A FEW SOLDIERS OF OLD TALLAPOOSA:

 Confederates and Doughboys

     During the American Civil War, the small farming communities of Tallapoosa County, Alabama contributed nearly 3,000 men to the Southern war effort - at least 828 of these men perished.  Farmers, tradesmen, ministers, physicians and lawyers - few of anything other than modest or desperate financial means, these men came together and formed military companies that fought in the war's early engagements as well as the last ditch encounters of 1865.  They manned heavy artillery along the Mississippi River at Island 10 and Port Hudson and fought the 20th Maine at Little Round Top. Tallapoosa Countians gave their lives at Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Williamsburg, Frazier's Farm, Cedar Mountain, Salem Church, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Port Hudson, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, The Wilderness and in dozens of forgotten skirmishes all over the war torn South.  Their fallen still lie in unknown graves that mark the advance and retreat of the Confederate Armies.  Northern prison camps took the lives and health of many but those who lived and returned home picked up the pieces to take their places in communities crippled by the greatest human and economic loss endured in their time.

     Some moved to Texas and other points west seeking a better life in the vast lands of the frontier and others, their fates or wanderings unrecorded, simply vanished from history.  Beaten but not bowed, the rest lived out their lives in a familiar land. Scattered across Tallapoosa County in church cemeteries and old family burial plots are the last resting places of  these men and their families.  Long gone from the land of the living, they have left us with much more than a vision of worn marble markers and a family name; a desire for answers to questions from a time in which common people produced the stuff of uncommon legends.

     Unfortunately, only a few were able to document their wartime activities, triumphs, and tragedies.  Fewer still were those whose fragile documents survived the ravages of time to the present day.  Wanting to be remembered by the folks at home some did pause long enough to have their "likeness" taken by a photographer.  Although many were unable to sign their own name they certainly left their mark on the wood and iron of Federal gunboats and marched, camped and fought from the sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico to the rock strewn hills of southern Pennsylvania.

Pvt. Pleasant Lawson Black, Co. H, 14th Alabama Volunteers, wounded on April 27, 1862 during the Yorktown Campaign.

COMPANIES RAISED IN AND AROUND TALLAPOOSA COUNTY, ALABAMA FOR STATE AND CONFEDERATE SERVICE, 1861 - 1865

Regular Army of Alabama - Twenty-nine volunteers recruited from across the county in March, 1861. Later served with the 1st Battalion, Alabama Artillery

at Forts Morgan and Gaines on Mobile Bay.

Company F/A, 1st Alabama Infantry - "Tallapoosa Rifles" originally an Alabama Volunteer Corps company known as the "Andrew Jackson Guards."

Company C, 1st Alabama Cavalry -  "Pearson Dragoons"

Company F, 13th Alabama Infantry - "Tallassee Guards" originally an A.V.C. company known as the "Southern Guards."

Company G, 14th Alabama Infantry - "Hillabee Blues"

Company H, 14th Alabama Infantry - "Jackson Avengers"

Company K, 38th Tennessee Infantry - "Tallapoosa Thrashers"

Company C, 50th Tennessee Infantry - "Wilson Greys"

 Companies A & B, 1st Battalion, Alabama Mounted Men (Major Thaddeus S. Beall's Battalion) - Co. A referred to themselves as the "Emuckfau Rangers" and became Co. H, 8th Confederate Cavalry in May, 1862.  Co. B became Co. I, 8th Confederate Cavalry in May, 1862.

Companies D, E, F, & G, 34th Alabama Infantry

Company B, 37th Alabama Infantry

Companies A, B, C, D, F, H, & K, 47th Alabama Infantry - Co. B was known as the "Tallapoosa Light Infantry" as well as the "Tallapoosa Tigers".  Co. C was known as the "Jeff Holley Guards".  Co. H was recruited from both Chambers and Tallapoosa Counties.  Co. K was known as the "Goldthwaite Greys".    A photograph of a flag attributed to the 47th Alabama that was captured at the Battle of Sharpsburg by a New York regiment in 1862.

Company C, 2nd Battalion, Hilliard's Legion - Became Company A, 59th Alabama Infantry. Members of this company were from Coosa and Tallapoosa counties.

Company C, 6th Alabama Cavalry - Made up of veterans and individuals previously exempt from military service for local and State defense.

