Victory or Death

Victory or Death (HM10V1)

Location: Rice, VA 23966 Amelia County
Country: United States of America

N 37° 18.166', W 78° 13.678'

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The Last Stand of the Savannah Volunteer Guard

— Sailor's Creek Battlefield Historical State Park —

The 18th Georgia Battalion, acting as a heavy artillery unit was originally formed in 1802 and served at the coastal defenses around Charleston, South Carolina. Moved to Virginia in May of 1864, it guarded the Richmond & Danville Railroad Bridge over the Appomattox River.

Commanded by Major William S. Basinger at Sailor's Creek, the unit mustered eighty-five men who would serve in General George Washington Custis Lee's division. Placed on the right of his battle line and next to the Rice-Deatonville Road, their uniforms bore the scarlet markings of artillery and their silk battle flag had embroidered around the center "Victory or Death." As the Federal infantry reached the crest of the ridge in their assault, Sergeants Richard Millen and Simeon Morton tried to rally the Guards around the battalion flag; both men were shot down.

Soldiers of the 121st New York Infantry were those who came in contact with the Guards. Private Warren C. Dockum of Company H, is credited with capturing their flag. The unit lost 30 men killed, 22 wounded, with a loss of 61% of men engaged. In the 1870's the Guards flag was returned to the surviving men, a member writing, "it was lost without dishonor and recovered without humiliation". At Appomattox, 1 officer and 1 6 men surrendered, 8 of which were black musicians and cooks.
HM NumberHM10V1
Placed BySailor's Creek Battlefield Historical State Park
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 20th, 2014 at 2:49pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 745688 N 4132063
Decimal Degrees37.30276667, -78.22796667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 18.166', W 78° 13.678'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 18' 9.96" N, 78° 13' 40.68" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)434, 804
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 218 State Rte 617, Rice VA 23966, US
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