49th Tennessee Infantry Regiment

Organized December 24, 1861; captured at Fort Donelson; paroled at Vicksburg; reorganized September, 1862; few members paroled in 4th Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment at Greensboro, North Carolina May 1, 1865.


  • Colonels-James E. Bailey, David A. Lynn, William F. Young.
  • Lieutenant Colonels-Alfred Robb, Thomas K. Grigsby, W. A. Shaw, J. B. Cording, Thomas M. Atkins.
  • Majors-David A. Lynn, Thomas M. Atkins, Robert H. McClelland.


  • James E. Bailey (to colonel), Thomas M. Atkins (to major), Robert A. Wilson, Co. “A”. Men from Montgomery County. 29 boys out of 32 enrolled in the College Department of Stewart College, Clarksville, enrolled in this company, 16 were killed, seven died of disease, and six served through the war.
  • Thomas K. Grigsby (to lieutenant colonel), Robert H. McClelland, Co. “B”. Men from Dickson County.
  • Matthew V. Fyke, Hardy V. Harrison, Co. “C”. Men from Springfield, Robertson County.
  • Jerome B. Cording, Robert U. Dunlap, Co. “D”. Men from Dickson County.
  • Joseph M. Peacher, Joseph W. Wall, Co. “E”. Men from Palmyra, Montgomery County. David A. Lynn, (to major), Richard Roberts, R. Yeatman Johnson, Co. “F”. Men from Clarksville, Montgomery County.
  • William F. Young (to colonel), James B. Howard, Co. “C”. Men from Palmyra, Montgomery County.
  • Pugh Haynes, Thomas H. Smith, Co. “H”. Men from Palmyra, Montgomery County. T. A. Napier, Isaac Anderson, Co. “I”. Men from Benton County.
  • William A. Shaw (to lieutenant colonel), William B. Evans, William A. Major, Co. “K”. Men from Cheatham County.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Robb was mortally wounded at Fort Donelson. When the regiment reorganized in 1862, Colonel Bailey was re-elected colonel; Captain Thomas K. Grisby, lieutenant colonel; and David A. Lynn reelected major.

The 49th Tennessee Infantry Regiment was organized at Fort Donelson, with 10 companies, all but one of which had been organized during November and December, 1861. One company, “K”, had been organized in September, 1861. Comments on the muster rolls of “E” and “K” state they were mustered into service at Camp Breckinridge by Colonel C. W. Hampton, who had authority to raise a regiment but failed to do so. After serving as guards for the bridges on the Edgefield and Kentucky Railroad, they were ordered to Fort Donelson. Company “A” was organized at Clarksville November 29, 1861, and moved to Fort Donelson December 6, 1861.

On January 2, 1862, Brigadier General Lloyd Tilghman, in command at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, mentions the 49th and 50th Tennessee Infantry Regiments as having just been organized, and stationed at Fort Donelson. Other troops there before the final buildup of forces were the 30th and 53rd Tennessee Regiments, Colms’ 1st Infantry Battalion, and Captain Frank Maney’s Battery.

On February 9, when Brigadier General G. 3. Pillow arrived, he formed the 30th, 49th and 50th Tennessee Regiments into a brigade under Colonel 3. W. Head, of the 30th, and assigned it to garrison the fort and support the water batteries. When the fighting began, the 30th was called into line, and Colonel Bailey left in command of the 49th and 50th. In the afternoon of the 15th of February, the 49th and one battalion of the 50th were called to help repel an assault on Brigadier General Simon B. Buckner’s position. The 49th reported 300 effectives engaged, and 21 killed and wounded. Along with the rest of the command, the 49th was surrendered on February 16, 1862.

The field officers were sent to Fort Warren, Massachusetts, the line officers to Johnson’s Island, Illinois and the enlisted men to Camp Douglas, Chicago. On March 19, one man from the 49th was on a list of men at Camp Butler who wished to take the oath of allegiance to the Federal Government, and on April 17, a petition from Camp Douglas from men in the 42nd, 48th, 49th, and 50th Tennessee Regiments was sent to Andrew Johnson, then Military Governor of Tennessee, requesting him to use his influence to secure permission for them to take the oath of allegiance and return to their homes.

The regiment was released on parole at Vicksburg, September 26, 1862, and declared exchanged November 10, 1862. The regiment went into the Camp for Exchanged Prisoners at Clinton, Mississippi, where it was reorganized. On October 9, the regiment started for Corinth, but got only as far as Holly Springs, Mississippi, where it remained for about two weeks. While here the regiment was temporarily consolidated into six companies, and the officers of the other companies sent back to Tennessee to recruit and round up the men from the 49th who were not captured at Fort Donelson. The regiment was temporarily consolidated with the 55th (Brown’s) Tennessee Regiment, and the 7th Texas Regiment to form what was known as Bailey’s Consolidated Regiment. This consolidation lasted only until January, 1863, the officers sent on a recruiting mission having returned the middle of December, “with but few recruits.”

