- Service of Mississippians without the State in 1862 -- Munfordville -- Perryville -- Murfreesboro -- Yorktown -- Seven Pines -- Shenandoah Valley -- Seven days battles -- Second Manassas -- Harper's Ferry -- Sharpsburg -- Fredericksburg.
The course of events in this State having been followed to the close of 1862, a brief account should be given of the part which was being taken by Mississippi soldiers in the other States of the Confederacy. In the army which Bragg marched toward Louisville were a number of famous Mississippi commands, which gained distinction in Kentucky and Tennessee while their fellow citizens were fighting at Iuka, Corinth and Vicksburg. The distinctive Mississippi brigade of Bragg's army was that commanded by General Chalmers, including the Fifth regiment, Lieut.-Col. W. L. Sykes; Seventh regiment, Col. W. H. Bishop; Ninth regiment, Capt. T. H. Lynam; Tenth regiment, Col. Robert A. Smith; Twenty-ninth regiment, Col. E. C. Walthall; Blythe's regiment, Lieut.-Col. James Moore; Ninth battalion of sharpshooters, Maj. W. C. Richards. This brigade was in Withers' division, Polk's corps. In J. K. Jackson's brigade of the same corps was the Eighth regiment, Lieut.-Col. A. McNeill, also the Twenty-seventh regiment, Col. T. M. Jones, but the latter was transferred to Patton Anderson's division of Hardee's corps, and given command of a brigade including his own and the Thirtieth and Thirty-seventh regiments. With Anderson's division, in addition to Jones' brigade, were  the Forty-first regiment in John C. Brown's brigade, and the Twenty-fourth, Col. William F. Dowd, in Samuel Powell's brigade, while the Forty-fifth was in S. A. M. Wood's brigade of Buckner's division. The Mississippi artillery was scattered throughout the army, Capt. T. J. Stanford's with A. P. Stewart's brigade, Swett's with Liddell's brigade, Darden's with Bushrod Johnson's brigade, Smith's with Maney's brigade. Several cavalry companies, under the command of Capt. P. D. Roddey, rendered valuable service in cutting the Memphis & Charleston railroad in Alabama in July and during the whole campaign. General Chalmers and his brigade, on September 14th, invested the Federal garrison at Munfordville, and a demand for surrender having been refused, assaulted the works. A particularly intrepid charge was made by the Tenth Mississippi, in which Col. Robert A. Smith, Lieut.-Col. James G. Bullard, and other brave men gave up their lives. Lieutenant-Colonel Moore, of Blythe's regiment, supported this charge with his men and fell mortally wounded. Major Richards, at the head of his battalion, was severely wounded. All the regiments lost heavily, from 20 killed and wounded in the Seventh, to 108 in the Tenth, the total loss being 35 killed and 250 wounded, out of a total force of 1,600. On the 16th the garrison surrendered to General Bragg, and in compliment to the gallant fight of Chalmers' brigade it was ordered to take possession of the works. In the memorable battle of Perryville, the Mississippi regiments and batteries, attached to the divisions of Cheatham, Anderson and Buckner, bore their full share of the conflict and its honors. In the organization of the army of Tennessee at Murfreesboro, Chalmers' brigade included the Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, Forty-first and Forty-fourth (Blythe's) regiments, and the Ninth battalion sharpshooters. The Twenty-fourth, Lieut.-Col. R. P. McKelvaine; Twentyseventh,  Col. T. M. Jones; Twenty-ninth, Col. W. F. Brantly; and Thirtieth, Lieut.-Col. J. I. Scales, were in Walthall's or Patton Anderson's brigade. These two brigades composed the division of Gen. J. M. Withers, Polks' corps, which was almost entirely made up of Alabamians and Mississippians. In Hardee's corps, the Fifth Mississippi, Lieut.-Col W. L. Sykes, and the Eighth, Col. J. C. Wilkinson, formed part of Jackson's brigade, Breckinridge's division; and the Forty-fifth, Lieut.-Col. R. Charlton, and the Fifteenth battalion sharpshooters, Capt. A. T. Hawkins, were in Wood's brigade, in the division now commanded by Cleburne. The artillery remained as assigned in the Kentucky campaign. Before Murfreesboro, on the morning of December 31, 1862, Chalmers' brigade, at the right of Polk's line and well to the front, was the pivot on which Hardee and Polk wheeled to the right, driving before them, but not without desperate fighting, McCook's and part of Thomas' corps, back through an arc of 90 degrees, to the Nashville pike. Wood's brigade, on the 27th, had supported Wharton's cavalry in holding back McCook's division at Triune, where Darden's artillery did noble service. On the 31st the brigade took the Federal hospital and suffered terribly in driving the enemy from the cedar brake. The brigade took 1,100 men into action and lost 504 in killed, wounded and captured. The Forty-fifth had 217 men engaged, and lost 71 killed and wounded, and 41 missing. General Cleburne specially mentioned for gallantry Colonel Charlton, Maj. E. F. Nunn, Adjt. Frank Foster, Sergeants