Civil War Battles of Tennessee

Brentwood (March 25, 1863) – Occurring in Williamson County, Tennessee, Union Lieutenant Colonel Edward Bloodgood held Brentwood, a station on the Nashville & Decatur Railroad, with 400 men on the morning of March 25, 1863, when Confederate Brigadier General Nathan B. Forrest with a powerful column, approached the town. The day before, Forrest had ordered Colonel J.W. Starnes, commanding the 2nd Brigade, to go to Brentwood, cut the telegraph, tear up railroad track, attack the stockade, and cut off any retreat. Forrest and the other cavalry brigade joined Bloodgood about 7:00 am on the 25th.

A messenger from the stockade informed Bloodgood that Forrest’s men were about to attack and had destroyed railroad track. Bloodgood sought to notify his superiors and discovered that the telegraph lines were cut. Forrest sent in a demand for a surrender under a flag of truce but Bloodgood refused. Within a half hour, though, Forrest had artillery in place to shell Bloodgood’s position and had surrounded the Federals with a large force. Bloodgood decided to surrender. Forrest and his men caused a lot of damage in the area during this expedition, and Brentwood, on the railroad, was a significant loss to the Federals. Estimated casualties of the battle were 305 Union and 6 Confederate

Franklin (April 10, 1863) – Occurring in Williamson County, this engagement at Franklin was a reconnaissance in force by Confederate cavalry leader Major General Earl Van Dorn coupled with an equally inept response by Union Major General Gordon Granger. Van Dorn advanced northward from Spring Hill on May 10, making contact with Federal skirmishers just outside Franklin. Van Dorn’s attack was so weak that when Granger received a false report that Brentwood, to the north, was under attack, he believed it, and sent away most of his cavalry, thinking that the Confederate general was undertaking a diversion.

When the truth became known — there was no threat to Brentwood — Granger decided to attack Van Dorn, but he was surprised to learn that a subordinate had already done so, without orders. Brigadier General David S. Stanley, with a cavalry brigade, had crossed the Harpeth River at Hughes’s Ford, behind the Confederate right rear. The 4th U.S. Cavalry attacked and captured Freeman’s Tennessee Battery on the Lewisburg Road but lost it when Brigadier General Nathan B. Forrest counterattacked. Stanley’s troopers quickly withdrew across the Big Harpeth River. This incident in his rear caused Van Dorn to cancel his operations and withdraw to Spring Hill, leaving the Federals in control of the area. The Union victory resulted in estimate casualties of 100 Union and 137 Confederate.

Middle Tennessee Campaign (June 1863)

Also called the Tullahoma Campaign, Colonel Abel Streight and his Union Cavalry raided through Mississippi and Alabama, fighting against Nathan B. Forrest. Streight’s Raid ended when his exhausted men surrendered near Rome, Georgia, on May 3. In June, Rosecrans finally advanced against Bragg in a brilliant, almost bloodless, campaign of maneuver, the Tullahoma Campaign, and drove Bragg from Middle Tennessee.

Hoover’s Gap (June 24-26, 1863) – This conflict took place in Bedford and Rutherford Counties of Tennessee.  Following the Battle of Stones River, Major General William Rosecrans, commanding the Army of the Cumberland, remained in the Murfreesboro area for five and one-half months. To counter the Yankees, General Braxton Bragg, commander of the Army of Tennessee, established a fortified line along the Duck River from Shelbyville to Wartrace. On the Confederate right, infantry and artillery detachments guarded Liberty, Hoover’s, and Bellbuckle gaps through the mountains. Rosecrans’  superiors, fearing that Bragg might detach large numbers of men to help break the Siege of Vicksburg, urged him to attack the Confederates.

On June 23, 1863, he feigned an attack on Shelbyville but massed against Bragg’s right. His troops struck out toward the gaps, Major General George H. Thomas’s men, on the 24th, forced Hoover’s Gap. The Confederate 3rd Kentucky Cavalry Regiment, under Colonel J.R. Butler, held Hoover’s Gap, but the Yankees easily pushed it aside. As this unit fell back, it ran into Brigadier General Bushrod R. Johnson’s and Brigadier General William B. Bate’s Brigades, Stewart’s Division, Hardee’s Corps, Army of Tennessee, which marched off to meet Thomas and his men.

Fighting continued at the gap until just before noon on the 26th, when Major General Alexander P. Stewart, the Confederate division commander, sent a message to Johnson and Bate stating that he was pulling back and they should also. Although slowed by rain, Rosecrans moved on, forcing Bragg to give up his defensive line and fall back to Tullahoma. Rosecrans sent a flying column (Wilder’s Lightning Brigade, the same that had spearheaded the thrust through Hoover’s Gap on the 24th) ahead to hit the railroad in Bragg’s rear. Arriving too late to destroy the Elk River railroad bridge, the Federals tore up lots of track around Decherd. Bragg evacuated Middle Tennessee. Resulting in a Union victory, the number of casualties remain unknown.

Chickamauga Campaign (August-September 1863)

Battle of Chickamauga

Battle of Chickamauga by Kurz & Allison, 1890.

The major objective of Major General William Rosecrans‘ Federal Army of the Cumberland was to keep control of the roads heading southward. One of these went through Chattanooga. In the meantime, General Braxton Bragg’s Confederate Army of Tennessee were determined to block the Federal Army from Chattanooga. The first battle of the campaign took place in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Two more were fought in Georgia at Davis’ Cross-Roads, and Chickamauga.

Chattanooga (August 21, 1863) – On August 16, 1863, Major General William Rosecrans, commander of the Army of the Cumberland, launched a campaign to take Chattanooga, Tennessee. Colonel John T. Wilder’s brigade of the Union 4th Division of the 14th Army Corps marched to a location northeast of Chattanooga where the Confederates could see them, reinforcing General Braxton Bragg’s expectations of a Union attack on the town from that direction.

On August 21st, Wilder reached the Tennessee River opposite Chattanooga and ordered the 18th Indiana Light Artillery to begin shelling the town. The shells caught many soldiers and civilians in town in church observing a day of prayer and fasting. The bombardment sank two steamers docked at the landing and created a great deal of consternation amongst the Confederates. Continued periodically over the next two weeks, the shelling helped keep Bragg’s attention to the northeast while the bulk of Rosecrans’ army crossed the Tennessee River well west and south of Chattanooga. When Bragg learned on September 8th that the Union army was in force southwest of the city, he abandoned Chattanooga. A successful Union demonstration the number of casualties remains unknown. See More HERE.

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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