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The Forty-Third Alabama Infantry Regiment

        The Forty-third was organized at Mobile in May, 1862, and went without delay directly to Chattanooga, where it was brigaded under General Leadbetter. Its colonel, Archibald Gracie, Jr., soon displayed his ability and was afforded opportunity to early earn his promotion. First, as its colonel, and throughout the war from the fall of 1863 as its brigadier, he was never separated from the command. The regiment went into Kentucky with Kirby Smith, and returned, but did very little fighting. It spent the winter of 1862-63 at Cumberland gap. At the battle of Chickamauga (September 19th and 20th), it fought most valiantly, and its loss was very heavy. Colonel Jolly was seriously, and for a long time supposed to be mortally, wounded; both General Preston and General Gracie were enthusiastic in their commendation of the men and officers of this regiment, and the War Records preserve the names of many of the gallant soldiers.
        It took part in the investment of Knoxville, November 17th to December 4th; was at Bean's Station, December 14, 1863, and wintered in East Tennessee.
        About this time the brigade was reorganized, and comprised henceforward the Forty-first, Forty-third, Fifty-ninth (a consolidation of Hilliard's Second and Fourth battalions), Sixtieth (a consolidation of Hilliard's First and Third battalions), and the Twenty-third (Stall-worth's) battalion of sharpshooters. In May the brigade was sent to Virginia to General Beauregard, to oppose the Federal attempts on the outposts of Richmond. It was hotly engaged at Drewry's bluff, May 12th to 16th; was almost continually in the trenches at Petersburg from June, 1865, till the end; and was fighting gallantly at Appomattox when the flag of truce called the halt which was eternal. It surrendered about 50 men.
        Adjt. John R. Shelton was killed near Richmond; Adjt. John L. Stephens was wounded, and Capt. O. W. Pritchett killed, at Drewry's bluff: Capts. James A. Gordon, killed at Chickamauga; O. H. Prince, P. Gordon and Lieut. William H. Watkins, at Chattanooga; Capts. T. M. Hughes and J. A. Sylvester, at Petersburg.
        The field officers were Cols. Archibald Gracie, Jr., and Y. M. Moody; Lieut.-Col. John J. Jolly, severely wounded at Chickamauga, and Majs. R. D. Hart, Y. M. Barber and William J. Mims.

Extracts From Official War Records

    Vol. XVI, Part 2--(719) First brigade, General Leadbetter, Heth's division. (750) Department of East Tennessee, July 3, 1862. Colonel Gracie sent from Clinton with two regiments to clean out a force of the enemy at Huntsville, Tenn., August 10th. (985) Gracie's brigade, Heth's division, troops under command of Gen. E. Kirby Smith, October; Col. Y. M. Moody commanding regiment.
    Vol. XX, Part 2--Assignment as above, to December, I862, Cumberland Gap.
    Vol. XXII, Part 2--(127) General Gilmore (Union) says March 9, 1863, that there are 600 men under Colonel Gracie at Cumberland Gap. (644, 711, 792) Assignment as above, April 25th; Col. J. J. Jolly commanding regiment. (805-947) At Bean's Station, April 30th. To move to Morristown, May 7th. Ordered to march from Cumberland Gap and fall back, if necessary, on Knoxville, June 17th; Col. Y. M. Moody commanding regiment, July 31st. Regiment ordered to remain at Knoxville until relieved, August 3d.
        No. 51--(418) General Preston's report of battle of Chickamauga, September 19th and 20th, specially notices Col. Y. M. Moody. (420-422) General Gracie's report of same battle speaks in high terms of commendation of Colonel Moody and of Lieut.-Col. J. J. Jolly, who, though seriously wounded in thigh, remained on field until obliged to be carried off. Also mentions some of the noble dead. (422-424) Colonel Moody's report says: "Almost in the beginning of the engagement (20th) Lieutenant-Colonel Jolly and six company commanders were killed, or so severely wounded as to be compelled to quit the field. Captain Gordon, Company C, was killed, and Captain Prince, Company A, mortally wounded. They were among the best officers of the regiment, and fell encouraging their men and gallantly cheering them forward. Colonel Moody highly commends Acting Adjt. Lieut. John R. Shelton of Company C, and asks for his promotion to the captaincy of his company, made vacant by the death of Captain Gordon. I would mention the following enlisted men: Private W. C. Harris, Sergt. T. Cocke, Sergt. John B. Lanford, almost the foremost in regiment, with unflinching gallantry. There are vacancies in the second lieutenancies, and I apply for their promotion, Privates Peppenhorst, McCoy, Satterwhite, Sergeant Maxey, Sergeant Bruce and Private J. T. Elliott. Sergeant Stephenson and Private Hill also deserve notice, having done all that could be expected of the very best soldiers. My loss was, officers killed, 3; wounded, 7. Men killed, 13; wounded, 76." (534) Roll of honor, battle of Chickamauga: Private William R. Ethridge (killed), Company A; Private John A. Meness, Company B; Sergt. W. C. Johnson, Company D; Sergt. Newton Bruce, Company E; Sergt. E. N. Maxey, Company F; Private David Scott, Company G; Private Daniel F. Tubb, Company H; Private John Barnes, Company I; Private William W. Scales, Company K. Company C declined to make selection.
        No. 54--(452) Gracie's brigade, Buckner's division, Longstreet's corps, November 30, 1863. (534-537) Mentioned in Gen. Bushrod Johnson's report of operations, including affair at Bean's Station, December 14th.
        No. 68--(207) Gracie's brigade, Ransom's division, May 5, 1864; forces on Richmond and Petersburg lines; General Beauregard.
        No. 69--(862) Gracie's brigade, department of Richmond, May 31, 1864, Gen. Robert Ransom, Jr.; regiment commanded by Capt. William W. Harder.
        No. 88--(1166) Assignment as above, August, 1864; Lieut.-Col. John J. Jolly commanding regiment. (1227) Gracie's brigade, Johnson's division, September 1, 1854, department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia, commanded by General Beauregard. (1311) Gracie's brigade, September, Gen. Bushrod Johnson's command.
        No. 95--(268) Mentioned by Gen. J. Chamberlain (Union) as being an attacking party near Hatcher's Run, March 25, 1865. (1274) Moody's brigade, Anderson's corps, Lee's army, April, 1865; Maj. Wm. J. Mims in command.

This Page last updated 06/08/03


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