Davis's Brigade - Pickett's Charge

Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
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Jan 16, 2015
Well said. I think the element of surprise, meaning the sudden appearance and advance of the 6th Wisconsin, made all the difference. Because the numbers clearly favored the Confederates. The left wing of the 55th North Carolina was so focused upon the pursuit of Cutler's men to finish them off, that it was slow to recognize the new threat. By the time they began to fully react, the 6th was upon the right wing of the 55th and wreaking havoc. Then the 95th New York and 14th Brooklyn's appearance to seal off the cut in Davis' right rear was like the second punch in a one-two combination. The cut of course also diminished Confederate firepower at the moment they needed it most. A "perfect storm" so to speak.

I just went looking to see what Napoleon had to say about this situation and found this: "A leader has the right to be beaten, but never the right to be surprised." Davis was surprised.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Location
Spotsylvania Virginia
I would like to pose a question to all of you Gettysburg "hyper-experts" (which I am not). Even though I have been researching the 2nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment for many, many years, I am still uncertain as to the true regimental alignment of Davis's Brigade during the charge. We are certain that the 11th Mississippi, which had been absent on July 1st on wagon train guard detail, anchored the left of Davis and that the 55th North Carolina was on the right. Many sources simply say the 2nd and 42nd Mississippi were in the center. Some seemingly "authoritative" sources say the 2nd Mississippi was to the right of the 11th Mississippi. Others say it was to the left of the 55th North Carolina.

Aside from the fact that I now know with some certainty approximately how many men the 2nd carried into Pickett's Charge (it was many more than the "60 muskets" often cited from Sgt. A.L.P. Vairin's postwar diary entry and I intend to expand upon this in the future), but knowing the number is much larger than often cited, it is more important to know exactly where the 2nd Mississippi was placed in Davis's line, aside from the bland statement, "the center" along with the 42nd Mississippi.

Thanks to any and all for any help...
Several years ago I purchased a copy of “Imperisabl Glory” a print by Dale Gallon. The accompanying essay, by historian and author of the 11th Mississippi , Steven Stubbs, stated the alignment as the Eleventh MS on the far left, followed by the Forty-second MS, Second MS and Fifty-fifth NC. Sources for that essay were : Mississippi Department of Archives, Diary of First Lieutenant Wm. Peel ( who led the 11th during the charge), National Archives, Various records pertaining to the 11th MS, “Veteran Camp and Inquiries” Confederate Veteran Magazine Vol 6, 1889, Maud Marrow Brown; The University Greys; Stephen Davis’ Like Leavea in an Autumn Wind; David C Love’s The Prairie Guards; Wm. Love’s Mississippi at Gettysburg; Baxter McFarland “Losses of the Eleventh Mississippi; The Survivors Association of Lamar Rifles.
I might add that the text of the essay was edited by Starke Miller, who is an expert guide and life long studient of the 11th Mississippi and by Terry Winsched NPS Vicksburg Historian.
I am a longtime friend of Starke Miller and I can say that his analysis and word is a “gold standard “ in research and accuracy. So I know you can take this regiment alignment as the gospel.
 

Coonewah Creek

First Sergeant
Member of the Month
Joined
Jun 1, 2018
Location
Northern Alabama
Several years ago I purchased a copy of “Imperisabl Glory” a print by Dale Gallon. The accompanying essay, by historian and author of the 11th Mississippi , Steven Stubbs, stated the alignment as the Eleventh MS on the far left, followed by the Forty-second MS, Second MS and Fifty-fifth NC. Sources for that essay were : Mississippi Department of Archives, Diary of First Lieutenant Wm. Peel ( who led the 11th during the charge), National Archives, Various records pertaining to the 11th MS, “Veteran Camp and Inquiries” Confederate Veteran Magazine Vol 6, 1889, Maud Marrow Brown; The University Greys; Stephen Davis’ Like Leavea in an Autumn Wind; David C Love’s The Prairie Guards; Wm. Love’s Mississippi at Gettysburg; Baxter McFarland “Losses of the Eleventh Mississippi; The Survivors Association of Lamar Rifles.
I might add that the text of the essay was edited by Starke Miller, who is an expert guide and life long studient of the 11th Mississippi and by Terry Winsched NPS Vicksburg Historian.
I am a longtime friend of Starke Miller and I can say that his analysis and word is a “gold standard “ in research and accuracy. So I know you can take this regiment alignment as the gospel.
@Woods-walker Thanks so much. I have seen or have copies of all those sources. And I have seen the sources that reverse the 2nd and 42nd in that alignment. My "gut" always wanted to tell me that the 2nd was next to the 11th in that charge, but I may have to simply bite the bullet and go the other way. Thanks again!
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Location
Spotsylvania Virginia
@Woods-walker Thanks so much. I have seen or have copies of all those sources. And I have seen the sources that reverse the 2nd and 42nd in that alignment. My "gut" always wanted to tell me that the 2nd was next to the 11th in that charge, but I may have to simply bite the bullet and go the other way. Thanks again!
Yea. If I was a betting person and had to bet my life on this I would be comfortable that my friend Starke Miller is right ....(42nd between the 11th and 2nd MS). He is as close as you could get to a living member of the 11th. He is a guide for the 11th at Gettysburg, Sharpsburg, and Ole Miss at Shiloh. He is a friend and works closely with Steven Stubbs. He is also an authority on the University Greys (Company A 11th MS from Ole Miss); a guide at Oxford and at Ole Miss and he is the “Go To Guy” by the Ole Miss faculty on all things concerning the 11th MS and early Ole Miss History.

I wrote an essay last year on the 11th but was unsuccessful finding a magazine publisher. I am currently working on that paper to reformat it for this forum. I hope to put it up in the next 10-15 days. It of course will not answer your question but you might find it an interesting read. I might post it in several parts or as an entirety.
 

Coonewah Creek

First Sergeant
Member of the Month
Joined
Jun 1, 2018
Location
Northern Alabama
Yea. If I was a betting person and had to bet my life on this I would be comfortable that my friend Starke Miller is right ....(42nd between the 11th and 2nd MS). He is as close as you could get to a living member of the 11th. He is a guide for the 11th at Gettysburg, Sharpsburg, and Ole Miss at Shiloh. He is a friend and works closely with Steven Stubbs. He is also an authority on the University Greys (Company A 11th MS from Ole Miss); a guide at Oxford and at Ole Miss and he is the “Go To Guy” by the Ole Miss faculty on all things concerning the 11th MS and early Ole Miss History.

I wrote an essay last year on the 11th but was unsuccessful finding a magazine publisher. I am currently working on that paper to reformat it for this forum. I hope to put it up in the next 10-15 days. It of course will not answer your question but you might find it an interesting read. I might post it in several parts or as an entirety.
I’d definitely be interested in the essay. Please do consider posting it.
 
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