23rd Alabama Volunteer Infantry Regiment History
Footnotes 1 thru 15 from the Official Records of the Rebellion

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Footnote No. 1

Near Pensacola, November 5, 1861.

Richmond, Va.:

SIR: From the delay in hearing from the enemy's fleet, which sailed south on the 29th ultimo, we infer it is intended for some point in the Gulf. With a view of being ready with all our available means, I have ordered General Walker to send one regiment of his command to Mobile and one here to be armed with the weapons of our sick. Colonel Deas' regiment and Colonel Beck's, already armed by private enterprise and by the State of Alabama, I have ordered to report to General Withers, at Mobile.

This will give an efficient force of about 7,000 here and 5,000 at Mobile. From what I learn of the force in Louisiana from private sources I suppose we could calculate on assembling 15,000 men at any point the enemy might assail from this to New Orleans.

If nothing intervenes, we shall pass a train from here to Mobile on the 11th. By giving assistance and working at night this result is accomplished some days sooner than we expected.

I am much in need of some young and active navy officers for my small gunboats. They were promised me verbally last summer, and I have since applied for them. Our landsmen are but poor substitutes.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.


Footnote No. 2

Abstract from field return of the District of Alabama, commanded by Brig. Gen. Jones M. Withers, December 2, 1861.

O Officers

A Aggregate present

M Men

B Aggregate present and absent

P Present for duty







1st Alabama Battalion





18th Alabama





19th Alabama





20th Alabama





22d Alabama





Beck's Alabama regiment





Company infantry Alabama volunteers





Battalion infantry Mississippi volunteers (3 companies)





Companies (5) mounted Alabama volunteers





Battalion Light Artillery (5 companies)





Fort Gaines





Fort Morgan













Footnote No. 3

MOBILE, February 18, 1862.(*)


Yours of the 8th just received. Fifth Georgia, Ninth Mississippi, Twentieth and Twenty-third Alabama Regiments on way to Knoxville. Should we not give up the seaboard now and concentrate all our means on the vital point?




Footnote No. 4, Part 1


Knoxville, March 10, 1862.

The PRESIDENT, Richmond, Va.:

Mr. PRESIDENT: You requested me to write to you freely and frankly; I therefore feel less hesitancy in trespassing upon your time and in troubling you with my wants and necessities.

I arrived on the morning of the 8th, having been detained by obstructions on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. I find the force in East Tennessee in great disorganization. All accounts given me were far short of the truth. There has been no one in command since Crittenden crossed the Cumberland Mountains. Leadbetter, from his instructions, regarded himself as only intrusted with the defense of the railroad. Regiments and detachments were everywhere acting independently, and without military restraints of any kind. I shall bring every energy to bear in reducing order out of chaos, but must beg you to hasten the appointment of a brigadier-general who can give me effectual aid. I should have included Lewis A. Armistead in the list recommended for your consideration. If Colonel Barton is not promoted, may he not be assigned to duty on my staff; from his account he seems not to be especially occupied, and he could render here important service as inspector-general.

The troops now in East Tennessee number less than 8,000 effective men; 4,000 are at Cumberland Gap, under Colonel Rains, commanding a Tennessee regiment from Nashville; 2,000 are at this place; the remainder are scattered through the district, guarding bridges, pork establishments, &c. With the exception of the Twentieth and Twenty-third Alabama Regiments, together numbering some 900 effective men, and a Georgia battalion, under Lieutenant-Colonel Stovall, about 400 strong, the whole force is composed of twelve months' volunteers, whose terms of service soon commence expiring.

Of the four regiments from General Bragg's command, two— the Fifth Georgia and Ninth Mississippi— will be mustered out of service early in April and May. The effective strength of the Ninth Mississippi is under 400. Of the six regiments coming from Virginia, one— the First Georgia— -was turned back at Lynchburg, and mustered out by expiration of service; one— Colonel Bate's Tennessee— -is organizing at Huntsville, by orders from General Johnston, where he will probably retain it. Vaughn's and Maney's regiments are here; the two remaining ones have not arrived.

