Wilcox' Brigade, 1862-1865

The Commander:

Cadmus Marcellus Wilcox was an experienced soldier when the Civil War broke out. He was born in Wayne County, NC, 29 May 1824, graduated from West Point with George B. McClellan and Stonewall Jackson (1846), and was breveted 1st Lieutenant in Mexico for his service at Chapultepec and Mexico City. Following that, he served in frontier American posts and as an instructor at West Point. While there, he wrote a book on rifle practice, Rifles and Rifle Practice (1859), the first American book on the subject.

Cadmus Wilcox resigned his US Army Captaincy in June of 1861 and accepted an appointment as Colonel of the 9th AL Infantry. He was at 1st Manassas and at most of the following battles of the Army of Northern Virginia. He became a Brigadier Gen'l early on (21 October 1861), and was assigned to Major Gen'l James Longstreet's Division. In the Seven Days' battles, Wilcox proved to be an able commander despite his high casualty rate (1,055 men out of 1,800). Wilcox commanded three brigades at 2nd Manassas, but his great opportunity was at Chancellorsville. Wilcox' Brigade was assigned to guard Banks' Ford along the Rappahannock River, away from the main battleground. Wilcox offered stubborn resistance and thwarted a Union effort to strike Gen'l Robert E. Lee's army from the rear at Salem Church; he stopped the Union advance long enough for Lee to meet the new threat. Wilcox also shone in the Gettysburg Campaign despite heavy losses on the 3rd day while attempting to support Pickett's charge. In January 1864, Wilcox was promoted to Major Gen'l and sent to command a division in Lt. Gen'l Ambrose P. Hill's Third Corps. As a part of Hill's command, Wilcox was usually in heavy fighting, at The Wilderness, at Spotsylvania, and at Petersburg. On 2 April 1865, Wilcox' men held Fts. Gregg and Alexander, denying the Union army access to Petersburg itself. Then, on 9 April 1865, while Wilcox was preparing to attempt to break through the Union lines, Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia.

Following the war, Wilcox, a bachelor, resided in Washington, DC; and from 1886 until his death, 2 December 1890, he held the post of chief of the railroad division of the US Government Land Office. He was offered a commission in the army of Egypt but turned it down to care for the widow and two children of his elder brother. He wrote a History of the Mexican War (edited by his niece in 1892), and when he died, he was mourned by soldiers both North and South.

