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The 8th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry "The Camargo Guards"

Original 8th Tennessee

The original 8th Tennessee was organized in May 1861. Made up of men from Jackson/Putnam, Fentress, Lincoln, Moore, Marshall, Smith, and Overton Counties. The regiment was sent to training camp at Camp Trousdale in Tennessee.

The 8th was sent to western Virginia and served under Lee in his unsuccessful campaign there. Their first action was at Cheat Mountain in September of 1861. They were then assigned to Port Royal, South Carolina in December 1861, and were involved in some skirmishing there. They were transferred to Corinth, Mississippi just after Shiloh in April 1862.

Perhaps the defining moment of the 8th Tennessee occurred during the Battle of Murfreesboro (Stone's River) on December 31, 1862. As the battle rolled from the Confederate left to right, the 8th went in under the command of Colonel William L. Moore. The 8th overran the 19th U.S. Regulars, inflicting 400 causalities on the elite Union Troops, capturing 1,000 more and eleven pieces of artillery. The cost was heavy, though. Moore was dead and the 8th had lost 41 killed and 265 wounded out of 444 engaged, a loss of more than 68%. This percentage was the fifth highest loss incurred in a single battle by a Confederate regiment. It is important to note that not a single man was reported missing.

Following hard service in the Atlanta campaign, the regiments were with John Bell Hood's ill-fated offensive into Middle Tennessee. At Franklin, on November 30, 1864, they joined the suicidal charge against entrenched, cannon studded Union lines and penetrated the position just west of the Columbia Pike, near the Carter House. The Army of Tennessee effectively died at Franklin.

The regiment retreated with the army to Alabama, and then embarked to North Carolina, joining up with General Joe Johnston's last stand. They surrendered and were paroled at Greensboro eighteen days after Lee surrendered at Appomattox.