters: Col Joseph Walker

Law's Brigade


   BG Evander M. Law

  • 4th Alabama: Col Pickney D. Bowles
  • 15th Alabama
  • 44th Alabama: Col William F. Perry
  • 47th Alabama
  • 48th Alabama: Ltc William M. Hardwick

Anderson's Brigade


   BG Goerge T. Anderson

  • 7th Georgia
  • 8th Georgia
  • 9th Georgia
  • 11th Georgia
  • 59th Georgia: Lt Bolivar H. Gee

Gregg's Brigade


   BG John Gregg

  • 3rd Arkansas: Col Van H. Manning
  • 1st Texas
  • 4th Texas: Col John P. Bane
  • 5th Texas: Ltc King Bryan

Benning's Brigade


   BG Henry L. Benning (w)
   Col Dudley M. Du Bose

  • 2nd Georgia
  • 15th Georgia: Col Dudley M. Du Bose
  • 17th Georgia
  • 20th Georgia

Artillery
     BG Edward Porter Alexander

Huger's Battalion


   Ltc Frank Huger

  • Fickling's (South Carolina) Battery
  • Moody's (Louisiana) Battery
  • Parker's (Virginia) Battery
  • Smith's, J. D. (Virginia), Battery
  • Taylor's (Virginia) Battery
  • Woolfolk's (Virginia) Battery

Haskell's Battalion


   Maj John C. Haskell

  • Flanner's (North Carolina) Battery
  • Garden's (South Carolina) Battery
  • Lamkin's (Virginia) Battery (unequipped)
  • Ramsay's (North Carolina) Battery

Cabell's Battalion


   Col Henry C. Cabell

  • Callaway's (Georgia) Battery
  • Carlton's (Georgia) Battery
  • McCarthy's (Virginia) Battery
  • Manly's (North Carolina) Battery

Second Corps

LTG Richard S. Ewell

Division

Brigade

Regiments and Others

Early's Division
     MG Jubal A. Early

     BG John B. Gordon

Hays' Brigade


   BG Harry T. Hays

  • 5th Louisiana: Ltc Bruce Menger
  • 6th Louisiana: Maj William H. Manning
  • 7th Louisiana: Maj J. Moore Wilson
  • 8th Louisiana
  • 9th Louisiana

Pegram's Brigade


   BG John Pegram

  • 13th Virginia: Col James B. Terrill
  • 31st Virginia: Col John S. Hoffman
  • 49th Virginia: Col J. Catlett Gibson
  • 52nd Virginia
  • 58th Virginia: Col. Francis H. Board

Gordon's Brigade


   BG John B. Gordon
   Col Clement A. Evans

  • 13th Georgia
  • 26th Georgia: Col Edmund N. Atkinson
  • 31st Georgia: Col Clement A. Evans
  • 38th Georgia
  • 60th Georgia: Ltc Thomas J. Berry
  • 61st Georgia

Johnson's Division
     MG Edward Johnson

Stonewall Brigade


   BG James A. Walker

  • 2nd Virginia: Cpt Charles H. Stewart
  • 4th Virginia: Col William Terry
  • 5th Virginia
  • 27th Virginia: Ltc Charles L. Haynes
  • 33rd Virginia

Jones' Brigade


   BG John M. Jones (k)
   Col William Witcher

  • 21st Virginia
  • 25th Virginia: Col John C. Higginbotham
  • 42nd Virginia
  • 44th Virginia
  • 48th Virginia
  • 50th Virginia

Steuart's Brigade


   BG George H. Steuart

  • 1st North Carolina: Col Hamilton A. Brown
  • 3rd North Carolina: Col Stephen D. Thruston
  • 10th Virginia
  • 23rd Virginia
  • 37th Virginia

Stafford's Brigade


   BG Leroy A. Stafford (mw)
   Col Zebulon York

  • 1st Louisiana
  • 2nd Louisiana: Col Jesse M. Williams
  • 10th Louisiana
  • 14th Louisiana
  • 15th Louisiana

Rodes' Division
     MG Robert E. Rodes

Daniel's Brigade


   BG Junius Daniel

  • 32nd North Carolina
  • 43rd North Carolina
  • 45th North Carolina
  • 53rd North Carolina
  • 2nd North Carolina Battalion

Doles' Brigade


   BG George P. Doles

  • 4th Georgia: Col Philip Cook
  • 12th Georgia: Col Edward Willis
  • 44th Georgia: Col William H. Peebles

