George and John Pipes

50th Alabama Infantry ; Company "H" and "B"

Updated 09/13/08 

(added grave stone photo, Thanks to the Sons of ConfederateVeterans)

Brothers George and John Pipes were from Limestone County, Alabama and are descendants of Phillip Pipes(1) (b. ca 1755) and his son John Pipes(2) ( b. ca 1775). and his son Phillip(3)  (b.1825). John was born in 1844 and may have lied about his age to enlist in the 26th Alabama. (The 26th was later renamed to be the 50th Alabama.)  His enlistment card from the Alabama archives states that he was 19 years old in 1861, but in an application for a pension many years later he gives his age in years, months and days which calculates to a birth date of April 2, 1844, which would mean he was 17 upon enlistment. John was living in his father's household in the 1860 census and his age is given as 18. George was born about the same time, between 1840 and 1844 and in the 1860 census he is living in the household of W. B. McQuire and his age is given as 16. They also had a brother named William born about the same time who may have served but will require further research as no record of him has been found.

Information from the Alabama Archives was received  in May, 1999 and shed little light on either man, but did supply some info on the activities of the 50th Alabama Infantry unit. A second try at the archives in July, 2000 turned up a 1917 pension application for John which sheds some additional light on the picture. The census records for 1860, 1870 and 1880 also helped as did the Limestone records of marriages.

John enlisted in Company "B" on September 3, 1861 at Gilbertsboro, Alabama and was recruited by Thomas H. Gilbert, who was known as "Tom Henry". He served until the end of the war based on his statement in his pension application that he "was under Tom Henry Gilbert at the beginning and went back to him after I was released from prison and staid with him as long as his company existed"

John states that he was never wounded but was captured by the enemy between Murfreesboro and Shelbyville, Tennessee and spent some time in prison before being paroled back to Alabama. He also states that he was maried twice, the first in 1866 and the second was not clear as it may have occurred 20 years later or 20 years ago. There is a marriage record in Limestone County showing a John Pipes and Laura Pitts in 1890. His first marriage to Eliza Gray took place on Dec 3, 1865 and in the 1870 census they are shown in Limestone County, Athens P.O., Township 2, range 6, with a son named William, age 1.

His pension application contains also an affidavit whereby G.W. Patterson and C. J. Davis swear that they have known John for 40 years and 25 years.

John Pipes is buried in Salem churchyard cemetery in Salem, Alabama.  A marker has been erected by a Civil War remembrance group (Sons of Confederate Veterans) and we now have a picture.

Little information has surfaced on George Pipes and a search is on for a pension application. we know that he was in Company "H" of the same unit and was slightly wounded in the mid section at the battle of Chickaumauga.

After the war he married Angeline McQuire, a widow with two or three children and they are listed in the 1870 census with her two children, Rufus and Viola. In the 1880 census there are two McQuire daughters, Viola and Mollie and two Pipes children, Martha, age 9 and James, age 5.

For more information on this family and its origins, see the article about Phillip Pipes on the main page.

The 50th Infantry Regiment was organized at Corinth, Mississippi, in March 1862, by consolidating the 2nd and 5th (Golladay’s) Alabama Infantry Battalions which had been recently recruited. Originally mustered into Confederate service as the 26th (Coltart’s) Regiment, its designation was changed to the 50th in June of 1863. The men were raised in the counties of Calhoun, Jackson, Lauderdale, Blount, Limestone, Walker, Fayette, and Tuscaloosa. Ordered to Tennessee, the unit fought at Shiloh, saw light action in Kentucky, then was placed in Deas’, G. D. Johnston’s, and Brantley’s Brigade, in the Army of Tennessee. It fought in many conflicts from Murfreesboro to Atlanta, endured Hood’s winter campaign in Tennessee, and was active in North Carolina. At Shiloh the regiment had 440 effectives, but because of casualties, sickness, and exhaustion, the number was less than 150 by the second day. the unit lost 4 killed and 76 wounded at Murfreesboro, 16 killed and 81 wounded at Chickamauga, and totaled 289 men and 180 arms in December, 1863. The unit sustained 33 casualties in the Battle of Atlanta and was badly cut up at Franklin. Few surrendered in April 1865. Its commanders were Colonel John C. Coltart, Lieutenant Colonels C. W Arnold and William D. Chadick, and Majors T. H. Gilbert and John C. Hutto.

