Organized October, 1861; captured at Island Number 10; released on parole at Vicksburg September, 1862; disbanded and companies distributed to other regiments September, 1862.
Colonel Walker was promoted to brigadier general March 11, 1862, and was killed in a duel September 6, 1863.
This regiment was organized at Memphis, Tennessee, October 5, 1861, composed of one Florida, one Kentucky, four Alabama, and four Arkansas companies. Since Colonel L. M. Walker was a Tennessean, and the regiment was organized at Memphis, it was erroneously thought by the Confederate authorities to be a Tennessee regiment, and they advised Governor Isham G. Harris that it had been designated as the 40th Tennessee Regiment, Provisional Army. Governor Harris replied that he knew nothing about it, and inquired when, where, and by whom, it had been organized. When the confusion had been straightened out, an Adjutant and Inspector Generals Office order dated February 25, 1862 specified "The 40th Tennessee Volunteer Regiment, Colonel L. M. Walker, will hereafter be designated as the 5th Confederate Regiment." However, this only served to make the confusion worse, for there was another Tennessee regiment which had been designated as the 5th Confederate Regiment, and was known throughout the war as such. This was a consolidation of I. Knox Walker's 2nd Tennessee with the 21st Tennessee Infantry Regiment. The consolidated regiment was commanded by Colonel James A. Smith. The muster rolls of L. M. Walker's Regiment are filed under the name 40th Tennessee Infantry Regiment, and Smith's Regiment, throughout the war, was referred to in all Official Records as the 5th Confederate Regiment.
The regiment remained at Camp Johnson, Memphis, with Colonel Walker in command of the post, until November 19, 1861, when it moved to Fort Pillow. With it at Fort Pillow was Colonel Baker's 1st Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee Infantry Regiment. On February 26, 1862 Major General J. P. McCown ordered both regiments to Madrid Bend, where, along with Colonel Travis' 5th Tennessee they were engaged in building fortifications at the mouth of St. John Bayou, above the town of New Madrid, which took the name of Fort Bankhead, in honor of Bankhead's Battery which was stationed there.
A report from Company "G" stated that it was in action at New Madrid from 1st to 15th March, and at Island Number 10 on March 15, 1862. In his report of the evacuation of Madrid Bend, General McCown stated that he ordered the evacuation of Fort Thompson, below the town, and of the fortifications at the mouth of the bayou on March 13, on March 17 turned over command to Brigadier General L. M. Walker, and left Island Number 10 for Fort Pillow. He stated he left at Madrid Bend, Stewart's Battery, Captains Hudson's and Wheeler's Cavalry Companies, Henderson's 40th Tennessee, the 1st Alabama-Mississippi-Tennessee Regiment, 11th and 12th Arkansas Regiments, Brown's (55th) and Clark's (46th) Tennessee Regiments, 1st Alabama Regiment, and Terry's Arkansas Battalion.
On March 21, 1862, a report of the forces at Madrid Bend showed the 1st Alabama, 1st Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, 40th, 46th, 55th Tennessee Infantry Regiments, and the Corps Heavy Artillery. The 4Oth at this time reported 471 present for duty out of 668 present. A report from Company "D" stated it was in support of Watson's Battery at Madrid Bend, from April 7, 1862 till the retreat to Tiptonville.
The regiment was surrendered at Tiptonville April 8, 1862. It was released on parole at Vicksburg, Mississippi in September, 1862, and was stationed in the vicinity of Columbus, Mississippi and Clinton, Mississippi on October 6, 1862. It was declared exchanged in November, 1862, prior to which time the various companies had been assigned to the regiments shown in the report of company organization.
The only later mention of the 40th Tennessee Regiment was in a report from a Federal scout dated July 22, 1863, in which he was giving such information as he had been able to garner as to the strength of General Joseph E. Johnston's forces in Mississippi after the fall of Vicksburg. He listed the Tennessee Regiments as the 3rd, 10th, 18th, 30th, 4Oth, 50th, 60th Regiments. He was evidently misinformed about the 40th Tennessee, as this regiment had been disbanded nearly a year previously.
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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