42nd Tennessee Infantry Regiment

Organized November 28, 1861 at Camp Cheatham, reorganized September 27, 1862; finally formed part of 4th Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment, paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina May 1, 1865.


  • Colonels-William A. Quarles, Isaac N. Hulme.
  • Lieutenant Colonels-Isaac B. Walton, John H. Norwood, Isaac N. Hulme, Levi McCollum.
  • Majors-Levi McCollum, Josiah R. Hubbard.


  • Josiah R. Hubbard, George A. Lowe, Co. “A”. Men from Hickman County.
  • Levi MeCollum, John W. Walker, Benjamin F. Coleman, Co. “B”. Men from Hickman County.
  • Isaac B. Walton, J. E. Cage, Co. “C”. Men from Cheatham County. Thomas J. Whitfield, John R. Whitfield, W. P. McCollum, Co. “D”. Men from Humphreys County.
  • Hardin Long, Co. “E”. An Alabama company. John H. Gibson, Co. “F”. An Alabama company.
  • Isaac N. Hulme, Wiley B. Beard, Co. “G”. Men from Perry County. “The Perry Blues.”
  • Isaac Henry, Co. “H”. An Alabama company Joseph H. Jones, Co. “I”. An Alabama company.
  • Wilson A. Davis, Co. “K”. An Alabama company.

At the reorganization in 1862, the five Alabama companies were transferred to form the 6th (Norwood’s) Alabama Infantry Battalion, which later became part of the 55th Alabama Infantry Regiment. Five other companies were transferred to the 42nd to replace the Alabama companies, and the original five Tennessee companies all changed their company letters. The reorganized regiment was as follows:


  • J. L. Morphis, John R. Tabler, 2nd “A”, formerly ‘G”, 1st Alabama-Mississippi-Tennessee Regiment. Organized in McNairy County 42nd Tennessee Regiment, 2nd Co. “B”, formerly “A”.
  • John R. Farrabee, Thomas H. Cargill, 2nd Co. “C”, formerly “H”, 1st Alabama-Mississippi-Tennessee Regiment.
  • James M. Grace, Austin M. Duncan, 2nd Co. “D”, formerly “K”, 1st Alabama-Mississippi-Tennessee Regiment. Organized at Middleton, Hardeman County.
  • C. C. Henderson, Duncan MeMillan, 2nd Co. “E”, formerly “C”, 4Oth (Walker’s) Tennessee Regiment. “The Morton Confederates.” Originally Henderson’s Company, Florida Infantry. 42nd Tennessee, 2nd Co. “F”, formerly “B”. 42nd Tennessee, 2nd Co. “G”, formerly “C”. 42nd Tennessee, 2nd Co. “H”, formerly “D”.
  • ¬†Joseph Barbiere, Thomas I. Spain, D. Howard, 2nd Co. “I”, reorganized; originally “A”, 1st Alabama-Mississippi-Tennessee Regiment. “The Gayoso Guards.” Men from Memphis. 2nd Co. “K”., reorganized; originally “G”, 42nd Tennessee.

Of the five companies which joined the regiment at the reorganization, four were Tennessee companies from the 1st Alabama-Mississippi-Tennessee Infantry Regiment, the Florida company was assigned to make out 10 companies.

Field officers elected were Colonel William A. Quarles, Lieutenant Colonel Isaac B. Walton, Major Levi McCollum, all Tennesseans. This caused some dissatisfaction in the Alabama companies, and shortly after the organization Lieutenant Colonel Walton resigned and reduced himself to the ranks as a private, in order that Captain John H. Norwood, from Alabama, could be elected lieutenant colonel. Norwood was transferred with the Alabama companies, and Isaac N. Hulme became lieutenant colonel to succeed him. Colonel Quarles was promoted to brigadier general in August, 1863; Hulme moved up to colonel, McCollum to lieutenant colonel, and Josiah R. Hubbard became major.

