Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More on David and Thomas Willis, Confederate Soldiers. Our GGG Uncles

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello Williamsons!
One hundred and fifty years ago the Civil War started. Our family had ancestors fighting on both sides of the conflict. I've written and posted several articles on the war that can be easily found by using the search feature on the right side bar of this blog.

Today I'd like to add a few other items to our family Civil War history.

This is the record of GGG Uncle David Willis, the brother of our GG Grandmother Margaret Ann. He along with his brothers (except Thomas) served in Company D of the Virginia 54th Infantry Regiment (please read the article posted here on the blog on August 22, 2010).

This is Uncle David's continued pension request because of the war written in his own hand when he was 80 years old (click to enlarge).

This is the orginial flag the 54th Virginia Company fought under above. The reunion flag is below.

As far as we know, all the Willis brothers survived the war except for Samuel. He was 14 years old when war broke out. He died a few years later on a Union prison ship.

A Confederate Bugler

Our GGG Uncle Thomas Willis was the one brother who fought for the 1st Virginia Company, Stuart Horse Light Artillery Battery. He was a bugler.
The Bugler's job was to stick near the Battalion Commander to relay orders. The Bugler had to possess an instrument and the talent to play it well, and had to know all the necessary camp calls and, in particular, skirmish calls. The Bugler held the rank of Private. If more than one Bugler was recruited for the regiment, the second bugler was assigned to one of the flank companies and carried a musket and accoutrements in addition to his bugle. The bugler was posted twelve paces in rear of the file closers .

Artillery was pivotal to the war, and a battery of six light guns needed 110 horses to take the field, and an even larger number would be required for a battery of mounted artillery. One driver was assigned to each pair of horses, riding the on (left) horse and holding reins for it and the off (right) horse. Skilled riders were required for this service, which combined the daring of the cavalry troopers with the precision teamwork expected of the artilleryman. Drivers were issued a leg-guard, an iron plate encased in leather and strapped to the right leg to prevent the limber pole from injuring them.

Our GGG Uncle's artillery battery participated in the following battles during the war and was present when General Lee surrendered to Gen. Grant at the end of the war.
  • Stuart's 1st Ride around McClellan [section] (June 13-15, 1862)
  • Seven Days Battles (June 25-July 1, 1862)
  • Gaines' Mill (June 27, 1862)
  • Operations against Union shipping on the James River (July 5-7, 1862)
  • 2nd Bull Run (August 28-30, 1862)
  • Antietam (September 17, 1862)
  • Union (November 2, 1862)
  • Fredericksburg (December 13, 1862)
  • Raid on Dumfries and Fairfax Station (December 27-29, 1862)
  • Kelly's Ford (March 17, 1863)
  • Chancellorsville (May 1-4, 1863)
  • Brandy Station (June 9, 1863)
  • Aldie (June 17, 1863)
  • Hanover, Pennsylvania (June 30, 1863)
  • Carlisle (July 1, 1863)
  • Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863)
  • Funkstown and Boonesborough (July 6-10, 1863)
  • Bristoe Campaign (October 1863)
  • near Brandy Station (October 11-12, 1863)
  • Mine Run Campaign (November-December 1863)
  • Stanardsville, Virginia (February 29, 1864)
  • Shady Grove (May 8, 1864)
  • Cold Harbor (June 1-3, 1864)
  • Trevilian Station (June 11-12, 1864)
  • Petersburg Siege (June 1864-April 1865)
  • Tom's Brook (October 9, 1864)
  • Cedar Creek (October 19, 1864)
  • Appomattox Court House (April 9, 1865)