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The 31st Alabama Infantry Regiment was organized at Talladega, 16 March 1862, with men from Calhoun, Cherokee, Montgomery, Randolph, Shelby, and Talladega counties. It reported to Gen’l Danville Leadbetter at Chattanooga shortly after. It then moved up to Knoxville, where it was brigaded under Gen’l Seth Barton, in Carter Stevenson’s Division. The regiment was at the investment of Cumberland Gap, and it took part in the fight at Tazewell. With Gen’l E. K. Smith’s column, it was in the Kentucky Campaign, without coming up with the enemy. When the forces came back, it was permanently brigaded with the 20th, 23rd, 30th, and 46th Alabama regiments, under Gen’l Edward D. Tracy of Madison, Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana. In December, the 31st accompanied Stevenson’s Division to Vicksburg. In May 1863 it helped defend Port Gibson, Mississippi, where the regiment suffered severely. It fought at Baker’s Creek, and the loss was heavy. As part of the Vicksburg garrison, the regiment suffered through the siege, and after losing a number killed and wounded, it was surrendered with the fortress. Placed in parole camp at Demopolis, the 31st was soon exchanged. With Gen’l Edmund Pettus in command of the brigade, the regiment joined the Army of Tennessee, and it was engaged with slight loss at Mission Ridge. It wintered at Dalton, and it participated in the campaign from Dalton to Atlanta.

The regiment followed Gen’l John Bell Hood into Tennessee and sustained severe losses at Columbia and Nashville, and was the rear-guard of the retreating army. Transferred to North Carolina, the regiment was hotly engaged at Bentonville, and a fragment of the 1100 with which it entered the service surrendered at Greensboro, as part of Pettus’ Brigade. There were 260 effectives in January, 1863, with 21 k and 37 w at Vicksburg. There were 23 casualties at Chattanooga, and in December, 1863, there were 452 present with 323 arms. Only 180 were fit for duty in January 1865, and less than 100 surrendered in April. Toward the close of the war, the 31st was consolidated with the 23rd and 46th Infantry and redesignated the 23rd Consolidated Infantry Regiment at Smithfield, 9 April 1865.

Field and staff officers: Col. Daniel Robinson Hundley (Madison; wounded, Port Gibson; captured, Port Gibson, Big Shanty, Georgia); Lt. Col. Thomas Mann Arrington (Montgomery); Major George W. Mattison (Talladega; transferred to line duty); John W. Shorter (Georgia; captured, Champion’s Hill; resigned); and William M. Garrard (Georgia)

Captains, and counties from which the companies came:

  • Co. “A” (Cherokee County; some of company paroled as of Co. “K”, 23rd AL Infantry, Consolidated): Isaac P. Moragne (resigned, 13 Aug 62); Henry W. Pickens (resigned, 30 March 63); W. L. Hughes (wounded, Jonesboro)
  • Co. “B” (Talladega County; also called Co. “A”; company paroled as part of Co. “K”, 23rd AL Infantry, Consolidated): William S. Chapman (resigned, 26 Sept 62); Robert A. Hardie (resigned, 12 Dec 63); William H. Hancock (transferred); William J. Rhodes (wounded, Kinston, Bentonville)
  • Co. “C” (Cherokee County; also called Co. “B”): Marshal J. Alexander (resigned, 28 Aug 62); Joseph J. Nix (wounded, Champion’s Hill, Jonesboro; captured, Champion’s Hill; resigned, 26 April 63 and March 65)
  • Co. “D” (Calhoun County; evidently became Co. “G”, 23rd AL Infantry): E. T. Thompson; (dropped from rolls, 2 June 64); John Rose (paroled as Capt., Co. “G”, 23rd AL Infantry)
  • Co. “E” (Talladega County; also called Co. “D”): Archibald Carter (resigned, 27 Aug 62); G. W. Watts (resigned, 19 Nov 63); Frank M. Shouse
  • Co. “F” (Talladega County; also called Co. “E”): Robert M. McKibbin
  • Co. “G” (Shelby County; also called Co. “K”; mustered 22 March 62 as Cobb’s Co., Frazer’s 23rd AL Infantry, and on 4 May 62 as Cobb’s Co., Hundley’s 31st AL Infantry): James Cobb (resigned, 2 Sept 62); William H. Shelby (resigned, 21 Nov 63); Robert B. Pruitt
  • Co. “H” (Randolph County): Augustus A. West (resigned, 27 Aug 62); Andrew J. Reeves (resigned); James L. Williams (captured, Missionary Ridge)
  • Co. “I” (Montgomery County): John M. Shields (resigned, 10 Sept 62); Thomas M. Arrington (promoted); L. W. Vick
  • Co. “K” (Shelby County; some of the company finally paroled as Co. “H”, 23rd AL Infantry, Consolidated): Norman P. Reeves (appointed, surgeon); John W. Pitts (resigned, 10 Nov 62); Samuel W. Morgan (dropped from rolls, 17 June 64); J. T. McClanahan

