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      Battle Of
       West Point
 Wilson's Raids

Move to Selma and Montgomery

       On the 30th of March General Wilson's cavalry reached Elyton, after an extremely difficult, toilsome, and exhausting march, on account of bad roads, swollen streams, and the rough nature of the country, which had also been almost entirely stripped of all subsistence for man or beast. At Elyton, Croxton's brigade, of McCook's division, was detached and sent to capture and destroy Tuscaloosa, and then march to rejoin the main body near Selma. With the remainder of his command, General Wilson pushed rapidly forward to Montevallo, where he destroyed five extensive iron-works, and other valuable property. On the outskirts of the town, the enemy's cavalry was found in force, attacked, routed, and pursued through Plantersville, leaving in our possession three pieces of artillery and several hundred prisoners. 

        At 3 P.M. on the 2nd of April General Wilson reached the immediate vicinity of Selma, and rapidly formed Upton's and Long's divisions to attack the defenses of the town--Long attacking on the Summerfield road, and Upton across a swamp deemed impassable by the enemy. Dismounting two regiments from each of the brigades of Colonels Miller and Minty, General Long and those two officers gallantly leading their men in person, charged across an open field, 500 yards wide, over a stockade, which they tore up as they passed, through the ditch and over the enemy's parapets, sweeping everything before them. Our loss was 46 killed and 200 wounded; Colonel Dobb, Fourth Ohio, among the former, and General Long and Colonels Miller and McCormick among the latter. 

        General Upton met with less resistance thanUpton Long--entered the enemy's works and the town, capturing many prisoners. In the darkness and confusion following the assault Generals Forrest, Buford, Adams, Armstrong, and others made their escape. Lieut. Gen. Dick Taylor had left earlier in the afternoon. As the fruits of the victory, however, there remained 26 guns and 2,700 prisoners, besides large amounts of ordnance and other property of great value. Twenty-five thousand bales of cotton had already been destroyed by the enemy. General Wilson remained at Selma from the 2nd to the 10th of April, resting his command and completing the destruction of the immense workshops, arsenals, and foundries, and waiting for Croxton to rejoin from his expedition to Tuscaloosa, it having been ascertained, through the enemy, that he captured Tuscaloosa and was moving to Selma via Eutaw. 

        On the 10th, General Wilson crossed the Alabama River and moved toward Montgomery, receiving the surrender of that town, without a contest, on the 12th. The enemy burned 85,000 bales of cotton before evacuating. At Montgomery five steam-boats, several locomotives, one armory, and several foundries were destroyed. On the 14th operations were resumed by Upton's division moving through Mount Meigs and Tuskegee toward Columbus, Georgia., and Colonel LaGrange, with three regiments of his brigade, of McCook's division, marching along the railroad to West Point via Opelika. 

          Next Page    West Point

 

Sources:

  Reports for Wilson's raid to Selma 22 March - 22 April 65 plus Wilson's capture of Jefferson Davis 10 May 65, http://www.aotc.net/selma-rep.htm 

  James Pickett Jones, Yankee Blitzkreig, http://www.uky.edu/University Press/books/yankblitz.html