The 5th Mississippi was organized in the fall of 1861 by A. E. Fant.
Colonels -- Albert E. Fant, John Weir, wounded at Franklin. Lieutenant- Colonels -- Samuel F. M. Faucett, W. L. Sykes, killed at Chickamauga; John B. Herring.
Majors -- Adam T. Stennis, John B. Herring, John Weir. Adjutant -- A. F. Stennis.
Aggregate original enrollment, 736 officers and men. Enlisted for twelve months; re-enlisted in 1862.
These companies formed the Fifth Regiment, Fourth Brigade, of Mississippi Volunteers, known as the Army of Mississippi, and the organization of the regiment was completed by the election of field officers 5 September, 1861, at Enterprise.
The first service at the front was at Pensacola, where the Fifth was reported as part of the command of Gen. Sam. Jones, February 1, 1862. Thence transferred to the interior after the fall of Fort Donelson, and regiment mentioned in the official correspondence as part of Chalmers' command and somewhere east of Iuka, when the advance of Grant's army landed March 12, at Crump's landing.
Col. Albert E. Fant, commanding, in Chalmers' Brigade of Withers' Division, Bragg's Corps, at battle of Shiloh. It was the fourth regiment in the brigade column and was left behind in the first charge of the brigade through the Federal camps in their front, but the Fifth soon came up, took position next the Tenth, which was the leading regiment, and was an active participant in the hard fighting during the rest of the day. Toward evening, near the river, in a very stubborn battle across a deep ravine, Captains R. J. Armstrong and T. C. K. Bostick were killed while gallantly leading their companies. Colonel Fant and Major Stennis, Chalmers reported, were conspicuous in the thickest of the fight. Casualties not reported.
May 28, 1862, Captain D. B. Lattimore was detailed as Adjutant-General of brigade, Col. R. A. Smith commanding. The regiment was at Corinth during siege, and after the evacuation was transferred with Bragg's army to Chattanooga. The Fifth was not with Chalmers' Brigade in the Kentucky campaign, being brigaded with the Eighth in John K. Jackson's Brigade of Withers' Division, Polk's right wing, Army of the Mississippi, General Bragg commanding. The regiment was at Harrodsburg during the battle of Perryville, after which they returned by way of Cumberland Gap and Chattanooga to Bridgeport, Ala.
Jackson's Brigade was in line with Breckinridge's Division on the east side of Stones River December 31, 1862, when Jackson's and Adams' Brigades were ordered across to support the attack where the Mississippians of Chalmers' and Walthall's Brigades were engaged. Jackson advanced, passing Donelson's Brigade, and part of Chalmers' and Coltart 's. General Polk reported that Jackson assailed the enemy's line with energy and after a severe contest was compelled to yield and fall back. Chalmers and Donelson had also been repulsed, and after Jackson and Adams, Preston and Palmer also failed in this determined attack on Palmer's Federal division. Jackson reported that he was engaged for three hours. He had 874 men in all, and lost 41 killed and 266 wounded. Among the severely wounded was Lieut.-Col. W. L. Sykes, commanding the Fifth Regiment, and the gallant Captain J. H. Morgan was killed. The total casualties of the regiment were 6 killed, 74 wounded. The following names were selected by the various companies for the Roll of Honor: Sergeant William Dabbs, A; Jesse Glass, B; J. J. Smith, C; S. G. F. Jayroe, D; Sergeant J. N. Richardson, E; Sergeant W. A. Snow, F; S. F. Fondren, G; Sergeant D. L. McCollum, H; W. R. Flanagan, I; H. H. McMichael, K.
The army fell back to the Tullahoma line, and thence, after some skirmishing, in the summer of 1863, to Chattanooga, and thence into Georgia when Rosecrans made the flank movement across the Lookout Mountains.
