|Number of men originally enlisted||932|
|Number of recruited....................||551|
|South Mills, April 12th, 1862,|
|Richmond, June 18th, 1862,|
|King's School House, June 25th, 1862,|
|Malvern Hill, July 2d, 1862,|
|Rappahannock, August 25th, 1862,|
|Manassas Number 2, August 30th, 1862,|
|Harper's Ferry, September 16th, 1862,|
|Sharpsburg, September 17th, 1862,|
|Fredericksburg, December 13th, 1862,|
|Chancellorsville, May 2d, 3d and 4th, 1863,|
|Gettysburg, July 2d, 1863,|
|Manassas Gap, July 23d, 1863,|
|Wilderness, May 6th, 1864,|
|Spottsylvania, May 14th, 1864,|
|Siege of Petersburg,||
losses by death are:-
|Killed in action . . . . . . . . . .|
|Died from wounds . . . . . . . . . .|
|Died from disease . . . . . . . . . .|
|Total, . . . . . . . . . . . . .|
|Discharged and transferred . . . . . .|
|Total loss from all causes . . . . . .|
total of casualties is:-
|Killed .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .|
|Wounded . . . . . . . . . . . . . .|
The Third Georgia Regiment, composed of Volunteer companies who responded to the first call for troops to defend the integrity of the Confederate States, rendezvoused at Portsmouth, Virginia. At the Gosport Navy Yard, the regiment was organized by the election of the following officers: A. R. Wright of Augusta, Colonel; James S. Reid of Madison, Georgia, Lieutenant Colonel; and A. H. Lee of Covington, Georgia, Major. Lieutenant W. W. Turner, of Eatonton, Georgia, was appointed Adjutant; Captain H. S. Hughes received the appointment of Commisary, and Captain Alexander Phillips, Assistant Quartermaster of the regiment; and the Rev. Mr. Flinn of Milledgeville, was commissioned Chaplain.
The following companies composed the original organization of the regiment. With one or two exceptions, all were organized volunteer companies several years previous to the war.
Company A, Burke Guards, Burke County, Captain Charles Musgrove.
Company B, Brown Rifles, Putnam County, Captain Reuben B. Nisbet.
Company C, Dawson Grays, Green County, Captain Robert L. McWhorter.
Company D, Home Guards, Morgan County, Captain Charles H. Andrews.
Company E, Governor's Guards, Houston County, Captain Joel R. Griffin.
Company F, Wilkinson Rifles, Wilkinson County, Captain William 0. Beall.
Company G, Confederate Light Guards, Richmond County, Captain Edward J. Walker.
Company H, Young Guards, Newton County, Captain John F. Jones.
Company I, Blodget Volunteers, Richmond County, Captain Foster Blodget.
Company K, Athens Guards, Clarke County, Captain Henry C. Billups.
In August, 1861, Captain Blodget's company was transferred from the regiment, and shortly afterwards the Clarke County Rifles, Captain Isaac S. Vincent, and the Carswell Guards, from Wilkinson County, Captain N. A. Carswell, were added to the regiment.
On the 29th of August, 1861, in pursuance of orders from Brigadier General, afterwards Major General, Huger, the Third Georgia embarked on small steamers and canal boats for the coast of North Carolina. Information being received on the way that Fort Hatteras had fallen, the Third Georgia was landed on Roanoke Island, and charged with the important duty of fortifying that position as speedily as possible, in order to prevent the further encroachments of the Yankees on the inland waters of North Carolina, and the approaches to the rear of Norfolk. The emergency was great, and the men comprehending it, worked with a will, night and day for several weeks, until formidable sand batteries, mounted with thirty-two pounders and columbiads bade defiance to Butler's fleet.
On the 1st of October three or four companies of this regiment embarked on two or three gunboats belonging to Commodore Lynch's fleet, and participated in the capture of the United States gunboat Fanny. The prize, with its cargo of provisions and clothing for the Twentieth Indiana Regiment, estimated to be worth one hundred thousand dollars, together with two pieces of field artillery and about forty prisoners, were the fruits of this combined movement of our little navy and the four companies above mentioned.
