On June 25, 1861, the Oak Grove Rangers, made up largely of young men from Christian County, were organized and mustered into service at Camp Boone, in Montgomery County, Tennessee.
The officers were:
Woodward had seen service in the regular army and was a graduate of West Point Military Academy. Bell was a veteran of the Mexican War fifteen years before, one of the first Christian County men who was in that war.
Before the war ended, Captain Woodward was promoted to Colonel and Lieutenant Bell, who served throughout the war, rose to the rank of Captain.
The company number about 130 men, the very flower of the young manhood of the southern part of Christian County and adjoining counties. Among those from Christian County were:
|Austin Peay||William A. Elliott||Hazard Baker||W. Frank Buckner||B. F. Clardy|
|Henry Clardy||William Mc Guire||Robert Owen||Nat Owen||John Blankenship|
|William Nichols||Sim Nichols||William Blakemore||Robert Kelly||W.L. Leavell|
|B.S. Leavell||Thomas Smith||W.F. Gray||Robert Searcy||A. Lyle|
|George Bacon||Alex Bacon||Milton Seward||Tim Morton||Creed Hood|
|Frank Rogers||John Richie||Robert Baker||Minus Parsley||Harvey Saunders|
The recruits moved into Kentucky in September and went into camp at Bowling Green with the rest of General Buckner's army. They were assigned to duty as Companies A and B, First Regiment of Kentucky Calvalry, under Colonel Ben Hardin Helm. Company B with about one hundred men was officered with J.W. Caldwell, Captain; William A. Elliott, First Lieutenant; William Campbell, Second Lieutenant; Hazard Baker, Brevet Second Lieutenant.
Both companies saw active service and took part in General Buckner's campaign leading up to the battle of Fort Donelson, at Dover, Tennessee, in February, 1862.
In the fall of 1862 another company was mustered into the service
at Hopkinsville on October 8th, and joined Colonel Helm at Bowling Green,
Kentucky, November 1st, and became Company H. The muster roll of this company
prepared by one of its members twenty-four years later is here given, ninety-three
rank and file.
Muster roll of Company H, First Kentucky Cavalry Regiment, Colonel Ben Hardin Helm commanding. Mustered into service C.S.A., October 8, 1862, at Hopkinsville, Kentucky, by General Clarke and ordered to report to Colonel B.H. Helm at Bowling Green, Kentucky, November 1, 1862, and there put into First Kentucky Cavalry, C.S.A., as Company H.
The company was recruited around Fairview and Pembroke:
|Tom Anderson||Jack Anderson||E.M. Allen||Ed Atkinson||James Bronaugh|
|Banks Bronaugh||D.A. Bronaugh||Robert W. Barnett||Lindsey Buckner||J.E. Benson|
|J.L. Brame||Wesley Brame||Mack Brame||John W. Barker||R.H. Burt|
|William Boyd||S.R. Brooks||K.H. Benjamin||John Bowles||A.B. Carver|
|A.B. Carber||Dixie Cavanaugh||Dr. L.B. Chilton||James Chilton||Mack Carroll|
|R.M. Dillard||C.S. Dunlap||J.C. Donaldson||William Drinkard||Thomson Fort|
|V.A. Garnett||W.W. Garnett||H.B. Garner||Robert Guynn||Thomas Hannah|
|Puss Hargis||Phil Huffman||W.H. Jesup||Thomas Johnston||John Jenkins|
|Robert Knight||Cyrus W. Love||Ben D. Lackey||A.O. Lackey||M.C. Layne|
|H.C. Long||James H. Lander||R.R. Lloyd||John B. Massie||John H. Massie|
|James H. Massie||J.W. Mc Rae||W.H. Mc Rae||John Mullins||John Marquis|
|Pat Major||Rev. R. W. Morehead||James Mallory||John Moss||John Carter Nelson|
|Rice Oldham||John T. Pendleton||Garland Quisenberry||Fidelia Rawlings||James Rogers|
|Ben Ritt||William T. Shelton||William Skillman||Robert Stevenson||D.A. Tandy|
|William Tandy||W.T. Tighlman||Adelbert Tandy||John Turner||Marcellus Turnley|
|Q.A. Sergeant||Peyton Venable||Vinson||William P. Winfree||L.R. Willis|
|Thomas Ward||N.T. Watson||Frank Watson||L. D. Watson||W.T. Williams|
|William Wheatley||Elbert Wood||James Wittshire||William Wheeler||W.O. Wyatt|
* - The above muster roll was compiled by Lieutenant Thomas M. Barker, for the purpose of having it placed in the Davis Memorial Hall at Fairview, in 1886, but such a hall was not erected at that time.
