by Dieter C. Ullrich
In the twilight hours of May 5th, 1862, a lone detachment of Union cavalry calmly dismounted for a brief rest near a small river crossing called Lockridge's Mills in Weakley County, Tennessee. Pickets were organized and sent south from the crossing on the Dresden-Mayfield road as a precaution. As the pickets departed, the rest of the troops unfastened saddles, watered horses and began to prepare supper. Three picket lines were strategically placed along the road, the furthest from the encampment being about a half mile. Not long after the final picket was organized Confederate skirmishers attacked. A line of defense was quickly made but was immediately thrown back. The attacker pressed the outlying pickets and were soon upon the unsuspecting Union encampment. The surprised troops, many of which were still eating dinner, rushed to their horses to counter the charge. Chaos ensued as the overwhelming surge of Confederates infiltrated the camp and scattered the confused soldiers. The fortunate few that were able to find a mount stampeded for the crossing where a gallant last effort was made on the far side of the river to protect the hasty retreat. The Confederates crossed the bridge pushed aside the vulnerable rearguard and pursued the refugees into the night. In less than ten minutes, twenty four Union soldiers were killed or wounded and 67 captured.(1)
The Union detachment engaged at Lockridge's Mills consisted of three companies of the "Curtis Horse", a regiment that evolved from several independent companies which were recruited in the states of Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and the territory of Nebraska during the late summer and early fall of 1861.(2) Of the twelve companies that would later fill the regiment's muster rolls, only Companies E, F, and G would see combat on that fateful day at Lockridge's Mills. Company E was enlisted in Dubuque, Iowa by the recently commissioned Captain Carl Schaeffer de Boernstein, a German nobleman and combat veteran from the First Iowa Volunteer Infantry. Company F was recruited in Dubuque, Fort Madison and Burlington, Iowa by Lieutenant William Alexander Haw, a former infantry sergeant from the First Iowa. Company G was enlisted at St. Paul and Fort Snelling, Minnesota by Captain Henning Von Minden.(3)
The men that had enlisted in Companies E, F, and G were residents, with few exceptions, from the states of Iowa or Minnesota.(4) The majority being from Dubuque(5), a burgeoning river port and railroad hub on the west side of the Mississippi River opposite the Wisconsin-Illinois state line. At the outbreak of the war, the city of Dubuque had the largest population in Iowa with close to 13,000 people.(6) Lumbering and mining were the key industries of the city. When the railroad connected central plains to the rest of the United States in the early 1850's, the influx of immigrants into Dubuque and surrounding communities grew at an accelerated rate. This also occurred in the other recruitment cities of Burlington, Fort Madison and St. Paul. As in most places in the industrial northwest, the German and Irish had become the more prolific of the ethnic groups and were evident in the make up of the detachment.
The rosters of Companies E, F, and G indicate that nearly two-thirds of the troops who had enlisted in 1861 claimed Germany as the country of their birth.(7) All the officers of the detachment, excluding one captain, and a vast majority of the non-commissioned officers were German born.(8) Of those who declared themselves to be born in the United States, many had surnames of Germanic origin evidence that many were first generation Americans of German descent. One can also assume, with some certainty, that the primary language used by the detachment was the same that was spoken in the "Fatherland".
The average age of enlisted troops was twenty-five years old. The youngest members of the detachment were seventeen years of age and the oldest was fifty-five. The average age of the officers was only thirty-three, the youngest being Lieutenant Richard Van Vrendenburgh at the youthful age of twenty-three and the oldest being Captain Haw at age forty-five.(9) The occupations of the soldiers consisted largely of farmers with a substantial number of urban laborers, mostly carpenters and wood workers.
In late October of 1861, Companies E and F were assigned to the "Fremont Hussars", a select cavalry battalion appointed to guard Major General John C. Fremont, then the commander of the Western Department of the Union Army.(10) By the end of November, Fremont was relieved of command and the "Fremont Hussars" ceased to exist as a unit. On December 20, 1861, Brigadier General Samuel Ryan Curtis issued Special Order No. 70 which reorganized the "Fremont Hussars" into a cavalry regiment.(11) By adding several unattached cavalry companies, General Curtis created a new regiment that he named in his own honor. To command this new regiment he appointed Colonel William Warren Lowe, an experienced officer from the western frontier and a graduate of the United States Military Academy. Colonel Lowe had also served as an adjutant to Robert E. Lee in the years just preceding the war.(12)
From the later part of December to the end of January the regiment trained and drilled at Benton Barracks near St. Louis. On February 8, 1862, the regiment marched to St. Louis and boarded transports to the recently captured Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. The regiment arrived three days later with over one thousand men. A camp was setup outside the fort on the 11th as they awaited further orders. During the next few days, detachments of the regiment were ordered to scout and conduct minor raids to support the ensuing assault upon Fort Donelson. On February 15th, one hundred members of the regiment, including soldiers from Companies F and G, were ordered by General Grant to burn the Memphis and Ohio Railroad bridge over the Tennessee River.(13) After a march of over 70 miles in twenty-four hours the mission was claimed a success and the crossing destroyed.(14) Following the fall of Fort Donelson the regiment performed numerous patrols in the region along with garrison duty at Fort Heiman.
In early March, Companies A, B, C and D of the "Curtis Horse" marched upon Paris, Tennessee where they stumbled upon a Confederate camp on the western outskirts of the city. The lead companies, A and B, were ambushed by a larger rebel force but after artillery support and reinforcements arrived the attack was stalled. The battle turned into a stalemate and led to an eventual Union retreat on March 11th.(15) A detachment, including of members Companies E and G, returned two days later to Paris to negotiate the exchange of prisoners and wounded. To their surprise the Confederate force departed just hours before the detachment arrived, leaving the Union wounded behind in the city.(16)
At noon on March 31st, Captain Haw of Company F received orders to proceed to Paris and cease all conscription activities by the Confederate government.(17) Haw's detachment of seventy-five men reached the city on April 1st at 7 a.m. meeting no resistance. His troops passed through the city's major thoroughfares and peacefully occupied the Henry County Courthouse and the surrounding public square. After planting the Stars and Stripes a top the courthouse and questioning the locals on Confederate troop movements.(18) Haw and his men returned to camp that afternoon with a single prisoner.(19) A little more than a month later, Haw would be retracing the same route on his way to Lockridge's Mills.
Soon after the Battle of Pittsburg Landing, a select detachment of one hundred men and officers marched to Henry Station (Henry, Tennessee) to intercept a shipment of supplies destined for Confederate troops in Memphis. The detachment led by Major Schaeffer de Boernstein consisted of seventy-five men from Companies E, F, and G. Traveling through Paris on April 9th, Major Schaeffer's' detachment succeeded in surprising the small sentry at Henry Station confiscating $15,000 worth of "corn, wheat, oats, flour, sugar, butter and molasses" and other military supplies.(20) The railroad depot and whatever supplies his troops could not carry were set a fire and destroyed. Major Schaeffer returned his detachment intact the following day avoiding a considerable enemy force reported in the vicinity.(21) The raid would be Schaeffer's only successful mission after being appointed an officer to the "Curtis Horse".