On the 4th of October all the companies of this regiment, about seven hundred strong, together with two companies of the Seventh North Carolina State Troops, and Colonel Shaw's Eighth North Carolina Regiment, went on board the gunboats and transport steamers constituting Commodore Lynch's "Mosquito Fleet," and sailed by night for the point where the Fanny had been captured. Arrived there, the camp of the enemy was discovered on the Chickamacomico banks, and we at once commenced a vigorous shelling. The enemy's camp was stampeded, the Hessians flying for their lives. They left behind them a smoking breakfast of poultry, coffee and various other luxuries. Their whole camp equipage, consisting of tents, cooking utensils, etc., all the officers' baggage, and ten days' rations of bacon, bread, sugar, coffee, &c., fell into our hands; all of which was successfully transported to our own camp on Roanoke Island.
The Third Georgia landed as soon as possible, wading in the water up to their cartridge boxes about one half mile, and immediately started in rapid pursuit of the Yankees. The latter having about two hours' start of us, the time occupied in landing troops, and proving exceedingly swift footed, kept out of our reach, and succeeded in gaining the light house, where they received reinforcements,-not escaping, however, without a loss of about forty prisoners, and the throwing away of nearly all their knapsacks and accoutrements, and the throwing into the sea of all the muskets belonging to their regiment.
On the 5th, the Third Georgia and two companies of the Seventh North Carolina, having chased the enemy a distance of twenty miles, returned to the place of landing. While returning along the ocean beach, the troops were shelled for several hours by the Federal sloop of war Monticello, but escaped without loss of life or casualties of any kind. After going through that arduous march, all safely returned on the 6th, to Roanoke Island, with a loss of but one man, who died from exhaustion on the march. The above detailed affair is well known as the "Chickamacomico races."
After completing the fortifications on Roanoke Island and building winter quarters,-the enemy in the meanwhile having been kept close to their conquest of the Hatteras sand banks,-our regiment was relieved by the Thirty-first North Carolina, Colonel Jordan, and returned to General Blanchard's Brigade station, around Portsmouth.
After the fall of Roanoke Island, the regiment was ordered to Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and remained in that vicinity for several months.
On the 19th of April, 1862, Colonel Wright, then in command of the forces around South Mills, learning of the landing of a large body of the Yankees prepared his troops (consisting of a few militia under Colonel Furribee, two companies of the Seventh North Carolina, Captain McComas' Virginia battery, and the Third Georgia) for battle. With this small force we met the enemy, and a battle was fought about two miles south of South Mills, which resulted in inflicting a heavy loss upon the enemy. We kept them back until nearly night, when our forces fell back into their entrenchments, and the enemy came upon the ground occupied by us in the morning. After night the enemy retreated to their gunboats, leaving their dead and part of their wounded in our hands. Considering the disparity of numbers engaged - the enemy's force consisting of three brigades of infantry, with two batteries of artillery, all under the command of Brigadier General Reno, while our force engaged scarcely numbered four hundred, and the whole force present amounting to but six hundred-the brilliancy of this affair is eclipsed by no achievement of the war. Our loss in killed, wounded, and missing, was fourteen, while that of the enemy is estimated at from four to five hundred.
On the 28th of April, 1862, the regiment was reorganized according to the provisions of the conscript act. But five of the old Captains were re-elected. Colonel A. R. Wright and LieutenantColonel James S. Reid, were re-elected to their positions, and Lieutenant John R. Sturgis, of the Burke Guards, was elected Major.
About the time of the evacuation of Norfolk and Portsmouth, this command was ordered to Suffolk, and from there marched across the country to Petersburg; and just before the battle of Seven Pines, joined the Army of General Joseph E. Johnston. Though on the field and under fire, we did not become engaged in that battle.
