16th Tennessee Volunteer
The 10 Companies comprising the Regiment were raised throughout the State during May, with 952 officers and men enlisting. They were sent to Estil Springs, on the North Carolina and St. Louis Rail Road, and on the 26th were ordered to proceed to Camp Trousdale, north of Nashville on the Louisville and Nashville Rail Road, arriving on the 27th, this was about 45 miles north of Nashville. They stayed here until there were enough companies to form a regiment mustered into the Sixteenth Tennessee Volunteer Regiment on 9 June. Only one nickname has come down to us 'The Highlanders', and the dispute is over whether it belonged to company F or K.
While here uniforms were issued. A member of the 8th Tennessee, with whom they were brigaded with throughout the war, stated that their uniform 'ranged from butternut jeans to the finest articles of French cloth.' Company E, of the 16th, wore red or gray flannel shirts, gray pants and gray caps. They were also armed with flintlock muskets and on the 4 July the regiment was presented by the ladies of the mountain district with 'a most beautiful flag.' On the 10 June they elected their Officers, John H. Savage being elected commander. They also had the misfortune to be ravaged by a measles epidemic, loosing a number of men.
On July 22 they heading east for
(West) Virginia. While the balance of the trip was by rail via Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville and then to Hillboro' then they marched overland 40 miles to Huntersville, Virginia arriving 8 August.
On arrival they camped in a narrow valley, on the bank of a small stream, due to the poor camping conditions, following heavy rain, many men died of malaria and typhoid fever, later they moved to a nearby hill.
They now entered upon Robert E. Lee's Cheat Mountain Campaign where they engaged in quite a lot of marching and little fighting.
On 12 October they went into camp at Sewell Creek, near Lewisburg, when they were ordered to Charleston, South Carolina. Here they reinforced John C. Pemberton. Their stay was uneventful, except being shelled by Federal warships on several occasions.
Coosaw River, 1st April. Arrive at nightfall as the battle
finishes. But both before and after are continually used to rush to any
point in the prospect of a Federal landing.
Ordered to Corinth, Mississippi they left Grahamsville on the 10 April going by a tortuous rail and steamer route. The 8 May their enlistment was extended and the unit re-organised.
Siege of Corinth, 30 April-30 May. Here they are part of the left wing in Corinth's defense before Beauregard decided to pull out heading for Tupelo and finally to Chattanooga where many of the families visited, bring food, clothing and other necessities.
Braxton Bragg now advanced the army into Kentucky. This advance began on 17 August with the army crossing the Cumberland Mountains, and onto Cane Creek, where once again their families met them there with food etc.
Siege of Munfordville, 14-17 September. The army now marched on Munfordville and here followed a brief siege, the garrison surrendering and between 4,500 and 5,000 Federal troops surrendering.
The army now headed for Louisville but were beaten there by Federal forces. Bragg set off on the night of the 7th arriving at Perryville about midnight.
Perryville (Chaplin Hills), 8 October. Hardee's Corps was placed in front of Perryville, Polk's Corps in reserve. With the Federal army moving left Polk's Corps was hurried to the right and attacked. They captured the ground and held it before being forced to retire at sundown. Here they lost 41 killed, 151 wounded and 7 missing.
The army now withdrew southward, during the retreat they were rearguard and as such were heavily engaged in skirmishing, boarding train which took them to Chattanooga, and from there marched to Tullahoma. During the 200 mile retreat supplies were scarce and the men survived on parched corn, with some 15,000 men being struck down with typhoid, scurvy, dysentery and pneumonia.
On the 22nd of November they marched northward via Manchester and then to a Murfreesboro arriving their 7th Dec.
Murfreesboro (Stone's River), 30 December-3 January. After the initial fighting both wings of the Federal army came to an angle resting on a grove of trees through which ran a railroad line. In the afternoon the Regiment attacked with their battle line straddled the railroad track they advanced across open fields into a hail of artillery fire. They continued to attack but were unable to breakthrough. Losing 207 out of 402 men. Their commander resigned after the battle blaming Bragg for destroying his Regiment, and D.M. Donnell became colonel.
Retreating on the 2 January to Shelbyville. Here they spent their time building fortifications during the remainder of the winter and spring.
They now march to Chattanooga where they arrived on the 7 July and dig in. Retire due to Federal shelling on the 7th September.
Chickamauga, 19-20 September. Marched back towards Chattanooga they are ordered up to assist Nathan B. Forrest about 1200. The Brigade was positioned on the left of the Division with the Regiment was on the right of the Brigade. After the battle had been going on some two hours they were warned that they were in danger of being surrounded and so retired.
With Longstreet's breakthrough Cheatam's Division is sent in at the end of the day the Federals were defeated and fall back towards Chattanooga. The Regiment suffered 68 casualties.
The next morning they advance upon Missionary Ridge and the Federals withdraw before them into Chattanooga so starting the siege.