Ramseur's Brigade


   BG Stephen D. Ramseur

  • 2nd North Carolina: Col William R. Cox
  • 4th North Carolina: Col Bryan Grimes
  • 14th North Carolina: Col R. Tyloer Bennett
  • 30th North Carolina: Col Francis M. Parker

Battle's Brigade


   BG Cullen A. Battle

  • 3rd Alabama: Col Charles Forsyth
  • 5th Alabama
  • 6th Alabama
  • 12th Alabama
  • 61st Alabama

Johnston's Brigade


   BG Robert D. Johnston

  • 5th North Carolina: Col Thomas M. Garrett
  • 12th North Carolina: Col Henry E. Coleman
  • 20th North Carolina: Col Thomas F. Toon
  • 23rd North Carolina

Artillery
     BG Armistead L. Long

Hardaway's Battalion


   Ltc Robert A. Hardaway

  • Dance's (Virginia) Battery
  • Graham's (Virginia) Battery
  • Griffin's, C. B. (Virginia), Battery
  • Jones' (Virginia) Battery
  • Smith's, B. H. (Virginia), Battery

Braxton's Battalion


   Ltc Carter M. Braxton

  • Carpenter's (Virginia) Battery
  • Cooper's (Virginia) Battery
  • Hardwicke's (Virginia) Battery

Nelson's Battalion


   Ltc William Nelson

  • Kirkpatrick's (Virginia) Battery
  • Massie's (Virginia) Battery
  • Milledge's (Georgia) Battery

Cutshaw's Battalion


   Maj Wilfred E. Cutshaw

  • Carrington's (Virginia) Battery
  • Garber's, A. W. (Virginia), Battery
  • Tanner's (Virginia) Battery

Page's Battalion


   Maj Richard C. M. Page

  • Carter's, W. P. (Virginia), Battery
  • Fry's (Virginia) Battery
  • Page's (Virginia) Battery
  • Reese's (Alabama) Battery

Third Corps

LTG A. P. Hill
MG Jubal A. Early

Division

Brigade

Regiments and Others

Anderson's Division
     MG Richard H. Anderson

     BG William Mahone

Perrin's Brigade


   BG Abner Perrin

  • 8th Alabama
  • 9th Alabama
  • 10th Alabama
  • 11th Alabama
  • 14th Alabama

Harris' Brigade


   BG Nathaniel H. Harms

  • 12th Mississippi
  • 16th Mississippi: Col Samuel E. Baker
  • 19th Mississippi: Col Thomas J. Hardin
  • 48th Mississippi

Mahone's Brigade


   BG William Mahone
   Col David A. Weisiger

  • 6th Virginia: Ltc Henry W. Williamson
  • 12th Virginia: Col David A. Weisiger
  • 16th Virginia: Ltc Richard O. Whitehead
  • 41st Virginia
  • 61st Virginia: Col Virginius D. Groner

Wright' s Brigade


   BG Ambrose R. Wright

  • 3rd Georgia
  • 22nd Georgia
  • 48th Georgia
  • 2nd Georgia Battalion: Maj Charles J. Moffett
  • 10th Georgia Battalion: Major J.E. Rylander

Perry's Brigade


   BG Edward A. Perry (w)

  • 2nd Florida
  • 5th Florida
  • 8th Florida

Heth's Division
     MG Henry Heth

Davis' Brigade


   BG Joseph R. Davis

  • 1st Confederate Battalion
  • 2nd Mississippi
  • 11th Mississippi
  • 26th Mississippi: Col Arthur E. Reynolds
  • 42nd Mississippi
  • 55th North Carolina

Cooke's Brigade


   BG John Rogers Cooke

  • 15th North Carolina
  • 27th North Carolina
  • 46th North Carolina
  • 48th North Carolina

Kirkland's Brigade


   BG William Whedbee Kirkland

  • 11th North Carolina
  • 26th North Carolina: Col. John R. Lane (w) Ltc. John T. Jones (mw)
  • 44th North Carolina
  • 47th North Carolina
  • 52nd North Carolina

Walker' s Brigade


   BG Henry H. Walker

  • 40th Virginia
  • 47th Virginia: Col Robert M. Mayo
  • 55th Virginia: Col William S. Christian
  • 22nd Virginia Battalion
  • 13th Alabama
  • 1st Tennessee (Provisional Army): Maj Felix G. Buchanan
  • 7th Tennessee: Ltc Samuel G. Shepard
  • 14th Tennessee: Col William McComb

