The Tenth Alabama Infantry Regiment
The Tenth Alabama infantry was organized at Montgomery, in May, 1861. Throughout its whole career this regiment was singularly distinguished for its dash and courage, and the great losses that it sustained in every battle. It fought at Dranesville, December 20, 1861; at the siege of Yorktown, April 5 to May 3, 1862; Williamsburg, May 5th; Seven Pines, May 31st to June 1st; Gaines' Mill, June 27th and 28th; at Frayser's Farm, June 30th, and Second Manassas, August 30th. It was engaged in the capture of Harper's Ferry, September 12th to 15th; at Sharpsburg, September 17th; at Hazel River, August 22d. It lost very heavily at Fredericksburg, December 13th; as it did at Salem, May 3, 1863; at Gettysburg, July 1st to 3d, and at Cold Harbor, June 1 to 12, 1864. Among its distinguished officers were Col. John H. Forney, afterward a major-general, and William H. Forney, afterward a brigadier-general and for many years in the United States Congress, both of whom were severely wounded. Col. John J. Woodward, Capts. William Lee, Robert W. Cowen and James D. Cunningham were killed at Gaines' Mill; Col. James E. Shelley, Capts. George P. Brown and Henry D. Coleman at Petersburg, and Capt. Walter Cook at Salem; Capt. George Whaley at Sharpsburg, and Capt. Richard C. Reagan at Spottsylvania; Capt. Pickens W. Black, at Cold Harbor; Lieut.-Col. James B. Martin at Dranesville, and Lieut. M. J. T. Harper at Chancellorsville. Among the other field officers were Col. John H. Caldwell, Lieut.-Col. William T. Smith and Majs. James D. Truss, Lewis W. Johnston and Paul Bradford. Lieut.-Col. Arthur S. Cunningham, of the regular Confederate army, was in temporary command of the regiment in 1863.
Extracts From Official War Records
Vol. II--(974) Jefferson Davis in letter July 10, 1861, to Gen. Jos. E. Johnston, mentions Colonel Forney's regiment.
Vol. V--(475) General McCall (Union) says: "Tenth regiment, Forney, 900 strong at Dranesville." (480) Mentioned by General Ord (Union). (490-493) Gen. J. E. B. Stuart in his report of the battle of Dranesville, December 20, 1861, says: "The Tenth Alabama rushed with a shout, in a shower of bullets, under the gallant lead of Colonel Forney and Lieutenant-Colonel Martin, the latter falling in the charge. A part of this regiment took position along a fence from which the enemy felt the trueness of their aim at short range. The colonel was here severely wounded and the command devolved on Major Woodward .... I cannot speak in too high terms of Colonel Forney, that gallant son of Alabama whose conspicuous bravery, leading his men in a galling fire, was the admiration of all; nor of his Lieutenant-Colonel Martin, who, with the battlecry of 'Forward!' on his lips, fell, bravely encouraging his men. Nor can I do more than simple justice to the officers and men of that regiment who seemed determined to follow their colonel wherever he would lead." (494) General Stuart reports 15 killed and 45 wounded at Dranesville. (1029) In Wilcox's brigade, Potomac district, General Beauregard commanding, January 14, 1862.
Vol. IX--(379) General McClellan informs General Burnside, April 16, 1862, that this regiment with others is going to North Carolina.
Vol. XI, Part I--(589-593) Under Col. J. J. Woodward at Williamsburg, May 5, 1862. Highly commended by General Wilcox in his report. He says: "The Tenth Alabama pressed on vigorously. Its major, W. H. Forney, was stricken down with a painful wound while leading the regiment, displaying both coolness and skill." Colonel Woodward, Major Forney and Lieutenant Shelley specially noticed. (594, 595) Highly commended in the report of Col. Sam Henry, Ninth Alabama. (596, 597) Colonel Woodward's report of same battle. (986, 987) Mentioned in General Wilcox's report of the battle of Seven Pines.
Vol. XI, Part 2--(425) Report of Col. James Kirk (Union) of battle of Frayser's Farm says: "Tenth Alabama was almost totally annihilated." (486) Wilcox's brigade, Longstreet's division, engagements around Richmond. (503) Medical director reports 38 killed, 198 wounded, in the fights before Richmond, June 26th to July 1, 1862. (771-775) General Wilcox's report of Gaines' Mill mentions "Colonel Woodward shot through the head while leading his regiment, closely and heroically confronting the enemy in his stronghold." After the fall of Colonel Woodward, the command devolved upon Maj. J. H. Caldwell; Capt. W. M. Lee mortally wounded. Lieut. J. E. Shelley, adjutant, severely wounded. (777-779) General Wilcox's report of Frayser's Farm says: "Major Caldwell wounded by a piece of shell striking him over the eye." Commends Surgeon Taylor. (985) Lieut. James D. Cunningham killed June 30th.
Vol. XI, Part 3--(114) Near Yorktown, Va., April 20, 1862. (481) In General Wilcox's brigade at Williamsburg, 550 strong. (532) Wilcox's brigade, Smith's division, Johnston's army, near Richmond, May 21st (649) General Longstreet's division, July 23d.
Vol. XII, Part 2--(547) Assignment as above, August 28th to September 1st.
Vol. XIX, Part I--(804) Assignment as above, Maryland campaign. (812) Medical director reports 10 killed and 53 wounded, Maryland campaign.
Vol. XXI--(539, 1070) First corps, army of Northern Virginia, Colonel Forney in command of regiment, December, 1862.
No. 39--(806) Medical director reports 12 killed and 61 wounded at battle of Chancellorsville, May 1-5, 1863. (854) Another return, 17 killed and 55 wounded. (856-860) Mentioned by General Wilcox in report of Chancellorsville campaign: "Lieut. L. J. T. Harper fell fighting with the heroism of a veteran soldier." Notices particularly Col. Wm. H. Forney.
No. 44--(288) Wilcox's brigade, Third corps, army of Northern Virginia, Gettysburg campaign. Commanders, Colonel Forney and Lieut.-Col. Jas. E. Shelley. (332, 343) Casualties, 13 killed, 91 wounded, at battle of Gettysburg, July 1st, 2d and 3d. (613) Referred to in report of General Anderson (Union). (617-621) General Wilcox's report, action July 2d: "In this affair, so creditable to the Tenth Alabama and its gallant colonel (Forney), this regiment lost 10 killed and 28 wounded." Among those acting with great gallantry, Lieutenant-Colonel Shelley is mentioned.
No. 48--(400, 412, 819) Assignment as above. Casualties, 2 wounded, October 10 to 21, 1863.
No. 49--(685, 900) Assignment as above, to December 31, 1863.
No. 60--(1152) Mentioned by General Lee as having re-enlisted, February 10, 1864.
No. 67--(1025) Perrin's brigade, Third corps, Lee's army of Northern Virginia, May, 1864.
No. 88--(1217) Sanders' brigade, Lee's army, August 31, 1864.
No. 89--(1190) Sanders' brigade, Mahone's division, Capt. Wilson L. Brewster in command of regiment, October 31, 1864. (1239) General Forney commanding brigade, Capt. Caleb W. Brewton in command of regiment, November 30. (1367) Capt. John F. Smith in command of regiment, December 31st.
No. 95--(1273) Assignment as above, Maj. Lewis W. Johnson in command of regiment about April, 1865. No. 96--(1174) Colonel Forney in command of regiment, January 31, 1865. (1272) Forney's brigade, Lee's army, Lieut.-Col. Wm. F. Smith in command of regiment.
This Page last updated 06/04/03
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