The Fifty-Eighth Alabama Infantry Regiment
The Fifty-eighth regiment was formed from the Ninth battalion. This battalion was organized at New Bern, November, 1861, and proceeded to Corinth in the spring; was engaged at Shiloh, Farmington and in a number of skirmishes with slight loss, but suffered more severely at Blackland, losing about 20 men killed and wounded, besides a large number by disease at Corinth and Tupelo. It was sent to Mobile in the summer of 1862, and remained there until the following spring. Proceeding to Tullahoma, it was placed in Clayton's brigade and was in several small engagements, chiefly at Hoover's gap. In July, 1863, two additional companies were added and the Fifty-eighth Alabama was formed.
Consolidated with the Eighth Tennessee, under Col. Bushrod Jones, it was placed in Bate's brigade and took part in the battle of Chickamauga. On the first day of this great conflict it assisted in the capture of four pieces of artillery; and on the second day it was in the desperate charge which broke the enemy's line, losing in the battle 148 out of 254 men engaged. This regiment was one of the most distinguished at Chickamauga. It was saluted on the field by General Bate, its brigade commander. General Clayton commends the excellent order which marked its movements and relates how Captains Lee's and Crenshaw's companies accompanied him several miles in pursuit of the routed enemy.
It was united with the Thirty-second Alabama and placed in Clayton's brigade in November, 1863, taking part in the Chattanooga-Ringgold campaign. Out of 400 present at Missionary Ridge, it lost 250. The regiment wintered at Dalton and accompanied the army of Tennessee in the Dalton-Atlanta campaign, engaging in numerous battles and skirmishes, often with heavy loss. It fought at Resaca, New Hope and Kenesaw, and within ten days lost more than 100 in killed and wounded. Transferred to Holtzclaw's brigade, it moved with Hood into Tennessee; was severely engaged at Columbia, and took part in the terrible battles of Franklin and Nashville. It then went with the brigade to Mobile and was sent to assist General Gibson in his brilliant and heroic defense of Spanish Fort, March 31, 1865. It fought gallantly there and at Blakely, and finally was surrendered at Meridian.
Col. Bushrod Jones was a very able and gallant officer. He was frequently in command of a brigade, and is mentioned by General Gibson as one of the brigade commanders present at a council of war at Spanish Fort. His place at the head of the regiment was filled by Lieut.-Col. John W. Inzer, and for a short time, in the spring of 1865, by Major Kimbell. There were many casualties among the officers of this regiment. At Chickamauga, Capt. John Clow and Lieutenant Rader were killed, and Lieutenant-Colonel Inzer, Major Thornton, Adjutant Harris, Captains Crenshaw, Harrell, Avirett and Holland were wounded. Major Thornton was also wounded at Resaca and Atlanta; here Adjutant Hungerford and Captain Avirett were killed. Capt. Sidney F. Lister was killed at Missionary Ridge, and Capt. Sid Holland at Spanish Fort. Capts. W. E. Lee and George S. Markham were captured at Missionary Ridge.
Extracts From Official War Records
Ninth Battalion Alabama Infantry: Vol. X, Part I--(383) April 6 and 7, 1862, at Shiloh. (394) Ordered to Corinth, April 3d.
Vol. XV--(1068) April, 1863, Col. Bushrod Jones; in Slaughter's brigade, department of the Gulf.
Vol. XXIII, Part I--(611) June 24, 1863, at Garrison's Fork, mentioned by General Bate. (613, 614) Commended by General Bate, Middle Tennessee campaign, June 24 and 25, 1863, 5 wounded at Hoover's Gap.
Vol. XXIII, Part 2--(943, 959) Bate's brigade, Bragg's army, summer, 1863.
No. 42--(130) April, 1863, detached from Mobile and sent to General Bragg. Captain Avirett's Company of Fifty-eighth Regiment: No. 42--(154) Mentioned in report of skirmish at Sandy Ridge, N. C., February 13, 1863. (508) Captain Avirett's company reported as 90 strong, holding pits on the Neuse, January 8, 1863.
No. 74--(841) Col. Bushrod Jones, in his report of operations, May 5th to 27th, Atlanta campaign, says: "May 13th Captain Avirett's company was detached as skirmishers under Maj. Harry Thornton." (844) Lieutenant Curry and Captain Avirett were wounded May 25th. (For other references, see notes on Fifty-eighth regiment.)
Fifty-eighth Alabama Infantry, formed from Ninth infantry battalion, consolidated with Thirty-second regiment after November, 1864. No. 50--(231) In Bate's brigade, Buckner's corps, Chickamauga campaign. Consolidated with Ninth Tennessee.
