8th Alabama
Infantry Regiment

Winston's (John A. ) Regiment
A. Alabama Rangers
B. Governor's Guard
C. Alexander Stephen's Guards
D. Independent Selma Blues
E. Hampton Smith Guards
F. Greenville Guards
G. German Fusileers
H. German Fusileers/Mobile
Independent Scouts
I. Emerald Guards
K. Southern Guards


The 8th Alabama Infantry Regiment was the first Alabama command that enlisted "for the war." It was organized by the War Department at Richmond on 10 June 1861, with men recruited from Butler, Coosa, Dallas, Mobile, and Perry counties. The regiment lay at Yorktown, Virginia, for the first eleven months of its service, and a detachment of it was engaged in a skirmish near Wynn's Mill. Placed in Gen'l Roger Pryor's Brigade, the regiment fell back with the army until it was overtaken at Williamsburg and lost about 100 men. At Seven Pines, it was again under fire, losing 32 k, 80 w, and 32 missing. Now in the brigade of Gen'l Cadmus Wilcox, with the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 14th Alabama Regiments, the 8th was under fire at Mechanicsville and took part in the desperate assault of Gen'l James Longstreet's Division on the enemy position at Gaines' Mill. Losses in that assault were high, 47% of the 350 men engaged. Three days later, the regiment was in the line of assault at Frazier's Farm where it met Union Gen'l Thomas Meagher's Irish Brigade. Of the 180 effectives there, only 90 were at regimental muster the next morning. Its ranks soon began to fill and the 8th Alabama marched with the Army of Northern Virginia towards the Potomac River. At the Second Battle of Manassas, it was under a destructive fire and lost about 60 men as it was held in reserve. The regiment took part in the capture of Harper's Ferry, then it crossed the Potomac River and fought obstinately at Sharpsburg, losing 67 k and w. It wintered on the Rappahannock, losing only slightly at Fredericksburg. At Salem Church, Wilcox' Brigade bore the brunt of the Federal assault, driving the enemy back in confusion and capturing 1500 prisoners (with losses of 58 k and w). It was in the exultant army that Gen'l Robert E. Lee led into Maryland for the second time, and at Gettysburg, 260 casualties were lost out of 420 engaged. With the army, the 8th recrossed the Potomac and wintered in the vicinity of Orange Court House. The regiment was again hotly engaged at The Wilderness, losing heavily there and at Spotsylvania. It was under fire nearly every day as the Federal army pressed up to Richmond, and its loss was severe at 2nd Cold Harbor. At Petersburg, the 8th again suffered. It fought the Union cavalry raid against the Weldon Railroad, and it participated in the capture of the "Crater." At Deep Bottom, the regiment participated with some loss, and it lost heavily in the attempt to dislodge the enemy from their position on the Weldon Railroad. The regiment assisted at the repulse of the the enemy on the Plank Road below Petersburg, and they fought as the army retreated up the James River. At Appomattox, the remnant denied the first rumors of surrender and indignantly tore their battle-flag into shreds to retain as mementos. Of 1377 men on its roll, the 8th lost 300 killed or mortally wounded, over 170 died of disease, and 236 were discharged or transferred; 16 officers and 153 men surrendered.

Captains and counties from which the companies came:

Co. "A", Alabama Rangers (Perry): Young Lea Royston (promoted); Thomas Phelan (KIA, Gaines' Mill); Thomas Heard (wounded, The Wilderness)

Co. "B", Governor's Guards (Coosa): Thomas W. W. Davies (promoted to major, 28th AL Regt, 20 March 62); G. W. Hannon (KIA, Gaines' Mill); M. G. McWilliams (died in service, 10 Jan 64); George T. L. Robison (wounded, Petersburg)

Co. "C", Alex Stephens' Guards (Mobile): Charles Thomas Ketchum (resigned, 8 Nov 61); Leonard F. Summers (KIA, Seven Pines); W. Benjamin Briggs (resigned, 15 Oct 62); H. C. Lea; Henry McHugh (KIA, The Crater)

Co. "D", Independent Blues (Dallas): James Kent (resigned, 1 Nov 61); Robert A. McCrary (KIA, Salem Church); William R. Knox (wounded, Petersburg)

Co. "E", Hamp Smith Rifles (Mobile): William Thomas Smith (resigned, 20 Dec 61); Crawford E. Blackwood (wounded, Frazier's Farm; resigned, 30 Sept 62); A. H. Ravesies (wounded, Sharpsburg; retired, 19 Oct 64)

Co. "F" (Butler): Hillary Abner Herbert (promoted, 5 May 62); Lewis A. Livingston (wounded, Gettysburg, and died as a POW); Ira W. Stott (retired, 19 Oct 64); George Hatch

Co. "G" (Mobile): John P. Emrich (promoted, 16 June 62); Anthony Kohler (wounded, Gettysburg, and captured)

Co. "H", Mobile Independent Scouts (Mobile): William F. Cleveland (resigned, 24 Oct 62); William W. Mordecai (wounded, Petersburg)

Co. "I", Emerald Guards (Mobile): Patrick C. Loughry (KIA, Seven Pines); C. P. B. Branegan (KIA, Gettysburg); John McGrath (wounded, The Wilderness, Spotsylvania; retired, 27 Dec 64)

Co. "K", Southern Guards (Perry): Duke Nall (wounded, Sharpsburg; promoted, 2 Nov 64); William Long Fagan

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