Company D, 4th Confederate Infantry, 1st Regiment, made up of men from Ala., Tenn., and Miss.(Became Co. E. 54th Ala. Inf. Regt.). Served at Island #10 in Tennessee and surrendered there in April, 1862. Men taken prisoners, but exchanged In Sept. 1862. Alphabetical list of soldiers, age at time of-enlistment, and a little other information if known. Copied this today from a Muster Roll record in AL Archives & History.
"Gulf Rangers" of 1861--Company "D", 4th Confederate Infantry--lst Regiment Alabama, Tennessee & Mississippi Infantry--Captain Henry Wesley Laird's "Gulf Rangers"
by Mrs. Marla Drake Dooley, 8505 Cherry Valley Lane, Alexandria, VA 22309. Dedicated to my Great, Great Grandfather-Henry Laird
A family story is that the "Gulf Rangers" was formed of friends, neighbors and blood kin. My ancestor, Private Henry Laird, was one of the original members of the "Rangers". The Roster of members of the "Gulf Rangers" was taken from the "Service Records of Confederate Soldiers", Microcopy #258, Rolls 64, 65, & 65, at the National Archives, Washington D.C., by my husband William James Dooley and myself, Marla Drake Dooley.
The "Gulf Rangers" were formed on 14 September, 1861, in Geneva, Coffee County (later Geneva County), Alabama, by Captain Henry Wesley Laird. After mustering in Montgomery, Alabama, they became part of the First Alabama Regiment, and were sent to Island #10 in Tennessee. Island #10 was situated in the Mississippi River near the corner of Tennessee, Missouri and Kentucky. It contained about forty acres of land, and stood ten feet above the water line. The battle was fought purely as a holding action; 7000 Confederate troops were to hold General Pope and 40,000 Union soldiers in check long enough for- General Albert Sydney Johnson to attack Grant at Shiloh. After a month, on 8 April, 1862, the outnumbered Confederates formally surrendered Island #10. The Prisoners of War were taken to Camp Randall, Madison, Wisconsin, Camp Butler, Springfield, Illinois, Johnson Island, Sandusky, Ohio, and Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois. Many were sick from fighting in the rain, mud, cold and rigorous climate, and then a terrible epidemic of measles, mumps and pneumonia came. Without suitable food, and practically without medicine with which to combat the epidemic, many died fighting and in prison. In September, 1862, the prisoners were exchanged and sent home to the South. Many of the "Gulf Rangers" were still sick, so they were given a medical discharge. Just as soon as they were well again, however, nearly everyone re-enlisted in another company.
Captain Henry Wesley Laird's "Gulf Rangers"
William Duncan Register(d.o.b. August 18, 1842) Corporal, born in Georgia, died in prison on 13 July 1862; claim filed August 3, 1863 by John Register (This is William's father (my g-great grandfather John Young Register)
My g-great uncle, John Forsyth Register, enlisted in Company "K" in the 6th Alabama Calvary in April of 1863 at Geneva, Alabama. He was honorably discharged from the Confederate Army on May 5, 1865 and took the oath of allegiance at Montgomery on May 30, 1865. John was elected the second sheriff of Geneva County on November 7, 1871. The community of Leonia in northern Holmes County, Florida, is named after his first wife. He was a Missionary Baptist preacher for 43 years and according to my family's papers, he recorded more members into the Baptist Church than any other Baptist minister who lived in the Geneva area.
6th Alabama Cavalry Regiment
The 6th Alabama Cavalry was organized near Pine Level, early in 1863, as part of Brig. Gen'l James H. Clanton's brigade. Recruits were gathered from Barbour, Coffee, Coosa, Henry, Macon, Montgomery, Pike, and Tallapoosa counties. It was first engaged near Pollard with a column of the enemy that moved out from Pensacola. Ordered then to North Alabama, the 6th was concerned in several skirmishes near Decatur, with small loss. During the Atlanta-Dalton campaign, the regiment served for several weeks as part of Brig. Gen'l Samuel W. Ferguson's and Brig. Gen'l Frank C. Armstrong's brigades, losing quite a number. A portion of the regiment resisted Maj. Gen'l Lovel H. Rousseau at Ten Islands, losing a number killed and captured. Transferred to West Florida, the 6th fought Maj. Gen'l Frederick Steele's column at Bluff Springs, under orders from Col Armstead, and its loss was severe, especially in prisoners. The remnant fought Maj. Gen'l James H. Wilson's column, and laid down their arms at Gainesville, fewer than 200 men.
Field officers: Col. Charles H. Colvin, Lt. Col. Washington T. Lary (captured at Ten Islands); Major Eliphalet Ariel McWhorter (captured at Ten Islands, Bluff Springs); and Adjutant Joseph A. Robertson
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