2nd Mississippi Infantry
(from Dunbar Rowlands "Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1898"; company listing courtesy of H. Grady Howells "For Dixie Land, Ill Take My Stand)
Company A -- Tishomingo Riflemen (raised in Tishomingo County, MS)
Company B -- OConnor Rifles (raised in Tippah County, MS)
Company C -- Town Creek Riflemen (raised in Itawamba County, MS)
Company D -- Beck Rifles, aka Joe Matthews Rifles (raised in Tippah County, MS)
Company E -- Calhoun Rifles (raised in Itawamba County, MS)
Company F -- Magnolia Rifles (raised in Tippah County, MS)
Company G -- Pontotoc Minute Men (raised in Pontotoc County, MS)
Company H -- Conewah Rifles (raised in Pontotoc County, MS)
Company I -- Cherry Creek Rifles (raised in Pontotoc County, MS)
Company K -- Iuka Rifles (raised in Tishomingo County, MS)
Company L -- Liberty Guards (raised in Tippah County, MS)
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Colonels -- William C. Falkner, May 1, 1861 to April 23, 1862; John M. Stone.
Lieutenant-Colonels -- Bentley B. Boone to reorganization; David W. Humphries, killed at Gettysburg; John A. Blair, wounded at Weldon Railroad. Majors -- David W. Humphries to reorganization; John A. Blair, promoted; John H. Buchanan. Adjutants -- Lawson B. Hovis, to reorganization; Owen. Sergeant-Majors -- John A. Blair, wounded at first Manassas, promoted; Walter Rutledge. Surgeon -- H. H. Hubbard. Assistant Surgeon -- Joseph Holt. Commissary -- Thomas P. Young. Quartermaster -- M. Surratt. Sergeant -- J. J. Guyton. Chaplains -- W. A. Gray, T. D. Witherspoon, Wilson Frierson, died in hospital, 1864.
The volunteer companies forming this regiment were first assigned to the Second Regiment, Mott's Brigade, State Army. They assembled at Corinth early in May, and on the 3d completed the election of regimental officers. Arrived at Lynchburg, Va., May 9, and next day the regiment was mustered into the Confederate States service for one year. With the Eleventh and Second Battalion the regiment was sent to Harper's Ferry, arrived May 21.
The Inspector-General reported from Harper's Ferry, May 23: "The two regiments from Mississippi have with them their tents and camp equipage but are not satisfied with their arms, which are chiefly of the old flintlock musket changed into percussion. As usual with troops with this description, they all want rifles." In the way of clothing, he
said, "almost every necessary is wanting. They seem to have come away from home without making proper preparation in this respect."
The force at Harper's Ferry, under the command of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, fell back to Winchester June 16, before the advance of General Patterson from Pennsylvania. July 18 Johnston received an order to support Beauregard at Manassas. In the preparation for the transfer to Manassas Colonel Falkner was assigned, June 17, to command of a brigade composed of the Second and Eleventh Mississippi, Fourth Alabama and First Tennessee, until two days later Gen. Bernard Bee, of South Carolina, arrived and took command of this brigade. The other brigades of Johnston's force were commanded by Thomas J. Jackson, Bartow of Georgia and Elzey of Maryland.
The sick were left in Winchester and the infantry marched through Ashby's Gap in the mountains to Piedmont, where they took cars for Manassas. Jackson's brigade and part of Bartow's were the first to arrive. The Second Mississippi and two companies of the Eleventh arrived with Johnston and Bee about noon of the 20th. A battle was planned by Beauregard on the next morning, in anticipation of which the Mississippians were stationed in position to support the advanced line at either McLean's or Blackburn's ford of Bull Run. But about sunrise next morning the enemy unexpectedly attacked the left flank of the Confederate line, where Colonel Evans with a small command formed a new line to meet the onslaught The Mississippians and other parts of Bee's and Bartow's brigades on the field were sent to support that line, and finding Evans' men fighting against desperate odds, advanced rapidly across Young's branch and went into the fight about 11 oclock. Supported by two batteries they held the line against great odds, under a heavy musketry and artillery fire until finally compelled to fall back, badly shattered, having done all that could be expected of them, and yielded the front of the battle to Jackson's fresh brigade until they could reform.
