"Some Recollections Of An Old Soldier"

by Asa M. Piper, Company C, 62nd Regiment of Alabama Volunteers, C. S. A.

[ This document is from Kaaren Linton, [email protected] based on research from
Alabama Department of Archives and History
World War Memorial Building
624 Washington Avenue
Montgomery, Alabama 36104 ]

This company was made up by J. W. Pitts and W. W. Wallace, Sr. of Shelby County. Alabama. We were sworn into service at Wilsonville, Alabama, November 3, 1863. The company was made up from Shelby, Talladega and Coosa Counties. But few were over seventeen and one-half years old at this time. J.W. Pitts was elected Captain and W. W. Wallace, Sr., 1st Lieutenant, A. H. Ballard, 2nd Lieutenant, J. Morris, 3rd Lieutenant, George O. Butler, 1st Sergeant. R. M. Honeycutt, 2nd Sergeant.

We were sent to Coosa River Railroad bridge for guard duty and drill and remained there until July 11, 1864. We were at that time armed with Mississippi rifles. We were ordered to Mobile and stopped in Selma for 5 days, then carried to Mobile on a boat, landing there July 20th when we were given Enfield rifles in place of our short rifles. Enfield rifles were 1000 yard guns and good ones too. We marched three miles out to Battery C that night and placed on guard duty the next morning.

The regiment was formed at this time with ten companys, about 1200 young men and boys. We elected Daniel Hugee Colonel, Doctor Davidson, Liet. Colonel, B.Yniestre, Major, T. G. Bush, Adjutant, I have forgotten the sergeant majors name. Dr. Davidson resigned on account of bad health then Yniestre was elected Lieutenant Colonel and J. W. Pitts was elected Major. W. W. Wallace was made Captain of Company C. Lieutenant Ballard, before this, had transferred back to Wheelers Cavalry and remained there the remainder of the war. J. Morris was promoted to 1st Lieutenant of Company C and R. A. Sterrett, 2nd Lieutenant.

This regiment remained on guard duty on the line of battery until January, 1865, and then we moved down into the city of Mobile and were on provost duty for a short time (about 4 weeks) and then we went across the Bay to Blakely and struck camp at Saludia Hill. On March the 15th we were ordered to Spanish Fort and Company C, my company, was placed on picket duty along the coast at the mouth of Fish River, about two miles from the Fort. On the 25th of March we were driven into the ditches about 8 a.m. and the Battle of Spanish Fort opened with good and heavy cannonading from both sides. Our regiment was about the center of the line. On the night of the 4th of April our regiment and one other were drawn out for rest and we went up to Fort Blakely on the 5th of April about three o'clock a.m., and were ordered to the ditches at Blakely. Company C was on the extreme right of the line supporting Culpeppers Battery and Company A, of which Ward was Captain, supported it on the left. Company B was the next company to him.

On the 9th of April the U. S. troops charged our thin line with negroes first, and we slaughtered them fast, some 2000 being killed in a few minutes with ground torpedoes and by shot and shell from the breastworks. Then we were charged by five lines of battle and captured on the evening of the 9th. On the 10th we were put on boats and started for Ship Island Prison where we landed on the 13th about eight o'clock a.m.

We were guaraded by negro troops, most of them being from the South. They cursed us and called us by all vulgar names they could think of, even calling us --------- and we had to take it or be shot. We had to carry woood on our shoulders from four to seven miles to cook our grub with. They fed us a quarter of a pound of salt horse and a half pint of yellow meal mush -- only one meal of this per day. On the morning of May 1st early, about daylight they began to load us on two dismounted gunboats, the Big Merrimack and the Little Merrimack and we traveled on these up to New Orleans and there we were put on smaller boats up to Vicksburg. There we landed about 9 o'clock a.m. on the 5th of May. There the good southern women and old men fed us all we could eat -- good grub too.

We were carried out to Big Black on freight cars and the next morning we were given our paroles and started home. We walked to Jackson (33 miles) and there got transp9ortation to Selma and on Friday the 12th I arrived home, five miles east of Columbiana. My father arrived home from Virginia on Wednesday noon the 10th. My father was a blacksmith and wood workman. He made the first and last pontoon boat (iron) that was ever made in Richmond and put in the last bontoon bridge. I think it was at Drury's Bluff on the James River.

This is about all I can think of now only the song that was made up by me and Ex-Gov. Tom Seay, (Orderly Sergeant) of Company B, 62nd Alabama. We set it to the music of The Bonny Blue Flag. I remember every word of it and very often sing it and call the old roll of my company for the amusement of children and grown-up folks of our town.