On September 28, 1861, Governor Pettus called for 10,000 volunteers, to enlist for emergency service under the orders of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston in Kentucky. They were to rendezvous at Natchez, Vicksburg and Grenada, and bring such guns as they could find. No troops were sent under this call, but a remarkable collection of firearms was secured and put in repair at the armories at Jackson and Aberdeen. November 20 the Governor received another urgent appeal from Columbus, Ky. He sent General Pillow twenty kegs of powder and some ammunition and asked the Legislature to take action. Mississippi had already sent to the field and had organized in the eight regiments of the Army of Mississippi about 25,000 men. The Legislature made an appropriation of $500,000 and authorized the Governor to call for volunteers for sixty days' service, not to exceed 10,000 in number, the men to furnish their own clothing, blankets and cooking utensils, also their own arms, such as double-barreled shotguns and hunting rifles. The troops were ordered to rendezvous at Corinth under Gen. Reuben Davis of the State troops, and at Grenada under Gem J. L. Alcorn, State troops. Miles H. McGehee and William W. Bell were appointed Quartermaster-Generals and John W. Ward and C. C. Scott Commissaries. Before the companies could be filled, the two brigades were ordered to Kentucky.
General Davis, with 2,000 infantry, two regiments and a battalion, arrived at Bowling Green December 16, and was assigned to command of the fortifications in and about the town, his men being stationed as garrison in the various works. One of General Hardee's Brigades was also put under Davis' command, when Johnston prepared for the defense of the line of Barren River. The strength of Davis' Brigade was reported, December 31, as 145 officers and 1,617 enlisted men in the infantry and 35 officers and 495 enlisted men in the cavalry, aggregate present, 2,295, present and absent, 3,550.
Gen. Johnston reported, December 25, "The sixty-day troops of Mississippi, recently arrived, under the command of Gen. Reuben Davis, are stationed here (Bowling Green)."
General Alcorn collected at Grenada a force of 1,850 infantry and 56 cavalry, mostly armed with double-barrel guns, and sent one regiment on to Union City, December 16. December 21 he reported the arrival of his command at Columbus, Ky., embracing three regiments, two other companies of infantry, and enough expected to follow to make a fourth regiment. No more than three were organized, however. He also had one company of mounted men, Capt. C. McLaurin. Capt. R. W. T. Daniel was Brigade Quartermaster, Maj. J. N. Davis Adjutant-General, Major Compton Brigade Surgeon.
General Alcorn was assigned to command of Camp Beauregard, where he prepared to meet an attack December 29, on report of a Federal advance to Mayfield. He then had about 1,700 enlisted men, armed with shotguns. General Polk's force was so much depleted by sending troops to Bowling Green, that he ordered Alcorn to Union City, Tenn., January 1. Alcorn wrote: "I regret that I am to leave here and regret to go to Union City and most respectfully beg to have my command disbanded." They continued on duty, however.
The men of both brigades, during the service in Kentucky, had no opportunity for hostilities, but suffered intensely from the very severe winter. Snow lay on the ground for weeks and the men were unaccustomed and unprepared for such exposure. Most of them came down with measles and many died from this serious camp disease and pneumonia. The regiments were disbanded at the expiration of the term of enlistment, but many of the men re-enlisted at once in other commands. The regiments were back at their organization camps in February, 1862.
Col. William A Percy. Later Colonel of the Mississippi 22nd Infantry Regiment.Assignments:
Command of Gemeral Alcorn
The roster of this unit contains the names of 559 men.
Company A - (Copiah Invincibles) - raised in Copiah County
Company B - (Valley Defenders) - raised in Holmes County
Company C -
Company D - (Brownsville Terribles) - raised in Hinds County
Company E -
Company F - (Holmesville Grays) - raised in Pike County
Company G -
Company H - (Raymond Minute Men) - raised in Hinds County
Company I, L. C - (Pillow Guards) - raised in Attala County
Company K - (Fireside Defenders) - raised in Rankin County