4th Alabama "

4th Alabama "Roddey's" Cavalry History

Roddey's 4th Alabama Cavalry was used primarily for defending Alabama (and adjacent Mississippi) from Yankee raids, but it also used to cut Federal lines of supply and communication in both Tennessee and Mississippi. When Alabama became the target of the enemy, the people of the State looked to Roddey's Cavalry for protection. Unfortunately, in the end they were greatly outnumbered and outgunned, they eventually had to give ground but that was not without a stout fight and courageous determination. The following is a letter written by the Alabama legislature to the Confederate Secretary of War, describing the urgency of the situation and the need to stop the Yankees at the Tennessee river.

"The undersigned, senators and representatives from the State of Alabama, respectfully invite the attention of the Honorable Secretary of War to the consideration of a few suggestions relative to the present condition of North Alabama, and the necessity of permanently holding the south side of the Tennessee river in that State. You are aware that the enemy now claim and hold all the country in said State north of said river; that river, running through the entire width of the State from east to west, is both deep and wide, difficult to be crossed by an enemy, and is now the dividing line between us and our foes. Brigadier-General Roddey, with his command, is guarding a portion of the south side of the river; but to enable him to do so more effectually, and to protect the country from the enemy at Corinth, Miss., and also to draw supplies for our army from Middle Tennessee, which he is expected to do, he will require a much larger force than he now has under his command. A glance at the map of the country will satisfy any one that if the raiding parties of the enemy be permited to cross the river, there is no natural barrier to prevent him from sweeping as low down the Country as the Alabama river, penetrating that region of the State in which are located the mining and manufacturing establishments now getting into successful operation, and which it is believed are and will continue to be of great benefit to our cause. To protect our people against such calamity as would result from the incursions of the enemy, we deem it of the utmost importance that General Roddey's command be retained in its present locality, and that he be permitted to increase his force from the adjacent country and from the region within the line of the enemy that he have returned to his brigade five companies of Alabama troops now under the command of MajorGeneral Forrest. These companies were all raised by General Roddey, mostly within the enemy's lines and who entered the service expecting to continue under his command. They are very anxious to be restored to General Roddey's brigade, and we understand that General Forrest would not object to such restoration. These five companies are commanded respectively by Captains Steele, Moore, Barr, Warren and Hansell. From these sources we think that General Roddey will strengthen his command sufficiently to protect our people against the raids of the enemy, coming either across the Tennessee river or from the direction of Corinth. We think he will also be enabled to draw supplies of bacon, beef, cattle, hogs, grain, and leather from Middle Tennessee, in larger quantities than heretofore, though he has already drawn much in that way. Besides this, his position is such that should opportunity offer he could fall upon the enemy's communication with Chattanooga and do him serious damage.Again, should the enemy be permitted to take possession of the country south of the Tennessee river, he will not find it difficult to extend his line to the Warrior and perhaps to the Alabama river, without meeting with serious opposition, but would, on the contrary, receive great encouragement in the mountain region in our State, where there is unfortunately in some parts a disaffected population. In view of what is above set forth, we hope the Honorable Secretary of War will permit the necessary increase of General Roddey's force. We believe that by so doing the interest of the whole country would be greatly advanced.
THOS. J. FOSTER,JOHN P. RALLS, R.JEMISON,JR.,
C. C. CLAY,JR., W. R. SMITH

Gen. Nathan Beford Forrest. Roddey's Cavalry in many situations was under his command. The regiment's greatest victory was under Forrest at the Battle of Tishomingo Creek (Brice's Crossroads, Mississippi). Here they defeated a much larger Federal force, some with repeating rifles, and sent them running in a panic back to Memphis, Tennessee, where they came.

 

 

The following was taken from Volume 7, Confederate Military History, by Lt. Gen. Joseph Wheeler and edited by Gen. Clement Evans.

Roddey's Fourth Alabama was organized at Tuscumbia in October, 1862, and was sent to middle Tennessee, where it wintered, but "early in the spring was sent into north Alabama. It met Dodge's advance below Tuscumbia, and was engaged in the pursuit of Streight. It was engaged most of the time in Roddey's brigade, repell- ing raids in north Alabama and making daring attacks. It was publicly commended in April, 1863, by General Bragg, for good discipline, etc. In the spring of 1864 it was transferred to the department of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana, and fought with severe loss at Tishomingo in June, 1864. It repelled Wilson's raid, fighting all the way from Montevallo to Selma, where a large portion of the regiment was captured. Its first Colonel, P. D. Roddey, was early in the war made a brigadier, and was succeeded in the command by Col. William A. Johnson, who led the regiment the greater part of the war; Lieutenant-Colonel Windes being for a short time in command, Colonel Johnson was wounded at Pulaski. Maj. Dick Johnson was killed near Moulton, Capt. James Williams at Courtland, and Capt Thomas Williams near Huntsville. Capt. John C. Nelson was wounded and captured.

