Pamunkey River

Pamunkey River
The Pamunkey River in 1864

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Occupation of West Point: "Altered State of Things"

-The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies Chapter XXX - Operations in North Carolina and Southeastern Virginia. Aug 29, 1862-Jun 3, 1863.

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Commanding Officers of Occupied West Point

Col. Burr Porter
Col. Porter was commander of the Second Brigade at West Point. A brief bio from the History of the
Third Massachusetts Cavalry . . .
Colonel Burr Porter who succeeded Colonel Sargent in command of the Third Cavalry was a gentleman of liberal culture and a soldier of varied experience. He served in three wars and obtained military distinction on two continents. Burr Porter was born in New Hartford Conn Oct 26 1831. After graduating at Rutger's College New Brunswick NJ with high honors and having an ardent love of freedom and liberty he went to Europe and offered his sword to the Turkish Government at the beginning of the Crimean War. He served on the staff of Omar Pasha, was in the siege before Sevastopol and earned distinction and fame being presented with a sword by the Foreign Legion composed of the English and French officers who also served in that war. He came back to New York and was practising law when the Civil War broke out He was among the first to offer his services and at the outset of the struggle served on the staff of General John C Fremont Governor Andrew sent for him and offered him a commission in some Massachusetts regiment Colonel Porter chose the Fortieth and for some time was its Commander Near the close of the war he was made Colonel of the Third Massachusetts Cavalry. He was married in 1868 and an only child Katherine was born in 1869. When the Franco Prussian War broke out his love for the French impelled him to aid France in her hour of need and he went over to organize cavalry. The Army of the Loire being in great distress he offered his sword to the French. He took a staff position with General Clancy. He was killed in action December 10th 1870 and was buried with military honors. His body was later brought to America and his last resting place is in Forest Hills Cemetery Mass.

Col. William Gurney
Colonel Gurney was commander of the First Brigade. Here is his obituary from the New York Times of February 3, 1879 . . .
Gen. William Gurney, of Charleston, S.C., whose death took place in in this City yesterday, was born at Flushing, Long Island, in 1821. He was of Quaker extraction. He came to this City in 1837, and obtained employment as a clerk in the wholesale establishment of A.N. Brown, in Dey-street. He became a junior partner of Mr. Brown, and afterward the head of the firm of Gurney & Underhill, which succeeded the old firm. He always took an active interest in the Militia in this City, and was originally a member of the Eighth Regiment. At the outbreak of the rebellion he was a First Lieutenant in the Seventh Regiment, which he accompanied during its three months' term of service. On his return to this City he accepted a Captain's commission in the Sixty-fifth Regiment, New-York Volunteers, commanded by Col. John Cochran.In 1862 he was appointed Assistant Inspector-General and Examining Officer on the staff of Gov. Morgan, in which position he was required to pass upon the qualifications of persons applying for commissions in the regiments of this State. In July of that year he received authority to raise a regiment, and in 30 days recruited the One Hundred and Twenty-seventh New-York Volunteers, at the head of which he returned to the front. Later on in the same yearhe was assigned to the command of the Second Brigade in Gen. Abercrombie's Division. In 1864 he joined the command of Gen. Q.A. Gillmore, who was then operating on the South Carolina coast. He was severely wounded at Denoe's Neck, near Charleston, in December, 1864, and was sent North for medical treatment. On his recovery he was assigned to duty as Commander of the post at Charleston, and returned to that city. He was promoted for gallantry in action to the rank of Brigadier-General. Gen. Gurney returned to this City in July, 1865, when he was mustered out of the service. He then went back with his family to Charleston, where he established himself as a merchant and cotton factor. He continued to reside there until about a year ago, when he came North on account of his health. In 1870 Gen. Gurney was appointed Treasurer of Charleston County. He was a member of the Electoral College in 1872 from South Carolina, and was the Commissioner from that State in the Centennial Exposition. Gen. Gurney was one of the originators of the Five Points Mission in this City, and one of the founders of Continental Lodge,Free and Accepted Masons. He was a member of Adelphi Chapter and Morton Commandery, and also a member of the Veteran Association of the Seventh Regiment. He was a gentleman of genial spirit and strict integrity, and had a large circle of warm personal friends.
General George H. Gordon
And finally the commander of the Second Division, General George H. Gordon. Here is General Gordon's Wikipedia entry and interestingly enough his . . . . Facebook page.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Death of Captain Timberlake


Capt James B Timberlake.--The writer of this short obituary has been waiting for some one to notice the death of this young and gallant officer, who fell during the investment of Suffolk last month. Capt T was a native of New Kent county, Va and was just twenty-four years of age. He entered the service early in the spring of '61, a member of the company of which he died in command. He received two wounds prior to the one which proved so fatal; but he would not yield his position until the ammunition of the battalion of which he was in command had been exhausted — On retiring with his wearied command, having held his position about seven hours, he received the shot of which he died. He was taken to Petersburg as soon as possible, where he arrived on the 16th. Els physicians, fearing an internal hemorrhage, pronounced his wound mortal from the beginning; and though he was the first to discover the hemorrhage, he evinced no fears whatsoever, but with a conscience bold of offence he conversed freely with the Rev. Wm M Young of his future prospects, and expressed an abiding confidence in the efficacy of the atonement, and fell asleep without pain on the Sabbath morning of the 19thApril. He leaves an aged father, an affectionate mother, and sisters, to mourn their loss. An oppressed people mourn the loss of every noble son.

