Monument – 11th Mississippi Infantry Regiment at Gaines’ Mill

The monument to the 11th Mississippi Infantry Regiment at Gaines’ Mill is in Mechanicsville, VA on Watt House Road (Virginia Route 718) 0.2 miles south of Cold Harbor Road (Virginia Route 156).  Coordinates are 37° 34.815′ N, 77° 17.436′ W; map.  It marks the site of events described by Parham in two separate letters written on June 30th and July 11th of 1862.  He wrote of four men from Company G listed on the monument in red text below who were killed or died of their wounds in this action, one of which was mortally wounded within three feet of him.  Parham also described the efficacious charge which was accompanied by the famous “rebel yell,” an event which has been etched into the monument.

The erected stone of remembrance documents that Confederate President Jefferson Davis personally visited with the 11th Mississippi Regiment the day following the battle to congratulate them on the victory and to compliment their gallantry.  Why didn’t Parham mention this momentous visit?  It’s difficult to know for sure; however, there may be clues within the letters.

  1. The battle went well into Friday evening
  2. Following the battle, Parham
    1. was perfectly wet to the knees, tried to sleep and couldn’t and
    2. was also up all night, waiting on the wounded. untill day light (on Saturday, the same day as Davis’ visit)

Parham left the Regiment on Sunday due to illness.  Maybe Parham was “providentially hindered” from meeting the Confederate Commander-in-Chief because of night duty, excessive exhaustion, and / or illness.  It’s also possible that Parham was present and just didn’t mention it.

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Click image of monument to view photo source.

Front of Monument:

11th Mississippi
Infantry Regiment
Law’s Brigade
Hood’s Division
Jackson’s Corps
Lee’s Army
of
Northern Virginia
C.S.A.

Dedicated 2016
In their honor

The men who carried this position were soldiers indeed.

Stonewall Jackson on this field June 28, 1862

Side of Monument:

Nearing 6:00 P.M. on June 27, 1862, Gen. Robert E. Lee sensed a critical situation in his stalled attack at Gaines’ Mill and ordered a last charge against the Federal line of General Porter’s V Corps above Boatswain’s Creek. Lee sent forward Gen. Whiting’s Division, consisting of Gen. Hood’s Texas Brigade and Col. Law’s Third Brigade, to the left of Gen. Longstreet’s position.

The 11th Mississippi, attached to Law’s Brigade, pushed toward the ravine without firing and, with fixed bayonets, toward Gen. Morell’s First Division on the upward slope. A soldier in Co. K. 11th Mississippi, recalled “the famous yell was raised that sent terror to Yankee hearts, and a charge began that broke every line in front of the Confederates.”The Union line collapsed when the Rebels stopped and fired point blank into the exhausted Federals, who retreated up the slope toward the plateau near the river. Whiting’s soldiers on the high ground then captured the better part of two Union regiments and fourteen pieces of artillery near the Watt House.

The following evening, President Jefferson Davis visited the quarters of the 11th Mississippi and congratulated them on their victory, paying high compliments to their conspicuous gallantry.

Rear of Monument:

Companies of the 11th Mississippi
A. University Greys
University of Mississippi
B. Coahoma Invincibles
Friars Point
C. Prairie Rifles
Okolona
D. Neshoba Rifles
Philadelphia
E. Prairie Guards
Crawfordsville
F. Noxubee Rifles
Macon
G. Lamar Rifles
Oxford
H. Chickasaw Guards
Houston
I. Van Dorn Reserves
Aberdeen
K. Carroll County Rifles
Carrollton

Side of Monument:

