The Thirty-Eighth Alabama Infantry Regiment
The Thirty-eighth regiment was organized at Mobile in May, 1862, and remained there until February, 1863. Its first brigade commander was General Slaughter: then General Cumming. Transferred to Bragg's army, it was under General Clayton until his promotion; then under General Holtzclaw from July, 1864, until its surrender at Meridian. At Hoover's Gap, June 24, 1863, it went into its first real battle, coming out almost unscathed; but at Chickamauga, September 19th and 20th, its loss was very great. At Missionary Ridge, November 25th, a large number, after fierce fighting, were captured.
The winter of 1863-64 was passed at Dalton, and with the spring of 1864 came the regiment's hardest work, in the Atlanta campaign. At Rocky Face mountain, May 7th to 10th; at Resaca, May 14th and 15th; New Hope church, May 25th, and at Atlanta, July 20th to 28th, its losses were severe, both in killed and wounded, and by capture. In Holtzclaw's brigade, it went with Hood into Tennessee and protected the rear of the army in the retreat. Transferred with the brigade to Mobile, it was in the defense of Spanish Fort, where it suffered its greatest privations. It held its original organization until the end, and surrendered its remnant of 80 men at Meridian. Adjt. Alfred R. Murray was wounded; Capts. W. R. Welsh, John B. Perkins and Charles E. Bussey were killed at Chickamauga; Capts. W. H. Wright, wounded and captured; John A. Jackson, captured at Missionary Ridge. Captain Jackson died in prison. Capt. Ben Lane Posey was captured at Chickamauga, and wounded at Kenesaw.
The field officers were Cols. Charles T. Ketchum, and A. R. Lankford, captured at Resaca; and Majs. O. S. Jewett, killed at Chickamauga, and W. J. Hearin, captured at Missionary Ridge.
Extracts From Official War Records
Vol. XV--(850) Army of Mobile, Gen. J. E. Slaughter; district of the Gulf, General Forney, October 31, 1862. (1069) Second brigade, General Cumming, Western division, department of the Gulf, General Buckner commanding.
Vol. XVII, Part 2--(310) Federal report: "Thirty-eighth Alabama regiment was sent to Mobile, by Pemberton, on October 21, 1862."
Vol. XXIII, Part 2--(943, 960) In Clayton's brigade, Stewart's division, General Bragg, July and August, 1863.
No. 42--(130) General Maury, August 1, 1863, says: "Regiment had been detached from garrison of Mobile and sent to General Bragg."
No. 51--(16) Assignment as above, at battle of Chickamauga. (367) Return of casualties, September 18 to 20, 1863, 37 killed, 143 wounded. (369) List of those who distinguished themselves in battle of Chickamauga: Sergt.-Maj. J. R. Larkin; Sergt. J. W. George, Company H; Private J. P. Seabrook, Company I; Private Calloway Johnson, Company E. (389, 400-403) Mentioned in reports of Col. Bush Jones and Gen. Henry D. Clayton. (404) Carried into battle, on the 19th, 461 guns, 29 officers; on the 20th, 314 guns, 17 officers; report of Colonel Ketchum, commanding brigade. (409-411) Col. A. R. Lankford's report says: "The non-com-missioned officers and men of my command exhibited the courage and gallantry which characterize all Southern soldiers, particularly Alabamians. He also commends the coolness and bravery of Color-bearer Joel Bell, Company E, who carried the colors of the regiment ahead of all others. (534) Roll of honor, battle of Chickamauga: Private T. C. Ezell,(*) Company A; Corp. James M. Moore, Company B; Corp. J. E. Platt, Company C; Private A. McAlpin,(*) Company C; Sergt. W. W. Buford,(*) Company D; Corp. Joel W. Bell, Company E; Private A. D. Sims, Company F; Sergt. W. W. Holly,(*) Company G; Private Patrick Dayton,(*) Company H; Sergt. G. F. Williamson,(*) Company I; Private Francis H. Wilson,(*) Company K; Sergt. John L. Mayse, Company K.
No. 56--(887) Total present, 272, December 14, 1863. In Clayton's brigade, Stewart's division, Breckinridge's corps, army of Tennessee, Johnston commanding, December 31, 1863.
No. 57--(479) Return of casualties at Rocky Face Mountain (February 24 and 25, 1864), 2 killed and 18 wounded.
No. 74--(641, et seq.) Assignment as above, Hood's corps, Atlanta campaign. June 30, 1864, Capt. Daniel Lee commanding regiment; Holtzclaw commanding brigade (Clayton's division), July 10th; Capt. Ben Lane Posey commanding regiment, August 31st. (832, 834) General Clayton's report (including Rocky Face mountain, Resaca and New Hope church) says: "After having two color-bearers killed, Colonel Lankford was last seen with his colors in his hand." He particularly mentions Joseph Plant, who was killed, and Lieut. L. F. Irwin, who was severely wounded. Report of casualties gives 2 killed, 15 wounded. (836-838) Mentioned in Colonel Wemyss' report. (838-840) Report of Capt. George W. Welch, in command of regiment: Loss at Rocky Face, May 8th, 2 killed, 15 wounded; at Resaca, May 15th, 7 killed, 53 wounded. Colonel Lankford was captured at New Hope church the 25th; 27th, loss was 3 killed, so wounded.
No. 79--(897) Total present, 236, November 7, 1864; Maj. H. I. Thornton commanding regiment.
No. 93--(665, 704) In Holtzclaw's brigade, Clayton's division, December 10, 1864; Capt. Charles E. Bussey commanding regiment.
No. 103--(1046) Holtzclaw's brigade, district of the Gulf, General Maury, March 10, 1865; Capt. Charles E. Bussey commanding regiment.
(*)Killed in action.
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