Companies A, & B, 3rd Battalion Alabama Reserves - Men between 45 - 50 years old.  Company A was known as the "Ready Guards".

Company A, 63rd Alabama Infantry - 15 to 17 year old volunteers, fought during the Mobile Campaign at Spanish Fort and Blakely, Alabama.

Captain Young's Company of Cavalry, Alabama Reserves - Mounted infantry assigned to the Post of Cahaba.

Captain Barnett's Company of Home Guards, Tallassee Arsenal - A small group of government employees from the Confederate States Arsenal at Tallassee.

Other State and Confederate organizations with some Tallapoosa soldiers.

Companies B, & G, 5th Alabama Infantry Regiment - Co. B had 18 conscripts from Tallapoosa  County and Co. G had 6.

Companies G & L, 6th Alabama Infantry Regiment - Co. G, the "Autauga Rifles," had 11 conscripts from Tallapoosa County.  Co. L, the "Loachapoka Rifles," had 20 volunteers and conscripts from Tallapoosa County.

Hardaway's (Hurt's) Alabama Battery - Thirty volunteers from Tallapoosa County.

Robertson's (Dent's) Confederate Battery - Twelve volunteers from Tallapoosa County.

Croft's "Flying Artillery" Battery, Georgia Light Artillery - Twenty-four volunteers from Tallapoosa County.

53rd Alabama Cavalry Regiment, Partisan Rangers - Four men in Co. A, 2 in Co. C, 2 in Co. G and 1 in Co. K from Tallapoosa County. (This information is courtesy of Bob McClendon)

Company A, 24th Alabama Cavalry Battalion - Fifteen men recruited from Tallapoosa County in September, 1863 by Lieutenant Charles D. Worrell of Reeltown. The balance of the company was recruited from Autauga, Coosa, Dallas and Perry Counties and was originally designated as Company M, 53rd Alabama Cavalry. (This information is courtesy of Bob McClendon)

Lt. Echols Company of Conscripts - Twelve men from Tallapoosa County sent to other units.

61st Alabama Infantry - A total of 83 men from Tallapoosa County were enlisted into various companies of this regiment in 1863. Sent to the Army of Northern Virginia and fought in the major battles of 1864 and 1865.

Company C, 63rd Alabama Infantry - Fourteen 17 year old conscripts from Tallapoosa County. Fought at Spanish Fort and Blakely, Alabama.


Colonel Michael Jefferson Bulger, ca. 1880

Michael Jefferson Bulger was born February 13, 1806 in Columbia, South Carolina.  He moved to Alabama at a young age and was witness to the decline and removal of the Creek Nation in Alabama.  His occupations were varied as he made a living as a store keeper, planter, and news paper publisher.  He also found his way into politics as a state legislator.  In 1851 he was elected Brigadier General of the Chambers, Coosa, and Tallapoosa County militia.  Despite being a slave owner he was a noted leader of the Cooperationist faction in Tallapoosa County during the Secession Crisis.  As a result he found himself politically discredited by many staunch secessionists.  In 1861 General Braxton Bragg, commander of the Army of Pensacola, upon learning of a visitor's home county was heard to exclaim, "What madam, are you from that Abolition county? Bulger"s county?"  Be that as it may and regardless of his age he was not about to be left out of the war and by the spring of 1862 was Captain of Co. A, 47th Alabama Infantry Regiment.  He was wounded twice at the Battle of Cedar Run, Virginia on August 9, 1862 and by July 2, 1863 Lieutenant Colonel Bulger found himself in command of the regiment as it ascended the hotly contested slope of Little Round Top at Gettysburg.  He was shot in the chest, left for dead and subsequently captured.   Remarkably he survived.  Paroled but still not fully recovered from the Gettysburg wound Bulger learned that he was to be promoted to Brigadier General.  He retired from active service however before the promotion was approved.  Colonel Bulger passed away at Dadeville, Alabama, December 14, 1900, beloved by veterans of the 47th Alabama Regiment and his community.


