An order was issued by the War Department October 16, 1861, "The following independent companies of Mississippi Volunteers will constitute a battalion: Captain Lee's, Captain Blewett’s, Captain Love's, Captain Crutcher's, Captain Blackwell's. The battalion will be further increased by the transfer of Captain Kerr's company of Mississippi Volunteers from Colonel Crump's Twenty-sixth Regiment Virginia Volunteers. Captain Blackwell's company will remain at Manassas until the battalion proceeds there." October 30, "Captain [W. S.] Wilson's company Mississippi volunteers will form part of the Mississippi battalion encamped near this city," Richmond.
John G. Taylor was promoted Major in command of the battalion. which was reported as embracing seven companies December 13, 1861, Taylor was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and Wilson to Major. Captain Dudley's company G of the battalion, then attached to the Twenty-first Regiment, was ordered to join the battalion, which was ordered to Yorktown. The transfer of Dudley's company was afterward revoked, as was also the assignment of Blackwell's company. Instead, the Colonel of the Twenty-first was required to designate some one of his other nine companies to join the battalion. Capt. T. B. Manlove's company B, of the Twenty-first, was ordered to report at Yorktown as part of the battalion. March 10, 1862, the companies of Mississippi Volunteers commanded by Captains J. R. Hampton and John Kelly, were ordered to join the battalion at Yorktown, and May 17, 1862, Capt. J. E. Martin's company, in the Fourth Tennessee, was detached and ordered to join the battalion. July 10, 1862, the unattached companies of Captains J. H. Fields and Rogers, at Columbus, Miss., were ordered to Virginia to be added to the battalion and form a regiment. The battalion, including five companies, left the Rapidan for the James April 6. They were detached from any brigade, with the Second Florida under Colonel Ward, in Early's division, D. H. Hill's corps. April 19 they were reported as 275 effective, armed with Enfield rifles, under General Rodes, in the entrenched line near Yorktown. With the Florida regiment, under Colonel Ward, they made a brilliant sortie from the lines, dislodging the enemy from the Palmentary peach orchard. They evacuated that line May 4, and marched through Williamsburg May 5, but were called back by the Federal attack on Longstreet. The Second Florida and Second battalion were sent to the right of Longstreet's line and the rest of Hill's division to the left. The Second went into the fight at 5 p. M., under Colonel Ward, who was almost immediately killed.
The battalion had 5 killed, 30 wounded and 6 missing.
After this they were attached to Early's brigade. They fell back on Richmond and later in May the brigade, then under the command of Gen. Samuel Garland, was on outpost duty on the Williamsburg road, and in frequent skirmishes. In preparation for the attack that brought on the battle of Fair Oaks, or Seven Pines, May 31 the Second Battalion. under Lieutenant-Colonel Taylor, about 300 strong, were deployed as skirmishers and advanced through the tangled undergrowth and ponds and bogs of the forest, finding and driving back the Federal skirmishers, but coming, said Major W. S. Wilson, under both a front and flank fire. Many of the Mississippians became mingled with the battle line as it came up, and so continued through the day. General Garland assisted Major Wilson in collecting some of the battalion, who were sent to the support of a Georgia regiment. Colonel Taylor also collected a part of the battalion. "I regret that circumstances did not afford that fine battalion the best opportunity for separate action on that day," General Garland reported. Privates Sutton (Company A), Willis (Company B), Williams (Company C) , Weeks (Company G) and Hankinson (Company H), were recommended for the badge of honor. The casualties were 1 killed and 26 wounded.
May 26, Davis asked assignment to Griffith's brigade. Done when army arrived at Richmond.
Before the Chickahominy campaign a Mississippi brigade was formed, under Brig.-Gen. W. S. Featherston, in which the battalion was associated with the Twelfth and Nineteenth Regiments, in Longstreet's division. They were in battle June 27 on Beaver Dam creek (Gaines' Mill), then advancing toward Cold Harbor; were in battle again on the Chickahominy near Gaines' house. The brigade, under heavy artillery fire, charged up a steep hill upon a Federal command posted in the edge of a forest, forcing the enemy back from one position to another and capturing a battery of artillery. Among the killed here was Lieut. James M. Creekmore. June 30, in the battle of Glendale, or Frazier's farm, the brigade went into battle at five o’clock in the evening, and were attacked by a heavy force of the enemy. Lieutenant-Colonel Taylor fell with a mortal wound from which he died in a few hours, This gallant officer had resigned rank in the United States army and left his old home in Kentucky to join the Mississippi soldiery. In the two battles the battalion lost 22 killed and 91 wounded.
In Wilcox’s division of Longstreet's corps the brigade took part in the second Manassas campaign, in the battle of August 30, fighting in the vicinity of the stone house. The brigade loss was 26 killed and 142 wounded.
The Brigade took part in the capture of Harper's Ferry and the battle of Sharpsburg, but there are no official reports. The battalion loss was 5 killed and 55 wounded. (See Sixteenth Regiment.)
Before the battle of Fredericksburg the battalion was designated as the Forty-eighth Regiment (also for a time called the Forty-sixth}, but it was yet unchanged at the time of the battle, and commanded by Lieut.-Col. Manlove. Major L. C, Lee was seriously wounded here, where the men were in line of battle three days, under artillery fire. Loss, 1 killed, 6 wounded.
January 19, 1863, Capt. Joseph M. Jayne was promoted to Colonel and assigned to command of the Forty-eighth Regiment.