Smith Scroggins Jr. was also my GGgrandfather - Tom Holmes


                This paper was originally written to be a story of what I know about my great-great-grandfather, Smith Scroggins, who lost his life while serving as a Confederate Infantryman during the American Civil War.  After much research and study, it has turned out to be a history of the 32nd Mississippi Volunteer Infantry Regiment rather than a history of my great-great-grandfather’s life.  The reason for this is that information about the Regiment was much more readily available than information about my great-great-grandfather, as there is very little surviving information about him.  Smith and his brother Abner both served in Company A of this regiment.

Smith Scroggins was born circa 1829 in Wake County, North Carolina to Smith Scroggins senior (born 1793, Wake Co., N.C.) and Tabitha George (born 1794, Wake Co., N.C.), who were married on October 8, 1818 in Wake County, North Carolina.  He had at least six brothers; Abner (born 1831), Oscar (born 1823), Alexander (born 1821/25) John and Jesse (born 1819/21) and William Jasper (born 1837) and four sisters.  Sometime before 1834, the family moved to Lincoln County, Tennessee and may have lived for a while in Alabama before coming to Tennessee.  On November 1, 1849 Smith married Ellender Holt in Lincoln County, Tennessee. In 1850 their first child was born.  This was William Alexander Scroggins, my great grandfather.  They had four other children who were born in Tennessee and Mississippi. Sometime after 1856 but before 1860 part of the family moved to Tishomingo County, Mississippi near the towns of Rienzi and Jacinto.  The parts of the family that made this move were Smith senior and his wife, Tabitha; Smith junior and his wife Ellender with their children; William J. and his wife Elizabeth with their children; and Abner.

 In the last half of 1861 and through 1862, militia companies were being formed in communities all across the country and marched off to training camps, in the upsurge of patriotism and war fever after the capture of Fort Sumter in South Carolina by General P.G.T. Beauregard’s rebel forces on April 12, 1861.  Almost a year later, on March 7, 1862, Smith and Abner Scroggins enlisted at Rienzi, Mississippi in the Tishomingo Avengers, a local militia company being formed with Captain James G. Lowrey as it’s commander.  The Tishomingo Avengers traveled to Corinth, Mississippi where on April 2, 1862 they were mustered into the Confederate Army and subsequently became Company A, 32nd Mississippi Volunteer Infantry Regiment, commanded by Colonel Mark Perrin Lowrey.

Smith and Abner’s older brother, Alexander, who had remained in Tennessee, enlisted in Company C, 21st Tennessee Cavalry.  Their youngest brother, William Jasper, apparently didn’t agree with his older brothers views on the war. He returned to Tennessee and enlisted in the Union Army in Company C, 6th West Tennessee Cavalry (U.S.), which eventually became the 1st Tennessee Cavalry (U.S.).  He served as a teamster in this unit.  Somehow he lost an arm during the war.  His unit was at the Battle of Chickamauga, but was not in the same part of the battlefield as Smith and Abner.

The history of the 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment begins with the 4th Mississippi Regiment of 60 day troops formed at Corinth, Mississippi by Colonel Mark P. Lowrey under the command of General Reuben Davis in December, 1861.  Colonel Lowrey was a very popular local preacher with several congregations in the Tishomingo County area.  This regiment is also called the 2nd Regiment, Army of Mississippi, in a return of election of officers in the Lowrey Guards.  The 4th Regiment served briefly in Kentucky on garrison duty before returning to Mississippi.  At the expiration of the 4th Regiment’s term of service, Colonel Lowrey raised a regiment for the war using the 4th Regiment’s men as the nucleus.  The 32nd Mississippi is mentioned in a letter written by General Albert Sidney Johnston on March 18, 1862 from Decatur, Alabama.  In this letter he advises that 300 men from Tishomingo County desired to join the war regiment then being raised by Colonel Lowrey.  These men were former members of the 26th Regiment.  He suggested that these men should be organized into three companies and attached to the new regiment.  These three companies were to later become Companies D, G and H, 32nd Mississippi Infantry.  The field officers were commissioned to date from April 3, 1862.  The April 30th return shows a total of 960 men present for duty and with a total of 1,239 men present and absent.  The battle of Shiloh was fought on April 5 and 6, 1862 at Pittsburgh Landing in Tennessee, just north across the state line from Corinth, Mississippi.  This was while the 32nd Mississippi was still forming at Corinth, so they did not participate in this battle as a regiment, but some of the Regiment’s men were at Shiloh.  This probably accounts for the absence of 279 men in the April 30th returns.  There are no surviving records to show which men were at Shiloh.  The 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment was organized as follows:

Colonels--Mark P. Lowrey, promoted Brigadier-General:  William H. H. Tison.

                Lieutenant-Colonel--William H.H. Tison, promoted.

                Majors--F.C. Karr, killed at Chickamauga:  J.W. Swinney.


                Southern Farmers, organized 17 March, 1862.

                Captain--Alexander Archer.

                First Lieutenant--Rial Burnett.

                Second Lieutenant--J.P. Early.

                Third Lieutenant--B.F. Walker. 

                Buckner Boys, Company K, of Tishomingo County, organized 25 March, 1862.

                Captain--Benjamin Kizer.

                First Lieutenant--G.C. Thomson.

                Second Lieutenant--John W. Smith.

                Third Lieutenant--G.B. Green.               

                Lowrey Guards, Company D, of Tishomingo County, organized 13 March, 1862.

                Captain--F.S. Norman.

                First Lieutenant--James Buford.

                Second Lieutenant--J.L. Madden.

                Third Lieutenant--B.F. Dilworth. 

                Johnston Avengers, organized 25 March, 1862.

                Captain--D.P. Rogers.

                First Lieutenant--J.L. Purgason.

                Second Lieutenant--J. Rhinehart.

                Third Lieutenant--J.D. Springer. 

                Tishomingo Avengers, Company A, of Tishomingo County, organized 7 March, 1862.

                Captain--James G. Lowrey.

                First Lieutenant--J.M. Bynum.

                Second Lieutenant--F.C. Karr, elected Major.

                Third Lieutenant--J. Burge. 

                Lowrey Invincibles, Company G, of Tishomingo County, organized 20 February, 1862.

                Captain--W.M. Irions.

                First Lieutenant--F.Q. Martin.

                Second Lieutenant--A.M. Black.

                Third Lieutenant--H.A. Shelton. 

                Hatchie Tigers, Company E, of Tallahatchie County, organized  March, 1862.

                Captain--J.N. Scally.

                First Lieutenanant--J.M. Cotton.

                Second Lieutenant--T. Moody.

                Third Lieutenant--W.M. Nance.               

                Beauregard Rifles, organized 4 March, 1862.

