Armistead's Cavalry Brigade
(a.k.a.) 12th Mississippi Cavalry
(a.k.a.) 16th Confederate Cavalry

In loving rememberence only.
This working document is to help understand the history of the battles of Armistead's Calvary Brigade, that my great-grandfather and other men fought in.
More Reunion Photos - Click here

Above is picture of Veterans of Civil War reunion around 1915
( W. T. Mcknight is under arrow).
W.T. McKnight was a member of Armistead's Cavalry Brigade. , as a private when 17 years old.

I hope to contact other decendants of Armistead's Cavalry Brigade and any other who are just interested. If you know of any information about these units, please let me know. Tom McKnight

The record of W.T.McKnight Civil War experience comes from a questionnaire sent by a Tennessee historian to all living Civil War veterans in 1918 and 1921. W.T. McKnight, when 75 1/2 years old filled out this questionnaire. A copy of this questionnaire was recently discovered in Tennessee State Archives in Nashville, thanks to John W. Cothern, a Civil War enthusiast. Excerpts from this questionnaire are in "quotes and this color" followed by W. T. McKnight. The transcribed questionnaire can be found at 1921 Tennessee Civil War Veterans Questionnaire by William Thomas McKnight.

Other references to battles fought in by Armistead's Brigade are also listed under each battle. There is also more listing of other references to Armistead's Cavalry Brigade, the 12th Mississippi Cavalry, and/or the 16th Confederate Cavalry at the bottom of the page.


Complete Roster
12th Mississippi Cavalry
New as of April 9, 2002

Partial Roster of the 16th Confederate Cavalry,
Company "A" and Company "H"
from the memory of William Thomas McKnight

Roster of Officers, Companies "E", "F", "G", "H" and "K"
History of the 12th Mississippi Cavalry, renamed to 16th Confederate Calvary
from the book "Military History of Mississippi"

Roster of Company "A", 28th Mississippi Calvary
latter became Company "E" of the 16th Confederate Calvary
from Holmes County, Mississippi, D.A.R. 1908

Roster of Company "I"

A web page by Chris Lyons

A very detailed, well researched and documented web page.
Contains original documents, maps and photos.

Battles and events of
Armistead's Cavalry Brigade

1. Gainsville, AL Sept.,1863

W. T. McKnight joined in "Sept 1863 at Gainsville Ala. Went out in Co. A. & transferred to Co. H."

(email from John W. Cothern, Aug 31, 1998 ) The 12th Mississippi Cavalry Regiment (also called 16th Confederate Cavalry)was organized in Gainesville, AL during the summer of 1863.

2. West Point, MS (Ellis Bridge) Feb 12, 1864

"With Forrest at West Point, Ponotoc & Tupelo " W. T. McKnight

Thanks to Greg W. Lasley

3. LaFayette, GA June 24th, 1864

"La Fayett Ga" W. T. McKnight (first battle W. T. McKnight was in.)

(email from William G. Rambo, Park Director of Confederate Memorial Park Alabama, Sept 8, 1998 ) "Moving into north Georgia, the regiment was in the desperate encounter at LaFayette (24 June 1864), with a loss of 30 k and w,and about 75 prisoners. " from Alabama Confederate States Calvary Units 8th Alabama Cavalry [Ball's-Hatch's] assigned to C. G. Armistead's brigade.

An excellent web page on the Battle of LaFayette has come from Mike Keown who lives in LaFayette, Gerogia.
Dear Gentlemen,
I live in Lafayette Ga. And the reason for my question is that I am researching the battle of LaFayette. We have 16 unknown confederates buried here. I am bound and determined to name those men. So far I have learned that the battle was primarily fought by Armisteads Brigade, as Col Neely and Gen Pillow were late. I found Spence's report and thought bradshaw might be one of the unknowns.
Armistead's brigade contained (as far as I know) the 12th Miss, 8th Ala (ball-hatch's), and Lewis' (harrel's) cavalry battalion. Harrel, in his report listed 1 killed, 5 wounded. The 8th Alabama lists 30 killed.
So it is my guess that the 16 came from either the 8th Al or the 12th Miss.
With kindest regards,
Mike Keown

