Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Inspection Report, 36th Mississippi Infantry Regiment

While checking into the interrupted re-processing of a collection of Confederate quartermaster and ordnance records at the Mississippi State Archives (where I work), I came across an April 1862 inspection report of the 36th Mississippi Infantry Regiment.  It gives a snapshot of the arms of the regiment as it joined the Confederate Army shortly after the Battle of Shiloh.  But what makes it even more interesting to me is that my great-grandfather, Wesley Washington Pitts, was a private in Company E (Hazlehurst Fencibles) from March 1862 through the end of the siege of Vicksburg (July 4, 1863).  I've tried to keep the capitalization and punctuation of the colonel who wrote the report as well as his spelling (which was actually pretty good).  I've included a short history note at the end extracted from Dunbar Roland's seminal work, Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1898.  I hope that you enjoy this.  My additions and editorial comments are in square brackets, thusly [   ] .


[Copy of Inspection Report of the Condition of the 36th Regiment Mississippi Volunteers, Colonel Drury J. Brown, Commanding]

Rienzi, Miss.  Camp Rives
April 21st, 1862

[To:]  Brigadier General. H. Little, commanding
1st Brigade, West. Army


In obedience to Orders No. 83 directing me to inspect the 36th Regiment (Miss.) Colonel Brown commanding and to report in writing, etc. I have the honor to report that I have made said inspection and find said Regiment armed as follows, to wit:  thirty seven (37) Rifled Muskets - Forty one cartridge boxes - Thirty seven Bayonets and Bayonet scabbards- Thirty seven Waist and Shoulder belts - Thirty seven (37) cap pouches - 25 screwdrivers - one (1) Thumbvice - 360 Altered Rifles - Two hundred and seventy Double barrel Shotguns and Rifles.  The altered Rifles I find almost wholly worthless - badly bored out and the locks of the most indifferent kind.  The main spring being entirely too weak to explode our Army Gun caps.  The rifled Muskets are all excellent also the accoutrements belonging thereto.  The doublebarrel Shotguns are some of them, say enough to arm one company, good as they are of the right calibre to carry the B.B. [buck and ball ?] cartridge.  The others are either too small or unfit for service - Some being without tubes [!!] and some without hammers [!!].  Upon the whole, taking into consideration the kind of arms and the way they are distributed; with exception of the 46 cartridge boxes and the 37 waist and shoulder belts I find the Regiment without accoutrements - The Regiment has on hand 18,000 G. D. [?] Percuss. Caps, 15,000 Miss Rifle Cartridges, 1,480 Rifle Musket cartridges, all in good order.  In camp and garrison equipage, The Regiment has an abundance of Tents all of [extra ?] size and a fly to each.  This leaves nothing to be desired so long as they are transported by Railroad but would be cumbersome to transport by waggons - being composed of Osnaburgh [fabric] without the fly they would not keep out the rain.  The men  are comfortably clad and shod.  The Regiment is composed of a fine body of men and properly armed would doubtless do effective service though now laboring under that curse of all new troops the measels [sic].  I would further state that said Regiment is without waggons [?]fore having been transported by rail, and with exception of the want of a few camp kettles leaves nothing to be desired in the way of cooking utensils.

All of which is respectfully submitted

(signed) D. McRae Colonel
Commanding Regt M [?] Vol


Headquarters Rienzi Station, Miss.
Camp Rives, April 22d 1862

Respectfully submitted with recommendation that if possible Col Brown be permitted to turn in the Arms and Accoutrements now in his Regiment and draw all of one Kind.

