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Thursday, December 22, 2016

New Information on the North Anna Campaign, May 24, 1864

Recent historians need to fashion patches for their accounts of the fighting on the North Anna River May 24, 1864.  As I followed the Petersburg Regiment of Weisiger's Virginia Brigade of Mahone's division down to the North Anna, I could see a conflict between sources in the regiment and general histories of the campaign.  Sources from the Petersburg Regiment reported fighting Crawford's division of V Corps as Ledlie's brigade of IX Corps dashed itself to pieces against the Mississippi Brigade of Mahone's division to the right of the Virginia Brigade.  I considered deferring to the judgment of the general historians but decided to take a look.  The men from the 12th Virginia, the Petersburg Regiment, were right.  Sources on Bates' (Coulter's until Coulter was wounded) brigade of Crawford's division (11th Pennsylvania, 12th Pennsylvania, 12th Massachusetts, 97th New York, all available online) show that this brigade struggled with the sharpshooters of Weisiger's Virginia Brigade and Sanders' Alabama Brigade as Ledlie's brigade assaulted the Mississippians.