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Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education :: Forums :: Military Units :: The 3rd Mississippi Infantry Regt.
 
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A Brief History Of the 3rd Mississippi Infantry Regt.
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gpthelastrebel
Fri Jan 27 2023, 11:05PM Quote

Registered Member #1
Joined: Tue Jul 17 2007, 02:46PM
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3RD MISSISSIPPI INFANTRY REGIMENT

(from Dunbar Rowland’s "Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1898"; company listing courtesy of H. Grady Howell’s "For Dixie Land, I’ll Take My Stand’)

Company A -- Live Oak Rifles (raised in Jackson County, MS)

Company B -- Sunflower Dispersers (raised in Sunflower County, MS) [also listed as Co. E]

Company C -- Downing Rifles (raised in Hinds County, MS) [also listed as Co. I]

Company D -- Chunkey Heroes (raised in Newton County, MS) [also listed as Co. B]

Company E -- Biloxi Rifles, aka Biloxi Rifle Guards (raised in Harrison County, MS) [also listed as Co. F]

Company F -- Shieldsboro Rifles (raised in Hancock County, MS) [also listed as Co. H]

Company G -- Gainesville Volunteers (raised in Hancock County, MS) [also listed as Co. K]

Company H -- Dahlgren Guards (raised in Harrison County, MS) [also listed as Co. D]

Company I -- John M. Sharps, aka Yazoo Rebels (raised in Yazoo County, MS) [also listed as Co. C]

Company K -- McWillie Blues (raised in Copiah County, MS) [also listed as Co. A]



Colonels -- John B. Deason, until reorganization; Thomas A. Mellon, wounded at Peachtree Creek; James M. Stigler, Third Consolidated, April, 1865. Lieutenant- Colonels -- Robert Eager, resigned; Thomas A. Mellon, to reorganization; E. A. Peyton, resigned; James B. McRae, resigned; Samuel M. Dyer. Majors -- Thomas A. Mellon, E. A. Peyton, Samuel M. Dyer, W. H. Morgan. Adjutants -- Benjamin Jones, 1861; Junius Poindexter, 1862; Fred S. Hewes, 1864.

Total original enrollment, 806 officers and men.

This was the Third Regiment, Third Brigade, Army of Mississippi, Charles G. Dahlgren, Brigadier-General, M. R. Clark, Adjutant-General, headquarters Camp Clark, at Shieldsboro. The organization was not completed until other regiments bearing higher numbers, were in the field. The nucleus of the regiment was the Shieldsboro Rifles and Gainesville Volunteers, which Captain Deason reported in camp at Shieldsboro under his command August 1, 1861. The regimental field officers were elected September 25, 1861. Company I was assigned to the regiment October 14, at Pass Christ/an.

In the fall of 1861, when the coast was menaced by the expedition to Ship Island under General Butler, General Polk, who had established a post at Columbus, Ky., made an urgent demand for reinforcements. In meeting this Gen. Mansfield Lovell, in command of New Orleans and the Mississippi coast, sent north nearly all the troops he had. In the latter part of November, General Lovell called the Third in from Mississippi Sound, and sent it, 800 strong, to the aid of General Polk at Columbus, Ky. There was protested against this by Governor Pettus and President Davis and General Lovell secured the return of the Third in January, 1862, as "a regiment peculiarly adapted to, and indeed, raised mainly for the defense of the intricate coast of Mississippi Sound." It was the plan of Governor Pettus to have three regiments, including the Seventh, Colonel Goode, and a battalion already organized (December, 1861), for coast defense. He said: "The Legislature has made an appropriation of $250,000 to build gunboats on the coast, and force will be required to protect the points at which they are to be constructed."

General Lovell reconnoitered, the enemy January 19, and found twenty-four vessels at Ship Island. "Two of the steamers got under way and drove us back to Pass Christian. Biloxi is not and never has been occupied by the enemy," he then wrote. "The reports about outrages and communications with the enemy are grossly exaggerated." The Third was stationed at Handsboro and Pass Christian. In February, 1862, General Lovell manned two one-gun launches with men of the Third for the defense of Bay St. Louis and Biloxi, but the boats were soon ordered sent to Mobile.