During the month of June, we occupied a position on the extreme front line of the Chickahominy, on the Williamsburg road, being on picket duty or supporting the pickets the whole time. Besides many smaller engagements, we participated in a hot skirmish on the 18th of June, driving back a New Hampshire brigade with a considerable loss to them in killed and wounded, and about a dozen prisoners, while we lost two killed. On the 25th of the same month, we were called upon to repel a heavy advance of the enemy on our picket lines which crossed the Williamsburg road. Though under a heavy storm of grape and canister, we had not the opportunity of returning the fire. On this occasion we lost two killed and several severely wounded.
About the 3d of June Colonel A. R. Wright was promoted to be Brigadier General, leaving Major Sturgis commander of the Third Georgia, Lieutenant Colonel Reid having resigned about the same time. We participated in all the manoeuvres and marching of Wright's Brigade, Huger's Division, during the few days preceding the 1st of July, and on that day, with the other regiments composing the brigade, opened the fight at Malvern Hill. The Third Georgia was in the unsuccessful charge upon the enemies batteries, and lost heavily in officers and men. While they remained in the fight, holding the ground gained, until nine o'clock, P.M., our loss in killed was fiftyseven and in wounded ninety-four. Major John R. Sturgis was among the killed; he was a Christian gentleman, polished and courteous; he was also an efficient officer and generally very popular among his men and with his superior officers. As do the brave, he fell on the field of victory with his sword drawn in his country's cause. Captain R. B. Nisbet, second in command, behaved gallantly and fearlessly upon this bloody field, and was severely wounded. We took into action about two hundred and fifty men, rank and file.
On the Chickahominy we suffered severely from disease. In one month our ranks were reduced, by sickness and the casualties of battle, from one thousand to about three hundred for duty. Soon after the battles around Richmond, we were left without field officers, and even without a Captain to take command. At this period Major N. B. Montgomery, P. A. C. S., was assigned to the command of the Third Georgia. Soon after the celebrated campaign against Pope commenced, in which this regiment participated, and in the laurels won in that campaign by Anderson's Division, this regiment claims a full share. At the second battle of Manassas we lost four killed and twenty-two wounded. Major Montgomery commanded in this engagement, and distinguished himself by his fearlessness on the field of battle. He received a severe wound, disabling him from command. At this time Captain Nisbet (then entitled, and soon after promoted, to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel) returned and assumed command of the regiment. The next important battle in which our regiment was engaged, was Sharpsburg. Here we took into action one hundred and twenty-five men, and lost twenty-four killed and forty-eight wounded. Lieutenant Colonel Nisbet commanded the regiment in this never to be forgotten battle, and after leading his command into line, fell dangerously wounded in several places. He was left on the field of battle and fell into the hands of the enemy. Captain John F. Jones succeeded to the command of the regiment. He was soon after promoted to Major, while Captain Edward J. Walker was made Colonel, and Captain R. B. Nisbet Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment. In the first battle of Fredericksburg, though present on the field and under a heavy fire, we did not become engaged with the enemy. We lost one man killed by a shell, Colonel Edward J. Walker, commanding.
During the months of January and February, 1863, Wright's Brigade was stationed at the United States Ford, on the Rappahannock. Fortifications were required, and the men worked day and night, through snow and rain, to complete them. The Third Georgia bore more than an equal share in these hardships. The sufferings of this command at United States Ford, from cold, short rations, and a scanty supply of clothing, could scarcely have been excelled by those which so severely tried the fortitude and patriotism of our forefathers, when quartered in the historic Valley Forge. Under command of Major Jones, the Third Georgia shared in all the marches and engagements around Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg during the first week in May. Major Jones received a wound at Chancellorsville which cost him his right arm. In a charge upon the Yankees around Donmond's house, near Fredericksburg, under the immediate observation of General Lee, the Third Georgia elicited the hearty praise of that soldier chieftain. Our loss in the several engagements was sixteen killed and one hundred and fifteen wounded.
The Third Georgia continued in Wright's Brigade, Anderson's Division, Hill's Corps, and participated largely in all the hardships and fighting of these organizations in the second invasion of the enemy's country by the Army of Northern Virginia.
