Thursday, March 4, 2010

John Morrow, CSA

John Morrow was another Civil War soldier from Itawamba County, and he is buried at Maxcy Cemetery, located on private land near Tilden. John, my great-great-great grandfather, was born in Dallas County, Alabama on October 27, 1823 and died at the age of 76 on September 6, 1900 in Itawamba County. You can read about his wife, Mary Caroline Ford, in a previous post.

John served in Company H of the 28th Regiment, Mississippi Cavalry. This company was raised in Monroe County and was known as "Tucker's Company" after its captain, J. B. Tucker, but the 28th Regiment contained soldiers from all over the state of Mississippi. Records show that John Morrow enlisted at Aberdeen, in Monroe County, on March 20, 1862, and according to his wife's pension application, he served until the end of the war, in 1865.

After enlisting, John reported with the rest of the regiment to camp in Jackson where they became organized, and the rest of the year was spent in the Mississippi Delta where the troops were part of an effort to foil Gen. U. S. Grant's attempt to reach Vicksburg via the Tallahatchie and Yazoo Rivers. Gen. Grant had cut the levee to the Mississippi River, flooding the Delta, and he thought that between the flooded Delta, and the rivers, he could get his Union gunboats to Vicksburg. The plan didn't work, for a variety of reasons. Records of the 28th Regiment's activities indicate that a lot of their time was spent in the swampy Delta that fall, and many of the soldiers came down with fevers (probably malaria). Indeed, John Morrow's muster roll shows that he was absent due to sickness from September until May of the following year.

When John rejoined the regiment in May 1863, it was on a 400-mile march from Franklin, Tennessee where it had been engaged in the Middle Tennessee Campaign, to join other Confederate troops under S. H. Starke's Brigade in their attempts to save Vicksburg and Jackson. After the fall of those cities, Meridian became the next target of Union commanders Grant and Sherman. The 28th Regiment participated in a valiant effort to save Meridian from destruction, but Sherman was not to be denied. His path of destruction from Jackson to Meridian was but a forerunner to what lay ahead for the rest of the South, including Atlanta.

In late 1864, Major-General Nathan Bedford Forrest took over as the regiment's commander, as part of Ben Frank Armstrong's Brigade. Under Forrest, the regiment participated in generally disastrous defeats at Murfreesboro, Nashville, Franklin and other places in Tennessee. Escaping from Tennessee, Forrest and his troops attempted unsuccessfully to defend Alabama from the raid of Gen. James H. Wilson.

Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia on April 9th, and President Lincoln was assassinated on April 14th, but both sides were still fighting in Alabama until mid-May, when on May 9, 1865, Forrest surrendered at Gainsville, in Sumter County. Forrest addressed his troops, saying, "You have been good soldiers, you can be good citizens. Obey the laws, preserve your honor, and the Government to which you have surrendered can afford to be, and will be, magnanimous."

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