Date

Event

Documented Fact(s)

Source(s)

8/5/1821

Born

Rutherford County, Tennessee

Clement A. Evans, Confederate Military History, Vol. 7B (N.p.:  Confederate Publishing Company, N.d.), pp. 251-252

1836

Engaged as a Volunteer in the Creek War

Served as a volunteer against the Creeks (Indians).

Clement A. Evans, Confederate Military History, Vol. 7B (N.p.:  Confederate Publishing Company, N.d.), pp. 251-252

1840

Studied Law

Admitted to the Bar

Clement A. Evans, Confederate Military History, Vol. 7B (N.p.:  Confederate Publishing Company, N.d.), pp. 251-252

1847

Elected to Congress

He was elected to Congress as a Democrat and served from 1847-1851

Clement A. Evans, Confederate Military History, Vol. 7B (N.p.:  Confederate Publishing Company, N.d.), pp. 251-252

1860

Atty. Featherston goes to Kentucky

He was sent by his State to confer with the authorities of Kentucky on the subject of secession.

Clement A. Evans, Confederate Military History, Vol. 7B (N.p.:  Confederate Publishing Company, N.d.), pp. 251-252

1861

Onset of the American Civil War

 

 

4/22/1861

Capt. W.S. Featherston’s Company G Mustered into Service at Holly Springs, MS.

Company G was mustered into state service at Holly Springs, MS, on April 22, 1861, one of 10 companies assembled for the 17th Mississippi Infantry Regiment during April and May. The company was led initially by Capt. W. S. Featherston, who was elected colonel of the regiment June 4, 1861.  … Company G had enrolled a total of 150 men during the war. Most came from Marshall County -- Holly Springs, Mt. Pleasant, Hudsonville (now in Benton Co.), Byhalia, and Waterford -- and a few from Rienzi (Tishomingo Co., now in Alcorn Co.), Hickory Flat (Tippah Co., now in Benton Co.), Commerce (Tunica Co.), Scales Depot, and Tallaloosa. Most (97) were farmers, and there was a large number of students (23). In addition, there were eight railroaders, four clerks, three carpenters, three teachers, two merchants, two doctors, two mechanics, and a variety of other occupations: a harness maker, wheelwright, gin maker, joiner, painter, printer, military instructor, and a lawyer.  Virtually all of the men were born in the South (59 in Mississippi and 80 in other states); nine were natives of northern states and three came from Germany and Ireland. More than half of the men on the roster were wounded; 30 (20 percent) were killed or died of wounds, and 18 (12 percent) died of disease. Of those discharged, 23 were disabled, two secured substitutes, and 11 were dropped for protracted absence. Two were dishonorably discharged and one was officially designated a deserter. Only one in seven of the men were married. The youngest was 14 (and apparently made it through the war), while three men were 45 when they enlisted.

17th Regiment Mississippi Volunteer Infantry

Company G ("Confederate Guards")
April 13, 1861 to March 1, 1865

This roster was transcribed by Howard Beckman in 1996 as it appeared in A Life for the Confederacy, As Recorded in the Pocket Diaries of Pvt. Robert A. Moore, Co. G, 17th Mississippi Regiment, James W. Silver, ed., Jackson, TN: McCowat-Mercer, 1959. The original company roster is on file in the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Record Group 9 (Confederate Army), Vol. 9 (17th Miss. Inf.).

05/1861

Capt. Featherston Promoted to Colonel

In May* of 1861 he was made Colonel of the 17th Mississippi.  He took an active and honorable part in the first battle of Manassas (a.k.a. Bull Run) and also at Leesburg (both in VA).

Clement A. Evans, Confederate Military History, Vol. 7B (N.p.:  Confederate Publishing Company, N.d.), pp. 251-252

6/4/1861

Elected Colonel of the 17th Mississippi Regiment

…The company (G) was led initially by Capt. W. S. Featherston, who was elected colonel of the regiment June 4, 1861.*

17th Regiment Mississippi Volunteer Infantry

Company G ("Confederate Guards")
April 13, 1861 to March 1, 1865

This roster was transcribed by Howard Beckman in 1996 as it appeared in A Life for the Confederacy, As Recorded in the Pocket Diaries of Pvt. Robert A. Moore, Co. G, 17th Mississippi Regiment, James W. Silver, ed., Jackson, TN: McCowat-Mercer, 1959. The original company roster is on file in the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Record Group 9 (Confederate Army), Vol. 9 (17th Miss. Inf.).

7/21/1861

1st Manassas (a.k.a. Battle of Bull Run)

Other Names: First Bull Run Location: Fairfax County and Prince William County Campaign: Manassas Campaign (July 1861) Date(s): July 21, 1861 Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell [US]; Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston and Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard [CS] Forces Engaged: 60,680 total (US 28,450; CS 32,230) Estimated Casualties: 4,700 total (US 2,950; CS 1,750) Description: This was the first major land battle of the armies in Virginia.  On July 16, 1861, the untried Union army under Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell marched from Washington against the Confederate army, which was drawn up behind Bull Run beyond Centreville. On the 21st, McDowell crossed at Sudley Ford and attacked the Confederate left flank on Matthews Hill. Fighting raged throughout the day as Confederate forces were driven back to Henry Hill.  Late in the afternoon, Confederate reinforcements (one brigade arriving by rail from the Shenandoah Valley) extended and broke the Union right flank. The Federal retreat rapidly deteriorated into a rout. Although victorious, Confederate forces were too disorganized to pursue. Confederate Gen. Bee and Col. Bartow were killed. Thomas J. Jackson earned the nom de guerre “Stonewall.” By July 22, the shattered Union army reached the safety of Washington. This battle convinced the Lincoln administration that the war would be a long and costly affair. McDowell was relieved of command of the Union army and replaced by Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, who set about reorganizing and training the troops.  Result(s): Confederate victory

CWSAC Reference #: VA005

7/21/1861

Col. Featherston’s 17th Mississippi Regiment is assigned to the “Army of Potomac 3rd Brigade” and Engages in the 1st Battle of Manassas (Bull Run)

The Army of the Potomac, under the command of Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard, consisted of seven Brigades and one Reserve Brigade.  Brigadier General David R. Jones was in command of the Third Brigade, which consisted of the following companies and regiments:

17th Mississippi - Colonel W.S. Featherson
18th Mississippi - Colonel E.B. Burt
5th South Carolina - Colonel M. Jenkins
Flood's Company, 30th Virginia Cavalry - Captain J.W. Flood
Washington Artillery - Captain M.B. Miller

[The Confederate armies under Johnston and Beauregard operated in sections known as brigades. A brigade was comprised of three to five regiments numbering from 400- 1,000 men each. Regiments were organized in state localities and given numerical identification. Men, both North and South who joined the armies enlisted at their nearest towns, in which the men were further grouped into smaller units known as companies. These companies consisted of soldiers from the same localities and given alphabetical identification within the regiment. This organizational system of the armies is known as the Order of Battle.]

http://www.nps.gov/mana/battlefield_history/ob1mana.htm

10/21/1861

Battle of Leesburg, VA Begins

Other Names: Harrison’s Landing, Ball’s Bluff Location: Loudoun County Campaign: McClellan’s Operations in Northern Virginia (October-December 1861) Date(s): October 21, 1861 Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. Charles P. Stone and Col. Edward Baker [US]; Brig. Gen. Nathan G. Evans [CS] Forces Engaged: 3,600 total (US 2,000; CS 1,600) Estimated Casualties: 1,070 total (US 921; CS 149) Description: Confederate Brig. Gen. Nathan “Shanks” Evans stopped a badly coordinated attempt by Union forces under Brig. Gen. Charles P. Stone to cross the Potomac at Harrison’s Island and capture Leesburg. A timely Confederate counterattack drove the Federals over the bluff and into the river. More than 700 Federals were captured. Col. Edward D. Baker (a U.S. Senator) was killed. This Union rout had severe political ramifications in Washington and led to the establishment of the Congressional Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War. Result(s): Confederate victory

"A trifling affair that would affect the Northern War effort until Appomattox"
It had been less than 90 days since the smashing defeat of the Union Army at the battle of Manassas Junction, called Bull Run by the Yankees. Across northern Virginia, a strange and unsettled peace covered the land. The Union Army, which so confident in July of an easy victory over the Rebel "farmboys" retreated to Washington City, and licked their wounds. The next three months was spent caring for their sick and wounded and burying their dead. McDowell had been removed from command. A new and much more efficient army was being built, soldier-by-soldier, company-by-company, regiment-by-regiment under the leadership of General George Brinton McClellan. By August 1861, "little Mac", the Napoleon of the West, had reorganized the Army of the Potomac into 12 brigades. He had trained, drilled, and honed "his" army into a fine spirited fighting machine with which he hoped to destroy, in detail, and in one battle, the Confederate Army of the Potomac, led by General Joseph E. Johnston.  …
Across the Potomac, in Virginia, the "Great Retreater", General Joseph E. Johnston continued his smaller war, this with the President of the Confederacy, and his own generals under his command. Joe Johnston was extremely reluctant to place his army in a situation where it might be forced to fight another battle before settling in "winter quarters". Therefore, he moved that army whenever he felt pressure from the Federal army. In September, 1861, he began to feel pressure from McClellan's newly reorganized Army of the Potomac, and abandoned his positions on the outskirts of Washington, reforming at Fairfax Court House. The new "Napoleon", hearing that the Confederates had abandoned their works quickly ordered his army to "move in". After inhabiting the abandoned works, McClellan wrote his wife, Ellen, claiming a glorious victory. In mid-October, Johnston again felt pressure from an almost invisible enemy and withdrew his forces again, this time forming a new line that extended from the old Manassas battlefield, through Centreville to the Manassas Junction. This worked fine for Johnston; however, it left the historic little village of Leesburg on the far-left flank of the Confederate Army, and basically without much support. McClellan discovered this lamentable fact, and decided to attempt another "bloodless" coup, forcing the few Confederates that were left in Leesburg out of their works, and into a retreat. Unfortunately for McClellan, he would not come up against "the Great Retreater". Instead, his Army of the Potomac would come face to face with some of the toughest fighting men in the future Army of Northern Virginia, the regiments of the 13th, 17th and 18th Mississippi Infantry. Combined with the 8th Virginia Infantry and a battery of the now-famous Richmond Howitzers, the forces opposing the Union were a "fighting" veteran unit. Instead of a bloodless coup designed to make Mr. Lincoln and the rest of the north happy, he would, by forcing a battle at Leesburg, institute one of the most powerful and aggravating Congressional committees of all time to form, the Congressional Subcommittee on the Conduct of the War. And one of Mr. Lincoln's best friends and supports, Col. Edward Baker, would be killed on the field.