(signed)  Henry Little
Brig Genl
Cg [Commanding?] Station

HISTORICAL NOTE:  The 36th Mississippi Infantry Regiment was mustered into Confederate service in March 1862.  It was in camp at Meridian, Miss. during the battle of Shiloh (Apr 6-7, 1862).  From the above report, it evidently was moved to Rienzi prior to April 21.  It was part of the what became the Army of Tennessee at the battles in northeast Mississippi (Famington, Iuka, Jacinto, and Corinth) during the spring, summer, and fall of 1862.  In early 1863 it was posted (along with its brigade) to the Vicksburg area and became part of the garrison through the end of the siege, July 4, 1863.  It was reconstituted in January 1864 at the camp of paroled and exchanged prisoners in Enterprise, Alabama.  It rejoined the Army of Tennessee near Resaca in mid May, 1864 and stayed with the Army through the Battle of Franklin and the “Siege” of Nashville before being transferred to help at the siege of Murfreesboro, returning to Nashville just in time for the Union counteroffensive.  After the retreat they were transferred to Mobile and ended the war defending the Spanish Fort and Fort Blakeley where most of them were captured in the Union attacks in early April, 1865.

My great-grandfather was paroled after Vicksburg and was recovering at home in Copiah County.  He either never saw the notice that he had been paroled and was to report to the camp at Enterprise or he ignored it, deciding that he had enough fighting.  Either way his "records" indicate that he was listed as being a deserter from the Enterprise camp.  I can't say that I blame him, especially as he  married in December 1863 [edit].  If he had been with the 36th during the Nashville campaign, I probably wouldn't be here today!

[EDIT, 09/18/2012]  For additional information on the 36th Mississippi during the Vicksburg campaign, please see this article by my co-worker, Jeff Giambrone.


Robert A Mosher said...

My curiousity drove me to look up the 36th Infantry in Compendium of the Confederate Armies: Mississippi –

Mississippi 36th Infantry Regiment. Organized in early 1862. Regiment surrendered at Vicksburg, Warren County, Mississippi on July 4, 1863. Paroled at Vicksburg…July 1863. Declared exchanged on September 12, 1863. Surrendered by Lt Richard Taylor, commanding the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana, at Citronelle, Alabama on May 4, 1865.

First Commander, Colonel Drury J. Brown.
Field Officers: Lt Col Edward Brown, Lt Col S G Harper, Major Charles Partin, Major William W Witherspoon, Major Alexander Yates.

Chalmers’ Brigade, Withers’ Division, 2nd Corps, Army of the Mississippi, Department #2 (April 1862)

Anderson’s Brigade, Ruggles’ Division, 2nd Corps, Army of the Mississippi, Department #2 (May 1862)

Chalmers’ Brigade, Withers’ Division, 2nd Corps, Army of the Mississippi, Department #2 (May 1862)

Martin’s Brigade, Little’s-Hebert’s Division, Price’s Corps, Army of West Tennessee, Department #2 (September-October 1862)

Martin’s Brigade, Hebert’s-Maury’s Division, Price’s Corps, Army of West Tennessee, Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana (October 1862)

Hebert’s Brigade, Maury’s Division, 2nd Military District, Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana (December 1862-April 1863)

Hebert’s Brigade, Maury’s-Forney’s Division, Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana (April-July 1863)

Mackall’s Brigade, Department of the Gulf (February 1864)

Baldwin’s [old-]Sears’ Brigade, Department of Alabama, Mississippi, an East Louisiana (March-May 1864)

Sear’s Brigade, Army of the Mississippi (May 1864)

Sear’s Brigade, French’s Division, Army of the Mississippi (May-July 1864)

Sear’s Brigade, French’s Division, 3rd Corps, Army of the Tennessee (July 1864-January 1865)

Sear’s Brigade, French’s Division, District of the Gulf, Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana (January-April 1865)

Sear’s Brigade, French’s Division, Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana (April-May 1865)

Battles: Corinth Campaign (April-June 1862); Farmington (May 1862); Iuka (September 19, 1862); Corinth (October 3-4, 1862); Vicksburg Campaign (May-July 1863); Vicksburg Siege (May-July 1863); Atlanta Campaign (May-September 1864); Cassville (May 19-22, 1864); New Hope Church (May 25-June 4, 1864); Lattimer’s Mills (June 20, 1864); Kennesaw Mountain (June 27, 1864); Smyrna Campground (July 4, 1864); Chattahoochee River (July 5-7, 1864); Peach Tree Creek (July 20, 1864); Atlanta (July 22, 1864); Ezra Church (July 28, 1864); Atlanta Siege (July-September 1864); Jonesboro (August 31-September 1, 1864); Lovejoy’s Station (September 2-5, 1864); Allatoona (October 5, 1864); Franklin (November 15-16, 1864); Nashville (December 15-16, 1864); Mobile (March 17-April 12, 1865)

ColCampbell50 said...


