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.


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
Northern Virginia

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
D. Neshoba Rifles
E. Prairie Guards
F. Noxubee Rifles
G. Lamar Rifles
H. Chickasaw Guards
I. Van Dorn Reserves
K. Carroll County Rifles

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



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.


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.


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


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

Learning Through Primary Sources

Primary sources are an excellent means to learn about the context in which historical events occurred and the perspectives of people directly affected.  The Library of Congress website documents that examining primary sources gives students a powerful sense of history and the complexity of the past.  Letters penned by Parham provide insight on day-to-day life through the eyes of a Mississippi Volunteer Confederate infantryman. Another primary source with respect to this epic within American history is The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government by Jefferson Davis, former President of the Confederate States of America.  Davis, according to the preface, authored the work with the view that the South was justified by the Constitution and the equal rights of the people of all the states.  Like many primary sources which require a significant undertaking to dissect, the effort is worthwhile in the lifelong pursuit of learning.  Click on the image of the LibriVox logo below to listen to the audiobook recording of Davis’ historical account.


Click image to listen to Jefferson Davis’ “The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government.”