The Fiftieth Alabama Infantry Regiment
The Fiftieth Alabama regiment was organized at Corinth in 1862, from two battalions recently enlisted. Placed in Gladden's brigade it fought at Shiloh, April 6 and 7, 1862, with a loss of 123 killed and wounded, out of 700 men engaged. It was called at first the Twenty-sixth, but as there was already a regiment by that name, it was, after July, 1863, known as the Fiftieth. It was in the battle of Bridge Creek, May 28, 1862, with a loss of killed. In June, 1862, the regiment was placed in General Gardner's brigade, with the Nineteenth, Twenty-second and Thirty-ninth; moved into Kentucky and lost about 20 men in a fight with General Sills' division. Transferred to Deas' brigade, it fought with conspicuous gallantry at Murfreesboro, winning the commendation of its division commander, General Withers, and losing 80 men in killed and wounded. It spent the remainder of the winter at Tullahoma; was for a time consolidated with the Thirty-ninth, under command of Col. H. D. Clayton, and in July it was numbered the Fiftieth, and was alternately commanded by Col. J. G. Coltart and Lieut.-Col. N. N. Clements. At Chickamauga it lost 100 men, out of 500 engaged, and it also lost heavily at Missionary Ridge. It wintered at Dalton, and did arduous duty on the retreat to Atlanta, being engaged nearly every day, and losing heavily in the bloody battles around Atlanta during the last week of July, 1864.
The regiment moved into Tennessee with Hood, and was badly mutilated at Franklin. It then proceeded to the Carolinas and distinguished itself at Kinston, where a line of skirmishers, 40 strong, under Capt. E. B. Vaughan, captured a stand of colors and 300 men of the Fifteenth Connecticut. After April 9th it was consolidated with the Twenty-second, Twenty-fifth and Thirty-ninth, under Col. Harry T. Toulmin, and it was surrendered at Greensboro, N. C.
Col. John G. Coltart, who first led the regiment, was wounded at Shiloh and Atlanta. He was frequently in command of a brigade, and about the time of the surrender was in command of Hill's division. Lieut.-Col. N. N. Clements was promoted from the line, and was frequently in command of the regiment. Capt. J. C. Hutto was promoted to major. Major Gwin was wounded at Shiloh. Adjt. John C. Bruckner and Capt. George Arnold were killed at Atlanta.
The "Limestone Rebels," who were mustered into service at Huntsville, September 17, 1861, formed Company E of this regiment, Capt. Jim Malone, Lieuts. Dr. N. D. Richardson, William Richardson and John B. McClelland, and Orderly-Sergt. George W. McKinney.
Extracts From Official War Records
Vol. X, Part I--(383) Gladden's brigade, Withers' division, at Shiloh. (538) Mentioned in Col. Z. C. Deas' report of battle of Shiloh, April 6 and 7, 1862. (544-547) Lieut.-Col. William D. Chadick says: "The Twenty-sixth was hotly engaged, contributing a full share to the driving back of the enemy. When the charge was made upon the lines and into the camp of the enemy, the Twenty-sixth was among the first to penetrate them." Colonel Chadick commends the officers and men, and states that Col. John Coltart and Maj. John S. Garvin were wounded. (551) General Chalmers' report speaks of the forward movement of the Twenty-sixth regiment upon the enemy. (788) Gardner's brigade, June 30, 1862; reserve corps, General Withers. (853) Col. Joseph Wheeler's report states the Twenty-sixth was in his command in the battle of Bridge Creek, May 28, 1862; reports 2 killed.
Vol. XX, Part I--(658) Deas' brigade, Withers' division, January, 1863, army of Tennessee. (677) Return of casualties, battle of Murfreesboro, January 2d, 4 killed and 76 wounded. (754) Commended in General Withers' report of same battle for gallantry. (973) Roll of honor, battle of Murfreesboro: Private B. A. Thomason, Company A; Sergt. J. E. Gilbert, Company B; Private L. P. Roberts, Company C; Private Reedy Ward, Company D; Sergt. F. E. Mitchell, Company E; Private J. T. McLain, Company G; Private J. H. Cotrel, Company H; Private John A. Usleton, Company I.
Vol. XX, Part 2--(431) November 29, 1862, Col. N. N. Clements commanding regiment.
Vol. XXIII, Part 2--(735) Deas' brigade, Twenty-sixth and Thirty-ninth, Col. H. D. Clayton commanding; April 1, 1863, Polk's corps, Bragg's army. (942) Under Lieut.-Col. N. N. Clements, July 31, 1863. Henceforward called Fiftieth. (958) Col. J. G. Coltart.
No. 51--(15) Deas' brigade, left wing, General Longstreet, army of Tennessee, at Chickamauga. (318) Mentioned in report of Gen. Patton Anderson, September 19 and 20, 1863. (338, 339) Colonel Coltart's report gives loss 16 killed and 81 wounded. "The officers and men behaved with great gallantry, and I am proud to say there was less straggling than I have ever known. I have the honor to mention the names of the following non-com-missioned officers and privates who have been reported to me as deserving much credit for their good conduct, viz: Sergt. L. Coker, Company F; Private J. B. Stewart, Company G; Private W. L. Bridges, Company G; Private P.M. Light, Company G; Private M. Roberts, Company G; Private W. N. Pitts,. Company H; Sergt. J. M. Pitts, Company I; Private E. H. Stinnet, Company B; Private Rudy Ward, Company D.
No. 56--(617-886) Total present, December 14, 1863, 289.
No. 58--(589) January 20, 1864, Lieut.-Col. N. N. Clements commanding regiment.
No. 74--(640, et seq.) Assignments as above, Hood's corps; June 30, 1864, Capt. G. W. Arnold commanding regiment; July 31st, Capt. Archibald D. Ray commanding regiment; (776) Lieut.-Col. Harry Toulmin, commanding brigade, in report of operations July 28, 1864, says: "The Fiftieth Alabama regiment made a gallant charge, planting their colors on the enemy's works. Lieut. J. T. Bruckner (Acting A. A. G.) fell while nobly doing his duty." (780, 781) Capt. A. D. Ray, commanding Fiftieth Alabama, says of same battle: "Immediately after commencing the advance, Colonel Coltart was wounded, but remained with us until we charged the enemy in their breastworks, the officers and men acting most gallantly. During the time, General Johnston was wounded and Colonel Coltart was in command of the brigade, and Captain Arnold in command of the regiment. During the second advance, Captain Arnold was severely wounded. During the engagement the officers and men under my observation acted gallantly and did their duty. Six killed and 33 wounded."
No. 75--(673) General Hindman asks for the Fiftieth, Dalton, Ga., May 7, 1864.
No. 78--(853) September 20, 1864, Col. John G. Coltart in command.
No. 98--(1064) Lee's corps moving to Georgia, January 20, 1865. Consolidated, after April 9th, with Twenty-second, Twenty-fifth and Thirty-ninth Alabama, under Col. Harry T. Toulmin, in Brantly's brigade.
No. 100--(734) Deas' brigade, March 31, 1865, Hill's division, Lee's corps; Capt. John E. Gilbert commanding regiment. Army near Smithfield, N.C., commanded by General Johnston.
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