George Lafayette Dean

1846-1929

The following stories were written by G. L. Dean for The Alexander City Outlook

War Remanences - The Experience of a Sharp Shooter in the Shenandoah Valley

" I recount a few experiences as a "sharp shooter" in Lee's Army during the campaign in Virginia, and in this letter will confine myself to the battle of Cedar Creek in the famous Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, which occurred the 19th of October, 1864. The "sharp shooters" of which I was a member had been out on picket duty about three days in front. Our command was in camp on Fisher's Hill, and Gen. Phil Sheridan's command was in camp on the hill northeast of Cedar Creek - the two armies being about seven miles apart. While we were out on picket I found a place where somebody had plucked some guineas and chickens, and I stuck guinea feathers all around my hat and put the long tail feather of the chicken in front, and I imagined that I looked like an Indian chief whose pictures I had seen somewhere. But, while thus engaged in trying to imitate a big chief, the bugle blew for the sharp shooters to retire to camp and I forgot all about the feathers. This was on the evening before the battle and when we reached camp at dark, orders were waiting for us to leave with the sick everything that would rattle. A night attack was planned and we were ordered to flank Sheridan, so we slipped down and across the Shenandoah river and up the Blue Ridge mountain. We struck a trail and followed it until a while before day, and then we had to recross the river before we could reach Sheridan's camp. Well, it almost makes my teeth chatter yet to think of that night's experience. The ground was frozen like a brick and the river was frozen near its bank. A squad of cavalry had to ride in first to break the ice. The boys almost swore that they would not wade the river, but General Battle was sitting on his horse at the ford when we got there, and he said, "Boys, I know it is mighty hard to have to do it, but it will save us many a hard march and perhaps many of our lives if we cross now." When the boys heard this, they plunged right in, and when they struck the crisp air on the other side their clothes were stiff with ice. When we had stolen right up to Sheridan's camp without being discovered, we "sharp shooters" were told that we could capture the camp without much trouble, and we were ordered to take the camp and not plunder it till we had run every Yankee from the place, and we were promised that if we put them to rout we could return and plunder the camp. We stood there till daylight began to appear, and then we raised a yell and ran into the camp. I captured two of them and they wanted to go back to their tents and get their belongings. I allowed them this privilege, and presently one of them appeared and asked me to take him back to the rear. I looked back and saw our line of battle coming and I told him to go on to them and they would care for him. Then I remembered the other fellow and I wheeled around to look for him, and as I did so he pointed a musket at my head and before I could raise mine he fired at me, but luckily his aim went wild and I lived to tell the story. He dropped his gun when he noticed that I was still standing, and stood there almost paralyzed with fear. At first I meant to shoot him down like a dog, but he looked so miserable and so abject till I decided to let him go, and told him to go to the rear. He was certainly proud of the chance, and hustled to the rear. We went on through the camp and just as we reached the further side I saw their wagon train coming, and I told the boys to hide, as I knew they (those on the wagon train) had no knowledge of our presence in their infantry camp. I stood in the door of their tent till they drove right up in front, when I shouted to them to halt. When they discovered that I was a "Johnny Reb" they were badly scared. But I told them to move towards our line of battle, and assured them that everything would be all right. They moved on and seemed glad of the chance. So that's the way I turned in a whole wagon train. We followed the fleeing Yanks about six miles and then returned to the camp, which we plundered in great style. Our next orders were to go and stand by our artillery. We obeyed orders and stood by the heavy gunners awhile when I took up a notion that I wanted to go out in town, which lay between us and the enemy. When I reached town I engaged in conversation with a lady. The first question she asked me was if I belonged to the chicken rogue gang. I replied by asking her why she took me for a chicken rogue. She smiled and said, "I see that you are wearing their feathers in your hat." I jerked off my hat and there were the feathers I had placed in it the day before, when I played "big Injun" chief. You bet I removed them post haste, for I did not want the ladies to call me a chicken rogue anymore."

[The Battle of the Wilderness]

