by Tim Harrison
In 1847 the U. S. government sent out a third call for volunteer troops from the state of Mississippi. The state had already provided two complete regiments of infantry, armed with what became known as the Mississippi Rifle. The First Regiment had gained fame in the battles at Monterey and Buena Vista. The Second Regiment was performing occupation duties in northern Mexico, but the war continued with Winfield Scott’s army driving from the port city of Vera Cruz on the gulf coast to Mexico City. As noted in Dunbar Rowland’s Military History of Mississippi:
A third requisition was made by the President in 1847 for a battalion of five companies of riflemen, under which the Governor issued his call July 29, 1847, appointing the rendezvous at Vicksburg. Several companies had been formed, partly of veterans from the First Regiment, but only one reported by August 24. Various reasons were assigned for the apathy, but the real reason was, according to the Vicksburg Sentinel, “the dictatorial and capricious, almost contemptuous, course which the Secretary of War has pursued towards our State in refusing the wishes of our people. The great wish of Mississippi has been to furnish a mounted force for the war.” There is little information in records or newspapers regarding this battalion. The company first enrolled was the Chickasaw Heroes, Capt. William M. Keyes. The Governor sent out a second and urgent appeal in October, also recruiting agents.
DeSoto County provided one of the companies received for serve in this new battalion, also armed with rifles. The company was commanded by J. Patton Anderson, who would later serve as a major general in the Confederate Army. When the battalion was organized, he was selected as its commander with the rank of lieutenant colonel. As he later recalled of this service:
In October, 1847, I received an earnest appeal from Governor A. G. Brown, of Mississippi, to organize a company in response to a call from the President of the United States, for service in Mexico. (I had previously made several efforts to enter the military service during the war with Mexico, but all the organizations from De Soto county had failed to be received by the Governor, their distance from the capital making them too late in reporting.) In a few days I organized a company of volunteers from the regiment of militia in the county, of which I was then colonel. I was elected captain of the company without opposition. H. Car Forrest was elected 1st lieutenant, my brother John Adair [Anderson] was elected 2d lieutenant, and my brother Thomas Scott [Anderson], orderly sergeant. The company repaired hurriedly to Vicksburg, the rendezvous. Two other companies had already reached the encampment. After waiting a fortnight or more for the other two companies of the battalion called for by the President to report, the five companies were sent to New Orleans for equipment and organization. Having received arms, clothing, &c., they embarked about the 2d of January, 1848, for Tampico, Mexico.
On the 22d of February, 1848, I was elected at Tampico lieutenant-colonel to command the battalion. I remained at Tampico till the close of the war, when I was mustered out of the service along with the battalion at Vicksburg, Miss., and reached my home at Hernando on the 4th of July, 1848.
Those who served in Co. C were:
Agee, David G.
DeSoto County Coordinator: Tim Harrison
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