9th 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’)

 

COMPANIES COMPRISING THE ORIGINAL ["OLD"] 9TH MS INFANTRY:

Company A -- Corinth Rifles (raised in Tishomingo County, MS) [also listed as Co. C]

Company B -- Home Guards (raised in Marshall County, MS)

Company C -- Lafayette Guards (raised in Lafayette County, MS)

Company D -- Jeff Davis Rifles (raised in Marshall County, MS)

Company E -- Horn Lake Volunteers (raised in DeSoto County, MS)

Company F -- Quitman Rifle Guards (raised in Marshall County, MS)

Company G -- DeSoto Guards (raised in DeSoto County, MS)

Company H -- Panola Guards (raised in Panola County, MS)

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

Company K -- Irrepressibles (raised in DeSoto County, MS) [also listed as Co. A]

 

COMPANIES COMPRISING THE "NEW" 9TH MS INFANTRY:

Company A -- Capt. Wallace’s Company (raised in DeSoto County, MS)

Company B -- Capt. Hollohan’s Company (no county of origin specified)

Company C -- Capt. Mills’ Company (no county of origin specified)

Company D -- Capt. Calhoon’s Company (no county of origin specified)

Company E -- Vicksburg Cadets [formerly Hill City Cadets, Co. F, 10th MS Infantry] (raised in Warren County, MS)

Company F -- Capt. Keith’s Company (raised in Marshall County, MS)

Company G -- Capt. Spears’ Company (county of origin not specified)

Company H -- Semmes Rifles (raised in Madison County, MS)

Company I -- Capt. Braden’s Company (county of origin not specified)

Company K -- Capt. Monroe’s Company (raised in Marshall County, MS)

 

Colonels -- James Ronalds Chalmers, promoted as Brigadier-General, February 13, 1862; Thomas W. White; William C. Richards, Colonel of consolidated Ninth, April, 1865. Lieutenant-Colonels -- James L. Autry, transferred to Twenty-seventh Regiment; William A. Rankin, killed at Shiloh; F. Eugene Whitfield, Thomas H. Lynam, Sol. S. Calhoon, of Ninth consolidated, April, 1865. Majors -- Albert R. Bowdre, F. Eugene Whitfield, promoted; Jesse E. White, resigned; Thomas H. Lynam, promoted; J. M. Hicks, Andrew J. Mills. Adjutants -- Eugene Whitfield, Roger Barton. Surgeon -- H. B. Williams. Assistant -Surgeon -- Griggsby. Quartermaster -- R. P. Doss. Chaplain -- M. L. Weller, killed at Shiloh.

Aggregate original enrollment, 933 officers and men. [See listing of Original Ninth companies above.]

The reorganization in 1862 was as follows. [See listing of "New Ninth" companies above.] The regiment was called at the time "the new Ninth." The men of the Ninth and Tenth mixed together to some extent and new companies were formed. A considerable number of the old Ninth joined Morgan's cavalry.

Order of War Department, October 27, 1862: "The two companies of Mississippi volunteers under Captains Hugh Love and George W. Braden, and the battalion of Mississippi volunteers under Lieut.-Col. F. E. Whitfield, will constitute the Ninth Regiment Mississippi Volunteers."

The original companies of 1861, organized under the State regulations, went to Mobile in the latter part of March, 1861, in response to the call for troops for Pensacola, and with other companies marched to Pensacola in April, and encamped near Fort Barrancas, opposite Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island, held by United States troops. From twenty Mississippi companies, the Ninth and Tenth Regiments were organized, the numbers being given to follow the eight regiments of the State army. The Ninth and Tenth were the first Mississippi regiments in the service of the Confederate States. Captain Chalmers was elected Colonel April 11; several ballots were needed to elect the Lieutenant-Colonel, Sergeant G. B. Wright, of Chalmers' company, leading, with Autry second and Delay third. It was announced April 17, 1861 that the Ninth and Tenth were received into the service of the Confederate States by General Bragg, and Colonel Chalmers was assigned to command of the First Brigade of the Army of Pensacola, which position he held until succeeded by General Ruggles in September, who was succeeded early in 1S62 by John K. Jackson. Joseph Wheeler, a young Lieutenant of artillery was Adjutant-General of this brigade, until promoted to Colonel and transferred to another field, September 21.

