The War for Southern Independence:
Rowland’s "Military History of Mississippi,
1803-1898"; company listing courtesy of H. Grady
Howell’s "For Dixie Land, I’ll Take My Stand’)
Company A -- Lafayette Rebels (raised in Lafayette County,
Company B -- Robson Rifles (raised in Tallahatchie County,
Company C -- Panola Patriots (raised in Panola County, MS)
Company D -- Fishing Creek Avengers (raised in Yalobusha
Company E -- Oakland Rebels (raised in Yalobusha County,
Company F -- Hampton Guards (raised in Lowndes County, MS)
Company G -- Walthall Rebels (raised in Attala &
Carroll Counties, MS)
Company H -- Gale Reserve (raised in Yazoo County, MS)
Company I -- DeSoto Brothers (raised in DeSoto County, MS)
Company K -- Dixie Rifles (raised in Holmes County, MS)
Colonels -- Edward C. Walthall, promoted as
Brigadier-General, December 13, 1862; William F. Brantley,
promoted as Brigadier-General, July 26, 1864. Lieutenant-
Colonels -- William F. Brantley, promoted; James B. Morgan.
Majors -- James B. Morgan, promoted; Newton A. Isam, George W.
Reynolds, killed at Franklin. Adjutants -- John W. Campbell,
mortally wounded at Missionary Ridge; R. H. Vance, acting.
Quartermasters -- W. G. Beauland, promoted to brigade staff,
1863; assistant, R. G. Smithers. Commissaries -- Pullen, J. T.
Malone. Surgeons -- M. N. Phillips, J. D. Adams; assistants,
R. W. Harper, W. P. Hutchinson. Sergeant-Major -- C. H.
Aggregate original enrollment, 876 officers and men.
No official rolls in this department. Above data obtained
from State register of original commissions, Sykes' Brigade
Order Book, and E. A. Smith's "Records of Walthall's
BRIGADE SHARPSHOOTERS. At Dalton, Ga., in February, 1864,
there was formed a battalion of sharpshooters, 22 officers and
180 men, detailed from the various regiments of the brigade,
under the command of Capt. J.W. Ward. Among the officers was
Lieut. Washington P. Williams, of Company A. This battalion
was engaged with Sherman's sharpshooters and skirmishes almost
every day, sometimes many times in one day, until disbanded at
Atlanta, July 22, 1864, when there remained on duty the Major
commanding, two Lieutenants and 19 privates.
This regiment was organized at Grenada, and field offices
elected April 11, 1862. Colonel Walthall had been theretofore
Lieutenant-Colonel, and Lieutenant-Colonel Brantley Major, of
the Fifteenth, a twelve-month regiment. The Twenty-ninth
Regiment was attached to Chalmers' Brigade of infantry, then
in the fortified lines of Corinth, which were beleaguered by
Halleck's army until General Beauregard evacuated in the
latter part of May.
During the siege of Corinth a detachment of this regiment
and others of the brigade were on outpost duty on the Monterey
road, and were in action May 28-29, with a Federal force,
which was finally repulsed with the aid of reinforcements
under Col. Joseph Wheeler. The regiment had 2 killed and I
wounded in this engagement at the Russell House.
In the latter part of July the brigade was moved to
Chattanooga, with the Amy of the Mississippi, and thence they
advanced into Kentucky through Middle Tennessee. September 12,
Walthall with his regiment and Ketchum’s Battery was
detached to seize the Louisville & Nashville Railroad at
Proctor's Station, whence he rejoined the brigade at Cave
City, on the same road. Walthall had a part in Chalmers'
desperate assault upon the works at Munfordville, September
14, carrying into the battle a total of 307 and losing 5
killed, 36 wounded. Colonel Walthall reported that after
several changes of position under fire, they received orders
for a bayonet charge. "I gave the command and the charge
was attempted, but without success, the earthworks being about
ten feet high and surrounded by a deep ditch about eight feet
wide." After ten or fifteen minutes in this position
Colonel Walthall withdrew his regiment to shelter. On the 17th
Wilder surrendered to Bragg's army, and the brigade was
ordered to occupy the works, as a recognition of bravery.
