33rd Mississippi Infantry (Hurst’s)

[see 45th MS Infantry for a history of the 33rd MS Infantry (Hardcastle’s)]


(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 -- Cumberland Guards (raised in Neshoba County, MS)

Company B -- Amite Guards, aka Amite Defenders [Capt. Morgan’s] (raised in Amite County, MS)

Company C -- Johnson Guards (raised in Lawrence County, MS)

Company D -- Franklin Guards (raised in Franklin County, MS)

Company E -- Holmesville Guards (raised in Pike County, MS)

Company F -- Leake Rebels (raised in Leake County, MS)

Company G -- Davis Guards, aka Jeff Davis Browns (raised in Choctaw County, MS)

Company H -- Rebel Avengers (raised in Coahoma County, MS)

Company I -- Mississippi Defenders (raised in Panola County, MS)

Company K -- Amite Defenders [Capt. Hurst’s] (raised in Amite County, MS)


Colonels -- David W. Hurst, Jabez L. Drake, killed at Peachtree Creek. Lieutenant-Colonels -- William B. Johnson, Jabez L. Drake, promoted January 5, 1864; John Harrod. Majors -- Jabez L. Drake, John Harrod, Robert J. Hall.

This regiment was organized at Grenada, and field officers elected April 17, 1862. The companies were enlisted for the war. It was reported as assigned to the brigade of Gen. S. A. M. Wood, in the army at Corinth, with an effective total, April 26, of 378. June 12 the regiment was at Grenada; present, 669, absent, 310; no arms but 379 condemned muskets. Corinth had then been evacuated, and the army had fallen back to Tupelo.

Brig.-Gen. John B. Villepigue's command at Abbeville and Grenada, in June, 1862, included the Thirty-third and Thirty-ninth Mississippi Regiments, Fourteenth Artillery Battalion, First Mississippi Cavalry, company of partisan rangers, besides troops from other States. His staff was Capt. Kinloch Falconer, Adjutant-General; Capt. Thomas M. LeBaron, Quartermaster; Capt. Bolton Mickle, Paymaster; Dr. W. W. Hart, Principal Surgeon; Capt. George West, Commissary; Lieut. G. W. Simpson, Inspector-General; Lieut. H. T. Scott, Ordnance Officer; Lieut. G. O, Watts, Chief Engineer.

The Thirty-third and Thirty-ninth composed the brigade of General Villepigue in the attack upon Rosecrans at Corinth, October 3-5, 1862. The Thirty-third is mentioned by Maj.-Gen. Mansfield Lovell, Division Commander, as one of the regiments particularly distinguished in carrying the outer line of rifle pits and the hill on which was posted a Federal battery, capturing a Parrot gun, the "Lady Richardson." In his report Villepigue said: "I wish to mention for conspicuous gallantry Col. D. W. Hurst, Thirty-third Mississippi Regiment, who drove the enemy from their intrenchments at the head of his regiment with empty guns." Mansfield's Division did not assault on the 4th, but when Price fell back after his assault, "Villepigue crossed the railroad and with his artillery, under Major Watts, put an effectual check upon the pursuit of the enemy's cavalry." (Lovell). On the 5th Villepigue, at the Hatchie bridge, held the pursuing Federals in check with his skirmish line. Villepigue gave honorable mention to members of his staff: Capt. Kinloch Falconer, Adjutant-General; Major J. P. Carr, Acting Commissary, and Captain

Belton Mickle, Quartermaster. The casualties of the brigade were 21 killed, 76 wounded, 71 missing.

Villepigue's Brigade was ordered to Louisiana, where Villepigue died on the march to Port Hudson, November 9, 1862. Later in November and December Grant advanced from Memphis, on the Central Railroad; a campaign marked by the battle of Coffeeville, December 5, and Van Dorn's raid to Holly Springs. In January, 1863, the brigade, including the Thirty-third, was under the command of General Rust, of Arkansas. Later the regiment was part of Featherston's Brigade. Featherston was ordered to Snyder's Bluff, March 19, on account of the reconnaissance by Sherman's troops and Porter's gunboats from Steele's Bayou to Rolling Fork and Deer Creek. He took the Twenty-second and Thirty-third Regiments and a battery, under command of Colonel Hurst, up to the junction of Rolling Fork and Deer Creek, skirmished there April 20, and followed the boats as they slowly pushed through the willow-lined bayous. April 25 the two Mississippi Regiments were in a skirmish with Sherman's troops and troops were landed from the boats to cut them off, but they retired without loss. Being transferred by steamer to Fort Pemberton, they were ordered back to Edwards May 2, to meet Grant's movement south of Vicksburg.

Captain R. H. Crozier was captured and paroled at the battle of Baker's Creek, May 14. The brigade was not seriously engaged, On the retreat General Loring regarded his division as cut off from crossing Baker's Creek to join the rest of Pemberton's army, and the division made a night march to Crystal Springs, and thence moved to Jackson.

The regiment participated in General Johnston's movement to the Big Black River for the relief of Vicksburg, retreating to Jackson when Vicksburg was surrendered, and was on duty with Featherston's Brigade around Jackson, confronted by Sherman's troops, July 9-16. (See Thirty-first Regiment.) Later in the year Loring’s Division had headquarters at Canton. Colonel Hurst was reported in command of the regiment in January, Lieut.-Col. Drake in February, 1864. General Sherman advanced from Vicksburg to Meridian in February, and Loring's and French's Divisions, under General Polk, retreated to Demopolis, Ala.

In the spring of 1864 they moved to Montevallo, Ala., and thence to Rome, Ga., to join General Johnston in resisting the advance of Sherman from Chattanooga. Drake had then been promoted to Colonel.

