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Gus first laid down the tools of the tradesman early in 1861 and picked up new tools, weapons of war, upon his enlistment to serve the state of Mississippi in the American Civil War. He enrolled in the spring of that year for 12 months service in the Vicksburg Light Artillery, a company organized 9 Feb 1861 under the command of Cpt. Frank S. Tull.
On 8 April 1861, the Secretary of War asked that the company be sent to Pensacola, Florida. The Vicksburg Light Artillery had the honor of being the second company to leave Vicksburg and join the war. On 20 Apr 1861, after being reorganized at Pensacola, the company was received in the Confederate service. It would shortly be attached to the 9th Infantry Regiment.
The original companies of the 9th Regiment, organized under the state regulations, had marched to Mobile in the latter part of March 1861 in response to the call for troops for Pensacola. Along with other companies, the 9th Infantry marched to Pensacola in April and encamped near Fort Barrancas, opposite Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island, held by United States troops. From 20 Mississippi companies, the 9th and 10th Regiments were organized, the numbers being given to follow the eight regiments of the state army.
The 9th and 10th were the first Mississippi regiments in the service of the Confederate States.
It was announced on 17 April 1861 that the 9th and 10th were received by General Bragg into the service of the Confederate States. On 30 June, the Vicksburg Artillery was attached to the 9th Regiment at Camp Magnolia.
The night expedition from Pensacola to Santa Rosa Island on 8-9 October 1861 (commanded by General Richard H. Anderson) was composed of three battalions. The first, under Colonel Chalmers, included detachments of the 9th and 10th Mississippi and 1st Alabama. Dr. Ghoslon of the 9th was in the medical staff. After landing on the island, Chalmers and his column advanced along the north beach and, after some sharp skirmishing, participated in the burning of the camp of Wilson's Zouaves. The casualties of the whole expedition were 18 killed, 39 wounded and 30 captured, mainly in the fighting which attended their re-embarking.
General Bragg, in his reports later, spoke of requesting Colonel Chalmers to reorganize "his admirable regiment." When General Bragg was asked at the close of 1861 to take command in the interior, he wrote from Pensacola, "I should desire to take from this army Chalmers' 9th Mississippi, Adams' Louisiana regulars and Jackson's 5th Georgia Regiments. These would give me a nucleus upon which to form, would set an example of discipline and would give me the support of excellent officers who know and trust me and in whom I place unlimited confidence."
The enlistment of the regiment was for 12 months. In December about 450 had re-enlisted. All who re-enlisted for three years or the war were furloughed for 30 days with privilege to recruit new companies. The remainder continued on duty until after the regiment was transferred to Cumberland Gap.
The troops at Pensacola were transferred to the interior in February. On 14 February 1862 at Iuka, Brigadier General Chalmers announced that by order of General Johnston, he assumed command of all troops between Memphis and the Tennessee River, a command in which he was succeeded by General Ruggles. The 9th was sent from Deer Point, near Pensacola, to Morristown, Tennessee, and ordered forward to Cumberland Gap late in February. On 7 March it was reported that the time of the 9th would expire within three weeks.
Augustus Holler was on his way back to Vicksburg by this time. He was to re-enlist on 17 April 1862 in "Johnson's Rebels", a unit which would soon be attached to the 28th Cavalry Regiment.
SOURCES: MISSISSIPPI OFFICIAL STATISTICAL REGISTER, DEPT OF ARCHIVES HISTORY, BRANDON PRINTING, NASHVILLE TN, 1908. PAGES 582-586, 880. WARREN COUNTY WENT TO WAR, JAMES BOLLS, R. MASON PUBLICATIONS.
Some graphics courtesy of Clip Art Warehouse.
© 1996 Richard Holler