Jul 11

In Savannah, Georgia’s Laurel Grove Cemetery there is a section for Confederate soldiers. This area has been variously called “Confederate Field” or “Gettysburg Field.” Of the approximately 700 Confederates buried in this section of the cemetery, comparatively very few are Gettysburg casualties. Most of the Gettysburg dead are buried near the “Silence” monument. We are seeing what information that we can gather on the men that fought and possibly died at Gettysburg. We are looking at an individual on the front row, in the middle with the Confederate flag. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 10:30 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

The Gettysburg Daily took a journey to the Savannah, Georgia area in April, 2011. One of our purposes for the visit was to find Civil War events/personalities associated with Gettysburg.

In our first Savannah post we showed the monument and the grave of Confederate Major General Lafayette McLaws.

In our second Savannah at Gettysburg post, we showed the monument and the grave of Colonel Francis S. Bartow. They are very similar to the monument and grave of Lafayette McLaws.

In the third Savannah at Gettysburg post, we gave an overall view of “Gettysburg Field” in Laurel Grove Cemetery and concentrate on the statue “Silence” in the midst of Confederates removed from Gettysburg to Savannah.

In our fourth Savannah at Gettysburg post, we looked at how difficult it is to match one of the soldiers buried in Laurel Grove Cemetery with his unit that fought at Gettysburg.

In the fifth Savannah at Gettysburg post, we looked up information about another individual buried in Laurel Grove, Major Peter Brenan, and whose headstone is somewhat misleading.

In today’s Savannah at Gettysburg post, we looked up information on Captain John Mitchel Dooly Bond II, a member of the 53rd Georgia Infantry Regiment, and who was killed on July 2, 1863.

This map shows the two areas in Savannah featured in these posts. #1 is the area of the Confederate Monument in Forsyth Park. #2 is Laurel Grove Cemetery. This view was taken facing north at approximately 8:30 PM on Friday, April 29, 2011.

This is the brochure given out to those who visit Laurel Grove Cemetery is which southwest of Savannah’s Historic District. It is a handy size and points out some of the important people buried in the cemetery. There is another map which we were given that lists each burial plot, but that was too big for our scanner. In our previous Savannah posts we walked from the Circle surrounded by Cypress, Cedar, Willow and Elm Streets to the McLaws grave in the northeast quadrant, with the red star and the “M.” In our second post we continued our walk to the grave of Francis Bartow, which is the red star with a “B.” In today’s post we walked to the most well known Confederate section of Laurel Grove Cemetery which is marked with a “C.” This view was taken facing west at approximately 5:30 PM on Saturday, May 7, 2011.

This is the headstone for Captain John Mitchel Dooly Bond II. He commanded Company I of the 53rd Georgia Infantry Regiment, which was part of Semmes’ Brigade, McLaws’ Division, Longstreet’s Corps. Most sources have him killed on July 2, 1863. The stone has him dying on July 3, 1863. This view was taken facing east at approximately 10:30 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

When Captain John M.D. Bond and the other approximately 420 men in the 53rd Georgia Infantry Regiment approached Gettysburg on the Millerstown Road (marching to towards the camera), he was a 26 year old who had been in the army just over a year. This photo was taken from the top of the Longstreet Tower on Seminary Ridge/Warfield Ridge. This view was taken facing west at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

Semmes Brigade arrived in these fields at approximately 3:30 PM on July 2, 1863. The Eisenhower Farm buildings are visible in the left background. Captain Bond’s father, John Mitchel Dooly Bond I had been the tax collector from Bibb County, Georgia from 1828-1837. He died in 1837, the same year that Captain Bond was born. Captain Bond’s mother, Lucy Bond filled out the rest of her husband’s term as tax collector for the county. She later remarried, and her second husband died before the 1860 federal population census, when she was known as Lucy Smith. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

Semmes Brigade, like all the Georgia Brigades in Longstreet’s Corps on July 2nd was placed in reserve. Semmes Brigade was placed behind Kershaw’s South Carolina Brigade. The Georgia State Monument is on the right. Semmes’ Brigade plaque is on the left. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

A closeup of the Semmes’ Brigade plaque. Notice that this plaque lists their actions for July 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. The other Semmes’ Brigade plaque in Rose’s Woods lists their action for only July 2nd. As far as we can tell, it has the exact text as the July 2nd section of this plaque. This view was taken facing west at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

The Semmes’ plaque and the Georgia State Monument are not too far from the Longstreet Tower located along West Confederate Avenue. This view was taken facing north at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

If Captain Bond was reflecting on his life while he was waiting to go into battle in this area, he might have been thinking how he had married Charity Goddard, who was 15 years old, on Christmas Day, 1859. She was described in family histories as “a small, thin woman slightly over five feet tall. She wore her hair combed straight back, parted in the middle. It was of a dark color. She had a prominent straight nose, firm mouth, and small chin. She was known for her intelligence, having a sharp business-like approach. Underneath she possessed a very warm, friendly disposition and could not do enough for people.” This view was taken facing west at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

They had a daughter, Sally, born in 1861. Their son, John Mitchel Dooly Bond III was born on June 20, 1862, or a month after Captain Bond had left to join the army (He was appointed Captain at the formation of his company, depending on the military record that one looks at, on either May 9th, May 12th, or May 13th, 1862). This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

