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, January 31, 2014

Reenlistment in the 32nd Mississippi Regiment

Sometime in January 1864, the Army of Tennessee began a reenlistment drive among its troops. Many, like my Great Grandfather Nathan Oakes, had enlisted for 3 years, and enlistment for these men was soon to expire. It was a difficult time for the army. Having experienced a disastrous defeat at Missionary Ridge, and now encamped around Dalton, Georgia in bleak winter conditions, many a man's mind and heart turned towards family back home, so many of these also enduring terrible circumstances under Federal occupation.

Inspired by Gen. Patrick Cleburne's exceptional leadership and profound sense of duty to his country, almost all of his men reenlisted for the war's duration (as did most of the troops at Dalton). It was an amazing display of patriotism on the part of his dedicated troops, among whom were Great Grandfather Oakes and his future brother-in-law, William D. Turner, serving in Gen. Mark Lowrey's 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment.

Source: Patrick Cleburne: Confederate General, Howell & Elizabeth Purdue; Huntsville Historical Review, Vol 26, No. 2. 1999: Huntsville Historical Review, Vol 26, No. 2. 1999: Transcription of Capt. Daniel Coleman Diary, Univ. North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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