The regiment, Lieut.-Col. Sykes, commanding, with Jackson's Brigade, Cheatham's Division, at the opening of the battle of Chickamauga, September 19, 1863, supported Walker's Corps, in which Walthall’s Mississippians were conspicuous, and after Walker was driven back, the attack of the Union forces fell upon Jackson's Brigade and then along Cheatham's whole line. Returning vigorously the fire the Fifth pressed forward and pushed back the Federal line nearly a mile. They and the Eighth were holding this advanced position firmly when the rest of the line gave way. While falling back and reforming to hold the enemy in check, the gallant commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Sykes, was killed. Major John B. Herring took command, and a new brigade line was formed in which the regiment found its place after dark, with some skirmishing. The regiment went into battle with 225 men in line and had 4 killed and 46 wounded, the Adjutant mortally wounded. Next day, Sunday, the 20th, the regiment took 144 muskets into the battle, lost 25 wounded and captured 30 prisoners. On this last day they were in line of battle against the log breastworks of General Thomas, and behaved with great gallantry.
The aggregate effective of the regiment was 404. The various companies selected for the Roll of Honor were the following: William Weaver, A; L. O. Collins, B; John Kitterell, C; L. T. Turner, D; Sergeant E. J. Holmes, E; S. J. Singleton, F; M. Stringfellow, G; P.A. Shands, H (k) ; James M. McDonald, I; John Hadley, K.
Gen. J. K. Jackson was in command of the Confederate troops in the battle of Lookout Mountain, November 24, 1863, but his brigade was removed to the foot of the mountain on the right two days before and did not participate in the fighting. In the battle of Missionary Ridge, November 25, the regiment shared the record of Cheatham's Division.
January, 1864, Lieut-Col. John B. Herring, commanding, in J. K. Jackson's Brigade, Cheatham's Division. February 2, while the army was in winter quarters around Dalton, Ga., the brigade was transferred to Gen. W. H. T. Walker's Division, mainly Georgian, there being four Georgia regiments associated with the Fifth and Eighth Mississippi in this brigade. In the midst of the Atlanta campaign Jackson's Brigade was
broken up and the Fifth and Eighth were assigned to the Georgia and South Carolina brigade of Gen. States Rights Gist, being so returned July 10.
Col. John Weir was in command of the regiment at the opening of the Atlanta campaign, when Walker was at Mill Creek Gap May 8, at Resaca on the 10th, and crossed the river to Calhoun, skirmished there on the 14th, recrossed during the battle of Resaca and went into line, then fell back with the army. There were 4 killed, 19 wounded in the battle of Turner's Ferry, May 15, among the wounded Captain C. C. Parks, Company E, and Lieutenants Sam Houston and W. R. Morrow, Company K. Sergeant William Dobbs of A was killed.
They were in the heavy skirmishing near Cassville, May 19, and fell back across the Etowah, moved to Dallas to meet Sherman's movement by the right flank, took part in the bloody battles of May, near New Hope church, skirmishing heavily for several days. Here Lieut. B. T. Sandifer of A was killed and 3 wounded. The fight moved gradually to the right, till Pine Mountain was reached, where General Polk was killed June 14. Then followed the campaign along Kenesaw Mountain; thirteen days of unceasing exertion, sharpshooting and watching, with battle lines 100 yards apart. July 2 they moved to Smyrna church, on the 9th they crossed the Chattahoochee.
