29th 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 -- Lafayette Rebels (raised in Lafayette County, MS)

Company B -- Robson Rifles (raised in Tallahatchie County, MS)

Company C -- Panola Patriots (raised in Panola County, MS)

Company D -- Fishing Creek Avengers (raised in Yalobusha County, MS)

Company E -- Oakland Rebels (raised in Yalobusha County, MS)

Company F -- Hampton Guards (raised in Lowndes County, MS)

Company G -- Walthall Rebels (raised in Attala & Carroll Counties, MS)

Company H -- Gale Reserve (raised in Yazoo County, MS)

Company I -- DeSoto Brothers (raised in DeSoto County, MS)

Company K -- Dixie Rifles (raised in Holmes County, MS)

 

 Colonels -- Edward C. Walthall, promoted as Brigadier-General, December 13, 1862; William F. Brantley, promoted as Brigadier-General, July 26, 1864. Lieutenant- Colonels -- William F. Brantley, promoted; James B. Morgan. Majors -- James B. Morgan, promoted; Newton A. Isam, George W. Reynolds, killed at Franklin. Adjutants -- John W. Campbell, mortally wounded at Missionary Ridge; R. H. Vance, acting. Quartermasters -- W. G. Beauland, promoted to brigade staff, 1863; assistant, R. G. Smithers. Commissaries -- Pullen, J. T. Malone. Surgeons -- M. N. Phillips, J. D. Adams; assistants, R. W. Harper, W. P. Hutchinson. Sergeant-Major -- C. H. Robertson.

Aggregate original enrollment, 876 officers and men.

No official rolls in this department. Above data obtained from State register of original commissions, Sykes' Brigade Order Book, and E. A. Smith's "Records of Walthall's Brigade."

BRIGADE SHARPSHOOTERS. At Dalton, Ga., in February, 1864, there was formed a battalion of sharpshooters, 22 officers and 180 men, detailed from the various regiments of the brigade, under the command of Capt. J.W. Ward. Among the officers was Lieut. Washington P. Williams, of Company A. This battalion was engaged with Sherman's sharpshooters and skirmishes almost every day, sometimes many times in one day, until disbanded at Atlanta, July 22, 1864, when there remained on duty the Major commanding, two Lieutenants and 19 privates.

This regiment was organized at Grenada, and field offices elected April 11, 1862. Colonel Walthall had been theretofore Lieutenant-Colonel, and Lieutenant-Colonel Brantley Major, of the Fifteenth, a twelve-month regiment. The Twenty-ninth Regiment was attached to Chalmers' Brigade of infantry, then in the fortified lines of Corinth, which were beleaguered by Halleck's army until General Beauregard evacuated in the latter part of May.

During the siege of Corinth a detachment of this regiment and others of the brigade were on outpost duty on the Monterey road, and were in action May 28-29, with a Federal force, which was finally repulsed with the aid of reinforcements under Col. Joseph Wheeler. The regiment had 2 killed and I wounded in this engagement at the Russell House.

In the latter part of July the brigade was moved to Chattanooga, with the Amy of the Mississippi, and thence they advanced into Kentucky through Middle Tennessee. September 12, Walthall with his regiment and Ketchum’s Battery was detached to seize the Louisville & Nashville Railroad at Proctor's Station, whence he rejoined the brigade at Cave City, on the same road. Walthall had a part in Chalmers' desperate assault upon the works at Munfordville, September 14, carrying into the battle a total of 307 and losing 5 killed, 36 wounded. Colonel Walthall reported that after several changes of position under fire, they received orders for a bayonet charge. "I gave the command and the charge was attempted, but without success, the earthworks being about ten feet high and surrounded by a deep ditch about eight feet wide." After ten or fifteen minutes in this position Colonel Walthall withdrew his regiment to shelter. On the 17th Wilder surrendered to Bragg's army, and the brigade was ordered to occupy the works, as a recognition of bravery.

The army retreated from Kentucky in the latter part of October through Cumberland Gap, and moved to Chattanooga, thence advancing upon Rosecrans' army toward Nashville, in December.

