|Home||History||Campaigns||Correspondence||Alabama Units||Company Rosters||Forrest||Burial|
Montgomery Advertiser - April 20, 1862
Three of four companies wanted to fill a regiment for which arms and blankets have been secured, under authority from the Secretary of War, as heretofore advertised. I am now organizing my regiment of infantry for three years, or the war, at Loachapoka, Ala. Three or four companies are now wanted to speedily consummate an organization.
I have secured arms and blankets for the regiment, blank requisition forms having been sent to me by the Department, to be properly authenticated and returned, when the regiment is fully organized, at which time the arms and blankets will be sent forward; and I have the assurance that the Enfield rifles will be furnished. Arrangements also have been made for uniforms, knapsacks, haversacks, canteens, etc.
I have large tents of superior quality, camp kettles, mess pans, fry pans, spicers, tin cups, tin plated spoons, axes, spades, etc. now at Loachapoka for the entire regiment. I believe I offer the best and speediest opportunity of getting into active service and would be pleased to accept the tender of three or four companies at once, so the regiment can go to the scene of conflict.
My regiment will be accepted as one of the twelve called for by the State of Alabama. Captains can report, with their companies, at Loachapoka without any communication, as I am ready to receive them. M. L. Woods.
Montgomery Daily Mail, Feb. 7, 1863
There has been detailed from this Regiment four officers to go to the counties in Alabama in which the companies of the regiment were organized for the purpose of getting volunteers and conscripts.
All persons who are liable to conscription, and have not been enrolled, will be permitted to volunteer, and will receive the bounty allowed volunteers. Those who do not voluntarily come forward and tender their services to their country, will be conscripted.
The regiment is in a brigade composed entirely of Alabama troops, and commanded by an Alabama General, and is in the Department of Mississippi, and East Louisiana, a field of interesting action and pleasant service.
DETAIL 1st Lieut. A. J. Armstrong, Henry county. 1st Lieut. Sid T. Frazer, Macon county. 2d Lieut. J. M. Collins, Coos county. 2d Lieut. L. Henderson, Pike county. M. L. Woods, Col. Commanding.
Telegram from Major W. H. Taylor to Maj. Gen. E. Kirby Smith
I am directed by General Lee to say he is receipt of a communication from Col. W. L. Woods, commanding regiment of Alabama volunteers now in camp of instruction at Loachapoka, requesting to be assigned to the brigade under Col. T. H. Taylor, said to be in your department. The General desires to know if you have arms sufficient to arm it in whole or in part.
Report of General Braxton Bragg, May 20, 1863
Having crossed the river at Chattanooga, the column took the march on August 23 over Walden's Ridge, and the Cumberland Mountains for Middle Tennessee. Maj. Gen. E. Kirby Smith had already successfully passed through Northeastern Tennessee and gained the rear of Cumberland Gap held by the enemy in strong force, well fortified. Leaving a sufficient force to hold the enemy in observation, he moved as authorized, with the balance of his command on Lexington, Ky. This rich country, so full of supplies so necessary to us, was represented to be occupied by a force which could make feeble resistance. How well and successful that duty was performed has already been reported by General Smith.
His complete victory over the enemy at Richmond, Ky. and his occupation of Lexington rendered it necessary for me to intercept Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell, now moving toward Nashville, or to move toward the right, so as to secure a junction with General Smith when necessary. On reaching Middle Tennessee it was found that the enemy's main force, by use of railroads and good turnpikes, had concentrated in Nashville, and was strongly fortified. With a heavy demonstration against this position, my force was thrown rapidly to Glasgow, Ky. And to my great satisfaction reached that point September 13, before any portion of the enemy passed Bowling Green...
In four weeks after passing Cumberland Mountain, on this memorable and arduous campaign, jaded, hungry and ragged (as necessarily incident to that service), this noble army was found with serried ranks in front of the enemy at Nashville better organized, better disciplined and better clothed and fed, in better health and tone, and in larger numbers than when it entered the campaign, though it had made a march of at least three times as long as that of the enemy in reaching the same point, and was moreover self-sustained. Too high an estimate cannot be placed upon officers and men capable of such fortitude, resolution, courage and self-denial. Nothing short of patriotism which pervaded our ranks, and the intelligence, zeal and gallantry displayed, on all occasions, and by all grades, can account for such results.