The following info was sent by the Alabama Archives department concerning the units that John and George served with during the war. It contains a brief summary and some extracted records from the Official War records. No source was given for the summary.


The Fiftieth Alabama regiment was organized at Corinth in 1862, from two battalions recently enlisted. Placed in Gladden’s brigade it fought at Shiloh, April 6 and 7, 1862, with a loss of 123 killed and wounded, out of 700 men engaged. It was called at first the Twenty Sixth, but as there was already a regiment by that name, it was, after July, 1863, known as the Fiftieth. It was in the battle of Bridge Creek, May 28, 1862, with a loss of 2 killed. In June, 1862, the regiment was placed in General Gardner’s brigade, with the Nineteenth, Twenty-second and Thirty-ninth; moved into Kentucky and lost about 20 men in a fight with General Sills’ division. Transferred to Deas’ brigade, it fought with conspicuous gallantry at Murfreesboro, winning the commendation of its division commander, General Withers, and losing 80 men in killed and wounded.

It spent the remainder of the winter at Tullahoma; was for a time consolidated with the Thirty-ninth, under command of Col. H. D. Clayton, and in July it was numbered the Fiftieth, and was alternately commanded by Col. J. G. Coltart and Lieut.Col. N. N. Clements. At Chickamauga it lost 100 men, out of 500 engaged, and it also lost heavily at Missionary Ridge. It wintered at Dalton, and did arduous duty on the retreat to Atlanta, being engaged nearly every day, and losing heavily in the bloody battles around Atlanta during the last week of July, 1864. The regiment moved into Tennessee with Hood, and was badly mutilated at Franklin. It then proceeded to the Carolinas and distinguished itself at Kinston, where a line of skirmishers, 40 strong, under Capt. E. B. Vaughan, captured a stand of colors and 300 men of the Fifteenth Connecticut. After April 9th, it was consolidated with the Twenty-second, Twenty-fifth and Thirty ninth, under Col. Harry T. Toulmin, and it was surrendered at Greensboro, N. C.

Col. John G. Coltart, who first led the regiment, was wounded at Shiloh and Atlanta. He was frequently in command of a brigade, and about the time of the surrender was in command of Hill’s division. Lieut.-Col. N. N. Clements was promoted from the line, and was frequently in command of the regiment. Capt. J. C. Hutto was promoted to major. Major Gwin was wounded at Shiloh. Adjt. John C. Bruckner and Capt. George Arnold were killed at Atlanta. The “Limestone Rebels,” who were mustered into service at Huntsville, September 17, 1861, formed Company E of this regiment, Capt. Jim Malone, Lieutenants Dr. N. D. Richardson, William Richardson and John B. McClelland, and Orderly-Sergt. George W. McKinney.


Vol. X, Part I—(383) Gladden’s brigade, Withers’ division, at Shiloh. (538) Mentioned in Col. Z. C. Deas’ report of battle of Shiloh, April 6 and 7, 1862. ( 544-547) Lieut.-Col. William D. Chadick says: “The Twenty-sixth was hotly engaged, contributing a full share to the driving back of the enemy. When the charge was made upon the lines and into the camp of the enemy, the Twenty-sixth was among the first to penetrate them.” Colonel Chadick commends the officers and men, and states that Col. John Coltart and Maj. John S. Garvin were wounded. General Chalmers’ report speaks of the forward movement of the Twenty-sixth regiment upon the enemy. (788) Gardner’s brigade, June 30, 1862; reserve corps, General Withers. (853) Col. Joseph Wheeler’s report states the Twenty-sixth was in his command in the battle of Bridge Creek, May 28, 1862; reports 2 killed.

