66.ELIJAH WALKUP6 BOYETT (ELI C.5, HENRY4 BOYET, THOMAS3, THOMAS2, THOMAS1 BOYT I) was born December 29, 1838 in Coffee County, Tennessee, and died June 28, 1918 in Sulpher Springs, Hopkins County, Texas. He married SUSAN ALABAMA MITCHELL December 25, 1859 in Gibson County, Tennessee, daughter of WILLIAM MITCHELL and MARGARET.
Notes for ELIJAH WALKUP BOYETT:
Form Boyt to Boyette
Elijah was a farmer, but the Civil War interrupted his farming, so he, his brother Stephen, and two cousins, James and Dr. "Bart" Boyett all enlisted on 3 Dec 1861 at Kenton, Tennessee to serve for 12 months in Company "H" of the 47th Tennessee Infantry. Although they enlisted for 12 months, they all served much longer. Elijah was not mustered out until March, 1864. In the War, he lost an eye and part of his nose during a battle, so he spent several months in a hospital. During his service, he acted as a teamster for the troops from July, 1862 to September, 1862 while they marched from Tupelo, Mississippi to Kentucky.
Elijah returned home at the end of his three years in the Confederate Army and again took up farming.
They moved to the following places:
Stephens County, Texas
Aransas County, Texas
Harris County, Texas
Sulphur Springs, Hopkins County, Texas
1860 Gibson County Tennessee Census - Post Office - Kenton, District Number 10 (PHB 1)
Eli Boyt 21 M Farmer 300 Tenn
Alabama 20 F Tenn
More About ELIJAH WALKUP BOYETT:
Burial: Shirley Cemetery, Sulpher Springs, Hopkins County, Texas
Children of ELIJAH BOYETT and SUSAN MITCHELL are:
i. SARAH ELIZABETH7 BOYETT, b. September 09, 1862, Gibson County, Tennessee; m. JOSHUA C. FRONEBERGER.
ii. NANCY BOYETT, b. Abt. 1866, Gibson County, Tennessee; d. Bef. 1880.
iii. NAOMI BOYETT, b. Abt. 1868, Gibson County, Tennessee; m. LEE WALDRUP.
iv. MARTHA W. BOYETT, b. June 1868, Gibson County, Tennessee; m. RUFUS FRONEBERGER.
v. WILLIAM H. BOYETT, b. Abt. 1872, Hood County, Texas.
vi. LOUISA BOYETT, b. Abt. 1873, Hood County, Texas; d. Aransas Pass, Aransas County, Texas; m. MCKNIGHT.
vii. JOHN ETTA BOYETT, b. Abt. 1877, Hood County, Texas; d. Abt. 1936, Sulpher Springs, Hopkins County, Texas; m. WALTER WRIGHT.
More About JOHN ETTA BOYETT:
Burial: Shirley Cemetery, Sulpher Springs, Hopkins County, Texas
viii. CHARLES BOYETT, b. September 1882, Texas; d. Aft. 1900; m. LUCY.
67. GEORGE TALMAS6 BOYETT (ELI C.5, HENRY4 BOYET, THOMAS3, THOMAS2, THOMAS1 BOYT I) was born December 22, 1842 in Coffee County, Tennessee, and died 1918 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma. He married HARRIET S. BOTTOMS January 13, 1868 in Gibson County, Tennessee, daughter of PASCHAL BOTTOMS and MARGARET KEAS.
Notes for GEORGE TALMAS BOYETT:
George served in Confederate Army as private in Co. "D" of 22nd Tennessee Cavalry. He enlisted at Newberg (?) Tennessee on December 1, 1864 for 3 years. He was taken POW only 16 days later on December 17, 1864 near Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee. He was held at Louisville, Kentucky until January 2, 1865 when he moved to Camp Chase in Ohio. Before his release at end of conflict, he signed an Oath of Allegiance to the US. George returned to Gibson County at the close of the war and remained there until after 1880, when he and his family moved. They later moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma. His father's Bible shows death at 1918.
Notes for HARRIET S. BOTTOMS:
Marriage Notes for GEORGE BOYETT and HARRIET BOTTOMS:
Gibson County, Tennessee - Bottoms, Harrit S. to G. T. Boyett Jan 13 1868
Children of GEORGE BOYETT and HARRIET BOTTOMS are:
i. TALMAS7 BOYETT, b. 1869, Gibson County, Tennessee.
