2nd Mississippi Infantry, C.S.A.
Edited by Andrew Brown
Picture of Augustus Vairin taken from
History Of Tippah County, Mississippi
by Andrew Brown
The life of the author of "Old Ord's War Journal" was from its beginning an eventful one. His father and mother married when quite young and immediately moved to the south, probably to Louisiana, where in the summer of 1819 the father fell victim to yellow fever. That same winter the young wife started to return north, but the steamboat on which she was travelling became locked in the ice of the Ohio River near Smithland, Kentucky, where, on December 12, 1819, her only child, Augustus Louis Paul Vairin, was born. The ice jam in the river was not broken until February 1820; and the hardship of her experience made the mother an easy victim of a severe cold which terminated in tuberculosis, of which she died two years later. The boy was cared for by his maternal grandmother until he was seven years old; he was then taken by his father's brother, a resident of Louisiana, and reared as one of his own family.
Little is known of young Vairin's early life in Louisiana. His uncle and foster father gave him a good education; judging from his knowledge of and interest in military matters, he must have attended a military school. He also learned the watchmaker's trade and at an unknown date, but probably about 1850, he moved to Holly Springs, Mississippi, the largest town in the northeastern part of that State. There he was employed as watchmaker and jeweler by the mercantile firm of Johnson and Cary until about 1855, when he removed thirty-eight miles east to the smaller town of Ripley, the county seat of Tippah County, where he opened a watchmaker's shop of his own. His first store was on the west side of the courthouse square; this was destroyed by fire on February 6, 1856, and he moved to the south side of the square where he remained about two years. In January 1858 he purchased a lot on Ripley's Main Street, just south of the square, to which he moved his store. About the time of the move Vairin, who always was a consistent advertiser in the local newspaper, announced himself as an "ambrotypist" as well as a watchmaker and jeweler.
Nothing is known of Vairin's part in the militia organizations of Tippah County beyond the fact that his name is not included in any of the extant lists of officers. In late 1859 or early 1860, however, after the John Brown raid on Harpers Ferry brought about a great growth of volunteer military companies in the Southern states, Vairin enlisted in the O'Conner Rifles of Ripley and was chosen its First Sergeant. It is not amiss to mention here that in the volunteer companies, as in the militia, the First Sergeant more likely than not was known as the Orderly Sergeant, though purists correctly point out that the two ranks are not the same. Thus it was that First Sergeant Vairin was known as Orderly Sergeant Vairin and, as time went on, merely as " Old Ord", the adjective referring to his age - Vairin was forty-two years old when the War Between the States began, as against an average age of about twenty-five for the men in his company.
In May 1861 the O'Conner Rifles became Company B, Second Mississippi Infantry and were sent immediately to Virginia, where they served until Appomattox. Vairin retained his rank as First Sergeant until the reorganization of 1862, when he made an unsuccessful campaign to be elected Major of the regiment. Shortly thereafter he was detailed as "instructor and drillmaster" to the newly formed Company L, a group that on the basis of all information available, including Vairin's, must have been about the rawest bunch of raw recruits in the Army of Northern Virginia. With this company Vairin participated in the battle of Seven Pines and the Seven Days' Battles, and was on his way to Manassas when he was hospitalized at Richmond and thus missed the second Manassas and Sharpsburg campaigns. While in the hospital he attempted without success to obtain a position as drillmaster in one of the camps of instruction in Mississippi. He returned to the regiment in the fall of 1862 and soon afterward transferred from Company L to his original outfit, Company B - this time as a private. There he remained until the end of the war.
The Second Mississippi, as part of Davis' Brigade, was engaged in the first fighting at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863, and most of it was surrendered by Major Blair in the railroad cut north of the Cashtown road. Among those who escaped was Vairin, whose statement, in the Journal, that he cautioned the men to get out is confirmed by survivors of the battle. About sixty men of the regiment - all that was left after the affair in the railroad cut - took part in Pickett's charge on July 3, in which Vairin was wounded and captured. He was paroled in October and exchanged in January 1864, rejoining the regiment in August 1864. At that time he was still suffering from his wound and being considered unable to do active duty, was detailed in November to guard forage near Belfield, Va. He remained on fatigue duty until the fighting was over, and never rejoined the regiment.
When he returned to his home in Ripley he found that his business, like all others in the town, had been wrecked during the guerrilla fighting that was a constant scourge in north Mississippi from 1862 to 1865. Records of the period are scant, but Vairin probably reopened his shop at the same location on south Main Street. In 1869 he was one of three commissioners appointed by the county to superintend the rebuilding of the courthouse, and he probably wrote the specifications for the building now in the Tippah County records. He also prepared the first official plat of the town of Ripley, a most careful and accurate survey on which all subsequent plats of the town are based.
On May 22, 1873, Vairin sold his store building at Ripley and that same summer moved to Owensboro, Kentucky, where he spent the remainder of his life. He never married, and in Owensboro made his home with three unmarried cousins, the daughters of his foster-father. In Owensboro he worked at his trade of watchmaker, and at odd times invented various acticles; one of these was a wheel barrow that proved very successful, though Vairin never realized any profit from it. He was active in the organizations of Confederate veterans, and maintained a correspondence with his comrades of the O'Conner Rifles, one of whom is responsible for the preservation of his War Journal. In May 1890 his health began to fail, and in November of that year he died rather suddenly. He was buried in Owensboro and, in accordance with his often repeated request, members of the veteran's organizations, appearing in full uniform, had charge of the services. Some years later his remains, with those of the cousins with whom he had lived, were moved to Metairie Cemetery at New Orleans, where they now rest.
Throughout most of the war, Vairin kept a detailed diary, and assured its preservation by sending each volume, as soon as it was finished, to Orlando Davis, a friend at Ripley. After the war he retrieved the diaries, and took them with him when he moved to Owensboro. In 1886 Dr. E. Newton Hunt, then a prominent physician of Ripley, asked for the diaries, apparently with the idea of compiling a company or regimental history. Vairin did not send Dr. Hunt the originals, but copied what he considered the pertinent parts in pencil on sheets of tablet paper, bound the volume, and sent it "with best wishes for the success of your undertaking." Dr. Hunt's plans, whatever they were, fell through; and after his death the Journal was presented, in 1906, to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History by his widow, Mrs. Lizzie M. Hunt.
The Journal is largely an abridged, factual record - one which makes it possible, for example, to trace the movements of the Second Mississippi from 1861 to 1865 in great detail. Its author expresses few opinions; but such opinions as he does give, based as they are on reason rather than emotion, are of real value. Except for his rather obvious dislike of John Blair, who defeated him for the Majority in 1862, he does not let his feelings intrude on his story. Yet he gives us excellent characterizations of many of the characters in his drama - Colonel Falkner, that remanticist straight from the pages of Sir Walter Scott, who would make a speech (and a good one) at the slightest provocation, and who marched his men to church services in elaborate formation and had them stand under arms throughout the sermon; Colonel Stone, a hard-headed, hard-fighting soldier; Tom Nance, the private who long before he was mortally wounded at Gettysburg had figured in one of the myriad versions of the "Here's your mule" story; Quartermaster Sergeant Guyton, who forgot and recovered - the password at Harpers Ferry, and who mistook the beating of drums for cannon fire at Winchester; and there are many others. Somewhat surprisingly, he has little to say about Captain John H. Buchanan of Company B, a man who was held in the highest esteem by members of the company; possibly Vairin did not exactly appreciate that detail to Company L.
The Journal, abbreviated as it is, gives a deep insight into Vairin's own character. We come to know a man of wide interests, one who thought in exact terms, one who could do things with his hands, one who was willing and able to act as a trouble-shooter for the regiment. He, who had known the flat lands of Louisiana and the sandy hills of Mississippi, was impressed tremendously by the beauty of the Virginia mountains; yet at the same time his practical mind pointed out that the hard rocky roads were hard on the feet of marching soldiers. He learned to make "coffee" from peanuts, and built a brick oven to bake bread - this at a time and in a place where most soldiers baked their bread, when they had any bread to bake, on sticks over an open fire. He was tolerant toward the antics of "the boys", many of whom were not half his age, and most of whom probably regarded him as an old man indeed. Unquestionably he thought that he had not received the best of treatment from the company and the regiment, but only occasionally does bitterness creep into his journal. He continued to do his duty as he saw it, whether that duty were drilling recruits or helping make out muster and payrolls for any harried adjutant or clerk who needed assistance. If perhaps some of his statements about "duty to our cause" seem to modern ears a little stuffy, it is well to remember that Vairin was not preaching; he was merely talking as men talked at that time, and he meant what he said. To sum it all up, Augustus L. P. Vairin was a good soldier.
War Journal" is written in a clear, legible hand, and is here reproduced
exactly as he wrote it except for the punctuation. In the manuscript small
"x's" are used to denote punctuation of any kind; these have been changed
by the editor to the accepted forms. The reader will notice that errors
in grammar and spelling are few and far between, though not unnaturally
Vairin had some trouble with the spelling of proper names. Variances in
that respect are pointed out in the notes, except for a few names about
which there can be no mistake as to the correct identity. Among the misspellings
not mentioned in the notes are "Greenville" for "Greeneville", Tennessee;
"Strausburg" for "Strasburg", Virginia; "Charleston" for "Charlestown",
West Virginia; and "Sheppardstown" for "Shepherdstown", West Virginia.
THE O'CONNOR RIFLES
The O'Connor Rifles were organized under the provisions of a Mississippi law of 1858 which authorized the enlistment of volunteer military companies to supplement and eventually supplant the militia system, a playground which had years before demonstrated its ineffectiveness but was retained because of its political potential. Almost as soon as the law was passed four companies, all in south Mississippi, qualified under its relatively stringent terms; recruiting then lagged until John Brown's attack on Harpers Ferry fanned the martial ardor of the slave-holding states into flame almost overnight. New companies sprang into existence all over the state, and in December 1859, only two months after the Harpers Ferry affair, the Legislature appropriated $150,000 for arms and equipment, and created a "Volunteer Military Board" to coordinate the activities of the new organizations. About this time the O'Connor Rifles were enlisted, and when the volunteer companies were formed into two brigades in May 1860, it was placed in the First Battalion, First Regiment, First Brigade of which its captain John H. Buchanan was designated commandant. Buchanan was not promoted to Major because the Volunteer Board, unlike the rank-ridden militia, made no provision for officers of higher rank than Captain.
From its organizations the O'Connor Rifles were armed with Mississippi Rifles, and wore gray uniforms which, if one may judge from a war-time portrait of Lieutenant Lawson B. Hovis, were designed primarily for service and were not to be mentioned in the same breath with the resplendent garb affected by such companies as, for example, the Jeff Davis Rifles of nearby Holly Springs. Strange as it may seem, the company was named for a New York lawyer, Charles O'Conor. O'Conor - so he spelled his name, though the Southerners used the more common form - was a staunch and vocal States Rights Democrat who, throughout the hectic years before 1861 not only defended slavery as a divinely ordained institution, but maintained that the Federal Government had no right to coerce any State, even though that State might go to the extremity of leaving the Union. After the war O'Conor further strengthened his ties with the South by defending Jefferson Davis against the charge of treason.
Mississippi seceded from the Union on January 9, 1861. Two weeks later, on January 23, the Legislature created the "Army of Mississippi", into which the O'Connor Rifles, mustering at that time fifty rank and file, were sworn on March 3 at Ripley. Late in April, when the Confederate Government issued its first call for Mississippi troops to serve in Virginia, the O'Connors were one of twenty or more companies that were hurried to the railroad junction at Corinth for grouping into regiments and shipment to the front. Reaching Corinth on May 1, the company on May 3 became Company B of the Second Mississippi Infantry, which was composed of troops from the four northeastern counties of the State. The other companies were the Magnolia Guards and the Joe Matthews Rifles of Tippah County; the Tishomingo Riflemen and the Iuka Rifles of Tishomingo County; the Town Creek Rifles and the Calhoun Rifles of Itawamba County; and the Pontotoc Minute Men, the Conewah Rifles, and the Cherry Creek Rifles of Pontotoc County. Regimental officers elected on May 3 were: William C. Falkner of the Magnolia Rifles, Colonel; Bentley B. Boone of the Tishomingo Riflemen, Lieutenant Colonel; and David Humphries of the O'Connor Rifles, Major. Officers of the O'Connors, now Company B, were: John H. Buchanan, Captain; Lawson B. Hovis, First Lieutenant; John N. Scally, Second Lieutenant; and Henry T. Counseille, Brevet Second Lieutenant.
Another regiment, the Eleventh, was created at Corinth at the same time the Second was formed, and was brigaded with it throughout the war. Both regiments were sent to Lynchburg, Virginia, where on May 10 they were mustered into the Provisional Army of the Confederate States. The mustering officer noted that the O'Connors were armed with rifles rather than muskets, but had no knapsacks, canteens or gun slings. These accoutrements, with uniforms, they had hoped in vain to obtain at Corinth. They had obtained there, however, tents and camp equipage, and by dint of sending two men to Memphis for gray shirts and pants for those of the men who did not have uniforms - more than half of the company - they managed to present a fairly creditable appearance.
of men were these who left their Mississippi homes to fight the battles
of the Confederacy in Virginia? The answer is found in a brief description
of Tippah County in 1861. The county, then more than twice as large in
area as it is today, contained about 16,000 white inhabitants and 6,000
slaves. A disproportionate number of the latter were concentrated along
the western edge of the county, where a plantation system similar to that
of adjoining Marshall County was in effect. Most of the county, however,
was hilly, suited best for small farms tilled by their owners, sometimes
with the help of a few slaves. The county seat, Ripley, was near the geographical
center of the county and was described by a Federal officer in 1864 as
"a rather pretty New England type little village". In 1861 it contained
about 650 inhabitants. Like the surrounding country, it contained no very
rich and few extremely poor and for that reason its society lacked the
stratification peculiar to many communities in the South. As the oldest
volunteer military company in the county, the O'Connor Rifles
had its pick of the merchants, farmers, artisans and professional men who comprised this unspectacular, somewhat isolated, but sturdy community.
The war record of the O'Connor Rifles and the Second Mississippi is well told in Vairin's Journal and will not be outlined here except to emphasize their experience in the Gettysburg campaign, which are told best in the stark account of the muster roll for July and August, 1863.
"The company went into action at Gettysburg, Pa., July 1, 1863, with an aggregate of 66 men. 1st Lieut. J. C. Lauderdale & Sgt. T. B. McKay & privates Boyd, Blackwell, Roberson & Winborn were killed on the field. The Capt., 2nd Lieut. & 3rd Lieut. were severely wounded & taken prisoner by the enemy. Eleven privates were severely wounded & captured by the enemy & fourteen were severely wounded & sent to the rear & nineteen more missing, supposed to be either killed or captured, making a total of killed, wounded & missing in 3 days fighting of fifty-three.
"After the battle of Gettysburg the company marched to Hagerstown, Md., arriving there July 7, 1863. Part of the company engaged the enemy in a skirmish & had 1 man wounded. Leaving Hagerstown on the night of the 13th July it marched to the neighborhood of Falling Water where the company had a severe skirmish with the enemy's cavalry. The loss of the company was one noncommissioned officer & two privates supposed to be captured."
When Company B went into winter quarters near Orange Courthouse in October 1863 it had twenty men present for duty; that was essentially its maximum strength until Appomattox.
During the winter of 1863-64 the company and regiment, in common with all the Army of Northern Virginia, had its troubles with absences without leave. A list, undated but made apparently early in 1864, names sixteen members of Company B as "absent without leave in Mississippi." Several of these, it is known now, had been captured near their homes by Union cavalry. others placed a liberal interpretation on the forty- or sixty-day furloughs granted them, and drifted back to the company two, three, or six months late. Some never came back, but the records indicate the actual desertions from Company B were very few. Some of the men, among them Corporal V. A. Grace, simply changed commands on their own initiative. While at home on a "wounded furlough" Grave was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Seventh Mississippi Cavalry, and served with distinction in that organization while being carried by the Second Mississippi as absent without leave.
It is not possible at this time to compile a complete and accurate roster of the O'Connor Rifles. Some of the muster rolls in the National Archives are in bad condition, some are entirely illegible. The best information, however, is that 183 officers and men served with the company during the war. Practically all of them - probably there were not a dozen exceptions - were natives of northeast Mississippi, and the great majority made their homes in Tippah County. Nor can the company's losses be determined accurately. Lists of deceased soldiers covering the years 1862, 1863, and 1864 contain the names of thirty men from the company who were killed in action or died of wounds or disease. Adding names obtained from the muster rolls of 1861 and 1865, and from other sources, a total of forty-six deaths from all causes is reached. This figure is low rather than high, but not greatly so. No attempt has been made to compile a list of men wounded or captured; the notes accompanying Vairin's Journal tell eloquently the story of the company's losses from those causes.
the War Between the States approximately thirty companies of infantry and
cavalry were recruited from Tippah County. Of these companies five served
in the Army of Northern Virginia; four in the Second Mississippi and one,
the Salem Dragoons, in the Nineteenth Mississippi. Because they were the
first soldiers from the county to engage in battle, because their first
Colonel was a prominent fellow-citizen, and because of their distinguished
record, the men of the Second Mississippi have always held a peculiar position
in the affections of residents of Tippah. In this select group the O'Connor
Rifles, as the oldest volunteer company in the county, recruited from its
leading families, stands pre-eminent. Defeated as it was after four years
of bitter fighting, it was never dishonored.
The principal sources of information on the O'Connor Rifles, later Company B of the Second Mississippi Infantry, are the service records of members of the company in the Old Records Section of the Adjutant-General's office, and the muster rolls of the company, in the National Archives. Additional data has been supplied by present and former residents of Tippah County, especially Honorable Thomas E. Pegram, Mr. Walter J. Hovis, Mrs. Joseph Brown, and Mr. William Anderson of Ripley, Mississippi; Mr. Will Ticer and Mrs. W. B. Ivy of New Albany, Mississippi; and Mr. Merrill Wallace of Riverside, California. All of these persons are familiar with the early history of Tippah County, and their assistance is gratefully acknowledged. Information on A. L. P. Vairin's career before and after the war was found in the Deed Records and the Minutes of the Board of Police of Tippah County, and in files of the Ripley Advertiser from 1855 to 1860, in the Department of Archives and History, Jackson, Mississippi, and in the Library of Congress. For additional items the writer is indebted to Mrs. Alice Vairin Westfelt, Mrs. Barkley Witherspoon and Mrs. W. B. Monroe of New Orleans, Louisiana, who supplied valuable material from the Vairin family records.
For the purpose of correlating Vairin's account of the battles and campaigns with the overall history of the war in Virginia, Rowland's Military History of Mississippi, published in the Mississippi Official and Statistical Register, 1908; (Rowland's account of the Second Mississippi in this work is drawn partly from the Vairin diary); the official Records; and Battles and Leaders of the Civil War have been consulted. The most useful, and most used publications for this purpose, however, were R. S. Henry's Story of the Confederacy and D. S. Freeman's Lee's Lieutenants, with the aid of which it was possible to tie together practically all the loose ends in the Vairin narrative.
are due particularly to Dr. William D. McCain, former Director of the Mississippi
Department of Archives and History and now President of Mississippi Southern
College, and to Miss Charlotte Capers of the Department of Archives and
History, for their assistance in making the dairy available and for numerous
other helpful services.
2nd Mississippi Regiment Infantry
Old Ord's War Journal
1861, 62, 63, 64, & 65
Co. B (O'Connor Rifles) 2nd Miss.
Volunteers from Ripley, Miss.
C. S. A.
1861, Apr. 30, Tuesday, day clear & bright. Pursuant to orders received several days ago for the 2nd Miss. Regt. of volunteers to assemble at Corinth, Miss. for active duty, Cos. B & F assembled on the public square at Ripley, Miss. & at 7 1/2 o'clock AM fell into line & Mrs. Judge Green1 presented the O'Connor Rifles with a beautiful silk flag & Mrs. W. R. Cole2 presented one to the Magnolia Guards. The formality of the presentations, the excitement of the occasion, & parting of friends & relatives perhaps never to meet again was ample ceremony under the circumstances & duty to our country's cause was ample excuse to dispense with demonstrations. We then took up line of march for Saulsbury. The rains of last night made the streets & road quite muddy & hard to travel especially for new soldiers. At 3 PM we reached Wolf Creek 18 miles where we stopped for camp3 & waited for the ox wagons with our tents & baggage to come up. About 6 PM commenced pitching camp, all excitement, till 10 o'clock when all hustled in sleep until 1 o'clock when some woke up & made such a noise it was impossible to sleep as reveille was sounded when we all were astir.
Wednesday, May 1, clear, Camp Wolf. Our first military breakfast with fun & frolick. Tents & baggage packed & loaded on ox wagons, at 5 o'clock took up line of march. Good feeling manifested by everybody at our first undertaking & hopes of our success & speedy return. 8 AM -reached a spring 1 mile from Saulsbury, stopped 1 hour for stragglers & as soon as they came up marched in grand order to Saulsbury, Tenn., where we arrived at 9 AM. None but Southern flags to be seen. News just received that the legislature of Tennessee has passed the ordinance of secession. Speeches were made by the boys & citizens. At 1 PM a Memphis & Charleston R. R.4 train arrived for us. All got on the cars in good order, reached Corinth at 5 PM, pitched camp.5 Several other companies of our regiment here besides about 1500 other Miss. soldiers. Made my first detail to draw 2 days rations & for guard duty to which most objected because they said they did not enlist to do guard duty but to fight the Yankeys. All fun & frolick.
Thursday, May 2, clear & pleasant day. Some of the boys don't seem to like army crackers & salt pork, hope they'll get used to it. Drilled nearly 6 hours today & must say the duties of an Orderly Sergeant is not an easy one judging from it so far. Nearly all the And Miss. Regt. here, lots of our friends & visitors here. Lots of fun among the boys, not much for me. At 12 1/2 M with D. Embry6 visited Miss McB.7 at the Gaston Institute8 & were presented with a fine bouquet of flowers by her, & c. 6 1/2 PM guard detailed & placed out. We cannot be furnished with arms & uniforms as we expected except the 50 we brought with us. All the other companies are in the same fix, nevertheless we will go on.
Friday, May 3, clear & pleasant day. I was detailed to drill Capt. Beck's9 Co. D. They seem to prefer H. H. Powers10 to drill them. These men are very attentive & anxious to learn the duties of a soldier & will do to rely on. 12 12 M drew 2 days rations. Took flour instead of crackers, got full supply vinegar, salt, coffee, rice, soap & candles. Our camp is getting pretty well organized. O'Connor Rifles changed from the right to left of the rest & called Co. B.11 5 1/2 PM dress parade. W. J. (Jim) Bennet,12 & E. N. Hunt13 sent to Memphis for clothing.14
2nd Regt. fully organized, W. C. Falkner,15 Col., Boone,16 Lieut. Col., David Humphreys,17 Major, J. J. Guyton,18 Quartermaster Sergeant, Dr. J. Y. Murry,19 Surgeon, Lawson Hovis,20 Adjutant. Ilth Miss. Regt. here.21
Saturday, May 4, fine pleasant day. Drilled 3 hours & received marching orders. Draw & cook 3 days provisions tomorrow in time to take the cars at 12 M. Went to commissary & drew 3 days rations for 105 men. It is hard to get things quick for they are little posted on their duties in this as in other departments. 1 PM clouding up fast. 2 PM got my provisions, flour by request of the men, distributed. 3 PM raining so hard it is out of the question to cook. Most of the messes are having their bread baked by citizens as best they can. Guard detailed. Heavy rain during the night, it fell in torrents. W. J. Bennet & Hunt returned from Memphis with gray flannel shirts and pants for the O'Connors.
May 5, rain & stormy. Some of the companies are ankle deep in mud
& water in their tents but Co. B are all dry and snug. 1 PM all baggage
& tents packed & 1st Battalion of the 2nd Miss. Regt. started for
Lynchburg, Va. under Lieut. Col. Boon & Major Humphreys. 2 PM, 2nd
Battalion took the cars for the same place, Co. B in passenger cars &
also part of Co. G, Capt. H. R. Miller.22
All the rest in flat cars & suffered from rain during the night. 8
PM reached Tuscumbia, Ala. 12 M
raining in torrents. One man fell off the cars on the way out but was not hurt. Much swamp & low land along part of the way. John Blair23 made Sergeant Major.
