Wednesday, June 12, 2013 1:00 AM
In late May of 1861, newly appointed Brigadier General Joseph Eggleston Johnston, upon arrival at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, immediately took charge, organizing the massing troops into the Army of the Shenandoah.
Upon orders from Johnston, Lieutenant Colonel George Deas, Inspector General of the Confederate Army, issued the following report: "The force at this time assembled at Harpers Ferry and its outposts consists of five regiments from Va., two regiments from Miss., one regiment from Ala., eight companies of Va. cavalry, one battalion from Kentucky, five companies of artillery, and a naval battery, amounting in the aggregate to about eight thousand men, of whom about seven thousand three hundred are able to go into combat well-armed... The two regiments from Miss. have with them their tents and camp equipage, but are not satisfied with their arms, which are chiefly of the old flint-lock musket altered into percussion... One of these regiments [the 11th], under the command of Colonel [William H.] Moore, is very superior to the other [the 2nd], under Colonel [William Clark] Falkner.* The latter is badly clothed and very careless in its appointments.
The officers are entirely without military knowledge of any description, the men have a slovenly and unsoldier-like appearance. The other regiment [11th] seems to take much pride in its appearance, and is endeavoring to improve itself by military exercises.
All the infantry units are drilled daily in the school of the soldier and company, and valuable assistance in this regard is received from the young men who have been instructed as the military school at Lexington [Virginia Military Institute].
But there is no ground in the immediate area vicinity upon which the maneuvers of a large battalion can take place, consequently, there is a lamentable want of knowledge of the first principle of formation into line and the changes of front and breaking into column."
Just days after Colonel Deas issued his report, on June 12, 1861, forty-eight year-old Private Archibald Willison Burnside of Company D, Neshoba Rifles, 11th Mississippi, wrote home about other events at Harpers Ferry: "My health is very good. I never was in better health in my life at this time. Some of the boys have had the measles. With that exception we have had no sickness at all.
They are all getting well except Ben Haguewud [Hagewood] who died this morning at three o'clock. He went swimming in the river with the fever on him which in my opinion caused his death exposed himself a great deal we have been expecting an attact [sic] on us here for sum [sic] three days but the rumor has proved false and in my humble judgement [sic]they will never attact this place at all.
We have a fine army here now. Say about eighteen thousand men. They are still poring [sic] in here every day. I wish they would stop coming for we have more here now than we need. Samuel J. Burnside has been very sick with measles but is getting well." Sadly, Archibald Burnside's optimistic assessment of his nephew's recovery from his measles attack was not correct, as Sam Burnside died with "sequel of measles," eight days later. Twenty-five year old Samuel Jordan Burnside was buried in the Stonewall Cemetery in Winchester, Va.
Another nephew, Leonidas W. Burnside died in battle at Gaines' Mill on June 27, 1862. Both Samuel J. and Leonidas W. Burnside were the sons of John Burnside.
*Colonel William Clark Falkner was the great-grandfather of the novelist William Cuthbert Faulkner. William Falkner's name was later misspelled by a newspaper writer, and the highly acclaimed author accepted the spelling of Faulkner.
Joseph Blotner, in his biography of Faulkner, suggests that the name change resulted from a hoax by Faulkner to pass as British, thereby gaining entrance into a prestigious university in England.
Civil War Veterans
Robertson, William Thomas - Private; enlisted March 1, 1862, at Philadelphia, Mississippi, in Company D, 11th Mississippi Infantry Regiment; age twenty-two; wounded in the left leg by a minie' ball and captured at Seven Pines, May 31, 1862; lower third of his left leg amputated, June 2, 1862.
Hospitalized at the U.S.A. Hygeia Hospital at Fort Monroe, Va., June 8, 1862; transferred to the U.S.A. Chesapeake Hospital at Fort Monroe, June 16, 1862; released and paroled at the headquarters of the U.S.A. Seventh Army Corps at Fort Monroe, Aug. 31, 1862.
Received $44.00 in pay for service July 31, 1863 to October 31, 1863; applied for an artificial limb, May 16, 1864; admitted to General Hospital; #9 at Richmond, Va., May 26, 1864; transferred to Howard's Grove at Richmond, May 27, 1864; furloughed from Howard's Grove for sixty days, July 17, 1864; Muster Roll, July-August 1864: "In Miss., retired for six months, leg amputated;" Muster Roll, Nov.-Dec. 1864: "Absent, wounded-permanently disabled (leg amputated)."
World War II Veterans
Robertson, Outha Carl - Private to Private First Class; enlisted on July 8, 1941 at Camp Shelby, Miss., in the United States Army; age twenty-three; truck driver; served and trained in the American Theatre of Operations at Fort Knox, Kentucky, Jan. 1942; stationed at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, November 1942; on maneuvers in Tenn., July 1943; stationed also at Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky, Oct. 1943; served also in the European Theatre of Operations as an automobile mechanic with Cannon Company, 12th Regimental Combat Team, Fourth "Iron Horse" Division, January 1944 to June 1945; stationed in England, March 1944 to June 1944; participated in the invasion of Normandy (Utah Beach- June 6, 1944, D-Day) and the campaigns in Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe; awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, American Defense Service Medal, European-African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and the Bronze Arrowhead; discharged at Camp Shelby, August 20, 1945, demobilization; described as five feet seven and one-half inches tall, weighing 158 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