I have been urged by some who read my sketch of the Battle of Cedar Creek, and I thought I would give some more of my recollections, as some said it was the best they had read. One man said his wife said she was going to keep it as long as she lived. I became fourteen years old the first year the war broke out; all the talk was war talk, and I expected sooner or later I would have to go to war; therefore as my father had the History of the United States and the Life of Washington in his home I went to reading to try to gain all the information I could in regard to war, and this created within me a great desire to try my hand in battle. The history did not satisfy me, so I wished to try and see exactly how it was done. But there was one thing to trouble me - that was, if I could go through one battle and not get killed, and after I had experienced the first battle, that my idea before was correct. Lee,s army was in winter quarters near Orange Court House, Va., in the year 1863, and Grant's army near the Rapidan River. We got orders to pack up our belongings such as we could not carry to be shipped off to be warehoused until winter time again. We all drew three days rations and orders to cook and be prepared to move at a minute's warning. We knew by this that the campaign was going to begin. May 5, before day, the bugle blowed for us to fall in line and to march out of winter quarters. Now, there was heavy cannonading going on in the direction of the Rapidan, and as we drew near we could hear the clatter of the small arms. Grant's army was moving on our pickets. This little rebel boy was doing some terrible thinking, and as we went over the broken country I would look forward and I would look backward and I could see Lee's army coming like a mighty serpent, and I was wondering in my soul if Grant could whip us, and I felt that if all the boys were as determined as I was we would certainly lick him. But as we drew nearer and nearer the roar of the cannon and musketry, once in a while I would feel as brave as a lion and was anxious for the fray, the when I contemplated the awful danger that there was in battle, occasionally I could feel a cold chill run down my back. I would think for a while that I did not know whether I could stand it or not. When we got there we formed in line behind our pickets, and Gen. Battle made us a little speech and told us the position of our men and the Yankees, and told us to go forward and we would find our men at the edge of an old field, pass through to the front of them and fire, then fall in with them and fight, but the smoke and fog was so thick that we could not see the enemy. We shot a few rounds and our men began to cry, "Let us charge them." This suited me, for I was anxious to see them. We raised a yell and started, and after we had gone a little ways the smoke cleared away and there stood the Yankees in about forty yards of us. I halted, leveled my gun and shot, and about this time I discovered that our men were falling back to the woods, and left me standing alone about half way between the two lines, and I tell you the bullets were coming thick and fast in both directions. For an instant I did not know what to do; I thought I would lie down, but I saw the bullets scooping the ground from both directions and I saw that would not do, and that I had better get back to the woods. When I got back to the woods they began crying, "Let us charge them again." We drive them back to their artillery and there they stopped, and we advanced in about ten feet of them. One old Yankee loaded his gun and threw his eyes on me, and I jumped at him with an empty gun. He threw his gun down, and stepped up to me and told me to take him to the rear. I told him just to get behind my back, that I didn't have time then, and I captured two others the same way. About this time the Yankees began to cry out for some of their men to go bring their horses, as our men and their men were fighting hand to hand over their artillery; and when they came with the horses some of our men cried out, "Shoot the horses," and when they came we shot them, then some of them began to cry and they all threw down their guns and surrendered. About this time our men began to cry, "Look out in the rear! Look out in the rear!" and I turned and looked back and I saw another line of Yankees coming from the rear, so we raised a yell and charged them. We drove them our of our rear, then we went and formed a line behind the Yankees who were fighting the Third and Fifth Alabama, and closed in on them, and fought hand to hand. We had killed nearly all of them, and there was a few who would not surrender and they made a break and ran out over the 12th Alabama. After this we were dubbed "the fighting 61st Alabama."

G. L. Dean, Co. I, 61st Ala. Infantry

Editor's note: The capture of two artillery pieces described by G. L. Dean occurred on May 5, 1864 during fighting along the Orange Plank Road at the Battle of the Wilderness. The capture of these guns was mentioned in the after action report of Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell, II Corps, Army of Northern Virginia who noted that during a counterattack Steuart's and Battle's Brigades captured "two 24 pounder howitzers, brought up the pike within 800 yards of our works." George L. Dean enlisted in the 61st Alabama Infantry at Pollard, Alabama in November of 1863 and was paroled at Appomattox Court House, Virginia April 10, 1865. Rather than having to ride a train and/or walk home after the surrender Dean was provided maritime transportation by the Federal government and sent home, probably through the port of Mobile, Alabama, as were others from this area. By his own account on a 1921 pension application he was "shell shocked" by a exploding artillery shell at Petersburg, Va. sometime in early April, 1865. The photograph of him was made sometime after 1905 as he is wearing a "Southern Cross of Honor" medal on his left coat lapel. He is buried at Flint Hill Methodist Church Cemetery, Alexander City, Alabama.


