George W. Harris "3rd Grt. GrandUncle" Pvt Co. F 28th Ala Inf Age 22
Wounded: 11/25/1863 Missionary Ridge ; Wounded: 05/14 /1864 Resaca, Ga
John G. Harris "3rd Grt. GrandUncle" Pvt Co. F 28th Ala Inf Age 25
Wounded and Captured: 09/20/1863 Battle of Chickamauga
History Of The 28th Alabama Infantry
The companies which made up the 28th Alabama Regiment were formed during the first three months of 1862. They were organized at Shelby Springs, Alabama on March 29th. It's ranks initially numbered approximately 1,100 members and first served under the command of Col. John Wesley Frazer. The terms under which these men enlisted were "three years or the duration of the war", most believing the war would be over in a matter of months.
Training and instruction was given at Shelby Springs until mid April, receiving orders to report to Corinth, Mississippi they left Shelby Springs by railroad on the 14th. They had reached Selma on the 15th and moved on to Mobile and stayed until the 19th, then departed by the Mobile & Ohio Railroad and arrived at Corinth on April 21st.
They were first assigned to Jackson's Brigade, but a few days later the regiment was made part of the newly formed Trapier's Brigade, Wither' Division. The new Brigade was made up of the 28th Alabama, 44th Mississippi (Blythe's Regiment), 10th and 19th South Carolina and Water's Alabama Battery. Later the 44th Mississippi would be replaced by the 34th Alabama Regiment and the 24th Alabama would join the brigade at Tullahoma, Tennessee during November 1862.
First Commanding the Brigade was James H. Trapier, but soon he was replaced by the former Commander of the 10th South Carolina Regiment, Arthur Middleton Manigault (pronounced Man-i-go) and the brigade would from then after be known as "Manigault's Brigade".
The 28th. Alabama regiment had arrived at Corinth shortly after the Battle of Shilo, where the the Army of Mississippi, led by General P.G.T. Beauregard, had failed to regain western Tennessee.
Now encamped at Corinth, the duties of the 28th Alabama consisted of fortifying, flooring tents and building breastworks. Picket duty was performed about every two or three days. Unaccustomed to the unsanitary conditions of camp life, the regiment dwindled in number due to sickness, the most common illness being chronic diarrhea and dysentery. Those who were not found fit for duty were sent to hospitals to recover. During late May accounts were given that over 17,000 sick Confederates from the Army of Mississippi were sent from Corinth to the rear.
The 28th Alabama first came under fire while on picket duty, May 9th, 1862. Two men were reported killed during a Union advance near Farmington, Mississippi (six to seven miles from Corinth).
By the last of May the Union lines were within 800 to 900 yards of the Confederate's breastworks at Corinth, some skirmish lines were within 500 yards. With the southern army weaken by so much sickness, preparations were made and Corinth was evacuated on the night of May 30th. By the following morning the entire army had crossed the Tuscumbia River.
On about June 5th, the 28th Alabama was with the Army of Mississippi at Tupelo, where General Beauregard retired from command and General Braxton Bragg was appointed his successor on June 20th. While at Tupelo rations were abundant and in good quality. Men were returning from the hospitals and soon the numbers present for duty increased.
On July 6th orders came to move to Saltillo, Mississippi, 14 miles north of Tupelo. Staying at Saltillo until July 30th the Army of Mississippi moved by railroad to Mobile, then north through Montgomery and northeast through Atlanta. After seven days they arrived at a small village near Chickamauga Creek (about ten miles from Chattanooga, TN). Two days later they encamped near Tyner's Station where they stayed awaiting their trains, artillery, etc. On August 28th the army was at Harrison's Ferry on the Tennessee River.
Brig.General Braxton Bragg now commanding the Army and General Kirby Smith who commanded a force of 18,000 Confederate troops in eastern Tennessee, constructed plans for a combined force at Cumberland Gap. Bragg would move though Kentucky in hopes of recruiting soldiers and winning support for the southern cause. Their plans were to unite the two armies into one at a given point in Kentucky.
On August 30th, 1862 the 28th Alabama Regiment marched with Bragg's army in the direction of the Cumberland Mountains, passing through Sparta, Pikesville, and Gainsboro, reaching the Cumberlands on the third day. For a day they were detained at Smith's Crossroads awaiting their trains to climb the steep ascent.
On September 5th they reached a village known as Bunker Hill on the Falling Water Creek. They remained there on the 6th, resting the men and wagon teams. After fording the Cumberland River north of Gainsboro, they crossed the Kentucky State line on September 10th, spending the night at Tompkinsville, Kentucky.
When the army arrived at Glasgow, KY, the 28th Alabama was part of a detail sent to Proctor's Station for the purpose of interrupting union trains on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. On September 15th the detail reached a fort which was manned by a Union garrison of 4,500 troops. The 28th Alabama participated in action on the 16th, being ordered to drive in the enemy's skirmishers, who occupied a woods near the Munfordville Road. The action was successful, sending the enemy back to it's trenches, holding them until the morning of the 17th. Forcing the Union Commander at Munfordville to surrendered unconditionally.
