Transcript of letter from Brigadier General E.A. Perry to Major Thomas S. Mills, May 9, 1863


Material Information

Transcript of letter from Brigadier General E.A. Perry to Major Thomas S. Mills, May 9, 1863
Series Title:
Brochure "Southern Confederacy." May 9, 1863
Physical Description:
Perry, E.A.
Publication Date:
Physical Location:
Box: 1
Folder: Brochure "Southern Confederacy." May 9, 1863


Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
sobekcm - AA00003152_00002
System ID:

Full Text

Headquarters Perry's i'rigade,

May 9th. I86:i.

2'o Major Thomas *, .MiiZs3,A.AG,

Major: I have the honor to submit the foZZowing report of,

the part taken by my coTvand, cons ist ing of the Te cond,

Fifth and Eighth FZorida reg iments in the recent engagc-

ments in S'potsyZvania county:

On the evening of the 29th.of ApriZ, in compZ'iance with,

orders from d ivis ion Aeadquarter.s, I moved my co,::land to

the heights in front of FaZmouth, and throwing my pickets

out to the river bank.remained in Zine o/f bat te untiZ

about II o'c2ock on the morning of the first of Mlay,

when in obedience Kxxs to orders from Major-GeneraZ Arnde

-sonI moved my comzwand up the PZank road,and into the

oZd Turnpike road. I advanced up this road until I came

to our Zine of batt Ze,he 2 yd by ldaj or-GeneraZ McLaws,on

the right, I then received an order fro;:m Ilajor-General

lcLaws to for-,;: my brigade on the right of Brigadier-Con-

eraZ Woffords Brigade. This threw me so7.:e distance -ac~

the OZd M1ine road, I at once formed :7.y -tine of battZe,

and receiving informati on from LMajor-GeneraZ McLaus that

the enemy were advancing on the OZd Mine road, threw ou

k irzishers and so disposed my Zine as to enabZe me to

co,:2and both the OZd Mine road and the Dawuson Mi;tZ road,

Brigadier-GeneraZ Wi2 cox soon co,:mng up and for-':ing his

brigade on my right,I was reZieved from': giving further

attention to the Dawson MiZZ road,and resumed my origi-

naZ Z ie,my right regiment. resting in the rifle pfts on

the Zeft of the Dawson LiMZZ road. About 5 o'cZock P.M.

I received orders from !,Major-General2 dcLawz. to doubZe 7my

Z ine of skirm3isers andr advance, I did so for about one

and one-haZf t2es encountering no enemy. I hatted wtt7h

Brigadter-Genercl 7offords brigade on my tdft.; Brigad~er

-Genera WitZcox not receiving orders do advance at the

time,did not join my right. GeneraZ Wofford having be-

come disconnected from the Zine on 7 s h Zeftdetermined

to bivouac for the night. AccordifZy, I threw out 'a

strong Zine of pickets and disposed my. men for rest.

They were "very much exhausted, oaing to the nature of the

country through which they had advanced, About ten o'zkzt

cZock I received an order to retrace my steps and march

up the Turnpike road to Major-GeneraZ McLaws) position.

I did so,and having arrived with my brtgade near. Gener-

aZ MdcLaws 'heaadqartersreceived ank order revoking the

former order,and directing me to move my command back

to the position I had just Zeft. Having retaken that po-

sition,l remained unt2Z morning,every thing in my 'front

continuing quiet, -Brigadier-GeneraZ w7offord having re-

estabZished his connection with the. Zine on his Zeft, the

Zine of battZe was advanced',' moving in conformity with

the Zine on my Zeft,keeping out a strong Zine Of skirm-

ishers,and sending out sou-ting parties to my front and

right. vie encountered no resistance to out advance,

The enemy faZZfng back without' firing a gun, We took a

few prisonersand fund some abandoned cormissary/stores,

arms &c. About four o'cZock in the evening the Zine wasc

cZosed upto the Zeft by order from MajIor-GeneraZ McLaws,

untiZ my Zeft rested a few paces to the right ofthe

aiwbAcke road. My skirmishers here became engaged with

the enemy driving' back the enemy's ski2frishers and h oZad-

trn the ground gained against a brisk fire from both in-

fantry and artiZZery. At dark I received an order from

Major-GeneraZ McLaws to report with my commnand to Major-

GeneraZ Anderson,on the Zeft of Iajor-GeneraZ McLaws Zine

and in obedience to Major-GeneraZ Anderson's orders,biv-

ouacked my men in the woods for rest. Some time before

dayZight of the morning of the 3rd.of May I moved my co,,

mand,by direction of Major-GeneraZ Anderson,down the

Catharpin road for the purpose of scouring the country

to the Zeft of and rear of the ZPft ofI Major-Genenrd

Anderson's Zlne. Ipound the country cZear,and moved up

by the furnace,on the Zeft of the Zine,and came up with

the other brigades of the dvfsfon,near So the enemy's

works. I at once formed my Zfne of battZe and pushed for-

ward upon the rtoht fZank of the enemy's works on the

Zeft of the Zine of Major-GeneraZ Anderson's division.

The fire was quite brisk here from a Zine of the enemy

thrown back at.rig'ht anZes to this front, to protect his

fZank and rear. rhts Zine soon gave way,and pushing for-

ward,I found myset~f ns de of his breast-works.

Having no knowZedge of the ground, and the woods befnfp so

thick as to entCreZy obstruct the view, was at Zoss for

some time as to the direction of the enemy's next Zine.

