The 15th Alabama Infantry was organized in Alabama in August of 1861 and surrendered in April of 1865 at Appomattox Court House. It mustered 1,633 men during the Civil War, of whom 260 were killed in action and 440 died of disease. It has become famous as the Confederate regiment that attacked Union Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain’s Twentieth Maine at Little Round Top in the Battle of Gettysburg.
|August||Organized eleven companies at Fort Mitchell, Alabama, under Colonel James Cantey and Major John W.L. Daniel.|
|June – July 1||Sent to Knoxville, then to Virginia, where it was attached to Crittenden’s (later Trimble’s) Brigade. General Zollicoffer’s report states that of the 900 men of the 15th at Knoxville, “only 300 are fit for duty”|
|August||Moved by train to Richmond.|
|August 21||The regiment received orders to move to the front.|
|August 22||The regiment marched through Richmond, where it was reviewed by President Davis. After a speech by Alabama Governor John Sorter it boarded a train for Manassas. Reached Manassas Junction in the early evening and marched five miles north to Pageland, just north of the Warrenton Pike.|
|August||Camped next to the 21st North Carolina (which was already suffering from a measles epidemic), 16th Mississippi and 21st Georgia.|
|The regiment suffered heavily from a measles epidemic. The first member of the 15th Alabama to die was 18 year old Private Andrew J. Folmar of Company I, and by winter over 200 men would die from disease. The regiment still maintained a schedule of four hours a day of drill.|
|Mid-September||Changed camp to the Centreville area, named Camp Toombs. About 300 of the sickest men were left behind, but the epidemic continued at the new camp.|
|Fall||A hospital was established for the regiment’s sick at the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Haymarket, Virginia. The regimental Surgeon, 75 year old Dr. Francis A. Stanford, put in 18 hour days tending the sick. Captain Oates visited the hospital and commented that “It was no uncommon sight at that hospital to see six or seven corpses of 15th Alabama men laid out all at once.”|
|January 25||Major Daniel resigned due to ill health.|
|May||Attached to Trimble’s Brigade of Ewell’s Division for the Valley Campaign|
Battle of Cross Keys
Captain Robert H. Hill, Lieutenants W. B. Mills and 7 enlisted men were killed and Lieutenants Brainard, A. A. Mcintosh, W. T. Berry and 30 enlisted men were wounded out of 425 engaged, General Trimble’s report states, “To Colonel Cantey for his skillful retreat from picket, and prompt flank maneuver, I think special praise is due.”
|June 27 -28||
First Battle of Cold Harbor
Captains Peter V. Guerry and George Y. Malone, Lieutenant A. Mcintosh and 34 other men were killed, Captain Weams was mortally wounded, and Captain Lee E. Bryan and 110 other men were wounded out of 412 men engaged.
Battle of Malvern Hill
|July 16||Adjutant Locke Weems died in service|
The regiment lost 4 killed and 15 wounded
The regiment lost 6 killed and 20 wounded
|August 29 – 30||
The regiment was commanded by Major A.A. Lowther. It lost 20 killed and Captain Richard E. Wright and 91 other men wounded out of 440 engaged.
The 15th Alabama is referenced on two trailside markers on the Deep Cut loop trail on the Manassas battlefield.
Battle of Chantilly
The regiment lost 4 killed and 14 wounded
|September 12 – 15|
The regiment was commanded by Captain Isaac B. Feagin. It lost 9 killed and 75 wounded of the 300 men engaged.
Captain Feagin was seriously wounded by an artillery shell. Col. James A. Walker’s report says: “Captain Feagin, commanding the Fifteenth Alabama regiment, behaved with a gallantry consistent with his high reputation for courage and that of the regiment he commanded.”
Commanded by Colonel Cantey, the regiment lost one man killed and 34 wounded.
|January||Colonel Cantey returned to Alabama to organize a brigade, and was permanently transferred to the Army of the Tennessee. Lt. Colonel William Oates took over command of the regiment|
|January 19||Transferred to Law’s Alabama Brigade in Hood’s Division of Longstreet’s Corps per Lee’s Special Orders No. 19|
|April 11 – May 6||
Transferred to northern North Carolina with Hood’s and Pickett’s Divisions under General Longstreet, missing the Battle of Chancellorsville. The regiment lost 4 klled and 18 wounded
|May 1||Captain Issac Feagin of Company B was promoted to lieutenant colonel|
|Early may||Returned to the Army of Northern Virginia on the Rapidan River near Culpeper.|
|July 1 – 3||
The regiment was commanded by Colonel Oats and brought 499 men to the field. Captains J. H. Allison, Henry C. Brainard and James H. Ellison and 28 enlisted men were killed, Lieutenant John C. Oates was mortally wounded, Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Ball Feagin, Lieutenant William J. Bethune and 47 enlisted men were wounded, and 90 men missing. Lieutenant Colonel Feagan was captured and would spend eleven months in prison before being exchanged.
From Colonel Oates’ report:
“Lieutenant-Colonel Feagin, a most excellent and gallant officer, received a severe wound, which caused him to lose his leg, the heroic Capt. Ellison had fallen, while Capt. Brainard, one of the bravest and best officers in the regiment, fell … Lieut. John A. Oates, my beloved brother, was pierced through with eight bullets and fell mortally wounded. Private A. Kennedy of Company B, and William Trimmer of Company G, were killed; and Private G. E. Spencer, Company D, severely wounded. Loss was 17 killed and 54 wounded and brought off of field, and 90 missing: 8 officers were killed.”
From the brigade marker on the Gettysburg battlefield:
July 2. Left New Guilford 25 miles distant at 3 A.M. Arrived and formed line 50 yards west of this about 4 P.M. and advanced against the Union positions. The 4th 15th and 47th Regiments attacked Little Round Top and continued the assault until dark. The 44th and 48th assisted in capturing Devil’s Den and 3 guns of the 4th New York Battery.
July 3. Occupied the breastworks on west slope of Round Top. The 4th and 15th Regiments assisted at 5 P. M. in repulsing cavalry led by Brig. Gen. E. J. Farnsworth in Plum Run Valley.
July 5. About 5 A. M. began the march to Hagerstown Md.
|September||The regiment was transferred to the west with Longstreet and two divisions.|
Battle of Chickamauga
The regiment lost 19 kiled and 123 wounded out of 425 engaged
|October 27 -28||
Brown’s Ferry and Lookout Valley
The regiment lost 15 killed and 40 wounded, including Colonel Oates
|November 17 –
Siege of Knoxville
Captains Frank Park and 5 enlisted men were killed, 21 men were wounded, wounded, and Captain William N. Richardson was captured
|April||The regiment returned to the Eastern Theater with Longstreet’s two divisions.|
|May 5 – 7|
The regiment lost 18 killed and 48 wounded out of 450 engaged, including Major Alexander A. Lowther, wounded, in the first 3 weeks of May
The regiment lost 6 killed and 16 wounded
|June||Lt. Colonel Feagin was exchanged and returned from Federal prison|
|July||Colonel Oates transferred to the 48th Alabama Infantry Regiment. Major Lowther was promoted to colonel. Captain Glover was killed and Captain G. A. C. Mathews was wounded.|
|August 14 – 18||
The regiment lost one third of the 275 men engaged
Captains Blanton Abram, Hill and 12 enlisted men were killed and Colonel Alexander A. Lowther, Captain W. H. Stricklan and 90 enlisted men were wounded
|December 7||Lt. Colonel Feagin resigned due to his wound|
Surrendered 17 officers and 170 men under Captain Eli Daniel Clower