Fifth Cavalry Battles

Fifth Iowa Cavalry Battle Summaries

The initial military strategy during the War Between the States, especially as employed by Union generals, was to rely on cavalry primarily for the protection of an army’s flanks and as couriers. By the close of the war, the more intelligent commanders had grown to recognize the profound martial value of cavalry. During much of its life, the Fifth Iowa Cavalry was assigned to the protection of communication and rail lines. Nevertheless, the men of the regiment received more than their share of opportunities to excel on the battlefield. The following links describe some of the battles in which they played a role.

Springfield, Missouri (Fifth Iowa Irish Dragoons)

Other Names: Zagonyi’s Charge

Location: Springfield, Missouri

Campaign: Operations to Control Missouri (1861)

Date(s): October 25, 1861

Principal Commanders: Maj. James Zagonyi [US]; Col. James Frazier [CS]

Forces Engaged: Prairie Scouts and Frémont’s Body Guard [US]; Missouri State Guard troops [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 218 total (US 85; CS 133)

Description: Having accomplished little since taking command of the Western Department, with headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, Maj. Gen. John C. Fremont formulated a plan to clear Maj. Gen. Sterling Price’s Rebels from the state and then, if possible, carry the war into Arkansas and Louisiana. Leaving St. Louis on October 7, 1861, Fremont’s combined force eventually numbered more than 20,000. His accompanying cavalry force, numbering 5,000 men and other mounted troops, included Maj. Frank J. White’s Prairie Scouts and Fremont’s Body Guards under Maj. Charles Zagonyi. Maj. White became ill and turned his command over to Zagonyi. These two units operated in front of Fremont’s army to gather intelligence. As Fremont neared Springfield, the local state guard commander, Col. Julian Frazier, sent out requests to nearby localities for additional troops. Fremont camped on the Pomme de Terre River, about 50 miles from Springfield. Zagonyi’s column, though, continued on to Springfield, and Frazier’s force of 1,000 to 1,500 prepared to meet it. Frazier set up an ambush along the road that Zagonyi travelled, but the Union force charged the Rebels, sending them fleeing. Zagonyi’s men continued into town, hailed Federal sympathizers and released Union prisoners. Leery of a Confederate counterattack, Zagonyi departed Springfield before night, but Fremont’s army returned, in force, a few days later and set up camp in the town. In mid-November, after Fremont was sacked and replaced by Maj. Gen. Hunter, the Federals evacuated Springfield and withdrew to Sedalia and Rolla. Federal troops reoccupied Springfield in early 1862 and it was a Union stronghold from then on. This engagement at Springfield was the only Union victory in southwestern Missouri in 1861.

Result(s): Union victory.

Paris, Tennessee

Other Names: None

Location: Paris, Tennessee

Campaign:

Date: March 11, 1862

Principal Commanders: Capt. John Croft [US]

Forces Engaged: Detachment of 5th Iowa Cavalry and Battery 1, 1st Missouri Light Artillery [US]; Confederate Recruiting Unit [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 50 plus total (US 5; CS uncertain)

Description: Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant despatched a battalion of the 5th Iowa Cavalry and a battery under Capt. John T. Croft to break up a Confederate conscription camp at Paris. Croft arrived in the vicinity about 5 pm, and after capturing the outer pickets made a charge through the town, driving the enemy into their intrenchments on a hill a mile and a half beyond. A charge was made up the slope by two companies, which fell into an ambuscade, but with the aid of the artillery they managed to extricate themselves without heavy loss. The Union casualties were 5 killed and 5 wounded; Grant estimated the Confederate loss at 100 killed and wounded, besides the 8 captured.

Result(s): Union victory (ended Confederate conscription).

Corinth, Mississippi

Other Names: None

Location: Hardin County and McNairy County, Tennessee; Alcorn County and Tishomingo County, Mississippi

Campaign: Federal Penetration up the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers (1862)

Date(s): April 29-June 10, 1862

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck [US]; Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard [CS]

Forces Engaged: Department of the Mississippi [US]; Department No. 2 [CS]

Estimated Casualties: Unknown

Description: Following the Union victory at Shiloh, the Union armies under Maj. Gen. Henry Halleck advanced on the vital rail center of Corinth. By May 25, 1862, after moving 5 miles in 3 weeks, Halleck was in position to lay siege to the town. The preliminary bombardment began, and Union forces maneuvered for position. On the evening of May 29-30, Confederate commander Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard evacuated Corinth, withdrawing to Tupelo. The Federals had consolidated their position in northern Mississippi.

