13th Tennessee Infantry Regiment

Organized June 4, 1861; Confederate service August 14, 1861; reorganized April 28, 1862; field consolidation with the 154th Senoir Tennessee Infantry Regiment March, 1863; formed Companies “H” and “G” of the 2nd Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment April 9, 1865; paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina.


  • Colonels-John V. Wright, Alfred J. Vaughn, Jr. Robert W. Pitman.
  • Lieutenant Colonels-Alfred J. Vaughn, Jr., William E. Morgan, Robert W. Pitman, Beverly L. Dyer.
  • Majors-W. E. Winfield, William J. Crook, Peter H. Cole, Beverly L. Dyer.

The companies changed company letters when the regiment was accepted into Confederate service. In the list below, the letters used in confederate server are shown, with former letters indicated.


  • W. C. Burton, Thomas H. Arnold,
  • S. R. Brewer, F. H. Carter, Co. “A”, formerly “E”. “The Fayette Rifle Grays.” Men from Fayette County.
  • Joe L. Cranberry, Ben F. Lightle, William G. Mehane, Co. “B”, formerly “B”. “The Macon Grays.” Men from Fayette County.
  • John H. Morgan, E. W. Douglass, W. D. Harrison, Co. “C”, formerly “C”. “The Secession Guards.” Men from Shelby County.
  • John A. Wilkins, S. R. Brewer, Co. “D”, formerly “D”. “The Yorkville Rifles.” Men from Gibson County. Merged with Co. “A” April 6, 1862.
  • Alfred J. Vaughan, Jr., Beverly L. Dyer, John A. Moody, Co. “E”, formerly “F”. “The Dixie Rifles.” Men from Fayette County.
  • John V. Wright, Dew Moore Wisdom, G. W. Churchwell, Co. “F”, formerly “C”. “The Wright Boys.” Men from MeNairy County
  • W. E. Winfleld, C. D. Palmore, R. F. Lanier, Co. “C”, formerly “H”. “The Gaines Invincibles.” Men from Fayette County.
  • Robert W. Pitman, Sylvester A. Munson, Co. “H”, formerly “I”. “The Yancey Riflemen.” Men from Fayette County
  • G. L. Ross, William I. Crook, John R. Purdy, Co. “I”, formerly “A”. “The Forked Deer Volunteers.” Men from Henderson, now Chester County.
  • Samuel L. Latta, Joseph Rucks Hibbitt, Ausburn D. Brown, Co. “K”, formerly “K”. “The Dyer Grays.” Men from Dyer County.
  • C. B. Jones, Richard E. Moody, Co. “L”. “The Zollicoffer Avengers. Men from Hardeman County; joined regiment April 28, 1862.

Of the field officers, Colonel John V. Wright was elected to Congress, and resigned in 1861. Colonel Alfred J. Vaughan, Jr. was promoted to brigadier general on September 22, 1863. Lietitenant Colonel W. E. Morgan died on January 5, 1863. Major W. E. Winfleld was not re-elected at the reorganization, and major Peter H. Cole was killed December 31, 1862 in the Battle of Murfreesboro.

The 13th Infantry was originally composed of 10 companies which assembled at Jackson, Tennessee, where they were mustered into state service. They were organized into the regiment on June 4, 1861. Co. “L” was not attached to the regiment until April 28, 1862.

Immediately after organization, the regiment moved to Randolph, Tennessee, to join what was known as the River Brigade, under Brigadier General John L. T. Sneed, of the Provisional Army of Tennessee. On July 26, 1861, the regiment was ordered to New Madrid, Missouri, where it was accepted into Confederate service, and placed in a brigade with the 154th Senior Tennessee Infantry Regiment, with Colonel J. P. McCown as brigade commander. On September 7, 1861, the regiment was placed in a brigade commanded by Colonel R. M. Russell, consisting of the 12th, 13th and 21st Tennessee Infantry Regiments, and moved to Columbus, Kentucky. On October 24, 1861, the regiment was in Colonel J. Knox Walker’s Brigade, which was composed of the 2nd (Walker’s), 13th and 15th Tennessee Infantry Regiments. The brigade was in Brigadier General Gideon J. Pillow’s Division, and as part of Pillow’s forces, the regiment participated in its first engagement at Belmont, Missouri, on November 7, 1861.

In this battle, the 13th was one of the regiments which crossed the Mississippi River to the Missouri side, and received the first brunt of the Federal attack. The regiment lost 149 men in killed, wounded and captured, of whom 54 were from Co. “A”.

The regiment remained at Columbus, Kentucky, until the fall of Fort Donelson necessitated the evacuation of this point, and the regiment moved via Union City to Corinth, Mississippi, arriving March 29, 1862. Despite this fact, on December 10, 1861, at Dublin, Virginia, Assistant Adjutant General George Deas wrote a note to Adjutant General S. Cooper, which stated “Donelson’s Brigade, 1300 strong, moves to-day for Petersburg. 8th and 13th Tennessee, Floyd’s Brigade, require repose.” This is symptomatic of the confusion which existed in the early days of the war with regard to the numbering of the Tennessee regiments. The 13th was never in the Virginia theatre, Donelson’s Brigade consisted of the 8th and 16th Tennessee Regiments, and the 7th and 14th Tennessee Regiments were at one time in Floyd’s Brigade.

