Civil War - 41st Infantry

41st Infantry

The officers and men of Company H, 41st Tennessee Infantry were from Brick Church and other Giles County communities and from Cornersville. Cornersville was in Giles County until the northeast section of Giles County was ceded to Marshall County in 1870. Thus, the men and officers of this company were all Giles Countians in 1861.

One thousand men in ten companies formed the 41st Tennessee Infantry at its organization at Camp Trousdale, Tennessee, in November, 1861. All were volunteers. Robert Farquarson was elected Colonel of the regiment. The Giles County company was headed by Captain Robert G. McClure, who was elected Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment and replaced by Captain John Osborne. The regiment was ordered first to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where it became part of General Simon B. Buckner's Division of The Central Army of Kentucky.

Ordered to Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River on February 12, 1862, the 41st Tennessee Infantry was attached to Colonel John C. Brown's Brigade of Buckner's Division. During the Battle of Fort Donelson the 41st Tennessee took an active part in the fighting and reported 575 engaged, 2 killed, 6 wounded, and 26 missing. The 41st Tennessee was surrendered with the rest of Buckner's Division on February 16, 1862, and sent to various northern prisons.

After seven months in prison, the men of the 41st Tennessee were released on parole at Vicksburg, Mississippi, September 18, 1862, and the regiment was reorganized at Clinton, Mississippi, on the 29th of September. The regiment was officially declared exchanged on November 10, 1862.

Some members of the 41st Tennessee had not been captured at Fort Donelson, had served in other regiments, and now returned to the 41st Tennessee. On December 27, 1862, the 41st Tennessee was placed in Brigadier General John Gregg's Brigade along with the 3rd Tennessee Infantry and other infantry regiments. The 41st Tennessee reported 526 effectives at that time.

Early in January, 1863, Gregg's Brigade moved to Port Hudson, Louisiana, and remained there as a silent spectator during the bombardment until May 2, 1863, when they left for Jackson, Mississippi. On May 12th, 1863, The 41st Tennessee was heavily engaged in the Battle of Raymond, Mississippi. After some severe skirmishing near Jackson, the 41st Tennessee was stationed near Vernon, Mississippi, on June 30th, and was at Yazoo City when Vicksburg fell of the 4th of July, 1863.

"At Yazoo City the men and officers disposed of a large portion of their jewelry, consisting of watches, rings, and chains, to the ever-vigilant and far-sighted Jews. They seemed to know that the surrender of Vicksburg could be delayed only a few days, and then that a ring of the value of two or three dollars would be worth more than two or three hundred dollars of Confederate money."

The 41st Tennessee "was encamped during the month of August at Enterprise, Mississippi, where it feasted on peaches done in every style, and played poker for the money it had received for its jewelry at YazooCity."

In September, 1863, the 41st Tennessee was transferred to the Army of Tennessee and ordered to north Georgia, where they were soon heavily engaged in the Battle of Chickamauga on the 19th and 20th of September. The regiment reported 325 men engaged in the battle and suffered severely in killed and wounded. Following the Battle of Chickamauga, Gregg's Brigade was broken up and the 41st Tennessee was placed in General George Maney's Brigade. They fought in the Battle of Missionary Ridge on November 25th, 1863.

Retreating to the vicinity of Dalton, Georgia, the 41st Tennessee and the rest of the Army of Tennessee went into winter quarters. On December 14, 1863, the 41st Tennessee reported 201 effectives, 226 present, with 151 arms. From there the history of the Army of Tennessee is the history of the 41st Tennessee Infantry. They fought daily under the command of General Joe Johnston during the retreat to Atlanta and fought in the Battle of Jonesboro, Georgia, on August 31, 1863. In June, the 41st Tennessee had been transferred to Brigadier General Otho Strahl's Brigade.

General John Bell Hood led the Army of Tennessee across Alabama and home to Tennessee in the latter part of 1864. Hood's ill-fated plans to recapture Nashville resulted in the disasterous battles of Franklin and Nashville. The defeated Army of Tennessee retreated southward from Nashville toward the safety of the Tennessee River, passing through Giles County during the Christmas holidays of 1864.

The remnants of the 41st Tennessee Infantry surrendered with the Army of Tennessee on April 26, 1865, at Salisbury, North Carolina, and was paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina, on May 1, 1865.

"The 41st Tennessee was ever ready to do, or to attempt to do, whatever was ordered, whether to dig a ditch or cross one in the face of the enemy, to charge a battery or go on picket. It lost more men on picket than in the charge. Its dead are laid away in unmarked graves in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee, and in the prison cemeteries of Camp Douglas, Camp Morton, Rock Island, and Camp Chase."

A roster of Company H, 41st Tennessee Infantry published in the PULASKI CITIZEN (date unknown):

