The War for Southern Independence:
REGIMENT, MISSISSIPPI INFANTRY VOLUNTEERS
"Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1898," by
The regiment was organized at Corinth from the companies
ordered by Governor PetIns to assemble there May 21, 1861.
Soon after their arrival they were mustered into the
Confederate States service for twelve months and field
officers were elected June 6, 1861, Statham, Hemphill and
Dennis. With the Fourteenth, organized under the same
circumstances, the Fifteenth was ordered to Union City, Tenn.,
and thence, August 13, to Russellville, for duty with General
Zollicoffer. At Knoxville, September 12, the Fourteenth was
ordered to Cumberland Gap. October 16, Colonel Statham, with
600 of his regiment received orders for a march to
Barboursville. On this expedition, with other regiments of the
command, the Fifteenth skirmished with Schoepf's Union Brigade
at Camp Wildcat, on Rockcastle hills October 21, Schoepf
reporting a loss of 4 killed, 20 wounded; Zollicoffer 11
killed, 42 wounded.
Returning to Cumberland Gap with a wagon train loaded with
salt, they made another advance into Kentucky November 7, and
on the 14th Starham was ordered to occupy Wartburg and
intrench. They went into winter quarters.
The Fifteenth was returned November 20, 1861, 1,051 present
and absent, 553 present for duty; in December, at Beech Grove,
Ky., 854 present for duty.
Being approached by a Federal command under Gen. George H.
Thomas, General Crittenden advanced on January 19th,
Zollicoffer's Brigade led by the Fifteenth under
Lieutenant-Colonel Walthall. General Crittenden, in his report
of the battle of Fishing Creek, describing the fall of
Zollicoffer and the confusion that followed, wrote: "For
an hour now the Fifteenth Mississippi, under
Lieutenant-Colonel Walthall and the Twentieth Tennessee, under
Col. Joel Battle, had been struggling with the superior force
of the enemy. I cannot omit to mention the heroic valor of
these two regiments, officers and men. When the left retired
they were flanked and compelled to leave their position."
The Sixteenth Alabama went to their support, but the remainder
of the little army was breaking into rout. Many of the men
were armed with flintlock muskets. "The regiment was most
gallantly led by Walthall," said Crittenden. "The
reputation of the Mississippians for heroism was fully
sustained by this regiment. Its loss and killed in wounded,
which was far greater than that of any other regiment, tells
sufficiently the story of discipline and courage. The limits
of this report will not permit me to enumerate the individual
acts of courage with which this regiment abounded. Suffice it
to say that it is entitled to all praise." The regiment
had 44 killed and 153 wounded; a record that has few parallels
in any battle. Doubtless its heroic selfsacrifice saved the
main part of the Confederate command from captureú The return
also showed 29 missing, probably captured and partly wounded.
The Fifteenth and Twentieth Tennessee fell back to the
intrenchments on the Cumberland River, and after the troops
had all crossed a detail of the Fifteenth burned the steamer
that was used as a ferry.
In the reorganization of Johnston's forces February 23,
Colonel Slatham was assigned to command of the Zollicoffer
Brigade, including the Fifteenth under Major Brantley, and the
Statham's Brigade was part of Breckenridge's "reserve
corps" in the organization before the battle of Shiloh,
and in that battle fought under his immediate command,
participating in the capture of Prentiss' Division, and at the
close of the first day were on the front line, occupying the
heights overlooking the Tennessee River, under fire of the
There was a reorganization in May, and re-enlistment for
two years. Lieutenant-Colonel Walthall organized the
Twenty-ninth Regiment, and became its commander.
The brigade, under command of Colonel Statham, composed of
the Fifteenth, under Lieutenant-Colonel Fartell, and
Twenty-second Mississippi, with four Tennessee regiments,
served in support of Vicksburg, with the forces under General
VanDorn, during the naval bombardment of June and July, 1862.
While on this service Colonel Starham died. (Rietti's Annals.)
The Fifteenth was posted on the present site of the National
Cemetery, July 15, 1862, the day that the battleship Arkansas
came down the Yazoo and ran through the Federal fleet above
Vicksburg, and witnessed that memorable scene. (L. P. Carr.)
