What Tennessee Union regiment had the best combat record?

JeffBrooks

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Location
Manor, TX
Fiddling around with ideas for my next excursion into Civil War fiction and was hoping for a little help with the following question. . . what Tennessee Union regiment had the best combat record?

I am asking about the units composed of white Tennesseans loyal to the Union, not the U.S.C.T. units.

Thanks!
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
Fiddling around with ideas for my next excursion into Civil War fiction and was hoping for a little help with the following question. . . what Tennessee Union regiment had the best combat record?

I am asking about the units composed of white Tennesseans loyal to the Union, not the U.S.C.T. units.

Thanks!

Just my opinion, 1st Tennessee Cavalry Volunteers. Following the war, veterans of the 1st claimed Chickamauga was the only field they left in the enemy's control. For the most part, the 1st was made up of men that early on put their lives on the line by going through Confederate lines to Kentucky and the Union Army.

First Cavalry
TENNESSEE
(3-YEARS)


First Cavalry. -- Cols., Robert Johnson, James P. Brownlow;
Lieut.Col., Calvin M. Dyer; Majs., James O. Berry, William R.
Tracy, Abram Hammond, Morgan T. Burkhart, Henry G. Flagg,
Burton Smith, Russell Thornburgh.

This regiment was organized at Camp Dennison, Ohio, Nov. 1,
1862. It was then ordered to Tennessee and in the
organization of the cavalry, the Department of the Cumberland, was
united with the 1st brigade, 1st division.

The ensuing summer, with the forces of Gen. Rosecrans, it
entered on the campaign which resulted in the occupation of
Tullahoma and Chattanooga, participating in engagements at
Rover, Middleton, Guyer's Gap, Shelbyville, and Cowan.

After an expedition through northern Alabama and Georgia under
Lieut.-Col. Brownlow, it reached Chickamauga and participated
in the battle. It was then sent in pursuit of Gen. Wheeler,
going by the way of McMinnville, Shelbyville, and Murfreesboro,
a detachment being sent to Sparta.

The regiment afterward proceeded to Kingston, Knoxville,
Strawberry Plains, New Market, Dandridge, and Mossy Creek. At
the last two places engagements occurred with the Confederate
cavalry in greatly superior force, but by gallant charges
under skillful leadership, the regiment succeeded in escaping
with little injury.

It then remained in that vicinity until April 1864, when it
began a march to Resaca, Cassville, Dallas, and Pine Mountain,
GA, and thence to a raid on the Macon railroad, where an
engagement occurred. After some hard fighting, it reached the
Chattahoochee River on Aug. 1, and while crossing the stream
was attacked by the enemy, who succeeded in taking a large
number of prisoners.

Col. Brownlow reached Marietta two days later with a few men
and there was joined by the more fortunate fugitives. During
Wheeler's raid through Middle Tennessee the regiment was in
engagements with him at La Vergne, Franklin and
Campbellsville, and followed him upon his retreat to Florence,
Ala.

It then returned to Pulaski and had a skirmish with Gen.
Forrest, after which it continued to scout along the Tennessee until after the defeat of Hood when it went in pursuit of his
forces. After a reconnaissance as far as Corinth in Jan.
1865, the regiment returned to Nashville, where it was
mustered out June 14, 1865.

Source: The Union Army, vol. 4, p. 382

*************************************************************************************

Chickamauga after battle report:

Report of Lieut. Col. James P. Brownlow, First Tennessee Cavalry.

HDQRS. FIRST TENNESSEE CAVALRY,
Winchester, Tenn., November 3, 1863.
LIEUT.:I have the honor to submit the following report of operations of the
First Tennessee Cavalry for the months of September and October:

After crossing the Tennessee River on the 1st of September, we encamped
at Caperton's Spring, Ala. Squadrons F and G, ordered to report to Gen.
Jeff. C. Davis for picket, were placed in advance of a reconnoitering party,
and after skirmishing with the enemy's advance for some time, drove them
into and through Trenton, Ga., without any loss.

On the 4th, crossed Sand Mountain; encamped in Wills' Valley, 4 miles
from Valley Head.

On the 5th, in advance of the First Brigade, we moved on the Will's Valley
road in the direction of Lebanon, and after skirmishing with the enemy for
a distance of 3 miles, drove them several miles beyond the town and
returned to camp.

On the 9th, crossed Lookout Mountain and entered Alpine, ga. The entire
command stood picket on the night of the 9th, and on the 10th remained in
line of battle.

On the 11th, with the brigade, we proceeded to Chattanooga River. Here I
was ordered to make a scout in the direction of Rome, Ga.

