Tennesseans in the Civil War
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The Eighth Regiment Tennessee Cavalry was raised and commanded by Colonel S.K.N. Patton of Washington county, East Tennessee. It was composed of two fractijons of Regiments known as the Eight and Tenth East Tennessee Cavalry. The Eighth Regiment was begun in Kentucky in June, 1863, under Lieut. Col. Thomas J. Capps, and was first known as the Fifth Regiment East Tennessee Cav. It saw some active service in the field both in Kentucky and in Tennessee, under Major General A.E. Burnside; was at the surrender of Cumberland Gap; took an active part in the fights at Blountville and Rheatown, and in some skirmishes at Kingsport and Dovault's Ford, etc., in October, 1863, under the command of Major J.M. Sawyers: was besieged in Knoxville by Longstreet's command, and rendered material aid in defending the post.

The Tenth Regiment had its origin in East Tennessee in September, 1863, by authority granted to Colonel S.K.N. Patton by General Burnside. It saw some active service in East Tennessee under Generals Shackleford and Wilcox, Colonels Casement and Harney, in September, October and November, 1863; was stationed for a short time at Mossy Creek, Morristown, Whiteburg, Rogersville Junction, Kyker's Mills, Kipper's or Limestone Depot. Was sent to Camp Nelson, Ky., in charge of prisoners in December, 1863.

These two fractions of Regiments were consolidated by order of Brigadier General Andrew Johnson, and Military Governor of Tennessee, February 6, 1864. Colonel Patton completed the Regiment and assumed command of it at Columbia, Tenn., April 7, 1864. The command was employed in guarding the posts of Columbia and Franklin, and the railroad bridges between those points.

April 18,--Being relieved at Columbia, Colonel Patton moved his headquarters to Franklin: command still employed in guarding railroad bridges and completing block houses necessary for the degense of the various bridges from Duck River to Brentwood.

June 17, 1864--Was relieved at Franklin, Tenn., and ordered to join the Third Brigade, near Gallatin, Tennessee.

June 19, 1864--Arrived at Gallatin and went into camp; remained at Gallatin and in command of Post (after the Ninth and Thirteenth Regiments left for East Tennessee) and in guarding the railroad from Burk Lodge to Edgefield Junction, until September 24, 1864.

September 24--Left Gallatin under orders to report to General A.C. Gillem in East Tennessee; moved via Lebanon, Trousdale Ferry, Sparta, Kingston, Knoxville and Morristown; joined command with Ninth and Thirteenth Regiments at McFarlan X Roads, Jefferson county, October 9, 1864. Private Lane of Company I was drowned on the morning of the 24th in crossing the Cumberland River.

October 13--Third Battalion of the Regiment being on a scout, met the enemy at Greenville, Tenn.; where, after some gallant charging by Captains Rush and Denton, with Companies C and H of Major Deaken's Battalion, the command was driven back to Bull's Gap, leaving several prisoners in the hands of the enemy. Seth Rollins, private of Company K was killed and left upon the field.

October 27--The Brigade left New Market at or near Panther Springs; met and repulsed the enemy.

October 28--Moved forward driving the enemy until within one mile of Morristown, where we halted temporarily, finding the enemy in line and ready to receive us; Ninth and Thirteenth Regiments in front, the Eighth Regiment in reserve to support the artillery. A charge was made in front, but failed to break the enemies line. A charge was made with sabres--the enemies' line was broken and McClung's Battery captured. Some three hundred of the enemy were killed and captured. In this charge the Eighth lost Wm. H. Booth of Co. M, B McDaniel of Co. F, James Lanier and R.B. Cunningham of Co. G, killed, and several wounded. After penetrating upper East Tennessee with the Brigade to Henderson, Colonel Patton, with one Battalion, of his Regiment, was sent in the direction of Bristol. He scouted Sullivan county south of Holston River.

November 9--The Brigade fell back during the night to Bull's Gap. On the 11th the enemy appeared in front of the Gap. Major Sawyers (First Battalion) was sent out and skirmished with the enemy, but was compelled to fall back to the Gap, losing one man, private Gregory Martin of Co I, who was mortally wounded and died next morning.

