VETERANS OF THE original 63D TENNESSEE
At the 2005 Fort Dickerson event in Knoxville, I was approached by a kind gentleman, Mr. Malcolm Rogers, who bore an invaluable gift. He presented me and the modern 63d Tennessee with a hard copy of an account from a veteran of the original 63d. This account was published well after the war, but provides a great deal of insight on the history of the regiment and the experience of a common soldier. I have since ran across a few other veteran histories which I will be adding to this page as I have transcribed them. Enjoy!
Abram Fulkerson, as mentioned in our brief history of the 63rd Tennessee,
was the regiment's longest standing commanding officer. VMI has a
collection of his wartime letters. Follow the links below to see the
text from the letters.
The photo on top was reportedly taken in the 1880's. The bottom photo is Fulkerson holding the reigns of "Little Sorrel" when the famed mount of Gen. Jackson was in Bristol, TN/VA, in 1885.
Letter to his wife from Cumberland Gap, May 18, 1863 - comments on the Death of Stonewall Jackson
"Cumberland Gap May 18, 1863 My dear wife- Your last kind letter was recd by Friday's mail. Your dear letters are my greatest pleasure and do away in a great measure with the horror of separation. The frequency with which we can communicate with each other is a rich blessing and brings us as if we're almost together. One of our pickets came in the other day and reported that a Mr. Davis was at the lines and desired to enter. This report took me very much by surprise, for although you had mentioned the probability of his coming yet I did not look for him. He only stayed a few hours. After dinner (a very poor one without apology to him) I went [around] to show him some of the curiosities of Cumberland Gap, which he seemed to think would compensate any one for making the visit. He went back up the valley and expected to get home by Wednesday next. Will see you Sunday, if not sooner. The intelligence of the death of Gen. Jackson came upon us like a shock. We feel that his death is a national calamity. The poorest soldiers among us appreciated his worth - loved the man, and mourn his loss. I knew him well.1 He was my preceptor for more than four years and whilst during that time I did not appreciate the man, as school [schoolboys?]are not like to do, yet I always had great reverence for the man on account of his piety & uprightness of character. Among the many heroes of this revolution, none have lived so much adored, none have died so much deplored, and none have left a character as spotless as that of Stonewall Jackson. Could his life have been spared till the close of this cruel war, the unanimous voice of a grateful people would have proclaimed him chief ruler of the nation. But God has seen proper to take him from us, and what He does is right and for the best. It is [illegible] therefore that we make the sacrifice cheerfully, th'o we cannot see why our country should be deprived of his services at his her hour of greatest need. I have no news of importance more than you will see in the papers. The news from KY is vague and unreliable. It is reported and believed that there are three or four Regmts at Barboursville, 30 miles distant. That Burnsides is preparing to invade E. Tenn. on a large scale there seems no longer to be any doubt. A southern woman the wife of a Lincolnite told Mrs. Patterson today that a runner had just come across the mountain to tell the Union people, they must stay at home, that the Feds would be in, in about three weeks, that where they were found absent it would be an evidence of disloyalty. I will not be surprised if they make an effort about that time. Mr. Patterson started to the R.R. today - is going to the salt works. I asked him to stop and see you all, but he would not promise. No prospect of any goods yet. Do you want any money? When you need money or any thing else you must not fail to let me know. My love to mother & Kate. Write often, Your affectionate husband AF."
