Streight's Alabama Raid

DixieRifles

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I made it to the "private" marker.
image.jpeg
 

BrianB

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I just returned from a Streight's Raid tour with Blue & Gray Education Society.

One of the topics was the exact location of the Days Gap Battlefield. The guide made a convincing case for a location 2-3 miles south of Battleground, Alabama, on the grounds of Bethlehem West Missionary Baptist Church. You have a swampy area and creek to the SW (Jaybird Creek) and a steep ravine to the NE of the church, with the church standing on a ridge (the modern highway 157 has cut through the ridge).

The location of Emma Sansom's ford was about 60 yards north of the modern Tuscalosoosa Avenue bridge over Black Creek in Gadsden.

As for Streight's Raid being a diversion - I submit that Streight was unaware of Grant's plans for Vicksburg in May. Rosecrans, Streight's boss, was equally unaware. When Grant was asked for the loan of a division under Dodge for a few days, he would have seen it as an opportunity to create a distraction and thus assented. Thus, at least to Grant, the raid was a diversion.

However, since Forrest was in central Tennessee and in Bragg's army, I question if he would have been cut loose to help Pemberton/Johnson even if there was not a diversion (and, if he had been transferred to help Pemberton/Johnson, would he have arrived in time to matter)?
 
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lelliott19

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@BrianB your guides for that tour were Norman Dasinger and Brandon Beck. Norman is a "local" and probably knows more about Streights Raid than anyone! He is really a fabulous guide. IN addition to the Streight's Raid tour, he does lots of other tours for Blue & Gray Education.

The location I sent @DixieRifles to is the one that Norman showed me so Im sure he's in the right spot. Norman personally created and erected all the interpretive signage related to the raid in this part of the state. He's a great guy!
 

diane

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I just returned from a Streight's Raid tour with Blue & Gray Education Society.

One of the topics was the exact location of the Days Gap Battlefield. The guide made a convincing case for a location 2-3 miles south of Battleground, Alabama, on the grounds of Bethlehem West Missionary Baptist Church. You have a swampy area and creek to the SW (Jaybird Creek) and a steep ravine to the NE of the church, with the church standing on a ridge (the modern highway 157 has cut through the ridge).

The location of Emma Sansom's ford was about 60 yards north of the modern Tuscalosoosa Avenue bridge over Black Creek in Gadsden.

As for Streight's Raid being a diversion - I submit that Streight was unaware of Grant's plans for Vicksburg in May. Rosecrans, Streight's boss, was equally unaware. When Grant was asked for the loan of a division under Dodge for a few days, he would have seen it as an opportunity to create a distraction and thus assented. Thus, at least to Grant, the raid was a diversion.

However, since Forrest was in central Tennessee and in Bragg's army, I question if he would have been cut loose to help Pemberton/Johnson even if there was not a diversion (and, if he had been transferred to help Pemberton/Johnson, would he have arrived in time to matter)?

I've wondered that, too, as Johnson and Pemberton had cavalry and they did go after Grierson - which, again, was the idea. I'm not surprised Rosecrans and Streight didn't know about the real purpose - to Grant's mind, it wasn't necessary for them to know and he probably would have rather Rosecrans didn't know. You're right - Bragg would not have detached Forrest for this mission, which is one of the reasons Forrest decided to go after Streight without debate. He and Bragg weren't best buddies, that's for sure, and usually he could count on Bragg squelching anything he suggested or requested. It is, however, an interesting subject for the What-if section - Forrest pursuing Grierson with the same vigor he pursued Streight!
 

ucvrelics

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I can see both sides of the coin but I really don't believe it was a victory in the eyes of Streight's commanders . Plus if it was a victory how did Forrest end up with Streight's sword which is in our archives here in Alabama and whats interesting is its just a plain old artillery sword.
Colonel_Abel_Streights_sword_with_scabbard.jpg
 

Nathanb1

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I can see both sides of the coin but I really don't believe it was a victory in the eyes of Streight's commanders . Plus if it was a victory how did Forrest end up with Streight's sword which is in our archives here in Alabama and whats interesting is its just a plain old artillery sword.
View attachment 105430

Technically...You're correct; however, Streight accomplished what his superiors wanted, which was to pull troops out of Mississippi...particularly the Vicksburg area...and Griersons, who had to take out Newton Station because it was such an important communication and transportation hub for east-west.
 