Felix Leslie Smith

1847-1922

Born in Tallapoosa County, Alabama April 30, 1847. He studied under Professors E. M. Barnes and Lucien LaTaste in Dadeville. A mere boy, Felix left Dadeville in early 1863 to join his two older brothers in Company L, "Clairburn Rangers," 12th Louisiana Infantry at Port Hudson. He does not appear to have ever been regularly enlisted in the Confederate Army but apparently helped his older brother, Capt Jones P. Smith, in the regimental/brigade commissary departments and served at different times as a messager/courier with the Army of Mississippi and later the Army of Tennessee. When Lt. Gen. Leonidas Polk was killed at Pine Mountain on June 14, 1864, Smith was nearby and helped locate an ambulance to carry his body from the field. He was a true Confederate boy soldier if ever there was one. After the war he pursued a career as an attorney in Tallapoosa and Coosa Counties. In 1907 he was appointed to the Horseshoe Bend Battle Anniversary Commission by Alabama Governor Braxton Bragg Comer. He died December 8, 1922 and is buried in Rockford Cemetery, Coosa County, Alabama.

WORLD WAR I

1917-1918

 

Co. H, 4th Alabama National Guard in downtown Alexander City about 1916 -1917. 

Note "Old Baldy's Daylight Corner," now Carlisle Drugs, in the background.

 

Company H, 167th U. S. Infantry, 42nd Rainbow Division In The First World War.

     Company H of the 4th Alabama National Guard was headquartered in Alexander City during the years before World War One.  This infantry company, commanded by Marion Institute graduate Captain Herman W. Thompson, drew its members from Tallapoosa and surrounding counties.  During the 1880's local citizens expressed an interest in organizing a militia company known as the "Alexander City Rifles" which apparently suffered from a lack of volunteers.  America's experience during the Spanish-American War and Philippine Insurrection however spurred an increase in Federal support and public interest in the new National Guard; by the outbreak of war in Europe in 1914 Alexander City would boast its own National Guard company.     

     In 1916, the Alabama National Guard along with Captain Thompson's company were sent to Camp Stephen Little at Nogales, Arizona to help keep the warring factions of the Mexican Revolution on their side of the border.  Months of drilling and marching in the dry American southwest followed while half way around the world the nations of Europe were locked in a death embrace on the muddy fields of France and Belgium.  When the United States declared war on Germany in 1917, the 4th Alabama Infantry was Federalized and the Alexander City detachment became the nucleus of Co. H, 167th United States Infantry.

     The new 167th U.S. Infantry Regiment received additional recruits from other Alabama National Guard Regiments as well as draftees from all over the United States.  The 167th U.S. Infantry left Montgomery on August 28, 1917 and detrained at Camp Mills at Long Island, New York a few days later.  At Camp Mills, the 167th U.S. Infantry along with other former National Guard units from across the nation became a part of the 42nd "Rainbow" Division. 

     For the young Alabama soldiers Camp Mills brought an overexposure to bright city lights and Northern social habits which apparently caused some acute cases of culture shock.  Subsequently the Alabama boys had problems getting accustomed to the Yankee way of doing things and the regiment became known for causing fights in camp.  Melees were rumored to have broken out in the company streets between groups of Alabamians and African-Americans of the New York National Guard and Father Duffee's beloved 69th New York (165th U.S. Infantry, 42nd "Rainbow" Division).  Fact or myth, there must have been some small sense of relief for all the regimental commanders of the Rainbow Division when they received orders to embark their troops on ships for France in November of 1917.

     The old sectional squabbles didn't matter much in the trenches as the aggressive tactics of the Alabamians soon earned the respect and admiration of all of the American Expeditionary Forces (A.E.F.).  Lt. Col. "Wild Bill" Donovan of the 165th U.S. Infantry (a hell raiser in his own right who later commanded the Office of Strategic Services during WW2) called the Alabamians, "..a wild bunch, not knowing fear .... wandering all over the landscape, shooting everything."  There is record of an incident which gives us a clear impression of the combative attitude the Alabamians carried to the trenches of France. One dark night, shortly after taking over a long quiet sector from the war-weary French, a small patrol from the 167th Infantry was ordered out into No Man's Land to inspect the German barbed wire.  Not satisfied with mere observation of the enemy defenses, the Alabama boys decided to leave their German counterparts with a little heads up on their new adversaries.  Before the patrol left No Man's Land a sign was placed on the German wire where the enemy could see it the following morning.  It read: "Germans, Give Your Souls To God Because Your *** Belongs To Alabam". (From ALABAMA'S OWN IN FRANCE, War Stories of the 167th U.S. Infantry, William H. Amerine, Eaton & Gettinger, New York, 1919)

