Captain Lorenzo Dow Fletcher


Captain Fletcher, a veteran of the 2nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment in the Mexican War and a post-war gold-rush Forty-Niner, organized and recruited the Minute Men of Attala, the first company from Attala County. He led them in the Battle of Leesburg, particularly at Ball’s Bluff where they were the only participating unit of the 13th Regiment which gave him the chance to write an after-action report for Colonel Barksdale.

The federal 1860 Slaves Schedule Census apparently names him as owning 18 slaves, ranging in age from a 2 yr old male to a 50 yr old male.

The photo is from a family Web site, possibly taken after the war, though he is said to be wearing his Confederate uniform. Proof that if you wait long enough, all sorts of valuable things turn up on the Internet. Fletcher commanded the Minute Men until the regiment’s reorganization in the spring of 1862 when he apparently was not re-elected captain and took an officer’s privilege of going home. The family site has no hint of what he did for the rest of the war.

His brother Private Isaiah D. Fletcher was mortally wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg.

UPDATE:  13th Regiment descendant Elaine F. Boatin, who wrote a novel that includes Fletcher at Ball’s Bluff, sent a document showing that in October, 1862, Fletcher was appointed a first lieutenant “drill master” at a camp of instruction for conscripts at Brookhaven, Mississippi, east of Natchez.

He still may have been there in April, 1863, when Grierson’s Raiders (about 1,700 Union cavalry from Iowa and Illinois) sweeping Mississippi from north to south in Grant’s Vicksburg Campaign, defeated about 500 Brookhaven Rebels, half of them armed conscripts from the camp. The raiders burned the camp, and tore up the railroad that ran through town and burned its cars and telegraph. Fletcher survived. The 1870 census, Elaine says, has him a married Attala County farmer with six children.

About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
This entry was posted in Battles: Leesburg, The Minute Men of Attala and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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