Vol. XX, Part I—(658) Deas’ brigade, Withers’ division, January 1863, Army of Tennessee. (677) Return of casualties, battle of Murfreesboro, January 2nd 4 killed and 76 wounded. (754) Commended in General Withers’ report of same battle for gallantry. (973) Roll of honor, battle of Murfreesboro: Private B. A. Thomason, Company A: Sergt. J. E. Gilbert, Company B: Private L. P. Roberts, Company C; Private Reedy Ward, Company D; Sergt. F. E. Mitchell, Company E; Private J. T. McLain, Company G; Private J. H. Cotrel, Company H; Private John A. Usleton, Company I.

Vol. XX, Part 2—(431) November 29, 1862, Col. N. N. Clements commanding regiment.

Vol. XXIII, Part 2—(735) Deas’ brigade, Twenty-sixth and Thirty-ninth, Col. H. D. Clayton commanding; April 1, 1863, Polk’s corps, Bragg’s army. (942) Under Lieut.-Col. N. N. Clements, July 31, 1863. Henceforward called fiftieth. (958) Col. J. G. Coltart.

No. 51—(15) Deas’ brigade, left wing, General Longstreet, Army of Tennessee, at Chickamauga. (318) Mentioned in report of Gen. Patton Anderson, September 19 and 20, 1863. (338, 339) Colonel Coltart’s report gives loss 16 killed and 81 wounded. “The officers and men behaved with great gallantry, and I am proud to say there was less straggling than I have ever known. I have the honor to mention the names of the following non-commissioned officers and privates who have been reported to me as deserving much credit for their good conduct, viz: Sergt. L. Coker, Company F; Private J. B. Stewart, Company G; Private W. L. Bridges, Company G; Private P. M. Light, Company G; Private M. Roberts, Company G; Private W. N. Pitts, Company H; Sergt. J. M. Pitts, Company I: Private E. H. Stinnet, Company B; Private Rudy Ward, Company D.

56—(617-886) Total present, December 14, 1863: 289.

No. 58—(589) January 20, 1864, Lieut. -Col. N. N. Clements commanding regiment.

No. 74—(640, et seq.) Assignments as above, Hood’s corps; June 30, 1864, Capt. G. W. Arnold commanding regiment; July 31st, Capt. Archibald D. Ray commanding regiment; (776) Lieut. - Cot Harry Toulmin, commanding brigade, in report of operations July 28, 1864, says: “The Fiftieth Alabama regiment made a gallant charge, planting their colors on the enemy’s works. Lieut. J. T. Bruckner (Acting A. A. G.) fell while nobly doing his duty.” (780,781) Capt. A. D. Ray, commanding Fiftieth Alabama, says of same battle: “Immediately after commencing the advance, Colonel Coltart was wounded, but remained with us until we charged the enemy in their breastworks, the officers and men acting most gallantly. During the time, General Johnston was wounded and Colonel Coltart was in command of the brigade, and Captain Arnold in command of the regiment. During the second advance, Captain Arnold was severely wounded. During the engagement the officers and men under my observation acted gallantly and did their duty. Six killed and 33 wounded.”

No. 75—(673) General Hindman asks for the Fiftieth, Dalton Ga., May 7, 1864.

No. 78—(853) September 20, 1864, Col. John G. Coltart in command.

No. 98—(1064) Lee’s corps moving to Georgia, January 20, 1865. Consolidated, after April 9th with Twenty second, Twenty-fifth and Thirty-ninth Alabama, under Col. Harry T. Toulmin, in Brantly’s brigade.

No. 100—(734) Deas’ brigade, March 31, 1865, Hill’s division, Lee’s corps; Capt. John E. Gilbert commanding regiment. Army near Smithfield, N. C, commanded by General Johnston.

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