Thursday, October 24, 2013

Indiana Men

The Union 44th Indiana Infantry was organized October 24th 1861 at Fort Wayne, Indiana.

A Fort Wayne, Indiana druggist, Hugh B Reed was made the Colonel of the 44th Indiana when it was organized October 22nd 1861.  The 44th was made up of volunteers mostly from Indiana’s Tenth Congressional District in the northeastern part of the state.  They left for Henderson, Kentucky in December 1861 and went into camp at Calhoun, Kentucky.  In February 1862 they were moved to the Fort Henry area and then onto Fort Donelson, Tennessee, where the 44th took heavy casualties during the siege of the fort.  Following this action they moved onto the Battle of Shiloh taking 210 casualties.  The men of the 44th would also take part in the Siege of Corinth, Mississippi, and the Battles of Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, and Stones River.  They finished up their duty on provost guard duty at Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The 44th was mustered out of Union service September 14th 1865.  During their service the 44th lost 80 killed and 229 who died from disease.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

To Cross The Big Blue

Sterling Price
The Battle of Byram’s Ford [sometimes called the Battle of the Big Blue River] was really a small skirmish fought October 22nd 1864 in Jackson County, Missouri.

Confederate Major General Sterling Price was moving his Army of Missouri toward Fort Leavenworth and Kansas City, planning to enter Missouri.  In response Union Major General Samuel R Curtis’ Army of the Border blocked his way, while Union Major General Alfred Pleasonton’ cavalry pushed from the rear.  Price was traveling with about 500 supply wagons and so needed a good crossing on the Big Blue River.  Byram’s Ford was the best crossing in the area.

Union Major General James G Blunt’s division was holding the west bank of the Big Blue River on October 22nd 1864.  At about 10 am a part of Confederate Brigadier General Joseph O Shelby’s division made a frontal attack on the Union men, while the rest of the force flanked them.  Blunt’s troops were forced to pull back to Westport.  Price moved his wagons over Byram’s Ford, safely crossing the Big Blue River, and moving on to the south.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Camp Was Made Up Of Confederate Trees

The Battle of Ball’s Bluff [also called the Battle of Leesburg or Harrison’s Island] was fought October 21st 1861 in Loudoun County, Virginia.

On October 19th 1861 Union Brigadier General George A McCall took his division to Dranesville, Virginia about 12 miles from Leesburg, Virginia to see if Confederate Colonel Nathan Evans had abandoned Leesburg.  Evans was in fact in a defensive position on the Alexandria Winchester Turnpike to the east of the town.

Union Brigadier General Charles Pomeroy Stone was ordered on October 20th 1861 to conduct a demonstration on the Confederates.  He had troops moved along the river, with artillery firing into the suspected Confederate position; Stone crossed about 100 of the 1st Minnesota Infantry just before dark.  Getting no reaction from Evans troops, Stone recalled his men.  After dark Stone ordered Colonel Charles Devens of the 15th Massachusetts Infantry to send about 20 men across the river to gather information.  These soldiers advanced about mile inland, mistaking a row of tree for a Confederate camp they reported this “camp” without verifying.  This information caused Stone to order 300 troops to be moved across the river as soon as it was light.

Devens’ troops quickly discovered on the morning of October 21st 1861, that there wasn’t a camp for raiding.  He had his men deploy along the tree line and sent back to Stone for new orders.  Stone had the rest of the 15th Massachusetts cross the river and join the first of Devens’ troops and make a reconnaissance towards Leesburg.  Stone sent Colonel Edward Dickinson Baker to evaluate the situation.  Baker was told to move additional troops across the river or withdraw at his discretion.  At this point Baker learned that Devens’ men had engaged a company of the 17th Mississippi Infantry, and so decided to move more troops across the river.  The problem was a lack of boats and so the crossing took forever.  Devens found himself facing a growing number of Confederate troops and around 2 pm was forced to withdraw to the bluff along the river where Baker deployed the men he had gotten across.  At about 3 pm the fighting became heavy, continuing until after dark.  Baker was killed about 4:30 becoming the only United States Senator ever killed in battle.  At dark with their line breaking the Union troops began to look for an escape route.  Banks of the river along Ball’s Bluff were steep, boats which were over loaded by men trying to re-cross the river became swamped, and many Union men drowned.

