4th 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 -- Bankston Guards (raised in Choctaw County, MS)

Company B -- Attala Yellow Jackets (raised in Attala County, MS)

Company C -- Red Invincibles (raised in Carroll & Holmes Counties, MS)

Company D -- Paris Rebels (raised in Lafayette County, MS)

Company E -- Stephens Guards (raised in Carroll County, MS)

Company F -- Sons of the South (raised in Calhoun County, MS)

Company G -- Nelson Grays (raised in Holmes County, MS)

Company H -- Carroll County Rebels (raised in Carroll County, MS)

Company I -- Benela Sharpshooters (raised in Calhoun County, MS)

Company K -- Center Marksmen (raised in Attala County, MS)

These companies were organized at Grenada as the Fourth Regiment, Second Brigade, Army of Mississippi, and enlisted for twelve months. The Colonel and Major were elected September 11, 1861, and Layton, AdjutantGeneral of the brigade, was elected Lieutenant-Colonel September 21, in camp near Trenton, Tenn.

The Fourth was among the troops posted at Fort Henry on the Tennessee River, under General Lloyd Tilghman, when General Grant's land and river expedition approached in February, 1862. Colonel Drake and Colonel Heiman were Tilghman's brigade commanders, and the Fourth was under the command of Major Adair. Fort Henry was so badly located that it could not be defended, and Tilghman put his entire infantry command in the rifle pits surrounding the camps of the Fourth Mississippi and Tenth Tennessee, the only regiments at all prepared for service. Captain Red was in command of the outpost. After the naval attack compelled the surrender of Fort Henry on February 6, Drake and Heiman retreated to Fort Donelson. The Fourth was under fire in the trenches at Donelson from the 13th, and participated in the sally of the 15th. Gen. Bushrod Johnson reported that Drake's Brigade, under its very gallant, steady and efficient commander, moved in admirable order, almost constantly under fire, driving the enemy slowly from hill to hill until about 1 p. m., when he was instructed to return to the rifle pits, leaving Drake's Brigade for a time unsupported. Col. N. B. Forrest went to Drake's support and advised him to fall back, which he did without disorder. The surrender followed and the regiment became prisoners of war, at Camp Chase, Ohio, until exchanged. Nearly 100 died in military prison, mainly at Indianapolis. The number of killed and wounded was not reported. It is said that Colonel Drake broke his sword and threw it in the river when told of the surrender. He was imprisoned at Johnson's Island, and when exchanged, retired. He was too old for active service.

Lieutenant-Colonel Adair and his brother, Lieutenant Adair, escaped in a dugout across the Cumberland River and reported for duty to General Johnston at Murfreesboro.

After exchange, 279 of the Fourth were reported on duty at Ponchatoula, La., October, 1862, when a Federal expedition was setting out from New Orleans. In the reorganization at Ponchatoula, Layton was elected Colonel, Adair Lieutenant-Colonel, Gee Major.

In the latter part of November the regiment was transferred to Vicksburg. The Fourth, under command of Colonel Layton, was at Snyder's Mill, on the Yazoo, under Gen. S. D. Lee, at the opening of Sherman's campaign against Vicksburg, December, 1862. When it became apparent that Sherman's main attack was at Chickasaw Bayou

the regiment was ordered to that point in time to aid in the repulse of the main assault, December 29. It was attached to the brigade of Col. Allen Thomas. Casualties, 4 wounded.

Gen. S. D. Lee, commanding the brigade, including Fourth and Forty-sixth Mississippi, Smith's Division, January, 1863. January 3, 34 officers and 470 men effective; in February, 455 effective present. Gen. W. E. Baldwin was assigned February 20 to command of brigade including Fourth and Forty-sixth Regiments, Wofford's and Drew's Batteries, Haynes' and Smyth's partisans, and Seventeenth and Thirty-first Louisiana.

