7th Mississippi Infantry
From Dunbar Rowland’s "Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1898"
This regiment was organized as the Seventh Regiment, Third Brigade, Army of Mississippi, Gen. C. G. Dahlgren commanding brigade, headquarters at Shieldsboro. It was intended by Governor Pettus to be one of three regiments for coast defense. The regiment was organized September 25, 1861, and in December was stationed at Bay St. Louis. Started to Tennessee February 26, and was at Jackson, Tenn., March3, 1862.
Being recalled to Corinth, it was assigned in the organization of the army under Albert Sidney Johnston to the "High Pressure" Brigade of Gen. J. R. Chalmers. Under the command of Lieut.-Col. Hamilton Mayson, the regiment participated in the battle of Shiloh. The Tenth, Ninth and Seventh made the first charge through the Federal camp in their front on the morning of April 6, and were gallantly engaged throughout that day and the next. Mayson was honorably mentioned as conspicuous in the thickest of the fight.
During the siege of Corinth Lieut.-Col. A. G. Mills commanded the outpost on the Monterey road, with 200 men from the Seventh and other regiments of the brigade. A Federal force advanced on May 28 and took position in a swamp from which they could not be driven until Mills was reinforced by an Alabama brigade under Col. Joseph Wheeler, when battle was given May 29, resulting in dislodging the enemy. In his report Wheeler mentioned the gallantry of Colonel Mills and Private Kerns, both wounded.
With Chalmers' Brigade the regiment, Col. W. H. Bishop commanding, participated in the Kentucky campaign of 1862. After passing through Glasgow they occupied Cave City, on the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, and thence moved to attack the Federal garrison of 4,000 troops at Munfordville, strongly entrenched. In this battle, September 14, the Seventh, Ninth and Twenty-ninth took position to support the battery on a knob in front of the bastion fort, and thence were advanced in two columns to closer positions, the Seventh supporting the Ninth and Twenty-ninth. After the Tenth made its assault the other three regiments moved against the works, the Seventh on the right, and seemed to have prospects of success, when the opening of fire from a Confederate battery in their rear, unknown to them, disconcerted the attack. Colonel Bishop reported that he had 141 men in the battle and lost 4 killed, 15 wounded, 1 missing. In the second battle, September 16, the Seventh supported the skirmish line in the light attack, after which General Wilder surrendered. 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.
At the battle of Murfreesboro Chalmers' Brigade was stationed at the right of Polk's Corps, the right of the brigade resting on Stone's River. Rosecrans established his line near them, placing Palmer's Division (Hazen's, Cruft's and Grose's Brigades) from the river along the Round Forest. The lines were separated by an open field, and Chalmers' men were exposed to artillery fire. It was wet and cold, but to avoid observation they refrained from building fires. Throwing up a slight earthwork for protection, they lay there forty-eight hours, waiting for the battle. It began with the attack by Hardee's Corps at dawn, December 31. Chalmers' Brigade was the pivot on which Polk's Corps swung into action, and was not ordered to attack until 11 o'clock. Surprise had aided the other brigades in their triumphant advance, but Palmer's Brigades were fully prepared when Chalmers' went in. There was no lack of spirit in the charge of the Mississippians, but the storm of lead and iron that met them at the burnt house struck down General Chalmers and shattered the line of gray. The regiments became separated, but soon reformed and under the brigade command of Colonel White fought gallantly through the remainder of the battle, which raged about the Round Forest for three days. In his report of the battle General Bragg said, "We succeeded in driving the enemy from every position except the strong one held by his extreme left flank, resting on Stone's River and covered by a concentration of artillery of superior range and caliber which seemed to bid us defiance." All of Withers' Division except Walthall's Brigade, all of Breckenridge's Division except Hanson's Brigade, and Donelson's Brigade of Cheatham's Division, were in this fight on the left, about 12,000 men, and their killed and wounded numbered 4,000. The casualties of the Seventh Regiment were 12 killed, including Capt. R. D. McDowell and Lieuts. H. J. M. Harrigill and G. W. Jones, 97 wounded and 4 missing.
