19th 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 -- President Davis Guards (raised in Noxubee County, MS)
Company B -- Mott Guards (raised in Lafayette County, MS)
Company C -- Warren Rifles (raised in Warren County, MS)
Company D -- Thomas Hinds Guards (raised in Jefferson County, MS)
Company E -- McClung Riflemen (raised in Lafayette County, MS)
Company F -- Avant Southrons (raised in Lafayette County, MS)
Company G -- Panola Invincibles, aka Spring Port Invincibles (raised in Panola County, MS)
Company H -- Salem Dragoons, aka Salem Cavalry (raised in Tippah County, MS)
Company I -- Marshall Rifles (raised in Marshall County, MS)
Company K -- Jake Thompson Guards (raised in Itawamba & Tishomingo Counties, MS)
Colonels -- Christopher H. Molt, killed at Williamsburg, Va., May 5, 1862; L. Q. C: Lamar, disabled, resigned; Nathaniel H. Harris, promoted Brigadier-General January 20, 1864; Thomas J. Hardin, killed at Spottsylvania May 12, 1864; Richard W. Phipps.
Lieutenant-Colonels -- L. Q. C. Lamar, promoted; N. H. Harris, promoted; W. G. Vaughn, disabled by wounds; T. J. Hardin, promoted; Richard W. Phipps, promoted; James H. Duncan. Majors -- Benjamin Alston, transferred to cavalry; John Mullins, transferred to cavalry, N. H. Harris, promoted; W. G. Vaughn, promoted, T. J. Hardin, promoted; Thomas R. Reading, resigned; Richard W. Phipps, promoted; James H. Duncan, promoted; Robert A. Dean, resigned. Adjutants -- A. R. Govan, promoted Captain B, Seventeenth Mississippi, killed September 20, 1863; Albert L. Peel, killed May 12, 1864, Spottsylvania; John H. McKie. Surgeons -- J. W. Smith, W. F. Hyer, R. H. Peel, J. W. Sharp. Chaplains -- T. L. Duke, Morrison.
The Nineteenth was enlisted for the war at Richmond, Va., June 1, 1861. The companies of the regiment were first mustered into the State service.
Christopher H. Mott, of Marshall County, who had been first Lieutenant of Company I, Mississippi Rifles, in the War with Mexico, had organized a company of State troops in 1860, and was one of the Brigadier-Generals of State troops under Gen. Jefferson Davis in January, 1861, resigned his State command and undertook, by special authority from the Confederate Government, to raise a regiment for service "during the war." L. Q. C. Lamar, his former law partner, had been considering a staff appointment but abandoned that to co-operate with Molt. Offers of companies poured in from all quarters, and the regiment, so far as its roster was concerned, was completed in the middle of May, although not sufficiently supplied with either tents or arms. Mott was elected Colonel and Lamar Lieutenant-Colonel. Lamar then resigned his professorship in the university and was, on the 14th of May, in Montgomery, offering his regiment to the Confederate War Department. This regiment was the first from its State raised for service "during the war," and it was numbered the Nineteenth. (Mayes' Lamar.)
May 25, 1861, the order was sent out from Montgomery: "Colonel Mott's regiment of Mississippi Volunteers (Pope Walker legion) ordered to rendezvous at Oxford, Miss., will, as soon as it is organized and prepared, proceed to Richmond, Va., and report to Major-General Lee," who was in command of Virginia State troops.
Harris' company went to Virginia independently and the others may have done likewise. According to Harris, the regiment was organized in June, 1861, at the old fair grounds, now Monroe Park, Richmond, and Mott elected Colonel, Lamar Lieutenant-Colonel, Alston Major, and Govan was made Adjutant. Harris' was selected as the color company. The regiment left Richmond July 4, 1861, and joined the forces of Gen. J. E. Johnston, then confronting Patterson's army in the upper Shenandoah valley. They were first brigaded with regiments from other States, mainly Alabamians, under Gen. E. Kirby-Smith and on July 21 Col. John H. Forney took command at Piedmont of the troops there, including the Nineteenth, and the command was ordered to Manassas. They reached there after the battle of that day. During the remainder of the year they were in Northeastern Virginia, and in winter quarters near Centreville. President Davis ordered their assignment to a brigade under General Griffith, but they were retained in their original brigade, under General Wilcox.