In his report General Jackson says: "Before arriving within cannon range of the enemy I met General Bee's forces falling back. I continued to advance with the understanding he would form in my rear." At the next summit Jackson halted and established a line of defense. Jeb Stuart, who soon made a brilliant cavalry charge that aided materially in saving Jackson from overthrow, reported: "Just after the cavalry charge our reinforcements arrived upon the field and formed rapidly in line. The first was Colonel Falkner's regiment (Mississippians), whose gallantry came under my own observation." The Mississippians stood their, with their comrades, "like a stone wall," until the Federal triumph was changed into rout. "The brave Bee," said Beauregard, "was mortally wounded at the head of the Fourth Alabama and some Mississippians."
Official report of casualties--Killed, 25; wounded, 82 ; missing, 1,
The winter camp of the Second and Eleventh was near Dumfries until March 8, 1862, when the brigade, now under General Whiting, was moved to Fredericksburg, and thence to Yorktown, in April, where the regiment was reorganized for the war and recruited. Colonel Falkner was defeated by a few votes for re-election, Captain John M. Stone being successful, and taking command April 23. They arrived at Richmond May 10, and took part in the battle of Seven Pines May 31 and June 1. Though the regiment was not severely engaged, Lieut. D. H. Miller was killed. They formed part of the division under Whiting, sent to reinforce Jackson in the valley, arriving at Strasburg June 18, and a few days later returning to make the flank attack on McClellans army on the Chickahominy. .
In the seven days battles before Richmond the brigade, made up of the Second and Eleventh, with the Fourth Alabama and Sixth North Carolina, under Col. E. M. Law, was in Whiting's division, Hood's Texans being their associate brigade. The two brigades marched from Ashland at three in the morning, June 26, as the advance of Jackson's army, rebuilt a bridge over the Totopotomoy that they found in flames, bivouacked that night in sound of the battle of Mechanicsville. June 27 moved toward Cold Harbor (Gaines' Farm) and went in line of battle at three in the evening and after an advance through woods and swamps and ravines found the battle which they had heard for an hour, going against the Confederates. "Men were skulking from the front in a shameful manner, the woods were full of troops in safe cover, from which they never stirred." The only troops that could be seen advancing were Pickett's brigade, when the Mississippians and Texans together made their famous charge across the ravine held by the Federal infantry and artillery. "Over ditch and breastwork, hill, batteries and infantry, the division swept, routing the enemy from their stronghold. Many pieces of artillery were taken (fourteen in all) and nearly a whole regiment of the enemy." After this the Second was detached to open fire on the retreating masses of the enemy. "The Second Mississippi, Col. J. M. Stone, was skillfully handled by its commander and sustained severe loss," wrote General Whiting. The loss was 21 killed and 79 wounded. They were next under fire on July 1, in the battle of Malvern Hill, and suffered from a murderous artillery fire with no opportunity for action. Here the Second lost 1 killed and 10 wounded.
Among the killed were Lieutenants F. R. Brookshire, G. G. Carothers and D. M. Latham.
The following names were published in the roll of honor (all privates, except when otherwise stated);
Battle of Seven Pines -- John H. Cotton (killed), Sergt. R. A. Roberts (killed at Gettysburg), J. H. Walker, Sergt. James McCully (killed at Sharpsburg), J. B. Smith (killed), W. E. Manahan, Franklin S. McKinney (killed), W. J. Sims (killed), Thomas D. Hampton, J. A. McAllister.
Gaines' Farm (Cold Harbor) -- W. J. Key, A. J. Pegram (killed), William Bell (killed), J. P. Lewis (killed), Joseph Compton (killed), R. L. Northrup (killed), Sergt. Rich Drake, A. C. Mars (killed), J. M. Scott, Thomas D. Hampton (killed), W. H. Bryan (killed at Sharpsburg).
Malvern Hill -- W. J. Key, J. H. Parker (killed), Sergt. J. A. Atkins (killed at Suffolk), J. L. Ralph (killed at Sharpsburg), Corporal T. J. S. Cooper, A. K. Roberts, Hillery Andrews (killed August 29), J. M. Moore, Corporal J. M. Ward (killed). (Records of Union and Confederate Armies.)
July 25 General Lee declined to transfer the Second and Eleventh to a Mississippi brigade, saying he considered Whiting's a Mississippi brigade commanded by a Mississippian. To withdraw the regiments would "break up a veteran brigade distinguished for good service from the beginning of the war in Virginia."
