38th Mississippi Infantry

(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.)

Company A — Holmes County Volunteers (raised in Holmes County, MS)

Company B — Van Dorn Guards (raised in Claiborne County, MS)

Company C — Hancock Rebels (raised in Hancock County, MS)

Company D — Wilkinson Guards (raised in Wilkinson County, MS)

Company E — White Rebels (raised in Lawrence County, MS)

Company F — Johnston Avengers (raised in Copiah County, MS)

Company G — Wolf Creek Marksmen (raised in Attala County, MS)

Company H — Price Relief (raised in Hinds, Madison, & Newton Counties, MS)

Company I — Columbia Guards (raised in Marion County, MS)

Company K — Brent Rifles (raised in Pike County, MS)

Mounted in 1864.

The companies for this regiment had their rendezvous at Jackson, and Colonel Fleming W. Adams was elected May 12, 1862, and later, on the 16th, the other field officers, Brent and Foxworth. The regiment was ordered to Corinth, then occupied by the army under General Beauregard, confronted by the army of General Halleck, and the regiment was there a few days before the evacuation, May 29, when they joined in the retreat toward Tupelo. The whole army suffered seriously from sickness during the occupation of Corinth, and this regiment, being new, lost many by death during May and June. The regiment was ordered to Columbus to recruit about July 1, and in August to Saltillo, where it was assigned to Col. John D. Martin’s Brigade of Gen. Henry Little’s Division, Gen. Sterling Price’s Army of tile West, which had been left in Northeast Mississippi when General Bragg moved the main army to Chattanooga. Martin’s Brigade included also the Thirty-sixth and Thirty-seventh Mississippi and Thirty-seventh Alabama. The Thirty-eighth, 332 strong, was on duty in the battle of Iuka, September 19, but not seriously engaged. “My command never fired a shot,” Col. F. W. Adams reported, “because I had been ordered so, but it was under a very heavy fire and acted; with but few exceptions, with coolness and courage.” Colonel Adams, being injured on the field, turned over the command to Lieut.-Col. Brent. Casualties, 4 killed, 4 wounded.

In the attack of the combined forces of Price and VanDorn upon Rosecrans at Corinth, October 3, 1862, Martin’s Brigade charged the outer works at an angle where they were exposed to an enfilading fire and many were killed, among them Colonel Martin. In the attack upon the inner batteries, next day, there was further loss. The brigade moved across the railroad and charged the works over obstructions under a heavy fire of artillery, and in danger of being flanked by the enemy. Among the wounded mentioned by General Price was Captain Keirn of the Thirty-eighth. The casualties of the regiment, including the three days’ fighting, were 4 killed, 31 wounded.

After Grant had advanced from Memphis on the line of the Central Railroad, in November and December, 1862, and had retreated, Hebert’s Brigade, including the Thirty-eighth, was sent to Vicksburg and stationed at Snyder’s Bluff, on the Yazoo River, north of the city. The regiment was reported in February, 1863, 264 present and absent. In the April return, Col. Preston Brent, commanding. General Forney succeeded Maury in command of division in April.

The regiment, with Hebert’s Brigade, moved from Snyder’s Bluff to Vicksburg on the night of May 17-18, and by eight in the morning of the 18th, was in position on the line of the brigade, covering the Jackson and Graveyard roads. After the assault of May 22 had been repulsed, the Thirty-eighth was moved, June 2, to a position along the Jackson road, between the Third and Twenty-first Louisiana, and on June 25th, the day of the mine explosion under the redan occupied by the Third Louisiana, the Sixth Missouri was put in between the Thirty-eighth and that Louisiana regiment. At this time the men were not only engaged in defending their line, but also in rebuilding and raising the works to meet the constant approach of the Union works. July 2 another and more serious mine explosion destroyed the main redan near the Jackson road. July 4 the brigade stacked arms in front of the works they had so gallantly defended, and marched to the rear to bivouac camp where they were paroled. The Thirty-eighth had 35 killed, including Captains L. M. Graves and W. A. Selph and Lieut. H. Lanehart, and 39 wounded, during the forty-seven days defense of their line. Capt. D. B. Seal was paroled as commanding officer.

