The Forty-Second Alabama Infantry
The Forty-second Alabama, organized at Columbus, Miss., in May, 1862, was principally a reorganization of other regiments whose one year's service was completed. Lieutenant-Colonel Lanier, Maj. W. C. Fergus and Capt. George W. Foster were all from the Second Alabama, so that the regiment was immediately effective for the hard work before it. In September it was with the Thirty-seventh Alabama and Seventh Mississippi regiments in Maury's division of the army of the West. The next month it went into the siege of Corinth with 700 men, losing, killed and wounded, 348; of these, 11 were officers. The winter of 1862-63 was spent in Mississippi and the brigade was reorganized. It formed part of the garrison at Vicksburg, where it lost heavily and was captured. From the parole camp at Demopolis, it went to join the army of Tennessee, and served in the battle of Lookout Mountain, November 24, 1863, and at Missionary Ridge, November 25th, where it fought with its usual gallantry. Wintering around Dalton, it took part in the defense of that place, February 28, 1864, and in the campaign from there to Atlanta. March 19th, Gen. Alpheus Baker took command of the brigade, which now consisted of the Thirty-seventh, Fortieth, Forty-second and Fifty-fourth Alabama. It fought at Resaca, May 14th and 15th; at New Hope church, May 25th; at Atlanta, July 25th to 28th. The losses on the 28th were very heavy. It was sent to Spanish Fort in August, where it formed a part of the garrison until January, when it was returned to the army of Tennessee. Its subsequent history is identical with that of the rest of the brigade. After April 1st, it was consolidated with the Thirty-seventh and Fifty-fourth, Capt. William D. McNeill, lieutenant-colonel, and surrendered with the army of Tennessee. Capts. George W. Foster and Allen B. Knox were killed, and Capt. John W. Haley mortally wounded, at Corinth. Capt. Robert Best died in the service. Capt. Robert K. Wills was killed at Atlanta, and Lieut. Capers W. Bodie at Vicksburg.
The field officers were Col. John W. Portis, who was wounded at Corinth; Col. T. C. Lanier, wounded at Corinth and at New Hope, and Maj. W. C. Fergus. Capt. W. D. McNeill was made lieutenant-colonel after consolidation.
Extracts From Official War Records
Vol. XVII, Part I--(375) Moore's brigade, Maury's division, army of Tennessee, General Van Dorn, October, 1862. (383) Casualties, battle of Corinth, October 3d to 5th, 11 officers wounded. (397-400) Report of Gen. John C. Moore of engagements at Corinth and at Hatchie bridge, October 5th, mentions Forty-second Alabama, Col. John W. Portis, belonging to brigade. Regiment "subjected to heavy fire on the 3d, though their loss in killed and wounded was but 8 or 10, including 1 officer. Corp. J. A. Goring, color-bearer of the Forty-second, deserves particular notice. Though shot down once, he gallantly bore the flag through the fight on the 4th."
No. 37--(327) Moore's brigade, army of Vicksburg, General Pemberton. (329) Lieut. Capers W. Bodie killed during the siege of Vicksburg. (362) Mentioned by General Forney, May 24, 1863. (369) Casualties, 8 killed and 19 wounded, May 17 to July 4, 1863, siege of Vicksburg. (381-383) Highly commended in General Moore's report of siege. (383) Lieut.-Col. Thomas C. Lanier coincides with other regimental leaders that the men are not able to make a successful evacuation. (385) Mentioned in Col. Ashbel Smith's report as "a gallant regiment."
No. 38--(721) Mentioned by Col. C. A. Fuller, April 7, 1863: "At Yazoo City a Columbiad is manned by 2 officers and 20 men of the Forty-second Alabama, who have had considerable experience at Fort Morgan." (1060) In Moore's brigade, Forney's division, parole camp, August 29, 1863.
No. 55--(266) Mentioned in report of taking of Missionary Ridge, by Colonel Nodine (Union), November 27, 1863. (691) Return of casualties at Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, November 24th and 25th, 2 killed, 7 wounded. (704-706) Report of General Moore of same battles; Lieutenant-Colonel Lanier commanding regiment.
No. 56--(803, 822, 884) Moore's brigade, Cheatham's division, army of Tennessee; Lieut.-Col. Thomas C. Lanier commanding regiment. Total present, 311, December 14, 1863.
No. 57--(481) Mentioned in Colonel Higley's report of operations, February 23 to 27, 1864, at Dalton.
No. 74--(664) Assignment as above, July, 1864; Capt. W. B. Kendrick commanding regiment. (672) Assignment as above, August, 1864; Capt. William D. McNeill. (851,852) Report of Capt. W. D. McNeill of operations, May 7 to 13, 1864, says: "Sergeant Richey saved the colors of a Georgia regiment. We went into battle with 300 on the 15th (Resaca); 5 officers and 32 men wounded, 2 killed. Rev. J.P. McMillan, a missionary for the brigade, was killed. T.C. Mitchell and Capt. G. H. Gray were severely wounded. Total loss of regiment, 59."
No. 98--(1064) Consolidated with the Thirty-seventh and Fifty-fourth Alabama, after April 9, 1865. (For other extracts, see those in connection with the Thirty-seventh Alabama, brigade organization remaining the same.)
No. 100--(734) Same assignment, March 31, 1865; Capt. William D. McNeill commanding regiment.
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