Days Gone By - stories from the past

Many Alabamians volunteered to fight in the war against Mexico in 1846 – here are some names


The war between Mexico and the United States, 1846-1848, brought on by a series of attacks on American citizens, the sympathy of the people of the United States, for the independent State of Texas, the annexation of Texas, a dispute regarding the boundary of Texas, and other friction between the two countries on account of violation of territory of the two, was participated in by a large number of volunteers from Alabama, though but one regular regiment, one battalion, and a few independent companies, were mustered in.

Gen. CoffeeCol. John R. Coffee

The first Alabama volunteers under Col. John R. Coffee, with:

  • A company, commanded by Captain Al. Pickens;
  • B by Captain W. Thomason;
  • C by William G. Coleman;
  • D by S. Moore;
  • E by J. D. Shelly;
  • F by R. W. Jones;
  • G by D. P. Baldwin;
  • H by J. P. Youngblood;
  • I by R. G. Earle;
  • K by H. M. Cunningham.

These were twelve months volunteers in the regular establishment.

Prior to this organization, a regiment of six months volunteers under Col. John M. Withers, and Captains John L. Mumford, H. W. Cox, D. P. Baldwin, Daniel Gibbs, Sydenham Moore, Jacob D. Shelly, E. W. Martin, James Crawford, J. D. Parke, Sumeral Dennis, John B. Todd, and John A. Winston, had volunteered. As will be seen Captain S. Moore, Captain J. D. Shelly, and Captain D. P. Baldwin, were in the regular volunteers.

Major John J. Seibels’ battalion of volunteers, also shown as Lieut.-Col. Seibels’ independent battalion, with captains John G. Barr. Co. A.; Thomas E. Irby, Co. B.; Daniel Gibbs, Co. C.; Tennant Lomax, Co. D.; and Blanton McAlpin. Co. E., was also accepted. They volunteered for the period of the war.

Battle of Veracruz - Mexican-American War (Wikipedia)Battle of Veracruz – Mexican-American War (Wikipedia)

Lieutenant-Colonel P. H. Raiford, mustered an infantry battalion of four companies under Captains James M. Curtis, Robert L. Downman, Robert F. Ligon, and John J. Seibels, for six months volunteer service, prior to the formation of Colonel Seibels’ battalion.

Independent companies under Captains William H. Piatt, Robert Desha, Rush Elmore, and James N. Gee, were accepted for service, but these companies, nor any of the regularly enrolled  Alabama  troops participated in any of the campaigns.

The 13th United States Infantry, raised under the 10 Regiment Bill of 1847, was officered in part by Alabamians.

Colonel Coffee’s regiment was mustered into service in June, 1846, at Mobile, by Walter Smith, Brigadier General and Mustering Officer. The completed muster of the regiment dates the 29th of that month. The officers were John R. Coffee, Colonel; Richard G. Earle, Lieut.-Col.; Goode Bryan, Major; James D. Parke, Adjutant; A. H. Hughes, Quartermaster; John C. Anderson, Surgeon; Nesbitt, surgeon mate; Arithy B. Green, surgeon mate; with a non-commissioned staff of John B. Fuller, Sergeant Major, no quartermaster sergeant, Christopher Darrow, Drum Major; Joseph Anderson, Fife Major.

The staff of the six months volunteers regiment under Col. Withers, and which was mustered originally June 11, 1846, was Jones M. Withers, Col.; Philip H. Renford, Lieut.-Col.; J. A. Winston, Major; and R. W. Smith, Adjutant; and Jefferson Noble, Sergeant-Major. The individual companies of these volunteers, show musters in May and early June.

Attack on Chapultepec, Sept. 13th 1847--Mexicans routed with great loss (Wikipedia)Attack on Chapultepec, Sept. 13th 1847–Mexicans routed with great loss (Wikipedia)

Lieutenant-Colonel Seibels’ battalion muster, shows the following staff: John J. Seibels, promoted from Major, 23rd of February, 1848, though his service muster is December 20, 1847; George W. Thomas, Acting Surgeon; Robert A. Hardaway, Adjutant; Charles M. Martin, Sergeant-Major; John B. Brewer, Quartermaster Sergeant; and John Perry, private and musician.

There are no extant records of the field and staff of Colonel Raiford’s battalion. The muster rolls show August 17 and 18, 1846, as the date these companies were mustered out of service.

The independent companies were mustered out of service in New Orleans and Mobile between August, 1846, and July, 1848, Captain Elmore’s company being mustered out on August 18, 1846, but Captain Gee’s company was not mustered out until July 29, 1848.

An examination of these records will show that many of the officers and men who participated in the Mexican War, later saw service, the majority with high commands, in the War of Secession. Among them are Colonel Seibels, Col. Lomax, Col. Ligon, Major Elmore, General Shelly, and Captain Hardaway, and many of these men took prominent parts in the political life of the State in after years. Among these being Col. Withers, Sydenham Moore, Daniel Gibbs, Lieut.-Gov. Robert F. Ligon, and Governor John Anthony Winston.


  1. History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography By Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead Owen with References.—Pickett, History of Alabama (Owen Edition, 1900); Brewer, Alabama (1872); Muster Rolls Alabama Volunteers, Mexican War, 1846-47 (official) in Alabama Department of Archives and History.
  2. History of the Mexican War By Cadmus Marcellus Wilcox 1892 Church News Publishing Company

ALABAMA DEATHS FROM WW I essential book for Alabama family researchers

See all books by Alabama Pioneers

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

Liked it? Take a second to support Alabama Pioneers on Patreon!


  1. Donald Roy Chappell


  2. Susan Crowley

    My ancestor was one of them: Abner A Hughes, who later was a Col in the 48th Al Rgt during the Civil War.

  3. Anthony Taylor

    The man in my profile picture was one of them along with my 4th great uncle and his brother Thomas and David Walker

  4. William Windy Wingard

    I think my brother enlisted to

  5. Proud to see one of my family names, YOUNGBLOOD, on the list of one year volunteers.

  6. Alabamians volunteered in large numbers to fight against Mexico when war came over the annexation of Texas, but only this single regiment, a battalion, and several independent companies actually were received into federal service from the state. During its eleven months of service, the 1st Alabama lost only one man in battle but 150 died from disease.

    1. My ggg-grandpa Pvt Milo Cinncinatus Curry was in Co. C 1st Ala. Vol. Regiment. His brother in law Pvt. Archibald A. Henry was of the ones who died of disease. He was buried by the Rio Grande. Milo received a pension for his service .

      1. My GGG Grand Father served in this unit Company F under Jones William P Thomas . Looking for what this unit did outside the Veracruz assault with Gen Taylor .

        So sons serve in this unit during the Civil War Sgt. James A Thomas Co. H

  7. Ann Wilson Redford

    Love your posts on Alabama Pioneers, Tanjie. That’s going to be the theme of our 2017 camp.

  8. Wm Flake Joiner

    Does a list exist of the communities, villages, and towns in Alabama that were renamed reflecting the names of places in Mexico where the USA soldiers served? There is ‘Perote’ in Bullock County, ‘Catalpa’ in Pike County; I’m sure that there are others.

    1. The north Alabama town of Allgood, in Blount County, was originally named by one or two veterans of the Battle of Chapultepec who settled there following their tour of duty. It is said they did so because it reminded them of the land on which the battle took place. In later years, a local lime manufacturert said the name was difficult to use in verbal and written correspondence. So, eventually, the name was changed to Allgood, after the town’s postmaster.

  9. Thanks again, Donna, for an interesting article.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.