The Alabama in the Civil War Message Board

Re: 31st AL REG. CO. C - W. B. Holmes

Unfortunately there is no personal data found in his Compiled Service Record file. The only surviving company muster roll was their initial Muster-In Roll dated March, 1862. Thus, he would have enlisted at some later date. I could not locate neither he nor his mother in the 1860 census.

Shellmound, Tenn. is located on the South bank of the Tennessee River, on the Nashville & Chattanooga RR, 19 miles WSE from Chattanooga, 5 miles West of Whiteside, TN. See Plate 145-3 of the Official Military Atlas of the Civil War which accompanies the OR and also:

I find nothing in the Official Records of an engagement at this time in or around Shellmound.

William B. Holmes

Residence was not listed;
Enlisted as a Private (date unknown).
He was listed as:
* POW (date and place not stated)
"C" Co. AL 31st Infantry
Other Information:
Buried: Rock Island Prison Cemetery, Rock Island, IL
Gravesite: 322

Also men of the 31st taken prisoner and who died at Rock Island

J. Baker, Pvt., Co. D Gravesite 48
J. J. Barnett, Pvt., Co. G, Gravesite 1585
John E. Beard, Pvt., Co. G, Gravesite 1349
Lewis Brasher, Pvt., Co. K, Gravesite 1465
Martin J. Bryant, Pvt., Co. D, Gravesite 645
W. A. Burke, Pvt.,Co. G, Gravesite 1751
D. A. Carden, Pvt., Co. F, Gravesite 1612
John Davis, Pvt., Co. C, Gravesite 1613
S. C. Fain, Pvt., Co. G, Gravesite 1207
W. F. Golden, Pvt., Co. F, Gravesite 1459
James Harper, Pvt., Co. K, Gravesite 1295
Thomas B. Hogan, Pvt., Co. C, Gravesite, 983
William B. Holmes, Pvt., Co. C, Gravesite 322
John Langley, Pvt., Co. I, Gravesite 1416
William B. Lewis, Pvt., Co. H, Gravesite 208
J. W. McQuagge, Pvt., Co. I, Gravesite 1559
J. L. Miller, Pvt., Co. G, Gravesite 1422
S. B. Nelson, Pvt., Co. G, Gravesite 1578
Dempsey N. Phillips, Pvt., Co. C, Gravesite 1510
Andrew J. Pope, Pvt., Co. A, Gravesite 1726
Francis Shubert, Pvt., Co. C, Gravesite 1381
James C. Sutley, Pvt., Co. C, Gravesite 1431

Sources used by Historical Data Systems, Inc.:
- Index to Compiled Confederate Military Service Records
- Confederate Dead at Rock Island, IL


William B. Holmes, Private, Company C, 31st Alabama Infantry, wounded, n,.d.., and taken prisoner at Battle of Shell Mound,, captured at Lookout, Mountain November 24/25, 1963, transferred to Bridgeport, Alabama, through Depot at Kelly's Ferry, Tenn., I admitted November 27, General Field Hospital, Bridgeport, Alabama, December 1,1863, admitted to U. S. A. General Hospital, Nashville, Tenn. January 2, 1964, Intermittent Fever, discharged sent to Provost Marshal January 9, forwarded from Nashville, Tenn. to Pro. Mar. Gen. at Louisville, Ky., January 13, 1864, discharged to Rock Island Barracks, Illinois prison camp January 17, arriving January 20, died of Chronic Diahr. February 1, 1864, buried in Grave no. 322 South of Prison Barracks,

M311: Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Alabama



This regiment was organized at Talladega, April, 1862, and
reported at Chattanooga; proceeded with the army at Knoxville,
took part in the fight at Cumberland Gap, June 18, 1862, and at
Tazewell, August 6th.

It was in Kentucky, but not in the midst of the fighting. In
Mississippi it fought well and suffered heavy loss at Port
Gibson. It suffered all the privations of the long siege of
Vicksburg and was surrendered with that place, having lost
severely; when exchanged, was assigned to the army of Tennessee
and brigaded under General Pettus; took a prominent part in the
Dalton-Atlanta campaign.

It went with Hood into Tennessee, suffering severely at Columbia
and Nashville, and was in the rear guard of the army on its
return. Sent into the Carolinas, it fought brilliantly at
Bentonville with considerable loss, and finally surrendered at
Greensboro, with but a small remnant of the over-full regiment
that started out.

Capt. W. L. Hughes was wounded at Jonesboro; I. J. Nix wounded
and captured at Baker's Creek and again wounded at Jonesboro.
Lieutenant Bagley (commanding company) was killed at Bentonville;
Capt. W. J. Rhodes wounded at Kinston and Bentonville; Lieut. W.
H. Boggess killed at Vicksburg; Capt. S. L. Arrington died in

The field officers were Col. Daniel R. Hundley, wounded and
captured at Port Gibson and again captured at Big Shanty, GA;
Lieut.-Col. Thomas M. Arrington and Maj. G. W. Mathieson.

