Nathan Bedford's 7th Tennessee Cavalry


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Cavalry Charger

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So happy you reposted this information so others can add to it :smile: It is very good info regarding Forrest's troops.
Thanks @Cavalry Charger !

I only thought others that might be interested in this Cavalry Regiment would search the Forrest forum first.

But I'm happy to provide this and any other links to help anyone add to their research !
 
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#4
Noticed I had gotten dates switched between units when I originally typed it. I apologize for any confusion. Here's a corrected version.

7th Tennessee Cavalry (Duckworth's)

Belmont, November 7, 1861
Medon – August 31, 1861
Britton's Lane - September 1, 1861
Attack on Colonel Pickett's 21st Infantry Regiment and a regiment of cavalry commanded by Colonel Jackson at Union City, Tennessee - March 31, 1862
Confronted the Federals in Mississippi
Moved with Forrest to West Tennessee
Destroyed Federal stores at Paducah, Kentucky, April 1, 1862
Evacuation of Fort Pillow by forces under General Villepigue June 3-5, 1862
LaFayette Station, on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad - June 25, 1862.
Battle of Coffeeville - Dec 5, 1862
Battle of Corinth, October 3-4, 1862
Grenada, Mississippi - August 17, 1863
Okolona, Mississippi - February 22, 1864
In March accompanied General Forrest in his raid into West Kentucky, and on March 24 captured at Union City, TN the 7th Tennessee Cavalry, U.S.
Used for diversionary purposes around Brownsville, Tennessee
Battle of Brice's Crossroads Jun 10, 1864
Battle of Harrisburg Jul 14-15, 1864
Raid into Middle Tennessee - Sept. 24 – Oct. 6, 1864
Capture of Athens, Alabama
Battle of Franklin Nov 30, 1864
Rearguard for Hood's Army December 18-28, 1864
West Point, Mississippi Assigned Mar 1, 1865
Tuscaloosa, Alabama - March 31, 1865
Scottsville, Alabama – April 1, 1865
Surrender of Forrest's forces at Gainesville, Alabama, May 12, 1865.

Note: This was originally known as the 1st Tenn Cav Reg't, formed April 1, 1862, by addition of unattached companies to 6th (Logwood’s) Battalion; reorganized June of 1862 with two additional companies.
 

DixieRifles

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Battle of Corinth, October 3-4, 1862
Grenada, Mississippi - August 17, 1863
Okolona, Mississippi - February 22, 1864
I was a little confused when you mentioned the 12th Tennessee Cavalry with the 7th Tennessee Cavalry.

You omitted one important cavalry battle:

Battle of Collierville, TN, October 11, 1863
In this battle, General J. R. Chalmers ordered a 3 pronged attack at the Union position and fort in the town. He ordered Colonel W. L. Duckworth to lead a demi-brigade of his 7th Tennessee Cavalry and the 2nd Missouri Cavalry on a swing around to the Left (West) flank.
Casualties for the 9-day raid, 5 Oct to 14 Oct, was:
___ 7 Tenn (Duckworth): 2 Killed . . . . 13 Wounded


Another possible battle that I still haven't identified all the units that fought there was the Battle of Moscow, TN, on 4 December 1863. McCulloch's brigade was there but I do not think the 7th Tennessee Cavalry was present.

Of course, you have to realize that the 7th Tennessee Cavalry was operating under the command of General J. R. Chalmers and not General Forrest. It wasn't until General Forrest's promotion that General Chalmers and his troops were placed under the command of General Forrest. So the subject "Nathan Bedford's 7th Tennessee Cavalry" is a little misleading it you are studying the unit's history in its entirety.
 
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#8
I was a little confused when you mentioned the 12th Tennessee Cavalry with the 7th Tennessee Cavalry.

You omitted one important cavalry battle:

Battle of Collierville, TN, October 11, 1863
In this battle, General J. R. Chalmers ordered a 3 pronged attack at the Union position and fort in the town. He ordered Colonel W. L. Duckworth to lead a demi-brigade of his 7th Tennessee Cavalry and the 2nd Missouri Cavalry on a swing around to the Left (West) flank.
Casualties for the 9-day raid, 5 Oct to 14 Oct, was:
___ 7 Tenn (Duckworth): 2 Killed . . . . 13 Wounded


Another possible battle that I still haven't identified all the units that fought there was the Battle of Moscow, TN, on 4 December 1863. McCulloch's brigade was there but I do not think the 7th Tennessee Cavalry was present.

