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Tipton's cavalry soldiers

North Mississippi

Fall 1863

The seventh Tennessee cavalry was at West Point, Miss. on Sept. 1, 1863. Col. John G. Stocks tendered his resignation due to disability. William Lafayette Duckworth, of Brownsville, was promoted colonel of the seventh Tennessee.

On the 10th, Brig. Cmdr. James Chalmers ordered the 18th Mississippi partisan battalion and the seventh Tennessee to act as a unit in action. That same day, Tipton’s troopers in the 12th Tennessee cavalry commanded by Lt. Col. John U. Green, arrived within eight miles of New Albany, from Pontotoc, Miss.

R. R. Hancock noted: “Our brigade formed a junction with a small brigade commanded by Brig. Gen. R. V. Richardson. He had one regiment of Mississippians, about 300 ‘new recruits’ from West Tennessee, and two six-pounder guns. Gen. (Samuel W.) Ferguson commanded both brigades.”

General Ferguson’s division moved 20 miles and camped at Orizaba on the 11th. Three days later the command moved back to New Albany, camping on the Tallahatchie River.

On the 14th, Gen. Ferguson moved his command back to New Albany and encamped on the Tallahatchie River. Two days later, Richardson’s brigade was at Oakland Church, Chickasaw County, Miss. William Edward Reneau, 17th Mississippi Infantry, was promoted third lieutenant of Co. I, 12th Tennessee cavalry regiment.

On Sept. 16, Lt. Reneau reported to Gen. Robert V. Richardson at Oakland Church, Chickasaw County, Miss.

Richardson’s command was composed at that time of the 12th and 13th (now 14th) Tennessee cavalry regiments and a battery called Reneau light artillery, 600 officers and men present.

On the 17th, Gen. Chalmers’ brigade was encamped at Abbeville, Miss. composed of the following: second Arkansas; first Miss. partisans; third Miss. State cavalry; 18th Miss. battalion, Maj. A. H. Chalmers; second Missouri cavalry, Lt. Col. R. A. McCulloch; seventh Tennessee cavalry, Lt. Col. W. L. Duckworth; Texas battalion, Lt. Col. Leonidas Willis; new battalion, Lt. Col. James A. Barksdale; McLendon’s battery. Total for brigade: present for duty 148 officers and 1,455 men; aggregate present 1,890; present and absent 3,252; and 1,054 had “serviceable arms.”

The Reneau (West Tennessee battery) was formed June 1,1863 for Gen. Robert V. Richardson’s West Tennessee brigade. Capt. Baylor Palmer, commander, had served at Fort Wright in 1861.

The battery’s guns were four bronze six-pounders, cast during the 1840s and 1850s. Two cannons were cast by the Cyrus Algier and Co. and two by N. P. Ames and Company. The cannons, carriages and implements were received by B. C. Adams on June 24, from the Selma, Ala. arsenal.

On Oct. 3, 1863, Richardson’s brigade was moved to New Albany. Lt. Wm. Ed. Reneau reported Richardson’s command was reviewed by Lt. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston. At the review, Gen. Richardson had between 700-800 men. The 14th (now 15th) Tennessee cavalry regiment had reported in the meantime.

One Tennessee cavalrymen wrote, “this was the first time his regiment had the honor of being inspected by a lieutenant general.”

On the fifth, Richardson’s brigade “had an artillery fight with a federal scout at New Albany.”

Gen. S. D. Lee’s brigades of Sul Ross and S. W. Ferguson were at Pontotoc. During the first two weeks of October, Tipton’s troopers in the seventh and 12th Tennessee regiments were prominently engaged in battles and actions at New Albany, Lockhart’s Mill on the Coldwater River, Collierville, Byhalia, Quinn and Jack’s Mill and Wyatt, Miss.

Continued next week

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