The brigade, under the command of Gen. E. M. Law, continued their association with the Texans and their famous "rebel yell," in Hood's division of Longstreet's corps in the second Manassas campaign. The division marched to Freeman's ford August 22 and drove a force of Pope's army across the Rappahannock; next marched to Waterloo ford, and then, the main body of Longstreet's army having come up, they marched through Thoroughfare gap to the support of Jackson's army, already in battle with Pope's. The Mississippi brigade was on the left of Hood's line as it was marched down to take a stand with Jackson's wearied troops. At sunset August 29, Hood was attacked, and he ordered his men to charge, which they did most gallantly and successfully. Colonel Law's brigade, engaged with King's Federals, captured one piece of artillery, three stands of colors and 100 prisoners. An incident of this fight was reported by Colonel Work, First Texas: "The Second Mississippi, having recrossed the creek, became entangled with the Thirty-third New York Regiment, when Colonel Stone sent me a message requesting me to move up to his relief, which I did. The Fourth Texas and Eighteenth Georgia pressed closely after. The regiment advanced 'with a yell,' which was taken up by the other regiments of the brigade and continued until the woods resounded." After dark Law repulsed attacks of both infantry and cavalry.
Next day, in the battle called Manassas Plains, the brigade advanced to Groveton in support of a battery, was under a heavy artillery fire for half an hour, and then took part in the fight for a Federal battery at Hogan's house, taking some prisoners and pushing ahead until after dark. The loss of the Second was 9 killed and 69 wounded. Among the killed were Capt. George W. Latham and Lieut. William M. Ralston. The roll of honor for the regiment was: John C. Chrisman, W. H. Davis (killed), Corporal C. S. Vinson (killed), Sergt. C. C. Davis, color-bearer; Thomas Woodard, J. L. Harbin (killed), Sergt. J. F. Wray, J. Westmoreland, D. P. Suber (killed), I. N. Aldridge, James Middleton (killed). (Records of Union and Confederate Armies.)
In his march through Maryland, September, 1862, Hood's two brigades turned back to meet the pursuing enemy in Boonsboro gap, and the men made a bayonet charge with their accustomed gallantry that relieved the pressure. From there they were the rear guard of the army to Sharpsburg, where they were stationed near the Dunker church, and repulsed an attack of the enemy on the evening of the 16th. This was all done with no food for three days but green corn and one-half ration of beef one day. After a night meal they arose next morning early to meet the attack of McClellan's army, and their resistance against enormous odds General Hood described as the most terrible dash of arms that had occurred during the war. "The two little giant brigades of this division wrestled with the mighty force, losing hundreds of their gallant officers and men." (See Eleventh Regiment.) All the field officers, Colonel Stone, Lieutenant-Colonel Humphreys and Major Blair were wounded while leading the Second Regiment. The total casualties were 27 killed and 127 wounded. Col. R. R. Dawes, Sixth Wisconsin, wrote to Colonel Stone in 1876: "We fought the Second Mississippi in the corn field in front of the Dunker church at Antietam. They drove us and we barely saved by hand a battery of six twelve-pounder howitzers, planted in front of some haystacks."
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. The Second arrived at Richmond November 17, was ordered to North Carolina, reaching Goldsboro about December 15; left there for Blackwater Bridge, Va., February 2, 1863; moved to Suffolk April 8, and was there during the siege, forming part of Longstreet's army; returned to the Blackwater camp; left there for Fredericksburg June 3; was attached to Heth's division, A. P. Hills corps; started on the Pennsylvania campaign June 15 (Lieut. R. A. Neely's memoranda.)
July 1, 1863, with the main Confederate army beyond South Mountain, Heth's division was ordered to move toward Gettysburg, Pa., where the presence of Federal troops was reported. Heth sent the brigades of Davis and Archer ahead to observe what strength the enemy had. On their long march from below Richmond and into Pennsylvania the Second Regiment, after being out all night on picket, had stopped for breakfast at Cashtown, and then marched eastward on the Gettysburg road, the men having no idea a battle was at hand. Within a mile of Gettysburg resistance was encountered. Heth reported that Davis advanced, driving the enemy and capturing batteries, but was unable to hold the position he had gained against the overwhelming force that assailed him. "The brigade maintained its position until every field officer save two were shot down and its ranks terribly thinned."
