55th (Brown's) Regiment Tennessee Infantry CSA

Annotated Chronology

December 28, 1861

55th Tennessee Infantry formed. Company G was made up of men from the Gibson County, Tennessee, area. The Captains were J. H. Hilsman and Joseph McDonald.

February 14, 1862

The 55th (Brown's) Regiment Tennessee Infantry was organized at Columbus, Kentucky. It was formed by the addition of three independent companies to Lieut. Col. William A. Jones' Battalion West Tennessee Infantry.

February 1862

Nashville fell, the first Confederate capitol to do so, and the Confederates retreated westward.

March 1862

Company reports state the 55th regiment, which had been stationed at Columbus, Kentucky, was ordered to Island No.10, where it remained during the severe bombardment until its surrender by General Mackall on April 8,1862.

March 17,1862

Major General J. P. McCowan reported he left at Madrid Bend Stewart's Battery, Hudson's and Wheeler's Cavalry, Terry's Arkansas Battalion, the 1st Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, 40th, 46th, 55th Tennessee, 11th, 12th Arkansas, and the 1st Alabama Infantry Regiments. Here began an association with the 46th Tennessee which lasted throughout the war. Also on March 17, Brigadier General J. Trudeau, commanding the heavy artillery, placed Brown's Regiment on the cremaillere parapet, in support of Captain Rucker's Battery. He reported "some men from Brown's Regiment had relieved Captain Rucker's exhausted men, and served the guns bravely, manfully and intelligently. They had done good and efficient service on that day."

March 21, 1862

The 55th reported 327 present for duty, 402 present. When Brigadier General W. W. Mackall arrived on April 1st he reported "Colonel Brown's 55th Tennessee with but few arms. Those in the regiment are of different kinds, but pretty good. The colonel says 50 are wanted."

April 6th and 7th, 1862

the two armies clashed at Shiloh, one of the bloodiest battles yet, with 24,000 casualties. Beauregard, in charge of the Army of Tennessee, stationed 10,000 men, including the 55th Tennessee, at Island Number Ten.

April 8, 1862

The 55th regiment, with the exception of Companies I and K who were on detached service at the time, was captured at Island No. 10. 7,000 men were surrendered.

April 13, 1862

The commissioned officers became prisoners of war and arrived at Camp Chase, Ohio, from Island No. 10.

April 26, 1862

Some of the officers were transferred to Johnson’s Island, Sandusky, Ohio.

September 1, 1862

1104 Prisoners of war, including some officers of the 55th, were shipped from Johnson's Island on board "Steamer Jno. H. Done, near Vicksburg, Miss, Sept. 20, 1862.--N.G. Watts, Major C.S.A. & Agent for Exchange of Prisoners." 

September 20, 1862

55th regiment released on parole in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Governments held prisoners only until they could be formally exchanged for their own men. This relieved the governments from the burden of feeding and housing them. The prisoners were exchanged.

September 26,1862

55th Regiment reorganized in Jackson, Mississippi. Colonel Brown was reelected, Captain G. B. Black was elected lieutenant colonel, and Captain Thomas Baker, major. Major Baker served as acting colonel during the later part of 1863, but his appointment was never confirmed. Captain J.E. McDonald was later elected major.

October 26, 1862

55th Tennessee ordered to report for duty at Meridian. The 55th Tennessee was part of General Maury’s division at this time.

October 1862 to January 1863

The 49th and 55th Regiments Tennessee Infantry and the 7th Regiment Texas Infantry were temporarily consolidated and formed Bailey's Consolidated Regiment Confederate Infantry. It was ordered to report for duty at Meridian, Mississippi, then sent to Port Hudson, Louisiana, where it was placed in Brigadier General Samuel Maxey's Brigade, with Colonel James Bailey, of the 49th, in command of Bailey's Consolidated Regiment. It remained in this brigade, first under General Maxey, later under Brigadier General W. A. Quarles, until the end of the war.

November 10, 1862

55th Regiment is reorganized and declared exchanged at Aikens Landing, Virginia.

