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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:25 am 
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I have a question as to a discrepancy I have found during the Mechanicsville battle. At http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/stone.cfm
I had read the following account where credit was given to Major Stone of the Bucktails for warning the two companies of the 1st USSS to pull out before being overrun:
When the three companies and the Fifth Regiment were mistakenly withdrawn from the bridge, General A. P. Hill's Confederate division began crossing the Chickahominy. Stone's three companies were cut off and at risk of capture or defeat. Learning of the withdrawal at Meadow Bridge, Stone warned Company B in time for it to retreat to safety by a roundabout route. He then rushed ahead to warn Company D, the next in line. Assisted by a small guard of cavalry, Stone led Company D on a long detour to safety. Stone's order to Company K to retire was not received, but after recognizing the danger, the company hid in a nearby swamp until the danger had passed and worked its way to safety over the next 5 days.
By 2:30 p.m., Major Stone and the two companies he had helped extricate, B and D, had rejoined the three Bucktail companies that had been pulled back from Meadow Bridge. They were ordered into position, adjacent to two other companies, known as the U.S. Sharpshooters, to resist the main attack at Beaver Dam Creek. Stone directed last minute preparations for what would be his first as commander of the regiment. When the battle began at about 3 p.m., the Bucktails held their position, making every shot count. Glover described the battle


However, C.A Stevens in his book is emphatic the warning rescue was made by Brig. Gen. (John F.) Reynolds of the Penn. Volunteers (Bucktails), who “rode quietly and unattended to the woods…personally visiting the pits, ordered the men to fall back quickly….as the enemy are upon us”

Stevens also says the two companies of Sharpshooters were C and G.

Even though Stone’s account is technically correct as to the movement and placement of troops, I assume Steven’s account is more accurate…?

Or are these two separate actions when the Bucktails were also split to two different locations….meaning Stone rescued the Bucktails in one location, and Reynolds the Bucktails and Co. C and G at the other?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:50 pm 
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My sharpshooter reference books are being loaned to a friend of mine so I can draw from them at the moment. However, the account you shared leads me to believe that Major Stone was responsible for withdrawing companies from his own regiment, i.e. the Bucktails, while General Reynolds at some other point on the line was responsible for warning the 1st USSS companies to fall back. It sounds like there is no discrepancy but rather that these were two separate incidents that happened at different parts of the skirmish line.

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Wambaugh, White, & Company
http://www.wwandcompany.com
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Randolph Mess, U.S. Sharpshooters


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:32 pm 
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It is really difficult to try and pin point, but I believe Stone may be trying to get a little glory. Because later in Steven’s book (page 109), Steven’s quotes Maj. Roger Stone on his report about Mechanicsville: “Two companies of U.S. Sharpshooters, Capt. Drew and Capt. Giroux, attached to my command during the action…..”

Drew was captain of G Company, and Giroux was of Co. C.

Stone also goes on to state on the next day, the 27th; he was to hold the enemy while the army moved to a new line at Gaines Hill. He deployed the sharpshooter companies to the right and left.

I have to think it is one action, and because Stevens was a member of one of the companies involved (Co. G), his account is more credible.

Also, at the battle of Gettysburg, Stevens (on page 286) says this about General Reynolds’s death 30 minutes into the battle: “The Wisconsin company of Sharpshooters and Michigan Company C had additional reason to regret his fall, for it was before said this general, while serving with his command at Mechanicsville, who saved those companies from capture if not destruction, by personally coming to them to the front and warning them to immediately retire.”


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