SUBMITTED BY J ROSS CARSON
I just got back from a little trip out to
Richmond and Lynchburg to get a few pictures of some of the locations our Rileys
fought, were wounded and died during the Civil War. Unfortunately it rained
nearly the entire time so the pictures are limited to what I could get
considering the weather.
The first 3 pictures are connected to Pvt. Gillum Riley who fought and was
wounded at both Deep Bottom (Fussel's Mill) and Darbytown Road. These historical
markers are only about a mile or so apart. The inscription on the first marker
is easy to read so I won't add it here. But, the inscription on the second
marker is difficult to read at the angle of the picture. So it's added with the
The last 7 pictures are within the Old City Cemetery, Lynchburg, VA where Pvt.
George Riley is buried. Information is written with each picture.
HERE to view a burial document for George
Riley (submitted by Madelyn Stark).
J. Ross Carson
Battle of Darbytown Road
Lee’s Last Advance North of the James
Inscription. A massive two-pronged Union attack on September 29, 1864, captured
New Market Heights and a section of Richmond’s outer defenses including Fort
Harrison. Not wishing to concede a vital part of his line to the enemy,
Confederate commander Robert E. Lee ordered a counterattack the next day. The
assault failed miserably. Undaunted, Lee ordered a second attempt. On October 7,
with cavalry and two divisions of infantry, Lee attempted to regain the lost
fortifications around Fort Harrison. It would be his last major
offensive north of the James River.
The attack began well for the Confederates. With the support of the cavalry,
Gen. Charles Field’s infantry division overwhelmed Federal cavalry under Gen.
August Kautz along Darbytown Road. Following up his early success, Field turned
south to attack Gen. Alfred Terry’s Federal division along New Market Road.
However, Field’s support, under Gen. Robert Hoke, remained inactive. Without
Hoke, Field’s three brigades pushed straight ahead. Terry’s command had the
advantage of fighting behind earthworks and firing with Spencer repeating
rifles. The Federal artillery quickly got into action and punished the
Confederate attack. Nearly 1,000 men fell in the short, bitter struggle. By
noon, the firing ceased and the Southern survivors faded away.
“My dear Brother, As I know you will be anxious to hear from me when you hear of
the fight that occurred yesterday, I therefore take the earliest opportunity to
inform you that I have been permitted to survive another terrible fight…the
order was given to charge and we raised a yell and dashed forward at a double
quick. We got up within forty yards of the enemy and was ordered to halt, our
line being cut down so fast it was thought advisable to halt and await
reinforcements, but the support did not come up and we was compelled to fall
back. It was the heaviest fire we ever was under, and we lost about one third of
- James S. Wingard, Palmetto Sharpshooters, South Carolina. Letter to
his brother, October 8, 1864
George Riley's marker, inscribed G R, G 54 ALA. The inscription is
wrong, he was in Co. G, 15th ALA. The cemetery list has his
information listed correctly.
Marker is second from the left, close to the center of the picture.
An obelisk near the grave with one Confederate State listed on each
block. George Riley's grave is close to the last tree
on the right.
Information about how to find a grave in the Confederate section.
Geroge Riley is correctly listed as being in Co. G, 15th Ala on this
list of soldiers buried here. His name is in the second column, four down from
where the word Georgia is in the column to the right.
"In Memory of the Confederate Dead Buried Here"