Unit organized October, 1862; Special Orders No. 106, issued by Major-General Don Carlos Buell, Army of the Ohio, from Huntsville Ala., organized under direction of Capt. H.C. Bankhead of the Fifth U.S. Infantry. Standard issue is Springfield or Enfield rifles, upon formatin in November & December, 1862. By January, 1863 there are two companies (180 men each) of the 1st Alabama Cavalry assigned to Army of Tennessee, General Ulysses S. Grant, commanding. The companies (together with seven regiments of the 64th Illinois Cavalry make up the Third Brigade, Sixteenth Army Corps, District of Corinth. [A number of 1st Ala Cav troopers enlisted & served & died well before the unit's official date; particularly at Battles of Corinth and Iuka in October, November, 1862.]
Some companies of the 1st Ala Cav were assigned to the 1st Middle TN Cav.
December 12, 1862 Cherokee Station, Ala; skirmish; no report of casualties Coordinated skirmish at Little Bear Creek, same day, Illinois 52nd Inf. Indiana 66th Inf. Iowa 2nd & 7th Inf. (one killed, two missing) December 31-Jan 3, 1863: Murfreesboro: Detached troops participated. January 20, 1863 Chewalla, TN; skirmish; part of reconnoissance to Harpeth River & Cumberland River February 22, 1863 Tuscumbia, AL; action; no report of causalties; supported by Kansas 7th Cav Ohio 5th Cav Coordinated skirmish, same day at Glendale, AL by Missouri 10th Cav March 3, 1863 Bear Creek, AL; not reported as significant action. April 4, 1863 Carroll County, AL (Cos H & L); not reported as significant acton. April 14, 1863 Glendale, AL; not reported as significant action. Shown same date in skirmish at Burnsville, MS; supported by -Illinois 15th Cav & 9th mounted Inf. Missouri 10th Cav Burnsville is location of Union Camp Davies, sited between Iuka & Corinth, MS; Camp Glendale is nearby, an outpost to Corinth, which serves as Headquarters. [Engaged in Brig.-General Dodge's Expedition to North Alabama; Apr 15-May 8] April 16 & 17, 1863 Barton's Station, AL; skirmishes, supported by Missouri 10th Cavalry April 17, 1863 Dickson, AL; skirmish, supported by Illinois 15th Cav & 9th Mounted Inf. Missouri 10th Cav & Batt'y I, 1st Light Artil. Also in skirmishes at Great Bear Creek, Cherokee Station & Lundy's Lane, AL supported by Illinois Battery H, 1st Light Artil. Illinois 7th &9th Mounted Inf. Illinois 50th and 57th Inf. Iowa 39th Inf. Ohio 81st Inf. Brig.-General Dodge praised the 1st Alabama Cav for bravely charging Col Roddy's Confederates at Bear Creek with unloaded muskets, retaking artillery and caissons; noted as creditable, especially as they were all new recruits and poorly drilled. (Union losses 4 killed; 19 wounded; 59 missing) April 19, 1863 Joined 50th Illinois, "in ambush near Buzzard's Roost Creek". April 22, 1863 Rock Cut near Tuscumbia, AL; action, supported by units from skirmishes of Apr 17th, plus Illinois 12th and 122nd Inf. Indiana 66th Inf. Michigan, Batt'y C, 1st Light Artil. Kansas 7th Cav Ohio 27th, 39th, 43rd & 63rd Inf. April 23, 1863 Tuscumbia, AL; action, supported by above units from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Kansas and Missouri. Coordinated skirmishes of same date in Florence and Leighton. [April 26th - May 3rd; Col. Streight's Cavalry Raid from Tuscumbia toward Rome GA; for the purpose of "destroying the railroads in that country".] April 27, 1863 Town Creek & Day's Gap, AL; action supported by Tennessee, 1st Middle Cav. units from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Kansas and Missouri. [1st Ala Cav (main force) withdrew from Streight's Raid at Town Creek or Courtland, for mission under Brig.