Monday May 6, rain, rain without ceasing. 8 AM reached Stevenson.24 Have to change cars & wait till 11 for our train. The officers had coffee made for all the men. Some men complain they are out of cooked rations, a hard thing to get here. John Moore25 of the Iuka company got his foot crushed by the cars. This will keep him off duty for 10 days. The sceanery here is fine, the place of little consequence except a R. R. depot. 11 AM 2 companies from New Albany26 came up bound for Richmond, Va. 1 PM crossed the Tennessee River, sceanery mountainous, magnificent. At 6 reached Chattanooga. 7 PM changed cars, freight for men & non-commissioned officers. Road bad, rough. We go on to Bristol.27
7 May Tuesday, clear, cool. Rough & rugged country. The people seem glad to see us. Reached Greenville, the residence of Andy Johnson. Here we saw the first U. S. flag on the rout, all torn & tattering flaunting from the courthouse. Many Southern flags everywhere, much greeting on our arrival. Our boys got much excited about Andy Johnson & we went on to Jonesboro which is a nice place. Andy Johnson was to speak here today but the people would not let him. Secession seems to prevail here & is on the increase. Col. F.28 was called on for a speech here which called forth much applause & cheering. 8 PM reached Bristol & changed cars.
8 May Wednesday. Bristol is on the Tennessee & Virginia state line, tolerably fine place. Men scarce of provisions. Most of the men continue to get coffee for breakfast, some complain of provisions. Our baggage guard had to sleep out of doors with the baggage because it could not be put on cars at night. 9 AM we started, leaving 2 New Albany companies to come on the next train. Men all well & in good spirits. The country is fine, many green pastures, trees just putting out leaf, apple trees blooming, corn planting. Much more enthusiasm among the people for the Southern cause than heretofore. 10 AM passed Abingdon, fine place, great cheering on our arrival, many beautiful residences. 12 M clearing, pleasantly warmer. Many fine streams along the rout, meadows, green pastures, wheat & c. fields & entirely land of enchantment to the view. Stopped 2 hours for down train. 5 PM a row broke out between the Iuka & Conewa29 companies which came near seriously to many, cause mostly whiskey. 5 1/2 PM Wytheville, here the people had prepared a dinner or supper for our battalion. Col. F. made a speech. 6 PM went on to Dublin, 8 PM, where the people had prepared a fine supper for all.
9 May Thursday, 5 AM Liberty.30 Here we stopped 1 hour for down train. Col. F. & others made speeches here. The breaking of an Axel detained the train 5 miles out of Lynchburg where we arrived at 12 M & marched up hill all the way to Camp Walker which is a fine oak grove, where we pitched our tents. The ground is somewhat rolling. The color line is on the east & parade ground on the west in rear of the officer's tent. The 1st Battalion arrived here yesterday all safe. The sceanery from camp & its surrounding is beautiful, the country being mountainous. The water from the camp is obtained from a large spring on Mr. Johns' place about 200 yards off. Mr. J. takes much interest to accomodate us & is a very gentleman.
10 May Friday, pleasant day. Drilled some today, quite a number of ladies & gents visited camp today. Co. B is the best drilled in the Regt. At 12 M the regiment was regularly mustered into the service of the Confederate States by Major Clay who seems to be a fine officer & of good deportment. Some of the boys objected somewhat to being sworn into service. 5 1/2 PM Dress Parade. Rained some during the night.
11 May Saturday, pleasant. Drilled all the forenoon. I drilled the Iuka Co., Capt. Stone.31 Many visited camp. I went down to town; find it a very rough, rugged place built on craggy cliffs. Also went to the James River with others & bathed but found the water rather cold & 2 1/2 feet deep with rocky bottom. 5 1/2 PM dress parade but it was broken up by a shower of rain. Many ladies present.
12 May Sunday, pleasant. Dress parade at 9 AM & had a sermon by Rev. W. A. Gray32 of Ripley while we were under arms which was a rather novel sight.33 The Adjutant reports the regt. 932 strong exclusive of the officers. The commissary department issues rations after every parade which is troublesome. Provisions all good & abundant. The bread is baker's bread.
13 May Monday, 14, 15, & 16, nothing new, only usual drill camp duties.
May 17, Friday. Reveille at 4 AM, tents struck at 5, at 6 the regt. took up line of march & took the cars for Harpers Ferry. The streets were crowded to see us leave. J. T. Buchanan,34 hospital steward, detailed to stay with the sick & bring them up. No sick from Co. B, only 3 or 4 from the regt. The country is much broken & poor. 4 PM Charlottesville, fine sceanery & good farming land. 12 PM Manassas.
18 May Saturday. We were detained at Manassas until 10 1/2 AM for some cause or other. The 2nd Battalion & 11th Miss. all here. Much trouble to get off.35 Some very fine farms on the road. 4 1/2 PM Strausburg, pitch tents in a clover field. From here we walk to Winchester.
19 Sunday. It is reported that Genl. Scott36 has notified the commander at Harpers Ferry that he must leave there by next Thursday or he will make him do so. 7 1/2 AM took up line of march for Winchester on a good turnpike road37 which the men find very hard on their feet. The sick are put in wagons with the baggage. The country along this road is beautiful, the farms excellent. 3 1/2 PM reached Winchester, 18 miles, the regt. camped in the fair grounds. The town has 5000 inhabitants, has some fine buildings & some very old ones. Drew rations of bread & meat. I had a chill & some fever at 7 PM. Have a blister on my left foot as big as a 1/2 dollar.
20 May Monday. Rained all night. 8 AM the reg. took cars for Harpers Ferry.38 As we approached it the mountain scenery is beautiful. 12 M arrived at H. F. & quartered in one of the army buildings.39 Part of the adjoining factory buildings were burned, besides storehouses, etc. by the regulars when they evacuated the place.
21 Tuesday, cloudy. Sent out a camping party. Took a walk with Sergeant C. Lauderdale.40 Have to get written permission from the caption to cross the bridge over the Potomac & travel the road. Sentries are at short intervals on the Maryland side. 3 PM the regt. started to camp about 1 mile off on Bolivar Heights, tolerably good ground & near the 11th Miss. Looks like rain. 6 PM dress parade, general orders.
5 AM Reveille
8 Squad drill
5 1/2 Squad drill 10 1/2 Camp drill
6 Surgeon's call 1 PM Dinner
6 Breakfast 3 Camp drill
7 1st Guard Mounting 6 Dress parade
7 1/2 Guard mounting.
22 May Wednesday, clear & pleasant. 12 M the rest of the 11th Miss. came to camp. It is reported that we have about 10,000 men or more at this point. This evening orders are for men to sleep on their arms - a report is out that we will be attacked in 24 hours. My opinion is that it is all a sham to call out the men to see how quick they can be formed into line. Lee Jackson41 is very sick in camp. The men are all very jolly tonight & anxious to have ammunition distributed & have their guns loaded.
23 Thursday. No alarm was got up last night, nothing but regular duty. Only the sick list is on the increase.
24, 25. Nothing but sickness still increases.
26 Sunday. I with others went about 1 1/2 miles up the Potomac to a cave in the mountain. We went into it about 250 yards. It is generally only wide enough for one or two persons to pass at a time. The crowd was too great to see anything, in fact there was nothing to see in the dark. It was discovered by blasting the rock for the Baltimore & Ohio railroad which passes only 5 or 6 feet from it. The entrance is about 6 feet high & 6 to 7 feet wide. 250 or 300 yards before coming to the cave the R. R. passes through a tunnel 75 or 100 feet long cut into the solid rock because here the spur of the mountain runs bluff to the river. It presents a picturesque view. The river here is deeper than at the ferry because of the backwater from the dam of the Harpers Ferry Arsenal works. Between the cave & the tunnel a large crowd of us took a fine swim, returned to camp about 10 to hear Rev. W. A. Gray deliver a short sermon to the regt. Allen Smith42 is reported very sick, have no time to go see him. 5 PM went to see Lee Jackson at a house near camp. He is improving but it will be some time before he is fit for service. Sick list increasing. Co. B has 23 in hospital.
27, 28, 29, & 30. Nothing but usual camp duties.
31 May. 40 sick, 13 cases of measles in Co. B. We have them in a vacant house 400 yards from camp in Bolivar. They are doing well. 40 sick this morning. Camp guard dispensed with for a time.
1 June. 23 men in hospital, all the other sick not bad off but not fit for duty. Only 34 men on drill today. The surgeon ordered that all the sick & unable to travel within 3 days be sent to the Winchester hospital. Lee Jackson, Fleming,43 & L. Richie44 sent up. Dr. J. G. B.45 went with them as nurse. About this time Dr. Hubbard46 of Vicksburg, Miss. was appointed Surgeon & Dr. J. Holt47 of Liberty, Miss. Asst. Surgeon of the 2nd Miss. Regt., Dr. J. Y. Murry being discharged.
2 June Sunday. Rev. W. A. Gray, Chaplain of the regt. preached to the regt. Many of the men are signing a petition for Dr. Hubbard to resign, a very bad move in my opinion because situated as we are all is being done for our sick that can be done under the circumstances. Pres. Davis would not commission an incompetent man as surgeon. Am doing all I can to stop the petition for several reasons. Rumors were rife yesterday of an attack on this point, all nonsense.
3 June, 20 in hospital, 20 sick in camp. Raining hard.
4, 5, 6, 7, usual routine.
8 Saturday, fine. Usual duty. At 6 PM orders were given to pack up & leave for some place. All tents were struck & a heavy shower of rain came up. Baggage all loaded in the wagons & at sunset took up line of march, went about 1/2 mile SW & camped in a fine grove. Got up our tents by 9 PM, all wet. Co. B had 6 loads of baggage for a 4-horse team. 12 PM camp all settled & quiet. This I believe was a foolish trick of the regimental officers & I fear will prove of little benefit to the sick. The camp is on the slope of a hill facing SE.
9 June Saturday. All the able of the company were detailed for guard duty pursuant to orders that all guards should be mounted by company, thus taking every man from camp. A very bad plan as we find out this day & others will experience ere long. At 9 orders were given to change position of the camp to face it west running the streets up & down hill. 3 of us & 7 or 8 sick had to move & put up all the tents & baggage. We had to move everything. This is one of the hardest days work I ever done. Use camp slopes too much for convenience although the prospect from it is beautiful. Over 50 sick in camp & hospital, nearly all measles, none dangerously sick but A. G. Smith. Most cases convelescent & fit for duty in a week or two.
10, 11, 12. Nothing but usual duties.
12 June Wednesday, Thanksgiving Day.48 We are to have sermons today at 10 AM & 2 PM. 9 AM all the sick ordered to Winchester & all baggage but what 2 companies can put in 1 wagon. Much stir in camp. Sent off all the tents but 7 for the men & 1 for the officers. Many sick object to being sent off. 1 1/2 PM everything packed up & sent off except the 8 tents which it is not likely to occur untill tomorrow as Co. D & F are on guard duty. All the other regts. have the same orders as ours. The 11th Miss. camp corners with ours, the Virginia regiments south, the 4th Alabama regt. adjoining it. 2 1/2 PM 30 rounds of ammunition issued to each man. 2 Miss. will leave with about 60 men. 2 PM I went with Capts. Miller & Boothe49 to attend to getting off the sick. We found most of the men on the cars. We went into one house to find sick men, & some 80 or 90 sick from Miss. & Tenn. to be sent off by next train to Winchester. They present a distressing spectacle by the dim light of one dim candle in a room 16 feet square, were 12 to 15 men in it. Returned to camp by 9 1/2 PM. All quiet.
14 June Thursday, fine day. 6 AM orders to cook breakfast & strike tents & we waited for further orders which were to march at 6 PM. At 6 AM the bridges over the Potomac were blown up & burned by order of Gen. Joe Johnston50 commanding. During the forenoon all the public buildings at H.F. & the long tresseling of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad were burned, all of which was in plain view of our camp. This was a great destruction of fine & expensive works but it was all for the best as it will not do to leave & give the enemy a chance to follow us quickly as we are encumbered with many sick, say 350 to 400 only for the 2nd Miss. & others in proportion. Our regt. this morning 531 men fit for duty in the field. Co. B 69 men out of 105. Nearly all the sick in all regts. are measles. One Virginia regt. yesterday in their hurry to get away from here crowded all the sick out of the cars to make room for themselves. We have about 8 to 10 regiments here. Our baggage is not yet up from the depot. A strong picket guard extends from the Potomac to the Shenandoah Rivers, consisting of the 2nd Georgia on the Potomac, 2nd Miss., 11th Miss., 4th Ala. The chain is 1 mile long & consists of 300 to 400 men. We sleep without tents tonight ready to fall into line at a moment. The Iuka Co. returned from picket guard, Co. G from camp guard. Some look for an attack tonight, very doubtful. Drew rations for tomorrow. The men are cooking them, all they have. No meat is or can be got today. Will not move till morning.
15 June Friday. 4 AM reveille, everything done up on short order. Breakfast soon over & as we had no tents we had ample & airy rooms for the purpose. 6 1/2 AM the troops at the Ferry took up line of march, about 5 or 6,000 men in line, a grand sight. At 8 1/2 AM the 2nd Miss. formed line & being next to the last regiment to start it was full 9 o'clock before we got off. Forenoon quite warm & clear, travel very slow. Many men leave the lines & as there is little concert of action jams continually occur which prevent making more than 1/4 mile at a time. At 11 having given the main line time to get 1/2 mile ahead we pushed up as we found to our cost because it exhausted the men very much. 3 PM reached Charlestown where we were much cheered by the people. Here we got good water. 1 mile from here L. Richie having taken too much ice water he took sick & fainted & came near dying at Charlestown. He & others were put in the cars & sent to Winchester which is our point of destination. The road we travel is a turnpike, not the smoothest either as my feet can tell. Corn is 2 to 6 inches high. At 5 PM reached camp (Johnston) 4 miles from Charlestown and 20 miles to Winchester. Made 11 miles today & are to reach W. tomorrow morning. Camp finely situated with a good supply of water which is good but not very convenient, from a large spring. It looks rainy & we pitch tents.
16 June Saturday. Prospect of a fair day. 4 AM reveille. At 9 took up line of march for W. but learning the enemy was at Martinsburg51 the rout was changed toward that place. This change caused much delay. We marched 15 to 18 miles & camped at Bunkerhill in a cedar thicket. Had some rain during the night but not to hurt. Provisions scarce, some grumble because they are hungry. 9 1/2 AM orders issued that all baggage but cooking utensils & 1 blanket per man be sent to Winchester.
17 June Sunday, clear. Col. Falkner promoted to Brigadier General & commands the 2nd & 11th Miss., 1st Tenn. & 1 Baltimore regiment.52 All baggage being sent off by wagons but ammunition train. Much delay, 8,000 to 10,000 men are not moved in 1 minute. A band struck up music, the bass drum sounded big & Bil R.,53 Qr. master started his wagon train off at a gallop telling his teamsters that it was enemy artillery & get off fast & he did, for report has it that he drove all the way to Winchester under whip & spur. 12 M have not moved a peg yet. Enemy reported to be near Martinsburg, we are to start for that point. Day cloudy & pleasant. 1 PM took up line of march for Winchester & pitched camp 2 1/2 miles from that place.
18 June Monday, Clear & pleasant, rested all day.
19 June. The regt. moved to 1/4 mile from Winchester & camped on the same ground that Washington & Braddock camped on in their trip to Braddock's famous defeat. The prospect from this point is fine. The entire Shenandoah Valley is inexpressibly beautiful. Winchester is a fine town of 5000 inhabitants. From camp we can see Harpers Ferry, the Maryland & Virginia Heights, Manassas Gap & Strasburg. Our camp is on the Winchester Heights in a fine grove of timber. The whole brigade is camped together. Gen. Falkner resigned his brigadiership & is succeeded by Gen. Bee54 of South Carolina who is a fine looking officer & very highly spoken of.
20, 21 & 22. Drill & usual camp duty.
23 June Sunday. At 12 1/2 last night 1 man from each mess was waked up to cook bread & breakfast for a march. Reveille at usual time. ordered 1 skillet, 1 frying pan, 1 axe & 1 spade for every 8 men. Each man to carry 1 blanket, 1 shirt, 1 days rations & 40 pounds of ammunition. The camp is to remain standing as it is & the convalescent & those unable to travel are to take care of it.
24, 25 & 26. All quiet & usual duties.
27 June Thursday, clear & pleasant. 7 PM 2nd Miss. regt. ordered to prepare 1 days rations, each man to fill his canteen, take 1 blanket & 40 rounds of ammunition & the regt. report at R. R. depot at 12 PM & take the cars for Harpers Ferry. Reached Halltown near H. F. at sunrise.
28 June Friday. Stopped an hour & went on the cars, stopped about 1 mile from H. F. leaving our blankets on the cars. Marched & reached the ferry at 7 AM. Companies were detailed by turns to loan machinery, lead, copper & c to send to Winchester. 5 cars were run off the B. & O.R.R. over the bridge into the Potomac. The place looks quite deserted but the rains have made the place much cleaner than when we left it. At 2 PM took up line of march to return to W., made 4 miles to Halltown where we met the cars, got on them, A drizzling rain set in & continued nearly all night. Reached camp about 12 PM hungry & sleepy.
29 June Saturday, fine day. Rested all day. At 4 PM the regt. assembled & discharged the guns at a target at 100 yards, 65 shots per company. Tishomingo Rifles together with Iuka Rifles (muskets) put most balls in target, 5 balls striking. The O'Connor Rifles, however, done the best shooting generally, having Derenger (Mississippi) Rifles.55 The target was 6 feet high by 2 wide.
30 June Sunday, rained all day. Fixed up rolls & c during the day.
1 July, Monday, usual camp duties.
2 July Tuesday. Order cook 2 days rations & be ready to start at any moment. Rations not received & distributed until 12 M. In the midst of it order to fall into line & cooking just commenced, this caused much excitement. As soon as the line was formed we were marched off without canteen or blanket. Many thought we were on a stampede until we got to the big road when we took the Martinsburg direction & reached Bunker Hill, 12 miles, at sundown. Lit fires & drew 1/8 lb. bread & 1/2 lb. bacon per man & laid down on the ground to sleep. Some few blankets were sent to us after we started, mine among the rest. We rested well, the weather being warm. We met on the way 42 Lincoln men taken prisoners. Am told there are many Unionists in these parts.
3 July. Took up line of march toward Martinsburg, to Darksville 5 miles where we bivouaced on the left of the main road in a piece of woods, the 2nd Miss. regt. on the left of the 3rd brigade, Gen. Bee. Gen. Joe Johnston's command here numbers about 10,000 men all camped or bivouaced in order of battle which is expected to be fought here. Having stacked our arms the men about 10 AM cooked whatever provisions they had. Genl. Patterson56 is said to be in Martinsburg with 20,000 men & fortifying his Lincolnites. Gen Jackson57 on our advance somewhat checked Genl. Patterson's advance & then fell back. Our troops are all in good spirits & anxious for the fight. Provisions are scarce & nothing to cook them in.
4 July, cloudy. Co. B on picket guard 1 mile from camp. Nothing transpired worth notice. 12 M Patterson fired the usual artillery salute. As it was quite unexpected our men sprang into line & took their arms believing the fighting was at hand, but it was all a mistake & they soon quieted down. 9 PM drew & cooked 1 days rations, slow work for we had only one skillet in the company to cook bread for 75 men. Some were up cooking all night.
5 July. We are quietly waiting for Patterson & his Lincolnites.
6 July. All quiet like yesterday & dozing about in the shade. Why don't Pat come on? The wheat crop in these parts looks well, corn doing well, hay crop good. Most houses & fences are built of stone, country fine. Union party prevails here about 3 to 1, it is said.
7 July, looks like rain. Co. B skirmish drill 8 to 10 o'clock, at 12 all at dinner when 10 picket guns fired & shortly after the word, to arms, the enemy, but there was no running to & fro & trembling with distress for in less than 1 minute the men were in line & the regt. ready to take the field & the enemy reported 1 1/2 miles off. Blankets & c put in the wagons in hot haste. Our whole brigade advanced obliquely through the Woods, Co. B deployed in front to bring on the attack. The 2nd Miss. marched 3 miles to intercept a scouting party reported to be enemy's resting on a farm nearby. The 1st platoon of Co. B & 4 troopers advanced through a wheat field to cut off the retreat of the party to Martinsburg. We deployed as skirmishers when about 150 yards from the party, found them be part of Capt. Gray's company of mountain rangers,58 our troops. We then returned to camp by 4 1/2 PM, making full 6 miles in less than 3 hours. Our troops were much disappointed that they did not find the enemy. We were only 2 miles from Martinsburg. Genl. Patterson is reported to be entrenching & waiting for McClellan's59 command to join him, also looks for some forces from Harpers Ferry & then expects to clear us out of the Shenandoah Valley. We may fall back to Strasburg.
8 July Sunday. O'Connor Rifles 75 men strong this morning. Orders to return to Winchester. The men are rampant because they did not get a fight. Gen. Johnston told us, boys, we have waited 4 days for the enemy in the open field but they show no desire to attack us, & as it is inconvenient to remain here we will fall back just now, but you shall have as much fighting in a few days as you want. Then went up a joyous yell that made the welkin ring. The 19th Miss. regt., Col. Kit Mott,60 camped at Bunker Hill last night. The enemy is reported 35,000 strong, our force 10,000 strong. At 8 AM took up line of march for Winchester. The day was very hot & oppressive. Reached camp at 5 PM. Batteries were being mounted on Winchester Heights, I suppose to await Patterson & his infernal crew if they have the courage to come. The militia are being brought out in these parts, drilling & working on fortifications.
9. Rested & fixed up camp.
10, day clear. 7 AM the 3rd brigade ordered to strike tents, cook rations, & pack up & leave at a moment's notice. All ready by 10 1/2 Report says the enemy is advancing & will be here by 3 PM. 5 PM they are not here yet. Things quieted down & tents put up again.
11, 12, 13, 14. Changing positions of troops in open field awaiting the enemy, but all quiet.
15. More troops coming into camp, pitched all over the valley.
16. 3 PM, great stir in all camps. Enemy reported at Bunker Hill. Great hurrying in of cavalry, wagons, forming companies, regiments & brigades. 4 PM our 3rd brigade is ordered out & posted just north of the 4th Alabama camp & 1/4 mile from it. Ordered to sleep on the ground we occupy. Our line is in a hollow nearly N & S & cannot be seen 50 yards off. 8 PM rain. Slept well. Co. B 82 men strong.
All baggage & tents sent away. Men to have 1 blanket, 1 haversack,
& canteen filled.
1. Harpers Ferry. Billy Rivers (Guyton) on his first sentry duty was posted on the turnpike across the bridge on the Maryland side several Sentry stations from the bridge. The night was very dark & rainy causing frequently pieces of stone to roll down the mountain to the road. These he feared were enemy & challenged as such. Under the excitement he forgot the pass word. How to get it was a puzzle. In his peculiar style he solved the problem by challenging the next sentry and compelling him to come to his post & give it. I forget who the man was - he can tell.
2. Winchester Heights camp. While there we drew several rations of rice. Hank Powers one day concluded that his mess should eat some for dinner so he filled his camp kettle half full of it & set it to cooking nicely but after a while it began to swell & run over. He sent over & borrowed the next mess' kettle & filled it out of his own, still it ran over, still faster until he started all his mess to get kettles, swearing he had enough rice to feed the multitude like the good man we read about did with the five loaves & seven fishes.
3. Corinth camp. The saying "Here's your mule". The first I heard of it was this: some man in the neighborhood had lost an old gray mule & was hunting & inquiring for it among the regiment. Co. B had straw in their tents to sleep on, we had 13 tents for the men; No. 13 was a fractional mess among them. Tom Nance,61 by the way one of the best men in the regiment, he had but one weakness, he would take too much whiskey sometimes. His heir was very thin on his head & his ears seemed all the larger for it. Under the general excitement of the day he laid down in his tent to sleep. Some lively fellows roving about or looking for some one happened to look in Tom's tent & being struck with his appearance called out for the mule man, "Here's your mule". Others came to see & repeated the saying "Here's your mule" & fun & yelling being the order of the day the words were soon spread all over the camp & those adjoining & became a byword everywhere.