The night expedition from Pensacola to Santa Rosa Island October 8-9, 1861, commanded by Gen. Richard H. Anderson, was composed of three battalions. The first, under Colonel Chalmers, included detachments of the Ninth and Tenth Mississippi and First Alabama. Dr. Gholson, of the Ninth, was in the medical staff. After landing on the island, Chalmers and his column advanced along the north beach, and after some sharp skirmishing participated in the burning of the camp of Wilson's Zouaves. The casualties of whole expedition were 18 killed, 39 wounded and 30 captured, mainly in the fighting which attended their re-embarking.

General Bragg, in his reports later, spoke of requesting Colonel Chalmers to reorganize "his admirable regiment." When General Bragg was asked at the close of 1861 to take command in the interior he wrote from Pensacola: "I should desire to take from this army Chalmers' Ninth Mississippi, Adams' Louisiana regulars and Jackson's Fifth Georgia Regiments. These would give me a nucleus upon which to form, would set an example of discipline, and would give me the support of excellent officers who know and trust me and in whom I place unlimited confidence."

The enlistment of the regiment was for twelve months. In December about 450 had re-enlisted. All who re-enlisted for three years or the war were furloughed for thirty days with privilege to recruit new companies. The remainder continued on duty until after the regiment was transferred to Cumberland Gap.

The troops at Pensacola were transferred to the interior in February. February 14, at Iuka, Brig.-Gen. Chalmers announced that by order of General Johnston he assumed command of all troops between Memphis and the Tennessee River, a command in which he was succeeded by Gen. Ruggles. The Ninth was sent from Deer Point, near Pensacola, to Morristown, Tenn., and ordered forward to Cumberland Gap late in February. March 7 it was reported that the time of the Ninth will expire within three weeks.

Chalmers' Brigade was organized under the order of General Bragg, March 6, including the Seventh, Ninth, Tenth Regiments, Baskerville’s cavalry, and the Vaiden artillery. This Mississippi organization was given, by General Bragg, the title of "the High Pressure Brigade."

March 16, General Chalmers was notified by Ruggles, from Corinth, that Grant's army was landing at Pittsburg. "Hold your force, not guarding coast, brigades, and working guns, in readiness for any movement." The Ninth was then at Tuscumbia, and was notified to be ready to move when ordered.

Chalmers commanded the advance forces at Monterey, Tenn., whence, on April 4, he advanced as far as Mickey's, toward the position of Grant 's army. On the morning of the 5th, in obedience to orders, Chalmers had his brigade under arms and ready to move at 2 o’clock, in a heavy rain, and so remained until dawn, and when they did get in motion were stopped by the column of Hardee's Corps, the rear of which was not yet moving. The orders to advance had been countermanded on account of the bad weather and darkness. They moved into line of battle on the morning of April 6, under command of Lieutenant- Colonel Rankin, and took part in the first charge through the Federal camps in their front. In their second engagement in another part of the field the skirmish line of the brigade was led with great coolness and marked skill and ability by Major F. E. Whitfield. The brigade advanced through an orchard and after a hard fight drove the Federal line from its station in thick undergrowth behind a fence. A quarter mile beyond, at a deep ravine, there was a stubborn fight, in which Chaplain M. L. Weller was among the killed. After the gunboats opened upon the brigade at this place, it moved toward the center of the battlefield, where the brigade's fourth battle was fought. Here the Ninth was far in advance of any other Confederate command, said General Chalmers. This was toward 6 o'clock in the evening and they were fighting a Federal force that was in line with Prentiss' Division, which was compelled to surrender about this time. Col. William T. Shaw, commanding the Fourteenth Iowa, surrendered his regiment to Major F. E. Whitfield, and Colonel Madison. Miller, of the Eighteenth Missouri, commanding a brigade of Prentiss' Division, with a portion of his command, surrendered to Lieut. Donald McKenzie, Company K. Some Illinois companies also surrendered to Whitfield. The brigade's sixth battle that day was under orders from General Bragg "to drive the enemy into the river." The brigades of Chalmers and Jackson formed in line facing the river and endeavored to press forward to the water's edge, but in attempting to mount the last ridge were met by fire from a line of batteries supported by infantry and the gunboats. The men were unable to make headway up a steep hill under such opposition, though they made repeated charges, A battery brought up to help was soon crippled and driven away. They retired in good order and slept on the battlefield. On the morning of the 7th they were ordered back half a mile and were soon attacked heavily, and compelled to retire after their ammunition was exhausted. Here Major Whitfield was severely wounded. After finding ammunition in a Federal camp, they went into battle again, but were driven back in confusion by superior numbers. Rallying and reinforced by Blythe's Mississippians and Preston Smith's Tennesseans, Chalmers took the battle flag of the Ninth and called on the weary remnant of the brigade to make one more charge. Joseph Wheeler bearing the flag of one of his Alabama regiments, and a portion of his men with him, joined in urging a final effort. With a wild yell, they charged again and drove the Federal line back till they gained their first position. They were soon compelled to retire, but they had checked a pursuit that might have had serious results. The cost was heavy. Among the killed was Lieutenant-Colonel Rankin, a gallant and fearless leader

