Wilson’s Cavalry Corps

Union Campaigns in the Western Theatre, October 1864 through Spring 1865


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SKU: 9780786427321 Categories: , ,

About the Book

The famed fighting force of Union General William T. Sherman was plagued by a lack of first-rate cavalry—mostly because of Sherman’s belief, after some bad experiences, that the cavalry was largely a waste of good horses. The man Grant sent to change Sherman’s mind was James Harrison Wilson, a bright, ambitious, and outspoken young officer with a penchant for organization.
Wilson proved the perfect man for the job, transforming a collection of independent regiments and brigades into a fiercely effective mounted unit. Wilson’s Cavalry, as it came to be known, played a major role in thwarting Confederate General Hood’s 1864 invasion of Tennessee, then moved south for the celebrated capture of Selma, Montgomery, and Columbus. Despite such success, it is this book that is the first overall history of the Cavalry Corps. In addition to meticulous description of military actions, the book affords particular attention to Wilson’s outstanding achievement in creating an infrastructure for his corps, even as he covered the Federal flanks in the withdrawal to Franklin and Nashville.

About the Author(s)

Jerry Keenan has written for America’s Civil War, Wild West and Journal of the West. Retired from the publishing industry, he lives in Longmont, Colorado.

Bibliographic Details

Jerry Keenan
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 271
Bibliographic Info: 25 photos, maps, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006 [1998]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2732-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0906-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

Preface      1

Introduction      3

1. The Foal Is Sired      11

2. The Reins of Command      17

3. Prelude      22

4. Florence to Columbia      29

5. Columbia to Franklin      44

6. Franklin      60

7. Hood’s Dilemma      70

8. Interlude      76

9. Nashville      96

10. Pursuit      113

11. “Lyon Was an Illusive Cuss”      126

12. Winter Quarters      138

13. In the Confederate Camp      153

14. South to Selma      158

15. Selma to Montgomery      175

16. Montgomery to Columbus      185

17. Columbus to Macon      195

18. Croxton’s Odyssey      203

19. The Pursuit and Capture of Jefferson Davis      211

20. Epilogue      218

Notes      223

Bibliography      249

Index      253

Book Reviews & Awards

“comprehensive…detailed…the author should be commended for the fine prose…well-illustrated with photographs of the major participants and maps detailing the scene of action…an outstanding contribution to our understanding of cavalry operations in the western theater…belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in the mounted army during the Civil War”—Civil War History; “this book is a gem, cut, polished and faceted perfectly to let a terrific story gleam through…well-researched, fanatically footnoted, brilliantly readable”—Civil War Interactive; “the great merit of Keenan’s study…is that it shows why Wilson began badly and why he finished superbly”—Crossfire; “the first overall history of the Cavalry Corps…detailed description of military actions”—Heliogram of Council on America’s Military Past; “comprehensively covers the battles and troop movements of the final stages of the Civil War…provides insight into the personalities of Wilson, Thomas, Hood, and Forrest…professionally illustrated…well indexed and shows diligent research and documentation”—Colorado Libraries.