An Avalanche of Brave Southern Soldiers: The 31st Mississippi Infantry at the Battle of Baton Rouge

It took some time and a good bit of research, but here is the article on the 31st Mississippi Infantry, the winning entry in the contest to help me choose my next article subject. I decided to concentrate on the 31st Mississippi’s participation in one battle, as trying to cover their entire Civil War service would have taken a long, long time. I chose the Battle of Baton Rouge as it was a engagement that I was not familiar with and wanted to learn about. It also helped that I was able to find a good many sources related to the 31st Mississippi’s participation in the battle. I hope you enjoy reading article as much as I enjoyed researching and writing it.

The 31st Mississippi Infantry mustered into Confederate service at Saltillo, Mississippi, in the spring of 1862 under the command of Colonel Jehu A. Orr. As organized,

Colonel Jehu A. Orr commanded the 31st Mississippi Infantry, but missed the Battle of Baton Rouge because of illness. CONFEDERATE VETERAN MAGAZINE, Volume 19

the regiment consisted of the following units: Company A, “Orr Guards,” from Pontotoc County; Company B, “Dixie Guards,” from Choctaw County; Company C, “Chickasaw Guards,” from Chickasaw County; Company D, “Dixie Rebels,” from Calhoun County; Company E, “Choctaw Rebels,” from Choctaw County; Company F, “Calhoun Tigers,” from Calhoun County; Company G, “Orr Guards,” from Pontotoc County; Company H, “Captain Jenning’s Company,” from Itawamba County; Company I, “Jackson Rifles,” from Choctaw County; and Company K, “Captain McWhorter’s Company,” from Pontotoc County. (For Dixie Land I’ll Take My Stand, Volume 1, page 960; Military History of Mississippi, page 288).

The 31st had little time to train, as reinforcements were needed at Corinth to meet the advancing Federal army that was moving on the city in the wake of the Confederate defeat at the Battle of Shiloh. H.N. Faulkinbury, a private in Company D of the 31st, wrote an account of the organization and early days of the regiment. He may have been lacking in grammatical skill, but he did make clear just how rushed their training was: “Our Regt. was organized our respected Capton whos name was M.D.L. Stephens was promoted to Lieut. col. wher upon our 1st Leiut. F.M. Gilespe taken his position. At Saltillo Itwambia Co. Miss. was organized our Regt. the 31st Miss. Ther we drilled about one month then went to Corinth shortly after the Shilow Battle was fought. Ther we was all furnished with a good musket apiece and other equipages.” (Diary of H.N. Faulkinbury, Mississippi Department of Archives and History).

At Corinth, the 31st Mississippi was assigned to the command of Major General John C.

General John C. Breckenridge commanded the Confederate forces at the Battle of Baton Rouge – Library of Congress

Breckenridge, serving in a brigade led by Colonel Robert P. Trabue. As the Federal army closed on Corinth the 31st was engaged in some skirmishing with the enemy. They also took part in the rear-guard action to delay the Union army when the Confederates abandoned Corinth on May 29, 1862, and retreated to Tupelo. (Military History of Mississippi, page 289).

The retreat to Tupelo was very hard on the green soldiers of the 31st Mississippi; many of the men were already suffering from sickness, and the long grueling march took a toll on the regiment. H.N. Faulkinbury took part in the retreat and recorded his thoughts about it: “On the great Corinth retreat we fared very well to wat some our poor soldiers did for ther was great menny of them very sick at that time whow perished and dide [died] on the road sides. We fill [fell] back to Tupelo on the M & O. R.R. [Mobile & Ohio Railroad] we was all worn out and brooke down a marching by this time. I had sorter begain to expreance [experience] some of the hardships of the life of a soldier.”

The 31st Mississippi did not have a long stay in Tupelo, for in early June, General

David G. Farragut – Library of Congress

Breckenridge was ordered to Vicksburg with his troops to help defend the city, which was then under attack by the enemy. (Military History of Mississippi, page 289). These troops were needed because Union naval forces had moved on Vicksburg from both ends of the river. In April 1862, Flag Officer David G. Farragut entered the mouth of the Mississippi with the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, a fleet of ocean-going vessels. After fighting his way past forts Jackson and St. Philip below New Orleans, he proceeded to the Crescent City, which fell without a fight on April 25, 1862. (An Illustrated Guide to the Vicksburg Campaign and National Military Park, page 36).