EXTRACTS FROM OFFICIAL WAR RECORDS.

Vol. XXIII, Pan 2-(246) Gen. U. M. Dodge (Union) reports Colonel Roddey's regiment, 800 strong, at Tus- cumbia landing, April 17, 1863. (708) Mentioned by Gen. John A Wharton, March 18, 1863. Letter from P. D. Roddey, Chapel Hill. (720, 721) Gen. j. A. Wharton, March 18th, Says: "Part of regiment ordered to advance to College Grove." Letter from Colonel Roddey, Chapel Hill, March 22d. (728) General Bragg's order, March 28th, says: "Col. P. D. Roddey's regiment of Alabama cavalry is detached from Brigadier-General Martin's division, and will proceed to northern Alabama. On his arrival at the Tennessee river, Colonel Roddey will relieve Brig.-Gen. S. A. M. Wood, in command of the district of Northern Alabama. (731) Letter from Colonel Roddey, Chapel Hill, March 31, 1863. (737) General orders, No.69, headquarters army of Tcnnessee, April 2, 1863: "The general commanding is gratified at the inspection report of Colonds Roddey and Patterson's regiments of cavalry, made by Lientenant-Colonel Grenfell, inspector of cavalry. The officers and men of these regiments were found to be zealous in the performance of their respective duties, the discipline was excellent, and the conduct of the men toward the citizens in the neighborhood of their camp was most praiseworthy. The arms were in good condition, and the clothing of the men neat and uniform. The general commanding tenders his thanks to Colonels Roddey and Patterson and the gallant officers and men of their commands for the interest manifested by them in perfecting their discipline and increasing their efficiency." (944) Col. W. A. Johnson, Roddey's brigade, Wheeler's corns Bragg's army, July 31st. No. 37-(674) Mentioned by Colonel Hatch (Union) in skirmishes on Forked Deer river, Tenn ,July 13, 1863. No. 38-(192)Roddey's regiment, 8oo strong, with General Roddey at Tuscumbia, Ala, April, 1863. (614) In Roddey's brigade, Martin's division Major-General Van Dorn's corps, Feb 2nd. No. 53-(501) In Roddey's brigade, Morgan's division, Wheeler's corps, army of Tennessee, August 15, 1863. No. 54-(593, 594, 604) Mentioned in Federal reports. No. 55-(664) In Roddey's brigade, detached, Wheeler's corps, Bragg's army, November 20, 1863. No. 58-(237) W.A. Johnson's troops fight on Lamb's Ferry road, January, 1864. (339) Opposite Florence, February 6th. (590) In Roddey's brigade, Wharton's division, Wheeler's corps, army of Tennessee, Johnston commanding, January 20th. No. 59~(389, 735) In north Alabama, April, 1864 No. 74-(642) Roddey's brigade transferred to department Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana, April,1864. No. 77-(231) Nine wounded in battle of Tishomingo Creek June 10, 1864. (544) General Forrest says: "Colonel Johnson and his brave troops on this occasion acted with conspicuous gallantry in marching up and assaulting the "enemy's works." Report of Sulphur Springs Trestle, September 25th. (545, 547, 549) Colonel Johnson's troops mentioned in same report. "Colonel Johnson displayed every soldierly virtue. He was prompt in obeying orders I regret to say that while gallantly leading his troops he was severely wounded." No. 79-(278, 450) Between Fort Deposit and Guntersville, October, 1864.No. 93-(641, 642) In north Alabama under Lieutenant-Colonel Windes, June 10, i865. (1233) In Roddey's brigade, district of North Alabama, November 20, 1864.No. 94-(634) Assignment as above; Maj.-Gen. D. H. Maury commanding department, December 1, 1864. No. 103-(510, 1031) Ordered to Montevallo, March, 1865. Williams' Battalion: No. 59-(429) In north Alabama, April 18, 1864. (735) Mentioned by R. W. Walker as near Moulton, March 26th. No. 77-(231) One killed, 5 wounded, at the battle of Tishomingo Creek, June 10, 1864. No. 99-(1150) Mentioned by Maj. John Devereux as having been originally in Hannon's command. Julian's Battalion, Alabama Cavalry: Vol. XXIII, Part. 2-(961) In Roddey's brigade, General Wheeler's Corps, August 10, 1863. No. 53-(501) Same. Newsom's company. Vol. XVI, Part I-(828) Mentioned and commended by Brig.-Gen. T. C. Armstrong in report of skirmish near Courtland, July 25, 1862. No. 58(614) In Bell's brigade, Forrest's cavalry, January 25, 1864. brigadier, and was succeeded in the command by Col. William A. Johnson, who led the regiment the greater part of the war; Lieutenant-Colonel Windes being for a short time in command, Colonel Johnson was wounded at Pulaski. Maj. Dick Johnson was killed near Moulton, Capt. James Williams at Courtland, and Capt Thomas Williams near Huntsville. Capt. John C. Nelson was wounded and captured.