The army retreated from Kentucky in the latter part of
October through Cumberland Gap, and moved to Chattanooga,
thence advancing upon Rosecrans' army toward Nashville, in
November 17, 1862, Colonel Walthall was ordered to report
to Lieutenant- General Hardee for assignment to the command of
a brigade. Anderson's Division was broken up and the
Twenty-fourth, Twenty-seventh and Thirtieth Regiments
transferred to Polk's Corps. Walthall’s Brigade at first was
composed of the Twenty-seventh, Thirtieth, Thirty-fourth
(called then Thirty-seventh) and Forty-first Mississippi.
Colonel Walthall announced as his staff, December 4, 1862,
the following: Capt. E. T. Sykes, Tenth Regiment,
Adjutant-General; Capt. R. W. Williamson, Thirtieth Regiment,
Volunteer Aide-de-camp; Capt. Addison Craft, Twenty-seventh
Regiment, Quartermaster; Dr. K. C. Divine, Twenty-seventh
Regiment, Surgeon. December 9, Capt. J. A. Hooper, Brigade
Commissary; December 27, by Colonel Jones, Lieut. D. M.
Currie, Twenty-fourth Regiment, Acting Inspector-General;
Lieut. J. H. Wood, Twenty-seventh Regiment, Acting Ordnance
Officer. January 20, 1863, Lieut. George M. Govan, Ninth
Regiment, Inspector-General, promoted to Captain and retained,
temporarily succeeded by Lieut. H. C. Tupper; Lieut. B. A.
Walthall, Aide-de-camp. Capt. Craft was succeeded by Maj. W.
A. Rayburn as Quartermaster. Surgeon Divine was succeeded in
1864 by Surgeon George R. Griffith of the Thirtieth. Capt. J.
C. Harrison, Twenty-ninth Regiment, was AdjutantGeneral under
Brantley; Lieut. R. F. Holloway, Acting Inspector-General;
Capt. D. L. Sweatman, Aide-de-camp; Capt. J. L. Magruder,
Ordnance Officer; Capt. W. G. Beanland, Quartermaster; Maj. J.
D. Lynch, Surgeon.
Changes were made in the brigade, after its first
organization, so that it included the Twenty-fourth,
Twenty-seventh, Twenty-ninth, Thirtieth, Thirty-fourth
Mississippi and Forty-fifth Alabama, at the battle of
Murfreesboro. While absent on sick leave Colonel Walthall was
promoted to Brigadier-General, and he assumed command in that
rank near Shelbyville, January 18, 1863. At first during his
absence the brigade was commanded by Colonels Neill and Jones.
During the battle of Murfreesboro the brigade was commanded
by Gen. Patton Anderson. The brigade was posted in line of
battle December 28, 1862, on the left of Chalmers' Brigade,
the main part of the line extended into a dense and stony
cedar forest, where the men threw up a line of stone
breastworks. There was skirmishing for two days, and the
attack was made Wednesday morning, December 31. But the battle
had already been going on some hours, before they were ordered
against the Federal line in their front, which was Negley's
Division of Thomas' Corps, posted in the edge of a dense cedar
brake. General Polk wrote of what followed: "The fire of
the enemy of both artillery and infantry was terrific, and
Anderson's left for a moment wavered. 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. The number of field
guns taken in this movement was eight. This was one of the
points at which we encountered the most determined opposition,
but the onward movement of the Mississippians and Alabamians
was irresistible." General Negley, whose division was
composed of two brigades, upon whom fell at least part of this
attack, reported that "Houghtaling's, Schultz's,
Marshall's, Bush's and Nell's Batteries were all ordered into
action in my front, pouring destructive volleys of grape and
shell into the advancing columns of the enemy, mowing him down
like swaths of grain. For four hours the Eighth Division, with
a portion of Sheridan's and Palmer's Divisions, maintained
their position....The enemy, maddened to desperation by the
determined resistance, still pressed forward fresh troops,
concentrating and forming them in a concentric line on either
flank." The guns captured by Walthall's Brigade,
supported by A. P. Stewart's Brigade, were six of
Houghtaling's Battery C, First Illinois, and two of Bush's
Fourth Indiana Battery. The other batteries mentioned by
Negley lost six guns.
