Thursday, December 6, 2012

Brigadier General Marcellus Augustus Stovall: my 4th cousin 5x removed

Brigadier General Marcellus Augustus Stovall

Marcellus Augustus Stovall was born in Sparta, Hancock County, Georgia on September 18, 1818.  He is my 4th cousin 5x removed.  His Grandfather, Thomas Stovall, and my 7th Great Grandfather, John Bartholomew Stovall were 2nd cousins.  Both Thomas and John were Patriots in the American Revolution.
His father, Pleasant Augustus Stovall was as successful merchant from Augusta, Georgia.

Marcellus was educated at Wesleyan Academy in Wilbraham, Massachusetts.  Following graduation he returned to his home state of Georgia where, in 1835,  he enlisted as a Private in the Georgia State Volunteers.  Marcellus served in the "Richmond Blues", a mounted infantry unit from Augusta, during the Seminole Wars.  He was the youngest man in his company and never missed a day of duty during the entire campaign.

On July 1, 1836, Marcellus accepted an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point.  Due to poor health, he was forced to resign a year later in 1837.  Following his resignation from West Point, Stovall returned to the Georgia State Militia, where he served as Captain of Artillery for the "Clinch Rifles".   In 1842, he married Sarah G. McKinne and moved to an estate near Rome, Georgia.  While in Rome, Stovall resumed his duties with the Georgia State Militia, this time serving as Captain of Artillery for the "Cherokee Volunteer Artillery". 

Due to the fact that he was already serving as Captain of the Cherokee Artillery, he naturally offered his services to Georgia Governor, Joseph E. Brown at the outbreak of the Civil War.  Stovall received a commission as Colonel of the 2nd Georgia Artillery Regiment. 

Cover Sheet for Stovall's Service Record with the 3rd Georgia Battalion

He was appointment Lieutenant Colonel of the 3rd Georgia Battalion on December 13, 1861 and was confirmed on December 16, 1861. 

1st Muster for Stoval's Service with the 3rd Georgia Battalion

The 3rd Georgia Battalion was originally assigned to report to the Confederate Capitol in Richmond, Virginia.  Following their arrival they were sent to Lynchburg, Virginia, where the 3rd Georgia Battalion performed garrison duty.   The unit also spent time performing garrison duty in Goldsboro, North Carolina before being sent to Eastern Tennessee to guard bridges that held strategical significance.  On August 13, 1861, Stovall made the following Special Requisition for Artillery items for his Battalion.

Special Requisition for Artillery Items

Stovall's first action in combat came during a Skirmish at Waldren's Ridge in Tennessee on July 5, 1862.  following that brief engagement, Stovall accompanied Major General Edmund Kirby Smith into Kentucky. 

Major General Edmund Kirby Smith

Stovall and Smith cooperated with General Braxton Bragg in the invasion of Kentucky, where they scored a significant victory at the Battle of Richmond, Kentucky on August 30, 1862.  For his part in the Battle, Smith was named to the newly created rank of Lieutenant General, becoming a Corps commander in the Army of Tennessee.   Stovall spent June through October of 1862 serving in the Kentucky Campaign, also referred to as the Confederate Heartland Offensive. 

Following his actions in Kentucky, he was ordered to join Gen. Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee.  While attached to Bragg's command, Stovall and the 3rd Georgia Battalion fought during the Battle of Stones River, which took place from December 31 to January 2, 1863.

The Battle of Stone's River by Kurz and Allison (1891)

During the Battle of Stone's River, Stovall's Brigade commander, General James E. Rains, was shot
through the heart and fell dead from his horse early in the action.  Following Rains' death, the 3rd and 9th Georgia Battalions got separated from the other commands of the Brigade.  Under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel Stovall and Major Smith the unit was hotly engaged in front and on the right flank, driving the enemy from his position.

12 pound Napoleon Cannon at Stone's River National Battlefield

Below is Lieutenant Colonel Stovall's Stone's River after battle report:

Report of Lieut. Col. M. A. Stovall, Third Georgia Battalion.

[I have the honor to submit the following] report of the engagement of the Third Georgia Battalion with the enemy on December 31, 1862:

On the morning of December 31,[1862] the troops of our brigade were called up and ordered to remove the fence which had concealed us the day before to avoid the enfilading fire of artillery to which we had been subjected. This was finished just as day began to dawn. The men lay under cover of the line of fence until object became distinctly visible. The command "forward" was now given, and the Third Georgia Battalion moved rapidly about 300 yards, when "double-quick" ran along the line, and with a yell the whole sprang forward. We received the fire of the enemy's pickets, who fled. If there was any line of the enemy in front of the Third Georgia Battalion they field without firing, and we swept entirely around that which was in front of Ector's and McNair's brigades. The whole force now opposed to our battalion fled in confusion, and we pursued with a running fire for 3 miles, to their abandoned encampment. Here the line of battle, which had been broken, was reformed, and we moved rapidly by the right flank several hundred yards, then again by the left flank, our line of battle sweeping around to the pike. Crossing this, my battalion moved in advance of the remainder of the division, who had halted for ammunition. Soon after entering the wood we came upon a regiment and skirmishers, who had been engaged with the enemy. Passing the skirmishers, we found their line posted in a hollow. Though we had killed several in the pursuit, here our fighting began. We delivered our fire at a distance of 150 yards or less, killing many. At the word the battalion sprang forward down the hill, while the enemy scampered away up another and halted, and began a galling fire from under cover of a ledge of rocks and cedar thicket.  The enemy in front of the Ninth and Eleventh finding no such cover, continued to give way, and while the Ninth and Eleventh swept forward my battalion was checked for a moment. We soon, however, forced our position directly in our front, and when we moved up to occupy it we were subjected to a galling enfilading fire on our right. The attention of our right wing being directed to his annoying force of the enemy, they were soon driven off. Our men were rallied and formed among the rocks, and we moved by the left flank toward the cedar swamp, where the fire was the hottest. Here we met our lines retiring in confusion before a destructive fire of artillery. We filed out of the woods, in order, to the top of the hill, where we first fired upon the enemy. Here we made a stand, until Polk's brigade was rallied, when we marched out into the field and allowed Cleburne's division to pass. Here we rested a few minutes to procure ammunition, and by order of Gen. Cheatham marched again to the front. Finding myself entirely alone with 300 men, it was deemed imprudent to make an unsupported attack upon the enemy.

