Enterprise - May Articles
The following articles transcribed by C.C. (Chip) Culpepper, March & April 1999 from Xeroxed copies of the original text supplied by Herb Griffin and others by 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.

The first two articles originally appeared in April 1902:

{VOL. 4.}

History of the 37th Alabama Regiment


In a few days after the organization of the regiment orders came to Coll J F Dowdell from Gen Braxton Bragg to take up the line of march for Corinth, Mississippi, on Monday following the 27th day of April, 1862. The regiment being in a bad condition to march on account of measles, etc., was allowed to remain at Auburn until Thursday following.

When Thursday came all the regiment, able for duty, took the cars for Corinth, via Montgomery. The regiment, then numbering twelve hundred and fifty-seven, was able to leave with but seven hundred and twenty-two, rank and file, in consequence of sickness. The regiment arrived at Montgomery at about 5 o’clock p m, the same day - pitched tents and remained there until Monday next. On Sunday Rev Frank Calloway, an aged minister, well and favorably known in Chambers county, preached to the regiment in a grove near the camp. His gray head, faltering tongue and sage advice on that occasion, made an impression on the hearts of many soldiers.
On Monday the command was ordered to strike tents and march to the war, preparatory to taking the boat (Selma) for Corinth, via Mobile. Just before leaving the landing at Montgomery, Co "I" was made to mourn the loss of one of its members, Arthur Gilmer, who {illegible word} over-board {illegible section} encumbered with heavy clothing, rations, he kept his head above the surface of the water but a few seconds, when he sank beneath the waves to rise no more. A large crowd of soldiers and citizens stood upon the bank in breathless silence and saw him go down so quickly that no aid could be tendered him. Col Dowdell wrote a short note to Judge Bibb, of Montgomery, who was a personal friend of W B S Gilmer, the adopted father of the unfortunate young man, informing him of the sad occurrence and requested him to look after the body of the departed soldier boy. The writer does not know that his body was ever recovered. Arthur Gilmer had just been mustered out of the service of the Confederacy, having served twelve months in the 7th Alabama Regiment. Was a member of Capt Jackson’s company, the first company that went out of Chambers county to Pensacola at the beginning of the war. Remaining at home but a few days, he went to Auburn and joined Co "I" 37th Alabama Regiment, and was a soldier for the war. The boat soon moved off from the shore, but not a huzzah came from the soldiers as she glided down the stream of the proud old Alabama, a thing very unusual when troops are going to the scene of action.

We left Montgomery at ten o’clock a m, Monday the 2d day of June; arrived at Selma about sunset the same day. Nothing of importance or strange happened during the day, except to those who are not accustomed to traveling on water. Remained at Selma but a short time.

As the darkness of the night began to cover us, a general feeling of calmness and solemnity began to prevail, whilst every soldier was discussing "where will I sleep tonight?" We were very much crowded, the boat being a small one. We then began to realize some of the improvised accommodations of a soldier’s life. The writer, however, was fortunate enough to get a berth, he having one little stripe upon his collar. The writer, after all of the officers and men of the regiment had gone to the land of morpheus, was sitting alone, indulging in the reflections caused by the surroundings. In the unbroken silence and stillness of the night save by the noise and convulsions of the waters, caused by the huge wheels which propelled the boat along to her destination, sat the writer whose imagination was drawn out upon the grand achievements of man in the improved modes of traveling and was {unknown word} making a comparison of the present with the far back past, he was almost led to exclaim, "what is it that man can’t do?" After these reflections the mind naturally recurred to home, dear ones and friends and everything else which tends to endear one’s heart to the land he loves so well. We then retired and joined the brotherhood until the inviting rays of the sun of next morning bade us arise and take up our blankets.

-April 10, 1902.
Dear Comrades:- You will see from the above partial history that it only lacks seventeen days being forty years since we received orders to leave Auburn for Corinth, Miss. Now if you read these sketches which were written by me as they occurred, you will doubtless be reminded of many other incidents which happened along those days, and all I ask of you is to write me at once and I will include same as reminiscences of those times. I have been corresponding with Col J W Portis, 42d Ala, who was engaged in writing up his command., and as both regiments belonged to the same brigade we intended giving each other the benefit of all facts common to both regiments. But now I see from the papers that he died a few days ago and I suppose the history of that gallant old regiment will never be written.

Mr. J O Perry, Co I 37th Ala, {illegible section} Ala. I spent several nights with him during the past ten years and he enjoyed so much talking over the war. Now he is gone.

