History of the 48th Alabama Infantry Regiment
by Stephen Lunsford


The 48th Alabama Infantry Regiment was organized for three years of service at Auburn, Alabama on May 22, 1862. Forty-two-year-old Colonel James Lawrence Sheffield was placed in command of the regiment, with Abner Hughes as lieutenant colonel and Enoch Alldredge as major. The regiment numbered 1097 officers and men at the time of its formation. Sheffield was born the same year Alabama became a state and worked in many occupations before the war, including store clerk, deputy sheriff, and farmer. Most notably he served in the state legislature and also the Alabama Secession Convention, where he originally opposed an rebellion. Once Alabama seceded, he sided with the state and spent $60,000 of his own money to outfit and supply the 48th Alabama. Alldredge had joined the regiment along with five of his sons and one son-in-law, Alvin Dickson. Dickson had married Miss Missouri Alabama Alldredge exactly a year before the war and upon joining the 48th, he advanced rapidly through the ranks. The companies of the regiment came from DeKalb, Blount, Marshall, Cherokee, and Calhoun Counties. The titles of each company were as follows: The “Jackson Boys” (Company A), the “Mills Valley Guards” (Company B), the “Mountain Rangers” (Company C), the “Sheffield Guards” (Company D), the “Jacksonians” (Company E), the “Jeff Davis Boys” (Company F), the “Elisha King Guards” (Company G), the “Cherokee Grays” (Company H), the “Newman Pound Guards” (Company I), and the “Moore Rifles (Company K). The 47th Alabama Regiment was organized at Loachapoka, Alabama on the same day as the 48th, and they would spend the remainder of their service together. The volunteers were mostly young and inexperienced. One of the young recruits was Henry S. Figures,of Huntsville, Alabama, who would be a future adjutant of the regiment. A year earlier he had written to his family of the chaotic secession fever in Montgomery, Alabama.

On May 9, 1861, Figures wrote, “I had the honor of meeting General G.T. Beauregard yesterday. He has been here several days. I don't know where he is going....Senator Hunter of Virginia was expected lst night but did not come. Mr. Russell, the celebrated correspondent of the 'London Times', is here.... I have given up hope of the Capitol being removed to Huntsville. I think it will probably go to Richmond very shortly. The cannon was fired in honor of Tennessee & Arkansas day before yesterday. There is such a crowd of strangers here that the hotels...are crowded so that the reading room is filled up with cots....The 'Continentals' an Artillery Company for Mobile arrived day before yesterday on their way to Pensacola. Five more companies came up yesterday evening going to Virginia, I think. There has been several fights in the city this week...This is the hottest place I was ever in.”

Henry Figures would find himself bound for Virginia a little more than a year later and upon reaching the battlefield, he would probably change his mind about the hottest place he had been in.

The regiment was fairly new to the war, having missed major engagements in the Eastern and Western Theaters at First Manassas, Wilson's Creek, Shiloh, and the Peninsula Campaign. Though they had not lost any men in combat, members of the regiment had already succumbed to disease, including young Private Amon Sparks, of Company C. Sparks was only a member of the regiment for a month when he died of measles in Auburn on May 15.

The Alabamians, along with their sister regiment, the 47th Alabama, were ordered to Virginia in June 1862. The two Alabama regiments were added to the brigade of Brigadier General William Taliaferro, as part of Stonewall Jackson's Corps. Taliaferro's Brigade consisted of the 10th Virginia, 23rd Virginia, 37th Virginia, 47th Alabama, and the 48th Alabama. The Virginia troops were already hardened veterans and the Alabamians were participating in their first campaign.


