1st 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 -- Walker Reserves (raised in Marshall County, MS)

Company B -- Mooresville Darts (raised in Itawamba County, MS)

Company C -- Reub Davis Rebels (raised in Pontotoc County, MS)

Company D -- DeSoto Greys (raised in DeSoto County, MS)

Company E -- Pleasant Mount Rifles (raised in Panola County, MS)

Company F -- Alcorn Rifles (raised in Marshall County, MS)

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

Company H -- James Creek Volunteers (raised in Tishomingo County, MS)

Company I -- Rifle Scouts (raised in Itawamba County, MS)

Company K -- Mississippi Yankee Hunters (raised in Itawamba County, MS)

 

 This was the First Regiment, First Brigade, Army of Mississippi, one of the eight regiments, the organization of which progressed slowly while other regiments were formed for immediate service at Pensacola or in Virginia. The First Regiment was completed in August and ordered into camp of instruction at Inka. The field officers were elected 10 September, 1861. The First was one of the four regiments sent by Governor Pettus to Kentucky to reinforce Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston. Camp near Hopkinsville, Ky., October 17.

The First and Third (23d.) formed part of the brigade of Gen. Charles Clark, at Hopkinsville, in the winter of 1861-62. Eleven of the First Regiment are buried at Hopkinsville, Ky., who died that winter. They were sent to Fort Donelson early in February, and General Pillow assigned them, with Lyon's Kentucky and Gregg's Texas Regiment, to a brigade under the command of Colonel Davidson of the Twenty-third, on February 9. The regiment was posted in the trenches under the command of Lieut-Col. A. S. Hamilton. Grant attacked on the 13th, and the line was exposed to the fire of artillery and sharpshooters. About midnight between the 14th and 15th, it was decided to sally from the works. Colonel Davidson being sick, and Colonel Simonton commanded the brigade, which marched out at dawn, following the brigades of Baldwin, Wharton and McCausland, and became seriously engaged with the left of McClernand's Division. For an hour they fought for the possession of a hill and finally the Mississippians charged and won the crest. A second charge, after being reinforced, drove the Blue line further back and captured Schwartz's battery. Simonton reported that he advanced over a mile and a half, then halted and was ordered back to the rifle pits, which he regained without sight of the foe. Co.. Morgan L. Smith, commanding the Eighth Missouri and Eleventh Indiana, reported that he stormed the position of the First and Third Mississippi, the skirmishers fighting very closely among the trees; after an hour's hard fight the Confederates gave way, and he pursued about a mile, taking five prisoners. The First had a total of 331 in battle; casualties 16 killed and 61 wounded. Colonel Simonton gave honorable mention to Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton, Major Johnston, and his aides, Capt. R. B. Ryan and Sergt.-Major T. H. Wilson. General Bushrod Johnson reported that the Eighth Kentucky, Seventh Texas and First Mississippi suffered perhaps the greatest losses. The regiment then became prisoners of war until exchanged. Some escaped and joined other commands.

In the assignment of exchanged prisoners by General Van Dorn, October 16, 1862, Col. J. M. Simonton's consolidated regiment was ordered to report to Gen. Sterling Price, commanding the Army of the West, and was made part of Maury's Division, the consolidated regiment then including the First Mississippi, Fifty-third, Ninth and Forty-sixth Tennessee and Twenty-seventh Alabama. October 26 they were ordered to report at Meridian.

In his organization of troops in the breastworks at Port Hudson, January 7, 1863, General Gardner assigned Co1. J. M. Simonton to command of a consolidated Alabama regiment, while the Thirty-ninth and First Mississippi were consolidated under Col. W. B. Shelby, all forming part of Gen. Beall’s Brigade. March 27, after the Federal troops had begun landing, Simonton was sent with infantry, artillery and cavalry to Tangipahoa to reinforce Lieut.Col. H. H. Miller, who then reoccupied Ponchatoula, the Federal force falling back. Simonton was commanding at Ponchatoula in April. May 6 he was ordered to Port Hudson. In the organization of March, 1863, First Regiment, Col. Simonton, in Beall's Brigade, with the Thirty-ninth, Co1. Shelby, and Arkansas regiments. During the siege of Port Hudson Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton commanded the regiment, Colonel Simonton being absent.