Leesburg, Virginia in 1861, was a lively business town on the Potomac River. Population of the town was near 2,000 and it served as the county seat of Loudon County. In October 1861, Joseph Johnston assigned Colonel Nathan "Shanks" Evans and his brigade of Mississippians and Virginians to the immediate area. Colonel Evans brigade, the 7th Brigade of Beauregard's 1st Corp of the Confederate Army of the Potomac, consisted of the 13th, 17th, and 18th Mississippi Infantry Regiments (13th, 17th and 18th MI), the 8th Virginia Infantry (8th VI), a few Virginia Cavalry and a battery of the soon-to-be famous Richmond Howitzers, a force however, that numbered fewer than 2,000 men. Evans was directed by Beauregard to hold Leesburg and to be prepared to make, "a desperate stand, falling back only in the face of an overwhelming enemy." Evans took this command as gospel.  … Unknown to Stone, Evans had captured a Federal courier on the afternoon of the 20th of October. This courier was bringing information from General McCall to General George Meade informing Meade of McCall's purpose, movement and positioning of troops at Dranesville. This information allowed Evans to re-deploy his troops during the battle of Leesburg, removing all but a small picket company from Burnt Bridge and sending these men into the battle

Evans had already stationed Company K, the Magnolia Guards, of the 17th MISSISSIPPI INFANTRY REGIMENT at Big Spring, a part of the Ball's Bluff (1st Battle of Manassas) properties. With only 40 men, Duff and the Guards would be the first rebels that Stone's troops would encounter when they crossed into Virginia. It would prove to be enough.

 

The "ball" opened, as the men of the war would later describe the action, around 7:00 a.m. Captain Duff and his 40 Mississippians of Company K suddenly found themselves face-to-face with nearly 300 Federal soldiers. The pickets had scouted and picketed the bluffs on the Potomac for over two months, with little more than some casual sniping to break the monotony. In the early days, pickets firing across the river were more for affect than for effect. 

CWSAC Reference #: VA006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Battle of Leesburg, by Ronald Goodwin

 

 

10/22/1861

Evans orders Featherston’s Brigade to engage in Battle of Leesburg to hold off the Yanks

Hunton sent another runner to Evans, again asking for more troops. This time, Evans provided a different answer to the runner. "Tell Hunton to hold on till every damned man falls. I have sent him the 18th and I will send him the 17th." Evans then ordered the 17th, under Colonel W. S. Featherston to move, at the double-quick to support Hunton and the troops in the field. Featherston was ordered to report to Colonel Burt and they were to combine to "drive the Yankees from the field." Featherston arrived, with his regiment, on the field in less than 20 minutes, but Burt was wounded, and Featherston took command from Lt. Colonel Griffin. This was at approximately 3:30 p.m. The two Mississippi units formed into a single battle line.

Featherston would write in his official report,

"About 3 o'clock p.m. I was ordered to advance rapidly to the support of these regiments, which were then engaged with a greatly superior force of the enemy, and accordingly we moved at a double-quick a distance of more than 2 miles to the field, when, perceiving that there was an interval of about 200 yards between the two other regiments, I immediately occupied it with my regiment. Learning that Colonel Burr [sic] had been dangerously wounded and borne from the field, I conferred with Lieut. Col. T. M. Griffin, commanding the Eighteenth Mississippi Regiment, and formed my regiment on the center of our line, in the edge of the woods, and immediately in front of the enemy, who were drawn up in the woods upon the opposite side of a small field, at the same time requesting Colonel Griffin to form the Eighteenth Regiment upon my right, which he did promptly. One company of the Eighteenth Regiment, which was on our left, fell into our line and continued to act with us in that position.  While we were forming our line, the Eighth Virginia Regiment, which, together with a detached company from this and one from the Eighteenth Regiment, was engaged with the enemy upon our left, made a gallant charge upon their right wing. At the same time Colonel Hunton, commanding that regiment, informed me that his ammunition was exhausted.  I then ordered the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Mississippi Regiments to advance without firing until they were close to the enemy, and then to fire and charge. This order was gallantly obeyed. The two regiments moved forward slowly and steadily under a heavy fire, but without returning it, until we had crossed the field and penetrated the woods in which the enemy were posted, and to within 40 or 50 yards of their line, when we poured in a close and deadly fire, which drove them back, and continued to advance, loading and firing until the enemy were driven to seek shelter beneath a high bluff immediately upon the brink of the river, and some of them in the river itself."

The Battle of Leesburg, by Ronald Goodwin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

War of the Rebellion, Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 5: Report 26, Report of Colonel W. S. Featherston, Seventeenth Mississippi Infatry. . "Operations on the Potomac near Leesburg, Va., including engagements at Ball's Bluff and action near Edward's Ferry.”

10/22/1861

17th Mississippi Defeats Yanks and takes Union Prisoners under the command of Brig. Gen. Featherston (dubbed Old Sweat by men under his command).

Featherston would prove hesitant to lead the men of the 17th, as he did not know the land. However, when Hunton volunteered to lead, Featherston became adamant and stated, "No sir! I will lead my own men, but I want a guide who knows the ground." Featherston received, as a guide, Elijah White, a native of Leesburg and a man known to Hunton. White immediately jumped at the lead, and began moving quickly down to the front, shouting, "Follow me! I will show you the way!" Featherston, led by White, charged into the remaining Union forces on the bluffs. It was perhaps one of the finest moments for the 17th and 18th Mississippi Infantry regiments who came into the battle at this time. Led by Colonel W. S. Featherston, the men of the 17th joined forces with the 18th and charged the Union troops at the bluffs overlooking the river. Behind the Union, the bluff fell off 60 feet and more, vertically to the river sands below.

Lt. Colonel John McGuirk of the 18th Mississippi would write of this final act of the Confederate soldiers, "Colonel Featherston ordered the right and left wings up, ... which enabled us with raking fire to cut down the advancing enemy. The men manifested confidence under the coolness of their officers. They seemed fighting a sham battle when above the roar of musketry was heard the command of Colonel Featherston, 'Charge, Mississippians, Charge! Drive them into the Potomac or into eternity!' The sound of his voice seemed to echo from the vales of Maryland. The line rose as one man from a kneeling posture, discharged a deadly volley, advanced the crescent line, and thus encircled the invaders who in terror called for quarter and surrendered."

Interestingly, one of the men of the 17th who would survive the war, would, in 1902, write his memoirs of the war. His name was William Meshack Abernathy and he served in Company B of the 17th. In writing his old messmate Cul Cummings in Fort Worth, Texas, he would remember Featherston's quote a little differently. He wrote,
"During the fighting, Lt. Thurmond made a daring scout in front and directed the fire of the regiment, finally reporting to General Featherston (Old Sweat) who gave an order that could have been heard two miles: 'Mississippians forward, charge, drive the damn yankees into the Potomac or into hell!' After the war, Featherston got religion and somehow modified that order. 'I never said it,' he says, 'that way.' But when he was talking with an old 17th man he always winked and all I can say is, I hope the recording angel got the revised version."

Robert Moore, a private in Company G, Seventeenth Mississippi Infantry remembers the end of the battle in his diary, "We formed about 5 o'clock when the firing was very heavy. When we were formed we advanced firing as we advanced and when we had goten within about 60 yards of a 12 lb. Cannon, orders were given by Colonel Featherston to charge and drive the enemy into the river or drive them into the eternity. ... The cannon was taken and the enemy driven back under the bluff of the river and when we arrived at the brink of the bluff and fired down on them they cried out that they would surrender. Colonel told them to send up their officers but they answered that they had none as they had all abandoned them and crossed over the river."

Union soldiers fled the field as best they could, many jumping from the top of the high bluffs onto the rocks and beach below. Many died as they landed on others with bayonets still fixed. Captain Francis Young later told the San Francisco Herald, "Tumbling down the steep heights, the enemy following, murdering and taking prisoners ... All was terror, confusion and dismay. Men dove into the flooded river with full accoutrements, leather cartridge boxes, belts, haversacks and canteens, some with their knapsacks still on their backs, and were never seen again.”  … The Confederates had won the field, but apparently had no interest in closing the contest. The men of the 17th and 18th Mississippi regiments did not pursue the Union forces onto the beach. They instead withdrew to a field outside of Leesburg and rested. Some of the men were allowed to go into town for food and provisions. The 8th Virginia reported to Fort Evans. Twelve men from the 8th were detailed to remain behind with a Lt. Charles Berkeley. Two companies of Mississippians also remained behind to stand guard. The prisoners taken were escorted to Leesburg. However, the fighting was not completely over. Elijah White, a native of Leesburg and a civilian that had taken part in the fighting, leading the 17th Mississippi over the paths and onto the battlefield, found a large number of Union soldiers, men of the Tammany regiment hiding under the bluffs. He called for help and about 40 men from the Virginia and Mississippi regiments went down to the riverside. Demanding the Yankees surrender, they came back from the beach leading their prisoners, about 325 men. These too were marched to Leesburg, under guard.  … The numbers of wounded and dead will never be accurately known. The Official Records have a set of numbers, as do the records of the individual units. However, it is known that more than 900 Union officers and men were killed, wounded, or missing. Colonel Baker was killed on the field. In all, ten Federal officers were killed, and fifteen more wounded. Colonel Evans reported that 529 prisoners were sent south. For the Confederacy, approximately 155 men fell into the same categories including Colonel Burt of the 18th Mississippi.