In the summer of 1862, General Robert E. Lee was anxious to get the Federal pressure off of Richmond and on ground of their own choosing. Federal Major General John Pope was given command of the newly organized Army of Virginia in late June, and his first task was to take central Virginia. In response to Pope's threat, Lee sent Stonewall Jackson's force of nearly 14,000 men towards Gordonsville. In early August, Pope's army marched south into Culpeper County to capture the railroad junction at Gordonsville. Jackson's columns were likewise marching towards Culpeper County on August 8. There was much confusion in orders that day, and somehow Taliaferro's Brigade took up the march while the two Alabama regiments remained in camp. The 47thand 48th Alabama regiments did not leave camp till nearly an hour before sundown. They marched six miles, stopped, and then set up camp again. The Alabamians managed to re-join Taliaferro's Brigade in time for the morning march of August 9. The brigade stepped off at 8am, with the 48th Alabama as the second regiment in line of march. The 100 degree heat, lack of sufficient sleep, and lack of good water plagued the column, as many men fell out on the road. Jackson's men finally ran into Federals under General Nathaniel Banks at Cedar Mountain that same day. As the two armies commenced an artillery duel, the 48th Alabama and Taliaferro's exhausted brigade marched towards the left flank of Jackson's lines. As the brigade marched down the Culpeper Road, they were subjected to enemy artillery fire; the first time the Alabamians had been fired upon. While the veteran Virginia regiments cautiously marched into the protection of the woods, parallel to the road, the Alabamians remained on the road, and managed to dodge, or escape, the enemy artillery shells. When they reached their position in the woods behind the Confederate artillery, the brigade halted and waited for further orders. As they waited, they were subjected to the terrific fire of the Federal batteries, which shot up the trees and branches above their heads. Some Virginia veterans recalled that it was the most destructive artillery fire they had been subjected too. By around 5:30pm, the brigade received orders to fill a gap near the center of the Confederate lines, and advance out of the woods. While the Alabamians had witnessed a barrage of fire in the woods, they were worried at what awaited them out of the woods. Fortunately, as the brigade at advanced, there was a lull in the artillery duel. The 48th Alabama was on the extreme right of Taliaferro's brigade with Jubal Early's Virginia brigade on their right. Around this same time, Confederate division commander, Brigadier General Charles Winder was struck by an enemy shell and carried off the field. Brigadier General William Taliaferro replaced him in command, even though he was not fully aware of the remaining plans for the battle. The Confederate left flank in the woods was very weak but Taliaferro, who was greatly disliked by General Jackson, focused most of his attention on the right flank.


When Taliaferro had taken over command of the division, his 53-year-old uncle, Colonel Alexander Taliaferro took command of his brigade, who incidentally was fighting near his own property. Many subordinates in Jackson's army disliked the Taliaferro's and their brigade. Jackson's map-maker, Jedidiah Hotchkiss, through that the brigade was not the best the army could offer and noted that Taliaferro lacked “particular essentials for an attacking leader.” A lot of the disrespect was pointed towards the two Alabama regiment. Although they were inexperienced, the 47thAlabama held the left flank of the brigade while the 48th held the right; two crucial positions for inexperienced troops.

At around 6pm on August 9, Brigadier General Christopher Augur's Federal division made an assault. Brigadier General John Geary's Federal brigade advanced directly in front of Taliaferro's brigade. The Confederates were on a slight rise and had a good range on the Federals, putting heavy fire into them. The 47th & 48th Alabama began to take fire as well but managed to hold their positions. Colonel Sheffield had not been well in the days leading to the battle, but took to the field anyway, although he went down wounded. The whole 48th chain of command began to take hits, as Major Enoch Alldredge, one of the oldest men in the regiment, and Adjutant Thomas Harris also went down wounded. Major Alldredge would not recover from his wounds and his son, Jesse Alldredge, would take his place. The 48th was taking many casualties in the ranks as well and Sergeant John Taylor recalled the battle was “one of the most terrific of the war for the time it lasted.”

While the Alabamians and their comrades continued to fight against Geary's men, General Taliaferro inspected his weaker left flank in the woods, held by Colonel Thomas Garnett's brigade. No sooner had Taliaferro left the position in satisfaction, the Federal brigade of Colonel Samuel Crawford managed to flank Garnett and start driving him through the woods. What resulted was a chain reaction of collapse that moved all the way towards the 47th Alabama on Taliaferro's left flank. Crawford's Federals emerged from the woods and poured a deadly flanking fire into the Alabamians. The inexperienced Alabamians were forced into disorder and soon an entire rout. The 48th Alabama likewise was routed and fled towards the rear. Lieutenant Colonel Abner Hughes had taken over command of the 48th, after Sheffield and Alldredge were wounded. Although the regiment had lost control, Hughes noted that the 48th “behaved gallantly, it being the first time they had been under fire.” While Hughes was supportive of his men, the Virginians were slightly more critical. One Virginia wrote that the Alabamians “had not been drilled” and that they “ran like turkeys when they got into the heat of this battle....Raw men can't stand that kind of music.” A Virginia artilleryman recalled that the Alabamians fled in a “stampedy mass” but justified their action as “that which would permit them to fight some other day.” Stonewall Jackson himself was furious at the route of half his forces and he later issued an order to each company commander to provide a full list of every man who had behaved in cowardly fashion. Once the Alabamians withdrew, their Virginia comrades were forced to fall back as well, though they managed to withdraw in a more orderly fashion.

