The Fourth Alabama Painting by Don Troiani

Reserve Brigade, Army of the Potomac

Captain R L Walker, Purcell Artillery

Captain R L Walker, Purcell Artillery

Purcell Artillery

Mustered in Confederate service for one year dated 1 July, 1861. Arrived at Camp Wigfall, J J Wilcoxen's farm, in the vicinity of the intersection of Union Mills and Hooe's Hill Roads, Prince William County, Virginia, 20 July, 1861

CAPTAIN R L WALKER

Section: FIRST LT. D C HAGERTY
Two 6 pounder Parrott rifles
Section: SECOND LT. W R J PEGRAM
Private W R J Pegram, 1st Virginia Infantry, Company F, was appointed second lieutenant, Purcell Artillery, on 9 May, 1861 (See the 1st Virginia Infantry).

Two 6 pounder Parrott rifles

Section: SECOND LT. W J Dabney

Two 6 pounder Parrott rifles

Sources

"Among the companies now at this beautiful camp are the Old Richmond Light Infantry Blues, Co. E, commanded by Capt. O. Jennings Wise; Co. F, commanded by Capt. Cary; the Mount Pleasant Rifles, Capt. Johnson; Capt. R. L. Walker's Artillery, four field-pieces; the Fredericksburg Artillery, Capt. Braxton; Co. B, Fredericksburg, Capt. Chew; Co. A, Fredericksburg, Capt. Sener. The train last evening brought the Caroline Greys, Capt. Quisenberry, a fine looking and well-drilled body of men. The camp is under the command of Capt. R. Milton Cary, of Co. F."

Richmond Daily Dispatch (Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia), 11 May, 1861 - Affairs at Camp Mercer, near Fredericksburg, 9 May, 1861

"This evening a steamer, supposed to be the Pawnee, approached within range of the Purcell Artillery, and opened fire upon it. The fire was returned promptly, and was kept up for some time - 14 shots being fired."

Richmond Enquirer, Semi-weekly edition (Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia), 27 May, 1861 - Scene at Aquia Creek: Statement of an eye-witness, four miles from Aquia Creek, 29th May, 1861

"We had yesterday, in addition to our guns, a small rifled one from Captain Walker's battery, under the immediate command of Lieutenant Robertson, of Tennessee, which rendered efficient service."

Richmond Enquirer, Semi-weekly edition (Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia), 11 June, 1861 - Naval Battery No.1, Aquia Creek, 2nd June, 1861

"During Friday's attack, Lieut. Barnes, of the Stafford Guards, bore a message from me to Capt. Walker, and returned with a reply, his course being along the causeway over which the enemy's shot was sweeping."

Richmond Enquirer, Semi-weekley edition (Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia), 18 June, 1861 - Naval Battery, Aquia Creek, 9 June, 1861

"Mr. Z. C. McGruder, formerly a clerk in the Richmond Post Office, and now a member of Capt. Walker's Battery, lately stationed near Aquia Creek, was complimented personally by Gen. Beauregard on Sunday, during the battle at Manassas. When Walker's company (the Purcell Battery) commenced their fire, the first gun was aimed by McGruder, a Richmond boy, whose havoc was so evident among the enemy that the commanding General did the gunner the honour of requesting his name. Praise Battery did its full duty last Sunday. There is an affinity between Artillery and McGruder. We are informed that the Second Tennessee Regiment, Col. Bate, and First Arkansas Regiment, Col. James F. Fagan, were both in Sunday's battle, and acted gloriously. Gen. Beauregard was so pleased with the performance of the Purcell Battery that he presented it with one of the splendid brass rifle cannon taken from the enemy. The battery is now at Aquia Creek."