February 24, General Lovell notified Governor Pettus that on the request of General Beauregard he would send the Seventh Regiment to Tennessee: "There will be left as a guard upon the Mississippi coast Colonel Deason's Regiment and two batteries, together with Captain Norman's cavalry. I have heard from Ship Island recently and am convinced that we have little to apprehend from that quarter. I shall add, however, to the troops already near Handsboro, Captains Taylor's and Jones' companies of Mississippi Volunteers, making in all upwards of over 1,200 men."

April 3, 1862, seven companies of the Third were at Handsboro, under Colonel Deason, and three at Pass Christian, when the Federals landed 500 men at Biloxi, the expedition including three steamers. General Mansfield Love1l, commanding on the coast, arranged that Commodore Whittle should attack the enemy's boats with the steamers Carondelet, Pamlico and Oregon, while Deason attacked the troops but the Federals re-embarked, and reinforced with two steamers, compelled the Confederate boats to retire, landed 1,200 men and a battery, at Pass Christian April 4, and burned the camp and part of the clothing and stores of the three companies, which retired to Gainesville. Meanwhile, according to orders, Denson had marched to Biloxi. The regiment afterward returned to Pass Christian. The flag of the Third, captured that day by the Ninth Connecticut, was returned by that command on Connecticut Day at the New Orleans exposition, February 26, 1885, and received on behalf of the regiment by Colonel Dyer and Captain Curran.

In May, 1862, the regiment was re-enlisted for the war and reorganized in camp at Tangipahoa, La.

May 29, 1862, General Lovell, at Camp Moore, La., sent the Third, under Colonel Mellon, and the Twenty-eighth Louisiana, to reinforce Gen. M. L. Smith at Vicksburg. They were on picket duty during the bombardment of May 20 to July 27, 1862, began the work of fortifying Sugar Loaf Hill and remained on the river front guarding against surprise and always ready to meet an attack.

Listed July, 1862, as 35 officers and 476 men present for duty, aggregate present 709, present and absent, 886. In September, in command of Gen. M. L, Smith, Vicksburg, (Col. Mellon), 916 present and absent.

In January, 1863, with Smith and Lee at Vicksburg, aggregate effective 638. During Sherman’s Vicksburg campaign of December, 1862, the Third was stationed at Snyder's Mill, on the Yazoo, an important point, which was threatened but not attacked by land. General Pemberton ordered that the regiment inscribe "Vicksburg" on its battle flag.

January, 1863, Hebert's Brigade, Maury's Division, of Vicksburg army, Gen. C. L. Stevenson commanding. February 13, reported 572 effective present, not brigaded.

General Featherston was given a brigade command about this date, including the Third, which was detached with Hebert at Snyder's Bluff. The brigade operated on the Rolling Fork and Sunflower against Federal expeditions in March, and on March 28 the Third went to Fort Pemberton, at the junction of the Tallahatchie and Yazoo, and was attached to General Loring's command. After this Featherston's Brigade, Loring's Division, was composed of the Third, Twenty-second, Thirty-first, Thirty-third and First Battalion. Colonel Mellon commanding, May 30; Major S. M. Dyer, July 30.

At the battle of Baker's Creek, May 16, Featherstone’s Brigade was first put in line of battle at the right of Pemberton's line, on the Raymond road, and was held in that part of the field, while the battle was raging on their left, where the flank attack was made, until 2 or 3 o'clock in the evening, when they were ordered to the support of Bowen and Stevenson. They marched as rapidly as possible about two miles, preceded by Buford's Brigade, but found no one to give them orders. General Loring formed a line, including a part of S. D. Lee's Brigade, and was about to advance when orders came from General Pemberton that Loring should cover the retreat to Edwards. Featherston accordingly held his brigade in line of battle, the regiments posted to cover the different avenues of approach, and three pieces of artillery playing upon the enemy. Twice the brigade was advanced to new positions, but the last position exposed them to attack in flank and rear, and it was necessary to withdraw. "During this skirmish, and in fact the entire day, my brigade behaved well," Featherston reported. The last position taken was not abandoned until General Loring so ordered, when Featherston moved toward the Baker's Creek Ford, but found that Loring was not crossing there, but seeking a crossing somewhere below. In the night, finding no guide to a crossing. the division turned back toward Crystal Springs and Jackson.

