Muster in at Nashville, 1863-1864; mustered out at Nashville, August 1, 1865.
Recruiting for the regiment was begun in August, 1863, and the companies were partially mustered before the dates shown, which are the dates on which each company was considered complete.
This regiment should not be confused with the 10th East Tennessee Cavalry Regiment which was reported on December 31, 1863. The 10th East Tennessee was an incomplete organization which was merged into the 8th Tennessee in February 1864. On April 30, 1864, the 10th Tennessee was assigned to Lieutenant Colonel George Spalding's 2nd Brigade, Brigadier General Alvan C. Gillem's 4th Division, Cavalry Corps, Department of the Cumberland.
Co. "A" was detached from the regiment April 26, 1864, and assigned to duty at Springfield, Tennessee, where it remained until General Gillem led an expedition to East Tennessee in August, 1864. Co. "A" of the 10th served as escort company for General Gillem during his campaigns in East Tennessee and Virginia during the fall of 1864 and the spring of 1865. It was the only company from the regiment which went with General Gillem. Of the engagement at Blue Springs, Tennessee, on August 23, 1864, General Gillem reported: "Co. "A", 10th Tennessee Cavalry, under Captains Kerner and Hambright, fought on foot until the enemy gave way. They then mounted and charged most gallantly. Captain Kerner, it is feared, was mortally wounded."
Co. "F", under Captain Russ B. Davis, made a scout through Hickman and Maury Counties, May 2-10, 1864, and was then placed on detached service at McMinnville. Co. "G" was detached immediately after organization and assigned to duty on the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad.
Co. "I" was on detached service on the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad during April and May, 1864, and then rejoined the regiment.
Co. "L" was also stationed on the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad.
Co. "M" was organized in October 1864 from unassigned recruits, and served as Provost Guard, and Escort Company, at Headquarters, 1st Brigade, 5th Division, Cavalry Corps, Military Division of Mississippi, during the campaign preceding and following the battle of Nashville.
On May 31, 1864, the regiment was still in Spalding's Brigade, with headquarters at Tullahoma. On August 31, some detachments were still on the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad, but the brigade, under Lieutenant Colonel Clift, was reported in Spalding's 4th Division, in the District of Northern Alabama, under Brigadier General R. S. Granger. On August 26, General Granger had ordered the 10th and 12th Tennessee Cavalry to Decherd, in the attempt to cut off Confederate Major General Joseph Wheeler, who was raiding Federal communication lines in Middle Tennessee. Major General Robert H. Milroy, Commanding Defenses Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, with Headquarters at Tullahoma, on August 29, pressed into service the 10th Tennessee as part of an improvised force which he led from Tullahoma to Murfreesboro, Triune, and Pulaski in engagements which prevented Brigadier General John S. Williams from breaking through the line of communications and rejoining General Wheeler. At Pulaski, on September 7, he released the 10th and 12th Tennessee, under Colonel Spalding, to join Brigadier General Lovell H. Rousseau in the pursuit of General Wheeler.
At the time of Confederate Major General Nathan B. Forrest's raid beginning with the capture of Athens, Alabama, on September 24, Colonel Spalding reported that the 10th and 12th Tennessee, under his command, were in the saddle eight days and nights, and traveled 230 miles, with frequent skirmishes, the chief of which were at the Elk River Bridge on September 25, at Sulphur Branch and near Pulaski on the 26th. In this campaign he reported 47 casualties for the two regiments. On September 30 1864, the 10th, under Captain D. W. Baker, was reported at Pulaski, where Brigadier General J. C. Starkweather was in command of the post.
As General John B. Hood's Confederate Army moved up into North Alabama, Major General George H. Thomas on October 13 advised Brigadier General John T. Croxton, Commanding 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, that he had ordered the 10th and 12th Tennessee to be mounted from horses used by General Steedman's men, and report to Croxton, then ten miles northeast of Florence, to assist him in guarding the north bank of the Tennessee River, to prevent Hood's Army from crossing. On November 5, General Croxton reported the 10th and 12th were at Bough's Factory, near Lexington, Alabama, in the attempt to hold Hood at Florence. At the same time, Brigadier General Edward Hatch was assigned to command the cavalry forces in the area.