November 12--The rebel Colonel Basil Duke's command under General Breckenridge, assaulted out position on the left, held by Major James Deakins' Third Battalion. The assailants were repulsed, leaving some twenty five of their dead and wounded on the field. The gallant manner in which this assault was received by Companies C, E, H and K, under Captains Bush, Denton and Hendrickson, and Lieutenant Testerman, who was kept in command of E, deserves high praise. Major Deakins received several balls through clothes. While this assault was being made in front the rebels under Major Day, charged Companies B and L in the rear of the Gap, under Captain Sharp and Lieutenant McCoy, and were gallantly repulsed and pursued.

This Third Battalion lost in killed: Eli R. Ensor, of Co. H; Robert Turner, of Co. E; Andrew McLoud , of Co. E; Pleasant Lane, of Co. C, and several wounded. November 13, at night fall, the Brigade was ordered to leave the Gap--the Eighth and Ninth Regiments being in charge of the artillery and train. After the advance had proceeded some ten miles another charge was made, when the cattle guard in the rear was fired into, which produced a stampede among the pack mules and wagon trains, and produced confusion and disorder. The command fell back in disorder, after forming several times and making an attempt to stop the advance of the enemy. Soon after sun-rise the advance reached Strawberry Plains, having lost both artillery and wagon train, and quiet a number of officers and privates missing. The Regiment lost, in killed, Privates Andrew Hurst and Samuel Haun, of Co. C, and a number of officers and privates taken prisoners. The whole command, under Col. Patton, on the 14th, left Strawberry Plaines for Knoxville, met General Gillem near Knoxville, who put the Brigade in Camp at Loves'.

November 20--Moved up to and relieved Strawberry Plains, which was threatened with an assault by the enemy. The enemy recrossing the river, the command returned to Knoxville.

December 10, 1864--Left Knoxville and joined Burbridge at Blaine's X Roads, and started upon a raid to Wytheville, Va. December 13, 1864.--Reached Rothes the opposite side of the North Fork of Holston River, and under cover. Col. Patton was ordered to cross the river, up the stream, and to drive the enemy from under cover, so as to open the ford for the remainder of the command, which orders he obeyed, attacking and routing the enemy, and capturing the rebel Dick Morgan and a portion of his command.

December 16--Our advance entered Marion, Va., and met the rebels again, the Eighth Cavalry in front, driving the enemy until they arrived at a bridge over the river, some three miles east of the village, when the rebels attempted to stop us. Capt. Rush and Lieut. Mahoney, with Cos. C and D chatged the bridge, and drove the rebels from their position and put them to flight. Private Higgins, of Co. D, was killed, and Sergt. Mulker and Private Giroin were wounded. The artillery was captured at Red Creek, two miles west of Wytheville. The last named place was entered in the evening and occupied during the night. A large portion of ordinance and other stores were destroyed.

December 17, 1864--Returning, met the enemy and drove them before us until we came to the bridge, some three miles from Marion, Va., where the enemy were in position, the Eighth was put in front, on foot, and lay upon their arms in line all night.

December 18, 1864--General Burbridge engaged the enemy all day without affecting his position materially.

December 19, 1864--Enemy moved upon Saltville. December 20--In the evening opened fire upon the forts and invested the place, and was preparing to assault when the enemy, under cover of night, evacuated the place, which was immediately occupied by us.

December 21--Command employed in demolishing and burning the place.

December 24--Rear of the command was run into at Moccasin Gap, Va., and some two men killed, viz: James H. Nolen and Elbert Beals. Some of our men were taken prisoners, who were treated most inhumanly. The rebel officers would not permit any one to visit the wounded or bury the dead. They would not permit any one to make even a box to bury the bodies of our dead.

December 29--Reached Knoxville, after twenty days' raid in the most intensely cold and wet part of the winter, quiet a number of the men having been frost-bitten on the trip.

March 24--Such portion of the command as were mounted, joined Gen. Stoneman on his raid into Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. At Saulsbury, the enemy was found in position at a bridge over the river. Captain Bible, with his company, were dismounted for the purpose of dislodging the enemy, which he succeeded in doing; thus opening the way for the cavalry to charge, which they did in a most gallant style, capturing a number of prisoners. John Renshaw, of Co. H, was killed here. While on this raid, through those States, a portion of the Regiment were in numerous skirmishes with the enemy. The command finally reunited and went into camp at Lenoir's Station in June, 1865, and was mustered out of service at Knoxville, Tenn., September 11, 1865.