Wilcox's Division
     MG Cadmus M. Wilcox

Lane' s Brigade


   BG James H. Lane

  • 7th North Carolina: Ltc William Lee Davidson
  • 18th North Carolina: Col John D. Barry
  • 28th North Carolina
  • 33rd North Carolina: Ltc Robert V. Cowan
  • 37th North Carolina: Col William M. Barbour

Scales' Brigade


   BG Alfred M. Scales

  • 13th North Carolina: Col Joseph H. Hyman
  • 16th North Carolina: Col William A. Stowe
  • 22nd North Carolina
  • 34th North Carolina: Col William Lee J. Lowrance
  • 38th North Carolina: Ltc John Ashford

McGowan' s Brigade


   BG Samuel McGowan

  • 1st South Carolina(Provisional Army): Ltc Washington P. Shooter
  • 1st South Carolina (Orr's Rifles): Ltc George McD. Miller
  • 12th South Carolina: Col John L. Miller
  • 13th South Carolina: Col Benjamin T. Brockman
  • 14th South Carolina: Col Joseph N. Brown

Thomas' Brigade


   BG Edward L. Thomas

  • 14th Georgia
  • 35th Georgia
  • 45th Georgia
  • 49th Georgia: Ltc John T. Jordan

Artillery
     Col R. Lindsay Walker

Poague's Battalion


   Ltc William T. Poague

  • Richards' (Mississippi) Battery
  • Utterback's (Virginia) Battery
  • Williams' (North Carolina) Battery
  • Wyatt's (Virginia) Battery

Pegram's Battalion


   Ltc William J. Pegram

  • Brander's (Virginia) Battery
  • Cayce's (Virginia) Battery
  • Ellett's (Virginia) Battery
  • Marye's (Virginia) Battery
  • Zimmerman's (South Carolina) Battery

McIntosh' s Battalion


   Ltc David G. McIntosh

  • Clutter's (Virginia) Battery
  • Donald's (Virginia) Battery
  • Hurt's (Alabama) Battery
  • Price's (Virginia) Battery

Cutts' Battalion


   Col Allen S. Cutts

  • Patterson's (Georgia) Battery
  • Ross' (Georgia) Battery
  • Wingfield's (Georgia) Battery

Richardson's Battalion


   Ltc Charles Richardson

  • Grandy's (Virginia) Battery
  • Landry's (Louisiana) Battery
  • Moore's (Virginia) Battery
  • Penick's (Virginia) Battery

Cavalry Corps

MG JEB Stuart

Division

Brigade

Regiments and Others

Hampton's Division
     MG Wade Hampton

Young's Brigade


   BG Pierce M. B. Young

  • 7th Georgia: Col William P. White
  • Cobb's (Georgia) Legion: Col G. J. Wright
  • Phillips (Georgia) Legion
  • 20th Georgia Battalion: Ltc John M. Millen
  • Jeff Davis (Mississippi) Legion

Rosser's Brigade


   BG Thomas L. Rosser

  • 7th Virginia: Col Richard H. Dulany
  • 11th Virginia
  • 12th Virginia: Ltc Thomas B. Massie
  • 35th Virginia Battalion

Butler's Brigade


   BG Matthew Butler

  • 4th South Carolina: Col B. Huger Rutledge
  • 5th South Carolina: Col John Dunovant
  • 6rh South Carolina: Col Hugh K. Aiken

Fitzhugh Lee's Division
     MG Fitzhugh Lee

Lomax's Brigade


   BG Lundsford L. Lomax

  • 5th Virginia: Col Henry C. Pate
  • 6th Virginia: Col John S. Green
  • 15th Virginia: Col Charles R. Collins

Wickham's Brigade


   BG Williams C. Wickham

  • 1st Virginia
  • 2nd Virginia: Col Thomas T. Munford
  • 3rd Virginia: Col Thomas H. Owen
  • 4th Virginia

W.H.F. Lee's Division
     MG W. H. F. Lee

Chambliss' Brigade


   BG John R. Chambliss

  • 9th Virginia
  • 10th Virginia
  • 13th Virginia

Gordon's Brigade


   BG James B. Gordon

  • 1st North Carolina
  • 2nd North Carolina: Col Clinton M. Andrews
  • 5th North Carolina: Col Stephen B. Evans

Horse Artillery
     Maj R. Preston Chew

Breathed's Battalion


   Maj James Breathed

  • Hart's (South Carolina) Battery
  • Johnston's (Virginia) Battery
  • McGregor's (Virginia) Battery
  • Shoemaker's (Virginia) Battery
  • Thomson's (Virginia) Battery