Although disaster for the Confederates seemed imminent, the timely arrival of reinforcements from General A.P. Hill's Light Division as well as Stonewall Jackson's actions in rallying his men turned the tide. By nightfall, the Confederates were securing the flank and driving the Federals back. Fragments of Taliaferro's brigade managed to regroup and re-join the battle, but did not engage much, although they captured a few Federal prisoners. The small, but bloody battle had cost the two Alabama regiments 170 combined casualties. The 48th Alabama had put 450 men on the field, but lost 15 men killed, and 58 wounded, including most of its command staff. Captain David R. King was mortally wounded in the battle but held on to life till November 26. Lieutenant Colonel Hughes would resign from command only two months later. The 48th Alabama had received a hostile welcome to the war. Alvin Dixon, of Company A, may not have known it at the time, but just two weeks after the battle, his wife gave birth to their first child; a daughter named Martha Idella. It was a cherished blessing in the midst of war.

Three weeks after Cedar Mountain, the fighting shifted towards Manassas, the same battlefield where the war began. There is little known of the 48th Alabama's actions in the Confederate victory at Second Manassas on August 30. The Alabamians were still part of Colonel A.G. Taliaferro's brigade, which held Stonewall Jackson's right flank in the railroad cut. The brigade was on the right of Jackson's Old Stonewall Brigade. They were in this position at 3pm in the afternoon when Federal General Fitz-John Porter launched his massive assault on Jackson's lines. Colonel Henry Weeks' Federal brigade attacked Taliaferro's brigade in a close-order fire-fight. The Confederates were in the railroad cut and the Federals were directly below, with both sides taking shot at one another at close range. While again, not much is known of the Alabamians actions in this battle, what we do know is that they sustained 50 casualties. Among the dead was Captain Moses Lee, of Company K from Calhoun County. Captain Jesse Alldredge was wounded but was promoted after the battle for meritorious conduct on the field. The 48th was beginning to come together as a unit and perform with better conduct on the field.

On September 15, the 48th Alabama participated in the siege and capture of Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. Soon afterward they participated in Lee's invasion on Maryland and found themselves on the field of battle at Sharpsburg, Md on September 17. Taliaferro's brigade was now commanded by Colonel E.T.H. Warren and was down to only 500 effective troops for the battle. Throughout the day of September 16, the 48th Alabama and many other units of Stonewall Jackson's Corps, had bivouacked in the West Woods, above the town of Sharpsburg. They spent the night in the West Woods and awoke to the “bloodiest day” of the Civil War. In the early morning, the Federals of Major General Joseph Hooker's 1st Corps launched an attack on Jackson's position. The Federals came from the East Woods and the Confederates came from the West Woods, and as a result the two forces met in the middle at a cornfield. Warren's Brigade and Brigadier General William Starke's Louisiana Brigade remained in the woods while the rest of Brigadier General J.R. Jones' division engaged the Federals in the Cornfield. Colonel A.J. Grigsby's small brigade of 200 men was taking heavy casualties and was being forced back by such hardened Federals as The Iron Brigade. Around 7am, the remainder of Jones' division, including the 48th Alabama, along with General John Bell Hood's division, counterattacked Hooker's 1st Corps units. Jones had been wounded and Starke took his place, only to be killed soon after. Warren's brigade and Starke's Louisianans double-quicked out of the West Woods, and when a courier from Jackson urged them on, their pace quickened. The 48th Alabama and Warren's brigade charged towards the Federals along the Hagerstown Pike. Unfortunately, the Federal artillery had started pounding the two fresh brigades as soon as they left the woods. By the time they reached the road and the Cornfield, most companies had already been torn to pieces. When Hood's division made its assault, the survivors of Jones' division gradually made their way off the field; their attack had only resulted in adding to the already increasing casualty list. Jones' small division of 1600 men had sustained over 600 casualties. Warren and Starke had made their attack with over 1000 men and lost over 400. On the Civil War's “Bloodiest Day”, the 48th Alabama had lost 10 men killed and 33 wounded. Among the dead was Captain Robert Golightly and Captain John Wigginton was among the wounded. Since August, the regiment had sustained over 150 battle casualties. Lee's forces withdrew back to Virginia to regroup.