General Stephen D. Lee
Maj. Gen. John S. Bowen had been sent by General Pemberton sometime previous to this date to construct some batteries and mount some guns at Grand Bluff, at the mouth of Big Black River (twenty-eight miles from Vicksburg) in case that Grant's canal proved a success opposite Vicksburg. On April 29 Admiral Porter attacked the batteries at Grand Bluff with eight gunboats and failed to silence them, and during the night of the 29th he also ran by the batteries down the river. General Bowen at once made arrangements to resist the landing of the enemy below Grand Bluff. Leaving a part of his command to protect the batteries, he moved his troops to cover two roads leading from Bruinsburg to Port Gibson, and reported the crossing of the enemy at Bruinsburg. These troops, numbering all told 5164 men and thirteen pieces of artillery, met General Grant's advance four miles from Port Gibson on the morning of May 1st, before daylight. The reenforcements which got up during the battle came too late and in too small numbers to avail much. They consisted of the brigades of General Tracy (Stevenson's division) and Brig. Gen. William E. Baldwin (Maj. Gen. Martin L. Smith's division). They come up broken and jaded. Bowen held the enemy in check during the entire day and retired about sundown, with a loss of four pieces of artillery and 787 men, and entailing a loss of the enemy of 875 men. He resisted on two lines of battle during the day, as he was gradually forced back by two corps of the enemy, at least five divisions of which were engaged. The Confederates engaged were part of Brig. Gen. Martin E. Green's Missouri brigade, with the Sixth Mississippi and a portion of Hudson's battery, 775 men. Tracy's brigade and (Maj.) Joseph W. Anderson's (Virginia) battery, 1516 men; Baldwin's brigade, 1614 men, part of (Col. Francis M.) Cockrell's brigade, with Guibor's and a section of Laude's battery, 1256 men. The total of Bowen's force was 5,164.
Col. Isham W. Garrett, Twentieth Alabama Regiment, who in his official report states the action of the Forty-sixth Alabama Regiment as follows:
The Forty-sixth Alabama Regiment, belonging to this brigade, after a most exhausting march during the afternoon of the preceding day and night, had arrived on the field by 8 o'clock with 160 effective men, and formed on the left of the Thirty-first Alabama. In the meantime the Sixth Missouri Regiment had formed near the left of our brigade and the Forty-sixth Alabama, not yet being engaged, no alternative was left but to be overwhelmed by the masses of the enemy or to reinforce the center and right with that regiment. Five companies were therefore ordered to reinforce the extreme right, and the other five the center. Col. M. L. Woods, being placed in command on the right, this regiment, thus divided, promptly and eagerly, advanced to the positions under the galling fire from the enemy. The enemy, now having reached the woods near the line on the right, Colonel Woods with half his regiment was posted a little beyond the gap near the bayou, where embankments furnished good defense against small arms, and three companies of the Twentieth Regiment on the right were directed to form there with them, which they promptly did, having retired in good order from their respective former positions. The enemy advanced in great force against this latter portion, Colonel Woods and his command bravely met their attack, and held them at bay until they were ordered to retreat.
General Stephen D. Lee's report of the Battle of Baker's Creek
By 8 o'clock my brigade was in line of battle and skirmishing on both roads, the position occupied by the brigade being on the extreme left of our line. At about 9 o'clock it was discovered that the enemy was massing troops on the left, evidently for the purpose of turning our left flank and getting between our army and Edwards Depot. My brigade was at once marched (under fire) by the left flank for the purpose of checking the enemy, and information of his movements and the corresponding change of my line was immediately sent to the major-general commanding with the request that the gap on my right should be filled by other troops. Similar movements on my part were frequently made under fire throughout the day until about 2 o'clock p. m., the major general commanding being in each case notified of my change of position, and of the continued efforts of the enemy to turn our left. Captain [?] Waddell's battery, which had been posted on the Clinton Road, had during the earlier part of the day been supported by my brigade, but in consequence of my continuous movements to the left of these guns were left to the right of my brigade, and were subsequently supported by (Brig. Gen. Alfred) Cumming's brigade.
