History of Law's Alabama Brigade, 1862-1865

The Commanders:

Evander McIvor Law, educator and journalist, was born in Darlington, SC, 7 August 1836. He studied in public school and attended the South Carolina Military Academy, graduating in 1856. He served as a history teacher there and at Kings Mountain Military Academy until 1860 when he moved to Tuskegee, AL, and helped to found the Military High School.

When the Civil War came, Law recruited a compnay of men, mostly his students, that became a part of the 4th Alabama Infantry. Law rose to Lt. Col. of the regiment, and went with it to Virginia. After spending time in training, the regiment fought at 1st Manassas as part of Barnard E. Bee's 3rd Brigade, seeing its Col. killed in action, and Law wounded. However, Law recovered and was commissioned Col. of the 4th. When the 4th was sent to the Peninsula with Brig. Gen'l W. H. C. Whiting, Law commanded the brigade at Seven Pines and again during the Seven Day's fighting. Brig. Gen'l John Bell Hood then took command of his own Texas Brigade and Law's Brigade (composed of the 4th AL, 2nd and 11th MS, and 6th NC) and led his troops at 2nd Manassas, Sharpsburg, and Fredericksburg. Col. Law was promoted to Brigadier (15 October 1862, ranking from 2 October) and his brigade was reorganized to include five Alabama units, the 4th, 15th, 44th, 47th, and 48th AL regiments. At Gettysburg, Law's Brigade was on the right of the Confederate lines and led in the assault on the Round Tops. When Gen'l Hood was wounded, Law assumed command of Hood's Division, temporarily [Gen'l James Longstreet wanted to promote Brig. Gen'l Micah Jenkins rather than to keep Law in command]. However, Hood resumed command and ended the controversy. At Chickamauga (September 1863), Law assumed command of the division when Hood was wounded, as Jenkins had not reached the field. However, Jenkins commanded the division during the sieges of Knoxville and Chattanooga and until The Wilderness where Jenkins was mistaken for a Yankee and shot by his own men. Law led his men at The Wilderness, at Spotsylvania, and along the North Anna River where Law was seriously wounded. When he recovered, Law asked to be transferred to the and was sent to South Carolina where he commanded a brigade of cavalry. Placed in charge of evacuating Columbia, he was recommended for promotion to Major Gen'l (20 March 1865). He was a member of Gen'l Johnston's staff and surrendered with the Army of Tennessee.

Following the war, Law became involved in agricultural affairs and helped organize the Alabama Grange in 1872. He also was associated with Kings Mountain Military Academy until it closed in 1881. At that point, Law relocated to Florida and opened the Southern Florida Military Institute at Bartow. Law operated the school until 1903. He also edited the Bartow Courier-Informant (1905-1915) and served on the Bartow Board of Education from 1912 until his death. Law was also active in Confederate veterans' activities and commanded the Florida Division, helped to organize a UDC chapter in Bartow, and wrote several articles about the war. He was the last surviving Confederate Major Gen'l. He died in Bartow, 31 Oct 1920, and is buried there.

William Flank Perry, a Georgian, had been born in Jackson County, 12 March 1823, and was a self-educated, but non-practicing attorney with an interest in public education. His family moved to Alabama in 1833, and Perry began to teach in country schools while studying law. He was admitted to the bar, but he devoted himself to improving education and laying the basis for free public education in Alabama, rather than establishing a law practice. In 1858 he took charge of the East Alabama Female College at Tuskegee where he remained until the war called him in 1862.

Perry enlisted as a private in the 44th Alabama infantry and began a rapid rise in rank. He was elected Major within a few weeks (May 1862), rose to Lt. Col. after 2nd Manassas (1 September 1862), and Col. after Sharpsburg (17 September 1862). He led his regiment at Gettysburg in the assault against Little Round Top, and he was cited for gallantry at Chickamauga. As a result of the feud between Gen'ls Jenkins and Law, Perry was in actual charge of the brigade during the winter, 1863-1864. He led his regiment at The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and the North Anna where Gen'l Law was wounded. Thereafter, Perry assumed command of the brigade and kept it until the surrender at Appomattox. However, he was not promoted to Brig. Gen'l until 21 February 1865.

Following the war, Perry farmed in Alabama for two years and then resumed his career as an educator. He became a professor of English and philosophy at Ogden College, Bowling Green, KY, at the time of his death there on 18 December 1901.

The Regiments:

Law's Brigade consisted of the || 4th || 15th || 44th || 47th || 48th || Alabama Infantry Regiments.

