Battle of Day’s Gap

The Battle of Day’s Gap

The Battle of Day’s Gap, fought on April 30, 1863, was the first in a series of American Civil War skirmishes in Cullman County, Alabama, that lasted until a battle on May 2nd, known as Streight’s Raid.

The Battle of Day’s Gap Battle Detail

OTHER NAME:Sand Mountain

CAMPAIGN:Streight’s Raid: Tuscumbia Alabama Toward Rome Geo

DATE(S):April 1863

PRINCIPAL COMMANDERS:Brigadier General Abel Streight [US] Major General Nathan Forrest [CS]

FORCES ENGAGED:2000 total (US 2000; CS 0;)

ESTIMATED CASUALTIES:88 total (US 23; CS 65;)

DESCRIPTION:Union Col. Abel D. Streight led a provisional brigade on a raid to cut the Western & Atlantic Railroad that supplied Gen. Braxton Bragg’s Confederate army in Middle Tennessee. From Nashville, Tennessee, Streight’s command traveled to Eastport, Mississippi, and then proceeded east to Tuscumbia, Alabama, in conjunction with another Union force commanded by Brig. Gen. Grenville Dodge. On April 26, 1863, Streight’s men left Tuscumbia and marched southeast, their initial movements screened by Dodge’s troops. On April 30, Confederate Brig. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s brigade caught up with Streight’s expedition and attacked its rearguard at Day’s Gap on Sand Mountain. The Federals repulsed this attack and continued their march to avoid further delay and envelopment. Thus began a running series of skirmishes and engagements at Crooked Creek (April 30), Hog Mountain (April 30), Blountsville (May 1), Black Creek/Gadsden (May 2), and Blount’s Plantation (May 2). Forrest finally surrounded the exhausted Union soldiers near Rome, Georgia, where he forced their surrender on May 3.

RESULTS:Union Victory

CWSAC REFERENCE #:AL001

SOURCE: National Park Service

The Battle of Day’s Gap Commanders

Brigadier General Nathan Bedford Forrest

Brig. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest led the Confederate forces.

Colonel Abel Streight

Commanding the Union Forces.

Col. Abel D. Streight
Col.Abel_D._Streight,_51st_Ind._Inf._USA
Nathan_B._Forrest_-_LOCc
Nathan_B._Forrest_-_LOCc

Commanding the Union forces was Col. Abel Streight; Brig. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest led the Confederate forces.

 

Col. Streight left Nashville for Eastport Mississippi and then east to Tuscumbia Alabama. On April 26, 1863, Streight’s men left Tuscumbia and marched southeast. On April 30, Gen Forrest attacked Streight’s rearguard at Day’s Gap on Sand Mountain. The Union troops replused the attack and a series of running skirmishes and engagements followed:Battle of Day's Gap Map

Skirmishes and Engagements

Nathan Bedford Forrest

On April 30, Confederate Brigadier General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s brigade caught up with Streight’s expedition and attacked its rearguard at Day’s Gap on Sand Mountain.

The Federals repulsed this attack and continued their march to avoid further delay and envelopment. Thus began a running series of skirmishes and engagements: 

Crooked Creek (April 30)

Battle Unit Details

ILLINOlS– 80th Infantry.
INDIANA– 51st and 73d Infantry.
OHIO— 3d Infantry.
TENNESSEE–1st Middle Cavalry (2 Cos.).

Hog Mountain  (April 30)

Battle Unit Details

ILLINOlS– 80th Infantry.
INDIANA– 51st and 73d Infantry.
OHIO— 3d Infantry.
TENNESSEE–1st Middle Cavalry (2 Cos.).

Blountsville  (May 1)

Battle Unit Details

ILLINOIS– 80th Infantry.
INDIANA– 51st and 73d Infantry.
OHIO— 3d Infantry.
TENNESSEE–1st Middle Cavalry (2 Cos.).

Black Warrior Creek/ near Gadsden (May 2)

Battle Unit Details

ILLINOIS– 80th Infantry.
INDIANA– 51st and 73d Infantry.
OHIO— 3d Infantry.
TENNESSEE–1st Middle Cavalry (2 Cos.).

Blount’s Plantation (May 2)

Battle Unit Details

ILLINOIS– 80th Infantry.
INDIANA– 51st and 73d Infantry.
OHIO— 3d Infantry.
TENNESSEE–1st Middle Cavalry (2 Cos.).

Finally, on May 3, Forrest surrounded Streight’s exhausted men three miles east of Cedar Bluff, Alabama, and forced their surrender. They were sent to Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia. Streight and some of his men escaped on February 9, 1864.

Andrew Wills Gould

The battle also led indirectly to the death of Confederate Lieutenant A. Wills Gould, an artillery officer of questionable competence who left guns behind to be spiked by Union forces. Gould was furious with Forrest’s decision to transfer him to another command and fought an impromptu duel with him on June 14, 1863, in which Gould was killed.

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