36th 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 -- Mount Zion Guards (raised in Copiah, Lawrence, & Franklin Counties, MS)

Company B -- Zollicoffer Avengers (raised in Copiah County, MS)

Company C -- Harper Reserves (raised in Lauderdale, Newton, & Smith Counties, MS)

Company D -- Yankee Hunters (raised in Newton County, MS)

Company E -- Hazlehurst Fencibles (raised in Copiah County, MS)

Company F -- Hillsboro Rebels (raised in Scott County, MS)

Company G -- Copiah Rebels (raised in Copiah County, MS)

Company H -- Edwards Tigers, aka Edwards Rebels (raised in Lauderdale County, MS)

Company I -- Stephens Guards (raised in Newton County, MS)

Company K -- Dixie Guards (raised in Copiah County, MS)

 

Above is the roster from original rolls and roll of May 30, 1862, at which date the total enrollment, rank and file, was 602.

This regiment was composed of volunteer companies organized under a call of the Governor to assemble at Meridian, where the companies were mustered into the Confederate service. Field officers were elected March 12, 1862, Brown, Harper and Witherspoon. The regiment was in camp at Meridian during the battle of Shiloh. There was a rapid change in officers. At Rienzi, May 30, the day after the evacuation of Corinth by Beauregard's army, Witherspoon was Colonel and made a complete "list of the names of soldiers of the Thirty-sixth Regiment Mississippi Volunteers, between the ages of 18 and 35 years, including those over and under age, who have volunteered for three years or the war," which is on file in this department.

The regiment was (with the Thirty-seventh) part of the brigade of Gen. Patton Anderson, of Ruggles' Division, Bragg's Corps, at Corinth, early in May, and took part in the engagement at Farmington, May 9. General Anderson said in his report: "A large portion of the Thirty-sixth Mississippi Regiment, although never having formed a line of battle or heard a hostile gun before, behaved with that gallantry and spirit which characterized the troops of that chivalrous State on every field." The regiment had 14 killed and wounded. It was attached to Chalmers' Brigade in return of April 28, and of May. After the transfer of Bragg's army to Chattanooga the Thirty-sixth, Thirty-seventh and Thirty-eighth Mississippi, and Thirty-seventh Alabama formed the Fourth Brigade of Little's Division, afterward Hebert's, in Price's army, the brigade under the command of Col. John D. Martin. After Price was given command of the district of the Tennessee, July 25, 1862, he sent Armstrong's cavalry on the raid to Bolivar and Denmark, recruited his forces with exchanged prisoners, and in September advanced to Guntown, whence he marched against Rosecrans, at Iuka, hoping to capture his force of 10,000. Rosecrans eluded him by sacrificing a large amount of stores, which fell into Price's hands at Iuka. Price then set out to make a junction with VanDorn's army at Rienzi, September 19, when he was suddenly confronted by Grant, who hoped to capture his force. Hebert's and Martin's Brigades encountered the head of Rosecrans' column in two divisions on the Jacinto road, and a fierce battle followed, in which General Little was killed. Price reported: "Two regiments -- the Thirty-sixth Mississippi and Thirty-seventh Alabama -- of Martin's Brigade, were sent to the support of General Hebert's left wing, and were gallantly led and fought bravely under their brigade commander, Col. John D. Martin." The Thirty-sixth, after a stubborn fight, through the latter part of the afternoon, charged with bayonets fixed, about dusk, and captured several prisoners, pushing back the Federal line. The regimental casualties were 1 killed, 21 wounded, out of 326 engaged. Colonel Martin said in his report: "Colonel Witherspoon managed his regiment with courage and discretion. Lieutenant-Colonel Brown behaved gallantly, and Major Yates heroically and nobly." Lieuts. McDonald, Worthington, Ferrell, and Davis of the brigade staff, were mentioned.

