The Palmetto Sharpshooters
The troops lived
in shelter halves or shanties during the winter, and had inadequate clothing,
this during the worst weather for a decade. This was helped with a
shipment of 14,000 uniforms from North Carolina on 1st February and then 1,500
pairs of civilian shoes from South Carolina, other troops had to do with 'moccasins'
that were produced, roughly 100 per day. Some of the troops obtained fresh
hides and cut a piece for each foot 'they were better than nothing for a
time' but the main problem was food with the men 'constantly hungry'
living on bacon and cornbread with vegetables a rarity.
1 January 1864 and the Federal 1st Kentucky Cavalry, camped near New Market stated that '...the temperature fell to 29 degrees below zero' and that '...a picket post of six men were all frozen to death...'
On 12 January Longstreet's main body is between Morristown and Russellville but their condition is poor, lacking clothing, especially shoes, rations, and forage. The countryside for nearly 20 miles is nearly exhausted and they now cross to the south side of the French Broad River for forage.
By the 13th January Jenkins' Brigade had sustained 136 casualties.
15th Jan The Division was ordered from Morristown to Dandridge and by mid afternoon they were on their way even though sharp jagged ice lined the roads, and those without shoes left bloody footprints on the road, although they had been told that they could stay behind.
By nightfall the Division had covered about a third of the distance from Morristown to Dandridge and camped in the woods near Kimbrough's Cross Roads.
Dandridge 16-17 January 1864. On the 16th hearing gunfire the Division was deployed on both sides of the cross roads awaiting orders. The Federal cavalry Brigades of Israel Garrard and Edward M McCook, under Alaxander P. Cambell, came down the Morristown Road from Dandridge. They were hit by a heavy fire when they came within range.
They now withdrew, Gerrard dismounted his Brigade, and attached the hill to the right of the road with their Spencer carbines driving back those deployed there. These were reinforced and they attacked retaking the hill braking the cavalry who retired from the field. (Its not know if the Regiment were part of the defenders or the reinforcements.)
The Division now continued down the Morristown Road, heading for Dandridge, and on arrival deployed out of sight but facing the Federal left wing.
The 17th saw the Regiment formed up with orders to continue onwards but to keep out of sight. This they did marching slowly and quietly down the road. On reaching a a small byroad, before they reached Dandridge, on their left they proceeded down it. About noon they reached a position close to Federal troops when they halted.
In early afternoon as firing started up they set off again down the road. They reached a position where they came under fire from their right. They deployed into battle line and charged. This was done so quickly that they overran the few defenders capturing some of them before they could escape.
Returning to the road they again proceeded down it and when they were marching along a ridge past a rail fence that ran parallel with the road they were attacked, on their right flank, by dismounted troops of the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry. Taking position behind the rail fence they opened fire and repulsed the attack, although while doing this some of the prisoners escaped.
Gerrards Cavalry Brigade now arrived on the scene and now attacked the Regiment. They stayed behind the rail fence and used the many rock formations in the area. As this attack started the remainder of the Division arrived, deployed and attacked. With this the cavalry retired.
The Regiment again continued advancing down the byroad until they arrived at a spot overlooking the Chucky Bend Road and found themselves on the flank of the 125th Ohio, who were strongly positioned in a depression. They opened fire on them causing them to retire after a time.
The Regiment stayed in this position, not advancing, until darkness fell. The Division received order to move forwards a little, this they did, before sending out pickets and bedding down for the night.
As the Federal forced had withdrawn over night the 18th saw the Division start back towards their camps lying between Russellville and Morristown. Casualties for both Armies over the two days were surprisingly light 150 Confederate and the Federal loses about the same.
Strawberry Plains, 21 January. Some firing was heard some 13 miles away at Strawberry Plains. The Division were soon formed up and force marching to the area. On arrival they 'went into the open fields in a double quick line of battle'. The fight was soon over and no casualties are received within the Brigade, as they had advanced Cox's Division of XXII Corps retired,
Longstreet pushed hard on the 22nd towards Bull's Gap, and stops just six/seven miles from Knoxville not pursuiting further “For want of shoes and clothing our infantry cannot go on….The enemy has escaped to his fortifications in Knoxville. We only got 31 of his wagons and three caissons.” Here they halted and dug in.
On the 24th and Longstreet keeps up the pressure by attacking Tazewell (with whom?) Federal troops abandoned it on the 26th when Longtreet's men walk in.