-General Dodge, of "scouring the countryside for all the horses & mules that can be found" in direction of Tupelo, MS; some 1st Ala Cav continued with the fateful Raid attempt by Col. Streight, which resulted in disaster with surrender of over 1400 men to Confed. Gen Nathan B. Forrest's force of only 500 near the Ga border; in contrast the scouring mission got 900 horses & mules, sheep & hogs by the thousands, destroyed 60 flatboats, broke-up ferrys, etc., leaving "nothing in the valley which would in the least aid the enemy"] Arrived in Corinth (Glendale), about 4 pm on Saturday, May 2nd. [May 2-May 8; Expedition from Burnsville, MS to Tupelo, MS] May 5, 1863 King's Creek & Blacklands near Tupelo MS; action; supported by Illinois 15th Cav & 9th Mtd. Inf. Missouri 10th Cav Kansas 7th Cav Union losses 1 killed, 5 wounded, 3 missing [Contemporary event: Seige of Vicksburg MS, May 18-July 4th, 1863] June 11, 1863 Burnsville, MS; skirmish August 3, 1863 Ripley, MS; skirmish September, 1863 Company K which had been on duty with the First Middle Tennessee is returned to the 1st Ala Cav.; Col Spences takes command of the Regiment on Sept 11, 1863. Mid-October, 1863 Preparing move-out to accomplish order to proceed "through Jasper, Ala to Montgomery or some point east...on the West Point RR...there to destroy its rolling stock, track & depots, doing the most through amount of damage possible". [October 20-29, Operations on Memphis & Charleston RR in Alabama, part of the action for re-opening the Tennessee River] Force of 650 men moved out of Corinth, directly southeastward, towards Columbiana, Ala - its first responsibililty to destroy the railroad from Line Station to Elyton (now Birmingham), a new line being built "for the sole purpose of getting out the railroad iron now being manufactured at these mills". October 21, 1863 Forty miles out of Glendale, attacked at Jones Crossroads by 2000 confederates; unit scattered; 20 killed including two captains, the adjutant and a lieutenant. The destruction of the Line Station to Elyton RR was apparently postponed. October 26, 1863 Vincent's Cross Roads and Bay Springs Ala October 28 & 29, 1863 Wauhatchie TN; engagement; Union losses are 78 killed, 327 wounded, 15 missing [November 3-5th, More Operations on Memphis & Charleston RR in Tennessee & MS] November 3, 1863 Colliersville, TN; supported by Illinois 6th, 7th & 9th Cav; Batt'y K Light Artil. & Iowa 2nd Cav.; Union losses 7 killed, 57 wounded November 4, 1863 Moscow, TN; supported by same troops as at Colliersville TN November 22, 1863 Camp Davies, MS (detachment); skirmish November 26, 1863 200 men of the 1st Ala Cav left at dawn as part of 900 man force under Col. Mizner, out of Corinth, marched 31 miles and encamped at Blackland. Then rode cautiously southward to Chesterville, where in order to avoid Lee's Cavalry, it "moved to a position near Molino and thence to Ripley MS". The horses of the 1st Ala Cav were so poor that the 1st Ala Cav were ordered back to Corinth, escorting 35 prisoners who had been picked up along the way. [Nov 28-Dec 10th, Operations on Memphis & Charleston RR, against Lee's Attack] November 28, 1863 Molino, MS; supported by Kansas 7th Cav & Michigan 3rd Cav. December 4, 1863 Wolf River Bridge, MS [Expedition toward Tuscumbia, Alabama; December 9-24th] December 24, 1863 Jack's Creek, MS or AL Spent end of year recuperating & recruiting January 9, 1864 General Dodge writes Sec. of War, Edwin M. Stanton requesting "authority to raise one or more regiments of cavalry from Alabamians"; he claimed to have personally recruited about 1000 men, saying "there are large numbers of Alabamians coming into