  • McClure, R. G., Capt., promoted to Lt. Col., not retained in organization.
  • Osborn, J. E., 1st Lt., promoted to Capt., now in prison.
  • Robbins, R. P., 3rd Lt., discharged.
  • Vancleave, J. M., 2nd Lt., promoted to Capt. in 5th TN, wounded and discharged.
  • Edwards, W. R., 1st Sgt., promoted to 2nd Lt., discharged from 5thTN.
  • Cochran, J. C., 2nd Sgt., discharged at Clinton, MS.
  • Ewing, A. L., 3rd Sgt., Regt. mlt. commissionary Supt., now in prison.
  • Vancleave, N. J., 5th Sgt., promoted to 2nd Sgt., wounded at Franklin, TN.
  • Boyd, Jesse, 1st Corp., discharged at Trousdale, TN.
  • McKnight, James, 2nd Corp., discharged at Port Hudson, LA.
  • McCorkle, J. J., 3rd Corp., promoted to Sgt. in 5th TN, killed in Perryville, KY.
  • Walker, J. T., 4th Corp., discharged at Judson, MS.
  • Allen, Jack, died at Columbia, TN.
  • Alexander, W. R., wounded at Raymond, MS, died at hospital in GA.
  • Beasley, Archer, promoted to 1st Sgt., wounded.
  • Beasley, D. H., wounded at Richmond, KY, discharged.
  • Beasley, W. S., promoted to rank 1st Lt. Ensign, wounded, in prison.
  • Beasley, D. B., died at Clinton, MS.
  • Bills, T. N., promoted to ensign, wounded.
  • Brown, J. W., promoted to 3rd Sgt., died at Marion, MS.
  • Brents, W. T., captured at Nashville, in prison.
  • Bryant, Richard, prisoner of war from 17th TN.
  • Boyd, Sy, discharged at Trousdale, TN.
  • Cowden, J. C., discharged at Port Hudson, LA, wounded.
  • Cowden, W. M., promoted to Capt. in Commissionary Dept., resigned.
  • Cochran, E. A., killed at Perryville, KY.
  • Cochran, L. N., present.
  • Cochran, Dubin, discharged at Port Hudson, LA.
  • Collins, W. N., died in prison.
  • Cooper, W. H., promoted to Capt., present.
  • Cole, T. N., promoted to 1st Corp., killed by accident at Dalton, GA.
  • Compton, A. D., promoted to Cpl., killed at Franklin, TN.
  • Cooke, J. D., captured, wounded at Missionary Ridge, in prison.
  • Cooke, W. J., died at Lauderdale Springs, MS.
  • Claxton, A. C., at hospital, Augusta, GA.
  • Cox, R. B., transferred to 5th TN, promoted to Ordinance Supt.
  • Cox, Jackson, died at Port Hudson, LA.
  • Doggett, Newton, wounded, teamster in supply train.
  • Duncan, W. E., left sick at Russellville, KY, went to 11th TN Cavalry.
  • Duncan, J. W., discharged at Trousdale, TN.
  • Downing, J. G., discharged at Port Hudson, LA.
  • Ewing, I. A., musician in 5th TN band.
  • Ewing, Robert, killed at Missionary Ridge.
  • Edmondson, J. W., promoted to 1st Lt. in 7th TN Cavalry.
  • Eakin, Abraham, discharged at Clinton, MS.
  • Fitzpatrick, M. J., wounded at Perryville, KY, in 11th TN Cavalry.
  • Fowler, A. L., promoted to Corp., discharged at Clinton, MS.
  • Fowler, A. C., died in prison.
  • Frazier, D. L., remained in TN on Hood's retreat, wounded.
  • Few, W. M., discharged by Sectr. War at Port Hudson, LA.
  • Few, A. M., died at Tupelo, MS.
  • Garrett, W. G., died at Port Hudson, LA.
  • Holley, W. M., died at Clinton, MS.
  • Hopwood, M. J., bugler for Regt., wounded at Rocky Face, in hospital.
  • Haislip, A. J., died near Port Hudson, LA.
  • Jordan, T. B., killed in Nashville, TN.
  • Jordan, W. H., mortally wounded at Resaca, Ga, and died.
  • Jones, J. J., severely wounded at Perryville, KY.
  • James, W. C., died at Clinton, MS.
  • Job, Stephen, died at Vicksburg, MS.
  • Kelly, J. W., captured at Missionary Ridge.
  • London, W. T., died in Covington, LA.
  • Little, Sumpter, died in prison.
  • Liles, Joe, died in prison.
  • Logston, Thos. L., discharged at Jackson, MS.
  • Lane, J. S., discharged at Port Hudson, LA.
  • McCrory, Jas., killed in MS.
  • McGaugh, W. W., promoted to 5th Sgt., killed at Franklin.
  • McGaugh, T. J., captured at Missionary Ridge.
  • Matthews, Marquis, died in prison.
  • Morton, S. D., present.
  • McCandless, A. J., discharged at Port Hudson, LA.
  • Nix, W. H., died in prison.
  • Morton, E. A., discharged at Tippers Ford, MS.
  • Nix, Newton, went to 5th TN, captured.
  • Oliver, T. J., wounded and died in prison.
  • Park, G. M., wounded, prisoner of war.
  • Park, T. Z., died in prison.
  • Park, Jerome, died in prison.
  • Park, F. M., wounded, prisoner of war.
  • Park, A. J., wounded, prisoner of war.
  • Paxton, J. A., transferred to 3rd TN, Port Hudson, LA.
  • Paxton, Z. Z., transferred to 3rd TN, Port Hudson, LA.
  • Pearson, T. H., wounded at Resaca, now at hospital in Alabama.
  • Phillips, B. F., went to 11th TN Cavalry.
  • Phillips, W. A., killed at Jackson, MS.
  • Robinson, W. C., died at Canton, MS.
  • Rosson, J. G., discharged at Jackson, MS.
  • Reid, Jones, discharged from 5th TN at Corinth.
  • Reid, Enoch, discharged at Trousdale, TN.
  • Samson, James, discharged at Jackson, MS.
  • Slaughter, R. M., captured at Nashville, wounded.
  • Tillman, W. R., killed at Chickamauga.
  • Tillman, T. T., died at Perryville, KY.

This roster must have been compiled in early 1865 since Hood's retreat was mentioned (Hood's retreat took place in December, 1864) and 3 members of the company were present at the time the roster was compiled. Numerous members of this company were listed as prisoners of war, further indication that the war was still in progress. Of the 94 men listed on this roster, 35 were listed as dead.

Submitted by Bob Wamble

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