Source: Confederate Military History, vol. VIII, p. 154


31st Regiment, Alabama Infantry

31st Infantry Regiment was organized at Talladega, Alabama, in April, 1862, and soon moved to Tennessee. It recruited its men in the counties of Cherokee, Shelby, Talladega, Randolph, Montgomery, and Calhoun. The regiment took part in the fight at Cumberland Gap and Tazewell but was not engaged when it moved into Kentucky. Ordered to Mississippi and assigned to General Tracy's Brigade, Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana, it fought at Chickasaw Bayou, Port Gibson, and Champion's Hill, then was captured after the long siege of Vicksburg. Exchanged and reorganized, the unit was brigaded under General Pettus and participated in many battles of the Army of Tennessee from Chattanooga to Bentonville. It was organized with over 1,000 men, had 260 effectives in January, 1863, and lost 21 killed and 37 wounded at Vicksburg. The unit reported 23 casualties at Chattanooga and in December, 1863, there were 452 present with 323 arms. Only 180 were fit for duty in January, 1865, and less than 100 surrendered in April. The 31st was commanded by Colonel Daniel R. Hundley, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas M. Arrington, and Major George W. Mattison.


This letter from P.L. Farmer was sent to Emily Wills Phillips to inform her of her husband's death in a Yankee POW camp during the War Between the States.
The text of the letter reads:

April 4th 65

Mrs. Phillips Dear friend I now take my seat to drop you a few lines as I feel it my duty to do so. I hope this may safely reach you & find you & children in good health. My health is not good at the present nor has not bin for several months. I would come of seen you but have not bin able to do so tho I shall come some time as soon as my health will admit of it. I got home the 1st of April. I left Rock Island the 2nd March. I have just rec'd a note from Mrs. Bolding she said you wished to know if your husband was dead. I am sorry to say he is he died at the hospittle at the same prison I was at he had cronick dyreha he died the 20th of September 1864. Poor Dock he was one of my best friends & he requested me to see you to give you his pocket book. He had no money. There was 3 combs a short pencil & a tooth pick he made the tooth pick himself. He did not talk much about you & children tho said he would like to see you all. He said he was willing to dy if it was gods will tho he would like to dy at home. He was buryed on Rock Island a half mile from the prison & was put away very well & in a nice plain pine coffin. Poor fellow he is gone where many hundred went while we was there yes paid the debt we all owe he is better off I hope. He is done with this cruel war it seems that we will all have to dy or bee killed or perish to death before we can have peace. Poor dock is done wearying with it now & I hope & believe he is better off in a better world. So cheer up & don't grieve after gods works he doth all for the best. I gave the pocket book to Mr. Samuel Wright to give to you which he said he would do. I would have brought it to you but was not able. I hope to see you soon & then I will tell you all about it. So no more at the present.

Yours truly, P.L Farmer.

Mrs. D.N. Phillips
at home
By A friend


See also:


NOVEMBER 23-27, 1863.--The Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign.
No. 218.--Organization of the Army of Tennessee, General Braxton Bragg, C. S. Army, commanding, November 20, 1863.(*)



Pettus' Brigade.(ยง)

20th Alabama, Capt. John W. Davis.
23d Alabama, Lieut Col. J. B. Bibb.
30th Alabama, Col. Charles M. Shelley.
31st Alabama, Col. D. R. Hundley.
46th Alabama, Capt. George E. Brewer.

Return of Casualties in Stevenson's division November 24 and 25, 1863 (incomplete).
[Compiled from reports.]
O Officers. T Total
M Men. A Aggregate

----Killed---- ---Wounded---- ---Missing---
Command. O M T O M T O M T A
31st Alabama .... .... 2 .... .... 16 .... .... 5 23


O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXXI/2 [S# 55] pp. 731- 733

NOVEMBER 23-27, 1863.--The Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign.
No. 243.--Report of Brig. Gen. Edmund W. Pettus, C. S. Army, commanding brigade.

Camp near Dalton, Ga., December 6, 1863.