Cadmus M. Wilcox
Cadmus Marcellus Wilcox

The Regiments: || 8th || 9th || 10th || 11th || 14th ||

8th Alabama Infantry Regiment

The 8th Alabama Infantry Regiment was the first Alabama command that enlisted "for the war." It was organized by the War Department at Richmond on 10 June 1861, with men recruited from Butler, Coosa, Dallas, Mobile, and Perry counties. The regiment lay at Yorktown, Virginia, for the first eleven months of its service, and a detachment of it was engaged in a skirmish near Wynn's Mill. Placed in Gen'l Roger Pryor's Brigade, the regiment fell back with the army until it was overtaken at Williamsburg and lost about 100 men. At Seven Pines, it was again under fire, losing 32 k, 80 w, and 32 missing. Now in the brigade of Gen'l Cadmus Wilcox, with the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 14th Alabama Regiments, the 8th was under fire at Mechanicsville and took part in the desperate assault of Gen'l James Longstreet's Division on the enemy position at Gaines' Mill. Losses in that assault were high, 47% of the 350 men engaged. Three days later, the regiment was in the line of assault at Frazier's Farm where it met Union Gen'l Thomas Meagher's Irish Brigade. Of the 180 effectives there, only 90 were at regimental muster the next morning. Its ranks soon began to fill and the 8th Alabama marched with the Army of Northern Virginia towards the Potomac River. At the Second Battle of Manassas, it was under a destructive fire and lost about 60 men as it was held in reserve. The regiment took part in the capture of Harper's Ferry, then it crossed the Potomac River and fought obstinately at Sharpsburg, losing 67 k and w. It wintered on the Rappahannock, losing only slightly at Fredericksburg. At Salem Church, Wilcox' Brigade bore the brunt of the Federal assault, driving the enemy back in confusion and capturing 1500 prisoners (with losses of 58 k and w). It was in the exultant army that Gen'l Robert E. Lee led into Maryland for the second time, and at Gettysburg, 260 casualties were lost out of 420 engaged. With the army, the 8th recrossed the Potomac and wintered in the vicinity of Orange Court House. The regiment was again hotly engaged at The Wilderness, losing heavily there and at Spotsylvania. It was under fire nearly every day as the Federal army pressed up to Richmond, and its loss was severe at 2nd Cold Harbor. At Petersburg, the 8th again suffered. It fought the Union cavalry raid against the Weldon Railroad, and it participated in the capture of the "Crater." At Deep Bottom, the regiment participated with some loss, and it lost heavily in the attempt to dislodge the enemy from their position on the Weldon Railroad. The regiment assisted at the repulse of the the enemy on the Plank Road below Petersburg, and they fought as the army retreated up the James River. At Appomattox, the remnant denied the first rumors of surrender and indignantly tore their battle-flag into shreds to retain as mementos. Of 1377 men on its roll, the 8th lost 300 killed or mortally wounded, over 170 died of disease, and 236 were discharged or transferred; 16 officers and 153 men surrendered.

Field and staff officers: Cols. John Anthony Winston (Sumter; resigned, 10 June 1862); Young Lea Royston (Perry; wounded, Frazier's Farm, Salem Church; retired, 2 Nov 1864); Hillary Abner Herbert (Butler); Lt. Cols. John Wesley Frazer (Tennessee; KIA, 20 March 1862); Thomas Evans Irby (Dallas; KIA, Williamsburg, 5 May 1862) Young Lea Royston (promoted); Hillary Abner Herbert (wounded, Sharpsburg, The Wilderness; promoted); John P. Emrich (Mobile; wounded, Petersburg); Majors Thomas Evans Irby (promoted); Young Lea Royston (promoted); Hillary Abner Herbert (wounded, Seven Pines, and captured; promoted); Duke Nall (Perry; mortally wounded, The Wildereness); and Adjutants Thomas Phelan (Perry; transferred to line); Daniel Jones (Dallas; wounded, Fraziers's Farm; transferred and promoted); and Morgan S. Cleveland (Dallas; wounded, Petersburg)

Captains and counties from which the companies came:

Historical Resources:

9th Alabama Infantry Regiment

The 9th Alabama Infantry Regiment was organized at Richmond, Virginia, the latter part of May 1861, and contained men from Butler, Calhoun, Greene, Jackson, Lauderdale, Limestone, Marshall, Mobile, Morgan, and Sumter counties. It was moved to Winchester several weeks later and was there brigaded under Gen'l Kirby Smith of Florida. It did not reach the Manassas battlefield because of a railroad accident. The regiment lay at Manassas and Centerville until March 1862 when it marched to Yorktown. Gen'l J. H. Forney of Calhoun succeeded to the command of the brigade, and he was relieved by Gen'l Cadmus M. Wilcox in January. The regiment was under fire at Yorktown, with only slight loss. It participated in the Battle of Williamsburg, again with light losses. At Seven Pines, it was held in reserve and did not suffer losses at all. It was now brigaded with the 8th, 10th, 11th, and 14th Alabama regiments, still under Gen'l Wilcox. At Gaines' Mill, the regiment suffered 134 casualties, and at Frazier's Farm, 130 casualties. With the army, it took up the line of march for Maryland and was under fire if not actively engaged at 2nd Manassas. It was part of the investing force at Harper's Ferry and was then hurried to the field at Sharpsburg, where it lost 8 k, 42 w, and 9 missing. The 9th wintered on the Rappahannock and was under fire, with few casualties, at Fredericksburg. Its brightest renown was won at Salem Church, in the Chancellorsville campaign (21 k, 90 w), where it bore the brunt of a successful assault, losing heavily. The regiment moved into Pennsylvania and suffered 58 k and w at Gettysburg; brigade casualties were 781. The fall and winter were passed in camp, near Orange Court House. The 9th participated in The Wilderness and at Appomattox, with heavy losses in each. Gen' l John Calhoun Sanders of Greene then took command of the brigade. The fighting was almost continuous for several weeks, culminating in the terrible repulse of the enemy at 2nd Cold Harbor, in which the 9th suffered slightly. From June until the war's end, nine months, the regiment was in the trenches of Petersburg, engaged in a majority of the many battles that punctuated the siege there. A remnant of the 9th surrendered at Appomattox, 6 officers and 70 men, the brigade having been in the command of Gen'l W. H. Forney of Calhoun for some months. Of 1138 men on its rolls, about 200 fell in battle, over 175 died of disease, and 208 were discharged or transferred.