Gen. Johnson's brigade came up about 2 p.m., and having obtained his permission, we took position on his right and co-operated with him until 4 p.m., when we again learned McCown's division was near the place we fought first in the morning. We rejoined the division and remained until night in line of battle. For the casualties, I respectfully refer you to the list already furnished.

Lieut.-Col., Cmdg. Third Georgia Battalion

Stovall's participation in the Battle of Stone's River didn't go unnoticed.  On January 20, 1863, he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General.

Register showing Stovall's promotion to Brigadier General
Stovall's Brigade was assigned to Major General John C. Breckinridge's Division in D.H. Hill's II Corps from June 6 to November 12 of 1863.  In September, the Brigade participated in the Battle of Chickamauga in southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia.  This campaign resulted in a significant Confederate victory.  During the Battle, Stovall and General Daniel W. Adams got upon the left flank and rear of the enemy and materially assisted in winning the day. 

Following the Battle, General Breckinridge, the Division Commander, said the following in his report:

"To Brigadier General Stovall, to Colonel Lewis, who succeeded to the command of Helm's Brigade, and to Colonel R. L. Gibson, who succeeded to the command of Adams' Brigade, the Country is indebted for the courage and skill with which they discharged their arduous duties."

Colonel W. L. L. Bowen, commanding the 4th Florida, one of the regiments of Stovall's brigade, bears the following testimony:

"Much of the credit and success accorded the Fourth Florida regiment is ascribed to General Stovall and staff for the efficient and prompt manner in which he conducted his brigade."

Following the Battle of Chickamauga, Stovall's Brigade participated in the Defense of Atlanta.  On July 22, 1864, Stovall's Brigade crossed the enemy's works and captured an Artillery Battery.  The Confederates were so hard pressed by the fresh Union troops that came to that part of the enemy's line, that they had to fall back without securing the enemy's guns.  By September 2nd, Atlanta had fallen into the hands of the enemy. 

General Stovall late in the War

After the fall of Atlanta, Stovall's Brigade was attached to General Clayton's Division.  While attached to Clayton's Division, the Brigade took part in the Franklin-Nashville Campaign, also referred to as "Hood's Tennessee Campaign".   At the battle of Nashville, Stovall's Brigade was one of the few efficient organizations left, and helped to save the Army of Tennessee. 

Flag used by Stovall during the Civil War

Stovall and his Brigade were also with General Joseph E. Johnston at the Battle of Bentonville, and were surrendered with the rest of the army in Greensboro, North Carolina, on April 26, 1865.

After the war Marcellus Augustus Stovall returned to Augusta and engaged in the cotton business and in the manufacture of fertilizers. He organized and for many years successfully operated the Georgia chemical works.

Stovall after the Civil War

Following the War, Stovall served as a City Alderman and then Police Commissioner of Augusta, and was quite active in the Confederate Survivors Association.  He lived an additional 30 years following the end of the Civil War.   Marcellus Augustus Stovall died in Augusta, Richmond County, Georgia on August 4, 1895.  He was 76 years old.   He is buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Augusta.

Grave of Marcellus Augustus Stovall

Here's my relation to Marcellus:

Marcellus Augustus Stovall (1818 - 1895)
is your 4th cousin 5x removed
Pleasant Augustus Stovall (1793 - 1863)
Father of Marcellus Augustus
Thomas Stovall (1755 - 1805)
Father of Pleasant Augustus
George Stovall (1728 - 1782)
Father of Thomas
George Stovall Sr (1695 - 1786)
Father of George
Bartholomew Stovall (1665 - 1722)
Father of George
John Bartholomew Stovall (1706 - 1781)
Son of Bartholomew
Josiah Stovall Sr. (1749 - 1798)
Son of John Bartholomew
Rebecca Stovall (1772 - 1852)
Daughter of Josiah
Phoebe Blackwell (1812 - 1860)
Daughter of Rebecca
Martha Anne Currin (1834 - 1917)
Daughter of Phoebe
Phebe Lucy Daniel (1862 - 1946)
Daughter of Martha Anne
Valeria Lee Moss (1890 - 1968)
Daughter of Phebe Lucy
Phebe Teresa Wheeler Lewis (1918 - 1977)
Daughter of Valeria Lee
Joyce Elaine Lewis (1948 - )
Daughter of Phebe Teresa
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Joyce

1 comment:

  1. Hey Chip,
    Very good information you collected! My great great grandfather John Burton Arnold fought in the 4th Florida Infantry! I would love to have all the research done that you have! Very admirable! Thanks!

    Patrick D. Arnold