Augustus Holler 1862-1865
Augustus "Gus" Holler
C.S.A. 1862-1865
Johnson's Rebels
Mississippi 28th Cavalry Regiment
Siege of Vicksburg
The Final Surrender
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After serving his 12-months tour with the Mississippi 9th Infantry Regiment,
Gus joined a group of men in Cpt. W.H. Johnson's Company, "Johnson's Rebels", a company organized in Warren County.
This 70-man group of local volunteers was incorporated 13 March 1862 into the 28th Cavalry Regiment of Mississippi
Volunteers as Company I, LTC S.S. Champion commanding. Gus enrolled for the duration of the war on 17 April 1862 ...
along with a horse valued at $200, owned and put into service by John Barfield.

The regiment was reported on 14 May 1862 in camp at Jackson, where it was organized. Colonel Peter B. Starke,
regimental commander, was a man of prominence, who had been the Whig candidate for congress in 1846, to succeed
Colonel Jefferson Davis. He had organized a cavalry company in his home county, Bolivar, early in 1861.

The first active service of the regiment was occasioned by the naval attack on Vicksburg beginning in May 1862. Five companies of Starke's Cavalry reinforced Gen. M.L. Smith at Vicksburg and were posted to watch the flanks along the Yazoo and below Warrenton on the Mississippi. In June the Secretary of War countermanded order that Capt. W.H. Johnson, commanding Company I (then stationed on the Big Black River), should burn all cotton in reach whether liable to fall into enemy hands or not.

On 27 August 1862, the regiment reported a strength of 462 present. Later the regiment was at Camp Burrus in Bolivar County. They operated along the river and in the swampy country where many contracted fever. In September they reported 436 present; 865 present and absent combined.

Gus and Company I, with Capt. W.H. Johnson, were at Vicksburg in December 1862, and took part in the Chickasaw Bayou campaign while the remainder of the regiment, according to Federal reports, was engaged with Steele's expedition from Helena in the vicinity of Panola in that same month. In January 1863, the regiment was assigned with Pinson's and Ballentine's regiments, to the First (Cosby's) Brigade of Gen. W.T. Martin's Division of the cavalry army under General VanDorn, about 7500 strong, which made the campaign in middle Tennessee early in 1863, supporting General Bragg's army, then on the Shelbyville line.

The 28th Regiment moved from Okolona to Columbia, Tennessee in February, about 625 strong. They were present at the battle of Thompson's Station on 5 March 1863, but held in reserve; were in the skirmish with Minty's Cavalry at Thompson's Station on 9 March, and actively engaged in the attack on Franklin on 10 April.

Gen. Granger reported that the 40th Ohio Infantry, after a stubborn fight, "... was finally forced to fall back through the town to the river, and it was followed by a part of the 28th Mississippi Cavalry, under the command of Major Edward P. Jones. But few of this regiment who came into town returned." The regiment suffered a heavy loss in killed, wounded and captured. In General Orders 10 April 1863, Gen. W.H. Jackson mentioned:

VanDorn's campaign, during which he lost his life in a private affair, left Mississippi open to Grierson's raid and Grant's advance from Bruinsburg to Jackson and the Yazoo River. Organizationally, the 28th was attached to Brig. Gen. George B. Cosby's 1st Brigade of Brig. Gen. William H. (Red) Jackson's Cavalry Division, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's Army of Relief, Department of the West. [Refer to Edwin Bearss' The Vicksburg Campaign, Volume III, page 1152.] Gen. Jackson's division was ordered from the Department of Tennessee ... it was headquartered near Canton MS on 4 June 1863 and at Vernon MS on 13, 18, 21 & 23 June 1863. To put a portion of this journey in perspective: The 28th, leaving Tennessee on 17 May, reached Mechanicsburg on 7 June, a march of 400 miles.

Augustus's Signature, 6 Jul 1863 But, Gus and Company I of the 28th, after the Chickasaw Bayou campaign, were still in Vicksburg when the "Gibraltar of the Mississippi" fell on 4 July 1863. Gus was only one of 30,000 confederates captured. As a specific term of the surrender, these men were all paroled instead of becoming prisoners of war after the siege was ended. Swearing he would never again "... take up arms against the United States", Gus signed his name and was paroled 6 July 1863.

Gus' Parole Report, 12 May 1865 Shortly afterwards, Gus rejoined the 28th Regiment in the field. Notwithstanding his semi-solumn oath to the federals, Gus signed on again, fought several engagements and was promoted to 1st Corporal ( 11 Sep 1864). Corporal Holler enjoyed his new stripe for less than eight months. He was taken prisoner for the last time as the 28th surrendered on 4 May 1865 in Citronelle, Alabama.

They were one of the only two remaining organized CSA units in the field at that time. For the confederacy, the war was over.

We've got a great deal of information about the campaigns and battles fought by the 28th Regiment ... this will be added as we continue to update the page.


Some graphics courtesy of Clip Art Warehouse.

© 1996 Richard Holler