At the same time that New Orleans fell, the Mississippi Flotilla, consisting of rams and ironclads commanded by Flag Officer Charles H. Davis, was moving down the Mississippi River. On June 6, 1862, Davis’ fleet destroyed the rag-tag Confederate vessels defending Memphis, and the city was forced to surrender. With both New Orleans and Memphis in Union hands, the two powerful Northern fleets were free to advance on Vicksburg. (An Illustrated Guide to the Vicksburg Campaign and National Military Park, page 36).

Farragut’s fleet was the first to move, heading upriver toward Vicksburg, stopping along the way to force the surrender of Baton Rouge on May 7, and Natchez on May 13. On May 18, 1862, an advance force under Commander S. Phillips Lee dropped anchor at Vicksburg, and sent a message demanding the immediate surrender of the city. But unlike Baton Rouge and Natchez, Vicksburg did have defenders, and they were able to successfully resist the Union forces despite being terribly battered by an intense naval bombardment that lasted from May 20 – July 26, 1862. (An Illustrated Guide to the Vicksburg Campaign, and National Military Park, page 37).

The 31st Mississippi’s brigade, now commanded by Brigadier General Benjamin Hardin

General Benjamin Hardin Helm commanded the brigade to which the 31st Mississippi belonged during the Battle of Baton Rouge – Kentucky Historical Society

Helm, arrived at Vicksburg in mid-June. Cyrus Decatur McElroy, a private in Company H of the 31st, wrote of his arrival in the Hill City: “We marched along down the banks of the great Father of the Waters and saw the gunboats and transports of the enemy in the distance, moving slowly about on the surface of the water. We soon found that we were not unnoticed by them, for scarcely had we reached town when we heard the roar of cannon from the mortar boats of the enemy and soon a shell came whistling along which burst immediately over our heads. One followed another in quick succession, and now followed a scene such as I had never witnessed before. Women and children were seen running in every direction bare-footed and bare-headed trying to escape the horrible death that seemed almost inevitable. Fortunately none of us were hurt and we reached camp about dark.” (Cyrus Decatur McElroy Letter, Mississippi Department of Archives and History).

Despite his intense efforts, Farragut was unable to capture Vicksburg, and with the Mississippi River falling, he had to take his fleet south or risk having it stranded. On July 27, 1862, he ordered his ships to make steam for New Orleans, ending the threat to Vicksburg that summer. (An Illustrated Guide to the Vicksburg Campaign and National Military Park, page 39).

With Vicksburg safe for the time being, Major General Earl Van Dorn, commander of the

General Earl Van Dorn – Mississippi Department of Archives and History

District of Mississippi, felt it was time to take the initiative against the Federals and “Strike a blow before he had time to organize and mature a new scheme of assault.” (Official Records, Series 1, Volume XV, page 16). Toward that end Van Dorn resolved to attack and recapture Baton Rouge, the state capital of Louisiana. The general stated that the city was held by a force he believed to be about 3,500 strong with the support of the union navy, which had gunboats just offshore of the capital in the Mississippi River. Van Dorn believed that the capture of Baton Rouge would “Open the Mississippi, secure the navigation of Red River, then in a state of blockade, and also render easier the recapture of New Orleans.” (Official Records, Series 1, Volume XV, page 16).

To effect the capture of Baton Rouge, Van Dorn ordered General Breckenridge to take 5,000 men from Vicksburg and move by rail to Camp Moore, Louisiana, where he would add to his command the 1,000 soldiers there under Brigadier General Daniel Ruggles. To help neutralize the Union gunboats in the waters off Baton Rouge, Van Dorn ordered the ironclad C.S.S. Arkansas, then at Vicksburg, to steam down the Mississippi and attack the Federal vessels. (Official Records, Series 1, Volume XV, pages 17-18).

General Breckenridge left Vicksburg by rail on July 27, and his weary command, including the 31st Mississippi, arrived at Camp Moore on the evening of the next day. Once there he began to organize his soldiers for the attack on Baton Rouge. Unfortunately Breckenridge had significantly less than the 5,000 men that Van Dorn had authorized for the operation. The general had only been able to scrape up 4,000 men at Vicksburg, and by the time they reached Camp Moore, he was down to only 3,400 soldiers. Breckenridge wrote that he had lost many men due to “The effects of exposure at Vicksburg, from heavy rains without shelter and from the extreme heat.” (Official Records, Series 1, Volume XV, page 76).

