4th Regiment Mississippi Infantry Volunteers
Signed by their gallant Colonel Joseph Drake commanding the regiment, who was captured at the fall of Fort Donelson!
7 1/4 x 12, imprinted Confederate form on blue paper, filled out and signed in ink.
Form No. 3. Officers' Pay Account. The Confederate States to Lt. A.M. Reasons. For pay as a Lt. from 24th Aug. to 1st Dec., 1861. Co. F, 4th Regt. Miss. Vols. For 3 months and 8 days. Pay Per Month, 80.00. Amount 261.33. Stationed at Fort Henry with the account dated Dec. 22nd, 1861. There is a large imprinted paragraph at the center of the document certifying the accuracy of this account, etc.....It continues, "that I am not in arrears with the Confederate States on any account whatsoever; and that the last payment I received was from Paymaster was mustered into Service and to the 24 day of Aug. 1861. I at the same time acknowledge that I have received of H.T. Massengale Paymaster, this 24 day of Dec., 1861, the sum of Two Hundred Sixty One, 261, and 33 cents, being the amount in full of said account.
The document has a large A.E.S. as follows, "Approved, Joseph Drake, Col. 4th Regmt. Miss. Vols."
Signed very nicely at the bottom of the form by the officer whose pay account this is as, "A.M. Reasons, 3rd Lieut., 4th Reg. Miss. Vols."
Content on the reverse:
Officers' Pay Account.
From 24 Aug/61
To 1 Dec/61
Ornate Confederate imprinted form in excellent condition. Rare document from Fort Henry, Tennessee only about 6 weeks before the fort was captured by the Federal forces commanded by General Ulysses S. Grant. This was the first important Union victory in the western theater and it was the start of General Grant's star rising in the Northern press and among its citizenry. Very desirable Confederate document.
Joseph Drake: (1806-78) He was a lawyer, judge, and plantation owner, Confederate Colonel during the War Between the States, who led a brigade in two important battles, and served as a member of the Mississippi State Legislature before and during the war. His grandfather, Joseph Drake, was one of Daniel Boone's Kentucky "Long Hunters" who was killed by Indians near Boonesborough, Kentucky, in August of 1778. He attended Washington College in Lexington, Virginia in 1825-26, studied law, and was sworn in as an attorney in Carroll County, Mississippi in 1834. In 1835, Drake served as district attorney of the Circuit Court of the county, and he represented Carroll County in the Mississippi State House of Representatives from 1838–39, and served as probate Judge of Carroll County, from 1855-61. Drake was elected Captain of Company H, "Carroll County Rebels," which mustered into the Mississippi State service at Carrollton, on August 24, 1861, and was organized at Grenada, Mississippi, as the 4th Regiment Mississippi Infantry, in the Second Brigade, Army of Mississippi, and they were enlisted for twelve months. He was elected Colonel of the regiment on September 11, 1861, in a camp near Trenton, Tennessee. The 4th Mississippi Infantry was then put under General Earl Van Dorn's command. After being promoted to major general on September 19, 1861, Van Dorn was transferred to Virginia under General Joseph E. Johnston. The 4th Mississippi infantry, which had been detached from Van Dorn's division was one of the two regiments at Fort Henry which were experienced in war, and the men conducted themselves as veterans. Colonel Joseph Drake sent two companies of Mississippians to meet the first advance of the enemy on February 4th, who held the rifle-pits alone until reinforced. During the bombardment of the 6th, which resulted in the surrender of Fort Henry, Colonel Drake commanded General Tilghman's 2nd Brigade. After the naval attack compelled the surrender of Fort Henry, Drake retreated to Fort Donelson, where he commanded General Bushrod Johnson's 3rd brigade. The 4th Mississippi was under fire in the trenches at Donelson during February 13th and 14th, and participated in the assault which was made on the 15th for the purpose of opening a line of retreat. General Johnson reported that Drake's Brigade, under its very gallant, steady and efficient commander, moved in admirable precision, almost constantly under fire, driving the enemy slowly from hill to hill until about 1 p.m., when he was instructed to return to the rifle pits. This left Drake's Brigade unsupported for a time, until Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest went to Drake's support and advised him to fall back, which he did without disorder. Colonel Smith's brigade advanced a short distance up the hill, repeatedly rushing and then falling to the ground in the prone position, all the while listening to taunts from Drake's Confederate Brigade opposing them. The surrender of Fort Donelson followed on the 16th. It is said that Colonel Drake broke his sword and threw it in the river when told of the surrender. Colonel Drake went on a monumental journey after his capture initially being imprisoned at Johnson's Island; he was then admitted to the Prison Hospital, at Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois, on February 21, 1862; then transferred to Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio, on March 1st; transferred again on March 6th, to Fort Warren, Boston Harbor; and was released on parole on April 7, 1862, for the purpose of being exchanged for Union Colonel Milton Cogswell, of the 42nd New York Volunteers. He retired from the Confederate army after he was exchanged on August 27, 1862, considered to be too old for active service at 56 years of age. Colonel Joseph Drake then returned to his plantation and served as a member the Mississippi State Senate from Carroll County in 1864. He had a son, John Breckenridge Drake, (1840–1922) who served in Company K, of the 30th Mississippi Infantry, and who surrendered on April 26, 1865, at Durham Station, North Carolina.
A.M. Reasons, enlisted on August 1, 1861, as a 2nd lieutenant, and was commissioned into Co. F, 4th Mississippi Infantry. He resigned on June 17, 1862. On September 1, 1862, he was commissioned captain in Co. F, 2nd Mississippi Partisan Rangers Cavalry. His date of discharge is not known.