There were 223 Union soldiers killed, including Colonel Baker, 226 wounded, and 553 taken prisoner of war.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Youngest Confederate General

Confederate Major General Stephen Dodson Ramseur died October 20th 1864 from wounds received the day before at the Battle of Cedar Creek.

Stephen Dodson Ramseur was born May 31st 1837, the son of Jacob Able and Lucy Mayfield (Dodson) Ramseur in Lincolnton, North Carolina. His family and friends knew him as Dod.  Ramseur studied math at Davidson College, and then finished his education at the United States Military Academy at West Point.  He graduated in 1860, ranked 14th in his class, he was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the United States Artillery.

Ramseur resigned his commission and joined the Confederate Army before his home state had even seceded.  On May 27th 1861 he was made Lieutenant Colonel in the 3rd North Carolina Infantry.  During the Peninsula Campaign Ramseur commanded the artillery in Confederate Brigadier General John B Magruder’s division.  In April 1862 he became the Colonel of the 49th North Carolina Infantry.  He led a charge and was wounded during the Battle of Malvern Hill.  Ramseur was unable to return to duty until after the Battle of Antietam, when he was given command of a brigade of four North Carolina regiments in Confederate Brigadier General Robert E Rodes’ division.  On November 1st 1862, Ramseur would be promoted to Brigadier General, and at only 25 was the youngest Confederate General at the time.  He led his brigade against the Union right at the Battle of Chancellorsville, and he would be wounded again.  At the Battle of Gettysburg he led his brigade against the right flank of the Union First Corps on Oak Hill, pushing them all the way through the town to Cemetery Hill.  Ramseur was in the action at the Battles of Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, and Cold Harbor.

Ramseur was part of Confederate General Jubal A Early’s Corps during the Valley Campaign of 1864.  During the Battle of Cedar Creek on October 19th 1864 the Confederates made a surprise morning attack on a Union camp, routing most of them.  But the Confederates being hungry and worn out stopped, fell out of ranks and started rummaging through the Union camp.  Ramseur pulled together a few hundred of his men, and with those soldiers stood off a counter attack made by Union General Philip H Sheridan for over an hour.  Ramseur leading his men had three horses shot out from under him, before being shot through the lungs.  He was captured by a member of the 1st Vermont Cavalry, and was taken to Sheridan’s headquarters at the Belle Grove Mansion near Meadow Mills, Virginia where he died.  Ramseur’s last words were, "Bear this message to my precious wife—I die a Christian and hope to meet her in heaven."  He is buried in the St Luke’s Episcopal Cemetery in Lincolnton, North Carolina. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

In His Hands Tightly Clasped

A photo of three children which had been found in their dead father’s hand following the Battle of Gettysburg was published on October 19th 1863, in an attempt to identify the soldier.

Following the Battle of Gettysburg a dead soldier was found clutching a photo of his three children.  This photo made its way to a local tavern where it was viewed by Doctor John Francis Bournes, a Philadelphia physician who was caring for the battle’s wounded.  Bournes took it upon himself to try to find out who those three children belonged to.  He had published in “The Philadelphia Inquirer” on October 19th 1863 the story “Whose Father Was He?” it described the photo of the three children, their ages and what they were wearing, with, “After the Battle of Gettysburg, a Union soldier was found in a secluded spot on the battlefield, where,  wounded, he had laid himself down to die. In his hands tightly clasped, was an ambrotype containing the portraits of three small children…and as he silently gazed upon them his soul passed away.  It is earnestly desired that all papers in the country will draw attention [so] the family…may come into possession of it".

To the north in Portville, New York, Philinda Humiston read the description of the photo in “The American Presbyterian” a church magazine, on October 29th 1863, and since she had not heard from her husband since the Battle of Gettysburg, she responded.  Bournes sent her a carte-de-visite copy of the photo which confirmed that the dead soldier was Amos Humiston.  Bournes made the trip to the Humiston home in New York to return the original photo to her.

The publicity surrounding the photo of the three small children also help to raise the funds that open the Gettysburg orphan’s home, or the “National Homestead at Gettysburg”.  It was to be a home for the children of fallen Union soldiers.  It opened in 1866.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ten Killed For One

The Palmyra Massacre took place in Missouri on October 18th 1862, when a Union Colonel had ten Confederate prisoners of war shot in retaliation for the killing of Union sympathizer.