On May 2nd, Colonel Lowe received information that medical supplies were reportedly taken from Paducah, Kentucky and were en route to the Confederate army in West Tennessee. In an attempt to foil the transaction, Lowe ordered Major Schaeffer to locate, intercept and confiscate the supplies.(22) A delay in acquiring rations and shoeing the horses stalled Schaeffer's immediate departure on May 2nd. Company E under the command of Captain Charles C. Nott began the march towards Paris at daybreak on the 3rd. Major Schaeffer followed with Companies F and G later that afternoon.(23) By the end of the day, the entire detachment of 130 soldiers had reached Paris and had set up camp for the night.(24)
A hard rain soaked the region during the night and by early morning there was still a light drizzle as the detachment saddled up and marched toward Como, Tennessee.(25) A steady rain and muddy roads delayed the march into Como until the afternoon. The lead company had reached Como by around 2 p.m. and rested their horses at the home of a local Unionist. The rest of the detachment arrived later in the day but pressed onwards to Dresden. Plans were enacted by Captain Nott to stay behind with twenty-five men to capture secessionists believed to be hiding in the nearby woods. While awaiting their return, Nott received word at dusk that a Confederate cavalry force of around three thousand men were in Caledonia, Tennessee marching towards Paris. He immediately sent a messenger to relay the news to Major Boernstein and the main body.(26)
The messenger reached the main body at Erwin's Farm, three miles west of Como.(27) Major Schaeffer was found scouting the road to Dresden as the main body prepared to camp for the night. After a being informed of the situation by the messenger, Schaeffer called for a meeting amongst his officers.(28) It was decided that the detachment should continue to Dresden and then possibly north toward Mayfield and then Hickman.(29) At 10 p.m. the main body of the detachment saddled up and began to move slowly in the dark. The road conditions were sloppy as the rain again began to pour down upon the weary troops. The forced march turned into a nightmare as the wagons became stuck, horses were lost and soldiers blindly walked in the deep mud. The detachment struggled through the mud to reach Dresden in the early morning hours of May 5th. Once entering the town, the men crowded into barns and settled in for the night. Pickets were posted on all roads entering the town, particularly the road from Como.(30)
Before sunrise a report was relayed to Major Schaeffer that the enemy was in pursuit and that their pickets had reached Erwin's Farm.(31) Between dawn and noon the detachment rested as Schaeffer waited upon further details on the movements of the enemy forces. Receiving word that the Confederate force was heading northeast towards Palmersville he issued the order to march directly north to Mayfield. Under clear skies, Company E led the detachment on a "hard and good" road.(32) As the detachment passed the outskirts of Dresden residents lined the road waving hands, handkerchiefs and small flags. Captain Nott would recall that it was "more like a gay, triumphal procession than a retreat."(33) Being adorned by local sympathizers raised the spirits of the troops as they continued their march to a little known river crossing called Lockridge's Mills.
The Confederate troops that initiated the charge upon the "Curtis Horse" at Lockridge's Mills consisted of five companies of the recently consolidated Seventh Tennessee Cavalry regiment.(34)Companies A, B, C and E of the Seventh Tennessee represented four of the five companies that had been engaged during the attack.(35) Company A was mustered into service as the "Memphis Light Dragoons" in Shelby County on May 16, 1861. Company B was organized in Haywood, Fayette and Tipton Counties as "Hill's Cavalry" on May 31, 1861. Company C enlisted its ranks from Shelby County, mostly from the Memphis area, in May of 1861 and was initially known as the "Marion Foxes". Company E was recruited in Hardeman County at Bolivar as the "Hardeman Avengers" in the late Spring of 1861.(36) All four companies were originally grouped together as part of the 6th (or Logwood's) Tennessee Cavalry Battalion on July 25, 1861 and began service in August of the same year in New Madrid, Missouri.(37)
The men that filled the ranks of these four companies, much like their counterparts, were farmers or farm laborers from rural areas with a sizable number of urban professionals and laborers. Most of those urbanites were from the city of Memphis, which at the outbreak of the war was the largest city in the state of Tennessee with a population of close to 23,000.(38) More than half of the troops were from small towns and farming communities outside of Shelby County in southwest Tennessee.
The average age of the Confederate troops can be estimated as the same age as the invaders from the north, that being roughly twenty five years of age at the time of enlistment.(39) The one major difference between the two were the number of foreign born. While a majority of the "Curtis Horse" were recent immigrants only a small minority of the 6th Tennessee Cavalry were not born in the United States. Of those foreign born, most were from Ireland or other parts of the British Isles.
The Sixth Cavalry Battalion saw immediate service in Western Tennessee and Kentucky soon after being organized. Companies A, B, and E conducted outpost duty at Fort Randolph, Tennessee as soon as August of 1861. By the middle of September, the unit was at Columbus performing scouting patrols during General Leonidas Polk's expedition to close the Mississippi to Union shipping and to hold Kentucky for the Confederacy.(40) It was in September when some members of the battalion had their first taste of the combat. A squadron of ten men from Company C were ambushed by Union infantry near their encampment at Elliott's Mills. The squadron was briefly surprised but charged through the ambush. They fortunately returned unscathed to Columbus.(41) A week later on September 22, about one hundred soldiers from the battalion returned to Elliott's Mills at Mayfield Creek where they engaged a small Union infantry detachment. The Confederates inflicted four casualties upon the Federal detachment before departing back to Columbus. The only loss to the battalion were a few bruises and the death of one horse.(42)
The good fortunes of the battalion would change on the night of October 10th as Company A and B advanced and attacked enemy pickets near Paducah, Kentucky. The night raid ordered by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas H. Logwood turned out to be a complete debacle. In the darkness, the attacking soldiers fired unknownly into their own ranks inducing a "severe loss" to their own detachment. The two companies would return to Columbus carrying their dead and wounded from the battle field. The impact of the assault upon Union defenses was minimal as the pickets remained intact and no casualties were recorded.(43)
On the morning of November 7, Company A was one of the first cavalry units to be sent across the Mississippi River during General U. S. Grant's attempt to take Belmont, Missouri. The company arrived at Belmont between 9 and 10 a.m. led by Lieutenant Colonel Logwood, who deployed his men on the far left of Confederate line.(44) The troops were well positioned on a bluff overlooking the battlefield and had a clear view of the conflict. The company, however, saw little action except a few minor skirmishes. During the final two months of 1861, the battalion performed scouting missions and other duties near Columbus and later Moscow, Kentucky.(45)
The 6th Tennessee began the new year stationed at Camp Desha near Moscow, where they continued their patrols.(46) On February 13, 1862, Company E and G from the battalion engaged the enemy while patrolling between Paris and Fort Heiman. The detachment briefly drove their skirmishers back but retreated after the Union main body approached. The loss was three wounded, one killed and one captured.(47) Later that same month, not long after the fall of Fort Donelson, the entire battalion marched towards Mayfield destroying rail lines and bridges south of the city to Fulton, Kentucky. During the return voyage, the raiders burned the old Confederate base of Camp Beauregard and captured a "large lot of flour and other provisions" at the Fulton depot.(48)
With the capture of Fort Donelson, General Polk pulled out of Columbus and reconcentrated his forces further south at Island No. 10, New Madrid and Humbolt, Tennessee.(49) On March 4, the 6th Tennessee burned their camp near Moscow and marched to Union City. Lieutenant Colonel Logwood arrived at Union City on the 7th with only 180 men. That same day, Logwood was relieved of his command and sent to Richmond by order of General Albert S. Johnston.(50) He would later serve as the commander of the Fifteenth Tennessee Cavalry.
By the end of March, General Johnston had assumed command of the Army of the Mississippi and immediately set out to reorganize the army into structured corps, brigades and divisions.(51) Colonel William H. Jackson was assigned to organize a new cavalry regiment from the dozen detached companies patrolling the western region of Tennessee.(52) Colonel Jackson was a West Tennessee native, born in Paris and a resident of Jackson. He was a West Point graduate and saw service at frontier posts in both Texas and New Mexico. Following the bombardment of Fort Sumter he resigned his commission in the United States Army and joined as a Captain in the Confederate army. At the Battle of Belmont, he led a dramatic infantry charge where he was seriously wounded.(53) He was still recovering from his wounds when took the assignment in late March.
On the morning of March 31st, the 7th Tennessee was attacked at Union City by a force of Federal infantry, cavalry and artillery. The Federal force of 1,350 men landed in Hickman the day before at noon and swiftly marched towards Union City. They arrived about five miles from the city at 7 o'clock that evening. Finding it too late to initiate a coordinated attack the Union commander ordered his troops to quietly bivouac for the night. The next morning, the Federals launched an all out attack. The Confederate units, consisting of Colonel Ed Pickett's Twenty-first Tennessee Infantry and the remnants of 6th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion, were caught completely off guard as their encampment was first overrun by Union cavalry and then shelled by artillery. The Confederate troops scrambled without firing a shot, fleeing south as the Union infantry swept up the remaining stragglers.(54) In the hurried exodus from Union City, Companies B and D left behind their company colors.(55) After the Confederates departure, the Federals confiscated numerous horses and mules, supply wagons, and small arms.(56) The camp was then looted and burned to the ground. In the ashes were the final remembrances of the 6th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion.