Richmond Daily Dispatch (Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia), 26 July, 1861 - Complimented

"Memphis, 1 Aug. - M. W. Cluskey, captain in a Tennessee regiment, and correspondent of the Avalanche, in a letter dated Camp Wigfall, Department of Manassas, 22d. July, published today, says: 'The First Arkansas regiment, Col. Fagan; a Tennessee regiment, Col. Bate, and Flying Artillery, Col. Walker, the whole forming a brigade under Gen. Holmes, arrived after a long march at the battleground at six o'clock in the morning; waited momentarily for an order to forward, from Beauregard, which was given at 3 P. M.."

Des Arc Semi-weekly Citizen (Des Arc, Prairie County, Arkansas), 3 August, 1861 - An Arkansas and Tennessee Regiment at Manassas

Books/ Manuscripts

The Purcell, Crenshaw & Letcher Artillery, First Edition, No.906 of 1000, by P S Carmichael

The military orders of Daniel Ruggles, Department of Fredericksburg, 22 April to 5 June, 1861: The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 69, No.2, April 1961, pp149-180, by Meriwether Stuart

A guide to Virginia military organisations 1861-1865, Revised Second Edition, by I A Wallace, Jr.

"At the beginning of May a new six-gun battery called the Purcell Artillery arrived at Camp Mercer. The unit was composed of Richmonders and commanded by Captain Reuben Lindsay Walker, but it lacked well-trained officers. Walker needed assistance in transforming his awkward band of civilians into soldiers, and Pegram responded to his call for help. Temporarily assigned to the position of drillmaster in the battery."

"Answering the call on July 18, the Purcell Artillery and Holmes' brigade hurried to the scene. After covering twenty-five miles in two days, Pegram and his comrades fell in line on the Confederate right near Camp Wigfall, a reserve position behind General Richard S Ewell's brigade at Union Mills."

"Sometime between 4:00 and 4:30 in the afternoon, Holmes' brigade and the Purcell Artillery arrived at General Joseph E Johnston's headquarters at the Lewis House, better known as Portici."

Lee's young artillerist: William R. J. Pegram, by Peter S Carmichael

"The 'maiden fight' of the artillery branch of the Legion took place on 26 September when a section of the Washington Artillery, commanded by Captain S D Lee, and consisting of two rifled 6 pounders and a rifled 32 pounder nick-named 'Long Tom', a captured trophy from Manassas manned by a detachment of the Purcell Artillery, were sent to Freestone Point on the Potomac River."

South Carolina volunteers in the Civil War: The Hampton Legion Part I, regimental history, in collaboration with W B Bynum and H M Madaus with text and illustrations by R Field

"Holmes' brigade, an independent command ordered up from Aquia Creek, consisted of two regiments, reported by Beauregard at a total of 1,355, and 6 guns."

The Army in the Civil War, Volume 1: The outbreak of rebellion, by John G Nicolay, private Secretary to President A Lincoln

Notes

The Purcell Artillery was accepted in state service at Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia, on 20 April, 1861, and was ordered to proceed by the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad to Aquia Creek Landing, overlooking the Potomac River and Aquia Creek, on 21 April, 1861.

Mustered for one year, Camp Mercer, Mercer Square or Fredericksburg Agricultural Fairgrounds, between Frederick & Mercer Streets, Fredericksburg, Virginia, 20 May, 1861: The Purcell Artillery was mustered in state service for one year at Camp Mercer, Mercer Square or Fredericksburg Agricultural Fairgrounds, between Frederick and Mercer Streets, Fredericksburg, Virginia, on 20 May, 1861.

Note: The Purcell Artillery was stationed at Camp Mercer, Mercer Square or Fredericksburg Agricultural Fairgrounds, between Frederick and Mercer Streets, Fredericksburg, Virginia, on 30 April 1861, and Private W R J Pegram, 1st Virginia Infantry, Company F (1st), was appointed second lieutenant, Purcell Artillery, on 9 May, 1861 (See the 1st Virginia Infantry).

