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The Worthy Rebels of Worth County:
A History of Company B, 10th Battalion, Georgia Infantry

Including a history of participation in that unit by Sgt. Miles Monk, Sr. and his brother, Thomas John Monk

By K. Steven Monk

In 1861, the Southern states were a seething hotbed of secession. Ever since Confederate batteries had fired upon Fort Sumter in retaliation to Lincoln's sending federal ships to resupply that installation, Southern boys everywhere had been signing up in droves to join the Confederate army in defending their homeland. Lincoln's subsequent calling up for 75,000 federal troops to squash this Southern rebellion only only escalated this mustering in of Southern troops. Miles Monk and his older brother, John, were no exception to this rush to defend Confederate honor.

John and Miles were the 5th and 6th child respectively of William Monk, Jr. and his wife, Alcy (perhaps Ailcy) Dampier. William Junior's father, William Monk, Sr., was a Revolutionary War soldier, and ancestor of a large family connection in Wiregrass Georgia. William, Sr. was born in Edgefield District, South Carolina, in 1763, and died at his home in Bulloch County, Georgia, about 1825. As a Revolutionary soldier, William W. Monk, Sr. served as a private in the Georgia Line. He was the son of Malon (sometimes spelled Menon and Menin) Monk. The family moved to Burke County, Georgia, in 1777-1778, and later to Bulloch County. His brother, Richard Monk, was Administrator of the family's estate in Bulloch County, November 10, 1808. William Monk, Sr. married Jerushia Parrish, who was born in 1773.

A few years after the senior William Monk's, death his widow and unmarried children moved to Lowndes County, along with others of the family connection. She is shown in the 1830 Census of Lowndes as the head of a family consisting of self, three sons and two daughters. In 1850 she was living with her daughter, Rhoda, and her husband, James Mathis in Lowndes County (territory now in Berrien County). She died about 1857 and was buried at Union Church.

Alcy (Dampier) Monk, the wife of William Monk, Jr., was a woman of rare personality. She was independent to the point of sacrifice as well as self-reliant and responsible. She dowered her family with her industry and the bread of idleness was not eaten on her place. She took hold of the farm and stock- raising after her husband died and carried it on successfully. Wool and beef cattle were the chief sources of income in those days. She had an irresistible love for literature, and would set aside days for reading just as she would set apart days for doing any other task, and would invite her friends into the feast of a good dinner and a feast of mind. Books and newspapers were scarce in those days. She took an intense interest in religion. She was Primitive Baptist. She would take her children and a lunch and walk five miles to Old China Grove Church to services. Services in those days came once a month and lasted all day. She wanted her stock to rest on Sunday. After her son, Thomas John Monk, died in the service of the Confederacy, she applied for and RECEIVED his back pay! That was during a period of time that most women were too timid or too un-informed to be able to do that. Alcy Dampier Monk was a spunky old gal!

Thomas John "T.J." Monk served with his brother, Miles, in Company B of the 10th Battalion. According to his official records he died 11 February 1863 in General Hospital No. 19 in Richmond, Virginia of pneumonia. However, a thorough search of the records at both Hollywood Cemetery and Oakwood Cemetery there, failed to turn up a record of John having been buried in either of those two cemeteries, the only two cemeteries where he likely would have been buried at the time. From this search, it was concluded by the researcher, Janice Newton Thurmond, that John's body probably rests in an unmarked grave in Oakwood Cemetery. I have personally conducted a search using the resources at FindAGrave.com and fail to have found a record of John having been buried anywhere else. In all likelyhood, Mrs. Thurmond's assumption is probably right.

The 10th Battalion, Georgia Infantry, which was intially formed as the 3rd Battalion, was organized at Camp Stephens in Griffin, Georgia on 17 March 1862, where it remained until 14 May 1862, when it received orders to proceed to Macon. It was comprised of companies mainly from Macon, Worth, Sumter and Bibb Counties, although there were also men from counties surrounding each of these four counties. On 17 July 1862, Brigadier General Hugh W. Mercer, commander of the Department of Georgia, ordered a 5th company -- Company E. Collectively, these five companies comprised the 10th Battalion of Georgia Volunteers, which was listed as being assigned to what was then known as the Military District of Georgia. Company B of the 10th Battalion was known as the "Worth Rebels." Comprised of Worth County men, it was commanded by Captain Daniel Henderson, and later his son, Captain Manassah Henderson.