The next day, the Sixth Tennessee Cavalry Battalion was reorganized and refitted as the Seventh Tennessee Cavalry Regiment in Trenton, Tennessee. The regiment initially proclaimed itself the First Tennessee Cavalry. It was not until several months later that the regiment would be redesignated the Seventh according to seniority of service to the State of Tennessee.(57) The number designation was not popular among some of the companies as they considered themselves to be "among the first to volunteer".(58)
The regiment's first assignment was a five day reconnaissance from Hickman to Union City to Dresden which began on April 5th. For many in the patrol it would be their first expedition into Weakley County, an area which would become more familiar as patrols were increased in the region later in the month. The regiment was not enthusiastically received by the citizens of the county. Colonel Jackson would write in his report of April 10th, "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..."(59) Strong Unionist sentiments, fear and the unwillingness of the region's inhabitants to except Confederate currency made their initial march into Weakley County an uneasy one. Other than a few communication problems with an independent cavalry company, the patrol was uneventful and returned to Trenton on the 10th.(60)The rest of the month was spent monitoring the events in the region between the Tennessee and Mississippi River.
On April 29th, Colonel Thomas Claiborne of the 6th Tennessee Cavalry was instructed by General Beauregard to assemble his troops and concentrate his regiment with the 7th Tennessee at Trenton.(61) A few days earlier, General Beauregard had received information that the Union Army had stockpiled supplies valued at $3,000,000 at Paducah. Continued reports stated that these Federal stores were lightly guarded by only a few hundred cavalry soldiers.(62) Seeing an opportunity to destroy this vital link in the Union supply line, Beauregard ordered the 6th and 7th Tennessee to march upon Paducah "capture its garrison, and destroy the large amount of stores understood to have been accumulated there".(63) Colonel Claiborne was given the assignment to command both regiments during this secretive and decisive operation.(64)
Thomas Claiborne was the son of a prominent Nashville family whose family heritage included a United States Congressman and a Secretary of the Colony of Virginia. At the early age of twenty, he began practicing law and editing the Trenton newspaper the True American. He was also a personal friend of President James K. Polk, who would commission Claiborne a Lieutenant when the United States declared war with Mexico. During the Mexican War, Claiborne saw action at Aijoya and Huermantla and was brevetted captain before the war's conclusion. Following the war in Mexico, he was stationed in the New Mexico territory until the outbreak of the Civil War. On May 14, 1861, he resigned his commission and joined the Confederacy in Richmond. Prior to the Battle of Lockridge's Mills, Claiborne served in various administrative positions under both Beauregard and Johnston.(65) This planned expedition to Paducah would be his first mission as an officer in a combative role in the Civil War.
The 6th Tennessee, also known as the 1st Confederate Cavalry Regiment and the 12th Confederate Cavalry Regiment, was a unit that was comprised of companies from both Tennessee and Alabama. A majority of soldiers that made up the regiment were from counties in western Tennessee. Colonel Claiborne was assigned to the regiment as part of the re-organization of Confederate cavalry units in late March and early April of 1862 by General Johnston.(66) The actions of the 6th Tennessee at Lockridge's Mills would be fairly minimal, being engaged only in the final phase of the battle as pursuers of the retreating Federals.
Colonel Claiborne and the 6th Tennessee reached Trenton early on May 2nd, where he received information that the 7th Tennessee was en route to McKenzie's Station (now McKenzie), Tennessee.(67) The regiment departed Trenton that afternoon marching northeast on the road to Huntingdon. By dusk, the troops had reached King's Bridge where they encamped for the night. The following day, the 6th Tennessee entered McKenzie's Station and awaited the arrival of the 7th Tennessee. Colonel Jackson and the 7th Tennessee arrived early on May 4th. Later that same day, with a combined force of about 1,250 men, the two regiments marched northward for Paducah.(68)
As the 6th and 7th Tennessee moved toward Paris, Claiborne questioned the preparedness of his command for such an important operation. The lack of proper equipment was a major concern for the colonel. His force had no artillery, his soldiers had an assortment of different weapons and there were no available "cooking utensils".(69) He recognized that only by a surprise attack followed by an immediate withdrawal would success be guaranteed.
The expedition arrived in Paris at 4:00 p.m., where Claiborne was informed that a Union detachment of cavalry estimated between 250 and 500 men had left for Dresden six hours earlier. Claiborne chose to intercept the Federal force and destroy it before his troop movements towards Paducah were discovered.(70) He broke up his command into three columns with the hope of surrounding the Union detachment before they could return to Fort Heiman. One column, under Lieutenant Colonel James Pell, was ordered to the Kentucky - Tennessee border town of Boydsville to cut off a possible retreat to the east. The two other columns were sent to pursue and overtake the intruders.(71) Colonel Jackson was given the lead column which consisted of several companies of the 7th Tennessee. Claiborne would remain with the final column and serve as the main attack force once the enemy was encountered. Both columns pressed on into a dark and stormy night.
At about 1:30 a.m., the lead column had reached the Cowan residence. The Cowan's were known in the region to be Union sympathizers. Colonel Claiborne, portraying a Federal officer, convinced Mrs. Cowan to present information on Union troop movements and other military intelligence of interest. From their conversation, he ascertained the name of the detachment commander and that he had been warned of a large number of Confederate troops in Paris. Furthermore, couriers were sent by the Union commander to Hickman, Mayfield and Paducah to warn of the their presence.(72) The cat was out of the bag and Claiborne's options were now limited to preventing the Union detachment's escape.
After discussing the impossibility of surprise with Colonel Jackson and the other officers it was agreed that the raid on Paducah could no longer be the primary objective. The new mission was "to pursue Major Schaeffer and catch him at any rate."(73) Claiborne would later write of his disappointment, "my plans were manifestly frustrated, as the expedition had no hope for success, except by surprise."(74) The raid on Paducah was aborted.
By early morning, Claiborne devised a plan to overtake Schaeffer before his detachment could return to Fort Heiman or reach Paducah. Recognizing that his every move was being reported to his Union counterpart, Claiborne ordered the second and third columns on a by-road to Palmersville to mislead the Federals. By the early afternoon Jackson's column had returned to the Dresden - Mayfield road and was closing on Schaeffer's detachment. Just before 5:00 p.m., Claiborne received vague reports of the their whereabouts.(75) To confirm these reports he and Colonel Jackson led the lead column to Stephenson's Mill, about five miles south of Lockridge's Mills.(76) Companies A, B, C and E were included in the five companies that made up the lead column.
While the Confederate force was bearing down upon the Union detachment, Major Schaeffer ordered his troops to rest the horses and prepare dinner near the home of Marshall Lockridge. Ignoring the advise of his subordinates, Schaeffer chose to set up camp on the south side of the river crossing. Recalling the Major's unwise preference of camp location, Private Josiah Conzett of Company E wrote in his memoirs:
They [the detachment] should have crossed the bridge & destroyed it, then they could have had time to escape. But the Major saw a fine house with some nice looking women on the porch on this side of the stream. The Maj. was a great gallant where fine ladies were concerned. So, instead of crossing as he should have done, he gave orders for a short halt to give the men a chance to make a cup of coffee and a little feed, rest and rubdown for the horses.(77)
As a precaution, Schaeffer did order his men to "be prepared to leave at a moments notice ... and saddle up in the dark".(78) He also ordered pickets sent on the road towards Dresden.
