Civil War Battles of Tennessee

Operations about Dandridge (December 1863-January 1864)

Wanting to push the Confederates out of their winter headquarters and having received reports of good forage south of the French Broad River, Union forces under Major General John G. Parke advanced on the Dandridge area, with orders to cross the river and occupy the area for the Federals. This movement forced Confederate Lieutenant General James Longstreet, who had been operating around Dandridge, to fall back beyond Kimbrough’s Crossroads.

Mossy Creek (December 29, 1863) – Union Brigadier General Samuel D. Sturgis received a report on the night of December 28, 1863, that a brigade of Confederate Cavalry was in the neighborhood of Dandridge that afternoon. Surmising that the cavalry force was split, Sturgis decided to meet and defeat, and possibly capture, this portion of it. He ordered most of his troopers out toward Dandridge on two roads. After these troops had left, Major General William T. Martin, commander of Longstreet’s Confederate cavalry, now reunited, attacked the remainder of Sturgis’s force at Mossy Creek at 9:00 am.

First, Sturgis sent messages to his subordinates on the way to Dandridge to return promptly if they found no enemy there. The Confederates advanced, driving the Federals in front of them. Some of the Union troopers who had set out for Dandridge returned. Around 3:00 pm, fortunes changed as the Federals began driving back the Confederates.

By dark, the Rebels were back to the location from which they had begun the battle. Union pursuit was not mounted that night, but Martin retreated from the area. After the victory at Mossy Creek, the Union held the line about Talbott’s Station for some time. The Union victory resulted in estimated casualties of 151 Union. The number of Confederate casualties is unknown.

Dandridge (January 17, 1864) – Union forces under Major General John G. Parke advanced on Dandridge, Tennessee, near the East Tennessee & Virginia Railroad, on January 14, forcing Lieutenant General James Longstreet’s Confederate troops to fall back. Longstreet, however, moved additional troops into the area on the 15th to meet the enemy and threaten the Union base at New Market. On the 16th, Brigadier General Samuel D. Sturgis, commanding the Cavalry Corps, Army of the Ohio, rode forward to occupy Kimbrough’s Crossroads. As the Union cavalry neared the crossroads, they discovered an enemy infantry division with artillery that had arrived the day before. The Union cavalry could not dislodge these Rebels and was compelled to retire to Dandridge. About noon the next day, Sturgis received information that the Confederates were preparing for an attack so he formed his men into line of battle. About 4:00 pm, the Confederates advanced and the fighting began. The battle continued until after dark with the Federals occupying about the same battle line as when the fighting started. The Union forces fell back to New Market and Strawberry Plains during the night, but the Rebels were unable to pursue because of the lack of cannons, ammunition, and shoes. For the time being, the Union forces left the area. Though considered a Confederate victory, they had failed to destroy or capture the Federals. Estimated casualties were 150 Union, the number of Confederate are unknown.

Fair Garden (January 27, 1864) – After the Battle of Dandridge, the Union cavalry moved to the south side of the French Broad River and had disrupted Confederate foraging and captured numerous wagons in that area. On January 25, 1864, Lieutenant General James Longstreet, commander of the Department of East Tennessee, instructed his subordinates to do something to curtail Union operations south of the French Broad. On the 26th, Brigadier General Samuel D. Sturgis, having had various brushes with Confederate cavalry, deployed his troopers to watch the area fords.

Two Confederate cavalry brigades and artillery advanced from Fair Garden in the afternoon but were checked about four miles from Sevierville. Other Confederates attacked a Union cavalry brigade at Fowler’s on Flat Creek, and drove it about two miles. No further fighting occurred that day. Union scouts observed that the Confederates had concentrated on the Fair Garden Road, so Sturgis ordered an attack there in the morning. In a heavy fog, Colonel Edward M. McCook’s Union division attacked and drove back Major General William T. Martin’s Confederates until about 4:00 pm. At that time, McCook’s men charged with sabers and routed the Rebels. Sturgis set out in pursuit on the 28th, and captured and killed more of the routed Rebels. The Union forces, however, observed three of Longstreet’s infantry brigades crossing the river. Realizing his weariness from fighting, lack of supplies, ammunition, and weapons and the overwhelming strength of the enemy, Sturgis decided to evacuate the area. But, before leaving, Sturgis determined to attack Brigadier General Frank C. Armstrong’s Confederate cavalry division which he had learned was about three or four miles away, on the river. Unbeknownst to the attacking Federals, Armstrong had strongly fortified his position and three infantry regiments had arrived to reinforce him. Thus, the Union troops suffered severe casualties in the attack. The battle continued until dark, when the Federals retired from the area. The Federals had won the big battle but the fatigue of continual fighting and lack of supplies and ammunition forced them to withdraw. A Union victory, the battle resulted in an estimated 100 Union casualties and 165 Confederate.