Letter to his wife from prison camp, May 7, 1865. Fulkerson was one of the immortal 600
"Field Officers Barracks, Ft. Delaware May 7 1865 I have not heard directly from you since the 4th of Feb. Your letter was directed to Ft. Pulaski. I received on my way here at Hilton Head S.C. Since that time we have passed through the most eventful period of the war. The closing scenes are being enacted, and with hearts overwhelmed with grief & sadness we bow in deep humiliation in their contemplation. The present, thank God, is only the "beginning of the end." The military power of the South is broken, the spirit is not. The ball has been put in motion by the people of the South, an impetus has been given it, which will eventually result in the destruction of the U.S. Government and if not in the independence of the South, certainly in the disenthrallment of her people. Ten years will see us under the protecting wing of a foreign power, or independent. I expect to meet you soon, not crowned with the laurels of victory but with the oath crammed down my throat, a quiescent citizen of the United States. I have the sweet consolation of being conscious of having served the cause faithfully. I sacrificed everything but life, and hazarded that, many times & in many ways, in behalf of my country. I have not the slightest fear that any man can ever point at me the finger of scorn and say "you done it." I have performed my duty and now abandon the cause as (at present) hopeless, without in the least having changed my opinion as to the justness of that cause. I go now to share with the people of the south the deep humiliation which will be dictated by yankee vindictiveness. I have heard from you thr'o your father up to March 1st. Receive letters from him often. Says he will send you money & c thr'o Mr. Armstrong. Hope you may have no difficulty in getting along. I cannot tell when I will be released, but probably soon. My love to Kate. Tell the boy, I'll be home soon. Your affect. husband. A. Fulkerson P.W. "
Letter to his wife from prison camp, May 13, 1865
"Officers Barracks Ft. Delaware May 13, 1865 My dear wife- Your esteemed letter of the 17th April, via Knoxville reached me a few days since. I cannot express my gratification at learning that you were all well, and living. The terrible events which have transpired in the Confederacy within the past two months, and my great anxiety about you, taken together, had rendered me very unhappy, indeed wretched. The last letter but one from you was dated 4th Feb and recd at Hilton Head S.C. the day after our departure from Ft. Pulaski. I have written you several times since my arrival here, via Richmond. About a week ago I sent you a letter to the care of Mr. Armstrong, but as I was in a very unhappy humor about them "Cause" it is probable that much that I said was too harsh and "contraband" and caused the"confiscation" of the letter. We left Ft. Pulaski on the 4th March, ordered by Genrl. Grant to be exchanged. When we reached Old Point active operations had commenced on the James, were sent here. The result of the campaign was disastrous to our aims. It has ended our hopes for exchange, if not for liberty itself. I cannot talk about our misfortunes in a letter, but must wait till I see you. It seems at present, that the only means of getting out of prison, is by taking the oath. It is probable therefore I will return to you soon, not crowned with victorious laurels, but as a loyal subject (overpowered) of the U.S. I do not know whether you would recognize me as a citizen or not, perhaps you may, if necessity forces it upon me. I hear from your father often. He wrote me he was making arrangements to send you money & clothing th'ro Mr. Armstrong. I hope it will not be inconvenient for Kate to keep you with her til I am released. My health is now very good. Your affectionate husband. A. Fulkerson. Love to Mrs. H and the boy (as you may not receive this for months, I will say our boy)
|J. E. Longacre|
Charlie Jones, a charter member of the modern 63rd Tennessee, was given this
photo and information on J. E. Longacre by Richard Witcher in 1986.
J. E. Longacre, (1st) Co. K, 3 reg't (Lillard's) Tennessee Vols. Co. E, 63 Reg't Tennessee Infantry
The 3rd (Lillard's) Regiment Tennessee Mounted Infantry was organized May 29, 1861, and was mustered into service of the Confederate States June 6, 1861. It was re-organized May 14, 1862, when (1st) Company K was transferred to the 63rd Regiment Tennessee Infantry and become Company E of that organization. (2d) Company K was then formed of men who had been trasferred from Company H of this regiment. The organization was mounted about January 1, 1864.
June 6, 1861, enlisted at Lynchburg for period of 12 months
Sept. 20, 1863, wounded in the left thigh slightly at the battle of Chickamauga
Nov. 1863, promoted to 4 Cpl.
June 17, 1864, captured at Petersburg
June 24, 1864, arrived at City Point
July 27, 1864, transferred to Elmira, N.Y.
July 30, 1864, received at Elmira, N.Y. from Point Lookout, Md.
July 3, 1865, signed Oath of Allegiance to the United States at Elmira, N.Y.
Place of residence - Bristol, Tenn.
Eyes-Hazel, Height-5 ft 8 in
Page 1 Page 2
Page 3 Page 4
|Henry Mauk was a private in Company E out of Sullivan County. Company E was previously Company K in the 3rd Tenn (Vaughn's) that fought at the first battle of the war at Manassas. We have no information yet on when Pvt. Mauk was mustered in. One of the members of the modern 63rd, Lester Crosswhite, has a copy of Pvt. Mauk's letter, written apparently in July of 1863 while the 63rd Tenn. was in Cumberland Gap (would depart that summer) and later fight at the Battle of Chickamauga.|
|Robert M. Rhea|
|Robert Rhea of Blountville, Tennessee, served in Company F of the 63d Tennessee. He saw service to the very end and was the highest ranked soldier in the ranks the day of the surrender. He published an account of his service later in his life. Follow this link to read a transcription of his papers.|
|Nathan Bachman was 16 years old in March 1861 when he enlisted in a company of soldiers in Bristol, Tenn., which would later be mustered into the 3rd Tenn. (Vaughn's) which saw service at First Manassas. Just over a year later, his company would be reassigned to the 63d Tennessee, designated Co. E. He served as sergeant major and later as adjutant with the rank of 1st lieutenant.|
|Jesse Powell Cross|
This was submitted by e-mail to me on Feb. 22 from Sharon Steel-Smith, descendant of Pvt. Jesse Powell Cross. The submission and the information is greatly appreciated! Capt. Noland
"...Thank you for your wonderful website on the 63rd Tennessee. It's been a while since I visited, and I noticed that it has been greatly updated, and that you have posted some photos of veterans. I hope you won't mind my adding my ancestor's photo to your list.
