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A Brief History of the 48th Georgia
Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Army of Northern Virginia

The Chain of Command

General Robert E Lee
(Commander of Confederate Forces)

General James Longstreet
(Corp Commander)

General D.H. Hill / General R.H. Anderson
(Division Commanders)

General Roswell Riply (1862) / General Ransom Wright (1862)
(Brigade Commanders)

After the first shots were fired in Charelston SC on April 12,1861 Georgia began to organize military units for defense. These units were mainly State Militia called up for six months of service. In early 1862 Volunteer Regiments were called up and the Militia units joined the regular Confederate Army.

In the winter of 1862 the 48th Volunteer Infantry began its organization in Milledgville Georgia. William Gibson, a private in the Georgia Light Guards, was elected Colonel. The Regiment was composed of

Co. A, Gibson Guards (Hancock Co.)
Co. B, Warren Infantry
Co. C, Georgia Light Infantry (Richmond Co.)
Co. D., Burke Volunteers
Co. E, Jefferson Volunteers
Co. F., Battleground Guards
Co. G, Slappey Guards (Twiggs Co.)
Co. H, McLeod Volunteers (Emanuel Co.)
Co. I, Wilson Tigers (Richmond Co.)
Co. K, Hamilton Rangers (Columbia Co.).

By May the Regiment had completed several weeks of brief basic training and was sent to Grahamvill South Carolina. The units first assigment was the defense of Charleston, South Carolina. When the Northern Army began its advance on the Confederate Capital of Richmond the Regiment began its march towards the battlefields of Virginia.

The Seven Days Campaign

The 48th Georgia, arriving in Richmond, was assigned to Roswell Ripley's Brigade of D.H. Hill's Division of the Army of Northern Virginia just after the Battle of Seven Pines.

At Seven pines the Commanding General of the Army of Northern Virginia,General Joe Johnston, had been severly wounded. His replacement was General Robert E. Lee who had been supervising the defenses around the city. Lee drew up a daring plan to stop the Federal adavance and drive their Forces back down the peninsula.

The 48th as part of Ripley's brigade was ordered to advance on Mechanicsville where Lee And his Generals planned to attack the Federal Army on June 26. After crossing the Chickahominy River the Confederates met heavy resistance At Beaverdam creek. After several CSA units were driven back from the creek the Fourth Brigade of A.P. Hill's Division under General Pender was ordered to move right along the creek. They were flooded with Federal Battery fire and became trapped.

General D.H Hill ordered Ripley to move right in support of a rescue of Pender by crossing the Mechanicsvill Bridge and taking position on the Western bank at the extream right of the Confederate lines just above the river. Federal Battery fire from the creeks oppsite side pounded the exposed Brigades.

Ripley ordered two Regiments left, The 48th Ga & 3rd NC, to provide support for Pender .The Men of Ripley's Brigade charged but could not reach the creek. As the night came Ripley's men moved back beyond the creek just as the artillery began to arrive. Ripley's men were relieved and were moved back beyond Mechanicsville early next morning.

Pender and Ripley lost 851 men, killed and wounded. The 44th Ga of Ripley's brigade was decimated with 335 casualties in the first assault.

Lee's first battle was a failure due to miscommunication and a poor chain of command. The Federal forces however destroyed their stores and fell back during the night toward Gaines Mill.

On June 27th heavy fighting occurred near Gains Mill where the Federals had withdrawn the night before. Ripley and his men were bogged down crossing the rough swampy land southeast of Old Cold Harbor.

The 48th was sent to secure a position for Division Commander Anderson and was in the rear.

The Confederates were able to overrun several Federal Positions .

The 48th repaired the bridge over the Chickahominy River and rested on the next day for the climax of the battles.

The Confederates attacked the Union forces at Frazier's Farm on the last day of June. D.H. Hill and Stonewall Jackson were on the north side of White Oak Swamp one and one half miles from the bridge. Richard's and Smith's Federal Divisions blocked them from the main battle area.

The climax of the Battles of the Seven Days came on July 1, 1862. Ripley was ordered to form on the front line opposite Federal sharpshooters. Ripley's brigade was placed on the extreme Confederate left astride Western Run and Willis Church Road. About five o'clock Ripley took a position in a dense cover near Malvern Hill. Ripley was positioned to the left with the 48th on the right.

The Federals were in strong numbers and supported by artillery as Just before seven o'clock the 48th pressed the attack forward to the level ground. Many were mowed down by Union cannister shot. Ripley continued to push forward under withering fire .

Couch's army inflicted 264 casualties upon Ripley's Georgians and North Carolinians. Ripley's men fell back at dark not knowing the extent of the Federal casualties. Col. William Gibson was injured in the attack.

General George McLellan's Federal army was pushed completely away from Richmond. Lee's men had achieved the South's greatest success to date,but the campaign did not come without massive loss of life and limb.

Ripley lost nearly 900 men - over one-third of his brigade. Three of four colonels in the brigade were killed. Seven of eleven captains were killed or wounded.

2nd Manassas

By the end of the summer of 1862 Robert E Lee had reorganized the Confederate Army Creating two Corps under the Command of his abelest Generals.

The 48th Georgia had become part of Gen. Ransom Wright's Brigade of General R.H. Anderson's Division. The Division was attached to the Right Wing of the Army of Northern Virginia under the command of General James Longstreet.

