Major General James H. Wilson, commanding three divisions of Union cavalry, about 13,500 men, led his men south from Gravelly Springs, Alabama, on March 22, 1865.
Opposed by Confederate Lieutenant General Nathan B. Forrest, Wilson skillfully continued his march and eventually defeated him in a running battle at Ebenezer Church, on April 1.
Continuing towards Selma, Wilson split his command into three columns. Although Selma was well-defended, the Union columns broke through the defenses at separate points forcing the Confederates to surrender the city, although many of the officers and men, including Forrest and Lieutenant General Richard Taylor, escaped.
Selma demonstrated that even Forrest, whom some had considered invincible, could not stop the unrelenting Union movements deep into the Southern Heartland.
Result(s): Union victory
Location: Dallas County
Campaign: Wilson's Raid in Alabama and Georgia (1865)
Date(s): April 2, 1865
Principal Commanders: Major General James H. Wilson [US]; Lieutenant General Nathan B. Forrest [CS]
Forces Engaged: Two cavalry divisions [US]; troops in city (approx. 5,000 men) [CS]
Estimated Casualties: 3,019 total (US 319; CS 2,700)
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