74. ii. SALLIE BOYETT, b. August 08, 1872, Gibson County, Tennessee; d. June 1964.
iii. SHIBLEY BOYETT, b. 1875, Gibson County, Tennessee.
68. MAHULDA JANE6 BOYETT (ELI C.5, HENRY4 BOYET, THOMAS3, THOMAS2, THOMAS1 BOYT I) was born April 18, 1846 in Gibson County, Tennessee, and died April 17, 1883 in Paris, Logan County, Arkansas (Source: Family Bible Concordance, PHB-H 2.). She married JAMES K POLK BOTTOMS January 13, 1868 in Gibson County, Tennessee, son of PASCHAL BOTTOMS and MARGARET KEAS.
Notes for MAHULDA JANE BOYETT:
Huldy died shortly after the birth of Jimmie Dee and Mattie Lee.
More About MAHULDA JANE BOYETT:
Cause of Death: Died in Child Birth of Twins
Notes for JAMES K POLK BOTTOMS:
J. K. married Fannie in 1885 and they moved to Cloud Chief, Oklahoma. There, they live in a dugout prior to statehood. The family moved from Cloud Chief to Ada, Pontotoc County, Oklahoma in approximately 1895 to a small farm 5 miles NW of Ada. Both J. K. and Fannie are buried at Egypt Cemetery which was adjacent to their home. They had contributed the land both for the cemetery and the school house (has been torn down now) which was located there as well. (There is conflicting information regarding this)
He possibly belonged to the KKK. Lester Bottoms told of finding a black hood in a dresser. Supposedly only "talked" to husbands that abused or refused to support their families.
On June 16, 1966, a grandson, Clyde Bottoms - 85 years old, was telling stories of the wonderful time he spent with his grandparents and related the story he was told of how James K. Bottoms had been in the Civil War on the Confederate side. He had crawled under the floor of a farmhouse to hide. He could hear the voices of the Union Army in the house above him. Also during the Civil War, he apparently lost several of his fingers when he set the butt end of his muzzle loader on the ground and it went off, taking his fingers with it.
He also told Clyde of traveling in the winter (possibly in Kentucky) with a wagon and team. At night, they would gather logs and set them on fire in a clearing. When they had burned down, they would clear the embers and place their blankets and bedding on the warmed ground to sleep.
Listed absent for calvary - probably returned home.
He farmed in the 10th Civil District of Gibson County first and by 1870 was farming in 9th Civil District around Kenton Station. They left Gibson County before 1880.
1870 Gibson County Tennessee Census
J O/D Bottoms 23 M W Farmer 150 acres TN
Hulda 21 F W Housekeeper TN
Margaret 1 F W TN
G. M.? McCollum 18 M B Laborer
1880 Arkansas Soundex Census
Bottoms, J. K. Vol 8 E.D. 47
Sheet 64 Line 40
White Age 27 Birthplace - Tennessee
Bottoms, Huldy W 27 Tennessee
Bob S 9 Tennessee
John S 7 Tennessee
Sallie D 5 Tennessee
Earley S 2 Tennessee
1880 Logan County Arkansas Census - Raeville Township
J. K. white male age 27 Farmer, Tennessee born, both parents Virginia born
Huldy white female 27 keeping house
J. Bob son age 9
John son age either 7 or 9
Sallie daughter age 5
Early son age 2
Wife and all children listed as Tennessee born.
1920 Oklahoma Census
Bottoms, Jake K. Vol. 59 E. D. 170
Sheet 2 Line 36
White Age - 73 Birthplace - Tennessee
Relationship Age Birthplace
Bottoms, Parlie W 54 Tennessee
Omer GS 6 Oklahoma
Confederate Veterans elect new officers.
(Jan. 7, 1907) W. L. Byrd Camp, Confederate Veterans met in the new building Sunday afternoon in regular monthly session, Lieut. Castleberry presiding.
Officers for the new year were elected as follows: Sam H. Hargis, captain; W. L. Byrd, adjutant; W. C. Castleberry, 1st. Lieut.; Geo. Anglin, 2nd. Lieut.; W.T. Hall, 3rd. Lieut.; G. W. Chisler; 4th. Lieut.; W. H. Wheeler, quartermaster;
S.S. Bottoms, commissary; Dr. T. E. Brents, surgeon; John A. Morgan, chaplain;
M. M. Sanders, treasurer; W. O. Townsend, serg. major; J. K. Bottoms, officer of the day; H. C. Pearson, color serg.; G. Duncan, 1st. color guard; W. H. Sloan, 2nd. color guard; Mrs. Mattie Cloyd, Sponsor.
