Living History Association

35th Alabama Infantry & 73rd Indiana Infantry Regiment

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Blooded, battered, broken, and beaten, the Confederate Army of Tennessee slowly made their way south after the devastating losses at Franklin and Nashville. General John Bell Hood had broken his own army’s back at Franklin, and delivered it a mortal blow at Nashville. The demolished army was now in a disorganized retreat, and were ripe for the picking. General George Henry Thomas ordered Major General James H. Wilson’s cavalry corps to pursue and annihilate the remaining Confederate forces. One last glimmer of hope existed for the worn-out Army of Tennessee; Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Hood placed Forrest in command of the rear guard, and gave him whatever infantry force he could muster for the fight.

 

Forrest’s name alone could drive fear into his enemy’s hearts, and rally the spirits of even a broken army. He gathered his cavalry, reformed some infantry (some barefoot and carried on wagons) and delayed the advance of Wilson long enough that the Army of Tennessee was able to get away. On Christmas day he fought Wilson’s Cavalry at Anthony’s Hill, and the next day ended the pursuit at Sugar Creek. It would be the last battle fought in Tennessee, but it allowed the army to regroup, and reform under Joe Johnston enough for one final effort in the Carolinas.


An effort is underway now to recreate these historic events for the 155th Anniversary. Plans, so far, are to hold it in January of 2020, though the exact date is subject to change. Confederate cavalry and infantry impressions will be sought, as well as a Federal cavalry impression armed with Spencer repeating rifles. Land has been identified in Giles County, Tennessee, and a site visit is being planned for August.

 

Anyone interested in this event, please contact Captain Matthew Joe Mallory on Facebook, email (matthew.j.mallory@gmail.com) or phone (256-617-1543). Commanders are being sought for the battalions/brigades and various companies. A sizeable cavalry force must be willing to dismount and fight on foot.