On November 10, 1864, Major General James H. Wilson, Chief of Cavalry, Military Division of the Mississippi, ordered the 10th and 12th transferred from the 7th (originally 4th) Cavalry Division to the 5th Division, with orders to report to Brigadier General Hatch, who would assign them to brigades, and send their dismounted men to Nashville for remounts. On November 17, Hatch, near Bough's Mills, reported the 10th and 12th were nearly dismounted, and that he would send the dismounted men to Nashville.
From November 22 through 26, there was a rapid exchange of correspondence between Assistant Adjutant General E. B. Beaumont, at Nashville, and Major General Wilson, at Columbia, the result of which was that Beaumont arrested Lieutenant Colonel Bridges, of the 10th Tennessee, for neglect of duty, and got 370 men from the 10th Tennessee started to join Wilson, along with other detachments under Colonel I. Garrard, of the 7th Ohio Cavalry.
On November 28, the 10th was assigned to Colonel Robert R. Stewart's 1st Brigade, of the 5th Division, under General Hatch. On the 29th, the 10th was ordered to return to Nashville, and instructed to march at 5:30 a.m. November 30, for Nolensville, to watch the movements of the enemy in that vicinity. Captain Davis, at the time, was in command.
In the battle of Nashville, Hatch's Division was engaged on the Charlotte and Harding Pikes on the 15th. Major William P. Story commanded the 10th, and was mortally wounded in the last charge of the day. Major James T. Anderson succeeded to command. On the 16th, the division was first engaged on the Hillsboro Pike; then on the Franklin Pike on the 17th; and joined in the pursuit of Hood's Army through Pulaski to Lexington, Alabama, where it broke off the pursuit on December 27, 1864. The regiment suffered 35 casualties during this campaign. General Hatch reported: "Captain Davis, 10th Tennessee Cavalry, behaved with great gallantry."
On February 3, 1865, the regiment was transferred to the 7th Cavalry Division, with headquarters at Gravelly Springs, Alabama. Colonel Stewart, commanding the brigade, was instructed to completely mount the 10th Regiment with horses from the 5th Division, before making the transfer. It was first assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 7th Division, but soon transferred to the 1st Brigade.
On February 8, 1865, Brigadier General R. W. Johnson, Commanding 6th Division, at Fayetteville, Tennessee, reported: "The troops under my command have killed 18 guerrillas and captured 12, since my arrival here, not counting a number of men belonging to the 10th and 12th Tennessee Cavalry Regiments, (U.S.A.) who had deserted and become guerrillas of the worst type, who have been captured and forwarded to their regiments."
On March 17, 1865 the 10th was ordered to the Post of Natchez, Mississippi, where Brigadier General John W. Davidson was in command. On April 20, General Davidson ordered two companies of the 10th to Rodney, Mississppi, to break up gangs of thieves and "jayhawkers" in the area, and guard against any crossing of the Mississippi River from the opposite side. One of these was Co. "F", but the identity of the other company is not known. On May 3, when there were rumors that President Jefferson Davis might attempt to escape across the Mississippi River, General Davidson complained that he had no cavalry fit for patrol and scouting duty, as the 10th Tennessee was practically dismounted, with over 100 unserviceable horses. On the 18th, in a report of the forces under his command, he listed: "10th Tennessee Cavalry (in miserable condition, no horses, recommend be mustered out) 250 eftectives.
On May 25, 1865 the regiment was relieved from duty at Natchez and Rodney, and ordered to report to Nashville. On arrival, it was ordered, on June 10, to report to Lieutenant Colonel Miner, Commanding Cavalry Depot at Edgefield. On June 13, the regiment was ordered to Johnsonville, for garrison duty; and on August 1, 1865 was mustered out of service.
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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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