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.