Organized December 16, 1862 by the addition of two companies to the 13th (McKenzie’s) Tennessee Cavalry Battalion, which was originally 1st (Rogers’) East Tennessee Cavalry Regiment, paroled as part of General Joseph E. Johnston’s Army at Greensboro, North Carolina May 1865.
In October and December, 1862, two independent companies of cavalry were ordered by General Bragg to report to the 13th (McKenzie’s) Tennessee Cavalry Battalion, and on December 16, 1862, by order of the Secretary of War, the battalion was raised to a regiment, and officially designated as the 5th (McKenzie’s) Tennessee Cavalry Regiment.
- Colonel-George W. McKenzie, formerly Lieutenant Colonel, 13th Battalion.
- Lieutenant Colonel-John G. M. Montgomery, formerly Major, 13th Battalion.
- Major-J. L. Blackwell, formerly Captain Co. “A”, 13th Battalion.
- J. L. Blackwell (to Major), A. J. Reagan, Co. “A”. Originally “F” 1st (Rogers’) then “F”, later “A”, 13th Battalion.
- James M. Kincaid, John Blyfhe, Co. “B”. Originally “H” 1st (Rogers’), then “H”, later “B”, 13th Battalion.
- W. O. Martin, D. C. Blevins, Co. “C”. Originally “B”, 1st (Rogers’), then “B”, later ‘C”, 13th Battalion.
- A. W. Beagles, Co. “D”. Originally Co. “I” 1st (Rogers’), then “L”, later “D”, 13th Battalion.
- Thad. M. Carder, Co. “E”. Originally “D”, 1st (Rogers’), then “D”, later “E”, 13th Battalion.
- Thomas Gorman, A. L. Mims, Co. “F”. Originally “E”, 1st (Rogers’), then “E” later “F”, 13th Battalion.
- John W. Graham, Co. “G”. Originally “K”, 1st (Rogers’), then “K”, later “G”, 13th Battalion.
- William W. Mullendore, Co. “H”. Originally “G”, 1st (Rogers’), then “G”, later “II”, 13th Battalion.
- William W. Lillard, Co. “I”. Organized July 19, 1862 at Shiloh, Hawkins County; men from Meigs and Hamilton Counties. Ordered to 13th Battalion as Co. “I”, October 9, 1862.
- Dewitt C. Ghormley, Co. “K”. Organized July 4, 1862 at Maryville, Blount County. Originally “F”, Thomas’ North Carolina Legion. Ordered to 13th Battalion in December 1862, when it was raised to a regiment.
On November 20, 1862, in a report of the forces in East Tennessee, the 5th Tennessee was listed as unattached, with an estimated strength of 300 men. On December 27, just after the organization of the regiment it was reported in Scott County. A regimental report dated March 14, 1864 at Tunnel Hill, Georgia, gave the following account of its activities up until that time “We were kept on duty in East Tennessee and the border counties of Kentncky until July 25, 1863, when we were ordered by Colonel Scott (our Brigade Commander) to proceed into Kentucky, participating in the fight at Richmond, Kentucky, July 27. We moved on immediately and reached Paris, Kentucky, the following evening, where we were repulsed and cut off from the brigade, and did not come up with the brigade again until we reached Tennessee. At the evacuation of East Tennessee August 20, we brought up the rear of General Buckner’s Army. We had a fight with the enemy at Loudon, and held them in check until the bridge was burned. We followed after the army, and fought the enemy at Ringgold, Georgia, on September 11, 1863. We had several skirmishes during the following days preceding the Chickamauga Battle. We participated in that fight the 19th and 20th September. On the 24th, we were ordered under General Forrest into East Tennessee, driving the enemy hack as far as Philadelphia. We were then ordered to Cottonport and crossed the Tennessee River October 1, participating in the fray at McMinnville, and had a very severe fight in Shelbyville on the 7th October. We recrossed the Tennessee River at Courtland on 11 October, and moved up to Dalton, and thence back to East Tennessee and participated in the fight at Philadelphia under Colonel Morrison, and then back to Dalton, and were engaged with the enemy at the time of their advance on Dalton February 25, 1864, and are now encamped near Tunnel Hill, Georgia.”
