Georgia 11th Infantry Regiment



 


HISTORICAL NOTES:

    This regiment was ordered to Virginia soon after organization. Reached 1st battle Manassas just as it was over. Went into winter quarters at Center Hill, Va. Spent most of winter there. There was a great deal of sickness, so Co. H, lost some by death and some by discharge. The company was so depleted that in February 1862 Lt. Henry D. McDaniel was sent back for recruits. These recruits joined the company at Orange Court House, Va. We were ordered on a forced march to Fredericksburg over the old plank road. After a half day's march in a heavy snow, the order was countermanded and we were ordered back to Orange Court House ta the old camp. In a short time we were ordered to Richmond and from thence to Yorktown down on the peninsula. We were transported from Richmond on the James River on sail boats attached to tug boats and landed at King's Landing. We were then put on a forced march to our breastworks at Dams Nos. 1, 2, and 3. At Dam #3 the enemy crossed over and drove a South Carolina brigade out of those works and captured a battery. The commanding officer of this brigade was killed. This demoralized them and was the cause of their giving back. By this time we, Anderson's Brigade ar rived and were ordered to retake our breastworks and battery, which we did and held them. Later the army was ordered ta fall back towards Richmond, where we engaged in all the battles around Richmond. After this campaign the army moved towards Washington, D. C. Our command was in the 2d battle of Manassas, and from there they moved to Winchester. In a short time the enemy came up the valley; we had a fight with them and drove them back across the Potomac River, after which our command was sent down the Strasburg (?) valley, where we remained for some time. Next we were ordered across the Blue Ridge moun tains over to the Shenandoah valley. From there we went to Fredericksburg where we arrived a few days before the first fight. Longstreet's corps occupied the center of the army and we were not in the hardest of the battle. The hardest fighting was on our right and left and it was a hard fought battle. In December 1862 we went into winter quarters and stayed until March when our command, Longstreet's corps, was ordered to Nor folk and Sufiolk, below Petersburg, Va. We did some fighting while there and then we were ordered back to General Lee at Chancellorsville. We came within one day's march of getting there in time for the battle, and it was there we lost one of our best generals, that matchless Stonewall Jackson. General Lee stayed up in the valley and recruited his army for the Pennsyl vania and Maryland campaign. In June we broke camp and started on the march for Gettysburg. Part of the army reached Gettysburg, on the first day of July when the fighting com menced. Longstreet's corps was on a forced march all day and night of July 1, and reached Gettysburg on the morning of July 2d, 1863. As soon as we were placed in position on the extreme right of Lee's line, our brigade was in Hood's Division. We were immediately ordered forward and when we reached the Emmettsburg road we met the enemy. We drove them back to the Devil's Den, and as we were driving them through the Den Captain Nunnally was killed, and others of our company were killed and wounded, but we continued to drive them through the Den to the little round top mountain and over the mountain, where we captured a battery and drove the enemy to the foot of the big mountain. Night approached so we fell back a short distance and straightened out our line and stayed there until next morning when we buried our dead and looked after our wounded. On July 3,1863, the third day of the fight, we occupied our line all the morning with some picket fighting and cannonad ing. In the afternoon, just before General Pickett made his famous charge on the enemy's line, the artillery on both sides opened up and it seemed as every piece of artillery on both sides was engaged. During this time the Federal cavalry on our extreme right was driving our cavalry back and as our Division (Hood's), occupied our extreme right, so our regiment, the Eleventh Georgia, and the Ninth Georgia of General Anderson's Brigade, was ordered to the right to reinforce our cavalry and during this time, when General Pickett was making his famous charge and when we met our cavalry falling back, they were fighting the enemy for every inch of ground. We had formed in line of battle and cavalry fell back over us. Then we charged the enemy and drove them back through a body of woods and when they came to an open field they surrendered, for we were right on them. It was after sundown and the fighting ended. General Lee gave orders to the army to fall back toward Virginia. The enemy lay still and saw our army march off and made no effort to follow us. Our wagon and ambulance trains were ordered back over the same way we went to Gettysburg. We had a detachment of cavalry to guard our wagon trains and on the day we reached Williamsport there was a command of Fed eral cavalry which overtook us and got into our wagon trains and cut down a few wagons, so that some of us were cut off from our commands and we reinforced our cavalry and drove the enemy back and saved our wagon train until we reached Wil liamsport. It had been raining a great deal for some time and the Potomac river was so high it could not be forded so we had to stop in Williamsport. Late that. evening the enemy was reinforced and made an attack on us. Every one who could handle a gun, in cluding the drivers of the teams, went to the ordnance wagons and got arms and ammunition, and we joined our cavalry and drove the enemy off. Next morning our quartermaster depart ment received orders to send supplies to our army at Hagers town and Funkstown, Md. We took our wagons and rejoined our company at Funkstown. In a short time the enemy advanced on us and we had a very hard fight. General Lee got the pontoon bridges across the Potomac river and we crossed over into