Nathanb1

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And Technically your right but I really don't think Streight's superiors told him " Go forth and distract Forrest and then get captured and be sent to Richmond as a prisoner"

Oh no, like Griersons, there was an objective. He was just unlucky in who was after him. And maybe not as sneaky as Griersons.
 

gjpratt

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I just returned from a Streight's Raid tour with Blue & Gray Education Society.

One of the topics was the exact location of the Days Gap Battlefield. The guide made a convincing case for a location 2-3 miles south of Battleground, Alabama, on the grounds of Bethlehem West Missionary Baptist Church. You have a swampy area and creek to the SW (Jaybird Creek) and a steep ravine to the NE of the church, with the church standing on a ridge (the modern highway 157 has cut through the ridge).

The location of Emma Sansom's ford was about 60 yards north of the modern Tuscalosoosa Avenue bridge over Black Creek in Gadsden.

As for Streight's Raid being a diversion - I submit that Streight was unaware of Grant's plans for Vicksburg in May. Rosecrans, Streight's boss, was equally unaware. When Grant was asked for the loan of a division under Dodge for a few days, he would have seen it as an opportunity to create a distraction and thus assented. Thus, at least to Grant, the raid was a diversion.

However, since Forrest was in central Tennessee and in Bragg's army, I question if he would have been cut loose to help Pemberton/Johnson even if there was not a diversion (and, if he had been transferred to help Pemberton/Johnson, would he have arrived in time to matter)?

I am a new member enjoying myself as I find and study threads of interest. Forrest’s pursuit of Streight has long been a fascination. I am intrigued by the possibility that the battlefield of Day’s Gap may be misidentified. This post is the first I have heard this. I went on a tour with Ed Bears and Dan Fulenwider some 20 years ago and we walked the accepted site of the battle. One of the most interesting things We learned on that tour was that it had just been determined that the location of the rear guard action at Crooked Creek was not correct. Forensic evidence conclusively established that this fight occurred at another ford about 1/4 mile away. So it is certainly plausible that the main battle was also misplaced. But I am having great difficulty understanding how such a mistake could be made. Local lore would not forget such dramatic event. And there must be forensic evidence from a pitched battle. Anyway, I am curious what else made a persuasive case for the alternate site other than the geography? I do admit the geographic features are intriguing. I consulted Brandon Beck’s recent book but nothing more is there. General Scales’ recent bible on Forrest’s battles and campaigns accepts the traditional location. Any suggestions for more reference materials?
‘book
 

diane

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I am a new member enjoying myself as I find and study threads of interest. Forrest’s pursuit of Streight has long been a fascination. I am intrigued by the possibility that the battlefield of Day’s Gap may be misidentified. This post is the first I have heard this. I went on a tour with Ed Bears and Dan Fulenwider some 20 years ago and we walked the accepted site of the battle. One of the most interesting things We learned on that tour was that it had just been determined that the location of the rear guard action at Crooked Creek was not correct. Forensic evidence conclusively established that this fight occurred at another ford about 1/4 mile away. So it is certainly plausible that the main battle was also misplaced. But I am having great difficulty understanding how such a mistake could be made. Local lore would not forget such dramatic event. And there must be forensic evidence from a pitched battle. Anyway, I am curious what else made a persuasive case for the alternate site other than the geography? I do admit the geographic features are intriguing. I consulted Brandon Beck’s recent book but nothing more is there. General Scales’ recent bible on Forrest’s battles and campaigns accepts the traditional location. Any suggestions for more reference materials?
‘book

I can't suggest more reference materials, but I've been interested in this section of Forrest's pursuit. His brother Bill made a blunder at Sand Mountain and was captured, with a goodly number of casualties, but Forrest went on an all-nighter! The series of running battles and skirmishes was by the light of the full moon - they ended up at Blountsville about 10am. I kind of think the time of the battle made for curiosity about the real battle site as well as some features having changed over time.
 

wausaubob

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Denver, CO
Streight's rail appears to be part of a plan. We don't know if it was, because Grant never admitted it.
But before Grant began his Vicksburg campaign the US Navy became very active on the Mississippi and Confederate communication with the west bank broke down. Then Grierson went riding down through Tennessee and Mississippi, ending up in Baton Rouge. That kept Confederate cavalry occupied, but Grierson only escaped destruction by some long and harrowing rides.
Dodge and Tennessee loyalists took advantage of Earl Van Dorn's known reputation and got him isolated under questionable circumstances, and someone killed General Van Dorn.
Finally, Dodge convinced Streight to undertake a poorly equipped raid, which looks a lot like a forlorn hope mission, which nonetheless led Forrest away from Tennessee into Alabama.
 

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