Enterprise - July Articles
These three articles transcribed by C.C. (Chip) Culpepper from Xeroxed copies of the original text supplied by Herb Griffin and others from Debra Denard. Editor’s (Culpepper’s) marks/comments are indicated by the use of italic type within brackets, e.g. {italicized words}, otherwise the text appears as it was written by T.J. Carlisle in 1902.

{Vol. 4 No. 42}

By {T.J. Carlisle, G.W. Carlisle
Thursday, July 17, 1902
Synopsis of the 37th Alabama Regiment During the War.

About the 25th of May the Regiment was ordered to Montgomery, where it remained until the 2d of June, when it was ordered to Mobile and immediately on its arrival at the last named place, it was ordered to report to Colonel D W Adams at Columbus, Miss, where it arrived on the 7th of June, 1862. The regiment remained at Columbus doing guard duty until about the 1st of August, when it was ordered to join Major General Price at Tupello, Miss. {sic: Tupelo}

On our arrival at Tupelo we were ordered to Saltillo, a few miles above Tupelo on the Mobile & Ohio railroad, where we remained until the last of September when the army moved to Baldwin some fifteen miles higher on the railroad, preparatory to commencing active operations in the field.

About the 10th of September the army moved on Iuka, then in possession of the enemy, but on arriving there found that the enemy had evacuated the place. But in a few days they returned and gave us battle on the 19th of September, with what success the history of the war will show. This was our first battle and the men engaged did well. General Price then left Iuka, marched back to Baldwin and after resting a few days there moved on Corinth and engaged the enemy on the 4th and 5th of October, and at Hatchie Bridge on the 6th. General Price or Van Dorn fell back down the line of the Mississippi Central railroad, stopping for a short time at Lumpkins Mills, Waterford and Abbeville. At the latter place, on the Tallahatchee river it was intended to make a stand, but the enemy having the advantage in number were enabled to flank us right and left forcing our army to fall back on Grenada. The army remained at Grenada until the last of December when all the infantry were ordered to Vicksburg where the 37th Alabama Regiment remained doing picket and guard duty until about the 14th of March when our brigade was ordered to Ft Pemberton, by the Yazoo River. About the first of April we were ordered back to Vicksburg, where we remained until the capitulation of the city and garrison.

The regiment re-organized at Demopolis, Ala, from hence we joined the army of Tenn., were in the engagements at Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, spent the winter at Dalton, Ga., were in the Georgia campaign of ’64 from Dalton to Atlanta. On the 25th of August our brigade was ordered to Mobile, and were stationed at Spanish Fort and Hollywood on the east side of Mobile Bay until the 1st of February, 1865 when we were ordered to North Carolina, were in the two engagements at Bentonville on the 19th and 21st of March 1865. This company was in 13 regular battles, one siege of 47 days, besides a number of skirmishes and marched during the war about 1200 miles, including the maneuvering and countermarching.


Of 37th Ala. Regiment.

The morning spoken of in last chapter was the 8d day of June. Nothing of importance transpired that day, except in the evening, we passed some river defenses, about fifty miles above Mobile, constructed for the purpose of keeping the Yankee fleet from ascending the river any further, should they take Mobile and then endeavor to follow up their victories or success by going up the river to Selma and Montgomery.