Virginia, went into camp at Bunker's Hill. In the fall of 1863 General Longstreet was ordered from Virginia to Chickamauga. Our brigade was left at Charleston, S. C. to relieve a brigade that was put in our place, so our brigade was not in the Chickamauga fight, but as soon as the fight was over we were ordered back to take our place in the division. General Longstreet started on his march to Knoxville. Our com mand met up with Burnside and drove him back to the breast works at Knoxville and kept him there for some time until General Bragg fell back from Missionary Ridge. Then General Sherman sent reinforcements to relieve Burnside, so we were forced to fight Burnside in him fortifications, but we could not drive him out. Two of our company were killed and several wounded. We fell back to the Holstein river, to Bean Station, with the enemy following us. We met up with Morgan's cavalry and then we turned back on them and drove them back to Knoxville, and then we crossed over the Ho1stein river to Morristown and we found there was a force of the enemy at Strawberry Plains, so we went for them and had quite a skirmish and drove them off We went into winter quarters at Morristown and had ex tremely cold weather. On the morning of January 3 there was a call for seven men to go out. over the country to gather up beef cattle for the army. Our command stayed in winter quarters until the latter part of March; we then went to a place called Bull's Gap, near Greenville, Tenn., and stayed there until the last of April. Then General Longstreet was ordered back to Vir ginia to join General Lee. Our company was on the march, going to General Lee at the Wilderness. Longstreet's corps was marching right in front; General Field's division was on the right of our corps and General G. T. Anderson's brigade was on the right of Field's Division. The Eleventh Georgia was on the right of Anderson's brigade, so that put us in front of Longstreet's corps. We were marching on the plank road, going in the direction of Fredericksburg, and just as day dawned we got to Lee's line of battle where we fought the evening before until dark, and the two armies lay there facing each other. General Hill's corps was occupying this part of the lines, and as day light came the enemy advanced on Hill's line and Hill's men commenced to fall back, just in front of us. Our regiment was ordered right flank off the plank road into line of battle, and just as half of our regiment cleared the road with Co. H, in the center of our regiment, Hill's men fell back on us and enemy followed and we were ordered to fire on them, which checked them and we com menced to drive General Grant's left with our right and continued to until our corps occupied the entire right of the plank road, and a wilderness it was. We never saw any opening except where there was a right-of-way for a railroad and had been cut out a few years ago, so there could not be any artillery used on either side. The enemy would every now and then make a stand until we could come up and then would fall back. This kept up until about four o'clock in the afternoon, when General Longstreet was wounded. Just as he was wounded we were getting in sight of the opening on the river, and while we were waiting for orders to go forward the enemy got a battery in position in that opening and also got reinforcements in front of us and when we got orders to go forward that battery opened up on us and the first shell exploded right in front of our company. Lee and Grant kept fighting from there down to Richmond and Petersburg. On the 4th of July we were occupying part of the hill at Petersburg where Grant blew up Lee's line afterwards. Our lines were so close together we could not have pickets or vedette as in front. We occupied this position for some time. We were relieved every other night and stayed out one day and night and would go back and stay two days and night for about three weeks, and there was firing on this part of our line night and day. We were moved forward to the right. We had some picket fighting at this place. Just before Grant blew up Lee's line at the center to weaken it at Petersburg, Grant sent a force across the James River below Richmond to make an attack on that place, and Longstreet's corps was sent to Richmond to meet the enemy. Fort Harrison was captured and a part of our breastworks before we could get there. The next morning we were ordered to retake Fort Harrison. We were not able to retake it, so General Lee had another breastwork built and straightened out, which made our line shorter. The enemy made another flank movement on our left below Fort Harrison, and we met them at Deep Bottom and had a very hard fight and drove them back. Later on the enemy made another flank movement on our left and got possession of some of our old breatworks that we had in the Seven Days' fighting below Richmond in 1862, so we attacked them, drove them out and back to their own breastworks under the protection of their gunboats on the river. Co. H was the center company of our regiment and the flag was always at the foot of our company. We occupied the main line on the Darbytown road below Richmond until we had to give up Richmond and Petersburg the next spring. About five miles of our breastworks to our left was not occupied except about half way on the Charles City road leading to Richmond. We had a fort with twelve guns and a battalion of cavalry sta tioned there. The last of November the enemy made an attack to flank us and captured the fort and get into Richmond, but this was found out soon enough for us to beat them a little to the place, and we gave them a good thrashing and captured over 1,100 prisoners, mostly Germans. After this, on the east side of the James River below Richmond we had only picket duty to do and occasionally a little picket fighting on some parts of our lines. After Sherman went through Georgia and got into South Carolina and sent reinforcements to Grant at Petersburg, then Grant began to extend his lines and General Lee could not