General Nathan Bedford Forrest
Later while Colonel Helm was at Nashville, Captain Joseph Williams joined him with a company of about one hundred men recruited by Captain Charles Edward Merriwether, who had been killed at Sacramento, Kentucky, in the fight between Nathan B. Forrest's and Col. Eli H. Murray, and the command had devolved upon Williams. This company had been in the battle at Fort Donelson and had fought gallantly and had escaped after the defeat of General Buckner by General Grant.
Colonel Helm's regiment followed the retreat to Alabama, doing scout duty in the rear of General Johnston's army. After the battle of Shiloh and while at Atlanta, Georgia, the time of enlistment for Companies A and B expired and they were disbanded and returned home, but many of them re-enlisted in other units. Two companies were recruited and became a part of Colonel Woodward's command were with him when the attack was made on Colonel Mason at Clarksville.
Colonel Woodward some time afterwards attacked the garrison at Fort Donelson under Federal Major Hart, but was repulsed, and the next day was himself attacked by Colonel Lowe from Fort Henry with a much superior force, while at the rolling mills on the Cumberland River. The mills had been burned by the Federals. Woodward placed his small force behind the debris and made a stand with one piece of artillery under Captain Garth and defeated Colonel Lowe with the loss of twenty-nine killed and several wounded. The Confederate losses were slight.
Company H after the death of their old Captain, Lieutenant Colonel H.C. Leavell, passed under the command of Major J. W. Caldwell. They were in the thick of fighting in the Kentucky campaign, serving as videttes. Their term of enlistment expired on the day the battle of Perryville was fought, but they remained for the battle, the bloodiest battle fought in Kentucky, and operated with the rest of the cavalty against the Federal flanks. Later they disbanded at Clifton,Tennesse, near Knoxville, and the company scattered, some returning home and others joining with other commands.
In addition to the three companies with Colonel Helm other companies were organized in Hopkins, a whole regiment being recruited from around Christian County. It was organized at the Fair Grounds in the summer of 1861 and became the Eighth Kentucky Cavalry. The officers at the start were:
Colonel L. A. Sypert joined Green's battery in 1861 and took part at Fort Donelson. Colonel Green and Colonel Sypert escaped in the surrender and Colonel Sypert returned home, re-equipped himelf and overtook the Confederates at Shelbyville, Tennessee. He was in the Mississippi campaign with Bragg and when Bragg left for Chattanooga he worked his way home and re-enlisted as a private under Woodward, but was soon commissioned as a Colonel and given authority to raise a regiment. On his way back from Richmond, where he had gone to get his authority, the train he was on was attacked, but he escaped through North Carolina and Georgia and fell in with his old command and remained with them until after the battle of Chickamauga. He was next attached with this regiment to General Wheeler and at Columbia left the command and made his way home in 1863. As it was getting towards winter he returned south and came back in the spring of 1864 and recruited a regiment mostly in Union, Webster and Henderson Counties. With his recruits he took the field and his first encounter was to drive Colonel Sam Johnson out of Crittenden County, with losses of men and horses.
Shortly afterwards he was attached to General
Adam John's command and later wast transferred to General
H. B. Lyon and surrendered at Columbus, Mississippi, in 1865 at
the close of hostilities. Colonel John D. Morris,
who had been in the War with Mexico, volunteered in 1861 and was on the
staff of General John S. Williams and later
commanded a battalion of Cavalry. He was in the 28th Virginia in the Wilderness
Campaign and while on a mission to Kentucky with two other officers was
captured and after some time was exchanged about the time the war ended.
of First Kentucky Cavalry, Kentucky Volunteers, CSA
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