The regiment was organized at Huntsville, Ala., August 14th, 1861, with the following Field and Staff Officers:
Colonels - Joseph Wheeler of Georgia, promoted; Samuel K. McSpadden of Cherokee County, captured at Resaca.
Lieutenant Colonels - Edward D. Tracy of Madison County, promoted to Brigadier General; S. K. McSpadden, promoted; George R. Kimbrough of Pickens County; Nicholas Davis, temporary command.
Majors - S. K. McSpadden, promoted; George R. Kimbrough, promoted; Solomon Palmer of Blount County; James A. Savage of Cherokee County.
Adjutants - Clifton Walker of Madison County, wounded at Shiloh and transferred to General Tracy's staff; C. G. Hale, wounded at Murfreesboro; William T. Bell
Others of staff not known.
The regiment was composed of companies from the counties named:
Co. A - "Picken's Rough and Ready's", Pickens.
Co. B - "Blount Continentals" (also called "Continentals" of Blount), Blount.
Co. C - "Jefferson Warriors", Jefferson.
Co. D - "Curry Guards" (also called "Jake Curry Guards"), Cherokee.
Co. E - "Cherokee Guards", Cherokee.
Co. F - "Davis Guards", Cherokee.
Co. G - "Cherokee Mountaineers", Cherokee.
Co. H - "Cherokees", Cherokee.
Co. I - "Cherokee Rangers", Cherokee.
Co. K - "Blount Guards", Blount.
The 19th Alabama Regiment remained three months in camp in Huntsville under the instruction of its able commander, Colonel (later Lieutenant General) Joe Wheeler. In November 1861, the regiment was ordered to Dog River, below Mobile (Camp Memmemger). After two months camping at Dog River, it was ordered to the Navy Yard at Pensacola, Fla.; stationed there a few weeks, was ordered to Corinth, Miss., via Montgomery and Mobile.
At Corinth, the 19th Ala joined General Albert Sydney Johnston's army, concentrating there, preparing for the great Battle of Shiloh, fought April 6th and 7th, 1862. In this fearful, bloody battle, the regiment received its first baptism of blood and lost 219 killed and wounded, amounting to one-third of its aggregate strength. Quoting from Colonel Wheeler's report:
"The Regiment here exhibited an example of cool, heroic courage which would do credit to soldiers of long experience in battle. Subjected as they were to a deadly fire of artillery and a crossfire of infantry, they stood their ground with firmness and delivered their fire rapidly, but with cool deliberations and good effect. ...Exposed as they had been for two nights previous, to drenching rains, without tents and with little covering, they were, of course, somewhat jaded, but at the first sound of the enemy's guns they moved forward with a cheerful alacrity and good order that showed clearly that it was such music as they loved. Under fire almost incessantly the first day, they moved from one position to another as they were ordered, not only with firmness, but with enthusiasm."
Thence, it constituted part of General Bragg's Army of Tennessee; thence via Mobile, Montgomery and Atlanta to Tyner's (near Chattanooga, Tenn.) and camped two weeks. On the 10th of August, 1862, began its march invading Tennessee and Kentucky, and on the 28th of October came out to Knoxville; thence via Chattanooga to Tullahoma and camped a month; thence to Murfreesboro and fought the great battle of Murfreesboro (Stones River), Dec. 30th, 31st, and Jan. 1, 1863, with many killed and wounded. Thence marched to Shelbyville (Duck River) and camped till the 23rd of June, 1863.
The Regiment marched thence to Chattanooga and camped until the bloody Battle of Chickamauga, Sept. 19th and 20th, 1863; engaged in the battle two days and lost heavily in killed and wounded, and followed the retreating Federal army to Missionary Ridge. Remained there until the Battle of Missionary Ridge, Nov. 24th, 25th, and 26th, 1863, and lost many; marched thence to Dalton, Georgia, and camped until May 1864.
In May 1864, fighting began around Dalton, the beginning of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's grand retreat from Dalton to Atlanta, 100 miles in about 100 days; was in the battles of Resaca, Cassville, New Hope, Alabama Hill, Kennesaw Mountain, Noonday Creek and Atlanta, July 22nd to 28th and Jonesboro, Ga., Aug. 1864. Thence followed Gen. Hood via Resaca, Dalton, Lafayette, Summerville, Ga., Gaylesville, Gadsden, Summit and Danville, Ala., crossing the Tennessee River at Florence, Ala.; thence to Pulaski, Spring Hill, Columbia to Franklin, Tenn., and was in that terrible battle Nov. 26th, 1864; thence to Nashville and was in that battle December 16th, 1864. The Regiment recrossed the Tennessee River at Bainbridge; thence to Tupelo, Miss., Mobile, Montgomery, Ala.; Columbus, Macon, and Augusta, Ga.; thence via Columbia, S.C. to Charlotte, Kingston, Goldsboro, to Bentonville, N.C., the last real battle of the war.
Thence via Smithfield, Raleigh, Greensboro to Saulisbury, N.C., where it surrendered, April 26th, 1865, when, after four years of untold sacrifice, patient endurance, and heroic struggle, under the most trying conditions in all history of the time, their army, without resources, but still devoted patriots; yielded to vastly overwhelming numbers of the Northern army. Only 76 members of the regiment were present at the surrender.
As to the soldierly conduct of the command, the 19th Alabama Regiment furnished the Confederate service its peerless Lieutenant General Joe Wheeler, one of the world's most famous cavalry commanders; its gallant and chivalric Tracy, a Brigadier General without a superior; and its ever true and faithful leader, Col. George R. Kimbrough, commanding the last year of the war.
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