Pratt's Point, on the south bank of Potomac Creek, King George County, to Aquia Creek Landing, at the junction of Aquia Creek & Potomac River, Stafford County, Virginia, 22 & 28 May, 1861: The Purcell Artillery was stationed at Pratt's Point, on the south bank of Potomac Creek, King George County, Virginia, on 22 May, 1861, and was ordered to Aquia Creek Landing, at the junction of Aquia Creek and Potomac River, Stafford County, Virginia, by Major W S Barton, Provisional Army of Virginia, at 3 PM on 28 May, 1861.

Note: A detachment of the Fredericksburg Artillery, under the command of Captain C M Carter, was stationed at Pratt's Point, on the south bank of Potomac Creek, King George County, Virginia, on 21 May, 1861, and was ordered to assign a detachment to complete the manning of the Purcell Artillery for field service by General Orders No.13, Paragraph VII, Headquarters, Department of Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg, Virginia, on 22 May, 1861 (See the 30th Virginia Infantry).

Skirmish at Aquia Creek Landing, at the junction of Aquia Creek & Potomac River, Stafford County, Virginia, 31 May & 1 June, 1861: The Purcell Artillery was stationed at Split Rock Bluff, in the vicinity of Aquia Creek Landing, at the junction of Aquia Creek and Potomac River, Stafford County, Virginia, during the skirmish with skirmish with the U.S.S. Thomas Freeborn, Anacostia, and Resolute between 10.30 AM and 1 PM on 31 May, 1861, and one 6 pounder three inch Parrott rifle of the Purcell Artillery, under the command of Cadet P Robertson, 2nd Tennessee Infantry, was stationed at Naval Battery No.1, Aquia Creek Landing, at the junction of Aquia Creek and Potomac River, Stafford County, Virginia, during the skirmish with the U.S.S. Thomas Freeborn, Anacostia, and Pawnee between 11.30 AM and 4.30 PM on 1 June, 1861 (See the 2nd Tennessee Infantry).

Note: Two companies of the 2nd Tennessee Infantry, the Caroline Light Dragoons, and the Purcell Artillery were ordered to Brent's and Sims' or Symmes' Points, opposite Aquia Creek Landing, at the junction of Aquia Creek and Potomac River, Stafford County, Virginia, in the evening on 1 June, 1861.

General Orders No.25, Headquarters, Virginia Forces, Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia, 8 June, 1861: The Purcell Artillery was assigned to the Confederate States by General Orders No.25, Headquarters, Virginia Forces, Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia, on 8 June, 1861, and was accepted in Confederate service on 1 July, 1861.

March to Manassas Junction, 18-20 July, 1861

The Purcell Artillery was ordered to Manassas Junction, Prince William County, Virginia, under the command of Brigadier General T H Holmes, Confederate States Army, by Special Orders No.224, Paragraph IV, Headquarters, Virginia Forces, Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia, in the afternoon on 18 July, 1861, dated 17 July, 1861, and was accompanied by the 1st Arkansas Infantry and the 2nd Tennessee Infantry.

Note: The 30th Virginia Infantry, Companies A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, and K, and the Westmoreland Cavalry/ Lee's Light Horse were ordered to Manassas Junction, Prince William County, Virginia, by Special Orders No.224, Paragraph IV, Headquarters, Virginia Forces, Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia, at 3.30 PM on 20 July, 1861, dated 17 July, 1861 (See the 30th Virginia Infantry).

Camp Chopawamsic, on Chopawamsic Creek, four miles south of Dumfries, to J J Wilcoxen's farm, east of the intersection of Union Mills & Hooe's Hill Roads, Prince William County, Virginia, 18-20 July, 1861: The Purcell Artillery was stationed at Camp Chopawamsic, on Chopawamsic Creek, four miles south of Dumfries, Prince William County, Virginia, in the evening on 18 July, 1861, and arrived at Brentsville via Dumfries, Prince William County, Virginia, on 19 July, 1861. The company arrived at Camp Wigfall, J J Wilcoxen's farm, east of the intersection of Union Mills and Hooe's Hill Roads, Prince William County, Virginia, in the morning on 20 July, 1861.