                Captain--J.H. Tankersley.

                First Lieutenant--D.R. Raden.

                Second Lieutenant--J.A. Harvey.

                Third Lieutenant--D.N. Paden. 

                W.R. Nelson Guards, organized 8 March, 1862.

                Captain--W.R. Nelson.

                First Lieutenant--W.P. Magee.

                Second Lieutenant--William Norton.

                Third Lieutenant--J.V. Humphreys. 

                Tishomingo Rebels, Company C, of Tishomingo County, organized 12 March, 1862.

                Captain--J.W. Swinney.

                First Lieutenant--John B. Yates.

                Second Lieutenant--F.M. Hughes.

                Third Lieutenant--J.S. Burns. 

                 The 32nd Mississippi Infantry was issued Fayetteville rifles.  Fayetteville rifles were produced at the Fayetteville, North Carolina Armory using tools and dyes captured from the Harpers Ferry, Virginia Armory.  These tools and dyes were for the U.S. Model 1855 Rifle.  The Fayetteville rifle was a .58 caliber two-banded rifle (as opposed to the three-banded musket) similar in appearance to the Model 1855 rifle except for the barrel bands, butt plate, nose cap and trigger guard, which were all brass.  The early Fayetteville rifles were manufactured with a lock plate identical to the lock plate used on the Model 1855 rifle.  These lock plates were originally designed to accommodate a Maynard tape primer.  The Maynard tape primer was a device to mechanically feed percussion caps to the nipple when cocking the hammer.  The operation of this device was similar to modern-day toy cap pistols with roll caps.  The device was not a success and was discontinued in later models of Springfield and Harpers Ferry rifles and muskets.  On the Fayetteville rifle this tape primer was not installed, which gave the flat lock plate a distinctive hump between the nipple and the hammer.  The hammer used on the early Fayetteville rifles was the same goose-necked hammer as used on the Model 1855 and Model 1861 Springfield rifles and muskets.  Later models of the Fayetteville rifles eliminated this hump and used an S-shaped hammer similar to those used on European military muskets.  It is not known which version of the Fayetteville rifle was issued to the 32nd Mississippi, but was probably the early model.

                I do not know if the original Regimental Colors of the 32nd Mississippi are still in existence.  These Colors would have been of the Hardee flag pattern.  The Hardee flag was a square dark blue flag with a white border and a white circle or lozenge in the center.  All of the regiments of Cleburne’s Division carried flags of this design.  The Regimental Colors of the 18th Alabama and the 33rd Alabama still survive.  Both of these regiments were in Brigadier General S.A.M. Wood’s Brigade with the 32nd Mississippi.  These two flags can be seen in the book “Echoes of Glory, Arms and Equipment of the Confederacy”.  As can be seen on the examples above cited, typical markings on these flags would have been the unit designation painted in black on the white circle or lozenge.  Also painted on the flags would have been the battles that the Regiment participated in such as, “Perryville”, “Murfreesboro”, “Chickamauga”, and “Ringgold Gap”.  These battles were normally painted in white on the blue field, but were sometimes painted in black on the white border.  Also all of the regiments in Wood’s Brigade were authorized to paint inverted crossed cannons in the white center circle.  Often these crossed cannons were painted on without being inverted.  When two or more regiments were consolidated, in some cases both regimental numbers were painted on the flag.  I don’t know if this was the case when the 32nd and 45th Mississippi Regiments were consolidated or when the 32nd and 8th Mississippi Regiments were consolidated.         

In May of 1862 the 32nd Mississippi Infantry was assigned to Brig. Gen. Sterling Alexander Martin Wood’s Brigade (4th Brigade), in Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner’s  Division (3rd Division) of Gen. William J. Hardee’s Corps (II Corps).  General S.A.M. Wood’s brigade was organized as follows:

16th Alabama Infantry Regiment                               Col. W.B. Wood

33rd Alabama Infantry Regiment                               Col. Samuel Adams

32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment                Col. M.P. Lowrey

45th Mississippi Infantry Regiment                                Col. A.B. Hardcastle                            

3rd Confederate Infantry Regiment                                Lieut.-Col. J.F. Cameron

Hawkins’s Sharpshooters                                  Maj. A.T. Hawkins

Semple’s Battery                                                   Capt. H.C. Semple

Before daylight on May 30, 1862 they withdrew to Tupelo, Mississippi, 52 miles from Corinth, where they arrived on June 9th.  At Tupelo General Braxton Bragg was given temporary command of the Army of the Mississippi on June 17th, as General Beauregard had gone to Bladen Springs, Alabama to recuperate his health.  A couple of days later, President Jefferson Davis made the appointment permanent.  On July 21, 1862 the infantry of the Army of Mississippi was moved by train to Chattanooga, Tennessee, by way of Mobile, Alabama.

The Army of Mississippi crossed the Tennessee River at Chattanooga on August 28th and marched through Pikesville, Sparta, and Carthage, Tennessee.  They crossed into Kentucky near Tompkinsville and arrived in Glasgow on September 13.  Early in October the Federal Army advanced on General Hardee at Perryville.  The 32nd Mississippi Regiment went into combat for the first time at 4:30 P.M. on October 8, 1862 at the battle of Perryville.  General S.A.M. Wood’s Brigade of Buckner’s Division, was in the line at the left of Cheatham’s Division, and joined in the assault.  They were engaged in the heavy fighting around the Russell House against the 59th and 75th Illinois and the 22nd Indiana Infantry Regiments of the 30th Brigade commanded by Colonel Michael Gooding.  General Hardee reported, “Cheatham and Wood captured the enemy’s battery in front of Wood and among the pieces and among the dead and dying was found the body of Gen. James S. Jackson, who commanded a division of the enemy at that point.”  General Wood was wounded and Colonel Lowrey took over command of the Brigade until he was himself wounded.  Command of the Brigade fell to two other Colonels who were also subsequently wounded.  Casualty figures for the 32nd Mississippi Infantry have never been found, but the evidence shows they were high.  General orders dated 21 December 1862 stated, “The regiments of the brigade of Brigadier-General Wood, which, on the memorable field of Perryville, participated in the gallant and desperate charge resulting in the capture of the enemy’s batteries, will, in addition to the name of the field on their colors, place the cross-cannon inverted.”

