Tipton’s troopers in the 7th and 12th Tennessee cavalry, North Mississippi, November 1863: On the 10th, Lt. Col. William L. Duckworth of Brownsville, was promoted colonel of the 7th Tennessee cavalry. Col. Robert V. Richardson’s West Tennessee brigade still included the 12th regiment under Lt. Col. John U. Green, then at Chesterville, Miss. Most of Richardson’s men had left their command unlawfully and returned to West Tennessee; some to get winter clothing and fresh horses; some deserted.
Gen. Chalmers reported that Richardson had only 240 men. On the 14th, department commander Gen. Joseph E. Johnston issued special order No. 245, Meridian, Miss.:
“Under the orders of his Excellency the President, Brig. Gen. N. B. Forrest is assigned to the command of West Tennessee. He will, on arriving there, immediately proceed to raise and organize as many troops for the Confederate States service as he finds practicable. Col. Richardson will report to Gen. Forrest, of whose command he and his troops will form a part…”
Two days later, Robert V. Richardson wrote a letter to President Jefferson Davis asking for that he be given command in West Tennessee:
“I have enlisted and organized, in West Tennessee the following regiments, now under my command to wit: (Rolls on file with the war department)
“12th Tennessee cavalry partisan rangers, Col. R. V. Richardson, Lt. Col. J. U. Green now commanding:13th T. C. P. R. Col. J. J. Neely;14th T. C. P. R. Col. F. M. Stewart;15th T. C….Col. Thomas H. Logwood;16th T. C. Col. J. W. Marshall…Rolls not yet filed; 17th T. C., Col. Collins…………..Rolls not yet filed;18th T. C. Battalion, Lt. Col. G. W. Bennett…Rolls not yet filed;19th T. C. Bat., Lt. Col. Darling Stuart…Rolls not yet filed; 20th T.C. Bat., Major Saul Street, rolls not yet filed. “I ask that West Tennessee, West Kentucky, and North Mississippi be organized into a department, to be called the ‘Department of West Tennessee’...to be commanded by myself…”
On Nov. 20, Richardson's brigade was reported as the 12th Mississippi, 12th Tennessee and Neely's regiments.
His command consisted of the following troops: Tennessee troops: 43 officers and 289 privates = 332 men; Mississippi troops, C. S.: 49 officers and 566 privates = 615 men; Mississippi State troops: 634; Total: 92 officers; 855 privates = 1,579 men
On Nov. 21, Gen. S. D. Lee relieved Col. R. V. Richardson from command of Northeast Mississippi and directed him to report to Gen. N. B. Forrest with just his Tennesseans. Richardson reported to Forrest’s headquarters at Okolona with 300 men (Forrest said 250).
Richardson’s transportation consisted of: “One good ambulance; six serviceable wagons, 22 serviceable mules; 12 sets good harness; 11 stretchers; fifth chains three”
Richardson claimed he brought through the lines 800 men in summer clothing without bedding for a winter campaign, all expecting to return as soon as armed and equipped, to West Tenn.
“During the cold spells of weather, many have absented themselves without furlough and gone home…”
During this time, Richardson had issued 517 short Enfield and Austrian rifles and accouterments to his Tennessee troops.
Richardson’s troops reporting to Gen. Forrest were armed thus:
“Enfield rifles,165; Austrian rifles, 65; Mississippi rifles, 2; Sharps rifles, 19; Colt rifle, 1; Maynard rifles, 3; Shotguns, 1; Springfield rifles,7; musket,1; bayonets, 78; Colt navy pistols,118; Colt army pistols, 33; and 29,000 rounds of ammunition.”
Richardson’s men had 247 serviceable horses and 40 unserviceable. By Nov. 28, 1863, Richardson’s Reneau battery was reportedly armed with four smooth bore six-pounder cannons.