CORINTH INFORMATION DATABASE Version 1.3 © 1995 Milton Sandy, Jr.

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                           History & Roster
                                of the
                           "Corinth Rifles"

                          Eagle Scout Project
                                  by
                            John A. Harris
                             Troop 23 BSA

        The first military company from Corinth to answer the call by
the State of Mississippi for troops, and one of the first units to be
ordered into Confederate service was the "Corinth Rifles". This company,
consisting of eighty-five officers and men, was organized by William H.
Kilpatrick, a 41 year old lawyer from Corinth. Kilpatrick, who later
became a circuit judge and mayor of Corinth, recruited his company from
a wide crossection in the western part of Old Tishomingo (now Alcorn)
County. In the company's ranks were lawyers, farmers, storekeepers,
clerks, a plow maker, carpenter, tinner, mail agent, brick mason,
schoolteacher, real estate agent, physician, hotel proprietor, minister,
and circuit court clerk.

        On Wednesday, January 9, 1861, the State of Mississippi seceded
from the Union in anticipation of war with the North, the second of
eleven southern states to do so. The "Corinth Rifles" was obviously
formed within days of that historic event. Its organization is mentioned
in the Corinth Herald as early as January.  At that time the company was
called upon to serve as an honor guard for the festivities surrounding
the linking of the Mobile and Ohio with the Memphis and Charleston
railroads at Corinth. This event marked for the first time the joining
of Mobile, Alabama and Memphis, Tennessee by a direct rail line and was
to add to Corinth's strategical importance for both North and South
during the ensuing conflict.

        The company continued to grow in strength as new recruits were
added almost daily. One of the highlights of pre-war Corinth society was
gathering on the large lawn of the Corona Female college to watch the
"Corinth Rifles" perform their drills and ceremonies. From Mrs. F. A.
Inge's comments in MEMORIES OF 1861-62, the unit apparently has uniforms
made for themselves of cadet grey material for just such occasions.

        In mid-January, the men of the company conducted an election of
officers. To no one's surprise, its organizer, William Hobson
Kilpatrick, was elected captain; with James T. Vaughan, selected as
first lieutenant; Francis E. Whitfield, second lieutenant; James K.
Dobbins, third lieutenant; and Daniel Q. Allen, its first sergeant.

        Events now began to move rapidly. On January 28, Richard
Griffith a representative of the Military Bureau of Mississippi, came to
Corinth and enrolled the "Corinth Rifles" into state service as an
infantry company for a period of twelve (12) months. Optimism was
contagious in these early days of pending conflict and it was commonly
felt that the war would last only a very few months. The Southern
authorities believed with certainty the North would have little interest
in a long drawn out war and planned their strategies accordingly.

        On February 20, just two days after Jefferson Davis'
inauguration, the "Corinth Rifles" was mustered into the army of the
newly formed Confederate States of America as Co. C, 2nd Regt., 4th
Brig. Mississippi Volunteers.

        On Sunday afternoon, March 10, 1861, the ladies of Corinth
presented the unit with a unique and beautiful handmade, 4' x 5'silk
flag of the First National design, which had been adopted just six days
earlier by the Southern Congress as the first official flag of the
Confederacy. The flag featured, on its reverse field, a painted magnolia
tree in full bloom (symbolic of the state of Mississippi) with the motto
"THIS WE WILL DEFEND", contained within a red painted ribbon running
along the bottom edge of the blue field. The words, "CORINTH RIFLES",
the unit's chosen designation, was positioned above the magnolia tree.
The observe blue fields was filled with seven painted gold stars
encircling the statement, "PRESENTED BY THE LADIES OF CORINTH".

        The seven stars were significant of the seven original Cotton
States which had rallied to the Confederate cause at that point: South
Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. A
very impressive ceremony was held at the Female College, the social hub
of the community, in which Miss Lyndia Mitchell, a local student, made
the formal presentation on behalf of the ladies of Corinth to Captain
Kilpatrick and Private George W. Small, the unit's color bearer. Captain
Kilpatrick accepted the flag with a very appropriate and stirring
oration.

        The next week the unit received orders to report to Mobile,
Alabama, for active duty. After a rousing send-off by the citizenry of
Corinth, the company boarded the train dressed in their new grey
uniforms carrying their beautiful new silk banner which waved vigorously
in the stiff March breeze.

        Upon arrival at Mobile, the company was redirected to the army's
new organizational and instructional camp at Pensacola, Florida. There
they went into camp near Ft. Barrancas, opposite Ft. Pickens, the
Union-held fortification on Santa Rosa Island. It is in this general
locality that they spend the next nine (9) months protecting that part
of the Southern Coast line for the newly formed Confederacy and training
for war.