The 4th Alabama Volunteer Infantry Regiment

was organized at Dalton, Georgia, on 2 May 1861 with troops from Conecuh, Dallas, Jackson, Lauderdale, Macon, Madison, Marengo, and Perry counties. Sent immediately to Virginia, they were mustered into service for twelve months at Lynchburg on 7 May and proceeded to Harper's Ferry for training. They later were transferred to Winchester where they became a part of Brig. Gen'l Barnard E. Bee's Third Brigade, of which the 2nd and 11th Mississippi, the 1st Tennessee, and the 6th North Carolina were the other regiments. They were moved forward and participated in the 1st Battle of Manassas where the 4th Alabama took a prominent part, losing 38 killed and 208 wounded out of a total of about 750 engaged. They lost all of their field officers in that engagement, including Gen'l Bee, who gained fame for first calling Brig. Gen'l Thomas J. Jackson "Stonewall." Bee was succeeded by Brig. Gen'l W. H. C. Whiting.

The 4th spent the winter at Dumfries and re-enlisted for three years in January, 1862. They were reorganized in April and moved over to the vicinity of Norfolk. The regiment was engaged both days at the Battle of Seven Pines, losing 8 killed and 19 wounded. Two weeks later, the brigade was sent to the Shenandoah Valley only to return with Stonewall Jackson's corps against the Union flank. The unit was hotly engaged at Cold Harbor, losing 22 killed and 108 wounded out of 500 present; losses at Malvern Hill were slight.

The regiment moved northward the the Army of Northern Virginia and participated at the Second Battle of Manassas and lost 20 killed and 43 wounded. At Boonsboro the loss was slight, and at Sharpsburg, the loss was 8 killed and 43 wounded. After this campaign, Brig. Gen'l Evander McIver Law was assigned to command of the Alabama Brigade which was shortly after organized with the 4th, 15th, 44th, 47th and 48th Alabama regiments as its complement. They were placed together with the Texas Brigade and assigned to the division commanded by Major Gen'l John Bell Hood.

The 4th was engaged at Fredericksburg where it lost 5 k and 17 w. The regiment was detached with Lt. Gen'l James Longstreet to invest Suffolk in 1863, and it soon after took up the line of march for Pennsylvania where it was engaged in the assault at Gettysburg, losing 15 k and 72 w and mia.

In the fall of 1863, the 4th moved with Longstreet's Corps via railroad and took part at the Battle of Chicamauga, with a loss of 14 k and 54 w out of about 300 engaged. It moved with the corps into east Tennessee, and in the attack on Knoxville lost 5 killed and 24 wounded. Rejoining the army in Virginia, the Fourth was hotly engaged, and lost 15 k and 58 w at The Wilderness, out of about 250 engaged, with 4 k and 11 w at Spottsylvania.

The 4th participated in all the operations to the Second Battle of Cold Harbor, where its loss was slight. Then, for nearly ten months, the 4th lay behind the defences of Petersburg, taking part in the various movements and assaults, and losing 10 k and 30 w during that time. It surrendered 21 officers and 202 men at Appomattox, Brig. William F. Perry having been in command of the brigade for nearly one year. Of 1,422 men on its rolls, about 240 died in battle, nearly 100 died of disease, and 408 were discharged or transferred.

Field and staff officers: Cols. Egbert J. Jones (Madison County; KIA, 1st Manassas [died, 3 Sept 1861]); Evander McIvor Law (Macon County; promoted); Pinckney Downie Bowles (Conecuh County; promoted); Lt. Cols. Evander McIvor Law (promoted); Thomas J. Goldsby (Dallas County; wounded, 1st Cold Harbor; resigned); Owen Kenan McLemore (Chambers County; KIA, Boonsboro); Pinckney Downie Bowles (promoted); Lawrence Houston Scruggs (Madison County; wounded, Chicamauga); Majors Charles L. Scott (Wilcox County; wounded, Manassas; resigned, 22 Aug 1862); Pinckney Downie Bowles (promoted); Lawrence Houston Scruggs (promoted); Thomas K. Coleman (Perry County; KIA, Chicamauga); William Mack Robbins (Perry County; wounded, The Wilderness); and Adjutants Joseph Hardie (dropped, 21 April 1862); Robert T. Coles (Madison County; wounded, Gaines' Mill)

[Much of the information for the sketch of the 4th Alabama Infantry Regiment, as well as the 15th, 44th, 47th, and 48th Regiments, is taken from Willis Brewer's Alabama : her history, resources, war record and public men, from 1540 to 1872. Spartanburg, SC : The Reprint Co., 1975.], and from Supplement to the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (serial No. 13 : Alabama troops). Wilmington, NC : Broadfoot Pub. Co., 1994.