our lines with a better quality than has ever come through before..." [Expedition from Memphis to Wyatt's, MS; Feb 6-18, 1864 (Detachment)] February 6, 1864 From Scottsboro, Ala, Major General John A. Logan writes of the 1st Ala Cav, "...they are the best scouts I ever saw and know the country well clear to Montgomery". A patrol of a detached unit serving in NE Alabama, encountered resistance and were driven back from Caperton's Ferry to Island Creek, then retreated to camp at Bridgeport, Ala. February 8, 1864 Coldwater Ferry, MS; supported by Illinois Batt'y E, 114th Inf.; Indiana 93rd Inf, Ohio 72nd and 95th Inf. February 8 & 9, 1864 Senatobia, MS; supported by same units as at Coldwater Ferry. February 13, 1864 Wyatt's, MS; supported by same units as at Coldwater Ferry & Senatobia. [Operations against Confederate Gen. Nathan B. Forrest in West Tennessee & Kentucky; from February 16-April 14, 1864; attached to Memphis command] Periodic reconnaisance missions to Decatur, LaGrange, Corinth, Hernando, Coldwater, Germantown, Mount Pleasant or other points. Two detached units of the 1st Ala Cav were assigned to NE Alabama. Bolivar TN; skirmish, Union losses 73 killed/wounded/&missing. Massacre at Fort Pillow TN, Union losses 574 killed/wounded/& missing including the Alabama 1st Colored & others. On March 24th, the 1st Ala Cav , "one-half of the unit dismounted" were ordered to travel from Memphis to Decatur; a 600 mile trip was undertaken on the steamer Westmorland - northward up the Mississippi River to Cairo Ill., then eastward up the Ohio to Paducah, then up the Cumberland River to Nashville and finally marched overland to Mooresville, Al, near Decatur, arriving on April 14th. [Reconnoisance down Tennessee River to Triana, (AL) April 12-16, 1864(Detachment)] April 17,18 & 19, 1864 Decatur, AL; skirmishes & operations in Morgan County; supported by Illinois 9th Mounted Inf. Brig. General Morgan L. Smith writes, "The loyal Alabamians are invaluable and exceed in number and are equal in zeal to anything we discovered in Tennessee". [Atlanta campaign - May to September, 1864] May 1-4, 1864 In company with the 9th Illinois, traveled to Huntsville, then east to Stevenson; eventually joining other units for the push through Georgia. The 1st Ala Cav rode the flanks of the 9th Illinois. [Movements on Dalton, May 5-9, 1864] May 10-12, 1864 Snake Creek Gap, GA; main engagement by Ill., Iowa & Ohio infantry. May 13-15, 1864 Battle of Resaca, GA; Union lossed 600 killed, 2147 wounded, 253 missing. May 16, 1864 Rome &/or Parker's Cross-Roads, GA; supported by Illinois 9th mounted Inf. and various other troops. May 25-June 5, 1864 Battles about Dallas, New Hope Church & Allatoona Hills, GA; large Battle Group; Union losses, 625 killed, 3633 wounded, 442 missing. June 10-July 2, 1864 Battles about Marietta and against Kennesaw Mountain, GA; very large Battle Group; Union losses,1068 killed, 3484 wounded, 1558 missing. July 2-5, 1864 Nicajack Creek, GA; large Battle Group; Union losses, 450 killed/wounded/msg. July 6-17, 1864 Chatahoochee River, GA; large Infantry forces (pre-lude to Battle of Peachtree Creek of July 19-20; Union losses at Peachtree were 2200 killed/wounded/missing. July 8, 1864 Cove Springs, GA; skirmish July 11-13, 1864 Expedition to Centre, AL; Col. Spencer in command; retraced its route through Rome, Gadsden & Guntersville, rear-guarding RR supply lines and scouting against the enemy. July 19-22, 1864 Decatur, AL Battle of Atlanta, July 22, 1864; Union losses of 9719 (k/w/m); then Siege of Atlanta, July 22-Aug 25th; ended with flanking movement to Jonesboro, GA July 28 & 29, 1864 Scout to Cedar Bluff, AL; escorted Illinois 57th Infantry. August 11-15, 1864 Expedition from Rome GA via Cedartown, Cave Spring, Blue Mountain (now Anniston) to Jacksonville AL, with forays as far south as Tallapoosa Co Ala where it destroyed cotton and wheat and burned a steam cotton factory. August 15, 1864 Buchanan, GA; skirmish August 20, 1864 Coreysville, GA; skirmish August 25-30, 1864 Flank movement on Jonesboro, GA August 31-Sept 1, 1864 Battle of Jonesboro, GA; Union loss 1149 k/w/m Brig-General John M. Corse wrote "I am largely indebted to the activity and gallantry of the 1st Ala Cav in procuring information for me about General John B. Hood's movements in NE Georgia and NW Alabama since arriving here"; General Sherman likewise acknowledged his debt to the scouting activities of the 1st Ala Cav during the Campaign for Atlanta. September 3, 1864 Bolensville & Rollinsville, GA; skirmishing September 6, 1864 Rome, GA; skirmish October 4, 1864 Regiment ordered to move to Kingston, 20 miles SE of Rome with three days rations. October 12-13, 1864 Reconnoissance from Rome Ga on Cave Springs Road toward Cedar Town for confederates of 1st Ala CSA who were at Etowah. October 30, 1864 Moved from Rome via Cedar Town to Marietta, arriving November 5th. Remained at Marietta for eight days then circled Atlanta to Milledgeville destroying its RR and depot. Acused by field office of "outrages...of aggravated nature...unless ceases at once, every officer will be arrested..." However, the 1st Ala Cav acted upon the personal orders of Gen. Sherman to "burn the country within fifteen miles" and Brig-General Dodge winced because he knew it also meant "...things beside burning could be done". November 15 - December 10, 1864 March to the Sea Campaign of General William Tecumseh Sherman November 24 & 25, 1864 Ball's Ferry & Ga. Central RR Bridge, Oconee River, (south of Athens Ga) November 27-29, 1864 Waynesboro, Burke Co GA December 1, 1864 Moved out from Millen GA down the GA Central RR, having a brisk skirmish at Bush Head Creek and had continuing slight skirmishes until the 9th. Encountered enemy's outer works at Savannah and drove in two miles over a road with torpedoes buried which exploded killing Adjutant Tupper and wounding six men slightly. December 4, 1864 Briar Creek & Station #5 of GA Central RR, GA & Little Ogeechee River, GA December 10-21; Seige of Savannah December 18, 1864 Encamped at Midway Congregational Church in Liberty Co.GA; engaged in tearing up 18 mile stretch of RR including trestles and bridges. Siege of Savannah, GA; Union losses 200 killed & wounded. General Sherman paraded his victorious troops through the streets of Savannah as the year came to a close; the 1st Ala Cav formed up on Price Street, with its right resting on Bay Street. Encamped at Fort Thunderbolt, four miles south of the city. [Campaign of the Carolinas; January to April, 1865] [Concurrent event, Jan 4, 1865, skirmish at Thorn Hill, Marion Co Ala; Union losses, 1 killed and 2 wounded; dead believed to be John Johnson, Co I, 12th TN Cav, buried at New Hope Bap. Church near Thorn Hill on old Columbus Road] January 28, 1865 Departed Fort Thunderbolt with 18 officers and 292 men as a unit of the Third Brigade of the Third Cavalry Division. February 7, 1865 River's Bridge, SC; driving one of "Fighting Joe Wheeler's brigades ahead of its advance. February 8, 1865 Williston, & near White Post, SC; skirmish, supported by Kentucky 5th Cav, Illinois 9th Mounted Inf., Ohio 5th Cav & others. Union losses 25 k/w/m. (the 1st Ala Cav lost four wounded, one of which later died). Six regiments of Allen's division of Wheeler's cavalry