This regiment was organized at Dalton, Georgia, May 2, 1861, and proceeded at once to Virginia. Mustered into service for twelve months at Lynchburg, May 7, it proceeded to Harper's Ferry. It soon after fell back to Winchester, where it became part of Gen. B. E. Bee's Brigade - of which the 2nd and 11th Mississippi, 1st Tennessee, and 6th North Carolina were the other regiments.
Moved to Manassas Junction, the regiment took a prominent part in that conflict, losing 38 killed and 208 wounded out of a total of about 750 engaged. Gen. Bee, killed at Manassas, was succeeded by Gen. W.H.C. Whiting. The Fourth wintered at Dumfries, re-enlisted for three years in January 1862, re-organized in April, and about that time moved over to the vicinity of Norfolk. It was engaged both days at Seven Pines, losing 8 killed and 19 wounded.
A fortnight later, the brigade was sent to the Valley, but came back with Jackson's corps a few days after. It was hotly engaged at Cold Harbor, losing 22 killed and 108 wounded out of 500 present; and lost slightly at Malvern Hill. Moving northward with the army, the Fourth participated at the second Manassas, losing 20 killed, and 43 wounded.
At Boonsboro the loss was slight, and at Sharpsburg 8 were killed, and 36 wounded. After this campaign Gen. Law was assigned to the permanent command of the brigade which was shortly after organized with the Fourth, Fifteenth, Forty-fourth, Forty-seventh, and Forty-eight Alabama regiments as its complement. The Fourth was engaged at Fredericksburg, losing 5 killed, and 17 wounded. It lost slightly in the brilliant fight at Suffolk, and soon after took up the line of march for Maryland. It passed into Pennsylvania, and was engaged in the assault at Gettysburg, with a loss of 15 killed, and 72 wounded and missing.
In the fall the Fourth moved with Longstreet's corps, and took part at Chicamauga, with a loss of 14 killed, and 54 wounded out of about 3000 engaged. It moved with the corps into east Tennessee, and in the attack on Knoxville lost 5 killed, and 24 wounded. Rejoining the army in Virginia, the Fourth was hotly engaged, and lost 15 killed, and 58 wounded at the battle of the Wilderness out of about 250 engaged, and 4 killed and 11 wounded at Spottsylvania.
It took part in all the operations to the second Cold Harbor, where its loss was slight. Then, for nearly ten months, it lay behind the defences of Petersbrug, taking part in the various movements and assaults, losing 10 killed, and 30 wounded during the time. It surrendered 202 men at Appomattox, Gen. Perry of Macon having been in command of the brigade for nearly a year. Of 1422 men on its rolls, about 240 perished in battle, nearly 100 died of disease, and 408 were discharged or transferred.