As early as 10 o'clock in the morning it became evident that the enemy was in heavy force and determined on battle, as his skirmishers were bold and aggressive, and several divisions of his troops were visible in front of our left.
At about 2 o'clock p. m. he advanced in force on my center and left, but was handsomely repulsed by the Forty-sixth, Thirtieth, and Twenty-third Alabama regiments, the last regiment under the gallant Colonel (F. K.) Beck, having moved forward under a heavy fire and driven back a battery of the enemy which had been placed within 400 yards of our line.
Having checked the enemy on my center and left, and having ordered the regiments mentioned to hold their respective positions, my attention was called to the very heavy fire on my right. Upon proceeding there, I found that Cumming's brigade had been driven back by the enemy and that the Twentieth and Thirty-first Alabama Regiments of my brigade had been compelled to retire, their right flank having become exposed and the enemy having gained their rear. At about the same time the enemy had advanced rapidly on my left, and had almost gained the Edwards Depot Road, half a mile to the rear of my line. Under these circumstances, I ordered the Forty-sixth, Thirtieth and Twenty-third Alabama Regiments to retire about 600 yards to the rear, where my second line was formed.
These three regiments having behaved with distinguished gallantry, retained their position against heavy odds.
I at this time went to the road, about 500 yards in rear of my line, and found it filled with stragglers, and hearing that Bowen's division was re-enforcing on my right, and that Barton's brigade was going on my left, I again returned to my second line, carrying with me about 400 stragglers, most of them from the Thirty-fourth Georgia (Colonel J. A. W.) Johnson, whom I placed on the left of the Thirtieth Alabama Regiment (Colonel Charles M. Shelley). With these reinforcements the enemy were broken in some confusion, observing which Colonel Woods, Forty-sixth Alabama, made a most gallant charge with his regiment, moving up almost to his original position in the line of battle. Soon afterward Bowen's division, on my right, and Barton's brigade, on my left, having retreated, and the enemy having crossed the Edwards Depot Road with at least three regiments, I ordered Col. D.C. Stith, of my staff, to recall the Thirtieth Alabama (Colonel Shelley) and the Forty-sixth Alabama (Colonel Woods). The order was delivered to Colonel Shelley, but the enemy having advanced very rapidly upon the right, the Forty-sixth Alabama could not be reached, and I regret to say that this excellent regiment, under its gallant field officers (Colonel Woods, Lieutenant Colonel [O.] Kyle, and Major [James M.] Handley), was captured.
Gen. Stephen D. Lee closed his Siege of Vicksburg … with the following tribute to the Confederate soldiers in the siege:
To summarize the siege and defense of Vicksburg, it appears when the city surrendered, Gen. Grant's army numbered 75,648 men and 220 guns. This however, did not complete all his resources. Capt. Henry G. Sharpe of the U. S. Army, in his prize essay in the Journal of the Military Service Institution of the United States, January, 1869, says: 'On the Mississippi River and its tributaries the government owned 119 steamers, 305 barges and 109 coal floats, or 533 boats. Besides this, the quartermaster department had chartered for use on the river and its tributaries 1,750 steamers, making in all 2,283 vessels, mainly tributary to Gen. Grant's great Vicksburg campaign of 1863. No government had ever before brought such a great army and flotilla and gun-boat fleet, to bear mainly on one besieged city. These aids are not considered by the ordinary person in reading or hearing about Vicksburg, nor is the aid of the navy ordinarily borne in mind. Gen. Grant was one man who knew its importance, and was great enough to make it a matter of recognition. He says of Admiral Porter's aid: 'Without its assistance the campaign could not have been successfully made with twice the number of men engaged. It could not have been made at all, in the way it was, with any number of men without such assistance.'
