Wednesday, February 27, 2013 12:00 AM
The early months of 1863 brought woes and indignities to several Neshoba County men serving in Company D of the 11th Mississippi Infantry Regiment. From Howard's Grove Hospital in Richmond, Va., Private Charles Ridout wrote to his wife concerning a series of his medical problems and an update on the health of two comrades: "I am just recovering from the small pox...quite light...but was very sick, had a high fever for several days.
About the time my fever Subsided I was... with the Eresypelis which came very near taking me off, my face was Swolen [sic] up about three times its natural Size and I could not See a wink for two days.
The Doctor painted it with Iodine three times per day & gave me tincture of Iron three times per day.
I had to have nearly all my hair shaved off, only a Small patch left on the back of my head..." Earlier from Howard's Grove Hospital, Ridout had written: "I am Suffering very much with Dispepsy and Diareah [sic], and am afraid that I will not be able to do any more duty... The Doctor has had me living on half diet that is about two table spoonsful of Rice, a cup of coffee and a Small piece of light bread for breakfast, for dinner Soup, rice and bread, and supper light bread and tea... I have tried my best to keep up with the regiment, but Sleeping on the ground and eating so irregular knocks me up in a few days... John [W.] Cook has improved Since I last wrote. he is now able Sit up, and I hope will Soon be well. [James} William Cooper, the young man you came so near hugging [hugging] once is here.
He is a very clever fellow, and says he never played So in his life.
Tomorrow is my birthday and I guess that I will have to celebrate it on Lightbread coffee Rice and Soup."
After having received word that Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Butler had succumbed to his mortal wound at Frederick, Md., the maneuvering began to ascertain who should be promoted to Butler's rank of lieutenant colonel of the 11th Mississippi. Seniority now was the basis for promotion, rather than elections.
Based on "original" seniority, the date mustered into state service in 1861, Captain Alexander Franklin of Company D was third in seniority, after Captain George Wier resigned his commission on Nov. 11, 1862.
Major Francis Green, second in seniority, should have been elevated to the rank of lieutenant colonel, behind Colonel W. B. Lowry, and Franklin as the regiment's new major.
The War Department and President Jefferson Davis, however, took the position that seniority had to be based on the date when the companies volunteered to re-enlist when the Confederate re-organized.
Companies conscripted into the Confederate all received the seniority date of Apr. 21, 1862. Only two companies of the 11th Miss. voluntarily re-enlisted, the first being Captain Franklin's Company D, the Neshoba Rifles, and the second, Captain Green's Company G. On that basis, Captain Franklin was senior and assumed the position of lieutenant colonel.
Green retained his position as major. Under that system, however, Colonel Lowry occupied a positioned that he was not entitled - a fact that Major Green would not forget.
For some unstated reason, the War Department dismissed Lieutenant Colonel Franklin from Confederate service in late Feb., after serving for only six weeks.
Three months later, after a continuing feud between Lowry and Green over the leadership post of the 11th Miss., President Davis rescinded the promotion of William Lowry and designated Major Green, colonel. The Confederate president assigned Lowry the rank of lieutenant colonel to fill the vacancy created by the earlier discharge of Alexander Franklin.
Davis then promoted Captain Reuben Reynolds of Company I to major and made all three appointments effective, Sept. 25, 1862. Franklin returned to Neshoba County, enlisted as a private in Company G of the 6th Regiment Miss. Cavalry, and later served as second lieutenant in Captain R. P. Hutton's company of Worthington' Battalion. VETERANS MEMORIES
Civil War Veterans
Allen, Jonathan Y. -- Private; enlisted Sept. 8, 1861, at Camp Jones near Bristoe Station, Va., in Company D; age nineteen. Hospitalized with a debility at Chimborazo Hospital #5 at Richmond, Va., May 14, 1862; returned to duty, May 29, 1862; present for Battle of Gaines' Mill, June 27, 1862; wounded in the hand at Second Manassas, Aug. 30, 1862. Present at Battle of Sharpsburg, Sept. 16 and 17, 1862; served extra duty as a teamster, March 16, 1863 to May 3, 1863; appointed litter bearer at Talley's Mill, May 10, 1864. Voted "bravest man" of Company D for actions at Talley's Mill; hospitalized with typhoid fever at Howard's Grove Hospital at Richmond, May-June 1864; also, July 18 to Aug. 3, 1864. Hospitalized again, Sept. 9, 1864; furloughed for forty days to Lake Station, Miss.; described as five feet ten inches tall, blue eyes, dark hair and light complexion.
World War II Veterans
Branning, Milton Clayton - Private to Technician Fifth Class; enlisted on July 14, 1943 at Camp Shelby, Miss., in the United States Army. Age twenty-two; farmer; nick-named "Mitt;" served and trained in the American Theatre of Operations at the Armored Replacement Training Center at Fort Knox, Ky., Oct. 1943; stationed at Fort George G. Meade, Aberdeen, Md., Feb. 1944; served also in the European Theatre of Operations as a reconnaissance agent with Headquarters Company, Reconnaissance Platoon, Third Battalion, 32nd Armored Regiment, Third Armored "Spearhead" Division and Battery B, 272nd Field Artillery Battalion, First United States Army, Apr. 1944 to Nov. 1945; stationed in France, Sept. 1944, Belgium, Jan. 1945, and Germany, Apr. 1945; participated in the Invasion of Normandy, the campaigns in Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe; wounded in action in the Battle of the Bulge, Jan. 23, 1945. Awarded the European-African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Army Occupation (Germany) Medal, Purple Heart, and the Bronze Star; discharged at Camp Shelby, Dec. 2, 1945, demobilization; described as five feet ten and one-half inches tall, weighing 154 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.
Philadelphia-Neshoba County Historical Museum
Steven H. Stubbs, Curator
303 Water Avenue South Philadelphia, Mississippi 39350 (601) 656-1284
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Monday thru Friday