Col. Frazer reported that only one member of the 28th Alabama had received a wound, a private in Co. "L", shot in the finger. Col. Frazer stated in his official report, "It gratifies the commanding officer to be able to say that the men and officers were calm, cool and cheerful during the entire day and obeyed every command with great accuracy and promptness".
Within twelve hours after the Union surrender at Munfordville a considerable Union force , led by US General Buell, had moved within a few miles. The Confederate Army waited two days for Buell to attack, but instead the Union Commander moved his army toward Louisville. Meanwhile General Bragg observed this movement and ordered the southern army to move in the same direction. At first the two armies traveled along parallel routes, but after about 20 miles, Bragg changed direction toward Bardstown.
On about September 23rd, the Confederates marched through Bardstown and proceeded on the Louisville Pike. The Brigade containing the 28th Alabama moved in advance to Turkey Creek for the purpose of outpost duty. After five days or so they were relieved and rejoined the main army near Springfield Pike.
During the 4th of October the army moved through Springfield and then Perryville, reaching Harrodsburg, KY on the 6th. It was at this point that General Bragg's command was finally rejoined with the confederate force led by General Kirby Smith.
General Bragg was forced to engage in battle on October 8th, although outnumbered, his army proved successful. On the following day he fell back to Harrodsburg, forming a line of battle. On the 9th his army once again awaited a federal attack. The Union army declined and on the 11th moved to Bragg's left in an attempt to cut off and route of retreat. Upon learning the enemy's intentions, Bragg gave the order for full retreat. The southern army passed back through Harrodsburg and in the afternoon crossed Dick's River. Bragg camped his army that night near Camp Dick Robinson. Remaining at this location on the 12th, the retreat resumed the next day, following a route through Crab Orchard, Mt Vernon, London, Barboursville, Cumberland Gap, Tazewell and ending at Knoxville, Tennessee.
The Southern Cavalry, which covered the rear during the retreat, was engaged daily with the pursuing Union army. Cavalry Commander, General Joseph Wheeler had requested an infantry force to assist in holding the enemy in check . On October 19th a portion of the 28th Alabama was ordered to return to Little Rock Castle Creek (Wildcat Gap) and assist the Cavalry. Upon reaching Wheeler's position the men were deployed as skirmishers to the front. The enemy, believing that the cavalry had retired, once again advanced, only to be met by a direct and deadly fire from the 28th Alabama and Water's Alabama Battery. After driving the enemy back, the 28th Alabama held them throughout the day. This action gave the retreating southern army a day's march advantage. Pulling out the next day the detail rejoined the army at Barboursville. The losses to the 28th Alabama at Wildcat Gap were, two privates killed and one 2nd. Lieut. wounded.
By October 24th the army had reached Knoxville, ending the Kentucky campaign and a march which had taken them over 500 miles. During the retreat clothing and supplies were in poor supply. Shoes being worn out, it was reported, some men marched out of Kentucky without shoes at all.
The army rested at Knoxville for a short time. It was during this period that the young I. W. McAdory of Co. "H" wrote in his diary, "This was a time long to be remembered by our army, we would receive rations that night, when it came, one half bushel to a man (un-shelled corn)".
Leaving Knoxville during the last part of October, General Bragg moved the army across Tennessee, through Chattanooga and Tullahoma, reaching Murfreesboro, on November 22nd, 1862. At Murfreesboro some 40,000 Confederate troops were assembled, and from that time on would be known as "The Army of Tennessee".
It was during the month of November that Col. John C. Reid replaced Col. Frazer as commander of the 28th Alabama. Col. Frazer would be appointed Brigadier General on May 19th, 1863 and command a force in eastern Tennessee .
At Murfreesboro the supplies were reported to be abundant and in good quality. Blankets, clothing and shoes were issued to those needing them. President Jefferson Davis visited the Army of Tennessee at Murfreesboro, arriving on December 10th, 1862. During his visit he ordered 10,000 troops to be moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi, reducing the army by one forth. Meanwhile, U S General William S. Rosecrans had gathered a force of over 46,000 at Nashville, 30 miles to the north.
On December 6th, General Rosecrans moved the northern army southward. Upon learning of this movement, General Bragg chose to confront the enemy at Murfreesboro. Here one of the war's most severe battle would take place, known in the south as the "Battle of Murfreesboro" and in the north as the "Battle of Stone's River".
On December 28th small skirmishes had already started and the fighting progressed for the next few days. On the morning of December 31st, the 28th Alabama was ordered to lead three separate charges. Casualties were heavy, but by the day's end they had been successful in driving the enemy from their position. They were also successful in capturing a Union Battery, Houghtaling's Battery "C", of the 1st Illinois Light Artillery.
During the next three days the 28th Alabama was constantly in the line of battle. On the night of January 3rd, 1863 the Army of Tennessee withdrew from Murfreesboro to Shelbyville, Tennessee.