Men of the 11th Mississippi who were killed or died of wounds in this action

Pvt. Henry Anthony, Co. A
Pvt. Daniel O’Leary, Co. A
3rd Cpl. Robert Irvin, Co. B
2nd Lt. Thomas F. Nealy, Co. B
Pvt. Lucius B. Smith, Co. B
Pvt. George Matthews, Co. C
Pvt. Henry L. Shannon, Co. C
Pvt. James P. Wright, Co. C
Pvt. Leonidas W. Burnside, Co. D
Pvt. Bright R. Ham, Co. D
Pvt. George W. Johnson, Jr., Co. D
Pvt. Allen J. Lowry, Co. D
Pvt. Wiley M. Warren, Co. D
Pvt. James E. Halbert, Co. E
Pvt. William J. Norwood, Co. E
Pvt. John C. Brown, Co. F
5th Sgt. Andrew V. Connor, Co. F
Pvt. Levi B. Windham, Co. F
5th Sgt. William E. Duncan, Co. G
1st Sgt. James R. Goodwin, Co. G
Pvt. Jesse E. Hardgrove, Co. G
Pvt. David B. Paine, Co. G
Pvt. John F. Cockrell, Co. H
Pvt. William K. Cook, Co. H
Pvt. Jack J. Dulaney, Co. H
Pvt. John Hellenthal, Co. H
Pvt. Samuel H. Irby, Co. H
Pvt. Robert T. Johnson, Co. H
Pvt. Walter M. McBee, Co. H
Pvt. George L. Reid, Co. H
Pvt. Patrick H. Sims, Co. H
Pvt. Charles J. Wilson, Co. H
Pvt. Alexander D. Pope, Co. I
Pvt. Joseph L. Davis, Co. K
Pvt. James H. Gillespie, Co. K
Pvt. Joseph S. Hoover, Co. K
Pvt. William F. Julien, Co. K
Pvt. Donald McDonald, Co. K
Pvt. Newton A. McMath, Co. K
Pvt. Ambrose M. Moore, Co. K
Pvt. Thomas T. Moore, Co. K
Capt. Pleasant A. Peebles, Co. K
1st Sgt. William W. Pennypacker, Co. K
Pvt. Isham Pittman, Co. K
Pvt. James H. Young, Co. K

 

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33rd Letter: Guarding Fords, Building Breastworks (March 29, 1863)

March 29 63

Franklin, Southhampton Cty. Va-

Dear Mother-

I rcd your welcome letter by George Dooley and hasten to reply as I have an opportunity to send one tomorrow, though I have no news of importance to communicate.

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Click image to learn about Confederate breastwork construction.


We have moved our camp about 5 miles The Brigade is scattered about the River guarding fords and working on breastworks, our company will have to work on them tomorrow, for the first time since we have been in service, but if we have to fight I would rather fight them in breastworks than in the open field.

Our Pickets occasionally ou have a skirmish with the Yankee cavalry, but as yet we have had no fight, nor I don’t think we will unless they try to take Richmond by way of Petersburg.

I have been listening every day to hear of them fighting at Vicksburg. It is rumored that they Yanks tried to cross the River at Fredericksburg but failed, but it is seldom now that we ever get any papers and can not keep posted.

I hope the Yanks will keep out of Lafayette this summer and give you all a chance to make some thing to eat.

Do not think hard of me writing no more, for I have nothing that would interest me you- If you have a chance send me a shirt, I have enough of socks and drawers now.

Give my love to all the family and tell them to write soon. Do so your self.

Your devoted son. PM Buford

 

 

 

 

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Blogger’s Notes:

A History of Company G, Eleventh Mississippi Regiment, C.S.A. documents information about a comrade mentioned in this letter by Parham.

  • George M. Dooley, who delivered the mentioned letter to Parham, enlisted twenty years of age and single.  He was present and wounded at Seven Pines.  On account of wound and sickness he was with the company no more until the battle of the Wilderness; he was present two days, and again at Tolles Mill, where the record says he was mortally wounded, and died May 26 at Richmond, Va.  His wound was through the left shoulder.
  • William B. Cullen appears to have delivered this letter to Parham’s family based on information written to his sister on April 1, 1863. Cullen enlisted April 26, 1861, at Oxford, Miss., for one year.  Born in Virginia, was a clerk at Oxford, Miss.; eighteen years of age and single.  He was severely wounded at Seven Pines and lost his right arm, and was retired January, 1863. This letter was written, and presumably delivered from camp, months after Seven Pines and Cullen being retired from service; maybe the necessary timeframe for his being fit for travel.

Monument – 11th Mississippi Infantry Regiment at Sharpsburg

The monument to the 11th Mississippi Infantry Regiment at Sharpsburg is on the south side of Cornfield Avenue (39°28’51.2″N 77°44’43.7″W; map), 800 feet east of Dunker Church Road.  It marks the site of events described by Parham in a letter to his mother on September 22, 1862.  He writes of four men listed on the monument in red text below, three officers and one enlisted, who were killed or died of their wounds in this action.