As the regiment recovered from the wounds of August and September, the war grew quiet as both armies prepared for the next major campaign. During the interim, Major Enoch Alldredge resigned due to the severity of his wounds from Cedar Mountain. For meritorious conduct on the field of battle at Second Manassas, Enoch's son, Jesse Alldredge, was promoted to lieutenant-colonel, but he was still suffering from wounds received at the same battle. Captain Willaim Hardwick, of Company H, became major of the regiment. Lee's army had reverted back to a defensive strategy in late 1862, and now a Federal offensive campaign was in the making. General Ambrose Burnside had taken command of the Army of the Potomac and with over 100,000 men was making his way towards Lee's lines at Fredericksburg, Va. Between Burnside and Lee was the Rappahannock River. Lee's forces had taken defensive positions on the heights beyond the town. Burnside's forces crossed the river on December 11, and two days later the Federals assaulted the Confederate lines on the heights. The 48th Alabama, the remainder of Warren's brigade, and Taliaferro's division were all in a reserve position at Jackson's lines during the battle. With General A.P. Hill's Light Division on his main line, Jubal Early's division and William Taliaferro's divisions were in position in reserve on Hill's right and left. Jackson and Taliaferro did not get along and the general regretted placing the subordinate in charge of his old division. The 48th Alabama was led by Captain Columbus B. St. John during the battle and the regiment was placed on the right of Warren's brigade, which took position directly behind the Stonewall Brigade.

Throughout the day, the Federals launched assaults on the Confederate lines, only to be met with murderous volleys and defeat. However, around 1pm, the Federal division of General George Meade managed to break Hill's lines and pour through the gap. While Meade had made some headway, his men had already taken heavy casualties and were losing ammo. Jackson sent his reserves, including the 48th Alabama to plug the gap. The Federals were driven back and no more success was met by the Federals that day. Acting as more of a reserve unit throughout the battle, the Alabamians were not as heavily engaged. One of the casualties was Private Daniel Wilson Hammett. Hammett, and his brothers Perry and Tilman, had joined the “Wills Valley Guards” which became Company B of the 48th. Daniel Hammett was mortally wounded and died on January 1, 1863. His wife gave birth to their second child just one week before his death.

The year 1863 brought much change for the 48th Alabama. On January 19, as a result of Lee's Special Orders No. 19, the regiment was merged into a newly formed Alabama Brigade, under Brigadier General Evander Law. The brigade consisted of the 4th, 15th, 44th, 47th , and 48th Alabama infantry regiments. In February, the Alabama Brigade, and the majority of General James Longstreet's command, were dispatched to southern Virginia and coastal North Carolina to forage for provisions, defend railroad communications, and if possible, take the Federal garrison at Suffolk, Va. The 48th Alabama served in the Suffolk Campaign from April 11-May 6. While the Confederates succeeded in most of their objectives, they failed to capture Suffolk. The 48thAlabama suffered light loss in the campaign, however Captain Samuel Cox died in service on April 27. Longstreet's command missed the Chancellorsville Campaign but were recalled to the Army of Northern Virginia on May 6. Upon rejoining Lee's forces, the 48th Alabama went through additional command changes. While Colonel Sheffield retained command, Major William Hardwick was promoted to lieutenant-colonel on June 17 and Captain C.B. St. John was made major. Lieutenant Colonel Jesse Alldredge never fully recovered from his wounds suffered at Second Manassas and he finally resigned in June, returning to Northern Alabama as a recruiting officer. Sheffield was the long term commander of the 48th, but his only previous engagement was at Cedar Mountain where he was wounded. Lieutenant Colonel Hardwick was likewise not fully experienced for his position, but nonetheless the regiment had transformed into a hardened fighting unit.