Captains (and the counties from which companies came)

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The 15th Alabama Volunteer Infantry Regiment

was organized at Fort Mitchell, Alabama, in August, 1861, with eleven companies recruited from Barbour, Dale, Henry, Macon, Pike, and Russell counties. With over 900 men, the regiment was moved into East Tennessee and then Virginia. It joined the main army near Manassas and was brigaded with the 21st Georgia, 21st North Carolina, and 16th Mississippi Regiments under Maj. Gen'l G. B. Crittenden of Kentucky (Brig. Gen'l Isaac R. Trimble succeeded Crittenden in December). When the army moved over to Yorktown, the 15th remained on the Shenandoah in Maj. Gen'l Thomas J. 'Stonewall' Jackson's Division to participate in the Valley Campaign. It was engaged with slight loss at Front Royal (23 May 1862) and Winchester (25 May), but it lost 9 killed and 33 wounded out of 425 engaged at Cross Keys (8 June).

Moving over to Richmond in Jackson's flank attack against Union Maj. Gen'l George B. McClellan, the 15th entered the first battle of Cold Harbor (27-28 June) with 412 men and lost 34 killed and 110 wounded. The regiment suffered slightly at Malvern Hill on 1 July. It was engaged at Hazel River (22 August) and at Manassas Junction with a loss of 6 killed and 22 wounded. The 15th Alabama participated in the 2nd Battle of Manassas (30 August), losing 21 killed and 91 wounded out of 440 men engaged. At Chantilly (1 September), the regiment lost 4 killed and 14 wounded and took part in the investment of Harper's Ferry, with trivial loss. At Sharpsburg (17 September), of 300 men engaged, 9 were killed and 75 wounded. Under fire at Fredericksburg on 15 December, the regiment had casualties of one killed and 34 wounded.

The 15th Alabama was placed in the Alabama Brigade under Gen'l Evander McIver Law (with the 4th, 44th, 47th and 48th Alabama regiments) on 19 January 1863.

On detached duty at Suffolk until May, the regiment lost 4 killed and 18 wounded. Later that summer, the regiment took part in the assault on Gettysburg (1-3 July) with Hood's Division, and within a few minutes lost 72 killed, 190 wounded, and 81 missing of the 644 men engaged. The 15th suffered lightly at Battle Mountain, and, transferred to the West with Braxton Bragg's army, fought at Chicamauga (19-20 September), where it lost 19 killed and 123 wounded, out of 425 engaged. In the fierce fights at Brown's Ferry (27 October) and Lookout Valley, the regiment lost 15 killed and 40 wounded. At Knoxville (17 November-4 December), 6 were killed and 21 wounded; at Bean's Station (14 December), losses were slight.

In 1864, the 15th took 450 men into the fight at The Wilderness (5-7 May) and Spottsylvania (8-18 May) where it lost 18 killed and 48 wounded. At Hanover Court House (30 May) and the 2nd Battle of Cold Harbor (1-12 June), the loss was 6 killed and 16 wounded. During the Petersburg defense, the 15th lost a third of its 275 men at Deep Bottom (14-18 August), and at Fussell's Mill, the loss was 13 killed and 90 wounded. The 15th took part in the subsequent severe fighting and surrendered 170 men at Appomattox. Of 1633 on the rolls, over 260 fell in battle, 440 died in the service, and 231 were transferred or discharged.

Field and staff officers: Cols. James Cantey (Russell County; promoted); John Fletcher Treutlen (Barbour County; resigned, 28 April 1861); William Calvin Oates (Henry County; wounded, Brown's Ferry); Alexander A. Lowther (Russell County; wounded, Fussell's Mill); Lt. Cols. John Fletcher Treutlen (promoted); Isaac Ball Feagin (Barbour County; wounded, Gettysburg, retired, 7 Dec 1864); Majors John Wilhite Lewis Daniel (Barbour County; resigned, 25 Jan 1862); Alexander A. Lowther (wounded, The Wilderness; promoted); and Adjutants Locke Weems (Russell County; died in service, 16 July 1862); D. B. Waddell (transferred to line)

Captains (and the counties from which the companies came)