In the battle of Port Gibson, May 1, the regiment was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Adair. Baldwin's Brigade marched through Vicksburg after dark on April 29, and after some delay for orders, reached the suspension bridge over the north fork of Bayou Pierre at midnight before May 1, at daylight on which morning they resumed the march with sound of battle ahead, and moving two miles at double-quick they went into action on the Rodney road, the Fourth being placed on the left of the center of the line, its right forming part of the defense of a triangular wood, separated from the Seventeenth Louisiana by a deep ravine, its left extending along a skirt of woods. An advance against the Fourth was checked with artillery fire. About four in the evening General Baldwin attempted to advance the Fourth across an open field in its front, but the regiment encountered a heavy fire of artillery and musketry that compelled it to resume its former position. Federal skirmishers then advanced against the Fourth, and the Confederate batteries, opening on them, killed and wounded several men of this regiment. The brigade was soon afterward ordered back across Bayou Pierre. The Seventeenth Louisiana and Fourth Mississippi were so posted as to bear the severest part of the conflict. Regimental losses not given; brigade, 6o killed and wounded. The command reached Vicksburg at 5 o’clock on the evening of the 4th, having in less than five days marched over 100 miles.

The regiment was stationed out from Vicksburg toward Hall's Ferry until the 15th, when, and at that ferry, General Baldwin being given command of all forces guarding the railroad bridge, the brigade moved to Mount Alban. On the 16th Baldwin sent the Fourth to reinforce General Vaughn in the works east of the bridge. News of the disaster at Baker's Creek came that night, and in obedience to the orders of General Pemberton, on the 17th, Baldwin attempted to withdraw the Fourth, but it was then in battle in front of the Big Black bridge. "This regiment," said Baldwin, "gallantly held its place until left alone, when the remnant escaped by swimming the river." Many were captured, including Major Gee.

The brigade fought gallantly in the outer line of works around Vicksburg, May 18, Major J. W. Anderson, Baldwin's Chief of Artillery, being killed there. This advanced position they were withdrawn from before dawn on the 19th to take a new position on the inner line, the right of the brigade at Riddle's house. Here the attack of the 19th was sustained by the Louisiana regiments mainly. Another attack was made on the 22d, when General Baldwin was wounded. June 28 Lieutenant-Colonel Adair was severely wounded. "He had displayed," said Baldwin, "the highest qualities of a soldier and merited especial notice." Other officers honorably mentioned were Captains J. B. Moore and T. P. Nelson, acting field officers, The brigade marched out of Vicksburg at the head of Smith's Division on the evening of July 11, 1863.

In the parole camp at Enterprise, Baldwin's Brigade included the Fourth, Thirty-fifth, Fortieth and Forty-sixth Regiments. The Fourth was declared exchanged October 16, 1863. November 20 the brigade reported 2,279 exchanged and armed, the regiments being the Fourth, Thirty-fifth, Thirty-ninth, Fortieth and Forty-sixth. General Johnston was ordered to send them to reinforce Bragg at Missionary Ridge, November 2, but the brigade did not receive marching orders until the 21st. They arrived at Atlanta too late for the battle of the 25th, and went into winter quarters at Resaca, as part of W. H. T. Walker's Division, Hardee's Corps. They were returned to General Polk January 15-16, and assigned to Maury at Mobile. Sent to Meridian February 1, and back to Mobile.

On February 19, General Baldwin was thrown from his horse and killed. He was buried at Mobile with great honors and much sorrow. April 1, Brig.-Gen. C. W. Sears was assigned to command of brigade, including, as reorganized, the Fourth, Thirty-fifth, Forty-sixth and Thirty-sixth and Seventh Battalion of Hebert's Brigade. The brigade was with the troops under Brig.-Gen. James Cantey at Pollard, Ala. Sears' Brigade was sent to Selma April 13. Capt. T. G. Elmore, Company G, was one of the examining board of Cantey's Division April 1. April 30, Col. T. N. Adair commanding regiment, Sears' Mississippi Brigade, and the smaller brigades of Cockrell's Missouri and Ector's Texas and North Carolina troops, formed the division of Gen. Samuel G. French, formerly Chief of Ordnance of the Mississippi State troops. Polk's Army of the Mississippi was moved to Georgia to reinforce Johnston against Sherman, and Sears' Brigade reached the scene of conflict near Resaca, May 16. The Fourth was under fire on the Cassville line, and for weeks along the New Hope Church line and at Pumpkinvine Creek, Lost Mountain and on the Kenesaw Mountain line. General Johnston announced June 14, "Comrades, you are called to mourn your first Captain, your oldest Companion in Arms, Lieutenant-General Polk fell today at the outpost of this Army -- the Army he raised and commanded, in all of whose trials he shared, to all of whose victories he contributed." Major-General Loring took temporary command, succeeded by Lieut.Gen. A. P. Stewart. On the occasion of Sherman's assault, June 27, French's Division was post on the Marietta road, thence on and over Little Kenesaw and partly up Great Kenesaw. "Whatever credit is due for the complete repulse of the assaulting column led by Gen. M. L. Smith," General French wrote, "belongs exclusively to the brigade of General Cockrell and the left of General Sears', the Mississippi Brigade then being commanded by Col. W. S. Barry." Fifty-one pieces of artillery were brought to bear on the division during this assault. At the battle of Peachtree Creek, July 10, Sears' Brigade was on the extreme left of the army at the railroad bridge over the Chattahoochee, and was not seriously engaged on account of delay in bringing on the action, though it was the plan of battle that Walthall and French should make the flank attack. July 21 the brigade began fortifying a line at the Turner's Ferry road on the west side of Atlanta.