Comrades Castleberry, Wheeler and Morgan were appointed a distress committee.
Adjutant Byrd was instructed to procure crosses of honor for the camp. Deferring to the wishes of some of the members, the camp's time of meeting was changed from Sunday to the first Saturday in each month.
Source: Ada Evening News, Ada, Pontotoc County, Oklahoma (PHB-H 1)
From 20th Tennessee Cavalry, CSA Biographical Information
James K.E. Bottoms
Company C. Enlisted August 1, 1863 in West Tennessee, by Capt. Mathis for 3 years. Bay mule valued at $400. Present on roll for March/April 1864. Present on roll for May/June 1864. In June 1915, service record was checked by Oklahoma Pension Board; reports that on roll of consolidated unit for February 1865, Bottoms is shown "absent, probably at Rutherford Station; residence Gibson County TN."
On report of absentees and deserters, Verona MS, Feb 28, 1865. Residence Gibson Co. TN; probable whereabouts Rutherford Sta.
Source: Compiled Service Records
Russell's 20th Tennessee Cavalry was recruited from Carroll, Dyer, Gibson, Henry, and Weakley Counties in West Tennessee during the fall of 1863. In late December, these men were brought into North Mississippi and merged with several smaller organizations into a regiment under the command of Colonel Robert M. Russell.
For most of its service Russell's Regiment was part of Col. Tyree H. Bell's Brigade, Brig. Gen. Abraham Buford's Division, of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest's Cavalry in the Confederate Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana. The other regiments in Bell's Brigade were also comprised of Tennesseans: Newsom's 19th, Wilson's 21st, and Barteau's 22nd regiments of cavalry.
In March of 1865, the 20th was consolidated with the 19th (sometimes 18th) (Newsom's) regiment of Tennessee cavalry. The consolidated command (19th and 20th Consolidated Tennessee Cavalry Regiment) was surrendered and paroled at Gainesville, AL in May 1865.
West Tennessee, 1863
A company of a Confederate regiment was typically raised in a single locale. Sometimes a recruit might be added to an existing company (when it was home on leave, for instance), but generally fresh recruits were not used as replacements for existing units. Instead, new companies and regiments were raised. Casualties and other losses within existing units would eventually cause such shrinkage that a unit would become ineffective. Consequently, the army was forced to periodically reorganize and consolidate fragmentary units into new bodies.
The Confederate Army of Tennessee was severely reduced by the fighting at Shiloh. Many of the regiments involved had become too small to be effective, so units were consolidated and the army reorganized. As units were consolidated, some of the officers of the parent organizations were no longer needed. It was very common for these men to return to their homes and attempt to raise a new command suitable to their rank -- or in many cases suitable to the rank they desired. Gen. N.B. Forrest's raid in late 1862 had demonstrated the tenuous nature of Federal control of West Tennessee, and soon the region became the target of many Confederate officers seeking to raise new commands.
Three of the officers so employed were Col. T.H. Bell of Dyer County, Col. Robert M. Russell of Gibson County, and Lt. Henry Clay Greer. The commands raised and led by these men were later to be formed into the 20th Tennessee Cavalry.
Faulkner, Greer, and others were active during the early fall of 1863. Col. James Martin of the 112th Illinois describes efforts to capture them (Official Records, I-30-2, p. 656) in a report dated September 30, 1863:
I left this post on Sunday the 20th; ... The information gained from the Union men in that vicinity was that Faulkner, Bell, and Greer were at Paris, Tenn., with their forces, estimated at 800, and that they were raiding between that place and Murray.
[On the 22nd] ... we arrived at Paris at 2 P.M. ... but the rebels had succeeded in getting away, ... also learned that their armed force was only 300, and they had between 200 and 300 conscripts, but all were mounted.
[On the 23rd] ... My scouts returned at night; one squad brought in a deserter from Newsom's command, who reported that Newsom was advancing on Huntingdon to effect a junction with Colonel Faulkner. Also got information that Bell and Greer with the conscripts had crossed the Tennessee and that Faulkner had gone in the direction of Huntingdon.
Martin's pursuit was unsuccessful and he soon returned to his base.
