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FEATURES: CIVIL WAR UNITS: 15th Alabama Infantry, CSA [BACK]

History of the Fifteenth Alabama Infantry Regiment

This regiment organized at Fort Mitchell in the summer of 1861, and moved at once into Virginia. Joining the main army near Manassas, it was brigaded with the 21th Georgia, 21th N. Carolina, and 16th Mississippi under Gen. G.B. Crittenden of Kentucky; Gen. I. R. Trimble succeeding Crittenden in Dec. When the army moved over to Yorktown, the Fifteenth remeined on the Shenandoah, in Gen. T. J. Jackson's division. It was engaged with slight loss at Front Royal and Winchester but lost 9 killed and 33 wonded, out of 425, at Cross Keys. Moving over to Richmond, in Jackson's flank movement on McClellan, it entered the first battle of Cold Harbor with 412 men and lost 34 killed and 110 wounded. Five days after, it suffered lightly at Malvern Hill. On the march in Maryland, it was engaged at Hazel River and Manassas Junction with a loss of 6 killed and 22 wounded. A day or two later the Fifteenth participated in the second and greater battle of Manassas, losing 21 killed and 14 wounded out of 440 men engaged. At Chantilly the regiment lost 4 killed and 14 wounded, and took part i the investment of Harper's Ferry, with trivial loss. At Sharpsburg of the 300 engaged, 9 were killed and 75 wounded. The Fifteenth was then placed in a brigade under Gen. Law (along with the Fourth, Forty-fourth, Forty-seventh, and Forty-eighth Alabama regiments), Longstreet's corps. At Suffolk it lost 4 killed and 18 wounded. It took part in the grand assault of Hood's division on Gettysburg and within a few minutes lost 72 killed, 190 wounded and 81 missing, out of 644 men engaged. The Fifteenth suffered lightly at Battle Mountain and transferred to the West, bore its colors proudly at Chicamauga, where it lost 19 killed and 123 wounded, out of 425 engaged. In the fierce fights at Brown's Ferry and Lookout Valley, the regiment lost 15 killed and 40 wounded. Six killed and 21 wounded at Knoxville, and light loss at Bean's Station, closed the operations of the regiment in Tennessee. It took 450 men in at the Wilderness and Spottsylvania, and lost 18 killed and 48 wounded. At Hanover Junction and the second Cold Harbor the loss was 6 killed and 48 wounded and then the regiment took its place in the "last ditch" at Petersburg. At Deep Bottom, a third of its 275 present were killed or wounded, and at Fussell's Mill the loss was 13 killed and 90 wounded. The Fifteenth took part in the subsequent severe fighting and surrendered at Appomattox 170 strong. Of the 1633 on the rolls, over 260 fell in battle, 440 died in service and 231 were transferred or discharged.

BATTLE/SKIRMISH:        DATE:                CASUALTIES:
Front Royal                May 23, 1862            Slight Loss

Winchester                 May 25, 1862            Slight Loss
Cross Key                  June 8, 1862            9-k, 33-w, 426 engaged

1st Battle of Cold Harbor  June 27-28 '62          34-k, 110-w, 412 engaged

Malvern Hill               July 1, 1862            Slight Loss

Hazel River and            Aug. 30, 1862           6-k, 22-w
  Manassas Junction   

2nd Battle of Manassas     Aug. 30, 1862           21-k, 91-w, 440 engaged

Chantilly                  Sept. 1, 1862           4-k, 14-w

Investment of                                      Trivial losses
  Harper's Ferry

Sharpsburg (Antietam)      Sept. 17, 1862          9-k, 75-w, 300 engaged

Fredricksburg              Dec. 15, 1862           1-k, 34-w

Suffolk                    May 1863                1-k, 18-w

Gettysburg                 July 1-3, 1863          72-k, 190-w, 81-m, 644 engaged
Battle Mountain                                    Slight losses

Chicamauga                 Sept. 19-20, 1863       19-k, 123-w, 425 engaged 

Brown's Ferry &            Oct. 27, 1863           6-k, 21-w
  Lookout Valley 

Knoxville                  Nov. 17-Dec. 4, 1863    6-k, 20-w

Bean's Station             Dec. 14, 1863           Slight losses  

Scene of Military Service During Three Historic Periods

There were compelling reasons for VA planners to place a National Cemetery at Fort Mitchell; it is located near present-day Fort Benning, Georgia and alarge community of retired veterans within the Alabama-Georgia border region. The small Fort Benning Military Cemetery is nearly full and the nearest national cemetery in Marietta, Georgia near Atlanta is full and closed. The VA also considered the historical significance of this location since it is directly adjacent to the original Fort Mitchell, the site of two frontier military outposts from 1813-1840.

The Georgia Militia constructed the original Fort Mitchell during the Creek War of 1813-1814. This war began as a civil war between rival Creek Indian factions during the War of 1812. The Upper Creeks, or Red Sticks, of central Alabama, who were allied with both the British and Spanish, were at odds with the Lower Creeks of the Chattahoochee River Valley, who were more allied with the fledgling American government.

The U.S. Army rebuilt Fort Mitchell on its original site and garrisoned it from 1825 until 1840, shortly after the Creek War of 1836 and the Indian Removal to the West. Fort Mitchell was, in fact, the embarkation point for the Lower Creek Nation onto the "Trail of Tears."

On a hill overlooking the fort is a military cemetery that served both forts. The Veterans Administration, in opening a new national cemetery nearby, must have taken into consideration the fact that Fort Mitchell had actually been a military cemetery location since 1813. They were in reality only opening a new section. The grounds of the 'new' National Cemetery are located on land once belonging to the plantation of James Cantey. During 1861, Confederate Colonel Cantey raised and trained the 15th Alabama Infantry Regiment on the grounds of the old fort. The old Cantey home site is now protected withing the new national cemetary boundary. It is unfortunate that the original Fort Mitchell site was not also ceded to the Veteran's Administration since it would have provided it too with some measure of protection.

FEATURES: CIVIL WAR UNITS: 15th Alabama Infantry, CSA [BACK]

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