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126718 Charles Sevier Robertson's Military Career


THE FIRST CONFEDERATE CAVALRY

The First Confederate Cavalry was one of Gen. Wheeler's best regiments; several of the companies were men from Alabama, but the field officers were from other states. Capt. Robertson's company was organized early in the war, and saw considerable service before it was consolidated with other companies. Capt. Bradley's Company A was detached on escort duty all during the war, serving the greater part of the time in Forrest's division. The rest of the regiment was brigaded, successively, with Gen. Wharton, Gen. Russell, Gen. Wade, Gen. Humes, Gen. Allen and Gen. Anderson, in Wheeler's cavalry corps.

It was at Lavergne in Nov., 1862, and distinguished itself at Murfreesboro by its gallant charge and capture of the seventy-fifth Illinois. It fought at Guy's Gap, Shelbyville, Trenton, Lafayette, Chickamauga, McAfee's, Noonday Creek, and in numberless skirmishes during the campaigns of the army of Tennessee. Capt. Charles H. Conner was in command continuously after the spring of 1863.

Source: General Clement A. Evans, Confederate Military History, 12 volumes (Atlanta, Georgia: Confederate Publishing Company, 1899), 7: 287.



HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, WESTERN DEPARTMENT

Columbus, Ky., December 16, 1861

General:

In compliance with your instructions to report the knowledge I possess of troops lying in the country to our rear I report as follows:

Three companies of cavalry, commanded by Major Clinton, Grenada, Miss.; Captain Stock's company of Cavalry, Paris, Tenn.; Captain Clay's company of cavalry, ordered by me to Union City, Tenn.; Captain Robertson's company of cavalry, in Brownsville; three thousand infantry at Grenada, Miss., reported to me as armed and equipped; several thousand in North Alabama. Gen. Samuel D. Weakley, the mustering officer, appointed by myself and approved by General Johnston, or Col. Foster, can give the force. His (Weakley's) address is Florence or Tuscumbia, Ala.

GID. J. PILLOW,
Brigadier-General
C. S. Army

Source: Lt. Col. Robert N. Scott, The War of the Rebellion. 69 volumes (Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1886), 7: 769.



Henderson Station, 16 Jany /62

Maj Genl Polk
Columbus, Ky

Dr Sir

Lieut Irwin visits your / post for the purpose of ascertaining, if possible, whether / or not our Company of Cavalry will remain at this place / any length of time & what length. It is necessary & / indeed it might be considered presumptious of me / to suggest the importance of fitting us some place / for the Comfort health &c of our men as well [as] stalls / for our stock to protect them from the inclemency of / the weather. If our services are not required further / north I am of opinion we could do good service by being / removed to some point in Hardin or Wayne / County. There are still many disaffected men in that / portion of the State and we are too far from them / to effect a great deal of scouting, being about fifty / miles from their field of operation. I have been / informed that they are organized in Wayne about 150 / to 200 strong & have frequent night visitings. We have not yet interfered with them as we had no orders to that / effect. We have however been doingsome scouting in / Madison Henderson & McNairy Counties. have made / several arrests. Some we handed over to Capt Grissom(?) / of Col Vaughn's Regiment & others to Col Brewer Commander of this "Post." I have in my Company 131

f. 2

men. There are others who want to enlist in my Company & / will furnish themselves with guns. by doing that will / you allow me to receive them and form a squadron? / If not will you allow me to do so on condition that / they furnish themselves with guns, bridles & saddles?

Will our Company be attached to a regiment of Infantry / If so when and to whom. I hope you will not consider / me impertinent as my extreme anxiety to know what / disposition is to be made of us as well as my knowledge of your / patience prompts me to ask you these questions

We are not in condition to fight much at this / time because we have no arms save old double barrel / shot guns a number of which are not fit for service

We can get plenty of guns in Hardin, Wayne & the ad / joining Counties by posessing them from men who / have refused to deliver them under the Gov proclama / tion. Shall we take these and have them val / ued? As Lieut Irwin will bear this perhaps I / have already entered into detail more than necessary

If we are attached to an Infantry regiment, you will / allow us to express a preference for Col Lee (?)

Respectfully your obedt servant
C. S. ROBERTSON

Source: 126718 Col. Charles Robertson's Milirary Service File, National Archives, Washington, D.C.




