Friday, May 3, 2013

Battle of Providence Church Road

Sunday, May 3, 1863

At 6:00 A.M .the Thirteenth New Hampshire regiment marches toward Suffolk with Colonel Aaron Stevens in command. At 9:00 A.M. the Thirteenth crosses the Nansemond River in support of the 89th New York, the 103rd New York, and the 25th New Jersey regiments. The Thirteenth New Hampshire takes position in a line of battle along a field near the ruins of Captain Nathaniel Pruden’s house. The Confederates formed a line in the woods nearly 500 yards across the field. At 1:00 P.M. the order to charge is given. The Thirteenth New Hampshire charges gallantly across the open fields into the woods. At about 1:15 P.M. the Confederates are in full retreat and the rifle pits are taken. The Thirteenth New Hampshire continued into the woods for nearly two hours. Rapid gunfire from sharpshooters exploded from the dense brush. Captain Lewis Buzzell of Company F and others were shot; Captain Buzzell was shot through the heart and died instantly. The Thirteenth New Hampshire retreated with their dead and wounded and reached camp at 10 P.M. The casualties for the Thirteenth New Hampshire were four killed and nineteen wounded, with the largest number of casualties occurring during the charge. Among the mortally wounded was Nathaniel Caverly Jr. The Thirteenth was wisely praised for their gallantry in their charge. General Longstreet withdrew from Suffolk later in the day and reached the main body of the Confederate Army on May 9.1

1S. Millett Thompson, Thirteenth Regiment of New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865 : A Diary Covering Three Years and a Day (Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1888), 139-52.

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