11th Mississippi Infantry

 

(from Dunbar Rowland’s "Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1898"; company listing courtesy of H. Grady Howell’s "For Dixie Land, I’ll Take My Stand’)

 

Company A -- University Greys (raised in Lafayette County, MS) [Cosmopolitan rank & file]

Company B -- Coahoma Invincibles (raised in Coahoma County, MS)

Company C -- Prairie Rifles, aka Prairie Rifleman (raised in Chickasaw County, MS)

Company D -- Neshoba Rifles, aka Neshoba Riflemen (raised in Neshoba County, MS)

Company E -- Prairie Guards (raised in Lowndes County, MS)

Company F -- Noxubee Rifles (raised in Noxubee County, MS)

Company G -- Lamar Rifles (raised in Lafayette County, MS)

Company H -- Chickasaw Guards (raised in Chickasaw County, MS)

Company I -- Van Dorn Reserve (raised in Monroe County, MS)

Company K -- Carroll County Rifles (raised in Carroll County, MS)

 

These companies were ordered to Corinth in April, 1861, and the regiment was organized May 4. Being transported to Lynchburg, Va., the regiment was there mustered in the provisional army for one year by Major Clay May 13, and on the 19th they arrived at Harper's Ferry.

The Inspector-General reported from Harper's Ferry May 23 that the Mississippians were clamoring for rifles in place of the old muskets they had. The Eleventh, he said, took pride in its appearance and was soldierly.

In the organization of the Army of the Shenandoah, under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, the Eleventh and Second, with the Fourth Alabama and First Tennessee, constituted Gen. B. E. Bee's brigade, the other brigades being commanded by Thomas J. Jackson, of Virginia, Barrow of Georgia and Elzey of Maryland. With the army they fell back to Winchester June 15, when Patterson's Federal army crossed the Potomac from Pennsylvania, and on July 18 began the movement to Manassas to support Beauregard against the Federal army advancing from Washington. Two companies of the Eleventh, A and F, under Lieutenant-Colonel Liddell, arrived at Manassas with General Johnston, about noon of the 20th, and on the next morning they were ordered out, with the Second and other regiments, under General Bee, the first to advance to the relief of the left flank of the army, which was being demoralized by an unexpected attack from the Federal army. They went into battle gallantly, but were also overwhelmed by great odds, after a heroic struggle, and forced to fall back behind the line established in their rear by General Jackson. Casualties -- killed, 7; wounded, 21.

Subsequently Liddell was in command of the regiment and the brigade was commanded by General Whiting. General Lee wrote July 25, 1861, that he regarded the brigade as a Mississippi brigade, commanded by a Mississippian.

The six miles march from Winchester at double quick that the regiment made to reach the field of Manassas disabled many. The winter was spent in camp near Dumfries, a few miles from the Evansport batteries on the Potomac. In February the men began enlisting for the war and taking furloughs. They moved to Fredericksburg March 8, and thence to the vicinity of Yorktown, where the regiment was reorganized and officers elected. They left the Yorktown lines May 4, and next day Whiting's division, including his brigade and Hood's Texans, marched thirty-five miles to oppose Franklin's corps, which Hood and Stuart drove back and prevented from interfering with the withdrawal of Johnston's army. There are no official reports covering the action of the regiment at Seven Pines, May 31 and June 1. They supported the Third Alabama in an attack on the Fifty-second New York June 1, and finally took the front line and suffered a heavy loss, which does not appear in the reports. Company E had 2 killed and 8 wounded, 2 of whom were captured. Company K had 3 killed, 11 wounded.

In June they accompanied Whiting's division in the movement to Staunton to reinforce Jackson in the valley, soon returning with Jackson to Ashland to attack McClellan.

In the seven days' battles before Richmond the brigade, under Col. E. M. Law, was in Whiting's division with Hood's Texas brigade. The division marched as the advance of Jackson's army (see Second Regiment) and later in the evening of June 27, in the battle of Gaines' Mill, made the famous charge across the ravine held by the Federal infantry and artillery, sweeping the enemy away and winning the victory. (No regimental reports, see Second Regiment for synopsis of Whiting's report.) "Colonel Liddell led his distinguished regiment to the close of the action," Whiting wrote. The loss of the Eleventh was 18 killed, 142 wounded, 3 missing, the most severe of any in the division except the Fourth Texas. The retreating Federal army was overtaken at White Oak swamp June 30, where the regiment was under fire. At Malvern Hill, July 1, under artillery fire, they lost 1 killed and 20 wounded.