When the movement against Richmond was begun by McClellan they were transferred to the Yorktown line. On the retreat from that position they had just passed through Williamsburg when ordered back to the line of redoubts held by Longstreet, which was attacked. The Nineteenth was marched under screen of a ravine to a forest near a Federal battery, followed by the Ninth and Tenth Alabama. The woods they entered was so dense that Colonel Mott could not see his whole line. He threw forward Macon's and Martin's companies as skirmishers. After a spirited skirmish they returned with several prisoners. Captain Macon was mortally wounded in the fight, but while suffering intensely he gave a clear statement of the Federal position, to which, said General Wilcox, "is to be attributed much of the credit due for our success during the day." The line of blue, partly behind boggy ground, was only 200 yards distant. The Nineteenth was the only entire regiment in Wilcox's brigade. He called up A. P. Hill's brigade to his support, and received
half of Pryor's also. The Nineteenth advanced, supported by the Twenty-eighth Virginia, and the battle began about eleven A.M. and raged till dark. The Nineteenth found the enemy strongly posted behind a fence and piled logs, and after a few minutes of very close musketry, less than thirty yards, the Mississippians charged and drove the Federals from the works. Directly in front of the fence the gallant Colonel Mott fell mortally wounded, a Minie ball piercing his breast; Lieut.-Col. L. Q. C. Lamar then took command and proved himself, said Wilcox, "in all respects a gallant, daring and skillful officer." Lamar had been in command of the right wing of the regiment and Major John Mullins of the
left, and they had become separated in the charge. For an hour, until they could unite, the men stood under a galling fire. Later the reunited regiment went into the fight again with A. P. Hill. As an instance of gallantry in the charge above described, Colonel Lamar mentioned Company E, which went forward over ground covered with fallen logs. Color Sergeant Peebles bore the colors in front and when shot down still upheld them until Private Meaders took them from his hand. A rifle ball pierced his am and he passed the flag to Private Halloran, of Company C. Lieutenant Jones then took the colors and carried them until triumphantly planted on the enemy's cannon, the taking of which that company shared with the Ninth Alabama Regiment. Among the wounded were Captains Coffee and McKenzie and Lieutenants Dean and Tyson. Others honorably mentioned by Colonel Lamar were Captains Vaughn, Hardin, Harris, and Lieutenants Thomas, Lindsay, Phipps, Burney, Owens, Key, Barksdale, M. B. Harris, acting Adjutant, and Surgeon Robert H. Peel. The valor of the regiment was testified to in the official reports of Gen. J. E. B. Stuart and others. The regiment carried into action 501 men and had 15 killed and 85 wounded, 11 mortally.
May 31, after wearisome marches and countermarches, the Nineteenth reached the battlefield of Seven Pines, under command of Major Mullins, late in the evening. Sunday, June 1, being placed in an exposed position, they were briskly attacked, and had repulsed the enemy, when the brigade was ordered withdrawn. In the night they marched back to their camp near Richmond. The loss of the brigade was 110, but the regimental loss is not reported.
On May 15 Colonel Lamar, while reviewing his regiment, fell with an attack of vertigo, which had previously disabled him, and his service as a soldier was ended.
