from Dunbar Rowland’s
"Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1898"
with supplement by H. Grady Howell
#2 (June 1862)
3rd Sub-District, District
Mississippi, Department #2 (June-August 1862)
Allen's Brigade, Ruggle's
Breckinridge's Command, District of the Mississippi,
#2 Co. I only] (August 1862)
Army of West Tennessee, Department of Mississippi and
Beall's Brigade, 3rd
Dept. of Mississippi and East Louisania (October 1862-July 1863)
Dept. of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisania (March-May 1864)
Sears' Brigade, Army of
Sears' Brigade, French's
Stewart's 3rd Corp, Army of Tennessee (July 1864-January 1865)
Sears' Brigade, French's
District of the Gulf, Dept. of Alabama, Mississippi, and
(January 1865-April 1865)
Sears' Brigade, French's
Dept. of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisania (April-May 1865)
enlisted for three years or the war, had it's rendezvous at Jackson,
was organized May 13, 1862.Winchester Bledsoe Shelby, of Brandon, being
elected Colonel; William E. Ross, of Jackson Lieutenant-Colonel, and W.
Monroe Quinn, of Pike County, Major. Corinth was at the time
by the Army under General Beauregard, invested by the army under
Halleck, which took possession May 30,upon the withdrawal of Beauregard
to Tupelo. At about this time the 39th was sent to Grenada, where it
a part of the brigade of General John B. Villepigue, who had just been
associated with the Mississippi troops at Pensacola, and had just
from gallant service at Memphis. June 12, 1862, Gen. Villepigue, and
regiment, advanced, unarmed except for 41 defective flint-lock muskets.
When Villepigue was ordered with his brigade to Vicksburg, June 23
it was directed that Col. Shelby's Regiment (the 39th) should remain
the command of Col. W.H. Jackson, to protect the northern border.
Randel, was part of the command of Gen. M.L. Smith at Vicksburg, during
the bombardments of May 20 to July 27,1862. This company was with the
that Gen. Breckenridge took to Camp Moore La, immediately after the
of the Federal attack on Vicksburg, and in the attack on Baton Rouge,
5,1862 was attached to the 4th Louisiana. Casualties, killed 1; wounded
1. After the attack Gen. Breckenridge returned with his command to
of Lovell's Division, was part of the army of Gen. Earl Van Dorn, which
advanced to the Tennessee border, when Gen. Sterling Price occupied
in September, but fell back and was joined by Price after the battle of
Iuka, then again advancing at the close of September to attempt the
of Corinth, held by Rosecrans. In the battle of Corinth, Oct.
Brigade, including the 33rd and 39th Mississippi, took part in carrying
the outer line of rifle pits on the 3rd,were engaged slightly on the
on the 5th at Hatchie Bridge, on the retreat after the failed attempt
capture Corinth, the brigade skirmishers, checked the Union pursuit.
Villepigue mentioned for conspicuous gallantry, Col. Shelby, "who
his men from a partial disorder into which they had been thrown by a
fire of the enemy." The brigade casualties were 21 killed, 76 wounded,
and 71 missing.
Corinth, the brigade was ordered from Oxford Ms, to reinforce the
at Port Hudson La. General Villepigue died on the march near Port
on November 9.
January 7, 1863,the
consolidated regiment, consisting of the 39th and 1st Mississippi
commanded by Col. W.B. Shelby, was assigned to the brigade command of
William Beall, on duty in the breastworks at Port Hudson.
the siege, May 25, when the Federal began the investment, the first
was May 27,and up to June 1, reported 2 killed and 4 wounded. Adjutant
Melvin, June 4th, reported the position of the regiment, right to left,
"Capt. J. H. Cofer, 2 companies 39th, near Lieut. Harmans's guns, 80
Wilkins Battery, 40 men; Major R.J. Durr, 6 companies 39th, 285 men;
William Weathersby, 2 companies 39th,on ridge in front of my left, 100
On June 11, Federal skirmishers pushed into the lines and occupied the
slaughter house, and 2 companies of the 39th were sent to drive them
Col. Shelby's Regiment occupied an important position and was relied
for faithful service. Col. Shelby was commanding the left wing of the
June 8th and reported the shelling of the mortars so heavy, that it
his cannoneers from their guns. June 14th an assault was made and
with heavy loss. June 20th Col. Shelby was again menaced, but the enemy
failed to charge. Additional artillery was sent to his support.
