Camp Lambertville

In obedience to Orders, I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the 44th Georgia, Company C under the command of Captain Clark J. Van Buskirk in the field from June 6 through 8, inclusive:

 

During the afternoon and evening of June 6 the grounds west of the Holcombe-Jamison homestead became dotted with the canvas tents of the 44th Georgia, Company C, along with the 1st North Carolina Artillery Battery ( Battery C, Grahamís Battery ) as well as the dismounted 9th Virginia Cavalry, Co. B and remnants of the 30th Virginia.  Major General John Houck commanded the troops under the watchful eye of a nest of bald eagles.

 

Two field pieces from the North Carolinians was strategically placed along the outskirts of camp as a deterrent to Union attack although we were advised that the artillery was there  for show only as they were not to be fired during the encampment. The camp was populated by a contingent of seasoned veterans and a new recruit who was introduced to the regiments of a Southern fighting force.

 

In the morning hours each day the 44th was led through a variety of field drills and weapons were inspected in anticipation of a confrontation with the Yanks. At various times the 44th  sent out scouting parties along the canal and up the hill to the homestead to survey the terrain and gather information on the contents of the outbuildings in the area.

 

Late Saturday afternoon dismounted confederate cavalry made contact with the Union forces and we were brought into a line of battle. Summoned by a drum roll to take arms the 44th advanced gallantly across the field of battle under the watchful eyes of local citizenry who perched themselves on a nearby ridge, rather perilously near the conflagration.

 

Outnumbering the opposing forces, we dominated the field. The Yankee troops began to take losses and were obliged to retreat in orderly fashion. We took but a few losses, leaving just a handful of grey and butternut bodies in the field. One particularly crisp volley from our rifles eliminated nearly a dozen men from the 28th Pennsylvania, whereupon the blue jackets relinquished the field and disappeared into the treeline.  We gathered under the shade of some nearby trees to clean our weapons, while being observed and photographed by citizens who passed along the canal. Several of the 44th ventured down to river and were invited aboard a steamboat to perform reconnaissance of the River.

 

That evening we dined on a Company stew. Afterwards foragers from the 44th reconnoitered the town whilst the camp was serenaded by a musicians playing Bonnie Blue and Dixie on their fife and drums.

 

 

 

In the morning we arose to find that our numbers had been diminished, and, considering that reinforcements may have arrived to reinforce the enemy we prepared to fight a defensive battle and drilled in field maneuvers designed to reduce our front to the enemy..

 

 

Just past Noon, whilest lounging under the fly, we heard the reports of a skirmish. Summoned again by the beat of the drums we once again formed for battle. As we had done the day before, we marched towards the Union forces, advancing in obliques and delivering fire while loading on the move. To our surprise the Yankee forces had also diminished, and we outnumbered Lincolnís men nearly two to one. Kneeling, then rising and firing in sequence our fire began to take its effect on our enemy and we were ordered to advance, all the while reducing the number of our foes.  The Union forces retired from the field and the South once again celebrated their victory. Sadly, young William, just eight years old, having joined his father in camp and following the battle, suffered a chest wound. I accompanied his father to the homestead, William being cradled in his fatherís arms, in search of a sympathetic surgeon who might save the boys life. Private Benís pleas for help drew a crowd, and two Yankee Doctors worked vigorously, trying to accommodate his wishes. As much as I might curse the dreaded North and their tactics, I must admit that in these moments of need, I discarded all disdain for the foe and prayed that God might deliver his Grace upon this poor boy, granting a miracle to be performed by the men in white smocks, whom I might, moments ago, have taken arms against.

 

 Indeed, the boy has recovered from his near fatal wounds, and I find myself in lasting gratitude to his saviors. I regret that this war knows no prejudice amongst soldiers and citizens, and recognize the importance and struggles of those who strive to undo the damage caused by the arms that we carry in our efforts to use force to solve the Great Cause.

 

Returning to camp, we rested briefly. Within hours the camp was struck and we departed the farmstead, committed in our efforts to continue our march wherever the roads shall lead us.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Corp. James Marshall