defeated Army limped back across the Potomac, with Union General Meade failing
to give chase. Gettysburg was Lee's greatest tactical failure, and its effect
on his Army was devastating. He had led nearly 77M troops into Pennsylvania,
but only 2/3 of them were able to march home. The rest were either dead,
captured, or carried back, wounded. Entire regiment's had almost ceased to
exist. Even worse, the battle had cost him some of his best officer's. Among
the generals' killed, wounded or captured in battle were Barksdale,
Semmes, Barksdale, Hood, Anderson, Robertson, Garnett, Armistead, and Kemper
of Longstreet's Corps alone. In Hill's Corps, Heth, Pender, Pettigrew, Archer,
Trimble, Lane and Scales were among the casualties. Colonel's and lower ranking
officer's had fared worse.
By the 26th of July, Lee had moved his army into Culpeper, Virginia. The
following week, Hill moved his Corps 15 miles to the south around Orange
Court House. With Pender mortally wounded and captured, Hill appointed Cadmus
Marcellious Wilcox to take over his division. Hill's own Light Division looked
much different than it had only a few years before.
Officers of the Civil War
Division Major General Cadmus M. Wilcox
McGowan's Brigade Brig. General Samuel McGowan
1st S.C.(PA) Lieut. Colonel W.P. Shooter
1st S.C. (Orr's) Rifles Lieut. Colonel G. McDonald Miller
12th S.C. Colonel John L. Miller
13th S.C. Colonel B.T. Brockman
14th S.C. Colonel Joseph N. Brown
Lane's Brigade Brig. General James H. Lane
7th N.C. Lieut. Colonel W. Lee Davidson
18th N.C. Colonel John D. Barry
33rd N.C. Lieut. Colonel R.V. Cowan
37th N.C. Colonel W.M. Barbour
Thomas's Brigade Brig. General Edward L. Thomas
49th Ga. Lieut. Colonel J.T. Jordan
Scales's Brigade Brig. General Alfred M. Scales
13th N.C. Colonel J.H. Hyman
16th N.C. Colonel W.A. Stowe
34th N.C. Colonel William Lee J.Lowrance
38th N.C. Colonel John Ashford
a few months the ragged troops rested and recovered from their last battle.
Many had been away from their homes for a few years now, and after facing
the loss at Gettysburg, some began to question the futility of continuing
the conflict. Desertion suddenly became a problem. On September 26th, the
Georgia brigades witnessed Private Roe Dickson of the 14th GA Regiment being
executed for desertion. He is thought to be the first Georgian to die by
firing squad for desertion in the Civil War. As the war would drag on, he
would not be the last. Throughout the winter, the Army of Northern Virginia
would be swept by religious fervor. Revival's were plentiful, and religious
conversion's came by the hundreds.
On October the 9th, Hill's men were again on the move marching north, and
by the 13th arrived in Warrenton. Meade had his Army on the move, but changed
his mind and had made a tactical mistake. Lee wanted to exploit it, and Hill's
men were in pursuit, attempting to catch the Federal's before they could
cross back over the river. It was here that Hill would have his worst day
as a corps commander, sending three brigades into an murderous ambush of
two Federal division's at Bristoe Station. Luckily for Thomas' men, they
were not leading the Corp's that day and escaped injury. After the Federal's
had retreated, Hill's forces began tearing up the Orange and Alexandria Railroad
from Bristoe to the Rappahannock Bridge. They camped there as temperatures
began to fall, but on the 8th of November they moved back to the earthworks
on the south banks of the Rapidan River. There Hill spread his forces out
over a thirteen mile front covering Clark Mountain west to Liberty Mills.
Meade was on the move again, and Lee had his forces on alert. The Southern
cavalry discovered the Union Army and Lee moved his Army once again, to block
their path. At Mine Run, the two armies met, with Lee's men dug in behind
entrenchments. For a few days, both armies jockeyed for position with only
minor skirmishing breaking out. Meade, pushed into this latest offensive
move by President Lincoln, appeared unwilling to attack. Lee, on November
30th, decided to take the offensive, himself. Hill's men were ordered out
of their fortification's and to move around Meade's flank during the night.
In bone chilling cold, Thomas' Georgian's moved silently through the night.
As the first touches of dawn began to paint the morning sky, Hill's men rushed
into the Federal camp. It was empty. Meade had spent the night evacuating
his army. It was the great battle that never was.
Convinced that Meade would make no further offensive turn, Hill's forces
returned to their camps along the Rapidan River and build winter quarters.
It would be a long winter for the 35th Georgian's. In December, the Georgian's,
along with cavalry cover, were sent into the Shenandoah Valley to intercept
a small Union force under Averill. Unable to catch the Federal's, the Georgian's
decided to forage for food instead. They found enough supplies to feed Lee's
entire army for months. Among the loot seized, was 25 barrels of applejack.
Frank Edwards, in his book "The Red Book - The Life of Frank Edwards, 1911"
wrote that the 35th celebrated Christmas Day 1863 by getting extremely
intoxicated. On January 2, Gen Thomas wrote Gen Early "I shall move my
command this morning to Middletown. Shall I remain there after the wagon's
pass? A great many of my men are without shoes, so I hope we will have as
little marching as possible." The Georgian's returned to their winter
The next few month's would see no military action along the River. Miles
away, however, a decision was being made that would change the entire war.
On March 12, Lincoln replaced the inactive Meade with his newest general.
That day, Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia heard the name Ulysses S
Grant for the first time. They had only a few months to wait before they
would be formally introduced.
Officers of the Civil