Result(s): Union victory.

Cumberland Iron Works, Tennessee

Other Names: None

Location: Cumberland Iron Works, Tennessee

Campaign: Pursuit of Confederate forces which attacked Fort Donelson

Date: August 26, 1862

Principal Commanders: Col. W.W. Lowe [US]

Forces Engaged: Elements of 5th Iowa Cavalry [US]

Estimated Casualties: 50 plus total

Description: After finding that Maj. James H. Hart, to whose assistance he had gone had repulsed the enemy at Fort Donelson on the 25th, Col. W.W. Lowe on the next morning left that place with 15O of his men. At Cumberland Iron Works the Confederates were found to be in strong position. A few men were dismounted as skirmishers, two companies were sent to their support, a 6-pounder cannon, which was enfilading the Union line, was charged and captured and the enemy’s cavalry put to flight. Finding it impossible to dislodge the infantry force and failing to draw it out, Lowe withdrew his command to Fort Donelson, having suffered a loss of 4 killed, 13 wounded and 5 captured. The Confederate casualties amounted to 35 killed and wounded. Col. Lowe filed a report of the action which included the following:

August 26, 1862 Skirmish at Cumberland Iron Works, Tenn.
HDQRS. FORTS HENRY, HEIMAN, AND DONELSON
August 30, 1862
SIR: On the 25th instant, at about 1.30 pm I received a dispatch from Maj. Hart, commanding at Fort Donelson, stating he was being attacked. I immediately started over with all the cavalry force I could collect without delay and arrived at the fort about sunset. I found the enemy had been repulsed by Maj. Hart’s command, as stated in his report, to which I beg leave to refer you. It then being too late to make any move that night I immediately took steps to make everything secure and awaited the movements of the enemy. Nothing being heard from him during the night I started the next morning at daylight with 120 men of my regiment to ascertain his whereabouts and strength. At a point known as the Cumberland Iron Works he was found to be in a strong position. I at once had a few men dismounted to act as skirmishers, who speedily drove in the pickets, and, following up with two companies, it was soon ascertained that most of the enemy’s force were dismounted, and using, at a distance of from 10-20 yards, the muskets recently captured at Clarksville. A 6-pounder was also brought to bear upon us, and finding it somewhat annoying I ordered company B, under Lieuts. Summers and McNeely, to charge and take the piece. This was done in the most gallant style… Parts of companies A and L, under Capt. Lower and Lieut. Gallagher, were started to the support of company B, while Company D under Capt. Baird, was held in reserve. The enemy’s cavalry was at once put to flight, but finding that with cavalry alone the infantry could not be dislodged from their hiding places, I reformed my command… During the skirmish all behaved with the utmost coolness. I lost in killed 1 officer [Lieut. Summers] and 3 men; wounded, 1 officer [Lieut McNeely] and 13 men, of whom 6 were captured, and 5 men captured who were not wounded. The enemy’s loss is not known.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
W.W. LOWE
ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GEN.
Hdqrs, District of Western Tennessee, Corinth, Miss.

FORT DONELSON, SEPTEMBER 2, 1862
I now have reliable information that the loss of the enemy in fight of Tuesday 26th, At Cumberland Iron Works, was 35 killed and wounded. All is going well; am almost ready. Can I be furnished with a small amount of secret-service money? I have some valuable spies who ought to be paid. Answer at once.
W.W. LOWE

Result(s): Roughly equal casualties, Confederates lost sole cannon by were not pushed from their defensive positions.

Garrettsburg, Kentucky

Other Names: None

Location: Garrettsburg, Kentucky

Campaign: Driving of Confederate forces from Kentucky

Date: November 6, 1862

Principal Commanders: Brig.Gen. Ransom [US]; Col. Woodward [CS]

Forces Engaged: Elements of 5th Iowa Cavalry [US]

Estimated Casualties: 10 [US]; 56 [CS]

Description: Brig.Gen. T.A. Davies in his report to Maj.Gen. U.S. Grant states: “The expedition commanded by Brig.Gen. Ransom has proved a great success. It came up with Col. Woodward’s rebel force, 800 strong, near Garrettsburg; had a short engagement; killed 16 of his men, among them one captain and one lieutenant; wounded 40, including one captain and 2 lieutenants, took 25 prisoners, all their horses and 50 mules, and a large number of arms and equipments, half the camps of Col. Woodward’s men, including his own, routing the whole concern, and driving them out of the State of Kentucky. Our loss, 3 killed and 7 wounded.”