In June, 1862, a second Mississippi brigade in Virginia was formed, including the Twelfth, Nineteenth and Taylor's battalion, under Colonel Featherston, promoted to Brigadier-General. Their first battle in the seven days' campaign before Richmond was June 27 (Gaines' Mill or Cold Harbor) on Beaver Dam creek, and then on the Chickahominy, near Gaines' house. Under heavy artillery fire they charged up a hill driving the Federal line through a forest and capturing a battery. Major John Mullins, who commanded the regiment, was commended for gallantry; Lieut. John R. Sirles was killed and Lieut. M. B. Harris mortally wounded. Capt. George P. Foote, of the Panola company, who was Adjutant-General of the brigade, was killed while leading one of the regiments in the charge far in advance of the main line. June 30, in the battle of Glendale or Frazier's farm, the brigade went into battle at five in the evening and sustained the attack of a large force of the enemy. The casualties of the regiment in the two battles were 58 killed, 264 wounded and 3 missing, total 325.
In Wilcox's division of Longstreet's corps the brigade took part in the second Manassas campaign, fighting gallantly on August 30 in the vicinity of the stone house. The brigade casualties were 26 killed, 142 wounded.
In the Maryland campaign the brigade, under Colonel Posey, participated in the capture of Harper's Ferry and at the battle of Sharpsburg fought gallantly. (For brigade at Sharpsburg see report of Feltus. Sixteenth.) The Nineteenth lost 6 killed and 52 wounded in this campaign.
The regiment was in line of battle and under artillery fire through the battle of Fredericksburg and had one man killed and seven wounded. Major Mullins was in command.
Near Fredericksburg the regiment remained in camp, with occasional picket duty on the Rappahannock, until the middle of February, when the brigade, under General Posey, was stationed at United States ford, with Mahone's brigade, to guard that important crossing on the left of Lee's army.
On April 29, after the Federal army had crossed at other points, the brigade withdrew to the Chancellorsville house, leaving five companies of the Nineteenth, with one of Mahone's regiments, to watch the ford. Next day the regiment was reunited and marched with the brigade to the intersection of the Mine and Plank roads, where they intrenched. May 1 they started out to co-operate with Jackson's flank march, and fought nearly all the day with a force of the enemy found on the Furnace road, pushing it back from a position which would have been fatal to the campaign, and after eleven at night, advancing almost to the Federal entrenchments. After skirmishing all day of the 2d the enemy disappeared from their front on the Furnace road. On the 3d they advanced by the furnace, capturing many prisoners, to the line of Confederate artillery, then deployed by flank to the right, the Nineteenth leading, and charged the Federal breastworks. Col. N. H. Harris led the attack, through a dense wood and over a wide abatis, and in spite of a murderous fire of musketry and artillery the Mississippians took the intrenched line. T.L. Duke, Chaplain of the regiment, was at the front with his musket during the series of battles, and mainly directed the movements of the skirmishers. The loss was 6 killed, 39 wounded, 6 captured.
After this battle the brigade returned to camp near Fredericksburg, and in the reorganization that followed the death of Stonewall Jackson was assigned to Anderson's division of A. P. Hill's corps, which remained at Fredericksburg in observation of Hooker's army, on the heights across the river, while Lee was preparing his movement by the left flank into Maryland and Pennsylvania. With Hill's corps they marched through the Blue Ridge Mountains by way of Front Royal into the Shenandoah valley, crossed the Potomac at Shepherdstown June 24, arrived at Chambersburg on the 27th, and camped near Fayetteville, Pa., on the road from Chambersburg to Gettysburg. July 1 they marched toward the sound of battle, went into line for action but were not engaged. On the 2d the brigade advanced to a position in front of Meade's line on Cemetery Ridge, and in the evening General Posey was ordered to support the advance of Wright's brigade. Wright fought his way to the summit of the hill and remained there ten minutes, hoping for support and victory over Meade's army, but he received, he reported, no support either on left or right. General Posey reported: "I received an order from the Major-General to advance but two of my regiments, and deploy them closely as skirmishers. I had then a thin line of skirmishers in front and at once sent out the Forty-eighth and Nineteenth Regiments, Colonel Jayne and Colonel Harris commanding." With the right wing of his regiment Harris advanced at double-quick to his line of skirmishers fronting the enemy in the orchard, and when Wright advanced, supported on his left by the Forty-eighth, Jayne pushed ahead again, his right resting on the Forty-eighth. He pushed back the Federal line in his front and captured some prisoners. "Still driving the enemy before me, I advanced some four hundred paces further up the hill," Harris reported: "The left wing of my regiment, Maj. T. J. Hardin commanding, here came up to my support. Within sixty yards of the right of my line of skirmishers was a battery of the enemy, which was playing upon General Wright. My skirmishers succeeded in driving the gunners three times from their guns, when they soon changed their position to the crest of the hill in their rear, I still holding my position until after dark, when I was recalled by Brigadier-General Posey." Later in the day Posey sent out the Sixteenth and went to their help with the Twelfth, when he found the three regiments "well up in advance. They had driven the enemy's pickets into their works and the artillerists from their guns in their front." Darkness coming on, the brigade was ordered by Anderson to retire behind the Confederate artillery. The regiment lost some of its most valuable officers and men; killed, 4; wounded, 23.
