Organized July 10, 1861; mustered into Confederate service August 10, 1861; consolidated with 11th Battalion May, 1862 to form 6th, also called 1st or 2nd (Wheeler's) Cavalry Regiment.
The battalion was organized at Camp Lee, Maury County, with five companies "A" to "E". It was mustered into Confederate service in August. Company "F" was added at Bowling Green, Kentucky, and, after the fall of Fort Donelson, Company "C" of the 9th Battalion was temporarily attached as Company "G", but later returned to the 9th Battalion. Lieutenant Colonel Jones resigned in October, and Major Cox was in command of the battalion until Captain Jacob B. Biffie was elected lieutenant colonel at Rock Castle, Kentucky, in December, 1861.
In a list of organizations accepted into Confederate Service issued by the Adjutant and Inspector General's Office at Richmond, Virginia on September 30, 1861, the 3rd Cavalry Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel S. H. Jones, was listed as part of General Felix K. Zollicoffer's forces. This was probably an error, as Captain James H. Lewis, later lieutenant colonel 6th Regiment, stated in Lindsley's Annals that the battalion moved first to Camp Trousdale, Sumner County, where Colonel J. C. Brown was in command of the post; and from there on September 17 to Bowling Green, Kentucky, being among the first troops to arrive at that point. On October 23, 1861, Major General William J. Hardee listed Major Cox's Battalion at Cave City, Kentucky, as one of the organizations in his command.
On October 24, Captain Biffie's Company was in a force commanded by Colonel R. D. Allison, 24th Tennessee Infantry, which made an attack from Cave City, Kentucky, on Federal Camp Joe Underwood, about 25 miles distant.
On October 28, in the organization of the Central Army of Kentucky, Colonel Helm's Kentucky Regiment, and Major Cox's Tennessee Cavalry Regiment were listed as part of Brigadier General Simon B. Buckner's Division. On October 30, Brigadier General T. C. Hindman, on evacuating Bowling Green, reported that he had left two companies of Phifer's Battalion to guard the sick and the stores, and ordered Malor Cox with his battalion to move to Bowling Green immediately.
On December 20, General Hardee assigned "General" Davis, of the Mississippi Volunteers to command of the fortifications at Bowling Green, and Biffie's Cavalry was assigned to his command. On January 31, 1862, the 2nd Tennessee Cavalry Battalion was listed in Brigadier General John C. Breckinridge's Brigade, of Buckner's Division. On February 23, 1862, at Murfreesboro, Biffie's Cavalry was listed as attached to Hardee's Division.
An inspection report, not dated, but evidently made early in 1862, signed by Captain Thomas Claiborne, C.S.A., stated: "150 or 200 men were on the Huntsville Railroad, encamped and engaged in scouting. About 125 were on parade. Horses look very well generally, a few were poor. Many men had no arms, about 125 guns are needed in the battalion. Clothing will be needed for all in two months. Some need it now. Drill is poor. The men suffer from diarrhea."
Colonel Lewis stated: "It participated in the Battle of Shiloh, and remained on part of the battlefield until the Thursday evening following the Monday of the last day's battle. *** It has been repeatedly stated, on what purports to be high Federal Authority, that our forces were driven entirely off the field on Monday by the Federals. This is not true." No record of the battalion's participation in the Battle of Shiloh was found in the Official Records.
In May, 1862, by order of General Bragg, the 2nd and 11th Tennessee Cavalry Battalions were consolidated to form what was first known as the First Tennessee Cavalry Regiment. On September 12, 1862, the Adjutant and Inspector Generals Office, in commenting on a report from General Bragg about changes in organization, stated; "It appears from the list that there has been a new cavalry regiment formed by uniting the 2nd and 11th Battalions and styled the First Regiment. As there are already the rolls of a First Regiment on file in this office, it will be necessary, to prevent confusion, to style this one the Sixth, by which it will be recognized in future."
Lieutenant Colonel Biffie was elected colonel of the new regiment; Wallace W. Gordon was assigned to duty as its lieutenant colonel, but resigned. Major William S. Hawkins, of the 11th Battalion was assigned as major. Major Cox, of the 2nd Battalion, resigned and organized a Battalion of Partisan Rangers known as Cox's Battalion, which later formed part of the 10th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment, of which Major Cox became colonel. Later references to Cox's Battalion should not be confused with the 2nd Tennessee Cavalry Battalion; which in the early days of the war was sometimes called Cox's Battalion.
The new regiment was later called 1st (James T. Wheeler's) Cavalry Regiment, but its official name was 6th (Wheeler's) Regiment.
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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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