|37th Alabama Regiment of Volunteer Infantry
Last update 25 Jan 2011
FIELD & STAFF OFFICERS:
The Alabama 37th Regiment of Volunteer Infantry, CSA is to be commanded by the personally charismatic Colonel James Ferguson Dowdell from Chambers County. Dowdell, at 44 years of age is a retired lawyer living at Oak Bowery, Alabama. He had been a three-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives before retiring from Congress. He is an ordained Methodist-Episcopal minister and represented Chambers County at the Alabama State Convention in 1861 where he voted in favor of secession.
Lieutenant Colonel Alexander A. Greene, also of Chambers County, is second-in-command. Another lawyer, he has already served in the Confederacy for 12 months as a Private in the "Tuskegee Zouaves" (Company B) of the 4th Alabama Regiment, under the famed Lt Col (later Brigadier Gen) Evander McIvor Law (of Law's Brigade). Dowdell, in July 1861 wrote a glowing recommendation for Greene who had applied for an officer's commission. (Greene and Dowdell appear as neighbors in the 1860 Census of Chambers County.) Greene returned to Alabama on "Recruiting Service" and apparently was "absent without leave in Alabama" raising companies of men. These he combined with others raised by Dowdell in order to facilitate their joint desire to recruit a regiment. The men admire his gallantry, and will grow to appreciate him as a true leader when they need him most.
Two officers of field rank are also elected: 39-year-old Major John Porter Warner Amerine from Pike County is the first. He personally raised Company K (and received a bounty of $3,950 for doing so) but resigns from the regiment in July 1862 at Columbus, Mississippi, where he briefly joins the staff of General Henry Little, and will eventually come to command the 54th/57th Alabama Volunteer regiment as its Colonel, (but will be dismissed from the Army after a court martial in December 1863 at Mobile).
Upon Amerine’s resignation, imposing, six-foot-tall, 31-year-old William Franklin Slaton of Macon County is tapped as Major of the regiment. He had been serving as Captain of Company D prior to his promotion. Slaton is named Major by September 1862. Before the war he had been the principal of the Young Men’s (Slaton's) Academy at Oak Bowery, Alabama. The school closed permanently as almost all the students followed their principal into military service. Slaton also had seen prior service as a member of the "Auburn Guards" and had been stationed near Ft. Barancas (Pensacola) Florida in 1861. (A.A. Greene's "Tuskegee Zouaves" were also at Ft. Barancas contemporaneously)
John C. Meadors of Chambers County is named Adjutant. Another man, Thomas L. Samford is named Adjutant by July 1863, and yet another, W.M. Weavers holds the post at war’s end.
Dr. John Wimblish Oslin serves as the regiment’s first chief surgeon (the remainder of the medical department is listed below).
COMPANIES & COMPANY COMMANDERS:
Company A of the regiment is under the command of 38-year-old Captain Moses B. Greene. The men of the company are primarily from Henry County and therefore adopt the nickname "Henry Volunteers." By December 1863, at Dalton, Georgia, Lieutenant Robert L. Phipps is in command of the Company.
Company B is organized under the command of Captain Lovic P. Hamner, M.D. Most of the men are from Tallapoosa County. Lieutenant John O. Davis soon takes over command of the company (effective July 11, 1862 at Columbus MS) and is later promoted to Captain. Chronic bronchitis led to Captain Hamner’s decision to resign at the age of 30, along with the fact that his men asked him to do so in order to return home as the only doctor serving their families.
Company C is to be commanded by Captain Joel C. Kendrick, a 29 year old from Covington County. The men of the Company, excluding his brother William who served under him as Second Lieutenant, are primarily from Pike County.
Company D is organized under the command of Captain William F. Slaton before his promotion to Major. Lieutenant Jeptha J. Padgett takes over command of this company. The men are predominantly from Macon and Russell Counties.
Company E is organized under the command of 26-year-old Captain Jacob L. Skipper, who after battling a long illness and with one leg partially paralyzed, passes command to Lieutenant (and eventually Captain) Joel G. Greene in November 1863. Most of the men are from Henry County.
Company F , the "Davis Guards" is organized under the command of Captain Uriah Dunn who resigns in July 1862 due to chronic bronchitis. The company then falls under the command of its former Lieutenant, promoted to Captain Cincinnatus C. Pennington, who appears to be the regiment’s youngest company commander, only 21 years old. The company was raised in Pike County.
Company G is organized under Captain Warner W. Meadors. Most of the men are from Chambers County. The unit takes the nickname "Wiche Jackson Blues."
Company H is under the command of the enigmatic Captain Marion C. J. Searcy. The men are primarily from Barbour and Henry Counties.
Company I is to be commanded by 53-year-old Captain James Talbot. He resigns his position after being unable to attend an Examining Board Meeting on August 1, 1862 due to poor health. He is replaced by the very capable Thomas J. Griffin. Most of the men of the company are from Chambers County. They adopt the nickname "McCurdy’s Rebels" apparently in honor of their benefactor Edward Sellers McCurdy, the richest man in Oak Bowery, Alabama.
Company K is organized under the command of Captain James M. Leach, M.D. The men comprising this company are generally from Pike County.
(Note: No Company "J" existed)
SENIOR NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS:
Below is a list of the known ranking non-commissioned officers of the regiment. Complete biographies of these individuals are available alphabetically under the section titled "The Men."
Sergeant-Major William T. Slaton - Company D - Regimental Field & Staff
Sergeant-Major Thomas L. Samford - Regimental Field & Staff
Sergeant-Major Henry R. McInnis - Regimental Field & Staff
Sergeant-Major William Francis ("Frank") Dickenson - Regimental Field & Staff
Sergeant-Major George H. Chatfield - Company D, E & K
Master-Sergeant G.W. Vann - Company F
1st Sergeant Joseph (Joe) Alexander Carlisle - Company A, D, I
1st Sergeant Joseph M. Murphy - Company A
1st Sergeant D.W. Hooten - Company A
1st Sergeant Thomas Jefferson ("Jef") Strickland - Company B & C
1st Sergeant John W. Carter - Company D
1st Sergeant John C Judkins., Jr - Company D
1st Sergeant E.P. Bledsoe - Company F
1st Sergeant Jesse A. Roberts - Company F
1st Sergeant Calvin Upchurch - Company G
1st Sergeant Spencer Wright - Company H
1st Sergeant Henry Britton Wooddy - Company I
1st Sergeant William S. Osley - Company I
1st Sergeant Robert C. ("Cum") Curtis - Company K
A listing of other Regimental Office Holders is included here.
37th Alabama Regiment of Volunteer Infantry CSA
2300 Cottondale Lane Little Rock, AR 72202
© Copyright 2007 C.C. (Chip) Culpepper