The brigade was retired from the field that afternoon and night. When a temporary line of battle was formed by General Withers in command of the right wing of the army, at dark, "Chalmers' worn brigade and the Crescent regiment were permitted to pass to the rear." The brigade started back to Corinth on the 8th. The casualties of the brigade were 82 killed, 343 wounded, 19 missing.

To Captain Henry Craft, Adjutant-General of the brigade, General Chalmers said he was "greatly indebted for the order and system established in a new brigade, composed very largely of troops never before placed in brigade," as well as for faithful service on the field. He also mentioned Lieut. George T. Banks, Aide-de-Camp, for gallant conduct, and Captain R. S. Crump, Acting Commissary. General Chalmers gave honorable mention also to William A. Rains, Sergeant-Major, and Private Fleming Thompson, Company K, boys of seventeen years, who acted as couriers, carrying orders under heavy fire.

In his official report General Bragg said of the brigade: "Brig.-Gen. James R. Chalmers, at the head of his gallant Mississippians, filled -- he could not have exceeded -- the measure of my expectations. Never were troops and commander more worthy of each other and of their State."

April 28, Chalmers was given command of the cavalry of the army.

During the siege of Corinth a portion of the regiment on outpost duty, was engaged in the fight on the Monterey road, May 29, under Col. Joseph Wheeler. Casualties, 6 wounded, 6 missing. July 18 Chalmers turned over the cavalry to Joseph Wheeler and rejoined his infantry brigade.

The Ninth participated in the Kentucky campaign of 1862, marching through Glasgow on the 12th of October [September?], and occupying Cave City, on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, September 13, whence Chalmers moved against the garrison of 4,000 Indiana and Kentucky troops, under Col. J. T. Wilder,. at the fortified post at Munfordville, which had been attacked by Scott's cavalry on the 13th. Sunday, September 14, after the sharpshooters had driven in the outposts, Chalmers attacked the works, three regiments against the redoubt and two on the river side. The latter assaulted with disastrous results, but Chalmers reported that his other three regiments had secured a good position close to the works and had practically silenced the infantry fire when, unknown to him, Scott came up and opened fire with artillery. Chalmers then ordered the Seventh and Ninth to attack this supposed Federal reinforcement and the battle closed. Co1. Thomas W. White, commanding the regiment, reported that his men advanced on the run through a very heavy fire of grape-shot and small arms toward the fort, but at forty paces distance were driven back, and were preparing for another charge when the order to the rear was given. Out of 282 men engaged the Ninth lost 9 killed and 44 wounded. General Bragg endorsed on Chalmers' report: "This attack was unauthorized and injudicious; but the conduct of the troops and commander in action reflects credit on both, and adds but another proof to the many of their distinguished gallantry." On the 16th the brigade moved again from Cave City against Munfordville, supported by heavy force, but did not go into action. On the 17th General Chalmers reported: "We were ordered up to witness the surrender of the garrison of the fort, and afterwards by order of General Bragg, in compliment, as he stated, to our gallant attack upon the place, we took possession of the works."

The brigade was at Danville and Harrodsburg, October 8, day of battle of Perryville, skirmished at Lawrenceburg on the retreat, crossed Cumberland Gap October 20, reached Knoxville on the 31st, and in November advanced from Chattanooga to Murfreesboro.

