3rd (Brown’s or Clack’s) Tennessee Infantry Regiment

Records filed as 3rd (Clack’s) Tennessee Infantry Regiment.

Organized May 16, 1861 at Lynnville, Giles County; mustered into Confederate service at Camp Trousdale, August 7, 1861; reorganized September 26, 1862; merged into 4th Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment April 9, 1865; paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina, May 1, 1865.


  • Colonels-John C. Brown, Calvin H. Walker, Calvin J. Clack.
  •  Lieutenant Colonels-Thomas M. Gordon, Calvin J. Clack.
  • Majors-Nathaniel F. Cheairs, Thomas M. Tucker, Flavel C. Barber, George W. Jones.

The companies had three different sets of letters: one when first organized in state service; a second when accepted into Confederate service; and a third when the regiment was reorganized. The company letters shown first are those used after the reorganization in September, 1862.


  • Flavel C. Barber, Thomas E. McCoy, Co. “A”. Originally “C” then “K”. Men from Giles County.
  • Thomas M. Gordon, Ephraim H. F. Gordon, Robert A. Mitchell, Co. “B”. Originally “G”, then “B”. Men from Giles County.
  • Samuel L. Tarrent, Robert T. Cooper, James A. Doyle, Co. “C”. Originally “K”, then “H”. Men from Lewis and Hickman Counties. Daniel F. Wade, Walter S. Jennings, Co. “D”. Originally “B”, then “C”. “The Bigby Grays,” from Maury County.
  • George W. Jones, Co. “E”. Originally “H”, then “F”. Men from Maury County. N. F. Cheairs, H.P. Pointer, R. B. McCormick, Co. “F”. Originally “F”, then “E”. Men from Maury and Williamson Counties.
  • John C. Brown, Calvin J. Clack, David Rhea, Co. “G”. Originally “A”, then “A”. Men from Giles County. Calvin H. Walker, James S. Walker, Co. “H”. Originally “E”, then “G”. Men from Cornersville, then Giles, now Marshall County.
  • William Peaton, David G. Alexander, Co. “I”. Originally “I”, then “D”. Men from Giles County.
  • Benjamin F. Matthews, Co. “K”. Originally “D”, then “I”. Men from Lawrence County.

Of the field officers, Colonel John C. Brown was appointed brigadier general August 30, 1862, major general August 4, 1864. Colonel C. H. Walker was killed near Marietta, Georgia; Colonel Calvin J. Clack was killed at Jonesboro, Georgia; Major Thomas F. Tucker was killed at Chickasaw Bayou; and Major F. C. Barber was killed at Resaca, Georgia.

The regiment went into camp at Camp Cheatham, near Springfield, Tennessee, where a report dated July 31 showed 885 men present, armed with percussion muskets. The report stated there was much sickness, especially measles. From Camp Cheatham, it moved to Camp Trousdale, where it was accepted into Confederate service, and from there to Bowling Green, Kentucky. Here Colonel Brown was given command of a brigade composed of the 3rd, 18th, and 23rd Tennessee Infantry Regiments, in Brigadier General Simon Bolivar Buckner’s Division.

From Bowling Green the regiment moved to Fort Donelson, where it arrived on February 8, with 750 men present. The 32nd Tennessee Infantry replaced the 23rd as a member of the brigade. In the fighting around Fort Donelson the regiment suffered 73 casualties. After the surrender on February 16, the regiment was sent to prison at Camp Douglas, Illinois; was paroled at Vicksburg, Mississippi September 23, 1862 and immediately reorganized with 607 men present. Calvin H. Walker became colonel of the reorganized regiment, which was declared exchanged on November 10, 1862, and placed in Brigadier General John Gregg’s Brigade, together with the 10th, 30th, 41st and 50th Tennessee Regiments and 1st (Colms’) Tennessee Infantry Battalion. This brigade was a part of the forces commanded by Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton at Vicksburg, Mississippi.

