After the disaster at the Battle of Five Forks, seventeen miles southwest of Petersburg, Virginia, Lieutenant Colonel George Shannon moved the 11th Mississippi Infantry Regiment farther to the Confederate right and took a defensive position near Hatcher's Run during the night of April 1, 1865.

At the same time, Federal commander Ulysses Grant contemplated his next move, and after a few minutes turned to General George G. Meade, and said quietly, "I want [Horatio G.] Wright and [John G.] Parke to assault tomorrow morning at four."

When Meade's attacking forces were in position, Federal artillery opened with what one called the "greatest bombardment of the ten-month siege [of Petersburg]." One Federate soldier recalled, "From hundreds of cannons, field guns and mortars came a stream of living fire, the shells screamed through the air in a semi-circle of flame."

At 4:40 a.m., on the morning of April 2, 1865, under a heavy fog, the Federals advanced against the Petersburg lines. Parke's Ninth Corps was the first to near the Confederate breastworks at Fort Malone, a strong point known to the Federals as "Fort Damnation." Wright's Sixth Corps advanced in a massive wedge against the Confederate right, where the works were less formidable than at Fort Malone.

By 7:00 a.m., Wright's infantry had managed to breach the Rebel entrenchments at several points simultaneously. All along the front attacked by the Sixth Corps, the Confederates were "swept away and scattered like chaff before a tornado."

Wright then swung his men to the left and swept down the Confederate line toward Hatcher's Run, where he encountered the Federals of Major General John Gibbon's Twenty-Fourth Corps, that had brushed aside the Confederates in their front.

The 123rd Regiment of Ohio Volunteers, remained on the skirmish line during the early part of Gibbon's attack. Colonel Andrew Potter, commanding a brigade in Gibbon's Twenty-Fourth Corps, noted that the 123rd, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Horace Kellogg, "did good service there, the account of which I hereby attach."

Colonel Kellogg noted in his report: "At 8:30 a.m. I saw the Rebels were leaving their works in great haste, and at the same time a white flag was seen close to the works.

I immediately ordered my regiment forward on the double-quick, and had the satisfaction of seeing my regimental colors planted on the enemy's work in advance of all the others.

The result of the movement was the capture of 200 prisoners, 2 brass 12-pounders, 3 caissons and 500 stand of small-arms, and 2 of the enemy's battle-flags."

One of the flags belonged to the 11th Mississippi, and remains today in the family of Horace Kellogg's maternal great-grandson.

Private David Love, Company E of the 11th Mississippi, recalled that dreadful morning: "On the morning of the 2nd the enemy appeared in strong force both in the rear and on the left flank of the regiment, having succeeded in breaking the lines to our left.

Major {Lieutenant Colonel} Shannon then moved the Regiment about 200 yards to Hatcher's Run and there disbanded it. A few of the men made their escape by swimming the stream.

Major J.J. Evans, of Gen. [Joe] Davis' staff, was shot at twice while swimming, but escaped unhurt. Elbert Thompson of Company F crossed safely on a floating log, but Ira Russel[l[ of the same company was wounded while swimming and was compelled to return... About this time the regiment was entirely surrounded and all members surrendered..."

In addition to these men that avoided the Yankees, two members of Company G, Privates Charles Neilson and Ira Orr swam their way to safety. Third Sergeant Hugh Wilson of the Neshoba Rifles, Company D, also eluded his pursuers by swimming the waterway and caught up with Lee's retreating army seven miles away. Four days later, during the Battle of Little Sayler's Creek, Federals captured Wilson, but he quickly escaped. He then made his way through the Federal lines on horseback and rode to his home in Neshoba County.

A little before 9:00 a.m., however, 138 other soldiers of the 11th Mississippi surrendered.

They included: 13, Regimental Staff; 7, Company A; 8, Company B; 5, Company C; 36, Company D; 10, Company E; 15, Company F; 19, Company G; 6, Company H; 2, Company I; and 17, Company K. The members captured from the Company D, the Neshoba Rifles, were: Pvt. A. M. Alexander, Pvt. James M. Cook, Pvt. William B. Cook, Pvt. William J. Cooper, Pvt. Robert M. Crockett, Pvt. Zacheriah A. DeHay, Pvt. James A. Edwards, 3rd Cpl. John T. Hunt, Pvt. Samuel J. Hunt, Pvt. William D. Jayroe, Pvt. Albert G. Johnson, Pvt. James E. Johnson, Pvt. Squire C. Johnson, Pvt. James C. Jones, Pvt. Benjamin F. Kilpatrick, Jr., Pvt. John C. Kilpatrick, Pvt. Edward J. Long, Pvt. Andrew J. McDonald, Pvt. Archibald M. McDonald, Pvt. Duncan L. McDonald, Pvt. Randall M. Mayo, Pvt. Henry A. Morehead, Pvt. C.A. Nash, 2nd Cpl. Josiah G. Perry, Pvt. William H. Perry, Pvt. Amos A. Pilgrim, Pvt. Balus Pilgrim, Pvt. Thomas J.H. Rawls, Pvt. Jackson H. Ray, Pvt. George W. Ross, Pvt. Leonidas D. Ross, Pvt. Burwell T. Threatt, Pvt. Isaac C. Whitmire, Pvt. James M. Whitmire, 5th Sgt. John C. Williams and 1st Sgt. James C. Wilson.

This battle at Hatcher's Run marked the beginning of the end of Robert E. Lee's magnificent Army of Northern Virginia, as it disintegrated into the annuals of Civil War history, along with, perhaps, one of his greatest infantry regiments, the 11th Mississippi.


Civil War Veterans

Johnson, Squire C. - Private; mustered April 13, 1861, at Neshoba Springs, Mississippi, in the Neshoba Rifles which became Company D, 11th Mississippi Infantry Regiment; age twenty-three; farmer; Muster Roll, May-June 1862: "Sick at Richmond;" wounded at Bethesda Church, June 2 or 3, 1864; captured at Hatcher's Run, April 2, 1865; imprisoned at Point Lookout, Maryland; released at Point Lookout, June 28, 1865; described as six feet one and one-half inches tall, fair complexion, light hair, and hazel eyes .

World War II Veterans

Myers, Vernon Alexander - Private to Technician Fifth Class; enlisted on March 23, 1942, at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, in the United States Army; age twenty-one; student; served and trained in the American Theatre of Operations at Fort Riley, Kansas, June 1942; stationed also at Fort Bliss, Texas, July 1942, and at Marfa, Texas, January 1943; served also in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre of Operations as a cook with Troop E, Seventh Armored Cavalry, Second Cavalry Brigade, First Cavalry Division, July 1943 to September 1945; stationed also in Australia, August 1943; participated in campaigns in New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, and on Luzon, Philippine Islands; wounded in action on Admiralty Island, Papua, New Guinea, March 3, 1944; returned to duty, May 1944; stationed in the Philippine Islands, March 1945; awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Philippine Islands Liberation Medal (with one bronze service star) and the Purple Heart; discharged at Camp Shelby, September 30, 1945, demobilization; described as five feet six inches tall, weighing 133 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.;

Tuesday thru Friday