Wartime illustration of Camp Moore, Louisiana – Encyclopedia of Louisiana

The Confederates at Camp Moore were organized into two divisions by General

General Charles Clark served as the 31st Mississippi’s division commander at the Battle of Baton Rouge. Badly wounded and captured during the fighting, he was eventually released by the Federals. Unable to serve as a soldier because of his wounds, Clark was elected governor of Mississippi in 1863 – Wikipedia

Breckenridge, the First Division led by Brigadier General Charles Clark, and the Second Division led by Brigadier General Daniel Ruggles. The 31st Mississippi served in the First Division, Second Brigade, commanded by Brigadier General Benjamin H. Helm. Serving with them in the brigade were the 4th Kentucky Infantry, 5th Kentucky Infantry, 31st Alabama Infantry, and Pettus’s Flying Artillery from Mississippi. Colonel Orr being sick, command of the 31st Mississippi fell to Major H.E. Topp. (Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Volume 3, page 585; Military History of Mississippi, page 289).

With his attacking force so greatly reduced, General Breckenridge realized that the role of the C.S.S. Arkansas in neutralizing the Federal Fleet at Baton Rouge was critical to the success of his mission, and he telegraphed Van Dorn to see when the ironclad would reach the Louisiana capital. The reply quickly came back over the wires that the Arkansas would arrive at Baton Rouge by daylight on August 5, 1862. (Official Records, Series 1, Volume XV, page 77).

The 31st Mississippi, along with the rest of the Confederate army, marched out of Camp Moore on July 30 for Baton Rouge, some 65 miles to the southwest. By the afternoon of August 4 the Rebels had reached the Comite River, about 10 miles from the city. The hardships of the march, however, had taken a toll; Breckenridge estimated that so many men dropped out because of sickness that he had only 2,600 effectives for the next day’s battle. (Official Records, Series 1, Volume XV, page 77).

Breckenridge had his men make a night march on August 4-5 to reach Baton Rouge before daybreak, hoping to surprise the Federal garrison. Cyrus D. McElroy noted that “On the evening of the 4th of August we were called into line and informed by Maj. Topp (who was then in command of our regiment) that a council of war had been held, and that it was resolved to attack the enemy at 4 o’clock the next morning. We accordingly cooked rations for two days, ate suppers, filled our canteens, and just after dark took up the line of march for the city, our design being to surprise the enemy at daylight, while at the same time the Arkansas was to attack the Federal fleet.” (Cyrus D. McElroy letter, Mississippi Department of Archives and History).

Wartime panoramic image of Baton Rouge

The Confederates reached the eastern outskirts of Baton Rouge before dawn on August 5, and Breckenridge began to deploy his men for the attack. An unfortunate mishap,

Colonel Thomas H. Hunt had to take over as the 31st Mississippi’s brigade commander after General Benjamin H. Helm was wounded in the opening minutes of the battle

however, destroyed an chance of a surprise attack on the Federal garrison, which numbered about 2,500 men. A group of Confederate Partisan Rangers made accidental contact with the Federal pickets guarding the approaches to the city. As they hastily galloped back to the Confederate lines, they were mistaken for the enemy, and shots were exchanged. There were a number of casualties from friendly fire, among them General Helm, the 31st’s brigade commander, who was wounded, and his aide, Lieutenant A.H. Todd, the brother of Mary Todd Lincoln, who was killed. With Helm out of the fight before it even began, Colonel Thomas H. Hunt of the 4th Kentucky Infantry assumed command of the brigade. (Official Records, Series 1, Volume XV, page 77).

General Breckenridge arranged his forces for the attack along the Greenwell Springs Road which led into Baton Rouge. He only had enough troops for a single thin line of battle, with General Ruggles division on the left of the road, and General Clark’s division to the right. When there was enough light to see, General Ruggles’ troops advanced to open the battle. His men pushed back the Federals in the opening minutes of the battle as General Clark prepared his troops to engage the center and left of the enemy line. (Official Records, Series 1, Volume XV, pages 77-78).

Map depicting the Battle of Baton Rouge – The 31st Mississippi fought with Helm’s brigade on the Confederate right

As Clark’s troops moved into position to attack, a Mississippi officer who may have been a member of the 31st Mississippi noted, “As we approached, that grand old air, ‘The march of Norma,’ could be easily distinguished, vainly endeavoring to inspire their cowardly hirelings to resist the coming avalanche of brave Southern soldiers. We soon formed line of battle and marched upon the concealed enemy.”       (Daily Constitutionalist, August 19, 1862).