Note: The Albemarle Light Horse was ordered to rendezvous with the 1st Arkansas Infantry, the 2nd Tennessee Infantry, and the Purcell Artillery, under the command of Brigadier General T H Holmes, Confederate States Army, between Dumfries and Manassas Junction, Prince William County, Virginia, on 19 July, 1861, and arrived at Camp Wigfall, J J Wilcoxen's farm, east of the intersection of Union Mills and Hooe's Hill Roads, Prince William County, Virginia, in the morning on 20 July, 1861 (See the Scott's Squadron Cavalry).

Note: The Albemarle Light Horse was temporarily assigned to Brigadier General T H Holmes, Confederate States Army, between 19 and 21 July, 1861.

First battle of Manassas, 21 July, 1861

The Purcell Artillery was stationed at Camp Wigfall, J J Wilcoxen's farm, east of the intersection of Union Mills and Hooe's Hill Roads, Prince William County, Virginia, in the morning on 21 July, 1861.

Advance to F Lewis' farm, a quarter of a mile southwest of Lewis' Ford, on the Bull Run River, 21 July, 1861: The Purcell Artillery was ordered to F Lewis' farm, a quarter of a mile southwest of Lewis' Ford, on the Bull Run River, in the afternoon on 21 July, 1861:

Note: The Purcell Artillery was ordered to Camp Walker, on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad, one mile south of McLean's Ford, on the Bull Run River, at 2 PM on 21 July, 1861.

Camp Wigfall, J J Wilcoxen's farm, east of the intersection of Union Mills and Hooe's Hill Roads, Prince William County, Virginia, 22 July, 1861: The Purcell Artillery was stationed at Camp Wigfall, J J Wilcoxen's farm, east of the intersection of Union Mills and Hooe's Hill Roads, Prince William County, Virginia, on 22 July, 1861.

Camp Pickens, J J Wilcoxen's farm, east of the intersection of Union Mills & Hooe's Hill Roads, to Evansport, on the Potomac River, three & a half miles east of Dumfries, Prince William County, Virginia, 23-24 July, 1861: The Purcell Artillery was ordered to Brooke's Station, Stafford County, Virginia, by Special Orders No.147, Paragraph I, Headquarters, Army of the Potomac, Camp Pickens, Manassas Junction, Prince William County, Virginia, in the morning on 23 July, 1861, dated 22 July, 1861, and was accompanied by the 1st Arkansas Infantry and the 2nd Tennessee Infantry. The company arrived at Camp Winchester, Evansport, on the Potomac River, three and a half miles east of Dumfries, Prince William County, Virginia, in the afternoon on 25 July, 1861 (See the 30th Virginia Infantry).

Note: The Purcell Artillery was engaged in a skirmish with the steamship Seminole at Freestone Point, on the Potomac River, Prince William County, Virginia, on 25 September, 1861 (See the Hampton Legion).

Skirmish at Freestone Point, on the Potomac River, Prince William County, Virginia, 25 September, 1861: One 32 pounder rifle, Second Lieutenant W J Dabney, Purcell Artillery; two 8 pounder rifles, First Lieutenant J F Hart, Hampton Legion Artillery

Note: The Dixie Artillery, under the command of Captain W H Chapman, and the Bedford Artillery, under the command of Captain J R Johnson, were disbanded and the men and horses assigned to the Purcell Artillery at Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia, on 4 October, 1862.

Surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse, Appomattox County, Virginia, 9 April, 1865: The Purcell Artillery surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse, Appomattox County, Virginia, on 9 April, 1865.