Price joined Van Dorn, who returned and attacked Rosecrans at Corinth, October 3-5. On the first day Colonel Martin, Brigade Commander, was killed as the brigade was carrying the outer line of works. Colonel McLain then took command, and in the charge upon the town on the 4th, he and Major Yates, of the Thirty-sixth, were severely wounded. The brigade was again engaged on the 5th in the retreat. The casualties of the Thirty-sixth were 12 killed and 71 wounded.

The regiment was listed in Hebert's Brigade, Maury's (later Forney's) Division, in January, 1863, 312 effective present. April, 1863, post at Snyder's Bluff, the Thirty-sixth, Col. W. W. Witherspoon, brigaded with the Thirty-seventh, Thirty-eighth, Forty-third, and Third Louisiana, Col. Witherspoon commanding the brigade when, in Maury's absence, Hebert commanded the division.

During the battle of Baker's Creek and until the retreat of Pemberton across the Big Black, Hebert's Brigade was stationed from Haynes' Bluff to the Mississippi River, including Snyder's Bluff, whence they marched on the night of May 17-18 to Vicksburg and were immediately sent to the line of intrenchments with instructions to occupy the line commencing with the works on the immediate right of the Jackson road and extending to the left so as to occupy the main redan on the Graveyard road. Soon after they had taken this position, at eight in the morning of the 18th, the Federal columns appeared on the Graveyard road, where the Thirty-sixth was posted on the extreme left of Hebert's line. The Federal artillery fire was begun at 3:45 that afternoon, on the Graveyard road, and skirmishing began. Hebert's skirmishers were drawn back into the lines. Hebert said that the investment was completed the next day, so far as his brigade was concerned. He was under orders from General Pemberton to save ammunition, and this allowed the enemy to at once make the investment a close one. "From that time our entire line became subjected to a murderous fire, and nearly every cannon on my line was in time either dismounted or otherwise injured." Assault with scaling ladders was made on the 22d and repulsed with heavy loss to Grant's troops On June 2 the Thirty-sixth was moved to the right of Hebert's line. June 25 the redan occupied by the Third Louisiana of this brigade was blown up by a mine explosion, and a greater explosion, on July 1, destroyed the main redan of Hebert's line, on the left of the Jackson road, but no attempt was made to attack. Hebert reported: "The list of casualties sufficiently attests that my brigade occupied and held unflinchingly one of the most exposed portions of the defenses of Vicksburg. Many a gallant spirit was sacrificed; let their memory be cherished and their names be honored." The brigade had 219 killed, 455 wounded. The total surrendered was 2,186.

The casualties of the Thirty-sixth were 28 killed, including Major Alexander Yates, Captains J. S. Tatum and T. J. Chrisman and Lieut. A. T. Murrell, and 72 wounded.

In the camp of paroled and exchanged prisoners at Enterprise, January, 1864, the brigade was under the command of Gen. W. W. Mackall, Gen. John H. Forney having division command until Mackall was made Chief of Staff of Johnston's army in Georgia. The brigade was attached to the Army of Mobile, under General Maury, in February, and reported 635 present, 1,908 present and absent. Colonel Sears, Forty-sixth Regiment, was promoted Brigadier-General commanding. April 12th they arrived at Selma. As organized for the Georgia campaign, Sears' Brigade included the Fourth, Thirty-fifth, Thirty-sixth, Thirty-ninth, Forty-sixth Regiments and Seventh Battalion, and this was the largest brigade of Gen. S. G. French's Division. The brigade reached the scene of action near Resaca, May 16, and thereafter were under fire every day but one until the final engagement at Lovejoy's Station, September 2-6, 1864. The returns show Col. W. W. Witherspoon and Maj. Charles P. Partin, in command. The casualties of the regiment were: At New Hope Church, 4 killed, 2 wounded; at Latimer House, 1 killed, 1 wounded, 2 missing; at Kenesaw, where the division held the little mountain and part of the big one, 4 killed, 21 wounded, 13 missing; at Smyrna, 4 killed, 3 missing; at Chattahoochee, 1 killed, 2 wounded, 6 missing; siege of Atlanta, 1 killed, 8 wounded, 4 missing; at Lovejoy's, 1 killed, 3 wounded.

