Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Lieutenant Colonel Lawson Botts.
Birth:Jul. 25, 1825, Fredericksburg City, Virginia.
Death: Sep. 16, 1862, Middleburg, Loudoun County, Virginia.
2nd Va.Inf.Regt. Shot through cheek and mouth,2nd Manassas,
8/28/1862;Died of wounds.
Sarah Elizabeth "Bettie" Ranson Botts.
Birth: Aug. 21, 1829.
Death: Jan. 26, 1909, Jefferson County, West Virginia.
Wife and Widow of Confederate Colonel Lawson Botts. They were married on January 29, 1851 in Jefferson County, Virginia, per Marriage Register of license line number 36. Her husband was the defense attorney for John Brown during the early stages of the famous John Brown trial. He was commissioned Captain of the Bott's Grays, a per-war militia Company from Charles Town. Promoted to Captain of Company G, 2nd Virginia Vol. Infantry, stepped up the ladder quickly to Colonel. Mortally wounded at the battle of second Manassas, dying at Middleburg, Virginia.
Both were buried at Zion Episcopal Churchyard, Charles Town, Jefferson County, West Virginia.
The following are battle reports by him.
The Peninsular Campaign.
No. 234. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Lawson Botts, Second Virginia, Infantry, of the battles of Gaines' Mill and Malvern Hill.
HDQRS. SECOND REGIMENT VIRGINIA VOLUNTEERS, July 13, 1862.
CAPTAIN: In obedience to orders I have the honor to report that at an early hour on the morning of June 27, from camp near Totopotomoy Creek, the Second Regiment, under Colonel Allen, was put on the march and moved all day toward the enemy.
About 5 o'clock, the fire of musketry being exceedingly heavy, the regiment moved rapidly forward and was drawn up in line of battle immediately in rear of Ball's old tavern, exposed to the shells of the enemy.
In a few minutes the regiment and the Fifth Virginia, under Colonel Baylor, were ordered a short distance to the front to support the Purcell Battery, and while in this position Captain Burgess, of Company F, Second Regiment, was wounded.
Soon these regiments were moved to the left, and the whole brigade, by command of General Winder, was drawn up in line of battle, and ordered to charge a battery whose shells had for some time been sweeping the field around us. The Second Regiment responded promptly to the call. The charge was made through a wood of thick undergrowth, over a marsh, and the men became separated. Forming the line again the men pressed steadily forward, leaving behind in an open field whole regiments which had been previously sent forward.
About 7 o'clock the regiment, numbering about 80 men, reached a hill near McGehee's house, and found the fire from the enemy's batteries and their supports terrible.
Here Colonel Allen and Lieutenant Keeler, of Company C, fell. Here Major Jones, Captain Colston, and Lieutenant Kinsey were wounded. Here several of the men were killed or wounded.
The regiment being in advance, or at least separated from the brigade, few in numbers, did not advance, but gallantly held its position. General Winder soon coming up, and seeing the position, gave orders to maintain the hill while he brought up re-enforcements, which could be seen in our rear. Hurrying these up, the line of battle was again formed and the order to charge was given by General Winder. As before, the regiment gallantly answered. Our troops rushed forward, the enemy fell back in retreat, and late in the evening the enemy had fled, leaving us in possession of the field, upon which we remained all night.
I cannot close the report of this day without bearing testimony to the gallant conduct of Colonel, Allen, Major Jones, Captains Colston and Burgess, and Lieutenants Keeler and Kinsey, and, indeed, to the officers and men of the regiment.
On Saturday the regiment remained near McGehee's.
On Sunday we were marched as far as Grapevine Bridge, and returned about night-fall to our camp.
Monday we crossed the Chickahominy and the York River Railroad, and bivouacked near White Oak Swamp, and moved Tuesday, July 1, on the Shirley road, halting occasionally for some time. Heavy artillery fire all the while heard in front.
Passing a church, we were placed in a wood about 5 p.m. to the right of the road, and remained there over an hour.
Some of the regiments of the brigade being within reach of the shells of the enemy, about 6.30 o'clock the brigade was ordered from the woods to the road. The thick undergrowth delayed the movements of the Second and Fifth Regiments so much, that when the left of the Second reached the road neither the Twenty-seventh, Fourth, nor Thirty-third were in sight. The road was crowded with artillery and regiments hastening from the battle-field. The regiment was pushed forward as rapidly as possible on the road, and Sergeant-Major Burwell sent in advance to ascertain the routes taken by General Winder, and by his exertions we followed in his track.
Night was rapidly closing in. The regiment was in the woods to the right of the road, marching upon the left flank of the enemy and exposed to the fire of their artillery.
Leaving the woods we entered a field, which was swept by the enemy's fire. Here we met officers and men hastening to the rear, who reported that all our troops were in retreat. Still the regiment was pushed forward to join, if possible, the brigade. The Fifth was in our rear. The darkness, the rapid march, and the woods had separated the men very much, and the command was exceedingly small. Concealing them by a deep ravine in a wood, within 150 yards of the - road, I rode out until I struck the road. Here I could not see any of our troops, and the fire from the enemy was incessant.
On my return to the regiment Colonel Baylor called me to a consultation, and the result was that we should fall back and join our brigade, our impression being that our troops had been driven from this portion of the field. If we remained we would expose the men to a fire which they could not reply to or be cut off by the enemy; therefore, marching to the rear by nearly the same route we had advanced, we struck the - road at - Church, and learning that General Winder had not fallen back, we reformed our regiments and reported to him.
Providentially we had only 2 men wounded, though exposed to as heavy a fire as ever the regiment was under.
With this I send you a list of the killed and wounded.
LAWSON BOTTS, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.
Note. I left out the list of killed and wounded, as there were no names just numbers.
Killed or wounded.
Colonel [John F.] Neff, Thirty-third Virginia, while gallantly leading his regiment into action, was killed; Colonel [A. J.] Grigsby, Twenty-seventh Virginia, wounded; Colonel [Lawson] Botts, Second Virginia, mortally wounded; Major Nadenbousch, Second Virginia, Major [William] Terry, Fourth [Virginia], wounded, and others whose names and whose gallantry have been doubtless reported to the commanding general.