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6th Mississippi Infantry Regiment

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Before the War . . .

The 6th Mississippi had it origins as a militia unit which was formed in 1858 in the city of Brandon, Rankin County, Mississippi. The company was under the command of thirty-two year old Dr. John Jones Thornton, a prominent Brandon physician. The unit was made up with about sixty men. They wore the regular U.S. uniform and used muskets as arms. The title "Rankin Guards" was chosen for the name of the company and shortly there after became a legalized unit of the state militia.

The Rankin Guards was one many militia units being organized throughout the Southern states due to the tensions between northern states and southern states. With their uniforms, muskets and flags, the men of the Rankin Guards drilled regularly and became a well drilled, well organized militia unit.

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This page was last updated on August 8, 2000.