SIR: At 12.30 o'clock on the 24th ultimo, I was with my command on the top of Lookout Mountain, and was then ordered by Brigadier-General Brown, commanding Stevenson's division, to report with three regiments of my command to Brigadier-General Jackson, commanding at the Craven house. I moved at once with the Twentieth, Thirty-first, and Forty-sixth Alabama Regiments, and at the head of the column I found Brigadier-General Jackson at the point where the road to the Craven house leaves the road leading down the mountain. Communicating my orders, I was directed to hasten forward and re-enforce Brigadier-General Moore at the Craven house. On the way I met squads of Moore's and Walthall's brigades, and when about 300 yards from the Craven house I found that that point had been carried by the enemy. The two brigades which had held the point had fallen back. Here I found Brigadier-General Walthall with the remnant of his command formed at right angles with and on the left of the road gallantly fighting to stay the advance of the enemy. He informed me that he had lost a large part of his command; that his ammunition was nearly exhausted, and that he could not hold the position he then had.
Having no time to send back for orders, and finding the fighting was then all on the left of the road, I moved my command, though right in front, by filing to the left directly up the mountain side to the rock bluff. So soon as formed, my command was faced by the rear rank, moved forward, relieving Walthall's brigade, and was at once engaged with the enemy. While my command was moving into position I sent an officer to the right to find Brigadier-General Moore, and to ascertain his condition and the position of his line. In this way I learned that Moore's left was about 150 yards from my right, and his right resting at the large rocks in the road above the mouth of Chattanooga Creek. I then went down to Moore's line and had a moment's consultation with him, and at his request extended intervals to the right so as to connect with his line. These facts were communicated by me to Brigadier-General Jackson, with the request that he would come forward, look at the line, and give us orders, but he did not come in person, but sent orders that the position must be held.

Meantime the enemy made repeated assaults on my left next to the bluff, but were bravely met and repulsed by the Twentieth Alabama Regiment and four companies of the Thirty-first Alabama Regiment.

Knowing that Brigadier-General Moore's line was weak, and that his men were almost out of ammunition, I again sent Captain Smith, of my staff, to inform the brigadier-general commanding as to the progress of the fight and to ask his assistance. Captain Smith found Brigadier-General Jackson at the headquarters of Major-General Stevenson, on the top of the mountain, who was then commanding the forces west of Chattanooga Creek, about 1 miles from the fight, where General Jackson informs me he had gone to confer with General Stevenson as to the mode in which the troops should be withdrawn in case the enemy should get possession of the mountain road. In answer to my communication I was directed to hold my position as long as possible. When I had to send again to the brigadier-general commanding he was still on the top of the mountain.

After my command had been engaged about two hours Brigadier-General Walthall, having formed the remnant of his brigade and supplied his men with ammunition, returned with his command into the fight on the left, and our commands fought together from that time until relieved.
It should be remarked that during the day the fog was very dense on the mountain side. It was almost impossible to distinguish any object at the distance of 100 yards.

The enemy made no attack on my right or on Brigadier-General Moore's line, but the attack on the left was continued, and, finding that the purpose of the enemy was to force my left, at the suggestion of Brigadier-General Walthall, I ordered Captain Davis, commanding the Twentieth Alabama Regiment, to move forward, keeping his left well up to the bluff, and drive the enemy from the higher ground they then held. The order was executed promptly and in gallant style. The higher ground was gained and held during the fight.

About 8 o'clock at night Clayton's brigade, commanded by Colonel Holtzclaw, relieved Walthall's brigade and the Twentieth and Thirty-first Alabama Regiments of my command. These two regiments were withdrawn and formed in the road a short distance in the rear. Some time after this I went to the road leading down the mountain, and there met Brigadier-General Jackson coming down. He directed me to keep my command where it was and await orders, and then passed on down the mountain.

After 1 o'clock that night I received orders from the brigadier-general commanding to retire with my command across Chattanooga Creek at the upper bridge, which was done quietly and in good order.

Captains Gould and Smith, of my staff, bore themselves gallantly throughout the affair.
Below is a statement of the casualties in my command. It is small. The day was dark and the men well sheltered in the rocks.

In the fight of 24th ultimo: Killed, 9; wounded, 38; missing, 9. Total loss, 56.

I am, sir, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Asst. Adjt. Gen., Brig. Gen. Jackson's Command.


Chattanooga Valley, November 20, 1863.
* * * * * * * * * *
IV. Brigadier-General Pettus will proceed with his brigade to-morrow morning at daylight to the top of Lookout Mountain and report to Major-General Stevenson.

By command of Lieutenant-General Hardee:

T. B. ROY,
Assistant Adjutant-General

Messages In This Thread

31st AL REG. CO. C - W. B. Holmes
Re: 31st AL REG. CO. C - W. B. Holmes
Re: 31st AL REG. CO. C - W. B. Holmes
Re: 31st AL REG. CO. C - W. B. Holmes
Re: 31st AL REG. CO. C - W. B. Holmes
Re: 31st AL REG. CO. C - W. B. Holmes
Re: 31st AL REG. CO. C - W. B. Holmes
Re: 31st AL REG. CO. C - W. B. Holmes
Re: 31st AL REG. CO. C - W. B. Holmes
Re: 31st AL REG. CO. C - W. B. Holmes
Re: 31st AL REG. CO. C - W. B. Holmes