Historical resources:

The 23rd Alabama Infantry Regiment was organized at Montgomery on 19 November 1861, with companies recruited in Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe and Wilcox counties. It was ordered to Mobile shortly after that and attached to Gen’l Adley H. Gladden’s Brigade, remaining there until the following February. During the stay there of two months, the regiment lost 82 men by disease. It then moved into East Tennessee and was brigaded under Gen’l Danville Leadbetter of Mobile and then under Gen’l Seth Barton of Tennessee, and in June 1862, under Col. Thomas Hart Taylor of Kentucky. The 23rd performed much arduous duty in East Tennessee and formed part of Carter Stevenson’s Division, Kirby Smith’s Corps, in the Kentucky campaign. When the army returned to Tennessee, a brigade was formed of the 20th, 23rd, 30th, 31st, and 46th Alabama regiments and placed under Gen’l Edward D. Tracy of Madison.

In December 1862, with Stephenson’s Division, the 23rd was moved to Vicksburg, and a few days later was present at the fight at Chickasaw Bayou. It was engaged at Port Gibson where the brigade commander fell, and it lost heavily there in killed, wounded, and captured. Gen’l Stephen D. Lee then took command of the brigade. At Baker’s Creek, the 23rd was engaged and lost a number captured. The next day, it was in the fight at Big Black Bridge. When the army fell back, the regiment was left, by oversight, and for 12 hours resisted the whole federal army, without severe loss. Retiring into Vicksburg, the regiment shared in that siege, fighting day and night, but without many casualties. Paroled immediately, the regiment was soon exchanged and joined the Army of Tennessee just after the Battle of Chickamauga., Gen’l Edmund Pettus of Dallas commanding the brigade. The 23rd took part at Missionary Ridge with light loss and wintered at Dalton, Georgia. At the beginning of the campaign, it suffered heavy losses at Resaca, but it was constantly in front of Union Gen’l William T. Sherman all the way to Atlanta and Jonesboro, suffering very severely in the latter fight. The regiment marched with Gen’l John Bell Hood into Tennessee, was engaged at Columbia with considerable loss, and at Nashville, where many of the men were captured. It guarded the rear of the retreating army and moved into the Carolinas.

From Branchville to Bentonville, it fought Sherman and was consolidated with the 31st and 46th Alabama, with J. B. Bibb as colonel, Osceola Kyle of Coosa at Lt. Col., and J. T. Hester as Major, and sufrrendered at Salisbury, NC. Nearly 1200 names were on the rolls of the 23rd; it had 435 muskets at Rocky-face, and 76 surrendered at Salisbury, under Col. Bibb. Near the close of the war, the 23rd was consolidated with the 31st and 46th Infantry at Smithfield, 9 April 1865.

