The Palmetto Sharpshooters
1863

        19-27 February.  The Palmetto's are camped at Chester Station, on Richmond and Petersburg railroad.  Now sent to Petersburg with the rest of the Division. On their way through Richmond crowds lined the streets to greet them.
        About 1 March.  Camped three miles from Petersburg, on City Point Railroad.  Stay eight days and then the Brigade were 'carried down the Blackwater River.'
        11-13 March.  The Palmetto's arrives to camp at  Franklin Station, Virginia.
        Here the Brigade are widely scattered with the Regiments camping some four miles from each other.  While the Palmetto's entrenched about 200 hundred yards from the Blackwater River at 0900, 17 March, they were attacked by 11th Pennsylvania Cavalry, and four pieces of artillery, about one mile from Franklin.  The cavalry charged twice and were repulsed both times.  They were then shelled by artillery.  Light wounds were received and some lost as prisoners.
           Picket's Division march down South Quay Road at 1600, on the 11th, and arrive at the Federal picket line so starting the Siege of Suffolk, 11 April- 4 May.  Pickett's Division hold the right of the line.  The Palmetto's were also engaged in the collection of supplies in Southeastern Virginia and Northern North Carolina for the Army of Northern Virginia.
        Fort Dix, 24 April.  Michael Corcoran's Federal Division mounted an attack, from Fort Dix, on George E. Pickett’s extreme right flank. The Federals approached cautiously and were easily repulsed.  (Whether the Palmetto's were involved is as yet unknown.)  About 152 Federal casualties.
        At some time in the Brigades stay at Suffolk volunteers are requested to 'go down and charge the gun boats.'  'Volunteers were procured...when we got in good range they opened on us with shells about the size of flour barrel heads.  We did not make much out of charging gun boats.'  
        During the night of the 3-4 May the Palmetto's, with the Brigade, march from its bivouac at Suffolk and are based at Franklin on the Blackwater River.
        On the morning of the 15th they marched some 16 miles from Franklin and at 1500 'formed line of battle' about 1/4 mile from Carsville. Here they engage in 'heavy skirmishing' with Federals.  A minimum of five casualties were received.
   
     The Palmetto's now send companies, along with companies from others in the Brigade, marching along the line of the river: 21-3 May to the Blackwater Bridge, 4 June to Joiners Church, and on 14-9 June by train to Garysburg, as well as to Weldon returning on the 18th.  The remainder evacuate  Franklin on the 15th under heavy shelling, but drive off the enemy.
        16 June. Skirmish with Federal troops from 0700 till 1430.  Taking casualties.  On the 17th four companies on the Blackwater, with friendly forces, all being protected by rifle pits, prevent a Federal force of about 5,000 from crossing the river.
        About the 21 June the Brigade are detached from Pickett's Division, who march off on the Gettysburg campaign.  The Brigade now went to Petersburg 22/3rd until the 27/9 June.  Here they camped outside but were they engaged in 'police duty in the town.'   They are issued 'new uniforms while here and fixed up in pretty good shape.' 
  Then went to Richmond, at Fort Powhaton, on the James River. And on the 29th skirmish in the area.
        1/2 July.  Marched down to Bottom's Bridge, on the Chickanominy.  on the 4th were shelled and skirmished with Federal troops at Bottom's Bridge, but no casualties received.  From there they returned and stayed in Richmond area till 28 July
        28 July-11/14 September. Near Petersburg.
        11/14 September. Longstreet's Corps are ordered to join the Army of the Tennessee, under Braxton Bragg so they are now loaded onto 'freight boxes, inside and outside, the top being as much crowded as the inside.'   As far as can be found out they went via Bamberg, Denmark, Graham's Turn Out, Lees, Blackville, Elko, Williston and White Pond.  Then onto Augusta where they changed trains where they went via Atlanta to arrive on the 20th at Catoosa.
        Chickamauga, 19-20 September.  After disembarking they march to Chichamauga arriving on the battles second day and 'the battle is  (already) won when our Brigade got in at a double quick.'   Moving to take position on the left of army on 23rd.  Supplies are so scarce while here that some of men the 5th SC 'tore down barns catching rats, which they would boil and put in 'drop dumplings' and did have good stews.'.
        Wauhatchie (Lookout Valley, Brown's Ferry), 28-9 October.  The Brigade, now part of J. B. Hood's Division, temporarily commanded by Jenkins, is ordered to attack the enemy camped about three miles from Brown's Ferry in the Lookout Valley.  Just after nightfall on the 28 October three Brigades of  the Division, including Jenkins, under John C. Bratton, moved from there positions across Lookout Mountain down a narrow path to Lookout Valley.
        A blocking force is put in place further up the valley.  At around 2240 a patrol from the 141st New York run into a skirmish line of the 48th Alabama, part of the blocking force.  This alerts John White Geary, commander of 2nd Division, XII Corps, the target, who guards the intersection of the Brown's Ferry and Kelley's Ferry roads, and a wagon park, with approximately 1,500 troops.
        Bratton's Brigade, the attack force, marched down the valley crossing Lookout Creek about midnight and moved down the Wauhatchie/Brown's Ferry Road.  The skirmish line is close to the main battle line as they advance towards Wauhatchie Station with the Palmetto's on the extreme left of the battle line and to the left of the road.

