“Dont move until the infantry does”

(1)  The circumstances surrounding the decision to withdraw the guns have been long debated. This author has shared his opinions in this blog thread on several occasions.

(2) Thomas H. Carter to Major John W. Daniel, October 11, 1904, J. W. Daniels Papers, UVA Box 21.

(3) Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia to General Ewell, May 10, 1864 8:15 p.m. OR

(4) “West Angle” is of course a term which came about after the war. It was not used in 1864. If identified at all it would have been called “the bend”. Interestingly Federals typically called the east angle the “Bloody Angle”.

(5) Note on U.S. Senate letterhead. James Walker, commander of the Stonewall Brigade, was a Senator after the war. Interestingly enough a reference to his son-in -law Halsey taking a train is included.

(6) The instructions are generally believed to have been to withdraw all the guns which would be difficult to remove. Several people state this, although the exact verbage differs. Hardaway says something entirely different, which, if taken at face value offers a completely different story. He says that when he went back to see General Long at Lee’s headquarters: “General L. told me he did not intend for the guns to be brought out until the troops left. I sent word back to General Ramseur and Captains Dance, Jones, and Graham, not to move until the troops moved, but the orders for Nelson, Page, and Cutshaw, were not changed.”

(7) By this time of the war horses were a valuable commodity which needed to be conserved as much as possible. The loss of horses would reduce the mobility of unit. Not only that but they were difficult to replace. In fact, one of Hardaway’s batteries would only join the army on the 17th because there were not enough horses to move it. So, they were not something a prudent commander risked unnecessarily.

(8) Note on U.S. Senate letterhead. Same document as number 5.

(9) In the article “Clipping from Virginia Newspaper Probably the Whig, in May 1864.” The author who is not identified is obviously Major Hardaway or someone writing for Major Hardaway. Many times, he only uses the first letter of the last name when referring to other artillery officers. Obviously, Colonel C. means Carter as he is the only Colonel in the 2nd Corps artillery. By General Lee’s headquarters I assume he was referring to the Harrison House area.

(10) Apparently, Colonel C(arter) was not sure of General Long’s intentions when he ordered him to withdraw Page and Nelson’s guns. Or, perhaps Major Hardaway misunderstood him or was just confused. Regardless he saw fit to go directly to the Corps artillery commander for a clarification.

(11) The fact that Hardaway says  he notified  General Ramseur is interesting. Either it’s just a mistake repeated twice, or, for some reason General Rodes was not available and Ramseur was acting in his behalf. Less likely is the fact that the only battery Hardaway had on Rodes line was in the sector of Ramseur’s brigade.

(12) He actually used the letters D, J, and G. The first two are obvious, however G may not be. Captain Graham commanded the Rockbridge Artillery of Hardaway’s Battalion but was off near the Courthouse village. Captain Garber of the Staunton Artillery had replaced Smith’s Battery of Hardaways Battalion on the evening of the 10th. He was one of Cutshaw’s batteries although he was in the line held by Rodes division. Graham I believe is the correct interpretation.

(13) Both Page’s entire battalion and Cutshaw’s battalion less its guns and gunners spent the evening somewhere on this farm which is adjacent to the Brock Road.

(14) Both Major’s Cutshaw and Stribling, commander and executive officer of Cutshaw’s battalion were at the Trigg Farm. Major Hardaway commander of his battalion was near the Courthouse. His executive officer, Major David Watson had been mortally wounded on the 10th. Captain Dance, whose unit was in reserve, was his senior battery commander.

(15) An expression used to describe a commander passing along his line, meeting and informally inspection the troops. Letting the troops see their leader is considered good for morale.

(16) This episode is described by Captain Carrington in the draft copy of his article for the Confederate section of a Richmond newspaper in 1905. This including the edited copy and Major Cutshaw’s critique are in the John Daniels collection, Box 21, UVA Library.

(17) the position Carrington is referring to must be at the position the right hand pedestrian footbridge crosses the works in 2017. This would allow the guns to fire staight down the ravine captain Carrington described. In addition this is quite likely the position Montgomery’s battery is ordered to take. Or quite close to it.

(18) Cutshaw was a Major at the time. Colonel Thomas N. Carter was the only Colonel in the 2nd Corp artillery.

(19) Wilbur Fiske Davis “Diary 1861-64”. UVA library

(20) There were only two possibilities for an 8 gun battery. Carter’s and Montgomery’s batteries at the East Angle being the least likely. The other would be Carrington and Tanner. While it is the most likely the distance between them seems a bit great for them to be considered an 8 gun battery.

 

About Russ

Avid student of military history as well as amateur historian. Has a keen interest in archaeology. Founded his company Roadraceparts.com in 2004.
This entry was posted in 1864, American Civil War, artillery in the Overland Campaign, Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse, Battle of the Muleshoe, Bloody Angle, Carrington's Battery, Cutshaw's Battalion, Doles Salient, Earthworks and trenchs, field fortifications, Hancock's assault on the Muleshoe, Johnson's Division, May 12, Mule Shoe, Overland Campaign 1864, Richmond Howitzers, Tanner's Battery, West Angle and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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