On October 25, 1863, Brig. Gen. G.M. Dodge reported (Official Records, I-31-1, p. 839):
Scout returned from Union City. Met Faulkner's command consisting of Wilson, Newsom, Greer, Bell, and Franklin near Huntingdon. They were 1000 strong and going north rapidly to attack Murray, Mayfield, and other points in that part of Kentucky and Tennessee.
When Forrest took command in November of 1863, he found Greer's regiment waiting for him. Gen. Stephen D. Lee welcomed Forrest to the department (Official Records, I-31-3, p. 646), stating: "Colonel Greer's regiment is ... at Okolona, where I ordered it to organize and be equipped."
Greer's unit apparently served as part of the covering force during the period in late 1863 when Forrest was in West Tennessee raising new units for his command, including the remainder of Russell's Regiment. This is supported by reports from men who served in Cos. B and K of the 20th describing their participation in actions at Estenaula and Somerville in late December; however, there are some indications that the companies were not in action together as a single unit.
Greer's men evidently returned to Tennessee in January, 1864, as reported by Col. Isaac R. Hawkins, commanding at Union City, on February 3, 1864 (Official Records, I-32-2, p. 321):
My secret service man has returned this evening and reports Colonel Greer, with 100 men in the northern part of Henry; Bolen, with 25, half way between Paris and Huntingdon; Captain Holmes, a few miles southeast, with 30 men. Their statements are to the effect [that] when they gather their men they are to cross the river.
Recruitment and Organization of Russell's Regiment.
In December, Nathan Bedford Forrest was assigned to command the Cavalry Department of West Tennessee and North Mississippi. He brought with him only one regiment and so had to raise additional units if he was to take action. West Tennessee seemed to be a fertile field, for many residents were "time-expired" men who had left service after their initial one year enlistment was up, were separated from their commands, or were otherwise subject to conscription. The recruiters who preceded Forrest had been successful, for "West Tennessee was full of little companies of from ten to thirty men willing to fight, but unwilling to go far from home or into the infantry service (Chalmers, 1879)." These scattered units were to become Forrest's new command.
Col. Robert M. Russell was not reelected Colonel when the 12th Tennessee Infantry was reorganized in May 1862. Subsequently, he returned to his home in Gibson County to raise a new unit.
Col. T.H. Bell had returned to Dyer County sometime in the latter half of 1863 and began to recruit men for the cavalry. Bell was Russell's successor in command of the 12th Tennessee, continuing through it's consolidation with the 22nd Tennessee, but was made supernumerary when the 12th and 47th regiments were consolidated after Shiloh. Bell did much of his recruiting from his home near Newbern, in Dyer county. As men enlisted, a recruiting camp, "Camp Bell" (Willoughby, 1995) was constructed. Service records show that most of the men in companies G, H, and I of the 20th, and I and K of the 22nd Tennessee enlisted at Newbern.
Colonel Bell also led some of his recruits as a partisan command in the fall of 1863. According to the Earl Willoughby, the author of the Dyer County History Page, "Bell's Partisans" provided Company G of the 20th.
The Goodspeed History of Obion county (p. 828, repeated in Marshall (1941), p. 20) mentions that a cavalry company was recruited in the western portion of Obion by Capt. Oliver Farris, and that this company served in Russell's Regiment. Since Farris became the commander of Co. K of Barteau's 22nd Cavalry which was itself organized at Camp Bell (Willoughby (1995)), I suspect that this Obion company was part of that regiment instead of Russell's 20th.
The newly collected companies were moved South through the Federal cordon between Memphis and Corinth. This required building bridges across flooded streams and skirmishes with pursuing troops.
Eventually, about 1800 recruits reached the camps in North Mississippi. Others infiltrated south in small groups.
The West Tennesseans had enlisted in small local commands, but after reaching Mississippi "Russell's, Wilson's, Greer's, and a portion of Newsom's regiments were consolidated into two regiments (Official Records, I-39-2, p. 647)" that eventually were designated the 20th and 21st Tennessee Cavalry Regiments. This consolidation was later to cause Forrest problems with the Adjutant General's office in Richmond and with desertion, as some of the officers displaced by the reorganization tried to leave with their recruits. (There were far more "Lieutenants" and "Captains" than the number of men required.)