The troops from Virginia and General Bragg's command will in early summer be reduced to a very small force; and at that time we may look for a movement to be made by the enemy on East Tennessee.

I am not writing, Mr. President, in a spirit of fault-finding; neither <ar11_309> is my ardor dampened, nor will my exertions be slackened; but I think it due to myself and proper that these facts should be presented to you.

The information here is that Cumberland Gap is threatened by five or six regiments and twelve pieces of artillery between Cumberland Ford and Barboursville. Two regiments are on the Cumberland River in Kentucky between Somerset and Burkesville. Generals Thomas and Schoepf with their commands have joined Buell. All the efforts of the enemy will, I think, be directed toward the Mississippi, and if any movement be made on East Tennessee, it will be from Nashville and the Cumberland River as a base, with a line of operations through Middle Tennessee, by Sparta to Kingston, or possibly Athens, Tenn. The barrenness of the country to the north and northwest and the difficulty of obtaining and transporting supplies will prevent operations from that direction. I will order a brigade to Kingston as soon as one can be organized; a battery should accompany it. A company has been formed here, if the guns and equipments can be obtained in Richmond.

In conclusion let me once more refer to the character of the troops with which I will have to operate. The two Alabama regiments, the only war regiments, are almost ineffective from sickness; they report 500 sick and 8 deaths in the last twenty-four hours from typhoid fever. The term of service of nearly all the reliable troops in the district expires in April, May, or June. The East Tennesseans will not organize for the war. Several regiments might be mustered in for twelve months, but with the exception of some 2,000 country rifles and shot-guns of every caliber and degree of worthlessness, there is nothing here in the ordnance department with which they can be armed.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.


Footnote No. 4, Part 2



Knoxville, March 13, 1862.

General S. COOPER,
Adjutant-General C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: I would respectfully report my arrival at this place, and that I assumed command of the District of East Tennessee on the 8th instant:

I find East Tennessee an enemy's country, and the people, where removed from the immediate presence and fear of the Confederate troops, in open rebellion. The force now present in the district is not over 7,000 effective men. The Twentieth and Twenty-third Alabama Regiments and Lieutenant-Colonel Stovall's battalion are for the war; the rest of the command is for twelve months, and their terms of service expire principally in April, May, and June. Of the six regiments to be sent from Virginia, J. C. Vaughn's (Third Tennessee) alone is here. The First Georgia was mustered out of service. Maney's and Bate's First and Second Tennessee have been ordered to Huntsville and Decatur by General A. S. Johnston.

Of the four regiments from General Bragg's command, the Twentieth and Twenty-third Alabama are at present so reduced and disheartened by deaths and sickness that it will be a long time before they will be effective. Their sick number near 600 and the mortality is daily on the increase.

The Ninth Mississippi has been furloughed, and the term of service of the Sixth Georgia expires early in May.

Two regiments can be organized in East Tennessee, but they will not muster into service for a longer period than twelve months and cannot arm themselves.

There are in the ordnance department for this purpose only some 1,500 country rifles, of various caliber, defective locks, and generally needing repair.

East Tennessee, in the present movement of the enemy down the Mississippi, occupies a position of great strategic importance. An army on the plateau of the Cumberland, ready to debouch toward Nashville, threatens their flank, and in its position alone acts offensively.

If it is intended to retain possession of East Tennessee, if its military resources are to be secured to us, this army must be increased by large and effective re-enforcements. If this cannot be done, immediate measures should be taken for the removal of the bacon and meat stored along the road between Chattanooga and Bristol. That to the east of Knoxville could be sent to Lynchburg and that to the west to Atlanta.

The character of the railroads in East Tennessee and the condition of their rolling stock is such that but little reliance can be placed upon its capacity for removing stores in case of emergency. I repeat, East Tennessee is an enemy's country. The people are against us, and ready to rise whenever an enemy's column makes its appearance. The very troops raised here cannot always be depended upon. They have gone into service, many of them to escape suspicion, prepared to give information to the enemy, and ready to pass over to him when an opportunity offers.