The tr musket baZZs soon gave me the proper direction,

and I change, front,and sending out skirmishers,soon

found their Zine on the thtckty wooded hiZZ in the rear

of their breastworks,and to their right of the fieZd in

front of ChanceZZors. I ordered a chargeand the enemy,

after one or two rounds,broke in the utmost confusion,

throwing down armsk,napsackcs,&c.great numbers of them

running into our Ztnes.

SNo sooner had the enemy's Ztnes vantshed,than their,

batteries poured a most terrific fire of grape and ca is

-ter into my Zines. The men Zying downand being partiaZ

.-y protected by acsZ'ght ridge, the fire was not as fata

as I had reason to fear. -tpon goti@ to the front,I found

no infantry in my front between me and the. Turnpike road

and that I couZd not Zead my men against the enemy's bat

tery without encountering the range of our own battery,

on the Zeft of the rear of my Zine,which was then cZear-

ing oupt the enemy in doubZe quick time.

l Wh'Ze making this change port ons of two other brig-

ades,which were Zying down 'in the woods,and which a por-

tion of my Zine had charged'over,rushed back from the sue

-den and terrific fire poured into us before the enemy

gave way,ancd the Etghth FZorida regiment,which had not

then passed over them7,mistaking them for the Zeft of *, "

their own brigade,aZZowed themsZeves to be swept back a

short distance by them. They were not however at aZZ

panic stricken, but were raZZted at once, their rzoraZe and

sprit in no manner impaired. I cannot think any bZame

shouZl be attached to either the officers or the men of

the regiment. I remained in that position unti the res

of the division was marched up by CeneraZ Anderson,and

moved by the right fZank 'with them to the turnpike road,

where the division haZted. ',oon after, I -was directed

by order from CeneraZ Anderson to occupy the works on

the right of the pike road to prevent the enemy.from

throwing a force into them. I remained in those works

unztit ordered to foZZow the division towards UST.Ford.
That night I ha ted with the division-being on its

Zeft-put out strong pickets, and rested untiZ about two

hours before dayZight of IMay 4thwhen I received orders

to throw one regiment forward upon each of two roads run

-ning towards the ridge the enemy,in the

rear of ChanceZZoriviZZe. I sent forward the Fifth FZor-

ida on the road Zeading by Grady's house,and the Second

FZorida about a half a mtZe further to the Zeft,throwitng

forward a connected Zine of skirm.ishers in'fro.nt of the

two regiments. Thes sk iris hers encountered the enemy s

pickets in considerabZe force,but they offered feebZe

resistance,and were pressed back a mtZe' or a tite- and a

"half to the enemy's Vsntrenchments I wag then ordered

by CeneraZ Anderson to draw in the two regiments and Zin
of skirrzishers and foZtow the division towards Fredericf

-burg which I did,and was next posted on the Zeft of the

fine of the divis ionny Zine being to the rear of Down-

manes house, Brigadier-Genera Posey being on my right.

There being an intervaZ of three quarters of a itZe Ze-

tween my Ze'ft and the right of GeneraZ dcLaws Zine, I

was ordered to hoZd the position I then occupied untiZ

further orders,unZess,when the right of our Ztie had

advanced-up the pZank road to a point opposite me, I

shouZd see an opportunity to strike. I had thoroughZy

scouted the woods to my Zeft,and from the information

I had obtained,fett confident of capturing both the

battery at Gregg 's house and muchof the infantry'thrown

,-4L between, that and Dowrsnan's house.

hT ope however,as wezl2 ac aZZ opportunity for me, in

the position in which I was, to strike a s ngZe bZow to

advantagewas destroyed by Brigadier-General Wright's

brigade Scwnging across the Zine of battZe and charge ng,

across the fieZd in my front before our right couZd so

enga ge the enemy on the pZank road as to prevent the ar-

tiZZery and infantry from escaping by that road.

Upon re porting my position to GeneraZ Anderson I was d.f

-rected to remain there untiZ morning.

On the morning of May 5th,by direction of GeneraZ

Anderson,I moved to the vicinity of the Aorgan houseon

the plank road. There I remained untiZ about four o'cZocl

P,,when with the other brigades of the divis on,I moved

up the pZank roadand bivouacked for the night,

EarZy in the morning of the sixth,by order of GeneraZ

Anderson, I detached two reg iments, posted one on the Cath'

-arpin roadand one at the fork of the pZank road cnd

the road leading to t potsyZvania Court house,haZt ing the

other regiment where the Furnace road crossed the plank

road, About one o'clock I caZZed in my regiments and re-

turned to my old camp. .

The conduct of both officers and men of my command,

through the tiresome marches and continued watchAg ,as

weZZ as while engaging the enemywas such as to merit

high praise. The firm and steadfast courage exhibited,

espectaZZy by the Fifth and *econd FZorida reg-tments, ti

the charge at ChanceZZorsvtZZe attracted my particuZar


/ am indebted to Captain McCasZan,AA.A.GeneraZ, ta

Lieutenant TayZor,aide-de-camp,Lieutenant Scott,voZunza

teer ai(.de-de-camrp, and Lieutenant RtZey,ActSing Inspec-tor

for the great assistance they rendered me by their attern

-tion to their du.ties and gaZZant conduct,

My co7nmand was kept suppZied with rations by the

persever'ir energy of Major EZder,Brigade Com~ itsary.

Major HinkZe,Brigade Quartermaster,for his untiring ef-

forts to aZZevtate the sufferings of the wounded who

were coZZected at the station awaiting transportation

to Richmondhas merited my particuZar thanks. I encZose

the Zist of casu:aZ tes,

qI have the honor to be ,very respectfzu2y

fTwyw u E.A.Perry,

Brtgadierr eneraZ P.A.C, 1.
'*' '' *