Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/143

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[From the Richmond, V., Dispatch, May a. 1897.]


Colonel Crutchfield and the "Artillery Brigade."*


A Forced March 'Mid Cold and Rain. Fight at Sailor's Creek.

RICHMOND, VA., April 27, 1897. To the Editor of the Dispatch:

Being on a visit to Richmond from my home in St. Louis, I no- ticed in your paper of the 25th instant, a letter from Colonel R. T. W. Duke, giving some incidents of the retreat from Richmond, and the fight at Sailor's Creek. This has put me in a reminiscent mood, and I would like to give, for your Confederate column, some of my recollections of those stirring times, more especially of the retreat from Richmond, and the participation of my command in the battle of Sailor's Creek.

During the winter of 1864-65, my battalion, the loth Virginia Artillery, was stationed immediately in front of Fort Harrison. The battalion had formerly been commanded by Major William Allen, of " Claremont," but at that time by Major J. O. Hensley, of Bedford county. It was composed of five companies Companies A and C, from Richmond, commanded respectively by Captains J. W. Barlow and Thomas P. Wilkinson; Company B, from Bedford county, Cap- tain Robert B. Clayton; Company D, from Prince George, Captain C. Shirley Harrison, of Brandon; and Company E, from Henrico, Captain Thomas Ballard Blake. Lieutenant Sam Wilson, was Adju- tant.

The loth Virginia and the iQth Virginia Battalion (also composed of five companies) were under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel John Wilder Atkinson, of Richmond, with Lieutenant John L. Cowardin as adjutant.

The 1 8th and zoth Virginia Battalions, commanded by Lieutenant-

  • See Ante, pp. 38-47. The report to General G. W. Custis Lee, of Major

W. S. Basinger, on the operations of " Crutchfield's Artillery Brigade."