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The 44th Alabama Volunteer Infantry Regiment

was organized at Selma, Alabama, on 16 May 1862, with men from Bibb, Calhoun, Dallas, DeKalb, Lowndes, Randolph, Shelby, and Wilcox counties. The regiment reached Richmond on the 1st of July and was attached to Brig. Gen'l. A. R. Wright's Brigade, along with the 3rd, 22nd, and 48th Georgia Regiments, and assigned to Maj. Gen'l. R. H. Anderson's Division. The regiment was greatly reduced from camp diseases and went into the second Battle of Manassas (30 August 1862) with 130 rank and file where it lost 5 killed and 22 wounded. It then took part in the investment of Harper's Ferry (15 September). At the Battle of Sharpsburg (17 September), the regiment carried 113 rank and rile into the fight and lost 14 killed and 65 wounded of that number (2/3 of their effective force).

At Fredericksburg, the regiment was under fire briefly and suffered slight losses. The 44th Regiment wintered on the Rappahannock River and was placed in the Alabama Brigade of Gen'l Evander McIver Law, with the 4th, 15th, 47th and 48th Alabama Regiments and was assigned to Hood's Division, Longstreet's Corps.

In the spring of 1863, the regiment was detached for service in Suffolk where it lost two companies (A and B), captured at Hills Point (18 April). In the assault at Gettysburg (1-3 July), the 44th lost heavily but managed to capture the first two guns of the enemy's that were brought off the field by the Confederates.

Transferred a few weeks later with Longstreet's Corps to the West, the 44th Alabama lost several men at Chicamauga (19-20 September). It then shared the privations of the East Tennessee campaign, losing slightly at Lookout Valley, Knoxville and Dandridge (16-17 January 1864).

Longstreet's Corps returned to the Army of Northern Virginia in time (5-6 May) to take part at the Battle of the Wilderness and Spottsylvania (7-12 May), where the 44th's casualties were heavy. Its losses were slight at Hanover Junction, the 2nd Battle of Cold Harbor, and at Bermuda Hundred.

Around Petersburg, and in the trenches protecting that city, the 44th was constantly engaged. It departed there with the remnant of the Army of NorthernVirginia and surrendered 17 officers and 192 men at Appomattox under Colonel John A. Jones. The 44th enrolled 1094 men on its rosters; of these, 150 were killed in action, 200 died in the service, and 142 were discharged or transferred.

Field and staff officers: Cols. James Kent (Dallas County; resigned); Charles Alexander Derby (Lowndes County; KIA, Sharpsburg); William Flank Perry (Macon County; promoted); John Archibald Jones (Bibb County); Lt. Cols. Charles Alexander Derby (Lowndes County; promoted); William Flank Perry (Macon County; promoted); John Archibald Jones (Bibb County; promoted); George Walton Carey (Shelby County; wounded, near Richmond); Majors William Flank Perry (Macon County; promoted); John Archibald Jones (Bibb County; promoted); George Walton Carey (Shelby County; wounded, Richmond); A. W. Denman (Randolph County); and Adjutant T. A. Nicoll (Dallas County; captured, near Richmond)

Captains (and the counties from which the companies came)

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The 47th Alabama Volunteer Infantry Regiment

was organized at Loachapoka, Alabama, on 22 May 1862 with men recruited from Chambers, Cherokee, Coosa, and Tallapoosa counties. It reached Virginia in late June and was assigned to Maj. Gen'l Thomas J. 'Stonewall' Jackson's Corps and brigaded with Brig. Gen'l William B. Taliaferro's Brigade, with the 48th Alabama and three Virginia regiments. A few weeks later, the regiment engaged in its first battle at Cedar Run (9 August) where it lost 12 killed and 76 wounded, or nearly one-half of its strength. At the 2nd Battle of Manassas (30 August), the 47th lost 7 killed and 25 wounded. It was present at Chantilly (1 September) and at the capture of Harper's Ferry (12-15 September). It engaged at Sharpsburg with 115 men and lost every commissioned officer present on the field, mustering 17 men the next morning under a sergeant.

The 47th Alabama spent the winter on the Rappahannock and witnessed the repulse of Burnside at Fredericksburg. Transferred in January, 1863, to the Alabama Brigade of Brig. Gen'l Evander McIver Law (4th, 15th, 44th, 47th and 48th Regiments) and Hood's Division, Longstreet's Corps, the 47th lost several men in the fighting at Suffolk.

After they rejoined the main Army of Northern Virginia, the 47th Alabama marched into Pennsylvania and Gettysburg (1-3 July) where they suffered 40 casualties. Two months later, Longstreet's Corps was transferred to north Georgia and the Army of Tennessee, and the 47th lost heavily at Chicamauga (20 September). It took part in the investment of Knoxville (17 November-4 December) with only light loss, and in the operations in East Tennessee.

