Organized December 25, 1861; captured Fort Donelson; reorganized September 23, 1862; temporarily consolidated with 1st (Colms') Tennessee Battalion, November, 1862; consolidation made permanent and new organization made February, 1864; paroled Greensboro, North Carolina May 2, 1865 as part of 2nd Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment.
This regiment was organized Christmas Day, 1861 at Fort Donelson from 10 companies which had previously been mustered in there and at various other places.
Colonel Stacker resigned January 20, 1862, and Lieutenant Colonel Sugg became colonel, Major Lockhart became lieutenant colonel, and Adjutant Christopher W. Robertson was elected major. At the reorganization in 1862, Colonel Sugg was re-elected; Lieutenant Colonel Lockhart resigned. Captain Thomas W. Beaumont was elected lieutenant colonel, and Major Robertson was re-elected.
The following history of the regiment is taken from a regimental return dated at Tilton, Georgia, January 26, 1864, but unsigned: "This, the 50th Tennessee Regiment, was organized at Fort Donelson December 25, 1861, and formed a portion of the garrison at that place until the surrender of the fort on February 16, 1862, at which place and fime, the majority being captured, were hurled into the Northern prisons at different points: officers at Fort Warren, Camp Chase and Johnson's Island, Ohio; (actually Fort Warren was in Massachusetts; Camp Chase in Ohio, and Johnson's Island in Illinois); the greater part of the enlisted men being sent to Camp Douglass, Illinois, all remaining prisoners seven months, then being exchanged at Vicksburg, Mississippi, reorganized the command at Jackson, Mississippi on 23-24 September, 1862, and entered the heavy campaigns of Mississippi and East Louisiana. Took active part in engagement on Chickasaw Bayou near Vicksburg in latter part December, '62. Remained at Port Hudson, Louisiana from January 7 to May 2, 1863, enduring one good shelling in this time. Gregg's Brigade, to which we belonged, marched from thence to Jackson, Mississippi, thence to Raymond, Mississippi where on May 12, 1863 took active part in engagement which lasted several hours. When forced by a whole corps, retired slowly to Jackson. Spent the summer months marching thru the state. On July 9 entered the rifle pits at Jackson, fought the enemy till July 16, fell back to Morton, thence to Enterprise, Mississippi. Left for Tennessee Army, unfortunately being on a train that ran in collision with another engine, there losing nearly 100 of our little command. Went into Battle of Chickamauga with 190 men, came out with about 50. Again had 90 men engaged on November 25, 1863 at Missionary Ridge, losing 36. N. B. We regret to say that our much beloved Colonel Sugg died on the 25th inst. News just received."
Brigadier General John Gregg's Brigade, to which the report refers, was organized by Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton, December 27, 1862, and was composed of the 3rd/30th, l0th/4lst, 50th and 51st Tennessee Regiments, 1st (Colms') Tennessee Infantry Battalion, and was first placed in Brigadier General C. L. Stevenson's Division. On January 3, 1863 the 50th/51st Regiments, 1st Battalion consolidated reported 512 effectives.
At Port Hudson, the brigade was a part of the forces commanded by Major General Franklin Gardner. On April 30, the 9th Louisiana Battalion, 7th Texas Infantry Regiment, and Bledsoe's Battery were reported as additional members of the brigade. At this time the 4lst/50th/5lst Regiments and 1st Battalion were serving as a consolidated unit under Lieutenant Colonel T. W. Beaumont. On May 26, Gregg's Brigade had been transferred to the division of Major General W. H. T. Walker, with the 14th Mississippi Regiment added, and the 9th Louisiana Battalion, and the 51st Tennessee Regiment had gone. On August 30, three companies of the 50th were as in reported being Sequatchie County, Tennessee.