We landed at Mobile between midnight and day. The regiment was not moved off until sunrise, at which time we were ordered into line and marched up to a warehouse and qurtered {sic: quartered} there until three o’clock, p m, when we took cars for Corinth. We traveled on very well until about seven o’clock at night, when the engine stalled and could pull us no further, the grade of the road bed being considerably up. The conductor uncoupled the cars, taking about half and went on about six miles. Then returned for the others. On arriving up with the first cars he saw he had lost so much time, that he had forfeited his right to the road, and switched off on side track at a little place called Cetronelle. We remained at Cetronelle until eleven o’clock next day, delaying fifteen hours. No wonder the engine could {read: could not} pull us up grade when every soldier belonging to the regiment had enough baggage to load down a California packmule. Each soldier had a large supply of clothing and bedding brought from home, togeth- {missing words}...boards, soap gourds, dish rags, etc. In a word we boys expected to live, notwithstanding we were soldiers. It was amusing when the boys had to leave the cars and "strike the grit" to see them tugging and sweating under the load of baggage, although we had not drawn guns either. Hence when we would pass the command of other troops, who had been out long enough to know what active service was, they would holler out, "Hello, boys, whar you gwine? What brigade you hauling for? That must be old Pap’s (Price) baggage train!" Our boys didn’t like it much but were afraid to say anything in return for the old soldiers always had a ready reply waiting to "sell out" a fresh recruit. When old Milton Beaty passed along by one fellow, he exclaimed, "Oh, boys, yonder goes an Irish peddler; look at his tongue lolling out!" (By mistake I have turned several leaves of my journal, and commenced ahead - I return to when we left Cetronelle.)

We left Cetronelle at eleven o’clock and traveled on very well until night, when the conductor stopped again, saying he would not take the responsibility to run the train at night, being near the enemy’s scouts. We did not like such talk as that for we had no guns. We lay over at Macon, Mississippi, until eight o’clock next morning, Friday, fourth day of June.

After leaving Macon we passed many large plantations, planted mostly in corn. The corn was bunching for tasseling and looked very promising. At Enterprise, Miss., Col. Dowdell telegraphed to Gen. Bragg, at Corinth, that he was on his way to join his Command, to which Gen. Bragg replied, ordering Col. Dowdell to take his regiment (37th Alabama) to Columbus, Mississippi, until further orders, and to report to Brigadier General D.W. Adams. We therefore left the main road at Artesia, and ran out on branch road to Columbus, arriving there about eight o’clock at night. Not having wagons to transport our baggage, we were compelled to camp at depot, among cannon, gun carriages, balls, shells, etc. Being very much fatigued by the trip, the men were very easily pleased, and as soon as we could get something to eat we piled about upon the ground promiscuously. During the night a train came in from Corinth loaded with sick and wounded soldiers, and were left to scramble out as best they could by themselves. Next morning some were lying upon the platform dead, and others in a dying condition. The land for nearly an acre round was literally covered with the most pitiful looking human beings we had ever seen. Such a spectacle of suffering humanity, our eyes had never before beheld.

About eight o’clock the wagons began to move them off to the hospitals, which were then crowded to overflowing. About three o’clock the last of the poor fellows were carried off, when the wagons were turned over to our regiment to haul our baggage about a mile northeast of Columbus to our camping place, where we pitched tents near Bluett’s Bridge across Luxbelile creek. Ours was called Camp Bluett. Notwithstanding the healthy local appearance of the place we had a great deal of sickness.


History of 37th Ala. Regiment.

(Continued from first page)

The duties upon the regiment are very heavy, having not only to guard our own camps, but have to guard the town of Columbus. The government has a great deal of valuable property here. Several thousand sick and wounded soldiers from every State in the Confederacy are here. This place is headquarters for sick of East Louisiana and Mississippi Department of the army. Average deaths among the soldiers here runs from twenty to thirty daily. "Death is reaping the harvest of his millions" now in the armies, both by disease and the carnage of battle. Intelligence of the recent success of our arms {sic: armies} in Virginia inspires the hearts of the Southern soldiery with hope and courage. Nothing definite has been received from the war department in regard to the recent battles which have just been fought both in Virginia and Tennessee. We are now iniated {sic: initiated} into the rules of the most rigid military discipline.

We arrived at this place with about seven hundred men able for duty and now (Thursday, June 19th, 1862) we had about two hundred on dress parade this evening, the balance of the regiment being sick and on guard duty. Mornings cool, but the days warm, dry and sultry.

The boys this morning, June 20th, raised a grand whoop on receiving the news by "grape vine" that the French and Lincoln fleets had an engagement on yesterday evening near Mobile, the result not given. We also heard that an English fleet was lying off New Orleans. We hear so many, and conflicting reports, that we never know when to believe anything we hear. Such is camp life.

