The Alabama 42nd Infantry Regiment

©Joe M. Newton


The Alabama 42nd Infantry Regiment was organized and mustered into the Confederate service at Columbus, Mississippi on May 16, 1862. It surrendered at Vicksburg, Mississippi on July 4, 1863 and was paroled there later in the month. This regiment was composed mainly of men who re-organized in two or three instances as entire companies, after serving a year as the Second Alabama Infantry.

The regiment joined Generals Price and Van Dorn at Ripley in September 1863 and was brigaded under Gen. John C. Moore of Texas. A month later the 42nd went into the battle of Corinth with 700 men, and lost 98 killed and about 250 wounded and captured in the fighting at and near that place. It wintered in Mississippi, with Gen. Moore's Brigade being reorganized with the 37th, 40th and 42nd Alabama, and 2nd Texas regiments. It was part of the garrison of Vicksburg, where it lost 10 killed, about 50 wounded, and the remainder captured at the surrender of the fortress.

The 42nd was in parole camp at Demopolis, then joined the Army of Tennessee. It fought with severe loss at Lookout and Mission Ridge, and wintered at Dalton. Gen. Baker, of Barbour, then took command of the brigade, which was in Clayton's (Stewart's) division, Polk's corps. In the spring, of 1864, the 42nd fought at Resaca with a loss o f 59 killed and wounded. It was then continually skirmishing till the battle of New Hope, where its loss was comparatively light, as it was at Atlanta the 22 July 1864. On the 28th of July the loss was very heavy, and the ranks of the regiment were fearfully thinned by the casualties of battle. A few days later the regiment was sent to Spanish Fort, where it remained on garrison duty during the fall, and till January 1865. It then moved into North Carolina, and its colors floated in the thickest of the battle at Bentonville, and were furled at the capitulation of that army.

Confederate Veteran

Alabama seceded from the Union on January 11, 1861. Several specialized types of units were organized for the Confederate Army. The Confederate Congress passed an act authorizing the creation of Local Defense Troops units on August 21, 1861. However, the Confederate Adjutant and Inspector General's Office did not issue its General Orders #86 outlining the regulations for their organization until June 23, 1863. These units were usually organized on the company and battalion level for defense of the areas in which they were raised. Often they were composed of employees of government arsenals, armories, bureaus, or from men detailed from regular line units for detached service. Toward the end of the war, some of these units were organized into regiments that were to be called into active service only when the situation in their vicinity required it. The Confederate Congress created the Reserves on February 17, 1864 when it expanded conscription to include all white males between 17 and 50 years of age. Those under 18 and those over 45 were to be organized in the Reserves, troops that did not have to serve beyond the boundaries of the state.

Compendium of The Confederate Armies

Lt. Charles Labuzan of the 42nd Alabama talked about the Battle of Corinth: " We were met by a perfect storm of grape, canister, cannon balls and minnie balls. Oh God! I have never seen the like! The men fell like grass. I saw men, running at full speed, stop suddenly and fall upon their faces, with their brains scattered all around. Others, with legs and arms cut off, shrieking with agony. The ground literally strewn with mangled corpses. Ahead was one continuous blaze."

Private McKinstry of the 42nd is quoted:" A minnie ball went crashing through my left hip and turned me half around. Another went tearing through my right shoulder which changed my position to front; and another ball crushed through my left shoulder, causing me to drop my gun and my left arm to fall limp by my side. I looked and everyone of the fifteen who were standing with me had fallen in a heap." McKinstry scrambled back down the wall of the fort and despite his hip wound ran for half a mile before he fell.

General Moore described a color bearer last seen alive "going over the breastworks, waving a p iece (of his banner) and shouting for the Southern Confederancy."

Time-Life Book War in the West

Muster Roll for Company C under Captain William D. McNeill

Capt. William D. McNeill, 1st Lt. Samuel A. Bonner, 2nd Lt. James L. Grace, Brevt. 2nd Lt. Thomas T. Preston, 1st Sgt. Edward C. McWilliams, 2nd Sgt. Capias W. Bodie, 3rd Sgt. James M. Carroll, 4th Sgt. David T. Owen, 5th Sgt. Sterling, Brown, 1st Cpl. R. J. Boyd Thigpen (killed while on Picket Duty), 2nd Cpl. David Flowers, 3rd Cpl. Peter W. Parker, 4th Cpl. Edward E. Griffith,