On the 28th, at Fain's Island Ford , below Dandridge, the Federal forces are forced back and the Confederate troops continue on and occupy Sevierville.
The 30th saw the Division at Strawberry Plains, with pickets several miles beyond. Here they remain at least to the 14 February. They have orders to build a pontoon bridge or make other arrangements to cross the river.
The 17th saw them cross the river by pontoon bridge march to Flat Creek and camp.
They were ordered to withdraw from here on the 23rd burning the ferry boat and destroying the railroad bridge, which had just been repaired, behind them.
They by 25/26th information is received that they have retired 'as far back as Morristown and Greeneville' with the rest of the Corps. Here a defensive line is established, based on Bull's Gay, which stretched from the Holston River to the Nolichucky River.
On the 28 March Longstreet's Corps starts to withdraw towards Bristol but on the 7 April they are on their way back to rejoin the Army of Northern Virginia. They stop a couple of days at Bristol reaching Charlottesville on the 20th where they march along the trackside to Cobham's Depot. They now encamp nearby at Mechanicsville on the 22nd.
On the 29 April Lee journeys to Gordonsville to review the Corps. For two hours they paraded for him before forming in two lines for inspection. It was said that 'no one who was present could ever forget the occasion.'
After this, with Charles W. Field now commanding the Division, they marched a few miles above Gordonsville, on the road towards Liberty Mills, and here they camped from 1st until 4 May when they left about 1600, marching via Lawyer's Road, some 16 miles to Brock's Bridge, on the North Anna, here they rested starting again early in the morning of the 5th they cover another 16 miles on the Orange Plank and Catharpin Roads stopping at 1700 at Richard's Shop.
The Wilderness, 5-6 May. At 0100 on the 6th started for Parker's Store, 'on the plank road' arriving their about dawn. Now march three miles down the road and go into line with Kershaw's Division leading. Kershaw formed his line on the right and Field on the left of the road. The Corps go into action against Hancock's II Corps, on the Orange Plank Road. Here they stop his advance, with Jenkins Brigade seeing no action as they are in reserve at the time. Longstreet's successful flank attack is launched about midday, with this going in Longstreet with the remainder of the Corps successfully attack frontally, but the Brigade are still in reserve.
The Brigade are now are now assigned the task of leading the attack on the positions that Hancock's troops had retired to, the Brock Road entrenchments. So at about 1300 they were hurrying along the Orange Plank Road to press the advantage already gained when they came under friendly fire, by W. Mahone's Virginians. Wounded were Longstreet, struck in the throat and left shoulder, and Jenkin's hit in the temple, and mortally wounded. The attack is now stalled.
With the change in command of the Corps and the jumbled ranks of the units its 1615 before they are reorganized and the attack goes in. 'In front was Jenkin's Brigade, spearheading the assault, anxious to avenge its leaders death.' At the Brock Road they faced a log and ditch reaching chest height, with the ground before it cleared to give an unobstructed field of fire. Branches shaped to points and inserted into the breastworks faced any attacker.
Jenkin's Brigade, located north of the Orange Plank Road, attacked with T. Anderson's Brigade on their left. During the attack the Brigades got entangled, but with Jenkin's Brigade receiving the brunt of the Federal fire from G. Mott's Division. The attacked stalled before the breastworks for 30 minutes when the brush caught fire and spread though the dry undergrowth and reached Federal lines. Here the logs in the breastworks caught fire forcing the troops there to retire.
The Brigade seized its opportunity and charged. To the retiring Federals they looked like 'So many devils through the flames, charging over the burning works upon our retreating lines.' Then Confederate flags appeared all along the parapet. But to the rear of the breached lines was massed Federal artillery who now opened fire with shell and cased shot.
The breach was attacked from the south by J. R. Brook's Brigade, Barlow's Division, and from the north by R. Stone's Pennsylvania Brigade. The South Carolina troops with 'men and ammunition almost exhausted....I abandoned this position when the troops on my left gave way (there were none on my right during any part of the advance) and the enemy threatened to cut me off.' And so they retreated to their own lines.
With Richard H. Anderson now commanding the Corps on the 7th the Corps marched from their positions in The Wilderness. At 2300 Kershaw's Division, followed by Field's, headed for Corbin's Bridge, reached at 0100. Then onto Shady Grove Church from then on east halting just short of Block Bridge House near dawn.
