Harvey’s Scouts [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’)

 

This independent company was raised in Madison County, MS.

Captain -- Addison Harvey. First Lieutenant -- R. J. Lee. Second Lieutenants -- T. B. Land, George Harvey. Third Lieutenants -- George Harvey, William H. Tyson.

Total roll, 118; 12 killed or died in service; wounded, 16; captured, 29. Lieut. Land was killed near Stilesboro, Ga., October, 1864; Captain Harvey was assassinated April 20, 1865, at Columbus, Ga.

"Harvey's Scouts were organized as a detachment of men detailed from Wood's and Starke's Regiments of Wirt Adams' Cavalry, under the command of Lieutenant Harvey of Wood's Regiment. Its subsequent organization as an independent company of scouts, attached to Gen. W. H. Jackson's Division, took place at Cave Springs, Ga., June 1, 1864. Before organizing as a company its service was confined to Mississippi, scouting on the Mississippi River between Vicksburg and Natchez, and following Sherman's raid to Meridian and back. Upon the transfer of General Jackson's Cavalry from Mississippi to Georgia, Harvey accompanied Jackson, and on arriving at Cave Springs was promoted Captain and permitted to increase his command by receiving enlistments to a full company. It had been composed of about forty detailed men. From this time until the surrender, with varied fortunes the scouts watched the movements of the enemy around Atlanta, followed raids and made dashes on the railroad between Chattanooga and Atlanta, went into Tennessee with General Hood, returned to take part with General Forrest against the Wilson raid through Alabama, following the enemy to Columbus, Ga., where Captain Harvey was basely assassinated by a citizen of that place, and finally ceased the struggle upon the surrender of General Taylor." (Notes accompanying the final roll).

During the service in Mississippi Captain Harvey was wounded in an attack on the escort of a wagon train from Natchez. July 16, 1863, he and his men dashed into Jackson as Sherman's Corps moved out, and Col. John N. Cromwell, Forty-seventh Illinois, was killed in the fight that followed. Harvey reported the capture of twenty-eight men.

In his report of the Meridian campaign, Gen. W. H. Jackson wrote: "I beg leave to call the attention of Major-General Lee to the part performed by Lieutenant Harvey and his gallant band of forty scouts. He was everywhere doing good service; killed and captured of the enemy four times his own number. His daring, coolness and judgment eminently fit him for promotion and much larger command."

Colonel Starke wrote that Harvey brought to bear his usual undaunted courage, extraordinary energy and judgment. Harvey's command of twenty-three men was the only part of the Confederate Cavalry Corps that remained about Meridian while Sherman was destroying the military depots and railroads, and also alone attending the Federal army to Canton. He reported that his men occasioned a Union loss of about 130 killed and captured, and captured two wagons and forty-seven horses and mules. Among his own losses were John Graham killed, and Ruel M. Stancill wounded, of Starke's Regiment; and Private Tindall, Ballentine's Regiment, wounded and captured. James Renfrow and Thomas Field killed, and Private Pereau wounded, of Wirt Adams' Regiment.

Report of General McCook, Union army, June 26, 1864: "These men in the rear who have been doing the mischief near Tilton's belong to this division (Jackson's). They call them Harvey's Scouts."

 

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