5th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Regiment

Also called 5th East Tennessee Infantry Regiment

Organized at Barboursville, Kentucky, with six companies, March 28, 1862; mustered out at Nashville, March 29 through June 30, 1865.


  • Colonel-James T. Shelley
  • Lieutenant Colonels-Fremontin Young, Charles C. McCaleb, Nathaniel Witt
  • Majors-Charles C. McCaleb, Joseph D. Turner, David G. Bowers


  • David C. Bowers, Samuel P. Evans, Co. “A”. Enrolled at Kingston, Roane County, February 25; mustered in March 28, 1863; mustered out April 4, 1865. Fremontin Young, Daniel T. Peterman, R. Clay Crawford, James R. Thompson, Co. “B”. Enrolled at Barboursville, February 25; mustered in March 6, 1862; mustered out March 30, 1865.
  • Charles C. McCaleb, Monroe M. Anderson, Thomas J. Daughtrey, William B. Pearson, Co. “C”. Enrolled at Harrison, Hamilton County, February 25; mustered in March 28, 1862; mustered out April 4, 1865.
  • Joseph D. Turner, David C. Sparks, Co. “D”. Enrolled at Barboursville, February 26; mustered in March 28, 1862; mustered out March 30, 1865.
  • Jacob F. Tregler, Co. “E”. Enrolled at Decatur, Meigs County, March 2; mustered in March 29, 1862; mustered out April 4, 1865.
  • Jacob S. Hagler, John N. Haggard, Edwin F. Wiley, Co. “F”. Enrolled at Barboursville, February 25; mustered in March 28, 1862; mustered out March 29, 1865.
  • Judge B. Clingan, Maximillian H. Andrew, Co. “G”. Mustered in at Pine Knot, Campbell County, May 21, 1862, with men from Bradley and Hamilton Counties; mustered out May 15, 1865.
  • Willis E. Hedgecock, James L. Dungan, Co, “H”. Enrolled Barboursville, March 21; mustered in at Pine Knot, May 21, 1862; men mainly from Blount County; mustered out May 16, 1865.
  • Frederick D. Fulkerson, Co. “I”. Original rolls lost. Men believed to be from Blount County; reorganized at Nashville, May 27, 1865; mustered out June 30, 1865.
  • Alfred N. Ragle, Samuel S. Cobb, Co. “K”. Original rolls lost; men from Blount County. Reorganized May 27, 1865. Mustered out June 30, 1865.

Companies “I” and “K”, plus recruits from other companies whose terms of enlistment had not expired, were consolidated and reorganized on May 27, 1865, at Nashville. James T. Shelley, formerly major, 1st Tennessee infantry, was commissioned as colonel of this regiment on February 27, 1862, and most of the men in the first six companies were enlisted in February.

The regiment was placed in Brigadier General J. C. Spears’ 25th Brigade, of Brigadier General George W. Morgan’s 7th Division, Army of the Ohio. Other members of the brigade were the 3rd, 4th and 6th Tennessee Infantry. The regiment remained in this brigade until the latter part of November 1862. On May 10, the 5th and 6th Tennessee Regiments were at Archer’s, near Big Creek Gap. In June, Spear’s Brigade forced a passage through Big Creek Gap, and General Spears spoke of Captain Clingan as a brave and gallant officer in his report of an engagement there on June 12. The brigade then went on to occupy Cumberland Gap on June 18, and remained in that area until the evacuation of the Gap by General Morgan on September 17, 1862.

On July 28, a Confederate estimate of the forces at Cumberland Gap listed the 5th Regiment with 500 men. On September 6, 100 men from the regiment, under Captain Hedgecock, formed part of an expedition to Pine Mountain, and Confederate Camp Pine Knot, in which the Confederates were driven from the camp, and 95 prisoners taken.

The regiment accompanied General Morgan on his withdrawal from the Gap to the Ohio River in September; and on October 12, at Portland, Ohio, General Morgan, in reporting on his forces, listed the 5th Tennessee with an aggregate of 727. On October 31, Spears’ Brigade was reported as the 1st Brigade, District of western Virginia, under General Morgan.

On November 13 the 3rd, 5th and 6th Tennessee were ordered to Cincinnati, Ohio, thence via Bowling Green, Kentucky, to report to Major General William S. Rosecrans, Department of the Cumberland. On November 17, General Spears, at Louisville, reported to General Rosecrans: “I am here with the residue of my command, the 5th Tennessee, and the 1st and 2nd Tennessee Cavalry.” On December 4, part of the 5th was reported as still at Louisville, awaiting transportation.

It eventually reached Nashville, where General Spears was assigned to command the 1st Brigade, of Brigadier General J. S Negley’s 2nd Division. The brigade consisted of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th Tennessee Regiments, but General Spears made no mention of the 5th being engaged with the rest of the brigade in its operations on January 2 and 3, 1863, in the Stone’s River Campaign. The regiment remained at Nashville until April 1863, and then was stationed for a while at Carthage.

On June 8, 1863, the 3rd, 5th, and 6th East Tennessee Regiments were placed in the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, Reserve Corps, Department of the Cumberland. On June 30, the same regiments, under Colonel Cooper, of the 6th Tennessee, were reported as the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, XXIII Corps, Department of the Ohio; and on July 2, Major General A. E. Burnside, at Cincinnati, at the time of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan’s raid, wrote: “I am anxiously awaiting reports from the 8th and 5th Tennessee Regiments.” There seems to have been some mix-up as to assignments, for there is no other record of the regiment, or the brigade, having been in Kentucky at this time.

