The Eighteenth Alabama Infantry Regiment
The Eighteenth Alabama regiment was organized on September 4, 1861 at Auburn, AL. The field officers were appointed by President Davis. Its first duty was at Mobile brigaded under Gen. Gladden with the 19th, 20th, 22nd, 25th Alabama regiments, Withers’ division.
On March 1862, the regiment was ordered to Corinth and brigaded under Gen. J.K. Jackson with the 17th and 19th Alabama regiments. The Eighteenth fought the first day at Shiloh, and lost 125 killed and wounded out of 420 men engaged. At the battle of Shiloh it engaged in the severe fighting which resulted in the capture of US General Benjamin Prentiss’ division, which it had largely aided to capture, and was ordered by General Wheeler to carry the prisoners to Corinth. It did not take part the second day. After the battle, the regiment being without field officers, was for a short time under officers detailed for the purpose.
The 18th fought at Farmington, Ms.
The Union army occupied Corinth and the Confederate army was beginning to reorganize at Tupelo, Guntown and Baldwyn. However, the withdrawal from Corinth was slow and stretched out over many miles. On May 30, General Beaureguard at Reinzi, having learned of the attack on Booneville had ordered the remaining troops to go via Blackland, the road through Booneville being too dangerous. The Eighteenth Alabama Infantry was bringing up the rear at Blackland.
Reverend Edgar W. Jones in his “History of the 18th Alabama Infantry Regiment-CSA” wrote:
“Preparations were going on to vacate Corinth. The enemy had been too badly punished to push on in a hurry, hence we had considerable time to prepare for our departure. One thing we did to fool the Yankees. We got any number of small black-jack trees and put them on old wagon wheels, having blackened the ends so as to make them look like the ends of cannon.
“After everything was in readiness we started on the retreat to Saltillo and Tupelo, Miss. The enemy followed, but only once did they make an assault. This was near a small village called Blackland. The 18th was in the rear when the enemy made a dash upon our rear guard. The 18th faced about and received the enemy with a volley which caused them to retreat in confusion, leaving three or four dead and wounded. No one was hurt in the 18th.
“For this act of gallantry, the general ordered that Blackland be inscribed on our flag just under Shiloh (See photo above). The 18th had the distinction of being the only infantry engaged in the spirted little battle.”
It then returned to Mobile, where it remained till 1863.
It was prominent in the battle of Chickamauga, September 19th and 20th, the Eighteenth was terribly mutilated losing 22 out of 36 officers, and 300 out of 500 men, killed and wounded. Under Stewart’s Division Clayton’s Brigade. General Henry Clayton, Col. J. T. Holtzclaw, Lieut. Col. R. F. Inge.
The most inexperienced brigade in Stewarts Command was Claytons Alabama Command. It consisted of the 18th, 36th, and the 38th alabama Infantry Regiments and Capt. John T. Humphreys 1st Arkansas Battery. The 18th Alabama and 1st Arkansas were the veterans of the brigade.
Sept 18th “We formed our line of battle, facing the creek, a few hundred yards from the right bank,” Colonel John C. Reid, commanding the 18th Alabama Infantry Regiment in Manigault’s Brigade, reported, “the enemy occupying the right bank and playing on us heavily with his batteries; but, owing to the configuration of the ground, did us little damage, wounding only 1 man.”
At Chattanooga, Arriving near the Rossville Gap, the 18th took positions as skirmishers in part of the old breast works the Yankees had abandoned after Chickamauga. The balance of the brigade was then split into several segments for deployment along the ridge and at Rossville Gap. About 45 min following their arrival here, the Yankees had appeared on the ridge. When the 18th gave way at the skirmish line, Clayton’s men had attempted to form in line of battle. Yet 2 regiments the 36th and 38th, broke and ran through the brigade line, creating much confusion
At Mission Ridge the Eighteenth was engaged, and lost about 90 men, principally captured. Hardee Pattern Flag captured by 13th Illinois on Nov 25, 1863.