The deeds of Wright's Brigade on the 2d of July, 1863, at the battle of Gettysburg, are already known to the public. It is but sufficient to say, that the Third Georgia merited a full share of the laurels won there. We carried into action five hundred men, and our losses were forty-one killed and one hundred and forty-eight wounded. Colonel Walker commanded in the battle of Gettysburg, and Captain C. H. Andrews acted as Lieutenant Colonel.
On the 23d of July, 1863, Wright's Brigade was ordered to guard the pass at Manassas Gap. The different corps of our army were matching through Front Royal and Chester Gap, and it was important to prevent the enemy from cutting our columns in two. This regiment was assigned to a position on the right of the brigade, and separated from it nearly a mile. Our position was on the top of a mountain, which commanded a view of the enemy's position. About two o'clock, P.M., the enemy having concentrated a force of about ten thousand men, advanced in solid column. Our command skirmished with them until numbers bore down too heavily, when we fell back to a position nearer the brigade. Here Captain Andrews, in obedience to orders to hold our position at all hazards, disposed of his forces properly, and calmly awaited the approach of the enemy. Soon their solid massive columns appeared over the mountain top, and they came pouring down upon us. When they arrived within three hundred yards, our Enfield rifles commenced fire upon them, and as they steadily advanced, our boys kept up a continuous fire, which often broke their ranks, and turned them back in confusion. But the fresh columns supporting their advance came on, until out-flanked and borne down by weight of numbers, our regiment was ordered to fall back to the supporting line behind us. The Yankees did not pursue, being checked by our artillery, which had by this time gotten into position. We had done heavy execution in the enemy's ranks, killing and wounding more than the total number of our regiment engaged; besides, our brigade thus held the enemy in check until Lieutenant General Ewell could bring up the troops of his corps, and get them into position to prevent their further advance. Colonel Edward J. Walker was in command of the brigade, and was badly wounded. The regiment numbered in this engagement about two hundred men, and lost in killed, fourteen, and in wounded, forty-five men. The brigade was highly complimented by Lieutenant General Ewell, who was on the field and witnessed its conduct. The troops in the line of battle supporting us, were on a hill which commanded a view of the combatants. They warmly congratulated their comrades of the Third Georgia upon their heroic conduct.
The enemy after a long season of quiet, suddenly exhibited signs of activity early in May, 1864.
On the 4th instant, the regiment, in conjunction with the Division of General Anderson, broke up camp and marched to Vediersville. A part of our cavalry force had already engaged the enemy and drove them back towards Chancellorsville. We continued on the road to a point known as Parker's Store, when the advance of our army became engaged, and fought during the rest of the day, and again on the next day. [I am assured that my informant (the Adjutant of the Third Georgia,) is mistaken in the dates of the battle of the Wilderness, and have changed them accordingly.] These fights on the 5th and 6th of May, arc well known as the battle of the Wilderness.
General Grant having failed in his direct assault, pursued his future movements by parallels, and the two armies again collided at Spottsylvania Court House. The Third Georgia was not actively engaged in the general engagements of either of the above named fights, but on the 14th instant at Spottsylvania, in connection with other forces, charged the Yankees in their breastworks, and after a fight of twenty minutes duration, routed them, capturing one stand of colors, and many small arms. Our loss was, for the length of time engaged, very severe, being seventy-eight men killed and wounded. Again the enemy moved; this time towards the North Anna river. During this movement, his rear was attacked by a portion of Anderson's Division, this regiment supporting Harris' Mississippi Brigade. The enemy were forced back upon the main column, but owing to the lateness of the hour, further active operations were suspended. Many minor incidents of interest occurred, but which space forbids mention of. The regiment after the incident mentioned above marched to Petersburg. To detail all that has been done by Anderson's Division, which during the whole campaign has been commanded by General Mahone, and in which the Third Georgia has borne a conspicuous part, would occupy too great space.