At the Battle of Murfreesboro the south lost over 9,000 men killed and wounded, and over 1,000 missing. The north recorded 1,730 killed, 7,802 wounded and 3,717 captured and missing. The 28th Alabama sustained a loss of 17 killed, 88 wounded and 11 missing. A written report by Union General Rosecrans cited that the Union army had fired over 2,000,000 rifle and musket cartridges and over 20,000 rounds of artillery ammunitions.
For the next six months the two opposing armies would stay inactive, encamped less than 40 miles apart. The Army of Tennessee would spend the first half of 1863 encamped at Shelbyville, Tennessee, along the Duck River. This would be the longest period of inactivity the army would see during the war.
During this time President Lincoln would issue the Emancipation Proclamation, the US Congress would draft all men between the ages of twenty and forty-five. On March 3rd, 1863 Stonewall Jackson would defeat the Union forces at Chancellorsville, Virginia, only to be accidentally shot by his own men. Union General U.S. Grant would defeat the confederate troops at Port Gibson, Mississippi, again at Raymond, Mississippi and siege the city of Vicksburg on May 19th. On the same day General Robert E. Lee would start a second invasion of the north from Fredericksburg, Virginia and siege York, Pennsylvania on June 28th. The Battle of Gettysburg was fought during the first days of July. July 4th brought the surrender of over 30,000 confederate troops at Vicksburg and in New York, on July 31st, 50,000 people rioted due to the imposed draft.
The 28th Alabama spent this period as most regiments at Shelbyville, conducting camp duties. Picket and outpost duty came about every forth week. Snow storms occurred during the winter, covering everything for weeks, preventing suitable opportunities for drill or instruction. During April, the 28th Alabama was part of a detachment located at the Louisburg Pike, sent to guard the artillery camp. They were relieved of this duty around June 20th.
On June 27th, at daybreak, the Army of Tennessee evacuated Shelbyville and moved toward Tullahoma, Tennessee. In anticipation that the enemy might cut their line of supply from Chattanooga, the army moved swiftly, sometimes marching over night. They reached Chattanooga on July 6th, a permanent camp was established and camp duties once again resumed.
On August 20th, the 28th Alabama move with their division, crossing Lookout Mountain and continuing several miles west up the Waukatchie Valley. They retained this position until the evening of August 23rd, at which time they re-crossed Lookout Mountain and moved to within three miles of Chattanooga. On August 30th the division marched east of Chattanooga to Chickamauga Creek. The position which they retained was located across the creek from the enemy.
While camped along Chickamauga Creek the men serving on picket duty spoke freely across to the enemy soldiers serving picket duty on the other side. While bathing, some were said to have swam to the middle to meet and talk. Not a shot was fired during the days spent here. The division moved out on September 2nd. The next few days were taken up in maneuvering around Chattanooga and at various times skirmishing with the enemy. The division soon moved to Lafayette and remain there until the night of September 17th, when they relocated to Lee and Gordon's Mill. The next morning they came under fire from an enemy battery. Little damage was done, with only one man reported wounded. They remain at Lee and Gordon's Mill and employed Companies "B" and "G" of the 28th Alabama as skirmishers. Around five o'clock orders came to move by the right flank, bringing them closer to the creek bank where they spent the night of September 18th. On the morning of the 19th the fighting opened to the right, the 28th Alabama was ordered to move closer to the enemy. With companies "B" and "G" engaging the enemy at about 2:00 that afternoon, the remainder of the regiment crossed Chickamauga Creek and marched in quick time toward the fighting. Around 4:00 they gave support to Robertson's Brigade who had been attacked by a large enemy force. The enemy was driven back and the regiment bivouacked for the night.
Early on the morning of September 20th, the 28th Alabama was in line awaiting the order to advance. Receiving that order about 11:00, the regiment moved forward. They drove the enemy back before having time to fire but a few rounds. Elated by their success, the regiment quickly moved forward in pursuit. They finally halted, but only due to command. Later in the day Company "A", "I" and "K" would volunteer to rescue a piece of artillery lost by Water' Alabama Battery. Afterwards, Company "A" would led the regiment as skirmishers, fighting the enemy for about an hour. At approximately 4:00 the 28th Alabama was ordered to attack, experiencing the most desperate and hotly contested field of the day. Before sunset, with support from the 44th Tennessee , the 28th Alabama made one last assault, driving the enemy demoralized from the field.
No exact numbers are given as to the loss in men the 28th Alabama suffered during these actions. Figures pertaining to Manigault's Brigade states; of the 1,850 men which made up the brigade, 539 were killed or wounded. Casualties for the Army of Tennessee were 17,800 total. The Battle of Chickamauga had been a successful one for the Confederacy, but due to the large number of men lost, General Bragg refused to take the advice of his officers and recapture Chattanooga. Instead he took positions on Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge which overlooked the city. There the Army of Tennessee waited.