It participated in all the subsequent battles of the army of Tennessee and was distinguished in the Dalton and Atlanta campaign. Having wintered at Dalton, it began the Dalton-Atlanta campaign with 500 effective men, and fought all the way down to Jonesboro, losing constantly in killed and wounded, but with no severe loss at any one place. It lost very nearly half its number during the campaign, and rendered effective service. It engaged in the battles in front of Dalton.
Rocky Face May 7th to 12th. The 18th was engaged on Rocky Face Mountain. On the Morning of May 10th the 18th was relieved by the 58th Alabama. On May 11th in the afternoon the 18th relieved the 5th Alabama. With 2 killed, 4 wounded, and 7 missing. Regiment left Rocky Face Mountain the night of May 12th.
Resaca, The 18th Arrived at Resaca the evening of May 13th. On the 14th they commenced entrenching. Regiment was engaged on the 14th and 15th in advancing their lines. On may 15th General Clayton planned an attack and gave the orders for the front to advance and attack the enemy. The movement would start on the right, and that before making the charge that his brigade would make a change of direction to the left, so each regiment would attack the force left obliquely to its front. With this plan the 18th on the right advanced first making a change in direction to the left to which the 58th Alabama conformed. After a halt of a few moment to rectify the alignment by the left the order was given by Gen Clayton ” Forward, Guide Left, March.” The enemy began a heavy fire of Shell, Grape and canister from the time the advance began. In charges against the 5th Indian light Artillery the battle flag with crossed cannons and battle honors were captured by the 5th Indiana. Regiment left the night of the 15th. With 1 officer and 5 men killed, 41 wounded, and 27 missing.
Cassville, The 18th arrived the evening of May 17th. On the 18th three companies including Company G were sent out at skirmishers, They were engaged for about an hour when they finally retired. loss of 33 men missing. Left Cassville the evening of the 18th to New Hope Church.
New Hope Church, 10 AM May 25th, the 18th with 2 other regiments under Clayton threw up log breastworks, while the 32nd AL and the 58th Al went to hold the road from the enemy. Clayton ordered Capt Darby a gallant and zealous officer of the 18th Al to move forward with a line of skirmishers replacing the 32nd and 58th Al. They were engaged for 2 ½ hours at 5 pm skirmishers were driven back, and the enemy soon made their appearance in force engaging the whole line. May 26th at daylight the 58th relieved the 18th at the trenches. May 27th the 18th relieved the 58th in return at the trenches, the enemy again attacked Clayton’s Brigade in the same position, but was repulsed. May 28th morning they withdrew. With 4 officers wounded, 4 men killed, 43 wounded, and 2 missing. Regiment was under fire from sharpshooters and artillery on the 27th. With 1 officer wounded, 2 men killed and 4 wounded
New Hope Breastworks
New Hope Trenches
Pickett’s Mill, May 27th.
The regiment was also in battle at Peachtree Creek, July 20th
Atlanta, July 22nd
Jonesboro, August 31st and September 1st
The regiment went with Gen. Hood into Tennessee, and lost about 100 at Franklin, principally captured. September 2d to 6th; Franklin, Tenn., November 30th
Nashville, December 15th and 16th.
When the army moved to the Carolinas in February 1865, the regiment was ordered to Mobile, and placed in the field works at Spanish Fort, March 26 to April 8, 1865. It participated prominently in the siege several weeks later, with some loss, and escaped when the defenses were evacuated.
It surrendered at Meridian, Miss., May 4, 1865, with the military department.
Among the officers killed were: Lieut.-Col. Richard F. Inge, Captains Justice, Stringer, Hammond, and Mickle, and Lieutenants Fielder, McAdory and Kidd, all of whom met death at Chickamauga.
Its commanding officers were: Colonel Inge, whose name heads the roll of honor of the killed and wounded at Chickamauga, given below; Col. Edwin C. Bullock, one of the leading citizens of Alabama, died in November, 1861; Col. Eli S. Shorter, distinguished at Shiloh; Col. James T. Holtzclaw, who was wounded at Shiloh and afterward became distinguished as a brigadier-general, and Col. James Strawbridge, who was temporarily assigned: Lieut.-Col. Peter F. Hunley, and Majs. Sheppard Ruffin, William M. Moxley; also Bryan M. Thomas, who was temporarily assigned and was afterward a prominent brigadier-general.