This regiment was organized at Pensacola, of Mississippi companies that went there in 1861. The regiment was organized by General Bragg, then commanding the Army of Pensacola, who selected the field officers, Jones, Autry and Lipscomb. General Bragg wrote, December 11, 1861, "that a regiment of independent companies was on the eve of organization when the War Department ordered Coopwood's company to join Dowd's Regiment at Savannah, and he should apply to Governor of Mississippi for another company to fill the regiment." January 5, 1862, the Secretary of War wrote Bragg that "the President has ordered the appointment of Major Jones to be Colonel of the new regiment of Mississippians organized by you, which you will please to number as the Twenty-seventh, but he does not seem entirely to concur in your recommendation of the LieutenantColonel." General Bragg in reply urged the excellent service of the officer recommended and said: "I intend assigning this regiment, thus admirably officered, to Fort McRee and adjacent batteries."
Colonel Thomas Marshall Jones was a native of Virginia who had graduated at West Point in 1853, and resigned a first lieutenancy in the United States Army in 1861 to enter the Confederate service. He was transferred from the regiment after the battle of Murfreesboro, and in 1864 was in command of Fort Caswell on the North Carolina coast. Autry, early in 1862, on account of the naval expedition under Commodore Farragut, which reached Ship Island March 21, was sent to Vicksburg, where he was Military Governor and Post Commandant, and with Engineer D. B. Harris began the work of fortifying. He continued in this position after Gen. M. L. Smith was put in command of the troops for the defense of Vicksburg, and when, after the fall of New Orleans, a part of the fleet, under Commander Lee, came up the river, captured Natchez, and summoned Vicksburg to surrender. May 18, 1862, Autry replied in a note saying "Mississippians don't know and refuse to learn how to surrender to an enemy. If Commodore Farragut or Brigadier-General Butler can teach them, let them come and try." He continued on duty at Vicksburg, it appears, during the bombardment of May, June and July, 1862, but returned to the regiment before the battle of Murfreesboro, where he was killed. A.J. Hays, Lieutenant-Colonel in Autry's absence, was a veteran of the Mexican War who had resigned a lieutenancy in the United States Marine Corps, and had been commissioned Captain in the Confederate navy before being assigned to the Twenty-seventh. He was made Inspector-General on the staff of General Bragg, commanding the army.
When the main body of troops at Pensacola were sent to Corinth, Colonel Jones was assigned to command at Pensacola, March 9, 1862, with orders to prepare for evacuation after removing the heavy guns and ammunition and burning the navy yard. In his report of the evacuation Colonel Jones wrote that the garrison was marched out early on May 9, and at 11:30 everything combustible from the navy yard to Fort McRee was set afire and consumed, under a heavy cannonade from the guns of Fort Pickens. Colonel Jones made particular mention of Captain J. H. Nelson, who commanded at Fort McRee, the most exposed point, and Major W. H. Kilpatrick (Fifth Battalion), who commanded at the navy yard, and the detachment under Captain Hays. Next day the regiment proceeded to Mobile.
When General Bragg's army was transferred from Mississippi to Chattanooga for the advance into Kentucky, the regiment was ordered to Chattanooga, where, in the organization of August 18, 1862, it was assigned to Hardee's Corps. Colonel Jones was put in command of a brigade of Gen. Patton Anderson's Division, including the Twenty-seventh. Late in August the army crossed Walden's Ridge, marched through Middle Tennessee and reached Glasgow, Ky., September 13. On the 16th they marched to Munfordville and secured the surrender of the garrison that had repulsed Chalmer’s Brigade. Hardee moved to Perryville, where the Union army advanced to attack, bringing on the battle of October 8. In this battle Jones' Brigade charged in line with the brigades of Wood, Brown, Jones and Cleburne, driving back the enemy in their front about a mile. The casualties, however, were very heavy, and the victory did not extend along the whole line. General Bragg fell back to Cumberland Gap, through which the troops passed October 19-24, retreating to East Tennessee. In December they advanced from Chattanooga to Murfreesboro.
In November Jones' Brigade included the Twenty-seventh, Thirtieth and Thirty-fourth Regiments. Anderson's Division was broken up and the Twenty-seventh and Thirtieth were joined with the Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth Regiments to form the brigade of Colonel Walthall in Withers' Division of Polk's Corps. Colonel Walthall announced his staff December 4, 1862. He was soon commissioned Brigadier-General. Just before the battle of Murfreesboro, December, 1862, General Walthall being absent sick, Colonel Jones was in command of the brigade, but in the battle Gen. Patton Anderson commanded the brigade, which was stationed in line of battle, December 28, the left extending into a dense cedar forest, the right next to Chalmers' Brigade. The Twenty-ninth, on the right, was the only regiment in an open field, and the men made rifle pits for protection. There was skirmishing with the Federal line, posted along the round forest and cane brake, during the next two days. On the morning of the 31st, the brigade attacked, the Twenty-seventh being the last, according to the plan of battle, along the whole line to advance. They were immediately swept by a heavy fire of artillery from the front, and partly enfilading the line. Anderson reported: "The ordeal to which they were subjected was a severe one, but the task was undertaken with that spirit and courage which always deserves success and seldom fails achieving it. As often as their ranks were shattered and broken by grape and canister did they rally, reform and renew the attack under the leadership of their gallant officers. They were ordered to take the batteries at all hazards and they obeyed the order, not, however, without heavy loss of officers and men. Not far from where the batteries were playing, and while cheering and encouraging his men forward, Lieut.-Col. James L. Autry, commanding the Twenty-seventh Mississippi, fell, pierced through the head by a Minie ball." There was some confusion in the regiment until they were reformed by the senior Captain, E. R. Neilson, who was seriously wounded afterward in another part of the field. Colonel Jones had gone to the rear for medical attention. Finally the batteries were taken. One company entire, of sharpshooters, posted in a log house near the battery taken by the Twenty-seventh, Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth, was captured by the Twenty-seventh. The casualties of the Twenty-seventh were 11 killed, 71 wounded, 2 missing.