At the outset of the Gettysburg Campaign in late June, Law's Alabama Brigade was part of Major General John Bell Hood's division, of Lieutenant General James Longstreet's newly dubbed “First Corps”. As the Alabamians marched north towards Pennsylvania, they passed the very battlefield where they had first shed blood at Cedar Mountain. One Alabamian wrote that they passed the battlefield “with feelings of sadness saw some of the bones of our dead comrades who fell there, which were exposed by the rains.” The hogs and rains had been the biggest culprits and Colonel Sheffield sent work details to cover the exposed bones. During the march, there was much speculation and rumors as to their actual destination and the whereabouts of the Federal army. Adjutant Figures received the truth from a Confederate surgeon, that Lee's army was indeed bound for Maryland and Pennsylvania. The march was long, hard, and difficult and Private John Anderson, of Company K, wrote, “We crossed the creeks and rivers as we come to them, just like horses, without stripping anything a-tall we waded in. Our clothes had to dry on our bodies when they did a-tall.”

On June 26, while camped on the march, a private from Company K went to a nearby spring to fill his large kettle. After dipping the kettle in the pool, he lost his balance while attempting to lift it, and in the process lost his hat. The private searched unsuccessfully for the hat and staggered out of the pool with his kettle. While he had lost the shade on his head, of more value was water, which was greatly needed for the long march in the summer heat.

The following day of June 27, the Alabama Brigade marched through Greencastle, Pa. Colonel Sheffield ordered the regimental musicians to play the “Bonnie Blue Flag”. People lined the streets, mostly out of curiosity, to gaze at the soldiers of the Deep South who were invading their land. Among the spectators was a well-dressed man, flanked by two lady companions, who watched from a fence post. A hat-less Alabamian, perhaps the same poor fellow who had lost his hat while fetching water, stealthily made his way to an arm's length away from the spectators and quickly plucked the hat off the gentleman's head and disappeared in the column before the man and his lady companions could realize what happened.

General Law halted and encamped the brigade at Chambersburg, Pa, but on receiving word that the Federal army was now in pursuit and perhaps out of safety, Law ordered the 4th and 48thregiments to remain two miles behind to guard the commissary stores at the small community of Scotland. The two Alabama regiments set up camp opposite a large dwelling place occupied by a family with two daughters. The family proved to be very friendly with the Alabamians and would frequently visit their camp. Many of the men were captivated by the beauty and charm of the daughters and Adjutant Figures wrote to his sister, that they were almost as pretty as the women of Huntsville, AL. While encamped, Sheffield ordered regimental muster rolls and dispositions. Clothes and military appearance were noted as “bad”, while arms and accouterments were noted as “good”, and morale and spirit of the men was high. Some position changes were made as well: Captain Thomas Eubanks, of Company D, demoted First Sergeant Jonathan Gross. While a replacement was not chosen right away, A.J. Turner would fill the position's gap during the coming battle. Private Henry Fortenberry, of Company H, was granted permission by General Lee to return to the ranks after being arrested for desertion in May. Fortenberry was a proven veteran and was granted a second chance which he fulfilled and remained committed to the regiment till the surrender at Appomattox.

On the morning of June 30, the 4th and 48th Alabama were ordered to rejoin the brigade in Chambersburg. The day was cloudy and rainy and as the men marched through Chambersburg, they did not receive as kind a welcome as Scotland but were met with insults and hostility. There was a considerable distance between Law's Brigade and the rest of the Confederate army. All throughJuly 1 and the morning of July 2, the Alabamians made a forced march towards Gettysburg.

On July 2, from Sheffield's official report, the 48th Alabama marched 20 miles from New Guilford, Pa all the way to the their position before the Round Tops at the southern end of the battlefield. The Alabamians, along with the rest of Major General John Bell Hood's division, were ordered to attack and seize the high ground on the Federal left flank, consisting of places called Devil's Den, Little Round Top, and Big Round Top.

The Order of Battle for the Alabama Brigade at Gettysburg was as follows:

Brigadier General Evander Law, commanding, 1933 men.

4th Alabama Infantry, Colonel Lawrence Scruggs commanding 346 men.

15th Alabama Infantry, Colonel William Oates commanding, 499 men.

44th Alabama Infantry, Colonel William Perry commanding, 363 men.

47th Alabama Infantry, Colonel James Jackson commanding, 347 men.

48th Alabama Infantry, Colonel James Sheffield commanding, 374 men.