Ransom Wright, a Louisville-born attorney, commanded a Georgia Brigade composed of the 3rd, 22nd, 44th, and 48th Georgia Regiments.

Lee hoped to continue his successes of the 7 Days Battles with a return to the scene of the Confederate Victory at Bull Run or Manassas.

By seeming to leave Jacksons First Corp exposed, Lee hoped to lure the overconfident Federal Commander, John Pope, into a trap holding Longstreet's Second Corp in reserve till the Yankees had exhausted themselves attacking Jackson's well fortified position.

On the afternoon of August 30 the 48th Georgia moved out from its resting place on the Brawner Farm.

Advancing towards Henry Hill under heavy artillery fire the Georgians (Three Thousand strong) pressed the attack on Federal Forces at the Sudley road.

At the height of the fighting Wright brought the brigade to the far right in support of Gen. G.T. Anderson's brigade, being fired on before their lines could be formed. Mahone's brigade fell in to Wright's right flank extending the Confederate right far beyond the Union left . The Federal lines were caught in a deadly position, but The Confederates failed to press the attack allowing the Union army to regroup. The 15th and 17th Georgia regiments fell back. Anderson's Division and the 48th held their positions.Anderson failed to realize that an attack would have cut the Federal lines. However his failure did not end the assault on the Federal lines.

Wright and Anderson's brigades continued to pressure the Union lines until an hour after dark.After Wilcox's and Drayton's brigades replaced Wright's exhausted men. Longstreet's Corps continued the attack forcing Pope's Yankees into a retreat.,

With the Federals driven from the field Lee's forces were in position to launch an attack deep into the North as the Federals settled in around Washington D.C.


Gen. Lee hoped to take the war out of ravaged Northern Virginia where supplies were scarce. His success at the Second Manassas allowed the army to march into Maryland. Anderson's Division moved out from camp on the 10th of September to join Gen. McLaw's Division in Maryland Heights. The 48th Georgia under the corps command of James Longstreet crossed Antietam Creek and took up position in front of Sharpsburg on the 15th.

Wright's Brigade was placed in northeastern Sharpsburg in a reserve position along the Hagerstown Turnpike opposite Richardson's federal brigade. The Confederate lines on the 16th were about a half a mile east of the road near Antietam Creek.

On September 17th at dawn Anderson and his men were west of Sharpsburg, Maryland, protecting the headquarters of R.E. Lee. The most intense fighting took place in a small sunken roadway called the "Bloody Lane". The roadway lay beneath ground level between Sharpsburg and Antietam Creek forming a natural trench for its defenders. Gen. George McLellan ordered an advance at the Rebel center near Dunker Church.

The Confederates inflicted casualties by the thousands along the "Bloody Lane." When a Confederate brigade fell back from their position in the Lane the Union forces moved in to fill the void.

Gen. D.H. Hill ordered his forces to abandon the "Bloody Lane".

Gen. Anderson brought up his division to reinforce D.H. Hill. He took cover in an orchard and unharvested cornfield nearby. French's Federals, frustrated in not breaking the line at "Bloody Lane," began to fire into Anderson's men.

Gen. Wright had his horse shot out from under him , unhurt by the shot, led his men on foot into the cornfield.

Later Gen. Wright suffered a minor gunshot wound, while Anderson was severely wounded before his men got into the action.

Roger Pryor, a politician, took over command of the division.

The Confederate line began to collapse as New Federal forces were sucked into the deathtrap of the Bloody Lane.

Wright along with Pryor and Featherston fell back through the cornfield. The Confederate left under Rhodes collapsed near the apex of the lane.

The fighting continued in and around the cornfield.

Gen. Burnside battled the Confederate forces for position at the bridge over Antietam Creek ,holding up the advance of his division for six hours. As the Federals began to advance toward Sharpsburg, A.P. Hill and his light division arrived to rescue Lee's Army.

The Army of the Potomac lost 2,108 dead, 9,540 wounded and 753 missing - nearly 1/4 of their force. Lee's forces lost an estimated 1,546 dead, 7,752 wounded, and 1,018 missing - nearly 1/3 of his men on the firing line. The day the bloodiest in American history ended in a draw, with neither side gaining any tactical advantage.


Lee withdrew his army back into Virginia as winter approached hoping to secure positions around the town of Fredricksburg.

The 48th Georgia was sent to the U.S. Ford on the Rappahannock River, just above Fredericksburg.

The Union forces under Gen. Ambrose Burnside captured the city on their march toward Richmond and Lee sent Longstreet to Fredericksburg to check the Union forces which outnumbered the southerners by 5 to 2.

Burnside held back his attack until December 13, 1862. Wright's Brigade was positioned on the extreme left flank. Their position was on a hill in the northwestern part of town overlooking the Union reserves on the East Side of the Rappahannock River. Burnside's Federals attempted on several fronts to break the Confederate lines. Each time the attacks were repulsed.

That day 9,000 Federals fell at Marye's Heights. Southern losses were slightly over 1,500. Burnside retreated across the river and Fredericksburg fell back into the control of Lee's Army.


Muster Roll of CO K

History of the 48th (Seven Days to Fredricksburg)

History of the 48th (Chancellorsville and Gettysburg)

History of the 48th (to Appomattox)

Civil War research links.

The Malone ,Crawford, Street Page.