This is the Canteen Capt Mitchell used during the Civil War. It is in the hands
of Melissa Mitchell a descendent of Captain Mitchell. The canteen was
usually made of brass or copper or other alloy that inhibited corrosion.
At the top is the filling and pouring spout. The other brackets are for
attaching the leather strap which went around his neck and shoulders. It was
generally flat because they had to wear it close their person and often below
their clothing during hard freezes to keep the water from turning into hard ice.
This was a major part of the soldiers basic survival gear.
Photos signed Grandfather and Grandma.
MITCHELL, William T. (Capt.) 1835 - 1921. (Died Osceola, Ark.; 1st Lt., Co B,
3rd Inf., C.S.A.), Block "A"
MITCHELL, Ellen May Davis, 1847 - 1921. (wife of William T. Mitchell; Dau.
Ephraim & Eliza Allen Davis.) Block "A"
William T. Mitchell's Civil War Company B, 3rd Tennessee Infantry, 1861-1865
The 3rd (Clack's) Regiment Tennessee Infantry was organized in May 16,1861 near
Lynnville, Tennessee. They ride the train to Nashville where they receive their
percussive-lock muskets and are individually inspected for fitness for duty. It
is here that William T. Mitchell would have been elected as a jr. 2nd
lieutenant. The regiment then goes into camp at Camp Cheatham about four miles
from Springfield, Tennessee. Apparently there is a lot of illness there,
especially measles, typhoid, and something called "camp fever," which
consists of chills, indigestion, dysentery, and sometimes pneumonia. Many men
die, but it is considered a good thing to "weed out the weak" before
going into battle so they would not endanger the lives of the stronger men. The
days are long and dull, with much drilling and routine.
By July 31,1861 the roster shows 885 men present in the regiment.
The 3rd Tennessee joins Confederate service August 7,1861 at Camp Trousdale near
Gallatin, Tennessee. On September 21st, the regiment moves camp to Bowling
Green, Kentucky. It is from here that the regiment first goes looking for
federal troops and eventually encounters some action. This being "Lincolnite"
country, the troops find the inhabitants to be very hostile.
The regiment arrives at Fort Donelson on February 8,1862 with 750 men present.
Wm. T. Mitchell is sick in quarters and absent during battle of Fort Donelson,
February 12-16,1862. The regiment suffers 73 casualties out of 743 present.
Wm. T. Mitchell is captured at Fort Donelson February 16,1862. The fort had been
commanded by a particularly inept general, manned by mostly green troops who
were outnumbered 5 to 1.
On February 17,1861 the regiment heads for St. Louis via the Cumberland, Ohio
and Mississippi rivers, arriving on February 20th. Wm. T. Mitchell is admitted
to City USA General Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri February 21,1862. Complaint:
rheumatismus. He remains behind while on the 27th his regiment boards trains
that will take it to Columbus, Ohio and the prison at Camp Chase. Several
hundred members of the regiment, in ill health and worried about their families
at home in Federal hands, apply to take an oath of allegiance to the Union in
order to win release. Many, however, are motivated to do this because they
believe the South can not win the war.
Wm. T. Mitchell is discharged from the hospital on March 6 or 8,1862 and ordered
to report to Columbus, Ohio as a prisoner of war and to be imprisoned Camp
Chase, Prison No. 2. He signs an oath that he will report to the commanding
officer there and "not furnish any aid or information to the enemies of the
As of April 8,1862, he has not reported to prison yet.
Wm. T. Mitchell is transferred to Johnson's Island, April 26,1862. He appears on
a descriptive roll of prisoners of war at Camp Chase, Ohio, but Johnson's
Island, Sandusky, Ohio was completed towards the end of April to relieve
overcrowding at Camp Chase.
On September 1,1862 Wm. T. Mitchell, along the rest of the regiment, is released
and sent to Vicksburg, Mississippi. Regiment is officially released there on
Wm. T. Mitchell is reelected jr. 2nd It. after reorganization September 26,1862
at Jackson, Mississippi. There are 607 men present in the regiment at that time.
On October 7,1863 the regiment is ordered to Holly Springs, Mississippi. It is
driven back by federal troops.
In November 1863 the regiment is in retreat at Abbeville, Mississippi. Wm. T.
Mitchell is present at battle of Springdale, Mississippi, in which federal
troops take the rebels by surprise.
By the middle of December the regiment is in Grenada, Mississippi. During the
retreat most of the tents, clothing, and other camping equipment are lost. On
December 24, Jeff Davis, the president of the Confederacy, arrives to review the
rebel forces. The review is interrupted by orders for the regiment to move to
Vicksburg, the capital of the Confederacy. Union troops are determined to take
the city and secure the Mississippi River.
Wm. T. Mitchell is present at battle of Chickasaw Bayou, December 27-29,1862.