Laurel Hill, 8 May. Field's Division arrived about 0830 and formed on the left of Kershaw's, the other Division of Anderson's Corps, having marched from Block Bridge House and formed on the hill. John Bratton now commands the Brigade which formed on the right of the Corps, with it's left on Old Court Road. They were to be assaulted Griffin's Division, G.K. Warren's V Corps, who were greeted with a 'murderous' musketry. The Federals got close to the works before being repulsed.
With the arrival of Sedgwick's XXX Corps a combined attack by both Corps was launched about 1800. This was uncoordinated, and half-hearted, and so was easily repulsed, with the main attacks falling on Ewell's Corps which had formed on the left of Kershaw. Evening being the end of fighting.
The remainder of the army formed on the right of Andersons Corps. Spotsylvania Court House, (Po River, Bloody Angle), 10-12 May. After heavy skirmishing all day on the 10th at about 1545 Warren's V and Hancock's II Corps launch a fierce attack against the well entrenched lines. Bratton's Brigade was on the right of the attack and were assaulted by Griffin's Division, V Corps. The attackers are stopped before reaching Bratton's works. Again at dusk, about 1900, they launch another unsuccessful attack.
At 0815, on 12th, V Corps again launch an attack against Bratton's Brigade this got to within 50 yards of the entrenchment before collapsing from the heavy fire. At 0940 the brigades of J. Swietzer and R. Ayres, Griffin's Division, launched an attack on Bratton. This fell apart as 'we held our fire to within 50 yards....(after a) volley a line of dead was laid across the entire front of my Brigade.' In the afternoon Bratton's Brigade were withdrawn from it's position and sent to the new lines being constructed to the rear of the 'Mule Shoe'.
At about 1530, on the 14th, Field's Division march off down the Brock Road to the armies right flank, past Ewell's Corps. By nightfall Bratton's Brigade were constructing entrenchments at Zion Church opposite Massaponax Church Road, just to the right of D.M. DuBose's Georgians, with the Division continuing the lines south. Here they would face H.G. Wright's VI Corps.
It was not until the 17th that found the 10th Massachusetts and the 3rd Vermont reconnoitering down Massaponax Church Road towards the Brigade. They drive them off with heavy fire.
At 2000, on the 21st, Bratton's Brigade fell in at the rear of the Corps and started a 'severe and weary' march down the road over Snell's Bridge, and through Southworth. Here they took the road to Mud Tavern. They now turned south down Telegraph Road and on through Harris' Store. Sometime that night they reached Golansville.
Starting midmorning on the 22nd they continue down the road past Mount Carmel Church and cross the North Anna River at Chesterfield Bridge. Here they camp west of Hanover Junction on the Virginia Central Railroad.
The attack by Hancock's II Corps on Henagan's Bridge starts the North Anna River (Telegraph Road Bridge, Jericho Mill, Ox Ford, Quarles Mill, Hanover Junction), 23-26 May. At approximatley1730, 23 May, Field's Division is dispatched to the railroad bridge. Here they dig in. Near dark Gibbon's Division, Hancock's II Corps, attempt to seize the bridge but the Palmetto's anticipating this had fired the bridge and successfully held the far bank.
Sometime about 2000 the Corps pulled back from the bank and dug entrenchments with Kershaw on the left of Field, who was supported by Rode's Division, Ewell's 2 Corps, on their right.
On the 24th about 0930 Nelson Miles Brigade, Barlow's Division, Hancock's Corps, marched across Anderson's Corps front and were stopped after going a short distance due to the heavy fire. At about 1730 heavy fighting broke out on the right of Bratton's Brigade but other than minor firing they were not draw into it. The remainder of the battle was taken up with skirmishing.
On the 27th with the Federal forces disappearing from their from the Field's Division, along with the Corps, head south along the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad line. Crossing Little River and the South Anna Rivers by the railroad bridges. They now passed through Ashland before turning east towards Hugh's Crossroads. They camp that night near Half Sink.
By 0330 28 May the army was up and moving towards Atlee's Station here they cross the tracks of the Virginia Central Railroad. At some time about 1030 Anderson's Corps was resting on Shady Grove Road, south of Totopotomy Creek.
With the build up of enemy forces north of Totopotomy Creep The army dig in with the Corps in reserve all through the 29th. The area that the Division was in covered the swampy marshland between John C Breckinridge's and Ewell's (under Early) Corps.
On the 30th the Division was advanced to around the area of Pole Green Church facing the join of John Gibbon's Division, Hancock's Corps, and Robert B Potter's Division, Burnsides 9th Corps. They had Pickett's Division on their right flank and Kershaw's Division while arriving there near dark. It's possible that they participated in Anderson's half hearted attack in support of Ewell's Corps at the Bethesda Church, (Totopotomoy Creek, Crumps Creek, Matadequin Creek, Shady Grove Road, Hanovertown), 28-30 May.
