Alan J. Pitts
Re: 17th Ala. Inf. Regt.
Mon Jul 23 10:46:14 2001
In the spring of 1864 Captain Moreland and the 17th Alabama Infantry Regiment belonged to Cantey's Brigade. Other regiments attached to this command were the 26th and 29th Alabama, as well as the 37th Mississippi. Col. O'Neal of the 26th Alabama led the brigade during Cantey's absence. After the end of the Atlanta Campaign, Col. Charles Miller Shelley of the 30th Alabama was promoted and assigned to command of this unit.
Evidently sharpshooters of this brigade (and most others) were never organized as a separate organization. As for members of Yancey's Battalion, I have been through records of the 39th Alabama which indicate that sharpshooters from Company "B" were returned to their original companies in the 39th Alabama.
Here's the legislation which authorized sharpshooter battalions. Notice that the 17th Alabama Battalion (also known as the 1st Alabama Sharpshooter Battalion) includes two companies, not the minimum three as required by law:
CHAP. LXXII.--An Act to organize Battalions of Sharp Shooters.
April 21, 1862.
The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That the Secretary of War may cause to be organized a battalion of sharp shooters for each brigade, consisting of not less than three nor more than six companies, to be composed of men selected from the brigade or otherwise, and armed with long range muskets or rifles, said companies to be organized, and the commissioned officers therefor appointed by the President, by and with the advice, and consent of the Senate. Such battalion shall constitute parts of the brigades to which they belong, and shall have such field and staff officers as are authorized by law for similar battalions, to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
May be armed with long range muskets, etc., in the hands of troops.
SEC. 2. Be it further enacted, That for the purpose of arming the said battalion, the long range muskets and rifles in the hands of the troops, may be taken for that purpose: Provided, the Government has not at its command a sufficient number of approved long range rifles or muskets, wherewith to arm said corps.
APPROVED April 21, 1862.