The Fifty-First Alabama Cavalry
The Fifty-first Alabama cavalry regiment, known as Partisan Rangers, was recruited by Col. John T. Morgan, who had entered the war as a major of infantry, served for a time in Virginia, and returned home to raise a mounted regiment. It was sent to Alabama, served for a time in Tennessee, fought at Lavergne with General Forrest; was then attached to Wheeler's cavalry, and was brigaded under Morgan, Hagan and Allen. It took part in the Sequatchie raid, and was part of the force which captured 400 Federals at Maysville, and took part in the investment of Knoxville. It took a gallant part in the Stone's River and Chickamauga campaigns; was on Johnston's flank during the retreat to Dalton, fighting almost daily for three months, and lost heavily at Decatur and Jonesboro. It moved through Tennessee, and harassed General Sherman's forces very effectually in the Carolinas. About a week before the close of hostilities, it fought and captured a portion of the First Alabama United States regiment and finally surrendered at Raleigh, N. C.
Col. John T. Morgan was commissioned brigadier in November, 1863, and was for some time in command of a division and served with Generals Hood, Longstreet and Johnston. After the close of hostilities he returned to the profession of law, and in 1877 was sent to the United States Senate, of which body he has long been one of the most able and distinguished members. He was succeeded in command of the regiment by the gallant Lieut.-Col. J. D. Webb, who was mortally wounded near Decherd, Tenn., in July, 1863. Captain Battle was in command for a short time, and Capt. M. L. Kirkpatrick, who took command during the Chickamauga campaign, continued to lead the regiment until the close of the war.
Extracts From official War Records
Vol. XVI, Part I--(257) Mentioned by General Negley (Union) as in the neighborhood of Atlanta, fall of 1862.
Vol. XVI, Part 2--(717) Telegram of July 2, 1862, secretary of war to Governor Shorter, Montgomery, says: "I will order the Fifty-first Alabama regiment to Chattanooga." (792) Telegram from Governor Shorter, September 2d, to secretary of war, asks for the Fifty-first regiment cavalry to be sent to the southern part of the State. (795) Regiment sent to south Alabama as requested, September 4th. (802) Ordered by Gen. Sam Jones to proceed to Bridgeport and report to General Maxey, September 8th. (857) Gen. Sam Jones says, September 20th: "Protection no longer needed in Alabama. Regiment ordered toward Nashville to co÷perate with Forrest." (862) Sent to Tullahoma, September 21, 1862. (890) Ordered up near Nashville to co÷perate with the troops there, in harassing the enemy and cutting off foraging parties, September 29th. (916-918) Ordered to Lavergne by General Jones, October 6th. (929) Ordered to report to General Forrest, about October 9th.
Vol. XX, Part I--(6) On the night of November, 1862, was placed by General Forrest to the right of the Murfreesboro pike with instructions to move forward on the Lebanon, Stone's river and Chicken pikes, and to drive in the Abolitionist pickets at daylight, which was done agreeably to orders, and in gallant style. (466) Mentioned in report of Gen. M. S. Hascall (Union) of skirmishes at Lavergne, etc., December. (648) Mentioned in report of Adjt. William S. Hall, battle of Murfreesboro. (661) In Gen. Joseph Wheeler's command; Stone's river campaign. (958) December 26, 1862, in General Wheeler's command, stationed at Stewart's creek, 10 miles northwest of Murfreesboro. (962-965) Lieut.-Col. J. D. Webb, in his report of Stone's river campaign, specially commends conduct of Capt. M. L. Kirkpatrick, Capt. L. W. Battle, Lieut. William M. Fitts, James W. Copilly, Ord.-Sergt. H. Clay Reynolds. He says the regiment bivouacked on Stone's river the night of December 27th "without rations." The gallant and brave Lieut. William M. Fitts was killed. December 29th, at Lavergne, charged a train of wagons, captured and burned 36 wagons, captured other wagons and teams and 50 prisoners. At Nolensville, captured 20 wagons and 50 prisoners. January 1st, captured wagons and prisoners. Lieut. J. J. Seawell was wounded and captured.
Vol. XXIII, Part I--(28) Near Fosterville, February 1, 1863, report of Capt. L. W. Battle, Company B. (544) Mentioned in report of General Mitchell (Union), of fight near Uniontown, June 23d. (574) Mentioned in report of Maj. Charles B. Seidel (Union), fight near Decherd, Lieutenant-Colonel Webb mortally wounded, July 1st.
Vol. XXIII, Part 2--(943) Capt. M. L. Kirkpatrick, Hagan's brigade, Martin's division, Wheeler's cavalry, July 31, 1863. (960) August 10th, in Col. John T. Morgan's brigade, General Wheeler's corps.
No. 50--(232) October, 1863, in Colonel Hagan's brigade, Wheeler's cavalry corps. No. 51--(19) In Col. John T. Morgan's brigade, General Wheeler's corps, Chickamauga campaign.
No. 52--(332, 449, 485, 486) Union reports, on the road to Trenton, September 3, 1863; near Lafayette, September 8th; fight at Chickamauga creek, September 9th.
No. 54--(453) November 30, 1863, in Gen. John T. Morgan's brigade, Martin's division, Wheeler's cavalry.
No. 55, No. 56--Assignment as above, to December, 1863. December 31st, Russell's brigade, Morgan's division, Wheeler's cavalry.
No. 59--(870) April 30, 1864, in Morgan's brigade, General Wheeler's corps.
No. 73--(819-822) Mentioned by Colonel Minty (Union), in fight at McAfee's, June 11th, and near Noonday creek, Ga., June 21, 1864.
No. 74--(642) April 30, 1864, under Col. M. L. Kirkpatrick, in General Morgan's brigade, Wheeler's corps. (650-673) In General Allen's brigade, General Wheeler's corps, Atlanta campaign, June to August.
No. 78--(856) September 20, 1864, in Allen's brigade, Wheeler's corps.
No. 99--(352) Mentioned by Gen. J. Kilpatrick, Wil-liston, S.C., February 8, 1865, on road to Augusta. (1071) January 31, 1865, Colonel Hagan's brigade, General Wheeler's corps.
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