The Forty-eighth Alabama Infantry Regiment, C.S.A., 1862-65 — by Joshua Glen Price
Review by Lynda Peach
Published July 2012
About the book & Its Table of Contents
|~ From the IntroductionA college Civil War history paper was the catylst for this book; Price, wanting a unique subject, selected his Civil War ancestors.
“Up to that point in time I was never interested in genealogy. The thought of having to trace down ancestors through censuses, marriage records, deeds, bibles, letters, and God knows what else was completely appalling. Besides, the paper was due in less than three months!”
I had not gotten past the second paragraph of the Introduction & I was already intrigued. Price finds that his ancestors served in the Forty-eighth Alabama Infantry Regiment andthus began the first steps this book.
Do NOT skip reading the Introduction of this book. It’s not only interesting but contains information about two key pieces re the Forty-eighth that are still to be located.
~ About the author
“Joshua Price … is a member of many historical organizations and societies including Phi Alpha Theta and is an annual contributor to many Civil War battlefield preservations societies. He has lectured to various historical, genealogical, and preservation societies.”
Copyright © 2010
||A Call to Arms
||Cedar Run to Sharpsburg
||Fredericksburg to Suffolk
||Fredericksburg to Suffolk
||Campaigning in Tennessee
||Grant Versus Lee
||The Final Roll
Appendix A – Select Letters
Appendix B – Select Biographies
Appendix C – Company Rosters
Appendix D – Burial Sites
Appendix E – Ruben Ewing Obituaries
Appendix F – Sheffield Murder Trial
Appendix G – Appomattox Roster
Appendix H – Company Captians
Excerpt from page 14:
“The newly formed Forty-eighth Alabama Infantry Regiment, commanded by Colonel James L. Sheffield, mustered into service 22 May 1862 and placed under General Thomas J. Jackson’s command. It was immediately sent to Virginia to join the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia as it fought McClellan’s invading army around Richmond. On 14 June the regiment boarded a train at Auburn, transferred trains in Atlanta, and headed up the east coast through the Carolinas toward Virginia.
The Forty-eighth Alabama Infantry Regiment arrived in Richmond during the afternoon of 21 June 1862. As the men exited the train and formed in the nearby fields they could hear the roar of cannon a very short distance to the northeast.”
Think what that felt like. Part exciting and certainly terrifying.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Price takes us literally with the 48th as it goes into battle after battle. We learn about the soldiers as well as their commanders. Their triumphs … the loss of personnel. At times, this is not an easy book to read.
Freezing winter conditions, soldiers with no shoes, bloody footprints in the snow – long marches, trips via crowded, cramped trains.
The men of the 48th fought in major battle after battle. Battle of Manassa, Battle of Chickamauga. Price guides us through the Battle of Chickamauga using dates and times as well as descriptions of “marching through the green thick forests.” … “The thick wilderness filled with smoke, and sometimes caught fire, causing great navigational difficulties.”
Excerpt from page 89:
“Wholesale slaughter was nothing new to the Alabamians. In December 1862 they witnessed it at Fredericksburg. In July 1863, they assaulted the impregnable Little Round Top at Gettysburg. Since the fighting resumed in The Wilderness in May 1864, the Alabamians participated in the slaughter of thousands of Federal soldiers.”
Price does not end the book with the surrender by General Lee of the Confederate Army. The Conclusion chapter talks about the surviving members of the 48th but also the widows. “In the 1890’s many widows filed for and received a very small state government pension. Although small in amount, oftentimes the pension served as the only source of income for the elderly women.”
Touching is the story of George William Chumley who in 1938 returned to Gettysburg to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the battle. At 93 years and the last surviving member of the 48th, Chumley sees & hears the battle of long ago as he walks the battlefield. Then … he and a Union veteran with his granddaughter sit on a bench talking.
Excerpt from page 104:
The little girl, no more than five or six years old, looked at Chumley and said, “my grandfather is not mad at you, are you mad at him?” Both veterans laughed, and Chumley patted the little girl on the head and assured her that he was not mad at her grandfather. The two veterans sat for a long time talking
I wish I was an artist and could draw the picture this paints in the mind.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Excerpt from page 105:
“The Forty-eighth Alabama fought in all of the infamous battles of the eastern theatre, save Chancellorsville.”
Excerpt from page 106:
“… the Forty-eighth mustered approximately 450 soldiers but could muster only 136 soldiers when it furled its colors at Appomattox Court House.”
Yes – the 48th was there too.
This book can be purchased by contacting the author via email at email@example.com
This book and many others like it are available for you to research onsite at the Nichols Memorial Library.