Johnston was relieved of command of the army, and Hood, in his place, ordered the assault along Peachtree Creek, July 20, in which Walker's Division was on the front line. Next followed the yet more bloody assault of July 22, in which Walker was killed. Walker's Division was then broken up. The Fifth and Eighth Mississippi were already transferred to Lowrey's Brigade, Cleburne's Division. Under the command of Lieut.-Col. John B. Herring, the regiment took part with Lowrey's Brigade in the Atlanta battle of July 22, when the casualties were: Company A, Capt. L. B. Fowler commanding, 4 wounded; Company B, Capt. M. M. Miller commanding, killed, Captain Miller, wounded, 4; Company C, Captain S. W. Mosby commanding, killed, Lieut. W. A. Ford and Sergt. S. S. Dennis, wounded 5, missing, Lieut. J. T. Hobgood; Company D, Lieut. W. A. Ford commanding, killed 1, wounded, Lieuts.. Ford and .W.W. Blain and 10 men; Company E, Lieut. L. L. Anderson commanding, killed 5, wounded 7; Company F, Capt. F. M. Woodward commanding, 4 wounded; Company G, Capt. D. B. Lattimore lost a leg, 1 other wounded; Company H, Capt. J. S. Featherston and 2 others wounded severely; Company I, Lieut. J. T. Hobgood commanding, 5 wounded; Company K, Capt. W. J. H. McBeath and 4 others wounded, Sergt. W. W. Phillips killed, 4 missing Total: killed, 9; wounded, 51 ; missing, 11. The Fifth served in the trenches around Atlanta and at East Point until August 30, when they marched to Jonesboro. General Lowrey then took command of Cleburne's Division and Colonel Weir commanded the brigade in the battle of Jonesboro, August 30 and September 1, when they charged a Federal line posted behind rail breastworks about 400 yards in their front, with two pieces of artillery, drove the enemy across Flint River and "the men were so eager in the pursuit that they could not be halted," said Weir, "till they had gained a second line of. works about 300 yards west of the river, in which the enemy made no stand, being so hotly pursued." The brigade captured four pieces of artillery in this charge. The repulse of Wood's Federal Division at Lovejoy's Station, September 2, was a brilliant achievement. According to the Federal reports Gen. Thomas J. Wood was wounded, and Knefler’s Brigade suffered severe loss, including two Colonels dangerously wounded. The brigade loss reported by Colonel Weir was 1 killed, 9 wounded, 39 missing. He said, "My pickets fought the enemy, driving back the skirmish line, and until their line of battle was within forty steps of their barricades and in rear of a part of my picket line." This was at the close of an exhausting campaign of four months and after the loss of Atlanta.
Lowrey's Brigade, with Cleburne's Division, took part in the October, 1864, campaign on the Chattanooga and Atlanta Railroad, including the capture of Dalton, moved thence to Gadsden, Ala., skirmished in front of Decatur, and crossed the Tennessee River November 13. November 21 they marched from Florence in a snow storm that presaged the misery and disaster of the last Tennessee campaign. The first movement was against the Federal position at Columbia, and while S. D. Lee's Corps attacked in front, Cheatham's was moved to the vicinity of Spring Hill to cut off the retreat. Cleburne's Division attacked on the evening of November 29 and had a spirited battle with Stanley's Division, in which there were considerable losses. But the movement was not pressed, and Schofield's three divisions, with an immense wagon train, moved past Cheatham’s Corps that night, over a road that the Federal orderlies dared not venture upon alone. Following to Franklin, Cheatham's Corps was ordered to attack the fortified line, a desperate move that the Federal commanders did not believe would be attempted. But the disappointment of the previous night perhaps had weight in Hood's determination. Cheatham's Corps attacked on the left, Stewart's on the right, and the fight beginning at four in the evening continued until after dark. "The engagement was of the fiercest possible character," said General Hood. "Many of our men were killed entirely inside the works...Never did troops fight more gallantly." But the sacrifice was enormous and useless. Particularly irreparable was the loss of the gallant Cleburne. The general officers, recognizing the hopelessness of the task assigned the men, went to the front and asked their men to follow them. Hence, besides Cleburne, there were more than 60 brigade and regimental commanders killed or wounded. Among the wounded was Colonel John Weir of the Fifth.
In the line taken by Hood's army in front of Nashville, December 2, Lowrey's Brigade was on the extreme right, at the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad cut, two and one-half miles from the city, as it was then. The aggregate present of the brigade December 13 was 837, effective 580. The Fifth and the Third Battalion were then commanded by Capt. F. M. Woodward. They gallantly repulsed both flank and front attacks December 15, and next day fought, Lowrey commanding the division, near the Granny White pike, and were involved in the general disaster. They recrossed the Tennessee River December 26 and marched to northeast Mississippi.
In the Carolina campaign the remnants of Lowrey's Brigade, the Fifth, Eighth and Thirty-second Regiments and Third Battalion, were consolidated as the Eighth Mississippi Battalion, Capt. J. Y. Carmack commanding. With Sharp's and Manigault's Brigades likewise consolidated, it was included in the brigade command of General Sharp, in D. H. Hill's Division, Lee's Corps. (See Ninth Regiment).
The army was surrendered April 26, 1865, and paroled at Greensboro.