After proceeding 5 miles I divided the command, sending a portion in
command of Maj.'s Dyer and Flagg on the main road, in which direction they
proceeded as far as the Narrows, within 10 miles of Rome, where they
drove in the pickets, capturing and destroying all the arms and equipments
of one company. I proceeded with the other battalion, in command of Maj.
Thornbrugh, to the main road leading from Rome to Dalton as far as Dirt
Town, within 10 miles of Rome. This move was made in between the
divisions of Gen.'s Forrest and Wharton.

After skirmishing with the enemy for two hours I captured 4 prisoners, from
whom I gained very valuable information, and returned to camp with my
entire command at midnight without the loss of a man in killed, wounded,
or missing.

On the 12th, we returned to Alpine.

On the 13th, we proceeded to La Fayette, Ga., where our brigade engaged
the enemy; here I was shelled by the enemy at short range for some time,
and returned with the rest of Campbell's brigade as a rear guard to Alpine.

On the 14th, left Alpine and bivouacked on Lookout Mountain; 15th,
returned to Will's Valley; 16th, recrossed Lookout Mountain into
McLemore's Cove; 17th, proceeded to Cedar Grove; 18th and 19th, moved
to Crawfish Spring, and remained in line of battle till the evening of the
20th, when we fell back, to guard the Chattanooga Valley road, where we
remained in line of battle until 10 p. m. of the 20th, at which time we fell
back to within 5 miles of Chattanooga.

On the 21st, advanced 4 miles in the direction of Chickamauga, and
remained in line of battle until the morning of the 22d, when we fell back
into Chattanooga; remained in line of battle till evening, when we crossed
the Tennessee River.

On the night of the 25th, we crossed Walden's Ridge, and proceeded to
Caperton's Ferry, Ala.*

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAS. P. BROWNLOW,
Lieut.-Col., Comdg.

Lieut. E. HOYT, Jr.,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen., First Brigade.

Source: Official Records
PAGE 905-50 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. [CHAP. XLII.
[Series I. Vol. 30. Part I, Reports. Serial No. 50.]

************************************************************************************​
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Fiddling around with ideas for my next excursion into Civil War fiction and was hoping for a little help with the following question. . . what Tennessee Union regiment had the best combat record?

I am asking about the units composed of white Tennesseans loyal to the Union, not the U.S.C.T. units.

Thanks!
I have a thread I can bump up" How effective were Unionist regiments" and one group from a Tennessee Unionist Regiment swam accross a river and dressed only in their birthday suits captured some Confederate Pickett's. One Tennessee Regiment the 13th Cavalry Tennessee Union were nicknamed " the Terrible Thirteenth" and have a recent book by the same name. Not saying they were the best but they must have an interesting back story.
Colonel George Kirk of the 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry was from Tennessee and a good percentage of his boys were from Tennessee.
Leftyhunter
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2020
Location
North Carolina
I have a thread I can bump up" How effective were Unionist regiments" and one group from a Tennessee Unionist Regiment swam accross a river and dressed only in their birthday suits captured some Confederate Pickett's. One Tennessee Regiment the 13th Cavalry Tennessee Union were nicknamed " the Terrible Thirteenth" and have a recent book by the same name. Not saying they were the best but they must have an interesting back story.
Colonel George Kirk of the 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry was from Tennessee and a good percentage of his boys were from Tennessee.
Leftyhunter
Most of the 3rd NC Mounted Infantry was from western North Carolina. The title of the newer book on the 13th TN is:
The Dreaded 13th Tennessee Union Cavalry
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Fiddling around with ideas for my next excursion into Civil War fiction and was hoping for a little help with the following question. . . what Tennessee Union regiment had the best combat record?

I am asking about the units composed of white Tennesseans loyal to the Union, not the U.S.C.T. units.

Thanks!
I have a book at home about the politics of Knoxville and the " Terrible Thirteenth" were also rather racist towards a USCT Regiment based in Knoxville. Of course there were per Dryers Compendium certainly other Tennessee Unionist Regiments . Col. George Kirk was from East Tennessee along with some of the boys plus men from other Southern states mostly but not all from Western North Carolina.
I have no idea which regiment was " better" but the Thirteenth seems to be the best known.
Leftyhunter
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2020
Location
North Carolina
I have a book at home about the politics of Knoxville and the " Terrible Thirteenth" were also rather racist towards a USCT Regiment based in Knoxville. Of course there were per Dryers Compendium certainly other Tennessee Unionist Regiments . Col. George Kirk was from East Tennessee along with some of the boys plus men from other Southern states mostly but not all from Western North Carolina.
I have no idea which regiment was " better" but the Thirteenth seems to be the best known.
Leftyhunter
Do you have a reference for the 13th Tennessee ever being referred to as the "Terrible Thirteenth"? That does not seem to appear any other place than this thread. Thanks!
 
Top