On January 2 the brigade, which had been assigned to the position on the river front held by Chalmers' Brigade, was ordered across the river to support General Breckenridge, was recalled, and later in the afternoon was sent again. Of this movement General Bragg wrote in his report that on hearing of the defeat of Breckenridge: "Anderson's fine brigade of Mississippians, the nearest body of troops, was promptly ordered to his relief. On reaching the field and moving forward, Anderson found himself in front of Breckenridge's infantry and soon encountered the enemy's light troops close upon our artillery, which had been left without support. This noble brigade, under its cool and gallant chief, drove the enemy back and saved all the guns not captured before its arrival." Breckenridge reformed his line after dark to the left and rear of the Walthall Brigade.
In the Chickamauga campaign Walthall's Brigade and Govan's Arkansas Brigade constituted Liddell's Division of W. H. T. Walker's Corps. Walthall's Brigade, on September 18, forced a Federal command from Alexander's bridge, but finding the bridge destroyed were compelled to cross at Byram's ford, after which, on the next day, they marched to the north and went into battle in that confused area where Ector and Wilson had been worsted. The Twenty-seventh, under Col. James A. Campbell, participated in the charge that ran over King's Brigade of United States regulars as they were changing front, capturing four hundred prisoners and a battery. This was in the woods, between the fortified position that Thomas held next day, and the creek. Being flanked and losing many officers and men, the Twenty-seventh and other regiments fell back in some confusion. Next morning they moved a mile to the left and then three miles to the north, and went into battle on the Chattanooga road, which they occupied and crossed in the rear of General Thomas. Here most of the skirmishers of the brigade were captured, and Lieut.-Col. Jones, then acting as field officer of the day, was wounded. At this time only three were left on the field of the ten field officers of the brigade. Colonel Campbell commended the conduct of Captains Kennedy, Company G; Baugh of F, and Boyd of E. Casualties of the regiment, 10 killed, 88 wounded, 19 missing.
The regiment was commanded in the battle of Lookout Mountain, November 24, 1863, by Lieut.-Col. A. J. Jones, Col. James A. Campbell being in command of the brigade picket line. Before the pickets were attacked Jones was ordered to put his regiment in line of battle across a bench of the mountain where they had been in bivouac, and here they were soon attacked, the enemy "seeming to force everything before them as though there was no resistance." At close range the regiment delivered two volleys with great effect, so that the lines immediately in front broke and fell back, but the great numbers of the assaulting forces enabled them to flank the regiment and so nearly surround it that six commissioned officers and about half the men were made prisoners before they could retreat. Lieut. A. V. Snowden, Company K, was killed; Lieutenant Johnson, Company L, dangerously wounded and captured; Captain Boyd, Company E, severely wounded. Jones attempted to rally the remainder of the men at the ridge on the northern slope, three or four hundred yards back, but they were again outflanked and under fire at distances of eight or ten paces among the rocks at their front, and were driven back with heavy loss around the point of the mountain several hundred yards south of the Craven house, where they formed line with the rest of the brigade, and, again advancing, fought with Pettus' Alabamians until 9 o'clock that night. The regiment was again in the fight on Missionary Ridge late in the evening of November 25, but was not exposed to the direct assault. Colonel Jones declared that the regiment never fought better, if so well, as it did on Lookout Mountain. Captains Kennedy, Baugh, Pegg and Boyd, Lieutenants Brown, Bailey, Poole, Major, Welch, Hannah, and especially Lieut. J. J. Hyde and Sergt.-Major Watkins, were commended for gallantry. Colonel Campbell and most of the picket line were cut off and captured in the first advance of the Federal line. Casualties of the regiment at Lookout Mountain 6 killed, 36 wounded, 166 missing; at Missionary Ridge, 5 wounded.
In January, 1864, Lieutenant-Colonel Jones was in command of the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-seventh Regiments, in winter quarters near Dalton, Ga.