Withers' Division was the front center of General Bragg's line of battle at Murfreesboro, and the battle began with skirmish on the evening of December 29, 1862, Rosecrans' troops being the aggressors, met by Chalmers' sharpshooters. Next day, Chalmers' Brigade seemed to be mainly the object of the Federal artillery fire, and an attempt was made to capture Robertson's Confederate battery. The Federal line was then established, its left resting on the bluff of Stone's River, a thousand yards from Chalmers' right, in a skirt of woods, thence through the Round Forest, or "Mississippian's half acre," on through the cedar brake and along the ridges and woodland to the cedar pedregal on the Franklin road. Bragg ordered an assault at dawn December 31, his left wing to swing forward on Chalmers' Brigade as a pivot. Hence Chalmers was not ordered to advance until 11 o’clock. The attack of the left wing had been very successful, but it inspired Palmer's division of Cruft's, Hazen's and Grose's Brigades, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky troops, to the necessity of holding the key to the field. When Chalmers reached the Cowan or burnt house, he was stricken down by a fragment of shell and his command was driven back; "this veteran brigade became disorganized, the regiments attaching themselves to and serving with other commands until night, when they were brought together and placed in their original position under Colonel White, of the Ninth." (Withers). Donelson's Brigade, sent in to renew the attack, was also repulsed. The fighting for the possession of the Round Forest continued through January 1, 2 and 3, with alternating success. January 1, Walthall's Brigade was posted in the rear of Chalmers'. January 2, when Stanford's and Smith’s batteries were trained upon the Round Forest, Chalmers' Brigade moved up and supported them, and when Breckenridge's column, across the river, was in straits Colonel White "immediately threw out supports, with instructions to drive back the enemy." (Withers). On January 3 the struggle for the Round Forest was still going on. The Federals broke part of the line, but were repulsed. Withers said, "Colonels White and Coltart (Loomis' Brigade) proved themselves deserving of commendation by the admirable conduct of their commands throughout the harassing period of their occupancy of this important and almost isolated position."

The casualties of the Ninth were 8 killed, 71 wounded, 5 missing. The following names were selected for the Roll of Honor from the various companies: T.E. Bowden, A (K); Thomas Gill, B; Color-Sergeant H. A. McCrosky, C; Sergt. George H. Duffy, D; John McAfee, E (K); E. W. Dowry, F; W. T. Hollis, G; B. C. Lipscomb, H (K) ; Sergt. D. R. Biles, I: W. H. Wheeler, K.

General Chalmers did not return to the command. He was assigned to command of the Fifth Military District of Mississippi, headquarters at Panola, fronting the Federal headquarters at Memphis. Colonel Tucker commanded the brigade, which was known as Tucker's, from February 1, until Gen. Patton Anderson was assigned to the command, by order of March 21, the brigade to be known as Anderson's.

The army fell back to Shelbyville and Tullahoma in January and remained in that line until July, 1863, when the brigade 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.

After the retreat from Chattanooga, September 8, the brigade was at Lee & Gordon's mill until it marched, with Hindman's Division, to give battle to one of the Federal columns coming through the mountains into McLemore's cove. On the 10th, after a night march, the Ninth, under Major Lynam, was posted on a road leading to Cooper's gap. A line of battle was formed on the 11th, but the Federal commands concentrated before an action could be forced. The brigade then moved to Lafayette, whence they arrived on the battlefield of Chickamauga on the night of September 19, going into the fight next day under the command of Lieutenant-General Longstreet, against the Federal divisions of Sheridan and Jeff C. Davis. They took up the task when the Alabamians and South Carolinians of Deas' and Manigault's Brigades were stopped, and by a fearless charge brought about the rout of Sheridan's Division. Said Lynam, "We took up the fight and drove the enemy back about a mile without an instant of halt or wavering." The regimental flag was carried over three of the Federal cannon, and Lynam asserted as a fact of personal knowledge that his color-bearer, Cole Smith, "a most gallant soldier, was the farthest advanced man of our whole brigade at the time and passed between two of the pieces." The casualties of the first charge were 5 killed, 53 wounded, 4 missing. After this they marched to the support of Bushrod Johnson against the new line formed by General Granger, who had just come upon the field. The regiment made three charges, in two of them gaining the top of the ridge, but each time being forced back. Here the loss was 4 killed, 22 wounded, 5 missing. The regiment carried into battle 332 men. Major Lynam gave honorable mention to Captain S. S. Calhoon, acting Major, and urged the promotion of Private Cole Smith, Company H, who bore the colors and proved himself "as gallant a soldier as ever faced a foe." The various companies selected the following for the Roll of Honor: T. G. Warford, A; W. Ward, B; Sergt. A. W. Harris, C; Thomas Dillon, D; Thomas Armstrong, E; D. Potts, F; S. T. Lumley, G; C. M. Garter (k), G: Sergt. D. R. Biles, I; Wilson Hey, K.

The regiment served on the line before Chattanooga in the latter part of September, 1863, and until the battle of Missionary Ridge, November 25, in which they participated, with a loss of 80 (Pietti Annals). They joined in the retreat to Dalton, Ga., and went into winter quarters. December 11, 1863, the Ninth Regiment was joined to the Seventh, under the command of the field officers of the Seventh, Colonel Bishop and Lieutenant-Colonel Johns.