You may think you have no time to write what you recollect, but you once had four years to spare for the good of your country, and now can’t you make some sacrifice to perpetuate the history of those trying times

T J Carlisle

{Sidebar item}

37th Alabama Survivors

You will read in this issue of the paper a history of the regiment from Auburn to the morning we left Montgomery being the 5th of June 1862. It will be sometime before I take up the history of the regiment as I propose to give each company’s history up to organization of the regiment followed by muster roll of each company in its order.

I have just received the organization of Company A, written by Sergt S M Singletary (known as Tup Singletary). The next issue will have muster roll of Co A at time of regimental organization. A great many joined the regiment later on and their names will appear as furnished by surviving members. I will try to get the last muster rolls on file at Richmond, Va, and will give same as an appendix to the final history.


Adjt T L Samford died about two years since at Loachapoka, Ala.
Joe Green was living in Georgia when we last heard.
Don’t know where White (the ambulance boy) of Co E is.
The circular letters sent out gives the order in which the company’s histories will come.
Yes. If you have been so unfortunate as you say, you can get our paper.

The last answer above reminds us of what Sergt Forney Renfro, Co G, said to me a few years before he died while we were talking about writing up the history of our regiment and companies, as we are now proposing. He said he would send a check for fifty dollars to have the paper sent to his old company, he furnishing the names. Forney made a success of life in a business way after he returned from the war, which was in accord with his life as a brave soldier.

The above article transcribed by C.C. (Chip) Culpepper, March & April 1999 from Xeroxed copies of the original text supplied by Herb Griffin. 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.


Formation of the "Henry Volunteers"
Which Became Co. A, of the 37th
Ala. Reg’t. at its Organization.

Early in the second week of March 1862, Moses B Green, W E Bradley, Robert L Phipps, J V Perryman and Dr James M Saunders began to enlist men for the company. Green and Bradley worked in Abbeville and west into Dale county getting the larger part of men in that locality. Phipps and Perryman recruited in the eastern portion of the county and Dr James Saunders and Thomas Armstrong worked in the lower end of the county, getting the second largest batch of recruits. On Saturday preceding the 18th of March they had their first meeting to decide when we should leave and the 18th agreed upon. There was no other business of importance transacted at this meeting.

The 18th was ushered in amid torrents of rain but this did not retard us for a moment. We had to travel by private conveyance to Fort Gaines which is fourteen miles away. The trip was made through the rain and the hardest I have ever seen fall. Every rivulet and gulley was full to overflowing. Finally we reached Franklin, which is on the west side of the Chattahoochie, opposite Fort Gaines. The bridge across the river had washed away and we had to cross on a flat. I went across with the first batch of men on the first trip that flat made, as we had to wait for it to be launched. When about midway the stream the flat dipped water and the men became uneasy and began to move around quite lively and no doubt would have sunk the flat had it not been for J V Perryman, who was an experienced ferryman and who reassured the boys; and we landed on the east bank of the river amid torrents of rain, and the river the fullest I had ever seen it.

Some of the relatives who went along to see their boys off would not risk recrossing at the Fort but went to Eufaula to cross on the bridge, which is twenty-five miles north of the Fort. Fort Gaines is situated on the east side of the river on a high bluff which we had to climb on our way to the old College which was to be our camp for the night. I and Joseph M Murphy made the trip up this hill together, and when about half way up he lost his footing and rolled off down the hill at the same time remarking, "We are in it, Sam are we not!" I told him it looked like he was. We reached the old college which was a large old building very much dilapidated, with the glass all broken out of the windows by the smart boys of that time. The railing around the gallery had been torn away and a man by the name of Mills who was on his way to Pensacola, walked off and fell about twelve feet to the hard floor below which disabled him for the balance of the war. But I have learned that he recovered soon after the war closed, thanks.

After supper it was announced that we would to into the elections of company officers and M B Green and W E Bradley were put in nomination for Captain. {illegible word/torn section} Bradley declined because Green had been most instrumental in raising the company and he was elected without opposition. Bradley and R L Phipps were candidates for first Lieutenant. Phipps beat Bradley a few votes and was declared elected. Bradley then declared himself for second Lieutenant and was elected. Then the friends of J V Perryman and Dr Jesse Bruner put their names in nomination and Perryman was elected by a small majority. Dr Bruner then declined to go with the company and returned home. It was then announced that we would elect an Orderly Sergeant and J M Murphy was put in nomination and elected without opposition. This completed the organization of the company except the appointment of non-commissioned officers, which the captain did soon after our arrival at Auburn which was as follows: Henry A Yonge, 2d Sergt; Thomas O Knight, 3d Sergt; George W Bruner, 4th Sergt; W E Saunders, 5th Sergt; James D Murphy, 1st corporal; James W Vaughn, 2d corporal; John B Buxton, 3d corporal; James M Gray, 4th corporal.

