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Sergeant William F. A. Dickerson of Company D wrote this sketch that outlines the travels and actions of the 38th Ga., from Jan 4th, 1864, until the surrender at Appomattox Court House. This is one of the most detailed accounts written concerning the 38th Ga., and is filled with interesting facts. This account was published along with the 38th Ga. company rosters in Ms. Lillian Henderson's Rosters of the Confederate Soldiers of Georgia, published in the 1950's for the state of Georgia.


Battle at Morton's Ford, Va. January 4th, 1864. Battle of Wilderness, May 5 and 6, 1864. Battle of Spotsylvania 5/12/1864, where Gordon's Brigade of about two thousand had captured about twenty-five hundred prisoners, had killed and wounded about as many more, and routed five or six times our number. After this Generals Gordon, Evans & Lowe was promoted. From there we marched to Hanover, Va., with heavy skirmishing every day. We fortified and remained a few days. From there to near Richmond, where we were engaged three times. Left there on the 18th of June for Lynchburg. Arrived on the evening of the 17th. Found the enemy shelling the town. Threw up temporary fortifications that night. Skirmished all next day.

On the night of the 18th the enemy fell back in the direction of Salem, pursued by us. On the 19th to Hanging Rock, where there was some skirmishing, after which we changed our line of march by Buchanan and Lexington, by Natural Bridge, thence to Staunton, Va., thence to Winchester, which was 92 miles, thence to Martinsburg, where we arrived on the 3d of July. On the 4th five companies of he 38th Regiment were left at Martinsburg, W. Va., on provost guard, Capt. S. G. Rankin in command. We crossed into Maryland. Left there on July 8th. Fell back to Winchester, with some prisoners. We did guard there until July 18th, when the army returned to Virginia. We joined them near Berryville. At twelve o'clock on the night of the 20th we marched in the direction of Middletown. Arrived there on the 21st and stayed until the 22d. Marched to Strasburg. Camped until the 24th when we marched back to Middletown, where we had a fight. At Winchester we camped until the evening of the 25th, then marched near Bunker Hill, W. Va. On the 26th we passed through Martinsburg, W. Va. Went to work tearing up Baltimore A Ohio R. R. On the 31st went to Darksville, where we camped until August 3d, then to Martinsburg, W. Va. On the 4th to Shepherdstown, W. Va. Crossed the Potomac; had some skirmishing and camped at Strasburg. On the 6th we recrossed the Potomac at Williams port. On the 7th to Darksville, where we camped until the 9th when we marched to Bunker Hill, W. Va. On the 10th to Jordan Springs. On the 11th we skirmished all day between there and Newtown, W. Va. On the 12th we fell back three miles to Fisher's Hill, where we remained until the 15th. Advanced our line, when we had two killed and five wounded. On the 16th we laid fortifications. On the 17th we had a fight near Winchester; had one wounded in our company and four wounded in the regiment.

On the 18th we stayed in camp. On the 19th we marched to Bunker Hill, W. Va., where we camped until the 21st. Marched to Smithfield and formed battle line. On the 22d marched by Charles Town, where we camped until the 25th. We had picket fighting from there to Shepherdstown, W. Va. Had a fight on the 26th at Leedstown, Va. On the 27th to Bunker Hill, where we camped until the 29th. Marched in the direction of Smithfield, where we had a little fight with the cavalry. Back to Bunker Hill, where we camped until September 2d. Marched to right of Smithfield, camped near Brucetown. Had picket fighting on the 5th. From the 6th to the 9th we camped three miles below Winchester. On the 13th marched by Brucetown where we formed battle line and had heavy skirmishing. Artillery firing kept up all day. Back to camp at night. On the 17th to Bunker Hill. On the 18th to Martinsville and back to Bunker Hill. On the 19th to Winchester, where we had a fight which lasted all day. Capt. J. G. Rankin was wounded and captured. At night we fell back to Newtown. On the 20th to Fisher's Hill, where we camped in the breastworks. On October 18th to Strasburg, where we formed battle line and drove the enemy across Cedar Creek.

Back to Bunker Hill that night. On picket on the 14th and 15th. In camp on the 16th. On the 17th we advanced our pickets andh ad some fighting. Dr. Price was killed. On the 18th we moved at night to our right on the flank of the enemy. On the 19th at daylight opened on the enemy in their camp on Cedar Creek. They were taken by surprise. We drove them to Middletown, where they received reinforcements by the thousands. We had captured about twenty stands of colors. The most of the enemy were still in bed, and rose, running in their night clothes and leaving everything behind. Some said they ran to Winchester, which is fifteen miles, without hat or shoes. That was the biggest capture we ever made. Every sweet has its bitter, and that evening we lost it all and more too. We fell back to Fisher's Hill. On the 20th back to New Market, twenty five miles, where we camped until November 8th, when we moved camp four miles above New Market and camped until the 10th. Marched back down the pike to Edinburg; from there to Brown's Gap and one more trip down the pike to Fisher's Hill, where we had a big fight, and were routed with considerable loss, by a flank movement by the enemy.

Lt. G. R. Wells was captured and S. H. Huff and S. J. Woods of Co. D, were killed. On December we left the Valley for Richmond. We had some official reports that our little band of not over twelve thousand had marched two thousand five hundred miles and had killed, wounded and captured about twenty two thousand Union soldiers. In the Valley campaign from Richmond to Petersburg, we built winter quarters and moved into them December 31st. Had heavy guard and fatigue duty to do. February 5th had a fight at Hatcher's Run. George Baxter of Co. D, was slightly wounded. On the 6th we had a fight near Mr. Crow's house. On the 7th heavy skirmishing all day. On the 8th we threw up fortifications all day. On the 14th we relieved B. R. Johnson's Division in breastworks in front of Petersburg, where we divided in three reliefs and were on duty day and night. None were allowed to remove cartridge boxes. Early on the morning of the 26th we attacked the enemy in front, captured them and held them until about ten o'clock, when we had to fall back with heavy loss. W. V. Wells was killed and J. H. Smith was captured. On April 1st there was heavy cannonading all night. On the 2d our lines were attacked at different places.

Fighting continued all day. We kept moving our line from right to left. We were not engaged on that night. Took up line of march, in the direction of Amelia Court House, and continued to march day and night until the night of the 4th when we stopped and drew rations. On the 5th we lay in battle line all day and marched all that night. At daylight we took two hours' rest. On the 6th fought all day and retreated at night. Marched to High Bridge at Farmville. On the 7th we lay in battle line all day. At night we took line of march and continued until the evening of the 8th. Stopped to within 28 miles of Lynchburg. At Appomattox Court House we drew short rations. While cooking cannonading began and we were called in line. At nine o'clock we marched to Court House and lay in battle line the remainder of the night. On the 9th we had a fight and drove the enemy in our front. At ten o'clock we surrendered and went in camp. On the 10th we drew rations from the United States. On the 12th we received our paroles and started home, where I arrived on April the 30th.

(signed) W. F. A. Dickerson, Co. D.

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