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The Seventeenth Alabama Infantry Regiment

        The Seventeenth Alabama infantry was organized at Montgomery, August, 1861. Serving first at Pensacola, it was present at the bombardment of that place October 9, 1861. The Seventeenth was distinguished in the battle of Shiloh, taking a prominent part in the capture of Prentiss' division; served at Mobile from the autumn of 1862 to March, 1864; then joined the army of Tennessee, and, under the command of Gen. E. A. O'Neal, afterward governor of Alabama, fought during Sherman's campaign from Dalton to Lovejoy's Station. It was engaged in the battles of Resaca, May 9th, May 13th to 15th; Cassville, May 19th to 22d; Kenesaw Mountain, July 9th to 30th. At Peach Tree Creek its commander, Major Burnett, was severely wounded, and Captain Ragland was killed at Atlanta. The regiment was engaged in the battle of Atlanta, July 22d; at Jonesboro, August 31st to September 1st; and Lovejoy's Station, September 2d to 6th.
        The Seventeenth regiment lost heavily at Franklin, November 30th, and at Nashville, December 13th to 16th. Its field officers were Col. Thomas H. Watts, who became attorney-general of the Confederate States; Col. Virgil S. Murphy; Col. J. T. Jones, temporarily assigned; Lieut.-Cols. Edward P. Holcombe, Robert C. Farris, and John Ryan, temporarily assigned, and Maj. Thomas J. Burnett.

Extracts From The Official War Records.

    Vol. IV--(416) Hon. J. R. Benjamin, acting secretary of war, Richmond, Va., September 19, 1861, mentions the "Seventeenth Alabama regiment, commanded by Col. Thomas H. Watts, having been brigaded under Gen. L. P. Walker."
    Vol. VI--(768) General Bragg, near Pensacola, November 17, 1861, says: "Colonel Watts' Alabama regiment, for the war, arrived yesterday, 900 strong." (819) Army of Pensacola, Gen. Sam Jones commanding, February 1, 1862.
    Vol. X, Part 1--(383) In Jackson's brigade, Second corps, army of the Mississippi, battle of Shiloh. (553-556) Jackson's report, April 6th and 7th, speaks of the Seventeenth Alabama, Lieut.-Col. Robert C. Farris, and of two stands of colors captured by it. (789) Assignment as above, Third corps, June 3, 1862.
    Vol. XV--(850) Army of Mobile, Gen. J. E. Slaughter commanding; district of the Gulf, October 31, 1862, Gen. John H. Forney in command. (1068) Assignment as above. General Buckner in command of department of the Gulf, "for April, 1863," at Bay Shore, near Mobile. Col. V. S. Murphy commanding detachment manning Apalachee battery.
    Vol. XVI, Part 2--(733) General Bragg, Tupelo, Miss., July 23, 1862, detaches regiment, to form part of garrison of the defenses of Mobile.
        No. 42--(39) Assignment as above, department of the Gulf, General Maury, Mobile, June 8, 1863. (120) General Maury, July 23, 1863, says: "Four companies were guarding bridges on Mobile & Ohio railroad. They are artillerists." (131) Cantey's brigade, with General Maury, August 1, 1863. (156) Seventeenth and Twenty-ninth are drilling as artillery, August 10, 1863. (157, 275, 402, 511, 561) Assignment as above, to December 31, 1863. (431) General Maury calls it a fine, large regiment, November 21, 1863.
        No. 58--(582) Assignment as above, January 20, 1864.
        No. 59--(872) Cantey's brigade, Johnston's army, April 30, 1864.
        No. 74--(644) Assignment as above. (646) Cantey's division, with army of Mississippi, Gen. Leonidas Polk in command, June 10th. (653, 660, 665, 671) Cantey's brigade, Johnston's army, Maj. Thomas J. Burnett commanding regiment, June 30th. Thomas A. McCane commanding regiment, July 31st. (941-943) Mentioned in reports of Col. E. A. O'Neal in front of Atlanta, July 31, and August 22, 1864, Maj. T. J. Burnett in command. Captain Ragland killed, "a gallant and meritorious officer." Highly commends Capt. J. F. Tate.
        No. 78--(855) Cantey's brigade, Hood's army, September 20, 1864. Capt. William W. McMillan commanding regiment.
        No. 93--(666) Cantey's brigade, Hood's army, December 10, 1864. Capt. John Bolling, Jr., commanding regiment.
        No. 98--(1063) Shelley's brigade, Johnston's army, April 9, 1865. Col. Edward P. Holcombe in command of regiment.
        No. 100--(735, 773) In Quarles' brigade, consolidated with First and Twenty-ninth Alabama, under Capt. Benj. H. Screws, March 31, 1865.

This Page last updated 06/05/03



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