Monday, February 24, 2014

Battle of Smithfield, Va.-- Part 5

B.A. Sowell wrote a letter from Hardware, Fluvanno County, Virginia, to Mr. R.S. Thomas saying that he had been a member of Captain Nat. A. Sturdivant's battery but hadn't been at the Battle of Smithfield. But, he had been at the engagement of Scott's Factory earlier. As of this date in 1906, he said that all the commissioned Confederate officers were dead so he will tell the story. //// Preliminary to the battle, his battery was in winter quarters about a mile from Ivor when they received word that a Yankee gunboat was expected to come up the Nansemond River and an artillery unit might be able to capture it. //// His battery was dispatched and went to Cherry Grove and waited there until after high tide and then were in the process of returning when word came that the Yankees had landed at Smithfield and were rapidly approaching. So close were they that Mr. Whitfield, the Confederate Congressman from the Smithfield district was captured. Shortly afterwards, Sturdivant's force was ambushed. Lt. Perkins of the infantry later died from his wound. Considering this was Sturdivant's first battle, he handled himself and his troops bravely and efficiently. //// His battery continued serving on many battlefields throughout the duration of the war with distinction. Nathaniel Sturdivant was later promoted to major and after the war became a popular and prominent Richmond attorney. //// --Old Secesh

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