7th Kentucky US Cavalry

Our Alter Ego when they have to have someone to shoot at.


The summer of 1862 was unfavorable for the organization of the regiment in camp in Eastern Kentucky. A regiment hastily gathered, and not armed or equipped, was in poor condition to encounter the Confederate forces which came into Kentucky. In July the first Morgan raid occurred. He entered by way of Glasgow, passed through Lebanon, Harrodsburg and on to Cynthiana. Returning, he passed through Richmond, Crab, Orchard, Somerset and Monticello. Morgan was pursued by Gen. Green Clay Smith who gathered a force, including a portion of the 7th KY Cavalry under Capt. Faulkner; and at Paris was joined by the remainder of the regiment under Col. Metcalfe.

The 7th had been recruited, and the men enrolled in the months of June and July, but had not been mustered into service when the Morgan raid disturbed the work of organization. On the 16th of August the regiment was mustered regularly at Paris, KY. At that time the Confederate armies under Gens Bragg and Kirby Smith were advancing into Kentucky. August 23rd Gen. Smith's army came upon Federal forces at Big Hill. In the battle which occurred some losses were sustained on both sides, and the 7th Cavalry was very much shattered. The resignation of Col. Metcalfe followed. He was succeeded by Col. John K. Faulkner, a gallant officer who had assisted in raising the regiment. He completed the organization during the fall of 1862 and winter following. In December, 1862, the 7th moved to Tennessee, and was at Castalian Springs with a force, then under command of Col. John M. Harlan. December 7th it accompanied that force to Hartsville for the relief of the garrison, which had been attacked by Morgan, but reached the place too late to accomplish good. In January and February, 1863, it was engaged in scouting. March 8th, it went on an expedition from Franklin to Columbia, Tenn., under Gen. Green Clay Smith, fighting and skirmishing all the way.

In the organization of the Army of the Cumberland, June, 1863, the 7th was in Col. Campbell's brigade, Mitchell's division, Stanley's cavalry corps. The regiment was commanded by Col. Faulkner. June 4th, the 7th being at Franklin, Tenn., with a regiment of infantry, the Confederates came up to the take the place. The Federals moved to the north side of the river, where there was a strong fort. Late in the day Col. Faulkner led his regiment back across the river and went out and attacked the enemy. Finding the force too great, he recrossed and took position for defense. While thus waiting, the Confederates also crossed the river, but were attached in flank and rear by another force, which came suddenly on the scene, being the 4th KY Cavalry, under Col. Watkins; the 9th Penn, Cavalry under Col. Jordan and 2d Mich. Cavalry, under Col. Campbell. The Confederates were completely driven off with considerable loss. In this exciting fighting of the cavalry Col. Faulkner was severely wounded in the thigh; a wound from which he never fully recovered, but not long after that he was again leading his regiment.

In July the 7th went to Bridgeport, Ala. August 31st, in the organization of Rosecrans' army, the 7th was in Col. L.D. Watkins' brigade, which consisted of the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th KY Cavalry. In September it was still at Bridgeport; in October at Caperton's Ferry; in November at Cany Fork. All this time it was engaged in active duty, such as is incident to cavalry service in connection with a large army in the field and participated in the work of the cavalry at Chickamauga. In December it was ordered to report to Gen. W.S. Smith for the cavalry expedition across the Tennessee river against Forrest, and participated in a portion of that movement. In this month, also, it went to Rossville, Ga. In the organization of the Army of the Cumberland, December 31, 1863, the 7th was still in Watkins' brigade with the 4th, 5th and 6th KY Cavalry, being in Gen. Ed McCook's division of Elliot's cavalry corps.

In January, 1864, it went to Maryville, Tennessee on an expedition: was also in a fight near Dandridge. January 17th; in another at Pigeon river January 27th and still another at Faris' Ford on the 28th. In these engagements the reports show that the regiment acquitted itself with great credit. In February 1864, the regiment was at Madisonville, Tenn., under Maj. Robert Collier, and in March at Cleveland, under Capt. C.C. McNeely. In April and May it was still at Cleveland, and also at Wauhatchie, under Col. Faulkner.

June 24th part of the regiment was with Col. Faulkner at Lafayette, Ga., with other cavalry, all under Col. Watkins. The place was fiercely attacked by Gen. Pillow and a remarkable battle occurred. The Federals barricaded the court house with sacks of corn and fought off their assailants, compelling them to withdraw and while in the act of withdrawing other Federal troops came up and a panic took place in Gen. Pillow's command, resulting in a severe loss to him. July 7th the remainder of the 7th came up to Lafayette, Ga., from Wauchatchie. In July the regiment was also at Lee and Gordon's Mills. In August it was at Calhoun and Dalton. At the latter place it engaged in a fierce fight with Wheeler's cavalry.

August 21st it fought at Graysville. At this time the regiment numbered 598, a portion being at Dalton and the remainder at Graysville. In December, 1864, the regiment was encamped at Edgefield, Tenn., with Watkins' brigade and other cavalry under Gen. McCook. Col. Faulkner was in command of the regiment. Orders were received on the 11th of move the next day to Kentucky, to operate against the raid of Confederate Gen. Lyon. The 7th moved with McCook's command the next day, passing through Russelville and proceeded to Hopkinsville. There it encountered Lyon's forces and fought with them. The Lyon raid was defeated and the 7th returned to Edgefield, Tenn. The battle of Nashville having taken place December 15th and 16th, the Confederates were driven south and the 7th, with the cavalry under Gen. Wilson, followed them. In January it was at Waterloo, Ala., continuing through February and March with the cavalry operations in Alabama; in April it went into Georgia as far as Macon. In May it was at Albany, Ga. In January 1865 it returned to Edgefield Tenn., and on the 10th of July was mustered out of service, though Companies F, I and L were transferred to the 6th KY Veteran Cavalry.

