Union cavalry again occupy Germantown
By Lee Millar

With the New Year, several Union units were posted in Germantown.  These included the 6th, 7th, and 9th Illinois Cavalry, the 2nd Iowa Cavalry, and Company K of the Illinois Light Artillery.

But as the war and the armies moved to the east to Middle Tennessee and then Georgia, large-scale operations, for the most part, ceased in West Tennessee.  

By June of 1864, all Union headquarters were moved to the hospital town of Memphis and the only activity outside of the city was the chasing of guerrilla forces and Confederate army patrols and conscripting patrols.  The main headquarters in West Tennessee stayed in Memphis and the only activity in the Germantown area was the occasional patrol passing through or when troops on patrol camped in Germantown for short periods.  There was no report of troops stationed in Germantown for extended periods after the spring of 1864.

The town’s citizens and area residents were left to struggle with the hardships and deprivations caused by the war, and the occasional deserter or outlaw. 

January 12 Confederate cavalry detonates a delayed mine under the railroad but it misses a passing Union train. 
February 6 Union Gen’l Grierson concentrates 2900 cavalry plus artillery in Germantown to soon join Gen’l A. J. Smith’s infantry for a move south towards Meridian, MS.  This army is crushed by CS Gen’l Forrest at the Battle of Okolona, MS, and the routed Federal force is back in Germantown by Feb. 26.  They soon abandon the town and retire to Memphis. 
March Early in the month, elections are held for Shelby County offices, and in Germantown, for the offices of Justice of the Peace (2) and Constable. Yankee  carpetbag rule had begun.  Germantown had only 20 registered voters, yet 343 people cast ballots in the town.


Mid-March, Forrest’s Confederate cavalry re-occupy most of W. Tenn, including Germantown.

April Squadrons of Forrest’s cavalry make feints towards Memphis from Germantown to give the impression that the Confederates will attack the city. They also drive out the garrison at Union Station (Bartlett) to create the same impression and cause the Federals to hole up within those Memphis defenses. Meanwhile, Forrest’s main force captures Fort Pillow 80 miles upriver from the city. 
June 23 A detachment of Forrest’s cavalry attacks a Union train at Forest Hill. 
June 24 Sherman, again irate that Forrest’s domain is West Tennessee and north Mississippi, and not that of the U.S. Army, again implores Washburn to take  action.  Gen. A. J. Smith, and a new Federal army, is ordered south towards Oxford, MS, in a fresh campaign to defeat the Confederate cavalry.  Smith’s force  also absorbs all the Union cavalry in Germantown, and now 18,000 strong, moves southward. His progress is slow, Smith being very cautious of actually meeting  with Forrest’s force.  
August 20 At Oxford, Smith is confronted by Chalmers Division of only about 3000 men, but Smith believes that it is Forrest’s entire cavalry.
August 21 In one of the most brilliant maneuvers of the War, Forrest, with 1500 men, rides around Smith, moves throughout the night, and conducts a surprise raid into Memphis.  The Confederates capture the telegraph office and send messages to  other Federal army headquarters stating that Forrest has 30,000 men and has  captured the city and the entire garrison.   Smith is immediately ordered to return  and re-capture Memphis, thus saving the central Mississippi ‘breadbasket’ for the South.  The Memphis & Charleston RR is abandoned by the Federals and Germantown is again in the no-man’s land.
September 2 The 12th Missouri and 2nd Iowa cavalries re-occupy Germantown.  By Sept 29th, the cavalry was withdrawn to White’s Station. 
November 9 A Union cavalry expedition pushes into Germantown and clashes with a Confederate picket patrol. In the running fight through town, two Confederates are  captured.
December 20 Union General Grierson re-occupies Germantown with 4000 cavalries, 5000 infantry, and nine cannons. They soon return to White’s Station. 
December 26 The 29th Wisconsin Infantry, escorting a night train from Germantown to Memphis, skirmishes with Confederate cavalry.  No casualties on either side. 
Union cavalry again occupy Germantown

Union cavalry again occupy Germantown