In honor of Pvt. Nathan R. Oakes, CSA

150 years ago, my great grandfather, Nathan Richardson Oakes, served as a private in Company D of the distinguished 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment in the Army of Tennessee. He participated in the great Civil War campaigns, including the battles of Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Atlanta, Franklin, Nashville, and Bentonville. I am writing about his engagements as well as some details about fighting for the Lost Cause. I hope to honor him and commemorate the events and individuals that contributed to making this a renowned unit in the Confederate Army of Tennessee.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Civil War Comes to Mississippi, 1862

N.R. Oakes years after the war
In February 1862, with the fall of Fort Henry along the Tennessee River, and then Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River, the Civil War was about to engulf the ancestral home of my Northeastern Mississippi relatives. A great battle soon would be fought, but not before my great grandfather, Nathan Richardson Oakes, answered the call of duty to repel the Northern invaders. The Army of Mississippi (later renamed the Army of Tennessee) soon would make its stand in the deadly Battle of Shiloh, a landmark confrontation in the War for Southern Independence.

Fort Henry Campaign, February 1862
Source: Source: Civil War Maps by Hal Jespersen

Nathan Oakes was 16 when, after just serving in his state's "60-Day Troops," he reenlisted on this date, in the renown 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment, in Co. D (“Lowrey’s Guards”) of Col. Mark Lowrey's Regiment. Great Grandfather's uncle, Capt. F.S. Norman, enlisted him and my great uncle, William D. Turner, into the 32nd Regiment, a unit of thousand or so volunteers. Less than 10% of these men, which will include Oakes and Turner, will remain by war’s end in North Carolina, 4 years from now.

My great grandfather will participate in many of the war’s great battles and campaigns, including Perryville, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, the Atlanta Campaign, Franklin, Nashville, and the Carolinas. From time to time I’ll write a about some of the particulars of many of his engagements, as well as details about a soldier’s days in fighting for the Lost Cause.

Great Grandfather Oakes enlisted in Company D (“Lowrey Guards”). Company D was assigned to Col. Mark P. Lowrey's' Regiment, a regiment comprised entirely of volunteers. W. H. H. Tison was the lieutenant colonel and Major F. C. Karr was its major. In April 1862, the regiment was officially attached to Gen. S.A.M. Wood's Brigade in Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner's Division of Gen. William Hardee's Corps. It will soon be assigned the designation, "32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment." It also will be known as "Lowrey's Regiment" in honor of its founder/leader.

Great Grandfather Nathan R. Oakes & Family in 1888 or 1889.
Baby (lower right) is my grandfather, Johnnie McPeters Oakes.

Source: Muster Roll of the 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment

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