This book was in my knapsack & went off with the baggage so I did not get it back until long after the battle of Manassas. The march, the rout we took, the battle & its incidents I omit, having no-notes on them.
18 the regiment marched to Piedmont Station (now Delaplane) on the Manassas
Gap Railroad and travelled by rail to Manassas, which it reached on July
20. It took position about two miles northeast of Manassas, guarding the
fords of Bull Run. When the Federal attack developed on the morning of
the 21st the regiment, with all of Bee's brigade that had reached Manassas
and with Col. Francis S. Bartow's brigade, moved northward and, with the
small brigade of Col. N. G. (Shanks) Evans, contested the Union advance
north of the Warrenton turnpike. They were forced back to the Henry House
hill, on which Brig. Gen. T. J. Jackson had formed his "stone wall", and
rallied behind Jackson's line before reforming on his right and left. The
Second Mississippi eventually took position on Jackson's left, east of
the Manassas-Sudbury road and on the right of Col. J. E. B. Stuart's cavalry.
From this poetition it participated in the attack on Rickett's Federal
battery, which was charged by Stuart from the flank. In his report of the
battle Stuart wrote, "Participating in the charge was Falkner's regiment
(Mississippians), whose gallantry came under my personal observation."
Gen Joseph E. Johnston's official report named Falkner as one of the thirteen
colonels whose conduct in the battle he considered outstanding.
We were camped about Bristoe Station 3 miles from Manassas for several months & then moved to the neighborhood of Dumfries 18 miles off where we went into winter quarters. The Confederate States Congress, needing new troops to supply the place of the 12-months volunteers, the 2nd Miss. being one of that class, it was proposed to continue the regiment & reorganize it by re-enlistments.62 Whereupon the following reenlisted for during the war from Co. B & were furloughed for 30 days to return home & get recruits:
1. Vairin, A.L.P.,
10. Braddock, M.J. 23. Richie, A.
1st Sgt. 11. Braddock, S.B. 24. Ray, J.H.Z.
2. Lauderdale, J.C., 12. Cotton, J.H. 25. Sims, G.L.
4th Sgt. 13. Gosset, J.W. 26. Sergeant, W.
3. Coltharp, B., 14. Jones, W.J. 27. Solent,Spight, W.B.
1st Corp. 15. Kelly, J.0. 28. Talbot, A.
4. Holcomb, L.S., 16. Lee, W.C. 29. Whitten, W.C.
4th Corp. 17. Norton, J.A.
5. Adams, S.C., Pvt. 18. McKay, T.B.
6. Blackwell, M.P. 19. Noonan, Dud
7. Blackwell, W.G. 20. Noonan, W.L.
8. Buchanan, J.G. 21. Osburn, Will
9. Bennet, W.J. 22. Pegram, P.G.
11 Feb. 1862. Monday. At 3 1/2 PM these volunteers left Camp Fisher for home under command of Capt. Buchanan.63 Col. Falkner also went. We walked all night over a very rough & frozen road & arrived at Bristoe Station 18 miles at day break & took the cars for home where we arrived after a very cold & disagreable travel. All the companies of the regt. sent a part of their men an furlough like Co. B. We had lots of fun & a good time generally. Under Capt. B's orders I enlisted the following men for Co. B in the following order:
1. Heddon, C.
18. Norton, W.C. 35. Booker, W.G.
2. Norton, W.M. 19. Winborn, J. 36. Yancey, T.J.
3. Sergeant, J.N. 20. Robertson, J.M. 37. Guyton, L.C.
4. Bennett, R.Y. 21. Springer, J. 38. Culp, T.J.
5. Gray, L.M. 22. Gray, William 39. Riley, J.A.
6. Carter, W.R. 23. Saunders, M.K. 40. Wells, L.
7. Carver, J.W. 24. John, H.H. 41. Murphy, J.
8. Bell, L. 25. Holcomb, G.P. 42. Ory, C.H.
9. Thomas, W.A. 26. Short, R.L. 43. Pearce, Laz
10. Smith, L. 27. Cowan, W.H. 44. Talbot, W.H.
11. Munday, W.C. 28. Lancaster, J.C. 45. Glidewell, J.H.
12. Smith, E. 29. Lancaster, S. 46. Dacy, D.D.
13. Coltharp, J.C. 30. McGowan, W.C. 47. Crum, B.L.
14. Allen, J.A. 31. Nance, J.0. 48. Boyd, M.P.
15. Lett, J. 32. Kimball, G.B. 49. Bostwick, M.K.
16. Nelms, R.A. 33. Miller, R.L. 50. Box, Wm. R.
17. Ayres, J.M. 34. Green, J.C.
1862, March 20, Thursday, day clearing up. 7-12 AM bade goodby to Ripley friends & started to Saulsbury & Grand Junction with 0. Davis, Esq.64 in a 2 horse buggy. Roads tolerably good. Reached Saulsbury at 2 PM. A train being in waiting we went to the quartermaster's office at G. J. & applied for transportation for 125 men65 from Saulsbury to Corinth on Col. Falkner's order for tomorrow. It was hard to get. Hotel crowded, food & beds poor & hard to get. In 11th Louisiana regt from Columbus, Ky., saw an acquaintance of my old schoolmate Scipio Compton of Alexandria, La. He is represented as drinking all his money & living in the pine woods. A battalion of 90-day troops from New Orleans has just arrived by the Miss. Central R. R.66 They are mostly Creoles, drill well & have a good outfit, also 1 company of the Washington Artillery of N. 0. Saw several old friends from Holly Springs here. Maybe can get transportation tomorrow. Got pure rye coffee for supper.
21 March Friday. Got transportation for 125 men. Train arrived at Saulsbury at 10 1/2 AM. Got all the boys present on board & started at 11 1/2. We were in the front train, 3 or 4 others following. Arrived at Corinth 3 PM, no chance to leave there today. Got our men in the Democrat Printing office for the present. A battle is looked for between this point & the Tennessee River every hour. 6 PM had to change our quarters by order of Genl. Glidden,67 Military Governor of Corinth.
22 March Saturday, cloudy, chilly. No chance to get transportation yet. We are lolling about the streets.
23 March Sunday, cloudy, chilly. Are promised transportation today by the provost marshal, who is tired of our company. He says we block up the streets. Made requisitions for 2 days rations, bread, pork, sugar & coffee, 1/2 ration of candles, & much trouble to get my requisition accepted for want of approval of my commander. Commissary department poorly managed here, mighty shirky. We start on a train at 12 PM. After putting our baggage on the cars I started to see about our provisions & c in our late quarters & stepped into a mudhole up to my knees. I'm a pretty sight. All right, we are in the cars & laid down & slept some. Some of the boys had a fine time at C. Philbrick's.68 The boys seem to enjoy life so far.
24 March Monday, fine day. This morning find ourselves at Burnsville. Encampments frequent along the road. 9 AM Iuka, 12 M Tuscumbia. Most troops gone to Corinth.
25 March Tuesday. Arrived Stevenson during the night. We will remain here until we start again, this being a changing station. Some of the boys got up a row with a grocery, & c. Left at 12 M, 14 miles from Chattanooga in a short turn in the mountains we met a coal train. It had to back up for us as we had 4 trains behind us. 11 miles from C. one of our front cars ran off the track, got it on again by working 1 hour. Reached Chattanooga at dark. We were ordered by Genl. E. K. Smith to stop here & Col. Falkner to report to Genl. Maxey.69 We stayed in the cars & slept well.
26 March Wednesday. We cannot get off until tomorrow morning at 7 AM. Drew 2 days rations, flour, beef, sugar, salt, all that can be got. I bought 2 ovens, 1 tin bucket & 1 dough pan for the men & told them to go to cooking. Day pleasant, warm & clear. Some of the men are a little groggy & strolling about the streets of the town.
27 Thursday. Left C. at 7 AM. Boys all right. Reach Knoxville at dark. Here we stay till we start.
28 March Friday. The 9th Miss. regt.70 is here on its way home to disband. Saw several of the Holly Springs boys. I saw Miss Browalow, daughter of Parson Brownlow.71 She is a fine looking lady & reminds me of Mrs. J. Y. Murry of Ripley. This is a fine place. Drew rations at 4 PM & got out of the cars & took lodgings under the eaves of the R. R. depot. Started at 7 1/2 AM travelling slowly, nothing to note. 5 PM Greeneville, Andy Johnson's home. It is reported here that he was killed at Nashville by some unknown party. 7 PM Limestone Station. Here we stop for the night.
30 March. 7 AM started, cloudy & rain. 1 PM Bristol , change cars & start at 4 PM. Abingdon, stop 3 hours Telegraphed to Wytheville for bread to be baked but it was no go, things did not operate. Getting along well. 9 PM engine ran off the track & broke an axel, had to run back 3 miles to station switch.
31 March Monday, Started at 6 PM, got along well all night.
1 April Tuesday, 1 1/2 PM Liberty. Reached Lynchburg at sunset. Men soon scattered all over the town.
2 April Wednesday. Windy day, cloudy, misty rain. Men so scattered it seems we will have trouble getting them on the cars. Started at 10 AM, raining. 6 1/2 Danville Junction, travelling very slow. 11 PM when comfortably sleeping in box cars we were ordered to change cars (passenger ones), a poor swap because the men can make their beds on the box car floor & sleep well.
3 April Thursday, clear, fine. Slept badly in the passenger cars, travelled only 14 miles last night. At sunrise just travelling as fast as a man can walk. At 10 AM the train had to be divided. Reached Richmond about 2 PM, day hot. Formed line & marched to the Fredericksburg cars.72 Lots of idle looking officers about the city. Started for F. about 4 PM, travel fast on this line. The country is gently rolling but poor, either gravelly or crawfishy. Reached F. about 8 PM, slept in the cars. Only 1 or 2 men left behind in Richmond.
4 April Friday, frost, clear. Left the cars at sunrise & marched out to camp 3 miles west of Fredericksburg. The boys look better than when I left them at Camp Fisher. The situation is good & a fine field for drilling. It is called Camp Bartow. Made out a new company roll for April for Co. B, 150 men & officers all told. Fine Sergeant T. J. Duncan73 reduced to the ranks for neglect of duty, & his place filled by promotion of H. L. Byrn74 made 4th Corporal. Rules are strict in this camp. Several other regiments adjoin ours. The 1st Tennessee is taken out of our brigade.
5 Saturday, rain, rain.
6 Sunday, clear, white frost. Nothing new.
7 Monday, cloudy, rain, snow. N. Hunt returned to camp. Drew knapsacks for the recruits & re-enlisted men. Transferred 5 recruits to Capt. Powers, Co. F.
8 Tuesday. 2 AM notified reveille will sound at 4 1/2 & regt. march at 5 1/2 AM. Raining like all wrath. Drew 3 days rations, dry bread & bacon. 5 struck tents, rain still pouring down. 5 1/2 formed line, every man carrying his own plunder. 6, marched toward Richmond. We waded creeks & muddy roads. Rained all day. The sick were sent to Richmond by R. R. We travelled 10 miles & bivouaced our whole division, Genl. Whiting75 commanding. We fixed up shelter tents with our blankets the best we could. This is the hardest days march yet made. Slept well considering.
9 Wednesday, Took up line of march, mud over shoe tops everywhere. Made 17 miles by 3 PM to Milford Station on the R. & F. R. R., all wet to the skin. Took cars to Ashland, 30 miles. Our regt. was quartered in the house on the race track, the rest of the brigade had to take the weather. Today was a harder march than yesterday, had sleet & rain all day. Some of our men gave out on the road, most if not all came up.
10 April Thursday, cloudy, cool & windy. Ashland was formerly called Slash Cottage & was the birthplace of Henry Clay. 5 PM dress parade & regimental inspection. Clearing up.
11 April Friday, clear, ice. Company, recruit & battalion drill. News that Beauregard whipped the enemy near Corinth, Miss.76 Election of officers77 in Co. B as follows: J. H. Buchanan, Capt., J. T. Buchanan, 1st Lieut., A. Tolbert,78 2nd Lieut., H. L. Gyrn, Brevet 2nd Lieut. There were several candidates for each office.
12 Saturday, clear, white frost. Rested all day.
13, Sunday, clear, cool, white frost. Rested all day.
14 Monday, clear. I drilled Co. L, Capt. Story,79 a new company, all recruits both officers & men. 12 M orders to prepare to march. 12 1/2 struck tents, 1 1/2 PM formed line & marched toward Hanover Court House. Mistook the road & went 2 miles out of our way. At 5 1/2 PM reached the courthouse. Went about 2 miles & bivouaced in good order.
15 April Tuesday, rain. We got no breakfast because the wagons did not get up in time last night so the men had no time to cook as we took up line of march at 6 AM. 11, sunshine. I got 2 biscuits, 1 egg & a small piece of sausage. We travelled slow, stopped at 4 PM & bivouaced. Made 20 miles today. The country is finely diversified for farming but poor, seems to be best for wheat & small grain. The roads being sandy the men suffered in their feet & complain they are tired. Clear tonight.
16 Wednesday, New Kent Courthouse. Parked the baggage in the wagons, had a job of it. Day clear & warm, roads not so sandy as yesterday & therefore better. At 1 1/2 PM stopped 2 hours to rest the men, made 11 miles. Marched 5 miles farther & bivouaced on a swampy branch for water which was not very good & not at all improved by some men of the 11th Miss. bathing in it above us. At sunset wagons not up yet, the men will have late cooking to do tonight.
17 April Thursday, 5 AM took up line of march. A dispatch from Genl. Joe Johnston orders us to push on as the enemy is advancing to Yorktown. 11, stopped 2 hours to let Riley's Battery80 & others pass us, 24 pieces in all, also Brig. Gen. Steward's cavalry,81 1200 strong, passed us. 4 miles from Williamsburg we stopped to bivouac. We marched about 21 miles today. The men scattered on the road very much but came up at night.
18 April Friday, Reveille at 4 1/2, at 5 1/2 took up line of march. At Williamsburg we were ordered to store all our baggage but blankets, haversacks & canteens as the men's plunder could not be hauled. Clear day. The 3rd Brigade is composed of the 4th Alabama, 6th North Carolina, 11th & 2nd Miss. At 1 1/2 PM stopped 2 or 3 hours to rest. Heard a few cannon while here. Made 5 miles more (being 12 miles today) & camped for the night near Genl. Smith's82 headquarters.
19 April Saturday, Moved to Eagle Farm. Day cloudy. The whole brigade camped together in the woods. We put up shelter tents. The boys had lots of fun catching squirrels, clubbing & shaking & yelling them out of the trees. Lt. Hovis got one & we had squirrel soup for dinner. At 10 PM heavy musketry firing toward the James River. It was made by Longstreet's Division who hearing 3 pickets fire sprang to arms & all commenced firing at nothing. They kept it up 15 or 20 minutes. We were all formed into line expecting to be in for a fight in the dark - Co. B 95 enlisted men - but soon were sent back to our nests. Genl. Whiting made some sharp remarks to our boys for hollowing & yelling when called into line. He charged it to the new recruits & wants it stopped & no mistake as it is useless & unmilitary. The whole brigade was under arms. The enemy's shells have passed clear over this ground from their batteries 1 1/2 miles off. On my way back to nest I got a flat fall in the field by a small stump & vine that caught my foot.
20 April Sunday, rain & bad weather. Little firing on either side today. 8 men left behind came up, Co. B has 123 enlisted men in camp & on detail on this expedition.
21 April Monday, cloudy. 12 M called into line & given orders to reorganize the 2nd Miss. regt. & elect officers. The men in Co. B who were not re-enlisted or recruits wished a new election of our company officers as they were conscripted83 & had taken no part in the late election. A new election resulted as follows: Capt. J. H. Buchanan, viva voce; 1st Lieut. J. C. Lauderdale; 2nd Lieut. W. C. Moody.84 A heavy rain interfered with further election which was postponed until tomorrow. One ballot for Col. was taken which being divided at a late hour & hard rain, further election was postponed until tomorrow. There were several balloting for each company officer except the captain.
22 April Tuesday. At reveille roll call H. L. Byrn was elected Brev. 2nd Lieut. The ballot for Col. last evening showed Capt. J. M. Stone 250, Col. Falkner 249, Capt. H. R. Miller of Co. G, 129. He withdrew from the race. At 7 1/2 AM several speeches & announcements were made by candidates, Col. F., Capt. Stone, John Blair & myself among others. On the second ballot Capt. Stone was elected Col. of the regiment. Much dissatisfaction manifested by Col. F.'s friends.85 Maj. D. Humphreys was elected Lt. Col. by a large majority over all opponents. John Blair was elected Major. Capt. Bates86 got ___ votes, I got 49. Maj. Humphreys is ordered to command the regt. until protests of election questions are settled. I was detailed drillmaster & instructor to Capt. Story, Co. L, several days ago; not an agreeable position.
23 April Wednesday. The spirit to be transferred from Co. B prevails considerably today. 12 of us had ourselves transferred to Co. L, mostly because they had friends or relatives in L. My reasons were various, among which (1) I do not think most of the old members of Co. B have shown me the respect which they should; (2) most of their boasted friendship for me I believe to be a sham; (3) they do not seem to appreciate my efforts to please & benefit them; (4) the present condition of Co. L needs some one to teach them their duty & as I am now detailed for that duty it is important that I be with them all the time; (5) it is my duty to our cause to help where best I can.
Col. Stone took command of the regiment. Sgt. Owen87 is made Adjutant, Walter Rutledge,88 Sergeant Major. So far things are as well as can be expected. Co. L is not yet provided with arms & accoutrements or cooking utensils. What few guns they have are borrowed or spare ones from other companies. Here I act as Captain, Lieutenant, Sergeant, Corporal & High Private & Instructor. We drill in an oat field nearby. Riley's battery is near us. The whole division is here.
24 April, day clear. I drilled & instructed Co. L all day.
25 April, cloudy & windy. All the old non-re-elected company & regimental officers relieved from duty & start for Richmond this morning by order of the Secretary of War. Rain all day.
26, 27, 28, 29, & 30, bad rainy weather generally. There are many marks of Washington's old works still visible here,89 rifle pits, & c which with a little work could be used. Had to wash my shirt today.
1 May Thursday. 7 AM orders cook 3 days rations to start by daylight. Day cloudy.
2 May Friday, cloudy. Wagons left at 7 AM. 12 M we have not left yet. Drew 1 days rations of crackers & bacon. 6 1/2 PM formed line & fell back 1/2 mile & bivouaced in a lane. A little cannonading. 12 PM rain.
3 May Saturday. At daybreak fell back 1/2 mile & found the division in the woods on the left of the road to Williamsburg. Sun rose through the clouds. No indication of the object of our moves but I suppose they are to draw the enemy into battle. 6 1/2 PM orders to keep ready to fall in at a moment's notice. Drew flour & bacon. There was a great time generally in camp, cooking without utensils; old pieces of board, bark, gun rods & sticks were used to bake bread on. 12 PM called into line to march but were soon ordered back to bed.
4 May Sunday. At daybreak fell into line & took up line of march forming the rear of the column. Left in front just behind Hampton's Legion90 going toward Williamsburg. The roads tolerably good considering the immense travel done on them lately. Marched easily, stopped frequently, reached Williamsburg at 11 AM. We did not have time to get the knapsacks & c we had stored there. About 12 our division took the road to West Point, made 5 miles & stopped to draw & cook rations. It is reported by men of Riley's battery who were in our rear that the Yankeys followed us closely & made a few shots at our cavalry picket who lagged behind to make observations. From the firing in the direction of Williamsburg I infer the enemy is near there & is making some demonstrations on the breastworks at that place,91 or perhaps the batteries are trying the range of their guns. Orders are to pack up all cooking utensils as soon as possible & be ready to move at any moment. We laid down & slept the best we could.
5 May Monday. 2 AM took up line of march toward West Point. At 1 1/2 miles we turned square to the left & reached the Richmond & Williamsburg road about 2 miles farther. It rained nearly all last night & today. At 12 M we stopped, made fires, and eat. I think we have travelled about 18 miles to this point. Shirts, blankets & other clothing thrown away by the overloaded men scattered all along the road but not as much as yesterday. I believe the baggage we stored at Williamsburg is all lost, mine with the rest. At 6 PM we marched 5 miles & stopped for the night. Rain all day long.
6 May Tuesday, clear & windy. No orders to move. The men seem none the worse for yesterday's march. We are about 2 miles from West Point. 3 PM into line & marched 1/2 mile & stopped in a pine thicket to rest & fix up to stay. 8 PM into line again & move back 1/2 mile in the woods. No fires allowed as the Yankey gunboats can shell us from the river. The commissary wagons are not here so no rations are issued & the hungry men complain as usual. Slept well.
7 May Wednesday, clear & pleasant. Made fires & warmed. Rations arrived & ready to be issued when orders came to fall into line & took position in the field for battle. As we did not get our rations we all felt hungry. About 11 AM picket firing on our front which stampeded a drove of cattle which came charging on our line. The men turned the course of all the cattle but one large bull which charged full on Co. F throwing down several men & hurt one very seriously if not fatally. 46 Yankey prisoners were taken, our troops had 3 killed & 8 wounded.92 Hampton's Legion mistook the 5th Texas who are dressed in U. S. clothing for Yankeys, fired on them & killed 3 & wounded several others. About 3 PM we were marched to our blankets & haversacks & posted in a wood nearby having no rations. The men parched corn for supper & breakfast. Clouding up.
8 May Thursday. 3 AM took up line of march toward Richmond. Made my breakfast on parched corn. It is very good when one has nothing better. It seems we must have been very close to the enemy as we had a skirmish line moving about 200 yards on our flank & talking forbidden. 12 M reached New Kent Courthouse. 2 miles beyond it we kept to the right on the Telegraph road. 1 1/2 miles farther we stopped for bivouac, made 12 to 14 miles today. Are about 1 mile from the White House at the head of York River navigation. The enemy's boats are there & their pickets on this side of the river. The 12th, 13th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, & 21st Miss. regiments passed us today since we left New Kent. Drew 1 days rations of corn meal & bacon, much relished by all as we have had nothing to eat for 2 days. Co. E buried 1 man who died of measles on the road.
9 Friday, clear, Wagons sent on. 1 PM took up line of march, went 1 mile, a courier brought word the enemy were at New Kent fighting our pickets & rear guard. Riley's battery turned back & we stopped & formed line of battle. 2 Yankey cavalry pickets previously passed us. 5 PM continued our march 3 miles & bivouaced. No rations issued.
10 May Saturday, clear. Drew 2 crackers & 1/2# bacon per man. 3 PM enemy reported 1 1/2 miles behind us. Formed line. The ground in our front is rough woods. 4 PM not moved yet. 6 1/2 PM resumed our march 1 1/2 miles & camped. Fine clear moonshine.
11 Sunday, clear & pleasant.
12, clear & pleasant. At sunset moved 1/2 mile east.
13 May, clear & pleasant.
14 Wednesday, cloudy. 8 PM formed line & stacked arms & returned to quarters. Rain all the afternoon.
15 May Thursday, raining. 12 M we marched 4 miles to the Chickahominy River which we crossed about 12 PM. Dark night, rained all day. We were delayed by Genl. McGruder's93 army in our front & very bad & muddy roads. Camped on a steep hillside, lit fires, drew & cooked rations all night. The farms & crops from Williamsburg here are tolerably good but badly damaged by the troops, fences all burned on the rout.
16 May Friday, 8 AM marched 8 or 10 miles toward Richmond. Mud deep, slippery & tiresome to travel. 3 PM stopped for the night in an old field. No wood but old rails & they scarce.
17 May Saturday, clear. 12 M moved to 1 mile from Richmond & camped in a grove of small timber.
18, clear, 19 rain, 20 clear, 21 & 22, nothing.
23. Wrote letters to friends. Severe cannonading. PM went on fatigue duty on the West Point R. R.94 to clear away brush for a place of observation.
24 Saturday, rain all day. I went to Richmond, found things were sold 200 to 300 percent. Mailed my letters, did not buy anything for want of money.
25, cloudy. Wrote letters to friends.