Sixty year old Andrew Alsman was a carpenter and more importantly a Union sympathizer living in a Confederate neighborhood.  It was known that he lead Union troops looking for Confederates in the area.  Confederate Colonel Joseph C Porter had taken Alsman prisoner when he raided through Palmyra on September 12th 1862.  When forced north, Porter picked a detail of men to take Alsman out of the city limits to the nearest Union line.  Alsman was never seen again, and it was believed that he was killed.  Union Colonel John McNeil had his Provost Marshal, William R Strachan publish a notice in the local newspaper on October 8th 1862; the “Palmyra Courier”, stating that if Alsman wasn’t returned in ten day, ten of Porter’s men being held in Palmyra and Hannibal, Missouri would be executed.

Ten prisoners were chosen on the evening of October 17th 1862.  They were Willis Baker [who was in jail because his sons were serving with Porter], Morgan Bixler, Herbert Hudson, Thomas Humston [who was only 19], Eleazer Lake, Francis M Lear, John Y McPheeter, Captain Thomas A Sidnor [a recruiting agent working for Porter], Hiram T Smith, and John M Wade.  On the morning of October 18th 1862, thirty soldiers from the 2nd Missouri State Militia formed a firing squad on the old fairgrounds just east of Palmyra.  The ten Confederates were moved on wagons from the Marion County Jail, seated on their coffins to the fairgrounds.  The men unloaded their own coffins and stood without blindfolds.  There were around 100 people present to watch, and a Baptist minister to offer a final prayer.  The initial shots; fired just after noon, only killed three of the ten men, with one not being hit at all, a second round finished them off.  The executed men were placed in their coffins and taken back to the town square so relatives could claim the bodies.

There was a monument erected in memory of the men on February 25th 1907 by the Palmyra Confederate Monument Association.  The monument is located on the grounds of the Palmyra Courthouse.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Praise From The Command Of Artillery

Union Colonel Charles Shiels Wainwright received his commission to major in the 1st New York Artillery October 17th 1861.
Charles Shiels Wainwright was born December 31st 1826 in New York City, the son of William P Wainwright.  He grew up on his father’s estate in the Hudson Valley known as “The Meadows”, where they grew produce that he delivered to the markets in the city.

Wainwright was 34 in 1861 when the Civil War started.  He began keeping a diary on October 1st that year.  Wainwright received a commission in the 1st New York Artillery on October 17th 1861 to Major.  He was with his guns at the Battles of Antietam and Fredericksburg.  At the Battle of Chancellorsville, Wainwright served as the chief of artillery of the First Corps, where he received praise from Union Brigadier General Henry J Hunt.  During the Battle of Gettysburg Wainwright commanded the artillery on the eastern part of Cemetery Hill on July 2nd 1863, and was involved in the twilight attack on the hill.  When the Army of the Potomac was reorganized in 1864 Wainwright became the chief of artillery for the Fifth Corps.  It was in this position that his guns broke the Confederate attack at the Battle of North Anna.  He was given a brevet promotion to Brigadier General August 1st 1864.

After the war ended Wainwright returned to Dutchess County, New York and farming, before doing a tour of Europe, and then settling in Washington, DC.  He died at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC September 13th 1907, and is buried in the Green Wood Cemetery, in Brooklyn, New York.  Wainwright’s brother inherited the diary he had kept during the Civil War, and he used it to write “A Diary of Battle: The Personal Journals of Colonel Charles S Wainwright, 1861 – 1865”.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Skirmish Near Tampa

A small skirmish, the Battle of Fort Brooke was fought near Tampa, Florida on October 16th 1863.

As a diversion two Union ships the USS Tahoma and USS Adela opened a bombardment on Fort Brooke, near Tampa, Florida on October 16th 1863.  While this artillery attack was going on, Union Acting Master T R Harris took command of a landing party, which disembarked at Ballast Point.  This group of men marched fourteen miles to the Hillsborough River, where they captured and burned the CSS Scottish Chief and the CSS Kate Dale both blockade runners.  Harris and his group would have also taken a steamer the A B Noyes, but the Confederate sailors had her scuttled to prevent capture.

As Harris’ landing party made their way back to their ship, they were surprised by members of Company A of the Confederate 2nd Florida Infantry.  It was a brief fight with a few casualties. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

He Built The Submarine

On October 15th 1863 Confederate Marine Engineer Horace Lawson Hunley died when the submarine he designed sank in the Charleston, South Carolina Harbor.