Forty-five men from Company F, under the command of Captain Haw, were given the assignment of performing picket duty. Three lines of pickets were to be established, the final picket being set up about half mile south of Lockridge's Mills.(79) The rest of the detachment prepared camp near the farmhouse and barn overlooking the north fork of the Obion River and the Mills along its banks. Captain Nott would recall, "It was a noble valley, smooth as a floor and covered with huge oaks and elms".(80)
At around 5:30 p.m., Company B of the 7th Tennessee spotted Haw's first picket. The field officer, Captain John Goff Ballentine immediately deployed a company to attack. The company galloped to within seventy yards drew their sabers and charged the astonished bluecoats.(81) Haw drew back his first picket then quickly fell to the second.(82) A loud yell was heard and Companies A, C, E and possibly Company D of the 7th joined the charge.(83) Haw continued to fall back towards the Union encampment frantically trying to organize a rear guard.
The main body of the Union detachment was still unaware of the attack. Soldiers sat eating their supper, their horses unsaddled and tied to fence posts and trees. Captain Nott was walking in front of the Lockridge farmhouse when he noticed in the distance three horsemen urgently galloping down the road. As they raced towards camp, he recognized them as members of Haws' rear guard. Wildly waving their hats they rumbled by him yelling "Saddle up! Saddle up! The rebs are coming!". Somewhat shocked Nott screamed the orders to, "Saddle up and fall in!" (84)Chaos ensued as the men grabbed whatever weapons and personal items they could and ran for their mounts. Riderless horses and fleeing soldiers began to clutter the road adding more confusion to the already chaotic conditions.(85)
Behind the Confederate line, about two miles from the Union encampment, the excitement to participate in the battle could not be restrained. Without any direct order from Claiborne, the remaining Confederate force followed the charge of Captain Ballentine. Claiborne's strategic intentions of selectively sending Colonel Jackson's five companies to attack, encircle and capture the Union detachment quickly turned into a unmanageable rush toward the enemy.(86) Now a total force of around 800 men went bearing down the road to Lockridge's Mills.(87)
Somehow the scattered Federals managed to assemble two partial squadrons to form a line in the barnyard near the road. While Major Schaeffer sought to find and saddle his horse, Captain Nott assumed command. He at once ordered the squadrons to, "Draw sabers", to face Captain Ballentine's oncoming assault.(88) The Confederates closed in and fired into the line with buckshot wounding men and horses. The Union line broke in disarray. Major Schaeffer, who had finally found a mount, ordered the command to fall back beyond the bridge, where he hoped to form another line.(89) Captain Nott recalled the event:
Across the narrow bridge we went safely, though it swayed and trembled under the tramp of galloping horses. As the men wheeled and reformed, I moved to the right and looked back. Hitherto I had seen but the head of their column, and had formed on idea of its strength. Now I saw, far up the valley, a solid unbroken column of perhaps a thousand men. Between them and the bridge were a few men, and many flying horses, which ran madly. The enemy were armed with guns, and my men had but sabers and pistols. The captain of the squadron had been at the bridge, trying vainly to rally his men; but they had gone, and mine were the only ones left.(90)
Fearing for the life of his men Nott ordered a general retreat and hastily headed north on the road to Mayfield. Major Schaeffer and few men remained near the bridge and covered the fleeing detachment. Captain Ballentine and the lead column dashed to the crossing in pursuit. Ballentine reached the bridge first and crossed after being fired at several times. Dodging a barrage of bullets he approached to within six feet of Major Schaeffer, who without ammo exclaimed, "My pistol is empty; draw your sword!" Ballentine complied and drew his saber. A spirited sword fight ensued. During the melee, Schaeffer delivered a devastating blow which first struck Ballentine's saber then deflected into the captain's skull. The powerful stroke sheared through Ballentine's soft hat causing a severe gash to the forehead. Reeling from the impact and partially blinded by his own blood, Ballentine wheeled his horse around and drove his steed back into Major's horse. Schaeffer was pitched back into his saddle by the collision. Seeing a break in his defenses Ballentine pierced Schaeffer deep into his side. The Major collapsed to the ground insensible and bleeding profusely.(91)
The rear guard dissipated soon after the fall of Major Schaeffer. The retreat turned into a route as the bulk of the Confederate force crossed to the north side of the river. The Federals, some riding bareback and a few riding two to a horse, attempted to outrun the pursuit. Captain Haw would race three miles before his wounds caused him to fall from his horse. Captain Minden was in full flight when his horse tumbled and fell crushing his leg.(92) The detachment's quartermaster, Lieutenant Richard Van Vrendenburgh, was eventually captured by a determined Private L. J. O'Kelly, who relentlessly chased the officer until captured.(93) At nightfall, the exhausted men and their horses returned content with their victory.
Soon after the battle, the victors tended to the wounded and rounded up prisoners. Claiborne would report enemy casualties as being, "Killed 6, wounded 16, and captured 4 officers and 67 non-commissioned officers and privates". The Confederates would also seize two wagons, 56 horses, numerous saddles and many small arms.(94) Among the dead left upon the field were Privates Jacob Deutsch, John Baptiste Frei, and Andrew Kurtzman. The wounded included Major Schaeffer, Captains Haws and Minden, Lieutenant Vrendenburgh and about dozen enlisted men.(95) The majority of those killed, wounded and captured were from Company F which took the brunt of the initial attack.(96) Claiborne would claim no casualties in his command but Captain Ballentine, Private O'Kelly, and a Sergeant R. J. Black would require medical assistance.(97)
The Federals captured were removed of their arms and set camp under guard. The wounded were placed upon two wagons and carried to Dresden.(98) It was recorded that one stubborn private, John George Bauer, argued with a Confederate field surgeon regarding the amputation of his wounded shoulder. The surgeon, whose services were needed elsewhere on the battlefield, left the argumentative bluecoat behind.(99) Among those sent to Dresden were Major Schaeffer and Captain Ballentine who were ironically placed in the same cart and were later attended to at the same residence.(100) Half the detachment, including Captain Nott, would avoid capture after a high speed dash into Kentucky.(101) Later that same night, the survivors were ambushed by a Confederate scouting party on the road to Paducah. Scattered and confused the refugees sought safety in the woods.(102)
On the morning of May 6th, the dead were buried in a trench across the road from the Lockridge home.(103) Claiborne paroled Major Schaeffer, Private Frank Hille and two other severely wounded prisoners and detailed Corporal August Schlapp to remain in Dresden to render service to the wounded. The last of Claiborne's command left Lockridge's Mills later that afternoon. The next day, he received reports that a large enemy force armed with artillery was concentrating to the northeast preparing to move against him. Undaunted, he marched his troops east to Como then south to Caledonia. By dark, the command was within five miles of the town and bivouacked for the night. At midnight, Lieutenant Colonel Pell's column arrived from Boydsville to report that an enemy force of over 1,000 was six miles from Paris and was expected to be reenforced by additional 500 by morning. (104) In a role reversal, Claiborne was the now the hunted.
After hearing the reports of the battle, Colonel Lowe immediately departed Fort Heiman with the remaining companies of the "Curtis Horse", the entire 4th Minnesota Infantry Regiment, four companies of the 52nd Indiana Infantry and a section of artillery. Starting on the evening of the 6th, he advanced his command towards Paris. By the evening of the 7th, his troops had reached outskirts of Paris and had received reports of Pell's column about two miles distant on the road to Caledonia. Lowe was preparing to engage Pell's rear guard when orders arrived from General Henry W. Halleck to discontinue the pursuit. In disregard to those orders, he sent several parties into Paris the next morning with the intent of starting an engagement.(105) His efforts failed. He returned with his command to Fort Heiman the following day.
Not knowing of Lowe's orders to break off the pursuit, Colonel Claiborne directed his troops and prisoners to move onto King's Bridge and McLemoresville. Fearing the only bridge that crossed the south fork of the Obion River might be seized or destroyed he urgently pressed southwest with the utmost speed. By the evening of May 8th, the main body of his command had made it safely over King's Bridge to McLemoresville where they bivouaced for the night. Pell's column was left behind at McKenzie Station to report enemy troop movements and to serve as a rear guard. The next morning Pell informed Claiborne of the Federals withdrawal from Paris.(106) The expedition safely returned to Trenton by the second week of May. The prisoners were delivered to the Provost Marshall in Jackson, Tennessee not long after.
