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Subject: Re: [TNMAURY-L] 9th Battalion Tennessee Cavalry
Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2001 11:42:08 EDT

Hi, Mike

Alexander Blair Cathey was a member of the 9th (Gantt's) Tenn. Calvary
Battalion. He wrote some about this unit in the "Maury Democrat" -- 14 May
1908. I attach some notes from some earlier correspondence:

Alexander B. Cathey (then age 35) joined Co. E,, 9th (Gantt's) Battalion,
Tennessee Calvary, C.S.A. He was enlisted (term: 1 year) at Hampshire TN on
20-Oct-1862 by Lt. Patton. According to Co records, he was present
16-Mar-1864 at Tunnel Hill GA, AWOL 11-July to 31-Aug-1864, and paroled at
Charlotte NC 3-May-1865 (when Gen'l Joseph E. Johnston surrendered to Gen'l
W.T. Sherman).

Several of his kin also enlisted in the same Co at the same time:

Griffeth R. Cathey (Pvt) and William M. Cathey (Pvt)

James A. Cathey (made Cpl) also was in Co. E, 9th Btn, but enrolled
30-Nov-1861. James was catured by the enemy and paroled at Camp Chase

Above info from micro rol 42 (TSAL)

A.B. Cathey wrote a series of historic sketchs for the Maury Democrat,
26-Mar-1908. These were reprinted in B. Patton (ed), "Hampshire - Then and
Now". On p. 21 of the latter reprint, he writes:

"In 1861, a company of calvary was formed at Hampshire. James H. Akin was
made captain, afterwards major, of the battalion. A.B. Biffle then became
captain. The battalion was captured at Dover, and kept six months in prison,
when released they went to Mississippi and later down to Port Hudson in
Louisianna, twelve miles above Baton Rouge, where the Federals were located.
George Gantt was colonel of the battalion, William Akin and William Dodson
died in prison. Recruits were added, the writer among the number, who rode
horseback to Port Hudson, requiring a month to make the trip. L.D. Myers and
C. Volney Cyrus were with the battalion.

.."The ninth battalion remained at Port Hudson until the surrender of the
place. They were in hot battle at Jackson, Louisiana, where two of Capt.
Biffles Company, James Gwin and Presley Prewitt were killed. Sometime
afterward the battalion was transferred to Dalton, Georgia, and placed under
the command of Gen. Joseph Wheeler. The following persons belonged to Capt.
Biffle's Company from Cathey's Creek: Felix G. Bell, Alex Whiteside, William
Jeff Curry, George H. Curry, George O. Kirk, S.W. Spencer, L.A. Ferris, W.H.
Edwards, J.A. Cathey, G.R. Cathey, W.M. Cathey, J. Wilson Akin, Anderson
Akin, Eli F. Akin, W.M.B. Scott, Caleb Scott, H.S. Scott, W.J. Crowder, John
Pogue, W.D. Pogue, E.A. Pogue, George Pogue, S.H. Pogue, Joseph Patton, David
Patton, Joseph Peyton, Jacob Peyton, J.C. Cavender, Tom Cavender, Robert Cox,
_ Ashworth, C.M. Rickets, William Treadway. While the command was at Dalton,
Georgia, Willis embry and young Jacob Biffle left to come home. When they
arrived about ten miles this side of Waynesboro, they were surprised and
captured at the home of Mr. Craig. After surrendering, young Biffle was shot
three times by the Federals. They talked with Willis Embry, sitting on a log,
when a Federal soldier standing behind shot Embry in the back. Young Jacob
Biffle was the son of William Biffle and was buried at Pisgah. His father
had inscribed on his tombstone, "Shot five times by the Federals after

William Curry, Tom Cavender and _ Ashworth were killed during the war.

"The Ninth battalion surrendered at Charlotte, NC, with the privilege of
retaining their horses, but these were taken from them by the Federals at
Strawberry plains in East Tennessee, and it was about forty years before they
received the pay for them."

