Lee and Jackson's Bloody Twelfth
The Letters of Irby Goodwin Scott, First Lieutenant, Company G, Putnam Light Infantry, Twelfth Georgia Volunteer Infantry
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: The University of Tennessee Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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The “fog of war” did not disappear with the final shots of battle. Confusion, uncertainty, and fear were the particles of a misty veil that never lifted, entrapping Civil War soldiers even when they returned to camp, where the crossfire of constant rumor and the enforcement of Spartan discipline was an inescapable fact of life. ...
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I became aware of the Irby Goodwin Scott letters while reading Robert G. Tanner’s excellent work, Stonewall in the Valley. During transcription of the letters, I enlisted my wife as the first of many who would help make this project a reality. Mary Anna transcribed letters, newspaper articles, and Compiled Service Records...
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When Georgia seceded from the Union on January 19, 1861, it literally became a state without a nation. Citizens throughout Georgia celebrated secession with picnics, barbeques, and general euphoria. In early February 1861, the Confederate States of America (CSA) became a reality at Montgomery, Alabama. ...
1. Seat of War
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Colonel Zephaniah Turner Conner, an antebellum Georgia militia officer, had the responsibility of moving to Richmond several companies that became the Twelfth Georgia Volunteer Infantry Regiment. The men and officers assumed that Conner would command the regiment. ...
2. Mountains of Northwestern Virginia
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When the Twelfth Georgia arrived at Staunton, Virginia, quartermaster arrangements had not been made for transporting camp equipment or knapsacks. Because there was no place to store excessive baggage, except in open country, each soldier had to decide what to carry or discard. ...
3. Camp on the Greenbrier River
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On a rainy August 13, 1861, to get closer to the enemy fortified on Cheat Summit, the Twelfth Georgia marched down Allegheny Mountain to a new campground at the junction of the Staunton–Parkersburg Turnpike and the East Fork of the Greenbrier River within ten miles of the enemy. ...
4. Cannon Fire on the Greenbrier
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Throughout the South there was bewilderment as to why the victorious army at the Battle of Manassas was not being put to better use. On October 3, 1861, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Generals Joseph E. Johnston, Pierre G. T. Beauregard, and Gustavus W. Smith met at Centerville, Virginia, to discuss strategy. ...
5. Camp Allegheny
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On October 18, 1861, Confederate troops at Camp Bartow and on the top of Allegheny Mountain received orders, to begin constructing huts, storehouses, and a hospital to serve as winter quarters. Captain William H. Tebbs of the Third Arkansas oversaw the construction of sufficient facilities to accommodate two thousand troops. ...
6. 1862 Valley Campaign
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On March 23, 1862, events in the Shenandoah Valley took an unforeseen turn, when a Federal division repulsed the small Army of the Valley, under “Stonewall” Jackson, at the battle of First Kernstown. After several hours of intense fighting, Jackson’s Army of the Valley retreated up the valley. ...
7. Seven Days to Cedar Mountain
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Irby Scott and the men camped from June 12 to 16, 1862, near Port Republic to rest and collect abandoned Federal equipment left on the field. On the evening of June 17 the Valley Army broke camp and began moving toward Waynesboro, Virginia. ...
8. Fredericksburg Front
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No letters survive that Irby Scott wrote home giving details of his wounding on August 27, 1862. The Twelfth Georgia was marching toward Manassas Junction before sunrise on the morning of August 27 to assist two regiments of Confederate General Isaac R. Trimble’s brigade. ...
9. Second Northern Campaign
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Learning on June 2, 1863, that Federal forces stationed on the Peninsula had moved northward, General Robert E. Lee began to move his army from the Fredericksburg front in a westward direction. He did not wish to fight in the ravaged counties of northern Virginia or close to Washington, where the enemy could retreat into the defenses of the city. ...
10. Rapidan Front
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The Battle of Gettysburg had not produced a military victory for the Army of Northern Virginia. Losses to the army in men, equipment, and officers had been appalling. On the plus side of the ledger were the vast stores and herds of horses, mules, cattle, sheep, and hogs taken in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Lee’s army needed time to rest and recuperate. ...
11. Detached Duty
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Confederate policy changes and aggressive action by authorities had brought many men back to the army by August 1863. General Lee knew there were healthy men of conscription age, as well as stragglers, convalescents, and deserters who had fled to the Blue Ridge Mountains to avoid service. ...
12. 1864 Overland Campaign
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Irby Scott and the company had expected to leave Camp Taylor and the valley on April 12, but did not begin the march to the main army until April 14. When Scott arrived in camp near Orange Court House, he and the company found shelter in the vacated cabins of General Johnson’s brigade. ...
13. Final Word Home [Image Plates Included]
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It is a shame no letters survive that Irby Scott may have written home during the 1864 Valley campaign. Once Federal General Philip H. Sheridan began offensive operations in mid-September, there were fewer opportunities to write as the men marched, skirmished, and fought three decisive battles until mid-October. ...
Appendix: Roster of the Company G, Putnam Light Infantry, Twelfth Georgia Infantry Regiment
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Page Count: 296
Illustrations: 22 halftones, 9 maps
Publication Year: 2010
Series Title: Voices of the Civil War
Series Editor Byline: Peter S. Carmichael, Series Editor