Organization of the 6th Alabama

~~ 6th Alabama Infantry Unit History ~~
May 6, 1861 to June 1861

Table of Contents

Map of Virginia 1864 - 1865

The following Unit History is written from the 6th Alabama point of view of the war.

Chapter 1 - Organization, May 6, 1861

Editor Note: The Company designations below list the Company designations as they were named by the State of Alabama when the Regiment was formed. The "previously" designations were what the Companies were called before re-organization and re-enlistment into the Army of Northern Virginia in March of 1862 at Yorktown Virginia.

The change in Company designation has lead to some confusion as to what Company an individual was assigned. Most of the documentation, except for original rosters, which only covered the soldiers that enlisted in the time period April 1861 to March 1862, will show the original Company designation. The documentation after this period will show the subsequent Company designations.

There are a few soldiers that died from wounds or disease before the re-organization and will be shown with the subsequent company designation.

Captains, and counties from which the companies came Listed after Re-organization:

Company "A", Columbia Blues or Henry Blues [previously, Company "K"] (Henry): Thomas J. Smith (resigned, 13 September 61); Thomas H. Bell (KIA, Seven Pines); A. F. Powers (retired, 29 April 64)

Company "B", Henry Grays [previously, Company "A"] (Henry): Alexander C. Gordon (resigned, 21 November 61); James Newell Lightfoot (promoted); Isaac F. Culver (wounded, Boonsboro; promoted); Ervin M. Price (resigned, 21 Oct 62); Thomas Reese Lightfoot (KIA, Winchester); Sidney A. Willcoxon; Reuben A. Atkinson

Company "C", Opelika Volunteers [previously, Company "H"] (Russell): James Fleming Waddell (until reorganization); Augustus S. Flournoy (KIA, Seven Pines); Rinaldo M. Greene (wounded, The Wilderness, Winchester)

Company "D", Raccoon Roughs [previously, Company "I"] (Jackson): William L. Gordon (until reorganization); Augustus Manly Gordon (wounded, Seven Pines; promoted); Joseph H. Russell (retired, 24 November 63)

Company "E", Independent Rifles [subsequently, Company "D"] (Montgomery): Gabriel B. DuVal (resigned, 16 December 61); Milton L. Kirkpatrick (until reorganization); James Mathew Fox (KIA, Seven Pines); Ephraim M. Gorse (died in service, 17 June 63); John W. Burton (wounded, Gettysburg, and captured); Watt A. Waller

Company "F", Russell Volunteers [previously, Company "J"] (Russell): Walter H. Weems (until reorganization); Robert R. Barnett; George W. Hooper (promoted); Nathaniel S. Black (resigned, 16 March 65

Company "G", Autauga Rifles [previously, Company "L"] (Autauga): Thomas A. Davis (appointed surgeon); William F. Davis (resigned, 26 February 62); Green Hill Thompson

Company "H", Montgomery Greys [previously, Company "G"] (Montgomery): Samuel G. Hardaway (until reorganization); John B. McCarty (KIA, Seven Pines); John Lawler (resigned, 18 April 63); Thomas C. Slattery (retired, 24 April 64); James J. Kane

Company "I", Confederate Rifles [previously, Company "C"] (Wilcox & Marengo): George Lynch (until reorganization); Joshua A. Kimbrough (KIA, 19 September 62); John B. Deloach (resigned, 11 January 64); James L. Fisher (resigned, 16 March 63)

Company "J" - No Company by this letter after re-organization. By Executive order  the Company letter "J" was not used to prevent confusion with Company letter "I".

Company "K" [previously, Company "F"] (Jackson): William T. Gunter (until reorganization; promoted to Major, 1st Alabama Infantry Battalion); William B. Hunt (wounded, Seven Pines, Gettysburg; KIA, Cedar Creek, 19 October 64); Isaac Franklin Culver (promoted)

Company "L", Sam Rice Guards or Loachapoka Rifles [previously, Company "B"] (Macon): John M. Kennedy (until reorganization); William L. Rowe (wounded, Winchester)

Company "M", Hayneville Guard [subsequently, Company "E"] (Lowndes): James J. Willingham (promoted); Milledge L. Bowie (wounded, Sharpsburg, Spotsylvania; retired); Daniel W. Johnson (transferred to Company "K", 5th Alabama)

Monday, 6th of May 1861 - The 6th Alabama Infantry Regiment was officially organized at Montgomery Alabama. Forming 12 companies totaling about 1400 men recruited from Autauga (Company L), Henry (Companies A, K), Jackson (Companies F, I), Lowndes (Company E), Macon (Company B), Montgomery (Company D, G), Russell (Company H, J), and Wilcox (Company C) counties.