Cyrus D. McElroy wrote a detailed account of the 31st Mississippi’s part in the battle, as he

Postwar picture of Cyrus D. McElroy, a member of the 31st Mississippi who fought at the Battle of Baton Rouge –

remembered it: “When within two miles of town we filed right into a field of green corn, and formed in line of battle. We then marched on through the corn and entered a field of sugar cane. Pressing on through this we entered an old pasture just at the dawn of day. Just after this we heard the battle commence on our left. We heard the boys raise the yell, and knew they were charging the enemy. We pushed on an entered another pasture. Here we were greeted by grape shot and canister, round shot and shell, and everything that would do to shoot out of cannon. We however, pushed on until we reached the edge of the city. Our battery had come up, and we lay down for a few moments near it behind a plank fence. We then rose, pushed down the fence, passed into the street, made a left flank movement, went in double quick about 200 hundred yards, then faced in line of battle opposite the 14th Maine regiment. Our company of 76, was now thrown out as skirmishers. We took several prisoners, arms ammunition, etc. We passed through the camp and entered a corn field where the enemy were stationed. Here our regiment had a hard fight, but finally repulsed the enemy. (Cyrus D. McElroy letter, Mississippi Department of Archives and History).

Illustration depicting the Battle of Baton Rouge – Library of Congress

One of the Union soldiers on the receiving end of the 31st Mississippi’s attack was Ira B.

Ira B. Gardner commanded a company in the 14th Maine Infantry during the Battle of Baton Rouge, and fought against the 31st Mississippi

Gardner, a first lieutenant in Company I, 14th Maine Infantry. As his company commander was sick, the young lieutenant found  himself in command of his company during the battle. He wrote of the fighting: “About that time the sun came out, the fog lifted and I saw one brigade of Clark’s division charging our front and within not more than fifteen or twenty rods. I immediately gave the order to my company to fire; the other nine companies also fired into the brigade. In a short time Colonel Nickerson appeared and took command. He immediately ordered a change of front to the rear on the right company. Being in command of the right company, the initiative devolved upon me. Their batteries were still shelling our camp and the musketry fire was quite heavy. I immediately put my company in position as a right angle to our first line, facing to the left and rear. The other companies quickly took their positions on my left. My position was still on the right of the line on the bank of the Bayou Sara Road. Colonel Nickerson gave the order to forward and we marched through the camp. About the time I reached the left of the camp, looking up the Bayou Sara Road, apparently not more than two hundred feet from me I saw Captain Semmes with his battalion of partisan rangers charging down the road. I immediately gave the order to fire again, without waiting for the colonel. The other nine companies again fired. Captain Semmes of the partisan rangers was between the brigades of Helm and Smith and it proved that our change of front came just in time to stop Helm’s brigade coming in on our left. By this time Smith’s brigade had rallied and was advancing with our regiment at a right angle to his line of battle. It will be seen that no regiment in the world could have withstood the charge of a brigade on its front and one on its left flank with no protection for the flank…the regiment fell back in confusion.” (“Personal Experiences with the Fourteenth Maine Volunteers: From 1861 to 1865.” By Ira B. Gardner; in War Papers Volume IV, published in 1915 by Lefavor-Tower Company).

The Union line was broken and the Federals forced to retreat, but they had put up a stubborn defense, and hundreds of wounded and dead Confederates littered the field. The 31st Mississippi and their brigade was especially hard hit; Colonel Hunt went down with a serious wound, and a Mississippi officer noted, “The 31st Mississippi suffered greatly – Three color bearers were shot down in quick succession, and yet each time it fell, a gallant Mississippian was on hand to raise  on high the bonnie blue flag that bears the thirteen stars!!” (Daily Constitutionalist, August 19, 1862).

After forcing the 14th Maine to retreat, Cyrus D. McElroy noted in his letter what the regiment did next: “We now fell back to a ravine, rested a while, then fell back to the top of a hill and made a left oblique movement, which threw us on the left of and to the support of the 3rd Kentucky regiment, which was under a galling fire from the 2nd and 7th Indiana regiments. We fired a few rounds, then charged bayonets, which put the enemy to flight. The fate of the day was now decided. The victory was ours, but we were not not able to hold the field, as the Federals were shelling it from their gunboats. We now fell back two miles, rested until evening, and returned to camp.” (Cyrus D. McElroy letter, Mississippi Department of Archives and History).