In the Atlanta campaign Walthall's Brigade was part of Hindman's Division, commanded by Gen. John C. Brown and Gen. Patton Anderson, in Hood's Corps, after July 27 commanded by Gem S. D. Lee. General Walthall was promoted to command of a division in June, and Colonel Benton commanded the brigade until Brig.-Gen. Brantly was promoted. The Twenty-seventh began the campaign joined with the Twenty-fourth under Colonel Benton, who was soon succeeded by Lieut.-Col. McKelvaine. They were on the intrenched line at Alt's Gap, May 7, and on May 14-15 engaged in the battle of Resaca, where the brigade was distinguished for the gallant defense of a position exposed to an enfilading fire of artillery as well as the assaults of infantry which were repulsed in front. Lieut.-Col. A. J. Jones and Capt. J. R. Poole fell, instantly killed, in this battle line. In all there were 6 killed and 27 wounded. The brigade was not seriously engaged at Cassville, New Hope Church, or Kenesaw Mountain, though skirmishing was constant, nor in the battles around Atlanta, until July 28, when McKelvaine's command advanced on the Lickskillet road, driving the enemy from a hill. When moving by the right flank, a Federal attack was made which threw the command into temporary confusion. Here McKelvaine was severely wounded, and Lieut.-Col. W. L. Lyles took command. The two regiments had 430 in battle; 11 killed, 67 wounded, 10 of whom were left on the field. The Twenty-seventh served in the trenches on the west side of Atlanta (see Fourth Regiment) until August 30, when they marched to meet Sherman's flank movement, and went into battle at Jonesboro, where the brigade suffered heavy losses in a front attack upon the Federal intrenched line. The Twenty-seventh had 4 killed and 23 wounded. Capt. J. R. Baugh, commanding the regiment, was mortally wounded; Adjutant J. L. Bufkin, Capt. S. M. Pegg, Capt. J. H. Wood, Lieuts. J. J. Jumon and William Welsh severely wounded.
Brantley's Brigade shared the operations of Lee's Corps during the October, 1864, campaign against the Chattanooga and Atlanta Railroad, the investment of Resaca and the holding of Snake Creek gap against Sherman's army while Hood retreated behind the mountains. Brantly's men were engaged in sharp skirmishing at the gap October 15. Thence they moved to Gadsden, Ala., and crossed the Tennessee River on the last days of October. The division, under the command of Maj.-Gen. Edward Johnson, advanced with Lee's Corps to Columbia, and was then taken, November 29, by General Hood, to assist in the rear attack at Spring Hill. The Federal troops making good their retreat to Franklin, on the Harpeth River, Hood ordered an assault upon the intrenched position November 30, in which Johnson's Division took part after dark. In this terrible night battle in the trenches along the parapets Brantly's Brigade, no stronger than a single regiment, lost 76 killed, 140 wounded, 21 missing. At the battle of Nashville, December 15, Brantly's men, sent to the support of Stewart's Division, endeavored to check the Federal advance on the Granny White pike. Next day they were moved to the right of Lee's line, where they repulsed a Federal attack, when the line was broken on their left and they fell back with the army to Brentwood. The brigade crossed the Tennessee River December 26 and moved to the vicinity of Tupelo for winter quarters.
The brigade was furloughed until February 12, 1865. Under orders for the Carolinas 152 of the brigade assembled at Meridian February 14. They started east on the 18th and were detained some time at Montgomery by the Mobile campaign. In March they proceeded to Augusta and thence to North Carolina. April 3 the aggregate present of the brigade was 283. Organization of the army near Smithfield, N.C., March 31 1865, Twenty-fourth, Twenty-seventh and Thirty-fourth Regiments consolidated under the command of Capt. M. M. Rowan. April 9, Twenty-fourth, Twenty-seventh, Twenty-ninth and Thirty-fourth Mississippi Regiments consolidated in the Twenty-fourth Regiment, Col. R. W. Williamson commanding. This regiment, with the Twenty-second Alabama, consolidated from Deas' Brigade, and the Thirty-seventh Alabama and Fifty-eighth North Carolina, representing consolidated fragments of other brigades, constituted the brigade of Gen. W. F. Brantly, in D. H. Hill's Division of S. D. Lee's Corps. The army was surrendered April 26, and paroled at Greensboro, N. C., soon afterward.
Colonels -- Thomas M. Jones, resigned March 26, 1863; James A. Campbell, died at Johnson's Island, 4 February, 1864. Lieutenant-Colonels -- James L. Autry, killed at Murfreesboro; A. J. Hays, transferred to staff of General Bragg; James A. Campbell, promoted; Andrew J. Jones, killed at Resaca. Majors -- George H. Lipscomb, killed at Perryville; James A. Campbell, promoted January, 1863; Andrew J. Jones, promoted May, 1863; Amos McLemore, killed by a deserter; Julius B. Kennedy, killed at Atlanta.
Adjutants -- W. S. Crump, G.. W. Rice. Surgeons -- Isaac Shelby, K. C. Divine, promoted brigade staff December 4, 1862. Assistant Surgeon -- J. S. Buckner.
Quartermaster -- Addison Craft, promoted to brigade staff December 4, 1862; Lieut. G. B. Denham, Lieutenant Catchings. Commissaries -- John Boyles, Lieuts. G. W. Rice, J. W. Grayson. Sergeant-Majors -- J. P. Garter, Isom Watkins.