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, on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad, near McLean's Ford, on the Bull Run River, 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."

The Richmond Daily Dispatch, 11 May, 1861 - Affairs at Camp Mercer, near Fredericksburg, 9 May, 1861

"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's 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 Lincoln

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

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

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

Notes

The Purcell Artillery was accepted in state service at Richmond, 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.

Note: The Purcell Artillery was named in honour of John Purcell, a wealthy Richmond merchant who financed the company.

Fredericksburg, Virginia, 30 April, 1861: The Purcell Artillery was stationed at Camp Mercer, near Fredericksburg, Virginia, on 30 April 1861.

Mustered in one year, Fredericksburg, Virginia, 20 May, 1861: The Purcell Artillery was mustered in state service for one year at Fredericksburg, Virginia, on 20 May, 1861.

Note: Private W R J Pegram, 1st Virginia Infantry, Company F, was appointed second lieutenant, Purcell Artillery, at Camp Mercer, near Fredericksburg, Virginia, on 9 May, 1861 (See the 1st Virginia Infantry).

Pratt's Point, overlooking the Potomac River & Potomac Creek, to Aquia Creek Landing, overlooking the Potomac River & Aquia Creek, 22-31 May, 1861: The Purcell Artillery was stationed at Pratt's Point, overlooking the Potomac River and Potomac Creek, on 22 May, 1861, and was ordered to Aquia Creek Landing, overlooking the Potomac River and Aquia Creek, by General Orders No.13, Headquarters, Department of Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg, Virginia, on 28 May, 1861, and proceeded in the morning on 31 May, 1861. The company arrived at Aquia Creek Landing, overlooking the Potomac River and Aquia Creek, at 10 AM the same day.

Note: A detachment of the Fredericksburg Artillery, under the command of Captain C M Carter, was assigned to the battery at Pratt's Point, overlooking the Potomac River and Potomac Creek, and ordered to assign a detachment to complete the manning of the Purcell Artillery for field service by General Orders No.13, Headquarters, Department of Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg, Virginia, on 22 May, 1861.

Skirmish at Aquia Creek Landing, overlooking the Potomac River & Aquia Creek, 31 May-1 June, 1861: The Purcell Artillery was stationed at Aquia Creek Landing and Brent’s or Symmes' Point, opposite Aquia Creek Landing, overlooking the Potomac River and Aquia Creek, during the skirmish on 31 May and 1 June, 1861.

Note: One 6 pounder Parrott rifle of the Purcell Artillery was stationed at Battery No.1, Aquia Creek Landing, overlooking the Potomac River and Aquia Creek, on 1 June, 1861, and was engaged in a skirmish between 11.30 AM and 4.30 PM the same day.

Distribution, Aquia Creek Landing, overlooking the Potomac River & Aquia Creek, 1 June, 1861: Two companies of the 2nd Tennessee Infantry, three 6 pounder Parrott rifles of the Purcell Artillery, and the Caroline Light Dragoons, under the command of Captain S A Swann, at Brent’s or Symmes' Point, opposite Aquia Creek Landing, overlooking the Potomac River and Aquia Creek; seven companies of the 2nd Tennessee Infantry as a reserve near Aquia Creek Landing, overlooking the Potomac River and Aquia Creek; and the 2nd Tennessee Infantry, Company E, under the command of Captain C W Hunt, at Battery No.2, Aquia Creek Landing, overlooking the Potomac River and Aquia Creek; one 6 pounder Parrott rifle of the Purcell Artillery, under the command of Cadet P Robertson, 2nd Tennessee Infantry, at Battery No.1, Aquia Creek Landing, overlooking the Potomac River and Aquia Creek; and the 1st Virginia Infantry, Companies E (1st) and F (1st), at the rear of Aquia Creek Landing, overlooking the Potomac River and Aquia Creek, on 1 June, 1861 (See the 1st Virginia Infantry).

Note: Colonel W B Bates was temporarily assigned to command at Aquia Creek Landing, overlooking the Potomac River and Aquia Creek, in the morning on 1 June, 1861, and Colonel D Ruggles arrived by the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad at Aquia Creek, on the Potomac River, at 12 PM the same day.

Marlboro & Pratt's Points, overlooking the Potomac River & Potomac Creek, & Brooke's Station, Stafford County, Virginia, June 1861: The Purcell Artillery was assigned to duty between Marlboro and Pratt's Points, overlooking the Potomac River and Potomac Creek, and Brooke's Station, Stafford County, Virginia, in June 1861.

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

Stafford County to Manassas Junction, Virginia, 19-20 July, 1861: The Purcell Artillery was ordered to Manassas Junction, Virginia, under the command of Brigadier General T H Holmes, Confederate States Army, by Special Orders No.224, Paragraph IV, Headquarters, Virginia Forces, Richmond, Virginia, on 19 July, 1861, dated 17 July, 1861, and was accompanied by the 2nd Tennessee Infantry and the 1st Arkansas Infantry. The company arrived at Dumfries, Prince William County, Virginia, in the evening on 19 July, 1861, and at Camp Wigfall, on McLean's Farm, near the intersection of Union Mills and Hooe's Hill Roads, in the morning on 20 July, 1861. The Purcell Artillery was assigned as a reserve to the Second Brigade, Army of the Potomac, under the command of Brigadier General R S Ewell, Confederate States Army, stationed at Union Mills Ford, on the Bull Run River, on 21 July, 1861 (See the Second Brigade, Army of the Potomac).

Note: Colonel D Ruggles, Confederate States Army, was temporarily assigned to command the Department of Fredericksburg between 19 and 23 July, 1861, and the 30th Virginia Cavalry, Company K, arrived at Dumfries, Prince William County, Virginia, in the evening on 19 July, 1861 (See Scott's Squadron Cavalry).

After the first battle of Manassas the Purcell Artillery arrived at Camp Wigfall, on McLean's Farm, near the intersection of Union Mills and Hooe's Hill Roads, in the afternoon on 23 July, 1861.

Note: 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, near Manassas Junction, Virginia, on 22 July, 1861.

Camp Wigfall, on McLean's Farm, near the intersection of Union Mills & Hooe's Hill Roads, to Brooke's Station, Stafford County, Virginia, 24-25 July, 1861: The Purcell Artillery was ordered to Brooke's Station, Stafford County, Virginia, in the morning on 24 July, 1861, and was accompanied by the 1st Arkansas Infantry and the The 2nd Tennessee Infantry. The company arrived at Brooke's Station, Stafford County, Virginia, in the afternoon on 25 July, 1861.

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 near Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia, and the men and horses assigned to the Purcell Artillery 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 D Ruggles, 5th United States Infantry, resigned on 19 April, 1861, and was appointed lieutenant colonel, Provisional Army of Virginia, on 22 April, 1861. Lieutenant Colonel D Ruggles, Provisional Army of Virginia, was appointed colonel, infantry, Confederates States Army, dated 16 March, 1861, and 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. Colonel D Ruggles, infantry, Confederates States Army, was appointed brigadier general, Confederates States Army, on 9 August, 1861, and was ordered to Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida, by Special orders No.130, Paragraph XII, Adjutant & Inspector General's Office, Richmond, Virginia, on 21 August, 1861.

Note: Colonel D Ruggles, infantry, Confederates States Army, 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, 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, New York Harbour, 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, New York Harbour, by Special Orders No.57, Headquarters of the Army, Manhattan (New York County), New York City, 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, 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.

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 Department of Fredericksburg, under the command of Brigadier General T H Holmes, Confederate States Army, was reorganised as the Aquia District, Department of Northern 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.