On July 31, Colonel William B. Stokes was reported in command of the brigade, still in the Reserve Corps, Department of the Cumberland. The 5th was at Carthage, and a detachment under Captain Clingan was manning the artillery. On August 31, Brigadier General Spears assumed command of the brigade, with headquarters at Alexandria, Tennessee. On the same date, Major General Gordon Granger ordered Colonel Shelley to move his command to McMinnville. Colonel Shelley, at the time in temporary command of the 3rd and 6th Regiments, plus a detachment of Stokes’ 5th Tennessee Cavalry, moved with these units to McMinnville, leaving the 5th Infantry, under Lieutenant Colonel McCaleb, at Carthage.

General Spears, commanding the brigade, moved from McMinnville on September 13 towards Chattanooga, leaving two companies of the 5th Tennessee at Carthage. He arrived at Chattanooga on September 21, just after the battle of Chickamauga, September 19-20, and was directed to place his command at the bridge across Chattanooga Creek, to halt and reform the Federal troops streaming into Chattanooga. He placed Colonel Shelley, with his regiment, at the crossroads. on the point of Lookout Mountain on the south side. On the 22nd, three companies from the regiment were placed upon the river along the railroad, and the 6th Regiment, under Colonel Cooper, joined the remaining five companies of the 5th in line of battle at the crossroads. About noon, they were attacked by Confederate forces, and after an engagement of about an hour and a half, fell back to a more favorable position on the first bench of the point of the mountain. They remained here until early in the morning, September 24, when the whole brigade withdrew into Chattanooga.

On October 9, 1863, the brigade, under Brigadier General John S. Beatty, was transferred from the Reserve Corps to the XIV Corps, as the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division. However, on October 22, General Spears was back in command, and the brigade was reported as the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, XIV Corps. Headquarters of the brigade were at Sale Creek, and the brigade did duty along the Tennessee River between Chattanooga and Knoxville for the remainder of the year. On December 3, the regiment, with the brigade, was at Kingston, Tennessee; on December 6, at Loudon; on January 1, 1864, at Massengale House, near the Holston River, 30 miles northeast of Knoxville; on January 16 at Flat Creek Bridge. At this time, the 5th Tennessee was detached and ordered to Loudon, and Company “G”. under Captain Clingan, was detached as artillery.

On January 21, 1864, the brigade was transferred from the XIV to XXIII Corps, where it was reported as the 1st East Tennessee Brigade, 3rd Division. Orders were issued on February 1, 1864, that the 5th Tennessee be left at Loudon, to garrison the post.

On April 10, 1864, the XXIII Corps was reorganized, and the 5th Tennessee was assigned to Brigadier General M. D. Manson’s 2nd Brigade, of Brigadier General Jacob D. Cox’s 3rd Division. On April 20, General Cox advised that the 5th Tennessee had not yet reported, and it was presumably still at Loudon, Tennessee. However, it did join the brigade in time for the start of the Atlanta Campaign, and took part in skirmishing at Buzzard Roost and Potato Hill on May 9, and was heavily engaged at Resaca, on May 14. In this engagement, the regiment, under Colonel Shelley, took part in a charge which captured the first line of the Confederate rifle pits, but at heavy loss. Colonel Shelley reported six officers wounded, 16 men killed, 92 wounded and 14 missing.

On June 5, the regiment was transferred to Brigadier General N. C. McLean’s 3rd Brigade, of which brigade Colonel Byrd, 1st Tennessee Infantry, took command on June 17. Colonel Shelley resigned on July 22, and Major Bowers was in cominand of the regiment from that time until after the battle of Nashville. On August 11, 1864, in the field near Atlanta, the XXIII Corps was again reorganized, the 1st Division discontinued, and the regiment remained in the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division. However, the regiment was reported at the time as detached at Marietta, Georgia.

The regiment arrived at Nashville on November 15, and was sent to join Major General John M. Schofield at Pulaski. With Schofield, it left Pulaski November 22, withdrew through Columbia and Spring Hill, and arrived at Franklin on the morning of November 30, 1864. In the battle of Franklin, the 5th Regiment was in the second line of Colonel Casement’s 2nd Brigade, in the center of the Federal lines, between the Columbia and Lewisburg Pikes. Major Bowers reported only six casualties.

In the battle of Nashville, December 15-16, 1864, the regiment was not engaged on the 15th; on the 16th, it was in line of battle on the Hillsboro Pike, and came under musketry fire, but did no serious fighting, and had only one man wounded.

On December 31, Lieutenant Colonel Nathaniel Witt was in command of the regiment, still in the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, XXIII Corps. With the division, it moved to North Carolina, arriving at Cape Fear February 8-9-10, 1865, and took part in the campaign which resulted in the occupation of Wilmington, on February 22, 1865.

On March 5, the regiment was relieved from duty in North Carolina, and ordered to proceed to Nashville, to be mustered out of service. On April 30, still under Lieutenant Colonel Witt, it was reported unbrigaded at Nashville, and was mustered out June 30, 1865.

Comments are closed.