Tennessee Valor — Update: Part 2, October 6, 2011

Posted on Thursday, October 6th, 2011

The final 7th Tennessee battle line contained 29 soldiers.

TENNESSEE VALOR: The 7th Tennessee Infantry at Gettysburg – update part 2

I’ve completed the entire rough draft!

I am now taking a couple weeks off and then will work through the manuscript, editing and preparing a print-ready copy for submission to the publisher. My anticipated schedule will be to complete the editing at the rate of one or two chapters per week, thus the manuscript should be ready for submission by the start of the new year.

Tennessee Valor’s last chapter describes the end of the war, and finishes with the 7th Tennessee participating in the Surrender Ceremony on April 12, 1865. On that date 47 men stood for the entire regiment. I’d like to take a look at these final 47.

First of all, there were two men listed; William Kelster and James Nobles who never were with the regiment, or at least never answered to a muster or payroll call and are not included anywhere in the Muster Rolls of the 7th Tennessee. How and why these two men ended up being counted as members of the 7th Tennessee is a question for which I do not have an answer.

That leaves 45 Tennesseans, all whom were on the 7th Tennessee’s muster rolls; a number though, who were not recorded as combat troops; James Bradley and James Corder were the regiment’s sutlers, James Harris was the regimental chaplain, Ordnance Sergeant Alexander Piper handled all the regiment’s weaponry needs, and Dr. James Fite was the regimental surgeon.

That leaves 40 Tennessee veterans, and of these a number were on detached on duties keeping them away from the regiment; Cpt. John Allen was serving as Brig. Gen. William McComb’s brigade adjutant, Samuel Graves was the regimental blacksmith, Abner Witt was a nurse, John Williams was with the brigade’s engineer unit, Patrick Quinn was serving as a brigade provost guard, Roland Swain was a brigade clerk, and John Reed had been tasked as a member of the brigade Pioneer corps.

That leaves 33 Tennesseans, and these there were a number who had not been able to keep up with the regiment once it was driven from the Petersburg trenches, but were able to catch up once Lee signed the surrender with Grant on April 9, 1865 and thus were able to participate in the Surrender Ceremony. However, these men were not present for the 7th Tennessee’s final battle line on the morning of April 9, 1865. These men included; John Johnson, George Frazier, James Patton, and Samuel Forbes.

We now have 29 Tennesseans who stood together and formed the regiment’s last battle line. Fortunately these gallant fellows did not have to go into a last fight. However, they were prepared to perform this duty should the need have arisen. These veterans are:

Name

Rank

Unit

Shepard, Samuel

Lt. Col

Staff

Jennings, Samuel

Sgt. Mj.

Staff

Moore, John

1st Lt.

B & C

Johnson, Richard

1st Sgt.

Co. B

High, Branch

Sgt.

Co. B

Bradley, James

Cpl.

Co. B

Bradley, Andrew

Pvt.

Co. B

Mitchell, Henry

Pvt.

Co. B

Royster, Ira

Pvt.

Co. B

Brown, Alfred

Pvt.

Co. C

Cantrell, Stephen

Pvt.

Co. C

Castleman, Gad

Pvt.

Co. C

Hearn, Thomas

1st Sgt.

Co. D

Herne, James

Pvt.

Co. D

Palmer, Richard

Pvt.

Co. D

Rhea, Sterling

Pvt.

Co. D

Miller, Robert

Capt.

Co. E

Clendening, William

Sgt.

Co. E

Conkle, Higgins

Pvt.

Co. E

Gillespie, Jesse

Pvt.

Co. E

Lindsey, Charles

Pvt.

Co. E

Purcell, Frank

1st Sgt.

Co. F

Ricketts, James

Sgt.

Co. F

Lanier, John

Sgt.

Co. F

Dunn, John

Pvt.

Co. F

Whitlock, Robert

Pvt.

Co. F

Jackson, Thomas

1st Sgt.

Co. G

Nelson, John

Sgt.

Co. G

Hamilton, John

2nd Lt./Sgt

Co. H

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