26 Monday, rain. 9 AM ordered to be ready to march with 1 blanket, canteen, haversack. Rained all night but we did not move.
27 May Tuesday, rain. PM clear.
28, clear. 4 PM Co. L drew Harpers Ferry muskets, cal. 56 & 20 rounds of ammunition. 6 1/2 PM Co. L & 40 men from Cos. K & F with 2 days cooked rations, canteens & 1 blanket took up line of march in silence to near Chickahominy River. By 11 o'clock it rained & was so dark it was impossible to march in order in the deep mud. The whole command got so badly scattered there were not 1/2 the men together when we stopped & were ordered to sleep on our arms on the roadside.
29 May Thursday. Returned to camp. Clear day.
30 Friday, cloudy. 8 AM took up line of march toward West Pt. for 5 miles. Halted, stacked arms near a church. Hear cannon on our right. A battle is looked for. The church is headquarters hospital. 12 M clearing. 2 PM marched to the battlefield. Couriers gave no directions where our position was to be so our regt. went wandering about through swamps, ponds, thickets, mud & c heading all the time for the heaviest of the firing which kept changing so much. We passed through several vacated Yankey camps which they had abandoned in haste leaving their dinner post still boiling over the fire & camp in fine order. We were after them so hot we did not have time to eat their dinner for them. Came to one of their breastworks where we fired a few shots after their fleeing men. Here Genl. Hood's brigade came up behind us, they being dressed in blue we took them for Yankeys. Our rear rank was faced about to fight front & rear but the Texans made themselves known. Genl. Hood directed us to the point we should have taken. We reached the West Pt. R. R.95 & proceeded to our position at dusk. We were marching to the right flank quickly when the head of our line came up near the center of a Yank regt. which opened fire. To form line of battle as it should have been with so many undrilled recruits was out of the question so we were ordered to face about & retreat by the left flank. As fortune would have it, when we reached the R. R. about 300 yards back the officer at that end of the line ordered a halt which was not well understood. Just across the R. R. was a swamp & pond which made matters worse for the men were all huddled in a tangled mass making confusion worse confounded. Some of the men followed the R. R. track to form line, many were pushed by the crowd into the swamp & pond. It was soon so dark it was impossible to see an object of any kind. Several men in Co. L were wounded & in most of the companies while in the jam at the R. R. However, the enemy sounded the retreat on the bugle twice & we remained masters of the field.96 The 2nd Miss. regt. lost 5 men killed & 30 wounded in this evening's encounter. Having left our blankets when we went to the battlefield we fared badly during the night in an open field looking for an attack at any moment. As we were going into the fight we passed only a few rods & in full view of Genl. Joe Johnston who was wounded as we passed him & his staff. I saw him fall. This is the battle of 7 pines.
June 1, Sunday. This morning we got into the abandoned Yankey bivouac from which the Confederates got 100 barrels of Whickey, 100 sacks of coffee, oil clothes & rubber sheets, tents, & c. At daybread the regt. moved into the brushy woods a short distance back of our line to be screened from the view of the enemy. There was very little firing during the day. The enemy sent us a few rifled shells at about 1000 yards during the day which was tolerably pleasant. An attempt was made to take the Yankey battery, but a swamp in its front prevented. At 6 PM we moved to near the church hospital before mentioned. Drew rations & slept under arms. We saw a Yankey balloon of observation.97
2 June Monday. At sunrise we moved 3 miles toward Richmond & moved back to 1/2 mile from where we started at sunrise. Stacked arms & rested. Little connanading & no musketry today. Saw 3 Yankey balloons. Drew rations & stayed all night.
3 Tuesday. At sunrise moved NE 1 mile. Shot off our guns, cleaned them & moved E 1/2 mile to support Riley's battery. 6 PM heavy rain set in & lasted all night. We fixed shelter tents with our blankets. Kept dry & slept well.
4 Wednesday, raining. Men were detailed to erect masked batteries. The Yanks are said to have three batteries that can open on our position. They sent up a balloon every 2 hours yesterday & today but they remained up only a few minutes at a time.
5 June Thursday. 8 1/2 AM our batteries opened briskly on the enemy & they responded in like. Our position has moved more to the left. Shells flew about lively for several hours.
6 June Friday, cloudy & rain. 9 AM 2nd & 11th Miss. regt. went on picket. Co. B deployed as skirmishers on left, is near Chickahominy River in sight of a Yankey camp & their pickets on the other side of the river. Co. L 29 men in camp, rest all sick. 9 PM relieved from picket moved back 2 miles to our former camp.
7 June Saturday, 2 PM heavy rain, our camp is a regular swamp. We get water by digging holes 2 feet deep. The water rises to the top & is tolerably good. The rain flooded the whole camp, the water is 2 inches deep in my shelter tent. Have piled up brush to keep my bed out of the water.
8 June, cloudy, windy. A camp trader came by with his wagon of notions. He only asked $2.00 per box of sardines. The boys stole part of his goods. He made complaint to Col. Stone who said it was good for him. Made him take the road back to Richmond. 9 AM into line, moved 1 mile to meet the enemy. Learn that 1 company of a Texas regt. on picket attached 2 companies of Yanks, killed 40, took 1 prisoner, & the rest ran away. 11 AM returned to camp.
9 June Monday, clear. 9 AM the regt. moved out to support batteries. Cannon fire frequently on both sides. 11 AM rain came down very hard. While fixing up his shelter tent Jim Bever's98 gun went off & hurt his hand so bad it may disable him from service.
10 Tuesday. Co. L detailed 13 men to work on trenches. Other companies in proportion. No cannonading today.
11 Wednesday. 9 AM regt. moved to the place we occupied Sunday to cook rations & prepare to march. Rumor says to support Stonewall Jackson. 2 PM the 3rd brigade marched to Richmond, 2nd Miss. in rear. We had to stand in the streets nearly 5 hours before we could get in the cars. All the men in camp & convalescents that can march go which makes the regt. 1200 strong. Co. L 65 enlisted men & 4 commissioned officers. We got in the cars about 7 PM. 30 cars & 2 locomotives to carry 2nd Miss., 4th Ala., 6th N. C. & Riley's battery. Moon is in eclipse tonight. Many delays & stoppings. Genl. Whiting in command. Lynchburg 8 PM. Moved 1/2 mile west of town & camped.
12 June, included in the 11th.
13 Friday, clear & warm. I got a pass & went to town to get some things. 7 PM into line & marched to the cars. It was 12 PM before the rear of the regt. got there & then Cos. C & L had to stay as the train was not sufficient to take them. They slept on the station platform.
14 Saturday, clear & warm. Co. L 68 men strong today, the rest sent to Ferguson hospital, Dr. McCrory99 of Rienzi in charge. Learn that since Genl. Beauregard fell back from Corinth the Yankeys have been to Ripley. 11 PM got in the cars for Charlottesville. We had all sorts of a day of it on the R. R. platform.
15 June Sunday. Got to Charlottesville at 8 AM & were taken to the University grounds to rest. The University is now used as a hospital. There are 300 to 500 sick in it. The people take much interest in their welfare. It is a beautiful place. The buildings are extensive & well arranged. It deserves more note than I can give it now. At 9 1/2 AM took the cars for the terminus of our rout by R. R. In rout we passed through 3 tunnels. No. I is about 300 feet long, No. 2 is about 1/4, & No. 3, 1 1/2 miles long. They were very dark. There are several beautiful valleys on the rout. The crops look well. We reached Staunton at 3 PM, 123 miles from Richmond.100 The regt. is camped on a wooded hill near the R. R. 5 PM moved camp 2 miles back in a wood. Water good, night clear & cool.
16 June Monday, clear, pleasant. Nothing done. Drew some clothing. Wrote letter to M. S.
17 Tuesday, clear. Battalion drill.
18 Wednesday, 7 AM into line & marched through Staunton 2 1/2 miles & took the road to Charlottesville.101 3 PM Waynesboro, 12 miles from S. About 4 miles further we passed over the long tunnel we went through Sunday. The road & R. R. run mostly side by side. Day warm, some straggling. Made 20 miles & bivouaced near the R. R. Jackson's army is in front of us. Genl. Ewell102 5 miles on our left.
19 Thursday, clear, warm. 5 AM into line, marched over the Blue Ridge. Sent 18 men on the cars sick & broken down. It is much more tiresome to walk down hill than up, it jams up the toes & shocks the whole system. Made 9 miles & rested 1/2 hour in the sun. Made 15 miles today. Co. L camped with 18 men, started with 56. Drew 3 days rations & cooked them by 12 PM.
20 June Friday, warm & clear. 9 AM marched to Greenwood station & took the cars. Passed through Charlottesville & on toward Richmond to Frederick Hall station 50 miles to Richmond & 38 to Fredericksburg.103 Bivouaced near the R. R. on the banks of a beautiful swift branch & some springs. McBride of Co. F got jerked off the cars by a fence stake. We passed the 16th Miss regt. this side of Charlottesville. It has been in Jackson's command since the battle of Manassas, & has been reduced from 1000 men to about 250 by battles & sickness.
21 Saturday, clear & pleasant. 12 M drew 2 days rations & cooked them, a hard job as wood is scarce & we have no axes & the night is dark.
22 Sunday, pleasant, clouding up. Done nothing.
23 Monday, cloudy. 4 1/2 AM into line & march toward Richmond. Travel easy, stop frequently. The crops look fine, wheat harvest, clover & grass fine. 11 AM hot. Travelled 3 hours in the hot sun to Beaverdam station, stopped 2 hours & went 2 miles & camped. Made 15 to 17 miles today by 5 PM. 9 PM heavy rain which lasted all night, a perfect flood. 2 1/2 inches of rain fell. There is much talk in camp that France & England require Lincoln to close the war in 30 days. Peace propositions, & c, & c. We will see.
24 June Tuesday, cloudy & rain. 12 AM marched to 5 miles from Ashland, stopped several times. 5 PM a heavy shower of rain came up & wet us through & through. Muddy walking, very slippery. The roads were tolerably good before the shower. About 1 mile before we stopped there was a beautiful rainbow, a fit prognostic to the prophets of the success of our expedition & our fondest hopes. The heavy rain last night raised all the creeks & delayed the movement of troops. 10 PM drew 2 days rations of flour. At 1 AM drew beef. Had to cook all before day. Rather hard after marching 12 to 13 miles in 1/2 day.
25 Wednesday, clear. 6 AM marched 3 miles & rested till 12 AM, then marched 1 mile to Ashland & filed off toward Richmond 1 1/2 miles & rested. When we reached Ashland we saw a Yankey cavalry flag on the opposite side of the race track. 4 Yankey scouts were captured by the 11th Miss. 4 miles from Ashland. Camped in the night, drew 2 days rations of crackers.
26 June Thursday, clear at daybreak. Into line with only 1 blanket, haversack, canteen, gun & cartridge box & headed due east then south & every other direction. We passed the 47th & 48th Alabama regiments, come to Genl. Jackson. The 47th from Huntsville had to leave for the Yanks. Our course of march was toward the West Pt. R. R. & New Kent. The enemy was driven back about 2 miles across a creek, they burned the bridge & felled trees trying to obstruct the road & pursuit. Cannon firing a late hour at night on our right, along the Chickahominy 8 or 9 miles on our right. We travelled 12 or 13 miles today & passed several deserted Yankey camps. Bivouaced in one of them & all got pretty lousy.
27 June Friday. clear. Firing in the same direction as last night. 6 PM formed line. 80 or more prisoners passed us with guard about 9 AM. Hill's104 division drove the enemy across the Chickahominy at Mechany105 last evening & came up with us about 10 AM. The boys are in good spirits & keep up well. We have but one non-commissioned officer in Co. L, Corp. Ward.106 At 4 to 5 PM the 2nd Miss. regt. got into action at Gaines Farm. In forming line of battle Cos. L & C being on the left of the regt. Extended into a dense & impenetrable thicket of bamboo, briars & thorns through which it was impossible to move or execute orders. Seeing the situation I cautioned Major Blair of the fact but with his usual fool vanity he ordered us to extend into the brush. As I expected when the regt. Marched into action it was impossible for Co. L to execute or hear the order so it was left in the briars. Suspecting the regiment was moving I made my way to the open ground & found the regt. gone & started back to the company & reported the fact to Capt. Story. The company got out of the brush & (battle of Gaines Farm,107 Beaverdam Creek) attached itself to a Texas regiment pushing into action; about 200 yards from the enemy a ball struck me in the pit of the stomach. My blanket, which is a twilled one & very strong, I wore as a scarf. It arrested the force of the ball which twisted it & so checked its force that it did not penetrate through it & saved my life but I was deathly sick at the stomach for the rest of the day & night & went back to the blanket guard to sleep as I did not know where to find the regiment. Several men from Co. L & other companies who got scattered from the command came there. This was a big fight & we took many prisoners, at least 2,000. Little firing during the night.
28 June Saturday. Soon in the morning we hunted up the regt. which was camped 1/2 mile in front of where we lost it. The regt. lost fewer than I expected. Co. B got ___ killed, ___ wounded,108 Co. L 2. I went over the battlefield. The enemy were well posted & killed & wounded many of our men in front of their works; in fact if Genl. Whiting had not moved his brigade & taken them in flank all our forces could not have moved them from their position.109 Back of their lines they had their camp. In front of their works we lost hundreds of men & on crossing them found that they had suffered fully as much or more than we had. Their ground was covered with dead & wounded, knapsacks, overcoats, blankets & arms of all sorts. & c, & c. About 9 AM the brigade moved through part of the battlefield & near to where the regt. stood last night. The Yank Genl. McClellan supplies his men with plenty of whiskey if one may judge from the number of drunk prisoners we took yesterday & the number of empty bottles over their camps. We rested on the battlefield all day. Toward evening we were moved to an old field nearby & camped for the night. This battlefield is the camps we saw from our position on the 5th & 6th before we started to join Jackson. Drew 2 days rations of crackers.
29 June Sunday, cloudy & rainy, cleared up. Orders to prepare to march. All day great smoke from Yankey lines, they are burning up things. 7 to 8 PM heavy firing of small arms & cannon south of us. 8 1/2 laid down to sleep. Rain. I suffer from a sore eye, the left one. It bothers me very much.
30 Monday, cleared up at daybreak. Moved south about 1 mile & got on a road the Yankeys made, crossed Chickahominy River on a bridge the Yankeys built. They had cut it down about 1 1/2 miles further. Came to the Richmond & York R. R. between the 7 & 8 mile post & moved along the R. R. about 1 1/2 mile to where the battle of yesterday took place. Few of our men dead or wounded just where we passed but report says we lost many men. All the farms in these parts are a wilderness. Immense quantities of clothing, blankets scattered everywhere, whole camps of tents left standing as used. The enemy must have left in hot haste. They burned immense quantities of military stores. Nearly all the homes are occupied as hospitals. We continued our march toward the Chickahominy bridge on the York road. 1 1/2 mile from it we stopped to rest & for the bridge to be repaired. The 17th Miss. regt. got badly crippled in last night's fight. Squads of prisoners frequently pass us, also large droves of horses. All their sick & wounded fell into our hands. They are attended by their own surgeons. Report says the Yankeys are making their way to the James River to be protected by their gunboats. All the woods & fields seem to have been occupied by their troops. Even their bivouacs are as well provided & supplied with conveniences as our best camps. We followed them as far across the Chickahominy as Battery Bridge & a swamp called White Oak & bivouaced sleeping on our arms.
1 July Tuesday, Malvern Hill. Clear & warm. We marched in pursuit of the enemy. On approaching their position, Malvern Hill, they shelled us hard in the middle of the road. We had to open ranks right & left to let a battery & cavalry pass which caused confusion & separated Co. L from the regt. & it was some time before it rejoined it as it was moving all the time. The regt. was placed in a wheatfield along the edge of a swampy wood & in line of flank perpendicular to the left of the battlefield & so situated that 3 of the enemy's batteries could enfilade our ranks. We could plainly see a large part of the enemies on the field of battle & see them move to the attack. I see no extra tactics in the execution of their movements. One of our batteries (the German)110 was on our left & in line with us. The enemy discovered it & our position & started a battery to enfilade us & our battery. We then fell back into the woods out of range of their fire. Our battery was soon silenced by their 3. Still they shelled & grape shotted us with a vengeance for 2 hours. Having the advantage of the banks of a small creek we were somewhat protected but we had a number of men wounded. J. Ward, 1st Corp. Co. L was instantly killed by a piece of shell as he lay down in the wheatfield. Other pieces of the same shell knocked the dirt on me & peppered me so I thought I was torn to pieces. W. was next to me & we did not know he was hurt till we got up to change position. During the night the enemy's wagons & artillery made a great deal of noise moving to the rear.
2 July Tuesday, rain, rain as hard as I ever saw it till 3 PM. We were moved back some distance to draw rations. Only a small part of our regt. were engaged yesterday. Several play outs came to the regt. about 5 PM. Drew 2 days rations & bivouaced.
3 July Thursday. The enemy seems to be completely routed & gone to the James River to be under protection of their gunboats. Our scouts followed them to the river & report the woods are full of arms & accoutrements, wagons & cannon, all abandoned. Hope they are annihilated. The The enemy is said to have lost in killed & wounded many more than we have. We have taken many prisoners. The rain yesterday must have interfered very much with gathering the dead & wounded as well as the army plunder. Our whole division was formed in an oats field adjoining the wheatfield we were in on the 1st & drew 2 days rations of flour & bacon. Having no cook vessels bread was generally baked on sticks.
4 July Friday. I don't feel well. At break of day marched toward Charles City Court House. 12 AM reached X roads 25 miles to Richmond, 9 miles to C. City, 8 miles to long bridge. Day warm, water scarce. Stopped often. Many reports of all sorts about. Brigade formed in close column by divisions & lay at rest till sunset.
5 July Saturday, clear, heavy fog. Remained quiet all day. 8 PM the 3rd brigade went out on picket.
6 July Sunday, clear & warm. Nothing going on. Our pickets are 100 yards from the enemy, all quiet. Every evening the Yankey brass bands discourse fine music to inspire their men with courage. They being only 1/2 mile off the music sounds fine & helps to while away the time. Water is scarce & not good.
7 Monday, clear & warm. 4 1/2 PM the brigade marched back to near our camp of the 30th of June. It took us till 10 PM to make 12 or 15 miles. The roads are dusty & water scarce. It seems the enemy bristled up since we left them for they commenced a fierce cannonading.
9 July Wednesday, clear & warm. 4 PM marched toward Richmond, passed many Yankey camps & the battlefields all the way to 7 pines battlefield of 31 May. We came to the York River R. R. where the 2nd Miss. crossed & then reformed after falling back that evening. The Yankeys made immense fortifications about this point for miles in extent. We followed the R. R. from the 6 mile post to the 4 mile post, in fact we walked on it. About the 5 mile post we reached our own earthworks but they are nothing to compare with the Yankey works. But good generalship rendered all these works useless as we never had to storm them. It is almost incredible to see the amount of labor done on these works. All parties on those works must have suffered for water for in our march we did not come near enough any to furnish a regiment for 24 hours. We came within 3 miles of Richmond stopped for the night about 9 PM near the camp occupied just 1 month ago. Genl. Whiting's headquarters are in the same house they were in then. Made 10 miles today.
10 July Thursday. 5 AM marched to near our camp of 29 May near a beautiful spring. It is probable we will remain here several days. The health of the boys is improving. 7 AM raining.
11 Friday, rain. It is time we rest a short time say 2 weeks to clean & fix up. Our clothes are dirty & worn. We have not drawn soap for 1 month nor seen our knapsacks for 3 weeks. The Federal & Confederate regulars (body lice) are fighting their battles in our personal territory. They scout among the lining of our clothing & stick their bayonets or bills into us awfully. They prefer skirmish fighting to any mode as it is calculated to distract attention & care, so one can scarce tell where to charge the enemy. Its bang here, scarce the eye turns to the point when its bang there and so all day. Discipline does little good in fighting this enemy. There is nothing but fire that can stop his depredations & as we are short of clothing we will have to stand it for a while longer.
12 July Saturday clear, warm. Drilled company AM
13 Sunday, clear. 3 PM Bro. Weatherspoon111 preached. We have 26 absent, sick & shirks, & only 30 well men of Co. L in camp.
14 Monday, clear. Am not well.
15 Tuesday, Am unwell. E. A. Talbot of Miss. came to see his sons. Evening rain.
16 Wednesday, clear. We have had all sorts of places for camps but this is the best. It is a graveyard. 1 to 3 men are buried at the right of the regt. every day by S. C. troops. We call this Camp Lightning because when we were here before the 4th Alabama occupied it & had 4 men killed by lightning during a hard rainstorm. Mr. Byrd Smith of Ripley came to camp to see his sons & the boys. He says he would have followed the regt. to Maine to see the boys. He states that 70 negroes were taken from Ripley & neighborhood by the Yankeys. They also arrested several citizens of the place.112
17 Thursday, clears warm. 6 PM rain.
18 Friday, same as yesterday.
19 Saturday, cloudy. Rest from drill to wash clothing. Lots of pies, cake, & fruit brought to the camp for sale. Small pies 50 cents, new potatoes about $6.00 per bushels other things in proportion.
20 Sunday, clear hot. Helped Capt. Buchanan with his payrolls for the months of March & April. It is very tiresome & tedious to make out rolls after so long a time. One forgets many things necessary to put in them. Co. B is so large & so many changes have been made in it. We had preaching in the 6th N. C. at 11 & at 3 PM in our regt. I did not go. We don't live so fine in camp this year as we did last. We have only fly & shelter tents & very few cook vessels & little to cook. We draw beef & flour, seldom anything else. Received several letters from Ripley dated June 15, only 1 month & 5 days on the road.
21 July Monday, Bee Lodge of Free Masons No. 200 chartered by G. L. of N. C. for 6th N. C. regt.113 All the Masons in Whiting's Division were invited & joined in the procession which repaired to a grove & had prayer, music and a fine address by ___.114 The brass band of Genl. Hood's brigade made the music & played Marseilles & c. The company dispersed in form. Byrd Smith & W. B. Spight start for home tomorrow. They procured substitutes at $650 & $700 each to take their places.115 Rather a high price I think. I wrote to 0. D.116 & others by them.
Tuesday, cloudy. I was busy all day making our payrolls for May &
June. The regt. drills at 6 AM & 6 PM. We get the daily papers.
They contain but little of interest but extracts of English speculations
about the war in America. Am sorry our people show so much anxiety about
European interference for France & England have few interests in our
affairs. True, their commerce is a little interrupted & a few manufacturers
are prating about the cotton supply, but Europe expects to reap its reward
on profits from America & more than make up its losses. This leads
many soldiers to think the war in nearly over & I want to go home.
This makes dissatisfaction in our camps & many
shirk duty whenever they can & c. The war may last 5 years.
23, 24, 25, clear & pleasant.
26 Saturday, wash day, no drill. Had roasting ears, cucumbers & apple pie for dinner.
27 July, clear & warm. 11 AM & 3 PM Rev. Weatherspoon the young fighting parson preached. Substitutes seem to turn out badly. Two that were to report for duty turned up missing. One named Miller, substitute for N. S. Talbot of Ripley, Co. B, transferred to Co. L to get substitute accepted, has not yet come to camp. The papers are all made out & the money put in Capt. Story's. Talbot started for N. Carolina to see his people Saturday expecting his sub to come up this morning & so the matter stands.
28 Monday, clear, hot. Nothing.
29 Tuesday, 7 AM regimental drill. The men march & drill better in regimental drill than in company drill. Some practice in charge bayonet, a good exercise.
30 Wednesday, rain. Noon, warm & clear. No drill this morning. Orders from Genl. Lee,117 a board of officers is to examine the qualifications of officers for the positions they hold. Hope the board will do justice to this regiment & put some of the new officers in the place they are truly calculated to fill (the rank) for there are few who are competent & they show no disposition to fit themselves for the office they hold in the service. The election of officers by the members of the company is a humbug, for they vote for the man they believe will let them do as they please regardless of duty & the less competent the officers the less the men expect to do. So it turns out that few competent men are elected much to the injury of the army. I do not believe the 2nd Miss. regt. is now as efficient as it was a year ago because some of the new officers are careless & incompetent. Should our colonel & lieutenant colonel be taken from us the 2nd Miss. would be little better than so many raw recruits.
