43rd REGIMENT, MISSISSIPPI INFANTRY VOLUNTEERS, CSA

 

(from Dunbar Rowland’s "Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1898"; company listing courtesy H. Grady Howell’s "For Dixie Land, I’ll Take My Stand")

 

Company A -- Frank Rodgers Rifles (raised in Monroe County, MS)

Company B -- Lowndes Rifleman (raised in Lowndes County, MS)

Company C -- Whitfield Guards (raised in Monroe County, MS)

Company D -- Capt. Thompson’s Company (raised in Webster County, MS)

Company E -- Capt. Smith’s Company (raised in Pontotoc [now Union] County, MS)

Company F -- Capt. Hampton’s Company (raised in Lowndes County, MS)

Company G -- Capt. Wiinter’s Company (raised in Monroe County, MS)

Company H -- Itawamba Tigers (raised in Itawamba County, MS)

Company I -- Capt. Banks’ Company [formerly Company A, 5th Battalion Infantry] (raised in Lowndes County, MS)

Company K -- Kemper Fencibles (raised in Kemper County, MS)

Company L -- Gholson’s Rebels, aka Gholson’s Pioneers, & aka Lann’s Pioneers(raised in Monroe County, MS)

 

Colonels --William Hudson Moore, Richard Harrison.

Lieutenant -Colonels -- Richard W. Leigh, Richard Harrison, Columbus Sykes, James O. Banks.

Majors -- Richard Harrison, Columbus Sykes, James O. Banks.

Adjutant -- W. E. Sykes, mortally wounded at Decatur, Ala., 1864.

 

Colonel Moore, commanding his regiment at Gainesville, Ala., was ordered August 7, 1862, to Tupelo, the headquarters of Gen. Sterling Price. The regiment, with the Seventh Battalion, was assigned to Gen. M. E. Green's Brigade of Hebert's Division of the army of General Price, occupying Eastern Mississippi after the removal of Bragg's army to Chattanooga. At the battle of Corinth, October 3-5, the casualties of the regiment were 13 killed, 56 wounded, 156 missing. General Green reported that in the attack on the 3d against the outer line of the Federal army, he could see his whole line and could not distinguish between the regiments which behaved the most gallantly. Lieutenant-Colonel Leigh was killed while gallantly leading his wing of the regiment. In the attack upon the inner line and the town, on the 4th, Green commanded the division and Colonel Moore the brigade. Moore's Brigade led in the attack and advancing desperately, against a destructive fire of infantry and artillery, forced their way through the works and into the heart of the town. Green reported: "Colonel Moore, I fear, was mortally wounded, while leading the Third Brigade on a charge in town. He fell near the depot and was left on the field."

The regiment was in Hebert's Brigade, Maury's Division, January, 1863. One of the strongest regiments on the Vicksburg line in February, 483 effective present, Colonel Harrison commanding. In April Gen. John C. Forney was assigned to command of division, headquarters at Snyder's Bluff, on the Yazoo.

Hebert's Brigade was stationed at Snyder's Bluff, and from Haynes' Bluff to the Mississippi, including Chickasaw Bluffs, when Grant's army landed below Vicksburg, and remained there until Pemberton returned across the Big Black from the battle of Baker's Creek, when, on the night of May 17-18, Hebert's men marched to Vicksburg and thence to take their place in the trenches east of the town, the right of the brigade across the Jackson road and the left in the main redan on the Graveyard road. They were just in time to meet the advance of the Union troops on the latter road, and on that road the artillery fire began that evening, May 18, which was continued every day with increasing severity until July 4. A heavy assault was made on May 22 and repulsed. On June 25, when the first mine was exploded under the works held by General Forney, "six men of the Forty-third Mississippi Regiment, who were in a shaft countermining at the time of the explosion, were buried and lost." The Forty-third was in the trenches next to this redan. The attempt of the enemy to occupy the breach was defeated. By this time the Federal works were advanced so close and elevated that the men of this brigade were obliged to work incessantly night and day repairing the parapets and constructing new lines. They were also exposed to the fire of a mortar on the Jackson road. July 1 another mine explosion destroyed the main redan near the Jackson road, but no attempt was made to storm. July 4th, in accordance with the terms of surrender, the brigade stacked arms in front of their line, and marched to bivouac in the rear of the works, where they were paroled. The brigade had 2,186 paroled; 219 had been killed, 455 wounded. The casualties of the Forty-third, Col. Richard Harrison commanding, were 25 killed, including Lieut. Marquis De Lafayette Hodo, and 33 wounded.

