Compiled and submitted by: Betty Short Mize, June 5, 1998
Many of the men from Hawkins County served in the 60th Tennessee Infantry of Vaughn‘s Brigade during the War Between the States. Many of my direct and collateral ancestors served with this group and were either captured wounded or killed at the Battles of Vicksburg and Big Black. Finding the history of this regiment was important to my family history research and I am sure many of you will find it so. It is a proud history and I am happy to share it with you.
Abstracted from: Tennesseans in the Civil War, published by the Civil War Centennial Commission, Nashville, Tennessee (1964):
60th Tennessee Infantry Regiment, also called 79th Tennessee Infantry Regiment
60th Tennessee Mounted Infantry Regiment
Organized October 1, 1862; mustered into Confederate service November 7, 1862; captured at Vicksburg: served remainder of war in Vaughn’s Brigade in East Tennessee and Western Virginia.
Colonels – John H. Crawford, Nathan Gregg
Lieutenant Colonels – Nathan Gregg, James Alex Rhea
Major – James Alex Rhea
This regiment was first known as the 79th Tennessee Infantry Regiment, but was officially designated the 60th Tennessee Infantry Regiment by the Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office. It was organized into a regiment at Haynesville from 11 companies which had been enrolled in August, and September. When mustering authorities would only accept 10 companies for the regiment, and company “L” apparently disbanded, as no further record of it has been found.
Francis S. Blair, Co. “A”. Enrolled Jonesboro, Washington County, August 23, 1862.
Samuel Rhea Gammon, Co. “B”. Enrolled Rogersville, Hawkins County, September 12, 1862.
John H. Crouch, Co. “C”. Men from Washington County; Enrolled September 20, 1862.
Mark M. Pritchett, Joseph L. Hale, Co. “D”. Enrolled at Boon’s Creek, Washington County, September 23, 1862.
William P. Barron, Co. “E”. Enrolled at Fordtown, Sullivan County, September 25, 1862.
Mark Bacon, Co. “F”. Enrolled at Jonesboro, Washington County, September 27, 1862.
James A. Rhea (to major), J. W. Bachman, Joseph R. Crawford, Co. “G” . Enrolled at Blountville, Sullivan County, September 25, 1862.
James C. Hodges, Co. “H”. Enrolled at Morristown, Grainger County, now Hamblen County, October 1, 1862.
William A. Walsh, Co. “I”. Enrolled at Newport, Cocke County, October 1, 1862.
John M. Morrow, Co. “K”. Enrolled at Leesburg and Longmire, Washington County, September 27, 1862.
Harvey Hamilton, Co. “L” . Enrolled in Hawkins County, September 27, 1862.
Immediately after organization the regiment was assigned to the brigade of Brigadier General John C. Vaughn along with the 61st and 62nd Tennessee Regiments. These regiments remained together in Vaughn‘s Brigade throughout the war. The brigade was ordered to the Department of Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana and arrived at Jackson, Mississippi late in November, 1862. Lieutenant General J. C. Pemberton reported: “On December 21, 1862, while at Grenada, Mississippi, information was received that a large fleet of gunboats and transports was moving down the Mississippi for the supposed purpose of attacking Vicksburg. Brigadier General J. C. Vaughn‘s Brigade of East Tennessee was at once ordered to the point.
The brigade arrived December 26, and there followed the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou and Chickasaw Bluffs. General Stephen D. Lee‘s Brigade formed the right of the line of defense, General S. M. Barton‘s the center, and General Vaughn‘s the left. General Vaughn reported that on the second day he send the 62nd to re-enforce Lee; the 60th to re-enforce Barton on the 3rd day; leaving one regiment, the 61st to defend the abattis. Pemberton‘s report stated; “on the left, commanded by General Vaughn, the heavy abattis prevented the approach of the enemy except with sharpshooters who advanced continuously, but were met firmly by his East Tennesseans.”
An inspection report by Bob E. Houston, Captain and Assistant Inspector General, for January – February, 1863 on Company “G” stated: “I take pleasure in stating that in discipline, efficiency and military appearance this company exceeds that of any I have ever seen in Volunteer service.”
