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DixieRifles

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Don`t forget the whole distance between Pocahontas and Memphis on the Memphis & Charleston Railroad (M & C R R) where much fighting and skirmishing was taking place at numerous points along that stretch of Railroad as Federal cavalry (Sherman) was trying to destroy much of it and Confederate cavalry (S. D. Lee / Forrest) was trying to protect it in what became known as the Railroad War, basically from 1863 - 1864,
I think you got it backwards. After the fall of Memphis, the Union army decided to take control of the M&C RR and use it to move troops in preparation for the Vicksburg campaign. They established forts along the RR to protect it from Confederate raiders and guerillas, who would tear up the tracks or sometimes fire on the passing trains.
This is a Confederate Intel report that identifies the units and number of Union troops guarding the RR. It may not be accurate or the units could have moved to a different location. Totals to 15,700 troops guarding the Railroad and does not count the cavalry who were sent out on patrols to disrupt raiders.

Intel Report 2.jpg



Here is a quote from a diary of a Union soldier---forgot which unit he was with.
March 1863 --- The last sentence describes how the Union forces were guarding the M&C RR.

Diary-JohnCheney.jpg



These are entries of a diary of a member of the 7th Kansas Cavalry which patrolled the M&C RR for several months of 1863 and then again in 1864 after they returned to Kansas to recruit replacements.

Diary of Fetcher Pomeroy, Quartermaster Sergeant of 7th Kansas Cavalry Regiment
Quotes are from January 1863 during the snow storm at Collierville & Memphis area.
Beginning on Page 89


Germantown, Tenn, Wednesday Jan 7, 1863 – Our regiment, the 15th Ohio and the 4th Ill. Cavalry left camp on time last night, marching west. We passed through Colliersville and are camped at this place, a small town on the Memphis & Charleston Railway. We are fifteen miles east of Memphis. Maj. Merriman has been sent twenty-eight miles south with a detachment.

Thrusday, 8th – Maj. Merriman’s command returned about 8.00 A.M. and at 9.00 A.M. the brigade moved back to Colliersville where we are now. Here we will probably remain until our baggage trains arrive from Moscow. It has rained most of the day and still continues.

Colliersville, Tenn. Friday, Jan 9, 1863. We are still in bivouac near here. It has been a pleasant day, but is raining this evening.

Satudrday, 10th – Our train came up this afternoon, and we have pitched our tents one-half mile northeast of town. We have marching orders for 3.00 A.M. tomorrow.

Sabbath, 11th – Col. Wallace of the 4th Ill. Cavalry started out with 150 men each from the 5th Ohio, 4th Ill., and our regiment . . . {missing a line at bottom of page} . . . at 3.00 A.M. At 7.00 A.M. Col Herrick with detachment followed us far as Fisherville, where he remained as a reserve for Col. Wallace, who was some fifteen miles further north, and who was expected to have an engagement with Richardson's command{Confederate General R. V. Richardson}. We gathered up forty horses and mules and ten bales of cotton and at 4.00 P.M. returned to camp.

Monday, 12th - Col. Wallaces' command returned this A.M. They are twenty-five miles north but met no enemy. We are under marching orders for 4.00 A.M. tomorrow.
After the disaster at Fort Pillow, General Sherman made it clear that the attention of the Army was advancing towards Atlanta. He ordered many of the river forts to be evacuated and sent East. It was much the same for the troops along the M&C RR.[/QUOTE]
 
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Thanks I have edited my post to what is written below.

"Don`t forget the whole distance between Pocahontas and Memphis on the Memphis & Charleston Railroad (M & C R R) where much fighting and skirmishing was taking place at numerous points along that stretch of Railroad between Federal cavalry (Sherman) and Confederate cavalry (S. D. Lee / Forrest) in what became known as the Railroad War, basically from 1863 - 1864, which included stretches of Railroad located in northern Alabama, west and middle Tennessee."

The point that I was making was that the distance in between Pocahontas and Memphis along the M & C R R had many skirmishes and fights at numerous points during 1863 - 1864. Those fights happening along the Railroad itself and being extended into the woods and along the roads that paralleled the tracks as well as the small towns that the railroad went through.
 

DixieRifles

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Yes. I have read about some of the raids and skirmishes further East from Corinth and into Alabama, but I know I'm not aware of many of them. I can't tell you what Wheeler was doing during later 1863 & 1864.

