53rd US Colored Infantry
The 53rd U.S. Colored Infantry, also known as the 53rd Mississippi Colored Volunteers Infantry, was organized from the 3rd Mississippi Infantry (African Descent) on March 11, 1864 for three-year service under the command of Colonel Orlando Charles Risdon.
The regiment was attached to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, United States Colored Troops, District of Vicksburg, Mississippi, to October 1864. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, XVI Corps, to November 1864. Department of Arkansas to February 1865. District of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and Department of Mississippi to March 1866. The 53rd U.S. Colored Infantry mustered out of service March 8, 1866.
OVERVIEW: Organized March 11, 1864, from 3rd Mississippi Infantry (African Descent). Attached to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, United States Colored Troops, District of Vicksburg, Miss., to October, 1864. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 16th Corps, to November, 1864. Dept. of Arkansas to February, 1865. District of Vicksburg, Miss., and Dept. of Mississippi to March, 1866.
SERVICE: Post and garrison duty at Haynes Bluff, District of Vicksburg, Miss., till October, 1864. Expedition to Grand Gulf March 12-14. Action at Grand Gulf July 16. Moved to St. Charles, Ark., on White River October, 1864, and duty there till February, 1865. Action on White River, near St. Charles, October 22, 1864. Moved to Vicksburg, Miss., February, 1865, and duty there; at Macon, Meridian and other points in the Dept. of Mississippi till March, 1866. Mustered out March 8, 1866.
Predecessor unit: MISSISSIPPI VOLUNTEERS. 3rd REGIMENT INFANTRY (AFRICAN DESCENT). Organized at Warrenton, Miss., May 19, 1863. Attached to African Brigade, District of Northeast Louisiana, to July, 1863. Post Goodrich Landing, District of Vicksburg, Miss., to January, 1864. 1st Brigade, U.S. Colored Troops, District of Vicksburg, Miss., to March, 1864.
SERVICE: Duty at Milliken's Bend and Goodrich Landing till March, 1864. Haines' Bluff February 3, 1864. Designation of Regiment changed to 53rd U.S. Colored Troops, March 11, 1864.
Two men from Williamson County are known to have served in the 53rd USCI:
Pvt. Thornton Carter was born in Franklin, Williamson County in 1831. He enlisted in Company A on December 4, 1863 in Milliken's Bend, Mississippi. He was described as a 32 year old field hand. He died of acute dysentery at US General Hospital No. 3 in Vicksburg on July 22, 1864. An inventory of his effects (belongings) included: 1 cap, 1 greatcoat, 1 flannel sack coat, 2 pairs of trousers, 2 flannel shirts, 1 pairs of socks, 1 blanket, 1 oil blanket, 1 knapsack. His gravesite has not been located.
Pvt. Columbus McGee was born in Williamson County in 1842. He enlisted in Company F on August 18, 1863 in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He was described as a 21-year-old mechanic. enlisted and mustered in credit to the State of Massachusetts; Bounty Due $300. He mustered out on March 8, 1866 in Vicksburg.
Regimental and Company Books of the 53rd U.S. Colored Troops Infantry Regiment
Documents of 53rd United States Colored Troops, inventory and inspection report, invoice of clothing, camp, and garrison equipage, 1865. Library of Congress.
Civil War Diary of Lt. Gideon M. Miles, 53rd U.S. Colored Infantry, Cowan's Auction.