Memorial Day, officially the last Monday of May, is set aside as the time when the nation honors the dead of all wars. The sheer magnitude of the 620,000+ dead, the direct result of the Civil War dictated the need to remember the fallen in a different way. Various cities and groups have veyed to be the “first” to act upon this need. In the South, this was generally ascribed to the Ladies Memorial Associations and the name given was ‘Decoration Day’. On this day, women would go to the known graves and lay flowers. In The North, the 30th of May was selected by the Union veterans group to remember the sacrifice of the fallen because no major battle occurred on that day. Honoring the fallen from both sides of the American Civil War is an obligation of our society today.
In my last post, I covered the establishment of the Fredericksburg Confederate Cemetery by the Ladies Memorial Association and I highlight one fallen Confederate soldier (click here). For this Memorial Day posting, I selected ten individual soldiers and one woman who were connected with the first or second Battle of Fredericksburg. They were either killed in battle, or of wounds received in battle, died of disease at some point during the civil war or survived the war and died of old age. Primary research for the biographical information provided on each soldier comes from three sources; Robert A. Hodge, a retired Fredericksburg high school teacher, Historian Robert K. Krick and BigFrench of the Findagrave.com website. There are occasional differences between these three sources which at this point remain unresolved. I deferred to the work by Hodge. Where possible I also looked online for published unit rosters, as well as unit histories located at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park (FSNMP) library and published maps of the battles to establish unit locations. Rather than my usual practice of providing source citation at the end of this post, I give these at the conclusion of each biographical section. Information relating to all individuals is placed at the end.
I discovered that morning light is essential for reading the headstones of grey granite. When I went back recently to double check my mapping of the locations of each individual soldier, I found the headstones are next to impossible to read in the afternoon sunlight from the west. My first trip, made in the morning was successful. Even then, some stones could not be made out.
ALLISON, BENJAMIN F., SERGEANT
Company D, 25th North Carolina Infantry
“This farmer, born in Buncombe County, North Carolina, was 29 years old, standing 6 feet 1 inch tall when he enlisted as a private on 1 June 1861 to serve for 12 months. This enlistment occurred at Camp Davis near Wilmington, North Carolina. He was paid $10 at the time of his enlistment and later reenlisted for three additional years. Benjamin was initially appointed 2nd Sergeant until October 5th, 1861 when he was appointed Regimental Color Bearer and transferred from company D to Field & Staff. Allison was wounded on December 13th, 1862, incurring a fractured thigh, in the 1st Battle of Fredericksburg. He died from complications of wound. He is buried in Section 11, Row 4, Stone number 19 under the name “BF Allerson”.
Subsequent research conducted for the Ladies Memorial Association corrected the name error. They placed a stone tablet flush with the ground in front of his stone. Curiously, two sources give the date of death as being 2 July 1862 (see photograph) while the biography reports Benjamin having died of complications of a leg fracture incurred at the Battle of Fredericksburg.
The 25th North Carolina Infantry Regiment was assigned to Brigadier Ransom’s Division of First Corps as part of Ransom’s Brigade. The 25th was initially held in reserve behind Marye’s Heights during the Battle of Fredericksburg. It was moved forward to a position between the Marye mansion and the Orange Turnpike (now Hanover Street) and held this position under heavy Union fire until it joined the Philips’ Legion in the Sunken Road. It reported 13 killed and 75 wounded for a total of 88 casualties in action.
CAMPBELL, JAMES CHARLES, MAJOR
Company K, 18th Mississippi Infantry
There appears to be some confusion regarding James’ early life details. In the Krick version, James Charles Campbell was” born in Sarepta, Calhoun County, Mississippi, 1839. He graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1858 and became the Secretary to the Governor of the State. At age 22-years, he enlisted on the 24th of May, 1861 at Corinth, Mississippi”. In the Hodge version, James is characterized as a 25-year old student who traveled 260 miles to enlist on the 24th of May, 1861 at Corinth, Mississippi to serve for 12 months”. From that point, his life narrative seems to agree. “Starting with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant, he was elected Captain on 5 October, 1861 and promoted Major 27 April, 1862. He was with Barksdale’s Brigade on 16 September, 1862 when wounded at Sharpsburg (Antietam). He was wounded and reported missing in action during the second battle of Fredericksburg” during the Chancellorsville Campaign. Krick mentions that “He was captured during the battle on 3 May, 1863” when his unit defended the Sunken Road at the stone wall in front of Marye’s Heights. Krick says that James “managed to escape on 5 May, but died a few days later” after he reached Southern line.” He was buried inside the Marye’s enclosure [Cemetery] back from the house. His father, D.A. Campbell, filed a settlement claim 14 May, 1863. Following the war, the Major’s remains were removed to Fredericksburg Confederate Cemetery, Section 12, Row 13, Stone number 13”.
