Organized October 28, 1861; reorganized September 19, 1862; formed Company "A" 4th Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment April 9, 1865; paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina, May 1, 1865.
The company letters of all companies were changed at the reorganization of the regiment in 1862. The letters used in the list below are those of the reorganized regiment, with prior letters indicated.
Of the field officers, Colonel Cook died June 23, 1864; Lieutenant Colonel Moore was killed at Fort Donelson; and Major Brownlow resigned March 31, 1863.
The ten companies composing the regiment had been organized during the month of October 1861, and assembled at Camp Trousdale, Sumner County, where they were organized into this regiment.
On November 14th the regiment moved to East Tennessee to guard railroad bridges and suppress insurrection in Hamilton, Sequatchie and Marion Counties. At this time it was reported with 850 men, armed with 500 flintlock muskets. On November 21, at Chattanooga, Colonel S. A. M. Wood, of the 7th Alabama Infantry Regiment, reported "Colonel Cook's Regiment, partially armed, and the 7th Alabama are here. I have assumed command.
On December 9, by order of Major General George B. Crittenden, it moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where, on January 31, 1862, it was reported in Major General William I. Hardee's Army of Central Kentucky, Colonel J. C. Brown's Brigade, composed of the 3rd, 18th, and 32nd Tennessee Infantry Regiments. It remained in Brown's Brigade throughout the war.
From Bowling Green, it was ordered to Fort Donelson arriving shortly before the battle at that point, where Brown's Brigade was in Brigadier General Simon B. Buckner's Division. Here Lieutenant Colonel Moore was killed, and Colonel Cook was commended for gallant bearing and excellent handling of his regiment. It entered the battle with 555 effectives, had three killed, 36 wounded, and surrendered 528.
Major Brownlow and some men from the regiment not captured at Fort Donelson subsequently served for a time in the 35th Tennessee Infantry Regiment, until their own regiment was exchanged and reorganized and Major Brownlow served for a time as major of that regiment. A Federal report from Camp Butler, Ohio, dated March 1862 listed only 10 men from the 32nd Regiment who desired to take the oath of allegiance, an excellent showing compared to the large numbers from other Tennessee Regiments on the same list.
The regiment was exchanged at Vicksburg, Mississippi September 12, 1862, and reorganized at Jackson, Mississippi September 19, with the re-election of Colonel Cook, and the election of W. P. O'Neal as lieutenant colonel and John P. McGuire as major. Colonel Cook died in June, 1864, and Major McGuire succeeded him as colonel, while Captain Calaway G. Tucker became major.
Soon after reorganization the regiment moved to Murfreesboro, where on October 28, 1862 it was reported in Major General J. C. Breckinridge's Army of Middle Tennessee, with Colonel Joseph B. Palmer in command of Brown's Brigade which was now composed of the 18th, 32nd Tennessee, 32nd Alabama, 4th Florida Infantry Regiments and two batteries. On November 29 the same brigade was reported in Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk's Corps, but on December 19, 1862 the brigade with the exception of the 28th Tennessee assumed the form it was to maintain for nearly two years, being composed of the 18th, 26th, 28th, 3rd, and 45th Tennessee Infantry Regiments, plus Moses' Georgia Battery. The brigade was placed in Breckinridge's Division, Hardee's Corps.
On December 25 the regiment was ordered by Hardee on detached service to Wartrace, where it was employed in guarding the railroad bridges when the Battle of Murfreesboro was fought on December 31, 1862. On January 29, 1863, Brown's Brigade reported a total of 1788 effectives out of 2221 present, with the 32nd still on detached service. On February 16 the 28th Regiment was transferred to Wright's Brigade, Cheatham's Division, and on February 28 the 23rd Tennessee Infantry Battalion was assigned to the brigade to replace it. On May 21 the brigade reported 1899 effectives out of 2305 present. During this period, the 32nd was stationed in the vicinity of Tullahoma and Fairfield, Tennessee, with one move to Loudon and return.
When the retreat from Middle Tennessee was begun in the summer of 1863, the 32nd moved to Charleston, where it was stationed during July and August. On July 31, the brigade was transferred to Major General Alexander P. Stewart's Division. From Charleston the regiment moved to La Fayette, Georgia on September 2, and from there to Chickamauga on September 18, to take part in the Battle of Chickamauga September 19-20.