In the second Manassas campaign Hood marched his division to Freeman's ford, August 22, driving a Federal force across the Rappahannock, next to Waterloo ford, and then with the main body of Longstreet's army through Thoroughfare gap to the relief of Jackson's army in battle with Pope. The Eleventh was in the charge at sunset August 29, when the brigade captured one piece of artillery, three stands of colors and 100 prisoners. Next day, in the battle of Manassas Plains, the brigade advanced to Groveton in support of a battery, under heavy artillery fire, and afterwards took part in the fight near Chinn's house, "fighting gallantly and incurring heavy loss and at night resting on our

most advanced line." The regimental casualties of the two days were 22 killed and 87 wounded, the heaviest of the brigade. . In the march through Maryland, September, 1862, Hood's division turned about and countermarched to meet the pursuing enemy at Boonsboro gap in the mountains. Hood ordered his Texas brigade and Law's brigade "to move forward with bayonets fixed, which they did with their accustomed gallantry, driving the enemy and regaining all our

lost ground." As the rear guard of the army they marched thence to Sharpsburg and were stationed near the Dunker church, where Hood was attacked on the evening of the 16th, but repulsed the enemy. "During the engagement the brave and efficient Col. P. F. Liddell fell, mortally wounded." After this fight the men had their first meal for three days, except that they had a half ration of beef one day and the green corn along the road. Next morning (17th) Hood was called early into the battle. He wrote: "I soon became engaged with an immense force of the enemy, consisting of not less than two corps of their army. It was here that I witnessed the most terrible clash of arms, by far, that has occurred during the war. The two little giant brigades of this division wrestled with this mighty force, losing hundreds of their gallant officers and men, but driving the enemy from his position and forcing him to abandon his guns on our left." They were fighting at right angles to the general line of battle, and Law was so exposed that the division was retired to the church, which they held until relieved by McLaws.

Lieutenant-Colonel S. F. Butler was wounded and Major T. S. Evans killed in command of the regiment. Total casualties of the regiment: 8 killed, 96 wounded. The color bearer was killed and the regimental flag, which had been presented by the government November 6, was lost.

After the return to the' Shenandoah valley the Second and Eleventh were ordered to Richmond to join the Mississippi brigade under Gen. Joseph R. Davis. They arrived there in November, and in December the brigade was sent to Goldsboro, N. C., in which vicinity it operated against a Federal force; left there for Blackwater bridge in February, 1863; was in the entrenched line at Suffolk during the siege; left the Blackwater camp for Fredericksburg June 3; was attached to Heth's division, A. P. Hill's corps; started on the Pennsylvania campaign June 15.

The Eleventh did not have a part in the battle of July 1, near Gettysburg, being left as a guard for the division wagon train near Cashtown, Pa. On July 3 it participated in the famous charge up the slope of Cemetery ridge, on the extreme left of the Confederate line. The entire division, under command of Pettigrew, in which the Eleventh was included, moved steadily up the slope, closing up the ranks as they were thinned by the tremendous storm of shot and shell, and finally were at the stone wall behind which the Federal infantry was posted. But there the musketry fire was so murderous that "any further effort to carry the position was hopeless, and there was nothing left but to retire to the position originally held, which was done in more or less confusion." Two men were killed and twenty-one wounded in Davis' brigade by the Federal artillery as they stood in line before the movement was begun. In the charge all the field officers of the brigade were killed or wounded. The regimental casualties were reported as 32 killed, 170 wounded. Company histories reveal the following facts:

Company K took thirty-eight into the charge. Captain Bird was killed while cheering his men over the stone fence. Lieutenant Stanford took his place and fell wounded. Some of the men scaled the fence and were captured. At roll call that evening seven answered. Lieutenant Baker, Company C, surrendered about a dozen men at the fence. Lieutenant Baker, Company A, was wounded beyond the fence and surrendered with his squad of men. Company E took in thirty-nine men, of whom fifteen were killed and twenty-one wounded, including Captain Halbert and two Lieutenants killed and one Lieutenant wounded. Corporal Morgan was the only man able for duty after the charge. Company D took in fifty-five men and all but ten were killed or wounded and captured.