Forrest’s Expedition into West Tennessee and Kentucky (March-April 1864) 

In March 1864, Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest set out from Columbus, Mississippi, with a force of less than 3,000 men on a multipurpose expedition to recruit and re-outfit his troops and disperse the Federals from West Tennessee and Kentucky. The campaign consisted of two battles, one in Paducah, Kentucky and the other at Fort Pillow, Tennessee.

Fort Pillow Massacre, Tennessee

Fort Pillow Massacre, Tennessee

Fort Pillow (April 12, 1864) – In April, 1864, Union garrisons under Majors Lionel F. Booth and William F. Bradford were at Fort Pillow, originally a Confederate-built earthen fortification. However, two years earlier, it had been occupied by Union troops, who had also built an inner redoubt. Overlooking the Mississippi River about forty river miles above Memphis, the troops were comprised of 295 white Tennessee soldiers and 262 U.S. Black soldiers, all under the command of Major Lionel F. Booth. Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest attacked the fort on April 12th with a cavalry division of approximately 2,500 men. Forrest seized the older outworks, with high knolls commanding the Union position, to surround Booth’s force. Rugged terrain prevented the gunboat New Era from providing effective fire support for the Federals.

The garrison was unable to depress its artillery enough to cover the approaches to the fort and Rebel sharpshooters, on the surrounding knolls, began firing into the fort, killing Major Booth. Major William F. Bradford then took over command of the garrison. The Confederates launched a determined attack at 11:00 a.m., occupying more strategic locations around the fort, and Forrest demanded unconditional surrender. Bradford asked for an hour for consultation, and Forrest granted twenty minutes. Bradford refused to surrender and the Confederates renewed the attack, soon overran the fort, and drove the Federals down the river’s bluff into a deadly crossfire. Casualties were high and only 62 of the U.S. Black Troops survived the fight. Many accused the Confederates of perpetrating a massacre of the black troops, a controversy that continues to this day. The Confederates evacuated Fort Pillow that evening so they gained little from the attack except a temporary disruption of Union operations. The “Fort Pillow Massacre” became a Union rallying cry and cemented resolve to see the war through to its conclusion. The Confederate victory resulted in estimated casualties of 654 Union and 80 Confederate.

2 thoughts on “Civil War Battles of Tennessee”

  1. Looking for information on the 22nd Virginia cavalry. Trying to find out all the battles they fought after May 1863 up until November of 1863. Thanks for any and all help