BigFrench reported his death as being in the first Battle.
The 18th Mississippi Regiment played an important part in both battles of Fredericksburg. During the opening actions of the battle on 11 December,1862 they occupied a portion of the defense of Fredericksburg opposite the middle crossing, where they backed up the 17th Mississippi along Caroline Street at Rocky Lane. At the end of this action as part of Barksdale’s Brigade, they withdrew to the safety of the Confederate defenses below Lee’s Hill. During the second Battle of Fredericksburg on 3 May 1863, the 18th Mississippi defended the stone wall along the Sunken Road at the foot of Marye’s Heights. Here they were overrun by the Union troops in the mid-morning. Unit losses reported for the 18th Mississippi Regiment were 25 killed and 43 wounded.
Krick, Robert K., Lee’s Colonels: A Biographical Register of the Field Officers of the Army of Northern Virginia, Wilmington, DE, Broadfoot Publishing Company, 2009, p. 77.
CANNON, J.R., PRIVATE
Company F, 3rd South Carolina Infantry
“He enlisted at Laurens Court House, South Carolina 1 July, 1862 to serve for three years. From 27 August to 3 September, 1862 he was ill with remittent fever (malaria?) at Chimborazo Hospital #5, Richmond, VA. He was with [Major General] McLaws’s Division when he was killed 13 December, 1862 at Fredericksburg. He was initially buried on the flat between Howison’s Hill and the dam at Hazel Run. Although he does not have an identified individual grave in the Fredericksburg Confederate Cemetery, his remains were moved there according to the Register of the Ladies Memorial Association”, possibly to the mass grave. His records could have been amongst those lost in the transition between their being marked with cedar posts in the early 1870’s and the placement of stones in the 1880’s.
The 3rd South Carolina Regiment was involved with the first Battle of Fredericksburg. As a portion of Brigadier General Kershaw’s Brigade, they reinforced Cobb’s Brigade on Marye’s Heights. Their first fighting position was to the left and in front of the Marye’s mansion, Brampton. Here they were under heavy fire from the Union troops attacking the Sunken Road (click here). Eventually, the 3rd moved down to the Sunken Road lining up behind the Philips’ Legion. The 3rd SC reported 163 casualties in action that day.
COX, LUCY ANN ‘KATIE’ nee WHITE, VIVANDIÈRE
Company A, 30th Virginia Infantry
Wife of James A. Cox, married in 1862; 64 yrs.
“Daughter of a Fredericksburg printer, Jesse White of the ‘Fredericksburg Weekly Advertiser’ newspaper in the1850-60’s, she was born in 1827. When she married James A. Cox, an employee of her father’s, she refused to leave him when he volunteered for Company A of the 30th Virginia Regiment. She was allowed to remain with the company throughout the war. She cooked and washed for her husband’s company and helped care for the sick and wounded. She was known throughout her husband’s company by the sobriquet “Pawnee” (based on a stubborn Union Gunboat of that name).”
From BigFrench we learn more about the funeral and military parade in her honor.
“When she died on 17 December 1891, she was buried in the Fredericksburg Confederate Cemetery with full military honors.” The Confederate Veterans and Sons of Confederate Veterans participated in her funeral. “She can be found in Section 12, Row 19, Stone number 1”.
“Her tombstone bears the inscription: “A sharer of the toils, danger and privations of the 30th Regt. Va. Infy, C.S.A. from 1861-1865. Erected by her Friends”
GOREE, ORLANDO H., PRIVATE
Company C, 11th Alabama Infantry
“He enlisted in Greene County, Alabama, 11 June, 1861 to serve for the duration of the war. He was wounded in action before Richmond, Virginia 30 June, 1862 and was with [Major General] Anderson’s division at Fredericksburg when mortally wounded 13 December, 1862. A claim was filed by father Nathaniel Goree with Greene County. He was buried near Salem Church and his remains were brought to and buried in the Fredericksburg Confederate Cemetery on 12 October 1888 by order of the Ladies Memorial Association. His grave is in Section 12, Row 1, Stone number 1.”