Horace Lawson Hunley was born December 29th 1823 in Sumner County, Tennessee, the son of John and Louisa Harden (Lawson) Hunley.  The family moved shortly after his birth to New Orleans, Louisiana.  Hunley had a law practice there and he served in the Louisiana State Legislature.

When the Civil War started Hunley joined with James R McClintock and Baxter Watson to build a submarine.  They started building the Pioneer in 1861, but to keep her from being captured when the Union took New Orleans in 1862 they had the CSS Pioneer scuttled.  The three men attempted to build another submarine, but this one sunk in Mobile Bay, Alabama.  Then Hunley went to work on his own, and had a third submarine built that was said to able to travel at speeds of 4 knots.  One man was killed in the early test of this submarine when it was swamped by a passing ship.

Although Hunley wasn’t a part of the submarine’s crew, on October 15th 1863 he took command of a routine test run.  The submarine sank, this time taking the whole eight man crew with it.  The submarine would later be raised and would successfully sink the USS Housatonic, before going to its own watery grave.

Hunley’s body was recovered when the submarine was raised, and he is buried in the Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston, South Carolina.  The submarine was named the CSS H L Hunley after the man who had her built.

Monday, October 14, 2013

From Bangor To Washington

Union President Abraham Lincoln extended the reach of the suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus on October 14th 1861.

Near the beginning of the Civil War Union President Abraham Lincoln ordered a suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus in Maryland and parts of the Midwestern states.  This was in response to the arrest by Union troops in Maryland of secessionist John Merryman, whom Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B Taney ordered released under a writ of habeas corpus.  Lincoln and the military ignored the ruling.

On October 14th 1861 Lincoln expanded the suspension with this written order:


The military line of the United States for the suppression of the insurrection may be extended so far as Bangor, in Maine. You and any officer acting under your authority are hereby authorized to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in any place between that place and the city of Washington.


By the President:

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Fast Small Ship

The Confederate blockade runner the Theodora slipped out of Charleston, South Carolina October 12th 1861 with John Slidell and James M Mason on board.

The Theodora started life as the Carolina when she was built in 1852 in Greenpoint, New York, and was sent to Charleston, South Carolina for use as a coastal packet.  When the Civil War started she was refitted, renamed the Gordon and commissioned as a privateer under the command of Captain T J Lockwood on July 15th 1861.  She had a light draft and so had no trouble slipping over the bar in the harbor, was able to stay just out of reach of the guns on the Union ships, and was fast.

John Slidell with two female members of his family went out on the ship on October 5th 1861, and they approached the Union fleet during daylight and were ignored.  This gave Confederate Secretary of State Robert M T Hunter the idea to use her to run the blockade, carrying Confederate diplomats James M Mason and John Slidell to the West Indies.  She received her name Theodora, and with the diplomats on board slipped over the bar in Charleston Harbor on October 12th 1861 at about one in the morning.  She hugged the coast escaping the Union blockade and on October 14th 1861 the Theodora made the mouth of the harbor at Nassau, Bahamas being chased by the USS H W Johnson.  Two days later the Theodora with Mason and Slidell on board, with the Confederate flag flying reached Cuba.  The start of the “Trent Affair”.

The Theodora was captured May 28th 1862 with a crew of 24 and a load of Enfield rifles, clothing and ammunition.  She was sent to the New York prize court.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Defensive Engineer

Colonel David Bullock Harris died from yellow fever October 10th 1864 at Summerville, South Carolina.

David Bullock Harris was born September 28th 1814 at Fredericks Hall, Louisa, Virginia, the son of Frederick and Catherine Snelson (Smith) Harris.  He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, seventh in his class of 1833.  He served for two years in the artillery and as an engineering instructor at the Academy.  Resigning in 1835 as a Second Lieutenant, Harris went to work for the James River and Kanawha Canal Company as an engineer.  In 1845 he bought a plantation in Goochland County, Virginia known as “Woodville”.

When the Civil War began Harris was made a Captain of engineers for the Virginia Militia.  By July 1861 he was serving on the staff of Confederate Brigadier General Philip St George Cooke.  Following the First Battle of Manassas, where he planned and constructed works for its defense.  He moved to the staff of Confederate General PGT Beauregard.  Harris was made a Captain in the Confederate engineers, where he planned the defenses of many of the Southern port and river cities.  While with Beauregard in Charleston, South Carolina he had the defenses brought up so strong they withstood a Union siege.  On October 8th1863 Harris was promoted to Colonel.  In the summer of 1864 he was in Virginia, where he planned the defenses of Petersburg.

