41st 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-- Talibonella Rifles, aka Pope Walker Reserves [formerly Co. C, 5th Battalion MS Infantry (raised in Pontotoc County, MS)

Company B -- Southern Revengers, aka Southern Rejectors of Old Abe, & aka Abe’s Rejectors (raised in Pontotoc County, MS)

Company C -- Cole Guards (raised in Lauderdale County, MS)

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

Company E -- Verona Rifles (raised in Itawamba County, MS)

Company F -- Pontotoc Grays (raised in Pontotoc County, MS)

Company G -- Buttahatchie Rifles (raised in Monroe County, MS)

Company H -- "Company ‘C,’ Forty-first" [sic] (raised in Lafayette & Pontotoc Counties, MS)

Company I -- Capt. Williams’ Company (raised in Itawamba & Tippah Counties, MS)

Company K -- Mississippi Rip Raps (raised in Noxubee County, MS)

Company L -- Okolona Guards (raised in Chickasaw County, MS)

 

The above roster of companies is made up from the rolls at Knoxville after the Kentucky campaign, with some other information regarding some of the companies.

William F. Tucker raised the Chickasaw Guards and was with his company at Pensacola in January, 1861, afterward joining the Eleventh Regiment. He took part in the battle of Manassas in Virginia, after which he returned to Mississippi and organized a battalion which was filled to a regiment, the Forty-first. He was commissioned as Colonel in May, 1862. Major Williams had been Captain of an Okolona company in the Eleventh until elected Major in May, 1862.

After the evacuation of Corinth by General Beauregard's army, Tupelo was the headquarters of the Army of the Mississippi until it was moved in the latter part of July to Chattanooga, whence the army marched into Kentucky. June 30, 1862, the Forty-first, Thirtieth and Thirty-seventh were in the brigade of Gen. Patton Anderson, commanded by Brig.-Gen. John C. Brown after Anderson took division command.

The march of 600 miles and the battle of Perryville were the early war experience of the Forty-first. October 6 a portion of the Union army which had retreated to the Ohio River advanced and pressed upon Hardee at Perryville, and Gen. Leonidas Polk, then commanding the Army of Mississippi, sent Anderson's Division to his support, followed by Cleburne, and the battle was brought on upon the 8th. General Hardee wrote regarding the attack by his line that the brigades of John C. Brown and Thomas M. Jones, of Anderson's Division, had been detached to occupy the interval between the right of Buckner and the left of Cheatham. "Cheatham being hotly engaged the brigades of Johnson and Cleburne attacked the angle of the enemy's line with great impetuosity near the burnt barn, while those of Wood, Brown and Jones dashed against their line more to the right, on the left of Cheatham. Simultaneously the brigades of Adams and Powell assailed the enemy in front. The whole force thus united then advanced, aided by a crushing fire from the artillery, which partially enfiladed their lines. This combined attack was irresistible and drove the enemy in wild disorder from the position nearly a mile to the rear." The loss in Hardee's two divisions, Anderson's and Buckner's, was 242 killed and 1,504 wounded. Colonel Tucker was among the wounded. The casualties of his regiment, computed from incomplete returns, were 18 killed, 72 wounded. Some were captured, some fell out in the arduous march back to Kentucky and some were left sick.

Before the close of October the regiment was in camp at Knoxville, whence they were transferred to Chattanooga. From the latter place they advanced to Murfreesboro, Tenn. The Forty-first was in Dilworth's Brigade (with two Florida regiments) of Patton Anderson's Division until December 12, when that division was broken up and the Forty-first assigned to Polk's Corps and placed in Walthall's Brigade, and transferred to Chalmer's Brigade December 26, with which it took part in the battle of Murfreesboro, beginning December 31, I862.

At Murfreesboro Chalmers' Brigade was stationed at the right of Polk's Corps, the right of the brigade resting on Stone's River. Facing them were the brigades of Palmer's Division, extending from the river along the Round Forest and cane brakes. On December 31, Chalmers was ordered to attack at 11 o'clock. The charge was made with gallantry and devotion, but the storm of lead and iron that met the Mississippians at the burnt house struck down their General and shattered the line. The regiments fell back and reformed, and fought gallantly during the remainder of the battle, which raged about the Round Forest for three days. The casualties of the regiment were 25 killed, including Lieuts. F. M. Betts, W. G. Kennedy and P. H. McMahon; 123 wounded and 8 missing.

The names selected by the various companies for the Roll of Honor were: Sergt. John A. Moore, A; A. W. Bell, D; A. F. Anderson, E; A. Sanders, F; Samuel N. Richey, G; G. D. Nelson, H; P. Ledbetter, I; L. F. Constantine, K; W. M. Baker, L.

They fell back to Shelbyville and Tullahoma in January, 1863.