From May to December 1862, the 10th Battalion guarded prisoners held at Camp Oglethorpe in Macon, as well as military installations within that city. They were sent to Virginia in December 1862 and attached to G.T. Anderson's Brigade and remained there through April 1863. They did not guard any prisoners other than those that they had guarded at Macon. They participated in the Suffolk Campaign of April 1863 and were later unattached from any brigade and posted at Franklin, Virginia, for 8 months from August 1863 to April 1864. They did not serve in North Carolina except for patrols from Franklin. In April 1864, the Battalion was attached to A.R. Wright's Brigade and participated in the campaign from the Wilderness to Petersburg, from May to June 1864.

The Battle of Jerusalem Plank Road, also known as the First Battle of the Weldon Railroad, was fought June 21–23, 1864, near Petersburg, Virginia. It was the first of a series of battles during the Siege of Petersburg aimed at extending the Union siege lines to the west and cutting the rail lines supplying Petersburg. Two infantry corps of the Union Army of the Potomac attempted to sever the railroad, but were attacked and driven off by the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia's Third Corps, principally the division of Brig. Gen. William Mahone. The inconclusive battle left the Weldon Railroad temporarily in Confederate hands, but the Union Army began to extend its fortifications to the west, starting to increase the pressure of the siege.

After the assaults on Petersburg the previous week failed to capture the city, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant reluctantly decided on a siege of Petersburg, defended by General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. The Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Major General George G. Meade (although closely supervised by his superior, Grant), entrenched east of the city, running from near the Jerusalem Plank Road (present-day U.S. Route 301, Crater Road) to the Appomattox River.

Grant's first objective was to secure the three remaining open rail lines that served Petersburg and the Confederate capital of Richmond: the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad; the South Side Railroad, which reached to Lynchburg in the west; and the Weldon Railroad, also called the Petersburg and Weldon Railroad, which led to Weldon, North Carolina, and the Confederacy's only remaining major port, Wilmington, North Carolina. Grant decided on a wide-ranging cavalry raid (the Wilson-Kautz Raid) against the South Ride and Weldon railroads, but he also directed that a significant infantry force be sent against the Weldon closer to his current position. Meade selected the II Corps, temporarily commanded by Maj. Gen. David B. Birney while Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock was suffering from his lingering wound incurred at Gettysburg, and the VI Corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. Horatio G. Wright. The positions in the trench lines occupied by these two corps were to be filled in by units of the Army of the James that would be moved from Bermuda Hundred.

As the Union troops were rearranging their lines on June 21 in preparation for their mission against the railroad, they received a surprise visitor, President Abraham Lincoln, who had traveled by water and landed at City Point, Grant's newly established headquarters. He told Grant, "I just thought I would jump aboard a boat and come down and see you. I don't expect I can do any good, and in fact I'm afraid I may do some harm, but I'll just put myself under your orders and if you find me doing anything wrong just send me right away." After discussing strategy with Grant, Lincoln visited some of the VI Corps troops who would participate in the upcoming battle.

On June 21, elements of the II Corps probed toward the railroad and skirmished with Confederate cavalry. The plan of attack was that both the II and VI Corps would cross the Jerusalem Plank Road and then pivot northwest about 2 miles to reach the railroad. Difficult terrain (swamps and thickets) slowed their advance and by the morning of June 22, a gap opened up between the two corps. While the II Corps began pivoting as planned, the VI Corps encountered Confederate troops from Maj. Gen. Cadmus Wilcox's division of Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill's corps and they began to entrench rather than advance. Brig. Gen. William Mahone, another division commander in Hill's corps, observed that the gap between the two Union corps was widening, creating a prime target.

Mahone had been a railroad engineer before the war and had personally surveyed this area south of Petersburg, so he was familiar with a ravine that could be used to hide the approach of a Confederate attack column. Robert E. Lee approved Mahone's plan and at 3 p.m. on June 22, Mahone's men emerged in the rear of the II Corps division of Brig. Gen. Francis C. Barlow, catching them by surprise. A soldier wrote, "The attack was to the Union troops more than a surprise. It was an astonishment."