Against these forces Gen. Pemberton of the Confederate army, although it surrendered 29,491 men, at no time had 19,500 men for duty; and at the time of surrender, with its sick list, the force was very much smaller.
Take it all in all, the defense of the Confederate army did credit to the American soldier, so far as great gallantry, tenacity of purpose, hardships and sacrifices were concerned. It was in marked contrast with the army of Gen. Grant, except as to great gallantry and tenacity of purpose, which both armies had to an eminent degree. The 21st Iowa Regiment was proud of its record during the siege, and well it may be. During the entire siege of forty-seven days and nights, it was only eight nights (about one-sixth), in the rifle pits., and only thirteen days (about one-quarter), on the same duty. This, I suppose, was the average duty of the average Union regiment; for Gen. Grant's large army enabled him to relieve his troops frequently in the trenches. But how does this compare with his troops with full rations, and the Confederate troops, being constantly on duty in the rifle pits for forty-seven days and nights, on less than half rations most of the time, and that one-half ill assorted and inferior. Gen. Grant's troops, too, were more than half their time out of fire, not subject to the constant nervous strain to which the Confederate troops were subjected. They could also take all necessary exercise and keep their bodies clean.
In all the siege (47 days and nights), the Confederates held their entire line of entrenchments, not a single fort or line being captured from them and held, and at the last the surrender was mainly decided on because of the weak physical condition of the men in the trenches, and the large number sick, rather from inability to hold the line, for at all exposed points interior lines had been arranged.
Report of Brigadier-General E. W. Pettus of Operations at Lookout Mountain.
HEADQUARTERS PETTUS'S BRIGADE, CAMP NEAR DALTON, GA., DECEMBER 6, 1863.
Sir, -- At half-past 12 o'clock on the 24th ultimo I was with my command on the top of Lookout Mountain, and was then ordered by Brigadier-General Brown, commanding Stevenson's division, to report, with three regiments of my command, to Brigadier-General Jackson, commanding at the Craven House. I moved at once with the Twentieth, Thirty-first, and Forty-sixth Alabama regiments, and at the head of the column I found Brigadier-General Jackson at the point where the road to the Craven House leaves the road leading down the mountain. Communicating my orders, I was directed to hasten forward and reinforce Brigadier-General Moore at the Craven House.
On the way I met squads of Moore's and Walthall's brigades; and when about three hundred yards from the Craven House I found that that point had been carried by the enemy. The two brigades which had held the point had fallen back. Here I found Brigadier-General Walthall with the remnant of his command formed at right angles with and on the left of the road, gallantly fighting to stay the advance of the enemy. He informed me that he had lost a large part of his command, that his ammunition was nearly exhausted, and that he could not hold the position he then had.
Having no time to send back for orders, and finding the fighting was then all on the left of the road, I moved my command, though right in front, by filing to the left directly up the mountain side to the rocky bluff. So soon as formed my command was faced by the rear rank, moved forward, relieving Walthall's brigade, and was at once engaged with the enemy. Whilst my command was moving into position I sent an officer to the right to find Brigadier-General Moore and to ascertain his condition and the position of his line. In this way I learned that Moore's left was about one hundred and fifty yards from my right and his right resting at the large rocks on the road above the mouth of Chattanooga Creek. I then went down to Moore's line and had a few moments' consultation with him, and at his request extended intervals to the right so as to connect with his line. These facts were communicated by me to Brigadier-General Jackson, with the request that he would come forward, look at the lines and gives us orders. But he did not come in person, but sent orders that the position must be held.
Meantime the enemy made repeated assaults on my left next to the bluff, but were bravely met and repulsed by the Twentieth Alabama regiment and four companies of the Thirty-first Alabama regiment.