The 6th Alabama was first ordered by train to the railroad center and camp of instruction at Corinth Mississippi under the command of Colonel John Jacob Seibels. 

"Our departure from Montgomery for Corinth Mississippi, where we were to go into camp of instruction for an indefinite period was amid the roar of cannon, the shouts of the multitude, the waving of flags and handkerchiefs, and the prayers and tears of mothers, wives and sisters." John B. Gordon, Reminiscences of the Civil War.

May 27, 1861, Letter from Private Micheal Holmes home shows Company A 6th Alabama arriving at Corinth Mississippi.

June 2, 1861, The 6th was in Corinth on the where a number of enlistments were added. Spending on a short time in Corinth the 6th proceeded by train to Virginia. 

"The encampment at Corinth was brief and uneventful; but our trip thence to Virginia was intensely interesting, because of the danger and threat of conflict between my troops and the citizens in certain localities. The line of our travel was through East Tennessee, where, even at that early period, there were evidence of the radical conflict of opinion between neighbors which was destined to eventuate in many bloody feuds. At the depots crowds of men were gathered, some cheering, some jeering, my troops as they passed. From the tops of houses on one side of the street floated the Stars and Stripes; from those on the other were ensigns showing sympathy with the new-born Confederacy.  John B. Gordon, Reminiscences of the Civil War.


LYNCHBURG, VA, June 4, 1861.

R. S. GARNETT, Adjutant-General:

A telegram from Dublin Depot was received here last night by Lieutenant-Colonel Langhorne, by a person just from Parisburg, Giles County, stating that a large force from the northwest was advancing on Lewisburg. This morning the following telegram was received by him from the same place:

Last night's dispatch is confirmed by special messenger this morning. Ten thousand Northern troops and twelve hundred horse are now in Fayette County, making forced marches for the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. We want assistance. From their position they can reach the road in three days.




I send the dispatch for what it is worth. I cannot believe there is any truth in it. The country from which it comes has been very much stampeded with false rumors of insurrection on the line of the Virginia and Tennessee Road. To allay excitement, I would suggest that a special messenger be sent to Lewisburg by the Central Railroad.


Colonel, Commanding.


RICHMOND, June 4, 1861.

General J. B. FLOYD, Arlington, Va.:

A dispatch from Colonel Early at Lynchburg states that a large force, ten thousand Northern troops, twelve hundred horse, by hard marches are pushing for the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, and advancing through Fayette County to Lewisburg. Send reliable information as far as can be obtained. Press forward organization of brigade of riflemen, and, if report is true, call out all available force and protect railroad.



RICHMOND, June 4, 1861.

General J. B. FLOYD, Wytheville, Va.:

Four regiments--three from Mississippi and one from Alabama--have been ordered to proceed to this place via Knoxville, subject, however, to be stopped by you at Dublin Depot, should the news of invasion telegraphed by you to the President be confirmed, and this will be your authority to stop these troops and all others passing that route, should you deem it necessary. Commanding officers will so regard your order. One thousand muskets, with ammunition, have been ordered to Dublin Depot to your address. Acknowledge by telegraph.


Secretary of War.


RICHMOND, June 4, 1861.

Corinth, Miss.:

If the three regiments ordered by the President to proceed to Richmond have not left, order them off without delay via Knoxville. You will also direct Colonel Seibels to proceed with his Alabama regiment to Richmond via Knoxville. Let them be provided with ammunition before leaving. These troops will probably be directed to stop at Dublin Depot. Prompt action is absolutely necessary. Reply by telegraph

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

June 16, 1861, Letter from Private Micheal Holmes home shows Company A 6th Alabama arriving at Lynchburg, Virginia.

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by James D. Allen
Missouri City, Texas
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Last Updated: Sunday, May 23, 2004