From Jackson the enlisted and non-commissioned officers were forwarded to Corinth, Mississippi and were imprisoned there until subsequently paroled and exchanged on May 15th.(107) The enlisted soldiers would not return to their regiment at Fort Heiman until June 7, 1862. The officers of the detachment were held in captivity until October 15, 1862, when they too were paroled and later exchanged in December of the same year.(108) The treatment of the prisoners was considered to be reasonable and fair. Captains Haw and Minden were allowed by Colonel Claiborne to send a written report of the battle to Colonel Lowe only days after the battle. The kindness displayed by Claiborne would be mentioned by both officers in that message.(109) Claiborne wrote his wife in Nashville on May 18th, that if he would become sick or wounded Colonel Lowe would "see you safely sent into our lines, and the more so, after the very kind treatment I extended to my prisoners made in the affair I had with them on the Obion River on the 5th."(110)
The fugitives of the battle had trickled into Paducah for several days after their retreat from Lockridge's Mills. By May 12th, Captain Nott would report to Colonel Lowe that 58 men and 48 horses had reached Paducah safely.(111) Almost all would return to Fort Heiman before the end of May. For many, however, it would take months to recover from their wounds and the bitter experience of defeat.
Major Schaeffer died of his wounds in Dresden on the night of May 7th. Before his death, Schaeffer would award Captain Ballentine his horse, pistol and saber as the lawful spoils of war.(112) His body was transported to the Union lines and sent to his home in Dubuque, where it arrived on May 20th by train from Cairo.(113)The death of this prestigious officer and distinguished member of the German community was greatly deplored both in Dubuque and by the entire State of Iowa. On the day of his funeral, the city's businesses were closed and hundreds of black draped flags hung over the streets in honor of the fallen hero. The procession was led by a German band and followed by many of the region's most prominent citizens. Dubuque's Main Street was lined with a crowd of spectators as his horse drawn casket passed on its way to the city cemetery. The local press would report: "Never before was there so great a funeral in the city of Dubuque. Never before was there such a turnout of our citizens to attend the funeral ceremonies of any man".(114) His final resting place would be at Linwood Cemetery.(115)
Twelve days after the death of Major Schaeffer, Private Hille would die of his wounds in Corinth, Mississippi. The stubborn private, who was left to die on the battlefield, was fortunately rescued by an elderly lady who tended to his wounds at her home not far from the battle field.(116)
The Memphis and Nashville newspapers reported the battle on May 9th. All initial accounts of the battle proved to be inaccurate and misleading. The Nashville Dispatch and the Nashville Daily Union both reported that two hundred Nebraska cavalry were captured by Major Henry Clay King twelve miles west of Fort Heiman.(117) An article in the Memphis Daily Appeal declared that Colonels Jackson and Claiborne surprised and captured around two hundred Federal cavalry above Paris.(118) The most engrossing account of the battle was an editorial in the Memphis Daily Appeal on May 16th, which gave a moderately detailed report of the battle and concluded with this defiant pronouncement:
Col. Claiborne, with his energy and zeal will, no doubt, soon rid that portion of the country of the thieving hordes of Hessians, who come with broken Dutch to insult our citizens; who come with the stench of their foreign homes still hanging about them to drive us from ours; who come to burn, pillage, and destroy, in the sacred name of country, in the name of that country which our fathers purchased, fighting the hireling Hessian ancestry of these modern patriots. The thought is a bitter one that we must pit our lives against such.(119)
The commentary, interestingly enough, was signed "A. Rebel".
In early June, unrest occurred amongst the "Curtis Horse" as desertions rose and mutiny threatened to dissolve the regiment. Twenty-one soldiers, all of whom were captured at Lockridge's Mills, refused to return to active duty unless certificates of capture and exchange were furnished by the either the Confederate or United States Army. The former prisoners feared that if captured again they would be treated as spies and shot. To quell the uprising Colonel Lowe put the men under guard and forced them to perform hard labor. For two weeks, the men persevered until General Halleck ordered them discharge for mutinous conduct on June 27th. Private Conzett would describe the discharge as followed:
The regiment was ordered out in battle line under arms and in full uniform. The prisoners were then placed in line in front of us. The Adjutant then stopped to the front and, in a trembling voice, read Gen. Halleck's cruel order to them. The order was given them to about face, forward march. The drum corps played the Rogues March and so escorted them out beyond our lines into the Rebel country, infested by guerrillas, robbers and scoundrels and deserters from both sides who would not hesitate to rob and kill them on sight. They were forbidden to come into our lines anywhere for help. Oh, it was the saddest sight and hardest duty we were ever called to perform! We were not ashamed to let our tears flow freely."(120)
Captain Nott would return to Lockridge's Mills with Company E in early October of 1862. His intentions were to retrieve the saber he had intentionally hid after being ambushed on the night of the battle. After relocating the sword, he briefly stopped at the Lockridge farm. Recalling the Confederate onslaught he would remark to himself, "What a strong position it is! How easily we could have held it, had we been armed like the enemy".(121) Before departing the battlefield, he spoke to Mr. and Mrs. Lockridge who led him to the shallow graves of the dead soldiers. He paid a brief homage to his fallen comrades and left Lockridge's Mills never to return. On October 15th, Captain Nott resigned his commission in the "Curtis Horse" and returned to his home state of New York.
By December of 1862, Captain Nott had written of his experiences in West Tennessee and negotiated a deal with a New York City publisher. He was soon promoted to Colonel in January of 1863 to command the newly organized 176th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment. By the time his writings were published in New York in 1863, he and his regiment were in Louisiana guarding the railroad lines around New Orleans. On June 23, Nott was captured at an engagement near Brashear City. He was held in captivity for thirteen months, after which he was discharged for health reasons prompted by his harsh imprisonment.
