Re: Woodward's 2nd Ky. Cavalry, CSA
There is a lot of confusion about Colonel Thomas G. Woodward and his 2nd Kentucky Cavalry. He was a West Point grad from Christian County Kentucky and formed his first unit, an about Company sized unit known as the "Oak Grove Rangers", in the town of Oak Grove, which is just a little North East of Clarksville, TN. They fought originally as a separate force, and they grew to approx. a battalion sized unit and were consolidated into Col. Helms 1st Kentucky Cavalry. Thomas Woodward was promoted from Capt. to Lt. Col and lead the 1st Battalion of Helms' 1st Kentucky. Due to attrition and Col. helms being promoted to commander of the "Orphan Brigade". The unit was disbanded and much of the 1st found itself under other commands. The men under now Lt. Col. Woodward, some left when they found out that they would be under the command of Gen. Forrest and some stayed. Col. Woodward went on a recruiting drive in Columbia, TN where they were at at the time and convinced many who had left to return and he also recruited heavily in Dickson, TN While the fought a rear guard, behind the lines action while they were camped in Yellow Creek and Cumberland Furnace area. The unit was officially at Regimental Status by that time and known as Woodward's 2nd Kentucky Cavalry.
The problem with Kentucky, Tennessee and Federal records is threefold. First, the Kentucky records were somewhat messed up after the war when the State Legislature decided that there was too much confusion about the ordinal numbers of different Kentucky Confederate units, the state was in much disarray when most were formed, and this caused there to be several 1st Kentucky's and 2nd's 3rd's..etc. in both Infantry and Cavalry. The reordered the list and in they're official records Morgan's men are the 2nd Kentucky, Woodward's men are the 15th. They never were referred to as the 15th, this causes much confusion. Much of the muster rolls are just men who joined early on, and doesn't include many of the Tennesseans at all. The state of Tennessee does recognize the unit as part of the Army of Tennessee and part of Forrest's command, but they don't have many muster rolls, same as the Federal Archive rolls. The third problem was recognized early on by the then Governor of Tennessee the Hon. Austin Peay. Which, by the way, he was in the unit too, was that many of the muster rolls of the Tennesseans in the unit were missing even by the late 1800's and early 1900's. Col. Woodward became one of Forrest's go to commanders and he used the unit over and over, just like all the Generals that the 2nd fell under, they were brave, daring and never refused a fight. I know of at least 5 Company's worth of men that I have not seen more than 15 names on. That's roughly 80 to 100 men for each of those units. There are too many names missing, even today for to be anyone who says that they can account for all of the men that ever served under Tom Woodward, sadly we may never be able to fill all of those rolls.
A partial list of battles and actions that I know of are: Brice's Crossroads, Cumberland Furnace, Battle of Murfreesboro; the taking of Winchester, TN Courthouse; The Battle of Chattanooga and The Battle of Chickamauga. A battalion of men along with Col Woodward himself were even used in 1864 in a behind the lines scouting mission in West Tennessee and Southern Kentucky by Forrest while he was attacking the Federal Supply lines trying to stem the tide of Sherman's attack on Atlanta and subsequent march to Savannah.