On the 3d there was heavy skirmishing along the brigade front, and the men were exposed to the cannonading that preceded the assault, by Pickett and Pettigrew. The brigade was ordered forward with the division to support this charge, but it being repulsed the brigade was ordered back. On the 5th they fell back to Hagerstown and entrenched, remaining there until the 13th, when they evacuated the line at night in a heavy rain, and recrossed the Potomac, July 14, at Falling Waters. After two months of rest near Orange Courthouse, the brigade was again called to a campaign on the Rappahannock. They crossed the river, forcing a passage, pushed on to Warrenton and supported the advance
of Hill's corps in the attack upon Meade at Bristoe Station, October 14, where General Posey was mortally wounded.
Meade retreated to Centerville, the headquarters of the Federal army, July 21, 1861, and the brigade fell back with Lee's army across the Rappahannock and went in camp at Brandy Station. Col. S. E. Baker took command of the brigade as the ranking officer present, Colonel Harris being absent on sick leave. Harris returned about November 1 and took command, and in the following February he was promoted Brigadier-General. November 17, when Meade again advanced, the brigade was moved at double-quick to cover a ford above the bridge at Rappahannock Station, afterward went in line of battle with the corps, and then retired with the army to the south side of the Rapidan. On the 27th they again advanced to meet a rumored Federal advance by Germanna ford, marched before dawn on the 28th toward Fredericksburg, weather intensely cold. encountered the enemy, went in line of battle and entrenched along Mine Run. Meade retreated across the Rapidan and the brigade went into winter quarters on that river, near Clark's mountain.
On the morning of May 5, Harris was notified to hold his brigade in readiness for orders, and at noon they marched with the division toward Chancellorsville, which was continued next day toward the scene of conflict in the Wilderness where they arrived on the Plank road at noon May 6. After several changes in position, about three o’clock they encountered the two Federal columns moving to the left and rear of the brigades of Davis, Perry and Law. Harris' brigade charged and forced the enemy back to an entrenched position, capturing 150 prisoners. The brigade lost a considerable number killed and wounded, among the mortally wounded Captain Burrage. Afterward, in line with the other brigades, they repulsed the repeated attacks of the Federal line. May 9 they marched. quick time, to Spottsylvania Courthouse. The division, now under Mahone, arrived in time to relieve Fitzhugh Lee and save a good position against Grant's flank movement, which barely missed success. Harris was ordered to guard the bridge over the Po River, where he posted two regiments, which, after skirmishing through the night, aided Mahone on the 10th in the repulse of a Federal attack. Next day they crossed and went into line of battle. Back across the river again, early on the 12th, they moved at double quick. under orders to meet the attack of Hancock's corps, which had carried the salient held by Johnson's division. At the courthouse Harris was given orders for his advance by General Lee, who rode at the head of the brigade until exposed to a heavy artillery fire, when officers and men, seeing the great danger to which he was exposed, cried out, "Go back, General Lee, for God's sake go back," and some of the men seizing the reins of the bridle, turned Traveler's head to the rear. General Lee said, "If you will promise me to drive those people from our works I will go back." The men shouted their purpose with a will (Harris' Diary). The morning was dark, rain was falling. and a heavy fog mingled with the smoke of battle, making it impossible to see very far ahead in the direction toward which the brigade moved at double quick, and soon coming under a galling