Still confronting the enemy on the Warwick, the army was reorganized on April 26, 1862 with a new election of commissioned and non-commissioned officers.

In the 13th, at least, each company also got a new alphabetical designator which determined its place of march in the regimental column and its position on the regimental battle line. The Minutemen of Attala, for instance, changed from Co. D to Co. I.

That night there was something unusual, which included the reappointed regimental band leader T. Dwight Nutting of Kosciusko. Quartermaster clerk Hill explained:

“The Barksdale Eutherian and Thespian Club gave their first entertainment tonight at the theater. They played ‘Box and Cox’ and scenes from ‘Julius Caesar.’ The musical program was very good. Professor Nutting was the leader of the orchestra. The Club was composed mostly of members of the 13th Mississippi Regiment assisted by men of the Howitzer S.C. Club belonging to the 1st Company of the Richmond Howitzers.”

Col. Barksdale, who had gotten drunk and cursed the men on their Aug. 10, 1861 march to Leesburg, was re-elected regimental commander by a margin of 157 votes, according to Pettus Guards Private Wilborn P. Smith.

McLean says the regiment then numbered 640 men, down from its original mustered total of 1,100.

Barksdale’s assistant, Lt. Col. Mackerness Hudson Whitaker, who had tried unsuccessfully to resign when Barksdale was not punished for the cursing incident, ran against him for regimental commander. Whitaker lost that and his previous position as well. He was replaced as lieutenant colonel by Kemper Legion Captain John W. Carter.

Major Isham D. Harrison Jr., whom some of the men probably remembered getting drunk and cursing them at Stone Bridge after the Battle of Manassas,  also was not re-elected. He was replaced as major by Lauderdale Zouaves Captain Kennon McElroy.

Officers elected or re-elected assumed their duties. Those defeated either resigned and went home (as Whitaker and Harrison did) or stayed on as privates.

At least one company, the Pettus Guards, saw all of its officers replaced, according to Wilborn Smith. Seven other companies got at least new captains: Alamutcha Infantry, Spartan Band, Kemper Legion, Secessionists, Lauderdale Zouaves, Newton Rifles, and the Minutemen of Attala.

About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
This entry was posted in The Commanders, The Kemper Legion, The Lauderdale Zouaves, The Minute Men of Attala, The Pettus Guards, William H. Hill Diary and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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