Red Clay to Richmond: Trail of the 35th Georgia Infantry Regiment, C.S.A. (Book Review) | HistoryNet

Red Clay to Richmond: Trail of the 35th Georgia Infantry Regiment, C.S.A. (Book Review)

6/12/2006 • Book Reviews

Reviewed by Richard A. Sauers
By John J. Fox III
Angle Valley Press, 472 pages

John J. Fox III became interested in the 35th Georgia in 1987, when he was shown a cache of unpublished letters written by a soldier in the regiment. Now, almost two decades after his curiosity was piqued, Fox has written one of the better modern-day regimental histories of a Confederate unit that has hitherto been largely ignored by historians.

The colonel of the 35th Georgia, Edward L. Thomas, was promoted to brigadier general and led his Georgia Brigade throughout the war, serving as part of Hill’s, then Pender’s, then Wilcox’s Light Division in the Army of Northern Virginia. The 35th saw action from Seven Pines (Fair Oaks) until the war’s end, when 136 of its officers and men surrendered at Appomattox. In between, the regiment fought in the Seven Days’ battles, Cedar Mountain, Second Manassas, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania and Petersburg, as well as participating in a score of other engagements. On April 2, 1865, as Union assaults swamped the Petersburg defenses, a portion of the 35th helped defend Fort Gregg.

After being bitten by the Civil War bug, Fox left no stone unturned in his search for information about the 35th Georgia and its sister regiments in Thomas’ Brigade. He used a plethora of unpublished letters and diaries found in public repositories, private collections, contemporary and postwar newspapers and published primary sources, as well as secondary studies. Throughout the book, Fox often lets the Georgians speak for themselves, quoting extensively from their letters and diaries.
Battle maps clearly show the relationship of the regiment to the larger combat in which it fought. Numerous illustrations of soldiers and relics accompany the text as well. The author has taken modern photos to show where the regiment was engaged with the Yankees. Camp French, the site of the regiment’s winter encampment in 1861-62, has been found, and an appendix of photos of excavated artifacts from that location is a great addition to the book. Included with the history is a regimental roster, organized by last name rather than company. In sum, this is an excellent history in which the author amassed a vast amount of information and used it to great advantage in telling the tale of a forgotten Georgia regiment.

7 Responses to Red Clay to Richmond: Trail of the 35th Georgia Infantry Regiment, C.S.A. (Book Review)

  1. Jared says:

    This book is awsome I just finished reading It my G-G-Grandfather was Thomas W Knight and i am related to all the Knights And Mcclung’s from Gwinnett co. Ga and this is the first book I have read that trueley lets me understand what thay went trough during that horrable time John Fox III Is a great writer truely awsome

    I Will Never Forget Our History

  2. Ralph E. Ford II says:

    Camp #1536
    State Served & Unit

    Ralph Ford
    2nd Lt Nathaniel E. Ford

    Commissioned Aug. 30th 1861

    Pvt William F. Ford

    Pvt Jesse S. Ford

  3. susan mckinney says:

    on my grandfathers military gravestone the letters after the words WORLD WAR II are ” BSMP ” . do you know what this stands for?

  4. Scott Bennett says:

    Mrs. McKinney

    From what I have been able to dig up the letters “BSMP” refers to a solder in a security platoon or Military Police in Germany. Was he involved with the occupation forces after Germany surrendered? I got this info searching keywords for BSMP Military and found numerous references to Security Forces with the Army in Germany in modern years. If anyone can verify this please do.

  5. Steve Camp says:

    Just purchased this book and can’t wait for it to arrive. I recently found out my grandfather’s grandfather and his brother were with the 35th from beginning to end. Enlisted Sept. 16, 1861 in Walton County, GA.
    Last muster on Feb. 28, 1865 shows my uncle at home on wounded furlough but my g-g-grandfather was present. I have to assume he was with Lee at Appomattox but have not found any difinitive record of ssuch. Is there a record of who was with the 35th on that day in April 1865.

    • Connie Milton says:

      Steve, My great grandfather, Stephen Lafayette Moon, also enlisted from Walton County in 1861. I have copies of a few of his letters. Hope you find what you are looking for. I am going to order this book to.

  6. Virginia Saunders says:

    I’m getting the book this morning and was told that my gg grandfather was captain James Micajah White, of the unit.

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