had 2 guns of Herrod's 1st Mississippi Light Artillery, among
with the garrison July 8, 1863. The surrender was unconditional, but
Banks carried out an informal agreement and paroled the
officers and privates. The commissioned were sent officers were sent to
Johnson's Island. The regiment was in the parole and exchange camp at
MS, Lt. Col. William E. Ross commanding the nucleus of a brigade
the 39th and Miles' Louisiana Legion of infantry and artillery. When
Sherman advanced to Meridian during the Meridian Campaign in February 1864,the
troops at Enterprise were sent to Mobile Alabama. In March the regiment
was with Gen. James Cantey's Division at Pollard, Alabama. In April the
39th was attached to the brigade of Gen. Claudis W. Sears, and moved to
Selma Alabama. This brigade along with Cockrell's Missourians and
Texans and North Carolinians, formed Gen. Samuel G. French's
of the Army of the Mississippi, under the command of Gen,
Polk. After the death of Gen. Polk at Pine Mountain it was known as
Stewart's Corp. They moved to the support of General Johnston in
leaving Tuscaloosa Alabama on May 8, and Sear's Brigade of which the
belonged to reached the vicinity of Resaca May 16, as Johnston was
back across the Oostenaula River. The regiment was during this time by
Lt. Colonel William E. Ross and Major Robert J. Durr.
the army in late September to destroy the railroad between Chattanooga
and Atlanta in an attempt to destroy Federal supply lines. Stewart's
crossed the Chattahoochee River, moved to Lost Mountain October 2, and
tore up the track near Big Shanty, after which, on the night of the
French's Division marched to fill the cut at Allatoona. This cut
was defended by redoubts and a star fort, on opposite sides of the
occupied by a small garrison which was reinforced to about 2000 men 2
before French's arrival. At daylight French placed his brigades and
a surrender, which was refused by General Corse. French then
with about 2000 of his division and artillery, Sears' Brigade advancing
from the north and rear on both sides of the road. A desperate hand to
hand fight drove 3 of Corse's regiments into the works, against which
Mississippians pushed up, taking such shelter as could be found, and
the works with a deadly fire. Major Edson, 4th Minnesota,
2 Confederate regiments charged his position with desperation, but were
forced back, excepting small detachments of each that pushed forward
took shelter in a narrow ravine, where he captured 80 prisoners,
1 field officer, several line officers, along with the colors of the
and 39th Mississippi Infantry.
about 4 hours, Corse was in communication with Sherman at Kennesaw
by signal flags, and Federal troops were sent to cut off French's
fearing which, French withdrew in time to save his command after heavy
losses. In Sear's brigade alone there were 425 killed. The causalities
of the 39th, Major Robert J. Durr commanding, were 11 killed, 24
and 77 missing. Lt. G.H. Moore and 21 others of Co. I were among the
After this Stewart's Corps
the railroad between Resaca and Dalton. French's Division captured the
blockhouse at Tilton, October 13,and next was in battle before the
works at Decatur, October 26-29, and moving thence to Tuscumbia. They
the Tennessee River November 20, marched against Schofield's Federal
at Columbia, and on November 29 moved with Stewart's Corp toward Spring
Hill, marching till late that night. They followed closely upon the
Federal troops as they retreated to Franklin on the Harpeth
and attacked them in a strong position about 4 in the evening, December
30. The first line was carried, but in advancing across an open space
the second line of works, the Confederate troops were exposed to a
crossfire of artillery, and the attack failed with a terrible loss of
Some of Sears' Brigade pressed forward to the ditch around the inner
of works, where many of them remained, separated from the enemy only by
the parapet, until the Federal army withdrew.
Brigade were 30 killed, 168 wounded, and 35 missing. The remnant
to Nashville, and was detached to support Forrest in the siege of
They were in battle at Overall's Creek December 4, and before
December 7. On December 9, the brigade effectives were 210 men.
back to Nashville over icy roads, many barefooted, they fought in
line December 15-16. Walthall's two division remnants were almost
before they gave way. December 26 they crossed the Tennessee River,
thence to Northeast Mississippi.
ordered to report to General Maury at Mobile, February 1, 1865.
The return of March 10 showed the 39th commanded by Capt. C. W.
the regiment was in the defense of the fortifications east of Mobile,
Spanish Fort and Fort Blakley. These works, after heavy fighting, were
by assault by the army of General Canby, the final action being at
April 9, 1865, and the 5000 prisoners taken included most of the
of the 39th. They were paroled after the capitulation of Lt. Gen.
Taylor, commanding the department at Citronelle, Ala, May 4, 1865.
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