Field and staff officers: Cols. Cadmus Marcellus Wilcox (Tennessee; promoted); Samuel Henry (Marshall; resigned); Joseph Horace King (Morgan; wounded, Gettysburg); Lt. Cols. Samuel Henry (promoted); Edward Asbury O'Neal (Lauderdale; transferred); Gaynes Chislom Smith (Limestone); Majors Edward Asbury O'Neal (promoted); Jeremiah Henry Johnston Williams (Jackson; resigned, 11 Sept 1863); James McCullough Crow (Lauderdale); and Adjutants D. F. Boyd; John Burtwell (Lauderdale; transferred); John Charles Featherston (Limestone; transferred to line); James W. Wilson (KIA, Sharpsburg); and William R. Holcombe (Limestone; captured, Petersburg)

Captains, and counties from which the companies came:

Historical Resources:

10th Alabama Infantry Regiment

The 10th Alabama Infantry was organized at Montgomery, 4 June 1861, with men recruited from Calhoun, De Kalb, Jefferson, Saint Clair, Shelby, and Talladega counties. It went to Virginia a month later. When it arrived at Winchester, it was brigaded under Gen'l Edmund Kirby Smith with the 9th and 11th Alabama, 19th Mississippi, and 38th Virginia regiments. It saw no active service for several months and lay near Manassas and Centerville with Gen'l Cadmus M. Wilcox in command of the brigade. It was doing some detached duty when attacked at Dranesville where it lost 21 k and 64 w. The regiment marched to the peninsula and was shelled at Yorktown. It fought at Williamsburg and there lost 85 k and w. Held in reserve at Seven Pines, it suffered lightly. The 10th took a conspicuous part in the battles of Gaines' Mill and Frazier's Farm but lost over 200 casualties. It was at 2nd Manassas and lost 30 casualties. Under fire at Harper's Ferry, it marched rapidly to Sharpsburg; there its casualty rate was greater than 50% of the 200 men present. During the winter of 1862-1863, the 10th was on the Rappahannock and saw some active duty, suffering lightly at Hazel River and Fredericksburg. It sustained the shock of Sedgwick's Corps at Salem; of the 400 men engaged, 120 were casualties (brigade losses were 441). At Gettysburg, the 10th was present with 450 men and lost 175 k and w. The 10th spent the winter of 1863-1864 near Orange Court House and was later engaged at The Wilderness and Spotsylvania, losing about 50 casualties in the former and about 60 in the latter. It was engaged at 2nd Cold Harbor (losses were 20), and in the months of June through August, 1864, it participated in the struggles around Petersburg, with severe losses. At Hatcher's Run, it lost between 15 and 20 casualties, and about 30 at High Bridge and Farmville on the retreat to Appomattox. There the regiment surrendered 10 commissioned officers and 208 men. Of the 1429 names on the muster rolls, nearly 300 were killed or mortally wounded. Another 180 died of disease and 249 were discharged or transferred.

