The Journey: Return to Richmond

First Corps artillery chief Gen. Edward Porter Alexander recalled in his post-war memoir that “Kershaw’s division was recalled from the Valley early in November [1864] and rejoined our corps on the north side of the James [river].”

The actual return occurred between the 18th and 20th of November, apparently from near Staunton, where the remainder of Gen. Early’s troops were concentrated, through Rockfish Gap to Charlottesville where they could take a train to Richmond.

Kershaw’s Division, including the 13th Regiment, may have followed the late General Stonewall Jackson’s lead and marched through the old Blue Ridge Railroad tunnel under the Gap—eight-tenths of a mile cut through granite in 1858. Jackson’s troops had sometimes used the tunnel to cross the Blue Ridge back in 1862.

From the railroad station in Richmond, the 13th and the rest of the division marched to a defensive position on the Nine Mile Road near Garnett’s Farm,¬†northeast of the city, where they began digging in and building winter quarters.

There was also a flurry of Richmond hospital admissions—to Stuart Hospital, General Hospital #9, Wayside Hospital, and Howard’s Grove. Independent historian Jess McLean found that, on Nov. 19, 62 men of the regiment, probably the most ragged and shoeless ones, were issued new clothing.

About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
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