Civil War Service

John J. Durrum

John J. Durrum was a life-long resident of Appomattox. He was fairly established, being a farmer who owned his land, though it carried a mortgage even in 1910.

One of his pension applications had the following report attached.

War Dept. Adjutant Gen. Office
Respectfully returned to
Auditor Public Accts
Pension Dept.
Richmond Va.
with the information that
John J. Durham (also borne as Durrum) Pvt. Capt. V.J. Cluttir's Co., formerly Capt. Marmaduke Johnson's Co., McIntosh's Battalion, Va. Light Artillary, CSA was enlisted Feb. 26, 1862. Roll for Jan. and Feb. 1865 last on file shows: Absent Captured by the enemy in Pennsylvania June 29, 1863. Prisoner of war records show that he was captured June 28, 1863 at Fountaindale and was released June 15, 1865 on taking the Oath of Allegience at Fort Dilawari, Del.

J.J. Durrum was captured in the days leading up to the Battle of Gettysburg, and spent the rest of the war in the prisoner of war camp at Fort Delaware.


action on June 28, 1863 near Fountaindale

CSA: With Major McIntosh's and Major Pegram's battalion of this corps, I left camp on the morning of the 16th, and accompanied the Third Corps to Cashtown, in Pennsylvania, where I arrived June 30, and, in the morning of July 1, I assumed command of all the artillery of the corps, which had made the march to that place without loss excepting that of Lieutenant [J. H.] Chamberlayne, of the Crenshaw battery, and 4 of his men, who were captured by the enemy while on a foraging party for the purpose of securing horses.
Report of Col. R. Lindsay Walker, C. S. Army, Chief of Artillery, JUNE 3-AUGUST 1, 1863.--The Gettysburg Campaign, O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXVII/2 [S# 44]
USA: The next day (June 28), Major General Joseph Hooker (US), commanding the Army of the Potomac, ordered that the horsemen be sent "well in advance of Frederick in the direction of Gettysburg and Emmitsburg and see what they can learn of the movements of the enemy. ... Following the base of the South Mountain range, they headed toward Pennsylvania, over the border, and on to Fountaindale, where Monterey Gap provided a pass through the mountain. Passing down the slope, the brigades camped about two miles from Fairfield. The exhausted troopers slipped the reins of their mounts over their arms and fell to the ground asleep."
buford boys site

Fort Delaware

Most of the Confederates captured at Gettysburg were imprisoned at Fort Delaware after the battle, and by August 1863 there were 12,500 prisoners on the island. Among these were 3,000 or so political prisoners including Burton H. Harrison, private secretary to Jefferson Davis, and Governor E R. Lubbock of Texas, who was the last prisoner at the fort in 1866.

As the long procession of prisoners staggered out upon the wharf at Fort Delaware, the universal thought was one of Despondency, as if each had been warned like the lost spirits of Dante's Hell, 'Abandon Hope, all ye who enter here!' The reputation of the place for cruelty was already familiar to all of us and it needed no more than a glance at the massive fort with its hundred guns, the broad moat, the green slime dykes and the scores of sentrys pacing to and fro in all directions to quench every lingering hope of escape.
southern eyewitness report from the Fort Delaware Society website

His Prisoner of War records (from NARA documents posted at Footnote.com)

His name is spelled Durham, Derham and Durrum on various documents.

John Durrum was apparently proud of his service, and when he died in 1919, he was a commander of the local Camp of Confederate Veterans.

Durrum — Unit History

Alan, 17 July, 2009:

I was confused by the history of Johnson's / Clutter's Battery. However, I found a book at the Virginia Historical Society that gives the order of battle for the Army of Northern Virginia that clarifies things. I am going to cover the entire period of Durrum's possible connection with the unit, albeit understanding that uncertainty exists when he actually joined the unit.

F. Ray Sibley, Jr., The Confederate Order of Battle, The Army of Northern Virginia (Volume I)

Seven Pines 5/31/62 — 6/4/62

  • Right Wing — Longstreet
  • A.P. Hill's Division
  • Gregg's Brigade
  • Brigade Artillery
  • Va. Johnson's / Clutter's Battery

Seven Days

  • Longstreet's Command
  • A.P. Hill's Division
  • Division Artillery — M. Lindsay Walker, chief of artillery
  • Va. Johnson's / Clutter's Battery — Captain Marmaduke Johnson


  • Reserve Artillery — Brig. Gen. William N. Pendleton, Chief of Artillery, Army of Northern Virginia
  • Nelson's Artillery Battalion — William Nelson (former 31st Va. Artillery)
  • Va. Johnson's / Clutter's Battery — Captain Marmaduke Johnson

Fredericksburg, VA — December 11-13, 1862

  • Second Corps — Jackson
  • A.P. Hill's Division
  • Division Artillery — Lt. Col. Lindsay Walker, chief of artillery
  • Va. Johnson's / Clutter's Battery — Captain Marmaduke Johnson
    • - Lt. Valentine J. Clutter (wounded)

Chancellorsville — May 2-4, 1863

  • Second Corps — Jackson
  • Second Corps. Artillery Reserve
    • -Col. Stapleton Crutchfield (wounded), Second Corps. Chief of Artillery
    • -Col. R. Lindsay Walker
    • -Col. J. Thompson Brown
  • McIntosh's Artillery Battalion
    • -Maj. David G. McIntosh
    • -Maj. William T. Poague
  • Va. Johnson's / Clutter's Battery — Captain Marmaduke Johnson


  • Third Corps — A.P. Hill
  • Third Corps. Reserve Artillery
    • - Col Lindsay Walker, Corps. Chief of Artillery
    • - Maj. William T. Poague
  • McIntosh's Artillery Battalion
  • Va. Johnson's / Clutter's Battery — Captain Marmaduke Johnson

The basic picture is that artillery in the ANV was reorganized several times, meaning that the battery was actually associated with different senior units at different times. Early in the war artillery was largely assigned to specific infantry units; as the war went on, artillery was kept under high-unit command to provide greater tactical flexibility. According to this source, the battery was not with McIntosh's Battalion at Antietam, although later it was association with both Walker and with McIntosh's Battalion and was so when Durrum was captured, which was consistent with the pension application. So you might want to remove the notes on your website indicating that Durrum might have had action at Antietam with McIntosh's battalion.

I have some separate materials that bear upon the date that Durrum may have joined the unit and the circumstances of his capture. I think there is some circumstantial evidence that he might have joined the unit promptly, as it was being organized in Richmond right at the time that he was enlisted, and it appears that the unit was staffed from a variety of sources in sort of random way as opposed to being a local unit like the infantry companies of our other ancestors. I have a vision that Durrum got grabbed as an available body to fill out a unit, especially with the Yankees coming right then. There are materials about Fountaindale, PA on the web, that suggest that Durrum might have been captured as a result of a failed horse-stealing expedition by the Confederates or, perhaps, was simply a straggler that Union cavalry in the area swept up. In addition. Marmaduke Johnson, his battery commander, was not an insignificant figure, with materials on him at the Virginia Historical Society, and there is a unit history on the battery that I have hopes that I can buy for $25. In sum, just scratching the surface here.

© 2009 Footie Lund