New Hope Church
May 27 - May 31, 1864
Albert Quincy Porter (Co. D) recorded in his
journal for May 27th,
Regt. was on a ridge close to a church (New) Hope, where our
batteries were planted and consequently were exposed. The canon
balls and shells came through the timber with a crash. The shells
bursting and roaring all around. Our men were ordered to make
breastworks to shield them which they soon accomplished, carrying
whole logs and whatever they could get. We were on the reserve
line---there being one line in front who are well fortified...The
enemy moved up to our right and about two o'clock this morning
(the 28th), and just as the moon was rising we were ordered to
fall into line and move to our right. We slipped along through
fields and under cover of the hills about a mile and were placed
in the front ditches where we are laying."
May 28th 10:00 o'clock: "Just in front not more than two hundred
yards the skirmishers are firing at each other. The bullets are
whistling over us constantly...The enemy are starting richasha
balls from the cannon. They sound like a dogs howling. Our
skirmishers are not more than thirty yards from the ditches. We
can hear the Yankees talking very plainly, but cannot distinguish
what they say."
May 29th: "We still hold all the ground we did when the battle
On the morning of May 31,
1864, in response to a request from Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood for
assistance to determine if the Federals were in full force, skirmishers
from the 33rd, the 3rd Mississippi and others from Featherston's Brigade
advanced to "feel out" the enemy. The gray line of skirmishers, nearly
400 strong, moved through the dense thicket of woods some 200 to 250
yards in front of the Confederate line. Suddenly, on their right, they
discovered the breastworks of the Federal sharpshooters. The 33rd
quickly drove them out and followed them through the woods. They had
advanced some 150 yards when a galling fire from the Federal main force,
entrenched behind a strong line of fortifications, stopped their forward
movement. They held their ground until ordered to retire, then fell back
to where the Federal sharpshooters had originally been. As
report states, "In this engagement Featherston's brigade suffered
severely for the number engaged...24 killed, 98 wounded, and 4 missing."
Albert Quincy Porter [Co. D] recorded in his diary for May 31st,
morning Featherston's Brigade charged the enemy's line of
skirmishers and drove them from their entrenchments. Our men
suffered terribly. We had a great many killed and wounded. Lieut.
Col. Horad [John Harrod] of 33rd Mifs. Regt. lost a leg. Capt.
Sharps [James C. Sharp] of Co. H was killed and many privates
killed and wounded who belong to the same Regt. Skirmishing still
Thanks to H. Grady Howell,
Jr., for sharing this, from his excellent book, "To Live And Die
In Dixie, A History of the Third Mississippi Infantry, C.S.A."
"An anonymous participant in Featherston's Brigade assumed the role of
correspondent for a Mississippi newspaper, The Corinthian Appeal, on
line...was thrown into a fever of excitement on the morning of the
31st ult., by an order from the commanding General for our picket
lines to be advanced. General Featherston having reinforced our
line of skirmishers to the number of four hundred, placed them
under command of Lieut. Col. Herrod (sic), of the 33d Mississippi,
on the right, and Lieut. Col. McRae, of the 3d Mississippi on the
left, with orders to advance upon the enemy in double-quick time.
The orders was (sic) no sooner given than with a shout our boys
rushed forward, and in less time than it takes to write this, the
Yankee skirmishers scattered like chaff before the wind, and our
forces had possession of their outer works. The ardor and
enthusiasm of the men were not satisfied with this. Scarcely
waiting to breathe, they charged upon the enemy's main line, but
with such an inferior number could not, as might be expected,
effect much against the fearful odds they met, and were ordered to
fall back, which they did in good order, halting in the first
works they had captured until nightfall, when, by order of Gen.
Loring, they took a position within fifty or sixty yards of the
enemy's breastworks, which they still occupy. The desperation of
the charge may be inferred from the fact that out of the four
hundred men engaged, ninety-eight were killed and wounded. Lieut.
Col. Herrod (sic) was wounded early in the action, leaving the
whole command in the hands of Col. McRae, who discharged his
responsible duties ably and efficiently."
Howell, H. Grady, Jr. "To Live And Die In Dixie A History of the Third
Mississippi Infantry, C.S.A." Jackson, MS: Chickasaw Bayou Press, 1991.
Pg. 297-298. [Citing: Article; "Corinthian Appeal; June 4, 1864; Power's