15th Tennessee Infantry Regiment

Organized June 7, 1861; Confederate service August 1861; reorganized May, 1862; field consolidation with 37th Tennessee Infantry Regiment June 6, 1863; formed Co. “A” 4th Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment April 9, 1865; paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina May 1, 1865.


  • Colonels-Charles M. Carroll, R. C. Tyler.
  • Lieutenant Colonels-James H. Taylor, R. C. Tyler, Thorndike Brooks.
  • Majors-John W. Hambleton, John F. Hearn, John M. Wall.


  • B. G. Ezzell, Co. “A”. Men from McKenzie, Weakley County. This company disbanded May 1, 1862, and men transferred to Companies “E” and “G”.
  • A. C. Ketchum, Jones Genette, Co. “B”. Men from Memphis.
  • Frank Rice, J. W. Rogan, Henry Rice, Co. C”. “The Montgomery Guards.” Men from Memphis.
  • C. A. Rose, John F. Hearn, Mathew Dwyer, Co. “D”. Men from Madison County.
  • W. B. Isler, R. A. Lewis, R. B. Donaldson, Co. “E”. “The Madrid Bend Guards.” Men from Lake County.
  • John F. Cameron, William F. Bourne, 1st Co. “F”. “The Young Guard.” Men from Memphis, detached June, 1861 and became Co. “B”, 18th (Marmaduke’s) Arkansas Infantry, subsequently 3rd Confederate Infantry Regiment.
  • E. McCleary (state service only), B. W. Marston, William H. Pipes, 2nd Co. “F”. Men from Memphis, replaced 1st Co. “F” at Union City.
  • Thorndike Brooks, H. B. Cunningham, Co. “G”. Men from Paducah, Kentucky, and Southern Illinois. Organized at Union City, Tennessee.
  • N. Carroll, John Bain, Co. “H”, Men from Shelby County.
  • Nicholas Frech, William Woltering, Max J. Rickert, Co. “I”. “The Washington Rifles.” Men from Shelby County.
  • Joseph Kellar, Co. “K”. “The Swiss Rifles.” Consolidated with “I”, December, 1862. Men from Memphis.

Of the field officers, Colonel Carroll was not re-elected at the reorganization; Colonel Tyler was promoted to brigadier general February 23, 1864, and killed at West Point, Georgia, April 16, 1865. Lieutenant Colonel Taylor resigned December 26, 1861; Lieutenant Colonel Brooks was placed on detached service. Major Hambleton resigned December 31, 1861, and Major Heam was not re-elected.

According to a sketch by Charles M. Carroll, first colonel of the regiment, this regiment was organized for state service at Jackson, Tennessee on June 7, 1861, with nine companies, one of which, commanded by Edward S. Pickett, a few days later withdrew from the regiment. There is no record of Pickett’s Company in the official records of the 15th Regiment. There is a voucher for transportation, signed by Edward Pickett, Jr., dated June 18, 1861, reading as follows: “I hereby certify that I am in command of the Dixie Grays, and that my company has been called into service by order of the Secretary of War of the Confederate States of America, and that 64 men have this day been transported over the Missouri and Ohio Railroad from Jackson to Union City.” This Ed Pickett, Jr., on July 9, 1861, became colonel of the 21st Tennessee Infantry Regiment, and it may be this is the company referred to by Carroll.

After the organization at Jackson, Tennessee, the regiment moved almost immediately to Camp of Instruction at Union City, Tennessee. While there in June, 1861, Captain John F. Cameron’s Company “F” received permission to withdraw from the regiment, and Companies “E”, 2nd “F”, and “I” were added. These 10 companies comprised the regiment when it was accepted into Confederate service at New Madrid, Missouri, in August, 1861. The regiment was reported at Union City in July, 1861, with 744 men armed with flintlock muskets. In August it moved to New Madrid, Missouri, where it was in Brigadier General Benjamin F. Cheatham’s Brigade, along with Blythe’s Mississippi Battalion, the 5th, 22nd, and 154th Senior Tennessee Infantry Regiments. While at New Madrid, three companies were moved to Island Number Ten, but in September 1861 the regiment was reunited at Columbus, Kentucky, where it remained until March, 1862.

On October 24, 1861 the regiment was reported in Brigadier General Gideon J. Pillow’s Division, Colonel J. Knox Walker’s Brigade, consisting of the 2nd (Walker’s), 13th and 15th Tennessee Infantry Regiments, and Captain M. T. Polk’s Battery. As such it took part in the Battle of Belmont, November 7, 1861, being one of the regiments ferried across the river as reinforcement after the battle had seemed to be going against the Confederates.

In December, 1861, several changes were made in regimental and company officers. R. C. Tyler became lieutenant colonel, to succeed Taylor, who resigned because of ill health; Captain John Hearn became major in place of Hambleton, resigned; Jones Genette, formerly major of 154th Senior Regiment became captain of Company “B”; B. W. Marston captain of Company “F”; John Bain captain of Company “H”; and R. A. Lewis captain of Company “E” in place of Captain Isler, who had died of wounds received in the Battle of Belmont.

On March 9, 1862, the regiment was reported in Colonel Preston Smith’s Brigade, consisting of Blythe’s 44th Mississippi, 2nd (Walker’s), 15th and 154th Tennessee Infantry Regiments, and Polk’s Battery. Columbus was evacuated in March, and the regiment moved to Corinth, Mississippi. At Shiloh, April 6-7, 1862, the regiment was in Cheatham’s Division, Brigadier General Bushrod R. Johnson’s Brigade composed of the same units, with Lieutenant Colonel R. C. Tyler in command of the 15th. Tyler was seriously wounded and Major Hearn took command of the regiment. Official report of casualties was not found, but Carroll stated the loss in killed and wounded was nearly 200 men.

