First Alabama Cavalry Regiment
The First Alabama cavalry was organized at Montgomery, November, 1861, under Col. J. H. Clanton. It was ordered to Tennessee, and was at Jackson, Tenn., March 6, 1862; ordered to Monterey March 31st, and opened the battle of Shiloh. Was with Generals Walker, Beall, Chalmers and Wheeler in the summer and fall of 1862; afterward served, successively, in the brigades of Generals Hagan, Russell, Morgan and Allen, of Wheeler's corps. It moved into Kentucky and was distinguished at Munfordville, Perryville, and the many cavalry battles fought by Wheeler in the Kentucky campaign. It also fought with him at Nashville, Stewart's Creek bridge, and various skirmishes preceding and incident to the battle of Murfreesboro. It was especially thanked by General Bragg for gallant conduct in that great battle. It was also part of the rear guard which protected the retreat from Tullahoma and Chattanooga, losing severely at Duck river; fought at Chickamauga, Clinton and Knoxville, and took a brilliant part in the Sequatchee raid, in which nearly 2,000 prisoners and a train of 1,000 provision wagons were captured.
The First Alabama cavalry took a very conspicuous part in the rout of Generals Stoneman, Garrard and McCook; and was also daily engaged in retarding Sherman's advance, and harassing the enemy's front and flank in the Dalton-Atlanta campaign. It was in fights at or near Middleton, Fosterville, Lafayette, Marietta, Noonday Creek and Big Shanty. Its colonel, James H. Clanton, was in the spring of 1863 commissioned a brigadier-general, and rendered very efficient service throughout the war until captured at Bluff Spring, Fla., in March, 1865. He was succeeded in the command by Col. William W. Allen, who was in turn promoted to the command of a brigade and afterward to a division, being commissioned major-general in March, 1865; he was wounded at Stewart's Creek, December, 1863. Lieutenant Ledyard, wounded at Murfreesboro, was promoted. Capt. David T. Blakey was wounded at Dandridge, and he became colonel on the promotion of Colonel Allen, and led the regiment in many brilliant actions. Lieut.-Col. Thomas Brown was killed at Woodsonville, Ky.; Adjt. Wesley Jones at Fiddler's Pond, Capt. George Speed at Noonday Creek, and Capt. Sydney E. Allen at Murfreesboro. This regiment was asked for by General Lee in the summer of 1863.
Extracts From Official War Records
Vol. VII--(909-914) At Florence, Ala., February 26, 1862, 800 strong.
Vol. X, Part I--(29) Near Tuscumbia, March 16, 1862. (90) General Sherman says: "First Alabama engaged and captured Federal pickets, April 4, 1862." This letter shows that Federals were surprised. (93) General Hardee says: "Enemy attacked Clanton's regiment near Mickey's April 4, 1862." (384, 532) Mentioned in reports of Bragg and Withers. (553) General Chalmers' report, Shiloh, says that Colonel Clanton's First regiment Alabama cavalry protected our flank from attack. "Colonel Clanton himself remained almost all the time with my brigade, and though constantly exposed to the most dangerous fire, exhibited the most fearless and exemplary courage, cheering on those who seemed inclined to falter or grow weary, and with a detachment of his cavalry supplying us with ammunition when our wagons could not reach us." (612) Mentioned by Capt. A. W. Avery, Shiloh. (853, 854) Highly commended in Col. Joseph Wheeler's report, Bridge Creek, May 28, 1862: "The conduct of the officers and men in this affair was commendable, subjected as they were to a heavy fire of both artillery and infantry, from a foe secreted by a density of undergrowth. They advanced steadily, not using their arms until they were ordered, when they fired with good effect. . . . The part of the line under the gallant Colonel Clanton was severely engaged about 10 to 11 o'clock on the morning of the 29th, in which several were wounded on both sides." Colonel Wheeler mentions the gallant and good conduct of Colonel Clanton, and Private James Kerns, who was wounded while gallantly rallying a line of Mississippi troops which had been driven from their position.