The regiment took a part in the dreadful fight of July 30th, when Grant, by springing a mine under our works, succeeded in gaining foothold within our lines. The Third Georgia was in the desperate charge, (which resulted in the almost total annihilation of the Yankees and negroes, who were in our fines,) and lost heavily. In appreciation of the services of the division during the siege of Petersburg, General A. P. Hill has published the following congratulatory order, in which he expresses his admiration for the great services performed by the division:
HEADQUARTERS THIRD ARMY CORPS,
August 4th, 1864.
GENERAL ORDERS No. 17.
Anderson's Division, commanded by Brigadier General William Mahone, has so distinguished itself by it successes during the present campaign, as to merit the special mention of the corps commander; and he tenders to the division, its officers and men, his tanks for the gallantry displayed by them, whether in attacking or attacked.
Thirty-one (31) stand of colors, fifteen (15) pieces of artillery, and four thousand (4000) prisoners captured in battle, are the proud mementoes which signalize their valor, and entitle it to the admiration and gratitude of our country.
A- P. HILL, Lieutenant General.
Of the above three stand of colors, many prisoners and part of a battery of artillery, show what part the Third regiment has taken in the conflicts of the campaign, while its long list of killed and wounded sufficiently attest its gallantry. The fight of July 30th was the last engagement in which the Third Georgia has borne a part up to the present time of writing, (August 4th.) The instances of personal bravery have been so numerous that commanders dislike to make distinctions, in giving names to the public. A few are, however, appended.
In the charge at Gettysburg, while the regiment was driving the enemy before them, the color-bearer was shot down and the battle flag fell to the ground. Adjutant Samuel L. Alexander, being near by snatched up the colors and bore them aloft, as the regiment advanced triumphantly to the guns of the enemy. While carrying the colors Adjutant Alexander had his uniform pierced by eight bullets, and was severely wounded in the right arm.
The day after the battle of Manassas, No. 2, Lieutenant John H. Evans, of Covington, then but a mere boy in years, was wandering over the battle field, when he came suddenly upon a picket of the enemy, consisting of thirty (30) men, who in the hurry of the flight, the day previous, had not been relieved. Not at all abashed by the number of the enemy, he coolly ordered them to surrender, and marched them triumphantly to the rear.
After leaving the Chickamacomico beach, it was discovered, upon our return to Roanoke Island, that one poor youth was missing, having been when last seen, delirious and idiotic from excessive fatigue. Colonel Wright called for a volunteer to go in search of him. Private Rice, of company H, stepped forward and offered his services which were accepted. Securing a small skiff, he recrossed the Albemarle Sound, landed on the beach then reoccupied by the Yankees, and after several days' absence and many adventures, returned to Roanoke Island, bringing in safety his lost friend. And thus instance after instance might be related of individual gallantry and devotion, enough to fill a volume; and it is easier to mention the few who have not behaved well, than the many who have on all occasions and under all circumstances, sustained so nobly their own and their regiment's widely known renown.
Not a field officer who has ever commanded in action has escaped. General A. R. Wright, late Colonel of the Third Georgia, has been twice wounded. Major Sturgis was killed; Major Montgomery wounded; Colonel Walker wounded; Lieutenant Colonel Nisbet has been wounded time and again; Major Jones also severely wounded. Company A has had three officers killed or maimed for life, and two wounded twice. Company B of Putnam has had thirteen men killed and eighty-eight wounded. Company F, of Wilkinson, has had twenty-two killed and seventy-two wounded. In a word, the Third Georgia, or the "old Third," as it is called in Anderson's Division, is one of the historic regiments of our State, and needs no laudation, as its gallant deeds are entwined around the hearts of a grateful people. Like the Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Twelfth, Fourteenth and Eighteenth and other of the first volunteer regiments in the Army of Northern Virginia, it has made for itself an imperishable renown, and decked its banners with unfading laurels. And to-day she holds her place on the right of Wright's Brigade, five hundred strong, despite the grape, canister and minie balls, despite the frequent presence of the grim monster Death, ready to enter upon another campaign with a courage as high, an enthusiasm as noble, as she exhibited upon the 1st of May, 1861, when she marched from the city of Augusta, near one thousand strong, on her route to the glorious Old Dominion, with drums beating and banners flying, over a host of as brave hearts and strong arms as ever offered themselves as modern "Macarias" upon the sacrificial altars of their country.