In late October, 1862 the 32nd Mississippi Infantry, along with the Army of the Mississippi, retreated through the Cumberland Mountains and marched toward Morristown in East Tennessee.  Within eight days they  moved southwest on the East Tennessee railroad to Chattanooga, Tennessee.  From there they moved again through the gorge of Sand Mountain and then down the Tennessee River to Bridgeport, Alabama where they crossed the Tennessee River, were put on trains again and moved north up Crow Creek Gorge through the Cumberland Mountain tunnel and into middle Tennessee.  Their final destination was the Stones River Valley and the occupation of Murfreesboro.  On this retreat the army endured great hardship and suffered terribly as they were physically exhausted from marching 200 miles over bad roads in terrible weather.  Their uniforms were ragged and many of the men were barefoot or their shoes were worn out.  Rations were limited to parched corn or whatever they could forage along the march route.  By November 1st six inches of snow had fallen which increased the suffering of the soldiers.  Many of the troops became ill and outbreaks of typhoid, scurvy, dysentery, and pneumonia were common.  As a result there was widespread desertion and straggling.

On November 20, 1862 the Army of the Mississippi was redesignated as the Army of Tennessee.  On December 12th Major General Simon B. Buckner was transferred and his division was given to newly promoted Major General Patrick R. Cleburne.  Cleburne’s Division was made up of the brigades of; Brigadier General Lucius E. Polk, Brigadier General Saint John Liddell, Brigadier General Bushrod Johnson, and Brigadier General S.A.M. Wood and Captain T.J. Key’s Arkansas Battery, Swett’s Mississippi Battery, Darden’s Mississippi Battery and Captain H.C. Semple’s Alabama Battery. 

On December 26, 1862 the 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment (with Wood’s Brigade) was stationed at Triune, 4 miles north of College Grove, on the Nashville and Shelbyville turnpike.  General Rosecrans Federal Army of 54,000 men began advancing from Nashville on the Army of Tennessee’s 37,000 men.  Wood’s Brigade was ordered to remain at Triune and assist General Wharton’s Cavalry in retarding the advance of the Federal Army.  Wood’s Brigade fell back slowly before General McCook’s Corps, impeding his advance wherever opportunities offered.  They finally reached Stones River and rejoined Cleburne’s Division on the morning of December 29th.

At the Battle of Murfreesboro in Tennessee on December 31, 1862 thru January 2, 1863, the 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment and the 3rd Confederate Infantry Regiment were on detached duty to guard the railroad line between Normandie Station and New Fosterville. Apparently the 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment was not engaged with the rest of Wood’s Brigade, although the 3rd Confederate Infantry Regiment apparently did participate in the battle, as they are listed in Major General Cleburne’s report on the battle.  General Breckinridge was ordered to send a regiment of not less than 250 men strong to relieve the 32nd Mississippi, but it appears that this regiment, if one was ever sent, did not reach them in time for the 32nd Mississippi to participate in the battle.

Near midnight on January 3, 1862 Cleburne’s Division retreated down the Manchester road to Tullahoma, Tennessee where the Army of Tennessee wintered until April 23, 1863.  Morale in the Army of Tennessee was very low after the retreat from Murfreesboro.  At Perryville and Murfreesboro, the men felt that they had won victories and were disheartened by the retreats ordered by General Bragg.  Cleburne’s Division (of which the 32nd Mississippi Infantry was a part of) moved to the vicinity of Wartrace, 20 miles south of Murfreesboro, where they stayed for two months guarding Liberty Pass and Bell Buckle Pass in a range of hills between Wartrace and the Federal Army.

 While at Wartrace, Tennessee, Cleburne’s Division was trained daily in drill, weapons maintenance, and rifle shooting.  General William J. Hardee commended the 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment in a written general  order for being the best drilled and disciplined regiment in his Corps.  Also while at Wartrace a British army officer, who was traveling through Tennessee on his way to General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, Lieutenant Colonel James Arthur Lyon Fremantle was entertained by General Cleburne.  During  Lieutenant Colonel Fremantle’s stay, the Right Reverend Stephen Elliot, the Episcopal Bishop of Georgia, held a large outdoor sermon in Brigadier General S.A.M. Wood’s camp.  Lieutenant Colonel Fremantle wrote of this sermon in his book, “Three Months in the Southern States, April-June, 1863”.  He wrote, “At 5 P.M. I was present at a great open-air preaching at General Wood’s camp.  Bishop Elliott preached most admirably to a congregation composed of nearly 3,000 soldiers, who listened to him with the most profound attention.  Generals Bragg, Polk, Hardee, Withers, Cleburne and endless brigadiers were also present.  It is impossible to exaggerate the respect paid by all ranks of this army to Bishop Elliott; and although most of the officers are Episcopalians, the majority of the soldiers are Methodists, Baptists, &c.”  Smith and Abner Scroggins were very likely among those 3,000 soldiers attending the sermon.

It was while at Wartrace that the Army of Tennessee was ordered to turn in their old battle flags.  They were to be issued the new Confederate battle flag with the Saint Andrew’s cross and stars that is so well known in modern times.  When the troops of Cleburne’s Division learned that they were to turn in their Hardee pattern flags for the new regulation flags, the troops protested vehemently.  The storm of protest was so great that Cleburne’s Division was allowed to retain their old Hardee pattern battle flags.  They were the only Division in the Army of Tennessee not required to carry the new regulation Saint Andrew’s cross battle flag.

On June 1, 1863 General Rosecrans Federal Army was making preparations to advance on the Confederates.  On June 3rd Cleburne’s Division moved on a reconnaissance through Hoover’s Gap to within four miles of Murfreesboro.  They drove in the Federal pickets and were involved in several minor skirmishes.  They returned to Wartrace the next day.

On the night of June 25th, three regiments of Wood’s Brigade and a section of Semple’s Battery were ordered to move up to Liberty Gap in support of General St. John Liddell’s Brigade which had been involved in heavy fighting that morning.  The other regiment of Wood’s Brigade, one regiment of Liddell’s Brigade and the other section of Semple’s Battery were assigned to guard the approaches to New Fosterville.  On the next morning the infantry regiment and artillery section at New Fosterville were ordered to rejoin Wood’s Brigade at Liberty Gap where they were relieved by a regiment of Churchill’s Brigade.  One of these regiments was the 32nd Mississippi, but the records don’t state which one it was.  On the morning of June 27th, Cleburne’s Division fell back to Tullahoma across Schoefner’s Bridge, on the Duck River, in a hard rain which lasted most of the day.  The “...men were much wearied by the watching and fighting in front of the gaps.  The men had no changes of clothing, no tents, and could not even light fires to dry themselves.  Many had no shoes, and others left their shoes buried in the deep mire of the roads.” reported General Cleburne.