When General Hood advanced the army to destroy the railroad between Atlanta and Chattanooga, Stewart’s Corps crossed the Chattahoochee late in September and tore up the rails near Big Shanty, after which French's Division was sent to fill the cut at Allatoona. In the battle of October 5th, the loss of the Thirty-sixth was comparatively light -- 6 wounded, including Major Partin, and 24 missing.

Following this, Stewart's Corps destroyed the railroad between Resaca and Dalton. French's Division captured the blockhouse at Tilton, October 13, and next was in battle against the Federal works at Decatur, Ala., October 26-29, moving from there to Tuscumbia. Colonel Witherspoon, with his regiment, occupied Corinth until ordered to join General Hood at Tuscumbia, November 2.

Stewart's Corps crossed the Tennessee River November 20, and moved to confront Schofield's Federal command at Columbia. November 29 the corps was moved to Spring Hill. November 30 they took the advance in pursuit of Schofield to Franklin, and attacked the Federal line, Loring's Division the right, Walthall in the center and French on the left, next to Cheatham's Corps. "The line moved forward in fine order, the men in high spirits drove the enemy from his outer line and fiercely assailed the second. The space in front was perfectly open and swept by a terribly destructive crossfire of artillery from the works and from the opposite bank of the Harpeth. The men, however, pressed forward again and again, with dauntless courage, to the ditch around the inner line of works, which they failed to carry, but where many of them remained, separated from the enemy only by the parapet, until the Federal army withdrew." The casualties of Sears' Brigade were 5 officers and 25 men killed; 26 officers and 142 men wounded; 1 officer and 34 men missing. December 9 the return of Sears' Brigade was 2,306 present and absent; of which 479 were prisoners, 396 present and 210 effective. The following officers and men of the Thirty-sixth were reported as among those of Sears' Brigade who reached the main line of works, o[ whom Sears wrote: "These gallant men merit honorable mention; they were foremost in the forlorn hope:" Col. W. W. Witherspoon, killed near the inner works; Lieut, P. H. Davis, Company A; Capt. G. M. Gallaspy, Company C; Capt. W. J. Smith (wounded between works), Sergt. J. N. Denson, Sergt. H. B. Williams (wounded between works), Corporal D. F. Pace, Privates E. J. Pace, S. S. Braswell, Company F; Sergeant M. N. Sojourner, Company G.

Sears' Brigade was on the Nashville line until detached with Bate's Division to aid General Forrest in the siege of Murfreesboro. At Overall’s Creek, December 4, the brigade had 2 killed, 19 wounded. They were again in battle before Murfreesboro, December 7. Marching back to Nashville over icy roads, many of the men barefooted, they took position on General Hood's line and were in the battle of the 15th, posted between Walthall and Loring. On the 16th they fought with Walthall, the left of his line. Walthall repelled the demonstration in his front, but Bate yielded to a heavier attack, and Walthall was compelled to retreat hurriedly to save any part of his command. The remnant of the brigade crossed the Tennessee River December 26, with the army, and moved to Northeast Mississippi.

French's Division was ordered to report to General Maury at Mobile, February 1, 1865. The return of March 10 showed the Thirty-sixth Regiment commanded by Lieut.-Col. Edward Brown.

The last service of the regiment was in defence of Forts Spanish Fort and Fort Blakeley, east of Mobile, against the army of General Canby, in March and April, 1865. After much severe fighting, the works were carried finally, at Blakeley, April 9, 1865, and most of the Confederate troops became prisoners of war. They were paroled after the capitulation of Lieut.-Gen. Richard Taylor, commanding the department, at Citronelle, Ala., May 4, 1865.

 

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