1st Lt. David Richard Reynolds Camp #2270, SCV, Mount Pleasant, Texas

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Private James Madison Gunn
Private
9thLouisiana Infantry
Confederate States of America

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Private James Madison Gunn was one of 9 children born to James William Gunn (b 1791) and Harriet Quick.  His Grandfather and Grandmother were both born in Scotland.  His father was born in North Carolina and his mother was born in South Carolina.

Pvt. Gunn was born in 1834 in Alabama.  He died in 1897 and was buried in Maud, Bowie County, TX.  He and his wife Nancy Ann Westbrooks had 12 children, most of whom were born in Smith County, MS in the community called Gunn (now White Oak), MS.  His wife Nancy died in 1885 and was buried in the Dukes Cemetery in Gunn, MS.

In the late 1850s the family moved from MS to Livingston Parish, LA.  We believe they moved there to provide lumber and labor to the railroad that was being built through the area in the late 1850s between New Orleans and Jackson, MS.  He enlisted into the CSA from that Parish.

Pvt. James Madison Gunn is believed to have lost two brothers in the Civil War.

Private James Madison Gunn and the Civil War

27 May 1861.  All of LA and the southern portions of MS and AL were designated as Department 1 of the C.S.A.  MG David E. Twiggs, 71 years old, was assigned as Commanding Officer of this geographical region of the War Department with his headquarters in New Orleans. 

Major training grounds for CSA troops in LA:

The first major camping and training ground for CSA troops in Department 1 was at Camp Walker.  It was established at the Metairie Race Course in New Orleans.  Because of the thousands of troops entering the camp, along with wagons and horses, the Camp was a breeding ground for disease as the spring and summer rains fell. Later that year most of the soldiers were moved several miles north of New Orleans to Camp Lewis, which was near Carrollton.  Camp Lewis was a temporary facility until a better training camp could be built 78 miles north of New Orleans in the piney woods of St. Helena Par.  This was Camp Moore.  Most of the soldiers arrived in Camp Moore, from Camp Lewis, by train.  The New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad (now called the Illinois Central Gulf) which had been constructed in the area between 1854 and 1855 was used to transport the troops.

The Landrum Guards unit was organized in Shreveport in Sept 1861 and was comprised primarily of Irish railroad laborers.  These men had been imported to build the railroad to Marshall but were soon left stranded when the contractor went bankrupt.  They then hired themselves out to the Confederacy as foot soldiers for the going rate of $40.00 per month.  There was also a Scotch Rife Guard and a Polish unit that served as part of the LA Infantry.

Summer of 1861, 1st Battle of Bull Run.  The Grey forces won the 1st Battle of Bull Run (Manassas).  That battle awakened the North to the task ahead.  It stiffened their resolution to suppress the rebellion.

15 March 1862, Enlistment.   James Madison Gunn was 26 when the Civil War began and had been married to Nancy Ann Westbrooks for 8 years, since 1854.  They had 3 children.  He enlisted into the C.S.A. on 15 March 1862 at Amite Springs, LA. 

James Madison Gunn was listed upon induction as "28 years old, 5' and 11" tall, with dark complection, light eyes, dark hair, and a farmer."  By the time he enlisted to serve the "War Years", the LA forces were filling up fast with volunteers.  All the physicians and students at LSU School of Medicine had volunteered, thus forcing the school to close during the war.  Other institutions did the same. 

Camp Moore.  It is not known for how long James Madison trained at Camp Moore prior to being sent to VA or how the traveled to VA from LA.  But, the CSA in VA was fully engaged by 1862. 

The LA forces were distributed as follows in the Spring of 1862 (19,152 men):

           Regiment of Artillery (regulars), 740 men

           Regiment of Infantry (regulars), 1,033 men

           1st -19th regiments of LA Volunteers, 14,949 men

           Wheat's Battalion, 415 men

           Dreux's Battalion, 480 men

           14 companies transferred to the CSA service for state service, 1,231 men

           4 CO. of Orleans Artillery (to protect the MS River mouth), 304 men

 

Livingston Parish LA, where James Madison lived, contributed 754 men to the cause.  He was enlisted by Captain Singletary of the 9th Regiment of LA Volunteers (Infantry).  The 9th Regiment was organized by Richard Taylor as Colonel, E.G. Randolph as Lieutenant Colonel, and N.J. Walker as Major, and was mustered into service on 6 Jul 1861.  It was immediately ordered to VA.  This regiment consisted of the following volunteer units, James Madison was in Co G (Coyell Guards).