Here is one OR that lays out the defense of the RR. General Hurlbut was the commander of XVI Corps that was headquartered at Memphis and was charged with controlling West Tennessee and N. Mississippi.
Note: In last OR, the RR is referred to as the Charleston and Memphis RR.

Hurlbut_June63.jpg


And this is Hurlbut a few months later going beserk with demands for more troops to guard Corinth and his private domain.

Page-030.jpg
 
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The 2nd Regiment Alabama Cavalry (Col. Richard G. Earle) along with the 2nd Regiment Tennessee Cavalry (Col. C. R. Barteau) operated and fought together all along the M&C RR from April 1863 - February 1864. First under Brig. General Daniel Ruggles from April - July 1863 and second under Brig. General Samuel Wragg Ferguson from August 1863 - February 1864. I have numerous reports from the "OR" of them skirmishing and fighting at different points along that stretch of Railroad during that time period.

There is a really good book written by Mr. Robert Dunnavant Jr. (circa 1994) entitled "The Railroad War; N. B. Forrest`s 1864 Raid Through Northern Alabama and Middle Tennessee" which goes into great detail about that event. However it seems to mostly concentrate on Forrest and his part of it in 1864. If you have not read it, I recommend that you do as it is very informative.
 
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DixieRifles

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second under Brig. General Samuel Wragg Ferguson from August 1863 - February 1864.
I didn't know Barteau's regiment was in his brigade. In 1864, Barteau was in Forrest's Corps and most of the time was in Bell's Brigade. Ferguson keeps popping up in Mississippi. I thought I read about him being involved in trying to capture Sooy Smith's forces but he wasn't at Okolona. Ferguson was fighting with Chalmers Division or along side him. In December 1863, Lee ordered Chalmers to return men he had borrowed from Ferguson he was using to man his artillery battery. I thought most of his units were from Alabama so he spent most of his time in that state. After the summer of 1864 as the battles moved in that direction, he could have been under Forrest's command.

I'm looking for some more good reference books so I looked at that book on Amazon. Is the author Robert Dunnavant? The description says that covers the operations during September thru October 1864 in preparation for Hood's thrust towards Nashville. That was a critical period but it doesn't seem to cover very much.
 
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DixieRifles, the 2nd Regiment Tennessee Cavalry (Col. C. R. Barteau) was with Brig. General Daniel Ruggles in early 1863 until Samuel Wragg Ferguson was promoted to Brig. General in July 1863, at which time the 2nd Tennessee Cavalry, 2nd Alabama Cavalry, 56th Alabama Partisan Rangers, 12th Mississippi Cavalry and Owen`s Arkansas Battery (6-Guns) was transferred from Ruggles to Ferguson`s Cavalry Brigade and operated under Ferguson, headquartered at Okolona, from 27 Aug 1863 until the 2nd Tennessee (Barteau) was transferred to Maj. General Nathan Bedford Forrest on 27 Jan 1864. Soon after Ferguson would receive the 11th and 9th Mississippi Cavalry Regiment`s to complete his Cavalry Brigade. The 2nd Tennessee Cavalry and Ferguson had a very bad relationship which started with Ferguson arresting Col. Barteau for a couple of months regarding an unauthorized raid he conducted into Tennessee in 1863. This angered the men of the 2nd Tennessee Regiment and from that point forward they had problems with Ferguson. Ferguson spent a little more than a year (15 Months) fighting in Mississippi at which point he would make frequent raids into Northern Alabama and West Tennessee.

Col. C. R. Barteau and the men of the 2nd Tennessee Cavalry were complaining for months to Stephen D. Lee to transfer them to Forrest but Ferguson would never agree. In January of 1864 this all came to a head when Ferguson was ordered from Okolona to Jackson, Ms. to help oppose Sherman`s Meridian Campaign and S. D. Lee re-assigned the 2nd Tennessee Cavalry to Forrest`s Corps, that being on 27 Jan 1864.

Below is what Sgt. Richard Ramsey Hancock ("C" Troop), 2nd Regiment Tennessee Cavalry, wrote in his journal and memoirs regarding being transferred from Ferguson`s Cavalry Brigade to Forrest, and what led up to it:

"There had been, some time previous to this, a change of department commanders. General Joseph E. Johnston had been relieved from duty by the President (given command of the Army of Tennessee), and Lieutenant-General Polk placed in his stead (The Army of Mississippi). During a visit to Polk's headquarters at Jackson, Mississippi, on the 13th instant, the command of a district was formally assigned General Forrest; that is, ''Forrest's Cavalry Department," embracing all cavalry commands in West Tennessee and North Mississippi. to the southern boundaries of the counties of Monroe, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Yallabusha, Tallahatchie, and that part of Sunflower and Bolivar lying north of a line drawn from the south-east corner of Tallahatchie County to the town of Prentiss, on the Mississippi River. At the same time he secured arms and ammunition for his troops.