General Osterhaus, commanding the Federal force near the railroad bridge on the Big Black, during the siege ofVicksburg, reported in his front, June 21, the Third, Sixteenth, Twentieth and Twenty-second Mississippi infantry, mounted, under the command of Colonel Lyon, Eighth Kentucky.

Colonel Mellon commanding Featherston's Brigade, Loring's Division, army of General Polk, at Canton when Sherman began his march from Vicksburg to Meridian, February, 1864. The Third was ordered to Jackson February 4, and thence fell back with Polk's command to Demopolis, Ala.

Transferred in the spring of 1864 to Montevallo, Ala., the brigade moved to Resaca in time to take part in the opening battle of the Georgia campaign. Near New Hope Church, May 31, there was a brilliant charge of the skirmish line of Featherston's Brigade, Lieutenant-Colonel McRae commanding the left of the line. The men were not content with driving in the skirmishers but charged the Federal line of works, and suffered a heavy loss, about 100 killed and wounded out of 400 engaged.

In the battle near Kenesaw Mountain or Marietta, June 27, brought on by Federal attack, the Third Regiment, on the skirmish line, under Major Dyer, with Stigler's sharpshooters, in front of the brigade, sustained the attack and held the Federal line in check through the day. repulsing one advance that came within sixty yards of their position, at four in the evening. Featherston reported, "A brisk fire was kept up on this line during the evening, and both the battalion and Third Mississippi Regiment acted with great coolness, courage and determination." Roll of Honor, published August 10, 1864: "Third Mississippi Regiment of infantry, for gallant and meritorious conduct while on picket duty at Kenesaw Mountain, July 2, 1864." In general orders, Private J. W. Patterson, Company C, was commended for gallantry on picket duty, on Kenesaw .Mountain, July 2. In the battle of Peachtree Creek, July 20, Colonel .Mellon commended the regiment, which joined in the gallant charge of the brigade across the creek and gained a position on the summit of a slight elevation, partially protected by a rail fence. Colonel Mellon was severely wounded as this position was gained, and Captain A. F. Ramsey and Lieutenant John P. Gressett were killed. Lieutenant-Colonel Dyer took command, and after losing many of his best men, and being exposed on both flanks, he withdrew from the attack with the brigade. The casualties were 11 killed, 71 wounded, 6 missing. They were again in battle July 28, and after that served in the trenches around Atlanta until the evacuation, September 1.

In his report of the battle of Peachtree Creek, General Featherston gave honorable mention to his staff: Capt. C. P. Neilson, Capt. W. G. Poindexter, Lieuts. A. N. Parker and W. G. Sykes.

In the October, 1864, campaign on the Chattanooga and Atlanta Railroad, Featherston's Brigade captured the Federal post at Big Shanty, was with Loring's Division in the capture of Acworth, and with Stewart's Corps in the destruction of the railroad between Dalton and Resaca, after which they moved through the mountains to Gadsden, Ala., skirmished at Decatur, October 26-29, and moved thence to Tuscumbia.

