Organized October 8, 1862; mustered into Confederate service November 11, 1862; surrendered at Vicksburg July, 1863; served remainder of war as mounted infantry in Brigadier General John C. Vaughn's Brigade in East Tennessee and Western Virginia.
The companies which formed the 62nd Tennessee Infantry Regiment had been enrolled during the month of September; were organized into a regiment in October; and the regiment mustered into Confederate service at Sweetwater.
Major Reynolds resigned in April, 1863, and Captain William R. Smith succeeded him as major.
Immediately after being mustered into Confederate service, the regiment was placed in Brigadier General John C. Vaughn's Brigade, along with the 60th and 61st Tennessee Regiments, and ordered to Mississippi. These three regiments remained together in Vaughn's Brigade; see the history of the 60th and 61st for further details of the brigade activities.
The first engagement of any consequence in which the regiment was involved occurred December 26-29, 1862 when the Federals made an assault on the defenses of Vicksburg at Chickasaw Bayou, and Chickasaw Bluffs, Mississippi. In this affair, Brigadier General Stephen D. Lee's Brigade held the right wing, Brigadier General S. M. Barton's, the center, and Vaughn's Brigade the left. The 62nd had been loaned to General Lee, and in company with the 3rd Confederate and 30th Tennessee Infantry Regiments, repelled the main assault. Lieutenant General J. C. Pemberton, in his report stated: "The 3rd, 30th and 80th (62nd) occupied the rifle pits on the right in the front and behaved with distinguished coolness and courage." The Federal assault was hurled back with great loss, while the Confederate losses were light. The 62nd reported eight casualties.
There follows an anomalous note. On February 20, 1863, John A. Rowan's Partisan Rangers were reported in Brigadier General Gracie's Brigade at Cumberland Gap, Virginia-Tennessee. Reference to the index of the Official Records indicated this was the 62nd Regiment. This is hardly probable, for the 62nd was certainly in Mississippi just before, and just after this date, and in fact a report from Company "C" of the 62nd showed it stationed at Camp Mint Springs, near Vicksburg, on February 25, 1863. The explanation is probably as follows: John A. Rowan had been Captain of Company "B", 4th (Branner's) Cavalry Battalion. Due to ill health, he was not re-elected when the battalion was merged into 2nd (Ashby's) Regiment. General Felix K. Zollicoffer, in his correspondence prior to the Battle of Fishing Creek referred to Rowan's Company, and Rowan's Squadron of Cavalry. The forces at Cumberland Gap were probably cavalry troops, still going under the name of Rowan's Partisan Rangers.
The 62nd was next involved at the engagement at Big Black River on May 17, when the other regiments in Vaughn's Brigade were almost annihilated. No report of the 62nd's activities was found, but reports from Companies "C" and "D" show one killed, three wounded, and 15 captured from these two companies.
Following this engagement, the regiment fell back into Vicksburg, where it remained in the trenches until the surrender July 4, 1863. It was almost immediately paroled, and reported at Brandon, Mississippi, July 16, 1863. Just when it was exchanged is uncertain. A small detachment from the 60th, 61st and 62nd regiments was reported attached
to Vaughn's Brigade in December, 1863. This detachment was commanded by Major Rhea of the 60th on December 31, and by Lieutenant Colonel William Parker, of the 62nd, on March 31, 1864. Also, on April 20, 1864 a detachment from the 16th Georgia Battalion, 3rd/39th/43rd/60th/615t/62nd Tennessee Infantry Regiments, commanded by Captain Nathan Dodd, of the 61st was reported attached to Brigadier General Bushrod Johnson's Brigade at Zollicoffer (now Bluff City). Also in September, 1864, a detachment from the 60th, 61st and 62nd Regiments was reported at Jonesboro. A camp for paroled prisoners who were awaiting exchange had been established at this place in the spring of 1864, and this group may have been in that category
A report from General Vaughn of a skirmish at Greeneville, on October 12, 1864, stated that Colonel Rowan, of the 62nd, was mortally wounded. This is the last record of the regiment's activities except for the brigade personnel reports. On November 10, 1864, Lieutenant Colonel William Parker was reported in command of the 62nd, in Vaughn's Brigade; on February 28, 1865, Major William R. Smith commanded the 62nd in the same brigade, and this is the last record found.
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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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