I am attaching a photo of my 4x great-grandfather, Jesse Powell Cross of Sullivan County, Tennessee. He enlisted in the Confederate Army as a Private on 14 May 1862 in the 63rd Tennessee Infantry, Company F. He was wounded May 16, 1864 during the Battle of Drewry’s Bluff in Virginia, where he received a gunshot wound to his right thigh which splintered his femur, and was granted a sixty-day furlough on 26 May 1864. According to family notes, he was with General Lee at the surrender at Appomattox. He is buried at the Blountville Cemetery in Blountville, Tennessee, alongside his wife, Ester Cagle Cross.
His brother Sampson T. Cross also served in the 63rd, as did David Emmert, who was connected with the Cross family by marriage, and his four brothers: James, George, John, and Benjamin, who was in the 26th, but is listed with the 63rd. Unfortunately, I do not have any photos of any of these veterans. We believe that the David Cross on the 63rd's roster was also a brother of Jesse and Sampson, since he enlisted the same day at the same location. Not that that's any solid proof, since he could have been a cousin, but by process of elimination on the census records, we're pretty sure they were all brothers.
Last year I joined my local UDC Chapter under Jesse Powell Cross, and am awaiting confirmation of my supplemental applications under my other Confederate ancestors. I am also working with my chapter to place an Iron Cross on Jesse Powell's grave, which I hope to have in place sometime this spring.
Thanks again for the wonderful website!
Alfred Holt Colquitt Chapter #2018, Atlanta"
This likeness of Samuel Saffell was first found by me in the book Mountain Rebels by W. Todd Groce.
The caption under the photo reads:
"Samuel Saffell, c. 1862. Commissioned as first lieutenant in the Sixty-third Tennessee Infantry in May 1862. Saffell was typical of many East Tennesseans who waited until after the Conscription Act to enlist in the Confederate army. He was mortally wounded near Petersburg in June 1864. Courtesy of Special Collections Department, University of Tennessee Libraries, Knoxville."
From. Col. A. Fulkerson's history of the regiment in Lindsley's Annals, Lt. Saffell served in Company B raised mostly from Roane County. Lt. Saffell served with distinction throughout the war and was killed during the siege of Petersburg around the same time that the Battle of the Crater was fought though the regiment was not in that specific battle.
|Robert Kurtz Staton/Staten|
This excellent account of a veteran of the 63rd Tennessee was provided by James Howard Morelock of Savannah, GA.
Robert Kurtz Staton/Staten served in Company D of the 63rd Tennessee. He joined the regiment before it was organized in May 1862. Robert was in the battle of Chickamauga and made the advance against Snodgrass Hill. During the movement against Knoxville, he accidentally wounded himself while on guard duty and was sent to a hospital in Loudon. It was here, in December 1863, that he was captured. He spent the rest of the war imprisoned in Louisville, Kentucky, and then later in Rock Island, Illinois. He was exchanged in Richmond in March 1865, and sent home to Jonesborough, Tenn., and took the oath in April 1865.
Follow this link to a transcription of an email sent from Mr. Morelock to Captain Perry Hill of the modern 63rd. Included is a quoted letter written from Robert to his wife after the regiment was moved from Cumberland Gap to Tullahoma, TN, leading up to the battle of Chickamauga.
|James Jefferson Land|
Found this soldier's account at http://civilwartalk.com/threads/confederate-private-james-jefferson-land-co-d-63rd-tn-infantry.74745/. He was one of the final 28 soldiers who surrendered at Appomattox.
