"Peculiarly distinguished among the advance guard, where all were distinguished, must be recorded . . . Private J. W. Brown, of Company F, First Georgia Regiment, who, upon hearing the order to fall back, exclaimed, 'I will give them one more shot before I leave,' and while ramming down his twenty-ninth cartridge fell dead at his post." - General Henry R. Jackson in his report of the Battle of Greenbrier River.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

July 16, 1861

Despair is overtaking the bedraggled soldiers in Major Thompson’s lost detachment as they continue to search for a way out of the mountains. The specter of death by starvation is causing some to even consider the possibility of cannibalism. Suddenly, hope begins to rise as a stranger approaches.

“Tanner Jim” Parsons, a farmer and mountain man who lives near Shavers Fork River, has learned of the Georgian’s plight, and decides to attempt a rescue. He tells Major Thompson that he can lead the soldiers to safety. Suspicious, Thompson agrees, but warns Parsons that if he leads the troops into a trap he will be killed. Parsons directs the men to turn about, and they start back through the mountains, eventually arriving at a clearing near Parsons’ farm, where they bed down for the night.


The retreating Army of the Northwest has reached Petersburg in Western Virginia. Colonel Ramsey, recovering from his illness, has taken command of the army by virtue of his seniority. He dispatches a message to Colonel Edward Johnson, who has arrived in Monterey with his Twelfth Georgia Infantry as reinforcements for Garnett’s army:

My command is here, marching to Harrisburg. We have suffered awfully. Not many men were killed by the enemy, but there are hundreds missing. We were near starvation. The cavalry scouts still hang on our rear, but I do not think they are pursuing in force. What is left of this army will not be fit for service in a month.

Very respectfully,
Colonel, Commanding.

No comments:

Post a Comment