Harris was sent back to Charleston where he was placed in the post of Chief Engineer of the Department of South Carolina.  It was while serving there that he contracted Yellow Fever.  Harris died October 10th 1864 in Summerville, South Carolina.  He is buried in the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Western Adventurer

Confederate Colonel Granville Henderson Oury took his oath of allegiance to the United States Government October 8th 1865 at Fort Mason, Arizona.

Granville Henderson Oury was born March 12th 1825 in Abingdon, Virginia.  The family moved in 1836 to Bowling Green, Missouri.  He studied law and was admitted to the bar 1848, the same year he moved to San Antonio, Texas.  He caught gold fever and moved in 1849 to Marysville, California to mine.  Oury gave up mining in 1856 and moved to Tucson in the New Mexico Territory, where he would be appointed district judge.  He was involved in the Crabb Massacre in April 1857, in which General Henry Crabb crossed the Mexican border and he and about 100 men with him were killed.

When the Civil War started Oury was elected to the Confederate Provisional Congress from the Arizona Territory.  At about the same time a band of Apaches attacked the town of Tubac, Arizona, and Oury raised a small party of Confederate militia, saving the people of the town.  Oury resigned his seat in the Confederate Congress in 1862 and joined Herbert’s Battalion of cavalry as a Captain.  He was promoted to Colonel and served as a staff officer for Confederate General Henry Hopkins Sibley in Texas and Louisiana.  When the war ended Oury took the oath allegiance at Fort Mason in Arizona on October 8th 1865.

After the war Oury went back to his law practice in Tucson, Arizona.  He served in the Arizona Territorial Legislature, was the Speaker of the House, and in 1869 was the Attorney General of the Territory.  Moving to Phoenix, Arizona in 1871 he became the Maricopa County District Attorney.  He would serve the state as a Democrat in the United States House of Representatives from 1881 through 1885.  Oury died January 11th 1891 in Tucson, Arizona from throat cancer.  He is buried in the Adamsville Cemetery in Florence, Arizona.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Brigade Was Cut To Pieces

The Battle of Farmington fought October 7th 1863 was a part of Confederate Major General Joseph Wheeler’s Cavalry Raid.

Confederate Major General Joseph Wheeler with about 4,000 cavalrymen had been raiding behind Union lines in the Sequatchie Valley in early October 1863.  They were capturing or destroying everything in the valley which might be of use to Union General William S Rosecrans’s army at Chattanooga.  Union General George Crook with about 25,000 cavalry had been following Wheeler’s troopers fighting almost all the time with the Confederate rear guard, looking for a place to stop them.

Wheeler having completed his damage in the valley headed his cavalry toward the Tennessee River, but was forced to turn and face the Union cavalry at Farmington, Tennessee.  The Union trooper hotly perused, causing one Confederate to write, “For five hours and a half, over seven miles of country, the unequal contest continued.  My gallant brigade was cut to pieces."  As the Confederate rear guard reached Wheeler’s line in Farmington, they passed through and formed up to meet the Union cavalry.  Crook’s troopers were swept by small arms and artillery fire.  They settled into two hours of heavy fighting, when the Union line began to waver.  Wheeler took this moment to order a charge with sabers drawn into the Union ranks causing many to retreat.

Darkness brought an end to the fighting.  The next day found both sides heading for the Tennessee River.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Died From Wounds

Babcock is standing center

Union Lieutenant Colonel Willoughby Babcock died October 6th 1864 from wounds received during the Battle of Winchester 17 day earlier.

Willoughby Babcock was born in Scott, New York January 12th 1832 the son of Samuel Babcock.  He graduated in 1857 from New York Central College, and then studied at the Albany Law School.  He had a law practice in Owego, New York.