        With his skirmishers driven in the main battle lines were in contact about 0040, with the Palmetto's engaging the 149th New York.  The Palmetto's fiercely attack and 'forcing us back to a point that we were assailed on three sides.'
   
     The camp, wagon park and the mules were captured. At about 0200 the Brigade thought they had Geary's troops close to breaking point and were about to launch what they believed would be the final assault when they were informed that Joseph Hooker leading a relieving force of  XI Corps troops, estimated at 13,000, were advancing to threaten their rear, due to the supporting blocking force having failed to stop them. 
        
At Brown's Ferry Joseph Hooker, commander of the XI and XII Corps, heard the sounds of battle had dispatched two divisions.  As the Federal reinforcements began arriving at Wauhatchie, Jenkins realized that the attempt to capture Wauhatchie was failing and Jenkin's reluctantly called of the attack, destroyed as many wagons as possible, drove off the mules, and was forced to make a fighting withdrawal back to their own lines.  They crossed the bridge over Lookout Creek and here formed line of battle to cover the retreat and passage of Benning's Brigade (part of the blocking force), and were the last to recross the creek.  Then retired back to camp which was reached a little after sunrise.  Jenkins claimed that but 'for a few (more) minutes (we) would have had the whole Yankee force and their guns captured.'
        Bratton claimed the Brigade suffered 356 casualties, with 51 of these killed, of the 1,800 engaged.  (These figures are disputed as Geary was to claim that they found 153 killed.  Another source from within the 5th SC claims only about 1,000 in the attack and casualties of about  half. that number.)  The Palmetto's receive 44.
        Longstreet's Corps leave Lookout Mountain on the night of 5 November, with orders to go to Knoxville and 'to drive Burnside out, or better, capture and destroy him', they march 8 miles to arrive at the Tyner's Station the next morning.  On the 7th they are loaded into a train and head to Sweetwater Station, on the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad.  The troops huddled together on open flat cars against the cold wind and were 'nearly starved.'
   
     While in the Sweetwater Valley area for for the next seven days the troops
confiscated wheat, to mill into flour, and gathered in livestock as Bragg had failed to send the promised supplies, when they did arrive there were only 35 cars instead of the 70 promised.
        The march was resumed early on the 13th with Jenkins Division at the head.  By afternoon the troops were swinging below Loudon.  After nightfall
Captain Foster, of the Palmetto's, was sent across the Tennessee River, some six miles below Loudon, to seize the enemy's picket.
   
     The rest of that regiment was afterward crossed to cover the laying of the pontoon bridge at Huff's Ferry on the 14th.  At dusk that evening the Palmetto's had a sharp skirmish with Marshal W. Chapin's Brigade, Julius White's XXIII Corps, some three miles from the ferry.  They drive them back some two miles and finally capturing a 'stony hill' then defended by the 107th Illinois and 13th Kentucky, 'capturing a caisson and a quantity of baggage and inflicting upon them severe loss.' 
        Jenkins Division march along the Hotchkiss Valley Road  and in the late afternoon of the 15 November the Palmetto's, and the 5th SC, in advance seized a commanding hill and await the arrival of the Brigades, who came up late in the day.  The brigades of G.T. Anderson and Bratton attacked and captured some hills to the northwest of Lenoir Station "
and about midnight General Jenkins advanced his brigade and got possession of the only ground that the enemy could expect to occupy to give battle."  Throughout that night due to firing on the skirmish line they 'would kick out the fires and form.'  During this 8 to 10 of the Brigade killed and wounded.
        Starting at 0700 Jenkins Division
struggle over muddy roads in a driving rainstorm along Concord Road but pressed forward vigorously engage the enemy's rear with skirmishers, 5th SC supported by the rest of Bratton's Brigade.  Finally they captured a train of 80 wagons loaded with supplies 'but there was not any clothing or shoes, the things we most needed just then, for we were both naked and barefooted.'   Bratton's reinforced skirmish line continue to pursue the Federal troops so closely that about 0930 after crossing Turkey Creek the 2nd, 17th and 20th Michigan, 2nd Brigade, Ferrero's Division, form ' line of battle' before slowly withdrawing.
        Closely following the Federal rearguard about 1100 Jenkins troops marched up Concord Road and turned right onto Kingston Road here they come across Federal troops, who had arrived just 15 minutes earlier, at Campbell (now Farragut) Station, 16 November.  With Bratton's Brigade on the field Anderson's are deployed on their right, with Law on his left.  When Lafayette McLaw's Division arrive they form on Jenkins left.  The Brigade face troops from Robert Potter's IX Corps and from XXIII Corps.  Bratton's actually face the brigades of Joshua K. Sigfried and Marshal W. Chapin. 
        The Division, minus the Brigade and Benning's Brigade, were
ordered to attack the Federals flank some time was spent reorganising the Division and about 1200 the battle commenced.  In the following engagement the Brigade are forced to undergo heavy shelling "with considerable loss in Jenkins' (Bratton's) Brigade."  At 1400 the Federals under Ambrose E. Burnside's were forced  to withdraw three-quarters of a mile to a ridge in their rear which was assaulted about 1600.  While engaged with the Federals facing them the Palmetto's have 'several sharp encounters'.  During this time the Brigade sustained 124 casualties.
        Siege of Knoxville, 17 November-4 December.  Arrive at Knoxville 17 November during "
heavy fighting (that) has been going on all day", with the fighting stopping when night fell.  On the 18th Jenkins Division filed into position facing Knoxville extending the line eastwards of the Kingston-Knoxville Road, to cover the road to Clinton, and participated in the "heavy skirmishing...(that) continued all day."  They now stay in these positions.
        Fort Sanders (Fort Loudon), 29 November.  Following a 20 minute artillery barrage, started at 0630, directed at the fort's interior, three of McLaw's and Jenkin's brigades attacked, 'about sunrise', the fort situated on a 'eminence' northwest of Knoxville.  The attack came up from a valley in columns of regiments, with McLaws troops the main assault force, aimed straight at the northwest angle of the fort.  Three brigades were positioned in echelon on the left of McLaw's who attacked at the same time G.T. Anderson's, followed by Bratton's and Benning's.  With the failure of the assault recall was promptly sent to the other brigades.  Expecting a 'demonstration', on the right following this reverse, the Brigade was sent there to thwart this. Confederate losses 822;  Federal losses 673.  (Although Longstreet's official report that he lost 813 and Burnside reported that he lost 13.)
       
