The ten companies from which the 63rd Regiment was
formed had been organized as independent companies during the months of
April, May, June and July, 1862. Many of the men had previously served in
12 months' organizations of cavalry. Some had served in the 36th Tennessee
Infantry, which was disbanded. Some of them were from the 26th Tennessee
Infantry Regiment who were not present at Fort Donelson when their
regiment was surrendered, and were transferred to these companies by order
of Major General E. Kirby Smith in May and June, 1862. Most of these were
returned to their original organizations by order of General Bragg, in
October and November, 1862.
H. Fulkerson (to major), Henley Fugate, Co. "A". Organized April
15, 1862 in Claiborne County.
Lyon, Amos M. Hardin, Co. "B". Organized May 12 at Knoxville,
from Roane County. Some men were formerly in the 26th Tennessee Infantry,
others from Co. "E", 3rd Tennessee Cavalry Battalion.
Fain Powel, Co. "C". Organized May 12 at Rogersville, Hawkins
County. Also called "B" when first assigned.
A. Blair, James R. McCallum, Co. "D". Organized May 13 at
Jonesboro, Washington County, with some men from Knox and Hawkins
Counties. "The Kirby Smith Rifies."
R. Millard, Co. "E". Originally organized June 6, 1861 as Co.
"K", 3rd (Vaughn's) Tennessee Infantry Regiment from Sullivan
County. In the first Battle of Manassas. Reorganized May 14, 1862.
M. Millard, Co. "F". Organized May 14, 1862, from Sullivan
County. Also called "G" when first assigned. Some men from 26th
A. Dyer, William H. Wilkerson, Co. "G". Organized May 6, 1862 at
Knoxville. Also called "E" when first assigned. Some men from
cavalry, some from 26th Tennessee Infantry.
F. Brittain, Co. "H". Organized May 16, 1862 at Cleveland,
Bradley County. Formerly Co. "C" 1st (Rogers') East Tennessee
Cavalry Regiment, Captain William L. Brown.
T. Gillespie, John A. Gammon, Co. "I". Organized June 14, 1862
at Jonesboro, Washington County. Mustered in as an independent company of
cavalry but transferred to infantry July 17, 1862 by General E. K. Smith.
W. Robertson, Co. "K". Organized July 19, 1862 at Jonesboro,
Washington County. Some men from Companies "D" and "G"
were transferred to this company.
As the companies were formed
they were stationed at various points along the lines of the East
Tennessee and Virginia, and the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroads. On
July 30, 1862, without assembling for the purpose, the regiment was
organized, the companies voting for their field officers wherever they
were stationed. Colonel Fain resigned in November 1863, and Abraham
Fulkerson succeeded him as colonel; Major Aiken became lieutenant colonel;
and William H. Fulkerson became major. Lieutenant Colonel Aiken was killed
May 16, 1864, and Major William H. Fulkerson became lieutenant colonel.
Colonel Abraham Fulkerson had previously served as major of the 19th
After its organization the
regiment was first assembled at Knoxville, where it was assigned to
Brigadier General C. L. Stevenson's Division on August 23. From there it
moved to Loudon, Tennessee, and on October 9, 1862, Major General Sam
Jones advised General N. B. Forrest at Murfreesboro: "I shall send
Fain's Regiment also as soon as I can find a guard to replace it at
Regimental reports, quoted in
substance, continue the story. "From London, we were ordered to
Bridgeport, Alabama, and instructed to report to General Forrest at
Murfreesboro. Remained till last half of November when we returned to
Knoxville. General Stevenson ordered us to report to General Gracie at
Cumberland Gap. Arrived December 8, after a severe march thru heavy snow
and rain. While at Cumberland Gap made two marches into Kentucky about 30
miles to secure supplies. On the first one made during Christmas week into
Harlan County, we brought out 86 beef cattle. The regiment is pretty well
drilled, well armed, and would be very efficient if we had plenty of
clothing and shoes."
The brigade commanded by
Brigadier General Archibald Gracie Jr, to which the report referred had so
many units attached to it at one time or another, that it is hardly worth
while to trace its composition in detail, but the regiments which remained
together until after the Battle of Chickamauga were the 43rd Alabama,
Hilliard's Alabama Legion, and the 63rd Tennessee Regiment.