On June 29th and 30th Bragg’s Army, including Cleburne’s Division, remained in line of battle in entrenchments at Tullahoma.  A portion of Rosecrans Army advanced toward the Confederate lines as a diversion to hide a flanking movement on the rear of General Bragg’s army.  On the night of June 30th, Bragg’s army fell back to Tullahoma, Tennessee.  General Cleburne’s Division was again assigned to covered the retreat and the next day crossed the Elk River over Bethpage Bridge which was two miles above the railroad bridge.  The Army retreated south starting up the Cumberland Mountains on July 3, 1863.  On July 6th and 7th they marched thru Jasper and crossed the Tennessee River on pontoon bridges put across at Kelly’s Ford.  On July 10, 1863 the 32nd and 45th Mississippi Infantry consolidated, in company with Cleburne’s Division, had arrived at Tyner’s Station. This was a small town that was two miles east of Chattanooga on the railroad to Knoxville.  In July, Colonel Lowrey was in temporary command of Wood’s Brigade.  Wood’s Brigade was organized as follows:

                16th Alabama Infantry                  32nd & 45th Mississippi Infantry (consolidated)     

                18th Alabama Infantry                  Hawkins 15th Mississippi Sharpshooter Battalion

                33rd Alabama Infantry                  Semple’s Alabama Battery

                45th Alabama Infantry                                                 

On July 12, 1863 Cleburne sent all of Wood’s Brigade to Harrison, 11 miles northeast of Chattanooga, except the 32nd & 45th Mississippi Infantry (consolidated) which remained at Tyner’s Station.  On July 24th General Daniel Harvey Hill relieved General Hardee of command of his corps.  On August 2nd the entire Regiment was ordered to Blythe’s Ferry to guard the crossing there. This was a little over 30 miles northeast of Chattanooga at the confluence of the Hiwassee and the Tennessee Rivers.

On August 21 at 1:00 P.M., Federal troops appeared on the north side of the river at Blythe’s Ferry and opposite Chattanooga where they commenced shelling the city.  On the night of August 31 it was reported that the main force of Federal army had crossed the Tennessee River southwest of Chattanooga.  By September 4th the Federals were in the Wills Valley on the west side of Lookout Mountain.  The Federals were trying to cut the Confederate supply lines from Atlanta.

On the morning of September 6th, Cleburne’s Division was ordered to Chattanooga.  General Bragg was  evacuating Chattanooga. They would march toward Rome, Georgia to get between the Federals and the supply line to Atlanta.  The road to Rome passed through LaFayette, Georgia which was 26 miles southeast of Chattanooga.

On the evening of September 7th, the Army of Tennessee, with Cleburne’s Division in the lead, marched southeast down the LaFayette road where they passed through the town of Rossville and then began the climb up Missionary Ridge and thru Rossville Gap at the top.  Seven and one half miles past Rossville Gap was Lee and Gordon’s Mills where the road crossed West Chickamauga Creek.  The 32nd & 45th Mississippi Infantry (consolidated), with Cleburne’s Division, bivouacked by the mill for the night.  On the morning of September 8, 1863 Cleburne’s Division led the way marching 14 more miles to LaFayette, Georgia.

On the afternoon of September 9th, the Federal Army entered McLemore’s Cove from Steven’s and Cooper’s Gaps.  McLemore’s Cove was a valley between Pigeon Mountain and Lookout Mountain.  General Cleburne ordered Wood’s Brigade to Pigeon Mountain to hold Dug Gap, Catlett’s Gap, and Bluebird Gap.  All three of these gaps had previously been obstructed using felled timber.

On the morning of September 10th, General Daniel Harvey Hill was ordered to send Cleburne’s Division to link up with General Hindman’s Division at Davis Crossroads, between Dug Gap and Steven’s Gap.  They were to advance on the Federal forces at the foot of Steven’s Gap.  Hill ignored the orders with the excuse that it was too far to march and it would take too long to dismantle the obstructions.  He also claimed that General Cleburne had been sick in bed all day, even though he had not been sick.

That morning some Federals advanced toward Davis Crossroads and were engaged by skirmishers from Wood’s Brigade stationed at Dug Gap.  They advanced to within 3/4 mile before falling back to Steven’s Gap.  Hindman’s Division was 4 miles from Davis Crossroads when it was reported that a Federal Division had reached Davis Crossroads and Steven’s Gap.  He became concerned about his division being outnumbered and because of Hill’s refusal to obey orders, he withdrew.

At 1:30 A.M. on September 11, 1863 Wood’s Brigade removed the obstacle from Dug Gap.  They had the obstacle removed, which took about 3 hours,  before daylight.  Cleburne’s Division had orders to advance on the Federals when they heard Hindman’s Division firing, none was heard and at noon Bragg ordered them to advance.  Hawkins’s Sharpshooters from Wood’s Brigade advanced and encountered Federal skirmishers, driving them back.  Cleburne’s Division was advancing in line of battle when Bragg halted it.  Hindman ordered his division to attack just before sundown when he learned that the Federals were falling back to Steven’s Gap.  He linked up with Cleburne’s Division at dusk, but the Federals were already behind their defense in front of Steven’s Gap.  Bragg ordered most of the army back to LaFayette.  Cleburne’s men were discouraged by the lost opportunity to defeat 12,000 men of General Rosecrans Federal army.  The men and officer’s of Hill’s Corps swore, some were almost in tears because of the lost opportunity.

Cleburne’s Division remained on Pigeon Mountain to guard the gaps and at daylight on September 18, 1863 they marched to Dr. Anderson’s (4 miles southeast of Lee and Gordon’s Mills) and went into line of battle on the left flank of the Confederate Army.

That same morning the Federal left flank lay at Lee and Gordon’s Mills.  That afternoon the Confederates crossed the Chickamauga at Reed’s Bridge and a ford south of there.  Bragg’s plan was to attack the left flank of the Federal Army and to put his Army between the Federals and Chattanooga, Tennessee.  The fighting started on the morning of the 19th and increased throughout the day as more and more Confederate Divisions crossed the creek and fresh Federal Divisions were brought into the battle.

On Saturday afternoon, September 19th, Cleburne’s Division was ordered into the Confederate lines.  They marched 6 miles and crossed Chickamauga Creek at Thedford’s ford, which was three miles northeast of Lee and Gordon’s Mills, and moved down a road crowded with artillery limbers, cannons and supply wagons.  As they approached Thedford’s ford, Cleburne said, “Boys, go through the river.  We can’t wait.”  The troops waded through Chickamauga Creek naked from the waist down and redressed on the other side.  To the left of the road some distance away in some woods was a Georgia regiment which had fallen back behind a small hill.  A veteran of this regiment wrote, “While the Command was behind this hill, and about twilight, the steady tramp of General Pat Cleburne’s men was heard advancing, and as these heroes passed us we gave them a shout.”  During a lull in the noise of the battle General Nathan Bedford Forrest was asked by an artillery corporal, “General, is the fighting over for today?”  Pointing up the road, Forrest said, “Do you see that large body of infantry marching this way in columns of fours?  That is General Pat Cleburne’s Division; hell will break loose in Georgia in about fifteen minutes.”

