The Twenty-seventh Georgia Infantry was organized at Camp Stephens, near Griffin, Georgia in September 1861. Levi B. Smith was elected as its first colonel, and Charles T. Zachry was elected lieutenant colonel. On 31 October 1861, the unit was sent to Virginia, first to Richmond and then to an encampment at Camp Pickens near Manassas. Arriving in Virginia "without arms," they were assigned to build a bridge over the Occoquan River near Manassas. In January 1862, the regiment was assigned to Colonel G. B. Anderson's brigade. It was then placed in General W. S. Featherston's Brigade. On 14 April 1862, the regiment was engaged lightly at Yorktown, Virginia, unseating a nest of Federal sharpshooters. On 5 May 1862, the regiment was at Williamsburg, Virginia.
During 31 May and 1 June 1862, the regiment saw its first major battle at Seven Pines, Virginia. On the second day, the Twenty-seventh, along with Colonel Jenkins' South Carolina Sharpshooters, broke the Federal center. In this battle, the regiment suffered over 150 casualties.
After Seven Pines, the Twenty-eighth joined with the Sixth, Twenty-third, and Twenty-eighth Georgia Regiments, and the Thirteenth Alabama, in what would shortly become Colquitt's Brigade, commanded by Colonel Alfred Holt Colquitt, formerly colonel of the Sixth Georgia. From 26 June 1862, the Twenty-seventh was engaged in all of the battles around Richmond, known as the Seven Days, ending in the center at Malvern Hill facing federal artillery, which used "double canister."
Later, during the Maryland campaign, at South Mountain the brigade held Turner's Gap all day against three heavy Federal assaults. As a result, Colquitt became known as "the Rock of South Mountain." At Sharpsburg (Antietam) the regiment was in action early in the 'cornfield,' where it was part of the deepest penetration forcing the Federals out of the 'cornfield.' After being caught in enfilade fire and suffering many losses, including Colonel Smith being killed, the regiment fell back and spent three hours on the left flank of the "Bloody Lane." Late that afternoon, what was left of the regiment was engaged in a third action at Dunkard Church. The regiment lost almost 60 percent of its men at Antietam. Charles T. Zachry was then elected as colonel of the regiment.
The regiment was on the extreme right at the battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia and suffered light causalties. In early 1863, the Nineteenth Georgia replaced the Thirteenth Alabama in the brigade. During the battle of Chancellorsville, the Twenty-seventh was on the right of Jackson's Flanking Movement. After Chancellorsville, the regiment was ordered to Kingston, North Carolina. It was then sent to the Charleston defenses where it fought on James Island and was the rear guard during the withdrawal from Battery Wagner.
The Twenty-seventh remained in the vicinity of Charleston until February 1864, when it was sent to Florida. Colonel Charles T. Zachry led the unit at Olustee, where it suffered seventy-four casualties, seven killed and sixty-seven wounded. (Note: A wartime book lists the casualties as eighty-seven killed and wounded.) The regiment was held in reserve in the first part of the battle, but when ordered forward around 4:00 p.m., it "immediately charged the enemy, contributing greatly to the utter rout and demoralization of the enemy."
Eventually sent back to Virginia in May 1864, the Twenty-seventh fought at Drewry's Bluff, Cold Harbor, Fort Harrison, "Colquitt's Salient" at Petersburg and Weldon Railroad south of Petersburg. Afterwards, it was again sent to North Carolina. Colquitt, now a general, was selected to take command of Fort Fisher near Wilmington. The regiment was escorting General Colquitt to the fort when news was brought that the fort had surrendered to Union forces. The regment then served as the rear guard in the withdrawal. The regiment fought at Wilmington, Kinston, Sugar Loaf, and its last major battle was at Bentonville, North Carolina on 18 March 1865. The regiment was again engaged in some fighting at Sugar Loaf before surrendering on 26 April 1865, at Greensboro, North Carolina.
During the war the regiment suffered a casualty rate of 125 percent due to some men being wounded up to four times.
This rewrite of the 27th Georgia's history was provided by William A. Bowers, Jr. (email@example.com). Mr Bowers has published books on the history of the 27th and 47th Georgia Volunteer Infantry regiments. He is also completing a book on the history of the 54th Georgia Volunteer Infantry.
Photograph of Col Charles Zachry
Letter from James Jordan, Company A
External Web sites related to the Battle of Olustee
Muster Roll for Company F
The following muster rolls list the 23rd Georgia in the Army of Tennessee. This is incorrect. This unit served in the eastern theater of the war. However, the Army of Tennessee campaigned in the Carolinas very late in the war. When it surrendered to General Sherman's troops, many eastern Confederate Army units, attached or not, also surrendered.
Muster Roll for Company A
Muster Roll for Company B
Muster Roll for Company C
Muster Roll for Company D
Muster Roll for Company E
Muster Roll for Company F
Muster Roll for Company G
Muster Roll for Company H
27th Georgia Reenacting Units
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Confederate Order of Battle
Battle of Olustee home page