 

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Front of Monument:

Mississippi

11th
Mississippi

Infantry Regiment
Law’s Brigade
Hood’s Division
C.S.A.

Dedicated 2012
on the
Sesquicentennial
of the battle

Duty brought them to the field
Honor led them into Battle
Valor covered them with glory

Duch amore patrie
The love of my country leads me

West Side of Monument:

The men of the 11th Mississippi
first engaged the Federals in
the East Woods the evening
of September 16, 1862. In that
action Colonel Philip F. Liddell
commanding was mortally
wounded. The regiment withdrew
for rest that evening to the
shelter of the West Woods
behind the Dunker Church. The
men were cooking hoecakes
at daylight the next morning
when the battle reopened in fury.
Ordered into line as part of
Col. Evander Law’s brigade
they swept across the Hagerstown
Pike and despite heavy casualties
drove Gen. James Rickett’s Division
back over D.R. Miller’s clover
pasture and crossing this point
through the cornfield.

The Mississippians advanced
to a fence at the north edge
of the Cornfield where they
encountered fresh Federal
troops of Gen. George Meade’s
division and were unable
to hold their position. Law’s Brigade
fell back to the West Woods.
Lt. Col. Samuel Butler was fatally
wounded and Major Taliaferro Evans
killed in the charge.
Thus the 11th Mississippi lost
three successive commanding
field officers in the action.
One hundred nineteen men of
the 11th Mississippi were killed,
wounded or missing after two days
of battle on these fields. 

Rear of Monument:

Companies of the 11th Mississippi

Company A – University Greys
University of Mississippi
Company B – Coahoma Invincibles
Friars Point
Company C – Prairie Rifles
Okalona
Company D – Neshoba Rifles
Philadelphia
Company E – Prairie Guards
Crawfordsville
Company F – Noxubee Rifles
Macon
Company G – Lamar Rifles
Oxford
Company H – Chickasaw Guards
Houston
Company I – Van Dorn Reserve
Aberdeen
Company K – Carroll County Rifles
Carrollton

East Side of Monument:

Mississippi

Men of the 11th Mississippi
who were killed or died
of their wounds in this action

Commanding officers
Col. Phillip F. Liddell
Lt. Col. Samuel L. Butler
Major Talieferro S. Evans

2nd CPL Lewis T. Fant Co. A
PVT Anderson Reeves Co. A
PVT Robert N. Taylor Co. A
CAPT James K. Morton Co. B
PVT William L. Gillian Co. C
PVT William T. Kidd Co. C
PVT John I. King Co. C
PVT Jesse Spray Co. C
2nd SGT Isaac G. Perry Co. D
PVT William J. Donley Co. E
5th SGT Joseph C. Howarth Co. E
5th SGT James Feemster Co F
2nd LT William K. Wiggins Co F
PVT Hezekiah Turner Co G
PVT Richard K. Laughlin CO H
PVT John M. Pulliam CO H
2nd CPL John P.F. Stribling CO H
PVT Joseph W. Aiken CO K
PVT Benjamin C. Elam CO K
PVT Samuel M. Hemmingway CO K
PVT Francis M. Hoover CO K
4th SGT James H. Petty CO K

Sources:  Monuments at Antietam, 26th Letter: “Pure Southern Air of Virginia” (September 22, 1862)

32nd Letter: 40 Saddles Emptied, 100 Prisoners Taken (March 18, 1863)

 

Southampton cty, Va

VA-trails2

Click image to learn more about Franklin, VA area during the Civil War.

Camp near Franklin March 18, 63

Dear Sir-

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Click image to learn more about Brigadier General Micah Jenkins (CSA).

I rcd your welcome letters by Major Green two days scince, and having a chance to send a letter home I will do so- Tom Webb has furnished a substitute for five months and will start home to day.

