8th Mississippi Infantry

(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 -- Yankee Terrors (raised in Smith County, MS)

Company B -- Pinckney Guards (raised in Newton County, MS) [also listed as Co. I]

Company C -- True Confederates (raised in Smith County, MS) [also listed as Co. D]

Company D -- Moody True Blues (raised in Clarke County, MS) [also listed as Co. F]

Company E -- Tallahoma Hardshells (raised in Jasper & Lauderdale Counties, MS) [also listed as Co. H]

Company F -- Clarke County Rangers (raised in Clarke County, MS) [also listed as Co. K]

Company G -- Tolson Guards (raised in Jasper County, MS) [also listed as Co. E]

Company H -- Southern Sentinels (raised in Lauderdale County, MS) [also listed as Co. B]

Company I -- Confederate Guards (raised in Lauderdale County, MS) [also listed as Co. G]

Company K -- Elllisville Invincibles, aka Jones County Invincibles (raised in Jones County, MS) [also listed as Co. C]

 

Total original enrollment, 888 officers and men. Some companies were full, others were depleted by enlistments into regiments expected to go sooner into active service outside of the State.

The companies of this regiment, the eighth in the State organization, Army of Mississippi, enlisted for twelve months, assembled in rendezvous at Enterprise in August, 1861, and the field officers, Flynt, Gates and Peak, were elected August 31. They were "mustered into the Confederate States service early in October (W. L. Austin's sketch) and ordered to Pensacola at once." The regiment was encamped there with the forces under General Bragg, opposite Fort Pickens, held by the Union troops, through the fall and winter of 1861, during which time there were severe artillery engagements. They were not ordered to Corinth, as were the Ninth and Tenth, but remained at Pensacola until that place was evacuated in May, 1862, when the regiment was ordered to Mobile, under the comnmnd of Lieutenant-Colonel Gates. About this time the regiment was reorganized and re-enlisted for three years. From Mobile they were transferred to Pollard, Ala., and Warrington, Fla., and thence moved to Chattanooga when General Bragg was preparing for his campaign in Kentucky. In the organization of Bragg's Army of the Mississippi, at Chattanooga, August 18, 1862, the Eighth, Lieut.-Col. A. McNeill, was assigned to J. K. Jackson's Brigade, Withers' Division, Polk's right wing. The Fifth Mississippi and Fifth Georgia were the other regiments of the brigade. Withers' Division was with Gen. Kirby Smith, and advanced to Bardstown, near Louisville. They were not engaged in the battle of Perryville, Ky., October 8th, after which the army retreated through Cumberland Gap to East Tennessee, moved to Chattanooga and advanced toward Nashville to meet the Union army under General Rosecrans.

Jackson's Brigade was in line with Breckenridge on the east side of Stone's River at the opening of the battle of Murfreesboro, December 31, 1862, and was sent across, with Adams' Brigade, to attack Palmer's Division, after Chalmers and Donelson and Coltart had failed to make headway. The brigade of three regiments had only 874 men in all in this fight, and 41 were killed and 266 wounded. The attack failed, as did also one that followed, by Preston's and Palmer's Brigades. General Polk reported that Jackson assailed the Federal lines with energy and, after a severe contest, was forced to fall back. The contest continued for three hours. Col. John C. Wilkinson was severely wounded in the breast and sent to the hospital at Murfreesboro, where he became a prisoner when the Confederate army retreated. Lieut. J. J. Hood was also among the killed. The total casualties of the Eighth Regiment were 20 killed and 113 wounded, which must have been a large proportion of its numbers engaged. The various companies selected the following for the Roll of Honor: W.T. Robertson, A; J. H. Bonds, B; W. J. Pitman, C; G. B. Risher, D; S. T. Massey, E; D. F. Hilbun, F; A. W. Atwood, G; J. C. Lucy, H; Joel Foster, I; W. W. Watson, K.