31 July, raining.
1 August, Friday, clear & warm. It seems we may hear from the valley something shortly judging from the number of troops moving every day or rather night in that direction in the cars.
2 August, Saturday, clear, warm. Sent to town today for yeast cakes to make light bread.
3 Sunday, cloudy. When the sun shines it is very hot. Our light bread is first rate.
4 Monday, nothing.
5 Tuesday, Details of 10 men per company sent out to prepare a new camp ground about 1 mile NE from this camp. 9 PM orders to be ready with canteen & haversack to march at a moment's notice. Dr. Moody118 of Ripley is here & starts for Chattanooga tomorrow.
6 Wednesday, nothing of importance.
7 Thursday, moved to our new camp at 7 1/2 AM. Major Bill Rogers119 is here and is the same as ever. His tales are unmitigated. 3 PM struck tents & marched toward Fredericksburg. We took the same road we travelled on the 28 May, passed an old camp & took the left due west on the Telegraph road, followed it about 2 miles & stopped for the night. Day hot & travelling hard.
8 August, Friday, clear & hot. Went to new camp ground, cleaned it up & put up tent flies.
9 Saturday, Orders to cook 2 days rations & be ready to move by 4 PM. Day hot. 2 wagons to carry cooking things & our tents. All knapsacks sent to the rear. 5 PM marched toward Fredericksburg. Made about 12 miles by 12 PM. Stopped in an old field. Very hot travelling, many men fell out. Water scarce.
10 Sunday, 6 AM marched 1 mile & stopped. 5 PM marched 7 miles by 9 PM to near Hanover Junction. Rain from 5 PM to 11 PM which laid the dust. This was the hottest day of the season.
11 August, Monday, clear & hot. Marched about 4 miles & camped in a fine old pine grove on the North Anna River. It is a rocky & bold stream. It was so hot I was about to give out when we stopped to camp. J. Lee120 had a sunstroke, many fell out of ranks.
12 Tuesday, hot. I am not well. Rain in the evening. Near this point once was a considerable town called Oxford, but since the filling up of the Pamunkey & other streams by the washings from the cleared land boats have been unable to navigate the stream, the town has gone down. Our camp is near the junction of the North & South Anna Rivers which unite & form the Pamunkey.
13 Wednesday, warm. Water is plenty but not handy to camp.
14 Thursday, pleasant. Cooked rations 5 PM. Marched to near Beaver Dam by 12 PM.
15 August, Friday, rain. Marched 4 miles & stopped to cook rations. We had no rest on this march, so many men straggled. I fell out & got a permit from the Surgeon to ride in the ambulance. I rode about 3 miles. I feel quite unwell. Reached Frederick Hall at sunset. Night cold.
16 Saturday, cold & cloudy. I am sick & got a permit to ride in the ambulance. Believing it was to follow the regiment I started for it but found it had taken another road so I had to walk about 6 miles to get to it. At Louisa Courthouse at 12 noon orders that those who were unable to march return to Richmond, I with others. The brigade marched off at 5 PM toward Culpeper or Orange C. H. We the invalids slept in box cars & done tolerably well.
17 Sunday, About 9 AM we were put in a train of cars & started to Richmond where we arrived at 1 PM & had to walk 3 miles to our sick camp. Rather hard on sick folks to do. We got to camp about 6 PM. I am quite bad off. All the trains going toward Gordonsville are loaded with troops.
August 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, in sick camp & nothing to say. Too sick.
26 Thursday, day clear, warm. I am somewhat better but it will be 2 weeks or more before I can do duty. The sick camp of the 3rd brigade is a perfect humbug, I am surprised that anyone sent here ever gets well. There is no discipline or regulations whatever. All kinds of trash are brought here & sold to the soldiers at fabulously high prices, are not half cooked, & eaten by men whose state of health should not have it. Many cowardly devils continue to get or play sick & get sent here to spend their time hunting & fishing. The doctors in charge are of little account & seem to care little whether the men ever return to duty. But at best they have a poor chance to do the men any good even if they wished to. The sick camp is on the Dill farm 1/2 mile east of our camp of July 21. Its location is good, the water excellent & abundant.
29 August, Friday, Got a pass to visit the city. I went to the House of Representatives & heard them discuss a bill to remove all boys under 18 years of age from the army. They make nice pros and cons but it is all talk. Better let those under 18 if they wish & their parents or guardians don't object & the recruiting officers think them fit to go into the service. They make as good soldiers as the older ones. Saw Mr. Clapp121 of Holly Springs but did not get to talk to him. Also saw Major S. R. Spight122 of Ripley. Will send this memorandum to 0. Davis my old friend.
Here my journal stops til I start to the regiment.
[General Whiting had been sent to North Carolina early in August, and at this time his brigade, commanded by Col. E. M. Law, was part of Hood's "Texas" Division of Longstreet's army group. On August 22 the division defeated a Federal force at Hazel River, about 12 miles from Warrenton. It then moved west of the Bull Run Mountains and turned northeast, then turned right at Thorofare Gap toward Manassas; Longstreet's forces marched through the gap on the morning of August 29. In the meantime "Stonewall" Jackson had captured and destroyed the Union supply base at Manassas and withdrawn to Groveton, where he beat off determined Federal attacks until Longstreet arrived. Longstreet advanced along the Warrenton turnpike, Hood's Division being astride the road. On the evening of the 29th it beat off a Union attack and on the 30th joined in the Confederate advance that turned the second battle of Manassas into a Federal rout.
On September 4 to 7 Lee's army crossed the Potomac and concentrated at Frederick, Maryland. Jackson was sent to capture Harpers Ferry, while Longstreet crossed South Mountain and camped at Hagerstown before being recalled to assist D. H. Hill in holding the South Mountain passes against pursuing Federal troops. On the 14th Hood's Division repulsed a drive at Fox Gap, but on the 15th retired to Boonsboro and later to the west side of Antietam Creek, where McClellan skirmished with Lee's army on the 16th. Hood's Division, stationed between the Dinker Church on the Hagerstown Pike and the famous cornfield that figures so prominently in the battle, beat off an attack on the 16th and on the morning of the 17th, in some of the bitterest fighting of the entire war, withstood a second and heavier attack until reinforcements arrived. All the field officers of the Second Mississippi were disabled during the battle and the regiment's losses were heavy. On the 19th Lee retired, crossed the Potomac at Shepherdstown, and moved south toward Winchester.]
Sept. 20, Took the cars for Gordonsville & at 12 AM took cars for Culpeper where I arrived at 5 PM. Rained all day.
21 September Sunday, 9 AM joined a convalescent company composed of men from various regiments & marched to Front Royal. Day fine.
22 Monday, 6 1/2 marched up the mountain, passed Sperryville & camped at a big spring 1 mile from the backbone 6 miles from Front Royal. Made 18 miles today.
23 Tuesday, 6 AM marched mostly down hill to Front Royal 6 miles. Bought some fine grapes on the way. Rested 1 hour at _____.123 Clear fine day. I got on a wagon with R. N. Young124 & M. Saunders125 & others & reached Winchester at 5 PM.
24 September Wednesday, 8 AM rain. Saw Lt. Col. Humphreys, Sergt. J. Hovis,126 Capt. Powers, D. Noonan127 & others. Went out to the fortifications on an old camp ground to draw rations & be sent to the regt. 6 PM clear, windy & cool.
25 Thursday, clear & pleasant. 300 paroled prisoners taken by the enemy in Maryland brought in last evening. Drew 2 days rations & cooked them.
26 Friday, pleasant. 10 AM all in the fort were put under the command of a lieutenant colonel to march them to Martinsburg. Met Capt. Buchanan. Made 12 miles to Bunker Hill & camped.
27 Saturday, day pleasant. 6 AM marched 1 mile & learned the army was coming toward us so we stopped & the 2nd Miss. regt. met us at Bunker Hill Mill. The boys all well & in good spirits. Made 7 miles toward Winchester from B. H. M. & camped. A cannon blew up at the 8-mile post from Winchester.
28, 29, 30. Camp good. Our whole brigade is camped at a very large spring. Troops all in good spirits.
October, 1862, 1, 2, 3, 4, usual camp duties, weather fine.
Sunday 5. Brigade inspection at 10 AM. Day clear & pleasant.
6 Monday, clear & pleasant. Genl. Hood reviewed his division, 14 regt. & 3 batteries, a grand sight.
7 Tuesday, clear & hot. 3 PM Genl. Hood's division, 14 regiments & 3 batteries, passed in review for Maj. Genl. Longstreet. A dusty trip.
8, 9, clear & pleasant. Texas brigade moved off.
10 Friday, rain. 2nd & 11th Miss. moved camps across the road to where the Texas brigade was. It is a better place than the one we had, giving us more room.
11 Saturday, cloudy, windy, cool. Many of the men are being vaxinated, I among them.
12 Oct. Sunday. I received 2 letters from Mississippi.
13, 14, 15, 16, usual camp duties.
17 Friday, 1 AM drew & cooked 2 days rations.
18, usual duties.
19, Col. Law128 appointed Brigadier General of 3rd Brigade.
20, Windy, usual camp duties.
21, 22, Cloudy, very high wind.
23 Thursday, clear, windy, cool. 9 AM preliminary division review. 3 PM review for Genl. R. E. Lee; 1st march in review in com. time, 2. march in double-quick time. Field 3/4 mile around. Genl. Whiting returned.
24 Friday. frost, clear & pleasant. Moved camp. Genl. Whiting passed by & was cheered by the whole 3rd brigade.
25 & 26 usual duties. 5 miles to Winchester.
27 Monday, clear & windy. My arm is quite sore where it was vaxinated. Jim Bennet goes with Genl. Whiting to Savannah or Mobile.129
28 Oct. Clear, frost, fine day. Orders to prepare to move at daylight tomorrow.
29 Wednesday, ice, clear & windy. Reveille at 3 AM. Marched from camp at sunrise, looked beautiful before we took the road to Winchester & Front Royal. Stopped for the night 5 miles from Front Royal.
30 Thursday, clear, frost, day warm. Marched 4 miles & waded the north branch.130 The water was very deep & cold. We crossed the south branch on a footbridge built of wagons. Made 5 miles & rested at 1 PM near the top of the mountain. The men seem quite tired & footsore. The road is a turnpike all the way. The mountain sceanery is beautiful. We camped near Sperryville. This is the same road I travelled on my way to the regt.
31 Friday, 4 AM reveille, clear, frost. Continued our march & took a country road the same as I travelled to the regt. It is hilly & stony. Stopped 2 hours after sunset for the night, 4 miles to Culpeper.
1 November Saturday, At daybreak marched 4 miles to Culpeper City & mile beyond & camped at 9 AM, making 70 miles from our camp near Winchester or 21 miles per day.
2 Sunday, clear. 6 AM orders to move by 7 o'clock tomorrow.
3 Monday, clear. 9 AM marched 3 miles to Cedar Mountain & camped.
4, 5, 6, 7, cloudy, cool. Some change of command is tattled of.
8, frost, clear. Genl. Orders, the 2nd & 11th Miss. regts. are detached from the 3rd brigade & ordered to report to Richmond, leaving all their tents, wagons, ambulances & c standing as we used them last night. The 54th & 58th N. Carolina regts. will take their places. 9 AM marched to the R. R.
9 Sunday, 5 PM moved 11 mile into the woods to draw & cook rations. Col. Stone commands both regts. for the present.
10 Monday, clear & pleasant. At sunrise took the cars, reached Gordonsville 10 AM & Richmond at 11 PM & reached our new camp 6 miles from Richmond with tents all standing at 3 AM.
11 November Tuesday, clear & pleasant. Fixed up our tents. We have the best of the trade in camp equipage. The tents are tolerable & we left none to those who took our place in the 3rd brigade.
12 Wednesday, Our camp is well situated on the Ashland & Richmond road. Wood & water not very good nor convenient.
13 Thursday, The 54th N. C. regt. occupied this camp. They may be sorry of the swap. our men don't like breaking up the old brigade, they want it preserved.
clear & pleasant. Commenced making payrolls for July & August.
15, 16, 17 (rain), 18, 19, 20, drill.
21 Friday, rain. Lieut. Lauderdale returned from Ripley. He says the Yankeys carried off my things & tore the town up generally.131
22 November Saturday. Col. Humphreys returned from Ripley yesterday, says the Yankeys have badly used up everything in Tippah County.
23, 24, signed payrolls.
25, warm. 26, making out payrolls for September & October.
27, 28 Friday, clear. 29, 30. Drunkenness is common in camp. The men get liquor from the country people & the officers don't seem to make any efforts to prevent it. Some rather seem to encourage it by using it themselves.
1 December Monday, 2, 3, 4, 5, rain all day. Co. C sent to Richmond as provost guard.
6, clear & cool. Usual drills & c every day.
7 Sunday, clear & cold. Went to church today for the first time since in the army. The church is about 3 miles from camp. The Episcopal church is a fine brick gothic, warmed with a furnace, floors carpeted, the alter, pulpit, doors, windows & gallery of carved oak, the seats iron frames for support & oak seats & backs, cushioned in green leather. Good organ, fine music & service.132
8 December Monday, mostly clear & frost, 9 do.
10 Wednesday, heavy cannonading in the direction of Fredericksburg.
11, 12, clear. The brigade is commanded by Joe Davis.133
clear & frost. Heavy cannonading from the direction of
Fredericksburg from early in the morning & nearly all day. 7 PM into line
& marched through Richmond, crossed the James River & took the road to
Petersburg. Made about 14 miles & bivouaced.
14, cloudy, warm.
15 Monday, cloudy. Drew & cooked 5 days rations at 11 AM. Took the cars for Petersburg, arrived there at 4 PM. Night clear. Stayed in the streets till 12 PM & took the cars for Weldon, N. C. Traveled very slow.
16 Tuesday, rain, sleet, snow. 12 AM reached Weldon. Country poor. Kept in the cars to Goldsboro.
17 Wednesday. Reached Goldsboro at 7 AM. Clear & cool. Stopped at the fair grounds. 10 AM cannonading on the other side of the river south of us. Only the 2nd & 42nd Miss. regts. here yet. 2 PM the enemy burned the railroad bridge over the Noose134 River & then fell back at dark. Not many killed or wounded. 4 PM we were moved to the front, crossed the river on the road bridge & deployed in line of battle 1/2 mile beyond it. At 8 PM marched back to camp in a heavy pine woods.
18 Thursday, hard frost. The boys began to fix up some shanties, 1 mile from Weldon.135
19, 20, 21, 22, 23, all clear & pleasant.
25 Thursday, clear, warm & pleasant. Camp very quiet for Christmas, no liquor about camp. Some of the boys in Co. B & others cut some high shines in town last night killing hogs, sheep, calves, & c. Genl. Smith136 has issued stringent orders on the subject. Several of the boys were put in the guard house. Sergeant-Major Rutledge is under arrest for taking part with the boys in last night's frolic, I believe. I was appointed to act as Sergeant-Major during his arrest.
26 December Friday, cloudy & warm. We had a sermon preached by a colporteur after tattoo.
rain, 28, 29, 30, 31, generally fair & pleasant. Our whole brigade
(Genl. Joe Davis) is in winter quarters, generally mere shelters made of
clapboard, a few pole cabins. The health of the men is generally good &
the usual camp drills & c go on as usual. This section of the country
seems to abound in very bad women if all reports are true.
1863. Joe Davis' Brigade.
1 January, clear & pleasant. I am making out regimental returns for the month of December.
2, clear. Finished regimental reports. The company reports are generally badly made out.
3, 4, clear & pleasant.
5, do, brigade drill.
6 January 1863 Tuesday, rain all day.
7 Wednesday, clear, cool. L. S. Holcombe137 came up, also our baggage from Richmond.
Mr. Talbot of Holly Springs in camp to see his son Allen. Day
clear & pleasant. 9, do.
10 Saturday, raining. R. Jenkins elected Co. B 2nd Lieut.138
11, 12, clear & pleasant.
13, Tuesday, clear & warm as summer. Too hot for comfort in the shade. The regt. drawing pay.
14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, generally clear & pleasant usual duties.
20 Tuesday, clear & warm. W. J. Bennet from Wilmington, N. C., in camp. Capt. Buchanan, Co. B, returned from Ripley.
21 (rain), 22, 23, 24, 25, usual camp duties & drills.
26, clear & pleasant. Brigade review for Genl. Joe Davis, nephew of Pres, Davis. 2nd & 11th Miss. done well, None fell out on the double quick, mile.
27, cloudy, warm, company drill.
28, I got transfer papers fixed up to transfer from Co. L to Co. B. Pursuant to Genl. Orders 1 enlisted man from every 25 is to have a furlough to go home. Co. L sends 1 man, much contention as to who it shall be & much dissatisfaction manifested generally at Capt. Story for the manner of his selection of the man. The choice fell on T. J. S. Roberts139 but he sold his furlough to his uncle A. Tigert140 for $60.00. The men in Co. L complain & grumble much at the officers for neglect of duty & attention to the comforts of the men. I go to Co. B on the first of February. I believe it is decidedly an advantage to Co. L for me to leave it as my services kept the officers from relying on themselves to transact their business, looking to me to do it. Capt. Story & some of the officers want me to stay. 1st Sergeant Tigert wants me to take his place & to pay me extra to do so but for the public good I must decline for it would be wrong of me to act an a bar to officers fully discharging their duties. I know they will never try to do it so long as I remain with the company.
1 February 1863 Sunday, clear, warm. I went to Co. B & moss with L. & G. Holcombe,141 J. K. Glenn,142 L. Richie, W. M. Cockran,143 & J. Simpson.144
2, rain. 3, snow 6 inches deep. Snow till 12. The boys snowballing & quite jolly.
4, I am on guard duty for the first time since in the army. Post No. 3, 2rd relief. Post 50 yards long. Walked 75 rounds or 7500 yards on my post. Went on at 1 PM & off at 3 PM.
5, cloudy, frost. Rain 12 AM. Got a pass & went to town. Visited a watchmaker's shop. He offered me $50 to $60 per week to work for him. The town is scarce of soldiers today owing to the rain. I bought a paper of needles, 75 cts., a steel thimble, 15 cts., also 3 pints of peanuts to make chocolate or coffee of them. It is equal to the best chocolate & cream. It is made thus: put the peas unshelled in a pan & parch them to a dark drab when broken. When cold shell them & grind them to a paste like putty. Put the paste in sufficient water & boil like coffee for a few minutes & sweeten to taste. 1 quart of good peas in the shall will make enough drink for 6 or 7 persons. Nothing but a good article of coffee or chocolate with cream or milk will equal it.
6 Friday, rain all night & day to 3 PM. The boys like gooberpea chocolate so well we had it again for supper but as they sell at 30 cts. per quart it is rather too expensive for war times.
7 Saturday, clear, pleasant & muddy. Sweet potatoes $2.00 per bushel.
8, 9, 10, 11, 12, generally clear & pleasant. Col. Stone has a 20-day furlough.
13, clear. 14, clear. Am on guard again, post No. 8. 50 yards long, 11 AM to 1 PM. Walked 1 54; 2, 76; 3, 53; & 40 56 rounds. 42nd Miss. regt. moved, to Tar River without camp equipage, reports say to gather corn.
15 Feb., rain & sunshine. 10 PM orders to cook 3 days rations to move.
16 Monday, rain. 9 1/2 AM marched to the R. R. depot, Co. B 28 files, Lieut. Withers, Co. A, dropped from the service by order of court martial also Lieut. Whitley suspended for 3 months & forfeits pay for drinking & unmilitary conduct by order of the court martial. John Buchanan reports here as ward master in hospital, Dr. McCrory in charge. We go to Blackwater, part way by R. R. 1 PM left Goldsboro, 8 PM reached Weldon.
17 Tuesday, 3 AM reached Murphy's station on the Seaboard R. R.145 7 AM got off the cars & bivouaced. Rain all the time.
18 Thursday, rain all day.
19 Feb. 1863 Thursday, rain. our bivouac is in a swamp. The regt.'s rank & file here are as follows:
E 54 I 41
B 62 F 50 K 60
C 78 G 26 L 34
D 32 H 38
Cos. L, I, E & F not come yet. In charge of H. H. Powers.
20 Friday. Moved 1 mile north to a dry place. I am acting adjutant. Mount guard at 3 PM. Tents all fixed up. Sergt. L. S. Holcombe under arrest for fighting with Whitten.146
21, clear & pleasant. 22, showers, sleet, rain. Snow on the ground all day. The 4 1/2 companies under Capt. Powers not come yet.
23 Monday, hard frost. The rest of the regt. came up this morning but it will be several days before the wagons get here owing to high waters. Some of the boys on the train as we were coming here injured some of the cars to the value of $460 which is assessed by appraisers against the regt. & will have to be paid by stoppage of pay against the men & officers. Genl. Davis says he would not be surprised now at anything the 2nd Miss. done. He is very mad about the matter.
24 February, clear & pleasant. The boys had a game of prisoners base today. It was quite exciting from the number engaged.
26 Thursday, Reveille at daybreak, marched at sunrise. Day cloudy & warm. The country in these parts is flat pine slashes mixed with other timber. The farms sparse & old fashioned steep roofs. We made 13 miles by 2 PM to Blackwater Bridge147 & camped 1/2 mile from it. It is impossible to get good footing any nearer to it & the waters being high it is impossible to get to the bridge without a boat. Clear.
27, cloudy & warm. Co. D on picket duty at the bridge today.
28, cloudy, cold, windy.
1 March 1863 Sunday, Am on guard. Cloudy. The guard have no orders & the officers are very careless of duty & the men carry it out to the letter. It seems to me to be only a farce. This part of the country is like around Goldsboro, N. C., low flat pine slashes.
2 Monday, clear. Helped make out payrolls.
3 Tuesday. 4 Wednesday, both clear & pleasant. I am making a set of chessmen of red & white cedar.
5, 6, both clear. Col. Stone returned from his furlough. 7, raining.
8 Sunday, Co. B on picket over the river. Lieut. Col. Humphries with 45 men went to Windsor on a scout last night, 12 miles, & shot at 6 Yankey scouts but did not get any. The Unionists in these parts are called Buffaloes. The people seem illiterate & talk like negroes. We have 3 picket posts, 1st the bridge across Blackwater & 2nd, the roads 1/2 mile apart. The country east of the river is the same as on the other side. Nearly all the slaves in Isle of Wight County have gone to the Yankeys. The free negroes are the best informers to the Yankeys & all should be taken up & sold or hung.
9, 10, 11, 12, clear & cloudy by turns. 13, 14, 15, 16, clear.
17, Cos. A. & B go to guard bridge, A at Zuni, B at Broadwater, 11 miles. Reached the place at dark. We took no rations with us as we had not time to draw & cook.
18, pleasant day. Those left at camp sent us cooked rations by 11 AM. We bought eggs at the ferry for 50 cts. per dozen. We slept well. There are two ranges of rifle pits here opposite the ferry & the old bridge but one of them can be swept by cannon from below the bridge. The second set are 500 yards long & 300 yards from the river bank. They would be of little service if used.
19 Thursday, rain. The 55th N. C. is camped 2 miles off & is to relieve us but did not send the relief until about 12 AM. The cavalry picket left here after we did at 12. Rain, sleet, snow, road slippery & got worse for 5 miles & then got worser, till we reached camp at 5 PM. The fall of snow would be full 6 inches deep if the ground was frozen. Being hungry we enjoyed our rations which those left behind cooked for us.
20 Friday, snow, sleet all day. Dr. E. N. Hunt & J. S. Buchanan came to camp on a visit from Goldsboro. They report all the sick sent away from there to make room for the wounded of a battle that is expected to take place at Newbern, N. C., but we had only 5 or 6 wounded there. The cannon we heard toward Franklin was a fight between a brigade of Yankey cavalry & a South Carolina regt. who got the best of the scrimmage, killing & wounding 50 Yankeys.
21 March, cloudy & rain all day. The snow not likely to get off for 1 or 2 days.
22 & 23, clear & warm.
24, T. J. Duncan & R. L. Cooper148 go home on a 30-day furlough. 25, as usual.
26 Friday, Co. B. worked on fortifications at the river, it is for 4 guns. It may be sufficient to resist any battery the enemy are likely to bring to the opposite side of the river 700 yards off. The work is a relief to the men.