Pound's Battalion of Sharpshooters, Capt. Merriman Pound commanding, formed from the Forty-third Regiment, accompanied Ector's Brigade of Walker's Division to Georgia after the fall of Vicksburg, and participated in the battle of Chickamauga, fighting in the same part of the field September 19, 1863, on which Walthall's Brigade was engaged. After this battle the brigade was ordered back to Mississippi.

In February, 1864, the Forty-third was being equipped for the field at Columbus, and one company was attached to Colonel Holland's command. The regiment, except the men not exchanged, was ordered to Meridian, whence Polk fell back to Demopolis, Ala., February 11. But Lieutenant-Colonel Sykes' detachment was on duty at Columbus later in the month and in the field along the Tombigbee River during the raid of Sooy Smith.

February 29, from Demopolis, order that Colonel Harrison report "with his regiment as infantry" for assignment to Featherston's Brigade. May 5, 1864, ordered to report to General Loring for brigade assignment.

The regiment, Col. Richard Harrison commanding, arrived at Resaca, Ga., May 11, as a part of the brigade of Gen. John Adams (formerly Tilghman’s), Loring's Division, Army of the Mississippi, Lieut.-Gen. Leonidas Polk commanding. After Polk was killed at Lost Mountain, the army became known as A. P. Stewart's Corps, Army of Tennessee. Adams' Brigade participated in the defense of Resaca and the New Hope Church and Kenesaw Mountain lines, was in the battle of July 28 near Atlanta, and served in the trenches about that city until the evacuation September 1

A pleasant incident of the campaign was the presentation of a flag May 29, 1864, from Miss Helen Cozart, of Columbus, to "Colonel Harrison and his gallant Forty-third as a slight token of the appreciation felt for the unflinching discharge of their duty in their country's defense."

In the October, 1864, campaign on the Chattanooga and Atlanta Railroad, Loring's Division, including Adams' Brigade, captured the garrison at Acworth, October 4, marched as far north as Dalton, thence through the mountains to Gadsden, made a demonstration against Decatur, and moved to Tuscumbia.

Crossing the Tennessee River, November 20, they marched to Columbia and participated in the march to Spring Hill. November 30 they followed closely the Federal retreat to Franklin, and in the evening joined in the assault upon the works. General Adams was killed upon the parapet of the inner line while leading the brigade, which had 44 killed, 271 wounded, 22 missing. After reaching the line in front of Nashville, the brigade of six regiments had an effective strength of a little over 1,000. Loring's Division was distinguished for steadiness during the disastrous battle of Nashville, December 15-16. The remnant of the Army of the Mississippi was the last to re-cross the Tennessee River, December 28, and early in January headquarters were established at Tupelo.

About the first of February, 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 Carolina campaign under General Johnston against General Sherman they participated in the battle of Kinston, March 10, and the battle of Bentonville, March 19-21, on the 19th making a gallant and successful charge. Organization of army of General Johnston, near Smithfield, N. C., March 31, 1865, shows Major-General Walthall in command of Stewart's Corps, Adams' Brigade commanded by Col. Richard Harrison, the Forty-third Regiment by Maj. James O. Banks. April 9 the Sixth (seven companies), Fourteenth and Forty-third Mississippi were consolidated as the Fourteenth Consolidated, Col. Robert J. Lawrence commanding. Hostilities were suspended April 18, the army surrendered April 26 near Durham Station, and paroled at Greensboro.

 

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