In General Orders No. 3 for Forrest's Cavalry Department (Official Records, I-32-2, p. 614), dated January 25, 1864, Col. T.H. Bell is appointed to command of the Third Brigade, to be made up of "Russell's regiment, Greer's regiment, Newsom's regiment, Barteau's regiment, Wilson's regiment." General Orders No. 12 (Official Records, I-32-3, p. 593-4), dated March 7, 1864, establishes the "Fourth Brigade, Col. T.H. Bell commanding: Second Tennessee [Barteau's] Regiment, Fifteenth Tennessee Regiment, Colonel Russell; Sixteenth Tennessee Regiment, Colonel Wilson commanding" and places the brigade and one other into the "Second Division, Forrest's cavalry, Brig. Gen. A. Buford commanding".
Russell's 20th Regiment of cavalry was officially organized on February 5, 1864 (Sifakis, 1992) at Oxford, MS (Chester, 1985).
Formal organization did not resolve all irregularities. A claim to the West Tennessee regiments was made by General Pillow (Official Records, I-39-2, p. 645-6) in June of 1864, on the grounds that he had authorized the original recruiting efforts of Greer and Bell; I've not found record of any official response from Richmond. Later that year, the War Department questioned Forrest's appointment of officers (Official Records, I-39-2, pp. 760-2). Regulations required that "new" formations choose their officers by election. Forrest had acted as though all his units were created by consolidating existing elements and appointed regimental officers directly.
The new regiment had little time to prepare, for by the end of February they were to fight the battle of Okolona.
Departure from West Tennessee
Forrest began to move men south by the middle of December 1863. A substantial group of unarmed men had left on December 13 (Official Records, I-31-3, p. 817) under Russell's command. He received orders from Forrest "not to move at all, but to keep his men together and locate where he can get forage &c., for his command" (Official Records, I-31-3, pp. 858-9), and about the 24th of December was camped near Okolona with about 1000 men (Official Records, I-31-3, p. 861).
Those that remained were to had to contend with no fewer than five Federal columns converging on them -- Mower moved northwest from Corinth, MS; Grierson northeast from LaGrange; A.J. Smith south from Columbus, KY; Wm. Sooy Smith from middle Tennessee, and Crook from Huntsville, AL; a total of some 15,000 men (Henry, 1944, p. 206). Forrest divided his command and sent various detachments to slow or divert them while the main body dealt with the swollen Hatchie and Wolf rivers.
Several skirmishes were necessary before the sanctuary of North Mississippi was attained. Porter (1899/n.d.) lists "successful combats" at Jack's Creek, Estenaula, Somerville, Lafayette, and Collierville. The first probably occurred on December 23 when a detachment of men under Lt. Col. D.M. Wisdom met part of Mower's column near Jack's Creek. The Corinth force of the enemy reached Jack's creek, within 25 miles of Jackson on the 23d [of December]. I sent out a force to meet and develop their strength and retard their progress. ... We drove the cavalry back to the infantry and then returned. (Forrest, 1880b) A detachment of men under Col. Richardson encountered part of Grierson's column 4-1/2 miles south of the Estenaula crossing of the Hatchie on December 24.
On December 26, two detachments of Federals (including the one engaged at Estenaula) were driven back in a skirmish near New Castle (Henry, 1944, p. 210). New Castle is located between Bolivar and Somerville, so I believe this is the action most sources list as Somerville, and probably also that at Bolivar mentioned in the Carter diary.
Another encounter occurred on December 27, when Col. Bell with about 200 men, drove away the guardians of the Wolf River bridge at La Fayette Station. The defenders telegraphed a warning and Federal troopers began to move from La Grange and Grand Junction. Forrest took most of the armed men and drove one group back to the fortifications at Collierville. The other column was kept in place by the larger body of mostly unarmed men, who escaped after dark. By daylight on the 28th, the command was across the state line and into Mississippi, where they went into camp seven miles west of Holly Springs (Henry, 1944, p. 212).
Size of the Regiment
A December 4, 1863 memorandum from Maj. Gen. Hurlbut (Official Records, I-31-3, p. 336) gives an idea of contemporary Federal estimates of the force being developed in West Tennessee: Colonel Bell came to Gibson County with 575 men; brought 1000 Enfields and 60,000 rounds. Wilson has 550, Newsom has 500, Kizer has 350, Franklin has 100, and Greer has 300 -- to report to Bell. Bell brought about 1800 men out of West Tennessee into Mississippi in December of 1863. These were organized into the various regiments of Forrest's command. By December 24, 1864, Colonel Russell was in charge of 1000 West Tennesseans camped near Okolona (Official Records, I-31-3, p. 861).