In the charge of the Twenty-ninth, Colonel Brantley and his
adjutant, Lieut. John W. Campbell, were knocked down by
concussion produced by the explosion of a shell very near
them, but the regiment was soon afterward carried forward by
Lieut.-Col. J. B. Morgan in gallant style, capturing the
battery in their front, and driving the enemy into and through
the dense cedar brake immediately beyond. (Anderson). It
appears from Anderson's report that the Twenty-ninth captured
a small iron rifled piece, which lay in its front, and
participated with the Twenty-seventh and Thirtieth in the
capture of the remainder of the battery of four to six guns.
Gen. A. P. Stewart, who supported Anderson, in his report says
that the Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth Mississippi, after the
first repulse, "fell back in disorder" upon his
line, "leaving a large number of dead and wounded in the
open ground beyond the Wilkinson pike, over which they had
charged. The Twenty-ninth ultimately formed on my left, where
it remained until the close of the battle, when it moved away
to join its brigade." The casualties of the Twenty-ninth
were 34 killed, including Capt. H. J. Harper and Lieuts. W. G.
Barksdale, W. A. McDaniel and R. S. Spencer, and 202 wounded.
The total killed and wounded was exceeded by only one regiment
in the army, the Eighth Tennessee, which fought in the same
part of the field and had 306 killed and wounded.
January 2, 1863, the brigade, which had taken the first
position of Chalmer's Brigade, was sent across the river to
support Breckenridge, and gained the credit, awarded by
General Bragg, of saving the artillery of that part of the
January 22, on the Shelbyville line, the Twenty-fourth and
Twenty-ninth Regiments were temporarily consolidated under the
command of Colonel Brantley. Early in July the army fell back
to Chattanooga, and in the latter part of July Walthall's
Brigade was at Camp Cobb, near Atlanta, moving thence to the
reserve camp near Chickamauga in August, and retreating to
Lafayette in September.
In the Chickamauga campaign Walthall's Brigade and Govan's
Arkansas Brigade constituted Liddell's Division of W. H. T.
Walker's Corps. Walthall on September 18 advanced to
Chickamauga Creek at Alexander's bridge, and a fight ensued,
the brunt of which fell upon the Twenty-ninth Regiment, under
Colonel Brantley. It was a fierce engagement, while it lasted,
and the regiment had 56 killed and wounded. The enemy was
driven back, but not until the bridge was destroyed, and the
brigade moved down to Byram's ford and crossed. On the morning
of the 19th they were in battle in that confused area, to the
northward on the battle line, where brigades of both armies
were charging in different directions in the woods, flanking
each other in turn, and friend often firing on friend.
Walthall caught King's Brigade of United States regulars
changing front, ran over them and their battery, took 400
prisoners, but having killed all the horses could not bring
off the guns before they were in turn driven back in
confusion. In this engagement the Twenty-ninth suffered
severely. Next day they moved further to the north and pushed
across the Chattanooga road that Thomas was making the famous
fight to hold. Here they came under an artillery fire that
could not be endured and fell back hurriedly, losing a few
killed and 15 or 20 captured. The regiment carried 368 into
the three-day battle and had
194 killed, wounded and missing. According to General
Thomas, the Confederates on the State road yielded to the
"splendid advance" of Turchin's Brigade, which
covered the retreat of Thomas' command.
The regiment was encamped with the brigade in General
Bragg's line before Chattanooga, after September 22, and on
November 2o was marched up upon the northern and western
slopes of Lookout Mountain on account of the increased
activity of the forces that had been collected at Chattanooga
by General Grant. Early in the morning of November 24 the
attack was made from the west by Hooker's Corps from the
Virginia army, The morning was excessively foggy, the air
being filled with a fine mist of rain, and on account of the
low-lying fog, the event became known as "the battle
above the clouds."
The battle of Lookout Mountain, November 24, 1863, was
fought by Walthall's Mississippi Brigade, supported in the
latter part of the fight by parts of Moore’s and Pettus’
Alabama Brigades. Gen. John K. Jackson was ranking Brigadier.