On June 25th, the "Curtis Horse" was assigned to the State of Iowa and was officially designated the Fifth Iowa Cavalry. The Fifth Iowa would remain in the State of Tennessee for almost the entire war. From June to 1862 to June of 1863, the regiment performed garrison duty at Forts Heiman, Henry and Donelson. They would also continue their usual scouting patrols in western Tennessee and Kentucky seeing action at the Cumberland Iron Works, Clarksville and Waverly. The regiment moved to Nashville by June 11, 1863, in preparation for General Sherman's march into Georgia. By the end of the year, the unit was engaged in several skirmishes in Middle Tennessee and northern Alabama. The year 1864 brought the regiment further south and east as the Union Army pressed on towards Atlanta. In July, the Fifth Iowa partook in a series of raids during the siege of Atlanta and in the Fall served in operations against General Hood in north Georgia and Alabama. In November and December, the regiment saw combat at the Battles of Spring Hill, Franklin and Nashville. The Fifth Iowa concluded the war as one of the cavalry regiments involved in General James H. Wilson's cavalry raid into the deep south. They received the news of the war's end in Macon on April 20th and were mustered out of service in Nashville on August 11, 1865.(122)
The Seventh Tennessee Cavalry would ride down into southern folklore as one of the most prominent and gallant Confederate cavalry regiments of the war. In June of 1862, the regiment covered the evacuation of Fort Pillow by destroying Federal rail road lines and destroying locomotives. It saw action at Lafayette Station, Britton's Lane and at the Battle of Corinth on October 3rd and 4th. By 1863, the unit had its headquarters at Grenada, Mississippi where it conducted scouting patrols and raids in the region. In October of 1863, the Seventh Tennessee accompanied General J. R. Chalmers' raid into Northern Mississippi and West Tennessee. The regiment accompanied General Nathan Bedford Forrest in March of 1864 on his raid into West Kentucky, participating in the capture of Union City and Fort Pillow. In the first two weeks of June, General Forrest led the Seventh Tennessee and two other cavalry regiments to pursue the Union General S. D. Surgis. At the Battle of Brice's Crossroads on June 10th, Sturgis's command was caught but at heavy price. The Seventh Tennessee would claim 54 casualties that day. A month later, they were again with Forrest at the Battle of Harrisburg. In late September, they followed Forrest as he launched a series of raids into Middle Tennessee which would not end until the second week of October. By November, Forrest was ordered to assist General Hood in an attempt to defeat the Union forces in Middle Tennessee and to push northwards into Kentucky. They would take part in both the Battles of Franklin and Nashville. During the final months of the war, the 7th withdrew further south until Forrest surrendered his forces to General Wilson's cavalry corps on May 12, 1865 at Gainesville, Alabama.(123)
On February 22, 1865, Charles Nott was appointed by President Lincoln as judge of the United States Court of Claims, a position that he held for over forty years. In his spare time he would write a forty-eight volume set of United States claims court decisions, four books and numerous articles and editorials in journals and newspapers.(124) William Lowe finished his career in the military in 1869 as a brevetted brigadier general. In the 1870's and 1880's, he organized smelting and refining works in the territories of Nebraska and Idaho, and was engaged in mining and the construction of railroads in Wyoming and Utah.(125) After his discharge, John Bauer would become a missionary circuit rider for the German Methodist church on the Minnesota frontier. He would forever cherish a quilt given to him by the elderly lady that saved his life.(126)
Thomas Claiborne returned to his family farm near Nashville after the war, where he became involved in civic and veteran groups. He would serve as the president of both the Mexican War Veterans of Tennessee and the Confederate Veterans Association of Tennessee during most of the 1880's and 1890's.(127) John Ballentine would return to his hometown of Pulaski and resume his law practice. In 1882, Ballentine was elected to the United States House of Representatives where he would serve two consecutive terms. He retired from public life in 1887. The saber and pistol entrusted to him by Major Schaeffer were believed to have been lost in a fire that destroyed his family home sometime after his retirement.(128) At the war's conclusion, William Jackson would take charge of his father's large plantations. In 1868, he would marry the daughter of William G. Harding and settled at the Belle Meade estate near Nashville.(129)
The battle ground has changed quite significantly since that momentous evening in May of 1862. The Lockridge home, the mills and the bridge no longer exist. The road that was once served as a major thoroughfare between Dresden and Mayfield has since been plowed under and is currently used as farmland. Trees, vines and undergrowth have consumed most of recognizable features that Charles Nott had so vividly described in his memoirs. A lone state historical marker a mile from the original battle site on Route 190 between Latham and Palmersville is the only sign that blood was once shed upon this hallowed ground.
1. Col. Thomas Claiborne to Gen. G. T. Beauregard, May 9, 1862, in The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies 128 volumes (Washington, D. C. : Government Printing Office, 1880-1901), Series I, volume 10, p. 879-883.
2. Ingersoll, Lurton Dunham, Iowa and the Rebellion (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1866), p. 442.
3. Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion, 6 volumes (Des Moines: State of Iowa, 1910), volume 4, p. 846; The History of Dubuque of Dubuque County, Iowa(Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880), p. 246 and; The History of Lee County, Iowa (Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1879), p. 246.
4. Ibid., pp. 863-1013. According to the mustering-in records taken by the United States Army in St. Louis, Missouri, 24 of 288 men who enlisted from August to October of 1861 in Companies E, F, and G declared residency outside of either Iowa or Minnesota.
5. Ibid., pp. 863-1013. According to the mustering-in records taken by the United States Army in St. Louis, Missouri, 99 of the 288 men who enlisted from August to October of 1861 in Companies E, F, and G declared residency from Dubuque, Iowa. Soldiers declaring Dubuque as a place of residence out numbered other communities represented in the muster rolls 2 to 1.
6. Population of the United States in 1860; Compiled from the Original Returns of the Eighth Census (Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1864), p. 144. The population of Dubuque as recorded by the Superintendent of the Census was 12,926.
7. Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion, volume IV, pp. 863-1013. According to the mustering-in records taken by the United States Army in St. Louis, Missouri, 178 of the 288 men who enlisted from August to October of 1861 in Companies E, F, and G claimed Germany or Prussia to be their place of birth (62%). 88 of the 288 were listed as American born (31%) and 22 of the 288 claimed birth in other countries besides Germany and the United States (7%). Those countries included Switzerland, Ireland, England, France, Poland, Canada and Holland.
8. Ibid., p. 959. The only American born officer present at the Battle of Lockridge's Mills was Captain Charles C. Nott from New York.
9. Ibid., pp. 863-1013. The average age was calculated from the mustering-in records of 288 soldiers who were enlisted into service between August to October of 1861. Two soldiers were recorded as being only 17 years of age when they enlisted, Eli H. Dickinson and Frank Meyknecht of Dubuque. Charles K. Winn of Dubuque was 55 years of age when he enlisted and may have been one of the wounded survivors who escaped to Paducah, Kentucky. He was listed in the company records as being discharged for disability on May 15, 1862.
10. Ingersoll, Iowa and the Rebellion, p. 442.
11. Report of the Adjutant General and acting Quartermaster General of the State of Iowa 2 volumes (Des Moines: F. W. Palmer, State Printer, 1865), volume 2, p. 977. The order went as followed:
Headquarters, St. Louis District,
St. Louis, Mo., December 20, 1861,
I. Pursuant to Special Order No. 74, of the Department of the Missouri, to carry out special instructions from the Secretary of War, directing the organization of a cavalry regiment to be called the "Curtis Horse", the following detachments and companies are united for that purpose, viz.:
Nebraska Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel M. T. Patrick - four companies.
Detachment of Iowa and Minnesota troops, known as the command of Captain Schaeffer de Boernstein - three companies.
Detachment under the same command, twenty-seven men, company of Osage County Mounted Rifles, commanded by Captain Kidd - one company.
Other detachments and companies may be attached hereafter, not to exceed twelve companies.
II. The following field officers are designated, and will be mustered into service, pursuant to order No. 48, War Department, and will be respected and obeyed accordingly: W. W. Lowe, Captain U. S. Army, as Colonel; M. T. Patrick, as Lieutenant Colonel; Carl Schaeffer de Boernstein, as Major. The remaining field officers will be appointed upon the completion of the regimental organization; the staff chosen by the field officers and captains of the command, except when otherwise prescribed by law, or by orders of the War Department, relating to military organizations.
12. Sifakis, Stewart, Who was Who in the Civil War (New York: Facts on File, 1988), p. 397 and; Wilson, James Grant and John Fiske, Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography 7 volumes (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1888), volume IV, 1888.
13. Gen. U. S. Grant to Gen. Lew. Wallace, February 15,1862, Official Records, Series I, Part I, volume 7, pp. 618-619.
14. Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion, volume IV, p. 847 and; Ingersoll, Iowa and the Rebellion, 442-443.
15. Capt. John T. Croft to Gen. U. S. Grant, March 13, 1862, Official Records, Series I, Part I, volume 10, p. 18 and; Ezell, John S., "Excerpts from the Civil War Diary of Lieutenant Charles Alley, Company "C," Fifth Iowa Cavalry," Iowa Journal of History 49 (1951) 255-256.
16. Nott, Charles C., Sketches of the War: A Series of Letters to the North Moore Street School of New York (New York: Charles T. Evans, 1863), pp. 60-71 and; Ezell, John S., "Excerpts from the Civil War", p. 256.
17. Gen. U. S. Grant to Col. W. W. Lowe, March 11, 1862, April 3, 1862, Official Records, Series I, Part II, volume 10, p. 30.
18. Capt. William A. Haw to Lieut. Col. M. T. Patrick, Official Records, Series I, Part I, volume 7, pp. 79-83.
19. Nott, Charles C., Sketches of the War, p. 56. Captain Nott describes Camp Lowe as " a small field about three miles above the fort (Henry)... and named after our colonel (W. W. Lowe).
20. Col. W. W. Lowe to Col. J. C. Kelton, April 17, 1862, Official Records, Series I, Part II, volume 10.
21. Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion, volume IV, 848.