Following is the return of the Fifteenth in Fourth Brigade,
"Breckenridge's Division, Army of the Mississippi,
Vicksburg, July 20, 1862 :" Col. W. S. Starham;
Lieutenant-Colonel, M. Farrell; Major, J. R. Binford;
Adjutant, J. A. Binford, Jr.; Acting Quartermaster, B. J.
Dudley; Acting Commissary, Lieutenant, G. F. Crawford;
Assistant Surgeon, Dr. Fleming.
The brigade formed part of the force taken to Louisiana by
General Breckinridge, which made the attack on Baton Rouge,
August 5, 1862. They were part of General Clark's Division;
the brigade under c6mmand of Colonel T. B. Smith, of
Tennessee, the Fifteenth commanded by Major Binford.
"This admirable regiment, much reduced by long and
gailant services, was held as a reserve, "General
Breckenridge reported. After this they were on duty at Port
Hudson, until ordered to Jackson, Miss.
The Fifteenth (Colonel Farrell), Twenty-second and Fifth
Mississippi, First Missouri, and Caruther's Battalion, formed
the brigade of Gen. John S. Bowen, in Lovell's Division,
VanDorn's Army of West Tennessee. Van Dorn marched to Davis'
Mill, twenty miles from Grand Junction, Tenn., and toward
Bolivar, while General Price was advancing to Iuka, where he
fought the battle of September 19, after which VanDorn fell
back and was joined by Price at Ripley, whence they marched to
Pocahontas, threatening the Federal post at Bolivar, and
turning suddenly, crossed the Hatchic and Tuscumbia and
attempted to surprise and take the fortifications at Corinth
held by General Rosecrans. The brigade first formed line of
battle east of Cypress Creek, October 3, the Fifteenth and
Twenty-second forming the main line, the First Missouri and
Caruther's Battalion on the skirmish line. With this formation
they advanced steadily against the outer line of works,
capturing the battery at the salient near the railroad, and
driving the Federal infantry from the trenches. On the 4th the
brigade advanced to within 600 yards of a strong line of
redoubts, skirmished to develop the strength of the position,
and were swept by such a destructive artillery fire that Bowen
retired to a short distance and finally was ordered to the
rear. Bowen's Brigade was the rear-guard of infantry on the
retreat and the Fifteenth sustained the main attack at the
Tuscumbia River bridge, which the regiment met coolly and
repulsed. The brigade casualties were 28 killed, 92 wounded,
40 missing. They retreated to Ripley and Holly Springs. When
Grant advanced from Memphis along the Central Railroad in
December, the Fifteenth fell back to Grenada, and was in the
fight at Coffeeville, December 5. At Grenada in January, 1863,
the regiment was included in Rust's Brigade, Loring's
Division. The brigade was ordered from Jackson to the Big
Black River, February 9, and from Edwards to Port Hudson,
February 22, and back to Jackson April 6. Company C, Captain
P. H. Norton, had remained at Jackson, with Gen. John Adams.
Were ordered to Tullahoma, Tenn., April x3, which order was
countermanded as soon as the Federal boats ran the batteries
at Vicksburg, April i6, Rust's Brigade was ordered
consolidated with Tilghman's Brigade April 15. April 24, Adams
was ordered to move the Fifteenth and Twenty-sixth from
Jackson to Morton, at the time of Grierson's raid. The
regiment at the time of this movement was 517 strong. April
29, Tilghman, at Jackson, was ordered to take the Fifteenth,
Col. Fartell, and Twenty-sixth, and a field battery, to the
Big Black, and take command of troops there. The Fifteenth is
not named, however, in the reports of Tilghman's Brigade at
the battle of Baker's Creek. In July, Gen. John Adams' Brigade
included the Sixth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Twentieth,
Twenty-third, Twenty-sixth Mississippi and Forney's Battalion.
The brigade joined in the advance of Johnston's army to the
Big Black near the close of the siege of Vicksburg, failing
back to Jackson when Vicksburg surrendered, and at Jackson
besieged by Sherman July 9-16, then retreating to Morton.