At Chickamauga, September 19-20, Gregg's Brigade, composed of the 3rd, 10th, 30th, 41st, 50th Tennessee Infantry Regiments, 1st Tennessee Infantry Battalion, and 7th Texas Regiment, was in Brigadier General Bushrod Johnson's Provisional Division. The 50th reported 104 present for duty on September 19, before the battle, and was commanded successively by Colonel Sugg, Lieutenant Colonel Beaumont, Major Robertson, and Colonel Calvin Walker of the 3rd Tennessee. General Gregg was wounded, and Colonel Sugg took command of the brigade; Lieutenant Colonel Beaumont was killed; and Major Robertson mortally wounded. Colonel Sugg was himself wounded four times, but not seriously.
Prior to the Battle of Missionary Ridge, on November 25, 1863, Gregg's Brigade was broken up, and the 50th transferred to Brigadier General George Maney's Brigade, composed of the lst/27th, 4th Confederate (34th), 6th/9th, 41st and 50th Tennessee Regiments, and the 24th Sharpshooter Battalion. Maney's Brigade was sent to the support of General Cleburne's Division on Tunnel Hill, where a successful defense was made until the center of the line on Cleburne's left was broken.
At Missionary Ridge, Colonel Sugg was mortally wounded. The regiment in these two battles lost all its field officers, many of its company officers and most of its men.
From Missionary Ridge, the regiment retreated to Tilton Station, Whitfield County, Georgia, where it remained for some time. On December 14, the 50th reported only 69 effectives, 90 present, 52 arms. On February 20, 1864, the brigade was transferred to Lieutenant General W. I. Hardee's Corps, Major General B. F. Cheatham's Division, where it remained for the duration.
On February 24, 1864, the 50th Regiment was consolidated with Colms' 1st Battalion to form the 50th Tennessee Regiment, Consolidated, or the 50th Tennessee Regiment, New Organization. Major Stephen H. Colms, of the 1st Battalion, became colonel of the new organization, and Captain George W. Pease of the 50th Regiment lieutenant colonel. Apparently the 34th (4th Confederate) was originally included in the consolidation, for Lieutenant Colonel Oliver A. Bradshaw of the 34th was sometimes reported as lieutenant colonel of the new organization, and George W. Pease as major. However, this must have been an unofficial consolidation, for the 34th continued its separate existence.
The last report from the regiment stated it moved from Tilton, Georgia to Demopolis, Alabama, and back to Dalton, Georgia, arriving at Dalton February 29, 1864. A company report for May-June, 1863, at Vernon, Mississippi is of interest because it depicts the condition of most Confederate regiments; "We have been half clothed since entering the service, and have been partially paid once. As will be seen above, part of the company have never been paid, and have due them nearly two years' pay. Those that have been paid have eleven months due them. The men are much demoralized on account of the inattention paid them. (Signed) W. C. Allen, Captain Company "A".
As a part of Maney's Brigade it participated in the rest of the campaigns of the Army of Tennessee, including the final move to North Carolina to join General Joseph E. Johnston. On December 10, 1864, Lieutenant Colonel George W. Pease was reported in command of a consolidated unit composed of the 4th Confederate (34th) /6th/9th/ and 50th Tennessee Regiments. The regiment is not accounted for in the order of battle for Johnston's Army dated March 31, 1865 at Smithfield, North Carolina, but on April 9, 1865, it was reported as part of the 2nd Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment, composed of the 11th, 12th, 13th, 28th, 47th, 50th, 51st, 52nd, and 154th Tennessee Regiments, commanded by Colonel Horace Rice, with Lieutenant Colonel George W. Pease of the 50th as second in command. This regiment was paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina May 2, 1865, with the rest of Johnston's Arrny, and Lindsley's Annals, states there were 37 men from the 50th to answer the final roll call. A comparison of names on the muster rolls indicates that the 50th Consolidated formed Company "I" of this regiment.
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This unit history was extracted from Tennesseans in the Civil War, Vol 1. Copyrighted © 1964 by the “Civil War Centennial Commission of Tennessee” and is published here with their permission.
This history may not be republished for any reason without the written permission of the copyright owner.
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