The brigade took part in the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou, December 27-29, 1862, where the 3rd and 30th Tennessee operated together as a field unit. The brigade then moved to Port Hudson, Louisiana, in the Department of Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana, commanded by Major General Franklin Gardner, While here, the 3rd, 10th and 30th Tennessee Regiments served in a temporary brigade under Colonel Randall W. MacGavock, and the 9th Louisiana Battalion, the 14th Mississippi and the 7th Texas Infantry Regiments were added to the brigade.

The brigade moved back to Jackson, Mississippi, on May 11, just in time to take part in the Battle of Raymond, Mississippi the following day. In this engagement, the regiment suffered 187 casualties out of 548 engaged.

The regiment was in General Joseph E. Johnston’s army in the campaigns operating to relieve Vicksburg until the surrender of that city on July 4, 1863, and then manned the rifle pits at Jackson, Mississippi, from the 9th to the 16th of July. In the operations around Jackson, the regiment numbered only 366 men, and suffered 22 casualties.

On July 16, Gregg’s Brigade was transferred to General Bragg’s Army of Tennessee, where it was placed in Lieutenant General D. H. Hilrs Corps, Brigadier General Bushrod R. Johnson’s Division. The brigade at this time consisted of the 3rd, lOth, 30th, 41st, and 50th Tennessee Infantry Regiments, the 1st (Colms’) Tennessee Infantry Battalion, and the 7th Texas Infantry Regiment. In the Battle of Chickamauga, September 19 and 20, the brigade had in action 1425 men and lost 652 men in casualties. The 3rd had in action 274 men, but no report of casualties for the regiment was found. Colonel Walker and Lieutenant Colonel Clack were given special commendation.

After Chickamauga the brigade was transferred to Major General William H. T. Walker’s Division, but on November 12, 1863, the brigade was broken up by order of General Bragg, and the 3rd, along with the 10th and 30th Regiments and Coims’ 1st Battalion were placed in Major General John C. Breckinridge’s Division, William B. Bate’s Brigade. At Missionary Ridge, November 25, 1863 the regiment had 195 engaged, suffering four casualties.

On December 10, 1863, the regiment was transferred to Brigadier General John C. Brown’s Brigade, in Major General Carter L. Stevenson’s Division. This brigade consisted of the 3rd, 18th, 26th, 32nd, 45th Infantry Regiments, and 23rd Tennessee Infantry Battalion. On December 14, a report showed 271 present out of 615 present and absent. It continued in this brigade throughout the retreat to Atlanta, and the constant battles and skirmishes involved, and the return to Tennessee after General John B. Hood succeeded to the command of the Army.

On November 18, 1864, Brown’s and Reynolds’ Brigades were consolidated under the command of Colonel Joseph B. Palmer, still in Stevenson’s Division. Stevenson reported that on November 27, 1864 the 18th and 3rd, consolidated under the command of Lieutenant Colonel W. R. Butler, occupied Columbia, Tennessee, and then followed Hood’s main army to Franklin, arriving just about dark, too late to participate in the battle on November 30. When the army moved on to Nashville, Palmer’s Brigade was detached to join Major General N. B. Forrest near Murfreesboro, and did not participate in the Battle of Nashville December 15 and 16. A field return dated December 21, 1864 showed the 3rd and 18th consolidated with a total present of 17, plus three colored servants.

The remnant of the regiment went with Palmer’s Brigade to North Carolina to join General Joseph E. Johnston. On January 19, 1865, Palmer’s Brigade reported total effective 2331 men. The 3rd, 18th, 23rd, 26th, 32nd, and 45th Tennessee Infantry Regiments combined had a total effective of 306. In addition to these Tennessee Regiments the brigade now had the 5th, 8th, and 60th North Carolina, and the 54th Virginia Infantry Regiments.

The Tennessee regiments in Palmer’s Brigade became a part of the 4th Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment in the final reorganization of Johnston’s Army, with Colonel Anderson Searcy commanding. As such, it was surrendered April 26, 1865, 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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