Loring's Division was at Canton when Sherman began his march
to Meridian from Vicksburg, in February, 1864, moved to Morton
and retired to Demopolis, Ala., under the order of General
The brigade, under Gen. John Adams, served through the
Atlanta campaign from the time of its arrival at Resaca, May
11, 1864, occupying intrenched lines there and on the Dalton
and Kenesaw Mountain lines, was engaged on Peachtree Creek,
and in the battle of July 28 near Atlanta, and in the trenches
around the city until the evacuation, September 1. General
Polk was killed at Pine Mountain, after which the Army of the
Mississippi was known as A. P. Stewart's Corps, Army of
Tennessee. The returns show Col. Michael Parrell in command of
the regiment through the campaign.
July 19, at Mooro's Mill, on Peachtree Creek, the regiment
participated in the attack of Reynold's Brigade upon the
Federal advance. General Adams claimed that the regiment
received the surrender of a Federal regimen. t, which,
however, escaped. General Reynolds reported that a
considerable number of prisoners were taken and that "the
Fifteenth Mississippi acted gallantly when brought into
action." The casualties of the regiment, May 12 to July
26, 17 killed, 80 wounded. Adjutant Mitchell was badly
wounded; Lieutenant Hugh Montgomery was missing, supposed
killed. Of this loss, a considerable part was in the battles
of Resaca, May 13-15, and New Hope Church, May 27.
In the October, 1864, campaign on the Chattanooga and
Atlanta Railroad, Loring's Division, including Adams' Brigade,
captured the garrison at Acworth, October 4, an affair in
which the Fifteenth had a prominent part; marched as far north
as Dalton, thence through the mountains to Gadsden; made a
demonstration against Decatur, and moved to Tuscumbia.
Crossing the river November 20, they marched with Stewart's
Corps to Columbia and on November 29 joined in the flank
movement to Spring Hill. Following closely upon the Federal
retreat from Columbia to Spring Hill, they were heroic
participants in the bloody assault of the evening of November
30. General Adsins was killed while leading his men against
the second line of works, his horse falling across the
parapet. Col. Robert Lowry, who succeeded to brigade command,
reported that the flag of the Fifteenth Regiment was lost,
four men having been shot down in bearing it. forward to the
works. Colonel Fartell, a brilliant officer, was mortally
wounded, and Lieut.-Col. Binford took command of the regiment.
Lieutenants Young and Alien were killed; Lieuts. Shuler,
Irish, Campbell, Hale, Tribble, wounded. The casualties of the
brigade were 44 killed, 271 wounded, 23 missing. The effective
strength of the brigade after the advance to Nashville was a
little over 1,000, including six regiments. The position of
Stewart’s Corps in front of Nashville was carried by General
Thomas December 15, but Loring's Division was distinguished
for steadiness in forming a new line to check the enemy and on
the next day they repelled all assaults until the line broke
on their left. In the last days of December they recrossed the
Tennessee River and early in January the corps went into camp
About the first of February, 1865, the remnant of Loring's
Division began the movement to the Carolinas. February 25,
they were ordered forward from Augusta, Ca., to Newberry, S.C.
In the campaign under Gen. J. E. Johnston against General
Sherman the division took part in the battles of Kinston,
March 1o, and Bentonville, March 19-21. In the latter battle
the division was distinguished by a gallant and successful
Organization of army of Gen. J. E. Johnston, near
Smithfield, N. C., March 31, 1865, shows Maj.-Gen. Walthall in
command of Stewart's Corps, Adams' Brigade, commanded by Col.
Richard Harrison, the Fifteenth Regiment by Lieut. E. Love.
April 9, the brigade, including an Alabarns and a Louisiana
regiment, under the command of Brig.-Gen. Robert Lowry. The
Sixth, Fifteenth, Twentieth and Twenty-third Mississippi
Regiments were consolidated as the Fifteenth - Lieut.-Col.
Thomas B. Graham commanding.
Hostilities were suspended April 18, the army was
surrendered April 26 at Durham Station, and paroled at