The Federal army began the investment, May 25, 1863, when the regiment had 4 men wounded and 4 missing. The first assault was made May 27, and including that day and up to June 1 the First had 5 killed and 13 wounded. After the repulse of the second assault, June 14, Beall reported "the loss of the First Mississippi Regiment in to-day's engagement is very severe--18 killed and about 14 wounded. The command is much reduced." He asked for the return of a detail of 100. The Federal information was that the two regiments together were only 500 strong.

The works opposite the First, Beall reported, were very strong and extensive, enabling the enemy to enter the ditch without danger from the sharpshooters. Maj. Thomas H. Johnston, commanding the regiment July 3, reported the enemy actively pushing their works forward in his front. Two of his men had been mortally wounded by the explosion of their own hand grenades as they were throwing them over the parapets at the enemy.

According to an unofficial statement the regiment had 45 killed at Port Hudson, including Capt. George M. Moseley, Adjutant G. F. Simonton, and Lieuts. M. L. Mobley, J. M. Greer and J. M. Rhyne, and 53 wounded.

The regiment was surrendered with the garrison July 8. This surrender, like the previous one at Fort Donelson, was unconditional, but according to an informal agreement, the non-commissioned officers and enlisted men were paroled. Maj. Thomas H. Johnston and Capt. Thomas Boyd (captured at Corinth) were among the 600 officers encamped as prisoners under Confederate fire in Charleston harbor as a retaliatory measure. Among these also was Maj. Lamar Fontaine.

February 29, 1864, the headquarters of General Polk, commanding the Army of Mississippi, being at Demopolis, Ala., the commanding officer of the First Mississippi Infantry was ordered to report with his regiment as infantry for assignment to Featherston's Brigade. May 4, 1864, General Polk revoked the permission granted the First Regiment to report temporarily to General Chalmers, and all Port Hudson prisoners having been officially declared exchanged, the regiment was ordered to report at Columbus by May 20. Gen. S. D. Lee ordered the regiment, Capt. J. M. Peeler commanding, to report at Meridian, May 27. In June the regiment was encamped at Meridian, doing provost guard duty, under command of Major Alcorn. Lieut-Col. Johnson, Captains Boyd, Milam and Davis and a number of lieutenants were yet prisoners of war at Johnson's Island. Captains Crawford, Peeler and Hughes were on duty; Lieut. J. C. Culbertson was acting Adjutant. On the evening after the battle of Harrisburg, Miss., July 14, 1864, General Chalmers made a reconnaissance with McCulloch's Brigade and "some skirmishers from the First Mississippi Infantry." In the army returns of July 31, 1864, the regiment, Major Alcorn commanding, was listed with Featherston's Brigade in Georgia.

The First Regiment, with Featherston's Brigade, crossed the Tennessee River from Tuscumbia, Ala., November 20, and marched to Columbia and thence in the flank movement to Spring Hill. November 30 the regiment participated in the assault upon the intrenched line at Franklin, and shared the casualties of the brigade -- 76 killed, 200 wounded, 76 missing. From Franklin they marched to Nashville and took their place in the line of Loring's Division across the Granny White pike, which was carried by the troops of General Thomas, December 15. In the battle of the 16th Loring repulsed all attacks until the line was broken on their left. Capt. Owen D. Hughes was in command of the First, December 10. The return of December 21 showed an aggregate present of 67. On the retreat the regiment was part of the heroic rear guard commanded by MajorGeneral Walthall, and Featherston's Brigade was in action December 25-26, at Anthony's Hill and Sugar Creek.

They recrossed the Tennessee River December 28, and marched to winter quarters near Tupelo.

About the first of February, 1865, the remnant of Loring's Division began the movement to reinforce General Johnston in the Carolinas. They were ordered forward from Augusta, Ga., to Newberry, S. C., February 25. In the Carolina campaign against Sherman they participated in the battle of Kinston, March 10, and Bentonville, March 19-21; on the 19th making a gallant and successful charge, but with heavy loss. Organization of army near Smithfield, N. C., March 31, 1865, shows Maj.Gen. Walthall in command of Stewart's Corps, formerly the Army of Mississippi, Featherston's Brigade commanded by Maj. Martin A. Oatis, the First Regiment by Capt. L. L. Jones. April 9 the First, Twenty-second and Thirty-third Regiments and First Battalion were consolidated as the Twenty-second Regiment, Col. Martin A. Oatis commanding. Stewart's Corps, March 17, including the Mississippi brigades of Featherston and Lowry with others, had 890 effective.

Hostilities were suspended April 18, the army was surrendered April 26 near Durham Station and paroled at Greensboro.

 

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