17th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion

Organized September 15, 1862; consolidated with 17th Mississippi Cavalry Battalion to form 9th Mississippi Cavalry Regiment in December 1864. This battalion was composed of only three companies, one of which, Company “A”, was composed principally of Tennesseans. The other two were Mississippi companies.


  • Major-Edward I. Sanders


  • Edward I. Sanders, Co. “A”. “Confederate Rangers”. Organized April 26, 1862 at Memphis. Some individual records show enlistments as early as September 9, 1861. Became Thomas C. Flournoy’s Company, 9th Mississippi Cavalry Regiment.
  • L. E. Hill, T. C. Brown, Co. “B”. “The Chickasaw Mounted Guards”. Organized March 20, 1862 at Okolona, Mississippi. Became Company “E”, 9th Mississippi Cavalry Regiment.
  • P. A. Mann, James C. Brock, Co. “C”, formerly called “B”. Organized May 1, 1862 at Aberdeen, Mississippi. Became Company “F”, 9th Mississippi Cavalry Regiment.
  • Companies “B” and “C” were illegally mustered into the 12th Mississippi Cavalry Battalion in August 1863, but were ordered returned to Major Sanders by Major General Stephen D. Lee. When they returned to the battalion, their Company letters were reversed.

On organization of the battalion, Captain Edward J. Sanders became Major. The report from Company “B” dated October 31, 1862 stated: “This company was in battle at Courtland, Denmark, Iuka. Engaged at Iuka and Burnsville six times; at Corinth, engaged both days on the left wing. Was in the rear in the retreat from Iuka, and skirmished with the enemy for nine miles.” Company “C” reported its company papers lost in the retreat from Corinth.

On July 13, 1862, Brigadier General Frank C. Armstrong, Commanding Cavalry Brigade, Army of the West, reported: “Captain Sanders’ Company encamped near Verona, but is now scouting Northward from Marietta.” On July 19, Sanders’ and Hill’s Companies were reported with General Armstrong at Fulton, Mississippi.

On August 28, Brigadier General Lewis Henry Little, Commanding Division, ordered: “You will order Captain E. I. Sanders to move Northward immediately with his company and Captain Mann’s Partisan Rangers for the purpose of ascertaining the position and movements of the enemy between the Mississippi and Ohio Railroad and Tuscumbia, Alabama. These companies are now at Bay Springs.”

On September 5, General Armstrong, at La Grange, Tennessee, in the midst of his raid into West Tennessee, inquired if Sanders’ Company could not be sent to him at Ripley, Mississippi.

On January 20, 1863, Sanders’ Battalion, Baxter’s Scouts, and a company of regulars constituted the reserve at the Headquarters of the Cavalry Corps of the Department of Mississippi and Louisiana at Grenada, Mississippi.

In March and April, as part of Armstrong’s Brigade, the battalion was with Forrest on his operations in Middle Tennessee as part of Van Dorn’s Corps, participating in the attack on Thompson Station March 5; the capture of the 22nd Wisconsin Infantry at Brentwood, March 25; and the engagement at Franklin April 10. At Thompson Station, the battalion reported seven killed, including Captain L. E. Hill, and 14 wounded.

On October 2, 1863, Major General Stephen D. Lee, at New Albany, Mississippi, ordered: “Brigadier General S. W. Ferguson, with the following portions of his command will move at once to the vicinity of Cherry Creek, and there await further orders: 2nd Alabama, 56th Alabama, Barteau’s Tennessee Regiment, Sanders’ Battalion, and Owen’s Battery.” This was in preparation for another expedition into Tennessee.

The last record of the battalion dated November 20, 1863, reported it in Ferguson’s Brigade, composed of 2nd and 56th Alabama Regiments, 12th Mississippi Battalion, Sanders’ Tennessee Battalion, 2nd, or 22nd,(Barteau’s) Tennessee Regiment and Owens’Arkansas Battery.

This unit history was extracted from Tennesseans in the Civil War, Vol 1. Copyrighted 1964 by the Civil War Centennial Commission of Tennessee and is published here with their permission. This history may not be republished for any reason without the written permission of the copyright owner.

Comments are closed.