FORTIETH (40th) MISSISSIPPI INFANTRY REGIMENT

FIELD AND STAFF MUSTER ROLL AND ENGAGEMENTS

Regiment organized at Meridian, Mississippi, May 14, 1862, by election of field officers, Colbert, J. A. P. Campbell and McDonald.

Colonel Colbert petitioned Major General Sterling Price on July 30, 1862 requesting the Fortieth be placed in a brigade being formed in his division. The Fortieth was assigned to Herbert's Brigade in General Prices' army. General Prices' army was occupying Eastern Mississippi after Bragg's Army had moved to Chattanooga.

Regiment at Camp Rogers, Mississippi, September and October 1862. Engaged in Battle of Iuka, September 14, Battle of Corinth, October 4, and Battle of Hatchie Bridge, October 5.

At the Battle of Iuka, September 19, 1862, Herbert's brigade was attached to General Little's division. The brigade was in strategic reserve. Herbert's troops were camped north of town, near the cemetery.

General Price had two infantry divisions deployed in line of battle several miles west of Iuka across Burnsville Road. About 2:30 p.m. an excited scout galloped up to Prices' command post on Burnsville Road. The horseman informed Price that a strong force of Federals were approaching Iuka from the southwest via the Bay Springs Road. Price told Little to rush Herbert's combat--ready brigade to the point of danger.

Herbert's brigade proceeded out the Bay Springs Road to check the strong Federal column which was reported advancing rapidly along that road. Two batteries accompanied Herbert's brigade.

About one mile southwest of town, Herbert's Vanguard caught sight of confederate cavalry which was falling back in face of Rosencran's powerful advance. A little further along the road, Herbert's brigade at 5:00 p.m. encountered the head of Rosencran's column of two divisions and the battle was on.

General Little was killed in the action at Iuka. After the Battle of Iuka, Herbert, being next ranking officer, took command of Little's division and Colonel Colbert took command of the Herbert's brigade, which bore the brunt of the battle. Lieutenant Colonel J. A. P. Campbell commanded the regiment.

The fight was mainly for possession of The Eleventh Ohio battery. The Fortieth drove the Federal line back from these guns and formed a line on the right of the Third Texas with some of the guns behind them. Several pieces were drawn off by details of the regiment. The battle was over at dark (approximately 7:00 p.m.).

Colonel Colbert reported that the Fortieth had 314 officers and men engaged in Battle of Iuka. The casualties were 10 killed, 39 wounded and 21 missing. Among the killed was one captain, and among the dangerously wounded two lieutenants. This was the Fortieth first action of the war and "The officers and men generally behaved well" said Colbert, "Some with distinguished coolness and gallantry". Herbert's brigade had a strength of 1,744 men at Iuka.

Colonel Colbert commanded the brigade again in the Battle of Corinth October 3 - 5, 1862. The brigade was held in reserve on the 3rd. The brigade was resting from hard marching to get to Corinth from Iuka in a hurry and the fact that Herbert's brigade had fought the Battle of Iuka alone. On the 4th the brigade could only muster 110 men. The Fortieth, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell was seriously engaged on the 4th. The total casualties of the regiment were five killed, 46 wounded, and 16 missing. Major Enoch McDonald, Lieutenant W. A. Robertson, Assistant Adjutant and Lieutenant Davis were killed. Lieutenant Colonel Campbell, Captain McD Gibbons, and Lieutenant Kelly wounded.

When General Prices' troops were falling back from the desperate assault upon Corinth, October 4, the Federals made a flank attack with Hamilton's Division, and the flag of the Fortieth was taken by the Seventeenth Iowa.

Casualties in Battle of Hatchie Bridge, October 5, 1862, were two wounded.

The next campaign was the advance of General Grant from Holly Springs down Mississippi Central Railroad for Vicksburg in November and December, 1862. Van Dorn's raid on Holly Springs, along with General Forrest's Cavalry raid in West Tennessee, caused Grant to retreat. The Fortieth was listed in Moore's Brigade, Maury's Division of the Army on the Vicksburg line in January 1863. The regiment reported 217 effective present in February.

March 12, 1863, General Moore was ordered to Snyder's Bluff, North of Vicksburg, with the Thirty-fifth and Fortieth Regiments to take boats for Yazoo City. Moore's Brigade was on duty at Fort Pemberton near Greenwood until after April 4, when the Yazoo Pass expedition was withdrawn, and Maury returned to Vicksburg.

Maury's Division, which was commanded by General John H. Forney after April 17, had headquarters at Synders Bluff on the Yazoo. Colonel W. B. Colbert was in command of the Fortieth Regiment. The Fortieth was ordered included in Tilghmon's Mississippi Brigade just before the Vicksburg batteries were run, which interfered with the transfer.

