16th Tennessee Infantry Regiment

Organized June 1861; reorganized May 1862; formed Companies “F” and “K”, 1st Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment April 9, 1865; paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina May 1, 1865.


  • Colonels–John H. Savage, David M. Donnell.
  • Lieutenant Colonels–Thomas B. Murray, David M. Donnell, Daniel T. Brown.
  • Majors–Joseph Goodbar, P.H. Coffee, Henry H. Faulkner, Ben Randals.

Most of the company letters were changed when the regiment was reorganized in 1862. In the list below, the letters used after the reorganization are shown, with the prior numbers indicated.


  • L.N. Savage, Gid L. Talley, Co.”A”. Men from Smithville, DeKalb County.
  • C.C. Brewer, J.H.L. Duncan, E.W. Walker, Co. “B”, formerly “E”. Men from Manchester, Coffee County. Some from Grundy County.
  • David M. Donnell, D.C. Spurlock, J.L. Thompson, Co. “C”, formerly “E”. Men from Warren County.
  • P.H. Coffee, John G. Lambuth, F.M. York, Co. “D”. Men from Warren County. A number of men from this company later enlisted in Co. “I”, 4th (Starnes’) Cavalry.
  • Thomas B. Murray, J.J. Womack, J.K.P. Webb, Co. “E”, formerly “H”. Men from Warren County.
  • H.H. Dillard, John B. Vance, W.W. Baldwin, F.M. Amonet, Co. “F”, formerly “K”. “The Highlanders”. Men from Putnam County.
  • P.C. Shields, A.T. Fisher, Adrian Fiske, Co. “G”, formerly “B”. Men from White and DeKalb Counties.
  • L.H. Meadows, W.G. Etter, James M. Parks, Co. “H”, formerly “G”. Men from Irving College, Warren County.
  • Harman York, Ben Randals, James Worthington, Co. “I”. Men from Van Buren County.
  • Daniel T. Brown, William D. Turlington,, Co. “K”, formerly “C”. Men from Sparta, White County.

Of the field officers, Colonel Savage resigned in February 1863. Lieutenant Colonel Murray was not re-elected, and later became major of the 22nd Tennessee Infantry Sharpshooter Battalion. Major Goodbar was not re-elected, and Major Coffee resigned in April, 1863.

The 10 companies comprising the regiment had been organized in May and June, 1861. They assembled at Camp Harris, where the regiment was organized and mustered into Confederate service. The regiment moved from Camp Harris to Camp Trousdale where the 8th Tennessee Infantry Regiment was already stationed. Here began an association which was to last throughout the war, for from this time forth, the 8th and 16th Tennessee Infantry Regiments were always in the same brigade, under various brigade commanders, and with various other regiments. For details of the brigade assignments, and brigade components, see the history of the 8th Tennessee Infantry Regiment. At Camp Trousdale, the 16th Regiment was reported with 952 men armed with flintlock muskets.

The following account of the movement of the regiment during the early part of the war is taken from the reports of Captain C. C. Brewer, of Company “B”: “This company left Manchester May 21, 1861, to Camp Harris May 22, mustered May 23, left May 26, arriving at Camp Trousdale May 27. Left July 22 for Virginia, via Gallatin, Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, to Bristol. Thence via Abingdon and Lynchburg to Huntersville, Virginia, arriving August 8, 1861, where the regiment was assigned to the brigade of the Brigadier General Daniel S. Donelson. The march from Hillsboro, Virginia, to Huntersville was on foot for forty miles.

The balance of the trip was by rail.

“Left Huntersville September 6, arrived at Valley Mountain, General Loring’s headquarters, September 9, a march of 25 miles. September 10, our brigade marched to Stewart’s Run, where we captured 51 men and killed three to five. All pickets next morning opposite enemies (sic) fortifications, and while retreating from our position, and while our regiment was entering a hollow known as Bear Run, our rearguard was attacked by enemy numbering 100 to 200. Here we took 16 prisoners and killed or wounded 19 to 24, only losing one man. After which marched to Valley Mountain, thence to Marlin Bottom, thence to Big Sewell Mountain, arriving September 29, and within one and a half miles of the enemy. On night of October 6, enemy evacuated their positions. Left October 27. The march from Valley Mountain to Big Sewell and back 160 miles.”