27, Co. B continues the work instead of going on picket. PM hard rain, quit work.
28 Sunday, pleasant. 10 AM regimental inspection.
29 & 30, as usual.
31, clear & frost. 4 PM the regt. formed line in hot haste & double-quicked to the bridge to meet the enemy reported to be close, having driven in our cavalry pickets, but they did not come up, for as soon as our cavalry pickets were reinforced they fell back, but it was thought they would make an advance during the night but they did not. We returned to camp by 6 PM.
1 April, 1863, clear & pleasant.
2, Cos. B & D on picket across the river.
3, 4, Saturday, high winds cold. PM snowing.
5, 6 Monday. Co. B on picket. 7 Tuesday, cloudy.
8 Wednesday, clear. Orders to cook all our rations & be ready to start off tomorrow morning with 1 blanket & haversack, the camp plunder & fixtures to remain in care of the sick. We are likely to be gone several days.
9 Thursday, clear. 8 AM marched 10 miles & bivouaced 1 mile from Franklin. G. B. Kimball149 discharged from the service for disability.
10 Friday, clear & pleasant. A good many troops are moving toward Franklin. 9 AM marched left in front to South Key by way of Murphey's Station.150 Roads tolerable with some bad mudholes. Stopped for the night 1 mile from the bridge at South Key.
11 Saturday, clear & pleasant. 6 AM crossed the river on a pontoon bridge near the old one. 9 AM Cos. A, B, C, & G detailed to act as rear baggage guard. We stopped for 3 hours for the wagon train to form & pass us but we found out they were ahead of us so we had to force march 6 miles to reach their camp at 9 PM. The roads were covered with water in many places. Camp is 5 miles from Suffolk.151 Our brigade is under command of Genl. Pickett.152 I saw Genl. Longstreet.
12 Sunday, Reveille 4 AM. clear. I don't feel well today. 6 AM marched off & formed line of battle, where we stood till 5 PM. Only 8 or 10 cannon fired in front. Cloudy & rain. 6 Yank prisoners passed to the rear (reported deserters). 6 PM moved back 300 yards to sleep on our arms.
13 April Monday, rain. 7 AM moved to the place where we were yesterday. 8 AM returned to the place where we slept. Some cannonading & picket firing in front all day & night.
14, clear, pleasant. 24 men from Co. B & a pro rata, number from the other companies detailed to work. Firing as yesterday. 6 PM the regt. went on picket at the X of the SB & the P. & N. R. R.153 Cos. A, D, & L on picket. 9 PM rain.
15, rain to 12 AM. Picket firing & cannon an our right all day. Regt. relieved at sunset. Clearing up.
16, The regt. went to Bethel Church to support the relieving of pickets ½ mile from the R. R.
17, clears little doing in front today.
18 April clear. 6 PM the regt. goes on pickets Cos. B, C & G on post. Posts relieved after dark. J. L. McDaniel,154 P. Hammersmith155 & myself occupy one rifle pit, the 8th from the right. The pits are dug to form the 1/4 of a circle & 4 feet deep & about 800 yards from the enemy's picket line. Only a few cannon fired today.
19 April Sunday, The pickets on both sides shoot a heap. Co. B very little since 7 AM, the distance is too great. Nearly all the enemy's balls fall short. The shots average about 300 per hour. 6 PM we can see the enemy's camps & hear their bands playing nearly all the time. They seem to have an inveterate love for drums as they beat them all the time. They sent a few balls at our rifle pits, 1 man in Co. G wounded. We were relieved after dark & returned to camp.
20, Marched down the Nansemond River to support the lines & bivouaced 2 miles from camp.
21, 2 or 3 shells fell near us. Returned to camp.
22, cloudy. 6 PM the regt. went on picket & sent out 5 men for trench work. I was on that detail, We could do little work in the dark among the roots & briars. Rain set in & we quit work.
rain hard. Returned to camp by 8 PM. Rutledge & J. Cox156
rain. 6 PM formed line, did not move. Orders cook rations & be
ready to move in the morning.
25 Saturday, The regt. went on picket, Cos. A & B on post. The new pits on the right were dug. Corp. J. H. Nance, S. Pierce,157 R. Byrn,158 W. Cowan159 & myself occupy the right hand pit. It is nearly out of sight of the enemy being hid by high ground in front.
26 Sunday, clear, pleasant. Very little firing compared with last Sunday. Last night the Yankey band discoursed fine music for us, from their cheering they have good news or a merry time. PM several columns of dark smoke arose from the Yankey camps, they must be burning out something, perhaps one of their old camps. Our boys are learning to cook good bread without skillets or pots. They bake it on sticks and boards. There is no telling what they won't learn before the war ends.
27 Monday, pleasant. 4 PM moved our camp about 400 yards farther forward to a beautiful pine grove, small pines, old field. Put up our shelter tents & cooked 3 days rations by 12 PM. We have but 3 skillets in the company. Clouding up. T. J. Duncan returned.
28 Tuesday, rain. The regt. sent to make abatize in front of our rifle pits on the road. Rained so hard the work stopped.
29 cloudy. 6 PM the regt. went on picket. Just as it got to the R. R. a heavy rain came on & lasted all night so we had a hard time of it as the enemy shelled our fires but done no harm although some came very close.
30 Thursday, rain all day till near night. Clearing. Mustered & returned to bivouac.
1st May Friday, clear. PM preparing for general inspection, Heavy musketry & cannon fire along the picket line as if the enemy were making an advance. We remained under arms in line till sunset fully expecting to be called to the front.
2 May, Saturday, clear. General inspection. Ordered keep ready to move at any moment.
3, clear. PM moved to support a battery on the Southside R. R. At sunset Cos. A, B, F & I went on picket at the usual place to relieve the 11th Miss. regt. Our pickets & the Yankeys are very intimate today, they agreed not to fire on each other. Some met halfway to talk & swap newspapers & c. The 11th Miss. regt. report that the heavy firing on the first was caused by the 49th New York regt., Irish. Their time expiring on the 2nd the officers promised to sent them home the next day if they would charge our pickets & drive our men out of the pits then occupied by the 55th North Carolina of our brigade, who gave them what they came for, killing 40 & wounding 120 so the surgeon of the Yank regt. whom our pickets took prisoner that night said. When we went into the pits the orders were not to take off any of our things. The enemy kept shelling our lines all night. At 12 PM we were quietly taken off the line & at 12 1/2 marched quickly for South Quay. I formed part of the rear guards about 400 yards behind the regt. We marched all night & although the moon was full it was hard travelling because the roads were generally very bad & these were obstructed by our men felling trees everywhere to prevent pursuit. I doubt if the enemy will find that our army has fallen back before day on the 4th. It is very well managed & they will not follow us fast, at least by the road.
4 May Monday, We marched all night without resting & crossed the bridge at South Quay at 9 AM & rested till 2 PM & crossed the Nansemond River on the pontoon bridge & drew & cooked 2 days rations. 9 PM marched to our camp on Blackwater 20 miles off. We marched all night. Many fell out of line, about 150 of us reached camp about 5 1/2 AM. Laid down & rested a while (5 May Monday)& all went down to the river, washed & put on clean clothes. My feet are quite sore & my right knee stiff. It got hurt last night in a mudhole. The mud being soft looked in the dark like a piece of hard road. Stepping, the first thing I knew I was wallowing in the mud 2 feet deep. This is the hardest march the regt. has yet made, 43 miles in 1 1/2 nights & 1 day, 29 hours time & most of the road badly cut by wagons & artillery. 5 PM hard rain during the night. 3 regiments of Jenkins'160 brigade & 3 batteries of artillery marched all night in the storm, & moved from Franklin to help us, it being reported to them that the Yankeys had crossed the river here & used us up badly. They made their journey for nothing as our scouts report no enemy within 15 miles of us. Rain, cold & bad all day.
7 & 8. cold & disagreeable.
9, do. Made out payrolls. Co. B on picket
10 & 11, clear & pleasant.
12 May, clear & pleasant. Cos. K & L on picket.
13, Co. B on picket. 5 AM Yank cavalry about 20 strong made a dash at our advance picket, 2 cavalrymen. They captured one & dashed after the other but on nearing the post he turned into the woods to open the way for our men to shoot. They killed 2 horses & about 3 PM one of their men came in & surrendered. He is a genuine New York State man & seems satisfied with the war. This is his first experience under fire. He thinks it doubtful if the United States (yanks) will elect a President if the war ends.
14, cloudy. Moved our camp nearer the river. The place is not as good as the one we left. W. McD. Cockran returned from furlough.
15 Friday, clear. Our scouts brought in 3 Yank cavalrymen & horses they captured near Carsville. Our scouts get all the military property they capture. So far this season they have got over $12,000 worth of property. Today I built a brick oven, turning the arch over half a barrel.
4 AM marched without rations toward ___ 6 miles & stopped at ___. Moved
on & got 4 miles from ___ 161 & stopped
to rest & wait for orders. Clear day. Cannonading in the direction
of Beaverdam Church as yesterday but no information
as to the affair. 10 PM the boys we went back to cook & bring in rations came in & report my oven works finely.
17, sunny & clear. AM returned to camp. On arrival we found our scouts yesterday captured 1 captain of artillery, 1 surgeon & 1 private & 3 fine horses from Genl. Peck's command 4 miles from Suffolk. The regular scouts from the 2nd Miss. are Sergt. Jim Gambrell, Co. I; I. Nooker, Co. H; W. L. Nooner,162 A. Richie163 of Co. B. They get additional help when they need it. They make many bold dashes. They operate on foot entirely & are a terror to small parties of the enemy. Since on this post lately they have captured 4 Yanks & 5 negroes on the Nansemond River, May 3; 9 Yanks & horses on the borders of N. C. May 14; 3 men & 3 horses ___.164 Killed 5 Yanks at various times & wounded 3 or more. 11 AM regt. inspection. After inspection the regt. went to the river & took a swim.
18 May Monday, clear. My oven works well & with practice its use will be ne plus ultra. The regt. draws pay today.
19, The scouts brought in 3 Yankey prisoners & 4 horses with trappings.
20, The scouts brought in 1 cavalry horse. Day warm.
1 Yankey deserter came in.
22, 2 PM the regt. & 2 pieces of Bradford's Battery165 made a reconnaissance in force toward Windsor. Made 4 miles & found the enemy in force. Part of Co. B deployed as skirmishers, report 3 or 5 Yanks killed. Co. A lost 1 man (I. Land). Road loose & sandy. Returned to camp at sunset.
23, Cos. A & B on picket. PM 2 pieces of artillery came to our post & took position, supported by 1 company from 55th N. C. Done I suppose to guard against any flank movement the enemy might make to the advance of our brigade which I learn has crossed the river & gone in the same direction we went yesterday.
24, Clear & very hot. 25, cool, cloudy & hazy.
26 to 1 June, clear & pleasant. The breastworks here are being remodelled & made over again. I assist in superintending the work. Reports the enemy has fallen back from Suffolk to Deep Creek toward Norfolk & fortifying so it will require fewer men to guard their lines. I think we will move soon in some direction or other. Swimming & fishing is the order of the day. There are more orchards in this part of the country than any I have been in. It is the land of apple brandy which is one of its chief staples. Corn, wheat & oats look well.
2 June, 1863, ordered to cook 3 days rations & prepare to move. Cos. A & B on picket. 9 PM rain. Tents all taken down & wagons loaded.
3, 3 AM reveille$ 5 AM rain. Marched 5 miles to Ivor station on the P. & N. R. R. 3 PM took the cars for Petersburg which we reached at 5 PM, 35 miles. Marched 1 1/2 miles east & bivouaced. A hard rain came up during the night.
4 June, clear. 8 AM marched through Petersburg & took the road to Richmond. Day pleasant, crops looking fine. Farms good, land tolerable. By sunset reached 2 miles from Richmond, 23 miles travel today. A good many stragglers. Bivouaced in an old field. Night cloudy but no rain.
5, 8 AM marched through Richmond & took the road to our old camp & stopped at Brook Church. Bivouaced 4 miles from Richmond. 9 AMl rain. Drew 3 days cooked rations.
6, 4 AM. returned to R. & took the cars at Central R. R. depot. Day clear & pleasant. At Hanover Junction our train took the Fredericksburg R. R. Our whole brigade is along. Reached Hamilton Crossing166 at 3 PM & bivouaced on the hill adjoining. From this point we have a fine view of the valley & the works of the enemy on the other side of the river. Rain all night.
7, clear & cool. The rest of the brigade came up at 7 PM. The brigade moved to the front line & to the left, about 1 1/2 miles from the city.167
8, Clear & cool. The enemy's pickets on our right in plain view of our line.
9 June, The enemy have recrossed the river in our front & are throwing up some new works. Weather warm & the roads dusty. Our present location is not pleasant for us as we are in the open field & no shade. 10 & 11, the same.
13, rain. 14 Sunday, the enemy has entirely left this side of the river & all their tents on the other side are gone. From the noise they made crossing the pontoon bridges last night we expected an attack. They left part of their pontoons on the river. Their pickets are all an the other side of the river. Ordered to prepare to move. 7 AM marched to where the regt. camped 15 months ago. Day clear & hot. Cos. A & B on picket near the river opposite Falmouth. The enemy's pickets just across the river. Night clear.
15, The enemy has fallen back from Falmouth this morning. Only a few Yankeys prowling about. 10 AM several big columns of smoke on the other side of the river. I have been suffering for several days with a large boil on my thigh so it is hard for me to walk. 1 PM ordered to move on the plank road to Culpeper. We passed the battlefield of Chancellorsville. The breastworks hastily thrown up at that time & the timber & shrubs still show plainly the effect of the shot, more so than any battlefield I ever saw. Made about 12 to 14 miles & camped.
16, Took up line of march, day clear & warm. Crossed the Rapidan on a footbridge. Made 13 miles & camped at 1 PM, drew 3 days cooked rations.
17, Continued our march, made 14 miles, passing through Culpeper 2 miles & camped about 1 PM. Day clear & warm.
18, Marched at sunrise taking the road to Winchester. We crossed Hazel Run & a branch of the Rappahanrock; after crossing the first stream we had to go up a quite steep & rough hill. The sun being very hot caused many men to give out & rest at the first shade, all much to the blame of the commanding officers who should have rested the men at the first opportunity & not marched them over a mile after reaching the top of the hill. At least 500 men gave out in the 1/2 mile. Several reported died on the march. The general orders are march 50 minutes & rest 10. That is all right perhaps but time & place may profitably modify the rule. We made about 14 miles & bivouaced in a wood. 5 PM heavy rain. I gave out at the top of the hill.
19, Marched at sunrise, passed through Sperryville & stopped to bivouac 7 miles from Front Royal. Made 27 miles today. Rain nearly all night. Cooked rations.
20 June, 6 AM marched on through Front Royal, waded the north branch hip deep & warm. It was a laughable sight to see so many crossing the river all in high spirits. The day was cloudy, misty, & c, a drizzling fog & rain on the mountain. We crossed the river at 12 AM, at 2 PM while at rest a heavy rain came up & we all got as wet as if we had been dipped in the river. Went on 2 miles & bivouaced on a hill on the west of the road 15 miles to Winchester. Made 12 miles today.
21 June Sunday, 4 AM marched to 9 miles of Winchester & took the pike road on our right, marched 3 1/2 miles to Berry's Ferry & went as far as Whitepost. There we took the road toward Berryville 5 miles & bivouaced. Made 12 miles today.
22, clear & pleasant. Our scouts returned from Fredericksburg region & with 4 Virginians' help took 19 prisoners & report the Yankeys have all left that part of the country & Aquia Creek after destroying all their army stores. Remained in camp all day.
23 Tuesday, cloudy & pleasant. At 11 AM took up line of march toward Berryville & through it to 3 miles of Charlestown & bivouaced in the samd wood we did on our way from Harpers Ferry to Winchester in 1861. We cooked 1 days rations on sticks.
24 June Wednesday, Marched at 6 AM to Charlestown. The people seemed glad to see us. Here we took the road to Sheppardstown. We can plainly see several Yankey camps on the Maryland Heights, reported to be 10,000 strong. Camped 2 miles from Sheppardstown.
25 Thursday, clear & warm. 5 AM marched 3 miles & waded the Potomac River hip deep. Most of the men took off all their clothing carrying them & their arms & accoutrements on their shoulders and heads. It presented a lively scene. The current was swift & the rocky bottom made it hard on the feet. We crossed it 1 mile below Sheppardstown. We marched through Sharpsburg & the battlefield. This part of the country is much like the Shenandoah valley but the people especially the women I saw are very ugly. We moved on to Hagerstown 11 miles, making 17 miles today. Went to the town to get boots but the stores were all closed.
26 June Friday. Marched at 9 AM toward Waynesboro, Pa. Made 12 miles & stopped to bivouac 2 miles from Waynesboro. Rain all day. Country fine, houses & barns good. The crops look well. The people refuse to sell anything to the soldiers but give them milk, bread, butter & c. They show little fear of being damaged by our troops. The country is very hilly, the roads all turnpikes.
27 Saturday, 5 AM marched to Funkstown168 7 miles, to Fayetteville 5 miles & 1 mile to the bivouac making 16 miles today. The people refuse Confederate money. Camp is in the mountains on the road to Baltimore. The people seem quite friendly & come out to see us.
28 Sunday, cloudy & warm. Remained in camp all day. Our commissaries & quartermasters are gathering horses, beef cattle from the people in great numbers. Some of our men forage after chickens, eggs, butter, vegetables, apple butter, Honey & c, in a few cases doubtless get what they should not, but at worst nothing to compare with the brutality the enemy used in our part of the country.169 It is bad policy & contrary to orders for our men to disturb private citizens in any manner & any citizen is to be furnished with a guard if desired. Besides this foraging business is very demoralizing to soldiers.
29 June Monday. 11, marched on the Baltimore road 8 miles & camped on a mountain overlooking a beautiful valley, From camp we can see Gettysburg & several villages. Cashtown is on the pike at the foot of the mountain. Quartermasters & commissary masters are still getting in stores, horses &c & sending them to the rear.
Tuesday, Rain all day. Remained in camp all day. 6 PM the regt. went
out 5 miles south on picket. It rained all night. The night was very dark.
Here my journal ends its days. For future see book commencing July 1.
What follows I write from memory as the book I just named was never written.
1st July Wednesday, clear, The regt. returned from picket at 7 AM & stopped a short time to rest at Cashtown & get the rations cooked by those we left in camp. About 9 AM marched toward Gettysburg. We had no idea of a battle yet until we crossed a small bridge. We were halted, taken through the manual of arms by Col. Stone, arms inspected & ordered to load at will. As we approached the town we went through a wheatfield on the right of the road to support a battery, soon after moved to the left of the pike. Sent out a skirmish line & moved forward, going over many plank fences - hard work for me, who was gaulded badly by the march. About 1/2 mile from the town we met the enemy, the 16th New York170 being the first we met. We were in a clover field on high ground, they in a corn field 100 yards off in the hollow. We soon annihilated them, so one of their sergeants afterward told me, for we drove the remnant of them back. They fought well & fell mostly on the line they occupied. Passing their lines we pushed on & saw a brass battery171 advance to open fire on us but before they could unlimber we killed or wounded every man and horse but one, who galloped off. While preparing to go after the guns we saw a Yankey division which had captured Pettigrew's brigade172 on our right advancing. An old railroad cut on our right our men thought would prove a good breastwork but it was too deep & in changing front the men were tangled up & confused. Here we lost a number of men. I did not go into the cut, seeing its danger, & I cautioned all I could to get out by the right flank. Some did, but those on the left were surrounded by Major Blair. Those of us who got out of the difficulty fell back. Others of our troops came up in time & we gained that day's battle, but the regt. was reduced fearfully.
2nd July Thursday, We were moved about 1 mile to the right of yesterday's battle & rested all day, gathering arms & c. From our bivouac we could see the battlefield of this day. I was struck on the head by a glancing ball which addled me for the rest of the day so I did no more that day. Col. Stone was hurt & disabled by a piece of shell.
3 July Friday, clear. About 7 AM the remnant of our regt. - 60 guns strong - marched to the battlefield & after the cannon ceased firing we joined in making the last grand charge which was so disastrous to our army. We were on the right of Genl. Heath's173 command & were in the thickest of the fight, where we lost all our men but one, either killed, wounded or captured.174 I was badly wounded & in time was sent to David Island hospital near New York where I remained till November & returned to Richmond for exchange. Was furloughed, returned home for a year, & returned to the army at Petersburg.
[ After the battle of Gettysburg the Second Mississippi recrossed the Potomac at Falling Water and moved south to Orange Court House, where it was stationed on September 1, 1863. On October 14 it suffered severely in a skirmish at Bristoe Station, and later went into winter quarters along the Rapidan River.
battle of the Wilderness, May 5-7, 1864, Heath's division, of which the
Second was a part, withstood a heavy Federal attack until the arrival of
Longstreet's Corps, and took part in the defense of Spotsylvania on May
12-18 and of Cold Harbor an June 3. The casualties of the Second Mississippi
at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor were 24 killed and 107
wounded. The losses of Company B, especially at the Wilderness, were higher
in proportion than those of the regiment. In late July the brigade
was moved to Petersburg, where it was stationed when Vairin returned.]
The following is from the journal
I kept on my return. I omit my travels & c. & close
with my detail to guard forage at Stony Creek & Hatfield.
13 August 1864. 4 AM at Richmond, Va. We went to the cars, reached the terminus of the R. R. 2 miles from Petersburg, walked to town where we met some of the 2nd Miss. boys. L. McDonald175 went to the regt., I to the brigade hospital 1 mile out on the Weldon R. R. Saw Dr. Holt & some of the boys. At sunset started to go to the regt. but the bombs & shells flew so thick & fast, & learning the brigade was moving, we were advised by the guard to return to the hospital camps which we did.
14. 9 AM went to the regt. & stayed there until about 2 PM & returned to hospital camp to get up papers to go before the board of surgeons for retirement. The boys are all well & hearty with few exceptions.
15, 16, nothing worth noting. Jim Hovis returned.176
17, The brigade is moved out of the works.
18, 10 AM Joe Davis' brigade moved on the Weldon Railroad to meet the enemy. Action commenced at 3, 1 1/2 miles from our breastworks. The following are the wounded from the neighborhood of Ripley: Maj. J. H. Buchanan, little finger shot off; Lt. Col. J. A. Blair, in leg, no bones broken; J. W. Wilson, Co. D, arm & side; W. L. Neely, Co. L, left foot amputated; Lt. Thomas Story, Co. L. right arm; J. A. McAllister, Co. L, right arm; J. F. Booker, Co. F, right breast, slight; W. L. Cooper, Co. D, right am & shoulder; Sgt. P. E. Eddings, Co. B. gunshot wound through calf of left leg. 2nd Miss. regt. had 3 killed.177 Brigade returned at night to its position.
19 August, rain all day. PM the brigade went out again as yesterday at 4 PM into action. Killed from about Ripley, T. Robinson, Co. L; wounded, D. Hill, Co. B, left breast, slight; A. Norton, in both hands; Sergt. N. Bennet. The regt. had 2 killed & 12 wounded today. Not being able to do duty in the field I stayed at the camp hospital.
20, 21, 22, 23, 24, nothing notable.
25 August. I went before the Board of Surgeons for retirement. My application was disapproved. A battle was fought this morning about Reams Station on the Weldon R. R. Cook's & Kershaw's brigades of Heath's division charged the Yankey breastworks carrying all before them. We took about 3000 prisoners & 9 pieces of artillery.178
26, day clear. PM saw 1700 Yankey prisoners of war & 7 of their flags pass on the road.
27 & 28. Jim Hovis left for home. Clear & pleasant.
29. I reported to the regt. in the ditches. I can do shooting but cannot march. I mess with Lt. Byrn, Wm. Byrn,179 A. Talbot. Our post is about 150 mile from Butler's blowup.180 We form a mere skirmish line behind our works. The men are about 10 feet apart in line.
30 & 31, nothing unusual, generally clear.
Sept. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9. nothing unusual.