Of course, you have to realize that the 7th Tennessee Cavalry was operating under the command of General J. R. Chalmers and not General Forrest. It wasn't until General Forrest's promotion that General Chalmers and his troops were placed under the command of General Forrest. So the subject "Nathan Bedford's 7th Tennessee Cavalry" is a little misleading it you are studying the unit's history in its entirety.
Steve, glad to see you're back !
 
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#12
Another possible battle that I still haven't identified all the units that fought there was the Battle of Moscow, TN, on 4 December 1863. McCulloch's brigade was there but I do not think the 7th Tennessee Cavalry was present.
During this time Forrest was trying to move into Middle Tennessee to raise his last cavalry division of the war and the battle of Moscow was a screen to get him across the Wolf River and the M&C Railroad and well into Tennessee before his movements were figured out by Grierson. Some 4,000 cavalry troops under the command of Maj. General Stephen D. Lee, being the cavalry brigades of Samuel Wragg Ferguson, James Ronald Chalmers and Lawrence Sullivan Ross were the ones for the Confederates who fought that day against a force of 3,000 Union Cavalry, commanded by, Colonel Edward Hatch of the 2nd Iowa Cavalry. Then Lee with Ferguson, Chalmers and Ross kept fighting demonstrations in northern Mississippi and south western Tennessee for several weeks until to keep Grierson distracted until Forrest raised his cavalry division up in middle Tennessee and helped him gat his new force back into Mississippi with more fighting and skirmishing.

December 3, 1863: LA GRANGE, TN., December 3, 1863 - 1.30 p. m. (Federal account):

"Major-General HURLBUT, Memphis:

Have just arrived. I received your dispatch yesterday at 4 p. m. (2nd), If I had got it a half hour sooner I could have attacked them last night with infantry and cavalry ; as it was, Col. Hatch (2nd Iowa Cavalry) attacked them at sunrise this morning and drove them before infantry got deployed. Lee, Chalmers, Forrest, Ferguson, and other generals were along. Forrest went north with 400 or 500 men, the rest went south. There is but little damage done to railroad. I should think it could be repaired in twenty-four-hours. We have 30 or 40 prisoners; as many horses, &c.

J. M. TUTTLE (U. S. Army),
Brigadier- General."


On December 3, 1863, Ferguson`s Cavalry Brigade, which was then comprised of the 2nd Tennessee Cavalry Regiment, the 2nd Alabama Cavalry Regiment, the 56th Alabama Partisan Rangers and the 12th Mississippi Cavalry Regiment were at Salisbury, TN, again engaging Federal Forces who quickly retreated. Ferguson and his command returned to and camped at New Albany, Ms. after the fight broke off.

December 4, 1863: From New Albany, Mississippi, the 4,000 Confederates moved to the railroad bridge at Moscow, Tennessee, located approximately 10 miles west of LaGrange, arriving there early morning. Brig. General Nathan Bedford Forrest had already been skirmishing with the enemy at nearby Somerville and Collierville on November 26-28, 1863.

When the cavalry brigades of Brig. General`s Samuel Wragg Ferguson, James Ronald Chalmers and Lawrence Sullivan Ross reached Moscow under the command of Maj. General Stephen D. Lee, they encountered a brigade of 3,000 Union Cavalry, commanded by, Colonel Edward Hatch (2nd Iowa Cavalry) preparing to cross the railroad bridge at the Wolf River. Sent out from LaGrange by General Grierson on December 3rd, Colonel Hatch had been ordered to scout out the area for Confederate Cavalry. A severe engagement broke out between the two forces on the bridge, resulting in Union casualties of 4 killed, 11 wounded, to include Col. Edward Hatch who was wounded through the lung, with 45 captured. According to Grierson's battle report, the Confederates left 26 dead on the field. Also, a major loss to the Union Cavalry was over 125 horses, they being pushed or shot off of the bridge and drowning in the icy waters of the Wolf River. The Confederates retreated south to Mount Pleasant on December 5th, pursued by Federal Cavalry.

Federal account: Moscow, TENN., December 4, 1863 - 3.40 p. m.:

"General TUTTLE,

La, Grange, Tenn.: The enemy are falling back toward La Fayette. on State Line road. Our men are following sharply, still fighting. Have driven them 2 miles. Colonel Morgan has arrived. The enemy are destroying railroad and trestles. General Lee is in command. Chalmers and Ferguson, with from 4,000 to 5,000, are with him; probably not more than 4,000. This information is gained from prisoners. They have four pieces of heavy artillery. Colonel Hatch is suffering intense pain, but the surgeon thinks his wound is not fatal.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. SCOTT BELDEN (U. S. Army),
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Brigade Cavalry."


