Tuesday, March 12, 2013
The Missouri Brigade, and the 2nd Missouri Infantry wrote a blazing chapter of dedication, fierceness in battle, loyalty to their leaders and an undying admiration of soldiers from both sides, that led a Yankee General to write. "The Missouri Brigade are the best soldiers in the world, I only wish I had them".
After Vicksburg, the Second Missouri Infantry was combined with the Sixth Missouri and was known as the Second and the Sixth. This was duly noted on the battle flag. General Cockrell put the Missouri Battalion back together and continued to fight on. The Brigade and the 2-6 Missouri, saw action at Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia and the Atlanta campaign, with particular heroism at the battle of Allatoona Pass in Georgia.
Finally, after many months of hard fighting, the 2-6 MO Infantry, drew up before a small town in Tennessee named Franklin...."A carnival of death........"
The history of the 2-6 Missouri comes to a terrible close with this battle. The charge against artillery shot, shell and Yankee repeating rifles almost closed the history of this famous unit along with the Missouri Brigade as the men fell like leaves before a terrible hurricane. Cockrell's famed Missouri Brigade lost 60.2% of its whole strength. Missouri lost 419 men officially, out of 696 men who made the charge. This was the first time in the history of the Missouri Brigade that it had made a charge upon the enemy and failed to drive it from its works.
Other portions of the army had failed, but the Missouri Brigade, never! It was stated after, that Cockrell's Brigade had driven the farthest into the town of Franklin than any other commands, and the fame and heroism of this command constitutes the brightest chapter in the history of the Army of the Tennessee and the Army of Vicksburg. (St. Louis Star, 1904)
Although the men of the 2- 6 Missouri fought far from their homes, they were recognized for being some of the best disciplined and hardest fighters in the Southern Confederacy.
What was left of the Missouri Brigade fought on for the remainder of the war finally surrendering at Fort Blakley, Alabama on April 9, 1865.