3rd Tennessee Cavalry Battalion

Also called 2nd Tennessee Cavalry Battalion, 5th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion

Organized August, 1861 as 12 months organization; reorganized May 12, 1862 as 14th (Carter’s) Battalion; formed part of 1st (Carter’s) Tennessee Cavalry Regiment November 14, 1862.


  • Lieutenant Colonel-William Brazelton, Jr.
  • Major-James C. Bradford


  • J. A. Gouldy, Co. “A”. Men mostly from McMinn County.
  • Burt Lenty, Co. “B”. Men mostly from Rhea County.
  • William Snow, Co. “C”. Men mostly from Hamilton County.
  • John Robertson, Co. “D”. Men mostly from Union and Knox Counties.
  • Tim Bradley, Co. “E”. Men mostly from Rhea and Bledsoe Counties.
  • Charlie Baker, W. T. Gass, Co. ‘T”. Men mostly from Jefferson County.

Changes in company letters were made when the battalion was reorganized as the 14th Battalion, and again when reorganized as 1st (Carter’s) Regiment. See the history of the regiment for these changes.

On September 15, 1861, General Felix K. Zollicoffer, in listing the forces available to him estimated the 3rd Battalion at 500 present for duty, 560 present, and a total of 600 present and absent. However on September 24, at Camp Buckner, the 3rd reported 176 present for duty, 178 present, and 188 present and absent.

On September 30, in a list of organizations accepted into Confederate service issued by the Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office, Brazelton’s Battalion was listed as the 2nd Battalion. On the same date, Zollicoffer reported that the commands of Colonel Cummings and Lieutenant Colonel Brazelton had made an expedition to the salt works in Clay County, Kentucky, and returned with 200 barrels of salt.

On October 16, General Zollicoffer at Camp Buckner ordered Lieutenant Colonel Brazelton, with 280 of his battalion, to march as part of an expedition towards Barbourville and London, Kentucky. On October 17, Colonel W. B. Wood, commanding the post at Knoxville, Tennessee reported that he had ordered Captain Gass’s Company to join Major Bridgman’s command at Jamestown; that he had sent ammunition to Gass and supplied him with $350. to buy subsistence, forage, etc.; that clothing and shoes had been obtained for both Gass’s and Snow’s Companies. Captain W. T. Gass had by this time succeeded Captain Bradley as Captain of Company “F”. The Major Bridgman referred to was of the 4th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion.

On October 21, Wood reported that there would be at Jamestown by the 25th three companies MeLellan’s Battalion, two companies under Major Bridgman and Captains Snow’s and Gass’s Companies.

On November 26, at Cumberland Gap, the battalion reported 19 officers, 281 men present for duty. On December 31, the battalion was reported at Beech Grove, Kentucky, where on January 7, 1862, two companies reported six officers, 133 men present for duty.

General George B. Crittenden, in his report of the battle of Fishing Creek, stated that the 3rd Battalion was on the South side of the river at Mill Springs on January 17, and no record was found of its crossing the river and engaging in the battle.

On January 21, the battalion was back at Cumberland Gap, where it reported 12 officers, 207 men present for duty, with a total of 283 present and absent. A report on the condition of the troops in the District of East Tennessee dated April 24, 1862, listed the 3rd Battalion as “partly and badly armed with shotguns.” On May 31, the 3rd Battalion was reported in Brigadier General Carter L. Stevenson’s Brigade, with Captain W. S. Greer’s Company (unattached). On June 30, in the same brigade, it was listed as the 3rd (14th) Battalion, under Lieutenant Colonel J. E. Carter, with Greer’s Company, still un attached. This was the last record as a battalion, for it was next reported as Colonel J. E. Carter’s Cavalry Regiment in Brigadier General Pegram’s 2nd Cavafry Brigade. For further history of the organization see the history of the 1st (Carter’s) Tennessee Cavalry Regiment.

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.

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