40th 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 -- Oak Bowery Invincibles (raised in Jasper County, MS)

Company B -- Standing Pine Guards (raised in Leake County, MS)

Company C -- Confederate Rebels, aka Confederate Guards (raised in Attala County, MS)

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

Company E -- Steam Mill Rangers (raised in Neshoba County, MS)

Company F -- Mississippi Tigers, aka Neshoba Tigers (raised in Neshoba County, MS)

Company G -- Dixie Rangers (raised in Leake & Winston Counties, MS)

Company H -- Parrott Rifles (raised in Leake County, MS)

Company I -- Capt. Culbertson’s Company (raised in Kemper County, MS)

Company K -- Campbell Guards (raised in Attala County, MS)

 

Colonels -- Wallace Bruce Colbert, George P. Wallace, James R. Childress.

Lieutenant-Colonels -- Josiah A. P. Campbell, George P. Wallace. Majors -- Enoch McDonald, Robert B. Campbell, killed at Vicksburg; W. McD. Gibbons, killed at Peachtree Creek.

This regiment was organized at Meridian by the election of field officers -- Colbert, Campbell and McDonald -- May 14, 1862. Lieut.-Col. Campbell was in later years the eminent Chief Justice of Mississippi; his brother, Robert B. Campbell, Captain of a company and promoted as Major, was killed at Vicksburg during the siege. Soon after the organization of the regiment Beauregard's army evacuated Corinth and fell back to Tupelo, when Bragg took command.

In General Price's army, occupying Eastern Mississippi after Bragg's army had moved to Chattanooga, the Fortieth was assigned to Hebert's Brigade, which had seen much service west of the Mississippi. At the battle of Iuka, September 19, when Hebert's Brigade encountered the head of Rosecrans' column of two divisions of brigades, on the Jacinto road, General Little was killed, and when Hebert took his place as Division Commander, Colonel Colbert took command of the brigade, which bore the brunt of the battle. Lieut.-Col. Campbell commanded the regiment. General Price reported: "Colonel Colbert's Regiment proved its worthiness to take its place in this brave brigade, the command of which has by the fortunes of war been already devolved upon its intelligent and brave Colonel." In the reports of Rosecrans the regiments of this brigade, three or four hundred strong, are mentioned as if they were brigades: "The brigade of Texans," and "two Mississippi brigades."

General Hamilton, commanding the division first engaged, reported that the Confederate force "was commanded by Major-General Sterling Price in person, who had arrayed against us no less than eighteen regiments." Hamilton put in line the Fifth Iowa, Twenty-sixth Missouri and Forty-eighth Indiana, with the Eleventh Ohio battery, and supported these with two other regiments, on the flanks, en echelon. "The battle at this time had become terrific," he said. "The enemy in dense masses bore down in front on the right and left, showing a determined purpose to envelop and crush the little line in front." Hebert's Brigade had a strength of 1,744, supported by Martin's Mississippi Brigade of 1,405. The fight was mainly for possession of the Ohio battery. The Fortieth drove the Federal line back from these guns, and formed a line on the right of the Third Texas, with some of the guns behind them, and several pieces were drawn off by details of the regiment.

Colbert reported that the Fortieth had 314 officers and men engaged. The casualties were 10 killed, 39 wounded, 21 missing. Among the killed were 1 Captain, and among the dangerously wounded 2 Lieutenants. "The officers and men generally, behaved well," said Colbert, "and some with distinguished coolness and gallantry."

Colonel Colbert commanded the brigade again in the battle of Corinth, October 3-5, 1862. The brigade was held in reserve on the 3d, and is noted as on detached duty with General VanDorn. The Fortieth, however, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, was seriously engaged. General Price reported Major McDonald among those of his gallant officers who were killed, and Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell among the wounded. The total casualties of the regiment were 5 killed, 46 wounded, 16 missing. When Price's troops were falling back from the desperate assault upon the town, October 4, a flank attack was made by Hamilton's Division, and the flag of the Fortieth was taken by the Seventeenth Iowa.