10. Last night about 2 AM the enemy drove in the pickets on the right of Genl. Finigan's brigade on our right & took some of their rifle pits which were retaken shortly after. In retaking the pits Finigan's men took about 50 prisoners. There were they say 12 to 15 Yanks in some of the pits. The enemy's pits in that part of the line are not over 30 yards from ours, so they are in close quarters on both sides. They dare not show themselves to each other.
11. Much sharpshooting on our front.
12 Sept., Much sharpshooting on our front.
13. Genl. Lee, Col. Stone & Capt. Walker181 & others were looking over our works when a sharpshooter shot Capt. W., killing him about 9 AM.
14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, sharpshooting every day & night more or less.
21. Tom J. Duncan of Co. B wounded in the rifle pits & Wm. Jones of Co. F killed in the same place.
22, as usual.
23. Tom J. Duncan died this morning about 4 AM at hospital camp. No picket firing on our front last night.
24, 25, 26, 27, 28, as usual, We have a long ditch leading from our works to get to the rear safely.
29. 5 PM orders to cook 2 days rations & move out this evening. We move 1/2 mile to the rear & I was sent to the Division Camp hospital. The enemy frequently shoot very large shells into Petersburg & do some damage to some buildings but the people are getting used to it so they don't mind & the little boys watch for them to fall & if they don't explode they take out the powder & sell it.
30 Sept., rain. The brigade moved off to the right. The Brigade Hospital went along. Heavy firing off on our right. PM heavy musketry on the left of our old place & much sharpshooting along that front. Considerable movement of troops to the right.
1 October 1864. Rain all day, heavy musketry & cannonading off on our right four or five times during the day. Davis' brigade engaged 6 PM. Have not heard the result of the fight on the right.
2. L. Guyton182 was killed on the skirmish line left to guard some works while the brigade was moved 3 miles farther. So far the regt. has had 3 killed & 20 wounded & Co. B has had none badly wounded.
3, 4, 5 & 6, nothing unusual.
7. Went to town. Things seem very quiet around the place. Weather clear, cool & windy.
8, 9, 10, nothing.
11, went to the regt. 3 miles SW of Petersburg.
12, 13, 14, clear, white frost.
15. Several of us attended the 2nd Miss. Masonic Lodge.
16, 17, 18, 19, 20, nothing unusual.
21. The weather so far is clear & pleasant for the season. White frosts nearly every morning. The breastworks in our front are good & fronted with palisades & abatis. The enemy on our front is about 1 1/2 miles off. We hear their brass bands every day. Our pickets are 1/2 mile in front. Several of our men complain that they cannot see at night. On examination they are found to be getting night-blinded so that they cannot serve on night duty.
22, 23, 24, nothing unusual.
25. 6 1/2 AM the brigade moved 1 1/2 mile to the right of the place where Genl. McGowan's brigade was. The breastworks are as good as those we left. Land flat.
26. Nothing unusual.
27, cloudy. About daylight picket firing on our right front. 7 AM our brigade moved to the right. As I could not travel well the Colonel told me to take charge of the cooking vessels & have them put in wagons if they came. They were taken to the brigade commissary 1/2 mile in rear. Heavy firing on the right along our works about 10 AM. It seems to me the enemy have flanked our works for the firing is more in rear of them than I fancy. PM my idea I find is correct. The enemy passed up Hatchers Run or creek bottom at the end of our works & captured some cavalry & horses but they gain no advantage by it for it throws them with our line of infantry on their right & our cavalry on their left. So we have them front & rear. The 2nd Miss. had 2 men killed, E. Hooker of Co. H, scout, & G. Estes, Co. A. Only 2 or 3 wounded. PM rain, rain all night. McLaws' brigade183 captured 3 or 4 stands of Yankey colors. A. Talbot had his eyes filled with sand by a ball striking the breastworks.184
28 Oct. Some picket firing along the line of yesterday. The brigade wagons are ordered to the rear 3 miles & then returned to the place they occupied on the 25th. We met several brigades returning to Petersburg & about 200 Yankey prisoners.
29. The brigade returned to the position of the 27th & I returned to the regt.
30 Oct., clear & pleasant.
1, 2 & 3 November, rain & nothing else.
4 & 5. clear & windy. 6 & 7. rain & wind.
8, cloudy, PM I was ordered to report to Major Reed, Brigade Quartermaster with 2 other men & I go to Stony Creek to guard forage. It was dark before we left camp & raining. We had to go 3 miles to get to Major Reed's headquarters.
About 7 AM we got on a wagon & started for Stony Creek, 28 miles off.
The driver missed the road several times. We reached Stony Creek Station
on the Petersburg & Weldon R. R. & camped at our post, a large
lot of fodder, about 120 bales, some good & some bad. I never saw the
[The Second Mississippi remained
in the Petersburg defenses throughout the winter of 1864-65, losing some
of its few remaining men in a series of skirmishes in January and February
1865. On April 2, after the Petersburg defenses had been broken and the
Confederates were retiring westward, nearly all of the remnant of Company
B and many others of the regiment were captured at Sutherland Station.
Only a handful were left to be surrendered at Appomattox.]
1. Mrs. C. A. Green was the wife of a large landowner whose place about three miles southeast of Ripley, still known as the "Green Old Fields", was a favorite site for militia reviews before the war.
2. Wife of a prominent merchant of Ripley. The Cole family moved to Colorado after the war.
3. The camp was at or near the present village of Camp Hill, on U. S. Highway 72 in Benton County, Mississippi. It is about 10 miles by road southeast of Saulsbury.
4. Now the Memphis-Chattanooga line of the Southern Railway System. Saulsbury is 58 miles east of Memphis and 35 miles west of Corinth.
5. The Confederate camps at Corinth were north of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad and east of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad, outside the town as it was in 1861 but mostly within the present corporate limits. The northern and eastern extent of the camps may be traced roughly from still existing Confederate entrenchments. The exact site of the camp of the Second Mississippi is not known.
6. David Embry was not a member of Co. B. He later enlisted, on Dec. 9, 1861, in the Tippah Rifles, 4th Mississippi Volunteers, a regiment of 60-day troops. He was discharged January 14, 1862.
7. Miss McB cannot now be identified.
8. The "Gaston Institute", better known as Corona College, was a well-known school for girls founded in 1857 by Rev. L. B. Gaston. It occupied a handsome three-story brick building in the southern part of Corinth, which was used at various times during the war as a headquarters building or hospital and was burned in January 1864. The site, still known as "College Hill", is a short distance southwest of the intersection of S. Highways 45 and 72 at Corinth.
9. William D. Beck was a planter, prominent in politics, who in 1860 had been a Major General of Militia. He was wounded at first Manassas but remained with his company. At the reorganization of April 1862 he was defeated for re-election and returned to his home at Salem, Mississippi.
10. H. H. (Hand) Powers enlisted in the O'Connor Rifles as a private and was on duty in the Commissary from May 9 to May 28, 1861. On November 18, 1861, he transferred to Company F (the Magnolia Guards) and the same day was elected Second Lieutenant. On December 3 he was made captain in place of Wm. L. Davis, resigned, and was re-elected at the reorganization of April 1862. He was slightly wounded at Malvern Hill, July 1, 1862. From November 6 to 18, 1862, he served as Judge Advocate for a court martial of Longstreet's Corps. He was wounded on July 3, 1863, at Gettysburg and captured on July 7 near Williamsport. He was exchanged March 4. 1865 and returned to Mississippi, where he gave his parole at Meridian on May 9.
11. Although Vairin refers to the O'Connor Rifles as Company B, and the Magnolia Guards as Company F in his entry of April 30, it seems clear that the letter designations were not given until the units arrived at Corinth.
12. Walter J. Bennett was 25 years old and gave his occupation as "merchant" when he enlisted. On June 20, 1861, he was detailed as "private secretary" to Gen. Bee and after Bee's death at first Manassas remained on the staff of Gen. Whiting, Bee's successor. On November 6, 1862, he was detached as clerk in the office of the Assistant Adjutant and Inspector General's office of Whiting's North Carolina command and never rejoined the Second Mississippi. He was captured while on furlough near Ripley, Miss. on January 22, 1865 and was paroled June 11, 1865.
13. E. N. Hunt, or Dr. E. Newton Hunt, was a physician 25 years of age when he enlisted as a private. He was appointed orderly in the hospital May 21, 1861 and was made Assistant Surgeon June 30. On Jan. 14, 1863, he was appointed Hospital Steward and stationed at the General Military Hospital No. 3 at Goldsboro, N. C., where he remained until the end of fighting in that area.
14. Only the 50 men of the original O'Connor Rifles had uniforms when the company was sent to Corinth.
15. William C. Falkner was born in 1825 and moved to Ripley about 1842. During the War with Mexico he served as First Lieutenant of Co. E, 2nd Mississippi Infantry. A lawyer by profession, he was Brigadier General of Mississippi Militia in 1862. He largely recruited Co. F, the Magnolia Guards, and was captain of that company when he was elected Colonel of the Second Mississippi.
16. Bentley B. Boone, a lawyer 29 years old in 1861, lived at Jacinto, the now extinct county seat of Tishomingo County, Miss., about six miles east of the present town of Rienzi. He was Captain of Company A, the Tishomingo Rifles, when he was elected Lieutenant Colonel. He was wounded at first Manassas, captured, and sent to Old Capitol Prison, Washington. On November 13, 1861 he was paroled pending exchange and sent home. The noted Confederate spy, Rose Greenhow, asked him to take some papers to Richmond when he was released, but he refused to do so on the ground that his doing so would violate his parole. He resigned Jan. 29, 1862, on the ground of ill health.
17. David Humphreys was Second Lieutenant of the original O'Connor Rifles. He was elected Lieutenant Colonel at the reorganization of April 1862, and was killed in action July 1, 1863, at Gettysburg.
18. Joseph J. Guyton was 21 years of age when he enlisted and gave his occupation as "druggist." He served as Quartermaster Sergeant until Feb. 16, 1862, when he was appointed Adjutant in place of H. L. B. Hovis, resigned. At the reorganization of 1862 he was succeeded by S. S. Owen, and returned to his home in Mississippi. In August 1862, he was appointed Captain and A. C. S. and served in that rank until Falkner's resignation.
19. Dr. John Y. Murry, 31 years old in 1861, had served as Sheriff of Tippah County while studying and practicing medicine. His appointment as Surgeon apparently was a private arrangement with Col. Falkner which, as Vairin tells later, the Confederate Medical Bureau refused to recognize. Dr. Murry returned to Ripley where, on Feb. 25, 1862, he was elected Captain of the Tippah Rangers, later Co. A of the 34th Mississippi infantry. On May 15 of that year he was made Assistant Surgeon of that regiment.
20. H. L. B. Hovis, usually known as Lawson Hovis, was 35 years old in 1861. During the war with Mexico he was a private in Battery K, Third U. S. Artillery. He joined briefly in the California gold rush of 1849 before moving about 1852 to Ripley, where he operated a carriage shop. He was First Lieutenant of the original O'Connor Rifles and apparently preferred that post to the Adjutancy, which he resigned in the fall of 1861. He was not re-elected at the reorganization of 1862 and returned to Ripley. When the First Mississippi Partisan Rangers were organized there in August 1862, he was first Captain of Co. B. then Lieutenant Colonel. He was captured at Ripley on January 29, 1863, and exchanged in June of the same year. He then took field command of the regiment, and was mortally wounded at Moscow, Tenn. on Dec. 3, 1863. He died near Rocky Ford, Miss., March 26, 1864.
21. The Eleventh Mississippi was brigaded with the Second throughout the war.
22. Hugh R. Miller, 49 years old in 1861, was a lawyer by profession and captain of Co. G, the Pontotoc Minute Men. He was defeated for re-election at the reorganization of 1862, but upon his return to Mississippi was elected Colonel of the newly organized 42nd Mississippi in April of that year. He was killed in action at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863.
23. John A. Blair was a lawyer 25 years old when he enlisted in the Iuka Rifles, later Co. K, as a private. He was slightly wounded at first Manassas and on April 22, 1862, at the reorganization, was elected Major. On July 1, 1863, he was captured at Gettysburg. After being exchanged on March 1, 1864, he returned to duty on July 6 and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. He was wounded at Reams Station on August 18, 1864, and again near Petersburg on December 22. He commanded the regiment during much of the fighting around Petersburg in 1865 and on April 3 was captured when the Federals broke through the defenses. He was released June 18, 1865, and after the war practiced law in Tupelo, Miss.
24. Stevenson, where the regiment changed to the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad (now the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis), is 178 miles east of Corinth and 38 miles southwest of Chattanooga.
25. This accident to John M. Moore, a boy of 18, kept him in the hospital for several months. He was made corporal early in 1863, and was killed at Spotsylvania, May 12, 1864.
26. New Albany, Miss., now in Union County, was then on the northern edge of Pontotoc County, which adjoined Tippah to the south. The two companies mentioned cannot be identified.
27. The regiment travelled over the East Tennessee & Georgia Railroad from Chattanooga to Knoxville, and the East Tennessee & Virginia Railroad from Knoxville to Bristol. Both these lines are now part of the Southern Railway System. From Bristol to Lynchburg the route was over the Virginia Tennessee Railroad, now part of the Norfolk & Western lines.
28. Colonel Falkner was noted for his ability as an orator and often, as on this trip, was called upon to "Make a speech."
29. Co. K, the Iuka Rifles, and Co. H, the Conewah Rifles.
30. Now Bedford.
31. John Marshall Stone was station agent for the Memphis & Charleston Railroad at Iuka when he was elected captain of the Iuka Rifles, Co. K. At the reorganization of April 1862 he defeated Falkner for the colonelcy and commanded the Second Mississippi for the remainder of the war. He was wounded at Sharpsburg and Gettysburg, and at the battle of the Wilderness in May 1864, while commanding Davis' brigade. Was commended by Major General Heth for his leadership. Early in 1865 he was furloughed home and was returning to his command when Lee surrendered at Appomattox. He then joined Gen. J. E. Johnston's army, and surrendered at Salisbury, N. C. on April 12. Upon returning home he entered politics and served as Governor of Mississippi from 1876 to 1882 and again from 1890 to 1896. In 1899 he was elected President of Mississippi A. & M. (now Mississippi State) College, succeeding Stephen D. Lee. He died March 2, 1890.
32. Gray, 54 years old at the time, had been pastor of the Ripley Presbyterian Church since about 1840. He served as Chaplain from May 1 until the middle of July. Apparently his appointment (like that of Dr. J. Y. Hurry as Surgeon) was a private arrangement with Col. Falkner which the authorities refused to recognize, and as late as June 1862 Mr. Gray was still attempting to collect the "pecuniary compensation" due him.
33. This was probably Vairin's first experience with Falkner's spiral movement" as described by Rev. T. D. Witherspoon (who succeeded Gray as Chaplain) and published in the G. M. & N. News, November 27, 1925. The regiment was formed in column of fours, in full parade dress and under arms, with the band a few paces in front. As the column came opposite the Chaplain's "stand" the head of the unit described the circumference of a circle, just large enough to allow the head and rear of the column to overlap a little. At the point of overlapping the head of the column was deflected a little to the left so as to come alongside the rear of the column and thus moving forward, keeping just within light touch of the moving column on the right, the whole regiment was "wound up" like the mainspring of a watch or the coil of a serpent, until the head of the column reached the center and the entire command stood completely coiled around. To "unwind", the men were faced about, and the movement was repeated in reverse. Aside from a few camp stools for "field and staff", no seats were provided and the man soon took a hearty dislike to the entire scheme. Mr. Witherspoon prevailed upon Col. Falkner to abolish it - at least as far as church services were concerned - in the fall of 1861.
34. J. T. Buchanan, 20 years old, was listed as a "physician"; most likely he was studying medicine under a local "preceptor". He served as hospital steward until June 22, 1861, and after the battle of Manassas was sent to Charlottesville in the same capacity. He was made 5th Sergeant on April 30, 1862, but on June 15 was detailed to Lynchburg as hospital steward. Later he was transferred to the hospital at Goldsboro, N. C., where he remained until the hospital was closed in the spring of 1865.
35. The regiment travelled over the Orange & Alexandria Railroad from Lynchburg to Charlottesville, the Virginia Central Railroad from Charlottesville to Gordonsville, the Orange & Alexandria Railroad from Gordonsville to Manassas and the Manassas Gap Railroad from Manassas to Strasburg. All the lines are now part of the Southern Railway System.
36. Gen. Winfield Scott, at that time Commander-in-Chief of the United States Army.
37. The Valley Turnpike, the general course of which is now followed by U. S. Highway 11.
38. Travel from Winchester to Harpers Ferry was over the Winchester & Potomac Railroad, now part of the Baltimore & Ohio System.
39. The Harpers Ferry Arsenal.
40. J. C. (Crutch) Lauderdale was a saddler by occupation, 28 years old. At this time he was 4th Sergeant of Co. B, but was elected First Lieutenant at the reorganization of 1862. He was wounded at Second Manassas, August 29, 1862, and was killed in action July 1, 1863, at Gettysburg.
41. William Lee Jackson, a farmer 23 years old, remained in the hospital throughout June, July and August. After his release he was detailed as regimental teamster. He was wounded early in 1865 and sent to Richmond hospital, where he was captured April 3. He was paroled May 8, 1865.
42. Allen G. Smith, 19 years old, was a member of the original O'Connor Rifles. He was killed at Second Manassas, August 30, 1862.
43. Andrew F. Fleming, 20 years old, was a clerk before entering the service. He was discharged for disability to Winchester, June 25, 1861.
44. Luther A. Richey was a clerk 21 years old when he enlisted. in 1862 he was made 5th Sergeant, and on August 14, 1863, was elected Brevet Second Lieutenant. He commanded the company over long periods in 1864 and 1865. He was wounded at Cold Harbor on June 10, 1864, and was captured at Hatcher's Run on April 2, 1865. When captured he broke his sword and threw it away rather than surrender it. He was paroled June 19, 1865.
45. Dr. J. T. Buchanan; Vairin often get initials wrong in his diary.
46. Dr. H. H. Hubbard was appointed Surgeon of the regiment by presidential order dated April 27 and assumed his duties May 15 with the rank of Major. He remained with the regiment until March 1863; there is no record of his later career.
47. Dr. Joseph J. Holt was appointed Assistant Surgeon, with the rank of Captain, on the date of Hubbard's appointment. He was promoted to Surgeon on June 1, 1864, to take rank from November 1, 1863. He remained with the regiment until Appomattox, where he was paroled April 9, 1865.
48. The reason for the selection of this date as a day of thanksgiving is not known.
49. John F. Booth, 37 years old and a physician, was captain of Co. _, the Calhoun Rifles. He resigned August 16, 1861, and was succeeded by Robert F. Bates.
50. General Joseph E. Johnston, commander of the "Army of the Shenandoah."
51. Johnson's withdrawal from Harpers Ferry was made to prevent this Federal army from marching up the Shenandoah Valley.
52. Falkner, as senior Colonel, took command of the newly formed brigade until the arrival of its designated commander, Brig. Gen. Bee. He was not promoted as Vairin thought.
53. An abbreviation of "Billy Rivers". a nickname of unknown origin for Quartermaster Sergeant J. J. Guyton.
54. Bernard Elliott Bee, a graduate of the Military Academy in 1845, was made Brigadier General on June 17 and took command of the Third Brigade of the Army of the Shenandoah on June 19. At the first battle of Manassas Bee, by his statement "There stands Jackson like a stone wall". gave Gen. Thomas J. Jackson the name by which he will be known forever. Bee was mortally wounded in the battle and died the next day, July 22, 1861.
55. The Model 1841, caliber 154 rifle is said to have received its name of "Mississippi Rifle" from its use by Jefferson Davis' First Mississippi Infantry during the war with Mexico. Another name for it was the "Yager" (hunting) rifle, not "derenger" as Vairin has it.
56. Gen Robert Patterson, commander of the Union forces in the Shenandoah Valley.
57. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson.
58. This unit has not been identified.
59. Major Gen. George B. McClellan at this time commanded the Department of the Ohio, which included Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and parts western Virginia and Pennsylvania.
60. Christopher H. Mott of Oxford, Miss. had been First Lieutenant of Co. I, First Mississippi Infantry, during the Mexican War. In January 1861 he was made Brigadier General in the Mississippi State Army, but resigned and recruited much of a regiment, later the 19th Mississippi, for Confederate service. Considered by his superiors an officer of great promise, he was killed at Williamsburg on May 5, 1862.
61. Thomas H. Nance, a farmer 24 years old, was wounded at the battle of Gaines Mill, June 27, 1862, and seriously wounded at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863. He was furloughed to his home near Ripley, where he died of his wounds on September 9, 1863.
62. The Reorganization Act was passed December 11, 1861. Under its terms men in the twelve-months regiments who re-enlisted for three years or the duration of the war were entitled to a bounty of $50.00 and a furlough of not more than 60 days. Another provision of the act was that units which re-enlisted were allowed to hold a new election of officers.
63. John H. Buchanan, at this time 41 years old, had served as a private in Co. E, Second Mississippi Infantry, during the Mexican War. He was elected Captain of the O'Connor Rifles at its organization. In May 1860, when the volunteer companies were placed in brigades, he was made commander of the First Battalion of the First Brigade of the First Regiment. He was wounded at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863 and captured at Greencastle on July 5. After his exchange on March 3. 1864, he was promoted to Major. He was again wounded at Reams Station on August 18, 1864, and the little finger of his left hand was amputated an August 20. While at home on furlough he ran for Sheriff of Tippah County and was elected October 3. On October 21 he resigned to take that position.
64. Orlando Davis was a prominent attorney of Ripley, and had been one of the signers of the Mississippi ordinance of Secession.
65. This 125 men included not only men of Co. B, but members of a new company, later designated Co. L, which had been recruited from southeastern Tippah County.
66. Now the Illinois Central. It crosses the Memphis & Charleston, now the Southern, at Grand Junction.
67. Brig. Gen. Adley H. Gladden.
68. The Philbricks were former residents of Ripley.
69. Major General Edmund Kirby Smith was commander of the Department Of East Tennessee and Brigadier General Samuel B. Maxey a brigade commander under him. Kirby Smith was attempting to assemble as many troops as possible at Corinth. He of course had no jurisdiction over the Second Mississippi.
70. The Ninth and Tenth Mississippi were the first regiments from the state to be received into Confederate service, having been mustered in at Mobile in March 1861. The Ninth, commanded by Col. Jas. R. Chalmers, served under Bragg at Pensacola and was then sent to Cumberland Gap, where its one-year term of enlistment expired. It did not re-enlist as a unit, but many of its men joined other regiments, among them one known for a time as the "New Ninth". Others joined Morgan's cavalry. The regiment contained two companies from Vairin's former home, Holly Springs - Co. B, the Home Guards, and Co. D, the Jeff Davis Rifles.
71. William G. Brownlow, a Methodist minister and newspaper editor of Knoxville, was the recognized leader of Unionist sentiment in East Tennessee. He was Governor of the State from 1865 to 1869, and United States Senator from 1869 to 1875.
72. The Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac. From Lynchburg the men had reached Richmond via the Southside Railroad, now part of the Norfolk & Western, and the Richmond & Danville, now part of the Southern Railway System.
73. Thomas J. Duncan, 28 years old and a cabinet-maker, soon got his sergeantcy back. He was captured July 1. 1863, at Gettysburg and sent to Point Lookout, Maryland, where in October he was hospitalized with smallpox. In December he escaped, was furloughed home, and returned to duty in March 1864. He died September 23, 1864, from wounds received near Petersburg.
74. Hugh L. Byrn was a clerk, 21 years old. At the reorganization he was elected Brevet Second Lieutenant. He was wounded and captured at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863, and was exchanged March 17, 1864. He commanded the company much of the time between March and October 5, when he was furloughed home. He did not return to Virginia, but was paroled at LaGrange, Tenn., May 31, 1865.
75. Brig. Gen. W. H. C. Whiting took command of the Third Brigade after Bee was mortally wounded at Manassas, and at this time was acting as division commander, his old brigade being commanded by Col. E. M. Law. In November 1862 Whiting was sent to Wilmington, N. C. He was wounded and captured during the final attack on Fort Fisher, January 5, 1865, and died of his wounds at Governor's Islands New York, March 10, 1865.
