Recruited in East Tennessee in the spring of 1863; seven companies mustered in at Nashville, June 15, 1863; mustered out at Nashville, August 2, 1865.
According to the report of Tennessee Adjutant General James P. Brownlow, Daniel Stover was commissioned as colonel February 29, 1862, and recruited this regiment in the spring of 1863 from exiles from East Tennessee, mainly from the counties of Carter, Cocke, Grainger, Greene and Johnson, who were brought out of the Confederate lines by officers and pilots sent in for that purpose. The marches of the various groups were made at night, the men lying concealed in caves and forests during the day, to elude the pursuit of the Confederate conscript officers. The men were assembled at Louisville, where on May 22, 1863, Brigadier General I. T. Boyle was advised by Major General A. E. Burnside: "You can order Stover's Regiment to Lebanon, at once. Give it all the arms and supplies it needs."
On August 31, 1863, with seven companies, under Colonel Daniel Stover, it was reported at Camp Spears, Nashville, where Brigadier General Alvan C. Gillem was in command. Colonel Stover became seriously ill, and never commanded the regiment in the field.
On September 9, 1863, under Major Patterson, it left Nashville for McMinnville, where it arrived September 15, 1863. Here it was surrounded and captured on October 3, 1863, by Confederate forces under Major General Joseph Wheeler. Major Patterson reported that his total force consisted of 270 men plus 50 convalescents who had been armed, and that he had lost seven killed, 31 wounded and missing in the fighting prior to the surrender. The men were paroled and started towards Sparta, Tennessee, whence most of them went on to their homes in East Tennessee.
On October 12, 1863, Governor Andrew Johnson reported that Major Patterson and about 50 men were at Nashville; Colonel Stover sick and confined to his bed, and the lieutenant colonel in East Tennessee raising men in order to fill out the regiment. He inquired as to whether the parolees were to be considered valid. If they were held invalid, he proposed to send Major Patterson and his 50 men to East Tennessee to round up the parolees, to join the new recruits and reorganize the regiment. He was informed the parolees were considered invalid, and the regiment was to be reorganized.
Major Patterson proceeded to Camp Nelson, Kentucky, where the regiment was reorganized. On December 31, 1863, the regiment was reported in Brigadier General S. S. Fry's brigade, of the District of North Central Kentucky, with Major Patterson in command. Neither Colonel Stover nor Lieutenant Colonel Grayson were again reported with the regiment, which continued to be commanded by Major (later Lieutenant Colonel) Patterson, and Major Reeves.
On January 2, 1864, orders were issued for the organization of a division in the Department of the Cumberland under Major General L. H. Rousseau, and the 4th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Regiment was assigned to the 2nd Brigade. However, the order specified the troops should remain at their present positions until the interest of the service permitted them to be brought together. The regiment never actually served with this brigade, and on February 8, 1864, was assigned to the 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, XXIII Corps, with orders to report to Knoxville for instructions. On February 28, 1864, the regiment was reported in the works south of the river, opposite Knoxville.
An inspection report dated February 27, 1864, stated: "The 1st Brigade in bad drill; has dirty or bad clothing; discipline not good. Some men entirely without ammunition, others with 30 or 40 rounds. The 4th and 8th Tennessee Regiments especially were in bad condition as regards appearance, discipline, and drill."
On April 10, 1864, the XXIII Corps was reorganized, and the 4th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 4th Division, District of East Tennessee, under Brigadier General J. Ammen. On April 12, the 4th was ordered to Loudon, Tennessee, where it remained for some time. Major Patterson was promoted to lieutenant colonel and given command of the brigade. Major Reeves, with three companies, was stationed at nearby Kingston. On August 19, 1864, at the time of General Joseph Wheeler's raid, Major Reeves reported he had an almost solid line of scouts from Cumberland Mountain to Sweetwater Valley.
On October 30, 1864, Confederate Brigadier General John C. Vaughn, at Rheatown, Tennessee, reported the Federal troops opposing him had been re-enforced by the 4th and 8th Tennessee Infantry, but no confirmation of this was found in Federal reports. Adjutant General Brownlow's report says the regiment remained at Loudon and Kingston until about the first of November, when the brigade was broken up, and the regiment moved to Knoxville. Here, on October 31, it was reported in Brigadier General Davis Tillson's 2nd Brigade, 4th Division.
On November 26, 1864 Major General George Stoneman, at Knoxville, making preparations for his expedition into East Tennessee and Virginia in December, reported the 4th Tennessee, with 400 men, would be ready by December 1, 1864.
On December 7, 1864 General Tillson sent the 4th Tennessee and 3rd North Carolina Regiments via Sevierville, to Paint Rock, to hold the passes over the mountains into North Carolina until East Tennessee was evacuated by the Confederates. The 4th Tennessee was then instructed to move down the French Broad River and protect the government trains in collecting forage. Confederate Colonel John B. Palmer reported he drove the two regiments out of Paint Rock, almost captured the 3rd North Carolina Infantry, U.S.A., and sent it scurrying back to Knoxville.
On February 5, 1865 the regiment was at Moser's Mill, near Mornstown, and marched from there to Greeneville on February 20, to conduct the elections at that place. On the way, it had skirmishes with the enemy near Greeneville and Warrensburg, and returned to Moser's Mill on February 25, 1865.
On February 28 General Tillson was reported in command of the 4th Division, and Colonel Horatio Gibson of the 2nd Brigade. On March 17 the 4th was transferred to Colonel C. G. Hawley's 1st Brigade. On March 31 the regiment, now with eight companies, under Major Reeves, was reported in this brigade.
In preparation for Major General Stoneman's expedition into western Virginia and North Carolina, General Tillson concentrated the 1st Brigade at Morristown, Tennessee on March 22, and arrived with it at the mouth of Roane's Creek on April 3, 1865. He stationed the 4th Tennessee, with 544 men, at Taylorsville, Tennessee, to hold the passes near there.
On April 20, 1865, General Tillson reported the regiment at Jonesboro, and it was still reported there on May 18. It was ordered mustered out of service July 20, 1865, and was mustered out August 2, 1865, at Nashville.
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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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