THE BAILEY BROTHERS IN THE CIVIL WAR

 

William Bailey was born about 1810 in S.C. He moved to Miss. at an early age. He and his wife, Mary Fletcher, had these children William Edwin-B-in Kemper-Scott Co. Miss. March 15, 1839. Ezekiel M. -B. - abt. 1841-Miss. Robert N. B. -abt. 1842-Ala., Lewis J. & Elizabeth-B-abt. 1845-Miss.  Alexander-B. -Abt. 1854, Henry-B. -Abt. 1856, Nicholas-B. - Abt. 1859. I cannot locate the family in the 1850 census but they were in Scott Co. in 1860, which leads me to believe they were also there in 1850, but were somehow missed in the count. William married Sarah Ann Bolding Ketchum in 1859 after his wife died. They had James Washington-b-4-1860 and two daughters that died as infants. (Since there is such an age difference in Lewis and the three younger brothers, I am inclined to believe that Mary Fletcher may have died when the twins were born and William remarried and had the three younger boys. I am trying to locate a death certificate on one of them to see if I am correct. We will leave it as it is until I can do so or not)

 It was a sad day for William when, on the 27th of July 1861 all four of his older sons was mustered into the service of the Confederate States. Capt. T.B. Graham had enrolled them on June 18, 1861. They went to Iuka, Tishomingo Co., Miss. All four had signed up for the duration of the war. Of course, like everyone else, they thought the war wouldn't last but a few months.

 This Company of men was known as Capt. Graham's Co., Mississippi Volunteers, and as Capt. Graham's Co. and Co. F., 20th Reg. Miss. Inf. Some of the men in this unit had previously been in the state service. It was known for a short time after being organized as Russell's Regiment Mississippi Volunteers.

 The 20th Infantry Regiment was organized during the late summer of 1861 with men from Bolivar, Monroe, Noxubee, Adams, Scott, Carroll, and Newton counties. The unit moved to Virginia then Tennessee where it was captured on Feb.16, 1862.

 William Edwin was 22 years old at the time. Ezekiel M. was 20, Robert N. 19, and Lewis J. was only 16. Williamís heart was broken to see his 16-year-old march of to war with his older brothers. He had a great fear that he might never see any of them again. Just five months later some of his fears came true at the fall of Fort Donelson, during one of the coldest winters ever recorded.

Fort Donelson was built in the early winter of 1861 on a ledge just west of Dover, Tenn. Its purpose was to deny the Yankees

the use of the Cumberland River, and the batteries placed in the fort were well suited to the task. The fort itself consisted of little more than a series of shallow earthen entrenchments that extended in a semicircle around the batteries and just south of Dover. Hickman creek, to the north, and Indian Creek, to the south, gave additional protection to the flanks. The entire area was hilly and heavily forested, with only a few poor roads running through it. The most important of these was the Wynn's Ferry Road, running southwest from Dover.

 Grant had just taken Fort Henry and he figured the boys at Fort Donelson would be nervous, jittery, and maybe easy to capture, or at least drive them out of middle and west Tennessee. He thought the best way would be to march overland to Donelson. Bad weather held him up a few days, but he finally got started on February 11. He was nearly to the Fort by February 13. He had a total of twenty-four infantry regiments; seven batteries of artillery, and several mounted units Floyd had twenty-seven regiments of infantry and additional supporting troops. Grants forces were divided into two divisions: the 1st, under John A. McClernand at the right, or eastern end of the line, and the 2nd, under Charles F. Smith, on the left.

 The infantry on both sides had a miserable day on the fourteenth. Grant had received some reinforcements, Lew Wallace's 3rd Division, which had come up the Cumberland on transports behind Foote's gunboats. There had been a blizzard the previous night, and as the troops could not have campfires, they had been cold, wet, and unhappy. A few wounded men froze to death.

 Most Regiments had a special company composed of their best marksmen, and during the investment of the fort they went out as individuals. They sought cover behind rocks, stumps, or in hollows. Some dug holes, others climbed into trees. Once in a good spot, they stayed there all day, shooting at anything in the enemy breastworks that moved. It was dangerous to show a head and impossible to start a campfire. Both sides contented themselves with hardtack.

Grants plan was to keep the Confederate infantrymen pinned within their lines while the gunboats attacked the batteries at close range. Both he and Foote thought that the boats would reduce the opposition at Donelson just as they had at Henry. When the batteries were destroyed and the fleet controlled the river, while Grant's men blocked the exits, the Confederates would have to surrender. Foote opened fire at about a mile's range. His shells fell short and he moved in closer. He finally

 

 

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