Shortly after the organization the regiment moved to Camp Duncan, Clarksville, Tennessee, and then to Fort Sevier, at New Providence, near Clarksville. On January 21, 1862, the 42nd and 48th (Voorhies’) Regiments were reported at Clarksville. On January 31, 1862, Brigadier General Charles Clark’s Brigade of Brigadier General Simon B. Buckner’s Division, the Central Army of Kentucky, Major General William J. Hardee, was composed of the 8th Kentucky, 1st, 3rd Mississippi, 42nd Tennessee, 7th Texas Infantry Regiments and Forrest’s Cavalry.

From Clarksville, the regiment was ordered to Fort Donelson on February 12, moved down the river by steamer, and arrived on February 13, when the battle was already in progress. It marched directly off the boat to the support of the 30th Tennessee Infantry which was being charged by the Federal troops, leaving its baggage at the wharf; this was never seen again. The 42nd reported 498 engaged, with 15 casualties. It was surrendered as part of Brigadier General Bushrod R. Johnson’s Division, Colonel A. Heiman’s Brigade. Members of this regiment who escaped capture at Fort Donelson, along with similar men from the 48th (Voorhies’) and 54th Infantry, were grouped into a detachment under Captain D. R. Sowell. Eventually, the bulk of these men ended up in the 48th Infantry. The enlisted men were sent to prison at Camp Douglas, Illinois, the officers to Johnson’s Island.

On April 10, 1862, a petition was sent from Camp Douglas to Andrew Johnson, Military Governor of Tennessee, from men from the 42nd, 48th, 49th and 50th Tennessee Infantry Regiments, expressing a desire to take the oath of allegiance to the Federal Government, and requesting his intercession in their behalf.

The regiment was released on parole at Vicksburg, Mississippi in September 1862, and declared exchanged November 10, 1862. It went into camp at Clinton, Mississippi, where the reorganization took place. It moved to Holly Springs, Mississippi October 9, where on October 16, Major General Earl Van Dorn ordered Bailey’s Consolidated Regiment, Quarles’ Consolidated Regiment, Simonton’s Consolidated Regiment, and Captain Humes’ Consolidated Battalion to report to Major General Sterling Price. On October 20, the 42nd was placed in Brigadier General Dabney H. Maury’s Division, and ordered to report to Meridian, Mississippi, along with the 49th/55th Tennessee, 1st Mississippi/53rd Tennessee, 9th/46th Tennessee and 27th Alabama Infantry Regiments.

From here the regiment moved to Port Hudson, Louisiana, where on January 7, 1863 it was reported in the command of Major General Frank Gardner, Brigadier General Texas Regiment were transferred out of the brigade, and the 1st Texas Sharpshooter Battalion, and 10th Arkansas Regiments were added.

The regiment moved from Port Hudson to Jackson, Mississippi) where Maxey’s Brigade was temporarily attached to the division of Major General W. W. Loring. On June 21, 1863, Major General S. G. French’s Division was organized and Maxey’s Brigade placed in his division. The regiment left Jackson June 1, to Canton, to Benton, and back to Canton where it arrived June 23. It was marching to the relief of Vicksburg, and was within 20 miles of the city when Vicksburg was surrendered on July 4, 1863.

During July and August, the regiment was stationed at Halrs Mills at Camp Memminger, and at Harrell’s Mills, Alabama. On September 30, 1863, the brigade, now with Brigadier General Quarles in command, was transferred to the Department of the Gulf, Major General Dabney H. Maury commanding, with headquarters at Mobile, Alabama. From this time on the brigade was known as Quarles’ Brigade, and on this date was reported as consisting of the 42nd, 48th, 49th, 53rd, 55th, Tennessee Regiments, 1st Texas Sharpshooter, Hutchinson’s Engineers and Gallimard’s Sappers and Miners.

Apparently a detachment from the brigade had been left at Port Hudson, Louisiana, for on July 10, shortly after the surrender of that point, a Federal list of organizations paroled at Port Hudson listed the Improvised Tennessee Battalion, with details from the 41st, 42nd, 48th, 49th, 53rd and 55th Tennessee Regiments.