After the election was over in the old college the boys pitched in to paint things red about the old building, for it rained so hard till they could not get out to paint the fort. The old men who went over to see the boys off whiled away the night in games of poker. Some of the boys tried to sleep but could not from the strangeness of the situation and the bad ones that were in the crowd. I don’t think I spent another night that served me so bad during the war; it being my first experience, it went hard with me.

Early on the morning of the 19th we were up and in the fort seeing things as they existed there. About ten o’clock we bid our relatives and friends adieu and boarded the train and were soon on our way to Fort Valley where we had to change cars for the west. There was but one incident that occurred on that day that is worth relating aside from some bad wash-outs which delayed us for sometime.

Capt Greene got off the train at one of the little stations and loitered around there till the train pulled out and left him. My attention being called to it, I looked down the road and saw the old fellow in a trot following us about a quarter behind. The train stopped and he came aboard and was with us to the end of the journey.

We arrived at Fort Valley late in the afternoon and had to lie over till four o’clock in the morning and wait for a train westbound. Consequently we had to camp and having no tents we had to occupy porches and plazas, and I being a sonambulist, especially when my usual rest had been broken, was surprised to be abruptly awakened with my mouth full of mud. I had got up and walked across the railroad and run into an embankment, and I lost no time in getting back to my quarters.

The train arrived on time from Macon and we boarded her and went to Columbus, where we arrived at about sun-up. The good people of that town had been apprised of our coming and had prepared to give us breakfast which was a treat to us as we had eaten nothing since the morning of the nineteenth. After breakfast it was learned that we would not leave for a couple of hours so some of the boys went on a lark down town and some weeks later they suffered for their folly. Finally we boarded the train and went to Auburn where we arrived in the afternoon and quartered in the old academy, the citizens feeding us till the 22d when we were mustered into service and drew tents and camp equipage, and moved out south of town to camp of instruction.

This brings up the organization of the Regiment and I will leave that to be told by some one that is better prepared than I am.

Samuel M. Singletary,
Ord. Sergt Co A, 37th Ala Reg.
March 7, 1902

Transcribed by C.C. (Chip) Culpepper, March 2003 from Xeroxed copies of the original text supplied by 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.


37th Ala. Survivors.

We give you in this issue of the paper the fourth chapter of the regiment, in order that you might see the accuracy of our account of the time, etc. while we were at Columbus, Miss.

The telegrams given are only samples of those occurring daily during those trying times.

We want every living member of the regiment to write us as we go along. It does not matter whether you ever wrote an article for publication, you give us the facts and we will put it in shape.

We are sending our paper to every member of the regiment we can find and if any should not want us to continue it, they have only to notify us. One has notified us to discontinue his paper, and we are not surprised, since we have learned from some of his company how he acted towards them after or about the time of the surrender. Sad that an officer, after the last struggle, should lose the confidence of his men.

T J Carlisle


July 4, 1862.
The army of Virginia is involved in all the horrors of war at this time.
Dispatches to-day bring intelligence of the defeat of the Yankees at City Point with a loss of nine thousand killed and wounded and capture of many prisoners. The writer to-day for the first time, unable for duty.

Notwithstanding the good showers of rain last Tuesday, vegetation is now suffering. To-day, 5th day of July, we, in company with John Tucker, W S Ozley, R H Boyd, Mike Moorman, James Moorman and J H Barnes, went about half a mile below camp for the purpose of bathing. John H Barnes hobbled along slowly with his swollen sprained ankle. After a lively time in the creek, we all scattered about among the trees, to write letters home, etc. After writing my letter I wrote up my diary. After we all finished up our writing, it was proposed to show our letters, but Jim and Dick refused, They were young men. Getting back to camp, John had a bad time, hurting his ankle, getting over the brush. We all cried out: "Hold on faithful John, that old big ankle will be your best friend yet." We were all joking John about his sore ankle. But at the same time wishing we had just such a pet.

On arriving back to camp we found the boys in ecstasies over the following telegram, which I copy from the paper verbatim:

Latest from Richmond - McClellan routed - Seven thousand prisoners taken - Immense slaughter - Seventy-five pieces of cannon and fifteen thousand stands of arms captured - Gen Price en route to Missouri - Special to The Mobile Tribune.