On March 13, 1862, while still at Columbus, Kentucky, the 2nd Tennessee had replaced the 21st in Russelrs Brigade, now shown in Brigadier General J. P. McCown’s Division. At Shiloh, April 6-7, 1862, Russell’s Brigade was in Brigadier General Charles Clark’s Division, and was composed of the 11th Louisiana, 12th, 13th, and 22nd Tennessee Infantry Regiments, and Bankhead’s Battery. In the battle the 13th captured a Federal battery, but sustained 137 casualties.

At the reorganization in April, Vaughan was re-elected colonel, Morgan lieutenant colonel, but Peter H. Cole replaced Winfield as major. By June 30, 1862, the brigade was beginning to assume the form which it maintained throughout the war. The 11th Louisiana had been transferred, the 22nd Tennessee consolidated with the 12th Tennessee, and the 47th and 154th Tennessee Infantry Regiments added to the brigade, which was still in Clark’s Division. About this time Brigadier General Preston Smith, formerly colonel of the 154th Tennessee, assumed command of the brigade, which was in Major General Benjamin F. Cheatham’s Division.

The brigade moved from Corinth to Tupelo, Mississippi, and from there via Mobile, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia, to Chattanooga, to participate in the invasion of Kentucky. On August 10, 1862, the brigade was detached to Knoxville, where it was placed in Brigadier General Patrick R. Cleburne’s Division of Major General E. Kirby Smith’s Army. With General Smith it moved into Kentucky and fought at the Battle of Richmond on August 30, 1862, where it sustained 48 casualties. In this battle Cleburne was wounded, Smith assumed command of the division, and Vaughan of the brigade.

The brigade rejoined Cheatham’s Division of General Bragg’s Army at Harrodsburg, Kentucky, prior to the Battle of Perryville October 8, 1862. However, the regiment was held in reserve at this battle, and was not actively engaged, although it came under artillery fire.

From Perryville, the brigade retreated to Knoxville, thence to Tullahoma, and from there to Murfreesboro, arriving the latter part of November, 1862. Here, the 13th was detached from the brigade for some weeks because of an outbreak of smallpox in its ranks, but rejoined on December 28, in time to take part in the Battle of Murfreesboro, December 31, 1862, where it lost 110 casualties out of 252 engaged. Colonel Vaughan was in command of the brigade, Lieutenant Colonel Morgan, and later Captain R. F. Lanier in command of the regiment, after Morgan and Major Cole were mortally wounded.

After the Battle of Murfreesboro, the brigade went into winter quarters at Shelbyville. General Smith returned to command the brigade, Vaughan was again in command of the regiment, and Captain R. W. Pitman was promoted to major. In March, 1863, the 13th and 154th Regiments were consolidated for field operations into one unit, under the command of Colonel Vaughan, but maintained separate muster rolls. This field consolidation continued until the close of the war.

There followed the retreat to Chattanooga and the Battle of Chickamauga September 19-20, 1863. Here General Smith was killed, and Vaughan, soon to be promoted to brigadier general, again took command of the brigade. The 13th/154th was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel R. W. Pitman. The regiment took 300 prisoners, and the colors of the 77th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment. The list of casualties was not found, but the severity of the fighting is indicated by the report of the ordnance officer that the 13th/154th used 10,338 rounds of ammunition.

After Chickamauga, the brigade was again detached from Cheatham’s Division to that of Major General Thomas C. Hindman, of Lieutenant General James Longstreet’s Corps, and the 13th/154th moved briefly to Sweetwater, but returned in time for the Battle of Missionary Ridge on November 25, 1863. Then came the retreat to Dalton, where on February 20, 1864, the brigade was again placed in Cheatham’s Division where it remained until the end. See the history of the 12th Tennessee Regiment for details as to brigade commanders, and brigade organization from this time on. The l3th/154th remained at Dalton until the resumption of fighting in May, 1864, except for one brief expedition in February to Demopolis, Alabama, and return, when they had started out to reinforce General Leonidas Polk in Mississippi, but were recalled on reaching Demopolis.

From here on the regiment participated in the retreat to Atlanta, the return to Tennessee, and the final journey to join General Joseph E. Johnston at Bentonville, North Carolina. On April 30, 1864, the 13th/154th was commanded by Colonel Michael Magevney, Jr. of the 154th; on December 10, 1864, the Consolidated 13th/51st/52nd/154th was commanded by Major John T. Williamson of the 51st; on March 31, 1865 by Major Marsh M. Patrick of the 154th.

On April 9, 1865 the 11th, 12th, 13th, 29th,47th, 50th, 51st, 52nd, and 154th Tennessee Infantry Regiments formed the 2nd Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment, commanded by Colonel Horace Rice, one of four Tennessee regiments surrendered by General Joseph E. Johnston, and paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina May 2, 1865.

This unit history was extracted from Tennesseans in the Civil War, Vol 1. Copyrighted 1964 by the Civil War Centennial Commission of Tennessee and is published here with their permission. This history may not be republished for any reason without the written permission of the copyright owner.

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