Organized at Paris, Tennessee November 29, 1861. Company officers were elected. As this regiment was answering a second "call to arms", a large porportion of this regiment was made up of young men with wives and children. The regiment went into camp at Union City, Obion County, Tennessee, on December 16, 1861 at Camp Brown. The regiment was ordered to start building winter quarters, while Company "C" was detailed to guard the Mississippi and Ohio Railroad bridge over the Obion River. Before winter quarters were completed, the 46th was ordered to Island Number 10 in the Mississippi River. En route, Co. E and Co. F were left as provost guard for the town of Hickman, KY and the remaining seven companies went on to Island 10 aboard the steamer "Winchester ". While at Island Number 10, the regiment suffered severely from an outbreak of measles. It was only partially armed with shotguns, squirrel rifles and old muskets. One company only had seven guns. On February 28, 1862, the 46th was reported, not brigaded, in Major General John P. McCown's
command at Madrid Bend. On March 17, the forces at Madrid Bend were reported as Stewart's Battery, Hudson's and Wheeler's Cavalry Companies, 1st Alabama-Mississippi~Tennessee, 11th and 12th Arkansas,
1st Alabama, 40th, 46th, and 55th (Brown's) Tennessee Infantry Regiments and Terry's Arkansas Battalion.
On the Kentucky shore were the 11th and 12th Arkansas, and 4Oth and 46th Tennessee Regiments. On March 26, the 46th reported 374 present for duty, 531 present, 665 present and absent. On April 1, Brigadier General W. W. Mackall, who had just arrived at Madrid Bend to take command, reporting on the condition of his command, stated the 46th had only two companies armed, 400 present for duty, 160 armed.
Also present were the 4th Arkansas Battalion, 11th Arkansas Regiment, 4Oth, and 55th Tennessee Infantry Regiments, and two companies of cavalry. Here at Island Number 10 and Madrid Bend, began an association between the 46th and 55th Tennessee Regiments which was to last throughout the war.
On March 9th, General Polk evacuated Columbus, KY and crossed into Tennessee at Tiptonville on
March 12th and moved down the river on steamers. On the 13th, Federal gunboats arrived and shelled the Confederates for 23 days. The 46th lost two men. The 46th, along with the other troops at this point were surrendered on April 8, 1862. The two companies that were left at Hickman, KY had rejoined the regiment by this time and were also surrendered. Many of the soldiers who were unarmed built rude rafts of logs and loose lumber, escaped across Reelfoot Lake, and returned to their homes. Most of these men returned to the regiment after it's reorganization, while other joined other regiments. The enlisted men and NCO's from the 46th were sent to prison at Camps Douglas and Butler in Illinois while the officers were taken to Johnson's Island in Ohio, May 1, 1862. The regiment was exchanged at Vicksburg, Mississippi on September 23, 1862.
It moved to Jackson, Mississippi, where it was reorganized and new officers elected.
On October 26, Major General Sterling Price, commanding the Army of the West, ordered "From
General Maury's Division: 49th /55th, 42nd, 53rd, 46th Tennessee Regiments, 9th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion, 1st Mississippi, 27th Alabama Infantry Regiments to report for duty at Meridian, Mississippi."
The regiment moved to Port Hudson, Louisiana, where on January 7, 1863, it was reported in the forces commanded by Major General Frank Gardner, in Brigadier General Samuel B. Maxey's Brigade, composed
of the 42nd, 46th , 48th (Voorhies), 53rd Tennessee Regiments, and 9th Battalion consolidated under
Colonel W. A. Quarles, Miles' Legion, the 49th/5Oth Tennessee/7th Texas, 4th and 3Oth Louisiana Infantry Regiments, and three batteries. While at Port Hudson, the 46th and 55th Tennessee Regiments were permanently consolidated into one field unit, although separate muster rolls were maintained.
The 46th /55th was first commanded by Colonel A. I. Brown, of the 55th, and later by
Colonel Robert A. Owens of the 46th.