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MOBILE
February 27, 1862

Brig. Gen. Samuel Jones
Commanding at Pensacola

Sir:

In the great strait to which we are reduced it has become necessary to concentrate our resources even at the cost of giving up some of our important positions.

You will make all dispositions at the earliest moment, working day and night, to abandon Pensacola. Send to this place all the heavy shell guns, rifle guns, and carriages &c., complete, with the ammunition for them; all other supplies to Montgomery, to be located a few miles this side, for safety, in case the enemy should reach there by gunboats.

This movement should be made with all the secrecy possible; removing your guns at night, and masking the positions, taking the most advanced first. Keep sufficient troops in position to deceive the enemy until all is ready.

As you can do so, send forward all bodies which can be spared, only reserving enough to do the work, and hold your positions until the last, when one regiment can wind up all, and leave by the railroad.

I desire you particularly to leave nothing the enemy can use; burn all from Fort McRee to the junction with the Mobile road. Save the guns, and if necessary destroy your gunboats and all other boats. They might be used against us. Destroy all machinery, &c., public and private, which could be useful to the enemy; especially disable the sawmills in and around the bay and burn the lumber. Break up the railroad from Pensacola to the Junction, carrying the iron up to a safe point.

Your troops, except Captain Amos' mounted Company, and the six companies First Confederate Regiment, ordered here, will move as rapidly as you can spare them to Chatanooga, Tenn., and await orders. All that you can spare should go at once. The enemy is not in condition to assail you at this point.

Much depends, general, on active and prompt measures. Our armies in Tennessee, are fearfully outnumbered, and I regret to say, from information just received, utterly demoralized, having no confidence. A timely arrival and intermixture may tend to restore confidence.

Very respectfully and truly,
BRAXTON BRAGG
Major-General,Commanding

Source: Scott, 6: 835-836.



BEAUREGARD'S CONFIDENTIAL NOTES OF REFERENCE

Jackson, Tenn., March 4, 1862

Provisions, grain, &c., in Western Tennessee, to be collected as rapidly as possible and sent to Columbus and Grenada, keeping on hand provisions and forage as follows, viz:

At Union City, for 1,500 men, about three weeks.

At Humboldt, for 5,000 men, about three weeks.

At Jackson, for 900 infantry, about three weeks.

At Jackson, for 400 cavalry, about three weeks.

At Corinth, for 15,000 men, for four weeks.

At Henderson, for 800 men, for two weeks.

At Iuka, for 2,500 men, for two weeks.

At Grand Junction, for 10,000 men, for four weeks.

The regiment now at Trenton to be ordered forthwith by Gen. Polk to Fort Pillow via Memphis. Captain Robertson's cavalry to remain at Henderson; the remainder of troops now there, viz, Lea's and Browder's regiments and stragglers collected, to be ordered by Gen. Polk to report to Gen . Ruggles at Corinth forthwith. The Seventh Mississippi Regiment , now at Jackson, Tenn., to be ordered by Gen. Bragg to Henderson.

Organization

Three or more regiments, or about 2,500 effective men, to a brigade; two brigades to a division; to each brigade one battery of six guns, either four smooth-bores and two howitzers, or six rifle guns.

Each grand division should have a reserve battery as large as practicable. There should be a chief of artillery for light batteries on the general-in-chief's staff.

Ammunition

Depots to be established at Columbus and Grenada, Miss. Ammunition for distribution: 100 rounds per man for infantry and cavalry with each regiment; 200 rounds per piece with each company of artillery, The requisite amount in the saee ratio for an army of 35,000 men to be held in depot at Grand Junction for shipment at a moment's notice .

Ordnance

One chief of ordnance, Captain Oldowski; ordnance officer at Columbus, Mr. W.R. Hunt.

Ordnance officer at Grenada, Captain Gibbs.

Ordnance officer at Grand Junction, Mr. Tonneau.

Powder manufactory to be established at Meridian, and sulphur, &c., to be collected there.

Percussion cap manufactory to be established at Columbus, and, if possible, at Grenada.

Prisoners of war now at Memphis to be removed to Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Troops to be prepared for active operations in the field; their baggage to be reduced to a minimum.

Transportation shall be from 10 to 15 wagons per regiment, if practicable.