Knowing that Brigadier-General Moore's line was weak and that his men were almost out of ammunition, I again sent Captain Smith, of my staff, to inform the Brigadier-General commanding as to the progress of the fight and to ask his assistance. Captain Smith found Brigadier-General Jackson at the headquarters of Major-General Stevenson, on the top of the mountain (who was then commanding the forces west of Chattanooga Creek), about one mile and a-half from the fight, where General Jackson informs me he had gone to confer with General Stevenson as to the mode in which the troops should be withdrawn in case the enemy should get possession of the mountain road. In answer to my communication I was directed to hold my position as long as possible. When I had to send again to the Brigadier-General commanding he was still on the top of the mountain. After my command had been engaged about two hours, Brigadier-General Walthall, having formed the remnant of his brigade and supplied his men with ammunition, returned with his command into the fight on the left, and our commands fought together from that time until relieved. It should be remarked that during the day the fog was very dense on the mountain side. It was almost impossible to distinguish any object at the distance of one hundred yards. The enemy made no attack on my right or on Brigadier-General Moore's line. But the attack on the left was continued, and finding that the purpose of the enemy was to force my left, at the suggestion of Brigadier-General Walthall I ordered Captain Davis, commanding the Twentieth Alabama regiment, to move forward, keeping his left well up to the bluff, and drive the enemy from the higher ground they then held. The order was executed promptly and in gallant style. The higher ground was gained and held during the fight.
About 8 o'clock at night Clayton's brigade, commanded by Colonel Holtzclaw, relieved Walthall's brigade and the Twentieth and Thirty-first Alabama regiments of my command. These two regiments were withdrawn and formed in the road a short distance in the rear. Some time after this I went to the road leading down the mountain, and there met Brigadier-General Jackson coming down. He directed me to keep my command where it was and await orders, and then passed on down the mountain. After 1 o'clock that night I received orders from the Brigadier-General commanding to retire with my command across Chattanooga Creek at the upper bridge, which was done quietly and in good order.
Captains Gould and Smith, of my staff, bore themselves gallantly throughout the affair. Below is a statement of the casualties in my command. It is small. The day was dark and the men were sheltered on the rock.
I am, sir, most respectfully, your obedient servant, [Signed] E. W. Pettus, Brigadier-General Commanding, CASUALTIES IN PETTUS'S BRIGADE IN THE FIGHT OF THE 24TH ULT. Killed, 9; wounded, 38; missing, 9. Total, 56
Official report of the crossing of Buck River at Columbia, Tenn. by General Stevenson:
On the night of November 27th my scouts reported that there were indications that the enemy were evacuating Columbia. I immediately increased the number of scouts and about an hour before day sent forward the Eighteenth and Third Tennessee regiments (consolidated), under the command of Lt. Col. W. R. Butler. He found the reports of the scouts to be correct, and occupied the town without opposition. I then moved forward my division, except Cumming's brigade, commanded in the campaign by Col. E. P. Watkins, Fifty-sixth Georgia, which, by General's Lee's orders, was sent down the river to press those of the enemy who had taken that route, and endeavor to save the railroad bridge which, however, had been fired before their arrival. In the fort at Columbia we secured a large amount of howitzer and small arms ammunition and two siege howitzers. Colonel Butler had, immediately upon gaining possession of the town, sent a force to the ford of Buck River. The enemy's skirmishers were to be in large force on the opposite bank, and the enemy in position behind works about three-quarters of a mile from the river. He immediately moved down his command and skirmished them briskly. The Sixtieth North Carolina, coming up soon after, was sent farther up the banks of the river to a point from which they obtained a flanking fire upon the enemy. This drove them back from the immediate bank of the river. Orders were soon after received to discontinue the skirmishing.