Asbury, Doolittle, Morrison, Vaughan, Stewart, Lieut. G. W. Williams, Sergeant-Major Kern, Corporals Mallett, Hackler and Read, and Private McChadin. Corporal Read volunteered to carry the colors after two color-bearers had been shot down. After the tide of battle had set against the Confederates, Lieutenant Foster  was particularly conspicuous in the gallant way in which he rallied the men. Major Hawkins' two companies of sharpshooters did excellent service, and lost 32 men. After McCook and Sheridan had been driven back Polk sent Patton Anderson's brigade forward against Negley, of Thomas' corps, strongly posted at the cedar brake, and with an abundance of artillery. ‘Anderson moved forward his brigade with firmness and decision,’ General Polk reported. ‘The fire of the enemy, both artillery and infantry, was terrific. Such evidences of destructive firing as were left on the forest from which this brigade emerged have rarely, if ever, been seen. The timber was torn and crushed. Nothing but a charge could meet the demands of the occasion. Orders were given to take the batteries at all hazards, and it was done. This was one of the points at which we encountered the most determined resistance, but the onward movement of the Mississippians and Alabamians was irresistible and they swept the enemy before them, driving him into the dense cedar brake to join the extending line of fugitives.’ A more detailed account of this gallant action is given by General Anderson. Manigault's brigade, having been thrown into action by the right wheel of the army, called for reinforcements about 9 a. m. to charge a battery, and Anderson ordered up the Forty-fifth Alabama and Twenty-fourth Mississippi. They became hotly engaged soon after leaving their breastworks, and staggered, but rallied again under the fearful fire. The Thirtieth, Twenty-ninth and Twenty-seventh Mississippi were now ordered forward, swinging around on and keeping touch of elbow to the right.
Immediately in front and in short range of these regiments, the enemy had two batteries advantageously posted so as to sweep an open field over which they had to pass in their advance. The ordeal to which they were subjected was a severe one, but the task was undertaken with that spirit and courage which always  deserves success and seldom fails in achieving it. As often as their ranks were shattered and broken by grape and canister did they rally, re-form and renew the attack under the leadership of their gallant officers. They were ordered to take the batteries at all hazards, and they obeyed the order, not, however, without heavy loss of officers and men. Not far from where the batteries were playing, and while cheering and encouraging his men forward, Lieut. Col. James L. Autry, commanding the Twenty-seventh Mississippi, fell pierced through the head by a minie ball. The death of this gallant officer at a critical period caused some confusion in the regiment until they were rallied and re-formed by Capt. E. R. Neilson, the senior officer present, who subsequently was seriously wounded on another part of the field. About the same time that Lieutenant Autry fell, Colonel Brantly, of the Twenty-ninth Mississippi, and his adjutant, First Lieut. John W. Campbell, were knocked down by concussion produced by the explosion of a shell very near them; but the regiment was soon after carried forward by Lieut.--Col. J. B. Morgan in gallant style, capturing the battery in their front and driving the enemy in great confusion into and through the dense cedar brake immediately beyond. On the left of this last regiment was the Thirtieth Mississippi, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Scales. Most gallantly did they perform their part. In moving across the open field in short range of grape, canister and shrapnel, 62 officers and men were killed and 139 wounded, of this regiment alone, all within a very short space of time, and upon an area not greater than an acre of ground. The Twenty-fourth Mississippi, Lieutenant-Colonel McKelvaine commanding, and the Forty-fifth Alabama, on the left of the Thirtieth, also encountered a battery in their front, strongly supported by infantry on advantageous ground. For a moment these regiments appeared to reel and  stagger before the weight of lead and iron that was hurled against them. They were encouraged to go forward by the example of their officers, and a battery was taken. A number of prisoners also fell into our hands. Artillerists, who felt confidently secure in the strength of their positions, were captured at their pieces, and others were taken before they knew that their guns had fallen into our hands. One company entire, with its officers and colors, which had been posted in a log house near the battery in front of the Twenty-ninth Mississippi, was captured by the Twenty-seventh Mississippi while the pieces were falling into the hands of the Twenty-ninth.Now, approaching noon, the hitherto unchecked progress of Hardee and Polk was arrested by Van Cleve's