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.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Mark P. Lowrey is promoted

On today's date in 1863, Col. Mark P. Lowrey, who commanded Great Grandfather Oakes's 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment since its formation in Corinth in 1862, was promoted at Gen. Cleburne's recommendation1 to brigadier general for his action during the Battle of Chickamauga. In a few days, Brig. Gen. S.A.M. Wood will resign, and Lowrey will be given command of the brigade.

From Mark P. Lowrey's informal autobiography after the war:
I was again complimented by Gen. Clebourne [sic], and I and my command were favorably noticed in his official report,2  as you are aware. My promotion immediately followed this engagement, with the circumstances of which you are well acquainted. My appointment as brigadier-general was on the 4th of October 1863. I had then served as colonel 18 months besides my 60 days' service with State troops. I count from the time of my election; but under authority of the War Department I had raised and organized the regiment, acting in the capacity and with the rank of colonel. You remember that after my promotion to brigadier-general I was assigned to the command of the old brigade [i.e., Wood's Brigade] with which I had served from the beginning, and which I had often commanded. From the foregoing you will observe, also, that I had never commanded less than a brigade.
Lowrey will continue his faithful and distinguished service in the Army of Tennessee until the closing days of the Lost Cause in the Carolina Campaign in 1865.

1 Gen. Cleburne commended Col. Lowrey to Gen. Hardee as the “bravest man in the Confederate Army.”
2 After the war, in his informal account of the battle, Lowrey was generous in his praise for the role his men had. Referring to the complimentary praise from Cleburne in his official report of the Battle of Chickamauga, Lowrey wrote, "the gallantry displayed was not mine, but that of my men." Indeed, as Peter Cozzens notes in his book, This Terrible Sound,
Lowrey could count on his men to obey his orders, no matter how quixotic they might seem. The Thirty-second and Forty-fifth Mississippi was a crack regiment. At Tullahoma that spring, General Hardee had judged it the best-drilled regiment in the brigade and complimented the Mississippians in a general order. Lowrey himself was a man of tremendous personal magnetism. He radiated self-assurance... Lowrey became a Baptist minister, deeply loved by his congregation in the little Mississippi village of Kossuth. Lowrey continued his ministry in the army, preaching actively to his men. They dutifully yielded to his ministrations, and Lowrey baptized fifty members of the regiment in one two-week revival alone.

No comments:

Post a Comment