4. Ponotoc & Tupelo. July 14-15, 1864

"With Forrest at West Point, Ponotoc & Tupelo " W. T. McKnight


(The American Civil War )Tupelo Harrisburg Mississippi American Civil War July 14-15, 1864 Maj. Gen. A.J. Smith, commanding a combined force of more than 14,000 men, left LaGrange, Tennessee, on July 5, 1864, and advanced south. Smith's mission was to insure that Maj. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest and his cavalry did not raid Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's railroad lifeline in Middle Tennessee and, thereby, prevent supplies from reaching him in his campaign against Atlanta. Laying waste to the countryside as he advanced, Smith reached Pontotoc, Mississippi, on July 11. Forrest was in nearby Okolona with about 6,000 men, but his commander, Lt. Gen. Stephen D. Lee, told him he could not attack until he was reinforced. Two days later, Smith, fearing an ambush, moved east toward Tupelo. On the previous day, Lee arrived near Pontotoc with 2,000 additional men and, under his command, the entire Confederate force engaged Smith. Within two miles of the Federals, on the night of the 13th, Lee ordered an attack for the next morning. Lee attacked at 7:30 am the next morning in a number of uncoordinated assaults which the Yankees beat back, causing heavy casualties. Lee halted the fighting after a few hours. Short on rations, Smith did not pursue but started back to Memphis on the 15th. Criticized for not destroying Forrest's command, Smith had caused much damage and had fulfilled his mission of insuring Sherman's supply lines.

5. Mobile, AL August 2-23, 1864

"Mobile & ...." W. T. McKnight

Naval battle was the beginning of the end for the Confedercy

The American Civil War Mobile Bay Alabama Passing of Forts Morgan and Gaines American Civil War August 2-23, 1864 A combined Union force initiated operations to close Mobile Bay to blockade running. Some Union forces landed on Dauphin Island and laid siege to Fort Gaines. On August 5, Farragut's Union fleet of eighteen ships entered Mobile Bay and received a devastating fire from Forts Gaines and Morgan and other points. After passing the forts, Farragut forced the Confederate naval forces, under Adm. Franklin Buchanan, to surrender, which effectively closed Mobile Bay. By August 23, Fort Morgan, the last big holdout, fell, shutting down the port. The city, however, remained uncaptured.

6. Rome, GA October 12, 1864

"Were in battle near Rome Ga (horse shot from under me)." W. T. McKnight

(email from Jim Moore, Sept 16, 1998, see group of letters) Colonel Armistead being ordered to Rome, GA by Gen. Hood. Armistead acted as General there. William S. Moore's pension files mention that he was in Rome, GA with Armistead. (from copy of hand written letter, Aug 5, 1910, Russellville, AL, by L. J. Burcham) Armistead was ordered to Rome Georgia with sever other regs. of cavalry and he acted as a general there and the rest of the war and Phillip Spence acted as colonel) "Shortly after, the 8th (Alabama Cavalry) fought at Rome, losing about 20 men k and w." Alabama Confederate States Calvary Units 8th Alabama Cavalry [Ball's-Hatch's] assigned to C. G. Armistead's brigade.

Email from Dr. Don Ervin Woolf about his gg-grandfather James Ervin Woolf who was kiled at the Battle of Rome, Georgia. His email includes a letter that his gg-grandfather wrote home to his wife just before he was killed. 11-Dec-2000

An excellent description of the battle at Rome Races comes from David Slay, 21-Nov-99.
The "Rome Races" is what the 8th Texas Cavalry called the battle, with tongue in cheek.

David Slay has expaned his description of the "Rome Races" and is available online. 12-Dec-2001.

7. Turkey Town, AL October (late), 1864

"Was with Wheeler at Turkey Town & many other battles. " W. T. McKnight

Major General Joseph Wheeler

(email from David Slay, 21-Nov-99 )
I think this may be Turkey Town, Alabama. After the Rome Races and the brigade became organized again it proceeded to rejoin Hood's army. After Hood had finished his task in Northwest Georgia he moved into Alabama. The two armies skirmished at Gaylesville, Little River, and other points on the northern bank of the Coosa River. Once again Armistead's men were called into action as a screen. Between Gaylesville and Gadsden, Alabama, on the Coosa River, is a small hamlet called Turkey Town.

