Also called 20th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment
Organized in spring of 1864; consolidated about March, 1865 with 14th (Neely’s), 15th (Stewart’s) and 21st (N. W. Carter’s) to form Nixon’s Consolidated Regiment; paroled at Gainesville, Alabama, May, 1865.
Colonel George H. Nixon had formerly been colonel of the 48th (Nixon’s) Tennessee Infantry Regiment. After the Battle of Chickamauga, September, 1863, this regiment was placed in a field consolidation with the 35th (Hill’s) Tennessee Infantry, and Colonel Nixon, Lieutenant Colonel Hughs, and other officers of the 48th, placed on the supernumerary list. They were directed by the Secretary of War to raise within the enemy lines in Tennessee a command of cavalry. The command so raised never received official designation by the Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office, but was known in the field as the 20th, the 22nd, or as Nixon’s Regiment. No muster rolls, regimental returns, nor rosters of the regiment were found, but the regiment was first mentioned in the Official Records in March, 1864. Parole records, prisoner of war records, etc. show that Colonel George H. Nixon was the colonel; T. R. Hughs, formerly of the 48th Infantry, lieutenant colonel; and Captain Calvin Gilbert in command of the regiment March 15, 1865.
Colonel Nixon, in a sketch in Lindsley’s Annals, stated that he established headquarters at Lamb’s Ferry on the Tennessee River, where he was joined by Captain Thomas H. Paine, with a company which he had organized and brought out of Middle Tennessee, mainly from Lawrence County. This company formed the nucleus of the regiment, and camp was established on the south side of the river, near Muscle Shoals.
Colonel Nixon listed Thomas H. Paine, Lewis Miller, O. T. Plummer, James R. Voss, George P. H. Craig, and John W. Benham as being captains in his regiment, and miscellaneous records showed a James Stewart as commanding a company, also a Captain F. P. Scot, but no other record of the companies composing the regiment was found. Paine and Miller were from Lawrence County. Individual records showed men from Lawrence, Wayne, Giles, Marshall and Maury Counties, Tennessee, and some from Mississippi.
On March 26, 1864, Senator R. W. Walker, of Alabama, writing to General Gideon I. Pillow about the situation in North Alabama, wrote: “Colonel Nixon, of Lawrenceburg, said to be a good officer, has a new battalion, numbering about 150 or 200 men, somewhere in the valley.” Lieutenant Colonel T. R. Hughs was captured May 28, 1864 in a skirmish with Federal troops near Moulton, Alabama, and remained a prisoner until the end of the war. On July 12, 1864, a Federal report of a scout in Morgan (Alabama) and Lawrence (Tennessee) Counties, reported Nixon’s Regiment, about 250 or 300 strong, at Pond Spring, Alabama. Two weeks later, on July 26, a Federal report of a skirmish on Big Name Creek, near Courtland, Alabama, named Nixon’s Regiment as part of the Confederate forces engaged, and said a Colonel Carter was also expected to join them with 200 men. This was Colonel Nathan W. Carter, with a new regiment, the 21st Tennessee Cavalry (q.v.), in process of organization.
On September 20, General Joseph Wheeler, at Tuscumbia, Alabama, ordered: “The following troops of this corps will immediately report to Major General Forrest and accompany him on his expedition into Middle Tennessee: Colonel McLemore, with the 4th Tennessee, Colonel Nixon, with Nixon’s Regiment, and Colonel Biffie, commanding a Brigade of Tennessee Troops.” In obedience to this order, the regiment joined General Forrest in time to take part in the capture of Athens, Alabama on September 24. In Forrest’s report of this action, he wrote: “I ordered Colonel Carter and Colonel Nixon with their respective commands, (about 150 men each) to move rapidly to the relief of Colonel Wilson. They did so, and after a short engagement the re-enforcements surrendered and marched up just in time to see the garrison march out of the fort and stack their arms. ****The prisoners and captured property were immediately started for Cherokee under the command of Colonel Nixon.”
During November and December, 1864, Nixon’s regiment was in Colonel (later Brigadier General) T. H. Bell’s Brigade, of Forrest’s command, in the invasion of Tennessee by. General Hood, ending with the Battles of Franklin and of Nashville. After the termination of this campaign, Forrest’s forces withdrew into Mississippi, where on February 13, 1865, General Forrest ordered all the Tennessee troops in his command to report to Brigadier General W. H. Jackson at Verona, Mississippi, for consolidation into six regiments. Nixon’s Regiment was one of those specifically named in the order. A regimental roster dated March 15, 1865, at West Point, Mississippi, Captain Gilbert commanding, gave a list of deserters on the march from Verona, Mississippi to West Point.
Soon after this, Nixon’s Regiment was consolidated with the 14th (Neely’s), 15th (Stewart’s-Logwood’s) and 21st (N. W. Carter’s) Regiments to form Nixon’s Consolidated Regiment. Captain Zillman Voss, of the 14th, and Captain Newt I. Vaughn, of Nathan W. Carter’s Regiment commanded companies in the consolidated regiment.
FIELD OFFICERS of the consolidated regiment were:
- Colonel-George H. Nixon
- Lieutenant Colonel-Thomas H. Logwood
- Major-James M. Crews
The regiment was placed in Brigadier General A. W. Campbell’s Brigade.
Colonel Nixon stated the regiment had an engagement with two regiments of Federal cavalry, and drove them across the Cahaba River, near Centreville, Alabama, shortly before the surrender and parole of the regiment at Gainesville, Alabama in May, 1865. Colonel Nixon himself was in command of Colonel E. W. Rucker’s Brigade until shortly before the surrender, Colonel Rucker having been wounded and captured at Nashville on December 16, 1864.
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.