Bossier Volunteers-                   Cpt Hodges, lLT Huges, 2LT Crawford, Jr, 2 LT Hancock

Bienville Blues-                          Cpt Pierce, 1LT Eagan, 2LT Ardis, Jr, 2LT Theuis

Brush Valley Guards-                 Cpt Gray, lLT Cook, 2LT Milton, Jr, 2LT Potts

DeSoto Blues-                           Cpt Williams, lLT Bennett, 2LT Jackson, Jr., 2LT Sutherland

Colyell Guards-                         Cpt Gardner, lLT Dunn, 2LT Schneltory, Jr., 2LT Gardner

Jackson Grays-                         Cpt Cavanaugh, lLT McCranie, 2LT Kidd, Jr., 2LT McBryde

Washington Rifles-                    Cpt Richardson, lLT Slocomb, 2LT Mager, Jr., 2LT Wadsworth

Moore Fencibles-                      Cpt Capers, lLT Blackman, 2LT Grigsby, Jr., 2LT Blackman

Stafford Guards-                       Cpt Stafford, lLT Gordon, 2LT Waters, Jr., 2LT Cummings, Jr

Milliken Bend Guards-               Cpt Peck, lLT Shadburne, 2LT Reading, Jr., 2LT Williams

          

23 May 1862, James Madison Gunn's 1st battle engagement, Front Royal, VA.   Apparently he didn't actually fight as he was counted as "absent, and sick" on the roll call roster.    25 May.  James was still absent and sick when the Battle at Winchester, VA occurred.     9 June.  James was sick through the battle at Port Republic, VA  on this date.  Why was James Madison Gunn sick for three or more weeks?  Some insight into this can be learned from eyewitness accounts of the time:

"In mid-April, 1862, 2/3 rds of the men of the CSA forces near Manassas are without tents.  Each day, disease sends hundreds of our troops to the rear of our lines.  The men are working in rain, standing in mud without shelter, fire or sufficient food.  Exhaustion is rampant.  Roads are bad, and ambulances are in short supply.  Richmond is rapidly becoming the hospital center of the South."

June 1862,  The War of Seven Days didn't help anyone's health either.  On the 24th of June 1862, James Madison was finally well and present in his first major engagement, the Battle of Cold Harbor.  The Union General McClelland was accumulating forces at Fort(ress) Monroe, VA, outside of Washington, D.C. for quite some time.  He was amassing forces for a major attack on Richmond, the capitol of the South.  The regiments of LA and other states were rapidly being assigned to the Manassas area to block General McClelland's movements.  Because of this rapid deployment, supplies were dangerously low. Combined with terrible weather, Camp Bartow, a field hospital outside of Richmond, VA, was becoming a painful scene of human mortality due to disease, especially among troops from NC, GA, AL, & MS.

Casualties during the spring and early summer of 1862.  On the 16th of June BG Wise reported that "25% of my entire command of 1,700 men are ill."  At Front Royal on the 23rd of May, James Madison's 9th regiment lost 42 enlisted men.  On the 9th of June, during a retreat from Winchester, the regiment lost 36 enlisted and 4 officers.  At Cold Harbor (Gaines Mill) 15 enlisted men were wounded and four were killed.  Within 7 days, the 9th regiment was again in fierce combat at Malvern Hill (1 July).  Here 10 enlisted men were either wounded or killed. James Madison was present at both engagements.

Army of the Potomac, CSA, when James Madison Gunn enlisted.  The CSA forces protected Richmond comprised the 1st Corps, Army of the Potomac.  The commander was General Beauregard.  His headquarters was at Manassas, VA.   There were 4 divisions under his infantry command.           

James Madison was in "i" Corps, or 1st Corps, of the Army of the Potomac, 4th Div., 3rd Brigade, 9th LA Infantry.  Brigade 3 was the Louisiana Brigade as it was composed entirely of troops enlisted from that state.  It contained the 6th LA, 7th LA, 8th LA, and 9th LA Infantry regiments.  This was the force structure of the Army of the Potomac in January 1862 just prior to when James Madison arrived from LA, after his enlistment in March 1862.  His brigade was already in combat in VA.

ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, CSA

1st Division, under the command of MG VanDorn and was composed of 3 brigades:  Brigade # 1- Cmdr. BG Bonham, Brigade # 2- Cmdr. BG Early, Brigade # 3- Cmdr. BG Rode

2nd Division, under the command of MG Smith.  It also had 3 brigades. 

