"Peculiarly distinguished among the advance guard, where all were distinguished, must be recorded . . . Private J. W. Brown, of Company F, First Georgia Regiment, who, upon hearing the order to fall back, exclaimed, 'I will give them one more shot before I leave,' and while ramming down his twenty-ninth cartridge fell dead at his post." - General Henry R. Jackson in his report of the Battle of Greenbrier River.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

WHICH First Georgia?

Even though James N. Ramsey’s First Georgia Volunteer Infantry was the first regiment organized by the state of Georgia for Confederate service, and the first to see actual combat, there were a tremendous number of regiments, battalions and other organizations that laid claim to the title of “First Georgia.” One of the leading challenges of writing a book on Ramsey’s regiment was sorting through the many First Georgia’s that existed during the war. Many times I would excitedly trace a lead or reference, only to find that it was one of those “other” First Georgia’s. The same name would come up even across different wars. General Henry Rootes Jackson of Georgia, who would command a division in the Confederate Army of the Northwest which included Ramsey’s regiment, also was Colonel of the First Georgia Regiment during the Mexican War. The Quitman Guards, Company “K” of the First, was reorganized after the war, and served with another First Georgia Infantry during the Spanish-American War.

Here is a list of First Georgia organizations that I came across during my research. Some of these are quite probably duplicates – many are consolidations of units that were depleted as the war dragged on.

First Battalion Georgia Infantry Reserves-Augusta Fire Brigade – Lt. Col. C. A. Platt
First Brigade Georgia State Troops
First Division Georgia Militia – Major R. W. Flourney
First Georgia Columbus City Infantry Battalion – Major Samuel R. Jacques
First Georgia Confederate Infantry Battalion, Consolidated
First Georgia Infantry Battalion – Major Peter H. Larey
First Georgia Infantry Battalion Sharpshooters – Major Robert H. Anderson
First Georgia Infantry Battalion State Guard – Lt. Col. J. B. Oliveros
First Georgia Infantry Battalion, Confederate – Lt. Col. Charles Spalding
First Georgia Infantry Battalion, Militia – Lt. Col. H. K. McCay
First Georgia Infantry Light Duty Men, Macon – Major A. M. Rowland
First Georgia Infantry Regiment – Col. Alexander R. Lawton
First Georgia Infantry Regiment, Confederate – Col. John P. Villepigue
First Georgia Infantry Regiment, Confederate – Lt. Col. George A. Smith
First Georgia Infantry Regiment, Consolidated – Col. Charles H. Olmstead
First Georgia Infantry Regiment, Local Defense Troops, Augusta – Col. George W. Rains
First Georgia Infantry Regiment, Militia – Col. Thomas J. Pilgrim
First Georgia Infantry Regiment, Militia – Col. Edward H. Pottle
First Georgia Infantry Regiment, Reserves (Symons) – Col. William R. Symons
First Georgia Infantry Regiment, State Guard – Col. William H. Dabney
First Georgia Infantry Regiment, State Line – Col. Edward M. Galt
First Georgia Regiment Local Defense Troops, Macon – Lt. Col. T. Brooks
First Georgia Regular Infantry – Col. Charles J. Williams
First Georgia Regular Infantry Regiment (Consolidated)
First Georgia State Infantry
First Georgia State Line Garrison Guards Battalion
First Georgia Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Mercer-Olmstead’s) – Col. Hugh W. Mercer
First Georgia Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Ramsey’s) – Col. James N. Ramsey
First Independent Battalion Georgia Volunteer Infantry
First Regiment Georgia Army
First Regiment Georgia Light Duty men
First Regiment Georgia Partisan Rangers – Col. Sumner J. Smith (consisted of infantry and cavalry)
First Regiment Georgia Reserves (Fannin’s) – Col. James H. Fannin

 And in addition, there was also the Union First Georgia Infantry – which contained four companies under Col. James G. Brown.

No wonder historians and researchers get confused!


  1. George, congrats on the new blog!
    I had to wade through this kind of stuff for my "Colonels" book. You could even add the various 1st GA Cavalries to your list and make it even longer.

  2. I am interested in doing some research on Symon's Rgt, 1st Ga Reserves. My ancestor was in that unit. If there is any info on that unit which you ran across in your research that you wouldn't mind sharing, it would be greatly appreciate. Thank you!
    Paul M. Hendricks

  3. Paul,
    Thanks for visiting my blog. I've sent a response to your email address.

  4. Hi George, I know this is several years old at this point but am doing the same research as Paul. I would be interested in any info you my have on Symon's Reserves. Thanks!