     Following three months of training in defensive sectors under French supervision, the Rainbow Division was called into action during the Battle of Chateau-Thierry in July of 1918 during the last major German offensive of the war.  On July 15, 1918, during a heavy German attack on the trenches in front of Butte de Souain, Pvt. Sanford N. Adams, Co. H, 167th U.S. Infantry of Dadeville was killed in action and Privates Homer Brown and Odis Morrison from Alexander City were wounded. Company H took a number of casualties on July 28, 1918 when the Rainbow Division forced a crossing of the Ourcq River under heavy machine gun and artillery fire.  Captain Thompson and Sgt. Richard T. Sandlin of Alexander City were severely wounded along with five other local Doughboys. The experienced leadership of Captain Thompson was lost to the company due to the wounds he received at the Ourcq River. 

     Company H lost another long serving member on September 13, 1918 when the 167th Infantry went over the top at St. Mihiel and Sgt. Henry Lorenza Dabbs of Alexander City was killed in action.  The old American Legion Post in downtown Alexander City is named in his honor.  In the 4th Alabama photograph above Dabbs is in the front rank kneeling third from the left.

     Soldiers who went "over the top" during the First World War must have possessed all the courage and fortitude any nation in that time or this could have possibly sought in its fighting men.  Filthy water logged trenches, the rotting carnage of No Man's Land, sudden artillery bombardments raining cascades of death day or night, relentless machine gun fire and the suffocating horror of gas warfare were unspeakable nightmares come reality.  That human beings could survive, let alone endure such a holocaust is nothing short of remarkable.  Future generations would do well to remember people such as these.

     Company H had its share of heroes. Sergeant Jack W. Milner of Alexander City was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for valor in combat.  His DSC citation reads as follows:

Milner, Jack W., Sergeant, U. S. Army, Company H, 167th Infantry Regiment, 42nd Division, American Expeditionary Forces.  Hometown: Alexander City, Alabama.  Date of action October 15, 1918. 

Citation: The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Jack W. Milner, Sergeant, U. S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Landres-et-St. Georges, France, October 15, 1918.  After his company had sustained heavy losses in a severe engagement with the enemy, and he himself had been seriously wounded, Sergeant Milner, realizing that he was the only sergeant left in the company, refused to be evacuated and remained on duty for 12 hours, reorganizing his company under heavy enemy artillery and machine-gun fire, thereby showing entire disregard for danger and setting an excellent example of courage and heroism under fire to his men.  General Orders No. 131, War Department, 1918. (Citation courtesy of Warren Whitby III, Montgomery, Alabama.)

     Pvt. Cumby Yarbrough of Dadeville was a "bomber" in Co. H and was mentioned in the regimental orders of the day for his actions in combat.  My grandmother once told me that she remembered her cousin Cumby had gotten a medal for throwing "bombs".  I don't know if he received a medal or not but what is interesting was her reference to bombs.  In the WW1 terminology of the A.E.F., "bombers" were specially trained infantry squads equipped with grenades who were expected to "bomb" the enemy out of their trenches and fortifications.  One squad in each infantry platoon were trained as bombers.


Tallapoosa Countians who were with the 167th U.S. Infantry Regiment in France in 1918.

Captain Herman W. Thompson - Alexander City - Co. H - wounded July 28, 1918 at the Ourcq River. Cited for bravery by Col. William P. Screws.

1st Sgt./ 1st Lt. John Thomas Fuller - Alexander City - Co. H - commissioned aa 2nd Lt. in Co. A, 116th U.S. Inf., 29th Division in July 1918.  Promoted to 1st Lt.

Sgt. Henry Lorenza Dabbs - Alexander City - Co. H - killed in action Sept. 13, 1918 during the St. Mihiel Offensive.  Buried at Edgemont Cemetery, Anniston, Alabama.

Mess Sgt. Cletus T. Duke - Alexander City - Co. H.

Sgt. Henry B. Dupree - Dadeville - Co. H.

Sgt. Robert W. Hamilton - Alexander City - Co. H.

Sgt. Jack W. Milner - Alexander City - Co. H - awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism on October 15, 1918.

1st Sgt. Doil Franklin Niblett - Alexander City - Co. H - cited for bravery by Col. William P. Screws.