Thanks for all the additional details. Rowland's book has that and more but I didn't want to clutter the posting with them. The 36th got around during 1862, being in the thick of things at Iuka and Corinth (one of his brothers was wounded seven times at Corinth!) and was in the trenches at Vicksburg.


Bluebear Jeff said...

How wonderful to find out more about your ancestor's unit.

Thanks for sharing, sir.

-- Jeff

PS, Any more Pre-Dread movement?

Annette said...

E. M. Cooksey was in the 36th. He was born in Newton County Mississippi. After the war he and his wife and parents relocated to Bell County Texas.

Annette said...

I'm sorry I should have stated that E. M. Cooksey was my paternal grandmother's paternal grandfather.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

My Great (3) Grandfather Sgt. Mathew W. Miller was wounded at Corinth (paroled to Surgeon J. B. Bond CSA in Iuka where he died early Oct), I assume 4 Oct when McLain's brigade (37 AL, 36 MS,37 MS and 38 MS) assaulted Hamilton's division on the CSA left. Col McLain had replaced Col Martin who was killed at Iuka. Charging Battery Powell (11th Ohio Battery) on the union right, the Brigade was wiped out with double canister shot. Muster Rolls in March show Capt T.J. Chrisman as Company A CO. My great (3) Grand Mother's pension application list Col William Witherspoon (really a major), Major A. Yates and Capt T.J. Chrisman as officer's in Company A 36th Infantry.

Cornbread said...

Funny how something as simple as an inventory can be interesting. Thank you for posting. My 3rd Great Grandfather: Samuel Hollingsworth, from Newton County I believe was part of the 36th. It is posted on his gravestone that he was 8th inf, Co. B but I suspect that was not correct. He had a few sons in the 36th and I find a Samuel Hollingsworth on the Muster Rolls for the 36th. His first born, Jacob Hollingsworth died 4th June 1862 and buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Macon. Some stated he was wounded in the Battle of Shiloh and treated in Macon. I can't find any info that the 36th fought in Shiloh and your blog helps me confirm that they did not participate. He must have been wounded later (or perhaps died of the measles?!).
Thanks again for the post.
Conrad Odom

Cornbread said...

Do you have a recommendation on any books about the 36th?

ColCampbell50 said...


It is possible that your ancestor was wounded at Corinth. The 36th was in the thick of the attack and had many casualties.

As far as I know, no one has written a book about the 36th.


Mark said...

A Sergeant George Powell Clarke, who served in Company C (Harper Reserves) of the 36th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, wrote a book about his unit's experiences in the war. It's titled "Reminiscence and Anecdotes of the War for Southern Independence." My gggrandfather, William Tingle, served as a private in Company C of the 36th. I have not read the book, but plan to.

ColCampbell50 said...


Thanks for the book title. We have it here in our collection. I'll have to get it and read through it.


Gordon D. said...

Searching for information on Rev. Charles M. Gordon who I am told was the Chaplin for the 36th Regiment. Any help would be appreciated.

ColCampbell50 said...


I recommend that you start at the National Park Service "Soldiers and Sailors Database" which has general data on each Union and Confederate soldier and sailor for which information has been preserved at the National Archives. You can then either contact the National Archives for additional information or can contact the Mississippi Department of Archives and History for research assistance.


Slefev said...

Thank you for this information on the 36th. William Henry Batton was listed as being with this group in Co. B from Copiah county. He supposedly died of measles in the Hazlehurst hospital a couple of months after he enlisted. You mentioned the measles in your post.

Slefev said...
This comment has been removed by the author.