During the first Battle of Fredericksburg, the 11th Alabama Regiment was a part of Brigadier General Wilcox’s Brigade which held the extreme left of the Confederate line of defense at Taylor’s Hill. They reported three killed and five wounded as a result of action on the 13th of December.
GREEN, PHILIP B., PRIVATE
Company K, 16th North Carolina Infantry
“Philip enlisted on 20 April, 1861 at Columbus North Carolina to serve for a year. Developing pneumonia on 28 December, 1861, he was treated at General Hospital #1, Danville, Virginia. He was killed at the age 21 on 13 December, 1862 at Fredericksburg. His remains now rest at the Fredericksburg Confederate Cemetery in Section 12, Row 16, Stone number 3.”
The 16th North Carolina Regiment was heavily engaged on the 13th of December as part of Major General A.P. Hill’s division. They were stationed along the Fredericksburg, Richmond and Potomac Railroad tracks as skirmishers on the extreme left of Brigadier General Pender’s Brigade. Here they blocked a road that crossed the railroad tracks leading to the Confederate positions. The 16th fired obliquely into Union General Gibbon’s attack. Later, they participated in the actions along Deep Run. The 16th reported six killed and 48 wounded on the 13th of December.
HARRIS, JOHN A., PRIVATE
Company D, 30th Virginia Infantry
“He was born in July, 1840 in Warren County, New Jersey. He enlisted on 26 April, 1861 in Company D,” [“Mount Pleasant Rifles” of Spotsylvania County,] “ 30th Virginia Regiment. He was absent sick November 1861 to January 1862. After the war he ran a mercantile business “Harris & Bro” in Fredericksburg where he died 3 May, 1908 and was buried in the Fredericksburg Confederate Cemetery in Section 13, Row 8, Stone number 8.”
During the battle of Fredericksburg, the 30th Virginia Regiment was part of Major General Pickett’s division, Brigadier General Course’s Brigade near Lansdowne Valley Road. They saw no action.
HOLT, BENJAMIN, J., PRIVATE
Company A, 14th North Carolina Infantry
Benjamin “was a 25 year-old coach maker when he enlisted 30 May, 1861 at Littletown, North Carolina to serve for 12 months” [with Company A, the Roanoke Minute Men from Warren and Halifax counties. The 14th North Carolina Regiment was assigned to Lieutenant General Jackson’s 2nd Corps, A.P. Hills Division in the fighting around Prospect Hill on the south of the Fredericksburg battlefield. Benjamin] “was in the hospital about 1 January, 1863 when he received wages of $110. On 27 February, 1863 he died in camp of disease acquired at the Battle of Fredericksburg. His remains were later buried in the Fredericksburg Confederate Cemetery in Section 14, Row 12, Stone number 10.”
The 14th North Carolina Regiment was part of Brigadier General Ramseur’s Brigade under the command of Colonel Grimes as part of D.H. Hill’s Division. It reported four wounded in action.
HOWARD, G.W., PRIVATE
Company K, 35th Georgia Infantry
“He enlisted as a private 4 July 1861 in Harris County, Georgia. His name last appeared on the [unit] roll of Sept-Oct 1862, but it also appears among those who were buried in Santee land a few hundred ears from the house of Janes P Corbin. Most of these men were buried in the early spring of 1863. His name in the Register of the Ladies Memorial Association would indicate his remains were reinterred in Fredericksburg Confederate Cemetery, but if so, he may be among the 2000+ in the mass grave under the Monument for no individual identifying stone has been found in his name.”
The 35th Georgia Regiment was a part of Brigadier General Edward Thomas’s 3rd Brigade of Major General A.P. Hill’s Light Division in Lieutenant General Jackson’s Second Corps. Initially, Thomas’s Brigade was in the second line in reserve. When Brigadier General John Gibbon’s Union Division attacked in the late morning or 13 December and broke into the southern defenses, Thomas’s Brigade counterattacked to drive Gibbon’s Union troops back across the Fredericksburg, Richmond and Potomac (FR&P) railroad tracks to restore the line. The 35th Georgia was on the left flank of this counterattacking line. They succeeded in driving the Union troops back. For a brief period, they pursued across the tracks driving the Federals before them. The remainder of the day, the 35th occupied the line of the railroad tracks. They reported seven killed and 82 wounded in action. It is unclear if Private Howard was one of the seven killed outright or died of wounds received in the battle.
