4th Mississippi Cavalry
(from Dunbar Rowland’s “Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1898”; company listing courtesy of H. Grady Howell’s “For Dixie Land, I’ll Take My Stand’)
Company A -- Terrall [Terrell] Dragoons (raised in Copiah County, MS, “and other places”)
Company B -- Copiah Horse Guards (raised in Copiah County, MS)
Company C -- Magruder’s Partisan Rangers (raised in Claiborne County, MS)
Company D -- McLean’s Company (raised in Claiborne County, MS)
Company E -- Ramsey’s Company (raised in Copiah County, MS)
Company F -- Mississippi Scouts, aka McLaurin’s Company, & aka McCowan’s Company (raised in Rankin County, MS)
Company G -- McKissack’s Company (raised in Marshall County, MS)
Company H -- Whitney’s Company (raised in Jefferson County, MS)
Company I -- Stockdale Rangers (raised in Amite, Franklin, Pike, & Wilkinson Counties, MS)
Company K -- Bowles’ Company, aka McEwen’s Company (raised in Lafayette & Marshall Counties, MS)
Colonel -- C. C. Wilbourn. Lieutenant-Colonels -- Cornelius McLaurin, Thomas R. Stockdale. Majors -- Thomas R. Stockdale, James M. Norman. Adjutant -- B. H. Moorehead. Quartermaster -- Maj. W. W. Vaught.
Terrell's Company is mentioned in the reports June 29, 1862, in camp on Amite River, in Louisiana, attacked by Captain Magee's Federal company, and some prisoners taken. Listed as Terrell's Dragoons, seventy-six present, in Gen. Van Dorn's department, July, 1862. Captain Terrell, Lieut. John Pope and Privates F. M. Rogers, W. Waddell, J. T. Bland, and Volunteers L. Roorthe and F. R. Vorheis, boarded and captured the steamer Lone Star, below Plaquemine, November 27, 1862, and burned the boat. Terrell's company mounted rangers, forty-eight men, at Covington, October, 1862, attached to Colonel Gantt's Cavalry command on outpost duty about Port Hudson January, 1863; with Wilbourn’s Battalion in operations against Grierson's raiders in April, 1863. A few of the men were part of the improvised force of thirty-five men and boys under the leadership of Lieut. W. M. Wilson, Forty-third Tennessee, which defeated a body of Federal raiders at Rocky Creek, near Ellisville, June 25, 1863, capturing thirty-seven soldiers of the Fifth Illinois Cavalry.
October, 1862, Stockdale's company partisan rangers, 38 men, at Ponchatoula, La. In January, 1863, attached to Colonel Gantt's command, on outpost duty from Baton Rouge toward Clinton. With Wilbourn’s Battalion in operations against Grierson's raiders, April, 1863. During siege of Port Hudson Stockdale's Battalion, including Stockdale's Terrall’s, and Norman’s companies, was with the command of Col. John L. Logan, headquarters Clinton, La., operating in the Federal rear. They participated in the battle of Plain's store.
Colonel Henry Hughes, formerly of the Twelfth Infantry, organized a partisan corps in the spring and summer of 1862, including infantry and cavalry. That part which continued permanently in service was known as Hughes' Battalion of Cavalry, Lieut.-Col. C. C. Wilbourn commanding. The official reports note the presence of the battalion at Port Hudson, October 22, 1862; January, 1863, with Gantt's command on outpost duty toward Clinton, La., in April sent out against Grierson's raid. Wilbourn reached Osyka when Grierson was at Hazlehurst, and he was instructed to cut off the approach to Grand Gulf, cooperating with Wirt Adams. On account of these combinations Grierson could not join Grant and was compelled to make a forced ride to Baton Rouge. Grierson crossed Williams’ bridge over the Amite, near Port Hudson, at midnight between April 30 and May 1, and moved upon and surprised the camp of Hughes' Battalion at Sandy Creek, capturing a number of prisoners and destroying the camp, according to Grierson's report. During siege of Port Hudson, Hughes' Battalion was with the command of Col. John L. Logan, headquarters Clinton, La., operating in the Federal rear.
Capt. C. McLaurin's company partisan rangers, is mentioned at Port Hudson, August, 1862, 67 strong. Mentioned with Col. J. M. Simonton at Ponchatoula, La., April 30, 1863.