The Battle of Leesburg, by Ronald Goodwin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lt. Colonel John McGuirk of the 18th Mississippi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1902 Memoirs of William Meshack Abernathy, 17th Mississippi, Company B—Letter to Cul Cummings in Fort Worth, Texas

 

The Pocket Diary of Ezekiel Armstrong, Com. K, Magnolia Guards, Seventeenth Mississippi Infantry, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson, MS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life for the Confederacy, From the Diary of Robert A. Moore, Private, Com. G, Seventeenth Mississippi Infantry, edited by James W. Silver, Broadfoot Publishing Company, Wilmington, NC, 1991

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Battle of Leesburg, by Ronald Goodwin

12/9/1861

Featherston’s Brigade participates in Grand Military Parade and is presented the Battle Flags

Monday night, December 9th, 1861. This has been a lovely day, and this morning, there was a grand military parade. General (Nathan G.) Evans (7th Brigade) presented the battle flags to the four regiments (8th Virginia, 13th Mississippi, 17th Mississippi, 18th Mississippi), and then took leave, and left for Centerville. We started about ten o'clock, Sally, Daisy and I in the buggy, and Lizzie, Uncle H. and Henry on horseback. The Misses Hoffman, Walter, Ria, Alice, Bush and Ned on foot. We got as far as the courthouse and stopped to speak to Uncle Matt, who returned from Richmond the evening before. As we passed by Hough's, Sally ran right into one of the horses of the General's stall, which were waiting to accompany him, and then came near running over a little dog. We were nearly out of town when Mr. Gordon joined us and shortly after Dr. Clagget, so we had quite a cavalcade. The regiments were just falling into line when we arrived, and there was a great concourse of people. It was a most beautiful scene, but there came near being some disaster, as Gen. Evans and aids were going to ride up in grand style, with the four flags flying, the General's horse became frightened, and there ensued quite an exciting horse race. When that was over, the horses became frightened at the flags, and Mr. Wildman was thrown, and one or two others ran away. At last all was done successfully, the troops were drawn up in a square, and Gen. Evans presented the flags to each Col. (Hunton, Featherstone, Barksdale and Griffin) and they made replies and then presented them to their color companies. The three General's and staffs then reviewed the brigade, and Gen. Evans rode off, and the regiments marched round and round the field. Mr. Kean came up and stayed with us all the time. Frank Anderson came up, also. COLS. Griffin and FEATHERSTONE talked with us some time and Uncle Henry brought General Griffith and introduced him to us. I was very much pleased with him. We saw Capt. Dudley at the head of his company, it was a glorious sight. We got back about one o'clock, having enjoyed it very much, but it made me feel sad, I scarce know why. After dinner Liall came round for us to walk and we took quite a long walk. Just before tea, Mr. and Mrs. Williams came in, and stayed until about nine o'clock. It is now very near ten, so I must stop for tonight. We are going out to spend a day or two with Misses Hoffman soon. They have kindly pressed us to come. I wish we could hear from home.

http://www.mileslehane.com/diary.html

The Diary of Miss Virginia J. Miller

November 15, 1861 - April 17, 1862

Diary found in the attic of the Glenfiddich House

Miss Miller stayed here for a period of time during the Civil War

March 1862

Report of Colonel Featherston’s Regiments’ Capturing Prisoners in Battle of Leesburg

…In the battle of Leesburg, Welborn's and Campbell's companies were first in battle, as part of a detachment, after which the remainder of the regiment marched to the scene of conflict. Colonel Burt, Auditor of the State, fell mortally wounded while gallantly leading the charge upon the Federal battery, and the command fell upon Lieutenant-Colonel Griffin. Reinforced by the Seventeenth (Mississippi) the two regiments, under Colonel W. S. Featherston, drove the enemy into the river, capturing several hundred prisoners.  …

O.R. -18th Regiment Mississippi Infantry

3/4/1862

Promoted to Brigadier General

He was commissioned as Brigadier General in the Virginia Army.  His command was conspicuous in the Seven Days’ battles during which he was wounded.  These battles occurred before the one in Richmond.

Clement A. Evans, Confederate Military History, Vol. 7B (N.p.:  Confederate Publishing Company, N.d.), pp. 251-252

 

 

…Of the Colonels at Manassas, A.P. Hill, Early and Hampton ended their service as Lieutenant Generals and fourteen were to lead Brigades;82 one Major, Whiting, and Lieutenants, became Generals of divisions; three Lieutenant Colonels, eight Captain, with Lieutenant and three State militia officers, serving as aides, were to receive in time the three start and the wreath of Brigadier General. 

 

Page 97 Footnote 82:

M. Jenkins, Featherston, Garland, Corse, N. G. Evans, Harry Hays, Kirkland, Hunton, W.N. Pendleton, J.S. Preston, William Barksdale, J.C. Vaughn, P. St. George Cocke and Thomas Jordan.

LEE’S LIEUTENANTS

A Study in Command

By Douglas Southall Freeman

New York—Charles Scribner’s Sons Publishers

Copyright 1944

Volumes 1, 2 & 3

Vol. 1-Chapter VIII – Subordinates of Promise (Page 97 Text Excerpt):

 

4/5/1862-

5/4/1862

Battle of Yorktown

 Location: York County and Newport News Campaign: Peninsula Campaign (March-September 1862) Date(s): April 5-May 4, 1862 Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan [US]; Maj. Gen. John B. Magruder and Gen. Joseph E. Johnston [CS] Forces Engaged: Armies Estimated Casualties: 320 total Description: Marching from Fort Monroe, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan’s army encountered Maj. Gen. John B. Magruder’s small Confederate army at Yorktown behind the Warwick River.  Magruder’s theatrics convinced the Federals that his works were strongly held. McClellan suspended the march up the Peninsula toward Richmond, ordered the construction of siege fortifications, and brought his heavy siege guns to the front. In the meantime, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston brought reinforcements for Magruder.  On 16 April, Union forces probed a weakness in the Confederate line at Lee’s Mill or Dam No. 1, resulting in about 309 casualties.  Failure to exploit the initial success of this attack, however, held up McClellan for two additional weeks, while he tried to convince his navy to maneuver the Confederates’ big guns at Yorktown and Gloucester Point and ascend the York River to West Point thus outflanking the Warwick Line. McClellan planned for a massive bombardment to begin at dawn on May 4, but the Confederate army slipped away in the night toward Williamsburg. Result(s): Inconclusive

CWSAC Reference #VA009

4/5/1862-

5/4/1862

Engaged in Battle of Yorktown

Chapter XIII – The Army That Left Yorktown (Page 171 Text Excerpt):

In Robert Rodes’s Brigade were two of Ewell’s regiments of July, 1861, the Fifth and Sixth Alabama.  D.H. Hill’s third Brigade, Featherston’s, was the former garrison of the works at Manassas. …It was a Division of unequal parts, to be sure, but it could be developed.  As much might have been said of the men in the ranks of all four of the Divisions, Magruder’s, Smith’s, Longstreet’s, and D.H. Hill’s.  Although the troops came from every station in life and included the weak along with the health, the illiterate by the side of the educated, they were military material in which the South had full faith from the hour of enlistment.

 

Chapter XIII – The Army That Left Yorktown (Page 161 n. Text Excerpt):

(Background from page 156) The Army of 56,500 men that filed out of the Yorktown-Warwick lines on the night of May 3, 1862, had sustained few battle casualties since Manassas, but already its command has suffered at the hands of the foe that was to pursue it to the end, the resistless foe of attrition. The Treasurer of Mississippi, Richard Griffith, commanded a Brigade predominantly from that State; W. S. Featherston, for two terms a Federal Representative of Mississippi, had similar rank.  …To recapitulate, command of the Brigades that marched from the Yorktown-Warwick line was in this status:  Eleven of the twenty-three were under men who had been officers in the United States Arms, three were in charge of graduates of the Virginia Military Institute, six (brigades) were entrusted to politicians,37 one had as its head the great patrician, Wade Hampton, and two were led by lawyers.

LEE’S LIEUTENANTS

A Study in Command

By Douglas Southall Freeman

New York—Charles Scribner’s Sons Publishers

Copyright 1944

Volumes 1, 2 & 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page 161 Footnote 37:

Howell Cobb, W.S. Featherston, Richard Griffith, Robert Hatton, Roger A. Pryor and Robert Toombs.