Richmond, July 4th. - The enemy has been driven from all his entrenchments and batteries. He has lost all his commissary stores and ammunition. In fact he has lost all his supplies of every kind. We have got him now surrounded by our army. It is certain that McClellan is completely routed.

Tupelo, July 4th. - It is reported that General Bragg’s Headquarters, but not known to be entirely reliable, that the French and English ministers have made two distinct propositions for peace between the North and South. We also learn that Gen Price is moving forward, and is expected to be in Missouri in a short time. Our forces are moving northward.

Sunday, July 6. Preaching in the forenoon, also in the afternoon. At night prayer meeting, accompanied by excellent singing, reminding us very much of camp-meetings in past days. Soon after taps, great excitement prevailed on account of a sentinel being shot while on post. We all rushed to the post to see what was the cause of the shot, when the sentinel said some one had shot him, striking him on the arm above the elbow, from the bushes, about twenty paces distant. Many suppositions and conjectures were made, but no one could account for the strange occurrence, for we had no reason to believe that the Yankees were anywhere in the country near us.

But Winston Stamps, always ready to act in cases of emergency, mounted a horse, without orders, so far as the writer knows, and soon had a pack of track dogs on the spot, but they failed to get up any trail of wild Yankee, varmint or anything else. Winston was a good, jolly fellow and soldier, generally on the alert while out foraging, and formed the acquaintance of every body living within range of the camp, and always came in with "big tales: as to how he was treated. He would sometimes act as leader for the boys in their singing around the camp fires. His voice was strong and frequently would cause some one to remark: "Well that reminds me of old man Britton (his father) calling for the juries and witnesses in time of court at Lafayette." All old citizens of Chambers will recollect what a grand sheriff he made, particularly for loudness and distinctness in his calling.

The report of the gun, for we supposed it a gun at the time, and the consequent excitement, caused the Colonel to double the guard around the camp. Dr Oslin, our active and efficient surgeon, and by the way a good detective also, soon dressed the Sentinel’s wound and while doing so he learned from him (Sentinel) that he and next Sentinel on post to him, were tampering with a pistol, when it discharged prematurely, and the boys both being young and fearing severe punishment, did not at first disclose the facts of the accident. Our Col and other officers of the regiment tried to keep this thing, and the circumstances connected with it, from being circulated, thinking that we would be laughed at, should it get out on us, and then the old soldiers would give us a name we would have to carry through the war. As for myself, I kinder felt we were excusable, for we had no guns, and what was the use of beating the drum and falling into line, when we had nothing but our fists to fight with, even if there had been a thousand Yankees pouncing down on our camp. At any rate the boys say "it is a right good joke on Snider." The Sentinels belonged to Company K, Capt Skipper Commanding.

Our surgeon, Dr Oslin, than whom a more energetic and faithful man did not belong to the command, has done all he could for the welfare of the sick of his regiment. He was strictly a temperance man himself but always was ready to administer a "wee bit of the critter" to the boys, when they would come up with long faces, saying, "doctor, I feel mighty bad this morning that medicine you gave me I think is weakening me. I think I need something that would ’sorter’ stimulate a fellow, don’t you?"

"Yes," the doctor would say, and he would most always let them have it. This sort of talk did not come from privates alone either, for the officers put in their pleas occasionally.

However, the whisky supply give out two weeks back, and the sick list got down pretty low. A few evenings ago the wagoner that brought out our commissaries, drove up by the surgeon’s quarters and rolled out a barrel of whiskey and placed it in the tent. The next morning the sick list was increased alarmingly, as if some dire epidemic had crept into camps night before and seized upon many victims. But during the night Dr Oslin instructed Willie Callahan to put about two pounds of assofoedita {read: asafetida} in the barrel, which he did. The long line stood before the surgeon’s tent in good order, and after the usual examinations and prescriptions the doctor said, "Willie, give the boys a good dram this morning, they haven’t had any in sometime" and retired to his tent. Will started at the head of the line pouring out good size horns to each. Some would take her right down, and hand the cup down with a face drawned as if they had chewed up forty green persimmons. Others would pass her in and retire immediately to the rear and cast up accounts. While others with weak stomachs would place about their feet as if to plant on solid ground for a heavy pull, would start the cup to the mouth when a heave would draw up the shoulders and tuck the chin down with tears running down their cheeks, they would back for awhile; when a sudden resolution, with firm hand, would cast her down almost home, when an almost simultaneous retreat was ordered from stomach headquarters, bring out whiskey, assofoedita and breakfast altogether on the spot. The boys would say "talk about your quinine pills, but all is moonshine compared with Dr Oslin’s assafoedita whiskey." But the boys say there was one fellow who could take her between meals and never bat his eye.


