September 17, 2013 was the 151st anniversary of the battle of Antietam, the bloodiest single day engagement of the Civil War, in fact the bloodiest single day of battle in the history of the America's.
The Pamunkey Rifles of New Kent as well as the Barhamsville Grays were present as companies E and B respectfully of the 53rd Virginia Infantry. The 53rd was one of the five regiment of Lewis A. Armistead's brigade of Anderson's division. The division was part of Longstreets' Corp which was the Confederate right on the field of battle. During the battle the Regimental commander, Captain William Pollard (formerly commanding Co. H the Mattaponni Guards) was killed and his place was taken by captain Harwood. From what I can tell, Captain Pollard might have been the only fatality of the brigade on that bloody day.
|The 53rd Virginia is in the lower left corner|
From Antietam on the Web:
"Brought in at Sharpsburg, [Armistead's] brigade arrived on the field on the morning of September 17, but instead of joining their division near the sunken road were held back in support of McLaw's Division near the Dunker Church. Here the troops of the Union Second Army Corps had been beaten off, and Armistead's men were needed to shore up the Confederate defenses in the area. Uncomfortable at being held in reserve, Armistead stood in front of the brigade anxiously awaiting the call for battle. Incredibly, a stray cannon ball rolled over the hill and struck him on the foot, thereby putting him out of action. Although not seriously injured he was compelled to relinquish his command to Colonel James G. Hodges and leave the field."