3rd Division,under the command of MG Longstreet.  It had 3 brigades. 

4th Division, under the command of MG E. Kirby Smith.  James Madison Gunn was in this division. It was composed of the following three brigades: Brigade # 1- Cmdr. BG Elsey, Brigade # 2- Cmdr. BG Trimble, Brigade # 3 (Louisiana Brigade)- Cmdr. BG Taylor.  1st Corps ("i" Corps), 9th Louisiana Infantry Regiment.

 

June 1862, Reorganization of the Army of the Potomac.  In June 1862, prior to the Seven Days War, the CSA forces were again rearranged. James Madison was now assigned to Jackson's Corps, commanded by MG Thomas J. Jackson.  Thomas Jonathan Jackson, or Stonewall Jackson, was a graduate of West Point.  He earned his name at the 1st Battle of Bull Run where his troops stood against the union forces like a "stone wall". His army and Robert E. Lee's army defeated Gen. George B. McClelland in the Seven Days War battle near Richmond.  In Aug 1862 he defeated the Army of Gen John Pope, thus assuring a confederate victory at the second Battle of Bull Run.  On May 2, 1863, while leading his forces at Chancellorsville, VA, Jackson was accidently shot and fatally wounded by one of his own men (Hardy Gunn told his son Anthony that James Madison Gunn was a witness to the accidental shooting of Gen. Jackson).

Jackson's Corps on the 10th of Aug 1862 had 19 staff officers, 369 infantry officers, 11 artillery officers, 4,392 infantry soldiers, 236 artillery solders= 5,897 present for duty.  But at the same time he had over 6,000 solders that were absent from duty- wounded, killed or sick.  With Jackson's Corps were MG John Magruder's Corps and BG James E.B. Stuart's Calvary.  During the Seven Days War, James Madison was assigned to Jackson's Corps, Ewell's Divison, 8th brigade, 9th LA Regiment.

Jackson's Corps, the Army of the Valley District

Whiting's Division- Cmdr. BG Whiting :  1st Brigade- The Texas Brigade- Cmdr. BG John Hood, 2nd, and 3rd Brigades

Jackson's Division- Cmdr. MG Jackson

Ewell's Division - Cmdr. MG Richard Ewell, 4th Brigade- BG Elzey & BG Jubal A. Early, 8th Bde- Cmdr. BG Richard Taylor Col Seymour & Col Stafford, 6th, 7th, & 8th Regiments, 9th LA Regiment

Hill's Division 

          

The following account by an eyewitness account of the Battle of Malvern Hill gives some insight as to what James Madison met up with as a foot soldier.

"I have never seen a battlefield where there was such frightful mutilation of bodies as there was at Malvern Hill, owing to so much artillery having been used by the enemy.  Many were cut entirely in two.  Some were headless, while fragments of bodies and limbs were strewn about in every direction.  With little or no molestation by either side, details from both armies mingled on the field for the purpose of removing the dead and wounded that remained."

Field Hospitals.  The field hospitals were overflowing.  Over 17,000 wounded men were in field hospitals north of Richmond after the Seven Days War.  The hospitals in VA were filled with the dead and dying.  The hospital yards had cots with the wounded lying there waiting to be seen by a physician.  Many, realizing the severe lack of ambulances at the front lines, began the long trip to Richmond on foot.  Many died along the way.  Then the rains came.  The roads became deep stick masses of red mud.  The supply wagons and ambulances bogged down, and the men began to die from exhaustion.  Of the 55,000 men in the CSA forces at the 2nd Battle of Manassas on the 19th of August 1862, 1,481 were killed and 7,627 were wounded.  The only bright side of the entire summer of 1862 was the first organized use of an "effective field ambulance system by the Army."  The 2nd Battle of Manassas was called the "high noon of the Southern Effort" as the CSA went down as a force from there.

August 1862, James Madison  Gunn, "sick or wounded".  James Madison was either "sick or wounded" at Malvern Hill in July or sometime prior to the 10th of Aug 1862.  On the 10th of Aug he was listed as absent and sick for the battle at Slaughter Mountain.  He was still sick for the 2nd Battle of Manassas on 19 Aug, Chantilly on 22 Aug, Harper's Ferry on 15 Sept, Sharpsburg on 17 Sept, and for the first Battle of Fredericksburg on 15 Dec. 