Would it not be well to remove such of the East Tennessee troops as are suspected to a different section of the Confederacy, where in a purer political atmosphere and removed from their present associations they can do little or no harm and may become loyal and good soldiers? In view of the peculiar condition of affairs in this section I believe the public good would be advanced by declaring martial law through the whole District of East Tennessee.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,





Footnote No. 5

Knoxville, April 9, 1862.

Kingston, Tenn.:

GENERAL: General Beauregard telegraphs that a battle is immediately impending at Corinth, and asks that all available troops be sent to his aid. The major-general commanding directs that you proceed with the utmost dispatch with the Twentieth and Twenty-third Alabama Regiments to Loudon, Tenn., where transportation will await you at 9 o'clock Thursday evening. He also directs that these troops move as lightly as possible, unencumbered with the baggage usually carried by volunteer regiments, and with such rations as can be quickly prepared for their subsistence en route to Corinth, Miss.

You will turn over the command at Kingston to Col. John C. Vaughn, Third Regiment Tennessee Volunteers.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant-General.


Footnote No. 10


HEADQUARTERS, Chickasaw Bayou, Miss., January 6, 1863.

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report for the information of Major-General Maury:

Up to his arrival on the morning of the 30th ultimo my command extended from General Barton's right, at Rock Springs, to Snyder's Mill, including the command at that point--8 miles. The general on his arrival informed me what troops he had brought and placed them at my disposal, directing me to put them in position, stating that he would be responsible, but that I should continue to command the troops as he knew little of the ground. I felt highly flattered at such an evidence of his confidence and beg leave to thank him for his generous conduct.

During the 30th the enemy were remarkably quiet along the whole line. There was no artillery fire on their part, but their line of battle was plainly visible.

On the morning of the 31st it was discovered that the enemy had thrown up a strong line of intrenchments in front of his line of battle, with embrasures for his artillery. There was, however, a remarkable stillness on his part, and about 11 a.m. Brigadier-General Morgan, commanding in my front, sent in a flag of truce, asking four hours to bury his dead. It was granted, and there was no firing drilling the rest of the day.

On the 1st the unusual silence of the enemy and the number of his boats visible at the mouth of the Chickasaw Bayou led me to believe that the enemy was concentrating his force for an attack at some point either above or below Chickasaw Bayou, and Colonel Higgins, at Snyder's Mill, was warned.

During the night of the 1st and 2d frequent reports reached my headquarters to the effect that the enemy were landing in heavy force to attack our works at Snyder's Mill, and by direction I moved to that point with four regiments, arriving there before daylight. So soon as it was dawn it was evident that the enemy intended no attack, but was re-em-barking. 1 immediately returned to Chickasaw Bayou, and by permission of the major-general pursued the enemy to the river with the Second Texas, Third and Thirtieth Tennessee, and the Twenty-third Alabama Regiments; the Second Texas being in front, the entire regiment being deployed as skirmishers. The enemy were found drawn up in line of battle (two regiments) on the river bank under cover of their gunboats, about twelve in number, and the river bank being lined with their transports. The Second Texas advanced to 100 yards of the boats without opening fire. Neither did the enemy open on them. I ordered the fire to open. This most gallant regiment with a dash rushed almost up to the boats, delivering their fire with terrible effect on their crowded transports. Never have I seen so sudden a disappearance from crowded vessels nor vessels move off so hurriedly. The gunboats at once opened on the skirmishers with about twenty boat-howitzers from their upper decks and with rifles from their plated decks. The Texans remained until their troops had disappeared, and as nothing was to be gained by firing on their iron-clads they withdrew.

I regret to state that the gallant Colonel Timmins, commanding the regiment, was wounded. I would also mention that Captain Brown, of General Maury's staff, had his horse killed during the action.

The enemy having all re-embarked I returned from the Yazoo. There is nothing further worthy reporting.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.


