Battle of Ebenezer Church

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Battle of Ebenezer Church

Alabama Civil War Index

On April 1, 1865, Confederate Army Lieutenant General Nathan

Nathan_Bedford_Forrest

Nathan Bedford Forrest

Bedford Forrest chose the area around Ebenezer Church in Stanton, Alabama to combat the approaching Union forces of Major General James H. Wilson. By the afternoon of April 1, Forrest had positioned an approximate force of 4,000 defenders, about half of which were veteran soldiers, east-to-west along the intersection of two small country roads near Ebenezer Church.

 

James H. Wilson

James H. Wilson

He hoped that the strong position would give his outnumbered force the chance to hold off Union attacks until 3,000 approaching reinforcements under Brigadier General William H. Jackson could cross the Cahaba River and hit the rear of Wilson’s army. At the same time, Forrest expected his main line to be reinforced by additional troops under General James R. Chalmers. 

William_Hicks_Jackson

William Hicks Jackson

Both Chalmers and Jackson were delayed and Forrest wound up facing Wilson alone. After a fierce fight, the Confederate lines were broken and General Forrest and his men fell back to Selma.

 

James Ronald Chalmers

James Ronald Chalmers

Forrest could not fend off the coming tide of Wilson’s troops and retreated back to Selma for the battle that would come the next day leading to the fall of Selma. This battle would become known as one of the most fierce battles of the Civil War.

 

Additional Resources:

Yankee Blitzkrieg: Wilson’s Raid through Alabama and Georgia

Wilsons Cavalry Corps: Union Campaigns in the Western Theatre, October 1864 Through Spring 1865

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