The names selected by the various companies for the Roll of Honor were: John A. Higginbotham, A (k) ; H. H. Price, B; Richard R. Chaddick, C; Jeptha Creel, D; Sergt. George Stewart, E; B. Drummond, F; M. B. Stringer, G; A. Z. Coker, H; P. W. Rogers, I; Sergt. A. E. Ford, K.
They fell back to Shelbyville and Tullahoma in January and remained in that line until July, 1863, when they crossed the Tennessee River, marched over Lookout Mountain and went in camp near Chattanooga. July 13 to August 23, at the Tennessee River near Bridgeport, on picket duty; withdrawn as Rosecrans advanced.
The regiment, with Hindman's Division of Bragg's army, retreated from Chattanooga, as Rosecrans made the flank movement, into Georgia, and the Mississippi Brigade was encamped at Lee & Gordon's mill until they marched, September 10, to give battle to one of the Federal columns coming through the mountains at Cooper's and Stevens' gaps. Through a failure of co-operation only a skirmish resulted, on the 11th, and the men, many of them barefooted, all on short rations, hungry, thirsty and worn by night marches, moved back to Lafayette, whence they reached the field of battle with Rosecrans' united army, near Lee & Gordon's mill, on the night of September 19th, and next day went into the fight under the command of Lieutenant-General Longstreet. They attacked near the Glenn house, and gained that strong position. Colonel Bishop reported: "In obedience to orders, passing through General Deas' line, I attacked the enemy in my front, drove them from their position, capturing three pieces of artillery, and pursued them nearly a mile. In this charge I lost 2 men killed and about 10 officers and men wounded, among the latter Color Sergeant W. J. Nunnery." Of this victory of his division and others over the Federal divisions of Sheridan and Jeff C. Davis, General Hindman wrote: "Anderson's fearless Mississippians, carrying the breastworks in their front, moved up rapidly on Manigault's left. Without halting these two brigades then drove the enemy across the Crawfish Spring road and up the broken spurs of Missionary Ridge to its first elevation, 100 yards west. Hiding behind this, the enemy opened a tremendous fire of musketry and cannon upon our line as it advanced, and at the same time enfiladed it from an eminence in a field on the right; but without faltering he was charged, driven from his strong position and pursued upwards of three quarters of a mile, when he ceased resisting and disappeared northward." Hindman's Division captured 17 cannon and over 1,000 prisoners. Sheridan reported that his battle was fought under the most disadvantageous circumstances and that he lost 96 officers, among them Gen. W. H. Lytle, and 1,421 men. After 1 o'clock the same day the Mississippi Brigade joined in the assaults upon Granger's line near the Vidito house, and were three times repulsed, despite their most heroic efforts, with heavy loss. In the third assault, after repelling a Federal charge, the Seventh advanced with Kelly's Brigade of Buckner's Corps. Among the killed were Capts. J. M. Brister and G. A. Robertson, "brave and gallant soldiers and attentive and efficient officers." (Bishop). Mat Stringer, of Company G, Color Corporal, who succeeded Nunnery as color bearer, was mentioned for "cool intrepidity and gallantry." The flag staff was shot in two near the crest of the ridge. Lieut. W. J. Proby of A, and Lieut. John D. Cooper of G, were given honorable mention. The casualties were 10 killed, 64 wounded, 1 missing.
Major Riedt, commanding Twenty-seventh Pennsylvania, reported capture of 15 sharpshooters of this regiment, in front of Missionary Ridge, November 24, 1863. November 25 they participated in the battle of Missionary Ridge, and joined in the retreat to Dalton, where they went into winter quarters. The Ninth Regiment was then also put under command of the field officers of the Seventh.