The Confederates had pressed the Federals back to the Mississippi River, but direct fire from the Union gunboats in the waterway prevented them from taking the last position and completing the victory. The C.S.S. Arkansas had trouble with its engines, and the crew was forced to destroy the vessel to keep it from falling into enemy hands. General Breckenridge, realizing nothing could be done against the Union gunboats, ordered his troops to withdraw, and the Rebels slowly retreated from Baton Rouge and gave up their hard-won gains. (Official Records, Series 1, Volume XV, page 79).

The 31st Mississippi had fought well at Baton Rouge, but all they had to show for it was a long list of casualties – 16 killed or mortally wounded, and 31 wounded. By August 20, the regiment was back in central Mississippi, and Doctor Thomas J. Blackwell, a surgeon in the 31st Mississippi, noted: “The troops from Baton Rouge arrived today with Col. Orr at their head, and a worn, dusty and tired set set of men as I ever saw. Poor fellows, many of them died on the battle field and others must soon follow by the ‘wasting hand of disease,’ to the common grave of ‘all the living.’ I believe that the soldier who lost his life by disease, in camp, is as much, if not more, of a hero, as he that perishes by the bullet or cannon shot on the battle field, and that the government should provide for the families of both alike.”

The Battle of Baton Rouge was over, and for a time the men of the 31st Mississippi Infantry would have a much deserved rest. But in their future lay many more battles…but those stories will have to be told at some later date.

We Have A Winner….

I want to thank everyone that participated in the contest to pick my next blog article topic – I received some great entries, and everyone was very passionate about their pick. I really enjoyed the stories that many of you shared on why you wanted me to write about the unit that you voted for.

But in the end there can only be one winner, and I had a little problem when I tallied up the votes – there was a three way tie between the 7th Mississippi Infantry, the 31st Mississippi Infantry, and the 37th Mississippi Infantry. This was not an outcome I had remotely considered, so I had to come up with a way to break the tie. What I decided was this: I put the names of each unit on a slip of paper, folded them up, and put them in my bee-hive hat that I used for reenacting as a Confederate infantryman. I then had my daughter choose the  winner from the hat.

And without any further adieu, I give you the winner – the 31st Mississippi Infantry! The 31st was a great unit that fought in the western theater during the war, and I am looking forward to writing about the gallant men of the regiment.

Help Me Choose A Mississippi Unit to Write About

I thought I would do something new for my next blog posting, and let the readers choose the subject. The article is going to be about a Mississippi unit, and you can vote for which one you want me to write about. Here are the rules:

1. All votes must be sent to my email address:, and put “Vote” in the subject line

2. Only one vote per person – but feel free to have your friends and family vote as well

3. You can vote for any Mississippi unit except the 38th Mississippi or the 21st Mississippi – I have already written extensively about both of those units. 

4 Votes must be received by me before midnight on July 10, 2012

5. I will announce the winner on July 11, 2012

The Vicksburg Sharpshooters go to War, Part II

This is the second letter written by “Phoenix,” an unidentified member of the “Vicksburg Sharpshooters,” Company G, 12th Mississippi. Infantry. The letter was published in The Vicksburg Weekly Citizen, June 10, 1861:

Letter from the Sharpshooters

Camp Clark, Near Corinth, Miss. May 27th, 1861

Dear Citizen: Since my last writing there have been but few occurrences here that are not already known throughout the State. The principal event so far has been the election of officers for this regiment, the result of which you have already learned. We are still awaiting orders to march, and came very near making a start last Sunday morning. Orders had been received here to that effect, and we were to start at 4 o’clock on Sunday morning, and everything was ready by our men for the move when the order was countermanded. This disappointed our boys very much, as they thought that in a few days they should have a chance to show how the boys of old Warren could handle their guns.

