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Sgt. Jeptha Harris, 19th MS Infantry

Jeptha P. Harris was in the 19th Regiment, Mississippi Infantry, CSA. (Lafayette Co.,MS) His residence was listed as Water Valley, Yalobusha Co.,MS. He was in Co. E (McClung's Riflemen) entering as a Private and leaving as a Sgt. This Regm't was mustered in May 1861 and went to Virginia. They were at the battles at Appomattox, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Williamsburg among others. On April 9, 1865, they surrendered with 8 officers and 129 men.

According to his Military records, he enlisted May 15, 1861 at Oxford, MS and was mustered in June 30, 1861 as a private. He was "appointed as Sergeant Sept.1, 1862 to fill the place of E.A. Meadors whose wounds render him unfit for the duties." Feb.7, 1863, he was detached as recruiting officer. On his Nov.-Dec. 1863 muster roll, he was present but, "accoutrements lost, shoulder belt 2.57." he was on 30 days furlough Feb.1864.

Jeptha is wounded

Jeptha was wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness, one of the bloodiest and most useless battles of the war, on May 6, 1864 with a gunshot wound from back to breast and admitted to Chimborazo Hospital #3, Richmond VA. Chimborazo was the best hospital of the Civil War, having a bakery, brewery, kitchens, clean beds, which was very unusual for the time and circumstances. He appeared on "an official copy of a report of casualties of the 19th Reg't. Miss. Vols. at the battle of Williamsburg, VA. Report dated near Long Bridge,VA May 15, 1862. Remarks: "wounded."

He was listed on a Roll of Prisoners of War, surrendered at Citronelle, AL by Lt. Gen. R. Taylor, CSA, to Maj.Gen. E.R.S. Canby, USA, May 4, 1865 and paroled at Meridien MS, May 13, 1865.

According to the personal diary of A.L. Peel, Adjutant of 19th MS Infantry: "June 3, 1861: We arrived here at Bristol today at 10 PM and took supper at the hotel and slept in the cars. We will leave tomorrow... Dr. Hyer fooled J. Harris and made him stand guard until midnight."

Pvt. William Meek Furr's Diary

"At the Battle of the Wilderness (May 5-6), the 19th Miss was assigned to Hill's 3rd Corps, Anderson's Division, Harris' Brigade. On May 2-3, Anderson's Division camped on the Orange Turnpike near General Lee's Headquarters at Orange Courthouse. Acting as a rear guard, they went into position on May 4 on the Rapidan Heights near Summerville Ford on the Rapidan.

On the morning of May 5, they were shifted down from the Rapidan Heights toward the Plank Road to reinforce General Hill. By the end of the day, they had reached New Verdiersville and left near midnight. Marching up the Orange Plank Road, they arrived at Parker's store around 5:00 a.m. on May 6, a short time after Longstreet's 1st Corps had entered the road. Anderson's Division was obliged to rest on their arms while Generals Kershaw and Fields' divisions filed by. As the men of Hill's Corps fell back from the Union assault on the right of the Confederate line, Longstreet's Corps attacked up the Plank Road. At 6:30 a.m., Anderson's Division moved up the Plank Road to reinforce General Longstreet. To help fill the gap between Longstreet and Ewell's Corps, General Longstreet dispatched the leading brigade (Harris') of Anderson's Division. Colonel Palmer, General Anderson's Chief of Staff, led Harris' Brigade to the Chewning farm.

At 7:45 a.m., Harris' Brigade moved further left to join up with Ramseur's Brigade near Jones field. At 1:00 p.m., they shifted closer to Miss Hagerson's between Ramseur and Lane's brigades. At 3:00 p.m., they encountered two Union columns moving to the left and rear of Davis, Perry, and Law's brigades. They charged and forced the Union troops to fall back to an entrenched position, capturing 150 prisoners. Harris' Brigade lost a considerable number killed and wounded. Later, in line with the other brigades, they repulsed the repeated attacks by the Union line. At 7:00 p.m., they rejoined their division, going into reserve behind Walker and Cooke's brigades. Captain Charles Burrage of Company A, 19th Miss was mortally wounded in the head."

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