32nd Mississippi Infantry

(from Dunbar Rowland’s "Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1898";

company listing courtesy H. Grady Howell’s "For Dixie Land, I’ll Take My Stand")

 

Company A -- Tishomingo Avengers, aka Tishomingo Rifles (raised in Tishomingo County, MS)

Company B -- W.R. Nelson Guards (raised in Tishomingo County, MS)

Company C -- Tishomingo Rebels (raised in Tishomingo County, MS)

Company D -- Lowrey Guards, aka Lowrey Rebels (raised in Tishomingo County, MS)

Company E -- Hatchie Tigers (raised in Tippah & Tishomingo Counties, MS)

Company F -- Southern Farmers (raised in Tallahatchie County, MS)

Company G -- Lowrey Invincibles (raised in Tishomingo County, MS)

Company H -- Beauregard Rifles (raised in Tishomingo County, MS)

Company I -- Johnston Avengers (raised in Tishomingo County, MS)

Company K -- Buckner Boys (raised in Tishomingo County, MS)

 

The history of this regiment begins with the Fourth Regiment of sixty-day troops (see same), which went into camp at Corinth, under Gen. Reuben Davis, in December, 1861, and was ordered to Kentucky in the same month. The regiment is also called Second Regiment, Army of Mississippi, in a return of election of officers in the Lowrey Guards. At the expiration of the term of service Colonel Lowrey raised a regiment for the war, of which his former command was the nucleus. There are no rolls or statements of organization of the Thirty-second in this department, but there are rolls of the Fourth Regiment. The War Regiment was mentioned in the correspondence of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, March 18, 1862, he writing from Decatur, Ala., advising that 300 men in Tishomingo County, who belonged to the Twenty-sixth Regiment, and were desirous to join the war regiment then being raised by Colonel Lowrey, be organized in three companies and attached to the new regiment. The field officers were commissioned to date from April 3, 1862, and the return of April 30 shows an aggregate present of 960, present and absent 1,239. In May the regiment was assigned with the Thirty-third to S. A. M. Wood's Brigade, Hardee's Corps.

The army under Beauregard remained at Corinth until May 29, holding the fortified lines around their encampment against the army under General Halleck, without any serious encounters. At the close of May the army was withdrawn to Tupelo, and General Bragg, taking command, transferred the main body to Chattanooga in July, whence they marched into Kentucky, reaching Glasgow September 13. Early in October the Union troops advanced against Hardee at Perryville, and the battle of the campaign was fought there October 8. Wood's Brigade, of Buckner's Division, was in the line at the left of Cheatham's Division, and joined in the successful charge. "Cheatham and Wood captured the enemy's battery in front of Wood and among the pieces and among the dead and dying was found the body of Gem James S. Jackson, who commanded a division of the enemy at that point." (Hardee's report). General Wood was wounded and Colonel Lowrey, who took command of the brigade, and two other Colonels, upon whom the brigade command devolved, were wounded. The Thirty-second must have suffered heavy loss, but the official reports are very meager regarding this campaign. General orders, December 21, 1862: "The regiments of the brigade of Brigadier-General Wood, which, on the memorable field of Perryville, participated in the gallant and desperate charge resulting in the capture of the enemy's batteries, will, in addition to the name of the field on their colors, place the cross-cannon inverted."

The army retreated to East Tennessee through Cumberland Gap, moved to Chattanooga and advanced into Middle Tennessee where the battle of Murfreesboro was begun December 31, 1863. Colonel Lowrey, with his regiment and the Third Confederate, December 22, was guarding the line of railroad between Normandy Station and Fosterville, and General Breckenridge was ordered to send a regiment, not less than 250 strong, to relieve him. But it does not appear that the Thirty-second had an opportunity to take part in the battle.

From this battle-field the army fell back to the Shelbyville line, and thence in the summer of 1863 to Chattanooga, and thence in September into Georgia.

Colonel Lowrey in July was commanding the brigade, which then included the Thirty-second and Forty-fifth Regiments and Hawkins' Battalion, with the Sixteenth, Thirty-second and Forty-fifth Alabama, in Cleburne's Division of D. H. Hill's Corps.

