Tennessee born John Adams was a West Point graduate. He was commissioned Brigadier to rank from December 29, 1862, after assuming command of Maryland born Lloyd Tilghman's Brigade. Joining The Army of Tennessee at Resaca in May 1864, the Brigade served gallantly throughout the Atlanta Campaign. At Franklin, the Brigade consisted of all Mississippi regiments, 6th, 14th, 15th, 20th, 23rd, & 43rd. Having been forced to angle towards the center due to osage hedges, the Brigade made one of the most spectacular assaults of the day!
Despite taking a severe wound in the arm, Adams remained mounted and drove straight for the colors of the 65th Illinois. Less than 50 feet from the parapet Adams spurred his beloved "Old Charley" to jump the ditch and parapet. The leaping horse crashed dead on top of the works as Adams was riddled with bullets. He fell and was pinned beneath his horse, as the Union Colonel of the 65th looked on, and died shortly thereafter. Adams is buried in Pulaski Tennessee.