November 17, 1862, Colonel Walthall was ordered to report to Lieutenant- General Hardee for assignment to the command of a brigade. Anderson's Division was broken up and the Twenty-fourth, Twenty-seventh and Thirtieth Regiments transferred to Polk's Corps. Walthall’s Brigade at first was composed of the Twenty-seventh, Thirtieth, Thirty-fourth (called then Thirty-seventh) and Forty-first Mississippi.

Colonel Walthall announced as his staff, December 4, 1862, the following: Capt. E. T. Sykes, Tenth Regiment, Adjutant-General; Capt. R. W. Williamson, Thirtieth Regiment, Volunteer Aide-de-camp; Capt. Addison Craft, Twenty-seventh Regiment, Quartermaster; Dr. K. C. Divine, Twenty-seventh Regiment, Surgeon. December 9, Capt. J. A. Hooper, Brigade Commissary; December 27, by Colonel Jones, Lieut. D. M. Currie, Twenty-fourth Regiment, Acting Inspector-General; Lieut. J. H. Wood, Twenty-seventh Regiment, Acting Ordnance Officer. January 20, 1863, Lieut. George M. Govan, Ninth Regiment, Inspector-General, promoted to Captain and retained, temporarily succeeded by Lieut. H. C. Tupper; Lieut. B. A. Walthall, Aide-de-camp. Capt. Craft was succeeded by Maj. W. A. Rayburn as Quartermaster. Surgeon Divine was succeeded in 1864 by Surgeon George R. Griffith of the Thirtieth. Capt. J. C. Harrison, Twenty-ninth Regiment, was AdjutantGeneral under Brantley; Lieut. R. F. Holloway, Acting Inspector-General; Capt. D. L. Sweatman, Aide-de-camp; Capt. J. L. Magruder, Ordnance Officer; Capt. W. G. Beanland, Quartermaster; Maj. J. D. Lynch, Surgeon.

Changes were made in the brigade, after its first organization, so that it included the Twenty-fourth, Twenty-seventh, Twenty-ninth, Thirtieth, Thirty-fourth Mississippi and Forty-fifth Alabama, at the battle of Murfreesboro. While absent on sick leave Colonel Walthall was promoted to Brigadier-General, and he assumed command in that rank near Shelbyville, January 18, 1863. At first during his absence the brigade was commanded by Colonels Neill and Jones.

During the battle of Murfreesboro the brigade was commanded by Gen. Patton Anderson. The brigade was posted in line of battle December 28, 1862, on the left of Chalmers' Brigade, the main part of the line extended into a dense and stony cedar forest, where the men threw up a line of stone breastworks. There was skirmishing for two days, and the attack was made Wednesday morning, December 31. But the battle had already been going on some hours, before they were ordered against the Federal line in their front, which was Negley's Division of Thomas' Corps, posted in the edge of a dense cedar brake. General Polk wrote of what followed: "The fire of the enemy of both artillery and infantry was terrific, and Anderson's left for a moment wavered. Such evidences of destructive firing as were left on the forest, from which this brigade emerged, have rarely, if ever, been seen. The timber was torn and crushed. Nothing but a charge could meet the demands of the occasion. Orders were given to take the batteries at all hazards, and it was done. The number of field guns taken in this movement was eight. This was one of the points at which we encountered the most determined opposition, but the onward movement of the Mississippians and Alabamians was irresistible." General Negley, whose division was composed of two brigades, upon whom fell at least part of this attack, reported that "Houghtaling's, Schultz's, Marshall's, Bush's and Nell's Batteries were all ordered into action in my front, pouring destructive volleys of grape and shell into the advancing columns of the enemy, mowing him down like swaths of grain. For four hours the Eighth Division, with a portion of Sheridan's and Palmer's Divisions, maintained their position....The enemy, maddened to desperation by the determined resistance, still pressed forward fresh troops, concentrating and forming them in a concentric line on either flank." The guns captured by Walthall's Brigade, supported by A. P. Stewart's Brigade, were six of Houghtaling's Battery C, First Illinois, and two of Bush's Fourth Indiana Battery. The other batteries mentioned by Negley lost six guns.

