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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“We Rely Upon Your Strong Arms and Uncoiled Hearts”

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Image Source of Miss Sallie Wiley: ancestry.com

True to the time, 21-year old Miss Sallie Wiley gave a resounding speech to embolden local young men, her peers, of the Lamar Rifles. She shows a truly articulate speech calling on strong arms and uncoiled hearts before the town of Oxford, Mississippi on March 9, 1861.  On that day, Miss Wiley presented a flag to the Lamar Rifles on behalf of the women of Oxford.  Parham was likely  present among the ranks listening to the speech. North and South entered into war a little more than one month later on April 12, 1861 when Confederate artillery opened fire upon the Union occupation of Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina.

Captain Green and Volunteers of Lamar Rifles: I have been deputed by the ladies of Oxford and vicinity, to deliver to you the flag which I hold in my hand. Before doing so, however, it is expected that I should say a word. In the progress of every nation there are times of security and quietness, and times of difficulty and danger. In times of peace the minds of men become engaged with their business relations. The pursuit of gain so absorbs the mind that it excludes all other ideas and makes it difficult to introducing people to desist from the objects of their aims. These pursuits tend to effeminacy and tend to destroy that lively sensibility to their rights which characterize proud and independent freemen. The glory of a people depends upon their watchfulness and readiness to maintain the integrity of their rights and the full possession of the liberty which has been secured to them. Encroachment must be resisted. If we sleep upon our posts, it is certain we will be betrayed. Our country has reached that period in her history when our safety is in danger and our honor is compromised. To submit not only dishonors us in the esteem of all true and patriotic men, but it is convincing proof that the spirit of liberty which inspired the fathers of the Revolution, has passed from our midst. Our noble State, looking the danger full in the face, has resolved that she will submit to no inequality of, or denial of her rights. And by your volunteering to bear her flag against all opposers, you have shown your determination to uphold her in her lawful stand. She believes she has a right to maintain her honor and equality without the resort to force. But it may be otherwise. It may be that fanaticism, bloated with ambition and maddened with the possession of power, may attempt to invade our land and lay waste our fields, in order to constrain us to submit to degradation. When that hour comes, if come it should, we rely upon your strong arms and uncoiling hearts to defend our rights, protect the mothers, shield the honor of the maidens of the land, and give security and peace to our firesides. When you yield, our cause is hopeless.

It is on this account we feel so much interest in your organization, and we desire to present to you this memorial of our confidence and our approval. We hope you will accept it and bear it with you on the tedious march, the tented field, and in the hour of danger. As you gaze upon it you must remember that our eyes are upon you. We will sympathize with you in your labors and discomfitures, and rejoice in your triumphs. But we have no misgivings, no apprehensions that it’s honor will ever be tarnished. Whenever and wherever its folds are unfurled, we feel assured your stout hearts will rally to the rescue and we shall be safe. There is one consideration, however, which gives us pain. Those whom you expect to meet as foes ought to be our friends. Instead of trespassing upon our rights, they should be among the foremost in their defense. Ten thousand recollections of the past should impel them to throw their shields over our rights, and to draw their swords in defense of our honor and their equality. But we fear that patriotism has abandoned their bosoms, and mad ambition spurs them on to our subjugation. If it must be so, let the trial come; our brothers will prove sufficient for the protection of ourselves and our country.

Click image to listen to "The Young Volunteer."

Click image to listen to “The Young Volunteer.”

As man cannot love and cherish woman bereft of honor, so one cannot reverence and honor man devoid of courage. We commit the flag into your hands. It is an emblem of the independence of Mississippi, and that proud position of our State must be maintained at any cost or sacrifice. We rely upon you to do it.

Preserving History

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Click image to view website of the Lamar Rifles, Company G of the 11th Mississippi Volunteer Infantry Regimental Civil War re-enactors.

One-hundred and ten years after the unit fought its last battle, Company G of the 11th Mississippi was re-activated. It was formed in 1975 by dedicated historians of the American Civil War who wanted to share their knowledge with others who had similar interests.

Purpose of Blog

Photo source:  http://www.11th-miss.com/roster.htm is credited with photo

Click image of Private Parham M. Buford to view photo source.

The purpose of this blog is to follow the footsteps of Private Parham Morgan Buford who served in 11th Mississippi, Company G during the “War for Southern Independence.” The primary sources are previously unpublished letters Parham sent to his family, military records of the Confederate States of America, and other eye-witness accounts. Secondary and tertiary sources are for enhancing subject matter within the primary sources for modern readers.