Diary of Orrin Brown—Feb 27, 1865

Capt Edward S. SimondsDiary of Orrin Brown, Rocky Mount, South Carolina

Monday–Feb. 27th

I will here insert the names of our Commanding officers from the highest to the lowest: Major Gen. W. T. Sherman commanding this army, Corps Commander is Major Gen. Jeff. C. Davis, Division Commander is Brig. Gen. Jas. D. Morgan, Brigade Commander is Brig. Gen, Wm. Vandervere. Our Col. is Henry Crumond Company officers is Capt. Casper Earnest, 1st Lieut. Patrick Kelley, 2nd Lieut. Edward S. Simonds, Orderly Sgt. Harvey M. Smith, 2nd Sargt. Wm. H. Adams, 3rd Sgt. Saml. M. Brower, 4th Sgt. Wm. Dunbar. I will omit the Corporals.

We had a very nice night and it was clear and pleasant this Am but clouded up this PM and some sign of rain. I mentioned yesterday that our trains had all come up but I was mistaken, for when the train had got about half over the Pontoon Bridge broke and they lost 14 boats and they had to move the bridge down the river about 1/4 mile and our regt. was detailed to go down and make about 1/2 mile of new road and they did not get it done till about dark. There was one man in another company got hurt very bad by a tree that was sliding down the bluff a limb struck him on the head. The name of this place is Rocky Mount. and it is very well named for it is a rough rockey country. The report came in yesterday that Richmond was taken and Grant lost 6,000 men but they do not generally give Credit to the report. My health is better today than it has been for several days. I read 10 Chapters in the Testament today.

Here, Pvt. Brown recounts his chain of command we reviewed at the start of the Carolinas Campaign.  This includes:

  1. Gen. William T. Sherman
  2. XIV Corps, Bvt. Maj. Gen. Jefferson C. Davis of Indiana
  3. 2nd Divison, Bvt. Maj. Gen. James D. Morgan of Illinois
  4. 1st Brigade, Brig. Gen. William Vandever of Iowa
  5. 14th Regiment Michigan Infantry, Lt. Col. George W. Grummond.

And we here find the answer to our earlier question of who the Company commanders are, including Caspar Ernst and Patrick Kelley.  Capt. Ernst was from Nunica, Michigan, enlisted 18 Nov 1861, was promoted to captain in 1863, and had actually just been promoted to major on 13 February 1865.  While Kelley is a common name, it seems 1st Lt. Patrick Kelley of the 14th Michigan was from Grand Rapids; he enlisted 13 Feb 1862, was promoted to Full 1st Lieutenant in 1863, then was to be promoted to Captain on 14 March 1865.  2nd Lt. Edward S. Simonds (pictured above from the Library of Congress) is also listed in the National Park Service database as Edward Simons; he enlisted at Owosso as a sergeant and ended as a Captain.

Ironically, this was the day that the former leader of the 14th Michigan, Maj. Thomas C. Fitzgibbon, was shot under a flag of truce.  This ultimately lead to his death in June at his home in Detroit.

Update: Civil War Daily maps where the opposing sides were, approximately, at the end of February 1865.

Civil War Daily map

Further north, while Union cavalry had started to probe Rebel lines around Petersburg and Richmond in early February, the CSA capital did not fall until evacuated by Confederate President Jefferson Davis on 2 April 1865.

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1 Response to Diary of Orrin Brown—Feb 27, 1865

  1. Pingback: Diary of Orrin Brown—March 16, 1865 -JC Shepard(dot)com

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