They made a demonstration against the Federal line in their front July 23. After that there was a continual battle, day and night, of sharpshooters and artillery, with an occasional sally or reconnaissance, particularly August 4-6, when the regiment lost 34 men. August 27, French marched out with Sears' and Ector's Brigades and found no enemy except the Twentieth Corps strongly fortified on the Chattahoochie River. Hood sent his troops south to meet Sherman’s flanking movement, and on August 31 French's Division was the only part of the army in front of Atlanta. After dark, September 1, they were the rear guard of the evacuation, marching all night, and all day the 2d, and on the 3d taking position in the fortified line at Lovejoy's Station, relieving Bates' Division. The campaign closed with Sherman's withdrawal to Atlanta, September 6. General French said that his division, during all this campaign, was, with a single day's exception, constantly under fire of the enemy. "The labor they performed, their gallantry, and the privations they endured are lasting evidences of their valor and patriotism." The casualties of the Fourth were 2 wounded at Cassville, 5 at New Hope Church, 1 at Latimar House; 3 killed, 20 wounded, 24 missing at Kenesaw Mountain; 1 killed, 2 wounded at Smyrna; 3 killed, 12 wounded, 14 missing at the Chattahoochee; 2 killed, 21 wounded, 3 missing before Atlanta; 2 wounded at Lovejoy's Station; total, 9 killed, 65 wounded, 41 missing, According to a Federal report, near Vining's Station, July 9, 1864, the Fourth Regiment was in a fight with the Twenty-first Ohio, and lost several killed and wounded and 17 prisoners.

August 26, the enemy appearing to be withdrawing, Colonel Adair, with the Fourth, advanced and found the third line strongly held, losing 2 officers killed and 4 men wounded.

General French, in report of Atlanta campaign, named among the killed of his division: Captains Bradford Keith, Samuel A. Kennerly; Lieuts. J. R. Mothershead, J. B. Caryy, J. B. Ferrell, L. Deboard, F. M. Sherrill, J. P. Norman, D. R. Balding, W, T. West; Majors Sanders, Shingleur, Morey, Derring; and Captains Danner and Kent, of staff, honorably mentioned. Also Lieuts. James R. Yerger, Wiley Abercrombie and W. H. Cain, aides; Captain Henderson, provost marshal; Lieut. E. T. Freeman, inspector general; Dr. William B. Harrison, chief surgeon.

At the beginning of General Hood's movement to destroy the railroad between Atlanta and Chattanooga, Stewart's Corps crossed the Chattahoochee late in September, camped near Lost Mountain, and tore up the railroad near Big Shanty, after which French's Division was sent to fill up the cut at Allatoona. Arriving near the cut at 3 o’clock in the morning of October 5, 1864, Colonel Adair, with the Fourth Mississippi and one piece of artillery, was left near the blockhouse at Allatoona Creek, with orders to capture the garrison and destroy the bridge, while French proceeded with the remainder of his force to the memorable assault upon the fort at the cut held by General Corse. About four in the evening, when this assault had failed, General French was informed by Colonel Adair that the blockhouse had not been taken, though the Fourth had burned the railroad bridge and the duplicate bridge. French brought up Kolb's Battery from his reserve, and the blockhouse was compelled to surrender. The casualties of the Fourth were 4 wounded. Following this, Stewart's Corps destroyed the railroad between Resaca and Dalton. French's Division captured the blockhouse at Tilton, October 13, and next encountered the enemy at Decatur, Ala., October 26-29, moving from there to Tuscumbia.

