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15th Alabama Regiment
15th Alabama Regiment.jpg
Colonel William C. Oates


The Fifteenth Alabama infantry was organized at Fort Mitchell in
1861; served in Virginia in the brigade commanded by Gen. Isaac
R. Trimble; was in Stonewall Jackson's army and fought with
distinction at Front Royal, May 23, 1862; Winchester, May 25th;
Cross Keys, June 8th; Gaines' Mill or Cold Harbor, June 27th and
28th; Malvern Hill, July 1st, and Hazel River, August 22nd.

It 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.

Ordered to 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
Station, December 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 to 18th;
Hanover Court House, May 30th; and Second Cold Harbor, June 1st
to 12th.

It was also engaged before Petersburg and Richmond. At Deep
Bottom, August 14th to 18th, one-third of that portion of the
regiment engaged were killed.

Among its killed in battle were Capt. R. H. Hill and Lieut. W. B.
Mills, at Cross Keys; Captain Weams (mortally wounded), at
Gaines' Mill; Capt. P. V. Guerry and Lieut. A. McIntosh, at
; 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,
afterward brigadier-general; Lieut.-Col. Isaac B. Feagin and Maj.
John W. L. Daniel.

Source: Confederate Military History, vol. VIII, p. 102

Recommended Reading: 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. Continued below…

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.

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