5/5/1862

Battle of Williamsburg

(Start of the Peninsula Campaign)

Other Names: Fort Magruder Location: York County and Williamsburg Campaign: Peninsula Campaign (March-September 1862) Date(s): May 5, 1862 Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan [US]; Maj. Gen. James Longstreet [CS] Forces Engaged: 72,591 total (US 40,768;CS 31,823) Estimated Casualties: 3,843 total (US 2,283; CS 1,560) Description: In the first pitched battle of the Peninsula Campaign, nearly 41,000 Federals and 32,000 Confederates were engaged.  Following up the Confederate retreat from Yorktown, Hooker’s division encountered the Confederate rearguard near Williamsburg. Hooker assaulted Fort Magruder, an earthen fortification alongside the Williamsburg Road, but was repulsed. Confederate counterattacks, directed by Maj. Gen. James Longstreet, threatened to overwhelm the Union left flank, until Kearny’s division arrived to stabilize the Federal position. Hancock’s brigade then moved to threaten the Confederate left flank, occupying two abandoned redoubts.  The Confederates counterattacked unsuccessfully. Hancock’s localized success was not exploited. The Confederate army continued its withdrawal during the night. Result(s): Inconclusive

CWSAC Reference #: VA010

5/31/1862- 6/1/1862

Battle of Seven Pines

Other Names: Fair Oaks, Fair Oaks Station Location: Henrico County Campaign: Peninsula Campaign (March-September 1862)  Date(s): May 31-June 1, 1862 Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan [US]; Gen. Joseph E. Johnston and Maj. Gen. G.W. Smith [CS] Forces Engaged: (84,000 total) Estimated Casualties: 13,736 total (US 5,739; CS 7,997) Description: On May 31, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston attempted to overwhelm two Federal corps that appeared isolated south of the Chickahominy River. The Confederate assaults, though not well coordinated, succeeded in driving back the IV Corps and inflicting heavy casualties. Reinforcements arrived, and both sides fed more and more troops into the action. Supported by the III Corps and Sedgwick’s division of Sumner’s II Corps (that crossed the rain-swollen river on Grapevine Bridge), the Federal position was finally stabilized. Gen. Johnston was seriously wounded during the action, and command of the Confederate army devolved temporarily to Maj. Gen. G.W. Smith. On June 1, the Confederates renewed their assaults against the Federals who had brought up more reinforcements but made little headway. Both sides claimed victory.  Confederate brigadier Robert H. Hatton was killed. Result(s): Inconclusive

CWSAC Reference #: VA014

5/31/1862

Featherston Brigade Engaged in Battle of Seven Pines

Chapter XVII-Seven Pines: A Battle of Strange Errors (Page 240 Text Excerpt):

The advance was begun while Rodes, who was to lead the assault on the right of the Williamsburg road, still was fifteen minutes’ march behind the troops on the left of the highway, Garland’s Brigade with Featherston’s in support.  On initial contact, these two Brigades received the full fire of the enemy, but Rodes soon caught up.  In a short time his support, Rains’ Brigade, cleverly flanked the main Federal earthwork, known as Casey’s Redoubt, South of the Williamsburg road.  Soon, by furious onrush, now here, now there, the Federal front line was swept back.  Eight guns and all the equipment and supplies of a brigade camp were captured.

[Page 225 Background:  Johnston’s aim in the battle of May 31, 1862, was to overwhelm the IV Federal Corps at Seven Pines (VA) before it could be reinforced.  His concentration and deployment were based on the direction the three highways that led to the enemy’s position.  The first of these was the Nine Mile Road.  This left the northeast suburbs of Richmond, near Oakwood Cemetery, and ran East and Southeast to Fair Oaks Station, on the York River Railroad, six miles from the corporate limits.  After passing Fair Oaks Station, on the Nine Mile road continued to the East for about 1600 yards and ended at Seven Pines and thence to the Chickahominy River at Bottom’s Bridge.]

LEE’S LIEUTENANTS

A Study in Command

By Douglas Southall Freeman

New York—Charles Scribner’s Sons Publishers

Copyright 1944

Volumes 1, 2 & 3

 

6/5/1862

D.H. Hill files unsubstantiated complaint to Gen. Lee re: W.S. Featherston

Chapter XIX—Old Snarls Are Untangled (Page 268-270 Text Excerpts):

A third immediate problem of command was presented in the Division of D.H. Hill.  That officer (Hill), though proud of the showing of his troops at Seven Pines, promptly reported to General Lee his dissatisfaction with two of his brigade commanders—Gen. G.J. Rains and Gen. W.S. Featherston.  …The ground of Hill’s grievance against W.S. Featherston does not appear from the records.25 Presumably, the reason was the frequent absence from his post of this office, whose health was not of the best Featherston was tall, clean-shaven and eagle-faced, blunt of manner and careless of dress, but with a reputation for hard drill.  In his forty-first year, he was without formal military education, beyond that which he had acquired as a young volunteer in the Creek War.  During the autumn of 1861, and particularly for his handling of his Seventeenth Mississippi at Ball’s Bluff, he had won praise.26  Despite Hill’s criticism, there was nothing definitely adverse in Featherston’s record.  Against a man from his own State, President Davis was slow to credit vague charges.  General Lee at the time knew nothing of Featherston27 and would not judge him unheard.  The course of justice to Featherston and of deference to D.H. Hill seemed to be to transfer Featherston to another Division and to give him troops from his own State.28 In providing these troops, the old, vexing question arose again of brigading units according to the States from which they came.  The men themselves generally were favorable to this system.  General Lee’s view of the question was not materially different from that of General Johnston, but his approach was more conciliatory.  Within a few days after he took command, he wrote the Chief Executive:  “I have…sent a circular to division commanders to see what can be done as to reorganizing Brigades by States.  I fear the result.  Nor do I think it the best organization.  I would rather command a Brigade composed of regiments from different States.  I think it could be better controlled, more emulation would be excited, and there would be less combination against authority.  I can understand why officers looking to political preferment would prefer it, and it may be more agreeable to the men.  The latter consideration has much weight with me.  But as it is your wish and may be in conformity to the spirit of the land, I will attempt what can be done.  It must necessarily be slow and will require much time.  All new Brigades I will endeavor so to arrange.”

 

Vol. 2 Chapter VII—The Gallant Rivalry of Manassas (Page 141 Excerpt):

…Failures amid fine achievements were few.  Along with much applause, there was some carping.  After twenty years, Longstreet was to say that Jackson on the 30th “did not respond with spirit to my move”; but Jackson, in his report, took pains to recall the “timely and gallant advance of General Longstreet” on the 30th.*  In Longstreet’s own command there was criticism of Brig. Gens. Featherston and Pryor [by D.H. Hill who was under Longstreet] for drifting away from their designated line of advance and for failure, later in the day, to strike the rear of Federals who were attacking Jackson.  (Per O.R., 12, pt. 2, pp. 566, 598 and 599.)

 

*[Compiler’s Opinion:  I believe “Stonewall” Jackson had the right of the situation as further evidenced in subsequent events!  Darlene Featherstone Lankford]

LEE’S LIEUTENANTS

A Study in Command

By Douglas Southall Freeman

New York—Charles Scribner’s Sons Publishers

Copyright 1944

Volumes 1, 2 & 3

Page 269 Corresponding Footnotes:

25-Hill’s letter to Lee, mentioned in Lee to Davis, June 5, 1862, Lee’s Dispatches, 8, presumably was returned to Davis to Lee and by his destroyed.  That was Lee’s practice is disposing of documents that were derogatory and were not essential to the files of the Army.

 

26-Featherston’s early part in the war was mentioned in “Richmond Examiner.” May 31, 1861; Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (O.R.), 2, 944.  His report on Manassas is in O.R., 2, 539-40.  Reference to him by the Secretary of War, in the annual report that included an account of Ball’s Bluff, appears in IV O.R., I, 796.  Later assignments to duty are noted O.R., 5, 979, and O.R. 11, pt. 3, pp. 425 and 483.

 

27-Lee’s Dispatches, 9.

 

6/25/1862

Oak Grove, 1st of the Seven Days’ battles.

Principle CS Commanders: Gen. Robert E. Lee, CS Casualties 541; Description: Oak Grove was the first of the Seven Days’ battles.  On June 25, Maj. Gen. George B. McCllellan advanced his lines along the Williamsburg Rd. with the objective of bringing Richmond within range of his siege guns.  Union forces attacked over swampy ground with inconclusive results, and darkness halted the fighting.  McClellan’s attack was not strong enough to derail the Confederate offensive that already had been set in motion.  The next day, Lee seized the initiative by attacking Beaver Dam north of the Chickahominy.

CWSAC Reference #: VA015

6/26/1862

Beaver Dam, 2nd of the Seven Days’ battles.

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. Fitz John Porter [US]; Gen. Robert E. Lee [CS] Forces Engaged: 31,987 total (US 15,631; CS 16,356) Estimated Casualties: 1,700 total (US 400; CS 1,300) Description: Second of the Seven Days’ Battles. Gen. Robert E. Lee initiated his offensive against McClellan’s right flank north of the Chickahominy River. A.P. Hill threw his division, reinforced by one of D.H. Hill’s brigades, into a series of futile assaults against Brig. Gen. Fitz John Porter’s V Corps, which was drawn up behind Beaver Dam Creek. Confederate attacks were driven back with heavy casualties. Jackson’s Shenandoah Valley divisions, however, were approaching from the northwest, forcing Porter to withdraw the next morning to a position behind Boatswain Creek just beyond Gaines’ Mill. Result(s): Union victory

CWSAC Reference #: VA016

6/27-28/1862

Gaines’ Mill, 3rd of the Seven Days’ battles.

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. Fitz John Porter [US]; Gen. Robert E. Lee [CS] Forces Engaged: 91,232 total (US 34,214; CS 57,018) Estimated Casualties: 15,500 total (US 6,800; CS 8,700) Description: This was the third of the Seven Days’ Battles. On June 27, 1862, Gen. Robert E. Lee renewed his attacks against Porter’s V Corps, which had established a strong defensive line behind Boatswain’s Swamp north of the Chickahominy River. Porter’s reinforced V Corps held fast for the afternoon against disjointed Confederate attacks, inflicting heavy casualties. At dusk, the Confederates finally mounted a coordinated assault that broke Porter’s line and drove his soldiers back toward the river. The Federals retreated across the river during the night. Defeat at Gaines’ Mill convinced McClellan to abandon his advance on Richmond and begin the retreat to James River. Gaines’ Mill saved Richmond for the Confederacy in 1862. Result(s): Confederate victory

CWSAC Reference #: VA017

6/29/1862

Savage’s Station, 4th of the Seven Days’ battles.

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Edwin Sumner [US]; Maj. Gen. John Magruder [CS] Forces Engaged: Divisions Estimated Casualties:   4,700 total (US 2,500 wounded were captured) Description: Fourth of the Seven Days’ Battles. On June 29, the main body of the Union army began a general withdrawal toward the James River.  Magruder pursued along the railroad and the Williamsburg Road and struck Sumner’s Corps (the Union rearguard) with three brigades near Savage’s Station.  Confederate Brig. Gen. Richard Giffith was mortally wounded during the fight.  Jackson’s divisions were stalled north of the Chickahominy. Union forces continued to withdraw across White Oak Swamp, abandoning supplies and more than 2,500 wounded soldiers in a field hospital. Result(s): Inconclusive

CWSAC Reference #: VA019

6/30/1862

Glendale, 5th of the Seven Days’ battles.*

Other Names: Nelson’s Farm, Frayser’s Farm, Charles City Crossroads, White Oak Swamp, New Market Road, Riddell's Shop Location: Henrico County, VA Campaign: Peninsula Campaign (March-September 1862) Date(s): June 30, 1862 Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan [US]; Gen. Robert E. Lee [CS] Forces Engaged: Armies Estimated Casualties: 6,500 total Description: This is the fifth of the Seven Days’ Battles. On June 30, Huger’s, Longstreet’s, and A.P. Hill’s divisions converged on the retreating Union army in the vicinity of Glendale or Frayser’s Farm.  Longstreet’s and Hill’s attacks penetrated the Union defense near Willis Church, routing McCall’s division. McCall was captured.  Union counterattacks by Hooker’s and Kearny’s divisions sealed the break and saved their line of retreat along the Willis Church Road. Huger’s advance was stopped on the Charles City Road.   “Stonewall”  Jackson’s divisions were delayed by Franklin at White Oak Swamp. Confederate Maj. Gen. T.H. Holmes made a feeble attempt to turn the Union left flank at Turkey Bridge but was driven back by Federal gunboats in James River. Union generals Meade and Sumner and Confederate generals Anderson, Pender, and Featherston were wounded. This was Lee’s best chance to cut off the Union army from the James River. That night, McClellan established a strong position on Malvern Hill. Result(s): Inconclusive (Union withdrawal continued.)

CWSAC Reference #: VA020b

6/30/1862

Gen. Featherston Wounded During Seven Days’ Battles

…His command was conspicuous in the Seven Days' battles before Richmond, during which General Featherston was wounded.  …

 

*[On June 30, 1862, Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson’s brigades were engaged in the White Oak Swamp Battle in Henrico County, VA.  There were an estimated 500 casualties.  The Union rearguard under Maj. Gen. William Franklin stopped Jackson’s divisions at the White Oak Bridge crossing, resulting in an artillery duel, while the main battle raged two miles further south at Glendale or Frayser’s Farm.  White Oak Swamp is considered part of the Glendale engagement.—D. Lankford]

 

Chapter XXXVII—Malvern Hill: A Tragedy of Staff (Page 588 Text Excerpts):

…The Army that bestirred itself in the clear dawn of July 1 was weaker by 10,000 men than it had been at the beginning of the campaign.  …As Featherston had been wounded severely on the 30th, his Brigade was in the care of a Colonel, as was that of Jos. R. Anderson, who had been injured at Frayser’s Farm.  …

 

Chapter XXXVIII—The End of Magruder and of Huger (Page 605 Excerpts):

…Of the regiments, the worst toll in a single battle was the 335 paid at Mechanicsville, during the first assault of the campaign, by the Forty-fourth Georgia of Ripleys’ Brigade.4 Whatever the explanation of these figures; they showed that the “Army of the Valley” had not contributed heavily in blood to the direct defense of Richmond.  Lee’s men, not Jackson’s, had borne the brunt.  Fatalities in the high command had not been numerous.  Only one Brigadier General, Richard Griffith, had been killed.  Of the seven who had been wounded or injured,5 Arnold Elzey alone was disabled permanently for field duty, though Pickett and Featherston were listed as “severely wounded.”6

Clement A. Evans, Confederate Military History, Vol. 7B (N.p.:  Confederate Publishing Company, N.d.), pp. 251-252

 

 

[CWSAC Reference #: VA020a]*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LEE’S LIEUTENANTS

A Study in Command

By Douglas Southall Freeman

New York—Charles Scribner’s Sons Publishers

Copyright 1944

Volumes 1, 2 & 3

 

 

 

Corresponding Footnotes:

4-D. H. Hill’s Division

5-G.B. Anderson, July 1; J.R. Anderson, June 30; Arnold Elzey, June 27; W.S. Featherston, June 30; J.R. Jones, July 1; W.D. Pender, July 1; G.E. Pickett, June 27.

6-O.R., 11, pt. 2, pp. 758 and 759.

 

7/1/1862

Malvern Hill, 6th and last of the Seven Days’ Battles. End of the Peninsula Campaign

Other Names: Poindexter’s Farm Location: Henrico County Campaign: Peninsula Campaign (March-September 1862) Date(s): July 1, 1862 Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan [US]; Gen. Robert E. Lee [CS] Forces Engaged: Armies Estimated Casualties: 8,500 total Description: This was the sixth and last of the Seven Days’ Battles. On July 1, 1862, Gen. Robert E. Lee launched a series of disjointed assaults on the nearly impregnable Union position on Malvern Hill. The Confederates suffered more than 5,300 casualties without gaining an inch of ground. Despite his victory, McClellan withdrew to entrench at Harrison’s Landing on James River, where gunboats protected his army. This ended the Peninsula Campaign.  When McClellan’s army ceased to threaten Richmond, Lee sent Jackson to operate against Maj. Gen. John Pope’s army along the Rapidan River, thus initiating the Northern Virginia Campaign. Result(s): Union victory

CWSAC Reference #: VA021

7/13/1862

Brig. Gen. Featherston is Transferred from Longstreet’s Division to Maj.-Gen. Richard Anderson’s Division under Gen. Robert E. Lee

Vol. 3-Chapter X—The Price of Gettysburg (Page 204 Excerpt):

On July 13-14, 1862, the great offensive in the direction of the enemy’s country was beginning; now it was ending.  How many leaders had fallen, how many changes had come since Lee, at the close of the Seven Days, had off the incompetents and had chosen the promising men for promotion!  Run the eye down the roster of the Army as it marched toward Second Manassas and as it came wearily back from Gettysburg to a lean and hungry land:  Of Longstreet’s former “Right Wing” the commander now was Lieutenant General and next in rank to Lee.  …Longstreet’s own Division:  Wilcox, promoted; Pryor, deprived of troops; Featherston, transferred; …

 

Appendix V (Page 774 Excerpts): …The appended list of officers, not separately mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, may be incomplete and probably is not altogether accurate but it suggests, at least, the diversity of occupations followed by Lee’s Lieutenants.  10All the officers on this list remained at the rank of Brigadier Generals while with Lee unless “Major General” appears before the name.

W.S. Featherston: Lawyer, State Legislator, judge.

LEE’S LIEUTENANTS

A Study in Command

By Douglas Southall Freeman

New York—Charles Scribner’s Sons Publishers

Copyright 1944

Volumes 1, 2 & 3

8/28/1862

2nd Battle of Manassas

Other Names: Manassas, Second Bull Run, Manassas Plains, Groveton, Gainesville, Brawner's Farm Location: Prince William County Campaign: Northern Virginia Campaign (June-September 1862) Date(s): August 28-30, 1862 Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. John Pope [US]; Gen. Robert E. Lee and Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson [CS] Forces Engaged: Armies Estimated Casualties: 22,180 total (US 13,830; CS 8,350) Description: In order to draw Pope’s army into battle, Jackson ordered an attack on a Federal column that was passing across his front on the Warrenton Turnpike on August 28. The fighting at Brawner Farm lasted several hours and resulted in a stalemate.  Pope became convinced that he had trapped Jackson and concentrated the bulk of his army against him. On August 29, Pope launched a series of assaults against Jackson’s position along an unfinished railroad grade. The attacks were repulsed with heavy casualties on both sides. At noon, Longstreet arrived on the field from Thoroughfare Gap and took position on Jackson’s right flank.  On August 30, Pope renewed his attacks, seemingly unaware that Longstreet was on the field. When massed Confederate artillery devastated a Union assault by Fitz John Porter’s command, Longstreet’s wing of 28,000 men counterattacked in the largest, simultaneous mass assault of the war. The Union left flank was crushed and the army driven back to Bull Run. Only an effective Union rearguard action prevented a replay of the First Manassas disaster. Pope’s retreat to Centreville was precipitous, nonetheless.  The next day, Lee ordered his army in pursuit. This was the decisive battle of the Northern Virginia Campaign. Result(s): Confederate victory

CWSAC Reference #: VA026

10/27/1862

Gen. Robert E. Lee recommends Carnot Posey to succeed W.S. Featherston who was out on sick leave due to being wounded.