Moore's Brigade guarded the river front at Warrenton when Grant landed at Bruinsburg. After the battle of Baker's Creek, the brigade was drawn in defense of Vicksburg and placed in trenches on each side of Baldwin's Ferry Road. On May 19th the Fortieth was sent to Graveyard Hill to aid Herbert's Brigade in the repulse of the heavy assault that day. Until the close of siege, forty-seven days, the regiment was confined to the trenches night and day, under fire of musketry and artillery, exposed to the scorching heat of day and chill of night. The men were so desperately exhausted that Colonel Colbert joined in the reply to General Pemberton, July 2 that it would be impracticable to attempt to escape through the Federal Lines. The brigade, which included three Alabama and one Texas regiment, two batteries and a pioneer company, had 121 killed and surrendered 4,368.

After the Vicksburg capitulation, July 4, 1863, the troops marched out and were furloughed to rendezvous at the parole and exchange camp at Enterprise, Mississippi. The Fortieth was declared exchanged September 11, 1863.

In November, 1863, the Fortieth was in a brigade taken by General Baldwin to reinforce General Bragg before Chattanooga. The brigade reached Atlanta about the time of the Battle of Missionary Ridge and was stationed for sometime after that near Resaca, Georgia. The brigade was returned to General Polk's Division on January 16, 1864 and sent to General Maury at Mobile. Maury sent them to Meridian to reinforce Polk on February 7, 1864 and Polk being on retreat to Demopolis sent them back to Mobile where they remained until re-transferred to Polk's department arriving Selma, Alabama April 13, 1864. May 10, the regiment was reported under command of General Withers, commanding the posts of Demopolis, Selma and Cababa.

With Leatherston's Brigade, the Fortieth arrived at Resaca, Georgia May 12, 1864 and they were under fire there until evacuation took part in the Cassville maneuvers and they were in the trenches during the hard
fighting on New Hope church line in May and about Kenesaw mountain in June, 1864.

July 20, 1864 at Peachtree Creek, Georgia, the Fortieth Regiment suffered heavy loss. Colonel George P. Wallace commanded the regiment and lost an arm. Major W. McD Gibbons was mortally wounded and left on the field with the dead, who were buried by Federal troops. This action was an assault upon Sherman's line just after he had crossed the Chattahooche River near Atlanta, the first of Hood's assaults. The regiment behaved nobly and drove the Federal line in its front from the temporary line of rail barricades, but in doing so, they crossed an open field in which the brigade was shot to pieces. Nothing remain but to retreat across the field, yielding toll of sacrifice at every step. Again, they lost heavily in the Battle of Ezra church, July 28, after which the remnant served in trenches until evacuation September 1, 1864. In return of September 20, Captain Charles A. Huddleston was commanding the regiment.

My great-grandfather, Private William Thomas McDaniel, was wounded in the July 20, 1864 Battle of Peachtree Creek and was listed in returns of July 24 as being sent to the hospital in Griffin, Georgia.

Hood turned back toward Nashville after evacuating Atlanta. In the October 1864 campaign on the Chattanooga and Atlanta Railroad, Leatherson's Brigade captured the Federal post of Big Shanty, was with Loring's Division in capture of Acworth and with Stewart's Corps in the destruction of the railroad between Dalton and Resaca, after which they moved through the mountains to Gadsden, Alabama, skirmished at Decatur, October 26 - 29 and moved thence to Tuscumbia.

Stewart's Corps crossed the Tennessee River, November 20 and marched against Schofield at Columbia, Tennessee. On the 29th they joined in the movement to the rear to cut off Schofield. The next day they attacked his lines at Franklin, Tennessee about 4:00 p.m. aided by Forrest's Cavalry and Cheatham's Corps. The first line carried but repeated assaults failed and heavy casualties were taken. Of the Fortieth 9 were killed, 15 wounded, 7 missing. Among the killed were Lieutenants Enoch H. Williams and J. G. Williams of C, Brister of D, Crowther of E. Among the wounded Colonel Colbert and Sergeant-Major Colbert, Lieutenants Johnson of B and Chambers of H.

From Franklin the Fortieth marched to Nashville and took their place in line of Loring's Division across the Granny White Pike which was carried by Thomas' Federal troops on December 15. In the Battle of the 16th, they held their position until the line broke on their left. Colonel Colbert was commanding the regiment. The return of December 21 showed an aggregate present of sixty-seven in the regiment.

At Columbia, December 20, the Fortieth was selected as one of the seven brigades for the infantry rear guard under General Walthall. They held Columbia while the army marched two days, and on December 25 - 26 they defeated the Federal pursuit at Anthony's Hill and Sugar Creek. December 28 they re-crossed the Tennessee River, and early in January reached the vicinity of Tupelo.

About the first of February, 1865, the remnants of Loring's Division began the movement to reinforce General Johnston in the Carolinas, Sherman having marched to Savannah from Atlanta. They were ordered forward from Augusta, Georgia to Newberry, South Carolina, February 25. In the Carolinas campaign, they participated in the Battles of Kinston, March 10 and Bentonville, March 19, and on the latter day making a gallant charge and suffering heavy losses.

Hostilities were suspended April 18 and the army surrendered near Durham Station, North Carolina, April 26, 1865.


Curtis Engene McDaniel
3263 Foxgate Drive
Memphis, Tennessee 38115
Researched: December 21, 1969
Typed: December 1987

 

copyright © 2001 by Everette Carr. All rights reserved.

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