Cleburne’s Division went straight into the confused fighting, with a resounding rebel yell, in the twilight at the Winfrey field west of Jay’s Mill until it was too dark to see.  In this action there were several instances of both Federal and Confederate troops accidentally firing on their own troops.  As they were crossing the Winfrey field in the twilight the 32nd & 45th Mississippi Infantry (consolidated) fell 75 yards behind the Brigade’s line and fired into the rear rank of the right flank of the 45th Alabama, mistaking them for the enemy in the dark.  The Federals opposing them were the 1st Ohio Infantry, the 32nd Indiana Infantry, and the 5th Kentucky Infantry.  When they crossed the west fence around the Winfrey field, 32 members of the 5th Kentucky Infantry were captured by the Regiment.  General Wood wrote in his report of the action, “When we reached the furthur side of the field, many of the enemy still remained behind their defense, and shots were exchanged at twenty paces.  In crossing this field Colonel Lowrey greatly distinguished himself by his continued exertions in urging forward his command.”  Major General Cleburne, speaking of the musketry and artillery in this engagement, “For half an hour the firing was the heaviest I ever heard.” 

They spent a long cold night in the lines sleeping on their muskets with wet clothes, which had gotten wet from fording the creek. No campfires were allowed due to the close proximity of the Federal Army.  They suffered terribly on one of the coldest nights of the year and they spent the night listening to the cries of the wounded left on the field.  To their front they could hear the sound of axes as the Federals built breastworks.

They were engaged again early on September 20th, at 9:45 A.M., on the Confederate right on a low ridge 175 yards from an angle in the Federal breastworks, which they had heard being built during the night. These breastworks were along the edge of the Poe field, north of the Poe House, on the La Fayette Road. The 32nd & 45th Mississippi (consolidated) had been ordered to advance, with Wood’s Brigade, on the Federal positions on the La Fayette road. They were forced to halt at the crest of the ridge, 175 yards from the Federal breastworks, due to the very intense musket and artillery fire.  The 32nd & 45th Mississippi (consolidated) immediately lost 25% of their men to the Federal musket and artillery fire. They were opposed by Turchin’s Brigade (11th, 36th, 89th, 92nd Ohio Regiments, 18th Kentucky Regiment, and the 21st Indiana Light Artillery Battery). The 21st Indiana Artillery tore gaping holes in the 32nd & 45th Mississippi (consolidated) lines with grapeshot, but the Regiment held it’s ground stoically.  The 32nd & 45th Mississippi Infantry (consolidated) was a well disciplined, well drilled, veteran Regiment and would have obeyed any order given them by Colonel Lowrey.  It was the most severe ordeal the Regiment had ever known.  The men lay down, and did their best to make an effective reply to the musketry.  Colonel Lowrey wrote in his report of the action, “In a very short time I lost over one-fourth of my command in killed and wounded.  Nineteen of my men now sleep in one grave near where the colors stood, all of whom were killed near that spot.”  The 32nd & 45th Mississippi Regiment (consolidated) held the position for an hour and a half.  The rest of Wood’s Brigade was driven back by the very intense musket and artillery fire.  Colonel Lowrey had supposed that an advance would be made to relieve him, but none came to his relief.  When his ammunition was almost exhausted Colonel Lowrey was finally forced to order the 32nd & 45th Mississippi Regiment (consolidated) to fall back.  Captain Coleman of the 15th Mississippi Sharpshooters wrote in his report, “Owing to the gallantry and coolness of Colonel Lowrey, his regiment fell back in fine order, and this inspired my own company....The good order preserved under so hot a fire was remarkable.”  Nineteen men were later buried in a mass grave that were found dead grouped around the ground that had been occupied by the Regimental Colors.

After falling back from the ridge, Colonel Lowrey rode up to Company A of the 32nd Mississippi and told the soldiers that their Major Karr was lying mortally wounded at the top of the ridge.  Major F.C. Karr, who was on Lowrey’s staff, was the former Second Lieutenant of Company A (Tishomingo Avengers) and was very popular with the men.  Colonel Lowrey asked the Company A men if they intended to leave Major Karr on the field.  Eight Company A men returned to the top of the ridge to attempt to bring Major Karr off the field and were immediately subjected to the same intense musket and artillery fire as before.  All eight were killed or wounded before Major Karr could be removed from the field.  Another attempt was made to rescue Major Karr, resulting in even more casualties, before he was finally removed from the field.  He had been shot through with a Minnie ball and later died in Cleburne’s Division field hospital of his wounds.  This was the same hospital that Smith Scroggins, my great great grandfather, was taken to, mortally wounded, on this same day.  Colonel Lowrey later wrote, “Many of my best men fell.”

In his report Lieutenant General D.H. Hill quoted the words of Major General Cleburne, “Five hundred men were killed or wounded by this fire in a few minutes.  Upon the repulse, Lowrey’s Regiment having been forced to retire, I ordered the brigade still further back to reform.”  Deshler’s Brigade was sent in to the place where Lowrey had been, but Deshler was killed and his men driven to shelter.  As a result of this action Colonel Lowrey was later promoted to Brigadier General.  Lieutenant General Daniel Harvey Hill wrote: “Colonel M.P. Lowrey has been deservedly promoted, and a worthier object of advancement could not have been selected.”  The 32nd & 45th Mississippi (consolidated) lost 25 killed and 141 wounded in this action.

Smith Scroggins was mortally wounded in this battle and was, as mentioned earlier, taken to Cleburne’s Division Field Hospital near Alexander’s Bridge where his brother, Abner Scroggins, was on duty as a cook.  He died of gunshot wounds in the Field Hospital 18 days later on October 8, 1863.  Abner was with him at the time of his death and a final statement was given by Smith, presumably to Abner.  His personal effects were turned over to Abner.  Smith was later nominated to the Confederate Roll of Honor for Co. A, 32nd Mississippi Infantry by his comrades for his actions on September 20, 1863 at the Battle of Chickamauga. The 32nd & 45th Mississippi Infantry (consolidated) lost 19 men around the Regimental Colors on the 20th.  It is very likely that he was mortally wounded in this action, during which several men were killed and wounded in an attempt to keep the Regimental Colors flying, or he could have been one of the men attempting to remove the mortally wounded Major F.C. Karr from the field.  Whatever his actual actions were, he obviously did something to impress his comrades enough to cause them to nominate him, posthumously, to the Confederate Roll of Honor.