The Georgia State Monument is in front of the dark blue jeep. The South Carolina State Monument is in the left background. The 1860 Federal Population Census for Butts County, Georgia, Jackson District, shows that “John M. D. Bond” was white, that he was 23 years old, that he born in Georgia, and that he was a School Teacher. The 1860 federal population census shows that his real estate did not have a value and his personal estate was valued at $900. The Bonds lived with his mother, Lucy Smith (1802-1896). She was listed as a farmer, and her real estate was worth $1200 and her personal estate was worth $2000. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

Semmes’ Brigade had approximately 1335 officers and men. They were arranged from closest to the camera to farthest away from the camera position in the following order, and of course they were all facing to the left (east): 10th Georgia (322 men), 50th Georgia (321 men), 51st Georgia (322 men), and the 53rd Georgia (somewhere between 422-448 men) on the far right of the brigade. The 53rd Georgia was commanded by Colonel James Phillip Simms. This view was taken facing south at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

According to the brigade plaque, Semmes’ Brigade advanced at approximately 5:00 PM to support Kershaw’s South Carolina Brigade and Anderson’s Georgia Brigade. They would have advanced out of the woods on the right, across the field towards the Stony Hill, Rose’s Farm, which included Rose’s Wheatfield (THE Wheatfield) and Rose’s Woods. Big Round Top is in the right background. Little Round Top is in the left background. The Rose Farmhouse is the light colored object below Little Round Top, and to the left of the orchard. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

As they advanced across the field towards the camera position, they were taking artillery fire from the area around the Peach Orchard and possibly from Cemetery Ridge. The Longstreet Tower is in the background on Seminary Ridge/Warfield Ridge. The cameraman is standing in Rose’s Lane. This view was taken facing west at approximately 5:00 PM on Monday, September 15, 2008.

Because of where he was buried at Gettysburg, it appears that Captain Bond made it across the Emmitsburg Road as they charged from right to left. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

Here are the Rose Farm buildings. The remains of the Rose barn are in the foreground. The left of Semmes’ Brigade attacked towards the Stony Hill Loop area, which is in the trees in the left background, and towards the Wheatfield which is visible in the center background. The light colored monument in the Wheatfield is to the 4th Michigan Infantry Regiment. This view was taken facing east at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

The right of Semmes Brigade, including the 53rd Georgia, would have advanced from right to left through the orchard in the background. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

Captain Bond might have seen the Rose Barn from a distance. The barn was constructed circa 1812. The roof was destroyed during a 1934 windstorm and the barn was allowed to deteriorate. The National Park Service did not acquire the Rose Farm and its buildings until 1958. This view was taken facing north at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

This would have been more of what Captain Bond would have seen of the Rose Barn as he moved towards Rose’s Woods. This view, courtesy of the Library of Congress, was taken facing north in 1985.

He probably wasn’t this close to the Rose Farmhouse either, but we thought we’d show it to you anyway. This view was taken facing north at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011

The 53rd Georgia probably advanced into Rose’s Woods near this point from right to left. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

We are now in Rose’s Woods. Semmes’ Brigade advanced from the fields in the washed out background towards this position, and the location of their brigade marker. This view was taken facing west at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

A closer view of the plaque, which again, only mentions its action here on July 2nd. This view was taken facing west at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

Semmes’ Brigade was attacked in this area (right to left) by Brooke’s Union Brigade. From right to left are: 64th New York Monument, Brooke’s Brigade plaque, 53rd Pennsylvania Monument, 27th Connecticut Monument, and the base of the 145th Pennsylvania Monument. The road is Brooke Avenue. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011

Semmes’ Brigade and the 15th South Carolina on their right retreated from the woods now occupied by Brooke’s Brigade. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

They fell back to a stone wall marked by the stones in this area. The Rose Farm buildings are in the left background. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

They exchanged fire in this area until Wofford’s Brigade arrived to the left of Kershaw’s and Semmes’ and Anderson’s Brigades, and the Confederates again advanced to the Wheatfield. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

Approximately three days after the fighting here, photographers took pictures of the dead near Rose’s Woods. Semmes’ Brigade had approximately 432 casualties (80 killed, 261 wounded, and 91 captured/missing) for a loss of 32.4%. This view, courtesy of the Library of Congress, was taken facing southeast on Sunday, July 5, 1863.

The 53rd Georgia had 99 casualties (30 killed, 61 wounded, 8 missing/captured) including Captain John Mitchel Dooly Bond II. According to family tradition, “A Mr. Evans (Editor’s Note: According to the Compiled Service Records for the 53rd Georgia, this was either 2LT John B. Evans of Company I, 53rd Georgia, or Private David F. Evans of Company I, 53rd Georgia) was with him when he died. Mr. Evans placed his new hat over Captain Bond’s face after death, returning a short time afterward to find a Yankee had left his old hat over Captain Bond’s face, and was wearing the new hat.” This view, courtesy of the Library of Congress, was taken facing southeast on Sunday, July 5, 1863.

According to Dr. John W. C. O’Neal’s unpublished manuscript on Confederate burials at Gettysburg, Captain Bond was buried on the Rose Farm, in an orchard, near a fence. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

There are now a couple of different orchards and fences on this section of the Rose Farm. He was also buried with six members of the 50th Georgia Infantry Regiment. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 9, 2011.

It is not known when his body was brought to Savannah for burial, but it was after the initial removals in August, 1871. His wife would be married two more times, and didn’t die until 1918. His children lived to adulthood and had children of their own. His mother lived until 1896. For some reason, none of his relatives brought his body from Gettysburg to the Bond family cemetery in Butts County, Georgia. His body still rests in coastal Savannah, hundreds of miles away from his home in the middle of the state. His grave is in the front row, in the middle, with the Confederate flag. This view was taken facing east at approximately 10:30 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.


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