[The following record of several companies gives interesting and valuable incidents connected with the history of the Eighth Cavalry;]

June 15, 1863--Company A was organized by Capt. F.M. McFall, at Lexington, Ky. At that time the regiment was known as the Fifth Tennessee Cavalry.

June 30, 1863--The company was mustered into the service at Camp Nelson, Ky

July 26, 1863--The company, together with B and C, under command of Major John M. Sawyers, left Camp Nelson on a forced march t intercept the march of a body of rebel cavalry, under Col. Scott, through the State of Kentucky. After chasing the rebel cavalry, or those who escaped to the Southern border of Kentucky, the command returned to Camp Nelson on the 3d of August. This chase was pursued with so much vigor that the greated part of the rebel force was captured, and the men were kept in the saddle and on the march, day and night, nearly the whole time they were out. Corporal John H. Persinger, of Co. A. was severly wounded by a gun shot in the breast, but recovered. (Several other regiments participated in the expedition.)

August 8, 1863--Company A. commanded by 2d Lieutenant James T. Johnson, and Companies B and C, marched from Camp Nelson, Ky., for East Tennessee, under command of Major C.M. Sawyers, arrived at Glascow, Ky., on the 14th; at Salina, Tenn., on the 21st: engaged the enemy in a skirmish near Montgomery, Tenn., on the 30th, being in the advance of General Burnside's expedition.

September 1, 1863--Sawyers' Battalion entered Knoxville, Tenn., in advance of all other Federal troops--were the first Federal troops that took command of the city. The battalion marched from Knoxville to Strawberry Plains, thence to Maynardsville, and thence to Knoxville, capturing in the round 17 prisoners: then marched from Knoxville to Rutledge, thence to Morristown, thence by railroad to Rogersville Junction, and thence to Greenville. Several members of the First Battalion being unable, on account of sickness, want of horses, and other causes, to march on the 8th of August, were left at Camp Nelson, Ky., under command of Lieut. Col. Thomas J. Capps. During the month of August, 1863, Companies D, E, F,G and H were organized and mustered in at Camp Nelson. About the last of August these companies, and the men left behind belonging to the First Battalion, the whole command of Lieut. Col. Capps, took up the line of march for East Tennessee, by way of Cumberland Gap, as part of the Brigade commanded by Col. DeCoursey. They arrived in front of the Gap on the 8th of September, and took part in the operations at the Gap on the 8th and 9th. The Gap and garrison surrendered on the 9th of September. Lieut. Col. Capps, with his command, marched through on the 11th and joined the First Battalion at Greenville, Tenn., on the 14th. The detachments of Companies A, B and C, which were left at Camp Nelson on the 8th of August, were placed under command of Capt. McFall, of Company A, and commanded by him until their arrival at Greenville, Tenn., on the 14th of September, when he took command of his own company.

September 17, 1863--One hundred men, mostly from Companies A and G, were detailed by order of Col. John W. Foster, commanding brigade, for the purpose of cutting the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad between John's Depot and Carter's Depot, and between Carter's Depot and Union--it being understood at the time the detail was made that the enemy's infantry was at Jonesboro, and his cavalry at Bristol or Union. The object of cutting the road was to prevent the enemy from reinforcing his cavalry with his infantry, while out cavalry could move via Kingsport to Bristol or Union, and attack and route the rebel cavalry, then move on the infantry. The detachment of one hundred men, under command of Capts. F.M. McFall and C.C. Kenner, marched from Greenville, Tenn., at 3 1/2 P.M., crossed the Nolichucky River, three miles South of Greenville, and turning to the East, followed the road on the south bank of the river as fas as Embreeville, Washington county, when it recrossed the river about 11 o'clock in the night, at one of the most dangerous fords on it, without losing a man, through the night was very dary, and the river slightly swollen. After crossing the river the command passed through the Greasy Cove and down Buffalo Creek, to a point within four miles of one of the points on the railroad where it was to be cut--Dr. C.C. Taylor's. Arriving there just at daybreak a halt was made, for the purpose of obtaining information in regard to the whereabouts of the enemy, when it was ascertained that he had evacuated Jonesboro on the day before, and was then encamped along the railroad where it was to be cut, rendering it impossible for this detachment to accomplish the objective of its expedition. While this information was being obtained, the advance guard was fired into by a squad of rebels, to which chase was immediately given, and after pursuing them to within one mile of their camp the detachment left the main road, and by ways, mostly throught woods, marched to Jonesboro, a distance of ten miles, from where the advance guard was fired upon. At Jonesboro, though within seven miles of a rebel force, 4,000 strong, a halt was made for the purpose of feeding and resting, having marched over sixty miles after leaving Greenville. A few hours after the arrival at Jonesboro a battalion of the Twelfth Kentucky Cavalry arrived, with which the detachment fell in until it could rejoin the regiment.