In the battle of Chickamauga, September 19-20, 1863, Colonel Lowrey commanded the Thirty-second and Forty-fifth Regiments consolidated. Lowrey's command was the right regiment of the brigade, with Hawkins' sharpshooters on his right. They did not go into the fight until late in the evening of the 19th, when they moved against the strong position General Thomas had taken on the Chattanooga road, Cleburne advancing from the direction of Chickamauga Creek. Captain Williams' company of the Forty-fifth, deployed as skirmishers, first encountered the enemy, and the battle was joined fiercely, Thomas' first line making desperate efforts to hold their position at a fence. "When we reached the further side of the field," Wood wrote, "many of the enemy still remained behind their defenses, and shots were exchanged at twenty paces. In crossing this field Colonel Lowrey greatly distinguished himself by his continued exertions in urging forward his command." The Federals were driven from these defenses, and Lowrey's men took thirty prisoners. Next day, Sunday, Cleburne was ordered against Thomas' main line of log works, which were so planned that when Lowrey's Regiment had advanced closely and gained the summit of a ridge, the men came under the direct and cross fire of a long line of infantry and a battery in front throwing grapeshot. It was the most severe ordeal the regiment had ever known. The men lay down, and did their best to make an effective reply to the musketry. Lowrey wrote: "In a very short time I lost over one-fourth of my command in killed and wounded. Nineteen of my men now sleep in one grave near where the colors stood, all of whom were killed near that spot." The regiment held the position an hour and a half. The rest of the brigade was driven back. Lowrey supposed some other advance would be made to relieve him. But when the ammunition was practically exhausted the regiment fell back. Captain Coleman, of the sharpshooters, wrote: "Owing to the gallantry and coolness of Colonel Lowrey, his regiment fell back in fine order, and this inspired my own company. * * * The good order preserved under so hot a fire was remarkable." In his report Lieutenant-General Hill quoted the words of Cleburne: "Five hundred men were killed or wounded by this fire in a few minutes. Upon the repulse, Lowrey's Regiment having been forced to retire, I ordered the brigade still further back to reform." Deshler's Brigade was sent in to the place where Lowrey had been, but Deshler was killed and his men driven to shelter. Lowrey earned promotion on this field to Brigadier-General. In his report of the battle, Lieut.-Gen. D. H. Hill wrote: "Col. M. P. Lowrey has been deservedly promoted, and a worthier object of advancement could not have been selected." The casualties of this single encounter were 25 killed and 141 wounded. Major F. C. Karl of the Thirty-second, a faithful and gallant veteran, was shot through with a Minie ball and died soon after the battle. "Many of my best men fell," the Colonel wrote. The various companies selected for the Roll of Honor the following:

Smith Scroggins, A (k) ; J. B. Milton, B (k) ; Samuel H. Stevenson, C; J. W. Looney, D (k); Monroe M. Miller, E (k); J. M. Cooper, F; C. H. Reed, G; Sergt. John Calvin Dean, H; C. C. Campbell, I (k); Sergt. T. W. Crabb, K.

Colonel Lowrey commanded the Alabama and Mississippi Brigade of Cleburne's Division in the battle of Missionary Ridge, where Cleburne's men were victorious in their battle on the extreme right against General Sherman. Lowrey's Brigade, with the others, was at Chickamauga Station, preparing to take train to join in Longstreet's campaign against Knoxville, when Bragg became aware of the danger of his situation and ordered them back. Cleburne, with seven brigades, took position at Tunnel Hill and entirely defeated the attack of General Sherman, taking eight regimental flags, and capturing about 500 prisoners. Then came the news of the defeat of the remainder of Bragg's army. "General Lowrey attacked and drove back the enemy's skirmishers in his front and then retreated," said Cleburne, who mentioned this gallant brigade commander as one of those who, though not actively engaged, rendered good service in holding important positions. On the retreat to Ringgold, Ga., the division, following Hardee's Corps, reached the bank of the East Chickamauga River at 10 o'clock in the night of November 26. The ford was waist deep and the night freezing cold, and they bivouacked in the hills of Ringgold Gap. Next day, under orders from Bragg, Cleburne went into line of battle on the hills to check the Federal pursuit, putting the Thirty-second and Forty-fifth Mississippi consolidated, under Col. A. B. Hardcastle, in reserve in the center of the gap. As the battle raged, Cleburne ordered Lowrey's Brigade up the hill to the support of Polk's Brigade. Moving rapidly ahead of his command Lowrey found the First Arkansas hard pressed and "assuring the regiment that support was at hand he brought up the Thirty-second and Forty-fifth Mississippi in double time and threw them into the field at the critical moment. The enemy gave way and went down the hill in great confusion." (Cleburne). The attack was renewed, but again repulsed. The brigade had in this battle 1,330 men. Cleburne wrote: "To Brigadier-Generals Polk and Lowrey and Colonels Govan and Granbury I must return my thanks. Four better officers are not in the service of the Confederacy." For this famous battle, which saved the artillery and wagon trains of the army, Cleburne and his command were thanked by resolution of Congress. General Lowrey commended his staff officers, Capt. J. P. Walker, Capt. O. S. Palmer, and Lieut. A. J. Hall. Colonel Hardcastle reported a loss of 1 killed and 17 wounded.

