30th Tennessee Infantry Regiment

Organized October 22, 1861; reorganized September 29, 1862; merged into 4th Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment April 9, 1865; paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina, May 1, 1865.


  • Colonels-John W. Head, James J. Turner.
  • Lieutenant Colonels-Robert H. Murphy, James J. Turner.
  • Major-James J. Turner, Bell G. Bidwell.


  • B. G. Bidwell, Edward R. Crockett, Co. “A”. Men from Robertson County.
  • William A. Buntin, 0. P. Taylor, Co. “B”. Men from Robertson County.
  • James L. Carson, Co. “C”. Men from Sumner County.
  • Thomas C. Martin, Theo C. Hibbett, Co. “D”. Men from Sumner County.
  • John H. Turner, T. H. King, Co. “E”. Men from Sumner and Smith Counties.
  • William T. Sample, Co. “F”. Men from Sumner County.
  • Hickerson Barksdale, C. F. Lovell, Co. “G”. Men enrolled at Red Springs, Macon County, October 22, 1861.
  • R. E. Mayes, Charles S. Douglass, Co. “H”. Men from Robertson and Sumner Counties.
  • W. A. Lovell, Co. “I”. Enrolled at Tyree Springs, Sumner County November 22, 1861. Apparently disbanded after the reorganization, and the remnant transferred to Co. “G”. Men from Sumner County.
  • James L. Jones, Co. “K”. Men from Robertson County.

All of these companies were enrolled at Red Springs, Macon County, on October 22, 1861, except Company “D”, which was enrolled at Gallatin, and Company “I” at Tyree Springs. According to Colonel Turner, the regiment numbered about 975 men, rank and file.

Of the original field officers, Colonel Head and Lieutenant Colonel Murphy were not re-elected at the reorganization of the regiment. On October 31, 1861, the regiment was mentioned as being at Camp Zollicoffer, Over-ton County; on November 2, at Gallatin. From here it was ordered to Fort Donelson. A report dated at Dalton, Georgia, March 4, 1864, signed by Lieutenant Colonel James J. Turner, commanding 30th Tennessee Regiment gave the following report of its operation up until that time:

“The regiment was fully organized with 10 companies at Red Springs, Macon County, Tennessee October 22, 1861, and went into camp there. It was ordered to Fort Donelson, and arrived there November 27, 1861. The regiment when there was busily engaged in building quarters, commissaries and quarter-master buildings, roads, fortifications and water batteries. One company was on duty at Fort Henry on its surrender, and the rest of the regiment was marching to its relief when it fell. The regiment was in the four days’ engagement at Fort Donelson, and was surrendered on the morning of the 16th February 1862, and sent immediately to prison. The enlisted men went to Camp Butler, Illinois, the line officers to Camp Chase, and then to Johnson’s Island, Ohio, and the field officers to Camp Warren, Massachusetts. The field officers were exchanged August 3, 1862; the line officers and enlisted men were released the 30th day of September, 1862 at Vicksburg, Mississippi. The companies were reorganized at Jackson, Mississippi, September 29, 1862. General Tilghman ordered the organization. This regiment was reorganized October 4, 1862 by the election of a lieutenant colonel and a major. The regiment was temporarily consolidated with the 3rd Tennessee (Brown’s) and ordered to Holly Springs, Mississippi October 10, 1862, and was in a number of engagements in North Mississippi till it reached Grenada, Mississippi December 1, 1862.

It left there for Vicksburg December 25, and remained there till January 8, 1863, when it was ordered to Port Hudson, Louisiana, where it remained until May 2, 1863, when it was ordered to Jackson, Mississippi, which it reached May 9, and was ordered May 11 to go in the direction of Grand Gulf to meet the advance of the enemy. We fell back from Raymond to Jackson on the 13th of May and arrived at Jackson, Mississippi, May 14, and reached Canton, Mississippi May 22. Left there for Yazoo City June 1, and left there for Big Black River June 12, near Vicksburg, and retreated from there to Jackson, Mississippi July 4, 1863, and from Jackson to Morton’s Station July 19, 1863. From there to Enterprise, Mississippi August 1, 1863. On the 7th of September it was ordered to General Bragg’s Army near Ringgold, Georgia.

“The regiment has been brigaded as follows: while at Fort Donelson was in the brigade of General Tilghman, and at the reorganization in the brigade commanded by Colonel Head. After the regiment was reorganized it was placed in Colonel Heiman’s Brigade, remained there until November 1, 1862, when Brigadier General John Gregg, of Texas, was ordered to its command, and remained thus till the breaking up of his brigade March 16, 1863, when it was ordered to Bate’s Brigade where it still remains. The consolidation of the 3rd and 30th Tennessee was broken up July, 1863, and it was consolidated with the l0th Tennessee Regiment. The regiment at the time of the reorganization had an aggregate number of 350, and has received some 65 recruits since that time, and about fifty of that number have been discharged as nonscript and for disability.