Field and staff officers: Cols. John Horace Forney (Calhoun; wounded, Dranesville; promoted); John J. Woodward (Talladega; KIA Gaines' Mill); William Henry Forney (Calhoun; wounded, Williamsburg and captured; wounded, Gettysburg; promoted); William Thomas Smith (St. Clair); Lt. Cols. Arthur Sinclair Cunningham (temporary); James Benson Martin (Talladega; KIA, Drainesville, 20 Dec 61); John J. Woodward (promoted); William Henry Forney; John Henry Caldwell (St. Clair, resigned, 10 June 63); James E. Shelley (Talladega; wounded, Spotsylvania; KIA, Petersburg); William Thomas Smith; Lewis W. Johnson; Majors Taul Bradford (Talladega; resigned, 21 Aug 61); John W. Woodward; William H. Forney; John H. Caldwell; James Davis Truss (St. Clair; promoted); Louis W. Johnson and Adjutants James B. Martin (retired, 15 Nov 61); James E. Shelley (promoted); L. W. Grant; and William W. Draper (acting)

Captains, and counties from which the companies came:

Historical Resources:

11th Alabama Infantry Regiment

The 11th Alabama Infantry Regiment was enlisted 17 June 1861 at Lynchburg, VA, with 972 men, rank and file, though several of the companies had been in camp for 2 or 3 months. The companies were raised in Bibb, Clarke, Fayette, Greene, Marengo, Perry, Pickens, Tuscaloosa, and Washington counties. Proceeding to VA, it reached Winchester in July and was brigaded under Gen'l Edmund Kirby Smith of FL. It remained between Alexandria and Centreville, and near Manassas, until the army moved over to Yorktown. Gen'l John H. Forney of Calhoun had been in temporary command of the brigade, and was succeeded during the winter by Gen'l Cadmus Wilcox. The regiment fell back to Richmond and was first under fire at Seven Pines, where it lost 9 k and 49 w. It charged the enemy in a strong position at Gaines' Mill, and lost 27 k and 129 w. But it was at Frazier's Farm 3 days later that the 11th and other regiments of the brigade charged across an open field and engaged in a bloody struggle over the enemy's batteries, wherein the bayonet was the chief weapon, and where it lost the commanding officers of 8 companies and a total of 182 k and w. The regiment was under fire at 2nd Manassas and lost 25 k and w. It was part of the investing force t harper's Ferry and hastened to Sharpsburg where it was engaged with a lost of 35 k and w. It wintered on the Rappahannock and was exposed at Fredericksburg where casualties were 12 k and w. As part of Wilcox's Brigade, it fought Union Gen'l John Sedgwick at Salem, where it lost 117 k and w. With the army, it moved into PA and was badly cut up at Gettysburg. The command wintered near Orange Courthouse, 1863-64 and tried to gather strength. At The Wilderness and Spotsylvania, the regiment was in close quarters against the enemy and lost about 65 men. Gen'l John Sanders of Greene was now in command of the brigade. From The Wilderness to Petersburg, almost constant skirmishing occurred, and from 22-30 June, the loss was about 80 k and w. The 11th was in the column that retook the line broken at the "Crater," losing about 40 men, and from 16 Aug to 17 Oct, which includes the effort to retake the Weldon Railroad, the loss in k, w, and captured was 76. It fought at Burgess' Mill, with severe loss, and was sternly confronting the foe at Appomattox when astounded by the news of the surrender. There were only about 125 of the regiment present there for duty, Capt. M. L. Stewart of Pickens commanding. Of 1192 names on its muster roll, over 270 fell in battle, about 200 died of disease, 170 were discharged, and 80 were transferred.