On the night of that same day General Hood, with Cheatham's and Stewart's corps and Johnson's divisions, of Lee's corps, crossed Buck River nine miles north of Columbia and pushed for the enemy's rear, leaving General Lee with Clayton's and my divisions to occupy the enemy in front until he should have reached his position, then to force a crossing of the river and attack the enemy as he attempted to extricate himself. The greater part of the next day was spent in preparations for this movement. The bank of the river was quite steep on the side held by the enemy. A pontoon boat in charge of Captain Ramsey, engineer, was taken down the river, under a galling fire, and launched, and could then, under the cover of our artillery and skirmish fire, be used with much pressure in ferrying our troops. This was done with practicable rapidity, the troops as they crossed forming under the cover of the steep bank to which I have alluded. About an hour before sunset I had succeeded in crossing three regiments of Pettus' brigade, Brigadier General Pettus in command. The Twentieth Alabama Regiment (Col. J. D. Dedman), of his brigade, had previously been sent up the bank of the river to obtain a flanking fire upon the enemy, and the Thirtieth Alabama (Lieu. Col. J. K. Elliot) was retained on the Columbia side to cover the ford in case of my failure. Everything being made ready I directed General Pettus to advance, and his command dashed forward at the word, driving the enemy before them in a charge which elicited the warmest admiration of all who witnessed it. Their loss was slight; that of the enemy so considerable that to explain the affair the commander of the enemy saw fit to attribute to an entire division an attack made by but three of its regiments. Having driven the enemy within their mail line General Pettus halted, selected a position to prevent the enemy from interrupting the laying of the pontoons, and was subsequently re-enforced by the rest of the brigade and by Holtzclaw's brigade of Clayton's division. The pontoon bridge was then laid with all practicable expedition.
Orders from Headquarters, General Stephen D. Lee
Before taking temporary leave of this corps, I desire to express to the officers and men of my command my high appreciation of the good conduct and gallantry displayed by them at Nashville in the engagement of the 16th, and to assure them that they can be held in no manner responsible for the disaster of the day. I extend to them all my thanks for the manner in which they preserved their organization in the midst of temporary panic, rallying to their colors and presenting a determined front to the enemy, thus protecting the retreat of the army. I would also respectfully thank the officers and men of Holtzclaw's and Gibson's brigades, of Clayton's division, and of Pettus' brigade, of Stevenson's division, for the gallantry and courage with which they met and repulsed repeated charges of the enemy upon their line, killing and wounding large numbers of the assailants and causing them to retreat in confusion. I desire also to tender my heartfelt thanks to Major-General Stevenson and the officers of Pettus' and Cumming's brigades, of his division, for their skillful, brave, and determined conduct while protecting the retreat of the army from Franklin yesterday; constantly attacked in front and on either flank, these brave troops maintained an unshaken line, repulsed incessant attacks, and inflicted heavy loss upon the enemy. In conclusion, my brave comrades, I beg to assure you that I am not only satisfied with your conduct in the recent campaign, but that I shall repose unalterable confidence in you in the future - - a future which, despite the clouds which seem to lower around us, will yet be rendered bright by the patriotic deeds of our gallant army, in which none will gain prouder laurels or do more gallant deeds than the veterans whom I have the honor to command.
S. D. Lee In the field, Dec. 18, 1864 Lieutenant-General
Farewell Address of General E. W. Pettus
Hd. Qrs. Pettus Brigade, Salisberry, April 28th, 1865,
You have now served your country faithfully for more than three years.
On many hard fought fields your steady determined value has been proved.
In camp, and on the march your cheerful endurance of privations and labor, has won the admiration of the army and the country.
Your prompt obedience of orders has justly won the admiration of your commanders.
You have won a reputation, as regiments and as a brigade of which you and your dear ones at home are and ought to be proud.
Now you are subject to a new trial.
The fortune of war has made you prisoners. You are to be marched in a body to your State, and there disbanded on parole. Your value and good conduct has my greatest joy and pride; and it is confidently expected that the reputation of this command will be still preserved in their new trial.
Though others may desert and disgrace themselves, and their kindred, let us stand together and obey orders. In this way we best contribute to our safety, and comfort, and preserve our characters untarnished.
Let our motto be "Do our duty trusting in God."
[Signed] E. W. Pettus Brig. Genl. Official D. C. Byrne, Act. Adj. 23rd Ala. (From the Montgomery Advertiser, April, 1912)