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Thread: 5th Alabama Battalion Co. B, Calhoun Sharpshooters

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    5th Alabama Battalion Co. B, Calhoun Sharpshooters







    About



    The Battalion

    The 5th Alabama Infantry Battalion was often confused with the much larger 5th Alabama Regiment of O´Neal´s Brigade. The battalion was one of the smallest battalions to serve alongside regiments in the Army of NW. The 5th Alabama wasn't big enough to be a regiment, but made up for its lack of numbers by being efficient, hardened warriors dedicated to the cause of southern independence. Despite being a Battalion the few men felt compelled to fight with the weight of a regiment.

    The Battalion organized with three companies near Dumfries, VA, in December 1861 with men from Calhoun, Mobile, and Sumter counties. The unit was designated the 5th Infantry Battalion on 22 October 1862; it was attached to Whiting's Division then was soon transferred to John Bell Hood's. Sent to Richmond, the battalion was placed under the command of Brig. Gen'l James J. Archer and fought at Mechanicsville, 1st Cold Harbor, and Frazier's Farm, with heavy loss. It was engaged at 2nd Manassas with loss, and with like result at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.

    At the end of June, 1863, General Lee was marching his army north into Pennsylvania. Archer's Brigade (1st, 7th, 14th TN Regients, 13th AL Regiment, and 5th AL Battalion). On the morning of 1 July, the men were moved out along the Chambersburg Pike toward Gettysburg, four abreast, until they came in sight of a squadron of Union cavalry. The men were ordered to cross Marsh Creek and deploy a skirmish line. A shot rang out when the Union troopers spotted the Confederates. The Union cavalry retreated, but their artillery, located at the edge of town, opened. Archer's Brigade, with the 5th Battalion in advance, rushed to a shallow creek, Willoughby run, until the Union resistance began to stiffen. Nonetheless, the Confederates drove the cavalry across the run and started up a hill where they ran into the men of the Iron Brigade where a hard fought and unequal contest began. In the fierce fighting, the battalion lost over 30% of the 135 it had engaged. Reduced to only three companies, the battalion was placed on provost duty in A. P. Hill's 3rd Corps. It remained in Virginia until the end, losing several on the march to Appomattox, where it surrendered 125 men (including 55 in Co. "B").


    The Calhoun Sharpshooters

    On the 10th of August 1861, Confederate Captain Thomas B. Bush was sent home from Virginia to Jacksonville (AL) to recruit and organize a new company. This company became Co. "B" (Calhoun Sharpshooters; a.k.a., Bush Sharpshooters) of the Fifth Alabama Battalion and travelled by rail to Virginia. After the 2nd battle of Bull Run the Battalion became a part of Archer's Brigade, Maj.Gen. A.P. Hill's division, Army of Northern Virginia.

    The men filling the ranks company B was mainly from the foothills of the Appalachians in northeast Alabama and was all savage fighters. Although fierce and unrelenting in midst of battle, no one could be gentler with a wounded or dying foe. They gave no quarter and expected none.





    Self made pictures



    Marching 5th Alabama Co. B Private

    The men of co. B quickly got rid of the issued hats and wore slouch hats and wide brimmed western hats without few exceptions. Because of the factories shortage of grey dye they had a color policy on their uniforms called Butternut (dirty, dusty brown), and as many others in the Army of Northern Virginia, the battalion lacked proper shoes which resulted in that many were barefoot







    Photos



    The men of the Battalion

    2and Lt WM. F. Fulton, Co.A 5th Alabama Battalion (North Sumter Rifles)

    William was born 12 November 1840 and when into service 26 May 1861 Gainesville, Alabama, and was paroled 9 April 1865 at Appomattox Court House, VA. He was in the ranks of the 5th through out the entire war and was in the thickest of action at Gettysburg where he said this about the Pickets charge:
    “After enduring a heavy cannonade the cammand is gven at last, “Forward March!” That means a charge forward to capture the enemy’s position....their pace is not slackened until they reach the enemy’s lines and here amid smoke and carnage the deadly work goes on...”
    “The color bearer of the Fifth Alabama is shot down, the flag falls to the ground. Private Bullock of Co. C raises it again. His is shot. Then Private Manning of Co. B lifts it again and as it floats out on the breeze Manning is killed. Then Private Gilbert of Co. A seizes it and succeeds in bearing it to the rear to where we were forced to retreat.”



    WM. F. Fulton circa 1915 (about 75 years of age)

    He wrote the book "The War Reminiscences of William F. Fulton, 5th Alabama Battalion, Archer's Brigade, A.P. Hill's Light Division" were the two quotes above is taken from.




