44th Mississippi Infantry (Blythe's Regiment)

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The 44th Mississippi Infantry was organized from the 1st (Blythe's) Mississippi Infantry Battalion, which was formed late in 1861. It was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel A.K. Blythe, who became Colonel of the regiment after it was expanded from the battalion by early 1862. It was known as Blythe's Mississippi Regiment until June 1863, when it received its number.
  • Company A -- Tombigbee Rangers (raised in Lowndes County, MS)
  • Company B -- Mississippi Swampers (raised in Coahoma County, MS)
  • Company C -- Calhoun Avengers (raised in Calhoun County, MS)
  • Company D -- Capt. Dockery’s Company & Blythe Rifles (raised in Yalobusha County, MS); also, DeSoto Beauregards (raised in DeSoto County, MS)
  • Company E -- Blythe Rifles (raised in Yalobusha County, MS)
  • Company F -- Palo Alto Confederates (raised in Chickasaw County, MS)
  • Company G -- Autauga Guards (raised in Alabama)
  • Company H -- Pettus Rangers (raised in Marshall County, MS)
  • Company I -- Sawyer’s Independent Company (raised in Alabama)
  • Company K -- Amite Mississippi Rangers, aka Amite Rangers (raised in Amite County, MS)
  • Company L -- Tom Weldon Rebels, aka Polk’s Body Guard (raised in Adams County, MS)
On 7 September 1861 Blythe's Battalion was assigned to Cheatham's Brigade near New Madrid. In November, after it had been expanded to a regiment, the regiment saw action at the Battle of Belmont against Grant with Preston Smith's Brigade, fighting in the attack on Grant's riverboats.

The regiment fought at the Battle of Shiloh with Bushrod Johnson's Brigade. On April 6 the regiment suffered heavy casualties, which included Blythe (killed while leading a charge), Lieutenant Colonel David L. Herron, and Captain R.H. Humphreys. Major James Moore took command of the regiment, which fought on April 7 with only 200 men left. Preston Smith, who took command of the brigade after Johnson was wounded, found that the men of the regiment "were of such quality that they were entrusted alone with the support of a battery after the other regiments had fallen back for ammunition. Smith gave honorable mention to Lieutenant Brownrigg, Captains Sharpe and Nesbit, and the other company officers whose conduct came under his observation. With Marcus J. Wright's Tennessee Regiment and Joe Wheeler's Alabamians they reinforced Chalmers in time to take part in the last desperate charge against overwhelming odds."

On April 26 at Corinth, the regiment transferred to Trapier's Brigade. After Bragg reorganized the army, it became part of Chalmer's Brigade, serving with it in the Kentucky campaign. After the capture of the L&N railroad at Cave City, the regiment fought in the Battle of Munfordville, disastrously attacking through abatis alongside the 10th Mississippi. Moore (who had become the Lieutenant Colonel) was mortally wounded, and Major J.C. Thompson took command. The regiment lost 4 killed and 38 wounded at Munfordville.

Blythe's Regiment fought at Perryville, where Company K lost a man killed on October 8. It moved to Danville and Harrodsburg, skirmished at Lawrenceburg during the retreat of Bragg, crossed the Cumberland Gap, reached Knoxville on October 31, and advanced from Chattanooga to Murfreesboro in November. At Murfreesboro Chalmers' Brigade was on the right of Polk's Corps with its right on Stone's River opposite from Palmer's Division; they were under artillery fire from the Union lines for two days. At 11:00 on December 31 the regiment fought in the charge of the brigade, but Chalmers was knocked unconscious by an exploding shell and the charge dissolved. The regiments of his brigade were briefly separated, but rallied, fighting at the Round Forest for the rest of the battle. Blythe's Regiment lost four killed, 31 wounded, and 17 missing at Murfreesboro.

The regiment retreated to Shelbyville and Tullahoma in January 1863, and in July "crossed the Tennessee, marched over Lookout Mountain, and went into camp near Chattanooga". From July 13 to August 23 the 44th was tasked with picket duty at Bridgeport, Alabama, being withdrawn when Rosecrans advanced. The 44th fought at Chickamauga with Sharp's Brigade of Hindman's Division, losing 81 killed and wounded out of 272. Among the casualties was Major John C. Thompson.