The regiment, with Featherston's Brigade, arrived at Resaca May 12, and went into battle at once, aiding in holding McPherson at bay until reinforcements could arrive. This battle continued until the 16th, when the army crossed the river. The next fighting, after considerable marching and skirmishing, was before Dallas. Near New Hope Church, May 31, the skirmishers of the brigade were reinforced to about 400 men, under Lieut.-Col. Harrod, and ordered to drive in the Federal skirmishers, which was gallantly done, after which the men pushed on against the Federal main line, intrenched, where they suffered heavy loss, about one-fourth of the number engaged. Harrod was wounded, and Capt. J. C. Sharp, Company H, was killed within ten paces of the works, his last word being "Forward." The flank movements carried the battle line to Kenesaw Mountain, where the Thirty-third took part in the famous repulse of Sherman's assault, June 27. Early in July Johnston was compelled to cross the Chattahoochee River, when he was relieved by General Hood, who began a series of assaults upon Sherman's army.

At Peachtree Creek, July 20, where the brigade charged through a difficult field, attempting to break the Federal line which was protected with rail works thrown up as the fight began, the losses of the regiment were severe. General Featherston wrote: "Col. J. L. Drake, the only field officer with the Thirty-third Regiment, a gallant and excellent officer, fell beyond the enemy's first line of works, leading his regiment in the charge and displaying the highest qualities of the true soldier." Among the killed were also Captains Sharkey, Lamkin and D. A. Herring, and Lieutenants Kennedy and A. G. West and Ensign E. F. Leavitt. Capt. Moses Jackson, left in command, reported that the regiment carried the temporary rail works and advanced into a ravine 100 yards beyond, where the fighting was very stubborn. They were on the extreme right of the brigade, and without support on that flank, Wright's Brigade having failed to come forward, and were forced to retreat with the brigade. Casualties, killed, wounded and missing, 15 officers, 144 men. Colonel Wood, commanding the Union brigade attacked, reported: "The Twenty-sixth Wisconsin captured a stand of colors, and the skirmishers of the One Hundred and Thirty-sixth New York, a battle-flag. This brigade buried the bodies of thirty-eight dead found behind and near our advanced line of battle, among whom was Colonel Drake, Thirty-third Mississippi." The Colonel of the Twentieth Connecticut wrote that "wounded officers belonging to the Third, Thirty-third, Fifty-fifth [Note: There was no 55th MS Infantry.] and Forty-fourth Mississippi Regiments, left on the field in front of the Twentieth, remarked that they lost more men during this engagement in killed and wounded than they had before during the war." Colonel Buckingham, of the Twentieth Connecticut, wrote that "during our advance a rebel color bearer in front of the right of my regiment was killed, and a rebel officer, who sprang forward and seized the colors to bear them off was also shot dead, but a soldier from the Twenty-sixth Wisconsin succeeded in obtaining the flag." Colonel Winkler, of the Wisconsin Regiment, reported that when the forces in his front gave way, his regiment pursued and "captured the regimental flag of the Thirty-third Mississippi," and that in the fight Colonel Drake and 34 others of the Mississippi Regiment were killed, many wounded and 40 captured.

The regiment was on duty in the trenches around Atlanta until the evacuation at the close of August. In the October, 1864, campaign on the Chattanooga and Atlanta Railroad, Featherston's Brigade captured the Federal post at Big Shanty, was with Loring's Division in the capture of Acworth, and with Stewart's Corps in the destruction of the railroad between Dalton and Resaca, after which they moved through the mountains to Gadsden, Ala., and skirmished at Decatur, October 26-29, and moved thence to Tuscumbia.

Stewart's Corps marched against Schofield at Columbia, and while Lee's Corps attacked across the river, Stewart’s Corps joined in the movement to Spring Hill to cut off the retreat. Schofield retreated to the intrenchments at Franklin, where General Hood attacked November 30, carrying the outer line but failing to win the second in a battle of great slaughter that raged into the night. Featherston's Brigade in this assault had 76 killed, 200 wounded, 76 missing. "The color bearer of the Thirty-third was killed some fifteen paces from the works, when Lieut. H. C. Shaw, of Company K, carried them forward, and when in the act of planting them on the works was killed, his body failing in the trench, the colors falling in the works." (Featherston's report). On the line in front of Nashville Featherston's Brigade had an effective strength of 781 aggregate present 1,208. Capt. T. L. Cooper was in command of the regiment December 10. Loring's Division was on the front line of Stewart's Corps, a line one mile long across the Granny White pike, strengthened with redoubts on five hills. General Thomas attacked and broke the line, carrying two redoubts and taking many prisoners, December 15, but Loring's Division gallantly formed a new line and checked the progress of the defeat that day. Next day, however, though they repulsed every attack upon their line, they were involved in the general disaster. At Columbia, December 20, Featherston's Brigade was selected as one of the seven for the rear guard commanded by Walthall and they held Columbia two days with the army on the march. The Thirty-third then had an aggregate present of 91. On the retreat to the Tennessee River they defeated their pursuers at Anthony's Hill and Sugar Creek, December 25-26. On the 28th they recrossed the Tennessee River, and thence marched to Tupelo.

About the 1st 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 Carolinas 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 under Gen. J. E. Johnston, near Smithfield, N. C., March 31, 1865, shows Major-General Walthall in command of Stewart's Corps; Featherston's Brigade commanded by Maj. Martin A. Oatis, the Thirty-third Regiment by Lieut. George B. Lenoir. 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 Lowrey, 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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