Russell's Fourth Alabama Cavalry

        Russell's Fourth Alabama cavalry was organized at Murfreesboro, Tenn., in December, 1862, by the union of General Forrest's original battalion with six companies of the Fourth Alabama battalion and the Russell Rangers, or Fifteenth battalion Tennessee cavalry. It was in the attack on Fort Donelson and was attached, consecutively, to Russell's and Morgan's brigades, serving in the cavalry of the army of Tennessee. It was warmly engaged at Chickamauga, and bore a full share in the operations of Longstreet's campaign in east Tennessee. It took a brilliant part in the Sequatchie raid with four other Alabama regiments of cavalry; was in the Dalton-Atlanta campaign and assisted in the capture of Stoneman's column. When Hood moved into Tennessee, the Fourth was employed for some time in the Tennessee valley. After the battle of Nashville it was assigned to Forrest's corps, and surrendered with his troops at Gainesville. Col. A. A. Russell was twice wounded; he was early placed in command of a brigade, and the regiment was for a long time under command of Lieut.-Col. Jos. M. Hambrick, who was wounded at Calhoun, Ga.; Capt. Thomas W. Hampton was killed at Mossy Creek; Capt. Oliver B. Gaston was captured, and died in prison; Capts· Henry F. Smith, W. C. Bacot, Flavius J. Graham and David Davidson were wounded·

Extracts From Official War Records

    Vol. XVII, Part I--(593, 594, 595) Gen. N. B. Forrest, in his report of operations, December 18, 1862, says: "Col. A. A. Russell, Fourth Alabama cavalry, and Maj. N. W. Cox, Second battalion Tennessee cavalry, with their commands, were sent out on the left to destroy bridges and culverts on the railroads from Jackson to Corinth and Bolivar. Colonel Russell and his command deserve especial notice for their gallantry in the fight at Lexington and Spring creek. Capt. F. B. Gurley, Fourth Alabama cavalry, with 12 men, charged a gun at Lexington supported by over 100 Federal cavalry. He captured the gun, losing his orderly-sergeant by the fire of the gun when within 15 feet of its muzzle·" (598, 599) Col. George G. Dibrell says: "On the 18th December, the enemy attempted to destroy the bridge at Beech river, but were driven back by the Fourth Alabama.
    Vol. XVII, Part 2--(462) Mentioned by Thomas A. Davies (Union), Columbus, Ky., December 23, 1862, as 450 strong.
    Vol. XXIII, Part I--(135) Mentioned by Gen. D. S. Stanley (Union), near Shelbyville, March 4, 1863. (379) Report of Gen. J. B. Turchin (Union) says: "200 of Russell's cavalry near Versailles, June 12th."
    Vol. XXIII, Part 2--(913) Gen. H. W. Walter, Chattanooga, July 15, 1803 says: "The Fourth regiment Alabama cavalry is especially detailed, and will report to Brigadier-General Pillow for duty." (943) In Russell's brigade, Martin's division, Bragg's army, July 31st.
        No. 50--(232) Hagan's brigade, Wharton's division, Wheeler's corps, Chickamauga campaign.
        No. 51--(19) Col. J. M Hambrick commanding; in Russell's brigade, Martin's division, Wheeler's corps, army of Tennessee, September 19 and 20, 1863. (659) In skirmish near Larkinsville, Ala., September 25th. (688) Mentioned by Gen. George Crook (Union) in report of operations during October. (693) Mentioned in report of Col. Abram O. Miller, fights of October 3d, near McMinnville.
        No. 55--(255) Mentioned by J. L. Abernathy (Union), in Trenton, August 31, 1863. (332) By Robert B. Mitchell (Union) as in Martin's division, on road to Trenton, September 3d. (449) By James S. Negley (Union) as near Lafayette, September 8th.
        No. 53--(500) In Russell's brigade, Martin's division, Wheeler's corps, army of Tennessee, August 15, 1863. (545) Scouts ordered to rejoin their commands, August 24th. (632) Mentioned in General Hindman's general orders, September 10th.
        No. 54--(445) Mentioned by Col. Wm. J. Palmer (Union), Flat Gap, December 23, 1863. (453) Gen. John T. Morgan's brigade, Martin's division; troops in east Tennessee, under General Longstreet, November 30th.
        No. 56--(891) In Russell's brigade, Morgan's division, forces in east Tennessee, December 31, 1863.
        No. 58--(642) Same assignment under General Long. street, January 31, 1864.
        No. 59--(283) Col. Jos. S. Gage (Union), Cottonville, Ala., says: "The Fourth regiment, Alabama cavalry, 900 men strong, arrived at Warrenton on the night of April 5, 1864, a part of Wheeler's command from Blue Hills." (870) In Morgan's brigade, Martin's division, army of Tennessee, Johnston commanding, April 30, 1864.
        No. 73--(819) Mentioned by Colonel Minty (Union), near Marietta, Ga., June 12, 1864. (822) In front of enemy, Noonday Creek, Ga., June 21st.
        No. 74--(642, et seq.) In Morgan's brigade, Martin's division, army of Tennessee, Atlanta campaign.
        No. 75--(756) Mentioned by Gen. G. J. Pillow, June 2, 1864.
        No. 78--(718) Gen. S. W. Melton says: "The four Alabama companies in McDonald's battalion are hereby transferred to Russell's Alabama regiment." (856) In Allen's brigade, Martin's division, army of Tennessee, General Hood commanding, September 20, 1864.
        No. 93--(574, 609, 640) Mentioned by Federal officers: "Near Waterloo, Ala., January 4, 1865"; "Russell has 700 or 800 men," December 8, 1864. (775, 776) Report of Col. A. A. Russell of operations, October 26, 1864, to January 17, 1865, says: "After the evacuation of Decatur, my command pursued the retreating enemy from Huntsville to within fourteen miles of Stevenson (distance, forty-five miles), capturing about 450 negroes and 250 wagons, 1 train of cars and engine. My loss, 1 killed, 2 wounded." (1245) General Hood orders Russell's regiment to join Roddey's force and assist in the work of destroying the railroad from Decatur to Huntsville and thence to Stevenson, November 25, 1864.
        No. 94--(521) Mentioned in report of Col. William Palmer (Union), January 5, 1865. (796) General Chalmers' orders, Fourth and Seventh consolidated, January 19th.
        No. 103--(46) In skirmish near Gurley's Tank, February 16, 1865. (931) By order of Brigadier-General Chalmers, near Buena Vista, January 24th: "Captain Alexander, Fourth Alabama cavalry, will report with his command to Colonel Wheeler, commanding First Tennessee cavalry, at Columbus, or wherever he may be." (997) General Forrest ordered Colonel Russell to camp near Columbus. (1031) Ordered to Montevallo, March, 1865.

This Page last updated 07/19/03

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