Lieutenant-Colonel Johns commanded the Ninth through the Atlanta campaign, in which they were first engaged at Rocky Face Ridge, May 8. At Resaca, May 14-15, the brigade was held in support of Walthall's Brigade, and though protected by a hill, suffered from artillery fire. General Tucker was wounded and the command fell upon Colonel Sharp, of the Forty-fourth, soon promoted to Brigadier-General. The brigade served with Hood's Corps through the fighting along the lines of New Hope Church and Kenesaw Mountain, in May and June. Capt. M. C. Higginbotham, Company C, was killed in the trenches near New Hope Church, May 27. After the battle of Peachtree Creek, they were posted on the east side of Atlanta, and moved thence on the 26th to the west side. General Lee took command of the corps, and under orders from General Hood, who had succeeded Johnston, attacked Sherman's advance on the Lickskillet road, July 28. The Ninth met with some success in the charge on the Federal position, carried the position in their front and capturing some prisoners, but the defeat of the right of the brigade compelled them to fall back. Capt. George W. Braden, Company I, "a most valuable officer," said Lieutenant-Colonel Johns, was instantly killed. Private Cyrus H. Johnson, of the Commissary Department, was killed. Among the severely wounded were Captain Holahan of Company B, Lieutenant Cox of Company F, Lieutenant Barnes of Company G.

After a month of fighting and digging west of Atlanta, the regiment marched with Lee's Corps to Jonesboro, and there fought gallantly in the battle of August 31. Here the regimental casualties were 3 killed, 32 wounded, including Capt. J. J. Thornton and Sergeant-Major W. Ostoff, and 11 missing, including Adjutant Roger Barton. "Not a commissioned officer left and only 51 privates." 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.

In the Nashville campaign Gen. Edward Johnson commanded the division, including Sharp's and Brantly's Mississippi Brigades, in Gen. S. D. Lee's Corps. Sharp's Brigade crossed the Tennessee River on October 30, and as General Lee reported, "encountered the enemy on the Florence and Huntsville road about dark. A spirited affair took place, in which the enemy were defeated." Lee's Corps marched November 20-26 to Columbia, and when the Federal force there fell back across the river to a strong position, General Hood took Johnson's Division with Cheatham's and Stewart's Corps to support Forrest at Spring Hill to cut off the retreat toward Nashville. General Schofield withdrew safely to the intrenchments on the Harpeth River at Franklin, where Hood attacked, November 30, before Lee had come up. Johnson's Division went into the battle late in the evening, and made a hand-to-hand fight at the trenches after dark. The loss was very heavy, for, as General Lee wrote in his official report, "the enemy fought gallantly and obstinately and the position he held was, for infantry defense, one of the best I have ever seen." Sharp's Brigade was particularly distinguished in the desperate assault. "Their dead were mostly in the trenches and on the works of the enemy, where they nobly fell in a desperate hand-to-hand conflict. Sharp captured three stand of colors." The casualties of the Ninth were 2 killed, 10 wounded, in Companies A, C, D, E, H and K.

General Thomas' army fell back to Nashville, which was invested by General Hood December 2-16. Thomas attacked December 15 and Lee sent Johnson's Division to the support of Walthall and Loring. Despite hard fighting they were compelled to take a new position with Sharp's Brigade on the left of Stewart's Corps, at the Granny White pike. There the fighting was fiercest on the 16th and part of the line, Bate's Division on the left of Sharp, said General Hood, yielded to the charge of Garrard's Division, which captured about 850 prisoners, including General Johnson. In a few moments the whole Confederate army was in retreat. At Brentwood General Lee took command of the rear guard, but during the next day he was severely wounded. The army crossed the Tennessee River December 26 and fell back to the prairies of Mississippi, General Hood making his headquarters at Tupelo.

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 old Hindman Division under the command of Gen. D. H. Hill, Sharp commanding his brigade, Seventh and Ninth Regiments, consolidated under command of Lieut.-Col. B. F. Johns.

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. The officers of the Ninth consolidated regiment were Col. William C. Richards, Lieut.-Col. Sol. S. Calhoon, Major T. H. Lynam. Brigadier-General Sharp's Brigade included this regiment, also the Eighth Mississippi Battalion, representing the consolidation of Lowrey's Brigade, and the Twenty-fourth Alabama and Nineteenth South Carolina, the consolidation of Manigault's Brigade. This consolidated brigade 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.

 

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