Sgt. Allen L. Plant - East Tallassee - Co. H - killed in action July 28, 1918 at the Ourcq River.  Buried at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery, Fere-en-Tardenois, France.  Plot A, Row 10, Grave 14.

Sgt. Richard T. Sandlin - Alexander City - Co. H - Wounded July 28, 1918 at the Ourcq River.

Sgt. Luke Wesson - Alexander City - Supply Co.

Bugler David D. Messer - Alexander City - Co. M.

Cook/Pvt. Guy Deamon McDaniel - Alexander City - Co. H.

Cpl. John D. Vann - Alexander City - Co. M.

Cpl. Otho L. Mitcham - Alexander City - Co. H - Wounded.

Pfc. Robert Lee Benson - Alexander City - Co. H - Wounded.

Pfc. Ellis Bice - Alexander City - Co. H - Wounded.

Pfc. Homer Brown - Alexander City - Co. H - Wounded July 15, 1918 at Chateau-Thierry.

Pfc. James O. Hamilton - Alexander City - Co. H.

Pfc. Lord Sargent - East Tallassee - Co. H.

Pvt. Sanford N. Adams - Dadeville - Co. H - killed in action July 15, 1918 at Chateau Thierry.  Memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, Romagne, France. 

Pvt. Harvey T. Bates - Alexander City - Co. M.

Pvt. Thomas Wesley Brown - Dadeville - Co. H - killed in action October 16, 1918 during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.  Buried at Sardis U.M. Church Cemetery, Tallapoosa County, Alabama.

Pvt. Thomas F. Caldwell - Dadeville - Co. H.

Pvt. George R. Carlton - Alexander City - Co. H.

Pvt. Leonard Goshen - East Tallassee - Co. H.

Pvt. Odis Morrison - Alexander City - Co. H - Wounded July 15, 1918 at Chateau Thierry.

Pvt. Laney E. Nugent - Alexander City - Co. H - died of wound July 30, 1918.  Buried at Riverdale Cemetery, Columbus, Georgia.

Pvt. Edgar E. Owen - Dadeville - Co. H - Wounded [gassed].

Pvt. Tom Parker - Alexander City - Co. H.

Pvt. Robie V. Smith - East Tallassee - Co. H.

Pvt. Cumby Yarbrough - Dadeville - Co. H - Wounded. Cited for bravery by Col. William P. Screws.


Wartime letters of Pvt. Edgar E. Owen,

Co. H, 167th Infantry, 42nd Rainbow Division, A.E.F.

Pvt. Edgar Eugene Owen 

He survived being gassed during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and later became Superintendent of the Tallapoosa County Board of Education.

August 2, 1918 - Written at Camp Mills, New York

September 3, 1918 - Written somewhere in France.   

September 24, 1918 - Written somewhere in France.

November 9, 1918 - Written from an A.E.F. hospital somewhere in France.


81st "Wildcat" Division

1917-1919

306th Engineer Regiment

Pvt. Reuben Baker of Dadeville, Alabama - served as a private in 3rd Platoon, Co. B, 306th Engineers, 81st �Wildcat� Division from May 1918 until June 1919.  He had also been a member of Co. H, 4th Alabama National Guard from June 23, 1916 until discharged in April 1917. 

      In all eight members of the 306th Engineer Regiment were from Tallapoosa County.  Seven of them appear on a list of inductees drafted at Dadeville who were sent to Camp Sevier, South Carolina on May 28, 1918.  As Engineers they constructed trenches and dugouts, erected barbed wire entanglements, camouflaged important positions, kept the roads open and generally supported division operations in any way necessary which sometimes included infantry combat.  The Wildcat Division reached France in August of 1918 and was in the front lines of the St. Die and Sommedieu [Verdun] Sectors.  The Division went "over the top" at Sommedieu during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive on November 9, 1918. 

Sgt. Robert Solomon Dennis - Dadeville, Alabama - H.Q. Detachment, 306th Engineers

Pfc. Bernard Cumbie East - Dadeville, Alabama - Co. B, 306th Engineers

Pfc. Grover Cleveland Fuller - Dadeville, Alabama - Co. B, 306th Engineers

Pvt. Reuben Baker - RFD 3, Dadeville, Alabama - Co. B, 306th Engineers

Pvt. Virgil Thurman Turner - Alexander City, Alabama - Co. B, 306th Engineers

Pfc. Olney Carl Brown - Alexander City, Alabama - Co. C, 306th Engineers

Cpl. Russell C. Gauntt - RFD 1, East Tallassee, Alabama - Co. E, 306th Engineers

Pfc. Douerd M. Niblett - RFD 4, Alexander City, Alabama - Co. E, 306th Engineers


Private Millard G. Greer of Camp Hill, Alabama.