No. 51--(362) Gen. A. P. Stewart, in his report of battle of Chickamauga, says: "Clayton's brigade, aided by the Fifty-eighth Alabama, of Bate's brigade (Col. Bushrod Jones commanding), captured three pieces." (367) Loss at Chickamauga, 21 killed, 128 wounded, Lieut. W. H. Rader killed. (369) Commended in list of soldiers distinguished for gallantry. (384-386) Gen. William B. Bate speaks of capture of three pieces in which Colonel Jones participated. (388-391) Col. Bushrod Jones, in his report of the battle of Chickamauga (September 19th), says: "Lieutenant-Colonel Inzer behaved with conspicuous gallantry during the engagement, and rendered much valuable aid by words and example, in causing the men to charge with enthusiasm, and in reforming the regiment. Major Thornton's bearing was cool and gallant. He received a wound in the ankle early in the action which temporarily disabled him, preventing him from participating in the charge, but he found a loose artillery horse, mounted, and soon rejoined the regiment. Adjt. R. T. Harris, who had been wounded in several battles, received a severe flesh wound in the thigh early in the right, while standing bravely at his post inciting and encouraging the men. I commend the conduct and bearing of both officers and men as deserving the highest praise. I saw none who failed to do his whole duty. Loss, 3 killed, 58 wounded, on first day. The bearing of the regiment in the second day's fight was even more gallant than on the first. Lieut. W. H. Rader, Company F, was the only officer killed. He fell, gallantly leading his men in the charge. Lieutenant-Colonel lnzer and Major Thornton, as on the first day, were eminently and conspicuously brave. Captain Harrell and Lieutenant Johnson, Captains Crenshaw and Holland, Lieutenants Clow, Ward, Perry, Rourk and Anderson, and Lieutenant Mills were severely wounded. Captain Avirett was wounded in the shoulder by a fragment of a shell before the charge, but he remained with his company and behaved with great coolness and gallantry." Commends Captain Lee, Lieut. J. F. McClellan, Lieutenant Good-wyn, Lieutenant Vandergrift and Lieutenant Hinton, who led their regiments bravely at all times and in the hottest fire. "Late in the evening the remnant of the regiment united in making a last charge . . . capturing a large number of prisoners. Regiment was saluted on the field by General Bate." (397) Mentioned in Lieu-tenant-Colonel Frayser's report. (402) General Clayton, speaking of pursuit of the enemy, says: "I take pleasure in mentioning that Captains Crenshaw and Lee, with their companies from the Fifty-eighth Alabama regiment of Bate's brigade, accompanied mine beyond the road. They are gallant officers." He speaks also of the excellent order in which the Fifty-eighth Alabama moved. (534) Roll of honor, battle of Chickamauga: Sergt. Joel B. Freeman (color-bearer), Company A; Sergt. S.C. Johnston, Company A; Private J. N. Ward, Company B; Sergt. J. L. Huddleston, Company C; Private J. H. Burgess (killed), Company D; Private Z. E. Lee, Company E; Private J. v. McGinnis, Company F; Private T. J. Mize, Company G; Private S. J. Hattell, Company H; Sergt. W. C. McClellen, Company I; Corp. J. R. Rogers, Company K.
No. 55--(661) Under Lieut.-Col. John W. Inzer, Clayton's brigade, Bragg s army, Chattanooga-Ringgold campaign. (745) With the Thirty-second Alabama; 8 killed, 34 wounded.
No. 56--(686) November 12, 1863, regiment transferred from Bate's brigade to Clayton's brigade, Stewart's division. (805) December 10th, with the Thirty-second Alabama, under Col. Burt Jones, in Clayton's brigade. (824) December, 14th Thirty-second and Fifty-eighth Alabama regiments, 325 strong, in Breckinridge's corps.
No. 57--(479) February 24 and 25, 1864, 3 killed, 31 wounded at Rocky Face mountain.
No. 73--(22) Mentioned at Resaca, Ga., May 15, 1864, in report of Atlanta campaign, by General Slocum (Union).
No. 74--(641, et seq.) Assignment as above, Atlanta campaign. July 10, 1864, in Holtzclaw's brigade, Clayton s division. (832-834) Commended by General Clayton in his report of operations, May 7th to 27th. Losses, 15 killed and 54 wounded, in Thirty-second and Fifty-eighth Alabama regiments, consolidated. (841-844) Col. Bushrod Jones says that on May 12th, one company of pickets was left under the command of Major Thornton. "I claim only for my regiment that, with a full knowledge of the superior forces massed in their front, they advanced with cool and deliberate gallantry, and that they endured all that brave men can be expected to do. I regret to state that Maj. Harry Thornton is among the wounded, but his wound, though disabling for several weeks perhaps, is not dangerous. He endeavored to remain with the regiment, but, after a trial of several days, he was compelled to go to the rear .... May 25th, the losses were very heavy, equal to the average losses of a heavy battle .... Lieut. J. G. Goldthwait was wounded in the wrist, and Capt. G. W. Cox had his left thigh broken; both behaved with distinguished gallantry. Lieutenant Mills was slightly wounded in the leg." At daylight, May 26th, the Fifty-eighth relieved the Eighteenth in the trenches (near New Hope church). May 15th, 15 killed, 54 wounded, out of 345 engaged. May 25th, 3 killed, 36 wounded, out of 225 engaged.
No. 78--(854) September 20, 1864, Maj. Harry I. Thornton, in Holtzclaw's brigade; Colonel Jones commanding brigade.
No. 79--(897) November 7, 1864, Thirty-second and Fifty-eighth consolidated, under Colonel Jones, 240 strong, with Gen. H. D. Clayton.
No. 93--(665) In Holtzclaw's brigade, army of Tennessee, Nashville campaign.
No. 103, No. 104--March 10, 1865, in Holtzclaw's brigade, district of the Gulf. April, called the Thirty-see-ond. (1131) Consolidated regiment, under Major Kimbell, ordered to be ready to skirmish with the enemy near Magnolia, and, if pressed, fall back to Spanish Fort, March 20th.
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