Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner

Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner occupied Western Kentucky early in the war and the Confederates organized a company in Christian County within sixty days after the beginning of hostilities.

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:

Thomas G. Woodward

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
Radford Hardin Blanks Kidd

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.

Company G, First Kentucky Cavalry
Transcribed by Willis P. Oliver


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
Theodore Young

* - 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 Henry Burnett was afterwards elected to the Confederate States Senate and resigned and Colonel Lyon, afterwards General Lyon succeeded him. This regiment got into service and participated in the battle of Fort Donelson and the troops were surrendered in the capitulation, and sent to a Northern prison. Major W. R. Henry, whose ancestors had fought in the Revolution and whose grandfather was a General in the War of 1812, died in prison at Indianapolis from exposure in battle. In the fall of 1862 the regiment was exchanged at Vicksburg, Mississippi and the terms of the enlistment expiring, the soldiers returned home or went into other commands. Other Christian County men were attached to commands in other fields.

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.

Roster of First Kentucky Cavalry, Kentucky Volunteers, CSA
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