This entry was later made in the Diary of Samuel Andrew Agnew (1833 - 1902), a resident and civilian in New Albany, Mississippi regarding this fight:

“General Stephen D. Lee having whipped the Yankees at Moscow on the 5th fell back to Holly Springs. Hear some of the results of the Moscow fight, but am not sure that I remember them. I think 140 Yanks were killed or drowned in Wolf River, 40 prisoners were taken. Lee's loss thus far has been 18 or 19.”

December 6, 1863: HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY IN MISSISSIPPI

"The troops of this command will move tomorrow (7th) for Chulahoma. The brigades of General Ferguson and Colonel Ross will leave at sunrise, and the brigade of General Chalmers will move an hour after. Brigade commanders will send forward to Chulahoma their forage masters to procure forage for their horses. The men with disabled horses will move with their regiments, as far as practicable, to prevent straggling, which would otherwise occur.

By order of General Lee :
D. C. STITH,
Colonel and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General."


Nathan Bedford Forest arrived on this same day (6 Dec 1863) to Jackson, Tennessee where he began to raise and recruit his last cavalry division of the war. What remained of the 7th Tennessee, after he broke away from Braxton Bragg after the Battle of Chickamauga was part of the 500 that were with him.
 
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#13
Records from the early formation period of Forrest's Cavalry Corps can be confusing due to the reorganization of units. Here is what I am tracking and I am asking for help in double checking this:

Forrest requested to form his command (cavalry corps) using his escort company, McDonald's BN (3rd Tenn Cav), and the 2nd Kentucky Cav. Does anyone have a report or return showing other units?

I have a Dec 24, 1863 return placing the 7th Tenn Cav in Slemons' BDE, but I don't when they joined Slemons'. I'm attaching a copy of the return.

I would appreciate any help you can give. This will help me straighten out a Jan 64 organizational chart I am working on.

s d lee's command dec 1863.png
 
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#16
Records from the early formation period of Forrest's Cavalry Corps can be confusing due to the reorganization of units. Here is what I am tracking and I am asking for help in double checking this:

Forrest requested to form his command (cavalry corps) using his escort company, McDonald's BN (3rd Tenn Cav), and the 2nd Kentucky Cav. Does anyone have a report or return showing other units?

I have a Dec 24, 1863 return placing the 7th Tenn Cav in Slemons' BDE, but I don't when they joined Slemons'. I'm attaching a copy of the return.

I would appreciate any help you can give. This will help me straighten out a Jan 64 organizational chart I am working on.
In the wake of the Confederate victory at Chickamauga (18-20 Sep 1863), Brig. General Nathan Bedford Forrest urged, but failed to convince his superior officer, General Braxton Bragg to pursue the defeated Federals as they were on the retreat. Resentful of Bragg’s ineptitude and earlier treatment of him, the fiery cavalryman bitterly denounced his superior officer. Weeks later during the early stages of the Chattanooga Campaign, Bragg ordered Forrest to transfer the majority of his corps to Joseph Wheeler's cavalry corps, which was about to raid the Union supply lines into Chattanooga. In response Forrest threatened to kill Bragg if he attempted to give him any further orders. Specifically this is what Forrest told General Bragg face to face as they were parting way`s:

"I am not here to pass civilities or compliments with you, but on other business. I have stood your meanness as long as I intend to. You have played the part of a ****ed scoundrel, and are a coward, and if you were any part of a man I would slap your jaws and force you to resent it. You may as well not issue any more orders to me, for I will not obey them... and as I say to you that if you ever again try to interfere with me or cross my path it will be at the peril of your life."

Due to this on-going dispute, Brig. General Nathan Bedford Forrest obtained a transfer from President Jefferson Davis himself to an independent command in Northern Mississippi, taking with him only his Escort Company of 65 men, and for the third time in his military career, he created a new command of recruits and conscripts around that nucleus of battle-tested veterans. Promoted to Major General on December 13, 1863, Forrest then conducted numerous harmful raids against Federal communications and supply lines in Tennessee, northern Mississippi and northern Alabama.