On December 11, 1862, General Forrest led four regiments on a spectacular raid against Grant’s communications. Garrison after garrison was captured or routed at Lexington, Trenton, Humboldt, Union City, and elsewhere. Miles of track on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad were destroyed, fifty railroad bridges were burned, and 10,000 small arms were captured.

On December 28, 1862, General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s confederate troops camped near McLemoresville after crossing the South Fork of the Obion River at flood stage. By Christmas Day, Forrest had destroyed the Mobile and Ohio Railroad from Jackson to across the Kentucky border.

In 1862, General Grant’s Union forces occupied and controlled western Tennessee. Garrisons had been posted at most towns along the railroads to guard the supply line from being retaken or destroyed by Southern forces.

January 1863

The 46th and 55th Regiments Tennessee Infantry were temporarily consolidated into one field unit, although separate muster rolls were maintained. From this time on the 46th/55th was reported as one unit.

October 21, 1863

Company G muster roll indicates that it was at Camp Cummings near Mobile, Alabama.

April 7, 1864

The 55th Regiment of Tennessee Volunteers was also referred to as Stewart's Brigade and Polk's Division.

July 20, 1864

The Confederate army was posted on the high ground on Peach Tree Creek’s west bank. The Union army attacked about 4:00 p.m. and a battle lasts until sundown. The estimated Confederate losses were 5,000.

February 15,1864

The Congress of the Confederacy passed a resolution of thanks to the 46th/55th for "patriotism displayed in unanimously reenlisting for the war."

December 10,1864

The 42nd/46th/49th/53rd/55th Tennessee Regiment was reported as one unit under Captain Austin Duncan. On April 9,1865, in North Carolina, Quarles Brigade was reported as commanded by Captain Sol Jones, of the 55th: and the 42nd, 46th, 48th, 49th, 53rd, 55th Tennessee as one unit in that brigade under Captain Joseph Love.

March 1865

The 42nd, 46th, 48th, 49th, 53rd, and 55th Regiments Tennessee Infantry were consolidated into one field organization, the 4th Consolidated Regiment of the Tennessee Infantry.

April 1865

55th regiment merged into the 4th Consolidated Tennessee Infantry.


Regiment paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina.



Alexander Brown, Thomas Baker (acting colonel).

William Jones, G.B. Black

J.H. Hillsman, Thomas Baker, Joseph McDonald.

William Jones, Sol Jones, Company A. Men from Benton County, Tennessee. Organized at Trenton, Gibson County, Tennessee. October 8,1861.

Pritcher Melton, Company B. Men from Benton County, Tennessee. Organized at Trenton, October 9,1861.

Louis Clark, J.D. Bledsoe, Company C. Men from Carroll County, Tennessee. Organized at Trenton, October 10,1861.

G.B. Black, S.B. Jones, H.J. Furgerson, Company D. Men from Gibson County, Tennessee. Organized at Trenton, September,1861.

John Howard, L.D. Paschal, Company E. Men from Henderson Station, then Madison, now Chester County, Tennessee. Organized January 20,1862.

B.H. Clark, Phelonas Green Milam, Company F. Men from Henderson County, Tennessee. Organized at Trenton, October 3,1861.

J.H. Hilsman, Joseph McDonald, Company G. Men from Gibson County, Tennessee. Organized October 25,1861.

Alfred Bryant, W.S. Adams, Company H. Men from Carroll County, Tennessee. Organized at Trenton, October 19,1861.

All of the above companies except Company E had been organized in November 1861, into Jones' West Tennessee Battalion, with William Jones as lieutenant colonel, and J.H. Hilsman as major. To these, Company E, and two other companies were added when the regiment was organized. One of the other companies was: R.P. Ford's Company. Organized at Jackson, Madison County, Tennessee, on March 10,1862. This company reorganized under other officers on May 5,1862 and became Company L, 6th Tennessee Infantry Regiment.


Roster, 55th Tennessee

Company G

Hurt, Joseph David, 2nd Lieutenant
Hurt, Robert Bailey, Adjutant

Compiled by Karen Smith. If anyone has additional information that might be helpful to understanding the history of this regiment, please let me know.