Vol. XXIII, Pan 2-(246) Gen. U. M. Dodge (Union) reports Colonel Roddey's regiment, 800 strong, at Tus- cumbia landing, April 17, 1863. (708) Mentioned by Gen. John A Wharton, March 18, 1863. Letter from P. D. Roddey, Chapel Hill. (720, 721) Gen. j. A. Wharton, March 18th, Says: "Part of regiment ordered to advance to College Grove." Letter from Colonel Roddey, Chapel Hill, March 22d. (728) General Bragg's order, March 28th, says: "Col. P. D. Roddey's regiment of Alabama cavalry is detached from Brigadier-General Martin's division, and will proceed to northern Alabama. On his arrival at the Tennessee river, Colonel Roddey will relieve Brig.-Gen. S. A. M. Wood, in command of the district of Northern Alabama. (731) Letter from Colonel Roddey, Chapel Hill, March 31, 1863. (737) General orders, No.69, headquarters army of Tcnnessee, April 2, 1863: "The general commanding is gratified at the inspection report of Colonds Roddey and Patterson's regiments of cavalry, made by Lientenant-Colonel Grenfell, inspector of cavalry. The officers and men of these regiments were found to be zealous in the performance of their respective duties, the discipline was excellent, and the conduct of the men toward the citizens in the neigh- borhood of their camp was most praiseworthy. The arms were in good condition, and the clothing of the men neat and uniform. The general commanding tenders his thanks to Colonels Roddey and Patterson and the gallant officers and men of their commands for the interest manifested by them in perfecting their discipline and increas- ing their efficiency." (944) Col. W. A. Johnson, Rod- dey's brigade, Wheeler's corns Bragg's army, July 31st.

No. 37-(674) Mentioned by Colonel Hatch (Union) in skirmishes on Forked Deer river, Tenn ,July 13, 1863. No. 38-(192)Roddey's regiment, 8oo strong, with General Roddey at Tuscumbia, Ala, April, 1863. (614) In Roddey's brigade, Martin's division Major-General Van Dorn's corps, Feb 2nd. No. 53-(501) In Roddey's brigade, Morgan's division, Wheeler's corps, army of Tennessee, August 15, 1863. No. 54-(593, 594, 604) Mentioned in Federal reports. No. 55-(664) In Roddey's brigade, detached, Wheeler's corps, Bragg's army, November 20, 1863. No. 58-(237) W.A. Johnson's troops fight on Lamb's Ferry road, January, 1864. (339) Opposite Florence, February 6th. (590) In Roddey's brigade, Wharton's division, Wheeler's corps, army of Tennessee, Johnston commanding, January 20th. No. 59~(389, 735) In north Alabama, April, 1864 No. 74-(642) Roddey's brigade transferred to department Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana, April,1864. No. 77-(231) Nine wounded in battle of Tishomingo Creek June 10, 1864. (544) General Forrest says: "Colonel Johnson and his brave troops on this occasion acted with conspicuous galantry in marching up and assaulting the "enemy's works." Report of Sulphur Springs Trestle, September 25th. (545, 547, 549) Colonel Johnson's troops mentioned in same report. "Colonel Johnson displayed every soldierly virtue. He was prompt in obeying orders I regret to say that while gallantly leading his troops he was severely wounded." No. 79-(278, 450) Between Fort Deposit and Guntersville, October, 1864.No. 93-(641, 642) In north Alabama under Lieutenant-Colonel Windes, June 10, i865. (1233) In Roddey's brigade, district of North Alabama, November 20, 1864.No. 94-(634) Assignment as above; Maj.-Gen. D. H. Maury commanding department, December 1, 1864. No. 103-(510, 1031) Ordered to Montevallo, March, 1865. Williams' Battalion: No. 59-(429) In north Alabama, April 18, 1864. (735) Mentioned by R. W. Walker as near Moulton, March 26th. No. 77-(231) One killed, 5 wounded, at the battle of Tishomingo Creek, June 10, 1864. No. 99-(1150) Mentioned by Maj. John Devereux as having been originally in Hannon's command. Julian's Battalion, Alabama Cavalry: Vol. XXIII, Part. 2-(961) In Roddey's brigade, General Wheeler's Corps, August 10, 1863. No. 53-(501) Same. Newsom's company. Vol. XVI, Part I-(828) Mentioned and commended by Brig.-Gen. T. C. Armstrong in report of skirmish near Courtland, July 25, 1862. No. 58(614) In Bell's brigade, Forrest's cavalry, January 25, 1864.

Please go to my Gen. Philip Roddey biography page to read about this regiment's original Commander and founder.

Also visit Richard Davis' Co K "Roddey's Cavalry" website for an easy to read list of battles, raids, and engagements of the regiment.

 

Return to previous page

 


This page hosted by Get your own Free Home Page

Background music, "Goober Peas", used with permission, from ReWEP Associates, Copyrighted 1997.

1