I wrote to Ma by our last furloughed boys, which I hope was rcd- I no news of much importance- We are for one time since I have been in the army in a small command, and I hope we will not have so much marching & fighting to do as here to for- We have two Brigades and a battallion of infantry two Batteries and some cavalry- now another Brig Gen Genkins of S.C.- and guarding the line of Black Water River in front of the Yanks at Suffolk-

We have Pickets at every fordable point and good breastworks. Their Cavalry occasionally makes a raid up the River- to find our strength and positions- but as usual our boys make them skedadle-

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Click image to listen to “The Southern Soldier.”

Yesterday morning was clear and pleasant and about 8 Oclock an old Wardog was heard to open down on the River and in a few moments volley after volley of musketing- We were expecting to be ordered out every moment- but were not- A Brigade of cavalry made a dash on our Pickets- They ran in and a Rgt of infantry was then concealed over the River and when they came next time they emptied about 40 saddles and took about 100 prisoner and started towards Suffolk-

I am in hopes we will stay here to Guard this point; they take a company daily from our Rgt for Guard- We left our camp at Murphys station and came to this place 5 miles distant- moving into the Winter Quarters of the 63rd Va- Most of us have very snug cabbins. Some with plank floors and brick chimblys-

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Click image to learn about the referenced Yankee attempt to cross the Rappahannock three months earlier.

We are all very anxious to hear from Vicksburg- I hope our men will be able to hurl back the invaders from that point for they would I think rather have it now than Richmond- but I believe it will hold out yet- Every thing is quiet on the Rappahanock. Lee has breastworks all along the River and their next attempt to cross will be worse than the first-

Tell Ma I think she had better kept that money for you all will need it more than I do- Tell her also that she need not send me any more socks for I have enough now- All I need in the shape of clothing is a pr pants-

Give my undying love to all the family and write at every chance- Write soon – yrs affect- PMBuford

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Blogger’s Notes:

  • Parham penned that an old Wardog was heard to open down on the River.  What is an old Wardog and what does it mean to open down on the River?  Is it a reference to a canine used by military forces to sniff-out someone in hiding, a slang term for a battle hardened soldier, a reference to a River Boat, or something else?
  • Parham mentioned anxiety held by 11th Mississippians over Confederate defenses against Union forces at Vicksburg, a logistical gateway between the Eastern and Western theaters.  Both Parham and Vicksburg, Mississippi’s Rock of Gibraltar, will eventually fall into the hands of enemy forces on the same day.
  • Micah Jenkins, graduate of The Citadel, was promoted to the rank of CSA Brigadier General at age 26.  First Manassas, Seven Pines where wounded in the knee, Second Manassas where wounded in shoulder and chest, Sharpsburg,  at Fredericksburg not engaged, participated in campaign of Lt. Gen. James Longstreet against Suffolk, second day’s fighting of Chickamauga, Kimbrough’s Crossroads.  While riding with Longstreet during Battle of the Wilderness, both were struck down by friendly fire on May 6, 1864. Although Longstreet survived, Jenkins died several hours later of a head wound while rallying his men.  He left behind a son, Micah John Jenkins, graduate of West Point who served as one of “Roosevelt’s Rough Riders” during the Spanish-American War.
  • CSA General Robert E. Lee’s breastworks are mentioned for the prevention of a second Union crossing of the Rappahannock River as had previously occurred at Fredericksburg, VA.
  • A History of Company G, Eleventh Mississippi Regiment, C.S.A. documents information about other comrades mentioned by Parham.
    • Here we see that Francis M. Green appears to been promoted from Captain to Major since mentioned in a previous post.  Enlisted February 21, 1861, at Oxford, Miss., for one year.  Lawyer by profession.  Residence Oxford, Miss.; age, thirty-six; married.  Present at battle of Seven Pines; Gaines’s Farm; White Oak Swamp; Malvern Hill’ Freeman’s Ford; Thoroughfare Gap; Second Manassas; Boonsborough, Md.; Sharpsburg; Gettysburg; Falling Waters; Bristol Station; Wilderness; Tolles Mill in which latter engagement he was mortally wounded and died on the 15th of May, 1864.  When killed and for some time before was and had been promoted to Colonel, and was in command of the Regiment.
    • Upon paying a substitute to fill his role for five months time, Thomas (Tom) M. Webb hand delivered this letter home for Parham.  He enlisted April 26, 1861, at Oxford, Miss.  A farmer near College Hill, Miss.; twenty-three years old and single.  Present two days at Seven Pines; Gaines’s Farm, White Oak Swamp, Malvern Hill, Freeman’s Ford, Thoroughfare Gap, Second Manassas, two days; then absent sick and detailed.  Promoted Sergeant, and discharged in March, 1863. [After discharge Comrade Webb returned to Mississippi and raised a cavalry company and went into the service in Bragg’s Army, and was killed in front of Atlanta, Ga.; a gallant soldier.]