Chapter XVI—A Crisis in Reorganization (Page 263-5 Excerpts):

Carnot Posey of the Sixteenth Mississippi could measure up in the event that W.S. Featherston did not return from his sick leave.  The decision at Army Headquarters was to fill the certain, the probable and the hoped-for vacancies.  Here, in the end, were the names Lee submitted October 27 in answer to requests from the Secretary of War and the Adjutant General: To Be Brigadier General:  (October 13, 1862) Carnot Posey, Colonel of the Sixteenth Mississippi, to succeed W.S. Featherston of Anderson’s Division, who was absent sick.  Unfortunately, this list was marred almost as soon as it was made.  General Featherston returned, somewhat unexpectedly, from sick leave and resumed command of his Brigade, which Lee had planned to give to Col. Carnot Posey.  It would not be possible to promote Posey at once unless service could be found elsewhere—perhaps in his adopted State of Mississippi—for Featherston(Per O.R., 19, pt.2, pp. 683-84).

LEE’S LIEUTENANTS

A Study in Command

By Douglas Southall Freeman

New York—Charles Scribner’s Sons Publishers

Copyright 1944

Volumes 1, 2 & 3

12/11/1862

Battle of Fredericksburg, VA Starts

During the Civil War, the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia occurred December 11th through the 15th, 1862.

 

THE ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, General Robert E. Lee, CSA, Commanding

FIRST CORPS  (Lieutenant General James Longstreet)

Anderson's Division  (Maj. Gen. Richard H. Anderson)

Featherston's Brigade  (Brig. Gen. W. S. Featherston)

12th Mississippi  (Col. W. H. Taylor)   (R)

16th Mississippi

19th Mississippi 

48th Mississippi (5 companies.)

O.R. (Official Records)-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXI [S# 31]

 

Sources:

Official records

Battles and leaders

Southern Historical Society Papers

Roster of the Confederate soldiers of Georgia, 1861-1865

Notes:   Names marked (R) have been obtained from Regimental Rosters as being in command during that period.  Their presence at this battle has not been verified.

12/11/1862

Featherston’s Brigade engages in Battle of Fredericksburg

Upon the signal being given on the morning of December 11, the troops were placed rapidly in position in rear of the line of field-works and batteries extending from Hazel Run, on the right, to the water-works dam, on the left, in the following order: Featherston's, Perry's, Mahone's, Wright's, and Wilcox's brigades.  In the afternoon of the 11th, Ransom's division having been placed between Hazel Run and the Plank road, Featherston's brigade was moved to the left of that road. About dark, General [Robert] Ransom, jr., re-crossed Hazel Run, and General [W. S.] Featherston was replaced in his former position. Detachments of one regiment from each brigade were thrown in front of the batteries, and strong pickets were pushed forward toward the town and along the canal.

January 3rd, 1863 Report of Maj. Gen. Richard H. Anderson, C. S. Army, Commanding Anderson's Division.  DECEMBER 11-15, 1862.--Battle of Fredericksburg, Va.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXI [S# 31]

12/12/1862

Featherston’s Brigade positioned at the left of Plank Road during Battle of Fredericksburg

Early on the 12th, General Ransom resumed his former place, between Hazel Run and the Plank road, and Featherston's brigade was again drawn to the left of the road. This position of the brigades, in the order above mentioned, was maintained until Thursday, December 17, when the division was withdrawn, and the troops returned to their camps.

January 3rd, 1863 Report of Maj. Gen. Richard H. Anderson, C. S. Army, Commanding Anderson's Division. DECEMBER 11-15, 1862.--Battle of Fredericksburg, Va.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXI [S# 31]

12/15/1862

Battle of Fredericksburg Ends

 

O.R. (Official Records)-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXI [S# 31]

1/3/1863

Maj.-Gen. Richard H. Anderson commends Featherston’s Brigade for their service at the Battle of Fredericksburg.

It gives me pleasure to say that the most commendable spirit was exhibited by the officers and soldiers of the whole division. Their patient endurance of the exposures to which they were subjected gave assurance of good conduct and gallant deeds had an opportunity been presented. Featherston's and Perry's brigades lay four days and nights in an open field without shelter and without fire.

January 3rd, 1863 Report of Maj. Gen. Richard H. Anderson, C. S. Army, Commanding Anderson's Division. DECEMBER 11-15, 1862.--Battle of Fredericksburg, Va.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXI [S# 31]

1/23/1863

Brig. Gen. Featherston requests to be assigned duty in the Gulf States.

 

Col. Carnot Posey is appointed Brig. Gen. as his replacement.

Promotion and a Fiery Resignation (Page 418-19 Excerpts): (circa January 23, 1863).

Finally, as Gen. W.S. Featherston decided that he would prefer duty in the Gulf States, he was relieved.  The delayed appointment of Col. Carnot Posey became effective.

LEE’S LIEUTENANTS

A Study in Command

By Douglas Southall Freeman

New York—Charles Scribner’s Sons Publishers

Copyright 1944

Volumes 1, 2 & 3

01/23/1863

Brig. Gen. Featherston is assigned to General Loring’s Division and departs for Vicksburg

He served in the Virginia army until January 1863, when at his own request he was sent to assist in the defense of Vicksburg. He was assigned to the division of General Loring and was engaged in the battle of Baker's Creek. At the close of this disastrous struggle General Loring found his division cut off from the main body of Pemberton's army, and marching eastward joined Gen. J. E. Johnston at Jackson. After the fall of Vicksburg, Loring's division, to which Featherston's brigade was attached, served under General Polk in Mississippi.

Clement A. Evans, Confederate Military History, Vol. 7B (N.p.:  Confederate Publishing Company, N.d.), pp. 251-252

 

Engaged in Battle of Vicksburg

 

 

2/25/1863

Featherston’s Brigade in Command of 22nd Mississippi Regiment at Edwards

Left Grenada for Jackson, Miss, January 31st, 1863, and was in camp there until February 11th, moved to Edwards, and the company with Co. "K" was detached to go with Col. J.A. Orr to Greenwood, but stopped at Snyder's Bluff and returned to regiment February 25th at Edwards, and found that Gen. W.S. Featherston had been assigned to command the brigade.  Seg't Truitt, by reason of his wound in the foot, could not march, was detailed into the hospital service.  From Edwards went via Vicksburg and Snyders, and up the Sunflower River, to Deer Creek, and fought the gunboats under Commodore Porter nearly a week. 

From "Sketch of Black Hawk Rifles", by Colonel H. J. Reid, describing history of Company G, 22nd Miss, which was commanded by Reid, who was later promoted to acting commander of regiment.

 

3/19/1863

Ordered with his Brigade to Snyder’s Bluff

March 19(1863), General Featherston was ordered with his brigade to

Snyder's Bluff, whence he took steamer with the 22nd Miss and 33rd Miss

Regiments and a section of artillery up Sunflower River to Rolling Fork, where Col. S.W. Ferguson had preceded him with his command from Greenville.  They engaged the 5 Federal gunboats under Admiral Porter and Sherman's land forces on April 20th and throughout a period of nearly ten days, until the expedition withdrew through Black Bayou. 

River Expeditions in the Mississippi Delta, Contributed by Steve Cole, From unit history of 22nd Miss., by Dunbar Rowland

 

3/19/1863

Moved his Brigade to Snyder’s Bluff

About 3 a.m., March 19, I was ordered to move my brigade to Snyder's Bluff as rapidly as possible; to take two regiments from that point and one section of artillery, and proceed up Sunflower River and Rolling Fork to the junction of Rolling Fork and Deer Creek, to which point the enemy was said to be directing his movements.

Civil War Official Records, Series I, Vol. 24, Pt. 1, pg. 458-461—W.S. Featherston’s Report to Major-General Loring.

3/20/1863

His Brigade arrived at Rolling Fork and engaged in Battle.

On Friday (20th), about 3 p.m., we arrived at the mouth of Rolling Fork, and disembarked the troops, who had to march through water three quarters of a mile before reaching land. Colonel Ferguson had preceded me from near Greenville, Miss., with his command, consisting of a battalion of infantry, six pieces of artillery, and a squadron of cavalry some 40 or 50 in number. … My artillery and infantry were moved rapidly from the boat landing, a distance of some 6 or 7 miles, to the head of Rolling Fork, and arrived there from 4:30 to 5 p. m. I immediately assumed command of all the forces, and placed them in position for an immediate attack. The battalion of infantry was placed on the right, extending up to Deer Creek. The Twenty-second and Twenty-third [sic - actually the 33rd] Mississippi Regiments were placed on the left in the nearest strip of woods to the enemy and extending down Deer Creek below the enemy's line of boats; the artillery on the more elevated position in the center. The enemy's boats (five in number) commanded by Admiral Porter, were lying a few hundred yards below the junction of Rolling Fork and Deer Creek, surrounded by an open field from one-half to a mile wide, and near a large, elevated mound, upon which he had planted a land battery of not more than two guns. The infantry were ordered to throw out companies of skirmishers in advance, with instructions to fire at every man who made his appearance on the boats. This disposition of the troops having been made, a brisk fire was opened by our artillery and continued until dark. This fire was responded to by the enemy's gunboats as well as their land battery until night. There was no hope of boarding the boats at this time by the infantry, as they were in the middle of the stream, and could not be reached without passing through water from 10 to 20 feet deep. The troops remained in position during the night with instructions that if the boats landed on the east side of Deer Creek to board whenever an opportunity offered. During the night their land battery moved from the Mound to the boats, and the boats commenced moving down stream.

Civil War Official Records, Series I, Vol. 24, Pt. 1, pg. 458-461—W.S. Featherston’s Report to Major-General Loring.