Colonel D Ruggles, Confederate States Army, Department of Fredricksburg, 22 April-5 June, 1861: Brevet Lieutenant Colonel & Captain D Ruggles, 5th United States Infantry, Company A, resigned on 19 April, 1861, and was appointed colonel, Provisional Army of Virginia, at Fredericksburg, Virginia, on 22 April, 1861. Colonel D Ruggles, Provisional Army of Virginia, was assigned to command the Department of Fredericksburg including the Potomac River between Mount Vernon, Fairfax County, Virginia, and the Rappahannock River between 22 April and 5 June, 1861, and was appointed brigadier general, Confederates States Army, on 9 August, 1861. Brigadier General D Ruggles, Confederates States Army, was ordered to Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida, by Special orders No.130, Paragraph XII, Adjutant & Inspector General's Office, Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia, on 21 August, 1861.

Note: Brevet Lieutenant Colonel & Captain D Ruggles, 5th United States Infantry, Company A, was appointed colonel, infantry, Confederates States Army, dated 16 March, 1861, and was assigned to command the troops from the counties of Stafford, Spotsylvania, Caroline, King George, and Westmoreland by Special Orders No.39, Paragraph I, Headquarters of the Division, Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia, on 10 May, 1861.

Brigadier General T H Holmes, Confederate States Army, Department of Fredricksburg, 5 June, 1861: Major T H Holmes, 8th United States Infantry, resigned at Fort Columbus, Governor's Island, Governor's Island, west of Buttermilk Channel, New York Harbour, opposite Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, on 5 April, 1861, dated 22 April, 1861, and was relieved from duty as superintendent of the United States General Recruiting Service, Department of the East, Headquarters, Fort Columbus, Governor's Island, Governor's Island, west of Buttermilk Channel, New York Harbour, opposite Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, by Special Orders No.57, Headquarters of the Army, New York City, New York County, New York, on 6 April, 1861 (See the United States Battalion Infantry). Brigadier General T H Holmes, Provisional Army of North Carolina, was stationed at Fayetteville, Cumberland County, North Carolina, on 16 April, 1861, and was ordered to Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama, on 17 April, 1861. He was appointed colonel, infantry, Confederate States Army, at Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama, on 20 April, 1861, dated 16 March, 1861, and was ordered to Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, by Special Orders No.32, Paragraph I, Adjutant & Inspectors General's Office, Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama, on 22 April, 1861. Brigadier General T H Holmes, Provisional Army of North Carolina, was assigned to command the Coast Defenses, Headquarters, Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina, on 26 April, 1861, and the Coast Defenses, Southern Department, Headquarters, Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina, by General Orders No.2, North Carolina, Adjutant General's Office, Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, on 27 May, 1861. Colonel C C Tew, 2nd North Carolina State Troops, was assigned to command the Coast Defenses, Southern Department, Headquarters, Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina, by Special Orders No.8, North Carolina State Troops, Adjutant General's Office, Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, on 1 June, 1861, and Colonel T H Holmes, infantry, Confederate States Army, was appointed brigadier general, Confederate States Army, at Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia, on 5 June, 1861. Brigadier General T H Holmes, Confederate States Army, was ordered to Fredericksburg, Virginia, by Special Orders No.64, Paragraph IV, Adjutant & Inspectors General's Office, Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama, on the same day and was appointed major general, Confederates States Army, on 7 October, 1861.

Note: Major W H C Whiting, corps engineers, Confederates States Army, was appointed inspector general to Brigadier General T H Holmes, Provisional Army of North Carolina, at Headquarters, Coast Defences, Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina, between 6 and 16 May, 1861 (See the Engineers, Army of the Shenandoah).

The Purcell Artillery was assigned to the Second Brigade, Aquia District, Department of Northern Virginia, under the command of Brigadier General J G Walker, Confederate States Army, General Orders No.18, Adjutant & Inspector General's Office, Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia, on 22 October, 1861.

OFFICIAL REPORT NO.115: Series I, Volume 2 (Serial No.2), Chapter IX, pp565-566
Brigadier General T H Holmes, Confederate States Army, Reserve Brigade, Army of the Potomac, Brooke's Station, Stafford County, Virginia, 24 July, 1861

Orders of Battle

The above painting, 'The Fourth Alabama', is by Don Troiani, modern America's finest historical artist.