Kizer’s Tennessee Cavalry Regiment

Colonel Thomas N. Kizer

Raised in West Tennessee 1863; merged into 21st (Wilson’s) Tennessee Cavalry Regiment February 5, 1864.

No muster roll, nor recognition by the Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office were found for this organization. A report from Brigadier General Gideon J. Pillow, Superintendent of Volunteer and Conscript Bureau, Department of Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi, dated October 23, 1863, listed the following commands as having been raised in West Tennessee under his orders:

Colonel Richardson’s             1500 strong
Colonel Bell’s                            600
Newsom’s                                 600
Wilson’s                                    300
Kiser’s                                      300
Total                                       3300 men,
all cavalry

“Every man of them has been brought from within the enemy lines, and raised by the work of this Bureau. These officers all now report to me.

Prisoner of war records also spoke of a Kaiser’s Regiment, which was evidently the same organization. W. I. Williams was mentioned as lieutenant colonel, but there is no record of either of these men having received commissions.

In the consolidation and reorganization of the cavalry troops in West Tennessee and North Mississippi ordered by General N. B. Forrest in February, 1864, Kizer’s and Franklin’s commands were thrown together and consolidated into full companies, and merged into the 21st (Wilson’s) Tennessee Cavalry, to which General Forrest appointed Andrew N. Wilson as colonel.

Thomas N. Kizer was subsequently Captain of a company of scouts, formed of former officers who were left without commands due to the consolidation of their organizations, which served as scouts for General Forrest. This company was officially recognized by the Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office as Kizer’s Company of Scouts, Tennessee Cavalry. The first mention found was on May 31, 1864, when General Forrest ordered: “Four companies of RusselUs Regiment, and Kizer’s Scouts will be kept at Corinth, Mississippi.” On December 2, Forrest ordered: “There are four regularly organized and recognized Companies of scouts for this command: Captain Henderson’s, Harvey’s, Kizer’s, and Cobb’s. None others will be recognized.” He went on to order that any others should report at once to their commands.

The last mention was on March 18, 1865, at Meridian, Mississippi: “Kizer’s Scouts report no enemy at Tuscumbia on the 14th but a force camped at Barton.” This was only about six weeks before Forrest’s surrender, and it is evident that Kizer’s Scouts were active with him until the end.

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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