THE 42ND MISSISSIPPI INFANTRY

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

Company A -- Carroll Fencibles (raised in Carroll County, MS)

Company B -- Senatobia Invincibles, aka the Invincibles (raised in Panola County, MS)

Company C -- Nelm’s Avengers, aka Nelson’s Avengers (raised in Yalobusha County, MS)

Company D -- Capt. Locke’s Company (raised in Yalobusha County, MS)

Company E -- Davenport Rifles (raised in Tishomingo County, MS)

Company F -- Capt. Clark’s Company (raised in Calhoun County, MS)

Company G -- Gaston Rifles (raised in Calhoun County, MS)

Company H -- Capt. Powell’s Company (raised in Yalobusha County, MS)

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

Company K -- Capt. Mears’ Company (raised in Itawamba County, MS)

Company L --

The regiment was organized at Oxford, May 14, 1862. By order of General Beauregard, commanding at Corinth, they moved to Grenada June 12, and there received orders to proceed to Richmond. July 25 General Lee wrote to the President that it was his intention, as soon as the Forty-second Regiment, lately arrived in Richmond, could be withdrawn from the city, to assign it to Whiting's Brigade.

The regiment, over 1,000 strong, arrived at Richmond July 3, and was in camp of instruction near the city until November 15, 1862, when Major Feehey, and four companies, were sent to Fredericksburg, where they were on duty guarding the river fords for three days and nights alone, except for one battery and a small body of artillery, against the advance of Burnsides' Army, which crossed and made a desperate attempt to carry the heights after Lee had come up and occupied them in December, November 22 they returned to Richmond. The regiment meanwhile had been assigned to the new Mississippi Brigade formed under the command of General Joseph R. Davis. December 13 they were ordered to Goldsboro, N. C., in which region they did some campaigning until ordered early in the spring to southeast Virginia, where they took part in the siege of Suffolk by General Longstreet, an affair of skirmishers and heavy artillery mainly. June 2, 1863, the regiment was ordered to Richmond, and within a week they were at Fredericksburg, where the brigade was assigned to Heth's Division of A. P. Hill's Corps.

July 1, 1863, with the main body of Lee's Army beyond South Mountain, Heth's Division, under command of General Davis, was ordered to Gettysburg, where the presence of Federal troops was reported. The brigades of Davis and Orcher were sent in advance, and within a mile of Gettysburg encountered the enemy in strength, also advancing. A line oœ battle was formed, with the Forty-second on the right. The fight was for possession of the hills west of Gettysburg, which General Lee occupied on the second and third. Davis' Brigade met with desperate resistance and the loss was very heavy. Of the nine field officers present, only two escaped unhurt. Lieutenant-Colonel Moseley and Major Feeney were severely wounded. The Forty-second took 150 prisoners. In the battle of the third, the brigade took part in the famous charge up the slope of Cemetery hill, on the left of Pickett's division. The whole division, under Pettigrew, moved steadily on, closing up the ranks as they were thinned by the storm of shot and shell, and gained the stone wall behind which the opposing infantry was posted. But there the brigade was stopped and ahnost destroyed. The casualties of the Forty-second were reported as 32 killed, 170 wounded, A considerable number, including the severely wounded, were made prisoners. The final statements show 62 killed and mortally wounded at Gettysburg; 13 died as prisoners not long after the battle.

The regiment was engaged in the battle of Bristoe Station, October 14, 1863, and lost 6 killed and 25 wounded, the main part of the casualties of the brigade. The regiment went into battle in the Wilderness May 5, 1864, and shared the gallant record of the brigade under Colonel Stone that day and the next. On this bloody field Colonel Feeney was killed and LieutenantColonel Nelson and Adjutant Carr wounded. The regiment was in battle near Sportsylvania Courthouse May 10 and 12, and at Hanover Junction May 23, with a total less in these May battles of 15 killed, 95 wounded and 9 missing. They were in battle at Cold Harbor June 2 and 3, and in June took position on the Petersburg lines.

August 18, 19, A. P, Hill attacked the Federals at Reams' Station, on the Weldon Railroad, with the brigades of Davis and Walker under Heth, the brigades of Colquilt, Clingman and Mahone, under Mahone, and three batteries, under Colonel Pegram, and captured 2,100 prisoners, 12 flags, 9 cannon. The other brigades were at night ordered back inside the lines, and Davis and Walker left to hold the advantage gained. In this battle the regiment served with honor and lost in killed and wounded. In the battle of Jones' Farm, October 2, 3, the loss was 8 wounded and missing, and they were again engaged at Hatcher's Run late in October, 1864. In the latter part of February, 1865, Col. A. M. Nelson was in command of the brigade and General Davis of the division. Colonel Nelson was yet in command of the brigade when the Petersburg line was broken April 2, 1865, and he was captured, with most of his command. The colors of the Forty-second were captured by Corporal Charles W. Dolloff, Eleventh Vermont, of Getty's Division. The Vermont Brigade claimed the honor of being the first to break the line of gray. Captain Tilden was credited with the capture of 2 cannon, 11officers and 62 men of the Forty-second.

 

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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.

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Military History