Colonel Levi B. Smith served as the first commander of the Twenty-seventh Georgia Infantry, which was organized at Camp Stephens, near Griffin, in September 1861. The next month the unit was sent to Richmond and then to an encampment near Manassas. In March and April 1862 it was stationed at Clark's Mountain.
Seven Pines was the regiment's first major battle, and it lost more than 150 men in the fight. After the engagement 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. As such it fought in the various battles known as the Seven Days. At South Mountain and Antietam the regiment lost 149 men, including Colonel Smith, who was killed in the latter battle. Following Chancellorsville in the spring of 1863 the regiment was ordered to Kingston, North Carolina. It briefly returned to Richmond in July, but then was sent to the Charleston defenses.
The Twenty-seventh remained in the vicinity of Charleston until February 1864, when it was sent to Florida. Charles T. Zachry led the unit at Olustee, where it suffered seventy-four casualties, seven killed and sixty-seven wounded. (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 charg[ed] 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 Cold Harbor and Petersburg. Its final battle was at Bentonville, North Carolina in early 1865.
Photograph of Col Charles Zachry
Letter from James Jordan, Company A
External Web sites related to the Battle of Olustee
27th Regiment Georgia Volunteer Infantry officers, field staff and band
27th Georgia Infantry, Co. F roster
27th Georgia Reenacting Units
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Confederate Order of Battle
Battle of Olustee home page