February 1, Col. W. F. Tucker was given command of Chalmers' Brigade as Senior Colonel. General Chalmers was assigned in April to military command of the District of Mississippi. In July, 1863, they crossed the Tennessee River, marched over Lookout Mountain and went in camp near Chattanooga. July 13 to August 23, at Bridgeport, Ala., on picket duty; withdrawn as Rosecrans advanced.

The brigade retreated from Chattanooga September 8, with Bragg's army, and encamped at Lee & Gordon's mill until the morning of the 10th, when they marched with Hindman's Division under orders to attack one of the Federal columns moving through the mountains south of Chattanooga into McLemore's Cove. After advancing toward Cooper's Gap it was found that the force there had moved to Stevens' Gap, toward which the Mississippians hastened across Chickamauga Creek, and came within range of a Federal battery, which opened upon the brigade, wounding two men of the Forty-first. Then orders came to stop, and the brigade was withdrawn and marched to Lafayette, Ga., whence they moved to the field of battle with Rosecrans' united army, reaching Chickamauga Creek September 18, crossing at Hunt's Ford next day, and going into battle on Sunday, the 20th. In the arrangement .for battle, the brigades of Deas and Manigault, Alabamians mainly, and two regiments of South Carolinians, were the front line, the Mississippians under General Anderson supporting, with the Forty-first on the left, behind Manigault's right. Thus they moved against the position of Sheridan's Division, near the Glenn house. In the first shock Manigault's Brigade was broken, the men retreating in disorder. Col. W. F. Tucker, commanding the regiment, reported: "The Forty-first Mississippi was advancing at a doublequick through the woods when it was met by Manigault's men, and for a moment was thrown into confusion as they burst through its ranks; but the men responded with a regular Mississippi yell to the command forward, and dashed at the enemy, who immediately fled. Many prisoners surrendered at this point, but were merely ordered to the rear without guard." Tucker now found his line and part of the Ninth confronting the Federal line without any support on the left, whence there came a murderous artillery fire as well as the infantry volleys from the front. Here the regiment sustained its heaviest losses. But the advance of the regiment was not checked, and they pursued the forces in their front through an open wood, over a high wooded hill and through an open field beyond, capturing five pieces of artillery and eight wagons loaded with ordnance and supplies. Sergeant Jackson, Company A, captured a flag staff from which the flag had been torn. From this position they were withdrawn and sent to the support of Bushrod Johnson's Division, and went into battle against Granger's command, just brought on the field. The Forty-first, Seventh and Ninth were held in reserve until the assault of the other regiments failed, when they charged and gained the top of the ridge. Colonel Tucker reported that he then found his regiment alone and was compelled to fall back, after which he reformed and charged another hilltop, where a like result followed. He desired "to call particular attention to the fact that at this time, so far as I know, the colors of the Forty-first Mississippi alone, of this brigade or any other, reached and passed over the crest of this hill." In the last of this struggle, the regiment was called from the reserve to hold a ridge in front of Granger, from which the first Confederate line had been driven. As night came on and reinforcements arrived, they were withdrawn. The regiment went into action with 502 aggregate and lost 24 killed, 164 wounded and 9 missing. It was of this fight that General Granger wrote: "In fifteen minutes from the time when we appeared on the field, had it not been for our fortunate arrival, General Thomas' forces would have been terribly cut tip and captured. As rapidly as possible I formed Whitaker's and Mitchell's Brigades, to hurl them against this threatening force of the enemy, which proved to be General Hindman's Division...Our whole line was continually enveloped in smoke and fire. The assaults of the enemy were made with an energy inspired by the bright prospect of a speedy victory, and by a consciousness that it was only necessary to carry this position and crush our forces to enable him to overthrow our army and drive it across the Tennessee River. Their forces were massed and hurled upon us for the purpose of terminating at once this great and bloody battle. But the stout hearts of the handful of men who stood before them as a wall of fire quailed not, They understood our perilous position and held their ground, determined to perish rather than yield it." Granger had 3,910 officers and men, and lost in the afternoon 235 killed, 935 wounded, 561 captured. Gen. James A. Garfield was with this command until dark, under cover of which that part of Rosecrans' army remaining on the field was withdrawn toward Chattanooga.

November 25, 1863, they participated in the battle of Missionary Ridge, Colonel Tucker commanding the brigade, and joined in the retreat to Dalton, where they went into winter quarters.

In January, 1864, Capt. R. E. V. Yates was commanding the regiment, as senior officer present. March 1, Colonel Tucker was commissioned as Brigadier-General, and he continued in the command of Tucker's Brigade, Hindman's Division. Lieutenant-Colonel Williams was promoted as Colonel.

