Organization begun in August 1863; 11th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment merged into regiment March 24, 1864; mustered out at Knoxville, September 11, 1865.
Some of the officers shown had served with the 11th Tennessee Cavalry until the merger was effected on March 24, 1865.
The first mention of this regiment in the Official Records was in a note dated July 25, 1863, to Brigadier General W. S. Rosecrans with regard to a set of plans of the defenses of Mobile drawn up by Captain T. H. Bunch. The note stated that Bunch had been seized in East Tennessee, while trying to reach the Federal lines, and conscripted into an Alabama Confederate regiment which served for a while at Mobile, but was later transferred to General Braxton Bragg's army. When Bragg retreated from Tullahoma, Bunch managed to escape, and promptly raised a company for the 9th Tennessee Cavalry, U. S. A.
On August 15, 1863, Colonel John F. DeCourcy was ordered to organize a brigade at Camp Nelson, Kentucky, and report to Major General I. G. Parke, Commanding IX Army Corps. Colonel Parsons' 9th East Tennessee Cavalry was assigned to the brigade. On August 24, at Crab Orchard, Kentucky, Colonel DeCourcy reported: "The 9th and 11th Tennessee Cavalry joined today." Colonel DeCourcy was at the time enroute to Cumberland Gap, where he arrived on September 8, and took part in the operation resulting in the capture of Cumberland Gap on September 9, 1863.
On October 1, 1863, Secretary of War Stanton was advised: "Colonel Parsons' 9th Tennessee Cavalry, 800 strong, at Camp Nelson, has neither arms nor horses, and is ordered forward. General Burnside gave them orders for horses and arms, but they are not here." On October 5, 1863, Colonel W. C. Lemert, at Cumberland Gap, reported: "Colonel Parsons is anxious to move his regiment to East Tennessee to recruit." On November 18, 1863, it was reported: "The Sevierville road is strongly guarded by a detachment of the 9th Tennessee Cavalry about 332' miles from the bridge."
No further reports on the regiment were found until April 30, 1864, when the 9th, along with the 8th, and 13th Tennessee Cavalry Regiments, were assigned to Colonel John K. Miller's 3rd Brigade, of Brigadier General Alvan C. Gillem's 4th Division, Cavalry Corps, Department of the Cumberland. This brigade was assigned to duty guarding the railroads in the Middle Tennesseee area. On May 31, 1864 it was reported at Gallatin where it remained until August 4, 1864. At that time, General Gillem, with the 9th and 13th regiments, started on a march of 128 miles to Strawberry Plains, in East Tennessee, where they arrived on August 18. The 8th regiment rejoined the brigade in October. General Gillem reported seven companies of the 9th Tennessee, under Lieutenant Colonel Brownlow, took part in a fight at Blue Springs on August 23, 1864, with Confederate General John H. Morgan's old brigade under Colonel Giltner, in which the Confederates were put to flight. He stated: "The 9th and 13th regiments are improving rapidly, and require but little more experience to make them excellent soldiers." On August 31, 1864, the 9th was reported at Bull's Gap, Tennessee.
For the next several months the regiment, as part of Gillem's Division, took part in the fighting in East Tennessee: on September 4, at Greeneville, where General John Hunt Morgan, C.S.A., was surprised and killed; with Brigadier General I. Ammen on an expedition to Carter's Station on September 27; in a skirmish near Greeneville on October 12, where Brigadier General J. C. Vaughn, C.S.A., reported the capture of a flag of the regiment; in the Clinch Valley at Sneedville on October 21; and around Cumberland Gap, Russelville and Morristown on November 13, when General Gillem reported his forces suffered a terrible reverse. Of this engagement he reported the 9th Tennessee held the enemy in check for over an hour till their ammunition was exhausted. Following this engagement the brigade retreated to Strawberry Plains, and thence to Knoxville, where it went into camp at Love's Station on November 16, 1864.
On November 18, one battalion of the regiment was ordered to Greeneville, Tennessee. On December 10, 1864, the regiment, with the brigade, left Knoxville on an expedition under Major General George Stoneman into western Virginia, which resulted in the capture and destruction of the Confederate salt works at Saltville, on December 19. The brigade returned to Knoxville December 29, after a march of 461 miles.
On February 5, 1865, the regiment was reported at Dandridge, Tennessee. On March 17, Colonel Miller's 3rd Brigade, Gillem's Division, Major General George Stoneman's District of East Tennessee, was still reported as consisting of the 8th, 9th, and 13th Tennessee Cavalry Regiments. Although Miller's Brigade went with General Stoneman on his expedition into Virginia and North Carolina from March 21 to April 25, 1865, no record was found of the 9th Tennessee's having gone with the brigade. General Gillem's report of the expedition made frequent mention of the activities of the 8th and 13th Regiments, but none of the 9th.
On April 19, 1865, the 9th Tennessee, at Boyd's Ferry, was ordered to send a detachment to Greeneville, to hunt down and chastise the guerrilla forces operating in that area. On the 20th it was ordered to send one company to Talbott Station and another to Rutledge, Tennessee. On April 25, the regiment was ordered to move to Rogersville Junction, and make reports to General Stoneman. General Stoneman advised that the 9th Tennessee would be needed for a short time in clearing out the country between the Holston River and the Cumberland Mountains. The instructions issued read in part as follows: in the performance of this duty you are authorized and instructed to use the most vigorous and severe measures. The persons with whom you have to deal are outlaws so long as they are at liberty and should be treated as such. When taken prisoners they must be treated as prisoners, and are entitled to trial, which takes time and entails trouble and expense. Give them to understand that no false mercy will be shown them and no prisoners taken, and that every man found in arms under whatever pretense, and acting without authority from Federal officers or the legally constituted authorities of the State of Tennessee, will be treated as a public enemy and an outlaw and killed like a mad dog by anyone who meets him. See that your command does not interfere in any way, either in their persons or their property, with the peaceably disposed, and with those who stay at home and mind their own business."
On April 30, J. W. Harrington, Captain Co. "G", in a report to Stoneman of his activities along the Clinch River, explained: "I have endeavoured to carry out your instructions, but it is necessary to explain why I have taken some prisoners. When I found these men, the most of them had hidden or othenvise disposed of their arms, and others came and gave themselves up. I had not sufficient evidence at the time of their being bushwhackers or guerrillas, until they were identified by citizens who knew them to be such." On July 20, 1865, the regiment was placed in Brevet Major General Emory Upton's Cavalry Brigade, District of East Tennessee. It was mustered out of service on September 11, 1865.
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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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