MAURY'S DIVISION, Vicksburg, Miss.



Footnote No. 14 & 15


Vicksburg, Miss., June 4, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following detailed report of the battle of Port Gibson, fought near that place on the 1st ultimo, which has been delayed until this time for want of sufficient data from brigade commanders, their commands having been ever since almost daily engaged with the enemy.

On or about April 20, it became evident from the movements of the enemy, then closely watched by Major [Isaac F.] Harrison and a portion of my brigade in Louisiana, that he intended to pass below Vicksburg and make his lodgment in Mississippi at or near Grand Gulf. I immediately dispatched for the chief engineer of the department, to confer with him in regard to our position, and also urged the lieutenant-general commanding to send every gun and every man that could be concentrated to my assistance. The engineer officer, after a reconnaissance, fully concurred with me in my idea, that in case they passed my batteries and landed at Bruinsburg or Rodney, I should meet them south of Port Gibson and give them battle; also that it would require from 15,000 to 20,000 men to insure our success.

After the signal failure of the fleet to silence my batteries at Grand Gulf on April 29, and their subsequent passage by them under cover of darkness on the same night, I immediately commenced my dispositions to meet their army on the south side of Bayou Pierre. At the same time my water front was so extended, and presented four such vulnerable points, that nearly the whole division under my command was required to guard it, and left me no hope to fight the enemy on the spot selected unless the promised re-enforcements should reach me in time.

Finding, on the 30th, that Grant's army was crossing the Mississippi and landing at Bruinsburg, near the mouth of Bayou Pierre, I sent out Brigadier-General Green with about 450 of his own command (the remainder being posted on Big Black and Bayou Pierre), with a section of the Hudson Battery, and the Sixth Mississippi Regiment (Colonel [-Robert] Lowry's), to occupy the two roads leading from Bruinsburg to Port Gibson. Tracy's brigade, Stevenson's division, arrived, jaded from a forced march and without provisions. I ordered them to halt near town, to collect stragglers, cook rations, and after a short rest to report to Green, who would point out their position.

During the afternoon 1 went out in person and established Green in his position; returned to Grand Gulf to ascertain what demonstrations were making upon the positions on Big Black, Bayou Pierre, and the river front; received reports of approaches being made on every one, and determined to strengthen the one on Bayou Pierre, as its passage by the enemy would have been extremely disastrous to us. I ordered all the rifled Parrotts (four 10-pounders) and the First Missouri Regiment to this point, then occupied by one regiment of Green's brigade and a section of 6-pounder pieces, making about 700 men and six pieces of artillery in all. The Second Missouri was deployed along the river below the batteries to prevent a landing at points beyond the range of our guns.

Two 12 pounder pieces and the Second [First?] Confederate Battalion, under Lieutenant Colonel [George H.] Forney, were posted at Winkler's Bluff, to prevent the destruction of the raft and the passage of Big Black River by the gunboats. The First Missouri Cavalry (dismounted) and [Ras.] Stirman's battalion, with [W. E.] Dawson's battery (four guns), held the position on Big Black known as Thompson's Hill, where the enemy had threatened an attack for some days. The remainder of the command (the Third, Fifth, and Sixth Missouri, Guibor's and one section of [John C.] Landis' battery) was ordered to be ready to move at a moment's notice. These dispositions can be fully seen on accompanying sketch, marked A.(*)