Vol. X, Part 2--(299) Mentioned at Jackson, Tenn., March 6, 1862, by Adjutant-General Garner, who says: "Colonel Clanton is gallant to rashness." (300) Mentioned by General Bragg, Jackson. Tenn., March 6th. (303) Mentioned by Gen. L. P. Walker in letter from Tuscumbia. (307) In General Walker's brigade, army of Mississippi Valley, General Ruggles' corps, March 9th. (376) Ordered to occupy position in front of.Monterey, March 31st. (459) Total present, April 28th, 588, in General Beall's cavalry brigade. (534) May 21st, Clanton's cavalry ordered to report to General Hindman and General Trapier. (575) Clanton's cavalry assigned to duty with Chalmers' brigade, June 2d.
Vol. XVI, Part I--(893, 895, 897, 899) Gen. Joseph Wheeler's report: "On August 27, 1862, I moved across the Tennessee river at Chattanooga with a command consisting of parts of First Alabama regiments, etc. At Carthage, on September 7th, the First Alabama was detached from my command .... At Horse Cave, near Cave City, on September 18th, was joined by first regiment. On September 21st, at a point about four miles from Green river, the First Alabama made a gallant resistance and handsome charge upon the enemy, in which Col. T. B. Brown was killed .... The fighting on the north side of the river was done by the First Alabama, Third Georgia and First Kentucky regiments, all of which acted well under great difficulties and disparity of numbers .... On the Perryville and Lebanon road, a charge, one of the most brilliant of the campaign, was made in column; detachments of the First and Third Alabama regiments cavalry with the gallant Cols. W. W. Allen and James Hagan, being in advance .... In closing this report, I cannot speak in too great praise of the gallantry of the officers and men of the First and Third Alabama regiments, who were always ready to meet the enemy at any moment, performed all duties assigned them, and endured all hardships and privations without a murmur or complaint. The confidence I naturally placed in such noble officers and men caused me to call upon them, perhaps too frequently, for posts of danger and hardships, yet, never did they intimate that their details were more frequent than other commands, but with the greatest cheerfulness right bravely performed their double task thus imposed, simply. because their commander placed in them unshaken and implicit trust and confidence. To the brave officers and men of these regiments and their gallant leaders, Colonels Allen and Hagan, I tender my warmest thanks."
Vol. XVI, Part 2--(781) August 26, 1862, Colonel Allen's regiment assigned to Wheeler's brigade, left wing of army of Mississippi, and will report to General Hardee. (124) At Danville, July 8th. (804) Ordered.to join General Polk in Tennessee, September 9th. (809) Mentioned by Adjutant-General Williamson, Tompkinsville, Ky., September 10th; ordered on picket duty on Scottsville road. (824) With Col. W. W. Allen, commanded by Gen. N. B. Forrest, assigned to the right wing, army of Mississippi, to report to General Polk, September 14th. (832) Assigned to temporary duty with left wing by order of General Bragg, Glasgow, Ky., September 15th. (843) Transferred to left wing to report to General Hardee, September 18th. (879) Held in readiness for immediate and rapid march, by order of General Wheeler, New Haven, Ky., September 26th. (891) Mentioned by Adjutant-General Poole, Bardstown, Ky., September 30th.
Vol. XVII, Part I--(5-7) Mentioned in report of Colonel Lay; joined by a detachment of Colonel Clanton's regiment, June 15, 1862.
Vol. XVII, Part 2--(63-66) Mentioned by Col. P. H. Sheridan and General Rosecrans, 800 strong, July 2, 1862.