        Because of the primitive living conditions in this hastily
constructed camp, many members of the "Corinth Rifles" became
desperately ill, necessitating the hospitalization of some, and
retirement from further military service for others. Some, less
fortunate, died without having the opportunity to fire a hostile shot.
By March 15, 1861, according to a minute book maintained by Captain
Robert McGowan of Co. F (a sister unit), twenty independent companies
from Mississippi, including the "Corinth Rifles" arrived at Pensacola. A
typical day in camp according to Captain McGowan's consisted of:
reveille at 5:00 a.m., breakfast at 6:30, sick call at 7:00, guard
mounting at 7:30, drill at 8:30, recall at 10:00, dinner at 12:00
(noon), drill again at 3:30 p.m., recall at 5:00, retreat at 6:00, and
tatoo at 9:00.

        The month of April was spent in forming these twenty independent
infantry units into two regiments and these regiments into the beginning
of the Army of Pensacola under command of Bridgadier General Braxton
Bragg.  The "Corinth Rifles" were consolidated into the newly designated
9th Mississippi Infantry Regiment along with three companies from Desoto
County, three companies from Marshall County, two from Panola County,
and one from Lafayette County, and was afforded the distinction of being
designated Company "A".

        After this activity concluded, an election was conducted on
April 11, by the companies to select regimental officers. The honorable
James R. Chalmers of Desoto County was elected colonel; after somewhat
heated and lengthy balloting for lieutenant colonel, James L. Autry of
Marshall County was elected. Albert R. Bowdre of Panola County was
selected major and Francis Eugene Whitfield of the "Corinth Rifles" was
chosen regimental adjutant. After the organizational process, the
newly formed 9th Miss. Regt. was inducted into the Confederate Army on
April 17, 1861, and as such held the distinction of being the first
Mississippi regiment to be accepted by the Confederate Government. All
of these events took place before the firing of Ft. Sumpter or the
secession of the States of Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and
Tennessee.

        For the next nine months the regiment was involved in drilling
and performing guard duty, with the exception, of a small but heated
skirmish with the Union garrison on Santa Rosa Island. Despite this
lackluster beginning, General Bragg saw great potential in the
leadership and ability of the 9th Regiment and hand-picked it to be
assigned to his new command being formed for transfer to North
Mississippi, along with the 1st Louisiana Regiment and the 5th Georgia.

        By December 17, 1861, with the expiration of the Regiment's
initial twelve month enlistment, Colonel Chambers decided to form a new
regiment, also being designated the (New) 9th Mississippi Regiment. This
regiment, however, was to be enlisted for the remainder of the war. The
Confederacy now realized after the opening battles in Virginia and
Kentucky that the North was indeed determined to fight for whatever
period was necessary to gain victory. With their superiority in both
manpower and materials, this was the most logical type of warfare for
the North to wage. Approximately 55% of the men from the various
companies of the old 9th Regiment transferred into Chalmer's new
regiment. The remainder returned home to farm or join new units and
attempt to salvage businesses and farms which had lain unattended for
the past twelve months.

        By December 19, the "Corinth Rifles" ceased to exist. Many of
its personnel transferred into the newly formed 9th Regiment- in
particular Company G, commanded by Captain Frances Eugene Whitfield
and Company F, commanded by Captain John Y. Keith.  Others finding the
infantry a bit too tame, journeyed home and joined Calvary units, the
most popular one being Company H, 10th Mississippi Calvary under the
command of another Corinthian and a former West Point cadet, William M.
Inge.  Pvt. G. W. Small brought home the "Corinth Rifles" flag, which
had been entrusted to him by his comrades. Once home it was retired from
active service, gently folded, and carefully put away to be safeguarded
over the next 120 years through three generations of the Small family,
and can now be seen on display at the Corinth museum.