“The command has been in the following engagements: first, Fort Donelson, where it had 12 killed and mortally wounded, and 11 wounded. Second, while acting as rear guard in Van Dom’s Army while retreating through North Mississippi it was attacked by the enemy cavalry, and had five men severely wounded near Springdale on the Mississippi Central Railroad. Third, at Chickasaw Bayou near Vicksburg on December 29, 1862, a division of the enemy 5000 strong attacked the 3rd and 30th Tennessee Regiments and were severely repulsed three times, and driven off by a charge. The enemy loss, 400 prisoners and 300 killed or wounded, 1500 stand of arms, and five stand of colors, three of which were captured by the 30th. On the 3rd of January 1863 ****** aboard of their transports and captured a considerable quantity of commissary and quartermaster stores. The regiment lost but two killed and three wounded. The fight (was) without a parallel in the history of the war. Fourth, on the 12th March, 1863 at Port Hudson, Louisiana lost one killed, five wounded, while resisting the batteries against the combined efforts of the assault. On the 14th of May, Gregg’s Brigade with light artillery attacked McPherson’s Corps of 13000 and drove back the 1st Division with great loss, and kept fighting the Corps all day, then ordered to Jackson, Mississippi. The loss of the regiment was 11 killed, 13 wounded, one prisoner. In the eight day siege of Jackson, Mississippi ***** * the regiment had three men wounded, and lost 11 prisoners (illegible) of 187 and loss 32 killed and mortally wounded, 66 wounded, and 30 prisoners lost, and at Missionary Ridge the loss was 10 wounded, 17 prisoners besides six of the wounded. The regimental and company books and papers have all been lost twice, first at Donelson, secondly at Jackson, Mississippi, May 16, 1863.”

To this report can be added the following comments and information: in the early days at Fort Donelson, the 30th was joined by Colonel Sugg’s 50th Tennessee. In the build up of forces just before the battle, the 30th was placed in Colonel Heiman’s Brigade composed of the 10th, 48th (Voorhies’), 30th, 53rd Tennessee Regiments, 27th Alabama Infantry Regiment, and Maney’s Battery, in Brigadier General Gideon I. Pillow’s Division. Later, Head’s Brigade, the 30th, 49th and Soth Tennessee Infantry Regiments formed the garrison for the fort, and Companies “A” and “B” of the 30th were assigned to man the water batteries which drove off the Federal gunboats. Colonel Head escaped, instead of surrendering with his troops, Lieutenant Colonel Murphy was sick, and this left Major Turner in command of the 30th. Head reported 450 men fit for duty at Fort Donelson. March 19, 1862, a report from a Federal Military Board reported that 651 men from the 30th Tennessee, confined at Camp Butler, desired to take the Oath of Allegiance to the Federal Government. Many of them must have done so, which would account for the depleted state of the regiment at the reorganization.

At the reorganization in Mississippi Major Turner was elected lieutenant colonel, and Captain B. G. Bidwell major. Turner, later commissioned colonel, remained in command of the regiment until the Battle of Jonesboro, where he was wounded and disabled.

Brigadier General John Gregg’s Brigade was constituted December 27, 1862, by Lieutenant General J. C. Pemberton and composed of the 3rd/30th, 10th/41st, 50th, 51st Tennessee Infantry Regiments and the 1st Tennessee Battalion. However, at the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou on December 29, the 30th was reported in Brigadier General S. D. Lee’s Brigade, composed of the 26th, 28th Louisiana, 3rd, 30th, 80th (later called 62nd) Tennessee, and 42nd Georgia Infantry Regiments. Lee commended the 3rd/30th and 80th Tennessee for distinguished coolness and courage. On January 3, 1863, just after this engagement, the 3rd/30th reported 851 effectives present.

At Chickamauga, September 19-20, 1863, Gregg’s Brigade was in Brigadier General Bushrod Johnson’s Provisional Division. The 30th reported 185 men engaged, and this was evidently the battle in Turner’s report which was illegible, where the 30th suffered so heavily

November 12, 1863, is the date given in the Official Records for the breakup of Gregg’s Brigade, and the 30th was placed in Brigadier General William B. Bate’s Brigade of Breckinridge’s Division. The brigade was composed of the 4th Georgia Sharpshooter Battalion, 37th Georgia, 10th, l5th/37th, 20th, 30th Tennessee Infantry Regiments and the 1st Tennessee Battalion. Subsequently the brigade was known as Tyler’s Brigade, of Bate’s Division. On September 30, 1864, commanded by Brigadier General T. B. Smith, the brigade consisted of the same units, plus the addition of the 2nd Confederate Infantry Regiment.

As part of this brigade, the regiment participated in the daily fighting from Resaca to Atlanta to Jonesboro, Georgia, and the return to Tennessee under General Hood, including the Battles of Franklin and Nashville. On December 13, 1864, just before the Battle of Nashville, the brigade was composed of the 4th Georgia Battalion, 37th Georgia, 2nd Confederate, 10th/20th/37th Tennessee, and the 30th Tennessee Infantry Regiments. In the Battle of Nashville December 15, 1864, the 2nd/10th/15th/20th/30th/37th Tennessee Regiments constituted Colonel Shy’s command in the struggle at Shy’s Hill. After Shy’s death, Major Lucas took command.

At the Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina in March, 1865, the brigade formed part of Bate’s Division, and on March 31, 1865 was reported under the command of Captain H. Rice, with the same units, but the 2nd/20th/ 30th/37th consolidated into one unit under Captain John W. Grayson. In the final re reorganization of General Joseph E. Johnston’s Army April 9, 1865, the 30th formed part of the 4th Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment, commanded by Colonel Anderson Searcy, composed of 2nd/3rd/10th/15th/18th/ 20th/26th/30th/32nd/37th/45th Tennessee Infantry Regiments and the 23rd Tennessee Infantry Battalion. As such, it was paroled at Greensboro, 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.

Comments are closed.