The Hughes and Stockdale Battalions under Col. John L. Logan, defeated, August 3, 1863, near Jackson, La., a detachment, mainly of the "Corps d'Afrique," under Lieut. Hanham, who were out collecting Negro recruits. General Andrews, commanding at Port Hudson, reported a loss of 78 officers and men and the battery of two Parrot guns, with horses and caissons. Logan lost 12 killed and wounded. He asked General Hardee, then commanding in Mississippi: "What disposition shall I make of Negroes captured in arms?" Gen. S. D. Lee was subsequently instructed to investigate the rumor that Hanham and 22 Negroes were killed. The headquarters of Logan's command was changed to Crystal Springs.
During the reconnaissance of McPherson's Federal command from Vicksburg to Canton in October, 1863, Stockdale's Battalion, with the cavalry brigade under Colonel Logan, skirmished on Bogue Chitto, near Brownsville, October 16, Stockdale in front on the skirmish line. They held the Federal cavalry in check and retired only when outflanked by infantry, according to McPherson's report. Near Livingston, on the 17th, the battalion was again in the front of a considerable engagement.
These troops were under the command of Gen. Wirt Adams when he occupied Ellis Cliffs, December 6, 1863, and Stockdale's Battalion joined in the pursuit of the enemy to Natchez after the skirmish that followed.
November, 1863, Wilbourn's Cavalry, Capt. James M. Norman commanding, in Wirt Adams' Brigade; Wilbourn's Regiment, Col. C. C. Wilbourn commanding; December, 1863, Fourth Mississippi Cavalry Maj. T. R. Stockdale commanding.
January 19, 1864, Lieut.-Gen. Polk, at Meridian, ordered Wilbourn's Regiment to report to Maj.-Gen. S. D. Lee at Jackson, in preparation to meet the Sooy Smith raid from LaGrange, Tenn. January 20, Fourth Battalion, Maj. Thomas R. Stockdale, in Wirt Adams' Brigade. February 7, Wilbourn's Regiment not yet reported at Brandon. The officers and men were scattered on conscript duty.
The Fourth Cavalry, Maj. Thomas R. Stockdale commanding, regiment was listed in Wirt Adams' Brigade, W. H. Jackson's Division, organization of January 20, 1864, under Maj.-Gen. S. D. Lee. General Lee wrote, February 6, that "Wilbourn's Regiment is at Brandon."
Stockdale's Battalion was with the brigade in the gallant stand made against McPherson's column of Sherman's army near Champion's hill, February 4, 1864, Sherman being on the march to Meridian. When Adams was compelled to fall back toward Baker's Creek, Stockdale made a brilliant charge upon the Federal flanking column that compelled this movement. Of Wood's Regiment and Stockdale's Battalion, in this action, Adams wrote that "nothing could surpass the unflinching steadiness and courage of these commands," which elicited the commendation of Maj.-Gen. S. D. Lee, who was with the brigade. The stubborn fight on the morning of February 5, at Baker's Creek bridge, was made by Griffith's Arkansas Regiment and Stockdale's Battalion and King's Battery, who engaged the whole Federal line, "offering the most determined resistance and maintaining their position until the last moment, Colonel Griffith and Major Stockdale, as usual, distinguishing themselves by their gallant and fearless bearing." (Adams). At the next position, beyond Clinton, when Adams was outflanked, "the enemy poured a severe volley into Major Stockdale's Battalion, acting as rear guard." Thence the brigade moved toward Canton, being outflanked from Jackson, and from Canton they moved, General Lee with them, toward Meridian, but without opportunity for action, thence to Starkville, and thence to the vicinity of Sherman's army, at Canton. February 29 to March 2, they did what damage they could along the flank of Sherman's army and returning to the Big Black. "In these affairs," Adams wrote, "Major Stockdale, Captain Muldrow and Captain Yerger were the most conspicuous and gallant participants. I have to lament the loss of Captain Magruder, of the Fourth Mississippi, who fell seriously, if not mortally, wounded, while leading a charge near Canton."
