It’s generally known that at least hundreds, perhaps thousands of Confederate soldiers did not cross into Maryland with the rest of the Army of Northern Virginia in September 1862 due to being barefoot. Until now, I’ve not seen documentation of this for a named individual soldier.

Meet Henry M. Adams, Private, Company C, 2nd Mississippi Battalion.

Henry spent most of September, while his unit and the rest of the army were in Maryland, at the depot established for men and equipment at Winchester, VA.

He had enlisted in his hometown of Columbus, MS on 19 July 1861 with Captain Auguston Mizell, later the regiment’s Quartermaster, in what became Company C of the 2nd Infantry Battalion. By January 1863 the Battalion had grown to become the 48th Mississippi Infantry Regiment. He was wounded in May 1863 in action with them at Chancellorsville, VA and was in hospitals and on furlough home to about October 1863. He was in and out of Richmond, VA hospitals from 6 May 1864 with a gunshot-broken jaw, and never returned to his Company. He was retired to Company D, First Battalion, Invalid Corps, PACS in Meridian, MS in February 1865 with no later military record.

The document above, like the rest of the military information about Private Adams, comes from his Compiled Military Service Record file at the National Archives, online from fold3.


Update: As I scrubbed through the CMSRs for the men of the 2nd Mississippi Infantry Battalion, I found other men of that unit documented as left behind for lack of shoes …

– Pvt George C Boyle, Co. C; afterward listed as AWOL to December 1862 with no later military record.

– Pvt William S. Mount, Co. H; “left at Leesburg bare footed.” Largely absent, sick or wounded through 1863; captured or surrendered in Vicksburg, MS in October 1863 (while on furlough?). Released from Alton Prison, IL on 6 April 1864 after taking oath of allegiance.

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