Other troops were on the top of the mountain, and the entire
force was commanded by Major-General Stevenson. Walthall's
Brigade had a total effective of 1,489, and had 8 killed, 48
wounded and 845 captured. Walthall occupied the advanced
position, on the western slopes of the mountain, with his
pickets along Lookout Creek at the base, and being warned by
the movements of General Geary's Federal Division presaging
attack, he posted his men in the rude breastworks of logs and
stones that had been built by the troops previously in that
position, except the Thirty-fourth regiment, which was sent to
support the picket line. Here he was soon under fire of three
batteries, one of which was in rear of part of his line.
The question as to Whether Walthall was
"surprised" was raised in 1882, by Col. D. R.
Hundley, of Pettus’ Brigade, and after a long correspondence
between him and General Walthall, the matter was submitted to
Gen. E. W. Pettus, who wrote: "It is clear to my mind
that Walthall’s Brigade did expect the attack which was made
on it, and had prepared to repel it, so far as could be done
by so small a force, in its isolated and exposed
position." Colonel Hundley contended that there was a
surprise in the fact that an attack was made with such
overwhelming force. But Walthall was under orders to meet
whatever force approached, hold it in check as long as
possible and fall back to the position at Craven's, where he
would be reinforced.
Colonel Brantley reported that the Twenty-ninth was put in
line facing west until it appeared that the enemy were
approaching from the southwest, when Brantley formed a line
across the mountain facing south, but the distance to cover
and absence of many of his men on the brigade picket line
compelled him to deploy his line as skirmishers. They were
speedily overrun and many captured. With the remnant Brantley
fell back on the line of the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-seventh
and all were driven back. beyond the Craven house, on the
plateau below the cliff, where the brigade reformed and
succeeded in holding the enemy in check until Pettus' Brigade
arrived. Then, by order of General Walthall, Colonel Brantley
took command of the remnants of the Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth
and went into the fight with Pettus, holding the line until
relieved by Clayton's Brigade at 8:20 that night. General
Walthall said in his report: "I directed Colonel Brantley
to advance his left as far as it could be done without leaving
an interval between his line and the cliff, so as to get the
benefit of an oblique fire upon the line that was pressing
upon us. This order was executed with that officer's
characteristic promptness." General Walthall also gave
special mention to the "skill, activity, zeal and
courage" of Colonel Brantley. General Stevenson said in
his report of the advance of Hooker's Corps on the flank and
front, that the front was gallantly contested by the
Mississippi brigade, and General Bragg wrote that the assault
was "met by one brigade only -- Walthall's -- which made
a desperate resistance, but was finally compelled to yield
ground." On the night of the 24th the brigade was moved
to McFarland's Spring, and on the morning of the 25th, with
the whole of Cheatham's Division they were put in line on
Missionary Ridge to the right of Patton Anderson's Division.
They were not assailed in front, but about 4 o'clock in the
evening, after the Confederate line was broken on the south of
them, Brantley faced to the left with his command, and
withstood the flank attack, which was not pushed, until after
dark, when they were withdrawn to Chickamauga Station. The
casualties of the regiment on the 24th were 2 killed,
including Lieut. D. S. Latham, 26 wounded, 155 missing; on the
25th, 7 wounded, including Adjt. J. W. Campbell, who had
served with credit from the organization of the regiment, and
died at Atlanta soon after the battle.
In the Atlanta campaign Walthall's Brigade was a part of
Hindman's Division, commanded by Gens. John C. Brown and
Patton Anderson, in Hood's Corps, after July 27 commanded by
Lieut.-Gen. Stephen D. Lee. General Walthall was promoted in
June to the command of a division of the Army of Mississippi
(Stewart's Corps), composed of the brigades of Quarles, Cantey
and Reynolds, with which he took a prominent part in the
battles of Peachtree Creek and Ezra Church, near Atlanta. He
was succeeded in command of his brigade by Colonel Benton
until Colonel Brantley was promoted as Brigadier- General.