The following resolution was adopted unanimously by the last Congress:
"Joint Resolution of thanks to the Officers and Men of the Third Georgia Regiment.
"Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, - That the thanks of Congress are due, and are hereby tendered to the officers and men of the Third Georgia Regiment, through its representatives in Congress, who were the first to leave their state to battle on the soil of Virginia; whose gallant dead have been left on many of her historic battle-fields; which entire regiment, to a man, has cheerfully and unanimously re-enlisted for the war,-resolving that as they were the first to take up arms in the cause of liberty and independence, they will be the last to lay them down.
Thus hurriedly and incompletely has been thrown together a few of the prominent facts connected with the history of this regiment,-hoping that when peace shall again smile upon us, you may be enabled to collect from the remnant of its war-worn veterans, materials to fill a niche in a full and complete history of the volunteer soldiery of the Empire State of the South.
Connected with this regiment are two or three incidents which I have gathered outside of the foregoing report, and I am constrained to notice them.
During one of our fights with the enemy near Spottsylvania Court House, Virginia, on the 14th of May, General Wright's Brigade was ordered to charge the enemy's works. In doing so the Third Georgia passed through a heavy fire of minie balls, losing seventy-eight men in killed and wounded. The color-bearer of the regiment being wounded, planted the colors in the ground and retired to the rear. At this moment the skirmish line was ordered to halt, which was understood by many as an order for the regiment to halt, which they did. Perceiving that a crisis was at hand, Lieutenant R. G. Hyman sprang forward, seized the colors from amid a pile of the slain, and waving the cross of our country in the face of the foe, called upon the old Third to rally to it, which they did with a rebel yell, and the Yankee breastworks were taken. Lieutenant Hyman was at least fifty yards in advance of the regiment all the time. He has been highly complimented by Lieutenant General Hill and all his officers; he is of Company F, of Wilkinson County, Georgia.
Color-sergeant Livingston of Company C, was killed while bearing the colors at least thirty yards in front of his regiment. His gallantry was particularly conspicuous, and his name deserves to be placed high in the list of the "Heroes and Martyrs" of our native state.
The original color guard of ten men of this regiment, have all been killed in battle, excepting E. R. Hughes of Wilkinson County, and his life would doubtless have been lost, had it not been for the ball striking two brass checks in his pocket. As it was, he was severely wounded.
In closing this list, I cannot forbear mentioning the name of the brave but unfortunate Lieutenant Colonel R. B. Nisbet, whose name is almost a byword in his brigade, for coolness, courage, and unexcelled bravery. At Sharpsburg he received seven very severe wounds, any of which might have proven fatal. He was severely wounded at Malvern Hill also. He is now placed on the retired list, but his burning spirit is still eager for the fray. His many honorable scats point to him the necessity of his remaining in quiet, but the bugle notes of his gallant comrades' battle shout, arouse the lion within him, and his soul pants to lead them on to victory in his country's cause.
There appears a wide disparity between the report of casualties by the Adjutant, and the report furnished me by a member of the regiment, revised and corrected by Colonel Nisbet himself. According to the information I have gained by enquiry among the company commanders, &c., the losses of the Third Georgia in killed and wounded, stand as follows:
Killed in action . . . . . . . . . . . . 221
Wounded . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 667
Total of casualties . . . . . . . . . . 888
Company F, of Wilkinson County, according to the report of the Adjutant, has lost twenty-two (22) men killed: but Captain Mason, its commander, assures me that he has lost thirty-one (31) men killed. I am informed that the cause of the difference in the two reports, is that the Adjutant's book has been once or twice lost, and that the error, therefore, lies in his report; also that there have been several incumbents of the adjutancy, and that an error in the report of the present incumbent, is likely to arise through no fault on his part.