The Fifty-Sixth Alabama Cavalry

        The Fifty-sixth regiment of mounted infantry, known as Partisan Rangers, was organized in the summer of 1863, by the union of Hewlett's and Boyles' battalions of cavalry, both of which had done good service in the army of the Gulf as scouts and pickets, and had fought gallantly at King's Creek and other points in Mississippi. Attached to Ferguson's brigade, the regiment was sent to north Georgia and did arduous duty in the many battles of the Dalton-Atlanta campaign. After going with Hood into Tennessee, it turned and harassed Sherman on his march. It was in the trenches at Savannah and operated near Augusta, moved into the Carolinas and finally surrendered at Greensboro, 200 strong. Colonel Boyles was at one time in command of Ferguson's brigade, and Lieut.-Col. William Martin took command of the regiment. Capt. Wm. McGill was killed near Decatur, and Capt. Thomas D. Hall was wounded near Kingston.

Extracts From Official War Records

        Boyles' Mobile Dragoons:
    Vol. V--(868) Field return for March, 1862, 97 present for duty. Vol. XV--(850) October 31, 1862, in district of the Gulf, commanded by Maj.-Gen. J. H. Forney.
        No. 42--(39) June 8, 1863, in army of Mobile at Pascagoula.
    Fifteenth battalion, Alabama cavalry, also called First battalion, merged into Fifty-sixth regiment, Partisan Rangers:
        No. 36--(689) Mentioned at Okolona, May 14, 1863, 350 strong, in report of General Ruggles, action at King's Creek, near Tupelo, Miss.
        No. 37--(483) Mentioned by Gen. Daniel Ruggles, in operations in northeastern Mississippi, as Colonel Boyles' First Alabama.
        No. 38--(400) Mentioned by General Oglesby at Okolona, June 10, 1863. (837) General Ruggles, Okolona, May 5th, says: "Major Boyles' Alabama cavalry cannot be spared." (917) Mentioned at Okolona, May 24th (called the First). (973) Mentioned by General Ruggles, June 22d.
        Thirteenth Battalion, merged into Fifty-sixth regiment, Partisan Rangers:
    Vol. XVII, Part 2--(815) Maj. W. A. Hewlett's Partisan Rangers. Gen. J. C. Pemberton's command, December, 1862. (818) Col. John Adams says, battalion stationed at Buttahatchie bridge, twelve miles north of Columbus, on the Aberdeen road, January 1, 1863. (846) Special orders, No. 3, January 19th, to picket and scout in advance on Aberdeen road.
        No. 36--(690) Commended by General Ruggles in report of action at King's Creek, May 5, 1863. (691-693) Maj. W. A. Hewlett in his report of King's Creek, commends gallant and meritorious conduct of Capt. J. R. Shepherd and Lieuts. Samuel P. Morrow and H. H. Bibb.
        No. 38--(611) In Ruggles' brigade, Pemberton's army, January 31, 1863. (639) One hundred men ordered to report to Major Mathews at Fayetteville, Ala., February 22d. (643) General Johnston orders Major Hewlett's battalion to report to General Ruggles for duty near Aberdeen, February 24th. (655) Ordered by General Ruggles to be armed, etc., March 6th. (699) Battalion has been disabled by camp diseases; to be pushed forward to Smithville, etc., Columbus, Miss., March 31st. (706) In Ruggles' brigade, April. (718) Ordered to be in readiness for marching orders, April 6th, at Butta-hatchie bridge. (796) Ordered from Aberdeen to Buena Vista, April 27th. (917) Thirteenth Alabama battalion in the vicinity of Okolona, Miss., May 24th. (973) Mentioned by General Ruggles. United with Colonel Boyles' regiment and some Tennessee regiments, May 15th.
        Fifty-sixth Alabama cavalry, Col. William Boyles:
        No. 53--(5) Mentioned by Union scout as at New Albany, Miss., October 1, 1863. (559) Mentioned in General Ferguson's report of troops, Okolona, Miss., August 27th. (576) Mentioned by Gen. S. D. Lee, with General Ferguson, Morton, September 1st. (582) Mentioned, Morton, Miss., September 2d. (724) Ordered to move at once to vicinity of Cherry creek, by General Lee, October 2d.
        Nos. 56, 57, 58, 59--In Ferguson's brigade, S. D. Lee's cavalry corps, November, 1863, to April, 1864.
        No. 73--(756) Mentioned by Col. E. McCook (Union), Atlanta campaign. No. 74--(646, et seq.) In Ferguson's brigade, Jackson's division, Gen. L. Polk's army, Atlanta campaign. No. 75--(456) Mentioned by Colonel McCook (Union), June 11, 1864, as at Ackworth and Dallas.
        No. 78--(857) Lieut.-Col. William Martin, Colonel Boyles commanding Ferguson's brigade, Wheeler's corps, September 20, 1864.
        No. 94--(791) Company C transferred to Tenth Mississippi cavalry, special orders signed by Gen. John Withers, Richmond, Va., January 17, 1865.
        No. 99--(1072) Ferguson's brigade, Wheeler's corps, January 31, 1865.

This Page last updated 10/04/03

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