"With a wild yell which rang out shrill and fierce through the gloomy pines, Mahone's men burst upon the flank—a pealing volley, which roared along the whole front — a stream of wasting fire, under which the adverse left fell as one man — and the bronzed veterans swept forward, shriveling up Barlow's division as lightning shrivels the dead leaves of autumn." -- Diary of W. Gordon McCabe, artilleryman in Mahone's division.

It was during this part of the Battle of Jerusalem Plank Road in which the courage, endurance and resourcefulness of Sgt. Miles Monk, of Company B, 10th Battalion was ably demonstrated. During the fighting which occured on June 22nd, Miles was severely wounded in the arm. He lay on the battlefield with his wounds for three days before finally being rescued. Had he not allowed maggots to take over his festering wound, he would have died from gangreen on the battlefield. The maggots saved his life by feeding on the bacteria that had begun to infect his wound. Nonetheless, Miles was permanantly disabled by the wound and was finally furloughed out of service on 30 October 1864. He was at home when the Cause for which he had fought so valiantly was finally defeated when General Lee signed the surrender at Appomattox.

Barlow's division quickly collapsed under the surprise assault. The division of Brig. Gen. John Gibbon, which had erected earthworks, was also surprised by an attack from the rear and many of the regiments ran for safety. Mahone sent an urgent message to his colleague Wilcox, asking him to join in the attack, but Wilcox was concerned about the VI Corps men to his front and the two regiments he sent in support arrived too late to make a difference. The II Corps troops rallied around earthworks that they had constructed on the night of June 21 and stabilized their lines. Darkness ended the fighting.

Major John E. Rylander, commander of the 10th Battalion, was killed at Cold Harbor a few days before the action at Jerusalem Plank Road. Captain James Daniel Frederick, of Company A, was promoted in his place. The 10th was at Deep Bottom, 16 August 1864 and at Weldon R.R., 21 August 1864 and remained on the lines at Petersburg until the withdrawal, 2 April 1865. Major Frederick was wounded at Deep Bottom and the command of the Battalion eventually fell to Captain Caleb Hill of Company A. Their last battle was at Farmville, 7 April 1865.

Farmville was the object of the Confederate Army's desperate push to get rations to feed its soldiers near the end of the American Civil War. The rations had originally been destined for Danville, but an alert quartermaster ordered the train back to Farmville. Despite an advance of the cavalry commanded by Fitzhugh Lee, the Confederate Army was checked by the arrival of Union cavalry commanded by General Philip Sheridan and two divisions of infantry. General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia found itself soon surrounded. With no other options left for retreat and regrouping, he surrendered at Appomattox Court House on 9 April 1865.

After being wounded in the Battle of Deep Bottom, Captain James D. Frederick was sent to a hospital in Richmond. A red hot iron, administered without anesthetic into the gangrenous wound, saved his leg but left him with a slight limp. After the war he moved to Marshallville, where he lived until 1899, serving his county and state in many responsible positions. Major Frederick succeeded Colonel Willis as Commander of the Macon County Confederate Veterans, which position he enjoyed until his death. He served as one of the Judges of Inferior Court from the year 1857, until Inferior Courts were abolished in 1868. When the Commissioner of Roads and Revenues was created in 1872, he was elected Chairman and continued in this office until his death. He represented the county in the Georgia Legisture in 1857-58, 1875-76, and 1877, and in the State Senate in 1882-83. For many years he was Vice President of the State Agricultural Society, which, in its day, was a most influential organization. It has been said of him that he was a brave soldier, a useful citizen and a beloved man.


For further reading:

"10th Battalion, Georgia Volunteer Infantry: A Regimental History" by John Griffin
http://user.winbeam.com/~jagriffin/10thbat.htm

"A Brief History of the 10th Battalion Georgia Infantry" by Dennis B. Miller, Historian for the 10th Battalion, Georgia Infantry
http://www.10thbattaliongeorgiainfantry.webs.com

Farmville, Virginia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farmville,_Virginia#Civil_War_history

Battle of Globe Tavern (or the Second Battle of the Weldon Railroad)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Globe_Tavern

Battle of Jerusalem Plank Road
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Jerusalem_Plank_Road



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