Sears' Brigade crossed the Tennessee River with Stewart's Corps November 20, and marched against Schofield's Federal command at Columbia. November 29 the corps was moved toward Spring Hill, with the intention of cutting off Schofield's retreat. Through some confusion in the night march Stewart did not .reach the point of intended attack, where Stanley's Division held back Forrest's cavalry, and Cheatham's Corps. They led in the pursuit of Schofield, November 30, to Franklin, and took part in the assault, on the left of Stewart's line. The battle raged from four in the evening until after dark, with skirmishing until two in the morning. After carrying the outer line, the men advanced across an open space, swept by a murderous crossfire of artillery. Colonel Adair was shot twice in the head, twice in the right shoulder and knocked down by a shell within ten steps of the inner line of fortifications. General Sears published the following list of those "foremost among the forlorn hope," who reached the trenches of the main Federal line: Company A -- Sergt. J. B. Smith (wounded); Privates W. J. Butler, W. J. Pearson, W. W. Nations, Isaac McCafferty. Company B -- Corporals G. G. S, Patterson, J. T. Thornton; Privates A. J. Strickland, W. H. Cook. Company C -- Corporal J. J. Cowey (killed); W. B. Smith; Privates J. J. Graham, W. D. Thompson. Company D -- Captain L. O. Paris (killed); Sergeants W. E. Brasher (w), Wyatt Brasher (w), M. J. West; Corporal C. C. Clements (w) ; Privates W. H. Patton (k), G. H. Satlain (k), J. W. Stevens (w), Henry Counts (w), W. Counts (w), C. W. McCain, J. M. Levain. Company E -- Second Lieutenant O. E. Townsend; Sergeant E. P. Holmes (w), W. M. Nabors; Corporal S. W. King; Privates W. H. Lowriman, John Stafford, John Boland, L. J. King, J. S. Yellington, P. S. Webb, John A. Pyron (w), W. A. Stafford. Company F -- First Lieutenant Samuel Fox; Sergeant H. L. Bailey, Private J. M. Hastings. Company H -- Sergeant G. D. Taylor (k) ; Corporals G. W. Kerr (w), J. W. Russell (k); Privates R. W. Anderson, W. E. Black, Jesse Riddle, J. B. Minter, H. J. Russell (w). Company K--Sergeant W. S. Massey; Corporals J. E. Bowie (w), W. S. Dulin, A. C. McComb (w) ; Privates T. T. Bates (w) , J. P. Garner, W. H. McComb, S. T. L. Ramage. The casualties of Sears' Brigade were 30 killed, 168 wounded, 35 missing.

On the line about Nashville, the brigade was detached to accompany Bates' Division to assist Forrest in the siege of Murfreesboro. At Overall's Creek, December 4, the brigade had 2 killed, 19 wounded. They were in battle before Murfreesboro December 7. A return of the brigade dated December 9 shows 2,306 on the roll, of which 496 were prisoners, 396 present and 210 effective. This remnant took part in the battle before Nashville, December 15-16, under the command of Walthall. The capture of the flag of the Fourth was reported to have been made on the 16th by Adjutant Thomas P. Gore, of the Fifth Minnesota, the colors of which regiment were shot down four times in the final charge. Waltball's men were almost surrounded when they gave way, and many were captured and sent to military prisons in the north. The few who remained to represent Sears' Brigade crossed the Tennessee River with the army, after services of the most arduous character, many marching barefooted over the icy roads, and went into winter quarters near Tupelo.

French’s Division was ordered to report to General Maury at Mobile, February 1, 1865. The return of March 10 showed Sears' Brigade commanded by Col., Thomas N. Adair, the Fourth Regiment by Maj. Thomas P. Nelson. The Fourth was with the garrison of Fort Blakeley, east of Mobile, captured by Canby's expedition April 9, 1865. "The few of our company who escaped capture at Nashville," wrote Sergt. L. A. Powers, of Company C, "together with some who were absent without leave, got together, and were finally surrendered at Mobile, and carried to Ship Island." They were paroled after the capitulation of Lieut.-Gen. Richard Taylor, commanding the department, at Citronelle, Ala., May 4, 1865.

 

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