Rear guards must, as they retire, destroy bridges behind them, especially on ordinary roads, by felling trees, &c., if practicable. For this purpose they must be provided with axes.

Each fort and light battery must be provided forthwith with an ample supply of rat-tail files. General Polk will issue necessary orders to that effect.

The fourth Louisiana Regiment at Jackson will report to Major-General Bragg for orders.

Source: Scott, 7: 918-919.



HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY
Trenton , Tenn., April 10 , 1862

Maj . George Williamson
Assistant Adjutant-General, Corinth, Miss.

Major:

I have just returned from a five days' scout in the direction of Hickman; remained one night at Union City, and thence toward Dresden. The enemy's cavalry did not make their appearance. I found everything quiet on my line. The Union feeling throughout the upper country is very strong, and the management of these men is one of the most delicate and perplexing of all to me. Our Southern friends beseech me not to interfere with the Union men, since they will be certain to report them, and thereby bring down a retaliation on the part of the Federal troops much more harsh and severe than any part we could have the heart to show our enemies. I have therefore determined not to arrest any Union sympathizers unless known to be aiding and abetting the enemy.

I have made a reconaissance of the country above this, and am of the opinion that there is no line nearer the enemy than the one from Dresden through this place to Dyersburg to be convenient to a telegraph office. There seems to be but little disposition displayed by the citizens of Weakley and Obion Counties to sell provisions and forage to the Confederate Government, since they invariably refuse to take Confederate notes in payment.

The Obion bottoms are at present almost impassable, which will prevent my forming a new line above this point. I can guard the line, however, by sending out from time to time strong scouting parties to operate in the country about Union City and Dresden.

The independent companies attached to my command are an expense to the Confederacy and do very little service, since they are not acquainted with the country. I would respectfully recommend the merging of all these companies (with the exception of Dillard's) into one, and have the election of company officers, then muster them into service for the war, and if they do not wish to do this, discharge them. They are now a heavy expense for the service rendered. Capt. D.G. Reid, with a squad of 15 men, is operating on my line under the authority of Gen. Beauregard, and I would state for the information of the general commanding that he is doing great damage to our cause. He is reported to me by good citizens to be engaged in taking horses from Union men on the line and near Dresden, thereby causing the Union men to retaliate upon our friends; in fact, I consider the party a nuisance, and have the honor to request his removal from my line.

I was sufficiently near Island 10 on last Sunday and Monday to hear the firing, which was very heavy. I presume you have heard the result; it is reported by parties from there that one gunboat ran by the island on Friday night and two more on Sunday night; our batteries were abandoned and spiked Monday and the infantry force surrendered on Tuesday morning; a good many poor made their escape and are coming in here daily.

Captain Neely's company arrived here to-day; Haywood's company not yet arrived. I would respectfully request that Captain Robertson's company be ordered here at once, as I need them very much. I have lost the copies of my orders and my report of the Union City affair, and would like to have copies of both sent me. For the present my headquarters will be at this place.

I am, Major, with high respect,
your obedient servant,

W.H. JACKSON
Colonel, Cavalry

Source: Scott, 10 (part 2): 407-408.



Army of the Miss 15 April /62

Maj Williamson

Sir

I have command of a cavalry / company comprised of Tennesseeans entirely. We have been attached temporarily to Col Brewer's Command / by order of Col Smith, which is composed altogether of / Mississippians. Col Brewer has a Battallion of Tenn / Cavalry encamped here now. Col Biffle has one / which will be here today. My command is very desirous / of being attached permanently to one of them. Would / prefer Col Biffle as we are from the same section / of country. but if thought proper yoy would of course be satisfied with being attached to the other.

We were ordered ny Genl B R Johnson to report to / Col Smith at P(?). Col Smith ordered me, verbally, / to report to Col Brewer since which time I have / been operating with him. If the change from / that Command to one of those mentioned above / meets your approbation you will confer a favor / by making the order at once

Respectfully &c
C. S. ROBERTSON, Capt
Hardin Co. Yankee hunters

Source: 126718 Col. Charles Robertson's Milirary Service File, National Archives, Washington, D.C.



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126718 Colonel Charles S. Robertson's Final Pay Voucher



Last updated: Wednesday, September 29, 2004

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