Lay’s Mississippi Cavalry


(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 -- Capt. C.A. Hester’s Company (county of origin not specified)

Company B -- Capt. Louis Winston’s Company (county of origin not specified)

Company C -- Capt. W.D. Sneed’s Company (county of origin not specified)

Company D -- Capt. J.T. Williams’ Company (county of origin not specified)

Company E -- Capt. E.J. York’s Company (county of origin not specified)

Company F -- Capt. P.J. Gibson’s Company (county of origin not specified)

Company G -- Capt. J.D. Mitchell’s Company (county of origin not specified)

Company H -- Capt. P.H. Wallace’s Company (county of origin not specified)

Company I -- Capt. B.F. Kimbrough’s Company (county of origin not specified)

Company K -- Capt. John Fletcher’s Company (county of origin not specified)


Colonel -- Benjamin D. Lay.

Benjamin D. Lay, March 20, 1863, was a Surgeon in the army. January 16, 1864, he applied for and soon afterward received permission to raise a regiment within the lines of the enemy. General Polk confined his enlistments to Hinds and Hancock Counties, and he was to have sixty days to raise the regiment. March 1st he accepted the appointment and reported 1,100 men before the close of April. Then arose a conflict with the conscript officers, who held that his sixty days began in January. General Hodge, in July, 1864, said there were in camp only about 150 men, the rest at home.

Gen. Polk, writing to Gen. S. D. Lee, February 15, 1864, authorized Lay to raise as much of a command as possible.

May 24, 1864, Colonel Scott, commanding the district of Southwest Mississippi and East Louisiana, reported that Colonel Lay had not yet succeeded in forming a regiment. His command was listed in the return of June 30, in Scott's command; in August, under the district command of Gen. George B. Hodge, district south of Homochitto. "Lay's Mississippi Cavalry Regiment, Col. Benjamin D. Lay."

In November, 1864, a Federal expedition moved from Baton Rouge to Brookhaven, destroying railroad property and cotton and woolen goods, a tannery and shoe factory, and had a considerable fight with Scott's Cavalry at Liberty November 18. Lieut. E. Brown, of Lay's Cavalry, was among the prisoners taken. A court of inquiry, Gen. Wirt Adams president, found that one cause for the surprise of General Hodge's headquarters at Liberty, was the capture of a Lieutenant and ten unarmed men of Lay's Regiment, on picket duty.

February, 1865, Gen. Wirt Adams asked that there be assigned to his command the companies of Lay's Regiment, "mere skeletons," to be incorporated with some recognized battalion or regiment, there being enough men to probably make three or four companies.


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