At the beginning of the campaign, when the brigade moved
from camp at Dalton, Ga., and went into the trenches at Alt's
Gap, May 7, Colonel Brandy commanded the Twenty-eighth,
Thirtieth and Thirty-fourth Regiments, but Colonel Benton
resumed command of the Thirty-fourth before the battle of
Resaca. In that battle, May 14-15, Brantley's command was the
extreme left of Hood's Corps, adjoining Hardee's Corps, in a
part of the works exposed to an enfilading fire of artillery,
but they held the position with remarkable coolness and
repulsed the infantry attacks in front. General Walthall was
three times slightly wounded, and General Tucker, while with
him, was seriously wounded. Brantley's consolidated regiment
was placed under cover of the hill on Swett's Battery, and the
other artillery of the division were posted on a bare knob,
the highest on the ridge along which the army was posted,
consequently the object of repeated assault by the Federal
lines. Some of the Union troops obtained lodgment in a
depression within 150 yards of the guns but were driven out by
Brantley. This was repeated three times, Brantley reported.
Meanwhile the brigade was under the enfilading fire of
twenty-four cannon, and their breastworks of logs and earth
were set on fire by the shot. But they held fast through a day
and a half. The three right companies were in the trenches.
The two regiments had 30 officers and 421 men engaged; of the
Twenty-ninth 5 were killed, 23 wounded. Among the wounded were
Captain R. W. Williamson. On May 8 the division provost guard,
under Lieut. J. R. Porter (Twenty-ninth) had rejoined the
The regiment was in line of battle at Cassville May 19 and
had 1 man wounded by the artillery fire. The brigade was not
seriously engaged, though skirmishing was constant and heavy,
during the operations of the Kenesaw Mountain and New Hope
Church lines. Col. R. H. G. Minty, commanding a Federal
Cavalry Brigade, reported carrying the position of the
"Mississippi Tigers" (Twenty-ninth Regiment), at Big
9, 1864, and that among the killed was a Lieutenant of the
Twenty-ninth. July 28, on the Lickskillet road, near Atlanta,
the brigade, under the command of General Brantley, drove the
Federal line in his front from the temporary works, "but
being greatly weakened by the killed and wounded, and the
innumerable cases of utter exhaustion among the best men of my
command, as well as by the absence of a goodly number who had
no legitimate excuse," said the General, "I was
unable to hold the works." They renewed the attack but
could not make headway. The heat was extreme and water was
scarce. The Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth, under command of
Lieut.-Col. James M. Johnson, (Thirtieth) had 277 men on the
field; 5 killed, 24 wounded. They captured about 20 prisoners.
Upon the wounding of Gen. A. P. Stewart, in this battle,
General Walthall took temporary command of the corps. August
31, Lieut.-Col. James B. Morgan was in command of the two
regiments. Their final battle of the campaign was at
Jonesboro, August 31, when the brigade suffered heavy loss in
a front attack upon the Federal line strongly posted. The
Twenty-ninth had 55 killed and wounded. Among the wounded were
Captains Cox and Rainwater, Lieutenants J. W. McCracken,
William Smith, A. C. Roberts. Lieutenant R. E. Brumby was
Brantley's Brigade shared the operations of Lee's Corps
during the October, 1864, campaign against the Chattanooga and
Atlanta Railroad, the investment of Resaca and the holding of
Snake Creek Gap against Sherman's army while Hood retreated
behind the mountains. Brantly's men were engaged in sharp
skirmishing at the gap October 15. Thence they moved to
Gadsden, Ala., and crossed the Tennessee River on the last
days of October.
Advancing November 20, the division commanded by Gen.
Edward Johnson, Lee engaged Schofield at Columbia, while
General Hood, on the 29th, took Johnson's Division for the
attempted rear attack at Spring Hill, November 29. Schofield
fell back to the intrenchments at Franklin on the Harpeth
River, and Hood ordered an assault November 30. Johnson's
Division was ordered into the fight at dark, and, said General
Lee: "The brigades of Sharp and Brantley (Mississippians)and
of Deas (Alabamians) particularly distinguished themselves.
Their dead were mostly in the trenches and on the works of the
enemy, where they fell in a desperate hand-to-hand conflict.
