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The Mystery of Walker's Brigade.

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Leroy Pope Walker, of Alabama, was appointed the first Secretary of War for the Confederacy because of his political connections and, because Jefferson Davis was appointing a geographically balanced cabinet.  Walker, being from Alabama, was consider to be from the center of the deep south.   He lacked experience to cope with the demands of this job and ihe was overwhelmed in this position.  Walker resigned September 16th, 1861, and was immediately appointed a brigadier general in the army.  This is yet again, another example of President Davis sticking with his friends or people he knew regardless of their qualifications.  After serving in the garrison of Mobile and Montgomery, he was assigned to a infantry brigade in northwest Alabama in early 1862. 

His brigade consisted of the 5th Alabama Infantry Battalion, 38th Tennessee, 51st Tennessee, 52nd Tennessee, 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment and Crain's Tennessee Battery.  This brigade is listed as the First Brigade of the Second Grand Division of the Army of the Mississippi Valley commanded by Brigadier General Daniel Ruggles.  Ruggles' division was stationed at Corinth MS and was part of the forces being concentrated by Generals Johnston and Beauregard to attack the union forces commanded by General Grant.  Bragg was stationed at Jackson TN, Ruggles was at Corinth MS and Walker's Brigade was in northwest Alabama at Tuscumbia AL.  General Walker's command was offically known as "The District of Northern Alabama" and the infantry was formed into a brigade attached to General Ruggles' Division. The organization chart of March 9th, 1862 indicates his brigade with these units.  SO NOW COMES THE MYSTERY.  WHERE WAS THE BRIGADE AT THE TIME OF THE BATTLE OF SHILOH?  Could this be another missing confederate infantry brigade?  The confederates seem to had have a ability to loose brigades and regiments.  Lets again call upon the famous detective, Locksher Meshol for his help.  Remember, in a previous case, he located the missing brigade of General William Carroll, assisted by his friend Mr. Sonwat. 

HONESTLY, THESE CONFEDERATES SEEM TO BE MISPLACING BRIGADES ALL OF THE TIME.  Is this anyway to fight a war?? 

WHERE WAS GENERAL WALKER?

Mr. Meshol promises to return in a couple of days with the solution which will allow all of us to try to find that brigade.  All of you, where is it??

The complete OB is in Volume 10, Part II, Serial 11, page 306-7 

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After a long period of time and extensive research by the War Department (CSA) aided by the famous detective Mr. Locksher Meshol, a report has finally been received.  The mystery of what happened to an entire infantry brigade commanded by Brigadier General Leroy Pope Walker has been solved.  The brigade had appeared to just drop off the face of the earth but thankfully, it did not.  Here is the conclusions of the report.

The brigade appears in the Order of Battle of the Second Grand Division of the "Army of the Mississippi Valley", Brig. Gen Daniel Ruggles commanding, dated March 9, 1862.  This chart appears in the Official Records, Series I, Volume 10, part II, Serial no. 11, pages 306-7.  Although this brigade appears in an Order of Battle dated March 9, it does not appear in any Order of Battle issued before or after the Battle of Shiloh, less than one month later.  The mystery was where was it and what happened to it?  Remember that is not the first time the confederate forces misplaced an entire infantry brigade.  Carroll's infantry brigade seemed to have disappeared but Locksher Meshol solved that mystery as well.  In this earlier mystery, the brigade was located in Corinth and Iuka as garrison troops.  This move had gone unreported to headquarters.  Now appears the second mystery with another move unreported. 

The brigade commanded by General Walker (an ex-Secretary of War) had been dispersed following the resignation of General Walker from the Confederate Army on March 31, 1862. (See note below)  The brigade consisted of the following and their dispersal;

38th Tennessee Regiment, moved to Chalmers' Command along the Tennessee River

5th Alabama Battalion, moved to Chalmers' Command along the Tennessee River,

51st Tennessee Regiment, moved to Corinth as part of Ruggles' Command,

52nd Tennessee Regiment, moved to Corinth as part of Ruggles' command,

1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment assigned to II Corps cavalry troops

Crain's Tennessee Battery, disbanded, it lost its guns and equipment at Fort Heiman,  Capt. Crain was without a command, 

Capt. Walter Crain served at Shiloh as a rifleman and was wounded. 

Take note that the Commands of Gladden and Chalmers were reorganized again just before the Battle of Shiloh.  Also note that the 9th Alabama Battalion was also known as the 5th Alabama Battalion.  It was commanded by Lt. Col Golladay and was later merged into the 26th Alabama Regiment in May. 

The mystery is clarified in knowing that Walker's Brigade was broken up and its units merged into other commands.  After the CSA Treasury received Mr. Locksher Meshol's bill for his service, it is noted that inflation went up in the states of the Confederacy.   

Note, evidence received shows General Walker's brigade was assigned to Gen. Chalmers Command on March 13th, leaving Gen. Walker without a command. Chalmers' Command was at first a terratorial command which later evolved into the infantry brigade that appeared on the Shiloh battlefield. This command was along the Tennessee River and in Iuka, defending the river against Sherman's attacks.  It concentrated for the move towards Pittsburg Landing but some units remained in the rear as garrison troops. 

 

 

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