33rd Tennessee Infantry Regiment

Organized October 18, 1861; reorganized May 8, 1862; merged into 3rd Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment April 9, 1865; paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina, May 1, 1865.


  • Colonels-Alex W. Campbell, Jones, Robert N. Payne
  • Lieutenant Colonels-Warner P. Jones, Henry C. McNeill
  • Majors-Henry C. McNeill, Robert N. Payne


  • Ellison S. Howard, W. C. Fleming, Henry W. Hickman, Co. “A”. Men from Obion County.
  • Thomas Lacy, Co. “B”. Men from Madison County, some from Hardeman.
  • Frank W. Marberry, Co. “C”. Men from Calloway County, Kentucky.
  • Wade H. Frost, James R. Scott, Co. “D”. “The Forest Rovers.” Men from Ohion County
  • T. R. Hutcherson (or Hutchinson) (or Hutchison), John W. Walker, Co. “E”. Men from Obion County.
  • John Bedford, R. F. Morris, W. B. Jones, W. H. Adams, Co. “F”. Men from Obion County.
  • Warner P. Jones, James F. Carpenter, Bennett H. Smith, Eugene R. Morerod, Co. “G”. Men from Lake County.
  • T. O. Kiligore, W. R. McWherter, T. L. Killebrew, Co. “H”. Men from Weakley County.
  • James M. Wilson, W. E. Caidwell, Co. “I”. Men from Obion County.
  • James M. Bradford, Co. “K”. Men from Obion County.

Of the field officers, Colonel Campbell was not re-elected at the reorganization. Colonel Jones was killed June 30, 1864; Lieutenant Colonel McNeill was killed July 22, 1864.

On October 18, 1861, the date given for the organization of the regiment at Union City, only six of the companies, “A”, “C”, “D”, “E”, “F” and “H” had been mustered. The muster rolls of the other companies were dated as follows: Company “B”, October 29; Company “I”, December 5; Company “K”, November 28, 1861.

Filed with the personnel records of this regiment was found a Federal Prisoner of War record on Lysander Adams, Colonel 33rd Tennessee Infantry Regiment. In his personal papers, Lysander Adams stated that he was “appointed” colonel by General Leonidas Polk in the summer of 1861 to raise a regiment, and that he was instrumental in raising this regiment, but was not elected colonel of the regiment at the election of officers.

Colonel Campbell, in his account in Lindsley’s Annals, stated that the archives of the first and second years operations of the regiment were lost in 1863. He stated that the regiment remained in Camp of Instruction near Union City until January, 1862, when it moved to Columbus, Kentucky; that only a few of the companies were partially armed, mostly with shotguns and hunting rifles, and that the regiment was not completely armed until a few weeks before the Battle of Shiloh, when they obtained some flint and steel muskets as a loan. This is borne out by a letter from General Leonidas Polk to General A. S. Johnston at Bowling Green, Kentucky, dated December 30, 1861, which stated “I ordered Colonel Campbell’s Regiment to go forward, but find he is very deficient in arms, and am waiting a day or two to see if he can be supplied.” In the order of battle for Polk’s Army at Columbus, Kentucky in January 1862, the 33rd was reported in the 2nd Division, along with the 13th Arkansas, 7th Kentucky, 13th Louisiana, 44th Mississippi, and the 6th, 9th, and 154th Senior Tennessee Infantry Regiments.

On March 9, 1862, the regiment was reported in Polk’s Army of Mississippi, Colonel J. C. Tappan’s Brigade, composed of the 13th Arkansas, 13th Louisiana, 33rd Tennessee Infantry Regiments and Stanford’s Mississippi Battery. At the Battle of Shiloh, April 6-7, 1862, the regiment was in Brigadier General Charles Clark’s Division, Brigadier General Alexander P. Stewart’s Brigade, composed of the 13th Arkansas, 4th, 5th, and 33rd Tennessee Infantry Regiments and Stanford’s Battery. These three Tennessee regiments remained together throughout the war. In this battle the 33rd and 5th were commended by both General Polk, and General Stewart, for their participation in a charge which led to the capture of Federal General Prentiss. In this charge Colonel Campbell was severely wounded, but retained command. The regiment reported 20 killed, 103 wounded, 17 missing.