37th Ala. In Battle of Iuka.

On Monday the 11th day of September, we broke camp at Baldwin, Miss, and marched to Iuka, a distance of fifty miles where we arrived the 14th, the enemy retiring on our approach. We rested in the enemy’s camp that evening and night, and on the 15th we were put in line of battle some two or three miles west of town where we remained until about two hours by sun on the 19th, when we were ordered back toward town; and the boys thinking they had been fooled on purpose began to guy Gen Price and other officers who happened to be near. But this fun was destined to last but a short time as there was business just ahead. When we arrived in sight of Iuka we took a road leading in a southwesterly direction which we moved along for a mile at a double-quick, when the big dogs began to bark and the shells pass over and some of the boys made remarks about buzzards passing, it being their first experience with shells. We filed left and moved far enough to pass to the left of those engaged, fronted, and moved to the front ourselves. Almost at the first volley, Henry Miller fell dead pierced with a minie ball, and Floyd Nall mortally wounded, who died during the night. We moved to the front till we came into line with those engaged on our right, where we fought them till dusk and some on e ordered us to change and we went right into their line. A Yanky Major being the first to see our approach shot a man by the name of Judkins through the arm with his pistol. By this time five or six of us had our muskets on him and were pressing our triggers when he threw up his hands and said "for God’s sake don’t fire, men," which saved his life. His pistol was taken from him and he was turned over to Judkins to escort him to the rear as a prisoner of war. Some of the boys who were slightly wounded and on their way to the hospital reported that they saws Judkins sitting by a tree with the Major between his legs punching him in the sides with the pistol and swearing that he was of a good will to kill him, the Major begging for his life.

Judkins was a member of Co D, and I don’t think he was ever with his company any more.

W J Banister, of our company was killed in the last charge.

Capt M B Green and W R Kelly were badly hurt by Major Slaton’s runaway horse.

We held the battle ground during the night and lay among the dead and dying Yankies. It was heart-rending to hear them call for their doctors, captains and friends, and as the night wore on they gradually ceased. Some dying, others being carried to the hospital. I never smell bruised leaves but that my mind goes back to Iuka. The smell of the leaves, powder and blood made me so sick till I had to vomit.

Just before day on the morning of the 20th we were called into line and began the retreat. Our route lay through Iuka and when we reached that place we were delayed for sometime, and the federal artillery appeared on a high hill south of us, unlimbered and the ominous puff of white smoke told us what was coming long before the shells passed over our heads. They fired three or four shots but we did not remain a target for them, for somehow or other our legs got in double quick action and took us away from there.

In crossing the creek made by the Iuka springs, I could see the bottom, dry, about as often as otherwise for the boys in their hurry to get away from the shells had about knocked all the water out of it.

We made our way back to Baldwin on the Mobile & Ohio railroad without being engaged though there was fighting by the rear guard several days. We arrived at Baldwin on the 23d and rested the 24th preparatory to the march to Corinth, which I will describe the best I can in my next letter.

S M Singletary.


Survivors 37th Ala.

While I am waiting for Capt L P Hamner, Co B, Five Points, Ala, and Capt J C Kendrick, Co C, Greenville, Ala, to get up an account of the organization of their respective companies, I will give a short sketch from my diary about Vicksburg. You will remember I was Ordnance Officer on staff of Brig Gen J C Moore, and will give a copy of some of the orders received by me on May 18, 1863, the day we went into the entrenchments around Vicksburg. You will see from the date and nature of these orders that times were getting hot. I don’t think I ever saw or witnessed greater excitement.

We had been around Vicksburg for a long time fortifying and making strong defences in order to give the Yankees a warm reception when they came. Later on I will give you an account of the warm but fatal reception to many a blue coat who fell in front of Moore’s brigade on 18th and 22d of May, 1863.
Headquarters Moore’s Brig.
May 18, 1863.

Lieut.:-Have your train in readiness to move into the entrenchments at Vicksburg at a moment’s notice.
Jas M Longhborough, A A G.
To Lieut Carlisle, Ord Offir.
Headquarters Moore’s Brig.
May 18, 1863.