1862 painting of a Confederate camp at Corinth, Mississippi, by Conrad Wise Chapman

In my last letter to you I stated that there had been some trouble in the Natchez Fencibles

Samuel Usher Dilley was a member of the Natchez Fencibles along with his four brothers. He joined the company when he was only 17 years old. He died on September 11, 1861, of typhoid fever. Photo from

about the guns they were to use, and that they had been split up on account of it, and that the report was current that their Captain had treated them not as men but as dogs. Since that time I have been glad to see and learn that the reports about the Captain were put out by some of the men when in the heat of passion, and that they now have not only taken the guns which the State has provided for them, but that they praise their Captain for his nobleness and kindness; and I can assure you now, having made the Captain’s acquaintance since, that a more noble, generous, brave and kind hearted Captain never commanded a volunteer company than Captain Blackburn, and I am sure that wherever he will lead them they will be led where they can show what kind of boys the Bluff City has produced, and that their gallant Captain will put them through in the most approved and correct manner.

There have been two deaths in our regiment since my last – the first was a sergeant of the Sardis Blues, and the other a private in the Natchez Fencibles. There is some sickness in the regiment at present – caused by the drinking of spring water and the change of diet incident to camp life – the sickness being chiefly diarhoea. There are daily accessions to the companies here, and I believe that there are at present about 3,000 troops here. Yesterday an Alabama regiment arrived here on their way to the scene of action. They are encamped some distance from us.

This place at present I think has more inhabitants than it ever had at one time before – there is nothing to be seen but soldiers wherever you may look or go. The camp fires at night look like a section of woods on fire, and it is very picturesque in the moon light.

Yesterday afternoon our regiment was put through some field exercises by Gen. Charles

In 1861, General Charles Clark, Army of Mississippi, commanded Camp Clark, near Corinth – Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Clarke, Capt. Miller acting Adjutant. It was a scene to be witnessed, as they went through the evolutions in honor to themselves and the commanding officers. They were admired by large numbers of ladies and gentlemen, who witnessed them.

Our regiment is composed of the following companies to wit:

Charles Clark Rifles, Capt. J.J. McLean; Natchez Fencibles, Capt. E.M. Blackburn; Satartia Rifles, Captain Gale; Sharpshooters, Capt. H.H. Miller; Claiborne Guards, H. Hughes; Durant Rifles, Captain Caton; Sardis Blues, Captain Crump; Pettus Relief, Capt. _____; Lawrence Rifles, Capt. Boen. I thought that I would be able to give you a full list of all the companies that were in camp here but it is not in my power to do so.

Our second lieutenant Richardson went to Vicksburg a few days ago and returned with ten more men for our company – among them we have another dangerous name, and the man that bears it will show, if he gets the chance that the name is no more so than the owner. I allude to Alonzo Swords – this the second soldier of that name that has come with the Sharpshooters.

Although there has been a little sickness amongst us, all our men are able to do duty and eager to proceed to the seat of war. Every man is dead bent on killing at least six abolitionists. We have been looking for the Volunteer Southrons of your city here every day, and on last Friday our company went to the depot to meet them but were disappointed. Capt. Harris’ company from your city passed by here yesterday (Sunday) en route for Virginia. For want of anything further of interest I shall bring this to a close.

Respectfully yours,


In the June 10, 1861 edition of the Weekly Citizen, there was a brief update on the Sharpshooters:

From the Sharpshooters

From a private letter from one of the Sharpshooters we learn that they are now encamped at Camp Miller, near Union City in Tennessee. He gives an account of the journey from Corinth. At a little place called Bethel Station, the people were all at the depot – had the secession flag up and were having a gay old time to the tune of Dixie’s Land. One of the men asked them for the flag when the ladies shouted out to the man who was holding it, ‘give it to them, we’ll make another,” when he gracefully presented it to the soldiers, and they received it with three cheers. At Jackson, Tenn., the citizens had provided four or five barrels of ice water for our refreshment. The day being war and the men fatigued, this cooling beverage was joyfully received. At this place one of the Sharpshooters met two of his sisters whom he had not seen for eleven years, but had only ten minutes time to talk to them. The boys are all well and wish to be remembered to all our friends.

Civil War illustration of Jackson, Tennessee

In another column of the paper was a little more information on the Sharpshooters:

Mr. H.H. Harvey of the Sharpshooters, has returned to town on official business connected with the company. Among the few items which we hurriedly gleaned from, we learn that the Sharpshooters are in camp at Union City, Tenn.; that there are two Mississippi and four four Tennessee regiments in camp at that place: four Mississippi and two Alabama regiments are at Corinth, and eight regiments are at Jackson, Tennessee, making in the aggregate about twenty thousand men in this division of the army.