At some time just before 1000, 31 May, Joshua T Owen's Brigade, also supported by Thomas J Smyth's Brigade, Gibbon's Division, advanced driving out sharpshooters (Palmetto's?) from buildings of the Pole Green Church, their advance was stopped by artillery. By mid afternoon Simon G Griffin's and John I Curtin's Brigades, Potter's Division, managed to link up with Owen's left wing. This now allowed the opening of fire on the Division.
Cold Harbor, 1-3 June. It was shortly after1600, on the 31st, that the Corps was pulled out of the line with Field's leaving last and it was at 1130 on 1 June before Field's Division itself was passed along the back of Early's lines.
By 1700 the Division was arriving on the right of Pickett's and began to throw up entrenchments across the Walnut Grove Church Road, on their left was Stephen D Ramseur's Division, Early's Corps
On 1 June Henry H Lockwood's Division, Warren's Corps, who are across the line from Field's march of to join an attack on the Divisions right about 1800. Later much of the Division is sent to assist Kershaw's in sealing a break in his lines but Bratton's Brigade stays where it is.
On the 2nd nothing much happens. Even on the3rd during the grand assault at about 0430, on their right, and again in the assaults launched on their left starting at 0700 Samuel W Crawford's Division who face them join in neither attack. The Army now remain in position a further 9 days.
At 0800 on the 13th June the Brigade cross the Chickahominy River on the McClellan cavalry bridge, marching through the Seven Pines battle-field. They cross White Oak Swamp and set off down Charles City Road. They turn off this road at Williams House bivouacking for two days between Ridell's Shop and Malvern Hill.
On the evening of the 15th they march up the Kingsland Road to the Varina Road and picketed toward the river from Deep Bottom up, having arrived there about 2000.
About midday on the next day they move across the river at Drewry's Bluff to rejoin the division, which was moving down the Telegraph road toward Petersburg. On rejoining the Division they find them preparing to drive the enemy out of works, which had been abandoned by Beauregard to re-enforce Petersburg. The Brigade is immediately positioned on the right of the Division, near Kingsland Creek. With night coming on the skirmishes manage to occupy part of the works.
About the 1200 on the 17th the Division came under fire from the Clay's Farm area and despite orders not to attack 'made a sort of spontaneous charge' and drove the Federal troops from the works. At 0300, on the 18th, Lee convinced the that the Federal Army was entirely south of the James River sent Anderson's Corps on the way to Petersburg's defense.
The 2nd Petersburg, 15-18 June. At 0730, or so, J. B. Kershaw's troops arrived, followed two hours later by Field's Division. The Brigade 'were put in position on the line about Battery Numbers 34.' This area of the line was at the time undefended and thought to be the weakest point. Warren's V Corps attacked the Corps lines at 1500 but was repulsed with heavy losses, although some of the Federal troops managed to get within 20 feet. (And the near-fatal wounding of Joshua L. Chamberlain, shot through both hips while leading his brigade.) When dark the Brigade moved to the left and relieved troops on the new line covering the Baxter Road, 'with the left resting on the battery under which the enemy afterward sprung a mine.' Here the works here had been quickly dug and 'were very imperfect' and over the next two days the Brigade suffered heavy casualties from sharpshooters before the lines were secure. Federal loses for the battle were 11,386, Confederate estimated at 4,700.
Relieved about daybreak on the morning of the 24th the Brigade was moved down to the iron bridge on City Point Road. On the far left of the Confederate line, between the Appomattox River and City Point Road, 24 June an attack was launched using the Divisions of Field and R. F. Hoke. After a 30 minute bombardment at 0745 Johnson Habgood's Brigade launched the attack . Field's Division moved up to what was thought to be the empty lines of Hoke's. Due to the mix up of the two Divisions at this position it was an hour before Field had two Brigades reorganized to support Hoke. The renewal of the attack was called off. Habgood was repulsed due to this bad organization. (In this only the Palmetto's out of the whole Brigade were involved.) The Brigade remain in a ravine in the area for four days when they moved back to the old position on the Baxter road on the 28th. They stayed there to the 28 July. When in the Petersburg trenches the Brigade had 125 casualties due to sharpshooters, most were fatal.
