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      Battle Of
       West Point
 Wilson's Raids

The following excerpts are from the personal account of Gen. Wilson.

Gen Wilson West Point
Destroy Transportation Routes Sherman heads to Atlanta

Move to Selma and Montgomery

Chasing Davis

       

Union Brig. Gen. James H. Wilson had led his 13,000 Cavalry Corps of the Military Division of the Mississippi through Alabama and on April 2nd, hadWilson defeated Confederates under Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and destroyed the important manufacturing center of Selma, Alabama.  He then set out for Columbus, Georgia, with the intention of disrupting all of the mill operations and warehouses there. Since the bridges at West Point were of extreme importance to him to provide an alternate crossing in the event he would run into more trouble than he could handle in Columbus,  he dispatched Colonel Oscar H. LaGrange to West Point.

        General A. J. Smith's corps, at that period, was at Eastport, Mississippi, while four divisions of General Wilson's cavalry were encamped on the opposite or north bank of the Tennessee River, at Waterloo and Gravelly Springs, Alabama, and the Fourth Corps, Major-General Stanley commanding, was stationed at Huntsville, Alabama. This, with the ordinary garrisons of the country, composed my command. Halleck

        The General-in-Chief of the Army, having given up the intention of my continuing the campaign against the enemy in Mississippi and Alabama, received an order by telegraph from Major-General Halleck, chief of staff, to send General A. J. Smith's command and 5,000 of  to report to Major-General Canby, at New Orleans, for the purpose of taking part in an expedition at that time preparing to operate against Mobile. Smith's corps started from Eastport on the 6th of February, and Knipe's division of cavalry left Nashville on the 12th. About the period of the departure of Smith's corps information was received, through various sources, to the effect that part of the shattered remnants of Hood's army, viz, Cheatham's and Lee's corps, were on their way from Mississippi to South Carolina, moving via Selma and Montgomery, Alabama, to re-enforce that portion of the enemy's army operating against General Sherman. There remained in Central Mississippi, under General Taylor, but one corps of the enemy's infantry, and about 7,000 of Forrest's cavalry, the headquarters of the command being at Meridian, Mississippi. 

 

Nashville bridge burned by Confederates
Nashville bridge burned by Confederates - later rebuilt with look-out posts and doors to withstand another assault

Next Page    Destroy Transportation Routes

 

Sources:

  James Pickett Jones, Yankee Blitzkreig, http://www.uky.edu/UniversityPress/books/yankblitz.html 

  Reports for Wilson's raid to Selma 22 March - 22 April 65 plus Wilson's capture of Jefferson Davis 10 May 65, http://www.aotc.net/selma-rep.htm 

  Manuscript Collection #13, Federal Writer's Project, http://www.trouparchives.org/man/ms113.htm