76. This was the first news the men received of the battle of Shiloh.
77. This election was thrown out and another held on April 21.
78. Allen Talbot was wounded at Second Manassas, and was detailed as ambulance driver in April 1863. In October of the same year he was detailed as brigade quartermaster. He remained with the regiment until Appomattox, where he was paroled April 9, 1865.
79. Co. L, the Liberty Guards, was mustered into service at Ripley on March 5, 1862, and Robert Storey was elected Captain on March 22. Storey, a farmer 38 years old and never in good health, died of disease in a Richmond hospital on July 2, 1863, and was succeeded by J. L. Henson. After the battle of Gettysburg Co. L was combined with Co. E, under the command of Henson.
80. Light Battery D. North Carolina State Troops, from Rowan County, N. C. was attached to the Third Brigade of Whiting's Division. It was commanded by Capt. James Reilly.
81. Brigadier General J.E.B. Stuart.
82. Major General Gustavus W. Smith, under whom Whiting's Division served, commanded one of the two army groups in the Peninsula campaign under the overall command of Gen. J. E. Johnston. The other group was commanded by Maj. Gen. J. B. Magruder.
83. Under the terms of the Conscription Act, passed April 16, 1862, men of military age in the provisional army who did not re-enlist could be mustered out and immediately conscripted. This was done in the case of the Second Mississippi; hence the reference to "conscripts".
84. Wm. C. Moody, 24 years old, a druggist, was the son of a prominent physician of Ripley. On July 2, 1863, he was promoted to First Lieutenant, and on July 3, at Gettysburg, was wounded and captured. He was exchanged March 14, 1864, but so far as the records show did not return to the regiment.
85. Falkner was most bitter over his defeat, which he attributed with some reason to his strict ideas of discipline. He returned to his home at Ripley, where in July and August 1862 he recruited a regiment of cavalry known first as the First Mississippi Partisan Rangers and after May 1864 as the Seventh Mississippi Cavalry. He commanded that regiment until October 31, 1863, when he resigned because of ill health and took no further part in the fighting. After the war he was prominent in business and railroad circles until his death in 1889.
86. Capt. Robert P. Bates of Co. E, who had been defeated for the captaincy of that company by Madison L. Robinson.
87. Samuel S. Owen, a farmer 26 years old, had been First Sergeant of Co. K, and served as Adjutant of the regiment throughout the war.
88. Walton G. Rutledge, 20 years old, was a mail carrier. He was made Sergeant Major by Col. Falkner on October 28, 1861, and retained that rank under Col. Stone. He remained with the regiment until March 9, 1865, when he was sent to a Richmond hospital with a broken arm. On April 1 he was moved to Farmville, Va. There is no record of his surrender or parole.
89. The fortifications at Yorktown, erected during the Revolutionary War.
90. A Legion was a unit of approximate regimental size or larger, but containing more than one arm of the service. Hampton's Legion, which was recruited, armed, equipped and commanded by Col. Wade Hampton of South Carolina, contained infantry, cavalry, and artillery.
91. As Vairin surmised, the enemy had followed the retiring Confederates closely from Yorktown to Williamsburg, and on May 5 assaulted Fort Magruder on the outskirts of Williamsburg. The attack was repulsed, but Johnston continued his retirement toward Richmond.
92. This skirmish was at Eltham Plantation, where the Federals landed troops under cover of gunboat fire but were driven back by Brig. Gen. John B. Hood's Texas Brigade of Whiting's Division. The Third Brigade, under Col. E. M. Law, was in reserve and took no part In the fighting. The affair is of interest principally because it was the beginning of Hood's brilliant career in the Army of Northern Virginia.
93. Maj. Gen. John B. Magruder.
94. The Richmond & York River Railroad, now part of the Southern Railway system.
95. At Fairoaks station about a mile northwest of the crossroads of Seven Pines.
96. Johnston attacked the Federal IV Corps, concentrated around Seven Pines, in an effort to destroy it before it could be reinforced. Whiting's Division was on the left of the Confederate line. Though the Federal troops retired, the battle was indecisive. Johnston was wounded twice during the battle, once in the right shoulder by a musket ball and a few minutes later in the chest by a fragment of shell. On June 1 he was replaced as commander of the Confederate forces in Virginia by Gen. Robert E. Lee.
97. During the Peninsula campaign McClellan used observations balloons to a considerable extent, but abandoned them after that year.
98. John H. Biebers was sent to a Richmond hospital where his left am was amputated and on August 7 he was given a disability discharge. Apparently his company was not notified, as Biebers was carried on the roll first as furloughed and later as absent without leave until August 31, 1863, when he was dropped from the roll as a deserter.
99. Dr. Elvis McCrory, 24 years old, was a private in Co. A.
100. Whiting's Division was sent to the Valley to reinforce Jackson but returned to the vicinity of Richmond when Jackson's army was moved to that theatre shortly before the Seven Days battles. The route followed by the regiment was the Richmond and Danville Railroad (now the Southern) to Burkeville; the Southside Railroad (now the Norfolk & Western) to Lynchburg; the Orange & Alexandria Railroad (now the Southern) to Charlottesville; and the Virginia Central Railroad (now the Chesapeake & Ohio) to Staunton.
101. The regiment crossed the Blue Ridge at Rockfish Cap, following in a general way the route of the present U. S. Highway 250.
102. Maj. Gen. Richard S. Ewell, Jackson's principal subordinate during the Valley campaign and later a corp commander in the Army of Northern Virginia.
103. The route was the Virginia Central Railroad, now part of the Chesapeake & Onio.
104. Maj. Gen. A. P. Hill.
105. Mechanicsville. This was the first of the "Seven Days Battles" that drove McClellan's armies from the outskirts of Richmond.
106. James L. Ward was a teacher and farmer, 24 years old. Vairin describes his death at Malvern Hill on July 1, 1892.
107. Gaines Mill, or First Cold Harbor.
108. Vairin left the figures for Co. B blank. The loss of the regiment was 21 killed and 79 wounded.
109. Whiting was late in coming into action because of a misunderstanding of verbal orders, but once in action made a good record. Col. Stone was complimented by Whiting for his part in the battle.
110. Three batteries were attached to the Division; Reilly's Battery, mentioned previously; the German Artillery, a South Carolina battery commanded by Capt. W. S. Bachman; and the Palmetto Artillery, a South Carolina unit commanded by Capt. H. R. Garden.
111. Rev. Thomas D. Witherspoon of Oxford, Miss. was appointed Chaplain of the Second Mississippi at Manassas, August 18, 1861, succeeding Rev. W. A. Gray. Witherspoon resigned August 25, 1862.
112. On June 27 the Second Michigan Cavalry entered Ripley, being the first Union soldiers seen in the town. At the same time about 10,000 men under Maj. Gen. Rosencrans camped about 10 miles north of Ripley for two days before returning to Corinth.
113. Named for Brig. Gen. Bernard E. Bee, killed at Manassas.
114. Name left blank.
115. A number of other men in the regiment obtained substitutes about this time. Most did not re-enter service; a notable exception was 3rd Sergeant Sol G. Street of Co. F, who commanded a battalion of cavalry that waged a successful guerrilla warfare against Union troops in north Mississippi and west Tennessee in 1863 and 1864.
116. Orlando Davis
117. This is Vairin's first reference to Gen. Robert E. Lee.
118. Dr. Moody was the father of Lt. W. C. Moody.
119. W. B. Rigers of Tippah County. He was not in the army; the "Major" was his militia title.
120. Andrew Jackson Lee, 20 years old, was a farmer. He was wounded at the Weldon Railroad on August 19, 1864 and invalided home, where he was captured on March 6, 1865. Apparently still suffering from his wound, he was sent to prison hospital April 21, and was paroled June 15, 1865.
121. J. W. Clapp of Holly Springs represented the Second Mississippi District, which included Vairin's home county of Tippah, in the Confederate Congress.
122. Simon R. Spight (the "Major" was a militia title) operated a hotel and store at Ripley and after the war was for many years Major of the town.
123. Place left blank.
124. Robert M. Young, 18 years old, enlisted in Co. L April 30, 1862 but transferred to Co. B April 1, 1863. He was wounded at Gettysburg July 1, 1863, and remained in an invalid camp for the rest of the war.
125. Michael H. Saunders, 20 years old, enlisted May 1, 1861 but was discharged soon afterward because of asthma. He re-enlisted March 3, 1862 in Co. B. He was captured at Gettysburg July 1, 1863 and was imprisoned at Fort Delaware until June 11 1865.
126. James W. Hovis, First Sergeant of Co. B after Vairin's transfer was 30 years old and a cabinet-maker. He was shot in the right ankle at Sharpsburg, and the joint stiffened so that he was unable to walk without crutches. He was discharged for disability August 26, 1864, as related later by Vairin.
127. Daniel (Dud) Noonan, a private in Co. B, was 37 years old and a laborer. Most of his time in the army was spent as a hospital cook, and he was a patient in the hospital at High Point, N. C. when he was captured in April 1865. He was paroled May 1, 1865.
128. Evander McIvor Law of South Carolina had commanded the brigade, as senior Colonel, for some time before he was promoted to Brigadier General. He died on October 31, 1920.
129. Whiting actually went to Wilmington, N. C.
130. The North Branch of the Shenandoah River.
131. After repulsing Van Dorn's attack on Corinth October 4 and 5, 1862, the Union army under Rosecrans pursued Van Dorn as far as Ripley. It remained there two days and did considerable damage to the town.
132. Vairin was not a member of any church, hence the "first time" reference. The church he attended was Emmanuel Episcopal Church, a short distance west of U. S. Highway 1 just north of the present city limits of Richmond. The building is still in use and, with the unusual seats, is now essentially like it was in 1862.
133. Joseph R. Davis, a nephew of Jefferson Davis, was a lawyer. He was Inspector on the staff of the President with the rank of Colonel until he was promoted to Brigadier General and given field command. His brigade consisted originally of the 2nd, 11th and 42nd Mississippi and the 55th North Carolina regiments. Later the 55th North Carolina was replaced by the 28th Mississippi.
135. The context shows that this should be Goldsboro, N. C. instead of Weldon.
136. Maj. Gen. Gustavus W. Smith, under whom Whiting's Brigade had served in the Peninsula, commanded at this time a department that included North Carolina and part of Virginia. Smith resigned Feb. 7, 1863.
137. Levi S. Holcombe, 18 years old, was 3rd corporal of Co. B until the reorganization of 1862, when he was promoted to 2nd Sergeant. He was wounded at second Manassas. He was in hospital at Richmond in May and June 1863 and was then furloughed home, where he was captured on July 21. He was exchanged March 4, 1865, returned to a Richmond hospital, and was furloughed home March 18. He did not rejoin the regiment.
138. Ransom Jenkins transferred from Co. B to Co. L on April 30, 1862. On this date he was elected Brevet Second Lieutenant of Co. L, not Co. B as Vairin states. He was 25 years old and gave his occupation as farrier, but his record indicates that he had served before the war in the regular U. S. Army. He was wounded at the Wilderness on May 5, 1864, and was killed in action at Petersburg, October 1, 1864.
139. Thomas J. S. Robinson (not Roberts), 18 years old, was a private in Co. L. He was killed in action at the Weldon Railroad, August 19, 1864.
140. The only Tigert in Co. L was First Sergeant David P. Tigert, who is doubtless the person referred to. Tigert was a farmer, 35 years old, and much of his time in the army was spent in hospitals. He was captured at Petersburg April 2, 1865, and released June 21.
141. George P. Holcombe, 16 years old when he enlisted, was wounded at second Manassas and again at Gettysburg. After being furloughed home he was captured in Mississippi September 9, 1863 and was paroled about a year later, his wound still being troublesome. He was exchanged Dec. 15, 1864.
142. Joseph K. Glenn, 18 years old, was captured at Falling Water, July 14, 1863. He was sent to Point Lookout and was exchanged March 10, 1865.
143. The record of William M. Cochran, a farmer 20 years old in 1861, is unusual in that he served throughout the war without ever being wounded, furloughed, or sent to a hospital because of illness. He was paroled at Appomattox, April 9, 1865.
144. James H. Simpson, 22 years old in 1861, was wounded at second Manassas and captured at Gettysburg, July 1, 1863. He was sent to Fort Delaware, where he remained until his release on June 11, 1865.
145. The regiment traveled over the Seaboard & Roanoke, now part of the Seaboard Air Line, from Weldon to the Blackwater River.
146. J. J. Whitten, a private in Co. B, was 34 years old and a farmer. He was wounded and captured at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863, and soon afterward died as a result of his wound.
147. The Confederates were west of the Blackwater River but held the bridgeheads. Blackwater Bridge was about half-way between the Seaboard & Roanoke crossing at Franklin and the Petersburg & Norfolk (now Norfolk & Western.) crossing at Zuni.
148. Robert T. Cooper, 21 years old in 1861, was wounded in the Seven Days Battles, June 27, 1862. On June 14, 1863, he was detached for service with the Pioneer Corps and served with that organization until Appomattox, where he was paroled April 9. 1865.
149. Gilbert B. Marshall enlisted in March 1861 at the age of 19. After an attack of pneumonia he was discharged for disability Dec. 31, 1861, but re-enlisted in March 1862. He was detached almost immediately for service as guard in the Division Ordnance Department, and was discharged for disability April 8, 1863 as Vairin relates.
150. South Quay was about 5 miles south of Franklin, Murphey's Station cannot be located, but probably was on the west side of the river opposite Franklin.
151. The movement here described was the beginning of Longstreet's siege of Suffolk, which began April 12 and was abandoned May 4.
152. Vairin was misinformed. Davis' brigade was part of Maj. Gen. S. G. French's division. Maj. Gen. George E., Pickett commanded another division stationed nearby.
153. The crossing of these railroads is about 3 miles west of Suffolk.
154. Vairin copied this name incorrectly. John W. McDaniel, who enlisted March 4, 1861, was wounded at first Manassas and died of his wounds September 9, 1861. It is not known whom Vairin intended to name.
155. Peter Hammerschmidt, a shoemaker, was 17 years old when he enlisted. He was slightly wounded at first Manassas on July 21, 1861, and was wounded at Gaines Mill, June 27, 1862. He was captured at Gettysburg July 1, 1863, and was paroled at Fort Delaware, June 11, 1865.
156. James M. Cox enlisted as a bugler March 4, 1861. He was detached for hospital service Feb. 9, 1862, as regimental apothecary in December of the same year, and as hospital steward Jan. 29, 1863. He was paroled at Appomattox, April 9, 1865.
158. Rose K. Byrn enlisted May 10, 1861. He was slightly wounded at first Manassas and again at second Manassas. He was present for duty Feb. 28, 1865, but there is no record of him after that date.
159. William H. Cowan enlisted March 1, 1862. He was captured at Hatchers Run, April 2, 1865, and released from Point Lookout June 10, 1865.
160. Brig. Gen. Micah Jenkins of South Carolina was transferred with his brigade to French's division, a transfer rightly interpreted as a move on Longstreet's part to displace French. The move was not popular with the men, and Davis and Jenkins had several misunderstandings. Jenkins was killed at Gettysburg.
161. Names of places left blank.
162. William L. Nooner (or Noonan) enlisted May 10, 1861 at the age of 21. He was wounded at Sharpsburg, Sept. 17, 1862, and at Gettysburg, July 1, 1863. He was one of Heth's scouts from June 1863 until the end of the war.
163. Albert Richey, 25 years old when he enlisted in 1861, was a painter. He served as scout for Heth's division from May 1863 until the end of the war, and was paroled at Richmond May 10, 1865.
164. Date left blank.
165. A Mississippi battery commanded by Capt. W. D. Bradford. It was part of Coit's battalion, 3rd Corps Artillery.
166. Hamilton's Crossing is about 7 miles south of Fredericksburg, at the south end of the Confederate line during the fighting of December 1862.
168. Probably a mistake for Altamont, now known as Mount Alto. Funkstown is in Maryland, a few miles south of Hagerstown.
169. After the summer of 1862 north Mississippi was overrun by both Union and Confederate armies, as well as outlaws who attached themselves to the armies, and nearly everything of value was taken.
170. This regiment was the 147th New York under Major Harney. Harney did not receive an order sent him to retire, and stood his ground until his regiment was almost annihilated.
171. This was Hall's battery, which suffered severely but was not put out of action as Vairin thought.
172. The unit which advanced toward the railroad was Col. Dawes' 6th Wisconsin, sent to reinforce the 147th New York. It was part of Brig. Gen. Solomon Meredith's famous "Iron Brigade", which included, in addition to the 6th, the 2nd and 7th Wisconsin and the 19th Indiana. This brigade had practically wiped out Archer's brigade (not Pettigrew's as Vairin has it) south of the road. Up to that time one of the best units in the Union army, the Iron Brigade suffered so severely on July 1 that it was never afterward an outstanding organization.
173. Heth was wounded on July 1, and his division was commanded on July 3 by Brig. Gen. J. J. Pettigrew.
174. Co. B went into action on July 1 with 66 men present for duty. Casualties of the three days' fighting at Gettysburg were 53, and in addition one man was wounded and three captured before the army crossed into Virginia.
175. Lewis J. McDonald enlisted May 1, 1861. He was wounded at Seven Pines on May 31, 1862, and again at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863. Apparently he was returning from a furlough in Mississippi with Vairin at this time. McDonald was captured April 2. 1865, and paroled at Point Lookout, June 29, 1865.
176. Hovis, disabled at Sharpsburg, had returned to go before the Board of Surgeons for retirement.
177. This action is known as the battle of Globe Tavern, to distinguish it from the numerous other skirmishes along the Weldon Railroad.
178. The attack was made by Heth's and Wilcox's divisions and Hampton's cavalry. The Confederates took 2,100 prisoners at a cost of about 700 casualties.
179. Wm. H. Byrn enlisted April 15, 1863. He was on the "Roll of Honor" for his part in a skirmish near Petersburg on December 10, 1864, and was captured at Hatcher's Run on April 2, 1865. He was released June 11, 1865.
180. A Confederate nickname for the "crater" in the Petersburg lines, formed by the explosion of a mine under a salient on July 30, 1864. The troops who dug the tunnel for the mine were Pennsylvania coal miners under the command of Major Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside, not Butler as Vairin states.
181. Capt. Andrew R. Walker of Co. A.
182. Luther C. Guyton enlisted March 3, 1863, at the age of 20. He was wounded at second Manassas on August 29, 1862; was in hospital during the Gettysburg campaign, and was wounded at the Wilderness on May 5, 1864. He returned to duty July 24 and was killed in action at Petersburg as Vairin relates.
183. Probably Vairin intended to write "Law's Brigade", to which the 2nd Mississippi had belonged at one time.
The engagement is generally called Burgess Mill or the Boydston Plank Road,
to distinguish it from other encounters along Hatchers Run.
Roster of the O'Connor Rifles as mustered into the Army of Mississippi, on March 4, 1861.*
Captain: John H. Buchanan
First Lieutenant: Lawson B. Hovis
Second Lieutenant: Davis Humphries
Augustus L. P. Vairin
Henry T. Counseille Thomas J. Duncan
John C. Lauderdale David A. Burnett
Jno. W. Scally Jas. W. Hovis Jno. W. Parr Wm. M. Tate
John L. Boyd
Jos. E. Hovis Albert Richey
Wm. R. Buchanan Wm. L. Jackson Walton G. Rutledge
James M. Cox Gilbert B. Kimball Allen G. Smith
B. H. Coltharp Jesse H. Lewellen Wm. B. Spight
Wm. W. Coombs Jno. N. Leatherwood Wilburn Sergeant
Cyrus Davis Henry T. Livingston Henry W. Smith
Robt. E. Delaney Wm. T. Mallory Jos. T. Suggs
Pascal C. Eddings Jno. W. McDaniel John T. Thom
John L. Grace Ben S. Meador James M. Whitten
Virgil A. Grace Jos. T. Norton John C. Whitten
Jno. W. Gossett Miles H. Norton Henry T. Webb
Levi S. Holcombe Henry H. Powers Robt. M. Young
David T. Hill James C. Rowell
* The spelling of the names of many
members of the companies varies from one muster roll to another, as do
the middle initials in some cases. The spellings used in this and the succeeding
roster are those generally used in Tippah County at the time.
Roster of Company B, Second Mississippi Infantry, as mustered into Confederate service at Lynchburg, Va., May 10, 1861.
Captain: John H. Buchanan
Second Lieutenant: John N. Scally
First Lieutenant: Lawson B. Hovis* Second Lieutenant: Henry T. Counseille
Augustus L. P. Vairin
Thomas J. Duncan*
James W. Hovis John C. Lauderdale*
Bradley H. Coltharp*
Levi S. Holcombe
John W. Parr William Tate*
Samuel C. Adams
John W. Gossett* Daniel Noonan
Joseph Alsbrook John S. Grace William D. Nonner
James Asbury* Virgil A. Grace Joseph A. Norton
James T. Barnett Isaac N. Gray Miles H. Norton
W. James Bennett James F. Guyton Joseph B. Parker*
Michael A.P. Blackwell*Joseph J. Guyton Amos J. Pegram*
Joseph S. Boyd* Peter Hammerschmidt Henry H. Powers
Miles J. Braddock Terrel S. Harris* Thomas A. Prince*
Perry G. Braddock David J. Hill John H.C. Ray
Stephen B. Braddock Joseph E. Hovis Albert Richey
Joseph M. Bratten Martin C. Hovis Luther A. Richey
Joseph Brown* E. Newton Hunt James C. Rowell
John T. Buchanan William L. Jackson Walter Rutledge
Daniel A. Burnett Ranson Jenkins* Wilburn Sergeant
Hugh L. Byrn William D. Jones M.H. Saunders
Lucas H. Byrn John C. Kelly James H. Simpson
Rose Byrn Gilbert B. Kimball George R. Sims
Wm. McK. Cochran Matthew Knox Allen G. Smith*
W. M. Cochran John W. Leatherwood Byrd B. Smith
Matthew N. Coltharp George W. Lee* Harvey W. Smith
William D. Coombs* Jesse H. Lewellen Wm. B. Spight
James M. Cooper Henry H. Livingston Joseph Suggs
Robert T. Cooper William C. Mallory Allen Talbot
John H. Cotton* John W. McDaniel* John F. Thom*
William N. Davis* Green McCarley Benjamin F. Thompson
Robert E. Delaney Lewis McDonald John L. Van Hook
Charles F. Dry Trussie B. McKay* Henry T. Webb
Pascal C. Eddings Benjamin Meador Vincent A. Whitchey
Grandison Fewel John D. Milet W. C. Whitten
Andrew F. Fleming William C. Moody Alexander D. Wolf
Isaac Fryar John A. Moore John S. Woods
John W. Fryar Thomas H. Nance* Robert M. Young
Joseph H. Glenn Alexander Neely
Men who enlisted in Company B, Second Mississippi Infantry, after May 10, 1861
William Gray* Will Osborne
J.M. Ayres J.C. Green L.S. Pearce*
L.Bell* L.C. Guyton* P.G. Pegram
R.Y. Bennett J.W. Hamilton W.M. Richey
W.G. Blackwell* M.C. Harris J.A. Riley
W.G. Booker* C. Heddon G. Roberts
M.K. Bostwick* R.A. Helms J.M. Robinson*
Wm.R. Box G.P. Holcombe T.J. Saunders*
M.P. Boyd* C.W. Humphries R.L. Short*
W.R. Carter H.H. Johns* E. Smith
J.W. Carver J.C. Lancaster L. Smith
W.R. Cole* S. Lancaster W.G. Spight
J.C. Coltharp W.C. Lee J. Springer*
S.L. Cooper* J. Lett M. Sweeney*
W.H. Cowan W.C. McGowan W.H. Talbot
E.L. Crum J.T. Martin W.A. Thomas
J.G. Crum* R.L. Miller John P. Ticer
T.J. Culp W.D.T. Miller* Zeneth E. Vernor
D.D. Dacy W.C. Munday L. Wells
J.H. Glidewell J. Murphy J.N. Whitehead
T. Goldschmidt J.0. Nance J.J. Whitten*
Littleton J. Gossett* W.C. Norton Geo. W. Whittington
Wm. R. Gossett W.M. Norton* J. Winborn*
W.C. Graham C.H. Ory T.J. Yancey
* Killed in action, or died of wounds
or disease during the war.
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