Wilsons Raid against the Confederate’s and their strongest remaining strategic arsenals is considered one of the most brilliant military operations ever conducted.
The reason for the raid was very simple; take out the remaining iron furnaces in the four remaining strategic operation.
These locations included the Oxmoor and Irondale furnaces in Birmingham, the Bibb Naval Furnace at Brierfield in Tuscaloosa, and the Furnaces and huge armory located in Selma Alabama.
However, they did not stop there, as the also attacked Confederate positions in two Georgia towns; Columbus and West Point.
Wilson’s raid was a brilliant Calvary operation by the Union forces against the Confederate forces, and it was conducted in the states of Alabama and Georgia.
It was considered a huge tactical success for the North and a tremendous hit for the South.
While it is not officially considered to be the series of battles that ended the war, a lot of experts suggest that it did just that.
The reason again was simple; the Union shoulders greatly outnumbered the Confederates, and they basically knocked the “Living Hell” out of them.
Wilsons Raid, led by Brig. General James H. Wilson was extremely successful at every step.
This raid was so one sided that it only lasted only two months; March and April of 1865.
The goal: destroy as much or all of the Confederate manufacturing facilities as they could.
After the Unions victories in the Battle of Nashville, the army of the Cumberland found themselves with almost no organized Confederate opponent.
They were already located in the Deep South, so Major General George H. Thomas ordered Brig. General Wilson to lead the raid to destroy the main arsenal in Selma Alabama.
The town of Selma not only continued an arsenal, but it also had a naval foundry, gun factories, and railroad repairs shops.
However, they also had a powder mill as well as military warehouses.
The raid started on March 28th, when the Union troops hit the town of Elyton, which is now known as Birmingham, and destroyed the Oxmoor and Irondale iron furnaces.
However, they did not just stop at this location in the Central part of Alabama.
They also destroyed the C. B Churchill and Company Foundry in Columbiana, as well as the Shelby Iron Works in Shelby, three days later.
Wilsons Raid, once it was finished with the Birmingham area, shifted its sites to Tuscaloosa, where Wilson detached over 1,500 troops.
There they burned the Roupes Valley Ironworks at Tannehill, as well as the Bibb Naval Furnace at Brierfield.
They then turned their attention of the University of Alabama, which was a very predominant military school at the time and burned it down on April 4, 1865.
From here they went to their main Target: Selma Alabama.
After the Confederates were defeated by the union soldiers at the Battle of Ebenezer Church, they raced toward Selma and made a semicircular defensive line.
However, on April 2, the Battle of Selma began, and the Union division of troops under Generals Long and Upton attacked the Confederate troops.
By now General Wilson was also in the area.
He personally led the mounted charge of the US 4th Cavalry.
He was extremely successful and in less than a week he had destroyed all of the military facilities at Selma.
The next targets were West Point and Columbus Georgia.
The battle of West Point was fought on Easter Sunday, April 16, and the Confederates had made the decision to fight to the last man if needed.
However, they did not have any chance at all, as they were vastly outnumbered and were poorly armed.
While this battle was going on, another battle was happening on the same Easter Sunday in Columbus Georgia.
This battle went basically the same way and Wilson captured this city as well.
Wilson’s raid was widely considered by most scholars as the “Last Battle of the Civil War.”
Alabama Gift Store
Numerous Items for You and Your Family to Enjoy
See it here at the Gift Store
Copyright 2019-2023 Alabamabackroads.com
All Rights Reserved