Within four months of the attack on Fort Sanders, one of the attacking regiments, whose roster had totaled more than 1,000 men at the start of the war, had been seriously whittled.
Captain Hugh D. Cameron, originally of the Alamutcha Infantry company of the Thirteenth Mississippi Infantry Regiment, was temporarily commanding the regiment on March 8, 1864. Cameron had been a 17-year-old unmarried student when he enlisted in March, 1861.
Cameron was substituting for Major George LaValle Donald, who had commanded the regiment since the death of Colonel McElroy at Fort Sanders. Donald, an unmarried 23-year-old farmer when he joined the Secessionists company as a lieutenant in 1861, was temporarily commanding the Mississippi Brigade in the absence of General Humphreys who presumably was on furlough.
In a letter to General Longstreet, reprinted by independent historian Jess N. McLean in his The Official Records of the Thirteenth Mississippi Infantry Regiment, Cameron said the Thirteenth “has an aggregate present of 208” men, about the size of two infantry companies at the start of the war.