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Wilson P. Wallace's Civil War Record
The Civil War record of Wilson Polk Wallace
Wilson Polk Wallace enlisted in the Confederate Army at Nashville, Arkansas in April of 1861, at age 17. He is listed on the muster roll of Arkansas State Troops, Davis Blues that was organized in Hempstead County, Arkansas, completing their organization on June 18, 1861, at Nashville Arkansas, with 94 men in the company roster. Before leaving Nashville a celebration was held on their behalf, which included a barbecue dinner and a patriotic speech by state Senator Charles B. Mitchel. From Nashville the company marched to Little Rock, Arkansas where they set up camp on the arsenal grounds.
Davis Blues was commanded by Captain Joseph L. Neal and after the organization they marched to Walker, near Harmony Springs in Benton County, Arkansas. While there in Benton County, they were organized into Company F, Fifth Regiment commanded by Colonel Thomas Dockery.
After being assigned to the Fifth Regiment, Company F, Wilson Polk Wallace marched with the Davis Blues to Wilson Creek located south of Springfield, Missouri. The Battle of Wilson Creek was fought on August 10, 1861 and is better known as Oak Hills by the southern army. During course of the battle, the Fifth Regiment was held in strategic reserve, preventing the enemy from overrunning Confederate artillery positions. When they were finally called into action, Lieutenant Colonel Neal was killed while leading the Regiment advance. The Regiment suffered three killed and twelve wounded.
According to an article that appears in the book, "Old Town Speaks" by Charles Moss Williams, after the Battle of Oak Hills the company disbanded at Walnut Springs, Arkansas. Wallace's official military record lists him on the company roster of Company H, 17th (Rector's- Griffin's) Arkansas Infantry, joining April 6,1862. He enlisted at Springfield and was enrolled by Captain Benjamin P Jett. Quoting from the book, "The Old Town Speaks," Mr. Wilson joined the Hempstead Rifles No. 2 on the retreat from the Battle of Elkhorn." The Battle of Elkhorn Tavern was fought on March 7, 8, of 1862. Wilson joined the 17th Arkansas infantry on April 6,1862, that was after the battle of Elkhorn.
Wilson Polk Wallace's unit fought in the Battle of Corinth, Mississippi, which occurred on October 3-4, 1862. The 17th Arkansas infantry was assigned to the Army of West Tennessee under the command of Major General Earl Van Dorn. The 17th Arkansas Infantry Regiment was part of Colonel W Bruce Cobert's Second Brigade. During the assault on the fortifications at Corinth the determined resistance of Napoleon Buford's union brigade halted Cobert's advance. A ferocious fight occurred between the two opposing brigades', 400 yards east of Battery Powell, resulting in high casualties on both sides. During this fight, Wilson Wallace was wounded. According to the book, "The Old Towns Speaks," page 246, "at this battle Mr. Wallace was shot through the side, the bullet first passing through the stock of his musket. In passing to the stock of his musket, the bullet became flattened and tore a fearful whole through the flesh and the muscle, which placed Mr. Wallace on crutches for about 10 months.
He then joined his command before his wounds healed." The11th and 17th infantry regiments were consolidated in January of 1863. Wallace's appears on the muster roll of the consolidated regiments on August 9,1863. After the battle of Corinth, the consolidated 11th and 17th infantry regiments were assigned to the garrison at Port Hudson, Louisiana. On October the 28th 1863 the 11th arrived at Port Hudson by steamboat. Port Hudson was of critical importance to the Confederate defense of the Mississippi River. It was ideally located on high bluffs on the Mississippi River and was designed to protect Confederate commerce on the river.
Siege of Port Hudson began on May 23, 1863 and would last for 48 days. A vastly outnumbered force of determined southern defenders under the command of General Frank Garner, was pitted against 30,000 union soldiers under the command of General Banks. Towards the end of the siege, the Confederate Army had exhausted their ammunition. They had to resort to eating mules, horses, and rats to keep from starving. The garrison was literally starving and surrendered on July 9,1863. Wallace was paroled on at Port Hudson along with other enlisted men of his regiment. The officers were shipped off to prison camps.
After the fall of Port Hudson, he enlisted in Colonel James C. Monroe's First Arkansas Cavalry. Page 247 Old Town speaks; "He joined Captain Wyley Stuart's Company from Washington, Arkansas." According to his military record he enlisted in Company D. He was present at the fights on Wolf Creek, Elkins Ferry, Prairie De Ann, Poison Springs and Mark's Mill. The battles mentioned took place during the Camden Expedition that began March 23,1864 when Major General Steele's Union Army lift Little Rock on it's ill-fated drive, hoping to link up with General Banks in Louisiana. Monroe's Cavalry Regiment participated in these battles, playing a significant role in helping prevent Steele from joining Banks.