November 6 Stewart’s Corps formerly known as the Army of the .Mississippi, reported 12,684 aggregate present, and an enrollment of 26,714. On the 20th they crossed the Tennessee River, and after marching to Columbia to confront Schofield's Corps, and toward Spring Hill on the 29th, in the attempt to cut off the Federal retreat, Loring's Division joined in the assault upon the intrenched lines at Franklin November 30. Loring's Division, on the right of Stewart's line, toward the Harpeth River, had to cross a deep railroad cut and an abatis and hedge of Osage orange, exposed to a destructive artillery fire and without much artillery support. The battle raged from four in the evening until late at night, the Confederate line pressing forward again and again with dauntless courage and meeting with terrible loss. General Featherston reported that three flags were lost by his brigade. "The color bearers of the Third and Twenty-second planted their colors on the enemy's works and were wounded and captured with their colors." "The flag of this company [Co. I] was adopted as that of the regiment. James A. Sconyers of this company was the color bearer and the flag of Company I continued to be that of the regiment until the Stars and Bars was chosen by the Confederacy. The flag of Company I was borne in every engagement until the battle of Franklin, when Lieut. John Cherry of the Downing Rifles planted it on the breastworks, and in so doing fell with the flag, wounded, inside the works." (Yazoo County Roster and Sketches.) Lieut.-Col. S. M. Dyer, commanding the Third, was among the wounded. Among the killed were Adjutant L.M. Long, Lieuts. J. T. Young and A. J. Russell, and Ensign J. J. Cherry. The casualties of the regiment were 13 killed, 40 wounded, 20 missing. The casualties of the brigade were: Killed, 16 officers, 60 men; wounded, 22 officers, 178 men; missing, 4 Officers, 72 men. December 9, the return of Stewart's Corps was 8155 aggregate present, 2,317 prisoners of war, and an enrollment of 21,052. On that day Featherston's Brigade had. 1,208 present, 781 effective. They were then before Nashville, Loring's Division occupying an intrenched line one mile long, across the Granny White pike, to support which line redoubts were partly completed on five hills. When General Thomas attacked December 15, Walthall manned the redoubts with his division and French's, and Johnson's Division reinforced them. But two of the redoubts were carried, and the Federal troops pushed down the road, compelling Walthall to abandon the line, "not a moment too soon, and this of itself made it necessary for Loring to withdraw. The latter was also directed to form along the Granny White pike, nearly at right angles to his former position, to check the anticipated rush of the enemy from his and Walthall's fronts. This was gallantly and successfully done by this fine division, the corps retiring to a position between the Granny White and Franklin pikes, when night put an end to the conflict." (Stewart).

Next day, December 16, Stewart's Corps repulsed to the last every attack made upon them, but finally Bate’s line, on their left, was broken, and the entire army retreated in confusion to Brentwood. The old Army of the Mississippi covered the retreat across Duck River December 18-20, and they were again the last to cross at the Tennessee River, December 26-28. Capt. O. H. Johnston was in command of the Third December 10. The return of December 21 showed an aggregate present for the Third of 75, 51 effective. At Columbia, December 20, a rear guard of infantry was organized under the command of General Walthall, including Featherston's Mississippians and six other brigades.

They remained at Columbia confronted by a heavy force of the enemy, until the army had been on the march forty-eight hours, their spirits rising superior to the great misfortunes which had befallen them. On the march they traversed roads covered with snow and ice, numbers of the men without shoes, some without blankets and all poorly clad for the season. At Anthony's Hill, December 25, and at Sugar Creek next day, Featherston's Brigade was distinguished in checking the Federal pursuit, making considerable captures of men and horses.

They reached the vicinity of Tupelo January 8, 1865.

About the first of February, 1865, the remnant of Loring's Division began the movement to reinforce General Johnston in the Carolinas, Sherman having marched to Savannah. They were ordered forward from Augusta. Ga., to Newberry, S. C., February 25. In the Carolina campaign they participated in the battles of Kinston, March 10, and Bentonville, March 19, on the latter day making a gallant charge and suffering heavy losses. Organization of army, near Smithfield, N. C., March 31, 1865, shows Major-General Walthall in command of Stewart's Corps, Featherstone's Brigade commanded by Major Martin A. Oatis, the Third Regiment by Captain John Saucier.

April 9 the Third, Thirty-third and Fortieth Mississippi were consolidated as the Third, Col. James M. Stigler commanding. Stewart's Corps, March 17, including the Mississippi brigades of Featherston and Lowry, had 1,349 present, 890 effective.

Hostilities were suspended April 18, and the army was surrendered, near Durham Station, April 26.



Regimental History

Battles Fought
Fought on 4 Oct 1862.
Fought on 4 Dec 1862 at Water Valley, MS.
Fought on 28 Jan 1863 at Bolivar County, TN.
Fought on 4 Jul 1863 at Helena, AR.
Fought on 20 Aug 1863 at Grenada, MS.
Fought on 13 Oct 1863 at Wyatts, MS.
Fought on 20 Jul 1864 at Peach Tree Creek, GA.
Fought on 29 Nov 1864 at Franklin, TN.
Fought on 30 Nov 1864 at Franklin, TN.
Fought on 5 Dec 1864.
Fought on 8 Dec 1864 at Franklin, TN.
Fought on 15 Dec 1864 at Nashville, TN.
Fought on 16 Dec 1864 at Nashville, TN.
Fought on 28 Dec 1864 at Egypt Station, MS.