In April 1864, after the expedition to Paducah and Fort Pillow, many of the troopers were given leave to visit their families in West Tennessee and recruit additional men. Bell's Brigade was increased from 1004 to 1717 men during this time (Rennolds, 1904/61, p. 262).
On June 9, 1864, the day prior to the fighting at Brice's Crossroads, Bell's Brigade is reported to have had 950 rank and file (Morton, 1883).
In Gen. Buford's report on the fighting at Harrisburg (Official Records, I-39-1, p. 329), Bell's Brigade is said to be 1300 at the beginning of July 1864. Tennesseans in the Civil War reports that the consolidated 19th/20th regiment reported 29 officers, 217 men present for duty, aggregate present 283, aggregate present and absent 428, at time of parole.
Spring 1864 -- The West Tennessee Raid
In the spring of 1864, Forrest led his command into West Tennessee. A portion was detached to contain the Federals at Union City, while the main body continued north to raid Paducah, Kentucky. After several weeks spent recuperating near home came the assault on Fort Pillow. The events of that day, dubbed the "Fort Pillow Massacre" by Northern newspapermen, are still the subject of controversy. By the beginning of May, Forrest's men were back in camp in north Mississippi.
Summer 1864 -- Three Invasions
One of the major concerns of Federal commanders during the summer of 1864 was to prevent Forrest from severing the supply line supporting Sherman's army in Georgia. In order to keep Forrest pinned down, three successive invasions of Mississippi were launched from Memphis.
In June, Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis marched into Mississippi and was met and defeated by Forrest's troopers at Brice's Crossroads, or Tishomingo Creek. This battle is generally considered to be Forrest's masterpiece.
Because of Sturgis' defeat, Gen. A.J. Smith's and his command, who were returning to Sherman's main body from their service in the Red River campaign, were stopped at Memphis and sent against Forrest. Their July invasion built through fighting at the Coonewah Creek crossroads to the battle of Tupelo, or Harrisburg. The Confederate forces were badly beaten, but the Federals decided to withdraw. During the withdrawal, the 20th was engaged in the fighting at Old Town Creek.
In August, Smith again invaded Mississippi, this time along the line of the Mississippi Central railroad (the same approach Grant had attempted during his 1862 attempt on Vicksburg). After the action at Hurricane Creek mad it apparent that Forrest's command was too weak to withstand a conventional battle, the General chose another approach. A portion of his command was detached, swung east, and made a surprise raid on Memphis. Concerned about his supply lines, Smith withdrew.
The Federals had successfully kept Forrest off of Sherman's lifeline.
Fall 1864 -- Raiding in Middle Tennessee
September 20, 1864, Forrest left West Point, MS with three brigades totaling about 3500 men and proceeded north. He crossed the Tennessee river on the 21st with Bell's, Lyon's, and Rucker's brigades and Roddy's men. After some skirmishing on the 23rd, Forrest besieged the blockhouses at Athens, AL.
On September 25, the raiders invested the trestle at Sulfur Branch, about 10 miles north of Athens, which was defended by a fort, two blockhouses, and about 1000 men. These were captured and burned.
The blockhouse at Elk River was burned and that at Richland Creek was captured (Sept. 26). The Hollis diary (Chester (1985), p. 110) reports that 110 prisoners were taken at Richland.
On the 27th the command raided the Federal Commissary at Brown's Plantation, south of Pulaski, TN. After a skirmish about 3 miles south of the town, the Federal defenders of Pulaski retreated into their fortifications; Forrest's men then withdrew through Fayetteville.
After leaving Pulaski, the Nashville-Chattanooga rail line was cut both above and below Tullahoma, TN. A skirmish occurred near Lynchburg on the 29th. Forrest then split his command, sending about 1500 men and the artillery south to threaten Huntsville, AL where a skirmish is recorded on October 1st. According to the Hollis diary and Mathes (p.290), the 20th's brigade was with Forrest, but Hollis accompanied Buford back into Alabama.
October 1st, 1864 the blockhouse at Carter's Creek was invested and the bridge burned. On the 2nd of October, the command reached Columbia. Without artillery, Forrest chose not to assault the town, and so after some skirmishing, proceeded on the 3rd to Lawrenceburg, TN and without further incident reached Florence, AL on the 5th of October.