Subj: Re: [TNMAURY-L] re: 9th (Gantts) TN Calvary Battalion, Co. E
Date: 5/27/99 9:51:45 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: BTimmons
To: WD Bostick,

I was especially interested to read A.B. Cathey's article about the 9th TN
Cavalry Battalion, CSA. Since several of my ancestors and many relatives
served in this unit I have been fascinated by its history. It was the only
battalion of TN cavalry to serve throughout the war as an independent unit
(never part of a regiment, brigade, etc.). Originally there were 6
companies, mostly from Maury County, mustered into Confederate service near
Nashville on 23 Dec 1861. In addition to three Timmons' brothers, other
distant relatives in the "Old Ninth" were: Andrew J. Alexander, George W.
Alexander, John R. Church, Thomas H. Church, James Frank Evans, James P.
Evans, John Evans, J.P. Fitzgerald, Jesse M. Godwin, James Grant, Curren
Sellers, Isaac Sellers, James D. Sellers, John J. Sellers, Joseph H. Sellers,
Van J. Sellers, Bud Vestal, and Jay Vestal. The unit was captured at Fort
Donelson, exchanged at Vicksburg, reformed at Jackson, and fought at Port
Hudson and Meridan. Later engaged at Dalton, GA, Kennesaw Mountain, and
Atlanta and Newan. In late '64 the 9th TN Cav Bn raided through East
Tennessee returning to Florence AL and Gadsden. The battalion split with
Major Akin leading a portion with Forrest that were with Hood's army at
Franklin and Nashville battles. The other portion, under Captain Bromley,
tried to cause trouble for Sherman's March to the Sea and was heavily engaged
at Waynesboro, GA and Savannah. This detachment joined Gen. Wade Hampton at
Cheraw, SC and fought at Cox's Bridge near Goldsboro, NC. It also saw
service in Danville, VA.

About 1886 H. Clay Mack wrote, "Each man of the Old Ninth Battalion feels
that he is honored in having been a member of so noble a band of those who
followed the destiny of the Lost Cause to its final defeat." Regards, Bill

Below: from TNGenWeb Project, Tennesseans in the Civil War:

Organized November 28, 1861; into Confederate service December 23, 1861;
surrendered Fort Donelson February 16, 1862; exchanged Vicksburg September,
1862; reorganized Jackson, Mississippi; paroled at Charlotte, North Carolina,
May 3, 1865.

Lieutenant Colonel-George Gantt
Majors-Bradshaw W. Porter, James H. Akin
This battalion is the only battalion of Tennessee Cavalry to serve throughout
the war as a battalion. It was originally organized with six companies, and
mustered into Confederate service at Camp Maury, near Nashville, on December
23, 1861. A seventh company was added in October, 1864. These companies were
as follows:

CAPTAIN-George Gantt (to lieutenant colonel), Joseph N. Walker, Frank Jay
McLean, Co. "A". Men from Maury County.

Bradshaw W. Porter (to major), John B. Galloway, Robert N. Moore, Co. "B".
Men from Maury County.
Vernon F. Bibb, George W. Mayberry, Co. "C". Men from Maury and Hickman
Counties. Not captured at Fort Donelson, and served temporarily as Company
"G", 2nd (Biffie's) Battalion.
Robert N. Whitson, Jeremiah Green, Eli A. Hornbeak, Co. "D". Men from Hickman
James H. Akin (to major), Adley B. Biffie, Co. "E". Men from Maury County.
Thomas D. Whitehead, W. L. Bromley, Co. "F". Men from Wayne County.
Archie A. Lipscomb, Co. "G". Organized October 1, 1864, by the transfer of 24
men from Company "C", 11 men from the Maury Artillery (Sparkman's Battery)
plus recruits mainly from Hickman County.
At the reorganization in September 1862, Captain J. H. Akin succeeded Porter
as major. Lieutenant Colonel Gantt was wounded and taken prisoner in the fall
of 1863, and Major Akin was in command of the battalion. From that time on it
was sometimes referred to as Major Akin's Battalion.

The battalion remained in Camp of Instruction until January 16, 1862, when it
moved to Fort Donelson. It served as Brigadier General Tilghman's escort from
Fort Donelson to Fort Henry, where it was placed in Colonel A. Heiman's
Brigade. As part of this brigade, it fell back from Fort Henry to Fort
Donelson, where Colonel N. B. Forrest was placed in command of all cavalry
units. With the exception of Company "C" it was surrendered at Fort Donelson,
February 16, 1862.

Colonel Forrest had these comments to make: "Colonel Gantt was sent for and
urged to get out his battalion as often as three times, but he and two
Kentucky companies (Wilcox's and Huey's) refused to come.
* * * *I cannot speak too highly of the gallant manner in which my officers
and men conducted themselves on that occasion, as well as others that came
under my observation, with the exception of Lieutenant Colonel Gantt,
commanding a battalion of Cavalry, who failed to fight on Saturday, and
refused to bring his men out with my regiment on Sunday morning when ordered
to do so."