From Gettysburg they marched to Hagerstown and were in line of battle several .days, thence to Falling Waters, crossing the Potomac; Bunker Hill, Culpepper, Orange Courthouse, and from there across the Rappahannock in the campaign resulting in the battle of Bristoe Station, where the regiment had four men wounded. In December they marched to Mine Run and intrenched in line of battle. They were in winter quarters at Orange Courthouse until May 4, when they moved into the battle of the Wilderness May 5. The Eleventh led the advance of Heth's division, moving down the plank road deployed in line, pushed back the Federal cavalry for several miles, and encountered the Blue infantry toward the middle of the evening. This opened the battle of the Wilderness. Heth's division was at one time almost entirely surrounded, but Anderson's division arrived on the field and relieved the pressure. On the morning of the 6th the enemy renewed the battle, while Kershaw's division of Longstreet's corps was relieving Heth's, which was held as a reserve that day. Some confusion was caused, but the main part of Davis' brigade, under Colonel Stone, remained on the line and took a very active part in the severe battle that followed. (Sketch by D. C. Love, also see Second Regiment.)

After the movement to Spottsylvania the regiment fought at Talley's Mill May 10, where Colonel Green was mortally wounded. He died May 15. The Lamar Rifles, as brigade skirmishers, under Captain Nelms, were particularly distinguished in this battle.

At the battle of May 12, Spottsylvania Courthouse, the brigade repulsed an attack, being posted to the right of the Bloody Angle. One hundred and fifty men of the brigade were sent out in front under Captain Nelms as a skirmish line that day, and of these 120 were killed or wounded. There was considerable loss at Bethesda Church, June 2-3, on the Cold Harbor line, where the brigade remained until after the battle of the Crater, July 30, when they were moved to that part of the Petersburg line.

Roll of honor at the Wilderness battles--Corporal Richard C. Bridges, Edward G. Jones, J. M. Williamson, Corporal G. B. Triplett, Corporal John T. Morgan, W. C. Nance, John C. Barnes, W. H. Johnson, P. H. Neagle, J. W. Young, Sergt. W. D. Reid, John R. Gilleylen, Corporal J. K. Miller, Samuel Stanford (killed), John W. Jennings, Color Bearer Frank L. Hope. At Talley's MiI1--A. J. Due, J, H. Cook, Corporal Dennis O'Sullivan, Corporal A. W. Maness, George M. Dooley, Corporal W. R. Holland, H. Clay Moore, Vaiden H. Hughes. At Spotsylvania Courthouse--J. H. Dailey, J. D. Norwood, Balus H. Dumas, A. G. Burney, Sergt. R. T. Hobson, J. Beckett Gladney, E. B. Marcey (killed). At Bethesda Church--J. H. Dailey, J. C. Halbert, Corporal A. W. Maness (killed), W. N. Shaw, John C. Robinson, T. B. Reid, George W. Wall, A. L. Kimbrough, Color Bearer Frank L. Hope. (Records of Union and Confederate Armies.)

The battles that followed were the Weldon Railroad (Ream's Station), August 18-19; Davis Farm, October 1; Jones' Farm, October 3; Hatcher's Run, October 27.

Casualties at battles of Wilderness and Spottsylvania---Killed, 14; wounded, 55; missing, 6. At Bethesda Church, June 2-3 -- Killed, 6; wounded, 31; missing, 4. At Weldon Railroad, August 18-19 -- Killed, 10; wounded, 30. At Jones' Farm, October 2-3 -- Killed, 1; wounded, 3; missing, 1.

Roll of honor for Weldon Railroad, August 18-19 -- Corporals S. L. Neely (dead), Matthew Knox, W. C. Handley; Privates Z. E. Vernor, George H. Turner (killed), James L. Anderson (killed), S. T. Fife, P. McAnnally, T. W. Billingsley (killed), R. A. Sims, J. T. Stanley, B. F. Trammell, T. J. S. Robinson (killed). Hanover Junction--J. C. Halbert, A. L. McJunkin, James M. Gillespie, G. W. Williams. (Records of Union and Confederate Armies).

March 25, 1865, the skirmish line of Davis' brigade on the Petersburg line, was attacked and some of the men captured. The brigade went into the battle which lasted several hours. The Eleventh was only sixty-four strong and lost a considerable proportion of that number. LieutenantColonel Reynolds lost his right arm and Captain Nelms was severely wounded. During the night of April 1st the regiment, under command of Major Shannon, moved to the right and took position near Hatcher’s Run, where next day, the Federal army having broken the line, the remnant of the regiment was almost surrounded by vast numbers. Shannon led his men to the run and disbanded the command. Frank Hope, color bearer, tore the flag into shreds, tied them to the pole and threw it in the stream. Some escaped by swimming, among them Major J. J. Evans of the staff of General Davis, but most surrendered. (Sketch by D. C. Love.)

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