Law's Brigade was positioned as so from left to right: the 4th Alabama, 47th Alabama, 15th Alabama, 44th Alabama, and 48th Alabama. The 48th had just formed on line when Law ordered the regiment to send out skirmishers on the brigade's right flank. Sheffield sent Companies A and H to fulfill the task, however they would not rejoin the regiment till the end of the battle. The brigade formed behind the crest of Seminary Ridge, east of the Emmitsburg Road, and was the extreme right of the Army of Northern Virginia. The Alabamians advanced at a quick pace and had to be slowed down, even though they had just completed a forced march and were extremely low on water. The 44th and 48th regiments, on the extreme right, moved through the woods and rocks of the Bushman's Woods, which slowed their advance. As the brigade advanced, the left flank was taking harassing fire from Federal artillery at Devil's Den. Because the 44th and 48th had stalled with their obstacles, Law ordered the rest of the brigade forward towards the Round Tops, but pulled the two regiments from the right of the line to the left to take care of the threat at Devil's Den.

As the two regiments shifted left, they filed in behind the 4th and 5th Texas regiments which were assaulting Devil's Den on the left of Law's Brigade. The 44th Alabama moved directly towards the Den while the 48th moved to its right. The Federals opposing them were the 4th New York artillery battery under Captain James Smith and the Federal infantry brigade of Brigadier General J. Hobart Ward. The Alabamians were under heavy fire from the Federal cannon and Private John Anderson, Co. K, 48th Alabama, noted “the shot and shell fell like hail whistling around on every side.” Anderson received shrapnel wounds in his leg, arm, and forehead during the attack.

The 44th and 48th moved into the Plum Run Valley towards the Federal guns. Colonel Perry's 44th regiment had been pulled off the line first with orders to capture the Federal artillery and the 48th soon followed in support. The regimental commanders had not been informed of the brigade's battle plans and so both regiments acted independently in their assault.

At 4:30pm, the Alabamians joined in on the fight for Devil's Den, engaging the 4th Maine Infantry. Colonel Sheffield noted that the regiment advanced over a “very rough and rugged road—the worst cliffs of rocks there could have been traveled over.” The 44th had taken cover amongst the rocks and woods, however, the 48th, to the right, emerged from the woods into the open ground between the rocks and Little Round Top. The Maine regiment refused its left to counter the 48th's advance and a sharp fire-fight ensued with the 48th suffering heavily from their exposed position. The 48th was receiving artillery from the New York artillery, the 4th Maine, elements of Ward's brigade, as well as fire from the Round Tops. The 48th fought the Federal infantry with only 20 paces between them. The left of the regiment was in the exposed area later called “The Slaughter Pen” and was driven back, while the right flank was able to hold its position.

The 4th Maine began to give way, but the New York artillery continued to punish the Alabamians. The 48th was so intent on taking the guns that they seemed to forget the flanking musketry fire from the Federal infantry. The regimental flag went down three times. Adjutant Henry Figures saw the flag lying on the ground, and picking it up, temporarily served as color-bearer. Throughout the battle Figures served where he was needed, sometimes using a musket to fire at the enemy and at other times seeing that the men stayed in line. While his actions proved heroic, young Figures was impressed by the Round Tops, claiming it was the steepest hill he had ever seen. The 48th Alabama finally broke and fell back to the cover of the woods. Colonel Sheffield rallied the regiment and prepared for another assault.

The Alabamians renewed their attack on Devil's Den and the 44th Alabama captured the Federal artillery, only to be driven back by a Federal counterattack. With support from the other brigades of Hood's Division, Devil's Den was finally captured and held by the Confederates. At around 5:30pm, with the rocks secured, the 44th and 48th, along with the 4th and 5th Texas, moved north through the Plum Run Valley to strike the Federal right flank on Little Round Top, hoping to ease the pressure off of the rest of the Alabama Brigade. The Texans had already assaulted Little Round Top without success, but now with the support of the Alabamians, hoped to finally take the hill once and for all. The 48th Alabama had engaged the Federals for over one and a half hours. Sheffield had avoided death, being struck three times in four assaults without being wounded. The timely arrival of Brigadier General Stephen Weed's fresh Federal brigade on the right secured the hill and drove the Confederates back.

