Four minor battles occurred in 1863 at Collierville, Tennessee, during a three-month period.
The November 3 fight was intended to be a Confederate cavalry raid to break up the Memphis & Charleston Railroad behind Major General William T. Sherman's XV Army Corps, then in the process of marching to the relief of Chattanooga. But, when Brig. General James R. Chalmers, leading a cavalry division riding up from Mississippi, learned that only two Union regiments defended Collierville, he decided to attack.
Union Col. Edward Hatch possessed more men than Chalmers supposed, stationed at Collierville and at Germantown, five miles to the west. Scouts warned Hatch of Chalmers's approach from the south, so he ordered Collierville's defenders to be prepared and rode from Germantown with cavalry reinforcements. Chalmers, as he had done only three weeks earlier, attacked from the south. Col. Hatch arrived with help.
Surprised by the unexpected appearance of the enemy on his flanks, Chalmers concluded that he was outnumbered, called off the battle, and, to ward off Union pursuit, withdrew back to Mississippi. The Memphis & Charleston Railroad remained open to Tuscumbia, Alabama, for Union troop movements.
Result(s): Union victory
Location: Shelby County
Campaign: Operations on the Memphis & Charleston Railroad (1863)
Date(s): November 3, 1863
Principal Commanders: Col. Edward Hatch [US]; Brig. General James R. Chalmers [CS]
The Northern Railroads in the Civil War, 1861-1865
Account of the impact of the railroads on the American Civil War and vice versa. How the North was helped to victory through its effective use of the rails, also how the war changed the way railroads were built, run and financed after the war.
War in Kentucky: From Shiloh to Perryville
Union gains in the Mississippi Valley and in Tennessee and Kentucky had brought the Confederacy to a point of crisis. This addition to the literature on the Civil War in the West tells how the Union then failed to press home its advantage while the Confederacy failed to force Kentucky into the Confederacy