April 4, 1861: Mississippi troops in Mobile


William Barksdale

The seceded states’ troops were assembling for the anticipated battles, and as noted earlier, many were headed for Pensacola for the attempt to take Fort Pickens. The Memphis Daily Appeal describes the scene in Mobile as militia mustered:

MEMPHIS DAILY APPEAL [MEMPHIS, TN], April 4, 1861, p. 2, c. 2
The Mississippi Troops in Mobile.
A friend connected with one of the Mississippi regiments of volunteers, writes to us from Mobile under date of the 31st ult., as follows: “Two regiments of Mississippi troops are now assembled in Mobile under the command of Maj. Gen. Clark, and quartered, some in cotton sheds, others in cotton tents. Our destination is Pensacola, to which place we will proceed by the land route, starting on Wednesday next. Inasmuch as there are five United States vessels of war lying off Fort Pickens, it is deemed imprudent to attempt to reach Pensacola by water. The election of field officers for the two regiments is postponed until our arrival at Pensacola. The candidates are numerous, and the contest perhaps will be very exciting. It fills one with singular and pleasant reflections upon the effects of patriotism, to walk around our camps and see the old and young men, wealthy planters, lawyers, doctors, men of all professions, in the red or blue flannel shirts of privates, gathered around the camp fires, and cooking their own meals with an alacrity and earnestness equal only to the use of their muskets. Dangerous fellows these, for abolition hordes to meet! Brigadier-Generals Motte and Barksdale, army of Mississippi, are in the city. Brigadier-General Griffiths, with his aid, Capt. Brown, passed through this city Monday, bound for Montgomery.” F. E. W. 

The Generals named are generals of militia, some of whom would become officers in the CSA soon. “Griffiths” must be Brig. Gen. Richard Griffith, who would become Colonel of the 12th MS infantry in May, and later a brigadier general. He was killed in the Seven Days Battles on June 29, 1862. Barksdale is William Barksdale, US Representative from Mississippi until he resigned in January 1861. He would become Colonel of the 13th MS, and after Griffith’s fatal wounding, take over command of their brigade, and then be promoted to Brigadier General. He was killed at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863.

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