Three Presidential Inaugural Addresses

45th President Donald J. Trump recently delivered his inaugural address, a speech which occurs every four years and represents the issues of the day.  Although this most recent address came at a time in which there is much division within the United States, 2017 pales in comparison to the year 1861.  The political climate was a “powder keg” as two presidents, Confederate and Union, were sworn in.

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Click image hear the call to arms in “Everybody’s Dixie.”

Confederate President Jefferson Davis delivered his inaugural address in February of 1861, stating the case for secession and the need to establish an army and navy.  Two weeks later, 16th US President Abraham Lincoln delivered his first speech in the executive role, arguing that secession is the essence of anarchy.  Northern and Southern differences erupted into war within 10 weeks at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. Parham Buford’s senior year at La Grange Synodical College was accelerated that year, so he and his classmates could answer the call to arms in Dixie.

Readers are invited to view each of the three before mentioned speeches for insight on some of the weighty issues which have shaped the American experience.

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Click image to hear first inaugural address by USA President Abraham Lincoln, given on March 4, 1861.

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Click image to hear inaugural address by  CSA President Jefferson Davis, given on February 18, 1861.

31st Letter: Parham’s Humble Prayer (March 10, 1863)

Franklin Southhampton Cty

March 10 1863- Va

Dear Mother

I rcd your letter on the 3d inst, which you may know was perused with the greatest pleasure- As the two furloughed boys have returned, and tw0 other will start soon I will will write by them- though I have no news of importance to communicate-

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Click image of Civil War era map to view Southeastern part of Virginia, from York River and West to Black Water River

We left this camp two days ago and were out on our post two days on the Black Water 5 miles distant- But the Yanks did not make their appearance during our stay- Thier main body is at Suffolk 25 miles distant- Occasionally a small scouting party makes a dash up this way, but soon return- Every day some one runs the Blockade from Suffolk bringing in shoes hats soda knives $ou The citizens are allowed to pass into our lines and bring in their produce and when we had the first chance at them we could buy things cheap- but alas for poor soldiers when a speculator gets hold of it- selling at 4 times cost. Here we can’t get Soda for less than 8$ per lb then for 2$- eggs 1$ ham 50 cents &&&-

I like our position here finely- we are guarding this line in front of Suffolk and if we stay here I don’t think that we will have much fighting to do- for I don’t think they intend to advance by this route- There has been an average of 2 deserters a day from Suffolk since we have been here- They all tell the same tale- tired of fighting – & I wish that all of them would taste that idea. But the men in authority at the North have hold of the wheels and can turn or stop them at their will- I think it is plain enough to the minds of the North that they can never subjugate us nor will they do it as long as Southern men will stand at their posts-

I have seen war and suffering in its darkest shades and can truly say that I have seen enough.

It is my humble prayer that the Confederacy have a speedy and honorable peace- I have seen war and suffering in its darkest shades and can truly say that I have seen enough- May we soon meet at home where there is peace and happiness, and if not there in heaven where there are neither wars nor rumors of war and where troubles are not known

Write soon and often to your true and ever devoted son.

PM Buford

All I kneed in the shape of clothing is a pr pants, if you can send them by any one do so.

PB

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Blogger’s Notes:

  • unknown

    Click image to read “What is an Honorable Peace?”.

    Parham prays for a speedy and honorable peace for the Confederacy.  The New York Times article What is an Honorable Peace? from August of 1864 mocks the term in a vitriolic diatribe toward Confederates and Copperheads (i.e. Northern Democrats) and speaks of the salvation of the Union as a justification for the War (the end justifies the means). Media idolization of overreaching centralized government and disdain for those who prefer freedom over subjugation is not unique to our modern era.

  • Parham’s word choice of neither wars nor rumors of war is borrowed from Jesus as found in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark.