33rd ALABAMA Co. B
Submitted by Terri Tait


Source:
"Confederate Veteran", Vol 28, 1920, page 332.


A FALSE ALARM.


BY W. E. Preston,  COLUMBUS, GA.

The Dale County Grays, Company B, 33d Alabama Regiment Wood-Lowry Brigade,
Buckner-Cleburne Division, was in Fort McRee, Pensacola, Fla., in  March and
April, 1862. It was about a Mile below the lighthouse and connected with the
mainland by an irregular low strip of sand, in places fifty feet or less in
width at high tide, which we guarded at night, with orders to shoot if
occasion required.  We also guarded sand batteries covered with turf below
the fort, which was of brick, the heavier siege guns in lower casements, the
lighter guns in upper casements, field guns on the parapets, and a furnace
for heating hot shot.  We drilled by the manual of arms, cornpany and
battalion drill; also drilled with big guns.  In the daytime  we dismounted
a big gun in the fort, carried it at night under a wagon with thirty-six
mules by the lighthouse to the four-rnile bridge across the bayou. and put
it on a barge, and the next night it was carried to Pensacola.  We
dismounted guns in sand batteries at night, replacing them with plank guns
painted black, two or three hundred of us pulled by a long rope in front of
the mules across sand dunes to the fort, then the mules could carry it to
the bayou.  We were armed with old flint and steel mukets converted to
require percussion caps, buck and ball cartridges, a round ball with three
buckshot on the front end.

One afternoon there was quite a storm, with rain from off the gulf,
enlarging the bay and inunudating our connection mainland.  Later sentinels
began firing in the flooded area.  Some set their muzzle-loaders down in the
water to reload and couldn't shoot, so they yelled,.  "Corporal of the
guard, Post No. 4" or whatever it might be. This was repeated by sentinels
nearer the fort, and the corporal and detail went out and didn't come back.


Capt.  R. E. Ward, officer of the day, took twenty or thirty of us to see
what was  the matter.  I could see nothing except the phosphorus on top of
the waves and the occasional flash of a sentinel's gun, sometimes shooting
dangerously near in our direction.  One trouble in our movements was in
keeping on the highest part of that crooked stretch of sand covered with
water.  Then something came by that appeared to be a whaleboat full of
Yankees, and we tried to kill them, and I shot at other supposed whaleboats
full of Yankees that night.  Day dawned and with it the situation.

A Federal transport in trouble of  Fort Pickens had thrown overboard many
barrels of vinegar and boxes, which floated in, and I suppose the.darkness,
surrounding waters, wind and rain, and the shooting all excited our
imagination, which exaggerated their size.

Captain Ward and eleven others Of Company B were either killed or mortally
wounded at Perryville.'


THE 33d ALABAMA REGIMENT
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA


     Recently I had a phone call from a Major Bob Willis, a descendant of
the Bush family who lived in the Wiregrass area in years past .... some of
whom are still in the Enterprise area.
Major Willis has been doing a good bit of research, endeavoring to locate a
gggf William R. Bush, who was a member of Company L, 3d Alabama Infantry,
CSA, which was organized at Union Springs, Ala.  He was reported as being
"missing in action" in early May of 1863 from the Battle of
Chancellorsville, Va.  His brother, Richard R. Bush, was killed at the
Battle of Chickamauga and was buried in the Confederate Cemetery at
Marietta, Ga.  Another brother, George D. Bush and 16 other soldiers of the
33rd are buried in a pasture near Ooltewah, Tenn.
Research disclosed that on November 4, 1862 at about 2 P.M., a train wreck
occurred approximately 16 miles south of Cleveland, Tenn.  The train was on
a down grade when the wheels of one of the cars came off...causing the train
to de-rail.  As a result of this wreck, 17 men were killed and 67 men
injured.  The injured were taken to Cleveland, and the dead were buried on
the south side of the railroad tracks.
     Major Willis, and others, are desirous of placing an appropriate marker
at the site of the group-burial, but would first like to ascertain the names
of all of those who are buried there.  He states that at this time, he has
only identified these as being interred there: Captain Reuben J. Cooper,
Commander of Company G; 2d Lt.  Charles Scott; Sgt.  George D. Bush; Pvt.
John Green Lewis (or his brother, Charles Lextas Lewis).
     Mr. Willis found his great-great-grandfather, William R. Bush, on the
1860 census records of Dale County ... living around Newton .... so he
visited in Newton, and located a Mr. Marcus Rosser.  Mr. Rosser invited
Willis to visit the local library which is located in the old Newton Baptist
Bible Institute which closed in 1929.  Here in an old roll-top desk he found
some papers written by a M.L. Wheeler .... sometime after the close of the
Civil War.
     These papers were almost a daily account of the activities of the 33d
Alabama Regiment during the entire Civil War.  Mr. Wheeler was a member of
Company A, 18th Gunter (Jackson County) Battalion.  A part of this battalion
was attached to the 33d Regiment.  Most intriguing was the fact that many of
the names listed showed those who had been killed, wounded, or captured.
Apparently Mr. Wheeler had kept a daily diary ... or had a tremenduous
memory.  As to be expected, many of the pages were not legible, due to age,
and ink-fading.


     The following units made up the 33d Alabama Regiment:
 Company A- Organized at Elba, Ala on March 10, 1862.
 Company B- Organized from, Skipperville, Echo, Clopton, Newton, Barnes
X-Roads.
 Company C- Organized at  Greenville, Ala.
 Company D- Organized at Georgiana, Ala.
 Company E- Organized at Montgomery, Ala.
 Company F- Organized at Brandon's Store (near Bryarsville), Covington
County, Ala.
 Company G- Organized at Daleville, Ala. on March 8, 1862.
 Company H- Organized at Greenville, Ala.
 Company I- Organized  at Haw Ridge, Rocky Head, Ozark, Westville, Newton,
Ala.
 Company K- Organized at Clintonville, Coffee County, Ala.

The Muster Rolls of these units as of March 29, 1862 were:

   UNIT:        COMMANDER:                STRENGTH:

 Company A Captain  McKimmey            4 OFF 109 EM 
(M C Kimmey,  Correction from Gloria Gannon Mason.  Mason Creed Kimmey washer great-great-great-grandfather)

 Company B Captain  Ward                4 OFF 112 E M
 Company C Captain  James H. Dunklin    4 OFF 100 EM
 Company D Captain  David McKee         4 OFF 83 EM
 Company E Captain  Henderson H. Norman 4 OFF unk
 Company F Captain  A.H. Justice        4 OFF 85 EM
 Company G Captain  Reuben J. Cooper    3 OFF 80 EM
 Company H Captain  Thomas Pugh         4 OFF 87 EM
 Company I Captain  Crittenden          4 OFF 92 EM
 Company K Captain  Daniel Horn         4 OFF 79 EM

Colonel Samuel Adams of Greenville, Alabama .... a Lieutenant in the
Virginia Militia was elected as the Regimental Commander of the 33d Alabama
Regiment.  He was fatally wounded by a sharpshooter in the Battle of
Atlanta.  The flag of the 33d Regiment was known as the "BONNIE BLUE." It
was blue, with a white crecent moon near the center .... trimmed with a 2
inch white border.

     Familiar names of Wiregrass families are most common on the data
gleaned from the papers of Mr. Wheeler, and from the Alabama State Archives.
A copy of these notes will be placed in the Library of the Pea River
Historical Society.

     Anyone who can expand upon the names of the Confederate Soldiers who
were killed in the Tennessee train wreck ... and buried nearby...are asked
to contact Major Willis, whose address is: Major (Ret) Robert E. Willis, 120
Colina Circle, Panama City Beach, Florida-32407.


Source:  "Pea River Trails", Volume 15, Sprint 1990, Number 1, page 20-21.

                                  TRAIN WRECK

     Quite sometime ago Major Bob Willis of Panama City, FL., contacted me
about his interest in tracing his great-grandfather, William R. Bush, a
member of the famed 3d Alabama Infantry, CSA.  He was reported as being
"missing in action" in early May 1863 after the Battle of Chancellorsville,
VA.

     He learned that some 17 Confederate Soldiers of the 33d Alabama
Volunteers died in a train wreck in Tennessee, and were buried in an
'unmarked' grave near Cleveland, TN.  Bob, because of his inability to
locate his ancestor, suspected that he might be interred with these.  It
also upset him that these soldiers had been buried in this manner.

     Major Willis, began a concerted effort to do something about this
situation.  He went to Montgomery and talked with the appropriate historical
people, soliciting their help.  Bob then drove to Cleveland, TN., and
endeavored to find the grave sites.

     In some old letters and papers found in the files of the Baptist
Collegiate Institute in Newton, AL., he found some information about this
accident in the diary of M.L. Wheeler, written at some time after the Civil
War.

     Evidently Mr. Wheeler had a remarkable memory, and kept almost a daily
account of Company A, 18th Gunter Battalion, vividly recounting the details
of this wreck which took place on Wednesday, November 4, 1862 a few miles
south of Cleveland, TN.  There were 17 men killed and 70 who suffered
injuries.  All of these men were members of the 33d Alabama Volunteers.

     The troop train on which these men were riding had departed Knoxville
enroute to Chattanooga.  Accounts of two of these soldiers stated that they
were traveling south through Cleveland, TN., at about 4 o'clock in the
afternoon when a log fell off of the tender and knocked the wheels out from
under the car on which Company B was riding.

     The train de-railed and the cars piled on top of one another.
Survivors took axes and chopped up the wood, freeing the men who had been
pin-ned underneath.  The injured were taken to a hospital in Cleveland and
the casualties were buried in a shallow ditch.  The remaining troops
continued on to join in the battle at Murphreesboro.

     Major Willis after making contact with descendants of some of these
soldiers, and in cooperation with the Jefferson Davis Chapter of the United
Daughters of the Confederacy, unveiled and dedicated a historical marker to
these soldiers of the Confederacy on Saturday November 4, 1989 at the Fort
Hill Cemetery at Cleveland.

     Major Bob Willis delivered a brief history of the 33d Alabama
Volunteers.  Others participating in this ceremony included Dr. Anthony
Hodges, Commander of the Tennessee Division of the Sons of the Confederacy,
who spoke on the affects of the Civil War on East Tennessee.  Members of
Bradley Central High School sang several Civil War songs; Kevin Connell
performed the drum rolls during the ceremony, and Todd Gregory, a descendant
of one of the veterans, unveiled the monument.  Steve Goodner, a member of
the 30th Tennessee Infantry "Living History Group," fired a traditional
musket saluting the men who died in the train wreck.

     Mrs. Cora Kerr of Montgomery, AL., was given a special flag, for her
efforts with local officials to have the monument placed at Fort Hill.  A
wreath was placed as local trumpeteer, Barky Bryant played "TAPS." This
monument is placed in the Civil War section of the Fort Hill Cemetery.

     Mr. Larry Holcomb, a citizen of Cleveland, made several remarks about
this project, and stated that more Americans died in the Civil War, than in
a combination of World War I, World War 11, Korea and Viet Nam.

     Had it not been for the persistence of Major Bob Willis, this ceremony
honoring our Alabama Confederate Dead from the 33d Alabama Volunteers, would
never have been accomplished.

Source:  "Pea River Trails", Volume 15, Summer 1990, Number 2, page 15.

                               TRAIN WRECK

Quite sometime ago Major Bob Willis of Panama City, FL., contacted me about
his interest in tracing his great-grandfather, William R. Bush, a member of
the famed 3d Alabama Infantry, CSA.  He was reported as being "missing in
action" in early May 1863 after the Battle of Chancellorsville, VA.

He learned that some 17 Confederate Soldiers of the 33d Alabama Volunteers
died in a train wreck in Tennessee, and were buried in an "un-marked" grave
near Cleveland, TN.  Bob, because of his inability to locate his ancestor,
suspected that he might be interred with these.  It also upset him that
these soldiers had been buried in this manner.

     Major Willis, began a concerted effort to do something about this
situation.  He went to Montgomery and talked with the appropriate historical
people, soliciting their help.  Bob then drove to Cleveland, TN., and
endeavored to find the grave sites.

     In some old letters and papers found in the files of the Baptist
Collegiate Institute in Newton, AL., he found some information about this
accident in the diary of M.L. Wheeler, written at some time after the Civil
War.

     Evidently Mr. Wheeler had a remarkable memory, and kept almost a daily
account of Company A, 18th Gunter Battalion, vividly recounting the details
of this wreck which took place on Wednesday, November 4, 1862 a few miles
south of Cleveland, TN.  There were 17 men killed and 70 who suffered
injuries.  All of these men were members of the 33d Alabama Volunteers.

     The troop train on which these men were riding had departed Knoxville
enroute to Chattanooga.  Accounts of two of these soldiers stated that they
were traveling south through Cleveland, TN., at about 4 o'clock in the
afternoon when a log fell off of the tender and knocked the wheels out from
under the car on which Company B was riding.  The train de-railed and the
cars piled on top of one another.

     Survivors took axes and chopped up the wood, freeing the men who had
been pinned underneath.  The injured were taken to a hospital in Cleveland
and the casualties were buried in a shallow ditch.  The remaining troops
continued on to join in the battle at Murphreesboro.

     Major Willis after making contact with descendants of some of these
soldiers, and in cooperation with the Jefferson Davis Chapter of the United
Daughters of the Confederacy, unveiled and dedicated a historical marker to
these soldiers of the Confederacy on Saturday November 4, 1989 at the Fort
Hill Cemetery at Cleveland.

     Major Bob Willis delivered a brief history of the 33d Alabama
Volunteers.  Others participating in this ceremony included Dr. Anthony
Hodges, Commander of the Tennessee Division of the Sons of the Confederacy,
who spoke on the affects of the Civil War on East Tennessee.  Members of
Bradley Central High School sang several Civil War songs; Kevin Connell
performed the drum rolls during the ceremony, and Todd Gregory, a descendant
of one of the veterans, unveiled the monument.  Steve Goodner, a member of
the 30th Tennessee Infantry "Living History Group," fired a traditional
musket saluting the men who died in the train wreck.

     Mrs. Cora Kerr of Montgomery, AL., was given a special nag, for her
efforts with local officials to have the monument placed at Fort Hill.  A
wreath was placed as local trumpeteer, Barky Bryant played "TAPS." This
monument is placed in the Civil War section of the Fort Hill Cemetery.

     Mr. Larry Holcomb, a citizen of Cleveland, made several remarks about
this project, and stated that more Americans died in the Civil War, than in
a combination of World War 1, World War 11, Korea and Viet Nam.

     Had it not been for the persistence of Major Bob Willis, this ceremony
honoring our Alabama Confederate Dead from the 33d Alabama Volunteers, would
never have been accomplished.


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