Key
 
Military Rank
Gen = General
LTG = Lieutenant General
MG = Major General
BG = Brigadier General
Col = Colonel
Ltc = Lieutenant Colonel
Maj = Major
Cpt = Captain
Lt = Lieutenant
 
Other
w = wounded
mw = mortally wounded
k = killed
c = capture

References: Rhea, Gordon C. The Battles for Spotsylvania Court House and the Road to Yellow Tavern May 7-12, 1864. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1997; ----- To The North Anna River: Grant and Lee May 13-25, 1864. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2000; Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.

Recommended Reading: Lee's Miserables: Life in the Army of Northern Virginia from the Wilderness to Appomattox (Civil War America). Description: Never did so large a proportion of the American population leave home for an extended period and produce such a detailed record of its experiences in the form of correspondence, diaries, and other papers as during the Civil War. Based on research in more than 1,200 wartime letters and diaries by more than 400 Confederate officers and enlisted men, this book offers a compelling social history of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia during its final year, from May 1864 to April 1865. Continued below…

Organized in a chronological framework, the book uses the words of the soldiers themselves to provide a view of the army's experiences in camp, on the march, in combat, and under siege--from the battles in the Wilderness to the final retreat to Appomattox. It sheds new light on such questions as the state of morale in the army, the causes of desertion, ties between the army and the home front, the debate over arming black men in the Confederacy, and the causes of Confederate defeat. Remarkably rich and detailed, Lee's Miserables offers a fresh look at one of the most-studied Civil War armies.

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Recommended Reading: In the Footsteps of Grant and Lee: The Wilderness Through Cold Harbor (Hardcover), by Gordon C. Rhea (Author), Chris E. Heisey (Photographer). Description: In early May 1864, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant initiated a drive through central Virginia to crush Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. For forty days, the armies fought a grinding campaign from the Rapidan River to the James River that helped decide the course of the Civil War. Several of the war's bloodiest engagements occurred in this brief period: the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, the North Anna River, Totopotomoy Creek, Bethesda Church, and Cold Harbor. Pitting Grant and Lee against one another for the first time in the war, the Overland Campaign, as this series of battles and maneuvers came to be called, represents military history at its most intense. In the Footsteps of Grant and Lee, a unique blend of narrative and photographic journalism from Gordon C. Rhea, the foremost authority on the Overland Campaign, and Chris E. Heisey, a leading photographer of Civil War battlefields, provides a stunning, stirring account of this deadly game of wits and will between the Civil War's foremost military commanders. Continued below…

Here, Grant fought and maneuvered to flank Lee out of his heavily fortified earthworks. And Lee demonstrated his genius as a defensive commander, countering Grant's every move. Adding to the melee were cavalry brawls among the likes of Philip H. Sheridan, George A. Custer, James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart, and Wade Hampton. Forty days of combat produced horrific casualties, some 55,000 on the Union side and 35,000 on the Confederate. By the time Grant crossed the James and began the Siege of Petersburg, marking an end to this maneuver, both armies had sustained significant losses that dramatically reduced their numbers. Rhea provides a rich, fast-paced narrative, movingly illustrated by more than sixty powerful color images from Heisey, who captures the many moods of these hallowed battlegrounds as they appear today. Heisey made scores of visits to the areas where Grant and Lee clashed, giving special attention to lesser-known sites on byways and private property. He captures some of central Virginia's most stunning landscapes, reminding us that though battlefields conjure visions of violence, death, and sorrow, they can also be places of beauty and contemplation. Accompanying the modern pictures are more than twenty contemporary photographs taken during the campaign or shortly afterwards, some of them never before published. At once an engaging military history and a vivid pictorial journey, In the Footsteps of Grant and Lee offers a fresh vision of some of the country's most significant historic sites. Includes 61 color illustrations and 15 maps.

 

Recommended Reading: Trench Warfare under Grant and Lee: Field Fortifications in the Overland Campaign (Civil War America) (Hardcover). Description: In the study of field fortifications in the Civil War that began with Field Armies and Fortifications in the Civil War, Hess turns to the 1864 Overland campaign to cover battles from the Wilderness to Cold Harbor. Drawing on meticulous research in primary sources and careful examination of trench remnants at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor, and Bermuda Hundred, Hess describes Union and Confederate earthworks and how Grant and Lee used them in this new era of field entrenchments.

