The 15th Mississippi fought courageously at Franklin and suffered horrendous casualties

The 15th Mississippi was part of Gen Adams’ Brigade. This map shows the advance of Adams’ men on November 30, 1864 against the far left flank of the Union men defended by Casement and Stiles’ Brigades.

Defense of the Eastern Union flank at Franklin

The assault of the Confederate men under Gen. Loring (Scott, Featherston and Adams) was extremely brutal and punishing for the Confederates. Besides the strategic positions maintained by Casement and Stiles against the railroad track, the 1st & 6th Ohio Battery guns were placed on a small hill behind Reilly’s Brigades and had a field-day pummeling the Loring men with grape and cannister. Many boys from Mississippi and Alabama lost their lives that evening and are now buried at McGavock Cemetery.

The following boys from the 15th Mississippi (Adams’ Brigade) are identified as buried in McGavock Confederate Cemetery according to Jacobson.

Section 22

#1 Col. Michael Farrell

The final man bearing the flag of the 15th Mississippi was shot as he reached the top of the Yankee parapet and then pulled inside. Both he and the flag were captured. Lt. Thaddeus O. Donoghue of the 14th Mississippi was killed near the guns of the 6th Ohio Battery. Col. Michael Farrell of the 15th Mississippi was horribly wounded in both legs and lost his left to amputation. Farrell, a popular officer, did not have a single living relative nor did he have any money or own any property before enlisting. Those who knew him admired him and said he fought for ‘principle and constitutional liberty.’ Col. Farrell’s injuries eventually led to his death on Christmas Day.
For Cause and for Country, Jacobson, p. 362.

Section 28

#105 Charles R. Hemphill Company I | View marker

#107 Sgt. Elias P. Keeton Company K | View marker

#108 Elisha N. McGuire Company K | View marker

#109 Edward K. Harper Company G | View marker

#111 Lt. John L. Greenhaw Company G | View marker

#112 Lt. Thomas W. Allen Company E | View marker

#113 Captain James T. Smith Company E | View marker

Section 39

#270 Theodore A. Shillinger Company F | View marker

Section 41

#291 Cpl. Joseph H. Reese Company F | View marker

#300 William M. Lott Company E | View marker
(see Jacobson, For Cause and Country, p. 361)

Section 46

#370 Sgt. James P. Campbell Company H | View marker

Section 47

#377 John C. Williams Company C | View marker

#378 Benjamin C. Gregory Company I | View marker

The Mississippi section at McGavock Confederate Cemetery

Miscellaneous info on the 15th Mississippi

“Crossing the river November 20, they marched with Stewart’s Corps to Columbia and on November 29, joined in the flank movement to Spring Hill. Following closely upon the Federal retreat from Columbia to Spring Hill, they were heroic participants in the bloody assault of the evening of November 30. general Adams was killed while leading his men against the second line of works, his horse falling across the parapet. Col. Robert Lowry, who succeeded to brigade command, reported that the flag of the fifteenth regiment was lost, four men having been shot down in bearing it forward to the works. Colonel Farrell, a brilliant officer, was mortally wounded, and Lieut.-Col. Binford took command of the regiment. Lieutenants Young and Allen were killed; Lieuts. Shuler, Irish, Campell, Hale, Tribble, wounded. The casualties of the brigade were 44 killed, 271 wounded, 23 missing. The effective strength of the brigade after the advance to Nashville was a little over 1,000, including six regiments. The position of Stewart’s Corps in front of Nashville was distinguished for steadiness in forming a new line to check the enemy and on the next day they repelled all assaults until the line broke over their left. In the last days of December they recrossed the Tennessee River and early in January the corps went into camp near Tupelo.”

Recommended Read

Ben Wynne (Ph.D., 2000)
A Hard Trip: A History of the 15th Mississippi Infantry, CSA
(Mercer University Press, 2002)

The history of the 15th Mississippi Infantry in the social context of the western theater of the Civil War. Not strictly a military history, Ben Wynne examines in this book the social components of Confederate service in the context of the experiences of a single regiment. Wynne begins with a general overview of the political climate of the 1850s, localized to the region that produced the 15th Mississippi, then covers the regiment’s movements through the western theater, and ends with a localized treatment of the post-war social climate and the rise of Lost Cause mythology. The emphasis in this insightful and new approach to the Civil War focuses on the experiences of the men who served in the regiment, including their intrinsic connection to their communities, reasons that they enlisted, reactions to their first combat, views on conscription, accounts of major battles in the western theater, the ebb and flow of morale, desertion, and the post-war status of the men as heroes in a culture struggling to rationalize defeat.

Using first person accounts from letters, diaries, memoirs, and other primary materials, the book sets the 15th Mississippi in a personal context. The narrative is chronologically arranged by the events of the western theater of the Civil War. Emphasizing the real war and not a romanticized version, the story of this unique regiment follows a group of men who entered the war with visions of glory and honor but within one year came to recognize the true nature of the conflict.

Ben Wynne is an Assistant Professor of History at Gainesville State College.

Web links

Company A – Long Creek Rifles – site

Company K – Choctaw Grays – site


  1. Where Lt. Donoghue of the 14th Mississippi was killed has always intrigued me. It said he died near the guns of the 6th Ohio Battery, but there were two guns from the battery right on Lewisburg Pike and two near the Carter cotton gin. So it is unclear whether Donogue fell close to where the bulk of Adams’ Brigade struck or some distance to the west.

  2. It’s stunning to first walk into McGavock cemetery and realize how much of the entire is made up of just Mississippi boys, some 424 at least.

  3. My great grandfather was a volunteer in the 15th MS Inf.
    (Co. A – the Long Creek Rifles)
    He was enrolled from the first day until captured and parolled at the fall of Vicksburg , on July 4th ,1863
    After that I think he just went home . After Shiloh and Corinth, Baton Rouge and Jackson , Champion Hill and Vicksburg ….
    I don’t blame him one bit. He lies in a little homeplace plot , not in far away McGavock ,like a lot of his mess mates .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s