The other evening a member of Company "B.," after hearing a long, exciting telegram read about the victory gained by our boys in Virginia, which stated that the Confederates had routed the Feds, killing, wounding and capturing thousands of men and small arms, vast quantities of ordinance and commissary stores, together with many officers of high grade, two hundred pieces of artillery, etc. Our boys were making the very air musical with their huzzahs over the good news; whilst the soldier of Company "B." alluded to, sat in silence and appeared indisposed to join in the enthusiasm, when one of the other boys turned to him and said, "John, what do you think about that news?" "Well, said he, "I’ll tell you how I am. I have come to the conclusion that I believe nothing I hear, but little I see, and I’ll be d-d if I believe half I say myself about this confounded war." He had it down about right, with a small exception for a soldier. We bought some ripe peaches to-day, the first fruit this year.

Company "G." buried one of its members, Thos. Muncrief to-day, also Benj. Asque, of Company "H." was buried with military honors and ceremonies. Their remains could not be sent home because they had no written request from friends at home which is required by existing orders in this department of the army.

Guard duty in the town falls upon both men and officers about three times a week.

About twelve o’clock to-day, June 22nd, several members of the regiment who had been left at Auburn sick, came in and reported the balance of the boys improving. Among the number coming in to-day, there were two, Company "I.," Joseph Jarrold and James Moorman. They report the death of Sanders W. Talbot, a member of Company "I.," and well liked by the entire company.

Cotton selling at West Point, Ga., at 14 cts. per pound.

From the 22nd to the 25th, everything dull and lifeless - great deal of sickness. We have eight hundred men present, but two hundred and ten report for duty. However our number was increased to-day by seventy-seven men coming to rejoin the Command from Auburn. We are now in almost breathless anxiety awaiting the result of the impending battle at Richmond.

Dry and hot; no rain since the 29th of last May.

June 28th, at four o’clock, I was ordered to report to Colonel Blunt, Civil and Military Governor, for the purpose of taking charge of two soldiers (John and Miller 16th Ala. Regiment,) with orders to carry them to their command, for they were reported absent without leave. Their command was at Tupelo. Richard Boyd and David M. Spence were detailed, at my request, to go as guards to take the deserters. We left in cars for Tupelo about four o’clock. We always enjoyed an opportunity of getting on a trip of any kind. It was a relief to get rid of the din and smoke of the camp.

When we arrived at Artesia, the junction of the branch road from Columbus, distance fifteen miles. We were too late to make a connection with the up train and lay over until next morning. During the night two trains loaded with solders (Cowen’s Division) from Tupelo, passed down the road, not knowing where they were going. The train came thundering by with a dead horse with about half its body hanging outside the car. It was supposed that he was tied by the halter too long, and in stepping backwards, missed the floor and swung. The horse’s feet dragged over the feet of Dick Boyd, who was lying on his blanket near the track, which gave him a terrible fright. We gave the signal to the engineer, who stopped the train and cut halter. The horse dropped down and the train went on.

About three o’clock at night we had a fine shower of rain; the first we had had since the 29th of May - cooling the air and reviving vegetation. Early next morning, June 29th, we took the up train with our prisoners, and were soon moving on to our destination, Tupelo. We passed the following places: Mahugh, Tippett, West Point, Egypt, which bids fair to be the Egypt of the Confederacy from the corn prospects. Next was Oakalona, where we met two trains loaded with soldiers, mostly Tennesseeans and Texans. Bragg is transferring troops to Tennessee. Next station, Shanon, then Verona and East Tupelo. We delivered our prisoners to Capt. Clair, of the 7th Ala. Regiment, who was Civil and Military Governor at that post.

T.J. Carlisle.

{Vol 4 No. 44}

Thursday, July 31, 1902

Of 37th Ala. Regiment.

No. V.