On the morning of the 29th the Division board train on the Petersburg and Richmond Railroad for Rice's Station. From here they marched across James River at Drewry's Bluff to the vicinity of Fussell's Mill. The Brigade was moved up during the 30th and enter the line of works on New Market Heights with the right resting on Four Mile Creek.
Here they stay until 2nd Deep Bottom Run (Fussell's Mill, New Market Road, Bailey’s Creek, Charles City Road, White’s Tavern, Strawberry Plains), 13-20 August. On the 14th D.B. Birney's X Corps pushed up as far as the base of New Marker Heights here they assaulted the Palmetto's lines three times. On the third they succeeded in breaking in but were evicted with the Palmetto's holding their position, although losing some men as prisoners. It was then they 'opened a furious cannonade upon our main line', including the Palmetto's. With skirmishers threatening the enemies left, near the Yarborough House they withdrew. The whole Division then moved left and at nightfall the Brigades right stopped at the Drill House, extending along New Market Heights, with the left extending beyond the Libby House.
On the morning of the 15th the 2nd SC Rifles and the 5th SC were withdrawn, to drive back a break in further along the line. The Brigades weaken line was assaulted near the Libby house, but 'were easily repulsed by the picket-line', aided by artillery on the heights.
An effort to eliminate the Federal presence in front of Richmond was made on the 18th but the attack was late and made without much spirit and was easily repulsed. On the 20th Hancock was withdrawn to the Petersburg lines. Federal loses were 2901 with an estimated 1,000+ Confederate casualties.
Skirmished there on the 21 August.
On the 24 August an ad hoc division of eight brigades, which included Bratton's Brigade, was organized under A.P. Hill. By 1600 they were ready in the southwest corner of Petersburg. Here they passed through the lines went along Squirrel Level Road crossing onto Vaughn Road, near Globe Tavern, then across Hatcher's Run and finally camping the night near Holly Point Church.
Halifax Road (2nd Reams Station), 25 August. A little after 0700 the ad hoc Division was on the march they crossed the Rowanty River at Monk's Neck Bridge. Turning now onto Stage Road they slowly advanced stopping at noon and deploying. The earthworks they now assaulted were held by Hancock's II Corps. At about 1400 the first attack was launched and another at 1500 both were beaten back. The Brigade was in supported of the main attack. The final attack was launched about 1715, supported on the flanks by the Brigade, this time the earthworks were finally broken into and the Federals driven from the field. The Federals lost 2602 and the Confederates 814 but they also captured 12 enemy colours, nine cannon, 10 caissons and 3,100 small arms. The main Confederate casualties were in Heth's three Brigades.
The Brigade set out for Reams Station on the 4th September, but the next day came back to Cox's Cross Roads and proceeded to erect 'a line of works near the Squirrel Level Road'. Occupy these works until 25th.
2nd Fort Harrison (3rd New Market Heights, Chaffins'/Chapin's/Chopin's Farm/Bluff, Forts Harrison, Johnson, and Gilmer, Laurel Hill) Sept 28-30. At 0630, on the 29th, Lee orders Field's division to march at once for the north side of the James. They had arrived to late to save both Fort Harrison, and the lines in the area had fallen. On the 30th a major effort to dislodge the Federals from Fort Harrison was made by Hoke's and Field's Divisions, against elements of E.O.C. Ord's XVII and D. B. Birney's X Corps. G.T. Anderson's Georgia Brigade was to moved forward to occupy a depression close to the Federal lines but instead of waiting for the rest of the assault force they attacked and were repulsed with heavy loses. Although thrown into disorder by the retreat of the Georgians are Bratton's South Carolinians advance alone and are repulsed. Not until Field was falling back did Hoke begin his attack at 1400 and this again was repulsed easily. Casualties were estimated at Federal 3,327, Confederate 1,200-1,700.
On October 1, due to a movement of the Federals in the Darbytown/Williamsburg Roads area, Field's Division is hurried off to support the Reserves that have been sent to the area. And from the 1st until the 5th they are 'engaged in Constructing works near Fort Gilmer'. Here they stay until the 6th when at night they are taken out of the trenches and sent to the vicinity of Curry's house, on the Darbytown Road.