Result(s): Union Victory.

Dover  (Fort Donelson), Tennessee

Other Names: Fort Donelson

Location: Stewart County, Tennessee

Campaign: Middle Tennessee Operations (1863)

Date(s): February 3, 1863

Principal Commanders: Col. A.C. Harding [US]; Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler [CS]

Forces Engaged: Detachments of two regiments: 83rd Illinois Infantry and 5th Iowa Cavalry Regiments and some artillery (approx. 800) [US]; cavalry division (approx. 2,500) [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 796 total (US 126; CS 670)

Description: Under orders, in late January 1863, Confederate Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler, commanding two brigades of cavalry, had taken position on the Cumberland River at Palmyra to disrupt Union shipping. The Federals, however, apprised of Wheeler’s intent, refrained from sending any boats up or downriver. Unable to disrupt Union shipping and realizing that he and his men could not remain in the area indefinitely, Wheeler decided to attack the garrison at Dover, Tennessee, which informers reported was small and could easily be overwhelmed. The Rebels set out for Dover and between 1:00 and 2:00 pm, on February 3, began an attack. The 800-man garrison, under the command of Col. A.C. Harding, was in and about the town of Dover where they had chosen camps that commanded the area and had dug rifle pits and battery emplacements. The Confederates mounted a determined attack using artillery fire with great skill, but were repulsed with heavy losses. By dusk, both sides were mostly without ammunition. The Confederates surveyed the Union defenses and decided that the enemy was too well-placed to allow capture. Wheeler’s force retired. The Federals did send out a pursuit but to no avail. The Confederates had failed to disrupt shipping on the Cumberland River and capture the garrison at Dover. This Confederate failure left the Union in control in Middle Tennessee and a bitter Brig. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest denounced Wheeler, a favorite of Gen. Braxton Bragg, saying he would not again serve under him.

Result(s): Union victory.

Wartrace, Tennessee

Other Names: None

Location: Wartrace, Tennessee

Campaign: Wheeler and Roddey’s Raid

Date: 6 October 1863

Principal Commanders: Co. William W. Lowe [US]

Forces Engaged: 1st and 3rd Brigades, 2nd Cavalry Division, Army of the Cumberland [US]

Estimated Casualties: unknown

Description: Col. Lowe, commanding the two brigades of cavalry, telegraphed the following to Gen. Rosecrans on the 6th: “After a march of 35 miles today, succeeded in coming up with the enemy at Wartrace. Fight lasted about one hour, enemy at last retreating in the direction of Shelbyville. Followed some 3 miles.”

Result(s): Union Victory.

Atlanta, Georgia

Other Names: None

Location: Fulton County, Georgia

Campaign: Atlanta Campaign (1864)

Date(s): July 22, 1864

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman [US]; Gen. John Bell Hood [CS]

Forces Engaged: Military Division of the Mississippi [US]; Army of Tennessee [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 12,140 total (US 3,641; CS 8,499)

Description: Following the Battle of Peachtree Creek, Hood determined to attack Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson’s Army of the Tennessee. He withdrew his main army at night from Atlanta’ s outer line to the inner line, enticing Sherman to follow. In the meantime, he sent William J. Hardee with his corps on a fifteen-mile march to hit the unprotected Union left and rear, east of the city. Wheeler’s cavalry was to operate farther out on Sherman’s supply line, and Gen. Frank Cheatham’s corps were to attack the Union front. Hood, however, miscalculated the time necessary to make the march, and Hardee was unable to attack until afternoon. Although Hood had outmaneuvered Sherman for the time being, McPherson was concerned about his left flank and sent his reserves -Grenville Dodge’s XVI Army Corps- to that location. Two of Hood’s divisions ran into this reserve force and were repulsed. The Rebel attack stalled on the Union rear but began to roll up the left flank. Around the same time, a Confederate soldier shot and killed McPherson when he rode out to observe the fighting. Determined attacks continued, but the Union forces held. About 4:00 pm, Cheatham’s corps broke through the Union front at the Hurt House, but Sherman massed twenty artillery pieces on a knoll near his headquarters to shell these Confederates and halt their drive. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan’ s XV Army Corps then led a counterattack that restored the Union line. The Union troops held, and Hood suffered high casualties.