When Bragg's army fell back to the Tullahoma line, the Eighth was stationed on the river at Bridgeport, Ala., where it remained until July, 1863, part of the regiment being engaged at times in hunting deserters and bushwhackers in Northern Alabama. Bragg fell back to Chattanooga in July, and Rosecrans advanced upon that stronghold August 16. The Eighth was then at Chattanooga. A return of August 27, 1863, reports 3 men killed and 1 wounded by the explosion of a single shell from the enemy's batteries on Waldron's Ridge. Rosecrans' flank movement through the mountains followed, and Bragg retreated to Lafayette, Ga.

In the battle of Chickamauga, the regiment, commanded by Col. John C. Wilkinson, in Jackson's Brigade, shared the fighting of Cheatham's Division on the right of the Confederate line. The Eighth was distinguished in the gallant advance of Cheatham's Division about noon on the 19th, which pushed back the victorious Federal left after the defeat of Forrest and Walker. The Eighth captured and brought off the field three pieces of artillery and five horses which had been captured earlier in the day by Walker's Corps, but recaptured by Thomas. Though compelled to retire from this advanced position they again pushed forward late in the evening. About four on Sunday evening they again advanced close to Thomas' position on the Chattanooga road, and, though subjected to heavy fire, held their place until the Federal army was driven from its last position. In this last fight Lieut.-Col. A. McNeill was killed while gallantly leading the right wing of the regiment, and Capt. J. W. White was killed in command of Company G. The casualties of the two days were 10 killed and 84 wounded, out of 252 effective.

Rosecrans retreated to Chattanooga and was invested by Bragg, whose troops were posted on Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain. Jackson's Brigade held a position near Chattanooga Creek during the battle of Lookout Mountain. In the battle of next day, Missionary Ridge, November 25, 1863, they were in line with Cheatham's Division on the right. The regiment lost heavily in captured. From Missionary Ridge they retreated to Dalton, Ca., and went into winter quarters. Maj. John F. Smith was in command, January return, 1864.

February 2, 1864, the brigade was transferred to W. H. T. Walker's Division, mainly Georgian. When Sherman advanced, the Eighth was sent with the Forty-third Georgia, under the temporary brigade command of Col. B. J. Hill, Provost Marshal-General, to meet the enemy at Dug Gap, where they served with Cleburne's Division, and were hotly engaged with the brigade of Col. Benjamin Harrison. Subsequently Jackson's Brigade was in action at Calhoun, May 14; at Resaca, May 15; at Adairville, May 17; at New Hope Church, May 27, and along the line of Kenesaw Mountain until July 2. July 9 they crossed the Chattahoochee. About this time Jackson's Brigade was broken up and the Fifth and Eighth Georgia were temporarily attached to Gist's Brigade of the same division.

The companies were commanded as follows in the outset of this campaign: A, Capt. James T. Martin; B, Capt. John P. Maxey; C, Capt. H. W. Crook; D, Capt. A. E. Moody; E, Capt. B. F. Moss; F, Capt. C. A. Husbands; G, Capt. B. M. Buckley; H, Capt. James Lasley; I, Capt. M. D. L. House; K, Lieut. G. G. Powell. At Resaca Major Watkins and Lieut. L. M. Clark and Sergt. S. N. Snow (both of Company G) were killed, and 60 wounded. Among the wounded Lieut. R. J. Austin (C), Lieut. H. D. Moody (D), Capt. B. P. Moss, Lieuts. W. H. House, J. J. Lewis (E), Lieut K. McCarty (F) mortally, Lieuts. H. Mathis, C. N. Duval (K). Many were killed and wounded near Dallas May 27. Lieut.Col. John F. Smith was killed near Pine Mountain June 19, and many others were killed or wounded there and on Kenesaw Mountain, particularly on June 17 and July 1. In the battle of Peachtree CreekJuly 20, the regiment had considerable casualties. But the most disastrous battle was that of July 22, 1864, east of Atlanta, where General Walker, their former division commander, was killed. The Fifth and Eighth were then in Gen. M. P. Lowrey's Mississippi brigade, which lost about half its numbers that day, having in battle a total of about 1,200. The men had been without sleep or rest for two days and nights, the heat was excessive and many were completely exhausted. Nevertheless they made a gallant charge against the Federal rifle pits. Col. John C. Wilkinson, who had commanded the regiment throughout the campaign, was killed. Said General Lowrey: "The Eighth Mississippi lost their gallant Colonel, Adjutant, and many other valuable officers and men near the works." The casualties of the regiment were 13 killed, 71 wounded, 3 missing. Adjutant J. S. McCaskill was among the missing. Capt. A. E. Moody, Company D, acting Lieutenant-Colonel, was wounded. The companies were commanded as follows: A, Capt. James T. Martin; B, Capt. James P. Maxey; C, Capt. H. W. Crook (wounded); D, Lieut. A. T. Croft; E, Lieut. W. H. Howze (wounded); F, Sergeant Middlebury; G, Capt. B. M. Buckley (killed); H, Lieut. G. W, Jones (wounded); I, Lieut. C. R. Pace (wounded); K, Lieut. J. B. Croft of A. Other officers wounded were Lieuts. W. T. Robinson (A), W. P. Gemany, mortally (B), E. P. Small and H. D. Moody (D), R. S. Stokes (I). Capt. H. W. Crook was left in command of the regiment.