After the end of the battle the regiment marched to the Red House ford, but were recalled to besiege Chattanooga. On November 25 it fought at Missionary Ridge, then retreated to Dalton, where it went into winter quarters. Colonel James Barr commanded the combined 10th and 44th Regiments in January 1864. The 10th and 44th fought at Rocky Face Ridge on May 8, and were on the field but not actively engaged at Reseca, though they "sustained considerable loss" to Union shellfire. Lieutenant Colonel R.G. Kelsey took command of the regiments after Reseca.

The 44th fought under Hood at New Hope Church and Kennesaw Mountain, suffering heavy casualties at Peachtree Creek and Atlanta. At Ezra Church they charged into the crossfire of the 55th and 116th Illinois, "losing within two of half of its entire number". The regiment retreated and entrenched a line of battle along the hills, fighting at Jonesboro on August 31. Sharp's Brigade distinguished itself at the Battle of Franklin, where the commander of the 10th and 44th, Lieutenant Colonel Sims, was wounded. The regiment lost two men killed and 13 wounded at Franklin. The 44th fought at Nashville, losing its battle flag at the Battle of Brentwood Hills. (flag information)

After recrossing the Tennessee, the regiment and its brigade were furloughed until February 12, 1865. Ordered to move to the Carolinas, they assembled at Meridian on February 14, starting east four days later. The brigade was halted at Montgomery due to the Mobile campaign, but moved to Augusta and then North Carolina beginning March 4. On April 3 the brigade numbered only 420 men. When the army was reorganized near Smithfield on March 31, the 10th, 44th, and the 9th Battalion were consolidated under the command of Major W.C. Richards. On April 9 the brigade was consolidated at the 9th Regiment.


Sources:
Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1898
Units of the Confederate States Army by Joseph H. Crute
Slaughter at the Chapel by Gary Ecelbarger
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 3, 2018
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1968.51.1editedweb-600x380.jpg

Battle flag of the 44th Mississippi
 
Joined
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Location
Northern Virginia
More on Blythe:
Born in Tennessee in 1818, he commanded Company A (Lowndes Guards) of the 2nd Mississippi Rifles during the Mexican War, although he did not see combat. In civilian life, Blythe was a layer in Lowndes and Yalobusha Counties, served as a Mississippi state representative in 1850–51, and was United States consul to Havana in 1856-58. He married Elizabeth A. Butler, and is buried in Columbus, Mississippi.
Sources:
Confederate Colonels: A Biographical Register
Panting For Glory: The Mississippi Rifles in the Mexican War
 

DixieRifles

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My iPhone wont let me select a quote but I have a question about the 44th's brigade commander. The history refers to General Chalmers who I thought referred to James Zr Chalmers who did lead an infantry brigade at Shiloh. But this history says(I think) that General Chalmers was killed.
What is that about?
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2018
Location
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My iPhone wont let me select a quote but I have a question about the 44th's brigade commander. The history refers to General Chalmers who I thought referred to James Zr Chalmers who did lead an infantry brigade at Shiloh. But this history says(I think) that General Chalmers was killed.
What is that about?
It is James R. Chalmers. I misread "struck down", and have corrected.
 

DixieRifles

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Yes. I was able to grab my TIME-LIFE book and it says he was hit by a shell fragment and carried from the field.
I wasnt sure if Chalmers was at Murfreesboro or not.
Thanks for clarifying this and posting the history of another great Mississippi unit.
 

AUG

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The brigade that the 44th served in throughout most of the war (Chalmers') was also known as the "High Pressure Brigade," consisting of the 7th, 9th, 10th, 41st and 44th Mississippi Infantry, and 9th Battalion Mississippi Sharpshooters. Supposedly Gen. Bragg christened them with the nickname after Shiloh.

Here are a few other photos from Pinterest.

e1a7def4bc28c2ca1b9e1396c6d3fbb0--veterans-pictures-discussion-group.jpg

Lt. Col. David Luckie Herron

389dfa649adfa4381331517ab115bc00--john-thomas-civil-war-photos.jpg

Pvt. John Thomas, Company D.

53421936_302702623756544_2425376690705268736_n.jpg?_nc_cat=104&_nc_ht=scontent-dfw5-1.jpg

4th Cpl. John Sidney Post, Co. I, Sawyer's Company, Alabama Volunteers.
 