fire of grape and canister. Getting near the thick of the fight, the staff officer who was to guide Harris disappeared, and Harris got his line more exposed than it need have been to the Federal artillery and musketry, which opened upon him as soon as his movement was discovered. But he at once ordered his two right regiments to front, charge up the works and drive the enemy from them, which they did in the most gallant manner, capturing between two and three hundred prisoners. The two left regiments formed in line, and wheeling to the right pressed up to the works and joined the left of the other regiments, a portion of the extreme left regiment overlapping Ramseur's brigade, soon rectified by the brigade making way to the right. But some of Hancock's troops remained in the salient, and kept up a destructive enfilading fire, which, with the repeated attacks in front, threatened to make Harris' position untenable, he having already lost a third of his command killed or wounded. McGowan's brigade came up, but McGowan was at once killed, and no one could be found to move his brigade where it could be of service in completing the reoccupation of the works. In this state and position, General Harris reported, this command remained until 3:30 A.M. of the 13th, repulsing repeated and desperate attempts of the enemy to dislodge them. For these twenty hours the men were exposed to a constant and destructive musketry tire, both from front and flank, and during the hours of day to a heavy artillery fire, in which mortars were used by the enemy for the first time during the campaign. A cold drenching rain fell during the greater part of the day and night, and the trenches were filled with water. Great difficulty was experienced in obtaining ammunition, man after man being shot down while bringing it in. As an instance of the terrible nature of the fire, trees twenty-two inches in diameter were hewn to splinters and felled by the musketry. Among the killed were Col. T. J. Hardin and Adjutant Peel. Col. Richard W. Phipps took command. The casualties of the regiment May 6-12 were 22 killed, 55 wounded, 45 missing..
May 22-23 the army moved across the North Anna and entrenched to meet Grant's continued attempt to secure an advantage on Lee's right flank. When a Federal force crossed the river front of Mahone, Harris attacked with one regiment in front, while Sanders' Alabamians attacked on the flank, with complete success. Marching again soon, the brigade entrenched on Totopotomoy creek and skirmished there until June 2, when they were moved to Cold Harbor. In the night the brigade relieved a brigade of Breckenridge's division on Turkey Ridge, where for ten days they were engaged in a continuous battle of sharpshooters and artillery. The lines were very close together, yet a body of picked men from the brigade went out on a reconnaissance on the 6th and lost half their number in killed or wounded.
On the morning of June 13 the skirmish line discovered that Grant's army had disappeared and by noon the brigade was marching across the Chickahominy for Newmarket heights, where they had the first opportunity for a bath and change of clothing since the beginning of the campaign. June 18 they marched across the James River to Petersburg, and took position in the trenches, which they left on the 22d to go into battle in support of the other brigades of the division, after which they returned. Next day the brigade was ordered to occupy the works from which Mahone had driven the Federals, but they encountered a heavy force from which they were forced to recoil with some loss. On the same day they marched to the Nine Mile house on the Weldon Railroad, with Mahone's division, and to attack the Federal line on the left and rear. Harris pushed the force in his front back to an entrenched line, and held them there until they were flanked and captured by Perry's brigade.
The casualties in June were killed, 9; wounded, 25; missing, 2, in this regiment..