On September 15, 1863, Inspector General Cooper, in a note to President Davis, mentioned the 42nd as being in Colonel A. W. Reynolds’ Brigade. This was an error; the reference must have been intended for the 43rd Tennessee) which was in Reynolds’ Brigade.

The regiment was stationed at Camp Cummings, Mobile, Alabama on October 21, 1863, but no further reports from the regiment were found until May-June, 1864. It apparently joined the Army of Tennessee at Dalton, Georgia, for on December 31, 1863, Quarles’ Brigade was reported in Major General John C. Breckinridge’s Division of Major General T. C. Hindman’s Corps. At this time the brigade was shown as consisting of the 4th, 30th Louisiana, 42nd, 46th/55th, 48th, 49th and 53rd Tennessee Infantry Regiments. On January 20, 1864, the brigade was ordered to the Department of Alabama-Mississippi, and East Louisiana and moved back to Mobile, Alabama, where on April 2, 1864, Major General Maury reported the 42nd with 169 effectives out of an aggregate of 242.

On June 30, 1864, the brigade was reported in the Army of Mississippi, Major General William W. Loring, in Major General E. C. WalthalUs Division from this time until the end, ‘,vith Lieutenant General A. P. Stewart in command of the Corps from July 31st.

Just when it moved from Mobile to join the Army of Tennessee is not certain, but Thomas A. Turner, of Company “G”, in his report of the regiment in Lincisley’s Annals, stated that the 42nd was engaged at New Hope Church, May, 1864; at Pine Mountain and Kennesaw, June, 1864; at Smyrna Depot, Peach Tree Creek, Atlanta, and Lickskillet Road in July, 1864. Major General Walthall, in a report made at Tuscumbia, Alabama January 14, 1865, covering operations of his division from July 18, 1864 to January, 1865, reported Quarles’ Brigade in position in the lines at Atlanta in July, 1864; the 42nd Regiment in reserve at Ezra Church July 22; in trenches till August 18; to East Point, Georgia August 19; Quarles’ Brigade to Chattahoochee River August 27; moved up through Georgia destroying the railroads to Tuscumbia, Alabama; crossed Tennessee River November 20; at Spring Hill November 29; Battle of Franklin November 30, where Quarles was twice wounded, and all his staff officers killed, the highest ranking officer left in the brigade being a captain; at Nashville, 100 men from Quarles’ Brigade in the redoubts on the Hillsboro Road; formed part of rear guard of Hood’s Army to protect the withdrawal to Tupelo, Mississippi; the colors of the 42nd lost at Franklin, the color bearer having been killed or captured after having crossed the enemy’s interior line of works.

On December 10, 1864, following the Battle of Franklin, Quarles’ Brigade was reported as composed of the 1st Alabama, 42nd/46th/ 49th/53rd/55th consolidated under Captain A. M. Duncan, and the 48th (Voorhies’) Tennessee Infantry Regiments. At Smithfield, North Carolina, March 31, 1865, in the order of battle of General Joseph E. Johnston’s Army, Quarles’ Brigade, Walthalls Division, was commanded by Captain Sol Jones, and composed of the lst/l7th/29th Alabama, and 42nd/46th/48th/49th/53rd/55th Tennessee under Captain Joseph Love.

Quarles’ Brigade participated in the Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina March 19, 1865, but the regiments in the brigade are not accounted for in the records of Johnston’s Army April 9, 1865. However, a comparison of names shows that some members of the 42nd Regiment were paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina May 1, 1865 as part of the Fourth Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment, whose components as shown in the Official Records were the 2nd, 3rd, 10th, 15th, 18th, 20th, 26th, 30th, 32nd, 37th and 45th Tennessee Infantry Regiments, and the 23rd Tennessee Infantry Battalion, all commanded by Colonel A. Searcy.

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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