Condensed History of the 1st Louisiana Cavalry Regiment, CSA
Pegram's cavalry brigades crossed into Kentucky on March 14, 1863. A portion of the 1st Louisiana Cavalry and a portion of Col. Ashby's 2nd Tennessee Cavalry charged the town of Danville, Ky. and drove the Union army from the town and took possession of it. In the process, the 1st Louisiana captured Lt. Col. Adams of Col. Woolford's cavalry and eleven enlisted, besides the ones in the hospital. The resistance of the Union army continued to grow and become more organized and Gen. Pegram began his retreat to Tennessee.
The 1st Louisiana Cavalry covered the retreat of Gen. Pegram March 25-28, 1863. On the 30th of March, the Battle of Somerset began, the darkest day of the war for the 1st La. Cavalry Regiment.
General Pegram attacked the enemy in a frontal assault and ordered Scott to attack the rear. During Scott's attempt to attack the rear of the Union troops, Gen. Pegram's aide ordered Lt. Col. Nixon and the 1st La. Cavalry to retreat, thus splitting the attacking Confederate forces in three separate sections. After Col. Scott found out about the order, he rounded up the 1st Louisiana Cavalry and reorganized his other units, began his attack again. The attack was a failure and caused the 1st La. to retreat, the first lose of the regiment in combat. The loses of the regiment were 4 Officers and 71 troopers. Total loses to Pegram's command was 500 officers and men.
Following the retreat back to Tennessee, B.G. Pegram filed against Col. John Scott for disobeying an order and dilatoriness of action. Col. Scott was found guilty by courts martial and remanded to the commanding general. General Simon Buckner delivered a verbal reprimand to Scott and returned him to duty as a brigade commander.
In the latter part of July, Major General Buckner ordered Col. Scott on yet another cavalry raid into Kentucky. Under Scott's command were the 1st Louisiana Cavalry, 2nd Tennessee Cavalry, 5th Tennessee Cavalry, 10th Confederate Cavalry, 5th North Carolina Cavalry, Brown's Horse Artillery and the 1st Louisiana Mountain Howitzer Battery. Scott's raid into Eastern Kentucky was to take some of the forces in pursuit of Gen. Morgan in his raids into Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio.
On Saturday, July 25th, 1863, the advance of the brigade reached Williamsburg and fought a skirmish with the 44th Ohio Mounted Infantry, driving them from the town, toward London. On the evening of the 26th, the brigade reached London and drove the 44th Ohio from there and continued on toward Richmond, with a heavy skirmish with the enemy's advance, near Rogersville.
On Tuesday, July 28th, fought a pitched battle with the 112 Illinois Mounted Infantry, 2nd and 7th Ohio Cavalry, a detachment of the 10th and 14th Kentucky Cavalry, amounting to over 1,200 men, and after charging the enemy, which left in total disorder, and upon reaching Richmond, fought another skirmish with them and drove them from there and in the direction of Lexington.
While at Richmond, the 1st Louisiana Cavalry learned of the capture of General Morgan and his command and that the troops engaged in the pursuit of Morgan were being resupplied and sent to capture Scott's Brigade.
Reached Winchester on the 29th and learned that enemy troops were pouring into Lexington from Louisville and Cincinnati. Moved toward Irvine, trying to capture the 14th Kentucky Cavalry that was stationed there. The 1st Louisiana Cavalry was placed in the rear of the brigade to delay the enemy as the rest of the brigade on to Lexington. On the 31st of July, Lt. Col. Nixon and 6 companies of the 1st Louisiana Cavalry were attacked by the full force of the enemy and not getting any assistance from Col. Goode's 10th Confederate Cavalry or Lt. Col. Gillespie's 2nd Tennessee Cavalry, Lt. Col. Nixon and approximately 100 men of the 1st La. Cavalry, were captured. Col. Scott and the remainder of the 1st La. Cavalry and the guns of Robinson's battery, stopped the enemy that was in hot pursuit of the disorderly retreat of the 10th Confederate and 2nd Tennessee Cavalry.
The brigade started their withdrawal from Kentucky, destroying all the previously captured wagons, supplies, weapons, and such that they could not safely bring out with them. The 1st Louisiana Cavalry, along with the rest of the brigade, ended the raid in near total failure, with heavy casualties and the lost of their Commander.
On the 9th of September, 1863, Gen. Forrest ordered Scott's Brigade to Ringgold, Georgia and to watch the enemy on the roads from Chattanooga. On the 11th, the Brigade fought a pitched battle with the advance of Gen. Crittenden's Corps. After a sharp skirmish, the brigade fell back toward Dalton and held if for 2 hours. Forced from it, retreated slowly on th Tunnel Hill, fighting the Federals every step of the way until nightfall.
Re-enforcements arrived from Gen. Forrest and on the morning of the 12th, the enemy retreated. Scott's Brigade followed them and skirmished heavily on the 12th and 13th.
On the 14th, under orders from Gen. Forrest, returned to Ringgold, Ga. and remained there until the 17th, when the Union troops advanced on Ringgold and the brigade skirmished with them, driving them back.
On the 19th of September, 1863, Company A, 1st Louisiana Cavalry, was assigned as escort and bodyguards for Lt. Gen. James Longstreet and Company E and a portion of Company C were assigned to General Hood. The remainder of the 1st Louisiana Cavalry, along with 2nd, 4th and 5th Tennessee, 2nd and 4th Kentucky Cavalry, remnants of Morgan's command, and the Louisiana Battery of Mountain Howitzers, made up Scott's Brigade, comprised of approximately 500 men.
During the day of the 19th, the brigade engaged the enemy and fought them for several hours and finally drove them from their positions and back for over 2 miles and finally broke off engagement when ammunition supplies were exhausted. the brigade withdrew to their camp but there was no pursuit.
On the 21st, the brigade held the left of the road in Gen. Pegram's attack on Missionary Ridge.
On the 22nd, under the orders of Major-General Cheatham, the brigade moved on his right, crossing Missionary Ridge, down in to the valley and about 3 miles from Chattanooga, engaged the 59th Ohio Infantry and drove them from their rifle pits. Nightfall came on and the brigade was ordered back to the top of the ridge by Gen. Pegram. One of the most interesting things found that upon checking the bodies of the Union soldiers, all had their canteens filled with "Dutch Courage", whiskey.
The 1st Louisiana Cavalry Regiment was detached from the army and assigned to duty at General Bragg's Headquarters with Major J. M. Taylor commanding.
Colonel John S. Scott resigned his command and rank on October 8, 1863 and returned to Louisiana.
During October and November, 1863, the 1st Louisiana Cavalry preformed duties as courier, body guards, picket, and rounding up deserters and dealing with jayhawkers. Several of the companies were involved in skirmishes but were not involved as a regiment.