Organized early 1862; after Shiloh consolidated into one company which became Company 'F", 9th (also called 5th) Kentucky Infantry Regiment, transferred to 23rd (Newman's) Tennessee Infantry Battalion as Company "B", November, 1862. James M. Crews was authorized to raise a regiment of infantry to be called the 58th Tennessee Infantry Regiment, but failed to secure enough companies to make up a regiment, the organization having been attempted at Savannah, Hardin County, in January, 1862. Lieutenant Colonel Crews' service record shows the date of his election February 10, 1862. There are no muster rolls of the organization on file; the information given hereafter is from personal papers.
A report of Lieutenant Commander S. L. Phelps, United States Gunboat Conestoga, dated February 10, 1862 states in part: "Lieutenant Commander Gwin had enlisted some 25 Tennesseans who gave information of the encampment of Colonel Drew's rebel regiment at Savannah, Tennessee. A portion of the 600 or 700 men were known to be pressed men, and all were badly arrned." 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."
In the reorganization of the Central Army, Western Department, with headquarters at Murfreesboro, on,,February 23, 1862, Colonel Crews' "regiment was reported in Brigadier General J. C. Breckinridge's Reserve Brigade, along with the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Kentucky Infantry Regiments. At Shiloh, April 6-7, these same Kentucky Regiments, the 4th Alabama, 31st Alabama Battalion, and Crews' Tennessee Infantry Battalion, were in Breckinridge's Reserve Corps, Colonel R. P. Trabue's Bri-gade. Colonel Trabue, in his report of the battle, said "Lieutenant Colonel Crews be-haved well." He reported the battalion suffered 55 casualties.
On April 14, 1862, the battalion was consolidated into one company and assigned to the 9th (also called 5th) Kentucky Infantry Regiment, which company was transferred on November 29, 1862 to Newrnan's 23rd Tennessee Infantry Battalion because the men in it were Tennesseans.
Personal papers of Lieutenant Colonel Crews show he was subsequently assigned to duty on the staff of General N. B. Forrest. A letter from General Forrest to Inspector Gen-eral Cooper, dated May 18, 1864, stated that Lieutenant Colonel Crews was formerly in command of an infantry battalion, which was consolidated and had joined him at Spring Hill in February or March 1863.
If Lieutenant Colonel Crews took any men with him into Forrest's command, there is no record of it in the Official Records In December, 1863, Lieutenant Colonel Crews took command of the 3rd (Forrest's) Tennessee Cavalry Regiment. See the history of this regiment.
This unit history was extracted from Tennesseans in the Civil War, Vol 1. Copyrighted © 1964 by the “Civil War Centennial Commission of Tennessee” and is published here with their permission.
This history may not be republished for any reason without the written permission of the copyright owner.
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