were totally routed ! Col. Spencer given credit for great victory with five battle flags captured. Page 9 February 11, 1865 Aiken & Johnson's Station, SC; crossing Edisto, Saluda, Broad, Wateree & PeeDee Rivers, via Lexington, Alston, Black Storks, Lancaster & Sneedsborough. February 14, 1865 Gunter's Bridge on North Edisto River, SC March 7, 1865 Rockingham, NC; March 10, 1865 Monroe's Cross-Roads near Cheraw SC; engagement; Union losses 19 killed, 70 wounded, 105 missing. An ambush was personally launched by Generals Wheeler and Wade Hampton, resulting in three hours of bloody hand-to-hand combat. Both Majors Cramer and Tramel of the 1st Ala Cav were captured with Tramel soon escaping (six other officers were also lost to the 1st Ala Cav), but spending three days and nights lying in the swamps. A Lt. Stetson was able to control the artillery and drive away three successive charges by the confederates, inflicting heavy losses on them. A force of three small regiments defeated a force of 5000 rebels. Confederate dead were 103 and a large number of wounded. March 16, 1865 Battle of Averysboro & Taylor's Hole Creek, NC; large engagement; Union losses were 95 killed, 533 wounded, 54 missing March 19-21, 1865 Battle of Bentonville, NC; large engagement; the 1st Ala Cav guarded the flanks; Union losses 194 killed, 1112 wounded, 221 missing. March 22, 1865 Mount Olive, NC; Major General Kilpatrick is jubilant after visiting with Gen Sherman and in a special circular to the men of the Third Cavalry (which includes the 1st Ala Cav) says " Soldiers, be proud ! Of all the brave men of this army you have a right to be. You have won the admiration of our infantry, fighting on foot and mounted, and you will receive the outspoken words of praise from the great Sherman himself. ... General Sherman is satisfied with his cavalry." March 30-31, 1865 Faisson's Depot, NC; rested after marching more than 700 miles and shared in the destruction of 80 RR bridges, 200,000 bales of cotton, 411 gins, 170 saw-mills and 70 grist mills to say nothing of rolling stock, water tanks, wagon shops & other. The following men were lost during the Campaign of the Carolinas: Company A, Lt. George W. Emerick Company C, Capt. John Latty Company K, 1st Lt. Joseph H. Hornback & four enlisted men Company M, Maj. Cramer & 2nd Lt. George C. Jenkins + 28 wounded Company E, Surgeon J.G.C. Swaving, 1st Lt John P. Moore + 46 captured April 1, 1865 Roachland, NC April 11, 1865 Mt. Pleasant, NC April 13, 1865 Occupation of Raleigh, NC April 26, 1865 Surrender at Bennett's House, Durham Station, NC; Johnson and his army to General William Tecumseh Sherman. May, 1865 Hillsboro NC, awaiting orders Surrender of Johnson and his Army, Ordered to Dept. of the Cumberland May to October 20, 1865 Return to Alabama via Hillsboro, Greensboro, Salisbury (where it remained for a week to shoe horses), Lincolnton, Rutherford, Asheville, Bulls Gap, Knoxville (arriving on the last day of May) a journey of 400 miles; then on June 2nd left Knoxville, traveling to Huntsville via Bridgeport, Stevenson, and Larkinsville (arriving in Huntsville on June 14th, reporting to Major-General Robert S. Granger). July 5, 1865 Companies B, C, E, F, G, & M were bivouacked in Huntsville; Cos. H & K were at Moulton. July 19, 1865 A sizeable number of troopers were released from service in Nashville TN on this date. August 5, 1865 Companies C, E, F, G & K were bivouacked in Courtland; Co H is in Blountsville; Co M is in Pikeville, Marion Co.; Co B not mentioned. Duty in District of Northern Alabama and at Huntsville, Ala. Mustered Out, October 20, 1865.Submitted by: Joel Mize