James enlisted in the Confederate Army at Jonesboro, Washington County, Tennessee. on May 5,1862 age 18. He joined a local company called the " Kirby Smith Rifles " named for a Major Confederate General in East Tennessee. James mustered into Confederate Service May 13, 1862 at Knoxville where the 63rd Tennessee regiment was organized. He is listed as " present " through the roll till March-April,1863 where he is listed " sick in camp. " He is back with the regiment May-June 1863. July-Aug.1863 his record states " Absent sent to hospital in Knoxville Aug.27,1863 by order of regimental surgeon. " This begins a period of illness that will plague him in his later years. He is back with the regiment from Jan-Aug.1864. Roll for Sept.-Oct.1864 has him " absent without leave since Oct 27,1864." Nov.-Dec.1864 he is back with regiment present and " paid $ 100.00 bounty " ( probably for returning by a certain date. ) The last file card in his CMSR is dated April 11,1865 and states his " name appears on a roll of prisoners of war belonging to the Army of Northern Virginia who have this day been surrendered by Gen.Robert E. Lee, commanding said army to Lieut Gen.U.S.Grant, commanding Armies of the United States. Paroled April 9,1865. Roll dated Hd.Qrs.McComb"s Brigade,April 11,1865. J.J. was one of only 28 enlisted men left of the 63rd. One of only 7 left of Company D. Until his health failed him, James was a brakeman on the East Tennessee railroad.
The following is a transcription of James' pension application to the Sate of Tennessee. He filed Feb.21.1905.He was " accepted " May 1,1906. He states his full name. His address at the time was Rural Route # 1 Afton, Greene County, Tennessee. That in the " late war between the states " in the process of the discharge of his duty as a member of Company D 63rd Regt Volunteer Infantry. ( He underlines Confederate States rather than United States ) he " contracted the following disease or disabilities to wit " Rheumatism. To the question " In what County, State, and year were you born ? " Wilkes, North Carolina 1844. James is next asked to tell when he enlisted, and to tell what command and to name regimental and company officers he served under. " I enlisted 1861 latter part, 63rd regiment, Col.Fain, Bushrod Johnson's Brigade, Capt.A.A. Blair, 1st Lt. James McCollum, 2nd Lt. Carter, 3rd Lt Wilson " He is asked if his " wound or disability is permanent and did he contract it in service ? " Contracted in service which is permanent " Were you incapacitated by said wound or disease ? " I was incapacitated five months while a soldier. James was examined by Dr.George A McClain. Under oath he makes the following statement : " Rheumatism with enlargement of joints of arm and knee and ankle of left leg. This claimant can walk but leans heavily on his staff. Claimant says he has periods of several weeks continuous in which he has to have the aid of another person to dress him and undress him. The old soldier is not able to perform manual labor for the support of his family and is in destitute circumstances. He is worthy and needs aid as his physical condition is bad. " Two of James old Rebel Comrades vouched for him in statements they made before the Washington County, Tenn Courts 1st is Joseph P. Lyle : " I was in the same company with the applicant and knew him well from the time he came to the company till the 2nd of April,1865 when our lines were broken and I was captured. He was a good and faithfull soldier and was sick at Cumberland Gap. I always understood he was with the company at the surrender. " Feb.18,1906. Next was James B. Humpherys who states he was " a private in Company D 63rd Tennessee Infantry that James Jefferson Land was with the Company at Strawberry Plains, Jefferson County, Tenn. when I went to the company. We were ordered to Chickamauga and then ordered up through Knoxville, Tenn. and then ordered into Virginia at Petersburg till the close of the war. Said Land was paroled out and said Land was a good soldier during the rebellion and that said Land was sick five or six months while in the army with a fever and further states James Jefferson Land was paroled out of the army of the Confederates. Filed Feb.21,1905 Greene County, Tennessee
|William and J. A. Landis|
J. A. Landis is listed as a hospital steward on the 63rd Tennessee roster.
I find no record of William H. Landis.
Note the image seems to be cropped from a publication and refers to J. A. as "DR" a title which he may have achieved during being a steward in the war.
|W. T. "Frank" Turk, Drummer|
A photograph of my great-great grandfather Frank Turk. He was in the assault
on Snodgrass Hill with the 63rd TN Infantry against Federal Gen'l Thomas in
the battle of Chickamauga, 404 men in regiment made the assault and only 202
remained. He was paroled with General Lee at Appomattox at wars end and
walked home to Knoxville with little to nothing to eat along the way and
begged for food sleeping on the ground. He died at age 35 in 1879 and is
buried in Fort Worth, TX.
W. T. Turk was listed as a drummer in Company D, which was made up of men from Washington, Hawkins, and Knox Counties. Also known as the "Kirby Smith Rifles"
Source: Sam Boyd of McMinnville, Tenn. shared this on the 63rd's Facebook page on Oct. 7, 2017. 63rd Tennessee Roster. 63rd's history on this site.