Lt Carlisle:-You will move your train tot he rear of the entrenchments at Vicksburg at once. By order of Brig Gen Moore,
Jas M Longhborough, A A G.
To Lt Carlisle, Ord Offir.
Headquarters Moore’s Brig.
May 18, 1863.

Lieut:-The Brig Gen Com’g directs that you move your ordnance train out on the Baldwin Ferry road, the route to be taken is down Cherry street to the jail, turn to the right and keep the straight road out until you meet me.
Very respectfully,
Jas W Mangum, A A G
To Lt Carlisle, Brig Ord Offir.
Headquarters Moore’s Brig.
May 18, 1863.

Lt:-Capt Gibbs reports that two shells have passed through the house in which your ordnance is stored. Please attend to it at once.
Jas M Longhborough, A A G.
To Lt Carlisle, Ord Offir.
Headquarters Moore’s Brig.
May 18, 1863.

Capt Longhborough:-Please have my ordnance wagon ordered up near the Reg.
Very respectfully,
A Smith
Col 2d Texas
To Capt Jas M Longhborough, A A G
Respectfully referred to Lt Carlisle, Brig Ord Offir.
By order of Brig Gen J C Moore,
Jas M Longhborough, A A G
While {missing word in torn section} orders were coming in a {torn section} succession the brigade was {torn section}ing, sometimes in double quick, going in one direction, when a countermarch would be ordered, thus to and fro you would go until worn down with fatigue and heat you would be ready to fight to desparation.

All our troops were brought in the lines on the 18th of May. The Yankees advancing commenced the siege of the city on the same day. On Sunday night our brigade (Moore’s) took its position in the entrenchments east of the city (Vicksburg) about one and three quarters miles distant. On Monday the 17th skirmishing was kept up on the Jackson road which became tolerable hot long towards evening in front of Gen Hebert’s line which was immediately on our left. At dark the firing ceased and continued so until almost 2 o’clock in the morning when it was resumed and kept regularly until about 1 p m (Tuesday) when the Yankees made a desperate charge and came within thirty yards of our entrenchments, but were repulsed with heavy loss. Not satisfied they made one or two more charges in quick succession but were signally repulsed by Gen Hebert’s brigade.

They gave it up as a bad job and have not tried the same route since. Gen Hebert’s loss was very light.

Gen Hebert’s brigade and Moore’;s brigade constitute Maj Gen Forney’s division, Featherston’s brigade being detached and placed on the extreme left of the whole line.

Shortly after the onset upon Hebert’s lines the enemy made a bold and fierce assault upon Gen Moore’s command but were repulsed three times successively and again on Friday evening made the second charge. Our loss was very light indeed. That of the enemy must have been very heavy as their lines were exposed to our fire for sometime.

Prisoners captured report the same. Their dead is still unburied and are become very offensive to our troops. The Yanks will not bury them themselves nor allow us to do it. Whenever an attempt was made to recover the bodies of their dead, their sharp shooters sot at our men. Some of their wounded are still lying on the field without any attention whatever, and have been there ever since last Friday and now it is Monday.

On Wednesday night shelling from mortars on the peninsula commenced and still continues greatly to the annoyance of the citizens, who seek shelter in caves dug in sides of the hills. Sharp shooting and cannonading from all sides on land with shelling from beyond the river has kept things in perfect commotion and the elements enveloped in smoke for the last four days.

Horses, mules and stock of all kinds have been killed in numbers. Eminent danger stalks abroad upon very foot of land within the lines. Yet all are confident that we can hold the place so long as subsistence lasts, and unless we are relieved by a force to come up in rear of Gran’s army we will be compelled to surrender to the foe. Many rumors have reached us of Gen Johnston moving upon the rear of the enemy from Jackson. But nothing official from him has been made public if there has been anything received.

We are tolerably well supplied with ordnance stores but the assortment is bad - no forage is being issued to stock at all. A great many mules have been driven outside our lines to graze and live as best they can. Shell and shot reach the centre of the city from all sides which makes grazing very hazardous even if the stock could subsist on the limited pasturage. Sick soldiers have to lie out in ravines unprotected by tents or covering of any kind and no medical attention. The wounded occupying the hospitals which are being sacked by shells.

I have often read of besieged cities but never had the least conception of the State of affairs until I realized it. We are cut from communication with every part of the world. This state of affairs has existed for fifteen days and we have been confined within lines around Vicksburg for eight days under fire.