In the charge of the Twenty-ninth, Colonel Brantley and his adjutant, Lieut. John W. Campbell, were knocked down by concussion produced by the explosion of a shell very near them, but the regiment was soon afterward carried forward by Lieut.-Col. J. B. Morgan in gallant style, capturing the battery in their front, and driving the enemy into and through the dense cedar brake immediately beyond. (Anderson). It appears from Anderson's report that the Twenty-ninth captured a small iron rifled piece, which lay in its front, and participated with the Twenty-seventh and Thirtieth in the capture of the remainder of the battery of four to six guns. Gen. A. P. Stewart, who supported Anderson, in his report says that the Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth Mississippi, after the first repulse, "fell back in disorder" upon his line, "leaving a large number of dead and wounded in the open ground beyond the Wilkinson pike, over which they had charged. The Twenty-ninth ultimately formed on my left, where it remained until the close of the battle, when it moved away to join its brigade." The casualties of the Twenty-ninth were 34 killed, including Capt. H. J. Harper and Lieuts. W. G. Barksdale, W. A. McDaniel and R. S. Spencer, and 202 wounded. The total killed and wounded was exceeded by only one regiment in the army, the Eighth Tennessee, which fought in the same part of the field and had 306 killed and wounded.

January 2, 1863, the brigade, which had taken the first position of Chalmer's Brigade, was sent across the river to support Breckenridge, and gained the credit, awarded by General Bragg, of saving the artillery of that part of the army.

January 22, on the Shelbyville line, the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-ninth Regiments were temporarily consolidated under the command of Colonel Brantley. Early in July the army fell back to Chattanooga, and in the latter part of July Walthall's Brigade was at Camp Cobb, near Atlanta, moving thence to the reserve camp near Chickamauga in August, and retreating to Lafayette in September.

In the Chickamauga campaign Walthall's Brigade and Govan's Arkansas Brigade constituted Liddell's Division of W. H. T. Walker's Corps. Walthall on September 18 advanced to Chickamauga Creek at Alexander's bridge, and a fight ensued, the brunt of which fell upon the Twenty-ninth Regiment, under Colonel Brantley. It was a fierce engagement, while it lasted, and the regiment had 56 killed and wounded. The enemy was driven back, but not until the bridge was destroyed, and the brigade moved down to Byram's ford and crossed. On the morning of the 19th they were in battle in that confused area, to the northward on the battle line, where brigades of both armies were charging in different directions in the woods, flanking each other in turn, and friend often firing on friend. Walthall caught King's Brigade of United States regulars changing front, ran over them and their battery, took 400 prisoners, but having killed all the horses could not bring off the guns before they were in turn driven back in confusion. In this engagement the Twenty-ninth suffered severely. Next day they moved further to the north and pushed across the Chattanooga road that Thomas was making the famous fight to hold. Here they came under an artillery fire that could not be endured and fell back hurriedly, losing a few killed and 15 or 20 captured. The regiment carried 368 into the three-day battle and had

194 killed, wounded and missing. According to General Thomas, the Confederates on the State road yielded to the "splendid advance" of Turchin's Brigade, which covered the retreat of Thomas' command.

The regiment was encamped with the brigade in General Bragg's line before Chattanooga, after September 22, and on November 2o was marched up upon the northern and western slopes of Lookout Mountain on account of the increased activity of the forces that had been collected at Chattanooga by General Grant. Early in the morning of November 24 the attack was made from the west by Hooker's Corps from the Virginia army, The morning was excessively foggy, the air being filled with a fine mist of rain, and on account of the low-lying fog, the event became known as "the battle above the clouds."