"June 19, 1863, it left
Cumberland Gap for Knoxville. Under General Buckner, moved by rail to
Tullahoma to re-enforce General Bragg, reaching there just in time to
retreat with the army. Marched to Bridgeport; by rail back to Knoxville;
remained in East Tennessee till the last half of August. Left Sweet-water
September 1 to join Army of Tennessee at LaFayette, Georgia. Skirmished at
McLemore's Cove; lay in line of battle September 18-19; carried an
aggregate of 404 men into assault September 20; came out with 202."
At Chickamauga, Gracie's
Brigade was in Buckner's Corps, Brigadier General William Preston's
Division, and consisted of the 43rd Alabama, Hilliard's Alabama Legion,
and the 63rd Tennessee. Lieutenant Colonel Abraham Fulkerson was in
command of the 63rd, and was severely wounded.
"Remained in front of
Chattanooga until October. Transferred to Johnson's Brigade, Buckner's
Division. Soon after transferred to Lieutenant General James Longstreet's
command in East Tennessee; reached Knoxville November 28; engaged in
assault on Fort London the 29th; 15 killed or wounded. Remained in front
of Knoxville till December 4th; siege raised. After several days and
nights continuous marching reached Rogersville December 9. Engaged at
Bean's Station December 14; two killed, 17 wounded. The marches from
Chattanooga to Knoxville, and from Knoxville to Rogersville were made in
very severe weather, and nearly half the command entirely barefooted.
Since the engagement at Bean's Station the regiment has been in every
march that has been made by the Army of East Tennessee up to the present
time. It now has an aggregate of 405 present and willing to serve their
country wherever ordered." This report was dated April 8, 1864 at
Zollicoffer (now Bluff City).
Brigadier General Bushrod
Johnson's Brigade was composed of the l7th/23rd, 25th/ 44th, and 63rd
Tennessee Infantry Regiments, and these regiments remained together until
the end of the war. On December 31, 1864, Major Aiken was reported in
command of the 63rd, and Colonel John S. Fulton, of the 44th, in command
of the brigade. A Federal report dated October 8, 1863, stated that a
scout had heard the men in Longstreet's Army talking; that they were much
discouraged; and that on the march from Knoxville, 80 men deserted from
the 63rd in one night.
Later reports state: "May
1, 1864, marched from Bristol to Richmond, Virginia, to Drewry's Bluff.
Charged the enemy in his works on the 16th; retired to Petersburg, and
fought at Petersburg June 17th; at Walthall Junction June 19th; retired to
Petersburg the 23rd; on the front the rest of June.
"Relieved July 5th; at New
Market in camp July 8 to 27; skirmished the 28th. Moved to Chaffin's Farm
July 31. Moved to Signal Hill August 11; remained in front of the enemy at
Signal Hill till August 31, 1864."
On the move into Virginia, the
63rd was placed in Major General Robert F. Hoke's Division. On May 15, at
Drewry's Bluff, the 63rd reported 311 effective, 351 present. On June
17th, at Petersburg, the colors of the 63rd were captured by the 11th New
The report for
September-October, 1864 is missing, but the final report
November-December 1864 stated; "During this two months the regiment
remained in quarters on the lines of Chaffin's Farm in front of Fort
Harrison until the 28th of December, when the regiment, with the brigade,
was transferred to Heth's Division (Major General Henry Heth), III Corps,
Army of Northern Virginia, and moved five miles to right of Petersburg.
The regiment was in no engagement during this period. It was wholly
occupied in work on the bomb proofs of Lieutenant General Ewel lines.
Joined Archer's Brigade December 27, 1864."
This does not mean that the
regiment was transferred to Archer's Brigade, but that Johnson's and
Archer's Brigades were consolidated under Colonel (later brigadier
general) William McComb. The units in Archer's Brigade were the 2nd
Maryland Battalion, 1st Confederate, 7th and 14th Tennessee Infantry
Regiments. On January 31, 1865, the 63rd was reported commanded by Captain
A. A. Blair; on February 28, by Captain John W. Robertson.
The regiment was surrendered
and paroled at Appomattox Courthouse April 9, 1865 as part of Lieutenant
General A. P. Hill's Corps, Heth's Division, McComb's Brigade. At this
time the 17th/23rd/25th/44th/63rd Tennessee Regiments were reported as
consolidated into one unit, commander not shown. Colonel Fulkerson, in his
history of the regiment in Lindsley's Annnls said there were only
28 men left from the 63rd, under the command of Lieutenant L. L. Etter, of