On October 26, 1862, Major General Sterling Price advised: “The following regiments from Maury’s Division were ordered to report for duty at Meridian, Mississippi; 49th/ 55th, 42nd, 53rd, 9th,* 46th Tennessee, 1st Mississippi, 27th Alabama Infantry.” However, the records show that the regiment moved from Holly Springs to Camp Moore, Louisiana, and marched from there to Port Hudson, Louisiana, arriving November 1, 1863. At Port Hudson, on January 7, 1863, Major General Frank Gardner formed Brigadier General S. B. Maxey’s Brigade, composed of Miles’ Louisiana Legion, the 4th and 30th Louisiana, the 42nd, 46th, 48th and 53rd Tennessee, 49th/50th Tennessee and 7th Texas Infantry Regiments plus Boone’s Louisiana, Roberts’ Mississippi and Fenner’s Louisiana Batteries. The 42nd, 46th, 48th, 49th, 53rd and 55th Tennessee Regiments were to remain together in the same brigade until the end of the war. Colonel (later brigadier general) W. A. Quarles, of the 42nd Tennessee, was given command of the brigade about September 1, 1863, and from then on it was known as Quarles’ Brigade.

The regiment left Port Hudson April 6, 1863, for Jackson, Mississippi, where the brigade was placed temporarily in Major General W. W. Loring’s Division. On June 21, Major General S. G. French’s Division was organized, and Maxey’s Brigade assigned to it. The regiment was engaged in the fighting around Jackson, Mississippi, from July 10-16, 1863, and then was sent to Mobile, Alabama, where it arrived September 1, 1863. Here Quarles was given command of the brigade, and Captain W. F. Young became colonel of the 49th, Colonel Bailey having resigned on account of ill health.

From Mobile, the brigade was ordered to the Army of Tennessee, and arrived at Missionary Ridge after the issue of battle had already been determined. The brigade was placed in Major General John C. Breckinridge’s Division, and fell back to Dalton, Georgia. Here, on December 14, 1863, the 49th reported 180 effectives, 227 present, 220 arms. On January 20, 1864 Quarles’s Brigade was ordered back to Mobile, where, on April 2 the 49th reported 183 effectives, 268 present and absent. The brigade, on June 30, 1864 was reported in The Army of Mississippi, Major General W. W. Loring, Major General E. C. Walthall’s Division, although the brigade was actually in Georgia at the time. On July 10, Lieutenant General A. P. Stewart took command of the Army of Mississippi, which later became Stewart’s Corps of the Army of Tennessee, and the brigade remained in Walthall’s Division, Stewart’s Corps until the end.

The brigade joined General Joseph E. Johnston’s Army at New Hope Church, May 27, 1864, and the regiment was engaged at New Hope Church, Pine Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, Smyrna Depot, Peachtree Creek and Lick Skillet Road. In this last engagement Colonel Young lost his right arm, and was finally retired to the Invalid Corps. Within fifteen minutes after the fight began, the 49th had almost every officer either killed or wounded, and Captain Thomas H. Smith, seventh in seniority when the fight began, found himself in command of the regiment. On September 20, Major Thomas M. Atkins was reported in command of the regiment, and as lieutenant colonel led it into battle at Franklin, November 30, 1864. A quotation from the Chattanooga Rebel of January 15, 1865, in Lindsley’s Annals, says the regiment went into this battle with 108 guns, 21 officers, had 20 killed, 36 wounded, 36 missing.

From Franklin, the regiment moved with the division to the Battle of Nashville, December 15, 1864; served as part of the rear guard of Hood’s Army on its retreat to Tupelo; joined General Joseph E. Johnston in North Carolina for the final battle of the war at Bentonville, North Carolina on March 19, 1865, and was surrendered and paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina May 1, 1865. On December 10, 1864, just before the Batfie of Nashville, Captain Austin M. Duncan was reported in command of a consolidated unit composed of the 42nd, 46th, 49th, 53rd, and 55th Regiments. On March 31, at Smithfield, North Carolina, Captain Joseph Love was reported in command of the same unit with the 48th now included in Quarles’ Brigade. The regiment is not accounted for in the final reorganization of General Johnston’s Army on April 9, 1865, but a comparison of the muster rolls show that what was left of the regiment was paroled as part of the Fourth Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment, commanded by Colonel Anderson Searcy, which is listed in the Official Records as composed of the 2nd, 3rd, 10th, 15th, 18th, 20th, 26th, 30th, 32nd, 37th, 45th Tennessee Regiments, and the 23rd Tennessee Infantry Battalion.

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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