On the night of the 4-5 December the Corps were withdrawn from Knoxville swinging north of the city, with the Division covered the rear guard, they marched all night through the mud.  The Corps now march northeast towards Rogersville, some 50 miles away, reaching Blane's Cross Roads in the afternoon of the 5th.  They then carried on to Rutledge which they reached on the 6th.  Here they rested for two days, although they skirmish with enemy forces on the 7th.  They again skirmished with them at Morristown on the 10th; on the 12th 'Longstreet is moving leisurely up the valley, foraging as he goes'; by the 13th they are at Rogersville.
        On the morning of the 14th December Confederate columns force march in heavy rain to within six miles of Bean's Station, in the Holston River valley, some 11 miles southwest of Rogersville.  Bean's/McBean's Station (Morristown), 14 December, surprising and engaging  James M Shackelford, with about 4,000 cavalry and infantry who had been in search of the Confederates.  The battle started at 1400 and continued throughout the rest of the day through the town with the hotel, supposed to be the finest between New Orleans and Baltimore, serving as a fortress.  Confederate flanking attacks and other assaults occurred at various times and locations, but The Federal forces held until nearly dark  when Southern reinforcements arrived, which included the Palmettos, which tipped the scales. By nightfall, the Federals were retiring from Bean's Station through Bean's Gap.  Confederate casualties 1082, Federal 700.
       
Jenkins Division advanced down the road towards Rutledge on the attack the next morning but as they approached the Federals some three miles away at Blain's Cross Roads they were found to be well entrenched estimated to now be 6,000 strong, with their flanks resting on the neighboring heights.  Throwing the Brigade forwards on the left  in preparation for a flank attack on the Federal right at about 1030-1100 reinforcements were awaited.  With the non arrival of the awaited support, till far to late, the Brigade was withdrawn at nightfall.
   
     The Federal forces withdrew during the night and on the 16th the Division pursued them as far as to Rutledge before retiring.
   
     The Brigade now head for the Rogersville area again this time foraging for the army for about 14 days.  They skirmish with the Federals on the 17th and 18th, at Bean's Station and then Rutledge.  Marching off on the 19th to the Holston River and on the morning of 20th the Division arrived at Long's Ferry.  The transfer across started about 1300 and due to there being only a single ferryboat, which only took about 30 men and one wagon at a time, the crossing was slow, infantry were still crossing on the 22nd.  (With the possibility that the Division crossed on the 23rd taking some 11 1/2 hours to do so.)
        They now continue on
and arrive three days before Christmas with many of them 'poorly clad, scantily fed, and many of them barefoot' to 'make shelters for the winter'  south of the Holston River around Russellville, Morristown, and Rogersville, along the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad tracks.
        They now continue on and arrive three days before Christmas with many of them 'poorly clad, scantily fed, and many of them barefoot' to 'make shelters for the winter'  south of the Holston River around Russellville, Morristown, and Rogersville, along the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad tracks.
        On arrival the troops now set out collecting food supplies from an east Tennessee that  for 'the year 1863 had been a season of unprecedented plentifulness' others set about constructing log huts and a small shoe factory that produced 100 pairs a day.