The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

Posts tagged “16th Regiment of Alabama Infantry CSA

You would think there would not be much to celebrate…

after the ordeals encountered on April sixth and seventh 1862. Least of all for those who survive. Maybe that was the point, they had survived; and that was a big point for so many of them did not survive. The place was known as Pittsburg Landing. The location in Hardin County, Tennessee was just above the state line above Corinth, Mississippi. Another name for the place and event was Shiloh. The 16th Regiment of Alabama Infantry fought there alongside a host of other Alabama regiments. The 16th is especially pertinent to Shoals area folks. So many of us are descended from that ragged and war-torn group.

The campaign was for Federal Penetration up the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers. Key Individuals Involved in the Battle of Shiloh: Union had Major General Ulysses S. Grant and Major General Don Carlos Buell; Confederate had General Albert Sidney Johnston and General P.G.T. Beauregard; Alabama had the likes of Hester, Bowen, Lucas, Terry, Peebles, Abernathy, Elkins, Sparks and the list goes on and on.

Confederate forces led by General Johnston attacked Union General Grant’s army at Pittsburg Landing. The Union forces were not prepared but they still managed to hold their own until the arrival of General Buell’s army and other reinforcements at Pittsburg Landing. Further, the Confederates lost their leader when General Johnston was killed by a stray bullet. On the second day, April 7th, Grant launched a counterattack and the Confederates retreated to Corinth.
It was a victory for the union forces. By best account  23,746 men died. Of those, 13,047 were Union soldiers. Despite a tactical victory, the union forces experienced greater losses. It was at this battle that one of my maternal great-great-grandfathers had his intestines blown out of his body. That man was George Washington Terry. Another great-great-grandfather saw him wounded lying on the ground. Before retreating with his regiment he leaned G W up against a tree and tried to pick the leaves out of the human parts before placing them back inside. He left G W Terry there for the medics. That man was George Henry Peebles. Other great-great-grandfathers also were there: Daniel M Lucas and William Elkins come to mind.
The significance of the Battle of Shiloh was that leaders began to realize that the Civil War would not quickly end. That is an understatement for there was much warfare, wounds, amputation, starvation, and many lives yet to be lost. And these men would meet again on a number of battlefields to include Franklin, Chickamauga, Ringgold and others.

the boat that hosted the 63rd Reunion of the survivors of the Battle of Shiloh

63rd Reunion of the Survivors of the Battle of Shiloh 1925

I look at this picture and I study it; are some of my great-great-grandfathers onboard? I know that Thomas Jasper Terry would be if he could walk there. He was a Terry relative from Moulton in Lawrence County,or more accurately from Terry Town. He had become severely wounded in battles and could only stand and ambulate with the help of a cane. But that did not stop him from walking all the way to McGavock House outside of Franklin Tennessee when he was an older man just to see it one more time and visit his fallen comrades.
The photo is of a pleasure steamer from Cincinnati. It is docked at what was then called Muscle Shoals Dock in Lauderdale County, Alabama. The  Tennessee Belle has a sign that reads “63rd Anniversary Reunion of the Battle of Shiloh Survivors.” The photo was taken 1925. I would have been so grateful for a listing of those onboard.

Would you help?

Flag of the 16th Regiment of Alabama Infantry

We continue our research of the War Between the States. We will publish a series of books, and will start with another book on the men who served in the 16th Regiment of Alabama Infantry, CSA and their families. Most of this regimentconsisted of men across north Alabama. Many familiar names served in the 16th. Any photos or information would be helpful if you have an ancestor who served. Please identify yourself so that you may be credited with whatyou provide. Please forward photos and text to our email at:

Flag of the 16th Regiment of Alabama Infantry

This flag of the 16th Alabama Infantry Regiment is one of 87 housed at the Alabama Archives. It was captured by Pvt. Abraham Greenwalt of the 104th Ohio Infantry on Nov. 30, 1864 at the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor by the U.S. The Color Bearer for the 16th was Drury Bowen from Franklin County.

Photos should be at least 300 dpi. Copy machine copies are the least desirable for print; but if that is all that exist we may choose to use them. Photos can be copied cheaply at Rite Aid and other places as well as placed on dvds for upload to email.

We are also working on books for: Roddy’s and Russell’s 4th Cavalry, 8th Tennessee, 1st AL & TN Independent Vidette Cavalry USA, 27th Alabama Infantry, 19th Alabama Infantry, and possibly others in the future.

Average and infamous…

ordinary and extraordinary, might describe members of the large Elias James family. Pictured below are Elias James and Cynthia McGary Richardson James and their large family. Elias James fought as part of the valiant 16th Regiment of Alabama Infantry, CSA in the War of Northern Aggression. He was a relative of the infamous James brothers, Frank and Jessie. The outlaw Jessie James was rumored to be hiding out at Elias James’ place at one time.

Elias James married Cynthia McGary Richardson, (b. 4 Mar 1847, d. 18 May 1915). They settled at Pogo, just West of Pleasant Site, where they resided in a log cabin that had a “beautiful cold water spring” and a “milk house where milk was kept cool in the running water”. This is at the base of the Freedom Hills, overlooking the beautiful valley.

The buildings are now gone but the James cemetery is still there, hidden in the woods above where the cabin once stood. The cabin is the backdrop for the family photograph below

Cynthia was the daughter of John Richardson (b. 14 Jan 1796 GA, d. 12 Jan 1876) and Nancy Hester, (b. Oct 11 1808, d. Jan 26 1853). At least two of Cynthia’s brothers served in the Confederate Army and fought at the Battle of Shiloh. Cynthia’s maternal grandparents were William H. “Buck” Hester and Amy Malone. Amy was the daughter of John Malone and Anne Blackwell of Granville County, North Carolina. “Buck” and Amy Hester came to Franklin County in 1818.

Tell us what you know about them.

Elias James Family

Back Row left to right: Daniel James holding rifle, Joe Gardner James, Nancy Catherine “Kate” James Grissom, Neoma Samantha “Dobe” James George, Marthie Melisey “Mattie” James Culligan, “Lula” James Thomas, Jennie Burton James (Enoch James’s daughter), Lula James (nee Grissom).

Front Row left to right: Modena Alice “Dena” James, Elias holding unidentified grandson, Cynthia Richardson, Cynthia (behind), Nannie, Amos James holding Elmer, Letha James (back), Mollie James (front), Elias “Shug” James, Thomas Enoch “Tom” James holding Floy James, Edna James, John James holding Myrtle James, Lillie James and Bertha James. People in the photograph were identified by Joe Clark James (1896-1985), son of “Ab” Alfred Clark James; son of Elias and Cynthia but not pictured in the photo.