BG Taylor was wounded during the Seven Days War and was replaced by BG Harry Hays since BG Taylor was an "invalid."  It is also interesting that Cpt Singletary, who enlisted James Madison into the Army in Mar 1862, and LT Jackson, both of the 9th LA Regiment were AWOL on the 14th of Aug 1862 during the Battle of Cedar Creek. 

30 July 1862.  Col Stafford, 9th LA Inf, 8th Brigade, Report Number 256 (to Div. Commander, MG. R.W. Ewell):    Headquarters 8th Brigade

"Sir, In compliance with instructions from division headquarters requiring a report of the part taken by this brigade in the late battles before Richmond, I have the honor to make the following statement of facts therewith:  Owing to the illness of BG Taylor the command of the brigade fell upon Col I.G. Seymour of the 6th LA Regiment.  On the afternoon of Friday, the 27th ultimo, in the charge at Cold Harbor (Gaines Mill),  Col Seymour was shot from his horse and died a few minutes later.  I then took command of the brigade, and was ordered by Gen Trimble to form the troops in line of battle near the edge of the wood; this was done.  It soon after became dark and no further movements were made.  The brigade remained on the ground that night, and the next morning, the 28th, was ordered to advance in pursuit of the enemy, who was retiring.  On this and the 2 days following we continued to advance steadily forward.

The enemy, on arriving at Malvern Hill,  there made a stand and prepared to resist out farther advance.  The brigade was first ordered to form in line of battle near the road on the left; very soon, however, our position changed to a wheat field nearby.  This movement also countermanded, and our position again changed to a ravine near the enemy's batteries.  At dusk an order was brought (we then being under orders of Gen Whiting and supporting his division) to charge forward on the battery.  This order was given by an officer unknown to myself or any of the officers of my command.  Three of the regiments- the 6th, 7th, and 8th LA- advanced as ordered.  It now being night, this order was not heard or properly understood by the 9th LA, and no advance was made by that command. 

This charge resulted in the loss of some valuable lives.  After the charge the brigade, being somewhat scattered, was withdrawn to a gate and order restored.  Leave was obtained of Gen. Ewell for the men to get water at the church.  Again advanced, and remained at the gate (near the ground previously occupied by them) during the night. A portion of the brigade, however, remained on the field from which the charge was made and there stayed the remainder of the night.  Accompanying this report is forwarded a list of the casualties of the brigade in the 2 engagements in which it was actively engaged, viz, that of Cold Harbor and Malvern Hill, as furnished by the regimental commanders. I am, sir, very respectively, your obedient servant,

L.A. Stafford, Colonel, Commanding, 8th Brigade, Capt. G. Campbell Brown"

General Hospital No. 20, Oct 1862.  The first notice in the C.S.A. war records of James Madison was absent and sick following the Seven Days War was the appearance of his name on the register of General Hospital No. 20.  This was 25 Oct 1862.  Within a day or two he was transferred to General Hospital No. 60, almost 4 months after the Seven Days War in July.  It is thought that he was not injured during his battle engagements in June and July because his status for these battles was listed as "p".  "p" status was for soldiers who were present and unhurt for the battle.  "w" status meant wounded; "s.w.", severly wounded; "a.s.", absent sick; "a.w.", absent wounded, "a", absent without leave (AWOL); "a.d.", absent on detail or duty by order; "a.f.", absent on furlough or satisfactorily. 

Since James Madison was listed "a.s." for the remaining conflicts in 1862 in which his regiment was engaged it is assumed that he was admitted into General Hospital No. 20, not the result of wounds, but because he was otherwise sick.

General Hospital at Camp Winder, Nov 1862. On the 8th of November 1862 James Madison was admitted to the General Hospital at Camp Winder outside of Richmond, Virginia where he was diagnosed as having debilitis (weakness).   He was probably physically exhausted.  Apparently his illness was of such severity that he remained as an in-patient until Jan 1863.  He was discharged on 22 Jan 1863 via a surgeon's certificate.  His discharge from the Army read as follows:

"I certify, that I have carefully examined the said Private J.M. Gunn of Cpt. Singletary's company and find him incapable of performing his duties as a soldier because of (?hypertrophy) of the heart and general debility.  He has been unable for duty since the first of May(?) last.  Signed, Rich. O'Leary, Cpt., 2nd Division, Winder Hospital, Ward # 2."

It is difficult to read the last portion of his discharge certificate but it appears as if he couldn't even perform his duties back in May 1862.  If this is true then he may have performed non-combat functions during the Seven Days War.  It was difficult to determine if the certificate said May but it did read the 1st of  "_"  last, which had to be in 1862.