Below is a wire from S. D. Lee on 21 Nov 1863 who had just returned with S. W. Ferguson and L. S. Ross on his Expedition to the Tennessee River Valley, who opposed Sherman`s March from Memphis to Chattanooga from October to November and then returned to Okolona in northern Mississippi to help Forrest raise his cavalry division:

November 21, 1863:

HDQRS. CAVALRY IN MISSISSIPPI, Okolona, Ms:

Special Orders No. I. Brigadier-General Ferguson, having returned to Mississippi (18 Nov), Brigadier-General Chalmers is relieved from the command of the troops in North Mississippi, and will retain command of only such troops as were under his orders previous to his being put in command of the troops in North Mississippi.

Special Orders No. II. Brigadier-General Ferguson is assigned to the command of all
troops in Northeast Mississippi excepting the troops under Brigadier General Forrest. He will also exercise control over such military posts as are within the limits of his command, giving such orders to staff officers as he may deem proper.


Special Orders No. III. Col. R. V. Richardson is relieved from the command of the troops in Northeast Mississippi, and will report to General Forrest with his command from West Tennessee.

S. D. LEE,
Major- General.


S. D. Lee sent this wire to Forrest on 24 Dec 1863"

"Maj. Gen. N. B. FORREST, Commanding, West Tennessee :

GENERAL : I have just had an interview with Lieutenant-General Polk, and, if not too late, will give you all the aid in my power. I start Chalmers at once to the railroad between La Grange and Memphis to strike, threaten, or draw the enemy after him. Will move myself with Ferguson and Russell as soon as practicable to you or in your direction, by your route into West Tennessee or Russell's out. Will post you further before starting to go through. Chalmers is strong enough to play his part in any contingency, and I suggest that you be ready to assist either party in case you are not pressed; and if you are notify me in Northeast Mississippi, and you will have help. Your arms are all right and I think there will be little delay. I hope to start in five days. Chalmers is now in motion. Have your pontoons ready to be laid at the point you indicate on 18th, though at present I prefer the other route. Chalmers' command will receive further orders before I leave, but from my scouts' reports I consider it absolutely necessary to start immediately. I need not say, general, I will move at the earliest practicable moment, and every effort will be made to help you in your new and important field.

I am, general, yours, respectfully,
S. D. LEE,
Major- General."


December 28, 1863: Ferguson`s Cavalry Brigade, was reported moving along the Rail-road between Pochaontas and La Grange as a Diversion to screen the movement of and draw attention away from Maj. General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his newly recruited Cavalry Division as they were trying to find a suitable place to cross the Wolf River and the Memphis and Charlston Railroad and rendevous with Maj. General S. D. Lee at Holly Springs on the 29 Dec 1863.

December 29, 1863:

"Brigadier-General CHALMERS : General Lee directs you to engage attention of enemy by striking railroad until you hear General Forrest has crossed. General Ferguson is moving on railroad between Pocahontas and La Grange. General Forrest is endeavoring to effect crossing south.

G. W. HOLT,
Assistant Adjutant- General."


Federal account: CORINTH, December 29, 1863.

"Major-General HURLBUT:

I have information from Okolona as late as Saturday that General Lee's division of cavalry have all moved west. A part of Ferguson's force, evidently a rear guard, was moving west after them on Saturday (26th). I do not learn their destination, but it must be to join Forrest. Scouts from La Grange should learn his whereabouts. I have a scout en route for Loring's headquarters. As soon as he gets back I can give you definite information of their movement.

JNO. D. STEVENSON (U. S. Army),
Brigadier-General, Commanding."


As a result of Maj. General S. D. Lee's diversion, Maj. General Nathan Bedford Forrest managed to escape the tightening Federal noose, crossing the Wolf River at a point very near LaGrange, Tennessee with the men that he successfully raised and recruited there with which he formed his own Command, numbering about 2,500 men in his newly formed Cavalry Division. According to a letter sent by newly promoted Maj. General Nathan B. Forrest to Maj. Gen. Stephen D. Lee, on Dec. 29, 1863;

"GENERAL: I have succeeded in getting out with about 2,500 men." and "Owing to my having to leave Jackson (TN) so soon there are about 3,000 men left that I could not get together in time. If arrangements can be made to go back again, can bring out at least 3,000 men.".

In a report regarding the early December 1863 operations concluded, Major General Stephen Lee wrote:

“In ordering the different brigades to their positions, the major general thanks the troops of his command for their gallantry and good behavior on the late expedition (Forrest into Tennessee). They started under the most unfavorable circumstances, heavy rains having delayed the expedition and destroyed their subsistence stores; still not a murmur or complaint was heard, and whenever the enemy was met, he was routed and severely punished. McCulloch’s brigade, of Brigadier General Chalmers’ command, and Ross’s brigade at Moscow, and General Ferguson’s brigade at Ripley, displayed dash and gallantry. The entire command did good service in destroying the Memphis and Charleston Railroad at different points.”