We spent the night with acquaintances of 39th Ala., Col. H.D. Clayton’s Regiment. I enjoyed the kind hospitalities of Capt. Joe Clayton, who commanded a company in that regiment. Capt. Joe Clayton, a short time afterwards, was killed while leading his company in a charge upon the enemy. Then passed away a good man and gallant soldier. Next morning (June 30th) we succeeded in getting aboard the cars with the 1st Arkansas Regiment, commanded by Col. McNair, of Mississippi, and arrived at Camp Bluett about 4 o’clock p.m.

On arrival at the camp, we learned that Wiley M. Dorman, a member of our Company (I) had just died. Wiley was a good, quiet soldier, disposed not to murmur at hardships, and to treat his officers with respect, and his comrades with kindness. He was buried on the opposite bank of Luxebelile creek from camps. He died of pneumonia, after an illness of four or five days. To us it was a solemn duty to bury a fellow comrade away from friends and home, for he was the first one we had buried.

Telegraphic dispatches are hourly arriving from Richmond, giving details of our victory, over McClellan’s army, stating that the Confederate forces had entirely routed the army of the enemy, capturing one Major-General, there Brigadier-Generals, one hundred and fifty commissioned officers and a great many privates, also the greater portion of the enemy’s artillery. At night dispatches report the capture of McClellan and his entire army. Such is the news we are excited over at this time, when official dispatches come in, we expect considerable modification.

Had fine rain to-day, July 1st, 1862, which we hope will check the sickness in camps. We are fast learning that the soldier’s life and lot is a hard one, checkered and disappointed. To-day wild enthusiasm swells the hearts of the soldiers, and they shout with joy and exultation, to-morrow despair and gloom cast its shadows over all our hopes. News from Vicksburg indicates early and speedy action upon the part of the forces there. The enemy closing n upon both sides. July 2d. News from Richmond still vague and unsatisfactory. July 3d. News from Richmond to-day shows that the fighting is still progressing.

Mark Hill and Sam Patton, belonging to 4th Georgia Regiment, were killed in an engagement near Richmond. Boys, who were left sick at Auburn, coming in, report good rains at home.

We drilled to-day in skirmish drill for the first time. John H. Barnes, 2d Sergeant, acting as left guide, sprained his ankle jumping over a brush heap. Our boys, while washing down at the creek to-day ,were somewhat excited at seeing the body of a dead man floating down stream. They soon procured a canoe, pursued the body, and tied a grape vine in a button hole of his coat, and brought him back to the bridge, when his body was immediately recognized by a soldier belonging to a cavalry company stationed just above us on opposite side of the creek. No information could be gained of the cause of the man’s death. The body being in such a state of putrifaction was carried down the creek, pulled to shore, placed in a hole and covered.

July 4th, 1862. The morning opens bright and beautiful. This, the nation’s holiday, which has been held since the days of ’76, as a day of rejoicing and jollification by Americans. This day was made almost sacred by reason of being the day when the great grand principle of self government and the right to control one’s own affairs, was declared. But, to-day, instead of those social anniversaries and banquets, we witness, hear and see the ravages of war. Instead of the soft, but eloquent strains of oratory, we hear the harsh, military order FORWARD MARCH! Instead of the soft, diapason sounds of the lute, we are startled by the shrill notes of the fife and loud peals of the drum. In days gone by we saw the rich and the poor, the noble and the ignoble, coming into city, town, hamlet and burg, some on foot, some in fine chariots drawn by pampered steeds, to join in the proud acclaim to swell the nation’s hosannahs, attuned to the grand keynote of liberty and self-government. Now we see our once happy and peaceful land enveloped in all the horrors of a civil war. Now we see the wide distinction between man and man made alone by military rank. Now we see the rough ambulance bearing the wounded and dead from the field of blood and death.

Amidst these contrasted reflections, we are constrained to ask, what is all this for? The future impartial historian will record our declarations, our sacrifices, our blood, our death, as analogous to those who fought the King’s armies in the days of the old revolution.


37th Alabama Regiment of Volunteer Infantry CSA
2300 Cottondale Lane Little Rock, AR 72202

© Copyright 2007 C.C. (Chip) Culpepper