In The Confederate Army
On April 21, 1861, John Byrd Foster enlisted in the Confederate Army. He enlisted in Company "E" 15th Mississippi Infantry Regiment (State Service). On May 27, 1861 the 15th was placed in the Confederate States Army.
Organized from state troops on May 27, 1861, at Corinth, Mississippi, volunteers for one twelve-month term of service. Original number: 1,070 men.
Reorganized May 27, 1862, at Corinth, Mississippi, volunteers for two years of service.
Consolidated with Sixth, Twentieth and Twenty-third Mississippi Infantry Regiments and designated Fifteenth Mississippi Infantry Regiment, Consolidated, on April 9, 1865, at Smithfield, North Carolina.
Surrendered by General Joseph E Johnston on April 26, 1865, at Durham Station, North Carolina. Surviving number: 207 men from original roll.
BATTLES & ENGAGEMENTS
Skirmish at Laurel Bridge, Ky., 26 Sept. 1961. Their first encounter with Federal troops.
Skirmish at Wild Cat Mountain, Ky., 17 Oct. 1861
Mill Spring, Ky. (Fishing Creek), 19 Jan 1862. The first real battle and test of courage for most of the Fifteenth Mississippi. While overall defeat for the Confederate forces with the death of General Zollicoffer, the 15th Miss. and the 20th Tennessee valiantly and singlehandedly held off the Federal advance for almost an hour, taking heavy casualties and preventing a total rout of the Southern Army.
Shilo, Tn., 6-7 Apr. 1862. As always, the men of the 15th Miss. found themselves at or near the front lines, usually in the midst of the heaviest fighting. By the end of the first day, they were within sight of the Tennessee River and had seen General Albert S. Johnson fall before them with his last orders given to Colonel Statham.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 5 Aug. 1862. Held in reserve
Corinth, Miss., 3-4 Oct. 1862. Held in reserve.
Seige of Vicksburg, Miss., May.-Jul. 1863. Held in reserve. From atop the banks of the mighty River, the 15th Miss. was witness to the entire actions and movement of the Confedeates.
Champion's Hill, Miss., 16 May. 1863. Moving to aid the Armies at Vicksburg, at Champion's Hill the 15th was turned and failed to reach the beseiged City. By the failure they escaped capture with the other forces when Vicksburg fell to the Union Army.
Jackson, Miss., Jul 1863. Avoiding the seige at Vicksburg, the City of Jackson found itself under seige by General Sherman's men and was eventually abandoned.
Cowan Station, Tenn., 18 Dec. 1863. This is the day that John Byrd was captured by the Union Army, and was imprisoned at Nashville, Tenn. On 25 December 1863, he appears on a "Roll of Prisoners of War" and was being transferd to Louisville, Ky. On 27 Dec. 1863 John appears on another "Roll of Prisoners of War" that was being transferd to Rock Island Barracks, Ill. His records show that he arrived at Rock Island on 29 Dec. 1863.
Rock Island, Ill. 17-18 June 1965. Records show that John Byrds name appears as signature to an "Oath of allegiance" to the United States on 17 June 1965 and was released on 18 June 1865 per G.O. No. 109, A.G.O. It is not known when John Byrd arrived back home in Mississippi.
We do know that on 31 Aug. 1911 John Byrd applied to the State of Mississippi for a pension. It was granted on 5 Sept. 1911. It states on his Pension: "OCCUPATION Practiced medicine for 30 years & 8 months; had to "quit" because of physical disability."
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