Wednesday, November 27, 2013 12:00 AM
In November 1862, one-hundred-fifty-one-years ago, division commander Major General John Bell Hood ordered the 2nd and 11th Mississippi Infantry Regiments of Brigadier General Evander Law's "Old 3rd Brigade," detached from his division.
The units were to report to Richmond for assignment.
Hood wrote: "... No troops in the service have shown more devotion to the sacred cause in which we are now battling, than have these regiments, and none, who dauntless courage has been exhibited more conspicuously.
In the bloody battles of Manassas, 1st, Seven Pines, Gaines' Farm, Malvern Hill, Freeman's Ford, the 2nd battle of Manassas, Boonsboro Heights and Sharpsburg, they have proved themselves worthy sons of the gallant State, from which they came, and entitled themselves to the gratitude of the country, they have served so faithfully..."
One Mississippian recorded in his diary: "Gen'l orders - the 2 & 11 Miss. Regts. Are detached from the 3rd Brigade and ordered to report at Richmond - leaving all their tents, wagons - ambulances, &c. Standing by we used them last night... marched to the RR."
Shortly after arrival in Richmond, Private Charles Ridout of Company D, the Neshoba Rifles, 11th Mississippi, wrote on November 9, 1862, about his new duties at Howard's Grove Hospital: "I am now acting as assistant ward master. I was detailed on the 5th inst. There is Sixteen wards here completed and fourteen more buildings, each ward is sixty by twenty five feet, and contains thirty three beds.
"This is a new hospital, was not opened until last July, it is said to be the nicest and best in the Confederacy. I am busy all day, we have twenty nine patients in our ward, three of them were wounded in the Maryland battles, two of them had their legs amputated just below the knees, the other was wounded by a Shell, he has a wound in the right thigh.
"I have to dress their wounds twice per day. I also have to administer all the medicine prescribed by the Doctor, and have to go up to the dining room three times per day and bring down rations for those on half diets. I also have to sweep a great deal to keep my ward in nice order... our Regt.... Came down day before yesterday, and is encamped about three miles from there, I expect Some of the boys will come over to See us tomorrow."
While the last two weeks of November 1862, were spent "a drinking and a drilling" by the members of the 2nd and 11th Mississippi Regiments, another regiment of Mississippians, the 42nd Mississippi Infantry, largely consisted of companies from northeast Mississippi, prepared to join the newly formed brigade of Brigadier General Joseph R. Davis.
The thirty-seven-year-old Joe Davis was a nephew of President Jefferson Davis, and an attorney from Madison County, Mississippi, who also served as a state senator at the beginning of the hostilities.
Many fellow officers thought the younger Davis to be "a pleasant, unpretentious man, but he had no military education to warrant his promotion from colonel on the president's military staff."
On November 22, 1862, the Confederate War Department officially assigned the ten companies of the 42nd Mississippi, numbering over one thousand strong, to the Mississippi brigade of Joe Davis.
One month later, General Gustavus W. Smith ordered: "The commanding general directs the three Mississippi regiments of Davis' brigade with the batteries, and three select regiments of [Brigadier General Junius] Daniel's brigade, with the battery, be put on march for Goldsborough at once by railroad. Davis' men arrived on the cars at Petersburg, Virginia, about 4:00 p.m. the following day and stood "in the streets til 12 p.m. and took the cars for Weldon, N. C."
On December 17, 1862, early morning rain and sleet turned to snow as the Mississippians traveled slowly toward Goldsborough, North Carolina.
By 2 p.m., the 2nd and 42nd regiments reached their destinations and camped at the fairgrounds.
The 11th Mississippi arrived several hours later. (Follow-up stories in December 18 and 25, 2013 issues)
Civil War Veterans
Cook, Thomas Melvin - Private to First Corporal; enlisted April 24,1861 at Philadelphia, Mississippi, in Company D, 11th Mississippi Infantry Regiment; age twenty-five; farmer; appointed first corporal by at least April 1863; present at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863; captured at Falling Waters, Maryland, July 14, 1863.
Imprisoned at Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland; appeared on roll of paroled prisoners of war to be forwarded to Point Lookout, Maryland, at Baltimore, August 16, 1863; died with diarrhea at Point Lookout, February 18, 1864; buried in the prisoner of war grave yard (Confederate Cemetery) at Point Lookout; death claim filed by father, Michael Cook, May 9, 1864; claim settled for $259.93.
World War II Veterans
Marcangeli, Louis Camillo - Private to Staff Sergeant; enlisted on October 18, 1941 at Camp Blanding, Florida, in the United States Army; age twenty-four; apprentice plumber; served and trained in the American Theatre of Operations with the Army Air Corps; stationed at MacDill Field, Tampa, Florida, and at the Army Air Field, Lake Charles, Louisiana, February 1943 to May 1943.
Sailed to England aboard the Queen Elizabeth, June 1943; served also in the European Theatre of Operations as a medical technician with the 386th Bombardment Group, and with Headquarters Company, 397th Bombardment Group, June 1943 to September 1945; participated in Air Offensive Europe, the Invasion of Normandy and the campaigns in Northern France, Rhineland. Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe; stationed also at Beaumont Sur Oise, France, winter of 1944/1945, and at St. Tront, Belgium, April 1945.
Injured in a commando jeep, July 1945; awarded the American Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and the European-African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (with one silver service star and one bronze service star); discharged at Camp Chafee, Arkansas, October 16, 1945, demobilization; described as five feet six inches tall, weighing 165 pounds, with brown hair and gray 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