8. Battle At Pine Barren Creek, Florida, December 16-17, 1864

"Was in battle at Millnery Farm, Bluff Springs (near Pensacola Fla) shot by negro yank & I killed him. (Yanks fought us with negros). " W. T. McKnight

On December 16, 1864 Federal troops of the 82nd and 97th U.S. Colored Infantry attacked Pollard, Alabama with orders to destroy the railroad. The Federals easily defeated the small Confederate force of General James H. Clanton. After destroying part of the tracks and burning several government buildings they headed back to Barrancas near Pensacola. The Confederates gathered Baker's Brigade and Armistead's Brigade from Blakely to engage the Federals. Led by General Liddell, the Confederates moved 150 miles in 54 hours and caught up to the Federals about six miles south of Pollard. The rebels burned bridges across the creeks that empty into the Escambia River and engaged the enemy at each burned bridge. The rebels routed the 82nd at Mitchell's Creek and on the night of December 17th the rebels attacked the negro troops at Pine Barren Creek. The Federals lost eighty killed or wounded and ten wagons were now in Confederate hands. The remainder escaped back to Barrancas only because the Confederates gave up pursuit because their horses were giving out. This battle is also known as Mitchell's Creek and Bluff Springs.

9. Pollard, AL January, 1865

"Yanks came out from Pensacola & cut RR at Pollard . " W. T. McKnight

"It (8th Alabama Cavlary) was ordered to west Florida soon after, and it was in front of Union Gen'l Frederick Steele as he moved on Pollard." Alabama Confederate States Calvary Units 8th Alabama Cavalry [Ball's-Hatch's] assigned to C. G. Armistead's brigade.

From web page "Pollard Yesterday".
Steamboats once plowed the Conecuh River carrying cargo to and from Pollard. The town was, in its heyday, an important rail center and was a vital Confederate military post during the War Between States. The post was headquarters for CSA troops detailed to keep and eye on Pensacola, Fla. In January, 1865, there was a battle in Pollard with Confederate troops under Gen. J.H. Clanton clashing with a body of federal raiders. The town was later burned.

10.Spanish Fort, Alabama March 27-April 8, 1865

"lost mule in battle near Spanish Fort, Ala. Came near being captured (by yanks). " W. T. McKnight

The American Civil War March 27-April 8, 1865 Maj. Gen. E.R.S. Canby's XIII and XVI corps moved along the eastern shore of Mobile Bay forcing the Confederates back into their defenses. Union forces then concentrated on Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely. On March 27, 1865, Canby's forces rendezvoused at Danley's Ferry and immediately undertook a siege of Spanish Fort. The Union had enveloped the fort by April 1, and on April 8 captured it. Most of the Confederate forces, under the command of Brig. Gen. Randall L. Gibson, escaped and fled to Mobile, but Spanish Fort was no longer a threat.

"Some Recollections Of An Old Soldier" by by Asa M. Piper, Company C, 62nd Regiment of Alabama Volunteers, C. S. A.

11. Selma, AL April 1, 1865

Selma, Alabama April 1, 1865 The Selma Campaign Confederate Order of Battle, at Selma Serving under N.B. Forrest, among others was: Buford's Division - Brig. Gen. Abraham Buford Armistead's Brigade - Col. Charles G. Armistead (part of Buford's Division) Confederate Order of Battle (Note: Forrest was attempting to form Buford's Divison, but this unit would never be a cohesive force.)

James P. Miller captured the standard of the 12th Mississippi Cavalry and received the Medal of Honor. The Iowa Civil War Site Iowa During the Civil War Iowa Medal 1- Miller, James P. 2- private, Company D, 4th Iowa Cavalry 3- Selma, AL, 4-2-65 4- Henry County, IA 5- Franklin, OH 6- 6-17-65 7- Capture of standard of 12th Mississippi Cavalry (C.S.A.)

CIVIL WAR MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS MILLER, JAMES P. Rank and organization: Private, Company D, 4th lowa Cavalry. Place and date: At Selma, Ala., 2 April 1865. Entered service at. Henry County, lowa. Birth: Franklin, Ohio. Date of issue: 17 June 1865. Citation: Capture of standard of 12th Mississippi Cavalry (C.S.A.).

April 9, 1865
General Robert E. Lee surrenders
at Appomattox Court House.

12. Wistler or Eight-Mile Creek Bridge, AL April 2-9, 1865

A statement of the skirmish from a Yankee's point of view.
Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry
"April 12th, the regiment entered Mobile, and the next day left the city with the division under orders to proceed to Mount Vernon Arsenal, forty miles above Mobile on the Tombigbee River. A few miles from Mobile, the command encountered a body of rebels with whom a running fight took place, the last in which the regiment engaged, and one of the last combats of the war, a hard skirmish at Wistler or Eight-Mile Creek Bridge, Alabama. Colonel Benton took command of the Arsenal on the 22nd, his regiment forming the garrison. The public property had been scattered over the country. He restored much of it, and by great pains and labor again made Mount Vernon Arsenal a thing of beauty. The regiment remained there till the 12th of May, when it returned to Mobile."