About 1 o'clock in the morning the enemy advanced, drove in Green's pickets, and attacked with infantry and artillery. After a sharp contest of an hour and a half, Green repulsed him, driving him back toward Bruinsburg. At sunrise the attack was renewed, and soon the action became general along our entire front. The enemy were gradually extending their lines and threatened completely to envelop us, but the regiments immediately in our front were so repeatedly driven back that their movement was materially delayed. Arriving on the field between 7 and 8 o'clock, and finding our left very much pressed, I called upon the Sixth Mississippi to charge a battery in front of them, to which they nobly responded, and were well seconded by the Twenty-third Alabama, on their right, but not by the Arkansas troops, to their left. We succeeded, however, in forcing them back some distance, and, leaving orders with Green to hold the position for an hour, I rode back and urged forward Baldwin's brigade, then arriving, to his support. I returned just in time to see the position lost, Green having been pressed gradually back. Ordering Baldwin to take a new line on the Rodney road, I sent Green to the right to reenforce Tracy, then severely pressed on the Bayou road. The three reserve regiments from Grand Gulf, with [Henry] Guibor's battery and Landis' section of 24-pounder howitzers, having arrived, one regiment (the Sixth Missouri, Colonel [Eugene] Erwin) was sent to the right to re-enforce Green and Tracy, Landis section placed in Baldwin's line (who had no artillery), and the remaining regiments (the Third and Fifth Missouri) moved to the left of the line.

Finding the enemy's right rapidly deploying and occupying a ridge that gave them easy access to the Natchez road, I determined to check their movement, and pushing forward with the Third and Fifth Missouri-detaching them some 300 yards from Baldwin's left--we charged their extreme right division, composed of one six-gun battery and twelve regiments of infantry. The first line (four regiments) was routed; the second wavered and gradually gave way; the third held its place, and forced us, after a protracted contest, to retire. This desperate move, carried out with a determination characteristic of the regiments making it, saved us from being flanked and captured, and gave us until sunset to prepare for our retreat. About 10 a.m., finding that no real attack was to be made on Bayou Pierre or Big Black, I sent for the First Missouri Infantry and First Missouri Cavalry, dismounted. The former regiment arrived in time to cover our retreat over Bayou Pierre and assist in destroying the bridges; the latter (7 miles distant) did not come up until night.

Ammunition was very scarce, especially in Tracy's brigade, whose ordnance train had not arrived. Nearly all my field artillery had been left at the points to be guarded around Grand Gulf, and my infantry line was much extended, as may be gleaned from the reports of brigade commanders, showing that companies were sent to re-enforce assailed points where regiments were required.

My returns show the following force engaged:


Part of Green's brigade, with Sixth Mississippi and section of Hudson Battery. 775

Tracy's brigade and [Joseph W.] Anderson's (Virginia) battery 1,516

Baldwin's brigade. 1,614

Part of Cockrell's brigade, with Guibor's and a section of Landis' battery 1,259

Total 5,164

We had thirteen pieces of light artillery. The enemy had landed 30,000 men, and according to their letter-writers nearly all were brought into action during the day. They had certainly five major-generals, including their commander, General Grant, present, showing that the above is no exaggeration of their numbers. My command held this large army in check from daylight until near sundown, often repulsing them, and three times charging and breaking their lines.

About half an hour before sundown the order to retire was given. Green was then slowly falling back on the right. Tracy's brigade moved next, followed by Cockrell, from the left, and Baldwin, who occupied the center, brought up the rear. Passing to the left of the town with the leading brigades, we crossed the bayou, and, having formed line of battle on the north side, destroyed the bridge. The enemy, pressing upon our rear, obtained possession of the road leading to the left of the town, and compelled Baldwin to cross through the town and over the forks of the bayou, destroying both bridges. Halting a few hours to rest his men, he took up his march, and, passing around, joined me the following day at Grand Gulf.

Hoping from my dispatches that Major-General [W.W.] Loring, with his whole division, would be up that night, I determined to hold the position on the Bayou Pierre, and if Loring could prevent the enemy from crossing the two forks of the bayou to the east, and thus secure my left flank, I felt confident of whipping them in front. Finding that only one small brigade of his was en route to join me, and that [A. W.] Reynolds' brigade, of [Carter L.] Stevenson's division, had not yet come up, I determined to abandon the position.