So from this report and others above it is evident that Maj. General S. D. Lee`s Cavalry, specifically the Commands of Brig. General`s Chalmers, Ferguson and Ross, were responsible through their distractions for Maj. General Nathan Bedford Forrest to recruit his cavalry division in December 1863 in middle and south-western Tennessee and northern Mississippi. In addition to the 3,000 men that were with Forrest on 29 Dec 1863, Ferguson gave him the 2nd Tennessee Cavalry Regiment from his Brigade, Chalmers` cavalry brigade was also given to Forrest and some of Gholson`s Mississippi State Cavalry were given to Forrest to add to his division as well.
 
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Brig. General Nathan Bedford Forrest, after breaking away from General Braxton Bragg and while on furlough at Rome, Georgia, on 3 oct 1863, sent President Jefferson Davis his letter of resignation. It was not accepted which resulted in President Davis soon meeting with Forrest at Montgomery, Alabama, and after a long talk President Davis talked Forrest into continuing to serve and promised him a promotion to Maj. General, as well as giving him authorization to raise and recruit a new command. in addition to being given command of the cavalry in north Mississippi and west Tennessee, leaving Stephen D. Lee in command of the cavalry for the rest of Mississippi. When Forrest left Rome, Ga. to head to Okolona, Ms. in mid-November 1863 with his small start-up division, he had with him; his field staff of 8 Officers, his old 65 man cavalry escort, McDonalds Battalion (18th Battalion, Tennessee Cavalry) with 139 men and Capt. John W. Morton`s Battery with 67 artillerymen and 4 guns. Forrest arrived at Okolona, Ms. on 15 Nov 1863.

During this time frame, Stephen D. Lee`s cavalry command in Mississippi was comprised of; William Hicks Jackson Cavalry Division totaling 246 officers and 2,932 men, Col. John L Logan`s Cavalry Brigade with 83 Officers and 712 men, Brig. General Samuel Wragg Ferguson`s Cavalry Brigade with 146 Officers and 2,006 men, Brig. General James Ronald Chalmers` Cavalry Brigade with 169 Officers and 1,797 men, and Capt. Thomas M. Nelson`s company of Georgia Rangers (S. D. Lee`s Escort) with 3 Officers and 57 men.

Giving Stephen D. Lee a total of 677 Officers and 8,504 men serving under him in Mississippi in his Cavalry Command.
 
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#19
That's where I'm confused because in post #12 you said Forrest took part of the 7th Tenn Cav with him when he left Bragg. The 7th Tenn Cav was already serving under S D Lee.
I just came across this new information that I shared, I believed it was men of the 7th but in actuality it was only his escort and 8 Field officers who remained with him after he broke away from Bragg, along with Morton`s battery and McDonalds battalion who left with him from Rome to Okolona in mid-November 1863. I did read somewhere, and I am trying to locate that for you, where once he arrived to Okolona on 15 November 1863 the remnants of the 7th Tennessee, who were then serving under Slemon`s in Chalmers Cavalry Brigade (McCulloch`s being the other Brigade under Chalmers at this time) joined the 279 men who left Rome with Forrest as his veterans and the nucleus of his start up division and joined him on his march to middle Tennessee in December 1863, which brought his party to 500, to raise and recruit the rest of his command.
 
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#20
Unit designations change and orders change. Forrest had requested his escort, the 2nd Kentucky Cav, and the 3rd Tenn Cav (McDonald's) with a battery of guns. This was approved by President Davis. However, he was given his escort, the 3rd Tenn Cav (McDonald's), Forrest's Al Regiment, and Morton's battery. On Nov 7th in Atlanta, Forrest wrote he was going to allow Forrest's Al Regiment to remain with Bragg. Forrest mistakenly thought Col Jeffery Forrest had been killed and the unit would be unwilling to transfer. On the same day, S D Lee told Forrest that Col Forrest had been wounded and paroled. S D Lee assigned Forrest's Al Regiment, Richardson's West Tenn Brigade, and Greer's Regiment to Forrest.

Unit designations get tricky with the use of commander's names, etc. until Forrest's Cavalry Corps became more established after the Battle of Okolona. For example, McDonald's BN was often referred to as the 3rd Tenn Cav or Forrest's Old Regiment. It was sometimes known as the 18th or 26th Battalion. One has to be careful not to confuse it with the 18th Tenn Cav Regiment (Newsom's) that also served under Forrest.
 



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