The Tennessee 3rd (Forrest's Old) Cavalry Regiment was organized at Memphis, Tennessee, in October, 1861, as an eight-company battalion. In January, 1862, it was increased to regimental size. The history of this unit is very complex because over twenty companies from Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana were attached to it at one time or another. After the Battle of Shiloh, four companies were transferred to the 4th (Russell's) Alabama Cavalry Regiment and thereafter it was called 18th or 26th Battalion, Balch's Battalion, and McDonald's Battalion. It fought at Fort Donelson and Shiloh, and during April, 1862, contained 463 effectives. The unit was attached to Forrest's, F.C. Armstrong's, and E.W. Rucker's Brigade, and served in the Army of Tennessee and the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana. It confronted the Federals in Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Alabama, and surrendered in May, 1865.
Colonels Nathan B. Forrest and David C. Kelley; Lieutenant Colonels P.T. Allin, Robert M. Balch, and Edward E. Porter; and Majors James C. Blanton, William E. Forrest, Charles McDonald, and Edwin A. Spotswood.
The Nashville Campaign
Final Battles in Tennessee and Alabama Rosters:
The roster of this unit contains the names of 2732 men.
"This regiment had a very complex history, some 20 to 25 companies being at one time or another attached to it, with numerous changes in company letters."
• Company A - Captain J.F. Overton, John Crutcher - "The Boone Rangers." Men from Bradenburg, Kentucky.
• Company B - Captain W.C. Bacot
• Company C - Captain Charles May, Jeffrey E. Forrest, Augustus Larrantree, John C. Blanton - "The Forrest Rangers."
• Company D - Captain N.C. Gould - A Texas company.
• Company E - Captain A.S. Truitt, Thomas W. Hampton
• Company F - Captain David C. Kelley, James M. Hambrick - "Pope Walker Troopers," "Kelley Troopers," "Madison Cavalry."
• Company G - Captain M.D. Logan - Men from Harrodsburg, Kentucky.
• Company H - Captain Henry Milner - An Alabama company.
The above eight companies were formed into a battalion under Lieutenant Colonel N.B. Forrest and Major D.C. Kelley, at Camp Forrest, near Memphis, Tennessee in October 1861. The folowing were soon added:
• Company I - Captain D.C. Davis - An Alabama company
• Company K - Captain Charles McDonald - "The Mc-Donald Dragoons"
After the loss of Companies "D" and "I" at Fort Donelson, the following companies were added:
• 2nd Company D - Captain Jesse A. Forrest, Benjamin H. Adkinson
• 2nd Company I - Captain C.N. Schuyler, S.R. Brooks
Balch's 18th Battalion of Forrest's Regiment was composed of the following:
• Company A - Captain S.R. Brooks
• Company B - Captain A. Larrentree
• Company C - Captain B.H. Adkinson
• Company D - Captain Charles McDonald
• Company E - Captain S.Y. Webb
• Company F - Captain John Crutcher
• Company G - Captain William Harrison
McDonald's Battalion of Forrest's Regiment was composed as follows:
• Company A - Captain P.T. Allin, Thomas H. Pattison
• Company B - Captain J.G. Barbour
• Company C - Captain J.C. Blanton
• Company D - Captain William H. Forrest. Some men from Hardeman County.
• Company E - Captain N.E. Wood
• Company F - Captain J. Ferd Rodgers
• Company C - Captain W.J. Shaw
The companies listed in McDonald's Battalion retained the same company letters in the 3rd Tennessee Cavalry Regiment, reorganized, and the following companies were added:
• Company H - Captain J.L. Morphis
• Company I - Captain T.D. Barefoot (or Barfoot)
• Company K - Captain Wiley Higgs
The final metamorphosis of the regiment took place in February 1865, when the 3rd Consolidated Tennessee Cavalry Regiment was formed. Additional companies:
• 3rd Company F - Captain George R. Merritt
• Company G - Captain P.H. Strickland
• Company H - Captain C.M. Stewart (or Stuart)
• Company I - Captain W.T. Carmack
• Company K - Captain W.A. Bell
These companies were composed of former members of the 12th Tennessee Cavalry, principally from Companies "A", "E", "B", and "F". Bibliography for Research: