Why the Raid on the Little General's Farm?
For Maggie's Memory!
After the tragic taking of our Little General in August of 2019, we had to find a way to keep her memory alive. She loved being in the 1860s at Civil War Reenactments so what better way to not only keep her memory alive but history alive as well? She and her family live in Etowah County. They aren't too far from Gadsden or the route that US Colonel Streight took in 1863. During Streight's Raid while Forrest was pursuing them, the Yankee Colonel burned a vital bridge over Black Creek which just to happened to run through the Sansom Homestead. Maggie Sue was our Little General and Forrest has his own Little General, little Miss Emma Sansom. There were no other reenactments in the area that had any part of Streight's Raid.
Fate would have it! We keep not only our Little General's memory alive but also Emma Sansom's. In this world of societal uncertainty we felt it not only honored the past but also moves forward Maggie's love of history and living in the simpler time period. Thus, the Raid on the Little General's Farm was born and held in September of 2020 during the middle of political, economic, and pandemic turmoil. We felt if we could survive 2020 we can continue on and make this bigger and better every year afterwards! For more information on Streight's Raid look below.
History of Alabama in 1863
By Robert L. Willett
Doing What’s Needed
The men of the 1st Alabama Cavalry (USA) played a dual role in the raid that was conducted by Union Colonel Abel D. Streight in April 1863. The raid had a mission to cut the Confederate railroad that ran between Atlanta and Chattanooga, supplying General Braxton Bragg's army located in Tennessee.
While Streight's Provisional Brigade, four regiments of infantry mounted on balky and unbroken Yankee mules, included two companies of the 1st Alabama Cavalry, the rest of the regiment was serving under General Grenville Dodge in Corinth, Mississippi. Streight's cavalry was in the Army of the Cumberland while Dodge's command was under General Ulysses Grant's Army of the Tennessee. Dodge's mission was to screen Streight as he moved from Tennessee by boat, landing in Eastport, Mississippi and then moving overland toward Georgia. Dodge ran into several skirmishes with Confederate cavalry, but joined Streight near Eastport on April 21. Shortly after, Dodge retreated to Corinth while Streight set out for his objective, Rome, Georgia.
The raid was a disaster from the beginning. In Tennessee, Confederate cavalry legend Nathan Bedford Forrest discovered the raiders shortly after Dodge left the scene, and with four veteran regiments of cavalry began his pursuit on the poorly mounted Union raiders. The 1st Alabama scouts as the rearguard were under almost constant pressure from Forrest, and in spite of gallant conduct by the brigade exhaustion and lack of rations forced Streight to surrender to Forrest on May 3, 1863 near Cedar Bluff, Alabama.
In the week of the raid, the 1st Alabama Cavalry lost sixteen men killed, wounded, or missing. Captain David Smith, leader of the Streight Alabama companies was kept in Confederate prisons until finally released in early 1865. He died in the hospital in Annapolis, Maryland on April 18, 1865, nine days after Appomattox.