3/21/1863

Renewed attack at Deer Creek

Next morning the attack was renewed. Skirmishers were thrown forward to the nearest points of woods on both sides of the creek, and a constant fire kept up during the day. The artillery was not used on the second day, for the reason that the supply of ammunition was nearly exhausted by the firing on Friday. The country from the head of Rolling Fork down Deer Creek to Black Bayou is nearly a continuous chain of plantations, cleared on both sides, and but few points of woods running to the bank of the stream to serve as a covert and protection for sharpshooters. Owing to the high stage of water in Deer Creek, their guns could be sufficiently depressed on the boats to use grape and canister.  On Saturday evening, the Fortieth Alabama, Lieutenant Colonel John H. Higley commanding, arrived, and was placed, with the Twenty-second and Thirty-third Mississippi Regiments, under the command of Colonel D. W. Hurst, Thirty-third Mississippi Regiment, who had prior to that time had the immediate command of the Twenty-second and Thirty-third Mississippi Regiments, Colonel Ferguson retaining during the whole time the immediate command of his own forces. The enemy continued to retire down the creek.

Civil War Official Records, Series I, Vol. 24, Pt. 1, pg. 458-461—W.S. Featherston’s Report to Major-General Loring.

3/22/1863

Attacked Moore’s Plantation near Rolling Fork

On Sunday morning the attack was continued at Moore's plantation, some 6 or 7 miles below the head of Rolling Fork. Two regiments were thrown below in advance of the boats (Twenty-second and Thirty-third Mississippi), in a point of woods running up to the creek, where it was thought they could be successfully assailed. The Fortieth Alabama and artillery ordered to open a brisk fire on them until it had exhausted its supply of ammunition. This order was promptly obeyed, and fire of our guns most cordially responded to by the guns of the enemy's boats. The two regiments thrown below were met by Sherman's division coming up, when a sharp skirmish ensued. While this skirmish was going on between the two regiments below and Sherman's division, two regiments of the enemy advanced from the boats immediately to the front, evidently with a view of cutting off the Twenty-second and Thirty-third Mississippi, then in advance. These two regiments were ordered back to a strong position then held by the Fortieth Alabama and artillery. This was done in good order through the skirt of woods on the enemy's left. The enemy advancing some half a mile through the field, and finding our forces united, fell back to the boats. I am satisfied, from reliable information received from citizens as well as a captured dispatch from General Sherman to Admiral Porter, that the enemy's force could not now have consisted of less than eight or nine regiments.  …A shot from our artillery, whose firing was admirable, crippled the United States Tug, and took off the leg of the engineer, whose grave we found marked, "Engineer United States Tug Dahlia; died March 22, 1863 " The success of the expedition consists in turning and driving back the enemy, who in a very short time would have been through Rolling Fork into Sunflower River, and had the uncontested control of the Yazoo waters.

Civil War Official Records, Series I, Vol. 24, Pt. 1, pg. 458-461—W.S. Featherston’s Report to Major-General Loring.

3/23/1863

Brigade stalled due to lack of supplies and artillery

On Monday [23rd], our troops were not moved, for the reason that our artillery was out of ammunition and hourly expecting a supply by our boats, and the men were without rations, and had been scantily and irregularly supplied up to that time, owing to the fact that we arrived without rations and without transportation, and it required time to collect both.

Civil War Official Records, Series I, Vol. 24, Pt. 1, pg. 458-461—W.S. Featherston’s Report to Major-General Loring.

3/24/1863

His Brigade Resumed March to Black Bayou

On Tuesday morning the march was again resumed, but the artillery was carried but a little distance until the roads were found impassable, and it was left.

 

Civil War Official Records, Series I, Vol. 24, Pt. 1, pg. 458-461—W.S. Featherston’s Report to Major-General Loring.

3/25/1863

His Brigade Overtakes enemy on Watson’s Farm

On Wednesday [25th], the enemy was overtaken on Watson's farm, about 3 miles above Black Bayou. They were posted in a dense canebrake and wood, from which they retired before our skirmishers, the boats having preceded them. The woods were occupied by our troops that (Wednesday) night.

Civil War Official Records, Series I, Vol. 24, Pt. 1, pg. 458-461—W.S. Featherston’s Report to Major-General Loring.

3/26/1863

His Brigade advances through Fore’s Plantation

On Thursday morning our troops again advanced through Fore's plantation, when a skirmish ensued between their rear guard and our sharpshooters.

Civil War Official Records, Series I, Vol. 24, Pt. 1, pg. 458-461—W.S. Featherston’s Report to Major-General Loring.

3/27/1863

His Brigade engages in Battle near the Black Bayou

On Friday morning, when preparing to advance through the last skirt of woods on the east side of Deer Creek, before reaching Black Bayou, I learned from cavalry scouts sent in advance that the enemy's boats had gone down Black Bayou and his land forces retired.  On Friday night, after the first engagement, the cavalry was sent several miles below to fell trees into to stream to prevent the escape of the boats, but were driven from their work at an nearly hour by a body of the enemy's infantry without having accomplished much. The cavalry did that night capture a Negro, a bearer of a dispatch from General Sherman to Admiral Porter, which was sent to you at Vicksburg. The capture of the gunboats could only have been accomplished by the presence of a land force strong enough to have moved a part of it boldly to the rear of the boats, and taken a position where the succoring land force of the enemy might have been held firmly in check, while the remaining part might have felled trees and otherwise obstructed the stream in rear of the boats, annoying them with sharpshooters and compelled their surrender from absolute stress and calamity of situation after their ammunition, and perhaps provisions, should, have been exhausted. The entire force under my command up to Monday did not exceed 1,300 effective men, and at no time during the seven days did it exceed 2,500 men. The visionary absurdity of the over-sanguine expectations of capturing gunboats entertained by some military men becomes apparent when it is considered that from 12 to 15 feet depth of water, with a width of from 6 to 10 feet, is always interposed between the assailants and the object assailed, and the boats well night incapable of entrance when boarder, and each arranged with reference to the protection of the other. This entire expedition was full of hardships to the troops, who endured them with patience and fortitude, and were always cool and spirited in the presence of the enemy. 

I not only feel under obligation to my regular staff-Captain W. R. Barksdale, assistant adjutant-general, and Lieutenant A. N. Parker, aide-de-camp but also to Lieutenant [W. A.] Drennan, acting ordnance officer, and Mr. E. M. McAfee, volunteer aides, who were efficient in their places. Major [E. H.] Cummins, engineer officer, Major-General Maury's staff, accompanied me on this expedition, and had charge of all defensive works, in which he displayed much judgment and efficiency.

Our loss in the slight combats of this expedition was small, not exceeding 2 killed and 6 or 8 wounded. The enemy's loss, as learned from released citizens, was not less than from 12 to 13 killed and from 40 to 45 wounded.

Civil War Official Records, Series I, Vol. 24, Pt. 1, pg. 458-461—W.S. Featherston’s Report to Major-General Loring.

3/31/1863

Replacement Regiments arrive.

On Monday evening, the Thirty-first Mississippi Regiment, Colonel J. A. Orr commanding, arrived, and in the advance on Tuesday and Wednesday Colonel Orr had the immediate command of the Twenty-second, Thirty-third, Thirty-first Mississippi, and Fortieth Alabama Regiments.

Civil War Official Records, Series I, Vol. 24, Pt. 1, pg. 458-461—W.S. Featherston’s Report to Major-General Loring.

4/1/1863

Featherston’s Brigade arrives at Ft. Pemberton

From thence up the river Yazoo on steamboat to Fort Pemberton April 1st, 1863. 

From "Sketch of Black Hawk Rifles", by Colonel H. J. Reid, describing history of Company G, 22nd Miss, which was commanded by Reid, who was later promoted to acting commander of regiment.

4/3/1863

Brig. Gen. Featherston Wrote Report to Major-General Loring from Ft. Pemberton, MS

MAJOR: In obedience to orders, I submit the following report of the troops under my command on Rolling Fork and Deer Creek. … I have the honor to be, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant, W. S. FEATHERSTON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

 

Civil War Official Records, Series I, Vol. 24, Pt. 1, pg. 458-461

4/20/1863

Featherston’s Brigade Marches to Grenada

From there April 20th to Grenada…

From "Sketch of Black Hawk Rifles", by Colonel H. J. Reid, describing history of Company G, 22nd Miss, which was commanded by Reid, who was later promoted to acting commander of regiment.

4/22/1863

22nd Mississippi Commended by Featherston for their services in Rolling Fork Campaign

April 22, a considerable Federal force was landed on one of the dry spots and an attempt made to cut off the two Miss regiments.  The total Confederate losses in the skirmishes were 2 killed and 6 or 8 wounded.  In his (Featherston’s) report of the Rolling Fork campaign Featherston mentioned Capt. W.R. Barksdale, Adjt-Gen; Lieut. A.N. Parker, Aide; Lieut. W.A. Drennan, Ordinance Off; E.M. AcAfee, Voluntee Aide; Major E.H. Cummins, Engineer Officer of Maury's Staff.  When the gunboat(?) had escaped in Black River, the regiment was taken to Fort Pemberton, at the confluence of the Yalobusha and Tallahatchie (Rivers) where Pemberton was withstanding another expedition of gunboats from the Miss. River, which had come down the Yazoo Pass.  Here the Star of the West was sunk(omitted repetitive info).  When the high water began to subside the Federal fleet retired. (not much info on Yazoo Pass).  

River Expeditions in the Mississippi Delta, Contributed by Steve Cole, From Unit history of 22nd Miss., by Dunbar Rowland

 

1864

Marched to Resaca, Georgia

In the spring of 1864 these troops marched eastward and joined Johnston at Resaca, Ga., in time to take part in that battle. In all the subsequent battles of the Atlanta and Tennessee campaigns Featherston and his men were engaged. For a while, when Loring was acting as corps commander (immediately after the death of Polk), General Featherston had command of the division.

Clement A. Evans, Confederate Military History, Vol. 7B (N.p.:  Confederate Publishing Company, N.d.), pp. 251-252

4/26/1865

Final Campaign-Surrendered to Johnston’s Army

Featherston commanded his brigade in the final campaign in the Carolinas and was included in the surrender of Johnston's army, April 26, 1865. He then returned to Mississippi and resumed the practice of law.