In the Atlanta campaign the Fifth and Eighth Mississippi were added to the brigade. Col. William H. H. Tison was in command of the Thirty-second at the opening of the campaign, May 7, 1864, when Cleburne's Division was intrenched upon Mill Creek, in front of Dalton, the headquarters during the winter. Sherman advanced toward Rock Face Gap, near Dalton, and Cleburne made a rapid march on an extremely hot day, May 8, to Dug Gap, with Lowrey's and Granbury's Brigades, arriving just in time to reinforce a handful of troops holding in check a brigade of Hooker's Corps. Thence Cleburne marched his whole division to Snake Creek Gap to meet McPherson's Corps, which, fortunately for the Confederate army, had hesitated in advancing and occupying Resaca before Cleburne's arrival. On the 14th, in front of Resaca, the Union troops attempted to repeat the performance at Missionary Ridge, but found a resistance equal to their valor. The casualties of the Thirty-second were 5 killed, 7 wounded. Crossing the Oostenaula River on the night of the 15th, to meet Sherman's flank movement, Lowrey's Brigade was posted on a hill near Calhoun, supporting artillery, but was outflanked and withdrawn toward Adairsville. The following days were spent in maneuvers in the vicinity of Cassville, after which they crossed the Etowah River and marched toward Dallas, to meet Sherman's movement by the fight flank, A severe battle was fought by the division May 27, near New Hope Church, which Lowrey came into in the nick of time, Tison and Hardcastle coming into line to support Baucum's Arkansans. Cleburne thanked General Lowrey "for the coolness and skill which he exhibited in forming his line. His successive formation was the precise answer to the enemy's movement in extending his left to turn our right. Time was of the essence of things and his movement was the quickest. His line was formed under heavy fire, on ground unknown to him and of the most difficult character, and the stern firmness with which he and his men and Baucum's Regiment drove off the enemy and resisted his renewed attacks without doubt saved the right of the army." Then followed the campaign on the Kenesaw Mountain line and the retreat across the Chattahoochee, when the army was put under the command of General Hood.

In Hood's attack at Peachtree Creek, July 21, the brigade supported Stevens' Georgia Brigade, which was repulsed. After a little skirmishing, losing 41 killed and wounded, Lowrey was relieved by Mercer's Brigade. That night they marched to Atlanta and next day were skirmishing along the Augusta Railroad, losing 48 killed and wounded. July 22, they marched with Hardee and made the flank attack called the battle of Atlanta. The Thirty-second had to cross a miry glade and advance through a brigade that had been repulsed, but, Lowrey wrote: "The Thirty-second Mississippi rushed forward almost to the works, when one-third of the command fell at one volley and two color bearers were killed in quick succession." Lowrey declared he never saw a greater display of gallantry than the charge of the brigade; they failed because a thin line of exhausted men cannot take breastworks held by twice their numbers. The regimental casualties were 18 killed, 45 wounded, 23 missing.

Following is the organization at the battle of Atlanta: Colonel W. H. H. Tison, wounded. Adjutant--J. W. Smith. Ensign H. N. Patton, killed.

Company A Captain D. F. Reynolds, Second Lieutenant D. W. Rogers (wounded), Orderly Sergeant T. N. Gibson (killed), Sergeants W. R. Sherrill (wounded), W. G. McLearen (wounded), D. J. Wood (missing).

Company B--Captain J. L. Kennedy, First Lieutenant Ed. Harwell (lost leg); First Sergeant S. D. D. Gambrel (lost leg), Sergeant J. D. Agnew (missing).

Company C--Captain J. W. Swinney, First Sergeant William Kincard (wounded).