fresh division on the pike, and the Federals began to form a firm line to support the division of John M. Palmer, which still held its place in front across the pike. Palmer and Chalmers faced each other, the pivots on which the armies wheeled. ‘Chalmers' brigade had been called on to encounter a measure of personal suffering from exposure beyond that of any other in my corps,’ wrote Polk. ‘The part of the line it occupied lay across an open field in full view of the enemy, and in range of his field guns. It had thrown up a slight rifle-pit, behind which it was placed, and to escape observation it was necessary for it to lie down and abstain from building fires. In this position it remained waiting the opening of the battle for more than forty-eight hours, wet with rain and chilled with cold; added to this the enemy's shot and shell were constantly passing over it. Not a murmur of discontent was heard to escape those who composed it. They exhibited the highest capacity of endurance and firmness in the most discouraging circumstances. The general movement from the right having reached it at ten o'clock, it was ordered to the attack, and its reserve under General Donelson was directed to move forward to its support. This charge was made in  fine style and was met by the enemy, who was strongly posted in the edge of the cedar brake, with a murderous fire of artillery and infantry. In that charge, their brigade commander, General Chalmers, was severely wounded by a shell which disqualified him for further duty on the field. The regiments of Chalmers' brigade, having been separated after he fell, moved forward and attached themselves to other commands, fighting with them with gallantry as opportunity offered.’ The attack by Chalmers' brigade was one of the most gallant of the day, but unfortunately it was practically against the head of the Federal army in column. Breckinridge now coming to the support of Polk, the latter took the first two brigades to arrive, Jackson's and Adams', and sent them to relieve the shattered brigades before Palmer. Jackson's brigade fought here from noon to 3 p. m., but his force was not large enough for the task assigned him. Col. John C. Wilkinson, of the Eighth Mississippi, was severely wounded, also Lieut.-Col. W. L. Sykes, commanding the Fifth, and Capt. J. H. Morgan of the Fifth was killed. The Fifth had 170 men in action, and lost 6 killed and 73 wounded; the Eighth from 282 men lost 20 killed and 113 wounded. During the next day Chalmers' brigade, under Col. T. W.. White, took position in the Round Forest, and struggled for its possession during the day. On January 2d the fight: was renewed here by the batteries of Stanford, Carnes and Smith, supported by Anderson's and other brigades. After the bloody defeat of Breckinridge on the other side of the river, Anderson moved to his support, and remained in line of battle January 3d. In the Virginia and Maryland campaigns of 1862, under Johnston, Jackson and Lee, Mississippians were also conspicuous. Mississippians were on guard at Yorktown under Magruder during April, 1862, and in the sortie of April 5th the Second battalion, Lieut.-Col. John G. Taylor, demonstrated their valor; and in the battle at  Dam No. 1, April 16th, a part of the Seventeenth was engaged. At Williamsburg, the Nineteenth, Col. C. H. Mott, was very actively in the fight. Captain Macon, skirmishing in the woods in front, was desperately wounded, but while in the greatest agony gave accurate information of the enemy's position. The regiment was then ordered to charge and at the first volley from the Federals Colonel Mott fell, shot through the body. The right of the regiment, under Lieut.-Col. L. Q. C. Lamar, pressed forward and drove the enemy back to an abatis. The left was equally successful and suffered severely. The colors were borne in succession by Sergeant Peebles, Private William P. Meaders, Private John Halloran, and after they were all disabled, Lieutenant Jones, who planted them on the enemy's cannon. The regiment took into action 501 men and lost 15 killed and 85 wounded. The Second battalion fought on the same line with the Nineteenth, and lost 5 killed and 30 wounded. At Seven Pines, on the first day, the Second battalion, 300 strong, was the skirmish line of Garland's brigade, and during the fight, continued in the front rank, mingling with other commands. Of this command Privates Sutton, Willis, Williams and Hankinson and Sergeant Weeks were named by the commander as being entitled to the badge of honor. The loss of the battalion was 2 killed, 71 wounded and 4 missing. The Second and Eleventh regiments fought with Law's brigade and won distinction. The Twelfth, Col. W. H. Taylor, opened the fight for Rodes' brigade in this battle, rained the position on which the brigade rallied, and advancing, drove the enemy from his camp, and again held their ground unflinchingly. Colonel Taylor and Sergt. Robert Hall were particularly commended for bravery. The loss of the regiment was 41 killed and 152 wounded. A prominent part in the famous raid made by Stuart around McClellan's army on the Chickahominy was taken by 250 men of the Jeff Davis Legion, commanded by  Lieut.