22. Official Records, Series I, Part I, volume 10, p. 881 and; Confederate Military History: Extended Edition, 17 volumes (Wilmington, N. C.: Broadfoot Publishing Co., 1987), volume 10, p. 43.
23. Official Records, Series I, Part I, volume 10, p. 883 and; Nott, Charles C., Sketches of the War, p. 111.
24. Captain W. A. Haw would write in his official report (Official Records, Series I, Part I, volume 10, p. 883) that Major Schaeffer's command consisted of "130 men strong." Colonel W. W. Lowe stated that there were "125 men" present in the detachment (Official Records, Series I, Part I, volume 10, p. 881). Colonel Thomas Claiborne declared there to be a "force of 150" enemy soldiers (Official Records, Series I, Part I, volume 10, p. 880).
25. Nott., Sketches of the War, 117.
26. Ibid., pp. 118-122.
27. Official Records, Series I, Part I, volume 10, p. 883.
28. Nott, Sketches of the War, 122.
29. Official Records, Series I, Part I, volume 10, p. 883.
30. Nott, Sketches of the War, p. 124.
31. Official Records, Series I, Part I, volume 10, p. 883.
32. Nott, Sketches of the War, 125.
34. Official Records, Series I, Part I, volume 10, p. 880.
35. Young, J. P., The Seventh Tennessee Cavalry: A History (Nashville: Barbee & Smith, 1890), pp. 28-30; Hubbard, John Milton, Notes of a Private (St. Louis: Nixon-Jones Printing Co., 1913), pp. 31-32. The fifth and final company involved in the conflict may have been Company D, Seventh Tennessee Cavalry but is only conjecture at present.
36. Tennesseans in the Civil War (Nashville: Civil War Centennial Commission, 1964), pp. 27-28 and 68-71; Young, The Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, 7-10.
37. Stewart, Compendium of the Confederate Armies: Tennessee (New York: Facts on File, 1992), pp. 48-49 and; Tennesseans in the Civil War, 27-28.
38. Population of the United States in 1860, p. 466. The population of Memphis as recorded by the Superintendent of the Census was 22,623.
39. Tennessee Confederate Muster Rolls, MS 872 - Reel #1, Manuscript Collection, Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee. The average age was calculated from the muster rolls of Companies A, B, and C of the Seventh Tennessee Cavalry. The ages of Company E were not listed in the muster roll. The results show that the average age among the 293 volunteers listed was 24.7.
40. Young, The Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, p. 17. It is important to note that when 6th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion merged with the 7th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment the following company call letters were switched: Company B, 6th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion was changed to Company E, 7th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment; Company C, 6th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion was changed to Company B, 7th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment; and Company F, 6th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion was changed to Company C, 7th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment. Company A retained the same company call letter during the merger. Fort Randolph was a military camp located on the heights where the Big Hatchee and Mississippi Rivers meet.
41. Ibid., p. 18-19.
42. Ibid., p. 19-20 and; Official Records, Series I, volume 4, p. 199-200.
43. Ibid., p. 20 and; Long, E. B., The Civil War Day by Day: An Almanac, 1861-1865 (New York: Doubleday & Co., 1971), p. 125. No official report of the skirmish appears in the Official Record.
44. Official Records, Series I, volume 3, pp. 347.
45. Ibid., p. 351 and; Young, The Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, pp. 21-22.
46. Ibid., Series I, volume 7, p. 836.
47. Ibid., p. 416 and; Young, The Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, pp. 22-23. Young lists "losing three men wounded and one captured," but Lieutenant Colonel J. H. Miller, who led the patrol officially reported no one was captured from the two companies.
48. Ibid., pp. 897-898.
49. Ibid., pp. 899-900.
50. Ibid., p. 920; Young, The Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, p. 23 and; Tennesseans in the Civil War, p. 28.
51. Ibid., Series I, volume 10, pp. 370-371.
52. Lindsey, John Berrien, The Military Annals of Tennessee: Confederate (Nashville: J. M. Lindsey & Co., 1886), p. 636
53. Malon, Dumas, Dictionary of American Biography 11 volumes (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1960), pp. 561-562.
54. Official Records, Series I, volume 8, pp. 116-118, 123-124.
55. Young, The Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, p. 25.
56. Official Records, Series I, volume 8, pp. 117.
57. Young, The Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, p. 26.
58. Hubbards, Notes of a Private, p. 31.
59. Official Records, Series I, Part 2, volume 10, p. 408.
61. Ibid., pp. 465-466.
62. Ibid., p. 477.
63. Ibid., p. 466.
64. Ibid. The official order went as followed:
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI
Corinth, Miss., April 29, 1862.
Col. Thomas Claiborne:
Colonel: The commander of the forces instructs me to inform you that your regiment has been assembled at Trenton for an important service, requiring great vigor and secrecy of movement and the utmost coolness and resolution on the part of officers and men. Colonel Jackson has also been ordered to concentrate his regiment at Trenton for the same purpose.
When both regiments shall arrive and are ready for the field you will assume command of the expedition and march upon Paducah, Ky., with as much celerity as may be judicious for your animals. You are expected to move with the least possible baggage and subsistence, and by a coup de main enter Paducah, capture its garrison, and destroy the large amount of stores understood to have been accumulated there. Any steamboats that you may be able to seize of course will be burned. Arms captured, if any, will be brought away if possible, without endangering your command.
Detailed instructions cannot be given for your movements. The garrison of the place is believed to be small, much inferior to the force that you will be able to command; and should you be able to move with sufficient celerity, you can surprise and place and affect the purpose of the expedition with brilliant success; that is, can destroy their supplies, capture prisoners, and greatly disturb their communications.
Show this communication to Colonel Jackson.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
65. Mollie Maxwell Claiborne, Papers, 1849-1941, Manuscript Collection, Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee. Mollie Claiborne was the daughter of Colonel Claiborne. Her papers include some correspondence and scrapbooks from her father. Of particular interest are the scrapbooks contained in Box 2 which consist of newspaper clippings of her fathers activities and a descriptive obituary.
66. Sifakis, Tennesseans in the Civil War, pp. 46-47.
67. Colonel Thomas Claiborne, Papers, 1845-1935, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The Claiborne papers contain no correspondence or military records of the Battle of Lockridge's Mills. However, his handwritten memoirs in Box 2, folder number 23, offer new insights on his observations and actions prior to and during the battle.
68. Official Records, Series I, Part 1, volume 10, p. 879.
69. Thomas Claiborne, Papers.
71. Official Records, Series I, Part 1, volume 10, p. 879.
72. Ibid., p. 880 and; Lonnie E. Maness, "Captain Charles Cooper Nott and the Battle of Lockridge's Mills," Jackson Purchase Historical Society Papers (Murray, Ky: Jackson Purchase Historical Society, 1975), III, 14.
74. Thomas Claiborne, Papers.
76. Official Records, Series I, Part 1, volume 10, p. 880.
77. Conzett, Josiah, My Civil War: Before, During and After, 1861-1865 (Des Moines, 1993), p. 26. The young lady that attracted the interest of Major Schaeffer was probably Marshall Lockridge's twenty-two year old daughter Laura.
78. Nott, Sketches of the War, p. 126.
79. Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion, volume IV, 849.
80. Nott, Sketches of the War, p. 126.
81. Young, The Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, p. 29. Young quotes Colonel Claiborne's report published in the official records with some additions.
82. Report of Captains William Haw and Henning von Minden, May 9, 1862, Official Records, Series I, Part 1, volume 10, 883.
83. Young, The Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, p. 29.
84. Nott, Sketches of the War, p. 127 and; Conzett, My Civil War, p. 26.
85. Ibid. 128-129.
86. Thomas Claiborne, Papers.
87. Maness, "Captain Charles Cooper Nott and the Battle of Lockridge's Mills," p. 19. About one-third of the Claiborne's 1250 soldiers were on detached duty near and around Boydsville.