In this battle, General Brown was wounded on the second day, and Colonel Cook took command of the brigade, with Major McGuire taking command of the regiment. Major McGuire was wounded, and Captain Tucker assumed command of the regiment. The regiment lost 165 of 361 engaged. On October 31, Captain Deavenport was reported in command of the regiment.
On November 12, 1863, the brigade was transferred to Major General C. L. Stevenson's Division, and the 3rd Tennessee Volunteer Regiment returned to the brigade. In the Battle of Missionary Ridge, November 25, 1863, General Brown was in command of the division, and Major McGuire of the 32nd Regiment. The regiment was stationed on Lookout Mountain on the 24th, and moved to Missionary Ridge too late to stem the tide of battle there. It lost 18 casualties in this fight, and on December 14, 1863 reported 248 effectives out of 321 present.
The regiment went into winter quarters at Dalton, Georgia, where, with the exception of one move to Rome, Georgia, from February 5 to 25, it remained until the resumption of fighting May 13, 1864. Engagements mentioned in company reports were; Swamp Creek, May 13; Resaca, May 15; New Hope Church May 24; Marietta, June 22; "did its part in all the skirmishing and regular fighting which was more or less every day during the time the enemy held that point and has continued to the present time, August 31, 1864 near East Point, Georgia." During this campaign Stevenson's Division had been in Lieutenant General John B. Hood's Corps. When Hood superseded Joseph E. Johnston in command of the army, Lieutenant General Stephen D. Lee was given command of the corps, and the brigade remained in his corps until the end.
On November 18, 1864, Brown's and Reynolds' Brigades were consolidated under the command of Colonel Joseph B. Palmer. The units in Reynolds' Brigade were the 58th and 6Oth North Carolina, 54th and 63rd Virginia Infantry Regiments. Lee's Corps did not arrive at the Battle of Franklin till late in the afternoon, too late to be engaged there, and Palmer's Brigade was on detached service at the time the Battle of Nashville was fought.
On December 21, 1864, at Columbia, Tennessee, Palmer's Brigade was reported as composed of the 3rd/l8th, 32nd, 45th Tennessee, 54th Virginia, 63rd Virginia/60th North Carolina Infantry Regiments. The 26th Tennessee was not listed, but this may have been an error, as the 26th was once more reported as a member of the brigade on January 19, 1865. On December 21, the 32nd reported only 19 present. On January 19, 1865, the 3rd/l8th/23rd/26th/32nd/45th Tennessee combined reported a total of 306 effectives out of 471 present.
The remnant of the regiment, with the brigade, moved to North Carolina to join General Joseph E. Johnston. At Smithfield, North Carolina, March 18, 1865, in the order of battle for Johnston's Army, Palmer's Brigade was reported as consisting of the 58th North Carolina, 54th Virginia, 63rd Virginia/60th North Carolina and the 3rd/l8th/26th/32nd/ 46th Tennessee Regiments and the 23rd Tennessee Battalion, with the Tennessee units consolidated into one organization under Colonel McGuire of the 32nd. However, in a return of the Army of Tennessee dated April 1, 1865, McGuire's Command was listed as the lst/l8th/32nd/45th/6th Tennessee Infantry Regiments. Both tables were probably inaccurate, as the 1st and 6th Tennessee just prior to this time had been reported in a consolidated brigade commanded by Colonel Hume R. Feild, and the 46th had all along been in Quarles' Brigade. The correct composition of Colonel McGuire's command was probably the 3rd/l8th/26th/32nd/45th Tennessee Infantry, Regiments; and the 23rd Tennessee Infantry Battalion. At any rate, the question is of only academic interest, for on April 9, 1865, in the final reorganization of Johnston's Army, the 2nd/'3rd/lOth/lSth/-l8th/2Oth/26th/3Oth/32nd/37th/45th Tennessee Regiments and the 23rd Tennessee Battalion formed the Fourth Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment commanded by Colonel Anderson Searcy of the 45th Tennessee. This regiment formed one of four in the brigade commanded by Brigadier General Joseph B. Palmer, which was surrendered with the rest of Johnston's Army, and paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina, May 1, 1865.
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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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