-Col. William T. Martin. After the rear of this daring expedition became as important as the front, Martin and his men became the rear guard, with the howitzer under Lieut. James Breathed. During the march 25 Federal cavalrymen surrendered to this rear guard, under the impression that they were surrounded. On his return Stuart hastened to recommend the promotion of Martin to a colonelcy and the increase of his battalion to a full regiment. In the meantime the Sixteenth Mississippi was fighting with Jackson in the valley of the Shenandoah. Its brigade, Trimble's, bore the brunt of the fight at Cross Keys, when Col. Carnot Posey and Lieuts. J. B. Coleman and W. R. Brown were wounded. Besides these, 6 men were killed and 25 wounded. General Trimble in his report called attention to services performed on this occasion and previously by Captain Brown, of Company A, who, with portions of his company, during the campaign killed 12 of the enemy, captured 64 with their arms, and some 25 horses with equipments. At Gaines' Mill, the Second regiment, Col. John M. Stone, and Eleventh, Col. P. H. Liddell, were distinguished in the gallant and successful charge of Law's brigade, and suffered severely, the Second having 21 killed and 79 wounded; the Eleventh 18 killed and 142 wounded. In the same battle, the Twelfth regiment, under Maj. W. H. Lilly, the Nineteenth, under Maj. John Mullins, and the Second battalion, under Lieutenant-Colonel Taylor, fought under the brigade command of Featherston. Major Lilly was wounded and the command devolved upon Captain Thomas. Major Mullins was also severely wounded. At Frayser's Farm the brigade was again in action, and Colonel Taylor was among the killed. This gallant Mississippi brigade lost in the two battles 115 killed, 542 wounded, and 9 missing; a total of 666.  Gen. R. Griffith's Mississippi brigade, the Thirteenth, Col. William Barksdale; Seventeenth, Col. W. D. Holder; Eighteenth, Col. Thomas M. Griffin; and the Twenty-first, Lieut.-Col. William F. Brandon, pursued the enemy on June 29th down the York river railroad, in the movement General Griffith falling with wounds from which he died on the next morning. Colonel Barksdale now assumed the brigade command. In the evening the Seventeenth and Twenty-first regiments supported Kershaw's brigade, and were actively in battle. On July 1st, at Malvern Hill, the brigade, after being held under fire for several hours, participated in the desperate and bloody assault on McClellan's last position. One-third of the brigade fell upon the field, including the regimental commanders, who were each severely wounded. The command of the Thirteenth, which had been in the hands of Lieutenant-Colonel Carter, devolved upon Major McElroy; of the Seventeenth upon Lieutenant-Colonel Fiser; of the Eighteenth upon Lieutenant-Colonel Luse; and of the Twenty-first upon Captain Brooks. The total loss of the brigade in killed was 91, in wounded 434. This was the heaviest of any brigade engaged at Malvern Hill, and is a sufficient testimonial to the desperate courage of the men. In the fight at Gaines' Mill, the Sixteenth Mississippi and Twenty-first North Carolina were for a time cut off from their brigade by a stream of men going out of action. General Trimble soon found them and led them up to the front. They were passed by two regiments, who cried out, ‘You needn't go in; we are whipped; you can't do anything.’ But the brave men answered: ‘Get out of our way; we will show you how to do it.’ And they did, receiving without answer the enemy's fire, and pushing on through felled trees and up the hill, from which they swept the enemy. One regiment of Federals surrendered in a body. General Trimble declared that this charge, ‘sustained from the first movement  without a falter, could not be surpassed for intrepid bravery and high resolve.’ He mentioned the conspicuous gallantry of Capt. Jas. Brown, shot dead in front of his company. The regiment was again put in position to assault, at Malvern Hill, but fortunately was spared that carnage. The loss of the Sixteenth in killed was 16, wounded 51, missing 19. Throughout this campaign Colonel Martin commanded a cavalry brigade, composed of his legion and the Fourth Virginia. With two pieces of artillery he drove off a gunboat from the vicinity of White House on the 28th, and refreshed his command from the wealth of abandoned Federal stores. After the fight at Malvern Hill he dashed in the enemy's rear, capturing prisoners on all sides, picking up 150 in plain view and within sixty yards of the Monitor. Subsequently the legion was assigned to the cavalry brigade of Gen. Wade Hampton, and under the command of Lieut.