During this period the regiment was reported in Colonel John B. Palmer’s Brigade at Big Creek Gap on February 20, and March 19, 1863. On April 25, it was reported in Colonel J. S. Scott’s Brigade, which was on outpost and special duty. In Scott’s Brigade at the time of the expedition into Kentucky on July 25, were the lOth Confederate Cavalry, 1st Louisiana, 2nd (Ashby’s), 5th (McKenzie’s) Tennessee Regiments, the 5th North Carolina Battalion, and MarshalFs Battery. At Chickamauga, Scott’s Brigade was in Brigadier General John Pegram’s Division, and was composed of a detachment of John H. Morgan’s Command, 1st Louisiana, 2nd, 5th Tennessee Regiments and Robinson’s Louisiana Battery. The 5th reported 16 casualties. The attack on Philadelphia under Colonel Morrison was made by Morrison’s and Dibrell’s Brigades on October 20, and the 5th had been detached from its own brigade for this expedition.
At Dalton November 19, 1863 Brigadier General W. Y. C. Humes was given command of a brigade in Major General Joseph Wheeler’s Cavalry Corps composed of James T. Wheeler’s, James E. Carter’s, Ashby’s, Baxter Smith’s, and McKenzie’s Regiments. All of the brigade except McKenzie’s Regiment was reported as serving at the time with Lieutenant General James Longstreet in East Tennessee, as part of Brigadier General Frank C. Armstrong’s Division. On December 31, the regiment was reported in Brigadier General H. B. Davidson’s Brigade, of Major General John A. Wharton’s Division. This brigade was reported as consisting of Wheeler’s, Ashby’s, Baxter Smith’s, and McKenzie’s Regiments, the first three having returned from Longstreet’s East Tennessee campaign. By April 30, Humes had been given command of a division, and Colonel James T. Wheeler was in command of the brigade in Humes’ Division with the same members, plus the 9th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion, under Major Akin. By June 30, Colonel Henry M. Ashby had been given command of the brigade, and it was known from this time on as Ashby’s Brigade.
In General Wheeler’s report of the fighting around La Grange) and Newnan, Georgia in late July, 1864, he makes mention of Ashby’s Brigade as being engaged, and states he sent Colonel McKenzie, with his own and the 3rd Arkansas Regiments “to gain the front of the enemy moving toward Franklin,” and that McKenzie captured 200 or 300 prisoners.
A report from Co. “A” dated at Hardeeville, South Carolina December 31, 1864, stated only: “This company has been in every general engagement of General Wheeler’s command since the last muster.” Co. “B” gave a more detailed report of its movements during November-December 1864: “Leaving Cads-den, Alabama November 1864, marching by way of Talladega, Alabama to La Grange, Georgia, thence to Griffin, Georgia; learning there that the enemy was making a road in the direction of Macon, Georgia, we moved there, remaining one day. From there to Dublin, to Millen, Georgia. Engaged enemy November 28 near Buckhead Church. Engaged December 4 near Waynesboro, Georgia. From thence, marched in direction of Savannah, from thence crossing the Savannah River to South Carolina, scouting and picketing near ‘Hardyville,’ South Carolina.”
On January 31, 1865, Ashby’s Brigade, with the same members, was reported in Lieutenant General Hardee’s Department of South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia. On Februarv 2, the 5th was reported as the only regiment at the headquarters of Humes’ Division. On February 8, Major General C. L. Stevenson stated; “The 5th Tennessee Cavalry, now at Branchville, South Carolina, is subject to my orders. Hold them there for the present so as to cover a movement of Cummings’ Brigade should it be necessary to retire from the river.” On March 6, Brigadier General Robertson wrote: “Express to Captain Lillard and his gallant Tennesseans my thanks for their handsome behavior yesterday.” On March 8, a detachment of the 5th under Lieutenant Colonel Montgomery was driven back by Sherman’s advance cavalry at the bridge over the Lumber River.
On April 9, 1865, in the Organization List of General Joseph E. Johnston’s Army in North Carolina, McKenzie’s Regiment was listed as a part of Lieutenant General Wade Hampton’s Cavalry Corps.
As part of Hampton’s Cavalry Corps, the 5th was included in the terms of the convention which General Johnston made with General Sherman for the parole of his forces on April 26, 1865 at Greensboro, North Carolina.
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.