Major-General Loring and Brigadier-General [Lloyd] Tilghman arrived at my headquarters about 11 o'clock on the night of the 2d. I explained my position to them, and stated my determination to retreat, but told General Loring that the order had not yet been communicated to any one. He declined to assume the command of the troops, but concurred in my belief that I was compelled to abandon the post at Grand Gulf. I then ordered the evacuation, the time for each command to move being so fixed as to avoid any delay or confusion when the several commands from their respective positions should meet on the main road. After the order was issued, a dispatch from General Pemberton ordered the abandonment of the position, adding that I was to abandon my baggage, which I had determined to and did save. After the army was clear of the post, magazines destroyed, and the order of march fully arranged, General Loring assumed command, keeping me with him as a staff officer until we crossed the Big Black River, when I returned to the command of my division.

Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon the troops who shared the perils and hardships incident to this battle. By referring to the reports of General Baldwin and Colonel [I. W.] Garrott (commanding Tracy's brigade), it will be seen that these brave men marched over 100 miles, fought for twelve hours an army five times their number, and all in the space of five days.

General Green's handsome repulse of the enemy's advance guard the night before the battle is worthy of special commendation.

In addition to the gallant charge made by the Third and Fifth Missouri (Colonels [W. R.] Gause's and [James] McCown's regiments) on the left, I would call special attention to the cool, daring, and determined conduct of Col. Eugene Erwin and the brave officers and men under him, of the Sixth Missouri. To fully understand the merit of this officer and his regiment, I refer to his report, herewith inclosed, and fully substantiated by the reports of General Green and Colonel Gar-rott. The remaining regiments of this brigade, viz, the First (Colonel [A. C.] Riley) and Second (Lieutenant-Colonel [Pembroke S.]Senteny commanding), were conspicuous during the defense made at the Bayou Pierre Bridge, and as a portion of the rear guard which was so ably handled by Colonel Cockrell on our retreat from Grand Gulf to Hankinson's Ferry.

That portion of the artillery engaged, viz, [J. W] Anderson's (Virginia) battery, one section of the Hudson, and one section of Landis' battery, commanded, respectively, by Captain [J. W.] Johnston, Lieutenant [John R.] Sweaney, and Captain Landis, conducted themselves in the most commendable manner. The officers and men of the Anderson and Hudson Batteries stood to their pieces under the most withering fire, and fought until ammunition was exhausted and so many horses killed that one [officer] (Lieutenant Sweaney) had to leave his caissons, and the other (Captain Johnston) four of his pieces, which the men strove hard to drag off the field by hand.

Thanks are due to the officers of my staff, who displayed their usual zeal and courage on such occasions.

Our loss, it will be seen by the returns heretofore forwarded, is: Killed, 68; wounded, 380; missing, 384. That of the enemy is estimated in their published accounts at about 2,000 in killed and wounded, some placing it as high as 2,500.

Among our gallant dead is numbered Brigadier-General Tracy, who fell early in the fight, but after giving signal proof of his ability as an officer and bravery as a man.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.


Asst. Adjt. Gen., Dept. of Mississippi and East Louisiana.

[Indorsement. ]

RICHMOND, March 6, 1865.

These papers, to wit: Reports of Major-General Bowen, Brig. Gen. M. E. Green, Brig. Gen. W. E. Baldwin, Col. F. M. Cockrell, Col. E. Erwin, and Col. I. W. Garrott, have only been found by me within the last three days among some old court-martial papers. I had never seen them before, but was informed at Demopolis, Ala., in August, 1863, that they had been sent in to my headquarters during the siege of Vicksburg. Captain [R. R.] Hutchinson, then (formerly assistant adjutant-general to Bowen) on duty with me, had a search made for them, but ineffectually. They are now respectfully forwarded to Adjutant and Inspector General's Office for file, with my official report of Operations in Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana.


Lieutenant-General, &c.


Return of Casualties in the Confederate forces (Brig. Gen. John S. Bowen commanding) at the battle of Port Gibson, May 1, 1863.

[Compiled from brigade reports.]






Bowen's division


First Brigade (Cockrell's)





Second Brigade (Green's)





Smith's division


First Brigade (Baldwin's)





Stevenson's division


Second Brigade (Tracy's)










Total according to Bowen's report.





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