Digital regimental now in paperback and ebook


A 366-page paperback narrative of this digital regimental is now available for sale at Amazon here, and also here as an ebook.

Both contain some additional material not found in this Web version but otherwise are faithful reproductions of it. The title comes from Private Thurman Early Hendricks of the Minutemen of Attala. He wrote in a memoir that, in early 1863, its veterans called the regiment “The Bloody Thirteenth.”

An advantage of the paper and ebook formats, in addition to providing lasting, personal copies of the history, is that they can be read from beginning to end instead of finish to start as is the format of a blog. Much easier to read in the usual way. The ebook also is searchable and the paperback has an index of many of the regiment’s soldiers, for the convenience of descendants wishing to see what’s available about their ancestor. Enjoy!

UPDATE:  The ebook version has been reformatted to the interior appearance of the paperback to make it easier to read. The reformatting eliminated the index but, of course, it’s still searchable. And a mere 99 cents! Don’t be confused by Amazon’s “look inside” feature for the ebook. It still retains the old formatting.

Posted in Barksdale's Mississippi Brigade, The Bloody Thirteenth, Thurman E. Hendricks Diary | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Pvt Joseph Pearson Sanders

Sanders, aka Josiah P. Saunders, was one of the oldest living veterans of the 13th Regiment, dying in 1927 at the age of 96. Buried in the Beauvoir Confederate Cemetery, one of six 13th veterans buried there. McLean lists him as a member of first the Wayne Rifles and subsequently of the Lauderdale Zouaves, but Howell has him only as one of the Wayne Rifles. Which is also the story at Find-A-Grave by his great grandson Jeff Grenier. McLean lists Pvt Joseph Smith Waldrop, of the Spartan Band, as the longest living veteran, dying in 1936 at age 92.

Posted in The Lauderdale Zouaves, The Spartan Band, Wayne Rifles | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

“Official Records” now in Kindle

Independent historian Jess McLean, whose book The Official Records of the 13th Mississippi Infantry Regiment inspired my own, alerts us that his book is now available for Kindle users.

Posted in Jess N. McLean | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Christmas 1861


The 13th regiment spent its first Christmas Day, 1861, in camp near Leesburg.

Private Mike Hubbert of the Minutemen of Attala wrote in his diary: “Camp is in quite a stir this morning. The boys all feel gay from the effect of the fashionable old drink Egg Nog.”

Meanwhile, back home in Jackson, Mississippi, according to The Weekly Mississippian: “We would call attention to the splendid entertainment gotten up by the ladies of Jackson, to come off at the Concert Hall on Christmas Eve. The Christmas Tree, loaded with its rich gifts, for Christmas presents, will be a sight well worth seeing. Each person buying a ticket of admission will be entitled to a prize, corresponding to the number on the ticket. Tickets only fifty cents, half tickets for children, twenty-five cents, all of which will draw a prize.”

The latter via Mississippians In The Confederate Army

Posted in Barksdale's Mississippi Brigade, Mike M. Hubbert Diary, Mississippi | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Secession Again?

“Secession is in the air again, ironically for the same reason the South seceded in 1860—dissatisfaction with the results of the presidential election. In 1860 it was Abe Lincoln; in 2016 it’s Donald Trump. And it’s not the South this time (which seems quite happy with the result), it’s California, which is not. Just as the Unionism of many in the South was overridden by a small group of rich planters, the would-be secessionists are a small group of rich Californians, mostly in Silicon Valley.”

Worth remembering that the hated (at least in the South) Abraham Lincoln lost the “popular” vote in 1860. He only won because he won the electoral vote.


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Wig Wag flags at Fort Sanders

Artillery supported the 13th Regiment’s charge against Fort Sanders at Knoxville in the ice and snow of winter, 1863. The big guns were spread out so far around the southern curve of the battlefield that their commander had to use signal flags to tell them when to cease firing.

The commander, Gen. Edward Porter Alexander, had learned the wig wag signal flag system as a U.S. Army officer before the war under Albert J. Myer, an army surgeon.

“I was one of the very few, if not the only Southern officer who knew Myer’s system of signals,” Alexander wrote in his memoir Fighting For The Confederacy.

“Both the Union and the Confederacy,” writes Trevor at Fold3, an online archive of military records, “developed an army Signal Corps during the Civil War. The job of the Signal Corps in both the North and South was to quickly and accurately relay information and orders between the commanders of different units within the two forces (which was especially crucial during battles). The main way they did this was through the use of a flag system called wig-wag…”

At Knoxville Alexander used them for signaling his widely-spread artillery when to cease firing. The ceasing had been planned in advance by Gen. Longstreet, whose troops had dubbed him the Bull of The Woods a few months before after the Battle of Chickamauga.

“The Bull of The Woods has decided there will be no long artillery bombardment of the fort before the attack as previously planned,” my fictional Private Bird Clark of the Minutemen of Attala says in my historical novel Knoxville 1863. “Our infantry are to make the assault a big surprise attack, all by our own selves.”

And so it went in the historical record, with Alexander wig-wagging his batteries to cease fire as the attack got underway. Not long into the attack, however, Alexander had a change of heart and threw his red and white wig wag flags into motion again. He signaled his batteries to recommence the fire support, apparently on his own initiative, despite his superior’s orders to the contrary.

Posted in Battles: Chickamauga, Battles: Fort Sanders, Gen. James Longstreet, Siege of Knoxville, The Minute Men of Attala | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Americus Mitchell Gill


Gill was a private of the Kemper Legion who was captured twice, the first time at Fredericksburg in 1862, and, after having been exchanged, again at Spotsylvania in 1864. That time he spend a year at Fort Delaware prison until taking the oath at war’s end in June, 1865. His stone above is at Clinton, in Hinds County. More on his service here from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

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More Miniatures

13th MS

The 28mm Thirteenth on the march, judging from their right-shoulder arms.

Via an Arizona wargamer’s blog.

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The Yankee leader of the Regimental Band


Professor T. Dwight Nutting, a Vermont native and Ohio college graduate who was teaching music in Mississippi when he organized the regimental brass band in 1861. In the spring of 1862 the ensemble performed to acclaim from the Army of Northern Virginia on the Virginia Peninsula. Two years later, with the army and the Confederacy in serious decline, Nutting apparently was demoralized.

The 38-year-old professor was then a federal prisoner at Memphis, where he took “the Oath of Amnesty” on March 22. The oath was a pardon issued in exchange for the signee swearing to faithfully defend the constitution of the United States and support and abide by all proclamations of the government.

He wasn’t a soldier, after all, and Memphis was so close to Mississippi where he had lived before the war. Later in 1864 he moved to Illinois where he taught in several institutions, including the Illinois Conservatory of Music. He died there in 1889 and is buried in Jacksonville, Illinois.

Via Find-A-Grave.

Posted in Mississippi | Tagged , , | 1 Comment