88. Nott, Sketches of the War, p. 129.
89. Ibid., and; Official Records, Series I, Part 1, volume 10, p. 883.
90. Ibid., pp. 129-130.
91. L. B. McFarland, "The Sword Combat between Col. John Goff Ballentine and Maj. Carl Schaeffer De Boernstein," Confederate Veteran (Nashville: Confederate Veteran, 1917), XXV, 10-11. McFarland's article contradicts the Official Record of the battle given by Col. Claiborne on May 9, 1862, which declared that Maj. Schaeffer was killed by a pistol shot. McFarland affirms that the Official Record was incorrect and that officers who were present during the battle concur that Ballentine mortally wounded Schaeffer with his saber after an intense sword malee. Claiborne reported that Ballentine fought a gallant saber duel with a Private Hoffman and that Union soldier was forced to yield. Searching the roster of the Fifth Iowa Cavalry, one can find no mention of a Private Hoffman being killed or wounded in the battle. Private Josiah Conzett would recall in his memoirs that Major Schaeffer was shot dead upon the porch of the Lockridge home, however Conzett was fleeing the onslaught at the time and most likely did not see the event. The Dubuque Daily Times on May 23rd reported that Schaeffer was surrounded by six or eight rebel officers and shot with a musket after refusing to surrender.
92. Official Records, Series I, Part 1, volume 10, p. 883.
93. Young, The Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, p. 30.
94. Official Records, Series I, Part 1, volume 10, p. 880. It is important to note that Colonel W. W. Lowe would report only 4 killed and 6 wounded on May 12, 1862 (see Official Records, Series I, Part 1, volume 10, p. 881-882) and the published roster would list 5 killed, which included the mortally wounded Major Schaeffer and Private Frank Hille, and 15 wounded (see Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion, volume IV, pp. 863-1013). The wounded were ascertained by date of death or a discharge date prior to December of 1862.
95. Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion, volume IV, 863-1013. The wounded, excluding the mortally wounded Major Schaeffer and Private Hill were: Captain William A. Haw, Captain Henning von Minden, Lieutenant Richard Van Vrendenburgh, Privates George Bauer, Ferdinand Fahr, Marion Hutchins, Edward F. Ormsby, Henry Pfotzer, George Phelps, Frank Rohde, John Seidle, Sebastian Viox, Henry Winninghoff, and John F. Brainard.
96. Ibid. Of those captured 29 were from Company F, 22 were from Company E and 14 were from Company G. The list of captured include: Captain William A. Haw, Captain Henning von Minden, Lieutenant Richard Van Vrendenburgh, John Birkle, John F. Brainard, Charles M. Brown, William Boge, Fritz Brecht, George Bauer, Frederick Blasing, William Busking, David Conzett, Robert K. Cummings, Frank Constinger, Charles M. Dickey, Andrew Defeil, Charles Ende, Ferdinand Fahr, Charles A. Gilliam, Andrew Guler, Henry Geiger, August Hammel, Peter Hanson, Henry Herkes, John C. Hoffman, Nicholas Hoffman, Joseph P. Hunter, George Hamann, Julius Herzog, Conrad Henning, Marion Hutchings, Christopher Jahn, Claus H. Kruger, Frank Konstinger, John Kuntze, Thomas Lafave, Charles Frederick Limle, Christian Litscher, Henry Luecke, Israel J. Masters, Henry Mehrdorf, Henry Moeller, Hubert Munchroth, Edward F. Ormsby, Henry L. Overstreet, Henry Pfotzer, John Pregler, John Pals, George Phelps, Frank Rohde, Bernard Rottman, Joseph Saeher, August Schlapp, Philip Schneider, Florian Seidel, John Seidel, Bernard Slange, Henry Steiner, Frederick Unger, Charles Van Gordon, Sebastian Viox, Louis Vaseur, Harry Winningoff, Benjamin Ward and William Cousins.
97. Young, The Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, pp. 152-227. Young's list of company rolls would list these three soldiers as casualties.
98. Official Reports, Series I, Part 1, volume 10, p. 882.
99. John W. Graber, "One Man's Civil War," Minnesota History (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1990), 52 (4), 144.
100. McFarland, "The Sword Combat...," p. 11.
101. Official Reports, Series I, Part 1, volume 10, p. 882. The roster would declare that only 38 had escaped but this maybe a misprint (see Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion, volume IV, p. 849).
102. Nott, Sketches of the War, p. 131-132.
103. William W. Chester, "Lockridge Mill Skirmish Places County In Civil War," Weakley County Press (Martin, Tenn.), 17 March 1983. Local historian James Corbitt believed the bodies of the dead were buried across from the home and marked with an "evergreen plant" that was not homogeneous to the region. No confirmed documentation from the time period mentions the burial place of the dead.
104. Official Reports, Series I, Part 1, volume 10, p. 880.
105. Ibid., p. 882 and; Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion, volume IV, p. 849.
106. Ibid., p. 881.
107. Supplement to the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Wilmington, N.C.: Broadfoot Publishing Co., 1995), Part II, vol. 19, serial no. 31, p. 339.
108. Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion, volume IV, p. 849.
109. Official Records, Series I, Part 1, volume 10, p. 883.
110. Mollie Maxwell Claiborne, Papers. Letter from Col. Claiborne to Annie Claiborne dated Sunday night May 18, 1862.
111. Official Reports, Series I, Part 1, volume 10, p. 882.
112. McFarland, "The Sword Combat...," p.11.
113. Dubuque Daily Herald, May 21, 1862.
114. Ibid., May 23, 1862.
115. The History of Dubuque County , Iowa (Chicago: Western Historical Co., 1880), p. 419.
116. Graber, "One Man's Civil War", p. 144.
117. Nashville Daily Union, May 9, 1862 and; Nashville Dispatch, May 9, 1862.
118. Memphis Daily Appeal, May 9, 1862.
119. Ibid., May 16, 1862.
120. Conzett, My Civil War, p. 28.
121. Nott, Sketches of the War, p. 166.
122. Dyer, Frederick H., A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion 3 Volumes (New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1959), volume III, p. 1162.
123. Sifakis, Compendium of the Confederate Armies: Tennessee, pp. 52-53 and; Tennessean in the Civil War, volume I, pp. 68-71.
124. Malone, Dumas, Dictionary of American Biography 10 volumes (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1930), volume V, p. 580. Charles Nott was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln as a Court of Claims judge on February 22, 1865 and was later promoted to chief justice on November 23, 1896 by President Grover Cleveland.
125. Wilson, Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, volume IV, p. 39.
126. Graber, "One Man's Civil War", p. 144.
127. Mollie Maxwell Claiborne, Papers. "Hattie" Claiborne's scrapbook contains the obituary of Thomas Claiborne from June 3, 1911.
128. Butler, Margaret, Legacy: Early Families of Giles County (Pulaski, Tenn.: Sain Publications, 1991), p. 43-44 and; McFarland, "The Sword Combat...," p.11.
129. Malone, Dictionary of American Biography, volume V, p. 561-562.
Photograph and Map Credits
Confederates Veteran Magazine 40 volumes (Wilmington, N.C.: Broadfoot, 1987).
Thomas Claiborne - Volume XXI (1913) pg. 302
John Goff Ballentine - Volume XXV (1917) pg. 11
Miller, Francis Travelyan. The Photographic History of the Civil War 10 volumes (New York: T. Yoseloff, 1951).
Samuel Ryan Curtis - Volume I pg. 365
United State War Dept. The Official Military Atlas of the Civil War (Gettysburg: The National Historical Society, 1978).
Map - Plate CLIII
Vaughan, Virginia C. Weakley County (Memphis: Memphis State University Press, 1983).
Lockridge Homestead - pg. 50
Carl Scheaffer de Boernstein - pg 51
Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Grey: Lives of the Confederate Commanders (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1965).
William Hicks Jackson - pg 153
Bennett, Marion T. The United States Court of Claims: A History, Part I - The Judges, 1855-1976 (Washington, D. C.: The Committee on the Bicentennial of Independence and the Constitution of the Judicial Conference of the United States, 1976)
Charles Cooper Nott - pg. 38