Result(s): Union victory.

Lovejoy’s Station, Georgia

Other Names: None

Location: Clayton County, Georgia

Campaign: Atlanta Campaign (1864)

Date(s): August 20, 1864

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick [US]; Brig. Gen. William H. Jackson [CS]

Forces Engaged: Kilpatrick’s Cavalry Division [US]; Jackson’s Cavalry Division [CS]

Estimated Casualties: Unknown

Description: While Confederate Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler was absent raiding Union supply lines from North Georgia to East Tennessee, Maj. Gen. William Sherman, unconcerned, sent Judson Kilpatrick to raid Rebel supply lines. Leaving on August 18, Kilpatrick hit the Atlanta & West Point Railroad that evening, tearing up a small area of tracks. Next, Kilpatrick headed for Lovejoy’s Station on the Macon & Western Railroad. In transit, on the 19th, Kilpatrick’s men hit the Jonesborough supply depot on the Macon & Western Railroad, burning great amounts of supplies. On the 20th, they reached Lovejoy’s Station and began their destruction. Rebel infantry (Cleburne’s Division) appeared and the raiders were forced to fight into the night, finally fleeing to prevent encirclement. Although Kilpatrick had destroyed supplies and track at Lovejoy’s Station, the railroad line was back in operation in two days.

Result(s): Confederate victory.

Jonesborough, Georgia

Other Names: None

Location: Clayton County, Georgia

Campaign: Atlanta Campaign (1864)

Date(s): August 31 – September 1, 1864

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman [US]; Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee [CS]

Forces Engaged: Six corps [US]; two corps [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 3,149 total (US 1,149; CS 2,000)

Description: Sherman had successfully cut Hood’s supply lines in the past by sending out detachments, but the Confederates quickly repaired the damage. In late August, Sherman determined that if he could cut Hood’s supply lines -the Macon & Western and the Atlanta & West Point Railroads- the Rebels would have to evacuate Atlanta. Sherman, therefore, decided to move six of his seven infantry corps against the supply lines. The army began pulling out of its positions on August 25 to hit the Macon & Western Railroad between Rough and Ready and Jonesborough. To counter the move, Hood sent Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee with two corps to halt and possibly rout the Union troops, not realizing Sherman’s army was there in force. On August 31, Hardee attacked two Union corps west of Jonesborough but was easily repulsed. Fearing an attack on Atlanta, Hood withdrew one corps from Hardee’s force that night. The next day, a Union corps broke through Hardee’ s troops which retreated to Lovejoy’s Station, and on the night of September 1, Hood evacuated Atlanta. Sherman did cut Hood’s supply line but failed to destroy Hardee’s command.

Result(s): Union victory.

Columbia, Tennessee

Other Names: None

Location: Maury County, Tennessee

Campaign: Franklin-Nashville Campaign (1864)

Date(s): November 24 [24-29], 1864

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield [US]; Gen. John Bell Hood [CS]

Forces Engaged: XXIII Army Corps and elements of IV Army Corps [US]; Army of Tennessee [CS]

Estimated Casualties: Unknown

Description: Conflict near Columbia, during Hood’s 1864 Tennessee invasion, constituted a Confederate diversion as part of a maneuver designed to cross the Duck River upstream and interdict the Union army’s line of communications with Nashville. As Gen. John Bell Hood’s army advanced northeastward from Florence, Alabama, Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield’s force quickly withdrew from Pulaski to Columbia, arriving on November 24, just ahead of Forrest’s Rebel cavalry. The Federals built two lines of earthworks south of the town while skirmishing with enemy cavalry on November 24 and 25. Hood advanced his infantry on the following day but did not assault. He made demonstrations along the front while marching two corps of his army to Davis Ford, some five miles eastward on the Duck River. Schofield correctly interpreted Hood’s moves, but foul weather prevented him from crossing to the north bank before November 28, leaving Columbia to the Confederates. The next day, both armies marched north for Spring Hill. Schofield had slowed Hood’s movement but had not stopped him.

Result(s): Confederate victory.

Spring Hill, Tennessee

Other Names: None

Location: Maury County, Tennessee

Campaign: Franklin-Nashville Campaign (1864)

Date(s): November 29, 1864

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield [US]; Gen. John Bell Hood [CS]

Forces Engaged: IV and XXIII Army Corps [US]; Army of Tennessee [CS]

Estimated Casualties: Unknown

Description: Spring Hill was the prelude to the Battle of Franklin. On the night of November 28, 1864, Gen. John Bell Hood’s Army of Tennessee marched toward Spring Hill to get astride Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield’s Union army’s life line. Cavalry skirmishing between Brig. Gen. James H. Wilson’s Union cavalry and Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Confederate troopers continued throughout the day as the Confederates advanced. On November 29, Hood’s infantry crossed Duck River and converged on Spring Hill. In the meantime, Maj. Gen. Schofield reinforced the troops holding the crossroads at Spring Hill. In late afternoon, the Federals repulsed a piecemeal Confederate infantry attack. During the night, the rest of Schofield’s command passed from Columbia through Spring Hill to Franklin. This was, perhaps, Hood’s best chance to isolate and defeat the Union army. The engagement has been described as “one of the most controversial non-fighting events of the entire war.”

Result(s): Union victory.

Franklin, Tennessee

Other Names: None

Location: Williamson County, Tennessee

Campaign: Franklin-Nashville Campaign (1864)

Date(s): November 30, 1864

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield [US]; Gen. John B. Hood [CS]

Forces Engaged: IV and XXIII Army Corps (Army of the Ohio and Cumberland) [US]; Army of Tennessee [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 8,587 total (US 2,326; CS 6,261)

Description: Having lost a good opportunity at Spring Hill to hurt significantly the Union Army, Gen. John B. Hood marched in rapid pursuit of Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield’s retreating Union army. Schofield’s advance reached Franklin about sunrise on November 30 and quickly formed a defensive line in works thrown up by the Yankees in the spring of 1863, on the southern edge of town. Schofield wished to remain in Franklin to repair the bridges and get his supply trains over them. Skirmishing at Thompson’s Station and elsewhere delayed Hood’s march, but, around 4:00 pm, he marshaled a frontal attack against the Union perimeter. Two Federal brigades holding a forward position gave way and retreated to the inner works, but their comrades ultimately held in a battle that caused frightening casualties. When the battle ceased, after dark, six Confederate generals were dead or had mortal wounds. Despite this terrible loss, Hood’s army, late, depleted and worn, crawled on toward Nashville.

Result(s): Union victory.

Nashville, Tennessee

Other Names: None

Location: Davidson County, Tennessee

Campaign: Franklin-Nashville Campaign (1864)

Date(s): December 15-16, 1864

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas [US]; Gen. John Bell Hood [CS]

Forces Engaged: IV Army Corps, XXIII Army Corps, Detachment of Army of the Tennessee, provisional detachment, and cavalry corps [US]; Army of Tennessee [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 6,602 total (US 2,140; CS 4,462)

Description: In a last desperate attempt to force Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s army out of Georgia, Gen. John Bell Hood led the Army of Tennessee north toward Nashville in November 1864. Although he suffered terrible losses at Franklin on November 30, he continued toward Nashville. By the next day, the various elements of Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas’s army had reached Nashville. Hood reached the outskirts of Nashville on December 2, occupied positions on a line of hills parallel to those of the Union and began erecting fieldworks. Union Army Engineer, Brig. Gen. James St. Clair Morton, had overseen the construction of sophisticated fortifications at Nashville in 1862-63, strengthened by others, which would soon see use. From the 1st through the 14th, Thomas made preparations for the Battle of Nashville in which he intended to destroy Hood’s army. On the night of December 14, Thomas informed Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck, acting as Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s chief of staff, that he would attack the next day. Thomas planned to strike both of Hood’s flanks. Before daylight on the 15th, the first of the Union troops, led by Maj. Gen. James Steedman, set out to hit the Confederate right. The attack was made and the Union forces held down one Rebel corps there for the rest of the day. Attack on the Confederate left did not begin until after noon when a charge commenced on Montgomery Hill. With this classic charge’s success, attacks on other parts of the Confederate left commenced, all eventually successful. By this time it was dark and fighting stopped for the day. Although battered and with a much smaller battle line, Gen. Hood was still confident. He established a main line of resistance along the base of a ridge about two miles south of the former location, throwing up new works and fortifying Shy’s and Overton’s hills on their flanks. The IV Army Corps marched out to within 250 yards, in some places, of the Confederate’s new line and began constructing fieldworks. During the rest of the morning, other Union troops moved out toward the new Confederate line and took up positions opposite it. The Union attack began against Hood’s strong right flank on Overton’s Hill. The same brigade that had taken Montgomery Hill the day before received the nod for the charge up Overton’s Hill. This charge, although gallantly conducted, failed, but other troops (Maj. Gen. A.J. Smith’s “Israelites” ) successfully assaulted Shy’s Hill in their fronts. Seeing the success along the line, other Union troops charged up Overton’s Hill and took it. Hood’s army fled. Thomas had left one escape route open but the Union army set off in pursuit. For ten days, the pursuit continued until the beaten and battered Army of Tennessee recrossed the Tennessee River. Hood’s army was stalled at Columbia, beaten at Franklin, and routed at Nashville. Hood retreated to Tupelo and resigned his command.