May 21-25-Usual firing and shelling until 3 o’clock p m when the enemy sent in a flag of truce to bury their dead, which was granted by our authorities and calm and quiet prevailed, which appeared unnatural after the din of war for days.

The shelling beyond the river was continued at intervals not knowing, however, that firing had ceased on both sides on the shore, I concluded late in the evening as all things were quiet and there would be no demand for immediate attention, that I would walk up in the city. When I reached near the centre of town shells came hot and fast, one exploding not more than twenty feet in the air just above my head when I thought "discretion was the better part of valor" and countermarched in quick time back towards the rear. My escape from instant death was indeed miraculous. Many such escapes I have made during the past ten days but none so unexpected as the one above mentioned.

After returning I went upon our line of fortifications to see the Yankees bury their dead which lay promiscuously upon their mother earth in front of our lines. Their officers seemed to wear a gloom of dispair upon their countenances-evidently regretting the signal defeat and loss sustained in the charges on Friday last. The bodies caused a great stench being in a state of putrifaction. Our boys were cheerful and ready to joke the "Feds" in every manner possible. Our boys traded canteens and sundry other articles with them.

The armistice expires to-night at 8:00 o’clock, Our brigade up to the present date has lost only thirty-four men killed outright upon the field. Many of the wounded will doubtless die as they were wounded principally in the head. Various rumors are afloat concerning the movements Gen Joe Johnston coming in the rear of Grant, but are not fully accredited as there has been nothing official to the point received.

The Yankees say they will have Vicksburg in a few days. But if they do by marching up manly and boldly they will walk upon many slain bodies before reaching the goal of their ambition.

37th Ala. Regiment.
If all the survivors of the regiment would take the time and interest in aiding us in getting up the history of our part in the war that S M Singletary, Co H; S G Burke, Co I; A J Bryan; M W Carroll, Co K; and W W Still, Co I have shown, we would leve {sic: leave} behind us a volume of facts and incidents that would be read and cherished by generations yet unborn. It looks like now that our history will be written by the privates and non-commissioned officers, who did the fighting and bore the burdens of that grand struggle. I am going to give the honor to whom the honor is due. If the officers of the regiment whom the men have honored and obeyed in time of military trials and bloodshed are now too busy or indifferent to help perpetuate the heroic conduct of their men, we will let it go down in history just as they make it. I am determined to give full credit to every one who aids us in this undertaking. If one fell on the battle field or died from wounds or disease I want to perpetuate his glory. If he is still living I want to recall the fact as a token of gratitude to the great God of the universe for His kindness and beneficence. We intend, if possible, to put this history in the homes, to be read by the fireside of dead or living members of the glorious old 37th Ala Volunteers as well as their children.

The wives and children of our fallen comrades are showing more anxiety and solicitude than any others to get this history.

Mr John Flowers, of Brundidge, whose father was in Co K and who was killed near New Hope, Ga, had our paper sent to his brother, sister and mother.
Mrs Dormon, of Lafayette, widow of W L Dormon of Co I, sends for our (the price along with it) paper and writes us a nice letter.

Brig Gen Jno C Moore, of Mexia, Texas, who commanded our brigade from the time Gen Martin was killed at Iuka to the time we went into winter quarters at Dalton, Ga, has just written me submitting a report of battles at Iuka and Corinth.

Will again have to ask a great many to excuse us for delays in answering their letters. What we want and need most now is the names and P O address of survivors and widows and children of the dead.

T J Carlisle.


Battle of Corinth.

We left Balwin on the 25th of September and marched in a northwesternly direction to Ripley, then north and northeast to Corinth. We struck their outpost some three miles northwest of town where they were well fortified and their works defended by infantry and artillery. I suppose we had formed line of battle and were ready to move forward by 8 o’clock in the morning, Major Slaton and several others being wounded in the formation of the line. Brigadier General Martin rode up in rear of our regiment and gave the command to forward in a loud clear voice, and we moved off in as good order as possible over the timber and brush they had felled to retard our progress. This was the last time I saw Gen Martin for he fell dead soon after he gave the command. Our boys moved steadily forward under a deadly fire right up to their work and some of our company were in the act of mounting the works when they fired a Napoleon gun in their faces, but in their hurry and eagerness to take the company they aimed the gun too low and the canister struck the works and went over their heads. One canister shot struck James M Gray on the head and cut out a lock of hair and he could not be made to take that position again during the war.

Our boys were soon in possession of the works and the two guns-one the Lady Richardson and the other a brass Napoleon gun. We failed to put a guard over the guns and some other command got the credit of capturing them. Our boys, in the excitement of battle, imprudently shot down the horses and we had no way to bring them off.