The following is a reconstructed Roster of the original CORINTH RIFLES,
Company A, 9th Mississippi Volunteer Infantry Regiment C.S.A. which left
Corinth in March 1861:

OFFICERS:

Captain:

        William H. Kilpatrick 41 Year Old Lawyer
                Jan. 1861 - Sept.8, 1861

        Frances E. Whitfield 21 Year Old Lawyer
                Sept.8,18G1 - Dec. 17, 1861

1st Lieut:
        James T. Vaughan Brickmason
                Jan. 1861 - July 16,1861

        Daniel Q. Allen 22 Year Old Lawyer
                July 17,1861 - Dec. 19, 1861

2nd Lieut:
        Frances E. Whitfield 21 Year Old Lawyer
                Jan. 1861 - April 11, 1861 Made acting
                Regt. Adjt. in March, 1861 appt'd April
                11, 1861

        James K. Dobbins 26 Year Old Merchant
                Mar.28, 1861 - Aug.28 1861

        John Y. Keith 22 Year Old Real Estate Agent
                Aug.30, 1861 -Dec.17, 1861

3rd Lieut:
        James K. Dobbins 26 Year Old Merchant
                Jan. 1861 - Mar.28, 1861

        Francis E. McCalla 24 Year Old Farmer
                Oct.1, 1861 - Dec.19, 1861

NON - COMMISSIONED OFFICERS:

  1st Sgt.: Daniel Q. Allen, Promoted, Thomas B. Hale, John T. Settle
  2nd Sgt.: Francis A. Whitmore
  3rd Sgt.: John Y. Keith
  1st Copl.: James Fitzgerald
  2nd Copl.: Benton Crisp
  3rd Copl.: James Reed Kincaid
  Chaplain: Rev. James W. Wells

        PRIVATES
  Herbert Leon Adams
  Willis M. Argo
  Charles T. Barnes
  John H. Barnes
  Lewis D. Booth
  Samual R. Bowland
  George L. Boyd
  John D. Boyd
  Edward Bradford
  Daniel R. Bradley
  George S. Brown
  Ewen J. Carson
  Joseph H. Collins
  Charles A. Cox
  Richard M. Davis
  Charles P. Elgin
  Henry B. Gaines
  John E. Gillenwaters
  Jeremeah Cain Gray
  Jessee "Jake" S. Grider
  Thomas B. Hale
  Henry J. Harris
  William Rainey Henderson
  Brice H. Hughes
  Amour J. Hunt
  Andrew H. Kilian
  Charles LeMay
  John Little
  John Mangan
  William L. Martin
  Owen McCarty
  Francis "Frank" E. McCalla
  David M. McGill
  William L. McGill
  Joseph M. Mincy
  Albert G. Mitchell
  Jasper F. Moore
  William A. Moore
  Lemuel Murdaugh
  John T. Murdaugh
  William H. Nail
  Alexander H. Nutall
  James O'Neill
  George J. Patton
  James K. Polk
  Issac "Ike" Potts
  Marcus Potts
  John Queen
  Thomas L. Robinson
  Levi B. Rodgers
  LaFayette D. Settle
  John Talmage Settle
  Edward R. Sharp
  George W. Small, Ensign
  John E. Small
  Alexander "Zach" Smith
  Byrd H. Smith
  John T. Smith
  John W. Smith
  Authur E. Stokes
  William Garrett Thompson
  William D. Turner
  William F. Turner
  William H. Walker
  David S. Wardlow
  James M. Wardlow
  Rev. James W. Wells,
  Volunteer Unit Chaplin
  Young W. Wheeler
  George A. Whitmore
  Joseph H. Wilkins
  Benjamin F. Williams
  John B. Wilson
  Archibald "Archie" Wright
  Dr. Alexander A. Young
  Charles L. Young

A total of 4 officers & 81 enlisted men

SOURCE MATERIAL,

  Civil War Record Group No. 9 Vol. 5 - DA & H

  COMPILED SERVICE RECORDS - Miss. Confederate Soldiers - DA & H

  CONFEDERATE VETERAN MAGAZINE Sept. 1909 & Sept. 1915 - Library

  CORINTH HERALD, 1903 Special Edition - Library

  "Military History of Miss." OFFICIAL & STATISTICAL REGISTER-1909- DA & H

  Minute Book of Tishomingo County Police Board - March 1862 - Courthouse

  RECOLLECTION OF THOS. D. DUNCAN by T. D. Duncan - Library

  SOURCE MATERIAL FOR MISS. HISTORY, Vol. II, Part II - DA & H

  SUB-SOILER & DEMOCRAT June 15, 1894 - Courthouse


APPOMATTOX

  The last gun was fired, the last roll called,
  Half starved, half naked, grim, gaunt, unappalled,
  Stained with blood and powder, the old army stood.
  "I have done, my brave soldiers, all things for your good."

  Thus spoke their great leader, deep grief in his face;
    while a halo of glory illumined the place.
  Some trailed their muskets, and some sheathed their swords.
  They had smiled at Grant's cannon,
  They wept at Lee's words.



HISTCW3



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