Davis first encountered Buford's dismounted cavalry, the advance guard of the Blue, as the Mississippians were the advance of the Gray army, already turning rapidly from its northward course to follow in forced march the movement to Gettysburg. "Often as the opposing forces had exchanged hard blows in the last two years the encounter on the Willoughby run marked a new epoch in the war," writes an English commentator, Cecil Battine. "Never before had the Federal troops displayed the same confidence in themselves and eagerness to engage. The tenacity with which they clung to their ground imposed on the Confederate infantry, who expected only to have a weak detachment to deal with." When Wadsworth's division came up to help Buford the Mississippians were driven back with heavy loss. The Second, after defeating a New York regiment, was pushing in for a flank attack on Wadsworth's line, but the left wing got into the railroad cut through the ridge west of the seminary and there was subjected to an enfilading fire from the end of the cut. Though some persisted in fighting surrender was inevitable. Colonel Dawes, Sixth Wisconsin, reported that Major John A Blair, commanding the regiment (Second Mississippi Volunteers), surrendered to him his sword and command, including 7 officers and 225 men. The flag was sent to the Federal rear in care of a Sergeant, who was wounded and captured and held two days in Gettysburg, where he managed to conceal the colors, with the assistance of ladies, until the Confederate army was withdrawn. But this was not the entire regiment. It was a little later in the day, probably, after Early's division had hurried back from its advanced position toward the Susquehanna River, and struck the Federal line on the flank, compelling the retreat through Gettysburg to Cemetery Hill, that a detachment of the Second and Forty-second, under Lieut. A. K. Roberts, of the Second, captured the colors of a Pennsylvania regiment in a hand-to-hand fight, in which the gallant Roberts was killed. Col. J. M. Stone, who was wounded severely, was with the other wing of the regiment. The remnant of this regiment (sixty muskets) shared in the famous charge of the Mississippians up the slope of Cemetery ridge, July 3, a charge made by Heth's division, under Pettigrew, and Pickett's division, and of this heroic remnant all but one were killed, wounded or captured. Among the badly wounded and captured was Sergeant Varian, Company B, from whose diary many facts are obtained for this sketch. Among the killed was Lieutenant-Colonel Humphries.
The casualty list of the regiment at Gettysburg was 40 killed and 183 wounded. The following roll of honor was published: For July 1 -- Micajah Faris, Sergt. M. J. Bennett, H. H. Story (killed on the 3d), J. Fulton, C. L. Humphries (killed on the 3d), W. L. Luna, Patrick McAnally, Corporal J. A. Raines, W. D. Cobb (killed), W. J. Condrey (killed), D. M. White (killed); for July 3 - -J. P. Ticer, W. D. Bazemore (killed), W. T. Moore, L. J. Blythe, J. J. Donalson, H. McPherson, M. Yeager (killed), James L. Akers (killed), O. F. Carpenter (killed). (Records of Union and Confederate Armies.)
On the retreat to Virginia the remnant of the regiment took part in the gallant action of the rear guard at Falling Waters on the Potomac, July 14, where Corporals P. G. Braddock and G. M. Easterwood and Privates Henry W. Miller and J. M. Nunnelee gained a place on the roll of honor.
After the return to Virginia Davis' brigade was in battle at Bristoe Station, October 14, 1863, and lost 8 killed, 38 wounded and 2 missing. The Second lost 2 killed, 8 wounded. The roll of honor published included P. C. Eddings, J. A. Walding, A. M. Butler, F. M. Smith.
In December they left their camp on the Rapidan and went into line of battle at Mine Run, but Meade withdrew his army without making an attack.