-Col. J. F. Waring it won fresh laurels at Fleetwood, Gettysburg, and other famous battlefields, finally surrendering with Wade Hampton at Greensboro, N. C. The army of Northern Virginia was now organized in a more permanent manner by General Lee, and the Mississippi infantry commands were all assigned to Longstreet's corps. In Anderson's division was the Mississippi brigade of General Featherston, including the Twelfth, Sixteenth, Nineteenth regiments and Second battalion. The Second and Eleventh regiments remained in Law's brigade of Hood's division. Barksdale's brigade, the Thirteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Twenty-first regiments, was assigned to McLaws' division. At Kelly's Ford, August 21st, the Twelfth and Sixteenth regiments won the praise of Wilcox by their gallant repulse of Federal cavalry; and at the battle of Second Manassas Featherston's brigade had the honor of participating in the charge which swept the enemy from the field. The brigade lost 26 killed and 142 wounded.  The Second and Eleventh fought with distinction both on August 29th and 30th, losing 15 killed and 153 wounded. Barksdale's brigade did not participate in the fighting of Second Manassas, but after marching through Maryland to Pleasant Valley shared with Kershaw's brigade on September 13th the honor of capturing Maryland Heights. This achievement compelled the surrender of Harper's Ferry, and much of the credit for it is due to the gallant Mississippi skirmishers under Maj. J. M. Bradley. The Thirteenth was left in possession of this stronghold while the remainder of the brigade formed line of battle behind Crampton's Gap. In this exploit Barksdale had 960 men engaged, and lost 2 killed and 15 wounded. Law's brigade fought at Boonsboro and on sanguinary field of Sharpsburg. The Second and Eleventh were in the fiercest of the fight at the Dunker Church, both on the 16th and 17th. In the first day's fighting, Hood reported the ‘brave and efficient Col. P. F. Liddell fell mortally wounded;’ and on the 17th, the ‘two little giant brigades of this division wrestled with a mighty force, not less than two corps of the enemy.’ In the words of Colonel Law, ‘Colonel Liddell, the gallant and beloved commander of the Eleventh Mississippi regiment, fell mortally wounded; Lieut.-Col. S. F. Butler of the same regiment received a painful wound, and Maj. T. S. Evans was killed. Col. John M. Stone, Lieut.-Col. D. W. Humphreys, and Maj. J. A. Blair, of the Second Mississippi, were all wounded while leading that distinguished regiment in the charge.’ The Eleventh lost 8 killed and 96 wounded, the Second 27 killed and 127 wounded, a very large part of their total strength. Barksdale's brigade went into the fight at Sharpsburg 891 strong, and lost in killed 33 and in wounded 257. But, although there were not enough of them to make a single continuous line in the space assigned, they drove the enemy before them. General McLaws said that the  ground over which Barksdale advanced was thickly strewn with the dead and wounded of the enemy, far exceeding our own, and their dead were much more numerous than their wounded. Col. Carnot Posey, who commanded Featherston's brigade at Sharpsburg, was mentioned by Longstreet as among the most prominently distinguished of his division. His brigade suffered a loss of 44 killed and 260 wounded. As an instance of the experience of the Mississippi regiments in this desperate battle may be mentioned the Sixteenth, under Captain Feltus, which took 228 men into action and lost 144 in killed and wounded. In November, 1862, the Second and Eleventh regiments were detached from Law's brigade and ordered to Richmond. At Fredericksburg, December 11th, Barksdale with his Mississippians occupied the town, and posting his men in rifle-pits, cellars, and behind any shelter that offered, repulsed nine desperate attempts of the enemy to complete their pontoon bridges over the Rappahannock river. They were finally driven from their position by a terrific cannonading. The Seventeenth Mississippi, three companies of the Eighteenth and ten sharpshooters from the Thirteenth, were all the troops that were actually engaged defending the crossings in front of the city, there being no place for a greater number. The brigade made another stand on Princess Anne street, after the enemy entered the town. This street-fighting continued until 7 p. m., when Barksdale was ordered back to the famous stone wall below Marye's hill. Colonel Luse, with the Eighteenth, had held the enemy back, below the town, until 3:30 in the afternoon. The brigade was relieved at the stone wall by Cobb's brigade and then took position in the general line. The loss of the Seventeenth at the river was 106 killed, wounded and missing. General McLaws in his report said: ‘The brigade of General Barksdale did  their whole duty, and in a manner highly creditable to every officer and man engaged in the fight. An examination of their positions shows that no troops could have behaved more gallantly.’ Featherston's brigade was not actively engaged, but lay in line of battle four of those December days and nights in an open field, without shelter and without fire.