The battle of Lookout Mountain, November 24, 1863, was fought by Walthall's Mississippi Brigade, supported in the latter part of the fight by parts of Moore’s and Pettus’ Alabama Brigades. Gen. John K. Jackson was ranking Brigadier. Other troops were on the top of the mountain, and the entire force was commanded by Major-General Stevenson. Walthall's Brigade had a total effective of 1,489, and had 8 killed, 48 wounded and 845 captured. Walthall occupied the advanced position, on the western slopes of the mountain, with his pickets along Lookout Creek at the base, and being warned by the movements of General Geary's Federal Division presaging attack, he posted his men in the rude breastworks of logs and stones that had been built by the troops previously in that position, except the Thirty-fourth regiment, which was sent to support the picket line. Here he was soon under fire of three batteries, one of which was in rear of part of his line.

The question as to Whether Walthall was "surprised" was raised in 1882, by Col. D. R. Hundley, of Pettus’ Brigade, and after a long correspondence between him and General Walthall, the matter was submitted to Gen. E. W. Pettus, who wrote: "It is clear to my mind that Walthall’s Brigade did expect the attack which was made on it, and had prepared to repel it, so far as could be done by so small a force, in its isolated and exposed position." Colonel Hundley contended that there was a surprise in the fact that an attack was made with such overwhelming force. But Walthall was under orders to meet whatever force approached, hold it in check as long as possible and fall back to the position at Craven's, where he would be reinforced.

Colonel Brantley reported that the Twenty-ninth was put in line facing west until it appeared that the enemy were approaching from the southwest, when Brantley formed a line across the mountain facing south, but the distance to cover and absence of many of his men on the brigade picket line compelled him to deploy his line as skirmishers. They were speedily overrun and many captured. With the remnant Brantley fell back on the line of the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-seventh and all were driven back. beyond the Craven house, on the plateau below the cliff, where the brigade reformed and succeeded in holding the enemy in check until Pettus' Brigade arrived. Then, by order of General Walthall, Colonel Brantley took command of the remnants of the Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth and went into the fight with Pettus, holding the line until relieved by Clayton's Brigade at 8:20 that night. General Walthall said in his report: "I directed Colonel Brantley to advance his left as far as it could be done without leaving an interval between his line and the cliff, so as to get the benefit of an oblique fire upon the line that was pressing upon us. This order was executed with that officer's characteristic promptness." General Walthall also gave special mention to the "skill, activity, zeal and courage" of Colonel Brantley. General Stevenson said in his report of the advance of Hooker's Corps on the flank and front, that the front was gallantly contested by the Mississippi brigade, and General Bragg wrote that the assault was "met by one brigade only -- Walthall's -- which made a desperate resistance, but was finally compelled to yield ground." On the night of the 24th the brigade was moved to McFarland's Spring, and on the morning of the 25th, with the whole of Cheatham's Division they were put in line on Missionary Ridge to the right of Patton Anderson's Division. They were not assailed in front, but about 4 o'clock in the evening, after the Confederate line was broken on the south of them, Brantley faced to the left with his command, and withstood the flank attack, which was not pushed, until after dark, when they were withdrawn to Chickamauga Station. The casualties of the regiment on the 24th were 2 killed, including Lieut. D. S. Latham, 26 wounded, 155 missing; on the 25th, 7 wounded, including Adjt. J. W. Campbell, who had served with credit from the organization of the regiment, and died at Atlanta soon after the battle.

In the Atlanta campaign Walthall's Brigade was a part of Hindman's Division, commanded by Gens. John C. Brown and Patton Anderson, in Hood's Corps, after July 27 commanded by Lieut.-Gen. Stephen D. Lee. General Walthall was promoted in June to the command of a division of the Army of Mississippi (Stewart's Corps), composed of the brigades of Quarles, Cantey and Reynolds, with which he took a prominent part in the battles of Peachtree Creek and Ezra Church, near Atlanta. He was succeeded in command of his brigade by Colonel Benton until Colonel Brantley was promoted as Brigadier- General.

