15TH ALABAMA INFANTRY HISTORICAL SKETCH
|15th Alabama Regiment
|Colonel William C. Oates
THE FIFTEENTH ALABAMA INFANTRY: HISTORICAL SKETCH
The Fifteenth Alabama
infantry was organized at Fort Mitchell in
1861; served in Virginia in the brigade commanded by Gen. Isaac
was in Stonewall Jackson's army and fought with
distinction at Front Royal, May 23, 1862; Winchester, May 25th;
Keys, June 8th; Gaines' Mill or Cold Harbor, June 27th and
28th; Malvern Hill, July 1st, and Hazel River, August 22nd.
fought and lost heavily at Second Manassas, August 30th, and
was in the battles of Chantilly, September 1st; Sharpsburg,
September 17th; Fredericksburg, December 13th; Suffolk, May,
1863; Gettysburg, July I to 3, 1863.
join Bragg's army, the regiment fought at Chickamauga
September 19th and 20th; Brown's Ferry, October 27th; Wauhatchie,
October :7th; Knoxville, November 17th to December 4th; Bean's
14th. Returning to Virginia this regiment
upheld its reputation and won further distinction,
as shown by
its long roll of honor at Fort Harrison. It was engaged at the
Wilderness, May 5-7, 1864; Spottsylvania, May 8th
Hanover Court House, May 30th; and Second Cold Harbor, June 1st
It was also engaged before
Petersburg and Richmond. At
Bottom, August 14th to 18th, one-third of that portion of the
regiment engaged were killed.
killed in battle were Capt. R. H. Hill and Lieut. W. B.
Mills, at Cross Keys; Captain Weams (mortally wounded), at
Mill; Capt. P. V. Guerry and Lieut. A. McIntosh, at Cold
Harbor; Capts. J. H. Allison and H. C. Brainard, at Gettysburg,
and Capt. John C. Oates died of wounds
received in the same
battle; Capt. Frank Park was killed at Knoxville, Captain Glover
at Petersburg, and Capt. B.
A. Hill at Fussell's Mill.
Among the other field officers were: Cols. John F. Trentlen,
Alexander Lowther, William
C. Oates (who was distinguished
throughout the war and has since served many years as a member of
Congress and also
as governor of Alabama); Col. James Cantey,
brigadier-general; Lieut.-Col. Isaac B. Feagin and Maj.
John W. L. Daniel.
Source: Confederate Military History, vol. VIII, p. 102
Gettysburg Requiem: The Life and Lost Causes of Confederate Colonel William C. Oates, by Glenn W. LaFantasie. Booklist: This excellent, scholarly biography
deals with a man best known as Joshua Chamberlain's principal opponent on Little Round Top on the second day of the Battle
of Gettysburg. Like his famous opponent, the 15th Alabama Regiment's commander, William C. Oates, knew the art of the infantry
officer. Born when much of his native Alabama
was still frontier, he survived six wounds, including the loss of his right arm. After the war, he was a distinguished and
eventually wealthy lawyer and state politician as well as a thoroughly unreconstructed rebel with a notoriously hot temper.
Yet he made
a scandal at the end of his career when, at a state constitutional convention, he advocated no racial limitations on voting
rights… A valuable addition to the Civil War shelves. About the Author: Glenn W. LaFantasie is the Frockt Family Professor
of Civil War History and the Director of the Center for the Civil War in the West at Western
Kentucky University. He is the bestselling author of Twilight at Little
Round Top. He has also written for several magazines and newspapers, including American History, North & South, MHQ: The
Quarterly Journal of Military History, The New York Times Book Review, America's Civil War, Civil
War Times Illustrated, and The Providence Journal.