Gen. Charres C. Walcutt, of Logan's Corps, reported of the battle of the 22d, that three companies of the Sixth Iowa "repulsed the Eighth Mississippi and secured their dead and wounded, with some prisoners." The regiment was 408 strong when it left Dalton May 10; the casualties up to and including July 22 were 36 killed, 190 wounded, 14 missing; balance 208.

After serving in the works near Atlanta and at East Point, the brigade was moved to Jonesboro, where they made a gallant fight, driving the enemy in their front across Flint River, August 31 and at Lovejoy's Station, September 2, they aided in the repulse of Wood's Union Division. with heavy loss to the enemy, and considerable casualties in the Eighth Regiment.

The September return shows the Eighth joined with the Thirty-second under Colonel Tison. Lowrey's Brigade, with Cleburne's Division, took part in the October, 1864, campaign on the Chattanooga and Atlanta Railroad, including the capture of Dalton; moved thence to Gadsden. Ala.; skirmished in front of Decatur, and crossed the Tennessee River November 13. November 21 they marched from Florence in a snowstorm, and on the 29th they were in battle with Stanley's Federal Division at Spring Hill, in the rear of the Federal position at Columbia. November 30, following the Federal forces to Franklin, they took part in the memorable assault upon the fortfried line, in which Cleburne was killed and more than 60 brigade and regimental commanders killed or wounded. The Pinckney Guards took 27 men into this sacrificial battle; 10 were killed on or near the Union breastworks, 7 wounded and 4 captured.. Captain Martin, Co. A; Lieut. E. P. Small, Co. D; Lieut. S. J. Willis, Co. H, were among the killed. At the McGavock cemetery 25 are buried.

Following the Federal retreat to Nashville, Lowrey's Brigade was posted at the extreme right of Hood's army, on the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad cut, two and one-half miles from the city. The aggregate present of the brigade December 13 was 837. Maj. Andrew E, Moody was in command of the Eighth and Thirty-second. In the battle of Nashville Lowrey's Brigade repulsed all assaults on the Fifteenth, and next day it was involved in the general disaster, fighting near the Granny White pike, Lowrey in division command.

The brigade recrossed the Tennessee River December 26 and marched into Northeast Mississippi.

In the organization of the army of Gen. J. E. Johnston, near Smithfield N. C., March 31, 1865, Lowrey's Brigade was commanded by Lieut.Col. J. F. Smith, the Eighth and Thirty-second Mississippi being consolidated under the command of Capt. H. W. Crook.

April 9 the remnants of Lowrey's Brigade, the Fifth, Eighth and Thirty-second Regimenis and Third Battalion, were consolidated as the Eighth Mississippi Battalion, Capt. J. Y. Carmack commanding. With Sharp's and Manigault's Brigades likewise consolidated, they were included in the brigade command of General Sharp, in D. H. Hill's Division, Lee's Corps.

The army was surrendered April 26, 1865, and paroled at Greensboro.

 

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