We know that William Hardy of Company "I" fought in this skirmish.

Another reference to the skirmish at Whistler can be found at the following web site.
Skirmish, Whistler's Bridge (Eight Mile Creek), Ala. (10) April 13, 1865

13. Blakely, AL April 12, 1865

" ... & Blakely" W. T. McKnight

Historic Fort Blakeley (email from Camille Corte, Sep 22, 1998)

The American Civil War Fort Blakely Alabama American Civil War April 2-9, 1865 E.R.S. Canby's forces, the XVI and XIII corps, moved along the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, forcing the Confederates back into their defenses. Union forces then concentrated on Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely. By April 1, Union forces had enveloped Spanish Fort, thereby releasing more troops to focus on Fort Blakely. Brig. Gen. St. John R. Liddell, with about 4,000 men, held out against the much larger Union force until Spanish Fort fell on April 8, allowing Canby to concentrate 16,000 men for the attack on April 9. Sheer numbers breached the Confederate earthworks compelling the Confederates to capitulate. The siege and capture of Fort Blakely was basically the last combined-force battle of the war. African-American forces played a major role in the successful Union assault.

From an email we know that William Hardy of Company "I" was involved in this battle.

14. Gainsville, AL May 4th, 1865

"May 1865 at Gainsville Ala" W. T. McKnight

W.T. McKnight was paroled May 4th, 1865 at Gainsville, Alabama

Other references to:
Armistead's Cavalry Brigade,
the 12th Mississippi Cavalry, or
the 16th Confederate Cavalry

Some of 16th Confederate Cavalry Battles

Blakeley under Col. Phillip B. Spence (email from Jim Moore, Sept 16, 1998)

Wilson's Raid (email from Jim Moore, Sept 16, 1998)

(email from John W. Cothern, Aug 31, 1998 ) The 12th Mississippi Cavalry Regiment (also called 16th Confederate Cavalry)was organized in Gainesville, AL during the summer of 1863. Many of the officers and men were members of the Mississippi state forces and some were from Louisiana. They fought in various conflicts in Mississippi and Alabama, including Selma. Many were captured at Selma, but the unit was included in the surrender of the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Lousiana.The field officers were Colonel C.G. Armistead, Lieutenant Colonel Phillip B. Spence, and Major William Yerger, Jr.

The 12th Mississippi Cavalry Captain D.H. Williams' Independent Cavalry Company was assigned to Col. C.G. Armisteads Regiment of Cavalry on April 18, 1864 and became Company A of that regiment.


Armistead's Cavalry Brigade, District of Central and North Alabama, Dept of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana. (Aug-Sept1864)

Armistead's Cavalry Brigade, District of Central Alabama, Dept of Alabama, Mississippi and E. Louisiana. (Sept. 1864-March 1865)

Armistead's Cavalry Brigade, District of Alabama, Dept. of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana (March - May 1865)

Armstrong's Brigade, Chalmer's Division, Forrest's Cavalry Corps, Dept. of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana [detachment] (February-May 1865)

(email from Camille Corte, Archivist at Historic Fort Blakeley, Blakeley State Park, Alabama, 14-Oct-1998) Armistead's Cavalry Brigade, headed up by Col. Charles G. Armistead contained the following: 8th Alabama Cavalry under Col. Charles P. Ball 16th Confederate under Lt. Col. Philip B. Spence Lewis's battalion under Major William V. Harrell

This Brigade was assigned to French's Division of Brig. Gen. Francis M. Cockrell under Major General Dabney H. Maury, Commanding the District of the Gulf in the Mobile Campaign of Jan-April 30, 1865.

CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS REUNION - 1908 Leola, Arkansas(Grant County) Cox, W. H. - Company H, 12th Mississippi Cavalry

Itawamba County, Mississippi Civil War Records Liberty Cemetery T.H. Harlow: 10/20/1845-1/4/1892: Company A 12th Mississippi Cavalry Oak Grove Cemetery Abel Rushing: Company B 12th Mississippi Cavalry

Stephens or Stevens Genealogy "... he lived with his son, John R. Stephens. a veteran of the Civil War having fought in Company one 12th Mississippi Cavalry in the grade of Lt. "

Descendants and Contributors
Armistead's Cavalry Brigade -- 12th Mississippi Cavalry -- 16th Confederate Cavlary

Currently we are in contact with Jim Moore, who is a descendant of William S. Moore, a veteran of the 12th Mississippi Cavalry. You can see his web pages at 12th Mississippi Cavalry and William S. Moore C.S.A .