The various Companies of the 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment selected the following men for the Roll of Honor:  Smith Scroggins (killed), Co. A; J.B. Milton (killed), Co. B; Samuel H. Stevenson, Co. C; J.W. Looney (killed), Co. D; Monroe M. Miller (killed), Co. E; J.M. Cooper, Co. F; C.H. Reed, Co. G; Sergeant John Calvin Dean, Co. H; C.C. Campbell (killed), Co. I; Sergeant T.W. Crabb, Co. K.

Later in February, 1864 Abner was at home on furlough and turned Smith’s personal effects over to Smith’s widow, Ellender, and acted as a witness in her application for Smith’s back pay.  Also acting as a character witness for Ellender was John Rhinehart, a family friend who was also a member of the 32nd Mississippi.  There is a J. Rhinehart on the rolls of the 32nd Mississippi who is the Second Lieutenant of the Johnston Avengers.  She applied at the County Courthouse in Jacinto, Mississippi for Smith’s Army pay which was due him at the time of his death.  Later in April, 1864 she received a check for $134.06 from the Confederate Government.  She would need this money to take care of her five children, who were now fatherless.

On October 9, 1863 Lieutenant General Daniel H. Hill was relieved of command and his corps given to General William J. Hardee by Confederate President Jefferson Davis.  He believed that General Hill was the main cause of a petition that had been circulated by Bragg’s officers to have General Bragg relieved of his command. 

Colonel Lowrey commanded the Alabama and Mississippi Brigade of Cleburne’s Division in the battle of Missionary Ridge, where Cleburne’s men were engaged in the battle on the extreme right against General Sherman.  Lowrey’s Brigade was at Chickamauga Station, preparing to board a train to join in Longstreet’s campaign against Knoxville.  When Bragg became aware of the danger of his situation he ordered them back.  Cleburne, with seven brigades, took up positions at Tunnel Hill and defended against the attack of General Sherman.  They captured eight Federal regimental flags, and captured about 500 prisoners.  Then came the news of the defeat of the remainder of Bragg’s army.  “General Lowrey attacked and drove back the enemy’s skirmishers in his front and then retreated,” said Cleburne, who mentioned Lowrey as one of those who, though not actively engaged, rendered good service in holding important positions.  On the retreat to Ringgold, Georgia, the division, following Hardee’s Corps, reached the bank of the East Chickamauga River at 10 o’clock in the night of November 26.  The ford was waist deep and the night was freezing cold, so they bivouacked in the hills at Ringgold Gap.  The next day Cleburne’s Division went into line of battle in the hills to halt the Federal advance.  General Lowrey placed the 32nd & 45th Mississippi (consolidated), under Col. A.B. Hardcastle, in reserve in the center of the gap.  As the battle raged, Cleburne ordered Lowrey’s Brigade up the hill to the support of Polk’s Brigade.  Moving rapidly ahead of his command Lowrey found the 1st Arkansas hard pressed by the enemy.  General Cleburne reported: “General Lowrey brought up the 32nd and 45th Mississippi in double time, and threw them into the field at the critical moment.  The enemy gave way and went down the hill in great confusion.”  In this movement the 15th Mississippi Sharpshooter Battalion and the 32nd & 45th Mississippi Regiment (consolidated) were at the head of General Lowrey’s column, and went into the fight with a terrific “rebel yell”.  “When my ammunition was nearly exhausted,” Lowrey reported, “my men and officers gave me assurance with great enthusiasm that they would hold the position at the point of the bayonet and with clubbed muskets if the enemy dared to charge them.”  The attack was renewed by the Federals, but was once again repulsed.  The brigade had 1,330 men present for duty in this battle.  Cleburne wrote in his report: “To Brigadier-Generals Polk and Lowrey and Colonels Govan and Granbury I must return my thanks.  Four better officers are not in the service of the Confederacy.”  As a result of this battle, which saved the artillery and wagon trains of the army, Cleburne and his command were thanked by a resolution of the Confederate Congress.  General Lowrey commended his staff officers, Captain J.P. Walker, Captain O.S. Palmer, and Lieutenant A.J. Hall.  Colonel Hardcastle reported a loss of 1 killed and 17 wounded.

In the Atlanta campaign the 5th and 8th Mississippi were added to the brigade.  The 45th Mississippi Regiment which was consolidated with the 32nd Mississippi is not mentioned in the records and it is assumed that they were absorbed by the 32nd Mississippi Regiment.  Colonel William H.H. Tison was in command of the 32nd Mississippi at the opening of the campaign on May 7, 1864, when Cleburne’s Division was entrenched at Mill Creek, in front of Dalton, Georgia.  Sherman’s forces advanced toward Rock Face Gap, near Dalton, and Cleburne’s Division made a rapid march on an extremely hot day, May 8, to Dug Gap, with Lowrey’s and Granbury’s Brigades. They arrived just in time to reinforce a handful of troops and held back a brigade of Hooker’s Corps.  From there General Cleburne marched his division to Snake Creek Gap to meet McPhersons’ Corps which, fortunately, had hesitated in advancing and occupying Resaca before Cleburne arrived.  On May 14, 1863, in front of Resaca, the Federal army attacked the Confederate lines, but were repulsed.  The casualties of the 32nd Mississippi were 5 killed and 7 wounded. 

Lowrey’s Brigade crossed the Oostenaula River on the night of the 15th and was posted on a hill near Calhoun, supporting artillery. This was to meet a flanking movement made by Sherman’s army, but they were outflanked themselves and were forced to withdraw toward Adairsville.  The following days were spent maneuvering in the vicinity of Cassville.  They then crossed the Etowah River and marched toward Dallas, to meet Sherman’s movement by the right flank.  A severe battle was fought by Cleburne’s Division on May 27, near New Hope Church, at Pickett’s Mill.  Cleburne’s Division repulsed the attack of Howard’s entire Federal Corps.  Allen’s and Hannon’s Alabama Cavalry Brigades encountered Federal Cavalry supported by the Federal IV Corps in what was an apparent attempt to turn Cleburne’s right flank.  General Cleburne ordered Granbury’s Infantry Brigade to the support of Allen’s and Hannon’s Alabama Cavalry Brigades.  General Govan sent the 8th and 9th Arkansas Regiments under the command of Colonel Baucum to their support.  As Baucum’s men reached the end of Granbury’s line, they encountered the forward elements of the Federal forces and forced them to withdraw, saving the Texans from a flank attack.  “Before the Federal left could gather to overwhelm Baucum and his two regiments, Lowrey’s brigade, hurried by General Cleburne from its position, as left of his second line, came to join them, and the two formed abreast of Granbury’s brigade, stopped the advance of the enemy’s left and successfully resisted its subsequent attacks.”, reported General Joseph E. Johnston.  This victory was one of the most brilliant won by the Confederates during the Atlanta campaign.  Cleburne thanked General Lowrey “for the coolness and skill which he exhibited in forming his line.  His successive formation was the precise answer to the enemy’s movement in extending his left to turn our right.  Time was of the essence of things and his movement was the quickest.  His line was formed under heavy fire, on ground unknown to him and of the most difficult character, and the stern firmness with which he and his men and Baucum’s Regiment drove off the enemy and resisted his renewed attacks without doubt saved the right of the army.”  On July 18, 1864 General Joseph E. Johnston was relieved of command of the Army of Tennessee and the Army was put under the command of General John B. Hood.  Then followed the campaign on the Kennesaw Mountain line and the retreat across the Chattahoochee River.

