Sulphur Springs Order of Battle

As a follow-up to my earlier post of Fauquier White Sulphur Springs, I’ve been working on identifying the Federal units involved, especially which infantry regiment was responsible for the three cheers and a “tiger” that Jubal Early heard on the night of August 23, 1862.  I found one print source with an “order of battle”.  The Compendium of the War of the Rebellion shows an “action” on August 23 and 24, and an “engagement” on August 24, 1862.

Through the NPS Soldiers and Sailors database I double-checked for specific infantry, cavalry and artillery units present at Sulphur Springs between August 22 and 24, 1862, using the units listed in Hennessy’s order of battle in Return to Bull Run

I have compiled a rudimentary order of battle.  Some unit service records on the NPS database from both the Army of Virginia and the Army of the Potomac show “Fords of the Rappahannock” or “Operations on the Rappahannock River” during mid to late August 1862.  However, their physical presence could have been anywhere from Waterloo Bridge to Kelly’s Ford.  The following units have “Sulphur Springs” or related names specifically listed for the dates on which I’m focusing.  Other units came to Sulphur Springs after this action, on August 25 and 26, after Jackson was gone; I am not listing those units.  The following table is sorted by date, with the more inclusive dates near the bottom.  Some units are listed in the NPS database, but not the Compendium.  All units listed are from Pope’s Army of Virginia, with two exceptions as noted (and pardon my rusty HTML table formatting skills).

Date
(from NPS Site)

Compendium – Action

Compendium Engagement

NPS site

Branch

Unit

Aug. 23

 

 

X

Cavalry

1st West Virginia

Aug. 24

 

X

X

Infantry

41st New York

Aug. 24

 

X

X

Infantry

29th New York

Aug. 24

 

X

X

Infantry

73rd Pennsylvania

Aug. 24

 

X

X

Infantry

75th Pennsylvania

Aug. 24

 

 

X

Infantry

28th Pennsylvania

Aug. 24

 

 

X

Infantry

3rd Maryland

Aug. 24

 

X

X

Infantry

60th New York

Aug. 24

 

X

X

Infantry

24th New York

Aug. 24

 

X

X

Infantry

50th Pennsylvania*

Aug. 24

X

 

X

Cavalry

9th New York

Aug. 24

 

 

X

Cavalry

2nd New York

Aug. 24 (from Compendium)

 

X

 

Artillery

Pennsylvania Light, Battery F

Aug. 24 (from Compendium)

 

X

 

Artillery

West Virginia Light, Battery C

Aug. 23-24

X

X

X

Infantry

61st Ohio

Aug. 23-24

 

 

X

Infantry

3rd Delaware

Aug. 23-24

 

 

X

Infantry

78th New York

Aug. 23-24

X

 

X

Infantry

23rd New York

Aug. 23-24

 

 

X

Infantry

51st New York*

Aug. 23-24

X

 

X

Cavalry

1st Maryland

Aug. 23-24

 

 

X

Cavalry

5th New York

Aug. 23-24

X

 

X

Artillery

1st New York Light, Battery I

Aug. 23-24

X

 

X

Artillery

New York Light, 10th Battery

Aug. 23-25

 

 

X

Infantry

28th New York

Aug. 23-25

 

 

X

Artillery

Pennsylvania Light, Battery E

*9th Corps, Army of the Potomac

For the units not listed in the Compendium at Sulphur Springs, but listed as present in the NPS database, the following information is noted from the Compendium. Detachments of the 1st West Virginia Cavalry were at Freeman’s Ford and Kelly’s Ford on August 22 and at Waterloo Bridge on August 24 so it is possible they were in the area.  The 28th Pennsylvania Infantry participated in the campaign, but no specific locations are listed.  The 3rd Maryland Infantry also participated in the campaign as well as actions along the Rappahannock, but not Sulphur Springs.  The 2nd New York Cavalry participated in the campaign, actions along the Rappahannock (not Sulphur Springs) from August 20 to 23, and Catlett’s Station on August 22, but is not listed again until Groveton on August 29.  I suspect that the inclusion of Pennsylvania Light Artillery, Battery E, is a typographical error, and that Battery F is more likely accurate.  The 3rd Delaware Infantry participated in the campaign and was involved in a skirmish at Sulphur Springs on August 30, but not a week earlier.  The 5th New York Cavalry and 28th, 51st and 78th New York Infantry regiments participated in the campaign but no mention is made of ever being present at Sulphur Springs or even on the Rappahannock line. 

As the reader can see, there are some contradictions as to which units were or were not present.  Army of Virginia units came from all three corps; two units from the Army of Potomac’s 9th Corps also may have been present.  It is as if so many regiments were moving through and along the Rappahannock line that brigade and division cohesion was, at least temporarily, lost.  In addition, the troops present during Early’s crossing did not appear to stay in the area for very long.  Further investigation into unit histories and other publications will be necessary to form a more complete picture.

In the near future I will be transferring this data to an Order of Battle page for Sulphur Springs, with units grouped by Corps, Division and Brigade as applicable.

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