At the opening of the Atlanta campaign they aided in the repulse of Sherman at Rocky Face Ridge, before Dalton, May 8, and next were in battle at Resaca, May 14. While his brigade was in reserve, General Tucker was observing the Federal movements from General Walthall's position, and was severely wounded, causing his retirement from active service. He was succeeded by Col. Jacob Sharp, of Blythe's Regiment. The brigade served under General Hood in the constant fighting along the New Hope Church and Kenesaw Mountain lines in the latter part of May and until July 2. After crossing the Chattahoochee River, the Forty-first, under Col. J. Byrd Williams, was particularly distinguished in the battle of July 28, near Atlanta. Gen. John C. Brown, in command of the division, reported that "Sharp's and Brantly's Brigades acted with great gallantry." The brigade, which had been moved from the east to the west of the city the day before, was hurried out three miles to check the enemy, attempting to cross the Lickskillet road. Captain Nolan's company of the Forty-first was put on the skirmish line with the sharpshooters. The brigade moved under fire for a distance of 800 yards in the attack. General Sharp reported that he attempted to move the Forty-first from the left to the right of the brigade "but found it was so scattered that it was impossible to handle it as an organization. The battle was in dense woods. They had, however, driven the enemy from his barricade of rails and logs, capturing a few prisoners. The attack by the rest of the brigade failed, and the regiment withdrew with Brantly's Brigade. Sharp's Brigade had 1,020 officers and men in the battle, and had 214 killed, wounded and missing. Capt. T. P. Hodges, a gallant soldier, fell while leading his company in the charge.

After this battle Gen. Patton Anderson took command of the division and intrenched a line along the hills, which was closely approached by the Federal line, with constant sharpshooting. On one occasion Sharp's pickets held their position against a line of battle after those on their right and left had given way. The works were finally quite elaborate, through the toil of the men, by the time they were compelled to evacuate them and move to Jonesboro, where they made a gallant attack upon the Federal line August 31. Here Colonel Williams was killed, within fifty paces of the enemy's line. He had been a long time in command of the regiment, and was a gallant officer.

September 20, 1864, Capt. James M. Hicks was in command of the regiment.

In General Hood's October, 1864, campaign on the Atlanta and Chattanooga Railroad, Lee's Corps invested Resaca, but did not assault, and held Snake Creek Gap against Sherman until the remainder of the army had moved toward Gadsden, Ala. Sharp's Brigade crossed the Tennessee late on October 30 and "encountered the enemy on the Florence and Huntsville road about dark. A spirited affair took place, in which the enemy were defeated." (Lee).

Gen. Edward Johnson was then in command of the division. As the army moved forward against General Thomas, Lee's Corps confronted Schofield at Columbia November 26-29, except Johnson's Division, which General Hood took for the flank attack begun by Forrest with Armstrong's and Chalmers' Mississippians at Spring Hill. Schofield retired safely to the intrenchments on the Harpeth River at Franklin, where Hood ordered another assault November 30. Johnson's Division came into the fight after dark, and the Mississippi brigades of Sharp and Brantly made a desperate assault, taking three battle-flags and leaving their dead and wounded in the trenches and upon the parapets. The casualties of Sharp's Brigade were 30 killed, 81 wounded, 9 missing. Capt. J. M. Hicks, commanding the Forty-first, was among the wounded in this terrible disaster, where more than sixty brigade and regimental commanders were killed or wounded, and Cleburne died. Capt. A. D. Gatlin, acting Major, was dangerously wounded; Lieut. James L. Robertson was mortally wounded; in all 11 killed, 18 wounded. From December 2 the brigade was on the line of siege around Nashville. When Thomas attacked, December 15, Sharp's Brigade was sent to the support of Walthall on the Granny White pike, but they could not check the tide. Next day, the 16th, the line was broken on their left, and the Confederate army broke in retreat. General Johnson was among the captured. At Brentwood, General Lee was given command of the rear guard, but next day he was wounded. The remnant of the army crossed the Tennessee River December 26, and moved to the prairies of Northeast Mississippi for winter quarters.

The brigade was furloughed until February 12, 1865. Under orders for the Carolinas 274 were assembled at Meridian February 14, and started east on the 18th. They were detained some time at Montgomery on account of the Mobile campaign, but were ordered to Augusta March 4, and thence to North Carolina. April 3, the aggregate present was 420 in the brigade.

The organization of the army near Smithfield, N. C., March 31, 1865, shows the Forty-first commanded by Capt. G. W. Spooner.

April 9, 1865, Sharp's Brigade -- the Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, Forty-first and Forty-fourth Regiments and Ninth Battalion -- was consolidated as the Ninth Mississippi Regiment, Col. William C. Richards commanding. Sharp's Brigade, including this regiment, was part of the division of Gen. D. H. Hill, in S. D. Lee's Corps.

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

 

wpe1.jpg (3785 bytes)

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.

wpe1.jpg (3785 bytes)

001h.gif (1688 bytes)
Mississippi History