DixieRifles

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The brigade that the 44th served in throughout most of the war (Chalmers') was also known as the "High Pressure Brigade,"

There were several brigades that stayed together thru losses and consolidations.
Chalmers' brigade may have retained their organization and their name but General Chalmers switched to command cavalry after the fall of Vicksburg. He raised a division of cavalry headquartred at Oxford.
 

RobertP

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There have been several threads and/or mentions of Blythe’s regiment through the years here. I’ve mentioned it before but will again say that my grandfather’s half brother was a pvt. in Co. C of the regiment and was killed at Shiloh April 6. He is buried in Greenwood cemetery at West Point, Miss.
 

Ole Miss

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This is the October 28, 2015 Shiloh Facebook page* on Blythe's Regiment at Shiloh.
Regards
David

Blythe’s Mississippi Regiment at Shiloh
To celebrate the dedication of the New Mississippi Monument in the park we will be featuring different Mississippi Units and their actions at the Battle of Shiloh, next is Blythe’s Mississippi Infantry Regiment.

This regiment was formed from a nucleus of several companies formed in early 1861. The Blythe Rifles were formed in Yalobusha County under Captain Andrew King Blythe in April 1861. Their commander Andrew Blythe was born in Tennessee in 1819. Blythe had moved to Columbus, Mississippi by 1847, when he joined the 2nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment as captain of Company A, The Lowndes Guards for the Mexican War. The regiment arrived in Mexico after the fighting in Northern Mexico had ended and suffered heavy losses to disease as occupation troops.

Blythe was appointed U.S. district attorney of the Northern District of Mississippi 1848 by James K. Polk. He joined the states’ rights Democrats and represented Lowndes County in the state legislature in 1850. In 1857 Blythe was appointed U.S. consul general to Cuba.

Blythe was quick to organize his company when the Civil War started and took it to New Madrid, Missouri, where they were joined by five other Mississippi companies in August to form a battalion. With Blythe as Lt. Colonel they saw action at the Battle of Belmont, Missouri, on November 7, 1861, where they attacked Gen. Grant’s boats as they were withdrawing from the battlefield. As part of a brigade under Col. Preston Smith, the regiment was praised for acting as veterans under their first fire.

In March 1862 Col. Blythe’s unit, now apparently at regimental strength, was assigned to a brigade under Gen. Bushrod Johnson’s command. Although Blythe complained about being brigaded with Tennesseans they would fight with them at the Battle of Shiloh, on the morning of April 6th. When Gen. Johnson’s Brigade hit the marshy ground along Shiloh Branch, Blythe’s Regiment and the 154th Tennessee Regiment, broke off to the right where Gen. Bragg ordered them to advance against Union artillery. They drove back Waterhouse’s Battery E, 1st Illinois Light Artillery, and then advanced against Union troops in the woods. Col. Blythe was struck by a blast of canister from Union artillery and knocked from his horse. When his men reached his side, they found that Blythe had been struck in the heart by an iron canister ball and instantly killed. Within ten minutes, Lieutenant Colonel David Luckie Herron, next in command, was killed and Major James Moore took over. When an exploding shell knocked Bushrod Johnson to the ground, Col. Preston Smith took command of the brigade and ordered Blythe’s Regiment to support a Confederate Battery. They fell back in the afternoon for ammunition and then bivouacked for the night near Shiloh Church with only about 200 men. Although they had lost heavily in the attack on April 6th, a portion of Blythe’s Regiment would fight on the right with Gen. James Chalmers’ Brigade on April 7th.

Col. Blythe’s body would be taken back to his wife in Columbus, Mississippi by Capt. William H. Sims. When he arrived she was in the garden and said, “I know what you have come to tell me. He has been killed. I saw him pass the gate just now, how strange, how sad.” Lt. Col. Herron’s body would be taken home to Coffeeville, Mississippi by his slave, Spencer.

After Shiloh, the regiment would be designated the 44th Mississippi and would be commanded by Lt. Col. James Moore until he was killed at Munfordville, Kentucky in September 1862. The regiment would see action at Murfreesboro, and Chickamauga, the Atlanta Campaign, and Hood’s Nashville Campaign. By the end of the war, the fragments of the regiment had been consolidated with the 10th Mississippi and the 9th Mississippi Battalion.
*https://www.facebook.com/ShilohNMP/...he-dedication-of-the-new-mis/902969309793056/
 
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