Darbytown/New Market Roads (Johnson's Farm, Fourmile Creek), 7 October . Due to the increasing Federal threat against Richmond, Lee directed an offensive against the Federal far right (northern) flank. The Division move off down the Darbytown Road here they launch an attack by Anderson's on the right of the road and Bratton's on the left, this is supported by, two of Hoke's brigades, supported by Perry's Florida Brigade, and M. W. Gary's cavalry. The Brigade face Samuel M. Spear's Cavalry Brigade, A Kautz's Division. After driving off Spear the Brigade wheel left and take that of Robert M. West's, who were facing Anderson, in the flank. Thus routing them. Not having just routed Kautz's 1700 men they also captured nine pieces of artillery, 10 caissons and some prisoners.
Field's division is then thrown to the left on the outside of the exterior line and Hoke on the inside of it. They now take hours to advance through the underbrush of an almost impenetrable swamp, across Four Mile Creek, and after crossing a thick abatis the Federal infantry are found in their main position near the New Market road.
The lines are held by Joseph R Hawley and Harris M Plaister's Brigades, Alfred H Terry's Division, X Corps, they are also supported by other troops with Spencer repeating rifles and several batteries of artillery.
Hokes Division is held by the artillery and Field's Division attacks alone. This attack is disjointed, with the Brigade taking heavy casualties from the repeaters, they are repulsed. Estimated casualties 700 to 1,350 men, including Bratton wounded.
The 8 and 9 October are quiet and on the 10th both Field's and Hoke's Divisions move down in front of Cornelius Creek and a line of rifle-pits formed. Gary puts two regiments on the left of Field. With all being quite on the 11 and 12 the troops occupied occupied their time in strengthening their defenses.
2nd Darbytown Road (Alms House), October 13. Alfred.H. Terry's X Corps attack the Divisions left and endeavors to turn it. Troops are moved to the left and Hoke closes up in support. Although Terry spent the day in efforts to break through the lines they fail. Two regiments of Bratton's Brigade are sent to relieve Gary's cavalry on the Charles City Road. When night fell Field had four brigades on the left of Darbytown road, with Bratton on the right of it, and Hoke on Bratton's right. All is quiet on the 14 to 18 and on the 19th are moved to the Charles City Road. During 14-18 October there is no change. Casualties Confederate about 50, Federal 437.
Williamsburg Road (2nd Fair Oaks, 3rd Darbytown Road), 27-8 October . North of the James Butler sent Godfrey Weitzel, XVIII Corps, and Terry on a two pronged attack against the Confederate lines near the Williamsburg Road. Terry advanced up the Darbytown and Charles City Roads and demonstrated against the Rebel works. Weitzel's passed behind Terry all the way north to the Williamsburg Road and advance towards Richmond. He reached the Williamsburg Road about 1300, and encountered the Rebel works an hour later and now diddled about finally, at 1530 Weitzel sent forward his attack. Longstreet, who had resumed command of the Corps, anticipated that Butler was trying to flank the manned lines had sent two veteran infantry brigades, Bratton's and the remnant of the Texas Brigade, to man the works.
The Brigade was positioned with their left flank on the York River Railroad, with Martin W. Gary's cavalry Brigade beyond this, and the Texans on their right. One of the Brigade said that they deployed at 'intervals of three to six feet, and no reserves'. For some reason Weitzel attacked with only than two of his seven brigades. Facing Bratton's was that of Edgar M. Cullen. As they advanced the Brigade 'whipped the Yankees at every point and whipped them badly' said a Palmetto.
With the enemy halted the Brigade launched an attack and 'captured 400 or 500 of them' along with seven stand of colours. All told the Federals lost 1064 casualties to the Confederate 64. The Brigade lost 9 casualties on the 27th.
They stay in the area until at least the 31st. During the months of November and until 10 December engaged in building breastworks and picket duty between Charles City and Williamsburg Roads.
At the New Market Heights, 10 December, Longstreet, is ordered by Lee, to sent Field's and Hoke's Divisions, some 11,000! men, to test the heights defenses. ('A deserter has come in.... who says that the enemy.... had three divisions and were 15,000 strong. This....must be an overestimate.') About 1000 they advanced skirmishing with the enemy, men from the Army of the James, steadily pushing them back into their works. On arrival at this position they only held their ground and did not attack the works 'suffering much from the cold' before withdrawing near nightfall.
On the 22 December the Brigade march to the Central railroad depot, in Richmond, where they boarded train and leave about midnight for Gordonsville. It's then possible that over the next day or two they were sent to Liberty Mills in co-operation with General Hunton's Brigade, Picket's Division, against a Federal Cavalry raid then in progress.
25 December they enter winter quarters between Charles City and Williamsburg Railroads.
During the period 1 August until 31 December the Brigade suffered 159 casualties.