NOTE:  James Madison Gunn's grandson, Will Gunn of Atlanta, TX, stated in the 1970s that James ". . . did not go to the front lines as he had all he could do doctoring the wounded."  Stories by other descendants reinforce the suggestion that James was a doctor during and after the Civil War. 

CHRONOLOGY OF THE CIVIL WAR for Pvt James Madison Gunn, 9th Louisiana.

1861.  26 Jan, LA seceded from the Union

·      April, Civil War begins, New Orleans falls to Union Forces

·      July, 9th LA Infantry, Co G, Cmdr by  Captain John S. Gardner, "The Colyell  Guards", mustered at Camp Moore and was sent to VA

·      MAY, James Madison Gunn's Land Patent (Deed) was filed at the Greensburg, LA, land office- Cash Certificate, #4911 & 4882

 

1862    15 March, Enlisted into CSA at Amity Springs, LA, Co G, 9th LA Inf.  

·      30 April, Paid by Cpt Boyd 

·      May-June, On CO. G Muster Rolls , absent/sick for several days

·      23 MAY, Battle for Front Royal VA

·      25 MAY, Battle for Winchester VA

·      9 JUNE, Battle of Port Republic

·      24 JUNE, Present for the Battle of Cold Harbor

·      30 June, Paid by Cpt Goodman 

·      30 Jun-1 Nov, Intermittently on Co. G. Muster Rolls. 

·      1 July, Present at the Battle of Malvern Hill

·      10 Aug, Absent or Sick the the Battle at Slaughter Mountain

·      19 Aug, Present at 2ND Battle of Bull Run (MANASSAS)*

·      22 Aug, Present at the Battle at Chantilly

·      15 Sept, Present at the Battle at Harpers Ferry

·      17 Sept, Present at the Battle for Sharpsburg

·      25 Oct, Transferred to Gen. Hosp. No. 20, the Receiving & Wayside Hosp. or GH 9) in Richmond VA.

·      1 NOV, Paid by Cpt Hardy

·      8 NOV.  Admitted by the registrar into Camp Winder Gen. Hosp., Richmond, diagnosis of Debilitas 

·      NOV/DEC, Appeared on and off- muster rolls of Co. G.

·      20 NOV, Received a clothing allowance from the company

·      15 DEC, Absent or sick for the 1st Battle of Fredericksburg

·      30 Dec, Paid by P.S. Sandy

 

 1863    1-31 Jan, Sick the entire month.   29 JAN. Pvt Gunn was discharged from Winder Hospital.  He was transported to Tangipahoa Parish, LA. 

James Madison Gunn was discharged from the Army for medical reasons (Surgeon's Certificate), hypertrophy of the heart and general debility (weakness).  He was discharged at Amite Station, LA, Tangipahoa Parish LA.

James Madison Gunn's home post office box was listed as Oldfield, LA in Livingston Par.  One part of his war record lists him enlisting at Denham Springs, and another part states that he enlisted at Amity Springs.

Was James Madison Gunn a Doctor during the War? 

The stories of James Madison being a doctor (by Will Gunn) probably stem from his time spent in the Civil War hospitals.  He may have served as a medic on the field or learned a great deal of practical medicine from being assigned to help other patients while he was hospitalized.  He probably even helped the physicians on duty during his convalescence, which both hastened his recovery as well as gave the hospital a desperately needed extra pair of hands. 

Today based on his practical medical experience, James would more likely be referred to as a first-aid specialist, an EMS medic, or as a physician's assistant. In the 1860s in MS many laymen "hung their shingle (advertised)" after only a brief period of apprenticeship with a physician.  James (Jim) Hawkins, son of Harriet and Charles Franklin Hawkins, lived with James Madison and his third wife, Mollie and remembers James as being most certainly a country doctor in AR (see the history of James Hawkins in this book).

Reference:  "The Civil War in LA" by John Winters, LSU Press, 1963, "Military Record of LA" by Napier Bartlett, LSU Press, 1964; "Field Services at the Battles of Manassas", by H. Cunningham, U. Ga.a Press, 1968; "War of the Rebellion, Official Records of Union and Confederate Armies", series 1-12; Civil War Records, CSA, U.S. Archives; U.S. Census, Livingston Par LA, 1860; US Census, Smith Co MS, 1850, 1860 and 1870.

Private James Madison Gunn