Greer’s Tennessee Cavalry Regiment

Raised in West Tennessee, 1863; broken up and consolidated into other organizations February, 1864.

There were found no muster rolls, nor Adjutant and Inspector Generals Office recognition for this organization, and the information herein is from miscellaneous records, personal papers and prisoner of war rolls.

H. C. Greer had been originally Captain and Assistant Commissary of Subsistence, 3rd (Brazelton’s) Tennessee Cavalry Battalion which became a part of the 1st (Carter’s) Tennessee Cavalry Regiment. He resigned in June, 1862, and evidently went to West Tennessee and raised a band of Partisan Rangers, for a letter dated October 8, 1862, from Lieutenant Colonel G. B. Black, 55th Tennessee Infantry, stated: “Lieutenant Colonel H. C. Greer and Major T. L. Fletcher have a battalion of Partisan Rangers raised west of the Tennessee River, who have not been mustered into Confederate service, and whose operations have been confined principally to the valley of the Tennessee River. If this battalion was ordered across the river to remain there permanently, there would be a nucleus around which a recruiting force could rally. If Mims, Greer, and Fletcher were commissioned, they could swell the command to from 500 to 700 men in the Western District.”

A Federal report dated September 30, 1863, covering an expedition from Paducah, Kentucky to McLemoresville, Tennessee, September 20-30, stated; “Faulkner, Bell and Greer were at Paris, Tennessee, raiding to Murray, Kentucky. Forces about 800 men. Found their armed force only about 300 men, besides 200 to 300 conscripts, all well mounted. Also got information that Bell and Greer with the conscripts had crossed the Tennessee River.”

On October 28, 1863, Colonel R. V. Richardson reported: “There are now several new battalions and regiments forming in my district. Colonel Greer has a regiment now encamped near Egypt (Mississippi) of West Tennesseans, brought out since I came out. It was originally designed for my command, but as he has not yet reported to me, I presume he does not design to do so. He talks of returning to Tennessee.”

Evidently Greer did return to Tennessee, for on February 3, 1864, the Union officer commanding at Union City, reported: “My secret service man has returned this evening, and reported Colonel Greer, with 100 men, in the northern part of Henry County.”

About 200 prisoner of war records were found, showing captures in West Tennessee during the fall of 1863, and early 1864, which listed their command as Greer’s or Grier’s Battalion or Regiment.

In February, 1864, Major General N. B. Forrest consolidated the fragments of various irregular organizations which had escaped from West Tennessee into North Mississippi into new organizations, and appointed field officers to command them. The records of Russell’s 20th (also called 15th) Tennessee Cavalry Regiment show that it was organized February 15, 1864, and that H. C. Greer was appointed lieutenant colonel by General Forrest. Individual service records of a number of men in that organization show that they were enlisted by Colonel Greer, so it is evident that Greer’s force was merged into this 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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