Civil War Genealogy

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Nelson's Independent Cavalry Company      
Company Unknown
William Hamilton Caldwell - Private   
Movements and events of William Hamilton Caldwell during the Civil War

May 1861 – Joined the 6th Georgia Infantry Regiment as a 2nd Lt. on May 27th in Atlanta Georgia.

June 1861 – From Atlanta transported by train to Yorktown Virginia.

July to Dec 1861 – Trained at Yorktown and was reported sick beginning in Sept.

Jan. 1862 – Resigned as a 2nd Lt. due to his illness on the 23rd.

Feb to March 1862 - Probably stayed in the Yorktown area and during the time he was sick probably met the surgeon for the 4th Georgia Infantry Regiment named Thomas M. Nelson. William Caldwell was also a Doctor and a connection was probably made between Captain Nelson and Lt. Caldwell while William was sick. Due to his illness he was probably returned home and with connections with Thomas Nelson decides to reenlist when the formation of Nelson’s unit forms.

April 1862 – Joined Nelson’s Independent Georgia Cavalry on April 18th as a private in Taylor County Ga. and traveled to Camp Ecter (outside Griffin, Georgia) to pick up equipment and horses.

May 1862 – First muster at Camp Ector (outside Griffin, Georgia) on May 14th.

June 1862 – Moved to Knoxville Tennessee and placed under command of General Kirby Smith.

July 1862 – Kirby Smith travels to Chattanooga Tennessee to meet with General Bragg to plan the Invasion of Kentucky.

Aug. 1862 – Kirby Smith leaves Knoxville on the 14th and fighting starts around Cumberland Gap. On Aug. 30th the Battle of Richmond, Ky. takes place and a big victory is won. After the fight the movement to Lexington Ky. continues.

Sept. 1862 – Kirby Smith occupies Lexington Ky. on the 2nd. On the 11th Kirby Smith occupies Maysville Ky. only 7 miles from Cincinnati Ohio. On the 21st Smith links up with Bragg at Bardstown Ky.

Oct 1862 – On the 2nd a small battle occurs at Frankfort Ky. Oct 5th Smith is encamped outside Frankfort. On Oct. 8th the move back South begins ending the invasion of Kentucky. October 23rd, Smith’s forces return to Knoxville.

November 1862 – Bragg becomes Army commander and Smith becomes one of the Corps Commanders. Nelson moves unit to Rogersville, Tenn. most likely as a scouting unit for Smith. On the 29th of November Army of Tennessee moves to Murfreesboro.

December 1862 – Nelson stays in Rogersville. Stephenson’s Division is transferred from The Army of East Tennessee to the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana to assist General Pemberton with the defense of Vicksburg. This move gives the Northern Generals courage to move into middle Tennessee and the Battle of Murfreesboro results from the move.

January 1863 - Smith leaves for Richmond to meet with War Department; he then gets appointed the commander of the forces West of the Mississippi. Before Nelson supposed to leave with Smith, General Johnston feels it is unwise to allow other units West of the Mississippi including Nelson and his company.

Feb 1863 – Nelson moves unit to Knoxville and stays in this location for the rest of the month.

Mar. 1863 – Left Knoxville Tennessee and moves to the Jackson Miss area under Brigadier General John Adams.

April 1863 – Nelson’s unit is in Jackson Miss. area under Brigadier General John Adams.

May 1863 – Located at Morton Miss. General Grant and Sherman cross the Mississippi River and moves on Jackson. General Joseph E. Johnston arrives from the East with part of Henry Talbot Walker’s Brigade and Battle of Jackson is fought on 14 May. Battle is short due to Confederate forces being too small to stop the Union advance. Later that day Nelson escorts General Johnston to Calhoun Miss area. Part of Jackson is burned down. The unit stays here for a while and then moves back to Morton Miss. with General Walker and links up with the rest of Walker’s Brigade.

June 1863 – The month is spent in Morton Miss during the Siege of Vicksburg. Confederate forces are too small to break through to Vicksburg. Additional reinforcements are moving to the Jackson area but the arrival of these forces are too late.

July 1863 – Nelson escorts Walker to Canton Miss and links up with Johnston’s command. Fought Battle of Bolton, July 4th and 5th, to try and relieve Vicksburg but that fails. July 4th Vicksburg surrenders to the Union. Between the 5th and the 9th fighting occurs around Jackson. Between July 9th and 16th they fight in small battles with the Union forces at: Reinzi, Bolton Depot, Clinton and Canton.

August 1863 – Nelson continues escort of General Walker until July 24th and then are reassigned to escort General Stephen Dill Lee when he is appointed commander of all Cavalry forces in the Department of Mississippi, Alabama, East Louisiana and West Tennessee.

Sept 1863 – Work in progress

Oct to Nov 1863 – Was located near Pontotoc, Miss. in late October. Escorted General S.D. Lee into North Alabama to engage General Sherman’s troops attempting to reach Chattanooga. In Lee’s attempt to stop Sherman he ordered the rail to be destroyed East of Bear Creek along the Tennessee River. There his troops fought Sherman but shear weight and size of Sherman’s forces forced Lee to pull back. Reports say that the weather was bitterly cold and the soldiers were thinly clad with clothing and that troops had to endure great hardships and needed great fortitude to carry out their duty. This is probably where William starts to get the pneumonia that eventually forces him from duty and takes his life.

Dec 1863 – Was in the location of Ripley Miss and fought a battle there on Dec 1st through the 4th.

Jan 1864 – Work in progress

Feb 1864 – Feb 1, William collapses due to Pneumonia and is taken to the home of Ralph and Mary Blanks in Meridian Miss.

Feb to Sept 1864 – Tries to recuperate in Meridian

Sept 1864 – Leaves Meridian Miss. and arrives home in Butler Ga. on Sept. 7th.

Jan 1866 - Died due to Consumption/T.B. on Jan. 15th in Butler Ga.

Contact Name:  William Cowdrey
Contact Email:  Click for E-mail
Date Added:  7/19/2002
Company Unknown
DeLamar Turner - Private   
My GGG Grandfather.
Contact Name:  Vince Vaughn
Contact Email:  Click for E-mail
Date Added:  9/10/2006
Company B
Thomas H. Canty - Private   
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Contact Name:  John V Cantey
Contact Email:  Click for E-mail
Date Added:  7/19/2018
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