When the Civil War started Babcock took a commission as First Lieutenant in the three month regiment of the 3rd New York Infantry April 18th 1861.  The 3rd saw action at the Battle of Bethel on June 11th 1861.  He moved to the 64th New York Infantry in November and then with a promotion Babcock became the Major of the 75th New York Infantry.  On December 6th 1861 the 75th was stationed at Santa Rosa Island, Florida, and while there they took part in the bombing of Forts McRae and Barrancas.  In the summer of 1862 Babcock was made Provost Marshal and the Military Governor of Pensacola, Florida.  In September 1862 the 75th along with Babcock moved to New Orleans and the Department of the Gulf, where they were involved in several engagements.  On December 7th 1862 Babcock was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel and took over command of the Regiment.  He led them at the Battle of Fort Bisland, and in the assault on Port Hudson.  Babcock was wounded in the thigh at Port Hudson, and when he returned to the Regiment he served as Provost Judge of New Orleans.  Because of a letter Babcock wrote which was published in a New York New Paper, he was brought up on a court martial August 22nd 1863, and did not return to service until January 28th 1864.  Babcock returned as Chief of Staff for Union General A L Lee in the Department of the Gulf.

On August 3rd 1864 Babcock rejoined the 75th at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia.  He took over command of the Regiment again.  While at the head of the 320 men of the 75th New York during the Third Battle of Winchester he was shot in the leg and it shattered the bone on September 19th 1864.  He was found on the field by Confederate Major Andrew L Pitzer, who did his best to make Babcock comfortable and offered to get Babcock’s things sent to his wife.  Shortly after the Union retook the field and Babcock was moved to a field hospital, where his leg was amputated. A couple of weeks after his wounding on October 6th 1864 Babcock passed on at the Union General Hospital in Winchester, Virginia.  He is buried in the Glenwood Cemetery in Homer, New York.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Abandon Pursuit

Earl Van Dorn

The Battle of Hatchie Bridge or Davis Bridge was the final engagement of the Luka-Corinth Campaign and was fought October 5th 1862 in Hardeman and McNairy Counties Tennessee.

Confederate Major General Earl Van Dorn’s Army of Tennessee retreated on October 4th 1862 from Corinth, Mississippi, halting that night near Chewalla, Tennessee.  Union Major General William S Rosecrans began his pursuit the next morning, with the assistance of Major General Edward O C Ord.  Around 8am on the morning of October 5th 1862 Ord took command of the combined Union forces and moved on Van Dorn’s advance; commanded by Confederate Major General Sterling Price’s men, pushing them back about five miles to the Hatchie River and across the Davis’ Bridge.  Ord was wounded in the ankle during this push.  While Ord’s men pushed Price’s Confederates, Van Dorn had scouts looking for another way to cross the Hatchie River.

Union General Ulysses Grant ordered the Union command to abandon the pursuit of the Confederates, allowing Van Dorn’s Army to escape.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Proud Command Was All But Wrecked

A Skirmish at Anderson’s Cross Roads on October 2nd 1863 was a part of Wheeler’s October 1863 Raid, fought between October 1st and 9th 1863 a Confederate raid made in southeastern Tennessee.

Following the Union defeat at the Battle of Chickamauga, Major General William S Rosecrans pulled his army back into the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Confederate General Braxton Bragg placed the Union troops under a siege.  The Union army was forced to bring in supplies on a 60 mile wagon route from Bridgeport, Tennessee by way of Walden’s Ridge.  Bragg saw a way of disrupting Rosecrans’ supplies and communications, sending his cavalry to Walden’s Ridge.

Confederate General Joseph Wheeler left on October 1st 1863 with the divisions of Brigadier General Frank Crawford Armstrong, and Major Generals William T Martin and John A Wharton.  They broke through the Union screen of Brigadier General George Crook at Decatur, Tennessee and moved on toward Walden’s Ridge.

Reaching Anderson’s Cross Roads on October 2nd 1863 the Confederate Cavalry hit a train of 800, six mule team wagons, plus some sutler’s wagons.  Wheeler’s men quickly captured the wagons and following orders began destroying them, killing about 1,000 mules, burning  wagons and pillaging clothing and the whiskey found in the sutler’s wagon.  While this was going on Union cavalry under Colonel Edward M McCook arrived.  Wheeler’s pickets were driven in on both flanks by the Union troopers, but they held their position for eight hours, until after dark.  The Union men recaptured many of the mules and wagons, and caused 270 casualties among Wheeler’s men.

The raid continued until October 9th 1863 when Wheeler’s men crossed the Tennessee River at Rogersville, Alabama.  They had been pursued by Union troopers for over 57 miles and took heavy losses, it was said that Wheeler’s “once proud command all but wrecked."

Joseph Wheeler