The next campaign was occasioned by the advance of General Grant from Memphis on the Central Railroad in November and December, 1862. When Grant had retreated, after the Holly Springs raid, Maury's Division was transferred to the Vicksburg line, and with it the Fortieth, in Moore's Brigade. The regiment was listed in Moore's Brigade, Maury's Division, of the army on the Vicksburg line, in January, 1863; reported 217 effective present in February. March 12, 1863, General Moore was ordered to Snyder’s Bluff, with the Thirty-fifth and Fortieth Regiments, to take boat for Yazoo City. Moore's Brigade was on duty at Fort Pemberton, near Greenwood, until after April 4, when the Yazoo Pass expedition was withdrawn, and Maury returned to Vicksburg. The division, which was commanded by Gen. John H. Forney, after April 17, had headquarters at Snyder's Bluff on the Yazoo. Col. W. B. Colbert was in command of the regiment, which was ordered included in Tilghman's Mississippi Brigade just before the Vicksburg batteries were run, which interfered with the transfer.

When Grant landed his army at Bruinsburg, Moore's Brigade guarded the river front at Warrenton and the approaches from the lower fords of Big Black until after the battle of Baker's Creek, when they were drawn in at once and placed in the trenches on each side of the Baldwin's Ferry road. On May 19th the Fortieth was sent to Graveyard hill to aid Hebert's Brigade in the repulse of the heavy assault of that day. The assault of the 22d seems to have fallen mainly upon the Alabama and Texas Regiments of Moore's Brigades. Until the close of the siege, forty-seven days, the regiment was confined to the trenches night and day, under a fire of musketry and artillery, exposed to the scorching heat of the day and the chill of night. The men were so desperately exhausted that Colonel Colbert joined in the reply to General Pemberton, July 2, that it would be impracticable to attempt to escape through the Federal lines. The casualties of the regiment during the siege were 12 killed, 38 wounded. Among the killed was Major R. B. Campbell. The brigade, which included three Alabama and one Texas regiment, two batteries and a pioneer company, had 121 killed and surrendered 4,368.

After the capitulation, July 4, 1863, the troops marched out and were furloughed, to rendezvous at the parole and exchange camp at Enterprise. The Fortieth was declared exchanged September 11, 1863. In November it was part of the brigade taken by General Baldwin to reinforce General Bragg before Chattanooga, reaching Atlanta about the time of the battle of Missionary Ridge, and stationed for some time after that near Resaca, Ga., attached to W. H. T. Walker's Division of Hardee's Corps. The brigade was returned to General Polk January 16, and sent to General Maury at Mobile. Maury sent them to Meridian to reinforce Polk, February 7, 1864, and Polk, being on retreat to Demopolis, sent them back to Mobile, where they remained until re-transferred to Polk's department, arriving at Selma April 13. The old brigade was merged in the brigade of Gen. C. W. Sears after April 1, but the Fortieth was later assigned to Featherston's Brigade, of Loring's Division. April 30, Colonel Colbert commanding. May 10, the regiment was reported under the command of General Withers, commanding the posts of Demopolis, Selma and Cahaba.

With Featherston's Brigade the Fortieth arrived at Resaca, Ga., May 12, 1864, were under fire there until the evacuation, took part in the Cassville maneuvers, were in the trenches during the hard fighting on the New Hope Church line in May, and about Kenesaw Mountain in June. The following is condensed from a report of casualties in the regiment May 8 to July 6, 1864:

Company A, Capt. C. A. Huddleston commanding, 3 killed, including Second Lieutenant James W. Windham, 7 wounded, 1 missing.

Company B, Second Lieut. J. H. C. Jordan commanding, 6 wounded, including Lieutenant Jordan and Third Lieut. W. L. Cameron.

Company C, Capt. J. A. Cooper commanding, 3 wounded.