The regiment is also known as Arkansas 1st Cavalry (Fargan's-Monroe's) Cavalry Regiment and was organized in 1862. On page 36, Volume 12, The Hempstead County Historical Society states that Company D Monroe's Cavalry was raised by A. V. Rieff in May 1862. "The company raised by George A. Davis became Company C. of Monroe's Arkansas Cavalry on May 15, 1862. One week later, Rieeff's joined Monroe's Regiment as Company D. " The company raised by George A. Davis became Company C of Monroe's Arkansas Cavalry on May 15, 1862. One week later, Reiff's company joined Monroe's Regiment as Company D."
According an article in the Hempstead County Historical Society the regiment is also known as Arkansas 1st Cavalry (Fargan's-Monroe's)Cavalry Regiment and was organized in 1862. On page 36, Volume 12, The Hempstead County Historical Society states that Company D Monroe's Cavalry was raised by A. V. Rieff in May 1862. "The company raised by George A. Davis became Company C. of Monroe's Arkansas Cavalry on May 15, 1862. One week later, Rieff joined Monroe's Regiment as Company D. " The company raised by George A. Davis became Company C of Monroe's Arkansas Cavalry on May 15, 1862. One week later, Reiff's company joined Monroe's Regiment as Company D."
After serving with Monroe's Arkansas First Calvary, Wallace rejoined the 11th and 17th consolidated regiment commanded by Colonel Griffith and was sent to Mississippi.. While stationed in Mississippi an incident occurred in April 1864 according to an article published in the Hempstead County Historical Society, Volume12, spring of 1988. "It was the capture of the federal gunboat Petrel on the Yazoo River on April 24. A fleet of five federal gunboats attempted to pass up the river through Yazoo City the previous day, but only the Petrel got through while the others withdrew down the river. Colonel Griffith located the gunboat the next day and asked for permission to take his old regiment the 17th Arkansas Infantry, and capture it. With permission granted, Griffith proceeded up the river with about 130 men and two mounted cannons. Nearing the gunboat, the Colonel order Major Benjamin P. Jett, JR. to take 30 to 40 man, mostly from Hempstead County, and advanced to a position across the river from where the boat was located. Once Colonel Griffith's main force was in position, Major Jett's men opened fire on the gunboat, which returned fire, cut loose from the bank, and proceeded up the river. Major Jett's and his unit follow and continue to shoot at the boat. Finally, Griffiths' cannons opened up on the boat, forcing it to run aground. The federal crew abandoned ship while the captain raised a white flag. Its four guns were sent to Mobile, Alabama while the boat was burned."
On Dec. 2, 1864 Colonel Griffith, Eleventh and Seventeenth Arkansas regiment fought an engagement at Concord Church, Mississippi. They intercepted and engaged the Third U. S. Colored Cavalry near Yazoo City, who where under orders to carry out a raid on Jackson, Mississippi. During ensuing fight the union force was routed and felled to accomplish their mission. (O. R. Volume XLV/I Report of Colonel John Griffith on engagement, pages 785-787.
Union forces that were operating above Jackson, Mississippi and engaged Colonel Griffith's, Eleventh and Seventeenth Arkansas regiment at Franklin Mississippi on January 2, 1865.Griffith's Confederates charged the the Yankees, but were forced to retreat from the field. This was the last fight Griffith Regiment was engaged in.
Wallace served until the end of the war. Serving under General Nathan Bedford Forrest Cavalry in Mississippi. The Appendix of (The Confederate Military History) Volume 11, page 193 confirms that Wallace's unit was assigned to Forrest's Cavalry.
BRIGADES OF ROSS AND ECTOR IN 1865.
By an order of Major-General Forrest, February 13, 1865, Gen. W. H. Jackson was ordered to consolidate and organize a division of cavalry, to be composed of three brigades, one of which was to be Ross' Texas brigade, to be commanded by Brig.-Gen. L. S. Ross, consisting of the Third, Sixth and Ninth Texas regiments, under Colonel Griffith, Eleventh and Seventeenth Arkansas consolidated, Willis' battalion and Cobb's scouts.
I will add more about his military record in Mississippi to the site. Wilson Polk Wallace is my great-grandfather. I have been gathering information on the Wallace Family for a number of years and will post more as time permits. Robert E Reynolds
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