September 21--Marched from Jonesboro for Carter's Depot: struck the enemy's outpost one mile east of John's Depot, where skirmishing commenced, which was kept up until the command reached Carter's Depot, the enemy falling back to that point, which he abandoned that night. During these operations, the detachment acted with the Twelfth Kentucky, as part Col. Carter's brigade. Rejoined the regiment (Eighth Tennessee Cavalry) on the 25th. Fifteen men of Company A who remained with the regiment under command of Lieut. James T. Johnson, were engaged in a skirmish at Kingsport on the 18th, in which private Alfred Eastep was wounded. Also engaged at Union on the 20th, and Blountville on the 22d. (Blountville burnt.)

September 25--The whole command arrived at Greenville: thence it returned to Knoxville, and lay in camp during the remainder of the month.

October 2, 1863--7 o'clock, P.M.--Marched south, arriving at Philadelphia on the 3d, when a halt was made until the night of the 5th, when the command (Col. Foster's brigade,) set out on its return to Knoxville; arrived there on the 6th, and on the 7th commenced another expedition east of Knoxville; arrived at Rogersville on the 9th. On the 10th marched for Rheatown, Green county. Company A was the advance guard of the brigade. Reached Rheatown at 12 o'clock in the sight and finding no pickets, dashed into town--no enemy there.

October 11--Engaged with the enemy from 12 o'clock M, until nearly night-drove him eight miles east of Rheatown.

October 13--Marched to Hall's Ford on the Holston River.

October 14--Marched to Blountville--the enemy having fallen back beyond Bristol.

October 17--Commenced retreating westward: passed through Union, (Zollicoffer): destroyed the railroad track for several miles west of Union; marched to Davalt's Ford, on the Wautauga River; then back to Union--nine miles, where the command (part of the Eighth Tennessee Cavalry) remained until 9 o'clock, P.M., when the place was abandoned, and the command fell back to Davalt's Fort.

October 19--Major Bentley while on a reconnoissance in the vicinity of Union with 80 men, were attacked by a greatly superior force, and routed with about 30 men captured, 5 of whom were members of Company A, viz : Privates Alfred Harper, John Potter, Morgan Presley, Gilbert Presley and Ephraim Ward, all died in prison at Danville, Va.

October 29--The Brigade fell back to Henderson's Station, six miles east of Greenville, and went into camp.

November 1, 1863--In camp at Henderson's Station.

November 2--The regiment was dismounted by order of Colonel John W. Foster, Commanding Brigade.

November 4--Transported to Knoxville by railroad. In camp at Knoxville until the 15th of November, when ordered out to assist in the defense of the place, and continued on duty on the right of the line of fortifications during the remainder of the month.

December 1, 1863--Company A continued on the extreme right of the line of fortifications.

December 4--The siege by Longstreet which commenced on the 15th of November, was raised.

December 15--Commenced the mach on foot from Knoxville to Camp Nelson, Ky., in charge of prisoners captured before Knoxville during the siege; arrived at Camp Nelson on the 27th, 185 miles.

January 1, 1864--In camp at Camp Nelson. The Regiment was transferred from Camp Nelson, Ky. To Nashville, Tenn.

February 6, 1864--The Eighth and Tenth consolidated at Nashville. F.M. McFall, March 8, 1866. Late Captain Co. A Eighth Tennessee Cav. Vol.