Brantly was exposed to a severe enfilade fire. These noble
brigades never faltered in this terrible night struggle. I
have never seen greater evidences of gallantry than was
displayed by this division, under command of that admirable
and gallant soldier, Major-General Ed. Johnson. The enemy
fought gallantly and obstinately and the position he held,
was, for infantry defence, one of the best I have ever
seen." "The blood actually ran in the ditch,"
said Private Rhea H. Vance of the Twenty-ninth Mississippi,
"and in places saturated our clothing where we were lying
down." The losses of Brantley's brigade were the greatest
in Johnson's Division -- 76 killed, 140 wounded, 21 missing.
The strength of the brigade was about that of a full regiment,
but less than that in line of battle. Major. G. W. Reynolds,
commanding the Twenty-ninth, was among the killed.
The Federal troops fell back to Nashville, and Brantley's
Brigade took position on a line about that city December 2,
and began to entrench. December 15 Thomas attacked, and Lee
sent Johnson's Division to the support of Stewart's Corps.
That night the Confederate troops moved back to a new line,
putting Lee on the extreme right. The principal Federal attack
was on the Franklin pike, which Lee held, and was accompanied
by a terrible artillery fire along the whole line. A
considerable display of force was made on the extreme right,
said Lee, but there was only "one feeble effort to use
this force, when it was readily repulsed by Stovall’s and
Brantley's Brigades, which had been moved to the right;"
The troops of Lee's line were in fine spirits and could hardly
from charging in pursuit of the Federal charges which they
repulsed, when the line was seen to be broken near the Granny
White pike, and the Confederate troops there in flight.
"My troops left their line in some disorder," Lee
reported, "but were soon rallied and presented a good
front to the enemy." December 26 the army crossed the
Tennessee River after untold suffering, and then moved to the
prairies of northeast Mississippi for winter quarters.
Major-General Walthall, during the retreat from Columbia to
the Tennessee River, commanded the infantry rear guard of the
army, supporting the cavalry and reporting to Major-General
Forrest. In this memorable service Walthall had command of the
brigades of Featherston, Strahl, Smith, Maney, Reynolds, Ector
and Quarles. In the movement from the river to Tupelo, he had
command of French's Division as well as his own. Among the
staff officers to whom he gave honorable mention were his
Adjutant-General Capt. W. R. Barksdale, Maj. D. W. Sanders and
Lieut. E. T. Freeman, of General French's staff, and George M.
Walthall, of Chalmers' escort.
November 26 an officer had been sent to Mississippi to
endeavor to procure conscripts for Brantley's Brigade,
carrying a letter from Hood, in which the General wrote:
"This brigade, formerly Walthall's, the State of
Mississippi may justly feel proud of, and the present state of
its ranks is due to the severe losses it has sustained in the
many battles in which it has been engaged, in all of which it
has borne a conspicuous part."
The brigade was furloughed until February 12, 1865. Under
orders for the Carolinas 152 of the brigade assembled at
Meridian February 14. They started east on the 18th and were
detained some tithe at Montgomery by the Mobile campaign. In
March they proceeded to Augusta and thence to North Carolina.
April 3 the aggregate present of the brigade was 283. The
organization of the army near Smithfield, N. C., March 31,
1865, shows the old Hindman Division, under the command of
Gen. D. H. Hill, Brantley commanding his brigade, the
Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth Regiments consolidated under the
command of Capt. R. W. Williamson.
April 9th, Brantley's Brigade, the Twenty-fourth,
Twenty-seventh, Twenty-ninth and Thirty-fourth Mississippi
Regiments, consolidated in the Twenty-fourth Regiment, Col. R.
W. Williamson commanding. This regiment with the Twenty-second
Alabama consolidated from Deas' Brigade, and the
Thirty-seventh Alabama and Fifty-eighth North Carolina,
representing consolidated fragments of other brigades,
constitute the brigade of Gen. W. F. Brantley, in D. W. Hill's
Division of S. D. Lee’s Corps. The army was surrendered
April 26, and paroled at Greensboro, N. C., soon afterward.
Major-General Walthall commanded the fragments of Stewart's
Corps (Army of Mississippi) at Kinston, and was distinguished
in the gallant charge that alarmed General Cox, their old
antagonist at Franklin. He and his command were also
conspicuous in the battle of Bentonville.