    1. It’s more than you asked for, but hope this helps

      22nd Cavalry CSA “Bowen’s Regiment Virginia Mounted Riflemen”
      1863
      May Formed by adding eight companies to Baldwin’s Partisan Rangers. Baldwin’s two companies became Company A and Company E of the new regiment. Colonel Henry S. Bowen, Lieutenant Colonel John T. Radford and Major Henry F. Kendrick were assigned as field officers.
      Many of the new recruits had served in the 37th Virginia Infantry Regiment. The regiment was assigned to the Department of Western Virginia.
      September 1 Jonesboro, Tennessee
      September 12 Jonesboro, Tennessee
      September 21 Jonesboro, Tennessee
      October 24 Nicholas County
      December 9 Logan County
      December 15 Scott County
      December 17 Russell County
      1864
      April Assigned to Jenkins’ Cavalry Brigade, Department of Western Virginia.
      April 24 Breathitt County, Kentucky
      May Assigned to McCausland’s Brigade of Lomax’s Cavalry Division, Army of the Valley.
      May 7 Abb’s Valley
      May 9 Cloyd’s Mountain
      May 10 New River Bridge
      May 13 Jackson’s Ferry & Covington
      May 15 Abb’s Valley
      May 31 Pike County
      June 1 White Sulpher Springs, WV
      June 2 Covington VA
      June 4 Panther Gap
      June 6 Goshen
      June 7 Buffalo Gap
      June 8 Staunton Road
      June 10 Arbor Hill, Newport, Middlebrook and Brownsburg
      June 11 Lexington
      June 13 Buchanan
      June 15 Fancy Farm
      June 16 Otter River
      June 17 Forrest Depot
      June 18 Lynchburg
      June 20 Liberty
      June 21 Salem
      July 3 Leetown
      July 4 North Mountain Depot
      July 7 Hagerstown, MD
      July 8-9 Battle of Monocacy
      Major Kendrick was wounded in the hip and captured.
      July 10 Urbana, MD
      July 11 Rockville, MD
      July 12 Attack on Fort Stevens, Washington D.C.
      July 14 Edwards Ferry VA
      July 15 Snicker’s Gap, VA

      July 16 Loudoun County
      July 18 Ashby’s Gap, VA

      July 19 Berry’s Farm
      July 20 Stehenson’s Depot, VA
      July 23 Second Battle of Kernstown
      July 29 Mercersburg, PA
      July 30 Burning of Chambersburg
      August 2 Cumberland, MD
      August 4 New Creek, WV
      August 5 Shenansoah Valley
      August 7 Battle of Moorfield
      Federal cavalry caught McCausland’s brigade in camp by surprise after Union ‘Jesse Scouts’ dressed in Confederate grey captured the picket. The camp was overrun at dawn, capturing around five hundred men from the brigade. The catured men were imprisoned at Cam Chase, Ohio, for the rest of the war.
      August 9 New Creek Station VA
      August 10 Charles Town, WV
      August 11 Newtown, VA
      August Assigned to Bradley Johnston’s Brigade of Lomax’s Cavalry Division

      August 15 Charles Town, WV
      August 17 New Creek, WV
      August 21 Summit Point, WV
      August 25 Kearneyville, WV
      August 28 Opequan Creek, VA
      September 1 Brandy Station, VA
      September 2 Bunker Hill, VA
      September 3 Berryville, VA
      September 4 Maritinsburg, WV
      September 10 Big Spring WV
      September 12 Darkesville, WV
      September 19 Third Battle of Winchester
      The regiment acted as rear guard while Early’s army retreated after the battle to Fisher’s Hill.
      September 21 Front Royal Pike
      September 22-24 Battle of Fisher’s Hill

      September 24 Harrisonburg and Timberville, VA
      September 25 Gaines Crossroads, VA
      October 1 Port Republic, VA
      October Returned to McCausland’s Brigade.
      October 8-9 Battle of Tom’s Brook
      October 19 Battle of Cedar Creek

      October 23 Bentonville, VA
      October 26 Milford, VA
      October 29 Beverly, WV
      November 12 Nineveh (Cedarville), VA
      Lieutenant Colonel Radford was killed.
      November 22 Front Royal, VA
      December 17 Berry’s Ford, VA
      December 20 Madison Court House, VA
      December 23 Jack’s Shop, VA
      December 24 Gordonsville, VA
      1865
      January 29 Moorfield WV
      February 6 Balltown, WV
      February Major Kendrick was exchanged.
      March Ordered with the rest of Rosser’s Division to leave the Valley and join the Army of Northern Virginia at Petersburg.
      March-April Siege of Petersburg
      March 29 Quaker Road, VA
      March 31 Dinwiddie Court House, VA
      April 1 Battle of Five Forks

      April 2 Sutherland Station, VA
      April 3 Namozine Church, VA
      April 5 Avery’s Church Road, VA
      April 6 Jetersville, VA
      April 6-7 High Bridge, VA
      April 7 Cumberland Chuch (Farmville)
      April 9 Appomattox Court House
      The regiment cut its was through Union lines and escaed the surrender. Only two men, Corporal J.W. Whitman and Private A.H. Tate of Company G, surrendered with Lee’s army.
      Mid-April The regiment disbanded

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