Company E

This Company was organized by Capt. L.M. Jarvis on the 10th day of October, 1863, at Sneedville, Tenn; was commanded by him to March 16, 1865, when Capt. Jarvis resigned. William B. Davis was First Lieutenant from organization to June, 1864, when he was promoted to the rank of Major of the Regiment. John W. Cope was Second Lieutenant from its organization to October 1864, when he resigned. William P. Testerman, 1st Sergeant, was promoted to First Lieutenant July 11, 1864: served to July 29, 1865, when he was promoted to a Captaincy, and was the last Captain of the Company. F.M. Turner, Q.M. Sergeant, was promoted to the rank of Second Lieutenant April, 1865, and server until the muster out of the orgaization. The Company fought with the enemy at Greenville, Morristown, Bull's Gap, Russellville, Flay Creek and Kingsport, Tenn., Marion, Wytheville and Saltville, Va., and Salisbury, N.C.

Killed in Action--Robert Turner, Andrew McCloud, James E. Gibson.

Wounded in Action--Harris Bell, Alfred Miner, Sam'l M. Paine, Woodson Cope.

Died of Disease--Richard Livesay, Leonard A. Davis, William Collins, George Anderson, Franklin Mitchell, William G. Heath, Leroy Cope, George Anderson, Thomas J. Brewer, Shepard Gibson.

Deserted--Gilfred Miner, Stokeley Lawson, Ira England, William F. Shelton, Freelin H. Gibson, Shepard Gibson, Sr., Jesse Rhea, Carter H. Anderson, Daniel Gilbert, Kelly Gibson, John Mosley, John Dulaney, Henry Hackney, William Turner, William Rice.

The Company was mustered out of service at Knoxville, Tenn., on the 11th day of September, 1865.

Company G was organized and mustered into the service of the United States at Camp Nelson, Ky., on the 14th day of August, 1863. C.C. Kenner was mustered as Captain, John S. Mott First Lieutenant, and Wm. E. Cunningham Second Lieutenant. The Company was mustered into service by Lieut. J.L. Warden: the officers of the Company were mustered the same day. The Company participated in the chase of Colonel Scott (C.S. Army) through the State of Kentucky in August, 1863. The Company was detached with a portion of the Regiment in August, 1863, and attached to a Brigade commanded by Col. DeCoursey, and remained in this command until the capture of Cumberland Gap, September, 1863. After which it reported to the Regiment at Greenville, Tenn., which belonged to the 3d Brigade, 4th Division, Department of Ohio. The Company then with the Regiment participated in the skirmish at Kingsport, September, 1863; the attack on Zollicoffer, September 20, 1863; the battle of Blountville, September 19, 1863, and in the battle of Rheatown, October 10, 1863. The Company, with the remainder of the Regiment, was then dismounted at Henderson's Station, Tenn., November 3, 1863, and sent to Knoxville on the 5th of November, at which place the Regiment remained and participated in the siege of Knoxville, fortifying and defending the city, which commenced on the 14th day of November, 1863, and lasted till December 4, 1863. The ompany remained at Knoxville until December 15, 1863, when the Regiment was detailed to guard prisoners to Camp Nelson, Ky. Lieutenant John S. Mott resigned about the 18th of December, 1863. The Regiment arrived at Camp Nelson on the 28th of December, 1863; left Camp Nelson in January, 1864, for Nashville, Tenn., at which place it arrived January, 1864, (which time the Eighth and Tenth Tennessee Cavalry were consolidated, Companies H & G were consolidated and known as Company G.) and from Nashville to Columbia , Tenn., from Columbia to Franklin, then to Gallatin, Tenn., from Gallatin to Knoxville, where we arrived October 5, 1864; from Knoxville to Morristown, from there to Springvale, (joined the Brigade commanded by Brigadier General A.C. Gillem,) thence to Bull's Gap, Tenn., from there to New Market, Tenn., by way of Bean Station, when the Company had an engagement with the enemy in the gap at Clinch Mountain, (one man wounded,) arrived at New Market, October, 1864. Had an engagement with the enemy at Morristown, Tenn., October 28, 1864; drove them in disorder, capturing many prisoners and artillery, losing two men of Company G in the engagement. Next engagement was at Bull's Gap, November, 1864. March the 8th, 1865, Capt. C.C. Kenner was promoted Major, and Lieut. John C. Bible promoted Captain of Company G, Eighth Tennessee Cavalry. On the 21st of March, 1865, left Knoxville under Generals Gillem and Stoneman for the great raid in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The Company was in the fight at Wytheville, Virginia, and the battle at Saulsbury, North Carolina, losing one man at the latter place; returned to Tennessee in May, 1863, and was mustered out September 11, 1865, at Knoxville, Tennessee.


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