Like almost all Civil War units the Seventh Kentucky Cavalry was often known by an alternate designation derived from the name of its commanding officer. Unofficial names of this type used by or for the regiment are shown below.

John K. Faulkner's Cavarlry

Wiliam O. Smith's Cavarly

Thomas T. Vimont's Cavarly

Charles C. McNeely's Cavalry

Upon being mustered into service the regiment was attached to the Department of the Ohio. It served in that command until March, 1863. The regiment then joined the Army of the Cumberland. It served in that Army until November, 1864. The regiment then joined the Military Division of Mississippi. It served in that command during the remainder of its career.

Listed below are the specific higher command assignments of the unit.

Unassigned, Department of the Ohio

Aug 1862 - Mar 1863

First Brigade, First Division, Cavalry Corp. Army of the Cumberland

Mar 1863 - Jul 1863

Third Brigade, First Division, Cavalry Corp. Army of the Cumberland

Jul 1863 - Nov 1864

Third Brigade, First Division, Cavalry Corp. Military Division of Mississippi

Nov 1864 - Jan 1865

Second Brigade, First Division, Cavalry Corp. Military Division of Mississippi

Jan 1865 - Jul 1865

The Seventh Kentucky Cavalry participated in more than forty engagements during its career. These are identified below. 

Operations against Morgan in KY [detachment]

July 4-28, 1862

Skirmish, Cynthiana, KY  [detachment]

July 17, 1862

Skirmish, Paris, KY  [detachment]

July 19, 1862

Action, Big Hill, Madison Cnty, KY

Aug 23, 1862

Engagement, Richmond, KY

Aug 30, 1862

Action, Hartsville, TN

Dec 7, 1862

Expedition from Franklin  to Columbia TN

Mar 8-12, 1863

Engagement, Thompson's Station, TN

Mar 9, 1863

Skirmish, Rutherford's Creek, TN

Mar 10-11, 1863

Engagement, Spring Hill, TN

Mar 18-19, 1863

Action, Columbia Pike, TN

Apr 1, 1863

Skrimish, Thompson's Station, TN

May 2, 1863

Skirmish, Franklin, TN

Jun 4, 1863

Campaign in Middle TN (Tullahoma Campaign)

Jun 23 - Jul 7, 1863

Expedition to Huntsville, Al

Jul 13-22, 1863

Operations about Mossy Creek

and Dandridge, TN

Dec 24-28, 1863

Engagement, Mossy Creek, TN

Dec 24, 1863

Skrimish, Peck's House near New Market, TN

Dec 24, 1863

Engagement, Mossy Creek, TN

Dec 26, 1863

Action, Talobot's Station, TN

Dec 26-28, 1863

Engagement, Mossy Creek, TN

Dec 29, 1863

Operations about Dandridge, TN

Jan 16-17, 1864

Action, Dandridge, TN

Jan 17, 1864

Skirmish, Pigeon River near Fair Garden, TN

Jan 27, 1864

Skirmish, Swann's Bridge, Paris Ford, TN

Jan 28, 1864

Atlanta Campaign

May 5 - Sep 8, 1864

Action, Lafayette, GA

Jun 24, 1864

Action, Lost Mountain, GA

Jun 14-24, 1864

Skirmish, Pine Log Church and Fairmouth, GA

Aug 14, 1864

Skirmish, Dalton, GA [Company "B"]

Aug 14-15, 1864

Rousseau's Pursuit of Wheeler

Sep 1-8, 1864

Engagement, Resaca, GA

Oct 12-13, 1864

Surrender, Dalton GA  [Company "B"]

Oct 13, 1864

Skirmish near Summerville, GA

Oct 18, 1864

Skirmish, Little River, AL

Oct 20, 1864

Skirmish, Leesburg, AL

Oct 21, 1864

Skirmish, Ladiga (Terrapin Creek), AL [detachment]

Oct 28, 1864

Operations against Lyon in KY

Dec 6-28, 1864

Skirmish, Hopkinsville, KY

Dec 16, 1864

Wilson's Raid from Chickasaw, AL to Selma, AL and Macon, GA

Mar 22 - Apr 24, 1865

Engagement, Selma, AL

Apr 2, 1865

Skirmish, Montgomery, Al

Apr 12, 1865

Skirmish, Columbus Road near Tuskegee, AL

Apr 14, 1865

Action, Fort Tyler, West Point, GA

Apr 16, 1865

Capture, Macon, GA

Apr 20, 1865

The Seventh Kentucky Cavalry remained on duty in Macon until June, 1865. It then moved to Nashville, TN. The regiment was mustered out of Federal service there on July 10, 1865. During its career the regiment sustained the loss of two officers and twenty-two enlisted men killed or mortally wounded. An additional five officers and one hundred and eighteen enlisted men died from disease or other non-battlefield causes.