Ferguson now had orders to move his brigade further south, perhaps to the neighborhood of Jackson (Ms.). The Second Tennessee was, from various considerations, bitterly opposed to going any further south. In the first place, there was not the best of feeling existing between Ferguson and the Second Tennessee. While he was too strict to suit them, they were too independent to suit him. And especially did this state of feeling exist between Ferguson and Company "C" (Capt. A. J. Guttery`s Company). In the second place, we imagined that it would be more unhealthy further south. In the third place, we were the only Tennesseans in Ferguson's Brigade, while the majority of Forrest's troops were Tennesseans, and we much preferred serving with troops from our own State. Therefore, we very earnestly begged for a transfer to Forrest's command.

In the fourth place, if we remained in his department, which embraced a part of Tennessee, we had some hope of going back to our native State occasionally, while, if we went with Ferguson, we had no hope of seeing Tennessee until the war closed. What a sad thought was this! The all-important question now was, Will the regiment be transferred? How anxiously did the Second Tennessee wait for an answer to that question.

The brigade was to start south the next morning. Dark came, yet no transfer. What will we do? Colonel Barteau. can you not help us out of this trouble? Can't you. Colonel Morton? Is there any hope of a transfer? Is it possible that we will have to start south in the morning with Ferguson ? Do not despair, men, perhaps we will be transferred yet."

"Eight, nine, and ten o'clock came, and yet no transfer. Some lay down to rest, though, perhaps, too much troubled to sleep. Finally, about eleven o'clock a.m. ''The Second Tennessee is transferred to Forrest,'' spread like lightning through the camp.

Those who had been trying in vain to while away the time in sleep now sprang from their tents to unite with the rest in yelling, hallooing, shouting, and such another jollification as they had from then until daylight next morning had never been witnessed in the camp of the Second Tennessee Cavalry before. If General Ferguson is now living I guess that he has not forgotten the serenade that a lot of the boys gave him that night with tin pans, camp kettles, etc. We had no cannon by which we could give Ferguson a parting salute; however, some of the boys got up a right good substitute by boring holes in logs and filling with powder. But after all the big guns and the little guns. Ferguson still remained quiet, and did not order any of the Second Tennessee to be sent to his headquarters.

The Second Tennessee belonged to "Forrest's Cavalry" from the above date to the close of the war fifteen months and fourteen days. Bidding Ferguson a " final farewell," the regiment moved north, not south, and camped for the night near Okolona."


During the Meridian Campaign, S. D. Lee then comprised of S. W. Ferguson, W. H. Jackson, Wirt Adams, P. B. Starke and Sully Ross left Meridian after Sherman had torn up the place for 3 days and went up to help Forrest at Okolona, but by the time that they had arrived to reinforce Forrest he had already routed Sooy Smith, so they hung around for a couple of days and then received news that Sherman was on his way back to Vicksburg from Meridian. So S. D. Lee with Ferguson and the others turned back south and caught up with Sherman as he was crossing the Pearl River and fought him around Canton for 5 days and then pursued him until he finally re-crossed the Big Black River on 3 Mar 1864 and headed back to Vicksburg. Then in early May 1864 Ferguson and his Cavalry Brigade was issued movement orders to Atlanta.

Below is a tri-monthly report showing Barteau`s 2nd Tennessee Cavalry Regiment as part of Ferguson`s Cavalry Brigade headquartered at Okolona, Ms.:

General Fergusons Aggregate Troops strength, August 27, 1863.jpg


They were still listed as part of Ferguson`s Cavalry Brigade on the report below in early February 1864 regarding the Meridian Expedition, but they were with Forrest by then, I think they had already made out the report just before the 2nd Tennessee cavalry was transferred on 27 Jan 1864, just days before.