At the reorganization in May, R. C. Tyler was elected colonel; Captain Thorndike Brooks, lieutenant colonel; and John M. Wall major. On May 26, 1862, Brigadier General Daniel S. Donelson was reported in command of the brigade which now consisted of the 2nd (Walker’s), 8th, 15th, 16th, and 154th Tennessee Infantry Regiments and Carnes’ Battery. By June 30, the 2nd and 154th had been transferred, leaving the 8th, 15th, 16th, and 51st Regiments, and Carnes’ Battery. By August 18, the 38th Tennessee Infantry Regiment had been added to the brigade, and these regiments continued together until after the Battle of Perryville, October 8, 1862, where the 15th lost 34 men killed and wounded.

On November 22, 1862, the regiment was still reported in Donelson’s Brigade of Cheat-ham’s Division, but it then disappears from the official records until June, 1863, when it was in Brigadier General William B. Bate’s Brigade at the engagement at Hoover’s Gap June 24-26, 1863.

Field and Staff reports from November, 1862 to April 30, 1863 show the regiment was stationed at Tullahoma, Tennessee, although at least one company was at Murfreesboro December 22, 1862. Company reports are in-complete, but reports for the period May-June, 1863 state the company was on provost duty at Tullahoma until May 15, 1863; at Shoffner’s Bridge to guard artillery, May 15 to June 6; thence to Wartrace to report to Brigadier General Bate. The regiment was not reported as being engaged in the Battle of Murfreesboro.

About June 15, by order of General Bragg, the regiment was consolidated into two companies and attached to the 37th Tennessee Infantry, the consolidated regiment being under the command of Colonel Tyler of the 15th. This was a field consolidation, and separate muster rolls were maintained. An abstract from the return of the Army of Tennessee dated June 10, 1863 stated that Clayton’s and Churchilrs Brigades, with the 15th Tennessee Regiment attached, had been sent to Mississippi. The move must never have been made for on June 24, 1863, at Hoover’s Gap, Bate’s Brigade was reported as consisting of the 15th/37th Tennessee, 20th Tennessee, 9th Alabama, 1st (37th) Georgia Infantry Regiments, Caswell’s Battalion, the Eufaula Battery, and Maney’s Battery.

After the affair at Hoover’s Gap, the regiment began a series of marches and counter-marches, including a skirmish at Beech Grove on June 25, which ended in the withdrawal from Middle Tennessee. Arrived at Tyner Station, near Chattanooga, July 8, 1863. The Field and Staff return for July-August, 1863 shows station at Charleston. A company report states the regiment left Charleston August 31, 1863, and with the whole Corps (Buckner’s) was “marching constantly till September 19-20, when it was engaged at the Battle of Chickamauga.”

At Chickamauga, the regiment was still in Bate’s Brigade, Major General A. P. Stewart’s Division, Major General Simon B. Buckner’s Corps. After Chickamauga, the regiment took station in front of Chattanooga, with Company “B” detached to provost duty with the brigade wagon train from October 10 to November 30.

On November 12, 1863, Bate’s Brigade was transferred from Stewart’s Division to that of Major General John C. Breckinridge. The brigade was composed of 37th Georgia Regiment, 4th Georgia Battalion Sharpshooters, 10th, 15th/37th, 20th, 30th Tennessee Regiments, and 1st Tennessee Infantry Battalion. At Missionary Ridge, November 25, 1863, General Bate was in command of the division, and Colonel Tyler of the brigade, with 15th/37th commanded by Major Wall. The 15th/37th was on the crest of the ridge in this battle, and Colonel Tyler was severely wounded.

The regiment went into winter quarters at Dalton, Georgia, remaining there till the resumption of fighting in May, 1864. In February, 1864, Bate was promoted to major general in command of the division, and Tyler to brigadier general in command of the brigade. Tyler was still incapacitated by wounds, and Tyler’s Brigade was actually commanded by Brigadier General Thomas B. Smith, who was promoted to brigadier general 29 July, 1864. The regiment remained in Tyler’s Brigade until the final reorganization of General Joseph E. Johnston’s Army in North Carolina April 9, 1865, and as part of this brigade participated in the campaigns from Dalton to Atlanta, back to Tennessee and the Battles of Franklin and Nashville, (and thence to North Carolina. In September, .1864, the regiment was consolidated into one company as part of a consolidated regiment commanded by Lieutenant Colonel W. M. Shy, of the 20th Tennessee, composed of the 2nd, 10th, 15th/37th, 20th and 30th Tennessee Regiments. As part of this regiment it was in the Battle of Nashville on the hill now called Shy’s Hill, in honor of Colonel Shy.

On March 31, 1865, Tyler’s Brigade, commanded by Captain H. Rice, was composed of the 4th Georgia Sharpshooters Battalion, 37th Georgia, 2nd/20th/30th/37th and 10th/15th Tennessee Regiments, with the 10th/15th commanded by Lieutenant P. Lavin.

On April 9, 1865, the regiment formed Company C” of the 4th Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment commanded by Colonel Anderson Searcy, consisting of the 2nd, 3rd, 10th, 15th, 18th, 20th, 26th, 30th, 32nd, 37th, 45th Regiments and the 23rd Tennessee Infantry Battalion, which was surrendered and paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina May 1, 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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