At the beginning of the campaign, when the brigade moved from camp at Dalton, Ga., and went into the trenches at Alt's Gap, May 7, Colonel Brandy commanded the Twenty-eighth, Thirtieth and Thirty-fourth Regiments, but Colonel Benton resumed command of the Thirty-fourth before the battle of Resaca. In that battle, May 14-15, Brantley's command was the extreme left of Hood's Corps, adjoining Hardee's Corps, in a part of the works exposed to an enfilading fire of artillery, but they held the position with remarkable coolness and repulsed the infantry attacks in front. General Walthall was three times slightly wounded, and General Tucker, while with him, was seriously wounded. Brantley's consolidated regiment was placed under cover of the hill on Swett's Battery, and the other artillery of the division were posted on a bare knob, the highest on the ridge along which the army was posted, consequently the object of repeated assault by the Federal lines. Some of the Union troops obtained lodgment in a depression within 150 yards of the guns but were driven out by Brantley. This was repeated three times, Brantley reported. Meanwhile the brigade was under the enfilading fire of twenty-four cannon, and their breastworks of logs and earth were set on fire by the shot. But they held fast through a day and a half. The three right companies were in the trenches. The two regiments had 30 officers and 421 men engaged; of the Twenty-ninth 5 were killed, 23 wounded. Among the wounded were Captain R. W. Williamson. On May 8 the division provost guard, under Lieut. J. R. Porter (Twenty-ninth) had rejoined the regiment.

The regiment was in line of battle at Cassville May 19 and had 1 man wounded by the artillery fire. The brigade was not seriously engaged, though skirmishing was constant and heavy, during the operations of the Kenesaw Mountain and New Hope Church lines. Col. R. H. G. Minty, commanding a Federal Cavalry Brigade, reported carrying the position of the "Mississippi Tigers" (Twenty-ninth Regiment), at Big Shanty, June

9, 1864, and that among the killed was a Lieutenant of the Twenty-ninth. July 28, on the Lickskillet road, near Atlanta, the brigade, under the command of General Brantley, drove the Federal line in his front from the temporary works, "but being greatly weakened by the killed and wounded, and the innumerable cases of utter exhaustion among the best men of my command, as well as by the absence of a goodly number who had no legitimate excuse," said the General, "I was unable to hold the works." They renewed the attack but could not make headway. The heat was extreme and water was scarce. The Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth, under command of Lieut.-Col. James M. Johnson, (Thirtieth) had 277 men on the field; 5 killed, 24 wounded. They captured about 20 prisoners. Upon the wounding of Gen. A. P. Stewart, in this battle, General Walthall took temporary command of the corps. August 31, Lieut.-Col. James B. Morgan was in command of the two regiments. Their final battle of the campaign was at Jonesboro, August 31, when the brigade suffered heavy loss in a front attack upon the Federal line strongly posted. The Twenty-ninth had 55 killed and wounded. Among the wounded were Captains Cox and Rainwater, Lieutenants J. W. McCracken, William Smith, A. C. Roberts. Lieutenant R. E. Brumby was killed,

Brantley's Brigade shared the operations of Lee's Corps during the October, 1864, campaign against the Chattanooga and Atlanta Railroad, the investment of Resaca and the holding of Snake Creek Gap against Sherman's army while Hood retreated behind the mountains. Brantly's men were engaged in sharp skirmishing at the gap October 15. Thence they moved to Gadsden, Ala., and crossed the Tennessee River on the last days of October.

Advancing November 20, the division commanded by Gen. Edward Johnson, Lee engaged Schofield at Columbia, while General Hood, on the 29th, took Johnson's Division for the attempted rear attack at Spring Hill, November 29. Schofield fell back to the intrenchments at Franklin on the Harpeth River, and Hood ordered an assault November 30. Johnson's Division was ordered into the fight at dark, and, said General Lee: "The brigades of Sharp and Brantley (Mississippians)and of Deas (Alabamians) particularly distinguished themselves. Their dead were mostly in the trenches and on the works of the enemy, where they fell in a desperate hand-to-hand conflict. Brantly was exposed to a severe enfilade fire. These noble brigades never faltered in this terrible night struggle. I have never seen greater evidences of gallantry than was displayed by this division, under command of that admirable and gallant soldier, Major-General Ed. Johnson. The enemy fought gallantly and obstinately and the position he held, was, for infantry defence, one of the best I have ever seen." "The blood actually ran in the ditch," said Private Rhea H. Vance of the Twenty-ninth Mississippi, "and in places saturated our clothing where we were lying down." The losses of Brantley's brigade were the greatest in Johnson's Division -- 76 killed, 140 wounded, 21 missing. The strength of the brigade was about that of a full regiment, but less than that in line of battle. Major. G. W. Reynolds, commanding the Twenty-ninth, was among the killed.

