3rd (Vaughn’s) Tennessee Infantry Regiment

Also called 3rd Confederate Infantry; 3rd Tennessee Cavalry Regiment; 3rd Tennessee Mounted Infantry Regiment

Records filed as 3rd (Lillard’s) Tennessee Mounted Infantry Regiment. Organized at Knoxville, Tennessee, May 29, 1861; mustered into Confederate Service June 6, 1861; reorganized May 14, 1862; surrendered at Washington, Georgia, May 9, 1865.


  • Colonels-John C. Vaughn, Newton J. Lillard.
  • Lieutenant Colonels-John I. Reese, Newton J. Lillard, David C. Haskins, Samuel Toole.
  • Majors-George W. Morgan, David C. Haskins, Joseph C. Boyd, William C. Morelock.


  • Luther C. May, George H. Ross, Co. “A”. Men from Knox and Jefferson Counties. tr}
  • William Parker, Albert G. Stephens, John Edgar McElrath, William Mason, Co. “B”. Men from Monroe County.
  • Emmons P. Douglass, John W. Fender, Co. “C”. Men from Polk County.
  • John F. Hannah, David C. Haskins, B. F. Gaddis, Co. “D”. Men from Polk County.
  • James A. McKamy, Samuel Toole, Co. “E”. Men from Blount County
  • William C. Morelock, James W. Gideon (or Giddeon,) Co. “F”. Men from Monroe County
  • Harry Dill, James K. P. Giddens, Co. “G”. Men from MeMiun County.
  • Joseph C. Boyd, Joseph Marr, William H. Rudd, Co. “H”. Men from Monroe County. This company was later divided into two companies, one of which became 2nd Co. “K”.
  • Newton J. Lillard, Isaac B. Cross, James M. Buckner, Co. “I”. Men from Meigs County.
  • George M. Mathis, Crockett R. Millard, Co. “K”. Men from Sullivan County. Became Co. “E”, 63rd Tennessee Infantry Regiment in June, 1862.
  • Joseph C. Boyd, William Lee, 2nd Co. “K”. Formed May 14, 1862 from men from Co. “H”.

Colonel Vaughn was promoted to brigadier general September 22, 1862, and Newton J. Lillard served as colonel of the regiment for the rest of the war.

Almost immediately after organization the regiment left for Virginia on June 2, 1861, and was mustered into Confederate service at Lynchburg, Virginia, being the third regiment from Tennessee to be accepted into Confederate service at that point. From Lynchburg, the regiment moved to Winchester, and from there to Romney, Virginia, where it arrived June 17. Here it was placed in a brigade commanded by Colonel Ambrose P. Hill, along with the 10th Virginia Infantry Regiment. It first saw action June 19, 1861, when two companies from each regiment, under the command of Colonel Vaughn, destroyed a railroad bridge on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at New Creek, Virginia, and captured two pieces of artillery.

On June 30, 1861, the regiment was in Brigadier General Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of the Shenandoah, in a brigade commanded by Colonel Arnold Elzey, composed of the 1st Maryland Battalion, 3rd Tennessee Infantry Regiment, Provisional Army, Confederate States of America, lOth and 13th Virginia Infantry Regiment, and Grove’s Battery.

As part of this brigade it participated in the Battle of Manassas on July 21, the brigade then being commanded by E. K. Smith. His report of the battle shows the loth Virginia, 3rd Tennessee (Provisional Army) and the Maryland Volunteers as being those portions of his brigade actually engaged.

A report dated January 14, 1862, showed the brigade commanded by Brigadier General A. Elzey, Major General E. Kirby Smith’s Division, of General Joseph E. Johnston’s Army. On February 9, 1862, the 1st Tennessee Infantry (Maney), Bate’s 2nd Tennessee and Vaughn’s 3rd Tennessee Infantry Regiments were ordered to Knoxville, to report to General Albert Sidney Johnston. Maney’s and Bate’s regiments were sent on to Corinth, Mississippi but the Third remained in East Tennessee in the Army commanded by Major General E. Kirby Smith.

On March 15, 1862 the regiment was in the brigade commanded by Brigadier General Danville Leadbetter, who on March 28, sent the 3rd Regiment, along with a squadron of cavalry, under the command of Colonel Vaughn, on an expedition into Morgan and Scott Counties where it had a running fight with “bushwhackers.”

On May 31, 1862 the Third was in Brigadier General S. M. Barton’s Brigade, along with the 2Oth and 23rd Alabama Infantry Regiments, the 9th Georgia Battalion, the 40th and 52nd Georgia Infantry Regiments, and Anderson’s Virginia Arfillery. On June 17, the Third was ordered to Knoxville, where it was placed in Colonel Thomas H. Taylor’s Brigade, along with the 23rd Alabama, 52nd Georgia Infantry Regiments, the Marshall Rangers, which was a Tennessee cavalry company, and the Rhett Artillery. On July 3, 1862, the 52nd Georgia was transferred, and the 46th Alabama and 59th Tennessee Infantry Regiments were added to the brigade.