Courtesy of Pvt. Greer's son, Millard Greer Jr. of Cedartown, Georgia.

     Millard G. Greer was born at Camp Hill, Tallapoosa County, Alabama in June 1895.  The Greer family had lived in Tallapoosa County since before the Civil War.  Millard�s grandfather, John Wesley Greer, had served in the Army of Tennessee as a Private in Co. D, 34th Alabama Infantry, Manigault�s Brigade.  Hardship was left at the doorstep of the Greer family after John Wesley Greer was killed in action at Ezra Church, Georgia on July 28, 1864.

     Millard G. Greer was drafted May 27, 1918 and assigned to the 324th U.S. Infantry Regiment, 81st Wildcat Division at Camp Sevier, South Carolina.  Just prior to the Division's deployment to France, Pvt. Greer became sick and was left at the hospital at Camp Mills, New York.  Recovering from his illness, Greer was assigned to the 397th Overseas Casual Company and shipped out on the SS America and arrived in Brest, France on Sept. 20, 1918.  Eight days later Millard Greer was assigned to Company A, 11th U.S. Infantry Regiment, 5th "Red Diamond" Division.  From October 5, 1918 until November 11, 1918 the 11th Infantry, 5th Division was heavily engaged in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.  On November 10, 1918, the day before the Armistice, Millard Greer was seriously wounded in the right leg. He spent the following two months recuperating in various A.E.F. hospitals before being sent back to the States.

     Upon his return home in 1919 the Tallapoosa Record scarcely noted the event "Millard Greer, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Greer, Rt 1, who has been overseas for a few months, returned Monday."  Obviously the report left much unsaid about Pvt. Greer's overseas experience with the A.E.F.  The 5th Division had suffered 1,976 battle deaths and 6,864 wounded during the war.  Having cheated death in the Argonne Forest, Millard Greer saw little need to impress anyone with his service and according to his son seldom spoke of the war. Millard Greer passed away at Cedartown, Georgia in 1973.  His family received a long overdue Purple Heart from the Federal Government on November 8, 1997.  This information is courtesy of Millard Greer Jr. of Cedartown, Georgia.


82nd "All American" Division

1917-1919

2nd Lt. Edmund Jackson Winslett - Dadeville, Alabama - Co. B, 327th U.S. Infantry Regiment - Wounded by shell fire October 7, 1918 during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

Pfc. James Ocie McHargue - RFD 5, Dadeville, Alabama - Co. D, 327th U.S. Infantry Regiment - Inducted into service at Dadeville, Alabama April 1, 1918 and sent to Camp Gordon, Georgia.  Wounded by shell fire October 7, 1918 during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

Pvt. John V. Harris - RFD 2, Camp Hill, Alabama - Co. F, 327th U.S. Infantry Regiment - Inducted into service at Dadeville, Alabama July 9, 1918 and sent to Camp Shelby, Mississippi.

 


I am interested in obtaining copies of wartime correspondence and photographs

from Confederate or WW1 soldiers from Tallapoosa County, Alabama. 

If you have anything you would like to share

 you can email me at:

gwilson38801@yahoo.com

Visitors to this site are welcome to utilize this information for historical and genealogical research.

Copyright 2019


LINKS

Alabama Department of Archives and History Civil War Search Database - A searchable online database of information on Alabama Civil War soldiers which is under development by the ADAH.

Documenting the Civil War Period Flag Collection of the Alabama Department of Archives and History - An excellent online report by Bob Bradley, Curator of the ADAH, outlining the history and preservation of the numerous Confederate era flags in the holdings of the Alabama Department of Archives and History.

The 46th Alabama Infantry Regiment - An excellent choice for beginning research on the 46th Alabama Infantry in which a number of Tallapoosa Countians served.  Maintained by Larry Thompson. Contains company rosters.

The Doughboy Center - An excellent start for researching the American Expeditionary Force of World War 1.

 

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