The above appears to be links to Ancestry Home page and nothing more. I will use this source to research the battles and make future posts.

GP



[ Edited Thu Aug 31 2023, 04:50AM ]
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gpthelastrebel
Fri Aug 25 2023, 11:04PM Quote

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Joined: Tue Jul 17 2007, 02:46PM
Posts: 4063



From the ORs

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

JACKSON, MISS., December 12, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS:
By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

JACKSON, MISS., December 12, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS:

Lincoln boats continually harassing our sea-coast. Our people will be driven from their homes and their property destroyed. Third Regiment Mississippi Volunteers have been ordered from the coast to Kentucky; many of them sailors, and much needed. Please order them back to seaport and keep them there.

JOHN J. PETTUS.



JACKSON, MISS., December 14, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,

President, Richmond:

DEAR SIR: I am earnestly requested by the people of the Mississippi Gulf coast and by Governor Pettus to ask the attention of the President and the Secretary of War to the defense of the coast by a military force on shore sufficient to protect property and repel invasion by the enemy. The governor requests me to ask that three regiments shall be accepted for local defense, to be stationed on the coast; also a battalion which he has now organized and equipped, and which could be sent there immediately. It is also requested by him and by the Honorable R. Seale, Representative from the coast, that the Third Regiment, Colonel Deason's, shall be one so accepted, and that it be ordered back tot he coast, from which it was by recent order of General Johnston removed to Columbus, Ky., where it now is. The reason for this is that this regiment is composed mainly or in large part of men familiar with the coast, its bays and bayous, and accustomed to the management of water-craft. This is very important, and the governor authorizes me to say he will supply its place at Columbus with another regiment at the earliest practicable day. The legislature has made an appropriation of $ 250,000 to build gunboats on the coast, and force will be required to protect the points at which they are to be constructed. The necessity of a military force for our coast protection and defense is imperious, and I earnestly and respectfully urge it upon the President and Secretary of War.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN J. McRAE.





[ Edited Thu Aug 31 2023, 04:22AM ]
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gpthelastrebel
Sat Aug 26 2023, 04:53AM Quote

Registered Member #1
Joined: Tue Jul 17 2007, 02:46PM
Posts: 4063
From The ORs---



(Edited For length)

WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, December 23, 1861.

Major General MANSFIELD LOVELL,

New Orleans:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your two letters of 10th instant and one of 16th.

1. I entirely approve your forwarding the Thirteenth Louisiana and Third Mississippi Regiments to the aid of our commanders in Kentucky. While I do not feel at liberty, under present circumstances, to order unconditionally any troops to be sent from your department, I shall be most happy to learn that you can spare any for the aid of the generals in Kentucky, who are sadly outnumbered. Of course it us useless to call out any troops that you cannot arm, unless they are willing to enlist for the war and we want all armed men that will enlist for twelve months. I only require that you keep your returns up to date, so that I may be at all times advised of the entire resources at command of the Government in your department.




NEW ORLEANS, LA., January 1, 1862.

Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN:

DEAR SIR: I must earnestly request that the Thirteenth Louisiana Regiment, as well as the Third Mississippi, be ordered back to New Orleans. The wretchedly-armed green troops sent here from Mississippi cannot supply the place of Gibson's regiment,armed by me. We are here entitled to that regiment, and I should have urged that they should not have been permitted to leave if the implied promise of General Polk had not been given that they would be returned when needed. They are needed.

Yours, very truly,

THO. O. MOORE.



HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT Numbers 1, New Orleans, La., January 1, 1862.

Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 23rd ultimo, with its inclosure, relative to the defense of the Mississippi coast. You have suggested the propriety of making a new department out of the district between Pearl River and Pascagouola, and have asked my views about it. I do not see the necessity of such a step, as Pearl River is of necessity a part of Department Numbers 1, and Pascagoula of General Bragg's department. The country between (the piney woods district of Mississippi) is a sandy barren, running back 40 or 50 miles, with a poor, sparse population, and is utterly destitute of any supplies which might be necessary for troops. Nearly all that is of value is the line of fine summer residences just troops. Nearly all that is of value is the line of fine summer residences just on the beach, and as long as the enemy has full command of the water he can at any time land under fire of his heavy guns and take possession of these houses at Bilozi, Mississippi city, &c. The companies of infantry to be stationed as suggested by Mr. McRae would be more than useless, as a couple of light-draught gunboats with a few 8-inch shells could at any time drive them back from the beach, leaving in the enemy's possession all that is really of any value, viz, the fine houses, &c., on the shore, and the opposition, inefficient though it would be, would give the enemy, in their own judgement, good cause for committing excesses.

We can, however, station troops in such a manner as to prevent much communication with the enemy by our own people; but in this we should have the assistance of the Navy Department, as we have no armed vessels to use for that purpose.

I have telegraphed General Johnston to send me back the Third Mississippi Regiment form Columbus, so that I can again place them on the sound coast. I have a regiment of infantry and a battery of artillery at Bay Saint Louis and Pass Christian. The regiment that I removed was stationed at Mississippi City and Handsborough, and when I sent them away I wrote to Governor Pettus to ask if he could furnish more men to replace them. I learn that he has ordered some cavalry down there, but if you will look on the map I sent you by Colonel Davis you will observe that this section of the country is so cut up with streams that it is very difficult for troops to move through it, and no use could be made of it by the enemy.

All that I ask is to give me some competent and experienced subordinate officers that I can place some reliance on, and the supervision and management of the affairs of the department between Pearl River and Pascagoula will be an easy matter; but I do not think that in any event it should be made a separate department. If you have a competent officer to spare to place over that section of the country let him report to me, and I will put him in position to do all that can be done there by infantry and light artillery, and can keep in hand here in New Orleans a force sufficient to thrown upon the enemy should he presume to make a flank march towards Covington.

The coast is beyond a question untenable should the enemy land in considerable force, which I do not think he will do, east of Bay Saint Louis, unless it be with a view to Mobile. The part between that bay and Pascagoula is valueless in a military point of view except to use the houses on the coast for quarters, and this cannot be prevented without a naval force of some kind.

I will have the return of powder made up and send it as soon as possible. I wrote you fully about powder a few days since.

Respectfully, your most obedient servant,

M. LOVELL,

Major-General, C. S. Army.



HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT Numbers 1, New Orleans, La., January 8, 1862.

Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War:

SIR: Some six weeks since, at the urgent call of an officer in kentucky, and believing that I would be safe from attack until January, I sent two regiments to Columbus, with the distinct understanding on my part, and so expressed both to Generals Johnston and Polk, that when the enemy appeared here they should be returned. General Polk now, in answer to my call, telegraphs me that he has asked you to send me other troops, and you have consented. I hope that this is not so. The troops I sent him are natives of this part of the country and cannot be replaced by other troops, and you have consented. I hope that this is not so. The troops I sent him are natives of this part of the country and cannot be replaced by others. The Third Mississippi Regiment is composed largely of the fishermen, oystermen, and sailors of Louis Bay, Biloxi, Ocean Springs, &c., and are well acquainted with all the inlets, bayous, and sounding of that intricate and difficult coast, and can be of more service there than any other body of men. I have therefore written to General Polk to insist the the Third Mississippi Regiment, at all events, shall be sent down. They can sa well be replaced there as here by fresh troops, but none can supply their place to me on the Mississippi coast. The regiment was raised particularly for that service, about half of it being amphibious, and I shall want to put a number of them in boats. The country troops will not answer my purpose. I beg, therefore, that even if you permit General Polk to retain the Thirteenth Louisiana you will telegraph him to send me the Third Mississippi Regiment immediately. He does me great injustice by leaving me until this late hour under the impression that when I wanted these two regiments they should be returned, and I have so written him.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL,

Major-General Commanding.




[ Edited Thu Aug 31 2023, 04:47AM ]
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