The brigade remained at Vicksburg until about the first of May, when General Pemberton decided to meet the enemy in the field. Toward the end of this campaign, on May 17th, while guarding a bridge over the Big Black River, Vaughn‘s Brigade was overwhelmed by a Federal division. The 60th regiment surrendered to Brigadier General S. G. Burbridge‘s 1st Brigade, 10th Division. A regimental report stated: “Lieutenant Colonel Gregg, one captain, three 1st lieutenants, seven 2nd lieutenants, six brevet 2nd lieutenants, captured at Big Black 239. They belonged to Companies “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, “E”, “F”, “G”, “H” and “I”. This report was dated October, 1864. The Federal reports of this action stated that the regiment, with 360 stand of arms, was captured without the loss of a man by the Federal troops. What was left of the regiment fell back into Vicksburg, and remained in the trenches until the surrender on July 4, 1863. The brigade was surrendered as part of Major General M. L. Smith‘s Division, and paroled a few days after the surrender.
On July 16, Vaughn‘s Brigade was reported at Brandon, Mississippi.
On September 15, Inspector General Cooper stated “Vaughn‘s Brigade was ordered to reassemble in East Tennessee, at such place as General Buckner might designate. But if the men have been seized by the enemy, and their paroles taken from them, it will prevent their reorganization.” Colonel J. G. Rose, of the 61st Regiment, in his outline in Lindsley‘s Annuals of his own regiment, stated the men from the 61st who were paroled at Vicksburg were not exchanged until June 27, 1864, and the men captured at Big Black remained in Northern prisons until the winter of 1864-5. Presumably, the same thing was true of the men from the 60th, but no definite information to that effect was found. [Submitter’s note: this was true as pension applications indicate men from the 60th were held in prison camps in Indianapolis, Fort Delaware and Point Lookout.] He further stated that in the spring of 1864 many of those paroled prisoners were assembled in parole camps at Jonesboro, Tennessee, awaiting exchange. A detachment from the 60th, 61st and 62nd regiments were reported near Jonesboro, September 13, 1864.
In the reorganization of the Confederate forces after Vicksburg, Brigadier General John C. Vaughn had been given command of Colonel A. W. Reynolds‘ Brigade, composed of the 3rd Confederate, 39th, 43rd and 59th Tennessee Infantry Regiments. These regiments were mounted about the last of 1863, and served as Mounted Infantry from then on. On December 31, 1863, a detachment from the 2nd East Tennessee Brigade, under Major James A. Rhea, of the 60th was reported as a part of this brigade. On March 31, 1864, the detachment was listed as from the 60th, 61st, and 62nd Regiments, and was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel William Parker of the 62nd. An inspection report dated May 6, 1864, showed this detachment consisted of only 48 men present. On April 20, 1864, a detachment from the 16th Georgia Battalion, 3rd, 39th, 43rd, 60th, 61st and 62nd Tennessee Regiments, under Captain Nathan Dodd of the 61st was reported in General Bushrod Johnson‘s Brigade, General Simon Buckner‘s Division, at Zollicoffer (now Bluff City), Tennessee.
It was not until November 10, 1864, that the 60th, 61st and 62nd Regiments were reported as regiments in Vaughn‘s Brigade. At that time the 60th was commanded by lieutenant Colonel Gregg, and the brigade was made up of the 16th Georgia Cavalry Battalion, 1st (Carter‘s), 3rd, 39th, 43rd, 59th, 60th, 61st and 62nd Tennessee Mounted Regiment, 12th (Day‘s) and 16th (Neal‘s) Cavalry Battalions. The brigade reported 993 effectives, 1358 present, 796 prisoners of war. It was in the Department of Western Virginia and East Tennessee, commanded by major General J. C. Breckinridge. The 60th was reported stationed near Davenault‘s Ford.
This was the last regimental or company report found on the 60th. On February 28, 1865, the order of battle for Brigadier General Echols‘ Command showed the 60th, now commanded by Colonel Gregg, still in Vaughn‘s Brigade, with Abbott‘s Scouts having been added to the brigade, and the 13th Georgia Regiment reported instead of the 16th Georgia Battalion. General Echols was still in command of the Department when news of General Lee‘s surrender was received, and he dissolved his command in Western Virginia. Some of General Vaughn‘s Brigade crossed into North Carolina and served as part of President Jefferson Davis‘ escort from Charlotte, North Carolina to Washington, Georgia, but it is now known whether or not any of the 60th were in this force.