A Friend.

-Richmond Daily Dispatch, June 1, 1863

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Captain J. R. Timberlake

Wednesday Morn'g...april 22, 1863.

Capt. J. R. Timberlake, of New Kent county, Va., in the 53d Virginia regiment, who was wounded at Suffolk, died on the 30th inst.

-Daily Dispatch, April 22. 1863

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Occupation of West Point

-The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies Chapter XXX - Operations in North Carolina and Southeastern Virginia. Aug 29, 1862-Jun 3, 1863.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Stealing Government corn

Stealing Government corn. 
--Jackson, slave of Mr. Geo. Williams, of New Kent county, has been sent to Richmond by order of Gen. Wise, charged with stealing Government corn, and piloting the Yankees during their recent raid through that county. 

-Daily Dispatch, May 25, 1863

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Action at Tunstall's May 1863

 The Daily Dispatch.
      Wednesday morning . . . May 6, 1863.

The fight at Tunstall's

Brief allusion was made yesterday to the repulse of a Yankee cavalry detachment at Tunstall's Station, on the York River railroad. It appears that the 46th Virginia regiment, Col. Duke. was on the way from the White House to Richmond, when information was received from a young lady (whose patriotism deserves all praise) that the Federal cavalry was moving in the direction of Tunstall's, evidently for the purpose of destroying that portion of the road Col. Duke immediately dispatched four companies, commanded respectively by Captains Hoffman, Yates, Abbott, and White, upon a train of cars, for the purpose of giving them a suitable reception. They arrived there about 11 o'clock A. M.Monday, and discovered the Yankees within two hundred yards of the road. They discharged their carbines at the train, when our men leaped off, and taking the best positions they could find along the embankment, returned the fire, and soon put them to fight.--The enemy left six or seven dead, and had several wounded — among them Lieut March, of the 12thIllinois cavalry, with about a dozen others, including a guide named Fleming Patman. Col. Duke's men, being infantry, could not pursue. Our scouts afterwards reported that the cavalry picketed five miles distant from the road, on the Pamunky.--There is a rumor that Col. Davis, the leader of this gang, was seriously wounded in the engagement, but we do not vouch for the correctness of the statement. 
Wrenn's cavalry reached the city yesterday morning from the White House, and brought intelligence that this detachment of Yankees had retired beyond the Pamunky. We received information last evening that the road was clear to the White House, and uninjured. 
Capt. Pearce, Gen. Wise's Adjutant General, lost two horses, having been surrounded by the enemy. He and his party, eight in number, barely escaped capture, having been compelled to take to the river and swim.

Adventure of a Hanoverian taken prisoner by the Yankees. 
--Among the prisoners lodged in Castle Thunder to Vay (today?)was Fleming Patmen, a native and resident of Hanover, of respectable standing, who was captured by Gen. Wise's forces near the scene of the skirmish with the Yankees at Tunstall's Station, on Monday morning, and who was sent to Richmond as a supposed spy. This charge will doubtless, be dismissed on investigation. It seems that when the Yankees appeared in Hanover on Sunday Patman and other neighbors were at church, and that on returning home from it, he and a neighbor named Alex. Wingfield rode towards the Bash church, near Mrs. Goodall's, to reconnoitre (sic) and to meet some of their friends, who proposed to concert measures for resisting the Yankees.--It was found that the Yankees had been by the church and dispersed those who proposed to assemble, and captured Eldridge Cross, a neighbor. On the return of Wingfield and Patman towards their homes they were taken prisoners by the Yankee cavalry, led by Col. Davis, of the 12th Illinois. These troopers had a large number of mules and horses and negroes, which they had stolen from the farmers, and, taking the three men with them, proceeded to Ashland. Their proceedings there have been given in detail. From Ashland they pushed on towards the Central Railroad, and, arriving there Sunday night, burnt the depot buildings, all the Government wagons, tents, &c, and stole all the mules and horses they could lay their hands on, and staid all night near the scene of their depredations. In the morning they proceeded in the direction of the York River Railroad, pursuing the line of the Pamunkey, which they did not attempt to cross. Arriving near Tunstall's, they were charged on by Wire's troops, and after making some show of fight retreated with their, booty. During the firing Cross and Wingfield succeeded in making their escape, but Patman's horse being shot he wandered about in the woods until accosted by our troops, when be was sent prisoner to Richmond. Davis's cavalry were said to have been led by a negro fellow owned by Mr. Winston, Clerk of Hanover county. Though nine companies were represented, and it was called a regiment, there were only 350 men in it.

The Daily Dispatch(Richmond), May 6, 1863

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Affair on the Pamunkey River 1863

- from The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies. ; Series 1 - Volume 18

Major Wise was the nephew of General (and former Governor) Henry Wise.

Thursday, May 2, 2013