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Independent Illinois Cavalry at Fort Donelson

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Part of the reason it is difficult to know what role Federal cavalry played at Fort Donelson lies in the fact many cavalry companies operated as "independent units" during the Fort Henry and Fort Donelson campaigns... and then seem to disappear from history (which is unfortunate, because these independent cavalry companies persisted through the build-up at Savannah and Pittsburg Landing; and participated in the Battle of Shiloh.) Most of these units were affiliated with the State of Illinois, and were operated by Carmichael, Dollins, O'Hartnett and Stewart.

It turns out, the Independent Illinois Cavalry Companies were amalgamated in December 1862 into the 15th Illinois Cavalry Regiment (see links below.)



References:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Donelson_Union_order_of_battle  (see Cavalry assigned to Colonel Oglesby's 1st Brigade)

http://civilwar.illinoisgenweb.org/reg_html/cav_015.html   15th Illinois Cavalry (created from amalgamation in December 1862)

http://civilwar.illinoisgenweb.org/history/c15cav.html  brief History of companies attached to 15th Illinois Cavalry, beginning 1861

http://civilwar.illinoisgenweb.org/dyers/cav-stew1.html  Dyer's History of Stewart's Independent Company of Illinois Cavalry




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