On August 6, 1862, the regiment fought an engagement with Federal troops under Colonel John F. De Courcy, near Tazewell, and defeated them. It then took part in the siege of Cumberland Gap and went into Kentucky with General Braxton Bragg’s Army, but there is no record of participation in the Battle of Perryville.

On October 31, 1862, the regiment was in Brigadier General Henry Heth’s Division, Colonel A. W. Reynolds’ Brigade, consisting of the 3rd Tennessee (Provisional Army), 39th,-also called 31st (W. M. Bradford), 43rd, 59th Tennessee Infantry Regiments, 39th North Carolina Infantry, and 3rd Maryland Battery. During November, it was stationed at Cumberland and Big Creek Gaps, and along the line of the railroad.

In December, 1862, Reynolds’ Brigade, with the exception of the 39th North Carolina Infantry was ordered to Vicksburg, Mississippi and placed in Major General Carter L. Stevenson’s Division. On May 15 it formed the rearguard of Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton’s Army on the way to Raymond, Mississippi, and was in charge of the baggage train during the Battle of Baker’s Creek on May 16, returned to Vicksburg May 17, and manned the trenches until the surrender of the city on July 4, 1863. Along with the rest of the Army it was paroled, and declared exchanged September 12, 1863. In October 1863, the regiment was at Charleston, Tennessee, with Colonel Lillard in command of the post.

On October 23, 1863, Brigadier General Vaughn reported that his brigade was slow in re-assembling, and suggested that the Third be added to his brigade, and the brigade transformed into Mounted Infantry. On November 20, Vaughn’s Brigade, Stevenson’s Division, Bragg’s Army was shown as consisting of the 3rd Regiment, Provisional Army, 39th, 43rd, and 59th Tennessee Infantry Regiments. On December 31, 1863, the same regiments plus a detachment of the 2nd East Tennessee Brigade were shown in Lieutenant General James Longstreet’s Army, Brigadier General Bushrod Johnson’s Brigade, in the East Tennessee Campaign. On January 31, 1864 the same units were listed as Vaughn’s Mounted Infantry Brigade, in Longstreet’s Cavalry Corps commanded by Major General William T. Martin. By March 31, 1864, the brigade was increased by the addition of the 12th Battalion (Major George W. Day), 16th Battalion (Lieutenant Colonel John R. Neal) Tennessee Cavalry, and a detachment from Vaughn’s old brigade, the 60th, 61st and 62nd Regiments, now mounted. This brigade was in the Cavalry Corps commanded by Major General Robert Ransom, Jr.

On April 20, 1864, a detachment from the Third, under Captain Nathan Dodd, of the 61st was in Bushrod R. Johnson’s Brigade (Colonel John S. Fulton commanding), Buckner’s Division, Army of Tennessee, under General Joseph E. Johnston. On May 8, 1864, Vaughn’s Brigade consisted of the 1st (Carter’s) Tennessee Cavalry, the 3rd, 39th, 43rd, 59th Tennessee Mounted Infantry Regiments, 12th and 16th Tennessee Cavalry Battalions, 16th Georgia Cavalry Battalion, and the detachment from the 60th, 61st, and 62nd Tennessee Mounted Infantry Regiments. An inspection report as of that date stated the command was in deplorable condition, with 1200 effectives, of which 199 were from the Third, and that it was little more than a band of marauders.

In the summer of 1864, a portion of Vaughn’s Brigade, including a detachment from the Third, participated in the campaign in the Valley of Virginia, around Lynchburg, and Colonel Lillard reported that, in the engagement at Piedmont in June, 1364, the regiment lost 47 men in killed and wounded.

On August 1, 1864 the brigade was listed in the Department of Western Virginia and East Tennessee, Brigadier General John H. Morgan commanding. A detachment of the brigade under Colonel W. M. Bradford, with 504 effectives, was in the neighborhood of Bristol and Bull’s Gap, Tennessee. The Third was in this command. During October and November the brigade took part in the fighting around Bull’s Gap and Morristown, Tennessee. A report of November 10, 1864 shows the brigade in Major General John C. Breckinridge’s command with 993 effectives.

On February 5, 1865, the brigade was stationed at Bristol, Tennessee, with the Third at Jonesboro, Tennessee. On February 28, the brigade was shown in Brigadier General John Echols’ command, with 989 effectives. After Lee’s surrender in April, 1865, the brigade was ordered to North Carolina, and rendezvoused at Charlotte, North Carolina where they formed part of the escort for President Jefferson Davis until the surrender at Washington, Georgia May 9, 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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