get any reinforcements, so he had ta begin to stretch his lines to face Grant. On our part of the line there was only one man for every four or five spaces, and when Grant broke Lee's line at Petersburg our corps was ordered there ta reinforce General Lee so he could recapture his line. When we reached Richmond our brigade and some of Field's division were loaded on flat cars and started a little after dark for Petersburg. After we were gone General Lee sent orders to General Longstreet not to come to Petersburg but to go in a different direction. Lee saw he had to give up Petersburg so our train went very slowly, not knowing what was ahead of us. About two hours before day the train was stopped, we were ordered off and into line. We marched about a mile and were in sight of Petersburg. It was on fire. We were on the west side of the Appomattox river, and when we were notified that Lee had vacated Petersburg our officers received orders from a courier from General Lee for us to follow as fast as we could, so we started out on a road leading from Petersburg and had gone about a mile to our left when there were two magazines about a quarter of a mile from each other and when one exploded about two or three minutes after the other, the concussion was so great it almost jerked our line to their knees. It was terrific. We were on a forced march then until we caught up with our command. From then on there was fighting somewhere on our lines almost every day and night. Long street's corps was protecting Lee's rear, and when we reached a place called Rice Station the enemy was pressing on so hard General Lee saw he could not cross the river unless we could hold this point, Rice Station. Longstreet ordered his picket lines doubled. Orders were to hold our lines at all hazards. This was late in the evening. We held the enemy back until just before day light. Our command had crossed the river by this time. We expected to be captured but the officer in command had been notified by a scout that everything had crossed over the river and it was expected we would be captured. Our officer notified us he was going to make an effort to cross the river and not be captured. When we got through a body of woods and came to the road not far from the bridge across the river, we saw the bridge was on fire and made a run to see if we could get across. The bridge was on fire at both ends but there was space enough so we could get by single file. We found our cavalry in line at the foot of the hill with their picket in front. Before we got past their line the enemy was firing on us. They found they could not cross there but up the river, near Farm ville, they put us in a pontoon bridge and got across the river. Near Farmville many wagons were on fire and rations were issued to the men, one pint of flour and a very small piece of bacon. About the middle of the afternoon the enemy began to advance from where they had crossed the river on their pontoons in Farmville. We were ordered into line of battle and went for ward to meet the enemy. We drove them back and held our position until twelve o'clock that night, when we were ordered to follow the rest of the army. Up to this time there had been several commands of our army captured. The next morning we overtook the rest of the army. That was on April 8th. There was considerable fighting at different points all day in front of us. Our command was bringing up and protecting the rear of our army. We kept moving all day and night until about 2 o'clock in the morning. This was on the morning of April 9th. When day came we found that the enemy had gotten in front of our army and when we began to advance the fighting began in front near Appomattox Court House. The fighting com menced with us. Field's Division was on the road leading to Appomattox and was halted and ordered right face into line of battle, and when we got a short distance from the road upon an incline, we halted and crossed a ravine, there was the enemy about 500 yards from us, as far as you could see, right and left. During this time the fighting in front of us had ceased. General Lee and General Grant met to negotiate terms of surrender and General Grant sent a courier with a flag of truce through our lines for his men to halt and not press on us, and during this time Lee and Grant had agreed on terms of surrender. In front we heard no salutes or cheering from the enemy, but in our rear they began to fire salutes and cheer when they heard that Lee had surrendered. When Grant heard these sa lutes and cheers he sent another courier through our lines with orders to cease. They had nothing to cheer over. They had let a little handful of men hold them back from Richmond and Petersburg for nine days and night. We were ordered to stack arms and the next morning we were ordered to fall in line and take our arms and march to Appomattox Court House about two miles. Then we were marched between two lines of the enemy and stacked our guns and marched off and left them. In every direction one could see only blue coats. It has been said that General Lee only surrendered between nine and ten thousand arms and that Grant had nearly one hundred thousand men. General Lee had lost fully one half of this army before we reached Appomattox. On the evening of April 11th, late in the after noon, we, the members of Field's Division were paroled and let to get home the best we could.

      (Excerpts from article by W. T. Laseter published in The Shreveport Journal, October 31,1929.)

FIELD OFFICERS:

    Potter, Lieut. C. A. - Listed as being a member of the 11th Georgia Infantry and dying at the Planks Hoods Division Hospital at Gettysburg. Name not listed in Henderson's Roster

BATTLES:

ROSTERS:

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

REFERENCES:

 

    

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Historical Sketch and Roster of the GA 11th Infantry Regiment
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    by John Rigdon
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