General Fergusons Cavalry Brigade Troop aggregate (Meridian Expedition).jpg
 
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scone

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Don`t forget the whole distance between Pocahontas and Memphis on the Memphis & Charleston Railroad (M & C R R) where much fighting and skirmishing was taking place at numerous points along that stretch of Railroad between Federal cavalry (Sherman) and Confederate cavalry (S. D. Lee / Forrest) in what became known as the Railroad War, basically from 1863 - 1864, which included stretches of Railroad located in northern Alabama, west and middle Tennessee.

Some of the places may be gone and some added I put this together long from various things ... and some just unknown to me … need to try and re update a new version.
 
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Some of the places may be gone and some added I put this together long from various things ... and some just unknown to me … need to try and re update a new version.
I think you did a great job compiling the list, thank you. I have visited a lot of the sites where my 3rd Great Grandfather with the 2nd Alabama Cavalry fought or skirmished during the ACW in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia so far, with many more sites left to visit.
 

DixieRifles

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@DixieRifles, the 2nd Regiment Tennessee Cavalry (Col. C. R. Barteau) was with Brig. General Daniel Ruggles in early 1863 until Samuel Wragg Ferguson was promoted to Brig. General in July 1863, at which time the 2nd Tennessee Cavalry, 2nd Alabama Cavalry, 56th Alabama Partisan Rangers, 12th Mississippi Cavalry and Owen`s Arkansas Battery (6-Guns) was transferred from Ruggles to Ferguson`s Cavalry Brigade and operated under Ferguson, headquartered at Okolona, from 27 Aug 1863 until the 2nd Tennessee (Barteau) was transferred to Maj. General Nathan Bedford Forrest on 27 Jan 1864. Soon after Ferguson would receive the 11th and 9th Mississippi Cavalry Regiment`s to complete his Cavalry Brigade.
Thanks for posting Ferguson's history and the organization. I checked the unit history of the 22nd Tenn Cavalry(aka 2 Tenn) in "Tennesseans in the Civil War" and it agrees with the dates you stated$. I've also read that Ferguson was under the command of Chalmers but I don't know when that was and for how long. The OR you quoted has him under Lee but no mention of Chalmers.
$ I just wanted to make sure you this was not Smith's 2nd Tenn Cavalry or Ashby's 2nd Tenn Cavalry.

During the Meridian Campaign, S. D. Lee then comprised of S. W. Ferguson, W. H. Jackson, Wirt Adams, P. B. Starke and Sully Ross left Meridian after Sherman had torn up the place for 3 days and went up to help Forrest at Okolona, but by the time that they had arrived to reinforce Forrest he had already routed Sooy Smith . . .
. . . .
They were still listed as part of Ferguson`s Cavalry Brigade on the report below in early February 1864 regarding the Meridian Expedition, but they were with Forrest by then, I think they had already made out the report just before the 2nd Tennessee cavalry was transferred on 27 Jan 1864, just days before.
This is what confuses me. I read this to say that Ferguson was sent to help Forrest trap and stop Sooy Smith and it says they arrived too late. Yet, Forrest placed Barteau's regiment on the East side of the Tombigbee with orders to shadow Smith's retreat and then his regiment was the one that lead the charge that caught the Union line transitioning into march column. I quickly checked Brandon Beck's booklet on the Battle of Okolona and it lists Barteau's 2d Tennessee Cavalry under Bell's Brigade. Ferguson's brigade is not listed but I know other units were moving into North Mississippi to give aid. That is why I have a hard time tracing Ferguson, Slemons and Gholson.

150th Anniversary of Battle of Okolona. This marker states that Barteau was in command of a brigade, yet Beck's book said he still held the rank of Major. I think both may be off.
Okoloan Marker.jpg


Before we hijack this thread and transition away from Tennessee, I will have to go to some more References.

Tomorrow, I have to help with an elementary school field trip on Civil War history.


{Edited} PS:
Below is what Sgt. Richard Ramsey Hancock ("C" Troop), 2nd Regiment Tennessee Cavalry, wrote in his journal and memoirs regarding being transferred from Ferguson`s Cavalry Brigade to Forrest, and what led up to it:
What is the date of this quote?
 
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Thanks for posting Ferguson's history and the organization. I checked the unit history of the 22nd Tenn Cavalry(aka 2 Tenn) in "Tennesseans in the Civil War" and it agrees with the dates you stated$. I've also read that Ferguson was under the command of Chalmers but I don't know when that was and for how long. The OR you quoted has him under Lee but no mention of Chalmers. $ I just wanted to make sure you this was not Smith's 2nd Tenn Cavalry or Ashby's 2nd Tenn Cavalry.
Chalmers was also under S. D. Lee at this time from July 1863 until he was "officially" placed under Forrest in January 1864. When I mention the 2nd Regiment Tennessee Cavalry I am referring to the Regiment of Barteau and Morton and not that of Smith or Ashby.

