Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Quitman Guards: Company E, Mississippi 16th Infantry

On June 27, 1862 this flag, carried by the 16th Mississippi Infantry, was shot 11 times and the color bearer killed. Though unreadable, in the upper quadrant bears a handwritten inscription "Through God we shall do valiantly, for He is that shall tread down our enemies."


The Mississippi 16th Infantry Regiment was organized in Corinth, MS on June 8, 1861.  Company E, also known as the "Quitman Guards" was comprised from men from Pike County, MS.  Captain Carnot Posey was elected to serve as Colonel for the regiment.   Prior to the war, he served as a Lieutenant in Colonel Jefferson Davis' regiment in the Mexican War. 


Col. Carnot Posey was mortally wounded at the Battle of Bristoe Station


On July 24, 1861, General Leonidas Layfayette Polk, Commander of the Confederate Army of Mississippi, sent a telegraph to the Secretary of War stating that he had previously had a conference with the Governor of Tennessee, Isham Green Harris (my 1st cousin 5x removed) in reference to the Secretary of War's request for troops.   He advised that he couldn't spare the full 6 regiments previously requested, but would sent the Mississippi 16th Infantry Regiment to the Army of Northern Virginia.  The telegraph stated that the 16th was made up of 900 men and would be sent to Richmond on July 26th.  The 16th would remain attached to the Army of Northern Virginia for the duration of the war. 

Four of my ancestors served in the Quitman Guards.  They are all my 2nd cousins 5x removed.  Three of the men were brothers.  



John Holmes was born in Holmesville, Pike County, MS in 1830.  He enlisted as a Private in Company E, Mississippi 16th Infantry Regiment on April 23, 1861.  He was approximately 30 years old at the time of enlistment.  He would rise to the rank of Captain by the end of the conflict. 


Muster Roll showing John's election to 2nd Lieutenant

Muster Roll showing John's promotion to 1st Lieutenant

John was captured at the Battle of Weldon Railroad on August 21, 1864. 




He was sent to Fort Delaware Prison on August 29, 1864.




Due to the fact that he was an officer, he was eligible for a prisoner exchange.   The exchange took place on October 31, 1864.  




John would end the war as Captain of the Quitman Guards.  He died in Picayune, Mississippi in 1907.  He is buried in the Magnolia Cemetery in Pike County, Mississippi. 





John's younger brother, Benjamin Holmes, was born in Pike County, MS on March 23, 1837.   He also enlisted as a Private in Company E, Mississippi 16th Infantry Regiment on April 23, 1861.  He was 24 years old at the time of his enlistment.   Benjamin was promoted to Staff Sergeant on February 28, 1862.


Muster Roll showing Benjamin's promotion to Sergeant

Benjamin was also captured at the Battle of Weldon Railroad.  Due to the fact he was not an officer, he was not eligible for a prisoner exchange.   While his brother John was sent to the Officer's Prison at Fort Delaware, Benjamin would be sent to prison at Point Lookout, Maryland where he would stay until March 17, 1865.


Benjamin appeared on a Roll of Prisoners at Point Lookout, MD

Benjamin Holmes only lived for 16 years following the Civil War.   He died on January 31, 1881 and was buried in the Holmes Family Cemetery in Pike County, MS.





An Inspection report of the 16th MS Infantry, dated August 30, 1864 states the following:

"The brigade suffered heavily in action on the Weldon Railroad on the 21st of August, losing in killed, wounded and missing 254 out of 450 carried into action. The cause of the small number carried into action was owing to the fact that 900 men were on picket duty on this side and north side of the James. The men were worn out and there were a good many stragglers." 


Elisha Gardner Holmes


John and Benjamin's younger brother, Elisha Gardner Holmes, was born in Pike County, MS on March 24, 1843.   He enlisted as a Private in Company E, Mississippi 16th Infantry on April 20, 1861.  He was 18 years old. He was promoted to Corporal in September of 1863.


Muster Roll showing Elisha's promotion to Corporal


Elisha was wounded in action at the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse on May 12, 1864.


Muster Roll showing Elisha had been wounded in battle

1864 was a bad year for Elisha, on September 10  he was captured near Petersburg, VA.  He was sent to Point Lookout, MD.
Muster Roll showing Elisha had been captured

Elisha was released from Point Lookout, MD on June 6, 1865 after taking the Oath of Allegiance to the United States. 

Elisha Garnder Holmes survived for an additional 41 years following the Civil War.   He died in Marion, MS on November 7, 1906.  He is buried in the Turnage Cemetery in Kokomo, Marion County, Mississippi . 


Grave of Elisha Gardner Holmes


Three additional Holmes brothers also served in the Confederacy.  Sergeant David Stovall Holmes and Corporal Raiford Holmes served in Company E, Mississippi 33rd Infantry.  Private Jesse Holmes served in Company A, Captain Garland's Mississippi Cavalry.  They will be the focus of future blog entries.

Being that my relation to the Holmes brothers is the same, I'm only providing one relationship chart.

My relation to Elisha:

Elisha Gardner Holmes (1843 - 1906)
is your 2nd cousin 5x removed
Benjamin Holmes (1801 - 1865)
Father of Elisha Gardner
Sarah "Sallie" Stovall Holmes (1777 - 1850)
Mother of Benjamin
Josiah Stovall Sr. (1749 - 1798)
Father of Sarah "Sallie"
Rebecca Stovall (1772 - 1852)
Daughter of Josiah
Phoebe Blackwell (1812 - 1860)
Daughter of Rebecca
Martha Anne Currin (1834 - 1917)
Daughter of Phoebe
Phebe Lucy Daniel (1862 - 1946)
Daughter of Martha Anne
Valeria Lee Moss (1890 - 1968)
Daughter of Phebe Lucy
Phebe Teresa Wheeler Lewis (1918 - 1977)
Daughter of Valeria Lee
Joyce Elaine Lewis (1948 - )
Daughter of Phebe Teresa
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Joyce


Robert D. Stovall was a 2nd cousin of the Holmes Brothers.  He is also my 2nd cousin 5x removed.  He was born October 12, 1837 in Pike County, Mississippi.   He was 22 years old at the time of his enlistment as a Private in Company E, MS 16th Infantry.  He enlisted on April 23, 1861, the same day John and Benjamin enlisted.  Robert was promoted to Sergeant on September 1, 1862.

Muster Roll showing Robert's promotion to Sergeant

Robert died on April 3, 1865 from wounds sustained at the Battle of Dinwiddie Courthouse, VA on March 29, 1865.  Due to the battle being so close to the end of the war, a formal record regarding his death is not included in his service file.  The location of his burial was not known at the time of this blog entry.



Here's my relation to Robert:

Robert D. Stovall (1837 - 1865)
is your 2nd cousin 5x removed
Thomas Peter Stovall (1814 - 1899)
Father of Robert D.
Drury Stovall (1770 - 1858)
Father of Thomas Peter
Josiah Stovall Sr. (1749 - 1798)
Father of Drury
Rebecca Stovall (1772 - 1852)
Daughter of Josiah
Phoebe Blackwell (1812 - 1860)
Daughter of Rebecca
Martha Anne Currin (1834 - 1917)
Daughter of Phoebe
Phebe Lucy Daniel (1862 - 1946)
Daughter of Martha Anne
Valeria Lee Moss (1890 - 1968)
Daughter of Phebe Lucy
Phebe Teresa Wheeler Lewis (1918 - 1977)
Daughter of Valeria Lee
Joyce Elaine Lewis (1948 - )
Daughter of Phebe Teresa
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Joyce

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