1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment (Union)

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1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment
ActiveOctober, 1862–October 20, 1865
DisbandedOctober 20, 1865
CountryUnited States United States
BranchUnited States Army
Union Army
EngagementsAmerican Civil War
Col. George E. Spencer
Captain Phillip A. Sternberg of Co. B, 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment

The 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment was a cavalry regiment recruited from Southern Unionists that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. It was the only predominantly-white Union regiment from Alabama. Of the 2,678 white Alabamians who enlisted in the Union Army, 2,066 served in the 1st Alabama Cavalry.[1]


The 1st Alabama Cavalry was raised from Alabama Unionists at Huntsville, Alabama and Memphis, Tennessee in October, 1862 after Federal troops occupied the area. It was attached to the XVI Corps in various divisions until November 1864, when it became part of the XV Corps. During this time, its duties mostly consisted of scouting, raiding, reconnaissance, flank guard, and providing screening to the infantry while on the march.

The regiment was selected by Major General William T. Sherman to be his escort as he began his famous 1864 March to the Sea. It was assigned to the Third Division of the Cavalry Corps, Military Division of the Mississippi in January 1865. It fought at the battles of Monroe's Crossroads and Bentonville and was present at the surrender of the Army of Tennessee at the Bennett Place. It was sent to the District of Northern Alabama, Department of the Cumberland in June 1865.

The regiment was mustered out of service at Huntsville, Alabama on October 20, 1865, with only 397 men present. Out of the 2,000 men who served in the unit during the course of the war, 345 were killed in action, died in prison, of disease or other non-battle causes, 88 were captured, and 279 deserted, with no accurate count of the number of wounded.


  • Killed and mortally wounded: 5 officers, 482 enlisted men
  • Died of disease: 1 officer, 13 enlisted men
  • Wounded: 2 officers, 450 enlisted men
  • Captured or missing: 0 officers, 0 enlisted men
  • Total: 8 officers, 945 enlisted men



A unit based in Jasper, Alabama portrays Company C and was founded in 1992. It usually fights in reenactments as skirmishers.

Another unit based in Huntsville, Alabama, Company B, 4th Alabama Cavalry, (CSA) portrays Company B, 1st Alabama Cavalry (USV) and participates in historical living history, skirmishes and battles in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Mississippi. The unit participates as both dismounted and mounted cavalry troopers, representing the 1863 to 1865 period of the war.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sean Michael O'Brien (1999). Mountain Partisans: Guerrilla Warfare in the Southern Appalachians, 1861-1865. Praeger. p. 92.

Further reading[edit]

  • Butler, Clayton J. (2022). True Blue: White Unionists in the Deep South during the Civil War and Reconstruction. LSU Press. ISBN 9780807177549.
  • Hoole, William Stanley. Alabama Tories: The First Alabama Cavalry, U.S.A., 1862-1865 (Tuscaloosa, 1960)
  • Rein, Christopher M. Alabamians in Blue: Freedmen, Unionists, and the Civil War in the Cotton State (Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2019)