In May, 1864, the regiment, brigaded under Colonel Mabry, was engaged in the campaign with McArthur's expedition from Vicksburg, which moved in two columns toward Mechanicsburg. May 5, Mabry's advance, the Arkansas Regiments, met them at that place, with a sharp skirmish lasting until night. Next morning (6th) the enemy advanced on three roads and a detachment of Ellet's marine brigade landed at Liverpool. Mabry fell back to Benton and gave battle two miles beyond there on the 7th, repulsing several cavalry charges, until the whole Federal force came up and he was compelled to retreat, the Fourth Cavalry covering the right flank. All progress of the enemy's cavalry was blocked next day. On the 9th Wirt Adams arrived with Wood's Regiment. They continued to hold the enemy together near Benton, through the following days, with continual skirmishing on the various roads. An attempt to destroy the railroad bridge over Big Black was defeated on the 14th by two companies of Mabry's Brigade, and two of Wood's Regiment. The enemy began retreat on the 15th and the Fourth Cavalry was sent to strike their flank, but did not arrive in time. On the 18th there was a severe skirmish at Mechanicsburg. The depredations on private property, General Mabry reported, were intensely wanton, but he had been able to prevent widespread destruction.
Mabry's Brigade, Sixth, Thirty-eighth and Fourth Mississippi, and Fourteenth Confederate, 1,000 strong, was temporarily attached to Buford's Division in the Tupelo campaign, 1864. The brigade moved to Saltillo and thence joined Buford, who had Lyon's Kentucky Brigade with him, at Ellistown. July 13, General Forrest, with Mabry's Brigade, followed closely the Federal column as it moved from Pontotoc toward Tupelo. When the Federal forces took position at Harrisburg, Mabry's Brigade was formed on the left of the road. In the assault, July 14, "Mabry's and Bell's Brigades advanced to within close musket range and engaged the enemy. Approaching gradually they poured a very destructive fire upon his line. Arriving at the open space and having to cross a cornfield, they slowly advanced, but so deadly was the concentrated fire that, after penetrating some fifty steps, they retired to the cover of the timber, where they kept up a heavy and continual fire upon the enemy for three hours." (Buford). Lieut.-Col. Stockdale, commanding the regiment, was wounded. He was among those commended for gallantry. Capts. William M. Martin and John B. McEwen were killed. The total casualties of the regiment were 13 killed, 39 wounded. One of the brigade wrote: "About daylight we were dismounted and formed the front line of battle about one mile from the enemy. About one hour by sun we were ordered to advance, which was done in gallant style, driving in a heavy line of skirmishers under a galling fire of artillery and musketry. Furiously we dashed on to the slaughter. Owing to the extreme heat and our rapid movement many men and officers fell exhausted. Our line looked like a line of skirmishers, but on it went. When in about sixty yards of the enemy's line of fortifications we were ordered to halt, when we lay down and loaded and fired for more than an hour in an open field and remained there until the second line was brought up within 100 yards of us and had fallen back. We were then ordered back and moved off in good order." The brigade went into the fight with about 600 men and had 273 killed, wounded and missing.
Gen. S. D. Lee, writing of the conflicting orders that delayed Chalmers, says: "Mabry and Bell were still holding their positions and fighting desperately." Chalmers arrived "too late to do much good, as the ammunition of Mabry and Bell was about exhausted and they had met with severe losses. If any troops could have carried the lines in front of them, these brave men would have done it."
The brigade, under command of Colonel Griffith, of the Arkansas Regiment, was in the field during Colonel Osband's raid from Vicksburg to destroy the railroad bridge near Canton, and participated in the fight at Concord Church, near Yazoo City, December 1, 1864. A detachment of the Fourth, under Colonel Wilbourn, was held in reserve to pursue the enemy.
General Gardner reported Wilbourn and a detachment of his regiment in the department of the Gulf during Grierson's raid from Memphis to Egypt and across to Vicksburg, December 19 to January 5, 1865.
Forrest's headquarters were at West Point, February, 1865. February 18, regiment was assigned to Starke's Brigade in the organization by General Chalmers. The regiment was then with Gen. Wirt Adams, headquarters Jackson. By order of General Forrest, March 3, Mabry's Brigade was broken up and the Fourth was assigned to Gen. Starke's Brigade. This brigade reached Selma, Ala., during the battle April 2, 1865, but was unable to take part, and retreated to Livingston, Ala. The cavalry, under General Forrest, was surrendered at Gainesville, Ala., May, 1865.