Rachel shares some info from a report she wrote on Ole Miss and the Civil War

I keep all my school papers on file. This is part of a report on "The University Greys" from history class last year.


When Mississippi seceded from the Union in 1861, the fever to join the Confederate cause was catching. Among those interested in serving the Southern army were students from Ole Miss who dubbed themselves the University Greys and became Company A of the Eleventh Mississippi Regiment of Volunteer Infantry.

Their allegiance was founded soon thereafter, and on April 27, 1861, the sum of $125 from the school treasury was devoted to the young up-and-coming soldiers.

The group was led by William B. Lowry, a 19-year-old who had arrived on campus with guns, horses, hunting dogs and a slave. Noted for his unbecoming behavior and disinterest in school work, Lowry led his fellow students and soldiers in military training. Local legend has it that Lowry, upon being expelled from the university, rode his horse into the Lyceum while lashing a bullwhip and calling for the Chancellor.

Illustrations of uniforms worn
by Union and Confederate soldiers
Click to enlarge

The Greys rode out of Oxford 47 soldiers strong on May 1 following Confederate orders. Their first battle was also the first major skirmish of the war, the Battle at First Manassas or Bull Run.

The Greys went on to serve the Confederacy at Second Manassas, Gaines' Mill, Sharpsburg, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Talley's Mill, Spotsylvania Courthouse, Bethesda Church, Petersburg and Hatcher's Run. It is said that at Gettysburg they reached the "high watermark of the Confederacy," beyond even the reach of Pickett's men.

Very few Greys survived, and among those who did, none ever reconvened at Ole Miss.

There are few items left to remember their legacy. A stained glass window in Ventress Hall commemorates the Greys, and there is a collection of letters at the J.W. Williams Library on the Ole Miss campus. Also, Mrs. Maud Morrow Brown of Oxford documented their struggle in her book, The University Greys.

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  • Ah HA!
    The professor seems to have a family history of hot-headedness! I'm betting dollars to doughnuts that he has some family records, letters, etc. that he wants to use in his book and is informing his 'excavations'. (And I bet it has something to do with those collected 'valuables'. )
    If Rachael had found this information about Confederate Lowry others must also. Where did she find this for the report? What else does the source material say?

  • The book mentioned is on the web and it has an index. While the info is sparse about Lowry it does say that after the war, when he lived in Macon, he had "lost his fortune", later moving to Texas, where he was shot. Gen.Shegog is not in the book.

  • You took the words right out of my mouth, lgillette! The Lowry in this report sounds a whole lot like our Professor Lowry. It would be interesting to see some family history and find out if the "collected valuables" belonged to the Lowry of the 1860's.

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