Field and staff Officers: Cols. Franklin King Beck (Wilcox; captured, Vicksburg; KIA, Resaca); Joseph Branajah Bibb (Montgomery; wounded, Nashville); Lt. Col. Joseph Branajah Bibb (promoted); Majors Felix Tait (Wilcox; resigned, 9 Aug 1862); John J. Longmire (Monroe; resigned, 25 Jan 1864); Francis McMurray (Macon; wounded, Missionary Ridge; retired); A. C. Roberts (Marengo; KIA, New Hope Church); James T. Hester (Montgomery); Adjutants Henry Goldthwaite (Mobile; resigned); J. T. Norman (Macon; captured, Port Gibson); and William Beard (Conecuh)

Captains, and counties from which the companies came:

  • Co. “A” (Wilcox County; paroled as part of Co. “C”, 23rd AL Infantry, Consolidated): John J. Longmire (promoted); G. H. Moye (resigned, 13 Nov 63); J. W. Steen (captured, Vicksburg; wounded, Atlanta)
  • Co. “B” (Macon County; paroled as part of Co. “I”, 23rd AL Infantry, Consolidated): Francis McMurray (wounded, Port Gibson, and captured; promoted; resigned, 21 March 64) F. A. Rutherford (KIA, Jonesboro); Lt. Carnie Leslie
  • Co. “C” (Marengo County; paroled finally as part of Co. “I”, 23rd AL Infantry, Consolidated): A. L. Norwood (resigned); Amariah C. Roberds (promoted); Robert Chapman; Alfred Bethea (resigned, 2 Sept 62)
  • Co. “D” (Conecuh County): D. K. Smith (resigned, 10 Sept 62); James T. Hester (promoted); James M. Anderson
  • Co. “E” (Monroe County; paroled as part of Co. “D”, 23rd AL Infantry, Consolidated): G. G. Mathews (resigned, 24 Feb 63); H. M. Graham (captured, Vicksburg)
  • Co. “F” (Lowndes County; paroled as part of Co. “D”, 23rd AL Infantry, Consolidated): Henry P. Reid (resigned, 3 Jan 63); S. Oliver Merriwether (captured, Port Gibson)
  • Co. “G” (Choctaw County; paroled as part of Co. “D”, 23rd AL Infantry, Consolidated): Alfred Yates (resigned, 13 Sept 62); John Stephens (KIA, Port Gibson); W. W. Johnson (resigned, 13 April 64); M. Butterfield; (KIA, Atlanta); R. F. Campbell
  • Co. “H” (Conecuh County; paroled as part of Co. “E”, 23rd AL Infantry, Consolidated): Thomas D. McCall (resigned, 29 April 63); B. L. Selman (captured, Vicksburg; wounded, Resaca); 2nd Lt. J. T. McDonald
  • Co. “I” (Baldwin County; paroled as part of Co. “E”, 23rd AL Infantry, Consolidated): R. Y. Rew (resigned, 9 Feb 63, and 30 March 63); W. H. Myles (captured, Vicksburg)
  • Co. “K”, King Guards (Wilcox and Clarke counties; paroled as part of Co. “C”, 23rd AL Infantry, Consolidated): William E. Powe (resigned, 10 Nov 62); Greene D. McConnell (captured, Vicksburg)

Historical resources:

History First Regiment Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry Great War Rebellion

By William Randolph Carter

Starts covering the retreat on the 17th on page 236

Link to PDF online

Purchase from AbeBooks online

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Kraig McNutt is the author and publisher of this blog. He has been blogging on Franklin for over five years and on the Civil War in general since 1995. Email him.

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Summary of the Battle of Franklin

The Battle of Franklin was fought on November 30, 1864 in Franklin, Tennessee; in Williamson County. John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee (around 33,000 men) faced off with John M. Schofield's Army of the Ohio and the Cumberland (around 30,000 men). Often cited as "the bloodiest five hours" during the American Civil War, the Confederates lost between 6,500 - 7,500 men, with 1,750 dead. The Federals lost around 2,000 - 2,500 men, with just 250 or less killed. Hood lost 30,000 men in just six months (from July 1864 until December 15). The Battle of Franklin was fought mostly at night. Several Confederate Generals were killed, including Patrick Cleburne, and the Rebels also lost 50% of their field commanders. Hood would limp into Nashville two weeks later before suffering his final defeat before retreating to Pulaski in mid December. Hundreds of wounded Confederate soldiers were taken to the John and Carrie McGavock home - Carnton - after the battle. She became known as the Widow of the South. The McGavock's eventually donated two acres to inter the Confederate dead. Almost 1,500 Rebel soldiers are buried in McGavock Confederate Cemetery, just in view of the Carnton house.

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