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The Tennessee infantry regiment that wasn't.

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Early in February 1862, James M. Crews was authorized to raise a Tennessee infantry regiment which began its formation at or near Savannah, in Hardin County. James Crews was elected Colonel of the regiment on February 10th, and a body of 600 to 700 men was gathered.  The quality of these recruits was of a mixed bag, from supportive of the effort to pressed men.  While the organization of this regiment proceeded, the regiment was numbered the 58th Tennessee Infantry Regiment.  Arms of poor quality not enough to completely arm the regiment were received and the formation was only in process when the union navy arrived at Savannah on February 10th, the same day as Colonel Crews election as Colonel. (1) 

The union naval action was led by Lieutenant Commanders S L Phelps and Gwin.  Intelligence had been received by the federal forces of this regiment being formed in Savannah, and a landing was planned to attack the rebel camp. "An attack by a landing force was mounted, but when it landed it had the Mortification to find the camp deserted.  The rebels had fled at one o'clock at night, leaving considerable quantities of arms, clothing, shoes, camp utensils, etc., all of which were secured or destroyed, and the winter quarters of log huts were burned". (2)

And so, the 58th Tennessee Infantry Regiment lasted less then one day. 

Enough of these men followed Colonel Crews to Murfreesboro where a battalion of infantry was formed and Colonel Crews was elected commander of Crew's Tennessee Infantry Battalion with a rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  This battalion was assigned to General John C Breckinridge's Reserve Brigade and moved with the brigade in the retreat to Burnsville in Mississippi.  The brigade, Crew's Battalion included, advanced to the Battle of Shiloh, where it served in Colonel Trabue's brigade (Trabue in place of the promoted General Breckinridge) and during the fighting, it suffered 55 casualties. 

After Shiloh, on April 14th, the Battalion was reduced to one company and incorporated into the 9th Kentucky Infantry Regiment.  It was later transferred to the 23rd Tennesse because it was a Tennessee company.  Colonel Crews later joined the staff of General Nathan Bedford Forrest's cavalry command.  Still later, he took command of the 3rd (Forrest's) Tennessee Cavalry Regiment.

And so, the brief history of the 58th Tennessee Infantry Regiment.

Note 1, Source is the website http://www.tngenweb.org/civilwar

Note 2, See the report of Lieutenant Commander S L Phelps, United States Gunboat Conestoga, February 10, 1862.

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Guest 23RD TENN


I just came across this post and it makes a very good read. I found it interesting that a company from this regiment ended up in the 23rd. I've not come across it before, but there's no doubting the source of your information as it's a very good site to research on. Just something I've never come across. thanks for posting


23rd tenn

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very interesting reading, however most of the official reports show the boys from savannah enlisting in the 9th kentucky infantry begining on the 25th of jan. and continuing on into the middle of feb when they left savannah. most of these men were transferred to the 34th tennessee infantry in november of 1862, where they became known as the Hardin county boys. most of these soldiers were from the shiloh, hamburg area including joseph duncan and two of his sons, Joseph R. and James Knox Polk Duncan.

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Hello, if anyone sees this I am trying to confirm that the T Meek listed under Crews Battallion was Thomas Meek, my ancestor.  Family history passed down is that our ancestor was at Shiloh.  He lived in Adamsville in 1860.  Does anyone have any suggestions as to any sources of information that I may find to be helpful?



C Hopper


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