Alfred Jefferson Vaughan, Jr. - Civil War Service

Civil War Service

When the Civil War began in 1861, Vaughan chose to follow his home and adopted states and the Confederate cause, despite his strong Unionist feelings. He raised a company of fellow Mississippians for service, however the state was unable to arm and equip them, so Vaughan led them north to Moscow, Tennessee. There his men (dubbed the "Dixie Rifles") were added to the 13th Tennessee Infantry Regiment, and Vaughan entered the Confederate Army as its captain that May. That June the regiment was reorganized, and on June 7 he was elected its lieutenant colonel.

Vaughan and his regiment first saw action during the Battle of Belmont on November 7, 1861. On December 4 he was promoted to colonel and was given command of the 13th Tennessee. He then fought during the Battle of Shiloh on April 6–7, 1862, and was lightly wounded on the first day of the battle. Vaughan's conduct in this fight has been described as: " ...he led his troops in a charge against the Union right, routing an Ohio regiment and causing a nearby battery to abandon 3 of its guns." Beginning that fall he was given brigade command in the Army of Tennessee and both its previous namings (Army of Kentucky and of Mississippi).

Recovering from the injury, Vaughan participated in the Battle of Richmond on August 29–30, and the Battle of Perryville on October 8. He also fought during the Battle of Stones River (also called the Battle of Murfreesboro) from December 31 to January 2, 1863. Vaughan's most notable service was during the Battle of Chickamauga on September 17–18, 1863, after which he was given a field promotion personally by Confederate President Jefferson Davis "for conspicuous gallentry." Vaughan was promoted to brigadier general effective November 18, 1863, "in recognition for his service to the Confederacy at Chickamauga." An account of his performance in that fight follows:

At Chickamauga he was made brigadier-general on the field, and succeeded to the command of the brigade of Preston Smith, who was killed in that battle. When he fell, Colonel Vaughan was near his side and immediately took charge of his brigade, and by skill and courage richly earned the honor bestowed upon him by the President of the Confederacy.

During the Chattanooga Campaign that followed, Vaughan fought at the Battle of Missionary Ridge on November 25, 1863. He then participated in the Atlanta Campaign of 1864, and on July 4 Vaughan led his brigade during a skirmish at Vining's Station just after the Battle of Marietta on the previous day. Up to this point he had escaped serious injury, despite having at least eight horses shot from under him in combat. However, in this fight he was severely wounded when his leg was cut off by an exploding artillery shell, ending his active military service with the Confederate States. On May 10, 1865, Vaughan was paroled from Gainesville, Alabama, and returned home.

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