At the opening of the campaign of 1864, the brigade, under General Tucker, participated in the engagement at Rocky Face Ridge, May 8, and at Resaca, May 14-15, was held in reserve, supporting Walthall's brigade. General Tucker was severely wounded and the brigade suffered considerably from artillery fire. Colonel Sharp, of the Forty-fourth, was promoted to Brigadier-General. The brigade served under General Hood in the fighting along the lines of New Hope church and Kenesaw Mountain in May and June. Gen. S. D. Lee took command of the corps July 27, Hood having been promoted to command of the army, and was directed to push the Federal advance back from the Lickskillet road west of Atlanta. Sharp's Brigade, which had been moved from the east to the west side of the city the day before, marched out three miles and attacked, twice, but the Federal line was too strongly established for the force available against it. Gen. Patton Anderson resumed command of the division, which went to work intrenching westward of the city, and was engaged in this work and constant skirmishing with the Federal line for a month. August 30 they marched to Jonesboro and went into battle there against Sherman, attacking with great gallantry and perseverance a strongly posted line of the enemy. (See Forty-fourth Regiment.) Col. William H. Bishop commanded the regiment through this campaign, and Lieut.-Col. Benjamin F. Johns was detached in command of the Ninth.
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. Sharp's Brigade crossed the Tennessee late on October 30 and "encountered the enemy on the Florence and Huntsville road about dark. A spirited affair took place, in which the enemy were defeated." (Lee). Sharp's Brigade, with Brantley's, Deas' and Manigault's, constituted the division of Gen. Edward Johnson, in S. D. Lee's Corps. They moved to Columbia, and when the Federal force there fell back across the river and took a strong position, Johnson's Division was detached with the other two corps of the army to cross the river and move in the direction of Spring Hill. The Federal force fell back to the intrenched line on the Harpeth River at Franklin, where they were attacked November 30 by Cheatham's and Stewart's Corps and Forrest's cavalry. Lee sent Johnson's Division in as reinforcements, "but owing to the darkness and want of information as to the locality his attack was not felt by the enemy until about one hour after dark. This division moved against the enemy's breastworks under a heavy fire of artillery and musketry, gallantly driving the enemy from portions of his line. The brigades of Sharp and Brantley (Mississippians) and of Deas (Alabamians), particularly distinguished themselves. 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. These brigades never faltered in this terrible night struggle." (Lee's report, January 30, 1865). The casualties of Sharp's Brigade were 30 killed, 81 wounded, 9 missing. Col. W. H. Bishop, commanding the Seventh and Ninth, was among the killed. Lieut.-Col. Johns, Major Henry Pope and Capt. J. N. Atkinson were wounded. Total casualties, 2 killed, 10 wounded, in Companies A, C, F, H, and I.
General Thomas' army then fell back to Nashville, which was invested by General Hood, December 2-16. December 15 Thomas assumed the offensive and Lee sent Johnson's Division to the assistance of Stewart's Corps. Sharp's Brigade was placed on the extreme left extended in the night by Bates' Division. In the battle next day the line of Bates' Division was broken by Garrard's Federal Division, which reported the capture of 20 guns and about 850 prisoners, including General Johnson. In a few moments the whole Confederate line was in retreat toward Franklin. At Brentwood General Lee took command of the rear guard, and during the retreat next day he was severely wounded in the foot. The army crossed the Tennessee River December 26, and fell back to the prairies of Mississippi, Lee making his headquarters at Columbus, Hood at Tupelo.
The brigade was furloughed until February 12, 186S. 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. Organization of the army near Smithfield, N. C., March 31, 1865, Seventh and Ninth Regiments consolidated under the command of Lieut .-Col. B. F. Johns.
April 9 Sharp's Brigade -- the Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, Forty-first and Forty-fourth Regiments and Ninth Battalion -- consolidated as the Ninth Mississippi Regiment, Col. William C. Richards, commanding. Brig.-Gen. 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. But some of this regiment did not go east, and were included in the surrender of General Taylor, May 4, 1865.
|The above article is used here under the fair use act of the copyright laws and is intended for educational and discussion purposes only.|
HIGH PRESSURE PAGE