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Forrest's Forgotten Horse Brigadier
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Forrest's Forgotten Horse Brigadier. H. Gerald Starnes. Softcover, 1995, New, Illus., Bibl., Index, 110 pp.
Dr. James W. Starnes was a prominent physician and planter in middle Tennessee whose Civil War service began when he organized the sons of the eminent families in Williamson County into a company of cavalry. He reached a degree of fame as a cavalryman that was only exceeded by Generals Forrest and Morgan. Prior to becoming a cavalryman, he had served as a Regimental Surgeon and fought in the infantry lines during the Mexican War.
The wartime encounters and perceptions of the officers and the private soldiers of Starnes’ 4th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment are traced in considerable detail. Their first fight was under Nathan Bedford Forrest in late 1861 in Kentucky, which was followed by the retreat to Chattanooga after the fall of Fort Donelson. From Chattanooga the regiment scouted and fought the advancing Federal forces over most of the mountainous terrain of East Tennessee until Gen. E. Kirby Smith invaded Kentucky in the late summer of 1862.
From Knoxville, the route and actions of the cavalry are chronicled through Bragg’s and Smith’s Kentucky campaign, the retreat, and return to Gen. Forrest. Under Forrest, Starnes and his cavalry were principal participators in the feint against Nashville; the raid into West Tennessee; the attacks on Fort Donelson, Thompson’s Station, Brentwood and Franklin; Streight’s Raid and the Tullahoma Campaign.
This book features over 40 photographic and map illustrations, with an epilogue that documents the continuing experiences of Starnes’ regiment and brigade after he was killed in action, plus a genealogical account of Col. Starnes’ family lines from their 1630 arrival in Mass. through his great-great-grandchildren, including photos of his 1858 family portraits. A bibliography and a complete Index of every individual and place-name mentioned are provided.
Gerry Starnes is the co-author of a Starnes family history and genealogy. He has maintained an interest in the Civil War since being told at the age of four that his tall, old, white-bearded, great-grandfather was once a Confederate cavalryman. Recently, Starnes has had two feature articles and a departmental article published in the Confederate Veteran magazine.