Company D, Capt. J. M. Boyd commanding, 3 killed, 4 wounded.

Company E, Capt. W. R. Pierce commanding, 1 killed, 6 wounded, 6 captured or killed.

Company F, Capt. W. S. Bassett commanding, 6 wounded, including Captain and Lieut. W. H. Williamson.

Company G, Lieut. J.P. Webb commanding, 2 wounded.

Company H, Capt. E. L. Williford commanding, 6 wounded, including Captain.

Company I, Capt. W.P. Culbertson commanding, 1 wounded.

Company K, Capt. W. S. Jamison commanding, 7 wounded, including Captain Jamison, mortally; Second Lieut. J. L. Davis and Sergt. W. R. Irving, captured.

Total -- 8 killed, 47 wounded, 9 missing.

July 20, at Peachtree Creek the regiment suffered heavy loss. Colonel Colbert being absent, sick, Lieutenant-Colonel George P. Wallace commanded the regiment and lost an arm. Major W. McD. Gibbons was mortally wounded and left on the field with the dead, who were buried by the Union troops. This action was an assault upon Sherman's line just after he had crossed the Chattahoochee near Atlanta, the first of Hood's assaults. The regiment behaved nobly and drove the Federal line in its front from the temporary line of rail barricades, but in doing so they crossed an open field in which the brigade was shot to pieces. Nothing remained but to retreat across the field, yielding the toll of sacrifice at every step. Again they lost heavily in the battle of Ezra Church, July 28, after which the remnant served in the trenches until the evacuation September 1. In the return of September 20, Capt. Charles A. Huddleston was commanding the regiment.

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., skirmished at Decatur October 26-29, and moved thence to Tuscumbia.

Stewart's Corps crossed the Tennessee River November 20, and marched against Schofield at Columbia. On the 29th they joined in the movement to the rear to cut off Schofield’s retreat. Following closely upon Schofield next day, they attacked his lines at Franklin about four in the evening, aided by Forrest's cavalry and Cheatham’s Corps. The first line was easily carried, but repeated assaults of the utmost effort failed to carry the inner lines. The casualties of Featherston's Brigade were 76 killed, 200 wounded, 76 missing. In the Fortieth 9 were killed, 15 wounded, 7 missing. Among the killed were Lieuts. E. H. Williams and J. G. Williams of C, Brister of D, Crowther of E; among the wounded Colonel Colbert and Sergeant-Major Colbert, Lieutenant Johnson of B, Lieutenant Chambers of H. From Franklin they marched to Nashville and took their place in the line of Loring's Division across the Granny White pike, which was carried by Thomas' Federal troops December 15. In the battle of the 16th they held their position until the line broke on their left. Colonel Colbert was in command of the regiment. The return of December 21 showed an aggregate present of sixty-seven in the regiment. At Columbia, December 20, they were selected as one of the seven brigades for the infantry rear guard under General Walthall. They held Columbia while the army marched two days, and on December 25-26 they defeated pursuit at Anthony's Hill and Sugar Creek. December 28 they recrossed the Tennessee River, and early in January reached the vicinity of Tupelo. About the first of February, 1865, the remnant of Loring's Division began the movement to reinforce General Johnston in the Carolinas, Sherman having marched to Savannah from Atlanta. They were ordered forward from Augusta, Ga., to Newberry, S.C., February 25. In the Carolina campaign they participated in the battles of Kinston, March 10, and Bentonville, March 19, on the latter day making a gallant charge and suffering heavy losses. Organization of army under Gen. J. E. Johnston, near Smithfield, N. C., March 31, 1865, shows the Fortieth Regiment commanded by Lieut. L. H. Hollingsworth. April 9 the Third, Thirty-third and Fortieth Mississippi were consolidated as the Third, Col. James N. Stigler commanding. Hostilities were suspended April 18 and the army was surrendered near Durham Station April 26.

 

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