The command reunited to cross the Tennessee River at Florence, AL. Wilson's regiment remained on the north shore to deter the pursuit, which they did for three days. The final act of the raid occurred on October 10, when troopers from D.C. Kelley's brigade ambushed a small flotilla at Eastport, AL. Coincidentally, one of these same gunboats would be encountered a few weeks later at Paris Landing.
Russell's Regiment ... shared fully in the fighting at Athens, Sulphur Trestle, Pulaski and other places on the N&D railroad, losing some of its best men killed and wounded, Company "E" especially suffering heavily. (Rennolds, 1904/61, p. 263)
At the end of October, Forrest finally made a venture against the Federal supply lines in Tennessee. After fighting at Paris Landing, came the action against Johnsonville, where the Confederate Cavalry temporarily formed their own navy from captured Federal river craft.
Soon after their return from Johnsonville, Forrest's command was attached to the main body of the Army of Tennessee for the late 1864 invasion that culminated in the battles of Franklin and Nashville.
The last campaign of Forrest's cavalry was an attempt to block Wilson's Raid into Alabama. A large portion of Forrest's command, including the 20th Cavalry, was cut off by the destruction of the Cahaba River bridges at Centerville, Alabama, on April 1, 1865; leaving Forrest undermanned in his last action at Selma the next day.
Forrest's command surrendered at Gainesville, Alabama in May 1865.
Living Conditions and Equipment
To convey a brief idea of the conditions the men of Russell's Regiment endured, I think it best to quote from some of the Tennessee Veteran's Questionnaires (Dyer and Moore, 1915-22/85).
Our rashons were generally corn bread and midling meat, not much of either, we ate the meat raw, we had no tents, slept in the open, took the weather as it came ... our clothing was made up largely of what we had captured from the Federals which we would have dyed at our first stop but occasionally would get some clothing from home. (R.Z. Taylor)
Our clothing was scant ... Our eatables were scant as we did not stay in camps long enough to collect up very much food (A.J. Killebrew).
Jerked beef was our main thing to eat and pretty rough sleeping quarters (J.T. Killen).
We gained the victory, we were well clothed, but slept out in the open, we had no tents, had corn bread and bacon to eat. (A.B. Childress)
We were exposed to all the hardships possible under Bedford Forest, scant clothings, and most of the time half rashings. (M.B. Dinwiddie)
... eat hard tack half rations sleep on the ground had no clothes to speak of ... (H.E. Frazier)
My camp life was rough and mighty rough with very few clothes and the ground was my bead and the open air my shelter. Our food was hard tack and pickle beef. (G.M.D. Ross)
The lack of tents is mentioned repeatedly in the questionnaires.
Our sleeping quarters were very disagreeable as we were always on a move we slept out in the open air mostly sometimes we would stretch up our oil clothes to make a small shanty to keep off the rain and snow we suffered from cold ... (A.J. Killebrew).
[Bell's Brigade] had pitched their oil-clothes and blankets -- they had no tents -- as best they could to protect themselves from the threatening rain (Morton (1882), p. 472)
Thus far, I've found little information on the unit's equipment, although J.J. White (Dyer and Moore, 1915-22/85, pp. 2172-4) mentions that after making their way to Mississippi, his group of recruits "were armed with Austrian rifles." Many of the men seem to have brought weapons with them from home. They left Tennessee for the army ... armed with nothing but shotguns, rifles and pistols, donated by the citizens, or impressed from them. (Carter diary)
Actions prior to official formation of the regiment
Jack's Creek, December 23, 1863
Estenaula, December 24, 1863
Somerville, Bolivar, December 26, 1863
Fayette Station, Collierville, December 27, 1863
Macedonia, TN, January 15, 1864
Actions against Wm. Sooy Smith's Column, Meridian Expedition, Feb 11-26, 1864
Wyatt, February 13, 1864
Okolona, February 22, 1864
Forrest's Expedition into West Tennessee and Kentucky,
Union City, March 24, 1864
Paducah, March 25, 1864
Fort Pillow, April 12, 1864
Brice's Crossroads, June 10-11, 1864
Actions against A.J. Smith's Invasion of Mississippi, July 5-21, 1864
Walker's Crossroads, July 13, 1864
Tupelo, July 14, 1864
Old Town Creek, July 15, 1864
Actions against A.J. Smith's 2nd Invasion of Mississippi, August, 1864
Hurricane Creek, August 11-13, 1864
Memphis Raid, August 21, 1864
Middle Tennessee Raid, September 16 - October 10, 1864