The battle ends in victory for the Rebs, and many Union soldiers are taken
prisoner. The Union Army withdraws from the Vicksburg area by gunboats while
Rebel rifles fire on them from the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi.
(Mitchell appears on company muster for August 1,1862 to January 1,1863)
On January 6,1863 the regiment arrives in Port Hudson, Louisiana, on the east
bank of the Mississippi, about 22 miles above Baton Rouge, the advance post of
the Union army.
On January 29,1863, Mitchell receives 160.00 for April 7,1862 to June 7,1862.
(It seems he received his regular pay even though he was imprisoned during that
time.) January and February pass peacefully, although the regiment expects
action toward the end of February. The men hear of movement of Federal troops
within sight of Port Hudson on the west side of the river. The Union army is
still determined to take Vicksburg. Getting adequate provisions is a daily
struggle. The surrounding countryside is quickly depleted of food and other
necessary supplies. However, the southern troops know that enlistments for Union
soldiers are up soon and are not expected to reenlist. This fuels hopes for an
end to the war by June, but these hopes are dashed by news of Lincoln's
conscription act. Mail from home has difficulty reaching the men.
Wm. T. Mitchell is present of bombardment at Port Hudson, Louisiana, March 14,
1863, an effort to open up the Mississippi. Throughout March and April, Union
forces make several attempts to push up the river. On May 1, the regiment is
ordered to Jackson. Union troops threaten Vicksburg's rear.
Wm. T. Mitchell appears on company muster for May and June 1863 as present
Wm. T. Mitchell is present at battle of Raymond, May 12,1863. The regiment
suffers 187 casualties out of 548 soldiers present. The regiment falls back and
begins several weeks of marching and countermarching in and around the Vicksburg
and Jackson areas.
By early July news reaches the regiment of the fall of Vicksburg on July 4,1863.
News of the bloody battle of Gettysburg and heavy Confederate losses reaches
them by the middle of July.
Wm. T. Mitchell is present at siege of Jackson, Mississippi, July 9-16,1863. The
regiment suffers 22 casualties and is down to 366. The regiment is ordered to
evacuate Jackson and begin moving eastward. On July 19th the regiment receives 2
months' pay, although it is nearly 12 months in arrears. Wm. T. Mitchell
receives 80.00 as payment for services from June 1 to June 30,1863. He appears
on the company muster roll for June 30 to August 10,1863 as present.
On July 27th the regiment goes into camp at Enterprise near Meridian where it
will remain for some time.
Wm. T. Mitchell is promoted 2nd It. at promotion of M.T. West, September 8,1863
Wm. T. Mitchell was present at battle of Chickamauga, September 19-20,1863. The
regiment is down to 274 men.
Wm. T. Mitchell appears on company muster roll for September and October 1863 as
sick in quarters
On October 19,1863 he receives 160.00 from quartermaster John D. Flautt for
March 7,1863 to May 7,1863
Wm. T. Mitchell was in Floyd House and Ocmulgee Hospitals, Macon, Georgia,
Chattanooga Station, November 7,1863. Complaint: dysentery
Wm. T. Mitchell appears on company muster roll for November and December 1863 as
Wm. T. Mitchell is present at battle of Missionary Ridge, November 25,1863. The
regiment suffers four casualties out of 195 engaged in the battle.
On December 7,1863 the regiment is encamped between Tunnel Hill and Dalton. It
is an exceptionally cold winter for the South, although by the end of January
the weather has improved.
On December 12,1863 Wm. T. Mitchell receives 240.00 from Captain John D. Flautt,
the regiment's quartermaster, for services for September 1,1863 to November
Wm. T. Mitchell appears on company muster roll for January and February 1864 as
On February 7 ,1864 the regiment encamps at Rome, Georgia but is ordered back to
the Tunnel Hill/Dalton area three weeks later. It remains here until April 26th,
then moves five miles north towards Ringgold. It is pushed back by Sherman's
army towards Reseca by the middle of May. On May 14th the Confederates,
including the 3rd Tennessee, fought back but ultimately could not prevent
Sherman's relentless march to Atlanta.
Wm. T. Mitchell appears not to have participated in any further action by the
3rd Tennessee. He is court-martialed and tenders his resignation in September
About April 9th, 1865 regiment is consolidated with other remaining regiments
and forms the 4th Consolidated Regiment Tennessee Infantry. It surrenders April
26, 1865 and is paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina, May 1,1865. Fewer than 17
remain of the original 885 who were mustered in in 1861.
Wm. T. Mitchell swears the oath of allegiance on May 9,1865 at Nashville,
History and Photo sent to Mary Bob McClain Richardson by Melissa Mitchell. Some
commentary by Wayne
Austin 10 Feb 2009. Revised for personal photos 3 Mar 2009. Revised for History
of Clack's Civil War Unit 9 Oct 2009.