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Lt. James T. Woodward Camp 1399
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Warner Robins, Georgia
P.O. Box 1823, Warner Robins, GA 31099 -

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William Washington Woodward - Co. B, 27th GA Inf. 'Rutland Grays'

Wounded and captured at Battle of Sharpsburg, MD (Antietam)

The Battle at Sharpsburg, Maryland (aka the Battle of Antietam) was the bloodiest day in American combat history with over 23,000 casualties on both sides. Georgia Colonel John B. Gordon (later General8, Governor, Senator) and many Georgians were killed and wounded that day. The 27th GA regiment suffered 15 KIA and 89 wounded in the Maryland Campaign, among them its commander, Colonel Levi B. Smith4.

Stephen Woodward [age about 53] owned a 1000 acre plantation in southern Bibb County (off what's now Hartley Bridge Road) in addition to others in Lee County and elsewhere. His eldest son, John Hartwell Woodward [age 30]5,6,7, was also a Bibb County leader in public secession discussions. Stephen's son and John's younger brother, James Thomas Woodward5 [age 23], had moved to Calhoun County in 1859 with his wife and infant son, Stephen M. Woodward. The youngest brother, William Washington Woodward3,5, was wounded and captured as described in the article below. W.W. Woodward was apparently exchanged after 8 months recovery in federal hospitals, the article below indicating that he left Frederick City, MD, May 31st, 1863.

Macon Daily Telegraph 17-Jun-1863, page 2, column 2

From the Macon Daily Telegraph - June 17, 1863 - Page 2, column 2

The Perils of a Gallant Georgia Boy

We saw yesterday, Wm. W. Woodward, a young son of our good old fellow-citizen, Stephen Woodward, Esq. William was just from the Federal General Hospital at Frederick City, Maryland, where he had partially recovered from a frightful wound received at the battle of Sharpsburg, on the 17th day of last September. He left Frederick City on the 31st ult.

At the age of fifteen this boy soldier volunteered in the Bibb Greys [sic: "Rutland Grays"], attached to the 27th regiment, under the command of the gallant and lamented Levi B. Smith4. This regiment was flanked by the enemy at Sharpsburg, but our young friend had not arrived at the discretion necessary for a timely use of his heels in such an emergency and stood his ground and kept up fire on the advancing enemy, until a conical ball struck him in the left breast just to the left of and above the nipple, and emerged from his back to the right of the spinal column.

He fell and was passed over by the foe. Half an hour afterward a Federal soldier offered to take him off the field, but he would not abandon a young comrade who had been badly wounded by his side. He remained on the field till next morning, but during the fight and while lying on the ground was struck in the right shoulder by another ball, and in the thigh by a grape shot, both of which inflicted painful wounds, but fortunately were well spent before striking him.

On the field he bled so profusely from his wounds and from his mouth as to become unconscious, but the next morning the Federals revived him with warm coffee, and took him to their hospital, where his wounds were pronounced necessarily fatal. To add to his danger, the dreadful wound in his breast began to gangrene, and was burnt with nitric acid.

He received from the enemy the kindest attention and most scientific surgical treatment for nearly eight months, and his recovery pronounced due alone to his youth. His left arm unfortunately is useless, and the dreadful wound in his breast still but partially healed, but he talks of going back into the service again, and says he would rather be as he is now than to have been a lounger at home in the hour of his country's need.

Woodward saw and spoke with Col. Smith a few moments before the latter received the shot which killed him. Woodward's communication was simply a remonstrance with the Colonel against exposing himself.

Such is a brief passage in the experience of a boy of almost feminine delicacy of complexion and feature---whose upper lip does not yet disclose the downy forecast of a beard, and who nevertheless has fought more battles than half the veterans of the world, and passed undaunted through scenes which might well appall the stoutest heart.

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Notes & Sources:
1. - Antietam (Sharpsburg)

2. Antietam on the Web - Battle at Sharpsburg -

3. William Washington Woodward, and his family are listed on page 419B of the 1870 CENSUS Dooly County GA.

4. Colonel Levi B. Smith was commanding the 27th Georgia Infantry Regiment. He was a captain of Company K (Talbot County) mustered in 10-Sep-1861, elected Colonel 11-Sep-1861. He received special mention for heroism at Seven Days in General D.H. Hill's report, and was killed at Sharpsburg, MD, as described above.

5. The Woodward brothers served in various units of the Confederate military:
1st Lt. John Hartwell Woodward - Co. D, 10th Batn GA Inf., 'Whittle Guards'6
Lt. James Thomas Woodward - Calhoun Rifles (Morgan, Georgia) Company D of the 12th Georgia Infantry, born March 18, 1837, died 8-May-1862, KIA at McDowell, VA. (Calhoun Rifles roster published Macon Daily Telegraph, June 28, 1861.)
William Washington Woodward - Co. B, 27th GA Inf., the 'Rutland Grays'
William W. Woodward was wounded at Sharpsburg, MD, September 17, 1862, and captured. An account of William's wounds and capture was published in the Macon Daily Telegraph June 17, 1863, page 2, column 2 (see above).

6. The men of the Whittle Guards wanted to elect John Hartwell Woodward as Captain, but he declined and was instead elected First Lieutenant of the company named in honor of Lewis N. Whittle, officially organized March 4, 1862. The Macon Daily Telegraph published a muster roll April 2, 1862 with and error: John Hartwell Woodward was listed incorrectly as "John H. Underwood." The Whittle Guards were mustered into Confederate service as Company D, 10th Battalion Georgia Infantry.

7. John H. Woodward was forced to resign due to illness June 11, 1862, not long after retrieving his brother's body from McDowell, Virginia. He again tried to make a go of it in the army by enlisting as 3rd Lt. Co C, 14th Batt Ga State Guards Aug 4, 1863, but again resigned due to disability. He would later serve two terms as Dooly County Court Judge, Representative in the Legislature in 1871-1872 and Senator in 1880. Born 16 Jan. 1831, died in Dooly County Oct 17, 1918 and buried at Vienna City Cemetery (Dooly County Georgia).

8. John B. Gordon's book: Reminiscences of the Civil War

Flags of the CSA - God Save the South!