    The men of Co.B, Calhoun Sharpshooters

    Sgt Joseph Early, Co.B 5th Alabama Battalion



    Private Elihu H. Griffin, Co.B 5th Alabama Battalion

    Elihu was born in 1838 and died in 1914. He enlisted in the Confederate States Army on August 19, 1861. At Gettysburg Him and the 5th Alabama was opposed by the Union calvary including the 8th Illinois. The first shots fired in this historic battle were between these units and first man to be shot was Elihu Griffin. Private E.T. Boland wrote, “As soon as the (Confederate) skirmish line entered the swamp a shot range out, it being the first gun fired in the great battle of Gettysburg.” He would return to Green Valley after the war, where he raised his family and farmed



    Members of Co.B 5th Alabama Battalion, circa approx. 1910




    Muster rolls

    Albert S. Van de Graaff´s muster roll







    Weapons and equipment used by the battalion

    5th Alabama Confederate Soldier’s Bowie Knife

    Edgar E. Hayden Co. A 5th Battalion Alabama wore this knife when he was wounded Mortally at 7 Days Battles and Died in Service. This substantial 1850s Sheffield Bowie knife has an incredibly heavy blade and infinite appeal. It has a polished horn handle and etched spear point blade. It measures 11 ½ inches overall and is complete with the original sheath. The blade is beautifully etched and the horn handle is excellent with a couple little areas of worm damage. Of great importance is the ancient paper note affixed to the face of the sheath. The family inscribed the note “Bowie Knife Worn by Edgar E. Hayden who was Pressed into the Rebel Army... Mrs. J. G. Hayden” Edgar E. Hayden enlisted in May of 1861, was wounded June 26th 1862, and then died of his wounds in the service of the Confederacy. He enlisted at the age of 29 in Capt. Van de Graaff’s Company. He died of his wounds sometime after July 5th 1862 when he apparently last signed for his pay, and before October 1862 when the muster roll reflects he was “since dead”. He must have been wounded at or between Seven Pines and Gaines Mill Virginia and then lingered for some time.







    Company/Regimental flags



    5th Alabama battalion flag

    This flag represented the whole battalion as a part of the Army of Northern Virginia, 3rd wool bunting issue. It served in most of the greatest battles in the east up until Gettysburg were it was captured during the Pickets charge, and for some reason became and asset of Joshua Chamberlain. Though he and his regiment were there on the third day of Gettysburg, it’s a mystery as to how he ended up with the 5th Alabama Battalion’s flag. Chamberlain’s exploits on the second day of Gettysburg weren’t yet the stuff of legend so it’s unlikely he was presented the flag right there on the feld. It’s also unclear who found the unfortunate Lt. Smith with his prize though it could be assumed that it was someone from his own regiment who would have recognized him. Perhaps the flag was presented to Chamberlain years after the hostilities as a tribute to his amazing war record. Another mystery to be solved.
    It wouldn’t be until June of 1943 that the state of Alabama would recieve this flag.




    5th Alabama Battalion (Co. B, Calhoun Sharpshooters) flag

    This flag was made by the ladies of Jacksonville, Alabama and presented to Captain Thomas Bush by Miss Clementine Snow and was presented to his new formed company. When Bush was wounded and later died, the flag and his sword were brought home to his mother, Mrs. Harriet Bush, by Charles, his servant boy. The flag later passed into the hands of Bush's nephew. It was donated to the Alabama Department of Archives and History on April 16, 1941 by Tom B. Jenkins and his sister, Hallie B. Jenkins of Jacksonville.







    In memory









    Reenactment pictures



    Members of the 5th Alabama Sharpshooters, as portrayed by the 10th Virginia. Spangler's Spring, Gettysburg June 2007









    Company Poster





    Steam group: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/calhounsharpshooters





    Overview of enlisted and battles fought

    The enlisted men of the battalion



    Battles fought






    Last edited by Josy_Wales; 03-20-2016 at 12:45 PM.

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    Welcome to the Confederacy!

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    Thank you

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    Congrats and welcome to the CSA!

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    Glad to be part of the growing light division

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    Quote Originally Posted by Josy_Wales View Post
    ... and some 2D art showing off uniforms and soldiers.
    Yeah, that just about covers the basics.

    Welcome.

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    Are Josy_Wales and Josey_Wales the same persons?!

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    Thank you, the basics should to be a good start

    No, but I understand why you ask
    Last edited by Bravescot; 12-18-2015 at 02:31 PM.

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