Heth's division of A. P. Hill's corps, Colonel Stone in command of Davis' brigade, which now included the Second, Eleventh, Twenty-sixth and Forty-second Mississippi, Fifty-fifth North Carolina and First Confederate battalion, moved from camp near Orange Courthouse to meet Grant's army, which had crossed the Rappahannock. Capt. J. H. Buchanan commanded the Second Regiment. Moving along the plank road, May 5, the Federal cavalry was pushed back until Stone encountered the Blue infantry in the Wilderness. The fighting was desperate all the afternoon, the Confederates gradually gaining ground. The thick undergrowth in front of Stone's brigade was cut down by the rain of rifle balls. The tangle was too dense for artillery. After night, when the lines were reformed, Stone's brigade was on the left of Heth, next to Wilcox's division. All were praying for the arrival of Longstreet. Before sunup on the 6th Grant attacked and broke Wilcox's division, which came pell mell down the line, then three brigades of Heth's division broke, also part of Stone's brigade, but Stone held his ground with the Second, Eleventh, Twenty-sixth and Forty-second Mississippi. He changed front, and not only resisted the panic but held back the Federal attack for two hours. Then Longstreet came up and Stone's brigade went into the fight again with his line. Longstreet fell, and in the confusion that followed Stone moved to the rescue of an Alabama brigade, drove the enemy back and built a breastwork of logs that he held till he was called back to the line formed by General Lee. Next day Heth declared that Stone had fairly earned promotion as Major-General. (Nelm's MS.).
Heth's division was the last to move to Spottsylvania, being left behind to bury the dead. On the 10th Davis' brigade, with others under General Early, defeated the Federal movement toward the Confederate depot at Beaver Dam station, a fight (Talley's Mill) in which there was heavy loss to the brigade. The brigade held its part of the line intact under the famous assaults of May 12 and 18. When the battle moved to the North Anna, Heth's division repelled the Federal demonstration at Jericho Ford. On the Cold Harbor line (Bethesda Church) the brigade was in the attack on Grant's right flank. June 3 they aided in the bloody repulse of Grant's assault.
Casualties at Wilderness, Spottsylvania and Cold Harbor, killed, 24; wounded, 107.
Roll of honor for battle of the Wilderness -- Corporal T. S. Carter (killed), Corporal S. L. Neely, L. C. Guyton, R. Y. Bennett, J. C. Flinn, J. M. Champion, Sergt. Z. D. Prescott, W. A. Thomas, J. S. Bryant, S. D. Kyle, D, B. Cutbirth, John J. Brown, W. A. Edwards, W. C. Handley, P. Clark, G. B. Cobb, J. L. Freeman, T. W. Billingsley, Isaac McKeown (killed), John Lewallen,. R. C. Jeter. At Talley's Mill -- Corporal S. L. Neely, W. H. Byrn, A. T. Sargent, W. J. Grisham, W. Levitt, W. T. Ayers, J. T. Dillard, T. J. Harwell, D. F. Sims (killed), John Lewallen. At Spottsylvania Courthouse -- Corporal S. L. Neely, R. A. Helms, W. H. H. Ralph, Corporal E. L. Earle, A. M. Rea, John Lewallen. At Bethesda Church -- Corporal S. L. Neely, W. M. Cochran, D. E. Hughes (killed), J. W. Wilson, M. L. Clark, W. T. Ayers, Corporal R. J. McDole, J. T. Dillard, J. W. Cart, W. G. Milam, D. G. Chism, Sergt. D. P. Tigert. (Records of Union and Confederate Armies.)
On the Richmond-Petersburg lines in the latter part of 1864, the regiment was in battle August 18-19 on the Weldon Railroad (Ream's Station); October 1, at Fort Bratton; October 3 at Squirrel Level road (Jones' Farm); October 27, at Hatchers Run, after which they passed the winter on the front lines six miles from Petersburg.
Casualties at Ream's Station -- 5 killed, 31 wounded; at Jones' Farm -- 3 killed, 25 wounded, 2 missing; at Hatchers Run -- 2 killed.
Among the wounded at Ream's Station were Lieutenant-Colonel Blair, who had been exchanged and promoted; Major J. H. Buchanan, Lieutenant Sorey, Company I; Lieutenant Thomas Story, Company L. The station of the regiment on the Petersburg line was very close to the Federal line and there was constant sharpshooting. September 13, while General Lee, Colonel Stone and Captain Walker were looking over the line, Walker was killed. Men were frequently killed in the rifle pits.
Not many of the gallant regiment ever reached Appomattox Courthouse. Colonel John M. Stone, with some of the brigade returning from furlough, made his last fight and they were captured at Salisbury, N. C., and imprisoned several months. General Davis surrendered with Lee's army a brigade of 21 officers and 54 enlisted men.
Do you have an ancestor in this unit? If so, contact the Mississippi Department of Archives and History for his service record. Then contact us for a membership application.