1st Tennessee Volunteer Infantry
Participants in the Breakthrough Battle at Petersburg on April 2, 1865
Fought on or near the present day grounds of Pamplin Historical Park
Also called 1st Confederate Infantry and 1st Tennessee Volunteer Infantry (Provisional). This unit should not be confused with a 1st Tennessee Infantry that served in the Western theater under General Braxton Bragg.
Records filed as 1st (Turney's) Tennessee Infantry Regiment. Organized at Winchester, Franklin County, TN, April 29, 1861; mustered into Confederate service at Lynchburg, VA, May 8, 1861; surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse April 9, 1865.
Practically simultaneously with the holding of a mass meeting in Winchester on February 24, 1861, at which Franklin County petitioned to be allowed to secede from Tennessee and join Alabama, then a Confederate State, Peter Turney commenced the organization of a company in Winchester, which was later to become "C" Company. Shortly thereafter, other companies were formed in and around Winchester and in the neighboring counties of Coffee and Grundy. Quickly after the fall of Fort Sumter came the formation of four other companies to complete the regiment.
On April 21, Colonel Turney reported to the Confederate War Department that his regiment was organized, although without weapons. On April 28, the regiment was assembled at Winchester, bivouacking on the grounds of Mary Sharp College; on May 1, it departed by rail for the Virginia theater. Six companies arrived at Lynchburg, Virginia, on May 5; the remainder of the regiment shortly thereafter, when the regiment was sworn into the Confederate service.
On May 17, the regiment was moved by rail to Richmond, where it went into training camp, to be drilled by the detachment of cadets from the Virginia Military Institute.
On June 1, the regiment moved by rail to Harper's Ferry, there to be under the command of Brig. General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. In July, it was moved to the locale of Manassas and, for the Battle of First Manassas, was part of the 3rd Brigade (Bernard E. Bee), Johnston's Division. The regiment remained in the Manassas area until about September 30, when it moved to duty along the Potomac , between Occoquan and Aquia Creeks. On January 10, 1862, it was part of the task force of Brig. General William H.C. Whiting, at Dumfries, Virginia, being placed, on February 9, under the command of Maj. General Theophilus H. Holmes, commanding the Aquia District. At the same time, the 1st Tennessee Infantry (Maney), 2nd Tennessee Infantry (Bate), and 3rd Tennessee Infantry (J.C. Vaughn), were detached from the Army of Northern Virginia and returned to the Tennessee Theater, leaving the 1st Confederate Infantry, the 7th Tennessee Infantry, and the 14th Tennessee Infantry as components of a brigade which was to serve, with minor changes from time to time, during the rest of the war, and which was to become known as the Tennessee Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia.
Organization of the Tennessee Brigade was announced on March 8, 1862. It's first commander was Brig. General Samuel R. Anderson; his headquarters were at Evansport, now Quantico, Virginia. On March 8, 1862, the brigade was assigned to the division of Brig. General William H.C. Whiting.
Under General Anderson, the brigade entered the Peninsular Campaign as part of A.P. Hill's "Light Division" of Magruder's Corps. It's initial position was about midway between the York and James Rivers. Here the regiment was reorganized; General Anderson was relieved from active field service by reason of ill health (he was 58 years old and was serving in his second war), and the brigade command passed to Brig. General Robert H. Hatton, formerly colonel of the 7th Tennessee Infantry.
General Hatton was killed in the fighting near Fair Oaks Station, May 31, 1862. By the time the brigade entered the Battle of Gaines' Mill, June 27, it had a new brigade commander. This was Brig. General James J. Archer; he was to retain command with several absences until January, 1865. Under him the brigade was to make its reputation.
As part of the Fifth (Archer's) Brigade, A.P. Hill's "Light Division", Magruder's Corps, the regiment participated in the Seven Day's Battles before Richmond. Its regimental flag was captured at Gaines' Mill by the 13th New York Infantry. As part of the same brigade and division, but now part of the II Corps (Thomas J. Jackson), Army of Northern Virginia, it participated in Jackson 's Valley Campaign at Cedar Run, moving from there to the actions at Orange Courthouse, Manassas Junction, and Second Manassas.
In September, the regiment, still in the II Corps, took part in the Maryland Campaign, fighting at Harper's Ferry, Sharpsburg, and Shepherdstown. Returning to Virginia, it was part of the II Corps at the Battle of Fredericksburg. Here Colonel Turney sustained the wound which removed him from active command; a year later he was to take over a semi-administrative command in Florida.
During 1863, the regiment, now commanded by Lt. Colonel N.J. George, continued as part of Archer's Brigade, but the division was commanded by Henry Heth and the Corps was now the III, commanded by A.P. Hill after the fall of Jackson at Chancellorsville. It participated in the Gettysburg Campaign, where it was on the left flank during Pickett's Charge on July 3, 1863. The 1st and 7th Tennessee Infantry Regiments were the only units to breach the Federal lines that day, but at a high price; the Brigade Commander, the Regimental Commander, a large number of other officers and enlisted men, and the colors of the 1st and 14th Regiments, were captured by the 14th Connecticut Infantry.
With Brig. General Henry H. Walker in command of the brigade, it participated in the actions of the Army of Northern Virginia throughout the remainder of 1863; these included the Mine Run Campaign and the Battle of Bristoe Station. Major Felix G. Buchanan commanded the regiment.
As part of Archer's Brigade, later to be known as Fry's Brigade, made by combining the brigades of Archer and Fields, the regiment took part in the Battles in The Wilderness and at Spottsylvania Courthouse in May, 1864. By August, 1864, Colonel George had returned to command the regiment. By this time the regiment, still a part of Hill's III Corps, had moved through the Battle of Cold Harbor into the bloody stalemate of Petersburg, which continued until early April, 1865. General Archer had returned to his old command briefly in August; the illnesses brought on by his long confinement at Johnson's Island shortly forced his retirement; he died at Richmond in October. Captain William S. Daniel commanded the regiment until the return of Colonel George.
In January, 1865, consolidation of the diminished strength of the Army of Northern Virginia brought about the formation of Archer's and Johnson's Brigade, still in Heth's Division of the III Corps. Beside this regiment were its old companions of the original Tennessee Brigade, the 7th and the 14th Tennessee Infantry, plus the 2nd Maryland Infantry Battalion, the 17th/23rd Tennessee Infantry, the 25th/44th Tennessee Infantry, and the 63rd Tennessee Infantry.
Withdrawing toward Appomattox early in April, the brigade came under the command of Brigadier General William McComb; Major Felix G. Buchanan was now in command of the regiment. This was the composition of the brigade as it passed out of existence with Lee's Surrender.
History Courtesy of Sandy Keathley
1st Tennessee Infantry Regiment
Descendants Roll Call
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Not For Fame Or Reward
Not For Place Or For Rank
Not Lured By Ambition
Or Goaded By Necessity
But In Simple
Obedience To Duty
As They Understood It
These Men Suffered All - Sacrificed All
Dared all - And Died
Inscription written by Dr. Randolph Harrison McKim and carved
on the north side of the Confederate Memorial (sculpted by Moses Ezekiel)
at Arlington National Cemetery
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