Result(s): Union victory.

Montevallo, Alabama

Other Names: None

Location: Montevallo, Alabama

Campaign: Wilson’s Cavalry Raid

Date: 30-31 March 1865

Principal Commanders: Gen. Wilson [US]

Forces Engaged: 4th Cavalry Division, Army of the Mississippi [US]

Estimated Casualties: Minimal

Description: During Wilson’s raid two companies of the 4th Iowa Cavalry skirmished with the enemy for several miles before entering the village of Montevallo, but the only casualty reported was one man slightly wounded. The next morning Wilson encountered the enemy at Six Mile Creek, a short distance south of Montevallo, where his advance was suddenly atacked on the flank by a considerable force of Confederate cavalry. The attack was quickly repulsed by the 10th Missouri, and the 3rd Iowa charged in turn, driving back the enemy and cutting off a portion of the command that had become separated from the main body, capturing several prisoners. No report of killed and wounded.

Result(s): Union Victory (advance not impeded).

Ebenezer Church, Alabama

Other Names: None

Location: Ebenezer Church, Alabama

Campaign: Wilson’s Cavalry Raid

Date: 1 April 1865

Principal Commanders: Lt.Col. Frank White [US]

Forces Engaged: 72nd Indiana Mounted Infantry, 5th Iowa Cavalry companies, 17th Indiana Mounted Infantry [US]

Estimated Casualties: 17 [US]; unknown [CS]

Description: After breaking camp at Montevallo, the division moved out on the main Selma road and first encountered the enemy near Randolph. The 72nd Indiana Mounted Infantry was in the lead and four companies followed the enemy closely until they reached Ebenezer Church on Bogler’s creek, near Maplesville. There a larger force was located. The other companies of the 72nd were brought forward, dismounted, and the whole regiment soon broke the enemy’s lines. The 17th Indiana Mounted Infantry, under Lieut.Col. Frank White, then charged, following the fleeing Confederates over a mile, where they came up with a battery of artillery which had been firing on them as they advanced. A second line of battle was here encountered and the Indiana men were forced to turn to their left and cut their way out. The charge resulted in the loss of 17 men killed or captured.

Result(s): Union Victory.

Selma, Alabama

Other Names: None

Location: Dallas County, Alabama

Campaign: Wilson’s Raid in Alabama and Georgia (1865)

Date(s): April 2, 1865

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. James H. Wilson [US]; Lt. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest [CS]

Forces Engaged: Two cavalry divisions [US]; troops in city (approx. 5,000 men) [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 3,019 total (US 319; CS 2,700)

Description: Maj. Gen. James H. Wilson, commanding three divisions of Union cavalry, about 13,500 men, led his men south from Gravelly Springs, Alabama, on March 22, 1865. Opposed by Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest, Wilson skillfully continued his march and eventually defeated him in a running battle at Ebenezer Church, on April 1. Continuing towards Selma, Wilson split his command into three columns. Although Selma was well-defended, the Union columns broke through the defenses at separate points forcing the Confederates to surrender the city, although many of the officers and men, including Forrest and Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor, escaped. Selma demonstrated that even Forrest, whom some had considered invincible, could not stop the unrelenting Union movements deep into the Southern Heartland.

Result(s): Union victory.

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