The 48th Alabama was repulsed at around 6:15pm. General Hood had been wounded during the battle and Law took over division command, and Sheffield, as senior colonel, was given command of the brigade. Captain Thomas Eubanks took command of the regiment. The 48th Alabama had made four assaults that day but now withdrew to the cover of Houck's Ridge and later moved south of Devil's Den.

By nightfall of July 2, the Confederates held Devil's Den, the southern end of Houck's Ridge, and the north-western slopes of Big Round Top, but they had failed to secure the heights. Companies A and H of the 48th, which had deployed as skirmishers at the outset of the battle, rejoined the regiment at nightfall. The small force had accomplished very little and would have helped the 48th in their many assaults where they would have been more useful. Lieutenant Alvin Dixon, Co. A, 48th Alabama, recalled that the two companies passed around Big Round Top and drove in some enemy pickets, but Federal regiment of Pennsylvania Reserves drove them back near the Jacob Weikart farm. The Alabamians fell back to the woods on the eastern slope of Big Round Top where they eventually reunited with the rest of the regiment.

Captain Jeremiah Edwards , Co. F, 48th Alabama, along with 23 men of the 4th and 48th regiments were ordered to post pickets on Big Round Top during the night. Unfortunately, the Alabamians were captured by Federal infantry. Lieutenant John Eubanks, of the 48th's Company F, was among the captured. At the prisoner of war camp, the Blountsville, Alabama native insisted to the Federal authorities that he was a Union sympathizer and offered to fight for them. The Federals did not believe his story and perhaps Eubanks hoped to secure an early departure. Nonetheless, Eubanks and Edwards remained in prison till the end of the war.

Private John Anderson, himself wounded in the day's fight, wrote to his wife of the horror's of the battle's aftermath: “It was an awful scene to see and hear the shrieks and groanings of the poor dying soldiers on my right and on my left and before and behind and all around me.” Anderson also noted that the battle was the “bloodiest fight of the war” and thought that he was “doing well to get off the field alive while others were falling around me dead and dying.”

On July 3, the Alabama Brigade held the extreme right of the Army of Northern Virginia. The brigade was positioned from left to right: the 44th Alabama, 48th Alabama, 4th Alabama, 47thAlabama, and 15th Alabama. The Alabamians remained in the concealment of the rocks and woods for the majority of the day, trading shots with the Federals on the Round Tops. Lieutenant John Sheppard, Co.B, 48th Alabama, was hit during the day, probably by a Federal sharpshooter.

In his official report, Sheffield praised many of the officers of the 48th. Lieutenants Reuben Ewing and Francis Burk and Captains Thomas Eubanks and Jeremiah Edwards were noted for their gallantry in leading their men. Lieutenant Colonel William Hardwick and Major Columbus St. John were noted for their efficiency. The 48th Alabama lost 8 killed, 67 wounded, and 15 missing in the Battle of Gettysburg; 8 officers were wounded and 2 were missing. All told the 48th suffered 102 casualties of the 374 men engaged. Among the wounded officers were Lieutenant Colonel Hardwick, Major St. John, and Captain Eubanks.

Adjutant Henry Figures noted some of the casualties in a letter home, writing that among the dead and wounded were “...Captain Leftwich, Tom Danier, and Jim Duff. Tell Mr. Leftwich that I have his son's sword and will send it to him as soon as I have an opportunity.” Figures was referring to his friend, 21-year-old Captain William Leftwich, of the 4th Alabama, who was mortally wounded in the battle.

Overall, the Alabama Brigade lost 500 of its 1933 men. The 4th Alabama lost 87 men, the 15th Alabama lost 171 men, the 44th Alabama lost 94 men, the 47th Alabama lost 44 men, and the 48th Alabama lost 102 men.

During the retreat from Gettysburg, beginning on July 4, many supplies and men were captured by pursuing Federal cavalry. Lieutenant James Ridgeway, of the 48th's Company D, was among the captured. He was later exchanged on October 31, 1864 but did not return to service.

While historians on both sides still argue and investigate the results and mistakes of the Battle of Gettysburg, there were many decisions by the Alabama officers which would remain in their minds forever. Many officers, including Colonel William Oates, later noted that had the 48th Alabama not moved to the left towards Devil's Den, they may have helped drive the Federals from the Round Tops, securing them for the Army of Northern Virginia.