Morphis’ Independent Company of Scouts

(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’)

Raised in Pontotoc County, Mississippi.

Captain -- J.L. Morphis.

July 18, 1864, General Forrest ordered Capt. Morphis, commanding scouts, to report to Forrest’s Regiment, Chalmers’ Division:


Okolona, July 18, 1864.

III. Captain Morphis, commanding scouts, with his company, will report for duty to Lieut. Col. D.C. Kelley, commanding Forrest's regiment, Chalmers' division.”

Late in the war, Capt. Morphis may have been promoted to Colonel of the Second Regiment of Mississippi Cavalry Reserves, as indicated by the following communication:

Enterprise February 16, 1865.

Lieutenant-Colonel SURGET,
Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: Yours of the 13th instant has just been received. In answer to which I would state, in the absence of the general commanding, that, on the return of the Reserve Forces to his control, he ordered Colonel Denis, commanding First Brigade and stationed at Grenada, to report in person at Enterprise; for the captains of each company to report, with their respective companies, to the enrolling officers of the counties in which the companies were raised. The same orders were given to Lieutenant-Colonel Cox, commanding Second Regiment Reserve Cavalry. The general was induced to resort to this course from the consideration that there was no supporting force for the enrolling officers in any of the counties, which were already teeming with deserters and absentees; and also that many of the men were without necessary clothing, but few having any blankets, and all the horses being in a very low condition, so much so that the command were totally ineffective as soldiers. Colonel Denis' headquarters will be at Enterprise. Lieutenant-Colonel Cox, Second Regiment, will operate in Northwest Mississippi. The last monthly report made to this office (on the 31 st of October) of Colonel Denis' brigade shows an aggregate present of 913 men; total present and absent, 1,823. The former number would be by no means an exhibit of those present on the 1st of the present month. The last monthly report by Colonel Morphis, of the Second Regiment, dated 14th of December, Corinth, show an aggregate present, 221 men; absent and present, 813. Of the unattached companies at Meridian, commanded by Captain Berry, aggregate present, 165; absent and present, 351. Your letter will be handed to the general on his return, and the suggestions of Lieutenant-General Taylor will receive his consideration.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant-General.”