Again, July 1, the division, including Harris' brigade, made a brief campaign on the railroad. July 30 they were exposed to a heavy cannonading at the time of the mine explosion. August 16-18 they left the Petersburg lines and operated on the Darbytown road north of the James, General Harris commanding three brigades, including his own, under Col. J. M. Jayne. The battle caused some loss and was without decisive results. August 21 the brigade was in battle on the Weldon Railroad near Yellow Tavern, charging the Federal works, from which they were repulsed with heavy loss. Then they occupied the Rives salient on the Petersburg line, engaged in the continuous battle of artillery, mortars and sharpshooters. October 27, they followed the division on the Boydton plank road and went into battle near Burgess' mill, where they captured near a hundred prisoners and lost some brave men. November 12, they were relieved from the trenches and put in reserve. In December and again in January they marched to thwart the persistent efforts of Grant to cut the Weldon railroad. February 6, 1865, they were back again at Hatcher's Run on the double-quick, the news being that Grant was pushing Gordon back beyond the Boydton road. Getting into line to support Gordon's left the brigade aided in forcing the line of blue back to its entrenchments, a distance of a mile and a half. In February the brigade was posted next the James River on the line to Swift Run, whence early in March they moved to Richmond, where General Harris was put in command of the forces, including his own brigade, holding the inner line of defenses, to meet Sheridan's raid. That peril turned aside, the brigade returned to the Swift Run line. Late in March Harris' men were anxiously watching for some movement in their front that would give an opportunity for attack, in hope of diverting the final blow that was close at hand. But no opportunity came, and Gordon's gallant attempt was a failure. Warning orders came at midnight, April 1, and about an hour later an order to march to Petersburg, where they learned that Wilcox's line had been broken. Thither the brigade moved at doublequick. About 400 strong they found themselves alone in the presence of a great and imposing force. Harris formed a line at right angles to the Boydton road, near the Newman house, concealing both flanks in the rolling ground and exposing the center, to convey an impression of a continuous line of battle, which was so effective that the Federal commander formed two lines for his advance. Then the orders came to Harris not to allow himself to be cut off, but to throw two regiments into Battery Gregg and two into Battery Whitworth, these being two earthworks between the front line and the Appomattox River. Retiring steadily, Harris obeyed the order, putting the Twelfth and Sixteenth, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Duncan, of the Nineteenth, in Gregg, and the Nineteenth, Col. R. H. Phipps, and the Forty-eighth, Col. J. M. Jayne, in Whitworth. The artillery in Battery Whitworth was withdrawn after the regiments entered, but there was no time to take away the section of the Washington artillery in Battery Gregg. The main assault was upon Battery Gregg, and the assaulting columns did not approach Whitworth nearer than forty paces, nor in such force (see Sixteenth Regiment). Duncan's men and McElroy's artillery repelled repeated assaults until finally compelled to surrender. Harris then evacuated the other redoubt. The loss of the Nineteenth was 47 killed, wounded and missing out of 150. Time had been gained for Longstreet to arrive from the north side of the James and form a new line to protect the evacuation of Richmond and Petersburg. The Nineteenth and Forty-eighth, sadly reduced and all that was left of the brigade, formed in this new line, and late at night began the march westward, which continued all through the night, the next day and late into the following night. Expecting rations at Amelia Courthouse, they found only the Federal cavalry, and after driving them away and taking some prisoners, the weary march went on through the night of the 4th and day and night of the 5th. On the hills overlooking Sailor's creek they went into line of battle to check the close pursuit, and the night was hideous with the glare of burning trains and the deafening noise of exploding ammunition that could no longer be taken with the army. On the 7th, near Farmville, they received their first rations on the retreat. There was some fighting on the 7th and on the 9th they marched into line of battle and received the news of the surrender. On the 12th Mahone's division, under command of General Harris, marched to a point near Appomattox Courthouse and stacked arms, Harris' brigade stacking about 150 muskets. The muster roll of the surrender for the brigade was 33 officers and 339 enlisted men. Next day, on the advice of General Harris, they separated into squads and set out with sore and heavy hearts to tramp the long weary miles that separated them from their distant and desolate homes. (Diary of General Harris. Also see Twelfth, Sixteenth and Forty-eighth Regiments.)