Selma, AL

[Nathan Bedford Forrest - "The Wizard of the Saddle"]


Campaign(s): Wilsonís Raid in Alabama and Georgia [1865]

Battles in Campaign:

Date(s): April 2, 1865


  • Union: Maj. Gen. James H. Wilson

  • Confederate: Lt. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest

Principal Forces:

  • Union: Two cavalry divisions (13,500)

  • Confederate: Troops in city (5,000 men)


  • On March 22, 1865 Maj. Gen. James H. Wilson, in command of three divisions of Union cavalry amounting to about 13,500 men, led his men south from Gravelly Springs, Alabama.

  • Wilson was opposed by Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest.

  • Wilson skillfully continued his march and eventually defeated him in a running battle at Ebenezer Church, on April 1.

  • Wilson split his command into three columns and advanced on Selma, AL.

  • Although Selma was well-defended, the Union columns broke through the defenses at separate points forcing the Confederates to surrender.

  • Although many of the officers and men, including Forrest and Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor, escaped, Selma demonstrated that even Forrest could not stop the  Union movements deep into the South.

Slide Presentation: None [Battlefield Lost Integrity]

Classification1: B


  • Union: 319

  • Confederate: 2,700

Results: Union Victory

Battlefield Website:

Lodging and Restaurants: Alabama Tourism

Recommended Resources:

1 Classification:

  • A - having a decisive influence on a campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war

  • B - having a direct and decisive influence on their campaign

  • C - having observable influence on the outcome of a campaign

  • D - having a limited influence on the outcome of their campaign or operation but achieving or affecting important local objectives

2 Casualties are someone killed, injured, wounded, captured or missing.

Revised 02/08/2013