The move to Valley Mountain was part of what is generally called the Cheat Mountain Campaign, which ended ingloriously. Brewer’s next report is dated February 28, 1862, at Pocotaligo, South Carolina. Donelson’s Brigade had been ordered to South Carolina in December, 1861, to reinforce Major General John C. Pemberton. No action of consequence took place here and on April 10, General Lee requested Pemberton to send Donelson’s brigade to Corinth, Mississippi. Brewer’s reports take up the story: “Left Grahamsville, South Carolina April 10, 1862, by rail to Charleston, South Carolina, to Augusta, Georgia to Atlanta, to Dalton, back to Atlanta, to Montgomery, Alabama, by steamer to Mobile, Alabama, rail to Corinth, Mississippi, arriving April 26, 1862.” This is a typical example of the circuitous routes by which it was necessary to move troops.

A report from Company “E” takes up the story: “Our regiment had a heavy skirmish north of Corinth May 28, 1862. On May 29, we marched all night, and late into the morning. In the evening of June 1, we resumed our March, marching all night, and all next day, in almost famishing condition, without making any halt. Arrived Tupelo, after some temporary stops, June 10, much worn and fatigued, after march of fifty miles.”

From Tupelo, the regiment moved to Chattanooga, where the report from Company “E” continues: “Left Chattanooga September, 1862 into Kentucky via Gainsboro, Tennessee. Captured 5000 men at Munfordsville, Kentucky. Then to Perryville, where we fought a battle. Retreated from Kentucky through Cumberland Gap to Knoxville, to Chattanooga, to Tullahoma, to Murfreesboro, fought battle of Murfreesboro, to Shelbyville where now stationed December 31, 1862.”

Thus laconically, the report dismisses the Battles of Perryville, October 8, 1862, where the regiment suffered extremely heavy losses. At Perryville the 16th suffered 199 casualties. At Murfreesboro, out of a total 402 engaged, they had 207 casualties. After the Battle of Murfreesboro, Colonel Savage resigned and D.M. Donnell became colonel. Daniel T. Brown became lieutenant colonel and H.H. Faulkner major, to replace P.H. Coffee, who resigned because of ill health.

The regiment spent the winter and spring of 1862 around Tullahoma and Shelbyville, leaving Tullahoma July 1, 1863 and arriving Chattanooga July 7. It was stationed in the vicinity of Chattanooga until the Battles if Chickamunga and Missionary Ridge. At Chickamunga the brigade had 487 casualties, of which 68 were from the 16th Regiment. At Missionary Ridge the 16th reported nine casualties. On December 14, 1863, the regiment reported 157 effectives out of 212 present.

After these battles the regiment remained in winter quarters at Dalton, Georgia, except for one brief expedition in February in which it was part of a force started to reinforce General Leonidas Polk in Mississippi, but which was recalled upon reaching Demopolis, Alabama.

No company or regimental reports were round after April 1864, but the regiment shared the fate of the Army of Tennessee from the resumption of hostilities in May 1864, through the Battle of Bentonville, in North Carolina in March 1865. On December 10, 1864, after the Battle of Franklin, the 8th, 16th and 28th Tennessee Infantry Regiments were consolidated into one field organization under the command of Colonel John H. Anderson of the 8th Tennessee. In the final reorganization of General Joseph E. Johnston’s Army, the 16th formed Companies “F” and “K” of the First Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment, commanded by Colonel Hume R. Feild, with Lieutenant Colonel Oliver A. Bradshaw, which was composed of the 1st (Field’s), 6th, 8th, 9th, 16th, 27th, 28th, and 34th Tennessee Infantry Regiments, plus the 24th Tennessee Sharpshooter Battalion. This regiment was surrendered by Johnston, and paroled May 1, 1865 at Greensboro, North Carolina.

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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