Chalmers and Ferguson had their own Brigades and were given command of them around the same time, below is a general order by S. D. Lee expressing that. When S. D. Lee took Ferguson`s Cavalry Brigade, to include the 2nd Tennessee Cavalry and Sully Ross` Texas Cavalry Brigade, with him on the Tennessee River Expedition to oppose Sherman`s march from Memphis to Chattanooga in October and November 1863, he left Chalmers in charge of Northern Mississippi until Lee, Ferguson and Ross returned to Okolona in mid November 1863.

In reference to general order #2, issued by Maj. General S. D. Lee from his Headquarters of the Cavalry in Mississippi at Canton, on 4 Sep 1863 he stated in part three of the order that:

"In future the designation of the following commands will be as follows, viz: Brig. General J. R. Chalmers` Command will be known as Chalmers` Cavalry Brigade and Brig. General S. W. Ferguson`s Command will be known as Ferguson`s Cavalry Brigade."

21 Nov 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.


So Ferguson was never under the command of Chalmers, as Ferguson was his superior officer. They did operate alongside each other in Northern Mississippi, West Tennessee and Northern Alabama from August 1863 - January 1864 and went on raids together.

This is what confuses me. I read this to say that Ferguson was sent to help Forrest trap and stop Sooy Smith and it says they arrived too late. Yet, Forrest placed Barteau's regiment on the East side of the Tombigbee with orders to shadow Smith's retreat and then his regiment was the one that lead the charge that caught the Union line transitioning into march column. I quickly checked Brandon Beck's booklet on the Battle of Okolona and it lists Barteau's 2d Tennessee Cavalry under Bell's Brigade. Ferguson's brigade is not listed but I know other units were moving into North Mississippi to give aid. That is why I have a hard time tracing Ferguson, Slemons and Gholson.
Correct, Barteau and the 2nd Tennessee Cavalry had been transferred from Ferguson to Forrest on 27 Jan 1864, slightly less than a month before the Battle of Okolona was fought... Ferguson left Okolona for Jackson, Ms. on 28 Jan 1864. He arrived at Canton, Ms. on 3 Feb 1864 and reported to S. D. Lee at Bolton Station the following morning on 4 Feb 1864 to oppose Sherman`s army on that day which initiated the Meridian Campaign. Ferguson opposed Sherman`s army all the way to Meridian where they arrived on 14 Feb 1864. They fought around Meridian for 4 days while Sherman was tearing up the railroad for 20 miles north, east, west and south of Meridian from 15 - 18 Feb 1864. Then S. D. Lee, with Ferguson, Jackson, Adams, Starke and Ross left Meridian for Okolona on 19 Feb 1864 while Sherman was still tearing up the place to assist Forrest in the fight with Sooy Smith, but they arrived too late on 22 Feb 1864 to get in on the fight, as Sooy Smith had just been routed and was being chased back to Tennessee, so Lee with Ferguson and the others stayed for a couple of days helping Forrest round up stragglers until heading south again to catch Sherman as he was crossing the Pearl River on his way back to Vicksburg from Meridian. They caught up with Sherman on 26-27 Feb 1864 and fought him around Canton for 5 days. Then they pursued him from Canton to the Big Black River and called off the pursuit after Sherman had crossed the river on 3 Mar 1864 and soon arrived back to Vicksburg, thereby bringing the Meridian Campaign to a close.

What is the date of this quote?
The quote about the 2nd Tennessee Cavalry waiting to be transferred and finally receiving word that they had been was on the night of 26 Jan 1864 and the morning of 27 Jan 1864. It is from the Journal and Memoirs of Sgt. Richard Ramsey Hancock ("C" Troop), 2nd Regiment Tennessee Cavalry, which was written in 1887. What I quoted from, regarding Ferguson and the 2nd Tennessee Cavalry, was discussed by Hancock on pages 235 - 280. His Journal is full of detailed information about the history of the 2nd Regiment Tennessee Cavalry, Col. Barteau and Lt. Col. Morton. Follow the link below to be able to read it and download the PDF:

 
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Wow ! I read this old thread several days ago and here it is bumped..
Steve, thank you for a wonderful, useful post, this took a lot of time.
 
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