Misssissippi 1st Cavalry Regiment Minutemen - Blythe's



 

HISTORICAL NOTES:

(Also known as 2nd Regiment, Mississippi Partisan Rangers / 1st Regiment, Mississippi Cavalry State Troops)

The Minute Men were organized in May 1862 under the order of Maj.-Gen. T. C. Tupper from militia companies in each county. The enlistment term was for six months. Although not mustered into the Confederate States services, they were still subject to orders of Confederate officers.

Green L. Blythe, of DeSoto County, was commissioned Major of the First Battalion of Cavalry, State troops (Minute Men), 25 September, 1862. He was commissioned Colonel of the First Regiment Cavalry, State troops, 29 April, 1863. The companies of his command were to a considerable extent organized under the act of Congress authorizing partisan rangers. The command was sometimes referred to as the Second Regiment, Partisan Rangers.

Blythe's Battalion was part of the command collected or attempted to be collected by General Chalmers in the region open to raids from Memphis, early in 1863. A Federal report, February, 1863, says: Van Dorn's movement "clears our front of all cavalry except that of G. L. Blythe's which is operating in the direction of Panola." Three prisoners from this command were reported by Gen. Quinby, commanding expedition across Nonconnah Creek. February 16, Gen. Hurlbut proposed an expedition under Col. A. L. Lee to "sweep around toward Panola and Hernando, enveloping Blythe's force and driving them to the Nonconnah or into the swamp." February 25, Hurlbut reported "Richardson's guerrillas, near Covington, and Blythe's below, still in motion." May 6, General Chalmers reported from Oxford, "half of Blythe's Regiment have never been in camp." May 16, Capt. T. P. Manning ordered to scout in direction of Memphis. May 19, General Chalmers recommended that "the regiment commanded by Col. Green L. Blythe be converted into Confederate troops." May 19, Hurlbut wrote, ordered Gen. W. S. Smith to advance from LaGrange against Chalmers, "Blythe's Battalion is about twelve miles south of Memphis, engaged in conscripting and obtaining horses." Floyd's company mentioned, appears to have been from along the Mississippi River. May 26 Blythe's Regiment in country west of Hernando. May 26, General Chalmers reported: "Colonel Slemons, with Second Arkansas and Second Mississippi Partisans, fired on transports near Austin without effect. Troops of Ellet's mounted marines were disbarked and repulsed, leaving eighteen dead horses. Slemon's casualties, 1 Captain and 2 men killed, 12 wounded and 2 missing."

April 8, driven across Coldwater by Federal expedition, Captain Stillwell’s company engaged. Blythe, with seven small companies, about 300 according to Federal report, skirmished with Bryant's Infantry Brigade, raiding from Memphis, with engagements at Hernando, April 18th, and on the Coldwater, 19th.

A Federal expedition from Memphis to Hernando May 23-24, 1863, reported an encounter with Captain Manning's company near Colonel Blythe's plantation, in which three of the command were killed. Captain Manning's plantation was in the same vicinity. Another raid passed these places May 26.

July 9, General Chalmers feared that few would re-enlist with the possibility of being removed from defense of their homes, but the regiment could be kept in the service as an organization for service as guerrillas (detached companies).

July 21, George reported that very few of Blythe's Regiment could be gotten to Vaiden for re-enlistment, but he could organize a battalion in the regiment, if he had a fair chance.

Blythe's command served under General George in the operations attending the raid of Colonel Mizner, who set out with 1,900 cavalry, June 15-25, from LaGrange, Tenn., with orders from Hurlbut to break the railroad south of Panola, turn on Chalmers, and sweep the country of horses, mules, negroes and the new crop of wheat. George retreated from Senatobia across the Yockeney when he had learned the strength of Mizner's command and reached the railroad bridge too late to protect it. Blythe's Regiment did not accompany McQuick in the pursuit across the Tallahatchie, being exhausted. April 29, 1863, Blythe, Edmondson and Bowen were commissioned as field officers of the First Regiment, State troops. In August the regiment was reported as reorganizing, and not available during the Grenada raid. The regiment was reorganized by General George.

When General Chalmers made his second raid to Colllerville, November 3, 1863, he intended to have Major Blythe burn the water tank at White's Station, near Memphis, but Chalmers was informed that Blythe would not obey his orders. The General wrote: "I have already reported that this command, if allowed to continue its independent action, would greatly demoralize my cavalry."

In 1864-65 Major Blythe was commanding a battalion of State troops, in which were included the following: Companies A & B, of Senatobia [DeSoto County].

OFFICERS:

ASSIGNMENTS:

SERVICE:

ROSTERS:

Company A - DeSoto Partisans, aka DeSoto Rangers (raised in DeSoto County)
Company B - Bowen’s Rangers (raised in DeSoto County)
Company C - Ward’s Company (raised in DeSoto County)
Company D - Renfroe’s Company (raised in DeSoto County)
Company E - Stillwell’s Company (raised in Marshall County)
Company F - Hunt Rangers (raised in DeSoto County)
Company G - Maxwell’s Company (raised in Panola County)
Company H - Johnson’s Company (raised in Panola County)
Company I - Williamson’s Company (county of origin not specified)

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Dunbar Rowland’s "Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1898"
H. Grady Howell’s "For Dixie Land, I’ll Take My Stand"
REFERENCES:

Featured Books & CD-ROMS