On March 19, 14 men from the 9th Battalion appeared on a list of prisoners at
Camp Butler, Illinois, who desired to take the oath of allegiance and return
to their homes. Whatever may have been the shortcomings of the battalion at
Fort Donelson, it had a long and honorable record thereafter, fighting till
the bitter end in various theatres of war, until the surrender in North

A Battalion report dated March 16, 1864, at Tunnel Hill, Georgia gives a
sketch of the battalion's history up unfil that date. "The battalion remained
prisoners until exchanged at Vicksburg September 16, 1862. It was
re-organized at Jackson, Mississippi, and was then consolidated for a time,
until it could be remounted, with the 1st Mississippi Infantry Regiment, and
ordered to report to Major General Van Dorn in North Mississippi. It moved
thence to Port Hudson, Louisiana, drilling and fortifying until remounted
January 6, 1863, when it was ordered to outpost duty until the commencement
of the seige of Port Hudson, during which it had frequent skirmishes, of
which one was worthy of particular mention when a portion of the battalion
met and engaged at Wall's Bridge, on the Tickfaw River on May 1, 1863, the
notorious Grierson, killing Lieutenant Colonel Blackburn and six men, and
wounding 15 others." It is interesting to compare this with Grierson's
report, who described the affair at Tickfaw River as a Federal victory and
reported the Federal loss as one killed, Lieutenant Colonel Blackburn and
four men wounded.

The report goes on: "The battalion was then ordered to report to Colonel John
L. Logan, commanding a brigade, and participated in all the engagements in
which this brigade was engaged, among which were the defeat of Grierson at
Clinton, Louisiana, the rout and capture of the greater portion of the 14th
New York Cavalry at Newport, the defeat and rout of the enemy at Fluker's
Lane, Springfield Landing and Jackson, Louisiana. After this, the battalion
was in Brigadier General Wirt Adam's Brigade and participated in all
engagements in which the brigade was engaged in the 'vicinity of Natchez and
Port Hudson, also during the advance of Sherman from Vicksburg to Meridian,
from which place it was ordered by General Polk to report to General Jobnston
at Dalton, Georgia." Company reports give the dates of the affair at Wall's
Bridge as May 1; Clinton, Louisiana June 2; Fluker's June 22; Springfield
Landing July 2; and Jackson, Louisiana as August 3, 1863. The last report was
dated at Hardeeville, South Carolina December 31, 1864, and stated "Been in
all engagements of Major General Wheeler's command since last muster."

At Port Hudson, Louisiana, in the Department of Mississippi and East
Louisiana the battalion was first placed in the brigade of Brigadier General
S. B. Maxey, but on January 14, Lieutenant Colonel Gantt was assigned "to
have command of the outposts, scouts, and pickets for the protection of the
approaches from Baton Rouge to this point and Clinton, Louisiana." His
command consisted of his own battalion, Wilbourne's Battalion, and six
cavalry companies. On February 6, Major General Franklin Gardner ordered:
"All of the unattached Cavalry Companies, Hughes' Battalion, and 9th
Tennessee Battalion, will be temporarily under the command of Lieutenant
Colonel Gantt, now camped at Olive Branch, near Clinton, Louisiana, and doing
outpost and scouting toward Baton Rouge."

On June 25, the battalion was reported in the Cavalry and Mounted Infantry
under the command of Colonel John I. Logan, 11th Arkansas Infantry, with
Headquarters near Clinton, Louisiana. The Oth Battalion was the only
Tennessee unit, the others being from Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas.
On August 20, Logan's Brigade was reported in the Department of Mississippi
and East Louisiana, under General Joseph E. Johnston. On August 27, the
battalion was at Georgetown, Mississippi; on September 5, at Crystal Springs,

On September 20, Colonel John Griffith commanded the brigade, which was then
in Brigadier General W. H. Jackson's Division of Major General Stephen D.
Lee's Cavalry Corps. On November 23, the Brigade was commanded by Brigadier
General Wirt Adams, with Major Akin in command of the battalion. Major Akin
continued in command from this time on, except for a few times when one of
the Captains was reported in command during his temporary absence.

On February 14, 1864, Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk ordered: "The regiment
known as Gantt's Tennessee Regiment of Adams' Brigade is hereby transferred
to the Army of Tennessee. It will report to Colonel Scott, 1st Louisiana
Cavalry, who will move with it to the Army of Tennessee for the purpose of
exchanging it for the 1st Louisiana Cavalry." On the 19th, another order,
dated at Demopohs, Alabama, read: "Colonel J. S. Scott will move with Gantt's
Tennessee Cavalry Battalion at an early hour tomorrow morning, marching 25
miles per day, and making proper arrangements for shoeing horses, and
procuring clothing for the command." On arrival, the battalion was placed in
Brigadier General Henry B. Davidson's Brigade of Major General Josepb
Wheeler's Cavalry Corps, but by April 30, it had been transferred to
Brigadier General William Y. C. Humes' Division, Humes' Brigade, cornmanded
at the time by Colonel James T. Wheeler, of the 1st (6th) Tennessee Cavalry.
On July 10, Colonel Henry M. Ashby was reported in command, and it was known
as Ashby's Brigade from tbis time on. It was composed of the 1st (6th), 2nd,
5th Tennessee Regiments, and the 9th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion.

Major General Wheeler, in his report of the Savannah Campaign, stated that on
December 4, at Waynesboro, Georgia: I directed the 8th Texas and the 9th
Tennessee Battalion (Captain Bromley) to charge the enemy which was gallantly
done, meeting and driving back the charge of the enemy." On December 5,
General Hood, commanding the Army of Tennessee, just after the Battle of
Franklin ordered: "Colonel James T. Wheeler, 1st (6th) Tennessee Cavalry, and
Major I. H. Akin, 9th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion, will report with their
commands to Major General Forrest, commanding the Cavalry, for temporary
duty." Evidently the battalion was at this time divided, part being with
Wheeler, in Georgia, and part being in the Tennessee theater. This assumption
is confirmed by an order from General Forrest to Brigadier General I. R.
Chalmers, dated January 1, 1865: "On your arrival at Rienzi vou will
consolidate temporarily Holman's, Biffle's Wheeler's Regiments and 9th
Tennessee Battalion, the 1st Confederate, and that portion of the 7th Alabama
Cavalry that have horses, into four regiments, which will constitute one

On January 4, he ordered: "Brigadier General James R. Chalmers will relieve
all detachments which properly belong to the regiments now in Georgia, to
report to Colonel Harvie, Inspector General Army of Tennessee, at once; those
of the 9th and loth Tennessee Regiments, and, should a majority of the Oth
Tennessee Cavalry Battalion, Major Akin, be in your command, it will be
retained or not as Major Akin may think best, and all unattached and
unorganized companies from Middle Tennessee are excepted, which will remain
with your command. All others will be relieved and ordered to report as

Major Akin evidently thought best not to remain with Forrest's command, but
to return to his regular brigade in Georgia, for the final report, dated
April 9, 1865, showed the 9th Tennessee Battalion in Lieutenant General Wade
Hampton's Cavalry Corps in North Carolina. Parole records show the battalion
was paroled at Charlotte, North Carolina May 3, 1865.
From Maury Democrat, 29 Jul 1897.

"The battle flag of the 9th Battalion, Tenn. Cav., was brought to this office
Monday by Mr. J. B. Cathey of De Soto, Texas, who attended the reunion at
Nashville and carried the flag with him. It is ragged and torn by bullets and
stained by the blood of Capt. Biffle who was wounded at the Battle of
Bentonville on March 22, 1865. Capt. Biffle still lives at Hampshire. Rev. J.
J. Delk, the color bearer, now lives at Waxahatchie, Texas, and the twenty or
more bullet holes throught the flag were made while it was in Mr. Delk's
hands during the shower of bullets in battle.

"Allen Powell was the bugler at that time and some of the officers were
Lieut. T. J. Perry, Capt. McClain, Capt. Arch Lipscomb, Capt. Bromley and
Capt. Calloway. Mr. W. M. Cathey, who was in Biffle's company, says he was
within six feet of Capt. Biffle when he was shot. The regiment surrendered
three miles north of Charlotte, N.C., on april 26, 1865, and Mr. Delk
concealed the flag under his jacket and brought it home with him. This is the
second time since the war it has been brought to Tennessee and Messrs. J. B.
and W. M. Cathey carried it back to Texas with them Tuesday." (Quoted in The
Civil War in Maury County, Tennessee, compiled by Jill K. Garrett and Marise
P. Lightfoot.) --Wonder what ever happened to this old, tattered flag????

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