HUBBARD, JOHN M., PRIVATE
Company I, 35th Georgia Infantry
“A native of Wilkens County, Georgia, John was an 18-year-old farmer when he signed up with Captain Willian L Grover in Atlanta to serve for the duration of the war. He was described as standing 5-feet 6-inches high, had a dark complexion, black eyes and black hair. The young soldier died of pneumonia in Fredericksburg on Christmas Day, 1861. His father, James Hubbard of Dirt Town, Chattooga County, Georgia filed a settlement claim 21 January, 1863 for pay due his son from 31 October, 1861 to the day of his death and for the promised bounty money. (The amounts were not recorded). Private Hubbard was buried in the Barton Street Cemetery in Fredericksburg. His name is recorded on a bronze tablet in the Fredericksburg Confederate Cemetery.”
The 35th Georgia Regiment was briefly stationed in the Fredericksburg region in the Spring of 1862. In the winter of 1861-2 units from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia were in the vicinity. During this period, the primary Confederate army in the east was located further north around Manassas under Lieutenant General Joseph E. Johnston. Units were also stationed along the Potomac in an attempt to deny the river to the Union. The FR&P railroad provided a convenient method of transporting troop units along the coastal corridor. The fairgrounds (Mercer Square) were an easy way point for traveling units and training ground for some. Hospitals were established in various large buildings within the city to meet the health needs of the soldiers. During the winter, disease such as an outbreak of measles caused many deaths. Fifty-one of these soldiers were interred in a temporary graveyard on the edge of town adjacent to the Pauper’s graveyard along Barton Street. Over time, the location of these graves was lost. There is no indication that these were removed to another location. This plaque commemorates their service. It, and another plaque at Barton Street, is the only public record.
ROSCOE, WILLIAM A., PRIVATE (also shown as RASCO)
Company K, 6th North Carolina Infantry
“Standing 5 feet 10 ½ inches tall, this 20-year-old married farmer had a fair complexion, dark hair and gray eyes. He enlisted at Camp Alamance on 21 June, 1861 to serve for the duration of the war. He became sick at Orange Courthouse, Virginia and was left there from 20 September to 18 November 1861 suffering from typhoid fever. He rejoined his company and a year later William was killed in action at the battle of Fredericksburg on 14 December, 1862. His widow, Nancey C. Rascoe (as spelled) filed a settlement claim on 12 March, 1863 for $56.17 due from her husband’s experiences as a soldier. She had it sent to Pleasant Grove, Alamance County, North Carolina. William’s grave is in the Fredericksburg Confederate Cemetery in Section 14, Row 11, Stone number 19.”
The first Battle of Fredericksburg occurred on the 13th of December, 1862. The 6th North Carolina of Brigadier General Law’s Brigade, Major General Hood’s division had a restricted role in support of artillery during the battle. It reported 6 killed and 14 wounded in action. To have died in action on the 14th of December, William could possibly have been on picket duty while General Jackson was hoping for a renewed Federal attack, which never happened. The Federal army withdrew during the night of 15th of December under cover of a heavy rain storm.
Iobst, Richard W. The Bloody Sixth; The Sixth North Carolina Regiment Confederate States of America, Durham, North Carolina Centennial Commission, Christian Printing Company, 1965. p 445. https://ia600502.us.archive.org/7/items/bloodysixthsixth00iobs/bloodysixthsixth00iobs.pdf
Hodge, Robert A., These We Know, Brief Biological Sketches of 644 of the More Than 3,500 Confederate Soldiers Buried in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Ladies Memorial Association of Fredericksburg, 1993. Available at Central Rappahannock Regional Library and Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
Krick, Robert K., Roster of the Confederate Dead in the Fredericksburg Confederate Cemetery, Fredericksburg, 1974. Available at Central Rappahannock Regional Library and Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
Nelson, Eric F., East of Chancellorsville, Second Fredericksburg and Salem Church, Blue and Grey Magazine, vol. XXX, no. 1.
O’Reilly, Francis Augustin Slaughter at Fredericksburg, Lees’s Most Resounding Victory, Blue and Grey Magazine, vol. XXV, no. 4.