Civil War Louisiana (CWLA)

Civil War Louisiana (CWLA)
CWLA seeks to provide an online resource of any and all material of the Civil War relating to Louisiana with a special interest in the war in Acadiana in southwest Louisiana.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

19th Louisiana at Kelly Field

On the morning of September 20, 1863, Adams’ Louisiana Brigade was part of John C. Breckinridge’s flank attack on William Rosecrans’ left flank. The Louisiana Brigade was able to turn the enemy line and advanced south along the Lafayette-Chattanooga Road. Its route brought it to the rear of the anchor of Rosecrans' left flank: Kelly Field. In the letter below, Captain Winfrey Scott of Co. D, 19th Louisiana Infantry, left an account of the battle in a letter to his wife. Scott's letter is courtesy of Stephen Osman (Permission for use must be sought through Mr. Osman).

Lagrange Oct 3rd, 1863 Ga.

Mrs. E. C. Scott
My dear wife, through mercy I am permitted to write you a few lines again. I have heard nothing from you or home since the 3rd of July, if I knew you could hear from me I would be comparatively easy. I have written two letters since we left Jackson. We have enjoyed most excellent health since we wrote, but we have past through another great battle, and by the great kindness and the watchfulness and preserving care of Almighty God we are spared from the shaft of death, that has fallen upon so many comrades in arms. On the 19th and 20th of last month we met the enemy at Chickamauga in this State some 12 or 13 miles from Chattanooga. On the first day our division did not engage the enemy, it was on the extreme left wing of our line of battle, the enemy threw themselves in line, but when we offered battle, they retired except an ______ engagement, enough it was a day of great excitement, yet I did not forget it was the 24th anniversary of our nupine union: In the evening we were marched to the extreme right wing of our line, we reached here about 11 o’clock p.m., here we _____ and rested until 4 in the morning 20th, when we took up the line of march to the center of the enemy line where they had concentrated their whole force and where they had a very strong position supported by strong breastworks. Our brigade was on the extreme right of our wing (the right) at the first charge we drove their line almost without the fire of a gun except our sharp shooters, and took a battery; the enemy disappeared for a short time when they again appeared formed in line of battle to our left forming a right angle with our line, we then changed our line parallel with theirs fronting theirs, and could see them very distinctly they were in an old field on a hill in tree lines lieing, kneeling, and standing with heavy batteries in their rear, the attention of Gen. Adams was called to the front by Grables(sp), he replied with an oath, that we must take them.

Kelly's Field, Morning of September 20, 1863
(Map provided by Stuart Salling)

We had but one line, we moved within about 2 hundred and fifty yards, halted, and corrected our line, as yet, no gun had been fired, we now sent out sharp shooters, as our advance guard, the command was now given, forward march, our boys were keen for the fray, and we marched on with rappid steps, when within a hundred and fifty paces, we opened a terrific fire upon them and loaded as we advanced, they fired and, apparently in some confusion fell back in rear of their artillery, when a most dreadful fire was opened on us by their artillery, and their infantry their artillery shot canister, grape and leaden balls, it would be vain for me to attempt to describe it, the shell, canister, and grape flow fast and thick, our boys fell on the right and left, but on we went, with nothing to shelter us but the unseen arm of God until we got I suppose within 90 or 100 yards of them, when our line ceased to advance and there was evidently some confusion among our troops and how could it expected to be otherwise. Here we stood our ground for a few minutes here our boys tried to protect themselves by huddling round some old trees and stumps that were still left. Gralter(sp) and myself were trying to scatter them to keep them all from being killed or wounded, we were both wounded near the same time he with a shell on the thigh and I with a ball through the calf of the leg. The Regt. soon had to fall back, and we both got off the field without help. Thank the good Lord it was no worse with me than it was. I went in with about 30, lost 4 killed. A.K. Gibson, A. Morris [Austin Morris], Carl and Hall Grith [G.G. Hall, William Pool, Alfred Wilson]some 13 or 14 wounded. John Shellsworth [John F. Shettlesworth] was badly wounded by the explosion of a shell but I think will recover. Drury Brazeal [Drury Ballard Brazeal] was badly wounded in the head and leg but from what I hear of him he will probably recover. James Geren is shot thru ____ the foot is doing well, will get over it, but I fear will not be fit for service in some time. B White [William Bloomer White] is shout through the ankle will not be fit for service for some time. Do___ Jarvis and ______ Bill were shot through the thigh they will probably soon be ready to go into service. Langford [John Langford] was shot through the side of the neck will soon be well. Bob was not in the fight he had been detached to bring up some baggage. I have not seen him yet but heard he had gone to the Regt. We drove the enemy back to Chattanooga where we will probably fight them again. The loss on both sides was great it is believed theirs was much greater than ours, our loss has been estimated at 12000 killed and wounded theirs at 20 to 25000. I and Mattis are at the house of Cal Long who married the mother of Mrs. Grigs (Mrs. ______) it is a very kind family, Sister Long sends her love to you – says she will be a mother to me, which she has surely been so far. Mr. Grigs is at home he is very sick – he is a fine looking man when well. Ella is a very smart child – sings like a nightingail, and plays fine on the piano. I have just heard through the Sue Carlton from her brother that Bob has reach the Regt. and is well. Mrs. Grigs sends her very best home to you, says she would be pleased to see you and daughter. I have suffered considerably from my wound, but it is improving. I think in a few days I shall be able to return to my command. Major Butler was killed in the late battle. Gen Adams was wounded and taken prisoner but will be exchanged in a few days. Our Regt. lost in the charge a _____ __ ______ killed & wounded 159 out of 300. I can not give all the particulars you will [see] them in the papers. Every thing is so high that we have to buy that I can hardly live on what I draw so that I have not been able to send any thing home this year you must do the best with things at home that you can. Counsel with your friends in reference to business matters. Console yourself that I am trying to do my duty as a citizen and a Christian If one should never be permitted to enjoy each others society in life I hope we shall have to _____ as to meet where there shall be one long eternal _____ of peace. Give my love to daughters & all my dear friends. Remember me in kindness to the servants.
Yours affectionately,
Write when you can.

Losses of Co. D, 19th La at Chickamauga

Killed: G.G. Hall, William Pool, Alfred Wilson, Austin Morris and Alfred Kennedy Wilson.

Wounded: Drury Ballard Brazeal, John Harrison Childers (and captured), Washington Lafayette Culbertson, John Matthew Dance (and captured), James Marion Geren, Hughes Henry Howard (and captured), Washington Columbus Hussey, Jasper Newman Lewis, William Benjamin Lewis, Isaac Leonard McIntyre, Augustus W. Rhymes (and captured), John F. Shettlesworth, William Bloomer White,

Captured: John H. Webb. Total of five but the other four captured are listed in the wounded list.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Coppens' Zouave Battalion

Coppens' Zouave Battalion
Lt. Colonel George Coppens (seated) and brother, Captain Marie Alfred Coppens.Image sold at auction on Cowan Auctions, for $14,375