Born 1833 Greene Co. Tennessee Died 1885 Cocke Co. Tennessee

Rucker's (1st Tennessee) Legion, Col. E. W. Rucker (12th Tennessee Battalion, Maj. G. W. Day, and 16th Tennessee Battalion, Capt. John Q. Arnold).

At the Battle of Chickamauga, fought September 19–20, 1863>

Battle of Piedmont was fought June 5, 1864, in the village of Piedmont, Augusta County, Virginia.

Researched and Prepared by Carolyn Whitaker, great great granddaughter

11 May 2011

NOTE: This is all the information that is in Joseph’s military file. Obviously it is very sparse, but gives enough information to give his substantial service and major battles he was involved in during the war.

Enlisted 7 August 1862 Greeneville by T S Rumbough for period of 3 years or war


Last paid to 30 October 1862 $24.40 for use of horse, bounty due, present


January and February 1863

Last paid to 31 December 1862, absent, at home sick in Cocke Co. Tennessee

March to 30 June 1863

Last paid to 30 December 1862, $48.80 for use of horse, present


1 May to 31 December 1864

Last paid to 30 June 1863, present

This company was formerly Captain Thomas S Rumbough’s Company, Tennessee Cavalry.

The 16th (also known as Rucker’s) Battalion Tennessee Cavalry was formed about October, 1862, of four unattached companies of Tennessee Cavalry or Partisan Rangers. Two other companies were afterwards added as Companies E and F. Captain John J. Fitzgerald’s Company was added in January, 1863, but was disbanded on account of the inefficiency of its Officers by S. O. No. 1790, A. & I. G. O. dated 18 July 1863.

The 12th and 16th Battalions Tennessee Cavalry served about June, 1863 to March 1864, in a temporary field organization called the 1st Tennessee Legion and Rucker’s Legion Tennessee Cavalry but were mustered separately.

16th Cavalry Battalion was organized in October, 1862, with four companies, later increased to six. The men were from Roane, McMinn, Rhea, Greene, and Hawkins counties. It served in Pegram's, J.J. Morrison's, H.B. Davidson's, Grisby's, and Vaughn's Brigade. From June, 1863 to March, 1864, the 12th and 16th Battalions were consolidated into a field organization known as Rucker's Legion. This command saw action at Chickamauga and in Tennessee, and on January 31, 1864, it totalled 171 effectives. During April, 1864, the 16th had 147 members and moved into the Valley of Virginia where it was engaged at Piedmont . It went on to confront the Federals in Virginia and Tennessee, moved to North Carolina, and probably disbanded in Georgia during the spring of 1865.

Tennesseeans in the Civil War

On October 31, 1862, the battalion was reported in Colonel J. S. Scott's Cavalry Brigade; on November 20, Rucker's Battalion, unattached, was estimated at a strength of 175 men; on December 27, the 16th Battalion was reported on conscript duty.

On February 20, 1863, the battalion was reported in Brigadier General John Pegram's Brigade, along with 1st Georgia, 1st Louisiana, 1st (Carter's), 2nd (Ashby's) Tennessee Cavalry Regiments. As part of this brigade, the 16th Battalion, except for two companies stationed at Clinton, went with General Pegram on his raid into Kentucky the latter part of March into the territory around Danville, Somerset and Stanford.

On April 25, it was reported in Colonel 1.1. Morrison's Brigade, at Albany, Kentucky, consisting of the 1st Georgia, 1st Tennessee, 2nd Tennessee, 12th and 16th Battalions and Huwald's Battery. The 12th and 16th Battalions served in the same brigade from this time until the end of the war, first in Rucker's Legion, which was formed about the first of June, and later in Brigadier General John C. Vaughn's Brigade.

June, 1863 to March, 1864, in temporary field organization known as Rucker's Legion; in Brigadier General J. C. Vaughn's Brigade balance of war.

About the first of June 1863, the 12th and 16th Battalions were consolidated into a field organization known as Rucker's Legion (also called 1st East Tennessee Legion), which on July 31 was reported in Brigadier General John Pegram's Brigade, with Headquarters at Ebenezer, Tennessee, consisting of 1st Georgia, 6th Georgia Regiments, 7th North Carolina Battalion, 1st (Carter's) Tennessee Regiment, and Rucker's Legion. Company reports for the 12th Battalion showed most of the companies at Sweetwater, on June 30, and Captain Hardy's Company "E" at Ebenezer reported it had just rejoined the battalion after being on detached service in Middle Tennessee for the past nine months. On August 23, a Federal report placed Rucker's Legion (part of Pegram's Command), with four pieces of artillery at Kingston.

As part of Pegram's Brigade, Rucker's Legion took part in the cavalry engagements prior to the Battle of Chickamauga, and on September 12, the 6th Georgia and Rucker's Legion fought Wilder's Lightning Brigade of Mounted Infantry at Leet's Tan Yard. In the Battle of Chickamauga, September 19-20, Rucker's Legion was in Brigadier General H. B. Davidson's Brigade, of Pegram's Division.

Rucker's Legion was then placed in Colonel J. Warren Grigsby's Brigade, Brigadier General John H. Kelly's Division, of Major General Joseph Wheeler's Cavalry Corps, and detached to go with Lieutenant General Long-street on his move into East Tennessee. In November, 1863, company reports showed the battalion in Hawkins County, East Tennessee. In December 1863, and January and February 1864, Rucker's Legion was reported as operating near Russellville, Tennessee, at such points as Sneedville, Mooresburg, Chucky Bend, Morristown, Strawberry Plains, New Market, and Dandridge. On January 31, the Legion reported 171 effectives, 213 present, and 525 present and absent.

The report for the Department of Eastern Tennessee and Western Virginia dated February 29, 1864, bore a note: "Rucker's Legion disbanded, and regiments transferred to Dibrell's Division, and Vaughn's Brigade." So far as is known, the only members of Rucker's Legion were the 12th and 16th Tennessee Cavalry Battalions, and these were transferred to Brigadier General J. C. Vaughn's Brigade. Colonel Rucker was transferred to the Department of Mississippi, and later commanded a brigade in General N. B. Forrest's Cavalry Corps. The 12th and 16th Battalions remained in Vaughn's Brigade for the rest of the war. On April 29, an inspection report showed the 12th Battalion with 234 effectives.

Soon after this, Vaughn's Brigade moved into the Valley of Virginia for the campaign beginning with the battle of Piedmont on June 5, 1864. No record of the particular activities of the battalion were found, but it was evidently a part of this force, for on August 22, Major General Robert Ransom, Jr., in reporting on the condition of the cavalry forces in the Valley of Virginia and making recommendations for improved organization, recommended that the 12th and 16th Battalions be consolidated with 1st (Carter's) Tennessee Cavalry Regiment, and that the rest of Vaughn's Brigade be dismounted

11 May 2011 Copyright Carolyn Whitaker