Thanks to Raymond "Tack" Tate for his contribution of History of 12th Mississippi Cavalry, and roster of officers, from the book "Military History of Mississippi". He also contributed further to the roster from the book by Holmes County, Mississippi, D.A.R. from 1908.

We have received emails from Virginia Ponds Kobler, President, Alabama Division, United Daughters of the Confedercy. Her g-grandfater Miles Washington Pond and his brother-in-law, William S. Baskin, were both members of Company "A". 6-Jun-2000

Another email from Dr. Don Ervin Woolf about his gg-grandfather James Ervin Woolf who was kiled at the Battle of Rome, Georgia. His email includes a letter that his gg-grandfather wrote home to his wife just before he was killed. He was in Company "A". 11-Dec-2000

Another email from Greg W. Lasley about his g-grandfather William Hardy who was involved in was involved in engagements at Pine Barren, Blakeley, and 8 mile Creek. He was in Company "I". 11-Jan-2001

Another email from Stuart Boyd about his ancestor Uriah Lavender, Company A, 12th Mississippi Calvary. 20-Sep-2001

Received email from Loretta Phifer about her gg-grandfather Thomas Jefferson Carroll, Company "I". 07-Feb-2002.

Received email from Preston Thomas about his gg-grandfather Thomas Heard Stocks Jr., Company "I". 28-Feb-2002.

Received email from Pat Morrissey about his wife's gg-grandfather Colonel John Tripp, surgeon to Armistead's Calvary. 02-Jan-2002.

Received email from Ray Stocks about his gg-grandfather Thomas Heard Stocks Jr., Company "I". 30-Jul-2002.

Received email from Tom Holmes about his gg-grandfather William Jonas Holmes, Company "E". 20-Sep-2002.

Received email from Tom Turner about his ancestor Jesse Hunt Turner, Company "C". 24-Sep-2002.

Received email from Carol Ramsey about her gg-grandfather William P. Long, Company "A". 18-Jun-2002.

Received email from Jim Shepard about his ancestor Lt William Carter White, Company "I", physican. 7-Feb-2003.

Received email from Bobbye Lynn Miller about his ancestor Sergt. B. A. Terry, Company "H". 23-Dec-2002.

Received email from Valeta Marcom about her g-grandfather Asa Harris Johnsey, who was a Private in in Company F. 13-Jan-2003

Received email from about his relative James B. Copeland, Company H. 08-Mar-2003.

Received email from Donald Loftis about his g-grandfather Pvt. Perry Oliver Loftis, Company "G". 14-Mar-2003.

Received email from Diane Roderman about her gg-grandfather William Henry Mason, Lewis Harrells Cavalry. 13-May-2003.

Received email from Jim Montgomery about his gg-grandfather James M. Winston, Captain of Company "A". 23-Aug-2003.

Received email from Susan Goers about her gg-grandfather C. H. Hawkins (Commodore Howard), Private of Company "F". 30-Dec-2003.

Received email from Christopher Lyons about his ggg-grandfather William Polemial Lyons, who was in Company "I" 12 Mar 2004.

Received email from David Neel about his gg-grandfather John W. Bradshaw, who was in Company "K" 13 Oct 2004.

Received emails from Rosemary Holdredge about her g-grandfather James B. Isbell, who was in Company "H" 26-Feb-2005 through 13-May-2005. Included is a typed copy and two scans of Captain Isbell's amnesty agreement.

Received email from Charisse Smith about her ancestor Sgt. A.J. Grove, who was in Company "K" 27-Oct-2006.

Received email from Sarah Sharp Kinard about her ancestors John A. Sharp and James A. Clark both of the 12th MS in Moore's Calvary. 26-Oct-2006

Received email from Penny Jones about her ancestor Wesley Woodall Hales. 12-Sept-2007

Received email from David M. Cahoon about his great-uncle W. H. Cahoon. 23-Apr-2008

Received email from Marjory Thrash about husbandís ancestor Daniel Comans. 14 Aug 2008

Received email from Kevin Thompson about his gggg-grandfather Leonard Hines. 26 Oct 2008

Received email from Chris Lyons about "Flags Used By Mississippi During The War Between The State" with current picture of Armistead's Regiment flags. 07 Dec 2009

Received email from Kathy Wells about her gg-grandfather was Joseph Robert Dandridge. 30 Apr 2016

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