The Brigade was then sent to Charleston, East Tennessee, on 23 October to rebuild the bridge over the Hiwassee River, also to guard communication lines. With the Federals reinforcing Chattanooga The Brigade returned to Missionary Ridge where they are positioned on the right wing.
Chattanooga, 23-25 November. On the evening of the 24 November marched down the east sided of the Chickamauga. Here they engaged the enemy but retired back a over a hill finally withdrawing to a bridge across the Chickamauga. Here they remained during the battle receiving only nine casualties.
The Army retreated to Ringgold and then to Dalton, Georgia where they remained during the winter and early spring. Bragg was replaced as army commander by Joseph Eggleston Johnston in mid December.
1st Dalton, 22-27 February. While stationed at Dalton, Georgia, during the winter and spring, the Army was attacked by Sherman also they were part of the force that was organised in February to reinforce General Leonidas Polk in Mississippi. This was recalled upon reaching Demopolis, Alabama. While at Dalton a religious revival swept the Army and everyone had the chance of a furlough.
William T. Sherman started his invasion of Georgia in early May and the Regiment fought in most of the battles in this campaign:
Rocky Face Ridge (Tunnel Hill, Dug Gap, Snake Creek Gap, Buzzards Roost (Mill Creek Gap)), 7-9 May
Resaca, 13-15 May
Calhoun, 16 May
Adairsville, 17 May
Cassville, 19-22 May
New Hope Church (Dallas, Pickett's Mill), 25-27 May
Kennesaw Mountain, 27 June
Chattahoochee River, 5-17 July.
The majority of the engagements during this campaign was the Federal army using its superior numbers to engage the front of the Army whilst sending troops to march around the flank when this was threatened it was forced to withdraw to entrenchments further back. Throughout this campaign the Regiment suffered any small casualties.
With the Army forced back to Atlanta Johnston was now replaced by John Bell Hood who went over to the attack:
Peachtree Creek, 20 July, with heavy losses to the regiment.
Atlanta, 22 July, the regiments loses were not severe.
Jonesboro, 31 August-1 September
Lovejoy, 5-6 September, this inflicting more casualties on the regiment.
The 19th September saw the Army encamped at Palmetto Station here there was a general consolidation of companies and regiments. The Regiment had such a small numbers that the remnants of the ten original companies barely made three good companies by consolidation:
Companies A, D and E were consolidated under Captain Frank M. York.
Companies C and H were consolidated under Captain John Lucas Thompson.
Companies F, G, I and K were consolidated under Captain A.D. Fisk.
On the 1st October the Army was on the north bank of the Chattahoochee River outside Atlanta. From here they moved North attacking Sherman's lines at Allatoona, 5 October, and Dalton. The fortifications at Dalton were invested and the garrison surrendered. They now marched on to Tuscumbia via Decatur, and where they arrived October 30 1964. The army remained here until 8 November when they marched to Florence crossing the Tennessee River on the 13th.
Spring Hill, 29 November. The Army continued on to meet Federal resistance at Spring Hill but allowed them to get past them and enter Franklin where they entered the earthworks there.
Franklin, 30 November. The Army arrived at about 1500 and attacked at 1600 with the battle continuing long after dark, In the ensuing fight the consolidated companies of the Regiment, who number about a hundred effectives at the start of the battle, lost were sixteen killed including two lieutenants, they also had a large percentage of the men wounded.
In the morning the Federals retired to Nashville, with the Army advancing towards Nashville in their pursuit.
On the morning if the 3 October the Army took up position on the Murfreesboro Pike. The weather became intensely cold, a heavy rain set in which was followed by sleet and snow with the Army suffering from lack of clothing, and tents, they were also dependent on foraging for subsistence.
Nashville, 15-16 December . The Federals attacked again on the 16 December. With the Armies lines stretched to the utmost at the beginning of the battle, and having no reserves, they were defeated and routed. The Army withdrew to Franklin, pursued by the Federals, they now retreated to Columbia arriving at night of 19 December. They remained here until the 21st when they marched on to North Carolina.
Bentonville, 19-21 March. With Joseph E. Johnston was once more in command positioned itself across the Fayetteville-Goldsboro road and attacked. The battle was a victory for the Army but the loss was heavy.
Now the army was retreating first to Raleigh, then through Chapel Hill, Salem and then on to Greensboro, burning the bridges behind them. On 8 April Johnston effected a final reorganisation of the Army of Tennessee, the Regiment forming companies F and K of the 1st Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment.
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 and agreed surrender terms. A further meeting at the Bennett house on the 26 April when Grant was present and Johnston got the same terms as given to Lee. The remnants of Army of Tennessee, including the 16th, were paroled on 1 May 1865 with each soldier being given $1.15 in silver as final payment for his four years service in the Confederate Army.
On Friday 5 October 1877 there was a reunion of the old 16th Tennessee at McMinnville. About 300 survivors attended and enjoyed a 'sumptuous dinner prepared for the occasion'. 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. Speeches were made by the original Colonel of the Regiment John H. Savage, also by T. B. Murray and J. J. Womack.