Again rejoining the main Army of Northern Virginia in the spring of 1864, the 47th fought in The Wilderness (5-6 May) and lost 111 men. They participated in the charge on Union Gen'l. Gouverneur K. Warren's Corps at Spottsylvania where the Alabama Brigade opened the battle. In all the subsequent operations around Richmond, the regiment took part, and in the defence of Petersburg, it suffered 49 casualties. As part of Brig. Gen'l William F. Perry's Brigade, the 47th Alabama surrendered about 90 men at Appomattox Court House.

Field and staff officers: Cols. James McCarthy Oliver (Tallapoosa County; resigned); James W. Jackson (Tallapoosa County; wounded, Sharpsburg; resigned); Michael Jefferson Bulger (Tallapoosa County); Lt. Cols. James W. Jackson (promoted); Michael Jefferson Bulger (wounded, Gettysburg, and captured; promoted); Leigh Richmond Terrell (KIA, Darbytown Road); Majors John Y. Johnston (Tallapoosa County; resigned); James McDonald Campbell (Cherokee County; KIA, near Richmond); and Adjutants Henry A. Garrett (Tallapoosa County; wounded, 2nd Manassas; resigned); W. H. Kellar (relieved); R. E. Jordan.

Captains (and the counties from which the companies came)

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The 48th Alabama Volunteer Infantry Regiment

enlisted for three years at Auburn, Alabama, on 22 May 1862, with 1097 men recruited from Blount, Calhoun, Colbert, Cherokee, DeKalb, Jackson, and Marshall counties. A few weeks later it reached Virginia and was attached to Brig. Gen'l William B. Taliaferro's Brigade, Maj. Gen'l. Thomas J. 'Stonewall' Jackson's Division, with the 47th Alabama, and three Virginia regiments. The 48th Alabama's first combat was at Cedar Run (9 August 1862) where they suffered severe loss (73 casualties); at the 2nd Battle of Manassas, it again suffered severely (50 casualties).

The regiment was part of the investing force at Harper's Ferry, and it was hurt badly at Sharpsburg (42 casualties). During the winter, the 48th was placed in the Alabama Brigade of Brig. Gen'l Evander McIver Law (with the 4th, 15th, 44th, and 47th Alabama Regiments), Hood's Division, Longstreet's Corps. The regiment was under fire at Fredericksburg, and it fought with only slight losses at Suffolk.

The 48th Alabama Regiment moved into Pennsylvania and was "fearfully punished" in the assaults on Gettysburg (they reported more than 25% casulaties of the 374 engaged). Ten weeks later, as a part of Longstreet's Corps, the regiment was engaged at Chicamauga (20 September). It was engaged at Lookout Valley and at Knoxville; and it passed the winter in East Tennessee.

Rejoining the main Army of Northern Virginia at The Wilderness (5-6 May 1864), the 48th performed ably but lost heavily (11 killed, 30 wounded, 8 missing). From that time to the end, at Hanover Junction, the 2nd Battle of Cold Harbor,Bermuda Hundred, Petersburg, Fussell's Mill, Fort Harrison, Darbytown Road, Williamsburg Road, and Farmville, the 48th was almost constantly on active duty. During the last half of 1864, they lost 9 killed, and 24 wounded. The48th Alabama surrendered 136 officers and men at Appomattox Court House, having lost over 150 in battle, 165 in service, and 125 who were discharged or transferred.

Field and staff officers: Col. James Lawrence Sheffield (Marshall County; wounded, Cedar Run; resigned); Lt. Cols. Abner A. Hughes (Cherokee County; resigned, 15 Oct 1862); Jesse J. Alldredge (Blount County; resigned); William Mack Hardwick (Cherokee County; captured on furlough); Majors Enoch Aldridge (Blount County; wounded, Cedar Run; resigned); William Mack Hardwick (Cherokee County; promoted); John W. Wiggonton (Calhoun County); and Adjutants Thomas B. Harris (Marshall County; wounded, Cedar Run; resigned, Sept 1862); L. J. Eubanks (Marshall County; transferred to line); H. S. Figuera (Madison County; KIA, The Wilderness); F. N. Kitchell

Captains (and the counties from which the companies came)

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Comments and corrections, additions, etc., are welcomed. Email: Ken Jones.

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File created 1 September 1996; last updated 13 May 2005.