The Federal troops fell back to Nashville, and Brantley's Brigade took position on a line about that city December 2, and began to entrench. December 15 Thomas attacked, and Lee sent Johnson's Division to the support of Stewart's Corps. That night the Confederate troops moved back to a new line, putting Lee on the extreme right. The principal Federal attack was on the Franklin pike, which Lee held, and was accompanied by a terrible artillery fire along the whole line. A considerable display of force was made on the extreme right, said Lee, but there was only "one feeble effort to use this force, when it was readily repulsed by Stovall’s and Brantley's Brigades, which had been moved to the right;" The troops of Lee's line were in fine spirits and could hardly be restrained

from charging in pursuit of the Federal charges which they repulsed, when the line was seen to be broken near the Granny White pike, and the Confederate troops there in flight. "My troops left their line in some disorder," Lee reported, "but were soon rallied and presented a good front to the enemy." December 26 the army crossed the Tennessee River after untold suffering, and then moved to the prairies of northeast Mississippi for winter quarters.

Major-General Walthall, during the retreat from Columbia to the Tennessee River, commanded the infantry rear guard of the army, supporting the cavalry and reporting to Major-General Forrest. In this memorable service Walthall had command of the brigades of Featherston, Strahl, Smith, Maney, Reynolds, Ector and Quarles. In the movement from the river to Tupelo, he had command of French's Division as well as his own. Among the staff officers to whom he gave honorable mention were his Adjutant-General Capt. W. R. Barksdale, Maj. D. W. Sanders and Lieut. E. T. Freeman, of General French's staff, and George M. Walthall, of Chalmers' escort.

November 26 an officer had been sent to Mississippi to endeavor to procure conscripts for Brantley's Brigade, carrying a letter from Hood, in which the General wrote: "This brigade, formerly Walthall's, the State of Mississippi may justly feel proud of, and the present state of its ranks is due to the severe losses it has sustained in the many battles in which it has been engaged, in all of which it has borne a conspicuous part."

The brigade was furloughed until February 12, 1865. Under orders for the Carolinas 152 of the brigade assembled at Meridian February 14. They started east on the 18th and were detained some tithe at Montgomery by the Mobile campaign. In March they proceeded to Augusta and thence to North Carolina. April 3 the aggregate present of the brigade was 283. The organization of the army near Smithfield, N. C., March 31, 1865, shows the old Hindman Division, under the command of Gen. D. H. Hill, Brantley commanding his brigade, the Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth Regiments consolidated under the command of Capt. R. W. Williamson.

April 9th, Brantley's Brigade, the Twenty-fourth, Twenty-seventh, Twenty-ninth and Thirty-fourth Mississippi Regiments, consolidated in the Twenty-fourth Regiment, Col. R. W. Williamson commanding. This regiment with the Twenty-second Alabama consolidated from Deas' Brigade, and the Thirty-seventh Alabama and Fifty-eighth North Carolina, representing consolidated fragments of other brigades, constitute the brigade of Gen. W. F. Brantley, in D. W. Hill's Division of S. D. Lee’s Corps. The army was surrendered April 26, and paroled at Greensboro, N. C., soon afterward.

Major-General Walthall commanded the fragments of Stewart's Corps (Army of Mississippi) at Kinston, and was distinguished in the gallant charge that alarmed General Cox, their old antagonist at Franklin. He and his command were also conspicuous in the battle of Bentonville.

 

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Military History