Civil War Battles of Tennessee

Stones River Campaign (December, 1862 – January, 1863) 

After Confederate General Braxton Bragg’s defeat at Perryville, Kentucky on October 8, 1862, he and his Confederate Army of the Mississippi retreated, reorganized, and were re-designated as the Army of Tennessee. They then advanced to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and prepared to go into winter quarters. However, the Union had different ideas.

Hartsville (December 7, 1862) – Taking place in Trousdale County, Tennessee, the 39th Brigade of the 14th  Army Corps was guarding the Cumberland River Crossing at Hartsville to prevent the Confederate Cavalry from raiding. However, under the cover of darkness, Confederate Brigadier General John H. Morgan crossed the river in the early morning of December 7, 1862. Morgan’s advance wore Union blue uniforms which got them passed the mounted sentinels. When Morgan and his troops approached the Union camp, the pickets sounded the alarm, and held the Rebels until the brigade was in battle line. Under the command of colonel Absalom B. Moore, the Union forces began fighting the Confederates 6:45 am and continued until about 8:30 am. One of Moore’s units ran, which caused confusion and helped to force the Federals to fall back. By 8:30 am, the Confederates had surrounded the Federals, convincing them to surrender. A Confederate victory, estimated casualties were 1,855 Union and 149 Confederate. This action at Hartsville, located north of Murfreesboro, Tennessee was a preliminary to the Confederate cavalry raids by General Nathan B. Forrest into West Tennessee in December, 1862-January, 1863, and General John Morgan’s into Kentucky in December, 1862 – January, 1863.

Battle of Stone’s River near Murfreesboro, Tennessee, December 31, 1862-January 2, 1863, by Kurz and Allison, 1891.

Stone’s River (December 31, 1862-January 2, 1863) – Also referred to as the Battle of Murfreesboro or the Second Battle of Murfreesboro, this major battle of the Civil War took place in Rutherford County, Tennessee.  After Confederate General Braxton Bragg’s defeat at Perryville, Kentucky on October 8, 1862, he and his Confederate Army of the Mississippi retreated, reorganized, and were re-designated as the Army of Tennessee. They then advanced to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and prepared to go into winter quarters. Major General William Rosecrans’ Union Army of the Cumberland followed Bragg from Kentucky to Nashville, Tennessee, leaving there on December 26, with about 44,000 men, with plants to defeat Bragg’s army of more than 37,000. The Union forces came upon  Bragg’s army on December 29th and went into camp that night, within hearing distance of the Rebels.

At dawn on the 31st, Bragg’s men attacked the Union’s right flank and by 10:00 a.m. had driven the Union line back to the Nashville Pike but, there it held. Union reinforcements arrived in the late forenoon to bolster the stand, and before fighting stopped that day the Federals had established a new, strong line. On New Years Day, both armies marked time and Bragg surmised that Rosecrans would withdraw. However, the next morning he and his troops were still in position. In the late afternoon, Bragg sent a division of Confederate troops who had earlier taken up a strong position on the bluff east of the river, to attack the Union troops. The Confederates drove most of the Federals back across McFadden’s Ford, but with the assistance of artillery, the Federals repulsed the attack, compelling the Rebels to retire to their original position. Bragg left the field on January 4-5, retreating to Shelbyville and Tullahoma, Tennessee. Rosecrans did not pursue, but as the Confederates retired, he claimed the victory. Of the major battles of the Civil War, Stones River had the highest percentage of casualties on both sides, 13,249 U.S. and 10,266 Confederates. Although the battle itself was inconclusive, the Union Army’s repulse of two Confederate attacks and the subsequent Confederate withdrawal were a much-needed boost to Union morale after the defeat at the Battle of Fredericksburg, and it dashed Confederate aspirations for control of Middle Tennessee.

Forrest’s Expedition into West Tennessee (December 1862-January 1863)

Nathan Bedford Forrest

Wanting to interrupt the rail supply line to Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s army, General Nathan Bedford Forrest made his way down the Mississippi Central Railroad. Additionally, if he could destroy the Mobile & Ohio Railroad running south from Columbus, Kentucky, through Jackson, Grant would have to curtail or halt his operations.

Lexington (December 18, 1862) – General Nathan B. Forrest’s 2,100-man cavalry brigade crossed the Tennessee River from December 15 to December 17, heading west. In the meantime, Major General Ulysses S. Grant ordered troops at Jackson under Brigadier General Jeremiah C. Sullivan and a cavalry force under Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll, to confront Forrest. As both armies marched towards Jackson, Union troops sighted Forrest’s  advance troops. Ingersoll pulled back his troops about a half a mile from Lexington and prepared to fight. The next morning, Union Major Otto Funke led his troops in an attack on the Confederates, beginning a fight that would last several hours. But, the Union troops were far outnumbered and were soon overrun. Ingersoll became a prisoner along with 149 of his men and both his cannon were captured. The number of casualties is unknown. The Union prisoners were held 2-3 days, then paroled at Trenton, Tennessee. Those Federals who had escaped alarmed General Sullivan at Jackson, informing him that Forrest commanded a force as large as 10,000 men.

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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