Vol. XX, Part I--(19) Murfreesboro, November 27, 1862, General Bragg desires General Wheeler to express to the First Alabama his appreciation of their gallant conduct, which was not unexpected, and which was spoken of in Wheeler's report. (82) A detachment of cavalry of the First Alabama regiment attacked and captured all the cavalry outposts of the enemy and immediately returned to the Confederate lines.--Report of Gen. H. P. Van Cleve, U.S. army near Nashville, December 25th. (630) Mentioned in Federal report of skirmish at Stewart's Creek bridge, December 27th. (661) Colonel Allen commanding, in Wheeler's brigade, army of Tennessee, Stone's river campaign. (958-960) Mentioned in report of General Wheeler, chief of cavalry, as stationed at Stewart's creek, December 26th. Colonel Allen was wounded while fighting gallantly; Lieut. E. S. Ledyard also wounded in engagements incident to battle of Murfreesboro.
Vol. XXIII, Part I--(135-137) Mentioned in skirmishes near Christiana, Tenn., March, 1863. (336, 340, 343, 346) Mentioned in Federal reports, near Murfreesboro, Middleton and Fosterville.
Vol. XXIII, Part 2--(677, 847) Mentioned by Colonel Prather and Gen. W. T. Martin. (943) In Hagan's brigade, Wheeler's corps, Bragg's army, July 31, 1863. (960) Commanded by Maj. A. H. Johnson, in Morgan's brigade, Wheeler's corps, August 10th.
No. 40--(738) Asked for by General Lee, April 20, 1863. (741) April 21st, Gen. S. Cooper says he thinks regiment will be sent to General Lee.
No. 42--(554) Governor Watts writes to General Polk that General Clanton "as the commander of the First Alabama, gained the most enviable fame as a gallant, dashing officer, before, after and at the battle of Shiloh." Senator R. W. Walker concurs as to character of General Clanton. (556) Mentioned by General Clanton in letter to General Polk, May 9, 1863.
No. 45--(886) Mentioned by General Lee, June 13, 1863.
No. 50--(232) In Hagan's brigade, Wheeler's corps, October 7, 1863.
No. 51--(19) Commanded by Lieut.-Col. D. T. Blakey, in Morgan's brigade, Wheeler's corps, Chickamauga campaign.
No. 52--(332) With General Wheeler, September 3, 1863, on the road to Trenton. (449) Gen. James S. Negley (Union) reports from Fowler's farm, September 8th, that this regiment is with General Wheeler, near Lafayette.
No. 53--(500) In Hagan's brigade, Wheeler's corps, August 15, 1863.
No. 54--(453) In Morgan's brigade, with General Longstreet, November, 1863.
No. 56--(619) In General Martin's division, Wheeler's corps, Bragg's army, October 31, 1863. (891) In Russell's brigade, Longstreet's army, December 31st.
No. 58--(634) Mentioned by General Longstreet, January 30, 1864. (642) Commanded by Col. W. W. Allen, in Russell's brigade, Longstreet's army, January 31st.
No. 59--(870) Commanded by Maj. A. H. Johnson, in Morgan's brigade, Wheeler's corps, April 30th.
No. 73--(819, 820, 822) Mentioned by Colonel Minty (Union), near Marietta, Ga., June 11, 1864; at Noonday Creek, June 21st. No. 74--(642, et seq.) In Morgan's brigade, Wheeler's corps, April 30, 1864; in Allen's brigade, June to August. (962) Report of Col. D. T. Blakey, of the First Alabama cavalry, operations August 31, 1864.
No. 75--(436) Doing picket duty at Big Shanty, statement of A. B. Thornton, scout, June 8, 1864.
No. 78--(588) Letter from General Clanton to General Polk, May 9, 1864. (856) In Allen's brigade, Wheeler's corps, September 20th.
No. 99--(352) Mentioned by General Kilpatrick (Union), Williston, S. C., February 8, 1865. (1071) Col. David T. Blakey, Hagan's brigade, Wheeler's corps, January 31st. (1275) Detachment under Capt. B. Kavanaugh ordered to move toward Jones' Ferry and thence toward Unionville, S.C., February 25th, by order of General Stewart.
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