On May 7, the regiment left Port Hudson for Crystal Springs, Mississippi then to Jackson, Mississippi under the command of General Joseph E. Johnston. They were entrenched in the breastworks on the west side of town outside Vicksburg until the fall of that city on July 4, 1863. The regiment then fell back to Jackson, Mississippi. They camped a couple of weeks at Forrest Station and from there they moved and camped three weeks in Enterprise, Mississippi. The regiment then moved to Mobile, Alabama on August 30, 1863, and remained at Camp Cummings, near Mobile, until late in November, 1863. During this time Col. Quarles was promoted to Brig. Gen., placed in command, and the 46th remained in his brigade until the end of the war. The 46th / 55th was then ordered to join the Army of Tennessee in Nov. of 1863 and ordered to Chattanooga. It arrived at Ringgold, Georgia, on November 25, while the Battle of Missionary Ridge was in progress, and subsequently fell back with the Army of Tennessee to Dalton, Georgia November 27. On December 14, 1863, the 46th / 55th reported 959 effectives out of 270 present, 386 present and absent,
with 230 arms. From Dalton, the regiment was ordered back to Mobile on January 19, 1864. In Feb. the regiment was sent by rail to Meridan, MS to meet Sherman's advance. On Feb. 15th the Confederate Congress passed a resolution of appreciation to the 46th / 55th Regiments for patriotism displayed in unanimously re-enlisting for the War. They returned to Mobile, AL and were transferred to the Army of Tennessee on
May 21st. It re-joined the Army at New Hope, Georgia on May 27th. Records indicate that Quarles' Brigade being engaged at Pickett's Mill and at Dallas, GA. They were engaged in the daily marching and skirmishing of the Atlanta Campaign without suffering any heavy loss until the engagement on July 28 at Ezra Church on the Lickskillet Road, where the 46th / 55th lost about 150 men out of 250 engaged in about a half hour's time.
Here Lieutenant Colonel Wilson was wounded and captured. As part of Stewart's Corps, Walthall's Division,
Quarles' Brigade, records and biographical sketches of the men, they were combatants at Kennesaw Mountain, Peachtree Creek and the Atlanta Battle. It was not engaged at Jonesboro, but as part of
Major General E. C. Walthall's Division, it returned with General Hood to Tennessee. The 46th / 55th, along with other troops, captured a blockhouse and a freight train loaded with grain at Big Shanty, Georgia, on this march back.
The regiment was in the first line of assault troops at Franklin, November 30, 1864, and suffered terrible loss. Here Major Cooper was wounded, and Edwin H. Rennolds, in his History of Henry County Commands, stated that Major Cooper told him the regiment went into battle with 125 men and came out with 25. What was left of the tattered regiment took part in the Battle of Nashville, December 15, 1863.
As a part of Walthall's Division, they were located near the Hillsboro Pike at Redoubt No. 3 at a stone wall. Stewart later moved his troops towards Granny White Pike after being driven from the wall. The regiment formed part of the rear guard for Hood's Army on its retreat into Mississippi. Again quoting Rennolds
"As an example of the depletion of the regiment during the campaign of 1864, it is related by
Lieutenant M. V. B. Valentine that Companies "D" and "E" entered the campaign at New Hope, Georgia in May with 72 men, and came out of it at Nashville, in December, with only two men and one officer fit for duty."
In 1865, the regiment moved to North Carolina and joined General Joseph E. Johnston. They participated in the last battle of the war at Bentonville, North Carolina. On March 31, 1865, in the order of battle for Johnston's Army, the 46th was again listed in error in Palmer's Brigade, and in the same report in Quarles' Brigade, commanded by Captain Sol Jones. Quarles' Brigade was not accounted for in the final reorganization
of Johnston's Army on April 9, 1865, but comparisons of some of the names on the muster rolls indicates that the remnant of the 46th Regiment was paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina May 1, 1865 as part of the Fourth Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment.
** Unit history taken from;
"History and Biographical Sketches of the 46th Tennessee Infantry, C.S.A. Henry County, Tennessee" by Stephen Lynn King, 1992.
"Military Annals of Tennessee Confederate"
"Tennesseans in the Civil War"