A Mississippi Flag

Mississippi Magnolia Flag 1861-1894

What a daunting task to gather accurate information concerning a Confederate regiment that existed only a short time over 150 years ago. In previous years before the internet, coupled with limited resources, some simple, realistic minded individuals might refuse to consider such a work. With the help of the internet but hendered with a background and education not related to historical research I began my elementary resume of historical and genealogical systematic investigation. In the last ten years, after many trips to eastern Mississippi for genealogical purposes, with emphasis on Monroe, Itawamba, and Chickasaw Counties, I often pondered the idea of researching at least one of my ancestor’s units. The 27th and 43rd Mississippi Infantries, among other units, were represented well on the tombstones of some of my ancestors.  I began a search for diaries, books, stories, etc. about these units and there was little, in my humble opinion. Then there was the 24th MS. My GG Grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Doster and his brother, James Lafayette Doster, were in Dowd’s Rebels (Co. C), 24th Miss. Infantry, from Chickasaw County, Mississippi. They were captured 24 Nov 1863 at Lookout Mtn. (the battle above the clouds) and sent to the Rock Island, Illinois POW camp. I looked up the Doster brothers on Fold3.com and viewed their service records. Previously I had family data on Ancestry.com, and some notes from family members I had collected in previous years. I did many searches on Google and other research internet sites. The 24th MS. Infantry, compared to the 27th and 43rd, had few personal accounts published to tell us their story.  Wondering what would be the next step, I waited and waited, with fainting hopes that someone else would provide a little of the information desired. Once in a while a blog or site would reveal itself and wala, a minute few mentioned the 24th Miss. Infantry. In the meantime my wife and I had taken a few pictures of headstones and located some others on line. The decision came to mind to start a pictoral of the 24th while floundering in the midst of my modest research. If you look to the right of this story you will notice FLICKR and two pictures. **Update**FLICKR for some unknown reason has removed the link on this site to my FLICKR account and I have been unable to reinsert it back. If you go to the FLICKR website and look up me (Swamprat) my pics of the 24th are still on line. I am sorry for this, but hopefully I will get them linked back to this site.**  I have some of the old 24th MS Veterans there. Feel free to enjoy and help us find more information, pictures, stories, or whatever you would like to share.  The Museum of the Confederacy has a 24th MS. flag captured at Lookout Mountain by the 60th U.S. New York Inf. Reg. I contacted the museum in Richmond, Virginia, in regards to obtaining an image of the 24th MS flag. At a price, with only permission to display it (in a frame) and not reproduce the image, I was allowed to obtain a photographed copy. I will attempt to describe it as a Hardee type flag with Perryville and Murfreesborough (old spelling) on it. The oval is more rounded and much larger in the 24th MS. Inf. flag with the blue background shaped as a square and slightly offset to the side. Also the 60th New York Inf. Reg. used bold red letters and made their identifying mark on it. The flag below is similar to the 24th Miss. flag.

Confederate Hardee Flag

Hardee Flag

The Twenty-Fourth Mississippi Infantry regiment was made up largely of very young men, and the companies were organized under a proclamation of Governor Pettus calling for enlistments for three years. The companies assembled at Marion Station (Marion, Lauderdale County, Mississippi) and were mustered into the Confederate States service in September and October, 1861. The field officers were elected November 6, 1861: Colonel William F. Dowd, of Monroe County, Lieutenant Colonel Robert P. McKelvaine, of Kemper County, and William C. Staples of Choctaw County. Col. Dowd was disabled and resigned in January, 1864, and Col. R. P. McKelvaine became regimental commander. At the time of the surrender of the unit on April 26, 1865, approximately 25 men were left from an original regimental strength of well over 1,000. The 24th fought at:
Tullahoma Campaign
Atlanta Campaign
New Hope Church
Ezra Church
Atlanta Siege
Carolinas Campaign

The Mississippi State SCV has provided this website: http://mississippiscv.org/MS_Units/24th_MS_INF.htm –and it is very useful. Thanks to the MS SCV!

The Caledonia Rifles SCV Miss. Camp–SCV Camp #2140 represents the 24th Miss. The Caledonia Rifles, Lowndes County, MS., later became Co. D.

One of my first resources was Kemper County Rebel – the Civil War Diary of Robert Masten Holmes, C.S.A, edited by Frank Allen Dennis. Private Holmes was in the 24th MS., Co. I, Kemper County, MS.  Private Holmes did not survive the war.

Military History Online has information about individual soldiers submitted by descendants and others.

The Blogroll on this page (top right) has numerous resources available for research and has been helpful.

This is hopefully the first installment of many concerning the 24th Mississippi Infantry Regiment.