 

Recommended Reading: The Battle Of The Wilderness, May 5-6, 1864, by Gordon C. Rhea. From Publishers Weekly: Rhea, a Virginia attorney, offers what will likely become the definitive account of one of the Civil War's most confusing engagements: the Battle of the Wilderness, the first encounter between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, fought in Virginia. The author's reconstruction of the fighting highlights the difficulties of controlling troops once they had been committed to action. Grant's original plan was to maneuver Lee out of his defensive position along the Rapidan River, then crush his troops with superior numbers. Instead, Rhea notes, the Wilderness became a "soldiers' battle," with raw courage compensating for inadequate generalship on both sides. Continued below…

Grant relied too heavily on the Army of the Potomac's commander, George Gordon Meade, who failed to coordinate the movements of subordinates disoriented by the broken ground they fought over. Rhea also criticizes Lee for consistently taking the offensive with an army that could not afford the major losses it sustained in attacking. History Book Club main selection.

 

Recommended Reading: Battle in the Wilderness: Grant Meets Lee (Civil War Campaigns and Commanders), by Grady McWhiney. Description: Designed for those beginning to cultivate an interest in the Civil War, enthusiasts and scholars alike will soon discover the treasure of information contained within the pages of these books. Photographs, biographical sketches and detailed maps are used to illustrate the events of the unfolding drama as each author remains sharply focused on the particular story at hand. Separate and complete, each book conveys the agony, glory, death and wreckage of America's greatest tragedy.

 

Recommended Reading: The Wilderness Campaign (Military Campaigns of the Civil War), Gary W. Gallagher (ed.). Description: In the spring of 1864, in the vast Virginia scrub forest known as the Wilderness, Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee first met in battle. The Wilderness campaign of May 5-6 initiated an epic confrontation between these two Civil War commanders—one that would finally end, eleven months later, with Lee's surrender at Appomattox. Continued below…

The eight essays here assembled explore aspects of the background, conduct, and repercussions of the fighting in the Wilderness. Through an often-revisionist lens, contributors to this volume focus on topics such as civilian expectations for the campaign, morale in the two armies, and the generalship of Lee, Grant, Philip H. Sheridan, Richard S. Ewell, A. P. Hill, James Longstreet, and Lewis Armistead. Taken together, these essays revise and enhance existing work on the battle, highlighting ways in which the military and nonmilitary spheres of war intersected in the Wilderness.

 

Recommended Reading: Bloody Roads South: The Wilderness to Cold Harbor, May-June 1864, by Noah Andre Trudeau. From Publishers Weekly: Ulysses Grant's relentless hammering tactics prevented Robert E. Lee from regaining the strategic initiative in 1864, although the Southern general's defensive operations during May-June of that year are regarded by many as his greatest military accomplishment. It was during this campaign that Grant came to be called "The Butcher" because of the horrendous casualties he was willing to accept as he ordered assault after assault. Continued below…

He did not retreat after suffering tactical defeats in the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Courthouse and Cold Harbor, but continued to push his troops ever closer to the rebel capital of Richmond. Not a formal campaign study, this is a dramatic account told through the eyes of soldiers, civilians and government leaders. One of the elements that historian Trudeau dramatizes is the shifting emotional reaction of President Lincoln as he worried whether Grant would prove as faint-hearted as other generals who had faced Lee in the field. When word was brought from Grant that "There is no turning back," the president literally kissed the messenger, for this was probably the most important of several historic turning-points in the four-year Civil War. Includes numerous illustrations.

 
Recommended Reading: General Lee's Army: From Victory to Collapse. Review: You cannot say that University of North Carolina professor Glatthaar (Partners in Command) did not do his homework in this massive examination of the Civil War–era lives of the men in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Glatthaar spent nearly 20 years examining and ordering primary source material to ferret out why Lee's men fought, how they lived during the war, how they came close to winning, and why they lost. Continued below...

Glatthaar marshals convincing evidence to challenge the often-expressed notion that the war in the South was a rich man's war and a poor man's fight and that support for slavery was concentrated among the Southern upper class. Lee's army included the rich, poor and middle-class, according to the author, who contends that there was broad support for the war in all economic strata of Confederate society. He also challenges the myth that because Union forces outnumbered and materially outmatched the Confederates, the rebel cause was lost, and articulates Lee and his army's acumen and achievements in the face of this overwhelming opposition. This well-written work provides much food for thought for all Civil War buffs.

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