6th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion

Also called 1st TennesseeĀ Cavalry Battalion

Organized July 25, 1861; transferred to Confederate service August, 1861; merged into 7th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment April, 1862.


  • Lieutenant Colonel-Thomas H. Logwood
  • Major-Charles H. Hill

The six companies composing this battalion were organized during May and June, 1861, and transferred to Confederate service in August at New Madrid, Missouri. They were as follows:


  • Thomas H. Logwood, (to Lieutenant Colonel), William F. Taylor, Co. “A”.”The Memphis Light Dragoons”. Organized in 1860 under charter by act of the Legislature. Mustered into Confederate service May 16, 1861. Became Company “A”, 7th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment.
  • James I. Neely, Co. “B”. “The Hardeman Avengers”. Became Company “E”, 7th Regiment.
  • Charles H. Hill (to Major), John U. Green, Co. “C”. “Hill’s Cavalry”. Men from Haywood, Fayette and Tipton Counties. Became Company “B”, 7th Regiment.
  • Robert W. Haywood, Co. “D”. “The Haywood Rangers”. Became Company “D”, 7th Regiment.
  • J. S. White, Co. “E”. “The Tennessee Mounted Rifles”. Men from Shelby County. Disbanded prior to organization of 7th Regiment. Nathan Bedford Forrest began his career as a private in this company.
  • I. G. Ballentine, Co. “F”. “The Shelby Light Dragoons. Became Company “C”, 7th Regiment.

Evidently there was some question about the election of field officers, of which the details are not known, for on September 7, 1861, at Columbus, Kentucky, Major General Leonidas Polk ordered: “The six companies Tennessee Cavalry, Captains Logwood, White, Neely, Haywood, Hill, and Ballentine, and two companies Alabama Cavalry, commanded by Captains Bowen and Faulkner, will be organized into a battalion by the election of a Major and Lieutenant Colonel; the election for Field Officers of the Tennessee Battalion having been suspended by appeal, and the necessity of the public service demanding a battalion organization, this organization becomes a necessity.”

On October 24, General Polk ordered: “Lieutenant Colonel Logwood’s Tennessee Cavalry Battalion is attached to, and will form part of the 1st Division.” This Division was commanded by Brigadier General Gideon J. Pillow. On the same date, Polk ordered: “Captain Robert Haywood’s, J. J. Neely’s, and C. S. Hudson’s Companies of Cavalry will form part of the 3rd Division.” Haywood’s and Neely’s Companies were supposed to be part of Logwood’s Battalion, and the reason for the separation is not known.

At the Battle of Belmont, November 7, 1861, Lieutenant Colonel Logwood took a squadron of two companies across the river from Columbus in the morning. Later Major General Polk took Cheatham’s Brigade of Infantry, and Captain White’s company of Lieutenant Colonel Logwood’s Battalion and proceeded across the river. Captain Taylor’s Company of Logwood’s Battalion was mentioned as among the troops pursuing the enemy up the river.

In January, 1862, the 6th Tennessee Battalion was reported in the 3rd Division of Polk’s Army, at Paris, Tennessee, and Haywood’s and Neely’s Companies were still reported as at Columbus, Kentucky. In February, 1862, Haywood’s and Neely’s Companies were reported in Brigadier General John P. McCown’s forces at New Madrid, Missouri and Island Number Ten. On March 9, Logwood’s Battalion was listed as unattached, and on March 15, in instructions sent to McCown as to the possible evacuation of Tiptonville, he was authorized to leave with General Walker one company of cavalry. “The other companies, including the squadron of Logwood’s Battalion will be sent to Fort Pillow.” This squadron was evidently Haywood’s and Neely’s companies, for when General McCown moved to Fort Pillow on March 18, he reported Neely’s and Haywood’s companies among the troops he took with him.

A Federal report described an attack on Colonel Pickett’s 21st Infantry Regiment and a regiment of cavalry commanded by Colonel Jackson at Union City, Tennessee on March 31. This was evidently while the 7th Cavafry Regiment under Colonel William H. Jackson was in process of organization. On April 7, at Trenton, Colonel Jackson reported, “Neely’s Company arrived to-day; Haywood’s Company has not yet arrived.”

In the meantime, General A. S. Johnston had sent Lieutenant Colonel Logwood to Richmond, with a view to organizing a regiment of mounted infantry, armed with the lance, and so ended his connection with the battalion.

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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