All of these men were privates: Ransom Addams, Nathaniel Ashley, James Bagget, Bartley Barr, Joseph Benbow, William Beshea, William F. Beshea, John Burt, Thomas Burt, Simeon Cannon, James M. Colley, Richard Colhin, John W. Colley, James L.(Lewis) Cone, Levy Corley, William Crawford, Henry W. Dailey, John Daily, William W. Daily, James Dayton, Hugh Dayton, Charles Duho, George W. Dunn, Benjamin H. Farr, John Fife, William Finklea, Willis Finklea, Lebourne Flanagan, Green W. Flowers, James H. Flowers, James B. Foster, William Gambler, John M. Gandy, Henry B. Griffith, Thomas Griffith, James D. Grimes, Willis Haddox, James W. Haines, Stephen Haines (substituted for John McLeod 13 Jun 1862), Thomas W. Haines, John Hall, Gabriel M. Hanks, James Harrel, Stephen Hawthorne, James Helms, Calvin Henderson, Oliver Henderson, Robert Henderson, James A. Hinson, Jophua Hinson, Maddison Holder, Hugh B. Johnson, Oliver Johnson, William Johnson, James W. Johnston, James P. Kobbe, C. Kyser, Daniel Kyser, John Lamkin, John B. Lamkin, Benjamin Majors, William H. Manning, James A. McArthur, James McClerkin, Peter McLachlan, John McLeod, James McNeill, Daniel G. Mellard, George W. Melton, Noah Mitchel, Thomas S. Morris, John Overton, Cornelius A. Owen, Hugh Owen, James Ray, Stephen D. Richardson, Joel Sweeny Ridgell, Robert H. Rovell, John B. Sadler, George W. Sepions, John S. Smoke, Robert A. Staples, Robert Thompson, Benjamin H. Vicke, John Watson, Benjamin Watts,William Weatherford, (William Weatherford) John Thomas Wells, Jeptha Werren, William Weston, William H. White, Samuel B. Woodson, William M. Woodson, Robert N. Youngblood

Muster Roll dated May 18, 1862 at Columbus, Mississippi. Discipline was listed as "go od," Instruction was said to be "progessive" and Military Appearance was "good." The men had no ar ms, no accoutrements and their clothing was said to be"good, but scarce." Men from this company enlisted from eithe r Mobile, Camden, Allanton, Bridgeport, Bell's Landing, or Camp Harda.

Men who served in Co. C but are not listed on this muster roll: J. H. Jordan, T. S. Stanton (Pleasant Grove), Joseph William Sellers.  John Walton. Died 30 May 1863. POW. Buried at Cedar Hill Cemetery, Vicksb urg. Pvt. Elijah Ray. 7 Nov. 1863. Died in a hospital in Mobile, Alabama. Pvt. J. R. Youngblood. 7 Oct. 1864. Died in a hospital in Mobile, Alabama. Pvt. P.C. Anderson. 27 May 1865. Died in a hospital in Mobile, Alabama. Pvt. Benjamin F. Vick(e). 1862/3. Enterprise Cemetery. Clarke Co., Mississippi. Pvt. William T. Paulk. 27 Feb. 1865. POW. Buried at Camp Chase, Ohio. Pvt. John W. Colley. 14 Feb. 1865. POW. Buried at Camp Chase, Ohio. Pvt. J. J. Manning. 24 Jan. 1864. POW. Buried at Rock Island, Illinois. A.D. Garrison. Buried at Knoxville Confederate Cemetery, Tennessee.

Paper signed by some men of the 42nd who were captured at Vicksburg

TO ALL WHOM IT MAY CONCERN, KNOW YE THAT I ________ Vol., C.S.A., being a Prisoner of War, in the hands of the United States Forces, in virtue of the capitulation of the City of Vicksburg and its Garrison, by Lieut. Gen. John C. Pemberton, C.S.A. Commanding on the 4th day of July, 1863, do in pursuance of the terms of said capitulation, give this my solemn parole under oath that I will not take up arms again against the United States, nor serve in any military, police, or constabulary force in any Fort, Garrison or field work, held by the Confederate States of America, against the United States of America, nor as guard of prisons, depots, or stores, nor discharge any duties usually performed by officers or soldiers against the United States of America until duly exchanged by the proper authorities. Sworn to and subscribed before me at Vicksburg, Miss this 4th day of July 1863.

Valid HTML 4.01 Strict

Return to William Finklea's Page

Joe M. Newton