Clement A. Evans, Confederate Military History, Vol. 7B (N.p.:  Confederate Publishing Company, N.d.), pp. 251-252

5/2/1863

Featherston’s Brigade arrives in Vicksburg

…thence to Vicksburg, May 2nd, 1863, where we marched and counter marched, to Edwards, down to Lanier's place west of Big Black, until 13th of May--…

From "Sketch of Black Hawk Rifles", by Colonel H. J. Reid, describing history of Company G, 22nd Miss, which was commanded by Reid, who was later promoted to acting commander of regiment.

5/13/1863

Featherston’s Brigade arrives at Baker’s Creek

… until 13th of May--here W.M. Webster exchanged into artillery and the company got E.T. Ware.  …

From "Sketch of Black Hawk Rifles", by Colonel H. J. Reid, describing history of Company G, 22nd Miss, which was commanded by Reid, who was later promoted to acting commander of regiment.

5/16/1863

Engages in Battle of Baker’s Creek, MS

…The company had no casualties in the battle of Baker's Creek on May16th; the first firing of the enemy was on the regiment soon after daylight.  …

From "Sketch of Black Hawk Rifles", by Colonel H. J. Reid, describing history of Company G, 22nd Miss, which was commanded by Reid, who was later promoted to acting commander of regiment.

5/16/1863

Featherston’s Brigade drives back Colonel Withers (Yankee) forces under heavy fire during Battle of Baker’s Creek

… I suggested to General Pemberton that the sooner he formed a line of battle the better, as the enemy would very soon be upon us. He at first directed me to form Tilghman’s brigade in a line of battle upon the ground it then occupied, but soon thought it untenable, and ordered it, with Featherston’s and Buford’s brigades (my whole division), into a line of battle on a ridge about three-quarters of a mile in the rear and across a small creek.  … My whole division, including reserves, was strung out in line of battle, mostly in thick timber. The enemy during these movements remained steadily in front in heavy force, being, apparently, a full corps, occupying a series of ridges, wooded, and commanding each other, forming naturally a very strong if not impregnable position, throwing forward a heavy line of skirmishers, and showing every indication of an attack in force upon my position, both in front and upon the right flank.  … He tells me that he was gratified in being able to state that my force arrived sooner than he expected, and in time to save his artillery. But for our prompt arrival, every piece would have been lost, as the whole sustaining force had, except a few bold skirmishers, been driven back.  Upon the approach of [W. S.] Featherston’s brigade, in rapid march, a considerable force of the retreating army having been rallied behind him, the enemy, who was advancing upon the artillery, fell back in great disorder, Colonel Withers pouring in a most destructive fire upon him.  … While thus engaged, I received an order for the forces to fall back, and my assistant adjutant-general, who had been dispatched to General Pemberton for orders, returned stating that the general said that the movement must not be made; that I must order a retreat and bring up the rear. Officers were immediately sent to advise those not yet informed to retire, and as rapidly as possible, in the direction of the ford, that being the only road left open. As soon as the enemy realized that we were leaving the field, he rallied and moved forward in heavy force.  In the mean time Featherston’s brigade was put into position to protect the rear of the retreating forces and to cover the falling back of Buford’s brigade. This duty was ably and gallantly executed.

W.W. Loring’s Report from HEADQUARTERS,
Camp Forrest, Miss., August 28, 1863.

To Col. B. S. EWELL, Assistant Adjutant-General.

 

5/17/1863

Featherston’s Brigade under Loring’s Division in Battle of Baker’s Creek is forced to Retreat

GENERAL: You have probably learned that General Pemberton was compelled yesterday to fall back before a large force of the enemy. I was ordered with my command to hold the rear, to enable the army to make good its retreat. Soon after the order was given, the enemy moved in heavy force against us. We had a bridge and ford to pass to make good their retreat. A brigade was placed at the bridge and one at the ford to protect the crossing, while my division was in the position indicated. General Bowen, in command of the ford, sent word to me that he would hold it, and was requested by me to do so and I would support him, and had ordered a brigade for the purpose. He also sent me word that the bridge was safe. Contrary to the expectation of General Bowen, he was forced suddenly to fall back in the direction of Edwards Depot, consequent upon the enemy’s crossing the bridge. The enemy immediately moved to a position commanding the ford in my front. Upon hearing of Bowen’s movement, my command was ordered to fall back, the enemy at the same time moving upon my right flank and rear. There was nothing to prevent their soon having commanding positions on both sides of the ford. These movements necessarily forced me to look to a ford lower down the creek, and to reach it had to pass through fields and swamps. We lost what artillery we had with us for the want of a road and bridges. Before reaching the lower ford, I learned the whole force of the enemy had moved to Edwards Depot, and that a large command had passed that day to Big Black, I endeavored to get a competent guide we had to carry us between the enemy’s forces to the bridge, but he said it could not be done; it was hazardous in the extreme to attempt the ferries in the face of a large force there. My only means of preventing my division from being overwhelmed was to force my way through the enemy’s lines under cover of night and join my forces to yours. We have no baggage-wagons or cooking utensils, and but 40 rounds of ammunition. The wagons of this division were sent back to Edwards Depot.  I hear that the enemy has left Jackson. Upon learning its truth, I shall move a short distance to-morrow after crossing Pearl River.

With respect, your obedient servant,

W. W. LORING,
Major-General, Commanding.

Loring’s Report on the Battle of Baker’s Creek—HEADQUARTERS LORING’S DIVISION, Near Crystal Springs, May 17, 1863. To General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON

5/17/1863

Featherston’s Brigade Arrives at Crystal Springs, MS

…The company arrived at Crystal Springs, 4pm, Sunday, 17th after a long and tiresome all night march Saturday night and steady tramp Sunday.  …

From "Sketch of Black Hawk Rifles", by Colonel H. J. Reid, describing history of Company G, 22nd Miss, which was commanded by Reid, who was later promoted to acting commander of regiment.

5/19/1863

Featherston’s Brigade Intercept’s Yankee Food Supplies/Troop Halts at Steel’s Creek near Jackson, MS

…Some of the boys broke down but all came up in a few days, "Little John" Powers and some others being fatigued stopped to rest, when a Negro man with an ox team having a load of meat taking to the Yanks came along, the boys captured it, bringing it to the camp at Steel's Creek where we halted on 19th.

From "Sketch of Black Hawk Rifles", by Colonel H. J. Reid, describing history of Company G, 22nd Miss, which was commanded by Reid, who was later promoted to acting commander of regiment.

8/28/1863

Brig. Gen. Featherston Commended by Maj.-Gen. Loring for his service at the Battle of Baker’s Creek

COLONEL: I have the honor to forward, through you, a detailed statement of the operations of my division at the battle of Baker’s Creek and my movements consequent upon it.  …On the 19th (May 1863), reached Jackson with my entire division, few lingering by the way, and immediately reported to General Johnston, who expressed his gratification that my command had safely arrived. Of Generals Featherston and Buford and Col. A. E. Reynolds, commanding brigades, whose reports are herewith annexed, too much cannot be said in commendation. The rapidity and skill with which they executed their orders, and the boldness with which their gallant commands met and successfully repulsed the powerful attacks of the enemy, delaying the Yankee army and securing a safe retreat to that of ours across the ford, entitles them to the highest praise; and, finally, in lending themselves a sacrifice, enveloped as they were upon three sides (front, right flank, and rear), undismayed, with a proud consciousness of having done their whole duty, they withdrew in good order from under fire in face of the enemy, and thus we were enabled to make the dangerous but successful movement to the left.

 

"An army in motion is a grand sight, with its long lines of bayonets glistening and flashing in the sun --- the rumbling of the artillery and the noise of the trains --- all conspire to throw over one a feeling of the greatness and magnificence of war."—W. A. Drennan, Adjt. Gen. of Featherston's Brigade

 

HEADQUARTERS,
Camp Forrest, Miss., August 28, 1863.

To Col. B. S. EWELL,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

 

1876-1878

Mississippi Legislature Member

He was a member of the Mississippi legislature from 1876 to 1878, and again from 1880 to 1882.

Clement A. Evans, Confederate Military History, Vol. 7B (N.p.:  Confederate Publishing Company, N.d.), pp. 251-252

1880-1882

Mississippi Legislature Member

He was a member of the Mississippi legislature from 1876 to 1878, and again from 1880 to 1882.

Clement A. Evans, Confederate Military History, Vol. 7B (N.p.:  Confederate Publishing Company, N.d.), pp. 251-252

1887

Appointed Judge of 2nd Judicial Circuit

In 1887 he was made judge of the Second judicial circuit of the State.

Clement A. Evans, Confederate Military History, Vol. 7B (N.p.:  Confederate Publishing Company, N.d.), pp. 251-252

11/1/1890

Signed Mississippi State Constitution

CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

ADOPTED NOVEMBER 1, A.D., 1890, reflects W. S. FEATHERSTON, Delegate from Marshall county

CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

5/28/1891

Death

This distinguished citizen of Mississippi, so honored both in war and peace, died at Holly Springs, May 28, 1891.

Clement A. Evans, Confederate Military History, Vol. 7B (N.p.:  Confederate Publishing Company, N.d.), pp. 251-252

April 1915

Federal Government Commissions and Erects Memorial

$650.00 Bronze Memorial (Sculpted by Edmund T. Quinn) in honor of Brig. Gen. W.S. Featherston is erected in the Vicksburg National Military Park, South Confederate Avenue, 75 yards south of All Saints School

Vicksburg National Military Park
3201 Clay Street
Vicksburg, MS 39183
(601) 636-0583
Vick_Interpretation@nps.gov