16th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Regiment

        1st-9th January was spent in Corinth they left here on the 10th, at daylight, the troops moved of down the railroad and make fifteen miles by nightfall.
        The 11th to the 13th are spent on the road to Tupelo, AL, owing to the impassable condition of the roads they were compelled to take a very circuitous route arriving about 1500 on the 13th.
        It was here that Hood resign to be replaced, temporarily, by Richard Taylor and later that month, Joseph Eggleston Johnston was once again placed in command.
        When they arrival, at Tupelo, many of the Corps were furloughed, they had been promised that this would happen once they crossed the Tennessee River.  Although many realizing the futility of continuing the war were never to return.
        The Army left here late January heading through Alabama to Mobile then onwards to Montgomery.  They now headed to Atlanta, GA, 'We went from Atlanta to Augusta and the February days were pleasant.'   They arrived at Augusta on the 9 February.  The next day the Corps crossed the Savannah River to Hamburg, S C.
        When the furloughed men returned to duty at the assigned meeting place they found the Army gone.  Some now returned home, other set out on a long trek to find the army, and some of the Division joined Forrest's cavalry for the remainder of the war.
     Their march was now to take them all across South Carolina and into North Carolina.
       Bentonville, 19-21 March. The Army, somewhat over 15,000 strong was positioned at the town of Bentonville on the 19 March across the Fayetteville-Goldsboro road in the afternoon it attacked.  The Regiment arrived late in the day 'and came near killing every man in one Yankee Regiment' when repulsing the advance of Federal troops near Joseph E. Johnston's Headquarters, while losing at least one man killed.
        The 20th saw the Federal forces heavily reinforced, but fighting was sporadic with no pressure applied.
          On the 21st the Army remained in its position while the wounded were removed although during the morning skirmishing heated up along the entire front.  In the afternoon a Federal attack threatened the Armies rear but was stopped saving the army’s only line of  retreat.  With this the fighting ended for the day.
  The battle was a victory for the Army but the loss was heavy.
        During the night of the 21st the Army retreated across the bridge at Bentonville.  Federal forces pursued at first light but was halted at Hannah’s Creek after a severe skirmish.
        On 22nd the Army formed line of battle on the north side of Mill Creek.  Later in the day they continued the march crossing the Neuse River near Smithfield retreating first to Raleigh, then through Chapel Hill, Salem and then on to Greensboro, burning the bridges behind them.
     On the 24 March the Army was camped some two miles beyond Smithfield depot, on the Lewisburg road.  Here on the 25th William B. Bate, Corps Commander, made a speech to many of the men in the evening 'preparing their minds for the consolidation of companies, battalions, etc.'
        The 26th saw them move to Trinity College, near Archdale, NC, here the Army heard that they were to surrender.
        On 8th April at Smithfield, North Carolina, Johnston began a final reorganization with all the Tennessee troops consolidated into one Brigade of three Regiments under J. B. Palmer
On the 9 April the Regiment along with the 1st (Field's), 6th, 8th, 9th, 27th, 28th and 34th Regiments and the 24th Tennessee Infantry Battalion were used to form the 1st Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment, commanded by Hume R. Field.  The Regiment was consolidated into two companies, F and K, one commanded by Captain Hill the other by Captain Frank York.
       Jeff Davis and the Confederate government fled Richmond, reaching Greenboro on the 12th April.  Here he called Johnston into conference.  Johnston pointed out that his army now faced Sherman's 110,000 and Grants now unoccupied 180,000 alone.  Eventually Davis yielded to the pressure and a flag of truce was sent through the lines on the 14th, Johnston with Breckinridge in his capacity as Major General, rather than as secretary of war, met Sherman at the Bennett Farmhouse near Durham between the lines.  However the originally agreed terms were too liberal and Grant came down for a further meeting at the Bennett house on the 26th April when Johnston got the same terms as given to Lee.
        So later that day 'paroles were sent to the different Regiments signed by the officers, and distributed among the men. The Brigade moved slowly and sadly out into an open field where the officers sheathed their swords and the men silently stacked their trusty guns.'
        'One evening, the men called on General Cheatham for some words of encouragement...
(he at first declined but).... gave a short speech telling the men to go home and be loyal citizens.' 
        The remnants of the Regiment, '
upwards of 50 men,' were paroled on 1 May.  They now gathering their few personal belongings ready to head on the long road to their homes.  Carroll Henderson Clark, a member of the Regiment, wrote 'all was quite in the line many brave boys shed tears' and 'I was glad and sorry too.  Glad the war was over and sad we had to give it up.'
     Having waited for days the Brigade were finally allowed to go home together 'via Salisbury and Asheville, to Greenville, East Tennessee, the nearest railroad point.'  
     When they arrived at Salisbury Cheatham had them line up he walked down the line 'with tears running down his cheeks as he said' his goodbye.  They now marched westward and on reaching the 'Catawba River in Rowan County, we found the recent rains had swollen it...' here they '...pulled off our rags and plunged in and when we crossed, redressed and started again...'
     Finally they arrived at the eastern foot of Blue Ridge and marched up the ridge and camped 'in a terrible hail storm' one night at the top.  From here they marched down western slope to Ashville, on French Broad River.  Marching northwestwardly the Brigade finally arrived at Greeneville, East Tennessee.
        From Greeneville the Brigade was taken by rail to Chattanooga and the into middle Tennessee 'the men leaving the trains at the points along the way nearest their homes.'
On the 21st they boarded cars at Chattanooga and headed towards Nashville. There were but few of them left now and they got off the train at Deckard went a short distance and camped until next morning before setting of home.
     These last few of the Regiment set off and would have reached home about the 23 May 1865.
Friday 5 October 1877
     12 years after the close of the war, there was a reunion of the old 16th Tennessee at McMinnville.  They met on the public square at 1000 and marched to the Fair Grounds, lead by by their old Colonel, John H. Savage. Savage was mounted on a white horse on arrival at the Fair Grounds they enjoyed a 'sumptuous dinner prepared for the occasion', about 300 survivors attended.
        Company rolls were called and every man present answered as his name was called, if absent he was accounted for if living or dead, if living his place of residence was given, for the dead the place and manner of his death was made known.
        At the end of the meal speeches were made by to those of the old Regiment that had been able to attend.  This was given by their old Colonel, also by Colonel Thomas B. Murray and Captain James J. Womack.