Company G -- Captain F. S. Norman, Acting Lieutenant-Colonel (killed); Lieutenant B. F. Dilworth, commanding company; First Sergeant J. L. McLean (wounded).

Company E--Captain J. M. Cotton (killed), First Lieutenant Thomas Moody (wounded), Second Lieutenant W. W. Nance, Sergeants John Stewart (killed), M. N. Meeks (missing).

Companies F and K--Lieutenant F. C. Bryant, commanding; Sergeants B. B. Miller (wounded), T. W. Crabb (wounded), E. Anderson (wounded).

Company G--First Lieutenant Charles Cleary, wounded.

Company H--Second Lieutenant W. D. Storment, wounded.

Company I--Second Lieutenant E. T. Smith, captured. (Newspaper Scrap Book, p. 69).

The brigade remained several days in position, east of Atlanta, then was placed in the lines around the city, where in seven days it lost 2 killed and 20 wounded. August 3-6 they were moved near Eastpoint. August 30, General Lowrey was put in command of Cleburne’s Division, and Col. John Weir took command of the brigade. In the battle of August 31, near Jonesboro, they drove a Federal line across Flint River and captured four cannon. September 1, in another part of the field, they fortified, and lost in killed and wounded from artillery fire. General Lowrey commanded Cleburne's Division in this battle, and when Govan's Brigade gave way, he and Lieut.-Gen. Hardee rode rapidly forward into the battle and encouraged Granbury to hold fast. Weir's Brigade was on the left of Granbury, about a mile north of Jonesboro. The brigade loss July 20 to September 1 was 115 killed, 491 wounded, 104 missing.

September 2, near Lovejoy's Station, Lowrey's Division repulsed the attack of the Federal Division of Thomas J. Wood, an action in which General Wood and a remarkably large number of his officers and men were wounded. At the close of the campaign Captain Andrew E. Moody commanded the Thirty-second and Eighth Mississippi consolidated.

Lowrey's Brigade, with Cleburne's Division, took part in the October, 1864, campaign on the Chattanooga and Atlanta Railroad, including the capture of Dalton, moved thence to Gadsden, Ala., skirmished in front of Decatur, and crossed the Tennessee River November 13. November 21 they marched from Florence in a snow storm, advanced to Columbia, crossed Duck River and attacked Stanley's Division at Spring Hill, November 29, an engagement in which there was considerable loss on both sides, next day followed the Federal forces to Franklin and participated in the assault on the evening of November 30, Cleburne's Division on the right of Cheatham's Corps, near the center of the Confederate line. "The advance was a magnificent spectacle," wrote Col. Ellison Capers, "bands playing, general and staff officers riding in front of and between the lines, a hundred battle-flags waving, and bursting shells wreathing the air with great circles of smoke." The advanced line of the enemy was driven back in confusion and numbers captured. But the main Federal line, behind parapets, and protected by a crossfire of artillery, defied the impetuous valor of the assailants. The loss of life was frightful. General Cleburne was killed, and more than sixty brigade and regimental commanders were killed or wounded. Among the wounded was Colonel Tison of the Thirty-second. The Federal troops fell back to the lines around Nashville, and when Hood's army took position December 2 Lowrey's Brigade was placed on the extreme right, at the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad cut, two and one-half miles from the city. The aggregate present of the brigade December 13 was 837. Maj. Andrew E. Moody was in command of the Eighth and Thirty-second Mississippi. General Lowery commanded the division after Cleburne's death until the arrival of J. A. Smith, the senior Brigadier. In the battle of Nashville, December 15-16, the division repelled all assaults on the first day, and on the second, moved to the Granny White pike, fought gallantly until overwhelmed in the general disaster.

They recrossed the Tennessee River December 26 and marched into northeast Mississippi.

In the organization of the army of Gen. J. E. Johnston, near Smithfield, N. C., March 31, 1865, the remnant of Lowrey's Brigade was commanded by Lieut.-Col. J. F. Smith, the Eighth and Thirty-second Mississippi being consolidated under the command of Capt. H. W. Crook. April 9 the Fifth, Eighth, Thirty-second Regiments and Third Battalion were consolidated as the Eighth Mississippi Battalion, Capt. J. Y. Carmack commanding. With Sharp's and Manigault's Brigades likewise consolidated, it was included in the brigade command of General Sharp, in D. H. Hill's Division, Lee's Corps.

The army was surrendered April 26, 1865, and paroled at Greensboro.

 

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