Field and staff officers: Cols. Sydenham Moore (Greene; mortally wounded, Seven Pines; died in service, 25 Aug 1863); John Caldwell Calhoun Sanders (Greene; wounded, Gettyburg; KIA, 21 Aug 1864); George Edward Tayloe (Marengo); Lt. Cols. Stephen Fowler Hale (Greene; KIA, Gaines' Mill); John J. Gracie (retired, 7 May 62); George Edward Tayloe (promoted); Majors Isham W. Garrott (Perry; resigned); Archibald Gracie (Mobile; resigned); George Field (Greene; resigned, 11 Sept 1862); Richard J. Fletcher (Washington; disabled, Gettysburg; retired); and Adjutants Thomas H. Holcombe (Marengo; transferred to line); Walter E. Winn (Marengo; transferred); R. Y. Ashe (Marengo; KIA, Petersburg, 29 June 1864); and Cornelius Wattington (Marengo).

Captains, and counties from which the companies came:

Historical Resources:

14th Alabama Infantry Regiment

The 14th AL Infantry Regiment was organized at Auburn on 1 Aug 1861 with men from Montgomery and Auburn and the counties of Chambers, Jackson, Randolph, and Tallapoosa. It went first to Huntsville and remained until October, then to Fredericksburg, Virginia where it arrived in November. It was sent to Richmond to rest after suffering camp diseases, especially measles. Proceeding to Yorktown, it was brigaded under Gen. Roger Pryor of Virginia, Longstreet's Division. The command fell back with the army, and fought at Williamsburg with heavy loss to four of the companies. In April, 1862, it numbered 700 effectives. At Seven Pines, it was again in action, with but few casualties. It participated at Mechanicsville and was almost annihilated at Frazier's Farm and Malvern Hill, losing nearly all the officers, after charging the enemy's positions repeatedly (335 casualties.) It moved toward the Potomac with the army and was engaged with slight loss at the 2nd battle of Manassas (47 casualties). Greatly reduced in strength, the 14th fought at Sharpsburg, suffering severely in casualties. Placed in Cadmus Wilcox' Brigade, Anderson's Division (with the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th Alabama regiments) it was on the line of the Rappahannock during the winter of 1862-63 and was in line of battle on the heights when Burnside was repulsed at Fredericksburg. The regiment was hotly engaged, with heavy loss (151 casualties), at Salem Church (at Chancellorsville). It went on the Pennsylvania campaign to Gettysburg, and of the 316 men engaged, 15% were casualties. The winter of 1863/64 was passed in camp near Orange Court House, and the 14th was engaged at both The Wilderness and Spottsylvania. Now in Sanders' Brigade, Mahone's Division, the 14th participated in the numerous struggles around Petersburg during the last 10 months of the war. It surrendered at Appomattox with only 70-80 present under Capt. Perry of Lowndes (Crute reports 11 officers and 180 men surrendering). The original muster was 1317 names; 250 or more died in battle, 350 died in the service, and 159 were discharged or transferred.

Field and staff officers: Cols. Thomas James Judge (Montgomery; resigned, 10 July 1862); Alfred Campbell Wood (Randolph; wounded and resigned, 3 Oct 1862); Lucius Pinkard (Macon; wounded, Gettysburg, and retired); Lt. Cols. David William Baine (Lowndes; KIA, Frazier's Farm); Lucius Pinkard (promoted); James Andrew Broome (Chambers; wounded, The Wilderness, retired, 25 March 1865); Majors Owen Kenan McLemore (Chambers; promoted colonel, 4th AL Regt); A. C. Wood (promoted); James A. Broome (promoted); Robert A. McCord (Tallapoosa; KIA, Chancellorsville); George W. Taylor (Randolph; wounded, Gettysburg; resigned, 15 Nov 1864); Mickleberry P. Ferrell (resigned, 2 Dec 62); and Adjutants F. G. Fonville (acting); Lucius Pinckard (promoted); S. J. Williamson; and John Manly

Captains, and counties from which the companies came:

Historical Resources:

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File created 6 March 1997; last updated 5 August 2003.