In Hood’s attack at Peachtree Creek, July 21, the brigade supported Steven’s Georgia Brigade, which was repulsed.  After a little skirmishing, losing 41 killed and wounded , Lowrey was relieved by Mercer’s Brigade.  That night they marched to Atlanta and the next day were skirmishing along the Augusta Railroad, losing 48 killed and wounded.  On July 22, they marched with Hardee and made a flank attack.  The 32nd Mississippi crossed a miry glade and advanced through a brigade that had been repulsed.  Lowrey wrote: “The 32nd Mississippi rushed forward almost to the works, when one-third of the command fell at one volley and two color bearers were killed in quick succession.”  Lowrey declared he never saw a greater display of gallantry than the charge of the brigade.  They failed because the men were exhausted and couldn’t take the breastworks which were held by twice their numbers.  The casualties for 32nd Mississippi were 18 killed, 45 wounded and 23 missing.

Following is the organization at the battle of Atlanta:

Colonel - W.H.H. Tison, wounded.

Adjutant - J.W. Smith.

Ensign - H.N. Patton, killed.


Company A - Captain D.F. Reynolds, Second Lieutenant D. W. Rogers (wounded), Orderly Sergeant T.N. Gibson (killed), Sergeants W.R. Sherrill (wounded), W.G. McLearen (wounded), D.J. Wood (missing).


Company B - Captain J.L. Kennedy, First Lieutenant Ed. Harwell (lost leg);  First Sergeant S.D. Gambrel (lost leg), Sergeant J.D. Agnew (missing).


Company C -  Captain J.W. Swinney, First Sergeant William Kincard (wounded).


Company G - Captain F.S. Norman, Acting Lieutenant-Colonel (killed); Lieutenant B.F. Dilworth, commanding company; First Sergeant J.L. McLean (wounded). 

       Company E - Captain J.M. Cotton (killed), First Lieutenant Thomas Moody (wounded), Second Lieutenant W.W. Nance, Sergeants John Stewart (killed), M.N. Meeks (missing). 

Companies F and K - Lieutenant F.C. Bryant, commanding; Sergeants B.B. Miller (wounded), T.W. Crabb (wounded), E. Anderson (wounded). 

Company G - First Lieutenant Charles Cleary, wounded. 

Company H - Second Lieutenant W.D. Storment, wounded. 

Company I - Second Lieutenant E.T. Smith, captured. 

Lowrey’s Brigade remained several days in position, east of Atlanta before being placed in the lines around the city.  In seven days it lost 2 killed and 20 wounded in the fighting around Atlanta.  Between August 3rd and 6th they were moved to near Eastpoint where on August 30th General Lowrey was put in temporary command of Cleburne’s Division, and Colonel John Weir took command of the brigade.  In the battle of August 31st near Jonesboro, they drove a Federal line across Flint River and captured four cannon.  On September 1st they sustained casualties from artillery fire while in fortified positions.  The brigade loss from July 20th to September 1st was 115 killed, 491 wounded and 104 missing.  General Lowrey commanded Cleburne’s Division in this battle, and when Govan’s Brigade gave way, he and Lieutenant-General Hardee rode rapidly forward into the battle and encouraged Granbury to hold fast.  Weir’s (Lowrey’s) Brigade was on the left of Granbury’s Brigade, about a mile north of Jonesboro.

On September 2nd near Lovejoy’s Station, Lowrey’s Division repulsed the attack of the Federal Division of Thomas J. Wood.  In this action, General Wood and large number of his officers and men were wounded.  At the close of the campaign Captain Andrew E. Moody commanded the 32nd Mississippi and 8th Mississippi which had been consolidated.  On September 23, 1864, Lieutenant General William J. Hardee, at his own request, was relieved of command of his Corps and command of it was given to Major General Benjamin F. Cheatham.

Lowrey’s Brigade, with Cleburne’s Division ( both Colonel Lowrey and General Cleburne were back in command of their respective units), took part in the October, 1864 campaign on the Chattanooga and Atlanta Railroad.  They captured Dalton, moved to Gadsden, Alabama, and skirmished in front of Decatur, Alabama then crossed the Tennessee River on November 13.  On November 21 they marched from Florence, Alabama in a snow storm to Columbia, Tennessee and crossed the Duck River.  They attacked General Stanley’s Federal division at Spring Hill, Tennessee on November 29.  There was considerable loss of life on both sides.  The next day they followed the Federal forces to Franklin and participated in the assault on the evening of November 30.  Cleburne’s Division was on the right of Cheatham’s Corps, near the center of the Confederate line.  “The advance was a magnificent spectacle,” wrote Colonel Ellison Capers, “Bands playing, general and staff officers riding in front and between the lines, a hundred battle-flags waving, and bursting shells wreathing the air with great circles of smoke.”  The advanced line of the Federals was driven back in confusion and large numbers of Federal troops were captured.  The main Federal line, entrenched behind parapets and protected by a crossfire of artillery, repulsed the Confederate attack.  The Confederate losses were horrendous.  General Cleburne was killed, and more than sixty brigade and regiment commanders were killed or wounded.  Among the wounded was Colonel Tison of the 32nd Mississippi.  The Federal troops fell back to the lines around Nashville.  Hood’s army took up positions on December 2, 1864 and Lowrey’s Brigade was placed on the extreme right, at the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad cut, two and one-half miles from the city.  The aggregate present of the brigade on December 13th was 837.   Major Andrew E. Moody was in command of the 8th & 32nd Mississippi (consolidated).  General Lowrey was given temporary command of the division after Cleburne’s death until the arrival of J.A. Smith. the senior Brigadier.  In the battle of Nashville on December 15th and 16th, the Division repelled all the Federal assaults on the first day, and on the second day they were moved to the Granny White pike. Here they fought gallantly until overwhelmed in the general disaster that followed.  They recrossed the Tennessee River on December 26th and marched into northeast Mississippi.

