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.
"All company letters were changed at the reorganization of May 8, 1862, and those shown are the letters used after reorganization."
Company A - Captain William G. Burford, I.A. McCall, J.A. McCall, D.O. Puryear - Men from Smith County.
Company B - Captain Tim S. McHenry, James C. Chowning, W.B. Petty - Men from Overton County.
Company C - Captain A.M. Hall, B.E. Malear, William H. Blake, William D. Bonds - Men from Lincoln County.
Company D - Captain George W. Higgins, M.C. Shook, T.A. Yant - "The Norris Creek Guards" - Men from Lincoln County.
Company E - Captain Bane McKinney, N.M. Bearden, J.S. Brown - "The Comargo Guards" - Men from Lincoln County.
Company F - Captain Calvin E. Meyers, James I. Cullom - Men from Overton County, some from Fentress County.
Company G - Captain William Gore, William Sadlery, John S. Quarles - Men from Jackson County, some from Putnam County.
Company H - Captain L.T. Armstrong, A.J. B. Walker, J.B. Overstreet, Thomas Jefferson Davis - Men from Celina, Jackson County (now Clay County).
Company I - Captain James L. Bryant, Ben B. Bowers, James M. McAfee - Men from Marshall County.
Company K - Captain William Lawson Moore, W.J. Thrash, John D. Tolley, Moses B. Shores - "The Mulberry Riflemen" - Men from Lincoln and Moore Counties.
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.