Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Wheeler and Roddey Raid, October 1863

The Wheeler and Roddey Raid began October 2, 1863, during the siege of Chattanooga. The Union had a long wagon train of supplies coming down Walden's Ridge in the Sequatchie Valley (Tennessee) when it was attacked by Confederates at Anderson's Crossroads. There is some evidence that the Confederates had not been watching and waiting for the supply line, but had come across it by accident while on another reconnaissance mission.

Confederate orders were to take no provisions (they couldn't carry them). However, the rebels were in almost the same starved condition as the besieged at Chattanooga. Also, cavalry is notoriously disorganized and rowdy. The men plundered the wagons, including the whiskey wagon, before burning the supply train. They killed thousands of mules and took a few of the best ones. They also took prisoners, mostly wagon masters.

As often happens, the Union officers underestimated their losses, while the Confederate officers may have overestimated their gains, so it's difficult to say exactly how many mules were killed and how many captured. The Federal cavalry (including the Second Michigan Cavalry) chased Wheeler from the Sequatchie Valley, down to Alabama, and back up through Tennessee toward the Knoxville area, finally catching him and recapturing the mules.

Various reports (via Google Books at Archive.org)

UNION REPORTS:

October 1863 Report by Robert Mitchell, Chief of Cavalry
including the Wheeler and Roddey Raid

Official Records, Volume 30, Part 2 (Reports), page 663
https://archive.org/stream/warrebellionaco45offigoog#page/n812/mode/2up/search/crook

The above page begins the Wheeler and Roddey Raid section, with a summary and the first of thirty reports on the raid, including:
No. 3.
Report of Brig. Gen. Robert B. Mitchell, U. S. Army, Chief of Cavalry.
Headquarters Chief of Cavalry, Department of the Cumberland,
Decherd, Tenn., October 20, 1863.
ROBERT B. MITCHELL REPORT, PAGE 669 https://archive.org/stream/warrebellionaco45offigoog#page/n818/mode/2up/search/crook
No. 4.
Report of Col. Edward M. McCook, Second Indiana Cavalry, commanding First Cavalry Division.
Hdqrs. First Cav. Div., Dept. of the Cumberland,
Winchester, Tenn., October 23, 1863.
E.M. McCOOK REPORT, PAGE 675 https://archive.org/stream/warrebellionaco45offigoog#page/n824/mode/2up
No. 5.
Report of Col. Archibald P. Campbell, Fourth Michigan Cavalry, commanding First Brigade.
Hdqrs. First Brigade, First Cav. Div., Winchester, Tenn., November 1, 1863.
ARCHIBALD P. CAMPBELL REPORT, PAGE 677 
https://archive.org/stream/warrebellionaco45offigoog#page/n826/mode/2up
CONFEDERATE REPORTS:
No. 28
Report of Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler, C. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Corps, Army of Tennessee.
Headquarters Cavalry Corps, October 30, 1863.
JOS. WHEELER REPORT, PAGE 722https://archive.org/stream/warrebellionaco45offigoog#page/n872/mode/2up
Does Roddey's report for October even mention the raid? I found nothing useful in it.
No. 30.
Report of Brig. Gen. Philip D. Roddey, C. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Brigade.
Headquarters, Rogersville, Ala., October 21, 1868.
PHILIP RODDEY REPORT, PAGE 728https://archive.org/stream/warrebellionaco45offigoog#page/n878/mode/2up

OTHER SOURCES/SITES:

Tennessee Sourcebook (with references to O.R.)
http://www.artcirclelibrary.info/Reference/civilwar/1863-10.pdf
including page 13, Ed McCook's rebuttal to Confederate accusations, in which he states that Confederates plundered the train of whiskey and robbed Federals and civilians whom they had taken as prisoners.


I hope to add more sources and links.

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