In the organization of the army of General J.E. Johnston, near Smithfield, N.C. on March 31, 1865, the remnant of Lowrey’s Brigade was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel J.F. Smith.  The 8th & 32nd Mississippi were consolidated under the command of Captain H.W. Crook and on April 9th the 5th, 8th, and 32nd Mississippi Regiments and 3rd Mississippi Battalion were consolidated as the 8th Mississippi Battalion with Captain J.Y. Carmack commanding.  The 32nd Mississippi ceased to exist as a regiment.  The surviving members served on with the 8th Mississippi Battalion.  With Sharp’s and Manigault’s Brigades also consolidated, The 8th Mississippi Battalion was included in the brigade command of General Sharp, in D.H. Hill’s Division, of Steven D. Lee’s Corps.

The army was surrendered by General Johnston on April 26, 1865, and paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina.  Abner Scroggins served with the 32nd Mississippi Infantry until the end of the war.  He was paroled in 1865 in Montgomery, Alabama.  His whereabouts after the war cannot be ascertained, as there are no further records of him that I have find.

                Family tradition says that the Yankee and Confederate sides of the family had a reunion after the war in about 1870 on a creek near Rienzi, Mississippi and everyone in the family made up and hard feelings were put aside.  After the war Ellender Scroggins (Smith’s widow) moved her family to Decatur County, Tennessee.  The 1870 Census shows Ellender to be residing in Decatur County, Tennessee with all five of her children.  Included in these five children was William Alexander Scroggins, who was now 19 years old, and his wife Margaret.  Ellender later moved the family to Black Fork, Scott County, Arkansas and remarried to a man named Lem Worthey, a widower with four children.  William Jasper Scroggins (Smith’s youngest brother who had served in the Union Army) moved his family from Missouri, where he had moved after the Civil War, to Delba in Fannin County, Texas in 1877.  He was the first of our family to migrate to Texas.  William Alexander Scroggins (Smith’s oldest son and my great-grandfather) moved his family to Fannin County, Texas from Arkansas sometime between June 19 and August 11, 1880.  My grandfather, Charles Wesley Scroggins, was born on May 9, 1895 in Leonard, Fannin County, Texas.

                 Smith Scroggins was illiterate and could not read or write.  He probably had Abner write home to his wife and parents back in Rienzi for him.  Nevertheless, no letters have survived in my branch of the family. There also are not any surviving photographs of the family from this time in my branch of the family.  It is possible that there may be a group photograph of the 32nd Mississippi Regiment extant.  Further research will answer this.  As a child I had been told that someone in our family had been killed in the Civil War, but no one was sure exactly who it was.  It was not until the early 1980’s that I began serious research and found out exactly who it was.  I was surprised to find out that it was my own great-great-grandfather and that not only had he been killed, but that he was listed on the Confederate Roll of Honor.

                I would very much like to know what Smith and Abner’s thoughts and feelings were on the issues of the day at this turbulent time in our country’s history.  What did they think about slavery?  The 1860 Mississippi Census shows that they didn’t own any slaves.  Does this show us that they didn’t believe in slavery or simply that they were too poor to own any?  The average Confederate soldier didn’t own any slaves and most didn’t care one way or the other about the issue of slavery.  A typical answer, when asked why they were fighting, was that their country was being invaded by the Northern Army.  I guess we’ll never know for sure what Smith and Abner’s reasons were for fighting.  We obviously can deduce what their feelings were on the preservation of the Union and the issue of states rights, seeing as how they served in the Confederate Army.  There was obviously some dissent in the family on one of these issues, as one brother (William Jasper) returned to Tennessee to serve in the Yankee Army. What were Abner’s thoughts as he sat at Smith’s deathbed in a Georgia field hospital and watched his brother die of the gunshot wounds he had received at Chickamauga?  Were they a deeply religious family?  Probably so, as most Southerners at this period in our country’s history were devout Christians. Surviving church records show that the family was very likely Presbyterian.  While living in Tennessee they attended the Prosperity Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, which was 8 miles north of Fayetteville, Tennessee.  Whatever their thoughts and feelings were during this time of war and family tragedy, they have been regrettably forever lost to time.

While researching the life of my great-great-grandfather and the 32nd Mississippi Regiment, a curious fact was uncovered.  Important and significant events in my family’s history seem to have the odd habit of occurring on October the 8th.  This was the day that my great-great-great-grandparents, Smith Sr. and Tabitha, were married in 1818 in North Carolina.  It was also the date that the 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment was engaged in combat for the first time in 1862 in Kentucky.  Smith died from his wounds in Georgia on that date in 1863.  And finally my brother, Larry, was born in Texas on that date in 1952.  This is only four occurrences in a span of 144 years, but this still seems to me to be an unusual number of significant incidents occurring on the same day.

                Although Smith Scroggins has been dead for 134 years, he is not forgotten, which was originally the purpose of this paper.  The information about him in this paper is perhaps sketchy, but is hopefully enough to keep future generations of our family from wondering who was that “someone” in our family that had been killed in the Civil War.  I thought it might be possible to revive a small part of his life through the history of the Regiment in which he served and died.  As Southerners and Americans we should be proud of the sacrifice that he and others like him made for what they believed in and ,ultimately, for later generations.  I know that I am. 



Texas City, Texas

 December 30, 1997 



“Autumn of Glory, The Army of Tennessee 1862-1865” by Thomas Lawrence Connelly, Louisiana State University Press, 1971 

“Perryville, Battle for Kentucky” by Kenneth A. Hafendorfer, K.H. Press, Louisville, Kentucky, 1991 

“Pat Cleburne, Confederate General” by Howell and Elizabeth Purdue, Hill Jr. College Press, Hillsboro, Texas, 1973 

“Cleburne and His Command” by Irving A. Buck, Walter Neale Publishing Co., New York, 1908, reprinted with forward by Bell Irwin Wiley by Morningside Bookshop, Dayton, Ohio, 1985 

“This Terrible Sound” by Peter Cozzens, University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago, 1992 

“Civil War Guns” by William B. Edwards, The Stackpole Company, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1962 

“Three Months in the Southern States, April-June 1863” by Lt. Col. Arthur J.L. Fremantle, New York, 1864, reprinted by University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London, 1991 

“Confederate Military History” 

“Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1893” by Dunbar Rowland 

Confederate Roll of Honor, National Archives, Washington, D.C. 

Personnel records of Pvt. Smith Scroggins, 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment, C.S.A.; Pvt. Abner Scroggins, 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment,C.S.A., National Archives, Washington, D.C. 

County and State records of  Wake County,North Carolina; Decatur and Lincoln Counties, Tennessee; Tishomingo County, Mississippi; Scott County, Arkansas; Fannin County, Texas. 

U.S. Census Records, National Archives, Washington, D.C.