The Vicksburg troops were furloughed to reassemble at the parole camp at Enterprise, where they remained until declared exchanged in December. In January, 1864, the regiment was mounted, by order of General Polk, then commanding the department, and the remainder of the service of the command was as mounted infantry. The Fourteenth Confederate Regiment was consolidated with it, and later the Third Mississippi Cavalry.

Following are some mentions of the command in the early part of 1864:

Company D, Capt. James H. Jones, was posted at Woodville, seventy-two present and absent, February, 1864. Maj. R. C. McCay was ordered March 24, with his detachment of the regiment, to operate east of Pearl River, collecting stragglers and deserters; Captain Estelle, commanding detachment, to report to McCay at Jackson. April 3, “The Thirty-eighth Mississippi, Major McCay, mounted, now below Jackson, ordered to report to Ross for duty.” Company D, Thirty-eighth, Capt. James H. Jones, in Scott’s brigade, June 1. Thirty-eighth Mississippi Regiment in Mabry’s Brigade, June 10, 1864. June 30, Thirty-eighth Mississippi (mounted infantry), Col. Preston Brent, and so listed to October, Mabry’s Brigade, Wirt Adams’ Cavalry.

The Thirty-eighth, with the Fourth, Sixth, and Fourteenth (Confederate) Cavalry, formed the brigade of Colonel Mabry, in the Tupelo campaign of July, 1864. The regiment moved from Saltillo, July 9, to Ellistown, Major R. C. McCay commanding, was held in reserve during the skirmishing near Pontotoc on the 12th; on the 13th took part in the skirmishing with the Federal rear guard as Gen. A. J. Smith’s command moved toward Tupelo, until 2 o’clock in the morning of the 14th. At Harrisburg Smith faced about and went into a strong line of battle on a ridge across the road. Lieut.-Gen. S. D. Lee and Maj. .-Gen. Forrest were both with the Confederate troops and an assault was ordered, in which Mabry’s Brigade was distinguished on the left flank, moving forward under a heavy fire of artillery and small arms, but the whole Confederate attack was repulsed with great loss. All the regimental officers of the brigade and nearly all the company officers of three regiments were killed or wounded. The casualties of the Thirty-eighth were the heaviest of the brigade.

In this battle of Harrisburg, July 14, 1864, Major R. C. McCay, commanding the regiment, was killed, and Adjutant W. L. Ware mortally wounded. Company A — Capt. J. S. Hoskins commanding: Hoskins lost a leg, Corporal James Aldridge killed, 6 wounded. Company B — Capt. W. L. Faulk commanding: 3 killed, 3 wounded, including the Captain. Company D — Capt. J. H. Jones commanding: 2 killed, 11 wounded, including the Captain, 2 missing. Company E — Capt. J. A. Bass commanding: 4 wounded, including the Captain and Lieut. W, D. Carmichael and Sergeant J. W. Odum. Company F — Capt. J. J. Green commanding: 5 wounded, including Sergt. J. M. Dillard, mortally. Company G — Lieut. T. J. Wade commanding: 5 killed, including Wade, 2 wounded. Company H — Lieut. M. H. Curry commanding: 5 wounded, including Curry, 1 missing. Company I — Lieut. William Ball commanding: 4 killed, 6 wounded, including Ball. Company K — Capt. J. C. Williams commanding: 2 killed, including Lieut. Jesse W. Ball; 7 wounded, including the Captain. Total killed and mortally wounded, 20; wounded, 51; missing, 3.

The regiment took part in the action at Concord Church, December 1, 1864, between Mabry’s Brigade, under Colonel Griffith, and Osband’s expedition, returning from an attempt to destroy the railroad bridge near Canton.

Griffith’s command encountered Grierson’s raiders moving to Vicksburg, after destroying the Mobile & Ohio Railroad, at Franklin, January 2, 1865, where General Adams had a loss of 7 killed, 15 wounded

Mabry’s Brigade was broken up by order of General Chalmers, February 18, 1865, and the Thirty-eighth, Colonel Brent commanding, was assigned to Gen. Wirt Adams’ Brigade, at Jackson.

In the last campaign in Alabama, during Wilson’s raid, the regiment was engaged at Sipsey bridge. At the time of the capitulation by Gen. Richard Taylor, commanding the department, the regiment was at Brewersville, Ala.

1 thought on “38th Mississippi Infantry”

  1. My Great Great Grandfather was a member of Company A. 38th Mississippi Infantry, William Wallace Taylor from Holmes County.

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