Thursday, April 23, 2015

Barksdale's Brigade, McLaws' Division, at Gettysburg

The four elite Mississippi regiments of Brigadier General William Barksdale's Brigade are presented next. These also are from the personal collection of Martin Robson from whom I acquired the collection in 2014. The Perry figures are based on thick Litko bases. 

Barksdale's Brigade served in Major General Lafayette McLaws' Division at Gettysburg. A very detailed account of Barksdale's charge in the late afternoon of July 2nd, 1863, is contained in the book:

"Barksdale's Charge: The True High Tide of the Confederacy at Gettysburg, July 2nd, 1863" 
Phillip Thomas Tucker, Author. Casemate Books, 2013

Tucker makes a very strong (if repetitive) argument that General Lee's Army of North Virginia came closest to achieving a breakthrough of the Union lines on Cemetery Ridge at the end of Barksdale's charge. 

Tucker argues that the experience and professionalism of the four Mississippi regiments of the brigade was very high, even by the high standards of Lee's army. He makes the case for their superior training under General Barksdale and his regimental colonels and their exceptional fighting spirit: "We have never been whipped and we never can be". Drill was emphasised and practised to a very high degree, as was marksmanship and the ability to use battlefield cover. 

Barksdale and Colonel Benjamin Grubb Humphreys of the 21st Mississippi are also noted for their superb abilities as tactical commanders. They saw and understood the opportunity presented by Sickle's placement of his Third Union Corps and took full advantage to turn the flank and press on to try to break the poorly held stretch of Cemetery Ridge that was exposed by Third Corp's total collapse. 

Overall, the attack of McLaws' Division and Longstreet's First Corp was not well coordinated and eventually ran out of steam. However Tucker insists that Barksdale's Brigade has a better claim to achieving the Confederate "High Water Mark" than Picket's Charge on the following Day.

The Mississippi Brigade lost over 800 officers and men at Gettysburg and General Barksdale was wounded towards the end of the charge and died the following day.

I am very glad to have a miniature representation of this excellent Mississippi brigade.

Brigadier General William Barksdale
August 21st, 1821-July 3rd, 1863

13th Mississippi Infantry Regiment
"The Bloody Thirteenth"

Company A -- [Co. B first year] Winston Guards (raised in Winston County, MS)
Company B -- [Co. C first year] Wayne Rifles, aka Wayne Guards (raised in Wayne County, MS)
Company C -- [Co. F first year] Kemper Legion (raised in Kemper County, MS)
Company D -- [Co. E first year] Newton Rifles (raised in Newton County, MS)
Company E -- [Co. A first year] Alamutcha Infantry (raised in Lauderdale County, MS)
Company F -- [Co. G first year] Lauderdale Zouaves (raised in Lauderdale County, MS)
Company G -- [Co. I first year] Secessionists (raised in Clarke County, MS)
Company H -- [Co. K first year] Spartan Band (raised in Chickasaw County, MS)
Company I -- [Co. D first year] Minute Men of Attala (raised in Attala County, MS)
Company K -- [Co. H first year] Pettus Guards (raised in Lauderdale County, MS)

17th Mississippi Infantry Regiment

Company A -- the Buena Vista Rifles (Chickasaw County, MS)
Company B -- the Mississippi Rangers (Marshall County, MS)
Company C -- the Quitman Grays (Pontotoc County, MS)
Company D -- the Rough & Readies, aka the Rough & Ready Volunteers (Pontotoc County, MS)
Company E -- the Burnsville Blues (Tishomingo County, MS)
Company F -- the Samuel Benton Relief Rifles (Marshall County, MS)
Company G -- the Confederate Guards (Marshall County, MS)
Company H -- the Panola Vindicators (Panola County, MS)
Company I -- the Pettus Rifles (DeSoto County, MS)
Company K -- the Magnolia Guards (Calhoun County, MS)

18th Regiment, Mississippi Infantry

Company A -- Confederate Rifles (raised in Rankin County, MS)
Company B -- Benton Rifles (raised in Yazoo County, MS)
Company C -- Confederates (raised in Madison County, MS)
Company D -- Hamer Rifles (raised in Yazoo County, MS)
Company E -- Mississippi College Rifles (raised in Hinds County, MS)
Company F -- McClung Rifles (raised in Yazoo County, MS)
Company G -- Camden Rifles (raised in Madison County, MS)
Company H -- Brown Rebels (raised in Hinds County, MS)
Company I -- Beauregard Rifles (raised in Madison County, MS)
Company K -- Burt Rifles (raised in Hinds County, MS)

21st Mississippi Infantry

Company A -- Volunteer Southrons of Vicksburg, aka Vicksburg Southrons (raised in Warren County, MS)
Company B -- Jefferson Davis Guards, aka Jeff Davis Guards, & aka Manlove’s Company (raised in Warren County, MS)
Company C -- Stephens Rifles, aka Stephens Guards (raised in Lawrence County, MS)
Company D -- Jeff Davis Guards (raised in Wilkinson County, MS)
Company E -- Hurricane Rifles (raised in Wilkinson County, MS)
Company F -- Tallahatchie Rifles (raised in Tallahatchie County, MS)
Company G -- Madison Guards (raised in Madison County, MS)
Company H -- Warren Volunteers (raised in Warren County, MS)
Company I -- Sunflower Guards (raised in Sunflower County, MS)
Company K -- New Albany Greys (raised in Pontotoc County, MS)
Company L -- Vicksburg Confederates (raised in Warren County, MS)

Colonel Benjamin Grubb Humphreys, 21st Mississippi Infantry

Company details are taken from Dunbar Rowland’s "Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1898".


  1. Beautiful brushwork. Some of the finest I have seen. This is a great collection.

  2. The colours blend so well. Very stylish work! Proves that ACW armies are not drab!