At the reorganization of the regiment in May, 1862, Warner P. Jones became colonel; H. C. McNeill lieutenant colonel; and R. N. Payne major. Colonel Jones was killed June 30, 1864, and Lieutenant Colonel McNeill was killed July 22, 1864. Upon the death of these two senior officers, Major R. N. Payne was promoted to colonel.

On May 26, 1862, the 31st Tennessee Infantry was reported as a member of the brigade, and on July 8, 1862, the brigade was transferred from Clark’s Division to that of Major General Benjamin F. Cheatham, where it remained until October, 1863. At this time the brigade consisted of the 4th, 5th, 24th, 31st, 33rd Tennessee Infantry Regiments and Stanford’s Battery. These regiments continued in the same brigade for the duration.

The regiment moved with the brigade from Corinth, to Tupelo, to Chattanooga, and from there with General Bragg in the invasion of Kentucky, and the Battle of Perryville on October 8, 1862. In this battle the regiment reported 33 casualties. On the retreat from Kentucky, the regiment was stationed at Shelbyville, until the Battle of Murfreesboro, December 31, 1862.

By this time the 19th Tennessee Infantry Regiment Regiment had been added to the brigade as a permanent member, the 4th/5th Regiments were consolidated into one field unit, and the 31st/33rd Tennessee Regiments acted as a unit under the command of Colonel Tansil, of the 31st. The 31st/33rd reported 87 casualties out of 379 engaged.

The regiment went into winter quarters in the vicinity of Shelbyville, and Guy’s Gap, where they remained until the retreat to Chattanooga began around the first of July. By July 31, 1863, Brigadier General Otho F. Strahl had been given command of the brigade, and retained command till his death in the Battle of Franklin November 30, 1864.

The regiment, with the brigade, was engaged in the Battle of Chickamauga, September 19-20, 1863. No separate report of casualties for the 33rd was found, but the brigade reported a loss of 250 men. Following the battle, the 33rd moved for a time to Sweetwater, but returned in time for the Battle of Missionary Ridge on November 25, 1863.

Prior to this, on October 31, 1863 the brigade was transferred to Breckinridge’s Corps, Stewart’s Division, with Lieutenant Colonel McNeill commanding the 33rd. In the Battle of Missionary Ridge, the regiment reported 24 casualties, and on December 14, 1863, reported an effective strength of only 90 men out of a total of 124 present.

In January 1864, the regiment, with the brigade was reported in Major General Thomas C. Hindman’s Corps, but on February 20, 1864, the brigade was returned to Hardee’s Corps, Cheatham’s Division. The regiment spent the winter near Dalton, Georgia, and with the brigade participated in the Atlanta Campaign, during which Colonel Jones and Lieutenant Colonel McNeill were killed, although no separate reports of regimental activities were found. Then, with General Hood, it returned to Tennessee, and the Battles of Franklin and Nashville.

On December 10, 1864, just after the Battle of Franklin, the brigade was reported commanded by Colonel A. J. Kellar, with the 4th/5th/3lst/33rd/38th Tennessee Regiments consolidated into one unit under Lieutenant Colonel Luke W. Finlay, and 19th/24th/41st Tennessee Regiments another unit under Captain D. A. Kennedy. There followed the move to North Carolina to join General Joseph E. Johnston, where at Smithfield, North Carolina on March 31, 1865, the brigade was reported with the same organization except that Colonel C. W. Heiskell was in command of the 19th/24th/41st Regiments.

On April 9, 1865, the 4th/5th/19th/24th/ 31st/35th/38th/41st Tennessee Infantry Regiments formed the 3rd Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment, commanded by Colonel James D. Tillman, 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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