16th Tennessee Volunteer
(Sometimes called The Mountain Regiment or The 1st Mountain Regiment)
"From Dalton to Atlanta, from Atlanta to Nashville, and from Nashville and
Franklin through all its wanderings, to the surrender at Greensboro on 26 April
1865. Its dead lie sleeping upon every battlefield from Cheat Mountain to
the Mississippi, and the Mississippi to the Atlanta and the Gulf. Its sick
and wounded surrendered a large percentage of their number to the demands of the
destroyer, Death, and their bodies lie sleeping in their narrow homes in the far
off lands of the stranger, along with their comrades who surrendered their lives
upon the battlefields." Thomas A. Head (a private in the
Regiment), 'Campaigns and Battles of the 16th Regiment.'
"The men who served in these units formed a remarkable army. Quickly assembled, they were farmers, lawyers, teachers, merchants, laborers, bankers, clergymen, planters, doctors, clerks, carpenters, and politicians. But they shared a common faith in the Southern cause. Usually self equipped and unpaid, they did not want to imitate regular soldiers. These men were independent, reckless, and self confident. And despite the poor discipline, scant clothing, meager rations, and inadequate ordnance, they put up a magnificent fight." J. H. Crute, Jr. 'Units of the Confederate Army'
The Regiments Army Commanders were Robert E. Lee, Pierre T. Beaureguard, Braxton Bragg, Joseph E. Johnson and John B. Hood and the volunteers that formed the Regiment came from the following counties and into the following companies:
A DeKalb County
B Coffee and Grundy Counties
C Warren County (formerly F)
D Warren County
E Warren County (formerly H)
F Putnam County (formerly K)
G White and DeKalb Counties (formerly B)
H Students and faculty members of Irving College of Warren County (formerly)
I Van Buren County
K White County (formerly C)
The only nicknames for any of the companies that has come down to the present time that we can be sure of is that of 'The Highlanders'. This was originally held by Company K but which under the 1862 reorganizations became Company F. And that of the 'Warren Guards' originally Company H but under the 1862 reorganizations became Company E.
Its possible the Regiment had a nickname as Womack also was to write in his diary for 1861 '21 May: Announced myself a candidate for Major of the Mountain Regiment' and then again on '17 June: Gabriel McCraw, of my Company, died this morning about eight o'clock the first death that has occurred in the Mountain Regiment.' Womack's capitol letters for Mountain Regiment.
This history is an attempt to follow the fortunes of the 16th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the period that they served with the Confederate forces through their trials and tribulations as well as trying to list the skirmishes, fights, engagements, actions or battles that could, and many times did, cause casualties from within its ranks.
The Regiment never suffered the horrendous casualties in one battle as did the 1st Texas at Sharpsburg (Antietam), of 82.3%, or that of their sister Regiment the 8th Tennessee, of 68.2%, at Murfreesboro (Stone's River) but at Murfreesboro of the 377 engaged they lost171, 54.9%, and at Perryville (Chaplin Hills) just a two months before they had lost 199 out of the 400 that entered the battle, 49.8%.
Throughout much of this history I have used the works written by members of the Regiment: John H. Savage, H. H. Dillard, Robert C. Carden, James J. Womack, Thomas A. Head, Carroll H. Clark, Michael Manzy, Thomas R. Hooper and John K. Bain. This has been continued by using the Official Records and Company records, where they exist, as written from both Federal and Confederate viewpoints. Needless to say I have been forced to supplement this with more modern works to fill in the large gaps.
Illustrations of original