Our line was then reformed and moved off in direction of Corinth in line of battle and when in three-fourths of a mile of a creek that intervened between us and Corinth and entirely to our right, we saw two lines of battle opposing each other in deadly conflict in an open old field. The wind was blowing and cleared the smoke away so that I could see the men on either side as they fell, but as we moved up on the left the enemy retreated into the swamp. We moved on through the old field to the swamp and there we lay on our arms all night, Early the next morning the enemy fired about twenty shells right down the railroad, to our left from their works at Corinth. Soon after sun up we moved to the left across the rail road and across the swamp to the edge of the clearing and were ordered to lie down. It was not many minutes before we were ordered forward again. George Parmer, a dear friend and mess-mate of mine, being quick to respond, jumped to his feet, and was pierced through the heart with a minie ball. We moved out into the old field and up a long slant to the top of the hill where there stood an old farm house in plain view of the enemy’s works a couple of hundred yards away. Here Capt Meadows Co G, and the colonel of a Mississippi reg’t fell, the Captain shot in the bowels, and the Colonel’s leg shattered by a grape shot, who died that night from the effects of chloroform. I think he was in command of the brigade after Martin fell, but I do not recollect his name.

We soon mounted their works and run them in places along the line and about this time we got orders to fall back.

J M Murphy, O S, of Co A, had his leg broken and was taken prisoner together with another fellow of our company, I don’t remember his name. Then began the retreat from Corinth which was considered by many of the citizens a riot, but under all of the circumstances I think that Gen Price deserved great credit for the way he conducted us out of that hole, for when we were cut off that bridge I heard Gen Vandorn tell Gen Price he didn’t know what to do with them and Price replied-"Turn them over to me General; I think I can take them out." We moved to the left of the road and down near the river where the Yankees had crossed and watched them for an hour and a half without being engaged, though we lost one man from our regiment by a sharp shooter. The next day after we passed the bridge that had been fired by the enemy, one of our company John L Hillson died on the march just north of Ripley.

This ends the principal part of the frolic and I recon you are better prepared to tell it than I am. I know that you need all the information you can get from members of each company to make your history as near correct as possible, and I am willing to assist you all I can. I can send you the names of nearly all the recruits of the company, if you need them.

I saw Bob the other day and told him what you said. He said he received a letter from you but he said he had been so busy he could not take time to write it up from memory.

S M Singletary.

P S.- There was one incident I forgot to tell you about. On the second day out from Baldwin we stopped for some purpose- I don’t know what-any how, Major Slaton came to our company and read a dispatch stating that New Orleans had sunk and engulfed Butler and the Yankee army. Some of the boys were highly elated at the news, not thinking of the thousand of citizens that must have went up had it been true. While he was reading there was a distinct shock from an earthquake which caused him to stop reading and look around for the cause of the disturbance. I suppose it was to enthuse the boys and make them come up to the full measure of their duty in the battle that was to follow.
S M S.

To 37th Ala. Survivors
I am receiving communications almost daily from members of the regiment and filing them to be incorporated in the history of each company. I have just received one from Gen J C Moore which will be read by the members of the regiment with pride. Gen Moore was proud of his Alabama brigade and writes very kindly and tenderly of them. He commends the members of his brigade for gallantry upon several occasions in the highest terms and pays them a high and just tribute.

Sergt A J Bryant, Co K, has written two communications; Sergt S M Singletary, Co A, three; David Majors, Co C, two; W W Still, Co I, one; and D M Spence, Co I, one.

The muster roll of Co C appears in this issue. The roll of the other companies will appear one each week until we get through. Please look over these rolls carefully and give me address of all survivors, together with widows and children,

Give us as near as you can the names of recruits to your company during the war. When you write of battles give the names of the killed, wounded and captured. I can furnish days and dates from my diary.

I am now reminded that Jeff Morris, Co B, sent me by registered mail his pocket diary, which contains many facts and incidents well worthy a place in our history. Thank you, Jeff.

If I fail to mention names of those writing me please notify me.

Received one dollar each from Capt J C Kendrick, Co C, and N J Baker, Co K. If any of my old comrades have been unfortunate in the battle of life and are unable to spare the price of our paper, let us know it and we will send you the paper willingly. So far as I know I am the only confederate trying to get up a history of his regiment and put it in book form.


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

© Copyright 2007 C.C. (Chip) Culpepper